Ashes 2021/22

Andrew Strauss
Andrew Strauss

Andrew Strauss Opens Up On James Anderson And Stuart Broad’s Axe For Caribbean Tour

Andrew Strauss, England Cricket Board (ECB) interim managing director has expressed no regrets over dropping James Anderson and Stuart Broad for the West Indies Test series. The former England captain also said that the management’s target is to help the team become a top one across formats.

England made a selection bombshell ahead of the three-Test series against the West Indies, omitting veteran pacers James Anderson and Stuart Broad. The pair, who have 1177 Test wickets between them, were far from pleased with the axing. England’s veteran duo fared rather well during the 4-0 Ashes drubbing Down Under.

James Anderson, Stuart Broad (Credits: Twitter)
James Anderson, Stuart Broad (Credits: Twitter)

Andrew Strauss Has No Regrets Over Dropping James Anderson And Stuart Broad For West Indies Tests

Nevertheless, James Anderson and Stuart Broad were left out of the West Indies squad.  James Anderson has 640 wickets in 169 Tests, while Stuart Broad picked up 537 wickets in 152 Tests for England.

However, Andrew Strauss has said that it’s not the end of the road for the legendary pair. Andrew Strauss anticipated the backlash over the veterans’ omission. However, he felt the likes of pacers Saqib Mahmood and Matt Fisher would bring fresh energy to the group.

The 100-Test veteran said: “I think the reaction was entirely predictable. You don’t do these things worried about what the reaction is; you do them because you think it’s the right thing to do. It’s great to see Matt Fisher and Saqib Mahmood as part of the England setup.

“I think we’re learning about them all the time, and they’re getting more and more comfortable in this group. And as we said right at the start, it’s forced some of our senior players to have slightly different roles.”

Saqib Mahmood AFP via Getty Images
Saqib Mahmood AFP via Getty Images

The former South African-born player added after a draw in the first Test in Antigua: “It’s early days, but the feedback I’m getting from the dressing room is they’re accepting the challenge of not having those senior players involved, and I thought the attitude, willingness to do hard graft, spirit and togetherness were there to see in Antigua. We didn’t get the result we wanted, but there were a lot of positives coming out of it.”

Although the first Test in Antigua ended in a draw, England’s new-ball bowlers struggled in both innings. Craig Overton and Chris Woakes picked up only three wickets in the Test, with the West Indies openers putting up 50-plus opening stands in both innings.

Andrew Strauss: England’s Ambition Is To Be The Best Team Across Formats

While Andrew Strauss added that the management aims to reset England’s red-ball cricket, he stressed the need for the team to play well across formats.

Adding that the performance in one format affects the other, the 45-year old said: “While a lot of the focus post-Ashes has been on red ball cricket and the domestic structure, our project is broader than that. Our ambition has to be for us to be the best team in all formats.”

Andrew Strauss. Photo- Twitter
Andrew Strauss. Photo- Twitter

Strauss added: “We have the ability to do that, and in order for that to happen, we have to look at the whole system. Whatever your focus on red ball cricket, it’s like a Rubik’s Cube, and it affects white ball cricket. You cannot look at them in isolation; you have to look at them together.”

The second Test between the West Indies and England starts on March 16 in Barbados. England hope to have Ollie Robinson available for the second Test against West Indies and will not be calling up extra bowling cover, despite interim head coach Paul Collingwood admitting that Mark Wood was “unlikely” to play in Barbados after suffering an elbow impingement that limited his involvement to delivering 17 overs in the drawn Antigua Test.

Zak Crawley-Twitter
Zak Crawley-Twitter

Zak Crawley Ecstatic After Scoring His 2nd Test Ton Against West Indies

Zak Crawley hit his second Test hundred as England dominated West Indies on day four of the first Test to set up an outside chance of victory. Zak Crawley capitalized on a lifeless Antigua pitch to make an unbeaten 117, while captain Joe Root reached 84 not out at the close.

