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  1. #1
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    West Indies tour of England (2020)

    Positive Signs For WI, ENG Test Series

    Cricket West Indies (CWI) Chief Executive Johnny Grave says he is “increasingly confident” that the Test tour of England will come off, noting that a final decision will likely be made at Thursday’s meeting of CWI’s board.

    In the clearest hint yet that the three-Test series will go ahead in July amid the serious challenges posed by the novel coronavirus pandemic, Grave said the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) now believed that they had a “robust and safe plan” to ensure that the series came off successfully.

    “From where we sit at the moment, based on the information we have, based on the fact that every day there are less and less cases in the UK, everyone is getting increasingly confident that the tour will happen at some point,” said Grave.

    “Our board meeting is on May 28. If the tour has to take place, by the start of June we would need to have the [CWI] board approval and support by then in order to get the charter flight logistics in place and select the players.”

    “We are in the final stages of discussions with the ECB, and they are in the final stages of finalising their plans in order to get the UK government and ECB board support.

    “We are expecting to get a formal offer to tour England probably by the end of the month so that we can get our board’s approval and the players can potentially leave the region (the Caribbean) in early June.”

    Under the current proposal, West Indies would leave the region by private charter on June 8 and undergo two weeks of quarantine at a secure facility while preparing for the series.

    The first Test is scheduled to start on July 8; the second, eight days later; with the final Test bowling off July 24, with the likely venues to be Southampton and Manchester.

    “They would have been tested prior to departure. They are then on private charters within the Caribbean, then a private charter to the UK, and then they enter a biosecure bubble where other than them, and the people looking after them – ground staff, catering, and hotel staff – no one else is allowed,” Grave said.

    LOW CHANCES OF INFECTION

    “Everyone else in that secure bubble has been tested. So the likelihood of coming into contact with someone who is COVID-19 positive is very, very low.

    “And it is on that basis, and because of the robustness of the biosecure environment and the plans that our medical people are saying to us, it is a safe environment. So the chances of someone catching COVID-19 are very, very small.”

    He continued: “The players would be in a very, very secure [and] very, very isolated environment for the first two weeks in quarantine, and then when they move into the biosecure Test venues, everyone that they come into contact [with] would be in a restricted bubble, therefore, not able to leave, and all of them would have been tested prior to coming into that environment and would continue to undergo random testing while they are there.”

    The tour was initially scheduled for May but had to be postponed following the outbreak of the pandemic, which has caused 260,000 infections and nearly 37,000 deaths across the United Kingdom.

    http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/s...ng-test-series


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  2. #2
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    West Indies head coach Phil Simmons has identified fitness as a key component during the ongoing lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and is hopeful the Test squad will be at an acceptable standard of readiness if the proposed tour of England goes ahead.

    According to Simmons, players have been undergoing fitness regimes – mostly at home – over the last month, and some have even stepped up outdoor preparation as their respective territories had eased curfew restrictions.

    “For the past four weeks or a little bit more than that, guys have been given different programmes and have been asked to even though they are locked away – because some territories had locked down very early – [to] find a room in their house or in their backyard to do work and keep themselves at a certain level of fitness,” the former West Indies player said.

    “As places have opened up, guys have been, in some places, able to run on the beach, and in other places, go run outside; but the training itself has been stepped up.

    “And even now it (Caribbean) has opened up a little more, you have a few guys who can go out and bowl on a pitch somewhere just to get their rhythm back, so that’s how you have to progress.”

    He continued: “I don’t think that at this stage they’re enough facilities open where you can go and practise, but they’re a few grounds where bowlers themselves can go and bowl.

    “There are no batsmen, only spot bowling, and we hope that this develops and develops and by the time [and] if the tour comes off and we’re ready to leave, everybody would’ve done something at home.”

    While the tour is yet to be confirmed, Cricket West Indies’ chief executive said recently that negotiations were at an advanced stage and he was “increasingly confident” the three-Test series would be played in July.

    If the matches come off, they will be played under strict social-distancing and medical protocols, and at venues considered “bio-secure” facilities.

    Further, arriving players will be subjected to a two-week quarantine before moving to secure stadia, where they will have no contact with the public.

    HIGH ANTICIPATION

    And even though matches will also be played without spectators present, the England-based Simmons believes there will be high pubic anticipation surrounding the series.

    “I think a lot of sport, for a while, is going to go ahead in front closed doors, and I think the expectancy here is high because I think people want some kind of sport to go on,” he explained.

    “Sport is a part of life in England and even in the [football] Premiership, there’s a lot of talk about if it’s going to start back soon or not. But people are looking forward to sport coming back because the one thing that you’re missing here on the TV everyday is [live sport].

    “There’s a lot of old games being shown and people are enjoying that, but they’re looking forward to live sport; so there’s a lot of hope it happens, but that depends on how things are put together.”

    The series will be the first international tour undertaken since world cricket was abruptly halted nearly three months ago due to the outbreak of the virus.

    http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/s...s-england-tour


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  3. #3
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    England’s re-arranged home Test series against the West Indies in July is set to get the official go-ahead on Thursday.

    Originally scheduled for next month, the three-match series was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

    But weeks of talk between the England & Wales Cricket Board and their counterparts in the Caribbean has seen a revised touring itinerary drawn up with matches played behind closed doors in bio-secure conditions.

    Official clearance from the UK government and a formal invitation to tour from the ECB is expected before a Cricket West Indies board meeting to ratify the trip takes place on Thursday.

    All three Tests are expected to be staged at Southampton’s Ageas Bowl and Old Trafford in Manchester, venues with on-site hotels that will allow both squads to remain isolated from the general population.

    The first Test is expected to take place in Southampton on July 8, with the final two matches in Manchester starting on July 16 and July 24.

    England will name training squads on Friday for both red and white-ball cricket this summer that are expected to total around 45 players. Discussions to host Pakistan, who are scheduled to play three Tests and three T20s, and Ireland, set to play three ODIs, are also ongoing between the ECB and those respective boards although confirmation of those tours is not expected until next month.

    Australia are also scheduled to play three ODIs and three T20 against England this summer but, as reported in i on Monday, that tour, tentatively rearranged for September, is likely to hinge on whether the tourists can be excluded from the 14-day quarantine that is set to be introduced by the UK government next month.

    England vs West Indies Test series
    (Possible dates)

    First Test, 8-12 July, Ageas Bowl
    Second Test, 16-20 July, Old Trafford
    Third Test, 24-28 July, Old Trafford

    Quarantine measures will not prove a barrier to the West Indies, with the squad expected to spend two weeks training in isolation at Old Trafford once they arrive in England early next month.

    Johnny Grave, the Cricket West Indies CEO, confirmed on Monday that a 25-man squad is expected to assemble in Antigua the week starting June 8 before taking a charter flight to Manchester.

    The players will be privately tested for Covid-19 three or four days before that, with results expected back within 48 hours.

    “We are in the final stages of discussions with the ECB and they are in the final stages of finalising their plans in order to get the UK government and ECB board support,” said Grave.

    https://inews.co.uk/sport/cricket/en...afford-2865035


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  4. #4
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    West Indies fast bowler Kemar Roach says it would be ‘good’ to be back in England, indicating that the Caribbean side’s tour would go ahead despite the coronavirus.

    The Cricket West Indies board was due to meet on Thursday in the hope of signing off on the three-Test trip, originally meant to take place in June but delayed by the global spread of COVID-19.

    The England and Wales Cricket Board remains confident the matches can be played behind closed doors at “bio-secure” venues, with the fixtures now provisionally scheduled to start on July 8, 16 and 24 at Hampshire’s Ageas Bowl and Lancashire’s Old Trafford.

    Barbados-born Roach, 31, returned to training this week and the paceman made it clear he expects to be heading towards England soon.

    “Going to England will bring back some good memories. I love playing in England, very good facilities and wonderful atmosphere,” he told windiescricket.com.

    “Even though we won’t be playing in front the fans this time, it will still be quite good. I had a good series last time.

    “My goal is (to reach) 200 wickets when we go to England — that’s the personal goal. The team goal is to win the series.”

    Roach was a key member of the West Indies side that enjoyed a 2-1 series win at home to England in 2019.

    He has 42 wickets in 10 Tests against England, at an average of 26.59.

    https://www.cricketcountry.com/news/...us-risk-931228


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  5. #5
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    Cancel this Tour so the greedy ECB do not fill their pockets!!!!!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by MenInG View Post
    West Indies fast bowler Kemar Roach says it would be ‘good’ to be back in England, indicating that the Caribbean side’s tour would go ahead despite the coronavirus.

    The Cricket West Indies board was due to meet on Thursday in the hope of signing off on the three-Test trip, originally meant to take place in June but delayed by the global spread of COVID-19.

    The England and Wales Cricket Board remains confident the matches can be played behind closed doors at “bio-secure” venues, with the fixtures now provisionally scheduled to start on July 8, 16 and 24 at Hampshire’s Ageas Bowl and Lancashire’s Old Trafford.

    Barbados-born Roach, 31, returned to training this week and the paceman made it clear he expects to be heading towards England soon.

    “Going to England will bring back some good memories. I love playing in England, very good facilities and wonderful atmosphere,” he told windiescricket.com.

    “Even though we won’t be playing in front the fans this time, it will still be quite good. I had a good series last time.

    “My goal is (to reach) 200 wickets when we go to England — that’s the personal goal. The team goal is to win the series.”

    Roach was a key member of the West Indies side that enjoyed a 2-1 series win at home to England in 2019.

    He has 42 wickets in 10 Tests against England, at an average of 26.59.

    https://www.cricketcountry.com/news/...us-risk-931228
    Hopefully west indies beat England

  7. #7
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    CWI Board gives approval in principle for Test Tour of England

    ST JOHN’S, Antigua – The Board of Directors of Cricket West Indies (CWI) met via Teleconference on Thursday, May 28. The majority of the lengthy meeting focused on discussing the initial short-term recommendations from the Financial Strategy Advisory Committee (FSAC), a special purpose committee that was put in place by CWI President Ricky Skerritt on April 2, 2020. The committee comprised a joint membership of Directors and Executive Management, all with significant financial management expertise, chaired by JCA President, Wilford “Billy” Heaven. The Board agreed to the committee’s business continuity plan of action, for how CWI would have to operate in order to survive its cash flow crisis, in the context of the debilitating economic uncertainties of the global pandemic COVID-19.

    The Board also gave approval in principle for the proposed upcoming West Indies Test tour of England. The decision comes only after CWI medical and cricket-related representatives and advisors have been involved in detailed discussions with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), and their own medical and public health advisers. These discussions involve the local and international logistics and protocols which are already being put in place to minimize risk and optimize the health and safety of all concerned. CWI has also received and reviewed detailed plans for players and staff to be kept in a bio-secure environment for the duration of the tour, with all matches being played “behind closed doors”.

    CWI’s management is now in the process of seeking to put all of the approvals and logistics in place within the Caribbean, including seeking permission from the various National Governments to facilitate the movement of players and support staff, using private charter planes and conducting medical screenings and individual COVID-19 testing for all members of the touring party.

    President Ricky Skerritt, stated: “I would like to thank the CWI Management, the Medical Advisory Committee, and the FSAC for their detailed and timely presentations given to the Board meeting. In addition to our approval in principle of the proposed Test Tour of England, we made some significant financial management decisions that will be announced and implemented in due course. The great detail to which the Board engaged in these matters is testimony to their urgency and importance, but it meant that we had to defer a few agenda items until next Wednesday (June 3), when we have scheduled to reconvene”.

    CWI will continue to fine-tune the various arrangements with the ECB, whilst they await final UK Government approval of their plans for a bio-secure tour with all three Test Matches being played behind closed doors.
    Last edited by MenInG; 30th May 2020 at 11:21.



  8. #8
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    CWI announces temporary salary and funding reductions from July to protect jobs and the future of the organisation

    ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Cricket West Indies (CWI) today announced a temporary 50 percent reduction in salaries and cricket funding across the entire regional cricket system, effective from the start of July. This decision has been necessary in the face of debilitating economic challenges which have resulted from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    With no international cricket currently being played anywhere in the world, and with great uncertainty of when regular cricket activity will resume, CWI – like many other international sporting organisations worldwide – is facing a significant loss of income, whilst also being uncertain of the long-term impact of the crisis on our operations.

    It is in that context that CWI’s Board of Directors, with deep regret, have agreed to a plan that we expect will safeguard CWI’s future while delivering at least a minimum level of job protection for all of the people employed or contracted throughout the region’s cricket community.

    During Thursday’s Teleconference, CWI’s Board of Directors received recommendations from the Financial Strategy Advisory Committee (FSAC). The FSAC was formed in April by CWI President Ricky Skerritt, to make recommendations on how CWI could best manage its resources in order to continue its core business over the next few months in view of the changing and uncertain economic environment created by the global pandemic COVID-19. These recommended measures followed close consultation with all stakeholders.

    President Skerritt said: “Cricket is the beating heart of our region for many individuals, communities, and economies. This pandemic is hurting every West Indian and this decision to cut staff and player incomes has been a very difficult one to make; one that will impact so many members of the cricketing family around the Caribbean. This business continuity plan unfortunately requires all stakeholders to make a huge sacrifice, but I am confident that it won’t be long before CWI will be in a position to ensure that the sport we love can restart and be enjoyed once again by the thousands of cricket fans across the region and diaspora.”

    CWI has kept staff, players, umpires and coaches on full-pay since the outbreak of COVID-19 and have tried our best to avoid any cuts for as long as possible. CWI hopes that these temporary measures will only be in place for not more than three to six months. These measures will also include a 50 percent reduction in funding for Territorial Boards, Territorial Board Franchises and WIPA, as well as a 50 percent cut in all retainers and allowances for Directors and Executive management.

    CWI CEO, Johnny Grave said: “The effects of this pandemic have been distressing for everyone – the worst crisis of our lifetime – and at present, we cannot be certain when the situation will be rectified. We recognize that this will cause financial pain for all our staff, players, coaches and umpires across the Caribbean, but having kept everyone on full-pay since the outbreak in March we have no choice but to take decisive action from next month onwards. CWI’s greatest asset is our people and players and everyone sharing equally in the temporary reduction, we believe is the best way for us to ensure we get through this crisis and protect our organisation and all the jobs in the system. We will be reviewing the situation regularly with the hope that we can return to normal operations at the earliest opportunity.”


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  9. #9
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    England Men will play three Tests against West Indies in July, subject to UK Government clearance to return behind closed doors

    • Ageas Bowl will host first Test, with Emirates Old Trafford staging second and third matches
    • Edgbaston selected as a contingency and training venue

    The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has today announced that Hampshire’s Ageas Bowl and Lancashire’s Emirates Old Trafford will host England Men’s Test series against West Indies if international cricket returns behind closed doors in July.

    The West Indies squad will arrive in the UK on Tuesday 9 June, travelling to Emirates Old Trafford for quarantining and training. This will be their base for a three-week period before moving to the Ageas Bowl for the start of the first Test.

    The ECB’s independent Host Venue Panel (HVP) recommended the use of two full matchday broadcast venues for the West Indies Test series. A decision on other scheduled matches for England Men and England Women this summer will be determined at a later date.

    • 1st Test v West Indies: 8-12 July at Ageas Bowl
    • 2nd Test v West Indies: 16-20 July at Emirates Old Trafford
    • 3rd Test v West Indies: 24-28 July at Emirates Old Trafford

    International venues were encouraged to submit their expressions of interest during a five-day window, based on several fundamental principles. Four venues submitted an interest in staging matches by the deadline of Monday 11 May, with the final recommendations for the use of the Ageas Bowl and Emirates Old Trafford later ratified by the ECB Board.

    Venues had to demonstrate key principles to create a bio-secure environment. The criteria comprised of:

    • Biosecurity
    - Venue perimeter, access and access control
    - Hotel accommodation (onsite or nearby)

    • Medical screening/testing provision
    - Designated areas for isolation of anyone presenting symptoms.
    - Car parking requirements (approx. 200)
    - Medical Screening and Testing sites (approx. 1500 m2)

    • Footprint to enable social distancing
    - Extendable Players and Match Official areas
    - Extendable space for broadcast compounds, studios and written media.

