Steve Smith MUMBAI: Australia captain Steve Smith will return home from the tour of India due to a shoulder injury, Cricket Australia announced just hours before the opener of a three-match Twenty20 series against the hosts on Saturday. Smith hurt his right shoulder diving in the field during the fifth and final one-day international against India at Nagpur on Sunday, adding injury to the insult of a 4-1 series loss for the visitors. The board said an MRI scan had ruled out any serious injury and the 28-year-old would be fit for the start of the domestic season and lead Australia against arch-rivals England at home in the Ashes series starting on Nov. 23 in Brisbane. “Following the (Nagpur) match, he (Smith) complained of shoulder soreness, which has not settled and is restricting his ability to bat and throw,” team doctor Richard Saw said. “Subsequently he has had an MRI scan which has excluded serious injury but we believe the best course of action is for him to not continue to aggravate his shoulder and allow it to recover. “He will have further investigation upon his return to Australia but we remain confident he will be available for the start of the Sheffield Shield season. “Vice-captain David Warner would lead Australia in the Twenty20 series, while all-rounder Marcus Stoinis would replace Smith in the squad,” Cricket Australia added in a statement.
Appearing shaken, Warner removed his helmet and immediately walked off the field leaving his bat behind SYDNEY: Australian vice-captain David Warner is expected to be fit for the upcoming Bangladesh tour after retiring hurt when he was struck in the neck by a bouncer during a warm-up match. The opener was hit by a Josh Hazelwood delivery in a chilling blow Tuesday that saw him drop to his knees and let go of his bat, with captain Steve Smith rushing from slips to check on his deputy. Appearing shaken, Warner removed his helmet and immediately walked off the field leaving his bat behind. Cricket Australia´s news site cricket.com.au said the fiery left-hander had passed a concussion test and would be available for the tour of Bangladesh, but would sit out the rest of the intra-squad match in Darwin, Australia´s Northern Territory. Warner hit by bouncer during domestic match in Australia Warner struck in the neck by a bouncer from teammate Josh Hazlewood “It´s good that Davey´s fine,” Aussie pacemen Pat Cummins said after close of play Tuesday. “He´s a little bit stiff and sore, but just speaking to him then, he´s all fine.” A focus on player safety has been heightened since the tragic death of Australian batsman Phillip Hughes. Hughes, who played 26 Tests, died from bleeding on the brain in November 2014 after being hit on the base of the skull by a rising ball at the Sydney Cricket Ground during a domestic match. The Australian squad flies [Read More…]
Brad Haddin SYDNEY: Former test wicketkeeper Brad Haddin has replaced Greg Blewett as Australia´s fielding coach until the end of 2019, Cricket Australia said on Thursday. Haddin, who played 66 tests despite Adam Gilchrist blocking his path into the side until he was 30, has cut his coaching teeth with the Australia A side and Islamabad United in the Pakistan Super League since retiring in 2015. The 39-year-old, who will work under head coach Darren Lehmann, said he was looking forward to working with what is a relatively inexperienced Australia team. “I grew up in an era of players like Andrew Symonds and Ricky Ponting who gave Australian cricket a real identity in the standards of world class fielding,” he said in a news release. “They were the type of players who took it personally if the team wasn´t fielding well and that created a level for the rest of the group to aspire to. “I want to hold this group accountable to that kind of standard and I believe we have the talent to do that.” Former test all-rounder Blewett has stepped down to take up a role as under-19 coach at the South Australian Cricket Association, where he played Sheffield Shield cricket for 15 years. “It has been fantastic having Greg involved in the side,” said Lehmann. “Brad had a wonderful career as a player for Australia and will bring a multi skill set to our environment. “His primary focus will be on fielding, carrying on the good [Read More…]
