Glenn Maxwell rewrote the World Cup record books as he single-handedly batted Australia to a remarkable win over Afghanistan.

Maxwell defied “horrific” back spasms to hit an unbeaten 201 and power his side from 91 for seven to 293 and a three-wicket win.

It was Australia’s first one-day international double century and here the PA news agency looks at the records set by Maxwell and his eighth-wicket partner Pat Cummins.

Double delight

The highest ODI score by an Australia batter stood at 185 not out, by Shane Watson against Bangladesh in 2011, until Maxwell’s astonishing effort in Mumbai.

It is only the third double century at a World Cup, with West Indies star Chris Gayle setting a record of 215 against Zimbabwe in 2015 but then watching New Zealand’s Martin Guptill top it with 237 not out against his side later in the same tournament.

He is only the ninth man to make an ODI double hundred, with 11 such scores in total, including three for India’s Rohit Sharma. Maxwell made Australia only the fifth nation represented on that list – India with seven from Sharma, Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Ishan Kishan and Shubman Gill, while Fakhar Zaman hit 210 not out for Pakistan against Zimbabwe in 2018.

In 128 balls, Maxwell’s is also the fastest World Cup double – Gayle took 138 balls to reach the landmark and Guptill 152. Kishan narrowly held on to the fastest ODI double, in 126 balls against Bangladesh last year.

The inning was completed fittingly with the winning six, Maxwell’s 10th to go with 21 fours – only Guptill, with 24 fours and 11 sixes in his 237, has scored more runs in boundaries in a World Cup innings.

Perfect partner

“Just ridiculous!” Cummins told Sky Sports with a smile, adding: “It’s got to be the greatest ODI innings that’s ever happened, it’s one of those days where you just go, ‘When that happened, I was here in the stadium’.”

The Australia captain was far more than a mere spectator, though, defying Afghanistan for 68 balls in a two-hour stay at the crease.

He contributed 12 runs to a lop-sided partnership of 202, which destroyed the ODI record for the eighth wicket – an unbroken 138 between South Africa’s Justin Kemp and Andrew Hall against India in 2006 – and the Australian best of 119 between Paul Reiffel and Shane Warne against the Proteas in 1994.

It was also the first 200 stand for any wicket from the seventh downwards – the previous record being Jos Buttler and Adil Rashid’s 177 for England’s seventh wicket against New Zealand in 2015.

Mitchell Marsh’s 24 was the second-highest score as Maxwell racked up 68.6 per cent of Australia’s runs in the innings – only West Indies great Sir Viv Richards has ever scored a greater share of his team’s runs in a completed ODI innings, 189no in a total of 272 for nine against England in 1984 (69.5 per cent).

Afghanistan contributed valiantly to a thrilling match and, while it will be relegated to a footnote after Maxwell’s heroics, opener Ibrahim Zadran carried his bat for 129no to record their first World Cup century.

Glenn Maxwell hit a record-breaking double-century as Australia fought back to beat Afghanistan by three wickets in a remarkable contest in Mumbai and seal a place in the World Cup semi-finals.

The three-time champions, targeting 292 for victory, slumped to 91 for seven before turning things around thanks to Maxwell’s breathtaking unbeaten 201, which came off 128 balls and included 21 fours and 10 sixes.

It was with the last of those sixes that the 35-year-old all-rounder – who battled on despite appearing in some pain – wrapped up the win with 19 deliveries to go.

It was the highest-ever score by an Australian in a one-day international, as the team achieved the highest successful ODI run chase there had ever been at the Wankhede Stadium.

The ground had seen history made earlier with Afghanistan recording their maiden World Cup century, Ibrahim Zadran posting an unbeaten 12.

Their total of 291 for five also featured contributions of 35 not out from Rashid Khan and 30 from Rahmat Shah as Afghanistan sought to beat Australia for the first time at the fourth attempt in this format.

