Update on the latest sports

first_img August 6, 2020 Update on the latest sports Associated Press UNDATED (AP) — The St. Louis Cardinals expect to have another workout at Busch Stadium while getting ready to resume their virus-interrupted season. They had been quarantined in Milwaukee after 13 members of their traveling party tested positive for COVID-19, including All-Stars Yadier Molina and Paul DeJong (deh-YUHNG’). The team returned to St. Louis late Wednesday after a second straight day of negative tests and held a light workout. Their next game is scheduled for Friday night at home against the Cubs.In other MLB news: WASHINGTON (AP) — The Nationals will see how Max Scherzer is feeling, a day after the three-time Cy Young Award winner exited a start after just one inning because of trouble with his right hamstring. Scherzer threw 27 pitches against the Mets and labored, with his fastball in the low 90s mph. He said his hamstring problem first showed up a week ago, went away, then showed up again Tuesday when he was sprinting. The Nationals already are missing World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg, who has a nerve issue in his pitching hand.— Kenta Maeda will try to remain unbeaten since being traded from the Dodgers to Minnesota in the offseason. The 32-year-old right-hander has helped the Twins open up quick this year. He pitches at PNC Park Thursday against Pirates rookie JT Brubaker, making his first major league start. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditPGA Championship underwaySAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The PGA Championship is underway in San Francisco, and it was never more quiet. Brian Harman hit the opening tee shot at TPC Harding Park. There was no applause when he was announced. He looked down a fairway that was lined by trees, but no people. It’s the first major without fans, typical of golf during the COVID-19 pandemic. The previous two months on the PGA Tour haven’t had fans. This is the first major of the year. The Masters was moved to November, the U.S. Open to September, and the British Open was canceled.This is the first time Harding Park has hosted a major and the second straight year the PGA Championship is held at a municipal golf course. Brooks Koepka (KEHP’-kuh) is the two-time defending champion. Tiger Woods goes for a record-tying fifth PGA Championship title. Jordan Spieth (speeth) needs this major to complete the career Grand Slam. MLB-NEWSCardinals can work out at home — Cuts are coming for players around the majors as teams trim their active rosters from 30 players to 28, under plans agreed to by Major League Baseball and the union before the start of this virus-shortened 60-game season. The sides decided Tuesday that rosters will remain at 28 through the World Series, instead of dropping to 26 on Aug. 20 as initially planned.last_img read more

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The Latest: Horizon League postpones fall competition

