A panel of experts has decided that a pairing of Christopher Henry Gayle and David Warner would represent the best openers the T20 game has ever seen.

According to Zaheer Clarke, statistician, Chris Taylor, cricket umpire and commentator and noted cricket commentator and journalist, Fazeer Mohammed, Gayle’s body of work over the course of his career in the T20 game made him the first name on any list of all-time greats in the format.

The panel were picking from a final six after 13 shortlisted players were whittled down on Wednesday.

The six who made the final were Gayle, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Aaron Finch, David Warner, and Brendon McCullum.

While Gayle was a shoo-in on all the panellists books, there was a little difficulty in picking who would partner him.

According to Fazeer Mohammed, Finch would make a good partner for the big left hander, while Taylor and Clarke felt that Warner would do more damage up front with the Universe Boss.

The panel’s decision counts for 40% of the overall vote on who makes the SportsMax Ultimate XI, while the SportsMax Zone, like an online voting audience, has a 30% stake in proceedings.

This means there are still some decisions to be made with Gayle, by virtue of bagging votes from the Zone and the panel being selected as one of two Ultimate XI T20 openers.

The uncertainty about who will make up the other part of the pairing lies in the fact that the SportsMax Zone did not agree with the panel on who should partner Gayle, instead going with India’s Sharma.

Gayle stands head and shoulders over every batsman to ever play the T20 game with 13,296 runs behind his name at a healthy average of 38.20 from 404 games. Gayle strikes at an incredible 146.94 and has a whopping 22 centuries and 82 half-centuries in the format.

Sharma, who the Zone has picked, from 328 games has 8,642 runs at an average of 32.24 and has scored six centuries and 60 half-centuries.

Warner has not played as many games as the two, but enjoys a 142.20 strike rate from his 280 games, and has scored 9,218 runs, inclusive of eight centuries and 75 half-centuries already.

The choice is tough and may come down to who you like, as Lance Whittaker says, he is a Sharma fan.

To make your choice regarding who makes the SportsMax Ultimate XI, click here. Maybe like George Davis, you think the Zone is crazy for not picking Warner. If you want to learn more about the players, you can click here.

It is ludicrous to think that Australia’s Mitchell Starc may have been a wicketkeeper had a coach not seen him as a young teen and demanded he put down the gloves and start running in to bowl fast.

Since that day at 14 years old, opposition batsmen have been ruing the foresight of the coach.

Just six years later, Starc was in the Australia squad to India, but he never did well until he was dropped and went to England to play for Yorkshire. There he learned to properly swing the ball.

Starc returned to the Australia side an improved bowler. He was also much quicker than the 135 km/h with which he first rose to the international level, pommelling batsmen with swinging yorkers at 150 km/h plus.

After establishing himself as the Australian spearhead in all forms of the game, Starc finally took the plunge into the Twenty20 leagues, joining the Indian Premier League (IPL), in 2014.

While he did well, he always prioritized international cricket over the T20 leagues. Still, he proved devastating in the Big Bash, leading all wicket-takers in the competition’s inaugural season.

Starc is already considered one of Australia’s greatest fast bowlers.

 

Career Statistics (2009-present)

Full name: Mitchell Aaron Starc

Born: January 30, 1990 (30), Baulkham Hills, Sydney, New South Wales

Major teams: Australia, Australia A, Australia Under-19s, New South Wales, New South Wales Second XI, New South Wales Under-17s, New South Wales Under-19s, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Sydney Sixers, Western Suburbs, Yorkshire

Playing role: Bowler

Batting style: Left-hand bat

Bowling style: Left-arm fast

 

T20I Career – Australia

Mat   Inns    Balls   Runs    Wkts     BBI     BBM    Ave    Econ   SR     4w    5w    10w

31        31      696      802        43       3/11     3/11    18.65   6.91    16.1     0       0       0

T20 Career

Mat   Inns   Balls     Runs     Wkts    BBI      BBM     Ave     Econ     SR      4w    5w    10w

94        93    2055     2451      140      4/15     4/15     17.50   7.15     14.6       1      0         0

 

Career Highlights

  • Secured 43 T20I wickets in 31 matches at 18.65
  • 15 T20 WC wickets in 10 matches
  • 140 T20 wickets captured at 17.50

Australia and Netherlands player Dirk Nannes happened upon cricket quite late in life. He was always talented at it but his first love was skiing. That meant he would play a few domestic games at the start of the season and maybe a few more towards its back end, but there was no consistency as he travelled the world in between, skiing in major tournaments.

