Eoin Morgan does not believe England's Cricket World Cup triumph will prove to be a hindrance as his side prepare to begin their home white-ball season.

England face Ireland in a three-match ODI series, starting on Thursday, at the Rose Bowl in Southampton.

However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, England's first home one-day series since Morgan led the team to World Cup glory in July 2019 will be played behind closed doors.

And though Morgan understands there will be new challenges posed by having no fans in attendance, he does not believe England's World Cup success will be a weight on the side's shoulders.

"I would rather be in that position than not winning and having to fight to find a winning formula," Morgan told a news conference.

"I think winning last year has given our guys a huge confidence in the process and the planning with which we went through a long period.

"It allows us to go into every World Cup with that strategy and forward thinking and trying to continually get better.

"Seeing the finished product last year was an eye opener for everybody. It also creates a level of expectation wherever we go, and while it sits well with some of our guys a lot of them haven't experienced that. We want to win more trophies."

Morgan also added that he sees the current pool of players available for selection as the strongest in his time as captain.

"I think the selection was particularly difficult. Over the last four and a bit years we've always had tough decisions to make," he said.

"Everyone who has been left out was a tough call. The standard has been exceptional, way above the standard I expected given the time we had off.

"We're blessed at the moment with a high-calibre group of top-order batters, not only in the team but also sitting in the wings. 

"There's such a big pool of players that are all so talented. We don't know if they'll succeed in international cricket but you would be comfortable selecting them in a squad if you needed them."

Former Barbadian-born England fast bowler Gladstone Small has stamped a failing grade on the performance of West Indies batsmen, against England, and expressed dismay at their inability to make tactical adjustments.

The West Indies looked up to the task of being competitive after securing a convincing four-wicket win over England in the first Test.  The introduction of England pace bowler, Stuart Broad, who was omitted for the first Test, however, drastically changed the equation.  In the fourth evening of the second Test, with the West Indies enjoying some level of comfort, Broad took the new ball and claimed 3 for 14 in a devastating nine-over spell. 

He dominated the rest of the series, going on to claim 10 wickets in the third and final Test, for 16 overall, en route to man-of-the-series honours.

While Small was quick to acclaim Broad’s indisputable ability and the rest of the England bowling line-up for that matter, he insisted it was inexcusable that the West Indies batsmen made no adjustment’s in facing the bowler.

“If it was a school report after the series, the bowlers tried brilliantly, you would probably mark them with a B-.  They were big-hearted and kept going but three Test matches in three weeks is unrelenting,” Small told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“The batsmen, I can only see them getting an F.  Perhaps, I’m being generous,” he added.

“They faced good bowling, credit where credit is due.  England bowlers, obviously the records are there to show, Anderson, Broad…Woakes and obviously Jofra Archer, those English bowlers are brilliant in English conditions. With the new ball in hand, they are very tough. 

"The one thing you cannot do is play those guys on the backfoot, you can’t.  Broad and Anderson are fine bowlers but they’re not going to knock you over or intimidate you with pace.  You have to get on the front foot to nullify their movement.  To see your best batsman, well your most experienced batsman in the line-up, Kraigg Brathwaite, how many times did he get out on the backfoot, that for me is pure nonsense.  Big failure.”     

England's one-day captain Eoin Morgan believes James Anderson and Stuart Broad are "the greatest that's ever been" after the latter followed his fellow bowler in reaching 500 Test wickets. 

Broad was dropped by England for the first match in the three-Test series against West Indies but was the star of the show as Joe Root's side regained the Wisden Trophy with two successive wins at Old Trafford. 

The 34-year-old took his 500th Test wicket on the final day of the third Test on Tuesday, helping the hosts secure victory by 269 runs. 

He became the seventh player to reach the landmark when he dismissed Kraigg Brathwaite – Anderson having taken the wicket of the same batsman when he reached the landmark back in 2017. 

Asked for his thoughts on Broad's achievement, ODI captain Morgan was full of praise for his former team-mate.

"It's incredible," Morgan told a news conference ahead of England's ODI series against Ireland, which begins on Thursday.

"We [the one-day squad] watched most of it. We sort of sat back and discussed where he started, how he progressed, different guys with which he's played. 

"In many ways, Broady and Jimmy [Anderson] are always paired together, but when you speak about them on their own, they're the greatest that's ever been. 

"That doesn't hold a lot of weight at the moment, but I’m sure it will do when they finish playing, which is sad but I'm sure that's the way everybody operates. 