first_imgThe West Coast Conference has postponed all conference fall competition because of the COVID-19 pandemic.The conference announced the decision on Thursday, saying the “welfare” of the student-athletes was the “guiding principle.”The league says it is working on plans to ensure a safe environment to conduct the 2020-21 WCC men’s and women’s basketball seasons in the winter.The postponement does not preclude schools from scheduling non-conference competitions in low-risk sports in the fall.___ Houston Baptist and Central Arkansas are still planning to play non-conference football games after the FCS-level Southland Conference decided Thursday to postpone league games this fall with the intent to explore playing those in the spring.Southland Conference presidents also authorized planning for spring semester championship events for volleyball, soccer and cross country, while allowing schools to participate in limited fall competition if they choose to do so.Houston Baptist plans to honor its existing contracts to play non-conference football games against North Texas, Texas Tech and Louisiana Tech. Central Arkansas intends to play its scheduled opener Aug. 29 against Austin Peay, and a game at Arkansas State.“While not unexpected, it is still a sad day for our fall sport student-athletes,” HBU athletic director Steve Moniaci said. “We are taking measures to ensure they can compete safely in a limited capacity this fall and be prepared should the league resume play and reschedule the championships for the spring.”UCA athletic director Brad Teague said his school was “moving forward with its fall campaign in all sports, playing a reduced schedule.” Associated Press Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___The Horizon League has joined the list of conferences postponing all fall sports competition due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Latest: Horizon League postpones fall competition The USTA says the sort of “controlled environment” that will be used for the Western & Southern Open and U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows “would logistically and financially be difficult to create” at the smaller tournaments that are being scrapped.___New Mexico State has postponed its football season because of COVID-19 concerns and state restrictions.The Aggies are the third independent FBS program to decide not to play in the fall, joining Connecticut and Massachusetts. They are the 53rd major college football program overall to opt out. New Mexico State noted it had four games left on its schedule, plus the state of New Mexico has a 14-day quarantine for those traveling into and out of the state. Tulane had scheduled Southland Conference member Southeastern Louisiana for its season-opener at Yulman Stadium on the Thursday night before Labor Day weekend.The Southland’s decision to postpone fall sports while investigating the possibility of playing in the spring has put the Green Wave’s first game in doubt.Tulane plays in the American Athletic Conference, which for now has maintained its fall football schedule.Tulane was scheduled to play 12 games before the Southland’s decision, which for now has at least temporarily reduced the Green Wave’s 2020 slate to 11 contests.___ New Mexico State says it will explore playing football in the spring.“Rival New Mexico has postponed its season as part of the Mountain West’s decision to attempt to play in the spring.New Mexico State competes in the Western Athletic Conference for other sports, and that conference also announced it would not have fall sports this year.___Fans will be allowed into MotoGP races for the first time this season, at the Misano circuit in Italy next month. Tom Burnett, commissioner of the Southland Conference, said the board determined that an entire fall sports season wasn’t likely.___Five lower-level tennis tournaments in the United States in September have been called off because of the coronavirus pandemic.The U.S. Tennis Association — which plans to hold the U.S. Open and another tournament in New York starting Aug. 20 — announced Thursday the cancellations of all ITF World Tennis Tour and ATP Challenger events in other cities around the country next month.Those tournaments are ATP Challengers in Cary, North Carolina, and Columbus, Ohio, and ITF stops in Champaign, Illinois; Fayetteville, Arkansas; and Lubbock, Texas. August 13, 2020 The panel said any nonconference competition would be up to the individual school. The conference is made up of 10 schools spread across Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. It competes in the Football Championship Subdivision. Southern Conference Commissioner Jim Schaus said the move was supported by the conference’s medical advisory committee. “Ultimately, we felt it necessary to ensure the health and safety of student-athletes, coaches and staff,” Schaus said. ___Tulane University officials say they’re “actively pursuing” a new opponent for the school’s Sept. 3 home opener after the Southland Conference announced on Thursday it was postponing football and all other fall sports. The decision impacts men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s soccer, and volleyball. It also impacts women’s golf, baseball, softball, men’s and women’s tennis, spring sports that also have preseason competitions in the fall.The Horizon League’s board of directors and council will decide later whether fall sports competition can take place in the spring instead. Individual league members will make decisions on training, practice and recruiting in accordance with NCAA regulations, as well as state and local guidelines.___The Southern Conference has canceled its fall conference seasons, shifting competition to the spring because of the pandemic. The NCAA Division I league’s Council of Presidents voted on the move Thursday. The decision affects football, volleyball, men’s and women’s cross country and men’s and women’s soccer. More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The region of Emilia Romagna has given the circuit permission to open to a maximum of 10,000 fans a day for the doubleheader of the San Marino and Emilia Romagna MotoGP rounds.There will be strict measures in place to protect against the coronavirus, and fans will not be allowed to roam around. The circuit has a capacity of around 110,000 including more than 40,000 in the stands and welcomed approximately 160,000 people across the three-day weekend last year.Organizers say in a statement: “It is a decision that makes us emotional because it also represents a green light for the restart of world sport finally in front of the fans.”The first three MotoGP rounds were held without fans and no spectators will be allowed into the upcoming doubleheader in Austria. ___French golfer Alex Levy has been withdrawn from the Celtic Classic, which started on Thursday.Levy came into contact with a friend who has tested positive for the coronavirus, the European Tour said in a statement.The contact happened while Levy was at home in France last weekend. When he arrived at Celtic Manor Resort in Wales on Tuesday, he tested negative. He is showing no symptoms, the tour said, but he has been withdrawn from the tournament as a precaution and must self-isolate for 14 days.___last_img read more

