Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines Dr Ralph Gonsalves has given the proposed West Indies tour of England in July his blessing once Cricket West Indies can establish that the players representing the region will be safe.

Dwayne Bravo has been out of international cricket for a while and when he returned most recently for the West Indies, he looked rusty.

Grant Flower believes Sri Lanka possess the "flair" to be contenders to win a Twenty20 World Cup that he expects to be rescheduled.

Flower took the role of batting coach when Mickey Arthur was appointed Sri Lanka head coach on a two-year deal last December.

The new coaching team have not had much time to work with the players since taking over due to the coronavirus pandemic, but they are due to resume training next Monday.

Flower is optimistic the Arthur era will be a success and feels Sri Lanka can be a real threat at the next major tournament in Australia, which he believes will start later than October 18 as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

He told Stats Perform News: "I suppose the beauty of T20 cricket is it can be quite hit and miss, so it's a lot easier to topple the big teams than it would be over, say, a five-day game.

"It is much more of a test of all of your skills put together in a five-day match, but in a T20 you can have a great game where a couple of your key players come off, you can be the best, so hopefully our skill levels can come through.

"They have always been good with the white ball, through a bit of innovation and their flair, a bit like the Pakistanis, so hopefully that continues."

The International Cricket Council on Wednesday denied reports that the World Cup has been postponed, but Flower is anticipating the showpiece will be put back.

"I'm always optimistic, but whether or not it happens or whether they decide to have an IPL before... I can see the T20 World Cup getting pushed back to maybe the end of the year. From what I've heard so far that's probably the way to go."

Former Zimbabwe all-rounder Flower wants to see senior Sri Lanka players realise their potential and reap the rewards of the faith that has been shown in them over the years.

He added: "There's a lot of enthusiasm here and the guys are skilful, it just needs a bit of structure and a lot of hard work, but I don't see any reason why we shouldn't have a good run here and get some decent results.

"A lot of the guys are at stages in their careers where a lot of investment has been put in them and they've been around for a while working with some good coaches, so hopefully that pays dividends."

 

- Grant Flower was speaking on behalf of The Conservation Games, a first-of-its-kind initiative from the Zambesia Conservation Alliance. To watch Grant in action, visit and subscribe to the Conservation Games Channel on YouTube.

Andrew Flintoff’s one-day figures were good without being outstanding but it was his presence that had the biggest impact on his teammates and crowds.

He was always a correct, powerful batsman, even though he was sometimes hesitant against quality spin.

He scored 50 on his one-day international debut against Pakistan at Sharjah in 1999. The following year, he hit 84 in just 60 balls as England began their tour of Pakistan with victory in the opening one-day international at Karachi.

With scores of 43, 59, and 123 against the West Indies, 99 against India, and 104 and 106 against New Zealand, 2004 was perhaps Flintoff’s best year playing One-Day Internationals. That year he was named the ICC ODI Player of the Year.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Andrew Flintoff

Born: December 6, 1977, Preston, Lancashire

Major teams: England, Brisbane Heat, Chennai Super Kings, ICC World XI, Lancashire

Playing role: Allrounder

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm fast-medium

Height: 6 ft 4 in

 

ODI Career (Batting): England (1999-2009)

Mat        Inns        NO       Runs      HS          Ave        BF           SR           100s        50s           4s        6s              

141         122          16       3394       123        32.01      3821       88.82            3          18           308        93                     

 

ODI Career (Bowling): England (1999-2009)

Mat        Inns        Balls       Runs      Wkts       BBI        BBM      Ave       Econ      SR        4w      5w          10w

141          119        5624       4121        169        5/19       5/19      24.38     4.39       33.2        6       2               0

 

Career Highlights

  • 3rd most wickets by an England player (168)
  • Only England player with 3000+ runs and 150+ wickets
  • Amassed 3394 runs at an average of 32.01 in ODIs
  • 1 of 4 England players to take a hat-trick in ODI cricket

Imran Khan played 175 matches and scored 3709 runs at an average of 33.41. His highest score was 102 not out. His best ODI bowling figures were 6 wickets for 14 runs, a record by any bowler in an ODI innings in a losing cause.

