Tag Archive | "ASHTON AGAR"

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Whatever happened to ASHTON AGAR?

Posted on 25 August 2013 by TSL

Selectors weighed up Ashton Agar's batting strengths and bowling weaknesses

ASHTON Agar's fairytale cricket story snapped shut at chapter three, as Australian Test selectors elected to sideline the 19-year-old from the third Test at Old Trafford, which began last night.

Yet Agar's axing was not as obvious as it may appear after selectors wrestled for some time debating his batting strengths as much as his bowling weaknesses.

It is understood many influential judges, including some selectors, have rated Agar's fluid strokeplay as being within the team's top handful of batsmen.

But a genuine fear that Australia won't capture enough wickets without bolstering the bowling, already weakened by the injury of James Pattinson, meant Agar's name was crossed out.

Of course Agar was only ever selected as the surprise spin bowler, a selection that was so audacious it caught the England team unawares before the first Test, and his gifted and swashbuckling innings of 98 to bring respectability to Australia's first innings was considered a mighty bonus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ostensibly, Agar has struggled to fulfil the role for which he was anointed – to take scalps – and while unlucky not to have captured a third wicket, his two wickets for 124 runs has been too expensive.

 

 

 

 

Even the last-minute notes from spin king Shane Warne at Old Trafford on the eve of the match didn't save Agar. Warne's former teammate Michael Slater joked on his radio show about Warne's dubious influence: "He (Agar) doesn't know how much he will learn in that session – it will be a tweeting lesson, it will be a texting lesson, it will be a races groping lesson. It will be phenomenal."

It may be that Agar eventually proves to be a linchpin of a new generation of Australian batting. He has quickly become the new poster boy for Cricket Australia and a household name in an instant.

He has shown attacking strength, as his debut at the crease amply illustrated, but he has also demonstrated patience and defensive capabilities.

While amassing just 14 for his second Trent Bridge innings, he faced 71 balls. Indeed, it could be argued that both his dismissals at Lord's were unlucky – an over-eager run-out and a questionable third umpiring decision in which he was given out caught when the Hot Spot technology did not detect an edge.

His batting, honed in the front yard while facing the terror of two younger brothers from 6m away, looks respectable. He averages 32.5 for the series, and has the second-highest (behind Shane Watson) run rate per 100 balls faced.

But at the end of the day the selectors weren't about to name two spinners for Old Trafford, even though captain Michael Clarke was extolling the "fantastic job" Agar had done. Nathan Lyon was clearly in and as a consequence, Agar, the experimental selection that hadn't failed but hadn't quite delivered the required results, was sidelined.

So just as his small team of supporters go home – his parents back to work in Melbourne, girlfriend Madi to their Perth home and his two younger brothers to their schooling – Agar will be confronting the very lonely, and perilous existence of being an international cricketer.

He has been joined on the outer by a man he barely knew several weeks ago, Phil Hughes, whose batting has collapsed as quickly as his self-confidence was shattered. After standing aside to allow Agar to control that last-wicket partnership at Trent Bridge, Hughes tallied an unbeaten 81, but ensuing figures of 0, 1 and 1 were too horrendous for the selectors to ignore.

Hughes has been shifted around the batting order – from six to four and then in a tour match against Sussex, he opened with a sterling 84.

Hughes said earlier in the week that he didn't mind where he came into bat, but spoke of the mental frustration adapting to the different roles. He carefully suggested that being an opener was his preferred position.

But he, like Agar, was always going to be in a vulnerable position when the selectors wanted to find a vacancy to inject David Warner

 

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Nala Hewawissa did not live to see his grandson Ashton Agar play for Australia

Posted on 15 July 2013 by TSL

Nala Hewawissa - photo taken on his 89th birthday in Melbourne

Riding on the Ashton Agar bandwagon, The Times of Sri Lanka did some research on Sonia Agar (nee Hewawissa) mother of the new cricket star from Melbourne. What we discovered is that Nala Hewawissa is Sonia's father and was born in 1921, in Kandy. He had his schooling at Good Shepherd Convent in Katukelle and later at Dharmaraja College Kandy, from 1933. Nala Hewawissa played 1st XI Cricket for his school and was also a long distance runner.
After leaving school he joined the Caltex oil company as a purchasing manager.
 