Australia’s reply started badly with Travis Head being dismissed for a duck by Naveen-ul-Haq with only four runs on the board.

And the wickets continued to go as Pat Cummins’ men stumbled to 49 for four after Azmatullah Omarzai took the scalps of David Warner and Josh Inglis in consecutive balls.

When Mitchell Starc was ousted – despite questions over whether the ball had hit his bat – via a superb catch from wicketkeeper Ikram Alikhil to leave Australia at 91 for seven in the 19th over, Afghanistan looked to be closing in on a famous victory.

But Maxwell then took centre stage with a stunning display to push Australia to victory.

Having been dropped and survived an lbw appeal on review, he went on to register boundary after boundary, even though at times he looked to be in considerable discomfort and struggling to run.

Able to continue after receiving treatment on the field, he subsequently completed his double-century – and Australia’s win – in fitting fashion by crashing yet another maximum that took his partnership with Cummins (12) to 202.

Third-placed Australia advance into the last four, joining India and South Africa, ahead of finishing their group matches by playing Bangladesh in Pune on Saturday.

Afghanistan remain sixth, with one of them, New Zealand and Pakistan set to make the semi-finals – they face South Africa in Ahmedabad on Friday.

England were chasing 287 against Ashes rivals Australia in Ahmedabad as they attempted to salvage some pride to their listless World Cup campaign.

Chris Woakes, player of the series after a starring role in this summer’s Test series between the sides, turned in another impressive showing as Australia were bowled out for 286 in the final over.

Woakes topped and tailed the innings, dismissing the dangerous opening pair of Travis Head and David Warner with the new ball and returning to take the last two wickets at the death.

He finished with four for 54, while Adil Rashid’s leg-spin locked down the middle overs in clinical style as he picked up two for 38 from his 10.

But an England side who started the day bottom of the table after five losses from six will be painfully aware that nothing can be taken for granted, having been rolled over for 215 or less by Afghanistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and India in the last three weeks.

Having gone in unchanged for the third game in a row, keeping Harry Brook benched despite the repeated struggles of the top six, they will need a sharp upturn in productivity from their batters.

Australia were lacking the fire-power of Mitchell Marsh and Glenn Maxwell, the former having flown home for personal reasons and the latter concussed after falling from a golf cart, and although their power-hitting was conspicuously absent they did not fold.

Steve Smith (44) and Marnus Labuschagne (71) channelled their less explosive methods to rebuild after Woakes’ early inroads and Cameron Green chipped in a handy 47 on his return to the XI.

Australia kept wickets in hand for long periods but never quite used their foundation, losing five for 66 in the final 10 overs.

England were back at the site of their first match in a dreadful campaign which was branded “crap” in a blunt assessment by Ben Stokes on the eve of this match.

They made 282 for nine and after batting first against New Zealand in the curtain-raiser at the Narendra Modi Stadium only to watch the Black Caps knock off a nine-wicket win with minimal fuss.

They will now be hoping to produce a successful pursuit of their own.

Australia captain Pat Cummins has encouraged his side to get “fired up” for the chance to knock Ashes rivals England out of the World Cup.

Three months have passed since the tightly-fought Test series between the sides ended 2-2 at the Kia Oval, with tensions running high over the course of the summer.

A handful of Australian players have since made fun of claims that England won a ‘moral victory’ after being denied a decisive win by the Old Trafford weather. Cummins, meanwhile, could barely suppress laughter when asked to comment on England’s struggles at this tournament.

He adopted a better poker face on the eve of their reunion in Ahmedabad but, with his side marching towards the semi-finals and England one more defeat away from officially crashing out, Cummins is happy to see his players embrace their emotions.

“(The Ashes) was a couple of months ago. It’s done. It’s a new game, new tournament, but I always think a healthy amount of rivalry is good,” he said.

“Especially so for our playing group. We’re quite a chilled, calm group, so sometimes when we get a little bit more fired up, I actually don’t think it’s too bad a thing.

