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  • 15 August 2019
    导出博客文章On the eve of the BBL opener, ESPNcricinfo spoke to a cross-section of the
    tournament, from the general manager of Sydney Thunder Nick Cummins and Adelaide
    Strikers coach Jason Gillespie, to the emerging Brisbane Heat talent Marnus
    Labuschagne and the head of the BBL, Anthony Everard.Trying to rescale Everest -
    the general managerNick Cummins says Sydney Thunder are going to try to repeat
    their BBL-winning 2015-16 season by telling themselves it never happened. After
    all, it is that attitude of aspiration that inspired Thunder to pick themselves
    up from a position of being the leagues greatest underachievers.We have to
    maintain the mindset of being the team that finished last so we remain hungry
    and driven rather than thinking that weve reached the peak of the mountain,
    Cummins says. In mountaineering parlance, if youre trying to scale Everest its a
    more dangerous descent than the climb, because all the planning goes into
    getting to the peak and not thinking about how you stay there or get back. We
    really need to be mindful of that.There will be a couple of major absentees from
    Thunders campaign this time. Michael Hussey, captain and cornerstone of the
    team, is now a consultant rather than a cricketer. Usman Khawaja, pivotal to the
    teams strong finish, may or may not be around. For the first couple of games the
    calf-stricken Shane Watson certainly wont be. Cummins is looking to see more
    young players emerge after the fashion of last years unexpected star turn -
    Chris Green - and has high hopes for Kurtis Patterson in particular.One of the
    upsides of the veterans moving on is guys like Kurtis Patterson, Ryan Gibson and
    Jake Doran whove been waiting in the wings and now given their opportunity to
    shine, he said. Theres only so much they can do training, and at some point like
    Chris Green last summer youve got to put them into the furnace and see how they
    go.Kurtis started at the Thunder the same time I did in BBL03, and the team he
    joined and the level of responsibility he was expected to shoulder four seasons
    ago were a lot greater than should have been expected for someone of his
    experience. Three years down the track hes a much more mature and accomplished
    player. The expectations of Kurtis are a lot higher as well as a result of
    that.There are quite a few players in the team who may have been part of the
    squad but werent part of the XI that won the BBL last year so the desire to be
    part of that is very high for guys on the bench last year through injury or
    selection. The guys whove tasted success are really driven to go back and win
    again. Winning becomes addictive and once you have had that experience the
    feeling is how do we do that again, that was amazing.This applies as much to the
    team off the field as the players on it. Early signs are, too, that Thunder are
    going to keep growing as the club of Sydneys west, starting with a sold out
    Sydney derby against Sixers on Tuesday night.Apart from the first game, the
    Brisbane Heat game is 100% up on the year before, double the number of tickets
    12 days out. Melbourne Stars is next and thats 50% more tickets than the same
    time last year and the final game against the Strikers is abut 400% more than
    last year. Needless to say the level of interest is very high!A squad, a city, a
    tribe - the coachThe first time Jason Gillespie laid eyes on the BBL was as a
    studio expert for Sky on its television coverage of the tournament for the UK.
    It started about 7am in the UK and all the feedback I got was people getting up,
    making their cup of tea and toast and turning the tele on, he said. Everyone I
    spoke to in England absolutely loved it around Christmas time and New Year. And
    I loved it too, watched every ball. It was very popular in the UK.After
    finishing up with South Australia in 2007-08, incidentally the summer before the
    start of the IPL, Gillespie ventured to Zimbabwe then England as a coach,
    finding success with Yorkshire. Those intervening years meant he found something
    very different on his return to Adelaide: a redeveloped oval, a professionalised
    South Australian Cricket Association, and blue Adelaide Strikers shirts -
    everywhere.I came back from living overseas for a number of years and Adelaide
    Ovals completely different, he said. Yes the grounds been redeveloped but theres
    a different feel around the office, the staff. Ive been so impressed with the
    SACA - I can honestly say towards the end of my playing career I wasnt
    completely impressed with what was going on, but coming back after being away
    for a time, basically theyve got it together.Theres good people, theyve got the
    best interests of the players and our supporters at heart, and thats the core of
    any cricket organisation. Its a different town to when I lived here a few years
    ago. We have the highest average crowd in Australia and genuinely believe we
    have the best fans in the BBL - numbers would suggest that we do. Walk around
    Adelaide now and youll see Strikers tops everywhere, more than the Australian
    cricket team or anything else.Ive seen more in the last few days, shirts and
    caps than even football stuff the Crows and the Power. People have embraced
    it.Last summer Gillespie and Strikers rode a wave of close finishes, including
    last ball wins conjured by Travis Head and Jake Lehmann. An injury to Jon
    Holland and the unavailability of Adil Rashid have necessitated a change in
    tactical tack too, relying more on pace than spin - namely the powerful England
    seamer Chris Jordan. The West Australian legspinner Liam OConnor and the NSW
    offspinner Will Somerville are in contention to replace Holland if required.My
    first year here we made the semis, the year before we made the semis as well, so
    wed like to go one step further and weve got to find a way to do that, Gillespie
    said. With guys like Travis Head we feel with them and Kieron Pollard we can get
    some overs out. Spin plays a big part, we dont deny that, but when we were
    looking for a replacement for Adil Rashid it wasnt that easy to find someone
    available for the full tournament.We had options on a couple of guys to come in
    for one or two games but we decided thats not what we were about. When we found
    out Jordan was available for the whole group stage of the tournament we jumped
    at him. I said to the lads weve got a slightly different looking team and were
    just going to have to play a slightly different game. Thats the game, youve got
    to adapt, and we need to find a different way to win.As for England, Gillespie
    does not doubt more will be sitting up early with their cups of tea this time
    around, as the ECB contemplates its own move towards a city-based tournament.