When he did start to take cricket seriously, he was immediately noticeable. Genuinely quick, the left-arm seamer also swung the ball but he never seemed to quite turn the heads of Australia. After he turned out for the Netherlands in the World T20 in 2009, Australia did take a look at him. By 2014, he was one of the best T20 bowlers in international cricket and dominated the World T20 in 2010, taking 14 wickets at 13.07 to lead all wicket-takers in the tournament.

In 2010, looking to ensure longevity in a career that started late, Nannes quit the longer formats of the game, though he impressed in those.

His decision to become a limited-overs specialist went well. His T20 career lasted 215 games in which he took 257 wickets at an average of 22.51.

 

Career Statistics (2007-2015)

Full name: Dirk Peter Nannes

Born: May 16, 1976, Mount Waverley, Melbourne, Victoria (44)

Major teams: Australia, Netherlands, Australian Cricketers Association Masters, Canterbury, Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Daredevils, Lions, Melbourne Renegades, Middlesex, Mountaineers, Otago, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Somerset, Somerset 2nd XI, Surrey, Sydney Thunder, Sylhet Royals, Victoria

Playing role: Bowler

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Left-arm fast

 

T20I Career

Mat   Inns   Balls   Runs   Wkts   BBI     BBM    Ave     Econ    SR      4w    5w    10w

17       16      366     459       28      4/18    4/18    16.39   7.52     13.0     1         0      0

 

T20 Career

Mat   Inns    Balls      Runs     Wkts     BBI      BBM     Ave      Econ     SR      4w    5w    10w

215     211     4624      5720       257      5/31      5/31     22.25    7.42     17.9      7      2         0

 

Career Highlights

  • Took 28 T20I wickets in 17 matches at 16.39
  • Took 15 T20 WC wickets in 9 matches at 15.93
  • 1 T20I 4-wicket haul
  • Most T20I wickets in the calendar year 2010 (14)
  • 57 T20 wickets captured at 22.25

Australia's Twenty20 series against West Indies scheduled for October has been postponed.

The move comes after the T20 World Cup, which was due to be played in Australia this year, was postponed last month due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement, Cricket Australia (CA) said it and the Windies had agreed to postpone their scheduled three-game T20 series, which was set to be played in Queensland.

"Given the preference to host the warm-up three-match T20 series against the West Indies to coincide with the rescheduled T20 World Cup in Australia [which will take place in either 2021 or 2022], it has been agreed to postpone the matches," part of a statement from CA read on Tuesday.

Townsville, Cairns and the Gold Coast were scheduled to host the T20 matches.

One of the fastest scorers in world cricket, Glenn Maxwell has become a key man in Australia's middle order in the shorter formats. It is not just his power that worries opposing bowlers and captains.

His ability to make unconventional shots appear routine - reverse sweeps and pulls, for example - makes it hard to set fields to cover all of his scoring areas. His audacity comes with risk, and he can exasperate as well as exhilarate, but at his best, he can change a game in moments.

In 2017-18 his career entered a confusing stage as he was dropped from the ODI side and then told by new Australia coach Justin Langer to "go and make hundreds" without seemingly being given the opportunities to do so. But he re-established himself and is a pivotal member of the ODI and T20I sides playing some stunning innings on the tours of India and the UAE. He scored his third T20I century in Bangalore to help Australia mow down 194.

 

Career Statistics (2010-present)

Full name: Glenn James Maxwell

Born: October 14, 1988, Kew, Melbourne, Victoria (31)

Major teams: Australia, Delhi Daredevils, Fitzroy-Doncaster, Hampshire, Hampshire 2nd XI, Kings XI Punjab, Lancashire, Melbourne Renegades, Melbourne Stars, Mumbai Indians, Victoria, Victoria Second XI, Victoria Under-19s, Yorkshire

Playing role: Batting allrounder

Batting style: Right-hand bat

 

T20I Career

Mat    Inns    NO     Runs   HS      Ave     BF      SR         100     50      4s       6s      

61        54        9      1576    145*   35.02   985    160.00      3        7     133       81    

 

T20 Career

Mat    Inns    NO     Runs    HS      Ave      BF       SR        100     50      4s       6s         

268     251      34      5983     145*   27.57   3875   154.40     3       33      484     308  

 

