Bangladesh has appointed Jon Lewis as batting coach for the upcoming two bilateral series against the West Indies and New Zealand, the country’s cricket board said on Wednesday.
The 50-year-old Englishman, who had served as batting coach of Sri Lanka cricket team, will step in the shoes of Neil McKenzie, who stepped down last August citing family reasons.
“He (Lewis) is coming in a day or two, after which we will speak in person. We had three or four coaches in our shortlist but we considered his experience,” BCB’s cricket operations chairman Akram Khan was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
“After discussing the shortlist among ourselves, including the head coach, we decided to select him.
“Due to the pandemic, nobody wants to go on a long-term contract. We will see him for a couple of series and then see if we can keep him for a longer period.”
Lewis, who scored 16 first-class centuries in a career spanning nearly two decades, is also an experienced coach, having led Durham to three trophies between 2013 and 2016.
Bangladesh will host West Indies from January 20 to February 15, playing three ODIs and two Tests, before touring New Zealand to play three ODIs and three T20Is in March.
Bangladesh will miss the services of bowling coach Daniel Vettori for the West Indies series as he continues to stay in New Zealand but will be available for the next series.
Akram said Vettori decided to remain in New Zealand due to the “strict and limited” COVID-19 protocols laid down by the country.
“We have also run into trouble with Vettori, who wanted to come (for the West Indies series). But there are a lot of difficult formalities (strict protocols) when someone returns to New Zealand,” he said.
“Anyone going out of the country has to mention when he or she is returning, and then the quarantine facilities are limited. He is going to join us when we go to New Zealand next month, and in the meantime Sohel Islam will take his place.”
Skipper Balbirnie hopes to see Ireland players perform consistently to bag IPL contract
The 13th edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) was staged without crowds or the usual glamour due to coronavirus pandemic, but the cricket fever skyrocketed among the fans who were waiting to see world-class players compete in the showpiece event.
Ireland skipper Andrew Balbirnie doesn’t shy away from admitting that the IPL is the best T2O league in the world. The right-handed batsman, who is famous for his explosive batting, wants to feature in the tournament but knows that he has to perform consistently for the Irish side in the limited-overs leg to get required recognition among the franchises. No Ireland cricketer in 13 years has earned an IPL contract and skipper Balbirnie feels it will be a massive moment if any Irish player is able to do so.
“It will be massive. IPL is the best T20 league in the world with the best players in the world. I know Ahmed (UAE skipper Ahmed Raza) was part of Royal Challengers Bangalore and he could probably say how good the experience was,” said Balbirnie.
“In IPL you get to talk to the best players, best coaches in the world. And the exposure a player gets is massive,” he added
Paul Stirling and Balbirnie had played knocks of 142 and 113 respectively to help Ireland defeat England by seven wickets last year in August. Balbirnie feels Ireland players need to perform consistently as they did against England to grab an IPL contract.
“But to get that opportunity we need to put in performances for Ireland like we did in England and get to the top of table more often, performances like that on regular basis,” he said.
Ireland will lock horns with UAE before they play Afghanistan in the World Cup Super League fixtures later this month. The four-match Abu Dhabi ODI series between UAE and Ireland will be shown live in India on Eurosport and Eurosport HD starting Friday.
Felt like we gained a lot from IPL: UAE skipper Raza
UAE skipper Ahmed Raza on Wednesday said he gained a lot by training along the likes of Virat Kohli during the IPL and hoped the experience would come handy when his team takes on Ireland in the upcoming four-match ODI series in Abu Dhabi.
Raza along with wrist spinner Karthik Meiyappan trained with the Royal Challengers Bangalore during the IPL held in the UAE in September last year, while seamer Zahoor Khan spent time with the Mumbai Indians team.
“The IPL was massive. The experience you get over there training with the likes of Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, and bowling to them is great. We felt like we’d gained a lot when we left the IPL,” he told reporters during a virtual press conference ahead of series beginning on January 8.
“It’s hard to put into words, but you start feeling different, and you’re different in your approach as well. I hope that whatever we learned in that period, we can showcase in our performances in this series.”
UAE skipper Raza said his team has a good mix of youth and experience.
“You want to win every game you play, and this series is no different. We want to win all the games and win the series. We’re playing in our own backyard and looking at the squad, there’s a good mix of youth and experience,” he said.
“We have to keep an eye on the 2023 World Cup down the line. Looking at the four or five youngsters in the squad, they all played in the Under-19 World Cup and put in performances.”
Oldest living first-class cricketer Alan Burgess passes away at 100
The world’s oldest living first-class cricketer Alan Burgess has passed away at the age of 100, the New Zealand Cricket (NZC) announced on Wednesday.
A right-hand batsman and slow left-arm bowler, Alan appeared in 11 first-class matches for Canterbury from 1940/41 to 1951/52 and also for New Zealand Services in England in 1945. He took 6-52 on debut against Otago at Lancaster Park in a match that began on Christmas Day 1940. “NZC is saddened to learn of the passing of the world’s oldest-living first-class cricketer, Alan Burgess. Alan’s daughter Pip said her father died overnight in his sleep, aged 100, at the Charles Upham Retirement Village in Rangiora,” the Blackcaps tweeted.
“Otago’s Iain Gallaway, aged 98, is now NZ’s oldest surviving first-class cricketer. We understand Indian player Raghunath Chandorkar now takes over the mantle as the world’s oldest surviving,” it added.
Pip also said her father had been in good health up to the end and had spent much of Tuesday watching New Zealand play Pakistan in the second Test, on TV, and had seen Kane Williamson bring up his double century.
Meanwhile, New Zealand toppled Australia to become the number one side in Test rankings after an innings and 176-run massive victory over Pakistan in the second Test.
Williamson-led side clean-swept Pakistan in the two-match Test series. They have also gained crucial points to strengthen their position in the ICC World Test Championship standings.
New Zealand now has 118 points and lead the charts. They have achieved the feat for the first time in rankings history. Australia with 116 points stands at second spot followed by India (114), England (106), and South Africa (96).
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