Cricket Australia has warned it is becoming "unrealistic" to expect the T20 World Cup to take place as planned this year.

Chairman Earl Eddings said the effect of the coronavirus was threatening to make it impractical to bring cricket teams from across the globe to Australia.

The tournament is scheduled to run from October 18 to November 15, and a ruling on whether it should go ahead is due to be taken by the International Cricket Council (ICC) in July.

The ICC has been hoping it can still take place, stating in May that "a number of contingency plans are being explored".

However, Eddings said on Tuesday: "While it hasn't been formally called off this year, or postponed, trying to get 16 countries into Australia in the current world, where most countries are still going through COVID spiking, I think it's unrealistic, or it's going to be very, very difficult."

Speaking to reporters in a conference call, Eddings added: "The ICC are having meetings as we speak, it's a bit of a movable feast at the moment."

Cricket Australia on Tuesday appointed an interim chief executive, choosing T20 World Cup local organising committee CEO Nick Hockley for the position.

West Indies are the reigning T20 World Cup champions, having beaten England in the 2016 final.

Kevin Roberts has left his post as Cricket Australia (CA) chief executive barely halfway through a three-year contract.

The national governing body said it had parted company with Roberts and replaced him on an interim basis with Nick Hockley.

Hockley is chief executive of Australia's local organising committee for the T20 World Cup, a tournament the country is due to host in October and November and is in major doubt due to the coronavirus crisis.

CA chairman Earl Eddings said: "Cricket, like all national sports, has been going through a period of significant change and – in recent months we have had the added uncertainty delivered by COVID-19.

"The entire cricket community has been affected and difficult decisions have been – and will continue to be necessary – to ensure that cricket at every level is in the best shape it can be now and in the future."

Eddings said CA would be "continuing on with our restructure programme" on Wednesday but would not discuss the prospect of redundancies "out of respect" for staff.

Roberts spent 20 months in post before leaving the role. CA stated on its website Roberts had resigned, while Eddings said he had personally "made these changes today".

As Hockley began his tenure, he said: "Whilst it's been an unsettling time, it is an absolute privilege to be asked to take on this role, even on an interim basis.

"It is without doubt one of the great jobs in Australian sport and with that comes an enormous responsibility to the organisation and to the broader game."

The pandemic has hit Australian sport hard, with a number of international matches played behind closed doors or cancelled, while the Sheffield Shield campaign had to be curtailed.

There is now the danger of the T20 World Cup being cancelled or postponed, either of which would be a further major blow.

Hockley suggested there may be brighter times around the corner, however, saying: "I really see one of my priorities to help the board provide really clear direction as we move forward to what we hope is a fantastic summer."

The Golden State Warriors and Tiger Woods both became champions again on June 16 in previous years, while Didier Deschamps' France also started their road to glory in Russia.

Steve Kerr's Warriors have dominated the NBA for much of the past half-decade, but five years ago they were trying to end a long championship drought.

Woods was already a multiple major winner by 2008, though his victory at the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines while he essentially played on one leg was one of his most incredible successes.

Here we take a look at major sporting events that have happened on June 16 in previous years.

 

2008 - Wounded Woods wins U.S. Open play-off

The 2008 U.S. Open had been due to finish on Sunday, June 15 but 72 holes could not separate Woods and veteran Rocco Mediate, so the two came back for 18 more on Monday.

Woods had a three-stroke lead through 10 holes but, clearly hampered by a serious knee injury, he was reeled in by the world number 158 and needed a birdie at the last to force a sudden death.

After 91 holes, Woods eventually emerged victorious to claim his 14th major title - four short of record-holder Jack Nicklaus' haul - though it would be another 11 years before he tasted major success again at the Masters.

It was later revealed Woods had played on with a double stress fracture and a torn anterior cruciate ligament, making his victory all the more remarkable.

2015 - Warriors end title drought

Finals between the Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers would become a regular theme, and it was Stephen Curry and Co. who came out on top in 2015, as they did in 2017 and 2018 too.

The 2015 series had been tied at 2-2 but a 104-91 Game 5 win gave Golden State the chance to end a 40-year wait for another title on June 16, which they did with a 105-97 Game 6 victory.

Curry and Finals MVP Andre Iguodala scored 25 points apiece, with the latter winning praise for his defensive display against LeBron James, who would need to wait another 12 months before he brought a title to the long-suffering Cleveland fans.

2018 - VAR helps France edge past Australia

They may have undoubtedly been the best team at Russia 2018, but France had an underwhelming start to a campaign that would end with them winning the World Cup.

