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Buzz: Imran's advice for out-of-favour Sarfaraz

Last updated on: November 18, 2019 20:21 IST

All that's transpired on and off the cricket pitch on Monday.

The wicketkeeper-batsman was removed as captain and dropped from the team in all three formats by the PCB last month after Pakistan were whitewashed 0-3 in a T20 series at home by a weak Sri Lankan team

IMAGE: Sarfaraz Ahmed was stripped of captaincy and dropped from the team in all three formats by the PCB last month after Pakistan were whitewashed 0-3 in the home T20 series by a weak Sri Lankan team. Photograph: PCB/Twitter

Prime Minister Imran Khan has advised sacked Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed to focus on domestic cricket to get back to the national team.

Khan, the patron-in-chief of the Pakistan Cricket Board and a former captain, also backed the appointment of Misbah-ul Haq as head coach and chief selector.

"I don't think the performance and form of a player should be judged by T20 cricket, but through Test and One-day cricket. He can come back to the national team, he should focus on domestic cricket," Khan said, when asked about Sarfaraz.

 

The wicketkeeper-batsman was removed as captain and dropped from the team in all three formats by the PCB last month after Pakistan were whitewashed 0-3 in the T20 series at home by a weak Sri Lankan team.

Regarding the appointment of Misbah as head coach and chief selector, Khan said, "It is a constructive move to appoint Misbah as he is an honest and unbiased personality who has loads of experience behind him.

"I think Misbah will turn out to be a good choice and Pakistan will improve and do well in Test and ODI cricket under him. He has this talent in him that he can groom the players and also improve their performance," he added.

Khan also supported the new domestic first-class season in which only six provincial teams are competing on home and away basis and said eventually this will lead to a better cricket system in the country.

He noted that there was already some improvement in domestic cricket and hoped it will get better.

"If our domestic cricket improves, then Pakistan cricket will also move forward."

Siddle looks to domestic games for Test return

Fast bowler Peter Siddle believes that if he keeps on performing well in the domestic tournaments, he may don the white jersey for Australia again.

"If I can keep performing and keep standing up for the team and do all the right things, I'll keep trying to truck in," cricket.com.au quoted Siddle as saying.

"If it gets me another game for Australia (I'll be happy) ... if it doesn't, 67 Tests and a few white-ball games, I've had a pretty good career. I'll be happy no matter what," he added.

Siddle was overlooked for Australia's Test squad against Pakistan last week.

"You always retain a little bit of hope (but) it's probably dwindled a little bit in the last week or so," he said.

Siddle was brilliant in the Ashes 2019 but took a break after the showpiece event to recover from a hip injury.

Australia and Pakistan are slated to play two Tests against each other and the second match of the series would be a day-night Test at Adelaide.

The first match of the series will be played in Brisbane from November 21-25. 

Emerging Cup: India beat Hong Kong, meet Pakistan in semis

Chinmay Sutar and Shubham Sharma starred in India's comprehensive 120-run win over Hong Kong in the ACC Emerging Teams Cup, in Savar, Bangladesh, on Monday.

India will now clash with arch-rivals Pakistan in the semi-finals.

Sutar smashed an unbeaten 104 off 85 balls and Sharma an unbeaten 65 off 55 balls as India amassed 322 for five in 50 overs. Opener and wickekeeper B R Sharath too made a valuable contribution with 90 off 93 balls.

Sharma also contributed with the ball, taking four wickets for 32 runs in 10 overs as India bowled out Kong Kong for 202 in 47.3 overs. Shahid Wasif top-scored for Hong Kong with 68 off 84 balls.

India take on Pakistan in Dhaka on Wednesday while other semi-final will be between hosts Bangladesh and Afghanistan. The final too will be played in Dhaka on November 23.

India ended the league stage behind toppers Bangladesh, having lost to the hosts.

Mushtaq Ali Trophy: Harshal shines as Mumbai rout Meghalaya

Haryana, powered by an all-round show by Harshal Patel, ended their Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy league stage campaign with a 99-run victory over Meghalaya in Group D, in Mumbai on Monday.

Haryana have already made it to the Super League stage of the National T20 tournament, which begins in Surat on November 21.