    • Venue/Cricket operations
    - The number and suitability of TV pitches
    - Provision for warm-up matches
    - Indoor and outdoor practice facilities

    The Ageas Bowl and Emirates Old Trafford will receive an administration fee for staging the Test series and all additional central costs will be met by the ECB.

    The HVP also confirmed that Edgbaston was selected as a contingency venue and will be used to stage additional training throughout July.

    ECB Director of Events, Steve Elworthy - who is leading on English cricket’s bio-secure operational plans - added:

    “Our main objective is to deliver a safe environment for all stakeholders including players, match officials, operational staff, essential venue staff, broadcasters and media.

    “We are in daily dialogue with Government and our medical team, who have been incredibly supportive during this period. These are our proposed dates and they remain subject to UK Government approval.

    “We would like to thank Cricket West Indies for their co-operation and dedication in making this tour a reality, and we all look forward to the prospect of cricket returning in the coming weeks.”

    Ticket purchasers for the original England v West Indies Test series will be entitled to a refund. From 2 June, the venues will begin contacting ticket buyers to inform them of the refund process as well as any other options available to them.
    Last edited by MenInG; 4th June 2020 at 00:53.


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  10. #10
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    The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has today announced The Ageas Bowl will host England Men’s first Test against West Indies if international cricket returns behind closed doors in July. A further two Tests against West Indies will be held at Emirates Old Trafford.

    The announcement comes after international venues – in response to the COVID-19 pandemic - were encouraged to submit their expressions of interest to host matches in the Test series, based on several fundamental principles.

    Venues had to demonstrate key principles to create a bio-secure environment with the criteria comprising of biosecurity, medical screening and testing provision, footprint to enable social distancing and suitable venue and cricketing operations.

    Four venues submitted an interest in staging matches, with the final recommendations for the use of the Ageas Bowl and Emirates Old Trafford later ratified by the ECB Board, while Edgbaston has been selected as a contingency venue and will be used to stage additional training throughout July.

    The Ageas Bowl Chief Executive, David Mann, said ‘Staging these matches will help to protect vital revenue streams for our game from broadcast deals and will also give a morale boost to cricket fans everywhere, and I’m delighted that we have found a way of doing this in an environment that will be safe and secure for all involved.

    In the current circumstances, the choice of venue is less important than making sure that the fixtures are actually played, and, subject to Government approval, we are happy to be able to play our part in making this happen.’’

    The on-site, 171-bedroom Hilton at the Ageas Bowl will be the centre-piece of the Ageas Bowl’s ‘bio-secure’ environment. The hotel will benefit from Hilton’s newly announced CleanStay programme which will deliver an industry-defining standard of cleanliness from check-in to check-out.

    Stephen Cassidy, Managing Director UK & Ireland, Hilton said: “Cricket is a symbol of British summertime so we are incredibly pleased to be able to play a part in supporting its safe and responsible return this summer. More than ever, we’ll be delighted to welcome the teams to Hilton at the Ageas Bowl, ensuring their stay is safe and comfortable so they can focus on their pre-match preparations.”

    The West Indies squad will arrive in the UK on Tuesday 9 June, quarantining and training at Emirates Old Trafford before moving to the Ageas Bowl for the start of the first Test.

    ECB Director of Events, Steve Elworthy - who is leading on English cricket’s bio-secure operational plans - added:

    “Our main objective is to deliver a safe environment for all stakeholders including players, match officials, operational staff, essential venue staff, broadcasters and media.

    “We are in daily dialogue with Government and our medical team, who have been incredibly supportive during this period. These are our proposed dates and they remain subject to UK Government approval.

    “We would like to thank Cricket West Indies for their co-operation and dedication in making this tour a reality, and we all look forward to the prospect of cricket returning in the coming weeks.”

    Ticket purchasers for the original England v West Indies Test series will be entitled to a refund while a decision on other scheduled matches for England Men and England Women this summer will be determined at a later date.
    Last edited by MenInG; 2nd June 2020 at 23:50.

  11. #11
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    England captain Joe Root says he would miss a Test in order to be at the birth of his second child.

    The baby is due at the beginning of July, with England's series against West Indies set to begin on 8 July.

    The plan to play matches in a bio-secure environment complicates matters, with restrictions on player movement currently unclear.

    "It's evolving," said Root. "It's being discussed with the medical team and we're trying to stay up to date."

    The 29-year-old, who has not missed a Test since being appointed skipper in 2017, added: "At the minute, it's still open for discussion.

    "How that will finally look, I'm not exactly sure. It will have to come down to government advice, whatever that is. We'll follow those protocols and do whatever is right."

    Root confirmed he will be at the birth regardless of the knock-on cricketing implications, as well as endorsing the leadership credentials of vice-captain Ben Stokes, who would step in if Root is unavailable.

    "If Ben was captain, he would be fantastic," said Root.

    "One of his great qualities as vice-captain is he sets the example - the way he goes about his training, how he wants to bowl in difficult circumstances, the way he stands up in different scenarios with the bat.

    "He drags people with him and gets the best out of the players around him.

    "That's a great quality to have as a leader and something he can take into captaincy if he was to get the opportunity. I could see him doing a very good job."

    Root returned to training on Monday, one of 55 players who have been asked to practise as England prepare for action following the coronavirus shutdown.

    He netted at Trent Bridge, rather than his home ground of Headingley, because of the proximity of Nottinghamshire's ground to his home, and worked with former England coach and current Notts coach Peter Moores.

    "To start with everything seems a million miles an hour," Root said.

    "Slowly, as a few hours went on, it seemed to come back to me. By the end of it I felt really good.

    "I spent a good couple of years working with Pete on my batting and you could argue that some of my best years batting-wise were whilst he was in charge. It has been nice to touch base with him again."

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/52885899


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  12. #12
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    Tuesday, 2 June 2020 — ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Cricket West Indies' (CWI) selection panel today named a fourteen (14) man Test squad and list of eleven (11) reserves for the proposed Sandals Tour of England 2020. Subject to the final approval of the UK Government, the West Indies will defend the Wisden Trophy in three back-to-back Test matches to be played behind closed doors, starting on July 8.

    The touring party, who will all be tested for COVID-19 this week, are scheduled to fly to England on private charters on June 8.
    The West Indies squad will live, train and play in a “bio-secure” environment during the seven weeks of the tour, as part of the comprehensive medical and operations plans to ensure player and staff safety. The bio-secure protocols will restrict movement in and out of the venues, so the selection panel has also named a list of reserve players who will travel to train and help prepare the Test squad and ensure replacements are available in case of any injury.

    Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer and Keemo Paul all declined the invitation to travel to England for the tour and CWI fully respects their decision to choose to do so. As previously stated, CWI will not hold this decision against these players when considering future selection.

    The two newcomers to the Test squad are middle-order batsman Nkrumah Bonner and fast bowler Chemar Holder. The 22-year-old Holder – who is not related to captain Jason Holder – was the leading fast bowler in the West Indies Championship with 36 wickets in eight matches at 18.91 each, and was one of the successful ICC U-19 World Cup winning side in 2016. Bonner, 31, will be making his Test squad debut after being one of the leading batsmen in the 2020 West Indies Championship with 523 runs in seven matches at an average of 58.11. He has previously represented the West Indies when he played two T20 Internationals back in 2011 and 2012.

    WEST INDIES TEST SQUAD:

    Jason Holder (Captain)
    Jermaine Blackwood
    Nkrumah Bonner
    Kraigg Brathwaite
    Shamarh Brooks
    John Campbell
    Roston Chase
    Rahkeem Cornwall
    Shane Dowrich
    Chemar Holder
    Shai Hope
    Alzarri Joseph
    Raymon Reifer
    Kemar Roach

    RESERVE PLAYERS
    Sunil Ambris
    Joshua Da Silva
    Shannon Gabriel
    Keon Harding
    Kyle Mayers
    Preston McSween
    Marquino Mindley
    Shane Moseley
    Anderson Phillip
    Oshane Thomas
    Jomel Warrican


    “The new cricketing environment will take some getting used to. However, being in England and working together for four weeks before the first Test will give the squad the opportunity to get acclimatized and hopefully, mentally and technically adjusted to the demands of the new environment. Playing in July could be a blessing as the weather is likely to be warmer which will allow the squad more of an opportunity to play its best cricket.

    “I think we have a squad that will be very competitive. More than half of the squad were involved in the victorious Test series against England in the Caribbean last year so they will bring that experience, that knowledge and belief with them and marry it to the enthusiasm and vitality of the newcomers. The experience of the players who toured England before in 2017 will also benefit the squad greatly. I expect that the bowling unit will once again provide a serious challenge for England and our batting will have to deliver. England is a tough team when playing in home conditions, however, I think the West Indies has a good chance of retaining the Wisden Trophy. We will have to bat consistently well to do so.”

    Harper added: “Chemar Holder is an exciting young fast bowling talent who is coming off an excellent domestic First-Class season. He should enjoy bowling in English conditions. He could prove a real asset to the team in England. Nkrumah Bonner is an unflappable character. His ability to hold the innings together and bat through tight situations could serve the team very well. Jermaine Blackwood returns by sheer weight of performance in the domestic First-Class season. His patience and application were evident and that resulted in much greater consistency which I look forward to him taking back into the Test arena. His experience of playing Test cricket in England should stand him in good stead.
    “Raymon Reifer has been around for a while and has proved to be a real competitor with both bat and ball – qualities that will add great value to the team. Shannon Gabriel is working his way back to full match fitness after his ankle operation last year. The four weeks leading up to the first Test will be of tremendous benefit to him. A fully fit and firing Shannon adds great potency to the bowling attack, so it is important to have him back at his best.”
    West Indies are scheduled to arrive in Manchester on June 9 and will be based in Manchester for a three-week period before moving to Southampton for the first Test at the Ageas Bowl. They will then return to Manchester for the second and third matches at Emirates Old Trafford. All these matches will be played behind closed doors and are still subject to UK Government approval.



    PROPOSED MATCH SCHEDULE

    July 8-12: 1st Test at Ageas Bowl, Southampton
    July 16-20: 2nd Test at Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester
    July 24-28: 3rd Test at Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester


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  13. #13
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    Hopefully the whole summer of cricket for ECB is scrapped now that they have made their priorities very well known to the cricket community

  14. #14
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    ‘Cocoon’ arrangement for West Indies at Old Trafford

    West Indies will be the first touring cricket side amid the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic as it sets foot in the UK on June 9 to prepare for the three-Test series against England — subject to government clearance — in July.

    Before the first Test, scheduled from July 8 at the Hampshire Bowl, the three-week stay at Manchester, Old Trafford — under strict quarantine guidelines — will be a challenge. It is going to be only practice and no entertainment for the flamboyant Caribbeans.

    “They will be here, they will be able to practice and use the cricket facilities but I am not sure what other entertainment that we can provide. West Indies will have a cocoon arrangement for a couple of weeks. Once that period is over, then they will have a small degree of freedom but I don’t think that will be huge,” Paul Allott, Director of Cricket, Lancashire, told Sportstar on Thursday.

    The Lancashire ground is being prepared as a bio-secure site as it will also host the second and third Tests. Having a hotel on site, Hilton Garden Inn, is an advantage. “We will host both the teams, England and West Indies, at Hilton which means, the players and the officials, can be on site prior to the match and throughout,” said the former Test bowler.

    Though behind closed doors, the officials at Lancashire and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) will be restricting the number of people on site. “We have to make sure we restrict the number of people within the stadium, test each individual for COVID-19. Those tests will be done by the ECB and everybody who enters the site will be tested. We are working in conjunction with ECB to ensure all the zones [for teams, match officials, ground staff et al] are created appropriately,” said Allott.

    Red Rose in full bloom

    The iconic Lord’s is the only cricket ground in the UK to host three Tests in one English summer. Cricket has rarely moved out of London but now, Manchester and Southampton [Hampshire] seem to be hot properties for the facilities in the times of the global pandemic.

    On top of that, Lancashire had a record turnover of £34m and record net profit of £5m in 2019. “It is partly due to the cricket activities at the Emirates Old Trafford. There were World Cup matches, India and Pakistan being one of them, and also the Ashes Test. We have a flourishing hospitality, conference and events business along with a hotel. The success of last year, in a lot of ways, helped us survive the current crisis so far. If we hadn’t had such a good year, we would obviously end up in a much worse state. We are in a decent position to be able to carry on functioning as a multi-functional sports facility,” said Allott.

    On the other hand, club cricket is likely to return to the UK as the lockdown eases over the coming weeks. The ECB may introduce shortened format games with restrictions on fielding positions to ensure social distancing.

    https://sportstar.thehindu.com/crick...le31749381.ece

  15. #15
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    The use of 'COVID replacement' substitutes is being discussed ahead of England's Test series against West Indies, with ECB director of special projects Steve Elworthy hopeful they will be allowed.

    The West Indies are sending a 25-man group to England - including a 14-man squad and 11 reserves, with three players opting not to travel - for the three-Test series starting July 8, which will be played behind closed doors in a 'bio-secure' environment.

    Currently 'like for like' substitutes are allowed in Test cricket only in instances of a player suffering from a concussion, but Elworthy told The Cricket Show it's something the ICC are looking at.

    "COVID-replacements are certainly something that the ICC are discussing," he said. "I have seen communication about that and it's certainly something we hope would be allowed - specifically for Test matches, not necessarily ODIs or T20s.

    "That replacement would have to be a 'like for like' player, if you will. Our on-site COVID medical practitioner and Public Health England would be informed immediately and that player would then be put into isolation for a period of time, based on government guidance and the medical overlay.

    "With the testing protocols of getting those players into that [bio-secure] bubble first, you would hope that wouldn't be a scenario we'd have to deal with. But clearly it is something we are planning for."

    The ECB has been in regular dialogue with the West Indies Cricket Board ahead of their arrival via a chartered flight on Tuesday and Elworthy hopes to persuade Pakistan, Australia and Ireland to follow suit and schedule re-arranged series' for later in the summer.

    "It's an incredibly challenging but, at the same time, very rewarding project," Elworthy added. "What we are trying to achieve here is something that has never been done before.

    "There has been a huge amount of work done. The West Indies are the first team to arrive here but, at the same time, we hope to have Australia, Pakistan and Ireland come this summer.

    "We have been speaking to them, we've been in weekly communication with all of them but, in this particular case, more extensively with the West Indies because their Test matches are about five weeks away.

    "We're in a really good place. We're gearing up for next Tuesday - the chartered flight is due to land - and then it's all systems go.

    "We're very confident and comfortable with the fact we've got a plan in place to deliver these bi-secure matches behind closed doors - in the most safe and secure way."

    https://www.skysports.com/cricket/ne...eing-discussed


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  16. #16
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    England's Rory Burns wary of West Indies threat

    ngland batsman Rory Burns believes the West Indies will give the host a “stiff test” come next month's eagerly anticipated series.

    The three matches, still subject to final clearance from the British government, are set to mark the return of Test match cricket as the sport emerges from months of lockdown caused by the global coronavirus pandemic.

    Surrey opener Burns will be looking to regain his place at the top of the order after being sidelined since January with ankle ligament damage suffered during a warm-up game of football in Cape Town.

    The 29-year-old left-hander knows better than most not to underestimate the West Indies, having been a Test fledgling when England lost 2-1 in the Caribbean in 2018.

    “The last time we played them they won, they're certainly no slouches,” Burns told Sky's Cricket Show.

    “Their bowling attack caused us a lot of problems -- they're very skilful and have got some pace,” added Burns, who averaged a modest 24.16 as the West Indies regained the Wisden Trophy.

    “There's a lot of good cricketers there and think it's going to be a stiff test no matter what.”

    The West Indies is due to arrive in England via a charter flight on Tuesday, with a 25-man squad comprising 14 frontline players and 11 designated reserves.

    Of those originally selected, only batsmen Darren Bravo and Shimron Hetmyer, together with fast-bowling all-rounder Keemo Paul, have decided not to travel because of COVID-19.

    - 'Minds at ease' -

    But Burns said he and his team-mates had been reassured by the England and Wales Cricket Board's plan to create a 'bio-secure' bubble at both the Ageas Bowl, which stages the series opener from July 8, and Emirates Old Trafford, the venue for the second and third Tests.

    “People's minds can run away with themselves,” Burns said. “What might it look like? What risk factors are there? But it's been very clear in the messaging we've had, in terms of putting minds at ease.