Les Bleus were thankful for VAR when it was used - for the first time ever in a World Cup match - to award them a controversial penalty after Josh Risdon's tackle on Antoine Griezmann originally went punished in Kazan.

Griezmann duly dispatched the penalty but Australia pulled level through Mile Jedinak's spot-kick, only for France to claim a 2-1 win 10 minutes from time courtesy of an own goal from Aziz Behich.

The ICC has delayed a decision over the respective fates of the men's T20 World Cup and women's Cricket World Cup in order to continue exploring contingency plans over the next month.

Australia is due to host the men's T20 competition between October 18 and November 15 but the status of the tournament remains unclear due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, while the women's 50-over event is slated to take place in New Zealand from February 6 to March 7 next year.

Last month, the ICC denied reports a decision had been taken to move the T20 World Cup back to next year, although Cricket Australia said it was braced for the postponement.

Following an ICC Board meeting on Wednesday, the governing body said it will "continue to assess and evaluate the rapidly changing public health situation caused by COVID-19 working with key stakeholders including governments to explore how the events can be staged to protect the health and safety of everyone involved."

ICC chief executive Manu Sawhney said: "The situation surrounding the global pandemic is evolving rapidly and we want to give ourselves the best possible opportunity to make the right decision for the whole sport. 

"The health and well-being of everyone involved is our priority and other considerations fall out from that.

"We will only get one chance to make this decision and it needs to be the right one and as such we will continue to consult with our Members, broadcasters, partners, governments and players and to ensure that we make a well informed decision."

When the SportsMax Zone and a panel of experts consider the monumental task of picking its four bowlers for SportsMax’s Ultimate XI One-Day International (ODI) team, there will be an omission of monstrous proportions.

The panel will not be considering the impressive ODI career of one of Australia’s greatest pace bowlers, Glenn McGrath.

Yesterday, the panel was asked to shortlist a shortlist of pace bowlers so they could discuss what the final list of bowlers looks like this evening. The results were shocking.

From a list of 12 fast bowlers, only six have remained for consideration by the panel.

The evening began with Dennis Lillee, Allan Donald, Shane Bond, Shaun Pollock, Curtly Ambrose, Brett Lee, McGrath, Richard Hadlee, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Chaminda Vaas, Joel Garner, and Michael Holding.

The panel will consider no more, the cases of Lee, Bond, Pollock, Ambrose, McGrath, and Donald.

There wasn’t complete unison in the decision, however, as statistician and sports writer Zaheer Clarke believes McGrath’s figures over the years, in particular, his World Cup figures makes it absurd that he is not to be considered for the final three placings in SportsMax’s Ultimate XI ODI team.

Later this evening on the SportsMax Zone at 4:30 pm Eastern Standard Time and 5:30 pm in the Eastern Caribbean, the panel will discuss which three of Australia’s Lillee, Pakistan’s Akram and Younis, the West Indies’ Garner and Holding, and New Zealand’s Hadlee will take the three fast-bowling spots up for grabs.

At this point, like Clarke, Fanalysts believe the panel to be spewing hogwash with at least two of their decisions.

For the Fanalysts, Wasim Akram, Curtly Ambrose, and Glenn McGrath are the three best ODI pace bowlers the world has ever seen.

Remember, you can vote on what you want your Ultimate XI to look like by going to SportsMax.tv and clicking on the banner or clicking on the link here.

The Fanalyst vote counts for 40% of overall votes, while the panel of experts and the SportsMax Zone have 30% each.

To date, the Zone and panel have picked the same ODI Ultimate XI line-up, with that list looking like Rohit Sharma and Sachin Tendulkar as the openers, AB de Villiers, Viv Richards and Virat Kohli as the middle order batsmen 3-5, Mahendra Singh Dhoni as the wicketkeeper, and Imran Khan as the all-rounder.

The Fanalysts have differed regarding the middle-order and the all-rounder, going for Brian Lara to join de Villiers and Kohli, and Jacques Kallis to do all things cricket.

New Australia coach Dave Rennie has volunteered to take a 30 per cent pay cut ahead of starting his job with the Wallabies next month.

Rugby Australia (RA) reported a provisional deficit of 9.4 million Australian dollars for 2019 back in March, and the impact of the coronavirus has further impacted their finances.

All July internationals have already been scrapped because of the ongoing pandemic and both Australia players and RA staff members have had to take significant pay cuts while the sport is on hold.

Rennie has now followed suit with a pay cut that will last until the end of September, in line with the rest of RA's executive team.

The 56-year-old's appointment as Australia's new coach was confirmed back in November 2019 shortly after the Rugby World Cup concluded.

It is hoped he could be in charge for the first time in October, when international fixtures are set to return.

