Cricket Australia (CA) has announced annual budget cuts of $40million Australian dollars while confirming it has made 40 redundancies due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The governing body revealed it was making 14 per cent of its workforce redundant and Australia A tours would not take place this season as part of its cost-cutting measures.

CA has already released a packed home schedule for the international teams, while it also expects top-flight domestic cricket to be unaffected having announced the Big Bash League will run in its entirety.

"We recognise that this is a difficult time for Cricket Australia employees, particularly for those staff members affected by these redundancies and their families," CA chairman Earl Eddings said in a statement.

"However, our responsibility is clear: to navigate a path for cricket through this period of uncertainty and disruption to ensure we come out the other side sustainable in the short term and prosperous in the long term.

"Throughout COVID-19, the need to work closely with the cricket community and to move quickly as circumstances have changed has never been more important.

"With increasing clarity about the impact of COVID-19, we have managed the financial impact on our organisation, our people, our partners and players."

Eddings has also already said it appears "unrealistic" for the T20 World Cup to take place in Australia later this year as planned because of the COVID-19 crisis.

June 17, 2010 was the date Kobe Bryant got his fifth and final NBA ring.

The Los Angeles Lakers icon, who died in a helicopter crash earlier this year, helped his franchise beat the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals.

Two years ago Brooks Koepka became a back-to-back champion at the U.S. Open while in 1999 Australia and South Africa played one of the most thrilling Cricket World Cup contests ever.

We take a look at major sporting events that have happened on June 17 in previous years.

 

1999 - Australia edge past Proteas in dramatic semi

Until England's incredible Super Over win over New Zealand in last year's World Cup final, the 1999 semi-final between Australia and South Africa was perhaps the greatest ODI ever.

Shaun Pollock and Allan Donald managed to restrict Australia to 213 and though Shane Warne (4-29) kept his team in the match, South Africa entered the final over nine down but needing nine more to reach the final.

Successive fours from Lance Klusener (31 not out) tied the scores but, with the Proteas needing only one run from their final four deliveries, a mix-up between Klusener and Donald resulted in the latter being run out.

The game finished as a tie but Australia went through to the final because they had a superior run rate in the Super Six stage, with South Africa left to reflect on some all-too-familiar World Cup heartache.

 

2010 - Kobe leads Lakers past Celtics

Boston, who had beaten Los Angeles in the 2008 Finals, were 3-2 up after Game 5 but knew the series would be closed out in the City of Angels.

The Lakers, who were the defending champions, forced a Game 7 and came out on top 83-79 to clinch the franchise's 16th - and to date most recent - championship.

Bryant was voted Finals MVP for the second time in his career and scored a game-high 23 points in the decider.

 

2018 - Koepka wins U.S. Open again

Twelve months after he won by four strokes to claim his first major, Koepka proved to be unstoppable once more at the U.S. Open.

The American began the day in a four-way tie for the lead and his two-under-par 68 on Sunday was enough to earn him a one-stroke success over Tommy Fleetwood at Shinnecock Hills.

Koepka became just the third man since World War II - after Ben Hogan and Curtis Strange - to successfully defend the U.S. Open title.

West Indies middle-order batsman Shai Hope insists players must be willing to put up their hands and be counted in order to be successful on the upcoming tour of England.

With the team missing two of its most explosive batsmen in Shimron Hetmyer and Darren Bravo, runs could be hard to come by against a dangerous England bowling attack.  On his last visit to England, Hope certainly did stand up for the Windies team.  In the second Test, his two centuries proved crucial in a five-wicket win that saw the regional team level the series before going on to lose 2-1.

Although admitting the team will be missing the duo, Hope insisted the big match-winning performances needed were simply about the players' available accepting the challenge on any given day.

“It just happened to be my day at Headingley but it can be anyone else’s day on any given day.  The key is just to make sure that whenever you get an opportunity in the middle you grasp it and do whatever you can to put in those performances for the team," Hope told members of the media.

“It’s a case where the performances will matter.  Yes, we are going to miss those guys, they play a big role on the team.  But it’s more performances that we miss rather than players, they could be here and it just doesn’t go their way, that’s how cricket goes sometimes.  You always just need someone to put their hands up, I always stress that.  It’s just key for us that we as batters put those runs on the board.”

