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Australia choose worst time to put in ‘worst performance’ of the World Cup

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Australia chose the worst possible time to put in their “worst performance” of the tournament, an eight-wicket thumping not only ending their world title defence but also consigning them to a first semi-final defeat at a World Cup.

In days to come the defeat might sting less, especially in light of where Australia’s ODI form has been over the last year, but Aaron Finch could not hide his disappointment.

WATCH on Hotstar (India only) – Highlights of England’s win over Australia

“In terms of where we were 12 months ago, obviously I think we have made a huge amount of progress,” he said. “Really proud of everyone involved for how much hard work and how far we have come, but at the same time we came here today to win a semi-final and get ourselves into a position to win another World Cup.

“So that was really disappointing how it ended, especially to put up probably one of our worst performances overall for the tournament, so that was really disappointing.”

There was a brief phase, during a 103-run partnership between Steve Smith and Alex Carey, when Australia were threatening to do what countless Australian sides before them have done at these tournaments. But Australia were otherwise outplayed, as Finch admitted. And it was the very first ten overs of the game in which the semi-final was lost, Australia left dazed, confused and almost down at 27 for 3.

“The damage was really done with the ball,” Finch said. “That sets you back. That forced us to rebuild for such a long time and start to drag some momentum back and then, like I said, you lose a couple of quick wickets again, new batters starting, it is always tough against really good leg-spin and good quicks as well.

“So, all in all, we were totally outplayed to be honest all throughout the day, so you look back at that and you can analyse each ten overs, but just outplayed.”

Carey apart, each of the players who had done so much to get Australia to this point – the ones who stand up in big games, said Finch – failed. They’re not at all in the crisis that England found themselves in after the 2015 World Cup – and this tournament, as Finch pointed out, has been part of overall progress – but a longer-term look towards the next World Cup will be a natural outcome. Part of that will take in the new ODI league that leads into qualification for 2023.

“I think that after a World Cup you always start looking and you have one eye towards the next one,” Finch said. “I think that as a management, senior players, I’m sure over the next next couple of months or so we will sit down and start talking about that and start planning how we think that we can best plan and prepare and improve over the next four years to get us to go, well two steps further.

“I think that every team will do that. You start looking at what you can improve most, areas that you can identify that you need some work to be done and that will happen no doubt – that happens naturally with players when you are talking about the game and trying to find ways to improve.

“But as a coaching staff, as a management, that will be really important as well that everyone gets on the same page and everyone pulls in the same direction which is what we have done. We have been really lucky. Everyone has bought into the way we have played and it is unfortunate we have come up short.”



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BCCI invites fresh applications for India team’s support staff

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The BCCI has called for applications for the entire roster of support staff for the India senior men’s cricket team, which ended its World Cup 2019 campaign with a semi-final defeat to New Zealand.

The contracts of the coaching staff, led by head coach Ravi Shastri, run up to the end of the World Cup. The BCCI subsequently extended the contracts by 45 days to include India’s tour of the West Indies, which starts on August 3 with the first of three T20Is. Three ODIs will follow the T20Is, with two Tests – part of the World Test Championship cycle – to come after the limited-overs matches.

The applications have been called for the positions of head coach, batting coach, bowling coach, fielding coach, physiotherapist, strength and conditioning coach, and administrative manager, with the deadline being 5pm on July 30.

The BCCI said that the current coaching staff of the team would get “automatic entry in the recruitment process”, but it’s unclear as yet if Shastri, Sanjay Bangar (assistant and batting coach), Bharat Arun (bowling coach), R Sridhar (fielding coach), and Sunil Subramaniam (team manager) are going to re-apply for their positions or not.

Physiotherapist Patrick Farhart and strength and conditioning coach Shankar Basu have both opted not to renew their contracts, and ended their association with the Indian team after the World Cup.

For the position of the head coach, who should be below 60 years of age, the BCCI wants the candidates who apply to have a BCCI Level 3 qualification. Failing that, the person should have played at least 30 Tests or 50 ODIs.

The support staff – with the exception of the team manager – have all had long stints with the team. While Shastri, Bangar, Arun and Sridhar all joined the team in mid-2014 for the limited-overs leg of the tour of England after a heavy loss in the Test series, Farhart and Basu had been part of the set-up since July 2015. Shastri, originally brought in as team director, was not part of the support staff for a year between mid-2016 to 2017, when Anil Kumble was in charge – and neither was Arun – but returned as head coach after that.

The BCCI’s elections are scheduled for October 22, which will also mean the exit of the Supreme Court appointed Committee of Administrators, and CoA chairman Vinod Rai had clarified earlier that until the elections were held, the body would continue to monitor and authorise cricketing operations, including matters related to the appointment or renewal of coaching staff.