“I mean it’s an old rivalry so yeah, you’re not going to lie, if they beat us I know it’s probably just that little bit sweeter than beating other teams. And the same for us, with their history and how well they’ve done in white-ball cricket. It would be a great win.”

That was as far as Cummins was willing to go in terms of needling the opposition, refusing to be revved up by Joe Root’s suggestion that England boast a better XI despite the teams’ vastly differing fortunes in India.

“I mean yeah, of course he’d say that. We would say the same about our team, so I wouldn’t read too much into it,” he said.

“I’ve played in many other games against England over the years. Even growing up, you watch it and you hear about it. There’s always banter before any game. So, I think you’re immune to it. You know that cricket speaks for itself.

“Everything else is just preamble and noise to a game that everyone’s really excited about.”

Australia have been damaged by the loss of two key all-rounders ahead of the match, Glenn Maxwell recovering from concussion after falling off a golf buggy and Mitch Marsh returning home for personal reasons.

Marcus Stoinis and Cameron Green are on hand to fill the gaps, with Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne set to climb up one place in the batting order.

Australia all-rounder Glenn Maxwell has been ruled out of his side’s World Cup match against England after falling off a golf cart and sustaining a concussion.

Maxwell, who hit a tournament record 40-ball century against the Netherlands last week and also offers a handy second spin option, will miss Saturday’s clash in Ahmedabad after a bizarre sequence of events.

Maxwell had finished a round at Gujarat’s Kalhaar Blues and Greens club on Monday evening and was riding on the back of a cart with team-mates when he lost his grip, fell and hit his head.

Head coach Andrew McDonald told cricket.com.au: “In transporting him back from the clubhouse to the team bus, Glenn Maxwell came off the back of a car and has suffered a small concussion.

“He’ll go into six to eight days concussion protocol, so they said that takes into account the England game. It was just a clearcut accident. He’s an important player for us, hopefully it’s just the one game he misses.

“The guys were ferried off on carts. Glenn and a few other players jumped on the back of carts and unfortunately he lost his grip on the way back to the team bus and sustained that injury. Over the last couple of days he’s been assessed. We feel as though it’ll be a relatively straightforward return to play protocol with where he’s at at the moment.”

England’s Jonny Bairstow missed 10 months of cricket after badly breaking his leg playing golf near Harrogate in August 2022, while Maxwell also suffered an unlikely injury last November when breaking his leg at a birthday party in Melbourne.

Australia have two all-round options available to step in for Maxwell, with Cameron Green and Marcus Stoinis vying for a spot.

Saudi Arabia is set to stage the World Cup in 2034 after being confirmed as the sole bidder.

Australia was the only potential challenger but Football Australia announced hours before FIFA’s deadline on Tuesday that it would not be submitting a bid.

FIFA had already said the tournament would be held in Asia or Oceania, while Saudi Arabia had garnered immediate support from the Asian Football Confederation.

A Saudi World Cup, which may not be confirmed until a FIFA Congress late next year, is likely to be highly controversial given concerns over the country’s human rights record.

It would almost certainly mean another winter edition, as with last year’s tournament in Qatar, due to the extreme heat during the region’s summer.

A FIFA statement said: “The FIFA administration will conduct a targeted dialogue with bidders to ensure complete, comprehensive bids are received and evaluated against the minimum hosting requirements as also previously approved by the FIFA Council.

“This dialogue will focus on the defined priority areas of the event vision and key metrics, infrastructure, services, commercial, and sustainability and human rights.”

A statement from Football Australia said it had “explored the opportunity” of a bid but had decided against it.

“Having taken all factors into consideration, we have reached the conclusion not to do so for the 2034 competition,” the statement said.

“Football Australia is ambitious to bring more major tournaments to our shores. We believe we are in a strong position to host the Women’s Asian Cup in 2026 and then welcome the greatest teams in world football for the 2029 FIFA Club World Cup.”

