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Cricket

Cricket (758)

Sussex select Adams as skipper

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Published in Cricket
Thursday, 27 April 2017 17:54

Sussex women have announced that Georgia Adams will be their new captain for the 2017 season.

Adams replaces Georgia Elwiss who will be missing for most of the campaign due to her international commitments.

The 23-year-old Chesterfield-born player is the daughter of former Sussex skipper and England Test batsman Chris Adams.

She has captained the side several times in the past, usually when Elwiss and Sarah Taylor were on international duty.

Adams will take charge in both the Royal London One-Day Cup and NatWest County T20.

The county's recently-named squad includes teenagers Ella Bourne, Ariana Dowse, Ella Wadey and Ella McCaughan who is only 14.

Sussex women's head coach, James Anyon, said: "We have a lot of talent in our system and this is reflected in the number of players we have selected this season.

"Unfortunately, we will miss our England players for the majority of the season, due to the World Cup, but we have prepared for this well over the winter and we have a strong, talented side to challenge for the Championship and T20."

Squad: Georgia Adams, Flora Bertwistle, Ella Bourne, Ellen Burt, Sally Clarke, Izzy Collis, Freya Davies, Ariana Dowse, Georgia Elwiss, Abbey Freeborn, Chiara Green, Nancy Harman, Ella McCaughan, Tara Norris, Paige Scholfield, Linsey Smith, Bethany Tagg, Sarah Taylor, Ella Wadey, Lucy Western, Danni Wyatt.

Ansari retires aged 25

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Published in Cricket
Wednesday, 26 April 2017 12:28

Surrey all-rounder Zafar Ansari has announced his retirement from cricket with immediate effect at the age of 25.

Ansari made his England Test debut last October during the tour of Bangladesh and his shock announcement comes less than a month into the 2017 domestic season.

The left-arm spinner and middle-order batsman has been with Surrey since the age of eight and combined his studies at Cambridge University with his County Championship career.

He made his one-day international debut for England in 2015 and was set for a Test debut on the winter tour to face Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates, only to suffer an open dislocation of his thumb the same day he learned of his call-up.

Ansari retires having played in three Tests and a single one-day international in which he didn't get a chance to bat or bowl. He scored 3,009 first-class runs to go with 128 wickets and also played a regular role in Surrey's one-day and Twenty20 sides.

He was part of the side that won the Clydesdale Bank 40 title in 2011 and also helped Surrey secure promotion to Division One of the County Championship in 2015.

Ansari told Surrey's website: "After seven years as a professional cricketer and almost two decades in total playing the game, I have decided to bring my cricket career to an end.

"This has been a very difficult decision to make and I have not made it lightly. I started playing for Surrey at the age of eight and the club has been a hugely important part of my life since then.

"Surrey have always completely supported me and I am extremely grateful to the club for their backing over the years. It is, therefore, with great sadness that I say goodbye.

"I have always been clear that when the time was right for me to move on I would, and that time has now come. While the timing may come as a surprise, I have always maintained that cricket was just one part of my life and that I have other ambitions that I want to fulfil.

"With that in mind, I am now exploring another career, potentially in law, and to achieve this I have to begin the process now."

Surrey's director of cricket Alec Stewart added: "Zafar's exceptionally tough but considered decision is one that we should all respect and understand.

"To retire at such a young age when his cricket career was progressing very nicely, earning a Test debut against Bangladesh last winter, proves that he has given great thought in deciding to walk away from the professional game.

"He is one of our own, having come through our age group and academy system where he first played for the county at the age of eight.

"Throughout his time with Surrey he has represented the club with great pride and skill. He will be missed by all his Surrey team mates, members and supporters and I speak on behalf of everyone in thanking him for his loyal service.

"We wish Zafar the very best in whatever the future holds for him and he will always be welcomed back to the Kia Oval with open arms."

Squad decision 'tough on Finn'

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Wednesday, 26 April 2017 12:26

National Selector James Whitaker says Steven Finn is unlucky to miss out on England's Champions Trophy squad.

Pace bowler Finn has been left out for June's competition in England, although has been included in a 14-man squad to face Ireland in two ODIs in May.

The Middlesex man, who has 102 one-day wickets, played all three matches in England's last 50-over series against the West Indies but Jake Ball and David Willey have been included ahead of him.

Whitaker said: "It is tough on Steven, he is a highly capped international and we're fortunate we have someone waiting in the wings. We feel we've picked the best available for what they need to do.

"He was disappointed but as ever he was man enough to accept it, he may or may not get a game against Ireland and he'll keep knocking on the door. He's still a young guy and plenty of years to keep pushing for a place."

But Whitaker, speaking at Edgbaston after the squad announcement, believes there is serious competition for places for the 50-over squad.

He said: "By the nature of the way the players have played in the last 18 months it has created consistency. Looking back we have played 20 players in about the last 19 internationals.

"We've had (Liam) Dawson in there, Finn, (Chris) Jordan a year ago, (Ben) Duckett and (James) Vince.

