Record-breaking England lived up to 'Bazball' mantra against Pakistan, says centurion Pope

By Sports Desk December 01, 2022

England's record-breaking start to the first Test against Pakistan was a prime example of the aggressive style implemented by Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes, says Ollie Pope.

Pope joined Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett and Harry Brook in making his century as England closed on 506-4 after an incredible display in Rawalpindi, becoming the first team to make 500 runs on day one of a Test and beating Australia's previous record of 494 runs against South Africa from 1910.

England have produced several fine batting displays since McCullum and Stokes took over as head coach and captain this year, leading Pope to hail the squad's willingness to buy into their ideas.

Speaking to Sky Sports after helping England make a historic start to their first Test in Pakistan since 2005, Pope said: "I think it's the ideal start to the tour!

"We really listened to what Baz and Stokesy have said. It was an amazing day.

"The best thing is everyone has lived by how the two guys up top want us to play. 

"They want us to entertain people. It is not about milestones. It is about putting on a show and putting the team in a good position. 

"The fact everyone is so happy to buy into that puts us in a really good place."

Meanwhile, Duckett's ton saw him make a dream return to England's red-ball side after a six-year hiatus, leaving the 28-year-old in disbelief.

"Very special, pretty crazy day and a crazy build-up to the Test match. For me personally, it's a special day, it's one I didn't think that'll come around," Duckett said.

"I don't think there will be a better environment to be involved in. I am sure there will be a lot of cricketers in England who will want to be part of it. It went well today.

"It helps being in these conditions, I knew it was going to be nice batting conditions. The T20 series [in Pakistan] was a big confidence thing for me."

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  • West Indies Academy players secure selection in West Indies Championship Squads West Indies Academy players secure selection in West Indies Championship Squads

    Five members of the West Indies Academy have earned places in franchise teams for the first and second rounds of the upcoming West Indies Championship four-day first-class tournament, starting on 31 January.

    The West Indies Academy players that have been selected are Kirk McKenzie, left-handed batter for Jamaica Scorpions; Kevin Wickham, right-handed batter for Barbados Pride; Ashmead Nedd, left-arm spinner for Guyana Harpy Eagles; and Teddy Bishop, right-handed batter for Windward Islands Volcanoes. Kelvin Pitman the right-arm fast bowler has been listed in the 13-member provisional squad named by the Leeward Islands Hurricanes.

    Graeme West, CWI’s High-Performance Manager who has overseen the West Indies Academy programme since its inception in 2022, anticipates good performances from the players when the tournament bowls off next week in Grenada and Antigua.

    West said: “It is really good to see players being selected to participate in the West Indies Championship. It shows the investment made by CWI in the development of these young players is bearing fruit. The West Indies Academy played in the CG United Super50 last November, some players also got picked in the CPL earlier in the year, and this was great exposure in the white ball formats. Now, with the first two rounds of the West Indies Championship in front of us, we have players being selected for the red ball format and we hope to see more graduate later in the tournament as well.”

    West added: “In addition to playing in the four-day tournament, we also have the chance to play in the Headley Weekes Tri-Series in April and May, another major investment in player development by CWI. This is an amazing opportunity for these young players to match skills against some of the region’s best and we view this as the right kind of platform at this stage in their development. They equipped themselves very well in the 50-over format last year in the CG United Super50 Cup and we anticipate more growth and eye-catching performances when they match up in the red ball format as well.”

    The tournament will open with Windward Islands Volcanoes hosting Trinidad & Tobago Red Force at the Grenada National Stadium (GNS). This match will start on 31 January and will continue on 1 to 3 February.

    In Antigua, defending champions Barbados Pride will start their bid for at hattrick of titles when they face Guyana Harpy Eagles in the feature match at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium (SVRS) on 1 to 4 February. The third contest will see Leeward Islands Hurricanes hosting Jamaica Scorpions at the Coolidge Cricket Ground (CCG) from 1 to 4 February.

    The second round will be played from 8 to 11 February when Barbados Pride will meet the Jamaica Scorpions at CCG; Trinidad & Tobago Red Force travel to face Leeward Islands Red Force at SVRS, and Guyana take on Windward Islands Volcanoes at GNS.

    Following the West Indies Championship, the new Headley Weekes Series will follow the West Indies Championship and will feature three matches and three teams. Team Headley and Team Weekes will select from the best performers in the 2023 West Indies Championship and players outside the starting West Indies Test XI. The new West Indies Academy will provide the third team in the new Series. 

