Tim Paine | Sportzwiki

Tim Paine

Australia Captain Tim Paine has stepped down from the role (Mike Egerton/PA) (PA Archive)
Australia Captain Tim Paine has stepped down from the role (Mike Egerton/PA) (PA Archive)
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Tim Paine’s Brother Slammed Cricket Australia For Not Letting Him Play A Farewell Test In Hometown Hobart

Tim Paine’s brother Nick Paine, has slammed the Australian cricket board after their Ashes win over rivals England. They won the series 4-0 after winning the fifth and final Test in Hobart.

Meanwhile, Tim Paine is out of cricket at the moment after he was stripped of the captaincy following his sexting scandal with a Cricket Tasmania co-worker in 2017. What followed was some tough reaction from the public and the Australian Cricket Board after which he had to move away from the game for the time being.

Tim Paine, left, with brother Nick Paine, centre, and fellow Tasmanian cricketer Matthew Wade.(Twitter: China Paine)
Tim Paine, left, with brother Nick Paine, center, and fellow Tasmanian cricketer Matthew Wade. (Twitter: China Paine)

Tim Paine’s Brother Nick Paine Said His Brother Deserved Proper Send-Off On His Home Ground In Front Of His Family, Friends, And Supporters

Tim Paine was handed over the captaincy in 2018 post the infamous ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town Test in 2018. Without the likes of Steve Smith and David Warner, the keeper worked hard behind regrouping the team and the players to form a strong team again.

Taking to Twitter, Nick Paine, Tim Paine’s brother said that it was tough to watch the Australian team rejoicing in the absence of Tim Paine. He also said that the keeper deserved a farewell game at his home ground in Hobart.

“Pretty hard to watch this knowing full well that one of the key people in resurrecting the reputation of Cricket Australia and this team was shafted by that very same organisation because of a personal mistake he made nearly 4 years ago,.He deserved this send off on his home ground in front of his family, friends and his long time supporters,” Nick Paine tweeted.

Tim Paine, Pat Cummins, Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne. Image: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
Tim Paine, Pat Cummins, Steve Smith, and Marnus Labuschagne. Image: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Tim Paine, the former Australia Test skipper has taken a “leave of absence from all forms of cricket” following his resignation as captain for the side ahead of the Ashes 2021/22. Tim Paine had announced his resignation last week following a ‘sexting scandal’ with a former Cricket Tasmania colleague in 2017.

Nick Paine mentioned that he could not bear the scenes out there at Hobart following the Ashes victory as his brother had done a lot of work in rebuilding the reputation of Australian cricket after the 2018 Ball-tampering scandal. He also noted that the 37-year-old deserved to get a farewell in his home ground (Hobart).

Nick Paine Slams Cricket Australia For Showing Double Standards For Local Player Tim Paine

Nick Paine further had a shoutout to Cricket Australia and slammed the organization of showing double standards in Tim Paine’s case.

Australia Test skipper Tim Paine (Photo | AP)
Australia Test skipper Tim Paine (Photo | AP)

“It’s just a real shame that one mistake in life (that the person was cleared and exonerated by an inquiry) can end a kids dream but then for others who make then, they come back and it’s all ok an in a way forgotten. Double standards from an organisation that clearly doesn’t have the back of its people.A local boy on his local ground in front of his people. Gut wrenching stuff,” he added.

Tim Paine has so far played 35 Tests, 35 ODIs, and 12 T20 internationals for Australia scoring over 2500 runs across formats. The keeper has led his country to 11 wins, four draws, and eight defeats. Under his leadership, Australia had retained the Ashes and won 11 of 23 matches but had lost two successive home Test series to India.

In Ashes 2021/22, Travis Head top-scored with 357 runs in 6 innings averaging 59.5. Skipper pacer Pat Cummins was the highest wicket-taker with 21 scalps averaging 18.05.

Justin Langer
Justin Langer
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Nick Hockley Hints Australian Coaches For Different Formats Can Be Split, Justin Langer Keen To Coach All Formats

Nick Hockley, Cricket Australia chief on Sunday hinted that the coaches for different formats could be split and he did not give a clear answer on whether Justin Langer would remain the coach for all three formats going forward.

Justin Langer’s tenure as the head coach is slated to come to an end next year, however, he has shown his willingness to remain the coach of the side. Speculation is rife in Australian cricketing circles regarding Michael Di Venuto and Andrew McDonald taking over as the white-ball coach.

Nick Hockley, Cricket Australia's CEO --- Image Source: Getty Images AsiaPac
Nick Hockley, Cricket Australia’s CEO — Image Source: Getty Images AsiaPac

Nick Hockley, Cricket Australia Chief Hinted Australia May Opt For Splitting Coaches For Different Formats

Australia head coach Justin Langer has achieved monumental success with the Australian team of late. Langer helped the Aussies to their first-ever T20 World Cup title and are now on their way to probably retaining the Ashes at home. Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley isn’t in any hurry to extend the contract of Justin Langer just as yet.

