Former Yorkshire player Azeem Rafiq has told a parliamentary select committee he believes English cricket has a racism problem "up and down the country".

Rafiq's recent allegations against Yorkshire were followed by the resignations of chairman Roger Hutton and chief executive Mark Arthur, and when asked by the committee on Tuesday if he believes English cricket is "institutionally racist", he replied: "Yes".

The 30-year-old was close to tears on numerous occasions during his testimony, adding that he feels he lost his career to racism, but hopes that by speaking out, the game can achieve "massive change" in future.

"I just wanted to live my dream and my family's dream," Rafiq told the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee.

"I felt isolated, humiliated at times. On tour, Gary Ballance walked over and said, 'Why are you talking to him?'. Going past a corner shop, I was asked if my uncle owned it.

"Martyn Moxon [current Yorkshire director of cricket] and Andrew Gale [current Yorkshire head coach] were there. It never got stamped out."

The committee raised sections of Yorkshire's independent report into the matter that described Rafiq as a heavy drinker.

"I have been clear from the offset that I wasn't perfect. There were things I did that I felt I had to do to fit in, and I am not proud of them," Rafiq said.

"But that has no relation to racism. I should never, ever have been treated the way I was. When I spoke, I should have been listened to.

"But Yorkshire CCC, and the game as a whole, has a problem listening to the victim. There is no 'yeah, but...' to racism. There is no two sides to racism.

"My first incident of drinking, I was 15, I got pinned down at my local cricket club and had red wine poured down my throat.

"I felt like I had to drink to fit in. I regret that massively, but it has no bearing on the things I was called."

When asked if it would be fair to say what he has seen at Yorkshire is replicated at other counties, Rafiq said: "Without a shadow of a doubt. This is replicated up and down the country.

"I would like to see it as progress that people feel they can come forward and not be smeared against and discredited."

Representatives of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) were also giving evidence on Tuesday.

Rafiq was also asked where he found the strength to come forward in the first place, and added: "I have a bit of Karachi and a bit of Barnsley in me. The pain I went through those few months, no one can put me through that again.

"I thought there may be some humanity left, but no. It was all about discredit, discredit, discredit.

"All I wanted was an acceptance, an apology, an understanding, and let's try and work together to ensure it never happens again.

"If Yorkshire had seen this as an opportunity to make a real difference in society and the game, this could have gone in a completely different direction.

"They didn't do that, and that is why we are where we are."

Cricket West Indies (CWI) should appoint Guyanese batsman Shimron Hetmyer as the new white-ball captain after the disappointing run of Kieron Pollard at the ICC T20 World Cup and, generally, for the men in Maroon.

This assertion has come from former CWI President Dave Cameron who believes that the current CWI leadership is not looking at the precedent of players’ leadership records when selecting captains.

“We felt as an organization that Hetmyer would be a future leader for West Indies. The way he conducted himself when we won the 2016 Under-19 World Cup and coming through the ranks,” Cameron said while speaking as a guest on Line & Length on SPORTSMAX.

“Hetmyer is a very confident young man, very aggressive and talented, we felt he could be someone who could lead us and be a future captain of the West Indies.”

Cameron spoke as part of a review of the leadership roles in the team and CWI managerial structure after the side won one in five matches and finished near the bottom of the table with captain Pollard once again contributing very little with the bat.

After 23 matches in four T20 World Cups, Pollard has scored 254 runs at a poor average of 14.11. Since he was appointed West Indies T20I captain in September 2019, Pollard has played 31 matches, winning 10, losing 16 with five no-results.

During the T20 World Cup, Hetmyer topped the batting with 127 runs averaging 31.75. Only two others managed over 100 runs – Evin Lewis (105, avg 21.00) and vice-captain Nicholas Pooran (103, avg: 20.60) - as the defending champions bowed out.

“I am disappointed but not surprised, we tried a different method a few years ago and we started to have results. This administration has decided that they wanted to go back to what has been tried and failed… so the results were always there,” Cameron said.

“We won two games at the 2019 World Cup and now we won one at this event. Everybody has a different strategy and different leadership styles. You require different types of leadership and management depending on where you are in your cycle.

“In 2013 when we took over, West Indies Cricket was at a serious crossroad with our players and finances and we had to make some different decisions then.

“In my mind Cricket West Indies needs professional leadership. It’s not just West Indies cricket, I think cricket as a game is not growing as it should because we focus on the game itself rather than opportunities within the sport to expand it so that so many more people can participate. That is where I was, and I think this is where we need to be heading. So, in my mind, however you want to structure CWI, you need to take it out of this parochial structure and give it the opportunity to really perform as a company.”

