Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq and bowling coach Waqar Younis have resigned from their roles a little over a month before the T20 World Cup begins.

The pair were appointed in September 2019 and were under contract with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for another year.

However, Misbah and Waqar informed the PCB of their decision to leave on Monday ahead of the upcoming three ODIs and five T20Is against New Zealand, with the T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates and Oman also on the horizon.

Saqlain Mushtaq and Abdul Razzaq have joined the Pakistan management team as interim coaches for that New Zealand series, which begins on September 17.

Misbah's decision to step down was for family reasons amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with the 47-year-old having recently spent time self-isolating in Jamaica after testing positive for COVID-19.

"The quarantine in Jamaica post the West Indies series provided me with an opportunity to reflect on the past 24 months as well as the schedule for international cricket ahead," Misbah said in a statement. 

"Considering that I would have had to continue to spend considerable time away from my family and that too in a bio-secure environment, I have decided to step down from the role.

"I understand that the timing may not be ideal but I don't think I am in the right frame of mind for the upcoming challenges and it makes sense for someone fresh to step in and take the side forward.

"The past 24 months have been thoroughly enjoyable and I want to thank my team and the management for their support. 

"I wish the Pakistan cricket team best of luck in the upcoming events and will continue to support them every time they will take the field to represent Pakistan."

Waqar's decision to step down was linked to Misbah's departure. 

"After Misbah shared with me his decision and future plans, it was a straightforward one for me to resign as we had walked into the roles together, had worked collectively as a pair and now also step down together," Waqar said.

"Working with the Pakistan bowlers, including the youngsters, has been most satisfying as they have now started to show progress. 

"Bio-secure environments in the past 16 months have had their impact, something we had never experienced during our playing days.

"The next eight months will be busy and exciting for the Pakistan team and, like in the past, I will continue to back and cheer them. 

"I want to thank each and every member of the Pakistan cricket team set-up as we stayed united in good and bad days, and hope there will be brighter days ahead."

The shock double exit came two hours after Pakistan had named their squad for the T20 World Cup, as well as the warm-up internationals against New Zealand and England.

Asif Ali and Khushdil Shah were among the surprise inclusions in the 15-man selection.

 

Pakistan squad: Babar Azam (c), Asif Ali, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Azam Khan, Shadab Khan, Sohaib Maqsood, Mohammad Nawaz, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Rizwan, Khushdil Shah, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Wasim.

South Africa one-day captain Temba Bavuma has been ruled out for the remainder of the Proteas' ODI series in Sri Lanka with a fractured thumb.

The skipper suffered the freak injury during Wednesday's first ODI that, inspired by centurion Avishka Fernando, the hosts won by 14 runs.

Bavuma was inadvertently struck from a fielder's throw-in during the 26th over at the R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium.

Persistent discomfort saw him retire hurt two overs later, with scans later revealing a fracture.

Bavuma will return to South Africa for further treatment, from which his recovery time will be determined.

Keshav Maharaj will deputise as captain for the second ODI of the three-match series on Saturday.

 

Avishka Fernando's third ODI century set Sri Lanka on course for a 14-run win in the opener of their three-match series against South Africa.

The Proteas were always fighting a losing battle in Colombo after allowing Sri Lanka to make 300-9 – their highest total in 50-over cricket in 2021.

Avishka (118) was the star with the bat, putting on 79 in a partnership with Dhananjaya de Silva (44) that was disrupted briefly by a rain delay, with better to come as he was joined in the middle by Charith Asalanka (72).

That stand of 97 for the fourth wicket put Sri Lanka in command, as a bowling attack led by Kagiso Rabada (2-66) struggled to keep them in check.

South Africa were no more than steady in reply and keenly felt the dismissal of Aiden Markram to an outstanding Wanindu Hasaranga catch after 96 runs, including four sixes.

Captain Temba Bavuma had already retired hurt after taking a blow to his hand, and Rassie van der Dussen's departure preceded some superb death bowling to see Sri Lanka comfortably over the line – the Proteas short of their target on 286-6.

Profitable partnership

With the exception of Keshav Maharaj, who gave up 30 runs in 10 overs for his most economical ODI return, South Africa's bowlers were really poor. But Avishka and Asalanka still had to capitalise and did exactly that with a vital partnership that scored at 8.19 an over.

Denied at the death

South Africa required 41 off 25 when Van der Dussen departed, yet they mustered only two more boundaries – both fours from Rabada in the final over when the chase was up. Hasaranga started well and finished strongly, too, slowing Heinrich Klaasen in giving up just three from the 47th over.

