Alice springs: Gary Ballance struck a patient half-century against a Cricket Australia Chairman’s XI on Friday boosting his chances for a Test debut in the second Ashes match. Jonathan Trott’s abrupt exit to deal with stress-related issues has opened up a three-horse race for the number six slot in England’s batting lineup. Zimbabwe-born Ballance hit 55 off 134 balls with five boundaries to topscore for the visitors who declared on 212 for seven wickets in the two-day practice match at Traegar Park. Ben Stokes (28) missed out while Jonny Bairstow,the other candidate was unbeaten on 31 when the declaration came
Graeme smith to miss final odi
Johannesburg: Opener Graeme Smith will be replaced by Henry Davids for South Africa’s third and final one day international against Pakistan in Pretoria on Saturday. Smith has been allowed time off following the death of his grandmother. South Africa are also without fellow stalwarts Jacques Kallis and Dale Steyn,who are sitting out the game as a precaution because of the three-match 50-over series against India starting next Thursday which will be followed by two Tests. Paceman Steyn has a mild side strain while all-rounder Kallis has a badly sprained little finger.Pakistan have already won the series.
PCB optimistic of pak players in 2014 IPL
Mumbai: The Cricket Board (PCB) is optimistic that Pakistani players might get a chance to play in the Indian Premier League next year. A senior official of the PCB told PTI that the national team had no international commitments lined up after the T20 World Cup in Bangladesh in March up to October 2014. We have no series scheduled right now for this period so we are hoping that the Indian Board (BCCI) will next year invite our players for the IPL in April and May, he said. He said the reason for the optimism stemmed from the decision to invite the Pakistani domestic T20 champions for the Champions League Twenty20 this year as well as last year. Hopefully things will change for the better next year and our players will be invited for the IPL although so far we have had no discussions on this issue with the BCCI, he admitted. Pakistani players have been barred from participating in the IPL since 2008 after the Mumbai terror attacks.
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