Apr 152014
 
South Africa Rewarded For Leading Test Rankings
ICC Chief Executive David Richardson presents the cheque to CSA Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat

ICC Chief Executive David Richardson presents the cheque to CSA Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat

© ICC

Cricket South Africa (CSA) have been awarded US$ 475,000 by the International Cricket Council for topping the Test rankings at the 1st April cut-off date.

It is the second year in a row that the Proteas have received the award, presented to CSA chief executive Haroon Lorgat by his ICC counterpart David Richardson.

They have now held the ranking since August 2012, and are the fourth side, after Australia, England and India, to achieve the distinction.

Australia claimed second place and a prize of US$ 370,000 while India and England received US$ 265,000 and US$ 160,000 respectively for ending the cycle in third and fourth.

“I congratulate South Africa for topping the rankings for the second successive year in our pinnacle format,” Richadson said.

“To retain the top Test spot in a season that saw some very interesting, competitive and high-profile series is an achievement to be proud of.

“With the top eight Test sides closely matched, and every side aiming to claim the coveted number-one Test position, I’m looking forward to another exciting, challenging and competitive season, which will go on to strengthen Test cricket’s reputation as the most enduring and respected format.”

Lorgat, who also received the symbolic mace that is held by the leading Test side, said:

“I am truly honoured and humbled to receive the Reliance ICC Test prize money, not just on behalf of the players and the team management but on behalf of all South Africans.

“The players appreciate the enormous privilege of representing our country and taking on the responsibility that goes with it.”

© Cricket World 2014

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Apr 102014
 
Aussies confirm tour of Zimbabwe

Adam Gilchrist was still wearing green and gold the last time Australia toured Zimbabwe.

Adam Gilchrist was still wearing green and gold the last time Australia toured Zimbabwe. Source: News Limited

AUSTRALIA will play cricket in Zimbabwe for the first time in over 10 years when it takes part in a one-day international tri-series in August.

Cricket Australia confirmed Michael Clarke’s men will play two matches each against the host nation and South Africa in late August and early September, with the top two teams slogging it out in the final on September 6.

It will be the second time many of the Aussie players have visited Africa this year following the successful Test and Twenty20 series against the Proteas in February.

However it will be the first time any of the players have played a fully-fledged international match in Zimbabwe, apart from captain Michael Clarke and all-rounder Shane Watson.

Several of the men likely to be in the squad will have featured in last year’s Australia A tour that visited Zimbabwe, including the then-discarded David Warner.

Australia’s one-day side will take on Zimbabwe and South Africa in August.

Australia’s one-day side will take on Zimbabwe and South Africa in August. Source: AP

The two countries haven’t met on the field in a full international since the 2011 World Cup in India, while they last played Test cricket against each other in 2003.

Ironically, the last time Australia visited Zimbabwe Darren Lehmann, now Australia’s coach, put in impressive stints with both bat and ball in the tourists’ 3-0 series win.

That tour is perhaps best remembered for the protest made by leg spinner Stuart MacGill, who asked not to be picked for the tour due to the political situation in the country.

While Robert Mugabe remains president of the southern African nation, it’s unlikely any of the current crop of players will forfeit a spot in the national side to make a protest.

Zimbabwean cricket remains beset by crises, with many of its players going unpaid for months, and the board allegedly owing $17 million to a local bank.

Apr 092014
 
Holcim, Lafarge agree merger to create cement giant
REUTERS: Switzerland’s Holcim has unveiled an all-share deal to buy France’s Lafarge to create the world’s biggest cement maker with combined sales of 32 billion euros. The partners billed the deal as a merger of equals under which Lafarge shareholders will receive one Holcim share for every Lafarge share held, with the combined group to be based in Switzerland and listed in Zurich and Paris.

The new entity, worth just under $60 billion, will see 53 percent shareholder control for Holcim and 47 percent for Lafarge, the companies said in a joint website presentation, which follows news the pair were in talks on Friday and agreement over the weekend. The deal will be the industry’s biggest-ever tie-up, and would help the companies slash costs, trim debt and better cope with the soaring energy prices, tough competition and weaker demand that have hurt the sector since the 2008 economic crisis. The groups complement each other well geographically, with Lafarge stronger in Africa and Holcim stronger in Latin America, company executives told reporters on a conference call. The merged group will be present in 90 countries, with emerging markets such as Latin America and Africa accounting for 60 percent of sales, but no single country representing more than 10 percent. “The new group will offer higher growth and low risk, thus creating more value,” said Lafarge Chief Executive Bruno Lafont, who will become CEO of Lafarge-Holcim. The companies added that they expected total annual savings from joining forces of 1.4 billion euros after three years, thanks to economies of scale, better operational efficiency and lower financing costs.

Apr 072014
 
Dhoni named captain of T20 Team of Tournament

Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and R. Ashwin were the other Indian players featuring in ICC’s World T20 XI for the recently concluded tournament

Dhoni named captain of T20 Team of Tournament (© AFP)

AFP

Dubai: The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Monday announced the men’s Team of the Tournament for the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh, with India’s Mahendra Singh Dhoni as its captain.

The team includes four players from India, two each from South Africa and the West Indies, and one each from Australia, the Netherlands and Sri Lanka.

Chosen by a select group of experts, the team was aimed at being suited for Bangladeshi conditions, on the basis of performances at the just-concluded World T20 tournament. Statistics were used but were not the sole basis for selections.

Selection panel chairman and member of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees, David Boon, said: “It was a very difficult task for the panel to pick a team of 11 from the exciting players who featured in this tournament.

“As the selection criteria for the Team of the Tournament are the performances of players in the conditions during the ICC World Twenty20 2014, some of the best players in world cricket had to be left out of the team.

“Bowlers in particular performed strongly throughout this tournament, and the side we have selected includes three of the most impressive bowlers in Dale Steyn, Samuel Badree and Lasith Malinga.

“The team also contains six specialist batsmen, including Stephan Myburgh from the Netherlands as an opening batsman, as well as three all-rounders, including Dhoni as a wicket-keeper batsman.”

The panel faced a difficult choice for a number of positions, and players who were considered but who did not ultimately make the team included India’s Amit Mishra, Pakistan’s Ahmed Shehzad, South Africa duo of AB de Villiers and Imran Tahir, Sri Lanka’s Angelo Mathews and Rangana Herath, and West Indies’ Dwayne Bravo and Sunil Narine.

Other members of the panel included Marais Erasmus of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Umpires, former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram, ex-England captain Nasser Hussain, former West Indies fast bowler Ian Bishop and Utpal Shuvro, one of Bangladesh’s senior-most cricket correspondents.

Full squad: Rohit Sharma (India), Stephan Myburgh (Netherlands), Virat Kohli (India), J.P. Duminy (South Africa), Glenn Maxwell (Australia), Mahendra Singh Dhoni (India – captain), Darren Sammy (West Indies), Ravichandran Ashwin (India), Dale Steyn (South Africa), Samuel Badree (West Indies) and Lasith Malinga (Sri Lanka); 12th Player: Krishmar Santokie (West Indies).

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