    “It's been mitigated by the explanations we've had, which has been really positive.”

    ECB special projects director Steve Elworthy revealed both sides would spend more than a week together at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton as they completed their preparations for the first Test.

    “England are looking to move in to the Ageas in and around the back end of June in preparing towards the Test match,” he said.

    “When the West Indies come out of isolation at Old Trafford (where the tourists will spend their initial 14-day quarantine) they will be brought inside the Ageas for some time too.

    “It's an incredible facility, with a full size training ground next to the main ground. We wanted them to be able to train, practice and prepare for the Test so having two full grounds available was key.”

    Lancashire, having made its Old Trafford base available for international duty, is planning to use Aigburth in Liverpool as a main home ground should a county season delayed until August at the earliest get going.

    https://sportstar.thehindu.com/crick...le31751193.ece

  17. #17
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    Would have been lovely to see this on free to air but will have to settle for the highlights

  18. #18
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    The players need to feed their families too i guess, because it's going to be pretty soul destroying for some individuals to be away from home to stay in a borefest bio-secure environment.

  19. #19
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    Surrey have praised the "passion and loyalty" of British cricket fans after revealing 85 percent of seat-holders for what should have been this week's first Test between England and the West Indies at their Kia Oval headquarters have decided to roll over their tickets to next year's England-India Test at the south London ground.

    The West Indies opener, the first of a three-match series, has been delayed a month by the coronavirus and will take place behind closed doors at Hampshire's Ageas Bowl, a ground with an on-site hotel that is considered to be a more bio-secure venue than the Oval.

    Ticket-holders were offered the opportunity to either claim a full refund or move their tickets to next year's match, retaining the same seats for the same day's play.

    Surrey said that, as of Thursday, only 15 percent fans had opted to get their money back.

    Crowds for Tests in England have held up well compared to elsewhere in the world, with India matches in the UK often well-supported thanks to the Asian community in Britain.

    "The interest in next year's India Test match is a real testament to the passion and loyalty of cricket fans in this country," said Oval managing director Charlie Hodgson.

    "Whilst it's incredibly disappointing for everyone that the Test match summer is not beginning at the Kia Oval, there are currently bigger things we all need to work together to achieve."

    The Oval staged the first Test match in England, against Australia in 1880 and Emily Clark, Surrey's head of sales and marketing, said: "Next year's Test match –- which will be the final Test in a hugely exciting series between England and India –- is sure to be another in the long history of great Test matches played at the ground."

    https://www.afp.com/en/news/824/surr...st-doc-1sw8691


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  20. #20
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    Man I am dying to see some cricket, have been out of touch with the sport for a while but want to see some live action now


    Ah, so this is what it feels like

  21. #21
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    David Gower has urged the rest of world cricket to follow the West Indies in demonstrating a “spirit of co-operation” as the global game looks to get back on its feet amid the coronavirus.

    The West Indies is due to arrive in England next week, ahead of a three-match Test series rescheduled for July even though the pandemic has claimed at least 48,000 lives in Britain, according to official figures.

    International matches are central to the financing of the game at all levels, with the England and Wales Cricket Board estimating it could lose £252 million ($316 million) if there are no fixtures at all this summer as a result of COVID-19.

    “The West Indies have done us a favour,” former England captain Gower told Britain's Press Association.

    “It is a unique situation and one with huge pressures.

    “It will be a huge relief for these games to happen because getting going again is the key.”

    Gower, the newly-installed president of the Lord's Taverners, a cricket-related charity that supports disabled and disadvantaged young people, added: “Let's face it, last year was extraordinary with the World Cup win (by England) and an exciting Ashes but the problem for any sport is that the public consciousness only lasts a short while.

    “With the exception of football, probably, if you haven't got live sport you've got nothing to pin tomorrow's newspaper or the next five-minute clip on television or radio.

    “The losses this year will be sizeable and any loss of income impacts the whole game, from the Test team to counties, to clubs and schools.”

    Gower said the sport had been grappling with a number of major issues prior to the pandemic.

    “There were lots of problems in cricket before Covid-19, particularly in terms of the nations outside India, Australia and England, and issues around finance and structure.

    “They won't go away on their own but if all this does help foster a spirit of cooperation, so much the better.

    “It would be great if there was a feeling of all being in this together and if the old power struggles could be set aside in favour of keeping everyone in business, getting games on and keeping everyone safe,” he insisted.

    https://sportstar.thehindu.com/crick...le31771018.ece


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  22. #22
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    Some cricket is better than no cricket.

    It has been a while.


    Bangladeshi Fan

  23. #23
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    Would have loved to see Hetmyer on this tour.

  24. #24
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    West Indies depart the Caribbean for Sandals Tour of England

    Monday, 8 June 2020 — ST JOHN’S, Antigua – The West Indies team departed from Antigua this evening for the Sandals Tour of England 2020, having all arrived safely from the two charter planes that collected the players and staff from their home countries throughout the day. All the touring party based in the Caribbean completed their COVID-19 tests last week and all the results have been confirmed as negative. The group will now travel on a private charter which is due to arrive in Manchester on Tuesday morning.

    On arrival into Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester, the whole touring party will be tested again for COVID-19 as they begin the seven week tour where they will live, train and play in a “bio-secure” environment, as part of the comprehensive medical and operational plans to ensure player and staff safety. The bio-secure protocols will restrict movement in and out of the venues, so a group of reserve players will travel to train and help prepare the Test squad and ensure replacements are available in case of any injury.

    Meanwhile, Floyd Reifer will join the coaching staff as Batting Coach, as he fills in for Monty Desai, who is based in India and due to travel restrictions cannot join the team for this tour. A.R. Srikkanth, the Team Analyst, is also based in India and will work remotely from Bangaluru for the duration of this tour where he will continue to support the team.

    Reifer, the current West Indies ‘A” and High-Performance Head Coach, brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role having coached the West Indies team last year. The other members of the coaching staff are Phil Simmons (Head Coach) and Roddy Estwick (Assistant Coach), and Rayon Griffith (Assistant Coach). The medical support staff are bolstered by the additions of Dr Praimanand Singh (Team Doctor), Neil Barry Jr (Physiotherapist), Nkoyo Meade (Massage Therapist) and Donald LaGuerre (Team Psychologist).

    “This is a huge step forward in cricket and in sports in general as we travel over to England for this series. A lot has gone into the preparations for what will be a new phase in the game. I’m happy for the support and well-wishes we have been receiving from our loyal and dedicated fans once it was confirmed the tour would go-ahead. This has been a source of great inspiration,” said captain Jason Holder.

    “We have a fantastic group of cricketers, coaches, medical staff and support staff and I know everyone is eagerly looking forward to the start of the first match when we can get back on the field of play. There is expectation in the air that we will defend the Wisden Trophy and we will certainly put in the work and give it our all to keep hold of it.”

    The series will feature three back-to-back Test matches for the Wisden Trophy, starting July 8. The first Test will be played at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton (July 8-12) with the second and third matches at Old Trafford in Manchester from July 16-20 and then July 24-28.

    Test Squad: Jason Holder (Captain), Jermaine Blackwood, Nkrumah Bonner, Kraigg Brathwaite, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell, Roston Chase, Rahkeem Cornwall, Shane Dowrich, Chemar Holder, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Raymon Reifer and Kemar Roach.
    Reserve Players: Sunil Ambris, Joshua DaSilva, Shannon Gabriel, Keon Harding, Kyle Mayers, Preston McSween, Marquino Mindley, Shayne Moseley, Anderson Phillip, Oshane Thomas and Jomel Warrican.

    Team Management: Phil Simmons (Head Coach), Rawl Lewis (Team Manager), Roddy Estwick (Assistant Coach), Rayon Griffith (Assistant Coach), Floyd Reifer (Batting Coach)


    WISDEN TROPHY MATCH SCHEDULE

    July 8-12: 1st Test Match at Ageas Bowl, Southampton

    July 16-20: 2nd Test Match at Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester

    July 24-28: 3rd Test Match at Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester


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  25. #25
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    West Indies have arrived in England for their tour.


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  26. #26
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    West Indies have arrived in England for their proposed three-Test series behind closed doors.

    Jason Holder's side flew out from Antigua on Monday, on a chartered flight funded by the England and Wales Cricket Board, after their entire squad and coaching staff tested negative for COVID-19.

    The games will be the first international competition to be played anywhere in the world since the start of the coronavirus outbreak.

    England and West Indies are scheduled to play at the 'bio-secure' venues of The Ageas Bowl and Emirates Old Trafford next month with the ECB revealing the planned fixture list last week.

    The Ageas Bowl in Southampton will host the series opener from July 8, before the players switch to Emirates Old Trafford in Manchester for the final two fixtures, from July 16 and July 24 respectively.

    West Indies, who landed in Manchester, will spend three weeks at Emirates Old Trafford quarantining and preparing for the series before heading to The Ageas Bowl for the first Test.

    The squad and backroom staff will be tested again for coronavirus on Tuesday with the results expected on Thursday - anyone who tests positive would be required to self-isolate.

    West Indies have taken a 25-man party to England, with 14 official squad members plus 11 reserves in case of injury or illness.

    Seamer Chemar Holder - no relation of Windies captain Jason - and batsman Nkrumah Bonner have received their maiden Test call-ups after strong domestic campaigns, while there are recalls for batsman Jermaine Blackwood and all-rounder Raymon Reifer.

    Shai Hope is, of course, included - the Barbadian became the first man in history to score two centuries in the same first-class match at Emerald Headingley when West Indies won the Leeds Test against England in 2017.

    West Indies Test squad for England series
    Jason Holder (capt), Jermaine Blackwood, Nkrumah Bonner, Kraigg Brathwaite, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell, Roston Chase, Rahkeem Cornwall, Shane Dowrich, Chemar Holder, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Raymon Reifer, Kemar Roach

    West Indies reserves for England tour
    Sunil Ambris, Joshua Da Silva, Shannon Gabriel, Keon Harding, Kyle Mayers, Preston McSween, Marquino Mindley, Shane Moseley, Anderson Phillip, Oshane Thomas, Jomel Warrican

    Fast bowler Shannon Gabriel is among the list of 11 reserve players as he steps up his comeback from ankle surgery in November.

    The Trinidadian has not played a game since his short stint with Gloucestershire last September but West Indies chairman of selectors, Roger Harper, has suggested he could play a part in England.

    "A fully fit and firing Shannon adds great potency to the bowling attack, so it is important to have him back at his best."

    Batsmen Shimron Hetmyer and Darren Bravo and all-rounder Keemo Paul have opted out of the tour due to coronavirus fears but Cricket West Indies says that will not be held against them when it comes to future selection.

    Speaking to Sky Sports last week, Cricket West Indies chief-executive Johnny Grave said: "We were very clear from when we started speaking to players that if anyone didn't want to tour for whatever reason we would fully respect their decision and it wouldn't be held against them.

    "We really wanted to make sure that the players had all the information and all the facts so that they didn't regret any decision they made - whether to tour or whether to decline the invitation."

    Grave also said the fact only three players decided against touring was down to the "level of detail" the ECB and Cricket West Indies have gone into to ease the minds of the Windies team.

    "It's testament to the amount of information that we've provided the players, the level of detail that the ECB have gone into and the level of detail that our medical practitioners have gone through here in order to make the players feel very safe."

    What next for West Indies and England?

    Holder's side will quarantine, train and undergo further testing at Emirates Old Trafford over the next three weeks before moving to Southampton.

    England's players have resumed one-to-one training and skipper Joe Root told Sky Sports News they are waiting on government clearance before they step up and do group work.

    "It was very different, very well done, very well organised and felt very safe so it's a big positive moving forward," Root said after his initial training session, at Trent Bridge with former England coach Peter Moores.

    "At the minute it's one-on-one with individual coaches. As the weeks progress and we get more clearance from the government to take things forward, we will then start to work in small bubbles with other players.

    "I am very much looking forward to getting back around the lads even if it does mean having to follow some strict social-distancing rules."

    The stadiums were selected as 'bio-secure' venues due to their on-site hotels and coronavirus testing and screening provisions, as well as cricket facilities and ability to maintain social-distancing measures.

    The grounds will be split into one zone for players and officials and another for broadcasters, media and operational staff with no one permitted to move between the two. Players will be tested regularly for coronavirus, with designated areas for isolation of anyone presenting symptoms.

    Speaking to Sky Sports' The Cricket Show, the ECB's director of events, Steve Elworthy, explained The Ageas Bowl had been selected to open the series due to its adjacent full-sized practice pitch: "We wanted both teams to be able to practice and train and prepare for a Test match, and having two full grounds available to be able to train was key."

    Former South Africa seamer Elworthy - who previously served as managing director of the 2019 ICC Men's Cricket World Cup - also explained why two venues had been picked to host the series rather than just one.

    "If you were to hold your first two Test matches at the same venue, you could end up possibly winning a series in the same conditions in the same venue, back-to-back," he said.

    "We felt that to win a series you should have to win it in two separate sets of conditions. We're also trying to reduce the amount of time stakeholders or groups of people are locked down in [one] venue for periods of time."

    Four venues expressed interest in hosting internationals but The Ageas Bowl and Emirates Old Trafford were later ratified by the ECB Board - both grounds will receive an administration fee for staging matches, with additional costs met by the ECB. Edgbaston has been named as a contingency venue and will also stage additional training during July.

    Elworthy hopes so, confirming the ECB has held discussions with the International Cricket Council about allowing a swap should any player display COVID-19 symptoms.

    He said: "That replacement would have to be a 'like for like' player. Our on-site COVID medical practitioner and Public Health England would be informed immediately and that player would then be put into isolation for a period of time, based on government guidance and the medical overlay.

    "With the testing protocols of getting those players into that [bio-secure] bubble first, you would hope that wouldn't be a scenario we'd have to deal with. But clearly it is something we are planning for. If you are secure within the venue, and you don't break the confines of that venue, then your game should be able to go ahead with no problems at all."

    Like-for-like player substitutions are currently only permitted in case of concussion, with Australia's Marnus Labuschagne becoming the first concussion replacement in Test cricket when he took Steve Smith's place during the second Ashes Test at Lord's last August after the former was struck on the neck by delivery from England seamer Jofra Archer.

    Will Root captain England?

    The only reason that is in any doubt is down to the fact Root's wife, Carrie, is due to give birth to their second child in the first week of July. It is unclear as yet how Root could move in and out of England's "bubble" but he says he will be at the birth regardless, so may be forced to miss a Test.

    The 29-year-old would have no qualms handing over the reins to vice-captain Ben Stokes, insisting the all-rounder would do a "fantastic" job.

    "One of his great qualities as vice-captain is the example he sets - the way he trains, how he wants the ball in difficult circumstances, the way he stands up in difficult scenarios with the bat," Root said of Stokes.

    "He drags people with him, gets the best out of players around him and gives the whole team a lift. People will always follow him, look up to him and want to play for him whether he is captain or not.

    "If Ben were to captain, I think he would be fantastic."

    Who else will play for England?
    England named 55-players in a back-to-training group but are yet to officially announce a Test squad.

    Michael Atherton, though, expects selectors to prioritise Test cricket this summer, with the games part of the World Test Championship and this year's T20 World Cup in Australia potentially being postponed from its October and November slot due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    There are 14 uncapped players in England's 55-man training party, including Essex batsman Dan Lawrence and Surrey spinner Amar Virdi, though they may have to wait for debuts if the hosts - currently fourth in the World Test Championship - operate at full strength in red-ball cricket.

    Nasser Hussain, however, does expect some rotation among the seamers with three Tests in 21 days against West Indies and a series against Pakistan also pencilled in for later in the summer.

    "The likes of Mark Wood and James Anderson will be rotated, to make sure they don't go from four months off to playing every single day. They need to be looked after whether in times of coronavirus or not," said Hussain.

    Besides potentially crucial World Test Championship points - England are currently fourth in the table, behind India, Australia and New Zealand, while West Indies are eighth of the nine teams involved having yet to register a point - the sides will also compete for The Wisden Trophy.

    West Indies hold the prize having beaten England 2-1 at home in early 2019, winning in Barbados and Antigua by 381 runs and 10 wickets respectively before the tourists earned a consolation 232-run victory in St Lucia.