    Team Headley and Team Weekes are named in honour of West Indies pioneers and legendary batting greats George Headley and Sir Everton Weekes, whose names are also honoured on the Trophy for the winners of the West Indies Championship. All three matches will be played from 18 April to 6 May at CCG in Antigua.

    Every West Indies Championship match will be streamed live on the Windies Cricket YouTube channel. Fans can follow each and every game from their mobile devices, computers or connected TVs, including access to live ball-by-ball scoring on the windiescricket.com live match centre. 

     

    2023 WEST INDIES CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH SCHEDULE

    All matches start at 10am Eastern Caribbean time (9am Jamaica time)

    GNS – Grenada National Stadium, Grenada

    SVRS – Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua

    CCG – Coolidge Cricket Ground, Antigua

     

    ROUND 1: 

    31 January to 3 February - Grenada

    Windward Islands Volcanoes v Trinidad & Tobago Red Force at GNS

    1 to 4 February - Antigua

    Barbados Pride v Guyana Harpy Eagles at SVRS

    Leeward Islands Hurricanes v Jamaica Scorpions at CCG

     

    ROUND 2:

    8 to 11 February – Grenada and Antigua

    Windward Islands Volcanoes v Guyana Harpy Eagles at GNS

    Leeward Islands Hurricanes v Trinidad and Tobago Red Force at SVRS

    Jamaica Scorpions v Barbados Pride at CCG

     

    ROUND 3:

    15 to 18 March in Trinidad – Venues to be confirmed

    Trinidad and Tobago Red Force v Guyana Harpy Eagles

    Jamaica Scorpions v Windward Islands Volcanoes 

    Leeward Islands Hurricanes v Barbados Pride

     

    ROUND 4:

    22 to 25 March in Trinidad - Venues to be confirmed

    Trinidad & Tobago Red Force v Barbados Pride

    Guyana Harpy Eagles v Jamaica Scorpions

    Leeward Islands Hurricanes v Windward Islands Volcanoes

     

    ROUND 5: 

    29 March to 1 April in Trinidad - Venues to be confirmed

    Trinidad & Tobago Red Force v Jamaica Scorpions

    Guyana Harpy Eagles v Leeward Islands Hurricanes

    Barbados Pride v Windward Islands Volcanoes

     

    Headley Weekes Tri-Series

    All matches to be played at CCG, Antigua

    Match 1: 19 to 22 April: Team Headley v West Indies Academy 

    Match 2: 26 to 29 April: Team Weekes v West Indies Academy

    Match 3: 3 to 6 May: Team Weekes v Team Headley

     

    SQUADS (Rounds 1 and 2)

    Barbados Pride: Shane Dowrich (Captain) Camarie Boyce, Shamarh Brooks, Jonathan Drakes, Keon Harding, Chaim Holder, Akeem Jordan, Nicholas Kirton, Jair McAllister, Shayne Moseley, Zachary McCaskie, Shamar Springer, Kevin Wickham; Vasbert Drakes (Head Coach)

    Guyana Harpy Eagles: Leon Johnson (Captain), Veerasammy Permaul (Vice Captain), Chandrapaul Hemraj, Matthew Nandu, Kemol Savory, Tevin Imlach, Anthony Bramble, Kevin Sinclair, Nial Smith, Ronsford Beaton, Akshaya Persaud, Ashmead Nedd, Shamar Joseph; Ryan Hercules (Head Coach)

    Jamaica Scorpions: Paul Palmer jr (Captain), Jamie Merchant, Alwyn Williams, Aldaine Thomas, Leroy Lugg, Kirk McKenzie, Romaine Morris, Abhijau Mansingh, Patrick Harty, Akim Fraser, Marquino Mindley, Gordon Bryan, Ojay Shields; Andrew Richardson (Head Coach)

    Trinidad & Tobago Red Force: Darren Bravo (Captain), Amir Jangoo, Imran Khan, Jason Mohammed, Terrance Hinds, Jyd Goolie, Jeremy Solozano, Yannic Cariah, Bryan Charles, Vikash Mohan, Uthman Muhammad, Tion Webster, Khary Pierre; David Furlonge (Head Coach)

    Windward Islands Volcanoes: Alick Athanaze (Captain), Jerlani Robinson, Kavem Hodge, Keron Cottoy, Sunil Ambris, Justin Greaves, Tevyn Walcott, Kenneth Dember, Preston McSween, Teddy Bishop, Daurius Martin, Kimani Melius, Ryan John; Shirley Clarke (Head Coach)

    Leeward Islands Hurricanes (provisional squad): Jahmar Hamilton (Captain), Mikyle Louis, Kieran Powell, Colin Archibald, Terance Warde, Jeremiah Louis, Keacy Carty, Ross Powell, Kofi James, Damion Williams, Kelvin Pitman, Hayden Walsh jr., Rahkeem Cornwall; Stuart Williams (Head Coach)

     

     

  • Nortje burst inspires Proteas win over England after brutal Roy century Nortje burst inspires Proteas win over England after brutal Roy century

    Jason Roy's magnificent century was in vain as a hostile spell from Anrich Nortje inspired South Africa to a dramatic 27-run win over England in the first match of the ODI series.

