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Stuart Poynter calls time on Ireland as he commits to Durham

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Stuart Poynter has effectively called time on his international career with Ireland after committing to Durham in a new two-year deal.

Poynter, Durham’s wicketkeeper and captain during this season’s Vitality Blast campaign, was forced to choose between club and country following a change to the ECB’s eligibility rules in September, in the wake of Ireland’s promotion to a Full Test Nation in 2017.

Prior to that change, all Ireland players – along with other passport-holders from EU member countries – had been permitted to play as homegrown players in county cricket. Now they have to register as overseas players, which Poynter has chosen to do.

Born in Hammersmith, London, Poynter has previously spoken out about his disappointment at the change of ruling, telling The Telegraph “it is a strange scenario when you are born British and have entitlement to work as a local in your own country.”

Poynter’s decision was perhaps made easier by the disappointment he suffered earlier this year when he was dropped by Ireland following a run of poor form. He made 15 runs in four ODI innings in their series against Afghanistan in Dehradun and followed that with scores of 0 and 1 in the one-off Test that followed against the same opponents.

He was omitted in favour of Gary Wilson for the subsequent tri-series against West Indies and Bangladesh on home soil, and Wilson – who left Derbyshire last year to play full time in Ireland’s domestic competition – then kept his place for their maiden Test against England at Lord’s in July.

Richard Holdsworth, Performance Director at Cricket Ireland, thanked Poynter for his services to Irish cricket.

“He has certainly been one of a cohort of players who has been part of the rapid climb of Irish cricket over the last decade from Associate Member to Full Member with Test match status, and I’m pleased for Stuart personally that he played in a Test match before he finished with international duties,” Holdsworth said in a statement issued by Cricket Ireland.

“We wish Stuart and his family well with the next phase in their lives and hope that we see him regularly supporting the Irish team as we ourselves move into the next phase of our development.”

Poynter’s decision comes a month after his Ireland team-mate, Paul Stirling, chose the alternative route, and ended his 10-year association with Middlesex to further his international aspirations.

Stirling’s Middlesex team-mate, Tim Murtagh, is the other county-based Ireland player who has yet to confirm his decision. At the age of 38, Murtagh is nearing the end of his career either way, but remains a formidable performer, as shown by his haul of 5 for 13 on the first morning of the Lord’s Test, when England were bowled out for 85.

With a highest score of 36 in 21 ODI appearances, Poynter never quite showed his best form in his Ireland career, although he did enjoy one notable moment in a T20 against the Netherlands in February, when he struck a last-ball six to seal a one-wicket win.

However, at the age of 28, he could also have anticipated plenty more opportunities in international cricket, given that Wilson turns 34 in the new year, and that Ireland’s long-term keeper, Niall O’Brien, retired last year.

The announcement of his two-year deal with Durham comes as the club offered the same extension to two other players: Liam Trevaskis, who has cemented his status as the club’s first-choice spinner across formats, and Jack Burnham, who served a year-long suspension for recreational drug use in 2018, but recorded four Championship half-centuries on his return to the team this summer.



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No answer to India-Pakistan bilateral ties resumption – Ganguly

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Sourav Ganguly, who will take charge as BCCI’s next president on October 23, has said that resumption of bilateral cricket with Pakistan is subject to the permission of the Indian government. Ganguly said that the decision could only be taken by the prime ministers of the two countries: Narendra Modi and Imran Khan, who also happens to be the patron of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

“You have to ask that question to Modi ji and the Pakistan Prime Minister,” Ganguly said at a media briefing in Kolkata on Tuesday. “Of course we have (to take permission), because international exposure (tours) is all through governments. So we don’t have an answer to that question.”

Ganguly had led India on the historic tour of Pakistan in 2004, the first bilateral series since the Kargil war in 1999 and India’s first visit to Pakistan since 1989.

The last time both neighbours featured in a bilateral series was in late 2012, when India hosted Pakistan for a limited-overs series comprising two T20Is and three ODIs.

In February, the BCCI asked the ICC in an e-mail letter “to sever ties with countries from which terrorism emanates”. That letter was sent at the behest of the three-member Committee of Administrators (CoA), which was appointed as the supervisory authority of the board till fresh elections were held. The previous day the CoA had mulled over asking the ICC to boycott Pakistan from the World Cup.

At the time the BCCI and CoA were reacting to the terror strikes in Pulwama in the northern Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir in which more than 40 paramilitary troops were killed.



