Sania to retire after 2022 season, says body is wearing down
Melbourne, Jan 19 (Tennis News) India tennis star Sania Mirza on Wednesday announced that 2022 will be her last season since her body is "wearing down" and motivation and energy for the everyday grind is not the same anymore.
Mirza, 35, had returned to tennis after giving birth to her son in March 2019 but her progress was later thwarted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Mirza made the retirement announcement after losing the Australian open women's doubles first round with partner Nadiia Kichenok.
"There's a bunch reasons for it. It's not as simple as 'okay I'm not going to play'. I do feel my recovery is taking longer, I do feel, considering my son is three years old, I'm putting him at risk by travelling so much with him, that's something I have to take into account," Mirza said at the post-match press conference.
"My body is wearing down. My knee was really hurting today and I'm not saying that's the reason we lost but I do think that it is taking time to recover as I'm getting older," she said.
Also Read : Bopanna-Vasselin pair's campaign ends in first round
News Source : PTI
Bopanna-Vasselin pair's campaign ends in first round
Melbourne, Jan 19 (Tennis News) India's Rohan Bopanna and his French partner Edouard Roger-Vasselin were knocked out of the Australian Open men's doubles event by wild card pair of Chirstopher Rungkat and Treat Huey here on Wednesday.
Bopanna and Roger-Vasselin began confidently but lost momentum mid-way to lose 6-3 6-7(2) 2-6 in the opening round that lasted one hour and 48 minutes.
Phillippines' left-hander Huey's exceptional service games and net play was crucial in the outcome of the match while Indonesian Rungkat, who initially appeared a weak link, gradually upped his game.
Rungkat's hitting from the baseline improved remarkably as the match wore on.
The Indo-French pair got the first break chance in the fourth game when Bopanna hit a crushing forehand winner past Huey at 15-30 on the serve of Rungkat, who could not put the ball across the net on the next point.
That break positioned Bopanna to serve out the set in the ninth game and he did that with ease, at love, with his booming serves.
Rungkat and Huey came out all guns blazing in the opening game of the second set, attacking Bopanna's serve and earned two breakpoints with a flurry of winners but could convert none.
Both the pairs held serves throughout the second set, which was decided by a tie-breaker.
In the 11th game, though, Roger-Vasselin and Bopanna earned two break chances but their rivals saved both. It was a winner from Roger-Vasselin and a Rungkat forehand error that put the wild cards 15-40.
The wild card pair reeled off six straight points in tie-breaker from 1-2 to level the match.
The momentum changed dramatically after that with Rungkat and Huey dominating the contest by breaking their rivals with ease. They raced to a 5-1 lead with a double break. The Indonesian then served out the match.
Also Read : Kerber, Kvitova and Isner knocked in opening round of Australian Open
News Source : PTI
Docu series 'Down Underdogs' will leave Indian cricket fans in nostalgic tears
(Cricket news) It's been almost a year since the Indian cricket team against all the odds defeated Australia in an away Test series. Now Sony Sports has released a 4 part docu series on India's triumph where they won 2-1 away against the mighty Australia despite numeral setbacks. The series is available to watch on SonyLiv
In the docu series, viewers will see players Hanuma Vihari, Mohammed Siraj and Marnus Labuschagne talking about their experiences. Former cricketers turned commentators Sunil Gavaskar, Sanjay Manjrekar, Nick Knight, Isa Guha, Vivek Razdan, Lisa Sthalekar, Micheal Clarke, Jason talked about the series and also their own experiences in similar situations. Journalists Harsha Bhogle, Ayaz Memon, Joy Bhattacharjya, Gaurav Kapoor and Rajdeep Sardesai highlighted several points about the series and the historical context of it.
The topic of the documentary was such that fans of Indian cricket would enjoy it regardless of the quality of the end product because it is still fresh in people's mind and the memories of it would trigger the nostalgic factor in people's brain who have experienced the series even if it is through their T.V screens. Each episode focused on the 4 Test matches titled Adelaide Aberration, Melbourne Magic, Sydney Siege and Brisbane Breached.
Throughout the series there were stories and anecdotes about players like Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Siraj, T Natarajan and Washington Sundar. The series brilliantly portrayed important parts of the series like Virat Kohli leaving after the first Test, Ravichandran Ashwin's battle with Steve Smith, Ajinkya Rahane's hundred, India's multiple injury woes, racist abuse, the unexpected debuts of inexperienced Indian players and Tim Paine's sledging.
The main thing missing was that Marnus Labuschagne, Hanuma Vihari and Mohammed Siraj were unable to enlighten the viewers about their mindset during and before the games. What the atmosphere was inside the changing room was not really talked about. The main takeaway from the series was that it depicted the beauty of Test cricket and why it is the best format of the game and must be preserved. Overall the series is definitely a must watch for all the cricket fans. The high drama along with the ebbs and flow of the Test series is highlighted and enhanced in the docu series.
Kerber, Kvitova and Isner knocked in opening round of Australian Open
(Tennis news) The first two day have not been kind to the seeds as they kept the trend on day 2 of the 2022 Australian Open. Multiple Grand Slam winners Petra Kvitova and Angelique Kerber made their way out of Melbourne in the first round of the event. In the men’s field, it was a bad start to the season for John Isner, Ugo Humbert and Nikoloz Basilashvili.
In men’s singles, Andy Murray has been playing a couple of stretched matches as he played a four hour match against Basilashvili. Both the players had been involved in a three hour battle a few days ago at Sydney and it was the former world number who again held on for a win. Murray totally outplayed Basilashvili in the opening set but in the second the 29 year old began his ball bashing technique to set up another marathon match. The Georgian even played a few deft dropshots which Murray had done earlier, the 3 time Grand Slam winner had his chances beaten to a pulp by Basilashvili in the fourth set. Murray defeated Basilashvili 6-1, 3-6, 6-4, 6-7(5-7), 6-4.
When two servers meet, there is not much movement on the court but there are a lot of first serves which take up all the heat. It was an all American meeting between John Isner and Maxime Cressy as it was also their first career meeting. The 36 year old has not been able to win matches lately and the streak continued in the 1st round as Cressy had the extra boost in the final set. The match saw 70 aces by the players and 20 double faults by the 24 year old who also won two service games more than the 6 foot 11 inch player. Cressy defeated Isner 7-6(7-2), 7-5, 6-7(4-7), 6-7(4-7), 6-4.
In another court there was a similar French battle and it was the senior this time who took the next gen in the 1st round. Richard Gasquet waved his magic backhand for his first victory at the event in four years and will face another next gen player Botic van de Zandschulp in the second round. Gasquet defeated Ugo Humbert 3-6, 7-6(7-4), 7-6(7-3), 6-3.
In women’s singles, Kaia Kanepi could not have imagined her match in any other way as she beat Kerber in 70 minutes. The 2016 champion was never strong enough against Kanepi who played from the baseline and never did rush a point to enter the second round. Kanepi defeated Kerber 6-4, 6-3.
It was the end of the road for another Grand Slam winner as Petra Kvitova was hit by Romanian storms. Sorana Cirstea had to pull out tough shots in the beginning of both sets but after that it was a smooth run against Kvitova. Cirstea reached the fourth round in 2017 and has not won more than 2 matches since then. Cirstea defeated Kvitova 6-2, 6-2
The next gen in the women’s field did not have as much luck as their male counterparts. Leylah Fernandez joined other top seeds in making an early exit of the season opener. Fernandez lost three breakpoints as she lost the first set in a close encounter in which both the players had long rallies but in the second set, Maddison Inglis took the first four games to open a huge lead in the match and over her opponent’s mind. From there it was game over for the 2021 US Open runner up who lifted her hands in disappointment after losing the match. Inglis defeated Fernandez 6-4, 6-2.
Unmukt Chand becomes first Indian cricketer to play in a BBL match
Melbourne, Jan 18 (Cricket News) Former U-19 World Cup winning skipper Unmukt Chand on Tuesday became the first Indian cricketer to play in Australia's Big Bash T20 League as he made his debut for Melbourne Renegades.
The 28-year-old Chand, a right-handed batsman, made his BBL debut against Hobart Hurricanes in the BBL.
"The new colours suit you, @UnmuktChand9," Renegades tweeted. Chand, under whose leadership India had won the ICC U-19 World Cup in 2012 in Australia, retired from all forms of Indian cricket in August last year, making him eligible to play leagues overseas.
After the Under-19 World Cup success, Chand led the India A team as well but never really graduated to the senior level.
Also Read : K L Rahul set to lead Lucknow IPL franchise
News Source : PTI
Norrie, Gauff and Fognini fall in opening day of Australian Open
(Tennis news) Day 1 of the 2022 Australian Open saw quite a few seeded players making their exit. The highest seeded player to fall was Cameron Norrie, the 12th seed had it tough against Next Gen player Sebastian Korda while 18th seed Cori Gauff was knocked out by Wang Qiang.
Cameron Norrie was nowhere near his best as he lost the first two sets in an hour and failed to take a single game in the second set. Korda kept hitting winners as Norrie’s court movement was also hampered, there was no ray of light for the British number one as the youngster did not shy away from taking chances in almost all the rallies. Korda kept coming forward to finish the points and only had some issues in the third set where Norrie put in some volleys which delayed the result of the match. Korda defeated Norrie 6-3, 6-0, 6-4.
“It wasn't easy. I didn't get a lot of preparation, didn't get any matches under my belt,” Korda said in his post-match press conference after he was forced to withdraw from the Adelaide International 1 in the first week of the season due to testing positive for Covid-19. “But I am just super happy with the way I came out. I stuck with my tactics. They worked really well and I am really comfortable on these courts.”
Fabio Fognini failed to find his touch against Tallon Griekspoor in the opening round. Griekspoor did see some half hearted winners from Fognini who could not hit most of the balls on the other side of the court. Griekspoor entered the main draw at Melbourne for the second time in his career and it was his second victory at Grand Slams. The 25 year old will next face Pablo Carreno Busta as it will be tough against the Spaniard who has been in form this year. Griekspoor defeated Fognini 6-1, 6-4, 6-4.
Feliciano Lopez played a record 79th consecutive Grand Slam at Melbourne, the 40 year old lost to John Millman in the 1st round. Millman was quick to find space around the net as Lopez is one of the last players to fully rely on the classic serve and volley. Millman moved well around the court while finding the lines even with his backhand and had sublime control when hitting winners from the net. Millman defeated Lopez 6-1, 6-3, 4-6, 7-5.
Cori Gauff made her first early exit at a Grand Slam in two years when she was shocked by Wang Qiang in straight sets. Wang secured her first victory in over 6 months as she took advantage of an error-stricken game by the teenager. Gauff had 38 unforced errors which mostly contributed to the former world number 12 taking 6 consecutive games from the end of the first to the second. Even though it looked like the American could have staged a comeback when saving a few match points but it was not happening this time. Wang defeated Gauff 6-4, 6-2.
Sofia Kenin also had her luck give up on her as she was up against Madison Keys in the first round. Sofia had won the title at Melbourne two years ago but it was all over right on the first day for the former champion. Keys was too powerful around the court as no amount of sprints could cover certain groundstrokes she unleashed. The 12th seed has been struggling with a foot injury and coming back on tour after being infected with Covid. Keys defeated Kenin 7-6 (7-2), 7-5.
Paula Baodsa captures third career title at Sydney
(Tennis news) Paula Badosa set her priorities for the big ones in Australia when she won the Sydney Tennis Classic beating Barbora Krejcikova in the final. Krejcikova had played the match of her life against Anett Kontaveit in the semifinal but could not draw much inspiration for the championship match. Badosa on the other hand had a much straightforward semifinal against Daria Kasatkina.
Badosa had tough opponents on her way to the final as she faced Jelena Ostapenko in the opening match, Belinda Bencic in the quarterfinals and also played one match more than Krejcikova. All of the opponents of the 2021 Indian Wells champion faced were in the top 50 while Krejcikova’s real test came in the semifinal against Kontaveit which took 2 and half hours.
The world number 9 had a 2-0 head to head record against Krejcikova, both the victories coming last year. The Spaniard started well by taking the first two games and broke serve thrice to win the first set comfortably. In the second set, the world number 4 took the first two games and the rallies were getting shorter as she found her target in no time while Badosa had no chances to take.
In the deciding set, the momentum kept shifting each game as both players broke serve once but could get a lead at point of the set. In the tiebreak, it was Badosa who took the lead with her defensive shield proving to be a tough one to break. She was leading 5-2 and Krejcikova tried to repeat the semifinal drama but could not get much time, Badosa lost the next two points but won the next point to get herself a championship point. With a strong backhand down the line, the 24 year old made it 3 out of 3 in WTA finals as well as a third victory over the 2021 Roland Garros champion.
"Of course winning the title gives me a lot of confidence, especially with the level I have played this week," Badosa said. "Of course I am tired. I play Monday. I will have to fly tonight, so let's see how I recover. But I will try to give my best there. I'm playing at a high level. Let's see. I'm looking forward to it."
Both players have a chance to play again at the Australian Open quarterfinals, the 26 year old would want to add more majors after her victory in Paris last year. While Badosa is still looking for a first Grand Slam title win and the victory at Sydney is certainly going to pump her up when she plays at Melbourne.
Mirza-Kichenok to open against Zidansek-Juvan in Australian Open
Melbourne, Jan 16 (Tennis News) Veteran Indian tennis player Sania Mirza and her Ukrainian partner Nadiia Kichenok have been seeded 12th in the women's doubles event of the Australian Open and have been pitted against Slovenia's strong singles players Kaja Juvan and Tamara Zidansek.
Sania and Kichekon have entered the first Grand Slam of the season after reaching the semifinals of the first Adelaide WTA event and making a first round exit from the second.
Zidansek is ranked 29th in the world in the singles chart while Juvan is also a top-100 player at number 89.
In the men's doubles, 41-year-old Rohan Bopanna and his French partner Edouard Roger-Vasselin have been placed in the bottom half of the draw where they will play against wild card pair of Indonesia's Christopher Rungkat and Philippines' Treat Huey in their first round match.
The mixed doubles draw has not been made as yet and it is highly unlikely that Bopanna and Mirza would enter together since their combined ranking won't be enough to enter the event as a team.
No Indian player could make the singles main draw with Yuki Bhambri, Ramkumar Ramanathan, Prajnesh Gunneswaran and Ankita Rain falling in the qualifiers.
Also Read : Tie break thrillers continue to take the spotlight in Australia
News Source : PTI
India-South Test series involved emotion, Ashes lacked it: Ian Chappell
Melbourne, Jan 16 (Cricket News) Australian great Ian Chappell feels the just-concluded Test series between India and South Africa involved the kind of emotion that the lop-sided Ashes lacked completely.
Beaten comprehensively in the three-match series opener, South Africa bounced back in style to claim the rubber 2-1 after convincing victories in the second and third Test against their fancied opponents.
"South Africa surprisingly defeated India in an old-fashioned dogfight that included some enthralling cricket. It also involved ample emotion of the sort that has notably been missing from an Ashes contest that has been surprisingly uncontroversial so far," Chappell wrote in his column for ESPNcricinfo.
The former Australia captain added, "The South Africa series featured bowling domination on pitches that were probably too much in favour of the fielding side, but there was also some exquisite batting." While both teams fought hard to outdo each other throughout the series, the Ashes series between traditional rivals Australian and England turned out to be completely one-sided with the former dominating their beleaguered visitors.
The hosts sealed the five-match series with three successive wins before England just about managed to halt the Australian juggernaut in the fourth Test with a hard-earned draw. Australia won the fifth Test with two days to spare, to take the series 4-0.
"The Australia-versus-England series has often been frustratingly one-sided. It was apparent again when the ebullient Travis Head, aided by Marnus Labuschagne and Cameron Green, launched a defiant counterattack in Hobart.
"In the first three Tests it was mainly the home side displaying the grit and application that five-day cricket requires. That led to 12 days where Australia steamrolled their way to a series victory, while English cricket was exposed for all its ineptitude," Chappell said.
He added, "It was only when Joe Root's batting skill was duplicated and England finally applied some bowling nous that a Test was saved. Even then it was a close call.
"At the SCG, Australia were still by far the better side, expertly led and prepared to expend the required energy, but at least England unearthed some much needed fight." Chappell also believed that the administrators should start valuing the selectors more highly than coaches.
"A good Test selector is capable of including both considerations in his choices and that is why they are highly regarded. When it comes to financial rewards, cricket should start valuing selection more highly than coaching; it would make a pleasant and worthwhile change," Chappell said.
Speaking on the role of selectors, Chappell cited as example the 28-year-old South African Keegan Petersen, who had played just two Tests coming into the series against India.
However, he showed a lot of composure against the strong Indian bowling attack and was unfortunate to have not got a century after scoring three fifties in the series.
"... In particular, Petersen's sudden rise to fame has been a revelation and raises the question of where he has been all this while. This example exposes one of the mysteries of Test cricket: do some selectors know what they should be looking for? "Petersen is in his prime, at 28, but he has only played five Tests. Despite lacking experience he has all the requirements of a Test No. 3, including a wide range of shots that he is prepared to play, plus a solid defence.
"So why is he only playing now? Sometimes players deserve an opportunity on potential and temperament alone and this is where good selection stands out," Chappell pointed out.
Also Read : Gavaskar wants Rishabh Pant to succeed Kohli as Test skipper
News Source : PTI
Thank you for supporting Test cricket so passionately: Warne to Kohli
Melbourne, Jan 16 (Cricket News) Spin legend Shane Warne has thanked star batter Virat Kohli for "passionately supporting" Test cricket, a day after he stepped down as skipper of the Indian Test team.
Kohli on Saturday ended his seven-year reign as India's most successful Test captain, the move coming a day after an unexpected 1-2 series loss to South Africa.
Under Kohli, India won 40 out of 68 Tests, a record which made him one of the most successful Test captains in world cricket.
"Congrats @imVkohli on what you and your team has achieved under your leadership and thankyou for supporting test cricket so passionately and insuring that it stays the number 1 form of the game," Warne tweeted.
Kohli has been the most successful Test captain India has ever produced. After taking over the reins from Mahendra Singh Dhoni, he led India in 68 Test matches and secured 40 victories at a win percentage of 58.82.
As Test captain, he registered his first series win against Sri Lanka in 2015, a victory that India registered in the Emerald Island after 22 years.
Last year, Warne was all praise for Kohli after his team beat England by 157 runs in the fourth Test at The Oval to take an unassailable 2-1 lead in the five-match series.
Warne had then called Kohli the biggest superstar in world cricket.
However, the Australian great was not too pleased with the Indian maestro after he let it rip on the stump mic following the DRS episode that gave Dean Elgar a lifeline during the third and final Test against South Africa in Cape Town.
"Look it is an interesting one, I am not sure that should be happening from a captain of an international team.
"But sometimes frustration overflows, you just get so frustrated and that's why I said I wonder if that has happened three or four times through the series, and that was like okay that is enough now we can't have it anymore," Warne had said.
Also Read : Your legacy as captain will stand for benchmarks you set: Ashwin
News Source : PTI
Australian Open 2022: Medvedev and Sabalenka leading the next gen attack
(Tennis news) After more than 120 days since the last Grand Slam, the 2022 season is ready for the Australian Open to take place at Melbourne. At the beginning of every year, there are new expectations from the next gen to take over the older generation and there are few players who will look to take over the trophy from the seniors.
Daniil Medvedev had beaten Novak Djokovic at the 2021 US Open final and Djokovic had beaten Medvedev in the final of Australia at the start of the year. This year, the Serbian is currently playing against the Australian government as he needs a victory to compete in the main draw. Meanwhile the Russian will be keen to add a second major to his pocket but will be facing a challenge from the rest of the rising stars. Alexander Zverev has not won a major title yet, he has won everything else including the Olympic gold and can join Andre Agassi and Rafael Nadal in winning all the major titles in the sport.
Nadal won the Melbourne Summer Set which was his first title at Australia in 13 years, his first title was the 2009 Australian Open. The Spaniard was beaten by Stefanos Tsistsipas in the quarterfinal last year and the Greek player will also be in line to get his first big title. Most of the next gen players have not played any matches so far, the players who have started with year in form would be Felix Auger Aliassime, Denis Shapovalov. The two Canadians have shown how much they grew as players and would be willing to do the same at Melbourne. Carlos Alcaraz, Jannik Sinner would also play till the final days of the event as they had a good run last year.
In the women’s singles, Ashleigh Barty will be aiming for a third Grand Slam overall and a first at home. While the Australian has her targets, Aryna Sabalenka can set a sight at a first major as well as the top ranking when she plays next week. Sabalenka reached the semifinals of the last two Grand Slams, the 23 year old can steal the thunder from Barty and it would be daring to do it in front of the home crowd. In the top 10 rankings, all the players are below 30 years and a few made their debuts in the single digit platform. Barbora Krejcikova took the Roland Garros by storm by winning the singles and doubles trophy; Krejcikova takes on Paula Badosa who is yet another debutant in the top 10 and certainly one of them to watch out.
Naomi Osaka will also make her return and if she is in form then there is no doubt about her taking home her 5th major. The Japanese player issued a walkover in the semifinal at Melbourne Summer Set a few days ago but is expected to play at the event. The Australian Open is set to start from January 17 and the audience would want to wear their seat belts as its going to be a bumpy start to the year.
Novak Djokovic has long divided opinion. Now, his legacy will be complicated even further
Melbourne, Jan 15 (Tennis News) After a convoluted and shambolic visa approval process, followed by questions about his movements over the past month and the information provided to Australian border officials, Immigration Minister Alex Hawke has cancelled Novak Djokovic’s visa.
The decision is a major blow to Djokovic, who is tied with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at 20 Grand Slam singles titles, the most ever by a male player. While his lawyers will attempt to challenge the latest visa cancellation, Djokovic is unlikely to chase history at his most successful Grand Slam tournament.
The decision is also a blow to the Australian Open. With Federer out with injury, Djokovic and Nadal were the prime draw cards in this year’s men’s tournament. If the top-ranked Serbian player and nine-time Australian Open champion is deported, some have feared serious repercussions for the longevity of the event.
Critics have gone so far as to theorise global tennis powerbrokers might look elsewhere to host the “grand slam of the Asia-Pacific”, so as: […] to be confident the tournament can proceed smoothly with strong levels of public and government support.
In that sense, the conservative MP and former professional tennis player John Alexander had urged allowing Djokovic to stay in the country, arguing: Retaining the Australian Open as a grand slam event […] is in our national interest.
While the Australian Open’s reputation certainly has taken a hit, its status as one of the four Grand Slam tournaments has plenty of support. The longer-term damage might be to Djokovic’s legacy.
Given the extraordinary backstory to his medical exemption from COVID vaccination to enter Australia – along with the many questions that have arisen about his COVID infection in December – public opinion about him has swayed back and forth on a daily basis.
Djokovic has long been a polarising figure in tennis. Despite his athleticism, endurance and mental toughness, he has sometimes been accused of gamesmanship, “exaggerating” injuries to allow for medical pauses when an opponent has the momentum.
Like other players, Djokovic has also exhibited unruly behaviour on court, with occasional racket smashes, as well as disqualification from the 2020 US Open after recklessly – albeit accidentally – smashing a ball into a line judge.
Compared with the much-loved Federer and Nadal, Djokovic has a narrower fan base. At the Australian Open, he’s always had the effervescent support of Melbourne’s large Serbian diaspora, with their patriotic singing and flag-waving. But the mood of the rest of the crowd this year would likely have been mixed, with some undoubtedly voicing their hostility.
Indeed, local tennis fans would have good reason to chafe at Djokovic’s medical exemption from immunisation given the stringent COVID protocols they must follow to attend the Australian Open.
The tournament requires fans to be double-vaccinated or provide evidence of a medical exemption. However, unlike Djokovic’s peculiar defence, prior COVID status does not absolve local residents from the need to be double-vaccinated, with “previous infection” no basis for an exemption.
Grand slammed? Further complicating Djokovic’s legacy is the question of whether he’ll now face visa difficulties at the other tennis majors. The rapid spread of the Omicron variant may alter the rules for unvaccinated players in different countries and tournaments.
As things stand, Djokovic appears to face no vaccine-related impediment to competing at the French Open in a few months. The French sports minister has said Djokovic “would be able to take part”, although unlike vaccinated players he would need to follow “health bubble” protocols.
French President Emmanuel Macron, however, has made headlines by declaring he wants to “piss off” the unvaccinated – in part by mandating a “health pass” for public venues, a requirement for which is to be vaccinated. Whether Macron insists on changes for competitors at Roland-Garros remains to be seen.
As far as Wimbledon is concerned, unvaccinated international arrivals to the United Kingdom are currently required to take repeat COVID tests over several days, plus quarantine for ten days at a residence of their choice.
Djokovic would, presumably, look to a rent a house with a lawn tennis court attached.
The US Open seems less certain. The unvaccinated are not permitted in specific indoor venues in New York without a medical exemption.
So, if one of Djokovic’s matches on the showcourts at the US Open was affected by rain and the roof needed to be closed, it is not clear what organisers would do. He might be forced to forfeit the match.
Given Djokovic has been less prone to injury than Federer or Nadal and is coming off one of his best years on tour, he is still likely to retire with the most men’s grand slam titles. If so, he can rightfully be feted as the greatest male tennis star of all time.
But how he will be remembered is a more complicated question. In one sense, Djokovic appears to revel in being depicted as the “arch-nemesis” of Federer and Nadal – it has fuelled his desire to surpass their grand slam title hauls.
Yet, for all his tennis greatness, Djokovic often attracts eye-rolling outside the court – not simply in relation to his views on vaccines, but the wider pseudo-scientific ruminations that underpin his public pronouncements.
As the Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios has put it, Djokovic seems “a very strange cat”.
The drama from the past week will have an effect on the way others view him, too. It will inflame his supporters, infuriate his detractors, and prompt even neutral observers to take a stand in respect to his entry to Australia. When it comes to Novak Djokovic, everyone will now surely have an opinion. (The Conversation) MRJ
Also Read : Krejcikova wins epic semi final against Kontaveit at Sydney.
News Sources : PTI
Krejcikova wins epic semi final against Kontaveit at Sydney
(Tennis news) The first semifinal at Sydney Tennis Classic saw the clash between the world number 4 and 7. The encounter saw 12 match points in the final set as Barbora Krejcikova and Anett Kontaveit lit the court on fire as the match was among the best on the WTA tour. Kontaveit began the first set as the crowd did not even settle even when she bageled her opponent in 26 minutes.
It was a tragic start for the 2021 Roland Garros winner, she improved in the second set as a backhand winner of Kontaveit’s second serve gave the crucial break in the 9th game. It was the only break in the set but it was all that Krejcikova needed to level the score. The final set saw the players sharpening their groundstrokes even after 2 hours, Krejcikova saved three match points while serving at 5-6 to take it for a tiebreak and then Kontaveit saved two match points in the tiebreak to make it 6 all. The tie break had 25 points in all which took almost half an hour to complete when the Estonian hit a forehand long to end her run at Sydney. Krejcikova defeated Kontaveit 0-6, 6-4, 7-6(14-12).
"I think from both sides it was a really, really tough match," Krejcikova said, in her post-match press conference. "I think we played wonderful tennis. It was very, very tight, and I'm really happy that I was able to hold my nerves better and that I won this match.
In the second semifinal, it was in-form Daria Kasatkina versus world number 9 Paula Baodsa. They both last played in 2013 in European Junior Championships in Moscow where Kasatkina had won the match. The former world number 10 had made the semifinals at melbourne earlier as Badosa had lost the opening match here a week ago.
Both the players have a similar playing style as they wait for the ball a bit after the bounce but Badosa did not wait for a breakthrough in the match as she won the first 3 games in 8 minutes. Kasatkina got her first game when she hit a forehand lob to break the Spaniard’s serve to make it 1-4 and then held her serve to make it two in a row. Badosa then won the next two games with her backhand dominating the winning shots.
In the second set, Kasatkina was left behind when she lost the first five games as Badosa was only a game away from victory. The Russian had to defend two match points on her serve and took the risk to win her first game of the set, she then broke Badosa’s serve with three nerve-wracking forehands for her second consecutive game. The crowd was getting mentally prepared for a second epic semifinal but then Badosa denied a second inspiring comeback at Sydney to enter the final. Badosa defeated Kasatkina 6-2, 6-2.
Also read: Kasatkina reaches second semi final in 2 weeks at Sydney Tennis Classic
Arthur Rinderknech makes his first ATP tour final at Adelaide
(Tennis news) Arthur Rinderknech made his first ATP final since making his debut on tour two years ago. It was an all French semi final as Rinderknech was against Corentin Moutet who was aiming to go into the final stage for the second time. The world number 58 was powerful with his returns as Moutet's serves were slowing down as the match went ahead. Moutet’s average 1st serve speed was 169 km/ hour which was just ahead of Rinderknech’s second serve average of 159 km/hour.
The world number 115 lost more than half of his service points which allowed his fellow country mate to complete the match without much sweat. Rinderknech was also winning short and long rallies as he was on the front on all aspects of the game; he also won 21 of his 25 net points as it was overall just what he wanted. Rinderknech defeated Moutet 6-1, 6-3.
"It was a tough match inside our heads. I'm sure everybody knows what a home-country duel match is about," Rinderknech said. "There was a little bit of tension but I was happy to get the win with a pretty short time on court.
"It's a great achievement. I'm really happy to be in the final. It's a new step again. I made the semi-finals in Kitzbuehel last summer. Now the final here for my first tournament of the year.”
In the fourth quarterfinal of the event it was a battle of the wildcards. Two 25 year old Australians fighting for a spot in the semifinal at home, Thanasi Kokkinakis and Aleksandar Vukic were facing each other for the first time. Kokkinakis had his chances in the first set, 9 breakpoints to be exact and could not win any of them as the world number 160 took the set in a tiebreak.
In the second set, Kokkinakis hit heavy winners off his forehand as he broke Vukic’s serve in the 8th game which gave him the lead and on the set in half an hour. In the decider, Kokkinakis broke Vukic’s serve twice in the first five games and only dropped two points of serve on his own serve. The world no 145 now has reached the last four in the first two events of the year, he will face Marin Cilic for a place in the final against Rinderknech. Kokkinakis defeated Vukic 6-7, 6-3, 6-2.
In doubles, the first semi final was between second and third seed as Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski beat Marcelo Melo and Ivan Dodig. Melo and Dodig were the top seeds left in the event and had reached the final at the Adelaide International 1 but could not make it two in two. Koolhof and Skupski are in line for a second consecutive title as they had won in Melbourne. Koolhof and Skupski defeated Marcelo and Ivan 6-4, 6-1.
Ariel Behar and Gonzalo Escobar have been a rising pair in the doubles as they made five finals last year and are into their first championship match of the 2022 season. In the second semifinal, Behar and Escobar defeated Tomislav Brkic and Nikola Cacic 6-4, 6-7(5-7), 10-6.
Kasatkina reaches second semi final in 2 weeks at Sydney Tennis Classic
(Tennis news) Daria Kasatkina has been shining bright in the warm Australian courts. The Russian reached her second semifinal in 2 weeks as she had reached the last four at Melbourne a few days ago. The Russian got her first top five victory in 4 years when she beat Garbine Muguriza at the Sydney Tennis Classic.
Kasatkina had last beaten Muguruza in 2019 and now remains the lowest seeded player left in the draw. The world number 26 placed the ball so well that most of her winners were not even attempted by the Spaniard, the world number 3 took time to build up the point while Kasatkina could instantly find a loose spot and hit the ball exactly in that area.
Muguruza was hitting the ball well but there was no momentum on her side as she was constantly distracted by her opponents' most unexpected winners. Kasatkina will face another Spanish player in the next match as Paula Badosa will be ready for another tough battle. Kasatkina defeated Muguruza 6-4, 6-4.
Badosa’s timing was right on target as she beat Tokyo Olympics Singles gold medalist Belinda Bencic for a place in the last four. The first set saw two players playing one of the best rallies of the year as Belinda took the ball on the rise while Badosa was patient enough to hit the ball well after the bounce. Badosa’s light bend backward while hitting the forehand generates enough power to smash the ball across and Bencic had this forward fall while hitting the ball.
Both of them had different styles but Belinda took more risks as it did not work in the first set as the world number 9 did not take many chances but the forehand winner at tie break was enough to prove her point. Sensing her groundstrokes were not doing enough damage, the swiss player changed her tactics completely and the speeds were decreasing in her groundstrokes. The surprise drop shot caught Badosa completely off guard on multiple occasions. A crucial backhand into the net by Belinda in the eighth game gave the lead to Badosa and she did not again let go of the chance to serve out the match. Badosa defeated Bencic 7-6(8-6), 3-6, 6-3.
Barbora Krejcikova only lost two games in her quarterfinal match against Caroline Garcia as she will next face Anett Kontaveit. Krejcikova won 8 consecutive games in the match as Garcia kept struggling to hit a clean ball on the other side of the court. The unforced errors gave last year’s Roland Garros champion a bagel in the opening set, she took the first two games until the unseeded player won her first game of the match. Krejcikova looked like she won the match even before the ending of the second set as Garcia could never get her form in the match. Barbora defeated Garcia 6-0, 6-2.
Also read: Emma Raducanu falls in opening match at Sydney Tennis Classic
Yuki goes down in Australian Open qualifiers, no Indian in singles main draw
Melbourne, Jan 13 (Tennis News) Indian tennis player Yuki Bhambri suffered a straight sets defeat to Czech Republic's Tomas Machac in the Australian Open qualifiers here on Thursday, meaning the year's first Grand Slam will have no Indian participation in the singles main draw.
Bhambri lost his second round qualifying match 1-6 3-6.
Machac has a career high ATP singles ranking of 131 achieved on November 8 2021. He also has a career high doubles ranking of 470 achieved on November 1 2021.
On Tuesday, comeback man Bhambri had impressed with his attacking net play in a straight sets win but Ramkumar Ramanathan's 23rd attempt at cracking the singles main draw of a grand slam had ended in a first round defeat at the Australian Open qualifiers.
In the women's singles, Ankita Raina, ranked 203, was blown away by 120th ranked Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko 6-1, 6-0 in just 50 minutes.
Also Read : Emma Raducanu falls in opening match at Sydney Tennis Classic
News Source : PTI
Prajnesh exits Australian Open Qualifiers after second round defeat
Melbourne, Jan 12 (Tennis News) Prajnesh Gunneswaran lost rhythm and energy before staging a mini comeback but eventually bowed out of the Australian Open Qualifiers with a second-round defeat against Germany's Maximilian Marterer, here on Wednesday. Up against a rival, who served big and packed a lot of power in his strokes but placed seven places below him at 228, Prajnesh lost 2-6 6-7(8) in one hour and 26 minutes.
With Prajnesh losing the battle of the left-handers, Yuki Bhambri is now ꪪthe only Indian surviving in the Qualifiers. Ramkumar Ramanathan and Ankita Raina have already exited the competition.
Down 2-6 2-4, Prajnesh managed to stretch it to a tie-breaker but squandered many a set point to lose the match.
Prajnesh handed the German two break chances in the fourth game of the match when he made a volley error after setting up the point and followed that up with wide forehand. The Indian saved the first chance with a big serve while Marterer's backhand slice landed just outside the baseline on the second.
An engrossing rally, that put Prajnesh's backhand to test against the German's forehand, ensued in the sixth game.
A smart backhand slice by Marterer, after no less than a 20-shot exchange ended the rally as Prajnesh hit the pick-up out, looking for a cross court forehand winner.
Prajnesh's strokes began to lose power and precision after losing that energy-sapping rally and the German began to dictate terms. Marterer hit a forehand winner to earn two break chances and converted the second for a 4-2 lead when Prajnesh made a forehand error.
The German came out serving big in the next game to consolidate his lead but Prajnesh seemed to have lost energy as unforced errors flew from his racquet as he surrendered the opening set.
Early in the second set, Prajnesh went from 40-0 to deuce and was down a breakpoint when he sent another shot long.
Marterer could not covert that but created one more chance when he had Parjnesh scurried to the net from the baseline to miss the ball. Already a break-up, Marterer held his own for a 4-1 lead.
A glimmer of hope came when the German allowed Prajnesh an opening by dropping his serve in the seventh game as it was back on serve.
Yuki Bhambri has a task cut out as he faces world number 130 Tomas Machac from Czech Republic. Yuki is ranked outside top-1000 and has entered the event, using his Protected Ranking (127).
Also Read : Andy Murray records first victory of the season at the Sydney Tennis Classic
News Source : PTI
India's Test triumph Down Under last year is one of greatest: Gavaskar
Mumbai, Jan 12 (Cricket News) Recalling India' incredible Test triumph in Australia last year despite being ravaged by injuries, the legendary Sunil Gavaskar said the performance ranks among the team's "greatest wins" of all time and can be considered a "golden chapter" in the country's cricket history.
India, led by Ajinkya Rahane, defeated Australia 2-1 in a closely-fought four Test rubber winning in Melbourne and then breaching fortress Gabba in Brisbane last year after Australia had outplayed the visitors in the Day-Night Test at Adelaide.
Heroics of Hanuma Vihari and Ravichandran Ashwin had helped secure a draw for the visitors in the Sydney Test.
"India's win in Australia early last year will go down as one of the greatest wins in Indian cricket history," Gavaskar said.
"To pick themselves up after the dismissal with their lowest ever test score of 36 and then to beat a rampant home team is a tribute to the determination shown by the players and the leadership roles played by the captain, coach Ravi Shastri and his support group "I was privileged to be there and see a golden chapter being written in the history of Indian cricket," added the 72-year-old former right-handed opener.
To commemorate the one-year anniversary of India's win, 'Sony Sports Network' has produced a special docu-series titled "DOWN UNDERDOGS - INDIA'S GREATEST COMEBACK" that will premiere on January 14 and Gavaskar gave his comments to the channel.
Former Australia captain Michael Clarke, who led Australia to the 2015 ODI World Cup win, said India deserved all the credit for fighting it out after the morale-shattering opening loss.
"India picked an attack that worked," said Clarke.
"Different bowlers - not everyone bowls the same, different tactics, different skills, different weapons, so the credit goes to India for their execution but also Australia might have taken for granted their success in the first test," added the former right-handed batter.
Also Read : PCB chief Raja proposes 4-nation T20 series involving India, Pakistan
News Source : PTI
Andy Murray records first victory of the season at the Sydney Tennis Classic
(Tennis news) Andy Murray got his first win of the year in the first round at the Sydney Tennis Classic. He beat qualifier Viktor Durasovic for the second time after facing him in Stockholm last year. Durasovic’s first serves were over 195 km/hour but could not find the strokes to follow it up as Murray’s returns were equally good. A forehand error in the 6th game gave Murray the breakpoint and it gave the chance for him to take the set.
Murray’s serves were slower than his opponent but knew how to attack his returns as he only lost one point of his first serve in the match. The former world number one then went to hit his classic lob and quick reflex volleys at the net then hit a forehand return winner to end the match. Murray defeated Durasovic 6-3, 6-1.
“It is perfect conditions here,” Murray said in his on-court interview. “It feels like you are playing indoors. It is really nice to get your range here and hopefully I can carry that through to Melbourne. I was hoping to get matches in Melbourne last week, but that didn’t happen. Thankfully the tournament organisers and Tennis Australia agreed to give me the wild card and the opportunity to play here and I am very grateful for that.”
Alexei Popyrin who has reached the third round twice at Melbourne could not give his home crowd what they wished when he made an early exit. Pedro Martinez played exactly like how he intended as he finished certain points without the use of power and gracefully sliced the ball away. The Spanish players are known to be hardcore baseliners but Martinez did not stay much on the baseline as he came into the net on 17 occasions and only lost the point on thrice.
Popyrin started the second set with a huge forehand winner as the 6 foot five inch player broke the Spaniard to take a 2-0 lead. If it was raw power for the Aussie player then it was planning and execution for his opponent which worked out for the latter. Martinez defeated Popyrin 6-4, 6-4.
Brandon Nakashima has started the 2022 season with a second victory over Fabio Fognini and the 20 year old has now played four tie breaks in two matches. The Next Gen Finals player had defeated Fognini in San Diego last year in their first meeting. The match had 12 aces and 175 points in total from just two sets as Nakashima needed some defensive magic to prevail over the Italian firepower. Nakashima defeated Fogini 7-6(9-7), 7-6(8-6).
Also read: Goffin and Fognini celebrate comeback with victories at Sydney
You don't need to sledge or try to impress someone, just be yourself: Cummins to his players
Melbourne, Jan 12 (Cricket News) Australia Test skipper Pat Cummins has told his players to just be themselves instead of resorting to sledging just because "it might have been done like that in the past." Ever since the 2018 ball-tampering scandal, the Australian cricketing culture has undergone a serious review for its win-at-all-cost approach in the past. Not a single untoward incident has been witnessed in the ongoing Ashes series, for which Cummins credited his teammates and not just his leadership style.
The England players applauded Usman Khawaja's effort of two hundreds in the Sydney Test and likewise the Australians appreciated the good performers in the visitors camp.
Cummins, the first Australian fast bowler to lead a Test side, said his approach to leadership is quite similar to England's Eoin Morgan.
"I look at different leaders and someone like Eoin Morgan. I like his outlook on captaincy and how he brings the team together. I have worked with Eoin in the IPL for the last couple of years and we have very similar outlooks on life," Cummins was quoted as saying by the 'Sydney Morning Herald'.
"You have to be aware of it. From a couple of years ago it was obvious the world wanted all cricket teams, particularly the Aussie cricket team, to tone it down a little bit.
"I keep encouraging all of our players to be themselves. They do not have to try to impress anyone or sledge just because it might have been done like that in the past. Just be themselves.
Cummins said he has been quite proud of the team's conduct.
"No doubt, the first Tests have been pretty smooth sailing and it (sledging) is something to keep an eye on...You lead by your actions in this space. If I need to pull someone up (for sledging) I will, but everyone is an adult here.
"They have heard it loud and clear from the outside what is expected of us and from cricket fans in Australia. I will not be taking all the credit, the boys have been fantastic themselves." Cummins said the Test format itself is such that inspires players to be at their best in every aspect.
"For just about every cricketer growing up in Australia, it is their preferred format. Test cricket means something in Australia. It is where history is made," he said.
"Ashes series 12 months out, you bump into people in the street and they are already saying they can't wait for the Ashes. It brings everyone together and gives us the chance to stamp our own legacy on the game." And he is relishing the challenge of being Australia's Test skipper and won't mind if bowlers continue to lead the side.
Very few pacers have led their teams like Bob Willis (England), Kapil Dev (India), Courtney Walsh (West Indies) and Pakistan's Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Imran Khan.
"I've always thought bowlers can be captains. I'm not sure if it is the start of a trend, but why not? My experience of being a bowler is really valuable when I'm in the field talking to other bowlers, trying to make bowling changes and setting fields.
"I feel like I can draw on my own experiences a lot. There is no reason why there can’t be more bowling captains going forward."
Also Read : Advantage South Africa after day 1 despite Virat Kohli masterclass
News Source : PTI
Sofia exits early at Sydney Tennis Classic, Kvitova wins marathon match
(Tennis news) The first day of Sydney Tennis Classic WTA 500 was like a transverse wave as the singles matches did not have a single sporting element missing. The tour in January is packed with events at Adelaide and Sydney as players get busy at the start of the season. The 2022 Australian Open will be starting in 6 days as players have already soaked in the heat at the ongoing events.
Sofia Kenin was the highest ranked player to make an exit on the first day of the Sydney Tennis Classic. The American was up against Daria Kasatkina who had reached the semifinals at Adelaide two days ago. The world number 12 looked a bit off in the middle of the first set as she could not convert two breakpoints at 3-2 and then lost three successive games to give the Russian the lead.
After winning the first set, Kasatkina made a huge leap ahead by bageling Kenin as she knocked out the 8th seed in an hour. Kasatkina saved all the 7 breakpoints in the match and converted four out five to give herself a confidence boost ahead of the season opening Grand Slam. Kasatkina defeated Kenin 6-4, 6-0.
Anett Kontaveit made sure she reminded the Melbourne audience how she ended last season with a straight set win over Zhang Shuai. Kontaveit began her first match of the season with a full stretched backhand and forehand shot in the opening rally. The world number 7 had her first serves come out hot as Zhang only won 4 points out of 35 as Kontaveit kept her aggressiveness full on for the match.
Kontaveit was pouncing on Zhang’s second serve as a single breakpoint was enough for the Estonian to take the set. In the second set, things turned even worse for the 32 year old as she could only win one point out of 16 first serves and lost nine of her 12 second serves. Kontaveit took more risks and it gave her 4 breakpoints in which she lost two but was enough to progress to the next round. Kontaveit defeated Zhang 6-3, 6-3.
Petra Kvitova had a devastating start to the season when she was beaten in the opening round at Adelaide. Kvitova was on her way to another early exit against Arantxa Rus and saved two match points in a match that lasted for three hours. The two left handers hit a total of 16 double faults of which 8 came in the second and Kvitova accounted for 5 of them.
Rus was completely ahead of Kvitova in the first set as it looked like the Dutch player was in full control. In the second set, Kvitova was the one on top of the waves as she had a 4-2 lead until the storm shook her out of the game and it was 4 all. Kvitova who was 7 months older to her opponent used her forehand to unarm Rus and took the match to the decider. In the final set, Rus had two match points at 5-4 but could not get that one point as Kvitova got three consecutive games to end the ordeal. Kvitova defeated Rus 3-6, 7-6(7-4), 7-5.
Yuki Bhambri returns to big stage in style, moves to 2nd round of Aussie Open Qualifiers
Melbourne, Jan 11 (Tennis News) Comeback-man Yuki Bhambri impressed with his match sharpness and attacking net play as the Indian progressed to the second round of Australian Open qualifiers with a comfortable straight set win over Joao Domingues, here on Tuesday.
Bhambri, who returned to the Grand Slam stage after 2018 US Open due to knee injury, beat his 248th ranked Portuguese rival 6-4 6-2 in just 68 minutes.
The 29-year-old Indian's serve looked decent and he played smartly as he charged the net to keep the points short.
He struggled to rein in his unforced errors in the beginning but earned his first breakpoint in the third game with a forehand winner after a long rally. Domigues served a double fault to hand the Indian first break of the match.
Bhambri served the next game at love with an ace to open up a 3-1 lead as Domingues also tried to charge to the net but Bhambri's powerful strokes pushed him back.
Bhambri fought off two break points on his serve in the sixth game. At deuce he pulled off a perfectly placed backhand slice and then dispatched up a half-volley for a 4-2 lead.
After getting one more break on account of his rival's unforced errors, Bhambri came out serving for the set but dropped the serve when his miscued overhead smash went out.
He wasn't in the position to play that shot but went for it, anticipating that lob would land in, behind him near the alley.
The Indian claimed the set when he served again.
In the second set too, it was Bhambri who got the first break as he led 4-2. He then served out the match without any fuss.
Ramkumar Ramanathan and Ankita Raina will also play their first rounds later in the day.
Also Read : Safiullin, Evans among the best players from the 2022 ATP Cup
News Source : PTI
Novak Djokovic’s path to legal vindication was long and convoluted. It may also be fleeting
Melbourne, Jan 11 (Tennis News) Novak Djokovic is – at least for now – free to defend his title at the Australian Open after Judge Anthony Kelly of the Federal Circuit and Family Court quashed the cancellation of his visa following an agreement between the tennis star’s lawyers and the government.
After a confusing day-long hearing involving dense legal arguments, Djokovic was ordered to be released from immigration detention on procedural grounds – the judge said he hadn’t been given enough time to contest the original cancellation of his visa last Thursday morning.
But this left unresolved the bigger question of whether Djokovic was entitled to rely upon a medical exemption from Tennis Australia to enter the country and compete in the tournament without being vaccinated against COVID-19.
It is entirely possible Djokovic’s success in these proceedings is a hollow victory, with the government’s lawyer flagging Immigration Minister Alex Hawke will now consider whether to exercise his personal power to cancel the tennis star’s visa for a second time.
Grounds to challenge the visa cancellation The saga surrounding the nine-time Australian Open champion has gripped the sporting world since Djokovic was detained upon arriving in Melbourne last week due to questions about his medical exemption from vaccination to play in the tournament starting on January 17.
Djokovic was moved to immigration detention in Melbourne’s notorious Park Hotel following the cancellation of his visa. His lawyers then lodged an application to challenge that cancellation through judicial review proceedings.
The process of judicial review allows a judge to examine the lawfulness of government decision-making. It is a limited process, not concerned with whether a right, preferable or fair decision has been made, but only whether the decision followed the proper legal processes and requirements.
Before the hearing began today, Djokovic’s lawyers had put forth eight distinct grounds for why, in their submission, the decision to cancel Djokovic’s visa was not lawful.
These included some technical issues, such as a contention the notice given to Djokovic to cancel his visa was invalid and the decision was based on nonexistent grounds under the Migration Act.
Similarly, his lawyers argued the process was unfair as Djokovic was “pressured” to agree to a decision on his visa without first consulting his lawyers.
The bigger question around a medical exemption The substance of Djokovic’s challenge, however, revolved around his assertion that by testing positive to COVID-19 on December 16, he was exempt from any requirement to be vaccinated for six months.
His lawyers based this argument on guidelines set by ATAGI, the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation, which said: COVID-19 vaccination in people who have had PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection can be deferred for a maximum of six months after the acute illness, as a temporary exemption due to acute major medical illness.
In response, the government argued this approach was an inaccurate reading of the guidelines, saying that mere previous infection would not be enough to allow an unvaccinated person entry into Australia. In essence, the guidance provides for a deferment of vaccination, not a reason to avoid it altogether.
Moreover, the Commonwealth argued Djokovic’s reliance on the Tennis Australia exemption letter was misguided, and ultimately he did not provide sufficient information to justify entry without vaccination.
The medical exemption from Tennis Australia was a matter of significant disagreement between the parties. In the hearing, Kelly seemed to show some deference to Djokovic’s argument, saying: Here, a professor and an eminently qualified physician have produced and provided to the applicant a medical exemption. Further to that, that medical exemption and the basis on which it was given was separately given by a further independent expert specialist panel established by the Victorian state government […] The point I am agitated about is, what more could this man have done? The Commonwealth argued that irrespective of what Tennis Australia or the Victorian government may have decided, it is the federal government’s decision whether a visa ought be cancelled on public health grounds.
And this highlights the significant powers of the federal government in immigration matters, and that ultimately, according to the government’s court filings, there is “no such thing as an assurance of entry by a non-citizen into Australia”.
What could happen next Both sides agreed late in the day Djokovic hadn’t been given enough time to respond to the notification to cancel his visa. He was informed by border officials he would have until 8:30am on Thursday to respond, but his visa was cancelled at 7:42am. On this basis, Kelly ordered Djokovic to be released.
But the government’s lawyer immediately foreshadowed Hawke would consider using his personal power to cancel Djokovic’s visa again.
If such a decision is made, we should expect further litigation. Kelly said he expected to be “fully informed in advance” if he is required for future proceedings, ominously observing “the stakes have risen rather than receded”.
Kelly also noted Djokovic could be barred from re-entering Australia for three years if the personal power of the minister was used, though reports suggested this exclusion period could be waived.
For now, Djokovic is a free man. But it remains to be seen whether he will be spending the next few days on a tennis court or back in a federal court.
Also Read : Ashleigh Barty secures two podium finishes at Adelaide International 1
News Source : PTI
If Australian players are going to Pakistan, I will go with them: ACA chief
Melbourne, Jan 11 (Cricket News) Australian Cricketers Association (ACA) chief Todd Greenberg has assured the country's cricketers that he will travel to Pakistan with them if the tour gets final approval but would respect if "one or two" backs out of the trip. If the team gets security clearance to travel, it will be Australia's first tour to Pakistan since 1998, when Mark Taylor's side won the three-Test series 1-0.
"I've made an assurance to the players that they won't go alone. If they're going to Pakistan, I'll be going with them and I think that's important. It's an opportunity to show the players that we're in this together," Greenberg told The Sydney Morning Herald.
"The ACA accompanied Cricket Australia on a pre-tour of Pakistan late last year, and the reports were all very positive.
"But we'll continue to take the advice of DFAT and other government organisations, as we need to be able to satisfy not just the players, but their families, that it's safe to tour." International teams have been reluctant to travel to Pakistan since the terrorist attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore in 2009.
However, international players have competed in Pakistan Super League (PSL) and the West Indies also travelled to Pakistan in December 2021 for a Twenty20 series.
Greenberg understands that despite security assurances, a few cricketers might be unwilling to travel to Pakistan but he won't force anyone.
"There may be one or two players who won't be comfortable despite the best advice we give, and that's OK, we need to respect that." CA chief executive Nick Hockley is also planning to travel to Pakistan for at least some of the tour, while the interim chair Richard Freudenstein may visit for a period to meet with his counterpart Ramiz Raja, unless a new permanent chair is chosen by then, according to the report in SMH.
New Zealand and England had called off their tours to Pakistan ahead of the T20 World Cup last year, much to the disappointment of cricket establishment in that country.
PCB chief Ramiz Raja had emphasised that cricketing nations need to back each other but rued that "western bloc" was not helping the cause. He said he was expecting Australia to do the same what Englanbd and New zealand did to them.
Greenberg said while they are keen to fulfil their international commitments, they would allow players to make their own choices.
"We have to be kind and patient with each other, and there'll be a player or two who say, 'You know what, this is not for me at this particular point in my life and career, I'm not comfortable going'.
"If that’s the case, we need to have great respect for that," Greenberg told SEN Radio during the SCG Test match.
Also Read : I am absolutely fit but can't risk Siraj as he isn't ready to play 3rd Test: Virat Kohli
News Source : PTI
Ashleigh Barty secures two podium finishes at Adelaide International 1
(Tennis news) Ashleigh Barty started the 2022 season with the singles and doubles title at Adelaide International 1. The world number 1 was playing after a gap of three months, she last played at US Open in September. At Adelaide, Barty only dropped a single set against Cori Gauff in the third round and was the only match in which she played for more than 90 minutes.
Barty was expected to win the final when she faced Elena Rybakina who beat Barty’s doubles partner Storm Sanders in the third round. Rybakina had beaten Shelby Rogers in the quarterfinal and looked in good form on her way to the championship match. Both players started well in the match as the Australian made her opponent cover a lot of ground in most of the rallies which Rybakina covered. In the 7th game, Barty broke Rybakina’s serve and then secured the first set.
In the second set, Barty took the first four games as Rybakina could not hold her serve even though she had 6 aces. The 22 year old only lost one point on her first serve in the set but only had 8 of them and lost 11 points out of 17 on her second serve. Barty was consistent on both her serves in the first and second set. She could not do much when Rybakina’s first serve was in but her returns in the second serve cleared the air. Barty defeated Rybakina 6-3, 6-2.
"I feel good leading up to an Australian Open like I have every year," Barty said. "Each and every preparation is unique, each and every preparation is different. So we take it for what comes and what it is, move on, try and do the best that we can in every opportunity, whether that's here in Adelaide or it's in Melbourne.
"It has absolutely no effect on the way that I prepare or the way I'm thinking leading forward just because it's a Grand Slam. Doesn't change for us. We look forward, we do what we can, then we see how we go."