Nala Hewawissa and his family migrated to Australia in 1970. He has been an active member of the Dharmaraja College, OBU Melbourne from the inception. In 2010, he celebrated his 89th birthday with friends and family. However, he passed away at 90, on August 8, 2011, and the Hewawissa family requested the Dharmaraja College OBU in Melbourne to conduct the funeral according to Buddhist rites. His wishes were granted and Nala Hewawissa was laid to rest in Mulgrave followed by the seventh day 'pinkama' on Monday, August 15th (2011) at Keysborough Temple.
 
Sonia Hewawissa was a young 10-year old girl who accompanied her parents from Sri Lanka to Australia in 1970. Later she met and married Australian John Agar and they had three children Ashton, William and Wesley. Earlier last week, Ashton made history when he scored 98 runs in the Australian 1st innings going in at No.11. He broke several records in his amazing partnership with Phil Hughes and his score of 98 runs stands as the highest Test score in the 136 year history of Test Cricket.
 
Sadly, Nala Hewawissa did not see his grandson perform this great feat. He had passed on just two years before. Having been a cricketer who played for his school in Kandy, Nala would have been a proud man had he lived to see this Test match. But life sometimes gives you only so much joy and happiness. Only memories live on!

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New Cricket Star Ashton Agar might be biggest thing since sliced bread

Posted on 12 July 2013 by TSL

Blue Steel looks, charisma, confidence and technique make Australia's teenage sensation Ashton Agar already one of the most marketable sportsmen in the country.

Sports agent Jason Bakker admits Ashes debutant Ashton Agar might be biggest thing since sliced bread

 

 

(Courtesy: The Daily Telegraph)

Blue Steel looks, charisma, confidence and technique make Australia's teenage sensation Ashton Agar already one of the most marketable sportsmen in the country.

NOT since Cadel Evans won the Tour de France in 2011 has sports agent Jason Bakker fielded so many calls about one of his clients.

 

 

 

 

 

That client happens to be Ashton Agar.

 

In just three hours and 98 runs he turned himself into one the most marketable sportsmen in Australia. And it’s easy to see why.

“I think he ticks a lot of boxes,” Bakker told The Daily Telegraph.

“He’s a good looking young fella, he’s articulate, he’s very grounded – so there’s all those elements.

“But I think at the end of the day the most important thing in terms of sports marketing is performance and it was a stunning performance, really exciting.

But you’ve got to back it up. People look at longevity and consistency, so it’s only just the start.”

The 19-year-old, born in Victoria to his Sri Lankan mother Sonia and Australian father John, smashed a record-breaking 98 runs off 101 balls against England.

 

It’s the highest score by a No.11 in cricket history.

But it’s not just his remarkable feat that endeared him to the public; it’s also the way he went about achieving it.

The smile, the charisma, the confidence and the technique. Darren Lehmann might have picked him for his bowling, but he inadvertently solved Australia’s batting problems.

It all led to Agar mania gripping the country on Friday and, while his agent is aware of the huge marketability of his client, he’s not going to entertain new sponsorship deals just yet.

“I wouldn’t expect too many calls just yet and I’m certainly not looking for them,” Bakker said.

“He’s just started his Test career and he’s got to worry about waking up in the morning and taking some wickets tomorrow. So sponsorships are probably a fair way away at the moment.

“I think it’s more about focusing on his spot in the team, feeling comfortable at that level and taking it all in, which as you can see, he’s a young fella that takes everything in his stride and he doesn’t get overawed or anything. But sport is a great leveller and I think it would be a bit premature to start looking at sponsorships just at this point.”

But celebrity publicist Max Markson can already see what the future holds for Agar. He can see the fresh-faced youngster endorsing everything from KFC to Coca-Cola.

“No one had really heard of him unless you’re a cricket fan,” Markson said.

“Now he’s on everybody’s lips all around the cricketing world. It’s fantastic, he’s real hero from his debut.