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Smith hundred sets up Australia warm-up win over England

first_imgSTEVE SMITH ignored the jeers of the crowd to mark his first match against England since a ball-tampering ban, with a century that set up Australia’s 12-run win in a World Cup warm-up clash at Southampton yesterday.Smith’s 116 was the centrepiece of world champions Australia’s 297 for nine.A target of 298 proved just beyond England, without four first-choice players including captain Eoin Morgan and fellow batsman Joe Root, as the World Cup hosts and favourites were dismissed for 285 with three balls left.“I’m pretty chilled, everyone’s entitled to their opinion,” Smith told Sky Sports during the innings break when asked about the crowd’s taunts.“I’m just happy to be back playing. Fortunately, I was able to contribute today and hopefully I can take this form into the World Cup.” Afterwards, Australia captain Aaron Finch said: “Overall the way we batted was a good effort. I thought Steve Smith played a really impressive knock.”Smith and David Warner only returned to international duty earlier this month after they both completed year-long suspensions for their roles in a ball-tampering scandal in South Africa.The disgraced duo’s first match in England this tour was a hastily arranged, unofficial warm-up match against the West Indies on the nursery ground at Southampton on Wednesday.But that fixture was played in front of fewer than 30 spectators whereas there were several thousand in the main arena yesterday for the first of several Anglo-Australian clashes in a season featuring both the World Cup and a five-Test Ashes series.Warner was booed first by spectators yesterday when he walked out to open with Finch after Australia lost the toss.‘GET ‘EM STEVIE!’And when the left-hander arrived at the crease, one fan shouted: “Get off, Warner, you cheat.”Warner’s dismissal for 43, caught in the deep by Jonny Bairstow off Liam Plunkett, was greeted by immediate cheers from England fans.But there were more boos as he returned to the pavilion to be replaced by Smith, coming in with Australia 82 for two.The BBC reported there were a few chants of “cheat, cheat, cheat”, although a lone Australia fan shouted “Get ’em Stevie!”.There was, however, the customary round of applause from the crowd for a batsman reaching his fifty when Smith got to the landmark.Long a thorn in England’s side, Smith went to 99 with a superb carved six over third man off Ben Stokes.The next ball delivery saw Smith complete a 94-ball hundred, including eight fours, prompting yet more boos as well as clapping to acknowledge his century before he was dismissed off the penultimate ball of the innings.England’s reply saw James Vince, on his Hampshire home ground, make 64 and stand-in captain Jos Buttler a blistering 52.But both batsmen got out when well set as England, top of the one-day international rankings and fresh from a 4-0 series win over Pakistan, suffered their first defeat of the season.“There’s been some good work for some of the bowlers,” said Buttler. “We’re disappointed not to win but we’re in good shape.”Buttler, leading England in the absence of the injured Morgan, hit 24 off one over from fast bowler Nathan Coulter-Nile.A fierce cut for four was followed by an 84-metre straight six before Buttler cut another boundary.He didn’t score off the fourth ball of the 27th over but made amends off the last two, with a huge pulled six off the fifth delivery followed by an edged four past wicketkeeper Alex Carey.But Coulter-Nile had his revenge when Buttler chipped him to short mid-wicket.Vince then guided paceman Jason Behrendorff straight to Nathan Lyon at short third man.Worryingly for England, fast bowler Mark Wood could manage only 3.1 overs before going off with what a team spokesman said was “left foot discomfort”.England do, however, expect to have Morgan back from a finger injury when they open the World Cup against South Africa at the Oval on Thursday. (AFP)last_img read more

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Barnwell sparks Guyana Jaguars to massive UDECOTT T10 win

