Jofra Archer and Jack Leach get England call up for second Ashes Test, Moeen Ali dropped

Press Association Sport 19:11 09/08/2019
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Archer looks set to make his Test debut in the second Ashes Test.

Jofra Archer and Jack Leach have been included in England’s 12-man squad for the second Ashes Test at Lord’s next week but Moeen Ali has been dropped.

Paceman Archer is in line to make a much-anticipated Test debut as a replacement in the XI for England’s record wicket-taker James Anderson, ruled out at the Home of Cricket because of a calf injury that restricted him to four overs in the Specsavers series opener.

Leach, man of the match in his most recent Test outing against Ireland a fortnight ago, has come in for fellow spinner Moeen, who has been omitted after a poor showing in the 251-run defeat to Australia last week.

Moeen offered neither control nor a consistent threat in Australia’s second innings, with unflattering figures of two for 130 from 29 overs containing two ‘moon ball’ beamers.

His ineffectiveness came under scrutiny after fellow off-spinner Nathan Lyon took six for 49 which helped to lift Australia into a 1-0 lead in the five-Test series.

The all-rounder also contributed just four runs with the bat and his recent run of low scores has seen his average dip below 30, prompting England to turn to Leach, whose improbable 92 as a nightwatchman ushered Joe Root’s side to victory against Ireland.

Furthermore, Leach’s slow left-armers are viewed as a potential antidote to Australia talisman Steve Smith, who averages 34.9 against orthodox left-arm finger spin, comfortably his lowest among the various modes of bowling.

Smith became only the fifth Australian to register hundreds in either innings of an Ashes contest at Edgbaston though England are likely to have more of a varied bowling attack at HQ.

Archer, England’s leading wicket-taker during their triumphant World Cup campaign, is set to provide the pace threat, with the Bajan-born speedster capable of regularly bowling in excess of 90mph.

He was omitted in Birmingham due to concerns over a side strain but has proven his fitness in a Sussex Second XI fixture this week, taking six for 27 before amassing a breezy century against Gloucestershire’s second string.

Fellow paceman Olly Stone’s back injury precludes his involvement though left-arm seamer Sam Curran retains his place in the squad, as does Joe Denly, whose spot came under scrutiny after scores of 18 and 11 last week.

England squad: Joe Root (c), Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler (wk), Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Jack Leach, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes.

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Taxation issues threaten to put BCCI and ICC on collision course

Ajit Vijaykumar 17:14 09/08/2019
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ICC chairman Shashank Manohar (r).

The Indian cricket board and the world body seem to be on a collision course over the issue of tax.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will seek legal advice from English law experts after receiving intimation from the International Cricket Council (ICC) that the country stands to lose a share of its annual revenue from the world body for the loss caused by failure to get tax exemption for the 2016 World T20 in India.

Taxation has become a bone of contention between the two bodies with the ICC seeking to recover the 10 per cent tax that broadcaster Star had to pay to tax authorities in India and which was thus reduced from the amount it paid to the ICC. The BCCI, on the other hand, insists it was only following existing taxation rules in India.

According to reports, India’s share of ICC’s revenue stands at $405 million over eight years and that could be reduced by $40.5m.

Not only that, there is a threat of India losing hosting rights to the 2021 World T20 and the 2023 World Cup if tax relief isn’t guaranteed.

What is making the situation peculiar is that the ICC is led by Shashank Manohar, who was the BCCI chief until 2016.

The Indo-Asian News Service quoted a BCCI official as saying that the board will follow the rule of the land, and even dared the ICC to take the tournament out of India.

“We will abide by what the tax department and the ministry decides on this. We would love for the World Cup to take place here (India), but if the ICC wants to play hard ball, they must be ready for everything,” an unnamed official was quoted as saying.

“If they want to take the ICC tournament out of India, it’s fine. Let BCCI then take the revenue out of the ICC and see who loses more.”

The Indian board is still smarting from the ICC’s decision to slash it’s revenue share from $570 million to $293 million before finally settling on $405m after hectic negotiations in 2017.

The ICC, under Manohar, had enforced a restructure that has resulted in more funds to other member boards.

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Mike Hesson steps down as Kings XI Punjab head coach after just one season

Sudhir Gupta 17:05 09/08/2019
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Hesson is in running for three national team jobs reportedly.

Mike Hesson stepped down as head coach of Kings XI Punjab on Thursday after spending just one season with Mohali-based Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise.

“I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the Kings XI franchise and wish to thank them for the season I had in charge,” the Kiwi wrote in a farewell message on Twitter.

“Whilst disappointed not to be able to build on the work we did this year, I’m sure success isn’t too far away for them. I wish them all the best for the future,” he added.

Under Hesson, Kings XI Punjab finished sixth in the 2019 edition of the IPL after registering six wins and eight losses in their 14 matches.

While no reasons were given for the Kiwi’s abrupt departure, it is speculated that he is currently in contention for the head coach positions of India, Pakistan as well as Bangladesh.

According to local media reports in New Zealand, Hesson is a favourite to land the Bangladesh top job while he has sent in his applications for the India and Pakistan hot seats.

The 44-year-old had a strong six-year tenure with the Black Caps and was at the helm of the side when they finished runners-up in the 2015 ICC World Cup.

Hesson is among a three-man shortlist currently being considered for the Bangladesh role with South Africa’s Russell Domingo and Paul Farbrace also in the fray.

India, meanwhile, are in the process of recruiting a new coach as well following the completion of Ravi Shastri’s tenure. Shastri’s name has been has been automatically included in the shortlist for the new coach although other contenders like Tom Moody and Hesson are also reportedly in the running.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had recently announced that Mickey Arthur’s contract as head coach will not be renewed and stuff.co.nz reports that Hesson has already been approached as a potential replacement. The PCB has started its process to recruit the next coach with advertisements for the same being sent out on Friday.

With coaching positions currently open for all subcontinent sides, Hesson could definitely be a man in demand in the coming few days.

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