Australia coach Justin Langer says it would be ‘crazy’ to leave out Steve Smith and David Warner for World Cup

Smith and Warner have been on the sidelines for the past 10 months. (AFP)
Updated 06 February 2019

Australia coach Justin Langer says it would be ‘crazy’ to leave out Steve Smith and David Warner for World Cup

  • Baggy Greens coach says two returning stars will be at summer showpiece.
  • Disgraced duo due to return at the end of March.

SYDNEY: Steve Smith and David Warner will not be rushed back into the Australia side as soon as their bans expire next month but coach Justin Langer thinks it would be “crazy” not to include them in the World Cup squad.
The former test captain and vice-captain, Australia’s best two batsmen, will become eligible for state and international cricket on March 29 after serving one-year bans for their part in the Newlands ball-tampering scandal.
The prospective return of both has been complicated by elbow injuries with Smith’s more serious problem requiring major surgery and likely to sideline him right up to the expiration of his ban.
Coach Langer, who will prepare sides for both the World Cup defense and Ashes tour over the next few months, said the timing of their international returns would depend both on the injuries and also on how much cricket they were able to play.
“They’re going to need to get some cricket before coming back into the squad. It’s all part of the management. We’ll have to wait and see,” he said.
“We know it’s been a tough time for them, it’s been a tough time for Australian cricket, but we know the ... integration has been going for the last nine or ten months ... it’s getting closer, isn’t it? And that’ll be a continued process.
“It’s about how much cricket they get to play between now and then. They’ll find opportunities. We’ll find opportunities.
“We’re talking about two great players, we’re not talking about two really good players,” he added. “Two great players who on paper we’d be crazy not to have them in the team.”
With both retained by their franchises for this year’s Indian Premier League beginning on March 23 and Australia playing an ODI series against Pakistan in March-April, there will be plenty of opportunities for them to show their form and fitness.
Australia must select their squad for the World Cup on April 23 and Smith’s agent poured cold water on reports that the former skipper might skip the tournament in favor of preparing for the Ashes with some red ball cricket.
“The intent is that he will play in the IPL and then the World Cup and then the Ashes,” Warren Craig told Cricket Australia’s website.


Saudi bowlers off to QubicaAMF World Cup

Updated 18 November 2019

Saudi bowlers off to QubicaAMF World Cup

  • First woman from the Kingdom to compete in the championship in Indonesia

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia is sending its first woman to compete in the 55th QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup that begins in Indonesia.

Mashael Alabdulwahid will join her male teammate Abdulrahman Al-Khilaiwi, under the supervision of coach, Mario Joseph, to take part in the contest in Palembang.

Both players underwent training at a camp in Riyadh to prepare for the event. The training program included participating in the Asian Championship in Kuwait for Abdulrahman, and participating in the GCC 6th women’s bowling tournament for Mashael.

The men’s competition started Sunday at 9 p.m.

The women’s competition will begin at 3 p.m. today, where Mashael will take part in six rounds. The competition will run until Nov. 24.

HIGHLIGHT

  • Mashael Alabdulwahid will join her male teammate Abdulrahman Al-Khilaiwi, under the supervision of coach, Mario Joseph, to take part in the contest in Palembang.
  • Both players underwent training at a camp in Riyadh to prepare for the event. The training program included participating at the Asian Championship in Kuwait for Abdulrahman, and participating at the GCC 6th women’s bowling tournament for Mashael.

The competition continues on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and after completing 24 rounds, the top 24 players will be selected to compete for the top eight positions by playing eight runs on Friday. On Saturday, the best four female players and four male players will be chosen to compete in the finals.

Abdulrahman said that he is looking forward to the world cup. “This year there is a new advantage and that is having teammate Mashael joining me for the first time. I’m proud of her! It’s a big thing for Saudi women and for us in the team because this world exposure will help them to learn and give them an incentive to develop their skills,” he said.

The 20-year-old player has been bowling for the past 10 years. Despite his young age, thanks to his perseverance and sense of discipline he managed to win many victories, but the most distinguished were those in 2018. He delivered the bronze medal at the World Cup in Detroit, and two bronzes at the Asian Bowling Championship in the Philippines in the same year, and a gold medal for the trio event at the Arab Bowling Championship in Oman.

Mashael, 32, was only able to play officially last year in February 2018 when the Saudi Bowling Federation (SBF) received the decree to allow women to play in sports. However, she has been playing for fun since early childhood when she used to travel to Egypt with her family and where she managed to learn from the professionals and get hooked on the game. Mashael was chosen to take part in the Egypt Arab Championship and World Bowling Women’s Championship in Las Vegas in August 2018.

Mashael said: “Playing for fun is definitely enjoyable but when you wear your country’s flag that’s a huge responsibility put on your shoulder. You become an ambassador and a role model and when I’m put in that situation, I definitely want to give my all to be fit for that honor, and give the best image worthy of our beloved country.”

The bowlers expressed their gratitude to the Saudi Bowling Federation and its president Bader bin Abdullah Al-Alsheikh for his support and for creating opportunities for them so that they can progress, enrich their experiences and win awards and achievements.