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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.

Sourav Ganguly and Virat Kohli.
Sourav Ganguly and Virat Kohli. (PTI)
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Virat Kohli’s Decision To Quit As Test Skipper Is A Personal One And BCCI Respects It: Sourav Ganguly

Virat Kohli on Saturday stunned the cricking world with his sudden decision of relinquishing captaincy in Tests. His decision comes after Team India lost the 3-match Test series to South Africa 2-1. Back in 2014, he led India for the first time in the longest format of the game after which he took the team to newer heights in the past seven years.

It’s a deniable fact that Virat Kohli was the best skipper to lead India in Test cricket. He led in 68 Test matches out of which the team registered victory in 40 games. 17 of them ended in a draw and lost 11 face-offs. He stands fourth on the list of captains with most Test wins after the likes of Graeme Smith, Ricky Ponting, and Steve Smith.

Virat Kohli[photo: Twitter]
Virat Kohli[photo: Twitter]

Virat Kohli’s Decision To Quit As Test Skipper Is A Personal One And BCCI Respects It: Sourav Ganguly

As Virat Kohli left his post, the cricket fraternity came forward to shower praise on the man who left no stone unturned in the past years to change the face of Indian cricket. Former captain and BCCI President Sourav Ganguly took to Twitter and called Virat Kohli a ‘great player’.

“Under Virats leadership, Indian cricket has made rapid strides in all formats of the game ..his decision is a personal one and BCCI respects it immensely ..he will be an important member to take this team to newer heights in the future. A great player. Well done,” Ganguly tweeted.

 

Virat Kohli on Saturday took to his social media accounts and posted a heartfelt message to announce his decision. He thanked every individual who was involved in his journey as a leader of the pack. He made a special mention to former captain and wicketkeeper MS Dhoni for believing in him and showing his trust.

Earlier in September 2021, he had said that he will step down from the T20I captaincy just ahead of the ICC T20I World Cup. It was later revealed that BCCI had asked him to rethink as BCCI didn’t want multiple captains in limited-overs cricket.

Virat Kohli Was Replaced By Rohit Sharma As Full Time White Ball Skipper

Following India’s narrow Test series loss to South Africa earlier this week, Virat Kohli on Saturday announced that he has decided to quit the Test captaincy. Earlier, Virat Kohli had relinquished the T20 captaincy after India’s campaign at the T20 World Cup in the UAE. He was then replaced by Rohit Sharma’s as India’s full-time white-ball skipper last month.

Virat Kohli with Rohit Sharma
Virat Kohli with Rohit Sharma IMAGE: AFP

Virat Kohli steps down from his role as India’s most successful Test captain, having recorded 40 wins in 68 matches. He is fourth in the list of captains with the most Test wins behind South Africa’s Graeme Smith (53) and Australian greats Ricky Ponting (43) and Steve Waugh (41).

Under his leadership, Team India reached new heights, including a Test series win in Australia. India also came close to winning the World Test Championship (WTC), losing out to New Zealand in the final. Virat Kohli won 40 matches, which is 13 more than MS Dhoni.

Virat Kohli captained India in 25 series. He won 18, lost six, and drew one series. Under him, India won 16 away Tests – the most for India, ahead of Sourav Ganguly who had won 11.

Virat Kohli has stepped down as captain of India’s Test team, with immediate effect, a day after losing the Test series to South Africa 2-1 with a seven-wicket loss in Cape Town. He took over as full-time Test captain in early 2015, when MS Dhoni had announced retirement in Australia, and ended up as India’s most successful Test captain ever.
England’s Ollie Robinson Photograph: Andrew Couldridge/Action Images/Reuters
England’s Ollie Robinson Photograph: Andrew Couldridge/Action Images/Reuters
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Ollie Robinson Must Improve His Fitness Says Bowling Coach; England 188 In Reply To Australia’s 303

Ollie Robinson must improve his fitness to deal with the demands of Test cricket, bowling coach Jon Lewis said after the 28-year-old suffered a back spasm on the opening day of the final Ashes Test against Australia on Friday.

