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Australia’s James Pattinson on international retirement

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Earlier this year the fast bowler had been planning for the Ashes but lockdown and injuries changed it all

James Pattinson has revealed that Pat Cummins tried to talk him out of international retirement but he knew the point had been reached where he couldn’t push his body any further to play Test cricket again.
Pattinson caught the game by surprise last month when he called time on his Australia career just weeks before he was expected to be part of the Ashes squad. That was his plan, too, earlier this year until another Covid-19 lockdown and pre-season injuries took their toll. He said it got to the point some days that when he tried to go flat out at training he would barely be able to move or pick up his kit the next day.

“The amount of work I have to put into my body to get ready to bowl at 100% for 40 overs is a lot of hard work and it started to wear thin a little bit,” he said. “I’d had a really clear plan to get as fit as I possibly could and do a lot of things to give the Ashes a crack and wasn’t able to that.

“I didn’t really want to go into something as big as that with doubts, so made the decision and in a little way it’s a relief because I’ve only ever known trying to play cricket for Australia since I was 20. There were times when I was getting pretty emotional with how sore I was but since I’ve backed it off my body is feeling pretty good. I will relax be a bit, not bust myself to play cricket.”

While Pattinson said he did not rush into the retirement call and had been considering it for “some time” an indication of how things changed over a few months was evident when he said he had been part of discussions with the Australia set-up about how the fast bowlers could be managed through the Ashes. His fellow fast bowlers were certainly hoping to have him around.

“I’m pretty close with Pat Cummins, probably one of my closest mates in the team, and I rang him before I did it and he said ‘is there any way I can convince you to stay?’,” Pattinson said. “I said, ‘to be honest I’ve made the decision and I’m relieved’, then he was just supportive of it and everyone else was as well. It’s nice people want you around, but it’s a decision I made with my family. It’s nice to feel like you’ll be missed.”

Pattinson finishes with 21 Tests to his name. He would dearly have liked to have had more, but leaves the top level content with his performances.

“You can say I should probably have played more Tests but I’m thankful to just have the opportunity to represent my country and I’d like to think every time I went out that I gave everything,” he said. “I’ve broken my back about seven times to try and play for Australia so that’s the toll it takes and there comes a point where you try and push and you can’t push anymore. I probably wouldn’t change a thing, it’s been an amazing journey and now I can move on to the next stage and enjoy that as well.”

While he has few regrets, Pattinson conceded the amount of Test bowling he did as a youngster – making his debut after nine first-class matches – probably compounded his injuries and he believes lessons have been learnt particularly with how Cummins has been handled. He twice bowled more than 50 overs in a match during his career and both came in Tests – against South Africa at Brisbane in 2012 and England at Trent Bridge in 2013 – subsequently breaking down shortly. In 2017 he underwent major back surgery and was able to return for the 2019 Ashes.

“I was put in the position where I was probably a little ahead of my body, being thrown into the Test arena and doing well. Went from not playing to being the lead bowler in four or five Tests. That was the hardest thing, obviously my body wasn’t ready that. It has probably contributed to my back being the way it is.”

Cummins made his Test debut at the age of 18 a couple of weeks before Pattinson but did not play the format again for six years. “They’ve changed the way they manage players a bit now,” Pattinson said. “The way they’ve handled Pat Cummins is probably the blueprint for how you handle your bowlers. What they did for him is fantastic.”

If Pattinson’s body can withstand the workloads in domestic cricket at the lesser intensity than the international game, he won’t be short of playing opportunities. He returns to the field on Friday against New South Wales and then hopes to play a full BBL season for Melbourne Renegades. He will then join Nottinghamshire as an overseas player – although he has a British passport – before returning to Australia for the 2022-23 season.

There is, however, one thing he is adamant won’t be happening. “I won’t be playing for England, that’s for sure.”

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo



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BBL 2021-22 – Chris Jordan jets into Sydney Sixers squad as replacement for Carlos Brathwaite

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Jordan set to play for his fourth BBL club after Brathwaite is ruled out of the tournament due to shoulder surgery

Two-time defending BBL champions Sydney Sixers have pulled off a coup signing England quick Chris Jordan as an international replacement for Carlos Brathwaite after the West Indian was ruled out of the tournament due to a shoulder injury.

Brathwaite has undergone surgery and is unavailable for the entire BBL. Jordan has been signed at short notice to bolster Sixers’ squad alongside fellow England internationals James Vince and Tom Curran.

Jordan has previously played for three different BBL clubs in three different seasons, starting at Adelaide Strikers in 2016-17 before a short stint with Sydney Thunder in 2018-19. He played almost a full season with Perth Scorchers in 2019-20 before having to leave the tournament late due to international duty.

Jordan comes off a T20 World Cup where he was arguably England’s best seamer claiming six wickets at an economy rate of 6.84. Cricket NSW Head of Male Cricket Michael Klinger, who oversees Sixers’ list management, said Jordan was a valuable addition.

“It’s disappointing for Carlos and the group that he has succumbed to injury but Chris is a world-class T20 cricketer and will provide the Sixers with fantastic versatility and high-quality skills in all three aspects of the game,” Klinger said.

“His death bowling and changeups, as well as being one of the world’s best fielders, will be a huge asset for the Sixers early in the BBL.

“He is experienced in playing in the BBL and has been previously successful in this tournament.

“I know Greg Shipperd (Sixers coach) and the rest of the coaching staff are very excited to have Chris on board.”

Sixers will open their new campaign on Sunday, December 5 against Melbourne Stars at the SCG.

