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The Latest: Akron drops 3 sports to cut costs amid pandemic

first_imgBut Walkes said there are a number of issues that must be addressed before such a plan could be approved.“The safety of everyone is first and foremost,” he said on a video conference call with Atlanta media. Details of the plan are still under consideration, but the league’s 26 teams and limited staff would likely be sheltered in a resort with games played without fans at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney World. The league suspended play on March 12 after teams had played just two games.Meza said “the logistics of it will be challenging.”Walkes said he’s also concerned about the mental aspect of players being asked to essentially quarantine in one location — especially if it means being without families and friends for potentially several months. Turkish soccer club Besiktas says eight people have tested positive for the coronavirus and training has been suspended.The club says president Ahmet Nar Cebi and a player were among those who tested positive.Turkish teams have resumed limited training sessions following the federation’s decision to restart matches in empty stadiums on June 12.___The three leading women’s pole vaulters get their turn to compete on Saturday in the second edition of the Ultimate Garden Clash. Associated Press May 14, 2020 Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___Akron is dropping men’s golf and cross country and women’s tennis in cost-cutting moves due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Teams could head to Florida as early as June 1 for training camps. After such a long layoff, Walkes indicated it would likely take at least a month to get in proper playing shape to start up again.___The Austrian soccer league says it is investigating first-place club LASK Linz for breaking rules on training during the coronavirus pandemic.Clubs in Austria are only supposed to hold training for small groups of players under social distancing regulations before full training begins Friday.But the league says it was sent multiple videos showing “a regular team training session” which supposedly took place “recently.” LASK has been charged with a violation of fair-play principles. The team could be fined or have points deducted. Restrictions on travel and professional sports also forced Cricket Ireland to postpone hosting Pakistan in two T20s on July 12 and 14.The Netherlands legs of both tours by New Zealand and Pakistan had already been curtailed last month after the Dutch government banned all big sports events until Sept. 1.Pakistan is still scheduled to tour England for three tests and three T20s from July 30 to Sept. 2.Cricket Ireland says it is talking with England officials about possibly rescheduling their three ODIs in September in England.___ The school said the reduction will take effect at the end of the 2019-20 academic year. Akron will now have seven men’s sports and 10 women’s sports. The school will remain a member of the Mid-American Conference, which announced changes to several conference championships earlier this week.“These decisions are very difficult but they are important and necessary at this time,” athletic director Larry Williams said. “This action aligns us with our Mid-American Conference peers in the total number of sports and is part of the ongoing effort to redesign the University to ensure that UA continues to invest in high-demand, high-quality academic programs.”In a news release, the school said it considered factors including program cost, facilities, community impact and future funding.___Atlanta United players Anton Walkes and Fernando Meza say they’re open to the idea of resuming Major League Soccer with all teams playing in the Orlando, Florida, area. The Latest: Akron drops 3 sports to cut costs amid pandemic Udinese owner Gianpaolo Pozzo says it “wouldn’t make sense” to restart Serie A anytime soon.Pozzo says it’s better to wait until “we’ve passed the critical phase” before thinking about restarting.He says if a team is ordered into quarantine after playing two or three matches because a player tests positive and the season is stopped again “we’ll have made a huge mistake.”Udinese was three points above the relegation zone in 14th place before Serie A was suspended on March 9.___ The Italian soccer federation has set up a pool of inspectors to check that teams comply with new health protocols and government decrees issued during the coronavirus pandemic.Serie A teams were permitted to resume individual training on May 4 while full team training can restart Monday.Lazio has reportedly already been training in groups of three players. The federation says inspectors will verify that practices are held according to the rules.The league said on Wednesday that it hopes to resume playing games on June 13 but the government has not approved a restart yet.___ Salzburg commercial director Stephan Reiter says the second-place club is “shocked and stunned” at LASK’s conduct.Soccer is scheduled to resume in the country with the Austrian Cup final on May 29 before the league starts up again next month.___Ireland has postponed its limited-overs cricket matches against New Zealand and Pakistan in June and July because of the coronavirus pandemic.New Zealand Cricket informed Cricket Ireland this week it couldn’t travel and the latter has confirmed putting off the matches in Northern Ireland. The teams were to meet for three Twenty20s in Bready and three one-day internationals in Belfast from June 19 to July 2. Katerina Stefanidi of Greece, Katie Nageotte of the United States and Alysha Newman of Canada will participate in the event but won’t be competing in their backyards because they don’t have the equipment at home. They will instead be at nearby training facilities.The top men’s pole vaulters competed in the Ultimate Garden Clash at their homes in early May. Mondo Duplantis and Renaud Lavillenie shared the victory with more than 250,000 people watching a live stream.The winner on Saturday will be the vaulter who clears the bar at 4 meters the most times in 30 minutes.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6last_img read more

