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Geoff Marsh and sons make...
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  Geoff Marsh and sons make history
Posted by: nairrk - Today 02:16 PM - No Replies

[Image: 195979.jpg]
Geoff Marsh presented the baggy green to his son Mitchell © Getty Images

What do Geoff Marsh, Walter Hadlee and Lala Amarnath have in common? They are the only three Test cricketers to have had two sons who also played Test cricket. After Marsh presented his second son Mitchell with his baggy green in Dubai, he joked that maybe he shouldn't have stopped at two boys.

"Speak to my wife, we should have kept going!" he said.

Marsh was the 333rd man to represent Australia in Test cricket when he made his debut in 1985, and he was on hand in Sri Lanka in 2011 to present eldest son Shaun with his baggy green when he became No. 422. The occasion was repeated in Dubai with Mitchell, who at 23 became the 438th Australian Test cricketer.

"It was quite tough, really," Marsh said of the emotion. "It was a real honour to be asked to do it. It was just pleasing, more pleasing that he's got the opportunity to play Test cricket.

"I'm pleased for both my boys. They followed me around while I was playing Test cricket and coaching Australia. Deep down you could see it in their eyes they wanted to follow in those footsteps and now they've both been given that opportunity. Hopefully there's a lot of cricket left in them."

Although Shaun remembers hanging around in the Australian change rooms when Geoff was a Test player, the younger Mitchell was mostly exposed to Geoff the coach, after he took over the Australia team in 1996. It is little wonder that he has a fine cricket brain, so much so that Michael Clarke wrote this week that the young allrounder could be a future captain of his country.

"It's nice to hear the Australian captain say things like that," Geoff Marsh said. "I said to Mitch you've just got to take every day in Test cricket one day at a time. Test cricket puts out a lot of challenges, you've got to meet those challenges and you only do that through good focus and concentration and working hard.

"He's only a young boy. He thinks about the game a lot. We'll just wait and see. He's got to get through a lot of hurdles. He's only young, hopefully he can just perform well and consistent and see what happens after that."

There was a considerable Marsh family contingent on hand for the cap presentation including the third sibling Melissa, a recently retired basketballer who captained the West Coast Waves in the WNBL in Australia. Shaun, though, was back at home preparing for a Futures League game as he continues his recovery from injury.

Pakistan v Australia, 1st Test, Dubai, 1st day : Geoff Marsh and sons make history | Cricket News | Pakistan v Australia | ESPN Cricinfo

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  AIBA suspends boxer Sarita Devi, coaches and chef-de-mission
Posted by: nairrk - Today 01:52 PM - No Replies

[Image: 284939_sarita_devi_sad_700.jpg]

New Delhi: AIBA has suspended India boxer L Sarita Devi and her coaches for an indefinite period because of her Asian Games protest. Her coach GS Sandhu and Indian chef-de-mission AJ Sumariwalla also faced the brunt. AIBA will not allow any of them to participate at all levels of various competitions, events and meetings until further notice.

This case has been sent for review by the AIBA Disciplinary Commission, and it means that Sarita Devi will not be allowed to participate in the AIBA women’s world boxing championships in Jeju Islands (Korea), 2014, said an AIBA release.

Sarita Devi, who had dominated her 60kg semifinals bout against South Korean boxer Ji-Na Park, had reacted strongly after she was declared the loser. She had refused to accept the bronze medal, but later apologised to the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), which had given her a stern warning.

Even though the AIBA had taken note of her written apology, it surprisingly decided to suspend not only the boxer but also other Indian officials as well.

Earlier on October 2, reports suggested that Sarita Devi was about to face suspension after refusing to accept her medal on the podium in the Incheon Asian Games 2014.

The International Boxing Association (AIBA) had taken a dim view of Sarita’s behaviour on the podium, opening a disciplinary case against her.

“The whole incident looked like a well-planned scenario by her and her team, and it is regretful to watch a boxer refuse the medal regardless of what happened in the competition,” AIBA technical delegate David Francis said in a statement.

AIBA suspends boxer Sarita Devi, coaches and chef-de-mission | Zee News

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  ICC cricket World Cup to launch 'Net Bowler' program
Posted by: nairrk - Today 01:46 PM - No Replies

Melbourne: With just over 100 days left for the ICC Cricket World Cup to kickstart in Australia and New Zealand, the event organisers are set to launch their official 'Net Bowler' program at Allan Border Field in Brisbane on Thursday.

