CRICKET

Watling overtakes Quinny as top ‘keeper in Test rankings

South African-born New Zealand batsman B.J. Watling is now the top-ranked wicketkeeper-batsman in the world, having overtaken Proteas gloveman Quinton de Kock.

Watling’s 205 helped the Black Caps triumph over England by an innings and 65 runs in their first Test in Tauranga.

And that double century saw him move up the latest ICC Test rankings, rising 12 places to 12th position.

De Kock is the highest ranked South African Test batsman and currently sits in 16th  position.

Black Caps fast bowler Neil Wagner , who was born in Pretoria, also shot up in the latest ICC rankings after his match-winning 5-44 against England.

Wagner’s eight-wicket match haul has catapulted him to a career-best third position and is 23 points away from overtaking Proteas bowler Kagiso Rabada in second place.

Meanwhile, Proteas seamer Vernon Philander has moved up two places to seventh position – despite not playing any Tests. – News24 Wire

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England coach to fly home from New Zealand tour after bereavement

England coach Chris Silverwood will leave his team’s tour of New Zealand early because of a family bereavement, officials said Wednesday.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said Silverwood would depart on Saturday after day two of the second Test in Hamilton.

“Assistant coaches Graham Thorpe and Paul Collingwood will assume responsibility of team affairs alongside Test captain Joe Root for the remainder of the New Zealand tour,” it tweeted.

The New Zealand tour is Silverwood’s first in charge of England after he was named as Trevor Bayliss’s replacement in October.

Silverwood’s team were trounced by an innings and 65 runs in the first Test and rocked by Jofra Archer’s revelation that a spectator at Mount Maunganui’s Bay Oval racially abused the fast bowler.  – AFP.

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BOATING

Century-old boat to compete in 75th Sydney-Hobart race

SportShorts: Quinny dethroned in rankings, 104-year-old boat in famous race_1

The lineup for Australia’s gruelling Sydney to Hobart bluewater classic this year includes a wooden boat built in 1904, the oldest vessel ever to compete in the race.

A total of 164 yachts are expected at the start line for the milestone 75th Sydney-Hobart race on December 26, making it the biggest fleet in 25 years, officials announced on Wednesday.

Katwinchar, a 10-metre ketch built in 1904, is one of several older wooden vessels taking part in the often brutal 628-nautical mile (1,163-kilometre) slog across the Tasman Sea.

Australian boat-builder Bill Barry-Cotter said his father had part-owned Katwinchar for a few years in the 1960s until it “basically disappeared”.

“I started advertising for it 10 or 12 years ago and got nothing, then suddenly somebody rang me up and said it was on (e-commerce site) Gumtree,” he said.

“So I went down and got the boat, it was in a very bad shape.”

Barry-Cotter has spent years restoring the boat to its former glory so he could enter it into this year’s historic event. -AFP.

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