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The Latest: NFLPA advises halt to private workouts together

first_imgThe federation’s executive committee will discuss the new measures and the specifics of the new calendar on Monday.The French government called off the country’s 2019-20 soccer season on April 28 as part of efforts to contain the coronavirus pandemic.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Dr. Thom Mayer told members of the NFLPA in a message Saturday that the risk of being stricken by the new coronavirus is too great to be staging those workouts. Mayer said staff was working on the best mitigation procedures at team facilities for both training camps and the upcoming season and advised “against any voluntary joint practices before training camp commences.”In recent days, members of the Buccaneers, Cowboys, 49ers and Texans organizations tested positive for COVID-19. The NFL has allowed team facilities to reopen on a limited basis, with no players except those rehabilitating injuries allowed on the premises. Training camps are scheduled to open in late July, with the first preseason contest the Hall of Fame game on Aug. 6 between Dallas and Pittsburgh. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___The medical director of the NFL players’ union has recommended that all players stop private workouts together. Toronto is deferring to the NHL’s policy on handling test results, with the league providing updates on testing totals and positive tests without disclosing the identities of affected clubs or players. Judd Moldaver, Matthews’s agent, did not respond to requests for comment.According to the Sun, the 22-year-old Matthews has self-quarantined in his Arizona home and hopes to be ready to play if the NHL season resumes. The NHL hopes to open training camps next month, and finish off the 2019-20 season later this summer.Matthews had 47 goals and 33 assists in 70 games before the suspension of the season on March 12.Toronto goaltender Frederik Andersen stayed with Matthews in Arizona for the first stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, but according to the Toronto Sun he tested negative for the novel coronavirus and is no longer in Arizona. Team headquarters is remaining open under the first phase of the NFL’s reopening plan.Earlier this week, the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning closed their facility after three players and two staff members tested positive.___The Toronto Maple Leafs will not comment on reports that star player Auston Matthews has tested positive for the coronavirus.The Toronto Sun and The Toronto Star report that the center tested positive. The Leafs say a player’s medical information is private. June 20, 2020 The league has said it plans to play its season as scheduled, with the first game set for Sept. 10 at Kansas City.___Rio de Janeiro Mayor Marcelo Crivella has suspended all professional soccer matches in the city only three days after play restarted amid the coronavirus pandemic. Crivella issued a decree on Saturday arguing that time is needed to adapt safety protocols for all teams. The suspension is valid for five days. On Thursday night, Flamengo beat Bangu 3-0 at Maracanã Stadium in the first professional soccer match in South America in nearly three months. The game marked the return of Brazil’s state leagues, but at a field hospital near a stadium gate doctors said two COVID-19 patients had died. Since Atlanta United began individual player workouts on May 6, the club has followed MLS health and safety guidelines, including physical distancing and sanitizing during individual workouts, small group training sessions and full group training sessions. The club works in consultation with the CDC, local health authorities and MLS regarding testing and training guidelines.___Three members of the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers have tested positive for the- novel coronavirus at the team’s training facility, and the Bucs have closed affected areas of the building.The team said those areas will remain closed until extensive sanitizing is completed. All individuals who may have been exposed have been notified, the Bucs said in a statement, “and are following the established protocols, which include a 14-day quarantine period.” The team did not identify three people who tested positive. The Latest: NFLPA advises halt to private workouts together Arizona has seen a recent spike in COVID-19 cases. On Friday, the Arizona Department of Health Services reported 3,246 new positive cases of COVID-19, exceeding Thursday’s single-day high of 2,519 cases.The league said Friday that it has tested more than 200 players at club facilities during voluntary training since June 8, with 11 testing positive.___French soccer authorities are allowing fans back into stadiums from July 10, with an initial limit of 5,000.Noël Le Graët, president of the French Football Federation, says it is possible more spectators will be allowed into the French Cup final at the end of July and for the resumption of top-tier Ligue 1 play at the end of August. Associated Press ___Atlanta United confirmed a second positive result for a player following mandatory club testing on Friday. No additional positive results for players or staff were received Friday. The club announced its first positive result for a player on Thursday. The second player was asymptomatic and has been in isolation since Wednesday, adhering with MLS health and safety protocols that require at least two positive tests to ensure the first result was not a false positive. The team conducted non-contact, individual training sessions on Friday and Saturday and will continue non-contact training on Monday. Mandatory COVID-19 testing will take place again Monday. If negative test results for all players and staff are received, the team will resume full team training on Tuesday. So far, Rio state has counted more than 8,500 fatalities from the disease. Brazil officially topped 1 million cases of COVID-19 on Friday.___Kansas State has paused all voluntary workouts for football players for two weeks following the most recent COVID-19 test results.As of Friday, 14 athletes had tested positive for active COVID-19 following testing of more than 130 athletes. The school said those who have tested positive are being medically managed according to current guidelines. That includes self-isolation for 10 days and until the patient is without fever for 72 hours without medication, whichever takes longer. Athletics director Gene Taylor said the university felt that temporarily pausing all football workouts and access to facilities was the best decision for everyone. last_img read more

