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Todd Greenberg named new Australian Cricketers’ Association chief executive

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Greenberg was chief executive of the NRL before resigning last year

Todd Greenberg, the former chief executive of National Rugby League, has been named the new chief executive of the Australian Cricketers’ Association.

The ACA has been without a permanent CEO since Alistair Nicholson resigned late last year and has been led by interim Joe Connellan while the game has navigated a summer impacted by Covid-19.

Greenberg had been tipped for either the ACA position or the same role at Cricket Australia which is currently being led by Nick Hockley who replaced Kevin Roberts last June.

He resigned from the NRL last April amid the fallout from the pandemic.

“I would like to thank the ACA board and the players for the opportunity to advocate for them. I have a long history with cricket – it’s the game I first fell in love with – and am looking forward to the opportunity to work closely on their behalf in partnership with Cricket Australia and the state associations for the good of the game,” Greenberg said.

“This is a role that comes with great responsibility and I am very much looking forward to meeting and speaking to as many players and members as I can over the coming months.”

Hockley, who has steered CA through the pandemic with a full men’s and women’s international season taking place as well as two Big Bash tournaments, welcomed the appointment.

“The role of CEO at the Australian Cricketers’ Association CEO is an incredibly important one, and on behalf of Cricket Australia, I’d like to congratulate Todd Greenberg on his appointment,” he said.

“Todd’s experience in administering the National Rugby League will bring valuable insights that will undoubtedly benefit cricket. We welcome Todd back to cricket, where he both played first grade cricket for Randwick and worked at Cricket NSW, and I look forward to working with him as we complete this summer of cricket and look ahead to 2021-22, which will feature men’s and women’s Ashes series.”



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Tom Moody appointed as Sri Lanka’s new director of cricket

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The role will have Moody overseeing Sri Lanka’s international programme and domestic tournaments

Tom Moody has been appointed Sri Lanka’s new director of cricket, a broad new role that will have Moody overseeing Sri Lanka’s international programme and domestic tournaments. The appointment was made on the recommendation of Sri Lanka’s new technical advisory committee headed by Aravinda de Silva.

The role will see Moody spend at least 300 days in Sri Lanka over the next three years focusing on “analysis of the future tour programme, focusing on the domestic tournament structure, player welfare, education and skill development, coaching and support staff structure, high performance, and data analytics”.

Moody had been Sri Lanka’s coach between 2005 and 2007 – years in which Sri Lanka tasted considerable success in the Test format and became World Cup runners-up. Since then he has been a coach at the IPL, the Caribbean Premier League’s director of cricket and has had several other high-profile positions.

“Tom has worked with Sri Lanka Cricket in the past and has shown results, and I am sure with his working knowledge of the system, Tom will add greater value to our game,” SLC’s CEO Ashley de Silva said.

On why Moody was specifically sought out for the role, Aravinda had told ESPNcricinfo that his committee needed “someone responsible and neutral working on certain areas with an open mind, who understands the culture, the players, the country’s culture, someone who’s been around. We need to blend and get the administrative side as well as the cricketing side.

“Tom has got a lot of experience and understands more things about what some of the other countries are doing right, and we need to get the best things out of those countries that will suit our culture and then implement those.”

Kumar Sangakkara and Muttiah Muralitharan, who played under Moody during his tenure as coach, are also on the advisory committee.

Moody starts his role on March 1. His contract runs for three years.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo’s Sri Lanka correspondent. @afidelf



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NZ Covid-19 lockdown – Wellington to host remainder of Australia men’s and England women’s matches

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NZC moves matches due to logistical complications caused by shift of Friday’s matches from Auckland after the city was put into a lockdown

The remainder of the two ongoing series in New Zealand, involving Australia’s men’s teams and England’s women, will be played entirely in Wellington after the final T20I double-header on Sunday was shifted from Mount Maunganui.

NZC said the change was needed due to “logistical complications” caused by the shift of Friday’s matches from Auckland after the city was put into a week-long Covid-19 lockdown. All the remaining matches will be played behind closed doors.

The New Zealand men’s team trained in Wellington on Monday without four Auckland-based players – Martin Guptill, Mark Chapman, Jimmy Neesham and Glenn Phillips – as they awaited results from Covid-19 tests having briefly returned home after the second match in Dunedin.

