Sports Shorts

Farmar to make home debut for Maccabi TA

Jordan Farmar has already realized one of his childhood dreams - to play in the NBA. And when Maccabi Tel Aviv plays its opening home game in the Adriatic League tonight, the New Jersey Nets point guard will fulfill another: to play at Yad Eliahu. With two easy road victories under its belt, Maccabi hosts Cibona Zagreb of Croatia this evening, and thanks to the NBA lockout, Farmar will be wearing the yellow uniform for the first time in front of home fans. How long he will remain a Maccabi player is a mystery, but for now the 24-year-old is just looking forward to his home debut. "I'm really not thinking about when the strike will end," he said yesterday. "As long as I'm here, I'm a Maccabi player and that's what matters." (Maayan Efrat )

Dutch winger Robben to miss Euro qualifiers

Netherlands winger Arjen Robben has pulled out of the squad for the Euro 2012 qualifying matches against Moldova and Sweden. The Bayern Munich player has a groin injury, the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB ) said in a statement yesterday. Goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg and defender Hedwiges Maduro also withdrew from the squad due to injury earlier this week. The Dutch, who have already qualified for next year's finals, host Group E rivals Moldova on Friday and visit Sweden on Tuesday. (Reuters )

Springboks' Smit returns to face Australia

Hooker John Smit was named on Thursday to lead a vastly experienced South Africa team in the rugby World Cup quarter-final against Australia on Sunday. Smit, who replaced Bismarck du Plessis in the starting lineup, began the last pool game against Samoa on the bench and barely spent any time on the field after being sin-binned for a deliberate knock down within minutes of running on. Wingers JP Pietersen and Bryan Habana, both under an injury cloud this week, were also named in South Africa's most experienced team, with a total of 836 caps. (Reuters )

Ex-England bowler Graham Dilley dies at 52

Graham Dilley, a former England fast bowler who took 138 wickets in 41 test appearances, has died following a short illness, the England and Wales Cricket Board said yesterday. He was 52. Dilley was best known for his contribution during a 117-run partnership with Ian Botham at Headingley in 1981, helping England to an unlikely win over Australia in the Ashes. Dilley played county cricket for Kent and Worcestershire and went into coaching after his retirement. ECB chief executive David Collier said, "Graham made a lifelong contribution to the game of cricket at all levels and we are deeply saddened by the sad news." (AP )

Premier League goal-line technology delayed until 2013-14 season

Goal-line technology will not be introduced in the Premier League until the 2013-14 season, the Football Association said yesterday. The testing required for it to be introduced will be completed after next summer's Euro 2012 finals. And FA general secretary Alex Horne said there would not be enough time to get everything ready in time for the start of the 2012-13 season, delaying it an extra year. "I think it'll be 2013-14 because there's then a big capital decision-making process for any league or any competition who want to apply (the technology )," the BBC quoted Horne as saying. The technology is set to be used only to prove if a ball has crossed a line, not to judge offside decisions. (DPA )