Green blow for Thunder as spinner's action is ruled illegal

By Sports Desk January 08, 2020

Sydney Thunder were jolted on Wednesday when spinner Chris Green was suspended from bowling for at least 90 days in Cricket Australia competitions due to an illegal delivery action.

Green was withdrawn from the Thunder team hours before the Big Bash League clash with the Melbourne Stars at the MCG.

Cricket Australia said Green was reported by umpires Nathan Johnstone and Mike Graham-Smith and third umpire Paul Wilson after a BBL match against the Stars at Sydney Showground Stadium on Thursday, January 2.

His off-spin action was tested on Sunday at the National Cricket Centre near Brisbane, and Cricket Australia said results came through on Wednesday and were relayed to Green and the Thunder.

In a media statement, Cricket Australia said: "Green will be unable to bowl for a minimum of 90 days in Cricket Australia-run competitions, effective immediately. He will be permitted to play as a batter should the Thunder or Cricket NSW desire and can also play premier cricket (including bowl) under the supervision and with the consent of Cricket NSW during his suspension.

"After the 90-day suspension has elapsed, Green will be eligible to undergo testing once again with a view to returning to bowling."

As well as his Thunder commitments, Green has signed up for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League and is due to head to England to captain the Birmingham Bears in the domestic T20 Blast later this year.

Thunder coach Shane Bond backed Green, saying: "He's an important part of our future and the club will support him through this process."

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  • BestXI: Best Test batsmen of all time BestXI: Best Test batsmen of all time

    The argument regarding the players who should be ranked among the best of all time gets harder and harder as cricket evolves.

    Batsmen are more dynamic and harder to contain these days, while bowlers had more advantages when you look back at it. There was even a time when pitches were uncovered and therefore much more of a nightmare to bat on.

    Despite the ever-changing circumstances that most certainly impact the nature of performances over the decades, SportsMax’s editors have still been hardpressed to avoid the addiction of coming up with the answers to the age-old question of who is the greatest of all time.

    As usual, we’ve come up with XI of them.

    Now, the most challenging form of cricket is undoubtedly Test cricket. There might be a debate about which form of the game is best to watch, most profitable, which is the future of the game, all that. But there’s no argument that Test cricket has lived up to its name and is the hardest. This is why our XI will only have players who have played the longest format of the game.

    Best XI

     

    Don Bradman (Australia)

    While many of the experts of the game today, never saw him play, it is still generally accepted that Sir Donald Bradman, with 29 centuries and 13 half-centuries from just 52 Test matches, is the greatest batsman to ever walk the planet. His average of 99.94 in Test cricket will likely never be matched. Interestingly, Bradman only hit six sixes in his glittering Test career.

    Sachin Tendulkar (India)

    If Bradman was the greatest, Sachin is the most complete batsman to ever play the game. The little magician’s batting is considered by those who wrote the textbook on the subject, to have the perfect mixture of balance, economy of movement, precision stroke-making, and most of all, anticipation. Sachin put all those together more often than not to average 53.78 from his 200 matches, getting to a century on 61 occasions and to a half-century on 68 others. Those statistics meant he amassed a mammoth 15,921 runs, by far the most of any batsman.

     

    Brian Lara (West Indies)

    Whenever the conversation about who is the greatest of all time comes up, the name Brian Charles Lara is never far away. Undoubtedly a genius, Lara still holds the world record for the most runs ever scored in a single Test innings. Lara’s 400 not out was not the first time the left-hander was putting together a score that nobody else had. Australia’s Matthew Hayden scored 380 against Zimbabwe to pass Lara’s first world-record effort of 375 against England but the diminutive left-hander would not be satisfied without breaking that record all over again. Lara’s first record-breaking effort bested Lara would score 34 centuries from 131 Tests at an average of 52.88. The Trinidad & Tobago native also scored 48 half-centuries, getting to 11,953 runs before he called it quits.

