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Wednesday, December 30, 2015
New Zealand are in line for a coveted
Boxing Day match against Australia in
Melbourne on their next test trip across
The shambolic state of the West Indies
team means Cricket Australia are on
the point of relegating their next tour
of Australia in the 2019-20 summer to
early-season status and eyeing venues
such as Darwin and Townsville to host
The spin-off could be gold for New
Zealand, who are not due to tour
Australia until the 2020-21 season for
Pakistan are the other side scheduled
to visit Australia in 2020-21.
There are tours to Australia by
commercial and playing heavyweights
England and India in the two summers
before that. It is understood New
Zealand and South Africa are under
consideration to fill the gap about to be
vacated by the West Indies, as Australia
will not want a summer with just one
Enhancing New Zealand’s chances
is the fact South Africa is likely to be
hosting internationals in the Christmas-
New Year period themselves.
New Zealand Cricket are not making
any public comment on the situation
but it is understood there have
been communications on a possible
scheduling change, which would
have New Zealand playing tests at
Melbourne starting on Boxing Day and
at Sydney a week later.
New Zealand have not played a test
at either premier venue since the mid-
1980s. The most recent of the three tests
played at the MCG was the thrilling
final-over draw in 1987, when Richard
Hadlee’s 10 for 176 got New Zealand
within one agonising wicket of victory.
New Zealand have played two tests at
the SCG, in 1974 and 1985, when they
lost by four wickets, but won the series
Cricket Australia (CA) were unable
to swap the timing of the New Zealand
and West Indies tours this season. They
suspected they had them the wrong way
round long before New Zealand arrived
in Brisbane at the start of last month
but could not make a change work.
Even though New Zealand were
beaten 2-0, CA have recognised they are
far better opposition than the hopeless
Windies. There is a belief New Zealand
will have the core of their current side
in prime condition for the next trip
across the Tasman, and therefore able
to be highly competitive.
Where arrangements get tricky are
bilateral deals between countries.
Changes tend to have a ripple effect.
But it is understood there is certainly a
will to make this work, however, plenty
of talk needs to happen first.
If South Africa were to confirm their
interest in filling that spot, they might
be preferred opposition.
With the Future Tours Programme
now more an indicative than locked-in
programme, there is a degree of fluidity.
New Zealand are scheduled to play two
tests in Australia in 2020-2021 and
host the Aussies in three more in the
Such is the desire to have New
Zealand on the premier stages, expect
NZC to push their case hard.
As for the West Indies, there is huge
disappointment at their failure to even
appear to be trying for much of the first
Relegation from the top table,
certainly in Australia’s eyes, seems a
CA’s head of cricket operations Sean
Cary has visited Cairns, Townsville
and Mackay in North Queensland this
summer, all of whom are campaigning
for tests against Bangladesh in 2017, as
are Darwin and Alice Springs.
All could be in contention to host the
West Indies, a clear sign of how far they
have fallen from the glory years when
they ruled the test game. — N ZM E
Black Caps in line
to face Aussies on
Cobden bowler Ethan Kelleher has
qualified in the singles for the knockout
round of the Heartland Bank National
Open bowls championships, being
played in Christchurch.
Kelleher won his section to qualify
for the knockout stage after winning all
three of his matches, including victory
over the in-form Canterbury bowler
Former Blaketown bowler Lance
Pascoe, now playing for the Belfast
Bowling Club in Christchurch, has
also qualified with three wins, while his
cousin Shane, playing for Blaketown,
lost his first game but won the next
two — not quite enough to make the
Roger Norton, who is still a member
of the Greymouth Bowling Club but
now based in Christchurch, has also
qualified for the knockout round.
The singles knockout round will be
Today, Kelleher was teaming up
with New Zealand development team
member Mark Watt, now based in
Australia, for the pairs competition.
The Cobden 21-year-old, who has
represented New Zealand at under-18
bowls and played for South Island
last year, is aiming to make the New
Zealand development team, which will
be announced following the national
Kelleher has been in good form this
season and according to his father,
Nigeal, he was invited to play for
Auckland at the start of this season
against a Queensland team.
Nigeal Kelleher said Ethan won six of
his seven games in that competition, “so
he’s going pretty good at the moment ”.
In the pairs contest yesterday, some of
the top players including title winners
from last year — Rob Ashton, Danny
O’Connor and Peter Belliss, and
Blackjacks squad member Mike Nagy
failed to make to the knockout
Lance Pascoe will team up with his
Greymouth-based dad Trevor, while
Shane Pascoe teams with Blaketown
clubmate Jarrod Forsyth for the pairs
West Coast women are represented in
the women’s pairs by Sandra Skates and
European Athletics president Svein
Arne Hansen does not expect Russia
to return to international competition
in time for next year’s Olympic Games
Russian athletes were banned
indefinitely by the International
Association of Athletics Federations
after a World Anti-Doping Agency
report alleged widespread corruption
and a state-sponsored drugs culture in
a sporting superpower.