Having started the day behind the game and in the field, England were 217-1, leading by 153 runs, when rain brought an early finish. Earlier they took just three deliveries to claim the final West Indies wicket as the hosts were dismissed for 375 with a first-innings lead of 64.

Zak Crawley made his second Test hundred AFP/Getty Images
Zak Crawley made his second Test hundred AFP/Getty Images

Zak Crawley Pleased With His Performance After Scoring An Unbeaten 117 Against West Indies In The 1st Test

A long lean spell of quick dismissals tested the self-belief of batter Zak Crawley, which the relieved England opener acknowledged after scoring an unbeaten century on the fourth day of the first Test against West Indies on Friday.

Zak Crawley stamped himself as potentially a high-order batter to lead England for years to come when he made a home double century against Pakistan in 2020, but that innings total of 267 proved to be a false dawn. He hardly even had a chance to get his eye in before being sent packing, failing to reach double figures in 11 of his 16 subsequent appearances at the crease.

Zak Crawley’s scores brought to mind the experience of former Australian captain Greg Chappell, who once endured a similarly poor spell amid calls that he should be dropped.

Zak Crawley. (Image Credits: Getty)
Zak Crawley. (Image Credits: Getty)

But Greg Chappell said at that time that he was getting out too quickly to know whether or not he was out of form, and he finally came good again. So too Zak Crawley, who eventually found firmer footing in Australia during the recent Ashes tour, and his rich talent was on full display at the Viv Richards Stadium on Friday, a knock that would have done proud the man after whom the ground is named.

“It means an awful lot,” Crawley, 24, said after ending the day unbeaten on 117 as England earned an overall lead of 153 runs with nine wickets in hand in their second innings.

“It’s been a while since my first ton and there were times last year when I didn’t think I’d get (another) so I’m very pleased with the performance and pleased with the position we’re in.”

Earlier in the day, West Indies resumed at their overnight score of 373/9 and could add only two runs before losing their final wicket in form of Jayden Seales. However, they had earned a substantial-looking 64-run lead. Moreover, England lost their new opener and debutant Alex Lees (6) cheaply in their second innings.

Having scored 267 against Pakistan at Southampton in August 2020, his eighth Test, Zak Crawley had made 12 single-figure scores – including two ducks – in 21 innings since.
Called back into the side for the last 3 Ashes Tests when England initially dropped Rory Burns and then Haseeb Hameed, Zak Crawley scored a second-innings 77 in Sydney and survived the post-series clear-out, which also saw Alex Lees called up to accompany him at the top of the order.

Zak Crawley Shared An Unbeaten 193 Runs Partnership With Skipper Joe Root

Zak Crawley shared in an unbeaten 193-partnership with captain Joe Root (84), whose calm presence certainly did no harm. Joe Root advised Zak Crawley to play each ball on its merits, rather than trying to force the issue.

“He was telling me to stay concentrated and we just had to weather those storms (of good bowling) and come back and score more freely at times,” Crawley said.

Joe Root. File Photo
Joe Root. File Photo

“He’s such a calm head and so experienced I took a lot from him and he played beautifully himself.”

Zak Crawley had racked up his second Test hundred, passed 1000 runs in the process, hauled his average back above 30 for good measure, and shown enough class and durability in his 200-ball stay to awaken thoughts that his career-best 267 could yet be at his mercy if he shows sufficient hunger on the 5th Day of the Test match.

England 311 and 217 for 1 (Crawley 117*, Root 84*) lead West Indies 375 (Bonner 123, Brathwaite 55) by 153 runs

Joe Root. File Photo
Joe Root. File Photo

Joe Root Thinks It’s An Opportunity For England To Prove A Point Against West Indies After Dismal Ashes 2021/22 Campaign

Joe Root, England Test skipper has said that the upcoming series against West Indies will give his side a chance to prove a point after the dismal Ashes 2021/22 campaign. England suffered a humiliating 0-4 thrashing in Ashes earlier this year.

The humiliating campaign also propelled many major changes in the England squad including the axing of veteran pacers James Anderson and Stuart Broad.

