PERTH, Australia (CMC):Former West Indies captain Brian Lara will headline Western Australia’s Festival of Cricket for a third straight year when he turns out in the Twenty20 exhibition match on December 13.The iconic left-hander will line up alongside several ex-stars like Australians Adam Gilchrist, Andrew Symonds and Ricky Ponting in the game against Perth Scorchers.Former South Africa stroke-maker Herschelle Gibbs is also expected to fly in for the event.”The Festival of Cricket presents the public and corporates with a unique opportunity to not only watch a high-quality T20 match in a relaxed, social environment, but also to mix and mingle with many current and past greats of the game,” Gilchrist said.”The chance to run around with a bunch of old mates and pit ourselves against the Scorchers is exciting and sure to be entertaining for all.”Lara has proven to be the star of the event in the two previous fixtures, showing he had lost little of his touch by carving out half-centuries on each occasion.He is regarded as one of the finest batsmen of his era, amassing 11,953 runs from 131 Tests to be the West Indies all-time leading run-scorer.The game, carded for Aquinas College Ground, also serves as a warm-up for Scorchers ahead of their Big Bash League campaign.
0Shares0000VAR will be used in the Premier League from the 2019/2020 season © AFP/File / OSCAR DEL POZOLONDON, United Kingdom, Mar 26 – Canny Premier League managers should be seeking to “manipulate” VAR technology to their advantage when it is introduced next season, according to analyst Rory Campbell.VAR (the video assistant referee system) was largely deemed a success at last year’s World Cup in Russia and is being used in many domestic leagues including Spain, Italy and Germany. But England-based players have had a slow introduction to VAR, which has been used in the Champions League knockout phase and some FA Cup games this season but will be rolled out in the Premier League in the 2019/20 season.Campbell, who has worked with West Ham in the area of technical analysis, said managers should take the time to find out how the technology will impact the game and how they can stay on top of changes.“If I were a manager I would be putting in huge resources as to how we are actually going to manipulate VAR — how we can understand how to use it to our benefit,” Campbell said at last week’s Betting on Football conference in London.Campbell, owner of consultancy firm C&N Sporting Risk, said managers could learn a lot if they get to sit down with referees before the new season starts.“The clubs presumably will be at the briefing for referees,” said Campbell. “That would be the most important meeting for every EPL (English Premier League) manager to understand — how each individual referee might handle VAR or be told how to handle it.“VAR is bigger than anything they are doing at the moment.“There is so much they can do to give themselves an edge over their rivals and manipulate a game. It sounds a bad word but there is a rule set and enough flexibility within them to exploit it.”Video technology has long been in use in the NFL © GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/File / Jonathan BachmanWarren Llambias, managing director of RedZone.bet, a bookmaker specialising in American sports such as NFL, baseball and basketball, agrees with Campbell.However, he concedes even after two decades of video assistance in the NFL, howlers can be made and says it can take teams four weeks at the start of a new season to get used to the tweaking of the system.– ‘Drama’ –“Coaches that are very good at managing set-pieces and exploiting rule changes regarding discipline in the box will see an uplift in their teams and there will be opportunities there,” said Llambias.“Like in NFL, teams that are well-structured and well-organised will adapt the quickest. The best coaches will make it work to their advantage.”Llambias also said the introduction of VAR could erode perceived home advantage as pressure on referees will ease.Rugby embraced video technology years before football © AFP/File / Peter PARKS“He (the VAR referee) will not be in the middle of the pitch being called names by 50,000 people so home advantage may no longer count,” said Llambias, who cited how in the NFL decisions are referred to an office in New York.“He is not as influenced by the crowd as he is away from the boos and the cries so he can make a more informed decision based on information, not the emotion of the crowd.”There has been some frustration expressed by fans at the length of time it takes for VAR decisions to be made and Lee Richardson, CEO of Gaming Economics, said football could learn lessons from rugby.“In rugby you know what you are waiting for, you are listening in, seeing re-runs. It adds to the drama,” said Richardson. I feel football is handling it particularly badly.”Jeevan Jeyaratnam, head of compilation at Abelson Odds, said the different nature of the two sports made this tricky.“Football is a hard game to do it for, rugby is more stop-start,” he said. “But clearly there needs to be some indication in the stadium as to what issue is being considered.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)