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Men’s Ashes 2021-22 – Tasmania puts Hobart Ashes Test bid to Cricket Australia

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There remains confidence the Perth Test will be able to take place despite WA border restrictions lasting into next year

Tasmania has formally launched a campaign to snatch the fifth men’s Ashes Test from Perth, with premier Peter Gutwein drawing on sentiment and sense in his pitch to Cricket Australia.

The series finale between Australia and England is slated to start at Optus Stadium on January 14. Western Australia’s strict border policy and English players’ reluctance to accept biosecurity restrictions beyond their quarantine stint means the fate of the match remains unclear.

Gutwein, boasting the support of Cricket Tasmania and Test skipper Tim Paine, on Wednesday publicly put forward his argument for a Hobart finale.

“It would be just fantastic to see Tim play at Bellerive as captain of Australia. We’ve been having ongoing discussions with Cricket Tasmania and the CEO of Cricket Australia,” Gutwein told parliament. “Today I’ll be writing to Cricket Australia to formally put our case for the relocation of the Test match scheduled to commence on the 14th of January in WA.

“Their borders will not be open by then. Tasmania is ready to host that important match…[which] would without doubt be the state’s biggest sporting event that we’ve hosted to date.

“Tasmania has a great history and a proud tradition of representation in the Australian cricket team.”

Gutwein’s missive comes as CA chief executive Nick Hockley prepares for a round of ICC meetings in Dubai.

CA, whose former chairman Earl Eddings was forced to resign partly because of WA Cricket’s angst about doubt clouding its first international game in the COVID-19 era, is desperate for the schedule to remain as is.

Broadcasters are understood to be on the same page, knowing the time difference means the contest will drag into prime time on the east coast. But the uncertainty is frustrating every party involved, igniting speculation about likely alternate venues.

A packed-out MCG would be a relative financial boon for CA in terms of ticket sales, although part of Cricket Tasmania’s case is believed to be the lower cost of staging a Test in Hobart.

Bellerive was denied a chance to host its first Test since 2016 because of the postponement of Afghanistan’s one-off Test.

The schedule rejig would give Paine a chance to finally play a Test on his home deck, with the clash to potentially double as a fitting swan song for the veteran who turns 37 next month. Hobart has hosted 13 men’s Tests but not one of those has involved England.



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Recent Match Report – NSW vs Victoria 8th Match 2021/22

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Kurtis Patterson made 112 while James Pattinson took 5 for 71 as NSW set Victoria 248 to win in 53 overs, but rain and early wickets saw Victoria bat the day out for a draw

New South Wales 233 and 7 for 285 dec (Patterson 112, J Sangha 78, Pattinson 5-71) drew with Victoria 271 & 4 for 91 (Handscomb 39)

The Sheffield Shield match between NSW and Victoria at the SCG petered out to a draw despite a captain’s century and final-day declaration from Kurtis Patterson.

Patterson celebrated his first hundred of the Shield season then ended the Blues’ second innings at 7 for 285, setting Victoria a target of 248 late in Tuesday’s post-lunch session.

Victoria slipped to 3 for 54 when teenage legspinner Tanveer Sangha bowled Matt Short, extending a promising start to his first-class career. But captain Peter Handscomb’s steadying 39 and a determined Jonathan Merlo, who finished 7 not out from 82 balls, ensured their side held on for 43 overs.

Victoria originally had approximately 53 overs, weather permitting, to complete the chase. Rain, a near-constant presence in the contest that started a day late because of Will Sutherland’s positive Covid-19 test, returned in the shadows of tea.

Handscomb clipped his 73rd delivery straight to Jason Sangha at leg slip, but there was no chaotic collapse under darkening skies. Patterson, who replaced Peter Nevill as NSW captain for 2021-22, started the season with knocks of 48, 4, 2 and 24 during losses to Victoria at the MCG and Drummoyne Oval. The left-hander, who played two Tests in 2019 but was not invited to Australia’s upcoming pre-Ashes boot camp in Queensland, showcased his talent on Tuesday in front of national selector Tony Dodemaide.

Patterson eventually fell unselfishly chasing quick runs as he became one of James Pattinson‘s five victims in the innings. Pattinson, who last month announced his retirement from international cricket, finished with impressive match figures of 7 for 103.
He made up for lost time after the start of Tuesday’s play was briefly delayed because of showers, removing Moises Henriques with the first ball of the day. It proved the only wicket to fall before lunch as Jason Sangha and Patterson shifted momentum in a 151-run stand, withstanding a testing examination from Pattinson.