In the doubles final, Barty and Sanders beat Andreja Klepac and Darija Jurak Schreiber in straight sets. Barty and Sanders last played as a pair in the Tokyo Olympics where they lost in the quarterfinal, it was also Barty’s 200th doubles win and is two wins away to make it 300th win in singles. The Aussie pair defeated Andreja and Darija 6-1, 6-4.
All eyes on Yuki, Ramkumar at Australian Open qualifiers
Melbourne, Jan 9 (Tennis News) India will keenly watch Yuki Bhambri's progress after his return to competitive tennis at the Australian Open Qualifiers while compatriot Ramkumar Ramanathan will enter the competition after a confidence-boosting maiden title triumph on the ATP Tour.
Bhambri, 29, lost invaluable three years due to a troubling knee but in a few tournaments that he has played going into the fresh season, the talented Delhi player seems ready for the grind yet again.
The close fight he had had against Aljaz Bedene in March was a testimony that he is ready for top flight tennis but his return came to halt again due to the same knee issue.
He began again in November, competing on the Challenger and ITF circuit and won a doubles titles with Saketh Myneni in Gurugram.
In the tune-up event for the first Grand Slam, Yuki tied up with old partner Michael Venus but lost first round in Melbourne at the ATP event.
He has got a decent draw as he has been pitted against Portugal's Joao Domingues, ranked 248 and clearing first round should not be an issue for Yuki. A good show at Melbourne Park will set the tone for him in the 2022 season.
In 22 attempts so far, Ramkumar has not yet succeeded in cracking the singles main draw of a Grand Slam and it's time that he breaks the losing trend. He will be up against Italian Gian Moroni, ranked 197.
Ramkumar has enjoyed fantastic results going into Australian Open. He has just won his maiden ATP doubles title in Adelaide with compatriot Rohan Bopanna and also won his maiden singles Challenger title in Manama, Bahrain in November.
His booming serve, a big heart to fight and nicely developed serve-and-volley game is there, just that he needs to put everything together at the big stage.
"It's amazing feeling to win my first ATP Title With Bopsy (Bopanna). A great week ended on a high note, always lived for these moments. Thankful to almighty God for all his blessings,"Ramkumar told PTI.
"I'll surely keep it going and give my best as always. I learnt a lot of things from Bopsy and Scott Davidoff (Bopanna's coach) who was part of our team. We combined well and didn't lose even one service game all week." Another Indian in the qualifying is Prajnesh Gunneswaran, who will open his campaign against Colombian Daniel Galan, ranked almost 100 places above him at 120.
In the women's singles, Ankita Raina will clash with Ukraine's Lesia Tsurenko, ranked 118.
Also Read : Bopanna and Ramkumar win Adelaide International with upset win over top seeds.
News Sources : PTI
Bopanna and Ramkumar win Adelaide International with upset win over top seeds
Melbourne, Jan 9 (Tennis News) Teaming up for the first-time on the ATP Tour, India's Rohan Bopanna and Ramkumar Ramanathan won the Adelaide International doubles trophy with a hard-fought 7-6 (6) 6-1 win over top seeds Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo here on Sunday.
Bopanna's excellent service returns at crucial times and Ramkumar's all-round game tilted the match in their favour.
In the one hour and 21 minutes contest, the Indians saved all the four break points they faced and broke their rivals twice.
It was Bopanna's 20th ATP doubles title and first for Ramkumar, who was playing only in his second summit clash at this level, having ended a runner-up at the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in 2018.
"When Ramkumar is serving by your side, you can finish the point early, so that was an advantage," said Bopanna.
Asked how different it was playing with Ramkumar than another compatriot and left-handed Divij Sharan, Bopanan said, "With Divij, we had to create a point, ensure that first volley opportunity is taken while with Ram, the point can be finished early.
"I am surprised not many Indians entered this event. If anyone had landed here, would have entered the field since not many players were there." Bopanna and Ramkumar will split USD 18700 as prize money and earned 250 ranking points each.
The win would be a huge confidence booster for Ramkumar ahead of the Australian Open Qualifiers, where he will aim to make the singles main draw of a Grand Slam once again.
After saving an early breakpoint, Bopanna and Ramkumar upped their game. In the seventh game, when Melo served at 30-0, Bopanna's unreturnable service on the right of the Dodig and later a crushing forehand winner made it 30-all but the Brazilian eventually held.
Bopanna then saved another breakpoint and converted the deciding deuce point to make it 4-4.
Serving to stay afloat in the set at 5-6, the Indian pair was up 40-30 when Dodig created a winner on Bopanna's serve that whizzed past Ramkumar on his right but the big-serving Coorgi hit an ace to drag it to a tie-breaker.
At 6-6, Bopanna found a service return winner on Melo's serve to earn their second set point and converted with his booming serve.
It was one-way traffic in the second set with the Indians dominating all through.
Also Read : LSpain beats Poland to reach finals for second time of ATP Cup
News Sources : PTI
Bopanna-Ramkumar pair cruise to final in Adelaide
Adelaide, Jan 8 (Tennis News) India's Rohan Bopanna and Ramkumar Ramanathan upstaged fourth seeds Tomislav Brkic and Santiago Gonzalez in straight sets to reach the final of the Adelaide International, here on Saturday.
The unseeded Indian duo ousted the Bosnian-Mexican duo 6-2 6-4 in the doubles semifinals.
The Indians will now lock horns with top seeds Ivan Dodig of Croatia and Brazilian Marcelo Melo in the summit clash of the of the ATP 250 event.
It will be an interesting match as the 41-year-old Bopanna and Dodig have often paired up together, the most recent being in the US Open in September when the duo was knocked out in the third round.
Bopanna and Ramkumar, who have paired up for the first time on the ATP tour, have enjoyed a good week so far.
The two have notched straight-set wins in the tournament barring the second round match against the American duo of Nathaniel Lammons and Jackson Withrow when they were stretched to a super tie-breaker.
The Adelaide event is a tune up tournament for the Australian Open, starting January 17 in Melbourne.
Also Read : Russia prevail over Italy to reach semi finals of ATP Cup
News Source : PTI
Bopanna-Ramkumar enter semis with straight set win in Adelaide
Adelaide, Jan 7 (Tennis News) India's Rohan Bopanna and Ramkumar Ramanathan registered a resounding straight-set win to cruise into the semifinals of the Adelaide International 1 ATP tournament here on Friday.
Bopanna and Ramkumar trounced the French-Monegasque duo of Benjamin Bonzi and Hugo Nys 6-1 6-3 in the doubles quarterfinals of the ATP 250 men's event.
The unseeded Indian pair will clash with the fourth seeded Bosnian-Mexican duo of Tomislav Brkić and Santiago Gonzalez for a spot in the final.
The two Indians are pairing up for the first time on the ATP tour.
Should Bopanna and Ramkumar continue their good show the two may pair up for India's Davis Cup tie against Denmark scheduled to be played in New Delhi in March.
Later in the day, India's Sania Mirza and her Ukrainian partner Nadiia Kichenok will take on local favourites Ashleigh Barty and Storm Sanders in the semifinals of the Adelaide International 1 WTA 500 event.
The Adelaide event is a tune up tournament for the Australian Open, starting January 17 in Melbourne.
Also Read : Iga Swiatek continues stern title defence at Adelaide International 1
News Source : PTI
Commonwealth Bank Women’s Ashes schedule revised by CA and ECB
(Cricket news) England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Cricket Australia have announced changes to the Commonwealth Bank Women’s Ashes schedule which is now set to begin a week earlier than originally planned. Three IT20’s will be played at the Adelaide Oval followed by a Test match at the Manuka Oval in Canberra on January 27th to 30th. The first ODI will also be played at the Manuka Oval on February 3rd while the next two matches will be played at Melbourne’s Junction Oval on February 6th and 8th.
The changes have been made keeping in mind the time taken for Australia and England to travel to New Zealand and complete the 10 day mandatory quarantine period ahead of the ICC Women’s World Cup which is set to begin in March. England Women’s A schedule has also been updated which will run parallel to the senior side. The travelling party will leave by a charter flight on Friday January 7th.
Commonwealth Bank Women's Ashes Fixtures
Thursday January 20: 1st IT20, Adelaide Oval, Adelaide, 8.10am GMT (2 points)
Saturday January 22: 2nd IT20, Adelaide Oval, Adelaide, 3.10am GMT (2 points)
Sunday January 23: 3rd IT20, Adelaide Oval, Adelaide, 3.10am GMT (2 points)
Thursday January 27-30: Only Test Match, Manuka Oval, Canberra, 11pm GMT Jan 26 (4 points)
Thursday February 3: 1st ODI, Manuka Oval, Canberra, 3.10am (2 points)
Sunday February 6: 2nd ODI, Junction Oval, Melbourne, 11.05pm Feb 5 (2 points)
Tuesday February 8: 3rd ODI, Junction Oval, Melbourne, 11.05pm Feb 7 (2 points)
England Women's A Fixtures
Thursday January 20: 1st T20, England Women A v Australia A, Karen Rolton Oval, Adelaide, 12am GMT
Friday January 21: 2nd T20, England Women A v Australia A, Karen Rolton Oval, Adelaide, 4am GMT
Sunday January 23: 3rd T20, England Women A v Australia A, Karen Rolton Oval, Adelaide, 11pm GMT Jan 22
Friday January 28: 1st 50-over match, England Women A v Australia A, Phillip Oval, Canberra, 11pm GMT Jan 27
Sunday January 30: 2nd 50-over match, England Women A v Australia A, Phillip Oval, Canberra, 11pm GMT Jan 29
Wednesday February 2: 3rd 50-over match, England Women A v Australia A, Phillip Oval, Canberra, 11pm GMT Feb 1
Saturday January 15: England Women v England Women A, 20-over match
Sunday January 16: England Women v England Women A, 20-over match
Sania-Nadiia pair enter semifinals of Adelaide International
Adelaide, Jan 6 (Tennis News) India's Sania Mirza and her Ukrainian partner Nadiia Kichenok entered the women's doubles semifinals of the Adelaide International 1 WTA event after beating American Shelby Rogers and Heather Watson of Great Britain in a hard-fought contest here on Thursday.
Sania and Nadiia got the better of their rivals 6-0 1-6 10-5 in a quarterfinal tie that lasted 55 minutes.
The Indo-Ukranian duo will now face Australia combination of Ashleigh Barty and Storm Sanders in the last-four round of the WTA 500 event.
Sania and Nadiia had earlier knocked out second seeds Gabriella Dabrowski and Giuliana Olmos 1-6 6-3 10-8 in the first round.
The Adelaide event is a tune up tournament for the Australian Open, starting January 17 in Melbourne.
Also Read : Novak Djokovic moved to quarantine hotel after being denied entry into Australia
News Source : PTI
Novak Djokovic moved to quarantine hotel after being denied entry into Australia
(Tennis news) Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic has been moved to a quarantine hotel in Melbourne after being denied entry into the country when his visa was cancelled by border force officials at Melbourne airport. The 20 time Grand Slam winner was forced to stay at the airport overnight and was told he would be removed from the country later on Thursday. Djokovic’s injunction request against the visa cancellation was listed for hearing at 4pm (0500 GMT) in the Federal Circuit and Family Court.
In a televised media briefing, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said “There are no special cases, rules are rules. We will continue to make the right decisions when it comes to securing Australian borders in relation to this pandemic. Our strong border policies have been critical to Australia having one of the lowest death rates in the world from COVID, we are continuing to be vigilant.” On Wednesday, Prime Minister Morrison had reiterated that Djokovic would be “on the next plane home” if his evidence for a COVID-19 exemption proved to be unsatisfactory.
The saga has gained international and political interest with the Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic claiming harassment of its star player. Vucic said “I just finished a phone conversation with Novak Djokovic. I told our Novak that the whole of Serbia is with him, and that our authorities are taking all measures to stop the harassment of the best tennis player in the world in the shortest possible period. In accordance with all norms of international public law, Serbia will fight for Novak Djokovic, for justice and truth."
The 34 year old announced on Tuesday that he would be travelling to Australia on an "exemption permission" but was held in isolation upon arrival after attempting to enter the country on a visa that did not allow medical exemptions for those unvaccinated against COVID-19. An Australian Border Force statement read: "The ABF can confirm that Mr Djokovic failed to provide appropriate evidence to meet the entry requirements to Australia, and his visa has been subsequently cancelled. Non-citizens who do not hold a valid visa on entry or who have had their visa cancelled will be detained and removed from Australia. The ABF can confirm Mr Djokovic had access to his phone."
Djokovic has won the Australian Open nine times, including the last three years. The 34 year old was hoping to surpass Roger Federar and Rafael Nadal by winning his 21st career Grand Slam title at the start of the tennis calendar but as things stand, the prospect looks unlikely.
Ramkumar-Bopanna enter quarterfinals in Adelaide
Adelaide, Jan 5 (Tennis News) India's Ramkumar Ramanathan and Rohan Bopanna entered the men's doubles quarterfinals of the Adelaide International 1 ATP tournament with a hard fought win over their rivals here on Wednesday.
In the ATP 250 men's event, the Indian combination of Ramkumar and veteran Bopanna, pairing up together for the first time on the ATP tour, had to dig deep to stun the eighth seed American duo of Nathaniel Lammons and Jackson Withrow 6-7(4) 7-6(3) 10-4 in a super tie-breaker in the second round.
The Indians had earlier trounced American Jamie Cerretani and Brazilian Fernando Romboli 6-2 6-1 in the opening round on Tuesday.
They will face the winner of another pre-quarterfinal match between the French-Monegasque duo of Benjamin Bonzi and Hugo Nys and the Belgian combination of Sander Gille Joran Vliegen.
In the women's WTA 500 event here, India's Sania Mirza and her Ukrainian partner Nadiia Kichenok overcame a first-set thrashing to knock out second seeds Gabriella Dabrowski and Giuliana Olmos 1-6 6-3 10-8 on Tuesday.
They now await the winner of the match between Australian duo of Priscilla Hon and Charlotte Kempenaers-Pocz and American-British pair of Shelby Rogers and Heather Watson in the women's doubles quarterfinals.
The Adelaide event is a tune up tournament for the Australian Open, starting January 17 in Melbourne.
Also Read : Novak Djokovic confirms participation in 2022 Australian Open
News Source : PTI
Our aim is to be synonymous with gaming in India - Rahul Bhattacharya, Co-Founder & MD, Microgravity
Gaming and esports is more than just a recreational pass time. It has quickly become a viable career option for many athletes around the world and the pandemic has further accelerated the growth of this industry, resulting in various gaming leagues in India organizing tournaments on mobile and console platforms, thereby providing a platform not just for those who wish to participate but also generating viewership amongst the masses.
In this exclusive interview with SPOGO, Rahul Bhattacharya, Co-Founder & MD, Microgravity speaks about what inspired him to begin his venture, Microgravity Gaming League, his goals and vision, leveraging AR and VR technologies, overcoming challenges and building communities around gaming content.
Q 1) As co-founder of Microgravity Ventures, what inspired you to come up with a brand that promises to deliver a world-class multi-player gaming experience?
Video gaming had a cult following for generations. The latest and the best of them now attract even more fan-following as seen in my own house. I did spend a lot of time trying to master console-based gaming along with my son. I found the quality and the depth of the content taking major leaps in the last few years. Compelling content and great graphics have added to this excitement. Also, major metropolitan centers like New York, London, Dubai, and Melbourne have some of the best gaming hubs that are also multiplayer. My frequent travels to these locations during my consulting days at Accenture prompted me to bring such a platform to India. You can do a lot at home using your consoles and devices but the real fun in gaming is when you come together with friends and family. We wanted to set a new benchmark, not just in India but in this part of the world in terms of the quality of experience.
Q 2) Tell us about the Microgravity Gaming League and how it looks to enhance and promote the esports league format?
Microgravity Gaming League was conceptualized to promote communities around esports. We wanted to deliver the same quality of experience to people engaging purely online. At some point drive them to these locations to experience the best tech has to offer. As a company, we wanted to quickly acquire the know-how of hosting tournaments at scale. We have already managed 5 large tournaments, four on the mobile and one on the console. We want to be synonymous with gaming in India and therefore we will search for formats that are bigger and brighter. Last but not least these esports leagues are not just played or competing. They are also watched. When top players compete against each other, the quality of content and the story becomes even more compelling. I have had the good fortune to see India’s best competing at Microgravity Gaming League. We want to take this content to everyone who is an enthusiast or is seeking an experience.
Q 3) What is your vision for Microgravity Ventures and how do you plan to achieve your goals?
We want to capture the gaming enthusiasts’ mindshare. We want to be a platform where he satisfies all his needs. Setting up world-class destinations across major metros and tier 2 cities is part of the plan along with the ability to bring in the crowds onto our esports platform to satisfy the mobile gaming community. We are also working on an e-commerce website that is only gaming that can carry an enthusiast up the value chain whatever be his budget. So whether it’s playing or competing, experiencing multiplayer, or shopping it has to be Microgravity. That’s the vision.
Q 4) How is the company looking to leverage AR and VR technologies to bring solutions to the industry?
The team is gathering know-how and skills that are cross transferable across industries. At some point, we will look to explore other allied industries like Retail, Hospitality, and Travel. Travel is already part of our plan where you can walk the city of New York in the heart of Gurgaon.
Q 5) What are some of the challenges that you have faced as co-founder and MD of Microgravity Ventures? How did you overcome them?
We started small and needed to bring in the right team to achieve our short-term goals. We want to continue our search for the best talent in this space. It is a team effort and therefore building a good team from scratch has been a compelling need. I also feel we may be a little ahead in time in terms of monetization options but going forward this industry is going to explode. Working on raising capital has been an important part of this journey. We are actively searching for strategic partners to take this idea forward. There is a lot to do in this space and we are taking one step at a time.
Q 6) How are Microgravity Ventures building communities around popular gaming content? What are the various games that are promoted by the league?
We wanted to bring in a differentiated experience whether it’s online or an offline format for the gaming enthusiast. We would like to constantly bring in new products and offerings that operate in both the worlds and where possible deliver the best experiences across popular content in a multiplayer format. I can only say that we are working with some of the best principals globally and please watch this space.
Novak Djokovic confirms participation in 2022 Australian Open
(Tennis news) After more than a month of suspense, Novak Djokovic has finally confirmed that he will be playing at the 2022 Australian Open. Djokovic’s status has been under the scanner over the past few weeks as many players were withdrawing from injury but in his case it was a complicated scenario. News broke out a few hours ago about the medical exemption he received to play at the Grand Slam.
The world number 1 two years ago had publicly stated that he wouldn’t want to be forced to take the vaccine inorder to travel. Although since the pandemic, people have been encouraged to take the vaccine as it is one’s wish to finally take the shot or not and it is a personal choice. The travelling restrictions are there globally and the vaccination has been acting like a pass which confirms that the individual is abiding by the rules set by the lawmakers.
The organisers have said that there is no special treatment the Serbian received as due process was followed inorder to confirm his participation. "Fair and independent protocols were established for assessing medical exemption applications that will enable us to ensure Australian Open 2022 is safe and enjoyable for everyone," Tournament director Craig Tiley said. "Central to this process was that the decisions were made by independent medical experts and that every applicant was given due consideration."
Djokovic had tested positive two years ago when he organised an exhibition event at Zadar, Croatia. For a person who has already been affected by the pandemic, it should be easier to understand as to why the orgainsers stressed upon the vaccination. Taking the shot is a personal choice until it involves the public, no person should be put in danger just because of a personal decision. When the individual can pose a risk to other players then his personal reservations are not justifiable.
There has been criticism regarding the decision, if Djokovic can talk about the exemption then the audience will be able to get a clearer picture. Australia has been struggling to control the pandemic especially in the present situation as they have crossed the 5 lakh mark. When a place is affected by a pandemic then a top tennis star who has been private about his vaccination status gets allowed to participate is obviously not a very welcoming decision. Again only if Djokovic can explain on what conditions did he receive an exemption then it will be confirmed but until then there will be an angry audience especially in Australia.
The 20 time Grand Slam winner will be aiming for his 10th Australian Open title and 21st overall. Things will unfold in the next few days as the event will start on 17th January and Djokovic will be expecting hostility from the crowd but he will play as he has his own targets to achieve.
Australia cricketer Maxwell tests positive for COVID-19
Melbourne, Jan 5 (Cricket News) Australia all-rounder Glenn Maxwell on Wednesday became the latest cricketer from the Big Bash League to test positive for COVID-19. Maxwell, who is the captain of Melbourne Stars in the BBL, became the 13th player from the franchise to test positive for the virus.
Maxwell's positive test was confirmed on Wednesday morning through a rapid antigen test which he had taken following his side's Melbourne derby against Renegades on Monday, cricket.com.au reported.
He also underwent a PCR test and is currently awaiting its result.
Meanwhile, the spurt in COVID-19 cases in the BBL continues with the Renegades becoming the fifth club to report a positive case.
Three other BBL clubs have reported positive COVID-19 cases, forcing Brisbane Heat to withdraw from their match against the Sydney Sixers on Tuesday.
The BBL organisers are desperately trying to keep the tournament going despite a surge in COVID-19 cases across the league.
Also Reas : Anything under 200 would be a realistic target: Petersen
News Sources : PTI
Rafael Nadal set to make comeback at Melbourne Summer Set
(Tennis news) The first week of the ATP tour has three events happening at the same time as the fans see the top players in all the three. The ATP Cup started 4 days ago, Adelaide International started yesterday and the Melbourne Summer Set is set to start from today. Many players in the draw will be making their comeback after a few weeks gap as Andy Murray, Kei Nishikori, Benoit Paire and David Goffin will need some Australian support. There are also top ranked players who will be playing as it will help them for the opening Grand Slam of the year which is only 13 days away. Here are the top three players to watch out for in the event.
The Spaniard hasn’t had much success at Melbourne but is coming back after a couple of months. Nadal will be hungry to start the season strong and a title win will fuel his confidence for the 2022 Australian Open. The 20 time Grand Slam winner will play his first match against the winner of Ricardas Berankis and Marcus Giron. Nadal has a run till the final where he can face Goffin, Murray or Dimitrov and the Spaniard last won a hardcourt title two years ago.
The serve machine has improved a lot in the hardcourts as seen in the last season. Opelka will try to set the tone at Melbourne with his first serves and boring back his hardcourt form just from last year. The American will face the winner of two qualifiers in the fourth round and has chances of playing against Kevin Anderson or Paire in the quarterfinals. He last won a title two years ago on this surface and reached his maiden Masters 1000 final last year.
Dimitrov rolled back the times when he played the previous season. The Bulgarian has played well in Australia over the past few years and needs to bring in the energy for some good starts to the season. Dimitrov also has the possibility of facing Murray in his opening match but once that is cleared up then he will only face tough ones in the end. Dimitrov last won a hardcourt title four years ago but last year he showed glimpses at Indian Wells. The world number 28 last played at Paris Masters 2 months ago and now will need to slide in through Melbourne.
Sania-Kichenok, Ramkumar-Bopanna advance in Adelaide
Adelaide, Jan 4 (Tennis News) On an all-win day for Indian tennis players, Sania Mirza and the pair of Ramkumar Ramanathan and Rohan Bopanna emerged victorious in their respective first round matches, albeit in contrasting fashion, in the ATP and WTA tournaments, here on Tuesday.
Sania and her Ukrainian partner Nadiia Kichenok overcame a first-set thrashing to knock out second seeds Gabriella Dabrowski and Giuliana Olmos 1-6 6-3 10-8 in the WTA 500 event.
In the ATP 250 men's event, the Indian combination of Ramkumar and veteran Bopanna, pairing up together for the first time on the ATP tour, had an easy day out.
They trounced American Jamie Cerretani and Brazilian Fernando Romboli 6-2 6-1 to set up the pre-quarterfinal with eighth seed American pair of Nathaniel Lammons and Jackson Withrow.
"We had a good match. Both of us served And returned well. We combined well and stuck to the plan," Ramkumar told PTI.
"We had practiced once with the same team before the draw which helped us.
"I am always happy to play with Bops (Bopanna), who is so experienced and is someone who has always been of good support and helps me with my tennis with all the experience he has," he added.
Since India will host Denmark on grass courts in New Delhi in their next Davis Cup tie in March, it is a possibility that Bopanna and Ramkumar, who has developed a fantastic serve and volley game, may pair up for the doubles.
This tournament will give them that opportunity to find out what works for them, if at all the captain decides to field them as a team.
Interestingly, Ramkumar got a chance to play with Denmark's top singles player Holger Rune in the singles Qualifiers and lost 4-6 6-7(7) in a close first round match.
Rune, ranked 103, eventually qualified for the main draw.
The match must have given him a fair idea of what to expect from Rune when he lands in Delhi for the Davis Cup.
"It was a good match. I think, I started off a bit slow where I got broken in the first game. But After that it was an extremely close and hard fought match "I was just a bit unlucky to not have converted those set points. He played good on a few of them and he is quick, so all credit to him. Hopefully I can get him back on grass," Ramkumar said.
The Adelaide event is a tune up tournament for the Australian Open, starting January 17 in Melbourne.
Also Read : Australia overpower Italy as Humbert puts up a show against Russia in ATP Cup
News Source : PTI
Multiple COVID-19 outbreaks hit Australian domestic leagues
Melbourne, Jan 4 (Cricket News) Multiple COVID-19 outbreaks inside bio-bubbles on Tuesday have hit the Australian domestic league hard as cricket in the country continued to grapple with the virus while several top players cope with anxiety.
Both the men's and women's domestic game has been hit hard as Cricket Australia (CA) was forced to make many late schedule changes.
Two matches of the Women's National Cricket League involving Western Australia were postponed till March due to border closures after a spike in COVID-19 cases. This has pushed the women's domestic 50-over final to mid-March.
WA were scheduled to play Tasmania in Hobart twice this week, on January 7 and 9, but the games have been pushed back to March 9 and 11 given the western state's hard border with the rest of the country.
The Big Bash League (BBL) is facing an unprecedented crisis and CA has an onerous task at hand on how to complete the season and also keep players and staff safe.
Anxiety is running high among players across the BBL teams as multiple COVID-19 outbreaks reportedly leave a hub in Melbourne as a serious option to continue the tournament.
An announcement on the future of this season could be made as soon as Tuesday, and all the eight teams could be based in Melbourne to limit travel and allow greater flexibility in the schedule, according to a report in the 'Australian Associated Press'.
Twelve Melbourne Stars players have contracted COVID-19, forcing them to call-up Victorian club cricketers just to field a team for their last two games.
Melbourne Stars players Marcus Stoinis, Adam Zampa and Nathan Coulter-Nile were already in isolation due to COVID-19. Players at the Sydney Thunder, Perth Scorchers and Brisbane Heat have also tested positive in recent days.
CA was on Tuesday forced to make changes in the schedule of matches to be played at Gold Coast due to fresh COVID-19 cases, according to a report in 'cricket.com.au'.
CA said some members of the Heat camp returned positive results in rapid antigen testing this morning, forcing the club out of tonight's game against the Sydney Sixers at Metricon Stadium, with the Perth Scorchers stepping in to face the Sixers instead.
The Board has shuffled the order of this week's games as the Heat await the results of PCR tests.
Melbourne Stars all-rounder Hilton Cartwright admitted it was tough to forget about the coronavirus situation and prepare for matches.
"I've never felt more vulnerable to a virus in my entire life and I never realised how much it was going to affect my mental state," Cartwright was quoted as saying by 'cricket.com.au'.
"I've had form slumps and this ranks right up there with how I actually feel about going about my business day-to-day.
"Myself and my wife have basically been locked up in our room, not sure if we're capable of catching the lift in case someone in there might have caught (COVID-19)." He said he was not able to focus on games because of the happenings around.
"Constantly, it's on your mind and then you've got to walk out there and perform one of the biggest pressure stages in the world." "My mental state wasn't in a great place about coming to your workplace and COVID is basically running rampant," he said.
Also Read : Hoping Siraj can come out and bowl tomorrow: Ashwin on bowler's hamstring injury
News Source : PTI
Four things fans should be excited about for the 2022 Formula 1 season
(Motorsport) After an action packed 2021 season that ended in the most dramatic fashion, the expectations are high for what the 2022 season has to offer as Max Verstappen defends his World Championship title against Lewis Hamilton while a number of other battles will be fought throughout the grid. The 2022 Formula 1 season is going to be unlike any other with drastic changes to the cars, more races around the world, new rules and more!
Here are four exciting new changes for the 2022 Formula 1 season
1) An overhaul of the car design
It’s no wonder why many Formula 1 teams had shifted their focus to car development for 2022 even while the 2021 season was underway. The new regulations are meant to ensure not just the safety of the drivers but also to promote more competitive racing amongst the teams. There will be 18 inch tyres in the 2022 cars, a redesigned front wing and nose, the usage of a higher ratio of sustainable fuel, over-wheel winglets and more! The car has already gone through over 7,500 simulations so far, which means that races will just get better, more competitive and intense for the season ahead!
2) A 23-race F1 campaign
The 2022 season will feature the longest campaign in Formula 1 with the title fight taking place over 23 races in different locations around the world. The season will also see many of the fan favourite tracks such as Suzuka, Montreal, Melbourne and Singapore return to the calendar while Formula 1 will also make its debut in Miami for the first time in history. This means that not only will fans have more race weekends to look forward to but the next Formula 1 game will have more tracks to race on than ever before!
3) Ferrari and McLaren stepping up in the title race
It’s easy to overlook just how intense the fight between Ferrari and McLaren was in the 2021 season because of the nature of Verstappen and Hamilton’s title fight. However, it’s clear that both the car manufacturers have kept an eye on the car development for the 2022 season for a very long time now and will look to close the gap on Red Bull and Mercedes for both the Constructors Standings as well as the Drivers Championship. Ferrari particularly will be keen to fare better than last year and finally compete for the title which has eluded them since 2008.
4) Brand new driver lineup
The 2022 season will feature many changes in the drivers lineup with some of the most prominent ones being George Russell teaming up with Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes, Alex Albon joining Williams, Valtteri Bottas and Guanyu Zhou joining Alfa Romeo. Zhou’s inclusion in the Formula 1 grid is particularly significant as he is the first Chinese driver to make it to Formula 1 in history.
Venus Williams joins Serena over withdrawal from 2022 Australian Open
(Tennis news) Venus Williams has joined her sister Serena Williams in skipping the 2022 Australian Open. Venus had skipped the US Open last year due to a leg injury and has not confirmed the status of her comeback. It is the first time in 25 years that the Williams sisters won't be seen playing at Melbourne.
The 41 year old first played at Melbourne in 1998 and since then has only missed it thrice. She has reached the final twice in 2003, 2017 and lost both the times to Serena. Venus reached the finals at Melbourne, Wimbledon in 2017 and also reached the semifinals of the US Open that year which was the last time she went beyond the third round of a Grand Slam. She has played 75 matches at Melbourne while winning 54 of them and has not progressed beyond the third round in four years.
The former world number 1 is currently ranked 318 as she has not played many events in the past twelve months and also did not play much in the 2020 season. She is one of the oldest active players on tour and has battled life threatening conditions to come back on court. Venus played her first professional match 28 years ago and is the senior most player who is currently playing. She entered the rankings chart in 1996 and was in the top ten for more than a decade although now she has to work her way up. One of the most resilient players on tour, the 6 foot one inch athlete has suffered multiple serious injuries in her career but has been able to bounce back every time.
The 8 time singles Grand Slam winner only played 12 matches last season and ended her season in August at the Chicago Open. She last won a title 5 years ago defeating Misaki Doi to take the Taiwan Open and last reached a final four years ago at the WTA Finals losing to Caroline Wozniacki. In the 2021 season, she played 9 events and did not enter the fourth round in any of them.
Venus will be joining Jennifier Brady, Karolina Pliskova and Karolina Muchova in skipping the Australian Open. The last two majors have seen many seniors players being absent due to recurring injuries as the toll is rising at each event. The Australian Open will start from 17th January as the players get pumped up for the first major of the year.
It's certainly my ambition to keep playing all three formats, says out-of-form Buttler
Sydney, Jan 2 (Cricket News) His abysmal showing so far in the Ashes notwithstanding, England's flamboyant batter Jos Buttler has no plans to give up Test cricket and has expressed his disappointment over South African Quinton de Kock's sudden retirement from the five-day game.
One of the finest white-ball batters at the moment, Buttler has averaged only 19.20 in the three Ashes Tests against Australia so far, including a horrendous dismissal in the Boxing Day match in Melbourne.
Besides, he has also dropped several catches behind the stumps, including a shocker in Adelaide.
However, ahead of the New Year's Test here from January 5, Buttler has pledged his commitment to all the three formats of the game.
"It's certainly my ambition. I don't think I'd have put as much into it as I have done if it wasn't," he was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
"I have fantastic family support – they're very supportive of me and my career and make a lot of sacrifices for that. That's one thing that gives you a lot of motivation and drive to try to make it all worth it. It's certainly maintained my drive and ambition to try and play.
"At the moment, I feel I've got that support, and I'm in a place where I want to try to make it work. All I'm focusing on at the moment is turning up in Sydney and practicing well." Asked about de Kock's decision to opt out of Tests at the age of 29, Buttler said he was disappointed with the decision but respected the South African's move.
There are similarities between the two -- both are wicketkeeper-batters, both of them first established themselves as limited-overs stars, and both are relatively young.
"That's (Test retirement) Quinton's own personal situation, but as a fan of cricket and a huge fan of his, I'm disappointed that he's at that stage," said the 31-year-old Buttler.
"I love watching him bat, keep wicket and play Test cricket. The world of cricket will miss him in that format. But I guess I commend him for making a decision that's right for him." Australia took an unassailable 3-0 series lead with comprehensive victories in Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne, but Buttler insisted England have plenty to play for to avoid a 5-0 sweep.
Also Read : Quinton's Test retirement has crippled further South African batting: Amla
News Source : PTI
Samantha Stosur to play last singles match at Melbourne
(Tennis news) Samantha Stosur has announced she will retire from singles after the Australian Open. The 37 year old has over 600 career wins and has played 1000 matches on tour in singles. Stosur turned professional in 1999 then four years later won her first match on the WTA tour, she reached the semifinal for the first time in a Grand Slam at Roland Garros. She went on to reach the final next year but lost to Francesca Schiavone.
The former world number 4 won her biggest singles title in 2011 at US Open, defeating Serena Williams in the final. In 2012, she reached semis in Roland Garros and quarters at US Open after which her form dipped. Stosur’s last success in singles was in Roland Garros where she reached the semifinals in 2016 where she lost to eventual champion Garbine Muguruza. Stosur has won 40 matches at Roland Garros dating from 2004 to 2019.
"I’m so excited and very grateful to play in my 20th [Australian Open] in a couple of weeks time. A huge thank you to Tennis Australia for giving me this opportunity to finish my singles career at my home Grand Slam," Stosur wrote in an Instagram post.
"It really means a lot to me to be able to finish in front of my family, friends and Aussie fans who have stuck by me through thick and thin. I’m sure it’s going to be a mix of emotions but I wouldn’t want it any other way as I always thought I’d finish playing in Australia."
Stosur is currently ranked No. 382 in the world and received a wild card to play in her 20th career main draw in Melbourne. She made her debut here 2 decades ago when she was a 17-year-old. Although she has not been very active in singles , Stosur is 16th in the doubles ranking. She has reached the finals of all the four majors in doubles and is yet to win at Wimbledon.
Stosur won the US Open with Zhang Shuai last year which was her fourth Grand Slam title in women's doubles. The previous season also saw her finish as runner up at Melbourne with Matthew Ebden in mixed doubles. In the mixed doubles, Stosur has reached the last eight in all four majors, she has won at Australia and twice in Wimbledon.
Five sporting events that you should look forward to in 2022
(Sports news) As the new year begins fans around the world are bracing themselves for a plethora of sporting events that is sure to excite, entertain and break records. From the Winter Olympics to the World Cup and everything in between, there is a lot to look forward to in 2022 and here are a few events that you should absolutely not miss out on so go ahead and mark these dates on your calendar!
The XXIV Olympic Winter Games is scheduled to take place from February 4th to 20th in Beijing. The city was elected as a host in July 2015 at the 128th IOC Session in Kuala Lumpur and it will be the first time in history that the Winter Olympics will be held in China and the last of the three consecutive Olympic Games to be held in East Asia (the others being the Winter Olympics 2018 in South Korea and the Olympic Games in Tokyo).
2022 Women's Cricket World Cup
The 12th edition of the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup is set to be held in New Zealand from 4th March to 3rd April 2022. The tournament was originally scheduled to be held last year but was delayed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Being the hosts, New Zealand automatically qualified for the tournament while the other places were given as per the ICC ODI Rankings. Hagley Oval will be the venue for the finals while five other venues such as Eden Park, Seddon Park, Bay Oval, University Oval and Basin Reserve will also host the matches.
2022 Women's FIH Hockey World Cup
The 15th edition of the Women's FIH Hockey World Cup will be held in Terrassa, Spain and Amstelveen, the Netherlands from July 1st to 17th 2022. In December 2018 the International Hockey Federation announced that the 2022 Women’s FIH Hockey World Cup will be held in either July 2022 or January 2023 and the bid was subsequently won by Spain and the Netherlands. 16 teams will compete in the tournament and alongside hosts Spain and the Netherlands, five continental champions will receive an automatic berth. Wagener Stadium and Estadi Olímpic de Terrassa will be the venues for the tournament.
2022 ICC Men's T20 World Cup
The eighth ICC Men’s T20 World Cup is scheduled to be held this year in Australia. The tournament was originally set to be held in 2020 but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Twelve teams have already reached the Super 12 phase of the 2022 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup based on their performances in the 2021 tournament and rankings. The remaining four places will come from the top two teams from each of the two Global Qualifiers. The host cities are Adelaide, Brisbane, Geelong, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney with the semi-finals set to take place in Sydney Cricket Ground and Adelaide Oval while the finals will be held in Melbourne Cricket Ground.
2022 FIFA World Cup
The 2022 FIFA World Cup will be hosted by Qatar and it will be the 22nd time the competition will be taking place in history. It will be the first time the tournament will take place in the Arab world and is set to be held from 21st November to 18th December 2022. It will also be the last time the World Cup will feature 32 teams as the 2026 World Cup in the United States and Mexico will feature 48 teams. The tournament will be held across five venues, namely Lusail Iconic Stadium, Al Bayt Stadium, Stadium 974 and Al Thumama Stadium. This is by far the biggest sporting event in 2022 attracting audiences of over 1 billion.
Novak Djokovic looking to keep next gen waiting in 2022 season
(Tennis news) Novak Djokovic is on the edge of breaking more records in the 2022 season. Djokovic will not be playing at the ATP Cup and will be eager to make his return at the 2022 Australian Open. He has played 62 matches this year and only lost 7 of them including a 27-1 record at the Grand Slams.
Djokovic’s 2021 season was a constant reminder that the next gen will have to pull off a near impossible stunt to take the Grand Slam titles away from the big three. The Serbian won his record 9th Australian Open for a hat trick of victories at Melbourne. Djokovic had an early exit at Monte Carlo as Daniel Evans handed him the first defeat of the season, at Belgrade it was a semifinal exit and Aslan Karatsev did not hesitate in a three setter match.
The world number 1 then met his arch rival Rafael Nadal at Rome in the final as it took almost 3 hours when Nadal finally lifted the trophy. It was the Spaniard’s 28th victory over Djokovic and was trailing by one in their career head to head meetings. Djokovic then got a second chance at home as he won his second title of the season, at Roland Garros the 34 year old became the first man to defeat Nadal twice at the event. Djokovic recorded his 30th victory over the king of clay and went on to win the title after losing the first two sets against Stefanos Tstisipas.
Djokovic then moved on to grass as he was one Grand Slam away from equalling Roger Federer and Nadal’s record of 20 titles. Although he looked a bit hungover from clay madness as he dropped the first set in the opening round against world number 253 Jack Draper but did not drop a set after that until the final. The record books had to be edited as Djokovic won his 20th major.
Djokovic was aiming to repeat Steffi Graf’s Golden Slam in 1988, his hopes took a huge hit when Alexander Zverev defeated him in the semifinals of the Tokyo Olympics. The 20 time major winner was visibly upset in his bronze medal match, even throwing the racquet at one point as the pressure took a toll on the champion. His next stop was at US Open, he got the Tokyo revenge over Zverev in the semifinals but Daniil Medvedev got his for the Australian Open loss. Medvedev played so well that even Djokovic’s cheeky smile disappeared and he lost the opportunity to be in the likes of Rod Laver who was the last one to win a calendar slam four decades back.
Djokovic got the final laugh over Medvedev at Paris Masters but his all year charm was turned to dust at the US Open. Although he was on top this year, the pressure has affected him to the extent that he was in tears in the middle of the match against Medvedev in the final at US Open. The record breaking run came to an end which clearly devastated Djokovic, a similar picture was painted earlier when Federer lost the Melbourne final to Nadal in 2009 as it moved the Swiss player to tears.
The 2022 season has mainly two targets. The first one is to stop the big three from winning any more Grand Slams and the second is for the big three to win a few more until they bid farewell from the game. A few more heartbreaking victories can hurt the big three more than any physical injury as the next gen will be focused on starting a new era and the time has come.
Travis Head to miss Sydney Test after testing positive for COVID-19
Sydney, Dec 31 (Cricket News) Travis Head, Australia's leading run-scorer in the ongoing Ashes, has been ruled out of the fourth Test here from January 5 after testing positive for COVID-19.
Head is asymptomatic and will remain in Melbourne with his partner for seven days as per the Victorian government's health requirements.
"As part of our testing procedures, we are PCR testing players, their families and our support staff daily," said a Cricket Australia spokesperson.
"Unfortunately, Travis returned a positive Covid-19 result earlier today. Thankfully, he is asymptomatic at this stage.
"We anticipate that he will be available to play in the fifth Vodafone men's Ashes Test in Hobart." The southpaw has scored 248 runs in the series at an average of 62 including a hundred in the series-opener at the Gabba.
The selectors have added Mitchell Marsh, Nic Maddinson and Josh Inglis to the squad as "additional cover".
A positive case in the Australian squad comes after a COVID outbreak in the England camp with head coach Chris Silverwood having to stay back in Melbourne after he was identified as a close contact of a person who tested positive for the virus.
Australia have already regained the Ashes by hammering England in the first three Tests.
Also Read : With COVID-19 cases shooting up, BCCI postpones U-16 tournament for season
News Source : PTI
Novak Djokovic and Andrey Rublev withdraw from ATP Cup
(Tennis news) The ATP Cup groups and list of players were released on Wednesday as the latest updates saw many changes take place. Novak Djokovic will not be playing the event along with Andrey Rublev. Rublev had tested positive for COVID-19 a few days ago and will need to complete isolation before he comes back to court as even Rafael Nadal and Denis Shapovalov had also tested positive after playing the Abu Dhabi exhibition event.
Djokovic had beaten Rafael Nadal in the final of the inaugural edition last year. The world number one last played at the Nitto ATP Finals where he lost in the semifinals to Alexander Zverev who went on to win for a second time. Djokovic had a record breaking year by reaching the finals of the four Grand Slams and losing only at the US Open to give Daniil Medvedev his first major.
The Serbian is expected to play at the 2022 Australian Open as the vaccination rules keep him in doubt. Meanwhile at the ATP Cup, Serbia will be led by Dusan Lajovic as the team will find it tough without its top player. Things have got tougher for defending champions Russia as Andrey Rublev, Aslan Karatsev and Evgeny Donskoy have pulled out of the event; Daniil Medvdev will lead the field along with Roman Safiullin and Evgeny Karlovskiy.
“We have all been giving our best in the past days,” said Lajovic. “I'm looking forward to competing with these guys together by my side. Obviously, there are some tactical differences and pressure-wise, but at the end of the day, you've got to go out there, play your match and try to win.”
Meanwhile Andrey Rublev said, "I want to share some news with you. I am currently in Barcelona and unfortunately tested positive for COVID-19. I have minimal symptoms. I am in isolation and following all the protocols under the supervision of doctors. As you know, I am fully vaccinated and was preparing for tournaments -- ATP Cup and Australian Open. Now I have to recover and I will go to Melbourne only when it will be safe for everyone. I am very upset and concerned about what is happening. I will return to the court as soon as possible," added the world number 5
Russia were the strongest team this year as they also won the Davis Cup a few weeks back. Rublev had reached four finals this year including his first final in a Masters 1000 as he did it twice. The Russian had reached the quarterfinals of the Australian Open earlier this year which was his third consecutive last eight appearance after the US Open and Roland Garros last year.
Austria will not be playing this time with the withdrawal of Dominic Thiem and Dennis Novak as France will be a replacement. Austria had lost both the matches it played this year as in the previous edition it played three matches and won one. France this year lost their first match but won the second one against Austria, last year they won their first two matches and lost the third match to South Africa.
Dominic Thiem adds more woes with withdrawal from 2022 Australian Open
(Tennis news) Dominic Thiem has announced that he won't be taking part in the 2022 Australian Open. Thiem has been battling with a wrist injury since June this year, he had last played at Mallorca where retiring midway in the opening match against Adrian Mannarino. He has only played 18 matches this season and will see his ranking drop once he comes back in action at the end of next month.
"As you all know, I came back home to Austria to recover after the hard practice sessions I had in Dubai and the slight setback in my preparation. I am now feeling well again, my wrist is in optimal conditions and I am practicing normally with a very good intensity", said Thiem.
"After the short holidays, my team and I have assessed all matters and we have decided to make some changes to my initial tournament schedule: I will start the season in South America at the Cordoba Open in Argentina, end of January, and therefore I will not play this year at the Australian Open in Melbourne, a city that I love and where I have great memories of unforgettable matches in front of amazing crowds. I will miss the Australian fans but I will be back in 2023.”
The 2020 US Open champion will miss the Australian Open for the first time since making his debut in 2014. He had reached the finals last year by defeating Alexander Zverev and Rafael Nadal on the way, Novak Djokovic defeated Thiem in the final as the Serbian came back from a 2-1 set deficit in a four hour match. Thiem’s absence will also mean Austria taking a backseat at the ATP Cup as World number 119 Dennis Novak will be leading the team.
The 28 year old also won his first Grand Slam last year at the US Open and at Roland Garros he reached the quarterfinals to cap off the year as the world number 3. His current rank is 15 which will see a further fall after the first three three weeks in January. He was playing his 10th year on tour this season and failed to reach a final including a shock first round exit at Roland Garros.
Thiem has now joined Roger Federer, Milos Raonic, Stan Wawrinka as the list continues to grow for the 2022 Australian Open. Nadal so far has not given statements about missing the Slam although he tested positive a few days back. There are also questions looming about Novak Djokovic’s participation especially regarding the vaccination rules for the players entering the event. The 2022 Australian Open is set to start from 17th January as the next gen players will again play in a similar situation like the 2021 US Open.
Ashes in bag, Warner advises England to prepare on synthetic wickets
Melbourne, Dec 29 (Crikcet News) The Ashes already retained, star Australia opener David Warner has advised a sorry-looking England side to prepare on synthetic wickets to be able to adjust to the extra bounce in the pitches Down Under.
England's Ashes hopes went up in smoke after Australia retained the Urn with an innings and 14-run win in just two days and a session in the Boxing Day Test here on Tuesday.
A dominant Australia had won the first Test by nine wickets in Brisbane and then registered a convincing 275-run victory in the next match in Adelaide.
Having polished his skills on the Australian pitches, Warner said bounce is one of the main hurdles for England.
"From a batting point of view, the bounce is a big one. Growing up here in Australia and playing on these wickets is different for how we would approach it compared to England," Warner was quoted as saying by 'Australian Associated Press'.
"I would probably suggest going on the synthos (synthetic wickets) and practising against the (extra) bounce, doing that in England.
"You've always got to find ways to prepare and the only way you can prepare for bounce is on synthos in England," he added.
Warner also said that England bowlers erred in bowling back of length in the first three Ashes Test, a ploy which normally doesn't work on Australian pitches.
"In England that back of a length is still hitting the stumps … if you bowl that length at the Gabba or Adelaide, you're not really hitting the stumps," Warner said.
"You have to be brave enough to pitch the ball up here.
"We feel as a batting unit when England pitch the ball up, we drive them down the ground … but you have to do that to create the chances, to create the bat-pad gap to create those nicks," he added.
The fourth Ashes Test is set begin in Sydney on January 5.
Also Read : England need another set of eyes to make decisions, says Bell; wants restoration of selection panel
News Source : PTI
England need another set of eyes to make decisions, says Bell; wants restoration of selection panel
Melbourne, Dec 29 (Cricket News) Former batter Ian Bell feels England need to bring back the traditional selection panel to choose squads as it would provide a different perspective.
The post of national selector of England's men's cricket team was made redundant as part of a restructuring process after more than a century by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) earlier this year.
Ed Smith, who had held the post for three years, left in April. Since then the responsibility of picking the national squads lies with head coach Chris Silverwood while captains Joe Root and Eoin Morgan help him in selecting the playing XIs.
But in the aftermath of England's surrender in the first three Ashes Tests, Bell called for restoration of the panel instead of handing all powers to the head coach.
"One of the hardest things, and I was very shocked if I'm honest with you, was when we went away from the chairman of selectors thing," he told 'Sportsday'.
"Even looking at it from a player's point of view…you're not stupid enough to think (Chris Silverwood) is not part of selection, but since he is head selector, how would you have the honest conversations with the head coach and say, 'I might be struggling a little bit here', because he is the man who's making all the decisions.” The 39-year-old, who has played 118 Tests, 161 ODIs and 8 T20Is for England, feels someone who is not present in the dressing room and not interacting with players on a daily basis will be more suited for the job.
"I think you need a chairman of selectors who sits outside of the dressing room sometimes, who's not attached to all the players emotionally or what's going on a daily basis and can actually see things from a different set of eyes, which I think is really important." England's selection over the past three matches has been met with sharp criticism.
Pacers James Anderson and Stuart Broad were rested on a bowler-friendly pitch in Brisbane while Mark Wood and spinner Jack Leach were dropped from the Adelaide Test where the pitch aided spinners.
Down 0-2, Silverwood made four changes going into the Boxing Day Test but to no avail as England succumbed to an embarrassing innings and 14-run loss inside three days at the MCG.
The changes yielded no result as Australia took an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-Test series to retain the Urn.
"When you look at it now, you look at some of the selections we've had and decisions we've made at the toss, it's been very internal, there's not been a lot of advice from those outside who aren't in those day-to-day training sessions and in the bubble and it all becomes a bit emotional," Bell said.
"They need another set of eyes helping them to make these decisions."
Also Read : Sensational Shami bags 5 to give India the lead on day 3 despite early collapse
News Source : PTI
Warner eyes 2023 Ashes, win India before quitting Test cricket
Melbourne, Dec 29 (Cricket News) An Ashes series win in England in 2023 and defeating India in their own backyard are the two important milestones Australia opener David Warner is eyeing before calling it quits from Test cricket.
After retaining the Ashes with an unassailable 3-0 lead inside 12 days at the MCG here on Tuesday, Warner, who turned 35 in October this year during the T20 World Cup, where he won the player-of-the-tournament award in Australia's title triumph, admitted that he is not done yet.
"We still haven't beaten India in India. That would be nice to do. And obviously, England away, we had a drawn series (in 2019), but hopefully, if I managed to get that chance and opportunity, I might think about going back," Warner was quoted as saying by 'ESPNcricinfo'.
Warner has played 13 and eight Tests across three series in England and two in India, respectively. But he has a poor record in both the countries, averaging 26 and 24 respectively without a century.
Warner would turn 37 by the next Ashes trip to England, but for the left-handed opener age is just a number.
"I think James Anderson sets the benchmark for older guys these days," he said.
"We look up to him as we're getting on in our days. But for me, it's about performing to the best of my ability and putting runs on the board.
"I feel in good touch. As I said, I was out of runs not out of form, so hopefully, I can put some more numbers on the board leading into this new year."
Also Read : First session will be key tomorrow: Bavuma
News Source : PTI
'Sacred' Sydney Test to go ahead as planned: NSW health minister
Sydney, Dec 28 (Cricket News) The upcoming Sydney Test in the Ashes series is "sacred" and will go ahead as planned, New South Wales health minister Brad Hazzard assured on Tuesday, saying players' health safety will not be compromised amidst rising COVID-19 cases in the state.
The fourth Ashes Test is scheduled to begin at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) from January 5.
According to the COVID-19 regulations in New South Wales, it is mandatory to spend seven days in isolation if anyone is found to be a close contact of a positive case.
Over 6000 cases were registered on Monday in NSW, which has witnessed a rise in infections.
However, Hazzard assured that he will work with the health authorities so that the match goes ahead as planned.
"The SCG (Sydney Cricket Ground) Test is sacred, an important date at the start of the third year of our life with Covid-19," Hazzard said in a statement.
"I want to assure the cricket-loving public, under our rules any players with exposure to a known case of Covid-19 would be asked to test and isolate only until a negative result was received.
"If there are any cases within the teams, their support staff, or families, we will work with the people involved to ensure they are safe, and there is as little disruption to others as possible." The third Test in Melbourne was thrown into chaos on Monday after two members of England's support staff and two of their family members tested positive for COVID-19 and were placed in isolation.
However, members of the English team and the management returned with negative results in rapid antigen tests and were allowed to head to the ground as Australia notched up an innings and 14 runs win to claim the Ashes urn in record time.
The subsequent RT-PCR tests for the Australia and England teams also came negative.
Australia have taken an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-Test series.
Also Read : Cummins refuses to speculate on coach Langer's future, says wants to savour Ashes win first
News Source : PTI
Cummins refuses to speculate on coach Langer's future, says wants to savour Ashes win first
Melbourne, Dec 28 (Cricket News) Australia Test captain Pat Cummins on Tuesday refused to speculate on head coach Justin Langer's future when his contract ends in June next year, simply saying that his team now just wants to "savour" the convincing Ashes victory over England here.
Cummins' statement came three days after Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley refrained from commenting on the issue of Langer's contract extension.
"I think we'll savour this victory today and continue the Ashes," Cummins said when asked about Langer's future.
"I don't think today is the day to speculate on that. We'll all sit down together after this series or whenever his tenure is up. His contract is up for renewal in a few months and we'll deal with that then." Pacer Scott Boland claimed six wickets for seven runs in the second innings of the Boxing Day Test to hand Australia an innings and 14 runs win over England to retain the Ashes. Australia had won the first two Tests by nine wickets and 275 runs at Brisbane and Adelaide respectively.
An ecstatic Langer was also non-committal about his contract extension.
"We'll worry about that later," Langer told Fox Sports.
There were reports of Langer's working style as head coach not going down well with some senior players with the then Test captain Tim Paine, limited-overs skipper Aaron Finch and Cummins having had discussions with CA top bosses on the issue.
In the lead-up to the Boxing Day Test, Langer had expressed his desire to continue guiding the side in all three formats of the game. Hockley, however, had remained non-committal.
Also Read : Mohammad Shami bowling his way to the 200 wicket club
News Source : PTI
England's planning, thoughts and structures have just been completely wrong: Ponting
Melbourne, Dec 28 (Cricket News) Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting on Tuesday criticised England for their poor planning, thoughts and structures, saying it has "come back to bite them" after the visitors lost the Ashes following an embarrassing defeat in the third Test here.