first_img… beat South-Central by 8 wickets at Brian Lara Cricket AcademyBy Brij ParasnathEXPLOSIVE big-hitting has become the norm of modern-day cricket. And while cricket fans have been disappointed in the many low-scoring matches in the current ICC World Cup matches, Guyana Jaguars all-rounder Christopher Barnwell displayed his power stroke-making ability in grand fashion during a fine exhibition of calculated big-hitting against a combined South-Central outfit, in the opening match of the inaugural UDECOTT T10 match, contested at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy, on Friday evening.With Guyana Jaguars set 84 runs to win from the allotted 10 overs, the sturdy built Barnwell lighted up the evening skyline with his right-handed pyrotechnics that sent the white ball sailing into orbit and well beyond the boundary markers and into the stands on eight occasions, as he raced to an unbeaten 57 off only 16 deliveries.Barnwell had replaced former West Indies ODIs opener Chandrapaul Hemraj (1×4 off six balls) who departed centre-stage with only five runs to his name. His lofted stroke ended into the hands of Kjorn Ottley off the bowling of T&T’s leg-spinner JonRuss Jagessar.Ottley accepted the catch gleefully just inside the boundary while his teammates and the supportive crowd cheered lustily. The Jaguars were nine for one wicket. And if there were any thoughts of more quick wickets tumbling after the dismissal of left-handed opener Trevon Griffith who joined his partner Hemraj at the team’s hut on the northern side of the iconic stadium, Barnwell dispelled those emotional fantasy with his clean purposeful hitting that hastened the commanding victory with 21 balls remaining.Barnwell was spurred into his big-hitting ways after his DCC clubmate Griffith was bowled by former West Indies Under off-spinner Jyd Goolie for 14 that contained one six and a four off six deliveries. The scoreboard showed that the Jaguars were 20 for 2.Barnwell was joined by captain Leon Johnson and he took a special liking for the floated deliveries from Goolie, whom he smashed for three huge sixes. He repeated a similar feat with three gigantic maximums off T&T’s spinner Mark Deyal, who was introduced at the southern end. Johnson played a watchful role and finished with 12 not out (1×4) off eleven deliveries while Barnwell blazed to a hurricane unbeaten 57, as the Guyanese contingent signalled their intention to win the TT$75 000 first prize in the four-team series.Barnwell’s 50 (1×4, 7×6) was scored off 15 deliveries. His eighth six was the winning stroke after he registered the first fifty of the tournament.The second match between a formidable North-Tobago and Windwards Hurricanes was abandoned without a completed innings when a heavy downpour left the outfield in an unplayable state.Windwards had reached 61 for 6 after 8.3 overs when the deluge forced the players off the field. And although the showers stopped, too much water forced the organisers to abandon play for the rest of the evening.It was a major disappointment for the ardent fans who showed up with the expectation of plenty fireworks from West Indies and T20 superstars Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo and Sunil Narine who were members of the North-Tobago team.Pollard is serving as captain of the team that also includes established players Rayad Emrit, Yannic Cariah, Akeal Hosein, Tion Webster and Khary Pierre.The Hurricanes were shocked into disbelief when left-arm spinning all-rounder Akeal Hosein produced a magical spell to claim four wickets in his two-over spell without conceding a single run and left the visitors stunned at 5 runs for 4 wickets after three overs.Hosein bowled West Indies T20 player Andre Fletcher with a quicker one with the first ball of the match and then shattered the stumps of Kavem Hodge three balls later. It was a sensational start for the QPCC player, as he repeated the feat in his second over and third of the innings.He bowled opener Desron Maloney for a solitary single and then forced Dillon Douglas to offer a simple return catch. He left the arena completely dumbfounded as their dreams of a positive start against the star-studded North-Tobago outfit became a nightmarish experience.Junior Henry and Ryan John averted further disaster and stitched together an 18-run fifth-wicket partnership. Henry made eight runs off eleven balls before Ryan Emrit sent him marching forlornly to the pavilion, caught by wicketkeeper Joshua DaSilva.John was joined by West Indies Under-19 player  Alick Athanaze and together they restored some respectability to the proceedings. John struck three boundaries off 17 balls while Athanaze did better with four fours off nine deliveries.They featured in an encouraging 31-run sixth-wicket stand when John, the top-scorer with 25; exited by offering Terrence Hinds a return catch. Athanaze was not-out on 20 while Keron Cottoy was undefeated on 7 when the showers thundered down and eventually forced the abandonment.There were four matches yesterday and the final will be contested this afternoon at the same venue.last_img read more

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South Africa knocked out of the World Cup with Pakistan defeat