Career highlights

  • Scored 1576 runs in T20Is at average of 35.02
  • 3rd most T20I runs by an Australian
  • 2nd most capped Australian in T20I (61)
  • 2nd Aussie to score a century in all 3 formats (3 T20I centuries)
  • Has the 4th highest T20I score (145*)
  • Australian men’s T20I player of the Year 2015 & 2019
  • IPL player of the tournament 2014
  • 5983 T20 runs at 27.57

Shane Watson’s ability with bat and ball was never more on show than at the 2012 T20 World Cup when he bested all and sundry to earn the player of the tournament title. A hard-hitting batsman with a frame not dissimilar to that of his predecessor, Matthew Hayden, Watson is the kind of all-action player the T20 game strives on. A beast in the field, a smart swing bowler, and a more than competent opening batsman means with Watson, a team can find three players in one. So influential has Watson been on the T20 game that he was considered one of the IPL’s all-time greatest-ever players. He also twice won the Australian Twenty20 International Player of the Year award.

Career Statistics (2004-present)

Full name: Shane Robert Watson

Born: June 17, 1981, Ipswich, Queensland (39)

Major teams: Australia, Australia A, Australia Under-19s, Canterbury, Chennai Super Kings, Cricket Australia XI, Deccan Gladiators, Dhaka Dynamites, Gilchrist XI, Hampshire, Islamabad United, New South Wales, Prime Minister's XI, Queensland, Queensland Colts, Queensland Under-19s, Quetta Gladiators, Rajasthan Royals, Rangpur Rangers, Redlands, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Sindhis, St Lucia Zouks, Sydney Sixers, Sydney Thunder, Tasmania

 

Playing role: Allrounder

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm fast-medium

 

T20I Career (Batting)

Mat   Inns   NO    Runs     HS      Ave      BF         SR         100   50     4s     6s    

58       56       6      1462     124*  29.24     1006     145.32     1      10    115    83        

T20I Career (Bowling)

Mat   Inns   Balls    Runs   Wkts    BBI    BBM     Ave       Econ      SR     4w    5w    10w

58        49    930       1187     48      4/15    4/15     24.72      7.65     19.3     1       0         0

T20 Career (Batting)

Mat   Inns   NO    Runs   HS     Ave      BF      SR         100    50      4s     6s    

332     324    33     8522    124*   29.28    6131   138.99      6      51    753    454        

T20 Career (Bowling)

Mat   Inns   Balls      Runs    Wkts    BBI    BBM    Ave    Econ    SR      4w    5w   10w

332    231     4429      5838      216     4/15    4/15    27.02   7.90    20.5     3       0      0

 

 

 

Career Highlights

  • 2012 T20 WC player of the tournament
  • 4th most T20I caps for Australia (58)
  • 1464 T20I runs at 29.24
  • Most T20 WC runs by an Australian (537)
  • 8522 T20 runs at 29.28 (10th most all-time)

Australia lock Rob Simmons will leave the Waratahs at the end of the Super Rugby AU season and is set to join London Irish.

Simmons has won 100 caps for the Wallabies, but it remains to be seen if he has played his last Test after sealing a move to England.

The loss of the 31-year-old captain is a big blow for the Waratahs, where he arrived in 2018 following nine seasons with the Reds.

Simmons will join compatriots Nick Phipps, Sekope Kepu and Adam Coleman at ambitious Premiership club the Exiles.

He said: "It was a really tough decision [to leave] but after speaking with many people around me, I felt that now was the time to take the opportunity to play overseas.

"Timing with situations like this can't always be perfect, but the Waratahs have been fantastic in understanding my desire to take on a new challenge.

"I've loved my time in Super Rugby and the last few years with the Waratahs, it's a wonderful organisation and it's been an honour to lead this group throughout 2020.

"My team-mates and our management team have been tremendous over the last few years, there's a lot to be excited about here in New South Wales and I'm looking forward to seeing it unfold from afar."

Aaron Finch made his T20I debut for Australia against England in 2011. Two years later, he made his ODI debut against Sri Lanka. In 2013, he scored 156 runs off 63 balls in a T20I, the highest ever T20I individual score. He was selected for the 2015 World Cup side and scored a century in the first match against England.

In 2018, Finch broke his previous record of the highest individual T20I innings by scoring 172 runs against Zimbabwe. With this feat, he also became the only batsman to score 150+ runs twice in T20I cricket. This was also the highest individual score set by a captain in a T20I inning.