 

 

West Indies coach Phil Simmons and Captain Kraigg Brathwaite have both backed wicketkeeper/batsman Joshua Da Silva to return to form during the upcoming two-Test series against Sri Lanka later this month.

David Warner, Jos Buttler and Babar Azam are among those to have been named in the Official ICC Men's T20 World Cup's Team of the Tournament.

The T20 World Cup came to a close on Sunday after Australia beat New Zealand by eight-wickets in the final in Abu Dhabi.

The team was selected by a panel of commentators and journalists.

"As with any team selection there will be varying opinions, and robust discussion on the final composition of the squad," one of those panellists, Ian Bishop, told the ICC's official website. "The panel respects that, and we encourage the strong debate that will ensue.

"This team was incredibly difficult to select over such a highly competitive tournament. Selections were based predominantly on the Super 12 onward to the final.

"We endeavoured to select players as close to their initial team position where possible. This intention was not always a reality, as some compromises had to be made.”

The team includes players from champions Australia, runners-up New Zealand, as well as England, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and South Africa. 

 

David Warner (Australia)

Arguably the most obvious selection as the man who was the ICC's Player of the Tournament. Despite questions about his form before the World Cup, Warner scored an impressive 289 runs at an average of 48.16.

Although he did not top the table for most runs, highest innings or highest average, Warner's impact was unquestionable. His 65 against Sri Lanka, 89 not out against West Indies, 49 against Pakistan in the semi-finals and then 53 in the final were vital for the champions.

Jos Buttler (England)

The hard-hitting Buttler was the only player to score a century at the tournament, while he finished fourth in the list for most runs. His tally of 269 included a fantastic 71 from 32 balls in England’s Super 12 victory over Australia, as well as his 101 not out against Sri Lanka.

Babar Azam (Pakistan)

The top run-scorer and only player to break the 300-run mark (303), Babar has been named as captain of the ICC Team of the Tournament. He scored four fifties at his first T20 World Cup, starting with his 68 not out against old rivals India, which helped lead Pakistan to a memorable 10-wicket victory.

Charith Asalanka (Sri Lanka)

Asalanka came fifth in the list for most runs, which is impressive when you consider Sri Lanka exited at the Super 12 stage. The 24-year-old scored 231 runs at an average of 46.2, including an unbeaten 80 off 49 balls against Bangladesh.

Aiden Markram (South Africa)

Moved to a middle-order role for this tournament, Markram seemed to thrive as his 40 off 36 balls nearly saw the Proteas beat Australia in the Super 12s. An unbeaten 51 from 26 balls against West Indies and 52 off 25 against England was, though, not enough to help South Africa progress.

Moeen Ali (England)

England's ever-reliable all-rounder took seven wickets from his 14 overs during the tournament, as well as hitting 92 runs at an average of 46.

Moeen's bowling figures included 2-17, 2-18 and 2-15 to heap pressure on opponents throughout, while his batting performances included a fine 51 from 37 balls against New Zealand in the semi-finals.

Wanindu Hasaranga (Sri Lanka)

Leg-spinner Hasaranga was comfortably top of the wicket-taking chart with 16, three ahead of Adam Zampa and Trent Boult in joint-second.

This included a hat-trick against South Africa, but like Moeen, Hasaranga also contributed with the bat, striking a vital 71 against Ireland in the first round and a defiant 34 from 21 balls against England in the Super 12s.

Adam Zampa (Australia)

Another spinner who could not be left out, Zampa took 13 wickets and averaged just 5.81 runs against per over, often keeping the run rate down impeccably in the middle overs. The 29-year-old, who his captain Aaron Finch labelled as the player of the tournament, can also boast the best figures of the World Cup with a tremendous 5-19 against Bangladesh.

Josh Hazlewood (Australia)

Like his team-mate Warner, Hazlewood did not top any individual tables but came through with big performances when they were needed. His 11 wickets included a 4-39 against West Indies that played a big part in sealing a semi-final place, before the paceman took a ruthless 3-16 in the final.

Trent Boult (New Zealand)

Boult was the top wicket-taking seamer at the tournament (13) and played a huge role in getting the Black Caps to the final. His average of 6.25 overs conceded per over was impressive considering he was mostly used during powerplays and at the death.

