Cricket Buzz: Mushtaq quits England coaching role to join Pakistan
Former leg spinner Mushtaq Ahmed has left his role as England spin-bowling coach to take up a similar position with Pakistan, the Pakistan Cricket Board said on Monday.
Mushtaq, who took 185 wickets in 52 Tests, will join Pakistan's coaching set-up with immediate effect.
The 43-year-old worked with England for six years but he is the latest coach to leave following the 5-0 Ashes defeat in Australia.
His exit follows that of head coach Andy Flower and batting coach Graham Gooch.
"Acting on the recommendation of the coach selection committee, the chairman, Mr Najam Sethi, has appointed former Pakistan leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed as the national spin bowling coach with immediate effect," the PCB said in a statement.
"Mushtaq signed the contract with PCB (on) Monday morning and has taken charge of his position."
Mushtaq joins former international team-mate Waqar Younis, who was appointed head coach last week, in the Pakistan set-up.
Mushtaq said that his main task would be to help develop the spinners and play a role in forming a strong support team.
“This Pakistan team has a lot of potential which needs to be realised by the time the World Cup is held (next year),” he told Reuters.
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Image: Mushtaq Ahmed and England's Graeme Swann during an England training session.
Photographs: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images
Cardiff to host 2015 Ashes opener
England's bid to regain the Ashes next year will begin with the first Test at Cardiff's Sophia Gardens, the England and Wales Cricket Board announced on Monday.
Cardiff, which also hosted the Ashes opener in 2009, will get the five-Test series underway from July 8-12 with matches following at Lord's, Edgbaston, Trent Bridge and the Oval.
England will also play Tests against New Zealand at Lord's and Headingley next year along with five one-day internationals and a Twenty20 international against both touring parties.
Australia will warm up for the Ashes with four-day matches against Kent and Essex and will play three-day games against Derbyshire and Northants during the series.
England have won the last three Ashes series on home soil but relinquished the famous urn in ignominious circumstances with a 5-0 drubbing in Australia around the New Year.
England's 2015 home schedule:
May 21-25: First Test v New Zealand, Lord's
May 29-June 2: Second Test v New Zealand, Headingley
June 9: First ODI v New Zealand, Edgbaston
June 12: Second ODI v New Zealand, The Oval
June 14: Third ODI v New Zealand, Southampton
June 17: Fourth ODI v New Zealand, Trent Bridge
June 20: Fifth ODI v New Zealand, Durham
June 23: Twenty20 v New Zealand, Old Trafford
July 8-12: First Test v Australia, Cardiff
July 16-20: Second Test v Australia, Lord's
July 29-Aug 2: Third Test v Australia. Edgbaston
Aug 6-10: Fourth Test v Australia, Trent Bridge
Aug 20-24: Fifth Test v Australia, The Oval
Aug 31: Twenty20 v Australia, Cardiff
Sept 3: First ODI v Australia, Southampton
Sept 5: Second ODI v Australia, Lord's
Sept 8: Third ODI v Australia, Old Trafford
Sept 11: Fourth ODI v Australia, Headingley
Sept 13: Fifth ODI v Australia, Old Trafford
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Image: A general view of the SWALEC stadium in Cardiff, Wales.
Photographs: Tom Shaw/Getty Images
Bradman's first Test bat up for auction
The cricket bat used by Australian sporting legend Don Bradman to launch his Test career has been put up for auction and is expected to fetch up to Australian dollars 145,000.
Bradman, who retired with a yet-to-be-topped Test batting average of 99.94, used the bat to open his Test career in the 1928 series against England.
It was donated by him to the Sydney Sun newspaper in 1930 as a competition prize to raise money for a children's hospital and was held by the boy who won until 2008 when he sold it for Aus$145,000 ($136,000).
The current vendor, an Australian collector, put it on display at the National Sports Museum at the Melbourne Cricket Ground but has now decided to sell.
"The market is tougher now but we expect to reach around the same price again," Max Williamson of Mossgreen Auctions in Melbourne told AFP.
"Cricket has got a very big community of collectors so we expect it to be sold to a collector or an institution."
The bat, signed by Bradman as DGB, also holds the signatures of 19 members of English and Australian teams who played in his maiden Test.
Bradman scored just 18 and 1 in his first Test but went on to become a player widely acknowledged as the greatest batsman of all time.
The market for memorabilia related to Bradman, who died in 2001 aged 92, remains strong with a bat he used and signed by his 1948 "Invincible" team selling for Aus$61,000 last year.
The baggy green cap he wore at his final Test sold for more than Australian 400,000 dollars in 2008.
Image: The late Sir Don Bradman pictured in March 1938.
Photographs: Keystone/Getty Images