    England have not lost a series at home to West Indies since being thrashed 4-0 in 1988 - the 1991 and 1995 series both ended 2-2, while England have since reeled off six wins on the spin (2000, 2004, 2007, 2009, 2012, 2017).

    Hope's heroics three years ago secured victory for West Indies in the second Test but the Caribbean outfit lost the series 2-1, with England thumping them by an innings and 209 runs in the day-night first Test at Edgbaston - West Indies losing 19 wickets on the third and ultimately final day - before securing a nine-wicket success in the final clash at Lord's.

    What about the rest of the 2020 summer?

    A decision on the planned three ODIs against Ireland, three Tests and three T20Is against Pakistan and six white-ball games against Australia will be made at a later date, as will calls on the fixtures for England Women, who had matches scheduled against India and South Africa.

    No domestic cricket will be played in England and Wales until at least August 1 but a truncated season could see regional four-day
    There are also proposals to admit a small number of fans into games as long as they strictly adhere to social-distancing measures.

    First off, though, it's England versus West Indies, which will be shown in full on Sky Sports should the series, as expected, go ahead.

    https://www.skysports.com/cricket/ne...ee-test-series


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  27. #27
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    The West Indies cricket squad will be the first international sports team to arrive in the UK since the coronavirus lockdown when they land in Manchester on Tuesday.

    The Test squad will spend three weeks at the Hilton Garden Inn at Lancashire’s Emirates Old Trafford, which they will use as their quarantine base and to train ahead of their three-match series against England.

    They will then travel to Hampshire’s Ageas Bowl for the first Test starting on July 8, before returning to Manchester to play the second and third matches in the series both at Emirates Old Trafford, starting on July 16 and July 24. All games will be behind closed doors.

    They will be the first international team clashes on these shores since the UK was put in lockdown over the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Emirates Old Trafford will become a bio-secure ground from Tuesday, with a number of measures being implemented to keep the number of people at the venue to a minimum.

    Staff will have their temperatures taken on arrival, and those who come in direct contact with the players and officials will have to stay on site to create a virus-free ‘bubble’.

    Six Lancashire players named in a 55-man England ‘squad’ to prepare for this summer’s internationals have already been training at the ground for two weeks, working with Red Rose head coach Glen Chapple.

    For the county, who are bringing several members of staff off furlough while the West Indies are on site and to prepare for the two Tests, it is a welcome financial boost, with the hotel - which they run - likely to be booked out by the England and Wales Cricket Board until around September. The club also receive a ‘staging fee’ from the game’s governing body.

    Lancashire are hopeful of hosting up to 20 days of international cricket, with Pakistan due to tour later in the summer for a Test and T20 series, Australia are pencilled in for an ODI series and there are plans for Ireland to play three one-day internationals too.

    “The facilities we have at Emirates Old Trafford are some of the best in the country, if not the world, following on from a decade-long £60m redevelopment of the ground,” said Lancashire chief executive Daniel Gidney. “The vision of the Board, and then the execution of the redevelopment, including the on-site accommodation, has enabled us to stand front and centre with the ECB and Government to help re-start international cricket in this country.”

    https://www.manchestereveningnews.co...first-18385062


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  28. #28
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    Jason Holder says West Indies tour of England 'huge step forward for cricket and sport in general'

    Jason Holder has called West Indies' Test tour of England "a huge step forward in cricket and sports in general".

    Windies captain Holder was speaking before his side flew to Manchester for next month's three-match series against England behind closed doors at The Ageas Bowl and Emirates Old Trafford.

    West Indies' entire squad and coaching staff tested negative for coronavirus before embarking out of Antigua and they will now quarantine and train at Emirates at Old Trafford for three weeks before heading to The Ageas Bowl ahead of the first Test, which starts on July 8.


    "This is a huge step forward in cricket and in sports in general as we travel over to England for this series. A lot has gone into the preparations for what will be a new phase in the game" said Holder, whose side hold The Wisden Trophy having beaten England 2-1 in the Caribbean in early 2019.

    "I'm happy for the support and well-wishes we have been receiving from our loyal and dedicated fans once it was confirmed the tour would go-ahead. This has been a source of great inspiration.

    "We have a fantastic group of cricketers, coaches, medical staff and support staff and I know everyone is eagerly looking forward to the start of the first match when we can get back on the field of play

    "There is expectation in the air that we will defend the Wisden Trophy and we will certainly put in the work and give it our all to keep hold of it."

    The Ageas Bowl and Emirates Old Trafford were chosen as bio-secure venues due to their on-site hotels, medical facilities and ability to enforce social-distancing measures.

    Emirates Old Trafford will stage the final two matches of the series, with the second Test beginning on July 16 and the third on July 24.

    West Indies lost 2-1 in England in 2017 and have not won a series there since a 4-0 victory in 1988 but assistant coach Roddy Estwick is confident his team will compete strongly.

    "Three years ago, it was a very, very young unit. Now we've got seasoned Test players, we've got players with 50 Test matches so I think once we can hit the ground running and get the preparation in, get some match practice under our belts, we can be a lot better," said.

    "We've got youngsters coming through. If we can get scores on the board we can really challenge England because I know the bowling will be good."

    https://www.skysports.com/cricket/ne...ort-in-general


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  29. #29
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    West Indies captain Jason Holder says his players feel safe after arriving in England and "at some point", some kind of normal must return.

    West Indies landed in the UK on Tuesday for their three-match Test series which begins on 8 July at bio-secure venues.

    They are the first international sports team to visit since the coronavirus lockdown but Holder said his team had not felt pressured into playing.

    "A lot of people were crying out for cricket," Holder told BBC Sport.

    "It is not the case we wanted to be guinea pigs but, having said that, we always had a tour plan here in the UK this summer.

    "After we spoke about the possibilities of it coming off, everybody was comfortable and here we are now."

    There has been no international cricket anywhere in the world since 13 March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

    While there have been some cases and deaths in the Caribbean, the virus' impact has been much less than in the UK where more than 40,000 people have died.

    "It is not about money for us - we want safety and want to make sure we are treated fairly and we just get on with it," Holder said.

    "If you put yourself in the position of a healthcare worker or someone who has worked on the front line throughout this whole pandemic, they have not had the opportunity to sit back at home and run from the virus.

    "They have had to deal with it full on.

    "We are fortunate we have not been in that position but having said that, at some point in time you have to make an effort to get back to some kind of normality."

    Since arriving in the UK, West Indies have entered quarantine at Emirates Old Trafford where they will spend three weeks preparing before heading to the Ageas Bowl in Southampton for the first Test.

    The second and third matches will take place at Old Trafford with the players staying at the hotels on site at both venues.

    Holder, 28, praised the work done by the England and Wales Cricket Board [ECB] in explaining the safety measures that would be in place before the team agreed to travel and for implementing the measures for their arrival.

    He said hand sanitiser, disposable gloves and thermometers had been widely available at their hotel.

    "Things like that give you a sigh of relief and that much more comfort," Holder said.

    "If we didn't have things like this it would make you wonder if it was actually safe and again I cannot thank the ECB enough for what they have done so far."

    Holder also said his team will discuss whether to support anti-racism protests that have been seen around the world since the death of George Floyd.

    Some sports stars have taken a knee in support of the protests.

    Holder feels the movement could help galvanise his team.

    "We have had previous series, particularly against England, where people have come out and said things prior to series and that has fuelled us as West Indians," Holder said.

    "Who knows, this could be something serious we could build on and get some real positive energy throughout the entire group."

    https://www.bbc.com/sport/cricket/52991132


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  30. #30
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    Derek Pringle: West Indies arrival is just the boost we need in these difficult times

    WHATEVER happens on the field this summer English cricket owes a huge debt of gratitude to Jason Holder’s West Indies team which arrived in Manchester yesterday.

    Holder’s side is the 22nd from the Caribbean to tour the UK and comprises 25 players (14 in the primary squad with 11 reserves).

    It is not their size but their noble decision to play a three-Test series in England in July that stands out for applause — a decision that will save the England and Wales Cricket Board £120million in reimbursements to Sky, a similar amount being saved if Pakistan also agree to come for three Tests in August.

    It would have been far easier, given the circumstances, for West Indies to have stayed away, a decision taken by three of their players, Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer and Keemo Paul.

    What surprises is that there were not more withdrawals. If England were set to tour a country where there had been more than 40,000 deaths attributed to a highly contagious disease you can bet your last pound the players would not have gone.

    Most teams tour under some sort of duress be it personal, collective or, in the case of terrorist threats, existential. That this one feels different might be down to us transposing our own experiences of lockdown on to a situation which, for the players, will not be that different to touring certain parts of the world.

    So while we mourn the loss of freedoms such as going to the pub, modern cricketers know what it is like to be isolated — albeit within the confines of a team.

    For instance, no crowds tend to be the experience of teams visiting both the UAE (Pakistan’s home in recent years) and New Zealand, while the confines of a hotel room have been the lot of many players for a while.

    When he was captain of England, Nasser Hussain rarely ventured beyond the room service menu. For touring teams the ‘bubble’ is nothing new.

    Where this will be different is in the routine, especially the medical one. For the 1987 World Cup in India and Pakistan, England took a doctor from the London School of Tropical Medicine. He issued us with a list of dos and don’ts and ordered us to wash our hands whenever we finished nets or a stint in the field. It worked and the only time anyone got ill was after eating the steak and kidney pie in the British High Commission.

    The threat from Covid-19 is more tangible and this series will be more stringent in its player protocols with daily temperature tests, a weekly swab test, enforced hand washing and a ban on using sweat or saliva to shine the ball. To counter that last directive, England’s James Anderson has been practising bowling in a headband in a bid to stop sweat running down his face. Normally, he’d use that sweat to work a shine on the ball; legal under the laws but not under the playing conditions for this series.

    Before anything like play gets under way Holder’s squad must quarantine for 14 days at the Hilton Garden Inn, a hotel within Old Trafford where they are billeted. They will be treated as one household and therefore allowed to train and mix with one another.

    Both Old Trafford and the Ageas Bowl, where the series will be played, were chosen for their on-site hotels but also for the space they have to construct a medical centre with a footprint of 16,000 square feet. In short, the bio-secure environment both the government and Cricket West Indies have insisted upon.

    Some have queried why, with West Indies based at Old Trafford for the next three weeks, the first Test on July 8 is not there rather than 230 miles away at the Ageas Bowl. The simple answer is England will be practising at the latter venue from July 23 and, if home advantage is to count for anything, want to travel less than their opponents.

    One crucial detail has been the installing of specialist chefs at both hotels to provide proper Caribbean food. I know how fussy West Indies players can be after playing against them in 1980 for Combined Universities. The look of disgust on their faces when presented with the Fenner’s salad saw them despatch their 12th man for several family-sized buckets of fried chicken.

    Given the insistence during this pandemic of essential personnel only, one thing I felt might be trimmed was the support staff. But with both sides having larger than normal squads, the amount of coaches and medical staff has actually increased.

    Judged rationally, the novelty of having Tests played behind close doors could wear off, especially if the cricket is compromised — which it could be with bowlers unable to shine the ball and players burdened by worries other than those posed by opponents. Yet, we are all so desperate for the uncertainty of live sport, as opposed to re-runs where we know the outcome, that we will probably relish it warts and all.

    So thanks to the West Indies for coming and here’s to a cracking series.

    https://www.metro.news/derek-pringle...times/2039950/


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  31. #31
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    The Emirates Old Trafford ground, home to the Lancashire County Cricket Club, is currently housing the touring West Indies team in quarantine for 14 days, and it will host the second and third Tests against England from July 16 following the series opener at the Rose Bowl from July 8.

    Steve Davies, the operations director at the Lancashire, gives an insight into the bio-secure arrangements.

    Q: What are some of the specifics when it comes to turning Emirates Old Trafford into a bio-secure environment?

    A: We are able to strictly monitor access and egress into the site, as well as restricted zones within the ‘bubble’ environment. We’re ensuring every aspect of the venue is as clean as possible before staff and players arrive and we will continue with regular, rigorous deep-cleaning measures throughout the period [of the Test] as well.

    For those needing access to the site, there will be stringent health checks in place, including COVID-19 testing, temperature checks and health questionnaires, which will be completed by medical professionals. We’re also delivering our food service with minimal staff to ensure we’re implementing this service in the safest manner possible.

    In the event of a player testing positive in the middle of a match, are there isolation rooms being built as part of the venue planning?

    The health and safety of everyone on site is our No. 1 priority, so we have isolation rooms in place, alongside strict cleaning measures. This is also the case for our own staff and team because we want to make sure we’re delivering these matches to the highest possible standard.

    As one of two Test grounds with an on-site hotel, what precautions will be taken to facilitate safe accommodation for the players and support staff?

    We are enforcing the Hilton CleanStay policy, which is an industry-defining level of hygiene and cleanliness, so we are extremely confident that we are delivering these matches to extremely high and international standards.

    There will also be only one person staying in a bedroom and we have separated the different areas of the hotel into designated zones for specific groups, so we can ensure social distancing. In terms of catering, we have made the decision to split food service across multiple areas to ensure there is no overcrowding.

    As a hotel and venue, we benefit from contactless door access and digital room keys that you can access via your smartphone. We also have over 3,600 sq. m of intelligent conference and events space, so we’re able to utilise every area for a different purpose.

    Is there the added motivation that if the on-site hotel can work for behind-closed-doors cricket, then it proves a model for a hotel working in a bio-secure environment?

    Absolutely. At Emirates Old Trafford, we have an extremely unique offering given that we have everything that you could need on site, including our 150-bedroom Hilton Garden Inn, over 700 car-parking spaces, our intelligent event suites and innovative bridge links connecting the venues, so essentially you don’t even need to step outside. This has allowed us to prepare very thorough operational plans, all of which helps drive confidence and reassurance for guests when they are able to visit in what we hope will be the near future.

    https://sportstar.thehindu.com/crick...le31801814.ece


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  32. #32
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    James Anderson says England will discuss how best to promote racial equality ahead of the Test series against West Indies.

    Anderson, 37, backs taking the knee and leaving the pitch should any of his team-mates encounter racism if the team feels that is the best way to show its support.

    On Wednesday West Indies skipper Jason Holder explained that his players have yet to decide how to display a 'show of solidarity' in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and the global protests in response to the killing of George Floyd.

    Anderson agrees that the matter needs to be talked through thoroughly before the first Test at the Ageas Bowl begins on July 8 to make the strongest possible stand against racism.

    "The last couple of weeks has really made people think," reflected Anderson. "From our point of view as an England team, I think we do need to sit down and talk about it.

    "We need to educate ourselves about what's going on and make a decision that everyone is comfortable with. But I'm sure we'll be having a similar chat to what the West Indies will have."

    Asked by Sky Sports News' James Cole if he would take a knee in support of his team-mates if they wanted to, Anderson said: "Absolutely; I think it's something that we'd have to do as a team. We'd have to support each other in that.

    "That's the whole point about sitting down and having a chat about it. We should do it as a team. We should be there for each other, support each other, so we'll see what comes out of those chats."

    Earlier this year a man was banned from attending international and domestic fixtures in New Zealand for two years after subjecting Jofra Archer to racial abuse in November's first Test at Mount Maunganui.

    Anderson, who missed that tour as he continued to recover from a calf injury, says he is fortunate not to have experienced racism on the field of play during his career to date and admits that has given him case to reflect.

    "This is something that I've been thinking about over the last couple of weeks," he said. "But at the same time it makes you think 'have I actually turned a blind eye to it or just not been as aware as I should have been about something?'

    "I wasn't in New Zealand when Jofra was racially abused but again it makes you think as a team 'can we do more to support players in that situation?'

    "We need to educate ourselves about this. I read somewhere the other day that there is one black player in county cricket who has come through the state system and that's just not good enough.

    "As a cricket community we have to make the game available for everyone. We've got to encourage people from all cultures and backgrounds to be able to play this game.

    "The team at the minute is extremely multicultural but I think there's definitely more we can do to be able to encourage more people to play."

    Anderson is just 16 wickets short of becoming the first English bowler to claim 600 Test scalps, a milestone he appears likely to reach this summer even if the selectors do opt to rotate their attack given the intense fixture schedule caused by coronavirus.

