UK tour delayed but UAE head coach Dougie Brown says it will not affect preparations for Netherlands series

Denzil Pinto 28/06/2017
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Head coach Dougie Brown insists preparations for their ODI series against the Netherlands will not be affected after their UK tour was delayed.

The national team were scheduled to fly to Birmingham on Thursday for a short training camp before moving to Netherlands for three limited-overs matches beginning on July 10 against the Dutch.

The reason has not been disclosed but the amendment to the itinerary means the 14-man squad will now catch a flight straight to Amsterdam.

“The UK tour has been delayed and we will not be going to UK now but going straight to Netherlands,” said Brown, who was appointed the full-time head coach last month.

He had served a successful three-month stint as interim where under his helm, the team won ODI and T20 series’ and the four-day ICC Continental match against Papua New Guinea and a limited-overs series against Oman in Muscat.

“It will be exciting to play against a side (Netherlands) who are on top of their game and have just beaten Zimbabwe in a ODI series.”

Brown will oversee the team’s preparations in Dubai until their departure but insists the UK tour shouldn’t be used as an excuse against the Dutchmen.

“Not really,” when asked if it would affect their preparations.

“It’s disappointing obviously but we all believe that we’re in a good place with regards to our cricket.

“We will still be working hard over here in Dubai on areas which will be important for us against the Netherlands.

“Whatever happens, we will be leaving the UAE in a very good shape as a team that will go out there and compete.

“I strongly believe we’re in a good place at the moment and have got a couple of weeks until the series to do things appropriately.

“Once we get there (at Netherlands), there should be no excuse. We will be well prepared and it’s something that we’re all looking forward to.”

Despite the hot climate, the national team have continued to train indoors this month even during Ramadan at the ICC Academy.

The centre will continue to host Brown’s side until their departure and the 47-year-old wants to make the most of that advantage if they want to produce a result.

“That’s the challenge isn’t it,” said the former Warwickshire boss.

“The great thing about playing international cricket is that you can actually prepare for specific matches. The conditions we play in the Netherlands will be very different to what we are used to playing here.

“And we got to make sure that we use the facilities here in a smart way and I feel we have done that so far.

“We got to make sure that we are practising the skills we want to use there, here in Dubai and hopefully we can be competitive.”

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Sri Lanka bowler Lasith Malinga handed suspended one-year ban for media remarks

Sport360 staff 28/06/2017
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Pace ace: Malinga.

Lasith Malinga has accepted a suspended one-year ban from the Sri Lanka team after being charged with breaching his national team contract.

The veteran pace bowler can take part in the forthcoming one-day international series against Zimbabwe but must remain on his best behaviour to avoid a year-long ban from his employers.

Sri Lanka Cricket imposed a 12-month ban on Malinga – suspended for six months and enforceable in the case of a further breach – following a disciplinary hearing over his remarks in a broadcast interview.

The 33-year-old, who has 291 caps across the formats, accepted the charges and made a formal apology for his response to sports minister Dayasiri Jayasekara’s criticism of the Sri Lanka team for poor fielding and fitness standards during this month’s Champions Trophy.

The SLC inquiry ruled that to be Malinga’s second contravention of its players’ “terms of agreement” in a matter of days, fined him 50 per cent of his match fee for his next ODI and put him on notice about the possible suspension.

Malinga reacted on Twitter on Wednesday – although he wrongly identified the terms of the ban – writing: “Sorry to my family, friends and fans all over the world … disheartened by my ban of 6 month!!! ThankU all who support.”

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Is Ravi Shastri the right choice to become India's next cricket head coach?

Denzil Pinto 25/06/2017
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The BCCI are on the search for a new head coach after Anil Kumble stepped down ahead of their ODI series against West Indies.

Former Sri Lanka coach Tom Moody and ex-batsman Virender Sehwag have already applied for the position with the deadline now extended until July 9.