    Theres a lot of resistance from counties, and theres some merit in that, because
    it is different, he said. In Australia were very centralised in our major
    cities, England not so much. Somerset is a good example - they sell out every
    T20 Blast game - so their argument is if we sell out every game we play, whats
    wrong.I get that, but the bigger picture is with the population England have,
    they could create something so brilliant that in the future people look back and
    say that was a great decision. The counties have a stake in the game and I love
    county cricket, but T20 is about entertainment and getting bums on seats, and I
    genuinely believe England have a great opportunity here. The windows open and
    that window is now.Into the arena - the playerOver the past five years, Marnus
    Labuschagne has been an enthused spectator at BBL time.His chief memories?
    Watching Travis Heads innings in Adelaide when he got that hundred to win the
    game last year was pretty spectacular, he said. Lynny playing at the Gabba and
    Ryan Duffield bowling Glenn Maxwell as well a couple of years ago, that was
    pretty cool to watch. Theres so many good things coming from it and very good
    players going around.This time, having emerged as one of the players of the
    domestic limited overs tournament that kicked off the season, 22-year-old
    Labuschagne is now going to be part of it with Brisbane Heat. I try to be as
    all-round a player as I can be with my fielding, batting and bowling as well, he
    said. My role when I get the opportunity to play will be somewhere in the middle
    order, running hard, getting a lot of twos and improvising at the end.Theres a
    lot more hype for the BBL, great to see full crowds at the Gabba, 40,000 people
    is something Ive never played in front of and itll be a great experience when I
    get the opportunity.So far, Labuschagne has been an attentive listener at the
    feet of the captain Brendon McCullum, the coach Daniel Vettori and also the
    much-travelled spinner Samuel Badree. This learning has been twofold - not only
    helping Labuschagne develop his own nascent spin but also thinking about how to
    make spin bowlers uncomfortable when batting against them.You learn so much from
    these international players both coaching and players, he said. Learning about
    what Samuel Badrees thinking when hes bowling and what hes trying to make the
    batsman do, and in how much detail hes thinking about his bowling, for myself as
    a spinner its great to think about that. Playing this format you need to know
    about the wind and what youre trying to get the batsmen to do.Then as a batsman
    youre just trying to change his game and make him do something different. Hes so
    crafty and bowls such a good length, watching the BBL the last couple of years
    hes been very effective bowling at the start of the innings. Definitely talking
    to him is helping both my bowling and my batting.Importantly, Labuschagne is now
    about to learn about switching gears from one format to another - the essential
    skill of the 21st century game and its endless variations. You see how the
    Australian guys have to do it so frequently between Test cricket T20s and
    one-dayers, he said. Its quite similar in the Shield and Matador Cup then the
    BBL, quite short turnovers. You need to work out how to adjust as quick as you
    can for each level. Keeping the genie in the bottle - the bossAsk Anthony
    Everard about the possibility of the BBL out-rating and out-attending the
    international season and be ready for a very studied response. Its not something
    we commit a lot of thought to, he said. To be honest we try to take a broader
    view of the Australian summer of cricket.If you do that and look at crowds, the
    combination of international cricket and the BBL last year contributed to the
    highest ever attendance to Australian cricket in a summer. I think we had 1.7
    million people coming to the cricket. The combination of the two, having a
    really strong international product and a strong domestic product as well thats
    only five years old, puts cricket in a really strong position and is our
    competitive advantage.The way those two elements can work together is the key
    and what were seeing is that evolving. It will continue to evolve in the future
    but we absolutely see a role for both.Everard may be Cricket Australias head of
    the BBL but he is very conscious of maintaining its role within a wider context
    - as the vehicle by which more fans are brought to the game, ultimately
    progressing from TV viewership, to attendance, to club involvement, to the
    potential of a serious career. While the BBL is open to some innovation - like
    the possibility of a Christmas night fixture in future - others like the
    expansion of team numbers will only happen if they are seen to help that
    objective.Clearly what were doing is working, thats not to say theres any
    complacency, but were playing the long game here and we want it to be a
    long-term, sustainable competition for many years to come, he said. While there
    might be temptations around expansion or innovations, we just need to make sure
    it goes back to the strategy and the long-term interests of the BBL and
    Australian cricket more generally.The television deal cut with the Ten Network
    in 2013 added AUS$20 million a season to CAs coffers, and Everard said that all
    the BBL clubs will be projecting a profit for this summer. The amount of money
    they require from CA to function is also going down each season. All clubs were
    profitable last year and all are budgeting for a profit this year, he
    said.Within the financial model the clubs operate under, there is still a degree
    of central funding that CA provides, and that was always the intention from day
    one to provide establishment funding to get them up and running. The positive
    for us is the reliance on central funding has decreased from year to year.It was
    around the high 60% in the first year and for BBL05 it was around 45%, so thats
    an encouraging trend for us. Wed expect to see that trend continue as the clubs
    become more self-reliant.Self-reliant, of course, is not the same as
    independent. CAs formal ties to each state association and in turn each team
    means there are no conflicts with private owners, and no money being lost to the
    game. All part of the strategy, of course.Weve been able to be really
    singleminded and play the long game in terms of league and club operations and
    finances, he said. We can be pretty focused in terms of our decision making, and
    if that means having to make particular investments over a period of time that
    may or may not have direct financial returns, thats a good position for us to be
    in.Let the sixth edition of the BBL begin.
