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New Zealand fast bowler Matt Henry a doubt for West Indies series after injuring his right thumb

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New Zealand fast bowler Matt Henry has broken his thumb while training with his domestic side Canterbury in the Plunket Shield. Henry was hit on his right thumb while batting in the nets, and the injury has put him in doubt for New Zealand’s upcoming home season.

“Matt was unfortunately struck on the tip of the right thumb while batting in the nets,” Canterbury physio Tim Dovbysh said. “Matt got an X-ray [done] immediately after training which confirmed the fracture.”

Dovbysh said Henry would require about four to six weeks to be full fit, meaning he is likely to miss the first game of the home series against West Indies – the T20I at Eden Park on November 27. New Zealand are currently scheduled to play West Indies in three T20Is and two Tests, before hosting Pakistan for the same number of matches in December.

This January, Henry had also injured his left thumb during the opening day of the Sydney Test against Australia.

Henry has added to New Zealand’s injury concerns ahead of the home season, with their captain Kane Williamson also currently recovering from an adductor injury he picked up in the IPL.

Williamson last played for his side Sunrisers Hyderabad on October 13, having missed three game since, something which former New Zealand fast bowler Danny Morrison has put down to the excessive cricket played these days. Speaking to Newstalk ZB, Morrison said, “I just wonder whether, in terms of the amount of cricket these guys play these days, toing and froing in all the different genres of it… I’m not surprised it’s taking its toll.”

“Kane… plays all formats. So, when I look at that, something’s got to give. At the moment, I think he’s still very sore and very tight.”



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Australia vs India, 3rd ODI, Canberra – Glenn Maxwell on the switch hit

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Glenn Maxwell believes it is up to bowlers to evolve in an attempt to combat the ever-more outlandish strokeplay that is on display in limited-overs cricket after he produced a 100-metre switch hit in Canberra.

Former Australia captain Ian Chappell reignited the debate over whether the shot is ‘fair’ – where a right-handed batsman effectively becomes a left hander and vice-versa when, for example, a bowler must tell the umpire if they are coming from over or round the wicket – after the opening two matches of the series against India, before Maxwell produced his latest display of outrageous skill at Manuka Oval.

“[Switch-hitting] is very skillful, some of it’s amazingly skillful – but it’s not fair,” Chappell told Wide World of Sports. “How can one side of the game, ie. the bowlers, they have to tell the umpire how they’re going to bowl. And yet the batsman, he lines up as a right-hander – I’m the fielding captain, I place the field for the right-hander – and before the ball’s been delivered, the batsman becomes a left-hander.

“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.”

Maxwell launched Kuldeep Yadav over point and such was the swiftness of his hand switch that it takes a couple of replays to even notice he did it.

“It’s within the Laws, batting has evolved in such a way that it’s just got better and better over the years which is why we see these massive scores getting chased down,” he said. “Suppose it’s up to the bowlers to try and combat that. The skills of bowlers are being tested every day with bowlers having to come up with different change-ups, ways to stop batters and the way they shut down one side of the ground.

“The way batting is evolving, I think bowling has to try and evolve at the same stage. We see guys coming up with knuckle balls and wide-yorker fields, the tactics of one-day cricket have definitely evolved over the last little bit as well. I just see it as a different part of the evolution of the game.”

However, Maxwell wasn’t taking all the credit for how far the stroke went. “It probably helped that it was with a pretty decent wind, I wasn’t too worried about the boundary rider and just thought if I got it up in the air it was going to travel,” he said.

His 59 off 38 balls kept Australia in the chase of 303 after they had slipped to 5 for 158 but when he was bowled by Jasprit Bumrah the task was too great for the lower order. Maxwell, who said he should have finished the game, took the blame for the run out of Alex Carey as the pair were building a solid partnership.

“I thought the changing point was probably the run out with Carey which was probably 100% my fault and unfortunately when you leave yourself six down it makes it a little bit tougher because you know one mistake and it can all turn around pretty quickly. That was a key moment of the game which I probably stuffed up, but saying that I feel I should probably have iced that game from there. But they are allowed to bowl well and Bumrah is a class finisher.”



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South Africa vs England, 3rd T20I, Newlands

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Lottery numbers, shoe sizes and dancing competition scorecards – England players and the ECB have been quick to make light of their use of coded signals sent from the dressing room to the field during their T20 series against South Africa.

England team analyst Nathan Leamon could be seen placing cards on the dressing room balcony showing a combination of numbers and letters during the third T20I at Newlands on Tuesday. England won the match by nine wickets after Dawid Malan‘s stunning 99 not out in a record 167-run partnership with Jos Buttler overhauled a huge target of 192.

Buttler, who scored an unbeaten on 67, joked after the game that the cards showed lottery numbers, before making a more serious comparison with tactical time-outs in the IPL.

“The lads were checking their Euromillions numbers,” Buttler told Sky Sports with a smile. “Eoin [Morgan] works closely with Nathan to work on the match-ups. In the IPL, you have two tactical time-outs for suggestions from analysts, but you have to be careful how you use it, there has to be an instinctive, intuitive side to the game.”