There have been some questions in the past on Justin Langer’s coaching methods. Players like Aaron Finch, Pat Cummins, and Tim Paine have had some hard and honest conversations with Justin Langer about the same.

“That’s (different coaches for different formats) something we’ll look at towards the end of the season,” Nick Hockley was quoted as saying.

Justin Langer. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)
Justin Langer. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)

Nick Hockley also confirmed that Justin Langer would remain as the head coach until the end of his four-year contract, which expires in June. Nick Hockley wants to take things slow and wait till the end of the Ashes 2021/22 series in order to discuss and come to a conclusion.

“There’s no question Justin will see out his contract. That goes out to the middle of next year. Obviously, once we get through the Ashes we want to sit down and work out where we want to go from there,” said Hockley.

“We’re going to sit down and work through what that process entails at that time, then we’ll be able to say more,” he added.

Earlier this year, Australia won its maiden T20 World Cup title and the side is on the verge of retaining the Ashes.

Pat Cummins And Nathan Lyon Pick 3 Scalps Each As Australia Dismiss England For A Paltry 185

There also have been reports of split coaching for the white ball as well as red ball teams and the theory has been supported by many Australian greats like Steve Waugh. However, Justin Langer is reportedly very keen on still remaining the head coach across formats.

Nathan Lyon Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images
Nathan Lyon Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Trailing by 124 runs, Australia ended Day 1 of the ongoing third Ashes Test match posting 61 for one at Stump’s against England at the MCG in Melbourne, on Sunday. The hosts lost the crucial wicket of David Warner, who was dismissed by James Anderson after registering 38 runs off 42 balls.

Marcus Harris and Nathan Lyon will resume batting for Australia on Day 2. Earlier, England was bowled out for 185. Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon were the picks of the Australian bowlers, taking three wickets each. Mitchell Starc took two while Cameron Green and debutant Scott Boland also picked a wicket each to put Australia in the driver’s seat. For England, captain Joe Root was the standout, scoring yet another fifty.

Australia Chief Executive Nick Hockley. (File)
Australia Chief Executive Nick Hockley. (File)
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Cricket Australia Chief Executive Nick Hockley Confirms Police Probing Alleged Report Of Drug Use By A Reputed Cricketer

Cricket Australia chief executive Nick Hockley on Sunday said it has got the police involved after a confidential report on alleged drug use by a “well-known” player was leaked to the media.

It was reported of receiving a recording of a phone call between a woman, who described herself as a “high-class” escort, and Cricket Australia’s former integrity chief, Sean Carroll, in which she alleged a player was using cocaine and dancing naked on the balcony with numerous woman.

Cricket Australia's CEO Nick Hockley Image Source: Getty Images AsiaPac
Cricket Australia’s CEO Nick Hockley Image Source: Getty Images AsiaPac

Cricket Australia Chief Executive Nick Hockley Reported Unsubstantiated Historical News On Alleged Drug Abuse By A Player To Victoria Police

Nick Hockley has dubbed the allegations surrounding the former player as “unsubstantiated” and “historical”.

“I saw the article this morning. Those reports are unsubstantiated,” Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockey told reporters.

“They are historical. Any stealing of confidential information is a crime. We have reported it and are getting assistance from Vic Police. It’s really important people are able to contact our integrity line in full confidence that it is going to be kept secure. Certainly our processes, we review them regularly, to ensure they are absolutely best practice,” ricket Australia CEO Nick Hockey said.

Australia Captain Tim Paine has stepped down from the role (Mike Egerton/PA) (PA Archive)
Australia captain Tim Paine has stepped down from the role (Mike Egerton/PA) (PA Archive)

The recording had been sent to the paper via an encrypted email service from an anonymous address. The source of the leak claimed to be a former CA staffer “who wanted to expose flaws in its integrity unit”. Sean Carroll left CA a year ago.

The leak comes just over a month after Tim Paine resigned as Test captain on the eve of the Ashes 2021/22 and later stepped away from all forms of cricket after it came to light that he was investigated for a sexting incident with a Cricket Tasmania colleague in 2017. Australia is playing the third Ashes Test in Melbourne today against England.

Pat Cummins was later appointed as team’s captain and Steven Smith was picked to be his deputy. Under Pat Cummins’ captaincy, Australia defeated England in the first Ashes Test by 9 wickets. Due to the pacer’s injury, Steve Smith captained Australia in the 2nd Test and Australia won that too by 275 runs.

Nick Hockley Confirms Cricket Australia Working Closely With Pakistan Cricket Board And Australia Committed To Tour After 24 Years

Nick Hockley, meanwhile, said CA is committed to sending its team to Pakistan in March next year despite fresh COVID-19 concerns over the omicron strain. Australia’s last tour to Pakistan took place 24 years ago, after which series between the two countries have only been played in Australia, UAE, and England because of security issues in Pakistan.

