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International

BBL: Chris Lynn and Lawrence sanctioned for Covid-19 protocol breach

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Brisbane Heat duo Chris Lynn and Dan Lawrence have been sanctioned by Cricket Australia for breaching Covid-19 protocols put in place for the ongoing Big Bash League (BBL).

Heat captain Lynn apologised for his and English import Lawrence’s transgressions on Saturday that sparked a CA investigation and forced them to physically distance from teammates during Monday’s BBL game against the Sydney Thunder — a match which Heat lost by four wickets at Canberra’s Manuka Oval, according to cricket.com.au.

It is believed that both players and members of the public came in close contact and a selfie of the incident later emerged on social media which prompted CA’s investigation.

Brisbane Heat has been fined $50,000, with $20,000 suspended for the remainder of the BBL season for a breach of sections 1, 3, 4 and 9 of the Covid-19 Directive for State Associations and W/BBL Teams, CA said in a statement on Tuesday.

Both Lynn and Lawrence were charged for four breaches of CA’s code of conduct. The players have accepted a $10,000 fine, with $4,000 suspended for the remainder of the BBL 10 season.

CA’s head of security Sean Carroll said that although the Heat pair’s actions were “medically … lower risk”, they could still have compromised the BBL bubble designed to avoid Covid-19 infections.

“While Australia’s current Covid-19 infection rate remains low, we must ensure that appropriate measures are taken to reduce the possibility of any player, staff member or official being connected to a declared hot spot. State/territory governments enforced isolation and restrictions for crossing borders for declared hot spots may impact the individuals involved, the team and potentially jeopardise the BBL season.

“Medically, this particular breach was lower risk, but actions of this kind have the potential to compromise the integrity of and confidence in our bio-security protocols. We’d like to thank Queensland Cricket, the Brisbane Heat, the ACA and both players for their cooperation throughout this investigation,” he added.

International

WTC final: India lose openers, go to lunch at 69/2

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Rohit-Sharma

India were 69 for two at lunch on the second day of the World Test Championship final against New Zealand here at the Hampshire Bowl on Saturday.

Openers Rohit Sharma (34 off 68 balls) and Shubman Gill (28 off 64 balls) made a solid start, helping India reach 62 without loss in 20 overs as New Zealand bowlers struggled for the ideal line.

But then Kyle Jamieson provided the breakthrough on the first ball of his sixth over, having Sharma caught at third slip.

Gill followed over four overs later, nicking one from left-armer Neil Wagner to wicketkeeper BJ Watling.

The first day was washed out. New Zealand won the toss on the second day and elected to bowl.

Brief scores (at lunch): India 69/2 in 28 overs (R Sharma 34, S Gill 28, N Wagner 1/5, K Jamieson 1/10) vs New Zealand.

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WTC final: New Zealand win toss, elect to bowl

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New Zealand won the toss and elected to bowl in the World Test Championship final against India here at the Hampshire Bowl on Saturday.

India have stuck to the playing eleven they had announced on Thursday. While India are going in with two spinners and three pace bowlers, the Kiwis have four pacers and no spinner in their attack.

The toss took place on the second day after the first day’s play was washed out due to rain. As many as 98 overs are scheduled to be bowled on Saturday. The Test will run into the reserve day on June 23.

Teams:

India: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (wicketkeeper), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah

New Zealand: Tom Latham, Devon Conway, Kane Williamson (captain), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling (wicketkeeper), Colin de Grandhomme, Kyle Jamieson, Neil Wagner, Tim Southee, Trent Boult.

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Sri Lanka middle order big worry for coach Mickey Arthur

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Sri Lanka cricket coach Mickey Arthur is worried about the lack of depth in the middle order as his team gears up to take on England in six white-ball matches, beginning with a T20 International in Cardiff on June 23.

The three-match ODI series will commence on June 29 and conclude on July 4.

“In Bangladesh, we got caught a little bit through the middle overs and that’s one area where we’ve focused hard on in our practice and preparation (in England). It’s about the intensity required through that middle period. Our strike rotation and intensity at the crease are really areas that we’ve worked on in this training block,” said Arthur, who has been with the team since February 2020.

Sri Lanka had lost the ODI series against Bangladesh 2-1 in May with all the matches being played at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.

Arthur feels that one of the major reasons for the middle-order not clicking is shortage of players for the No. 4, 5, 6 slots, with far too many batsmen vying for top-order slots.

“We’ve reclassified guys’ roles. We’ve got a lot of players who can bat Nos. 1, 2 and 3, but we didn’t have many guys who could bat 4, 5 and 6. We’ve consolidated that here in our training session (in England). One of two players has had to change the roles that we’ve had before. We can’t be top-heavy and have no one who can bat in the middle and finish for us,” Arthur told cricinfo.com.

“We’ve knuckled down on the roles of each guy and set the scenarios up in the nets to replicate that. I’ve got a clear plan on who’s going to drop into the middle. If you look at Kusal (Perera), Avishka (Fernando) and Danushka (Gunathilaka) at 1, 2 and 3, that’s pretty good. We need to drill down and get 4, 5 and 6 batting comfortably within their roles as well, so that those middle overs — when we need to rotate strike — we’ve actually practiced it and the people we’ve sent into those positions can handle it.”

“We’ve got to settle down on a batting order as soon as we can. We can’t be jumping around having players bat in so many positions because that just creates confusion. Each position is so different.”

Sri Lanka cricket coach Mickey Arthur is worried about the lack of depth in the middle order as his team gears up to take on England in six white-ball matches, beginning with a T20 International in Cardiff on June 23.

The three-match ODI series will commence on June 29 and conclude on July 4.

“In Bangladesh, we got caught a little bit through the middle overs and that’s one area where we’ve focused hard on in our practice and preparation (in England). It’s about the intensity required through that middle period. Our strike rotation and intensity at the crease are really areas that we’ve worked on in this training block,” said Arthur, who has been with the team since February 2020.

Sri Lanka had lost the ODI series against Bangladesh 2-1 in May with all the matches being played at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.

Arthur feels that one of the major reasons for the middle-order not clicking is shortage of players for the No. 4, 5, 6 slots, with far too many batsmen vying for top-order slots.

“We’ve reclassified guys’ roles. We’ve got a lot of players who can bat Nos. 1, 2 and 3, but we didn’t have many guys who could bat 4, 5 and 6. We’ve consolidated that here in our training session (in England). One of two players has had to change the roles that we’ve had before. We can’t be top-heavy and have no one who can bat in the middle and finish for us,” Arthur told cricinfo.com.

“We’ve knuckled down on the roles of each guy and set the scenarios up in the nets to replicate that. I’ve got a clear plan on who’s going to drop into the middle. If you look at Kusal (Perera), Avishka (Fernando) and Danushka (Gunathilaka) at 1, 2 and 3, that’s pretty good. We need to drill down and get 4, 5 and 6 batting comfortably within their roles as well, so that those middle overs — when we need to rotate strike — we’ve actually practiced it and the people we’ve sent into those positions can handle it.”

“We’ve got to settle down on a batting order as soon as we can. We can’t be jumping around having players bat in so many positions because that just creates confusion. Each position is so different.”

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