It said hosting those events, in between the 2023 Women’s World Cup and 2032 Olympics in Brisbane, would complete a “truly golden decade for Australian football”.

CEO James Johnson added: “The reality is I don’t like to throw darts at a dartboard. When we weigh up these decisions, I like to bet on sure things. I realised we could have a shot but I think at the end the outcome was not going to be favourable to Australia.

“Saudi is a strong bid. They’ve got a lot of resources. They’re disrupting European club football at the moment. Their government are prioritising investment in football and I think that’s difficult to compete with.”

Saudi Arabia announced its declaration of interest within hours of FIFA outlining the process for hosting the 2034 tournament earlier this month.

With the 2026 finals heading to the United States, Canada and Mexico and the 2030 finals to Spain, Portugal and Morocco, including some matches in South America – subject to approval by FIFA’s congress – only bids from the Asian Football Confederation and the Oceania Football Confederation were being considered.

Saudi Arabia confirmed on October 4 that it would bid for the showpiece tournament in 2034.

Saudi minister of sport Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Faisal said in a statement via the Saudi Press Agency: “Hosting a FIFA World Cup in 2034 would help us achieve our dream of becoming a leading nation in world sport and would mark a significant milestone in the country’s transformation.

“As an emerging and welcoming home for all sports, we believe that hosting a FIFA World Cup is a natural next step in our football journey.”

Last week Human Rights Watch complained that FIFA was failing to apply its own rules in regards to Saudi Arabia’s bid, specifically article seven of its human rights policy.

The article states: “FIFA will constructively engage with relevant authorities and other stakeholders and make every effort to uphold its international human rights responsibilities.”

Minky Worden, director of global initiatives at Human Rights Watch, said: “The possibility that FIFA could award Saudi Arabia the 2034 World Cup despite its appalling human rights record and closed door to any monitoring exposes FIFA’s commitments to human rights as a sham.”

On Tuesday, Steve Cockburn, Amnesty International’s head of economic and social justice, urged FIFA not to rush into a decision, saying: “With only a single bid for each tournament on the table, FIFA may have scored an own goal.

“FIFA must now make clear how it expects hosts to comply with its human rights policies. It must also be prepared to halt the bidding process if serious human rights risks are not credibly addressed.

“The best chance for FIFA to obtain binding guarantees to protect workers’ rights, ensure freedom of expression and prevent discrimination linked to the World Cup is during the host selection process – not after the hosts have been confirmed and tournament preparation has begun.”

Confronting accusations of “sportswashing” in an interview with Fox News last month, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said: “If sportswashing is going to increase my GDP by way of one per cent, then I will continue doing sportwashing.

“I don’t care. One per cent growth of GDP from sport and I’m aiming for another one-and-a-half per cent. Call it whatever you want, we’re going to get that one-and-a-half per cent.”

Eddie Howe, manager of Saudi-backed Newcastle, was asked about the prospect of a Saudi Arabian World Cup at a press conference on Tuesday.

“Our trips out there to Riyadh and Jeddah were two different experiences,” Howe said. “Wherever we went was really well organised and we were well looked after. If that’s a sign of what a World Cup there might look like then you can rest assured that everything will be structurally really good.”

Warren Gatland has backed Andy Farrell to be the next British and Irish Lions head coach after ruling himself out of the running for the 2025 tour of Australia.

New Zealander Gatland, who late last year returned for a second spell as Wales boss, has overseen the last three Lions tours.

Farrell was on Sunday named World Rugby coach of the year after leading Ireland to a Guinness Six Nations Grand Slam amid a 17-match winning run.

“A few weeks ago, I was asked by Nigel Walker, Wales’ director of rugby, if I was interested in putting my name forward to be head coach for the next tour in Australia in 2025,” Gatland wrote in his column for the Telegraph.

“It did not take long to get back to him.

“I told him I was not going to put my name forward. I told Nigel that I would have no problem if any of my support staff were to be asked to be involved as I would see it as a great experience for them.

