Australia national selector Trevor Hohns feels Shaun Marsh's international career is probably over, while he labelled Usman Khawaja "unlucky".

Khawaja and Marsh were among those to miss out on national contracts, with a 20-man list named by Cricket Australia (CA) on Thursday.

Marsh, 36, last played for Australia in mid-2019, having featured in 38 Tests, 73 ODIs and 15 Twenty20s for the country.

But Hohns said Marsh's time playing for Australia was probably over.

"Shaun, you never say never, and I'll never say never of course, but I think Shaun, I think he's now 36 or 37, is probably past representing Australia," he told a video conference on Thursday.

"We've spoken to Shaun regularly over the last 12 months and he understands the situation. He's been a wonderful player in domestic cricket, he's played some very, very good innings for Australia in Test match cricket and he'll be sorely missed.

"But what is good is that he's continuing to play the game and as a senior player playing domestic cricket around Australia, he's got a big role to play and as I suggested it's great to see players like that continuing to play and put back to state cricket."

As for Khawaja, Hohns said leaving out the left-hander was the toughest decision.

The 33-year-old batsman has not played for Australia since being dropped during last year's Ashes series.

"Usman is one of the unlucky ones, there's no doubt," Hohns said. "As we know, Usman didn't play cricket for Australia last year at all in any format after being dropped from the Ashes series.

"If I'm looking at Test cricket, Usman's form in domestic Shield cricket didn't demand that he was chosen for Australia and I think that's pretty fair. One-day cricket, he didn't play for Australia despite being a very good performer in the Marsh Cup early in the season, but the area that he operates in, like a couple of our unlucky omissions, is up the top and we're pretty well looked after up there with [Aaron] Finch, [David] Warner, [Steve] Smith and now Marnus Labuschagne so it was a difficult time for him and then of course in T20 cricket he hasn't played for Australia for some time.

"Usman obviously received rankings in a couple of those forms of the game, but those rankings weren't sufficient enough to get him into the contract list in the end."

Usman Khawaja and Shaun Marsh were among the players to miss out on national contracts from Cricket Australia (CA) for 2020-21.

Khawaja, 33, was dropped from the Test team during last year's Ashes, while his last ODI was also in 2019.

Marsh, 36, has been out of international action since mid-2019 and was also left off a 20-player list named on Thursday.

"As Mitch Marsh and Matthew Wade have proven there are always plenty of opportunities for those who have missed out to be reselected by performing consistently at domestic level; and importantly to make the most of any opportunity that comes their way at international level," Australia national selector Trevor Hohns said in a statement.

"As is always the case there are unlucky omissions but, however, because you are not on the list does not mean you cannot be selected to represent Australia."

Marnus Labuschagne, Joe Burns, Matthew Wade, Mitchell Marsh, Kane Richardson and Ashton Agar were called up to the nationally contracted list.

It continues Labuschagne's incredible rise, with the right-hander averaging 63.43 in 14 Tests and 50.83 in seven ODIs.

"We feel all deserve their inclusion recognising the performances of those players in the past 12 months and, as importantly, what they can offer in the next 12 months," Hohns said.

"Marnus' rise has been meteoric and well documented, Joe has been a good Test match player, Ashton Agar’s form in T20 internationals has been exceptional, while Kane Richardson has been outstanding in the 20-over and one-day games.

"Matthew Wade's summer showed he is not only a tough but a good Test player for us. His form extended into white-ball cricket late in the summer, earning him well-deserved call-ups to the one-day and T20 Australian squads.

"After missing the list last year Mitch Marsh's recent form showed he has a lot of international cricket ahead of him as a batting all-rounder. Mitch proved this with his man-of-the-match performance against New Zealand at the SCG in the last game Australia played and a five-wicket haul in the last Test match he played on the Ashes tour."

Cricket Australia contracted player list: Ashton Agar, Joe Burns, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Tim Paine, James Pattinson, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa.

Tim Paine says Australia's players will not be greedy if they are asked to take a pay cut as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Cricket Australia (CA) will stand down the majority of its staff on reduced pay from April 27 until the end of the financial year amid the COVID-19 crisis.

CA is also in negotiations with the Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) over player salaries.

With such uncertainty over when they will next take to the field at international level, Test captain Paine knows the players must look at the bigger picture.

"Players need to know the absolute financial positions of the game and the players aren't going to be greedy," he told ABC Radio.

"Our livelihood, all the people associated with the ACA and the players' association, their livelihood is dependent on the game of cricket being healthy.

"So at the moment if a pay cut for us is on the cards and that keeps our game thriving well into the future, then that’s something we'll certainly have to look at."