Ollie Robinson took two early wickets in Hobart, sending back David Warner and Steve Smith for a duck, but later sustained the back problem that limited his bowling to eight overs.

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

Ollie Robinson Must Improve His Fitness: Jon Lewis

Australia, who enjoy an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-Test series, ended the first day of the pink-ball contest on 241-6. Ollie Robinson has taken 37 wickets in eight Tests for England since his debut against New Zealand at Lord’s in June last year. Jon Lewis said the team was hoping Ollie Robinson could recover overnight and return to bowling on Saturday.
“(His fitness) is something he needs to improve”, Lewis said. “He’s got a record of playing a lot of games of county cricket but international cricket is of higher intensity and you play it all year round.
Travis Head of Australia scores a century during day one of the Fifth Test in the Ashes series between Australia and England Image Source : GETTY
Travis Head of Australia scores a century during day one of the Fifth Test in the Ashes series between Australia and England Image Source: GETTY
“So he’s got to get used to understanding what it takes to be a full-time year-round international cricketer and playing that extra day, five days of Test cricket. Those things can come and go so we’re hoping with treatment overnight he can come back tomorrow and be free enough to bowl.”
Australia resumed innings on 241 for 6 on the second day of the 5th Ashes Test in Hobart. The rain and bad weather forced early stumps on Friday (1st Day) after Travis Head’s rapid hundred and a gritty half-century from Cameron Green put the host in a comfortable position.

Pat Cummins Picks 4 Scalps To Restrict England to 188 After Travis Head’s 101 See Australia Cross 300 Run Mark

Travis Head, who scored 152 in the opening test at Brisbane and missed the previous Test for Covid-19, counterpunched England’s early success with an aggressive 101 off 113 balls in the day-night test as Australia came back strongly after losing the toss. Cameron Green contributed an authoritative 74 and Marnus Labuschagne scored a rapid 44 before the rain arrived around half an hour after tea and prevented further play.
Pat Cummins Credit: AAP
Pat Cummins Credit: AAP
Mitchell Starc took 3 scalps while Pat Cummins picked 4 as England was bowled out at 188 after Australia was bowled out for 303. Chris Woakes’ 36, Joe Root’s 34, and debutant Sam Billings’ 29 were England’s notable contributors with the bat in hand.
James Anderson, left, and Stuart Broad were still standing at the end of the Test RICK RYCROFT/AP
James Anderson, left, and Stuart Broad were still standing at the end of the Test RICK RYCROFT/AP
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James Anderson Suggested That ‘Stressed’ Stuart Broad Was Confident That The Former Would Survive The Final Over Of 4th Ashes Test

James Anderson and Stuart Broad, the England team’s senior pace campaigners showcased immense composure with the bat to help England salvage a famous draw against Australia in the penultimate Ashes Test. The rearguard action from the English duo came in the 4th Ashes Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Stuart Broad took to his social media accounts to react to the thrilling finish. In one of the pictures shared by Stuart Broad, he was captured heaving a sigh of relief after the closely fought battle. The opposite  James Anderson’s comments on the post caught the attention of many fans. The veteran pacer cheekily suggested that Stuart Broad was confident that James Anderson would survive the final over and save the Test for their side.

James Anderson
James Anderson (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

James Anderson Suggested That Stuart Broad Was Confident The Former Would Survive The Final Over But The Latter Admitted He Was Nervous

Stuart Broad, in his reply, mentioned how he was quite nervous instead. James Anderson had the challenging task of saving his wicket in the ultimate over on Day 5. The 39-year-old rose to the occasion and played out Steve Smith’s entire over to draw the Sydney Test. England eked out a nail-biting draw in the fourth Ashes Test in Sydney as Stuart Broad frustrated the Australians, helping the tourists return 270/9 at the close of play on the final day.

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

Stuart Broad also played a crucial role with the bat as he hung on for 35 deliveries and was instrumental in England eking out a thrilling draw against their arch-rivals. England’s lower order denied Australia a victory in the 4th Ashes Test. Along with Stuart Broad and James Anderson, Jack Leach also played a handy role with his knock of 26 from 35 deliveries.