Joe Root's men were the fastest to surrender the Urn after they were skittled out for a meagre 68 on day 3 of the third Test to lose the match by an innings and 14 runs. England had lost the first two Tests by nine wickets and 275 runs at Brisbane and Adelaide respectively.
England had left out the experienced pace duo of Stuart Broad and James Anderson from the first Test squad. Anderson was not selected to keep him for ready for the day-night second Test in Adelaide, while left-arm spinner Jack Leach was picked over Broad for the just-concluded match.
"They've out-thought themselves with their selections for Brisbane, looking forward to Adelaide and then looking forward to the MCG," Ponting told Channel Seven.
"Pick your best team from the start and then see how far that group can take you. The fact that Anderson and Broad didn't play in Brisbane is staggering." Ponting also slammed Root's decision to bat first on a green pitch in overcast conditions in Brisbane.
"The fact that Joe Root didn't bowl first in Brisbane was staggering. The fact that Mark Wood didn't play in Adelaide was staggering. He looked like one of the most likely bowlers up in Brisbane," he said.
In the Brisbane Test, England had picked the pace trio of Mark Wood, Chris Woakes and Ollie Robinson alongside Ben Stokes, who returned to action since March after being away from the game due to injuries and mental health.
But England decided to rest Wood for the Adelaide Test although he looked in good rhythm.
"All their planning, their thoughts and their structures have just been completely wrong, and it's come back to bite them," Ponting said.
"There's no good looking forward from Brisbane if you're going to be one or two nil down. And that's what it was: they planned for Melbourne – already being two-nil down, they've come here and been pantsed again. So, they've got some really, really deep thinking to do."
Also Read : Want to play at least for next three years: Rayudu
News Source : PTI
Former captains 'embarrassed' at England's Ashes surrender
Melbourne, Dec 28 (Cricket News) Former captains Michael Vaughan and Ian Botham are "embarrassed" by England's abject surrender in the ongoing Ashes after the visitors capitulated in the third Test here on Tuesday.
England were bundled out for 68 in their second innings on day 3 as Australia notched up an innings and 14 runs win in the third Test to take an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-Test Ashes series.
It was the fastest for either Australia or England to have sealed the urn in the history of the Ashes and Vaughan said it won't be surprising if the Joe Root-led side lose the 2023 edition at home.
"It's not easy in these times, the England side didn't have a great preparation but if you want to look for excuses, you can," Vaughan, who had led England to the Ashes win 2005, told Fox Cricket.
"For some time now, this Test match team has not been good enough. They've not focused enough on the Test match team, the focus has been more on white-ball cricket - and it delivered a World Cup (win in 2019).
"But we're not a good enough cricketing nation to take our eye off the ball in Test cricket and expect to arrive and play (in Australia).
"I would say with the group that I've seen and the way they're playing, I'd be amazed if (Australia) don't beat England in English conditions in 2023." The 47-year-old Vaughan, who captained England to 26 wins in 51 Tests, said the English system doesn't allow "young players to develop and give themselves a chance of playing at this level." "England are a long way short and it could take some even worse times - (Stuart) Broad and (Jimmy) Anderson are going to retire soon - before it gets better." One of the greatest all-rounders of the game, Botham said England has lost its way.
"I'm a little embarrassed," the legendary all-rounder told the Seven Network.
"To lose the Ashes in 12 days, I don't know if that's the fastest, but it's got to be very close to it. I just think that England have lost their way.
"The performance today summed it up for me, I think you've got enough time to get a couple of players in from the Lions tour because we need to freshen it up, at the moment it's stagnating." England slumped to a nine-wicket defeat in Brisbane, lost by 275 runs at Adelaide before suffering the innings defeat in the Boxing Day Test here.
Also Read : Sourav Ganguly admitted to hospital after testing positive for COVID19
News Source : PTI
Australia closing in on series win after England's batting collapses again
(Cricket news) Australia is ever so close to winning the 3rd Test in Melbourne and wrapping up the series. England at the end of day 2 are 31/4 trailing by 51 runs. Australia could wrap up the series tomorrow itself. The start of the day was delayed by 30 minutes due to a COVID scare in the England camp. Australia started the day on 61/1 with Marcus Harris and night watchman Nathan Lyon in the middle.
England started the day really well as Ollie Robinson got rid of the night watchman after Lyon hit a couple of boundaries. Mark Wood came into the attack and picked up Marnus Labuschagne early for just 1. Anderson started to really trouble both Steve Smith and Harris with some beautiful balls. The veteran bowler finally got his reward as he managed to get one through Smith's bat and pad as he was bowled on 16. Australia ended the first session on 131 for 4 trailing by just 54 runs.
While he was on 27, Travis Head edged Robinson's ball to 1 slip soon after lunch. Harris, whose place in the side was being questioned, answered the critics with a fine 76 off 189. He fell short of his ton as Anderson picked up his wicket. Alex Carey and Cameron Green occupied the crease for a good amount of time and got Australia past England's total. Jack Leech finally turned up and trapped Green in front. Stokes finally got his first wicket of the Test as he dismissed Carey. Anderson got his 4th wicket as he picked up the wicket of Pat Cummins. Mark Wood got Scot Boland as Australia were bowled out for 267 runs with a lead of 82 runs. England would've been content with their performance but what followed was disastrous.
Haseeb Hameed and Zak Crawley walked out to bat with England. Starc got rid of Crawley on 5 before trapping Malan in front on the very next ball. He came very close to getting a hat-trick as the next ball just went past Joe Root's outside edge. Debutant Scott Boland got two wickets late in the day as he got rid of Hameed before cleaning up meant to be night watchman Leech. Australia picked up 4 wickets but it could've been more as quite a few edges didn't carry. England need a minor miracle to rescue the match and keep the series alive. Australia could end the series tomorrow itself and retain the Ashes.
CA should consider moving New Year's Test to MCG: Vaughan
Melbourne, Dec 27 (Cricket News) Former England skipper Michael Vaughan on Monday said Cricket Australia should act proactively in the wake of the COVID scare on the second day of the ongoing Boxing Day Test here and consider moving the Sydney fixture also to Melbourne.
The second day of play on Monday was delayed by half-an-hour following multiple positive cases within the England camp.
"I think Cricket Australia have to act quickly and be proactive in terms of the situation. It's unprecedented times," 'Sen Radio' reported Vaughan telling 'Fox Cricket'.
"Could the next Test match be played here in Melbourne, under lights at the MCG, to make sure we all stay in Victoria where the protocols are different to Sydney? "Do we really want to risk taking two teams over to Sydney, broadcast and production staff? You get to the SCG, there's one case in the team on day one and the Test match is off," he added.
Two members of the England support staff and two of their family members returned positive in Rapid Antigen Tests.
The development comes less than 24 hours after Channel Seven confirmed an asymptomatic staff member working on the Ashes broadcast crew also tested positive to the virus on Sunday evening.
"Surely Cricket Australia have to be proactive and realise that it's not going to be easy (even) staying here with what we've seen this morning," Vaughan said.
"The fact that it's a family member, Christmas Day… everyone's going to have been around that family member, so there is a chance the COVID positive could spread around the side," he reasoned.
"I think Cricket Australia have to act quite quickly…it would be quite sensible and reasonable to think 'okay, this is the situation now, it wasn't the situation a week ago, we have to act.' "It could be a good possibility." The 47-year-old said one has to look at the best possible way to get the series to go ahead while also keeping everyone safe.
"Unfortunately we're in times where that's the wording, 'get it done'. What's the best way to get those last two Test matches played in as safe an environment as possible? "For me, the sensible way would be 'alright, we're all in Melbourne, we know the protocols are different here, stay here, play the next Test match and see how the land lies in 10 days time.'" The fourth Test is slated to begin from January 5 while the final match of the series is schedule to begin in Hobart from January 14.
Also Read : James Anderson nearing Tendulkar’s Test matches record
News Source : PTI
Stokes hasn't looked like the aggressive presence that oppositions have feared: Ponting
Melbourne, Dec 27 (Cricket News) Former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting feels Ben Stokes hasn't looked like the "physically aggressive" presence that opposition teams have feared due to his "ultra-defensive approach" in the ongoing Ashes series.
Ponting also slammed England skipper Joe Root, Stokes and Jos Buttler for the manner of their dismissals in the first innings of the Boxing Day Test which the two-time World Cup winning captain believes was "inexcusable". England are 0-2 down in the marquee showdown between the traditional rivals.
"He's looked ultra-defensive. He hasn't looked like the big, physically aggressive presence at the crease that opposition teams have feared to bowl to in other series," Ponting told 'cricket.com.au'.
"You can understand why – the batting conditions haven't been easy in any game and he's coming up against some good bowlers," he added.
Ponting reckons Stokes must deviate from the conservative approach to help the struggling tourists.
"But I think if you just sit back and wait, and don't put pressure on great bowlers, they're going to get you out. We always used to say in teams that I played in that the better the bowler, the more risks you had to take as a batter, because you simply don't get bad balls.
"You have got to find a way to jump on anything that's a little bit bad, rotate the strike as much as you can." Heading into the third Test, England shuffled their top order, bringing in Zac Crawley and Jonny Bairstow in place of Ollie Pope and Rory Burns. But after being put in to bat on day one in the Boxing Day Test the tourists were bowled out for just 185.
Ponting feels the insipid performance by fellow England batters has put more pressure on Stokes.
"He's probably going into the game knowing that it's so important that he scores runs in that number five slot that he might be trying a little bit too hard," said Ponting.
"The bottom line with it is that technically he might be their second-best player, so you can't keep pushing him down the list when you're batting guys with inferior techniques ahead of him.
"And if you look at everyone outside of Joe Root then I would say that technically he is their second best player." Ponting was sharp in his criticism of Stokes, Root and Buttler, adding that the senior players need to rise to the occasion.
"(It was) inexcusable for three of your more senior players, the players that they needed to stand up on the back of what we believe were some pretty stern discussions after the Adelaide game.
"If your leaders aren't going to do it, then you can't expect the younger guys to get the job done.
"The young guys are going to learn from the senior players and when the senior players are setting examples like that, you can understand why some of the younger guys are making mistakes as well," he pointed out.
Also Read : Game on if we can restrict India under 350: Ngidi
News Source : PTI
Hockley refuses to commit on Langer's future as head coach
Melbourne, Dec 26 (Cricket News) Australia's recent success notwithstanding, head coach Justin Langer will have to wait until the end of the home season to know if his contract will be extended, according to the chief executive of the country's apex cricket body, Nick Hockley.
After an woeful run, including home Test series defeats to India, Australia turned things around in dramatic fashion to win the T20 World Cup and are on the verge of claiming the Ashes series.
Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley, however, refused to divulge much on Langer's future yet.
"I think JL, I think the whole square are doing a fantastic job," Hockley told reporters on Sunday, the first day of the Boxing Day Ashes Test against England.
"We've seen that through the performances of the first couple of Tests.
"We always said we're going to be really focused on the two upcoming campaigns - the T20 World Cup and the T20 team did fabulously to bring that trophy home, and same for the Ashes - I know JL, I know the team, they are very, very focused on this series." He added, "What we have said, before the summer, we'll be sitting down at the end of the season to review where we go from there." Hockley also did not entertain questions on whether CA would like to ease the workload on Langer, who is in charge of all three formats.
"As I said, that's something we're going to look at towards the end of the season," he said.
Hockley, however, did say that Langer would see out his contract, which expires in the middle of next year.
"There's no question Justin will see out his contract that goes through to the middle of next year," Hockley said.
"There's a tour of Pakistan and there's a lot of great cricket coming up, but as I said we'll sit down and review where we are at the end of the Ashes."
Also Read : Can't fathom Broad's omission from Boxing Day Test: Vaughan
News Source : PTI
Can't fathom Broad's omission from Boxing Day Test: Vaughan
Melbourne, Dec 26 (Cricket News) Former England captain Michael Vaughan on Sunday said he "can't fathom" why experienced pacer Stuart Broad was not included in the playing XI for the third Ashes Test and believed the tourists have "got pretty much everything wrong" so far in Australia.
England, who are lagging 0-2 in the five-match series, left out Broad along with three others for the Boxing Day Test, which began here on Sunday.
"I look at someone like Stuart Broad, in Brisbane he wasn't selected on that green top there, he's not selected here," Vaughan, who led England to 26 wins in 51 Tests, including the 2005 Ashes, said on Fox Cricket.
"How England have not seen Stuart Broad, with all his experience, such a wonderful Test career, is not going to be bowling a ball on a green top in Brisbane and now not here in Melbourne, that's staggering really.
"So far the only thing they've done right on the trip is turn up on time. They've got pretty much everything wrong – selection, tactics have not quite been right.
"Stuart Broad should be playing here (in Melbourne), he should've played in Brisbane. How Stuart Broad is not going to be bowling around the wicket to David Warner on a green top, I just can't fathom that with the quality that he brings." Spin legend Shane Warne also echoed his voice.
"England looks a better balanced side - but I would have played @StuartBroad8 instead of Robinson & Pope looks a good player to me, but Bairstow had to play," he wrote on his Twitter handle.
Also Read : Best pace attack in 30 years makes India favourites in first two Tests: Ali Bacher
News Source : PTI
Josh Hazlewood 'not sure' of his return in fourth Ashes Test
Melbourne, Dec 26 (Cricket News) Australia pacer Josh Hazlewood has a "slight tear" in his rib cage muscle and he is "not sure" if he would be available for the fourth Ashes Test starting at Sydney from January 5.
Hazlewood, who had taken three wickets in the opening Test against England, missed the second and third matches in Adelaide and Melbourne, due to the injury which was earlier believed to be a "side strain".
"I'm still a little bit away, (this Test) is probably a week early," Hazlewood told SEN.
"We're still not sure, we're going to take this week as it comes and likely have a bowl on Day 3 or Day 5, see how that goes and then build up from there.
"The workloads are still there from the first Test, but obviously I haven't had a bowl in 10-12 days and we'll see how it goes on Day 3." The 30-year-old said he will look to bowl at the nets on the third day of the Boxing day Test and will rely more on feel than on medical assessment.
"It's probably more on feel this one, it's a bit of an interesting one, it's the intercostal in between the ribs, there's a slight tear," Hazlewood said.
"I've never had it before, I've had the normal oblique side strain, which is the common one, but we're taking each day as it comes and we'll make the decisions on basically how I feel." Intercostal muscles are a group of intrinsic rib cage muscles.
Australia are leading the five-Test series 2-0.
Also Read : U-19 Asia Cup: Pakistan beat India by 2 wickets in thriller
News Source : PTI
I was really angry after missing Adelaide Test: Cummins
Melbourne, Dec 25 (Cricket News) Australia captain Pat Cummins didn't know how to channelise his anger after a fellow diner turned out to be COVID positive, forcing him to miss the second Ashes Test in Adelaide.
Cummins had gone out for a dinner with his friend Harry Conway, who plays for BBL franchise Adelaide Strikersk, at a restuarant in Adelaide ahead of the second Test when a patron at the nearby table was identified as a Covid positive case.
"I (was) really angry - but I don't know who at," Cummins, who is back captaining the side at the Boxing Day Test, was quoted as saying by 'The West Australian'.
"There was no-one to blame. Once it became apparent, the state rules, you have to follow them." Cummins had tested negative for RT-PCR but was asked to isolate accordingly to the COVID rules of South Australia, thus forcing his withdrawal on the morning of the Adelaide match.
"We knew it might pop at some stage in this series. I didn't think - or hope - it was going to be me," said the 28-year-old, who missed a home Test in about five years.
"You abide by the protocols, but there (was) hardly any COVID around, so I didn't factor it in at all until the bloke popped up next to me and said he's positive.
"No-one did anything wrong. The poor guy just flew to Adelaide to try and enjoy a couple of days of cricket - I felt really bad for him as well." Cummins' teammates Mitch Starc and Nathan Lyon too would have missed the match as they were supposed to join him for dinner at the same restaurant but since the skipper didn't check his phone for 40 minutes the two dined separately.
"They walked in angry - they kicked up a stink and sat out the back," he said of Lyon and Starc.
"It's just one player, it's slightly bigger news because it's COVID and the captain, but it's not the end of the world, it's not a huge change." Cummins thought he would cope but once he saw the Test match unfold on TV, he felt angry again.
"Then after about an hour (of watching the Test on TV) I was pretty angry, I wished I was back out there," he said.
"But it was good. It was a different perspective." Australia lead the five-Test series 2-0.
Also Read : What inspired me most about Harbhajan was his hunger to perform: Ganguly
News Source : PTI
Andy Murray receives wildcard for 2022 Australian Open
(Tennis news) Andy Murray is back in the Australian Open after two years, he last played in 2019 where he lost the opening round to Roberto Bautista Agut in a four hour marathon. Murray will be playing the Australian Open for the 14th time next year and is 2 victories away from 50 career wins at the first Grand Slam of the year.
“I’m really excited to be back playing at the Australian Open and grateful to Craig and the team for the opportunity," Murray said in a statement. "I’ve had some great times in Australia playing in front of the amazing crowds and I can’t wait to step back out on court at Melbourne Park.”
The 34 year old had one of his best streaks here a decade ago as from 2010 to 2016 he reached the finals 5 times and reached the quarterfinal and semifinal once. The Scot reached two consecutive finals twice in 2010,11 and in 2015,16; Novak Djokovic defeated him in four of the five finals while Roger Federer defeated him in the 2010 final.
Murray has been making a comeback since his hip surgery which almost brought down the curtains in his career after the 2019 event. The three time Grand Slam winner has shown strength in the toughest phase of his career as currently only Djokovic out of the big four has not suffered major injuries so far. Murray, Nadal and Federer are recovering from injuries as Federer won’t be seen in action this time.
More wildcards will be announced soon by the organizers as the five time finalist did have some convincing victories this year. He defeated Jannik Sinner, Hubert Hurkacz, Carlos Alcaraz and the list will grow next year. Murray played 29 matches this year same as Rafael Nadal and won 15 of them as Nadal had 24 wins. Nine more victories will give Murray 700 career wins which is the fourth most amongst active players after the big three.
The former world number one has never defeated Djokovic in five of their meetings at Australia, but has defeated Federer once and Nadal twice in which the Spaniard retired hurt in the second meeting. He has not faced Nadal for over 5 years, Federer for 6 years and Djokovic in 4 years and maybe the 2022 Australian Open can bring the old days back which can inspire the new gen even more.
I'd like to see some emotion out in the middle: McGrath
Melbourne, Dec 24 (Cricket News) The legendary Glenn McGrath on Friday loathed the lack of aggression from England players in the ongoing Ashes series, saying he would prefer to see a close battle in the ultimate contest instead of "political correctness".
For McGrath, too much bromance between England and Australian players, which he largely attributed to IPL and Big Bash, was taking away the required passion while representing the country. "It can be a little bit too nice sometimes. That's the way everything's going, isn't it? There's a lot of political correctness. People are a bit nervous about being aggressive and playing hard," McGrath was quoted as saying by Syndey Morning Herald.
"I remember, when Nasser Hussain came out here with England, they weren't even allowed to talk to us or say 'G'day'." The Australians have this habit of shortening the longer words but McGrath is aghast to see the nick names floating around.
"Every time you hear one of the English or Australian players interviewed, they use a nickname.
"Broady, Jimmy, Kez. I was asking the other day, 'Who’s Kez?' 'Oh, Alex Carey.' They’re a lot more familiar with each other than we were when I played." England are down 0-2 in the series but it did not show if the bashing by the hosts was causing any hurt. The England players were chatting around nicely with the home players.
"It's all about body language. How much does it mean, representing your country? England have to go back to the drawing board and have a real good think about this." "With the IPL and the Big Bash, these players know one another well. You see batsmen and bowlers joking around. I’d like to see some emotion out in the middle." McGrath was all for a spectacle out there in the middle.
"I'd love there to be more of a battle. Australia aren't going to take their foot off the throttle, now that they have Pat Cummins coming back.
"James Anderson looks like he's down on pace, and the ball's not swinging. This could get pretty ugly very quickly." He urged the visitors to add some aggression to their game and suggested that they unleash Mark Wood.
"If you've got someone bowling over 150 km/h, you want to play him as often as you can. Ben Stokes hasn’t looked good, so for him to come out in Adelaide and play the enforcer role was a big ask.
"They needed Wood. Any bowler with that speed is a rarity. Look at what Jofra Archer did to Australia in 2019. Not to use an out-and-out quick on a deck like Adelaide is surprising. Ollie Robinson will take wickets, but he’s not going to blast teams out, especially in Australian conditions." "......To turn things around they have to be much more aggressive. For all of us, the Ashes is the ultimate. All we want is to see a battle that's close."
Also Read : U-19 Asia Cup: India thrash UAE in opener
News Source : PTI
MCC hopes Boxing Day Test won't be Superspreader event
Melbourne, Dec 23 (Cricket News) The Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) is confident that the Boxing Day Test, starting Sunday, will not turn into a superspreader event as the fans have been told they will be ousted from the venue if they flout COVID-19 protocols.
There is no crowd cap for attendance at the MCG this year and according to local media about 55,000 tickets have already been sold. Only 30,000 fans were allowed per day last year when Australia hosted India amidst raging pandemic.
Around 70,000 people are expected to watch the match from the venue on the first day.
The threat of new COVID-19 variant, Omicron is a cause of concern ahead of the Australia-England match.
"There's always risk (of a superspreader event), but we've got a COVID-safe plan in place for a reason," MCC chief executive Stuart Fox was quoted as saying by Sydney Morning Herlad.
"That’s served us relatively well. We had one reasonably significant issue this year in the football and we’ve managed that quite well.
"We had the data through to health for that particular event within two or three minutes. We've got a good handle on it." Wearing masks is a must for the fans.
Acting Premier James Merlino announced on Thursday that masks must be worn indoors by people aged over eight, and people must wear them when moving around major events of more than 30,000 people, but not when they are seated outdoors.
Victoria Police said it would take action against anyone repeatedly ignoring protocols.
"If someone is quarrelsome it doesn't really matter for me what they’re quarrelsome about or whether they’re being problematic or intoxicated, we’d evict that person if they weren't going to behave and comply with whatever the conditions and regulations are," Victoria Police Acting Superintendent Jamie Templeton said.
Also Read : Langer may seek extension of contract with Cricket Australia
News Source : PTI
Langer may seek extension of contract with Cricket Australia
Melbourne, Dec 23 (Cricket News) Australia coach Justin Langer on Thursday hinted that he would seek an extension of his four-year contract, expiring in June 2022, saying he "loves his job".
Langer had faced criticism for his coaching methods from the players but now has a Twenty20 World Cup in his CV and is also close to adding the coveted Ashes Trophy win to it.
Australia are leading the home series against England 2-0.
The 51-year-old former Test opener insisted that his thought process has not changed.
"I have never thought differently, to be honest. I have been consistent with what I have said for the last four years. I love my job," Langer was quoted as saying by 'Sydney Morning Herald'.
"The boys are playing well, no doubt about it, it's a great team to be involved in. So, nothing has changed from my point of view." Former skipper and much-respected Steve Waugh is one of those cricketing figures in Australian cricket who advocate splitting the coaching duties.
"Langer confirmed he wanted to remain in charge of the Test squad and the limited-overs teams in the long term, for there has been debate that the senior coach for the red-and-white-ball teams should be split," the report said.
"Langer’s senior assistant Andrew McDonald would be the ideal white-ball coach if Langer remained and the roles were split. McDonald, who listens closely to players and has an excellent rapport, is seen as a fine leader and also capable of guiding all three teams." Langer was given the job to overhaul the team's culture and regain the respect of the Australian public after the ball-tampering scandal of 2018.
Also Read : Going forward, isolated COVID-19 cases will not disrupt our home series: PCB
News Source : PTI
Do I believe I'm the right man? Yes I do: Silverwood
Melbourne, Dec 22 (Cricket News) Under-fire head coach Chris Silverwood has defended his team selection despite England suffering heavy defeats in the first two Tests of the Ashes, insisting he is still the "right man for the job".
England slumped to a nine-wicket defeat in Brisbane before losing by 275 runs at Adelaide, leading to sharp criticism of the team selections.
The visitors had opted to leave out the experienced pace duo of James Anderson and Stuart Broad on a green pitch in Brisbane while including spinner Jack Leach.
The left-arm spinner returned with poor figures of 1 for 102 in 13 overs and was dropped from the second Test with England depending on Root, Dawid Malan and Ollie Robinson for spin at Adelaide Oval.
Silverwood, who is also England's chief selector, said he will not change a thing when asked by the 'BBC' if he would pick the same teams.
"To be honest, I would," he said.
"There is always going to be divided opinion. You pick a team and not everybody's going to agree with you (but) I was happy with the skillset we had in the pink-ball Test, so I would pick the same team again." The third Test begins in Melbourne on Boxing Day and ahead of the departure of the team, Silverwood on Tuesday reiterated his stance. "We picked the best attack for those conditions and you look at the attack we had out, there's a lot of experience. I was happy with that attack this game and I was happy with that attack last game as well." Under Silverwood, England have lost nine and won only one of the last 11 Tests and many former players, including ex captain Michael Artherton, believes he should take responsibility for the two losses.
"Am I the right man to help the players get better? Yes, I believe I am. We have had those honest chats and I believe I have the right coaching staff around me to make that happen as well," Silverwood said.
"When you take a job like this you accept that (your job is on the line). It is what it is. Do I believe I'm the right man? Yes I do, or I wouldn't have taken the job in the first place. You're under pressure constantly, aren't you? "We knew it was going to be difficult when we came out here. Obviously we wanted to win but that is always going to be difficult. We have to be realistic about what we have, but we have to learn."
Also Read : It's all a bit friendly, get nasty: Vaughan's advice to England
News Source : PTI
It's all a bit friendly, get nasty: Vaughan's advice to England
London, Dec 22 (Cricket News) England are being "too nice" and need to "get nasty" against Australia in the Boxing Day Test to fight back in the ongoing Ashes series, feels former skipper Michael Vaughan.
England suffered heavy defeats in the first two Tests to be down 0-2 in the five-match series.
"It's too nice," Vaughan, who led England to 26 wins in 51 Tests, including the 2005 Ashes, said on Fox Cricket's Follow-On podcast.
"I see on the morning of the game they are all talking to Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon. I never had a conversation with Steve Waugh back in the day. I wouldn't have dared go and speak to Glenn McGrath on the morning of the game or Shane Warne. You just didn't.
"It's all a bit friendly. I'd get nasty with them … They somehow need to find that on day one. Get into the scrap. Chirp, do whatever, just get into the scrap." Vaughan wants England to bring a change in their attitude on the field.
"They are at that stage now where they have to change something," the 47-year-old vaughan, who scored 5719 runs in 82 Tests, said.
"It might be that they all get nasty, get nasty with each other. They all fall out. Who cares, but then come out and show a bit of spirit I actually want to see a bit of mongrel in the England side." Former skipper Michael Atherton, meanwhile, said Joe Root may lose his Test captaincy if England doesn't arrest the slide and overturn the 0-2 deficit in the ongoing series.
Root (23) surpassed Alastair Cook (22) to become the England captain with most losses in Test cricket following their 275-run loss in the Pink-ball Test at the Adelaide Oval.
"If the tour continues to go this badly, it is hard to see how Root will remain as captain," Artherton, who captained England in 54 Tests, told 'The Times'.
"Ashes tours have often done for England captains and Root is nearer the end of his cycle than the beginning. There is not a rash of alternatives, but the notion that there is no one to take over is the worst rationale for keeping the job." The 53-year-old also slammed head coach Chris Silverwood for taking "poor decisions", mainly in terms of selection of the team for the two Tests.
"As the head coach and main selector, he has to shoulder along with Joe Root. There have been a rash of poor decisions so far – selection, mainly – for which he now has the final call," Artherton said.
"For the past 12 months, lots of selections have been suspect; the move to invest responsibility for selection with the head coach was always a bad one." The third Test begins in Melbourne on December 26 and Atherton feels England need to address their batting woes.
"The batting needs urgent attention more generally, but given that no one else has played any cricket, I would give the same batsmen another chance," he said.
Also Read : IPL's Lucknow franchise appoints Vijay Dahiya as assistant coach
News Source : PTI
Jannik Sinner seeking to enter the top five in ATP rankings in 2022 season
(Tennis news) Jannik Sinner is the current youngest player in the top ten as he is only 20 years old and in his third year on the ATP tour. The Italian had a rapid rise to the top this year with four titles in five finals all coming on hard courts. Sinner started the season with a title at Melbourne 1 defeating Karen Khachanov in the semifinals, in the next two events he made first round exits. He will be expected to stage some upset at the 2022 Australian Open.
Sinner had never progressed beyond the fourth in Masters 1000 until this year when he made the finals at Miami defeating Khachanov for the second time this year and beat Roberto Bautista Agut in the semifinals. In the finals he lost to Hubert Hurkacz and at Barcelona he reached the semifinals by beating Andrey Rublev in straight sets. In the next 7 events, he did not progress beyond the fourth round until his title win at Washington where he beat four Americans on the way.
Sinner’s next title came at the Sofia Open where he was the defending champion. In the finals he defeated Gael Monfils for the second time in a row as he had beaten the Frenchmen at the US Open. Sinner then didn't drop for the second consecutive to win a title at Antwerp and went on to reach the semifinals at Vienna which projected him to career best ranking of 9.
Sinner was expected to play at the Nitto ATP Finals but a first round loss at the Paris Masters put him in the backseat. He then got a chance at his hometown when fellowmen Matteo Berrettini was injured and Sinner got off to a winning start as the crowd went berserk in his match against Hurkacz.
Sinner’s strokes are always on the offensive and hit flat with incredible force that causes him to master the hardcourts. Sinner has proven that even with very little experience, he can beat the elite players and with more practice can perform well in high pressure matches. The match against Carlos Alcaraz at Paris was supposed to be a trailer for what the rivalry holds in the future. Sinner is quick around the court and can also stretch to hit impressive winners.
Sinner is yet to make an impression at Grand Slams, he reached the quarter final stage at Roland Garros last year and that has been his only appearance at that level so far. He has only played at 8 Grand Slams so far but has many competitors aside him. Now with the top ten entry, Sinner will try to transfer his hardcourts supremacy into the Grand Slams as three of the four Grand Slams are held in fast moving courts. Sinner will need to progress deeper at the majors as he can then have a crack at the top five of the rankings.
Cummins, Hazlewood return as Australia name unchanged squad for remainder of the Ashes
Melbourne, Dec 20 (Cricekt News) Australia skipper Pat Cummins and pacer Josh Hazlewood are set to return for the Boxing Day Test against England as the country’s cricket board named an unchanged 15-member squad for the remainder of the ongoing Ashes series.
Cummins had been unavailable for the ongoing second Test after being deemed a close contact of a person who had tested positive for COVID-19, while Hazlewood was ruled out of the ongoing match with a side strain he sustained in the series opener at the Gabba.
Jhye Richardson had replaced Hazlewood while Michael Laser had been handed a last minute debut.
Under-fire opener Marcus Harris has retained his spot for the remaining three fixtures alongside all others who featured in the second Test, while Usman Khawaja could also be asked to open the innings.
The fourth Test is slated to be played in Sydney from January 5 while the final game is a Day and Night fixture in Hobart, starting January 14.
Australia squad: Pat Cummins (c), Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, Jhye Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner.
Also Read : Boxing Day Test between India and SA to be played without spectators: Report
News Source : PTI
England Women announce Ashes squad and Women’s A squad
(Cricket news) England Women have announced the Women’s Ashes squad and England Women's A squad which will accompany the senior group of players throughout the tour. The senior group comprises 17 players and 12 players will be from the England Women’s A squad with the possibility of players in the A squad to be promoted into the Ashes squad while on tour.
England Women's Ashes Squad
Heather Knight (Western Storm, captain), Tammy Beaumont (Lightning), Maia Bouchier (Southern Vipers), Katherine Brunt (Northern Diamonds), Kate Cross (Thunder), Freya Davies (South East Stars), Charlie Dean (Southern Vipers), Sophia Dunkley (South East Stars), Sophie Ecclestone (Thunder), Tash Farrant (South East Stars), Sarah Glenn (Central Sparks), Amy Jones (Central Sparks), Nat Sciver (Northern Diamonds, vice-captain), Anya Shrubsole (Western Storm), Mady Villiers (Sunrisers), Lauren Winfield-Hill (Northern Diamonds), Danni Wyatt (Southern Vipers)
England Women's A Squad
Emily Arlott (Central Sparks), Lauren Bell (Southern Vipers), Alice Capsey (South East Stars), Alice Davidson-Richards (South East Stars), Georgia Elwiss (Southern Vipers), Kirstie Gordon (Lightning), Eve Jones (Central Sparks), Beth Langston (Northern Diamonds), Emma Lamb (Thunder), Bryony Smith (South East Stars), Ellie Threlkeld (Thunder), Issy Wong (Central Sparks)
Head Coach Lisa Keightley said: "It's always exciting to head to Australia to take on the challenge of winning the Ashes and we're really looking forward to going out there and making some memories as a team.
"This is the first time we've taken an England Women's A squad alongside the senior team, which is a big step forward for us. It gives us great depth, and provides so much competition for places. It's also an invaluable development opportunity for those players pushing for senior selection.
"Similarly, it's also a good chance to get more 50-over cricket under our belts ahead of our defence of the ICC Women's World Cup in New Zealand.
"We've got a nice blend of experienced pros and youngsters, and it's a trip we've been preparing for since the end of our summer. A multi-format series is a great test of all our skills, and we can't wait to get out there."
England Women A will take on Australia A in 50-over and 20-over fixtures, while also playing the senior England Women's team in a number of internal warm-up fixtures.
Women's Ashes Fixtures
Thursday January 27-30: Only Test Match, Canberra, 12am GMT (4 points)
Friday February 4: 1st IT20, Sydney, 9.10am (2 points)
Sunday February 6: 2nd IT20, Sydney, 9.10am (2 points)
Thursday February 10: 3rd IT20, Adelaide, 9.10am (2 points)
Sunday February 13: 1st ODI, Adelaide, 12.05am (2 points)
Wednesday February 16: 2nd ODI, Melbourne, 12.05am (2 points)
Saturday February 19: 3rd ODI, Melbourne, 12.05am (2 points)
England Women's A Fixtures
Wednesday January 26: 1st T20, England Women A v Australia A
Friday January 28: 2nd T20, England Women A v Australia A
Sunday January 30: 3rd T20, England Women A v Australia A
Saturday February 5: 1st 50-over match, England Women A v Australia A
Wednesday February 9: 2nd 50-over match, England Women A v Australia A
Friday February 11: 3rd 50-over match, England Women A v Australia A
Monday January 17-19: Three-Day Warm-Up, England Women's XI v England Women A
Saturday January 22-23: Two-Day Warm-Up, England Women's XI v England Women A
Wednesday February 2: Governor General's XI v England, Sydney
Rafael Nadal wins Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award for the fifth time
(Tennis news) The ATP year awards came to an end with the final award winner being Rafael Nadal who won the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship for the fourth consecutive time. He first won it in 2010 and then has been the winner since 2018. Nadal played 29 matches this year and won titles at Rome and Barcelona.
Nadal last played at Washington after which he ended the season early in August. He is currently recovering from a foot injury, the Spaniard will be seen in action in the first week of January at Melbourne. This year marked his 20th year on tour with his entry coming as a teeanger, he even won the ATP newcomer award in 2003 and 2 years later he won the most improved player of the year title.
“I can’t be happier to receive the Sportsmanship Award one more time from my colleagues on the Tour,” Nadal said. “It means a lot to me, so thanks a lot to every player that thinks that I am the right one to receive this award.
"Honestly, it means a lot to me because I try to always be correct on court. Thanks for believing in me and I wish all the very best for the 2022 season to all my colleagues on the Tour and I hope to see you soon.”
The ATP also announced the best tournaments of the year from the 250, 500 and Masters 1000 series. Qatar ExxonMobil Open was the winner in the 250 series, having won the title in 2015, 2017 and 2019. It is held in Doha at the start of the year and is played on hardcourts. Roger Federer has won it thrice with Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray winning it twice. Nadal has won the singles title once and has been a winner in doubles on four occasions.
The Erste Bank Open which has been held since 1974 won the best event in the 500 series for the first time. It is held at Vienna in October and is played on hardcourts; Alexander Zverev won the title as there have been 7 different winners in as many years. Andy Murray has won the title twice with his last title coming 2016 and Djokovic’s lone win came 14 years back. Federer had won the 2002, 2003 in which he also won the doubles in 2003.
The BNP Paribas Open also known as Indian Wells Open since it is played at Indian Wells garden. It is the first event among the nine Masters 1000 series as it is held in March but this year it was held in October due to the pandemic. It has been winning the title since 2014 except in 2020 as the event was not held for the first time because of the pandemic. Federer and Djokovic lead with 5 titles each. Nadal has won the singles event thrice and the doubles event twice with Marc Lopez.
TT veteran Sharath Kamal undergoes procedure to treat heel issue
New Delhi, Dec 13 (Table Tennis News) India's veteran table tennis star A Sharath Kamal has undergone a medical procedure to treat his "severe heel pain".
The 39-year-old Commonwealth Games gold medallist paddler tweeted alongside a picture of him on a hospital bed.
"Was experiencing severe heel pain since 8 months, that got worse in the last 3 months. Good to get treatment post #WorldChampionships now, with preparations starting soon for #CommonwealthGames, and #AsianGames in the coming year!" Sharath tweeted.
"(I) just have some calcium deposit due to wear and tear.. so had to do a small procedure.. need 3 days complete rest," he told PTI.
With multiple medals at top international tournaments, Sharath remains one of the country's finest players in his sport. His prowess was also in full display during his match against the mighty Ma Long in the men's singles round of 32 match at the Tokyo Olympics.
He has nine national titles under his belt, and he made history by winning India's first table tennis gold at the Commonwealth Games, in Melbourne in 2006.
The Asian Games and CWG are slated for next year in Hangzhou, China, and Birmingham respectively.
Also Read : Payas, Suhana to return home with bronze from the Worlds Youth Table Tennis
News Source : PTI
Mandhana ideal choice as Mithali's successor: Shantha Rangaswamy
New Delhi, Dec 9 (Cricket news) Smriti Mandhana is the ideal candidate to lead India after ODI and Test skipper Mithali Raj retires following the conclusion of the Women's World Cup in New Zealand next year, said former captain Shantha Rangaswamy.
Harmanpreet Kaur has been the T20 captain since 2016 but her inconsistent run as a batter doesn't make her an automatic choice to replace Mithali in the longer formats.
Mandhana, on the other hand, has established herself as among the best batters in the world.
"Smriti is the ideal choice after Mithali retires. She has been an excellent performer for India and should be given the opportunity to lead the country," Shantha, who led India to their first ever Test win back in 1976, told PTI.
Shantha, who also happens to be a BCCI Apex Council member, feels captaincy has impacted Harmanpreet's batting which she thinks is key for India's success.
Mandhana, who has played four Tests, 62 ODIs and 84 T20s, was last seen in the Women's Big Bash in Australia where he also scored a hundred against Melbourne Renegades.
Harmanpreet, who has been battling with form and fitness over the last 12 months, also did well in the Big Bash and it remains to be seen if she can carry that form to the highest level.
India's next assignment will be the away series against New Zealand before the World Cup in March-April. India had finished runners-up in 2017.
With the Women's Challenger concluding on Thursday, Shantha said the competition showed there is no dearth of talent in the country.
"The event has unearthed a lot of talent which augurs well for women's cricket. It also shows that we are ready for a Women's IPL," she added.
Also Read : Every angle of BCCI's decision of appointing Rohit Sharma as ODI captain after sacking Virat Kohli
News Source : PTI
Would love to see Paine play again for Australia: Hockley
Melbourne, Dec 9 (Cricket news) Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley has backed Tim Paine to return to country's Test squad, saying he wants to see the former skipper "playing and performing" for Australia again.
Paine took an indefinite mental health break from the game after stepping down as Test captain ahead of the Ashes in the wake of a 'sexting' scandal, which involved him sending inappropriate texts to a female co-worker in 2017.
"Would love to see him play again, for both his state and for Australia," Hockley told SEN.
"We want to see him back out there, playing and performing, as quickly as possible." Paine, who turned 37 on Wednesday, was handed the reins of Australian cricket at a time when the image of the game was in jeopardy following the ball-tampering scandal that happened in Cape Town in 2018.
Following Paine's decision to quit, there were speculations that he might never play for Australia again as the wicketkeeper-batter was expected to retire at the end of this summer.
Cricket Australia also received a lot of flak for the way it handled the issue with Cricket Tasmania chair Andrew Gaggin calling it "appalling" and "the worst since Bill Lawry over 50 years ago." Hockley said it was Paine's call to quit as captain and "that was a decision that the board felt was appropriate" and it was trying to support him.
"The head coach has been down to see him, we've had members of our high performance set up go down to Tassie. The Tasmanian cricket community have put their arms around him," said Hockley, who was appointed chief executive on an interim basis in 2020 before being made permanent a year later.
"We are all very, very concerned - to make sure that Tim is well supported. A lot of respect for Tim for owning his mistake and our job now is to really support him."
Also Read : Captain Cummins grabs maiden Ashes fifer to give massively swing the game Australia's way at the Gabba
news Source : PTI
Mumbai City, Jamshedpur FC look to extend winning run
Margao, Dec 8 (Football news) Defending champions Mumbai City FC will have their task cut out when they take on high-flying Jamshedpur FC in an Indian Super League (ISL) match here on Thursday.
Mumbai had a good start to the season under new coach Des Buckingham, currently sitting at the top of the points table.
After a shock defeat to Hyderabad FC, Mumbai City registered back-to-back wins, including a 5-1 hammering of arch-rivals ATK Mohun Bagan.
But Owen Coyle's Jamshedpur are snapping at their heels, and are placed second having eight points from four games.
The Islanders have been at their aggressive best, something they adopted from previous coach Sergio Lobera’s coaching manual.
Igor Angulo has been in red-hot form for Mumbai, scoring four goals so far. Buckingham's men have netted the most number of goals this season and barring the game against Hyderabad FC, they have looked like an intimidating unit.
Buckingham, though, is not getting carried away.
"It's a good start and that's all. It doesn't matter where you are in the league right now, it's about where you finish," said the former Melbourne City assistant coach.
Mumbai have conceded two goals in the last two outings despite winning by 3-1 and 5-1 margins.
Buckingham said as a unit, he would love to see his side keep a clean sheet but at the same time, he would not change the way they play.
"We would love to win every game with a clean sheet. But we want to play an expansive game of football and in an exciting way. I would not want to change that." Jamshedpur, on the other hand, have looked their part this season, staying unbeaten in four games.
Coyle's charges were unstoppable against ATK Mohun Bagan in their previous match, not letting last year's finalists settle down into any kind of rhythm.
"We have a group of players who work their socks off and have quality. The boys are always hungry to do well for the club, for themselves and our fans which is very important," said Coyle.
Asked about his Indian players doing well, Coyle said: "They are working very hard and the foreign players are helping them. It's nice to see young players doing well." Jitendra Singh was excellent against ATK Mohun Bagan, pulling the strings expertly in the middle of the park.
Jamshedpur FC can take heart from the fact that they and NorthEast United were the only two teams to stay unbeaten against Mumbai in last ISL.
The first game between the sides ended in a 1-1 draw while Jamshedpur ran out 2-0 winners in the second game.
Also Read : Consistency key for Hyderabad as Bengaluru attempt resurgence
News Source : PTI
Bianca Andreescu and Serena Williams to miss 2022 Australian Open
(Tennis news) Bianca Andreescu has announced that she will not be competing in the 2022 Australian Open. The 2019 US Open champion said she wants a mental break and will take some time off the tour. She finished her 2021 season ranked No.46.
Bianca also had to miss the 2020 season due to injury, the former World No.4 played her first match after a year at the Australian Open in February. She was the runner up in WTA 1000 Miami Open in March and recorded wins against Garbine Muguruza and Maria Sakkari before retiring in the final against No.1 Ashleigh Barty. Andreescu is the second tennis player after Naomi Osaka to have announced a break in the tour citing mental health as this year the sports players have repeatedly focused on mental health.
"I want to give myself extra time to re-set, recover, and grow from this and continue to inspire by doing charity work, giving back and working on myself because I know by doing this, I will come back stronger than ever”, said Andreescu.
"I will therefore not start my season in Australia this year, but will take some additional time to reflect, train, and be ready for the upcoming 2022 tennis season."
Serena Williams also will not be seen at the Australian Open as she still needs time to recover from injury. The seven time champion also missed out the US Open this year, she last won the Australian Open in 2017 which also was her last Grand Slam title. Serena is only 1 behind Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam titles and is still a tough competitor in her 26th year on tour.
"While this is never an easy decision to make, I am not where I need to be physically to compete," Serena said.
"Melbourne is one of my favorite cities to visit and I look forward to playing at the AO every year. I will miss seeing the fans, but am excited to return and compete at my highest level."
Serena last played a match a few months ago at Wimbledon where she had to retire from the first round due to an injury. She reached the semifinals at the Australian Open and the fourth round at the French Open and totally played 17 matches this year. Bianca played 29 matches this year and her best performance in Grand Slams came at the US Open where she reached the fourth round; she last played at Indian Wells in October.
The US Open this year saw withdrawal of many top players as now the start of the next season has already seen withdrawals. The Australian Open is scheduled to start from 17th January.
Bradman's history-making bat up for auction
Melbourne, Dec 8 (Cricket news) A piece of cricketing history, the bat used by the legendary Donald Bradman in the 1934 Ashes series with which he scored two triple-centuries is up for auction.
Bradman had also used the bat to score his highest ever Test partnership of 451 runs with opening batter Bill Ponsford.
The bat has been on display at the Bradman Museum in Bowral in the NSW Southern Highlands since 1999, on loan from a private owner.
The William Sykes and Son bat was used in all the five Test matches of the Ashes in England where Bradman amassed a total of 758 runs.
Bradman, who had scored 6996 runs from 52 Tests at an astounding average of 99.94, wrote his top scores from the series on the bat, including 304 at Headingley and 244 at the Oval.
"It's provenance is indisputable," museum Executive Director Rina Hore was quoted as saying by abc.net.au.
"Sir Donald has actually written in his own handwriting the fact that he made those scores with this bat.
"I think it is a treasure." According to the report, there is no reserve price for the bat. Another of Bradman's bats sold for Australian dollar 110,000 in 2018.
Bradman used that bat after the Bodyline series in Australia. The tactic was employed by the British to counter the prolific run-scoring of Bradman.
Also Read : England gear up to take on the Gabba challenge without Jimmy Anderson and Johnny Bairstow
News Source : PTI
Who will make way for Virat Kohli? Rahul Dravid's big selection headache ahead of the Mumbai Test against New Zealand
(Cricket news) The 1st Test match between India and New Zealand at Kanpur ended in a draw. Captain Virat Kohli was rested for the game and his replacement was debutant Shreyas Iyer. The Mumbai batter scored 105 runs in his debut innings and then went on to score 65 in the 2nd innings.
Virat Kohli will be back for the 2nd and final Test in Mumbai which leaves Rahul Dravid with a big decision to make. In both the innings at Kanpur, India were in a difficult situation when Iyer walked in. The debutant showed incredible character and played according to the conditions to get his team to a winnable position. In hindsight, if Iyer had failed to perform, Kohli would've taken his place and there wouldn't be a discussion about it.
Kohli himself hasn't been in the best of form but being the captain and the fact that he is 'Virat Kohli' means that he has to play. The game will be very important for Virat Kohli on a personal level. A big innings in the match will set the tone for the Test series in South Africa where India has never won a red ball series before. The all-rounders Axar Patel, Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin all did well in the match so dropping them is out of question.
Shubhman Gill scored a half century in his first game after returning from injury. Which leaves Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane. Agarwal was dropped after disappointing performances in the first two Tests against Australia. He then batted in the middle at Gabba but scored only 38 and 9. He was first in line to replace Gill in the England series but concussion and KL Rahul's amazing performance kept him on the bench. He returned to the side at Kanpur but couldn't capitalise as he got 13 and 17 in the two innings.
Rahane and Pujara have had a difficult two years or so with the Willow. Rahane scored a magnificent century at Melbourne after which he had only one fifty which was against England in Chennai and 49 against England at Lord's both of which were very crucial for the team's win. Pujara on the other hand scored two gritty fifties in Australia, one of which secured a draw in Sydney and the other inspired a legendary victory at the Gabba. Since then he also has had a very poor run. His only notable performances have been a 45 at Lord's, followed by a 91 at Headingley and a 61 at the Oval.
Indian fans fear that Shreyas Iyer could be given the same treatment that Karun Nair got. After hitting a triple century in only his 3rd Test, Nair was dropped in the very next Test match in favour of Ajinkya Rahane. He then gave underwhelming performances in two home Tests against Australia and never played for India again. The same could happen to Iyer as Dravid has already come out and said that Rahane may be just one or two big innings away from getting back into form. That added to him being the vice captain makes dropping him more difficult.
At this point in time, Ajinkya Rahane looks the obvious choice to make way for Virat Kohli. Team India needs to pick a side that will win the Test match and not think about the future or fairness or harshness. India needs to beat New Zealand. All the away Test series wins will be massively overlooked if India lose or draw a home series against New Zealand.
Cummins was asked to 'confess' before getting Australia captain job
Melbourne, Nov 28 (Cricket news) Australia's newly-appointed Test captain Pat Cummins has revealed that he was asked to share any secrets he might have had before he was handed the leadership role by the selection panel.
Cummins was made Australia's 47th Test captain ahead of Ashes series after Tim Paine stepped down last week and took an indefinite break from cricket following the 'sexting scandal'.
While Cummins was choosen for the top job, former skipper Steve Smith was handed the vice-captaincy, three years after he was suspended for a year for his role in the ball-tampering scandal that rocked Australian cricket in 2018.
Asked if cricket Australia panel had asked him "anything like a confession" before being appointed as captain, Cummins replied in an affirmative.
"Yeah, there were a couple of questions. I won't go into detail," Cummins told ABC sport during an interview but did not share the details.
"It was a really good open discussion. We talked about a lot of different things. So we both left it feeling really comfortable," said the 28-year-old Cummins.
The five-person panel comprised selectors George Bailey and Tony Dodemaide, former Australia batter and current CA board member Mel Jones, CEO Nick Hockley and chair Richard Freudenstein.
Australia had little time to prepare for the Ashes with the pace trio of Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc lacking in game time in red-ball cricket as they were busy with the ICC T20 World Cup.
However, Australian bowling coach Andrew McDonald said he won't accept any excuse from his pace bowling unit as the opening Test begins on December 8.
"...It was always going to be a shortened prep, and less than ideal switching formats and quarantine and all that stuff," McDonald said during Australia's first practice session on Sunday.
"But I think the art of the modern-day cricketer is to be able to adapt to that. There'll be no excuses from our end and I'm sure there'll be no excuses from England's end either." The members of Australia's Ashes squad, who had participated at the T20 World Cup in UAE, are currently training at their quarantine centre in Gold Coast.
"We've had fantastic facilities up here. The weathe has been challenging at times but we've still been able to get out into the centre. Also, these guys have got a lot of Test experience to draw upon," McDonald told news.com.au.
"So changing formats is something that they've been able to deal with across their careers. I think we'll be really, really, really well-prepared."
Also Read : I only had 12 minutes to get set for the game: Bharat
News Source : PTI
With Iyer, Gill scoring runs, pressure mounts on Pujara-Rahane duo ahead of South Africa tour
Kanpur, Nov 25 (Cricket news) Time is running out for Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane after another failure and this time, in reasonably conducive home conditions against an attack which wasn't half as threatening as Australia and England.
Both Pujara and Rahane squandered decent starts on a day when the willows of debutant Shreyas Iyer and Shubman Gill produced half centuries against New Zealand in the opening Test here.
And the failure was against an attack which did not have the immensely talented and crafty Trent Boult, whose banana inswing in early morning moisture makes life difficult for batters.
Iyer's arrival with a bang in Test match scenario and Gill being back among runs, albeit as an opener, would certainly set alarm bells ringing for the captain (Rahane) and vice-captain (Pujara) in this Test match.
The Indian squad for the South Africa series will be announced in some days and even if the seasoned duo board that flight to Johannesburg, captain Virat Kohli, head coach Rahul Dravid and white-ball captain Rohit Sharma, who is an integral part of red ball think-tank will have to take an enormous leap of faith to give them a whole series in the Rainbow Nation.
Before KL Rahul got injured, Gill was being considered as a middle-order enforcer, an option they want to check out in long-term.
He played as an opener but Gill's highest overseas first-class score on foreign soil is 204 batting at No.5 in the West Indies, when he was there with the A team.
He is a youngster and would be ready to take on any role that the team wants. And Iyer has also passed his first Test with flying colours.
Yes, the track at Bull Ring, Kingsmead or Newlands won't be a patch on Green Park but what Dravid and Kohli would have wanted to check out was how he reacts to a situation where there has been a middle-order collapse.
Without a doubt, Iyer has responded well and made a case for himself.
So if Gill and Iyer, both of whom have come through the ranks now push the door open, there are only two vulnerable slots at the moment -- Pujara and Rahane.
And wait? An India A team is playing in South Africa at the moment where Priyank Panchal has scored 96 and Abhimanyu Easwaran, at the time of this report, was batting on 80. Both are openers but given a choice won't mind batting at No 3.
Rohit, after a stupendous tour of England, and KL Rahul, who is one of the best all format players, automatically select themselves and so does skipper Kohli.
Rahane's average before this game was 19 in 11 Tests in 2021 and if one is fair to him, he did look good in his 33 before he couldn't apprehend that Kyle Jamieson would pitch one around the fourth stump channel but the ball won't have enough height to play the square cut.
In case of Pujara, the dismissal was an action replay of what has been happening for last two years now. James Anderson had got him in England this season with a similar delivery during the Test series in August.
A ball that moves in the air and one shapes to play inside the line while it lands and then moves away, forcing the batter to dangle his bat and get a feel of the ball. 99 out of 100 times, there will be an edge and it was no different on Thursday.
Only difference, it wasn't Wellington or Christchurch but Kanpur where the height was below knee roll but the quality was as good as it could have been.
It's a skill delivery that top class practitioners like Southee and Anderson bowl but of late Pujara hasn't had an answer. One wishes that the man on whom Pujara modelled his game, Dravid has the solution for him.
Worse, on a day when Gill and Iyer made a mockery of the New Zealand spinners, even Rahane in his brief stay, Pujara scored 26 off 88 balls and it wasn't as if he dropped the anchor.
He wasn't even able to find gaps when Ajaz Patel and Will Somerville were bowling loose deliveries.
Patel and Somerville in fact kept a short mid-wicket and a traditional mid-wicket bowling on the off-middle line. It was the same delivery that Gill and Iyer were able come down the track and lift it in the arc between deep mid-wicket and long-on.
Pujara, however, was trying to whip it down the ground towards square leg. He wasn't getting past the fielders.
