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It is a concern that MCG’s drop-in pitches have not been tested: MCC CEO Stuart Fox | Cricket News

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MELBOURNE: The drop-in pitches at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) which will host the second Test between India and Australia have not been tested and it is a cause of concern, says Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) chief executive Stuart Fox.
“It is a concern for me because I would like to give them every opportunity to trial the pitches …,” Fox was quoted as saying by ‘Sydney Morning Herald’.
“… we (were to have had) a Test event the other day and Cricket Victoria were supporting us, we were meant to have players and a two-day game and we had the pitch ready to go but the game got cancelled the night before and that was really, ultimately, the result of the situation in South Australia.”
The opening round matches of Sheffield Shield were held in Adelaide instead of MCG due to the COVID-19 outbreak at Melbourne and also plans to have a two-day trial match at the MCG this week also couldn’t materialise due to the spread of virus in Adelaide.
“It demonstrates how vulnerable we still are day by day. Ideally, we would love to have a game and we are still working on that but, ultimately, it may not happen,” Fox said.
The unprecedented situation has left curator Matt Page in a spot but Fox backed him to deliver a pitch which will be able to retain a high rating.
“Matt is in a good spot. He produced a really good pitch last year that got a really good rating and he knows his trade. He is year three in and he is starting to deeply understand our pitches compared to where he was,” Fox said.
The Boxing Day Test will start on December 26.


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EFL to receive 250 million pounds bailout package from Premier League | Football News

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The Premier League has reached an agreement with the English Football League (EFL) to provide a 250 million pounds ($336.13 million) bailout package for lower division clubs struggling financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Premier League clubs gave their final approval to the agreement at a shareholders’ meeting on Thursday.
“A fund of 50 million pounds in the form of a grant and monitored grant payments has been agreed for League One and Two clubs,” the Premier League said in a statement.
“The Premier League will provide a further financial commitment to assist the EFL in securing a 200 million pounds loan facility that Championship clubs will be able to utilise interest free.”


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Barca should have sold Messi, says interim president | Football News

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MADRID: Barcelona‘s interim president Carlos Tusquets feels the club should have cashed-in on Lionel Messi during the summer transfer window.
Messi was heavily linked with a move to Manchester City and sent a recorded delivery (Burofax) letter stating his intention to leave. He later said the decision was due to being disillusioned with the direction the now former board had taken the club.
Ex-Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu resigned in October rather than face a vote of no confidence, with Tusquets taking temporary charge until January’s elections.
“Economically speaking, I would’ve sold Messi in the summer window,” Tusquets told RAC1 radio station.
“Both in terms of what you save on the wage bill as well as the money you make, it would’ve been desirable. But this is something the coaching staff have to consent to and that’s not my place.
“La Liga are setting salary limits at the moment and this would’ve helped on that front.”
Messi’s current contract expires in June, when he is expected to leave for free and on Wednesday former Barca team mate Neymar spoke of his desire to link up with the Argentine again.
“What I want most of all is to play with Messi again, to be able to enjoy him once again on the pitch,” he said after his club PSG’s 3-1 Champions League win against Manchester United.
“I want to play with him next year, for sure. We have to do it next season.”
Tusquets conceded that scenario was unlikely to transpire at the Nou Camp, where the purse strings have been tightened following the COVID-19 crisis.
“If he (Neymar) became available on a free transfer then maybe we could think about signing him,” he said.
“Without making sales, there’s no money for new signings unless the new president has incredibly deep pockets.”


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New Zealand vs West Indies: Kane Williamson’s gesture towards Kemar Roach wins over internet | Cricket News

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HAMILTON (New Zealand): New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson has become the flag-bearer for ‘Spirit of Cricket‘, and his latest gesture towards Windies pacer Kemar Roach has taken the internet by storm.
New Zealand and West Indies are currently squaring off in the first Test of the two-match series. However, before the start of play on the opening day, Williamson embraced Roach as the latter lost his father Andrew Smith recently.
Windies Cricket posted a photo on their Twitter handle in which Williamson can be seen hugging Roach. As soon as the photo was posted, many users commented as to how Williamson needs to be appreciated for how he approaches the ‘Gentleman’s Game‘.

Both New Zealand and West Indies players also wore black armbands on the opening day in honour of Roach’s father.
“On behalf of CWI and the West Indies cricket team, I offer condolences to Kemar and his family back home. Losing a loved one is never easy and we want to offer our full support to Kemar during this very difficult time. We got the news as we prepared for the Test match here and the players and team support staff all got together and offered tremendous support,” Windies team manager Rawl Lewis said in an official release.
Half-centuries from Tom Latham and skipper Kane Williamson proved crucial for New Zealand as they kept the West Indies bowlers at bay on the opening day of the first Test here at Seddon Park on Thursday. At stumps, New Zealand’s score read 243/2 with Williamson and Ross Taylor at the crease. While the skipper was unbeaten on 97, giving him company was senior campaigner Taylor on 31.
Skipper Williamson also completed 1,000 Test runs at Seddon Park. He joined Taylor as the only cricketers with 1,000 or more runs at the venue.



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