James Anderson, Stuart Broad (Credits: Twitter)
James Anderson, Stuart Broad (Credits: Twitter)

Joe Root Thinks It’s An Opportunity For England To Prove A Point

West Indies and England will lock horns in three Tests, beginning later on Tuesday. Notably, England’s last visit to the Caribbean Islands wasn’t memorable as they suffered a 1-2 defeat in the Test series.

“Joe Root is aware of the same as he sees this series as an opportunity to showcase his side’s true potential. While he called the forthcoming West Indies Tests a big challenge, he believes winning the series away from home would be a huge achievement.

“I think it’s an opportunity for all of us to prove a point. We know that historically it’s not an easy place for England to come and play, winning once in 50-odd years – but that’s a great opportunity for the group.

“To come away from here winning would be a huge achievement, so it’s something that we’re very much looking forward to. It’s a big challenge for us but something that we’re very excited about,” Joe Root was quoted as saying.

Joe Root
Joe Root Photograph: Sri Lanka Cricket

“You don’t come into a Test series not wanting to win. I think along with that we have the Cricket West opportunity to learn more about this team, and more about the players within it.

“So that’s a side note, it would be a great advantage to come out of this tour as well as that, but we’re very much committed to winning this series,” he added.

The England skipper further stated that his side will play positive cricket in the series as winning matches is their priority. It must be noted that England are currently placed at the rock bottom of the World Test Championship points table. Hence, the Three Lions must accumulate substantial points in this series to keep their outside chances of qualifying for the WTC final alive.

Joe Root: Four-day Practice Game Was A Positive Step Forward

England is currently bottom of the World Test Championship table, with 10 points from ten games and a win percentage of 9.25 per cent.

“I think it’s really important that we look forward to this series with excitement, and those guys take that opportunity. It’s really important that when opportunities come around in Test cricket you really grab them and I’m fully confident that those guys are in a really good place to go out and do that,” said Root.

Ollie Robinson PA Images via Getty Images
Ollie Robinson PA Images via Getty Images

“I thought the four-day game was a really positive step forward, our attitude towards it was excellent, the energy and buzz around the field, and the way guys improved throughout the whole game was really good.

“I think we made the most of what was a very docile wicket to be ready for this series. We know we’re going to be judged on how we perform in these three games but we’ve given ourselves the best chance in the opportunities we’ve had to prepare,” he added. 

On the much-vaunted “red-ball reset”, Joe Root said that he had been happy with the signs from England’s sole warm-up game in Antigua last week, where they amassed 466 for 6 declared and then worked their way through the CWI President’s XI with the ball – albeit the only seamer to take a first-innings wicket, Ollie Robinson, is now out of contention for the first Test.

Predicted Playing XI

West Indies: John Campbell, Kraigg Braithwaite (c), Nkrumah Bonner, Jermaine Blackwood, Shamarh Brooks, Joshua Da Silva (wk), Kyle Mayers, Jason Holder, Kemar Roach, Alzzari Joseph, Veerasammy Permaul

England: Alex Lees, Zak Crawley, Joe Root (c), Daniel Lawrence, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Ben Stokes, Ben Foakes, Chris Woakes, Craig Overton, Mark Wood, Jack Leach

Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes

Ben Stokes Critical Of His Own Performance In Ashes 2021/22

Ben Stokes, England’s star all-rounder criticised his own performance during England’s Ashes series defeat Down Under recently. The star cricketer thought his contributions, vital to the tourists’ chances, had been insufficient against the hosts Australia in the recent Ashes 2021/22 series.

Ben Stokes made a late announcement of his decision to play in the Ashes, returning from a break he took for the betterment of his mental health. With the 30-year old not playing any cricket leading up to the series, he couldn’t flourish as expected. He ended up with 236 runs and just four wickets in five Tests.

