Allrounder left field during England’s seven-wicket defeat to India, will be assessed in 24 hours
He left the field alongside England’s physio, with Sam Billings coming on as a substitute fielder, and took no further part in the match. An England spokesperson said that the injury would be assessed “in [the] next 24 hours” once the swelling had gone down. In the short term, he appears unlikely to play a part in Wednesday’s warm-up match against New Zealand in Abu Dhabi.
Moeen Ali, who lifted England to a competitive 188 for 5 thanks to an innings of 43 not out off 20 balls, played down the concern. “I think he’s alright,” he said. “I think it’s just bruising on the back of the hand but I think he’ll be fine.
“Obviously it was a bit of a scare at the time but he said it was fine, so hopefully he’s all good. He’s a brilliant player – he’s been playing really well over the last couple of years. Hopefully he can carry that form into the World Cup and I feel like it’s going be a big stage for him.”
His injury may mean England avoid having to make a difficult selection decision ahead of their opening fixture of the tournament. They opted to rest Eoin Morgan on Monday, who will return to the side as captain, and with Jason Roy, Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow all certain to start, they would have to leave out one of Livingstone, Moeen or Dawid Malan, or change the balance of their side by dropping a seamer in order to accommodate him.
Livingstone has only played eight T20 internationals but it will be a significant blow to England if his injury proves to be serious. He was the standout short-form batter in the English summer, averaging 54.46 and striking at 167.41 in 20 innings across England’s T20I series against Sri Lanka and Pakistan, the Hundred and the T20 Blast. Despite a lean run in the IPL for Rajasthan Royals, he offers a vital all-round option in the squad, not least with Ben Stokes and Sam Curran both missing the World Cup.
Moeen, meanwhile, continued from where he had left off in the IPL, having hit 37 not out off 20 balls in Chennai Super Kings’ victory against Morgan’s Kolkata Knight Riders in Friday’s final, and said that he had been keen to keep his run of form going. “Eoin asked me if I was happy to play or if I wanted to play this game, considering we only just played the other day,” he said. “I feel like I’m playing well, so I wanted to keep playing. I think Eoin will come back in the next game.”
Moeen was a key man for Chennai with the bat, averaging 25.50 and striking at 137.30 while generally batting at No. 3 or 4. He said that he had “loved” the responsibility he had been given with the bat, but conceded that with England’s top-order strength, he might not have such a clearly defined role in the World Cup.
“I absolutely loved it,” he said. “Obviously when you win a competition like the IPL it’s amazing and with the role I was given, I felt like I was quite important to the team. I’m just grateful that I played and did pretty well for them. As a team I thought we were great – we had great fun. I felt like I learned a lot with the experienced players that we had.
“The reality [is that] there are so many good players, if you look at the team we [England] have and the batters that we have – it’s quite scary, actually. My role could change but the good thing is I feel like I could play any type of role. If a chance does come, I can bat No. 6 or 7 [or] I can bat up the order, so I’m just trying to get myself ready and be in a good frame of mind. Whatever role I’m given, I’m hopefully going to do well in.”
Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98
Pat Cummins eager for clarity over Justin Langer’s contract
The coach is not certain to get a new deal despite T20 World Cup and Ashes success
The future of Langer, who comes off contract in mid-2022 and has made it clear he is keen to continue, remains an unresolved talking point.
The former Test opener changed his ways, adopting more of a low-key role as Australia went on to win the Twenty20 World Cup and retain the urn. But there remains speculation Cricket Australia will opt to move Langer on.
Cummins, asked about Langer after Australia claimed an unassailable 3-0 lead in their five-Test series against England, bluntly replied that “his contract is up for renewal in a few months and we’ll deal with that then”.
He struck a more diplomatic note in Hobart, speaking after his four-wicket haul helped Australia claim a first-innings lead of 115 runs in the fifth and final Ashes Test.
“That’s above my pay grade. We’ll wait and see, it’d be nice to have clarity for everyone,” Cummins said. “But he’s been doing a fantastic job, we absolutely love JL.
“He’s been really great through the World Cup and the Ashes. Honestly, it’s not been a talking point at all within the camp.
“The plan has always been to chat about it after the Ashes, so the powers that be, I’m sure, will chat at some stage. But he’s been fantastic for us and the boys love having him around.”
CA chief executive Nick Hockley and high-performance boss Ben Oliver are yet to set a definitive timeline around the call on Langer, likewise a final decision on potentially splitting the role by installing separate white-ball and red-ball mentors.
But the growing expectation is the elephant in the room will be addressed soon after the Ashes series finale. Oliver noted last month that CA will take player feedback on board before resolving Langer’s future.
“Position in doubt? Influenced the culture and character of the team after the Cape Town debacle,” Waugh posted on Instagram. “Coached the team to a winning World Cup 20/20 and now to a commanding Ashes victory. Time to put the rumours and innuendo to rest. #respect #culture #character.”
“I don’t know what everyone’s waiting for,” Warne told Fox Cricket. “He should be signed up in my opinion because he’s done such a good job.
“We’re not inside the dressing room, so we don’t know all the inside-outs, but I think the only way we can judge a coach is from the performances and has Australian cricket got better? Is the better of cricket better domestically? Is there a group of players? There’s probably three or four players outside this squad now that could all play and that wasn’t there a couple of years ago.”
Australia do not have much of a break in their schedule after the Ashes with limited-overs matches against New Zealand and Sri Lanka from late January to mid-February.
That is then followed by the tour of Pakistan, Australia’s first to the country since 1998, which also falls within Langer’s current contract. There will be the need to split coaches during that period with a brief T20I series in New Zealand during March, the same situation that was set to occur last season before the South Africa tour was postponed.
Recent Match Report – South Z (BD) vs Cent Z (BD) Final 2021/22
Bowlers, Al-Amin shine as Central beat South by six wickets after bowling them out for 163
Central Zone 164 for four (Al-Amin 53 not out, Mizanur 39, Ahmed 3 for 32) beat South Zone 163 all out (Pinak 35) by six wickets
Asked to bat first, South Zone were bowled out for 163 runs in 48.5 overs. They gave away a good start as they slipped to 99 for four after Anamul Haque and Pinak Ghosh added 51 for the opening stand. Nahidul Islam’s 31 took them past the 150-mark.
Captain Mosaddek was later adjudged the Player-of-the-Match and the Player-of-the-Series for scoring 148 runs and taking six wickets in the tournament. Imrul Kayes was the only batter to score more than 150 runs in the competition while Soumya was one of the four bowlers to take seven wickets.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84
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