Norwich City Alex Neil moved to Carrow Road in January 2015 1 Norwich manager Alex Neil is disappointed by the departure of the club’s chief executive and says he will assess his own position at the end of the season.David McNally announced his resignation following the Canaries’ loss to Manchester United on Saturday, which left the team four points adrift of safety with two games left to play.Norwich play Watford on Wednesday, with the future of Hornets head coach Quique Sanchez Flores increasingly uncertain, but Neil’s side will be relegated regardless if Sunderland beat Everton.Asked if he would consider his own future should Norwich go down, Neil said: “I’ll certainly look at my contribution this season, look at my team individually in terms of their contribution and the bigger picture in terms of the club and what we’ve managed to do on the field and off the field.“Recruitment is a part of that, a whole load of things needs analysing.“I’ll speak to the powers that be and the board but I don’t think anything is ever off the table in football. We spoke about Quique Flores earlier on.“At the end of the season I’ll be judging how I’ve performed, how other people have performed and I’m pretty sure people will be judging me. That’s normal in the Premier League.”Asked he still wants to be at Norwich, Neil said: “Of course, this is a club I’ve been given the task to help.“Unfortunately we’re not in the position I’d like us to be but we need to crack on and see where it takes us.”McNally was a key figure in appointing Neil as manager in January 2015 and had been at the club since 2009, when the Canaries were languishing in League One.“I’m disappointed he left the club, I had a real good relationship with David,” Neil said.“He showed trust and faith in me, he helped bring me to the club. I’m surprised, disappointed. I think we’ve lost a really important figure for us.”
10 May 2006A look at the latest International Cricket Council test bowling ratings shows South Africa’s Makhaya Ntini in second place, behind only Sri Lanka’s prolific Muttiah Muralitharan. His elevation comes on the back of a sensational summer.Ntini has been the hottest bowler in world cricket, despite facing Australia in two test series, and New Zealand in another. He has truly shown his class against the best in the world.Roaring startAt the beginning of the summer, the Proteas faced the Aussies Down Under. In the first test, played at the WACA in Perth, Ntini got away to a roaring start, snapping up 5 for 64 in the first innings and 1 for 113 in the second innings as South Africa held the world champions to a draw.The second test proved to be a cakewalk for the Aussies as they cantered to a 184-run victory. Ntini, though, bowled tidily, picking up 3 for 70 and 0 for 17 in eight overs.Supremely fit, he was unfortunately injured for the final test. Without the Border paceman in the South African ranks, the Australians surged to an eight-wicket win to wrap up a two-nil series victory.Ntini also missed out on the VB Series due to his injury but, as Proteas’ coach Mickey Arthur would later say, the break did him the world of good, and the results are hard to argue with.In prime formNot long after the series Down Under, Australia headed for South Africa’s shores for another showdown against Graeme Smith and company. This time, Ntini was in prime form, ready for the challenge of the world’s top ranked team.On a below-par pitch in Cape Town, he claimed 2 for 76 and 3 for 28 as the Aussies won the first test within three days. Essentially, one good partnership for the Australians in their first innings, between Matthew Hayden and Ricky Ponting, secured the victory as all others failed around them.In the second test in Durban, Ntini was a little off his best form, picking up 3 for 81 and 1 for 62 as Australia secured a series-deciding 112-run win. He, however, hit back with a vengeance in the third test.Sterling effortAt The Wanderers, Australia secured a nail-biting two-wicket victory which, had it not been for some doubtful and curious umpiring decisions, could have gone the other way. Their win came about despite a sterling effort from Ntini.In the first innings, he felled opener Justin Langer in the first over of the game, sending the 100-test veteran to hospital and out of the contest. He also went on to remove six Australian batsmen, capturing 6 for 100.When Australia batted again, Ntini knocked over 4 for 78 to finish with a 10-wicket haul in the match, but the series whitewash went the way of the visitors despite his sterling effort.Making the most of the conditionsNext up, New Zealand tackled the Proteas at Supersport Park in Centurion. On a spiteful pitch, South Africa won the match by 128 runs in four days, but credit to Ntini for making the most of the conditions.The Black Caps managed to muster 327 in their first innings to lead SA by 51 runs. Ntini’s contribution was a haul of 5 for 94.The Proteas hit back with a fighting 299 in their second knock to give themselves a chance of victory and Ntini and Dale Steyn did the rest, working the Kiwis