Azhar Mahmood says Mickey Arthur would be a great choice to succeed England head coach Trevor Bayliss.

Arthur is seeking a new challenge after it was announced on Wednesday that he will not stay on as Pakistan head coach.

Bowling coach Mahmood, batting coach Grant Flower and trainer Grant Luden also departed this week after their contracts expired.

The vastly experienced Arthur is reportedly a contender to replace Bayliss when the Ashes series against Australia ends next month.

Mahmood believes Arthur could be a resounding success if he lands the job and the former Pakistan all-rounder - who lives in England - would relish the opportunity to work with the South African again.

He told Omnisport: "Mickey has served South Africa, he's served Australia. He's been around for a while, so why not, I think he would do a great job

"I'd love to work with Mickey, we had a great relationship and if he becomes head coach and I had the opportunity to stay and work in England, you can't ask for anything more than that."

Mahmood added: "Mickey is very passionate, very emotional. He does things with his heart 100 per cent, whatever he does. I had a great time working with him, I learned a lot from him and I think he was the right man for Pakistan.

"Unfortunately, according to the pundits, we didn't produce, but there are issues with the fitness culture of players in Pakistan, there are a lot of unfit players. Our fielding, batting and bowling improved. People have to be given time, you can't produce overnight. 

"Throughout the period they [the Pakistan Cricket Board] never decided on a captain full-time, that was a problem."

Mahmood said he is open to opportunities in international and domestic cricket.

"I'm looking at my options, it's good to have a little bit of a break but I've already had offers, my phone has been ringing a lot and that was also the case while I was doing the job with Pakistan," he said.

"I have a lot to offer, I played one-day cricket and have been involved in the T20 format all over the world. 

"I would love to work in a capacity where I can pass on my huge experience, whether that be in domestic cricket in England so I can spend more time with my family, while also possibly working in tournaments in other countries.

"If an international opportunity comes up, then let's see. I am open to everything right now. People know I am available now so there is a lot of interest, I just need to work out which is best for my future."

Rumesh Ratnayake has been named interim head coach of Sri Lanka, who appear to be ushering Chandika Hathurusingha towards the exit.

Ratnayake will lead the team for the upcoming series against New Zealand.

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) stated on Wednesday that Hathurusingha, who has been head coach since December 2017, was consequently removed from his role.

However, it is claimed SLC has not yet agreed a deal to sack Hathurusingha, who would reportedly be due a significant severance package.

SLC president Shammi Silva said: "We have appointed Rumesh Ratnayake as interim coach.

"The decisions made from behind the scenes have been successful, but some of the decisions have not been made public. All these decisions are for the benefit of Sri Lankan cricket.

"When we came to power, there was not much time left before the World Cup. We actually had less than two months left.

"We wanted to work on changing the coach, but we had to use the former coach because of the World Cup."

Hathurusingha told ESPN: "As far as I'm concerned, my contract with SLC is still there. The letter [from SLC] doesn't say anything about termination of contract or anything like that."

West Indies T20 captain Carlos Brathwaite has come to the defence of injured teammate Andre Russell, who he believes has come in for some harsh press after a number of injuries have impacted his international output.

After feeling discomfort during the Global T20 Canada, Andre Russell asked to be excused from duty for the West Indies in the first T20 internationals against India in the Caribbean.

During a pre-match press conference, Brathwaite, made it clear where he stood on the issue.

Brathwaite tackled those who thought Russell did a disservice to the West Indies’ World Cup hopes, saying:

"And speaking for myself as captain of the T20 team and speaking for myself as Andre's friend, whenever we speak about playing for West Indies, that's always his main goal. And we've seen in the World Cup -whether he was 100% or not, it's debatable - but the fact that he wanted to be at the World Cup, wanted to pull on the shirt and wanted to perform for the people in the West Indies and his mates in the dressing room, I think, is testament to the person he is. And I think we need to start commending the fact that he actually tries to get on the park and stop lambasting the fact that he probably doesn't stay on it till the end of the 50 overs or the 20 overs,” said Brathwaite.