Anrich Nortje (South Africa)

Nortje took a wicket in every match he played at his first T20 World Cup, taking nine overall at an average of 11.55. His most noteworthy contribution was an explosive 3-8 from 3.2 overs against Bangladesh to help skittle the Tigers out for just 84.

12th man: Shaheen Afridi (Pakistan)

The 21-year-old burst into the World Cup with his pace bowling, removing Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli in Pakistan's opening game against India. Afridi took seven wickets overall, earning him a spot as first reserve in this star-studded team.

Stafanie Taylor became just the third woman in history to score 5,000 ODI career runs, as she made a magnificent seventh century to lead West Indies Women to a superb victory. The star captain finished on 102 not out as the visitors reached 226-4 to secure the win in Sunday’s third and final match and sweep the series 3-0 over Pakistan Women.

Taylor played the ultimate captain’s knock as she added a West Indies all-time record for the fifth wicket with Chadean Nation. The pair came together with the score at 98-4 and stayed together until Nation struck the winning run. They added an unbroken 128 in 23 overs. Nation found great confidence batting with his inspirational leader and made the highest score of her career – 51 not out off 67 balls with seven boundaries.

It was a day of records for Taylor. When she reached 42, she joined Mithali Raj of India and Charlotte Edwards of England as the only players in history with 5000 runs. She moved on to notch her seventh ton – and second of the year – another record for West Indies. It was the second century in the series for West Indies – following the career-best 132 by Deandra Dottin on the first match last Monday.

Earlier, Hayley Matthews played some stunning shots as she made 49 off 58 balls with eight fours, as she added 83 for the fourth wicket with Taylor. This pulled the West Indies out of deep trouble after they slipped to 15-3 in the fifth over – as the top three batters all fell in single figures.

Matthews was named Player-of-the-Series for her outstanding all round performances. She was the second-highest run-maker with 132 runs at an average of 44 and the leading wicket-taker with seven wickets at an average of 14 runs per wicket.

Adil Rashid has backed Azeem Rafiq's accusation that former England captain Michael Vaughan made a racist remark during the trio's time together at Yorkshire.

Vaughan revealed earlier in November that his name appears in a 100-page report into institutional racism at Yorkshire but strongly denies the allegations against him.

Rafiq brought allegations against Yorkshire, which has already led to the resignations of chairman Roger Hutton and chief executive Mark Arthur.

Vaughan, who played for Yorkshire between 1993 and 2009, allegedly said to a group of Asian team-mates that there were "too many of you lot, we need to do something about it".

Rafiq's version of events were supported by fellow former Yorkshire player Rana Naved-ul-Hassan and now England star Rashid, who had been playing at the T20 World Cup, says he heard Vaughan's alleged comment as well.

In a statement to The Cricketer, Rashid – a Yorkshire player since 2006 – said: "Racism is a cancer in all walks of life and unfortunately in professional sports too, and is something which of course has to be stamped out.

"I wanted to concentrate as much as possible on my cricket and to avoid distractions to the detriment of the team but I can confirm Azeem Rafiq's recollection of Michael Vaughan's comments to a group of us Asian players.

"I'm encouraged by the fact that a parliamentary committee seems to be trying to improve the situation, whether that's holding people accountable or getting changes made at an institutional level.

"These can only be positive developments. I will of course be more than happy to support any official efforts when the time is right.

"For now, though, these matters are of an intensely personal nature and I will not be commenting on them further. I ask you to respect my privacy and allow me to focus on my cricket.

"I want to thank the ECB, the fans and especially my teammates for all of their support. We didn't get the result we wanted in this World Cup, but I hope that the unity of our dressing room and the leadership of our captain will propel us forward to achieve what we deserve in the future."

Stats Perform has approached Yorkshire, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Vaughan's representation for further comment.

Rafiq is expected to give evidence in front of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) select committee on Tuesday.

Aaron Finch has hailed Adam Zampa as the player of the tournament after Australia beat New Zealand by eight wickets to claim a first T20 World Cup title.

David Warner claimed the official Player of the Tournament award after a scintillating performance with the bat, hitting 53 from just 38 balls in the final to finish as the second-highest run-scorer in the competition, his tally of 289 bettered only by Pakistan captain Babar Azam's total of 303.

However, Finch believes Zampa's contribution was even more important and heaped praise on the 29-year-old, who took 13 wickets in total.

Sri Lanka's Wanindu Hasaranga (16) was the only bowler to take more wickets in the tournament than Zampa, who also recorded the best figures in a single game (5-19).

"[Zampa was the] player of the tournament for me, controlled the game, got big wickets, super player," Finch said after the game. 