In their own way, these figures present a picture of just how good Imran Khan was in his playing days for Pakistan. He also made himself into an allrounder worth a place for his batting alone, and captained Pakistan as well as anyone, rounding off his career with the 1992 World Cup, the only time Pakistan ever won the title.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Imran Khan Niazi

Born: October 5, 1952, Lahore, Punjab

Major teams: Pakistan, Dawood Club, Lahore, New South Wales, Oxford University, Pakistan International Airlines, Sussex, Worcestershire

Playing role: Allrounder

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm fast

 

ODI Career (Batting): Pakistan (1971-1992)

Mat        Inns     NO     Runs      HS        Ave        BF         SR       100s      50s     

175        151       40      3709      102*      33.41     5105      72.65        1        19      

 

ODI Career (Bowling): Pakistan (1971-1992)

Mat     Inns      Balls      Runs     Wkts      BBI        BBM      Ave       Econ      SR         4w      5w     10w

175      153       7461      4844      182        6/14       6/14      26.61     3.89       40.9       3         1          0

 

Career Highlights

  • Current Prime Minister of Pakistan
  • Captained Pakistan to the 1992 World Cup title
  • Tallied 3709 runs at an average of 33.41

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has denied reports that the Men's T20 World Cup in Australia has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It has been reported that the tournament, due to begin on October 18, will be put back to next year.

The ICC responded on Wednesday by insisting that is not the case and it is planning for the competition to go ahead as scheduled, but continuing to explore alternative options. 

A statement from the governing body said: "Reports of a postponement of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2020 are inaccurate and planning for the event continues whilst a number of contingency plans are being explored in light of the rapidly changing public health situation caused by the COVID-19 virus."

The ICC also revealed no decision has been made over the process for naming a successor to chairman Shashank Manohar, who steps down this month. 

"The ICC Board met yesterday to discuss the process for electing the next chair of the ICC," the statement continued.

"No final decision was taken regarding the election process and the subject will be discussed further at the next ICC Board meeting on Thursday.

"The existing chair confirmed he was not seeking any extension to his term but would support the Board to ensure a smooth transition."

Shakib al Hasan’s contributions to Bangladesh's ODI team have been vital with bat and ball. He became the first player from Bangladesh to achieve the double of 2000 runs and 100 wickets. He also became the first batsman from Bangladesh to score five hundreds, despite mostly batting at No. 5.

The best player in the team, it wasn't surprising when Shakib was handed the captaincy in 2009. His ability to perform consistently and to stay calm under pressure worked well for Bangladesh, as they won 22 out of 47 games under him, and even beat England in the 2011 World Cup.

In 2015, Shakib became the first and only cricketer in history to be ranked the 'No.1 all-rounder' by ICC in its Player Rankings in all three formats of the game.

In June 2019, Shakib became the fastest player to score 6,000 runs and take 250 wickets in ODIs in just 199 matches.

He is the highest run-scorer as well as the highest wicket-taker for Bangladesh in ICC ODI World Cups. He is also the only cricketer to score 1000 runs and to take 30 wickets in the World Cup.

At the 2019 Cricket World Cup, Shakib became the first cricketer to score 600 runs and take 10 wickets in a single World Cup.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Shakib Al Hasan

Born: March 24, 1987, Magura, Jessore

Major teams: Bangladesh, Adelaide Strikers, Bangladesh A, Bangladesh Cricket Board XI, Barbados Tridents, Brampton Wolves, Dhaka Gladiators, Jamaica Tallawahs, Karachi Kings, Khulna Division, Kolkata Knight Riders, Peshawar Zalmi, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Worcestershire

Playing role: Allrounder

Batting style: Left-hand bat

Bowling style: Slow left-arm orthodox

 

ODI Career (Batting): Bangladesh (2006- present)

Mat        Inns        NO         Runs      HS          Ave        BF           SR           100s        50s           4s           6s             

206          194        27          6323      134*        37.86     7641      82.75             9           47           574           42                

 

ODI Career (Bowling): Bangladesh (2006- present)

Mat        Inns        Balls       Runs      Wkts      BBI         BBM      Ave        Econ      SR           4w          5w               10w

206        203        10517    7857      260        5/29       5/29       30.21     4.48       40.4       8             2               0

 

Career Highlights

  • Fastest player to score 6,000 runs and take 250 wickets in ODIs
  • Most runs and most wickets for Bangladesh in World Cups
  • Only cricketer to score 1000 runs and take 30 wickets in the World Cup
  • 1st cricketer to score 600 runs and take 10 wickets in a single World Cup

Voted India's Cricketer of the Century in 2002, ahead of Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar, Kapil Dev is arguably India’s best bowling all-rounder.

Leading India to the 1983 World Cup and wresting the world-record aggregate of Test wickets from Richard Hadlee were his two greatest accomplishments.