According to the skipper, the more important part of the equation, is Russell’s willingness to play for the West Indies.

"I think he's been knocked in the press a bit because of his injury woes. And I think it's easy for us to see him hobbling around the field and just take for granted that he's injured but we can also look at it on the other side and say he can be home, he could be elsewhere and not trying to play for the West Indies.

Russell, Brathwaite revealed, would have played in these T20s if prodded to do so, despite his less-than-100 per cent fitness status.

"Even against my better judgment, I told him to sit out this series, but he really wanted to play, he really wanted to come and show off his skills and show off what he does in franchise cricket for the West Indies. Unfortunately, he took another knock and he doesn't think that if he comes here that he'd be doing justice to other people who could be here and are 100%. Obviously, he's a big loss, not only on the field but off the field. In the dressing room, in and around the team, he's a big character, very jovial and in my eyes, a leader in the dressing room as well,” said Brathwaite.

The skipper then asked that the press look at the bigger picture, because there were other tournaments the West Indies have an eye on doing well at, tournaments Russell will be important to.

“ … Obviously, if we need to get him ready for the Twenty20 World Cup, we have to do without him for a couple of series, I prefer that than pushing him in this series and making a long term injury.”

Joe Root baulked at the suggestion he is under less pressure to deliver an Ashes series win because of his part in England's Cricket World Cup victory.

England and Australia resume their famous rivalry at Edgbaston on Thursday, the first of five Tests in a packed seven-week schedule as the hosts aim to build upon their breathless triumph over New Zealand at Lord's with another memorable success in the longest format.

Root was England's leading runs scorer as Eoin Morgan's men lifted the trophy, comfortably dispatching Australia in the semi-finals en route to glory.

But the 28-year-old is captain once again for Test duties, as he was when Australia took back possession of the urn with a 4-0 win on home soil 18 months ago.

"I think if you speak to anyone that's captained England and is on the verge of an Ashes series… to say that it doesn't mean as much as any other event, I don't think any of them would agree. It's huge," Root, who will step up again to the crucial number three position in England's brittle top order, told a pre-match news conference.

"Cricket in this country is at an all-time high and probably has interest it's not had for a long time. We've got an opportunity as a team to make this summer a very memorable one."

It is a joust limited-overs specialist Morgan will watch from afar.

Root spoke warmly of the Irishman's influence on his leadership of the Test team as he seeks to plot a similarly defining triumph.

"I'm sure he's still celebrating somewhere, to be honest," Root grinned. "He's obviously desperate for us to do well.

"He's been great with me in terms of helping me find my feet as a captain and someone I will always will look up to.

"He's a great man and a great leader. He'll be as supportive as anyone watching on from wherever he is – hopefully with a glass of red somewhere."

Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes return to the England side after sitting out last week's topsy-turvy Test win over Ireland – the duo prescribed rest after showing nerves of steel to guide England towards and through the super-over finale versus New Zealand.

"When you look back at that final and everything that it threw at the group who played in it, those are experiences you can hold with you for ever," Root said, acknowledging the lingering benefit such exploits could have over the coming weeks.

"For people like Jos and Ben, who spent a long period out there under pressure, it must make you think differently and it'll be interesting to see that unfold throughout this series.

"It can only be positive to have two senior players perform for a long period of time under the biggest scrutiny and pressure in the white-ball format.

"They've got a chance now to take that into the red-ball stuff and into this series."

Angelo Mathews guided Sri Lanka to a commanding 122-run win over Bangladesh in Colombo to complete a 3-0 ODI series whitewash.

The experienced all-rounder anchored the hosts' innings masterfully, making 87 out of 294 for eight – a target that always looked likely to be well beyond the tourists on a slowing pitch.

Seamer Kasun Rajitha, playing his first match of the series, staked a convincing claim in the early days of Sri Lanka's post-Lasith Malinga era in the 50-over format by ripping out Bangladesh captain Tamim Iqbal and fellow opener Anamul Haque early in the chase.