    With little margin for error as the Proteas battle to qualify for this year's World Cup in India, Rassie van der Dussen made a brilliant 111 and David Miller 53 as the hosts posted 298-7 at Mangaung Oval on Friday.

    Jofra Archer (1-81) was expensive on his long-awaited international return in Bloemfontein, where Sam Curran (3-35) was the pick of the England bowlers.

    Roy struck a sublime 113 from 91 balls, combining with Dawid Malan (59) for an opening stand of 146, but the world champions collapsed to 271 all out to go 1-0 down.

    Paceman Nortje claimed 4-62, while Sisanda Magala (3-46) and Kagiso Rabada (2-46) also played a big hand as the tourists capitulated and South Africa made a great start to the three-match series with so much at stake.

    Captain Temba Bavuma (36 off 28 balls) and Quinton De Kock (37 off 41) put on 61 for the first wicket before both were both sent packing by Curran.

    Van der Dussen and Miller added 110 for the fifth wicket, the number three pacing his knock superbly, with Archer given the treatment in his first England match for almost two years.

    It had looked like being a procession for England when South Africa-born Roy and Malan got them off to a flyer, only for the latter to strike a Magala bouncer high in the air for Bavuma to take.

    Magala also removed ODI debutant Harry Brook after Nortje saw the back of Ben Duckett, but Roy raced to his hundred in only 79 balls as the boundaries flowed. 

    England were 196-4 in the 30th over when Rabada dismissed Roy and Jos Buttler kept them ticking along with a patient 36, but they crumbled after Nortje had the skipper caught behind in a brilliant spell.

    Tabraiz Shamsi sealed a stunning win by getting Olly Stone caught and bowled in the 45th over.

     

    Roy returns to form in spectacular fashion

    Opener Roy was left out of England's T20 World Cup-winning squad last year, but he showed what he is capable with a powerful knock that included 11 fours and four sixes.

    He has now passed the 4,000-run milestone for England in ODIs with 4,106 in total. Among England batters, only Joe Root (91 innings) reached that mark in quicker time than Roy's 105 innings.

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    Van der Dussen was outstanding with the bat as he ensured South Africa posted an imposing total, but it did not look like being enough as England appeared to be cruising to victory.

    That was until the rapid Nortje came to the fore with a brilliant spell, taking 3-14 in four overs to turn the tide and rock England. Buttler, David Willey and Archer – out for a duck on his return – all fell to the fired-up fast bowler, who totally changed the game.

  • “It’s something the board really has to look at”- Gayle sees rise of franchise leagues around the world as threat to West Indies cricket “It’s something the board really has to look at”- Gayle sees rise of franchise leagues around the world as threat to West Indies cricket

    Former West Indies and Jamaica all-rounder Chris Gayle believes growing the domestic game is the way the region will return to the pinnacle of world cricket.

    In an interview with OnlyCricket24.com, the 43-year-old acknowledged the deterioration of West Indies cricket in the last few years, due mostly to the emergence of a number of franchise leagues around the world.

    “It’s something the board really and truly has to look at and I can see whatever part I can play in that as well. A lot of players are playing cricket in the United States now. The USA is an option for cricketers to go there and make a living, but we are struggling here in the Caribbean,” he said.

    “I think cricket took a wrong turn, but hopefully we can actually develop the game. Club cricket is something to look into as well; we’re not seeing a lot of cricket. I’m speaking from a Jamaica point of view,” he added.

    The Jamaica Cricket Association’s premier club competition, the two-day Senior Cup, gets underway on February 11 after a two-year absence.

    Gayle also feels he has a part to play in the growth of the regional game, but when the time is right.

    “I can help in a few departments, not in all. But first and foremost, I have to find time for myself. I still have a lot on my plate from a personal point of view, but when it comes on to West Indies cricket they will always have my support; when it comes on to Jamaica cricket they will always have my support as well,” he said.

    “I have my academy, so we can get some younger players, search for new talent and just help kids on a whole, that’s my plan.” he added.

    Gayle’s academy has been dormant since the coronavirus pandemic and he has since reiterated his desire to get it up and running again in 2023.

     

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