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MSC Special General Members Meeting on today

first_imgMACKENZIE Sports Club will host a Special General Members Meeting today from 17:00hrs in an effort to get ready for its Annual General Meeting and Elections on June 30.General Secretary of the MSC, Marlon Pearson, in the absence of the president Avery Trim, who is out of the jurisdiction, has advised that all non-financial members put their house in order.The names of all members dating back from 2014 to present are posted for scrutiny on the Notice Board and those who are non-financial are advised to put themselves in order to have a say when the AGM and biennial elections are held at the end of next month.Apart from that, the meeting is called to deal with the Club’s outdated rules which are to be replaced with a proposed new Constitution, something that will help the club to move forward.All this comes as the club has been released from the scrutiny of the Linden bauxite firm which paid salaries for the MSC staff, among other things.  The onus is now with the Club’s Management Committee.Being saddled with that and the general upkeep of the facilities, along with the fall-off of most financial members, meant the club could not properly meet the needs of uplifting its status accordingly.In light of this, regaining lost members and adding new ones, coupled with a new MSC Constitution to look into the current financial status and the many concerns persons have, will now have to be addressed.However, following a recent meeting with Minister within the Minister of Agriculture Ms Valarie Yearwood, the efforts by the current Management Committee is being noted and the will to make the club one of Guyana’s best seems possible.Persons who want to become new members of the MSC are encouraged also to uplift Membership Forms which ware available at the desk of the Club’s steward, Ms Keisha Quow, between 10:00hrs and 17:00hrs, Monday to Friday.last_img read more