Rajitha finished with 2-17 from his five overs, while fellow seamer Dasun Shanaka reduced the middle order to rubble and was the pick of the Sri Lanka attack with 3-27 from six, as Bangladesh were dismissed for 172.

Sri Lanka were made to work for their imposing total after Avishka Fernando was trapped lbw by Shafiul Islam (3-68) in the fifth over.

Captain Dimuth Karunarate and wicketkeeper Kusal Perera steadied matters with 46 and 42 respectively but each fell caught at the wicket in quick succession.

That brought Mathews together with fellow half-centurion Kusal Mendis, who hit 54 from 58 deliveries despite a watchful start to their 101-run partnership.

Soumya Sarkar removed Mendis on his way to career-best figures of 3-56, but that brought Dasun Shanaka to the crease for an explosive 30 off 14 balls.

Mathews rode his luck as he was dropped on 32 and 63 before eventually falling to Soumya in the final over.

It was a fine all-round performance from the pick of Bangladesh's attack, but Soumya was powerless at the other end as Shanaka capitalised on Rajitha's early breakthroughs by removing Mushfiqur Rahim, Mohammad Mithun and Mahmudullah cheaply.

Soumya was the eighth man to go for 69, bowled by spinner Akila Dananjaya. The only other resistance of note came from Taijul Islam, who was left on 39 not out after last man Rubel Hossain was run out.

Virat Kohli has offered a strong response to reports he has fallen out with India vice-captain Rohit Sharma, insisting "we have had no issues".

There has been speculation over a rift between Kohli and his deputy Rohit since India were beaten in the Cricket World Cup semi-finals by New Zealand.

However, Kohli repeatedly described such stories as "baffling", "ridiculous" and "disrespectful" as he addressed the media on Monday.

The India skipper insists he has a good relationship with Rohit and the rest of his team-mates, questioning the reason for such reporting, given a lack of evidence.

"In my opinion, it is baffling, to be honest," he told a news conference. "It is absolutely ridiculous to read such stuff.

"I have been to public events and the public says to me, 'We have so much respect for you'.

"We are feeding off lies, we are overlooking facts and we are turning a blind eye to all the good things that have happened, creating fantasies and scenarios in our heads, wanting to accept this is the truth.

"I've seen this for too long now, bringing personal lives into the picture, it's disrespectful honestly. I've played the game for 11 years, Rohit's played the game for 10 years.

"It's bizarre that people are creating this on the outside. It baffles you as a leader, as a coach, as a team when lies are being floated around and are being made to look like they are believable. It's actually very disrespectful, to be honest."

Kohli added he does not understand who would benefit from claims that would do more harm than good to Indian cricket.

"If I don't like a person or if I'm insecure with a person, you will see that on my face or in my behaviour to a person - that's how simple it is," he continued.

"I have always praised Rohit whenever I have had an opportunity because I believe he is that good. We have had no issues. As I said, it's baffling, to be honest.

"I don't know who is benefiting from all of this. We here are living, breathing, working towards getting Indian cricket to the top. And here there are people who get some kind of pleasure in bringing it down.

"I don't understand how that works. You work hard for four years to bring a team from seven to one [in the world rankings], and after four years, what are we talking about?

"Within the team, it's for everyone to see our camaraderie and friendship - and it's evident on the field. You can't play with that kind of passion if people don't get along with each other. It's as simple as that.

"It's baffling and it's time we focus on bringing Indian cricket forward and not on things that are not even there at the moment."

Sunil Gavaskar has hit out at the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) selectors ahead of India's tour of West Indies, labelling the body "lame ducks" over Virat Kohli continuing as captain.

India exited the Cricket World Cup in the semi-finals, losing to New Zealand after topping the group stage table under Kohli.

He will continue to lead the team in the United States and the Caribbean, though, with Gavaskar questioning why there was no discussions about Kohli's position after India failed to reach the World Cup final.

In a column in Indian outlet Mid Day, Gavaskar said: "That they selected the team for West Indies without first having a meeting to select the captain brings up the question of whether Virat Kohli is the captain of the team at his or the selection committee's pleasure.

