WELLINGTON: Injured Kane Williamson could sit out the third Test against Bangladesh beginning Saturday in Christchurch and might have to delay his departure for the Indian Premier League (IPL), New Zealand said Tuesday.
Captain Williamson suffered a shoulder injury while fielding in Bangladesh’s first innings of the second Test in Wellington, which New Zealand won on Tuesday by an innings and 12 runs.
Coach Gary Stead said scans had detected a tear to Williamson’s left pectoral minor muscle in his shoulder.
“There’s obviously irritation and a wee bit of bleeding, it’s not a major injury,” Stead said.
“We’re hopeful that he will recover quickly, and the thing for us is to make sure he doesn’t aggravate it any more. He will come to Christchurch and we will make an assessment there on whether he plays.”
With the series already won, Stead said New Zealand would take a “safety first” approach, particularly with this year’s World Cup on the horizon.
“No player wants to give up their spot in the Test team. But I think it’s safe to say that we will probably err on the conservative side, and if there’s any chance of risk then we’re likely to pull him from that game.”
Williamson had suffered considerable discomfort while batting, although he managed to score 74.
He did not take the field for Bangladesh’s second innings with Tim Southee taking over the captaincy.
Williamson is due to fly to India after the Bangladesh series to join up with the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the money-spinning Twenty20 IPL.
“If things progress as we hope, then still going to the IPL shouldn’t be a problem to him,” said Stead.
“But he’s also aware that if he’s not quite 100 per cent, then we will potentially hold him back as well and make sure that he is right before he goes on that plane.”
Victory early on the fifth day after the first two days were lost to rain gave New Zealand an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the series and ensured they would end the season with an International Cricket Council cheque for $500,000 as the second-ranked Test side behind India.
Sri Lanka’s Malinga to retire after Twenty20 World Cup
CENTURION: Sri Lankan limited overs captain Lasith Malinga will retire from international cricket after next year’s Twenty20 World Cup, he revealed on Saturday.
Malinga said that he would quit one-day internationals after the World Cup in England and Wales this summer before calling time on his career following the Twenty20 tournament, being played in Australia over October-November 2020.
“After the World Cup, my cricketing career is ending,” the 35-year-old said after his his side were beaten by 16 runs by South Africa in the second Twenty20 international at SuperSport Park.
“I want to play in the T20 World Cup and then end my career.”
Malinga dismissed South African top-scorer Reeza Hendricks for 65 on Friday, his 97th T20 international wicket. He is one short of the world record of 98 held by Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi.
Australia series an opportunity for players
LAHORE: Pakistan cricket coach Mickey Arthur is confident new players will grab the opportunity to fill a few available places for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 through the five-match ODI series against Australia starting in Sharjah tomorrow, Friday.
Pakistan has rested six players – captain Sarfaraz Ahmed, Hasan Ali, Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Shaheen Shah Afridi, and Shadab Khan – to provide an opportunity to the other leading performers to stake a claim for the tournament to be held in England and Wales from 30 May and 14 July.
Mickey believed it was a well-thought out and a sensible decision. “We designed this series for our players for the simple fact that we want to test our best bench players,” said Mickey on Thursday on the eve of the first ODI in Sharjah.
“There was planning, sometimes people think that its ad hoc. We want to test our bench-strength so that we could have a look at our final squad and combination. We know our major players for the World Cup,” he said.
Openers Shan Masood and Abid Ali have been prolific scorers in domestic and “A” series, while batsman Saad Ali scored 900 plus runs in the 2017-18 first-class season.
Paceman Mohammad Abbas is an established Test spearhead who has the knack of doing well in limited overs as well. Rookie 18-year-old Mohammad Hasnain has impressed with his pace in the recently concluded HBL Pakistan Super League.
Middle-order batsman Umar Akmal has also been recalled after impressing with his match fitness in the HBL PSL.
“After this series, we go to England and there we go with a very very settled squad and the roles will be defined. We want to know where the squad stands. We felt that we have done everything possible to be the best possible prepared team for the World Cup,” he added.
Pakistan also plays five one-day internationals against England before the 10-team mega event.
Mickey believes trying new players will help in the long term.
“For us, it isn’t so much about Australia, this is about us and those positions for the World Cup and the opportunity created for a lot of players because for us, we need to find who our players are for every position.”