"I'm very lucky to have played Test cricket with him [Broad]. I played in a game where he took a hat-trick at Trent Bridge and it was unbelievable. 

"To show the longevity, the skill and not only that, he's box office. He takes wickets in clusters, he's a nightmare to play against." 

Broad and Anderson are no longer involved with England's limited-overs teams, with Morgan believing their focus being directed solely towards Test cricket has helped the duo in the long run. 

"I think you'd have to speak to them. They know their bodies, know how they feel," he said. 

"I know for me, it's prolonged how I see my career going, having cut red-ball [cricket] out of it. It makes it less clustered, you spend more time with your family and cricket isn't as overwhelming as it potentially could be towards the end of your career. 

"I think both of them have spoken about the Ashes. Everybody who plays English Test cricket is judged on Ashes performances, and it wouldn't surprise me if those guys want to go past that." 

England have named an unchanged 14-man squad for the first Test against Pakistan in Manchester.

Joe Root's side wrapped up a series-clinching victory over West Indies at Old Trafford on Tuesday, the hosts rallying impressively after falling behind to prevail 2-1 and lift the Wisden Trophy.

Stuart Broad reached the personal milestone of 500 Test wickets as he claimed 10 in the match, helping England seal a 269-run victory despite losing an entire day's play to rain.

The 11 players who were on duty are joined by Zak Crawley, Sam Curran and Mark Wood ahead of the opener with Pakistan, which will take place at the same venue.

Batsman Crawley dropped out of the XI due to fitness concerns over all-rounder Ben Stokes, who did not bowl in the third Test.

As well as announcing the squad, England also named a quartet of players - James Bracey, Ben Foakes, Jack Leach and Dan Lawrence - as reserves.

The first Test between England and Pakistan begins on August 5, with the teams then moving down to the Rose Bowl in Southampton for the remaining fixtures.

 

England squad: Joe Root (captain), James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Dominic Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Ollie Pope, Dom Sibley, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

Reserves: James Bracey, Ben Foakes, Jack Leach, Dan Lawrence.

Stuart Broad has moved up to third in the International Cricket Council rankings after surpassing 500 Test wickets for England.

The seamer trapped West Indies opener Kraigg Brathwaite lbw early on the final day of the third Test to become just the seventh player to reach the notable milestone.

Only long-time new-ball partner James Anderson – who had also dismissed Brathwaite to reach 500 in his career back in 2017 – has managed more wickets for England in the longest format.

Broad claimed another later during Monday's play to move to 501, finishing the innings with figures of 4-36 to give him 10 in the match.

In the three-match series, he picked up 16 wickets at an average of just 10.93 - numbers made even more impressive when taking into consideration he was left out for the opener in Southampton.

The 34-year-old's fine form since his recall sees him climb in the Test player rankings, with only Australia paceman Pat Cummins and New Zealand left-armer Neil Wagner bettering his new rating of 823.

"It's special to get the 500, amazing, and what makes it extra special is taking it in a Test match which has led to a win and Test series win," Broad told Sky Sports after play at Old Trafford.

"I think you always remember moments as a player when winning games. Winning Test matches is what it's all about."

England are back in Test action next week, as the first of three matches against Pakistan gets under way on August 5.

West Indies captain Jason Holder is not certain the inclusion of batsmen Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer, and all-rounder Keemo Paul would have made a difference to the team’s fortunes, following a series loss to England.

The trio was invited to the tour but declined to participate due to concerns surrounding the spread of the coronavirus.  Despite not being in rich veins of form, Hetmyer and Bravo are considered to be two of the team’s most talented and dangerous batsmen and Paul a promising all-rounder.

Despite an average performance from the bowling line-up, the team on occasion found themselves well short of batting, particularly in the final Test where they could only manage 326 in both innings.  England, by comparison, made 369 in the first innings.  Based on the conditions Holder, however, does believe the batsmen’s inclusion would necessarily have helped the situation.

“I’m very happy with the team we brought up here.  The team we brought up here is a part of our Test team.  There is no guarantee that Bravo, Hetmyer or Paul would play,” Holder told members of the media via a Zoom press conference interview.

“The way we’ve gone as a batting unit, we haven’t had the consistency we have been looking for.  If you look at two of the three players they are batsmen so there is no guarantee and Paul was a back-up to what we had here so far,” Holder said.

“The squad we had here was the squad to do it.  I’m happy with the guys who came and the work we put in.  It’s unfortunate the way it turned out but there are still lots of positives,” he added.