    For now, though, the veteran is focussed on preparing as well as he can for the summer by bowling at Lancashire team-mate Keaton Jennings in the nets at Chester - and trying to adapt to the new ICC regulation that bans the use of saliva to shine the ball.

    "It's going to be unusual but we've been using the last few weeks trying to get used to not [using saliva]," he said. "For me it's a natural habit for me to put saliva on the ball. So it has been interesting trying to stop myself doing that.

    "Fortunately, in Manchester, we get quite a lot of rain so I've been able to shine the ball on the grass and get some moisture on it that way.

    "As far as I'm aware we can use sweat so that's something at least and I think it will be enough to at least polish the ball enough for it to do something through the air."

    Anderson has also taken to wearing a headband in training, explaining: "It's definitely something that I'll be looking to take into the game.

    "It's generally trying to stop any touching of the face, whether it's moving your hair out of your face or - when you get sweat dripping down - it encourages you not to touch your face.

    "It has all felt unnatural, to be honest, because the whole process of training is unusual right now; it's completely different to what we're used to."

    Further change could come in the shape of the captaincy, with skipper Joe Root confirming he will hand the reins to Ben Stokes should the birth of his second child coincide with the first Test.

    Anderson had a stint as vice-captain on the 2017/18 Ashes tour, stepping in for Stokes after the all-rounder was suspended for his part in an incident outside a Bristol nightclub.

    Stokes asked to be reinstated to the role after he was cleared of affray and Anderson said he has thrived on the challenge since - not least in the 2019 Ashes, where his batting heroics at Headingley propelled England to one of the most famous wins in Ashes history.

    "Ben has been the vice-captain for a while now and he's grown and grown with that responsibility," said Anderson.

    "In the dressing room he's really got a presence. He's got the respect of the team and I'd fully expect him to do a great job.

    "If Ben steps up he's got some great people around him to be able to help him out in that situation and make it a lot easier than it possibly could be."

    https://www.skysports.com/cricket/ne...lity-as-a-team


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  33. #33
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    It’s been four days since West Indies started its training session at the Old Trafford in Manchester in a bio-secured environment. The first Test against England, which begins on July 8, is still a couple of weeks away, but with Britain grappling with coronavirus, the players can’t venture out.

    They are at the on-site team hotel.

    Head coach Phil Simmons agreed that it’s not easy to be indoors all day, but then, there is hardly a choice. “The biggest challenge is boredom,” Simmons said during an interaction on Saturday.

    Once training is over, the West Indies players are keeping themselves busy with indoor games such as dominoes, cards. “There’s always dominoes, if you have been to the Caribbean that is a highly explosive form of entertainment, especially when you are playing Six Love,” he said.

    The team also has a golf simulation centre. “We have cards, a few things the guys are enjoying,” Simmons said.

    Captain Jason Holder wants to ensure that the players remain in good spirits.

    Two days ago, West Indies pace ace Kemar Roach had told Sportstar that “being in your room a lot more than usual is probably a little more taxing on the brain.” But he also admitted that they are in England for cricket, and that’s the priority.

    Even Simmons admitted that the players are “hungry” to resume cricket. “They want to play and practice,” the coach said. Before getting into real action, the touring team will play squad games; a three-day game, starting from June 22, followed by a four-day tie from June 29. Those games will actually give West Indies a reality check on where it stands, ahead of the series.

    Simmons, however, does not see the ban on saliva as a major impediment to bowling attacks as the players can still use sweat, which would eventually, help the bowlers. The seasoned coach is also confident that if Shannon Gabriel can prove his fitness, he is in contention for a berth in the playing eleven.

    With Dwayne Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer and Keemo Paul pulling out of the England tour, the coach believes that this is the ‘best possible’ squad.

    https://sportstar.thehindu.com/crick...le31822356.ece


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  34. #34
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    West Indies coach Phil Simmons feels playing behind close doors against England will favour the visiting side when international cricket resumes next month in a “bio-secure” environment in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Suspended since March due to the deadly virus, international cricket is set to be back when West Indies and England lock horns in a three-match Test series starting July 8 at Southampton.

    “I don’t know if it will increase our chances, because both teams are under the same umbrella - for want of a better word,” Simmons said in a video conference from the team’s training base here.

    “The nice part for us is that 20,000 Englishmen raving for England, and that crowd support, it’s not there for them. So that in a way will help us, so it’s good from that point of view.”

    Besides the absence of hostile English fans, Simmons said lack of competitive cricket could also hurt the hosts in the series.

    ”...England hasn’t come from a tour recently, and we’ve just been playing cricket at home. Because in a normal situation we would have been coming from camps and England would have been halfway through their season and the series would have been going on right now.

    “So, I think that is a plus for us, because it evens out things a little bit, with the fact they haven’t been playing competitive cricket for a while also,” he observed.

    Having beaten England 2-1 in the Caribbean 18 months ago, a tied series would be enough for the West Indies to retain the Wisden Trophy.

    But Simmons admitted that the West Indies would miss the services of Shimron Hetmyer, Darren Bravo and Keemo Paul in the series after the trio decided against travelling to UK for the tour amid the pandemic.

    “Unfortunately a few guys decided not to come but we are here with the best squad that we can have here. And from the way we’ve started our work, the guys have been putting in, I think we’ll be ready and looking to defend our trophy.

    ”...we know what we’ll be missing. But in situations like this we have to work hard with the guys who are here and make sure that what we’re doing is putting them in a position to fill those two shoes for the series,” he said.

    “Hopefully whoever fills the shoes can go on and be as great as they want to be.”

    https://sportstar.thehindu.com/crick...le31825530.ece


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  35. #35
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    England v West Indies: 'No friendships' with Jofra Archer during series - Kemar Roach

    There will be "no friendships" between the West Indies players and England's Jofra Archer during the sides' upcoming Test series, says bowler Kemar Roach.

    Barbados-born bowler Archer, 25, played three times for West Indies Under-19s before opting to play for England.

    He played against West Indies at the 2019 World Cup but this summer's series, starting on 8 July, would be the first time he had faced them Tests.

    "It is all about winning and playing hard cricket," fellow Bajan Roach said.

    "Jofra has made his decision and is doing a fantastic job for his career.

    "There is no friendships with this series."

    Archer has friends in the West Indies' 30-man touring party, notably batsman Shai Hope and bowler Chemar Holder, and played alongside bowlers Alzarri Joseph and Preston McSween for West Indies Under-19s.

    Asked whether there would be extra words for Archer on the field during the Test series, Roach said: "We will see when that comes around. We will definitely see."

    The three-match series will be played at bio-secure venues in Southampton and Manchester without spectators, something Roach said could help West Indies as the hosts will be without their usual vocal support.

    Roach expects the tourists to employ the same aggressive, hostile bowling methods used when his side beat England 2-1 in the Caribbean last year.

    "I don't think our mode of attack will change much," he said.

    "We saw [England's batsmen] in the Caribbean and it is pretty fresh in our minds.

    "Once we get stuck into them we stand a great chance of beating England."

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/53041689

  36. #36
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    In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, when most of the teams have decided to wait and watch before resuming international cricket, West Indies is in England for a three-match Test series starting July 8.

    It won’t be an easy assignment for the touring side. With three of its top cricketers — Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer and Keemo Paul — pulling out of the tour, the onus is on batting duo Kraigg Braithwaite and Shai Hope.

    Three summers ago, when the Caribbeans toured England, Braithwaite and Hope hogged the limelight with a remarkable run-chase in the second Test in Headingley.

    Hope wants to continue in the key role. "It’s very important for us to get those runs on the board, and making it easy for batters down the line,” Hope said in an interaction on Tuesday.

    While Hope is aware that England has some of the big names in its bowling arsenal, he believes that in the end, it will be all about resilience. "They are big names (but) we can’t only play names…” he said, adding that the prime objective would be to play quality cricket.

    "We are getting there nicely. Weather is a factor but we have to get used to it. We have to adapt,” he said about the bio-bubble environment. Ever since touching base in Manchester, West Indies has entered the bio-bubble at Old Trafford.

    And ahead of the series, Hope feels that it is important to step up as and when the team requires. “Whenever you have the opportunity, take it and deliver…” he said, adding that they will miss the presence of Bravo and Hetmyer, but it is crucial that players put their hands up and fare well.

    After the heroics in Headingley in 2017, Hope has struggled in the longer format of the game, but he aims to overcome the odds. “I am scoring more in ODIs and less in Tests. I want to change that. Red ball is my favourite. I can’t pinpoint anything at this stage [about the issue]. There hasn’t been any major change in the way I prepare, maybe, just a bit of tweaking,” he said.

    This series is being touted as a battle between West Indies and Jofra Archer, the England fast bowler who is a Barbadian. “We have played together in one-dayers. We are friends. But, you have to take friendship out when you are on the field,” the West Indies stumper-batsman said.

    The last time he guided West Indies home in England, the fans gave him a standing ovation. But this time, there will be no spectators. “I love the crowd, I love when they cheer,” said Hope, adding that eventually it will be up to the individual players how they adapt.

    He also believes quality cricket will win them the series. The next few weeks will be tough, but Hope remains hopeful.

    https://sportstar.thehindu.com/crick...le31844563.ece


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  37. #37
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    Root with surgical gloves!

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  38. #38
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    West Indies Test skipper Jason Holder on Tuesday said his team will treat Barbados-born speedster Jofra Archer as just another English cricketer when the opening Test begins in Southampton on July 8.

    Archer gained eligibility to represent England in 2018. He had played for West Indies U-19 side in 2014.

    West Indies pacer Kemar Roach had on Sunday sounded a warning to Archer, saying there will be “no friendships” with him during the series.

    Echoing similar voice, Holder said friendship with Archer will take a back seat when the three-match series begins.

    West Indies' Roach says no friendship with Archer during England tests

    “Archer is English now. I think Kemar Roach had an interview yesterday and he spoke about the same thing,” Holder said on the show Good Morning Britain.

    “You know we are friends off the field but when we cross that line you just see him as another Englishman. I am sure even he must be looking to knock our heads off.”

    The three-match Test series will restart international cricket which was shutdown in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Archer has emerged as a match winner ever since he started playing for England, having played a pivotal role in helping his team win its maiden World Cup last year.

    Shai Hope: Players need to adapt to empty stands

    Asked about the ongoing worldwide protest against racism following the death of George Floyd in the USA, Holder said the West Indies team is firmly behind the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement.

    “As a team we will show our solidarity to the movement. We had few discussions and come July 8th, we will show our support,” he said.

    “I’ve been following it quite closely and I’ve seen many opinion on the matter and what should be done and what can be done. It’s a perfect opportunity to effect change. One of the things that stands out is unity. We need to unite and come together as one.”

    https://sportstar.thehindu.com/crick...le31845144.ece


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  39. #39
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    30-strong group named

    Red-ball management group confirmed for Test series with three coaches seconded from county cricket

    England National Cricket Selectors, with input from performance personnel and coaches, have named a 30-strong ‘behind-closed-doors training group’ who will go into camp at the Ageas Bowl on Tuesday June 23 ahead of the first Test against the West Indies starting on Wednesday July 8.

    The group, along with a separate red-ball management team, will live, prepare and train on-site at the Ageas Bowl. On Wednesday July 1 the players will participate in a three-day practice match. After this match, the squad for the first Test will be selected.

    Behind-Closed-Doors Training Group:

    Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), James Anderson (Lancashire), Jofra Archer (Sussex), Jonathan Bairstow (Yorkshire), Dominic Bess (Somerset), James Bracey (Gloucestershire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Rory Burns (Surrey), Jos Buttler (Lancashire), Zak Crawley (Kent), Sam Curran (Surrey), Joe Denly (Kent), Ben Foakes (Surrey), Lewis Gregory (Somerset), Keaton Jennings (Lancashire), Dan Lawrence (Essex), Jack Leach (Somerset), Saqib Mahmood (Lancashire), Craig Overton (Somerset), Jamie Overton (Somerset), Matthew Parkinson (Lancashire), Ollie Pope (Surrey), Ollie Robinson (Sussex), Joe Root (Yorkshire), Dom Sibley (Warwickshire), Ben Stokes (Durham), Olly Stone (Warwickshire), Amar Virdi (Surrey), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire), Mark Wood (Durham).

    Commenting on the selection of the group, National Selector Ed Smith, said:

    “Everyone involved with England is delighted that cricket is returning soon, and that the players are reporting for group training in preparation for the Test series against the West Indies.

    “We’d also like to thank all the county coaches who have supported these players over the past few weeks.

    “A squad for the first Test will be announced in due course.”

    The England and Wales Cricket Board have also confirmed the red-ball coaching team for the three-match Test series.

    Graham Thorpe will support Head Coach Chris Silverwood in his role as Assistant Coach and specialise on batting. Three coaches from the county game have been seconded – Lancashire Head Coach Glen Chapple will work closely with Silverwood as Bowling Coach. Gloucestershire’s Head Coach Richard Dawson, who has had experience coaching the England Lions on their successful tour of Australia earlier this year, will take control of the spin bowlers. Working alongside Thorpe with the batsmen will be Kent’s Head Coach Matthew Walker. Former Nottinghamshire and England wicketkeeper Chris Read will join the management team as wicketkeeping consultant. The ECB’s National Lead Fielding Coach, Carl Hopkinson makes up the coaching group.

    England Men’s Assistant Coach Paul Collingwood will take charge of England’s ODI team later in the summer, when it is hoped that Ireland will tour in a three-match Royal London ODI series, subject to those fixtures being confirmed.

    ECB Performance Director, Mo Bobat, added:

    “The support that we’ve received from counties during our return to training phase so far has been excellent, and it’s great to be able to continue with this collaborative approach as we move into a ‘Behind Closed Doors’ training environment.

    “As is the case in the current climate, things have progressed quickly, and we are very grateful to counties for allowing us to second their coaches to support our Test preparation. The larger group of players will certainly keep them busy.

    “Involving Glen Chapple, Richard Dawson and Matt Walker adds significant leadership strength to our coaching team, as well as their obvious technical and tactical knowledge. Similarly, Chris Read’s vast experience at the highest level will no doubt add value.

    “Both Glen (Chapple) and Richard (Dawson) were involved in winter Lions activity, so it’s nice for them and the players to build on effective coaching relationships and it’s also a real positive for our domestic game that we can expose a greater number of our coaches to international cricket.

    “A huge amount of work has taken place behind the scenes to get us to this point, and it’s now over to Chris Silverwood and his management team to support the players with their final preparations for what will be a historical series.”


    Three-match Test Series:

    1st Test: England v West Indies, July 8-12, Ageas Bowl, Southampton

    2nd Test: England v West Indies, July 16-20, Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester

    3rd Test: England v West Indies, July 24-28, Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester


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  40. #40
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    West Indies opener Kraigg Brathwaite hopes advice on the mental side of his game from legend Desmond Haynes will help turn around his form in the Test series against England.

    Brathwaite, 27, blunted England in 2017 by scoring 134 off 249 balls and 95 off 180 as he and Shai Hope steered the tourists to a famous five-wicket win at Headingley but has passed 15 in just three of his last 21 Test knocks.

    The right-hander was showing signs of a return to form before the coronavirus pandemic, striking 48 and 84no for his native Barbados against Guyana in March.

    And he believes help from fellow Bajan Haynes, who scored 7,487 runs in 116 Tests will help him turn his form around.

    "I had some words with Sir Desmond back in Barbados," confirmed Brathwaite, whose 3,496 runs have come at an average of 33.29.

    "We've always had a relationship, he was team manager of the Barbados team when I first started, so I had some chats with him. He was an opener as well so it was very beneficial for me.

    "A lot of it was about keeping it simple, not over-complicating it too much."

    He added: "It was just simple advice - about what he did back in the day, when he was in the field for a long period. How he'd go about getting himself worked up to face three overs left in the day; that's always a tough period for an opener.

    "It was just mental stuff that he helped me with. I wouldn't say it was technical. He and I worked on some shots before, probably a couple of years ago. But it's all mental in Test cricket. He was very strong mentally.

    "What has worked for me so far is patience. I've obviously had to develop some shots over time.

    "Spending time at the wicket is very crucial in Test cricket for any batsman. So that will work for me and in between, I just had to improve on different technical stuff."

    Brathwaite is familiar with the challenges posed by the home side's opening attack of James Anderson and Stuart Broad, having played in three series against England in the last five years, and had further experience of playing in English conditions during a stint at Nottinghamshire in 2018 that spanned four County Championship games.