Stuart Broad hung around in the middle for 35 deliveries and found able support from Jack Leach, who survived 34 balls before getting out to Steve Smith on 26. James Anderson was the other batter to return unbeaten with Stuart Broad as England’s number eleven played the final six deliveries of the day.

Stuart Broad quoted alongside the last pair’s photo on Instagram in which he captioned, “Test Cricket. Battle for 5 days & it comes down to the last ball. Loved playing at the S.C.G. Special place.” James Anderson was quick to react to the post as he left a comment, which read: “Looks like you had a lot of faith in me.”, but Stuart Broad replied that he was stressed.

Michael Vaughan Praised Huge Courage Shown By England To Draw 4th Test

Former England captain Michael Vaughan commended Joe Root and co. for their courageous outing against the in-form Aussies to save the fourth Test. He wrote on Twitter that while a draw might not make much difference at this juncture, the visitors were impressive and showed a fighting spirit. High-quality half-centuries from Zak Crawley and Ben Stokes and a brave 105-ball 41 from Jonny Bairstow had earlier put England in a position to save the Test.

Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)
Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)

Michael Vaughan wrote: “That’s a step in the right direction .. Huge courage shown by the England side this week .. A draw might not seem much when you are 3-0 down but to me it is .. well done Joe Root & the team .. that’s what spirit is all about .. Ashes.”

The two cricketing giants will resume their battle for one-upmanship on Friday, January 14. England and Australia will lock horns in the fifth and final Test of the ongoing Ashes series in Hobart. Australia has already clinched the series and is 3-0 up.

England 294 (Bairstow 113, Stokes 66, Boland 4-36) and 9 for 270 (Crawley 77, Stokes 60, Boland 3-30) drew with Australia 8 for 416 dec (Khawaja 137, Smith 67, Broad 5-101) and 6 for 265 declared (Khawaja 101*, Green 74, Leach 4-84)

Ben Stokes (right) insists he has no desire to succeed Joe Root as England Test captain. Photograph: Asanka Brendon Ratnayake/AP
Ben Stokes (right) insists he has no desire to succeed Joe Root as England Test captain. Photograph: Asanka Brendon Ratnayake/AP
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Joe Root Praised Ben Stokes For Playing A Crucial Knock Braving Injury To Save 4th Ashes Test

Joe Root, England’s captain has narrated how all-rounder Ben Stokes braved his injury to play a crucial knock and help his side salvage a dramatic draw in the fourth Ashes Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).

Incidentally, Ben Stokes suffered a side injury while bowling on Day 2 of the 4th Test at Sydney that restricted him from bowling in Australia’s second innings. He is in doubt for next week’s Ashes series finale in Hobart, after sustaining an injury to his left side on the second day of play at SCG.

Ben Stokes, Joe Root ECB Twitter
Ben Stokes, Joe Root ECB Twitter

Joe Root Praised Wholehearted Efforts From Ben Stokes

Joe Root believes Ben Stokes’ performances will motivate his teammates ahead of the next match.

Joe Root added: “It is obviously difficult when you see one of your most influential players walk off the field as he did clearly in a lot of pain and you know the rest of the seamers and Jack [Leach] had to pull up more workload which you don’t plan for going into the game.” 

“There was a wholehearted effort in many respects from Ben and from the rest of the guys. His performance with the bat was more like Ben Stokes near his best which is really exciting thing to see going into the last game.”

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

Ben Stokes produced two fighting half-centuries to lift England’s batting alongside Jonny Bairstow after flop shows in the last three matches. The New Zealand-born all-rounder has three days to recover and be available for selection for the final showdown in Hobart.

Zak Crawley Top Scored With 77 But It Was The Last 10th Wicket Pair Of James Anderson And Stuart Broad That Ensured The Test Was Drawn

England lost the plot once again after Zak Crawley’s fighting 77-run knock. They lost a couple of wickets at regular intervals before Ben Stokes (60) and Jonny Bairstow (41) stood tall yet again to eat up quite a few deliveries. An injury-ridden Jos Buttler also used up 38 balls for his 11. Australia had their tail-up with the new ball in hand but Jack Leach and Stuart Broad survived well to take the game deep.

