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Mark Butcher says England should have one head coach under Rob Key across all forms of international cricket | Cricket News

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Mark Butcher

Cricket Columnist

Sky Sports’ Mark Butcher thinks England should have one head coach for both red and white-ball cricket and a “good and reliable” chairman of selectors; Butcher feels Ben Stokes more likely to take on England captaincy given Joe Root was not sacked but resigned from the role

Last Updated: 19/04/22 6:10pm

Rob Key must appoint a new head coach - or two - and a Test captain after being named England's new managing director of men's cricket

Rob Key must appoint a new head coach – or two – and a Test captain after being named England’s new managing director of men’s cricket

Mark Butcher believes England’s new managing director of cricket Rob Key should appoint one head coach across all forms and bring back the role of national selector.

Key, appointed as Ashley Giles’ successor on Sunday, stated during his time as a Sky Sports pundit that the coaching roles should be split between red and white-ball cricket.

The role of national selector was abolished last year, with Ed Smith leaving the England and Wales Cricket Board and then-head coach Chris Silverwood – who was sacked after the 4-0 Ashes thrashing this winter – charged with heading up selection.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, Butcher suggested Smith could return to his former job and also explained his concerns over having two separate head coaches.

The Sky Sports analyst and former England and Surrey batter said: “I don’t necessarily subscribe to the view that the coaching roles should be split. I still think you should have one man in charge.

Nasser Hussain has backed the ECB's decision to appoint his former Sky Sports colleague Rob Key as MD

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Nasser Hussain has backed the ECB’s decision to appoint his former Sky Sports colleague Rob Key as MD

Nasser Hussain has backed the ECB’s decision to appoint his former Sky Sports colleague Rob Key as MD

“Yes, because of the way the scheduling is, one man would not be able to fulfil all the roles and in that case you need good assistant coaches and people you can delegate to.

“But I would rather have one man in charge of the whole thing for the simple reason that it is human nature that if you have players moving between two dressing rooms under different leaders they are going to prefer the way one guy does it to the other. I think one man is the key.

“I don’t have a preferred candidate but I think if you have the right team – director of cricket, a good and reliable, and perhaps someone who has been in the job before, such as Ed Smith, as chairman of selectors on the outside – then the captain is able to go out there and make the team his own.

“The coach should be a facilitator and bring out the best in the players he has, allowing the captain to run the ship. The captain, unlike in football, is the most important person and his decisions stick.”

‘Stokes is perhaps the only captaincy option’

Ben Stokes is the overwhelming favourite to succeed Joe Root as Test captain with Key set for talks with the all-rounder this week following Root’s decision to relinquish the role.

Butcher said: “In other times I would say don’t give Ben Stokes the captaincy, he is too important as a player and a talisman.

“He leads by example by dint of his performances on the field and doesn’t need to be captain for people to follow him.

Mark Butcher gives his view on who should take over as England's Test captain following Joe Root's resignation

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Mark Butcher gives his view on who should take over as England’s Test captain following Joe Root’s resignation

Mark Butcher gives his view on who should take over as England’s Test captain following Joe Root’s resignation

“However, only himself and Root are 100 per cent guaranteed picks so he is perhaps the only person who can be given the job.

“If Stokes wants to take on the role, that’s the end of the conversation and I think it is made easier by the fact that Root has stepped down rather than been fired.

“I think Stokes would have found it difficult to step into the role under those circumstances out of loyalty to his pal but in these circumstances I think the way is clear.”

‘Key won’t fluff the big issues’

On Key’s appointment, Butcher added: “I have every faith that he will go in there with the remit to shake things up. He is certainly not an inside appointment… he comes fresh from a job where he had to give an opinion on things.

“He has a lot of fresh ideas and is not afraid to canvas opinion, either – or upset people. He is always keen to fight his corner. He won’t fluff any big issues and, let’s face it, there are lots of them.

“Also, because he is an outsider not versed in management speak, he also has a rather healthy line in cynicism which can be handy when dealing with people who talk in rhymes and riddles.

“He knows the game inside out and has an enormous amount of respect from good judges, both those still playing the game and those on the outside.

“He is going to come in with a fresh angle – but also with very little experience of working in huge organisations so it is an incredibly brave call for him to take it on.

“I have an enormous amount of respect for someone who won’t just talk about making changes but is the man to go in and implement them, so it’s a very exciting and nerve-racking time for him.”