Glenn McGrath’s final One-Day International was the final of the ICC Cricket World Cup in the Caribbean. Australia won that World Cup and McGrath was named its Man of the Tournament.

McGrath went out at the top, having claimed 381 scalps in 250 games at an average of 22.02.

His strike rate of 34 and his economy rate of 3.88 in a time made for batting puts him firmly as one of the greatest bowlers of all time. In Australia, that honour has always belonged to Dennis Lillee but today, McGrath joins that conversation, no doubt.

At that 2007 World Cup McGrath bagged 26 wickets, the moment made more spectacular because he had just returned from caring for his wife, who was battling cancer. She would succumb to her fight with cancer in 2008.

McGrath was adept at bowling that ‘nagging’ length where batsmen could not go forward or hop onto the backfoot. He would hit that spot for days if his body could manage to keep up. And batsmen had to be content with scoring from other bowlers or risk heading back to the pavilion for an early shower.

Playing against Namibia in 2003, the World Cup rookies had not yet understood that McGrath was a bowler best left alone for as long as possible and as often as possible. That naivety brought a World Cup record for McGrath, his 7-15 marking the best-ever figures at the tournament.

So on song was McGrath on that day in 2003 that at one point Australia had three slips and two gullies to the paceman’s bowling.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Glenn Donald McGrath

Born: February 9, 1970 (50), Dubbo, New South Wales

Major teams: Australia, Delhi Daredevils, ICC World XI, Middlesex, New South Wales, Worcestershire

Playing role: Bowler

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm fast-medium

Height: 1.95 m

 

ODI Career: Australia (1993-2007)

Mat    Inns    Balls       Runs     Wkts     BBI     BBM       Ave      Econ   SR       4w     5w     10w

250      248     12970    8391         381    7/15     7/15       22.02   3.88     34.0      9        7          0

 

Career Highlights

  • Claimed 381 wickets at an average of 22.02
  • Most wickets by an Australian in ODIs
  • Most wickets in CWC history (71)
  • Best average in CWC history with minimum 1000 balls (18.19)
  • 7 for 15 against Namibia in 2003 is best ever CWC figures
  • Took a wicket with last ball of Test, ODI & T20I careers

Control is one of the hallmarks of a good fast bowler. Add pace to that and you have the ingredients for a great fast bowler. Add pace to that and you have Australia’s, Brett Lee.

Brett Lee is tied with Glen McGrath for having taken the most wickets in ODIs by an Australian. But to prove the point about pace and control being the hallmarks of greatness, while it took McGrath 249 ODI matches to clock his 380 wickets, Lee did so in just 219 when he dismissed England’s Ian Bell at Lord’s.

On the way to those 380 wickets at an average of 23.36, Lee had to suffer through numerous injury setbacks and quit Test cricket two years before he called time on his international career in a bid to extend his run in the shorter versions of the game.

In truth, Lee also wanted the freedom to bowl fast, knowing he had a maximum of 10 overs to get through. At his best, he would begin bowling the new ball and getting prodigious outswing. When the ball got a little older, Batsmen had to watch their toes as a man who could get up to 160 clicks, was now bowling rapid reverse swing.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Brett Lee

Born: November 8, 1976 (43), Wollongong, New South Wales

Major teams: Australia, Kings XI Punjab, Kolkata Knight Riders, New South Wales, Otago, Sydney Sixers, Wellington

Playing role: Bowler

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm fast

Height: 1.87 m

 

ODI Career: Australia (2000-2012)

Mat    Inns    Balls     Runs          Wkts   BBI      BBM     Ave      Econ    SR      4w     5w     10

221      217    11185   8877             380    5/22    5/22      23.36   4.76     29.4     14        9       0

 

Career Highlights

  • Secured 380 wickets at 23.36
  • 8th on all-time ODI wicket-taking list
  • 5th fastest to 100 ODI wickets (55th match)
  • Part of Australia’s 2003 ICC CWC winning team

If you are named to Australia’s greatest ever One-Day International team, then chances are, you’re one of the greatest ODI teams of all time. Australia are the team to have won the most ICC World Cups and undoubtedly have the most pedigree as an ODI team. Pacer Dennis Lillee played no small part in building that pedigree.

Lillee was considered a complete bowler. Initially, he bowled with frightening pace but a spinal stress fracture, which many thought would have ended his career, only managed to slow him.

Slower, Lillee was still incredibly dangerous. Now he had variations in pace, length and movement and he still was no slouch. Now, in addition to his standard outswinger, Lillee had introduced a change of pace, a yorker, leg and offcutters, a fast bouncer and a slow one to boot.