An unprecedented number of 1,500 net bowlers are required for the tournament and the scanning of the potential candidates will start under the watchful eyes of Matthew Hayden, said an ICC release.

The former Aussie opener will also share his experiences with the young bowlers and the Allan Border Field will be announced as an official venue for the tournament.

Net bowlers are usually drawn from high level club cricket and play an important role in helping World Cup teams practise their batting prior to and during the tournament.

The 2015 edition of the 50-over showpiece event will see the 14 nations play 49 matches over 44 days in February and March next year.

There are 14 host cities in total across Australia and New Zealand, with Brisbane hosting three matches.

ICC cricket World Cup to launch 'Net Bowler' program | Zee News

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  Kumar Sangakkara doubtful for India tour
Posted by: nairrk - Today 01:45 PM - No Replies

Colombo: Experienced Sri Lankan batsman Kumar Sangakkara has been rendered a doubtful starter for the five-match ODI series against India due to a back injury.

Sangakkara, who had questioned the wisdom of the hurriedly arranged series in the wake West Indies' sudden end to their India tour, has developed a slight back injury, team sources said.

All-rounder Thisara Perera has also suffered a hamstring injury of a serious nature the team sources added.

Sanath Jayasuriya, the Chairman of selectors, said either wicket-keeper batsman Niroshan Dickwella or left-handed batsman Kithuruwan Withanage would replace Sangakkara in case the senior batsman fails to make it.

Sangakkara in a tweet had questioned the wisdom of the tour at a time when the Sri Lankan squad was going through a specially designed fitness programme.

The SLC in a statement had later defended the decision to undertake the tour citing the long standing good relations between them and the BCCI.

Kumar Sangakkara doubtful for India tour | Zee News

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  Nepal heavy favourites for earning promotion
Posted by: nairrk - Today 01:42 PM - No Replies

Most of the cricket world has their eyes focused on next year's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. For many in the Associate world though, their attention has already shifted to the qualification path for the 2019 World Cup.

Six teams have assembled in Malaysia for the ICC World Cricket League Division Three, which begins on Thursday in Kuala Lumpur. The top two teams will be rewarded with a spot in WCL Division Two in January in Namibia where the incentive is an opportunity to be included in the next edition of the ICC Intercontinental Cup four-day first-class competition as well as the WCL Championship, through which Ireland and Afghanistan qualified for the 2015 World Cup.

Although the 2019 World Cup is scheduled to be a 10-team event with a best-case scenario of two Associates qualifying, getting into the Intercontinental Cup and WCL Championship provides the best chance to achieve that goal. Not only is there a more consistent and higher quality of competition on offer, but an increased amount of funding is provided by the ICC to participants. Thus the financial incentives of promotion are just as appealing as any hardware to be won.

For the top two teams in Malaysia, those goals become more realistically attainable while the other four teams will go back to the drawing board as their window of opportunity to keep climbing the Associate ranks closes temporarily. Unlike the last Division Three in Bermuda, there is more parity in this field and it should result in an exciting and unpredictable eight-day event. Adding to the drama will be mother nature. October is one of the wettest months of the year in Malaysia and daily rain could impact the event. Here's a look at each team's chances.

Nepal (1st place at 2013 WCL Division Three, relegated from 2014 WC Qualifier)

After winning the last Division Three in Bermuda, a few key players were stuck on the sidelines at various points during the 2014 World Cup Qualifier in New Zealand, resulting in a winless group stage and demotion back to Division Three. Nepal showed their pedigree when healthy by going 2-1 in the opening round of the 2014 World T20, including a win over Afghanistan. They also registered wins over Associate ODI nations Hong Kong and UAE in the Asian Cricket Council Premier League in May.

The biggest concern Nepal faced in the last year centered on the contract status of coach Pubudu Dassanayake. Captain Paras Khadka threatened to quit if the coach was not retained and after a bit of drama Dassanayake re-signed over the summer. Nepal have loads of experience playing in Malaysia. Left-arm spinner Basant Regmi was Player of the Tournament at the 2012 WCL Division Four, setting a WCL tournament record with 21 wickets in six games as Nepal went undefeated. They will be heavy favorites to nab one of the two promotion spots once again.