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Local Olympians recognised for representing Guyana on the biggest stage

first_imgDPI, Guyana – Several Guyanese Olympians were given the recognition they deserve after representing Guyana on the biggest stage for sports. Through the hard work and dedication of these athletes, Guyana has been placed on the map in the area of sports.Some of those athletes participated in the Olympics as far back as 1976. The Olympians celebrated at the Pegasus Hotel last Friday evening.Those athletes honoured include some household names such as Michael Parris, Aliann Pompey, Winston George and James Wren-Gilkes. Some of the other Olympians were Aliyah Abrams, Jennifer Innis- Stephens, Adam Harris, Geoffrey Sankies, Jeremy Bascom, Gordon Carew, Evan Parris and Andrew Harry. Missing from last night’s event were Niall Roberts, Richard Jones and June Griffith.Sankies was present at the 1976 Olympics but did not participate due to a boycott of African Nations. He was slated to represent Guyana in the discipline of Judo where he was expected to do exceptionally well. Nevertheless, he said being there and carrying the Golden Arrowhead at the march-past was an unbelievable feeling.Sankies said the recognition is a good thing for all those who were forgotten. “I hope they can get the recognition and be held as role models for school children who can look up to them and learn from them.”Aliann Pompey has represented Guyana on several occasions at the prestigious games. However, she said it was always a proud moment to represent the ‘land of many waters’ on such a big stage. Pompey, who is a 400 sprinter, competed in the 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympics. She said the pride felt when competing is wonderful but being recognised by her home country incomparable.“I am actually very emotional because nothing like this has ever happened for us as Olympians. There are 15 Olympians here and being able to share our stories, our glory days, I am very glad that this has happened.”The only Guyanese to have medalled in the Olympics is Michael Parris who copped a bronze medal in boxing at the 1980 Moscow Olympics. Parris said he took pride in what he did and being recognised was just the icing in the cake.Jennifer Innis-Stephens participated in the 100 metres sprint and long jump at the 1980 Olympics. Innis- Stephens noted that she was always confident of herself and while being at the Olympics “was a big deal”, she was not overwhelmed by the bright lights and large crowds. However, being recognised by her home country for her efforts is another ball game. “I appreciate being honoured and recognized after so many years of service as an athlete,” she stated.Aaliyah Abrams, a force to be reckoned with in the 400 metres was a part of the 2016 Olympic in games in Rio. While she did not medal, Abrams said she has much more to give and is excited to keep on going.“It feels good to be recognised. It is a lot of hard work and mentally taxing competing in sporting events. It is wonderful to have people who enjoy watching you compete, also celebrate you,” Abrams said.Minister of Social Cohesion, with responsibility for Culture, Youth and Sport, Dr. George Norton along with Director of Sport, Christopher Jones and President of the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) K.A. Juman Yassin was also at the event. They commended the athletes for their contribution to Guyana and assured them that the recognition will not be a one-off event.The Olympians received their certificates at the 4th Aliann Pompey Invitational at the National Track and Field Centre.last_img read more

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Rugby World cup quarter-final| Ireland seek another slice of history against New Zealand