“But I think it is the opportunity now for someone else to be head coach and Andy Farrell would have my backing for the job.

“You cannot deny what Ireland have achieved as a nation over the last few years. There is no doubt that Andy has done a fantastic job.”

Gatland led the Lions to a 2-1 win in Australia in 2013, a drawn series in New Zealand in 2017 and a 2-1 defeat in South Africa in 2021.

Farrell was part of the 60-year-old’s coaching staff for the first two of those three tours.

The 48-year-old Englishman’s stock has risen significantly over the past couple of years, albeit Ireland suffered a quarter-final exit at the Rugby World Cup in France following a 28-24 defeat to runners-up New Zealand.

Gatland, who also assisted Sir Ian McGeechan on the 2009 Lions tour of South Africa, offered to support his successor in an advisory capacity.

“If the next head coach wants to tap into my experiences from the last four tours, then I would still love to be involved in some way by passing on the knowledge and experience I have gained in trying to create harmony within a group of players from different backgrounds,” he continued.

“For the Lions, it is the least I can do.”

Australia has opted against a bid to host the 2034 World Cup with Saudi Arabia on course to stage the tournament.

With FIFA’s deadline for declarations of interest on Tuesday, Football Australia issued a statement saying it had “explored the opportunity” of a bid but had decided against it.

“Having taken all factors into consideration, we have reached the conclusion not to do so for the 2034 competition,” the statement said.

“Football Australia is ambitious to bring more major tournaments to our shores. We believe we are in a strong position to host the Women’s Asian Cup in 2026 and then welcome the greatest teams in world football for the 2029 FIFA Club World Cup.”

It said hosting those events, in between the 2023 Women’s World Cup and 2032 Olympics in Brisbane, would complete a “truly golden decade for Australian football”.

Saudia Arabia announced its declaration of interest within hours of FIFA outlining the process for hosting the 2034 tournament.

The awarding of the 2026 finals to the United States, Canada and Mexico followed by Spain, Portugal and Morocco being set to host the 2030 finals – subject to formal approval by FIFA’s congress – means that only bids from the Asian Football Confederation and the Oceania Football Confederation will be considered for the 2034 finals.

Saudi Arabia confirmed on October 4 that it would bid for the showpiece tournament in 2034 when Saudi Minister of Sport Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Faisal said in a statement via the Saudi Press Agency: “Hosting a FIFA World Cup in 2034 would help us achieve our dream of becoming a leading nation in world sport and would mark a significant milestone in the country’s transformation.

“As an emerging and welcoming home for all sports, we believe that hosting a FIFA World Cup is a natural next step in our football journey.”

Eddie Jones said he wanted to continue as head coach of Australia and has not had a job offer from Japan after his resignation was confirmed.

Rugby Australia chief executive Phil Waugh said they had reached a “sensible” agreement with the former England coach as his nine months in the job came to an end.

Speaking to Channel 9 in Australia, Jones said he “never” had a job offer from Japan and criticised media reports of an interview ahead of a World Cup campaign which saw Australia crash out in the group stages.

“I’ve got no job to go to, no job offer,” he said. “My commitment to Australian rugby has been 100%. I did want to go on. Coaching a team is a bit like being in a marriage, you need commitment from both sides.

“I was committed to change the team. Rugby Australia at the moment cannot activate the changes, financial and political, to make real change in Australian rugby.”

He continued: “I don’t like to be in projects where I don’t think they can really get to where they need to get to and I’ve made that decision.

“Rugby Australia probably doesn’t think that and that’s where the unity of our project is not in the place it needs to be.

“Sometimes you go in the bank and blow it up but you don’t come out with the money.”

Former Wallabies flanker Waugh said he “took Eddie on his word” when he denied reports linking him with Japan.

Talking to a press conference in Sydney, Waugh said: “Our focus will be reconnecting with the Australian public rather than where Eddie’s going to be.

