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James Pattinson retires – He’s been through so much…played through pain a lot of the time

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The fast bowler will continue to play state, BBL and perhaps county cricket

James Pattinson‘s decision to retire from international cricket did not come as a huge surprise to his Victoria coach, and former Australia team-mate, Chris Rogers who had sensed the fast bowler was struggling for motivation during the longer winter months.

Pattinson was expected to be in the frame for the Ashes but had been battling a knee injury during pre-season and made the call to bring an end to a Test career during which, when his body allowed, he often showed his destructive ability with 81 wickets at 26.33. At home his numbers were even more impressive with 49 wickets from 11 matches at 21.87

His career has been hampered by numerous injuries but he recovered from major back surgery to make the 2019 Ashes then played twice during the following home summer against New Zealand. He was part of Australia’s Test squad last season until an accident at home left him with fractured ribs.

“He’s been through so much in his career,” Rogers said. “He has played through pain a lot of the time and that wears you down. You get a little bit older and your motivation starts to change. He’ll be thinking about his family and life after cricket.

“We’ve known for a little while. We’ve observed him closely over this pre-season. When you have a caged lion in the depths of winter in the indoor center trying to get motivated you can sense something is a little bit amiss. We probably felt there were a few questions marks about what he would do and he’s made the decision.”

Rogers played three Tests alongside Pattinson. “[He had] so much energy. Sometimes he found it hard to control [the ball] but other times when he did it was epic to watch,” he said.

Pattinson will continue playing state and BBL cricket and also hinted he would look to return to county cricket next season. Victoria also have a crop of young pace bowlers with Pattinson keen to help mentor them.

“Every time he plays for us we improve dramatically as a side. The way he lifts people around him is fantastic,” Rogers said of his impact for Victoria.

Nick Cummins, the Cricket Victoria CEO, said: “Throughout his career, he has consistently challenged the very best batters in the world. James’ journey has included injury hurdles and setbacks, which he has shown the determination to fight his way back from. He always took great pride in representing his country and was the ultimate competitor every time he stepped on the field for Australia.”

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo



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SL vs WI, 2nd Test, 2nd day, Galle

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The former captain was expected to bowl in this game, but that now appears unlikely

Angelo Mathews‘ role in the ongoing second Test against West Indies in Galle could be substantially restricted after he picked up a thigh strain on the second morning.

He sustained the injury while running a single in Sri Lanka’s first innings, and ended up having to retire hurt, when on 12, presumably to receive further treatment in the dressing room.

Mathews did return to bat after a gap of just under eight overs, during which four Sri Lanka wickets fell. Coming in essentially at No. 10, Mathews completed only one hobbled single, choosing instead to remain in his crease and try to clobber boundaries. He hit two straight sixes and a four in the company of the tail, before becoming the last batter to be dismissed, scoring 29 of Sri Lanka’s 204.

When West Indies came out to bat, Mathews did not take the field. He had been expected to bowl in this match, but that now looks unlikely. He will be assessed over the next 24 hours, but given his long-standing problems with hamstring, quad, and calf injuries, it is possible that he will not field, and only bat if required.

This is Mathews’ first international series since May. In the first Test, he had hit 3 and 69 not out.

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



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BBL 2021-22 – Joe Clarke keen to keep in permanent role at Melbourne Stars

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He has kept just five times in T20s but is set to take the gloves for the Stars all season and open the batting alongside Marcus Stoinis

English import Joe Clarke is preparing himself for an unfamiliar role in the upcoming BBL as he is set to be Melbourne Stars’ wicketkeeper for most of the tournament.
Stars’ local wicketkeeper Seb Gotch is battling a career-threatening finger injury and is likely to be unavailable for the entire tournament.

They had searched far and wide for a wicketkeeping option including big-name overseas players. West Indies wicketkeeper-batter Nicholas Pooran did a short stint with Stars last season but was unable to return. The job is set to fall to Clarke who has kept just 11 times in his six-year professional career, and only five times in T20 cricket, all of which were in this year’s PSL for Karachi Kings.

He kept in one County Championship fixture for Nottinghamshire this year and is predominantly a part-timer behind first-choice Tom Moores but Clarke said he is looking forward to the challenge.

“Obviously my keeping was something that has sort of been on the on the backburner last couple of years,” Clarke said. “I went to Pakistan to play in the Pakistan Super League and was keeping for that. It’s something that I’m looking forward to doing as well over here.”

Clarke will have his hands full keeping to legspinning duo Adam Zampa and Qais Ahmad, but he completed a sharp stumping during one of two practice matches he played in on Tuesday.

Coach David Hussey was concerned about the lack of keeping knowledge on his coaching staff and may look for reinforcements to help. But Clarke was comfortable he would be able to get the preparation work that he needs with Hussey and assistant coach Ben Rohrer.

