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The Roar


Cricket News: Carey hits back at critics, Premier takes swipe at boring Adelaide, English star rejects racism enquiry

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4th February, 2023

Alex Carey has defended Australia’s decision not to play a tour match in India after arriving at their training base in preparation for the blockbuster four-Test series.

Australia’s No.1-ranked squad is warming up for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy showdown with a camp in Bangalore ahead of the first Test, which starts in Nagpur on Thursday.

A host of net bowlers have been brought in to mirror the threats posed by India’s attack, which includes spin duo Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.

There has been external criticism of the schedule, notably from former captain Michael Clarke, who said match practice against spin and reverse-swing in Indian conditions would be significant.

But wicketkeeper Carey took a similar view to teammates Steve Smith and Usman Khawaja, declaring the tourists’ preparation more than adequate.

“The guys that have been here in the past probably had more of a say but it’s great to be able to have the facilities we do have,” Carey said ahead of his first series in India.

“Lots of centre-wicket (practice), more of a closed environment where you can hone your skills.


“The wickets are spinning out here as well, so it’s a great way to lead up.

“A lot of the guys are coming off some Big Bash cricket, so a little tweak into the red ball. But the way the guys started yesterday has been fantastic.”

Carey is excited to get behind the stumps to record-breaking offspinner Nathan Lyon on Indian decks expected to do plenty for the tweakers.

The pair’s connection will be important in Australia’s bid for a first series win in India since 2004.

“Off the field (our relationship) is really strong, and on the field hopefully it continues to grow and grow,” Carey said. 

“I’m really excited to see what he can do along with Ashton Agar and our other spinners.

“Travis (Head) is a real threat with the ball, and the same with Marnus (Labuschagne).


“There’s lots of options there and lots of relationships to build but over the last 12 months I’ve been able to do that pretty well.”

Alex Carey of Australia celebrates his century.

(Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

While much of the focus heading into the tour has been on spin, Carey is also aware of what both sides’ quicks are capable of with the ball.

“Going to Pakistan (in March last year) it was a lot of spin talk and I found the reverse-swing ball difficult,” the 31-year-old said.

“I played a four-day game here in 2018 and a lot of talk was spin, but you probably forget a little bit how damaging both teams’ fast bowlers are with the reverse-swinging ball and a wicket that might be a little bit up and down.”

SA bid to pinch Sydney Test ‘ridiculous’: Cricket NSW

South Australia’s bid to steal the New Year’s Test from Sydney has been dismissed as “ridiculous” by Cricket NSW.


A battle has broken out after NSW premier Dom Perrottet had a dig at his neighbouring state getting trying to get their hands on the January match.

“A five-day washed-out Test in Sydney is much better than a five-day Test in Adelaide because at the end of it you’ve spent five days in Adelaide,” said Perrottet.

SA Premier Peter Malinauskas and the SA Cricket Association want Adelaide Oval to host the Test match in the first week of the New Year.

“In South Australia, we’ve got an amazing record of people turning up to sporting events,” Malinauskas told reporters in Canberra on Friday.

“We often have bigger crowds than Sydney and that’s despite having a far smaller population.

“South Australians are passionate about their sport, they love their cricket, myself included.


“So we stand ready to work with Cricket Australia to improve their product to more people around the country.”

The bid is part of the Malinauskas government’s plans to lure more sporting events to Adelaide, which recently won hosting rights for the AFL’s so-called gather round, where all 18 clubs will play in the city over a four-day period in April.

That AFL round comes a week before Adelaide stages a LIV Golf tournament, with the SA capital also hosting the opening match of rugby league’s State of Origin series this year.

But the bid to pinch the New Year’s Test has been slammed by Cricket NSW chief executive Lee Germon.

“My initial reaction was one of not believing it,” Germon told reporters in Sydney.

“It’s a ridiculous notion that the New Year’s Test should go to Adelaide when it’s so much part of the culture … to have the New Year’s Test here in Sydney.

“We will just be telling Cricket Australia there’s no way the Sydney Test should be moving.”


(Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Germon said rain, which has had an impact on the Sydney Test six times in the past seven years, was no reason to switch the timing.

Sydney holds the unenviable record of having the most days washed out in Test cricket of any Australian venue, with 25 completely lost over the years.

Cricket Australia (CA) is expected to decide the scheduling of next summer’s Test matches at a board meeting next week.

