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Nigeria have signed up Asanka Gurusinha, the former Sri Lanka batsman and manager of the national team, as their head coach and high-performance director. In his new job, starting this month, Gurusinha will also the training of local coaches, with the Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF) moving to handle “tremendous growth and development in all areas of the sport”.

Nigeria have been on the rise in the last year and a half, with appearances at the Under-19 World Cup earlier this year as well as at the 2019 T20 World Cup qualifier – while the women’s team played the World Cup qualifier in Zimbabwe in 2019 – and are now aiming higher.

“The appointment of Asanka marks another milestone in this administration’s desire to raise the standard of the game in the country both at the elite and development level,” Yahaya Adam Ukwenya, president of the NCF, said in a statement. “Internally, his appointment will greatly impart on our development structure as we look to begin our Accelerated Growth Program.

“On the big stage, Nigeria can no longer take a passing interest in world cricket, we should be able to compete at all levels we play and not just make up the numbers.”

Gurusinha, now 54, represented Sri Lanka as a player from 1985 to 1996, most memorably at the 1996 World Cup, where he scored 307 runs from six innings at an average of 51.16 as Sri Lanka won the trophy for the first – and so far only – time. Overall, he played 41 Tests (2452 runs at an average of 38.92, seven centuries and eight half-centuries) and 147 ODIs (3902 runs at 28.27, two centuries and 22 half-centuries). He also picked up 46 international wickets with his part-time medium pace.

A Level 3 coach, Gurusinha has more recently been cricket manager and selector for the Sri Lanka men’s team and also a consultant with Cricket Australia.

NCF said that Gurusinha would be officially unveiled as the new coach at a ceremony in the capital city of Abuja on December 8, with the national team members and federation officials in attendance.



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Cricket

Men’s Hundred – Eoin Morgan

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Middle order failing to fire, absence of three members of Test squad, Maxwell’s relatively late withdrawal hurt winless London Spirit

Few pundits backed London Spirit for the title in the inaugural season of the men’s Hundred but nobody whose memory stretched as far back as 2008 was willing to write them off. Playing in blue from head to toe, with Shane Warne as head coach and an unfancied squad? There were enough parallels with the Rajasthan Royals side that won the first-ever IPL to suggest they might just pull something improbable out the bag.

But five games into their first season, the Spirit have been the Hundred’s weakest side. They are the only side in the men’s competition yet to win a game, and were thrashed in their fourth and final home fixture (one was a washout) by Northern Superchargers on Tuesday night. The table is still tight enough that they are mathematically in the running, but any realistic chances of qualifying for knockout stages have dissipated.

Their first three defeats were all tight, with each game going down to the final set of five balls. At Edgbaston, they were just short of par in setting Birmingham Phoenix 145 to win, and in the home losses against Trent Rockets and Southern Brave, they were two boundaries away from getting across the line.



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Bangladesh vs Australia T20Is, 2021

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The 1994 tour to Pakistan was the last time a full series was not available to viewers in Australia

For the first time since 1994 a tour by the Australia men’s team will not broadcast into Australia after a last-minute deal failed to materialise for the rights to the T20I series in Bangladesh.

It had been hoped that in the absence of a traditional television deal the series would be streamed on YouTube but there was no live coverage into Australia.

Australia’s injured captain Aaron Finch, who is currently in hotel quarantine in Melbourne having left the tour with a knee injury, was among those caught out by the lack of coverage during the first T20I.

While the occasional one-off limited-overs match has not been seen in Australia over the last few years, it is not since the 1994 tour of Pakistan that an entire series won’t have been shown.



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IPL 2021 – Eoin Morgan to return to Kolkata Knight Riders for second half of IPL

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He says involvement of other England players in the tournament, scheduled in September-October in the UAE, was a matter of personal choice

Eoin Morgan has confirmed he will return to Kolkata Knight Riders for the rescheduled second half of the IPL in the UAE in September-October following the postponement of England’s limited-overs tour to Bangladesh.

England were due to play three ODIs and three T20Is in Bangladesh in September-October but the ECB and the BCB released statements on Tuesday morning confirming that they had “mutually decided” to postpone the tour until March 2023. The IPL is due to resume on September 19 after its postponement midway through the season earlier this year, with the tour’s postponement opening up the opportunity for England’s white-ball players to take part ahead of the T20 World Cup in the UAE.



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