Burley quits Derby County

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George Burley has resigned as manager of Derby County after claiming his position had become "untenable". Burley's relationship with the Championship club's hierarchy and director of football Murdo Mackay had proved difficult, with John Sleightholme, the chairman, opting to sell Tom Huddlestone to Tottenham against the manager's wishes earlier this year.

And the club last month publicly denied they had launched an internal inquiry into Burley's conduct following newspaper allegations which the 49-year-old Scot, who led the Rams to the play-offs this season, said had "hurt him deeply". Burley said in a statement yesterday: "It has been an honour and a privilege to work for this great club and to have enjoyed a memorable relationship with such special fans. However, as a result of an ongoing issue which has proved impossible to resolve, my position has become increasingly untenable."

Sleightholme accused Burley of not giving "his real reasons" for resigning. The chairman said: "George raised a specific concern with the board, the board had a meeting and complied with George's request and he agreed to continue as manager. However, since that meeting only a number of days ago, George now feels he cannot continue as manager.

"We asked if there was anything we could do to change his mind and he said there was no solution possible. The board, having satisfied George's requests, are disappointed that he has not made clear his real reasons for leaving."

* Former England manager Sir Bobby Robson has declined the opportunity to take up a position with Hearts. The 72-year-old had been in discussions with the Tynecastle side regarding a possible move to Edinburgh.

But the ex-Newcastle boss has turned down the chance to work under the new regime at Hearts, spearheaded by majority shareholder Vladimir Romanov.

Hearts were hoping Robson would take up the challenge in either a director of football role or as head coach following the resignation of John Robertson last month.

Robson seriously considered the offer but has rejected the move for family reasons.

* Tim Henman had to struggle to beat American Robby Ginepri 7-6 4-6 6-1 in his opening match in the Stella Artois tournament at Queen's Club.

Henman lost his opening match in the event to Karol Beck 12 months ago and there were ominous signs a repeat could be on the cards. The 30-year-old squandered two break points early in the second set, the first with a woeful overhead into the net and Ginepri took full advantage. An errant Henman volley gave the world number 73 the vital break and he served out with his second ace of the match to take the set 6-4 and force a nervy decider.

Former Wimbledon finalist Mark Philippoussis returned from a three-month injury lay-off with a 6-4 6-0 win over Dutchman Raemon Sluiter in the first round. The Australian's victory set up a second-round encounter with Andy Roddick, a match that is sure to produce fireworks between the two big servers. Philippoussis, who was runner-up to Roger Federer at Wimbledon in 2003, moved effortlessly round the court to put his injury woes behind him.

Once ranked eighth, the 28-year-old has seen his standing slide to 189 in the world as he struggled to overcome ankle and back problems.

Lleyton Hewitt, playing his first match since March, beat Belgium's Xavier Malisse 6-7 7-5 7-5 to reach the third round. The game was Hewitt's first since injuring his toe in a defeat to Federer in the Indian Wells final. He then missed the French Open after cracking a rib in an accident at his home.

Frenchman Richard Gasquet served and volleyed his way to a 6-1 7-6 win over Serbia's Janko Tipsarevic.

* An out-of-sorts Roger Federer was given a stern test by Sweden's Robin Soderling before coming through his first round match at the Halle Open in Germany. The Swiss world number one and top seed, normally so dominant on grass, was playing his first match since losing to Spaniard Rafael Nadal on clay in the French Open semi-finals last week.

He eventually beat Soderling 6-7 7-6 6-4.

* Pakistan wrapped up a comfortable 136-run victory over the West Indies in the second Test at Sabina Park, Jamaica and levelled the two-match series. It was their first Test win in the Caribbean in 17 years.

Starting the final day at 114 for six and chasing an unrealistic target of 280, the West Indies capitulated in less than an hour on a pitch that could no longer be trusted to provide consistent bounce.

After leg-spinner Danish Kaneria had done the damage to the West Indies middle-order late on day four, it was the turn of pace bowler Shabbir Ahmed to help wrap up the Windies tail.

Kaneria took the first wicket of the day, removing Daren Powell for 12, before Shabbir had Courtney Browne (10) and Reon King (4) caught behind by Kamran Akmal in quick succession. Tino Best was the last man out as he skied Shabbir to mid-off for eight.

Kaneria finished with figures of five for 46, while Shabbir collected four for 56, as the Windies were bowled out for just 143 in their second innings.

The match was umpire David Shepherd's 92nd and last Test.

* Gloucestershire seamer Steve Kirby has escaped with a suspended sentence after being found guilty of tampering with the ball during the Frizzell County Championship match against Glamorgan last month. Kirby was given a three-day ban from all cricket at a England and Wales Cricket Board disciplinary hearing in Bristol, suspended until the end of the season providing there are no further offences.

The decision was made by a three-man panel, which could have imposed a far greater sentence after it was alleged Kirby deliberately rubbed the ball on concrete and tarmac during the match at Sophia Gardens on May 8. He received a more lenient sentence because the panel believed the ball's behaviour was not affected by his actions, but he was also ordered to pay £125 costs towards the hearing.

* London Irish assistant coach Paul Hull has left the Exiles to join his former club Bristol. Hull will link up with the Shoguns - who won promotion to the Zurich Premiership last season - at the end of the month following a two-year spell at the Madejski Stadium.

The former England full-back said: ''I'm grateful to London Irish for giving me the opportunity to coach in the Premiership. I now have the chance to return to Bristol and move my career on to the next level.''

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