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Tuesday,03-August-2021

International

Aussie bowlers use towels for practice in quarantine

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Australian bowlers have been asked to use room towels to maintain strength in their arms during lockdown and quarantine.

With no cricket for up to a month before they fly to West Indies for two white-ball series, the Aussies are discovering novel ways, including using towels, to keep fit during the phase.

“Our trainer has sent us a programme, an exercise for us to try out to keep our throwing up in lockdown,” Pat Cummins had said on a Youtube show.

“Which is, you get a hand towel or a small towel and you tie a knot at the end of it. It 9the knot) almost looks like a cricket ball and you bowl in your room and you feel a bit of resistance while bowling,” he added while explaining the method.

Cummins is one of many Australian players who are serving quarantine after arriving from India via Maldives following postponement of Indian Premier League earlier this month. The players, including star players David Warner and Steve Smith, are locked up in hotel rooms in Sydney. They are, however, following their training regimen.

Cummins acknowledged the novel idea from Aussie team trainer, saying that since it is not possible to use a cricket ball in the room, the towel has come in handy.

“Shout-out to our trainer. He sent that one to practice. We were struck in our room with no cricket ball to throw. Maybe, we can try that with our run-up and with our bowling,” he added.

He also said that he has been working on core and advised aspiring fast bowlers to do the same.

“Try and work on core. Few squats, few sit-ups. Can’t go wrong doing those things as a fast bowler,” he said.

The Australians begin their tour of the West Indies with first of the five T20 Internationals on July 9. All the T20Is will be played in St Lucia.

They then follow the T20I series with ODI series that runs from July 20 to 24. All the ODIs will be played in Barbados.

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Pakistan’s Azam Khan ruled out of two T20Is against West Indies

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Pakistan batsman Azam Khan has been ruled out of the second and third T20Is against West Indies after sustaining a head injury in a training session.

“A neurosurgeon has recommended an observation period of 24 hours. He will then be reassessed on Monday. His availability for the final T20I will depend on the reassessment done on Monday,” said a statement by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Saturday.
Azam, son of the former Pakistan cricketer Moin Khan, made his international debut in the T2I series against England. The 22-year-old had modest scores of five not out and one in two matches before being dropped for the decider at Old Trafford.

In the ongoing series, he didn’t get a chance to bat in the opening T20I at Barbados against West Indies as the nine-over affair was called off due to rain.

The last three T20Is between Pakistan and West Indies will be played in Guyana from July 31 to August 3. The T20I series will be followed by two Tests starting August 12 and 20 in Kingston, Jamaica.

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Olympics: Boxer Amit Panghal crashes out

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Boxer Amit Panghal, the world No. 1 in men’s 52kg, crashed out of the Tokyo Olympics, losing to Yuberjen Herney Martinez Rivas of Colombia in a Round-of-16 bout on Saturday.

Panghal, India’s biggest hope in this section, lost 4-1 (rpt 4-1) on points, starting the day on a disappointing note for boxing after the high of Lovlina Borgohain reaching the semifinals and assuring a medal for the country.

Panghal, the 2018 Asian Games gold medallist, had drawn a tough opponent in Martinez Rivas, the silver medallist at the Rio Olympics in 2016.

The 25-year-old Indian from Haryana started off well and won the first round. Starting with an open stance and moving around the ring, Panghal made Martinez Rivas come for him and make him work for his points.

Panghal counter-attacked on all possible occasions and landed some good combinations, winning a split decision 4-1 in his favour.

But Panghal changed his tactics inexplicably in the second round and became too defensive, maybe hoping to make Martinez Rivas work hard for points so as to tire down the Colombian.

Martinez Rivas won the second round, getting 10 points from all five judges.

Panghal, whose fitness looked suspect, looked totally exhausted and could not do much in the third and final round as he tried to go after his rival in the last 30 seconds but that was too late and too little as the judges had by that time seen Martinez Rivas attacking a lot in the right through the round.

Martinez Rivas bagged 10 points from all five judges and one judge gave Panghal eight points while others gave him nine each.

Panghal’s defensive approach — whether it was by design or due to lack of fitness — in the second round undid all his efforts of the last five years.

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Isuru Udana announces retirement from international cricket

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Sri Lankan all-rounder Isuru Udana has announced his retirement from international cricket with immediate effect on Saturday. The reason behind his abrupt departure from international cricket was not known.

The 33-year-old had recently featured in the limited-overs series against India. He played in the first ODI followed by the first two T20Is but had no wickets against his name.

“I believe the time has come for me to make way for the next generation of players. It is with immense pride and passion, and unfathomable commitment that I have represented and served my country,” said Udana in a press release by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC).

Udana made his debut for Sri Lanka in the 2009 T20 World Cup where he took two wickets against Australia. In 21 ODIs and 34 T20Is for Sri Lanka, the left-arm pacer took 18 and 27 wickets at an average of 52.78 and 33.89 respectively.

As a batsman, he scored 237 ODI and 256 T20I runs at an average of 16.92 and 18.28 with highest scores of 78 and 84 respectively.

Udana was known mostly for his variety and changes of pace with the white ball, especially on slower pitches. He was capable of moving the ball off the seam and possessed a repertoire of slower deliveries, including the back-of-the-hand delivery.

He was also the only Sri Lankan player to feature in the 2020 edition of the IPL, representing Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). In RCB’s run to the play-offs, Udana took eight wickets in 10 matches at an average of 35.25 with an economy rate of 9.75.

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