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Cricket South Africa announces squad for three-match T20 series in India

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Cricket (CSA) on Tuesday announced their squad for the upcoming tour of India.


Three uncapped players were named in their Test squad including fast bowler Anrich Nortje, spin bowling all-rounder Senuran Muthusamy and wicketkeeper-batsman Rudi Seconds.


Selectors also named three newcomers in the squad for the three-match T20I series, including Temba Bavuma and spin bowling all-rounder Bjorn Fortuin as well as Nortje.


Quinton de Kock will captain the T20 squad with Rassie van der Dussen as vice-captain while Temba Bavuma will be the vice-captain to Faf du Plessis in the Test match squad.


Aiden Markram, Theunis de Bruyn and Lungi Ngidi were not considered for T20 selection as they will be warming up for the Test series by playing in South Africa’s four-day matches against India A.


South Africa’s Test squad: Faf du Plessis (c), Temba Bavuma (vc), Theunis de Bruyn, Quinton de Kock, Dean Elgar, Zubayr Hamza, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Senuran Muthusamy, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Vernon Philander, Dane Piedt, Kagiso Rabada, Rudi Second.


South Africa’s T20I Squad: Quinton de Kock (c), Rassie van der Dussen (vc), Temba Bavuma, Junior Dala, Bjorn Fortuin, Beuran Hendricks, Reeza Hendricks, David Miller, Anrich Nortje, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Jon-Jon Smuts.


will tour India to play three-T20I and three-Test match in September. The first T20I will be played at Dharmshala on September 15.



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Compulsory neck guards on helmet ‘not far away’ after Archer hit Smith

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Compulsory neck guards on helmets for Australian cricketers are “not far away”, the national team’s sports medicine chief said Monday after a sickening blow felled during the second Ashes Test.


Australia have been at the forefront of pressing for better safety measures after the death of Phillip Hughes, who was hit on the base of the skull by a bouncer in a Sheffield Shield game in 2014.


Following an independent investigation into the tragedy, Cricket Australia introduced new rules for concussion substitutes in domestic games.


These have now been adopted by the International Cricket Council and were used for the first time when Smith was replaced by Marnus Labuschagne on Sunday against England at Lord’s after medics ruled him unfit to carry on.


The inquest into Hughes’ death also recommended first-class players in Australia wear helmets made to British safety standards while batting against medium pace or fast bowling.


That included the use of specially designed neck guards, known as StemGuards.


But they are not compulsory and Smith, who collapsed to the ground face first after the vicious ball from smacked into the side of his neck, in scenes reminiscent of the Hughes incident, was not wearing a neck guard.


He said afterwards they made him claustrophobic and uncomfortable. Cricket Australia’s sports science and sports medicine chief Alex Kountouris said it was only a matter of time before they became mandatory, revealing the International Cricket Council, Cricket Australia, the England and Wales Cricket Board, and helmet manufacturers recently completed a major review.


– Player trials –

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“Helmet manufacturers did the right thing and came out with products (after Hughes’ death). There was no real knowledge of the mechanism, what exactly they were trying to protect or stuff like that,” Kountouris told the Sydney Morning Herald.


“But since that time we have done a lot of research. We actually have a pretty good understanding of that now. Beforehand, we didn’t know the right equipment we were endorsing.”

Now there was agreement on what the standard should look like, including the size and area that needs to be covered and the force properties it should have. Kountouris said it would take about six months for manufacturers to complete the upgraded product, which then would be trialled by players.


“Obviously, at some point, we want to make it a requirement to wear but we want to make sure we have the right products — we haven’t seen what the products are at the moment,” he said.


“When we get to that point, I think we’ll be comfortable to say: ‘Let’s make it a requirement’. There is still a little time to go but we are not far away.”

Peter Brukner, the former doctor of the Australian team from 2012-2017, said he was astonished that some top players still don’t wear neck guards.


“I think it should be (mandatory),” he told The Australian newspaper.



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Concussion substitute Labuschagne stars as Australia draw second Ashes Test

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Marnus Labuschagne made history as international cricket’s first concussion substitute before his valuable fifty helped Australia draw the second Ashes Test against England at Lord’s on Sunday.


Labuschagne was not confirmed as playing until Sunday morning when Australia star Steve Smith was ruled out with concussion, having been hit by a Jofra Archer bouncer during his 92 on Saturday.


Previously, a substitute would only have been permitted to field.


But this series is the first in the ICC’s inaugural World Test Championship featuring new rules that allow replacement players to bat or bowl if they are covering for concussed team-mates.