 

Career Statistics (2009-present)

Full name: Aaron James Finch

Born: November 17, 1986, Colac, Victoria, Australia, (age 33)

Major teams: Victoria, Rajasthan Royals, Delhi Daredevils, Melbourne Renegades, Auckland Aces, Pune Warriors India, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Yorkshire, Mumbai Indians, Gujarat Lions, Surrey, Kings XI Punjab.

Batting Style: Right-handed

Bowling Style: Slow left-arm orthodox

Playing role: Opening batsman

 

T20I Career

Mat      Inns      NO   Runs     HS       Ave       BF       SR        100   50    4s    6s  

61         61          9     1989     172     38.25    1276     155.87     2     12   196    92 

T20 Career

Mat      Inns      NO   Runs     HS       Ave       BF      SR        100   50   4s     6s  

284       279       32     8914     172     36.08    6201    143.75     8     60   856   373      

 

Career Highlights

  • Most runs in a T20I inning (172)
  • 2nd most capped Australian (61)
  • 1st player to reach 900 rating points on ICC T20I rankings.
  • 10th all-time in T20I runs scored (1989)
  • Australian T20I player of the year (2014 & 18)
  • 8914 T20 runs at 36.08

David Warner had one of the most memorable debuts in international cricket, when he was plucked from obscurity - without having played a single First-Class match - and made a stunning 89 off 43 balls in a T20l against South Africa. The innings was all the more remarkable due to its timing, coming as it did after a morale-shattering home Test series loss for Australia in 2008-09.

The opening pair of Warner and Shane Watson have been the most successful opening pair in T20I history. They are the only opening pairs to have scored over 100 runs in T20Is. Warner is the first Australian batsman to reach 1,500 T20I runs.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: David Andrew Warner

Born: October 27, 1986, Paddington, Sydney (33)

Major teams: Australia, Australia A, Australia Centre of Excellence, Australia Under-19s, Australian Cricketers Association All-Stars, Australian Institute of Sport, Australian XI, Brad Haddin XII, Cricket Australia Chairman's XI, Delhi Daredevils, Durham, Middlesex, New South Wales, New South Wales Institute of Sport, New South Wales Second XI, New South Wales Under-19s, New South Wales Under-23s, Northern Districts, St Lucia Stars, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Sydney Sixers, Sydney South East, Sydney Thunder, Sylhet Sixers, Winnipeg Hawks

Batting Style: Left-handed

Bowling Style: Right-arm leg-break/Right-arm medium

Role: Opening batsman

 

T20I Career

Mat      Inns      NO Runs     HS  Ave       BF  SR  100       50       4s   6s   Ct   St

79  79  9     2207     100*     31.52   1571       140.48 1     17  214       89  44  0

T20 Career

Mat      Inns      NO Runs     HS  Ave       BF  SR  100       50       4s   6s   Ct   St

280       279       36  9218     135*     37.93   6482       142.20 8     75  902       359       132       0          

 

Career Highlights

  • Most capped Australian in T20Is (79)
  • 5th most runs all-time in T20Is (#1 Aussie), 2,207- avg. 31.52
  • Most runs by an overseas player in IPL (4th all-time)
  • Most IPL Orange Caps (3) 2015, 2017, 2019
  • 3rd Aussie to score centuries in all three formats of the game (One T20I century)
  • 9,218 T20 runs at 37.93

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has officially launched the inaugural ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Super League, starting with England's one-day series against Ireland.

Introduced to help bring context to 50-over cricket at the highest level, the Super League will be used as a qualification system for the next ICC World Cup, scheduled for 2023 in India.

There will be 13 teams involved – the 12 full members, as well as the Netherlands – and the top seven in the final table will automatically secure their place at the global tournament, the ICC confirmed in a statement.

All sides will play four series at home and away, with each consisting of three matches.

"The league will bring relevance and context to ODI cricket over the next three years, as qualification for the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023 is at stake," Geoff Allardice, ICC general manager for cricket operations, said.

"The Super League gives cricket fans around the world even more reasons to watch as the drama of league cricket unfolds.

"The decision last week to move the World Cup back to late 2023 gives us more time to schedule any games lost due to COVID-19 and preserve the integrity of the qualification process, meaning it will be decided on the field of play, which is important."

Reigning world champions England will kick things off this week when they start their series against Ireland, the first of three matches between the teams taking place at the Rose Bowl on Thursday.

"We're looking forward to playing cricket again and to the ICC Men's World Cup Super League," England white-ball captain Eoin Morgan said.