"They've performed reasonably well when they've come in so they have created competition for places and the people who have held down those spots have felt the need to stay sharp and play well.

"That is what has helped and good leadership, definitely good leadership, so we're fortunate in that regard but there are some good young players pushing for places and that is a major thing.

"The spirit has evolved as well, so in that regard it was reasonably straightforward."

Rain ruins RCB v Sunrisers game

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Published in Cricket
Wednesday, 26 April 2017 12:23

Royal Challengers Bangalore's hopes of forcing their way into the IPL playoffs were dealt a further blow when their game against Sunrisers Hyderabad was abandoned due to rain on Tuesday.

No play was possible in Bangalore due to an unrelenting drizzle and so the two teams take away a point apiece, enough to at least lift RCB off the foot of the table.

They leapfrog Delhi Daredevils and Gujarat Lions into sixth place on five points, though having played two more games than Delhi and one more than Gujarat.

Defending champions Sunrisers, meanwhile, stay well put in third on nine points, one behind second-placed Kolkata Knight Riders, who have a game in hand.

Pakistan recall Ali and Akmal

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Published in Cricket
Wednesday, 26 April 2017 12:20

Azhar Ali and Umar Akmal have been recalled to Pakistan's ODI team after their squad for the ICC Champions Trophy was announced on Tuesday.

Pakistan's selectors dropped opener Kamran Akmal from the 15-man squad for the Champions Trophy to be held in England in June, but have recalled his younger brother Umar.

Thirty-five-year-old Kamran was part of Pakistan's squad which won their three-match one-day series in the West Indies earlier this month, but he only managed scores of 47, 21 and 0.

Pakistan's 15-member squad for the tournament was selected by the Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) National Selection Committee, headed by former captain Inzamam-ul-Haq.

A press release from the PCB said the team was selected keeping in mind English conditions and recent performances of some players in domestic cricket and on international tours.

According to the PCB, Ali was selected in the team because of his good track record in England, while Umar returns to the fold after considerable improvement in his fitness and performances in the ongoing Pakistan Cup.

"Overall the team consists of experience and youth and the selectors believe that team will do well in the ICC event," said chief selector Inzamam.

The side led by Sarfraz Ahmed will play warm-up matches against Bangladesh (May 27) and Australia (May 29).

The ICC Champions Trophy will be played in England and Wales from June 1-18, live on Sky Sports, with Pakistan playing arch-rivals and defending champions India in their first Group B match in Edgbaston on June 4.

Pakistan squad - Sarfraz Ahmad (capt & wkt), Azhar Ali, Ahmad Shahzad, Fakhar Zaman, Baber Azam, Muhammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal, Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, Muhammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, Hassan Ali, Junaid Khan, Fahim Ashraf.

CCD2: Durham hold on to draw

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Published in Cricket
Monday, 24 April 2017 18:54

Gloucestershire and Durham's Specsavers County Championship Division Two encounter ended in a draw, despite some late drama with four Durham wickets.

Set an unlikely 205-run target late in the day, Durham slipped to 15-3 inside seven overs, and 53-4 inside 15, but then Keaton Jennings' calming 30 not out ultimately allowed the visitors to earn a draw.

Earlier, Chris Dent (101) hit a first hundred of the season for Gloucestershire as they tallied 320 in their second innings.

Similarly, Glamorgan were able to blunt the Leicestershire attack to earn a draw at Grace Road, despite losing early wickets in their fourth innings.

After falling to 57-4 inside 19 overs - set 355 to win - Aneurin Donald (66no) struck a composed half century to guide his team to a stalemate, Glamorgan 144-4 when the game drew to an early close.

Earlier, Mark Pettini hit an unbeaten 110 as Leicestershire ultimately declared on 360-6 in their second innings.

CCD1: Lancs cap comeback win

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Published in Cricket
Monday, 24 April 2017 18:50

Lancashire capped a fine comeback win over Somerset on day four of their Specsavers County Championship clash at Old Trafford, bowling their visitors out for 130.

Lancashire - who were skittled themselves for just 109 on the opening morning - set Somerset a steep target of 295 to win on the final day after being bowled out for 463 in their second innings.

Ryan McLaren (4-37), Jordan Clark (3-12) and England's James Anderson (2-30) then did the bulk of the damage as Somerset were bundled out inside 47.5 overs - James Hildreth (43) and Marcus Trescothick (36) providing the only resistance.

Gary Ballance compiled his highest County Championship score, a stunning double-century that salvaged Yorkshire a draw against Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl.

Captain Ballance totted up an unbeaten 203 - bettering his previous best of 174 and continuing a fine start to the season after already notching scores of 120 and 55 against Hants in the season-opener and 108 in the first innings.

Despite all that, Yorkshire were starring down a second defeat against their opponents when beginning the day 178-3, still 46 behind, after following on before Ballance's stoic efforts saved the day.

Essex escaped with a final-day draw against Middlesex at Lord's, with play ending early due to bad light with the home side needing only two more wickets for victory.