Couple of days before the Test match, Pujara spoke about being "fearless" in England which helped him. So it was extremely baffling to see him again get into a shell against an attack with spinners, who wouldn't be a first XI pick in any of the top Ranji Trophy states.
"It's not about India. Have you seen Pujara dominate ever in a first-class game of late. He played that Ranji Trophy final against Bengal and took 200 plus balls to score 60 odd.
"Who were bowlers? Akash Deep, Mukesh Kumar, Ishan Porel? You want me to believe if Pujara played 100 balls against these bowlers, he can't dominate the next 100 balls. It's about mindset and lip-service won't help," a former India player told PTI on the day.
In case of Rahane, he said that a tangible contribution need not be 100 but then Rahane knows his numbers well enough.
In his last 28 completed Test innings, he has one hundred -- the 112 against Australia at Melbourne which came in a winning cause.
The only other notable contribution is 61 at Lord's.
On the eve of the match, Rahane said that "even 30s and 40s which help in winning, matter." No question about that statement but then the 'question' is who is making that statement? If it's a lower-order batter, then it doesn't matter but if it's a specialist top-order player, it could mean two things.
Either the player has lowered the bar for himself or he is extremely short in confidence or both.
Can an Indian team afford two out of form players at numbers 3 and 5 on a tour where they have the best chance to get past the Proteas? The answer will be out shortly but for the once dependable duo, time indeed is of essence.
Also Read : Hopefully it swings a bit in morning and we can get them: Jamieson
News Source : PTI
Heroic Harmanpreet Kaur becomes the first Indian to win the WBBL Player of the Tournament award
(Cricket news) After a difficult year in the international circuit, Harmanpreet Kaur is back to her best. Kaur has scored 399 runs in the WBBL group stage playing for Melbourne Renegades. She has an average of 66.50 and strike-rate of 135.25. The all-rounder has at least one more game to play and could top the campaign off with the winners trophy for her side.
India's T20 captain had been struggling for form in the past year or so but burst onto the scene in the WBBL this season. Her prowess with the willow has never been in question and it was only a matter of time before she started scoring but her bowling has come as a mild surprise 15 wickets in the campaign which is only 6 less than the highest wicket taker Jess Jonassen.
Talking about the award Kaur said "I'm extremely delighted, it's something very big that I have achieved. I'm very thankful to my team and all the support staff, they have been great during this time and have supported me a lot. It's been totally a team effort -- I was just doing the job the team required from me,"
"We have a team that has gelled together. We support each other and that's what we have been doing. I haven't put any extra pressure on myself, I've just enjoyed being here and supporting my teammates," she added
India need Harmanpreet Kaur to stay in great touch for the New Zealand tour next year and the ODI World Cup after that. The one takeaway for Indian captain Mithali Raj from the WBBL should be to give Harmanpreet Kaur the ball more often than she has done.
Australia will be without captain for 15 years if it is looking for perfect skipper, says Clarke
Melbourne, Nov 24 (Cricket news) The Australian Test team will be without a captain for the next 15 years if the country's cricket administrators are looking for someone with a "prefect" and unblemished record, feels former skipper Michael Clarke.
Cricket Australia (CA) is set to appoint a new captain after Tim Paine stepped down from the post in the wake of a 'sexting' scandal.
Fast bowling spearhead Pat Cummins has emerged as the frontrunner to succeed Paine and former skipper Steve Smith is also in the reckoning.
Clarke pointed out how Ricky Ponting became one of Australia's greatest captains after overcoming an erratic start to his international career.
"Go back in my time even to Ricky Ponting. If that's the case, he never would have captained Australia," Clarke told 'Big Sports Breakfast'.
"He had a punch up in the middle of a Bourbon & Beefsteak. Are you not going to give him the job because of that? "He's a great example. He's shown you how time, experience, maturity, playing at the highest level and even the captaincy turned him around." Paine is the only specialist wicketkeeper in Australia's 15-man squad to face England in the upcoming Ashes but chairman of selectors George Bailey said he is not final for the first Test starting in Brisbane on December 8.
Clarke admitted that the Australian Test captain needed to be held to a high standard, but he said the team would end up with few options if it has unrealistic expectations.
"Of course, you have to uphold certain standards but are you going to say: 'He can change, he can mature," he said.
"Where is the backing of the player as well? You'll be looking for 15 years (if you want a captain who hasn't done something wrong), we won't have a captain." Clarke said he was still confused as to why Paine resigned over the 2017 incident.
"I don't get it," he said.
"If Cricket Australia were there telling him he had no choice, then he should've stood there and said: 'Listen, that's on you. You guys sack me, go for it but I gave you this information four years ago. I handed it to you, I was open, I was honest, I was straight and I was cleared'.
"Just because it's the public, the rules of engagement are different? I don't think so. It seems to me Cricket Tasmania are saying exactly that, hang on, you cleared him four years ago," Clarke said.
Also Read : He's got the support of all the players: Harris on Paine joining squad ahead of Ashes
News Source : PTI
Reinstating Smith as Australia captain will only add to the circus, says Ian Healy
Melbourne, Nov 23 (Cricket news) If Steve Smith is reinstated as captain of the Australian Test squad for the upcoming Ashes following Tim Paine's exit after the sexting scandal it will only "add to the circus", said former wicketkeeper-batter Ian Healy.
Paine had stepped down as Australia's Test skipper on last Friday after it emerged that he had sent unsolicited explicit image of himself along with a string of lewd messages to a female co-worker in 2017, months before he was made captain.
Smith, whom Paine had replaced as captain following the ball-tampering scandal in 2018, has now emerged as one of the candidates for the captaincy role.
However, Healy said making Smith captain again won't help Australian cricket.
"We're going to add to the circus by Steve Smith being appointed after that (the Tim Paine episode)," Healy told Sportsday with Satts and Jase on Tuesday.
"I've got no problems with Steve Smith captaining Australia again; he paid a heavy price for just being a lazy captain, that's about all he was guilty of." Smith along with David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were handed bans by Cricket Australia for their respective roles in the sandpaper gate episode in Cape Town, which rocked Australian cricket in 2018.
"Too many people around there think he was actually in there scratching that ball in South Africa, but if they've forgotten what happened he just wasn't aware enough as captain to pull the reigns in and stop what was going to happen," Healy said.
"That was his (Smith) crime, and he got a year (ban) for it. So, I've got no problems, but I don't think he needs to come in as vice-captain or straight after Paine's indiscretion." On Paine's decision to step down, Healy said, "Paine resigned of his own (choice), Cricket Australia said he could stay and the coach wanted him to stay on, (but) he just didn't want to be a distraction in this circus." Smith, who has scored 7540 runs at an average of 61.8 in 77 Tests, captained Australia in 34 Tests, guiding the team to 18 wins, 10 losses and six draws.
The first Ashes Test begins at Brisbane on December 8.
Also Read : Time is right to make Pat Cummins captain, says Warne
News Source : PTI
Time is right to make Pat Cummins captain, says Warne
Melbourne, Nov 23 (Cricket news) Spin legend Shane Warne has backed Pat Cummins to be Australia's next Test captain, saying the time is right for the pace spearhead to take over the role from Tim Paine.
Paine stepped down from the post on Friday after being investigated by Cricket Australia (CA) for sending explicit messages to a female co-worker in 2017.
Warne feels Cummins, who is the current vice-captain, should be named the captain immediately ahead of the Ashes series.
"For me, the time is right to make Pat Cummins captain, something I thought even before the events of Friday unfolded," Warne wrote in Australia's The Daily Telegraph.
The 28-year-old Cummins, who made his debut in 2011, has snapped 164 wickets in 32 Tests.
"The poster boy, respected and loved the world over, Pat Cummins should now be named captain, and either Matt Wade, Josh Inglis or Alex Carey should get their chance to come in and play Paine's role in the Test team." Warne singled out that Inglis is a "360 degree player" and would be the right man for the wicketkeeping job.
"Inglis gets my vote. He's got silky smooth hands behind the stumps, he's a 360 degree player with the bat and coming off three first class hundreds last season for Western Australia," he wrote.
"He's a great team man who I saw first hand at the London Spirit this year. He's 26. Get him in." The former leg-spinner also empathised with Paine, saying he is just human and shouldn't be judged.
"It was sad to see what happened last Friday on so many levels and the circumstances in which Tim was forced to stand down. I really feel for him, what he's going through, and what his family is going through," Warne wrote.
"I'm not judging him on this incident. Just because Tim is in the public eye doesn't mean he won't make a mistake. Sportspersons are human, they have feelings. Let's stop the judgement. It's not our place to do that." The Ashes begins with the first Test at Brisbane on December 8.
Also Read : ICC confident teams will have no problem playing 2025 Champions Trophy in Pakistan
News Source : PTI
Chief Selector Bailey to 'step aside' from voting on Paine's fate
Melbourne, Nov 23 (Cricket news) Chief selector George Bailey has decided to recuse himself from voting if there is a split decision on whether Tim Paine should be included in the Australian Test side following the 'sexting scandal'.
Paine on last Friday quit Test captaincy ahead of the Ashes series after his four-year-old alleged lewd conversation with a then female colleague came to light recently.
The wicketkeeper batter, however, has expressed his desire to play in the opening Ashes Test in Brisbane starting December 8.
"If the panel was not in agreeance with Tim's position going forward and it was going to come down to a vote, then I would step aside and leave that to Tony and Justin (Langer) to work through," Bailey, who shares a personal and business relationship with Paine, said on the Cricket Etc podcast.
"They're both aware of that." Apart from Bailey, who succeeded Trevor Hohns as head selector earlier this year, coach Justin Langer and Tony Dodemaide are part of the three-man selection panel, which will make the call.
The 36-year-old Paine had undergone an invasive surgery in September for pain in his neck and left arm due to a bulging disc.
He grabbed six catches for Tasmania's second XI in Hobart on Monday after returning to cricket.
If he is ignored for the first Test against England, it could spell the end of his international career.
"One thing Tim's always been pretty good at is the preparation side of things. He is quite meticulous," said Bailey, a former Australia white-ball skipper.
"There is no doubt it is not an ideal preparation, but we'll watch this game and he'll know how he gets through the four days as much as anyone." Cricket Tasmania has slammed Cricket Australia for the treatment meted out to Paine.
"At its meeting on 22 November, 2021, the Cricket Tasmania Board unanimously expressed its continuing support of Tim Paine and condemnation of his treatment by Cricket Australia," it said.
Paine had taken over the captaincy from Steve Smith following the infamous ball-tampering episode in Cape Town in 2018.
Cricket Tasmania chairman Andrew Gaggin backed Paine.
"In conversations I have had in recent days it is clear that the anger amongst the Tasmanian cricket community and general public is palpable," he said.
"Tim Paine has been a beacon for Australian cricket over the past four years and instrumental in salvaging the reputation of the national team after the calamity of Cape Town.
"Yet, at a time when CA should have supported Tim, he was evidently regarded as dispensable. The treatment afforded to the Australian Test captain by Cricket Australia has been appalling, and the worst since Bill Lawry over 50 years ago." Lawry, who captained Australia in 25 Tests, was unceremoniously dumped as skipper and player midway through the 1970-71 Ashes. He came to know about the decision only after it was broadcasted on radio.
"The Cricket Tasmania Board reaffirmed its view that Paine should not have been put in a position where he felt the need to resign over an incident that was determined by an independent inquiry at the time to not be a breach of the Code of Conduct and was a consensual and private exchange that occurred between two mature adults and was not repeated," Gaggin said.
"Cricket Tasmania will continue to support Tim on and off the field, and is very pleased to see his impressive return in the Second XI game Tasmania is currently playing against South Australia."
Also Read : India's ideal playing XI for the 1st Test against New Zealand in Kanpur
News Source : PTI
My running days are over, says Akhtar before going for knee replacement
Lahore, Nov 22 (Cricket news) One of cricket's all-time fastest bowlers, Shoaib Akhtar has revealed that his "running days are over" as the former Pakistan speed merchant is going for a knee replacement surgery.
The enigmatic Akhtar's mercurial career was often dogged by injuries. Two years ago, Akhtar, 46, underwent a reconstruction knee surgery in Melbourne.
Akhtar posted the update on his twitter handle alongside a picture of himself following what looked like a session of physical activity.
"My running days are over as am leaving for total knee replacement in Australia Melbourne very soon," Akhtar tweeted.
The 'Rawalpindi Express' also posted the same on his Instagram account.
Akhtar, who is considered the world's fastest bowler of all time and nicknamed 'Rawalpindi Express', retired from all forms of cricket in 2011. He is now analysing various cricketing events on his YouTube channel.
He played 46 Tests and 163 ODIs for Pakistan in which he scalped 178 and 247 wickets respectively. He also took 19 T20I wickets in 15 appearances.
Akhtar played his last international game, an ODI, against New Zealand in 2011, in which he bagged one wicket.
Akhtar holds the record for bowling the fastest ball at 161.3 kph.
Also read : A bowler needs to be brave and confident in shorter formats like T20, T10: Adil Rashid
News Source : PTI
Harmanpreet named in WBBL Team of the Tournament
Adelaide, Nov 22 (Cricket news) Indian T20 skipper Harmanpreet Kaur has been named in the Women's Big Bash League's official 'Team of the Tournament' after her stellar all-round performance for Melbourne Renegades this season.
Kaur has shone bright with both bat and ball for the Renegades, scoring 399 runs with three half-centuries. Her strike rate has been an impressive 135.25 while her average is 66.5.
Her highest score was an unbeaten 81-run knock against the Sydney Thunder last week. She has also hit a competition-best 18 sixes till now.
"Harmanpreet Kaur has been a dominant force with bat and ball for the Renegades, spearheading their rise back up the ladder after joining her new club," cricket.co.au said.
Kaur has also proved her mettle with the ball following an injury to the team's star leg-spinner, Georgia Wareham. The 32-year-old has been brilliant in the power play and has snared 15 wickets. The Indian T20 skipper also boasts of the best figures of 3/22.
Kaur is the only Indian to feature in the best XI of WBBL despite some quality performances by the likes of Smriti Mandhana, who became the first from the country to hit a century in the league with a record-equalling 114 not out.
Apart from Kaur, New Zealand all-rounder Sophie Devine, who plays for Perth Scorchers, was the only other international player in the best XI.
The selection panel included cricket.com.au journalist Laura Jolly, former Australia players Lisa Sthalekar and Mel Jones and Australia national selector Shawn Flegler.
The Renegades are slated to play The Challenger on Thursday.
Also Read : Better bats, smaller boundaries reducing bowlers to virtual bowling machine: Chappell
News Source : PTI
Smith is one of candidates for Test captaincy after selectors approach CA
Melbourne, Nov 20 (Cricket News) Batting mainstay Steve Smith on Saturday emerged as one of the candidates for Australian Test captaincy after the selectors had reportedly approached the country's cricket board with a proposal to hand over the reins to the former skipper.
Though vice-captain Pat Cummins remains the frontrunner for the top job, Smith is also in the reckoning, the country's cricket board said following the resignation of Tim Paine from the top job.
Paine stepped down from the post on Friday after being investigated by Cricket Australia (CA) for sending explicit messages to a female co-worker in 2017.
Paine succeeded Smith as captain in 2018 after the batter was banned from international cricket for 12 months and suspended from leadership roles for two years for his role in the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal.
"There are a range of candidates who are available for that role, Steve Smith is one of the candidates that is available for the role," said CA chairman Richard Freudenstein during a virtual press conference following Paine's resignation.
Meanwhile, there are also speculations that the senior national team selectors are in favour of appointing Smith as skipper.
"It's understood the selectors were interested in the idea of Smith being able to captain should an injury or similar occur to Tim Paine, with the proposal given the board's approval," sen.com.au ran a story quoting Herald Sun.
The top contender though, remains pace spearhead Cummins.
"However, Smith could be appointed as vice-captain to support Cummins, who would be the first fast bowler to captain Australia since 1956, when Ray Lindwall held the role for a solitary Test.
"Smith was barred from holding a leadership position within the team for two years after the events of Cape Town, with that ban elapsing over a year ago," sen.com.au added on Saturday, a day after the Australian cricket was rocked by the Tim Paine "sexting" scandal.
The messages date back to 2017, months before Paine was recalled to the Test team after a seven-year absence and a joint Cricket Australia and Cricket Tasmania investigation cleared him at the time.
The development came weeks ahead of the five-Test Ashes series against traditional rivals England. The first Test begins in Brisbane on December 8.
Australia's former chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns had said in November that Smith would probably be a contender to succeed Paine.
Also Read : Karnataka beat Vidarbha by 4 runs to qualify for Syed Mushtaq Ali final
News Source : PTI
Ponting says he was approached by BCCI for India coach's job before Dravid took it up
Melbourne, Nov 18 (Cricket news) Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has revealed that he was approached by the BCCI to coach India before Rahul Dravid was chosen for the coveted job.
Ponting, a batting legend and one of the most successful captains ever, said time commitment stopped him from taking up the India coaching job and a similar role for Australian team.
"I had a couple of conversations with some people during the IPL about it (the India head coach's position). The people that I spoke to were pretty hell-bent on finding a way to make it work," Ponting told 'The Grade Cricketer' podcast.
"... first up, I can't give up that time, that means I can't coach in the IPL," Ponting said of his conversations about the India coach job.
Ponting also said that because of the same reasons, he would not be able to take up Australia coaching job.
"Time is the only thing that's stopping me (from taking the job), to be honest. I'd love to coach the Australian team, but what I have done with my playing career was being away from family as much.
"I have a young family now, a seven-year-old boy, and to give up 300 days a year is not what I would do. That's where the IPL works so well for me." Ponting said he was surprised that Dravid took up the position, looking at the fact that he has a young family.
"There was a lot of chat about how happy he (Dravid) was (with) his academy (NCA) role … I am not sure about his family life … I think he has got young kids.
"Anyway, so I am surprised that he took it. The people that I spoke to were sure they got the right person, so they were probably able to get Dravid to do it." Ponting also confirmed that he will continue to be with Delhi Capitals next IPL though he has not yet officially extended his contract with the club.
"Some of the young players I have had the chance to work with are exceptional and really good people," he said.
"That's what I want to be able to do -- the Prithvi Shaws, the Shreyas Iyers, the Avesh Khans, these guys, we had them in the system for three-four years that have really turned into exceptionally good IPL players, and some of them have also turned into international players."
Also Read : Gambhir launches East Delhi Premier League
News Source : PTI
Mandhana hits WBBL record-equalling 114 not out in WBBL
Mackay, Nov 17 (Cricket news) Smriti Mandhana on Wednesday became the first Indian to hit a century in the Women's Big Bash League with a record-equalling 114 not out but her splendid effort went in vain as her side Sydney Thunders lost the match.
Ironically, Mandhana could not pull off a winning six in the last ball off India T20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur as Melbourne Renegades won the match by four runs to send Sydney Thunder out of reckoning of the final.
Mandhana, who faced 64 balls, punished the bowlers with 14 fours and three sixes, equalling Australian batter Ashleigh Gardner's highest individual score in WBBL history.
The left-hander took the Thunder within one six of pulling off a remarkable victory against the Renegades, but she was unable to hit the maximum required from Harmanpreet's final delivery as her team finished on 171/2.
The defending champions needed an upset win to keep their slim finals hopes alive, and they had a less-than ideal start with Sammy-Jo Johnson (12) and Phoebe Litchfield (1) dismissed inside the powerplay.
Finding a stable partner in Tahlia Wilson (38 not out from 39 balls), Mandhana posted her third fifty of the season from 33 balls. But the asking rate was climbing with 63 runs needed from the last five overs.
Mandhana shifted gears as she took 24 runs off Holly Ferling in the 18th over. She then brought up her century in 57 balls but there was still work to do as 22 runs were needed from the final two overs.
Renegades skipper Sophie Molineux conceded just nine runs from the 19th over and Mandhana was left to face the off-spin of her national skipper Harmanpreet.
Mandhana, who was the beneficiary of two fielding errors, ultimately failed to hit the last-ball six required to complete what would have been a famous victory.
Earlier, Harmanpreet top-scored for the Renegades, who were asked to bat first, with a 55-ball 81 not out with the help of 11 fours and two sixes.
She shared a 91-run stand for the third wicket with English batter Eve Jones (42 off 33 balls). Another Indian, opener Jemimah Rodrigues was out for 2 in the first over.
The Renegades reclaimed top spot with the win and remain in the box seat to advance directly to the final.
Also Read : WBBL: Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana play stellar unbeaten knocks against each other to ensure last ball thriller
News Source : PTI
WBBL: Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana play stellar unbeaten knocks against each other to ensure last ball thriller
(Cricket news) Sydney Thunder's Thunder's chances of making it to the playoffs were officially shattered as they lost to the Melbourne Renegades by 4 runs. The Renegades return to the top of the table thanks to a brilliant all round performance by Harmanpreet Kaur.
After the Renegades were put into bat Jemimah Rodrigues walked in to open. Her stay was short as she was dismissed by Samantha Bates. The Renegades were 9/2 at the end of the 2nd over when Harmanpreet Kaur walked in. The Indian skipper continued her productive WBBL season by smashing an unbeaten 81. The innings consisted of 11 boundaries and 2 maximums off 55 balls. The Renegades set a target of 176.
Smriti Mandhana walked in to bat for the Thunder. Harmanpreet continued to show her brilliance by picking up the wicket of Sammy-Jo Johnson. Mandhana was the lone wolf in the big chase as wickets kept falling at the other end. She played one of the greatest knocks in WBBL history hitting 14 fours and 3 sixes in her unbeaten 114. Thunder needed 13 off the last over but Harmanpreet Kaur managed to defend it as Mandhana's innings went in vain.
With their side out of contention for playoffs, Smriti Mandhana and Deepti Sharma can concentrate on keeping their form going and getting confidence for the tour of New Zealand. The pair are an integral part of the Indian team and need to be in the best possible touch for the World Cup.
Melbourne Renegades on the other hand have already qualified for the playoffs. Harmanpreet Kaur and Jemimah Rodrigues have arguably been their best performers which is incredible news for India. Harmanpreet Kaur was always going to be in India's playing XI in the World Cup but Jemimah Rodrigues has made a case for herself. The Mumbai batter's recent performances has given Mithali Raj a much welcomed team selection headache.
Ahead of Ashes, Buttler drawing inspiration from Pant's Australia heroics
Melbourne, Nov 16 (Cricket news) Bracing up for the Ashes, influential England player Jos Buttler is drawing inspiration from the "totally fearless" approach, which the flamboyant Rishabh Pant had adopted during the Indian team's last tour of Australia.
The 24-year-old Pant played two of his greatest knocks in Sydney and Brisbane in the last two Tests, as an injury-ravaged Indian team recorded an incredible come-from-behind Test series triumph.
"One player I really enjoyed seeing play Tests in Australia was Rishabh Pant when they won there last winter. I love the way he can change his game between the defensive side and aggressive sides, and be totally fearless," Buttler wrote in his column for the Daily Telegraph.
"For any wicket-keeper who likes to be more positive, Rishabh is a good guy to watch — his mindset and commitment to his game plans, whether he's attacking or defending." Pant was the leading run-scorer in India's 2-1 win over Australia, scoring 274 runs in five innings at an average of 68.50.
Buttler reached Australia along with other members of England team for the Ashes. After two weeks of mandatory quarantine, he will gear up for the five-match series starting from December 8 in Brisbane.
Known for his free-flowing batting, Buttler said that it will be important to adapt to the conditions during practice sessions as it is the first time he will be playing red-ball cricket in Australia.
"I've played one-day and T20 cricket in Australia but I've not played any red-ball cricket. So, it'll be important, during the preparation phase in the nets and the warm-ups games, to try and understand conditions and work out what shots to play, how much the ball seams or swings and adapting to conditions.
"I don't want to go to Australia with too many preconceived ideas." He termed the upcoming contests against England's traditional rivals as the biggest challenge in his career. The Ashes begins in Brisbane on December 8.
"... Australia is a place where lots of our guys have played in the Big Bash. The pace on the ball and the good wickets certainly suit a lot of players in our team. It will probably be the biggest challenge I've ever had in my career.
"Australia is the one tour that, as an English player, you want to experience, and it's something to really relish and enjoy — even though it'll be different without the travelling support. We're expecting an intense atmosphere with grounds full of Australian fans," Buttler said.
The 31-year-old cricketer, who aggregated 269 runs at an average of 89.66 in the T20 World Cup, added that he will try to continue in the same vein during the Ashes.
"I'll be trying to take the same sort of fearless attitude I've had in the T20 World Cup into my red ball batting. That doesn't just mean all out attack. But it's taking away the worries about too many things — keep the game very simple and looking to put bat to ball."
Also Read : SRH dropping Warner not a cricket decision, he was just out of match practice: Haddin
News Source : PTI
Mayank Agarwal excited to work with “approachable” Dravid
Mumbai, Nov 16 (Cricket news) India batter Mayank Agarwal is keen to pick newly-appointed national team head coach Rahul Dravid's brain once again, having had an enjoyable experience with the "approachable" Karnataka stalwart in the 'A' side.
Dravid, one of the greatest to have played for India, was appointed as the chief coach of the Indian team following the end of Ravi Shastri's tenure, earlier this month.
“With Rahul Bhai, we had a very enjoyable experience with him as the India A coach and we have been in touch. I am really excited to be working with him in the Indian team as well,” Agarwal told PTI in a telephonic interaction.
Asked what aspects of the game he would discuss with Dravid, who served as the head of National Cricket Academy before taking up the top job in the Indian team, Agarwal said “There are a few points that I would want to talk to him about and he has been approachable.” “And it is not only now, even before, when we were part of India A, we could just pick up the phone and speak to him and share what was on our mind. He is very approachable that way,” said the elegant right-hander, who has 1,052 runs from 14 Tests.
The opening batter is also looking forward to the upcoming two-Test series against New Zealand, to be held at Green Park stadium in Kanpur and the iconic Wankhede stadium in Mumbai.
“I am really looking forward to (the series) and I am really excited to be part of the team against New Zealand,” the 30-year-old said.
Agarwal, who scored a staggering 441 runs in the IPL this year, also reflected on the season gone by, saying he was very happy with the way he performed for the Punjab Kings.
"I think, I was very happy with the way I have performed (in the IPL). I have really grown into the role that the team expected of me and I have been an aggressor upfront and whenever the opportunity presented; I looked to bat through the innings.
"I enjoyed the responsibility of sometimes batting through the innings (and) that is something that I have learnt and really enjoyed,” he added.
Agarwal also led the Punjab Kings in the absence of regular skipper KL Rahul and the opener said the two were good friends.
“I was captain for one game and I also enjoyed that responsibility. It was unfortunate that KL (Rahul) had to miss out, because of injury.
“We have been great friends, we have played all our cricket together and when I made my debut, he was there with the Indian team.
"He always has words of encouragement and always supported (me) and we have really enjoyed batting together and we communicate really well in the middle,” said the right-hander.
Agarwal, who made his Test debut against Australia at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground, said representing India for the first time was the “most memorable” moment for him.
“That was very special, playing my first Test match and that too on Boxing Day at MCG,” he said, adding that he remembers a lot about that 76-run knock, which he made on his debut.
Agarwal, who is currently attending the Test specialists camp at BKC, admitted that his role as an opener is challenging.
“We'll see, an opener's role is challenging and that is something we have prepared for throughout our career, to overcome different challenges.
“Different countries have different conditions and in Australia there is a lot more bounce, and in New Zealand there is swing and seam, we have worked hard on that as well and we have overcome challenges and we are winning a lot more, a lot more series abroad now,” he signed off.
Also Read : India look for 'fresh T20 template' in Rohit-Dravid era
News Source : PTI
Seven Australian cities will host ICC T20 World Cup; final to be held at MCG on November 13
Dubai, Nov 16 (Cricket news) Seven Australian cities, including Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide, will host the ICC Men's T20 World Cup from October 16 to November 13 next year.
The other two cities which will in all likelihood host the Round 1 matches include Geelong and Hobart with the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground hosting the final.
"The event which is scheduled to take place between 16 October and 13 November next year will see a total of 45 matches hosted across Adelaide, Brisbane, Geelong, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney," ICC press release stated.
The semi-finals will be held at the Sydney Cricket Ground and Adelaide Oval on November 9 and 10, respectively.
Among the countries that have directly qualified for the Super 12 are defending champions Australia and runner-up New Zealand.
Along with the finalists, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, England, India, Pakistan and South Africa, which are the next highest ranked teams, will gain direct entry into the Super 12 stage.
Namibia, Scotland, Sri Lanka and the two-time champions West Indies will play in Round 1.
The four remaining spots at Australia 2022 will be filled via the ongoing qualification pathway, culminating in two global qualifying tournaments one to take place in Oman in February and the other in Zimbabwe in June/July.
Head of Events, Chris Tetley said:"We are looking forward to seeing the return of ICC events to Australia and are delighted to announce the seven host cities for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022.
"Following the success of the ICC Women's T20 World Cup in 2020 and a two year postponement, our sights are now firmly set on planning for the 2022 event in collaboration with the LOC.
"With 12 teams already confirmed in the line-up, we eagerly await the culmination of the qualification process to see which other teams will join them," he stated.
Also Read : T20 WC final heroics 'will carry little weight' in Ashes selection: chief selector Bailey on Marsh
news Source : PTI
T20 WC final heroics 'will carry little weight' in Ashes selection: chief selector Bailey on Marsh
Melbourne, Nov 15 (Cricket news) Australia's chairman of selectors George Bailey says Mitchell Marsh's incredible match-winning knock in the final of the T20 World Cup "will carry little weight" when the Ashes squad is picked as both are completely different formats.
Marsh clobbered a 50-ball 77 and powered Australia to their maiden T20 World Cup triumph with an eight-wicket victory over New Zealand in Dubai on Sunday night.
Overall, Marsh made 185 runs at an average of 62 in the UAE, prompting former Australian stars such as Ian Healy to back his selection in the team for the upcoming challenge against their traditional rivals England.
But Bailey refused to commit when asked about the 31-year-old 'Player of the Match'.
"Not much, to be honest. They're (T20s and Tests) about as far removed, we joke internally that they're different sports in many respects," Bailey told SEN's Dwayne's World on Monday.
"There's not much flow on, (but) you love to see players perform well internationally because you know it gives them great confidence going forward, and there's no better time to pick someone than when they are up and about and confident.
"I don't think necessarily that individual form in one format flows into another, and I don't necessarily think that winning the T20 World Cup gives us any great advantage heading into the Ashes," Bailey added.
Marsh has played 32 Tests but has not been able to cement his place in the side, averaging 25 in the format. With the ball, he averages 39.
"We're 12 hours since he played the innings of his life in T20 (World Cup), there will be lots of time to talk Ashes going forward.
"I think it's really important that we celebrate the tournament and the role he's played in that team, and celebrate the fact that he's an Australian hero for a day and he's very much a catalyst behind us holding the trophy above our heads.
"As I said, I think the formats are so completely different," the chief selector said.
Bailey, though, has not slammed the Test doors shut on Marsh, saying that he has a good three-four years of cricket ahead of him.
"We know Mitch is a very, very good player and he's played Test cricket in the past, so we know he's capable of it.
"What I can say about Mitch is that we have full confidence that the next two, three and hopefully four years are going to be the best cricketing years of his career, so hopefully we get to see him playing all three formats for Australia.
Bailey took over as the chairman of selectors from Trevor Hohns in August.
Also Read : From IPL to World T20: The Incredible turnaround story of David 'The Bear' Warner
News Source : PTI
One big goal is to play massive role in Test series win in India, says Nathan Lyon
Melbourne, Nov 13 (Cricket news) Nowhere close to retiring, experienced Australian spinner Nathan Lyon says one of his long-term goals is to play a "massive role" in a Test series win in India.
India have won the last three Test series against Australia including back-to-back victories Down Under in 2018-19 and 2020-21.
Australia, who last visited India in 2017, were scheduled to tour the country in October this year but due to the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the slot was used to host the ongoing T20 World Cup.
Lyon, who will turn 34 in a week, could get a chance to play in India in 2023.
"One of the big goals is I'd really like to be part of an Australian team that can win a Test series in India," Lyon was quoted as saying by 'Sydney Morning Herald'.
"I think I can play a massive role in that as well. That's definitely one of my big goals. I think that's one of the big goals team-wise. That is a big focus." The Ashes at home, beginning next month, could be Lyon's last against traditional rivals England but the spinner says he is still hungry and doesn't see any reason why he can't go on to play one more in 2025. "To be honest, I don't see a reason why not," he said.
"I've always said this from day one: if I wake up one morning and don't have the drive to get better, that's when I need to walk away from the game," said Lyon, who is one shy of his 400th Test wicket.
"But I'm waking up hungrier than ever now. I feel like I have a lot to give and I'm looking forward to it. I'm nowhere close to finishing in my eyes."
Also Read : Hanuma Vihari faces unreasonable axe as India announce squad for two match Test Series against New Zealand
News Source : PTI
Golden Slam winner Dylan Alcott announces retirement after Australian Open 2022
(Sports news) Para-athlete Dylan Alcott, one of Australia’s greatest ever tennis players has announced his intention to retire after the Australian Open 2022. The 30 year old became the first man to win the golden slam in any form of tennis by winning all four major titles and the Paralympic gold medal in Tokyo. He intends to end his career on home turf at Melbourne Park in January, making one final appearance in his hometown where he has won seven quad singles titles in as many years.
“There’s no way I could finish my career a few weeks ago because the US Open was not my home,” Alcott said. “This is my home and the Australian Open changed my life. What better way to finish than in my home in front of crowds. I’ve known this day was coming for a while,” he said. “It’s been an incredible ride and I think the time has come to move onto other things that I do. In saying that, I’m going to train my arse off for the next two months and try to go out on a high. The time has come, I feel redundant, I feel old, washed up,” he said. “It’s the next generation’s turn to dominate and get the recognition they deserve. I’m really looking forward to getting out there and doing my thing one more time. We will see what happens. I’m just enjoying the moment.”
To say that Dylan Alcott has had an illustrious career would be an understatement, the Australian has won 15 Grand Slam singles titles, eight Grand Slam doubles titles as well as four Paralympic gold and two silver medals. In September, Alcott won the US Open for the third time, adding to his two Wimbledon titles and three French Open victories. Alcott was born with a tumor on his spinal cord with a subsequent surgery resulting in never being able to walk. Despite his exploits on the tennis court, Alcott is also a supremely talented basketball player, winning the Paralympic gold and silver medals with Australia and he is also a radio DJ and television commentator.
Alcott is also an outspoken advocate for the rights of people with disability and has used his success to bring focus to a variety of issues such as mental health. The 30 year old has previously admitted to being bullied while growing up and said “I used to hate myself so much. I hated my disability. I didn't even want to be here any more. I found tennis and it changed and saved my life.” The 30 year old will undoubtedly hope to clinch his eighth Australian Open title in the final tournament of his inspiring and magnificent career.
Indian cricket's major achievements in Shastri-Kohli era
Dubai, Nov 8 (Cricket News) India have had more good days than bad with the Ravi Shastri-Virat Kohli combination at the helm of affairs and, as the cracking partnership of nearly seven years comes to an end, PTI takes a look at their major achievements.
* Border Gavaskar Trophy win (2018-19): Under the duo's guidance, India scripted history by becoming the first Asian team to beat Australia in a Test series in their own backyard.
* Second successive Test series triumph in Australia (2020-21): Though Kohli was not around for the full duration of the tour, Shastri and his stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane guided the team admirably in the absence of the regular skipper, as India defeated Australia to clinch the Border-Gavaskar Trophy for the second successive time.
* World Test Championship final (2021): India made it to the final of the inaugural edition of the World Test Championship under the captaincy of Kohli and Shastri's guidance. However, Virat Kohli & Co. lost the final by eight wickets as New Zealand were crowned champions.
* ODI World Cup semi-final (2019): India were the best team in the group stages of the 2019 ICC World Cup and had topped the points table. However, the Men in Blue faced a heartbreaking defeat against New Zealand in the semi-final to bow out of the tournament.
* With the duo of Kohli and Shastri calling the shots, India took a 2-1 lead in the five-match series against England earlier this year before the rubber was suspended due to COVID-19 outbreak in the Indian camp.
* Under Shastri's watch, India won a T20I series in South Africa, New Zealand, England and Australia.
* Shastri also oversaw a 3-0 whitewash of Sri Lanka in 2017, the first time they achieved such a feat.
* India also inflicted a whitewash on West Indies in a Test series in the Caribbean for the first time.
* During their time, India formed a potent pace bowling unit that shone in all conditions and against the best in the world.
* 42 months at the top of Test ranking: Under coach Shastri and skipper Kohli, the Indian team became a force to reckon with in Test cricket, holding on to the number one ranking in the world for 42 months from 2016 to 2020.
The two first got together in 2014 for a Test match at Adelaide after then skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was banned from the game, paving the way for Kohli to lead the team.
Dhoni led in the next two matches in Brisbane and Melbourne but after his sudden decision to retire from the traditional format, Kohli was made full-time captain of the Test team.
Shastri became the director of Indian cricket team in 2014 for a period of eight months from India's tour of England till the 2015 World Cup.
Shastri was removed in 2016 but on July 13, 2017, he was appointed the head coach of the Indian team, reuniting with Kohli to forge a cracking partnership.
Also Read : Rohit is looking over things for a while now: captain Kohli hints at his T20 'successor'
News Source : PTI
WBBL weekend review: Jemimah Rodrigues, Harmanpreet Kaur and Poonam Yadav continue to stamp their authority
(Cricket news) Melbourne Renegades became the first team to cross the 200 run mark in this season's WBBL as they hit 207 against Brisbane Heat. Jemimah Rodrigues opened the batting and scored a 31 ball 52 hitting 10 boundaries in the process. Indian captain Harmanpreet Kaur continued her purple patch by scoring 65 off just 32 deliveries and hit 4 boundaries and 6 maximums to take her team past 200. She wasn't done there as she picked up 1 for 19 in her two overs to help the Renegades win by 15 runs.
After being dropped against the Renegades, Poonam Yadav returned for the Heat in the game against Sydney Thunder. Smriti Mandhana opened for the Thunder and scored an aggressive 37. She was dismissed by her Indian counterpart Poonam Yadav who also picked up Phoebe Litchfield and Corinne Hall in back to back balls to finish her 4 overs at 3/17. Deepti Sharma scored 12 runs and picked up 1 wicket for the Thunder as Brisbane Heat won the match by 5 wickets.
Harmanpreet Kaur again worked her magic against Melbourne Stars as she picked up 3/22 in the first innings to restrict the Stars to 103. Jemimah Rodrigues 45 off 38 made sure that the Renegades won the match comfortably. Rodrigues played a mature innings as she hit 6 boundaries. Harmanpreet Kaur once finished things off with a boundary 35 balls to spare. Hobart Hurricanes' Richa Ghosh back to back ducks in the back to back games against Perth Scorchers.
Half way through the tournament the Renegades pairing of Jemimah Rodrigues and Harmanpreet Kaur have been the best performing Indians. Kaur became the first Indian to complete 1000 WBBL runs. She is also the 4th highest scorer this season and has the best average despite batting lower down the order compared to other batters on the list.
Harmanpreet, Rodrigues star for Renegades in WBBL
Adelaide, Nov 6 (Cricket news) India's T20 skipper Harmanpreet Kaur and compatriot Jemimah Rodrigues slammed scintillating half-centuries to power Melbourne Renegades to a 15-run win over Brisbane Heat in Women's Big Bash League here on Saturday.
Kaur was adjudged the player of the match after she smashed a whirlwind 32-ball 65 and then claimed one wicket in an all-round show for the Renegades.
This is the third time she won the award in seven matches.
After Rodrigues hit a 31-ball 52 to set the platform with a 101-run opening partnership with Evelyn Jones (62), Kaur continued the momentum with her six-hitting spree as Melbourne Renegades posted 207 for four, the second-highest total in WBBL history.
Coming into the crease after Rodrigues was trapped in front of wicket by Jess Jonassen and Courtney Webb (7) was dismissed by Grace Harris, Kaur plundered six sixes and four boundaries to take the team across the 200-mark.
She was dismissed in the last ball of the innings, caught by Courtney Suppel off Nicola Hancock's bowling.
After posting their highest total ever, Renegades returned to dismiss Brisbane for 192 in 20 overs.
Medium-pacer Ellie Falconer snapped 4 for 29 before Kaur closed out the match, dismissing Nadine de Klerk in the last ball of the Brisbane innings.
A total of 399 runs were scored during the match, making it the highest aggregate in WBBL history.
Also Read : Australia looking to jump across the Caribbean hurdle for semi final berth at ICC T20 World Cup
News Source : PTI
2012 U-19 World Cup winning captain Unmukt Chand joins the Renegades
(Cricket news) Indian batter Unmukt Chand will create history in the Big Bash, after signing with the Melbourne Renegades.
The former India A and India U19 skipper will be the first Indian cricketer to participate in the KFC Big Bash League.
The batter earlier this year decided to retire from cricket in India to play in the United states.
He represented Delhi Daredevils, Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals in his IPL career and had a domestic career spanning more than a decade, including 67 first-class matches.
“I’m very excited, it’s great to be part of the Melbourne Renegades family,” Chand said.
“I’ve always followed the Big Bash and it’s a great opportunity for me to come and play some good cricket.
“I’m really looking forward to coming to Melbourne and to get going. I’ve always enjoyed playing in Australia. I haven’t been to Melbourne before… I know for a fact there are lots of Indians in Melbourne, so it’s going to be nice, and I hope the crowds turn up for games as well.
“I’ve always wanted to play in leagues like these and it’s great that now I have this opportunity to be representing the Renegades in the Big Bash, so for me it’s big.
“I really look forward to contributing as much as I can on the field. I’ll give it my best shot.”
Chand burst onto the international stage as a teenager in the 2012 ICC U19 World Cup in Australia.
He was named player of the match as India won the final against Australia after scoring an unbeaten 111. The Australian side featured a host of now-BBL stars, including the likes of Travis Head and Ashton Turner.
“We’re delighted to have Unmukt joining the Renegades and see him being an important part of our group,” Head Coach, David Saker, said.
“He brings a wealth of cricket experience. To have a player joining our team who has represented three IPL teams and led his country at ‘A’ and Under 19 level is fantastic.
“As a batter, Unmukt is dynamic and can change games quickly. He has spent much of his career at the top of the order, but we believe he has the flexibility to fill a variety of roles as we need.”
Chand is currently based in the USA . He will be high on confidence, after being named player of the tournament as his side Silicon Valley Strikers won the Minor League Cricket title last month.
He will travel to Australia later this month and be available for the duration of the tournament.
“It’s great to have Unmukt on board and we’re looking forward to seeing what he can do as a Renegade. He makes history as the first Indian player in the BBL, which is exciting for our club, our fans and the competition,” General Manager, James Rosengarten, said.
“We believe we’re assembling a well-rounded group, with a nice mix of experience and exciting, young talent. Our list is close to finalised, but we look forward to sharing some more exciting news with our fans in the run up to the season.”
Melbourne Renegades BBL Squad: Aaron Finch (C), Cameron Boyce, Unmukt Chand*, Zak Evans, Jake Fraser-McGurk, Sam Harper, Marcus Harris, Mackenzie Harvey, Josh Lalor, Nic Maddinson, Shaun Marsh, James Pattinson, Mitchell Perry, Jack Prestwidge, Kane Richardson, Will Sutherland, Reece Topley.
CA formally postpones lone Test against Afghanistan
Melbourne, Nov 5 (Cricket news) Cricket Australia on Friday confirmed that the planned men's Test against Afghanistan, scheduled to be held in Hobart later this month, has been postponed.
The lone Test match, which would have been the first between Australia and Afghanistan, was to be held at Blundstone Arena in Hobart from November 27, but CA was forced to postpone it owing to Taliban government's opposition to women's cricket.
CA said following extensive consultation with relevant stakeholders, it and the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) have agreed to postpone the match and play it at a later time.
"CA is committed to support growing the game for women and men in Afghanistan and around the world, however, given the present uncertainty, CA felt it necessary to postpone the Test match until a later time when the situation is clearer," CA said in a statement.
"CA looks forward to hosting Afghanistan players in the BBL this season, who are great ambassadors for the game, and to hosting both the Afghanistan women's and men's team in the not-too-distant future." The postponement of the Test was a mere formality after CA last month said that it was set to do so due to concerns over the status of women's cricket in Afghanistan following Taliban's seizure of power in that country.
Also Read : Mushtaq Ali Trophy: Seam bowling all-rounders on Indian selectors' radar
News Source : PTI
WBBL: Harmanpreet's unbeaten 73 guides Renegades to the top; Deepti's player of the match performance ensures back to back wins for the Thunders
(Cricket news) After their first win of the season against Melbourne Stars, Sydney Thunder continued their winning run against Hobart Hurricanes. Smriti Mandhana scored a run a ball fifty after Thunder elected to bat first. Mandhana was dismissed after playing an unnecessary shot off Nicola Carey straight to the square leg fielder. Deepti Sharma came into bat at no. 5 and scored an important 20 off 15 balls. She then picked up 3 for 13 along with a fantastic catch to earn the player of the match award.
Melbourne Renegades got their 4th consecutive win against Adelaide Strikers to put them on top of the table. The strikers elected to bat first and scored 160 runs. Harmanpreet Kaur picked up 2 wickets for 31 runs in her 4 overs. Jemimah Rodrigues opened the innings with 161 to chase and scored a quickfire 16 ball 27 where she hit 4 boundaries and a massive six. After the dismissal of Rodrigues, the Indian skipper single handedly completed the chase for the Renegades. Kaur scored 73 off just 46 balls hitting 3 fours and 5 maximums. The Melbourne Renegades are on a roll and look like the best team in the tournament so far.
Harmanpreet Kaur's return to form is music to the ears of Indian supporters who will be rooting for India in the 2022 World Cup. Kaur is the 3rd highest scorer in the tournament with 219 runs in 6 games. She also has the highest average among the top run scorers. Deepti Sharma is the 3rd highest wicket taker with 9 wickets in 6 games. She also has a healthy economy of 6.52.
Harmanpreet, Deepti deliver match-winning performances in WBBL
Perth, Oct 31 (Cricket news) India T20 skipper Harmanpreet Kaur and all-rounder Deepti Sharma delivered player-of-the-match performances for their respective teams in the Women's Big Bash League on Sunday.
Harmanpreet first took a couple of wickets with her off-spin before smashing an unbeaten 73 off 46 balls as Melbourne Renegades defeated Adelaide Strikers by six wickets here.
Harmanpreet, who has struggled with fitness and form over the past 12 months, has been impressive in the WBBL.
India batter Jemimah Rodrigues scored a handy 27 off 16 balls for the Renegades.
In Launceston, Deepti starred in Sydney Thunder's 77-run win over Hobart Hurricanes. She scored 20 off 15 balls before producing a match-winning spell of three for 13 in four overs.
India opener Smriti Mandhana also extended her rich vein of form with run-a-ball 50 in the same game for Thunder. Richa Ghosh scored just three for Hurricanes.
In the game between Perth Scorchers and Sydney Sixers, Shafali Verma, batting at number four, was run out for eight.
Also Read : Each women’s regional team to be funded sixth professional contract by the ECB
News Source : PTI
Indian women continue to impress at the Women's Big Bash League
(Cricket news) The Indians in the WBBL have continued to put in impressive performances. On Saturday 30th October, all 8 Indian players played in 3 different WBBL games.
Jemimah Rodrigues and Harmanpreet Kaur's Melbourne Renegades took on Shefali Verma and Radha Yadav's Sydney Sixers. Jemimah scored a well made 25 off 27 hitting 2 boundaries. Harmanpreet Kaur hit 43 off 32 balls including 4 fours and a six. The Indian skipper was denied her half century by Radha Yadav who took a blinder catch off her own bowling. Teenage sensation Shefali Verma was pushed down the order at no. 5 instead of her regular opening spot. Verma came in when the sixers were 44/3 and hit two huge sixes in her 15 ball 20. Jemimah Rodrigues had a great day on the field as she inflicted two crucial run outs. Radha Yadav remained not out at 11 as the Renegades won by 12 runs.
Deepti Sharma gave a match winning performance as Sydney Thunder defeated Melbourne stars by 19 runs. Batting first, Thunder lost Smriti Mandhana very early on in the 3rd as the left hander only managed 3 runs. Sharma scored a crucial 16 off 14 balls hitting 2 boundaries before she was run-out. The all-rounder wasn't done there as she picked up 3 wickets including 2 great catches off her own bowling as the Thunder successfully defended their total and won by 19 runs.
In the match between Brisbane Heat and Hobart Hurricanes, the Heat scored 170 runs after being out into bat first. During the chase, Richa Ghosh walked in after the Hurricanes lost two early wickets. The youngster was looking good after hitting three boundaries but was then cleaned up by Jess Jonassen. Heat's Poonam Yadav was very expensive as she gave away 24 runs off her 2 overs. Brisbane Heat ended up winning the match by 14 runs.
After BCCI's 1.7 billion windfall, Alyssa Healy hoping for women's IPL
Melbourne, Oct 28 (Cricket news) Australia's star cricketer Alyssa Healy is hoping that the BCCI uses a part of its recent USD 12.7 thousand crore windfall to start a full-fledged Indian Premier League (IPL) for the women in the near future.
Indian business tycoon Sanjiv Goenka of RPG group and international private equity investment firm Irelia Company Pte Limited (CVC Capital) shelled out a combined Rs 12,715 crore (approx USD 1.7 billion) to win the bids for two new IPL teams, a windfall that far exceeded BCCI's expectations on Monday.
Aware of the this development, Healy told 'The Australian' on Thursday, "They (BCCI) have made all those moves and there's still no word on whether they are even going to play the postponed exhibition games.
"They just got a USD 2 billion payday and hopefully some of that will go back into women's cricket and maybe a women's IPL in the near future.
"... We want to see it happen, we want to see world cricket really strong and that's the next step, for India to put on a showcase of an event and show the world how good these young Indian players are." The men's equivalent of the IPL, the three-team Women's T20 Challenge, hasn't taken place since the 2020 edition in the UAE. This year's edition of the event didn't take place, even as the second half of the IPL was moved to the UAE owing to COVID-19 cases in the bio-bubbles in India.
"I feel like I have made some thoughts known in the past about the way that has unfolded.
"From a personal perspective it was disappointing they postponed the women's exhibition games. They did everything they possibly could to put the back end of the IPL on (after it was abandoned in April) leading into a World Cup and then within a week of that starting they have two new men's IPL teams," Healy said.
Healy is currently playing in the seventh edition of the women's Big Bash League, representing Sydney Sixers, which also has Indian cricketers Shafali Verma and Radha Yadav.
Besides Shafali and Radha, Poonam Yadav (Adelaide Strikers), Smriti Mandhana and Deepti Sharma (Sydney Thunder), Richa Ghosh (Hobart Hurricanes), Jemimah Rodrigues and Harmanpreet Kaur (Melbourne Renegades) form the rest of the Indian contingent in the WBBL.
"Hopefully, it might start the conversation back in India about the women's IPL. I know they would be really excited to see more of those exhibition games.
"A women's IPL would be ideal, but just to showcase the talent they have got. I would just love to see them get as much opportunity as possible," Healy said.
Also Read : Rodrigues, Mandhana slam fifties in WBBL
News Source : PTI
Will put my name in IPL auction, confirms Warner as he awaits answers on being sidelined by SRH
Melbourne, Oct 28 (Cricket news) Australian opener David Warner will put himself back into the IPL auction pool as he doesn't expect Sunrisers Hyderabad to retain him ahead of the 2022 season.
Warner, who captained Sunrisers to their maiden title in 2016, was not picked for the final six games of the 2021 season in the UAE. He was already stripped of captaincy during the India leg of the IPL.
"I will put my name in the auction. By the signs of the recent IPL, I won't be retained by the Sunrisers, so I'm looking forward to a fresh start," Warner told SEN radio.
Warner said being left out of the Sunrisers playing XI was a "tough pill to swallow".
"I kind of laughed at the reasoning, that two guys were hitting the ball out of the middle a little bit better than I was. Given that when you're playing the game you're playing the scenario.
"Obviously there are a lot of moving parts around there. What you have to do as a professional athlete is take it on the chin and do everything you can for the team.
"Not being able to go there, run drinks and be around was when it sort of hit home that it could be personal, and I'm still yet to get those answers," said the southpaw who is currently in the UAE with Australia's T20 World Cup squad.
The mega auction is expected to be held in December or January.
Also Read : Proud to leave legacy behind? Still, I haven't left behind, says Dhoni as CSK fans cheer
News Source : PTI
WBBL: Four Indians star in entertaining Renegades Vs Thunder game; Richa's late fireworks ensure Hurricanes victory over Stars
(Cricket news) Melbourne Renegades defeated Sydney Thunder by 9 runs in the WBBL. The game featured four Indian internationals who all had good individual performances. Jemimah Rodrigues and Harmanpreet Kaur for the Renegades; Smriti Mandhana and Deepti Sharma for the Thunders.
Renegades captain Sophie Molineux elected to bat first. Jemimah Rodrigues opened the batting and played the entire 20 overs. The pocket hitter scored 75* from 56 deliveries hitting 9 boundaries in the process. Rodrigues anchored the innings as Renegades finished at 142/5. Sydney Thunder's Deepti Sharma picked up the important wicket of Jess Duffin. Smriti Mandhana inflicted the run out of Courtney Webb on the field.
Chasing 143 runs, Smriti Mandhana finally joined the party as she hit some form with the willow. The left hander hit 4 boundaries and a six in her innings of 64 from 44 balls. She was taking the game away from the Renegades when her Indian captain Harmanpreet Kaur knocked her over to get a crucial breakthrough for her side. Kaur later also played a part in Anika Learoyd's run-out. Deepti Sharma played a gutsy knock of 23 off 10 balls towards the end. Melbourne Renegades got their 3rd win of the WBBL while Sydney Thunder are still winless in the campaign.
In the match between Hobart Hurricanes and Melbourne Stars, the Hurricanes had to chase 145 in the second innings. Kim Garth continued her great form for Melbourne as she scored an unbeaten 44. The Hurricanes' run chase was ignited by Mignon du Preez who scored 62 off 45 balls. 18-year-old Indian sensation Richa Ghosh walked in to bat at no. 5 and shortly after Du Preez was dismissed. Richa Ghosh took the responsibility and finished the game scoring an unbeaten 24 off just 16 balls. She made sure her side got the win with 4 balls to spare.
Smith willing to drop down in batting order to play anchor role in T20 World Cup
Melbourne, Oct 27 (Cricket news) The tricky and slow UAE wickets not supporting the power-hitters in the T20 World Cup, Australia batter Steve Smith is willing to change his batting order in the "scrappy" tournament to suit the requirement of his side.
Almost all teams have struggled to go past 150-run mark so far in the ongoing World Cup as the pitches are not conducive for stroke-making.
Smith, who usually bats at number three, said he is aware of the different requirement and won't mind if he needs to drop down a bit, if situation demands.