first_imgBy Greg StutchburyTOKYO, Japan (Reuters) – Ireland coach Joe Schmidt has been used to making history in his six years in charge and he could make a little bit more tomorrow in the Rugby World Cup quarter-final against his native New Zealand.The Irish have never advanced past the quarter-finals at the global showpiece, with the clash against the All Blacks at Tokyo Stadium that kicks off at 19:15hrs. (1015 GMT) possibly their best chance to break that curse.Their structured game plan under Schmidt has led to three Six Nations titles, their first series win in Australia in almost 40 years and, more importantly, their first two victories against the All Blacks – a 40-29 victory in 2016 in Chicago then 16-9 last year in Dublin.Both Schmidt and All Blacks coach Steve Hansen have said the recent results would have little influence on what happens tomorrow, but they have given the Irish players belief that the three-time world champions were fallible.“They have had some pretty successful experiences together. There are a number of players within that side who have contributed to a fair bit of history for us,” Schmidt told reporters.“So the accumulation of those experiences together hopefully builds a bit of confidence – because you need to have some belief.“You can’t go out against an All Blacks side and accept that you’re second fiddle. You’ve got to go out and put your best foot forward.”Ireland’s best foot belongs to inside backs Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton, whose tactical kicking will be crucial in turning New Zealand around and putting pressure on their back three.Their ability to control possession also appears to confuse the All Blacks and creates frustration.While they will be without the suspended Bundee Aki, Schmidt selected his strongest possible side, with seven of the forwards that dominated the All Blacks last November in the starting team.Hansen, who is stepping down after the tournament, said he was well aware of early exits, having been an assistant to Graham Henry when they were bundled out by France in the 2007 quarter-finals.That was the All Blacks’ worst finish at the tournament and they have been unbeaten at the World Cup since, winning the titles in 2011 and 2015.He named his strongest possible side available with Brodie Retallick back in the side after he recovered from a shoulder injury.“We have experienced (an early exit) ourselves in ‘07 and there’s no guarantee we won’t experience it again,” Hansen said.“Ireland are in a situation where they haven’t gone past a quarter-final, so they will be doing their darndest not to go home.“We’ll be the same.”last_img read more

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DC Jammers held the late Andrew Ifill in high esteem

first_imgTHE DC Jammers Basketball Organisation, through one of their coaches, Clarence Wallerson, said the late Andrew Ifill will be remembered as one of their fiercest competitor whenever they toured Guyana and they held the Guyanese ‘baller’ in high esteem. Ifill was found dead in the washroom at his place of employment, Lifestyles Motors, in Trinidad and Tobago, on October 20.The former national basketball player’s death sent shockwaves through the sport’s fraternity in both the Twin Island Republic and Guyana, since he was considered by many, one of the best forwards to grace the courts in both countries.The DC Jammers, a team from the diaspora that is made up of current and former national players, as well as players who are eligible to represent Guyana, would usually visit the Land of Many Waters to engage the country’s National team in Goodwill series.Fans would pack Cliff Anderson Sports Hall over the years, whenever ‘DC Jammers’ visit, to see Ifill go toe-to-toe with the visitors.“For many years, he gave us all we could handle and kept us (the coaches) up at night trying to figure out how to win a game when he was on the court,” Wallerson said in a release to Chronicle Sport.Wallerson noted that “Andrew (Ifill) was a fierce competitor who matched wits with some of our best professional players, like Antrick and Gordon Klaiber, Glenn Stokes, Dr Lancelot Loncke, Dr Darren Ainsworth, Dexter Martin, Stephen Nurse, Pierre Goddette, Reggie King, and a long list of other DC Jammer competitors.”The DC Jammers coach is hopeful that Ifill will have a hero’s ‘send-off’ since he thinks it’s only fitting that a player who devoted his life to basketball and represented Guyana with distinction, be given a proper farewell.Meanwhile, according to Ifill’s family, his autopsy revealed that the 40-year-old Guyanese, had an embolus – unattached masses (in this case, it was blood) that travel through the blood stream – in his leg.One medical personnel explained that most times these clots are fragments of bigger clots that are formed in the legs. These free unattached clots are now travelling in the blood freely and travelling clots can lodge in the brain and cause a stroke, and in the lungs and cause chest pain and shortness of breath.There are no details at this time with regard to Ifill’s funeral arrangements, but Michael Singh, president of the GABF, said his federation is more than willing and ready to assist in bringing the former basketball player’s body back to Guyana if his family’s plans are to see him return home.last_img read more

