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Glenn Maxwell keen to control with the ball and finish with the bat



Australia and the West Indies will play their first World Cup practice match “behind closed doors” on an out ground in Hampshire on Wednesday. The sides were officially scheduled to play two warm-up games before the start of the tournament but an extra hit-out was agreed between the camps when Stuart Law was West Indies’ coach.

Before training on Tuesday, Glenn Maxwell compared the size of the Nursery Ground to Hurstville in Sydney, the venue of many a thumping score in Australia’s domestic one-day competition, and as a result this warm-up will likely provide a serious test of both sides’ containment bowling.

As a part-time offspinner, Maxwell knows he will have his work cut out for him should he bowl to the likes of Chris Gayle and Andre Russell. But, while it is his batting that is most often discussed, he is clear on his objectives with the ball in hand.

“Try not to get hit for six most of the time,” laughed Maxwell. “For me I suppose, a lot of the time that I bowl, I just try to limit the boundary balls. As long as I’m doing that, if they hit some good shots off my bowling I’m not too fazed. If I’m limiting the boundary balls and giving myself the best chance to squeeze a few dot balls, bowl a couple of tight overs, it might create a bit of pressure at the other end.”

Maxwell spent time at Lancashire after Australia’s tours of India and Pakistan, choosing to prepare for the summer in England and giving himself the best chance of making the Ashes squad rather than playing in the IPL. His stint in county cricket included seven List A games and while he performed modestly with the bat – his top score was 35 – he took wickets in all but one match and eight in all.

“I think it’s important for me to just bowl in a partnership with someone. That’s probably the clarity I have in my role and it’s something I did a bit in Dubai [against Pakistan] and India and started to get a few more overs, a bit more consistency… To have that continue into my time at Lancashire where I got plenty of time at the bowling crease, you get that rhythm, you get that feel of the ball coming out consistently. You need that as a part-time bowler, to have that consistency of time at the crease and get a few of the cobwebs out I suppose.”

His bowling may be a handy option but it is Maxwell’s destructive batting that has the real potential to dismantle attacks and the Nursery Ground may be just the first on this tour that struggles to contain his powerful hitting. But in this, too, Maxwell has found clarity on how he fits into the Australian side.

“I suppose my role in the team is to adapt to whatever start we have, whether it be we get off to a flyer or we’ve lost a few early wickets. It’s just to adapt to whatever I get thrown into,” he said. “I just want to have an impact on games in a really positive way and be able to control the back end.

“I have expectations on myself to finish off games and be the guy who’s standing there at the end of the game and making sure that we win the game.”

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Former SA pacer Rusty Theron named in USA squad



Rusty Theron, who played for Kings XI Punjab, Deccan Chargers and Rajasthan Royals between 2010 and 2015 in the IPL, has been named in a 30-man USA squad traveling to Los Angeles this weekend for a selection camp. Theron, who also represented South Africa in four ODIs and nine T20Is between 2010 and 2012, will be looking to make the USA squad for the next round of 2020 World T20 Qualifiers, in Bermuda this August.

Theron had retired from South African first-class cricket in 2015 before moving to Florida where he was pursuing a teaching degree at a local college. He has now qualified to represent USA under the ICC’s three-year residency rule. According to multiple sources, USA Cricket had been aggressively pursuing Theron to join their squad for WCL Division Three in Oman last November but he made himself unavailable due to the tournament clashing with his own wedding.

Theron has been a regular fixture at T20 club tournaments around the USA in the last several years, most prominently at the annual US Open T20 Cricket tournament in Florida. It’s the same tournament used by USA’s Ali Khan to gain attention on the T20 franchise radar. Theron appeared there most recently in December for Somerset (New Jersey) Cavaliers where he was team-mates with Andre Russell and helped bowl Cavaliers into the final, where they eventually lost to California Bears.

Also in the USA squad are a pair of English County players with USA passports aiming to force their way into the national team for the first time. Durham’s Cameron Steel and Hampshire’s Ian Holland have both been included in the weekend camp.