Labuschagne, in just his sixth Test, responded to his late call-up by top-scoring with 59, having been hit on the grille of his helmet second ball by a 91.6 mph Archer bouncer, in Australia’s eventual second-innings 154-6.


“Marnus played superbly,” said Australia captain Tim Paine.


“He got hit hard in the face second ball and I thought he showed great character, great skill and technique.”

England pressed hard late on to level the series at 1-1 after captain Joe Root declared to set Australia a stiff target of 267 in 48 overs following Ben Stokes’s 115 not out.


It seemed the match was destined for a draw, with Australia 132-3 after tea in a Test where five sessions were washed out and rain also delayed Sunday’s start by over an hour.


But Australia, who won the first Test at Edgbaston by a huge margin of 251 runs, lost three wickets for 17 runs to give England renewed hope.


Come the last over, bowled by left-arm spinner Jack Leach, England needed four wickets for victory, but Pat Cummins played out three deliveries to secure the draw.


Fast bowler Archer took 3-32 to finish with five wickets on his Test debut, with Leach returning figures of 3-37.


“I think it was important that we bounced back strongly and I think we’ve certainly done that,” said Root.


Given the short turnaround, Smith, out for under a hundred for the first time this series on Saturday, could now miss the third Test in Leeds starting on Thursday.


His absence would be a huge blow to Australia, bidding for their first Ashes series win in England in 18 years, given he made 144 and 142 at Edgbaston in his first Test since completing a 12-month ban for his role in a ball-tampering scandal in South Africa.


“I’m not sure about Headingley,” said Paine.


“He (Smith) will need to improve, there’s no doubt about that. Hopefully for our sake he does.”

Later Sunday, Cricket Australia said: “Steve Smith had a precautionary scan of his neck on Sunday which, as expected, cleared him of any structural damage.


“After the scan Steve returned to the team hotel to rest and he will continue to be reviewed on an ongoing basis.”

– ‘It was frightening’ –

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World Cup winner Archer took two for two in seven balls on Sunday to dismiss David Warner and Usman Khawaja.


“It is brilliant to have someone like that in the team,” said Stokes of Archer as he recalled the 24-year-old paceman’s rapid spell on Saturday.


“He bowled a nine over spell at 90mph-plus. It was frightening. I would much rather have him on our side.” The first over after tea saw struggling opener Cameron Bancroft (16) plumb lbw to a Leach ball that kept low, with Australia 47-3.


But it seemed any hope of an England win had disappeared when Jason Roy dropped a routine chance at second slip to reprieve Travis Head on 22. Head was 42 not out at stumps.


But Labuschagne fell when his sweep off Leach deflected off Jos Buttler at short leg before looping to Root, diving forward at midwicket.


The onfield ‘soft signal’ was out and third umpire Joel Wilson upheld that verdict to the disgust of Labuschagne.


Leach then had Matthew Wade (one) taken at short leg before Joe Denly held a sensational diving left-handed catch at midwicket to dismiss Paine following a full-blooded pull off Archer.


But with the natural light fading, the umpires appeared to instruct Root not to bowl Archer even though the floodlights were on — effectively depriving the Sussex quick of two overs.


Earlier man-of-the-match Stokes made a fine hundred before Root declared England’s second innings on 258-5.


Stokes slog-swept off-spinner Nathan Lyon for two sixes in as many deliveries on the way to a 160-ball century, his seventh in Tests and second against Australia.



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MCC removes Lord’s member for sledging Steve Smith during 2nd Ashes Test

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The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), in a one of its kind penalty, ejected one of its members after he sledged Australia’s in the famed Long Room of the pavilion during the second Ashes Test which ended in a tense draw.


The incident occurred on Saturday when Smith was walking from the field after he got out scoring 92 in the first innings. The 32-year-old had returned to the middle after a 40-minute break after being hit in the neck by England pacer Jofra Archer.


According to a report in news.com.au, the unidentified member called the former Australian skipper a “cheat and a disgrace” as he made his way back to the dressing room.


Smith — who was playing his second Test after serving a one-year ban for his involvement in the Sandpaper Gate fiasco — has been subjected to harsh treatment by the Lord’s crowd even though he showed immense courage during the course of his innings at the Home of Cricket.


It is believed to be a first of its kind incident where a member has been thrown out of the Lord’s pavilion for misconduct.


Smith could not take part in the game on the final day of the Lord’s Test as he was diagnosed with late concussion after being hit by a ferocious bouncer by Archer. In his place, Marnus Labuschagne became the first like-for-like substitute in the 142-year history of Test cricket.


Australia have a 1-0 lead in the ongoing Ashes series and will now face England in the third Test beginning Thursday at Headingley.



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