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No mention of Flores’ lawsuit in Goodell Super Bowl presser

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks during a press conference in advance of Super Bowl LVII at Phoenix Convention Center on Feb. 8, 2023, in Phoenix.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks during a press conference in advance of Super Bowl LVII at Phoenix Convention Center on Feb. 8, 2023, in Phoenix.
Image: Getty Images

Every year at the Super Bowl, journalists get a chance to ask NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell the questions that need to be answered on live television as the world watches. This year, the inquiries and subject matters ranged from two Black quarterbacks making history, Damar Hamlin, officiating, and the potential ways that the league will broadcast upcoming games. But, the Black cloud — no pun intended — that’s been hovering over the NFL for over a year wasn’t mentioned once on Wednesday. And it’s proof that the NFL is loving the fact that people seem to have forgotten that Brian Flores, Steve Wilks, and Ray Horton have an ongoing class-action lawsuit against the league for its alleged racist hiring practices.

Distractions are part of the game

It’s been over a year since the former Miami Dolphins head coach — and current defensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings — dropped a bomb on the sports world when he decided that legal action was the only way to make people thoroughly understand just how rigged the game is for Black coaches in the NFL.

“It’s hard to speak out…but this is bigger than football. This is bigger than coaching,” said Flores.

Days later, Goodell was on stage answering questions at the Super Bowl about that, and more.

“I think I’d start with the basis that racism or any form of discrimination is against our values. And really something that we will not tolerate,” he said at last year’s press conference.

Same as it ever was

On Wednesday, it was more of the same. “I do, but I still feel like there’s better work, and more work ahead of us,” Goodell said about the “meaningful progress” that’s taken place with diversity amongst head coaches. “I think that there is progress, and we’re pleased to see progress. But it’s never enough.”

A lot has happened since Goodell took the stage last year in Los Angeles and when he returned to it in Arizona. For instance, Steve Wilks and Ray Horton joined Flores’ lawsuit. Flores spent last season as an assistant with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and he’s now with the Vikings — as an assistant, again. Wilks was the interim head coach of the Carolina Panthers, but due to the history of the men who carry that title with his skin color, he never had a chance of permanently landing the job — no matter if Panthers owner David Tepper is claiming to be trying to eradicate the league’s “old boys network.” Horton is coaching in the USFL. And you can still count the number of African-American head coaches in the league on one hand and have some fingers left to spare, as Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh), DeMeco Ryans (Houston), and Todd Bowles (Tampa Bay) are the melanated trinity.

I thought Goodell said progress was taking place. Does it look like it to you? Maybe my eyesight is bad.

Last fall, the plaintiffs’ lawyers were alleging racial bias against the NFL as the league wanted things to move to arbitration — where nobody can see. In court documents, the lawyers wrote that “arbitration would allow ‘unconscionably biased one-sided ‘kangaroo courts’ to determine the outcome. If arbitration is where things land, it means that Goodell will be the arbitrator — which is in the best interest of the teams that are being sued, and the league. The latest development occurred last week when it was reported that the judge presiding over the case has requested that more written briefings about arbitration be submitted later in the month.

What does that mean?

That this thing is still in limbo, as we’re waiting to see if this will play out in court or behind closed doors.

But, even if this arbitration decision does go the way of Brian Flores, Steve Wilks, and Ray Horton, we have no idea when the dust will finally settle — which is a win for the league. Because while the league might wind up losing this case, they have a winning strategy. Which is to ignore it, as everyone else did on a Wednesday afternoon in Glendale, Arizona.



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Man United 2-2 Leeds LIVE! Sancho goal – Premier League result, match stream and latest updates today

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S

ubstitute Jadon Sancho’s first goal since September earned Manchester United a thrilling 2-2 draw with Leeds United in the Premier League on Wednesday as the hosts came back from two goals down to salvage a point.

Leeds flew out of the traps and stunned Old Trafford into silence after 55 seconds when Wilfried Gnonto arrowed the visitors in front from the edge of the penalty area.

The home side wasted a host of chances to level in the first half, before Leeds looked to have stormed into a match-winning position early in the second period as Raphael Varane put through his own net to double the visitors’ advantage.

However, in-form Marcus Rashford headed the hosts back into the match in the 62nd minute and Sancho stepped off the bench to rescue his side a point eight minutes later, squeezing the ball past goalkeeper Illan Meslier.

Old Trafford sensed another rousing comeback would be completed with a late winner, but their side ran out of steam, failing to win at home for the first time in 14 matches in all competitions.

United stayed third in the standings, three points ahead of Newcastle United in fourth, having played one game more.

Managerless Leeds climbed one place to 16th, one point clear of the relegation zone.

United had beaten their Roses rivals Leeds by a scoreline of 11-3 in their previous two clashes at Old Trafford, and the visitors were on a seven-game Premier League winless streak which led to manager Jesse Marsch being sacked this week.

Their form made it all the more surprising when Leeds raced into an early lead, Gnonto netting the second-earliest goal scored by an away player at Old Trafford in the Premier League, after Edin Dzeko’s strike in 2014 for Manchester City.

After De Gea denied Leeds a second with a smart stop at his near post, United twice went close to levelling as debutant Marcel Sabitzer volleyed over before Garnacho drilled just wide.