"Can't believe people wrote [Warner] off a couple of weeks ago, it was almost like poking the bear. Mitch Marsh, what a way to start, put pressure on from the start.

"Matt Wade came in under an injury cloud and got the job done. He came in in the semi-final alongside Marcus Stoinis and did the business."

Finch revelled in Australia's historic triumph and pointed to their eight-wicket victory over Bangladesh on November 4 as the turning point for their successful campaign.

"This is huge, to be the first Australia team to [win the T20 World Cup]," Finch continued. "So proud of how the guys went about the campaign.

"[The Bangladesh game certainly was the turning point], backs were against the wall. We had to fight and certainly did that, had some great team and individual performances."

Kane Williamson conceded Australia did not give New Zealand any leeway as Aaron Finch's side cruised to their maiden T20 World Cup crown.

Williamson, who was dropped on 21 by Josh Hazlewood, struck 85 from just 45 balls to guide his side to 172-4 from their 20-over allocation in Sunday's final.

That was the joint-highest score in a T20 World Cup final – along with Marlon Samuels' knock against England in 2016 – and the fastest-half century ever scored in the showpiece of the competition.

However, Williamson held those records for a short time as Mitchell Marsh, who blasted his first ball over square leg for six, delivered a brutal unbeaten 77 from 50 deliveries to see Australia over the line.

After Australia completed their second magnificent run chase in four days, following victory over Pakistan in the semi-final, Williamson admitted New Zealand's trans-Tasman rivals never gave his side a chance in the chase.

"We were trying to get a bit of a platform and the surface was holding a platform," Williamson said during his post-match interview on the field.

"We got what we thought at the halfway stage was a good total, but it was chased superbly by Australia.

"We made every effort to get a good total. Guys came out and committed to their plans. We weren't far away but having said that, credit to the way Australia chased that total. They did not give us an inch.

"I'm really proud of our teams efforts throughout the tournaments. We came here and gave it our best shot, but it wasn't good enough tonight."

Trent Boult, whose figures of 2-18 proved in vain, provided New Zealand with the briefest glimmer of hope when he bowled David Warner (53) in the 13th over.

But Williamson appreciated that Australia were a class above as he looked back on yet another final loss, previously losing to England in the 2019 World Cup.

"Australia are a team full of amazing players," he added. "Today they really turned it on.

"We finish this campaign and such is life in the international schedule is you move your focus. No doubt we're feeling this one a little bit.

"We had high hopes coming into the game. It's never nice. You sign up to these sort of things. It's just a shame we couldn't get the job done tonight."

Mitch Marsh reflected on an "amazing six weeks" after he made a record-breaking unbeaten half-century as Australia beat New Zealand by eight wickets to win a maiden T20 World Cup title.

Australia pulled off another outstanding run chase to beat their trans-Tasman rivals at Dubai International Stadium, where Kane Williamson's outstanding 85 off 48 balls proved to be in vain.

The Black Caps posted 172-4 thanks to Williamson's masterclass, the skipper's knock equalling Marlon Samuels' record score in a T20 World Cup final for West Indies in their victory over England five years ago.

Australia cruised to their target with seven balls to spare, player of the tournament David Warner (53 from 38 balls) and Marsh starring with the bat.

Marsh finished unbeaten 77 not out off 50 balls, breaking a record Williamson had set earlier by making the fastest fifty in a T20 World Cup final from just 31 deliveries. 

The all-rounder has never really fulfilled his potential at international level due to injuries, but showed what he is capable on the big stage and revelled in a historic evening for Australia.

Man of the match Marsh said during the post-match interview: "I don't really have words, what an amazing six weeks with this group. Love them to death. World champs."

 

Marsh hit the first ball he faced for six, putting Mitchell Santner into the stand, and cleared the rope another three times, as well as hitting a further six boundaries.

He relished the opportunity to bat at number three and was determined to grasp his chance.

The 30-year-old said: "The coaching staff came up to me in the West Indies and said you're going to bat three for this tournament, and I jumped at it. I have the staff to thank for backing me and getting me up the top there.

"I just love playing for this team. I just wanted to get out there and have a presence, which big Marcus Stoinis always talks to me about. I can't believe it. It's unbelievable."

Questions had been asked about Warner's place in the team coming into the tournament, but the opener finished as the second-highest run-scorer with 289 behind Pakistan captain Babar Azam (303).