“We’ve come to a sensible conclusion, both for Eddie and for Rugby Australia.

“I don’t think it changes the position we’re at now, whether Eddie was to stay or go.

“This is hopefully a low point and a chance to reset. The most important thing is to unite.”

Jones will officially leave his role on November 25 and Waugh said Rugby Australia would take “however long it takes” to ensure they got the “best possible coach”.

He refused to be drawn on the position of chairman Hamish McLennan, who has faced criticism for replacing Dave Rennie with Jones on a five-year deal in January – weeks after he had been dismissed by England.

“Ultimately the board is responsible for this decision,” he said. “It’s speculation where we would have been if we had not made that call and Dave had stayed on.

“The results were not up to expectation. The board has made some bold calls. Hindsight is a wonderful thing… where we ended up was not good enough.”

Rugby Australia earlier confirmed Jones’ resignation as head coach following the Wallabies’ failure to reach the knockout stages of the World Cup for the first time.

“Rugby Australia can confirm that it has accepted the resignation of Wallabies head coach Eddie Jones, and he will depart the position on 25 November 2023,” a statement from the governing body read.

“Rugby Australia thanks Eddie for his commitment to the Wallabies in 2023, and wishes him the best in his future endeavours.

“Announcements regarding the future of the Wallabies coaching staff will be made in due course.”

McLennan had already vowed to continue in his role, telling the Sydney Morning Herald in a statement: “I came to rugby to find a way to fix it when it all fell over and despite the sad Eddie situation, this is another hurdle we’ll overcome.

“I want to stay to deliver the 2027 World Cup in Australia. That has always been the big prize for Australian rugby.

“More destabilisation will just make matters worse, just when we’re about to break through. Life is not a continuous line of perfect calls and success.”

Jones won just two of nine Tests in charge against Georgia and Portugal in the World Cup where they suffered losses to Fiji and Wales.

Eddie Jones has resigned as Australia head coach, according to reports in the country.

The 63-year-old former England boss was in charge of a disastrous World Cup campaign, which saw Australia fail to reach the knockout stages for the first time in their history.

During the tournament in France it was reported that Jones had held talks to take over Japan for a second time, despite being less than than one year into a five-year contract which was set to expire after the 2027 World Cup.

Following the reports, Jones told the Sydney Morning Herald on Sunday: “(I) gave it a run. Hopefully be the catalyst for change.

“Sometimes you have to eat s**t for others to eat caviar further down the track.”

There was no confirmation from Rugby Australia on Sunday morning.

Jos Buttler accepted his future as England captain was out of his hands after another painful defeat sent his side tumbling towards the World Cup exit door.

England knew nothing less than victory over Sri Lanka would be enough to keep alive their fading hopes of reaching the semi-finals and they responded with arguably their worst performance yet in a campaign littered with low points.

After choosing to bat first, they were skittled for a meagre 156 in 33.2 overs, then watched as their opponents cantered home by eight wickets in Bangalore with almost half of the innings unused.

The thrashing, which followed heavy losses to New Zealand, Afghanistan and South Africa, left the reigning champions ninth in the standings with an eye-watering net run-rate.

With four games to go – including table-topping India and bitter rivals Australia – they are being kept off bottom spot by the only associate nation at the competition, the Netherlands.

Remarkably, England are not yet mathematically out with four games to play, but the route is fanciful in the extreme and Buttler acknowledged the game was up.

“It certainly looks that way and that’s incredibly disappointing. It would need a few miracles,” he said, glassy-eyed after another draining day.

“You get on the plane with high hopes and a lot of confidence and belief that we can challenge for the title, so to be sat here now with the three weeks we’ve had is a shock. It’s a shock to everyone.

“I’ll walk back in the dressing room after this, look at the players sat there and think ‘how have we found ourselves in this position with the talent and the skill that’s in the room’?

“But it is the position we’re in, it’s the reality of what’s happened over the last three weeks and that’s a huge low point.”