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Asher-Smith win SJA awards

first_imgLONDON (Reuters) – England’s World Cup cricket hero Ben Stokes and world champion sprinter Dina Asher-Smith were named sportsman and sportswoman of the year at the Sports Journalists Association (SJA) British Sports Awards on Thursday.Asher-Smith took the top women’s prize for the second year in a row. The 23-year-old won three medals at the 2019 world championships in Doha, including 200m gold.Heptathlon world champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson won the award for outstanding performance.All-rounder Stokes beat six times Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton into second place with England and Manchester City soccer player Raheem Sterling third. Hamilton, one of the greatest racing drivers of all time and by far his country’s most successful, has won the award once before — in his 2007 debut season when he failed to win the title — and has now been among the runners-up on five occasions.His Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has said repeatedly that he feels the 34-year-old, third in last year’s SJA vote, is under-appreciated by his compatriots. Unsurprisingly in a World Cup year, cricket featured heavily with Stokes’ England team mate Jofra Archer awarded the trophy for international newcomer.The England men’s one-day cricket team beat Champions League winners Liverpool and the nation’s Rugby World Cup finalists to Team of the Year.last_img read more

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Nedd training, watching old footage as part of sharpening skills during lockdown

first_imgBy Clifton RossWEST Indies Under-19 spinner, Ashmead Nedd, said he’s passing the time watching tapes while working out indoors as he patiently awaits the return of cricket, whenever Covid-19 allows the world to return to near normalcy.The Guyanese spin ace, in an exclusive interview with Chronicle Sports, touched on a number of topics surrounding the recent state of lockdown due to the covid-19 pandemic, as well as post-pandemic plans for athletes.Sportsmen have been turning their abodes into places of training and practice since the global lockdown came into effect almost two months now.Nedd, enjoyed a phenomenal 2020 with the West Indies U-19 team in the World Cup, ending with 11 wickets as their leading wicket taker. Prior to that, he made his debut for the strung- together West Indies Emerging Players (WIEP) who shocked the region by winning their maiden Super50 title.Now, with time home due to the quarantine and lockdown, the 19 year-old said he has been pushing in some hard work while enjoying his down time at home.“Since this lockdown started, it just gave me some time to do extra fitness work even though there’s no gym around and so on. There’s some work you can do to keep your body fit, although I haven’t gotten the chance to do much in my skills such as bowling/batting and fielding”, said the Windies youth spinner.Although a sportsman’s career revolves around physical fitness coupled with the ongoing process of sharpening one’s skill sets, the left-arm spinner said it was equally important to have adequate rest and, as such, is cherishing this rare, prolonged time home.“Time off is pretty good, it gives you time to look back on your performances and watch video clips of yourself and see where you went wrong. It also gives you some time, if you do have the opportunity to work on correcting those errors”, Nedd pointed out.Looking ahead, possibly to a newer era of sports due to the virus, which continues to spread globally, Nedd added that the future for athletes could be a bit different from what it was before, adding that being away from cricket is tough.“It’s difficult throughout the world with the covid-19 pandemic. As a sports person knowing you’re away from something you love doing, I think of it also as a kind of set back”, He ended.last_img read more

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Australian cricket pay dispute averted as compromise found

