April 29th, 2006

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Australia to re-hire baseball coach as fielding consultant

Australia will use baseball coach Mike Young as a fielding consultant to help their World Cup defence next year, Cricket Australia (CA) said here on Thursday.

Young, who has worked part-time with the Australian team for the past six years, will also coach young players at CA’s new Centre of Excellence in Brisbane.

“Mike will be working across a number of programmes within Australian cricket with his area of expertise in fielding and throwing,” Michael Brown, CA’s general manager, said in a statement.

“His coaching background in baseball also adds much value in terms of his general coaching knowledge,” he added.

Technorati Tags: Australia, baseball, World Cup

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Tough test ahead of us: Jayawardene

Sri Lanka cricket skipper Mahela Jayawardene believes playing England away will prove to be one of toughest tests imagineable for his side and enable them to pin-point just where they stand in world cricket. England are currently second in ICC Test rankings, with Sri Lanka back in seventh position, although with likes of Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara and Muttiah Muralitharan in ranks, Sri Lankans are a match for anyone on their day.

They may be without likes of Sanath Jayasuriya (retired) and Marvan Atapattu (injured), but they have a fine blend of youth and experience and under guidance of coach Tom Moody, they will be well versed in nuances of English conditions at this time of year.

Technorati Tags: Sri Lanka, England, ICC

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Caribbean cricket fans banned from bringing in alcohol

Cricket spectators in the West Indies who have traditionally enjoyed a glass of rum or bottle of beer while watching the game will have to change their plans now.

Starting with the first one-day international against Zimbabwe at St. Johns, Antigua, the West Indies Cricket Board will no longer allow alcohol to be brought into stadiums at international matches, to meet International Cricket Council safety regulations.

Alcohol will now have to be bought from concessionaire stands within the grounds. For most West Indian fans it has always been more convenient to purchase drinks and food from outside of the grounds and then enter the stadium, rather than buy from within.

Technorati Tags: West Indies, Zimbabwe

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West Indies settle contracts dispute

West Indies have become the last international side to institute a retainer contract system for its players.

Ken Gordon, president of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), announced on Wednesday at his office here that the regional governing body and the West Indies Players’ Association (WIPA) had finally hammered out an agreement.

“The people involved in the negotiation all had one common objective when they sat down to discuss the matter,” Gordon said.

“They all wanted to take West Indies out of the situation in which it now stands and take it forward. I think zeroing in on this, they were able to find the solutions and ways around whatever difficulties they had,” he added.

Technorati Tags: West Indies, WICB

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Flintoff should take a break to prepare for World Cup: Botham

England’s legend Ian Botham warned his successor as the country’s best all-rounder Andy Flintoff on Thursday to skip this autumn’s controversial ICC Champions Trophy.

Botham insists that Flintoff should take a break from the game towards the end of the year, instead of going to India, to prepare for the World Cup in the Caribbean in 2007.

He also believes the player should join him on his next cancer charity walk.

Flintoff already has a busy 2006 ahead of him with home Test matches against Sri Lanka and Pakistan and then the defence of the Ashes in the winter.

Technorati Tags: Ian Botham, Flintoff, ICC, Champions Trophy, World Cup

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Pakistan A to play eight matches on Australia tour

Cricket Australia (CA) has confirmed to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) that it has arranged eight matches for the Pakistan A team that tours Australia in June-July this year.

Pakistan’s second-string players will get the golden opportunity of playing against top class teams on the Australia tour which would be restricted to Darwin and Cairns the only two Test venues where cricket is played Down Under during June and July.

“The Australians have invited the A teams from India, Pakistan and New Zealand for a the top end series — comprising Twenty20, one-day and four-day fixtures — to be held in Darwin and Cairns in July 2006,” a PCB official said.

Technorati Tags: Cricket Australia, PCB, Pakistan A, Twenty20

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Visa problem delays departure of Afridi for UK

Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi’s departure for the United Kingdom to join the Ireland team has been delayed due to visa problems.

Afridi said on Thursday he was scheduled to fly straight from Abu Dhabi to Ireland but the Irish visa officials told him he would’ve to get his visa from his home country.

“I’ve now sent my passport to Islamabad for the visa and hopefully if I get it by Friday I will join Ireland and play for them in a match on the 30th,” he added.

Technorati Tags: Pakistan, Shahid Afrid, United Kingdom, Ireland, Abu Dhabi, Islamabad

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ICC looks to underline importance of Champions Trophy

The International Cricket Council (ICC) used the launch of the 2006 Champions Trophy to try to quell suggestions that the event is not a priority for some teams after comments earlier this week that Australia might send a weakened side ahead of the Ashes which follows almost immediately.

“Don’t kid yourself,” Ehsan Mani, the ICC president, told the media announcing the schedule for the month-long tournament in New Delhi. “Australia have never won this tournament before and are determined to win this one. They will send their best team.”

Technorati Tags: ICC, Champions Trophy, Ashes, Australia

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Rhodes seeks approval of South African board for Pakistan job

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said that former South African player Jonty Rhodes would now inform them if he was keen on accepting a short-term contract as fielding consultant to help out the Pakistan senior and junior players from next month.

Director Board Operations PCB, Abbas Zaidi said the Board, through coach Bob Woolmer, had conveyed its objectives and terms to Rhodes and the matter was now in his hands. “It’s now up to him (Rhodes) to decide whether to accept our offer or decline it. But our information is that he’ll get back to us after first speaking and getting clearance from the United Board of South Africa,” Zaidi said.

Technorati Tags: PCB, Jonty Rhodes, South Africa

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