Wasim Akram baffled by Pakistan pacer Mohammad Amir's decision to quit Test cricket

Waseem Ahmed 28/07/2019
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Pakistan pacer Mohammad Amir.

Former Pakistan captains including Wasim Akram and Rameez Raza have questioned Mohammad Amir’s decision to retire from Test cricket at the age of 27.

Having played a starring role for Pakistan in the 2019 World Cup in England, Amir announced on Thursday that he was quitting Test cricket to concentrate on the limited-overs formats.

“It has been an honour to represent Pakistan in the pinnacle and traditional format of the game. I, however, have decided to move away from the longer version so I can concentrate on white ball cricket,” the left-armed pacer said in a statement.

Amir’s surprising decision has not gone down well with the likes of Wasim Akram who feels that the pacer is at the peak of his career.

“To me Mohammad Amir retiring from Test cricket is a bit surprising because you peak at 27-28 and Test cricket is where you are judged against the best, it’s the ultimate format. Pakistan will need him in two Tests in Australia and then three in England,” Akram wrote on Twitter.

Former Pakistan skipper Rameez Raza expressed his disappointment with Amir’s decision as well.

“Amir white flagging Test Cricket at 27 is disappointing,” he wrote on Twitter.

“Besides being dismissive of the greatest format that makes stars and legends his decision is clearly not in in line with the needs of Pakistan cricket which is desperately looking to reboot Test cricket. Was time to repay and not eject.”

Amir has played 36 Tests for Pakistan previously with his debut coming all the way back in 2009. The 27-year-old has managed to pick up 119 wickets in those appearances at an average of 30.47 with the help of four five-wicket hauls.

He had finished as the leading wicket-taker for Pakistan in the 2019 World Cup with 17 scalps in eight matches.

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Trevor Bayliss backs Jason Roy to come good for England in Ashes debut against Australia

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Jason Roy and Trevor Bayliss.

England coach Trevor Bayliss admits England’s top order has been their Achilles heel “for the last six or seven years” but is hopeful World Cup winner Jason Roy can help provide a cure during the Ashes.

Bayliss has been trying to find a solution to the Test team’s top-three woes throughout his four-year reign, which comes to an end in September, but has yet to uncover the answer.

Concerns spiked again after a wobbly start saw England bowled out for 85 on Wednesday in the first session of their inaugural match against Ireland.

The seamers went on to rescue the result, skittling the Irish for 38 on day three, but Bayliss left little doubt about where his worries lay heading into the Thursday’s series opener against Australia.

Asked if the head of the innings was England’s biggest problem, he responded: “You don’t have to be Einstein to work that out.

“They have been for the last six or seven years, but it didn’t stop us (winning the Ashes) four years ago.”

Rory Burns, Jason Roy and Joe Denly have been retained for the first Test but all three head to Edgbaston with question marks over their Test pedigree.

Burns averages just 22.28 in seven appearances, with Denly only marginally better off on 24.16 in his three appearances.

Both face a battle to prove they have a future at the highest level, but it is World Cup winner Roy who probably has the highest ceiling of the trio.

He has established himself as one of the most dominant batsmen in one-day cricket and was crucial in setting the tone for England’s triumphant campaign.

The 28-year-old’s red-ball record for Surrey is less persuasive and by asking him to open England are making a call the county have shied away from, Roy having frequently batted in the middle order and only occasionally as a number three.

He hit 72 in his second Test innings against Ireland having been spared the new ball by nightwatchman Jack Leach, a higher score than either Burns or Denly have managed to date and on a pitch rated by captain Joe Root as “substandard”.

“Like any debutant, he looked nervous but to score 70-odd in your first Test was a good effort,” said Bayliss.

“There was a bit more in those wickets than I’m sure he’s been used to in white-ball cricket over the last few years but runs are runs. He wouldn’t be the first player to look scratchy and eke out runs. In fact, that’s a good sign, I think.

“We want him to go out and play his natural game but in red-ball cricket you have to be a little more selective. You’ve got to make a conscious effort to say to yourself, ‘I’m not going to go for the big cover drive on the up until I’m really settled, the wicket is flat or the ball’s not doing as much’.

“Jason probably looked a little scratchy but he got 72 and helped us win the game.”

Bayliss faces a big job managing his players in the coming weeks, with the emotional and physical demands of the World Cup campaign given just 10 days to dissipate before a hard-fought clash with the Irish and now the intensity of the Ashes around the corner.

“It would have been nice to have another week to let the World Cup soak in and take stock of it all,” he conceded.

“It was two or three days and then you’re back into thinking about planning another Test match.

“Hopefully over the next three or four days they have got the opportunity to get away from it and down tools for a while.

“But I don’t think we’ll have any problems getting up for the hype that’s around the Ashes.”

Provided by Press Association Sports

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Bangladesh rope in former New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori as spin bowling consultant

Waseem Ahmed 28/07/2019
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Vettori (c) will guide Bangladesh's spinners.

Former New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori has been appointed as the new spin consultant for Bangladesh on a short-term basis following a meeting of the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) on Friday.

While Vettori has been roped in as the spin consultant, former South Africa bowler Charles Langeveldt has been appointed as the fast bowling coach for the national team on a two-year contract.

Vettori and Langeveldt take over the roles vacated by Sunil Joshi and Courtney Walsh respectively whose contracts with the BCB were not renewed following the team’s eighth-place finish in the 2019 World Cup.

Bangladesh are, however, yet to announce a new head coach for the side following the departure of Steve Rhodes.

Vettori has been brought in to help guide Bangladesh’s spinners in the lead up to the 2020 T20 World Cup in Australia with the former Black Caps man set to work with the side for approximately 100 days.

The former Royal Challengers Bangalore coach’s brief tenure with Bangladesh will see him help the team in their preparations for the tour of India, the Asia Cup and the 2020 tour of New Zealand.

“I have followed Bangladesh cricket for a very long time and have some great memories from touring the country,” Vettori said on his appointment.

“This is a team on the rise and there is so much experience and potential. It will be a pleasure to work with the likes of Shakib Al Hasan, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Taijul Islam and the other up and coming youngsters which I am looking forward to with a lot of interest.

“Spin bowling has been a traditional strength for Bangladesh. I hope to share my knowledge as a player and coach of the demands of modern day spin bowling in all versions of the game and help the bowlers make good intelligent decisions so that they can maximise their talents and skills.”

Langeveldt, on the other hand, has served as Cricket South Africa’s fast bowling consultant and the bowling coach of Afghanistan previously.

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