australia cricket news
Cricket Australia ready to pay out-of-pocket expenses to CSA after tour postponement
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Cricket Australia, in a letter addressed to Cricket South Africa, have stated that the tour became untenable after advice from leading medical experts and added that they are ready to pay out-of-pocket expenses to the CSA. Recently, CSA wrote it to the ICC asking to intervene in the matter.Even though Cricket South Africa made all the arrangements that Cricket Australia asked and then some, including letting the entire Irene Country Lodge in Pretoria, where the Australians were to be based for Tests in Johannesburg and Centurion, the CA, in the eleventh hour, decided not to travel in the fag end of the Test series. CSA found the decision completely unjustifiable and even asked the ICC to intervene, after which CA Chairman Earl Eddings wrote a letter to his South African counterparts.In a letter directed to Cricket South Africa interim board chairman Dr Stavros Nicolaou, Eddings said his organisation shared “extreme disappointment” for having opted to postpone the three-Test series but the tour had become "untenable" due to the absence of a detailed biosecurity plan and the risk of a coronavirus infection.“Notwithstanding the additional measures that CSA sought to implement as discussions progressed, our medical experts determined that the residual risk of members of our touring party contracting COVID-19 remained at a level inconsistent with our duty of care, when taking into account the prevalence of COVID-19, the more contagious strain of COVID-19 first discovered in South Africa, restrictions relating to travel from and into Australia and the considerable challenges of repatriation to Australia of anyone who contracts COVID-19 while in South Africa (and their close contacts within the squad), including the requirement for all returning persons to present a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of departure,” Eddings wrote, reported Sydney Morning Herald.“We acknowledge that CSA considers it disappointing that the tour was postponed relatively late in discussions. I assure you that our teams were under instruction to do whatever they could to make the tour happen, hence our continuing to work intensively and in good faith on plans and bio-security protocols until recent days, when it eventually became clear that the residual risks were untenable.“As soon as this became clear, we let you know immediately as we were conscious that CSA would shortly start to commit to costs such as hotel deposits. As discussed with your interim CEO, we are willing to discuss contributing towards out-of-pocket expenses incurred in planning for the tour, noting that, like you, we have invested many hours of work, including hiring leading medical experts in an attempt to make the tour happen.”While the Sydney Morning Herald previously reported that the Australian board had no previous idea about how the players would be transported from O.R. Tambo international airport to Irene Country Lodge in Pretoria, the last straw came along. But a CSA spokesman has since refuted the claim, calling it disingenuous as every detail was already shared.“To imply they didn’t know how they would be travelling is disingenuous, at best. We already had the main driver and a reserve driver quarantining at Irene. CA even stipulated that they wanted four or five protective ‘layers’ between the players and the drivers, despite their 14 days quarantine,” the spokesman said.“The drivers would have to wear an inner mask, an outer mask, a visor and there would have to be Perspex shields installed between the players and the driver. The bus would be cleaned and sanitised to the highest standard every day. CA knew all of this …”Follow us on Facebook hereStay connected with us on Twitter hereLike and share our Instagram page here .
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Pujara surprised me by religiously adhering to ‘bat long and bat slow’ approach, reveals Pat Cummins
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Pat Cummins revealed that he expected Cheteshwar Pujara to unsettle the bowlers by scoring a bit more quickly but admitted that he was surprised by how religiously the right-hander stuck to his approach. Cummins added that, for a bowler, there are pros and cons in bowling to a defensive player.After he scored three tons and served as a literal wall in the 2018/19 Border-Gavaskar Trophy, Australia, in the initial part of the 2020/21 Border-Gavaskar Trophy, found a way to keep Cheteshwar Pujara ‘quiet’ but though the runs dried, they were not able to stop him from spending time at the crease and tiring the bowlers.Pujara batted at a snail-like pace everytime he strode out to bat, and his approach in the first innings of the Sydney Test, in particular, came under fire from fans and experts, who believed the right-hander was digging a grave by not upping the scoring rate. Yet unphased by the criticism, Pujara, remarkably, batted at an even slower pace as the series progressed, eventually finishing with a SR of 29.20, by some distance the slowest amongst all specialist batters in the series.Through the approach, Pujara sucked the energy out of the Australian seamers and none knows it better than Pat Cummins, who toiled harder than any other bowler in the series. Reflecting on the 2020/21 Border-Gavaskar Trophy, Cummins revealed that he and the other Australian bowlers expected Pujara to try and put pressure on them by taking risks, but admitted that they were outwitted by the patience of the Saurashtra man.