When does banter become sledging? - SportsMax Zone reacts to Shannon Gabriel's ban

By Sports Desk February 14, 2019

Shannon Gabriel has been banned for four matches for abusive language toward another player. But the ban has brought with it questions and for the second day in a row, the SportsMax Zone panel takes a critical look at the issues.

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  • Hollioake champions Roy for Ashes and urges Root to step up Hollioake champions Roy for Ashes and urges Root to step up

    Adam Hollioake believes Jason Roy is ready to be unleashed on Australia in the Ashes and wants to see Joe Root step up and bat at number three.

    Roy will make his Test debut against Ireland at Lord's on Wednesday after playing a huge role in England's maiden Cricket World Cup triumph on home soil.

    Former England ODI captain Hollioake thinks Roy and Surrey team-mate Rory Burns are the right men to open, with Keaton Jennings axed again following a poor series against West Indies.

    Hollioake also feels captain Root should take it upon himself to solve the problem number three slot in the Ashes series opener at Edgbaston next week.

    "I'd have Jason Roy in the side and I'd open with him. I'd definitely have him in the side after the way he played in the World Cup," Hollioake told Omnisport.

    "And I would like to see Root go in at three, there's no doubt he is good enough as he is England's best batsman.

    "If you have someone else who wants to do it and he can remain at four, that is great, but I can't see there is that much difference between three and four.

    "I'd like to see Burns and Roy open. It's nice to have a bit of familiarity and it's right hand with left hand.

    "They played last year together in Surrey's Championship-winning side, it has a nice feel about it."

  • 'Exceptional' Malinga praised ahead of ODI swansong for Sri Lanka 'Exceptional' Malinga praised ahead of ODI swansong for Sri Lanka

    Sri Lanka Cricket president Shammi Silva hailed Lasith Malinga as an all-time great after the paceman announced he will make his final ODI appearance on Friday.

    Malinga is to finish his stellar international career in the 50-over format after the opening game in the three-match series against Bangladesh in Colombo.

    The limited-overs specialist is third on the list of Sri Lanka's leading ODI wicket-takers, claiming 335 in 225 matches.

    Silva lavished praised on the 35-year-old, who will remain available for Twenty20 International selection.

    "Lasith Malinga is an exceptional player, who has contributed immensely to the game of cricket in Sri Lanka," Silva said.

    "His departure from ODI cricket opens up a door for young bowlers to come and emulate what Malinga has done, while playing for the country."

  • Roy and Stone handed England Test debuts against Ireland Roy and Stone handed England Test debuts against Ireland

    Jason Roy and Olly Stone will make their Test debuts when England host Ireland at Lord's on Wednesday, captain Joe Root has confirmed.

    Roy becomes the latest player to try his hand in the problem position of opener for England in the longest format, having shown blistering form at the top of the order during his country's triumphant Cricket World Cup campaign.

    The 29-year-old boasts nine ODI hundreds and 18 half-centuries and will open alongside Surrey team-mate Rory Burns, with Kent's Joe Denly slated to come in at three ahead of skipper Root.

    "I think with Jason I just want him to go and be himself out there and trust his instincts as much as possible," Root said at a news conference on Tuesday.

    "He's got very good instincts, he reads the game very well and he brings something different to our Test batting side for sure.

    "He's a proven performer in international cricket so he's fully capable of making big contributions at the top of the order. I hope he doesn't try and play differently."

    A sweltering weather forecast for the one-off Test has contributed to the decision to field two spinners, with Somerset left-armer Jack Leach slotting in alongside all-rounder Moeen Ali.

    Leach's county colleague Lewis Gregory misses out, with paceman Stone getting the nod having recovered from the back injury that forced him out of England's tour of the Caribbean earlier this year.

    Side injuries sustained by Mark Wood and Jofra Archer could combine to create an Ashes opening for Stone, with the five-match series against arch-rivals Australia beginning at Edgbaston next week.

    "I think he's got good pace, that's one thing that he brings to this group and this squad – an extra bit of pace, something different to turn to," Root said of the 25-year-old.

    England team:

    Jason Roy, Rory Burns, Joe Denly, Joe Root (captain), Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, Jack Leach, Olly Stone

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