India’s captain Virat Kohli on Monday headlined the ICC top honours for the decade, winning the Sir Garfield Sobers award for the best male cricketer of the past 10 years. Kohli was also picked for the ODI Cricketer of the Decade award.
Former skipper MS Dhoni won the ‘ICC Spirit of Cricket Award of the Decade’, chosen by fans for his gesture of calling back England batsman Ian Bell after a bizarre run out in the Nottingham Test in 2011. The International Cricket Council (ICC) made the announcements via Twitter, bestowing the top honours on Kohli, who scored 66 out of his 70 international hundreds, in the “ICC Awards” period.
In the same period, he was also the batsman with most fifties (94), most runs (20396) besides having the maximum average (56.97) among players with 70 plus innings.
Overall, the 32-year-old has amassed 12,040 runs in ODIs, 7,318 runs in Tests and 2,928 runs in T20 Internationals, averaging more than 50 across formats. Kohli was also part of the World Cup-winning India squad in 2011, something he will cherish for life.
“Firstly, it’s a great honour for me to receive this award. The moments I hold closest to my heart in the last decade definitely has to be the World Cup win in 2011, the Champions Trophy win in 2013 and winning the series in Australia in 2018,” said Kohli in a statement.
For the ODI honour, Kohli was the only player with 10,000 plus runs in the “ICC Awards” period including 39 hundreds and 48 fifties at an average of 61.83.
The world governing body named Australian batting mainstay Steve Smith the Test Cricketer of the Decade and Afghanistan star Rashid Khan as the T20 Cricketer of the Decade.
Australia’’s Elysse Perry swept the women’s awards, securing the ICC Female Cricketer of the Decade honours alongside ODI and T20 Cricketers of the Decade award.
England’s tour of South Africa has been abandoned after a number of a positive coronavirus tests.
A South Africa player and two members of hotel staff tested positive, while England say two members of their party returned “unconfirmed positive tests”.
A three-match Twenty20 series was completed, but a three-match one-day series has been postponed.
A statement said the tour was called off to “ensure the mental and physical health and welfare of players”.
England are still waiting for ratification of their positive tests, with the two people affected set to be tested again on Monday.
The results will not come before Tuesday at the earliest and the tourists will not leave South Africa before they have been received.
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Cricket South Africa (CSA) said they will look to reschedule the ODIs, which form part of the International Cricket Council Super League.
ECB chief executive Tom Harrison said: “We have always maintained that the welfare of our players and management is paramount.
“We were concerned about the potential impact that recent developments might have on the wellbeing of the touring party, and so after consultation with Cricket South Africa, we have jointly made the decision to postpone the remaining matches in this series, in the best interest of the players’ welfare.”
Acting CSA chief executive Kugandrie Govender said: “The concern over the mental health impact of recent events on all involved is not one that we as CSA or the ECB take lightly, and the decision to postpone the tour is the most responsible and reasonable course of action for us.”
Ashley Giles, managing director of England men’s cricket, is with the team in South Africa and says extra steps will be taken before future assignments abroad.
Asked if players would be asked if they wished to travel, Giles said: “Absolutely. On the back of this an important part of it will be mental health screening.
“These are very difficult environments, those layers of bio-security just add a different level of anxiety.
“These guys have been living in bubbles for long periods of time and their mental health and wellbeing is the absolute priority for us.
“If we consistently say that’s the most important thing for us, when we’re tested we can’t move away from that.”
England deny that net practice helped spread virus
England also released a statement rejecting any suggestion that their use of nets at Newlands in Cape Town was a factor in the outbreak, saying their decision to practise in the nets came as a result of “unacceptable” facilities.
England used the nets on Thursday, the day before Friday’s first ODI, which was called off after a South Africa player tested positive for coronavirus.
The nets are next to a building site at the Kelvin Road End of the ground and were not designated for use during the series.
“On arrival at Newlands on 3 December, we advised the venue the three nets provided on the main pitch were not of a standard for conducive practice,” read an England statement.
“We requested with Cricket South Africa we would like to use the practice nets and that we would create a security cordon to ensure the players and coaches could enter the facility safely, as done previously on 28 November.
“This was confirmed by England’s security team, the team operations manager and the team doctor. We were satisfied with this outcome and we were able to practise in the net facility safely.”