The squad are expecting to be under tighter restrictions around their movement over the coming week in Wellington

“Yesterday we got summoned to go to the hotel and stay in a small bubble together to create that secure environment for ourselves,” Devon Conway said. “Those little late changes do put spanners in the works but it’s a smart move so we are playing our part in being safe. At least it gives us an extended opportunity to play cricket even though there aren’t going to be any crowds.”

For Australia, the other major factor is whether the squad will need to quarantine when they return home early next week.

New Zealand has had a one-way bubble with some Australian states since late last year which has enabled quarantine-free travel, but since the latest outbreak in Auckland emerged in mid-February, the city has been designated a “red zone”, which means anyone travelling through has to go into two weeks hotel quarantine when arriving in Australia.

The team had been due to fly out of Auckland at the end of the series but an alternative departure point may now be used in order to try to avoid quarantine, although that will still depend on whether the New Zealand government adds further cities onto the “red zone” list.

The Australia squad had the weekend off in Wellington as the alert level changed but were able to spend time around the city as they plot how to come back from 2-0 down.

“We have to just look forward to the games coming up in Wellington, and that’s all we can do at this point in time,” Ashton Agar said of the challenges presented over the last few days.

“It’s not the ideal situation doing quarantine, no one really likes the thought of quarantine. “You always have to prepare a little bit, that thought is never easy. There’s a lot of guys who have done up to six weeks of isolation and quarantine, maybe more, and they’ve probably got more coming up.

“But we have really good support around us. We have faith in Cricket Australia and New Zealand Cricket that they have the players’ physical and mental health in their best interest.”

The New Zealand and England women’s team arrived in Wellington on Monday with their entire T20I series now taking place in the city.

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo



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Recent Match Report – Kings vs Qalandars 11th Match 2020/21

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Lahore Qalandars 189 for 4 (Zaman 83, Dunk 57*, Wiese 31*) beat Karachi Kings 186 for 9 (Sharjeel 64, Nabi 57, Shaheen Afridi 3-27)

In a game that had all the ingredients fit for a contest between franchises representing the two biggest cities in Pakistan, Lahore Qalandars came out on top, defeating Karachi Kings by six wickets – in the final over – to move into the top two of the PSL points table. Qalandars’ win made it 11 in a row for chasing teams this season, with the side batting first still searching for victory in PSL 2021. It was a fascinating match that had plenty of chirping, a whole lot of sixes, and an overdose of entertainment, fit for a ground that now allows up to 50% attendance for fans.

The second innings began with the Kings roaring on the back of three wickets in the Powerplay, but a 119-run fourth-wicket stand between Fakhar Zaman (83) and Ben Dunk (57) brought the Qalandars back into the match. When Zaman fell, Kings had a sniff once again, but David’s Wiese’s nine-ball cameo of 31 extinguished those hopes, securing a Qalandars win with four balls to spare.

Kings’ first-innings performance, where they reached 186 for 9, was quite similar to the chase. Like the Qalandars, they lost three wickets in the Powerplay before half-centuries from Sharjeel Khan (64) and Mohammad Nabi (57) lifted their innings. However, they could add only 24 runs in their last four overs while setting a total, and in the end, that was the difference between the two sides. A big reason why Kings scored at only six per over in the death overs was because of Shaheen Shah Afridi’s accurate bowling. He finished with 3 for 27.

Shaheen cranks it up

After conceding two boundaries in his first three deliveries with the new ball, Shaheen eked out the early chance for a breakthrough when Sharjeel mistimed a shot to mid-on, only for Qalandars captain Sohail Akhtar to drop the catch. Shaheen’s second over was consistently quick. He nearly got a run-out in the second ball of the third over when he tried to kick the ball onto the stumps at the strikers’ end. Two balls later, a second chance was dropped off Shaheen, when Babar Azam flayed an edge to wide first slip. Then Shaheen conceded five wides when he missed the yorker only for it to slide down the leg side. But he had the last laugh in his opening spell, when he knocked Azam’s middle stump back with a length ball that moved in and went past the inside of the batsman’s blade. Shaheen enjoyed the wicket a lot, perhaps a bit too much, such that once he recovered from the high of the dismissal, he hugged Azam.

