Cricket West Indies (CWI) will, this week, send a two-member inspection team to Bangladesh to conduct a detailed assessment ahead of the scheduled ICC Future Tours Programme (FTP) tour in January next year.

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."

Mushfiqur Rahim was included in Bangladesh's squad to tour Zimbabwe for five ODIs in 2006. He was one of three uncapped ODI players included in the squad alongside all-rounders Farhad Reza and Shakib Al Hasan.

On that tour, he scored his maiden half-century at Harare against Zimbabwe.

However, he would not score his first ODI century until 2011 when he compiled 101 against Zimbabwe at Harare in August that year.

Since then he has scored six others against Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Australia.

April 2019, he was named in Bangladesh's squad for the 2019 Cricket World Cup.

In the first innings of Bangladesh's opening match in the World Cup, against South Africa, he scored an 80-ball 78, contributing to a 142 run partnership with Shakib Al Hasan.

Bangladesh went on to score their highest total in an ODI match, finishing on 330/6 from their 50 overs, beating South Africa by 21 runs.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Mohammad Mushfiqur Rahim

Born: May 9, 1987, Bogra

Major teams: Bangladesh, Bangladesh Under-19s, Karachi Kings, Khulna Tigers, North Zone (Bangladesh), Rajshahi Division, Rajshahi Kings, Sylhet Division, Sylhet Royals

Playing role: Wicketkeeper batsman

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Fielding position: Wicketkeeper

 

ODI Career: Bangladesh (2005-present)

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

218           204        34          6174      144        36.31     7794      79.21               7          38           181        44

 

Career Highlights

  • 2nd most appearances by a Bangladeshi in ODIs (218)
  • Most runs by a Bangladeshi at numbers 4 and 6
  • Has scored 6,174 runs in ODIs at an average of 36.31
  • He has 7 hundreds and 38 half centuries in ODIs

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

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) are awaiting confirmation that India and Bangladesh will agree to tour for limited-overs series' in July.

SLC invited India to fly out for three ODIs and as many Twenty20 Internationals, while the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) are also considering the opportunity to tour for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic brought the vast majority of sport to a halt.

Ashley de Silva, the SLC chief executive, revealed there has been no official word from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) or the BCB over whether they will take up the offers.

"We have made inquiries from both the India and Bangladesh boards and are awaiting a response from them," he told ESPNcricinfo.

"As of now, those series haven't been postponed."

The BCCI on Sunday stated that contracted players would not be rushed back into training camps after the government gave the go-ahead for sports facilities to reopen.

A BCCI statement said: "The Board of Control for Cricket in India has taken note of the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs on Sunday for containment of COVID-19 across the country. 

"Taking into the account the restrictions on air travel and movement of people till May 31, the BCCI will wait further before organizing a skill-based training camp for its contracted players.

"The Board reiterates that the safety and well-being of its athletes and support staff is paramount and will not rush into any decision that can hamper or jeopardize India's efforts in containing the spread of the virus."

There have been just 981 COVID-19 cases reported in Sri Lanka, nine of those people passing away.

Shakib Al Hasan is without a doubt the biggest name to have emerged from Bangladesh cricket circles. Being a genuine all-rounder, Shakib is a vital cog in Bangladesh's line-up.

His major breakthrough came in the 2008 Chittagong Test against New Zealand where he picked up 7/36.  To date, those figures are the best by a Bangladeshi bowler.

Shakib also contributed with a half-century in the second innings to set New Zealand a challenging 317.

Shakib has previously been ranked No. 1 among the all-rounders by the ICC thanks to his consistency.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Shakib Al Hasan

Born: 24 March 1987 (age 33)

Place of Birth: Magura District, Bangladesh

Height: 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)

Batting style: Left-handed

Bowling style: Slow left-arm orthodox

Role: All-rounder

 

Test Career (Batting) - Bangladesh (2006–present)

Mat        Inns       NO         Runs      HS           Ave        BF           SR           100         50                             

56           105         7           3862       217         39.40     6224       62.05              5          24            

 

Test Career (Bowling) – Bangladesh (2006-present)

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

56         95     13020    6537        210    7/36     10/124    31.12    3.01   62.0     8        18       2

 

Career Highlights

  • Fourth bowler in Test cricket history to pick up 5-wickets hauls against all Test-playing nations
  • Fastest to 3000 runs and 200 wickets in Tests (54 matches)
  • Has tallied 3862 runs at an average of 39.40
  • Has taken 210 wickets at 31.12

Pakistan's tour of England remains "on track" despite the indefinite postponement of three ODIs scheduled to take place in the Netherlands in July.

The Dutch government has banned all sports and cultural events until September 1 as part of measures to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

Pakistan were meant to be play three ODIs in Amstelveen on July 4, 7 and 9, but the Pakistan Cricket Board (ECB) announced on Wednesday that the tour has been shelved.

As things stand Pakistan are due to play two Twenty20 matches in Ireland, before starting a three-Test series against England at Lord's on July 30, which precedes three T20 fixtures.

PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan said via a news release that the tour is still on as things stand.

"It is sad that we have to postpone our July tour to the Netherlands, but in the prevailing circumstances, this is absolutely the right thing to do as human lives are far more precious and valuable than a cricket match or an event," he said.

"Netherlands has been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and we offer our heartfelt condolences to all those who have lost their lives. Like any other country, the PCB stands firmly with the KNCB and hope they will be able to overcome this crisis.