From positive tests to abandoned tour – how it all unfolded
As of Monday morning, the two unnamed members of the England party who tested positive for Covid-19 were self-isolating in their rooms at their hotel in Cape Town.
Whereas there was a time on Sunday when all players and staff were in isolation, those with negative tests were allowed to use the open spaces of the hotel’s grounds on Monday.
The hotel forms part of the ‘bubble’ in which the series was being held, with players only leaving to train and play.
All three matches in the T20 series were unaffected, despite two South Africa players testing positive for coronavirus and another two being placed in isolation.
However, Friday’s first one-day international was postponed when it emerged an unnamed South Africa player had returned a positive test, with Sunday’s game called off after the hotel staff tested positive.
Later on Sunday, England announced two members of their touring party had given positive tests.
At the time, England said a decision on the rest of the matches in the series would be taken after the positive tests had been independently ratified.
However, Monday’s game was cancelled on Sunday, and the tour was abandoned on Monday.
This was England’s first overseas trip since their tour of Sri Lanka was cut short in March because of the spread of the pandemic.
England were able to fulfil their entire home summer schedule by playing matches in a bio-secure environment at grounds in Manchester and Southampton.
They are due to tour Sri Lanka and India in the new year, with the squad for Sri Lanka departing the UK on 2 January.
Earlier, the first of three ODIs was twice abandoned at short notice in the space of three days. The most recent cancellation was in the city of Paarl, an hour’s drive from Cape Town, after it emerged that two members of the England tour party had tested positive for COVID-19. England’s whole squad had undergone tests on Saturday night after the tourists learned that two staff at the hotel where both teams are staying in the southern suburbs of Cape Town had returned positives. Three South African players have also tested positive to the virus during the tour.
The drama could have major ramifications for Australia’s own tour. Under the International Cricket Council’s Future Tours Program, Australia are scheduled to play South Africa over three Tests in February, while Sri Lanka are also due there before then. Dates and venues are yet to be determined, however, and CA hasn’t yet been provided with a biosecurity plan by Cricket South Africa about how it would protect players and staff from the virus, which has infected more than 800,000 people in the country, causing 26,735 deaths as of Sunday.
The attention of CA executives and medical staff has been on delivering the Australian home summer, so they had not yet discussed the South African tour in forensic detail. But the chaos of England’s white-ball campaign has sharpened the focus on what lies ahead and risk assessments on locations like hotels are expected to begin in the next fortnight.
“The tour of South Africa is part of the World Test Championship and the Future Tour Program,” a CA spokesman said on Monday. “We will continue to plan for the tour and monitor the biosecurity situation.”
CA is being advised on biosecurity matters by Dr Cassy Workman, who also worked with the National Rugby League as the football code resumed competition under strict guidelines in May.
Sources said CA would approach the England and Wales Cricket Board as well as CSA about the Cape Town bubble and what has gone wrong.
David Heslop, another biosecurity and risk management expert who was on the NRL’s so-called Project Apollo committee, said the situation in South Africa was worrying.
“It’s very concerning and they need to consider the safety of the players, first and foremost,” Heslop said. “Even with the best protections in a high prevalence country where there is a lot of COVID around you may simply be unable to pick up everything.”
CA sources said player welfare would be the highest priority despite the financial importance of an Australian tour to a cash-strapped CSA riven by such dysfunction that its entire board resigned in October.
According to ESPNCricinfo, South Africa intended to propose Durban, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town as the host cities for the three Tests next year but CA’s strong preference would be for the matches to be scheduled for one city or at least at venues in close proximity to each other.
That has been the case for the England tour, with the three Twenty20 and three ODI games, as well as two practice matches, all having been set down for either Cape Town or nearby Paarl.
But given the unravelling of affairs there, the subject of how to prevent players and support staff from having any contact with personnel such as hotel staff is likely to be a major talking point between Australian and South African officials.
Whether players will be willing to spend a month in a hub there and quarantine for two weeks’ on the way back looms as another issue, with several leading Australians already forecasting withdrawals from international tours in the next 12 months.
“It’s a long, long way away,” said stand-in Australia T20 captain Matthew Wade on Monday. “I am sure Cricket Australia and the South African cricket board will work together and get the right solution.”