    Vivian Richards (West Indies)

    Sir Vivian Richards, the Master Blaster, turned Test cricket on its head with his brand of aggression. In a time when bowlers were the aggressors with the insistence on pace and bounce, Viv, changed the game, making bowlers quake at the sight of his nonchalance in the face of searing pace and his penchant for taking bowling attacks apart. Viv played 121 Test matches and ended with an average of 50.23 despite a long lean spell toward the end of his career. His highest score was 291 but his 24 centuries and 45 half-centuries were remarkable instances each time. There is many a bowler who, throughout the ‘80s hated to get wickets against the West Indies because that would mean the man who brought ‘swagger’ to cricket, would walk to the crease.

    George Headley (West Indies)

    Depending on where you hail from, George Headley is either the Black Bradman or Bradman is the white Headley. In 22 Tests, Headley scored a remarkable 10 centuries and five half-centuries including a highest score of 270 not out. Headley was the only batsman that stood between West Indies and regular capitulations. In fact, between 1929 and 1939, Headley did not have one bad Test series, scoring eight centuries against England and becoming the first immortal at Lord’s. Sir Len Hutton, a man who could easily make this list as one of the first batsmen who could be called a superstar, said he had never seen a batsman who played the ball later, making him a nightmare to set fields for.

     

    Garfield Sobers (West Indies)

    Sir Garfield Sobers is likely the finest all-rounder of all time, taking 235 wickets in his 93 Tests and scoring more than 8,000 runs in his 93 Tests. But his efforts as a batsman are by themselves, worthy of making him a certainty for this list. Sobers scored 26 hundreds in Test cricket but his first is something the game will never forget. In 14 previous Tests, Sobers had a highest score of 66 and averaged just 32.54. Though his talent was undeniable, Sobers was just not getting over that hump. Then Pakistan came calling. Sobers went into the third Test at Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica having scored three half-centuries (52, 52 and 80) in the previous two. Walking in at number three with the score on 87-1, Sobers and Conrad Hunte would take the West Indies to 533-2 when Hunte fell for a brilliant 260. Sobers would keep batting, getting to 365 not out before the skipper Gerry Alexander declared the innings on 790-3. Until the era of Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara, the argument for the greatest batsman of all time stood between Bradman and Sobers. Sobers also became the first man to hit six sixes in an over

     

    Rahul Dravid (India)

    Many of the great innings the world experienced from Sachin Tendulkar were made possible by the man known as ‘The Wall’. Steadily, Rahul Dravid created the reputation for being one of the finest batsmen in the world and started the Indian revolution, helping them become a team that was dangerous, not just at home.

    His technique and robotic-like concentration would help him to 36 centuries and 63 half-centuries from his 164 Tests. His 13,288 runs have made him legendary in India but around the world too. Himself and Sourav Ganguly formed the backbone of a formidable Indian batting line-up and every team knew, that without getting out either or both, India were likely to come out the winning side.

     

    Sunil Gavaskar (India)

    The first man to get to 10,000 Test runs and score 30 centuries, make him most undoubtedly one of the greatest batsmen of all time. But Gavaskar has an even more interesting legacy. He is the man who made Indian cricket what it is today, teaching his teammates and the country of now over one billion, the importance of a professional approach to cricket. But outside of that, Gavaksar must be credited as one of the few batsmen to be able to score significantly against the West Indies all-pace attack of the 1980s, scoring 13 centuries against them. In fact, Gavaskar played five Tests at the Queen’s Park Oval, averaging 99.12 at the ground. Gavaskar was a fine opener, averaging 51.12 over the course of 125 Tests, scoring 34 centuries and 45 half-centuries with a highest score of 236 not out against the West Indies in 1983.

     

    Jacques Kallis (South Africa)

    Jacques Kallis is the only man to threaten Sir Garfield Sobers as the greatest allrounder of all time, and like his West Indian predecessor, his batting makes him a good fit for this list of some of the greatest batsmen of all time.