South Africa pace bowling legend Dale Steyn has announced his retirement from all forms of cricket.

The 38-year-old took 439 wickets across 93 Tests to become South Africa's all-time leading wicket-taker in the longest format, adding a further 260 dismissals across 172 limited-over international fixtures.

His returns in Test cricket ranks him eighth for all-time dismissals and his strike rate of 42.3 is the best of any player to take 250 wickets, though he did announce his retirement from red-ball internationals in 2019.

However, Steyn continued to operate as a white-ball specialist and, despite missing out on a central contract with South Africa, wanted to play in the T20 World Cup before the coronavirus-enforced delay.

He may have been considered an outsider for the rearranged T20 World Cup this year but he will not feature for South Africa again after taking to social media to announce his retirement.

"It’s been 20 years of training, matches, travel, people, wins, losses, strapped feet, jet lag, joy, and brotherhood," Steyn wrote on Tuesday as he prefixed his post with lyrics from the Counting Crows.

"There are too many memories to tell. Too many faces to thank. So I left it to the experts to sum up, my favourite band, the Counting Crows.

"Today I officially retire from the game I love the most. Bitter sweet but grateful.

"Thank you to everyone, from family to teammates, journalists to fans, it’s been an incredible journey together."

Steyn has not featured in franchise T20 cricket since March in the Pakistan Super League, though he remains one of the pioneers of the shortest format.

The South Africa bowler appeared in leagues across England, Pakistan, India, the West Indias, Sri Lanka and Australia, but pulled out of this year's Indian Premier League, insisting he was not retiring.

However, with Tuesday's announcement, an international in February 2020 and his final franchise appearance in March prove to be his last.

Former team-mate and fellow South Africa legend, AB de Villiers quickly responded to Steyn's post, adding: "Great player, great man, amazing memories! You picked a good song to sign off my bud. Legend forever!"

Chris Cairns has been left paralysed after suffering a stroke in his spine while the New Zealand cricket great underwent heart surgery.

Cairns had surgery in Canberra after a "major medical event" earlier this month and was transferred to St Vincent's in Sydney for another cardiovascular operation.

The 51-year-old was reported to have suffered an aortic dissection – a tear in the body's main artery – that put his life at risk.

Now he faces a battle to walk again after his lawyer, Aaron Lloyd, announced the latest setback to affect former all-rounder Cairns.

Lloyd said in a statement reported by New Zealand media: "During the life-saving emergency heart surgery Chris underwent in Sydney he suffered a stroke in his spine. This has resulted in paralysis in his legs.

"As a result he will be undertaking a significant rehabilitation process at a specialist spinal hospital in Australia.

"Chris and his family remain appreciative of the immense public support as they deal with this difficult time. They also appreciate the way in which their privacy has been respected.

"Chris and his family now want to focus on spending time together where possible and making whatever progress they can in his recovery. We will update everyone when there is more news, but that is likely to be some time away."

A previous statement from Lloyd said Cairns was off life support and able to communicate with family.

Cairns has been moved back from Sydney to Canberra for continuing treatment.

Between 1989 and 2006, Cairns played 62 Tests, 215 ODIs and two Twenty20 games for the Black Caps. His father Lance also played cricket for New Zealand.

Misbah-ul-Haq will remain in the Caribbean when the Pakistan squad fly home on Wednesday after the head coach tested positive for coronavirus.

The former Pakistan batsman must quarantine for 10 days after he was the only member of the touring party to return a positive PCR test.

Misbah had been due to head home a day after Pakistan salvaged a 1-1 Test series draw with West Indies, winning by 109 runs at Sabina Park.

A Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) statement said: "Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq has tested positive and, as such, will not depart for Lahore with his side later today (Wednesday).

"Misbah, who is asymptomatic, will now undergo a 10-day quarantine, following which he will depart for Pakistan.

"Misbah was the only Pakistan squad member who failed two pre-departure PCR tests. All other members will leave Jamaica as per schedule later today.

"The PCB is constantly in touch with Cricket West Indies who have confirmed that Misbah will be shifted to another hotel for the 10-day quarantine with a medical specialist assigned to look after his health and wellbeing."

Pakistan's next assignment is a home ODI series against New Zealand next month.

Former New Zealand all-rounder Chris Cairns is off life support and recovering in hospital after emergency surgery on his heart.

Cairns had surgery in Canberra after a "major medical event" earlier this month but was transferred to St Vincent's in Sydney for another cardiovascular operation.

The 51-year-old was reported by the New Zealand media to have suffered an aortic dissection – a tear in the body's main artery.

