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Justin Langer appointed Australia coach, vows to ‘earn respect’

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Sydney:Justin Langer vowed to fix the scandal-hit Australian cricket team’s behaviour and win back respect after being named head coach in all three formats of the game Thursday.

The former Test opener, 47, starts his new role on May 22 for a four-year term which takes in two Ashes series, a World Cup and a World Twenty20 tournament.

He takes the reins at a time of crisis following the 12-month suspensions of ex-captain Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner over a ball-tampering scandal which also saw previous coach Darren Lehmann quit.

 

“The expectations are high in the Australian cricket team. We have got to make sure the behaviours are good. If we do that, I think the outcomes will look after themselves,” Langer told a media conference.

“I think one of the things that’s really important is that we keep looking to earn respect. To me, respect is worth more than all the gold in the world.” Cricket Australia has ordered a review of the damaged sport’s culture in the wake of the scandal during the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town that tarnished Australian cricket’s reputation.

“We all know what the acceptable behaviours are. There is a difference between competitiveness and aggression and we’ve got to be careful with that,” Langer said.

“We look to encourage great cricketers, but also great people. So we if we can encourage great people and great Australians over the next four years, I think that’s a really important foundation for us.” Langer opened the door for a return of Smith, Warner and Cameron Bancroft, who was also banned for the tampering incident.

“We’ll learn from what’s happened,” he said. “They are great kids and it was such a surprise they made the mistake they did. But they are great kids, we have all made mistakes, we can all get better at things.

“If we can keep mentoring and helping them and they want to meet the standards of the Australian cricket team, then of course they’d be welcomed back.”

Langer comes into the job after dominating domestic cricket in recent years as coach of Western Australia and the Perth Scorchers.

CA chief executive James Sutherland said he was the “clear standout” choice. “Whilst Darren Lehmann was not due to complete his term until next year, we have had a succession plan in place for this role for some time,” Sutherland said.

“The plan has allowed us to consider several worthy candidates, but Justin was the clear standout, particularly based on his recent coaching and player development achievements.

“We firmly believe Justin is the right person to lead this team and have huge confidence in what he will bring to the role.” Langer had a highly decorated playing career, representing Australia in 105 Test matches and eight ODI matches.

He scored more than 7,500 Test runs—including 23 centuries—and was an integral member of the team during one of its most successful eras.

His playing career spanned almost 20 years and 360 first-class matches, scoring more than 28,000 first-class runs.

As a coach, he had been in charge of Western Australia and the Perth Scorchers since November 2012.

Langer led the Scorchers to Big Bash League T20 championships three times, the most of any coach, in 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2016-17.

He also led the WA Warriors to one-day Cup titles twice, in 2014-15 and 2017-18.


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Kohli scripts history, makes clean sweep of ICC awards

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Dubai :Indian skipper Virat Kohli has become the first player in history to win the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for the Intenational Cricket Council (ICC) Cricketer of the Year, the Men’s Test Player of the Year and the ODI Player of the Year awards following an extraordinary 2018.

Not only is Kohli the first player to win these three major ICC awards together, but he has also been named the captain of the ICC Test and ODI teams of the year for a fabulous run in the international cricket.

Kohli scored a total of 1,322 runs at an average of 55.08 in 13 Tests with five hundreds during the calendar year, while in 14 ODIs he amassed 1,202 runs at an astonishing average of 133.55 with six centuries. He also scored 211 runs in 10 T20Is.

 

The 30-year-old from Delhi, who first came into limelight when he led India to victory at the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup in Malaysia in 2008, finished the year as the top-ranked batsman in Tests and ODIs.

The highest scorer in both forms of the game in 2018, he was one of only two batsmen to score more than 1,000 runs in Tests and only among three to do so in ODI cricket.

Kohli was the unanimous choice of the ICC Voting Academy for the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy with South Africa fast bowler Kagiso Rabada coming in second to him for both this award and the ICC Test Player of the Year award. Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan was runner up to Kohli for the ICC ODI Player of the Year award.