"To the best of our knowledge his [Kohli’s] appointment was till the World Cup. After that, it was incumbent on the selectors to meet, even if it was for five minutes for his reappointment."

The India great continued: "Speaking of lame ducks, the Indian selection committee appears to be one.

"After the reappointment, he [Kohli] gets invited to the meeting for his views on selecting the players for the team.

"By bypassing the procedure, the message that goes out is that while the players like Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik get dropped after below-expectations performance, the captain continues despite much below-par expectations, where the team did not even reach the final."

India play the first of three T20 internationals against West Indies on August 3, with three ODI games following before a two-match Test series.

Regardless of who lifts the urn at The Oval in September, one Australian who is plotting Ashes glory should forever be revered in England.

Just 16 months ago Trevor Bayliss was facing calls for him to be axed as England head coach after New Zealand rolled Joe Root's side for only 58 in an embarrassing first-Test defeat in Auckland.

That came on the back of a chastening 4-0 Ashes thumping in Australia, where Bayliss also fended off questions over his future – much more assertively than the tourists did with the Australia bowling attack.

Bayliss would be entitled to feel he had more than enough credit in the bank at that point, having masterminded a transformation of the ODI side from a Cricket World Cup shambles in 2015 to a major force.

There was no word from his critics when top-ranked England were crowned world champions for the first time this month, an ambitious mission that he was challenged to achieve when he took the reins four years ago.

The unassuming Bayliss started his tenure with a home Ashes win and could sign off with another before stepping aside at the end of the series.

An emphatic home Test series win over India and two series victories against South Africa have also been achieved with the former Sri Lanka coach at the helm, as well as a run to the final of the 2016 World T20.

Paul Farbrace, long-time assistant to the man from New South Wales both with England and Sri Lanka, knows as well as anybody why Bayliss has been so successful over the years.

He told Omnisport: "It's very easy when you are a coach to talk a lot, it's very hard not to say a lot and when you do speak, you speak at the right time and you say the right thing.

"That is where I think he is a genius, in that when he speaks, people listen and when he speaks, he genuinely says something that is very good and you think 'that is a great point'.

"There is a lot of things Trevor gets underestimated about. He appears to sit quietly and not say a lot, but he gets his point across and he knows what is going on all the time in the game, he never misses a ball.

"He is a genuine cricket lover and he's passionate about the game, with exceptional knowledge. He may forget the odd name, but he doesn't forget too much about the game.

"He has been the perfect fit for England over the last four years. The World Cup was the goal four years ago and that's what they have achieved."

Farbrace added: "It's a special summer for English cricket; a home World Cup and Ashes in the same six-month period, it's magnificent for the game in this country at all levels of the game.

"There's never been a better time to introduce people to get involved in the game of cricket. If England can win the Ashes it would be the perfect way to see things home and I see no reason why they can't do that."

Whether or not England regain the Ashes, Bayliss can leave the job with his head held high, although he may prefer to stay poker-faced wearing dark shades under his floppy sun hat to stay out of the limelight.

Ryan Sidebottom believes Chris Silverwood should be given the chance to replace Trevor Bayliss as England head coach.

Silverwood was appointed as England bowling coach after masterminding Essex's 2017 County Championship triumph.

Bayliss will end his four-year tenure after an Ashes series that starts at Edgbaston on Thursday, just a few weeks after England lifted the Cricket World Cup for the first time at Lord's.

Sidebottom thinks Silverwood can step up with former England captain Paul Collingwood staying in the set-up to assist him.

The ex-England seamer told Omnisport: "You've got Chris Silverwood and Paul Collingwood already in the set-up, why not pass on the baton to guys who know the players and then bring in a couple of new men - that is how I would see it.

"In Chris Silverwood as coach and Colly assistant you would have two young, hungry guys who know the lads really well and so I would not look too far from those two guys.

"That would bring continuity, which I think is really important on the back of the World Cup and hopefully an Ashes win."