Warner said: "I always felt really well. I didn't get much time in the middle in the practice matches but it was about going back to basics and getting on some hard synthetic wickets and get hitting balls. I managed to do that and then I scored runs.

"This is definitely up there with 2015. Being part of the 2010 [World T20 final) defeat to England hurt, but the women winning made us a feel a bit of that. These guys are a great bunch of guys. We've got a great support staff and support around the world."

Mitch Marsh blasted a record-breaking 31-ball half-century as Australia beat New Zealand by eight wickets to win their first T20 World Cup title.

Kane Williamson made a majestic 85 from only 48 balls after being dropped by Josh Hazlewood on 21 as New Zealand posted 172-4, after being put in by Aaron Finch in the trans-Tasman showdown at Dubai International Stadium on Sunday.

That was the joint-highest score in a T20 World Cup final, with Marlon Samuels having been 15 short of a hundred in West Indies' victory over England five years ago. It was also the fastest half-century ever scored in the final of the competition for a short time, until Marsh's heroics.

Williamson reached his fifty from 32 deliveries as Mitchell Starc endured a nightmare, the left-arm quick's four wicketless overs going for 60. The outstanding Hazlewood was the pick of the Australia bowlers with brilliant figures of 3-16.

Australia produced another magnificent run chase on the back of a stunning semi-final win over Pakistan, Warner and Marsh putting on 92 for the second wicket.

Warner made a superb 53 from 38 balls and Marsh was unbeaten on 77 from 50 deliveries as Australia were crowned champions with seven deliveries to spare.

Marsh raced away to his half-century, taking spinner Ish Sodhi (0-40 in three overs) apart as Trent Boult's brilliant figures of 2-18 were in vain.

All-rounder Marsh had not fully realised his potential in an injury-hit career but showed he can be a world-class performer on a historic Sunday night for Australia as New Zealand endured heartbreak in their first T20 World Cup final.

World-class Williamson the man for the big occasion

New Zealand were only 32-1 at the end of the powerplay, with Daryl Mitchell caught behind off Hazlewood, but Williamson shifted through the gears in a masterful innings with sweet timing and power.

The skipper was put down by Hazlewood in the deep in the 11th over from the expensive Starc before hitting Maxwell for back-to-back sixes to reach his half-century - the first of those with one hand coming off the bat as he hoisted the ball into the stand.

Martin Guptill (28) fell to star spinner Adam Zampa (1-26) after being dropped by Matthew Wade on 10, but the boundaries continued to flow for Williamson, who hit three sixes and 10 fours before holing out off Hazlewood.

 

Marsh and Warner make light work of run chase

Boult got an early breakthrough when he sent Finch on his way, but Warner and Marsh swung the game in Australia's favour with clean striking and great running between the wickets.

Marsh struck the first ball he faced from Adam Milne for six, while Warner looked increasingly ominous, taking a liking to the spin of Sodhi and hitting Jimmy Neesham for a huge six to reach a 34-ball half-century.

The excellent Boult returned to clean up Warner and the left-arm paceman dropped a tough chance to dismiss Marsh when Australia were almost home.

Glenn Maxwell (28 not out) struck Tim Southee for four to win it, with Marsh still unbeaten after striking four sixes and another six boundaries in a stunning innings.

Emerging young West Indies fast bowler Jayden Seales is looking to build on a promising start to his Test cricket career when the team faces Sri Lanka in its upcoming series.

The 20-year-old has been a revelation for the regional team, since making his debut against South Africa earlier this year.  In four games so far, the young bowler has claimed 16 wickets, including a five-for against Pakistan in August.

On debut, Seales impressed with his ability to swing the ball at pace and also the consistency and quality of his length deliveries. 

“I was satisfied with my performances in my debut series and the series after that but it just for me to look to build on those performances now and try to improve in the areas that I can improve in,” Seales told members of the media on Saturday.

On his first overseas tour, the bowler faces unfamiliar conditions on the subcontinent, which typically favours spin bowlers, but he remains determined to try and make an impact.

“For me it’s just about trying to go out there and execute my plans as best as I can, to try and work with the conditions and see what I can get done for the team.”

West Indies captain Stafanie Taylor struck a masterful unbeaten century on Sunday to lead West Indies Women to a comprehensive six-wicket victory with six over to spare over Pakistan Women and complete a sweep of the three-match series in Karachi.

Chasing Pakistan’s Women’s 225-7, Taylor scored 102 not out after coming to the rescue of her team that has slumped to 15-3 within the first five overs.

