Usman Khawaja has revealed he is "very shocked" at the financial situation Cricket Australia (CA) finds itself in due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

CA stood down the vast majority of its staff on reduced pay from April 27 until the end of the financial year, with concerns over when international action will be able to resume.

Australia are due to stage the ICC T20 World Cup, as well as welcome India for a lucrative tour, yet their home schedule could be at risk because of the global health crisis.

Admitting it is disappointing how the situation has played out, Khawaja hopes CA and the Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) can work together to come through what he feels is a cash-flow problem that could have been avoided.

"I was very shocked. I knew our projections for revenue were still very high and I think they still are, depending on what happens with the India series," he told Fox Sports.

"It's a bit confusing. I don't have all the financial information in front of me, but it seems like it's more of a cash-flow problem at the moment.

"There's obviously a little bit of mismanagement there somewhere, with the portfolio and putting a lot of money into the share market.

"To me that's Business 101. To make sure you have enough cash reserves if c**p hits the fan.

"So I'm a little bit disappointed on that front ... but what's been done is done now, so it's just our responsibility as CA and ACA to work through this."

Khawaja was absent from the list of players to be handed national contracts by CA this week, having not played a Test since being dropped during the 2019 Ashes in England.

The left-hander, who averages over 40 in the longest format, still believes he is one of the best six batsmen in the country and feels the criticism of his play against spin is unjustified.

"Without sounding arrogant, I still feel like I'm one of the top six batsmen in the country," Khawaja said.

"My playing against spin has been right up there as some of the best in the county. Bar maybe Steve Smith, who is an absolute genius.

"But the most important thing is to score runs."

Australia have replaced India at the top of the ICC Test rankings and are also the number one Twenty20 side in the world.

India had been the top-ranked Test side since October 2016 but have dropped to third behind Tim Paine's men and New Zealand.

Australia lead the way with 116 points, with the Black Caps on 115 and Virat Kohli's side - still top of the Test Championship - amassing 114. South Africa dropped below Sri Lanka into sixth spot.

Results from 2016-17 were wiped off when the latest rankings were calculated, with matches played since May last year rated at 100 per cent and those from the previous two years 50 per cent.

Australia drew the Ashes series in England 2-2 last year before whitewashing Pakistan and New Zealand on home soil. 

There have been plenty of changes in the T20 order, with Australia rising to the summit for the first time since rankings were introduced in 2011.

They replace Pakistan, who slip to fourth, with England up to second and India into third.

World champions England have increased their advantage over India at the top of the ODI rankings to eight points.

Australia national selector Trevor Hohns feels Shaun Marsh's international career is probably over, while he labelled Usman Khawaja "unlucky".

Khawaja and Marsh were among those to miss out on national contracts, with a 20-man list named by Cricket Australia (CA) on Thursday.

Marsh, 36, last played for Australia in mid-2019, having featured in 38 Tests, 73 ODIs and 15 Twenty20s for the country.

But Hohns said Marsh's time playing for Australia was probably over.

"Shaun, you never say never, and I'll never say never of course, but I think Shaun, I think he's now 36 or 37, is probably past representing Australia," he told a video conference on Thursday.

"We've spoken to Shaun regularly over the last 12 months and he understands the situation. He's been a wonderful player in domestic cricket, he's played some very, very good innings for Australia in Test match cricket and he'll be sorely missed.

"But what is good is that he's continuing to play the game and as a senior player playing domestic cricket around Australia, he's got a big role to play and as I suggested it's great to see players like that continuing to play and put back to state cricket."

As for Khawaja, Hohns said leaving out the left-hander was the toughest decision.

The 33-year-old batsman has not played for Australia since being dropped during last year's Ashes series.

"Usman is one of the unlucky ones, there's no doubt," Hohns said. "As we know, Usman didn't play cricket for Australia last year at all in any format after being dropped from the Ashes series.

"If I'm looking at Test cricket, Usman's form in domestic Shield cricket didn't demand that he was chosen for Australia and I think that's pretty fair. One-day cricket, he didn't play for Australia despite being a very good performer in the Marsh Cup early in the season, but the area that he operates in, like a couple of our unlucky omissions, is up the top and we're pretty well looked after up there with [Aaron] Finch, [David] Warner, [Steve] Smith and now Marnus Labuschagne so it was a difficult time for him and then of course in T20 cricket he hasn't played for Australia for some time.

"Usman obviously received rankings in a couple of those forms of the game, but those rankings weren't sufficient enough to get him into the contract list in the end."