“It's interesting. After the first two games, in some ways, I thought he might have had to adapt to try to take the game on a little bit more and put pressure back on the bowlers. But if anything, he went the other way. He went, "No, I know my game so well, I'm going to just bat and bat and scoring will take care of itself" - whether it's down the other end or later in his innings,” Cummins told ESPN Cricinfo.“Maybe we set some tighter fields than we did a couple of years ago, but I felt like a lot of the time he was there just to face out the tough spells, bat and bat and bat, and in some ways selflessly take some overs out of the bowlers and the ball, with the hope that the lower middle order can cash in even if he doesn't.”Why Pujara’s approach irked many was because they felt the No.3 batsman, by adhering to a full-on defensive approach, was letting the bowlers grow in confidence by allowing them to bowl where they want. Cummins revealed that bowling to a batsman like Pujara is a double-edged sword - you have a bigger margin for error but, at the same time, you could end up bowling a day full of overs without any rewards.“I'd say in some ways it's true. With someone who doesn't look to take the game on, you feel like you can experiment a little bit more, maybe be a little more aggressive in bowling a touch fuller, try to swing the ball, play around with your crease position, knowing that if you're slightly off you're not going to get belted for four like you might against another batsman. “But on the flip side, if the batter's good enough to get through that and they can bat and bat, well it doesn't really matter what you bowl at them, you're going to have to bowl lots of overs. It really comes down to the fact that if he doesn't bat lots of time you feel great and love bowling to him. If he does, you go, okay, well, his method is obviously working.”Pujara scored 271 runs in the series, but none were more impressive than the 56 he accumulated in the final day of the Brisbane Test, where he refused to get out despite copping blows left, right and center. Cummins, who put in a shift and a half on that final day, revealed that he and his teammates expected Pujara to err after getting hit, but admitted that the resilience and the concentration powers of Pujara took them aback.“I'm not sure you change how you bowl, but it's incredibly rare that someone gets hit on his body and wears so many bruises without trying something. You hope if you keep doing that, maybe they're going to try to put their gloves up and you're going to get a catch that way, but he really stuck to his processes. It makes it hard if you know that short ball is there either to catch the gloves or to get them trying to hook. “You feel like you're getting closer to a wicket each time they cop a bruise, and like they're going to have to change their game and start fending or take the game on a bit more. So for someone to stay with their process the whole time, it does take the sting out of that short ball a bit.”One of Pujara’s biggest strengths is his soft hands, which helps him evade nicking the ball to the slip cordon, and the 32-year-old frustrated the Aussies throughout the course of the series by making the ball drop short of the slip cordon. Cummins claimed that Pujara has ‘pillow-like’ soft-hands and insisted that nicks from his bat falling short of the slip cordon is generally down to skill and not luck.“Oh absolutely, it's like a pillow. In the first innings at the Gabba, my first ball to him was a genuine nick. The ball before, I'd nicked off Shubman Gill and it was caught by Smithy above his head, and then the next ball bounced in front of Smithy. Just soft hands, plays it incredibly late, you can see why someone like that is so hard to dislodge, because there aren't edges flying to the slip cordon. He tries to put all the odds in his favour. “I think we've played long enough to know it's more skill than luck. But it does make you change, the slips do have to come forward a couple of steps because you aren't going to get those hard hands [where the ball flies] off the bat. It can be frustrating sometimes when you've got a brand new ball and it's still not carrying.”Follow us on Facebook hereStay connected with us on Twitter hereLike and share our Instagram page here .
