By Ian RansomMELBOURNE, Australia (Reuters) – Ashes auditions for Australia’s vacant number six spot have seen a number of leading candidates fluff their lines in the domestic Sheffield Shield but Jake Lehmann’s strong form could force an awkward decision at the selectors’ table where his father sits.Lehmann, the son of Australia coach Darren, has been closely watched since emerging with a trio of first class centuries in the 2015/16 season, and has built a respectable first class average of 44.95 from 29 matches with South Australia (SA).He struck his sixth first-class century with a first-innings 103 against Victoria and backed that up with a 93 to be awarded Player-of-the-Match as SA fell two wickets short of an outright victory on Tuesday.Another big score in the third round could force his father ‘Boof’ out of the room when selectors discuss the squad for the first Ashes Test in Brisbane starting November 23.Even as the 25-year-old pressed his claims, Victoria batsman Glenn Maxwell, probably the strongest candidate for the middle order position, was fighting his own battle to win favour, scoring 64 after managing 60 in the first innings.Dismissed cheaply twice in the opening defeat to Queensland, all-rounder Maxwell’s twin half-centuries may go some way to easing doubts about his consistency.Maxwell struck a fine century when batting number six in Ranchi against India in March but has failed to reach 50 in seven Test innings since.POSITIVE SIGNSFew others, barring 23-Test Shaun Marsh, who hit a 91 for Western Australia (WA) against a Test-quality New South Wales (NSW) attack, have raised their hand for an Ashes spot.Marsh’s state team mate and younger brother Mitchell has managed only 46 runs so far in the Shield, the fast-bowling all-rounder failing twice against NSW.Another WA all-rounder Hilton Cartwright, who played at number six in Australia’s last Test against Bangladesh, crashed out with a pair of ducks and would appear out of the running.Questions over the wicketkeeper position also remain, with Matthew Wade failing to shore up his spot with a decent score for Tasmania and his NSW rival Peter Nevill doing little with the bat to dislodge him.Australia’s attack, by contrast, is settled and has been humming along nicely, with pace spearhead Mitchell Starc firing an ominous Ashes warning with a pair of hat-tricks for NSW in the same match against WA.Starc’s performance moved fellow left-armer Mitchell Johnson, the man who terrorised England’s batsmen during the 5-0 whitewash in the 2013/14 series, to tweet his approval.“Seriously 2 hat-tricks in the same game … Now time to rip in to the poms,” wrote Johnson.Starc’s NSW team mate and Test captain Steve Smith was also impressed, but spread the praise around to fast bowlers Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins.“I thought he bowled like an absolute genius, he’s a superstar,” Smith said of Hazlewood’s six-wicket haul.“Patty Cummins has had a couple of good games as well so they’re up and going and bowling really well. So that is positive signs for us.”
After June 15, all visitors and Jamaicans arriving in the island will be tested for COVID-19. This is a reversal of the initial decision that was taken by the Government for tourists to only submit to voluntary testing. The Jamaican government worked closely with international partners to develop the public health-focused tourism protocols, which were designed based on benchmarks globally to include nearly 20 markets in the Caribbean, as well as global health agencies. Protocol development also included extensive consultation with local government agencies including Ministries of Health & Wellness, National Security and Foreign Affairs as well as private sector, unions, and international partners within and beyond the tourist industry including the World Travel & Tourism Council, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The World Bank, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, and development finance banks. Through June 14, Jamaicans returning to the island will undergo temperature checks and a screening with public health officials. They will need to quarantine at home for 14 days and monitored with phone or wristband geofencing. Jamaica has announced it will reopen its borders for international travelers on June 15. The country is currently repatriating 8,000 Jamaican nationals who have been stranded overseas due to COVID-19 related travel restrictions. Additionally, an extensive set of operational protocols were announced, including health screening before entry and upon entry, which will be implemented to manage risks to workers, communities and travelers. From planning the trip to enjoying the destination, the protocols address all stages of the visitors journey, incorporating the lifecycle of prevention, detection and response. “Tourism is the lifeblood of our local economy, and with the help of international experts and a dedicated task force, we have developed protocols that allow us to safely reopen our borders,” said Donovan White, Jamaica’s Director of Tourism. “We are confident that as we restart our economy, Jamaicans will work together to ensure a safe, secure and seamless experience for our tourism workers, their families, and visitors, while preserving the authentic experiences travelers seek when they visit our shores.” Safety is paramount to a resilient and sustainable tourism sector. As the nation’s largest economic engine, Jamaica’s tourist industry employs 130,000 workers, and impacts an additional 120,000 jobs from other industries (water, agriculture, power, among others), fueling more than one third of the country’s economy. Jamaica’s health and safety protocols will be revisited every two weeks, which is consistent with the government’s approach of evaluating the COVID-19 global situation. As more is discovered about the virus including medical advancements or as the risk profile changes, Jamaica will make any necessary and appropriate revision to the protocols.
Fnatic, an esports organisation stationed in London, has partnered with DreamHack Spain to have a merchandising presence at both DreamHack Valencia and DreamHack Sevilla.Merchandise, gaming peripherals, and exclusive items will all be part of Fnatic’s offering at the upcoming festivals.As part of this new deal, the organisation will host meet and greets with some of the personalities – as well as giving away special Fnatic-themed prizes to people who participate in, and win, in one-versus-one League of Legends and CS:GO tournaments.Erik Londre, Head of Events at Fnatic discussed the partnership in a statement: “Fnatic has always had strong ties to Spain since the days of Xpeke, so we are of course very excited about our partnership with DreamHack! With LCS Summer Split in Madrid just being announced we are really looking forward to making 2018 a year of Spanish focus2!”“Our goal is that it should always be better to be a Fnatic fan. That’s why we’re on site at as many gaming events as possible around the world trying to make people’s experiences even better,” continued Londre. “We know we have quite a big following in Spain, so we hope to make some of these happy!”In early May, Fnatic signed an exclusive deal stateside that meant its new gaming equipment – dubbed Fnatic Gear – would be stocked in over 300 Best Buy stores nationwide. The range includes the STREAK and miniSTREAK keyboards, as well as CLUTCH 2 and FLICK 2 mice.Arturo Castelló, Director of DreamHack Spain commented: “We’re very happy to welcome DreamHack Spain to Fnatic, one of the greatest and well-supported esports teams around the world. We have been working at DreamHack Spain since 2010 to bring the best competitions and the best players on the planet to Spain; it’s great news that DreamHack Valencia and DreamHack Seville visitors will have the opportunity to experience the Fnatic universe for themselves.”Fnatic is currently partnered with Chillblast, Deezer, DXRacer, Newzoo, Strafe, and AMD. DreamHack Valencia takes place on July 12-15th, while DreamHack Sevilla spans over 13-16th December. Esports Insider says: Fnatic made a big move with its Best Buy deal, and now having a physical shop at both Valencia and Sevilla seems like a natural extension of its push into selling items beyond merchandise.Sign up to our newsletter!