Usman Khawaja and Shaun Marsh were among the players to miss out on national contracts from Cricket Australia (CA) for 2020-21.

Khawaja, 33, was dropped from the Test team during last year's Ashes, while his last ODI was also in 2019.

Marsh, 36, has been out of international action since mid-2019 and was also left off a 20-player list named on Thursday.

"As Mitch Marsh and Matthew Wade have proven there are always plenty of opportunities for those who have missed out to be reselected by performing consistently at domestic level; and importantly to make the most of any opportunity that comes their way at international level," Australia national selector Trevor Hohns said in a statement.

"As is always the case there are unlucky omissions but, however, because you are not on the list does not mean you cannot be selected to represent Australia."

Marnus Labuschagne, Joe Burns, Matthew Wade, Mitchell Marsh, Kane Richardson and Ashton Agar were called up to the nationally contracted list.

It continues Labuschagne's incredible rise, with the right-hander averaging 63.43 in 14 Tests and 50.83 in seven ODIs.

"We feel all deserve their inclusion recognising the performances of those players in the past 12 months and, as importantly, what they can offer in the next 12 months," Hohns said.

"Marnus' rise has been meteoric and well documented, Joe has been a good Test match player, Ashton Agar’s form in T20 internationals has been exceptional, while Kane Richardson has been outstanding in the 20-over and one-day games.

"Matthew Wade's summer showed he is not only a tough but a good Test player for us. His form extended into white-ball cricket late in the summer, earning him well-deserved call-ups to the one-day and T20 Australian squads.

"After missing the list last year Mitch Marsh's recent form showed he has a lot of international cricket ahead of him as a batting all-rounder. Mitch proved this with his man-of-the-match performance against New Zealand at the SCG in the last game Australia played and a five-wicket haul in the last Test match he played on the Ashes tour."

Cricket Australia contracted player list: Ashton Agar, Joe Burns, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Tim Paine, James Pattinson, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa.

Moeen Ali fell out of love with Test cricket after feeling he was often "getting the blame for everything" with England but would now jump at the chance to make a fresh start.

The all-rounder has not played in the longest format since the opening match of last year's Ashes series on home soil, dropped after England slipped to a heavy defeat at Edgbaston.

Moeen missed out on a central contract and made himself unavailable for the tours of South Africa and Sri Lanka, though the series with the latter did not go ahead as the squad returned home due to the coronavirus pandemic.

While still involved in white-ball cricket, the 32-year-old felt he was often scapegoated for England's shortcomings at Test level, even if the team as a whole performed badly.

"For sure, I did fall out of love with the longer format," Moeen told the media on a conference call. "You get into a negative space, a negative frame of mind.

"You're getting the blame for everything and everyone is looking at you.

"I definitely felt like, while I was playing, that if we lost the game and were 54 all out or 82 all out, it was my shot that lost it or was highlighted more.

"It was my mistake with the bat. It would always be my face."

England's home schedule in 2020 remains up in the air because of the COVID-19 outbreak, with the Test series against West Indies already postponed.

The England and Wales Cricket Board has said no professional cricket will be played until at least the start of July, with the lengthy delay leaving Moeen desperate to play again as he looks for a "fresh start" to his Test career.

"For sure, if I got the call tomorrow to play, I would definitely put my hand up," he said.

"It's about just forgetting everything and almost having a fresh start. Hopefully that's what has happened in the last year or so, it has put me in a better mindset.

"When I first played for England, I remember telling myself I wasn't going to let anything affect me, but I did during the last year or so I was playing

"It's just about going back to basics and playing like I'm a kid again. I've just got to enjoy my cricket and not think too much about what people say."

Ben Stokes has described Australia legend Steve Smith as both "strange" and a "genius".

The two are international rivals, with England all-rounder Stokes on the opposite side of the bitter Ashes divide.

However, they are team-mates with the Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League and Stokes sees the same qualities in Smith whether he is playing with him or against him.

"He is still strange to play against and he's still strange to play with, and the best thing about it is that he admits it, he knows it," Stokes told the Rajasthan Royals Podcast.

"But I feel to be a genius you have to be a bit strange and you know he's certainly both.

"Even though he plays for Australia, biggest rivals of England, you've just got to hold your hands up sometimes to players like that and say, 'Yes, you're on a different level when it comes to batting.'"

Smith enjoyed a stunning Ashes series in England last year, scoring 774 runs in four matches at an average of 110.57.

Stokes was the hosts' star performer, his 441 runs coming at an average of 55.12, but he considers himself a fundamentally different type of batsman to Smith, who he says is "on all the time".