West Indies captain Jason Holder would love England to tour the Caribbean later this year as a show of support during hard times.

Speaking after his side suffered a 269-run defeat at Old Trafford in the deciding third Test, slipping to a 2-1 series defeat, Holder said a visit by England coulld keep West Indian cricket "afloat".

He explained it was only ever visits by England and India that proved financially successful to the West Indies Cricket Board.

England have commitments in India later this year, although the global pandemic means there will be question marks over any series on the schedule.

"We don't know what's going to happen after this series in terms of the international calendar," Holder said. "But if there is an opportunity perhaps for England to come over to the Caribbean before the end of the year, I'm sure that would help significantly with Cricket West Indies' financial records.

"It has been a tough last couple of years for West Indies cricket financially. Pretty much, more or less, we've had to take a pay cut as well due to the difficult circumstances we've been facing financially.

"So a tour hopefully – if it's possible – before the end of 2020 would probably put us in really good stead or probably keep us afloat as an organisation."

Holder then appeared to cast some doubt on how feasible such a tour might prove.

The financial muscle of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) allowed West Indies to tour and play three behind-closed-doors Test matches against Joe Root's men over the past month.

That helped to protect lucrative television contracts, with England indebted to their tourists for travelling at a time when the COVID-19 crisis has many on edge.

"In these trying times, maybe only England, Australia and India could probably host cricket," Holder said.

"The smaller territories are struggling financially to get cricket on. If you look at the financial strain it has put the ECB under, with hosting this tour, having to help costs, bringing us over here on chartered flights, hotel accommodation – it's probably a very hefty bill.

"I don't think many other countries around the world could do that, particularly us in the Caribbean. We'd probably struggle to put it on. But that's another challenge that we're faced with."

Holder would like to see greater support for West Indies cricket from the power-brokers in the sport.

"We particularly are having massive difficulty in trying to fund our cricket. It has been a difficult situation," Holder said. "We pretty much only gain from hosting England and India - all other series we may operate at breaking even or more often than not we have a massive loss.

"It’s definitely something that needs to be looked at by the powers that be."

Jason Holder revealed there were players in his West Indies team who were mentally "worn out" by the effort involved in playing a Test series in the COVID-19 era.

Captain Holder saw his team slump to a 269-run defeat in the decider against England at Old Trafford, losing the series 2-1 but thankful to have been allowed to tour at all.

His verdict was that it had "been a blessing to come over here and get some cricket", albeit acknowledging the future was "so uncertain" as to when cricket can return to normal.

The West Indies and England teams have been confined to bio-secure environments, staying in on-site accommodation, meaning their freedom of movement has been curtailed over the past month.

Each match has been played behind closed doors, too, with players unable to feed off the energy of a crowd.

Holder, speaking at the end of the third Test, said: "It's been challenging, it's been really challenging. Mentally some of the guys are a bit worn out.

"It could be this way for a little while so we've got to find ways to make it work.

"Hopefully things could ease up throughout the world and probably guys can get out of the hotel a little bit more, but it has been challenging for sure."

He added in a news conference: “We've been kept indoors for the last two months. The guys haven't seen a bit of real life for a bit.

“It's tough to constantly get up, you're here, you open your curtains and you just see the cricket ground. You're not hopping on the bus as you normally do."

West Indies made a great start to their tour with a win at the Rose Bowl, but England found form in Manchester with back-to-back Old Trafford successes, inspired by the likes of Ben Stokes and Stuart Broad.

Holder's team conceded first-innings leads of 182 in the second Test and 172 in the series decider, and such batting disappointed the skipper.

"I felt the wickets were good enough for us to put a bigger first-innings effort in both Test matches," he said on Sky Sports.

"If you look at our batting performance, we had plenty of starts, quite a few guys got half-centuries, got into the forties and thirties but didn't kick on.

"The difference with England is when Stokes got in he went big, when [Dom] Sibley got in he went big; unfortunately we didn't do that."

From fresh-faced seamer to becoming a member of Test cricket's illustrious 500 club; Stuart Broad has always seemingly needed to prove himself.

The fast bowler - so often in the shadows of James Anderson – was centre stage on the final day of the series decider against West Indies in Manchester, matching his long-time new-ball partner in reaching a personal milestone.

Kraigg Brathwaite's wicket became number 500 when he was trapped lbw by Broad, who made his debut in Sri Lanka in 2007, then a newcomer with a famous father. The hair has thinned a little over the years, but - sorry, Chris - there is no doubt who is the best-known family member now.