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Available for IPL but dream is ultimately to get back to red-ball cricket, reveals Jhye Richardson
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Australia’s Jhye Richardson, who ended BBL 2020/21 as the highest wicket-taker, confirmed that he has made himself available for IPL 2021 but insisted that ultimately he wants to rekindle red-ball aspirations. Richardson is set to spearhead the Aussie attack in the forthcoming T20Is vs New Zealand.After catapulting to fame in 2019 by dismissing Virat Kohli thrice in three games, Jhye Richardson spent no less than 18 months in the sidelines owing to a dodgy shoulder, but the youngster marked his ‘proper’ return to cricket in style. With 29 wickets in 17 innings, Richardson finished as the highest wicket-taker of the 2020/21 Big Bash League and was duly rewarded for the same by being named in Australia’s T20I tour of New Zealand.Many, however, including former Aussie skipper Ricky Ponting, believed that the 24-year-old should be rocketed straight back into the Test side. Richardson made his Test debut in 2019 versus Sri Lanka and impressed, picking 6 wickets at an average of 20.50, but has since not been able to find his way back into the side owing to fitness.Ahead of the five T20Is versus New Zealand, Richardson admitted that ultimately, fitness pertaining, he would love to get back to playing long-form cricket, but confirmed that, for now, he has made himself available for the IPL. The 2021 edition of the IPL is set to clash with the Sheffield Shield season.“I have put my hand up for the IPL, but I have confidence in myself to be able to play red-ball cricket,” Richardson told ESPN Cricinfo.“I think a really good test of that was our back-to-back games, albeit only four overs a game, but I think from a back-to-back perspective trying to get up and go again and test how my shoulder was, it was completely fine. Test cricket is always the dream, that would always be the ideal, and I'd love to get back and play Shield cricket for WA as well, that would be really exciting."It was not long ago that Richardson, alongside Pat Cummins, was spearheading Australia’s attack in ODI cricket and was in line to play both the 2019 World Cup and the Ashes, but a tragic dislocation of the shoulder put an abrupt halt to the youngster’s career. A setback in rehab meant that he also barely played cricket in 2020, and it is only now, two years post the shoulder dislocation, that he is finding his way back into the game.Richardson admitted that the spell on the sidelines was tough, but insisted that, for him, it was all about enjoying his cricket. The 24-year-old also claimed that he has time and age on his side, despite already missing two years of cricket."It's been a little bit tough, but the reassurance there is that I've been there once, there's no reason for me to no try and get back there again. That's the way I think about it anyway, the opportunity is still going to be there, I'm still only 24 years old so there's plenty of time, it's just about concentrating on what's happening at that particular moment, whether I'm playing for WA or the Scorchers and then whatever happens after that, if I get picked for Australia that's a bonus.""For me it comes back to enjoying playing cricket, because if I'm not enjoying it then I'm obviously doing something wrong. It's been difficult dealing with such a big injury as well, but the positive now is I'm back on an Australian tour, which I'm really excited for and that positive out of all of it makes the whole road to recovery worth it. All of it's been difficult. The initial injury that happened in the UAE probably didn't hit me as soon as I thought it would."I was optimistic with the World Cup not too long after that and the discussion being trying to get up for that, things stayed relatively positive. Something that's helped is there was always something around the corner to aim for, and then every time you get shut down from that or not make that [goal], it sort of chips away at you that little bit more. It's been tough at times, but to be able to come back and play this BBL and have such a good tournament, to then get picked in the Australian team, it makes everything worth it. So super happy to be back."Australia's five-T20I series will commence on February 22 at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch.Follow us on Facebook hereStay connected with us on Twitter hereLike and share our Instagram page here .
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VIDEO | ‘All-rounder’ Tim Paine rolls his golden arm over to claim wicket in Tasmania Premier League
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In just over a month we’ve seen India and West Indies script history at the Gabba and Chattogram respectively, but Tim Paine, today, might have eclipsed both those achievements. The Aussie skipper casually sent down some filthy off-spin and managed to dismiss Hurricanes’, Thomas Rogers.Tim Paine has been in the firing line of late and, in a way, he has no one but himself to blame for it. He opened his mouth with ‘See you at the Gabba mate’ comment - which has since become infamous - and also endured a horror tour behind the wickets. He ensured that he will be known as the Aussie captain who lost twice in two years to India on home soil and two weeks ago, even got mocked for carrying drinks for Hobart Hurricanes. So today, the Aussie Test skipper unwinded by playing some good ol’ club cricket. Paine represented ‘University of Tasmania’ in a Cricket Tasmania Premier League game versus North Hobart and enjoyed himself. Paine did not have a great outing with the bat, scoring 9 (13) opening the batting, but the 36-year-old, regardless, made the headlines. No, not because he ran his mouth. You wouldn’t believe it, but yes, Paine became an overnight star for his bowling shenanigans. The Aussie skipper, remarkably, took the new ball for his side and started off with inswinging trundlers. His radar was off, for most of the deliveries drifted towards the pads, but, nevertheless, the ‘talent’ was evident. But while seam bowling was fun, it was the genius move to shift to off-spin that yielded Paine rewards. He had to wait till his 10th over but just as his spell was about to come to an end, Paine struck. Coming around the wicket, the Aussie Test skipper, on the 57th delivery of his spell, delivered a rank short one that turned away from the batsman Thomas Rogers. It was the kind of delivery which any batsman would want to dispatch out of the ground and so, as soon as he saw how bad it was, Rogers went for a wild hoick towards mid-wicket. However, to his dismay, the Hurricanes man did not connect the hit cleanly and instead ended up sending the ball straight to the hands of the fielder at long-on. Thanks to the botched hit, Paine had a wicket to his name and the Aussie skipper, who could not believe his own luck, put his hands up in the air to celebrate. Beware, folks. There is a new all-rounder in town. Watch the video here: PAINE HAS A WICKET! His off-spin ends a 114 run partnership between Caleb Jewell and Tom Rogers.Watch the @CTPremierLeague One Day Final Live: https://t.co/aQgjm0kopn pic.twitter.com/Yrxh18RoEX — MyCricket (@MyCricketAus) February 8, 2021Follow us on Facebook hereStay connected with us on Twitter hereLike and share our Instagram page here .
