Zone Blitz: Marley, JFF must work out differences

By George Dave, Mariah Ramharack&Lance Whittaker July 12, 2019

Jamaica Reggae Girlz patron Cedella Marley recently expressed strong disapproval of how the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) handles funding.

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  • Ashes 2019: Root urges England to 'jump on' third Test chance with Smith out Ashes 2019: Root urges England to 'jump on' third Test chance with Smith out

    Captain Joe Root says England must "jump on" the opportunity created by Steve Smith's absence for Australia in the third Ashes Test.

    Smith was inspirational in securing a 1-0 lead for Australia after two matches, but he will be missing from the third fixture at Headingley due to a concussion after taking a Jofra Archer bouncer to the neck last time out at Lord's.

    Archer was instrumental in England coming back into the series in the match, although the hosts ultimately settled for a draw.

    Root wants to see Archer impress again as he compared Smith's absence to when England's all-time leading Test wicket-taker James Anderson hobbled out of the series opener.

    "When you're playing someone of his quality, you're looking for a number of different ways to get him out," Root said of Archer's approach to trying to dismiss Smith.

    "I felt the way that Jofra bowled in that spell made for great cricket. It's great to be on the field to be a part of that. We felt like we were creating chances all the time.

    "But you never want to see someone go off injured like that, you never want to see someone be walked off the field and for him to miss this game.

    "There was a lot of concern in our dressing room for his health. It's great to see that he's actually up and about and he's fine and looks as though he's happy within himself.

    "It's very unfortunate on their part. We had the challenge of Jimmy [Anderson] going down four overs into a Test match and had to manage that without a replacement.

    "You get these swings within a big series like this, every now and again, and when you get your opportunity, you've got to jump on it.

    "They'll be huge shoes to fill for whoever comes in for him in Australia's batting line-up and we've got to make sure that we keep trying to exploit these techniques on these wickets."

    Asked if Australia, led by Pat Cummins, might match Archer's aggressive assault on batsmen, Root replied: "We'll see. Those are things you have to manage within the game.

    "I feel like the guys know what type of bowling [Cummins] is capable of doing. We've seen him do that before in Test cricket. It's just about managing the situation when you face it.

    "If he does go to that and the conditions suit pitching it up and swinging it, and it plays into our favour, we'll have to wait and see."

    England have had their own concussion issue to deal with this week, with Jason Roy set for a final assessment on Thursday after passing an initial examination.

    Ollie Pope has been called in as cover and would likely come in at number four, with Joe Denly moving up to replace opener Roy.

    Root would not confirm the England XI regardless of Roy's fitness, as Sam Curran remains in contention after again being included in a 12-man squad.

  • Ashes 2019: Australia must fill Smith void as a team, says Paine Ashes 2019: Australia must fill Smith void as a team, says Paine

    Tim Paine wants Australia to fill the void left by Steve Smith as a team when they attempt to take an unassailable lead in the Ashes.

    Australia can move 2-0 ahead and retain the urn with victory in the third Test at Headingley, which starts on Thursday.

    However, they will have to do without talisman Smith, whose sensational series has been halted at least temporarily by a concussion he suffered when he was struck by a Jofra Archer delivery in the drawn second Test at Lord's.

    Smith scored centuries in both innings in Australia's win at Edgbaston and made 92 at Lord's before being trapped lbw by Chris Woakes after returning following his head injury assessment.

    He did not bat in the second innings and Marnus Labuschagne excelled as his concussion replacement, his 59 helping Australia save the match.

    The first ball Labuschagne faced saw him struck by Archer, but he was composed thereafter and will take Smith's place after the former captain was ruled out.

    Paine, though, does not want the burden of replacing Smith to be entirely on his shoulders.

    "He's strange," Paine said of Labuschagne at a media conference. "He seems to enjoy getting hit on the head.

    "We do it [replace Smith] as a team. Clearly, they're huge shoes to fill. We want our senior players to make sure we give that little bit more output, cover Steve the best we can."

    Asked about Smith's reaction to his enforced absence, Paine replied: "He's disappointed obviously, but he along with the rest of the group understand why he isn't [playing].

    "There's a strong medical process in place, Steve has to tick a lot of boxes [to make sure he's ready to play in the fourth Test]."

    Much of the build-up to the match has focused on how Australia are to handle Archer, whose superb second-innings spell saw him take 3-32 in one of the most exciting Test cricket debuts of recent memory.

    Paine insists Australia are prepared for more of the same at Headingley, adding: "We copped some short pitch bowling, guys have got plans in place and we've prepared really well for it, it's now about going out and executing.

    "When someone is bowling fast and the crowd's up and about it's exciting. It's great for Test match cricket, the interest it's sparked in the last week, 10 days is great for the game. We're looking forward to the challenge again this week."

    The skipper also indicated Australia will alter their attack, with the pitch not expected to provide as much help for the seamers. 

    "We're obviously looking at maybe a bowling change," said Paine. "Whatever line-up we pick we expect the guys will be able to handle it [the pitch] or adapt to it quickly."

  • Ashes 2019: Paine backs Warner to excel without Smith in third Test Ashes 2019: Paine backs Warner to excel without Smith in third Test

    Tim Paine expects to see "the very best David Warner" in the third Ashes Test, believing the opener will thrive with the responsibility that comes with Steve Smith's absence.

    Australia star Warner has endured a dismal series so far in England as he returns to Test cricket following a 12-month ban for his role in the team's ball-tampering scandal.

    The 32-year-old has made just two, eight, three and five in his four Ashes innings as Smith, who was also suspended for a year, has done the heavy lifting to give the tourists a 1-0 series lead.

    But Smith will be missing at Headingley this week due to the concussion suffered when he took a Jofra Archer bouncer to the neck in the second match at Lord's.

    Warner, a senior figure, is among those under pressure to step up, and captain Paine foresees him doing exactly that.

    "I'm very confident [Warner will return to form]," Paine said. "I've spoken a lot about the fact he averages close to 50 in Test cricket [46.9] and he's done that over a long period of time.

    "I think with Steve missing this game, it might be the little poke and prod that Davey needs. He likes that responsibility.

    "And my experience with Davey is that, when people doubt him and his back is against the wall, he comes out swinging. I'm expecting the very best David Warner this week."

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