Those tools served him well in the ODI arena where he took 103 wickets in just 63 games at an average of 20.82.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Dennis Keith Lillee

Born: July 18, 1949 (age 70), Subiaco, Perth, Western Australia

Major teams: Australia, Northamptonshire, Tasmania, Western Australia

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm fast

 

ODI Career: Australia (1972-1983)

Mat    Inns    Balls   Runs    Wkts   BBI     BBM    Ave     Econ   SR      4w     5w     10w

63         63     3593   2145     103    5/34     5/34    20.82   3.58    34.8     5       1         0

 

Career Highlights

  • First to take a 5-for in ODIs
  • First to take 50 and 100 wickets in ODIs
  • Named as a bowler in Australia's "greatest ever ODI team"

Widely regarded as the greatest leg spinner in the history of cricket, Shane Warne was a renaissance man. He breathed new life into the bowling style of leg-spin which was dying and made it an integral part of the game.

His ball which bamboozled Mike Gatting in 1993, is regarded as the greatest delivery ever bowled by popular discretion.

He was the leading wicket-taker (708) in Test cricket, until December 2007, when the throne was usurped by another all-time spinning legend, Muttiah Muralitharan. Had he played as many ODIs as did other bowlers, the situation may have been the same, but his 293 from just 194 games, is testament to how dangerous he is. His average of just over 25 also makes him comparable to not just the greatest spinners in the ODI format, but the greatest bowlers, period.  

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Shane Keith Warne

Born: September 13, 1969 (age 50), Upper Ferntree Gully, Victoria, Australia

Height: 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)

Batting style: Right-handed

Bowling style: Right-arm leg break

Playing role: Bowler

 

ODI Career: Australia (1993-2005)

Mat      Inns     Balls       Runs      Wkts      BBI        BBM      Ave        Econ        SR           4w          5w          10w

194       191      10642      7541        293      5/33       5/33      4.25        25.74      36.32          1             0              0

 

Career Highlights

  • Only specialist bowler among Wisden’s 5 Cricketers of the Century
  • He was named as a bowler in Australia's "greatest ever ODI team"
  • He’s picked up 293 wickets in 194 ODIs
  • Claimed one 5-wicket haul in ODIs

Rugby Football Union (RFU) chief executive Bill Sweeney is hopeful England will not have to play autumn internationals behind closed doors at Twickenham.

England are due to host New Zealand, Argentina, Tonga and Australia in November but there are doubts over whether fans will be allowed in due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Sweeney stressed the importance of supporters being able to attend for financial reasons and, with lockdown measures being gradually eased, he is optimistic Eddie Jones' side will not have to run out in an empty stadium.

"Playing behind closed doors - for us - is not much different to the games being cancelled," he told BBC Sport.

"By the time you fire up the stadium, pay for the players and the costs associated with preparation time and camps, when you play behind closed doors for us, there is not a huge difference between that and the games not taking place.

"Having attendance and having fans turning up is key."

Sweeney added: "If things progress as they seem to be progressing now, hopefully we will see crowds at Twickenham in October and November."

RFU boss Sweeney says alternative options are being explored if southern hemisphere teams are unable to head north.

"The preference from both the north and the south is that the original programme will go ahead," he said.

"But there are two or three different options that feature more northern hemisphere competition around that autumn window.

"One of them is you'd play a Six Nations tournament in that autumn that would combine with fixtures next year and for the first time ever you'd have home and away.

"Every [plan] has pros and cons to it and those are being evaluated."

Shane Warne made an indelible mark on the Ashes on this day in 1993.

Ian Healy’s hard work and will to succeed, complemented by an undying loyalty to his teammates made him the pulse of the Australian team from October 14, 1988, when he began his ODI career, until May 25, 1997 when he played in his last one.

Healy was an aggressive runner between the wickets when he batted and despite not having all the big shots, was more than a handful for many a bowler who expected to be rid of the Australian innings soon after he came to the crease.

His quality as a wicketkeeper was always good, bearing in mind the penchant Australia had for finding real quicks for international duty. But that quality was never more on display as he kept wicket to the big-turning Shane Warne. In fact, his very nasal, “bowling Warnie,” became a signature sound, not just in Australian cricket, but the world around. Many young boys can be recalled mimicking ‘well bowled Warnie’ even though there was never another Warne at the other end. The partnerships between himself and Glen McGrath, Jason Gillespie, and Warne yielded many a wicket, the man named to Australia’s team of the 20th century claiming 233 scalps.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Ian Andrew Healy

Born: April 30, 1964, Spring Hill, Brisbane, Queensland

Major teams: Australia, Queensland

Playing role: Wicketkeeper batsman

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Fielding position: Wicketkeeper

 

ODI Career: Australia (1988-1997)

Mat    Inns    NO     Runs    HS     Ave     BF      SR      100s    50s   4s    6s      Ct          St

168      120     36      1764    56     21.00   2104   83.84      0        4    77     5       194         39

 

Career Highlights

  • 7th most dismissals in ODIs (233)
  • Completed 194 catches and 39 stumpings
  • Scored 1764 runs at an average of 21.00

Former Golden State Warriors star Andrew Bogut said he is open to returning to the NBA as "I've got a little bit of fuel left in the tank" ahead of the Olympic Games.