“I’ve really enjoyed working with them so far,” Clarke said. “Although obviously [they] didn’t do too much with keeping in their day, [they] just facilitate with me and do the drills that I do back home and stuff like that and just make me feel as best prepared as I can be.”

Hussey has no concerns about Clarke’s batting ability and is keen for him to form a formidable opening partnership with Marcus Stoinis.

“Joe Clarke’s been outstanding for Notts for many a year opening the batting,” Hussey told ESPNcricinfo. “So hopefully they gel very, very quickly and they can open the batting and set a nice foundation for our middle order players.”

The pair gelled nicely in the afternoon practice game on Tuesday at the Junction Oval against Renegades sharing a 95-run opening stand off 11.4 overs. Clarke made 64 off 40 balls as he rounded off his preparation ahead of his second stint in the BBL.

He played three games for Perth Scorchers last summer as an early-season replacement player prior to Jason Roy’s arrival. His 34 off 16 balls against Stars undoubtedly played a part in his recruitment.

“I loved it,” Clarke said. “Obviously I would have loved to have played some more games. But just get a taster for the Big Bash and how the competition goes was actually good fun.”

Alex Malcolm is an Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo



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Recent Match Report – Sri Lanka vs West Indies 2nd Test 2021/22

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Pathum Nissanka top-scored with 73, before hosts lost Angelo Mathews to injury

The West Indian ploy to bombard Sri Lanka’s batters with left-arm spin reaped rich dividends on the second morning in Galle, as the pair of Jomel Warrican and Veerasammy Permaul picked up nine wickets between them – including career-best figures of 5 for 35 for the latter – to restrict the hosts to a first-innings total of 204. The West Indies openers Kraigg Brathwaite and Jermaine Blackwood safely negotiated the four overs before lunch with little drama.
Pathum Nissanka‘s 148-ball 73 proved to be the highest score of the hosts’ innings, alongside Dimuth Karunaratne’s 42. Angelo Mathews was next with 29.

Mathews was also the last man out, his stumps rattled by one that drew him into forward defence and then spun sharply away to knock back middle stump – the quintessential left-arm spinner’s dismissal, and one that highlighted just how well the visiting spinners utilised what was already an extremely obliging Galle surface.

That Mathews was even there at the end was down to him having retired hurt earlier in the session after what seemed like a recurrence of a hamstring injury. While this will likely mean that Sri Lanka are down to just the one seamer in Suranga Lakmal, that will hardly worry the home side, whose spinners will be licking their lips at the prospect of turning their arm over in the days ahead – though they will do well to match the efforts of Warrican and Permaul.

While the offspin of Roston Chase at times lacked a bit of control – he was guilty of pitching it too short at times on the second morning – the pair of Warrican and Permaul had no such issues. They were adroit in their lines and lengths, while Warrican in particular varied his pace and trajectory well to prevent the batters from settling down. Permaul at the other end was the epitome of discipline, with probing, consistent lines – mixed in with the odd arm ball – that would have done even the finest exponents of left-arm spin proud.

The only joy that Sri Lanka’s batters managed against the pair was on the occasions they showed positive intent – either coming down the track or sweeping, a tactic that was employed quite frequently as one would expect.

But despite Sri Lanka’s best efforts, it didn’t take long for the cracks to appear. The overnight pair of Nissanka and Oshada Fernando lasted only seven overs in the morning before West Indies struck, with Oshada edging one that was short and wide but slightly quicker through the air from Warrican into the grateful hands of Joshua Da Silva behind the stumps.

Nissanka and Mathews stitched together another small stand, with Mathews in particular willing to use his feet. But once Nissanka fell, rapped plumb in front courtesy a Permaul arm ball, not a single Sri Lanka partnership managed to last more than 16 balls from thereon. In fact, it took Permaul just two deliveries after Nissanka’s wicket to remove Dhananjaya de Silva, getting one to spin away just enough from the batter to entice a thick edge that Da Silva did well to hold onto after a brief juggle.

Charith Asalanka was the next to go; he had looked good on debut, reverse-sweeping just his second ball for a boundary, but when Permaul spun one back into his forward defence, he could only manage to lob catch to short leg via his bat and pad. Shortly thereafter, Mathews would retire hurt, and it wasn’t long before the other elder statesman in the squad, Dinesh Chandimal, would be trapped in front sweeping Warrican.

Warrican would then coax Ramesh Mendis into a leading edge that found its way to the fielder at cover, before Permaul would get Lasith Embuldeniya and Lakmal over the space of two overs to complete his five-for. A few lofty hits by Mathews at the end though would push Sri Lanka beyond the 200-mark, which may still prove to be a good total on this surface.



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