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James Pamment takes over as USA interim coach | Cricket

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Coach James Pamment goes through a fielding drill during pre-game warm-ups © Peter Della Penna


James Pamment, the 51-year-old former Auckland batsman, has taken the role of USA head coach on an interim basis through to the end of 2019. This comes after the contracts of USA director of cricket Kiran More and a string of other assistant coaches were not renewed following an initial three-month period. Pamment’s appointment had been rumoured since the start of the month but has since been confirmed to ESPNcricinfo by multiple USA Cricket sources.

More had been appointed in July by USA Cricket to oversee their quest to qualify for the 2020 T20 World Cup in Australia, serving as a “senior operations consultant” according to a USA Cricket press release. But his arrival sparked a power struggle with USA head coach Pubudu Dassanayake, who had been in place since September 2016 and had led USA to ODI status in April at WCL Division Two. After mounting tension at a USA squad camp at Los Angeles in June, Dassanayake resigned, citing a “loss of freedom” in selection decisions.

More did not to travel with the USA squad to Bermuda in August for the Americas Regional Final for the T20 World Cup Qualifier. Sunil Joshi was notified by email after the team arrived on tour that he would be the stand-in head coach in More’s place. Though USA headed into the four-team event as favourites after winning the sub-regional qualifier over Canada in North Carolina in September 2018, the team finished third after losing all four of their matches to Canada and Bermuda, who wound up advancing instead of USA to the T20 World Cup Qualifier in the UAE.

A tentative plan had been discussed to extend More’s consultant contract through to the 2020 T20 World Cup had USA qualified, but once they failed in Bermuda, that became a non-starter. He oversaw USA’s ODI tri-series performances in Florida last month, where they went 3-1 in their opening round of Cricket World Cup League Two matches against Namibia and Papua New Guinea. Those were his last matches in charge. David Saker had left as fast bowling consultant coach to go back to Australia immediately after the Bermuda tour while batting consultant coaches Pravin Amre and Kieran Powell were not present in Bermuda nor Florida.

Pamment had initially been contracted as fielding coach for USA when More came on board. However, he has been asked to remain to help oversee a transition period for USA’s next two tours – the CWI Super50 in Trinidad next month and a CWC League Two ODI tri-series against UAE and Scotland in Dubai in December – until a full-time appointment can be made in January 2020. Pamment is not expected to apply for the full-time role because, like More, he has a multi-year contract with Mumbai Indians in the IPL, having replaced Jonty Rhodes as their fielding coach in 2018.

USA Cricket is seeking a full-time commitment after the failed strategy of hiring short-term consultants to replace Dassanayake for T20 World Cup Qualifier.

Originally from Yorkshire, Pamment migrated to New Zealand early in his career and played 14 first-class and 33 List A games from 1993 to 1996. Aside from his stint with Mumbai Indians in the IPL, Pamment previously coached Northern Districts in New Zealand from 2013 to 2017.

Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo’s USA correspondent @PeterDellaPenna


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ESPN Sports Media Ltd.






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UAE duo ‘stood to make US$272,000’ in successful fix

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The two UAE players provisionally suspended for alleged breaches of the ICC anti-corruption code stood to make up to US$272,000 (approx.) if they successfully corrupted the games in the upcoming T20 World Cup qualifiers.

ESPNcricinfo understands that the players had been engaged in talks to carry out fixes – ranging from a session to a result – in three of the matches in the qualifiers, which begins on Friday with the UAE playing in the day’s second fixture in Abu Dhabi.

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The operations that have led to provisional suspensions of captain Mohammad Naveed and senior pro Shaiman Anwar was so planned that, it is understood, the players had contracts drawn up for the amounts that would be paid depending on the nature of the fix.

It is understood that investigations by the ICC’s ACU revealed that both Naveed and Anwar had been engaged by corruptors to fix the results and or session(s) in those three matches; the amounts involved were on a sliding scale of up to around US$272,000.

The ACU had been monitoring the players in question since the UAE’s tour of Zimbabwe in April this year. Among others being surveilled was Mehardeep Chhayakar, an alleged corruptor, originally from India, who has been involved with cricket in Ajman and is apparently known in gambling circles as “Gary”.

It was during that series in April, played in Harare, that Chhayakar is believed to have attempted to induce Qadeer Ahmed, the third UAE cricketer to be provisionally suspended along with Naveed and Anwar, into fixing in one of the matches.

Chhayakar, along with three other Indian men – all alleged corruptors – were detained by local police in Harare on corruption allegations at the time but released later. The ACU continued to keep a close eye on the movements of the four.

On October 6, the ACU brought in five persons for questioning, including the players charged today. It is understood that the ACU has kept the local police in the UAE informed about the developments.

The ACU handed the charges in person to Naveed and Anwar earlier on Wednesday; Qadeer is currently away in Pakistan while Chhayakar’s whereabouts are unknown.



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