Zak Crawley-Twitter
Zak Crawley-Twitter

Jack Leach edged Steve Smith to slip with 12 balls remaining, only for tailender Stuart Broad to defend an over from Nathan Lyon before the last batsman James Anderson resisted Steve Smith to put curtains on the gripping Test match. Joe Root highlighted that this week’s fight will help them ahead of the next tie.

“We never make it easy for ourselves, do we?” said Joe Root.

“Before this match, I spoke about putting some pride back into English cricket. The fight, desire and character shown in the five days has done that in a small way. It was a dark day at the end of the last Test. It would have been very easy to roll over for the last two. When you find yourself out of the series, it’s really important that you front up. Everyone has done that this week,” Joe Root concluded.

It’s worth noting that Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, and Jonny Bairstow all played through the pain of injuries. The visitors managed to save the fourth Test by a whisker with 1 wicket remaining, needing to chase a target of 388 on the final day in Sydney.

Joe Root-led England has performed terribly and has already lost the 5-match Ashes series by losing the first three games. England lost the first match by 9 wickets at the Gabba, the second game by 275 runs at Adelaide Oval, and the third game by an innings and 14 runs at Melbourne Cricket Ground.

High-quality half-centuries from Zak Crawley and Ben Stokes and a brave 105-ball 41 from Jonny Bairstow had earlier put England in a position to save the Test. The fifth and final Ashes Test starts on January 14 at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart.

England 294 (Bairstow 113, Stokes 66, Boland 4-36) and 9 for 270 (Crawley 77, Stokes 60, Boland 3-30) drew with Australia 8 for 416 dec (Khawaja 137, Smith 67, Broad 5-101) and 6 for 265 declared (Khawaja 101*, Green 74, Leach 4-84)

Ricky Ponting. Image- Twitter
Ricky Ponting. Image- Twitter
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Ben Stokes Only Person Who Can Take Over As England Test Skipper After Ashes 2021/22 Series Loss – Ricky Ponting

Ben Stokes, England’s all-rounder is the only player who can replace Joe Root as Test captain and turn their fortunes around following the team’s meek surrender in the Ashes 2021/22 series, former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting said on Saturday.

Joe Root has come under intense pressure since England lost the third Test last week as Australia took an unassailable 3-0 Ashes lead. The visitors managed to save the fourth Test by a whisker with 1 wicket remaining, needing to chase a target of 388 on the final day in Sydney.

Ben Stokes, Joe Root ECB Twitter
Ben Stokes, Joe Root ECB Twitter

Ben Stokes Only Person Who Can Take Over As England Test Skipper From Joe Root: Australia Ex-Skipper Ricky Ponting

Ben Stokes is the only man who can be the captain of England’s Test side, believes former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting. He added that Ben Stokes could improve his own game with the leadership thrust to him. With England’s Test fortunes crumbling under current captain Joe Root, questions have been asked on whether a change in captaincy will revive the team in the longest format of the game.

“The only person that can take over is Ben Stokes,” Ricky Ponting told Cricket Australia’s website.

“I think Stokes would actually grow as a player if he was the captain of that side. I think with a bit of extra responsibility, he might become an even better player and that might have a good impact on the rest of the team.”

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

“I don’t know Stokes that well, but if I was trying to change the face of English cricket and trying to give a bit more of a heartbeat and a bit more soul, then I think he’d be the one that I’d be looking at to lead the team.”

Joe Root-led England has performed terribly and has already lost the 5-match Ashes series by losing the first three games. England lost the first match by 9 wickets at the Gabba, the second game by 275 runs at Adelaide Oval, and the third game by an innings and 14 runs at Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Ben Stokes States He Has No Ambition To Be England Captain

Ben Stokes, who scored 66 runs in the first innings of the fourth Test as he battled through a left side strain, has also been considered a viable option to replace Joe Root by former England skipper Mike Atherton. However, Ben Stokes said before the fourth Test that he has no ambition to be captain and backed Joe Root to remain in the England role despite calls for the Yorkshireman to stand down.