After bowling two of the first three overs, Shaheen was taken out of the attack. He returned at the end of the 17th with Kings at 168 for 6 and then proceeded to trouble the Kings’ lower-order batsman. Shaheen nearly dismissed Waqas Maqsood with back-to-back yorkers in the 18th finally removed him in the 20th with the same ball. He then proceeded to york Mohammad Amir as well – with a massive celebration once again. He ended the innings with a 151kph delivery to restrict Kings to 186 for 9.

Sharjeel, Nabi dominate between Shaheen’s spells

After Azam fell in Shaheen’s third over, Kings slid further when they lost Joe Clarke and Colin Ingram off back to back deliveries in the fifth. Clarke was run-out for 4 trying to complete a single while Ingram was out to an Ahmed Daniyal yorker for a first-ball duck.

That brought Sharjeel and Nabi together and they responded by smoking 16 runs off the sixth over, delivered by Mohammad Hafeez. Sharjeel was the aggressor, hitting sixes off Haris Rauf and Wiese in the following overs, the latter bringing up his half-century in the tenth over off 34 balls. Nabi then hammered Samit Patel for two sixes and a four in an 11th over that leaked 21 runs before Sharjeel fell at the start of the 13th trying to look for another big hit. Sharjeel’s 39-ball 64 had 56 runs that came off either fours or sixes.

Nabi then took over from where Sharjeel left, hitting Wiese and Rauf for plenty in the late middle overs, helped by some wayward deliveries that included a useful mix of full tosses and short balls. However, he fell in the 16th over for his 35-ball 57 when he sliced a Rauf slower ball to extra cover. Christian brought out his long handle to clobber a 14-ball 27 but his dismissal, coupled with Imad Wasim’s deflated Kings’ charge into the death overs. They went at just six per over from overs 16 to 20 to set a total far lesser than the 200-plus they were aiming for at one stage.

Amir’s mixed day

Shaheen’s over-the-top celebration at dismissing Amir, who batted at No. 10, probably fired the senior bowler up because when he took the new ball in the chase, he was raring to go. With Zaman not finding a run off the first three balls, Amir went up to the batsman to say a few words, and off the fourth ball eked out a wicket. Zaman, trying to get Qalandars off the mark, tried to take a single, only to cause a run-out that saw Sohail out for a duck without facing a ball. Amir then bowled a full ball to No. 3 Joe Denly to bowl him for a first-ball duck as the first over was a double-wicket maiden. His second over – the chase’s third – was equally entertaining but yielded seven runs. However, the opening spell was menacing.

Like Shaheen, Amir was taken off the attack after two overs and only returned at the death. On that occasion, though, his fortunes changed. Although he conceded just seven in the 17th over, the 19th went for plenty. Dunk set the tone for the 19th with a four off a wide delivery after which Wiese hit him for two fours and a six. When Amir came to bowl his final over, Qalandars needed 30 off 12. When he was done, they needed 10 off six.

Zaman, Dunk set up the win

When Zaman and Dunk came together at 33 for 3, it seemed that for the first time the chasing side would lose a PSL 2021 match. The in-form Hafeez and Clarke were already gone, and Dunk was not in form. However, Zaman was hitting it clean. He struck two sixes and three fours off Mohammad Ilyas, and two sixes of Arshad Iqbal in the first eight overs to keep the asking rate in check. He then tore into Nabi, Christian and Maqsood to sprint to a 36-ball fifty while Dunk was still struggling at a run-a-ball 26.

After the 12th over, though, with Qalandars needing 93 off 48, both batsmen stepped up a gear. Dunk matched Zaman stroke for stroke against Nabi and Maqsood such that by the 17th over came, the Australian had reached his fifty in 39 deliveries and Qalandars needed 36 off the last three overs.

Zaman then fell to Christian courtesy a slower ball, but the momentum had already shifted Qalandars’ way courtesy the century stand for the fourth wicket. Wiese came in to bat firing all cylinders and Dunk then turned into spectator. Wiese’s annihilation of Amir’s final spell left only 10 to get off the final over, and he needed just two balls in the 20th – delivered by Christian – to take Qalandars over the line. Dunk finished unbeaten on 57.

Sreshth Shah is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo



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