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Abu Dhabi T10 – Sarah Taylor named as Team Abu Dhabi assistant coach




Former England keeper to work alongside Paul Farbrace and Lance Klusener

Sarah Taylor, the former England wicketkeeper, has been appointed as Team Abu Dhabi’s assistant coach for the upcoming Abu Dhabi T10 competition, which gets underway on 19 November.

Taylor, who is also a specialist coach of the Sussex men’s team, has long been regarded as one of the best wicketkeepers in the history of the game, male or female.

Her new role is a breakthrough moment in men’s franchise cricket, and follows the appointment of Julia Price as Brisbane Heat’s assistant coach in December 2019.

“Coming into this franchise world, you get players and coaches coming in from all around the world where it may not necessarily be the norm but I’d love to think that some young girl or some woman watching can see me in the coaching team and realise that’s an opportunity and they can push for it, saying ‘If she can do it, why can’t I?’,” Taylor said.

“I do hope that it becomes a little more normal and I may be the first [in a franchise role] but I won’t be the last. Coaching is my passion and it’s kind of going down the men’s route, which is really exciting.

“I’ve never had issues in male environments and I enjoy the challenge. You always want to prove that you’re good enough, but that’s the same for any coach going into a new environment.”

Taylor won two World Cups and the Women’s World T20 in a stellar career that encompassed a total of 226 caps for England. She will work alongside head coach Paul Farbrace during the tournament, with the former South Africa allrounder Lance Klusener – currently Afghanistan’s head coach at the men’s T20 World Cup – also on the coaching staff.

Taylor also coaches at Bede’s School in Sussex, and in 2021 she came out of retirement to play for Welsh Fire in the Hundred, as well as Northern Diamonds in the Charlotte Edwards and Rachael Heyhoe Flint Cups. She remained open to further playing opportunities this winter, but says that the Abu Dhabi opportunity was too good to turn down.

“It came completely out of the blue and it was an amazing surprise,” she said. “I’ve been counting down the days until I can get to Abu Dhabi and get going.

“I cannot wait. As soon as I found out who the staff was, that made it even more exciting and it was a lightbulb moment that I would be stupid to miss out on the opportunity. I’ve got so much to learn, they’ve probably got so much to tell me and I’m very much going to be a sponge. I’ll have to be.

“I’m going to sit there with a notebook and write as much as I can down. They know that as well, and will teach me so much as I’m at the start of my coaching career.”

Shane Anderson, Abu Dhabi’s general manager, added: “Sarah brings a wealth of international experience and knowledge to the group and her appointment supports our desire to create a team culture of growth and inclusion, which ultimately sets a strong platform for success.”

Liam Livingstone has been signed by Abu Dhabi as their Icon Player, while West Indies’ Chris Gayle was retained.
Team Abu Dhabi squad Chris Benjamin, Danny Briggs, Ahmed Daniyal, Fidel Edwards, Muhammad Farazuddin, Chris Gayle, Colin Ingram, Marchant de Lange, Liam Livingstone, Obed Mccoy, Rohan Mustafa, Naveen-ul-Haq, Phil Salt, Paul Stirling

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County news – Roelof van der Merwe commits to Somerset until 2023




Netherlands allrounder to stay at Taunton for at least two more seasons after contract extension

Roelof van der Merwe, Somerset’s South Africa-born, Netherlands allrounder, will remain with the club at least until the end of the 2023 season after signing a one-year contract extension.

Van der Merwe, 36, joined the club in 2011 on a short-term contract before returning in 2016, and has since established himself as an important member of the Somerset squad across all three formats, with his left-arm spin complemented by his hard-hitting lower-order batting.

He was awarded with his County Cap after playing a key part in Somerset’s Royal London Cup triumph in 2019, and he also holds the record for the highest score by a Somerset player in a 50-over match, after making a match-winning 165 not out against Surrey at Taunton in 2017. He also featured in the inaugural season of the Hundred, after being signed by London Spirit.