An IAAF inspection committee
is due to visit Russia in January to
oversee the country’s reform process
and ensure the criteria set out by the
sport ’s ruling body are met.
The committee will report back to
the IAAF Council at the earliest at its
meeting in Cardiff, Wales, on March
27, less than five months before the
“For the moment they have to
fulfil the conditions, but I cannot
really see them competing in Rio,”
Hansen, whose body includes Russia
as a member federation, told Athletics
Weekly magazine overnight.
“They must have a cultural change.
They must get rid of all those people
European Athletics, which oversees
the sport in Europe, works with the
IAAF world governing body on
doping and medical issues.
However, the organisation will
have no influence on the decision to
reinstate Russia as an IAAF member,
which will only be made on the
recommendation of the world ruling
body’s inspection team.
Norwegian Hansen believes that
Russia’s Athletic Federation, which
has confirmed it will co-operate fully with the inspection team, will work
hard to change the culture.
“ We know some good people
in Russian athletics and I’m sure
they will be elected. We hope that
some new people will come in who
really understand that this must be
changed,” he said.
Russian athletes will not compete in
the world indoor championships in
Russia has lost hosting rights to
next year’s race walking World Cup
and the world junior championships
scheduled for Cheboksary and Kazan.
Russia ‘unlikely to compete in Rio’
Svein Arne Hansen
There has been one downside to
New Zealand’s rousing top order
batting form against Sri Lanka —
think clouds and silver linings — but
it is not something that will have the
coaching staff tossing in their sleep.
Young Canterbury left-hander
Henry Nicholls was due to come
in at No 3 in Monday ’s cracking
10-wicket win at Hagley Oval.
The newcomer had a brief taste of
batting action in the first ODI, won
by seven wickets on Boxing Day,
hitting an unbeaten 23 off 21 balls.
All-rounder Mitchell Santner and
wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi have not
even had that much, so strong has
been New Zealand’s batting at the
Batting coach Craig McMillan
found he was correcting himself
“It was going to be a good
opportunity for him,” McMillan said
of Nicholls’ promotion in the absence
of the injured Kane Williamson.
“Unfortunately — or, well,
fortunately — he didn’t get that
opportunity but he has the skill set to
fill the role.”
Martin Guptill and Tom Latham’s
rollicking 118-run opening stand on
Monday in just 8.2 overs saw to that.
“I guess that is one of the
downsides of the two heavyweights
(Guptill and Brendon McCullum).
Some guys haven’t had a hit in the
middle,” McMillan said.
“A lot of them are dying to have a
bat but when you sit back and see
what the top order are doing it ’s
pretty exciting stuff.
“I guess it is perhaps a small
concern. The key is to make sure they
have prepared well and are ready to
The goalposts move for two New
Zealand players today.
George Worker, unwanted in the
first two matches, heads back to play
for Central Districts in their second
round Ford Trophy game against
Wellington at the Basin Reser ve;
while Matt Henry, a star turn with
the ball, returns to Canterbury
and their game against Otago at
The idea with Worker is to give
him some batting time to keep him
in work; while Henry was always
only picked for the first two games.
Tim Southee returns to the squad
after having two matches off.
You can not accuse Henry of not
grabbing his chance.
He took four wickets in each of the
two lacklustre Sri Lankan innings
— 8 for 82 off 19.4 overs — bowling
with accuracy and good pace to
spearhead impressive group seam
Henry did not quite measure up
on the tour of Australia but there is
a confidence that he will be on song
if required during the Sri Lankan
McMillan is confident Williamson
will be ready to return to the side
tomorrow, providing he gets through
training drills today.
It will be a day of assessing
McCullum’s disc injury, suffered
crashing into an advertising hoarding
in the field on Monday.
In a sense that has been an accident
waiting to happen for a few seasons,
given McCullum’s full on approach
to chasing balls to the boundary rope.
“There’s no off button,” McMillan
said of the skipper’s fielding
philosophy. — N ZM E
NZ’s batting top order hitting form
PICTURE: Getty Images
Henry Nicholls bats during the first one day international match between New Zealand and Sri Lanka.
Frenchman Richard Gasquet will
miss next month’s Australian Open in
Melbourne because of a back injury,
the tournament announced this
Gasquet, the world number nine,
had already pulled out of next week’s
season-opening Qatar Open, where he
won the 2013 title, after aggravating
his long-standing back problem at the
International Premier Tennis League
(IPTL) exhibition event.