"Given the situation, it will be quite different to the last time we played at home, when we lifted the World Cup at Lord's, but it's nice to be starting our journey for the next edition of the tournament. 

"I'm sure cricket fans all over the world will be excited to see white-ball cricket resume and we're looking forward to the challenge."

World Rugby has proposed the introduction of a temporary international window before the end of 2020, a move that would allow this year's Six Nations to be completed.

The governing body's executive committee is keen for international fixtures to be staged again to aid the sport as it tries to deal with the off-field impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Having held discussions with all international and club competitions, as well as players and national unions, World Rugby wants a window that will start in late October and run into December.

The revised calendar would allow for the 2020 Six Nations tournament - suspended due to the COVID-19 outbreak in March - to stage the final four fixtures still outstanding, followed by Test matches in Europe organised by the individual unions.

As for the Rugby Championship, the 2020 edition would take place in one country over a six-week period spanning November 7 to December 12.

"Recognising the importance of a balanced and shared compromise among all stakeholders, a temporary international window between October 24 and December 5 has been recommended," said a statement from World Rugby.

"In the north, this window will accommodate the postponed men's and women's Six Nations matches at the end of October, a rest weekend on November 7 and a programme of international matches involving the Six Nations and invited teams hosted in Europe from November 14 through to December 5."

With the Rugby Championship, "special" measures would be put in place to cope with travel restrictions, while the changes to the schedule allows leading players to be available for their clubs.

"With COVID-19 restrictions continuing to impact international travel and borders across southern hemisphere unions, on an exceptional basis the Rugby Championship 2020 will be hosted in full in a single country over a reduced six-week period between November 7 and December 12," the statement continued.

"Special measures will be implemented to deal with any government-required quarantine period prior to the start of the competition.

"The rescheduling of the domestic, European and international calendars will accommodate the ability for the professional clubs to have access to their star southern hemisphere international players for the completion of the postponed and rescheduled 2019-20 seasons at a time in which they would have ordinarily been on international duty in August and September."

The recommendations will need to receive approval at next week's meeting of the World Rugby Council.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) today confirmed the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia 2020 has been postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

At the meeting of the IBC Board, the commercial subsidiary of the ICC, windows for the next three ICC men’s events were also agreed to bring clarity to the calendar and give the sport the best possible opportunity over the next three years to recover from the disruption caused by COVID-19.

 The windows for the Men’s events are:

ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 will be held October – November 2021 with the final on 14 November 2021

ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 will be held October – November 2022 with the final on 13 November 2022

ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 will be held in India October – November 2023 with the final on 26 November 2023

The IBC Board agreed to continue to monitor the rapidly changing situation and assess all the information available in order to make a considered decision on future hosts to ensure the sport is able to stage safe and successful global events in 2021 and 2022.

The IBC Board will also continue to evaluate the situation in relation to being able to stage the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2021 in New Zealand in February next year. In the meantime, planning for this event continues as scheduled.

“We have undertaken a comprehensive and complex contingency planning exercise and through this process, our number one priority has been to protect the health and safety of everyone involved in the sport,” said ICC Chief Executive Manu Sawhney.

“The decision to postpone the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup was taken after careful consideration of all of the options available to us and gives us the best possible opportunity of delivering two safe and successful T20 World Cups for fans around the world.

“Our members now have the clarity they need around event windows to enable them to reschedule lost bilateral and domestic cricket. Moving the Men’s Cricket World Cup to a later window is a critical element of this and gives us a better chance of maintaining the integrity of the qualification process. This additional time will be used to reschedule games that might be lost because of the pandemic ensuring qualification can be decided on the field of play.

“Throughout this process, we have worked closely with our key stakeholders including governments, Members, broadcasters, partners and medical experts to enable us to reach a collective decision for the good of the game and our fans. I would like to thank everyone involved for their commitment to a safe return to cricket.”

 

Australia have included an uncapped trio in their preliminary squad for the proposed ODI and Twenty20 tour of England in September.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Australia are due to play three T20s and three ODIs in England.

Although they have "several hurdles to overcome", Australia named a 26-player preliminary squad on Thursday, including the uncapped Daniel Sams, Riley Meredith and Josh Philippe.

"This preliminary list covers the contingencies of playing one-day Internationals and T20 internationals in bio-secure hubs with the likely prospect of not being able to bring in replacements should the tour proceed," Australia national selector Trevor Hohns said.