The 23-year-old Steel, born in California, made a career-best 224 against Leicestershire at age 21 two seasons ago but has struggled to keep his place in the Durham first XI this season. The 28-year-old Wisconsin-born, Australian-raised Holland similarly has struggled to keep a place in the Hampshire first XI – he was loaned to Northants for the Royal London One-Day Cup – since relocating to England after a solitary first-class appearance for Victoria in 2016.

Another big name to emerge from the list for different reasons is allrounder Timroy Allen, one of USA’s biggest match-winners of the last decade. Allen was a key role player for Jamaica Tallawahs in 2016, playing six matches during their run to the CPL title, but has not played for USA since May 2017 due to work commitments.

Vikash Mohan, former captain of Combined Campuses & Colleges, has also been included in the 30-man list. The US passport holder from Trinidad & Tobago took part in a USA fitness camp at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs and was also part of a USA selection camp held in Antigua in February ahead of WCL Division Two in Namibia but was not selected for that tour.

Five other uncapped players are in the 30-man list besides Theron, Holland, Steel and Mohan. The most prominent of the bunch is Akshay Homraj, a former Guyana Under-19 wicketkeeper-batsman who has since migrated to New York and been part of multiple USA squad camps. The others are Dallas batsman Ali Samad, Chicago area wicketkeeper Shaheer Hassan, Los Angeles fast bowler Sahaj Patel and Los Angeles left-arm spinning allrounder Srinivas Raghavan.

Players will participate in six T20 intra-squad trial matches during the camp before a squad is expected to be announced next month ahead of the ICC Americas Regional T20 Qualifier Final in Bermuda to be held from August 18-25. USA will take on Bermuda, Canada and Cayman Islands in a double-round robin event with the top two teams advancing to the Global T20 World Cup Qualifier in the UAE in October.

USA squad: Timroy Allen, Usman Ashraf, Karima Gore, Shaheer Hassan, Ian Holland, Akshay Homraj, Elmore Hutchinson, Aaron Jones, Nosthush Kenjige, Ali Khan, Jaskaran Malhotra, Xavier Marshall, Vikash Mohan, Saurabh Netravalkar, Monank Patel, Nisarg Patel, Sagar Patel, Sahaj Patel, Timil Patel, Kyle Phillip, Srinivas Raghavan, Srini Salver, Ali Samad, Roy Silva, Jessy Singh, Cameron Steel, Abdullah Syed, Steven Taylor, Rusty Theron, Hayden Walsh Jr.

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Recent Match Report – Derbyshire vs Lancashire, County Championship Division Two, 2nd Innings



Lancashire 236 (Croft 53, Reece 6-58) and 4 for 0 beat Derbyshire 153 (Anderson 5-18) and 84 (Onions 5-38, Anderson 4-29) by 10 wickets

With the start of the Ashes six weeks away, the health of Jimmy Anderson is one of England’s prime concerns. MI5 probably have surveillance officers monitoring his every movement, poised to warn of anything disturbing like a bit of a limp or, even worse, the merest sign of a smile.

Intelligence reports from Derby will be filed away with satisfaction. Another four wickets on the third morning for Anderson, and nine in the match at a cost of only 47 runs. Fitness and rhythm exceeding expectations at this stage. Grumpiness at a promising level when the ball kept passing the outside edge. Too many of those to count.

Recommendation: With Lancashire top of Division Two, and 10 days’ inactivity until their next game, against Durham at Sedbergh School, surveillance can be called back. MI5 resources perhaps better employed taking a closer look at Stuart Broad.

The only concern surrounds the fact that the opening day of the Ashes is on Yorkshire Day. As a Lancastrian, Anderson’s mood cannot be reliably predicted.

Twenty-eight Championship wickets at 8.64 runs apiece have massaged Anderson’s mood and, if they have come disturbingly easily, his method looks as ingrained as ever. At 36, his fitness and suppleness remains exemplary. He bowls when he wants and comes off when he chooses.

Derbyshire resumed at 19 for 4, 64 runs away from making Lancashire bat again. It was a modest aim, but as helpful bowling conditions persisted into the third day it was an entirely realistic one. They managed to set Lancashire two runs to win, Keaton Jennings avoided a pair by thick edging the first ball for four and everything was wrapped up five minutes before lunch.

