sport news SPORTS AGENDA: BBC on celebrity trail, while Liverpool still behind Manchester ...

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Those hoping that Garry Richardson’s brilliant Sportsweek programme would be replaced by another hard-hitting sports journalism show on BBC Radio 5 Live have been left disappointed. 

Following the conclusion of the Rugby World Cup, Pienaar’s Politics will move to an earlier 9am slot and will be followed by former MTV News and I’m a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! NOW! host Laura Whitmore, who the Beeb say will speak to ‘big-name guests from the worlds of politics, music and showbiz’.

Sportsweek on BBC Radio 5 Live will be replaced by a show hosted by Laura Whitmore

Sportsweek on BBC Radio 5 Live will be replaced by a show hosted by Laura Whitmore

An early peace in the War of the Roses is declared by The Hundred 

You would imagine that two of the biggest rivals in The Hundred will be the franchises based in Manchester and Leeds. Interesting then, that both will be promoted by the same ‘fan engagement manager’. 

Sports Agenda can disclose that the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), who have hardly covered themselves in glory when it comes to the new competition, have employed four marketing types to look after eight clubs and have lumped Manchester Originals and Northern Superchargers together. 

Presumably, the new staffer in question will be permitted to blast both of their sides, while also declaring them the best in the competition. The ECB say the four, taken on in July, are ‘agnostic’ and add ‘therefore we don’t believe there is any conflict’. 

Perhaps the doubling up explains Gary Kirsten’s embarrassing blunder this weekend when the Welsh Fire coach tweeted: ‘Can’t wait for The Hundred Draft and to pick the [insert team name] squad on Sunday at 7pm. #TheHundredDraft’

Kate Cross and Saqib Mahmood of Manchester Originals laugh during a Hundred press event

Kate Cross and Saqib Mahmood of Manchester Originals laugh during a Hundred press event 

Mark Alford shock candidate to become head of Sky Sports News 

Mark Alford is the surprise choice to replace Andy Cairns as head of Sky Sports News. 

The 39-year-old, formerly of this parish, saw off internal competition from interim boss Steve Scott and chief reporter Bryan Swanson in a five-month recruitment process. 

Sky insiders say that Alford’s digital skills and impressive plan for the future are what got him over the line. 

The new man, highly regarded despite his affection for Leeds United, will face a long list of tasks which may include getting to grips with his presenters’ off-message social media posts. 

Transfer presenter Anton Toloui has criticised boxer Tyson Fury, while Michael Bridge likened a flag of the Pope to comedian Russ Abbot. Both tweets were subsequently deleted. 

Alford, whose job title will be director of Sky Sports News, moves from head of digital at Sky News and is unlikely to start until January. 

Liverpool still playing catch-up to off the field 

While it is clear that Liverpool are some distance ahead of longstanding rivals in the Premier League table, it would appear to be a different matter for the clubs off the field. 

The European champions are in the High Court amid a kit supply row with Nike and New Balance. 

Central to the argument — and Liverpool’s preference to ditch their current partners — is the claim by Nike that they can put

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