Kevin Pietersen opts out of IPL 2017

first_imgKEVIN PIETERSEN will not play the 2017 season of the IPL, citing a busy winter as a reason for not entering the player auction scheduled for later this month.Pietersen, 36, was part of the Rising Pune Supergiants franchise in 2016 but played only four games before missing the rest of the tournament with a calf injury. He was released by the franchise in December last year and would have had to be bought at the player auction in February to play this year.“I won’t be going into the IPL auction,” Pietersen said on Twitter. “My winter has been too busy with all my travel and I don’t want to spend April/May away too!”Pietersen spent the winter playing the domestic T20 tournament in South Africa – 198 runs in five innings for Dolphins – and the Big Bash League in Australia, where he scored 268 runs in eight innings in Melbourne Stars’ run to the semi-final.He had played for Quetta Gladiators in the inaugural season of the PSL in 2016 and is set to be part of the team once again for the upcoming tournament from February 9 to March 5.IPL is scheduled to begin in the first week of April and end in the third week of May. (ESPN Cricinfo)last_img read more

Former Trojan football players make NFL impact

first_imgFormer USC quarterback Sam Darnold steps back in the pocket to throw a pass at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. (Emily Smith | Daily Trojan)USC continued its annual tradition of sending multiple players to the NFL, with four Trojans selected in the 2018 Draft and others signed to teams as undrafted free agents. With this year’s four draft picks, the Trojans have had 504 players drafted into the league, the most of any school in the country. Here’s a look at this year’s Trojan draft class and the undrafted free agents with a chance to make an impact on NFL rosters this season.QB Sam DarnoldRound 1, Pick 3 Overall New York JetsThe Rose Bowl winning signal caller will begin his NFL career in the Big Apple, looking to turn around a Jets team that went a 10-22 over the last two years. Though he was picked to be their quarterback of the future, he’ll have to fight for the opportunity to start Week 1 of the season, as he’ll compete with veteran quarterbacks Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater for that chance. Darnold has performed fairly well so far through two preseason games, going 21-of-29 passing for 158 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Although Bridgewater and McCown have played well to this point, reports suggest that the team might be leaning toward letting the former Trojan start under center Week 1.RB Ronald Jones IIRound 2, Pick 38 OverallTampa Bay Buccaneers Jones was the fourth running back selected in this years draft, going to a Bucs team desperately in need of playmaking from the tailback position. So far, Jones has ceded the starting role to Payton Barber, but has shared some of the first team work with him. Jones has struggled thus far in the offseason, with reports of trouble in pass protection and ball security, as well as subpar performances in the two preseason games to date. Jones is still a uniquely talented player, and the Buccaneers use of a second round pick on him shows the faith they have in him to be a dynamic part of their offense. If he can flip the switch soon, he has the opportunity to have a big year down in Tampa.OLB Uchenna Nwosu Round 2, Pick 48 Overall Los Angeles ChargersThe edge rusher had a huge season for the Trojans last year, serving as a terror to opposing quarterbacks with 9.5 sacks and 14 pass breakups. His production earned him a high draft spot from the Chargers, with whom he’ll be able to play in his home city of Carson, Calif. The Chargers add Nwosu to a front seven already featuring Pro-Bowlers Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa, a fact that should open up plenty of opportunities for the ex-Trojan as a pass-rusher. He’s impressed so far through the offseason, drawing rave reviews from coaches and teammates, and has done well in the preseason, securing a sack in his first game and adding a number of quarterback pressures in both his performances.DE Rasheem GreenRound 3, Pick 79 Overall Seattle SeahawksSomewhat an enigma of a prospect, projected everywhere from the first to the fourth round during the pre-draft process, Rasheem Green has probably gotten off to the hottest start of all the Trojans entering the league this year. Through two preseason contests, Green has racked up an  impressive three sacks, 13 tackles and seven quarterback hits. The Seahawks are in desperate need of players to step up on the defensive line after the departures of Pro-Bowlers Michael Bennett, Sheldon Richardson and Cliff Avril this year. If Green continues to maintain his stellar level of play through the season, he’ll make a huge difference for a reloading Seahawks defense.WR Deontay BurnettUndrafted Free Agent Tennessee TitansOne of the bigger surprises of this year’s draft for the Trojans was Burnett going undrafted after a year, where he led the Trojans in receiving, posting an impressive statline of 1,114 yards and 9 touchdowns. He seems to have been a steal so far for the Titans, who lack strong options at the wide receiver position. Burnett has performed remarkably well so far for the Titans in training camp, developing a strong chemistry with quarterback Marcus Mariota as well as showcasing great route running and hands. He’s been nagged by some injuries in the preseason so far, but managed to make some nice plays in the last game. Look for him to potentially become an important part of Tennessee’s passing attack.WR Steven MitchellUndrafted Free Agent Los Angeles RamsMitchell went undrafted after another unspectacular but solid season at USC, finding an opportunity to play in the Coliseum once more as an undrafted free agent for the Rams. He’s impressed his coaches so far, and has made some nice plays throughout training camp and the preseason. On a team lacking any real wide receiver depth, Mitchell has a chance to make the roster or practice squad this year. He’ll be fighting to get a spot on the team’s final 53-man roster over the next few weeks.last_img read more