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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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India choose India A as warm-up opposition for England tour in 2021

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The first practice game is due to begin on July 21 and the second on July 28. The first Test starts on August 4

India will warm up for their five-Test series in England this summer by playing two four-day fixtures against an India A side in July. Northamptonshire and Leicestershire were confirmed as hosts of the fixtures on Wednesday, with the first game due to begin on July 21 at Wantage Road and the second at Grace Road from July 28. The first Test starts on August 4 at Trent Bridge.

India A also have fixtures against Derbyshire and Essex pencilled in as part of their tour to England, as well as a four-day warm-up match against a ‘First-Class Counties Select XI’ at Grace Road from July 12, with the details of that fixtures unconfirmed. It is understood that an England Lions team could be picked to play in that game, though that would involve pulling players out of their County Championship commitments.

Tickets for the two India vs India A fixtures will go on sale in March. Leicestershire chair Mehmooda Duke said: “It will be a unique opportunity for cricket fans from across the region to see these global stars in action over four days in their final warm-up game before the Test series with England. We expect demand for tickets to be huge.”

India’s decision to play internal warm-up fixtures, rather than against county opposition, comes after Australia opted to do the same in their preparation for the 2019 Ashes, following a gradual decline in the status of tour matches over many years. While such fixtures were once a highlight of tours to England, in recent times, counties have tended to field weakened sides in order to keep players fit for competitive matches, which has resulted in touring teams growing sceptical as to whether they provide useful preparation.

On India’s most recent tour to England, in 2018, they had been due to play a four-day warm-up match against Essex at Chelmsford, possibly with first-class status, but instead opted to cut the fixture to three days and play it as a practice match in order to spend an extra day training at Edgbaston ahead of the first Test.

The other sides touring England next summer have all opted to schedule warm-up fixtures against the counties. New Zealand will play a four-day match against Somerset at Taunton starting on May 25, while Sri Lanka play 50-over and T20 warm-ups against Kent and Sussex respectively on June 18 and 20, and Pakistan are provisionally due to play Northamptonshire and Worcestershire on July 2 and 4.

Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets at @mroller98



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Bangladesh news – Abdur Razzak to join BCB’s selection panel

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He will join as a third selector and will join former captains Minhajul Abedin, the panel chief, and Habibul Bashar

The Bangladesh Cricket Board has named left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak as the third senior selector, to join former captains Minhajul Abedin, the panel chief, and Habibul Bashar. Razzak, who played 200 international matches between 2004 and 2018 and, at 38, continues to be an active cricketer, will have to retire from the game to take up the new job.

“My playing experience will certainly be valuable in this regard,” Razzak told ESPNcricinfo. “I used to play cricket, and now I have to help build the national team. I have been captaining in domestic cricket for a long time and I have often helped form teams. It has usually gone well. But the stakes are higher here, and the expectations are more. But still, I believe I can manage it.

“I am pretty sure I have to (retire). I haven’t mentioned it yet since I am awaiting the appointment letter but certainly when I join this new job, I have to quit (playing).”

Razzak was the first Bangladesh bowler to pick up 200 ODI wickets – he has 207 from 153 outings – and, despite not being a frontline batsman, is the holder of the record for the fastest half-century by a Bangladeshi in ODI cricket – 21 balls, joint with Mohammad Ashraful. He also made a comeback in the Test team against Sri Lanka in 2018 after a four-year break, which turned out to be his last international outing.

Over the years, he has been a domestic giant, with 137 first-class appearances. He has taken 634 wickets in them with 41 five-fors. He is also the first Bangladeshi bowler to bag 600 first-class wickets and has won nine domestic first-class titles with Khulna Division and South Zone.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84



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Recent Match Report – Rajasthan vs BIHAR 4th quarter final 2020/21

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Rajasthan will meet Tamil Nadu in the first semi-final on Friday

Rajasthan 164 for 5 (Lomror 78*, Aman 2-31) beat Bihar 148 for 4 (Mahrour 68*, Bishnoi 1-34) by 16 runs

Bihar’s spirited fight was extinguished by a much-experienced Rajasthan, who became the fourth semi-finalist at the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. They will play Tamil Nadu, last year’s runners-up in the first semi-final on Friday, with Punjab clashing against Baroda later that evening.

Victory was set-up by Mahipal Lomror, who smashed an unbeaten 37-ball 78 at No. 4 to inject momentum and respectability to Rajasthan’s batting show. Openers Bharat Sharma and Ankit Lamba made 38 apiece too, as Rajasthan posted a competitive 164 for 5 after Ashok Menaria elected to bat.

Lomror, who equalled his previous best of 78, steered the innings after the openers fell in quick succession. He smashed five fours and as many sixes, after coming in to bat in the 10th over.

Bihar opted to preserve wickets in the first half and then attempt a heist. They were helped along the way by Babul Kumar (24), Mangal Mahrour, who finished unbeaten on 68 off 58 balls and Vikash Yadav (27 off 17 balls)

They got into a position from where they needed 45 off the last three overs with a set Mahrour looking to do the unthinkable, but perhaps they left themselves with a little too much to do.

Khaleel Ahmed, the left-arm pace spearhead, conceded only eight off the penultimate over to leave Bihar with 27 off the last over, which was a tad too many. They eventually fell short by 16 runs.

However, Bihar will take back with them the experience of having come through a tough qualifying pool, winning all their five games in the league phase. They may just wonder if they left things for a little too late on the flight home.



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