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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Cricket Buzz: Tendulkar gets life membership at Dubai's Els golf club

Cricket Buzz: Tendulkar gets life membership at Dubai's Els golf club

Last updated on: May 06, 2014 18:01 IST

Cricket Buzz: Tendulkar gets life membership at Dubai's Els golf club

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Cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar may now be seen swinging on a different pitch.

The legendary batsman has been awarded life membership at The Els Club golf course from Dubai Sports City partner Abdulrahman Falaknaz.

"Sachin (Tendulkar) has given so much to the world of sport, both through his performances and also the way he has conducted himself over more than two decades at the very highest level. Therefore, it was fitting for us to have given him something whilst expressing our thanks and recognition for all that he has achieved," said Falaknaz.

The picturesque golf course and club is designed by legendary South African golfer Ernie Els.

The Els Club general manager Chris Brown informed that Tendulkar graced the clubhouse last month, during his stay in Dubai for the first phase of the Indian Premier League as icon of the Mumbai Indians team, and indulged in a nine-hole golf session with teaching professional Jamie McConnell and also received a two-hour lesson from Butch Harmon School of Golf Director of Instruction Justin Parsons.

"Having Sachin Tendulkar spend time with us and receive his honorary life membership of The Els Club was a huge pleasure, and his presence extends the list of star names we have had here over the past few months," said a beaming Brown.

That list of lifetime members includes former World No 1 Rory McIlroy, Hollywood actor Will Smith and ex-Manchester United and Denmark goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel.

But Tendulkar, who retired from cricket last November as the most capped player and the leading run-scorer of all-time, is in a league of his own and the club management understands the responsibility of having the batting great on board.

"We look forward to Sachin making The Els Club his golfing home away from home. One thing he will be guaranteed when he does return is a world-class welcome," said Brown.

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Image: The green on the par 5, 18th hole at the Els Club in Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Photographs: David Cannon/Getty Images

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Lillee quits consultancy role with Australia after pay dispute

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Australia Test bowling great Dennis Lillee, credited for helping resurrect paceman Mitchell Johnson's career, has quit as a Cricket Australia coaching consultant after failing to agree terms on his pay.

CA this week signed a two-year extension with another former fast bowler, Craig McDermott, as the team's bowling coach.

"Unfortunately Dennis Lillee didn't accept Cricket Australia's offer to renew his contract," a CA spokesperson said in a statement.

"He is a great of the game and the door will always be open to him if he wants to return and be involved in any way.

"We've made a point in recent times of being open to bringing in coaching consultants when required."

Left-arm fast bowler Johnson made a spectacular return to Test cricket during the Ashes in Australia, bamboozling England's batsmen with his fiery pace and steep bounce after spending some time out in wilderness due to poor form.

Lillee, who took 355 wickets in 70 Tests for Australia, told Melbourne radio station SEN in February that the CA bosses were "quibbling over an increase".

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Image: Dennis Lillee talks with James Pattinson during an Australian One Day International training session at WACA on January 30, 2013 in Perth, Australia
Photographs: Paul Kane/Getty Images

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Pattinson set for long wait on sidelines

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Australia bowling coach Craig McDermott says he will not rush the return of injury-prone fast bowler James Pattinson and also raised questions about the cricketer's future in the Twenty20 format.

Since his impressive debut test three years ago, the 24-year-old has suffered recurring back problems and has been forced to miss a number of matches for Australia.

He returned to the Test side for the decisive match in Australia's 2-1 win in South Africa after a gap of more than seven months but broke down again with a sore back.

Former Australia paceman McDermott, who has signed a new two-year deal as the team's bowling coach, said they have to be patient with the quick's return to top-level cricket.

"With Patto, it'll depend how he heals first and foremost," McDermott was quoted as saying on Cricket Australia's website.

"That's got to improve from a clinical point of view before we get to the path we'll go down with his technical side of it.

