Paceman Jackson Bird has been ruled out of Australia‘s Test squad for South Africa with a hamstring injury and replaced by fellow speedster Chadd Sayers.
Bird pulled his hamstring while bowling in a domestic match in Brisbane last weekend and is expected to be sidelined for up to three weeks, opening the door for the uncapped Sayers.
“It’s disappointing for Jackson, but it is exciting for Chadd at the same time,” Australian captain Steve Smith said.
“It’s kind of a like for like sort of bowler, they’re pretty similar. They both stand the seam up nicely and Chadd’s been rewarded for what he has done in Shield cricket over the last couple of years, which is great.”
Sayers was the leading wicket-taker in the Sheffield Shield last season with 62 victims.
“He’s a difficult one (to face),” Smith added. “Because he is so short not many balls go over the stumps, which makes him a pretty handy proposition when the ball is seaming around. I think it is a good selection.”
Sayers joins fellow quicks Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Jhye Richardson for the four-Test South Africa series which kicks off on March 1.
Australia: Steve Smith (capt), David Warner, Cameron Bancroft, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Jon Holland, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine, Jhye Richardson, Chadd Sayers, Mitchell Starc.
Cricket South Africa has launched an investigation after Imran Tahir was allegedly verbally and racially abused by a spectator during Saturday’s fourth one-day international against India in Johannesburg.
Video footage on social media shows Proteas leg-spinner Tahir involved in an angry altercation with spectators in the stands at the Wanderers Stadium during South Africa’s five-wicket win.
CSA announced on Monday that it was looking into the incident, saying Pakistan-born Tahir had been abused by an unknown man and that he had reported the incident to stadium security.
CSA also said Tahir “made no physical contact with the offender or any of the children in the vicinity”.
A statement read: “cricket South Africa has noted and is aware of the circulation of video footage featuring Imran Tahir on social media and Whatsapp groups.
“Imran Tahir was verbally and racially abused by an unknown man during the fourth one-day international against India at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium on Saturday.
“Tahir reported the incident to the stadium security, and was subsequently accompanied by two security personnel to identify and to have the man ejected from the stadium.
“Tahir made no physical contact with the offender or any of the children in the vicinity. The incident is under investigation with the CSA and stadium security teams.”
The 38-year-old Tahir has played 20 Tests, 84 ODIs and 36 T20Is since making his South Africa debut in 2011.
The tournament is set to take place in August this year in the United States with Houston and Lauderhill (Florida) in the running to host the matches.
The developments were confirmed by an unnamed Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official to the Indian Express during the first ICC meeting of the year held in Dubai last weekend.
“It (USA tri-series) is an arrangement for this year, and we will see how things pan out later on,” the official said.
The agreement is said to have been finalised after discussions between PCB chairman Najam Sethi and Cricket West Indies (CWI) chief Dave Cameron in Dubai.
During the meeting between the two board chiefs, the schedule for the postponed West Indies’ T20I tour of Pakistan was also confirmed. The Caribbean side is now set to visit Pakistan at the end of the March for the three T20s.
All three matches will be held at the Gaddafi stadium in Lahore on March 29 and 31, and April 1.
Meanwhile this will be the first time that Pakistan’s national team will play in the United States. West Indies have already played two T20Is against India at Lauderhill last year while some matches of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) have also been hosted there.
If Houston is selected as a venue, it will be the first international match to be held there.