Usman Khawaja gave Australia a major fitness boost ahead of next month’s home Test series against India, claiming he was ahead of schedule in his recovery from a meniscal tear. Khawaja, who went underwent surgery on October 23 to repair his knee, is targetting an early return that’ll see him play one Sheffield Shield game before the Adelaide Test starts on December 6.
Khawaja picked up the injury at a throwing drill during the Abu Dhabi Test against Pakistan last month. Thankfully he hadn’t re-torn his Anterior Cruciate Ligament that he’d first damaged in 2014, but the injury originally seemed set to keep him on the sidelines for a significant duration.
“In an ideal world I would like to play a Shield game before then (the first Test). That’s the target, that’s the goal, but just have to see. Still three weeks until then, so if everything keeps going the same way it should be good,” Khawaja said on Thursday (November 8).
“It’s going pretty well so far, just over two weeks, ran at 100% yesterday on the treadmill, hopefully run outside tomorrow, so progressing well so far. The docs and everyone have been really happy with the progress, there’s a long way to go, just taking it day by day at the moment but hoping to be right sooner rather than later.
“I’m trying to keep it cool, but it’s actually going really well. I feel like I’m a little bit ahead of where I should be and, at the moment, things are progressing well but it’s a long way still to go. If I keep doing the little things right, looking after my body and being disciplined, hopefully that’ll transition to me coming back in time,” he added.
The 31-year-old, who banished demons of his supposed inability to handle spin with an inspirational 141 in Dubai, said he was still gutted at not being able to contribute in the second Test that Australia lost by 373 runs to concede the series.
“It was disappointing, that second Test. You always feel like you let your teammates down when you get injured and we did lose that second match. For me it was rewarding that first match that we got out of it with a draw but obviously I would have liked to have played that second match and won that game.”
The untimely injury also cost the southpaw a possible return to the ODI team in the series against South Africa. However, given Australia’s recent struggles in the 50-over format – they’ve won only one game in 2018 so far – his dream of securing a place in next year’s World Cup squad hasn’t dissipated. “Targeting that World Cup is a big thing,” Khawaja said.
“It’s one of my major goals to get back into the one-day side, I’ve had chats to Justin [Langer] about it, he knows where I’m at too, but at the end of the day, we play a game, it’s all about performances. Hopefully when I’m right and things are going well, I’ll put my hand up through performances.
“But the guys playing in the one day side are very good players. I have no doubt they’ll come back strong. It’s been a tough time for Australian cricket in more respects than just on-field, so it’d be nice as a fan and a mate to a lot of those guys to see them do well.”
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.