Cairns' lawyer, Aaron Lloyd, confirmed he has regained consciousness and has been able to interact with his family including his wife Melanie.

"I'm pleased to advise that Chris is off life support and has been able to communicate with his family from a hospital in Sydney," Lloyd said in a statement.

"He and his family are thankful for all of the support and well wishes from everyone, and for the privacy they have been afforded.

"They request that this continues as they focus on his recovery moving forward."

Cairns played 62 Tests, 215 ODIs and two Twenty20 games for the Black Caps between 1989 and 2006.

His father Lance also played cricket for New Zealand.

Cricket Australia (CA) chief executive Nick Hockley has given his full backing to the under-fire Justin Langer.

Australia head coach Langer has come in for criticism for his intense style of management, with reports the former opening batsman was recently involved in a heated exchange with a member of CA's digital team.

It has also been claimed that some Australia players have become increasingly disgruntled with Langer's approach.

However, Hockley endorsed the job Langer is doing ahead of the T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates and Oman, with a home Ashes series also on the horizon.

"Justin has done an incredible job in raising the culture, values and behaviours of the Australian men's team since he took on the role in 2018," Hockley said.

"His efforts have restored public faith in the national team. He is contracted as head coach through to the middle of next year, with the focus now on a successful T20 World Cup campaign followed by the home Ashes defence.

"The team has had an extremely disruptive and challenging 18 months during the pandemic.

"Despite those challenges the side has had great success in one-day, Test and T20 cricket, when all players were available.

"Justin, his coaching staff and the leaders within the team have an equally important part to play in ensuring a successful summer ahead."

Langer took over the team in the wake of the 2018 ball-tampering scandal, which resulted in Steve Smith being stripped of the captaincy and, along with David Warner being banned from competing for 12 months.

Australia won the 2019 Ashes in England under Langer's tutelage, with Smith returning to play a starring role in the series.

White-ball captain Aaron Finch has expressed his frustration that stories have been leaked from the camp over Langer's methods.

The opening batsman told SEN Radio: "There's always tension when results don't go your way in all sports.

"Wins and losses are what count. I think anytime that doesn't happen, that all gets amplified. It's just one of those things.

"It's disappointing that things are coming to the front the way that they are, that's never ideal. It's just one of those things that keeps popping up, which is disappointing.

"The camp we had on the Gold Coast, to go through our culture and values and things like that, especially from a playing group, was really important, and one that I think players got a lot out of.

"But when things are being leaked out from inside, that's not a great look."

Australia limited-overs captain Aaron Finch is expected to be fit for the start of the T20 World Cup after undergoing knee surgery.

Finch suffered cartilage damage in St Lucia last month and missed the tour of Bangladesh.

The opening batsman went under knife on Friday and the expectation is that he will be ready to lead his country when the T20 World Cup - staged in UAE and Oman - gets under way in October.

A Cricket Australia statement said: "His recovery is expected to take 8-10 weeks meaning he should be available for the opening games of the World Cup in mid-October."

Australia will face England, South Africa, West Indies and two yet-to-be-determined qualifiers in Group 1 of the Super 12 stage of the T20 World Cup.

Matthew Wade stepped in to skipper an under-strength Australia side in a 4-1 T20 series loss to Bangladesh.

England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chief executive Tom Harrison is "very confident" of this year's Ashes series going ahead in Australia.

Joe Root's England side are due to start their bid to regain the urn at The Gabba on December 8, with the fifth and final Test scheduled to begin at Optus Stadium in Perth on January 18.

However, England players have raised concerns about the possibility of their families not being able to join them for the trip due to Australia's tight border controls during the coronavirus pandemic, as well as the prospect of lengthy quarantines.

Multi-format players such as Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler face the prospect of four months away from home as the T20 World Cup takes place in the United Arab Emirates and Oman ahead of the Ashes. 

Talks between the ECB and Cricket Australia are ongoing to reach a compromise and Harrison is optimistic that a full-strength England party will make the trip.

"We are working very closely with Cricket Australia (CA) and I had my latest conversation with my counterpart at CA yesterday," Harrison said. "We are speaking every few days on the matter.

"All the right conversations are happening at government level in Australia and we will be using our own diplomatic channels in the UK to ensure the view of the players and the ECB [is heard].

"This is not players asking for anything unreasonable – these are very reasonable requests that we are asking the Australian government to give some leniency, frankly.

"It's going to be important for us to ensure we can give comfort to players that their families are going to be able to be in Australia and that those conditions in which they are quarantined will be reasonable, enabling the players to be at their best in that Test series.