“We just had a (CA management) team go over to Pakistan. We are working closely with the PCB and all the authorities. It’s a really complex endeavour, we are very committed to touring. It is absolutely our intention to tour as long as it is safe to do so,” Hockley said.

Pat Cummins Credit: AAP
Pat Cummins Credit: AAP

In the 3rd Ashes Test, England batted first and was bowled out for only 185 with skipper Joe Root scoring 50. Pat Cummins on his Test return picked up 3 wickets while Mitchell Starc picked up 2 wickets. Debutant Scott Boland and Cameron Green picked up a wicket each. Spinner Nathan Lyon also picked 3 wickets. Australia has already scored 57 losing the opener, David Warner, for 38.

Cricket Australia boss Nick Hockley said on Sunday police were assisting the governing body after a confidential report made to its anti-corruption unit was leaked to the media. It was not clear when the phone call took place.

Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)
Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)
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Michael Vaughan Unimpressed After England Suffer Heavy Defeats Against Australia In Ashes 2021/22 And Concerned With Lack Of Bench Strength

Michael Vaughan predicts it will be a tough challenge for Joe Root-led England to make a comeback in the ongoing Ashes 2021/22 series. He feels making changes to their playing eleven for the Boxing Day Test will have very little impact on the outcome of the contest.

The cricketer-turned-commentator believes England’s lack of bench strength is a major sign of worry. The ex-England skipper pointed out that the English side does not have a lot of players who have been knocking on the selectors’ doors with consistent performances.

Michael Vaughan. (Image source: Getty)
Michael Vaughan. (Image source: Getty)

Michael Vaughan Unimpressed As England Don’t Have Anyone Waiting In The Wings While Australia Better Side With Inclusion Of Alex Carey

He reckons Australia, on the other hand, has shown significant improvements in the past year. Wicketkeeper-batter Alex Carey’s inclusion in place of tainted skipper Tim Paine who took an indefinite break has further strengthened their team, as per Michael Vaughan.

“Australia are better than they were a year ago. Alex Carey has made them a better side. For England, I think Mark Wood will play. You’ve got to play a spinner. There is talk of Zack Crawley and Jonny Bairstow coming in, but I don’t think whoever they bring in will do anything better. They don’t have anyone waiting in the wings,” Michael Vaughan said.

Alex Carey-Twitter
Alex Carey-Twitter

The 47-year-old opined that England’s white-ball success might have come at the expense of their Test team. He also noted how barring star all-rounder Ben Stokes, there’s no other player who seems ready to become their future captain in red-ball cricket.

“Generally, in a team, you see two or three players who are ready to become the next captain. But I don’t see anyone in this Test team who seems like he can be the next England captain apart from Ben Stokes. It’s taken a while for England to become a formidable white-ball force, but it has been at the expense of the Test team.”

England was completely outplayed in the first two Ashes 2021/22 Tests. England hadn’t won a Test match in Australia since January 2011.

Michael Vaughan Shocked Not To See Stuart Broad Playing 1st Brisbane Test

Michael Vaughan expressed his disappointment over the team not being able to even compete against the Aussies in the crucial series. He also seemed unimpressed with the team selection. The former England skipper suggested it was not the right move to bench senior pacer Stuart Broad for the opening Test.

He stated that the veteran bowler should have had the new ball in his hands on the green top wicket at the Gabba. James Anderson, England’s highest wicket-taker in Tests also was injured and so dropping Stuart Broad backfired in the opening Test.

He said: “To see Stuart Broad not play on a green top in Brisbane was remarkable. He should have been bowling the first ball of the game from around the wicket to David Warner. Everything that could have gone wrong has gone wrong for England. in this year’s Ashes. They have three more games to go, but I won’t give them any hope.”

England's Stuart Broad. (Photo by Jon Super / POOL / AFP)
England’s Stuart Broad. (Photo by Jon Super / POOL / AFP)

England still has a chance of staging a miraculous turnaround by winning the remaining three Test matches. However, Michael Vaughan opined that things often go from bad to worse when a side has had such an underwhelming start in Australia.

The third Test match of the Ashes 2021-22 will be hosted by the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The encounter is slated to be played from December 26. Captain Pat Cummins missed the last Test match due to coming into close contact with an individual who tested positive for Covid-19, however, the Aussie skipper is set to return to action in this third Test, likely replacing Michael Neser.

In a bid to avoid conceding an unassailable series deficit in Melbourne, England will once again look to make changes, this time primarily to their batting as they take the underperforming Surrey duo of Rory Burns and Ollie Pope out of the firing line, with the two likely to be replaced by Zak Crawley and Jonny Bairstow. After being rested in Adelaide, fast bowler Mark Wood should return to the side after an impressive showing in the first Test.

Usman Khawaja of Australia celebrates scoring his century during game five of the One Day International series between India and Australia at Feroz Shah Kotla Ground on March 13, 2019 in Delhi, India. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
Usman Khawaja of Australia celebrates scoring his century during game five of the One Day International series between India and Australia at Feroz Shah Kotla Ground on March 13, 2019 in Delhi, India. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
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Usman Khawaja Can Replace Injured David Warner If The Opener Is Ruled Out Of 2nd Test: Ricky Ponting

Ricky Ponting, the former Australia skipper feels Usman Khawaja can replace David Warner for the second Ashes Test if the opening batter is ruled out of the game due to an injury.

