Langer slams 'rubbish' Smith criticism, backs Paine

By Sports Desk January 13, 2021

Australia coach Justin Langer slammed the criticism of Steve Smith, labelling it a "load of rubbish".

Smith was questioned after footage showed him standing at the crease and shaping up as if he was batting, including marking a guard, as India survived for a draw on the final day of the third Test in Sydney.

His actions at the crease forced India's Rishabh Pant to retake his own guard before play resumed, with the moment becoming a hot topic on Twitter.

But Langer hit out at the talk about Smith, who was sacked as Australia captain and banned for 12 months following the ball-tampering scandal during the tour of South Africa in 2018.

"I literally cannot believe some of the rubbish I read about Steve Smith, absolute load of rubbish," he told a news conference on Wednesday.

"If anyone knows Steve Smith, he's a bit quirky. We've all laughed about it for the last couple of years and I've spoken about it privately about how he's a bit quirky. What Steve Smith does at the crease, he does it probably most games, he's just thinking about the game.

"Anyone who suggests for one millisecond he was trying to do something untoward, way out of line, absolutely out of line. On that wicket, it was that flat, and it was like concrete, you need 15-inch spikes to make an indent on the crease and he went nowhere near the crease.

"I thought that was absolutely ludicrous and again in the last couple of years since he's been back, he has been exemplary on and off the field, he has let his bat do the talking, he was abused like I've never seen anything through England and he just kept smiling and letting his bat do the talking, give me a break, give me a break."

Australia captain Tim Paine, meanwhile, apologised on Tuesday for his behaviour during the third Test, including sledging Ravichandran Ashwin.

Langer backed Paine and said the 36-year-old would remain captain for the foreseeable future.

"You have no idea how much faith I've got in Tim Paine. He didn't have his best day, no doubt about that, but after three years, he has hardly put a hair out of place, he has been outstanding as the Australian captain, everything he does," he said.

"He had a frustrating day. We've got to cut him some slack surely. But having said that when you set a standard as high as he does and as we do, we understand we're going to get criticised when we fall below that, it's not what we're about.

"But Tim Paine, outstanding leader and will continue to be for some time to come yet. He has my 100 per cent support."

The series is locked at 1-1 ahead of the fourth Test starting in Brisbane on Friday.

Related items

  • 'We are no walkovers', declares USA star Harmeet after shock Bangladesh win 'We are no walkovers', declares USA star Harmeet after shock Bangladesh win

    United States all-rounder Harmeet Singh declared the team will not be "walkovers" at the T20 World Cup, having scored a huge upset over Bangladesh on Tuesday.

    The USA, who sit 19th in the T20 world rankings and will co-host next month's World Cup alongside West Indies, chased down a target of 154 for a five-wicket win in the first of four warm-up matches in Dallas.

    Harmeet was named man of the match after teaming up with Corey Anderson to get USA over the line with three balls to play, smashing 33 runs off 13 deliveries.

    Speaking after the win, Harmeet said the USA had sent out a message ahead of their home campaign, which begins against Canada on June 2.

    "You don't always get an opportunity to win a game against a big side like this every day," Harmeet said. 

    "The way the boys have been training, it is a personal effort from everybody. It means a lot to us to put on a show against Bangladesh. 

    "We are no walkovers. I think our potential is immense. We have a lot of match-winners in the team. It gives us the edge. We bat as well now.

    "I told the guys before the game that Bangladesh are a good team on paper, but if we go down without a fight, it won't send a good message."

    Harmeet also thought Bangladesh may have taken their hosts lightly, particularly when choosing the wrong end for Mustafizur Rahman to bowl from and giving the USA's batters the advantage of high winds against other bowlers.

    Mustafizur conceded 32 runs within the space of two overs before changing ends. 

    "When I saw him bowl from the other end, with the wind, I thought we had a chance to sneak in a 20-run over from the other side," Harmeet said. 

    "I think either they took us lightly or I don't know, they didn't have bowlers to bowl with from the other side."