    Kallis played 166 Tests and averaged 55.37 on his way to scoring a mammoth 45 centuries and 58 half-centuries on his way to putting together 13,289 runs. Kallis was part of South Africa’s second rebirth after being let back into international cricket and along with young skipper Graeme Smith, he led a fight-back to international prominence by performing at a remarkably high level for a long time.

     

    Steve Waugh (Australia)

    Steve Waugh is not the batsman that a ground outside of Australia might fill up to watch and it was largely agreed that his brother, Mark Waugh, was the more talented of the two batsmen. However, Steve’s drive to do well, mixed with hard work and a fine ability to read a situation from the middle of the pitch made for a career that was more than something to be proud of. Waugh led Australia to becoming the most dominant team in World cricket throughout the early 2000s, overtaking the West Indies for that title, with a symbolic 2-2 draw in the Caribbean. Interestingly, Waugh made that draw possible with a double century in the final Test at Sabina Park in Kingston that kick-started a spree of run-scoring that would not be halted until his retirement.

    Waugh would play 168 Tests at an average of just over 51. That double century in Kingston was his highest score on the way to 10,927 runs. His 50 half-centuries meant there were very few times Waugh didn’t contribute to Australia’s eventual totals. Like Dravid and Ganguly were for India, Waugh was the rock that held the team together, the talented batsman evolving over time to a player who had eliminated risk from his game.

     

    Kumar Sangakarra (Sri Lanka)

    Kumar Sangakarra came into the Sri Lankan team on the back of careers like that of Arjuna Ranatunga and Asanka Gurusinha, who paved the way for dismissing the myth that batsmen from that area of the world could be blown off the pitch by good aggressive pace bowling. Sangakarra was decidedly a battler, but he added quite a bit of grace to the role, cementing his place in the side for 134 Tests in which he averaged 57.40. Sangakarra would end his Test career with 12,400 runs, 38 centuries and 52 half-centuries. Interestingly, nobody, not even the great Sachin Tendulkar, made it to 10,000 runs more quickly, the two being joint quickest to the milestone.

  • On this day in sport: Solskjaer lands Man Utd job, Colts head to Indy On this day in sport: Solskjaer lands Man Utd job, Colts head to Indy

    March 28 was the day when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer went from the interim manager to Manchester United's permanent boss.

    It was also the date that the Colts upped sticks and made the stunning move from Baltimore to relocate to Indianapolis.

    March 28 remains a day of one of cricket's most significant milestones as well.

    We take a closer look at what happened on this day in sports.

     

    1955 - New Zealand all out for 26

    The lowest Test score in history - recorded by the home side in Auckland - may never be broken.

    New Zealand, who, at that point had not won a match in the longest format in the 24 years since they were granted Test status, were skittled out inside 27 overs against England.

    Four batsmen were dismissed without scoring, another three having made only a single.

    New Zealand's innings lasted just one hour, 40 minutes and they fell to an innnings-and-20-run loss to the tourists.

    1984 - The Colts head to Indy

    It is one of the most famous, and shocking, stories in NFL history.

    Fifteen trucks turned up at the Baltimore Colts' Owing Mills facility under the cover of darkness, packed up the team's belongings and headed for Indianapolis.

    Baltimore city officials had already passed legislation that would allow them to seize control of the Colts but, once the trucks left the state of Maryland, that did not matter.

    The Colts remain Indianapolis' team today while Baltimore had to wait until 1996 before being awarded another NFL franchise - the Ravens.

    2019 - Solskjaer appointed on a permanent basis

    Exactly one year ago, United responded to their first back-to-back losses under interim boss Solskjaer by making the Norwegian's arrangement permanent and handing him a three-year contract.

    United had previously won their first eight games in a row under Solskjaer and beat Paris Saint-Germain in France in March to advance in the Champions League.

    "This is the job that I always dreamed of doing and I'm beyond excited to have the chance to lead the club long term," Solskjaer said of his appointment.