England and Australia’s 1st Ashes 2021/22 Test concluded with a convincing win for Australia. David Warner on Friday did not take the field after receiving blows on the chest while batting on day two of the first Test. He also didn’t come out to open in the 2nd innings to chase a small 20 runs target.

Australia opening batter David Warner (Photo/ ICC Twitter)
Australia opening batter David Warner (Photo/ ICC Twitter)

Ricky Ponting In Favour To Give Usman Khawaja A Chance To Open If David Warner Is Unfit For The 2nd Test

David Warner on Friday didn’t take the field after Australia were bowled out for 425, taking a 278-run lead in the first innings of the ongoing first Ashes Test in Brisbane. The left-hand batsman is currently nursing bruised ribs and fortunately, the scans have shown that he hasn’t suffered a fracture. David Warner coped a nasty blow to his chest from Ben Stokes while batting on the second day at the Gabba.

“If (Warner) can’t play, I think it’s probably Khawaja that goes in and opens the batting. Although he hasn’t done it the last couple years for Queensland he’s done it for Australia before,” Ricky Ponting was quoted as saying.

Ricky Ponting (Image Credit: Twitter)
Ricky Ponting (Image Credit: Twitter)

“He’s obviously in really good form, so I think that’s probably the way to go. I think he’s experienced enough, but the fact he hasn’t done it for a while would be a bit of a concern,” Ricky Ponting added.

The Australia opening batter received a brutal blow on the same spot while fielding from England’s Ben Stokes which further put David Warner in discomfort.

“It’s a worry that he’s not out there at all. We’ll have a better idea when he bats or if he bats at all in the second innings,” said Ricky Ponting.

“I noticed that after he got hit, he came out after one of the breaks and you could see that he had a little (chest), guard, over that area. I got a bit worried about it then because I’ve never seen him with a chest guard on before,” Ricky Ponting added.

“Even if it’s just bruising, I would think that he’d be out there fielding so there might be a bit more to it than what we’re hearing,” Ricky Ponting further said.

David Warner was injured when hit in the ribs while making 94 in Australia’s first innings.

Australia Won The 1st Ashes 2021/22 Test After Travis Head’s 152

Coming to the game, Joe Root and Dawid Malan kept staged England’s fightback as the two batters steadied the visitors’ ship by the end of Day 3 of the ongoing first Ashes Test here at the Gabba, Brisbane on Friday. At the Stumps, England’s score read 220/2– trailing by 58 runs. Dawid Malan and Joe Root have played unbeaten knocks of 80 and 86 runs respectively. England collapsed from 223-2 to 297 all out on day four.

Joe Root
Joe Root Photograph: Sri Lanka Cricket

Australia was bowled out for 425, taking a 278-run lead in the first innings of the ongoing first Ashes Test in Brisbane. Nathan Lyon, skipper Pat Cummins, David Warner, and Travis Head were the standout performers as Australia defeated England by nine wickets in the first Ashes 2021/22 Test at the Gabba, Brisbane on Saturday.

Chasing 20, Alex Carey (9) and Marcus Harris (9*) made light work of the 20 run target chase and the hosts registered victory in just 5.1 overs. Earlier, Travis Head took just 85 balls to reach triple figures and smashed the England bowlers all over the park. His knock of 152 off just 148 balls was laced with 14 boundaries and four sixes.

The 34-year-old Usman Khawaja’s last Test was against England in the Headingley Test in 2019, made famous by Ben Stokes’ match-winning innings of 135. Usman Khawaja has averaged 40.66 in 44 Tests, with eight centuries and fourteen 50s.

Usman Khawaja was recalled to Australia‘s 15-man squad to face England in the 2021-22 Ashes series, while Alex Carey was a late addition after regular skipper Tim Paine stepped away from the sport to take an “indefinite mental health break”.

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Joe Root Shouldn’t Be Criticised For Opting To Bat First After Winning The Toss: Nasser Hussain

Joe Root-the England captain’s decision to bat first on a fresh Gabba pitch drew criticism after his side was bowled out for 147 on Day 1 of the first Test against Australia in Brisbane.

Former England captain Nasser Hussain, however, tried to explain the possible reasons behind Joe Root’s decision.

Joe Root
Joe Root Photograph: Sri Lanka Cricket

Joe Root Shouldn’t Be Criticized For Opting To Bat First After Winning The Toss As Pat Cummins Too Wanted To Bat First : Nasser Hussain

Nasser Hussain said one shouldn’t forget that even Australia captain Pat Cummins would have batted first had he won the toss and it was actually a “classic good toss to loss” scenario.