Chris Barrett is Chief Sports Reporter of The Sydney Morning Herald.
England’s One-Day International series against South Africa has been postponed amid concerns over the mental and physical health of the players, Cricket South Africa (CSA) and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have said in a joint statement.
The announcement comes after the players were subjected to a number of COVID-19 scares with potentially five cases inside the teams’ bio-secure environment in Cape Town, with one South Africa player and two hotel staff confirmed as positive.
Two members of the England tour party also have “unconfirmed positive results” that require further investigation, the ECB said on Sunday.
“The decision (to postpone the series) was taken jointly by the two boards to ensure the mental and physical health and welfare of players from both teams,” the statement added.
“The CSA and ECB will now work together to determine when the three-match series, which forms part of the ICC Cricket Men’s Super League, can take place in the future.”
The 50-over matches had been scheduled to get underway last Friday, with the final game in the series set for Wednesday.
The news will be a massive financial blow to embattled Cricket South Africa and also casts doubt on their ability to host the planned future tours, with Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Australia all set to play in the country in the coming months.
“The concern over the mental health impact of recent events on all involved is not one that we as CSA or the ECB take lightly, and the decision to postpone the tour is the most responsible and reasonable course of action for us,” CSA Acting chief executive Kugandrie Govender said.
“I would like to thank the ECB for the continued positive relations, and we look forward to hosting the England men’s team in the near future.”
Her thoughts were echoed by ECB chief executive Tom Harrison.
“We were concerned about the potential impact that recent developments might have on the wellbeing of the touring party, and so after consultation with Cricket South Africa we have jointly made the decision to postpone the remaining matches in this Series, in the best interest of the players’ welfare,” Harrison said.
CricInfo reported on Monday that England had been accused by Western Province Cricket Association officials of having used nets not authorised within the bio-secure environment for practice at Newlands on Thursday.
But the ECB have denied any wrongdoing, saying they were given permission to use the nets and that a security cordon around them had been set up.
The teams did manage to play a three-match Twenty20 series prior to the ODI games, which England won 3-0.
The opening game of the series was scheduled for Friday at Newlands in Cape Town but was postponed to Sunday and moved to the nearby city of Paarl after a South African player tested positive for COVID-19 on the morning of the game.
That first ODI was then cancelled completely on Sunday after it was revealed that two hotel staff members had tested positive. That development forced the England contingent to undergo a new round of tests. Two members of the England group then tested positive for COVID-19, although the ECB said it wanted the tests verified by an independent medical team before making a decision on the remainder of the tour.
Both the ECB and Cricket South Africa had said there was hope that the remaining two ODI games might be able to go ahead but that was ended with Monday’s announcement.
“We have always maintained that the welfare of our players and management is paramount,” ECB CEO Tom Harrison said.
“We were concerned about the potential impact that recent developments might have on the well-being of the touring party, and so after consultation with Cricket South Africa, we have jointly made the decision to postpone the remaining matches in this series in the best interest of the players’ welfare.”
England still hadn’t received the results of the follow-up tests to confirm those two positives, team spokesman Danny Reuben said. The results were expected on Tuesday at the earliest, he said. The England party also didn’t have a confirmed date to leave for home. The squad was scheduled to return home on a chartered plane on Thursday.
If the two members of England’s touring party were confirmed as positive for COVID-19, they would likely have to remain in South Africa and self-isolate for 10 days, as has been the protocol for South African players who have tested positive during the tour.
None of the people to test positive on the tour have been named.
The premature end to the tour is highly embarrassing for South African cricket, which has failed to keep the “bio-bubble” in the Cape Town hotel secure. Three South African players have tested positive during the tour, which began in mid-November – two of them after entering the supposedly secure environment.
“The decision to postpone the tour is the most responsible and reasonable course of action for us,” CSA acting CEO Kugandrie Govender said.
South Africa’s failed bio-bubble might also have repercussions for future series, with Sri Lanka due to arrive late this year for a two-test series and Australia and Pakistan due to tour South Africa early next year.
England’s limited-overs tour was organised at short-notice to give both teams a chance to play some cricket after the coronavirus pandemic led to a string of series cancellations across the world. The teams have already played a three-game Twenty20 series, which went ahead even after the first two South African players contracted COVID-19, and which England won 3-0.