James Anderson, with Old Trafford in the background MANCHESTER: England great James Anderson insisted he wanted to win the Ashes again after an end at his Old Trafford home ground was renamed in his honour. The Pavilion End at Lancashire´s Manchester headquarters will now be known officially as The James Anderson End in recognition of England´s all-time leading Test wicket-taker´s “immense contribution” to both club and country in the 15 years since his first-class debut. The swing specialist could bowl from The James Anderson End as soon as Friday, when the fourth Test between England and South Africa is scheduled to start at Old Trafford. While Sachin Tendulkar won a 2011 World Cup final with India on a Wankhede ground in Mumbai where a stand was named after him, this is a rare recognition for a still active cricketer in the English game. Indeed Old Trafford´s Brian Statham End was only so named several years after the Lancashire and England pace bowling great, a star of the 1950s and 1960s, had died. For Anderson, born in the Lancashire town of Burnley and someone who has spent his entire career with the county, it was a shock late 35th birthday present. ´Surreal´ “I´m blown away, really, by the gesture from the club,” he told reporters at Old Trafford on Thursday. “I can´t quite believe it has happened. It is something that usually happens when people have stopped playing or are further down the line. So to have this happen when I´m [Read More…]
NEW DELHI: Australia´s David Warner is refusing to take the bait after being publicly sledged by India´s cricketers, but even if he wanted to fire back the struggling opening batsman has few runs to back up any fighting words. The lefthander has cobbled together just 98 runs from four innings in the first two tests of the series in India and has fallen three times to spinner Ravichandran Ashwin — twice in last week´s defeat at Bangalore, which levelled the series 1-1. Warner has regularly punished India´s bowlers on the seam-friendly wickets back home, belting them for nearly 50 runs on average, but he has been neutered by the subcontinent´s flat pitches where he averages 24.41.India have seized upon Warner´s woes, with top-order batsman Cheteshwar Pujara poking fun at the vice captain´s struggles against Ashwin, who has dismissed him nine times in his career, the most by any bowler. “They were always under pressure when they walk into bat,” Pujara said in a video interview with Ashwin posted on the Indian cricket board´s website. “I wanted to make sure their batsmen are thinking about it,” Pujara added. “Especially David Warner. Whenever he walks in to bat, Ash is always happy. So I always keep reminding him that Ash is the one.” Warner plundered India for 457 runs in the 2014/15 home series, which Australia won 2-0, and was involved in a number of verbal battles with the tourists, earning him a code of conduct fine in the second test in [Read More…]
BENGALURU: Australia fast bowler Mitchell Starc has been ruled out of the final two Tests against India by a stress fracture to his right foot, a huge blow for the touring side with the four-match series tied at 1-1.The pace spearhead will return home to begin his rehabilitation, Cricket Australia said in a statement on Friday. “Mitchell experienced some pain in his right foot during the second Test in Bangalore which unfortunately had not subsided a few days after the Test as we had hoped,” team physiotherapist David Beakley said. “We made the decision to scan his foot in Bangalore this morning and unfortunately it has revealed a stress fracture. “Subsequently, this means Mitchell will be unavailable for the remainder of the Qantas tour of India and will return home to Australia to start his rehabilitation.” The left-armer, known for his blistering pace and ability to swing both the old and the new ball, took five wickets in the first two Tests and also contributed handsomely with the bat in Australia´s 333-run win in the series opener in Pune. The 27-year-old, who has a history of injury problems, joins Mitchell Marsh on the sidelines after the all-rounder was ruled out of the matches in Ranchi, beginning on Thursday, and Dharamsala with a shoulder problem. “The National Selection Panel will confirm a replacement player in due course,” said Cricket Australia, who have named Marcus Stoinis as Marsh´s replacement. Jackson Bird is the reserve fast bowler in the Australia squad but was [Read More…]