“Before we condemn Joe Root for making the wrong decision at the toss it should be remembered that both captains as the coin went up were going to have a bat. It was a classic ‘good toss to lose’ scenario because Root and Cummins would have known history told them they should probably take the first knock but, looking down at the pitch, their instinct would have been to bowl. That was the issue,” Hussain wrote in his column.

Nasser Hussain. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Nasser Hussain. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

England lost the opener, Rory Burns, off the first ball and could never quite recover from the early blow. They were eventually bowled out in just 50.1 overs with Australia’s skipper Pat Cummins picking up a five-wicket haul on his captaincy debut.

Nasser Hussain Wanted Joe Root To Lose The Toss

Nasser Hussain said Joe Root had the difficult task of not looking at the past before deciding what to do at the toss.

“As I said in before the first Test, Root had to forget about what has happened in the past at the Gabba and do what he felt was right on the day. Sometimes you can complicate these things and I certainly did that all those years ago when I tried to reinvent the wheel at Brisbane by bowling first when conditions demanded I should bat. That turned out to be the wrong decision but 147 all-out tells you Root got it wrong by batting this time,” Hussain added.

The former top-order batted admitted that he in fact wanted Joe Root to lose the toss.

“I wanted Root, as an England fan, to lose the toss. I could see the mind-games unfolding in front of me in the build-up to it. It can be forgotten if you bat first and get it wrong but rarely if you bowl,” he said.

Australia’s Pat Cummins celebrates during a match against England in the 2019 Ashes, in London. File photograph: Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs
Australia’s Pat Cummins celebrates during a match against England in the 2019 Ashes, in London. File photograph: Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

Explaining the rationale behind both captains’ desire to bat first, Nasser Hussain said they might have thought about the match would progress instead of just the first day.

“So those thoughts were sitting on one of Joe’s shoulders but on the other he would have seen a green pitch, rain around, and knowing he has a strong bowling line-up and fragile batting. That battle over what to do would have been going on in his mind.”

“Why did both captains want to bat? They were thinking not just about how the pitch looked on the first day but also how it might develop as the game goes on. And they would know that with a soft pitch on day one indentations would be created and it will quicken up as the game goes on.”
“They would have been thinking about what would happen if the sun comes out and, with the humidity in Brisbane, the probability of cracks widening. You have to think of the second innings as well as a captain ahead of a Test. There are so many grey areas,” he said.

Pat Cummins is playing his first ongoing Test in Ashes 2021/22 as the captain of Australia since Tim Paine stepped down from the role in November after a scandal. Pat Cummins ended with figures of 5/38 in 13.1 overs as Australia made a dream start to the Ashes series, bowling England out on a below-par 147 in the first innings.

Travis Head blasted a rapid-fire century to crush England hopes on the second day of the opening Ashes Test at the Gabba on Thursday. At the close of play on the 2nd day, Australia was 343-7, a lead of 196 on England’s dismal first-innings total of 147. Travis Head was unbeaten on 112 from only 95 balls.

Cricket Australia
Cricket Australia
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Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley Reveals 5th And Final Ashes 2021/22 Test Will Be Day-Night Test

Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley on Thursday confirmed that the fifth Ashes Test between England and Australia will be contested under lights.

Cricket Australia’s Nick Hockley’s comments came as the fifth Ashes Test has been moved out of Perth due to COVID-19 pandemic-related restrictions.

Cricket Australia's CEO Nick Hockley Image Source: Getty Images AsiaPac
Cricket Australia’s CEO Nick Hockley Image Source: Getty Images AsiaPac

Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan Reaffirmed The State’s Hardline Stance On Quarantine Rules

Cricket Australia said attempts to negotiate conditions for the Jan. 14-18 match at Perth Stadium that would suit all parties had proved impossible and that discussions had begun over a replacement venue. The final match of Ashes was due to be played from January 14-18 at Perth’s Optus Stadium, the first time the newly developed 60,000-seat venue would have hosted an Ashes encounter.

WA Premier Mark McGowan
WA Premier Mark McGowan Picture: Jackson Flindell The West Australian

However, following the emergence of the Covid-19 virus’ new Omicron variant, Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan reaffirmed the state’s hardline stance on quarantine rules on arrivals from New South Wales.

Under those protocols, players, their families, as well as match and broadcast staff traveling to Perth after completion of the fourth Test in Sydney (January 5-9) would be required to complete 14 days quarantine upon arrival in Western Australia. The fourth Test is scheduled to finish in the New South Wales capital of Sydney on January 9, leaving insufficient time for the players to complete their period of isolation.

Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley Reveals 5th And Final Ashes 2021/22 Test Will Be Day-Night Test With A Pink Ball Irrespective Of Venue Of The Test

Hobart, which was scheduled to host a Test against Afghanistan in November before it was postponed in the wake of the Taliban takeover of the country, is favourite to take over hosting rights for the fifth Test. Officials in Sydney and Melbourne have also indicated they would be prepared to host a second Test in the series.