"The preliminary list includes several exciting young players who have recently excelled at state level and in the BBL. These emerging players are among those we would like to develop further as we believe they have a bright future in Australian cricket.

"The preliminary list also has a view towards the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup and in the longer term the 2023 ICC World Cup."

Philippe, 23, was the third leading run-scorer in the BBL last season, making 487 at an average of 37.46 for Sydney Sixers.

Sams, meanwhile, was the leading wicket-taker with 30 at 15.36 as he starred for Sydney Thunder, while Meredith, 24, took 10 wickets at 13.70 in just six games for Hobart Hurricanes.

Still, there remains uncertainty over the tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Cricket Australia (CA) executive general manager of national teams Ben Oliver said work was ongoing.

"The ECB [England and Wales Cricket Board] are a long-standing and valued international cricket partner and we are doing all we can to give the tour the best possible chance of taking place," he said.

"We continue to work with the ECB and government agencies and a decision on the tour will be made in due course. 

"In the meantime, the identification of a preliminary list will enable us to work with players and states more directly on the preparation for the tour in the hope it can proceed.  

"The health and wellbeing of players and staff, along with our commitment to public health within our communities, remain our utmost priority."

Australia: Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Michael Neser, Josh Philippe, Daniel Sams, D’Arcy Short, Kane Richardson, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa.

Tim Paine has revealed he used to sit on the couch in tears as the Australia Test captain suffered from mental health issues earlier in his career.

Paine required seven operations after breaking his finger back in 2010, but earned an Australia recall seven years later and took over as skipper in 2018.

The 35-year-old was on the verge of quitting when he was out of the Tasmania team in 2017.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Paine has opened up on the struggles he has endured over the years and the doubts he had when he returned to the highest level.

He told the Bounce Back podcast: "When I started training and playing again I wasn't too bad, until I started to face guys who bowled a lot quicker.

"And they'd be running in and instead of thinking about hitting the ball, I was thinking: 'Geez I hope he doesn't hit me on the finger'.

"From there it was just a downward spiral. I lost absolutely all confidence. I didn't tell anyone about it. The truth is, one, I was scared of getting hit and two, I just didn’t know what I was going to do."

Paine revealed he did not let it be known he was struggling.

“I didn't sleep, I didn't eat. I was so nervous before games, I was horrible to live with," he added.

"I was pretty ordinary to my partner, who is now my wife [Bonnie]. I was always angry and took out that I wasn't doing well on other people.

"I was embarrassed at what I had become. No one knew I was struggling, not my mates, not my partner. There were times when she was at work and I'd sit on the couch crying. It was weird and it was painful."

Paine said talking to a sports psychologist at Cricket Tasmania helped him to get his career back on track.

"It was the first time I actually told anyone what was going on, but I remember walking out of that room and instantly feeling better, that I had let someone in and that was the first step to dealing with, admitting I needed help," he said.

He also found that saying what was on his mind helped him to overcome self-doubt when he was recalled for the 2017-18 Ashes series.

"It went from an amazing feeling ... and then I thought that's not good," he said.

"I'm going to have to bat in front of people and there are going to be millions of people watching. And for three or four days after I thought I don't want to do this.

"Again, spoke to some people and got that stuff off my chest and I thought bugger it, I'll just make the most of it ... I'm going to enjoy it."

Australia coach Justin Langer believes his team must tour England if it is possible in 2020, as international cricket aims to get back on track after the impact of coronavirus.

After a four-month break, Test cricket resumed on Wednesday with a rain-hit first day of England's behind-closed-doors match against West Indies in Southampton.

Australia were due to tour England for a white-ball series starting on July 3, with new dates for the rescheduled trip yet to be confirmed.

With the Twenty20 World Cup still due to be played in Australia in October, Langer believes the tour of England also has to be a priority.

"I think we have to go to England. There's lots of challenges, of course, but we have to find solutions to make sure that can happen if possible," Langer told reporters.

"That's my view. I think for the health of world cricket.

"If things out of control happen and we can't end up going, at least we can say we've done everything in our power to make it happen."

Langer also claimed Cricket Australia (CA) should be willing to let its star names – such as Steve Smith – play in the Indian Premier League (IPL), with preparation for the T20 World Cup vital.

"I think we have to, talking frankly," said Langer, who would even let players leave if it meant them missing part of the domestic season in Australia.

"I'll always look for win-win situations and hopefully we do that when we get some clarity on what's happening with the schedule."

India will tour Australia later in 2020, with a four-Test series scheduled.

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