South Africa bring back fast bowler Duanne Olivier for the upcoming home Tests against Pakistan, replacing the injured Lungi Ngidi.
Ngidi suffered a significant ligament injury to his right knee after falling awkwardly while fielding in the one-off T20I against Australia recently that has now sidelined him for 12 weeks.
Olivier has five Test caps to his name, the last of which came in October 2017. The Bloemfontein quick picked 17 wickets in those fixtures – all at home – while also boasting of sound first-class credentials [361 wickets in 90 games].
“As unfortunate as Lungi’s injury is we are blessed to have outstanding depth in our fast bowling resources. Duanne has impressed on his previous appearances for the Proteas and has had a good franchise season to date with 20 wickets in his five matches at an average of 22.80,” CSA National selection panel convener Linda Zondi said. “Before that, he had an outstanding season in the four-day franchise competition where he scored 823 runs, including three centuries, at the impressive average of 69.”
Another first-class performer who made the cut in the 13-man squad is the uncapped 23-year-old Zubayr Hamza. The left-handed top-order batsman enjoyed an impressive tour of India in July-August 2018, scoring 156 runs across three innings, and also has a personal-best of an unbeaten 202 in first-class cricket.
“Zubayr has been one of the standout cricketers in domestic cricket over the past year and carried that form into the South Africa A tour to India where he averaged over 50 in the four-day series against tough opposition and under tough conditions,” Zondi said.
“His selection is part of our vision for the future as we start to feed new players into the system. It is inevitable that some of our senior players will start thinking of retiring in years to come and it is vital that we have a good succession plan in place,” he added.
The Test series kicks off in Centurion on December 26, before heading to Cape Town and Johannesburg in the first half of January 2019.
South Africa squad: Faf du Plessis (capt), Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Theunis de Bruyn, Quinton de Kock, Dean Elgar, Zubayr Hamza, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Duanne Olivier, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn
Stokes, Hales fined but free to play for England
London : All-rounder Ben Stokes and right-hand batsman Alex Hales were fined for their involvement in a nightclub altercation but were cleared to play for England after match bans were either suspended or declared served.
The duo had appeared before a two-day disciplinary hearing after the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) charged the pair with bringing the game into disrepute following the September 2017 incident in Bristol.
Stokes was handed an eight-match ban by the disciplinary panel, which accepted that he had already missed that number of games and, therefore, remained eligible for immediate selection.
The player, who was cleared of affray at Bristol crown court last August, was also fined a total of 30,000 pounds ($38,193.00) with half to be paid to charity.
Hales, who faced no criminal charges, was given a six-match ban from England white-ball (one day) matches, of which two had been missed already and the rest were suspended for 12 months — leaving him also available for selection.
He was fined a total of 17,500 pounds, with 10,000 of that sum also suspended.
The pair, who have both resumed their international careers, had risked anything from a warning to the termination of contract.
Each was charged with two counts of breaching an ECB directive concerning acts “which may be prejudicial to the interests of cricket or which may bring the ECB, the game of cricket or any cricketer or group of cricketers into disrepute.”
England take on West Indies in three Tests, five one-day internationals and three Twenty20 internationals from January to March.
Stokes had been accused of knocking out Ryan Ali and Ryan Hale in a brawl in Bristol, southwest England, just hours after he had played in a one-day international against the West Indies in September last year.
His lawyer had said in a statement after he was cleared of affray that the case had cost the player the England vice-captaincy as well as his place on an Ashes tour to Australia and other England matches.
“Cricket and family are my life,” the 27-year-old Stokes said in a statement on the ECB`s website.”This incident has been a huge burden for the last 15 months. I am relieved to get back to playing the game that I love without this hanging over me.Although the disciplinary process is now over, I have learned lessons that will stay with me for much longer,” he added.
Guardiola confident Man City will not face Champions League ban
London : Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says he has received assurances from the club`s hierarchy that they will not be banned from the Champions League over allegations of a breach of UEFA Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules.
European football’s governing body are investigating allegations made in German publication Der Spiegel last month that City`s Abu Dhabi owners inflated sponsorship agreements in order to comply with FFP requirements.
In response, Premier League champions City said information had been “hacked” and that they were victims of an “organised and clear” attempt to damage the club`s reputation.
Punishment for clubs found guilty of breaking the rules could extend to being excluded from the Champions League.
Guardiola, appointed with the task of trying to win Europe`s biggest club prize, said he was calm about the situation.
“We will not be banned, no. That`s what I think because I trust in my chairman (Khaldoon al-Mubarak), with my CEO (Ferran Soriano), what they have explained to me. I trust in them,” the Spaniard was quoted as saying by British media.
“If it happens, because UEFA decide that, we will accept it and move forward.”
Der Spiegel`s report, based on documents received by the whistle blower platform Football Leaks and reviewed by Reuters, in partnership with European Investigative Collaborations, a network of international media, alleged that some of City`s Abu Dhabi sponsorships were three times more lucrative than independent experts deemed they were worth.
City said the claims were “erroneous conclusions and assertions.”
KU students bags gold medal in 4th International Thang Ta Championship
Srinagar: Adil Pervaiz Wani -a student of The Business School (MBA-FM) University of Kashmir brought laurels to the Varsity by winning Gold medal in 80+kg weight category in 4th International Thang Ta Championship held at Imphal Manipur after defeating the counterparts from Nepal, Bangladesh, Thailand and eventually Russia in the finals.
A felicitation ceremony was organised by Directorate of Physical Education and Sports University of Kashmir to honour Adil Parvaiz for shining the name of University at international level.
Dr. Nisar Ahmad Khan, Coordinator Directorate of Physical Education and Sports KU voluntarily presented cash prize as a goodwill gesture for encouragement to Adil Parvaiz and praised his efforts and performance at international level.
He also assured all possible support to him and other athletes in future too.
Dr Khan appreciated the efforts of State Thang Ta Association for deputing him for the event and supporting talented students who excel at National and International level.