“We’ve had lots of interest, I won’t go into specifics because we’re going through all the details now but as I said, we’re working to come to a position as quickly as possible. Hopefully, there will be an announcement in the not-too-distant future,” Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley said.

“We’ve tried to be fair to everyone, we’ve given everyone an opportunity, we’ll be taking in a range of considerations, and ultimately it’s my job to put a recommendation to the board. The plan is, wherever it’s played, to be a day-night Test with a pink ball,” Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley added.

Optus Stadium, Perth, (Photo: IANS)
Optus Stadium, Perth, (Photo: IANS)

Cricket Australia (CA) on Monday had confirmed that the fifth men’s Ashes Test match will be relocated from Perth Stadium due to COVID-19 pandemic-related restrictions.

CA and Western Australian Cricket (WA Cricket) have worked closely and constructively with the Western Australia Government and Perth Stadium over several months, with the shared goals of prioritizing the health and well-being of the WA community, while providing the best possible environment for the players, their families, match officials, staff and broadcast partners. Discussions about a replacement venue for the fifth Test match are underway.

Pat Cummins is playing his first ongoing Test in Ashes 2021/22 as the captain of Australia since Tim Paine stepped down from the role in November after a scandal. Pat Cummins ended with figures of 5/38 in 13.1 overs as Australia made a dream start to the Ashes series, bowling England out on a below-par 147 in the first innings.

Travis Head blasted a rapid-fire century to crush England hopes on the second day of the opening Ashes Test at the Gabba on Thursday. At the close of play on the 2nd day, Australia was 343-7, a lead of 196 on England’s dismal first-innings total of 147. Travis Head was unbeaten on 112 from only 95 balls.

Pat Cummins Credit: AAP
Pat Cummins Credit: AAP
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Pat Cummins Reveals 1st Ashes 2021/22 Test Playing Australian XI

Pat Cummins, the new Australian skipper after Tim Paine stepped down,  has confirmed the XI he will take into the opening Vodafone Men’s Ashes Test match, with Travis Head winning the race to bat at No.5, while Mitchell Starc holds his place in the bowling attack. The announcement came at the official launch of the Test series, as players huddled around the crystal replica trophy.

Selectors had already confirmed that Alex Carey would be Australia’s wicketkeeper for the Gabba, replacing former skipper Tim Paine. Travis Head made his Test debut against Pakistan in Dubai in 2018 and played most of the Ashes series the following year. His last match was last year’s Boxing Day Test against India.

Australia’s Pat Cummins celebrates during a match against England in the 2019 Ashes, in London. File photograph: Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs
Australia’s Pat Cummins celebrates during a match against England in the 2019 Ashes, in London. File photograph: Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

Australia XI: Marcus Harris, David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins (c), Mitch Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.


Pat Cummins: It Was Tough To Choose Between Usman Khawaja And Travis Head But The Latter Was Chosen For More Recent Test Appearances

Pat Cummins said it was a “tight one” to choose between Travis Head and Queensland captain, Usman Khawaja, to bat in the middle order, but Travis Head’s position as the more recent Test representative for the Aussies gave him the edge over the 34-year-old Usman Khawaja, who will turn 35 later this month, and is eight years older than the South Australian.

Travis Head has averaged 39.75 in 19 Tests for Australia, with two centuries and seven 50s. The 34-year-old Usman Khawaja’s last Test was against England in the Headingley Test in 2019, made famous by Ben Stokes’ match-winning innings of 135. Usman Khawaja has averaged 40.66 in 44 Tests, with eight centuries and 14 50s.

“It was a tight one. Both really good options, really strong form,” said Pat Cummins.

“Experience is great from Uzzie and we feel really lucky to have that in the squad, but Trav’s been playing a lot for us the last couple of years. He’s gone away and he’s churned out runs in England, here in Australia, and we feel like he’s really ready to go,” said Pat Cummins.

Usman Khawaja (pictured right) and Travis Head (pictured left) walk on to the field.
Usman Khawaja (pictured right) and Travis Head (pictured left) have been included in Australia’s 15-man Ashes squad. (Getty Images)

The public endorsement of the Australian side still three days out from the coin toss on Wednesday morning follows the trend set by national selector George Bailey, who publicly endorsed Victorian Marcus Harris as an opener in early November.

Marcus Harris has since credited that with allowing him to focus on the task rather than worrying about selection issues, saying: “It was just good to have some clear communication with a selector about what I was doing, what was in their minds and what was in their thinking for me. I think it’s good for your confidence as a player to know where you stand and having the backing of (selectors) is really good.”

While Pat Cummins was happy to confirm the side, England skipper Joe Root declined to follow suit but said spinner Jack Leach remained in contention to play.

“We’ve got all the options on the table (but) we’re not going to name a team just yet,” Root said. “We’ll have to see the closer forecase and how that pitch changes over the next couple of days. But it’s a great place to play spin. It’s something we’ll weigh up and consider, but we’re not in a position to make that call right now.”