Ben Stokes, England all-rounder
Ben Stokes, England all-rounder (Photo | AP)

Ben Stokes Feels He Let Himself And A Lot Of Other People Down After Poor Outing In Ashes 2021/22

Ben Stokes stated that looking back on the series, he feels disappointed for letting fans down and wants to make amends. While the Test team’s vice-captain admitted his performances weren’t up to that level, he also expressed his dissatisfaction with the fitness levels he had during the series.

“When I look back on it, I felt I let myself down but the thing that really grinds me the most and hurts me the most is that I let a lot of other people down and I never want to feel that way again. Everyone’s taken some good hard lessons from Australia.”

Jonny Bairstow Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images
Jonny Bairstow Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Notable that Ben Stokes had an underwhelming Ashes down under as the all-rounder scored just 236 runs in 10 innings with an average of 23.6 which included 2 fifties. Also, he could pick only 4 wickets with an average of 71.50.

The leading all-rounder of the English team was further quoted as saying: Looking back on Australia, we’ve had some honest reflections not only as a team but individuals as well. I personally felt I let the team down with more than just performances: I would have liked to have been in better physical shape.” .

England’s batting performances were the most disappointing aspect of their 4-0 Ashes defeat. Joe Root and company failed to reach the 300-run mark even once across the five Tests, while Jonny Bairstow was the only batsman to score a century.

England faced a miserable defeat in The Ashes 2021-22 earlier. They lost the 1st Test by 9 wickets, 2nd Test by 275 runs, 3rd Test by an innings and 14 runs, and 5th Test by 146 runs. The 4th Test had ended in a draw. Hence, England faced a humiliating 4-0 loss in the tournament.

Ben Stokes Withdrew From IPL 2022 To Focus On His Top Priority-Tests

Ben Stokes, who withdrew from this year’s IPL, addressed that decision by saying that Test cricket holds top priority for him. With plenty of cricket to take place in the coming months, he saw it fit to give red-ball cricket the priority. The 30-year-old also said that Test cricket is the most important thing for him and that’s the reason why he opted out of IPL 2022.

“I had a chance to have a good look at things going forward and when it came down to it, the real thing that got me excited, out of all three formats, was Test cricket. That was a big decision – to come out of the IPL, to make sure that I was able to give everything I possibly could to this Test team.”

Ben Stokes Image Source : GETTY IMAGES
Ben Stokes Image Source: GETTY IMAGES

The star of England’s maiden World Cup victory in 2019 stated that the schedule requires him to make a choice between different formats.

“There’s a massive summer ahead, a lot of cricket to play and you just have to look at the schedules at times and think what’s the most important thing – and Test cricket is the most important for me.”

Ben Stokes was part of England’s four-day practice match in Antigua ahead of the Test series against the West Indies, which begins on March 8. The New Zealand-born cricketer made only 11 and 19 in the two batting innings he had in the match. However, he took two wickets in the second innings of the opposition.

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

Pat Cummins Denies Allegations Of Australian Players Involvement In Justin Langer’s Exit

Justin Langer’s exit as Australia’s head coach last month didn’t go down well with several members of the cricket fraternity, who wanted the former opener to continue in the role.

Even Test skipper Pat Cummins also came under the scanner as he didn’t endorse Justin Langer’s contract extension publicly. Notably, many prominent figures in Australian cricket, mostly Justin Langer’s former teammates, had claimed that players had a role in the southpaw’s departure.

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

Pat Cummins Denies Being Decision Maker To Remove Justin Langer As Head Coach

However, Pat Cummins has denied those allegations, explaining none of the players had the authority to take such major decisions. The top-ranked Test bowler also asserted that his priority is to do what’s best for Australian cricket. While he did admit players gave their feedback, he denied any player’s involvement in the decision-making.

“It was okay, I felt for Justin as much as anyone else, but I knew when I became captain I was going to cop it for different things. If anything, it kind of reminded me I’ve got to look after the team and do what’s best for Australian cricket. All the noise and things that might come with it come from a good place, but I can’t let it affect me too much,” Pat Cummins said.