    But he has yet to play a competitive match against England's Bridgetown-born paceman Jofra Archer and has welcomed some hostile bowling from his team-mates in the nets at Emirates Old Trafford to help him prepare for the experience.

    "I think Jofra is quality," he said. "I've actually never played against Jofra, even back in Barbados. But I look forward to the challenge. We know it won't be easy but you've just got to work hard.

    "I know that he gets to the crease quite easy. That's something different - he has a high release point as well.

    "But our net sessions are competitive; our guys are quite aggressive, so it'll get you in shape but at the end of the day, going into the match it will always be different. You've just got to get your mind shape around the different things you want to do against each bowler and back it right through.

    https://www.skysports.com/cricket/ne...de-of-his-game


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  41. #41
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    West Indies batting looks weak, Kraigg is bang out of form and no Hetmyer is a blow.

    However the bowling should do well in English conditions.

  42. #42
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    At the moment, people more happy with the fact that cricket will be happening soon - quality of the games is secondary it seems!


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  43. #43
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    Pakistan and West Indies but have the same issue with their batting. They are relying on 1 batter to have a super series. Pakistan relying on Babar and West Indies relying on Hope.

  44. #44
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    Credit to Windies and Pakistan teams for agreeing to tour England: Nasser Hussain

    CHENNAI: International cricket will finally be returning when England takes on West Indies in their Test series starting in Southampton from July 8.

    Former England captain Nasser Hussain is pleased that live sport will finally be back after a long gap due to the covid-19 pandemic.

    "All credit to West Indies and Pakistan for agreeing to come for the England tour. It's going to be held behind closed doors and the ECB has been splendid in taking all the necessary measures to get the series going," Nasser told Sony Pit Stop on Friday.

    With regular skipper Joe Root likely to miss the opening Test to be present for the birth of his second child, Ben Stokes could be given the charge to lead the hosts. The 52-year-old believes Stokes could be an ideal candidate to be at the helm. "Stokes is such a fighter and thinks about winning from every situation. He showcases similar characteristics like Indian skipper Virat Kohli. I firmly believe that Stokes will do a very good job if given a chance to lead the England side," Nasser assessed.

    He believes the upcoming Test series will see changes not only on the field --- with a saliva ban and empty stadium ---- but also in the commentary box. "We have been informed about the protocols. We will have our own lip mikes and there will just be two commentators along with our producer during commentary. We have to maintain social distancing at all times. We will have the robots doing the interviews," revealed Nasser.

    https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...w/76462584.cms


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  45. #45
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    Skipper Stokes? Be interesting to see how he goes given that captaincy messed up Botham and Flintoff.

  46. #46
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    James Anderson is fitter now ahead of next month's Test series against West Indies than he was before last year's Ashes despite the coronavirus lockdown, says England strength and conditioning coach Rob Ahmun.

    Anderson, 37, bowled just four overs in the first Ashes Test before a calf injury ruled him out of the rest of the series. England's leading wicket-taker of all time returned for the winter tour of South Africa only to miss the final two Tests of the series due to a rib injury.

    But despite the lack of cricket caused by the recent pandemic, Ahmun told Sky News' Arron Armstrong that Anderson is in a good place to add to his 584 Test scalps and that the enforced break could prolong the seamer's career by one or two years "without a shadow of a doubt".

    "We took a lot of learnings away from the James Anderson experience last year, to be honest, and part of that was the competitive cricket that the players need to be exposed to before they go back to performing on the highest stage," said Ahmun, who joined the England set-up from Glamorgan in 2014.

    England red-ball training group
    Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), James Anderson (Lancashire), Jofra Archer (Sussex), Jonnny Bairstow (Yorkshire), Dom Bess (Somerset), James Bracey (Gloucestershire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Rory Burns (Surrey), Jos Buttler (Lancashire), Zak Crawley (Kent), Sam Curran (Surrey), Joe Denly (Kent), Ben Foakes (Surrey), Lewis Gregory (Somerset), Keaton Jennings (Lancashire), Dan Lawrence (Essex), Jack Leach (Somerset), Saqib Mahmood (Lancashire), Craig Overton (Somerset), Jamie Overton (Somerset), Matt Parkinson (Lancashire), Ollie Pope (Surrey), Ollie Robinson (Sussex), Joe Root (Yorkshire), Dom Sibley (Warwickshire), Ben Stokes (Durham), Olly Stone (Warwickshire), Amar Virdi (Surrey), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire), Mark Wood (Durham)

    "This is why we've got this big squad, so there will be an inter-squad match just to make sure that these lads are prepped as much as possible. We've also tried to engineer the training sessions so that our best bowlers are bowling at our best batters as well.

    "I've been in pretty close contact with Jimmy all the way through this. Even from the calf injury last year he's actually improved his physical capacities all across the board, which for a 37-year-old international bowler to do is fantastic.

    "Again, it's just testament to the level of preparation and hard work that he actually puts into his physical training. He understands that if he doesn't do that, that he'll probably not get onto the park. So for him the physical stuff is a vital part of his day-to-day match preparation."

    Anderson revealed recently that before returning to individual training at Lancashire a month ago that he'd been practising hard at home, where he can fit half of his run-up on his drive.

    After stepping up his individual practice at Emirates Old Trafford, Anderson has switched to Chester so that Lancashire can host the West Indies touring squad in their bio-secure ground.

    Ahmun explained that Anderson, like all of the bowlers, submits regular fitness test scores to him as well as GPS data and that as of Thursday England's battery of seamers "are all already operating around 90-95 per cent of match intensity, which is great".

    Their collective workloads include bowling double spells and back-to-back days that can consist of up to 25 overs each, but despite the high fitness levels Ahmun says that it would be common sense to expect a fair amount of rotation in the West Indies series.

    "I think it's a pretty tough ask, to be honest, for any cricketer to play three Tests back-to-back," he said. "That's part of the reason why we've chosen quite a large squad. I'm sure there will be an element of rotation.

    "The one thing that the players have missed out on in this period is competitive cricket and we know how important that is to making sure that a player is fully prepped for international cricket, so it would be wrong for us to expect a player to play three back-to-back games.

    "It has been a long process to get the players to where they are now. We've developed their workloads over a long period of time to make sure they've had enough time to develop the chronic load they need to be able to withstand the rigours of Test match cricket."

    Anderson indicated earlier this month that he and his England team-mates will discuss ahead of the first Test how best to promote racial equality after touring skipper Jason Holder said his players are likely to display a 'show of solidarity' in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and the global protests in response to the killing of George Floyd.

    The seamer said possible options include leaving the pitch should any of his team-mates encounter racism or taking the knee, as all Premier League footballers have done since their season resumed this week.

    Ahmun, who comes from a BAME background, believes that "people's attitudes are changing and how awareness of how black lives do matter is changing"; while he acknowledges that there is much more work for society to do to eradicate racism, he says the show of support by top-flight football has given him heart.

    "I think it's great, to be honest, in helping raise awareness," he said. "What the football guys have done over the last couple of weeks has been fantastic. There has been Black Lives Matter but there has also been Marcus Rashford and the free school meals as well, so they've actually caused some real social change which has been fantastic."

    Ahmun explained that he has been racially abused once in his career, during his decade-long spell as a coach at Glamorgan.

    "We were at a T20 game and the sun was shining and there was a lot of beer being consumed by the members of the public; myself and the physio were sat on the sidelines during the game and there was racist abuse directed towards myself and the physio, who was from an Afro-Caribbean background," he recalled.

    "We were both pretty shocked and disgusted, to be honest, because cricket is a big family sport and there were people there with young children. So we immediately told the groundstaff and that person or persons were thankfully ejected from the ground.

    "But in all my time in cricket, since I started back in 2003, that is the first time that I've witnessed - and certainly encountered - any racism inside the sport, be that on or off the field."

    https://www.skysports.com/cricket/ne...st-west-indies


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  47. #47
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    West Indies gear up to face England in a bio-secure environment, Roston Chase is keen for another battle with fellow Barbadian, Jofra Archer.

    Five years since facing a fiery 20-year-old Jofra Archer in a club game in Sussex, Roston Chase is hoping to have better success against the Barbados-born England pacer.

    In 2015, Chase turned out for Cuckfield in the Sussex Premier League, and in the game against Middleton-on-Sea, he was trapped lbw off the first ball by Archer. The young pacer reduced Cuckfield to eight for five and then limped off with an injury.

    "I knew Jofra [before]. I did play against him in the league in Barbados. He was quite young though, playing for the Barbados school team. He was always a good talent but he was not always that fast. He had some pace but he wasn't as rapid as he is now," Chase said.

    Archer picked up five wickets in the game, but Cuckfield recovered from the precarious position they were in after the fast bowler left the field owing to an injury. They made 265 for eight and ended up winning by 100 runs. Chase recalled that batting became so much easier after Archer was out injured.

    "Things became so much easier for us," Chase said. "We ended up getting a big total and we ended up winning the game quite easily."

    One year since the face-off, Chase made his Test debut for West Indies. He has 32 Tests to his name now, scoring 1,695 runs at an average of 31.38 including five centuries. He pointed out that the stint in the Sussex Premier League, though not entirely successful, helped him toughen up.

    "The pitches were a bit up and down so I didn't get many runs. But it really helped my cricket as a batsman and my all-round game. Not only skill-wise, it really helped me mentally. I was alone out there. I only had the guys that played in the side with me and outside of the cricket, the guys were busy. It was just me on my own, trying to do my best. That really toughened me up as a cricketer and mentally," Chase said.

    On his last tour to England in 2017, Chase could only make 80 runs in six innings, averaging 13.33. However, when England toured the West Indies last year, Chase made a first-innings half-century and returned 8/60 in the second innings with the ball in the opening Test in Barbados.

    Archer, on the other hand, qualified for England last year and had a stellar Ashes series where he picked up 22 wickets in four Tests. His last Test series was in South Africa where he played just one Test match before an elbow injury saw his tour being cut short.

    https://www.icc-cricket.com/news/1689998
    Last edited by MenInG; 21st June 2020 at 16:12.


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  48. #48
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    Shane Dowrich has insisted the West Indies would not trade any of their seam attack for England pace ace Jofra Archer.

    Wicketkeeper Dowrich hailed his fellow Bajan and England quick Archer as an "amazing talent", but maintained that the West Indies are more than happy with their bowling line-up.

    Barbados-born Archer's path from West Indies Under-19s omission to England glory is well documented, but Dowrich says the tourists are happy to take on their compatriot.

    "I know Jofra pretty well, he's an amazing talent and I wish him well going into this series," said Dowrich. "But at the end of the day when we cross that line, it's the West Indies against England."

    Asked if he would rather have Archer in the West Indies line-up than face him, Dowrich replied: "No. I think he's made his decision in terms of where his career is going to go, and I wish him all the best, as I said.

    "But at the end of the day we have a wonderful bowling line-up and I'm happy with the team that take the field with me."

    England's three-Test series against the West Indies will start at The Ageas Bowl in Southampton on July 8, with all matches held behind closed doors given the continued fallout from the coronavirus.

    Dowrich believes the tourists' pace options of Jason Holder, Kemar Roach, Shannon Gabriel, Alzarri Joseph and Chemar Holder can cause England a host of problems.

    "If you look at the main four in Shannon, Kemar, Jason and Alzarri, they all present different skills," said Dowrich.

    "Kemar is probably the most skilful of all them in terms of being able to get a consistent line and length, and moving the ball both ways.

    "Shannon and Alzarri have a little more pace, and Jason is Mr Consistent; he can put the ball on a 10-pence piece.

    "So I think we bring the whole dynamic, and then obviously you have young Chemar Holder coming up, who is an exciting talent and the way he bowled in first-class cricket this season shows that.

    "We have a well-versed attack and I look forward to seeing them bowl in this series."

    Dowrich admitted to finding himself out of his depth the last time he was in England with the West Indies, having endured a desperate series in which he averaged 4.80 for his six innings with the bat.

    Three years on, however, he has cemented his spot in the West Indies Test team, scoring a hundred against England in Barbados last year, and he expects to make a big impact in this series.

    "I would love to score a Test hundred in England, it's always a challenge but I think if you're going to rate yourself as a player you have to be able to do it," he said. "And I think I've been putting in enough work to actually come up with something in this series.

    "The last time I was here was very tough for me, but it was a series that really changed around my career. I was young, in unfamiliar territory and I really didn't cope very well with it, to be honest.

    "But since then I've been able to go away, and I've learned a lot from my experience of here last time. And I consider myself a different player to what I was three years ago.

    "Obviously it's still going to be a challenge playing in England batting will always be a challenge, but I think I'm ready and up for that."

    https://www.skysports.com/cricket/ne...-shane-dowrich


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  49. #49
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    England v West Indies: Jason Holder and Ben Stokes rivalry 'huge' for series

    West Indies coach Phil Simmons says the rivalry between Jason Holder and Ben Stokes will be "huge" during the upcoming Test series against England.

    Windies captain Holder is ranked as the number one all-rounder in Test cricket, while Stokes was named as the leading cricketer in the world by Wisden.

    "Ben is the type of person who wants to be number one. He'll be doing his best to get Jason's position," said Simmons.

    "I know Jason wants to be number one and wants to keep that."

    Holder, 28, was the leading runscorer on either side when West Indies defeated England 2-1 in the Caribbean in early 2019.

    That was the beginning of the defining year of Stokes' career, in which he was named man of the match in the World Cup final and followed that with a magnificent 135 not out that gave England a one-wicket victory in the third Ashes Test at Headingley.

    "The rivalry will be there throughout the series," added Simmons, who played 26 Tests for West Indies. "Whenever the two guys are playing, they want to be competitive in all aspects."

    The first match in the three-Test series, which will be played behind closed doors in a bio-secure environment, begins on 8 July in Southampton.

    Before that, West Indies start the first of two warm-up matches between players in their squad on Tuesday at Old Trafford, while England's 30-man training group will gather in Southampton.

    All England players and management staff will be tested for coronavirus on arrival, then will isolate individually for the first 24 hours as they await the test results.

    They will begin training on Thursday, building up to an internal three-day warm-up match on 1 July, after which a squad for the first Test will be named.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/53141733

  50. #50
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    Practice game in progress for the Windies - 3 Day game

    SQUADS (All WI players to play):

    Brathwaite's XI

    Brathwaite
    Campbell
    Brooks
    Hope
    Chase
    Dowrich
    Reifer
    Holder C
    Philip
    Warrican
    Harding
    Thomas
    Mindley

    Holder's XI
    Holder J
    Moseley
    Blackwood
    Ambris
    Bonner
    DaSilva
    Mayers
    Cornwall
    Joseph
    Roach
    Gabriel
    McSween
    Last edited by MenInG; 23rd June 2020 at 16:56.


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  51. #51
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  52. #52
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    Waiting for the new look of cricket post COVID-19

  53. #53
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    Jofra Archer: England bowler to await second coronavirus test result before joining training camp

    Jofra Archer will await his second coronavirus test result before joining up with England's behind-closed-doors training camp after a member of his household felt unwell.

    The Sussex and England bowler did not join up with the rest of the 30-man party on Tuesday at Southampton's Ageas Bowl as they prepare for their Test series against the West Indies.

    Archer tested negative in the players' first round of coronavirus testing but has stayed away as a precaution awaiting a second test.

    The 25-year-old and the rest of the squad will be tested on Wednesday and he will join the squad on Thursday if he again tests negative.

    An England and Wales Cricket Board statement read: "England and Sussex bowler Jofra Archer will join England's behind-closed-doors training camp on Thursday after a member of his household felt unwell over the weekend.

    "Archer, and members of his household, have tested negative for COVID-19. He will have a second test tomorrow (Wednesday 23 June), and if he tests negative, he will join up with the training group on Thursday.

    "The rest of the group and the England management team arrived at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton on Tuesday afternoon to start their preparation ahead of the #RaiseTheBat first Test against West Indies starting on July 8 at the Ageas."

    https://www.skysports.com/cricket/ne...-training-camp

  54. #54
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  55. #55
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    Competitive cricket made a welcome return at Emirates Old Trafford as the touring West Indies squad ramped up preparations for next month’s Test series against England with an entertaining first day of intra-squad rivalry.