Broad's career may always be remembered for the stunning spells, none more so than his 8-15 against Australia at Trent Bridge in 2015.

Yet Broad has become a model of consistency as he's matured, working hard to adapt his game and defy those who have ever dared doubt him – including, occasionally, those who select England's XI.

His achievement is a reward for both the skills he possesses and his stamina - only seven bowlers have reached 500 (and three of those are spinners) - as the Opta numbers show.

TOP TARGETS

"It would be nice if I was to play there again and he [Broad] wasn't playing."

David Warner's words were tongue-in-cheek, of course. Still, the Australian batsman would no doubt rather, if he makes it to another Ashes tour to England, that his nemesis was no longer around.

Broad has accounted for the left-handed opener 12 times, putting him top of his hit list in the longest format. That total includes seven of Warner's 10 innings in the 2019 series on English soil.

Michael Clarke, another Australian, had been the top target prior to last year, falling to the right-armer on 11 occasions. AB de Villiers and Ross Taylor sit together on 10, showing how Broad has made a habit of taking out opposing team's leading names during his career.

When it comes to countries, Broad has undoubtedly enjoyed his battles with Australia, a nation that has loved to hate him ever since he failed to walk when edging a delivery during a see-saw first Test of the 2013 series in England.

The Brisbane Courier Mail even refused to print his name at one stage when England next toured Down Under, referring to him only as "the 27-year-old medium-pace bowler".

Medium-paced or not, Broad has excelled in the heat of an Ashes battle, taking 118 wickets at an average of 29.4. That tally has been boosted by seven five-wicket hauls, none more famous than that career-best eight-for in Nottingham that saw Australia skittled for 60.

Broad's taken more Test wickets (66) against New Zealand than any other Englishman, too.

THROUGH THE YEARS

There was seen to be a streaky nature about Broad’s returns, perhaps formulated through the years by his ability to get on a roll and take wickets in clusters.

Yet for all the undoubted memorable moments, there has still been a consistency to his performances. Indeed, Broad is the only bowler to pick up at least 30 Test wickets in each of the last nine completed calendar years – and is well on target to continue that run, as he has 25 in 2020 already in five outings.

The peak – so far – was in 2013, when 62 scalps came at an average of 25.8. His strike-rate of a wicket every 46.2 balls was aided by an outstanding 2013 Ashes, including claiming 11 in the third Test in Durham that secured England the urn.

There is no sign of him slowing up, though, as his performances against West Indies showed.

A willingness to change his natural tendencies – Broad has bowled noticeably fuller in recent times, as well as mastering a wobble-seam delivery – has allowed him to remain productive. While Anderson's body has started to betray him in recent times, in contrast his team-mate appears to go from strength to strength.

No longer part of the limited-overs set-up, he has played 11 Tests in each of the past three calendar years, taking 108 wickets from the start of 2017 to the end of 2019. Sure, 500 is great but do not think he's finished there.

RIGHT ON THE MONEY

Broad's success against Warner demonstrated just how he has developed methods to trouble left-handers, often by coming around the wicket and angling the ball into them.

However, 70 per cent of his Test wickets have been right-handed batsmen (352 compared to 149), with his average markedly better against them as well (25.8 v 32.9).

When it comes to the position in the batting order, 225 of his victims have been in the top four, 140 coming in from five to seven and then 136 so-called tail-enders. What the sheer number of wickets backs up, however, is that Broad is an outstanding performer.

Even when England suggested they were thinking about moving on, leaving him out of the series opener against West Indies in Southampton, he responded in just the manner you would expect of such a highly competitive character.

Having made it publicly known he was disappointed to be left out for a game the hosts lost, he backed up his words with actions, picking up 16 wickets in the next two games following his recall, including 10 in the third Test as the home team won the Wisden Trophy.

"He's a real inspiration, not just for younger members of the team but also for me," Anderson - who is closing in on 600 wickets - told Sky Sports prior to the fifth day's play at Old Trafford.

England have been fortunate to have both Anderson and Broad together. Do not expect either to stop anytime soon, either.

Stuart Broad hopes he silenced those who had written him off after taking his 500th Test wicket and being named man of the series in England's triumph over West Indies.

Broad finished with match figures of 10-67 after claiming the first and last wickets on the final day of the third Test at Old Trafford, where England won by 269 runs to regain the Wisden Trophy.