Sydney Sixers squad: Moises Henriques (c), Sean Abbott, Jackson Bird, Daniel Christian, Tom Curran (Eng), Ben Dwarshuis, Jack Edwards, Mickey Edwards, Daniel Hughes, Chris Jordan (Eng), Hayden Kerr, Nathan Lyon, Ben Manenti, Stephen O’Keefe, Josh Philippe, Lloyd Pope, Jordan Silk, James Vince (Eng)



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South Africa vs Netherlands 2021

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Although Netherlands are unable to catch a flight out, it is understood the players have communicated they are not in the right mental state to play

The second and third ODIs between South Africa and Netherlands have been postponed after concerns around a new Coronavirus variant, Omicron. The first match in the series, which forms part of the World Cup Super League, was washed out on Friday, leaving the teams sharing five points each. That keeps Netherlands in last place on the points table, and South Africa in ninth, outside the automatic qualification zone.

Although Netherlands will be in South Africa for the duration of the series because they are unable to catch a flight out, ESPNcricinfo understands that the players have communicated they are not in the right mental state to play. On Friday, their coach Ryan Campbell tweeted that the team played with “unbelievable pressure hanging over their heads,” after travel restrictions began to affect the southern African region.

“We are disappointed by the unfortunate situation we find ourselves in, but the comfort of all visiting teams must always be paramount,” Pholetsi Moseki, CSA’s acting CEO, said. “The mental well-being of players is one of CSA’s top priorities, and we respect our visitors’ position and point of view.

“CSA and KNCB will get into discussions around possibly rescheduling the tour within this cycle of the ICC Future Tours Programme ending in 2023.”

“We are saddened by these circumstances, but are grateful to Cricket South Africa for their assistance and understanding of our team’s position,” Jurgen Delfos, chairman of Netherlands cricket board, said. “

It must be made clear that the concerns are strictly over travel issues and how soon the team can get home and have nothing to do with the integrity of the Bio-Secure Environment (BSE) that CSA has successfully hosted. Our team has been pleased with every aspect of the organisation of the tour and have been well treated by our hosts.”

The United Kingdom, United States, much of Europe, Australia, Sri Lanka, and Thailand have all banned travel to and from countries in southern Africa, and imposed a quarantine on their own citizens returning from the region in response to Omicron.

News of a new variant was first made public on Tuesday, November 23 and cases in the Gauteng province of South Africa, where the Netherlands series is taking place, have increased severalfold since. Although South Africa is only reporting around 2,000 new cases a day, there are concerns this will rise exponentially and stricter restrictions are due to be introduced soon. South Africa is currently on Level 1 of 5 of its restrictions, the most lenient since the pandemic began, and the first ODI was the first time since March 2020 that cricket was played in front of a limited crowd, but the government is meeting on Saturday to discuss further measures.

As yet there is no indication of how this will affect the rest of the cricket calendar. India A are also in South Africa, playing first-class matches against South Africa A in Bloemfontein. So far, that series is continuing. India’s senior side is due to travel to South Africa for three Tests, three ODIs and four ODIs on December 8. India has not imposed any restrictions on southern African travelers to date, but has stricter testing measures for people from the region in place.

Last summer, South Africa’s season was severely impacted after England left the country early without playing the ODI leg of their white-ball tour and Australia pulled out of a four-Test series which was pencilled in as the marquee event of the summer. Sri Lanka and Pakistan both toured the country without incident in strict bio-bubble conditions, which Cricket South Africa will replicate for the India series.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s South Africa correspondent





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Recent Match Report – Scorchers Wm vs StrikersWmn Final 2021/22

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The home side finished strongly with the bat and started superbly with the ball in the powerplay

Perth Scorchers 5 for 146 beat Adelaide Strikers 6 for 134 by 12 runs

Marizanne Kapp, who had been ill all week in the lead-up to the WBBL final and barely left her hotel room, produced a critical all-round display to help Perth Scorchers claim their maiden title as Adelaide Strikers’ powerful late-tournament surge came to a halt at Optus Stadium.
In front of a crowd of 15,511, the highest for a standalone WBBL match, the defining passages of the match were how Scorchers finished their batting innings and then started with the ball: their final five overs brought 47 runs, with vital hands from Player of the Match Kapp and Alana King, then they restricted Strikers to 2 for 16 in their powerplay with Kapp’s first two overs costing just two runs and Sophie Devine producing a wicket maiden.

The middle order did their best to keep Strikers in the match with useful hands but it proved out of reach despite Madeline Penna’s best efforts with 30 not out off 21 balls.

Kapp produced some superb deliveries to build the pressure on Strikers’ openers and it was Devine who earned the reward when Katie Mack’s extraordinary run of scoring was halted as he she drove to cover. Before this match Mack had made 332 runs in her last six innings for just one out.

Without a run added van Niekerk also departed, edging Taneale Peschel down the leg side, and by the end of the powerplay the asking rate was above nine an over.

Laura Wolvaardt and captain Tahlia McGrath rebuilt with a stand of 65 in eight overs which was forming a base from where Strikers could have run down the target. However, both fell within the space of six balls carving catches to the off-side ring which meant new batters had little time to get set.

The prolific Scorchers opening pair of Devine and Beth Mooney made a solid if unspectacular start after being put into bat, reaching 0 for 37 after the powerplay. They were immediately aggressive against Amanda-Jade Wellington who conceded more in her first four balls than she did the entire record-breaking Eliminator spell, although she would fight back well.

Neither opener could really cut loose and Strikers started to chip away at the top order. Mooney picked out mid-off, Devine was run out by a direct hit by Dane van Niekerk from short third and Chloe Piparo edged Darcie Brown who was rewarded for some rapid outswing bowling.

At 3 for 75 in the 12th the innings was at a tipping point and there was caution from Kapp and Heather Graham which threatened to leave Scorchers short. However, Kapp started to find the boundary and King made a dynamic late entrance with three boundaries in a five-ball stay.

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo



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