Page 15

Thursday, 15 August, 2019

SPORTS 15

strauss tells england to be patient in pursuit oF smith wicket LONDON

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AGENCIES

NDREW Strauss believes patience if the key as England look to find a way to dismiss star Australia batsman Steve Smith in the ongoing Ashes series. Smith returned to Test cricket following a 12-month ban for his role in a balltampering scandal with innings of 144 and 142 as Australia beat England by 251 runs in the Ashes opener at Edgbaston last week. Smith has scored five centuries in his past six Ashes Tests, averaging 139. But former England captain Strauss, speaking to reporters at Lord's on Wednesday as rain washed out the first session of the second Test, insisted England were not up against a superhuman in Smith. "If you look in that first innings, he played and missed a lot early on...I don't think it's a case of reinventing the wheel," he said. "You know, a good ball to other people is a good ball to him, but maybe just a little bit wider. "He played brilliantly, fantastically well. But he's going to nick one at some point. "Bowlers have to be prepared to be patient." James Anderson, England's all-time leading wicket-taker, broke down with a calf injury after bowling just four overs at

Edgbaston and the Lancashire paceman won't now play in the second Test. "I honestly believe James Anderson going off after four overs cost us the game and there's no blame apportioned to anyone because these things happen, but we had them 120 for 8, we had a 90-run lead (on first innings) and then we were without your best bowler. "Over the course of the game that counts more and more." England are set give a Test debut at Lord's to World Cup-winning fast bowler Jofra Archer and Strauss had high hopes for the Sussex quick. "He's got pace, he's accurate, he's got good variety," said Strauss, an Asheswinning captain in 2009 and 2010/11, "I think he's going to be a fantastic England bowler and have a long career, but he's potentially making his debut so we can't expect him to be the answer to all our prayers." Strauss was speaking ahead of the inaugural Ruth Strauss day at Lord's, with the 'home of cricket' set to turn red in honour of the foundation that bears her name, which was set up after she died from a rare form of lung cancer in December. Thursday's event echoes the annual 'pink Test' in Sydney, where the third day at the SCG sees the ground turn pink for the McGrath Foundation, established by Australia great Glenn McGrath following

his wife Jane's death from breast cancer. "I sat down and did a piece with him (McGrath) last week, I really enjoyed speaking to him about his

experiences...I'm sure there's things we can do together in the future," Strauss said. "On a personal level it's going to be an emotional day for me and the kids.

"But it's great to be here and sample it and get a feeling of how much support there is for the foundation and people who want to pay testament to Ruth."

Cricket great Dravid cleared of conflict of interest Rain washes out opening session of second Ashes Test NEW DELHI AGENCIES

India’s cricket board has cleared batting great Rahul Dravid of conflict of interest charges after he was made head of the national cricket academy while working for a company that owns an Indian Premier League team. The complaint against Dravid followed similar allegations against record-breaking batsman Sachin Tendulkar and former India captain Sourav Ganguly as authorities attempt to root out corruption in India’s powerful cricket establishment. Last month Dravid was named as director of the National Cricket Academy, a breeding ground for young talent, while remaining as a vice-president of India Cements, which owns IPL franchise the Chennai Super Kings. But Board of Control for Cricket in India administrators ruled out any conflict of interest involving Dravid, who has taken leave from the cement company, after a meeting in Mumbai on Tuesday. “There is no conflict on Rahul’s case,” BCCI administrator Ravi Thogde told reporters. “He has got a notice and we have cleared his appointment. We had seen no conflict, but if the Ombudsman finds any conflict, we will give our response to the Ombudsman stating why we found no conflict.” The case against Dravid was brought by Sanjeev Gupta, a state association member of the BCCI. The Indian board is being run by a Supreme Court-appointed panel tasked with clearing out corruption from the world’s wealthiest cricket body after a series of scandals. Ganguly, who is president of the Cricket Association of Bengal and mentor of IPL franchise Delhi Capitals, had hit out over the ac-

LONDON AGENCIES

cusation against Dravid, saying “God help Indian Cricket”. “New fashion in Indian cricket …..conflict of interest,” Ganguly wrote on Twitter. The case against Ganguly is still pending, as is one against former India batsman VVS Laxman who mentors the IPL’s Sunrisers Hyderabad and has stepped down from the BCCI panel currently selecting India’s next coach. He also works as a commentator. Tendulkar, an ambassador for the IPL’s Mumbai Indians, was cleared of any conflict of interest after he stepped down from the BCCI panel. Accusations of corruption and match-fixing tarnished the IPL — the board’s lucrative Twenty20 competition and opened a pandora’s box of other irregularities in the game’s finances.