"It's a conversation that's going to take place over the next few weeks but I am very confident we will get to a place where we can fulfil our obligations to tour."

Former New Zealand all-rounder Chris Cairns is in an intensive care unit in a Sydney hospital after undergoing further heart surgery.

Cairns suffered a "major medical event" in Canberra late last week and initially underwent an operation in the capital city.

The 51-year-old's wife, Melanie, on Wednesday revealed he has been transferred to St Vincent's hospital in Sydney, where has had undergone another operation.

"As has now been widely reported in the media, Chris suffered a major medical event in Canberra late last week," she said in a statement.

"He initially underwent surgery in Canberra, but the seriousness of his condition is such that he has now been transferred to St Vincent's hospital in Sydney, where he has undergone further cardiovascular surgery.

"Chris' family and friends are heartened by the respectful and warm manner in which this terrible news has been reported, and received by the public, both in New Zealand and around the world, and thank everyone for their warm wishers, prayers and kind words.

"For now, no further statements will be make regarding Chris' situation, and the Cairns family asks that people continue to respect their privacy as they deal with this difficult, upsetting and concerning situation."

New Zealand Cricket CEO David White said: "We're deeply concerned to hear of Chris Cairns' medical emergency.

"Our thoughts are with his family in Australia and here in New Zealand. Chris is a much-loved husband, father, and son - and remains one of our finest all-rounders. We hope he's able to make a full recovery."

Cairns played 62 Tests, 215 ODis and two Twenty20 games for the Black Caps between 1989 and 2006.

Sri Lanka trio Kusal Mendis, Niroshan Dickwella and Danushka Gunathilaka have been banned from international cricket for a year after breaching the team's bio-secure bubble in England.

The players were in Durham preparing for the first of three ODIs against the world champions last month when they left the team hotel to visit the city centre despite strict COVID-19-related rules.

Batsmen Mendis and Gunathilaka and wicketkeeper-batsman Dickwella were sent home and have now been hit with strong sanctions.

The executive committee of Sri Lanka Cricket took into account recommendation made by an independent panel of inquiry before handing down a 12-month ban from playing at international level and a six-month domestic suspension.

They were also given a further one-year ban, which is suspended for a two-year period.

Mendis, Dickwella and Gunathilaka have been fined 10million Sri Lanka Rupees (around £36,000) for their indiscretion.

 

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) will hold talks with Cricket Australia over coronavirus restrictions during the Ashes amid concerns that several senior players may be reluctant to tour.

Joe Root's side are due to start their bid to regain the urn at The Gabba on December 8, with the fifth and final Test scheduled to begin at Optus Stadium in Perth on January 18.

Multi-format players such as Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler would face several months away from home, with the T20 World Cup taking place in the United Arab Emirates prior to the Ashes.

It is unclear whether COVID-19 rules may prevent families from travelling to Australia and England players have been in talks this week to seek clarity over restrictions that may be in place.

The ECB and the Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA) say player and staff welfare will be a priority as they prepare to hold discussions with Cricket Australia.

A joint ECB and PCA statement  said: "This week, several meetings have been held between the England men's players, ECB and Team England Player Partnership to discuss provisional plans for the tour of Australia later in the year.

"All parties are collaborating and will continue to work together to understand protocols around bubble environments, family provision and quarantine rules that will be in place for the tour during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

"With player and management’s welfare paramount, the ECB will discuss planning and operational requirements with Cricket Australia in the coming weeks and how they seek to implement their policies in partnership with state and federal governments.

"All stakeholders are committed to putting player and staff welfare as the main priority and finding the right solutions that enables the England team to compete with the best players and at the highest possible standard that the Ashes series deserves."

Australia's bowlers starred as the tourists cruised to a six-wicket victory to seal a 2-1 ODI series win over the West Indies in Barbados on Monday.

The West Indies, who were looking for their first bilateral men’s ODI series win against Australia since 1995, were skittled for 152 with pace pair Mitchell Starc (43-3) and Josh Hazlewood (18-2) dominating again.

Opening batsman Evin Lewis offered the only resistance with 55* from 66 balls, having recovered from an early edge to the helmet, with no other West Indian scoring higher than 18.

Starc claimed the key wicket of West Indies skipper Kieron Pollard for 11 caught by Ashton Turner, as the hosts slumped to 75-6 when Adam Zampa bowled Jason Holder for 5.

Player of the Match Ashton Agar (31-2) was crucial with the early wickets of Shai Hope and Darren Bravo, before playing a steadying role with the bat.

