Basketball, NBA: Los Angeles Lakers centre Andrew Bynum has had his suspension for an illegal hit on Dallas Mavericks player JJ Barea reduced to four games. The NBA’s disciplinary officials decided to drop one game off the original five-game suspension because of the lockout-shortened 2011-12 regular season. Bynum was slapped with the five-game ban after he attacked Barea as the Lakers were being eliminated by the Mavericks from last year’s play-offs.

Rugby Union: Toulouse’s South Africa hooker Gary Botha broke his right leg in Friday’s Top 14 win over Montpellier and will be ruled out for up to four months. The 30-year-old was stretchered off in the champions’ 45-25 victory after his leg buckled beneath him in a tackle. Botha, who has played 12 times for the Springboks after making his debut against Australia in 2005, joined Toulouse from the Bulls in the summer having also spent two seasons at Harlequins.

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Tennis: Maria Sharapova (picture) yesterday withdrew from January’s Brisbane International due to an ankle injury, but said she expected to be ready for the Australian Open later that month. Sharapova twisted her left ankle at the Pan Pacific Open tennis tournament in September and she is still troubled by the injury. The Brisbane International is a WTA and ATP tournament, running from January 1-8.

Cricket: Australia look set to go in against India with a revamped top order for the Boxing Day Test, with opener Ed Cowan named to the team yesterday alongside big-hitter David Warner and Shaun Marsh. In-form newcomer Cowan was one of three additions to a 13-man Australian squad named last week for the Melbourne Cricket Ground Test beginning tomorrow, after batsmen Phillip Hughes and Usman Khawaja were dumped.

Tennis: Sweden’s Lucas Renard was banned for six months and fined $5,000 after admitting corruption, the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) announced. The 19-year-old, who spends his career on the third-tier Futures circuit, had four months of his sanction suspended. The TIU did not reveal the details of the case against Renard whose career earnings of $5,790 will just about cover his fine.

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