Ecstatic to receive the honour, “It feels amazing. It’s a reward for all the hard work that you do throughout the calendar year. I feel really grateful and very, very happy with the team doing well at the same time myself performing. Having recognition at the global level from the ICC is something you feel proud of as a cricketer because you understand that there are many players playing the game.”

“To be rewarded in this manner from amongst all of them is obviously a very proud moment for me and something that gives you more motivation to keep repeating the same things because you have to keep the standard of cricket up and keep bringing in consistent performances. From that point of view, these awards give you that extra motivation,” he added.

Meanwhile, ICC Chief Executive David Richardson praised Kohli as well asl every cricketer who picked the award during the world body’s annual awards.

“Sincere congratulations to every one of our individual winners and those players named in our ICC Test and ODI teams of the year. Special mention must go to Virat Kohli, who becomes the first ever player to win the Sir Garfield Sobers award along with Test Player of the Year and ODI Player of the Year and be named as captain of both teams,” he said.

Richardson stressed that in order to be recognized as a true cricketing great, one need to be successful in all format of the game and Kohli has become a great ambassador for our sport.

“This is well-deserved recognition for an extraordinary talent. His regard for the game and particularly for Test cricket is also recognized and appreciated. He is passionate in his support of the longest form of the game and its continued importance,” he said.

Kohli had won the Sir Garfield Trophy and ICC ODI Player of the Year awards last year and was also the ICC ODI Player of the Year in 2012.

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‘Kohli will break all records created by Tendulkar’

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Karachi:Pakistan’s legendary batsman Zaheer Abbas joined the bandwagon of former greats terming Indian captain Virat Kohli as the best batsman in world cricket who will break all the records of Sachin Tendulkar.

Kohli currently has 39 ODI hundreds and is only 10 short of Tendulkar’s 49.

Appearing on the Gsports show on GTV News channel, Zaheer advised cricket pundits to always keep in mind the era, conditions and opposition while assessing a batsman.

 

“I think at the moment Virat is the best. He will break all the records. But not only Virat, the Indian team has other top batsmen too. If you look at Rohit Sharma, you are just delighted to watch his strokes. One can only appreciate the beauty of his strokes. The variety of strokes in possession of Indian batsmen counts a lot,” Abbas said.

It all boils down to skills, said Abbas, who was considered a batting artist during his best years.

“Obviously, the confidence will come when you have so many strokes and when you know how to stay at the wicket. These skills don’t come easily. It takes time and hard work and one needs to develop a system for this,” he said.

Zaheer, who played 78 Tests and 62 ODIs, was also candid in stating that even top Pakistani batsmen Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq had still not reached that standard.

“They are our players and I want to see our batsmen do very well. But at this stage, they have not reached that standard that I can feel proud of. They haven’t come up to world standards as yet,” he said.

Abbas said there was a time when Pakistan used to beat India regularly but in recent times the neighbouring country’s cricket structure had improved a lot and their system is producing some top quality players.

“Not only their batsmen but even their bowlers. They have improved a lot and this is because their board had the foresight to set up the MRF pace academy years back and get Dennis Lillee as their first coach to help groom their pacers,” he said.

“India at this moment is a top side. Their standards have improved a lot, especially after the IPL because they don’t allow their players to go and play anywhere else.

They are giving so much financial security to their players.”

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Pant is ICC’s Emerging Cricketer of 2018

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Dubai:India’s young wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant was on Tuesday named as the ICC Emerging Cricketer of the Year 2018.

“Congratulations to @RishabPant777, the ICC Men’s Emerging Cricketer of the Year 2018!,” ICC tweeted.

Pant is the first Indian wicketkeeper to score a Test century in England and Australia. The youngster also equalled the record for the most catches taken in a Test, with 11 during the Adelaide Test in December.

 

Left-handed Pant produced some fine knocks during the voting period and getting off the mark in Test cricket with a six only highlighted his potential. He scored 537 runs with a century and two fifties in eight Tests during the voting period with 40 catches and two stumpings. In three ODIs, he scored 41 runs and took three catches and in eight T20Is scored 114 runs and pouched two catches.

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