Nearly 450 sign petition to remove Debbie Hockley from Sky's cricket commentary team

Almost 450 people have signed a petition to remove New Zealand Cricket (NZC) president, Debbie Hockley, from Sky’s commentary team,

The petition had dozens of comments with NZC telling RNZ the petition was "misinformed, misguided and, in terms of some of the more intolerant comments, misogynist."

It was started four weeks ago by Chris Higgens, who wrote that the former NZ women’s captain “should be removed from the commentary box because she has no idea what she's talking about.”

The comments range from criticism of Hockley’s commentary while one calls her “a stupid bimbo” and another writes that he would “smash her”.

The petition has reinforced to NZ Cricket the need to be even more inclusive in the game.

"The comments made on the petition justify NZC's push for more gender diversity in the game," New Zealand Cricket’s Richard Boock told RNZ. 

NZC president Debbie Hockley said the event taught players "invaluable lessons in camaraderie, discipline, leadership, playing under pressure, and appreciating the spirit of the game.”
2018 ICC U19 Cricket World Cup Opening Ceremony at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch on Sunday 7 January 2018.
Copyright photo: ICC Media Zone / icc-cricket.com
NZC president Debbie Hockley. Source: Photosport



England 'curious' over Australian ball tampering during Ashes

Alastair Cook admits England were "curious" of Australia possibly ball-tampering in the recent Ashes series.

Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft have been handed bans by Cricket Australia after they came up with a plot to use sandpaper on the ball in their third Test with South Africa last month.

Although they all claimed that was their first instance of ball-tampering, focus has now been put on the Ashes, with TV footage since emerging of Bancroft putting sugar in his pocket while Australia's consistent ability to get reverse swing had England's bowlers scratching their heads.

Cook, who was part of the side that lost the five-match series 4-0, has admitted that could have been down to the express pace of the Australian attack, but also raised questions of the third Test in Perth.

Asked whether England suspected Australia of ball-tampering during the Ashes, the former Test captain replied: "Yes a little bit, certainly in Perth when the outfield was wet with rain they got the ball reversing.

"I didn't see anything. We have been pretty good at managing the ball to see if we can get it to reverse swing but then there's the thing with the quicker you bowl the ball it reverse swings more.

"That was the thing in 2005, we had Simon Jones and Freddie (Andrew Flintoff) who were quicker than the Australian bowlers.

"We have to be very careful, we were curious at certain moments but then we couldn't get the ball up to 90mph where they consistently could."

Although the three Australian's actions in Cape Town were deplored, some sympathy has been given to the length of the sanctions, with Smith and Warner both receiving year-long suspensions.

But Cook says that should be a timely reminder for the game to be played in the right way.

He added: "It's not for me to comment on punishment, but the whole thing is a reminder that people want to see.

"It's the same with cycling, that whoever is playing that people play in a fair way. If you try your hardest and there's no external things that you win or lose that way.

"It's amazing the public outcry for that.

"Sometimes with the pressure of playing, and it is so important to you and it's your livelihood, sometimes winning or losing can overtake things.

"It's wrong for everyone to sit in the cold light of day and criticise because people do make mistakes.

"There have been stories that I've heard in the past that have been hearsay that people have done things.

"(Shahid) Afridi bit the ball, that's not ideal. There has been incidents and we have known it's gone on but it's the predetermined thing of it was the bit that caught everyone out."

Steve Smith (Australia) - Photo SMPIMAGES.COM / newscorpaustralia.com - Action from the 1st Test of the 2017 / 2018 Magellan Ashes Cricket series between Australia v England played at the Gabba, Brisbane Australia.
Australian cricket captain Steve Smith. Source: Photosport


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Black Caps' Adam Milne handed IPL injury replacement contract

Black Caps fast bowler Adam Milne has been given an Indian Premier League lifeline, signed as an injury replacement by the Mumbai Indians.

Milne, 26, was one of several Kiwis to go unsold at the IPL player auction earlier this year, however a season ending injury to Australia's Pat Cummins means the Black Caps speedster returns to the Indian league, having previously represented the Royal Challengers Bangalore. 

Mumbai had earlier brought in fellow Kiwi Mitchell McClenaghan as an injury replacement, after Australia's Jason Behrendorff was also struck down by injury.

The move will see Milne again work with former Black Caps and current Mumbai bowling coach, Shane Bond, his childhood idol.

Adam Milne of the Black Caps in action Source: Photosport