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Jacques Kallis enjoying time with ‘arch-enemy’ England after South Africa exit | Cricket News

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LONDON: South Africa great Jacques Kallis said he’d come to enjoy working with England in Sri Lanka even though it had initially felt odd to be assisting the “arch-enemy” a year on from coaching against them with his native Proteas.
Outstanding all-rounder Kallis, the third highest run-scorer in Test history, has been retained by England as a batting consultant for their two-match series in Sri Lanka starting Thursday.
“I suppose in the beginning it was a little bit strange because England were the arch-enemy when we played them but I suppose in the world we’re living now guys go and coach other teams and in the T20s around the world guys go and play with other teams,” Kallis said in a conference call from Galle.
“It’s a good bunch of boys with a lot of youngsters who have bright futures ahead of them, so it’s nice I can perhaps help them achieve the goals and dreams they want to achieve.”
Amid coronavirus restrictions the 45-year-old Kallis, renowned for his concentration and technique at the crease, was clear about the kind of advice he wanted to give England’s top order.
“I think it’s one of the shortest lead-ups to a Test series England have ever had and I have to be careful not to tinker with guys’ techniques too much,” he said.
“It’s more about the mental side of things and making sure they’ve got good game plans and how they’re going to go about it and that sort of stuff and minor technical stuff.”
A year ago Kallis was advising South Africa during their home series loss to England.
But the policy of racial transformation, designed to ensure the team is representative of the whole country after only white cricketers were allowed to represent South Africa during the apartheid era, is now being applied to backroom staff as well.
Acting Cricket South Africa chief executive Kugandrie Covender, since suspended on misconduct charges, explained the policy in September by telling ESPNCricinfo: “We need to ask: ‘Could you have employed a black person in this position?’ We are not saying we don’t want any white people.”
Kallis, while expressing sadness at the way his time working with South Africa had ended, said he understood the broader context.
“We’ve lost a few players — whatever the reasons — overseas,” Kallis said. “It’s the times we’re in. There are many other coaches who have gone on to coach other teams — Gary Kirsten, for example. It’s the modern way of the world.
“It’s sad in a way that I can’t help out in South Africa but I’m thoroughly enjoying my time here in the England set-up.”
Kallis scored 13,289 runs at an average of over 55 in 166 Tests and took 292 wickets with his pace bowling during a 19-year international career.
Only India’s Sachin Tendulkar and former Australia captain Ricky Ponting have scored more Test runs.
Yet there remains a sense that the achievements of Kallis have been undervalued when compared to more flamboyant all-rounders such as West Indies’ Garfield Sobers, Pakistan’s Imran Khan and England’s Ian Botham.
“They were a lot more aggressive and had different roles to play within the side and I probably fell into the more conservative side given the team and the place I was batting in,” said Kallis.
“I never played the game for accolades or records. I played because I loved it and I wanted to win games of cricket.
“I was a terrible loser, I hated losing, so that pretty much drove me and it certainly does drive me now I’ve finished the game in the other avenue of coaching.”


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India vs England: Stokes, Archer named in squad for first two Tests

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London: Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer have been named in England’s squad for the first two Tests against India, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced on Thursday.

Stokes and Archer are currently not a part of England’s squad for the ongoing two-match Test series against Sri Lanka, but the duo will return to action after a much-deserved break. Rory Burns has also returned to the squad for Tests against India.

Under the leadership of Joe Root, England will be looking to show a spirited performance to bolster their chances of making it to the finals of the World Test Championship in June.

England’ squad: Joe Root (Yorkshire) (captain), Jofra Archer (Sussex), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), James Anderson (Lancashire), Dom Bess (Yorkshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Rory Burns (Surrey), Jos Buttler (Lancashire), Zak Crawley (Kent), Ben Foakes (Surrey), Dan Lawrence (Essex), Jack Leach (Somerset), Dom Sibley (Warwickshire), Ben Stokes (Durham), Olly Stone (Warwickshire), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire).