Sangha hammered two sixes off Wil Parker in the 49th over, signalling his team’s intent to try to make a game of the clash. Hayden Kerr and Chris Tremain each cleared the rope before Patterson called the unbeaten batters in, but the hosts failed to conjure 10 wickets.



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Recent Match Report – England vs Eng Lions Tour Match 2021/22

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The England vs England Lions three-day match is Stokes’ first game of cricket since July

England 0 for 98 (Hameed 53*, Burns 39*) vs England Lions

Rain and some impressive batting from England’s openers delayed Ben Stokes‘ low-profile return to cricket before next month’s Ashes opener at the Gabba.

The England allrounder arrived at Peter Burge Oval in the Brisbane seaside suburb of Wellington Point on Tuesday with Test team-mates Joe Root, Stuart Broad and James Anderson.

The England vs England Lions three-day match is Stokes’ first game of cricket since July, when he opted to take an indefinite break to prioritise his mental wellbeing.

Only a smattering of curious spectators gathered at Redlands Cricket Club to watch the tourists in their first of two warm-up games in the lead-up to the five-Test series against Australia.

Rain delayed play and then, after England’s opening pair Rory Burns (38 not out) and Haseeb Hameed (53 not out) had taken them to 0 for 98, brought an early end to proceedings one over into the second session.

Stokes, who is due to bat at No.5 behind captain Root, looked limber as he spent the lunch break bowling off his full run-up on the centre square.

Groundsman Chris Hepburn said while the wicket was “hard and firm” despite the recent wet weather, it was not as flat as the impressive pair had made it appear in a commanding first-wicket partnership.

He said there would likely be more life in the wicket next week, with the Australian camp asking for conditions that closely resemble the Gabba strip for their intra-squad hit-out.

That three-day game, from December 1-3, will be the final chance for Tim Paine, Alex Carey, Travis Head and Usman Khawaja to state their case for selection in the first Test from December 8.

Initially left out of England’s touring squad, Stokes was later included in a massive boost to the tourists’ chances of winning back the Ashes.
Stokes, who last played a Test match in India in March, had only recently returned to fitness after surgery on a finger injury before stepping away again.

He missed a majority of last year’s Test series against Pakistan to be in New Zealand with his father, who died in December.

Anderson, 39, warmed up with the squad but has not been named to play in the warm-up fixture.

Those members of the Ashes touring party that competed in the T20 World Cup campaign remain in quarantine on the Gold Coast for another week.



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Recent Match Report – West Aust vs Tasmania 12th Match 2021/22

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Josh Philippe and D’Arcy Short played their parts in an impressive recovery from 4 for 47

Western Australia 6 for 350 (Whiteman 151*, Short 67, Philippe 53) vs Tasmania

West Australian captain Sam Whiteman notched a valuable Sheffield Shield century against Tasmania as his side reached 6 for 350 at stumps on day one.

Whiteman, who was recalled following a bout of concussion and given the captaincy after Shaun Marsh suffered a calf injury against Queensland last week, essentially batted the day to finish unbeaten on 151.

He came to crease in the second over and dug his side out of trouble from 4 for 47 with a 105-run stand with Josh Philippe (53) for the fifth wicket. After grafting to 37 at lunch, Whiteman lifted the tempo late in the day with D’Arcy Short(67 off 74 balls), who teed off with a number of blistering cover drives.

Whiteman, who played for Australia A seven years ago, survived a missed stumping chance in the 90s before posting his eighth first-class century.

Short, who calls Bellerive Oval home for the Hurricanes in the Big Bash, passed his previous first-class best of 66 before falling to a juggling caught-and-bowled by innocuous part-time medium pacer Jordan Silk.

Lawrence Neil-Smith was the pick of Tasmania’s bowlers and got rid of Test allrounder Cameron Green and Hilton Cartwright in quick succession in the morning session.

Fellow paceman Gabe Bell did the damage early after Tasmania won the toss, removing former Test opener Cameron Bancroft with his first ball – via an excellent catch at fourth slip – and youngster Jayden Goodwin in an impressive new-ball spell.

WA quick Jhye Richardson, who is pushing hard for a Test berth, raced to 43 from 41 balls in the hour before stumps in an unbroken stand of 80 with Whiteman.

Former Test captain Tim Paine is a notable absentee for Tasmania, with the wicketkeeper having opted to make his return from a neck injury via a four-day second XI match in Hobart on Monday.

Paine stepped down from Test captaincy on Friday after it was revealed he sent lewd messages and an inappropriate image to a female former Cricket Tasmania employee in 2017. He is still available for Ashes selection and was slated to play a grade game for club side University on Saturday but play was washed out.

WA have two wins from their four matches and sit atop the Shield ladder, while Tasmania are fourth with one win.



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