    The coronavirus crisis has led to a three-month shutdown of the global game and no top level matches since the Pakistan Super League was suspended in mid-March, with the international calendar moving one step closer to resuming behind closed doors in Manchester.

    This three-day outing will not go down as a first-class encounter – with the tourists naming all 25 players across the two sides and wearing coloured training kits, shorts and hoodies rather than pristine whites – but the quality of the contest made it a worthy occasion.

    The team captained by Kraigg Brathwaite made 275 against opposition led by Test skipper Jason Holder, whose side finished things in rapid fashion at the close with five wickets in 31 balls.

    Brathwaite and Shai Hope did the bulk of the scoring, making 84 and 83 respectively, recalling their shared triumph in the famous chase at Headingley three years ago.

    Both have been light on runs recently but settled to their task well, Brathwaite typically dogged and careful, while Hope found his flourish following a slow start.

    Just as important was the sight of Shannon Gabriel charging in on his way to figures of three for 32.

    The Trinidadian is still officially listed among 11 reserves for the three-match series due to a recent ankle injury, but he looked well on the way to full health as he picked off John Campbell, Shamarh Brooks and Shane Dowrich.

    Alzarri Joseph also caught the eye, finishing with four for 60 as he wrapped up the tail.

    Gabriel was easily the most voluble player on show, routinely barracking the batsmen in a good natured fashion and at one stage bellowing “Jesus Chris boy, you are dishonest!” after an unsuccessful caught behind shout against Brathwaite.

    The verbals were all good-natured, proven by Gabriel’s broad grin, but there was no suggestion of friendly fire from his bowling, nor that of Kemar Roach and Joseph.

    They enjoyed much the better of the opening session, during which Brathwaite led his side to a watchful 54 for two as Gabriel took both wickets.

    Campbell was first to go, top-edging a pull to midwicket for an inauspicious 16-ball duck, before Brooks nicked to Joshua Da Silva.

    The afternoon session belonged to the batsmen, Brathwaite and Hope sharing a century stand as things fell flat in the field.

    Brathwaite defended and drove well, while Hope showcased a fluent style after finally getting off the mark from his 23rd delivery.

    They were finally parted by Roach, quietly effective throughout, as he took out Brathwaite’s off stump before tea.

    From 176 for three at the start of the last session, the batting side were rounded up efficiently in the evening.

    Hope was the key wicket, sixth man down nicking Joseph behind. That was the start of a decisive spell for the seamer, who had Raymon Reifer and Anderson Phillip caught in the slips and finished off the day by skittling Chemar Holder first ball.

    Rahkeem Cornwall and Preston McSween each contributed a wicket but Holder, nursing a minor ankle niggle, did not bowl.

    https://www.cumnockchronicle.com/spo...-old-trafford/


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  56. #56
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    England's return to group training at The Ageas Bowl will be "no holiday camp" as they adhere to strict protocols amid the coronavirus pandemic, says Ashley Giles.

    A 30-man party has assembled at the Southampton venue, where they will live on-site and prepare ahead of the behind-closed-doors #raisethebat Test series against West Indies in July, live on Sky Sports Cricket.

    Giles, England's managing director of men's cricket, says guidelines for the players will be stringent despite lockdown measures beginning to ease across the country.

    We have all spent three months-plus in lockdown and I know personally that packing and leaving home feels quite strange. I guess when we get closer to playing cricket, we will all be fine.
    Ashley Giles

    "There could be opportunities for guys to play golf on the course next door but apart from that, there are two sessions of cricket a day, so there is going to be a lot of work," Giles told reporters on a conference call, with England's players due to train in split groups from Thursday.

    "Inside, social distancing, wearing of masks, and probably spending a lot of time on your own isn't a lot of fun and it is a bit of a culture shock. It will be weird - anyone who thinks this is going to be a holiday camp is going to be seriously mistaken.

    "It is about removing as much risk as you can and it is down to all of us to police it. We have been in constant dialogue with the players and they are all very aware of the seriousness of the situation.

    "People are going to make mistakes, we all are, but for the sake of everyone's safety and the cricket, we need to operate within these protocols as much as we can."

    Giles confirmed England are hoping to allow players to leave and re-enter the team "bubble" during the series, including captain Joe Root, whose wife Carrie is due to give birth to their second child in early July.

    Pubs and cinemas are among the establishments set to reopen from July 4 and Giles hopes players operate "sensibly" in the outside world so as to not put the Test series in jeopardy.

    The thing we have talked about consistently over the last few weeks is the bridging - we are obviously keen to get Joe back into the environment after the baby is born. At any time, it's about moving people from a safe environment to a safe environment. We need to be careful as we can.

    "We are going to have to find opportunities to get guys out of the environment and back home but it is important that if they are coming back, that when they leave they are going to a safe environment," said former England spinner Giles.

    "We haven't talked about banning players [from pubs and restaurants] but we would ask them to be sensible, which they have been throughout this whole process.

    "They need to continue that because if you come back into the environment and you haven't been adhering to the guidelines, then you put everyone else and the series at risk.

    "We could have a very secure bubble, yet the rest of the world is operating at a new normal in terms of going to pubs and restaurants, but our main responsibility is to get this series on the road and keep everyone safe.

    "Especially the West Indies team, who have done so much to come here. We owe them a huge debt of gratitude."

    England's sole warm-up game before the three-Test series - which has been named #raisethebat as a tribute to key workers who have helped combat the COVID-19 pandemic - will be a three-day intra-team game from July 1, after which a Test squad will be named.

    Giles admits that clash could lack "intensity" but believes players will have little trouble getting up for the series itself, despite the fact no fans will be in attendance at either The Ageas Bowl or Emirates Old Trafford, which is the venue for the second and third Tests.

    "It will be very difficult to replicate that same intensity - even when you go into a Test match and there are no crowds, it is going to be very challenging," he said.

    "But it's the same for both sides and there is a bigger picture in place than perfect scenarios which is the business of cricket. It's very important to everyone that we get back playing Test cricket.

    "The players I have spoken to are keen as mustard to get on with it. There is definitely some nervousness about the current situation but they are cricketers and are dying to play some cricket.

    "When it comes down to it and someone is trying to knock your head off at 85mph an hour, you will find a way to get your intensity up pretty quickly."

    Giles said the ECB would be fully behind England's players if they opted to take the knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement: "[Racism] is clearly a very serious issue right now. We need to show unity with West Indies and the world - whatever the team decide to do, we will fully support."

    The 47-year-old also revealed he is "quietly confident" that Australia's proposed white-ball tour in September will go ahead - and hopes an easing of restrictions could allow England players who have featured in Test matches earlier in the summer to figure in the limited-overs games as well.

    "Australia have been one of our strongest partners for years and continue to be - it would be great to have them here," added Giles, part of England's attack when they won the 2005 Ashes.

    "If you were an Australian cricketer or member of staff outwardly looking in, there would be some nervousness but we are doing everything we can to allay as many of those fears as we possibly can. September is a long way away and a lot could change in that time but we are quietly confident.

    "If and when Australia do come over, our best players who play both codes will want to play against them as it's the best battle. We hope [players could play in both formats] but that is a long way away.

    "Up front, we know we are going to have to operate two separate bubbles but we hope there is a relaxation in the guidelines and that later in the summer we will be able to move more freely.

    "If we can ease back from the highest protocol, great, but we are not planning for that at the moment."

    https://www.skysports.com/cricket/ne...s-ashley-giles


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  57. #57
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    Shannon Gabriel likely to be bumped up to main Test squad, says Phil Simmons

    Shannon Gabriel, the top wicket-taker for West Indies in Tests since 2013, is likely to be moved up to the main Test squad from the reserve list of players after he impressed head coach Phil Simmons in the nets.

    Gabriel underwent surgery last November for an ankle injury and was in a six-month rehabilitation programme thereafter. As his recovery had only just completed, West Indies chose to name him in the reserve list of players for the tour of England, but he has shown promising signs.

    "When leaving home, 14 were named in the squad. Because of Shannon [Gabriel] coming back from his injury, we had to let him get a little bit further and see how he is and then we'll decide whether to make it a 15-member squad. After that, injuries might be the cause for changes," Simmons said.


    The touring side plays warm-up games within the squad starting Tuesday and if Gabriel manages to come through unscathed, the indication from Simmons is that he will be added to the main squad.

    "Yes, there is a possibility of Shannon Gabriel joining the touring party," Simmons said. "He's one of West Indies' prominent fast bowlers coming back from injury and we just had to make sure that he was fit enough to work through the tour.

    "The last week he's been at full tilt and he looks fit. He looks good. He's bowling as fast as I've seen him for a while so he's ready and close enough to the Test match."

    Gabriel, who is in the top 20 of the MRF Tyres ICC Test bowling rankings, has been a regular in West Indies' starting XI in Tests alongside fellow pace bowlers, Jason Holder and Kemar Roach. However, he might be competing with the young sensation, Alzarri Joseph, who Simmons said will be a 'big hit on this tour', for a place in the starting XI.

    West Indies have a strong bowling attack centred around their impressive pace attack. Since 2018, the team's bowling average of 25.63 in Tests is second only to India's.

    "The top three bowlers speak for themselves. Jason Holder is the No.1 ranked all-rounder in the world in Test cricket, Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel are high up on that fast bowling list in the ICC rankings. That shows you there's quality there," Simmons said.

    With the depth at his disposal and the first Test still a couple of weeks away, Simmons hasn't zeroed in on a potential starting XI. He said that decision will be made only after West Indies get to the venue – they're currently training at Old Trafford. He did, however, suggest that spin-bowling all-rounder Rakheem Cornwall is likely to be in the scheme of things.

    "We haven't seen what the Ageas Bowl is like," Simmons said. "When we see that, we will know what our combination will be like. But at this stage, you can say that Rakheem [Cornwall] will be a part. He got 10 wickets against Afghanistan in our last Test. So you can say he'll be a part if we go in with two spinners and three fast bowlers or four and one."

    After the first warm-up game, West Indies will also play a four-day, first-class game with the first-choice team playing against the reserves. The first Test starts on July 8 at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton.

    https://www.icc-cricket.com/news/1692812


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  58. #58
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    The England & Wales Cricket Board can confirm that 702 COVID-19 tests were carried out between June 3 and June 23 with several stakeholder groups working at the bio-secure venues of the Ageas Bowl and Emirates Old Trafford. These groups include players, support staff, match officials, ECB staff, venue staff and hotel staff.

    We can confirm that all 702 tests were negative.


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  59. #59
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    Gloucestershire's James Bracey cannot wait to face England seamers James Anderson, Jofra Archer and Stuart Broad in the nets as he aims to test his credentials for international cricket.

    The 23-year-old is one of eight uncapped players in the 30-man England training group that has assembled at The Ageas Bowl ahead of the behind-closed-doors #raisethbat Test series against West Indies from July 8.

    England will begin training in Southampton on Thursday, with Archer due to link up with the team provided he tests negative for coronavirus - the quick did not travel on Tuesday after a member of his family felt unwell.

    "I want to jump straight in, so if I had the choice I'd want James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Jofra Archer in my first net," Bracey - who helped Gloucestershire earn promotion back to County Championship Division One last season - told the Press Association.

    "That would be lobbing yourself in at the deep end - but if you can find a way to play guys like that and face up to them that would give you great confidence and the best possible chance to do well at international level.

    "I haven't met all of the England lads before. I played Archer a couple of times for Gloucestershire which was a decent challenge.

    "I faced Jimmy when he was coming back to fitness with Lancashire. He was probably only 70 or 80 per cent fit but he was still incredible - the skill he has is quite ridiculous.

    "I feel like I've got an opportunity to be around the best Test cricketers in the country for the next couple of weeks and that's something I've not experienced before, so let's see where I'm at."

    Bracey has often combined batting at the top of the order with keeping wicket for his county - and says he would relish the opportunity to do the same at Test level.

    The left-hander is one of four glovemen in England's training group, along with current Test incumbent Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow and Ben Foakes.

    "I grew up opening the batting and I first broke in as a batsman, so naturally I want to bat at the top. I think the skills I have suit opening or batting at number three," said the Bristolian.

    "Doing both jobs is definitely something I'd be up for trying. I've done it for Gloucestershire and, don't get me wrong it is tough, but it does help balance a team nicely.

    "I know Test cricket would be another step up in intensity and with the extra day, but it's something I'm open to if the chance materialises."

    It was strange to be without work for three months, but luckily the furlough scheme was in place to help a lot people out.
    James Bracey

    Bracey was placed on furlough by Gloucestershire during the coronavirus pandemic and believes the outbreak has shown that players must have options outside of the game.

    "I was a late bloomer, I went to university first, so I feel pretty clued up to the fact this is a career with no great security," he added.

    "It's not like football or the big American sports. It lacks some of that certainty and some of that big money.

    https://www.skysports.com/cricket/ne...rs-in-the-nets


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  60. #60
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    WEST INDIES WARM-UP MATCH

    Stumps, day 2

    Jason Holder XI vs Kraigg Brathwaite XI

    Emirates OT

    Brathwaite XI 99-3 in second innings, lead by 181

    Reifer bags five wickets in 11 balls versus Holder XI

    Half-century for Ambris in Manchester

    Game concludes on Thursday

  61. #61
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    Good news for England and Jofra Archer. He has tested negative for COVID-19. He will join the England camp at Ageas Bowl later today and will be free to start training tomorrow with the rest of the group.


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  62. #62
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    West Indies warm-up report: Jason Holder not risked on final day of drawn intra-squad game

    West Indies captain Jason Holder maintained a watching brief as the tourists' three-day intra-squad match at Emirates Old Trafford ended with half-centuries from Sheyne Moseley, Shane Dowrich and Shamarh Brooks.

    Holder, who has been working back from an ankle niggle, declined to bowl himself once again despite taking the field in the morning session and did not bat in his team's second innings.

    That means the all-rounder's time in the middle has been restricted to a golden duck on Wednesday afternoon, though head coach Phil Simmons said "that was always the plan for this match".

    "Jason has had a slight niggle on his ankle and that is what has held him back from bowling," Simmons told the PA news agency. "He will be back to bowling in the four-day game and should be bowling his full quota. As for the batting if you get one ball and you're out, that's all you can do."

    There was also a moment of concern for wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich, who injured his side midway through the final day and was not seen again. He received treatment back in the dressing room, with Brooks and Shai Hope each taking a turn with the gloves but, while Simmons said Dowrich will be assessed by the doctor he added "he seems to be doing fine".

    The match itself - the first top-level cricket anywhere in the world since mid-March - moved gently towards its drawn conclusion, the intensity of the first two days dialled down as the prospect of a positive result receded.

    Kraigg Brathwaite's XI were able to declare 313 ahead at lunch, with a stand of 131 between Dowrich (56no) and Brooks (66no) leaving them in a strong position. Moseley managed to outscore both in the final innings, following his earlier score of 40 with a well-constructed unbeaten 83, but he is listed among 11 reserves rather than in the 14-strong Test squad.

    There is a chance to be promoted from one to the other before the first Test against England on July 8, with Trinidadian paceman Shannon Gabriel almost certain to having proved his fitness.

    "He looks ready, that was evident here," said Simmons. "When you see how he bowled in the first innings, then again yesterday and even more so this morning you could see he's close to 100 per cent.

    "Now we want to get him up to 100 just before the Test match."

    Brathwaite's XI resumed the day on 99-3 and quickly lost Roston Chase lbw for four, Gabriel with his fourth scalp of the match, after which Dowrich and Brooks took over for the remainder of the session.

    Brooks was dropped on five, a one-handed effort going down at mid-off, while Dowrich was also in single figures when he found himself in the midst of an opportunistic appeal.

    Dowrich had gloved a Gabriel bouncer to third slip but seemingly missed a no-ball call - there were a sloppy 34 in the match - as he began walking away. The catcher, Kyle Mayers, then hurled down the stumps but the ensuing celebrations were quietened by the umpire's dead-ball call.

    The scoring was care-free thereafter, leading to a declaration by Brathwaite's team on 231-4. The fourth and final innings of the match was by a distance the gentlest, with Moseley taking advantage better than anyone.

    Joshua da Silva switched with Jermaine Blackwood to open the batting but nicked off for 14, while Sunil Ambris was cleaned up cheaply by Raymon Reifer, the left-armer following up his day two five-for with another wicket.