Agar (19*) combined with Matthew Wade (51* from 52 balls), after Australia had been mildly concerned at 99-4 following Alex Carey's dismissal for 35, to finish the job with 117 balls to spare.

Wade delivered some lusty blows including a six which landed on top of the Greenridge-Haynes Stand, finishing with five fours and two sixes.

POLLARD RUES "ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS" CONDITIONS

Pollard lamented the West Indies' batting performance again, having scored only 123 in the first ODI of the series at the same venue, but slammed the "absolutely ridiculous" pitch in Bridgetown.

The West Indies struggled throughout with the bat, with a run rate of 3.36, managing only nine fours and six sixes, compared to Australia's run rate of 5.01 in pursuit.

Runs were in no short supply for Pollard's side in the 4-1 T20I series win in Saint Lucia which preceded the ODIs.

"Coming from the T20 series, the difference in the strokeplay was evident," Pollard said. "Coming here to Barbados, I think both teams struggled on the pitch and I think that's unacceptable for international cricket.

"We're not going to make excuses. We accept that we batted badly but I don't think the scores that we have gotten in this three-match series, with two top international teams, I think that's very embarrassing. Coming from St Lucia to this, I think it's absolutely ridiculous."

"GROUP EFFORT" FROM AUSSIES

Starc finished the three-game ODI series with the most wickets, claiming 11 dismissals, including a five-wicket haul in the opener and was rewarded with the Player of the Series award.

Stand-in skipper Carey finished with the most runs in the series with 112, while Agar's Player of the Match gong was the first of his ODI career.

Carey said: "Fantastic group effort. I thought the bowlers did a great job, I thought there were some good innings throughout the series.

"It was a little bit ugly tonight but you've got to get a total like that a bit ugly when the wicket is doing a fair bit."

Australia had lost seven of their last 10 men’s ODIs played away from home, but showed their quality in 50-over cricket with the series victory.

Nicholas Pooran has guided West Indies to a series-levelling One Day International victory despite a scare in the run chase against Australia in Bridgetown on Saturday.

Akeal Hosein (30-3) and Alzarri Joseph (39-3) were exceptional in reducing Australia to 45-6 before the tourists rallied to 187.

But the West Indies stumbled in their chase, slumping to 72-5 before Pooran (59* from 75) combined with Jason Holder (52) for a decisive 93-run sixth-wicket stand.

Player of the Match Pooran was crucially dropped by Moises Henriques off Adam Zampa on 26, before making his eighth ODI half-century.

Mitchell Starc, who finished with 26-3 from 10 overs, had dismissed Evin Lewis (1) and Darren Bravo (duck), before trapping Holder LBW but Pooran guided the hosts home.

Earlier, Australia struggled with the bat, with Hosein dismissing Henriques, stand-in captain Alex Carey and Ashton Turner in an excellent spell.

Matthew Wade (36) and Adam Zampa (36) rallied for Australia, before an excellent late cameo from second-gamer Wes Agar (41 from 36).

POLLARD HAILS 'SCRATCHY' POORAN

West Indies captain Kieron Pollard said allowing Australia to reach 187 was disappointing but hailed Pooran's determination after a "scratchy" knock.

"What was good this time around was the fight by the guys, Nicholas Pooran getting that half-century and Jason Holder as well," Pollard said.

"Pooran has been looking like his old self again. He was a bit scratchy tonight but sometimes that's what you need in a game like this. You want someone to scrap and I think they both scrapped well for us to come through for a victory."

The West Indies avoided suffering back-to-back home defeats for the first time since August 2019.

Pooran's innings also took him past 1,000 ODI runs, becoming the 39th West Indian player to achieve the feat and the joint-third fastest for the side (Viv Richards – 21, Gordon Greenidge – 23, Ramnaresh Sarwan – 27).

AUSSIES STILL BULLISH AHEAD OF DECIDER

Australia are unbeaten in their past six ODI bilateral series (W4, D2) against West Indies and missed out on the opportunity to seal another victory but Carey remained bullish ahead of Monday's decider.

"Bring on game three," Carey said. "The batting group has a bit to prove to get a good score on the board for our quicks but our quicks and spinners are doing a great job."

The stand-in skipper bemoaned Australia's top-order batting, with none of the top six scoring more than 16.

"Obviously it doesn't help when you're five for not-a-lot," he said. "Wade and the bowlers did a great job to get us to a total and we were back in the game.

"We took some early wickets again and the belief was there. We created opportunities and we were in the game in the back end. Unfortunately we couldn't quite close it out and it proved we were 20 or 30 short."

Page 2 of 6
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.