first_imgSOUTH Africa’s hopes of reaching the World Cup semi-finals are over as their nightmare tournament continued with a 49-run defeat to Pakistan at Lord’s.The Proteas have failed to pass the group stages for just the second time and face two dead rubbers over the next two weeks.South Africa failed to reach the knockout rounds as hosts in 2003, but still won three of their six encounters.Head coach Ottis Gibson’s men have only beaten minnows Afghanistan at this tournament, and still have to face Sri Lanka and Australia.Even three wins in nine matches would not gloss a woeful campaign, but given the Proteas’ dire form the chance of consolation victories appears remote.Former England bowling coach Gibson’s contract expires after this tournament and is unlikely to be renewed.SA Cricket World Cup record• 1992 – Semi-finals• 1996 – Quarter-finals• 1999 – Semi-finals• 2003 – Group stage• 2007 – Semi-finals• 2011 – Quarter-finals• 2015 – Semi-finals• 2019 – Group stageFaf Du Plessis may well relinquish the captaincy too.Du Plessis hit 64 as South Africa managed just 259 for nine, failing to reach the 309 required for victory.The beleaguered 34-year-old has had to duck as many brickbats off the field as bouncers at the crease as the Proteas’ figurehead in England, and few would begrudge him having had enough.Quinton De Kock posted 47, while Hashim Amla and Aiden Markram both failed amid another miserable top-order return for South Africa.This latest comprehensive defeat came at the hands of an erratic Pakistan, who kept alive their own hopes of a semi-final but should not boast the quality or consistency to make it that far.Haris Sohail’s 89, including a 71-run partnership with Imad Wasim from just 40 balls, ultimately proved the difference between the sides.Pakistan’s 308 for seven proved more than sufficient, as Babar Azam posted 69 and openers Imam Ul Haq and Fakhar Zaman both notchedImran Tahir proved the pick of the Proteas’ bowlers, taking a smart two wickets for 41 runs.Lungi Ngidi ended on three for 64 but those figures were massaged by two soft dismissals at the death.Markram’s removal of Mohammed Hafeez raised questions as to whether South Africa should have put more faith in spin sooner in this tournament.If the Proteas’ injury-hit pace attack has proved problematic though, their batting has been little short of abject.Wahab Riaz plundered three for 46 and Mohammad Amir two for 49, but neither man had a particularly testing afternoon with the ball.Rarely has a South Africa side suffered for such a lack of top-order aggression, and that cost Du Plessis and company dearly once again.Caption.Haris Sohail returned to the Pakistan XI for the first time since their opening defeat by West Indies and smashed 89 off 59 balls in a man-of-the-match performance Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Peter CziborraPAKISTAN inningsImam-ul-Haq                    c & b Imran Tahir                                  44Fakhar Zaman                   c Amla b Imran Tahir                           44Babar Azam                     c Ngidi b Phehlukwayo                          69Mohammad Hafeez                 lbw b Markram                              20Haris Sohail                       c †de Kock b Ngidi                                 89Imad Wasim               c sub (JP Duminy) b Ngidi                           23Wahab Riaz                   b Ngidi                                                         4Sarfaraz Ahmed (c) †               not out                                            2Shadab Khan                             not out                                            1Extras:  12 (lb 6, nb 1, w 5)TOTAL:                                                                       308/7 (50 Overs, RR: 6.16)Did not bat: Mohammad Amir, Shaheen Shah AfridiBowling: K Rabada 10-0-65-0, L Ngidi      9-0-64-3, CH Morris 9-0-61-0, AL Phehlukwayo 8-0-49-1, Imran Tahir 10-0-41-2, AK Markram 4-0-22-1                            SOUTH AFRICA Innings )HM Amla                        lbw b Mohammad Amir                            2Q de Kock †         c Imam-ul-Haq b Shadab Khan                           47F du Plessis (c)   c †Sarfaraz Ahmed b Mohammad Amir             63AK Markram           b Shadab Khan                                                    7HE van der Dussen    c Mohammad Hafeez b Shadab Khan         36DA Miller                    b Shaheen Shah Afridi                                    31AL Phehlukwayo         not out                                                             46CH Morris                      b Wahab Riaz                                                16K Rabada                   b Wahab Riaz                                                      3L Ngidi                          b Wahab Riaz                                                    1Imran Tahir                         not out                                                      1Extras: 6 (lb 1, w 5)TOTAL:                                                                              259/9 (50 Overs, RR: 5.18)Bowling: Mohammad Hafeez 2-0-11-0, Mohammad Amir 10-1-49-2, Shaheen Shah Afridi 8-0-54-1, Imad Wasim 10-0-48-0, Wahab Riaz 10-0-46-3, Shadab Khan 10-1-50-3last_img read more