"The timeline on that hasn't even been determined yet, so we'll just see how he progresses over the next few months. I want to make sure we take our time and get it right."

The talented Pattinson has played 13 Tests, taking 51 wickets since making his debut against New Zealand inBrisbane in December, 2011.

According to McDermott, Twenty20 cricket is not the ideal format for Pattinson to work his way back to full fitness.

"T20 cricket is always difficult to bring blokes back through, because they're under the pump, bowling different balls all the time," said McDermott, who has been credited with turning Australia's pace attack into one of the most potent in the world.

"It's a yorker, then a slower-ball bouncer, then a good-length ball or a wide yorker. And if they're getting whacked by the batsmen they're not going to bowl at 80 percent and build things up gradually."

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Image: James Pattinson
Photographs: Pierse/Getty Images

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Ryan Harris unlikely to be fit for Pakistan series in Dubai

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Experienced paceman Ryan Harris, who underwent knee surgery after Australia's series win in South Africa, is unlikely to be fit for the series against Pakistan in Dubai in October.

The 34-year-old has suffered a series of injuries throughout his career but played a key role in Australia's 5-0 Ashes sweep of England over the New Year and the series triumph against the top-ranked Proteas.

"He's definitely touch and go for Dubai, we've just got to see how his knee goes over the next few months," McDermott added.

"We've just got to monitor him to see how his knee's coping with his rehabilitation, and see if it's possible to get him up for there.

"I don't think there's any point rushing Ryano either, we've got a lot of cricket with India, World Cup, West Indies and the Ashes, we've got to make sure he's 100 per cent when he comes back."

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Image: Ryan Harris celebrates after taking the wicket of Alastair Cook of England during Day 2 of the fifth Ashes Test against England at Sydney Cricket Ground on January 4, 2014
Photographs: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

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Bowling coach McDermott signs new deal with Australia

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Australia bowling coach Craig McDermott, who has been credited with turning his country's pace attack into one of the most potent in the world, has signed a new two-year deal, Cricket Australia said on Monday.

The 49-year-old former paceman returned as Australia's bowling coach ahead of last year's home Ashes series against England, his second stint after working with the fast bowlers for a year starting May 2011.

Australia demolished England 5-0 at home and then won a series in South Africa to climb back to the top of the Test rankings with the pace battery widely proclaimed as the best in the world.

"Craig has built a really strong rapport with the bowling group," Cricket Australia's team performance manager Pat Howard said.

"Combine that with the international experience and technical expertise, it has proved to be a successful combination in recent times and we're keen to see that continue."

Since his return, McDermott has worked only with the Test pacemen but in a new role will now also help out the limited-overs bowlers as Australia prepares to co-host the 50-overs World Cup with New Zealand next year.

"Craig will also do a bit more work with the limited-overs players, along with Ali de Winter, as we head towards the World Cup early next year," Howard added.

"As part of his role he will be closely connected to the work being done at the National Cricket Centre to ensure he is aligned to also developing players for the future."

Mitchell Johnson and Ryan Harris have been Australia's standout bowlers during their recent success, with the reliable Peter Siddle, young gun James Pattinson and spinner Nathan Lyon also making telling contributions.

McDermott, who took 291 wickets in 71 Tests for Australia, said the goal would be to maintain the good work with a home series against India coming up, followed by next year's World Cup and the Ashes in England.

"I feel like we've got a really good group at the moment," he said.

"It's really been great to build this close bond with them all - the boys call it the fast bowling cartel, but we also let Nathan Lyon in - and we're all really motivated to keep that going.

"I'm also looking forward to taking on more responsibility and to work closely with Darren Lehmann (head coach) to broaden my coaching skills and, alongside Michael Di Venuto (batting coach), to ensure we're a well-oiled coaching unit." 


Image: Mitchell Johnson of Australia prepares to bowl as bowling coach Craig McDermott looks on during an Australian Ashes training session at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on December 23, 2013
Photographs: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

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