England has named a surprisingly settled squad for the upcoming Ashes 2021/22 tour, despite having lost six of their last nine Tests, and won just one. The squad contains no debutants, and all involved played Test cricket during the 2021 English summer.

Mitchell Starc And Josh Hazlewood Are Likely To Take The New Ball While Skipper Pat Cummins Will Be First Change

Australia’s selectors have kept the faith with the ‘Big Three’ combination of Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, and Josh Hazlewood that has collected a combined 631 Test wickets. Mitchell Starc had been in doubt to hold his spot, especially with Jhye Richardson, who had taken 15 wickets in his past two Sheffield Shield matches – including eight at the Gabba last month – bowling with accuracy and searing pace.

Mitchell Starc took 9 wickets in four Tests in Australia’s last Test series against India and his inconsistent performances continued at the T20 World Cup.

Australia's Mitchell Starc
Australia’s Mitchell Starc- Image Credit: AFP

Pat Cummins said Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood were likely to still take the new ball, with the new captain keeping himself in reserve for the first change. On Saturday Australia head coach Justin Langer gave a strong endorsement of the incumbent pace trio’s preparation, despite the wet Brisbane weather in the lead-up.

“(Their preparation) has been excellent,” Langer said.

“We had some brilliant center-wicket practice (at Metricon Stadium), we always thought that their workloads coming from the World Cup and because we went so deep, that we might’ve had to work a bit harder on that, but they’ve been great.”

“They’ve had three or four center-wicket sessions, and you saw how the boys bowled (Saturday) – they’re up and about, and they’re very confident after the World Cup, and with the experience of their careers. So I’m happy with the way they’re going.” 

India upset Australia at the Gabba in January, but more bowler-friendly conditions are expected when the ground hosts the first Test on the back of a historically-wet Spring.

Vodafone Men’s Ashes

Squads

Australia: Pat Cummins (c), Steve Smith (vc), Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, Jhye Richardson, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner

England: Joe Root (c), James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood

Schedule

First Test: December 8-12, The Gabba

Second Test: December 16-20, Adelaide Oval

Third Test: December 26-30, MCG

Fourth Test: January 5-9, SCG

Fifth Test: January 14-18, Perth Stadium

Marnus Labuschagne
Marnus Labuschagne (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
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Marnus Labuschagne Not Disappointed That He Was Overlooked For Australian Captaincy Role Before Ashes 2021/22

Marnus Labuschagne said he is not disappointed that he was overlooked for the Australia captaincy role after Tim Paine’s resignation and that his focus is on helping the team by scoring runs in the all-important Ashes 2021/22, starting December 8.

Though only 18 Test matches old, Marnus Labuschagne was regarded as one of the captaincy candidates for Australia but he was not offered even an interview by Cricket Australia who had a detailed process to appoint Tim Paine’s successor.
Marnus Labuschagne
Marnus Labuschagne (Image Credit: Twitter)

Marnus Labuschagne Isn’t Disappointed After Not Being Appointed Captain Or Even Deputy By Cricket Australia

Notably, Pat Cummins was appointed as captain and Steve Smith his deputy after interviews conducted by the cricket board. Having been overlooked for a Test leadership post, Marnus Labuschagne said he “wasn’t disappointed” and backed newly-installed duo Pat Cummins and Steve Smith.

“No, I wasn’t disappointed,” Labuschagne told reporters.

“I think there are two very good leaders and very good candidates. Cummins is going to do a fabulous job and he’s got plenty of support with Steve as his vice-captain and all the senior players of the group,” Labuschagne said.

Tim Paine, Pat Cummins, Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne. Image: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
Tim Paine, Pat Cummins, Steve Smith, and Marnus Labuschagne. Image: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

“My job right now is to concentrate on scoring runs consistently for Australia and I’m happy for that to be my role for now. You don’t need the title to still be a leader in the group,” said Labuschagne.

A little more than two years on from the 2019 Ashes, Marnus Labuschagne has cemented himself as Australia’s number three and one of the world’s best batsmen with a stratospheric average of more than 60. He has come a long way since his first Ashes appearance when he became test cricket’s first concussion substitute at Lord’s after Steve Smith was taken out by a Jofra Archer bouncer.

Marnus Labuschagne Want To Continue Scoring Runs

While Steve Smith dominated the drawn series with 774 runs, Marnus Labuschagne played an outstanding support act, notching four half-centuries to help Australia retain the urn in England for the first time in nearly two decades. He has since racked up five hundred, including a 215 against New Zealand, and looms as a major problem for England to solve in the series starting at the Gabba next week.

“The target is on your back now that you’re scoring runs and that you’re the main part of that team,” said Labuschagne.

Steve Smith (Image Credit: Twitter)
Steve Smith (Image Credit: Twitter)

Marnus Labuschagne has had a remarkable rise since his breakout Ashes tour in 2019 after being thrust into the Lord’s Test as a concussion substitute. With a rapidly blossoming career now boasting five centuries at an average of 60.80 from 18 Tests, Marnus Labuschagne has made Australia’s previously troubled No. 3 position his own and shored up the top-order alongside veterans David Warner and Steve Smith.