"(My role is) a little bit different to what I've played previously. My job is just to fix it if our top order don't come off and build a partnership with whoever I'm in with at that stage," Smith was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
"If our top order do go well, the likelihood is that I'll slide down the order and let our big strong boys attack it. That's essentially my role. I think I've done it reasonably well in the first couple of trial games and our first game against South Africa.
"I know what I need to do, the rest of the team knows my role, we're all very clear on the way we all want to play. That clarity is there, it's just about us all going and doing it." In a small chase of 119 against South Africa, Smith was Australia's top-scorer with his 35-run knock coming off 46 balls while batting at number four .
Smith said a different kind of T20 cricket is being played in this World Cup due to the wickets. "Throughout the IPL, playing on these wickets, there was a lot of really scrappy cricket, not huge scores which made the games pretty interesting and quite close," said Smith, who played for Delhi Capitals in IPL.
"It's slightly different to a lot of T20 cricket you would play. Quite often you would see flat wickets and big scores and guys going about their business. You have to change slight(ly the) ways you have to play and adapt to what's required on that surface.
"You need the ability to get off strike and manipulate the ball to certain areas more than just the power. (On) some of these wickets, even some of the powerful blokes struggle to hit sixes.
"You need some smarts about you in the middle and just having the ability to limit dot balls and get off strike."
Also Read : All-round Australia edge out SA by 5 wickets
News Source : PTI
Rodrigues, Mandhana slam fifties in WBBL
Launceston, Oct 27 (Cricket news) Jemimah Rodrigues stole the thunder from her Indian teammate Smriti Mandhana as Melbourne Renegades defeated Sydney Thunder by nine runs in the Women's Big Bash league here on Wednesday.
The 21-year-old Rodrigues, a top-order batter for the Indian women's team, slammed nine fours during her 56-ball 75 to power Melbourne to 142 for five.
Chasing the total, Mandhana, who opens the innings for India, smashed a 44-ball 64, studded with four hits to the fence and one maximum but it went in vain as Sydney were limited to 133 for 8 in their 20 overs.
The match also featured two more Indians in T20 skipper Harmanpreet Kaur and spin all-rounder Deepti Sharma. They snapped one wicket each but couldn't contribute much with the bat.
Harmanpreet, who had dished out an all-round performance in Melbourne Renegades' seven-wicket win over Sydney Sixers in their previous match, managed just three before being trapped by Kate Peterson.
Deepti scored 23 off 10 balls but that was not enough to take the Sydney Thunder across the line in the end.
The 24-year-old Deepti had scored a 48-ball 44 and also took one for 28 in their previous match against Melbourne Stars but it wasn't enough as Sydney lost by 12 runs.
Also Read : Harmanpreet Kaur to captain a side in FairBreak's Invitational T20 Tournament next year
News Source : PTI
Family first: Abbott won't mind missing Test debut in Ashes for birth of first child
Melbourne, Oct 27 (Cricket news) A Test debut during the Ashes series will be a possibility for Sean Abbott but the fringe pacer won't mind if getting the baggy green gets delayed a bit since he wants to be with his partner for the birth of their first child during that time.
James Pattinson's sudden retirement has opened the door for many including Abbott as Cricket Australia may opt to rotate prime pace trio of Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc.
Abbott said he definitely wants to break into the Test side by playing well in the domestic cricket but he wants to be in the country late in December when his first child is due.
"(I’m) not going to risk putting into jeopardy the Ashes series by coming in as not a ‘clean’ athlete," Abbott was quoted as saying by Australian media.
"It's not as easy as it used to be and that’s the world we’re living in at the minute. That’s just part of things now. It's a bloody tough one, especially considering the safety concerns around COVID and borders.
"It’s certainly something I’ll have to keep a close eye on and play well enough to get selected. Should that happen I have to make sure I’m back in Sydney late December for the birth of my baby girl.
"We’ll just have to manage that as best I can and if that means maybe missing some time with the Test squad and an Ashes series then so be it. Hopefully, we get lucky and things work out.” Abbott said he is young and fit, so he can wait for his chance later on even if he misses the chance to play Ashes later this year.
"As much as it’s a dream of mine; I’m not 30 yet, my body’s going great, I’m feeling really fit, it’s not going to be my last game of cricket.
"I know opportunities don’t come around very often, especially with the guys we have in the squad that have been playing, but it’s the birth of my first child. Hopefully it works out that she times her run nicely that we can tick all those boxes and have dreams come true in more ways than one."
Also Read : Ben Stokes returns to England Men’s Test squad for the Ashes tour
News Source :PTI
Harmanpreet Kaur to captain a side in FairBreak's Invitational T20 Tournament next year
New Delhi, Oct 26 (Cricket news) Indian women's white-ball skipper Harmanpreet Kaur is set to captain a team in FairBreak's inaugural Invitational T20 tournament next year, the organisers announced on Tuesday.
The tournament is an ICC sanctioned competition that will take place from May 1 to 15 in Hong Kong in conjunction with Cricket Hong Kong.
"FairBreak is excited to announce that Harmanpreet Kaur will captain one of the six teams in FairBreak's first Invitational T20 Tournament. Please join us in welcoming @ImHarmanpreet to the #FairBreaker movement! @CricketHK @gencorpacific @KCCCricket," FairBreak tweeted.
Replying to the tweet, Harmanpreet wrote "Really looking forward to the upcomings." The tournament will feature six teams and will have players from all around the world. It is set to be the world’s first privately funded tournament in women’s cricket history.
Harmanpreet is the most sought after batter in the shortest format of the game. Currently in Australia playing the Women's Big Bash League for the Melbourne Renegades, the explosive right-hander also featured in the inaugural edition of 'The Hundred' in England earlier this year.
Also Read : WBBL experience will count when we play for national team: Smriti Mandhana
News Source : PTI
WBBL: Smriti's batting woes continue while Deepti's good all-round performance goes in vain as Melbourne Stars beat Sydney Thunder
(Cricket news) Melbourne Stars defeated Sydney Thunder by 12 runs in a low scoring contest. Deepti Sharma and Smriti Mandhana both played for the Thunders. Stars captain Meg Lanning elected to bat first after winning the bat flip.
Melbourne could only manage 108 runs in 20 as opener Elyse Villani scored 52 off 63 balls while wickets kept falling on the other end. Deepti Sharma bowled 4 overs for 28 runs and picked up the wicket of Irish all-rounder Kim Garth. Smriti Mandhana had a good day in the field as he took a good catch and inflicted a run out.
Chasing 108, Smriti Mandhana and Tahlia Wilson walked out to bat. Mandhana once again was dismissed early trying to chase a wide delivery. The left hander has a tendency to chase balls wide outside off which has led to her downfall in the WBBL this season. Mandhana has scored only 16 runs in the innings so far. Out of all the Indian players ,the opener has possibly been the least impressive in the tournament so far.
Kim Garth destroyed Thunder's top order and Deepti Sharma walked in to bat when her side was 12 for 3. The All-rounder steadied the ship and anchored the innings. Sharma didn't manage to fire at the end as Sydney Thunder fell 12 runs short. The left-hander ended the innings at 44* off 48 deliveries, hitting 4 boundaries in the process. Sydney Thunder are currently last on the table having lost 3 of their 4 matches with 1 being a no result. Their next match is against Melbourne Renegades where they desperately need a victory.
WBBL experience will count when we play for national team: Smriti Mandhana
Melbourne, Oct 26 (Cricket news) Stylish opener Smriti Mandhana believes the stint at the ongoing Women's Big Bash League will hold the Indian players in good stead when they play for the national team, especially ahead of next year's ODI World Cup.
Mandhana, who is among the group of eight Indian players competing at WBBL this year, said it was a good opportunity to get some game time since franchise cricket has still not been introduced in the women's game back home.
"This year we had a window and we were already here and had done our 14 days quarantine. It's better to stay and play some more cricket rather then go back," Mandhana, who is representing the Sydney Thunder, was quoted as saying by the 'Sydney Morning Herald'.
"We have a World Cup coming up and we don't have a BBL in our country, so it will be of benefit and a lot of experience for the eight girls in the camp and that experience will definitely count when we are back playing for India." Besides Mandhana, the WBBL also features Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Poonam Yadav, Radha Yadav, Richa Ghosh, Harmanpreet Kaur, and Deepti Sharma.
The players were part of the national women's team which played a multi-format series in Australia, comprising three ODIs, one-off Pink-ball Test and three T20Is.
Mandhana, who has earlier played for Brisbane Heat and Hobart Hurricanes before making her 'Hundred' debut in England for the Southern Brave franchise this year, said she wanted to play as much cricket as possible, across the world.
"It doesn't feel like a new team or anything. I can't wait play more matches and rest of the tournament," the 25-year-old said.
"Back in England, coach Trevor (Griffin) has been asking me for three years to come over. I told him when the schedules were accommodating for me to come over I would come and play so we are so happy that this year we could actually manage and I could come over." Young Shafali, who plays for Sydney Sixers, said it is always a great learning experience to play in these overseas leagues.
"When you come to a foreign league we always something just learn from every series or every league," Shafali said.
Also Read : Harmanpreet stars in Melbourne Renegades' win, disappointing day for Shafali in WBBL
News Source : PTI
Unvaccinated tennis stars will be allowed to compete at the Australian Open after fulfilling two weeks hard quarantine and regular testing
(Tennis news) Unvaccinated players are set to be granted a visa for participation at the Australian Open, provided they fulfill two weeks of hard quarantine at a hotel and undergo regular testing throughout the duration of the event. This update comes after political leaders from federal and state governments had stated last week that players who have not received two doses of a recognized vaccine will not be allowed to compete at the first Grand Slam of the year.
Reports by the New York Times and Melbourne’s The Age newspaper revealed leaked contents of an email from WTA to its Players Council which revealed that only unvaccinated players will be made to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. The email reportedly said “We feel the need to reach out to you all to clear up false and misleading information that has recently been spread by other parties about the conditions that players will be forced to endure at next year's Australian Open. We have been communicating regularly with... the Tennis Australia team in recent months and they shared some good news with us on our Players Council call last Friday so that you know the facts."
The conditions for the players are set to improve significantly as the state of Victoria will achieve a 90% vaccination target of the adult population by the end of next month. Tennis Australia has been working with the government to ensure the protocols are in place before players are expected to arrive from December 1st. A statement said “Everyone has been buoyed by the easing of restrictions over the past week. We are optimistic that we can hold the Australian Open as close to pre-pandemic conditions as possible."
Sports Minister of Victoria state Martin Pakula has reassured that a decision would be made about the requirements of unvaccinated players well in advance to ensure they can make the necessary preparations for the Grand Slam tournament. Pakula said “The main point still to be resolved between the tournament organisers and government is the question whether unvaccinated foreign nationals will be allowed into Australia at all and, if so, under what circumstances.”
Australia is set to reopen its international borders for the first time in 18 months starting next month on a state by state basis, depending on the vaccination rates. Visitors who are fully vaccinated will be subjected to fewer restrictions. Earlier this year, the US Open required all spectators to show proof of at least one vaccination jab with no compulsory vaccination for players. However, both the men and women’s tour have recommended players to get the two jabs but have not enforced it as a rule.
The decision to allow unvaccinated players to participate in the Australian Open will come as a boost for Novak Djokovic’s hopes to participate in the Grand Slam as the Serbian has previously advocated that taking a vaccine should be a personal choice and he would be a doubt for the tournament if compulsory vaccination is required.
Ben Stokes returns to England Men’s Test squad for the Ashes tour
(Cricket news) England all-rounder Ben Stokes has been added to the Test squad for the Ashes tour after receiving an all-clear by his consultant and ECB’s medical team to resume training after fracturing his index finger. The 30 year old had also taken a break from cricket to focus on his mental well-being at the end of July this year. “I had a break to prioritise my mental wellbeing and I got my finger sorted. I am looking forward to seeing my mates and being on the field with them. I’m ready for Australia,” said Stokes.
Managing Director of England Men's Cricket, Ashley Giles, added: "Following a very successful operation on his finger and several conversations over the last few weeks between Ben and I, our medical staff and his management team, Ben called me to say he was ready to return to cricket and was excited about the prospect of playing a significant role in the Ashes series.
"Time and time again, Ben has demonstrated how important he is to the England team and having him available for the Ashes series is excellent news for all of us and, in particular, Chris (Silverwood), Joe (Root) and the rest of the players.
"Having not played for some time, we will move forward cautiously over the next few weeks to ensure he is fully prepared across all facets of his game.
"Ahead of a very busy period of cricket, we continue to remain mindful of the stresses on all our personnel, and our primary focus continues to be the wellbeing of all of our players and support staff."
England Men's Test Squad - Ashes Tour of Australia 2021-22:
Joe Root (Yorkshire) Captain, James Anderson (Lancashire), Jonathan Bairstow (Yorkshire), Dom Bess (Yorkshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Rory Burns (Surrey), Jos Buttler (Lancashire), Zak Crawley (Kent), Haseeb Hameed (Nottinghamshire), Dan Lawrence (Essex), Jack Leach (Somerset), Dawid Malan (Yorkshire), Craig Overton (Somerset), Ollie Pope (Surrey), Ollie Robinson (Sussex), Ben Stokes (Durham), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire), Mark Wood (Durham).
England's Ashes tour of Australia 2021-22 Itinerary (subject to change):
Test specialists and Lions depart.
1st Test, Australia v England, Gabba, Brisbane
2nd Test, Australia v England (D/N), Adelaide Oval, Adelaide
3rd Test, Australia v England, MCG, Melbourne
4th Test, Australia v England, SCG, Sydney
5th Test, Australia v England, Optus Stadium, Perth
Harmanpreet stars in Melbourne Renegades' win, disappointing day for Shafali in WBBL
Melbourne, Oct 24 (Cricket news) India's T20 skipper Harmanpreet Kaur dished out an all-round performance to guide Melbourne Renegades to a comfortable seven-wicket win over Sydney Sixers in the Women's Big Bash league on Sunday.
The 32-year-old took two wickets for 17 runs in her four overs to restrict Sydney Sixers to 118 for 4 and then blasted an unbeaten 35 off 29 balls, studded with one four and two sixes, to script a successful chase in 17 overs.
Harmanpreet, who had recently returned to action after recovering from a shoulder injury, was adjudged the player of the match.
Young Shafali Verma, however, had a disappointing day as she was dismissed for a golden duck by Melbourne skipper Sophie Molineux (1/18).
Shafali's teammate in Sydney Sixers Radha Yadav had a decent outing as she scalped one wicket for 12 runs in two overs but wasn't enough to stop the Renegades.
Yadav also took a sharp return catch to dismiss Courtney Webb (23).
In another match, Poonam Yadav endured a tough time as she bled 19 runs for no wicket in her 2 overs but her team Brisbane Heat won the match by 5 runs over Adelaide Strikers in a rain-hit game.
Also Read :Indian players continue to shine in the Women's Big Bash League
News Source : PTI
Indian bowlers dominating Australian batters at home huge positive, says Mandhana
Hobart, Oct 21 (Cricket news) The series was lost but star opener Smriti Mandhana feels the Indian women's cricket team gained quite a lot from its recent tour of Australia, the biggest positive being the visiting bowlers' lion-hearted performance in the multi-format rubber.
India lost the series 5-11 after going down in the white-ball leg and drawing the lone Test.
"We had a lot of positives. Everyone did well, especially the bowling. It was one department where we were way better than the Aussies which is a huge thing for the Indian team," Mandhana said during a Clubhouse session on 10 years of Red Bull Campus Cricket during which its first ever women's edition was announced.
"To come to Australia and outplay their bowlers and outplay their pacers was so amazing to watch, the way Jhulan di (Goswami) bowled, Pooja (Vastrakar) bowled and Renuka (Singh) and Shikha di (Pandey) bowled in the T20 format..." "It was amazing to watch our bowlers dominating the Australian batters, that was the biggest positive." Mandhana added.
The stylish southpaw, who had one of her best away series where she scored 86 in an ODI followed by a majestic 127, her first ton in Tests, and then a 52 in the final women's T20I, added that had rain not played spoilsport, the series could have gone India's way.
"If results would have gone differently it would have been even more better for India. "Rain played spoiltsport in the Test match and the first T20 which we were in a very good position to win.
"Not blaming the rain but things would have maybe been different had the rain not happened but there were so many positives from the series," said Mandhana, who is currently playing for Sydney Thunder in the Women's Big Bash here.
The 25-year-old said the Indian team is working on improving its batting depth and the recent performances by the lower middle order is testament to the efforts being put in.
"That's a conscious effort to have good batting depth specially in T20 and ODI format because in white-ball cricket we might lose a few wickets and it shouldn't always be top heavy. We should have a lot of contributors.
"Our lower middle order is contributing a lot and have done amazingly in the recent series. Jhulan di finished the match for us in the third ODI, it showed we are all working very hard on batting and getting our number 7,8 9 to bat," she added.
The limited overs vice-captain backed the idea of multi-format series.
"I'm absolutely in love with this multi format series. I think it gives substance to all the matches we play whether it is three ODIs, one Test and three T20Is.
"Sometimes you lose two matches and think the series is lost (but in multi format series) you go in every match thinking there are two points to gain.
India, who were in a good position to win, drew their first day-night Test against Australia which was curtailed due to the rain.
"We as women cricketers just love playing red ball cricket and now with the pink ball. It will be cool to have a lot more of Test matches specially multi format series.
"It will also give a lot of substance to the only Test match because it has 4 points," Mandhana said.
The Indian team had also played a Test against England during the summer.
Mandhana said playing the day-night game, although challenging, was a dream come true.
"It was a good experience of playing one (Test) in England and one here. Day-night was a new challenge for all of us, we really didn't get time to practice with the pink ball. We got only two days before the match.
"I never thought I'd get a chance to play with the pink ball. The experience under lights in whites was a dream come true."
Also Read : WBBL: Harmanpreet Kaur's 41 not enough to lead Melbourne Renegades to victory over Adelaide Strikers
News Source : PTI
India has some serious match winners going to World Cup: Smith
Melbourne, Oct 21 (Cricket news) Seasoned Australia batter Steve Smith says a "terrific" Indian team is packed with some serious match winners going into the T20 World Cup, alluding that Virat Kohli's side will be one of the favourites to lift the title.
India thumped Australia by eight wickets in a warm-up game with Rohit Sharma (60), K L Rahul (39) and Suryakumar Yadav (38) all getting some runs under their belts.
Kohli did not lead the side but came out to bowl as India were still figuring out their sixth-bowling option.
"They're a terrific side, they have got all bases covered and some serious match winners in there," Smith was quoted as saying by 'Sydney Morning Herald'.
"They've obviously been playing in these conditions during the last couple of months with the IPL so they'll be used to that," he added.
Smith himself scored 57 off 48 balls in the game, crossing the 50-run mark for the first time since he struck 86 for NSW against Queensland in March.
"It was nice to spend a bit of time in the middle again. It’s never easy when you're three down.
"You have to rebuild for a period there and I thought we did that pretty well. The partnerships with Stoin (Marcus Stoinis) and Maxi (Glenn Maxwell) were obviously important." Smith, who had given the tours of the West Indies and Bangladesh due to an elbow injury, said he is feeling "good and ready to go now".
He featured in two games for the Delhi Capitals in the second leg of the recently concluded IPL.
"I haven’t obviously played too many games with the IPL but I’ve spent a lot of time in the nets and getting used to the conditions, which has been nice," he said.
Also Read : Rohit finds his groove as India outplay Australia in final warm-up; also enter Kohli the '6th bowler'
News Source : PTI
Lyon suffers mild concussion but expected to be available for Sheffield Shield next week
Melbourne, Oct 20 (Cricket news) Australia Test spinner Nathan Lyon suffered a "mild concussion" during New South Wales' intra-squad trial game but is expected to be available for next week's Sheffield Shield opening match.
Lyon was withdrawn from the rest of the three-day game on Tuesday as a precautionary measure.
"In NSW's 3-day intra-squad trial match that began yesterday, Test spinner Nathan Lyon suffered a mild concussion and as a precaution has withdrawn from the rest of the fixture," Cricket NSW said.
"Lyon was injured while fielding late in the day, after bowling 20 well executed overs (1/79), and is expected to play in next week's Sheffield Shield opener," it said.
The 33-year-old off-spinner has played in 100 Tests after making debut in 2011 and has taken 399 wickets so far.
Also Read : Pattinson retires from international cricket, will continue to play for domestic side Victoria
News Source : PTI
WBBL: Harmanpreet Kaur's 41 not enough to lead Melbourne Renegades to victory over Adelaide Strikers
(Cricket news) Adelaide Strikers convincingly defeated Melbourne Renegades by 8 wickets with 15 balls to spare. Indian stars Harmanpreet Kaur and Jemimah Rodrigues played for the Renegades but failed to guide their side to victory.
Batting first, Jemimah Rodrigues opened the innings and managed only 13 off 17 balls hitting only 1 boundary in the process. Rodrigues tried to play the anchor after her side lost two quick wickets but top edged an Amanda-Jade Wellington ball straight to deep midwicket.
Harmanpreet came into bat when her side was in deep trouble at 21-2. The Indian skipper scored 41 off 37 balls. She hit 4 boundaries and 1 massive six in her innings. Unfortunately she fell 9 runs short of her century after she was caught at deep midwicket like her fellow teammate Jemimah Rodrigues. The Renegades only managed to score 126 runs. Defending the total Harmanpreet Kaur bowled 4 overs and picked up a wicket. Despite her efforts Melbourne Renegades lost the game.
Both Rodrigues and Kaur haven't been in the best of forms on the international stage. Both the players gained confidence by playing the hundred in England. Jemimah scored a well made 49 in the 1st W-T20I against Australia. The batter said after the innings that had it not been for her performance in the Hundred, she wouldn't be in the squad. Harmanpreet didn't play the One Day and Test against Australia due to injury and then failed to deliver with the willow in the T20s.
The pair's return to form will be so crucial for the Indian side before the World Cup. As of now India is not scheduled to play any match before the campaign therefore the 8 Indians in the WBBL will be looking to play their best cricket to prepare for the big tournament next year.
Pattinson retires from international cricket, will continue to play for domestic side Victoria
Melbourne, Oct 20 (Cricket news) Australian fast bowler James Pattinson on Wednesday retired from international cricket after realising that he won't be in the reckoning for the Ashes series due to fitness issues.
The 31-year-old, who has played 21 Tests and 15 ODIs, though will continue to play domestic cricket.
Pattinson had recently suffered a knee injury during an intra-squad Victorian trial game "Leading into pre-season I really wanted to give the Ashes a crack but in the end I haven't had the preparation I would have liked heading into the coming season," Pattinson was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au in a statement.
"If I was to be part of the Ashes I would need to do myself and my teammates justice. I didn't want to be in a position of battling with my body when you need to be 100 per cent fit and ready to go at any time. That would not be fair to myself or the team.
"It was then I felt that instead of trying to play at the very highest level, knowing I have only got three or four years of cricket left, I would focus more on Victoria, helping the young guys develop, perhaps some cricket in England and spending more time with my family." He claimed 81 Test wickets and 16 ODI scalps in his career after making his Test debut in December 2011 alongside Mitchell Starc and David Warner against New Zealand in Brisbane.
His last Test was against New Zealand in Sydney in January 2020 while he last played an ODI way back in September 2015 against England at Leeds.
Also Read : ECB confirms schedule for England’s tour to the Caribbean
News Sources : PTI
Maxwell credits IPL teammates Kohli, de Villiers for success
Melbourne, Oct 20 (Cricket news) Australia all-rounder Glenn Maxwell has attributed his return to form to IPL teammates Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers, saying he has reaped rich dividends by spending time with the duo during his stint with Royal Challengers Bangalore in UAE.
Maxwell said he was feeling "10-feet tall" simply by spending time, playing and training alongside Kohli and de Villiers.
"Every day was a learning experience, every day I was I was finding something new out -- I was being a sponge to Virat and AB, just watching the way they go about things," Maxwell was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
"That's always been the one thing in the IPL I've been extremely thankful of -- the opportunities that it gives you to learn off the best players in the world.
"I was extremely fortunate to have two of the greats of the game in the same team and in the same batting line up and were open to sharing their experiences and talk to me about their game," added the 33-year-old who has carried his scintillating IPL form to the T20 World Cup.
"It makes you feel 10-feet tall when you've got your backing and they're watching you or asking you questions. It just makes you feel confident, it just makes you feel happy. It was just nice to have a nice, comfortable environment." Maxwell's performance will be key to Australia's dream of lifting the T20 World Cup title.
"In my mind I'm not sure I've completely embraced (being Australia's match winner) … It's not, 'If I play well, we're going to win a World Cup,' there's no thoughts of that," Maxwell said ahead of their final warm-up game against India, scheduled on Wednesday.
Maxwell enjoyed a great second leg in the just-concluded IPL in the UAE, scoring 290 runs at an average of 41.43.
"If I continue the process I've been doing at the IPL, I know I'm going to have success," he said.
"It's a nice position to be in mentally that I've come off a good run of form. I'm not overthinking the stuff in-game." Not just with the bat, Maxwell also hopes to play a vital role with his off-breaks in the showpiece.
"The biggest thing for me … is to be able to bowl not just to left-handers," said the off-spinner, whose stock ball turning away from lefties is generally seen as an advantage against them.
"I've been working really hard on bowling from over the wicket and being able to attack right-handed batters." Australia will open their campaign against South Africa in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
Also Read : Doubting Warner an absolute no-no: Maxwell
News Source : PTI
Novak Djokovic unsure about participating at the Australian Open 2022
(Tennis news) Twenty time Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic has revealed that he’s unsure about playing at the Australian Open 2022 claiming that things are “not good at all” Down Under. The Serbian has already confirmed he will be playing at the Paris Masters, ATP Finals and Davis Cup Finals.
The World Number 1 has not participated in a tournament since Daniil Medvedev defeated Djokovic in the US Open final. The 34 year old revealed that he started training on Monday after an extended break from the sport. “I started training today, It's been a long time since I last trained with a racket. Admittedly, I trained my fitness, but I have only just started tennis. Today I was Olga's sparring partner. I am preparing her, and we will see what kind of work I do as sparring when she goes to the next tournament" said Djokovic.
Djokovic has been particularly private about his vaccination status, a factor that will be of importance with respect to the Australian Open. He has previously pointed out that it’s against the law in Serbia to enquire about personal medical details. “I will not reveal my status whether I have been vaccinated or not," Djokovic said. "It is a private matter and according to our law, whoever asks you, you can in some way charge him for asking you. That is an immoderate question."
“I still don't know if I will play in Melbourne," Djokovic stressed. "I don't know what my schedule will be. There is too much speculation. The media speculates a lot and that bothered me a lot. I didn't advertise too much because everyone made some assumptions based on what I said a year ago. One and the same thing is going on and there is a lot of division in the society, not only in sports, but in the whole society, between those who have not been vaccinated and those who have been vaccinated and that's really scary."
There were a plethora of watertight rules at the 2021 Australian Open that annoyed a lot of tennis players including Novak Djokovic. Several of them were forced to quarantine for 14 days without any training, a factor which affected their fitness and form. Djokovic has urged players to unite and be involved in the decision making process before stringent rules are in place before the next edition of the Australian Open.
“The main problem is that if you are on a plane with a person who is positive, whether you are vaccinated or not, you automatically have to go to the room for 14 days," Novak Djokovic said. "That happened to Viktor Troicki in January this year. Not only him, but also 70 players had to be quarantined. I talked to a lot of players and that is something that everyone has a bad memory of," he added. "I would like the players to unite a little more, whether through PTPA or something independent or through ATP or WTA, just so that in some way we are relevant in some decision-making process. Now, I feel like the players aren’t wondering about anything at all."
The Serbian has reiterated that he does not expect much to change in the Australian Open 2022 compared to last year. He has revealed that his manager is in touch with the Federation of Australia about the latest ongoings. “I do not believe that the conditions will change much in relation to what we already know," Djokovic said. "As was the case this year, there will be plenty of restrictions. What I heard from my manager, who is in direct contact with people from the Federation of Australia, is that they are trying to improve conditions for everyone. Both for those who have been vaccinated and for those who have not."
Aruna placed 38th, Pranati and Shraddha at 47th, 48th in all-around qualification
Kitakyushu (Japan), Oct 18 (Sports news) Aruna Reddy Budda was the best placed Indian at 38th spot after the opening session of women's all-around qualification on the first day of the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships here on Monday.
The 25-year-old from Hyderabad, who had won a bronze medal in the 2018 World Cup Gymnastics in women's vault event in Melbourne, scored a total of 45.740 points in the four disciplines.
Aruna scored 13.141, 10.900, 9.366 and 12.333 in vault, uneven bars, balance beam and floor respectively.
Other Indian gymnasts Pranati Das and Shraddha Talekar were at the bottom of the standings at 47th and 48th after scoring 42.964 and 40.132 respectively.
Three women's subdivisions are scheduled at Kitakyushu General Gymnasium on Tuesday.
The men's competition will also start on Tuesday.
A six-member Indian team is competing at the Artistic Gymnastics event.
Also Read : Aditya, Pankaj and Laxman record 2 successive wins
News Source : PTI
Indian players continue to shine in the Women's Big Bash League
(Cricket news) The Women's Big Bash League in Australia is going on in full flow and the 9 Indian players have all played for their respective franchises.
In a match between Richa Ghosh' Hobart Hurricanes and Radha Yadav and Shefali Verma's Sydney Sixers, the two Indian batters were the highest run scorers. Richa Ghosh scored a run a ball 46 to almost single take the Hurricanes' total to 125. Ghosh hit 1 boundary and 3 huge sixes in her innings where she was the only.
Richa Ghosh was dismissed by fellow Indian Radha Yadav who took two wickets in addition to a blinder one handed catch. Yadav also maintained an economy of 7.75 in her four overs. Shefali Verma anchored the chase for the Sixers by scoring a 50 ball 57. Verma hit 6 boundaries in her eventful innings. There wasn't a single six hit by Verma which is very unlike her but she did play a couple of innovative shots which is an indication that she is using this platform to broaden her skillset. She also took a comfortable catch in the first innings.
Poonam Yadav was the playing XI for Brisbane Heat's match against Perth Scorchers. The leggie went for a few runs at the beginning of her spell but later came back well with 2 wickets including the important one of Beth Mooney. Yadav also came into bat and was at the non striker's end when Brisbane required 3 runs of the last ball with one wicket in hand. Poonam Yadav successfully completed the 2nd run to send the match into a super over which Perth Scorchers ended up winning.
Australia going into T20 WC full strength, we want nothing less than title: Starc
Abu Dhabi, Oct 17 (Cricket news) Australia fast bowler Mitchell Starc on Sunday asserted that they can defy their recent slide in the shortest format and win the T20 World Cup since they are going into the tournament full-strength.
Australia have just six wins from their last 21 games in T20 cricket and have lost five consecutive series -- against England, India, New Zealand, the West Indies and Bangladesh.
"We had some really young, inexperienced players and some young guys playing their first games of cricket for Australia come into some really foreign conditions and thrown in the deep end really quickly," Starc told reporters.
"We have had to navigate a few difficulties, being back home for the guys that have been in lockdown in Sydney or Melbourne or playing very little amount of cricket for their states." Starc said Australia's slide from being at the top in May last year to seventh in the T20 rankings is misleading and irrelevant to the T20 World Cup.
"It's a huge positive that we have got our full-strength team here available to us for the World Cup. Obviously we didn't have that through the West Indies and Bangladesh," Starc said.
"Obviously we have had a few guys here in the IPL as well so it's a mixed bag of preparation for everyone. Some have been playing some cricket, some have been trying to find ways to prepare for this tour." In the six past editions of the T20 World Cup, Australia have reached the final only once -- in 2010 when they lost to England.
"It's no secret that we haven't won a T20 World Cup so I'm looking forward to hopefully being a part of our first one," Starc said.
"We have got our full-strength team available ... it's up to us now. We have set out to win the World Cup. We don't want anything less," said the 31-year-old left-arm pacer.
Australia begin their campaign against South Africa here on October 23.
"In terms of our make-up, the group feels like we have covered all bases that we need to for these conditions," Starc, who has taken 51 wickets from 41 T20Is, said. "I am feeling good about it. We have all played enough cricket to know what we need to do to best prepare ourselves for these sorts of tournaments."
Also Read : Watson says Hazlewood hard bowler to face due to his 'control over ball', compares him with McGrath
News Source : PTI
Shafali, Radha shine in Sydney Sixers win in WBBL
Hobart, Oct 17 (Cricket news) India's Shafali Verma struck a half-century and Radha Yadav scalped two batters in Sydney Sixers' five-wicket win in the Women's Big Bash League but Poonam Yadav's effort did not yield a desired result as her team Brisbane Heat lost its match on Sunday.
Young opener Shafali struck 57 off 50 balls with six hits to the fence in Sixers' successful run chase against Hobart Hurricane, who made 125 for nine.
Apart from Shafali's knock, Sixers skipper Ellyse Perry hit 27 runs off 33 balls as they reached 129 for five in 19.3 overs. Left-arm spinner Radha got rid of compatriot Richa Ghosh (46 of 46) and Sasha Moloney (22 off 16 balls) to help Sixers restrict Hurricane to a modest total.
In another match, leg-spinner Poonam dismissed experienced Beth Mooney (40) and Heather Graham (6) to help Brisbane Heat restrict Perth Scorchers to 137 for seven after inviting them to bat first.
Heat also ended up at the score of 137 for nine and later Scorchers won the contest via one-over eliminator.
Also Read : WBBL: Jemimah and Harmanpreet lead Melbourne Renegades to victory over Hobart Hurricanes as Richa's quickfire 29 goes in vain
News Source : PTI
Formula 1 reveals provisional race calendar for the 2022 season with record 23 races
(Motorsport news) A record number of 23 races will be held in the Formula 1 2022 season with the season kicking off in Bahrain on March 20th followed by the Saudi Arabian GP the weekend after. The world’s most premier racing competition will also return to Melbourne’s Albert Park for the first time in two years in what has traditionally been the opening race of the season.
The Chinese GP has not been featured in the 2022 calendar, instead Formula 1 will return to Emilia Romagna GP at Imola for the fourth reason after Melbourne. More excitingly, America will be hosting two Formula 1 races for the first time since 1984 with the Miami GP in May featuring an unfamiliar circuit for both drivers and fans around the Hard Rock Stadium, home to the NFL’s Miami Dolphins.
The calendar will then shift it’s attention to Europe with the Spanish and Monaco GP followed by races in Baku (Azerbaijan GP) and Montreal (Canadian GP). The British GP at Silverstone will be held on July 3rd. Two triple headers are scheduled for the 2022 season, the first being in Belgium, Netherlands and Italy just like this season and the second in Russia, Singapore and Japan.
Formula 1 will return to Marina Bay (Singapore) and Suzuka (Japan) for the first time since 2019 before concluding the season with races in the USA, Mexico, Brazil and Abu Dhabi. The 2022 Formula 1 season will end on November 20th, a day before the start of the 2022 Football World Cup in Qatar. Despite a 10 year agreement in place for a Qatar GP, the race is absent from the 2022 calendar as the deal starts from the 2023 season.
On the announcement, CEO Stefano Domenicali said: "We are excited to announce the 2022 calendar as we prepare to enter a new era for the sport. This season has been incredible so far with great battles on the track, large audiences tuning in and fans returning to the races after the impact of the pandemic.
"We look forward to welcoming more fans back next season and hope 2022 feels more normal than the life we have all experienced in the past two years. We are very pleased with the interest in Formula One from places that want to host races and the growth of the sport, and believe we have a fantastic calendar for 2022 with destinations like Miami joining famous and historic venues. The pandemic is still with us, and we will therefore continue to be vigilant and safe - to protect all our personnel and the communities we visit."
Formula 1 are yet to confirm which of the 23 races will feature the Sprint format.
Provisional 2022 F1 calendar
20 March: Bahrain (Sakhir)
27 March: Saudi Arabia (Jeddah)
10 April: Australia (Melbourne)
24 April: Emilia Romagna (Imola)
8 May: Miami (Miami)
22 May: Spain (Barcelona)
29 May: Monaco (Monaco)
12 June: Azerbaijan (Baku)
19 June: Canada (Montreal)
3 July: Great Britain (Silverstone)
10 July: Austria (Spielberg)
24 July: France (Le Castellet)
31 July: Hungary (Budapest)
28 August: Belgium (Spa-Francorchamps)
4 September: Netherlands (Zandvoort)
11 September: Italy (Monza)
25 September: Russia (Sochi)
2 October: Singapore (Marina Bay)
9 October: Japan (Suzuka)
23 October: USA (Austin)
30 October: Mexico (Mexico City)
13 November: Brazil (Sao Paulo)
20 November: Abu Dhabi (Yas Marina)
WBBL: Jemimah and Harmanpreet lead Melbourne Renegades to victory over Hobart Hurricanes as Richa's quickfire 29 goes in vain
(Cricket news) Indian trio Jemimah Rodrigues, Harmanpreet Kaur and Richa Ghosh started for their respective teams in the WBBL game between Melbourne Renegades and Hobart Hurricanes.
The Hurricanes elected to bat first and Richa Ghosh walked in to bat at number 4. Ghosh usually doesn't get an opportunity to play that high up for India and she was also relieved of the wicketkeeping duties with captain Rachel Priest donning the gloves.
Ghosh scored 29 off just 14 balls to boost Hobart innings. She hit 2 boundaries and a maximum before being dismissed by her Indian captain Harmanpreet Kaur. Harmanpreet Kaur was given 3 overs with the ball during which she dismissed Indian teammate Richa Ghosh and gave away only 20 runs.
In the field Ghosh ran out Renegades captain Sophie Molineux with a direct hit and took a catch to dismiss Evelyn Jones. Jemimah Rodrigues opened the innings for the Renegades and scored 33 off 34 balls, hitting 2 fours and a six to anchor the run chase before she was dismissed by Belinda Vakarewa.
Harmanpreet Kaur came onto bat when her side was going through a minor collapse. The Indian skipper took her time to settle in and fired in the last 2 overs to guide the Melbourne Renegades to a 6 wicket victory with 4 balls to spare.
Melbourne Renegades’ next game is against Adelaide Strikers where Rodrigues and Kaur should retain their place in the side after impressive performances. Richa Ghosh also had a good game with the willow and on the field. Dropping her in their next game against the Sydney Sixers wouldn't make any sense.
COVID-19 scare in WBBL: Weekend games in Hobart could happen behind closed doors
Hobart, Oct 15 (Cricket news) Hobart Hurricanes are likely to play their weekend games behind closed doors after a COVID-positive man escaped hotel quarantine, triggering alarm across the state of Tasmania, which is now under a three-day lockdown.
India's rising wicketkeeper-batter Richa Ghosh is part of city's WBBL franchise Hobart Hurricanes.
In fact, Cricket Australia through WBBL's official twitter handle stated: "The Weber WBBL acknowledges the decision of the Tasmania government to call three-day lockdown interest of public health.
"The health and safety of our players, staff, match officials and partners along with that of wider community remains our top priority. We are currently working with Tasmanian government on options of upcoming matches at Blundstone Arena, this weekend," it further stated.
According to 'sportingnews.com.au', "The WBBL has been thrown into chaos with a COVID-19 case in Tasmania putting in doubt several matches on the opening weekend in Hobart as the state's south enters a three-day lockdown." Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein has announced that the lockdown would start on Friday 6 pm and continue for 72 hours till Monday 6 pm. The lockdown will be lifted only subject to health advice.
There are four weekend games -- two each on Saturday and Sunday in the WBBL.
"Bearing in mind there are national and international matters to consider here in terms of the broadcast, if they do go ahead they would go ahead with no crowd and with the players remaining in a bubble," Gutwein has been quoted as saying by the website.
The first nine matches of the league are scheduled in the Tasmanian state capital before the caravan moves to Launceston with games also being played in Perth, Adelaide and Mackay.
Also Read : Hyundai becomes official vehicle partner of Melbourne Renegades
News Sources : PTI
Hyundai becomes official vehicle partner of Melbourne Renegades
The Melbourne Renegades welcome Hyundai Motor Company Australia as the club’s Official Vehicle Partner.
The two-year partnership will see Hyundai sponsor both the Renegades’ WBBL and BBL programs.
Since 1967, Hyundai Motor Company has been a pioneer in the development of leading automotive technologies and cars.
Hyundai’s spirit has made it into one of the leaders in future mobility. It is the only brand in Australia that offers four alternative powertrains to the market: hybrid, plug-in hybrid, battery electric and hydrogen-powered cars and SUVs.
“Hyundai Australia could not be more thrilled to make our debut in the Big Bash League as official vehicle and training apparel partner of the Melbourne Renegades,” Hyundai Motor Company Australia Regional General Manager in Victoria, David Rodda, said.
“As a brand committed to enhancing the lives of all Australians with industry-leading automotive technologies, there was an undeniable synergy with the Renegades’ appeal to families and local communities.
“We look forward to powering the Melbourne Renegades to continued success over the coming seasons.”
As part of the partnership, Hyundai will feature as the Renegades’ official W/BBL player training apparel partner, with their logo to feature on the sleeve of WBBL and BBL training uniforms – and also on the Renegades’ WBBL playing pants.
“We’re really excited to be announcing this new club partnership with Hyundai Motor Company Australia,” Melbourne Renegades General Manager, James Rosengarten, said.
“Hyundai is a leader in its industry with a strong standing not just in Australia, but worldwide, and we’re delighted their first appearance in the Big Bash will be as part of the Renegades family.
“With a reputation for innovation and breaking boundaries, there is a natural synergy between Hyundai and the Renegades.
“Hyundai will have a club-wide connection across both our WBBL and BBL programs, which is great, and we look forward to a successful partnership with their dealership network across Victoria.”
Indian star Shafali Varma makes quiet WBBL debut, her team Sydney Sixers opens with win
Hobart, Oct 14 (Cricket news) Young Indian batter Shafali Verma endured an underwhelming Women's Big Bash League (WBBL) debut in her team Sydney Sixers' six-wicket win over Melbourne Stars on the opening day of the competition at the Bellerive Oval here on Thursday.
Chasing 100 runs to win in 11 overs in the rain-hit match, the 17-year-old right-handed opener fell for 8 (10 balls, 1 four) in the fourth over.
Her first-wicket partnership with Alyssa Healy, who hit a superb 57 (27 balls, 11 fours), yielded 40 runs before Shafali was bowled by Annabel Sutherland attempting a big heave.
The Sixers appeared to be on their way to a comfortable win before losing three wickets including that of Healy. But Nicole Bolton (7 not out) and Angela Reakes (3 not out) steered them home.
Earlier, sent in to bat by Sixers captain Ellyse Perry, the Melbourne Stars rode on a quick-fire 54 not out (31 balls, 5 fours, 1 six) by Elyse Villani to make 99 for 1 in 11 overs.
Skipper Meg Lanning contributed 23 (17 balls, 4 fours).
Shafali helped break the Stars' opening partnership by running out Annabel Sutherland (14).
Another Indian in the Sixers' line-up, left-arm spinner Radha Yadav, went wickeless in her two overs and did not get an opportunity to bat.
Also Read : RACV Solar will become the official major partner for Melbourne Renegades
News Source : PTI
Pucovski suffers another concussion during training session
Melbourne, Oct, 14 (Cricket news) Australia Test opener Will Pucovski is recovering from concussion symptoms after he was struck on the head during a training session last week, Cricket Victoria said on Thursday.
The 23-year-old has suffered nine concussions earlier in his career and the latest blow is bound to raise concerns about his long-term health.
"Cricket Victoria confirms Will Pucovski received a knock to the head in training with Victoria last Tuesday," Cricket Victoria said in a statement on Thursday.
"Will is currently managing his recovery in consultation with CV’s medical staff. He looks forward to returning to training as soon as he is able to do so," it added.
The incident occurred during a throwdown session in Victoria last Tuesday and Pucovski is recovering from concussion symptoms, according to cricket.com.au.
Puckovski's injury is a blow for Australia as he was a favourite to open the innings alongside David Warner in the Ashes series later this year.
It is unclear when the the Victorian, who remains in lockdown in Melbourne, will be back in action.
The talented right-hander, who is recovering from a shoulder injury he suffered earlier this year, has not played any cricket since his debut Test at the SCG in January.
His last concussion had come when he was struck on the helmet by India pacer Kartik Tyagi during a warm-up game against India A last year.
Also Read : We will look at how India went about their business in Australia: England coach Silverwood
News Source : PTI
RACV Solar will become the official major partner for Melbourne Renegades
(Cricket news) The Melbourne Renegades have welcomed RACV Solar to the team for the Women’s Big Bash League season as the Official WBBL Major Partner.
RACV Solar has been helping Victorian homes and businesses save power bills for over while building a more sustainable future for Melbourne.
RACV Solar's has designed and installed thousands of solar lights and batteries for Victorians.
RACV Solar specializes in free solar and battery systems across several communities in regional Victoria to help with energy resilience. RACV Solar CEO, Andy McCarthy, sees the partnership as a great alignment and is thrilled to partner with the Melbourne Renegades.
“We are excited to partner with the Melbourne Renegades because we both have roots in Victoria but also because we believe in raising the bar when it comes to gender balance and diversity,” Mr McCarthy said.
“Partnering with the Melbourne Renegades is a fantastic way for RACV Solar to support this amazing team, and we now have the opportunity to be part of the WBBL sporting community.”
The RACV Solar logo will feature on the chest of the Renegades’ WBBL playing shirts and LED signage at games throughout the WBBL|07 season.
“We’re thrilled to have RACV Solar come on board as our official WBBL major partner,” Melbourne Renegades General Manager, James Rosengarten, said.
“There is a natural connection between the Renegades and RACV Solar. Much like us, RACV Solar is a proud Victorian brand on the rise with strong values and community connection.
“As a club, we are committed to providing a great environment for our elite women’s players to be able to compete, develop and enjoy their cricket. We also understand the critical role they play in inspiring the next generation of cricketers through the WBBL.
“It’s great to have RACV Solar identify with these values and pledge their support to our team for this next chapter, which we’re all really excited about.”
The WBBL|07 season begins this week, with the Melbourne Renegades taking on the Hobart Hurricanes at Blundstone Arena on Saturday.
Eddings resigns as CA chairman ahead of AGM due to lack of support from states
Melbourne, Oct 13 (Cricket news) Earl Eddings on Wednesday stepped down as Cricket Australia chairman after losing support from several states and Richard Freudenstein was given the role of interim chief ahead of the sports body's AGM on Thursday.
The development comes less than a month after Eddings, who took over as interim chairman in 2018, was unanimously endorsed by the CA Board to serve a second term.
Eddings came into the picture when David Peever resigned in the wake of CA's cultural review following the ball-tampering episode at Cape Town in 2018.
Eddings has now decided not to seek re-election at Thursday's Annual General Meeting (AGM).
CA announced that current director Freudenstein will serve as interim chair until a permanent chair is installed.
"It has been an honour and a privilege to be able to serve the sport I love as a Cricket Australia director," Eddings said in a statement according to cricket.com.au.
"In that time, and particularly during my time as Chair, we have navigated some of the sport's greatest challenges, including rebuilding the trust and reputation of Australian cricket after the Newlands incident and, more recently, the enormous impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on domestic and international cricket." "It is my sincere hope that following my resignation the State and Territory associations can unite and work together in the best interests of cricket, allowing the focus to return to the sport ahead of the 2021-22 season." According to 'Sydney Morning Herald', it was Queensland Cricket and Cricket New South Wales which desired a change.
CA said they aimed at appointing a permanent chair before the end of the year "after a rigorous process involving input from State and Territory members".
Freudenstein is currently a director of REA Group Limited, Coles Group Limited and is the Deputy Chancellor of The University of Sydney.
Also Read : CA working actively to keep Perth Test, families of players also to be allowed: Hockley
News Source : PTI
CA working actively to keep Perth Test, families of players also to be allowed: Hockley
Sydney, Oct 11 (Cricket news) Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley on Monday said the board is "working actively and constructively" to ensure the final Ashes Test takes place in Perth while also insisting that families of the players will be allowed to make the trip to the Western Australian city.
Perth is scheduled to host the fifth Ashes Test starting January 14. But the strict COVID-19 restrictions enforced by the West Australian government has led to doubts that final fixture may have to be moved to another city.
"Cricket is a non-contact sport, we've shown through last season that our cricketers are very responsible in terms of complying with all the biosecurity protocols," Hockley told 'The Sydney Morning Herald.' CA was faced with a similar COVID-19 situation last year during the home series against India but were able to pull off all the fixtures as per schedule.
"There's a lot of experience now of being able to play elite level sport at Perth Stadium while being in a biosecure environment, and that's the detailed discussion that is going on at the moment with the WA government.
"It'd be the first Ashes Test at the new stadium, it's a magnificent stadium, we know Perth will turn out in really big numbers.
"So we're working very actively and constructively on being able to play in Perth in a way that provides a fantastic experience for both sets of players, but also keeps the WA community safe," Hockley added.
There had been a lot of speculation over the series with many England players including Test captain Joe Root raising concerns over travelling with family members amid strict COVID restrictions Down Under, with some even mulling pulling out of the tour.
While travel to to Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney may not pose a challenge, WA's strict border restriction remains a hurdle.
However, when asked about the arrangements, Hockley said the families of the players would also be able to make the trip to Perth from Sydney.
"Our commitment is, one, that we complete the tour safely but also, two, it's a fantastic experience for both squads, so there's no suggestion (families wouldn't join the teams in Perth)." "We are actively engaged in really positive discussions with the West Australian government and West Australian Cricket as we speak," Hockley reiterated.
"We've got great previous experience of having played in WA in quarantine conditions through the BBL last year - we played five matches in January last year at Perth Stadium," he added.
In order to convince the English players to go ahead with the series, CA took additional insights from a top bureaucrat from the Queensland government.
"What we've done all the way through is brought in all the relevant experts, whether it's medical experts or others," Hockley said.
"So we had support from one of the senior bureaucrats who's been supporting us with the inbound quarantine arrangements, so state government.
"We also have to understand it's a different perspective - England have throughout the course of their summer certain arrangements, England's been open much more, whereas they hear of lockdowns and those kinds of things here," he added.
Also Read : England name Test squad for Men’s Ashes Tour 2021-2022
News Source : PTI
Sergio Lobera steps down as Mumbai City coach, Des Buckingham to take over
Mumbai, Oct 8 (Football news) Reigning Indian Super League (ISL) champions Mumbai City on Friday announced that Sergio Lobera will be stepping down as their head coach after a successful one-year stint with the club.
The club’s new head coach will be Des Buckingham, who joins from sister club and A-League champions Melbourne City. He will join the Islanders ahead of the 2021-22 season on a two-year contract, a media statement issued by the franchise stated.
Buckingham will arrive in the country shortly and will undergo the stipulated quarantine before joining the Mumbai City bubble in Goa to commence pre-season preparations ahead of the 2021-22 campaign.
The statement said Lobera will continue his coaching journey with City Football Group (CFG), which owns Mumbai City, Melbourne City and top English Premier League side Manchester City among others.
Lobera joined the club in October 2020 and oversaw the club’s most successful campaign ever, when the Islanders became the first team in ISL history to secure both the League Winners’ Shield and the Trophy.
Englishman Des Buckingham was assistant coach to Patrick Kisnorbo, helping the club towards winning the A-League Premiership and Championship double, the statement added.
Prior to joining Melbourne City, Buckingham became the youngest coach in A-League history when he took charge of Wellington Phoenix at the age of 31, before a spell with Stoke City’s U-23 team.
Buckingham was also the head coach of New Zealand’s U-20 and U-23 teams as well as the assistant coach to the All Whites’ First Team for a brief period.
He guided the New Zealand U-20 to the Round of 16 in the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup before bowing out to Colombia in a penalty shootout.
Kandarp Chandra, CEO of Mumbai City FC, said, "We are delighted to welcome Des to Mumbai City. He is an exciting young coach who already has years of experience under his belt." “Sergio was a huge part of the most successful season in the club’s history and has helped to give us great foundations to build on this year." Buckingham, on his part said, "I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time in Australia, but the opportunity to take control of the defending ISL champions was impossible to turn down."
Also Read : Mumbai City FC confirm signing of goalkeeper Mohammad Nawaz
News Source : PTI
Poonam Yadav joins WBBL side Brisbane Heat
Melbourne, Oct 8 (Cricket news) Spinner Poonam Yadav on Friday became the eighth Indian cricketer to sign for the Women's Big Bash League after Brisbane Heat roped her in for the upcoming season.
The 30-year-old diminutive India wrist spinner joined the Brisbane side to fill the spot left by the withdrawal of New Zealand star Amelia Kerr.
Yadav is in the Indian squad for the ongoing multi-format tour of Australia. She played in two of the three ODIs against Australia but did not find a place in the playing eleven in the subsequent lone Pink-ball Test.
Yadav has made a habit of wreaking havoc against Australian batters, including her 4 for 19 in last year's T20 World Cup opener, and Brisbane will hope she can do the same in the WBBL.
She is the eighth India player to sign a deal for the upcoming season joining Shafali Verma, Radha Yadav (both Sixers), Smriti Mandhana, Deepti Sharma (both Thunder), Richa Ghosh (Hurricanes), Jemimah Rodrigues and Harmanpreet Kaur (both Renegades).
She rounds out the Heat’s overseas contingent, joining South Africans Anneke Bosch and Nadine de Klerk.
"When we lost Amelia Kerr, we were confident we could back our group to give a good account of themselves regardless but adding Poonam’s skill and her competitiveness is a huge result," Heat coach Ashley Noffke was quoted as saying in cricket.com.au.
"She is a different type of bowler to Melie, and we are clear on how we can best utilise her talents in our line-up.
"Jess Jonassen has played against her and as captain, she is very keen to work alongside her now she is with the Heat." Yadav has played one Test, 54 ODIs and 71 T20Is since making her debut in 2013.
Kerr withdrew from the Big Bash last month, citing the need to continue focusing on her mental health after she had already chosen to sit out of New Zealand’s tour of England.
Yadav's signing is the final international spot in the competition to be confirmed.
The Heat have now completed their 15-player roster, making just four changes to the group that made the semi-finals last season.
Also Read : Changes of fixtures in Women Big Bash league|07
News Source : PTI
Changes of fixtures in Women Big Bash league|07
(Cricket news) New schedule for the 7th Women’s Big Bash League has today been confirmed by Cricket Australia.
The Melbourne Renegades will play their regular season matches across four states, with stops in Western Australia, South Australia, Queensland and Tasmania.
It will be the second season where WBBL matches in Victoria wont take place, with changes to the schedule made in response to state border restrictions, public health conditions and their related impacts.
Today’s announcement confirms the revised details of matches 21-56 of the regular season. The Renegades will play their first match October 16 against the Hobart Hurricanes at Blundstone Arena.
After two games in Hobart and three in Launceston, the Renegades will play three games in Perth, four in Adelaide and three in Mackay.
“We’re really excited for the start of WBBL|07 and look forward to seeing our team in action in just over a week’s time,” Melbourne Renegades General Manager, James Rosengarten, said.
“Whilst it’s unfortunate we’re unable to host matches in Melbourne and Ballarat this season, we’re all understanding of the current situation and the challenges this presents.
“We can’t wait for when we can bring matches back to our heartland and showcase our team in Victoria.