  • CANOC President Keith Joseph rallies support for West Indies ahead of ICC T20 World Cup CANOC President Keith Joseph rallies support for West Indies ahead of ICC T20 World Cup

    As teams for the ICC T20 Cricket World Cup begin arriving in the Caribbean and the USA for their final preparations, the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees (CANOC) has thrown its full support behind the West Indies T20 cricket team. The tournament, set to bowl off on June 1, marks a significant moment in cricket history, coming on the heels of the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) decision to include cricket in the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

    Cricket fans across the Caribbean and the USA are eagerly anticipating the T20 World Cup, hopeful for a strong showing from the West Indies cricket team. CANOC President Keith Joseph emphasized the importance of rallying behind the team, stating, “Let’s put all of our energies in rallying around the West Indies.”

    Joseph highlighted the historic significance of this World Cup, noting its unique timing post the IOC's decision. “This year’s edition of the Cricket World Cup holds a special place in the history of the sport, if only because it comes after the decision of the IOC to agree to the request by the organizers of the Summer Olympics of 2028 to include cricket on the sports programme,” he remarked.

    The 2028 Olympic Games will feature cricket, but only teams entered by their respective National Olympic Committees (NOCs) will be eligible to participate. This excludes a unified West Indies team, as there is no West Indies Olympic Committee. Joseph acknowledged this challenge, drawing a parallel to the era of the West Indies Federation (1958-1962), which had unified participation in various sports.

    To address this, the ICC, Cricket West Indies, and CANOC have been in discussions with PanAm Sports and Centro Caribe Sports about including cricket in the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games and the Pan American Games of 2026 and 2027, respectively. Further discussions are planned with the organizers of the South American, Central American, and Caribbean Games to consider cricket's inclusion in their sports programs.

    Joseph urged cricket associations around the Caribbean to join their respective NOCs. He stated, “Our NOCs and cricket associations must work together to get it right.” While recognizing the challenges and increased expenses, he emphasized the significant opportunities. “There are immeasurable opportunities that would be open to those with whom the initiative would find favour,” Joseph added.

    Cricket has deep roots in the Caribbean, having been brought by colonizers and mastered by the region’s youth to achieve global excellence. Joseph called for the region to embrace this new era, saying, “Participation in multisport Games is another frontier whose barriers to inclusion have been broken by the organisers of LA2028 and which we in the Caribbean must all embrace.”

    An important starting point for this new era is the strong support for the ICC T20 Cricket World Cup. Regardless of the tournament's outcome, the collective energy and unity behind the West Indies team are crucial. Joseph concluded, “Let’s take the next compulsory steps to build the individual teams that will want to participate in LA2028.”

    As the T20 World Cup unfolds, the Caribbean community stands united, cheering for their team and looking forward to a bright future in cricket, both in regional competitions and on the Olympic stage. CANOC's support for the West Indies T20 team is not just about this World Cup but about embracing a future where Caribbean cricket can shine in every international arena.

     

     

     

     

  • IPL: KKR ease past SRH into IPL final IPL: KKR ease past SRH into IPL final

    Kolkata Knight Riders are through to the Indian Premier League final after cruising to victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad on Tuesday.

    A dominant KKR eased to an eight-wicket win with 38 balls remaining, with Mitchell Starc inspiring the victory.

    The Sunrisers chose to bat first but were in unfamiliar territory at 13-2 inside two overs as Starc bowled Travis Head, who did not get a single run, before Andre Russell caught Abhishek Sharma.

    Starc took two more wickets in his second over, finishing with 3-34 as the pick of KKR’s bowlers.

    Pat Cummings ensured SRH did not finish with a sub-140 total, knocking 30 before being caught by Rahmanullah Gurbaz, as they set a target of 160.

    Cummings then conceded 20 runs in his first over but eventually bounced out Sunil Narine for 21 after Gurbaz was caught for 23.

    Venkatesh Iyer finished with an unbeaten 51 alongside Shreyas Iyer, who top-scored with a 24-ball 58 to comfortably help KKR reach 164-2.

    SRH will have another chance to make it to the final in the second qualifier where they will face either the Rajasthan Royals or Royal Challengers Bengaluru on Friday.

    Data Debrief: Playoff partners

    The Iyers' 97 not out off 44 balls is the second-highest scoring partnership for KKR in the playoffs. 

    Cummins and Vijayakanth Viyaskanth's 33-run partnership is SRH's highest for the 10th wicket in IPL, breaking the record of 22 between Dale Steyn and Praveen Kumar, but it was not enough to trouble KKR.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.