Reserves: James Bracey (Gloucestershire), Mason Crane (Hampshire), Saqib Mahmood (Lancashire), Matthew Parkinson (Lancashire), Ollie Robinson (Sussex), Amar Virdi (Surrey).

Surrey’s Ollie Pope will travel to India and will be added to the squad when passed fit. Pope is recovering from a shoulder injury sustained in September during the Test series against Pakistan.

The national selectors have provided a block of rest for Jonathan Bairstow, Sam Curran, and Mark Wood. The three players, who are currently in Sri Lanka, will miss the first and second Tests in India.

This is consistent with the selection policy of finding a block of rest for all multi-format players at some point during the post-Christmas winter schedule.

With Archer and Stokes returning, and subject to the fitness of the rest of the squad, Somerset’s Craig Overton will return home after the Sri Lanka series.

India and England are set to lock horns in four Tests, five T20Is, and three ODIs. The first Test is set to begin on February 5 in Chennai.

On Tuesday, India had also announced its squad for the first two Tests against England.

India’s squad for first two Tests against England: Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Wriddhiman Saha, Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul (subject to fitness), Rishabh Pant, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammad Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Ravi Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Washington Sundar, Axar Patel.

The team has five stand-bys in Priyank Panchal, KS Bharat, Abhimanyu Easwaran, Shahbaz Nadeem, and Rahul Chahar. Net bowlers have also been included with an eye on the coronavirus situation and they are Ankit Rajpoot, Avesh Khan, Sandeep Warrier, K Gowtham, and Saurabh Kumar.

The first two games of the 4-game series are to be played in Chennai before the cricketers move to Ahmedabad for the third and fourth Test.



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India vs England: Stokes, Archer back for first two Tests against India | Cricket News

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LONDON: Explosive all-rounder Ben Stokes and pacer Jofra Archer on Thursday returned to a 16-member strong England squad named for the first two Tests of the upcoming four-match series against India.
The England selectors also named six travelling reserves for the first and second matches, to be held at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai from February 5.

Both Stokes and Archer were rested for the ongoing two-match Test series in Sri Lanka, while Rory Burns was at home for the birth of his child.
The team will continue to be led by Joe Root.

Surrey’s Ollie Pope will travel to India and will be added to the squad when passed fit. Pope is recovering from a shoulder injury sustained in September during the Test series against Pakistan.
The national selectors have provided rest to Jonathan Bairstow, Sam Curran and Mark Wood. The three players, who are currently in Sri Lanka, will miss the first and second Tests in India.
“This is consistent with the selection policy of finding a block of rest for all multi-format players at some point during post-Christmas winter schedule,” the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said in a release.
With Archer and Stokes returning, and subject to fitness of the rest of the squad, Somerset’s Craig Overton will return home after the Sri Lanka series.
Squad for first two Tests: Joe Root, Jofra Archer, Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Ben Stokes, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes.


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London Marathon plans for 100,000 runners this year | More sports News

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LONDON: This year’s London Marathon is set to break new ground with a record 50,000 runners expected to tackle the course on the city’s streets while another 50,000 compete in a remote race “wherever they are on the planet”, organisers said on Thursday.
The virtual London Marathon was held for the first time last year after the actual race was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly 38,000 runners took part to set a Guinness World Record for the most in a remote marathon in 24 hours.
With a national vaccination drive underway, organisers also hope to have 50,000 runners for the traditional race on Oct. 3.
The virtual marathon allows participants to run on a 26.2-mile course of their choice but they must complete it on Oct. 3.
“The world record-breaking success of the virtual event in 2020 and the incredible stories from participants across the globe showed how the… marathon brought light and hope in the darkness of the pandemic,” said event director Hugh Brasher.
“We want to offer that again and we have also accelerated the plans we have been working on for some years to increase the number of finishers on the streets of London to 50,000,” he added in a statement.


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