“I’m really pleased to have extended my time at Somerset,” van der Merwe said. “We have a great group of guys here and I genuinely feel that we are on the verge of something exceptional.

“The club holds a very special place in my heart, and I will be doing everything that I can to make sure that we win games of cricket and claim the silverware that the players and our brilliant Members deserve.”

Van der Merwe was recently on national duty with the Netherlands at the T20 World Cup in the UAE, having qualified in 2015. Prior to that, he played 13 ODIs and 13 T20Is for South Africa in 2009-10, including the 2009 T20 World Cup in England.

SCCC Director of Cricket, Andy Hurry, added: “Roelof is a quality performer across the three formats of the game. His drive, determination and will to succeed are second to none and he is a genuine team man. He is exceptional both on the field and in the dressing room, and all his domestic and international experience make him an outstanding role model for our aspirational players to learn from.

“His passion for the game is infectious and his contributions with the bat, the ball and in the field are of the highest standard. I can confirm that we are once again able to register Roelof as a local player.”

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Martyn Moxon, Andrew Gale removed as Yorkshire replace entire coaching staff




Club lets go 16 members of staff in wake of public outcry over handling of Azeem Rafiq racism inquiry

Yorkshire have announced the removal of Martyn Moxon and Andrew Gale from their positions as director of cricket and head coach respectively, part of a cull of the entire coaching staff following public outcry over the club’s handling of allegations of institutional racism.

In all, 16 members of staff have been let go, including the backroom medical team.

Lord Patel of Bradford, Yorkshire’s chair, said that the changes were necessary in order to “move on from the past and become a culture which is progressive and inclusive”. A replacement director of cricket is expected to be announced “in the coming days”.

Mark Arthur, the club’s former chief executive who was also criticised for his handling of the investigation, resigned ahead of Rafiq’s appearance in parliament.

Moxon and Arthur were among those also called to give evidence at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport select committee hearing, but chose not to attend. Roger Hutton, the former chairman, had told the committee he was “deeply disappointed” that Yorkshire’s current representatives chose not to appear

“Significant change is required at Yorkshire County Cricket Club and we are committed to taking whatever action is necessary to regain trust,” Lord Patel said. “The decisions announced today were difficult to make, but are in the best interests of the Club. Without making important changes to how we are run, we cannot move on from the past to become a culture which is progressive and inclusive.

“We want to make Yorkshire County Cricket Club a place for everyone, from all backgrounds. To do this, we need to rebuild our culture and instill positive values in everyone associated with Yorkshire. We are determined to learn from the mistakes of the past to become a club which people can trust.

“We are hoping to announce a new director of cricket in the coming days. We have a huge rebuilding job to do but we are confident that this heralds a step forward towards a brighter future.”

Several counties joined Yorkshire in inviting those who had been victims of racism during their time in the game to report their experiences, while the ECB’s Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket launched an online survey to collect similar evidence of discrimination.

On Thursday, Yorkshire announced that they had appointed the Good Governance Institute to conduct an independent review of the way the club is run. “The independent governance review will be essential in helping us shape how we move forward as a club following the recent challenges we have faced,” Lord Patel said. “It is clear that many have been failed by our leadership and how we operate as a club. We must look closely at our processes and procedures, and I am determined that we go above and beyond gold standard both on paper and in practice.

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Men’s Ashes 2021-22 – Stuart Broad




“Mistakes will be made, but whoever can capitalise next week will come out on top”

Stuart Broad has suggested England’s freshness could stand them in good stead for their attempts to regain the Ashes. The final day of their intra-squad warm-up in Brisbane became more of a practice session for the batters, but with both England and Australia experiencing disjointed preparations for next week’s first Test at the Gabba, Broad said the mental battle would carry greater significance.

“Mistakes will be made by both sides but whoever can capitalise and grab the key moments next week, will come out on top,” he said.