ALSO READ: Malan reaches 915 points, the highest ever for batsmen in T20I rankings

The ECB said the signalling system was being trialed and was “intended as a live informational resource that the captain may choose to use or ignore as he wishes”. It added: “They are not commands or instructions and all decision-making takes place on the field.”

The practice drew mention of South Africa’s use of earpieces to relay messages from the dressing room to the field during their 1999 World Cup match against India. At the time, the ICC said using earpieces did not break any rules but deemed it unfair and subsequently banned the use of such devices.

It’s not the first time that Leamon has used such methods to pass information from the boundary’s edge. After teaming up with Andy Flower at Multan Sultans for this year’s PSL, he set up a similar system with the on-field captain, Shan Masood – a practice which Flower later told ESPNcricinfo was about “maximising information”.

“Match-ups over a shortened game are very important, and so is getting your field and your bowling tactics right,” Flower said. “That sort of information would be covered pre-game, but that’s a lot of information for a captain, and obviously he won’t retain it all. [Favourable match-ups] would be an example: a gentle reminder of the flow of the game, the resources you have left in the attack, and just putting the right chess pieces in place at the right time.”

There is no suggestion England’s use of written codes breached any rules, although it did raise questions over whether it was ethical or in the spirit of the game. Mark Wood, the England quick, said the team had “cleared it with the match referee first”.

“Maybe this is part of the new way of cricket,” Wood said. “We’re always looking for ways to improve so maybe this is it, the analyst gets a hold of a scorecard like [Strictly Come Dancing judge] Craig Revel Horwood and then we’ve got a got a new game show.”

Speaking to the media via Zoom on Wednesday, Wood – who is hoping to feature in the three-match ODI series against South Africa starting at Newlands on Friday after being overlooked for the T20Is – played down the importance of the coded signals.

“I thought shoe sizes at one point,” Wood said. “I think it wouldn’t honestly bother me. Until this morning, I honestly didn’t even know about it. That’s how much notice I took.

“I think it’s good for the captain to have. Morgy’s a very instinctive captain anyway, so I’m not sure he needs that much but it’s great to have the information there. Nathan does a good job. So any little bit can help, but I’m not sure I’ll be taking that much notice of it, too busy worrying about other things.”



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Bruce Carnegie-Brown named as new MCC chairman

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Bruce Carnegie-Brown, the chairman of Lloyd’s of London and vice-chairman of Santander Banking Group, will become the sixth chairman of MCC next year, when he succeeds the current incumbent, Gerald Corbett.

Carnegie-Brown has been a Full Member of MCC since 1997 and joined the club’s Finance committee in October 2019. His appointment is subject to approval by MCC Members at the 2021 Annual General Meeting, whereupon he will take office in September 2021, at the end of Corbett’s six-year term.

He is set to take over at a tricky period of MCC’s 233-year history, with the club undergoing a multi-million pound refurbishment of the Compton and Edrich Stands at Lord’s, and navigating its way through the Covid-19 pandemic that allowed for just one first-class fixture in 2020, the Bob Willis Trophy Final in September.

Although MCC’s pockets are sufficiently deep to withstand the short-term implications of this year’s £30 million loss of earnings, there was some disquiet in the ranks at the decision to offset this by offering 350 life memberships to members of the public who wished to jump the club’s infamous two-decade-long waiting list.

According to a report in the Daily Mail, the home secretary Priti Patel is one of those who took up the opportunity, and Corbett faced a protest from some members this summer who felt that the club’s traditions had been sacrificed for short-term gain.

“It is a huge privilege to be proposed to Members as the next Club Chairman,” Carnegie-Brown said. “Notwithstanding the extraordinary challenges of this year, our Club has proven to be very resilient and is well placed for the return of Members and visitors to Lord’s as soon as this is permitted. I look forward to meeting Members of the Club and to earning their trust and support”.

As chairman, Carnegie-Brown is set to work closely with Chief Executive & Secretary Guy Lavender to help steer the club through what it described as an “unprecedented and uncertain 18 months”. In addition to his current roles, he has previously held senior positions at 3i Group plc, Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc, J.P. Morgan & Company and Bank of America.

Robert Leigh, MCC Trustee and former Treasurer, who led the selection process said: “We conducted a thorough assessment and interview process with the help of executive search consulting firm, Spencer Stuart, and involving the Trustees, the Treasurer, Chairs of Principal Committees and elected members of the MCC Committee.

“From the many excellent applicants, it became clear to all of us that Mr Carnegie-Brown will be an outstanding Club Chairman. He brings a wealth of board-level experience from various organisations across banking, finance, arts and the charity sector that will be of great benefit to us all. We look forward to welcoming him to the position in 2021”.

Current MCC Chairman, Gerald Corbett, said: “I think Bruce will be a fantastic Chairman and I’m looking forward to working closely with him to ensure an orderly handover at the end of the committee year in September”.

He will become the sixth person to hold the post following its creation in 2000. Sir Michael Jenkins (2000-2001), Lord Alexander of Weedon (2001-2004), Charles Fry (2004-2009), Oliver Stocken (2009-2015) and Corbett (2015-2021) are his predecessors. The club’s rules stipulate that a chairman may serve a maximum of two three-year terms, and as with all non-executive roles at MCC, the position is not remunerated.



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