"I could never be like that," said Stokes. "Personally, I could not think about cricket in the way that Steve does when it comes to batting.

"Obviously, he's on all the time. That's why he averages 60 [62.84] after whatever he does in Test cricket. But that's not for me. It is for him, [and] who's to say who is right or wrong."

Keith Arthurton did not have a stellar career with the West Indies but there was one day in particular that his prodigious talent was on show and it was a beautiful moment to watch.

Tim Paine says Australia's players will not be greedy if they are asked to take a pay cut as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Cricket Australia (CA) will stand down the majority of its staff on reduced pay from April 27 until the end of the financial year amid the COVID-19 crisis.

CA is also in negotiations with the Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) over player salaries.

With such uncertainty over when they will next take to the field at international level, Test captain Paine knows the players must look at the bigger picture.

"Players need to know the absolute financial positions of the game and the players aren't going to be greedy," he told ABC Radio.

"Our livelihood, all the people associated with the ACA and the players' association, their livelihood is dependent on the game of cricket being healthy.

"So at the moment if a pay cut for us is on the cards and that keeps our game thriving well into the future, then that’s something we'll certainly have to look at."

Paine was not surprised when he learned of CA's financial situation, though.

He added: "I think commercially a lot of sponsors have been pretty hard hit and it's obviously going to hit Cricket Australia at some stage then as well.

"I think there's a bit of safeguarding towards the potential of India not coming [for a tour starting in October] which is worth something like 250 to 300million [Australian] dollars."

It is 17 years to the day since Jacques Rudolph announced himself on the Test stage with a magnificent debut double-century for South Africa against Bangladesh.

Rudolph crafted a brilliant 222 not out on day three of a crushing innings-and-60-run win in Chittagong aged only 21.

Australia's Charles Bannerman was the first cricketer to score a century on his Test bow against England way back in 1877, while the great W.G. Grace also hit a debut hundred.

We pick out five of the best debuts in the longest format over the years.

 

TIP-TOP FOSTER MAKES AUSTRALIA SUFFER

Reginald Erskine Foster, or 'Tip' as he was known, grasped his opportunity with both hands after being selected for the first Ashes Test in 1903.

Business commitments prevented Foster from making his England debut earlier, but he made up for lost time in Sydney with a record-breaking innings.

He made 287 - more than Australia's first innings total - after coming in at number five in the tourists' first innings, finding the boundary on 37 occasions.

England went on to win by five wickets thanks to Foster's knock, a Test record on debut. 

 

SWEET 16 FOR MASSIE

Bob Massie could not have dreamed of a better start to what proved to be a short Australia career.

The seamer tore through England in both innings of the second Test at Lord's in June 1972, claiming an incredible 16 wickets in the match.

Massie took 8-84 in the first innings and 8-53 second time around, setting up an emphatic eight-wicket victory.

His match figures of 16-137 are the fourth-best in Test history, not bad for a bowler who went on to play in only nine matches for his country.

 

ROWE THE KING OF SABINA PARK

Big things were expected of Lawrence Rowe ahead of his West Indies debut on his home ground Sabina Park against New Zealand in 1972.

The Jamaican batsman lived up to the hype in spectacular fashion, striking a flawless 214 in the first innings in Kingston.

Rowe inflicted more punishment on the tourists' attack in the second innings with 100 not out, becoming the first man to score a double-century and a hundred on his Test debut.

New Zealand salvaged a draw, but that did not take the gloss of the exploits of Rowe, who said: "This is my home ground, and I have no right to get out here."

 

TEENAGER HIRWANI TEARS THROUGH WINDIES

Narendra Hirwani hit the ground running with a sensational India bow against West Indies in Chennai 32 years ago.

The bespectacled leg spinner took 16 wickets in the fourth Test, with 8-61 in the first innings and 8-75 to put the seal on a 255-run thumping.

The 19-year-old claimed the scalps of greats such as Viv Richards, Desmond Haynes and Richie Richardson on a pitch that he would have loved to have rolled up and taken with him.

Hirwani played only 17 Tests, with his staggering debut proving to be something of a false dawn but his match figures of 16-136 versus the Windies are the third-best in the longest format.

 

RUDOLPH TAMES TIGERS

Rudolph was just 21 when he got his chance to showcase his talents in the longest format and he showed his class in MA Aziz Stadium.

The left-hander shared an unbroken third-wicket stand of 429 with Boeta Dippenaar, a South Africa record and the 10th highest in Test history.