The West Indies will defend the Wisden Trophy against England in three Test matches, beginning next month at the Rose Bowl Cricket Ground.

 

The West Indies team will be sporting new eye-catching training and playing kits during the Sandals Tour of England 2020 as part of Cricket West Indies’(CWI) new three-year partnership with Castore, CWI’s official team kit and merchandise partner.

West Indies batsman Shai Hope said he is ready to transform his Test fortunes when the three-Test series against England begins on July 8.

Guyana’s Ashmead Nedd has joined the Leeward Islands Hurricanes as their first-round pick in Monday’s 2020/2021 West Indies Professional Players Draft for the Colonial Medical Insurance Super50 Cup and the West Indies Championship.

The draft was conducted via a Zoom meeting and was monitored by CWI’s auditors KPMG to ensure that the process was carried out efficiently and smoothly.

Representatives of each franchise made two picks to bring their contracted squad of players to 15.

Nedd, a  left-arm spinner from Guyana, was one of the leading performers for the West Indies at the ICC Under-19 World Cup in South Africa earlier this year.  He will help bolster the Hurricanes’ bowling stocks and will bring the experience from the West Indies Emerging Players - winners of the Colonial Medical Insurance Super50 Cup last November.

Joining Nedd as a contracted player is his West Indies Under-19 captain Kimani Melius, who was picked up by the Windward Islands Volcanoes and fast bowler Jayden Seales who was contracted by the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force.

Both Melius and Seales were acquired ahead of the draft as pre-selected players by the respective franchises.

Additionally, two experienced players have found new franchises.

Kyle Hope, who played five Test matches and seven One-Day Internationals in 2017, has moved from Trinidad & Tobago Red Force to Barbados Pride.

Kevin Stoute, a former captain of Barbados Pride who has played 76 first-class matches since his debut back in 2007, will have a new home with the Windward Islands Volcanoes.

CWI’s Director of Cricket Jimmy Adams was happy that CWI was able to get the draft done despite the ongoing pandemic.

"I am pleased to have gotten the regional franchise draft completed,” he said.

“Franchises can now focus on implementing post-lockdown training to gradually build towards their full programs. Obviously, we are all hopeful that we will soon be given the all-clear by the respective Governments to resume full franchise operations," he said.

Below is a listing of the movements in Monday’s draft:

Round 1

Leewards Hurricanes - Ashmead Nedd

Windward Volcanoes - Kevin Stoute

Jamaica Scorpions - Odean Smith

Guyana Jaguars - Ramaal Lewis

TT Red Force - Bryan Charles

Barbados Pride - Kyle Hope

 

Round 2

Leewards Hurricanes - Tyrone Williams Jr.

Windwards Volcanoes - Larry Edwards

Guyana Jaguars - Tevin Imlach

Jamaica Scorpions - Alwyn Williams

TT Red Force - Isaiah Rajah

Barbados Pride - Shamar Springer

 

 

Cricket Australia has warned it is becoming "unrealistic" to expect the T20 World Cup to take place as planned this year.

Chairman Earl Eddings said the effect of the coronavirus was threatening to make it impractical to bring cricket teams from across the globe to Australia.

The tournament is scheduled to run from October 18 to November 15, and a ruling on whether it should go ahead is due to be taken by the International Cricket Council (ICC) in July.

The ICC has been hoping it can still take place, stating in May that "a number of contingency plans are being explored".

However, Eddings said on Tuesday: "While it hasn't been formally called off this year, or postponed, trying to get 16 countries into Australia in the current world, where most countries are still going through COVID spiking, I think it's unrealistic, or it's going to be very, very difficult."

Speaking to reporters in a conference call, Eddings added: "The ICC are having meetings as we speak, it's a bit of a movable feast at the moment."

Cricket Australia on Tuesday appointed an interim chief executive, choosing T20 World Cup local organising committee CEO Nick Hockley for the position.

West Indies are the reigning T20 World Cup champions, having beaten England in the 2016 final.

Kevin Roberts has left his post as Cricket Australia (CA) chief executive barely halfway through a three-year contract.

