In today’s cricket sports news, learn more about Chris Silverwood who was part of the England squad that felt very down in Australia ten months ago. On Saturday, with his newfound freedom, he may end up playing a part in a recurrence of the past. Meanwhile, Group 1 of the T20 World Cup is tight, but England has a slight edge, according to Nasser Hussain. However, the ground that England plays Sri Lanka on this Saturday could prove to be a struggle. Lastly, there was an apparent attempt on the life of former Pakistan cricketer and current Prime Minister Imran Khan, who was shot in the leg.
Chris Silverwood Might Wreck England’s T20 World Cup Dreams
Back in January, Silverwood was England’s under-fire head coach after an error-strewn Ashes campaign ended with a 146-run loss in Hobart. The tourists lost the series 4-0.
In February, Silverwood was fired. In April, he became Sri Lanka’s coach. If things had gone differently, the Yorkshireman could have led England in T20. Now he can help them out.
If at least one of Australia or New Zealand loses their final Super 12 game on Friday (New Zealand plays Ireland and Australia faces Afghanistan), Sri Lanka can reach the semi-finals if they beat England in Sydney the next day, which would virtually surely eliminate Jos Buttler’s side.
The SCG was the only Australian ground where England avoided a whitewash last winter, drawing with Australia unable to remove Stuart Broad and James Anderson.
But Silverwood’s Sri Lanka team can make England sick in Sydney this time. They’ll be underdogs in Saturday’s T20, but they’ll be tough.
Sri Lanka tests the big dogs
Since Silverwood took over in the spring, Sri Lanka has not lost a Test or ODI series – a 3-2 50-over series victory at home to Australia being a highlight – and they won the T20-format Asia Cup in September, earning one win over India and two against Pakistan.
They can handle a setback. Sri Lanka lost their Asia Cup opener to Afghanistan before winning five in a row.
Sri Lanka lost their first T20 World Cup encounter to Namibia before reaching the Super 12 round.
They lost against Namibia in the T20 World Cup opener before winning three straight.
Then, after losing to Australia and New Zealand last week, they beat Afghanistan to keep their semi-final dreams alive, for now.
Sri Lanka lost to Australia and New Zealand by seven wickets and 65 runs, but they had their moments.
Australia were 89-3 in the 13th over of a chase of 159 when Marcus Stoinis hit a 17-ball 50.
Sri Lanka may have reduced New Zealand to 29-4 had Wanindu Hasranga not dropped Glenn Phillips on 12 at long-off. Phillips hit 104 off 64 balls to help the Kiwis win by 167-7.
Hasaranga star for Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka’s fielding has been a concern in this tournament, but Hasaranga has been a headache for the opposition, taking 13 wickets in seven games with an economy rate of 6.51. Off-spinner Maheesh Theekshana has nine wickets at a low economy rate.
On the seam-bowling front, Sri Lanka is injured. Dilshan Madushanka (quad) was declared out on the eve of the tournament, Dushmantha Chameera (calf) broke down after two games, and Binura Fernando, Madushanka’s replacement, suffered a hamstring injury against Australia.
Sri Lanka isn’t at full strength, but watch Lahiru Kumara. He bowls rapidly and aggressively, creating movement. He’s wayward, but when he’s on, he’s dangerous.
Kusal Mendis has two fifties, Pathum Nissanka and Dhananjaya de Silva one apiece. Dhananjaya’s unbroken 66 was against Afghanistan earlier this week.
Then there’s Silverwood.
He may want England to win if Sri Lanka doesn’t, but he’ll be satisfied if he can eliminate his old team nine months after they sacked him.
Nasser Hussain: England Has a T20 World Cup Advantage, but Sri Lanka’s Pitch Could Be Tough
In Group 1, a victory of any kind will be enough for England to go to the semi-finals if New Zealand or Australia lose on Friday. All three sides are now tied on five points after two victories, one loss, and a no result.
New Zealand and Australia are overwhelming favorites to beat Ireland and Afghanistan, so net run-rate may decide who advances from this group to the last four.
Speaking to Sky Sports Cricket from the T20 World Cup in Australia, Hussain commented on the importance of England playing after Australia this weekend, but added a word of warning regarding England’s probable playing surface.
“First, England will have the advantage in that Australia plays Afghanistan tomorrow [Friday] night in Adelaide, so if Australia wins well – and some of their players are getting through their fitness like Finch, Stoinis – England will know the exact equation,” Hussain said.
“Win, or win by a specified number of runs.
“But they have a healthy group run-rate lead right now.
The pitch will be the challenge.
“South Africa vs Pakistan [on Thursday] is played on the same pitch New Zealand beat Sri Lanka on a couple of nights ago.”
“A used pitch. If they use it Saturday, Sri Lanka will be involved.