Few, who saw it, will forget his incredible knock of 175 against Zimbabwe during the 1983 World Cup as he single-handedly dragged India from a precarious 17 for 5 to a hard-fought 31-run win.

Kapil Dev was also the first bowler to take 200 ODI wickets eventually ending his career with 253 wickets at a decent average of 27.45.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Kapildev Ramlal Nikhanj

Born: January 6, 1959, Chandigarh

Major teams: India, Haryana, Northamptonshire, Worcestershire

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm fast-medium

 

ODI Career (Batting): India (1978-1994)

Mat        Inns        NO       Runs      HS        Ave        BF         SR          100s        50s          

225          198        39        3783      175*      23.79     3979      95.07           1           14                         

 

ODI Career (Bowling): India (1978-1994)

Mat        Inns        Balls       Runs     Wkts      BBI       BBM      Ave       Econ      SR      4w     5w     10w

225          221        11202     6945       253       5/43      5/43      27.45     3.71       44.2     3        1         0

 

Career Highlights

  • Captained India’s 1983 World Cup-winning team
  • 1st player to take 200 ODI wickets
  • Peak ICC rating of 631 is the highest ever by an all-rounder in ODIs

Lionel Messi delivered a moment of history for Barcelona on this day in 2009, as Manchester United lost the Champions League final in Rome.

Arsene Wenger also has fond memories of May 27 from his Arsenal career, having achieved an unprecedented FA Cup feat at Wembley three years ago.

Shane Watson powered Chennai Super Kings to 2018 IPL glory, while back in 1995, the great Jonah Lomu scored the first tries of a famous New Zealand career.

Join us in looking back on some memorable moments from this day in years gone by.

 

1995 – Jonah Lomu scores his first tries for New Zealand

One of rugby union's all-time most famous faces made his mark on this day back in 1995.

Lomu scored his first two tries for New Zealand as they claimed a 43-19 win over Ireland in a Pool C clash at the Rugby World Cup in Johannesburg.

He finished the tournament as joint-top try-scorer on seven as the All Blacks reached the final, where they were famously beaten by hosts South Africa.

Lomu tragically died at the age of 40 in November 2015.

2018 – Shane Watson scores unbeaten century as Chennai Super Kings win the IPL

It is two years since a spectacular innings from Watson secured Indian Premier League glory for Chennai Super Kings.

Questioned for putting their faith in a squad of players approaching the end of their careers, it was fitting that Chennai's triumph would be sealed by 36-year-old Watson's unbeaten 117 from 57 balls.

Watson hit eight sixes and 11 fours to dominate the contest, the Super Kings easing to an eight-wicket win with nine balls remaining.

 

2009 – Barcelona beat Manchester United in the Champions League final

Barcelona became champions of Europe on this day 11 years ago, denying Manchester United a piece of history and securing their own place in the record books.

Holders United were looking to become the first team to win back-to-back Champions Leagues in the modern format but were dealt an early blow when Samuel Eto'o squeezed a 10th-minute shot past Edwin van der Sar.

A header from Lionel Messi – a goal he still considers the most important of his career – made it 2-0 in the second half as Barca won the treble for the first time in their history in Pep Guardiola's first season in charge.

2017 – Arsenal beat Chelsea in FA Cup final as Wenger wins the trophy for a seventh time

Arsene Wenger became the most successful manager in FA Cup history three years ago when he lifted the trophy for a seventh time.

Premier League champions Chelsea were favourites, but a fourth-minute goal from Alexis Sanchez set the tone for the final.

Victor Moses' red card 68 minutes in made life tougher for the Blues and, although Diego Costa grabbed an equaliser, Aaron Ramsey struck what proved to be the winner three minutes later.

Aside from Wenger's feat – his 10th major trophy as Gunners boss – it was a final fondly remembered by fans for the performance of Per Mertsesacker, who was outstanding at the heart of defence.

The Ultimate Test XI is done and the fans have made their votes count, overruling a panel of experts and the SportsMax Zone to pick two spinners in their line-up.

From jump street, the fans looked as if they would not be swayed by the opinions of the Zone and the panel, who had to get their ducks in a row if they wanted the final say on who makes SportsMax’s Ultimate XI.

Whereas all were agreed that India’s Sunil Gavaskar was probably the greatest opener the world has ever seen as was a shoo-in for the first opening spot on offer, the fans disagreed with the panel and the Zone on the other opener. Hands down, Fanalysts believed Gordon Greenidge, despite boasting a lower average than most in the Ultimate XI Test shortlist, was the man for the job.

