NFL

Cardinals coach Kingsbury deflects Oklahoma job speculation, provides Murray update

By Sports Desk November 29, 2021

Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury deflected speculation linking him to the University of Oklahoma job, while he is hopeful of Kyler Murray's return.

The Oklahoma Sooners are reportedly targeting Kingsbury for their vacant coaching position, though the Cardinals coach is contracted through 2022, with a team option for 2023.

Kingsbury was asked about the rumours as the high-flying Cardinals prepare for Sunday's NFL matchup against the Chicago Bears.

"I don't get into those things," Kingsbury told reporters on Monday.

"My sole focus the last couple weeks has been the Chicago Bears and, after watching them on Thanksgiving, it needs to be, because they're a really good football team and had a big win, and so that's where my focus has been."

The Cardinals lead the NFC and Kingsbury – who was appointed in 2019 – added: "We're in-season, we're 9-2, Just not a topic I want to touch on right now."

Star Cardinals quarterback Murray has missed the team's last three games due to an ankle injury.

Murray leads the NFL in completion percentage (72.7) and passer rating (110.4), while he has thrown for 2,276 yards and 17 touchdowns.

"I am hopeful," Kingsbury said of Murray and DeAndre Hopkins (hamstring).

"I will leave it at that at this point because I want to see them move around, practice full speed, and see where they are at, and where their comfort level and their confidence is."

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    Iga Swiatek is through to the second round at Wimbledon thanks to a straight-sets defeat of Jana Fett on Tuesday.

    While the top seed did not have it all her own way in the second set, she ultimately had more than enough to see off Fett 6-0 6-3.

    All early signs pointed to a comfortable win for Swiatek as world number 252 Fett looked nervous, committing 14 unforced errors to her opponent's four in the first set.

    As such, Swiatek's first-set bagel arrived with the Pole barely breaking a sweat, but her level dropped in the second and allowed Fett a foothold.

    Fett broke to love in the first game of the second set, and although Swiatek instantly hit back, the Croatian then broke again before managing to consolidate and go 3-1 up.

    But she passed up five break points as Swiatek began to build her way back, and the world number one was soon a break to the good, with Fett's 23 unforced errors, which included nine double faults, proving her downfall.

    A sloppy return from Fett gave Swiatek match point, and the former put her next shot straight into the net as the favourite became the first female player since Martina Hingis in 1997 to win 36 successive matches.

    Data slam: Swiatek bagels again

    Remarkably, Swiatek's first-set bagel was her 17th of the season. This century, only Serena Williams (25 in 2013) and Kim Clijsters (18 in 2003) have managed more in a single year.

    While Fett made life a little trickier in the second, the nature of Swiatek's first-set performance almost made victory a formality and few would bet against her repeating her bagel feat in the second round.

    WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
    Swiatek – 10/15
    Fett – 7/23

    ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
    Swiatek – 0/3
    Fett – 1/9

    BREAK POINTS WON
    Swiatek – 6/10
    Fett – 2/8

  • England white-ball captain Morgan retires from international cricket England white-ball captain Morgan retires from international cricket

    England white-ball captain Eoin Morgan has announced his retirement from international cricket and Jos Buttler is expected to replace him as skipper.

    Morgan has become one of England's greatest leaders after being appointed in 2014, leading the side to a first World Cup triumph in the 50-over format with a dramatic victory over New Zealand in the 2019 final at Lord's.

    The 35-year-old also took England to the T20 World Cup final in 2016 and the semi-finals five years later.

    However, Morgan has struggled with the bat in recent months, twice falling without scoring in a 3-0 ODI series whitewash of the Netherlands last week before missing the final match of the series due to injury.

    The left-handed batter has passed 50 just once in his past eight ODIs since scoring 106 against his country of birth Ireland in February 2020.

    Morgan repeatedly suggested he would step down from his role if he felt he was not contributing with the bat and he confirmed on Tuesday that his international career is over.

    "After careful deliberation and consideration, I am here to announce my retirement from international cricket with immediate effect," Morgan said in a statement issued on the England and Wales Cricket Board's website.

    "To call time on what has been without doubt the most enjoyable and rewarding chapter of my career hasn't been an easy decision, but I believe now is the right time to do so, both for me, personally, and for both England white-ball sides I have led to this point.

    "I am hugely proud of what I have achieved as a player and captain, but the things I will cherish and remember the most are the memories I made with some of the greatest people I know along the way.

    "I have been lucky enough to play in two World Cup winning teams, but I believe the future for England's white-ball teams is brighter than ever. We have more experience, more strength and more depth than ever before. I look forward to watching on with a huge level of excitement."

    Rob Key, managing director of England men's cricket, added: "On behalf of the ECB and everyone involved in cricket, I'd like to thank Eoin Morgan for his outstanding contribution to the game.

    "It will be wrong to think Eoin's legacy was just winning the World Cup in 2019; it is far greater than that.

    "As with all great players and leaders, he has changed the way the game has been played, and he has changed the way an entire generation and generations to come will play this form of the game. His legacy within the game will be felt for many years to come.

    "He is, without question, the best leader I have seen. I wish him well in the next chapter of his career."

    Buttler stepped up in the absence of Morgan for the final ODI against Netherlands and is now expected to take the job on a permanent basis.

    Wicketkeeper-batter faces a busy start to his reign, with Matthew Mott's side facing South Africa and India three-match T20I and ODI series during the next month.

    England head to Australia for three T20Is in October before the T20 World Cup starts later in the month Down Under.

  • Morgan quits as history-making captain and record-breaking batsman Morgan quits as history-making captain and record-breaking batsman

    Eoin Morgan signalled the end of an era for England's limited-overs team as he announced his international retirement on Tuesday.

    Morgan, who started his career playing for Ireland, had captained the white-ball side for eight years.

    In that time, England went to the 2016 World Twenty20 final and then overcame the pain of that narrow defeat by winning a dramatic 2019 Cricket World Cup final.

    Morgan will "go down as one of the most influential figures not just in English cricket but in world cricket", according to Brendon McCullum, while Nasser Hussain lauded "our greatest ever white-ball captain" and Michael Atherton hailed his "white-ball dynasty".

    But more than merely an outstanding leader - who is expected to be replaced in his role by Jos Buttler – Morgan has also been a brilliant player for England.

    Indeed, there is scarcely a white-ball record Morgan does not have his fingerprints on, with his Test career lasting only 16 matches.

    Despite playing 23 ODIs for Ireland between 2006 and 2009 before switching allegiances, no player has appeared in more matches for England in the format (225); the same is true of T20Is (115).

    Perhaps it is no surprise then that Morgan leads England in runs in both formats – 6,957 in 50 overs and 2,458 in 20. In fact, only eight players of any nationality have scored more T20I runs.

    Morgan has played with some of the sport's biggest hitters but can hold his own, too: his 220 ODI sixes (202 for England) include 17 in one match against Afghanistan at the 2019 World Cup, a record that stands to this day.

    In the shortest format, he has hit 120 sixes – the most of any England star and the fourth-most overall.

    A star in the field, too, Morgan has taken 46 catches in T20Is to lead England all internationals and rank joint-eighth across the board.

    But Morgan will perhaps still be best remembered as the man organising the field as England scaled new heights – and he owns his fair share of records in that regard, too.

    Morgan was captain for just over half of his ODI appearances (126), comfortably the most such outings of any England player, ahead of Alastair Cook (69).

    It is unsurprisingly a similar story in the younger T20I format, with Morgan's 72 games as captain matching India's MS Dhoni for the record.

    Morgan's sublime career is unlikely to be forgotten in a hurry, but this array of dominant records ensures that will remain the case.

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