SYDNEY: Australia´s national coach Darren Lehmann has blasted Kevin Pietersen´s performance in the Twenty20 Big Bash League, saying he should be dumped, after his Melbourne Stars team lost in the semi-final. The controversial former England batsman was out for five as Perth Scorchers fast bowler Mitchell Johnson put on a scintillating display in the match on Tuesday. The Western Australia side won by seven wickets to take the Scorchers into a home final this weekend, while Pietersen departed the field during their innings with a hamstring injury. “Time for Stars to move KP on, spent too much money on him and didn´t win. Don´t want to listen to his excuses anymore,” Lehmann tweeted after the match. Pietersen, 36, did not respond to Lehmann´s remarks, instead tweeting that he was “Gutted with this eve! Sorry @StarsBBL fans!” Stars president Eddie McGuire hit back at Lehmann on radio Wednesday, saying: “KP is not the highest paid player at the Stars for a start, he has delivered is spades. “The last three Big Bash leagues, KP is second only to (Brisbane Heat´s) Chris Lynn for runs scored. He has bought in that many people,” he said on commercial radio station Triple M. “The last two years which team has had the biggest crowds in the history of the Twenty20 Big Bash. He is a crowd favourite.” Pietersen last week criticised Cricket Australia for not releasing teammate Marcus Stoinis for last Saturday´s clash against the Sydney Sixers. “I just find it bitterly disappointing that [Read More…]
Former Hampshire captain and cricket commentator Mark Nicholas has been taken to hospital for a second time in three days after falling ill during the second test between Australia and Pakistan on Wednesday. The 59-year-old Englishman was taken to hospital on Monday after suffering abdominal pains but discharged after tests, with his employer Channel Nine reporting that he was in “good spirits”. He returned to the Melbourne Cricket Ground commentary box on Wednesday to commentate on day three of the test but was taken to hospital again after suffering the same symptoms, a Cricket Australia spokesman told reporters. Nicholas played 377 first class games and led English county side Hampshire for over 10 years before retiring in 1995 to carve out a career in journalism and broadcasting.
MELBOURNE: West Indian Andre Russell will be allowed to use a black bat in Australia´s T20 Big Bash League after making modifications, Cricket Australia said Tuesday. The Sydney Thunder star used the bat with a black blade and pink handle during last week´s opening BBL match against the Sydney Sixers after Cricket Australia initially gave the all-clear. But they reversed their stance after feedback from match officials that it was leaving black marks on the match ball. BBL officials said Russell will now be able to resume using the bat after reviewing modifications made to it. “Following feedback from the match officials that the bat used by Andre in the opening night of the season left black marks on the match ball, he has worked with his bat manufacturer to modify the bat,” BBL chief Anthony Everard said. “A clear laminate cover has been applied to the bat which complies with regulations to ensure the ball discolouration does not occur again.” Under BBL regulations, a player can use a coloured bat as long as it is same colour as their team´s primary kit colour, or black. Cricket Australia said it has the discretion to deny any approvals and the umpires can also request a player change the bat if they believe it is affecting the integrity of the match.
MELBOURNE: South Africa fast bowling great Allan Donald will join Australia as bowling coach for their tour of Sri Lanka this year, local media reported on Wednesday. The 49-year-old, who took 330 Test wickets at an outstanding average of 22.25, could then stay on as part of the top-ranked test nation’s coaching team for series against Pakistan and South Africa in the coming home summer, News Ltd media said. Cricket Australia declined to comment on the report but a team spokeswoman said the governing body hoped to have the coaching set-up for Sri Lanka settled within a “week or so”. Craig McDermott, who helped guide Australia to victory in last year’s World Cup and a 5-0 whitewash of England in the last Ashes series on home soil, stepped down as bowling coach after the World T20 in India. Donald, nicknamed ‘White Lightning’ during a 72-Test career from 1992-2002, stepped down as bowling coach of South Africa a year ago, after four years mentoring the Proteas’ feared pace battery of Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel. After Australia’s two-Test tour of Sri Lanka in July and August, Donald was expected to remain in the post for a one-day series in South Africa, News said. Darren Lehmann remains Australia’s head coach across the three formats but the make-up of his staff remains unsettled. Batting coach Michael Di Venuto departed last month to take up a post with England county side Surrey, with former Test batsman Greg Blewett stepping in temporarily. Justin [Read More…]