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

Australia, 3-0 up, having dominated the game, had their dreams of a whitewash shattered as England finally salvaged something from the wreck of this Ashes tour with Jack Leach, Stuart Broad, and James Anderson surviving 64 balls under floodlights to secure a thrilling draw at the SCG.

Jack Leach and Stuart Broad faced 52 of them, most of which were against Pat Cummins, Scott Boland, and Mitchell Starc before bad light forced Australia to turn to Steve Smith and he almost became a hero with the ball. He prized out Jack Leach, his first Test scalp since 2016, caught at slip after England’s spinner had battled well for 34 balls without error.

Stuart Broad and James Anderson survived six balls each from Nathan Lyon and Steve Smith respectively and England’s veterans held on. It was only the second time in Ashes history a team had saved a game nine-down in the fourth innings, the first being the famous 2005 draw at Manchester.

High-quality half-centuries from Zak Crawley and Ben Stokes and a brave 105-ball 41 from Jonny Bairstow had earlier put England in a position to save the Test.

England 294 (Bairstow 113, Stokes 66, Boland 4-36) and 9 for 270 (Crawley 77, Stokes 60, Boland 3-30) drew with Australia 8 for 416 dec (Khawaja 137, Smith 67, Broad 5-101) and 6 for 265 declared (Khawaja 101*, Green 74, Leach 4-84)

Michael Vaughan. (Image Credits: Getty)
Michael Vaughan. (Image Credits: Getty)
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Michael Vaughan Reckons Justin Langer Is Doing A Fantastic Job As Australia’s Head Coach

Michael Vaughan, the former England captain has advised Australia against ending head coach Justin Langer’s tenure when his contract ends in mid-2022. Michael Vaughan believes Justin Langer has done a commendable job since taking the team’s charge three years ago.

Cricket Australia will decide whether or not to extend Justin Langer’s tenure after the ongoing Ashes 2021/22 series. While the West Australian intends to continue in the role and has done remarkably well, the board could replace Justin Langer.

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

Michael Vaughan Reckons Justin Langer’s Doing A Fantastic Job And If He Was Cricket Australia, He Would Sign Him Up For 2 More Years

Michael Vaughan said that Australia must extend Justin Langer’s contract. Justin Langer, Australia coach had earlier hinted that he would seek an extension of his four-year contract, expiring in June 2022, saying he “loves his job”. Justin Langer had faced criticism for his coaching methods from the players but now has a Twenty20 World Cup in his CV besides adding the coveted Ashes Trophy 2021/22 win to it.

The 47-year old feels the national team might suffer from Langer’s departure, so he should stay for two more years, saying: “I would jump at the chance. Be careful what you wish for – that’s all I’ll say. The grass is not always greener, and Justin Langer, from what I see – he’s doing a fantastic job. If I was Cricket Australia, I’d sign him up for at least a couple more years.”

Australia wins 2021 T20I World Cup In UAE [Aamir Qureshi/AFP]
Australia wins 2021 T20I World Cup In UAE [Aamir Qureshi/AFP]
Justin Langer came under serious pressure after last year’s home series loss to India. The 51-year old’s fraught relationship with the players also emerged. However, he boosted his chances of remaining with the team following the World T20 and Ashes 2021/22 wins.

Opener David Warner fired another shot at his critics and Mitchell Marsh scored a quickfire half-century as Australia cruised to its maiden T20 World Cup triumph, beating New Zealand by eight wickets.

Justin Langer was given the job to overhaul the team’s culture and regain the respect of the Australian public after the ball-tampering scandal of 2018 (Sandpaper Gate) which saw then skipper Steve Smith, vice-captain David Warner, and Cameron Bancroft banned for a year or so.

Michael Vaughan Suggests England May Appoint Justin Langer As Coach If Australia Doesn’t Want Him To Continue

Michael Vaughan also backs Justin Langer to lead Australia to an Ashes victory in England next year, trusting his knowledge and experience.