The England paceman trapped Kraigg Brathwaite lbw to become the seventh bowler to join the 500 club, a landmark James Anderson reached by dismissing the same batsman in 2017.

Broad took 4-36 on day five and Chris Woakes finished with magnificent figures of 5-50 to bowl the tourists out for only 129.

England great Broad was furious at being left out for England's defeat in the first Test at the Rose Bowl and responded by taking six wickets last week, before claiming 10 and scoring a quickfire half-century in the decider.

He told Test Match Special: "I was really down that week [in Southampton], but I've got some brilliant people around me to pick me up.

"I knew I was bowling well, I knew I was in good rhythm, so it was great to get an opportunity when we got here to have the chance to take some wickets."

Broad revealed he got the answers he was looking for when he spoke to head coach Chris Silverwood and national selector Ed Smith after being omitted for the opening Test and was fuelled to prove a point in Manchester.

"I had a really good chat with Silverwood and Ed Smith. To be honest it was always unrealistic to expect any seamer would play all six of these Test matches this summer with them being back-to-back and workloads," he said.

"I was just disappointed I wasn't chosen for that first game, but I sort of knew deep down I would get an opportunity.

"If I get challenged or I feel like there is a bit of a point to prove, I'm a competitive person anyway, but I came to Manchester with the bit between my teeth and it does feel really good to have been able to put some performances in.

"I think it's not as if the management staff are thinking that I couldn't do it anymore, because my record over the last 18 months particularly has been pretty strong, but it's always good to be on winning sides for England and to have contributed to winning Test matches.

"When you cross 30 it's easy to write you off, when you are 34 it's much easier to write you off, but I hope I've quietened the writers-off a little bit."

Stuart Broad took his 500th Test wicket and Chris Woakes also starred as England thrashed West Indies by 269 runs to regain the Wisden Trophy on the final day of the series at Old Trafford.

Broad started day five needing just one wicket to become the seventh player to reach the landmark and achieved the feat by removing Kraigg Brathwaite, the same batsman James Anderson dismissed to join the 500 club in 2017.

Pace great Broad, dropped for the first Test in Southampton, then took the series-clinching wicket to finish with 4-36 after the brilliant Woakes claimed 5-50 to bowl the tourists out for only 129.

Broad, who took match figures of 10-67 and smashed a half-century, and Woakes sat out a first match of the series that the Windies won at the Rose Bowl, but showed what England were missing in Manchester.

The Windies head home on Wednesday, still without a Test series win in England since 1988 after losing a contest to be renamed the Richards-Botham Trophy when they next do battle. 

Shai Hope and Brathwaite got the Windies off to an encouraging start after resuming on 10-2 following a day-four washout, but Broad ended a 39-run stand by trapping the opener bang in front to join the 500 club after a rain delay.

Broad remained in the thick of the action, running in from mid-off to catch Hope (31) and Sharmah Brooks edged behind (22) to become Woakes' second victim.

Rain ensured early lunch was taken with the Windies in deep trouble on 84-5 and Dom Bess - who did not bowl a ball in the match - ran Roston Chase out before another shower took the players off again.

Captain Jason Holder, Shane Dowrich - who took a nasty blow to the face while wicketkeeper - and Rahkeem Cornwall were snared lbw in a devastating spell from Woakes.

Broad fittingly finished it off, Jos Buttler taking an excellent catch down the leg side to dismiss Jermaine Blackwood and give England's man of the moment 10 wickets in a Test for the third time.

 

Broad goes from seething in Southampton to main man in Manchester

Broad was furious after being left out for the first match of the series and could only watch on as the Windies took a 1-0 lead in Southampton.

The paceman has let his performances do the talking in the remainder of the series, playing a major part in England's turnaround with bat and ball.

His dismissal of Brathwaite saw him become the fourth seamer - and the second-youngest bowler behind Muttiah Muralitharan - to claim 500 Test scalps and he put the icing on the cake by taking the last wicket with his first ball of a new spell.

 

Hope fails to live up to expectations

It was an all too familiar story for Hope on the last day of what has been a poor tour for a batsman who has not shown what he is capable of.

Hope played positively as he made his highest score of the series, hitting six boundaries before throwing his wicket away attempting to dispatch Woakes for a seventh.

The number three heads home without making a half-century three years after making a century in both innings at Headingley. He has not reached three figures in a Test since that famous win in Leeds.

 

Woakes makes his mark

Woakes was also omitted for the defeat at the Rose Bowl and has responded impressively. 

