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Surrey open to Warner, Smith county deals

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Surrey head coach Michael Di Venuto has left the door ajar for David Warner and Steven Smith to play for the county during their ball-tampering bans if the ECB were to permit the pair to be available for the English domestic game.

Di Venuto is a former Australia batting coach, having held the role from 2013 to 2016, and said it would be “mad” not to consider signing either of the duo should it be allowed. The bans handed down by Cricket Australia only cover Australian international and domestic cricket, although any position in the county game would need ECB sign-off.

“From an Australian perspective, it is probably important that they play a bit of cricket at some stage,” Di Venuto said. “I don’t know if they are allowed to play in this competition. I know what it states in their sanctions that they can’t play domestic cricket in Australia.

“If they are in the right mental state to play cricket and the ECB will have to allow it to start with, then we’d be mad not to look at some of the world’s best players potentially playing.”

The pair have already lost their IPL deals following the events in Cape Town last month while the third player involved, Cameron Bancroft, who was handed a nine-month ban, had his deal with Somerset scrapped.

Surrey had been due to have the services of allrounder Mitchell Marsh but he required ankle surgery following the South Africa tour which scuppered his summer in county cricket. Dean Elgar, the South Africa opening batsman, has been signed for the first two months of the season.

“We have got a relationship with Mitch to see how he goes with his ankle but we have got a spot we have got to fill as well,” di Venuto said.



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Recent Match Report – New South Wales vs Western Australia 4th Match 2020

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New South Wales 6 for 443 dec (Henriques 167, Solway 86) and 2 for 107 drew with Western Australia 534 (Green 197, Whiteman 114, Kelly 89, Abbott 6-89)

The final day between Western Australia and New South Wales became notable for two near-misses of personal milestones by Cameron Green and Matthew Kelly as the game petered out to a draw at tea on a docile surface.

Kelly, who had never passed fifty before in his first-class career, was blazing his way towards a maiden century before being caught in the deep while Green, after batting throughout the third day, was given lbw for 197 and was distraught by the decision as he was sure he had hit the ball.

In a game dominated by the bat, Sean Abbott deserved much credit for his preservice in collecting 6 for 89 before New South Wales comfortably wiped out the deficit to ensure against any late uncertainty.

Western Australia were the only side with the slightest chance of forcing a result at the start of the day and opted for scoreboard pressure by extending their innings until shortly before lunch. Green dropped anchor, almost batting himself to a standstill as he added 12 in 60 balls to his overnight 185, while Kelly brought out the long handle.

After bringing up his maiden half-century from 72 balls he swung five sixes in 12 balls against Nathan Lyon and Jason Sangha before Peter Nevill brought back his quicks to try and stem the damage. Kelly wasn’t too far from his eighth six when he picked out deep midwicket.

Green’s marathon innings – the longest in the Sheffield Shield in terms of balls faced since 2015 when Cameron Bancroft faced 567 deliveries for 211 – then ended when Abbott nipped one back to take his back leg, but Green could barely believe it when the umpire’s finger went up and had to drag himself, head in hands, from the crease.

Abbott’s sixth wicket wrapped up the innings shortly before lunch and when Daniel Hughes was bounced out by Cameron Gannon, gloving a catch to the slips, there was a glimmer of Western Australia causing problems but a stand of 72 between Nick Larkin and Kurtis Patterson closed out the contest.



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New Cricket Victoria chairman backs Earl Eddings for second Cricket Australia term

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David Maddocks, the new Cricket Victoria chair, has declared that on his first impression there is a strong case for the Cricket Australia chairman Earl Eddings to be granted a second term when his current three-year stint expires next year, arguing that the game requires “stability in a period of great instability”, underlined by uncertainty about India’s port of arrival for this summer’s tour.

A lawyer and governance expert, Maddocks cut his administrative teeth at the North Melbourne Cricket Club before it merged to form the Greenvale Kangaroos and as such has known Eddings, who is also a former president of North Melbourne, for decades. In a rocky year for CA, which has seen its chief executive Kevin Roberts moved on amid issues around Covid-19 and disputes with the states, the players association and most recently the free-to-air broadcaster Channel Seven, Maddocks argued that CA should consider the need for continuity when so much was changing around the game.

“You often hear it said that board members by the time their period is about to expire, they’re really at their best, they’ve been around, they understand the issues, they understand the interrelationships and all those sorts of things,” Maddocks said. “I think at the moment in terms of CV and CA, there is a strong case for stability in a period of great instability. There are a number of issues CA’s dealing with, the upcoming Test series and so on. My personal view is I think Earl is doing a very good job and I think if there was potential for him to stay on, I think it’s something that ought to be considered.