Derbyshire’s fifth-wicket pair survived for 50 minutes more by luck than judgment against Anderson and Graham Onions. Frustration was welling up; the surveillance team by the sightscreen began to fret about possible overload.

Anderson, in solemn mood, applauded Alex Hughes with good humour for managing to leave a wide one after endless playing and missing. Four byes when a bouncer sailed over Harvey Hosein’s head did not disturb him, nor did a hook shot from the same batsmen which fell close to Onions at long leg. At least it was Onions who suffered a bad drop at first slip by Jennings when Hughes managed to make contact.

Then three wickets in seven balls restored equilibrium and the pessimism of Derbyshire supporters was proved to be based on decades of evidence. Anderson claimed the first two. Hughes got bat on an outswinger and then Matt Critchley, seeking out the leg-side as is his habit, was lbw and left gesturing that he touched it.

The third fell to Onions, a simple catch at first slip to remove Luis Reece who had been demoted to No. 8 because of injury and didn’t really look up for it. Logan van Beek drove Anderson to gully and Onions mopped up the last two, including Hosein, who resisted diligently until he was caught behind for 29.

Five to Anderson, four to Onions and the promise of a dry afternoon to return to Manchester. When it comes to fast bowlers, especially vintage ones, the fear is that something could go wrong at any moment. Nothing did. Quite the opposite.

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Shikhar Dhawan ruled out of World Cup, Rishabh Pant confirmed as replacement | Cricket



Shikhar Dhawan was hit on his left hand early in his innings against Australia © Getty Images

Shikhar Dhawan has been ruled out of the remainder of the World Cup. The India opener suffered a hairline fracture to his left thumb during his century against Australia last Sunday and hasn’t recovered well enough to play the tournament.

Rishabh Pant, who was rushed in as a cover by the BCCI on June 11, two days after Dhawan suffered the blow, and trained with the Indian squad in Manchester ahead of the Pakistan match, has been announced as Dhawan’s replacement.

Dhawan was present in Southampton today during the Indian training session, with his left hand wrapped in bandage. The update is that the hand will be in a cast for another month or so.

Speaking at a press conference, Sunil Subramaniam, the India team manager, said, “Shikhar has a fracture at the base of his first metacarpal on his left hand. Following several specialist opinions, he will remain in cast until July, mid-July, which rules him out of the ICC World Cup 2019.”

The injury took place when he was facing Pat Cummins in India’s second match of the World Cup, at The Oval. Dhawan carried on batting and scored a century, which earned him the Man of the Match award as India won by 36 runs. However, he did not field during the Australia innings.

Rishabh Pant has trained with the Indian squad over the past few days © Getty Images

He travelled to Leeds to meet a surgeon after that, where the hairline fracture was diagnosed. The Indian selectors opted to take time on the matter and not name a replacement immediately following a positive appraisal from the team’s medical staff led by physio Patrick Farhart.

“We want to hold him back, keep him here, because he wants to play. I think that kind of mindset will help in healing the injury as well as he really wants to play,” Virat Kohli, the India captain, had said on June 14 while discussing the team’s plans vis-à-vis Dhawan.

Dhawan has been the highest scorer in each of the last five multi-team (five-plus teams) ODI tournaments for India – Champions Trophy 2013, Asia Cup 2014, World Cup 2015, Champions Trophy 2017 and Asia Cup 2018 – and was also the only left-hander in the Indian batting order at the World Cup. These are understood to have been big factors in the team’s reaction to his injury. As mentioned previously on ESPNcricinfo, Pant being a left-hand batsman worked in his favour – ahead of Ambati Rayudu, the other frontline batsman among the stand-bys – even though he has only played five ODIs and has a not-too-impressive record: 93 runs in four innings, at an average of 23.25 and strike rate of 130.08.

Following the injury to Dhawan, India’s match against New Zealand was washed out, and KL Rahul opened the innings alongside Rohit Sharma in the next match, against Pakistan, scoring a 78-ball 57. Rahul’s presence in the squad helped the Indians opt for Pant, usually a middle-order batsman.

ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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