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Jason Roy avoids suspension after outburst against umpires

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Jason Roy has avoided suspension, and only been slapped with a 30% fine of his match fees, for his animated outburst aimed at umpire Kumara Dharmasena after being given out – incorrectly – in the World Cup semi-final against Australia at Edgbaston on Thursday.

Roy, leading England’s chase of Australia’s 223, was batting on 85 when he attempted to pull Pat Cummins’ short delivery and missed by a fair margin, as replays later confirmed. Alex Carey dived to his left behind the stumps and pulled off an excellent collection and went up in appeal along with the bowler and some of the Australian fielders. Umpire Dharmasena looked uncertain but raised his finger, and with Jonny Bairstow having wasted England’s review earlier in the innings, Roy had to go.

He stood his ground at first and then walked off clearly unhappy, remonstrating with the umpires – Marais Erasmus was the other on-field official – on his way out and making his displeasure obvious. The stump mics even caught a furious Roy yelling “that’s f***ing embarrassing”.

It seemed that he might draw the ire of the match officials for his show of dissent and cop a serious sanction, but was allowed to get away with the fine and two demerit points.

Demerit Points stay for a period of two years on a player’s disciplinary record from the date of enforcement. If Roy is handed two more demerit points, he will run the risk of a suspension point, two of which will then lead to a ban of one Test or two ODIs or two T20Is, whichever is scheduled first.

Roy’s performance with the bat – 85 off 65 balls with nine fours and five sixes – made a big difference to England’s cause as they crossed the line with eight wickets and 107 balls in hand, reaching their fourth World Cup final and first since 1992.

Roy is a key member of their plans, his blazing starts, which have so far added up to 426 runs in six innings, a big part of their success in recent years. So the fact that he has been let off with a rap on the knuckles and not handed a more severe punishment, perhaps even a one-match suspension, will make the England camp happy.



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James Faulkner set for Lancashire T20 Blast return in 2020

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James Faulkner, the Australian left-arm seamer, will return to Lancashire for his fourth stint at the club for next year’s T20 Blast.

Faulkner first appeared for the county in 2015, and has been one of their overseas players in the Blast since 2018. This season, he took 11 wickets with an economy rate of 7.88 as Lancashire topped the North Group, but were beaten by eventual winners Essex in the quarter-finals.

“I am thrilled to be returning to Emirates Old Trafford for next season’s Vitality Blast,” Faulkner said. “It feels like a home away from home for me and I cannot wait to get started again in May.

“We were unlucky not to progress past the quarter-finals last year and we are all determined to put that right in 2020. We will be going all out to repeat the success of 2015, which remains one of the proudest memories in my cricketing career.

“Emirates Old Trafford is an amazing place to play cricket and I can’t wait to reunite with the squad next summer. I’m determined to win the Vitality Blast trophy back for the Club.”

Paul Allott, the club’s director of cricket, said: “James is a fantastic, well-rounded cricketer of significant experience and we are delighted to welcome him back to Emirates Old Trafford for a fourth season in 2020.

“He is the very definition of an all-rounder. He can bowl in any situation, which he has done successfully for us at both the beginning and back end of an innings, and is still a powerful batsman, not to mention his outstanding ability in the field too.

“His enthusiasm in representing the Red Rose is evident and he has established himself as a key figure in our T20 side. He is a proven winner and a great role model to the younger players.”



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South Africa lose title sponsor as freefall continues

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South Africa’s men’s team will lose their major sponsor, Standard Bank, who have opted not to renew their deal when it expires on April 30, 2020. This ends an association with cricket that dates back to 1998. Standard Bank sponsored South African cricket between 1998 and 2011, when it ended its sports associations with both cricket and football. The company then returned to cricket in 2016 and signed a four-year deal with Cricket South Africa (CSA) which is understood to be to the tune of R400 million (approx. US$ 27.3 million). Currently, they are only the title sponsor for the men’s team and their withdrawal is a direct result of administrative and governance problems at CSA which Standard Bank believes is tarnishing its reputation.

“Standard Bank is committed to upholding the highest levels of leadership, integrity and governance. In light of recent developments at CSA, which are a culmination of long-standing problems which have damaged Standard Bank’s reputation, it has decided not to renew its partnership with CSA,” Thulani Sibeko, Standard Bank Group Chief Marketing and Communications Officer said in a statement released on Friday morning.

Cricket South Africa’s protracted problems, which include a court battle against the South African Cricketers’ Association (SACA), projected financial losses of at least R654 million (approx. US$44.7 million) in the next four-year cycle, and the suspension of six staff members – three of whom were given notice of their suspension on Thursday – came to a head last weekend when five journalists’ accreditation was revoked during the Mzansi Super League (MSL).

On Monday, CSA CEO Thabang Moroe confirmed CSA made the decision because they did not approve of the way these reporters were writing about the organisation. That same day, Standard Bank expressed its “grave concerns,” about the situation at CSA and demanded a meeting with CSA to “know about developments within CSA, especially those that relate to governance and conduct.”

Sources told ESPNcricinfo that Standard Bank had been severe on CSA officials at the meeting and demanded they “clean up their act”. On Tuesday, Standard Bank issued a statement expressing its satisfaction that the meeting was “productive” and that they were left with the assurance that CSA would “urgently take the South African public into its confidence about the state of governance at the cricket administrative body”. It also said CSA had agreed to “urgently implement remedial actions to address stakeholder concerns, including the unacceptable manner in which it treated members of the media”.

However, just three days later, Standard Bank has confirmed it will not renew the sponsorship deal. Between Tuesday and Friday, three independent directors, Professor Shirley Zinn, Iqbal Khan and Dawn Makhobo, have resigned from the CSA board, and there have been calls from all quarters for the CEO and President, Chris Nenzani to step down.

Among the chorus has been former UCB managing director Ali Bacher, who was involved in mediating an agreement between Moroe and Graeme Smith, which would have seen Smith become director of cricket on October 1. Critiques have also emerged from development sponsors The Willowton Group and, last night, the Gauteng Cricket Board, the biggest provincial affiliate of CSA. In addition to the voices of dissent, CSA also faces allegations of credit card abuse from Khan, and a second commercial rights dispute with South African Cricketers’ Association (SACA) in as many months.

Now, CSA has also lost its only major team sponsor after deals with Sunfoil and Momentum ended last year.



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Crisis in South African cricket – full coverage

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Crisis in South African cricket – full coverage



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