However, he also feels the 105-Test veteran would be a perfect fit for England’s coach, saying: “He’d take all that information to make sure that in 2023, Australia go on to win the Ashes convincingly in English conditions because they’ve got the squad and the mentality around the group with Justin’s kind of leadership to go on and do so. But if you don’t want him, yeah, we’ll have him.”

Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)
Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)

Australia has won the Ashes for the third time in a row as they lead the five-match series 3-0. They have beaten England convincingly in all three Tests.

In the ongoing Test, Usman Khawaja departed after scoring a fantastic century on return to Test cricket to power Australia to 416/8 declared in the first innings while Stuart Broad took a brilliant five-wicket haul on Day 2 of the 4th Ashes Test at the SCG.

Usman Khawaja was added to the Australia squad after middle-order batter Travis Head returned positive for COVID-19 last week. This is also Usman Khawaja’s first international match since the 2019 Ashes in England.

Australia has made one forced change in their XI for the 4th Test match as Usman Khawaja has replaced middle-order batter Travis Head who was ruled out for this match after testing positive for Covid-19. Meanwhile, pacer Scott Boland has been retained in the XI as Josh Hazlewood still hasn’t recovered from injury.

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.

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

“Go For It, It’s Your Team This Week,” Pat Cummins Wishes Good Luck To Steve Smith For Adelaide Test

Stand-in captain revealed that Pat Cummins wishes him good luck for the 2nd Test at Adelaide after the no.1 ranked bowler was ruled out for the Pink ball Test. Notable that Pat Cummins was ruled out after being identified as close contact with a Covid positive case.

Steve Smith said at the toss that it’s a huge honour for him to lead the country again. And he also revealed that he got full support from the regular skipper. This is the first time when Steve Smith has been captaining Australia since that famous Sandpaper Gate at Cape Town in March 2018. Cricket Australia barred him and David Warner from any leadership role for two years.

Steve Smith and Pat Cummins
Steve Smith and Pat Cummins

Michael Neser has been making his Test debut

At the toss, Steve Smith said, “It’s a huge honour obviously. Been a pretty interesting morning, bit been going on. Feel for Patty missing this game, but I’ll try and lead on the way he started last week, and hopefully we can have a really good week. (Spoken to Cummins) Just good luck, go for it, it’s your team this week, control the boys and keep moving forward.”

Cameron Bancroft With Steve Smith Photo-ICC
Cameron Bancroft With Steve Smith Photo-ICC

Missing Pat Cummins-the bowler has been a huge blow for Australia as Josh Hazlewood has already been ruled out for this game. In absence of Cummins, Australia handed the Test Cap no. 462 to Michael Neser. The debutant received his test cap from legendry bowler Glenn McGrath.

“They (Cummins and Hazlewood) are obviously big losses for us, they are two world-class bowlers. But we have been really excited by what we’ve seen from Jhye Richardson for a few years now and Michael Neser, I am really excited for him, he’s worked his backside off for a long time, been 12th man numerous times and he gets his opportunity, we are all looking forward to playing with him this week, it’s a great moment for him.”– Steve Smith added further at the toss.

Australia have been unbeaten in Pink-ball Tests, winning 8 out of 8. Will Joe Root & Co. capitalize on this opportunity to turn things around?

Also Read: Former Australian Player Michael Slater Arrested For Second Time In Two Months

Jofra Archer made his Test debut at Lord’s against Australia last year. (Source: Reuters)
Jofra Archer made his Test debut at Lord’s against Australia last year. (Source: Reuters)
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Jofra Archer Feared The Bouncer Bowled To Steve Smith In 2019 Ashes Could Have Resulted In His Death

Jofra Archer, the England pacer feared his aggressive bowling to Australian veteran batsman and ex-skipper Steve Smith in the second Test of the 2019 Ashes series could have resulted in the latter’s death. Jofra Archer claimed the cricketing fraternity couldn’t afford another casualty on the field after Philip Hughes’s death by a similar bouncer.

The duel between Jofra Archer and Steve Smith was one of the most riveting in Test cricket history. Jofra Archer, who debuted in the format in that match, unsettled the ace Test batter with plenty of short-pitched balls, including a nasty one that felled Steve Smith in the first innings. He copped a blow to his head, resulting in a concussion.