Pat Cummins Credit: AAP
Pat Cummins Credit: AAP

“Certainly our feedback was heard, as I think it should be. But to say that we are decision-makers is quite far from the truth. It’s a high-performance set-up, there’s the board that makes decisions, so of course, people within the environment get consulted, which includes senior players, staff members, which I think has always been the case. I think that’s the right way to do things, it’s healthy. Nothing untoward, for sure” Pat Cummins said.

Justin Langer left after a nearly four-year reign that was widely seen as instilling integrity and discipline in a team that had been disgraced by a ball-tampering scandal against South Africa in 2018.

Australia made giant progress under the coaching of Justin Langer as they retained the Ashes in England for the first time in 18 years when they drew the series by 2-2 in 2019. Last year Australia also won their maiden 2021 T20I World Cup title, beating New Zealand in the final. His tenure culminated in a 4-0 beating of England in the Ashes 2021/22 series that ended recently.

Justin Langer’s contract as Australia’s head coach was set to expire in June 2022 but after a lengthy meeting with Cricket Australia, he decided to resign from his role with immediate effect. Cricket Australia offered him a short-term extension which he denied so both parties decided to part ways.

Pat Cummins Thinks Andrew McDonald Is Capable Of Being Full-Time Coach

Meanwhile, former all-rounder Andrew McDonald is Australia’s interim head coach for the time being and he’ll serve the team in the upcoming historic tour of Pakistan. Speaking of his appointment, Pat Cummins didn’t mind saying the 40-year-old is good enough for the full-time role.

“I think he’s certainly capable (of being full-time coach). (It’s) certainly not my decision, I think they’ll run a process probably after this series, so we’ll see how he goes,” he added.

Andrew McDonald Getty Images
Andrew McDonald Getty Images

Andrew McDonald will be on board the flight along with the Australian team on their historic tour of Pakistan next month, the first time they are travelling to the Asian country since 1998. Australia will play as many as 3 Tests, as many ODIs, and a lone T20I across Karachi, Rawalpindi, and Lahore in March-April.

James Anderson
James Anderson (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

James Anderson Praying That His Test Career Isn’t Over After Being Axed For Caribbean Tour

James Anderson says he is ‘praying’ that his England career is not over after being left out of the squad for next month’s tour to West Indies. England will play the first Test against West Indies on March 8 in Antigua, while the three-match series will conclude on March 29.

The 39-year-old England’s all-time leading Test wicket-taker with 640 scalps, said he felt “frustration and anger” after being dropped and believes he still has more to offer.

England, PTI
England, PTI

James Anderson Praying Axe For Caribbean Tour Doesn’t Mean End Of His Career

James Anderson and his long-time bowling partner Stuart Broad were both dropped from the Test squad following the Ashes defeat.

James Anderson said, “I’m praying this isn’t the end but if I never play for England again, I know I’ve got amazing people around me to support me and that’s really important. I’ve got a lot left to offer – I’ve still got the hunger and passion to play.”

“There is likely to be a new director of cricket and new head coach so I just hope that whatever decision is made, it is talked about in the way that it should be. Another frustration for me is that it was just a five-minute phone call – it doesn’t really clear much up for you,” Anderson further said

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

“It was a shock and a disappointment to get that call but having processed it, it’s important I try to focus on stuff I can control and that’s showing people what I can do with the ball in my hand. I’ve got one more go at digging deep,” added James Anderson.

Stuart Broad, who is England’s second-highest Test wicket-taker with 537 in 152 matches, vented his frustration at a similar scenario when he broke his silence on being dropped in an emotional column. Stuart Broad picked up 13 wickets from three Tests in Ashes 2021/22 in Australia at a decent average of 26 and still sees himself as being in England’s best Test side.

Also left out are opening batters Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed, No.3 batsman Dawid Malan, spinner Dom Bess, wicketkeeper-batsmen Jos Buttler, and Sam Billings. Recalled to the side is wicketkeeper Ben Foakes while four uncapped players are included: opening batsman Alex Lees, seam bowlers Saqib Mahmood and Matthew Fisher, and legspinner Matt Parkinson.