Uganda (2nd place at 2013 WCL Division Three, relegated from 2014 WC Qualifier)

The African side won their first four games at the last Division Three to clinch a spot in the World Cup Qualifier thanks in large part to a stifling spin attack. However, their brittle batting unit was completely outdone in New Zealand as their average completed innings score was just 125. In conditions that negated the effectiveness of their slow bowlers, they wound up getting mauled in just about every game and finished winless.

In contrast to conditions in New Zealand, the turning wickets in Malaysia suit their spinners led by captain Frank Nsubuga, Davis Arinaitwe and Henry Ssenyondo. In their four wins in Bermuda last year on the way to topping the table after the group stage, Uganda restricted opponents to an average of 102. Uganda's success in this tournament will once again hinge on their ability to set up and defend low targets.

USA (3rd place at 2013 WCL Division Three)

After reeling off three straight wins to begin the previous Division Three, USA were in the driver's seat for a promotion berth but suffered a pair of stunning losses to Uganda and Bermuda to finish third. Hot and humid conditions in Malaysia will test USA's fitness levels. On their last trip to Malaysia they failed to win a game on the second day of back-to-back contests, a staple of the WCL format. Shortened matches due to rain will play into USA's hands but too much rain causing any games to restart on reserve days will most likely expose their poor preparation.

On the plus side, USA should benefit from the recall of batsman Aditya Thyagarajan and fast bowler Usman Shuja, who were sorely missed in Bermuda. However Timroy Allen, who was Man of the Match in four of USA's last nine wins, is absent as are key middle-order players Rashard Marshall and Orlando Baker. USA still have enough talent to gain promotion, but less depth than past teams makes them equally vulnerable for relegation. USA will most likely be boom or bust with no middle ground and their senior players will be under constant pressure to perform.

Bermuda (4th place at 2013 WCL Division Three)

The hosts of the last Division Three made a great escape from relegation on the final day of round-robin play with an improbable win over USA, a regional rival they hadn't beaten in ICC competition in eight years. However, they'll be prime targets for relegation once again at this tournament. A major reason for that is the number of first-choice players who made themselves unavailable for this tournament including former captain David Hemp, Rodney Trott, Steven Outerbridge and Chris Douglas, the batting hero from Bermuda's win over USA last year.

With the exception of captain Janeiro Tucker and Lionel Cann, this is a very young squad. Tre Manders, Delray Rawlins, Kamau Leverock and Christian Burgess are all extremely talented youngsters who should form the nucleus of the squad for the next decade, but on the whole this team lacks the consistency and experience to make them serious contenders for promotion.

Malaysia (1st place at 2014 WCL Division Four)

After flopping as hosts two years ago at WCL Division Four to suffer relegation, Malaysia gained back-to-back promotions at home in March and at Singapore in June by safely navigating their way through a pair of very tough tournament fields. In between, they scored a shocking upset of Afghanistan on home soil in the ACC Premier League. One can never underestimate the power of home advantage in the WCL. Fourteen of 23 hosts have finished in the top two.

Malaysia's problem in the past has been finding enough batsmen capable of standing up against higher-class bowling. Captain Ahmed Faiz has been dependable of late. He top-scored with 44 in the win over Afghanistan and also led the team in runs at Division Four in Singapore in June. Malaysia have been on a roll this year in the WCL and a third straight WCL promotion would make them the first country to pull off the feat since Afghanistan in 2008-09, but they'll be long shots to achieve it.

Singapore (2nd place at 2014 WCL Division Four)

Perhaps the ultimate hard-luck team in the history of the WCL, Singapore have missed out on promotion three times at various stages of the ladder due to the net-run-rate tiebreaker. As a result, their progress has been stunted and it has taken them six years from where they started in Division Five to crawl into this particular Division Three draw.

Chaminda Ruwan and the hard-hitting Chetan Suryawanshi lead the batting unit. Like most of the teams competing, spin is their strength and their slow-bowling unit is spearheaded by Mulewa Dharmichand and Abhiraj Singh. Each of Singapore's three promotions was achieved on home soil so history is against them finishing in the top two but they are still a very formidable side. It would not be a total surprise to see them overturn their snake-bitten away record.

Nepal heavy favourites for earning promotion | Cricket News | Cricinfo ICC Site | ESPN Cricinfo

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