Mumbai, who lost only one game in the league phase, also booked their place in the Super League stage.

Put in to bat at the Bandra-Kurla Complex, Haryana rode on a quickfire 82 off 40 balls by opener Patel to amass a competitive 202/6 despite losing the early wickets of Himanshura and in-form Chaitanya Bishnoi.

However, while wickets were tumbling at the other end, Patel held fort at one end and toyed with Meghalaya’s pedestrian bowling attack, hammering five fours and seven sixes during his stay at the crease.

A brisk unbeaten 31 not out by Rahul Tewatia helped Haryana cross the 200-run mark.

The chase was an uphill task for Meghalaya, who struggled to get going and were restricted to 103/9.

Patel, a right-arm medium pacer, then shone with the ball to return fine figures of 3/22.

Meanwhile, in an inconsequential Group D game, Madhya Pradesh’s bowlers held their nerve to eke out a thrilling five-run victory over Pondicherry at the Wankhede Stadium in south Mumbai.

Brief scores:

At BKC: Haryana 202-6 in 20 overs (Harshal Patel 82, Rahul Tewatia not out 31; Sanjay Yadav 2-24, Amiangshu Sen 2-19) beat Meghalaya 103-9 (Abhay Negi 25, Sanjay Yadav 21, Ravi Teja 21; Harshal Patel 3-22) by 99 runs.

Haryana 4 points, Meghalaya 0.

At Wankhede: Madhya Pradesh 177/6 (Ashutosh Sharma 84, Venkatesh Iyer 35; R Vinay Kumar 4/30) beat Pondicherry 172/5 (B Arun Karthik 60, Paras Dogra 41; Rahul Batham 2/24) by five runs.

MP 4 points, Pondicherry 0.

Archer takes aim at Kookaburra ball before NZ Test

England's Jofra Archer says it has been a challenge adjusting to the Kookaburra ball ahead of Thursday's first Test against New Zealand but hopes a bit of pace off the surface at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui will help level the playing field.

Archer made his Test debut in the Ashes series against Australia earlier this year, taking 22 wickets in four matches, and is England's main strike bowler in New Zealand in the absence of the injured James Anderson.

The two-Test series is Archer's first overseas tour and his chief concern is the Australian-made ball, which has a far less pronounced seam than he is used to.

"I'd never bowled with the red Kookaburra before, but I knew it was going to be tough and so it proved," he wrote in a column for the Daily Mail.

"People say it has a smaller seam than the Dukes ball we use in England but I'm not sure it has a seam at all. It isn't pronounced on any part of the ball. It doesn't hold its shine either and gets very old, very fast."

Archer is pinning his hopes on the speed of the pitch in Mount Maunganui after playing on the "flattest" of his life in Whangarei in England's final warm-up match.

"We've heard conditions at Mount Maunganui might be more helpful and there could be a bit more pace so ... that may be something to work with," he added.

"When there's nothing on offer from the conditions, you have to try whatever you can. You have to be inventive over here, which is one of the things we've spoken about as a group."

One of the highlights of the Ashes was Archer's battle with Australia's Steve Smith, who plundered 774 runs in four matches despite suffering a concussion after being struck by a bouncer from the 24-year-old.

Archer said England's bowlers could expect to be tested by New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson, the No. 3 Test batsman in the world.

"I didn't want to be bowling to Steve Smith again anytime soon after what happened last summer," he added.

"But New Zealand have Kane Williamson, who isn't going to give you much either.

"We're probably going to have to try a bit of everything against him, although he plays the short ball pretty well."

Root's England put new philosophy to Test in New Zealand

England's two-match series in New Zealand is not part of the World Test Championship but will be no less significant for the tourists as they prepare to showcase a more patient brand of cricket under their new coach in Mount Maunganui on Thursday.

With Australia retaining the Ashes earlier this year, England, under new coach Chris Silverwood, have embarked on a two-year project to reclaim the urn in 2020-21.

Jettisoning the aggressive style championed by his predecessor Trevor Bayliss, Silverwood has advocated a more conservative approach to Test cricket, with skipper Joe Root emphasizing the importance of patience ahead of the series.