The national governing body said it had parted company with Roberts and replaced him on an interim basis with Nick Hockley.

Hockley is chief executive of Australia's local organising committee for the T20 World Cup, a tournament the country is due to host in October and November and is in major doubt due to the coronavirus crisis.

CA chairman Earl Eddings said: "Cricket, like all national sports, has been going through a period of significant change and – in recent months we have had the added uncertainty delivered by COVID-19.

"The entire cricket community has been affected and difficult decisions have been – and will continue to be necessary – to ensure that cricket at every level is in the best shape it can be now and in the future."

Eddings said CA would be "continuing on with our restructure programme" on Wednesday but would not discuss the prospect of redundancies "out of respect" for staff.

Roberts spent 20 months in post before leaving the role. CA stated on its website Roberts had resigned, while Eddings said he had personally "made these changes today".

As Hockley began his tenure, he said: "Whilst it's been an unsettling time, it is an absolute privilege to be asked to take on this role, even on an interim basis.

"It is without doubt one of the great jobs in Australian sport and with that comes an enormous responsibility to the organisation and to the broader game."

The pandemic has hit Australian sport hard, with a number of international matches played behind closed doors or cancelled, while the Sheffield Shield campaign had to be curtailed.

There is now the danger of the T20 World Cup being cancelled or postponed, either of which would be a further major blow.

Hockley suggested there may be brighter times around the corner, however, saying: "I really see one of my priorities to help the board provide really clear direction as we move forward to what we hope is a fantastic summer."

April 18, 1994

The sun wasn’t up yet, but I was already awake. I did my best not to stir my mother and my grandmother who were the human loaves in the sandwich we created on our double divan bed in Allman Town.

Ten teams are set to participate in the T10 tournament set to run from June 23 to July 8, the St.Lucia National Cricket Association (SLNCA) has confirmed.

The teams will be comprised of local cricketers and professionals and there is optimism that players like Johnson Charles and former West Indies captain Darren Sammy will be displaying their skills during the two-week long tournament.

According to Carol Henry, President of the SLNCA, 30 matches are set to be played during the competition that will be staged at the Darren Sammy Cricket Ground.

“We are in full planning mode,” Henry tells SportsMax.TV, adding that there will be two matches each day. The first match will begin at 12:30 pm with the second match set for a 2:30 pm start.

Of course, the matches will be played under a “closed venue” protocol in the interest of continuing to protect players and the citizens of St Lucia.

 

West Indies fast bowler Kemar Roach plans to launch his campaign towards 200 Test wickets and beyond during the upcoming three-Test series against England.

Former West Indies all-rounder Ian Bradshaw insists focus will be key for the regional team considering the prevailing extraordinary circumstances for the upcoming tour of England.

The West Indies and England will return to international cricket with a three-Test match series, in England, next month.  With the prevalence of the coronavirus still a major concern and ongoing racial equality protests around the globe, the situation to begin the tour is anything but typical.

In a bid to mitigate the risks of exposure to COVID-19, the teams will spend the entire period of the tour in what has been termed a bio-secure environment, which will keep everyone associated with the series quarantined from the general public.  With all the distractions, Bradshaw believes the task of focusing on just cricket is likely to be tougher for the team.

“We could lose the series mentality if we are distracted before the start of that series.  So, it’s going to be incumbent on the management team to keep the guys focused,” Bradshaw told the Mason and Guest Radio program.

“These are trying circumstances that they are playing under, but they are professionals and they must act as professionals and really utilize the preparation time to the best of their advantage.”  

Retired West Indies all-rounder Ian Bradshaw has advised the team to realistically face up to its lack of quality all around batting and look to mirror approaches taken by past New Zealand squads, in order to be successful on the upcoming England tour.

The West Indies will return to international cricket, following an enforced absence due to the coronavirus epidemic, with a three-Test tour of England next month.  The unpredictability of the team’s batting line-up, much as it has in recent years, will again be a source of concern, particularly with explosive middle-order batsmen Darren Bravo and Shimron Hetmeyer unavailable for selection.

