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England extend Jeetan Patel spin bowling engagement

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Jeetan Patel has been appointed as England’s spin-bowling consultant for the tours of South Africa and Sri Lanka. Patel, who performed a similar role during the T20I leg of England’s tour of New Zealand, will join the England squad on December 24 ahead of the first Test in Centurion on Boxing Day.

As a result, Patel will end his long and illustrious career with Wellington later this month. His final match will be in the Super Smash encounter against Otago Volts at the Basin Reserve on December 21. He made his debut for Wellington, the city of his birth, in 2000. He remains committed to playing one final season for Warwickshire, the club he has represented since 2009, in 2020. He will be 40 in May.

Patel has enjoyed a remarkable playing career with experiences the England management believe will be transferable as a coach. Most pertinently, he all but reinvented himself as a cricketer at an age when others are considering retirement. In particular, he added a yard of pace to his offspin and developed into a far more consistent, though still aggressive, lower-order batsman.

Hugely respected around the county game, Patel has claimed 473 first-class wickets for Warwickshire – he has 892 all together and looks set to fall just short of the 1000 mark – at an average of 26.11 when other spinners have struggled to maintain a place in the game. He became, most observers believe, a far better all-round cricket long after the bulk of his international career was complete, though he did make a brief reappearance in the New Zealand side in 2016 and 2017.

Patel would appear to be in prime position to gain a permanent coaching role with England in the coming months. He got to know the England men’s team director, Ashley Giles, from their time together at Warwickshire – Giles was coach and then director of cricket, while Patel was overseas player and then captain – with the pair sharing many of the same qualities. Feisty and competitive on the pitch, Patel gained a reputation as a positive, nurturing captain at Warwickshire.

The South Africa tour consists of four Tests, three ODIs and three T20Is. The Sri Lanka tour, starting in March, consists of two Tests.



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Recent Match Report – Tasmania vs South Australia, Sheffield Shield, 18th Match

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South Australia 346 (Weatherald 126, Carey 73, Bird 4-70) and 4 for 170 beat Tasmania 254 (Milenko 100, Agar 3-68) and 261 (McDermott 89, Agar 5-53) by six wickets

An unbeaten sixth-wicket stand of 136 between Harry Nielsen and William Bosisto delivered South Australia their first Sheffield Shield victory after a drought of 18 matches over 659 days, in what was also the 161st – and last – first-class game for the Australian selector-in-waiting George Bailey.

The Redbacks, as may have been expected given their run of defeats, made life hard for themselves by slipping to 4 for 34 in pursuit of 170 to beat Tasmania by six wickets at Bellerive Oval, as Gabe Bell and Riley Meredith found swing and bounce respectively with the new ball.

However Nielsen – with only one half century from his previous 15 innings for SA – and the former West Australian Bosisto fought their way through the difficult period and did not offer a chance as they glided home, doing so on the stroke of tea in Hobart.

Resuming at 6 for 241 on the final morning, the Tigers could add only 20 runs to their overnight total, as Chadd Sayers and Wes Agar combined potently for the visitors. Agar’s eight wickets for the game were to earn him Player-of-the-Match honours, while SA also had reason to thank Jake Weatherald, the captain Alex Carey, Joe Mennie and Nick Winter for their first innings batting contributions.

Nevertheless, victory looked a long way off when Bell swerved the newish ball into Henry Hunt’s back pad and then Callum Ferguson’s off stump, while at the other end Meredith drew edges from Weatherald and Carey. An older ball meant that conditions eased for Nielsen and Bosisto, but they showed a remarkable level of composure in knocking off the runs with minimal fuss.

Bailey was left to bowl the final over of the match, clad in his state cap, before accepting congratulations from both sides for a long and fruitful red-ball career that featured five Test match appearances in the 2013-14 Ashes and a leading hand in all three of Tasmania’s Sheffield Shield-winning seasons.