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FIFA tells Iran it is time to allow women into stadiums

first_imgBy Brian HomewoodZURICH, Switzerland (Reuters) – FIFA president Gianni Infantino has told Iran it is time to allow women into football stadiums and the global soccer body expects “positive developments”, starting with their next home match in October.While foreign women have been allowed limited access to matches, Iranian women have been banned from stadiums when men’s teams have been playing, since just after the 1979 Islamic revolution.Infantino said in a FIFA statement he was hopeful that the Iranian football federation and government authorities had been receptive to “our repeated calls to address this unacceptable situation”. He added, “Our position is clear and firm. Women have to be allowed into football stadiums in Iran. Now is the moment to change things and FIFA is expecting positive developments starting in the next Iran home match in October.”Iran, who have qualified for five World Cup finals, including each of the last two, host Cambodia on October 10 in their first home game of the 2022 qualifying competition. This month, a female fan died after setting herself on fire to protest against her arrest for attending a match.Sahar Khodayari, dubbed ‘Blue Girl’ for the colours of her favourite team, Esteghlal, died in hospital after her self-immolation outside a court where she feared being jailed for six months, having attended the match in disguise as a man.Khodayari’s death has caused widespread outrage in Iran and internationally, prompting calls on social media for Iran’s football federation to be suspended or banned by FIFA.Critics say FIFA’s own statutes hold discrimination on grounds of gender punishable by suspension or expulsion. There were signs the situation regarding female fans in Iran was changing when a group of women got permission to attend the second leg of the Asian Champions League final in Tehran last November, a match where Infantino was present.Female fans, however, have been denied access to matches since. At Iran’s friendly against Syria in June, women were locked out of the Azadi Stadium and detained by security forces. Infantino said a FIFA delegation was now in Iran. “I am looking forward to hearing good news from them,” he said.last_img read more

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Cuba demolish Honduras in Group C Women’s U-20 battle

first_imgSANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (CMC) – Cuba secured a 6-1 victory against Honduras as action in Group C of the Women’s Under-20 Championship (CUW) continued on Monday at the Estadio Olimpico Felix Sanchez here.Maristania Mengana opened the scoring for the Spanish side in the 21st minute before Analia Cespedes doubled the margin in the 44th.A Giselle Guzman own goal in the 53th minute stretched the lead to 3-0, but Honduras would pull a goal back a minute later, through Maylin Menjivar.However, any thoughts of a Honduras comeback fell by the wayside as a second goal from Cespedes, followed by goals from Katheryn Rodriguez and Cecil Aldana sealed the win for the Cubans.Earlier, in a battle of the opening match victors, the United States came away with a 4-0 win over the Dominican Republic.The U.S. was aided by a quick start, as a pair of Mia Fishel goals in the third and twelfth minutes sandwiched a score from Rebecca Jarrett in the eighth.The four-time CUW champions then capped the day with a goal in the 65th minute from Brianna Pint.last_img read more

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Pietersen concerned about England pace post-Anderson, Broad

first_imgBy Sudipto GangulyMUMBAI (Reuters) – Kevin Pietersen is concerned about England’s test bowling resources when the long-serving pace duo of James Anderson and Stuart Broad call time on their careers, the former captain has told Reuters.The experienced new ball pair, both in their 30s, have recently said they were aiming to be part of England’s bid to reclaim the Ashes in Australia next year and would subsequently consider retirement.“I am worried about England’s Test team, when Broad and Anderson go. They are on their last legs at the moment,” Pietersen told Reuters in an interview.“If Broad and Anderson go, there’s going to be a big, big gap to fill. Do they have the bowlers?“Mark Wood is very good, however he’s full of injuries. And Joffra Archer, he’s also had that elbow injury during that South African series, so he hardly played.“So it will be about how quickly England can fill that gap because … if you can’t take 20 wickets in the Test match you really are behind the eight ball.”Anderson, 37, is Test cricket’s most prolific fast bowler with 584 victims but has not played since January when he suffered a rib injury in South Africa.Broad, who is second on England’s list with 485 wickets, is four years younger but does not see his playing career continuing as long as Anderson’s.Pietersen was more confident about the leadership of the team, though admitted he was among those who had reservations about Joe Root’s captaincy before the 3-1 Test series triumph in South Africa earlier this year.“I think that he came away from that tour a much better leader, a much better captain, and with a lot more respect from a lot of people that had reservations about him leading into that Test tour in South Africa,” he said.SENSATIONAL STOKES England held Australia to a 2-2 draw in last year’s home Ashes series but even then needed Ben Stokes’s brilliant unbeaten 135 to win the third Test in thrilling fashion at Headingley.The New Zealand-born all-rounder also played a spectacular leading role in England’s 50-overs World Cup triumph in 2019 and was Player of the Series in South Africa.“He’s been absolutely sensational over the last few years,” said Pietersen.“We all knew he had cricketing talent, we all knew he had the ability to turn the game on its head.“But for him to consistently do it, and for him to prepare the way that he continues to prepare, and to play the way that he plays, he is a huge asset to that England team.”Despite his appreciation for Stokes’s abilities, Pietersen said it was too soon to compare the 28-year-old with England great Ian Botham.“Comparing people, I think you can only do at the end of a career,” said Pietersen, who scored more than 8,000 runs for England in 104 tests.“In terms of match winning they’re right up there with each other. They both win games, single-handedly, so the comparisons I think are quite unfair while a guy is still playing.“I hated being compared to people. I just wanted to play and be me.”South African-born Pietersen has continued to be himself after retiring from cricket in 2018, becoming deeply involved in animal conservation and highlighting the plight of the rhinoceros.His charity, Save our Rhino Africa/India (SORAI), will be relaunched towards the end of June.last_img read more