    Blackwood played Keon Harding into his stumps but although Moseley was moving towards a century against some gentle spin bowling from Brathwaite and Chase, the decision was made to wrap things up at 5.30pm with the scoreboard reading 149-3.

    https://www.skysports.com/cricket/ne...tra-squad-game

  63. #63
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    Jofra Archer has been cleared to start training with his England team-mates after testing negative for coronavirus.

    The 25-year-old fast bowler's arrival into England's behind-closed-doors training camp was delayed after a member of his household reported feeling unwell.

    Archer did test negative during the first round of testing the players went through, but stayed away as a precaution.

    But after returning a second negative test, he will now join the England camp at Southampton's Ageas Bowl on Thursday, before taking part in training on Friday.

    None of the 30 players currently training and living in a bio-secure environment in Southampton have tested positive for the virus.

    England are preparing to face the West Indies in a three-Test series, starting next month. The first Test will take place at The Ageas Bowl, with the final two at Emirates Old Trafford.

    https://www.skysports.com/cricket/ne...ronavirus-test


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  64. #64
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    MANCHESTER: West Indies head coach Phil Simmons had no qualms over the fitness of Jason Holder after the captain played a restricted role on the final day of his side’s first warm-up match ahead of next month’s Test series against England.

    Holder led one team in a drawn intra-squad three-day game against Kraigg Brathwaite’s XI at Old Trafford.

    But the Barbados paceman did not bowl on Thursday, although he was in the field on all three days, and on Wednesday he was lbw to Raymon Reifer for a golden duck.

    Holder did not push himself up the order to get a bat on Thursday as the game ended in a draw, Brathwaite declaring 313 runs ahead before the Test skipper’s side finished on 149 for three.

    But Simmons expects Holder to play a full part in next week’s second internal warm-up game as the West Indies continue their preparations in the run-up to the first Test at Southampton starting on July 8 — a match that will mark international cricket’s return from lockdown.

    “Jason has had a slight niggle on his ankle and that is what has held him back from bowling, but that was always the plan for this match,” Simmons told the Press Association news agency. “He will be back to bowling in the four-day game and should be bowling his full quota. As for the batting, if you get one ball and you’re out, that’s all you can do.”

    Meanwhile, Simmons was equally upbeat about the fitness of wicket-keeper Shane Dowrich, who left the field on Thursday afternoon session after injuring his side.

    “Shane is fine,” said Simmons. “I’ll need to see the doctor to see exactly what is wrong but he seems to be doing fine.”

    https://www.dawn.com/news/1565415/we...olders-fitness


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  65. #65
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    West Indies head coach Phil Simmons has entered self-isolation after attending a funeral but fast bowler Alzarri Joseph said it would not hamper the team's preparation for the three-test series against England.

    Simmons has been self-isolating in his Old Trafford hotel room since attending the funeral on Friday and has to clear two COVID-19 tests before he can join the squad on Thursday.

    “That doesn't really disrupt our preparations,” Joseph told British media on Saturday.

    “We have our jobs to do - we have our preparation to keep going with. We have a very big coaching staff here that are very supportive of each other, so that's not really a problem for anyone.”

    Jason Holder: Racism should be treated as seriously as match-fixing and doping

    Assistant coaches Roddy Estwick and Rayon Griffith will oversee the team's second warm-up match, which begins on Monday, before the July 8 series opener in Southampton.

    Joseph is set to join skipper Jason Holder, Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel in a four-pronged pace attack and the 23-year-old was fine being perceived as the weak link.

    “Obviously those three guys have a lot more experience than I do,” he said.

    “I'd think more often than not, teams would see me as the weaker link. I think my job is to come in and just back those bowlers and keep the pressure on.”

    “I could use it as an advantage - I know my abilities and they (England) might not know. But once I turn up on the day and get the job done, I know I can get on top of any opponent.”

    https://sportstar.thehindu.com/crick...le31937809.ece


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  66. #66
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    West Indies head coach Phil Simmons was granted permission to attend his father-in-law’s funeral in England last Friday. That’s the word from Cricket West Indies CEO Johnny Grave, who was responding to queries from Sportsmax.TV.

    Simmons has been self-isolating since and will only be permitted to re-join the team on Thursday, July 2, if he returns two negative Covid-19 tests.

    However, his decision to leave the bio-secure location has raised some concerns and questions over whether the head coach unilaterally decided to leave the facility where the team has been preparing for the coming three-Test series beginning July 8.

    Grave assured that Simmons received permission from the Chief Medical Officers of Cricket West Indies and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

    “Yes, he left to go to his father-in-law's funeral on Friday and is now going through the re-entry process having had his whole exit and entry approved and managed by the medical teams,” Grave said.

    In Simmons’ absence, assistant coaches Roddy Estwick and Rayon Griffith will oversee the Windies four-day, first-class fixture that starts on Monday.

    Floyd Reifer will be the batting coach

    https://www.sportsmax.tv/index.php/c...l-johnny-grave


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  67. #67
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    WI will wear the BLM logo on their shirt collars for the tests,

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    WI will wear the BLM logo on their shirt collars for the tests,
    Is that allowed? I remember Moeen Ali was once disciplined or something for wearing something political.


    Bangladeshi Fan

  69. #69
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    West Indies to wear Black Lives Matter on Test shirts

    Players partner with Watford captain Troy Deeney in support of protests justice and equality

    Sunday, 28 June 2020 — MANCHESTER, England – West Indies players will wear the Black Lives Matter logo on their playing shirts when they face England throughout the upcoming #RaiseTheBat Test Series, starting July 4, as part of the Sandals Tour of England 2020. The decision was taken by the players and team management with the full support of Cricket West Indies (CWI).

    The Black Lives Matter emblem was designed by Alisha Hosannah, the partner of Troy Deeney, professional footballer and captain of Watford Football Club (who play in the English Premier League). He was contacted by CWI and permission was granted for the logo to be displayed on the collar according to ICC regulations.

    The logo has a clenched fist in place of the letter “A” in the word “Black”. It was also used on the shirts of all 20 Premier League clubs since football returned behind closed doors following the break for COVID-19.

    West Indies captain Jason Holder said: “This is a pivotal moment in history for sports, for the game of cricket and for the West Indies cricket team. We have come to England to retain the Wisden Trophy but we are very conscious of happenings around the world and the fight for justice and equality. We believe we have a duty to show solidarity and also to help raise awareness.

    “As a group of young men, we know of the rich and diverse history of West Indies cricket and we know we are guardians of the great game for generation to come. We did not take our decision lightly. We know what it is for people to make judgments because of the colour of our skin, so we know what it feels like, this goes beyond the boundary. There must be equality and there must be unity. Until we get that as people, we cannot stop. We have to find some way to have equal rights and people must not be viewed differently because of the colour of their skin or ethnic background.”

    Troy Deeney said: “Alisha and I are immensely proud to be asked and take part in a monumental moment in world sport, this amazing decision by the West Indies cricket team to show their support for Black Lives Matter. When I got the call, I didn’t hesitate to respond, because I know as sportspersons in the spotlight, how important our efforts are to bring about change and the role we play in move towards change in our society. Watching cricket with my grandad, and seeing Brian Lara transcend from being a cricketer to a worldwide superstar, shaped my childhood, so it’s great to be able to help West Indies Cricket show their support in such a meaningful way.”

    West Indies will play England in three Test matches behind closed doors – the first at the at Ageas Bowl in Southampton and the other two at Emirates Old Trafford in Manchester, where they are presently based. Due to COVID19 they will train and live in a “bio-secure” environment as part of the comprehensive medical and operations plans to ensure player and staff safety.

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  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweep_shot View Post
    Is that allowed? I remember Moeen Ali was once disciplined or something for wearing something political.
    I think a consciousness shift is happening even within the ECB.

  71. #71
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    Why these WI players making too much noise?

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    I think a consciousness shift is happening even within the ECB.
    Why double standard though?

    So, players are allowed to show solidarity with BLM but not with Palestine people. I find that very wrong.


    Bangladeshi Fan

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweep_shot View Post
    Why double standard though?

    So, players are allowed to show solidarity with BLM but not with Palestine people. I find that very wrong.
    Do you deliberately seek to get upset by false equivalences?

  74. #74
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    They desperately need Holder to get match fit. They already have a weak batting. They need someone who can swing the new cherry upfront and only Holder can swing it from among their bowlers.


    'There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold'

  75. #75
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    I fully expect England to crush West Indies. Multiple innings defeats perhaps.


    Bangladeshi Fan

  76. #76
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    Root to miss first Test; Stokes will captain

    England Test captain Joe Root will leave the training camp at the Ageas Bowl on Wednesday afternoon to be with his wife, Carrie, who is expecting their second child later this week.

    He will miss England’s three-day intra-squad warm-up match starting tomorrow and the #raisethebat first Test against West Indies commencing on Wednesday 8 July at the Ageas Bowl.

    Root will commence a seven-day self-isolation period at home once he leaves hospital with his family. He will join up with the England squad ahead of the second Test at Emirates Old Trafford on Monday 13 July.

    Durham all-rounder Ben Stokes, who has been Root’s Test vice-captain since his appointment last July, will captain the side for the first time in Southampton. Lancashire’s Jos Buttler will assume vice-captaincy duties.


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  77. #77
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    Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler captain England sides in intra-squad warm-up game

    Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler will captain competing England teams for the three-day, intra-squad warm-up game at The Ageas Bowl that begins on Wednesday.

    Stokes - confirmed as stand-in skipper for the first Test against the West Indies on July 8, with Joe Root absent for the birth of his second child - will lead a 13-man team that includes the returning Moeen Ali, James Anderson and Zak Crawley, who will likely bat at No 3.

    Team Stokes
    Dominic Sibley, Keaton Jennings, Zak Crawley, Jonathan Bairstow, Ben Stokes (c), Ben Foakes, Moeen Ali, Lewis Gregory, Craig Overton, Jack Leach, Olly Stone, James Anderson, Saqib Mahmood.

    Team Buttler
    Rory Burns, James Bracey, Joe Denly, Dan Lawrence, Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler (c), Sam Curran, Chris Woakes, Dominic Bess, Mark Wood, Jofra Archer, Stuart Broad, Matthew Parkinson, Ollie Robinson.

    Buttler, Stokes' vice-captain for the first Test, takes charge of a 14-man team that has Rory Burns back opening the batting, fast bowlers Jofra Archer and Mark Wood in the same attack, as well as spots for uncapped trio James Bracey, Dan Lawrence and Ollie Robinson.

    Of the 30-man training group England assembled ahead of the West Indies Test series, only the absent Root, Somerset fast bowler Jamie Overton and Surrey spinner Amar Virdi have not been selected for the intra-squad game.

    Head coach Chris Silverwood has been impressed by the "excellent standard of training" from the players in England's bubble at The Ageas bowl and says the intra-squad game will provide opportunities to impress ahead of selection for the first Test.

    "When you start looking at what we've got, it's exciting and the future looks good," Silverwood told reporters. "You know the people that are the mainstay, or the engine room, but it's a great opportunity for some of the other players in and around the group to show us what they can do.

    "We've mixed the sides up to make it as competitive as possible, to make sure we have a good game going into this first Test. I'm sure there will be a few in there very keen to impress.

    "I expect hard cricket out there. I think that's what we'll get as well.

    "We've got people that have come back into this bubble very fit, from a physical point of view, very motivated and there have been some very good skills on show. It should be a good game of cricket."

    Ahead of the intra-squad game, England returned a full complement of negative results in their third, and latest, round of coronavirus tests.

    England's 30-man group is likely to be whittled down to a squad of 22 for the first Test - expected to be named on Saturday - but Silverwood says it has not yet been decided who will replace Root in the batting order.

    "It's a hot topic of conversation at the moment, and I'm sure it will be for the next few days," Silverwood said in an interview with Sky Sports News.

    "There's a few options available to us. And the great thing is, every option we look at, we think 'there's some very good players kicking around'.

    "Everything is in consideration at the moment. I wouldn't like to rule anything out."

    https://www.skysports.com/cricket/ne...d-warm-up-game

  78. #78
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    west indies have no batting but their fast bowling stocks look very good with roach, gabriel, joseph and chemar holder. one game will probs be rained off because two are at old trafford and the weather is all over the place nowadays. windies could easily win a game against this inexperienced english batting and retain the trophy

    1-1 i reckon but im normally wrong


    How odd I can have all this inside me and to you it's just words.

  79. #79
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    England Men to carry Black Lives Matter logo on shirts throughout West Indies series

    The England Men’s Test team will wear a Black Lives Matter logo on their playing shirts when they face West Indies in the #raisethebat three-match Test Series, starting Wednesday 8 July.

    The decision was taken by the England and Wales Cricket Board, fully supported by the England players led by Test captain Joe Root and stand-in captain for the first Test Ben Stokes. In a mark of solidarity, the team will join the West Indies and carry an identical logo on their playing shirts.

    The Black Lives Matter emblem was designed by Alisha Hosannah, the partner of Troy Deeney, professional footballer and captain of Premier League side Watford Football Club. He was contacted by ECB and CWI and permission was granted for the logo to be displayed on the collar according to ICC regulations.

    Tom Harrison, ECB Chief Executive Officer, said: “The England and Wales Cricket Board fully support the message that Black Lives Matter. It has become a message of solidarity and a drive for progress and societal change. There can be no place for racism in society or our sport, and we must do more to tackle it.

    “Our support of that message is not an endorsement, tacit or otherwise, of any political organisation, nor the backing of any group that calls for violence or condones illegal activity. We are aware of certain aspects of the movement that promote their own political views, and their actions are not supported in any way by the ECB and our players.

    “This moment is about unity. We are proud that our players will stand alongside those from the West Indies and wear a logo that embodies that philosophy. It is fitting that they do so in solidarity with athletes from the football world who wore it first. Our thanks go to Troy Deeney and his partner Alisha Hosannah, creator of the logo, who generously agreed to share it with us.

    “We have a responsibility to ensure that cricket is truly a game for everyone. We will shortly set out further steps that build on the work we have already done to make cricket more inclusive and diverse in order to address some of the barriers which still exist for some communities.”

    England Men’s Test captain Joe Root, said: “It is important to show solidarity to the black community and to raise much needed awareness around the topics of equality and justice. The England players and management are unified in this approach and will use the platform of international cricket to fully support the objective of eradicating racial prejudice wherever it exists.

    “The majority of us do not understand what individuals from BAME background have to go through when people make judgments because of the colour of their skin. As a group, we are learning about this and educating ourselves.

    “There has to be equal opportunity and equal rights for all. We hope by making this stance we can play our part in standing shoulder-to-shoulder as a team and we hope that by continuing to raise awareness we can move towards a society in which the colour of your skin and your background has no bearing on your opportunities.

    “It is very simple, we believe there is no room for racism or any form of discrimination, anywhere.”

    Troy Deeney, added: “Alisha and I are immensely proud to be asked and take part in a monumental moment in world sport, this amazing decision by the England and West Indies cricket teams to show their support for Black Lives Matter.

    “When I got the call, I didn’t hesitate to respond, because I know as sportspersons in the spotlight, how important our efforts are to bring about change and the role we play in moving towards change in our society. Watching cricket with my grandad shaped my childhood, so it’s great to be able to help England and West Indies Cricket to show their support in such a meaningful way.”

    The England team are currently preparing for the first Test in a bio-secure environment at the Ageas Bowl. All players and management live, train and play on-venue and is part of comprehensive medical and operational protocol to ensure all players and staff can play safely due to the impact of COVID-19.


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  80. #80
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    Phil Simmons is back on the job. The West Indies head coach returned to the field with his players on Thursday after his mandatory quarantine and COVID 19 tests. He was part of the warm-up and pre-match preparations as West Indies continued their four-day warm-up match at Emirates Old Trafford.

    President of Cricket West Indies, Ricky Skerritt, said he spoke to Simmons and noted:

    “I want to assure West Indies cricket fans that Phil Simmons still has the full backing of Cricket West Indies no matter what has been said. When all is said and done, Phil’s job is not in any way threatened...he went through a very vigorous recruitment process nine months ago and was the best man we could have found for the job. He’s still the best man.”

    https://www.windiescricket.com/news/...ng-men-maroon/


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