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Tuesday,22-June-2021

International

Cummins should be Australia’s next captain: Michael Clarke

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Former Australia captain Michael Clarke said that fast bowler Pat Cummins is the ideal candidate to take over as the team’s skipper in all formats of the game. The post of Australia’s captain has been in the news recently due to batsman and former skipper Steve Smith saying that he is ready to take up the responsibility whenever he is required to.

“Just because Cummins isn’t out there saying I should be the next captain and I’m ready… it doesn’t mean he’s not a good leader,” Clarke told Big Sports Breakfast.

“I’ve made it clear what I think about Pat Cummins. I think he’s shown he’s fit and strong enough to play all three formats now, he’s done that for the last few years. His captaincy I’ve watched tactically for New South Wales he’s been pretty good,” said Clarke.

Australia have been led by Tim Paine in Tests and Aaron Finch in limited overs since Smith was ousted from the post in the wake of the 2018 ball-tampering scandal. Clarke said that while Cummins, 27, is young and inexperienced as a leader, he will have experienced players around him to help him out, including Smith.

“Yes he’s young and inexperienced as a leader but he’ll have good senior players around him so to me I do believe Pat Cummins is the right guy to take over the leadership in all three formats at the right time. Of course, he will need a good vice-captain. An example of that — if (current Test captain) Tim Paine retires then someone like Alex Carey comes in, who has captained South Australia, captained (in) the BBL (Big Bash League), been vice-captain of Australia. I think he would make a very good vice-captain. You’ve got the likes of Steve Smith, David Warner, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Marnus Labuschagne. All these guys have got leadership experience as well. They can help Pat Cummins,” he said.

Clarke, who captained Australia in 47 Tests, 74 ODIs and 18 T20Is between 2007 and 2015 and led Australia to victory in the 2015 World Cup, said that regardless of whether Smith becomes captain of the team again or not, the talismanic batsman will always have an important role to play in the dressing room.

“You don’t necessarily need to have the captain or vice-captain armband to be a leader and I feel like I say that every single day. Smithy is going to play a huge role in the Australian team moving forward, whether he takes over the captaincy or not, his leadership is going to be important,” said Clarke.

“If Pat Cummins gets the job, (Smith) is the first guy I would be going to and speaking to. He’s going to need his support. I think Australia does have options, they are in a wonderful place. They’ve just got to have the confidence to pick the right person, back him, and put some support around him,” he added.

International

Mushfiqur Rahim suffers hairline fracture ahead of Zimbabwe tour

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Bangladesh’s wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim has sustained a hairline fracture on his left index finger, which could affect his prospects of touring Zimbabwe in July.

Bangladesh are scheduled to play a one-off Test, three ODIs and three T20Is in Zimbabwe, but there is some uncertainty over the tour as the country has halted all sporting activity because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Rahim, who plays for Abahani Limited in the Dhaka Premier League T20 tournament, sustained the fracture during his team’s match against Gazi Group Cricketers on Monday.

“We did a CT scan on Mushfiq’s hand, which has come up with a hairline fracture on his left index finger,” Bangladesh Cricket Board’s (BCB) chief physician, Debashish Chowdhury, told ESPNcricinfo.

“We have asked him to take a break of one week, but we are hopeful that the recovery won’t take too long, since it is a hairline fracture. We will review the injury after one week, and then we can determine what to do next,” he added.

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PCB, batting coach Younis Khan part ways ahead of crucial series

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The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and national men’s team batting coach Younis Khan on Tuesday “mutually” parted ways, seven months after the former batsman had accepted a two-year contract.

Younis was appointed in November 2020 until the 2022 ICC men’s T20 World Cup.

The development means that the 43-year-old former Pakistan captain will not travel with the squad for the England and West Indies series.

PCB chief executive Wasim Khan said in a statement on Tuesday, “It is sad to lose an expert of the stature and experience of Younis Khan. Following a series of discussions, we both have reluctantly but mutually and amicably agreed that it was time to move in different directions.

“I want to thank Younis Khan for his contributions during his short stint as the Pakistan men’s national cricket team’s batting coach and hope he will remain available to assist the PCB by sharing his vast knowledge with the emerging cricketers.”

The Pakistan men’s squad will travel to England without a batting coach, while the decision to appoint Younis Khan’s replacement for the West Indies tour will be made in “due course”.

The team will be in England from June 25 till July 20 for three ODIs and three T20Is, while the West Indies tour will be from July 21 till August 24 where the teams will play five T20Is and two Tests.

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WTC final: Fifth day’s play starts after rain delay

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The fifth day’s play of the World Test Championship final here at the Hampshire Bowl started after an hour-long delay due to rain. Pace bowler Jasprit Bumrah bowled the first over of the day. It was also the first over in over 40 hours as the entire fourth day’s play was washed out.

Besides the fourth day, the first day was also washed out. The second and the third days were affected by bad light.

New Zealand were 102/2 after the end of Bumrah’s over. Kane Williamson (12) and Ross Taylor (0) were at the crease.

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