Paine was not surprised when he learned of CA's financial situation, though.

He added: "I think commercially a lot of sponsors have been pretty hard hit and it's obviously going to hit Cricket Australia at some stage then as well.

"I think there's a bit of safeguarding towards the potential of India not coming [for a tour starting in October] which is worth something like 250 to 300million [Australian] dollars."

Virat Kohli has the talent, fitness and drive to break Sachin Tendulkar's all-time runs record, according to Brett Lee.

India great Tendulkar, who celebrated his 47th birthday on Friday, retired in 2013 having scored 34,357 international runs across all formats in a 24-year career.

No other batsman has gone beyond 29,000 runs, yet current India captain Kohli is the leading active player, amassing 21,901 runs in 416 matches since debuting in 2008.

Kohli currently has a higher one-day international average - 59.33 to Tendulkar's 44.83 - and his Test number is similar - 53.62 to 53.78 - while the 31-year-old averages above 50 in Twenty20 cricket, too.

"We are talking about phenomenal numbers here, so you mentioned seven to eight years of cricket and at the rate [Kohli] is going, yes, he can definitely knock it off," former Australian bowler Lee said on Star Sports.

"It comes down to three things, there is one thing I would like to eliminate - so, you talk about talent as a batsman, he's definitely got that talent, eliminate that first and foremost.

"Then fitness - Virat Kohli has got that fitness, so for me it is all about fitness at the age of 30 and also that mental strength, the mental capacity to get through those hard times, being away from home, from his wife, or when they will have children.

"He will do it easily with his talent, it comes down to his mental strength and if he stays fit enough and I believe he has got all those three components to go past Sachin."

Having backed Kohli to better the marks of another India great, Lee was quick to point out the high esteem he holds Tendulkar in.

"But, how can you say someone can go past Sachin Tendulkar," he added. "This is God here, can someone go better than God? We will wait and see."

South Africa's tour to Sri Lanka in June has been postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Proteas were due to play three one-dayers and a trio of Twenty20 contests against their hosts, but the trip will now have to be rearranged.

Sri Lanka and South Africa jointly announced the decision on Monday.

"It is very sad that we have been forced to take this step and we will re-schedule the tour as soon as cricket returns to a sense of normality and our international fixture list allows," said Cricket South Africa's acting chief executive Jacques Faul.
 
"Our Proteas would not have been able to prepare properly taking our own lockdown situation into account and, more importantly, health considerations for our players, which are always paramount, were the over-riding factor.
 
"It would have been a particularly important tour for us with the three ODIs counting for the new ICC one-day league and the T20 programme being part of our preparation for the ICC T20 World Cup scheduled for Australia later this year. 

"It is very frustrating for the players who want to build on the good form they showed at the backend of our home summer against Australia."

Graeme Smith has been appointed as Cricket South Africa's (CSA) director of cricket on a permanent basis.

The former Proteas captain was given the role for three months back in December.

It had been expected CSA would look to extend his time in the job and he has now been handed an initial two-year contract.

"Graeme has made a huge impact with his energy, expertise, hard work ethic and characteristic determination and passion he has brought to the position during the six months he has served in an acting capacity," said CSA acting chief executive Dr. Jacques Faul.

"Although there is certainly a great deal of work to be done, as reflected by the performances of our various national teams, he has certainly put our cricket on an upward trajectory that provides light at the end of the tunnel.

"He has bought into all the overall pillars of our strategy and that includes the important one of transformation.

"As far as the technical and support teams he has put together are concerned, the black generic component amounted to more than 70 per cent across the board and the Black African component varied between 30 and 60 per cent for the Standard Bank Proteas for the home international season, for the Momentum Proteas for the ICC Women's T20 World Cup and for the ICC under-19 World Cup, which we were privileged and proud to host.

"He also made a number of strategic temporary appointments with Linda Zondi appointed interim independent national selector, Ashwell Prince taking charge of South Africa A and Malibongwe Maketa joining the under-19 squad as a coaching consultant."

Smith added: "My appointment brings a degree of permanency to my position which makes planning the road ahead a lot easier.

"As Dr. Faul has said, there is a lot of work that still needs to be done, not just at international level but throughout our pipeline development pathways as well but I am determined to get South African cricket back to where it belongs as one of the world leaders at international level."

Smith scored 9,265 Test runs and 6,989 in ODI cricket in a decorated career as an opening batsman for his country.

South Africa's youngest skipper, he is the most successful captain in Test history, having led the Proteas to 53 wins in the longest format.

However, they are winless in their last three series, with home defeats to Sri Lanka and England sandwiched by a whitewash in India. They also failed to progress beyond the group stage of last year's World Cup.