He took five wickets in the second Test and added another in the first innings this week before ending the series on a high note.

The all-rounder was on the money on the final day, rewarded for consistently bowling on a probing line and length with a fourth five-wicket Test haul.

Stuart Broad dismissed Kraigg Brathwaite on the final day of the third Test against West Indies to reach the milestone of 500 Test wickets. 

The seamer trapped opener Brathwaite lbw for 19 in the morning session to aid England's push for victory at Old Trafford, the hosts having been frustrated by bad weather on Monday as play was washed out.

Broad is the seventh bowler to make it to the notable landmark, doing so in his 140th appearance in the longest format of the game. 

The 34-year-old was surprisingly left out by the hosts for the opener in Southampton – a game West Indies won by four wickets – but marked his recall with match figures of 6-108 in the second Test in Manchester. 

He continued his impressive form with a six-wicket haul in the first innings of the series finale, putting his side in complete control having also contributed 62 with the bat.  

Only long-time new-ball partner James Anderson – who also dismissed Brathwaite to reach 500 in 2017 – has managed more wickets for England, while Broad has West Indies legend Courtney Walsh (519) in his sights. 

Glenn McGrath is the leading fast bowler with 563 wickets, but the top three on the prestigious list are all spinners. Anil Kumble managed 619, Shane Warne sits second with 708 and Muttiah Muralitharan is top of the pile by a distance, the Sri Lankan ending his career on exactly 800.

Wahab Riaz has been named in Pakistan's 20-man squad for the upcoming Test series against England.

The tourists have whittled down their 29-man touring party for the three-match campaign, which begins on August 5 at Old Trafford.

Riaz, 35, is in line for a first Test appearance since October 2018 following his decision last year to take an indefinite break from the format.

Azhar Ali will captain the group, with Babar Azam taking the role of his deputy.

The remaining nine players who flew to England last month will stay on, with many likely to feature during the T20I series which follows the Tests.

The squad in full:

Azhar Ali (captain), Babar Azam (vice-captain), Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Imam ul Haq, Imran Khan Snr, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Rizwan, Naseem Shah, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Sohail Khan, Usman Shinwari, Wahab Riaz, Yasir Shah.

Rain held up England's victory charge as no play was possible on day four of the Test series decider against West Indies at Old Trafford.

The Windies were due to resume on 10-2 after being set a highly improbable 399 to win, Stuart Broad having taken six wickets on Sunday to take his tally in the longest format to 499.

A bleak Monday in Manchester prevented a ball from being bowled, so Joe Root's side must hope they will have enough time to regain the Wisden Trophy on the final day.

Scattered showers are forecast for Tuesday, but the outlook is more positive than on a grim penultimate day.

Shai Hope and Kraigg Brathwaite were unbeaten at stumps on a one-sided third day after Broad removed John Campbell and nightwatchman Kemar Roach.

England paceman Broad finished with magnificent first-innings figures of 6-31 in the morning session after bludgeoning a rapid half-century on Saturday.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has officially launched the inaugural ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Super League, starting with England's one-day series against Ireland.

Introduced to help bring context to 50-over cricket at the highest level, the Super League will be used as a qualification system for the next ICC World Cup, scheduled for 2023 in India.

There will be 13 teams involved – the 12 full members, as well as the Netherlands – and the top seven in the final table will automatically secure their place at the global tournament, the ICC confirmed in a statement.

All sides will play four series at home and away, with each consisting of three matches.

"The league will bring relevance and context to ODI cricket over the next three years, as qualification for the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023 is at stake," Geoff Allardice, ICC general manager for cricket operations, said.

"The Super League gives cricket fans around the world even more reasons to watch as the drama of league cricket unfolds.

"The decision last week to move the World Cup back to late 2023 gives us more time to schedule any games lost due to COVID-19 and preserve the integrity of the qualification process, meaning it will be decided on the field of play, which is important."

Reigning world champions England will kick things off this week when they start their series against Ireland, the first of three matches between the teams taking place at the Rose Bowl on Thursday.

"We're looking forward to playing cricket again and to the ICC Men's World Cup Super League," England white-ball captain Eoin Morgan said.

"Given the situation, it will be quite different to the last time we played at home, when we lifted the World Cup at Lord's, but it's nice to be starting our journey for the next edition of the tournament. 

"I'm sure cricket fans all over the world will be excited to see white-ball cricket resume and we're looking forward to the challenge."

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