Melbourne: Spin legend Shane Warne on Friday criticised the Australian team picked for the three-match ODI series against India, terming the selections ridiculous and senseless for not keeping in mind the upcoming World Cup.
Australia named a revamped 14-member squad, including veteran pacer Peter Siddle, Usman Khwaja and Nathan Lyon.
“Just saw the Aust ODI squad that was announced & was absolutely staggered at some of the players that were left out & some of the inclusions – they don’t make any sense whatsoever. These ridiculous selections must stop in all forms of Australian cricket – end of!” Warne tweeted.
“I cannot believe that D’Arcy Short has been left out of the side. I don’t know what he’s done wrong. He can bowl and his batting at the top is dynamic. He’s in terrific form, and he and Finch make an awesome partnership at the top,” Warne was quoted as saying by foxsports.Com.Au.
Warne insisted that the correct combination of players should have been selected keeping in mind the conditions that the side will face in England during the World Cup in May-June this year.
“When you’re picking this team you want to look at some players you are interested in, but you’ve also got to look at those players with the World Cup in mind and the conditions you’re going to have in England,” he said.
“Those conditions are going to be flat wickets that will probably spin a bit, so you need clever bowlers and you need some bowlers with pace. And they’re little grounds. So a mixture of power hitting and people that can bat time; you need that right combination.”
Warne was also critical of middle-order batsman Peter Handscomb’s treatment by Cricket Australia.
“I don’t think it’s fair on Peter to keep putting him out into the international arena, even for the Sydney Test match here. Whether he makes 100 or 200, it’s still not the right selection or the right message that you’re sending to the rest of the first-class cricketers.”
Handscomb was dropped for the Boxing Day Test after scoring 68 runs at an average of 17 across his first four innings of the series before being brought back for the fourth and final Test.
“To say you haven’t got a technique that’s good enough for international cricket and you’re dropped, just like last year, and then you put him back in again a week later. It doesn’t make any sense,” said Warne.
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.