Bogut is a free agent after opting to quit NBL franchise the Sydney Kings last month amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The 35-year-old Australian – who won an NBA title with the Warriors in 2015 – had been planning to retire following the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which have been pushed back due to COVID-19.

Bogut returned to the Warriors to play the remainder of the 2018-19 season while contracted to the Kings and the NBA's former number one pick is pondering another stint in the United States.

"I had NBA offers right before the COVID-19 pandemic, where I was potentially going to go back after the NBL season. I was talking to a few teams that wanted me to come over," Bogut, who was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks with the top pick in the 2005 NBA Draft, told SBS Sport.

"Yes [I would consider another NBA stint], especially halfway through the season when the buyout and trade season comes up.

"It saves me having to spend the whole season over there and I can kind of join someone late, like I did with the Warriors last time.

"[I] can try to make a play-off run and then let that phase into the Olympics. I still think I've got a little bit of fuel left in the tank."

Former Bucks, Dallas Mavericks, Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers centre Bogut returned to Australia with the Kings in 2018.

Bogut was named the NBL's MVP in his first season, while he helped the Kings reach the Grand Final this year, though the Perth Wildcats were crowned champions after the series was cut short due to coronavirus.

"There are just too many unknowns right now. Not just in the basketball community but around the world," Bogut said as he discussed his Kings departure.

"I wasn't going to commit to something half-assed and not know what's in the other end. I thought it was best to hit pause for now and reassess around about the new year, rather than me sitting here with one foot in, one foot out and the club not knowing where I'm at, so they can't act accordingly with recruiting, signing and the salary cap.

"I didn't want to have that pressure of every week having to call and say 'I don't know yet'. I think in fairness to the club, it's the best thing for the Kings to be able to make decisions they need to make without worrying about me at the other end."

Shane Watson overcame a myriad of injuries to become one of Australia’s most important players in the early 2000s. Watson had more than one stress fracture in his back, hamstring strains, calf problems, a dislocated shoulder, food poisoning that presented symptoms like that of a heart attack, still, he prevailed, becoming a feared batsman, who could take a game away from you. He combined the patience he learned as an Australian Test opener with aggression and power in a way that made him a nightmare for the opposition even if he was at the crease for just a few overs.

Having bat in every conceivable position during that Test career, he became a man for all seasons in the one-day version of the game. With nine centuries and 33 fifties to go along with an average of 40.54 and a strike rate of 90, Watson is most decidedly a batting all-rounder.

But with a physique like his, being more than a medium pacer was always going to be a part of the plan.

He would end his ODI career with 168 wickets at an average of 31.79 at a strike rate of 38.4

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Shane Robert Watson

Born: June 17, 1981, Ipswich, Queensland

Major teams: Australia, Australia A, Australia Under-19s, Canterbury, Chennai Super Kings, Cricket Australia XI, Deccan Gladiators, Dhaka Dynamites, Gilchrist XI, Hampshire, Islamabad United, New South Wales, Prime Minister's XI, Queensland, Queensland Colts, Queensland Under-19s, Quetta Gladiators, Rajasthan Royals, Rangpur Rangers, Redlands, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Sindhis, St Lucia Zouks, Sydney Sixers, Sydney Thunder, Tasmania

Playing role: Allrounder

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm fast-medium

Height: 1.83 m

 

ODI Career (batting): Australia (2002-2015)

Mat    Inns    NO     Runs    HS       Ave      BF      SR      100s     50s    4s      6s    

190     169     27      5757     185*   40.54     6365  90.44      9        33     570     131  

 

ODI Career (bowling): Australia (2002-2015)

Mat    Inns    Balls    Runs      Wkts   BBI     BBM     Ave      Econ    SR      4w     5w     10w

190      163    6466    5342        168    4/36     4/36    31.79    4.95     38.4      3       0         0

 

 

Career Highlights

  • Fastest Australian to "5000 runs and 150 wickets"
  • Held 'Fastest 150' record for 4 years
  • Highest ODI score in a run-chase (185*)
  • Highest ODI score (185*) and most sixes in an innings (15), by an Australian
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