Melbourne :A match referee had warned of disgraced Australian cricketers Steve Smith and David Warner “being involved in a ball-tampering incident” in the domestic Sheffield Shield in 2016, a media report said .
The report, according to AFP, came after Smith and Warner were stripped of the captaincy and vice-captaincy and banned for a year from the sport after being caught up in a plot to alter the condition of the ball during the third Test against South Africa.
Umpire Daryl Harper said the pair was not engaging in fair play while representing New South Wales in a match against Victoria in November 2016, according to an email he sent to Cricket Australia’s match referee and umpire selection manager Simon Taufel, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
“When David Warner repeatedly bounced his returns in to (NSW wicketkeeper) Peter Nevill on the first day, the umpires appealed to Smith to support their calls for fair play,” the former Australian Test umpire reportedly wrote in the email.
“They weren’t encouraged by his response. I assisted the umpires on the second morning by suggesting to (NSW coach) Trent Johnston that CA didn’t need an issue with the national captain being involved in a ball-tampering incident.”
Harper, who is Australian, said Smith had complained about the state of the Sydney Cricket Ground pitch after his team lost, and also “gave the impression that he wasn’t happy to be playing the Sheffield Shield match.
“This was at the same time that the South African captain (Faf du Plessis) was under scrutiny (for ball tampering) and before he had been charged,” Harper added.
“As it transpired, there were no further errant throws for the final three days of the game from either team. Steve’s participation in the post-match meeting was quite limp, and not as I would expect from our national captain.”
Cricket Australia has announced a review into team culture in the wake of the South Africa ball-tampering scandal.
Smith and Bancroft held emotional press conferences in Australia on Thursday after returning from South Africa, while coach Darren Lehmann said he would quit after the fourth and final Test which starts Friday, despite being cleared of any involvement in the affair.
Messi the best in history : Puyol
London: Barca defeated Manchester United comprehensively in the Champions League quarter-finals with Messi scoring twice in the second leg at Camp Nou. He is top scorer in the competition this season with 10 goals and also tops the scoring charts in La Liga, where Barca are virtually assured of a second consecutive title.
Puyol, the ex-Barca captain who won three Champions League titles, praises Messi as a true leader in Ernesto Valverde’s side.
“He is playing at an incredible level,” Puyol told Goal at the UEFA Champions League Trophy Tour Presented by Heineken in Lagos, Nigeria.
“For me, he is the best ever player in the history of the game.
“He has shown that season after season and you can see how his game has evolved, all the things he now does. And you can see he’s improving every year with new attributes he has brought to his game.
“He has improved in every way and he is taking a step forward on a personal level. He has always been a leader on the field but now, you can see that he is a leader on and off the pitch.
“He is an introverted person but now you can see that he is leading from the front as the captain of Barcelona.”
Messi has scored an incredible 45 goals in 42 games in all competitions for Barca this season, and has added another 21 assists. They are nine points clear of Atletico Madrid in the league, with only 18 left to play for, and are now favourites to add another Champions League to their collection with a double header against Liverpool in the semi-finals to come.
“It’s been very good in the Champions League and also in all the other competitions,” said Puyol.
“They’re playing really good football and they have the chance of winning everything. Right now it’s great because the best is yet to come this season.
“Barcelona are one of the favourites for the Champions League because there are only four teams left.
PCB decides not to allow cricketers to take their families along during the WC
Islamabad: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has decided to not allow the national team’s players to bring their families along on the upcoming 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup in England and Wales starting on May 30.
The decision has been taken keeping in mind the pressure of the tournament, the board said while adding that the focus of the payers should be on their game during the World Cup.
The board, has mentioned that players’ families can travel to England on their own expense.
Additionally, the board clarified that the players could keep their families along with them during the series against England prior to the World Cup, a private news channel reported.
The cricket team will travel to England on April 23 to participate in the two and a half month long tour including the series against England and the World Cup.
Chief Selector Inzamamul Haq announced Pakistan’s 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup squad which left out experienced fast bowler Mohammad Amir.
Pandya, KL Rahul fined Rs 20 lakh each by BCCI Ombudsman
Mumbai: Indian cricketers Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul were on Saturday handed a fine of Rs 20 lakh each by Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Ombudsman Justice (Retd) D K Jain for their sexist remarks in a television chat show “Koffee with Karan”.
The BCCI Ombudsman directed the duo to pay Rs 1,00,000 each to the families of 10 constables in para-military forces who have lost their lives while on duty through ‘Bharat Ke Veer App”.
Pandya and Rahul have also been directed to pay Rs 10 lakh each in the fund created by Cricket Association for the Blind (CAB) and for promotion of game for the blind.
All payments need to be made within a month from the date of the order, the BCCI Ombudsman further said.
Jain also instructed that in case the duo fails to deposit the fine within the deadline, the amounts would be deducted from Pandya and Rahul’s match fees by the BCCI.
Earlier this month, the Supreme Court-appointed BCCI Ombudsman had summoned Pandya and Rahul for deposition over their controversial remarks on the celebrity chat show.
The two players were earlier in January provisionally suspended by the apex court-appointed Committee of Administrators (COA) for their loose talk on the show.
However, Pandya and Rahul tendered unconditional apologies and the ban on the duo was provisionally lifted pending an inquiry by the BCCI Ombudsman.