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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Cricket Buzz: NZ's Taylor fit for first Test against England

Cricket Buzz: NZ's Taylor fit for first Test against England

Last updated on: March 21, 2018 18:44 IST

New Zealand's Ross Taylor 

IMAGE: New Zealand's Ross Taylor. Photograph: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor has been confirmed fit to take his place in the side for the first Test against England, captain Kane Williamson said on Wednesday.

Taylor had been questionable for the match, which starts on Thursday, after sustaining a thigh injury that saw him skip the third and fifth matches in the one-day series against England.

He scored 181 not out in the fourth game in Dunedin and has not played since.

He was also withdrawn from a first-class match after the limited overs series to ensure he was fit for the first match under lights in New Zealand.

 

"He trained well yesterday," Williamson told reporters in Auckland.

"The last 10 days have been a balance of rest and recovery for someone like Ross.

"That's been valuable time for him. He's feeling good, good to go, that's great news for us."

Taylor scored 304 runs in the one-day series against England with two centuries, and 216 runs in three Test innings against West Indies in December.

"Ross has been playing beautifully well every time he's walked to the crease," Williamson added.

"Just the calmness, the confidence and it's reflected in how much success he's had this year, but probably every other year as well.

"He's batting amazingly well, he's a great guy to have in the group and is excited with his body intact to play tomorrow."

Williamson also confirmed that legspinner Todd Astle would replace Mitchell Santner, who has been ruled out for nine months due to knee surgery.

Recalled wicketkeeper BJ Watling, who missed the West Indies series due to a hip injury, will bat at number six in Santner's place.

Williamson said the team had adapted their training sessions to get used to the pink ball for the day-night Test but added that it would be more a case of the players learning how to deal with conditions during the match.

The Eden Park match will be just the ninth day-night Test.

James Pattinson inks two-year BBL deal with Brisbane Heat

James Pattinson

IMAGE: Aus paceman James Pattinson. Photograph: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Australian fast bowler James Pattinson has signed a two-year deal with Big Bash League (BBL) franchise, Brisbane Heat.

The 27-year-old has been part of the Melbourne Renegades between 2013 and 2017, but he was forced to miss the entire last season due to a back stress fracture.

Pattinson, who was diagnosed with the stress injury for the fourth time in more or less exactly the same spot in his back, subsequently required to undergo a surgery in New Zealand late last year to cure the problem.

Reflecting on the same, Pattinson said he is feeling physically good following the surgery and is looking forward to getting back to some bowling during the winter.

"I'm feeling very good physically after the surgery and I'm looking forward to getting back into some bowling during the winter. The facilities at Allan Border Field are second to none so that will also be very helpful as I build towards the coming season," ESPNcricinfo quoted the Australian quick, as saying.

Pattinson, who has not played a competitive match since July last year, will bolster Brisbane Heat's pace attack that features Mark Steketee, Brendan Doggett, and all-rounder Ben Cutting. (ANI)

ECB to allow replacements for concussed players in domestic matches

Teams across all four professional domestic cricket competitions in England will be allowed to replace concussed players during matches, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said on Wednesday after it approved rule changes for the new season.

The incoming player, who will be allowed to bat and bowl, must be deemed a "like for like" replacement by the Cricket Liaison Officer appointed for the match, or by the on-field umpires if the ECB's representative is not present.

"This is a change made in the interests of player safety and health," ECB chief medical officer Nick Peirce said in a statement on the governing body's website (www.ecb.co.uk).

"While concussion is not as common in cricket as in contact sports, our research has shown an average of around 15-20 incidents in first and second team cricket during each of the last few seasons.

"This season, each team, home and away, at first and second team level, will have to be supported by a medical professional who is qualified to make judgements on possible concussion following a head-strike," he added.

The new rules come into play for the County Championship, the Royal London Cup, the Vitality Blast and the Kia Super League this season.

World Cup Qualifier: UAE's Naveed fined for showing dissent

United Arab Emirates fast bowler Mohammad Naveed has been fined 15 percent of his match fee for breaching the ICC Code of Conduct.

The incident happened at the end of the seventh over of his side's match against Afghanistan in the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018, when Naveed questioned the umpire about his not-out decision.

Naveed was found to have violated Article 2.1.5 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which relates to "showing dissent at an umpire's decision during an international match".

In addition to the fine, one demerit point has been added to Naveed's disciplinary record.

After the match, Naveed admitted the offence and accepted the sanction, proposed by match referee David Jukes. As such, there was no need for a formal hearing.

The charge was levelled by on-field umpires Gregory Brathwaite and Adrian Holdstock, and reserve umpire Joel Wilson.

Level 1 breaches carry a minimum penalty of an official reprimand, a maximum penalty of 50 per cent of a player's match fee, and one or two demerit points.

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