James Anderson To Feature For Lancashire In County Championship

Like Stuart Broad, James Anderson is desperate to regain his place in the England team this summer and will feature for Lancashire when the County Championship starts in April.

“It was a shock and a disappointment to get that call but having processed it, it’s important I try to focus on the stuff I can control and that’s showing people what I can do with the ball in my hand,” he said.

James Anderson. (Image Credits: Getty)
James Anderson. (Image Credits: Getty)

James Anderson has snapped 640 Test wickets from 169 Test matches, the most by any fast bowler, and is only behind Australia’s Shane Warne (708) and Sri Lanka’s spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan (800) in the list of leading Test wicket-takers.

James Anderson, who will turn 40 in September, has the appetite to serve the England cricket team in white colours and won’t consider retirement despite being dropped from the squad for one series.

Travis Head (Photo: Twitter)
Travis Head (Photo: Twitter)

Travis Head Aware Of Challenge Of Playing Tests In Subcontinent

Travis Head was named Player of the Series during the men’s Ashes 2021/22 having made 357 runs at 59.50 including two centuries. Australia will be embarking on a tour of the subcontinent this year and the batter Travis Head said that he won’t be looking to make too many drastic changes in his technique in the Test matches.

Australia batsman Travis Head has said that he is aware of the challenge that comes with playing Test cricket in countries like India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka but is not looking to bring in too many changes to his technique when he plays in the subcontinent.

Travis Head
Travis Head (Photo: Twitter)

Travis Head Aware Of Challenges Of Playing In The Subcontinent

Travis Head, who was the star of Australia’s 4-0 win at home in the Ashes, is expected to be part of the playing eleven in their historic tour of Pakistan that starts on March 4. Travis Head, who played his previous T20I in 2018, was one of the players recalled to face Sri Lanka but it was decided there is value in him having a first-class game before the Pakistan contests next month following his player-of-the-series returns in the Ashes.

“Test cricket away from home is where you’re truly tested, and having done that in England and finding just how difficult it can be … it’s the way you respond to the challenge of travelling that probably makes you the cricketer you are,” Head said.

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

“You look at someone like Smithy (Steve Smith) who goes to India and plays as well as he has anywhere, and then there’s players from the past like (ex-Australia pair) Michael Clarke and Matthew Hayden who go on tours and just dominate. It raises them to a whole new level,” he said.

Travis Head was the highest scorer in the Ashes with 357 runs in six innings. He scored two centuries, the first of which was a blistering 152 off 148 balls in the first Test of the series. The South Australian skipper said that success in overseas conditions depends on the approach of a player, citing the example of former Aussie skipper Steve Smith.

Travis Head Admits Playing In The Subcontinent Is A Challenge

Travis Head said that playing in the subcontinent will be a challenge but he will not try to chase it. Australia is set to travel to Pakistan for the first time in the last 24 years. The tour starts on March 4 consisting of 3 Tests, 3 ODIs, and one T20I.

“That’s obviously the challenge, but I’m not trying to chase that challenge or do something that I know I’m not capable of doing.I’ll have a really good, sound game plan, talk to the coaches, talk to the experienced guys who maybe know the conditions a bit more and try and lean into as much knowledge as a I can to prepare myself,” he said.

Travis Head
Travis Head. Credits: Twitter.

Travis Head scored 152 in the opening test at Brisbane and missed the Sydney Test for Covid-19, counterpunched England’s early success with an aggressive 101 off 113 balls in the day-night Hobart Test. The South Australian batter made 152 from 148 balls in the Ashes opener in Brisbane as Australia won by nine wickets in just four days. Travis Head missed the 4th Test in Sydney after testing positive for COVID-19.

Travis Head has played six Test matches away from Australia and two of them were in the United Arab Emirates against Pakistan in 2018, as he scored 122 runs from four innings at an average of 30.50 in the Gulf region.