The duo, along with all-rounder Keemo Paul, opted to miss the tour over health concerns.  The West Indies will need no further illustration than the opening Test of their last England tour for an example of a dismal batting performance.  On that occasion, the team was dismissed for 168 and 137 in pursuit of England’s 514 declared.

“We've been concerned with our batting for a while, let’s just stop and be realistic.  We don’t have the quality of batting that we want," Bradshaw told the Mason and Guest Radio program.

“We don’t have the quality batsmen but what we hope for, is that collectively we can rally and that we can get 300 and 350 and 400 by batting deep and by batting sensibly," he added.

"There are other teams in the world that have a similar challenge and they manage to fight through.  For a number of years, we saw that with teams like New Zealand, where each player coming to the crease understood your job was to build a partnership that allowed the team to put a competitive total on the board.  Getting runs in England is important, especially in the first innings, so there is no doubt that we will have to bat deep.”

 

West Indies pace bowler Shannon Gabriel will have a good chance of featuring for the final Test squad against England if he can prove his fitness in the coming weeks.

The 32-year-old pace bowler was initially named as the 15th member to the official Test squad for the upcoming tour.  Gabriel, one of the team’s lead strike bowlers, has not played cricket since September of last year after a brief spell with Gloucestershire.  The player was sidelined after suffering an ankle injury that required surgery.

Head coach of the West Indies Phil Simmons, however, recently revealed the player had been training well and would be in contention for a spot in the final day Test squad.

“We have to put this in perspective.  We selected 14, but Shannon, as we know, has come back from injury and being a senior member of the squad in the past two or three years we would have to look at him if he is up to that fitness level heading into the first Test,” Simmons told members of the media on a conference call on Saturday.

Gabriel claimed eight wickets and bowled with plenty of menace when the teams met in the Caribbean last year.  The West Indies won the Test series 2-1.  The player was, however, suspended for five One Day internationals after a verbal exchange with England batsman Joe Root.

Asafa Powell broke the 100 metres world record on this day 15 years ago, and the New York Rangers ended a 54-year NHL title drought in 1994.

No man has ever run faster than Usain Bolt over 100m, but Powell was Jamaica's sprint king in 2005.

The Rangers were celebrating at Madison Square Garden 26 years ago, while Canada's cricketers will not want to be reminded of this date in 1979.

We go back in time to look at some memorable sporting moments that have taken place on June 14.

 

1979 - Canada crumble at Old Trafford

A Cricket World Cup contest between England and Canada always looked like it was going to be a mismatch.

That was very much the case in Manchester, where the minnows were skittled out for only 45 - the lowest ODI score in history at the time.

Bob Willis (4-11) and Chris Old (4-8) wreaked havoc, Franklyn Dennis making almost half of Canada's runs before England took just 13.5 overs to seal an eight-wicket win.

 

1994 - Rangers rule in New York

The Rangers had not been crowned NHL champions since way back in 1940 and it looked like they may have blown their chance in the Stanley Cup Finals against the Vancouver Canucks.

Mike Keenan's side led the series 3-1 after losing the opening match, but the Canucks rallied to force a decider.

The tension was almost unbearable for Rangers fans, but Brian Leetch, Adam Graves and Mark Messier were on target to secure a 3-2 victory and spark a huge party.

There has been no NHL glory for the Rangers since that triumph.

2005 - Powell keeps true to his word in Athens

A 22-year-old Powell said he was ready to break Tim Montgomery's 100m world record in Athens.

His confidence was certainly not unfounded, as he set a new mark of 9.77 seconds at the Olympic Stadium.

"It shows no-one knows how fast a man can run." Powell said after making history. He went faster another three times after Justin Gatlin had gone quicker in 2005.

Bolt holds the current record of 9.58, set in Berlin 11 years ago.

 

2007 - Imperious Spurs sweep Cavs

The NBA Finals 13 years ago proved to be one-sided, with the San Antonio Spurs dominating the Cleveland Cavaliers.

In their 40th season as a franchise, the Spurs wrapped up a 4-0 series victory with an 83-82 win in Cleveland.

Manu Ginobili scored a game-high 27 points as LeBron James' 24-point haul was in vain, with Tony Parker named Finals MVP for Gregg Popovich's side.

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