The governing body’s chief executive Nick Hockley said during the most recent SCG Test match, which was heavily affected by rain, there was no push within CA to move what he described as “an iconic event on the sporting calendar”.

Hoggard withdraws co-operation for ECB’s racism inquiry

Matthew Hoggard says the disciplinary process relating to the Azeem Rafiq racism investigation has “failed everyone” after withdrawing his co-operation from the process.


Hoggard, who was part of the England team which won the 2005 Ashes, faces four charges from the England and Wales Cricket Board.

Hoggard told BBC Sport: “The process has failed everybody. Every party involved has a problem with the way this process has been dealt with.

“Azeem (Rafiq) has a problem with it, all the respondents have, (former Yorkshire chairman) Lord Patel has, Yorkshire have. There has got to be a better way.”

The charges Hoggard faces relate to his alleged use of racist language from his time at Yorkshire.

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And he insisted he had taken the decision to pull out of the process because he did not believe it was “fair”.

Hoggard added: “I’m pulling out because I don’t think it’s a fair process.


“There are no winners in this. It is not an admission of guilt. The people who know the truth, know the truth. That is all that matters to me.”

The case is due to be heard in public by a Cricket Discipline Commission panel at the start of next month but Hoggard is the latest to withdraw from the process due to concerns.

Hoggard’s former Yorkshire teammate Andrew Gale, another of the individuals charged, announced last year he was not willing to engage with the process, which he described as “tainted”.

Rafiq alleged to MPs when appearing before the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee in November 2021 that Hoggard had used the phrase “elephant washer” towards him, and subjected him to abuse “on a daily basis … all day, every day”.

Rafiq also alleged Hoggard made players of Asian heritage sit together in the changing room. During his oral evidence, Rafiq did credit Hoggard with having made contact to apologise.

The ECB announced last June it had charged a number of individuals with improper conduct and alleged breaches of its anti-discrimination code. Yorkshire were also charged over their handling of the allegations.

Responding to Hoggard’s withdrawal, and reports that two other individuals had also withdrawn, the ECB said: “Individuals are entitled to choose not to participate in the hearings if they wish, but the cases will still be heard in their absence and we are satisfied that the disciplinary process in this matter has been both rigorous and fair.


“The ECB’s investigation and disciplinary process has been overseen by an independent committee and specialist leading King’s Counsel (KC).

“At the end of the hearing it is for the independent CDC Panel, not the ECB, to determine guilt or otherwise and any sanction.”

Heat to unleash ‘Italian Stallion’ against Scorchers

The Brisbane Heat are banking on their “Italian Stallion” Spencer Johnson to rise to the occasion yet again in Saturday’s BBL grand final against the Perth Scorchers at Optus Stadium.

Johnson has come of age at the Heat this season, with the left-arm paceman’s value on full display in the Heat’s shock win over the Sydney Sixers on Thursday night.

The 27-year-old snared 3-28 to help his side restrict the Sixers to 9-116, and he looms as a key figure on the fast and bouncy Optus Stadium deck in the decider.

“What a find he’s been for us,” Peirson said of Johnson, who has Italian heritage. 


“I know (assistant coach) Boof Lehmann has been all over him for a while now and we can see why. He’s shown his class.

“He’s a bowler who knows his game so well at his age, 27. He’s gone through some trials and tribulations at Adelaide (with injuries).

“He’s a bit of a show pony the Italian Stallion, so he will look forward to getting out and playing in front of 55,000 and show what he can do, which is bowl fast.”

The Heat have been so impressed by Johnson this season that they are keen to re-sign him.

But they will face plenty of competition from the Adelaide Strikers, who are eager to lure him back their way.

“I think Dizzy (Strikers coach Jason Gillespie) is chasing his signature as well, and so teams should be,” Peirson said.


“He’s a left armer, big tall boy who can bowl fast. He can hold a bat, and he’s good in the field as well. He’s the complete package. 

“We’d love to keep him and get him across to the Queensland Bulls as well.

“That’s very much on the radar, but DIzzy has come sniffing now as well.”

The Scorchers are aiming to win their fifth BBL crown, while the Heat are looking to add to their 2012/2013 title.

Perth will make at least one change to their side for the final after pace ace Lance Morris rejoined the Test squad.

Paceman Matt Kelly is fit to play after overcoming concussion, while spinner Peter Hatzoglou is the other option being considered. 

“I can tell you it’s a really difficult decision,” Scorchers captain Ashton Turner said.