first_imgAustralia’s domestic Sheffield Shield tends to open sleepily, with spring sunshine warming the few diehard fans that turn up to regional venues but auditions for coveted Ashes places have given the start of this year’s tournament additional spice.Australia may be comfortable on their own pitches and confident of fending off an England side likely to be without all-rounder Ben Stokes, their most valuable player, for at least part of the five-test series.However, the question of who will bat at six in the order has become an increasing bugbear for a team desperate for a quality all-rounder of their own while also needing some starch in the middle after a worrying string of batting collapses.Queries over the best man behind the stumps have also grown in volume since the incumbent Matt Wade was dropped for a single one-day international in India earlier this month and then reinstated in the next game.With less than a month before the first test kicks off at the Gabba on Nov. 23, the opening matches of the first-class Sheffield Shield will also be a battle-ground for the pacemen as they look to replace the injured James Pattinson as first understudy to Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins.One player desperate for red ball form will be Victoria state’s Glenn Maxwell, who scored a fine century at number six against India in March but has failed to surpass 50 in seven test innings since.With selectors keen to have a part-time bowler able to provide relief for the pacemen over the course of a long campaign, Maxwell’s ability to soak up some overs with his off-spin would be valuable.advertisementThe hard-hitting 29-year-old is under pressure from Western Australia’s uncapped Marcus Stoinis, a medium pace-bowling all-rounder who has averaged 86.25 in his eight ODIs and impressed during the recent tour of India.Another Western Australian in Hilton Cartwright is also a contender after his surprise selection at number six for the second test against Bangladesh in Chittagong last month.”In an ideal world you’d want someone like a Ben Stokes who can give you the ideal balance, bat and bowl,” selector Mark Waugh told Sky Sports Radio earlier this month.”But I think your number six as it stands is probably going to be a batsman and ideally he bowls a bit.”The wicket-keeper position has troubled Australia since Brad Haddin’s retirement after the last Ashes in 2015 and Wade’s reinstatement at the expense of Peter Nevill in the last home summer proved divisive.Seemingly favoured for his niggle over the more subdued Nevill, Wade has not justified his selection with the bat and compiled just 17 runs from his three innings during the two-test tour of Bangladesh.Nevill, considered a technically superior keeper to Wade, will captain New South Wales in the absence of regular skipper Moises Henriques as he looks for a weight of runs to dislodge the incumbent Tasmanian.South Australia’s uncapped Alex Carey, who posted an all-time record 59 dismissals in the 2016-17 Shield season, is seen as a dark horse to dislodge the seasoned campaigners.last_img read more


first_imgzoom Two Filipino seafarers were reportedly injured in an explosion aboard the 250,000 dwt ore carrier Stellar Young, operated by South Korea’s Polaris Shipping.The explosion occurred in the ship’s engine room on July 22 while the very large ore carrier (VLOC) was undergoing maintenance at a dock in Gwangyang, South Korea, according to local media. The exact cause of the incident was not disclosed.The injured crew were taken to the hospital for treatment. The reports suggest that the injuries were slight.According to AIS data by Marine Traffic, Stellar Young departed the port of Gwangyang late on Sunday evening and is currently sailing toward Australia’s port Hedland.The explosion is the latest in a row of incidents to hit Polaris Shipping. Earlier in 2017, the company’s converted VLOC Stellar Daisy sank in the South Atlantic, some 3,700 kilometers off Uruguay, taking 22 crew members with it.The 1993-built ship was carrying eight South Korean and sixteen Filipino sailors. Two of the sailors were rescued on April 1, only a day after the ore carrier sent a distress signal to Polaris Shipping saying that the ship was taking on water.World Maritime News Stafflast_img read more


first_imgAPTN National NewsFive years after the tragic drowning death of 22-month-old Evander Lee Daniels in an overcrowded foster home, the Ministry of Social Services has apologized for their mishandling of the toddler’s case.His parents have accepted that apology, but are now raising money through a crowd funding campaign to sue social services.APTN’s Larissa Burnouf spoke with Evander’s father.last_img


first_imgAPTN National NewsMore people are speaking out about the uncomfortable connections between religion and food banks.On Tuesday, APTN had the story of a Winnipeg man, who’s been turned away from a food bank, after raising concerns about their so-called “volunteer life program” that contains lifestyle expectations that volunteers are expected to follow.APTN’s Dennis Ward now reports others are coming forward to say they’ve also felt religion was forced upon them when all they really wanted was food for their family.last_img