It has paved the way for Ravi Shastri, who served as the team director between 2014 and 2016 and had a good working relationship with captain Virat Kohli, to throw in his name in the hat.

Now 12 months after being overlooked, is Shastri the right man for the top job?

What side are you on in our debate?

Share with us your thoughts by commenting below, using #360fans on Twitter or getting in touch via Facebook.

JOY CHAKRAVARTY, SAYS YES

Now that we know why Anil Kumble was so unceremoniously kicked out of the Indian dressing room (even though he put in his papers and technically resigned from the post), the question is who will replace him?

Virender Sehwag, Tom Moody and Ravi Shastri are the three names everyone’s talking about as front-runners for the job. The three-man Cricket Advisory Committee of Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman again have the arduous task of finding the right man.

But after all that transpired between Kumble and the Indian cricket team, the first question that needs to be answered is what kind of a person is suitable for the job.

There is no doubt that what Virat Kohli and his men are looking someone who’d not rule them like a school headmaster, but someone who can let them be, be like a father figure, and step in with technical advice as and when required.

Shastri looks like one who fits the bill. Which may beg the question as to why was he removed from the post of Team Director (not Head Coach) last year, but the BCCI tampered with what was clearly a winning formula back then.

The former India captain and all-rounder was part of the team when it was conquering new frontiers, but did not make much of an impression on the CAC with his lackadaisical approach to applying for the Head Coach post last year. He took it too casually, some even suggesting that he felt the job was his because of his proximity to Kohli and the Indian players.

Perhaps Shastri has learned his lessons and he will approach the CAC with much more commitment this time. Some in the know of BCCI affairs, feel that the reason deadline for submitting application was extended was to make sure that Shastri is convinced and gets the time to apply.

At this level of cricket, the team definitely needs someone who can motivate them better. Of course, technical issues do creep up at times, but there are batting and bowling coaches. Shastri, on the other hand, can fire them up with mere words. At this stage, harmony in the dressing room is more of a pressing concern.

Ravi Shastri (left) and captain Virat Kohli

DENZIL PINTO, SAYS NO

If reports are to believed that Ravi Shastri is set to apply for the India head coach job following the BCCI’s decision to extend the deadline, then you can understand why.

Successive semi-finals in both the 2015 World Cup and 2016 World Twenty20, a 3-0 T20 series whitewash over Australia as well as climbing to the top of the Test rankings (even if it was a brief eight weeks) in February 2016, were some of the highlights in his role as India team director.

On paper, it was a record that was worthy of getting him the job especially as he formed a strong relationship with Virat Kohli and the players during his two years in charge between 2014 and 2016.

Twelve months on after overlooking him, the BCCI find themselves in the same position as they were, following Anil Kumble’s departure.

Former Sri Lanka coach Tom Moody and Virender Sehwag  have all applied to become Kumble’s permanent successor but while the deadline extension can give Shastri a glimmer of hope, it will be even harder to impress the panel this time round.

His previous stint will be always be there as evidence but it’s about convincing Indian legends Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman as well as Sourav Ganguly (who wasn’t present during his interview last year) that he’s worthy of becoming the head coach.

Nothing’s changed to his coaching CV since then and if the trio feel that he’s the right man for the job, he has an even bigger task than when he took over following India’s remarkable home season where they won 10 Tests with series triumphs over New Zealand, England, Bangladesh and Australia.

His previous stay doesn’t mean the next will be another success and he will be under even more scrutiny if results don’t go the right way quickly.

Sehwag has been mooted but Moody fits the bill. Overseen twice for the top job, the Australian is no stranger to Indian cricket, coaching Sunrisers Hyderabad to the 2016 IPL title before reaching this year’s Eliminator tie.

Maybe his recent success in IPL might see him get the nod but for Shastri, he shouldn’t take his application for granted.

Tom Moody (right) has coached Sri Lanka

Tom Moody (right) has coached Sri Lanka

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