Alex Carey--Getty Images
Alex Carey--Getty Images

Alex Carey Has No Expectations Given To The Spin-Friendly Conditions In Pakistan

Alex Carey agreed that the pitch will favour spinners in the upcoming tour of Pakistan but pointed out the visitors should also be ready to face pace and bounce too. Australia will tour Pakistan for three Tests, three ODIs and one T20I for the first time since 1998. The first Test will be played in Rawalpindi from March 4.

Alex Carey was hastily called up to the Australian Test side ahead of the Ashes 2021/22 after then-skipper and wicketkeeper-batter Tim Paine took a break from all forms of cricket in the wake of a sexting scandal involving a former Cricket Tasmania staffer.

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)

Alex Carey Has No Expectations On Pitch Conditions In Pakistan Tour

Australian wicket-keeper batter Alex Carey revealed that the team has a lot of time left to assess things and prepare ahead of their Pakistan tour. Talking about preparations ahead of the tour, Alex Carey asserted that spin-friendly conditions are something they will have to adjust to.

“Preparing for the most difficult scenario from our perspective would mean preparing for spin-friendly conditions,” Alex Carey said.

“If you prepare for that, but then come up against something different – if they’re quick-friendly pitches that are a bit harder and bouncy – then we’ve all experienced more of those conditions here in Australia than the spinner-friendly ones,” he added.

The Australia wicket-keeper feels the visitors have got the time to assess the conditions and prepare together ahead of the Pakistan series.

“But we’ll probably get a taste of all of those at some stage, and I have no expectations,” said Carey.

Alex Carey-Twitter
Alex Carey-Twitter

“It’s more just the excitement to get over there and have a week or so lead-in to that first Test – catch balls, hit balls, face spinners, face quicks, face the reversing ball. We’ve got a bit of time to assess and prepare together,” he added.

However, he insisted that they currently have no expectations regarding the type of pitch that will be prepared. Generally, Pakistan surfaces offer lots of turn but there will also be something in it for the pacers. They have a strong pace attack and it only makes sense for the curators to leave something in it for the speedy bowlers. Expectations aside, he expressed excitement over playing in the country – an experience that is new to most of the players.

Alex Carey Won’t Play Any Cricket Before Pakistan Test Series

Australian wicketkeeper-batter Alex Carey has said he will not be playing any cricket before the three-match Test series against Pakistan, adding that he would be spending time with his family after a gruelling five-month schedule which saw the 30-year-old hardly take a break.

Alex Carey
Alex Carey. (Photo by Nigel French/PA Images via Getty Images)

Alex Carey has been playing non-stop cricket since the Marsh Sheffield Shield commenced in Adelaide five months back. He has made six Shield appearances, played five Ashes Tests, five Marsh One-Day Cup matches and three Big Bash League (BBL) fixtures in the last five months.

Uncapped Queensland fast bowler Mark Steketee has been called into Australia’s squad for the upcoming Test tour of Pakistan, replacing the injured Michael Neser. Uncapped fast bowler Brendan Doggett has also been named in the squad as a standby by player for the tour. Bowling allrounder Sean Abbott is also on standby for the Pakistan tour.

Australia squad: Pat Cummins (c), Ashton Agar, Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Steve Smith (vc), Mitchell Starc, Mark Steketee, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner. On standby: Brendan Doggett, Sean Abbott

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

Tim Paine’s Victim Reene Ferguson Claims She Was Victimized At Work By Cricket Tasmania Boss

Tim Paine was all set to lead Australia at the 2021/22 Ashes series against arch-rivals England Down Under before a shocking revelation ended his chances of wearing the Baggy Green cap after a wait of almost a year.

A female co-worker had accused Tim Paine of sending explicit messages in 2017. Due to this incident, the stumper could not take part in the five-Test match series and took an indefinite break from the game. Pacer Pat Cummins succeeded him as the Aussies Test captain.