Rain prevented play before lunch on the first day of the second Ashes Test between England and Australia at Lord’s on Wednesday. When the match should have been getting underway at 11:00 am (1000 GMT), the square and pitch remained fully covered. Further rain then meant hopes of any play in the first session soon disappeared, with the prospect of the players taking the field at all on Wednesday increasingly slim. Ashes-holders Australia lead the five-match series 1-0 after their 251-run win in the first Test at Edgbaston last week. It is 18 years since Australia last won an Ashes series in England. In 17 of the last 19 Ashes campaigns, the team that has led 1-0 has won the series.

The exceptions were in 1997 when Australia lost at Edgbaston, but won the six-match series 3-2 and 2005 when England lost at Lord’s but won the five-Test series 2-1. England were set to give a debut to fast bowler Jofra Archer after James Anderson, their alltime leading wicket-taker, was ruled out with a calf injury that meant he bowled just four overs at Edgbaston. Neither England nor Australia have yet named their teams. They are not required to do so until the toss takes place.

India's next coach: Moody, Simmons, Hesson in shortlist of six with Shastri MUMBAI AGENCIES

The next head coach of the senior India men's team is expected to be chosen on Friday from a shortlist of six: the incumbent, Ravi Shastri, as well as Tom Moody, Mike Hesson, Phil Simmons, Lalchand Rajput and Robin Singh. The BCCI's Cricket Advisory Committee, headed by Kapil Dev, will convene in Mumbai to conduct the interviews before making their decision. Hesson will be present in Mumbai for the interview, along with Rajput and Robin, team manager and fielding coach during India's 2007 World T20 win, while Moody and Simmons are likely to join the committee members over video conference. Besides Kapil, the CAC comprises Anshuman Gaekwad, the former India opener and coach, and Shantha Rangaswamy, the former India women's team captain. Confirming the updates, a senior BCCI official was quoted as saying by Press Trust of India, "These six will give

presentation for head coach before CAC. It has been learnt that these six have been short-listed for interview with the CAC." While the names of Moody, who has rich coaching pedigree in international cricket [Sri Lanka] as well as in the franchise circuit [Kings XI Punjab and Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL, for example], and Hesson, formerly head coach with New Zealand and Kings XI, have been doing the rounds, Simmons is seen as a late entrant. The former West Indies opener was until June the head coach of Afghanistan. In the past, he has also had stints with West Indies, with whom he won the World T20 title in 2016, and, most notably, Ireland. Hesson, meanwhile, served as head coach of New Zealand for six years, the highlights being their memorable run to the 2015 World Cup final and a home Test series win over England in 2018. He has also been linked with the Bangladesh men's team, who are without a coach since letting go of Steve Rhodes after the World Cup.

There have been suggestions from the BCCI that Shastri is most likely to continue, something that has the backing of India captain Virat Kohli, who publicly expressed his support for Shastri at a press conference before flying out for the tour of the USA and the Caribbean late last month. "With Ravi bhai, all of us have a great

camaraderie, everyone in the team shares mutual respect [with him]. And we have done really well together as a group," Kohli had said at the time. "Yeah, we will definitely be very happy if he is continuing as a coach, but as I said it is upon the CAC to seek my advice or opinion if they want. Right now, I haven't been contacted at all. And I don't know what is going to

happen with the process." Shastri and the rest of his support staff - Sanjay Bangar (batting coach), B Arun (bowling coach) and R Sridhar (fielding coach) - are automatic entrants into the process. All of them are on an extended 45-day contract that will come to an end following the two-Test series in the Caribbean. While Arun has been favoured, like Shastri, to retain his job, Sridhar could be up against Jonty Rhodes for the fielding coach's position. Meanwhile, Bangar's position as batting coach will be challenged by the candidatures of Pravin Amre, Vikram Rathour and J Arun Kumar.All three have been associated with coaching at the domestic and IPL level. Amre is presently batting consultant of the USA national team and Delhi Capitals, while Rathour, who served as member of the selection committee until 2016, and Arun are with Himachal Pradesh and Puducherry respectively.The support staff is likely to be picked by MSK Prasad, the men's selection committee chairman.

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