ALSO READ: Cricket Australia chairman Earl Eddings gains ally from Victoria board change

“Do I agree with where CA is going and its vision? Yes, I do. In terms of my relationship with Earl, I know Earl very well through cricket circles going back a long time. But I understand my duty entirely as CV chair is I’ve got to exercise my own judgment on issues in the best interests of cricket in Victoria. I know Earl well enough, and I think this is a good thing, to tell him if I have concerns or what CV’s interests might be if there’s something that’s not consistent with where CA are heading.”

Eddings’ predecessor David Peever attempted to continue for a second term and was re-elected as such at the CA AGM in late 2018, before the release of a cultural review following the Newlands scandal saw his resignation forced when New South Wales and its chairman John Knox withdrew support a matter of days later.

Both Knox and the Queensland chairman Chris Simpson raised governance concerns at the AGMs of their respective states earlier this year, but Maddocks is of the view that structural change to the CA board – to have the direct representation of states on the board rather than state nominated independent directors – is not a path cricket should return to.

“As I understand it, the fundamental concern about this old style is that decisions could be dominated more by self-interest and perhaps controlled by the larger, more powerful states, whereas decisions need to be made by CA for the best interests of cricket throughout Australia,” Maddocks said. “No problem with the dialogue, no problem with the discussion, but my personal view is the structure as it presently stands is overall a more appropriate style than that old school style

“One positive side of it would be if the states understand more what’s happening, and the difficulties or issues that CA are confronting, we all might be able to contribute in a positive way to working towards solutions. The states shouldn’t just sit back and wait to be told what to do, and I don’t believe we are. I think under Earl there’s been very good communication to the states and there’s nothing to stop states from raising issues and getting more information from CA.

Nevertheless, Maddocks emphasised the need for strong communication between boards, and saw no reason why CA directors should not be welcome at every CV board meeting, citing the example of Mel Jones who was Victoria’s nominee to the CA board in late 2019.

“The first delegates meeting I chaired was last Monday and Mel attended, and Earl attended,” he said. “My understanding from talking to Mel is that she’s keen to attend every delegates meeting that takes place in Victoria, but also to be involved in the CV board meetings as well. Earl has also said that he is available at any time. That’s one thing I’ll be very much taking advantage of.

“I accept there has been comment previously that there’s a feeling with that board-nominated person we could have more communication from them, and we will. When they are independently appointed, they’re there to make decisions in the best interest of Cricket in Australia, but I don’t see how that in any way precludes them from coming back and attending any meetings to keep Cricket Victoria informed. and that’s exactly what I’ll be encouraging.”

Maddocks accepted, too, that there had been a high degree of criticism about CV’s cuts to community cricket earlier this year, and also acknowledged that one of his key tasks was to ensure unity across the state. “What I’d like to encourage is that we work together constructively,” he said. “A good example recently was that we’ve got a proper process for people to raise issues and vote directors in and out. We have elections, there’s always a potential for change. So, I’d really want to encourage a sense of working together and looking at solutions.”



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Romario Shepherd replaces injured Dwayne Bravo in West Indies squad for New Zealand T20Is

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Fast-bowling allrounder Romario Shepherd will replace the injured Dwayne Bravo in the West Indies T20 squad for the upcoming tour of New Zealand. The 25-year-old Shepherd made his international debut last year against Afghanistan, and has played five ODIs and two T20Is so far.

Bravo sustained a groin injury while playing for the Chennai Super Kings in the ongoing IPL season.

“I was really looking forward to the tour of New Zealand as it has been so many months since I last wore maroon in Sri Lanka back in March and we are all so excited about building towards defending our T20 World Cup next year,” Bravo said. “Unfortunately, the injury I sustained on Saturday playing for CSK has not only ruled me out of the IPL but also the tour.

“I’m making arrangements to return to Trinidad over the next few days where I will continue my rehab and treatment. I’m fully committed to representing the West Indies and I just need to get myself stronger again.”

Shepherd picked up six wickets at 23.16 for the Guyana Amazon Warriors, while returning an economy rate of 7.31, during the Caribbean Premier League, which ended in September.

“This is a great opportunity for me, and I want to take it with both hands,” Shepherd said. “I was in the team before, last year and earlier this year, so I have a good feel of the game at this level. I’ve been training hard and working at all areas of my game so I’m ready.”

West Indies will tour New Zealand from November 27 to December 15, playing three T20Is followed by two Test matches that are part of the World Test Championship cycle.

West Indies T20I squad for New Zealand tour: Kieron Pollard (capt), Fabian Allen, Sheldon Cottrell, Andre Fletcher, Shimron Hetmyer, Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Rovman Powell, Keemo Paul, Nicholas Pooran, Romario Shepherd, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jr, Kesrick Williams.



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