Jofra Archer - GETTY IMAGES
Jofra Archer – GETTY IMAGES

Jofra Archer: Obviously Another Cricket Related Death Isn’t Wanted

Jofra Archer said the blows could especially hurt players in England due to the cold weather. The 26-year old cited having fears of another cricket-related death when Steve Smith went down.

Australia’s Steve Smith was given the all-clear after being forced to retire hurt when he was struck by a short ball from England fast bowler Jofra Archer on the fourth day of the second Ashes Test at Lord’s in August 2019.

Steve Smith was on 80 when he was hit on the neck by test debutant Jofra Archer, who bowled a hostile spell from the Pavilion End during which his deliveries reached speeds of well over 90 miles per hour.

Steve Smith, who made 144 and 142 in Australia’s emphatic victory in the first test, had defied the England attack again as the touring side replied to the hosts’ first-innings total of 258.

“I think in England personally when the ball hits you it can feel a lot worse than it is because sometimes it’s a bit cold and I thought it was that until I actually saw him roll … when he went down and then he rolled on his back, I went ‘oh dear,’ you know.

“I thought it was very serious, but he came out and he batted again. Obviously you don’t ever want a cricket related death. There was one already and there’s no need for another one. It’s hard enough trying to get the kids to come and play cricket.”

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

Although Steve Smith returned to bat in the first innings after sustaining a concussion, he couldn’t do so in the second. The 32-year old also missed the third Test at Headingley as England won a thrilling game by a wicket. Former Australia batsman Phillip Hughes died after being struck by a bouncer in the neck during a first-class match in Sydney in 2014.

Australia successfully applied for a concussion substitute, bringing in Marnus Labuschagne as a replacement for Steve Smith, who suffered a delayed concussion after copping a blow to his neck during a fiery Jofra Archer spell.

Jofra Archer Praised Steve Smith’s Resilience In The 2019 England Ashes Tour As He Failed To Dismiss The Batsmen Even Once

Jofra Archer, who failed to dismiss Steve Smith even once throughout the series, hailed his resilience and concentration. Although he relished the challenge, the right-arm pacer felt he wasn’t meant to dismiss Steve Smith.

“I know they say he’s tough as nails anyway, but I don’t think he would have come out to bat again if he wasn’t. Just his resilience. You are putting yourself out there and risking everything for your team. Honestly, throughout that whole series, I just think his wicket wasn’t for me. There were a few top edges that could have gone to hand. But I just enjoyed the challenge.”

Jofra Archer bouncer Steven Smith
Jofra Archer bouncer to Steve Smith (Image Credit: Twitter)

Steve Smith enjoyed a highly productive Ashes series, mustering 774 runs in four Tests at 110.57. The former Australian skipper’s monumental efforts were instrumental in Australia retaining the urn. His scores read 144, 142, 92, 211, 82, 80, and 23 in that series.

Interestingly, Marnus Labuschagne, the concussion substitute has an impressive average of 61.21 in 19 Tests amassing 1959 runs already while Steve Smith is one step ahead of him, averaging 61.39 in 78 Tests amassing 7552 runs. After Don Bradman‘s 99.94 average, Australian Adam Voges is 2nd best averaging 61.87 in 20 Tests followed by the Steve Smith-Marnus Labuschagne duo.

Jofra Archer has been ruled out of all cricket for the rest of the year 2021 following a recurrence of a stress fracture in his right elbow. Jofra Archer, the England fast bowler, was forced home from the tour of India at the start of the year and subsequently forced to pull out of the IPL 2021 due to pain in the elbow. He underwent surgery to remove a bone fragment from the elbow in May.
The ECB has announced he will play no part in the Test series against visitors India, the 2021 T20 World Cup, or the Ashes 2021/22. He has only played six Tests, three ODIs, and 11 T20Is since he was first troubled by the problem. In 13 Tests, he has 42 scalps and he has 30 scalps in 17 ODIs and 14 scalps in 12 T20Is.
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