“Our players will spend a second consecutive season on the road and we’re grateful for their commitment. To our commercial partners, members and fans, thank you for your continued support of our club.
“We know regardless of where the Renegades play, our passionate fans will be watching on and proudly supporting their team.
We’re determined to do all we can to connect our team and our fans while we’re on the road.”
The two matches between rivals Renegades and Melbourne Stars, will be played in Adelaide – on November 7 (Adelaide Oval) and November 11 (Karen Rolton Oval)
In addition to a fully revised schedule, all 59 Weber WBBL matches will be televised for the first time. This season, Seven will show 24 Weber WBBL|07 matches live, with all 59 matches on Foxtel and Kayo, in addition to coverage on ABC Radio and cricket.com.au.
Four Renegades matches will be broadcast live on free-to-air TV – on October 16 (Hobart Hurricanes), October 23 (Perth Scorchers), October 24 (Sydney Sixers), November 7 (Melbourne Stars).
Venues for the Weber WBBL|07 Finals Series are yet to be confirmed. Matches are scheduled for November 24, 25 and 27
Also read: Harmanpreet Kaur and Jemimah Rodrigues to be a part of Melbourne Renegades for WBBL 07
MELBOURNE RENEGADES WBBL|07 SCHEDULE
Oct 16: Melbourne Renegades v Hobart Hurricanes, Blundstone Arena, 3:40pm AEDT, Seven/Foxtel/Kayo
Oct 20: Melbourne Renegades v Adelaide Strikers, Blundstone Arena, 1:25pm AEDT, Foxtel/Kayo/cricket.com.au
Oct 23: Perth Scorchers v Melbourne Renegades, University of Tasmania Stadium, 7:05pm AEDT, Seven/Foxtel/Kayo
Oct 24: Sydney Sixers v Melbourne Renegades, University of Tasmania Stadium, 1:40pm AEDT, Seven/Foxtel/Kayo
Oct 27: Sydney Thunder v Melbourne Renegades, University of Tasmania Stadium, 1:25pm AEDT, Foxtel/Kayo/cricket.com.au
Oct 30: Melbourne Renegades v Sydney Sixers, Lilac Hill, 10:25am AWST/1:25pm AEDT, Foxtel/Kayo/cricket.com.au
Oct 31: Adelaide Strikers v Melbourne Renegades, Lilac Hill, 10:25am AWST/1:25pm AEDT, Foxtel/Kayo/cricket.com.au
Nov 3: Melbourne Renegades v Perth Scorchers, WACA Ground, 1:50pm AWST/4:50pm AEDT, Foxtel/Kayo/cricket.com.au
Nov 6: Melbourne Renegades v Brisbane Heat, Karen Rolton Oval, 9:45am ACDT/10:15 AEDT, Foxtel/Kayo/cricket.com.au
Nov 7: Melbourne Stars v Melbourne Renegades, Adelaide Oval, 1:10pm ACDT/1:40pm AEDT, Seven/Foxtel/Kayo
Nov 11: Melbourne Renegades v Melbourne Stars, Karen Rolton Oval, 4:20pm ACDT/4:50pm
Nov 17: Melbourne Renegades v Sydney Thunder, Great Barrier Reef Arena, 6:05pm AEST/7:05pm AEDT, Foxtel/Kayo/cricket.com.au
Nov 19: Hobart Hurricanes v Melbourne Renegades, Great Barrier Reef Arena, 2:40pm AEST/3:40pm AEDT, Foxtel/Kayo/cricket.com.au
Nov 20: Brisbane Heat v Melbourne Renegades, Great Barrier Reef Arena, 6:05pm AEST/7:05pm AEDT, Foxtel/Kayo/cricket.com.au
Finals series: November 24, 25 and 27, teams and venues TBC
Former spinner Kristen Beams wants India-Aus women's trophy to be named after Goswami, Fitzpatrick
Melbourne, Oct 7 (Cricket news) Former leg-spinner Kristen Beams wants the India-Australia multi-format series to be named after Jhulan Goswami and Cathryn Fitzpatrick, the pace legends of the two respective countries.
Beams, who played one women's Test for Australia in 2015 and 30 ODIs and 18 T20Is between 2014 and 2017, said it would be a fitting accolade for two of the great players if the trophy is named after the duo.
She made the suggestion as India and Australia begin their T20I leg of the multi-format series on Thursday in Gold Coast. The winner of the series, which is to be decided on the basis of a point-based system, will win the 'India/Australia Women's Series Trophy'.
"Firstly, both Jhulan Goswami and Cathryn Fitzpatrick played all three formats that make up this series and their records in each speak for themselves," Beams said in a write-up which appeared on cricket.com.au.
"Then there is their dominance of the sport. They both did that, collectively taking 580 international wickets, which is a staggering number." The 38-year-old Goswami, who made her India debut in 2002, has played in 12 Tests, 192 ODIs and 68 T20Is. She has taken 44 wickets in Tests, 240 in ODIs and 56 in T20Is. She is a part of the Indian team that is currently touring Australia for a multi-format series.
The 53-year-old Fitzpatrick, who debuted for Australia in 1991, played 13 Tests, 109 ODIs and 2 T20Is before her retirement. She has 60 wickets in Tests, 180 in ODIs and none in T20Is.
Other former players have also earlier suggested the names of legendary players should a perpetual trophy is to be named like the Border-Gavaskar Trophy for the men's teams.
Former Australia player Mel Jones had suggested the trophy to be named after stalwarts Shantha Ragaswamy and Margaret Jennings.
Beams said Goswami and Fitzpatrick were so dominant that runs were incredibly hard to come by, with both players boasting an economy rate of just a touch over three runs an over in ODI cricket.
"They led their attacks, albeit very differently. Goswami, with her height, gets great pace and bounce and that awkward length has been a feature over her career, leaving batters parked on the back foot," she said.
"Fitzpatrick bowled rapid, the ball skidded on to you before you could move and she had the presence (some may call it intimidation) that dreams are made of. She was feared, and I say that as the absolute compliment." Beams also felt that the pair made immense contributions to generations of fast bowlers in their respective countries.
"Over such long careers, many bowlers would have debuted for both India and Australia and had the chance to learn from the very best."
Also Read : We will go all out in T20 series, need to win it at any cost: Harmanpreet
News Source : PTI
Finch backs Warner to open in T20 WC, despite woes in IPL
Melbourne, Oct 6 (Cricket news) Star Australia batsman David Warner may be woefully out of form and hasn't played any international match in the shortest format for over a year but his opener's slot in the upcoming T20 World Cup is not under any doubt, limited-over captain Aaron Finch said on Wednesday.
Finch backed Warner to be his opening partner at the T20 World Cup to be played in Oman and UAE from October 19, despite Warner being dropped by Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL this year.
"Yep, absolutely He's one of the best players to ever play the game for Australia," Finch said on the eve of Australia's departure to the UAE for the showpiece.
"I've got no doubt that his preparation, while he would love to be playing for Hyderabad no doubt, I know that he's still training away. He'll be good to go," he said, according to ESPNCricinfo.
Warner hasn't played a T20I for Australia since September 2020, missing the last 14 matches across four series due to a combination of injury, rest, and schedule clashes.
He has endured a difficult IPL season across the two halves of the tournament, scoring just two half-centuries in eight innings. He was dropped as captain by Sunrisers during the first half of the IPL season in India.
He didn't tour with Australia to the Caribbean and Bangladesh mid-year in order to rest for the second half of the IPL and the World Cup but scored just 0 and 2 in his first two games on resumption of the IPL in the UAE and was left out of Sunrisers' side again.
Finch himself is entering the tournament after a surgery to repair cartilage in his right knee in August. Initially, there were doubts regarding his availability for Australia's two warm-up games against New Zealand (October 18) and India (October 20).
But, he said he is confident he will be able to play in both of them, which will be a boost for the squad's disjointed preparation.
"Over the last couple of weeks my recovery has progressed really well so it's looking more and more likely that I'll be fit and ready to go for them," Finch said.
"And just in terms of the intensity that I've been able to train, the amount of accelerations, decelerations, putting load through my knee, that's all really positive. So, yeah, I've got no issues." Most of the members of the Australian squad have had minimal recent game-time under their belts.
Glenn Maxwell and Josh Hazlewood are in sparkling form in the IPL but Marcus Stoinis has suffered a hamstring injury and has not batted in the middle after breaking down in the first game on resumption.
Steve Smith has been in and out of Delhi Capital's line-up, playing just two matches.
Those based in Australia have hardly had any cricket having difficulties trying to train due to the various lockdowns in Australia.
Also Read : Hardik not bowling is a big blow for MI and also India: Gavaskar
News Source : PTI
Jannik Sinner wins the Sofia Open for the second time
(Tennis news) Jannik Sinner defended his title at the Sofia Open as he beat Gael Monfils in straight sets. Sinner has won three titles this season and all of them in hardcourts, he has now entered the top ten rankings and is the youngest of the group.
Sinner has faced Monfils at the US Open in the third round and has three victories over Monfils in four matches. Sinner played aggressively right from the start in the final as Gael kept returning the ball, Sinner kept hitting forehands across the court to take the first set. In the second set, Monfils came into form as he hit speeding forehands and even slam dunked a smash but Sinner’s form was not affected as he came into the net to finish off points against Monfils. Sinner defeated Monfils 6-3, 6-4.
Monfils has had a rough year as he is yet to win a title, his last title came a year back at Rotterdam. The 35 year old has reached the finals for the first time this year and his best performance at Metz where he reached the semifinals losing to Pablo Carreno Busta. As for Sinner, his first title came at the same tournament a year back and has won multiple titles this year and now has a chance to play in the world tour finals given his performance at the handful of tournaments left in the season.
Sinner started the year with a title at Melbourne and then reached the quarterfinals in Dubai but his highlight was reaching the finals of the Miami Masters 1000 where he lost to Hubert Hurkacz. He also reached the semifinals in Barcelona and the fourth round of the French Open. The 20 year old has already qualified for the Next Gen ATP finals which will begin next month, he won it in 2019 and can continue his winning streak at home in Italy.
Sinner had won the title here last year beating Vasek Pospisil in the final and this time had not dropped a set while capturing the title. With his third title of the year, Sinner has slowly transformed himself into a probable for the majors next year. This season has seen the youngsters play the major role in most of the events, especially in the second half of the year. With one more month to go in the tennis calendar, Sinner will look to climb up the rankings ladder.
Tim Paine says Ashes will go ahead, slams Pietersen
Melbourne, Oct 1 (Cricket news) Australia captain Tim Paine on Friday asserted that the upcoming Ashes series against traditional rivals England will go ahead even if some visiting players refuse to tour because of COVID-19 restrictions.
There has been a lot of speculation over the Ashes with many England players including Test captain Joe Root raising concerns over travelling with family members amid strict COVID restrictions Down Under, with some even mulling pulling out of the tour.
But Paine thought otherwise.
"The Ashes are going ahead. The first Test is on 8 December - whether Joe is here or not," Paine told SEN Hobart.
"They all want to come, there's no doubt about it. They're trying to get themselves the best possible conditions they can, but at the end of the day, we all are." Earlier, Root and other members of the England team have expressed doubts over the tour, citing "bubble fatigue" amid the prospect of living under strict restrictions.
Paine added, "It'll be worked out above us and then they'll have a choice whether to get on that plane or not.
"No one is forcing any England player to come. That's the beauty of the world we live in - you have a choice. If you don't want to come, don't come." Paine also asked former England star Kevin Pietersen to let the players decided whether they wish to play in the Ashes or not.
"He (Pietersen) is an expert on everything, there is no doubt about that," Paine said.
"Kev mate, leave it to the players, let them speak. We have not heard one England player come out and say they will not be coming.
"I think it's been beat up and people like Kevin like to get themselves a little bit of exposure in the media whenever they can," added Paine, who is recuperating from a neck surgery and hopes to be fit for the Ashes.
Pietersen had recently taken to Twitter and criticised the Australian quarantine rules, saying players have had enough of staying in bio-secure bubbles and called for lifting of the "ridiculous quarantine rules" in Australia before the Ashes.
The five-match Test series is scheduled to begin from December 8 and continue till January 18. But the fate of the tour remains unclear with several senior English players are considering the possibility of boycotting it, depending on what type of restrictions they have to live in.
Australia plans to ease border and quarantine restrictions by the end of this year, after at least 80 per cent of its adult population receive two COVID-19 vaccination shots.
Officials in the COVID-free states of Western Australia and Queensland have however said they may keep their borders shut for longer period, depending on the situation.
Also Read : 'No way I would go to Ashes': Pietersen calls for lifting of COVID restrictions in Australia
News source : PTI
Richa Ghosh becomes 7th Indian to join WBBL, signed by Hobart Hurricanes
Hobart, Oct 1 (Cricket news) Young wicketkeeper Richa Ghosh on Friday became the seventh Indian cricketer to sign for the upcoming Women's Big Bash League (WBBL) after she was roped in by Hobart Hurricanes.
Ghosh is set to make her WBBL debut and has joined Smriti Mandhana and Deepti Sharma (Sydney Thunder), Shafali Verma and Radha Yadav (Sydney Sixers), and Jemimah Rodrigues and Harmanpreet Kaur (Melbourne Renegades) to feature in the 2021 edition of the Australian T20 league.
Ghosh, who celebrated her 18th birthday this week, has a wealth of experience playing in Australia.
She made her international debut at last year's Tri-National Women's T20 series in the lead-up to the ICC T20 World Cup, before representing India in the format's flagship tournament, where they finished runners-up.
With a T20I strike rate in excess of 100, Ghosh also made her One-Day International debut on Australian soil last month, as part of India's multi-format Australian tour.
"I'm very excited to be playing in the WBBL this year," Ghosh said in a statement posted on Hobart Hurricanes website.
"I'm very thankful to the Hurricanes for this opportunity, and I'm looking forward to coming to Tasmania and meeting up with my new teammates." Ghosh has been roped in as a replacement for Lizelle Lee, who had recently withdrawn from the tournament, citing a need to take an indefinite break from cricket after countless overseas tournaments, bubbles and quarantine requirements.
Also Read : Harmanpreet Kaur and Jemimah Rodrigues to be a part of Melbourne Renegades for WBBL 07
News Source : PTI
Grigor Dimitrov records first victory over Marton Fucsovics at San Diego Open
(Tennis news) Grigor Dimitrov so far has had a disappointing year after a good start in the opening few months. He had reached the quarterfinals in the Melbourne Open and defeated Dominic Thiem in the Australian Open to reach the quarterfinals but since then has had nine victories and 11 losses. He has not yet reached the last four in any tournament and hasn’t won a title since 2017.
He faced Marton Fucsovics in the opening match, an opponent he has played twice and lost both the matches but this time Dimitrov gave a glimpse of his attacking game as he struck winners from the forehand and backhand. His athletic game was not on display but his strokes were fast and on point which was enough to beat Marton. Dimitrov defeated Marton 6-3, 1-6, 7-5.
Dimitrov will next face Felix Auger-Aliassime and has a similar history with the young Canadian. Dimitrov has lost both the matches against him and is yet to take a set, their last meeting was at Rotterdam in the fourth round.
Diego Schwartzman did not let US Open quarter finalist Llyod Harris stage an upset as he recorded his second victory over Harris after the first round win in the Australian Open last year. Schwartzman is one of the fastest movers on court and was competing against an equally quick player as there were long rallies with the players running from one end to the other, a single break in the first two sets gave them a set a piece. In the final set, Schwartzman broke Harris in the very first game and continued his form till the last point to set up a match with Andrey Rublev. Schwartzman defeated Harris 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.
Schwartzman faced Rublev at the Laver Cup this year as the Russian finished on top and their previous meeting was at the 2017 French Open in a first round marathon with Schwartzman going into the second round.
Rublev showed no mercy against wildcard Brandon Nakashima as there umpteen winners coming from Rublev. Brandon had reached the finals at La Cabos and Atlanta and even beat John Isner at La Cabos in the semifinal and at the US Open 1st round but lost to him at the Atlanta finals. This time there was no scope for a win as he couldn’t handle the power of Rublev who kept thrashing the ball leaving no option for Brandon but to watch it go across him. Rublev defeated Brandon 6-2, 6-1.
Fresh off from winning the title at the Moselles Open, Hubert Hurkacz continued his winning run in San Diego as he beat Alex Bolt in the first round to set up a first time meeting with Aslan Karatsev. Hubert looked fresh from the start as he tackled strong forehands from Bolt as the first set needed a tie breaker to settle the scores, Hubert’s supreme net play won him the first set. In the second set, Hubert played with the same energy as Bolt began to falter from the start which gave Hubert an early lead which he maintained till the end to beat the left handed qualifier. Hubert defeated Bolt 7-6 (7-2), 6-1.
Top four players who can qualify for the ATP World Tour Finals for the first time
(Tennis news) The Nitto ATP finals will be held from November second week which will feature the top 8 players in the world. With the Sofia and San Diego Open going on, the players will look to capitalize on the two Masters 1000 series which will bring them closer to the top 8 rankings. There are a few players who have the chance to make it to the tournament for the first time.
Hubert won the Moselles Open in singles and doubles, he has won three titles this year and looks in great form. Hubert is currently in 7th position in the race for the year end championships and so far will not have trouble qualifying. All of his titles have come in hard courts and will be an added advantage for the polish number one. On his way to winning a first Masters 1000 title at Miami he recorded successive wins over Stefanos Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev. His game does not allow him to commit many unforced errors and has excellent control at the net.
Casper is having the best year in his career as he has won four titles and all of them have come on clay. He has won 43 matches with 12 losses and recently played in the Laver Cup where he defeated Reilly Opelka in straight sets. He had reached the quarterfinals in Toronto and Cincinnati where he lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev respectively. Casper had reached the last four in Madrid and Monte Carlo while defeating two top 10 players on the way. He won three successive titles in the month of July with a winning streak of fourteen matches which ended at Toronto. He is currently in 8th position to qualify for the Tour finals.
Jannik has won two titles this year both in hardcourts and reached the finals in Miami Masters 1000 losing to Hubert in two sets. He has defeated Gael Monfils in the US Open and Andrey Rublev at Barcelona, he has an attacking game as he is always looking for winners. Jannik last played in the US Open reaching the fourth round, he has already qualified for the ATP next Gen where he is the defending champion. Jannik had won the first title of the year at Melbourne where he defeated Karen Khachanov in a marathon semifinal which involved two tie breaks.
He is the youngest player in the race for the Tour Finals and along with Jannik has qualified for the ATP next Gen with his record breaking performance at the US Open. The 21 year old has progressed to the fourth round in all Slams except the French Open this year and has two runner up finishes. He had defeated Roger Federer at the Halle Open and has four wins over top ten players this year. Felix has shown great composure while playing at the Grand Slams and will be needing the same when he qualifies in the final tournament of the year.
Harmanpreet Kaur and Jemimah Rodrigues to be a part of Melbourne Renegades for WBBL 07
(Cricket news) Indian superstars Harmanpreet Kaur and Jemimah Rodrigues are now part of the Melbourne Renegades. Their presence will add significant firepower to the Renegades’ line-up for WBBL 07.
Kaur is one of the game’s most attacking batting batters and had showcased in her unbeaten 171 off just 115 deliveries to send Australia out of the 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup semi-finals. The 32-year old is leading the current India’s T20 side and also has loads of experience as she has played over 227 matches and is excited to be returning to the WBBL, after a previous stint with the Sydney Thunder.
“It means a lot (to be back). The WBBL has given me a lot of experience and a great platform where I can perform and execute,” Kaur said. “Coming back with a new team, the Renegades… I hope this season will be really great for us. It’s my first season with them and I definitely want to make an impact.
“Whenever I’ve played in the WBBL, I’ve seen many fans around and their excitement. Even lots of Indian fans are coming and watching – it’s a great experience for me. I’m glad that I’m part of this great tournament.”
At 21 Rodrigues is one of cricket’s rising stars. She was in great form at The Hundred, where she was second in highest run scored with 249 runs at a strike rate above 150. Rodrigues has made great progress in the game as she is already the 13th-ranked T20 batter in the world and has represented India on 68 occasions. She will be looking to make a shining debut at WBBL.
“I’m very excited to be here now and to be part of the Renegades,” Rodrigues said. “I think for me, the main goal over here will be just to pull back and play cricket, play some good cricket and enjoy what I’m doing. I know when I do that and when I’m in that headspace, I’m able to give it my best. “The goal is whatever happens, I want to give it my 100 percent each and every time I’m on the field… and hopefully (we can win) the cup for the Renegades!
“I’m super excited, I’m really looking forward to it and there’s so much that I’m going to learn, I’m sure about that.”
WBBL Head Coach, Simon Helmot, welcomed the arrival of the star pair.
“Harmanpreet’s record at international level over the past decade speaks for itself. She’s a match-winner and can take the game away from the opposition in a heartbeat. We also see Harmanpreet being an important addition for our group with her experience and leadership,” Helmot said.
“Jemimah is an immensely talented young player, who is already making her mark on the world stage at 21. She was superb recently in The Hundred over in the UK. Jemimah is a dynamic player who can score quickly and to all parts of the ground.”
The two international signings locks in the Renegades’ squad for WBBL|07.
“We’re thrilled to have Harmanpreet and Jemimah on board and we look forward to welcoming them to our group with open arms following the international series,” General Manager, James Rosengarten, said.
“Adding two world-class players is something that will no doubt excite our members, fans and wider Renegades community. “We believe we’ve assembled a really well-rounded squad and will enter WBBL|07 with a lot of optimism about what we’re capable of achieving.”
WBBL 07 Squad: Sophie Molineux (c), Makinley Blows, Josie Dooley, Jess Duffin, Ellie Falconer, Holly Ferling, Poppy Gardner, Ella Hayward, Eve Jones*, Harmanpreet Kaur*, Carly Leeson, Rhiann O’Donnell, Jemimah Rodrigues*, Georgia Wareham, Courtney Webb
Australia's Haynes to miss lone Test and 3 T20Is against India due to hamstring injury
Melbourne, Sep 28 (Cricket news) Australia women's cricket team vice-captain Rachael Haynes has been ruled out of the lone Test and subsequent three-match T20 International series against the visiting Indians because of a right hamstring injury.
Haynes suffered the right hamstring injury during the third ODI in Mackay, which India won by two wickets but lost the three-match series 1-2.
The injury will see opener Haynes miss the remainder of India's tour -- one-off day-night Test starting Thursday in Carrara and also the following three T20Is. "Unfortunately her (Haynes) hamstring is no good," Australia women's team coach Matthew Mott was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
"She's devastated – obviously Test matches don't come around too often, she's a key member of our squad so our thoughts are with her at the moment." In Haynes' absence, Beth Mooney is likely to open the innings alongside Alyssa Healy.
Mott also said he was hopeful leg-spinner Georgia Wareham, who has returned to training after suffering a quad injury in the second ODI, would be fit to make her Test debut on Thursday.
"Georgia's ticking all the boxes for her return to play. She was very sensible around that – she felt something quite early, got treatment and has been doing everything she can to get it right," he said.
"Personally, I really hope she gets through it after missing out in the last Test we played. She's a key member; no matter what the wicket serves up, she's a wicket-taker and she's an incredibly good thing for this team – she leads the way in the field and her batting is evolving all the time.
"So hopefully she gets the opportunity – she's done everything in her powers to be ready."
Also Read : India win last over thriller to end Australia's winning W-ODI streak
News source : PTI
Shafali, Radha join Sydney Sixers for upcoming WBBL season
Sydney, Sep 27 (Cricket News) Indian teen batting sensation Shafali Verma and left-arm spinner Radha Yadav will make their Women's Big Bash League debut with two-time champions Sydney Sixers, it was officially confirmed on Monday.
The signing of the duo by the Sixers was reported by PTI on May 13 and has been confirmed by the organisers ahead of the seventh edition of the league, which starts next month.
"So the Sydney derby should be fun this year!. The @SixersBBL have signed Indian talents Shafali Verma and Radha Yadav," a message posted from the official twitter handle of the league read.
The Sixers begin their WBBL campaign against the Melbourne Stars on October 14 at Blundstone Arena in Hobart.
The 17-year-old Shafali, who in 2019 became India's youngest ever woman player to make her international debut, is widely considered the best batting talent in the world and currently sits atop the ICC women's T20I player rankings.
On Sunday, she scored her maiden ODI half-century with a mature knock of 56 as India upset the might Australian team, snapping the hosts' 26-game winning streak.
"This is a very good opportunity for me and my goal is to just enjoy myself, to make some new friends and have fun," Shafali was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
"I want to play WBBL and back myself and just believe in myself." Shafali is expected to form a lethal combination with Alyssa Healy, Ellyse Perry and Ash Gardner at the top of the order for the Sixers, giving the team the most exciting top four in WBBL history.
In June, the right-hander became the youngest player, male or female, to represent India in all three formats of international cricket before she debuted for the Birmingham Phoenix in 'The Hundred' under Sixers’ head coach Ben Sawyer.
"Shafali is very impressive. She's such a talent and she’s fearless. She hits to different areas of the field and plays shots that are different to the other three girls in that top four," Sawyer said.
"The experience I had with her in Birmingham was that she wants to learn, she wants to get better and she wants to grow as a player and a person," he added.
Not to be overshadowed by her teenage teammate, left-arm orthodox spinner Radha arrives at the Sixers with a burgeoning resume of her own and sits 11th in the T20I player rankings.
The 21-year-old was one of the discoveries of the 2018 ICC Women's World Twenty20, finishing as the joint-leading wicket-taker for India in the tournament, with eight dismissals in five matches.
Radha said she was looking forward to making her WBBL debut alongside Shafali, noting the tournament had been very aspirational as she rose through the ranks in India.
"Lots of young Indian girls want to play in the WBBL. It is a very good standard and I am so happy to be able to play for the Sixers this year," Radha said.
Sawyer was equally exuberant about welcoming Radha to the Sixers.
"Radha brings a skillset that we have never had at the Sixers and that’s very exciting. A left-arm ortho bowler is so important in the WBBL and having one who is world class is such a great opportunity for this team.
"She has also batted in the middle of the order for India so she is handy with the bat too," he added.
Also Read : Mithali remains best batter in Indian team, criticism over strike-rate uncalled for: Shantha
News Source : PTI
Boston to host the fourth edition of the Laver Cup, New generation leading the pack
(Tennis news): Laver Cup will begin from 24th of September and will be led by the next generation as the big three won’t be taking part this time. Team Europe is led by the US Open champion Daniil Medvedev and Diego Schwartzman will be leading team World, the tournament is back after a year as it was not held last year due to the pandemic.
The Laver Cup is played in honour of the living legend Rod Laver who dominated the game during the early 60’s and set records which still stands today. He is the only man to have achieved a calendar year slam and was the first player to do it when he won all the four slams in 1969. He played left handed and had strong groundstrokes along with an attacking serve and volley.
Laver also became the first Open era champion at Wimbledon in 1968, he had a total of 198 titles with 111 titles coming in the Open era. He also played doubles, winning all the slams except the US Open in the pre open era and won the Australian Open and Wimbledon in the open era. He was one of the highest paid players and had a total of 11 slams in which 5 of them came in the open era. Laver had laid the foundation for tennis, he was even present in this year’s US Open final and Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne is named after him.
The Laver Cup was created by Roger Federer’s management company TEAM8 along with former player Jorge Paulo Lemann with a partnership of Tennis Australia. It is based on the Ryders Cup in Golf and the top players from the US play against top professionals from Europe. The Laver has two teams, team Europe and team world and there six players in each team who will be captained by a legend in the sport. The current captain for team Europe is Bjorn Borg and vice captain being Thomas Enqvist as for the team world they are being captained by John Mcenroe and the vice captain being Patrick Mcenroe.
The Laver Cup does not have ATP points and is played between the top players. The players are chosen according to team ranking and the captain also chooses players, Team Europe has won the first three editions of the game and Alexander Zverev is the only one player from team Europe to feature in all the editions. John Isner and Nick Kyrgios and have also been part of all the editions in team world.
The first edition was notable as Federer and Rafael Nadal were part of the doubles team and in the second edition Federer and Novak Djokovic were part of the doubles team. There were outstanding performances from Sock in the doubles, Isner and Kyrgios in the singles. All the players watch the match on the court and also receive coaching during the match from the captain and the players.
Team Europe: Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev, Andrey Rublev, Matteo Berrettini and Casper Ruud.
Team World: Félix Auger-Aliassime, Denis Shapovalov, Diego Schwartzman, Reilly Opelka, John Isner and Nick Kyrgios.
John Isner is the only player this time who is aged above 30 as the rest of the players are all in their twenties. Isner who is 36 is the oldest and Félix Auger-Aliassime who is 21 is the youngest this time. Team Europe is filled with youngsters and is the favourite to win the Cup as for Team world they will look to hold the cup for the first time.
Australia fast bowler Vlaeminck ruled out of India ODIs, Test
Melbourne, Sep 16 (Cricket News) Australia women's team express pace bowler Tayla Vlaeminck was on Thursday ruled out of the upcoming three-match ODI series and one-off day/night Test against visiting India due to niggles.
The home team's support staff is looking to best manage its battery of young fast bowlers.
Head coach Matthew Mott said Vlaeminck, who did not bowl on Thursday, would be the lone player unavailable for next week's ODIs in Mackay and the ensuing Test in Gold Coast.
He added that she will likely feature in the T20 series.
"Tayla has had some little niggles throughout her build-up down in Victoria," Mott told reporters after his 18-member squad played out a 30-overs per side game in Brisbane.
"That's something that we've been monitoring all the way through.
"And she does have to step up her loads gradually. We've got to manage her really well – we've got a huge 18 months for her as a young fast bowler, and we know the impact that she can have when she plays." Vlaeminck, who played the first of her 20 matches for Australia as a 19-year-old in 2018, has for some time been considered among the world's fastest bowlers, though knee and shoulder problems as well as a stress fracture in her right foot have stalled her progress.
With the 22-year-old speedster still working her way back to full fitness ahead of the T20s, Australia will be without their first-choice new ball pairing for the three ODIs and one-off Test as veteran seamer Megan Schutt is also unavailable following the birth of her first child.
With experienced spinner Jess Jonassen also missing out owing to an injury, Mott is expecting star all-rounder Ellyse Perry to take on a leadership role in the young bowling group.
"(Perry has) obviously had a very long recovery now and (this series is) something she's planned a lot for," he said.
"Speaking to (bowling coach) Ben Sawyer, who has worked a lot with her at the Sixers, he's really happy with where she's at.
"At the crease he can't remember her being as strong as she has been, and certainly in the hits that we've had up here (we've seen that).
"She had a pretty good bowl today, she got a little bit of tap early, but then came back and got a wicket, got Meg out and bowled really well.
The tour begins with the opening ODI at the Great Barrier Reef Arena in Mackay on September 21 and concludes with third and final T20I at the Metricon Stadium in Gold Coast on October 10.
One of the young bowlers wearing the Baggy Green for the first time could be Darcie Brown, an 18-year-old tearaway from Kapunda in South Australia who burst onto the scene in last summer's WBBL before going on to make her ODI and T20I debuts in New Zealand in March-April.
In Vlaeminck's absence, Mott said Brown could well make her debut in the one-off Test and be deployed as an impact bowler.
"What we have found in our stats for the last few Tests is that spinners bowl a lot of the overs, so having some like Darcie to come in for short spells is probably how she's going to be used anyway," he said.
"I think our quicks will probably be used a lot more for impact than the grunt work in the middle overs."
Also Read : I can say that old Yuzi is back, asserts Chahal ahead of IPL
News Source : PTI
Tim Paine to undergo neck surgery before Ashes
Melbourne, Sep 13 (Cricket news) Australia Test captain Tim Paine is set to undergo a surgery on Tuesday to get rid of a nagging neck pain ahead of the Ashes series against England in December.
Paine, 37, exuded confidence of regaining full fitness to lead the Test side in this summer's Ashes.
The surgery is meant to fix a "pinched nerve in his neck", which has halted his pre-season training with Tasmania.
"The consensus of the spinal surgeon and the CA medical team was to have the surgery now which will allow plenty of time to fully prepare for the summer," Paine was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
"I expect to be able to restart physical activity by the end of this month and be back in full training in October.
"I will be ready to go by the first Test and am very much looking forward to what will be a huge summer.
The first Ashes Test is scheduled to start on December 8 at the Gabba.
Also read: Refrain from delivering aggressive statements: Asghar Afghan to Paine
Paine has had series of surgeries in the past and an injury to his right index finger had almost ended his career before he made an unexpected comeback to the Test side in 2017.
He underwent seven surgeries to fix his finger.
News source: PTI
Looks impossible for Afghanistan to play in T20 World Cup: Tim Paine
Melbourne, Sep 10 (Cricket news): Australia Test captain Tim Paine believes it would be "impossible" for Afghanistan to compete in next month's T20 World Cup as other countries might refuse to play against them following Taliban's ban on women's cricket in the war-ravaged country.
Soon after forming the interim government, the Taliban banned women from playing cricket or any others sports, casting doubts over Afghanistan men's team Test status. As per ICC rules, all Test playing nations must have a women's team as well. Paine backed the decision of Cricket Australia (CA) which all but confirmed on Thursday that the men team's season-opening Test against Afghanistan, slated to start on November 27, will be scrapped due to the Taliban's order.
"I don't think we want to be associated with countries that are taking opportunities or things off literally half their population," Paine was quoted as saying on SEN radio.
"I'd imagine it's impossible (for Afghanistan to take part) if teams are pulling out of playing against them and governments are not letting them travel to our shores.
"How a team like that can be allowed to play in an ICC-sanctioned event is going to be very, very hard to see," he added.
The ICC has flagged it won't discuss the issue until a board meeting in November, although pressure from members could potentially expedite things.
"It's sad. We've heard nothing from the ICC, which is fascinating given there is a T20 World Cup in just over a month's time," Paine said.
Afghanistan named its T20 World Cup squad on Thursday with Rashid Khan as the skipper, but the star spinner immediately resigned from captaincy, stating he was not consulted before picking the 15-member side.
The T20 World Cup will be held in the UAE and Oman from October 17 to November 14.
Also read: Will not host Afghanistan men's team in November if women are not allowed to compete: CA
News source: PTI
Will not host Afghanistan men's team in November if women are not allowed to compete: CA
Melbourne, Sep 9 (Cricket news): Cricket Australia (CA) on Thursday made it clear that it will not host the Afghanistan men's team next month if women are not allowed to play the game under Taliban rule.
CA's statement comes a day after Taliban's cultural commission, Ahmadullah Wasiq, was quoted as saying that it wasn't necessary for women to play cricket.
"Driving the growth of women's cricket globally is incredibly important to Cricket Australia. Our vision for cricket is that it is a sport for all and we support the game unequivocally for women at every level," the CA said.
"If recent media reports that women's cricket will not be supported in Afghanistan are substantiated, Cricket Australia would have no alternative but to not host Afghanistan for the proposed Test Match due to be played in Hobart." "We thank the Australian and Tasmanian Governments for their support on this important issue," it added.
The one-off Test between Australia and Afghanistan is scheduled to begin on November 27 in Hobart.
The Australian Cricketers Association (ACA) also endorsed CA's stance.
"What is happening now in Afghanistan is a human rights issue that transcends the game of cricket.
"And while we would love to see players such as Rashid Khan play against Australia, hosting this Test Match cannot be considered if that same opportunity to play the game is denied to Roya Samim and her team-mates," it said.
Sports Minister Richard Colbeck has called for the International Cricket Council's intervention on the matter.
"Excluding women from sport at any level is unacceptable," Colbeck said in a statement.
"We urge international sport authorities, including the International Cricket Council, to take a stand against this appalling ruling."
Also read: Shami fit to play in Manchester; medical team monitoring Rohit, Pujara
News source: PTI
Long live Test cricket while we've Virat Kohli: Warne
Melbourne, Sep 8 (Cricket news) Spin legend Shane Warne has heaped praises on Virat Kohli, saying he has instilled self-belief in his team and hoped that the Indian skipper continues to play for a long time as it augurs well for Test cricket.
India recorded a fine 157-run win over England in the fourth Test at the Oval to take an unassailable 2-1 lead in the five-match series.
Also read: Charith Asalanka stars as Sri Lanka win 3 match ODI series against South Africa
"They look up to him. He's got the respect of all the players. They back him and they play for him. It's important for a captain that a team plays for you. I think the way Virat conducts himself, we've all got to say, 'Thank You Virat'," Warne said on Sky Sports.
"The way he's led them, he's made them believe; belief is such an important part of sports. If you don't believe, you won't succeed no matter how good a side you have.
"Kohli gives his team the belief and it's great to watch. Long live Test cricket while we've Virat Kohli. Please keep playing for a long long time," he added.
Kohli is India's most successful captain in overseas Test, having guided the country to 37 victories in 63 matches on foreign soil.
News source: PTI
Indian women's cricket team 'somehow' getting by in 'tiny rooms' of govt quarantine in Brisbane
New Delhi, Sep 2 (Cricket news) It is only day four of the Indian women's cricket team's 14-day hard quarantine in "tiny" hotel rooms in Brisbane but the isolation is beginning to take a toll on the players, a BCCI official has said.
The official told PTI that rooms are too small at the government's institutional quarantine facility with players somehow managing to do light training.
"The rooms are way too small. You barely manage to move around and do some training. There are no guards manning the place like the players witnessed in the UK but it is very strict.
"The food served though is okay and there is change in menu everyday. It will be a challenging two weeks," the official said.
The players had an easier time in the UK as they were allowed to train within the first week of their quarantine after spending two weeks in isolation in Mumbai.
The squad arrived in Brisbane on Monday after change in tour itinerary due to COVID-19 related restrictions in Sydney, Perth and Melbourne, the original venues for the series comprising three ODIs, a day-night Test and three T20s.
All matches will now be played in Queensland with the start of the series likely to be delayed by two days to September 21.
The men's cricket team, which toured Australia this year, was allowed to train for a limited period during its quarantine. The women though are confined to their hotel rooms for 14 days.
Australia is among the countries which has imposed some of the harshest restrictions on international travellers to curb COVID-19.
Seeing the positives from the current situation, head coach Ramesh Powar tweeted a photo of his room window with caption "AS LONG AS YOU HAVE WINDOW,LIFE IS EXCITING".
Also read: Ashwin overlooked again; mystery continues over exclusion despite Kohli explainer
The hard quarantine had also taken a toll on the tennis players ahead of the Australian Open earlier this year.
Two-time champion Victoria Azarenka had spoken about breathing issues post her first round loss in Melbourne.
She was among more than 70 players who were forced to undergo s 14-day quarantine upon arrival.
News source: PTI
Ashwin must play at The Oval: Dinesh Karthik
London, Sep 1 (Cricket news) Wicket-keeper batsman Dinesh Karthik feels the time is ripe for R Ashwin to play his first match of the ongoing five-Test series between India and England.
India have gone with four pacers and a specialist spinner in Ravindra Jadeja so far in the series but that could change in the fourth Test beginning here on Thursday.
"I believe the time is ripe for Ravichandran Ashwin to make his first appearance of the series. Traditionally, The Oval has thrown up some of the flattest pitches in England, and it has been no different this season.
"Three of Surrey’s five matches at home in the County Championship have ended indecisively, and ten hundreds have been registered in those games," Karthik wrote in 'The Telegraph'.
Karthik feels Ashwin's versatility will help India at The Oval.
"If I was Virat Kohli, I’d like to bring a new dimension into play in this crucial Test. As Ashwin has shown in his storied career, he hasn’t necessarily relied on assistance from the surface to make an impact. England have two left-handers in their top three and three in the top seven." "The off-spinner’s record against lefties is second to none, and he is more than handy against the right-handers, who he tests with the knuckle ball and the floater that he has mastered through hours of diligent practice away from the harsh spotlight of the international game." Karthik, who will be playing in the upcoming IPL, said the conditions will suit Ashwin's style of bowling.
"In Australia, Ashwin got excellent drift with the Kookaburra ball, getting it to curl away from the right-hander in the air and break back on pitching. That’s how he had Steve Smith caught at leg-slip in the second Test in Melbourne.
"He is equally comfortable switching to around the stumps and getting the ball to go away with the angle, a trick that netted him the prized scalps of Smith and Marnus Labuschagne, Australia’s two best batsmen.
"Like the Australian tracks, The Oval boasts bounce, which is Ashwin’s greatest ally away from home. He is willing to try to buy wickets because he is always focused on getting batsmen out," Karthik wrote.
Skipper Virat Kohli can also open the bowling with Ashwin.
Also read: Karnataka speedster Prasidh Krishna added to main Test squad
"One of Ashwin’s specialties is that he lets the ball hang in the air; because he has big fingers, he imparts a lot of revs, which makes him particularly venomous whilst bowling to the lefties.
"At Headingley, as early as day one Moeen Ali got the ball to turn off shallow footmarks during his brief spell to Ajinkya Rahane. What it reiterates is that England can aid turn if there is moisture, if the surface is a little damp.
"Ashwin is adept at bowling with a new or newish red ball, so Virat can use him even in the first hour if there is dampness to be exploited. As the match progresses, of course, Ashwin will become a more potent weapon," added Karthik.
News source: PTI
All eyes on team management's stand on Rahane and Ashwin as India eye improved show
London, Sep 1 (Cricket news) Vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane's wretched form and senior off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin's probable inclusion will have the most significant impact on the Indian team's efforts to move on from its Leeds debacle when it takes on a stronger England in the fourth Test at the Oval starting Wednesday.
The high of an inspirational victory at the Lord's was followed by back-to-back batting debacles at Headingley and the penultimate game at Oval would certainly have an impact on both sides as the series heads towards its busin1ess end.
Skipper Virat Kohli had said that a victory at Lord's didn't guarantee a win in the next Test and a defeat at Headingley doesn't mean that an encore would happen at the Oval with the series locked at 1-1.
Not the one to believe that outside noise (fans and experts) should be given much credence, the Indian captain, in his heart of hearts, knows that all is not well with his batting unit and the biggest problem is the performance of its three middle-order stalwarts -- the skipper himself, Cheteshwar Pujara and his deputy Rahane.
Pujara might have redeemed himself with a knock of 91 which was high on "intent quotient" but the same can't be said about Rahane, whose form is shaky despite a crucial 61 in the second innings at the Lord's.
In all likelihood, Rahane would get another chance but over the past two years, his inconsistency has hurt this team badly.
What many people have found baffling is that even a hundred at Melbourne or a fifty at the Lord's hasn't inspired confidence and he has never looked like getting back into some kind of form.
A total of 95 runs in five innings at an average of 19 is not an indicator of Rahane's qualities but a spunky strokeplayer like Suryakumar Yadav or an orthodox batter like Hanuma Vihari might bring in a bit of freshness in the middle-order.
If Rahane is dropped at all, then Vihari has a better chance of coming in as he also bowls off-spin.
However, skipper Kohli has shown that he can be dogmatic even if suggestions to contrary come from some of India's biggest cricketing legends including Sunil Gavaskar, who feels that playing an extra batsman might help them.
An exhibit of it is his decision of not compromising with the five-bowler theory despite batting failures save for openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul (who had a poor third Test).
Ravindra Jadeja in this series, with two wickets from three games, has played primarily as a No.7 batsman whose willow-wielding skills are considered to be far better than Ashwin, who is perhaps the world's best spinner at the moment.
The Oval track has traditionally helped spinners and therefore Ashwin, who had a six-wicket haul in a county game for Surrey (vs Somerset) might just bring in his 400 plus wicket experience to trouble the English batters who have been wary of him in the past.
But Kohli, whose fascination for four pacers is well documented, might want to replace an off-colour Ishant Sharma with Shardul Thakur, who is more of an all-rounder and it remains to be seen if Ashwin comes in place of Jadeja, who hasn't been penetrative enough.
Similarly, the skipper has indicated looking at the workload of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami, both of whom have bowled over 100 overs in the series so far.
If their middle-order is a cause of concern, the other aspect that's bound to give them sleepless nights is the form of rival skipper Joe Root, who has already tallied over 500 runs in just three games with a hat-trick of hundreds.
Also read: We are prepared against world class Ashwin: Root
If Ashwin gets a look-in, Root versus Ashwin will be a contest that a lot of cricket fans will be looking forward to.
For England, Dawid Malan, in his comeback match, was in good touch. Add to it, Mark Wood's blistering pace and Chris Woakes's incisive swing bowling and it is enough to ensure a bit of workload management for James Anderson.
Jonny Bairstow is expected to keep wickets as Jos Buttler has taken a break with his wife expecting their second child.
However, England have enough resources in their arsenal to trouble India.
Teams India: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Mayank Agarwal, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, KL Rahul, Wriddhiman Saha, Abhimanyu Easwaran, Prithvi Shaw, Suryakumar Yadav, Shardul Thakur England: Joe Root (C), Moeen, Anderson, Bairstow, Billings, Rory Burns, Sam Curran, Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Malan, Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.
Match starts 3.30.
News source: PTI
Won't be able to field first XI in all games against Indian women: Australia coach Mott
Brisbane, Sep 1 (Cricket news) Seven international games, including a Test match in a space of 20 days, won't allow Australia to field their best first XI in all games against India in the upcoming series, Southern Stars' head coach Matthew Mott has hinted.
With Sydney and Melbourne being COVID-19 hot-spots, the Indian team and 12 out of the 18 Australian players are currently in a two-week hard quarantine and according to a 'cricket.com.au' report, they will allowed out a week before the first WODI at Mackay on September 21.
The Indian team won't have any access to training facilities during the two-week hard (room) quarantine.
"Our sports science people are quite rightly nervous," Mott told 91.3 SportFM referring to seam bowlers Ellyse Perry, Annabel Sutherland, Tayla Vlaeminck, Maitlan Brown and Stella Campbell, who are currently in room quarantine for a fortnight.
"Here, they won't bowl for 14 days and will go straight into a very congested schedule, so our management of the players has to be right on point,' Mott said.
He made it clear that all first team players won't get to play every game keeping workload management in mind.
"Not everyone is going to play every game, we've got 18 in our squad, and we've got some young players. The older more resilient players will find a way though because they've banked up that experience and their bodies are a bit stronger.
"But for the younger bowlers – Darcie Brown, Tayla Vlaeminck, Maitlan Brown – we've got to be very smart around how we integrate them into it." Among the Aussie pacers, Sutherland is returning from a stress fracture to her upper leg, Brown has recovered from severe hamstring injury while Vlaeminck has had a series of major foot, knee and shoulder injuries.
"In an ideal world, we'd have played the Test last to build up those loads gradually, but it's in the middle," Mott continued.
"So there are different bowlers we'll have to use in different formats and the consequence is we won't be able to play our best team every game – that would be crazy from a player fatigue and management point of view.
Also read: Trinbago Knight Riders looking for a record fifth title, Guyana Amazon Warriors start with a historic victory
"We'll try and make it work but it's going to be a really interesting series to see how we navigate around the complexities that will be thrown at us." Moot termed the schedule as a very "busy one" considering the team hasn't played a lot of cricket since April due to various state borders employing their own health safety protocol.
"It's going to be tough, it's going to be exciting but it's going to hit us hard. We've gone from not a lot of cricket to a very busy schedule overnight," Mott added.
Full Schedule Sep 21: First ODI, Great Barrier Reef Arena, Mackay Sep 24: Second ODI, Great Barrier Reef Arena, Mackay (D/N) Sep 26: Third ODI, Great Barrier Reef Arena, Mackay Sep 30 – Oct 3: Test match, Metricon Stadium, Gold Coast (D/N) Oct 7: First T20, Metricon Stadium, Gold Coast Oct 9: Second T20, Metricon Stadium, Gold Coast Oct 10: Third T20, Metricon Stadium, Gold Coast.
News source: PTI
We are focussed on ODI World Cup, Australia tour is good preparation: Mithali and Powar
New Delhi, Aug 28 (Cricket news) Indian women's ODI team captain Mithali Raj and coach Ramesh Powar on Saturday said the side is currently focussed on next year's World Cup and the tour of Australia will serve as ideal preparation for the mega event.
The Indian team is leaving for Australia on Wednesday to play three ODIs, a day-night Test and three T20Is.
"We need to understand that we are playing three ODIs first and we are focussing right now on the World Cup preparation," Powar said during a pre-departure press conference, even as questions revolved around the Pink ball Test against Australia.
"Regarding the one-off Test match we have to carry our one-day confidence into Test match. We don't have to prepare separately as we back our players in all formats. We try to inculcate how we should approach every format." The Australia tour will begin with the ODIs series, starting with the first game at the North Sydney Oval on September 19, followed by the second and third matches at the Junction Oval on September 22 and 24 respectively.
The women's 50-over World Cup is slated to be held in New Zealand in March-April next year.
Also read: England level 5-match series 1-1 after defeating India by an innings and 76 runs
Skipper Mithali said, "We know the areas we needed to improve and we worked and addressed those issues during the preparatory camp in Bangalore.
"Whatever results are there in Australia we still have few months for the World Cup. Australia tour is good for us because we are playing against the best, we will also get an idea about the team combination before the World Cup. So Australia tour is a good game plan before the Word Cup." In his second tenure as the women's national team coach, Powar said the team management is hoping to strengthen the fast bowling department in order to cut down the burden on veteran Jhulan Goswami.
"We are looking for consistency in fast bowling so that Jhulan can express herself, else she will be forced to become defensive and we don't want that situation," Powar said.
"We have to have support for Jhulan Goswami, we need to find her a partner so that she can bowl in partnership. We are focussing on Meghna Singh and we are looking forward to Pooja Vastrakar also.
"Once the selectors and team management decide on the final 20-25 players, we stay on the same page when we go into a series," he added.
Seam bowlers Meghna and Renuka Singh Thakur were handed maiden India call-ups, while left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad returned to the teams for the upcoming contests against Australia.
Mithali acknowledged that the pink ball Test is going to be a challenge for the players.
"It is going to be big because most of the questions are revolving about the pink ball than one-day cricket.
"The challenge would be more playing under lights. And also playing with the pink ball as we are all used to the red cherry. We have got feedbacks from the men." The ODI and Test skipper, a seasoned campaigner with an experience of over two decades, said a tour of Australia continues to be one of the toughest in international cricket.
"We don't go into a match with a set mindset as it depends on the situation. We want our team to go with a lot of confidence, without thinking about the grey areas.
"We know that we are playing the best side in the world and we will need to bring our 'A' game. But we are also very fortunate to have a camp of some 30 girls, with match simulation, matches under lights, we have pretty much done whatever we could with our preparation," Mithali said.
Perth will host the pink-ball one-off Test scheduled from September 30, followed by the T20Is at the North Sydney Oval on October 7, 9 and 11.
"Looking at the current situation we are happy to go to Australia and keep playing cricket. After England we had a one month break and we back ourselves to do well, we have played enough in the Bangalore camp and are prepared for any format," Powar said.
According to recent reports, the Indian team's schedule in Australia could be altered due to the border restriction and COVID-19 lockdowns in Sydney and Melbourne.
Asked about it, Powar said, "We are looking forward to a tour which is challenging and we all are excited to go there and put in our best effort to make it a good tour."
News source: PTI
These days I bowl less in nets and save it for matches: Anderson
Leeds, Aug 26 (Cricket news) Ageless English pacer James Anderson says the secret to his longevity in Test cricket lies in cutting down on his time at the nets to save it for the matches.
Anderson's masterclass was full on display in an awe-inspiring spell of 8-5-6-3 with the new ball as England bowled India out for 78 after Virat Kohli opted to bat in the first Test here on Wednesday.
"As I get older, I feel like I have to work that little bit harder in the gym. I feel like I bowl less in the nets, and try to save it for when it matters in the middle," the 39-year-old said after the first day's play.
"The biggest test in Test cricket is mentally getting yourself up for bowling big spells and playing in big games. It's about keeping yourself switch on through games and switch off when you are not bowling -- that's something I've always had." Just a week ago during the Lord's Test, Anderson, having grabbed a five-for in the first innings, was over-bowled in the second as the Indian tail frustrated the hosts with its remarkable resilience and invaluable runs.
"Walking off the pitch during the second Test at Lord's, pretty much everything hurt, but that gives so much satisfaction knowing that I have put a shift in for the team." Asked about his problematic right shoulder, he said: "It still hurts. You just find a way of putting up with it. it's just part and parcel of the job." Anderson said that after all the talk during the Lord's Test, the aim here was to "shut the noise" and focus on the job.
India took a 1-0 lead at Lord's riding on the tail-enders' brave display with the bat followed by their excellent bowling.
"We have made a conscious effort of trying to just focus on us, on what we do well and try and ignore everything else, the outside noise or wherever there might be going on, and make sure there's a real focus on what we do well," Anderson said.
He did admit that they had a chat in the dressing room.
"Yeah, I think there was a bit of chat about that. We were just making a point of trying to focus on what we do well.
"I think that you know the first three or four days at Lord's, we probably played brilliantly and maybe until day three, and then after that, just at times it did affect a little bit.
"We're individuals, at the end of it. We have made a conscious effort to try and focus only on us, what we do well: try and ignore everything else, the outside noise, or whatever that might be, going on." At Headingley, Anderson took off by dismissing KL Rahul with the fifth ball and then deceived Cheteshwar Pujara with an incoming delivery that swung away, but the biggest breakthrough came when he won his mini battle with Indian skipper Virat Kohli.
"I think so (it was special). We have had some great battles over the years. He is someone you want to keep quiet. Especially, in a five-match series, if he gets going he can be very disruptive," Anderson said of Kohli after dismissing him for the seventh time in Tests.
"I think the way we have bowled to him throughout the series has been very good. We just got to keep doing that and keep him quiet as often as we can." In reply, England openers Haseeb Hameed (60) and Rory Burn (52) remained unbeaten as the scorecard read 120 for no loss with a lead of 42 runs after day one.
Also read: Team India fall straight back down to planet earth after disappointing and lackluster day 1 at Headingley
Rating England's show as one of the best, Anderson drew parallel with their famous Boxing Day Test in 2010 when they had skittled out Australia for 98 before Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook put on a 157-run opening stand.
"It doesn't get much better than that. These days don't come around very often, so you just have to be happy when they do.
"The only difference with Melbourne is that I was keen to bowl there and I wasn't today for some reason. I was trying to tempt Joe into batting.
"But losing the toss, being asked to bowl and then putting in a performance like that, it doesn't get much better. We've talked about trying to bowl as a unit, as a group, and we just absolutely nailed it. With both ball and bat we've displayed exactly what we wanted to do." Showering praise on their opening duo, he said: "It was outstanding batting and exactly what we have been asking for." "When you bowl someone out for less than 100 you're never quite sure whether you've bowled well or if the wicket is not as good as you think it might be. So to see the way they both went about their business, just felt so calm in the dressing room.
"The way they were so measured, they were solid in defence, left well and put away the bad ball when they got one. I just thought it was brilliant Test match batting." Anderson was particularly happy for his former Lancashire teammate Hameed who shrugged off his Lord's disappointment with a half century.
News source: PTI
COVID-19: Indian women's cricket team's schedule for Australia could be altered
Sydney, Aug 25 (Cricket news) The Indian women cricket team's schedule for the upcoming tour of Australia could be altered due to the border restriction and COVID-19 lockdowns in Sydney and Melbourne, according to a media report.