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Steve Smith wins Allan Border Medal for third time; Pat Cummins Australian Test Player of the Year
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In the Australian Cricket Awards, Steven Smith won the Allan Border Medal while Beth Mooney was awarded the Belinda Clark Award for her amazing batting display last year. Smith also won the ODI Player of the Year for 2020 while Pat Cummins was awarded the Test Player of the Year award.Even though Steve Smith seemed scratchy with the bat in the recently-concluded Test series, before turning it around in Sydney, he had a fantastic limited-overs outing where he single-handedly put India to the task. That earned him the maximum vote for the Allan Border Medal where his 126 votes were the maximum with Pat Cummins securing 114 votes.As a matter of fact, this was Smith's third Allan Border Medal and he is now only behind Michael Clarke and Ricky Pointing, who both have won the Medal four times. Among other awards on the Australian Awards night, Smith won the Men's ODI Player of the Year after finishing the voting period with 568 runs at an average of 63.11. Meanwhile, Pat Cummins, who had a terrific summer and bowled with panache, bagged Men's Test Player of the Year. Recently against India, the New South Welshman took 21 wickets at an average of 20.04 that earned him the Player of the Series. Josh Hazlewood and Marnus Labuschagne took the second and third positions. On the other hand, Ashton Agar was named the Men's T20I Player of the Year, having taken 13 wickets at 12.46.Mooney claimed her maiden Belinda Clark Award as the Best Women's Cricketer of the Year while Meg Lanning and Georgia Wareham took the next two positions on the list. With Lanning, Alyssa Healy, and Ellyse Perry sharing the award between 2014 to 2020, Mooney's award is a change from norm in over seven years. Mooney scored 555 runs in internationals averaging 42.69 during the voting period and her 78 versus India in the final of the World T20 helped them win the World title.Follow us on Facebook hereStay connected with us on Twitter hereLike and share our Instagram page here .
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Justin has done a terrific job over the last couple of years, claims Steve Smith
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Steve Smith has backed an underfire Justin Langer and stated that the Australian coach always pushes the players to get the best out of them which has worked wonders in the last couple of years. Recently, there were reports that few Australian players were not happy about Langer's intense approach.After Australia suffer a shambolic 2-1 loss to a depleted Indian side, the dressing room was not a happy place to be. Anyone with the slightest understanding of Justin Langer's managerial style, it was a confirmed notion that he was really grumpy which came through a report on the Sydney Morning Herald. The publication reported that a few players were not happy with Langer's intense approach and repeated intervention during the game, which Langer denied first.However, he has got the support of Tim Paine first and now Steve Smith who stated that Langer has his full-backing especially after what he has done over the last few years. Smith further stated that Langer always wants the best from his Australian cricketers."I think even if you speak to Justin, you want to be improving all the time as a coach or as a player, so of course there are things you can always get better at," Smith said in an online press conference."One thing that hasn't been spoken a lot about is how tough a job it is to coach an international team, particularly in the circumstances we've been in when we've been in bubbles for long periods of time."But Justin's always working hard, trying to improve and get better and we've had conversations over the last two weeks since we've finished and he's always trying to get better and better and that's all you can ask from your coach."Smith has been the fulcrum of the Test side for over half a decade now and one of the major reasons behind the same is his own unique approach and technique. With a homegrown technique, he has conquered the world and he admitted that Langer has given him a free hand to experiment."Justin's actually said about me before he doesn't try and coach me too much. Only every now and again he'll say something particularly about the energy in my legs and tell me to have a bit more energy and that helps me move my feet a bit better and get going. He kind of just lets me go about my business and do what I need to do."But he's great around the group, he's always improving and wants to get better and wants the feedback from the players, and I think that's really important as a coach. And sometimes it can be difficult to get that feedback. You always want to get better, you always want to learn on the job and I think he does that as well as anyone," he added.Follow us on Facebook hereStay connected with us on Twitter hereLike and share our Instagram page here .
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