Australia coach Justin Langer is open to the idea of playing games behind closed doors once cricket can resume after the coronavirus pandemic.

Langer watched on as his side emphatically defeated New Zealand in a one-dayer played inside an empty Sydney Cricket Ground last month.

It was due to be the first of three matches between the trans-Tasman rivals, though the series was cut short due the COVID-19 outbreak as the Black Caps returned home in time to avoid quarantine restrictions.

While there is no immediate sign of a resumption to the international schedule, staging contests without any supporters could be a viable option in the future.

"The Australian cricket team are so fortunate to play in front of big crowds every time we play," Langer told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"But for the love of the game, and for still being able to entertain people through TV sets or radio, then there's value in that (playing behind closed doors).

"Yes, it's different, but we'll never, ever, ever take for granted how lucky we are, ever again. We are so lucky in what we do."

Australia are due to play a two-Test series in Bangladesh in June, followed by a limited-overs tour to the United Kingdom that runs into July.

 

Representatives for England players will continue talks with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) over how to help the game during the coronavirus pandemic, though they have not received any demands from their employers to take a pay cut.

Having already revealed this week that they will provide a £61million support package to help ease the financial issues caused by the COVID-19 crisis, the ECB announced on Wednesday measures to reduce employee salaries as they aim to protect jobs in the long term.

Chief executive Tom Harrison has agreed to take a 25 per cent cut, while members of the executive management and team board will see their wages lowered by 20 per cent.

A report by ESPNcricinfo earlier in the day suggested the England squad had so far declined an invitation to follow suit, though all-rounder Ben Stokes called the story “utter lies" on Twitter.

In a statement, the Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA) said discussions for both the men's and women's team continue with the ECB over "all aspects of the game", including contracts.

"Regarding the England players, both men and women, separate and ongoing discussions are taking place between the ECB and the management boards of both the Team England Player Partnership (TEPP) and the England Women's Player Partnership (EWPP), which respectively represent these players," the statement read.

"Contrary to media speculation in communication this week, the ECB confirmed to centrally contracted players that there would not be any demands placed on England players to take any wage reductions to their central contracts.

"However, the England men's players through TEPP and the England women's players through EWPP have been and will continue to be in regular communication with the ECB.

"They will be discussing all aspects of the game that the ECB and the players are currently facing and most importantly how the players can best support their employers, the game and the country in the short, medium and long term. These issues shall also include the wellbeing of the entire cricket family, the playing of the game and the players' contracts."

Limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan made clear he is “extremely willing to help” amid the global crisis, with the English season not scheduled to start until May 28 at the earliest.

"In the extremely uncertain times at the moment where nobody seems to have any answers about the actual impact it will have on international cricket, English cricket, county cricket - I'm open to absolutely everything," Morgan said.

"I'm very aware of how serious the situation is, I'm very aware that everybody will be affected from top to toe within the game and every sport, so I'm open to helping when and where I can."

Eoin Morgan is "open to absolutely everything" to help efforts against the coronavirus pandemic but believes England's cricketers are entitled to more guidance amid a public clamour for them to take a temporary pay cut.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced a £61million support package on Tuesday to address "the biggest challenge the ECB has faced in its history".

A reduction in salary's for England's centrally contracted players is not yet a part of that effort, although ESPNcricinfo reported ECB chief executive Tom Harrison had written to his counterpart at the Professional Cricketers' Association, Tony Irish, to suggest the country's leading cricket stars should take a lead on this matter.

Harrison himself has volunteered to take a 25 per cent reduction in salary, with the executive management team and board taking a 20 per cent cut for the two months starting April 1. Some staff will also be asked to consent to furloughing under the UK government's coronavirus scheme, before having their salaries topped back up to 100 per cent by the ECB. 

Ben Stokes tweeted to strongly dispute the suggestion he and his team-mates had elected not to take a pay cut, while Morgan told reporters on Wednesday that he had not seen the letter.

"I'm extremely willing to help where I know it's going to make a difference," he said.

"In the extremely uncertain times at the moment, where nobody seems to have any answers of the actual impact it will have on international cricket, English cricket, county cricket, I'm open to absolutely everything.

"I'm very aware how serious the situation is, I'm very aware that everybody will be affected from top to toe within the game and in every sport.

"I'm open to helping where and when I can."

Morgan explained he felt finding the appropriate response was complicated for cricket players because their immediate plans are in such a state of flux.

"The difficult thing we find at the moment when we talk as players is that we can't answer that – we can't answer what is the best way to help out as players," he said.

"Is it to engage on social media? Is it to engage in other streams? Is it just to sit back and let this pass and hopefully we'll play?