He is the third withdrawal from the
Grand Slam tournament which starts
on January 18 at Melbourne Park, after
Juan Monaco and Thanasi Kokkinakis.
Britain’s Kyle Edmund will take his
place in the main draw.
He is a previous Wimbledon semi-
finalist and United States Open
quarter-finalist, and his best Australian
Open result was the fourth round, four
The 2016 Australian Open runs from
January 18-31 . — New Zealand Herald
Gasquet injury forces out
of Australian Open
goalkeeper Pavel Srnicek has died
at the age of 47 some nine days
after suffering a cardiac arrest in
the Czech Republic.
Srnicek collapsed while jogging
during a Christmas visit to his
hometown of Bohumin in eastern
He was taken to a hospital in
nearby Ostrava and placed in an
“It is with deep sadness that I
have to announce the passing of
former Newcastle United player
Pavel Srnicek,” his agent Steve
Wraith said in a statement on
Srnicek, who also had spells at
Sheffield Wednesday, West Ham
United and Portsmouth, made
150 appearances for Newcastle
between 1991 and 1998, helping
them win promotion to the
top flight during the 1992-93
The former international played
49 games for the Czech national
team and was a member of the
squad at the 1996 European
Championship when they lost to
Germany in the final.
He was a favourite of the
Newcastle fans who called him
“Pav ” and he travelled to north-
east England this month to
promote his autobiography.
Newcastle fans sang “Pavel is
a Geordie” at half-time during
the team’s Boxing Day English
Premier League match against
Everton. The club extended
condolences to Srnicek’s family.
goalkeeping coach for Czech team
Sparta Prague since 2011.
Steve Smith expects further fight
from West Indies in Sydney, where
Australia will seek to complete a
clean sweep of the three-test series.
Smith’s men boosted their bid for
the No 1 test ranking and retained
the Frank Worrell trophy with a
grinding 177-run win at the MCG
Smith declared overnight at 3-179,
setting the visitors a victory target of
460 on day four and there was plenty
of toil for the hosts on a tedious
Man of the match Nathan Lyon
and Mitch Marsh turned the screws
to give their side another day off
before the final test starts on Sunday.
Marsh grabbed career-best figures
of 4-61, including the final wicket of
Jerome Taylor, as the hosts secured
victory by rolling West Indies for
282 at 6.01pm.
Australia hold an unassailable 2-0
lead in the three-test series.
“You want to try and wrap up the
series 3-0,” Smith said.
“They fought really hard to the end.
“I’m sure they ’re going to come out
hard in Sydney again. We’re going to
Combined with South Africa’s
struggles against England in
Durban, the result put Smith’s men
one step closer to the No 1 ranking
they crave so dearly.
Australia are currently third on
the table on 109 rating points, with
India (110) and South Africa (114)
A two-test tour of New Zealand
in February will be a more realistic
gauge of where Australia are at.
However, West Indies showed
a lot of resolve with the bat in
It is the first time they have batted
more than 80 overs in both innings
of a test since 2012.
“I don’t think we dropped,” Smith
“It was a tough wicket to take
wickets on, you really had to grind it
out and work extremely hard.
“ West Indies were up for the fight
this game. They improved quite a lot
from the last match and hopefully
they can continue to show that
Jason Holder top-scored with 68
and vowed his side would show
more of the same fight.
“ We have been criticised from all
different angles but I’ve just stressed
to the team to keep faith,” Holder
“This shows what we can do if we
“ We just need to keep that belief
and keep pushing Australia.
“ You could see guys really trying to
play themselves in. If we continue to
do that we’ ll show better signs in the
third test match.”
Josh Hazlewood failed to take a
wicket in the Boxing Day test, while
Peter Siddle was clearly restricted by
an ankle problem.
Hazlewood and Siddle will be
assessed when the squad trains in
Sydney on Friday.
Marsh stepped up sharply, sending
down 17.3 overs and regularly
hitting the 140kph mark.
The all-rounder dismissed Marlon
Samuels, Denesh Ramdin, Taylor
“ It’s probably as well as he’s bowled
in test cricket,” said Mark Taylor on
the Nine Network.
Lyon also proved a partnership
Lyon added the scalps of Kraigg
Brathwaite, Jermaine Blackwood
and Carlos Brathwaite to his first-
innings haul of four wickets.
“ I’m trying to improve every day,”
Lyon said. — New Zealand Herald
Australia destroys West Indies
Former Newcastle keeper Srnicek dies
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