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Mickey Arthur set to become Sri Lanka head coach



Mickey Arthur is set to take over as Sri Lanka’s head coach. SLC has agreed a two-year contract with Arthur, the former South Africa, Australia and Pakistan coach, with a formal announcement to be made shortly. Joining his backroom staff will be Grant Flower as batting coach, David Saker as bowling coach, and Shane McDermott as fielding coach, in what is a complete overhaul of the team’s coaching setup.

“They will all be joining on two-year contracts,” SLC CEO Ashley De Silva confirmed.

ESPNcricinfo understands that Flower will only work with Sri Lanka’s white-ball teams, and will not travel to Pakistan for the two-match Test series later this month.

Arthur is the 11th head coach of the Sri Lanka men’s team in the last eight years, and his first challenge will be a return to Pakistan where he had been head coach from 2016 until the end of this year’s ODI World Cup in July. It is understood interim head coach Rumesh Ratnayake will also be on tour to help with the transition.

Pakistan removed Arthur as head coach earlier this year, following a string of poor results, but the team also achieved some notable highs during his tenure, including winning the 2017 Champions Trophy and gaining the No. 1 ranking in Tests, briefly, and in T20Is.

Flower joins Arthur’s backroom staff having vacated the head coach role at Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) side Rangpur Rangers. Flower has a good working relationship with Arthur, having worked with him as Pakistan’s batting coach before he too was let go earlier this year.

Saker has worked as bowling coach for both England and Australia over the last ten years, before he took up the role of bowling coach with USA earlier this year – one he has now left.

McDermott was the first of the four new appointments to have come on board, with SLC securing his contract earlier this month on the recommendation of Cricket Australia. He had earlier served as the South Australia Cricket Association’s high-performance coach.

Despite the new appointments, however, previous Sri Lanka head coach Chandika Hathurusingha remains under contract with SLC.

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James Faulkner set for Lancashire T20 Blast return in 2020



James Faulkner, the Australian left-arm seamer, will return to Lancashire for his fourth stint at the club for next year’s T20 Blast.

Faulkner first appeared for the county in 2015, and has been one of their overseas players in the Blast since 2018. This season, he took 11 wickets with an economy rate of 7.88 as Lancashire topped the North Group, but were beaten by eventual winners Essex in the quarter-finals.

“I am thrilled to be returning to Emirates Old Trafford for next season’s Vitality Blast,” Faulkner said. “It feels like a home away from home for me and I cannot wait to get started again in May.

“We were unlucky not to progress past the quarter-finals last year and we are all determined to put that right in 2020. We will be going all out to repeat the success of 2015, which remains one of the proudest memories in my cricketing career.

“Emirates Old Trafford is an amazing place to play cricket and I can’t wait to reunite with the squad next summer. I’m determined to win the Vitality Blast trophy back for the Club.”

Paul Allott, the club’s director of cricket, said: “James is a fantastic, well-rounded cricketer of significant experience and we are delighted to welcome him back to Emirates Old Trafford for a fourth season in 2020.

“He is the very definition of an all-rounder. He can bowl in any situation, which he has done successfully for us at both the beginning and back end of an innings, and is still a powerful batsman, not to mention his outstanding ability in the field too.

“His enthusiasm in representing the Red Rose is evident and he has established himself as a key figure in our T20 side. He is a proven winner and a great role model to the younger players.”

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Fantasy tips: India v West Indies, 1st T20I



December 6: India v West Indies, 1st T20I in Hyderabad

NOTE: We might not always be able to tip you off about late injury (or other relevant) updates

Captain: KL Rahul

Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli have not played T20s for a while but Rahul has, scoring 313 runs from eight matches (strike rate 155.72) in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

Vice captain: Deepak Chahar

Smart bowling in the powerplay means Chahar has gone wicketless only once in his last ten T20 games.

Hot picks

Yuzvendra Chahal
Chahal is three wickets away from being India’s leading wicket-taker in T20Is, and the West Indians aren’t the best players of quality spin bowling.

Virat Kohli
Kohli has six hundreds in his last nine ODI innings against West Indies and averages 45.42 against them in T20Is.

Kieron Pollard
West Indies captain Pollard has played a lot of IPL cricket and has been in good form in T20s in 2019, scoring 1299 runs at a strike rate of 146.94.

NOTE: Nicholas Pooran is serving a ball-tampering ban and is unavailable for the game.

Value for money

Keemo Paul
Paul could be a surprise value pick due to his dual skills and his ability to bowl a lot of cutters and other variations, and did well in Hyderabad in an IPL game earlier this year.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Kumar, back after an injury, is the third best domestic bowler (economy rate 9.45) in the death behind Jasprit Bumrah and Siddarth Kaul in the last three editions of the IPL.

Points to note

  • Based on historical – IPL – data, Hyderabad has two kinds of pitches: one is a slow and difficult to score on, the other is a batting-friendly surface. The average score on the belter was 213 and 146 on the other one. We don’t know which pitch will be used.

  • Since 2018, West Indies batsmen score at a strike rate of 122 against wristspinners in T20Is, and are dismissed once every 18 balls.

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Rachel Trenaman takes leave to focus on mental health



Rachel Trenaman, the Sydney Thunder and New South Wales allrounder who has been named in the Australia A squad to face India A, has taken time away from the game to focus on her mental health.

Trenaman, 18, played twice for the Thunder during this season’s WBBL and was part of the Australia A one-day squad for the series that will take place in Brisbane next week.

She has now stood down from that series and will be rested from the Women’s National Cricket League which resumes in January.

“We’re proud that Rachel was brave enough to speak up, and we’re here for her,” Dominic Thornely, the NSW Breakers head coach, said. “I know the cricket family is right behind her and we wish her the very best.”

Sydney Thunder’s acting general manager Chris Botherway said Trenaman had the full support of the Thunder, Cricket NSW and Cricket Australia.

“Rachel is a highly thought of young person who has the respect of her team-mates, coaches and support staff at Sydney Thunder and NSW Breakers,” he said. “Player health and well-being will always be our top priority and we will provide Rachel with all the time and support she needs to make a full recovery.”

Trenaman is the latest Australian cricketer to step back from the game for mental health reasons this season. Sophie Molineux, the Melbourne Renegades and Australia allrounder, announced last month that she was taking a break which followed the decisions taken by Glenn Maxwell, Will Pucovski and Nic Maddinson.

Pucovski and Maddinson returned for Victoria in the last round of Sheffield Shield matches while Maxwell is back in training with Victoria.

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