Sidebottom is expecting a tight series against Australia, but thinks England will regain the urn.

He added: "I think they are two really strong bowling attacks. If Australia keep their bowlers fit they are going to trouble our batsmen.

"I reckon it might be quite close, of course I have to say England because they are stronger when you look through the squads, they have got the better batting line-up but England and Australia are very vulnerable to collapses.

"I think England will just shade it. Obviously the top three is still an issue for us, so that is something that everybody will be looking at but I think it will be a cracking series."

 

Sri Lanka completed their first home ODI series victory since November 2015 by defeating Bangladesh by seven wickets to go 2-0 up in the three-match clash.

Avishka Fernando, who only made seven in the series opener, led Sri Lanka to a comfortable victory in Colombo on Sunday by hammering a superb 82.

Sri Lanka, in their first ODI since the retirement of star bowler Lasith Malinga, were already well on their way to reaching their target of 239 when Fernando departed.

It was left to Kusal Mendis (41) and Angelo Mathews (52) to steer them home with over five overs remaining in another mismatch.

Mushfiqur Rahim anchored the Bangladesh innings with his 98 not out enabling the Tigers to set a total of 238-8, having earlier been reduced to 88-5.

But despite becoming only the third Bangladeshi to pass 6,000 ODI runs Mushfiqur missed out on a century in farcical scenes in the closing over as Taijul Islam bizarrely ran himself out.

Mehidy Hasan hit six boundaries to make 43 alongside Mushfiqur in a vital stand of 84 but Bangladesh's score, after they won the toss and opted to bat, never looked likely to be enough.

Isuru Udana, who replaced Malinga in the hosts' XI, took two wickets but it was the recalled Akila Dananjaya who starred with excellent figures of 2-39.

Mehidy removed Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne with a beauty for 15 but the 21-year-old Fernando further burnished his growing reputation with another outstanding innings.

Fernando failed to convert for his second ODI century, falling to Mustafizur Rahman (2-50), but his barrage of nine fours and two sixes had Bangladesh on the ropes.

After Kusal Perera made 30, Mendis and Mathews completed the run chase with ease, the latter reaching his half-century by hitting a boundary for the winning runs.

Sri Lanka won the first ODI of the series by 91 runs and will aim to complete a whitewash in Colombo on Wednesday, with Bangladesh hoping to arrest a run of four straight defeats.

Lasith Malinga has played his final ODI, starring for Sri Lanka in Friday's victory against Bangladesh in Colombo.

The Lions seamer went out in style as he took three wickets for 38 runs - his dismissal of Mustafizur Rahman wrapping up the win - in a 91-run triumph.

Malinga will continue to play 20-over internationals until next year's T20 World Cup, but it was in the 50-over format that he first established himself as a worldwide bowling icon.

Marking the end of a brilliant career, we take a look at how he compares to the very best.

 

ONE OF SRI LANKA'S ELITE

Malinga ends his career at number three on Sri Lanka's list of ODI wicket-takers, having claimed 338 from 220 innings.

Only the great Muttiah Muralitharan (523) and Chaminda Vaas (399) can better that tally, both playing considerably more innings - 334 and 319 respectively.

That puts Malinga ahead of Sanath Jayasuriya, Nuwan Kulasekara, Dilhara Fernando and team-mate Thisara Perera, with his average of 28.87 better than each of those four players, too.

 

HIS PLACE AMONG THE GREATS

Those figures unsurprisingly put Malinga high on the all-time worldwide list, too.

The 35-year-old is ninth in a table that again sees compatriot Muralitharan on top, also trailing Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Vaas, Shahid Afridi, Shaun Pollock, Glenn McGrath and Brett Lee.

Counting only seamers in ODIs, Malinga is seventh, with Javagal Srinath (315 wickets) the next after him.

He also collected three hat-tricks, which is more than any other bowler in ODI history, while he had eight five-wicket hauls.

 

A GENUINE WORLD CUP STAR

A rare bowling list that Muralitharan does not lead is that of Cricket World Cup wickets, where he is second behind McGrath. Malinga, with 56, 15 behind the leader, is third.