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Two members of the England touring party in South Africa have returned “unconfirmed positive tests” for COVID-19, as the first men’s ODI was cancelled because of a virus outbreak at the hotel where both teams are staying.
The first men’s ODI between South Africa and England had already been postponed because of a coronavirus scare
The match was abandoned on Sunday following medical advice
The remainder of the ODI series is now in doubt
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) did not release any names and did not say if the two members were players or officials.
The ECB said the two unconfirmed positive tests came after an additional round of testing on players and officials sparked by the news that two staff members at the Cape Town hotel used by both teams for the men’s series had tested positive for COVID-19.
“Two members of the England touring party have returned unconfirmed positive tests for COVID-19,” a joint ECB and Cricket South Africa (CSA) statement read.
“The players and management are now self-isolating in their rooms until further advice from the medical teams.
“The medical advice from both CSA and ECB is that the match cannot take place. A decision on the remaining matches in the series will be taken once the results of the tests are ratified independently by medical experts.”
The remainder of the tour is now in doubt after the first of three ODIs was already postponed from Friday after a South African player tested positive for COVID-19.
The South African, who was also not named, is the third Proteas player to test positive during England’s tour.
England is due to return home on Thursday.
The news that the two hotel staff members tested positive initially caused a delay to the start of Sunday’s match in the nearby city of Paarl.
It was later abandoned on the news regarding the two members of England’s party.
England men’s cricket managing director Ashley Giles said the welfare of the players and support staff was their primary concern.
“We remain in constant dialogue with Cricket South Africa and will continue to work closely with them to determine how best to move forward,” he said.
Two of the South African players who have tested positive on the tour returned their positive tests before the three-match Twenty20 series, which went ahead with England triumphing 3-0.
at Manuka Oval on Wednesday December 2, 2020. Australia are favourites for the game which is scheduled to start at 2:40 pm. We preview the game and give you our tips and information on how you can watch the Australia vs.
When: Wednesday December 2, 2020 at 2:40 pm
Where: Manuka Oval
Bet: Bet On This Match HERE
Australia vs India Odds
Australia vs India Preview
Dave Warner’s groin injury has dealt a slight blow to the Australians, but it’s still difficult to fade them even at the $1.50 mark.
Steve Smith is on a completely different level right now notching back-to-back centuries over the last five days and it is difficult to imagine this depleted Indian bowling lineup coming up with an answer.
Further down the order, the likes of Marnus Labuschagne and Glenn Maxwell have carried the load nicely, whilst the same can’t be said of the Indian attack.
Virat Kohli turned his form around on Sunday with a strong 89 runs off 87 balls, but the loss of Rohit Sharma has really left the top of the order exposed as Mayank Agarwal has struggled.
Perhaps the equalizer in this third match will be the Manuka Oval pitch, which should be reasonably slower than the flat, high-scoring deck we saw at the SCG in the first two games.
The weather should also be significantly kinder as the players escape the Sydney heatwave for some relief down in Canberra.
Sydney was tough on the bowlers, so we should see the Australian spinners play more of a part in this match.
On the other side, the Indian quicks struggled mightily with their pace depth at the SCG, so they too should play more of a part in Canberra.
Overall though, India has shown signs of rust from a long nine-month layoff, while the Australians are white hot after playing over in the UK.
With a chance to really gain some momentum heading into the Tests, back the Aussies to bring out the brooms.
Australian great Brett Lee has questioned the wisdom of rotating Pat Cummins out of the final one-day international and the upcoming Twenty20s against India.
Fox Cricket expert Lee was often frustrated through the final years of his international career by Australia’s rest and rotation policy with its fast bowlers and believes it risks doing more harm than good if the bowler is not carrying a genuine niggle.
“It probably wouldn’t have been his call, he probably would have wanted to play, the players generally want to play,” Lee told Foxsports.com.au. “I would have thought after a couple of games they shouldn’t be tired.
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GENIUS review gets Kohli
“I always found that for my rhythm personally that the more games I played the better rhythm I had.
“If I had a week’s break, whether it be a break in the tournament or whether I was rested, it’s almost like you’ve got to go back and find that rhythm again.
“There could be a guy who is carrying a hamstring injury or a little niggle, shoulder might be a bit sore, and the best way to get them into their best preparation is to have a few days off. That’s fine but if they’re fully fit they should be playing.”