“He’s young and fresh-faced, so it makes it even better from a media point of view and the public’s point of view. People love a fresh face, a new person.

“His nickname used to be Bambi so who knows, Disney might make a movie of his life story to date. He could be opposite Miley Cyrus before you know it – watch out Liam Hemsworth.”

Watch Ashton Agar's brilliant innings by downloading the link below.

http://youtu.be/VKfADKB7tvI

 

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A Star is born! Ashton Agar becomes instant international sports celebrity

Posted on 12 July 2013 by TSL

Ashton Agar made 98 on debut in the first innings of the first Ashes Test. It was the highest score from anyone on debut in 136 years of Test cricket. Teaming up with the often-maligned Phil Hughes to put on 163, the pair broke a 40-year-old all time record for the most runs for the last wicket.

Agar has scored the most runs an Australian No.11 batsman has ever made as he and Phil Hughes steered the Aussies to a first-innings leads over England in the first Ashes Test.

After England was dismissed for 215, Australia was reduced to 9/117 before Agar – in his first Test – joined Hughes at the crease.

The pair then took Australia to 9/229 by lunch, with Agar on 69 and Hughes on 63. Agar went on to make 98 before being dismissed, with Australia all out for 280.

It was, simply, a joy to watch.

Hughes was stranded on 81 not out but he will be happy knowing he and Agar now own the highest-ever 10th-wicket partnership in Test cricket history.

By the end of day two, England was 2-80 in its seconds innings and now leads by 15 runs.

Agar's old coach at Richmond in Victoria, Jarrad Loughman, gave Triple M's Hot Breakfast an insight into the 19 year-old.

Who is Ashton Agar? He is a 19-year old lad from the Melbourne suburb of Bentleigh who was little known until the 2nd day of the opening Ashes Test between Australia and England. He was the Australian hero who scored 98 runs going in at No.11 helping his team overtake the England 1st innings score. He is the man of the moment. Ashton Agar, 19, has cemented his place in Australia's sporting history with his heroics on debut in the First Ashes Test at Trent Bridge.  

When Ashton Agar was sent to England as a "development player", his family back in their home in the Melbourne suburb of Bentleigh expected he would be playing in the nets, bowling spin for batting practice by the members of the Ashes side. Then John Agar and his wife, Sonia, received a call from Ashton to say he was playing in the side, and the family made a rushed trip to England to watch his debut.

During Ashton's cracking effort, John Agar said, his eldest son had often looked to the section of the crowd where the Agar family was sitting.

"There's a strong family bond," he said.

Asked who "wins the Ashes at home", Will Agar said jokingly "it's about even".

There are two more Agars. Is this family Australia's next cricket dynasty? THERE are three of them. They started playing backyard cricket when they were young boys and they love it so much they played every evening until it was dark.

Both Ashton Agar's brothers are excelling as members of the Richmond Tigers.

The second brother, Will, 17, a left-handed batsman, scored 82 with Richmond's third XI last summer.

The youngest brother, Wes, 16 and physically more like Ashton, is a medium-pace bowling all-rounder.

It was playing for Richmond, that Ashton Agar began to make his mark.

At the age of 16, in October 2009, he scored 85 runs and then bowled, taking 4-31 in 23 overs.

"He can take wickets and score a few runs and he's cool, a pretty cool character. He's calm and doesn't get flustered," says his father John.

It was not long after that, Ashton caught the eye of Cricket Australia's national talent manager, Greg Chappell.

The Richmond Cricket Club regard both Will and Wesley Agar as promising members of their cricket side.

The Agar brothers' tradition of playing backyard cricket follows the pattern of Ian, Greg and Trevor Chappell who played in their Adelaide home as boys and rose to prominence in Australian test sides in the 1970s, and twins Steve and Mark Waugh, who played in their south-western Sydney yard and also went on to play for their country.

Ian, the eldest Chappell brother captained Australia between 1971 and 1975, and Steve Waugh was captain from 1999 to 2004.

John Agar's confidence that Ashton would go on to make a Test century, coupled with the 19-year-old's bowling ability, could mean big things in the future for Agar.

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