over with some vicious deliveries. Ntini snapped up for 5 for 51 and Steyn 5 for 47 as the visitors were bundled out for 120.His match figures of 10 for 145 meant he had become the first South African cricketer ever to capture 10 wickets in successive tests.Batsmen-friendly pitchNext up, in Cape Town, a batsmen-friendly pitch saw both South Africa and New Zealand post scores of over 500. The Kiwis declared their first innings on a massive 593 for 8, thanks to a double-century from Stephen Fleming and a maiden test ton from James Franklin.Despite the huge score, SA’s bowling cornerstone returned the fair figures of 4 for 162 in 43 overs.South Africa posted 512 all out in reply to New Zealand’s first innings and the Black Caps reached 121 for 3 in their second innings as the game ended in a very tame draw. Ntini picked up 1 for 25 the second time around.So, on to Johannesburg for the conclusion of the summer’s tests and again Ntini was to the fore as South Africa claimed a four-wicket victory.Blasted through their battingBatting first, the New Zealanders limped to 119 all out as Ntini blasted through their batting to return figures of 5 for 35 in 16 overs.South Africa, in reply, managed only 186, so their lead looked somewhat shaky. The feisty Kiwis managed 283 in their second innings to make a game of it, with Ntini surprisingly going wicketless, conceding 44 runs in 17 overs. Nonetheless, South Africa went on to haul in the New Zealand total, reaching 220 for 6 to secure a series victory.Ntini was named player of the series.Summer haulIn total, during the summer, he dismissed 47 batsmen at a cost of 24.43 per wicket. Remember, his efforts came against the world’s number one team – twice – and the New Zealanders who, it has been statistically proven, have test cricket’s most efficient lower order – there are no easy wickets to be taken.During the course of the summer, Ntini moved past the 250-test wicket mark and by the end of it, his total had reached 269 victims. At his current strike rate, and also considering his excellent fitness, and his age of 28, he should be a lock to reach the magical 300-test victims mark, and then to soar way beyond that.It appears Makhaya Ntini is all set to become the highest wicket taker in South African test history. Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo material
The Indian team will take on England in a much-awaited series, which includes four Test matches followed by a lone T20 match and five one-dayers, and star Indian middle-order batsman Rahul Dravid has picked Graeme Swann and James Anderson as the bowlers to watch out for.Dravid said that the English attack will be quite a handful in their home conditions.”James Anderson has bowled really well. He’s been the trump card. Obviously Graeme Swann is a top-class spinner. We first saw him in England bowling here last time and the boys rated him.”He’s come on leaps and bounds from then and has become one of their lead bowlers. Swann and Anderson are the key,” the veteran batsman said in the August issue of The Cricketer magazine.Dravid, who averages over 65 in Tests in England, said that attack would be the best option against the off- spinner, who is widely regarded as the best in the world.”He’s (Swann) an attacking bowler and that’s one of the things that is different. He’s not just looking to contain, he’s looking to take wickets. He’s not scared to toss the ball up and gets turn with good sideways spin. It will be a good contest against batsmen who are good players against spin, who will not be scared to take him on.”The upcoming Test series and the subsequent five ODIs has assumed enormous proportions, with the England team making it clear they intend to beat India and go for the No. 1 spot in Test rankings.advertisementDravid admitted that the England series is one of the more important series of recent times. “All series are important series. But this one is important because it’s a series between two teams that have had good recent records, which gives it a bit more context.”We won in England last time, so from that point of view England will want to do better this time,” he said.For India, the key would be the pacers, as was the case the last time when India won 1-0 in England.According to Dravid, if India can keep their fast bowlers fit, it would add another dimension to the team. “It’s a hard one to call. England are playing at home, so they have that advantage. We’re a good side, a settled side, and we’ve been playing good cricket over the last couple of years. If we can keep our fast bowlers fit, then we’ll be very competitive.” Looking back at his Test career which has lasted 15 years, Dravid said the highlight of it has been India’s rise as the world’s best Test team.”I’m really proud that India is the No. 1 Test team. I’ve seen Indian cricket since 1996 and to be part of this journey and to see India become the No. 1 Test team – not just for a short period of time because we’ve now been there for more than a year – it’s something I’m very proud of.” The first Test begins at Lord’s on July 21.