The Fanalysts were outvoted as the Zone, who had 30% of all votes and the panel, who had another 30, believed Australia’s Matthew Hayden the man to walk to the crease in partnership with Gavaskar.

Then there were other differences of opinion. According to the panel, the greatest middle-order batsmen of all time, read Brian Lara, Sachin Tendulkar, and Sir Vivian Richards.

The Zone team, despite being made up of solely Caribbean journalists, disagreed. Sir Viv, they said could not fill the third spot in that middle order ahead of an Australian, Sir Donald Bradman.

The Fanalysts agreed and put the weight of their 40% of the vote squarely behind the Australian great.

So now the fans missed out on one of their picks for opener and the panel missed out on one of their picks for a middle-order batsman.

At the allrounder position and the wicketkeeper position, there was unison as Fanalysts, Zone and panel believed Sir Garfield Sobers should fill the former position, while Australia’s Adam Gilchrist is the best the world has ever seen don gloves.

It is in the bowling category that the most controversy was expected and that’s where the most variance occurred.

According to the Zone, Malcolm Marshall, Curtly Ambrose, Wasim Akram and Muttiah Muralitharan would provide the greatest bowling attack the world has ever seen.

The panel disagreed.

The panel, believed Marshall a shoo-in, New Zealand’s Sir Richard Hadlee could not be left out, and South Africa’s Dale Steyn was the final pacer to make up a bowling attack that had one spinner in Muttiah Muralitharan.

Hadlee never stood a chance for the Fanalysts, and neither did Steyn for that matter.

For the Fanalysts, a choice between Muralitharan and Warne, the two bowlers with the most wickets in the history of Test cricket, was too difficult to make and they picked both.

That left space for just two pacers and the all-West-Indian pairing of Marshall and Ambrose was the obvious choice.

With 30 per cent of the vote going to Hadlee, and another 30 per cent going to Steyn, Warne easily made his way into the Ultimate XI with the Fanalysts offering him up with their 40.

Based on all the Ultimate XI profiles have told you about these players, tell us who was right.

Were the fans who got their way with Bradman and the two spinners right? Or is there something to be said for the experts who went with Hadlee and Steyn, or even the Zone, who decided on Akram?

Were the Fanalysts accurate in going against the grain with picking Greenidge ahead of Hayden, or were the Zone and the panel correct in overruling them?  

Crazy or not, we are trusting the Fanalysts again with our Ultimate XI ODI team. 

Check out the shortlist below, tell me who you would pick in the comments section on Facebook and Twitter then go and vote after we tell you how wrong you are. Voting begins later today after the SportsMax Zone on SportsMax.tv.

 

Inzamam-ul-Haq is perhaps one of the most well-known and respected Pakistani cricketers of all time. Inzamam made his ODI debut in 1991 in a series against West Indies, where he delivered a good performance, scoring a half-century in one of the two matches he played. Inzamam was handpicked by Pakistani cricketing legend Imran Khan for the 1992 ICC Cricket World Cup to be held in Australia and New Zealand. The relatively unknown player was disappointing at the start of the tournament. However, he started delivering crucial performances at the most important stages. He guided Pakistan to victory in the semi-finals by scoring 60 runs off just 37 balls. This was followed by another side-savings innings of 48 runs, leading to Pakistan’s maiden World Cup triumph.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Inzamam-ul-Haq

Born: March 3, 1970, Multan, Punjab

Major teams: Pakistan, Asia XI, Faisalabad, ICC World XI, ICL Pakistan XI, Lahore Badshahs, Multan, National Bank of Pakistan, Rawalpindi, United Bank Limited, Yorkshire

Playing role: Batsman

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Slow left-arm orthodox

 

ODI Career: Pakistan (1991-2007)

Mat Inns    NO Runs    HS Ave BF  SR  100s     50s  4s  6s     Ct  St

378     350     53  11739  137*    39.52   15812  74.24     10  83  971     144     113     0 

 

Career Highlights

  • Second batsman to score 10,000 runs in One-day Internationals
  • Won Allan Border medal in 2003.
  • 60-run innings from just 37 balls guided Pakistan to 1992 Cricket World Cup final.  
  • 2nd batsman to score 10,000 runs in ODIs
  • Once held record for most half-centuries in ODIs (83)
  • Pakistan’s highest run-scorer in ODIs (11,739)
  • Scored 10 ODI centuries      

With technique and temperament to succeed in every condition and format, Virat Kohli cutting loose is one of the exalted sights of the modern game — be it for India, Delhi or Royal Challengers Bangalore. He is already at the rarefied top of the ODI and T20 formats.  His style is based on the sound fundamentals of batting, topped with the finishing flair of god-gifted genius.     