Pressed on his own status in charge of the side Buttler indicated a desire to continue but a realisation that the verdict may not be his to make.

In reality, England do not have an obvious successor lined up and Buttler is relatively new in the role, having inherited the mantle following Eoin Morgan’s retirement last summer.

He also has a T20 World Cup win in the bank and there has been no indication that managing director of the men’s cricket, Rob Key, has an itchy trigger finger.

“I think you’re always questioning as captain how you can get the best out of players, how you can get the team moving in the right direction,” Buttler admitted.

“I certainly have a lot of confidence and belief in myself as a leader and captain and first and foremost as a player, but if you’re asking if I should still be captaining the team, that’s a question for the guys above me.

“The tournament’s gone nowhere near the way we wanted it to…that much is obvious. As a leader, you want to lead through your own performance and I’ve not been able to do that.”

Head coach Matthew Mott joined Buttler in writing off the chances of sneaking through to the last four, telling BBC Sport: “Yeah, it’s over now, I think.

“I’m not a mathematician, but with our net run-rate and too many teams who are going to take games off each other, we have to come to terms with that. From now we’re playing for a lot of pride.

“We feel like we’ve let our fans down, our families and supporters and everyone in that dressing room, we haven’t put our best foot forward and in professional sport, that’s what you’re judged on.”

The Melbourne Renegades got their first win of the 2023 Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) campaign by dismantling the Adelaide Strikers by 86 runs at the Junction Oval in Melbourne on Monday.

The Renegades, who tasted defeat in their season opener against the Brisbane Heat, posted 167-3 from their 20 overs after being put in to bat by the Strikers.

The opening pair of Tammy Beaumont and captain Hayley Matthews put on just 19 before the West Indian went for 12 in the third over.

Beaumont and number three batter Josephine Dooley added 51 for the second wicket before Beaumont went for 30 in the ninth over.

One over later, Dooley fell for 23 to leave the Renegades 74-3.

An unbroken 93-run fourth wicket stand between Harmanpreet Kaur and Courtney Webb then propelled the Renegades to their total.

Webb led the way with a 34-ball 49* while Kaur ended 43* off 33 balls.

Zimbabwean Anesu Mushangwe was the Strikers most economical bowler with 1-21 in her four overs.

The Strikers then lasted just 14.5 overs before they were bowled out for 86.

Only skipper Talia McGrath (31), Laura Woldvaart (14) and Danielle Gibson (10) were able to reach double-figures.

Hayley Matthews (2-20 from three overs), Ella Hayward (2-18 from four overs), Georgia Wareham (2-23 from three overs) and Harmanpreet Kaur (2-11 from 1.5 overs) all played a part in the bowling effort.

 

Australia’s cricketers have thrown their weight behind the country’s netballers, creating a “fighting fund” to help them through a pay dispute with their governing body.

Australia’s Diamonds captured the Netball World Cup in August amid a background of disharmony and Super Netball players have been out of contract since September 30.

Now the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA), which represents the country’s male and female cricketers, has vowed to support the netballers in their quest for a revenue-sharing model.

The support includes the creation of the fund to help netballers during the spell of unemployment and the ACA said it is in talks with the Australian Athletes’ Alliance and other player associations to join the initiative.

ACA chief executive Todd Greenberg pledged to stand with the netballers until their campaign is successful and called on Netball Australia to develop a long-term growth model with a partnership model akin to the five-year deal the cricketers have negotiated with Cricket Australia.

Describing the revenue-sharing model as a “win-win”, he said: “The netballers are leaning on friends and family for financial support.

“What is disappointing is that the netballers’ requests are modest and affordable for the sport.

“The ACA believes they should be given the same partnership opportunities as our players – the same opportunities that have seen cricket thrive.”

Australia are in their midst of the four-match Constellation Cup series against local rivals New Zealand, winning the first two matches on home soil despite continuing turmoil between the Australian Netball Players Association (ANPA) and Netball Australia.