"In relation to what we're trying to do and play cricket, get back out on the field, it seems to be quite a while away. The advice that we will be continually getting over the coming weeks is the important stuff."

One of Morgan's World Cup-winning colleagues to have taken a pro-active step in this regard is Jos Buttler.

The Lancashire wicketkeeper has put his shirt from last year's dramatic final triumph over New Zealand at Lord's up for auction on eBay, with the highest bid already in excess of £65,000.

Buttler's shirt is signed by the entire England team and the proceeds will be donated to the Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals Charity, to fund life-saving equipment to help those affected by COVID-19.

"It's an incredibly kind gesture," Morgan said. "Certainly, I'm not one for holding on to memorabilia and if I can help out in any way by auctioning off or donating to charity, I do what I can.

"Other people are different. We've seen during the Australian bushfires, where Shane Warne auctioned his baggy green cap for a million dollars or something ridiculous.

"The impact that can have on so many lives, as opposed to sitting in somebody's drawer and just having it as a bit of a trophy – personally that's something I don't understand.

"Jos, I suppose, is one of those guys. I think his shirt will go for a lot of money but the gesture in itself, to help aid and buy new equipment, I think is outstanding."

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has announced a £61million support package to "keep the lights on" amid concerns the entire season will be lost due to the coronavirus pandemic.

ECB chief executive officer Tom Harrison on Tuesday warned the governing body faces the biggest challenge in its history with the United Kingdom in lockdown.

Around £40m has been made available immediately as first-class counties and local cricket boards suffer from the financial impact of COVID-19, while around a further £21m will follow in interest-free loans for recreational clubs in a bid to ensure cricket can survive at all levels.

The start of the county season has already been delayed by six weeks until May 28, but there are fears that no play will be possible at all.

Alternatively, England's Test and limited-overs sides could play at the same time to cram in fixtures later in the season, while the inaugural edition of The Hundred may be postponed until next year or staged behind closed doors.

Harrison also confirmed that England players with central contracts will not be asked to take a pay cut or furloughed.

He said in a statement: "It is no exaggeration to say this is the biggest challenge the ECB has faced in its history.

"We are working around the clock to understand the impact on the game and we have taken these short-term steps to help counties and clubs get through the immediate impact."

Harrison added: "This is a real hammer blow to our plans. Our season is massively under threat now. It's an incredibly difficult time for the country and the game.

"Everyone will be impacted. Right now we are addressing the short term. There's more pain ahead if we lose a substantial portion of the season. We are building scenarios where we can take further steps as needed. We don't think this will be the end of it.

"We won't be playing until we know it is safe for players and eventually fans. We will then be prioritising the most valuable forms of the game: first international cricket, then the Blast and maybe The Hundred as and when we get there.

"This money - £40million in cash for immediate and then £20million in interest-free loans - is to give certainty in these extremely difficult times. It's to keep the lights on."

Cricket South Africa (CSA) is not planning to implement pay cuts for Proteas players during the coronavirus pandemic, though future salaries could be affected.

The Proteas' tour of India in March was cut short due to the proliferation of COVID-19 and all forms of cricket in South Africa were cancelled for 60 days on March 16.

Australia's visit to face the women's team was called off, while trips for the men to Sri Lanka in June and the West Indies in July could be in jeopardy if the situation has not improved six weeks prior to the start of those respective tours.

However, CSA chief executive Jacques Faul does not anticipate the salaries of players to be impacted in the short term, though the pot for future payments may have to be reduced.

"For now we've budgeted for the amount. It's a centralised system so both the Proteas and the franchise players have been budgeted for and we have enough to see through the next season," said Faul during a conference call.

"The players will lose out on match fees and win bonuses. If these tours are rescheduled they'll get the money. In the long term even if we cover this season we have to look at what it's going to be post this season and the financial impact of that and how much will be available to contract players.

"We've got to crunch the numbers first and experience the total effect of COVID-19, but it is a possibility the players will be receiving less of a player payment pool.

"I cannot see anyone for now getting less money than they're contracted for, but in future the allocation going to players I can see that being less."

Graeme Smith signed a three-month contract as director of cricket in December and Faul stated clarity on the former captain's tenure will be provided next week.

"We're in final negotiations with Graeme there will be an announcement next week," he said.

"We're at an advanced stage of the negotiations and hopefully we can make an announcement next week."

Australia's remaining ODI matches against the Black Caps and the upcoming Twenty20 series have been postponed after the New Zealand government introduced strict travel conditions due to coronavirus.

The cancelation of the series comes as New Zealand enforce a mandatory 14-day self-isolation period for those entering the country from midnight on Sunday (local time) amid the global COVID-19 outbreak.