Cummins took three wickets at 39.66 across the first two ODIs with an economy of 6.61 but has been better than those figure reflect. He was particularly impressive in the second ODI, picking up figures of 3-67 on a day where he pushed the 150kmh mark.
It comes off the back of a strong finish to the IPL, taking nine wickets at 12.56 across his final four games. It is a form line Lee sees continuing.
“The confidence is definitely back and his pace is back and I expect that to continue all summer.”
Lee’s comments come after Fox Cricket commentator Shane Warne blasted Australia’s decision to rest Cummins just two games into a bumper home summer of cricket.
“I know it is a big summer that we have and it is pretty jam-packed, but I don’t think Australian players should be resting after two games,” Warne said on Fox Cricket.
“Why are they resting? Is it because they played IPL? So they are allowed to go and play all these games in the IPL and then they need a rest because they have been playing in IPL.
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“Surely playing for Australia is more important than playing in the IPL. So I would say you should choose. Either miss the IPL or you cannot miss games because you need a break coming off an IPL for an Australian game.
“It is a One Day International for Australia and you need a rest to get through the summer after two games.”
The decision to rest Cummins alongside the injured David Warner for the final four white ball matches was announced on Tuesday.
“Pat and Davie are critical to our plans for the Test Series,” coach Justin Langer said. “Davie will work through his injury rehab and in Pat’s case it is important all of our players are managed well to keep them mentally and physically fit throughout what is a challenging summer.
“The priority for both is being fully prepared for one of the biggest and most important home Test Series we have played in recent years, especially with World Test Championship points up for grabs.”
Cricket icon Shane Warne has shared his thoughts on the switch-hitting debate, fuelling controversial comments made by former Australian captain Ian Chappell.
After Glenn Maxwell exploited India’s pace bowlers with the innovative shot during Australia’s one-day games at the SCG, Chappell voiced his frustration to nine.com.au.
“(Bowlers) have to tell the umpire how they’re going to bowl. And yet the batsman, he lines up as a right-hander … and before the ball’s been delivered, the batsman becomes a left-hander,” Chappell said this week.
“One of the main reasons why he’s becoming a left-hander is so he can take advantage of those field placings. I’d love the administrators who made those laws, I’d love them to explain to me how that’s fair.”
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Chappell encouraged India’s players to revolt against the practice by challenging the on-field umpire.
“If I’m captain, I’m going to take the ball myself and I’m going to tell the umpire, ‘I’m bowling right-arm over,’ and then I’m going to run in and bowl around,” Chappell said.
“Obviously the umpire’s going to complain, and I’m going to say, ‘Well, you stop him doing something I think is totally unfair, and I’ll stop doing something unfair’.”
But former Australian wicketkeeper Ian Healy delivered a rebuttal while speaking to 1170 SEN Breakfast on Wednesday morning.
“I think bowlers have got to be a little bit better, they’ve got to be more aware,” Healy claimed.
“Last minute changes for the bowlers aren’t that great at the moment, but they’ll get better at that.
“But it is tricky, it’s very tricky.
“Let the batters do it, not many are doing it well, but the one’s that do are incredible entertainers.”
Speaking during the innings break of India’s 13-run win in the third ODI against Australia in Canberra on Wednesday, Fox Cricket commentator and former Australian spin bowler Kerry O’Keeffe explained why he had no quarrels with the practice.
“I wouldn’t mind people trying to switch-hit me, because I reckon it’s a higher-risk shot,” O’Keeffe said. “It’s not against the Laws.
“Running in right-handed over the wicket and bowling around the wicket is illegal. It’s outside the Laws.
“Switch-hitting is inside the Laws, and it’s entertaining. I like it.”
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But Warne sided with Chappell, arguing that although the shot was undeniably entertaining, it gave the batter an unfair advantage.
“As a bowler, we have to nominate what hand we’re bowling with, and what side of the wicket we’re bowling with,” Warne said on Wednesday.
“I’m setting a field to a right-hand batsman, so now when they switch-hit, I’m actually bowling to a left-hand batsman.
“I’m not sure I like it. It’s worth a discussion, worth a debate to work out what’s the right thing.
“Maybe the bowler can run up behind the umpire and bowl over or around.”