The chances kept coming for the home side, with Garnacho rounding Meslier before seeing an effort blocked and Sabitzer denied by a brilliant save.

The hosts’ profligacy looked to have proved costly as Leeds appeared to be on course to secure a first win in 18 trips to Old Trafford after Varane was powerless to prevent Crysencio Summerville’s cross rolling into his own net.

Rashford, however, had another ideas, steering a header home to become the first Manchester United player to score in six consecutive appearances at Old Trafford in the Premier League since Wayne Rooney in 2012.

Brenden Aaronson hit the post from a Leeds free kick, a let- off Manchester United capitalised on as Sancho, back in the squad after a lengthy absence due to physical and mental wellbeing issues, grabbed the equaliser with a calm finish.

Live updates

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Thank you

Thank you for joining Standard Sport’s LIVE coverage of Manchester United’s draw with Leeds.

Find our report and reaction below.

Good night!

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Ten Hag sends exciting Sancho message after key Man United goal

Erik ten Hag hailed the “magnificent” Jadon Sancho after the Manchester United forward scored his first goal since September in Wednesday’s thrilling draw with Leeds.

The England international only recently made his return to the United set-up after training on his own following what ten Hag said to be “physical and mental issues”.

Sancho’s strike won a point for the home side after Marcus Rashford had first pulled one back following Leeds’ quick-fire start in both halves.

Read Ten Hag’s message in full here!

AFP via Getty Images
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Full match report: Sancho steps up to save Man United but worrying signs without Casemiro

Jadon Sancho’s first goal since September rescued a point for Manchester United in a thrilling draw with rivals Leeds.

Wilfried Gnonto had put the visitors ahead in less than a minute, catching a United side missing the midfield control of Casemiro and Christian Eriksen cold.

Jadon Sancho’s first goal since September rescued a point for Manchester United in a thrilling draw with rivals Leeds.

Wilfried Gnonto had put the visitors ahead in less than a minute, catching a United side missing the midfield control of Casemiro and Christian Eriksen cold.

The home side wasted a host of chances to level in the first half, before Leeds looked to have stormed into a match-winning position early in the second period as Raphael Varane put through his own net to double the visitors’ advantage.

Read our full match report here!

Manchester United via Getty Images
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FT: Man United 2-2 Leeds

A thrilling draw at Old Trafford.

Just a reminder, these two teams play again on Sunday!

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FIVE MINUTES ADDED ON!

90 mins: Are we in for a winner?

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All Man United now

83 mins: Dangerous game for Leeds.

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CHANCE FOR MAN UNITED!

79 mins: Varane heads over the bar!

1675892516

Brilliant game

73 mins: Both teams still going for it! Surely there’s going to be a winner.

1675892146

GOAL! Man United 2-2 Leeds | Jadon Sancho ‘69

69 mins: MAN UNITED LEVEL!

Sancho squeezes one in from close range!



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Martin Bakole will look to enforce shot at Daniel Dubois | ‘He’s possibly the most avoided heavyweight out there’ | Boxing News

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Martin Bakole will look to force a shot at Daniel Dubois and the WBA ‘regular’ title that the London heavyweight holds.

Bakole’s last outing was an impressive, conclusive win over French Olympic champion Tony Yoka from the away corner.

Born in Congo and now based in Scotland, Bakole has only lost once in his 19-bout professional career.

Martin Bakole
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Martin Bakole is willing to take on anyone in the heavyweight division

He is now rated at number two in the WBA’s heavyweight world rankings and has signed to join new promoter BOXXER.

BOXXER’s Ben Shalom told Sky Sports that Bakole intends to enforce a shot at Dubois.

“I think they’re about to order a mandatory for Daniel, Martin wants that title. Martin is top of the tree in the WBA now,” Shalom said.

“With his win against Tony Yoka, he was so impressive to go out and do that in Paris against a former Olympic champion. On the circuit he’s possibly the most avoided heavyweight out there. Delighted to have him. I think he could challenge for world titles very soon.”

Martin Bakole, Billy Nelson
Image:
Martin Bakole with trainer Billy Nelson

Oleksandr Usyk is the WBA’s full world champion, but Dubois holds a secondary or ‘regular’ belt with that sanctioning body.

The Londoner is recovering from an injury he sustained in his last fight, a scare against Kevin Lerena. That though is the fight Bakole is gunning for.

“Martin backs himself in any fight in the heavyweight division. Daniel Dubois is on his list and Billy Nelson [Bakole’s trainer] has been talking about him for a long time and they’re ready to go,” Shalom said.

“It’s definitely that title that we have our eyes on. Obviously Daniel’s injured at the moment. But luckily with Martin he will fight anyone. They could pick any name for him to fight for that title and he would take it.

“So we’ve got a very, very good heavyweight that’s willing to fight anyone. That’s a perfect mix.”



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