Toby Roland-Jones took 3-42 for Middlesex to help reduce Essex to 180-8 in their second innings after having set them a practically impossible 452 to win.

Earlier, Nick Gubbins (64), Sam Robson (77) and Stevie Eskinazi (62) followed up their first-innings hundreds with half-centuries for the hosts as Middlesex declared on 239-3.

Warwickshire earned a draw on day four of their game against Surrey at Edgbaston, despite having been precariously placed at the start of play.

Warwickshire began the final morning on 162-4, leading by only 57 runs, but half-centuries from Ian Bell, Tim Ambrose and Keith Barker helped them hang on for share of the spoils.

Bell fell one short of a century on 99, while Ambrose notched 85 and Barker an unbeaten 70 as Warwickshire 435-8 when the match was called to an early close.

Tsotsobe charged with match fixing

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Monday, 24 April 2017 18:34

Former South Africa bowler Lonwabo Tsotsobe has been charged with match fixing and has been suspended immediately following a lengthy investigation, Cricket South Africa has confirmed.

The 33-year-old, who played five Tests and 61 One Day Internationals but has not played for more than a year, faces charges relating to the South Africa domestic Twenty20 Series in 2015.

Six further players have already been banned for their part in attempting to fix the outcome of games.

Gulam Bodi, a former Proteas one-day player who facilitated the scheme, Jean Symes, Pumi Matshikwe, Ethy Mbhalati, Thami Tsolekile and Alviro Petersen were previously banned for between two and 20 years for their part in the affair, although the CSA has long held the belief that no actual matches were fixed.

The charges against Tsotsobe, the former Proteas left-arm bowler, include contriving to fix or improperly influence a match or matches in the 2015 T20 Challenge Series and seeking to accept, accepting or agreeing to accept a bribe, a statement from CSA said.

He has only been provisionally suspended, suggesting there remains some doubt over his complete involvement in South Africa's domestic cricket match-fixing saga.

Mathews and Malinga return

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Monday, 24 April 2017 17:47

Fit-again Angelo Mathews will lead a Sri Lanka squad also including veteran paceman Lasith Malinga at June's ICC Champions Trophy in England.

Mathews recently returned to action in the Indian Premier League after missing his country's one-day series in South Africa, the tour of Australia and the home series against Bangladesh with a hamstring injury.

The all-rounder's bowling options are boosted by Malinga's availability, with the 33-year-old's rehabilitation from a knee injury now complete.

Malinga, who quit Test cricket in 2011, played the last of his 191 one-day internationals in 2015 and only returned to international cricket in their Twenty20 series in Australia earlier this year.

On top of the 15-man squad, Sri Lanka will take Dilruwan Perera and Danushka Gunathilaka to England as standby players.

"I think I've got the best possible team," Mathews said.

"Plus we are travelling with 17, which gives us a lot more options... if something happens to someone, it's always better to have a couple of players over there.

"It's another opportunity for us to bring a lot of pride back to Sri Lanka. It's an opportunity for us to bring an ICC trophy back home."

Sri Lanka squad: Angelo Mathews (capt), Upul Tharanga, Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Chamara Kapugedera, Asela Gunaratne, Dinesh Chandimal, Lasith Malinga, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep, Nuwan Kulasekera, Thisara Perera, Lakshan Sandakan, Seekkuge Prasanna.

Pakistan great Younis retiring

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Published in Cricket
Sunday, 09 April 2017 15:46

Younis Khan has joined Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq in announcing his retirement from international cricket.

The 39-year-old, who made his Test debut in 2000, will play one final series against the West Indies before hanging up his bat for good.

Younis said the pressure for him to carry on playing had made his decision a tough one and his form has still been good, including a superb unbeaten 175 against Australia in his most recent outing.

He needs to score 23 runs in the West Indies to pass 10,000 runs in Test cricket and become the first Pakistan player to reach that landmark.

Younis boasts a superb Test average of 53.06 and has scored 34 centuries with a top score of 313 against Sri Lanka in 2009, while his last innings in England saw him pile up 218 at The Kia Oval.

"People are calling me and asking me not to make any announcement to leave but now is the time," Younis said at a press conference in Karachi.

"A time comes in every player's life when he has to decide and I always tried my best to serve my county with my head high.

"No player always remains fit, the motivation never remains the same, so this is the time when Younis should leave the field after the upcoming series in West Indies.

"This isn't something sudden, this was always building up and a few of my close friends knew it. Although I had a plan to retire after surpassing Javed's [Miandad] runs record, then I was motivated to complete 10,000 runs so I have decided to get them.

"The reason I announced it beforehand was people start asking me for more. Humans can never be satisfied...so I want people to respect my decision and allow me to fulfil my future plans."

Pakistan captain Misbah made his retirement announcement on Thursday and needs 49 runs to pass 5,000 in Test cricket.

The two sides are currently playing a one-day series with the first Test scheduled to get underway on April 21 at Sabina Park in Jamaica.

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