India and Australia are set to battle it out across all three formats from next month.
The schedule includes three One-Day Internationals, as many Twenty20 Internationals and a historic day-night Test match at the WACA Ground.
The series is slated to begin with the first ODI in Sydney on September 19, before moving to Melbourne and Perth.
"But the ongoing COVID-19 lockdowns in Sydney and Melbourne as well as state border closures make that unlikely," cricket.co.au reported.
"Cricket Australia is currently speaking with government authorities about how, where and when the seven games can be played.
"...an announcement expected shortly regarding changes to the seven-match schedule," the report added.
Cricket Australia had said it is monitoring the situation.
Also read: Meghna, Renuka earn maiden India call-ups as BCCI names women's squads for Australia tour
"Due to the current COVID challenges, Cricket Australia will continue to monitor the situation right across the country and will consider whether or not it needs to make any decisions regarding rescheduling or moving matches in due course," it said last week.
The Indian team is slated to leave for Australia on Sunday.
All international arrivals have to undergo a two-week quarantine, according to the COVID-19 protocols in Australia.
Australian players from New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria would also need to quarantine before the series if the matches are scheduled for another state.
Speaking last week, Australia skipper Meg Lanning said her players were ready to move at a moment's notice once the schedule is locked in.
"Things change very quickly these days. To be honest, every player within the squad is ready to move around at any point, we know how quickly things can change.
"At this stage, we're just planning on the schedule going ahead as it is and heading into a camp before that. But we also have got information that things could potentially change really quickly so we need to be ready for that," she added.
News source: PTI
Stabbing him in the back: Usman Khawaja slams players, backs coach Justin Langer
Melbourne, Aug 23 (Cricket news) Out-of-favour opener Usman Khawaja, who clashed with Justin Langer during Australia's tour of UAE in 2018, has backed the embattled coach to continue in the position through the Ashes and urged the payers to stop undermining him.
The Australian coach's position has come under heavy scrutiny since last week amid dressing room leaks about his intensity and mood swings that have not gone down well with the players.
But Khawaja, who had a heated exchange with Langer in 2018, which was captured in the docu-series 'The Test', backed the coach, saying the players need to raise their performance instead of expressing their grievances through the media.
"How do you think JL feels?" Khawaja asked on his Youtube channel.
"He probably feels like the guys in the team are stabbing him in the back, and that's what it looks like.
"That's why it's so disappointing. It's actually a really bad look. This is something the group needs to sort out ASAP." He added: "Let's put it into perspective here. It’s not always 100 per cent the coach's fault. The guys aren't performing, the players have to take onus too at some stage.
Also read: Sri Lankan leg-spin sensation Wanindu Hasaranga joins RCB, Katich steps down as head coach
"The guys have to perform better and at end of day it's not just one person, so I think there needs to be some sort of perspective put around this too." Relations between Langer and his players exacerbated with Cricket Australia holding emergency talks between senior executives and the cricketers to try and chart a roadmap ahead of the T20 World Cup and Ashes.
It is understood that an agreement had reached for everyone to work together, at least until Langer's contract expires next year.
Khawaja backed his coach despite the perception that he was dropped from the team because of his feud with Langer.
Meanwhile, Khawaja also rated the Indian attack as the best in the world and called Mohammed Shami as the most underrated bowler.
"In my opinion the Indian bowling lineup right now is the best bowling lineup in the world, yes there are awesome bowlers all around the world, but that lineup is unbelievable." On Shami, he said, "I think is the most underrated bowler in the world, in my opinion, Mohammed Shami, he's actually a lot quicker than you think.
"I think that's one of his skill sets and he always has that seam in a beautiful position but no one really talks about him genuine thing he is such a big part of that bowling lineup and people forget about him," said Khawaja.
News source: PTI
Australian pacer Nathan Ellis bags IPL contract
Melbourne, Aug 20 (Cricket news) Australian pacer Nathan Ellis has landed an IPL contract ahead of the second leg of the league in the UAE after being named as a travelling reserve in the national team for the T20 World Cup.
"Ellis was being chased by three IPL franchises for the upcoming tournament before agreeing to terms with an unnamed team on Thursday night," stated a report in cricket.com.au.
Earlier on Thursday, the 26-year-old Ellis was named as one of three Australian reserve players for the upcoming T20 World Cup, which will follow the IPL.
Also read: Smriti Mandhana calls for six-team women's IPL
The development comes less than a fortnight after he picked up a hat-trick on international debut against Bangladesh in Dhaka.
The right-arm fast bowler's IPL deal is subject to approval from Cricket Australia which is likely to give him its go-ahead.
His wickets against Bangladesh included Mahdmullah, Mehidy Hasan and Mustafizur Rahman off the final three balls of the innings as he became the first cricketer to take a hat-trick on T20I debut.
He joined Brett Lee and Ashton Agar to become the third Australian to take a hat-trick in a T20 International match.
Ellis went unsold in the player auction in January.
News source: PTI
Australia announces 15 man squad in search of elusive T20 WC title
Melbourne (Cricket news): Steve Smith, David Warner and Pat Cummins were on Thursday recalled as Australia named a full strength squad in search of an elusive ICC T20 World Cup title later this year.
The 15 man Australia squad for the showpiece, to be held in Oman and UAE in October, is a mixture of pace, spin and hard-hitters keeping in mind the slow, spin-friendly conditions of the pitches in the UAE.
The trio had opted out of Australia's limited overs tour of the West Indies and Bangladesh recently.
In a major development, Australia has included uncapped Josh Inglis as a backup to wicketkeeper Matthew Wade.
Inglis, who is yet to make his international debut, has been chosen ahead of Alex Carey and Josh Philippe.
Having dominated the ODI World Cup with record five titles and two runner-up finishes, Australia would be eager to break their jinx in the T20 World Cup.
Australia has endured a poor run in the T20 format off late, losing back-to-back series to West Indies and Bangladesh recently.
But the return of Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Warner, Cummins, Smith and Kane Richardson after opting out of recent white-ball tours of the West Indies and Bangladesh, will add much-needed firepower to Australia's team.
Smith has been included despite his ongoing elbow injury, while limited overs skipper Aaron Finch, who missed the Bangladesh series to undergo knee surgery, is expected to be fit on time for the tournament.
Also read: Joe Root and Babar Azam jump 2 places as Indian trio of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Rishabh Pant remain unchanged
Dan Christian, Nathan Ellis and Daniel Sams have been named as reserves and will be travelling with the team.
Keeping in mind the spin-friendly conditions, Australia has included three frontline spinners in the squad -- Ashton Agar, Mitchell Swepson and Adam Zampa.
Mitchell Starc, Cummins, Richardson and Josh Hazlewood will be in charge of the pace department. "We are confident this squad has the ability to take the side deep into what will be an extremely competitive tournament," Australia's chief selector George Bailey said.
"We have some of the best players in the world in their respective roles combined with the collective experience to succeed against the very best T20 sides in the world." Bailey justified Inglis' selection, saying the wicketkeeper-batsman has been knocking the door for a while now.
"He (Inglis) offers the squad flexibility in the batting order with his adaptability, counterattacking ability and power striking," he said.
"He is a player we are excited about for the future." The T20 World Cup will feature 16 teams and will be played from October 17 to November 14.
Australia will open its campaign in the Super 12 stage against South Africa on October 23 The tournament was shifted to the UAE and Oman because of the COVID-19 situation in India.
Squad: Aaron Finch (captain), Pat Cummins (vice-captain), Ashton Agar, Josh Hazlewood, Josh Inglis, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa.
News source: PTI
Steve Smith set to play in IPL while Aaron Finch on track to recover in time for T20 World Cup
Melbourne, Aug 18 (Cricket news) Star Australian batsman Steve Smith, who had been sidelined due to an elbow injury, is expected to make a return during the IPL, while limited overs team skipper Aaron Finch is on track to recover in time for the T20 World Cup.
Smith had given the tours of the Caribbean and Bangladesh a miss due to a left elbow injury, which had been troubling him since last year.
However, he has been recovering well with the 32-year-old batting in the nets for an hour at a time at New South Wales' training and is set to be available for the resumption of the IPL, according to cricket.com.au.
The IPL, which had been suspended in May due to multiple COVID-19 cases in its bio-bubble, has since been rescheduled to complete the remaining games between September 19 and October 15 in the UAE, finishing just two days before the T20 World Cup which has also been relocated to the region from India.
"It seems to be going really well. I know that he's (Smith) been building up his batting time over the last couple of weeks – I know that would have been difficult to have a time limit on his net times," Finch told cricket.com.au on Wednesday.
"From all reports he's been really strict with that, making sure he doesn't overdo his elbow so it hinders his rehab," he added.
Also read: Ricky Ponting backs Australian players to play in rescheduled IPL in UAE, says will be ideal preparation for T20 World Cup in October
Smith was acquired by Delhi Capitals for Rs 2.2 crore in the auction earlier this year.
"He's going really well. The last time I spoke to him he wasn't having any pain batting so that was a real positive. He's going to be such an important part of our campaign," Finch said.
The white-ball skipper, who recently had a surgery on his left knee, is confident of being fit before the World Cup.
"I'm confident of that (being fit for the World Cup)," said Finch.
"It will be come down to pretty minimal match practice which I think being older and being around for quite a while plays into my hands a bit, having (previously recovered from) some injuries where you don't have a lot of lead time into a series.
"I think that will help me. The surgery went as well as it could have and I'm walking around with no pain, which is the most important thing at this stage," he added.
Smith and Finch's return to the T20 squad ahead of the World Cup will be a big boost for the Australian side, which has lost five successive T20I series while winning just six of the 21 matches in the past year.
They lost two back-to-back series against West Indies and Bangladesh, which were intended to provide useful preparation ahead of the World Cup, with a similar 4-1 margin.
News source: PTI
Australian women's teams's Megan Schutt, Jess Jonassen opt out of India series
Melbourne, Aug 18 (Cricket news) The Australian women's team's seasoned campaigners Megan Schutt and Jess Jonassen have opted out of the upcoming multi-format home series against India due to various reasons.
The tour, starting September 19, involves three ODIs, three T20Is and one Day-Night Test.
While pace spearhead Schutt has requested the selectors to not consider her for selection due to personal reasons, spin bowling all-rounder Jonassen will miss the assignment after suffering a bone stress injury in her tibia. She is ranked world number in the ODIs.
Another notable absentee from the 18-member squad is Belinda Vakarewa, who is also skipping the series due to personal reasons.
The uncapped Maitlan Brown, who was part of the squad against New Zealand last year, has returned after a long layoff due to a hamstring injury.
Getting their first national call-ups are Stella Campbell and Georgia Redmayne.
The series is scheduled to begin with the ODIs on September 19 in Sydney (there is a possibility of a change in fixtures due to the ongoing coronavirus-enforced lockdown in New South Wales), followed by the lone Test at the WACA in Perth on September 30 and conclude with the T20Is in Sydney from October 7.
Also read: In this England team, so far only Root looked like scoring a century says Sachin Tendulkar
"We're fully supportive of the requests from Belinda and Megan to not be considered for selection and will continue to work with them to ensure they have the appropriate support," national selector Shawn Flegler said.
"As leader of the bowling attack, Megan's absence will provide the opportunity for someone else to play the type of role she has so well over a lengthy period.
"Jess is another big loss and will be disappointed to miss out, but she's another one that's worked hard over the winter and with a long summer ahead, her focus will be to get herself right with a lot of cricket left in the season." Redmayne, who has been playing for Welsh Fire in the women's Hundred, has been rewarded for her prolific WNCL form for Queensland last season, where she scored 531 runs at 132.75 with two centuries.
She was also Brisbane Heat's leading run-scorer in the WBBL with 357 at 32.45.
Pacer Campbell, who plays for New South Wales and Sydney Sixers, joins a growing list of young quicks in the Australia set-up alongside Tayla Vlaeminck, Darcie Brown and Maitlan Brown.
She only managed three wickets at 70.66 in last season's WNCL but was the Sixers' joint second-leading wicket-taker in the WBBL with ten scalps.
Australia squad: Meg Lanning, Rachael Haynes, Darcie Brown, Maitlan Brown, Stella Campbell, Nicola Carey, Hannah Darlington, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Tahlia McGrath, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Georgia Redmayne, Molly Strano, Annabel Sutherland, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham.
News source: PTI
Cricket Australia clears top Australians for IPL return before T20 World Cup
Melbourne, Aug 15 (Cricket news) Cricket Australia has cleared the way for the country's leading players to return to the rescheduled Indian Premier League in the UAE starting next month ahead of the T20 World Cup.
CA has issued No Objection Certificates for the players to return to the IPL next month, while a planned T20 tri-series with Afghanistan and West Indies may be re-purposed as (T20) World Cup warm-ups, according to a report in cricket.au.com.
This year's IPL was halted in May after an outbreak of COVID-19 in India, and about 40 Australian players, coaches, broadcasters and support staff had to spend time in Maldives while international borders were shut, before eventually returning home via a charter flight provided by the BCCI.
The IPL has since been rescheduled to complete the remaining 36 games in 27 days between September 19 and October 15 in the UAE, finishing just two days before the T20 World Cup begins, which has also been relocated to the region from India.
CA's clearance came after the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) confirmed the postponement of a three-match ODI series between the two nations originally planned to be held in India in the lead-up to the T20 World Cup, the report said.
A mooted T20 tri-series also involving the West Indies was due to form an important part of the World Cup preparations for all three squads, and Afghanistan authorities are continuing efforts to secure a venue to host it.
With the initial group stages of the T20 World Cup expected to be played primarily in Oman, the UAE venues could be free to host the matches between the end of the IPL and the start of the World Cup's Super 12 stage, expected to begin on October 23.
Seven players who participated in the initial stage of this year's IPL -- David Warner, Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, Marcus Stoinis, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson and Daniel Sams -- are now expected to return to the lucrative T20 league.
Also read: Anything over 220 won't be easy won't be easy to chase says Moeen
Pat Cummins has said he will miss the IPL reboot due the impending birth of his first child but has committed to Australia's T20 World Cup tilt.
Josh Hazlewood, Riley Meredith, Dan Christian, Moises Henriques, Mitch Marsh, Jason Behrendorff, Adam Zampa, Andrew Tye, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Chris Lynn, Ben Cutting and Josh Philippe are the other players that hold IPL deals.
Hazlewood, Marsh and Philippe had opted out of the first stage of the IPL tournament that was held in India, but are eligible to return to the reschedule closing stages.
It will also be the second successive season in which top players will miss the opening rounds of Australia's domestic competitions to participate in the IPL.
Australia's men's domestic summer is due to begin with a Marsh One-Day Cup game on September 11, meaning any players heading to the IPL and subsequent T20 World Cup will not feature at home before the Test summer begins against Afghanistan from November 27. News source: PTI
Ricky Ponting backs Australian players to play in rescheduled IPL in UAE, says will be ideal preparation for T20 World Cup in October
Melbourne, Aug 14 (Cricket news) Batting legend Ricky Ponting has backed Australian players to feature in the rescheduled Indian Premier League in the UAE, saying it would be an ideal preparation ahead of T20 World Cup in October.
The IPL will squeeze its remaining 76 games between September 19 and October 15 while the T20 World Cup will be held just after that from October 17 to November 14. Both tournaments will be held in the UAE.
"Those guys that haven't played for three or four months now, they need to get back into the groove of playing high-quality cricket against the best players in the world," Ponting was quoted by cricket.com.au as telling Australia Test captain Tim Paine in a conversation on SEN radio.
"No doubt it's their best preparation to be in those exact conditions, playing in probably the strongest domestic T20 tournament in the world," said Ponting, who will head to Dubai as head coach of IPL side Delhi Capitals.
Fast bowler Pat Cummins, who skipped the West Indies and Bangladesh tours to spend the time with his pregnant fiance, is not expected to return to the IPL with his first child due in the middle of the rescheduled tournament.
"For second half of this season it's going to be really tough to get over there," Cummins said in a vlog on his YouTube channel.
"We'll see how it plays out but at this stage it might be a bit too hard, but with the World Cup straight after that, I'm hoping to be good to go for that." Australia captain Aaron Finch this week had surgery on his right knee to repair cartilage damage he suffered in the West Indies. While the surgery was a success, he faces a 10-week recovery period, which will leave him sidelined right up until Australia's opening match of the Super 12 stage of the World Cup.
Finch has previously said he believed a return to the IPL would be "hard to justify" for players who had skipped the winter tours citing the fatigue and toll of hotel quarantines and bio-secure bubbles.
Riley Meredith, Dan Christian, Moises Henriques, Mitchell Marsh, Adam Zampa, Andrew Tye and Josh Philippe were all part of the side that toured the Caribbean and Bangladesh, and all hold IPL deals.
Marsh and Philippe had opted out of the first stage of the IPL tournament that was held in India.
Nathan Coulter-Nile, Chris Lynn and Ben Cutting - none of whom are in Australia's plans or hold state contracts - are the other Australians with IPL contracts.
Australia's T20 side, which did not have a host of first-choice players, suffered 1-4 series defeats against West Indies and Bangladesh recently, and Ponting said the results underlined the current lack of depth in Australian cricket.
Also read: KL Rahul backs Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane to find form soon; says they know how to turn things around
The Australian side crashed to their lowest-ever T20I total of 62 against Bangladesh in Dhaka a few days ago.
"... whether it was a lack of confidence or a lack of skill or a lack of game awareness in the conditions. Just the lack of know-how and skill in those conditions brought us undone again.
"It's been the Achilles heel for Australian cricket for as long as I can remember. It just goes to show the depth around Australian cricket right now is not where it needs to be.
"The T20 World Cup is not far away (but) with everyone fit and healthy in the UAE, I still think the Australian team can push really hard to win that title that's eluded us," Ponting said.
News source: PTI
Shardul Thakur's injury brings Ravichandran Ashwin back on radar but Kohli's focus is 20 wickets
London, Aug 11 (Cricket news) Virat Kohli might have to seriously consider playing his best tweaker Ravichandran Ashwin instead of the injured Shardul Thakur but the Indian captain didn't specify whether the seasoned off-spinner would get the nod ahead of a pacer in the second Test against England.
While India were in a better position to win the first Test before the heavens opened up on the final day, the first innings score of 278 was still below par as none among Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane scored runs.
Not to forget that all three haven't scored heavily in the past two years and save Rahane, who got a hundred in Melbourne, the other two batting mainstays haven't been able to convert a lot of their half-centuries into three-figure marks.
Also read:Stuart Broad to miss the entire test series against India with right calf injury
"I don't think that's an area of concern. Our basic focus is not to think individually where people are but collectively how much strength they bring into the team is our focus. What's your best and strongest batting unit that you can take on the park," the skipper said.
As far as team combination is concerned, Shardul being ruled out with a "left hamstring injury" does tilt the lower-order batting balance, although the Mumbai seamer didn't trouble the scorers in the only innings that he played.
Ashwin, who was dropped from the playing XI in the drawn opening game in Nottingham because of Ravindra Jadeja's superior skills with the willow, is back in the mix as Thakur seems to have done his hamstring some damage during the training session at the Lord's on Monday.
It's still not clear whether he picked up the injury during the first Test or not.
With Thakur all but ruled out of the upcoming match starting Thursday, Kohli might have to revisit his 4-1 bowling combination which can't be cast in stone considering the lean nature of his team's lower-order batting.
"For us, it's about finding that perfect balance but if someone like Shardul is not available, then we definitely need to think how to pick up 20 wickets and not try to plug in another guy, who can give us some runs with the bat. I think we are very comfortable how first Test went," Kohli gave an open-ended answer.
London has been recording a maximum temperature of 24 degrees with average temperature around 14 degrees.
It would be interesting to see if England retain a green top like they did in 2018 when Indian batting collapsed twice in two days and all-rounder Chris Woakes walked away with the honours.
In case, the pitch is on the drier side, there will possibly be no harm in playing both Ashwin and Jadeja, who can trouble this brittle England batting line-up with their different variations.
The poor quality of the new generation of England Test players was exposed again as skipper Joe Root had to come to his team's rescue for the umpteenth time with a fifty in the first innings and a match-saving 21st Test hundred in the second essay.
There is every possibility that Rory Burns could be replaced by Haseeb Hameed, who scored a hundred opening the innings for the Combined Counties against Indians in the tour game last month.
For Kohli, if four pacers are non-negotiable, then one among Ishant Sharma or Umesh Yadav will be straightaway replacing Thakur but the choice might not be that easy.
"Most likely it will be a template going ahead [4-1 combination], but we've always been adaptable as well, to the conditions and pace of the wicket," Kohli had said after the first Test.
But adaptability is the rider that the Indian skipper used during that post-match conference and hence Ashwin, who is currently on the verge of surpassing Harbhajan Singh's (417 wickets) tally, comes into the picture.
If the skipper believes that his batting needs to be suitably beefed up, then Ashwin is the right choice in case weather permitting, there is something available on the fourth or fifth day Lord's pitch.
England are likely to miss their senior pacer Stuart Broad as he had injured his right calf muscle during a training session which possibly rules him out of the game.
England added Lancashire seam bowler Saqib Mahmood in the squad as cover with ECB informing that spinner Dom Bess will be leaving the squad and returning to Yorkshire.
In case the pitch offers some assistance, Moeen Ali, who has been inducted might again like to torment the Indians like he did in 2014 and '18 series or else there is world's fastest bowler Mark Wood, whose average speed is 90 clicks per hour.
For India, KL Rahul would like to consolidate his position at the top of the order even though Mayank Agarwal being back in the nets is a welcome sign for India.
While batting order might not be tinkered with but Agarwal's fitness could also make Rahul an option in the middle-order, where he personally prefers batting.
While both Pujara and Rahane are not in the best of form of late, they will only be replaced in the likely event of a last-minute injury. Squads: India: Virat Kohli (Captain), Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Mayank Agarwal, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), R. Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohd. Shami, Md. Siraj, Umesh Yadav, KL Rahul, Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper), Abhimanyu Easwaran, Prithvi Shaw, Suryakumar Yadav.
England: Joe Root (capt), James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Dom Sibley, Mark Wood, Saqib Mahmood.
Match Starts at 3:30 pm.
News source: PTI
Shardul Thakur's injury may bring Ravichandran Ashwin back on radar as India aim for better batting show at Lords
London, Aug 11 (Cricket News) Captain Virat Kohli might have to seriously consider playing his best spinner Ravichandran Ashwin while expecting a far better show from the seasoned batting line-up when India meet England in the second Test at the Lord's starting Thursday.
While India were in a better position to win the first Test before heavens opened up on the final day, the first innings score of 278 was still below par as none among Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane (horrible mix-up) scored runs.
Not to forget that all three haven't scored heavily in the past two years and save Rahane, who got a hundred in Melbourne, the other two batting mainstays haven't been able to convert a lot of their half-centuries into three-figure mark.
As far as team combination is concerned, Shardul Thakur's hamstring injury does again tilt the lower-order batting balance although the Mumbai seamer didn't trouble the scorers in the only innings that he played.
Ashwin, who was dropped from the playing XI in the drawn opening game in Nottingham because of Ravindra Jadeja's superior skills with the willow, is back in the mix as Thakur seems to have done his hamstring some damage during the training session at the Lord's on Monday.
It's still not clear whether he picked up the injury during the first Test or not.
With Thakur being all but ruled out of the upcoming match, Kohli might have to revisit his 4-1 bowling combination which can't be cast in stone considering the lean nature of his team's lower-order batting.
London has been recording a maximum temperature of 24 degrees with average temperature around 14 degrees.
It would be interesting to see if England retain a green top like they did in 2018 when Indian batting collapsed twice in two days and all-rounder Chris Woakes walked away with the honours.
In case, the pitch is on the drier side, there could possibly be no harm in playing both Ashwin and Jadeja, who can trouble this brittle England batting line-up with their different variations.
The poor quality of new generation of England Test players was exposed again as skipper Joe Root had to come to his team's rescue for the umpteenth time with a fifty in the first innings and possibly a match-saving 21st Test hundred in the second essay.
There is every possibility that Rory Burns could be replaced by Haseeb Hameed, who scored a hundred opening the innings for the Combined Counties against Indians in the tour game last month.
For Kohli, if four pacers are non-negotiable, then one among Ishant Sharma or Umesh Yadav will be straightaway replacing Thakur but the choice might not be that easy.
"Most likely it will be a template going ahead [4-1 combination], but we've always been adaptable as well, to the conditions and pace of the wicket," Kohli had said after the first Test.
But adaptability is the rider that Indian skipper used during that post-match conference and hence Ashwin, who is currently on the verge of surpassing Harbhajan Singh's (417 wickets) tally, comes into the picture.
If the skipper believes that his batting needs to be suitably beefed up, then Ashwin is the right choice in case weather permitting, there is something available on the fourth or fifth day Lord's pitch.
England are likely to miss their senior pacer Stuart Broad as he had injured his right calf muscle during a training session which possibly rules him out of the game.
In case the pitch offers some assistance, Moeen Ali, who has been inducted might again like to torment the Indians like he did in 2014 and '18 series or else there is world's fastest bowler Mark Wood, whose average speed is 90 clicks per hour.
For India, KL Rahul would like to consolidate his position at the top of the order even though Mayank Agarwal being back in the nets is a welcome sign for India.
While batting order might not be tinkered with but Agarwal's fitness could also make Rahul an option in the middle-order, where he personally prefers batting.
Also read: The progression of Indian cricket from having no fast bowlers to having the best seam attack in the world
While both Pujara and Rahane are not in the best of form of late, they will only be replaced in the likely event of a last-minute injury.
Squads: India: Virat Kohli (Captain), Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Mayank Agarwal, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), R. Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohd. Shami, Md. Siraj, Umesh Yadav, KL Rahul, Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper), Abhimanyu Easwaran, Prithvi Shaw, Suryakumar Yadav.
England: Joe Root (capt), James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Dom Bess, Moeen Ali, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Dom Sibley, Mark Wood.
Match Starts at 3:30 pm.
News source: PTI
Chris Cairns on life support in Australia: Report
Melbourne, Aug 10 (Cricket news) Former New Zealand all-rounder Chris Cairns is on life support at a hospital in Canberra after suddenly collapsing due to a major health issue, a report said on Tuesday.
According to a report in 'New Zealand Herald', Cairns "suffered a major medical emergency - an aortic dissection - in Canberra last week" and "will be transferred to a specialist hospital in Sydney soon." Aortic dissection is a serious condition in which a tear happens in the inner layer of the body's main artery.
"He has reportedly undergone several operations while in hospital, but has not responded to treatment as hoped," the report said.
One of the best all-rounders of his time, Cairns played 62 Tests, 215 ODIs and two T20Is for New Zealand between 1989 and 2006. His father Lance Cairns also played for New Zealand.
Also read: New Zealand Cricket announces different squads for sub-continent tour after clearing players to play the IPL
The 51-year-old, however, later faced allegations of match-fixing when he played in the now-defunct Indian Cricket League in 2008 and fought many legal battles to prove his innocence during which he won a defamation case against IPL founder Lalit Modi in London in 2012.
He again faced fixing allegations from fellow cricketers Lou Vincent and Brendon McCullum before being acquitted of perjury and perverting the course of justice following a gruelling trial in London court in 2015.
Fighting corruption allegations took a toll on his life and at one point of time he had to take up a job with the Auckland Council to drive trucks and clean bus shelters to foot the legal bills.
News source: PTI
So near yet so par: India's love affair with fourth-place finish at Olympics continues with Aditi Ashok's heartbreak
New Delhi, Aug 7 (Olympic news) They say fourth is the worst place to finish in the Olympics. If last is the most embarrassing, fourth is the most painful. When one endures it by the narrowest of margins, and in a sport like golf, it can't get any worse.
Aditi Ashok experienced that excruciating pain on Saturday, and with it, post-independent India's tryst with fourth-place heartbreaks at sport's grandest stage continued, the run beginning way back in 1956.
"You don't want to join that club," Aditi said, but joined she did, after missing out on what would have been a landmark medal.
"But I guess I've joined it. But no, I think it's good, just even top 5 or top 10 at an Olympics is really good." In golfing parlance it was a case of 'so near and yet so par'.
A day before, the Indian women's hockey team went through exactly the same heartbreak, losing 3-4 to Great Britain in the bronze play-off.
With her mother carrying the bag, Aditi was a step away from adding one of the finest chapters to the country's Olympic history, but eventually ended up joining a list, which includes some of the country's greatest athletes, that no sportsperson wishes to be part of.
Here is a look at the instances when India came close but ended at just that.
#It all began at the 1956 Games in Melbourne, where the Indian football team made the semifinals after beating hosts Australia 4-2 in the quarterfinals, with Neville D'Souza becoming the first Asian to score a hat-trick at the Games.
By giving his team the lead, Neville looked like doing an encore in the last-four clash against Yugoslavia, who came back strongly in the second half to seal the contest in their favour.
In the bronze medal classification match, India could not recover from the blow they received against Yugoslavia, losing to Bulgaria 0-3, drawing to a close an eventful few days which the great P K Banerjee would often reminisce about.
#Four years later, at the 1960 Games in Rome, another heartbreak awaited India as the legendary Milkha Singh missed out on a bronze by the narrowest of margins.
Competing in the 400 metres final and touted as a medal contender, the 'Flying Sikh' fell short by a mere 1/10th of a second after slowing down to see his fellow competitors, an error that he would regret for the rest of his life.
This would go down as his life's worst memory after his parents were killed in the aftermath of the partition.
Milkha almost gave up the sport after that loss and it required a lot of persuasion for him to hit the track again and win two gold medals in the 1962 Asian Games.
#A little more than four decades before the players of current Indian women's hockey team endured the agony of narrowly missing out on a medal, their predecessors had gone though a similar experience when they lost their last match to erstwhile USSR 1-3 to finish behind Zimbabwe, Czechoslovakia and the Russians.
With top hockey nations such as the Netherlands, Australia and Great Britain boycotting the 1980 Moscow Games over the USSR's invasion of Afghanistan, the Indians had a great chance to finish on the podium in their their first attempt itself, but all they could manage was the fourth position.
#The 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles brought back memories of Milkha in Rome when P T Usha missed the 400-metre hurdles bronze by 1/100th of a second, making it the closest-ever miss for an Indian athlete in any competition.
Known as the 'Payyoli Express', she ended up fourth behind Romania's Christina Cojocaru, but her heroic effort left a lasting impression and she became a household name.
The 400-metre hurdles was introduced for the first time in LA, raising hopes of a podium for the fancied Indian.
#After a long gap of 20 years, the curse of the fourth place finish returned to haunt the Indian contingent when the celebrated duo of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi missed out on the podium at the Athens Games in 2004.
Arguably India's greatest tennis doubles pair, Paes and Bhupathi missed out on a bronze medal after losing a marathon men's doubles match to Croatia's Mario Ancic and Ivan Ljubicic 6-7 6-4 14-16 to end fourth.
Before that, the Indian pair went into semifinals as favourites but lost to the German duo of Nicholas Kiefer and Rainer Schuttler in straight sets 2-6 3-6.
At the same Games, Kunjarani Devi, who had inspired Tokyo Olympics silver-medallist Mirabai Chanu to take up the sport, finished fourth in women's 48 kg weightlifting competition, but she was not really in medal contention.
Disqualified in her final attempt to lift 112.5 kg in the clean and jerk category, Kunjarani finished with overall 190 points, 10 points behind bronze medallist Aree Wiratthaworn of Thailand.
#At London 2012, shooter Joydeep Karmakar experienced the terrible feeling of finishing a place behind the bronze medal winner.
Karmakar had finished seventh in the qualification round of men's 50-metre rifle prone event, and in the finals, he ended just 1.9 points behind the bronze medal winner, Rajmond Debevec of Slovenia.
Also read: Bajrang Punia wins Olympics Bronze; beats Kazakhstan’s Daulet Niyazbekov 8-0
#In 2016, when the Olympics was held in Rio de Janeiro, Dipa Karmakar became the first Indian woman gymnast to compete at the Games. After making the final of the women's vault event, Karmakar finished fourth overall with a score of 15.066 and missed the bronze medal by 0.150 points.
She introduced the sport to India and gave the message that one doesn't have to be born in the USA or Russia to become an excellent gymnast.
At the same Games, Abhinav Bindra's illustrious career was headed for a fairytale finish but a shooter of even his class was not spared of the curse of the fourth place finish, as he missed the bronze medal by a whisker, eight years after his historic gold medal at the Beijing Olympics.
News source: PTI
Renegades Recruit miniseries launches tonight
The Melbourne Renegades will premiere a new two-part TV series called "The Renegades Recruit" tonight, which will be available for free on Kayo and the club's social media platforms.
The initiative, created for our game's unsung heroes, provides one male Victorian community cricketer with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: a two-week, all-expenses-paid pre-season vacation with the Renegades Academy players.
With a first assignment at the NT Strike League, the winner will rub shoulders with Cameron Boyce, Jake Fraser-McGurk, Mackenzie Harvey, and Josh Lalor while studying under Renegades Head Coach David Saker.
Any male cricketer in Victoria aged 18 or older who had not previously won a spot on a state contract list or been picked in a senior Premier Cricket squad in the preceding two years was eligible to compete. Community clubs and associations submitted nominations.
The first episode, according to Melbourne Renegades General Manager James Rosengarten, will keep fans coming back for more.
“We’re really looking forward to releasing ‘Renegades Recruit’ tonight – a fantastic fly-on-the-wall mini-documentary series. I’m sure many of us have had those ‘imagine if I could’ moments and this brings that to life – the chance to join the Renegades Academy squad on a pre-season trip,” Rosengarten said.
Also read: Indian cricket team beat Sri Lanka in T20 Opener
“We’ve left no stone unturned either – our WBBL Head Coach Simon Helmot has put the group through their paces, just as we would with our regular players. We’re hopeful that following the success of this series, we’ll be in a position to launch a Renegades Recruit program for all our female players across Victoria to get involved as well.”
Throughout the two-part series, the best of this year's players will be put to the test, culminating in a final three public vote as the series finale.
The winner will be determined by a public vote, and will be guaranteed a spot on the upcoming pre-season tour.
“I’d like to thank everyone at the Renegades and Cricket Victoria who have worked on this project with us. What started as a simple idea has been transformed with the power of work that has gone into the show you’ll see tonight,” Rosengarten added.
Note: The Renegades Recruit winner is part of the Renegades Academy squad's travelling group. The winner is not guaranteed a spot in the BBL.
A history of married couples at the Olympic Games
The Olympics has always been the biggest sporting event in the world. It’s a dream for any athlete to win the Olympic gold medal and sharing these moments with your loved ones is a once in a lifetime experience. However, some lucky few athletes have shared the Olympic podium with their significant other, what are the odds of that?
Let’s explore all the married couples who have shared the stage with their better half in the history of the Olympics Games.
Hermann de Pourtalès and Hélène de Pourtalès
The Olympic Games in 1900 saw the husband and wife pair of Hermann de Pourtalès and Hélène de Pourtalès aboard the Swiss boat Lerina as the pair went on to win the gold medal in the first race of 1 — 2 ton and silver medal in the second race of 1 — 2 ton class. Interestingly, Hélène de Pourtalès also became the first woman to ever win an Olympic gold and the American born sailor was the first woman to represent Switzerland at the Olympic Games.
Cyril and Dorothy Wright
The 1920 Summer Olympics saw another married couple Cyril and Dorothy Wright aboard the British boat Ancora which won the gold medal in the 7 meter class. This extraordinary feat of winning gold as a married couple was not repeated for Great Britain for nearly a century until Kate and Helen Richardson-Walsh won the gold medal in women’s hockey at the 2016 Olympic Games.
Aladár Gerevich and Erna Bogen-Bogáti
Fencers Aladár Gerevich and Erna Bogen-Bogáti were a married couple that represented Hungary together at the 1932 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Widely regarded as ‘the greatest Olympic swordsman ever’ Aladár Gerevich went on to win gold medals in six Olympics, becoming the only athlete to ever do so (despite two Olympic Games being cancelled because of World War). His wife Erna Bogen-Bogáti also went on to win a bronze medal at the 1932 Olympic Games.
Dezső Gyarmati and Éva Székely
The Hungarian pair of Dezső Gyarmati and Éva Székely participated in three Olympics, the 1948 Olympic Games in London, 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki and 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne. Dezső Gyarmati is the most decorated player in the history of water polo and a three time Olympic champion. His wife Éva Székely won the gold medal in the 1952 Olympic Games in the 200-metre breaststroke category and a silver medal at the 1956 Olympics. She has set six world records, won 44 national titles and held the first world record in the 400 m individual medley.
Emil Zátopek and Dana Zátopková
Emil Zátopek was a Czechoslovak long-distance runner who won three gold medals at the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki in the 5000 metres and 10,000 metres run. He was also the first runner to break the 29 minute record for the 10,000 metre distance and is widely considered to be one of the greatest runners of the 20th century. His wife Dana Zátopková was a Czech javelin thrower who also won the gold medal in the 1952 Summer Olympics. She also set a world record in 1958 at the age of 35 with a distance of 55.73 m.
Takashi Ono and Kiyoko Ono
Retired Japanese gymnast Takashi Ono competed in four Olympics from 1952 to 1964 and won five gold, four silver and four bronze medals. He was also the flag bearer of his country at the 1960 Olympic Games and has been inducted at the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame. His wife Kiyoko Ono participated alongside him in the 1960 and 1964 Olympics and won a bronze medal in gymnastics. She died on 13th March, 2021 due to COVID-19.
Al Joyner and Florence Griffith Joyner
American track and field coach and former athlete Al Joyner was a 1984 Olympic gold medallist in the triple jump. He was also coach and husband to the four time Olympic medallist Florence Griffith Joyner (Flo-Jo). Widely regarded as the fastest woman of all time, her world records from 1988 for 100 m and 200 m have still not been surpassed. Florence won three gold medals at the 1988 Olympics and a silver medal in the 1984 Olympics where she participated alongside her husband.
Also read: Is the Tokyo Olympics 2021 worth it?
Géza Imre and Beatrix Kökény
Hungarian fencer Géza Imre is a three time Olympic medallist, having won a bronze in 1996, silver in 2004 and another silver medal in the 2016 Olympic Games at Rio de Janeiro. His wife Beatrix Kökény won a bronze medal at the 1996 Olympic Games and a silver in 2000 and has been awarded Hungarian Handballer of the Year three times.
Emanuel Rego and Leila Barros
Emanuel Rego has competed in five consecutive summer Olympics, representing Brazil as a male volleyball player. He won the gold medal at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, a silver medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in London and a bronze medal in Beijing. His wife Leila Barros won two Olympic bronze medals for volleyball in 1996 and 2000.
Erwann Le Péchoux and Inès Boubakri
French foil fencer Erwann Le Péchoux competed in two Olympic Games (2004 and 2016) and is a four time team World Champion (2005, 2006, 2007, and 2014). He converted to Islam to marry Tunisian foil fencer Inès Boubakri who won a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
Jason Kenny and Laura Trott Kenny
Representing Great Britain as a track cyclist in three Olympic Games (2008, 2012 and 2016) Kenny is the joint holder of the highest number of Olympic gold medals for a British athlete (6). His wife Laura Kenny has won four Olympic gold medals from the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games and is the most successful female track cyclist and the most successful female competitor for any sport in Britain.
Ashton Eaton and Brianne Theisen-Eaton
Two time Olympic champion Ashton Eaton is an American decathlete who is also a world record holder of the indoor heptathlon event. He won two gold medals, one at the 2012 Olympic Games in London and the other at the 2016 Olympic Games in Tokyo. His wife Brianne Theisen-Eaton is an Olympic bronze medallist from the 2016 Summer Olympics and is the first and only Canadian woman to podium in the multi-events at the World Championships.
Kate Richardson-Walsh and Helen Richardson-Walsh
English field hockey player Kate Richardson-Walsh is a two time Olympic medallist, having won gold at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio and a bronze at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. She has 375 caps for her country and served as captain for 13 years. Kate and Helen Richardson-Walsh became the first same sex couple to win an Olympic gold medal together and the first married couple for Great Britain since 1920.
Stay tuned for part 2 for more couples who achieved glory at the Olympics
3rd ODI: Second instance when India handed five debuts
Colombo, Jul 23 (Cricket news) The ongoing third ODI between India and Sri Lanka here is only the second instance in history when India handed debuts to five players in a 50-over match.
After sealing the three-match series on Tuesday, five rookies – aggressive left-handed batsman Nitish Rana, leggie Rahul Chahar, left-arm pacer Chetan Sakariya, off-spinner Kishnappa Gowtham and wicket-keeper Sanju Samson, made their ODI debuts.
Chahar and Samson have already played T20 Internationals for India, but got their ODI caps on Friday at the R Premdasa Stadium.
Also read: 3rd ODI: India to bat first against SL, includes five debutants with six changes in playing XI
The only time when India had five debutants in an ODI was against Australia in December 1980 at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground when spinner Dilip Doshi, Kirti Azad, Roger Binny, Mumbai stylish batsman Sandeep Patil and Tirumalai Srinivasan made their debuts.
Left-handed batsman and wicket-keeper Ishan Kishan and Mumbai's Suryakumar Yadav had made their ODI debut in the first game at the same venue.
News source: PTI
Indian tennis players need miracle to go deep in draws
Tokyo, Jul 23 (Tennis news) Indian tennis players need no less than a miraculous performance to get close to the medal rounds as an under-prepared team of Sania Mirza and debutant Ankita Raina faces a tough Ukrainian challenge in the opener while Sumit Nagal has got a tough draw in the singles competition starting Saturday. Mirza, who is making a record fourth Olympic appearance, and debutant Raina are going into the Olympics without playing a single competitive match together this year, which is far from ideal preparation for the biggest sporting event on earth.
The last time Mirza and Raina shared the court was in March 2020 during the Billie Jean King Cup.
They will open their campaign against Ukraine's twin sisters Nadiia and Lyudmyla Kichenok.
"Every match is going to be a challenge and we will take one match at a time. Because Of pandemic and quarantine rules we were playing different tournaments. So after Fed Cup we didn’t get a chance to play together," Raina told PTI.
However, Mirza has tons of experience and she is playing with a player who is known to punch above her weight while representing the nation.
Raina has a big heart for fight but it will all depend on the performance of Mirza, who has not been in the best of form with her serve being an issue.
During the recent Wimbledon championships, Mirza gradually upped her game from the baseline but her feeble serve was easily tackled by the rivals.
Interestingly, when Mirza returned to competitive tennis after the COVID-19 induced break in March this year, she and her Sloveinan partner Andreja Klepac had faced the same Ukrainian sister pair and had prevailed. Ranked as low as 137 post maternity break, 34-year-old Mirza has played only eight matches this season with a 4-4 win-loss record.
Also read: Deemed 'extreme risk' nation, India denied entry into ITF World Junior Finals
The 28-year-old Raina, ranked 100, has just one singles main draw victory to show since the beginning of the 2021 season.
In the doubles, she grabbed her first ever WTA title with partner Kamila Rakhimova at the Phillip Island Trophy in Melbourne in February and broke into doubles top-100 but suffered five straight first round defeats after that.
Had it not been for Mirza's Protected Ranking of nine, India would not have a women's doubles team at the Games.
In complete contrast, Nadiia, ranked 44, had played eight WTA Tour events with her sister Lyudmyla Kichenok, ranked 48, in 2020 and one this year.
Together they did not enjoy much success but Nadiia otherwise had decent results with Romania's Raluca Olaru in 2021.
They won the won St Petersburg (WTA 500) in March and reached the semifinals in Stuttgart (WTA 500) in April and ended runners-up in Bad Homburg last month.
If Mirza and Raina win their opener, they could face American eighth seeds Nicole Melichar (doubles world number 9) and Alison Riske (singles world number 36) in the next round.
In the men's singles, Nagal is extremely lucky to get an entry into the Olympics as with a rank of 144 on the cut-off date of June 14, he was far away from making the cut.
However, a spate of withdrawals pushed him inside.
Nagal's recent performances do not inspire confidence though at the start of the season he had pulled off the biggest victory of his career when he beat then world number 22 Cristian Garin.
However, after that he has managed only two quarterfinal appearances at the Challenger level, struggling badly on the Tour.
Nagal had hinted that he was struggling with some health issues and that was the reason for him not getting the desired results.
He faces Asian Games champion Denis Istomin in his first round. The Uzbekistan veteran had won the quota from the 2018 Jakarta Games by taking the men's singles title.
The grinder that Nagal is, there is a possibility of him getting past the 34-year-old Uzbek but the Indian may next face world number two and Australian Open runner-up Danill Medvedev from Russia and that could be end of the road for him.
News source: PTI
Adrian Luna joins Indian Super League side Kerala Blasters FC
Kochi: July 22, 2021: In transfer news Kerala Blasters FC is excited to welcome the signing of midfielder Adrián Nicolás Luna Retamar before the 2021/22 ISL season. The Uruguay attacking midfielder joins Kerala Blasters FC all the way from Melbourne City on a contract which will for two years.
Luna, who played 24 matches for Melbourne city in the A-league last season scoring three goals and four assists, started his stint as a footballer at the youth academies of Club Atletico Progreso, Montevideo Wanderers, and Defensor Sporting in Uruguay. Gradually, he was promoted to Defensor’s U19 and the first team in 2010. Loan spells at Spanish clubs Espanyol, Gimnastic, and CE Sabadell came next for the forward, who then came back to Defensor in 2013. After two more seasons at the Uruguayan club, he moved to Mexico where he played for Tiburones Rojos and Venados FC. In July 2019, Luna joined the Australian outfit Melbourne City, he made it to two seasons in over 51 appearances for the Melbourne club.
He has also represented Uruguay U17 and U-20 international, the 29-year-old has made 19 appearances for his national team across both the age categories. He played in the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2009, and the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 2011, scoring a goal each in both the World Cups. In a club career that has been over 11 years, the attacking midfielder has made 336 appearances for all clubs, scoring 47 times along with providing 46 assists.
Also read: Hyderabad FC sign youngster Aniket Jadhav
Kerala Blasters FC’s Sporting Director, Karolis Skinkys said: “Adrián Luna is a player with great calibre, and I am sure that this will make our team stronger. Apart from being a good playmaker and smart operator in tight spaces, I liked that Adrian is a hardworking player who always cares about team performance. So, I would like to welcome Adrian to join the Kerala Blasters family.”
Adrián Luna commented: “Very happy to join Kerala Blasters, the great family with the best fans in the country without a doubt. I am looking forward to training and meeting my teammates and all the technical staff.”
Adrián Luna is the first overseas player this season at Kerala Blasters FC, and is joined by Sanjeev Stalin, Hormipam Ruivah, Vincy Barreto and Harmanjot Khabra.
Looking at India’s medal winning performances at the Olympic Games
As there is only 24 hours to go, Indian athletes will look forward to bringing back a couple of medals and inspire all of us back at home. India has competed in every Olympics since the start. The Hockey men’s team has been the most successful with five Golds, one Silver and three bronze medals. India is predicted to put up a record performance this Olympics. With international champions in many events competing, Indians will put up a show and try to surpass their London performance. Wrestling has been strong for the country and also shooting. In Olympic news, tomorrow is the Opening Ceremony and Tokyo will be looking forward to being the host for the Champions.
1948 London Olympics
India participated in the Olympics for the first time as an independent nation. Out of the 79 athletes all of them were men. India won its first medal at the Olympics in men’s hockey, they won the Gold after defeating Great Britain 4-0 in the finals. It was their only medal in that Olympics.
India fielded women athletes for the first time in the Olympics, four female athletes competed as two were in athletics and the other two were in swimming. Arati Saha competed in the 200m breaststroke event and she was the youngest in the team aged 12 years, Dolly Nazir competed in the 100m Freestyle and 200m Breaststroke. Nilima Ghose was the first Indian woman track athlete, she was 17 years old when she competed in the Olympics and competed in the 100m and 80m hurdles in which she finished 5th. Mary D'Souza Sequeira also participated in the 100m and 200m, she had won a silver in the 100m relay team and bronze in the 200m at the Asian Games 1951 in Delhi. She is also the first double international from India as she had also represented the hockey team in 1953 and 1956.
It was also the first time that India had won two medals in Olympics, Khashaba Dadasaheb Jadhav won the first individual medal for India as he took the bronze in Men's freestyle bantamweight. The hockey men’s team won its second gold as they easily beat Netherlands 6-1 in the finals. India ended the games with one Gold and one Bronze.
The men’s team achieved a hatrick of Gold medals in Hockey as they defeated arch rival Pakistan 1-0 in the finals. This was Milkha Singh’s first Olympics where he competed in the 200m and 400m. Mary Leela Rao was the Only women competitor from India as she competed in the 100m. The Indian Football team finished a historic fourth as Neville D'Souza finished joint highest goalscorer in the tournament. India finished with one Gold medal in the games.
The 1960 Olympics will be remembered for Milkha Singh as he came real close to winning a medal in the Men’s 400m. He finished fourth in the final although was leading the race in the start. The men’s hockey started well as they thrashed Denmark 10-0 in their opening match but came up short in the final losing to Pakistan 0-1, this was the first time they had to settle for a silver in the Olympics. India also had no women representation for the second time at the Olympics and finished the games with one Silver medal.
The men’s hockey team won their fourth Gold medal by defeating Pakistan 1-0, the two teams were facing each other in the final for the third consecutive time. There was only one Women competitor this time, Stephie de Souza competed in the 400m and set a national record of 58 seconds. She had won a silver in the 200m at the Tokyo Asian Games in 1958 and was the first Indian woman to run the 100m in 12 seconds. India finished with one Gold medal in the games.
The men’s hockey team finished third for the first time. They had lost to Australia in the semifinals 1-2 and in the Bronze medal match defeated West Germany 2-1. No women competitors were there for the third time. They finished the games with one Bronze medal.
Also read: Amid COVID gloom, could it be 'India Shining' in Tokyo? All indications say yes
The Olympics was known as the Munich Massacre as 8 Palestinian Terrorists killed 11 Israeli athletes, coaches and officials. The games were carried on after the attack as it shocked the entire world. Kamaljeet Sandhu was the lone women athlete from the country as she took part in the 400m, she had earlier won the gold in the 1970 Asian Games and became the first indian woman athlete to win individual gold in Asian Games. The men’s hockey team finished third for the second time. They lost to Pakistan in the semifinals 2-0 and in the Bronze medal match defeated Netherlands 2-1. India finished with one Bronze medal in the Games.
This was the first time that the men's hockey team returned without a single medal in the Olympics. There were no women competitors for the fourth time and the first time the country returned without an Olympic medal.
This was the first time P.T Usha competed in the Olympics and the first time Women’s hockey was included in the Olympics. The men’s hockey team won the gold defeating Spain 4-3 in the final. India finished with One gold medal in the Games.
After 44 years India finally won an Individual Olympic medal as Leander Paes won the bronze in Tennis in Men’s Singles. This was also the first medal after the Gold in men’s hockey in 1980. India finished with one Bronze medal in the Games.
History was created in Sydney as Karnam Malleshwari won the Bronze in the 69 kg women’s weightlifting category. She became the first woman from India to win an Olympic medal. India finished with one Bronze medal in the Games.
A new milestone was created in the Games as India won its first Individual Silver in the Olympics. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore finished second in Men’s Shooting in Double trap as this was the only medal in the games. India finished with one Silver medal in the Games.
This was the first time India won multiple medals in a single Games. Abhinav Bindra won the first individual Gold for India at the Olympics in Men's 10 m air rifle and the first Gold medal after the 1980 Moscow Olympics. Vijender Singh won the Bronze in the Middleweight 75 kg men’s boxing, Sushil kumar took the third medal in Men's freestyle 66 kg wrestling. India finished the games with one Gold and two Bronze medals.
This is India’s best Olympic performance till date with 6 medals. Vijay Kumar won the Silver in Men's 25 m rapid fire pistol, Sushil Kumar won the Silver men's freestyle 66 kg wrestling and became the only Indian Olympian to win two individual medals. Mary Kom won the Bronze in the women's flyweight Boxing, Saina Nehwal won India’s first Badminton medal a Bronze in the women's singles. Yogeshwar Dutt also won a Bronze in the men's freestyle 60 kg wrestling and Gagan Narang won a Bronze in men's 10 m air rifle in shooting. India finished with four Bronze and two Silver medals.
2016 Rio de Janeiro
India won two medals in the Rio Olympics 2016, as the men came home empty handed. PV Sindhu became the youngest Indian Olympic medalist by winning the silver medal in women’s singles badminton, Sakshi Malik won the bronze in women's freestyle 58 kg. India finished with two medals in the games with one Silver and one Bronze.
IOC elects Brisbane 2032 as Olympic and Paralympic host
In Olympics news, members of the International Olympic Committee decided today to choose Brisbane as the host city for the XXXV Olympiad in 2032.
Under tight COVID-19 rules, the secret ballot was held at the 138th Session in Tokyo, two days before the Olympic Games' Opening Ceremony. Brisbane 2032 gave a presentation, which included a video link-up from Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, as well as a final report from Kristin Kloster, Chair of the Future Host Commission for the Games of the Olympiad – the IOC body in charge of monitoring and analysing interest in hosting the Olympic Games and the Youth Olympic Games.
From a total of 77 valid ballots, Brisbane received 72 yes votes and 5 no votes.
IOC Members had the opportunity to ask Mrs Kloster questions about the election process and Brisbane 2032 questions about their plan to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Brisbane and South-East Queensland prior to the voting.
IOC President Thomas Bach said: “We encourage Olympic Games projects which are sustainable and economically responsible, which deliver the best possible Games experience for athletes and fans, and which leave solid legacies for local communities.
Also read: Fractured skull and broken bones later, teenage skateboarder Sky Brown ready to be Britain's youngest Summer Olympian
“The Brisbane 2032 vision and Games plan fit into long-term regional and national strategies for social and economic development in Queensland and Australia, and complement the goals for the Olympic Movement outlined in Olympic Agenda 2020 and 2020+5, while focusing on providing memorable sports experiences for athletes and fans.”
“Today’s vote is a vote of trust that Brisbane and Queensland will stage magnificent Olympic and Paralympic Games 2032. We have heard a lot of positive feedback from IOC Members and International Federations in the past few months.”
Brisbane 2032 is the first prospective host to be chosen under the new flexible system to elect Olympic hosts, and to have fully benefited from it. The revisions allow the IOC to collaborate with cities, regions, and countries to promote Olympic programmes that make extensive use of current and temporary venues, are in line with long-term development goals, and have a clear vision for sports and local communities.
President Bach said: “This new approach is lighter, more collaborative, more compact, and has a positive impact. Now we always have a significant pool of Interested Parties for 2036, and even for 2040, which is almost 20 years from now. I can’t remember that we have ever been in such a favourable position 20 years before an Olympic Games.
“We enter Tokyo 2020 with full confidence for the future of the Olympic Movement.”
Prime Minister of Australia, the Honourable Scott Morrison MP, said: “The 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Queensland will forge an enduring legacy for our entire nation. They will support economic growth and investment, deliver lasting community benefits and inspire the next generation of Australian athletes.
“I am proud of Australia, proud of Queensland and proud of our team that secured this win for our country.