As on day three at Ian Healy Oval, Ben Stokes was in the thick of the action, making 42 before retiring not out. Rory Burns also enjoyed some time in the middle in compiling 37, but there were single-figure scores for Joe Root, Dawid Malan and Haseeb Hameed, while Jonny Bairstow batted twice for 0 and 11.

Broad had sent down 11 overs on Thursday, his first gallop since suffering a calf injury in August, as England’s frontline bowlers were given a workout by the Lions. That followed four straight rained-off days of cricket – England’s first warm-up game last week saw only 29 overs bowled – with Australia also deciding to cancel a planned intra-squad game because of the weather.

“I don’t think any cricketer leading into Wednesday can say they will be fully ready physically, but you can be 100% switched on mentally, and every player in that 22 is going to be finding their way into that game,” Broad told reporters in Brisbane. “And that’s where you’ve got to fall back on previous experiences that you’ve had. That’s where the mental side of the game is going to be so strong come Wednesday.

“We know Test cricket is a mind game, we know 80% of that’s going to be getting the brain right, making sure our competitive juices are flowing and making sure that we’re switched on to what’s coming, but we just needed that extra bit of physical work to make sure that we will be ready.”

Broad will be taking part in his fourth Ashes tour, though success has been fleeting – he was involved in two Tests during the victorious 2010-11 series before being ruled out by injury, and couldn’t prevent a 5-0 whitewash in 2013-14 despite taking 21 wickets at 27.52.

He was happy just to have got “some miles in the legs” ahead of the Gabba opener, with England’s analysis suggesting that Australia, where conditions are often suited for batting and the Kookaburra is less responsive, is one of the most demanding places to bowl. England’s pack of seamers includes two aged 35-plus, in Broad and James Anderson, alongside Ollie Robinson, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood and Craig Overton, as well as allrounder Stokes, meaning rotation is likely.

“It’s my first bowl in the middle since early August, which is a long time but we’ve got a recovery strategy in place that we’ve talked about in quarantine and how we’re going to approach it,” Broad said. “The backroom staff have done some great numbers on bowling in Australia, it’s quite obvious that it’s the hardest place physically to come and bowl.

“Your workloads go up, the hardness of the ground puts more through your body, you need more energy levels, and you travel more distance, so I’ve got a lot of respect for what the Aussie bowlers have done here for their careers. But we know we’ve got to take our recovery very seriously because the Tests come thick and fast and we might rotate our bowlers through the series, but we need our bowlers available for selection.”

England have not won a Test in Australia since sealing the series at the SCG in 2011 – losing nine out of ten in the interim – but with the home side having not played Test cricket since defeat to India in Brisbane in January, Broad said that the lack of preparation on both sides could ultimately work in the tourists’ favour.

“We’ve just been scrambling around to get physical prep right,” he said. “So I think getting closer to the game is when we start focusing on where we’re going to bowl, what specific plans will be at the Australian team. Normally in an Ashes series leading in you’d probably have had those discussions earlier and build it into your practice, but half the squad in the head coach only got out of quarantine three days ago.

“So it’s been a unique start, but I see that as a positive actually. I’ve been on Ashes tours where we’ve been extremely well prepped to play three or four first-class games before and we’ve come out on the losing side. Arguably, we’re going to be the freshest England team ever going into an Ashes series. We should have a lot of initial energy, we should have a lot of buzz throughout the next few months. So yeah, I’m sort of seeing that as positive.

“We know that it’s the first couple of days at the Gabba that’s important and can set up our series. Australia lost their last game at the Gabba, so will that be on their minds? Probably not as it’s quite a long time ago. But I think for us it will just be not coming here with too many preconceived ideas about how the pitch will play, how the Aussies will play. It’s a bit of a lottery. I don’t think anyone knows how batters will settle, having not faced a red ball [in Tests] for 10 months. It’s going to be a mental game, and mistakes will be made by both sides, but whoever can capitalise and grab the key moments next week will come out on top.”

Alan Gardner is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo. @alanroderick

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