ANPA chief executive Kathryn Harby-Williams said: “Australian netballers are brave and resilient people. When your minimum wage is 40,000 dollars (£20,940) you have to show a lot of courage to take a stand.

“That’s why this expression of support is so welcome. It lets the netballers know they are not alone.”

Netball Australia said its latest offer, rejected by the ANPA, would increase investment by 1.275 million dollars (£670,000).

The ANPA said the players wanted a revenue-sharing agreement and said “we’d like to share in the good times we help build and we will share in the risk when times are tough”.

England forwards Helen Housby and Eleanor Cardwell, part of the team beaten in the World Cup final, are among those unable to sign new contracts for the next Super Netball season.

Eddie Jones has committed his future to coaching Australia and again denied speculation linking him with a return to Japan.

Australia crashed out of the Rugby World Cup at the group stage for the first time after defeats to Fiji and Wales, but the former England coach insists he has no plans to move.

“I’m staying mate,” he told reporters in Australia. “I’ve always been committed to Australian rugby, I want to leave it in a better place, and that’s still the job.

“It’s not absolutely my decision. We play in a game where the coach doesn’t decide how long they stay.

“We’ve got a review going forward and we’ll see what happens at the end of the review.”

Jones, who took over from Dave Rennie in January a month after being sacked by England, said he had “no idea” where the story came from about him speaking to Japan about a coaching role.

“I haven’t spoken to anyone, mate,” he said.

Rugby Australia has announced an independent review into the World Cup performance, but Jones believes his decision to select a young team will pay dividends when Australia hosts the next World Cup in 2027.

“I went to the World Cup, came in (with) a short period of time, had to make a decision on the team, made a decision we needed to go with youth,” he said.

“And whilst, the results at the World Cup weren’t the results we wanted, I think I’ve left the Australian team in a great position to go on to 2027.

“We had the courage to go with a younger squad and I think this squad is going to stand Australia in good stead. We have the nucleus of a really good team.”

He continued: “We just weren’t good enough, mate. You’ve just got to watch the quarter-finals on the weekend.

“We’re not at that level and we can’t pretend to be at that level, but can we be at that level by 2027? Yes we can.”

Ollie Watkins has praised Aston Villa head coach Unai Emery for helping him get back in the England squad.

The striker returned to the international scene for the first time since March 2022 and hit the only goal of the game as England beat Australia 1-0 in a Wembley friendly on Friday night.

Watkins, 27, has scored four goals and provided four assists in the first eight Premier League games of the new season – including a memorable hat-trick against Brighton.

He had scored just twice last campaign before Emery was appointed as Steven Gerrard’s successor in November but then hit 14 in 26 matches following the Spaniard’s arrival at Villa Park.

Asked how it felt to return to the England set-up following time out of the squad, Watkins said: “I think my mindset has changed since the boss has come in, Unai Emery at Villa.

“He’s filled me with a lot of confidence. I’ve definitely improved in these last 18 months since I was last in the England camp.

“I think it shows in my form and my performance here so I’m really happy and I’m delighted to be back in the squad and putting on an England shirt.

“I envisioned it all (playing and scoring against Australia). I was itching to get on the pitch so I’m delighted I got my goal and it helped the team to win.”

Realistically, Watkins is one of a number of forward options who will be vying to be the back-up to England captain and all-time record goalscorer Harry Kane at Euro 2024.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Ollie Watkins (@olliewatkins)

 

Callum Wilson, Ivan Toney, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and newly-capped Eddie Nketiah are other strikers in Gareth Southgate’s pool but Watkins believes he is not a like-for-like replacement for Kane when he is given the nod.

“I think I’ve got a completely different playing style to Harry, he can drop deep and play some unbelievable long passes – that’s not my game. I can’t do that,” he added.

“My strengths are running in behind and stretching them so I can only do what I can do. When I put on the shirt I’ll try and do the best I can for my country and then it is the manager’s decision.”

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.