Because of Dhananjaya de Silva, Wanindu Hasaranga, and Maheesh Theekshana, and because their batters are used to hitting on weary pitches.
If the pitch is new, I like England.
“But, as Aaron Finch [Australia captain] stated, you must win the game first. You can’t go too hard too early and lose the game, making run rate unimportant.
“Put yourself in a position to win the game, and then – we’ve been in World Cups before, and I was in one – make sure you get across the line.
“I recall after the first World Cup game against Afghanistan, someone tweeted, ‘Why are you waffling on about strike rate and net run-rate Nasser?’ The first game!
Because of net run-rate, the first and last games are equally crucial.
“You don’t want to get to Saturday and think, ‘Crikey, I wish we’d gone harder earlier in the tournament.'”
Former Pakistani Cricketer and Prime Minister Imran Khan Was Shot in the Leg
A gunman opened fire while Khan was speaking in Wazirabad.
Cordelia Lynch of Sky News was at the scene and stated a Sky News producer was standing close the cricketer-turned-politician following the shooting.
His supporters stated he survived the attempt on his life.
A party spokesman said Khan was injured in the leg but was unharmed. The gunman’s identity is unknown and no group has claimed credit.
Khan’s party and police stated one of his followers died, nine others were injured, and an arrest was made at the scene. 9 others were hurt.
Pakistan’s former captain wants new elections after being dismissed in April. He has spoken around Pakistan.
He was six days into his march from Lahore to Islamabad when the shooting happened.
A huge throng had gathered to hear him speak, and Lynch said she quizzed him about threats of violence.
He said the march was “calm” until a “sudden ruckus.”
“The injured were brought in an ambulance…panic…people rushing. “No one could figure it out,” stated Lynch.
“Then came Imran Khan. I hear he was shot in the left leg. Our producer Mohammed noticed this. He was nearby when Imran Khan emerged.
“He was taken away…a nearby doctor treated 3 victims. The worst-case scenario was that a peaceful rally may turn violent.
Treatment for Khan in Lahore
Lynch said she was in the container with Khan when they heard cries and were instructed to leave.
“It was feared the shooter was still on board.” But it was unclear if there were threats outside. No gunfire heard. It wasn’t clear if anyone had been stabbed or shot, she claimed.
When they went outside, Lynch said they heard a “panicked” throng chanting “Imran Khan is dead” as armed police and emergency services came in.
She claimed that Khan was brought to a hospital in Lahore for treatment of a gunshot wound to the leg, and Faisal Javed was among the injured.
Khan’s test career
Before entering politics, Khan had a two-decade cricket career with Pakistan, making his debut at age 16.
Between 1971 and 1976, Khan played for Worcestershire and made his Test debut against England in June 1971 at Edgbaston.
1974: He made his ODI debut at Trent Bridge. He was one of the world’s quickest bowlers and a pioneer of reverse swing in the 1970s.
In 88 Tests, Khan took 362 wickets and scored 3,807. In 175 ODIs he scored 3,709 runs and took 182 wickets.
At 31, Khan became Pakistan’s cricket captain, succeeding Javed Miandad.
In 48 Tests, he won 14 and lost eight. In 139 ODIs, he won 77 and lost 57.
Khan guided Pakistan to their first Test win at Lord’s and first Test series win against India and England in 1987.
The fast bowler retired after guiding Pakistan to the 1987 World Cup but returned the next year.
As captain and cricketer, Khan’s career pinnacle was winning the 1992 Cricket World Cup.
Summary of today’s Cricket/Sports News
Overall, In January, Silverwood was England’s head coach and was under fire after the team’s disastrous Ashes campaign ended with a 146-run loss in Hobart. This defeat doomed the tourists to a 4-0 series thrashing. Eventually, Silverwood was fired in the first week of February. By the beginning of April, he had officially taken over as head coach of Sri Lanka. The Yorkshireman may have been leading England in the T20 World Cup if events had gone differently. He was in a position to assist them snap out of it now.
Meanwhile, Nasser Hussain asserts that England has the upper hand in the race to qualify from Group 1 at the T20 World Cup, but that the pitch on which they play Sri Lanka on Saturday could prove difficult. In Group 1, a victory of any kind will be enough for England to go to the semi-finals if either New Zealand or Australia suffer loses on Friday. All three teams are now tied with five points from four matches after two victories, one loss, and a no result.
Finally, at a gathering in Wazirabad, as Khan was delivering a speech to his supporters, a shooter reportedly opened fire. Cordelia Lynch of Sky News was on the scene and reported that a Sky News producer was standing near the cricketer-turned-politician shortly after he emerged from his container following the incident. Khan was hurried away from the site, and according to his supporters, he survived the assassination attempt. Khan, according to a party official, was struck in the leg but avoided major injury. The shooter’s identity was not immediately determined, and no group has claimed responsibility.