Rudolph hit two sixes and found the rope 29 times in a masterful innings, laying the platform for a huge victory along with Dippenaar.

Bangladesh were unable to take a wicket on day two and were eventually put out of their misery when Graeme Smith declared on the third day.

Jacques Rudolph enjoyed a debut to remember for South Africa on this day 17 years ago, while April 26 is a date during which the eyes of the NFL world were locked on Andrew Luck and Baker Mayfield.

Bangladesh had no answer to the classy Rudolph as he made a double-century on his first taste of Test cricket for the Proteas.

Luck found himself headed for Indianapolis, while Mayfield set the sat nav for Cleveland after being taking first in the NFL Draft.

We take a look at some memorable moments from April 26 in years gone by.


2003 – Debutant Rudolph slays Tigers

It was 17 years ago when Rudolph – aged just 21 – arrived on the Test scene with a magnificent 222 not out in South Africa's innings-and-60-run hammering of Bangladesh in Chittagong.

The cultured left-hander put on 429 with Boeta Dippenaar, which represented a South Africa record and 10th highest stand in Test history.

A masterful innings laid the platform for a mammoth victory, with Bangladesh finally put out of their misery with Graeme Smith's declaration.

Rudolph played 48 Tests in total for the Proteas, scoring 2,622 runs in the longest format.


2011 – Neuer makes an impression against Red Devils

It is nine years since Manuel Neuer produced the kind of performance that displayed why he was quickly becoming recognised as one of the best goalkeepers in the world

The record books show a 2-0 defeat for Schalke in their Champions League semi-final home leg against Manchester United.

But the situation would have been much worse had it not been for Neuer, who made a string of brilliant saves.

Neuer left for Bayern Munich at the end of the campaign and he has won seven Bundesliga titles, four DFB-Pokals and a Champions League with Die Roten, also becoming a World Cup winner with Germany in 2014.


2012 – Andrew's Luck in with Colts 

Big things were expected of Luck when he was selected first with the overall pick of the 2012 draft by the Colts, who were looking for an heir apparent to Peyton Manning.

Having impressed at college level with Stanford, losing out on the Heisman Trophy to Robert Griffin III – who went second in the draft, Luck was regarded as one of the best quarterback prospects in years.

He led the Colts to the playoffs in each of his first three years, including the AFC Championship game in the 2014 season.

But Luck's career became dogged by injuries and, despite winning the NFL's Comeback of the Year award in 2018, he retired prior to the 2019 season at the age of 29 in one of the biggest shocks in the league's history.  


2018 – Browns go for Baker

After going 0-16 in the 2017 season, the Browns had the top pick for the second year running.

Mayfield had a stellar college career, including winning the Heisman in 2017, but had caused some controversy with his on-field antics.

Still, the Browns went for Mayfield over other prospects such as Sam Darnold and Josh Allen.

In his first season, Mayfield entered during a week-three win over the New York Jets as the Browns went 7-8. In the 2019 season, where Mayfield started every game, the Browns were 6-10.

Virat Kohli has the talent, fitness and drive to break Sachin Tendulkar's all-time runs record, according to Brett Lee.

India great Tendulkar, who celebrated his 47th birthday on Friday, retired in 2013 having scored 34,357 international runs across all formats in a 24-year career.

No other batsman has gone beyond 29,000 runs, yet current India captain Kohli is the leading active player, amassing 21,901 runs in 416 matches since debuting in 2008.

Kohli currently has a higher one-day international average - 59.33 to Tendulkar's 44.83 - and his Test number is similar - 53.62 to 53.78 - while the 31-year-old averages above 50 in Twenty20 cricket, too.

"We are talking about phenomenal numbers here, so you mentioned seven to eight years of cricket and at the rate [Kohli] is going, yes, he can definitely knock it off," former Australian bowler Lee said on Star Sports.

"It comes down to three things, there is one thing I would like to eliminate - so, you talk about talent as a batsman, he's definitely got that talent, eliminate that first and foremost.

"Then fitness - Virat Kohli has got that fitness, so for me it is all about fitness at the age of 30 and also that mental strength, the mental capacity to get through those hard times, being away from home, from his wife, or when they will have children.

"He will do it easily with his talent, it comes down to his mental strength and if he stays fit enough and I believe he has got all those three components to go past Sachin."

Having backed Kohli to better the marks of another India great, Lee was quick to point out the high esteem he holds Tendulkar in.

"But, how can you say someone can go past Sachin Tendulkar," he added. "This is God here, can someone go better than God? We will wait and see."