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Recent Match Report – New South Wales vs Queensland, Sheffield Shield, 17th Match

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New South Wales 375 (Henriques 116, Nevill 88*, Abbott 86, Neser 4-60) and 1 for 42 (Hughes 27, Swepson 1-27) beat Queensland 240 and 176 (Khawaja 54, O’Keefe 3-28) by nine wickets

New South Wales shrugged off appalling air conditions in Sydney to record a nine-wicket victory over Queensland at the SCG and go to the Big-Bash-League break at the top of the Sheffield Shield table with five wins and a draw after six matches.

On a day when NSW health authorities held an afternoon press conference advising all caught in the bushfire-smoke-filled air around Sydney to stay indoors and the harbour’s ferry service was suspended due to low visibility, the Blues and Bulls played out the final act of their contest after Dr John Orchard assessed conditions with match officials and concluded it was safe to play.

Not only was the air a concern on a breathing level, the smoke was so thick that visibility also looked to be an issue for players on both sides – reminiscent of some of the worst smog-induced conditions seen at the Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi from time to time.

On Friday, Cricket NSW had advised club and community cricket organisations to consider cancelling weekend matches amidst similar conditions emanating from the bushfires that have engulfed the east coast of Australia in recent weeks.

Resuming at 5 for 111, still needing another 25 runs to make NSW bat again, Queensland suffered arguably the decisive blow in the first half an hour when Trent Copeland coaxed an outside edge from Usman Khawaja from around the wicket.

Michael Neser and Mitchell Swepson kept the Bulls’ wicketkeeper Jimmy Peirson company for long enough to allow the visitors to forge a lead, but when Peirson was last out, shortly before lunch, they had left the Blues needing just 42. This was enough to allow Swepson the wicket of Daniel Hughes, but with only another four runs required.

The allrounder Moises Henriques was named Player of the Match for his match-shaping first-innings century.



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Nasir Jamshed pleads guilty to bribery at PSL fixtures

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Nasir Jamshed, the former Pakistan batsman, will be sentenced in February after pleading guilty to a conspiracy to bribe fellow cricketers in the Pakistan Super League (PSL).

Jamshed, 33, was given a ten-year ban by the PCB in August 2018, and is standing trial at Manchester Crown Court, following his arrest in February 2017 alongside two UK nationals, Yousef Anwar, 36, and Mohammed Ijaz, 34.

On the opening day of the trial, Jamshed chose to change his plea, having originally entered a not-guilty plea at a pre-trial hearing last week, after his two co-defendants admitted offering financial inducements to PSL players, with a view to them under-performing during various matches in the tournament.

Opening the case for the prosecution, Andrew Thomas QC told how an undercover police officer infiltrated the spot-fixing network, and secured an initial meeting with Anwar, by posing as a member of a corrupt betting syndicate.

His investigations identified an attempted fix during the Bangladesh Premier League in 2016 and an actual fix in the PSL fixture between Islamabad United and Peshawar Zalmi in Dubai on February 9.

Jamshed, acting as the go-between for the PSL game, persuaded Sharjeel Khan to play out two dot-balls to order from the first two balls of Islamabad’s second over. Sharjeel was later banned for five years by the PCB.

The court heard how Jamshed himself had been the intended fixer during the BPL contests, when he and Sharjeel were both playing for Rangpur Riders.

However, the first attempt was called off when Jamshed did not give all the pre-arranged signals – which included the use of certain coloured batting grips. And a second attempt against Barisal Bulls was cancelled after he was dropped for what was the final match of the season.

The court also heard how Jamshed’s co-defendant, Anwar, had first met the undercover officer at a hotel in Slough in November 2016, where he said he had been involved in spot-fixing for ten years, and claimed to have six players working for him in the BPL.

A second meeting, at a restaurant in Birmingham in January 2017, resulted in Khan and his Islamabad team-mate, Khalid Latif, being lined up for the next fix in the PSL.

The prosecutor added that Latif’s bag had been searched upon arrival from the UK to Dubai, and a number of coloured grips were found. He was also banned for five years by the PCB.



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