first_imgBy Daniel Brettig AN ugly pay dispute between Cricket Australia (CA) and the players’ union appears to have been averted, after the two parties agreed to defer revenue calculations until there is a clearer picture of the COVID-19 toll on the forthcoming season.CA had previously sought a significant reduction in the amount of money to be distributed into the player payment pool, negotiated with the Australian Cricketers Association (ACA) as a fixed percentage of revenue under the MoU signed in 2017.While this would not affect retainers and match fees for the looming season, the amounts passed onto the players as part of the “adjustment ledger” distributed annually to account for revenue above CA’s 2017 projections stood to be drastically reduced. Anger at this move, combined with a similar dispute between CA and the state associations, had paralysed the game for more than three months up to the exit of the chief executive Kevin Roberts.As recently as early June, Roberts and CA had claimed that projected revenue for the forthcoming summer would be almost halved by the impact of the pandemic, even though it had announced a full international schedule including an India tour valued at around A$300 million.The compromise, with the ACA agreeing to drop a formal notice of dispute that could have seen the players and the governing body go to court, means the revenue forecast calculation will not be made until the financial tale of the 2020-21 season is more readily able to be pieced together.“Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association have today agreed a way forward on Australian Cricket’s response to COVID-19,” a CA spokesman said. “The parties have agreed to postpone the Australian Cricket Revenue projection until such time they are better able to assess the financial impact of the pandemic and calculate a clear projection for the year ahead.“With today’s agreement, the ACA has agreed to withdraw its notice of dispute lodged last month with CA. We would like to thank the ACA for the constructive manner in which they have engaged in discussions in what has been a challenging time for the game.”CA’s chairman Earl Eddings has been closely involved in board to board discussions with his ACA opposite number Greg Dyer, while the interim chief executive Nick Hockley had also entered talks with the ACA CEO Alistair Nicholson in recent days.“Today’s agreement is a significant step forward in cricket’s response to the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and should provide our stakeholders with renewed clarity and confidence about the summer ahead,” the spokesman said.“Calculating revenue projections 12 months ahead during a once-in-a-century pandemic has not been without its challenges, but we believe we have arrived at a position that provides all parties with greater certainty about how to navigate the next year.“The ACR will be reassessed in due course, providing time to better assess the financial impact of the pandemic and calculate a clear projection for the year ahead.”Nicholson welcomed the resolution: “This ‘reset’ is both welcome and sensible. CA is free to reforecast again at various times over the next financial year, should there be a material revenue event affecting cricket.”CA remains in discussions with the state associations about their annual distributions, with reductions most vigorously opposed by New South Wales and Queensland. In the meantime, more than 150 state staff and 40 CA staff have been made redundant from their roles. (ESPN Cricinfo)last_img read more

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‘Stuart Broad debate mustn’t mask England errors’

first_imgBy Jonathan AgnewTHE debate surrounding England’s fascinating four-wicket defeat by West Indies in the first Test in Southampton will centre on the home side’s decision to omit Stuart Broad.Clearly, Broad’s absence was a factor, because I do not believe England chose their strongest side given the conditions.If he had been playing, England may well have taken the chance to bowl first in murky weather on Wednesday, and subsequently gone on to win.However, they are all ifs, buts and maybes, so we must make a judgement from what we have seen on the field.England were 204 all out in the first innings, lost five wickets for 30 runs in the second, and missed four opportunities to take wickets on the final afternoon.That first-innings return was not enough. Given West Indies’ margin of victory, England may only have needed another 70 or 80 runs to have run out as victors.At the time, the total was hard to assess, because England were dodging showers and feeling their way back after the coronavirus lay-off.But West Indies showed it to be inadequate by the way they were willing to knuckle down and grind out a sizable lead.Even then, England could have got out of jail by taking their chances on Sunday. Of those missed, wicketkeeper Jos Buttler’s leg-side drop of Jermaine Blackwood and Zak Crawley’s fluffed attempt at a run-out are particularly hard to explain.Reprieved, Blackwood reined in his game to play an innings of remarkable discipline, helping West Indies to the type of win over England that is becoming a bit of a habit.We should not be surprised they have pulled this off. This is not the team that England beat with regularity 10 or 15 years ago.They showed at Headingley in 2017, and again in the Caribbean at the beginning of 2019 that they are a very fine team. Perhaps the only people that need convincing of that are their own supporters. West Indies are focused. They have a terrific set of fast bowlers and batsmen who can be flamboyant but are also willing to graft.Remember, they have come here without Darren Bravo and Shimron Hetmyer, two key men in their middle order.Not only that, but they faced the uncertainty of travelling from the Caribbean, which compared to the UK has been relatively unaffected by coronavirus. They had to quarantine for weeks, unable to set foot outside the Emirates Old Trafford ground, with only each other for company and nets to keep them occupied.That West Indies were then able to turn up in Southampton and deliver a performance of such professionalism speaks volumes for the way they are led by captain Jason Holder and coach Phil Simmons.(BBC Sport)last_img read more

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