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    Western was last ranked first in the country in October 2011.
    . The 18th player to shoot 60 on the tour, Jamieson settled for par
    on the final hole when his 15-foot birdie chip grazed the edge of the hole and
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    to lead the Falcons and their depleted offence out of their three-game losing
    streak last week. MILWAUKEE -- There were a lot of questions facing the
    Milwaukee Bucks as they prepared to open training camp. Now, on the eve of the
    2016-17 season opener, there are even more.Last season was a forgettable one for
    the Bucks, who were fresh off the heels of a surprise surge into the playoffs
    but plummeted back into the realm of lottery participants with a 33-39
    record.Milwaukee struggled in all aspects of the game, but it was the Bucks
    defensive effort that was most concerning. Among the best in the NBA in 2015-16,
    the Bucks finished 17th in both points per game (103.2) and defensive shooting
    percentage (45.4 percent).A lot of that drop-off had to do with Milwaukees
    reliance on younger players; veterans Jared Dudley and Zaza Pachulia were
    shipped elsewhere last season, leaving the Bucks collection of young -- but long
    -- talent to learn on the fly.Its being able to use our length, deflections,
    rebounding the ball, coach Jason Kidd said. I thought in preseason we had some
    halves or quarters where we didnt (play strong defense); but, as a whole, the
    different combinations we had were positive ones.The team also struggled to
    score -- especially from beyond the 3-point arc, where the Bucks were among the
    leagues worst in attempts, makes and percentage.So when shooting guard Khris
    Middleton went down on the eve of training camp with an ACL injury, there was
    reason for concern. But the Bucks are confident that the offseason additions of
    Matthew Dellavadova, Mirza Teletovich, Jason Terry and Tony Snell will
    complement Milwaukee forwards Jabari Parker and Giannis Antetokounmpo, who will
    handle the bulk of the Bucks ballhandling duties.Its the balance, being able to
    finish in the paint, and we create a lot of threes, Kidd said. We have to be
    able to make them.dddddddddddd. Tony (Snell), Mirza, Delly. Now, Giannis and
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    work cut out for them right off the bat, as the Charlotte Hornets come to town
    looking to build off a breakout 48-victory campaign that culminated in a
    hard-fought, seven-game playoff series with the Miami Heat.Charlotte returns
    much of the same group from last season but will have to deal with some depth
    issues early on.A bone bruise in his right knee kept Cody Zeller out of action
    for a majority of Charlottes preseason; as a result, he will see limited minutes
    to start the season.Power forward Marvin Williams is expected to start Wednesday
    despite suffering a non-displaced fracture of his left middle finger. But his
    primary backup, 7-footer Frank Kaminsky, has battled a sprained foot and is
    listed as questionable.Marvin is fine, so hell start, coach Steve Clifford told
    the Charlotte Observer. In these first two games, they downsize a lot anyway, so
    (Michael Kidd-Gilchrist) could play some there. Also, Spencer (Hawes) can play
    some (at power forward).Charlotte won the 2015-16 season series, 3-1. Kemba
    Walker averaged 19.3 points and 4.8 assists in those four games to lead the
    Hornets while Parker paced the Bucks with 15.8 points and 6.8 rebounds.After
    facing the Bucks, the Hornets travel to Miami on Friday for a rematch with the
    Heat before opening the home portion of their schedule Saturday night against
    the Boston Celtics.Milwaukee will return to action Saturday, at home against
    Brooklyn, before heading to Detroit on Sunday for the first road contest of the
    season. ' ' '