“The Commonwealth Government has supported Brisbane’s candidacy for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games right from the very start. We believe in this bid.
“We know it’s a huge opportunity for our nation, just like the Melbourne Games in 1956 and the Sydney Olympics in 2000.”
Following the election, the Premier of Queensland and Minister for Trade, Annastacia Palaszczuk MP, Councillor Adrian Schrinner, the Right Honourable Lord Mayor of Brisbane, and Mr John Coates AC, President of the Australian Olympic Committee, signed the Host Contract 2032.
Ms Palaszczuk said: “Queensland’s fundamental approach is to align Games legacy with long-term plans.
“We will work with all three levels of government to embed Games legacy opportunities in existing programmes and will create a special Games Legacy Fund.
“This is to ensure the effective delivery of legacy over the next 10 years – and the 10 years after that.
“That means we develop not just a new generation of Olympic athletes, but we give our small businesses the opportunity to participate too, grow their business and export to the world.”
Councillor Schrinner added: “Local government leaders began this incredible journey, and now it is our job to ensure that Brisbane 2032 delivers a legacy to everyone who calls South-East Queensland home.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for the fastest growing capital city in Australia, and a successful Olympic and Paralympic Games will help our region cater for the growth to come and guarantee Brisbane will get even better.”
IOC Members have been involved and consulted throughout the process since June 2019, when the new approach to electing was approved.
Mrs Kloster has previously presented three reports to the Session, the most recent of which was a thorough Future Host Commission report and Feasibility Assessment in March of this year. The Session supported the decision to have a Targeted Dialogue with Brisbane 2032 after receiving the report in March of this year.
In June, as part of the IOC's monthly discussions with Members, a second in-camera meeting with IOC Members took place. The Members' technical briefing was replaced by this meeting, which included a detailed presentation from the Brisbane 2032 team and the Australian Olympic Committee.
Mrs Kloster also informed members on the project's in-depth study conducted through Targeted Dialogue, following which Brisbane 2032 submitted a Final Submission in response to the IOC's Future Host Questionnaire, outlining its vision and technical ambitions for hosting the Games. This resulted in the Future Host Commission Report, which recommended that Brisbane 2032 be put forward for election, which was backed up by an IOC Executive Board decision.
According to early sources, Brisbane 2032 spent about 80% less than the average candidate city budgets for the Games in 2020, 2024, and 2028. Audited accounts, which are a requirement of the election process, will corroborate this in due time. The Olympic Games Organising Committee (OCOG) will be constituted in the coming months.
Olympics: Blast from the past
New Delhi, Jul 19 (Olympics news) With the Tokyo Olympics approaching, PTI takes a look at interesting facts and trivia about the Games from its previous editions.
Here are some highlights and fun facts from the Olympics Games held in 1952, 1956 and 1960.
1952, Helsinki Olympics ============== *Israel entered the Olympic Games for the first time.
*The Soviet Union rejoined the Olympic Games having been absent since 1912 *A cold-war atmosphere dominated the Games as the Soviets set up a rival Olympic village for Eastern Bloc countries.
*USSR women gymnasts, who won the team competition, began a streak that would continue for 40 years until the Soviet Union broke up into separate republics.
*The Helsinki Games marked the return of German and Japanese teams to Olympic competition. East Germany had applied for participation in the Games but was denied, and the German team consisted of athletes from West Germany only.
*Czech long-distance runner Emil Zátopek won the 5,000m, successfully defended his 10,000m title and then took his third gold medal in his first-ever marathon to complete a triple that remains unique in Olympic history.
*Lis Hartel of Denmark, who was paralysed below the knees, claimed silver in the equestrian dressage. She had to be helped on and off her horse.
*Lars Hall, a carpenter from Sweden, became the first non-military winner of the modern pentathlon.
1956, Melbourne Olympics ================= *Melbourne won the right to host the 1956 Olympic Games by one vote over Buenos Aires.
*It was the first time that the Games were held in the Southern Hemisphere.
*Due to the reversal of seasons, the Games were held in November and December.
*While most of the athletes traveled down under for the 1956 Olympics, the horses and riders in the equestrian events did not. Due to Australia’s strict quarantine rules, the equestrian competitions were moved to Stockholm, Sweden—nearly 9,700 miles away—and held five months before the rest of the Games.
*Egypt, Lebanon, and Iraq boycotted the Games in protest of the Israeli invasion of the Sinai Peninsula.
*The Soviet invasion of Hungary provoked protests from numerous Western countries, and some of them, such as Spain, Switzerland and the Netherlands, withdrew from the Games.
Also read: Lenny D'Gama to be lone Indian Technical Official at Tokyo Olympics boxing competition
*People's Republic of China refused to participate because of the presence of the Republic of China (Taiwan).
*East and West Germany competed as a single team, a practice that would last through the 1964 Games.
*The U.S. basketball team put on the most dominant performance in Olympic history, scoring more than twice as many points as their opponents and won each of their games by at least 30 points.
*Athletes entered the stadium together during the closing ceremony as a symbol of global unity rather than in alphabetical order by National Olympic Committees which was the practice.
*The elctric foil was introduced for the first time in fencing and in swimming, the semi-automatic, digital-display timing device appeared.
1960, Rome Olympics ============== *Rome finally got its chance to stage the Olympic Games, 54 years after it had to give up hosting rights of the 1908 Games, on financial grounds following the violent eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 1906 which caused widespread devastation to the city of Naples.
*An Olympic Stadium, home to the opening and closing ceremonies and the track-and-field competition, and a Sports Palace were built for the Games, and several ancient sites were restored and used as venues.
*The wrestling competition were held in the Basilica of Maxentius, an ancient building in the Roman Forum, and gymnastics in the Caracalla Baths while the marathon was run along the Appian Way and ended under the Arch of Constantine.
*Ethiopian runner Abebe Bikila won the marathon barefoot, becoming the first Black African Olympic champion.
*USA's Cassius Marcellus Clay, later known as Muhammad Ali, won the light-heavyweight gold medal.
*In 1958, the IOC made the decision to adopt the Anthem composed by Spyros Samaras, with words by Kostis Palamas, as the official Olympic Anthem. It was played for the first time in the 1960 Rome Games.
*It was the last Games in which South Africa was allowed to participate until 1992 as the IOC could not tolerate the racist policies of the South African government.
*The Games were broadcast live in 18 European countries and, with only a few hours delay, to the United States, Canada and Japan.
News source: PTI
Extreme E to be broadcasted on Seven Network
Sports News: Seven Network has confirmed that it will broadcast Extreme E an innovative electric series on its free to air network and on 7plus, a market-leading BVOD platform. It is a part of Seven West Media. Seven Network will air Extreme E programmes throughout leading cities like Sydney, Melbourne, Brisban, Adelaide, Perth, and regional Queensland.
Seven will air Extreme E’s one-hour highlights programmes which will feature the best electric-SUV race action from remote places across the planet that are affected by the climate crisis. The championship has been to Saudi Arabia’s deserts in April and the beaches of Senegal in May. Their next stop is Greenland in August where Molly Taylor and Johan Kristofferson along with off-road legends will battle it out for racing honours on the edge of the ice cap. The aim is to bring the focus on the effects of climate change in that part of the world.
Ali Russell, Chief Marketing Officer at Extreme E, said: “Australia is a hugely important territory for Extreme E and so we are delighted that its premier network Seven will be broadcasting our excellent highlights shows.
“Australia is undoubtedly way ahead of the curve when it comes to concern for the environment so I am confident that audiences here will really identify with what is at the heart of Extreme E. Our mission to race without trace whilst simultaneously raising awareness of climate issues, means it is vital that our series reaches as many people as possible throughout the world.
“Working with Seven not only provides viewers in Australia with a thrilling and innovative motorsport championship – and one that Australian female superstar Molly Taylor happens to be leading – but also helps convey the benefits of electrification through our entertaining broadcast package.”
Managing Director Seven Melbourne and Head of Network Sport, Lewis Martin, said: “We’re rapt to add Extreme E to Seven’s unrivalled motorsport line-up, starting with the highlights of next month’s Arctic X Prix in Greenland. Extreme E is an exciting new format fans will love and the Aussie public will get right behind Seven motorsport’s own Molly Taylor as she bids to take out the inaugural championship.”
“It adds to a massive year on Australia’s Home of Motorsport, which already includes the Supercars Championship – headlined by October’s iconic Bathurst 1000 – and the TCR Australia Series.”
Jess Duffin has re-signed for Melbourne Renegades ahead of WBBL|07
Jess Duffin returns to Melbourne Renegades for Women’s Big Bash League after missing the 2020 tournament following the birth of her first child. The Melbourne Renegades have certainly added more firepower to their WBBL batting stocks with the return of former captain Jess Duffin. As per the latest cricket news, she has re-signed with the club for WBBL|07.
She is a proven scorer with the ability to score quickly when needed. In the 2019 edition of the WBBL, she was the third-highest run-scorer with 544 runs at an average of 68.
The 32-year-old said she was pleased to be back in red. “I’m really pleased to have signed with the Renegades again for the WBBL. I’m really grateful to the club for their support last year when I needed to focus on my family. While I was watching closely from home, I’ve certainly missed the team, the environment and the energy in the group and look forward to being back around that again,” Duffin said.
“Not only that, I’m really confident that I can make a contribution to the group. With our new captain Sophie Molineux and coach Simon Helmot, I’m looking forward to the preparations and getting our campaign off to a winning start in October as we push for the finals.”
Melbourne Renegades WBBL Head Coach Simon Helmot said Duffin brought a number of skills to the group. “Jess brings so much experience, a cool head and great leadership to our group overall,” Helmot said.
“T20 cricket is all about moments and Jess’s career has been all about making the most of those moments at the highest level. You only have to look back to 2019 when Jess made 50 off 27 balls to help us chase down 184 against the Brisbane Heat. I know she’ll also be a great support to Sophie Molineux as she takes over the captaincy.”
BBL is more about entertainment proposition, unearths new talent as well: Alistair Dobson
Melbourne, Jul 14 (Cricket news) The Big Bash League (BBL) will continue to be assessed on its ability to attract new fans to the game, though the T20 event does play a role in unearthing new talent for the national team, tournament chief Alistair Dobson said on Wednesday.
Dobson's comments came after Cricket Australia unveiled the schedule for BBL's 11th season, beginning December.
"I'm not going to comment on the national team. Our assessment of the BBL is much more around the fans and the entertainment proposition. It's always been about new fans and kids falling in love with cricket," Dobson told The Age.
"That's certainly our focus. That said, the BBL plays an important role in that high-performance pathway and there have been lots of examples where new talent's been unearthed through the BBL and the WBBL." Keeping in mind the challenges posed by the coronavirus, CA has deferred the planned overseas player draft and will attempt to get them through a routine signing system.
"The draft has been postponed for another year. We work closely with clubs and have the opportunity to work with clubs on bringing overseas players in, whether that's supporting them with marketing funding ... we think we’re in good shape," Dobson said. "We've now got fans that have been fans of the BBL for 10 years." Dobson was hopeful that overseas players would be able to get into the country and also made it clear that there were no immediate plans to bring Indian players, who the BCCI do not allow to compete in any foreign league.
Also read: Melbourne Renegades announce fixtures for WBBL|07
Since the summer is packed with the Ashes series, Australia's Test players are likely to miss the upcoming BBL season but white-ball specialists like Aaron Finch and Glenn Maxwell are expected to be available for the whole tournament.
"Clearly a BBL season with the best available players is always our aspiration. To have the white-ball specialists playing most if not all of the season like they did last year is huge for our comp," Dobson said. News source: PTI
Australia cricketer Peter Handscomb tests positive for COVID-19
Melbourne, Jul 12 (Cricket news) Out of favour Australia batsman Peter Handscomb was forced to miss his county match against Leicestershire in England after testing positive for COVID-19.
The 30-year-old, who has been captaining Middlesex this season, couldn't play their Championship Group Two game on Sunday after being forced into isolation following a positive test result.
"Irishman Tim Murtagh stepped up to fill in for Handscomb as skipper as Middlesex ended day one of the clash with Leicestershire at 3-280," A report in 'The West Australian' said.
Also read: India-Sri Lanka limited-overs series to now start from July 18: BCCI secretary Jay Shah
Handscomb is going through a poor run of form as he failed to cross the 50-run mark in 13 innings for Middlesex.
He has fallen out of the radar of the national selectors and last played a Test against India in Sydney in January, 2019.
His last T20I was also against India at Bengaluru in February, 2019.
His last international match was an ODI against England at Birmingham in July, 2019.
News source: PTI
Melbourne Renegades announce fixtures for WBBL|07
In cricket news, for the first time in nearly two years, the Melbourne Renegades will be hosting a WBBL match in Victoria when WBBL|07 is officially underway. CitiPower Centre is all set to host back to back Renegades fixtures in November, including a derby against Melbourne Stars.
A record 47 matches will be broadcasted nationally on television after Cricket Australia announced WBBL|07 fixtures. The Renegades will also host two games in regional Victoria and the venue is set to be confirmed in the coming weeks.
The opening match of the club will be held on October 17th against the Hobart Hurricanes with Renegades coach Simon Helmot saying, “We’re delighted to return to our home venues this season and showcase the talent in our squad in front of our fans. We’re building a strong squad with some exciting additions to come over the next few weeks.”
“Our new captain Sophie Molineux, myself and the other coaches are deep into planning for the season and we’re looking forward to giving our Victorian based families, friends and fans plenty to cheer about,” he concluded.
Melbourne Renegades WBBL|07 fixtures
Sun Oct 17 Renegades v Hurricanes North Sydney Oval 10:15am Ch 7/Foxtel
Wed Oct 20 Renegades v Strikers Blacktown International Sportspark 3:40pm Foxtel
Sat Oct 23 Scorchers v Renegades WACA 7:05pm Ch 7/Foxtel
Sun Oct 24 Sixers v Renegades WACA 1:40pm Ch 7 /Foxtel
Sat Oct 30 Strikers v Renegades Lilac Hill 1:30pm CA Live
Sun Oct 31 Renegades v Sixers Lilac Hill 1:30pm CA Live
Sat Nov 6 Renegades v Heat CitiPower Centre 10:15am Foxtel
Sun Nov 7 Stars v Renegades CitiPower Centre 1:40pm Ch 7/Foxtel
Tues Nov 9 Thunder v Renegades Blacktown International Sportspark 7:05pm Foxtel
Wed Nov 10 Renegades v Scorchers Blacktown International Sportspark 3:40pm Foxtel
Sat Nov 13 Renegades v Thunder Venue – TBC 10:15am Foxtel
Sun Nov 14 Renegades v Stars Venue – TBC 2pm CA Live
Fri Nov 19 Hurricanes v Renegades Great Barrier Reef Arena 3:40pm CA Live
Sat Nov 20 Heat v Renegades Great Barrier Reef Arena 7:05pm Foxtel
Australian GP cancelled for second straight year
Disappointing news for motor sports fans in Australia as the Australian Grand Prix gets cancelled for a second straight year. Melbourne usually marks the start of the F1 season and was cancelled mid-weekend last year as Coronavirus hit the world. This year however, it was moved up the calendar to meet the Covid conditions. However, not enough people have been vaccinated for it to be safe for them to host the Grand Prix. Due to the state's delayed vaccine rollout and the federal government's recent decision to halve its overseas arrivals cap, the feasibility of the event could not be guaranteed.
Race organisers had requested a fly-in, fly-out arrangement with a biosecure hub set up for drivers, team officials, and crew in order to eliminate the required 14-day quarantine period that would prevent them from competing in another race. Due to the current and ever changing international travel restrictions, Australia will not be able to allow such a large number of International travelers into the country.
Aussie fans will not get a chance to see their hometown hero Daniel Ricciardo in action in the flesh. Although the FIA has promised a 23-race F1 calendar to their viewership, it is not yet known where the replacement race will be held. Other GPs to be called off this year include Singapore and Canada.
Also read: A Grand-Slam weekend for Verstappen
Cricketer Meg Lanning: Women's Tests should be five-day contests
Melbourne, Jul 6 (Cricket news) Australia captain Meg Lanning wants women's Tests to be made five-day contests, like it is for their male counterparts, to get more results and cited the recent rain-affected drawn game between India and England to call for the change.
Speaking to the media here, Lanning said the current system of four-day Tests for women lessens the possibility of an outright result especially if weather plays spoilsport.
"I think it probably makes sense to take it out to five days, we saw in the last two, the Test match we played against England and the one just recently with England and India that there was a little bit of rain around and once that happens, it makes it pretty difficult to to get a result," she said.
"So I think pushing out the five days makes a lot of sense and I think you will get more results and then teams pushing for that." Lanning believes India women playing Test matches abroad is a big advertisement for women's cricket and hoped that her team's upcoming contest against Mithali Raj's side would become a regular feature and not just a "one-off" affair.
The Indian women's team is currently touring England where they shared honours in the lone Test and won the final match of the three-ODI series. The two sides will now square off in a three-match T20 series starting July 9 at Northampton.
After the England sojourn, the Indians will travel to Australia in September to play three ODIs and as many T20Is besides their maiden Day-Night Test at Perth starting September 30.
"It's really exciting that they've (India) agreed to play in a Test match and they're very willing to do it having played England as well," Lanning said.
"I think it's only going to move the game forward and increase the awareness of the game both here and in India as well which I think is a really important part of it." The 29-year-old World Cup-winning Australia skipper personally can't wait to tour India for a Test engagement.
Also read: India, England Test series set to be played in front of capacity crowd
"Personally I'd love to play a Test match in India. I think that would be a great test and a really good challenge and something I'd love to happen in the not too distant future.
"Hopefully, this Test match being part of the series against them is not just a one-off, hopefully, it's the start of something that will continue into the future as well," Lanning said.
The Indian women last played a Test match against Australia in February 2006 at the Adelaide Oval which the hosts won.
News source: PTI
Australian batsman Smith injured, ready to miss T20 World Cup to be fit for Ashes
Melbourne, Jul 3 (Cricket news) Recuperating from an elbow injury, star Australia batsman Steve Smith says Test cricket remains his top priority and he is ready to skip the T20 World Cup to be in the best shape for the Ashes series against England.
The 32-year-old had withdrawn from the ongoing white-ball tour of the West Indies due to the elbow injury.
"There's still a bit of time between now and (the World Cup), and I'm tracking okay at the moment -– it's slow, but I'm going okay," Smith told cricket.com.au on Friday.
The T20 World Cup was shifted from India due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will be held in the United Arab Emirates and Oman from October 17 to November 14, while the Ashes is schedule to begin on December 8 in Brisbane.
Also read: Five Sri Lanka cricketers refuse tour contracts ahead of India series
"I'd love to be part of the World Cup, for sure. But from my point of view, Test cricket, that's my main goal -– to be right for the Ashes and try to emulate what I've done in the last few Ashes series I've been involved in," Smith said. Returning to action after a year-long ban due to his role in the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa, Smith had amassed 774 runs in four Tests at an average of 110.57, including two hundreds, to emerge as the star performer in the last Ashes series.
"I want to put myself in a position where I can have that kind of impact," he said.
"If that does mean not partaking in the World Cup, then we'll have to go down that path, but hopefully we don't have to go there." Smith said he had felt pain in his left wrist after a change in his batting grip and needed painkillers and anti-inflammatory medication during his recent stint in the now-suspended Indian Premier League.
"I've made a bit of progress with it the last few weeks. I started some batting, just 10 minutes at a time, and basically my path now to getting back to playing is building up from there," he said.
"Because it's a tendon (injury), it's basically how you (feel when you) wake up the next day, so I start at 10 minutes and if I wake up the next day and I'm good, then I can go up to 12 minutes, and if I wake up well again, I go up to 15.
"Currently that's where I'm at –- 15 minutes -– and I've got to build up to 45 to get myself to a point where the medicos believe I can be comfortable."
New source: PTI
Former cricketers Yuvraj Singh and Chris Gayle could play for Melbourne club in Australian summer
Melbourne, Jun 27 A Melbourne-based cricket club has claimed that it is very close to striking a deal with Yuvraj Singh and Chris Gayle for its T20 games this summer.
The Mulgrave Cricket Club, who play in Melbourne's Eastern Cricket Association (ECA) third-tier competition, said they are also in talks with West Indies legend Brian Lara and South Africa great AB de Villiers.
Mulgrave have already secured the services of Sri Lanka's Tillakaratne Dilshan and Upul Tharanga for the summer with Sanath Jayasuriya as their head coach.
Mulgrave president Milan Pullenayegam said talks are on with former India all-rounder Yuvraj and West Indian Gayle.
"We've secured Dilshan, we've secured Sanath, we've secured Tharanga. And now we are working on finalising agreements with a few other potential players," Pullenayegam told 'cricket.com.au'.
"We are in negotiations, and with Chris (Gayle) and Yuvraj we are nearly 85 to 90 per cent there. We need to finalise a few things but it looks really good." The two cricketers are, however, yet to comment on the negotiation.
The president added the club is trying to rope in more sponsors to sign the big stars.
"We've got a good backing at the moment that will get us across the line, but we don't want to be just breaking even on it, we want to be able to give back the community and expand the structure of the club.
"It's a process, with these big-name players there's a lot of things we need to incorporate into their visits to Australia: we'll provide them with accommodation, their travel, food etcetera, there is a lot of background stuff we need to organise for them.
"While here we want to put them in contact with our sponsors and see if they can give something back to the club and sponsors. So it's all part of the negotiations and chats we are having with them." The ECA's T20 Cup will feature 3 preliminary matches before a knock-out phase of up to three more games between November and February.
The website also reported any international player is likely to play only one or two games. News source PTI
Australian cricket Aaron Finch hopes Oz players will soon be allowed to take families on tours
Melbourne, Jun 26 Australia's limited-overs captain Aaron Finch is hopeful that players' families will soon be allowed to accompany them on overseas tours to keep them in good mental space inside bio-secure bubbles in these difficult COVID-19 times.
Finch's statement came after Indian players were allowed to take their families along with them for the ongoing tour of England.
Soon to be dad Finch will be outside Australia on national duty for two months and he knows that a hasty return for the birth of his child, if that happens in between, is next to impossible.
"They're the risks you take. She wasn't too keen on me going and if she happens to give birth a bit early, we might be in some trouble...it might be a FaceTime birth, I don't know," Finch was quoted as saying by Australian Associated Press.
Finch-led 20-member Australia squad will leave for the Caribbean on Monday, without the likes of David Warner and Pat Cummins, who have opted out of the tour to be with their families.
Australia will play five Twenty20s and three ODIs against the West Indies, and then travel to Bangladesh for a five-match T20 series.
Upon returning, the Australian players will have to spend a fortnight in hotel quarantine.
Finch is set to return on August 25, while the due date for the birth of his first child is September 8.
Asked if the cricketers' families will soon travel with them on tours, Finch said: "I don't have the answer for you but it's something that needs to be looked at.
"I remember speaking to Davey Warner about it during his IPL stint.
"His kids are at an age where they understand how long time is ... when you have kids crying on FaceTime, it doesn't make it easy," he added.
Cummins, Warner, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Daniel Sams and Marcus Stoinis are a host of cricketers who decided to sit out of the tour to be with their families.
Finch, meanwhile, said that the visitors will soon decide whether to take a knee in the West Indies in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
"Over the last 12 months, we've educated ourselves quite a bit on Black Lives Matter," he said.
"We'll speak to (West Indies veteran) Jason Holder and be really respectful and supportive of anything they wish to do." News source PTI
Australian cricketer Aaron Finch says several absentee Aus players have 'realistic' chance of missing T20 World Cup
Melbourne, Jun 25 Australia limited-overs skipper Aaron Finch on Friday said several short-format players have a "very realistic" chance of being overlooked for T20 World Cup selection after opting out of the upcoming tours of West Indies and Bangladesh.
Seven cricketers -- David Warner, Pat Cummins, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Marcus Stoinis and Daniel Sams -- who recently played in the IPL have pulled out of the twin tours while Steve Smith has been rested to fully recover from an elbow complaint which flared during the BCCI's high-profile T20 tournament.
Finch said the absentees are in genuine danger of missing out on the showpiece event in October-November as others stake their claims.
"Yeah, very realistic (to miss out of T20 World Cup). You have to go on current form, and you pick guys who are playing well. For guys to be on this tour, to get the first opportunity to really put their hand up and take a spot is what it's about," Finch said.
"It's tough to ignore really good international performances. So yeah, absolutely, there's going to be opportunities for guys to put their hand up and take spots," he was quoted as as saying by cricket.au.com.
Australia will on Monday fly out to the Caribbean for the July 10-25 tour with an 18-man squad short of up to seven frontline T20I players.
Finch last week said it had been a "long-term plan" for all-format stars Warner and Cummins, both among Australia's highest-paid IPL players, to miss the 10 T20Is and three ODIs in the Caribbean and Bangladesh after that (pending confirmation).
But he had termed the absence of Maxwell, Jhye, Stoinis and Kane as "surprising".
Chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns had also hinted that there is no guarantee that some of the IPL returnees who have opted out of the squad for the white-ball tours of West Indies and Bangladesh would get an automatic spot in the T20 World Cup.
Finch also said he had experienced "blurry vision" during last year's IPL in the UAE and had a surgery on his left eye recently.
So far, the surgery has been a success, yet the 34-year-old believes the true indication will come when playing under lights, which Australia are set to do in all eight of their fixtures in the Caribbean.
"I noticed it during IPL. One day it just sort of changed ... it was just bloody blurry. In the daytime it wasn't as noticeable, at night it was more noticeable, especially playing in Dubai where the lighting isn't as good as what we've got in Australia.
"I just noticed it more then, (my eyesight) wasn't very sharp, and there were little halos around lights and a bit of a trail on the ball." "I tried contact (lenses), and couldn't get them right … they just wouldn't sit right in my eye." He said he underwent the surgery after returning from the New Zealand tour (in March).
"We thought that was the best time to be able to get it done. It was about a three-week process and it was really smooth." With much of Australia's upcoming cricket set to be played at night, Finch said the true results of his surgery will be borne out.
"I'm seeing them pretty good (now). I've only being hitting them indoors on hard wickets. It's all clear now, it seems really good.
"I think the biggest test will come in night matches, that's when I noticed the biggest difference in my eyesight." News source PTI
Women’s Big Bash League team Sydney Sixers retain cricketer Angela Reakes for a further season
In the latest cricket news, All-rounder Angela Reakes has signed a one-year deal to remain with the Sydney Sixers for Women's Big Bash League - 7.
One of the most experienced players in the Women’s Big Bash League, Reakes returned “home” in the last edition.
WBBL|07 will be her 5th season with Sixers including the initial three seasons of the competition where the club won the WBBL|02 and WBBL|03 titles.
She has now represented the club in 60 games.
“I’m pumped about re-signing,” the 30-year-old exercise physiologist said.
“I’m really looking forward to it … a few things didn’t go our way last year (and) it’s always exciting to start a new season.”
Reakes spent WBBL|04 with the Melbourne Stars before an Achilles injury ruled her out from the following edition.
The ACT Meteors Skipper is a player who brings extensive domestic experience to any team she plays for, and her captaincy is the ideal complement to Sixers stars Ellyse Perry, Alyssa Healy and Ashleigh Gardner.
“They’ve obviously got a high load, particularly Ash and Pez, batting high and bowling a lot of overs. Just trying to help with fielding angles, hotspots for our boundary riders, and add another element of leadership to help take the load off those girls.”
Ben Sawyer, Sixers WBBL Head Coach is delighted that Reakes had signed on again given the value she brought to the side on and off the pitch.
“On the field she’s very athletic, she’s a good finisher with the bat, runs well between the wickets and is a great fielder. But off the field, she’s probably one of the people that brings the group together in all kinds of situations,” Sawyer said.
Speaking on what makes it so special to represent the Sixers, Reakes commented: “I think it’s the professionalism of the set up.”
“I think we’re at an interesting stage where we’ve had two seasons that haven’t really gone our way.
“I’m hoping for really big things this year, we obviously really love winning and we’ve missed (that feeling) the last couple of seasons. I think everyone is hungry to try and get their hands on a lot more wins and hopefully reach a Final this year.”
BBL: Courtney Webb signs new deal with Melbourne Renegades
In the latest cricket news, Australia's Big Bash League team Melbourne Renegades have signed a new two-year deal with its reigning player of the season, Courtney Webb.
Webb joined the Melbourne Renegades ahead of the WBBL|04 and the new contract ensures she will stay with the team until at least the conclusion of WBBL|08.
“Moving to the Renegades has really helped fast track my development,” Webb said.
“I’ve been given some opportunities to establish myself in the middle order and I’m really aiming to take my game to a new level in the coming seasons.
“We’ve got an exciting group of players coming through and we’re all looking forward to working under the leadership of Soph (Molineux) and ‘Helmo’ (Simon Helmot) as we try to push for a finals spot.
“I love being around this group, I highly value playing with a lot of good friends and I’m looking forward to continuing with this core group over the coming seasons.”
Webb scored 246 runs with an average of 30.75 in the last season, which also included an unbeaten 54 off 33 balls in the Renegades super-over victory over the Melbourne Stars.
The 21-year-old featured in every game for the Renegades in WBBL|06.
“Courtney is a key part of our future who has impressed everyone with her composure out in the middle,” Renegades Coach Simon Helmot said.
“She came in at some difficult times last season but held our innings together and we’re excited to see Courtney’s development over the next couple of years.
“Courtney is a great example of someone who has worked hard, earned an opportunity and then grabbed it with both hands.
“She’ll play an important role in our batting order this season, she’s got some skill with the ball and as we saw from her catch off Ellyse Perry last season, she’s an elite fielder.
“With that all round skill set Courtney has the tools to be a leading player across the competition for many years to come.”
Cricket Australia says Indian women's Test against Australia will be played on 'fresh' WACA pitch
Melbourne, Jun 19 Indian women team's Test against Australia later this year will be played on a fresh pitch, Cricket Australia said on Saturday, in stark contrast to ECB's decision to host Mithali Raj's side on a used track in the one-off match in Bristol.
India will tour Australia in September-October to play a day/night Test, three ODIs and as many T20 Internationals.
"It's standard practice in Australia to ensure fresh pitches are available for all men's and women's Test matches and this season will be no different," CA Head of Operations Peter Roach was quoted as saying by '7Cricket'.
"We have seen the women's game rise to a new level in recent times and it is important we provide the platform for that trend to continue." The WACA Ground in Perth will host a Test against India for the first time in 15 years from September 30 to October 3.
After that Manuka Oval in Canberra will host a Test against England in late January next year to start the multi-format Ashes series.
"The WACA Ground and Manuka Oval are terrific venue for Test cricket and with first-class ground staff, we are extremely confident that the facilities for the two women's Tests will be of the highest standard." England women's team captain Heather Knight had expressed displeasure at an used pitch being given for her side's one-off Test against India in Bristol, saying it's not ideal as they would want to play on a fresh strip.
The pitch at the Bristol's County Ground was used for a Gloucestershire T20 match a week back and Knight pointed out that it might become sluggish later in the Test.
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had apologised for not being able to give a fresh wicket as the Test was only being added to the calendar in mid-April.
"We are all disappointed that the wicket for the LV= Insurance Test match against India will have had 37 overs played on it. We know that England Women deserve a fresh wicket and we are sorry that we were unable to provide that in this instance.
"We accept that this issue shouldn't have arisen and we will make sure it doesn't happen in the future," a spokesperson from the ECB had said. News source PTI
Five worst Cricketing heartbreaks that left the fans in tears
Cricket just like many other sports has been a source of countless joys and moments of pride for its fans, but the game we so deeply love and cherish at times has also taken us to a rollercoaster ride of emotions and heart breaks leaving us dejected for our teams.
Here we list down 5 worst cricketing heartbreaks that left fans in tears
1. South Africa vs New Zealand, 2015 WC Semifinal, Auckland
Think of the saddest moments of cricket and the first picture that will crop up in your head will be of a teary Morne Morkle and AB de Villiers after the Semi Final loss against New Zealand in 2015. South Africa were in total control of their innings with 216/3 in 38th over when the rains brought with them a great deal of misfortune forcing them to finish their inning on 281/5 as the match was reduced to 43 overs each setting a DLS target of 298 runs for New Zealand.
New Zealand were off to a flying start with their gutsy leader Brendon McCullum smashing 59 off 26. South African bowlers gave their all to shift the momentum on their side with regular wickets, but the day belonged to the blackcaps as South African born Grant Elliot was having a dream run with the bat performing at the stage when it mattered the most. In the most incredible semi final things came down to 12 needing off the final over with South Africa relying on an injured Dale Steyn. 5 were needed off 2 deliveries when Elliot pulled him over the mid on to seal the World Cup Final berth in Melbourne, leaving the South African fielders in tears as many of them stood freezed to their positions on the outfield for a few moments finding it hard to believe what had just happened!
2. England Vs New Zealand, 2019 WC Final, Lords
Registered as one of the greatest games of 50 over cricket, this game was an epitome of how cruel the game of cricket can get at times. In a match that was a real test of temperament, Character and determination both teams were proved to be at par with each other. The game ended in a draw as England too finished at 241 chasing 242. The final then progressed to a super over shootout to determine the world champions. Ben Stokes powered England to a competitive 15 in their super over with blackcaps requiring 16 to engrave their name on the World Cup Trophy. Jimmy Neesham launched Jofra Archer's second legal delivery into the stands bringing the equation to 7 off 4. A string twos followed and Archer took Neesham off strike. 2 was required off 1 with Martin Guptill on strike and with everything at stake for both the sides who had never won a world cup before, Archer fired a Yorker as Guptill found deep mid wicket, but fell short as Jos Buttler completed the run out off a Jason Roy throw to also end the super over in a tie. England were declared the World Champions on Boundary count as they had 26 boundaries against New Zealand's 17. The memory of Guptill's tears, Neesham's six and Williamson's graceful smile got forever etched in every fan's heart!
3. India Vs New Zealand , 2019 World Cup semi final, Manchester
One of India's biggest heartbreaks in recent years came in the form of their semi final loss against New Zealand in the 2019 World Cup Semi final. Top Title contenders India were hot favourites in the match when they restricted New Zealand to a below par 239/8. In a game that was stretched for 2 days due to delay owing to rain, India to everyone's surprise were reduced to 5 for 3 thanks to the immaculate bowling by Matt Henry and Trent Boult. India did pull a brilliant comeback as they reached 203/6 from 92/6 with 37 required off the last 18. However, Ravindra Jadeja after giving his very best with the bat had to depart at 77 off his 59 after miscalculating a slower one from Boult. MS Dhoni who crawled his way to 43 with just 1 boundary smashed Lockie Ferguson for 6 at the start of 49th over with India then requiring 25 off 11, but the dreams of Men in blue along with their millions of fans came to a crashing end when Dhoni in order to keep the strike sprinted for a desperate second run two balls later only to be beaten by a exhilarating direct hit from Martin Guptill.
4. South Africa Vs Australia, 1999 World Cup semi final, Birmingham
The South Africa Vs Australia 1999 World Cup semi final will always find a mention in the list of World Cup Classics. Chasing a target of 213 South Africa needed 9 runs in last over of Damien Fleming with 1 wicket in hand. Lance Klusener who was having a great World cup smashed two boundaries off the first two balls, with this South Africa needed only 1 in 4 balls. The tension built up further as the 3rd one went for a dot. On the 4th ball Klusner attempted to steal a single but Allan Donald's poor response at the non striker's end allowed the Waugh, Fleming and Gilchrist trio to run him out and hence tie the match. Australia then qualified on the basis of Super Six result as there they beat South Africa.
5. Edgbaston Test, 2005 Ashes
As someone once correctly said 'White ball cricket is fast food, red ball cricket is fine dining' . The 2005 Ashes Edgbaston Test will always be remembered for the absolute treat it gave to the cricket fans around the World. In a game that was a perfect combination of emotions, thrill and sportsmanship England edged out Australia by just 2 runs as valiant efforts by Shane Warne (42) and Brett Lee (43) went in vain while they attempted to get 107 with 2 wickets remaining, chasing 282.
The sight of Andrew Flintoff consoling a dejected Brett Lee, when Michael Kasprowicz fell prey to Steve Harmison to hand England the win went down in history as one of the most iconic moments of sportsmanship.
Stay updated with all the latest Cricket news and latest sports news on www.spogonews.com
Australia chief selector Trevor Hohns expects players to forgo Indian Premier League if it clashes with planned T20 tri-series
Melbourne, Jun 16 Australia chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns on Wednesday said he expects the country's IPL players to forgo the high-profile T20 league starting mid-September if a tri-series involving West Indies and Afghanistan is scheduled at the same time.
In addition to the white-ball series against West Indies and Bangladesh, for which a 18-member squad was announced on Wednesday, Australia is hoping to finalise a T20 tri-series with West Indies and Afghanistan just before the T20 World Cup which will be held in October-November.
Should that tri-series go ahead, it might potentially clash with the final phase of the IPL which is expected to resume in the UAE from mid-September, and Hohns made it clear where Cricket Australia expected players' priority to lie.
"Around that time of the year, I would certainly hope so (that players forego the IPL for national representation)," Hohns was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
"However, it will certainly depend on their commitments and what we think they should be committing to regarding their Australian commitments at that time." Hohns, however, added that the matter "would have to be addressed in the future".
"We haven't looked at that yet and we haven't heard from our players at this stage," he said.
Hohns also hinted that there is no guarantee that some of the IPL returnees who have opted out of the squad for the white-ball tours of West Indies and Bangladesh would get an automatic spot in the T20 World Cup.
Seven cricketers -- David Warner, Pat Cummins, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Marcus Stoinis and Daniel Sams -- who recently played in the IPL have pulled out of the twin tours while Steve Smith has been rested to fully recover from an elbow complaint which flared during the IPL.
"That will be an interesting discussion for us, there's no doubt about that, depending on performances in the West Indies particularly by some of the extra inclusions for this tour," Hohns said.
"If somebody were to really shoot the lights out with the bat or the ball, we'd have to stand up and take notice." He said it would have been ideal to have all the players together and play as a group and a squad (ahead of the World Cup).
"It is concerning ... but unfortunately we can't. However, we've got at least half of our (first-choice) squad going to the West Indies and Bangladesh, so a core group will be there, and they will be able to play together." Hohns also said prior to the finalisation of the 18-man touring party for the West Indies and Bangladesh, the selectors were "pretty well down the track" in finalising the squad they planned to take to the T20 World Cup.
"There may have been one or two positions up for grabs, but we virtually thought we were close to the mark or had a good idea of where we would be going with our T20 World Cup squad.
"We're obviously disappointed they made themselves unavailable for this tour, but quite frankly we totally understand and respect their decisions," Hohns said. News source PTI
David Warner, Glenn Maxwell, Pat Cummins among seven Australian Indian Premier League returnees to pull out of West Indies and Bangladesh tours
Melbourne, Jun 16 Seven top Australian cricketers who recently played in the IPL have pulled out of the country's white-ball tour of West Indies and Bangladesh.
The two tours are part of team's preparations for the T20 World Cup later this year.
David Warner, Pat Cummins, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Marcus Stoinis and Daniel Sams have requested not to be considered for the tours for various reasons while Steve Smith has been rested to fully recover from an elbow complaint which flared during the IPL, Cricket Australia said in a statement.
The move will leave coach Justin Langer without seven of his best players four months out from the T20 World Cup to be held in October and November.
Cricket Australia on Wednesday named a 18-man squad for the twin tours. Australia play five T20 Internationals and three ODIs between July 9 and 24. The five-match T20 tour of Bangladesh is yet to be confirmed.
"The tours are subject to agreement on bio-security arrangements and relevant government approvals," the CA said in the statement.
Cummins, Maxwell, Warner, Stoinis and Richardson were released from hotel quarantine late last month following the suspension of IPL and Australia's subsequent border closure for all arrivals from India, which led to the Australian contingent spending more than a week in the Maldives before they could return home.
Richardson left hotel quarantine around three weeks earlier than the rest of the IPL contingent after he, Adam Zampa and AJ Tye flew out of India before the federal government's travel ban had come into effect. Richardson, who has a young son, has declined to tour, while Zampa and Tye will go.
Jason Behrendorff, Moises Henriques and Riley Meredith have all agreed to go for the tour despite also being part of the IPL contingent that recently left hotel quarantine having returned home via the Maldives.
National selector Trevor Hohns said they "are naturally disappointed not to have all players available for the Australian team at this time however the NSP respects the decisions of those who have opted out of this tour.
“Steve Smith was unavailable for selection due to an elbow injury and will now be able to use this time to fully recover ahead of the World Cup and home Ashes Series." Hohns, however, said the missing out of some of the top players will present opportunities to others to push for selection in the Australian T20 World Cup squad.
“International tours in the time of Covid-19 undoubtedly present many additional challenges for athletes. This is a great chance for these players to make a case for the World Cup and all are considered very real prospects of making that tournament by performing well across these tours.” The squad is due to depart for the West Indies on June 28 for five T20 Internationals at Darren Sammy Stadium in St Lucia followed by three One-Day Internationals at Kensington Stadium in Barbados.
If confirmed, the team will then play five T20 Internationals against Bangladesh.
Australia squad: Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Wes Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey, Dan Christian, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Mitchell Marsh, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Josh Philippe, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade, Adam Zampa.
Travelling reserves: Nathan Ellils, Tanveer Sangha. News source PTI
Important that Australia build depth in squad like India, says Test skipper Tim Paine
Melbourne, Jun 15 Australia need to emulate India in creating depth in the squad so that top players can be rested and kept fresh, says Test skipper Tim Paine.
India's top cricketers already in England for the WTC final and the subsequent England series but the country announced another 20-man squad, filled with several youngsters, for the white-ball series against Sri Lanka.
Meanwhile, Australia are facing the prospect of its top cricketers opting out of upcoming tour of the West Indies.
Paine feels Australia needs to have youngsters who can step up at the international level, taking the load off senior players.
"It's important now we build depth in our squad so we can cover it. Ideally we don't have guys pulling out of tours but guys who are rested for a reason and we can plan ahead," Paine was quoted as saying by the 'Sydney Morning Herald.' "We're seeing that with India at the moment. They’re getting the balance absolutely spot on because they’ve got a real depth of talent who can step up and play Test cricket.
"We need to get to that stage so we can rest our best players so we can make sure when we’ve got them on the park they’re fresh and playing at their best," Paine added.
Australian cricketers spent 14-days in quarantine in Sydney befrce ore reuniting with their families after the Indian Premier League was suspended last month.
They are again gearing up for limited-overs tour of the West Indies and unconfirmed T20 tour of Bangladesh.
The postponed IPL is set to resume in the UAE during September followed by the T20 World Cup during October and early November after which the players from Down Under will have to quarantine upon returning home.
Australia then play a Test against Afghanistan in late November followed by the Ashes series starting December 8.
According to a media report, Steve Smith, David Warner, Pat Cummins, Glenn Maxwell Marcus Stoinis, Jhye Richardson and Kane Richardson are all expected to miss the West Indies tour.
Paine said those players need support instead of criticism.
"It's certainly an issue, there's no doubt about that. Whether it's seven who are going to pull out, I'm not across all that, but it's certainly going to be one of the challenges of the modern-day player.
"I've seen some past players and commentators comment on it and I think it's a little unfair. Unless you're put in their shoes travelling away and coming back and having to do two weeks [hotel quarantine] either side, it can be quite draining.
"In our set-up in particular we’ve got guys who have done that six or seven times. That’s 14 or 15 weeks out of a year sitting in a hotel room by yourself on top of any really busy schedule," Paine said. News source PTI
India will emerge champions in World Test Championship final: Australia Test skipper Tim Paine
Melbourne, Jun 15 Australia red-ball skipper Tim Paine has no doubt that India will trump New Zealand comfortably to emerge victorious in the inaugural World Test Championship final.
World's top-two Test teams will fight it out for the title at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton from June 18.
"My prediction is, India will win pretty comfortably if they play anywhere near their best," Paine said at a press conference in Brisbane.
Paine had captained Australia against both New Zealand and India.
While Australia beat the Kiwis 3-0 at home in 2019, they suffered a 1-2 defeat against India when Virat Kohli's side travelled Down Under in early 2020.
New Zealand are coming into the match well-prepared, following their 1-0 series-win over hosts England but for Paine, it won't count for much as he believes the win came against a depleted home side.
England did not have all-rounders Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes and Moeen Ali in their line-up apart from missing Jos Buttler, pacer Jofra Archer and wicketkeeper Ben Foakes.
It's a fact which makes him believe that the Ashes series later in the summer would be an altogether different ball game.
"I think New Zealand are a good team, for one, and secondly if we're being realistic I think it's a really different team that we saw England out on the field to what we’re probably going to see in the Ashes… keeping it in perspective it certainly wasn’t England’s strongest team," he said. News source PTI
Women’s Big Bash League - Sophie Molineux named Melbourne Renegades captain
Australia's Women's Big Bash League Club the Melbourne Renegades have announced Sophie Molineux as the captain for the WBBL|07 season.
The Aussie all-rounder and two-time ICC T20 World Cup champion has been with the club since the inception of the WBBL.
Molineux has become the youngest Renegades player to be appointed as the captain at 23 years of age and she takes over the role from Amy Satterthwaite.
Molineux has played 74 WBBL games and said she has benefitted from learning from some accomplished skipper throughout her career.
“It’s a real honour to be appointed captain of a club I love so much and follow in the footsteps of some high-quality leaders that I look up to,” Molineux said.
“Amy Satterthwaite has had a massive influence on the group and on me personally. Her wealth of knowledge and ability to stay composed is what I’ve always admired. Jess Duffin is such a competitor and leads by example and I’ve also had the privilege of playing under Meg Lanning in the Victorian and Australian teams.
I am really excited to be able to take what I’ve learnt from each of them, combine it with how I approach the game and continue to grow and learn along the way.
It’ll be great to work alongside Simon Helmot and the other senior players in the squad. I’m grateful to the club for giving me the opportunity to step up into a leadership position and I hope we can have a really strong season.”
Head Coach Simon Helmot said Molineux has the right combination of cricket knowledge and affinity with the playing group.
“Sophie has fantastic relationships within the squad. She’s tactically astute, trusted and highly respected across the playing group,” Helmot said.
“She’s had an excellent apprenticeship working under some great captains, including Amy who has helped nurture so much of our young talent.
“That grounding under such leadership will have Sophie well prepared, we’re excited to see this next phase in her career and we’ll support her along the way. We look forward to the start of a sustained period of success for the club under Sophie’s leadership.”
Cricketer Ashton Agar not surprised by top Aussies opting out of upcoming tours
Melbourne, Jun 9 Australia spinner Ashton Agar is "not surprised" that the country's leading cricketers may opt out of the upcoming winter tours, saying such breaks are inevitable considering the impact of lonely quarantines on players' mental health during the pandemic.
Australian cricketers spent 14-days in quarantine in Sydney before reuniting with their families after the Indian Premier League was suspended. They are again gearing up for limited-overs tours of the West Indies and Bangladesh.
It has been reported that at least seven top players, including Steve Smith and Pat Cummins, may withdraw from the tours.
The speculation gained momentum when six more players were added to the 29-man preliminary Australian squad.
"I'm not surprised at all (by potential withdrawals), and very understanding of that," Agar was quoted as saying by 'cricket.com.au'.
"It's hard not to be (understanding), really; these guys are away for a very long time and unless you really put yourself in their shoes, it'd be tough to imagine the mental toll it takes on you.
"I think if anyone had to do so many stints of quarantine - a lot of these guys have done 10-12 weeks already, and Covid has been around for a year-and-a-bit now - it's a crazy amount of time just spent sitting around a hotel room with your own thoughts, without fresh air or whatever," Agar added.
A report in 'Nine Media' said Cummins, David Warner, Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Kane Richardson and Jhye Richardson could pull out of the tour.
Agar strongly believes that for the longevity of their careers such breaks are imperative.
"They've been looked after really well in those times but for the longevity of their careers and for their own health, we need to look after them. And at times they're going to have to take a break, and that's what's happening." The Australians are set to leave for the West Indies on June 28 and after the conclusion of the tours of the Caribbean and Bangladesh, they will spend 14 days in hotel quarantine following their arrival Down Under.
The team will then leave the Australian shores for the T20 World Cup in October in India. They would then return home for 14 more days of hotel quarantine ahead of the home summer, that includes the Ashes series.
Agar says careful management of Australia's top players is much needed in challenging pandemic times.
"We have to look a little bit long term with it all and understand that people can't keep grinding away like that.
"If you want them to have shortened careers, or really not enjoy themselves, or pull out of the game, then the best way to do that is to grind them into the ground.
"But if we're trying to look after each other really well, then we'll prosper down the track, so what we're doing now is really good," he added. New source PTI
Cricket Australia adds six players to preliminary squad for upcoming tours of West Indies and Bangladesh
Melbourne, Jun 8 Concerned that top players might opt out of the limited overs tours of the West Indies and Bangladesh due to "bubble fatigue", Cricket Australia has added six more cricketers to its preliminary squad for the upcoming assignments, beginning July 10.
Australia's white-ball squad for the upcoming series swelled to 29 after the selection committee called up Ben McDermott, Dan Christian, Cameron Green, Ashton Turner, Wes Agar and Nathan Ellis.
Australia will play five T20Is and three ODIs against the West Indies and is expected to travel to Bangladesh next for five more T20Is in early August.
The squad will be trimmed before it flies to the West Indies in a chartered flight on June 28.
"The six additions to the Qantas Australian men's squad follow discussions with players selected in the initial preliminary list for the tours of the West Indies and Bangladesh," national selection panel chairman Trevor Hohns said in a statement.
Pace bowling all-rounder Daniel Sams has already pulled out on mental health grounds, while according to reports, star cricketers David Warner and Pat Cummins may also miss the tours.
The trio, along with many other top Australian players, had returned home a few weeks back following the suspension of the IPL due to multiple COVID-19 cases inside its bio-bubble in India.
"During the course of those discussions, it has become clear that recent experiences abroad, including but not limited to extended periods in bio-secure hubs and hard quarantine, have had an impact on the health and wellbeing of some players and their families," Hohns said.
"CA has maintained that the wellbeing of players, staff and officials is a top priority, and never more so than during the Covid-19 pandemic given the extraordinary challenges it has placed upon international athletes and sporting teams." Christian, 38, has often being ignored and his selection will provides him a chance to earn a place in the T20 squad ahead of the World Cup, which is set to be shifted to the UAE and Oman from COVID-19 ravaged India.
"Dan is in arguably career-best form and was a crucial member of the Sydney Sixers' BBL-winning squad this summer. His selection is testament to the hard work he has put in over many years," Hohns said. Among others, it is a maiden national call-up for Agar and Ellis, while Green made his ODI debut against India late last year and Turner had toured New Zealand earlier this year as part of Australia's T20I squad.
Australia squad for tours of West Indies and Bangladesh: Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Wes Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey, Dan Christian, Pat Cummins, Nathan Ellis, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Josh Philippe, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Tanveer Sangha, D'Arcy Short, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa (to be trimmed before departure). New source PTI
Australian cricketer Usman Khawaja working with Cricket Australia to ensure more South Asian representation in Australian cricket
Melbourne, Jun 4 Batsman Usman Khawaja is working with Cricket Australia to ensure more South Asian representation in his adopted country's cricketing ecosystem, about a decade after becoming the first Muslim to wear the baggy green following a brush with racism.
When he made his international debut at the SCG, his home ground, in an Ashes Test in 2011, the top-order batter became the first Muslim and the first player of Pakistani descent to represent Australia.
Khawaja has often spoken about the challenges he has faced in his quest to play top-level cricket in Australia.
"It is a lot better now," Khawaja was quoted as saying in ESPNCricinfo.
"I see a lot more cricketers coming up through state levels in Australia in particular that are from subcontinent backgrounds, which we really did not see when I came up, even when I played.
"I was playing domestic cricket and I was the only subcontinent player there. At the moment there's only probably myself and a few others." The 34-year-old Khawaja, who has scored close to 3000 runs in 44 Tests and more than 1500 runs in 40 ODIs for an average of over 40 in both formats, cited England team as an example of diversity that Australia can take a cue from.
The ODI team is led by an Irish Eoin Morgan, lead pacer Jofra Archer is from Barbados while Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid are British Asians of Pakistani descent. Ben Stokes is a New Zealander by birth.
"We're still a long way to go and I look at the England team and see the diversity they've had for a long time. They are an older nation than us, but I can see that diversity and think that's probably where Australia need to reach.
"We have definitely got better from when I was younger, but it's a generational shift too." Khawaja, who was born in Islamabad, moved to Australia with his family when he was five.
"When I started being more involved in cricket, people with subcontinent heritage in Australia came up to me and said, 'we're so happy to see you at the top. Seeing someone like you, we feel we've got a part in the Australian team, and we support the Australian team. We didn't do it before, and we do it now'," said Khawaja. New source PTI
Former Sri Lankan cricketer Sanath Jayasuriya to coach Melbourne club in his return from ICC ban
Melbourne, Jun 4 Sri Lankan great Sanath Jayasuriya is set to make his cricketing comeback after serving a two-year ICC ban with a coaching stint at Melbourne club Mulgrave.
Jayasuriya was banned in February 2019 for breaching the ICC anti-corruption code.
As per a 'Herald Sun' report, former Sri Lanka opener Tillakaratne Dilshan convinced 51-year-old Jayasuriya to take up the job.
"Dilshan opened the door for us there, and it was a fantastic opportunity that was presented to us," said Mulgrave president Malin Pullenayegam.
"We just had to work on it and come to an agreement, and we have. I think it's a great opportunity for our young guys to know what international cricket standards are.
"That kind of exposure from a young age just elevates the standard of cricket they'll be playing," he added.
Dilshan will be playing for Mulgraves alongside former Sri Lanka teammate Upul Tharanga, who retired from international cricket earlier this year.
Jayasuriya is a World Cup winner and has played 445 ODIs and 110 Tests for Sri Lanka. New source PTI
BBL: David Saker appointed Melbourne Renegades coach
Australia's Big Bash League club, the Melbourne Renegades have appointed David Saker as the franchise's Head Coach for the next two seasons.
Saker previously coached the side for one edition in BBL|05 before he was appointed as the Assistant Coach of the Australian Men’s Team.
He has held senior coaching positions with Australia, England and Sri Lanka’s national teams and has a coaching experience of nearly 20 years.
“I’ve loved my playing and coaching experiences in my home state so the opportunity to lead the Renegades again in front of the club’s passionate Victorian supporter base is something I’m really excited about,” Saker said.
“We’ve got a talented squad with some class and power at the top of the order, complemented by a strong bowling attack and some exciting young talent. We’ll be looking to add to this group over the next few months to ensure we’ve got plenty of options when the season gets underway.
“The Big Bash has continued to grow since my last involvement and it’s more competitive than ever on the field so I’m looking forward to working with the playing group to ensure we give ourselves every chance of success.”
Saker will fill in the place for Michael Klinger who stood down from the role earlier this year.
Melbourne Renegades received applications from home and abroad, but Cricket Victoria’s General Manager of Cricket Shaun Graf commented Saker’s rapport with players along with his local and international experience saw him emerge as the leading candidate.