That total came from just 28 innings as Malinga produced his best on the big stage, playing in four World Cups (2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019) and taking 12 or more wickets in each of them. No other bowler has taken at least 10 wickets in more than three tournaments.

Sri Lanka were runners-up in 2007 and 2011, and big-game player Malinga took a hat-trick in each tournament. He took four wickets from four balls for the first of those against South Africa.

Kusal Perera's blistering century set up Lasith Malinga for a triumphant ODI farewell as Sri Lanka crushed Bangladesh by 91 runs in Colombo.

Malinga laced his bowling boots for the final time in the 50-over format and removed openers Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar with trademark yorkers as Bangladesh' pursuit of 314-8 began its limp towards 223 all out.

The visitors faced such a lofty total thanks to Perera's superb 111 off 99 balls, which featured 17 fours and a six, while Kusal Mendis and Angelo Mathews played astute hands for 43 and 48 respectively.

Mathews' long-time colleague Malinga was the man the fans had come to see and he did not disappoint, closing the show to huge acclaim as Thisara Perera held a steepler to halt a breezy 18 from last man Mustafizur Rahman – the great fast bowler departing with 3-38 off 9.4 overs, the pick of Sri Lanka's attack one last time.

Malinga's new ball partner Nuwan Pradeep took 3-51 and Bangladesh's Shafiul Islam was another seamer to prosper (3-62).

Shafiul encouraged Avishka Fernando to chase a ball outside off stump and edge to slip, although that brought Kusal Perera into the fray.

He added a brisk 97 in 73 balls alongside Dimuth Karunaratne before the skipper top-edged a sweep off Mehidy Hasan Miraz to Mustafizur to fall for 36.

Mendis was the next willing accomplice for the centurion as they put on 100 for the third wicket, with Kusal Perera reaching his milestone via a four to the midwicket boundary off Mosaddek Hossain in the 28th over.

Sri Lanka's scoring predictably slowed after the returning Soumya accounted for Kusal Perera, who tamely lobbed a catch to Mustafizur at short fine leg, and Mendis feathered Rubel Hossain behind in the following over.

Mathews used all his experience to guide the hosts beyond 300 before falling to Mustafizur (2-75) in the penultimate over.

Malinga - who is set to continue playing T20 internationals - and Pradeep's efforts at the top of the order had Bangladesh tottering on 39-4 in the 12th over.

Mushfiqur Rahim and Sabbir Rahman combined pleasingly in a stand of 111, although the game was up when the latter holed out to Fernando off Dhananjaya de Silva (2-49) for 60.

Pradeep had Mushfiqur strangled down the leg side for 67 and the man of the hour, Malinga, could enjoy his closing spell with the game in the bag.

The second game of the three-match series takes place in Colombo on Sunday.

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."

Ben Stokes is "flattered" to be nominated for the New Zealander of the Year award but England's Cricket World Cup hero says Kane Williamson should receive the accolade.

Votes were cast for the New Zealand-born all-rounder to claim the prize last week after he was named man of the match following a decisive innings in a World Cup final defeat of the Black Caps at Lord's.

However, Stokes believes New Zealand captain Williamson is the man who should be given the honour.

"I am flattered to be nominated for New Zealander of the Year. I am proud of my New Zealand and Maori heritage but it would not sit right with me to be nominated for this prestigious award," said the 28-year-old.

"There are people who deserve this recognition more and have done a lot more for the country of New Zealand.

"I have helped England lift a World Cup and my life is firmly established in the UK – it has been since I was 12 years old.

"I feel the whole country should align their support to New Zealand captain Kane Williamson. He should be revered as a Kiwi legend. He led his team in this World Cup with distinction and honour. 

"He was the player of the tournament and an inspirational leader of men. He shows humility and empathy to every situation and is an all-round good bloke.

"He typifies what it is to be a New Zealander. He would be a worthy recipient of this accolade. New Zealand, fully support him. He deserves it and gets my vote."

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