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Tuesday,26-January-2021

International

Sri Lanka cricketers to resume training from Monday

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Sri Lanka Cricket. (Photo: Twitter/@OfficialSLC)

Sri Lankan cricketers will return to training on Monday, the country’s cricket board announced on Sunday. Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) stated that a select squad of 13 players will undergo a 12-day ‘Residential Training Camp’ at the Colombo Cricket Club.

According to the SLC media release, the players will stay as a group in a hotel during the entirety of the camp.

“The players taking part in the camp represents a general squad chosen from across all formats, and primarily consist of bowlers, as they need more time for ‘conditioning’ before going into active competition,” it said.

“The coaching and support staff consists of a four member unit.

“SLC has taken all required measures in consultation with the Ministry of Sports and the Ministry of Health to ensure the safety of every individual involved in this exercise, and has formulated a set of procedures to adhere, during the camp period and before.”

The measures include disinfecting all vehicles that will be used for the camp and prohibiting players and staff to leave the hotel premises or the ground during the period.

As is the case with all other countries, cricket in Sri Lanka has been suspended since March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

They were scheduled to host England and South Africa in March and June respectively but both series were postponed as a precautionary measure against the spread of the virus.

International

Joe Root now 4th highest Test run-getter for England

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England skipper Joe Root has gone past Kevin Pietersen and David Gower to become the fourth-highest run-getter for his country in Test cricket.

On Sunday, Root played a 186-run knock, with the help of 18 boundaries, during England’s first innings in the second Test against Sri Lanka at the Galle International Stadium.

The right-handed batsman has amassed 8,238 Test runs in 180 innings he has played so far and is fourth on the list of leading run-getters for England.

Former captain Alastair Cook is the all-time highest run-getter for England with 12,472 Test runs in 161 matches he played. He is followed by Graham Gooch, who has 8,900 runs. Alec Stewart comes third in the list with 8,463 runs.

Root is followed by Gower (8,231) and Pietersen (8,181).

Overall, former India batsman Sachin Tendulkar holds the record for being the highest run-scorer in Test cricket. Tendulkar scored 15,921 runs in 200 Test matches he played for India.

He is followed by Ricky Ponting (13,378), Jacques Kallis (13,289) and Rahul Dravid (13,288).

After the culmination of the two-Test series against Sri Lanka, the Joe Root-led side will face India in a four-match Test series beginning February 5 in Chennai.

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Disrespectful to India if England don’t play their best team: Kevin Pietersen

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Kevin Pietersen.

Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen has criticised England’s squad selection for the first two Tests against India, saying not selecting the best players in the squad would be disrespectful for the England fans as well the hosts — Indian cricket team.

Bairstow, Mark Wood and Sam Curran have been rested for the first two Tests against India beginning February 5, while Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer and Rory Burns — who are not part of the Sri Lanka series — have been recalled.

“Big debate on whether England have picked their best team to play India in the 1st Test. Winning in India is as good a feeling as winning in Australia. It’s disrespectful to England fans & also BCCI to not play your best team. Bairstow has to play! Broad/Anderson have to play!” Pietersen said in a tweet.

“The best England players will want to play as many games as possible against India, in India. Pick them! Then they go to IPL and earn everything they deserve. Cash is king for every sportsman. They’re a business! They can have a break after that!” he added.

Former skippers Nasser Hussain and Michael Vaughan have also criticised the England selectors for resting Bairstow.

“I would say it’s a concern that one of England’s best three players of spin — I would say Bairstow is alongside Joe Root and Ben Stokes in that — has been given a boarding pass home and the others are going to Chennai. I’d have to rethink,” Hussain wrote in his column for Sky Sports.

“If the next Test after this series was Brisbane in the Ashes, would we send our best side? So why when it’s the first Test against India, one of the great sides, aren’t we sending our best team? It is that balancing act of being fair to the public and winning what’s in front of you and long-term planning all year,” he added.

“The only player in England’s Top 3 that’s playing the sub continent conditions with any control or calmness is resting for the first 2 Tests against the best Team in world at home #India !!! The world is officially mad,” said Vaughan in a tweet.

The first two Tests of the four-match series are set to be played in Chennai, before the series moves to Ahmedabad. The third Test will be a day-night encounter, beginning on February 24.

England squad (for the first two Tests): Joe Root (c), Jofra Archer, Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler*, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dom Sibley, Ben Stokes, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes

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Scotland’s Josh Davey extends contract with Somerset till 2023

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Scotland fast bowler Josh Davey has agreed a one-year contract extension with Somerset which will see him remain at the Cooper Associates County Ground until at least the end of the 2023 campaign.

The 30-year-old first joined Somerset on a summer contract in 2014. Since joining the club, Josh has taken over 140 wickets across the three formats, and he was one of the integral elements behind Somerset’s One-Day Cup success of 2019.

“To go from signing a summer contract to winning a trophy at Lord’s has been an incredible journey and I’m delighted that it is going to continue. My time with Somerset has been incredibly special and it’s a great place to be at the moment,” Davey said in a statement.

“There is a real sense that this team could go on to big things and I can’t wait to be a part of that. The club is second to none in terms of the support we get and hopefully we can repay them for their support by bringing home some more silverware in the next few years,” he added.

Somerset Director of Cricket Andy Hurry said: “Josh has been one of our most consistent performers, playing a key part in our successes in recent years.”

“His progress and development over the last few seasons has been impressive, and we are looking forward to that continuing for at least the next few years,” he added.

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