Pat Cummins Credit: AAP
Pat Cummins Credit: AAP

Tim Paine’s Victim Reene Ferguson Lost Confidence In Her Work Because Of Harassment At Workplace

Lately, the reported victim of the sexting scandal, Renee Ferguson, has now come forward and accused another person of making inappropriate remarks. She has alleged that she was victimized at work by Cricket Tasmania’s former general manager of venue operations Stephen McMullen as he had made lewd comments to the receptionist.

Tim Paine (pictured) was in tears as he announced his resignation as Australia's Test captain in a statement on November 19
Tim Paine (pictured) was in tears as he announced his resignation as Australia’s Test captain in a statement on November 19 @EPA

The accusation seems to have bought many things into light just a few months after the ex-employee had filed a harassment case against Tim Paine, his brother-in-law Shane Tubb and others at Cricket Tasmania. At the same time, the complaint also states that when Reene Ferguson passed on a message from another colleague to Stephen McMullen, the latter told her to tell the other employee that he had been out rooting.

“Furthermore, the court documents added that Renee Ferguson felt deflated and at the same time also lost all confidence in her work because of the sexual harassment.”

In the same lawsuit, she also mentioned that apart from the harassment being ‘relentless’ and ‘systemic’, no one has taken any action on the same.

Tim Paine Had Taken A Leave Of Absence From All Forms Of Cricket After Resigning As Australia Test Captain

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 Cricket Australia after which he had to move away from the game for the time being. Tim Paine was handed over the captaincy in 2018 post the infamous ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town Test in 2018.

Cricket Australia
Cricket Australia

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 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.

IPL Trophy
IPL Trophy. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

Mickey Arthur Reckons England Should Stop Players Sending To IPL To Improve Its Test Side

England must stop their players from participating in the IPL to improve their Test side, former South Africa and Sri Lanka coach Mickey Arthur said on Wednesday.

England’s Test squad came under intense criticism after they lost the five-Test Ashes series 4-0 against Australia, a result which led to the departure of head coach Chris Silverwood, batting coach Graham Thorpe and managing director Ashley Giles.

England, PTI
England, PTI

England Haven’t Scored Enough Runs In Ashes: Mickey Arthur

Mickey Arthur, who joined English county Derbyshire as head of cricket after stepping down as Sri Lanka coach late last year, said county cricket is not to be blamed for England’s poor performance in tests in recent years.

“England haven’t scored enough runs. It’s as simple as that,” Arthur said. “If you want to lay the blame, you can lay it right there. County cricket isn’t to blame.”

Mickey Arthur
Mickey Arthur. (Photo Source: Twitter)

“For so long county cricket has been a really good producer of international players. I don’t think there’s a problem with the system … If you want the strength early season, unfortunately you are going to have to stop the players going to the IPL.

“They are playing there in the early part of the season just before the first tests. You need your best players playing county cricket preparing for that.”

England had reinvented as a one-day cricket powerhouse since their early exit from the 2015 World Cup, winning the next edition of the format’s biggest title on home soil. But their record in the longest format of the game has been less impressive in recent years, with the final Ashes Test loss marking their 15th consecutive test in Australia without a win.

Overall, there were contracts for 11 England-qualified players across the two-day event, bringing the tally at the 2022 IPL to 13, with Jos Buttler and Moeen Ali already having been retained by their franchises.

James Anderson And Stuart Broad Dropped For Windies Tour After Ashes Debacle

James Anderson and Stuart Broad were among eight players to have been dropped by England from the Test squad to tour the West Indies next month. The veterans’ axing, and other omissions, suggests England are embarking on wholesale change after the Ashes debacle when they were lucky to escape with a 4-0 defeat.

James Anderson, Stuart Broad (Credits: Twitter)
James Anderson, Stuart Broad (Credits: Twitter)

Also left out are opening batters Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed, No.3 batsman Dawid Malan, spinner Dom Bess, wicketkeeper-batsmen Jos Buttler and Sam Billings. Recalled to the side is wicketkeeper Ben Foakes while four uncapped players are included: opening batsman Alex Lees, seam bowlers Saqib Mahmood and Matthew Fisher, and legspinner Matt Parkinson.

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