Taylor shared in an 83-run fourth-wicket partnership with Hayley Matthews, who made 49, and then a match-winning unbroken partnership of 128 with Chedean Nation, who scored 51 not out, her maiden ODI half-century.

Taylor faced 117 balls for her score that included 12 fours while Nation struck seven boundaries facing 67 balls during the match-winning stand.

Anam Amin, who did the early damage by dismissing the in-form Diandra Dottin for 4 and Shemaine Campbelle for one, finished with 2-45 from her 10 overs. Diana Baig, who dismissed Rashada Williams for 6, returned figures of 1-36 from her eight overs.

Sadia Iqbal, who snagged Matthews’ wicket, finished with 1-36 from seven overs.

Earlier, sent in to bat, Pakistan Women owed their best score of the series to opener Muneeba Ali, who scored a patient 58. She and Ayesha Zafar staged an opening stand of 49 before the latter was out caught and bowled by Aaliyah Alleyne (2-41) for 13.

Ali and Javeria Khan put on 74 over the next 20 overs as the West Indies bowlers tightened their grip on the innings. Ali eventually fell to Taylor in the 31st over with the score on 123. Six runs later, the pressure began to take a toll as Taylor ran Khan out for 13.

Two balls later, Alleyne picked up her second wicket when she bowled Omaima Sohail for 27.

Iram Javed and Aliya Riaz held up the progress of the West Indies bowlers with a 44-run fifth-wicket stand that was eventually broken when Javed was dismissed by Shakera Selman for 26.

Riaz would eventually get Pakistan Women past 200 with her unbeaten 44 that helped set up a decent total for the West Indies Women to chase.

Selman took the wicket of Fatima Sana for nine to end with figures of 2-40.

Baig was run out for nine off the last ball of the innings.

 

West Indies batsman Jermaine Blackwood will be looking to impact the upcoming series against Sri Lanka perhaps even by taking a with a ball.

The middle-order batsman’s previous encounter against the Sri Lankans earlier this year did go quite to plan after managing just 42 runs in two matches with a high score of 18.  Ahead of the upcoming series Blackwood who admits to being a better frame of mind this time around is determined to set things right.

“To be honest, the last time I played Sri Lanka my mind wasn’t right at that time, but now my mind is fully there, so, I’m looking forward to a very good series,” Blackwood told Windies cricket.

Despite not typically being a threat with the ball, Blackwood believes he might even be able to make an impact with the ball, should the surfaces in Sri Lanka live up to their usual reputation of being more friendly to slower bowling.

“I always tell the skipper that I want to bowl a few overs because I have the golden arm.  As you can see, I always get one of the wickets.  So it will be very interesting this series if I can get a few overs.”

Aaron Finch claims there has been no talk in the Australia camp of securing an elusive T20 World Cup title ahead of the final against New Zealand on Sunday.

Australia have never been crowned world champions in the shortest format, losing to England in their only other final back in 2010.

The Black Caps stand in the way of Finch's side and a historic maiden title at the Dubai International Stadium after both sides pulled off brilliant semi-final run chases.

Australia beat Pakistan by five wickets and New Zealand defeated England by the same margin to set up an eagerly awaited trans-Tasman showdown.

Captain Finch revealed there have been no discussions between the players of Australia finally getting their hands on the trophy.

The opening batter said: "We haven't actually spoken about it as yet. We are just committed to turning up and playing some really aggressive and good cricket. 

"We understand that T20 cricket can be fickle in its nature at certain periods of time and you have to embrace the challenges of it, whether it's a final or whether it's a one-off game in any kind of series, I think they all mean a lot. We are just excited to get under way.

"I think the New Zealand side, they have got a huge amount of quality and they have shown that over a long period of time now. I think they have been the best powerplay performing team with the ball in this tournament, so that's going to be a challenge. 

"They have got obviously Daryl Mitchell, who played a great knock in the last game against England. Martin Guptill, class and power. And then you've got Kane Williamson, who is all class as well as a top three.

"They have got match-winners right throughout their innings, and with the bat and ball, Ish Sodhi and Mitch Santner have showed their class in the past as well. It's a game between two sides that are really similarly matched I think, and yes, it will be a great game."

 

Finch says he has no concerns about the former of Steve Smith, who only made five against Pakistan after being dismissed for only one in his previous knock in a loss to England.

 "No, not concerned one bit about his form," he said. "He's a world-class player and he's someone in big games has showed how valuable he is. He's been hitting the ball as well as I've seen for a long time, so no, no concerns there whatsoever."

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