Kevin Pietersen's future with England is in doubt. Photo: Reuters

Sport Digest, September 19, 2012


China has withdrawn all its badminton players from this week's Japan Open, citing safety fears as ties between Beijing and Tokyo worsen over the Diaoyu Islands territorial row, officials confirmed yesterday. The withdrawal leaves the Tokyo-based tournament bereft of some of the sport's biggest names. "The BWF can confirm the Chinese contingent has withdrawn from the Japan Open," Thomas Lund, the Badminton World Federation's chief operating officer, said. "It is unfortunate but the tournament will go on," he added. A China official said: "We've quit the Japan Open. The decision was to ensure players' safety ... so considering the intense China-Japan relations these days, we quit." The decision was taken last Friday, he added. A Japan official they would be sending a bill to the Chinese. "China sent us an entry list of 40 players last month," he said. "We had to cancel their [hotel] rooms and we are going to ask them to pay the expenses." AFP


Kevin Pietersen has been left out of England's 17-man cricket squad for the upcoming tour of India, raising questions about his future at international level. England management has held a series of talks with the team's star batsman over the past few weeks after he was dropped last month for sending "provocative" texts to South Africa players about then-captain Andrew Strauss. AP


US Speedskating placed Chun Jae-su on administrative leave and promised a full investigation into allegations of abuse against the South Korean head coach of the US short track team. An official said the organisation was probing allegations Chun slammed an athlete against a wall and repeatedly hit him, threw bottles and chairs at skaters, and told women skaters they were "fat". AFP