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Injured England cricketer to miss next T20 clash

England's Jos Buttler playing in Birmingham. Credit: PA

Jos Buttler will miss England's NatWest Twenty20 international against New Zealand because of his hand injury.

The wicketkeeper-batsman was replaced in England's Royal London Series decider against the Kiwis at Chester-le-Street by Jonny Bairstow, after splitting the webbing on his left hand in practice.

The England team practising at Chester-le-Street yesterday.

The England and Wales Cricket Board subsequently announced on Twitter that Buttler will also be absent from Tuesday's one-off Twenty20 at Old Trafford.

Bairstow is a seemingly obvious option to be added to the squad for Manchester too, but that decision is yet to be made.

The ECB has also clarified that Buttler's participation in this summer's Ashes, starting on July 8, is in no doubt.

The governing body added: "A decision on a replacement for the T20 will be made following today's ODI.

"There are no concerns regarding Buttler's availability for the Investec Ashes."

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Hartlepool United sold and Chairman steps down

Hartlepool United's new owners haven't been revealed Credit: PA Images

Hartlepool United have tonight confirmed that the club has been sold. It's been owned by the firm Independent Oilfield Rentals (IOR) since 1997.

They say the decision to sell is in the club's best interests.

Meanwhile current Chairman Ken Hodcroft has also stepped aside in the move.

The club's new owners haven't been revealed, although a statement will be released on Monday.

IOR released the following statement a short time ago:

For approximately 18 years IOR have owned Hartlepool United but today they can announce that new owners will be taking over the Club and Ken Hodcroft will step down as Chairman from today.

IOR believe this will be in the best interests for taking the Club forward into hopefully some exciting years ahead.

IOR would like to thank everybody for working together from January onwards to pull off ‘The Great Escape’ at the end of last season, including all members of staff and particularly the fans who gave their full support to the Club and IOR through what was a very critical period for the Club."

– Hartlepool United

The club has said a further and more detailed statement will be made on Monday, June 22.

Sunderland Ladies sign Irish striker Stephanie Roche

Sunderland Ladies have signed the Republic of Ireland striker – and FIFA Puskas Award runner-up – Stephanie Roche.

The 26-year-old arrives on Wearside after she was released by Houston Dash last month and says she “can’t wait to get started” at her new club.

Roche became a global sensation last year for her stunning goal during a game for Peamount United against Wexford Youths. It won her second prize in Fifa’s goal of the year award, behind James Rodriguez’s stunner for Columbia during the 2014 World Cup.

It’s great to be at here and I can’t wait to get started.

I know there is a high standard in WSL 1 and it’s something I’m looking forward to being a part of. The team have done really well this season and hopefully I can play my part too.

– Stephanie Roche

Stephanie is going to be a very good addition to the side. The fact she was nominated for the Fifa Puskás Award at the 2014 Ballon d’Or ceremony shows her ability, but it isn’t just about that and she will bring added value to the side.

From her point of view it is a great opportunity to establish herself in the FAWSL 1 and then push on from there, so her main objective will be to cement her place in the first-team and continue to represent Republic of Ireland at international level.

We have had a good start to the season and as we enter the next phase we want to push on and improve.

– Sunderland Ladies head coach Carlton Fairweather

Roche could make her debut for Sunderland in the WSL1 home game against Notts County Ladies, at Eppleton Colliery Welfare Ground in Hetton, on Sunday, July 12.

Watch Stephanie in action:

Durham Wildcats pull out of basketball league

There's been a shock for North East Sport today (June 17) as the Durham Wildcats have pulled out of next season's British Basketball League.

The club had been structured around the idea of recruiting overseas students attending Durham University.

But a change in UK Border Agency rules about student visas means the Wildcats can no longer build a team in that way.

The club say they hope to restructure and return to the top flight of British Basketball next year.

Click here for the official club statement.

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McClaren's first NUFC fixture announced

NUFC's first six fixtures:

  • 8th August Saints (h)
  • 5th August Swansea (a)
  • 22nd August Man Utd (a)
  • 29th August Arsenal (h)
  • 12th September West Ham (a)
  • 19th September Watford (h)
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