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Virat Kohli

Born: November 5, 1988, Delhi

Major teams: India, Delhi, India A, India Blue, India Emerging Players, India Red, India Under-19s, Indian Board President's XI, North Zone, Oil & Natural Gas Corporation, Rest of India, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Surrey

Playing role: Top-order batsman

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm medium

 

ODI Career: India (2008–present)

Mat    Inns    NO   Runs     HS    Ave      BF         SR       100s    50s     4s        6s      

248      239    39    11867    183   59.33    12726   93.25       43     58       1116    121   

 

Career Highlights

  • ICC ODI Player of the Year (2012, 2017, 2018)
  • Highest average (min 5,000 runs) in the history of ODI cricket
  • 2nd most ODI centuries (43)
  • Fastest to 8,000; 9,000; 10,000; and 11,000 runs in ODIs
  • Has scored 5,388 runs in successful run chases at an average of 96.21
  • His 22 hundreds are the most in successful run chases
  • Has scored more than 1,000 runs in ODIs in a calendar year on 7 occasions
  • Reached the 1,000 ODI run mark in a year in record time – 11 innings

Probably the best player of the pull shot, Ponting played almost all the textbook shots to perfection.

He sits firmly enthroned as one of the all-time top Australian batsmen, with only Don Bradman and perhaps Greg Chappell and Allan Border claiming a comparable rank.

While his early days were marred by disciplinary issues and alcohol problems, he overcame them with talent and tenacity to stamp his greatness on the landscape of the game. And then the story was of piling up runs in the most dominating of manners. And when his job with the willow was over, he could prowl the outfield like a panther, swooping down on travelling balls and sending returns homing in on bull’s-eye.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Ricky Thomas Ponting

Born: 19 December 1974 (age 45), Launceston, Tasmania, Australia

Height: 1.75[1] m (5 ft 9 in)

Batting style: Right-handed

Bowling style: Right-arm medium

Playing role: Batsman

 

ODI Career: Australia (1995–2012)

Mat   Inns   NO    Runs     HS   Ave    BF         SR      100s    50s   4s        6s  

375     365   39     13704    164  42.03  17046    80.39    30      82     1231    162

 

Career Highlights

  • Most capped captain in ODIs (230 matches)
  • Holds the record for scoring the most runs in ODIs as captain(8497)
  • First batsman to score centuries in ODI cricket against all Test-playing nations
  • He holds the record for the most Cricket World Cup matches played (46)
  • Third overall and the first Australian batsman to pass 13,000 One Day International runs
  • Most ODI runs by an Australian (13,704)
  • Most ODI centuries by an Australian (30)
  • Most centuries by an Australian in World Cups (5)
  • Undefeated as captain in World Cups (35 matches)
  • Equal most Cricket World Cups won as captain ( 2)

From a guy who used to play a sheet anchor role for his team and had limited playing shots in his book, Kumar Sangakkara swiftly evolved into an attractive batsman who has almost every cricket shot in his arsenal.

He was always a good back-foot player and was brilliant at playing cut and pull shots. But Sangakkara made changes to his batting style and became a confident front-foot player as well. His cover-drives are still one of the best in the business though he always strived to play straight drives like Sachin.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Kumar Sangakkara

Born: 27 October 1977, Matale, Sri Lanka

Batting style: Left-handed

Bowling style: Right-arm off-break

Playing role: Wicketkeeper, Batsman

 

ODI Career: Sri Lanka (2000–2015)

Mat     Inns   NO   Runs   HS     Ave     BF        SR      100s     50s     4s       6s    Ct     St

404       380    41   14234  169    41.98   18048   78.86    25       93       1385   88    402    99

 

Career Highlights

  • ICC ODI Cricketer of the Year (2011 & 2013)
  • 1st Sri Lankan to pass 14,000 runs
  • 2nd most half-centuries in ODIs (93)
  • 1st player to score 4 centuries in a single World Cup
  • Most consecutive centuries in a single World Cup (4)
  • Most runs as wicketkeeper-batsman in ODI history (13,262 runs)
  • First wicketkeeper-batsman to score over 10000 runs in ODIs
  • Most wicketkeeping dismissals in ODI cricket

Retired South African middle-order batsman Jacques Kallis has not been getting a lot of respect lately from the Ultimate XI panellists on the Sportsmax Zone.

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