Chris Woakes. (Getty Images)
Chris Woakes. (Getty Images)
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Chris Woakes Urges Players To Leave Aside Pre-Ashes 2021/22 Scandals Off The Field

Chris Woakes, England’s all-rounder says he does not expect “personal” issues to be used in any sledging during the upcoming Ashes series. The build-up to the first Test, which gets underway in Brisbane next Wednesday, has been overshadowed by racism and sexism scandals.

English cricket has been engulfed by claims of institutional racism, while Tim Paine stepped down from his role as Australia captain last month following sexting revelations.

England’s Chris Woakes Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian
England’s Chris Woakes Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian

Chris Woakes: Needs To Figure Out To Keep Steve Smith Quiet

England paceman Chris Woakes called Thursday for the racism and sexting scandals that have overshadowed preparations for the opening Test against Australia (December 8) not to be used for sledging during the series.

Australian skipper Tim Paine quit over a text-message scandal while English cricket has been engulfed in claims of institutional racism mostly by former Yorkshire player Azeem Rafiq. But Chris Woakes said he was confident both sides would let the cricket do the talking when play starts at the Gabba ground next Wednesday.

Chris Woakes said: “Whatever goes on the field, goes on the field, and an Ashes series raises that rivalry.”

“I think what’s happened in both camps, a lot of the issues are personal and cricket is played best when that sort of stuff is left to the side and we let the skills do the talking, which I’m sure will happen,” said Chris Woakes.

“In my experience, playing in three Ashes series, it’s not overstepped the line once when I’ve been around. I don’t see it being any different. I’m sure the cricket will be hard-fought, as it always is, and it will be a great series to watch,” said Chris Woakes.

Chris Woakes says England is ready to meet the twin-pronged challenge of bowling with the Kookaburra ball and trying to dismiss Australia’s star batsman Steve Smith. The former Australia captain was named man of the series in the 2019 Ashes in England, scoring three hundred and three fifties for a total of 774 runs at an average of 110.57.

Steve Smith (Image Credit: Twitter)
Steve Smith (Image Credit: Twitter)

“I’ve bowled at Steve quite a lot. He’s a world-class player and had a lot of success against us as an England team,” Chris Woakes said.

“We’ve got to figure out ways to keep him quiet because, relatively speaking, when he does well Australia do well. I feel I have got him a few times but he’s probably been on 150 at the time! It would be nice to get him a little bit earlier and we need some good plans against him,” Chris Woakes said.

On comparing the Kookaburra ball to the Dukes, which is used in England, Chris Woakes said: “It’s very different to what we’re used to back at home. But we’ve got a lot of experienced guys who have played all around the world and used the Kookaburra quite a bit.”

So I suppose we’ll touch base with those guys and see what works. It’s trying to experiment different things with it because trying to get the ball to move sideways is probably the biggest challenge here. But obviously trying to get the ball off the straight is quite important.

“You naturally bowl a bit shorter here, but you don’t want to get drawn into bowling too short. Whichever team adapts to the (Gabba) pitch will probably come out on top.”

Preparations for both sides have been undermined by rain with England’s three-day practice match last week washed out except for 29 overs. England did get some action on Thursday as the touring England Lions reached 226 for four against them at Wellington Point in Queensland.

Alex Carey Set To Debut Instead Of Tim Paine Who Took An Indefinite Break After A Texting Scandal

Ben Stokes, playing for the first time since taking an indefinite break from all cricket in July to prioritize his mental well-being and rest a finger which he had fractured, took two wickets.

“The weather hasn’t been what you’d probably expect it to be in Australia,” said Chris  Woakes, who says he can play in the same Ashes team as fellow all-rounder Ben Stokes.

File picture of Alex Carey.© AFP
File picture of Alex Carey.© AFP

“But it was great to be out there and get some match practice with England. The lads have trained quite a bit but nothing better than being out in the middle and training for what we’re going to be coming up against in the next few weeks. You can do as many indoor nets and net sessions as you want, but middle practice is really important going into such a big series.”

Australia has confirmed their big selection call, with Alex Carey set to make his Test debut in the series opener, taking the wicketkeeping gloves from departed captain Tim Paine as Pat Cummins prepares to skipper the hosts.

Alex Carey was Thursday confirmed as Australia’s wicketkeeper for the first two Ashes Tests against England after scandal-hit former skipper Tim Paine stepped down. The 30-year-old has played limited-overs cricket for Australia and stood in as the one-day skipper in the West Indies this year, but is yet to feature in a Test match.

The 32-year old Chris Woakes could only feature in one Test this summer, playing in the fourth Test at the Oval against India. He recovered from his heel injury to replace Sam Curran and picked up four wickets in the first innings.

Chris Woakes followed it by scoring a crucial fifty. Before that, he played a stellar role in the August 2020 Test against Pakistan where he scored a crucial unbeaten 84 in the 2nd innings of the 1st Test.

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