“If we could do that out of this series, then it would be good for us.”
“To be honest, it’s a new squad. This is a series of opportunities. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to work out that a few positions are available for the World Cup. There are probably four available. Inzamam-ul-Haq and I have discussed that. So, these young players need to raise their hands up and try to make those places their own. It’s an exciting time going into the World Cup,” he asserted.
Mickey backed the decision to rest skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed and five others.
“Sarfaraz needs rest,” said Mickey of the skipper of Pakistan across all three formats.
“As do Babar Azam and all the guys that are resting. I was telling the Australian boys we have been in the hotels since 12 September. (if) we just keep playing our guys, they gonna get injured and fatigued.”
“We will have a series in England, which will give us a perfect preparation for us going into the World Cup and we would have been silly not to use this series as a rest going into the biggest challenge, the World Cup.”
Mickey, who also coached South Africa and Australia, believes Australia is a resurging side after a turbulent period in the wake of last year’s ball-tampering episode.
“Australia are a fantastic side and they have bubbled away, they have gone through a much-publicized crisis and they seem to be playing some very good cricket at the moment,” he said.
“To win the series from 0-2 down was a fantastic achievement,” said Mickey of Australia’s 3-2 ODI series win in India before this tour. “They have got some fine players, (Usman) Khawaja is in good nick, Pat Cummins is in good nick.”
“They have some good young guys. I am sure they will rotate their players through the series as they also need their major players firing.”
Shane Watson named Player of PSL 2019
LAHORE: Shane Watson of Quetta Gladiators was named as the Player of HBL PSL 2019 after the 2007 World Cup winner with Australia finished as the leading run-getter in the 32-day tournament, which culminated at the National Stadium on late Sunday.
Watson finished the series with 430 runs from 12 matches at an average of 43 and a strike-rate of 143.8. He clubbed most number of fours and sixes in the tournament, 43 and 22, respectively, said the information made available here.
Watson won player of the match awards against Islamabad United, when he scored 81 not out, Peshawar Zalmi, when he scored 91 not out, and again versus Peshawar Zalmi in the Qualifier, when he top-scored with 71 and then bowled the crucial last-over of the match to help his side win by 10 runs.
Watson, for his consistency with the bat and proving to be one of the decisive factors in Gladiators’ title-winning campaign, was also declared Brighto Best Batsman of HBL PSL 2019.
Hasan Ali of Peshawar Zalmi was adjudged the Go Lootlo Best Bowler of HBL PSL 2019. The fast bowler picked up crucial wickets and finished the series with 25 wickets at an average of 13 with an economy-rate of just under seven.
Hasan took four wickets in a match three times.
Luke Ronchi won the Jubilee Safe Hands of HBL PSL 2019 award when he dismissed 11 batsmen behind the stumps, while Peshawar Zalmi’s Kieron Pollard was declared the ARIAL and J. Best Player on the Field, when he finished the series with 284 runs, five wickets and 10 catches.
Karachi Kings’ left-arm spinner Umer Khan was named as the newly introduced Emerging Player of HBL PSL 2019 award. The 18-year-old mesmerised the top-order of all the sides and claimed 15 prized scalps at an economy-rate of just over 7.
Islamabad United was declared the winner of Cool & Cool Spirit of Cricket award, which they dedicated to their middle-order batsman Asif Ali in recognition to this commitment to the team despite the ailment of his young daughter.
The individual winners were chosen by an independent panel, which included Mudassar Nazar (Chairman, Event Technical Committee), and also comprised respected commentators Ramiz Raja and Danny Morrison.
Winners are, Cool & Cool Spirit of Cricket;Islamabad United, Emerging Player of HBL PSL 2019; Umer Khan (Karachi Kings), ARIAL and J. Best player on the field; Kieron Pollard (Peshawar Zalmi), Jubilee Safe Hands of HBL PSL 2019; Luke Ronchi (Islamabad United), Go Lootlo Best Bowler of HBL PSL 2019; Hasan Ali (Peshawar Zalmi),Brighto Best Batsman of HBL PSL 2019; Shane Watson (Quetta Gladiators), HBL Player of PSL 2019; Shane Watson (Quetta Gladiators).