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

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Derbyshire 146 (Hudson-Prentice 55, Sanderson 5-46) and 155 for 5 need a further 164 runs to beat Northamptonshire 342 and 122 (Palladino 4-33) by 308 runs

An astonishing day on which 24 wickets fell ended with Northamptonshire closing in on victory against Derbyshire at Chesterfield.

After Ben Sanderson took 5 for 46 to bowl Derbyshire out for 146 with Fynn Hudson-Prentice unbeaten on 55, Tony Palladino claimed 4 for 33 as Northants were shot out for 122. That left Derbyshire chasing 319 for victory but by the close, they were 155 for 5, still 164 runs short of the target.

A pitch offering spin and variable bounce was certainly demanding to bat on but lack of foot movement and poor shot selection accounted for the majority of the wickets.

The carnage began when Wayne Madsen played across the line to give Sanderson his first victim and the rest of the day became a procession as wickets tumbled to a rash of poor strokes. Tom Lace and Leus du Plooy paid the price for failing to get forward as Derbyshire slipped to 60 for 6 before Hudson-Prentice took 22 from a Rob Keogh over.

Matt Coles struck with his third delivery by trapping Matt Critchley on the crease but Hudson-Prentice reached 50 before Keogh wrapped up the innings giving Northants a lead of 196.

They chose not to enforce the follow-on but instead of an afternoon of accumulation, Northants moved into T20 mode and were bowled out in a chaotic session on a pitch which had clearly put doubts in the minds of the batsmen.

Ricardo Vasconcelos was run out attempting a second to deep square leg and after Luke Proctor offered no shot to Hudson-Prentice, Palladino profited from inadequate technique and ill-judged shots.

Keogh played across the line, Adam Rossington drove wildly at his first ball and although Temba Bavuma and Josh Cobb briefly threatened to restore order, more frantic shot selection sent the innings into terminal decline.

Cobb drove Critchley to long off and Bavuma fell victim to the mood of recklessness when he skied Palladino to point. Hamidullah Qadri beat Coles’s charge and less than 31 overs had been bowled when Saif Zaib holed out to leave Derbyshire facing the highest successful run chase at Queen’s Park.

They clearly decided to approach it in a positive way as Billy Godleman and Luis Reece came out swinging in the late afternoon sunshine. Godleman repeatedly charged the opening bowlers before he was stumped for 25 off Sanderson in the fifth over and Madsen lost his middle stump trying to work Coles through midwicket.

Reece was lbw playing back to Keogh and Luke Proctor struck twice in his first over to leave Northants favourites to wrap up victory on Tuesday.



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World Cup final viewing figures compete with 2005 Ashes after free-to-air return

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Sunday’s World Cup final, the first England international on free-to-air UK television since the 2005 Ashes, attracted a peak viewership of 8.3 million.

The game was simulcast on several channels: Sky showed it on Sky One, Main Event, and their Cricket channel, while Channel 4 split their coverage between their main channel and More 4 during the British Grand Prix.

The peak audience was only marginally below that recorded during the 2005 Ashes, when 8.4 million people watched the culmination of England’s win at Trent Bridge on Channel 4. By contrast, the first Test of the 2015 Ashes, shown only on Sky, attracted a peak viewership of 467,000.

The World Cup final had to compete for attention with the men’s singles final at Wimbledon between Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, as well as the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

Cricket will return to free-to-air TV in the UK from next summer, after the BBC agreed a deal in 2017 to show ten men’s and eight women’s matches from The Hundred per year, as well as two men’s T20Is and one women’s T20I.

Liam Plunkett, the fast bowler who took three wickets in England’s win, had previously voiced support for the final to be broadcast free-to-air.

“Playing for England, you’re the pride of the country and you want people to be able to access that and watch that,” he said after the group stage win against New Zealand. “I’m not sure it’s going to happen but for the guys, you want as many people to watch it as possible.”

Sunday’s final was a sell-out, with unofficial resale platforms offering tickets priced at several thousand pounds. As well as the millions watching on TV, thousands of fans gathered in the fanzone in Trafalgar Square, first to watch and then to celebrate England’s win.

There was widespread support for Sky’s decision to allow the game to be shown on free-to-air TV, a move that the ECB encouraged but did not demand. But Ashley Giles, the director of cricket for England’s men’s teams, suggested that England might not have been able to win the World Cup without Sky’s investment.

When asked by BBC Radio 4 if it would have been impossible, Giles said: “Quite possibly, yes. The investment in the game from grassroots to professional has allowed us to do what we’ve done.

“Sky took the game on and have been fantastic supporters since. Thank you to them for allowing it on Channel 4.”

Channel 4’s chief executive Alex Mahon said it was “wonderful that the whole nation can come together to share these momentous British sporting events”.



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