After Australia's 71-run win over New Zealand in Friday's ODI opener played without fans at the SCG, the hosts were due to face the Black Caps in Sydney (Sunday) and Hobart (March 20) for the final two 50-over fixtures.

New Zealand were also set to host a three-match T20 series, starting in Dunedin on March 24, however, the games have been called off as the Black Caps rush home.

"Arrangements are being made to fly the bulk of the squad home this evening [Saturday]," New Zealand Cricket (NZC) said in a statement.

"NZC believes both these series can be replayed in their entirety at a later and more appropriate date.

"NZC understands and supports the government’s position. This is a time of unprecedented risk and peril, and the personal health and well-being of our players is paramount."

New Zealand's border restrictions could also impact the A-League, NRL and Super Rugby competitions.

Coronavirus continues to disrupt sport across the world, with the Premier League, Serie A, Bundesliga, Ligue 1, MLS, NBA, NHL, MLB and tennis among the sports on hiatus, while the Formula One's season-opening Australian Grand Prix was cancelled on Friday.

In Australia, there have been almost 200 cases of COVID-19 with three deaths, while New Zealand are yet to record a casualty in six cases so far.

Globally, over 5,400 people have died from the virus following more than 145,000 cases.

Australia paceman Kane Richardson has been tested for coronavirus and will miss the opening ODI against New Zealand on Friday.

Richardson reported a mild sore throat on Thursday and is being quarantined as he awaits the results of his coronavirus test.

The 29-year-old was part of the Australia limited-overs squads that played in South Africa in February and March.

"Our medical staff are treating this as a typical throat infection but we are following Australian Government protocols that require us to keep Kane away from other members of the squad and perform the appropriate tests given he has returned from international travel in the last 14 days," a Cricket Australia spokesperson said, via cricket.com.au.

"Once we receive the results of the tests and Kane recovers in the next few days we expect he will re-join the team.

"We will not be making further comment until something changes."

Sean Abbott has joined the Australia squad as cover.

The three-match ODI series, which begins in Sydney on Friday, will be played behind closed doors due to the coronavirus.

Hardik Pandya, Shikhar Dhawan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar are back in the India ODI squad to face South Africa after recovering from injuries.

All-rounder Pandya had not played an international game since September having undergone back surgery.

A shoulder injury suffered in the ODIs with Australia in January had kept Dhawan on the sidelines, while Bhuvneshwar, who last played for India in December, has been out with a sports hernia.

They return to the squad along with opener Shubman Gill. Kedar Jadhav, Shivam Dube, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami and Mayank Agarwal drop out from the squad that suffered a 3-0 whitewash in New Zealand.

Pandya provided a reminder of his quality with the bat as he proved his fitness to selectors in the invitational DY Patil T20 competition.

He scored two centuries in that tournament, including an unbeaten 158, and will hope to make a similar impact against a South Africa side that completed a 3-0 series win over Australia on Saturday.

The first match of the three-game series takes place on Thursday in Dharamsala.


India squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shikhar Dhawan, Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant, KL Rahul, Navdeep Saini, Prithvi Shaw, Kuldeep Yadav.

Mashrafe Mortaza earned glowing praise from Bangladesh team-mates after captaining his country for the final time in ODIs.

Bangladesh thrashed Zimbabwe by 123 runs on the Duckworth–Lewis–Stern method in Sylhet, sealing a 3-0 series triumph and making it 50 ODI wins from 88 matches as skipper for Mortaza.

The 36-year-old was then showered with effusive tributes from the likes of Liton Das, who scored a stunning 176 to set a new national record in the format.

"He's got a very special place in my heart," Das said of Mortaza. "I made my debut under him.

"He's always supported me. Having a captain like that is always rare.

"We will miss him, because when he leads, there's no distinction between seniors and juniors. It's a lot of fun."

Mortaza gave credit to his players, saying: "This is a great honour. My boys have been fantastic. They have given everything for the team. I'd like to say my thanks to all the boys."

Adding to the kind words, Mahmudullah cited Mortaza's overall impact on the game in Bangladesh.

"He's been a brother and a friend, and he's done so much for Bangladesh cricket," he said. "We have operated in a very nice way. When he took over, we were floundering a little bit."

They were sentiments echoed by Tamim Iqbal, who shared a 292-run opening stand with Das on Friday.

"When he took over in 2014, we were nowhere," said Tamim, after making an unbeaten 128. "From 2014 to 2019, he took us to a stage where we were taken seriously all over the world.

"There were people who wanted me dropped, but he backed me all the way."

Page 3 of 7
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.