"We have to try to bat longer. It doesn't matter how long it takes to get a good score on any given wicket," Root said.

"It would be nice to get used to batting for 120 overs more regularly, especially in the first innings.

"And it doesn't just apply to our batting. It's with the ball as well. We have to be prepared to go at two an over and build pressure in different ways."

England are also leaning more toward youth, packing seven under-25 players in their 15-man squad. Four of them -- Ollie Pope, Sam Curran, Dominic Sibley and Jofra Archer -- could see action in Mount Maunganui this week.

Root will be back at his preferred number four against New Zealand, ahead of Ben Stokes, while Dom Sibley will partner Rory Burns at the top, but England's bowling unit looks less intimidating in the absence of James Anderson and Mark Wood.

Archer, playing his first overseas Test series, might have to shoulder the extra burden.

Currently ranked second in the world, one place above England, New Zealand have lost only one of their last 15 Tests on home soil.

Their batting has been bolstered by skipper Kane Williamson's timely recovery from a hip injury ahead of the inaugural Test at his home ground.

"It doesn't restrict my movement too much, it's only in certain specific positions, it's more that happens in a wide squat or these sort of things," Williamson told Radio New Zealand of his injury.

"If it doesn't get too aggravated ... then it's fine. You are always managing bits and pieces of your body."

Williamson will share the scoring burden with Henry Nicholls and Tom Latham -- all three Test batsmen ranked in the top 10 -- as well as veteran Ross Taylor.

They also have a potent pace attack, as England found out in Auckland last year when Tim Southee and Trent Boult bundled them out for 58 in the first innings.

Neil Wagner, known for his penchant to bounce out batsmen, completes New Zealand's three-pronged seam attack while Lockie Ferguson, their World Cup hero, will be looking forward to a Test debut following his maiden call-up.

Hamilton hosts the second Test from Novenmber 29.

Injured Ellyse Perry to miss WBBL's next game

Sidney Sixers all-rounder Ellyse Perry will miss the next game against Hobart Hurricanes as the cricketer suffered a shoulder injury on Sunday.

The right-handed batter had landed heavily on her right shoulder while fielding during the Rebel WBBL match against the Melbourne Renegades.

Perry will be undergoing a further assessment of her injury later this week.

"Club medical staff will provide further information then, but expect Perry to miss between 1-3 weeks with the star all-rounder set to be available for the WBBL finals in December," Sydney Sixers said in an official statement.

Melbourne Renegades won the match by two wickets after they successfully chased the 140-run target against the Sixers in the ongoing Women's Big Bash League.

WBBL player Emily Smith banned for Instagram post

Hobart Hurricanes wicketkeeper Emily Smith was on Monday banned for the remainder of the Women Big Bash League (WBBL) season after breaching Cricket Australia's stringent anti-corruption policy.

According to Cricket Australia's website, "Smith posted a video in her personal Instagram account taken from within the restricted Player and Match Official Area (PMOA) of West Park in Burnie on November 2, that included details on the Hurricanes' line-up for their match against Sydney Thunder."

It is understood that first XI line-up can be used by individuals betting on games, including 'fantasy' competitions with cash prizes.

The video was posted about an hour before the scheduled start of play, a statement from CA confirmed. The match was washed out without a ball bowled and no coin toss was possible.

Smith accepted the sanction for breaching Article 2.3.2 of the anti-corruption code and is ineligible to participate in any form of cricket for one year, with nine months of those suspended.

The three remaining months will see her ruled out of the remainder of the WBBL season, while she will also be unable to play in the 50-over Women's National Cricket League.

Article 2.3.2 of Cricket Australia's Anti-Corruption Code prohibits, "Disclosing Inside Information to any person (with or without Reward) where the Participant knew or might reasonably have known that such disclosure might lead to the information being used in relation to Betting in relation to any Match or Event."

Cricket Australia's Head of Integrity and Security Sean Carroll said while Smith did not intend to breach the code, players were well aware of their obligations.

"Since the commencement of the WBBL, Cricket Australia has had in place a robust anti-corruption program. We have been working with Emily throughout the process and Emily now understands the mistake she made."

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