  • Opinion: CWI First-Class title to Barbados untidy but not contentious Opinion: CWI First-Class title to Barbados untidy but not contentious

    The Cricket West Indies (CWI) decision to award the Regional first-class title to runaway leaders Barbados Pride in its aborted season is untidy, although widely accepted.

    The Pride were dominant all season and I am quite sure they would have emerged champions in a completed 2019-20 campaign but the fact is their lead was not impregnable with two rounds remaining.

    To declare the season annulled must have been a huge consideration, primarily because the championship was incomplete and an outcome contrary to the current standings was still possible, even if unlikely.

    These unforeseen circumstances should now force the CWI’s competition organisers to include a section in the conditions covering an incomplete season.

    With 134.8 points, the Pride were a massive 40.2 points ahead of nearest rivals T&T Red Force (94.6) after eight completed rounds with the dethroned champions Guyana Jaguars and the Jamaica Scorpions joint third on 91.8 points.

    The maximum points on offer for any winning team for each round in the 10-game home and away format is 24 points, meaning the second-placed Red Force could have finished with 142.6 points after the 10 completed rounds, clearly ahead of where the Barbados Pride are now.

    No one could have foreseen the dramatic turn of events in all our lives the COVID-19 Pandemic has triggered and massive decisions have had to be made.

    The CWI Board of Directors “unanimously agreed” to award the Headley/Weekes Trophy to the Barbados Pride on the basis that a huge majority of the season (80%) had been completed and on projection and form it was reasonable to deduce that the Pride would have gone on to easily top the championship table. The Pride needed a mere 7.8 points from their remaining two games to secure the title and their performance curve was comfortably heading there.

    Add to that, their fast-bowling battery poised to earn valuable pace-bowling points -- world-class Test bowlers Jason Holder and Kemar Roach plus Chemar Holder and Keon Harding, No.2 and No.7 respectively on the list of the championship’s most prolific wicket-takers.

    The CWI would have also considered recent precedents in the issue. In New Zealand, the 26-point league-leaders Wellington Firebirds were declared winners of their National Plunket Shield with the last two rounds of the competition cancelled even though their lead was not unassailable.

    New South Wales (NSW) were also given the Sheffield Shield title in Australia after the cancellation of the final also as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. NSW were declared champions after “leading the competition through nine rounds" Cricket Australia said in a statement.

    The CWI’s decision to award the Pride their first title since back-to-back wins in 2013 and 2014 had “no dissenting voices” in the Board room and I have, up to this point, heard not a single complaint about the unorthodox decision.

    I am eagerly awaiting the 2019-20 English Premier League football conclusion. Big leaders Liverpool are 25 points clear of nearest rivals Manchester City and need six more points to be mathematically sure of the title. The push is to have the season completed no matter what but should it happen that the season is incomplete, would they award Liverpool the title?

    Boxing has some clearly defined rules regarding aborted bouts, if for instance injury – example an accidental head-butt -- terminates a world championship contest. A technical draw, a virtual no-result, if the bout is halted within the first five rounds (halfway stage) but if the bout is halted beyond the halfway stage, a winner is declared by a “technical decision” based on who is leading on the scorecards at the point of the stoppage.

    There is room for a leader being awarded a victory in an aborted competition, but I am more accepting of it, if the pre-existing rules stated it.

    This uncontested CWI decision to crown the Barbados Pride may have also been an example of stakeholders recognizing in these times of a sweeping worldwide pandemic taking tens of thousands of lives, that understanding and compassion are human virtues winning over fighting and quarreling, which I guess is good.

    Congrats to the Barbados Pride though who are rewarded for being the undisputed best in the championship.

    They stuttered in an opening-game loss to the Windward Islands Volcanoes but then reeled off five consecutive wins over the Jaguars, Scorpions and Leeward Islands Hurricanes before a revenge win in the sixth round over the Volcanoes, and, to accentuate their supremacy, lashed five-time defending champions Jaguars by a massive 235 runs to close out the shortened season.

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