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Aussies name huge 26-player group with eye on UK tour

first_imgUNCAPPED trio Daniel Sams, Riley Meredith and Josh Philippe are among a preliminary list of 26 players named yesterday by national selectors as Australia’s men’s team looks towards a return to on-field action.Australia’s next assignment is yet to be confirmed, although Cricket Australia and the England & Wales Cricket Board are in discussions about a limited-overs series in the UK in September.With that in mind, selectors have identified 26 players of interest, a large group that will help cover a range of contingencies for a possible England tour, which will likely be played in a bio-secure ‘bubble’, meaning replacement players won’t be able to be drafted in.A final squad will be named if and when the tour is confirmed.Other notable names on the list of 26 are Glenn Maxwell, who hasn’t played for Australia since October, as well as batsmen Travis Head and Usman Khawaja, who have recently been out of favour in white-ball cricket.Paceman Andrew Tye has also been named despite not being offered a state contract by Western Australia for this season.Victoria’s Peter Handscomb and veterans Shaun Marsh and Nathan Coulter-Nile, who were all part of Australia’s World Cup campaign last year, were all overlooked while WA pace duo Jhye Richardson and Jason Behrendorff were not considered due to injury.Other players of note to have not been named are Test quick James Pattinson, recent ODI and T20 squad member Ashton Turner and domestic stars like Cameron Green, Daniel Hughes, Nathan Ellis and Jono Wells.Ben Oliver, CA’s Executive General Manager of National Teams, said while officials are still working through the logistics of touring England, the announcement of a 26-man group of players gives everyone some much-needed clarity.“The ECB are a long-standing and valued international cricket partner and we are doing all we can to give the tour the best possible chance of taking place,” he said.“We continue to work with the ECB and government agencies and a decision on the tour will be made in due course.“In the meantime, the identification of a preliminary list will enable us to work with players and states more directly on the preparation for the tour in the hope it can proceed.“The health and wellbeing of players and staff, along with our commitment to public health within our communities, remain our utmost priority.”A short tour consisting of three ODIs and three T20s was originally scheduled for this month but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.If the tour goes ahead, it would likely require players and coaches to be quarantined in hubs during the series – like the England and West Indies players are currently – while members of the touring party may also need to quarantine when they return to Australia.“This preliminary list covers the contingencies of playing One-Day Internationals and T20 Internationals in bio-secure hubs with the likely prospect of not being able to bring in replacements should the tour proceed,” selector Trevor Hohns said.“The preliminary list includes several exciting young players who have recently excelled at state level and in the BBL. These emerging players are those we would like to develop further as we believe they have a bright future in Australian cricket.“The preliminary list also has a view towards the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup and in the longer term the 2023 ICC World Cup.”Australia’s preliminary squad: Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Michael Neser, Josh Philippe, Daniel Sams, D’Arcy Short, Kane Richardson, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa.(Cricket.comau)last_img read more

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