Sports NEws in Brief
Text row claims
JOHANNESBURG - South Africa cricket officials have rubbished claims their players provoked the text message row that led to England axing batsman Kevin Pietersen. Pietersen was dropped for the final Test and a one-day international series against South Africa and the World Twenty20 tournament after allegedly criticising England captain Andrew Strauss. England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chief executive David Collier said Pietersen's texts were a response to messages from the opposition.
BELEK, Turkey - World No.1 Rory McIlroy has played down any rivalry between he and 14-time major winner Tiger Woods ahead of this week's World Golf Final in the Turkish resort of Belek. While sponsors draw heavily on McIlroy versus Woods in promoting the event, the 23-year-old Northern Irishman does not see it that way. "I'm looking forward to tackling Tiger as everyone knows he's been a hero of my growing up," said McIlroy to reporters.
TOWNSVILLE, Qld - Saturday's one-off clash with New Zealand will cap a stand-out year for Josh Morris when he makes his home Test debut for the Kangaroos alongside twin brother Brett. The classy Morris was a key component in Canterbury's march to the NRL grand final after cementing his spot in the NSW centres with a superb State of Origin series and he now has the chance to do the same for Australia with Justin Hodges unavailable for the Townsville Test due to injury.