England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chief executive Tom Harrison says The Hundred will be "even more important" for the future of English cricket due to the financial impact of the coronavirus crisis.

It has been reported that the new competition could be scrapped less than three months before the inaugural tournament is due to start.

The ECB on Friday announced there will be no professional cricket in England or Wales until at least July 1 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

International stars are due to fly in for from various parts of the world for The Hundred, which is scheduled to get under way on July 17.

While there is uncertainty over whether the competition will take place this year, Harrison says it must not be discarded.

"If anything this crisis and the implication long term or medium term, the case for The Hundred is even more important," he told the BBC.

"The Hundred is a profit centre for the game of cricket in this country, it will generate really important commercial value for the game, and help us achieve the second of our three priorities which is keeping the lights on through the network – making sure county cricket is really healthy and strong long into the future.

"And it will help broaden the audience for the game. There will be a huge clamour for audience coming out of this crisis, for all sport.

"I don't think this in any way dilutes the case for The Hundred, it absolutely accelerates it and makes it something cricket needs to get behind.

"We were starting from a position of strength – 180,000 tickets were sold – the quickest sale of cricket other than World Cup cricket that we've seen, so we've got to put the context of the last couple of years into a very different light.

"They are all decisions we will make but I am absolutely committed, as I think the game is, the first-class counties, they understand the importance of this competition to the future of the game and how it will help us achieve stability for everything the game has cared about for hundreds of years – that's super important to us."

Harrison also revealed there have been "multiple offers" from other countries, including Australia and New Zealand, to help finish the domestic season.

Contingency plans for staging the men's T20 World Cup were discussed during a chief executives' committee meeting on Thursday.

The heads of all 12 full ICC members and three associate representatives dialled in for a conference call to discuss the challenges they are facing amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The men's T20 World Cup in Australia, due to start in October, and the women's 2021 Cricket World Cup are to go ahead as planned as it stands.

However, the situation will continue to be monitored and the ICC Future Tours Programme will be reviewed through to 2023.

The ICC revealed that the future of the World Test Championship and the men's Cricket World Cup Super League will be discussed at a later date.

Cricket Australia chief executive Kevin Roberts said: "Cricket Australia is working closely with the ICC, the Local Organising Committee and the Australian government so we have a comprehensive understanding of exactly what it will take to be able to play the T20 World Cup 2020 in October in Australia as planned.

"We are also jointly exploring all other options in relation to staging the event and will take the right decisions at the right time so we can host a wonderful celebration of the sport and keep everyone involved safe and well."

ICC chief executive Manu Sawhney said: "I am grateful to my fellow CEOs for their clear commitment to a unified approach to steering cricket through this pandemic.

"We will work in partnership for the best outcomes for the sport in relation to both ICC events and bilateral cricket.

"We agreed on the importance of taking well informed, responsible decisions in relation to the resumption of international cricket.

"The complexities involved in being able to stage ICC global events are extensive to ensure we protect the health and safety of everyone involved and they will be carefully considered before any decisions are arrived at in the best interests of the game."

Pakistan's tour of England remains "on track" despite the indefinite postponement of three ODIs scheduled to take place in the Netherlands in July.

The Dutch government has banned all sports and cultural events until September 1 as part of measures to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

Pakistan were meant to be play three ODIs in Amstelveen on July 4, 7 and 9, but the Pakistan Cricket Board (ECB) announced on Wednesday that the tour has been shelved.

As things stand Pakistan are due to play two Twenty20 matches in Ireland, before starting a three-Test series against England at Lord's on July 30, which precedes three T20 fixtures.

PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan said via a news release that the tour is still on as things stand.

"It is sad that we have to postpone our July tour to the Netherlands, but in the prevailing circumstances, this is absolutely the right thing to do as human lives are far more precious and valuable than a cricket match or an event," he said.

"Netherlands has been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and we offer our heartfelt condolences to all those who have lost their lives. Like any other country, the PCB stands firmly with the KNCB and hope they will be able to overcome this crisis.

"The Pakistan national cricket teams have always enjoyed touring the Netherlands and as soon as things return to normal, the PCB will engage with the KNCB to reschedule the tour so that we can fulfil our obligation.

"The Pakistan national men's cricket team's tours to Ireland, for two Twenty20 Internationals, and England, for three Tests and three Twenty20 Internationals, are on track at this stage. 

"We are keeping a watching brief and are in contact with our counterparts in Dublin and London, respectively. 

"As is always the case, the PCB will be happy to be guided by the hosts on the upcoming tours but without compromising on the health and safety of its players and team support personnel."

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