"The Pakistan national cricket teams have always enjoyed touring the Netherlands and as soon as things return to normal, the PCB will engage with the KNCB to reschedule the tour so that we can fulfil our obligation.

"The Pakistan national men's cricket team's tours to Ireland, for two Twenty20 Internationals, and England, for three Tests and three Twenty20 Internationals, are on track at this stage. 

"We are keeping a watching brief and are in contact with our counterparts in Dublin and London, respectively. 

"As is always the case, the PCB will be happy to be guided by the hosts on the upcoming tours but without compromising on the health and safety of its players and team support personnel."

Tim Paine said his car was broken into after the Australia Test captain set up a home gym amid the coronavirus pandemic.

COVID-19 has brought sport to a standstill, with cricket on hiatus due to the global health emergency, which has claimed more than 37,800 lives.

Attempting to stay fit amid the shutdown, Paine relocated his car onto the street and transformed his garage into a home gym in Hobart, where the wicketkeeper was robbed.

"I woke up this morning to a message from NAB saying I had some interesting movements on my account," Paine told reporters on Tuesday.

"I went out and the [car] door was open and my wallet and a few other things had gone.

"Actually looking at my account, the boys went straight to Maccas [McDonalds] – the boys must have been hungry."

"Since that went on radio, I've had a message from [sponsor] Kookaburra and they're going to send me some balls on a string that I can hook up in the garage and start training," added Paine.

While happy at home, Paine said: "Steve Smith, David Warner – guys like that, they're high energy, they love to train so this would be a real eye opener for them.

"I think [Smith] is doing a 10km run every day so hopefully he doesn't come back as a skeleton. But him and Marnus [Labuschagne] and Davey are probably the three I worry about.

"They don't like sitting still, and Steve and Marnus don't like not batting for too long. And Davey – he literally can't sit still.

"Davey has got a home gym so he will be in there literally 24/7 and Steve and Marnus would have some kind of contraption where they're hitting balls, or they've got their wives are feeding them balls because there's no way those two are going a week without batting."

Paine also conceded June's two-Test tour of Bangladesh is unlikely to go ahead as scheduled due to coronavirus.

The first Test is set to start on June 11 and Paine said: "You don't have to be Einstein to realise it is probably unlikely to go ahead, particularly in June. Whether it's cancelled or pushed back, we're not quite sure at the moment."

Bangladesh's tour of Ireland and England in May has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Tigers were scheduled to play in a three-match ODI series and then four Twenty20 Internationals against Ireland during a trip that was to run between May 14-29.

However, the games were already placed in doubt after the England and Wales Cricket Board announced on Friday that they will not stage any fixtures prior to May 28.

Cricket Ireland has now confirmed they will not be taking on Bangladesh as planned, with the T20 games having been scheduled to take place at venues in England.

"Once the scale of the COVID-19 pandemic was understood, and the advice of both Governments and partner boards was sought, it became increasingly unlikely that this series could proceed as scheduled," Warren Deutrom, chief executive of Cricket Ireland, said in a statement.

"We have a responsibility to protect the well-being of players, coaches, fans and the wider community, and will not hesitate to take a safety-first approach to our operations over coming months.

“We will continue monitoring the situation, and will liaise as necessary with relevant sports bodies, public health agencies and our stakeholders here and abroad, and provide further updates on the home season in due course."

The COVID-19 outbreak had already forced Bangladesh to shelve plans for a return trip to Pakistan, where they were due to play a one-off 50-over game and also the second Test of the series in Karachi.

The Pakistan and Bangladesh cricket boards have agreed to postpone April's planned Test and ODI encounters amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Bangladesh, who visited Pakistan for Test and Twenty20 matches earlier this year, were due to arrive back in the country on March 29 to complete the final leg of their three-part, multi-format tour.

Those plans are now on hold, with the two boards set to discuss options for rescheduling the second Test that was due to begin in Karachi on April 5.

A standalone ODI had also been scheduled to go ahead in Karachi on April 1.

A Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) statement read: "The Pakistan and Bangladesh cricket boards have decided to postpone the upcoming One-Day International and Test in Karachi for a later date.

"The two boards will now work together to identify a future opportunity to complete the ICC World Test Championship commitment."

Pakistan beat the Tigers by an innings and 44 runs in the first Test in Rawalpindi in February.

The unusual fixture arrangements emerged as a compromise after the Bangladesh Cricket Board expressed concerns over security and player safety in Pakistan.

Meanwhile, the PCB has also indefinitely postponed the domestic one-day Pakistan Cup tournament, which was scheduled to start on March 25.

Bangladesh eased to a 2-0 series win over Zimbabwe as Liton Das' unbeaten 60 paved the way for a routine nine-wicket triumph in Wednesday's Twenty20 in Dhaka.

Brendan Taylor's haul of 59 not out from 48 deliveries at least helped Zimbabwe post a total of 119-7 from their 20 overs.

Das and fellow opener Mohammad Naim swiftly set to work dismantling that total, moving Bangladesh onto 77 before the latter picked out deep midwicket off Chris Mpofu.

But Das – man of the match and player of the series – was in no mood to hand Zimbabwe any more hope and, after two boundaries in succession, brought up his fifty with a single flicked towards fine leg.

Soumya Sarkar wasted little time in settling in, sending Wesley Madhevere for six before smashing a maximum off Mpofu to tie Bangladesh level, and a single two balls later secured a sixth straight victory for Bangladesh across all formats.

"I think the we way played, the way we have been consistent, that has been very pleasing," Bangladesh captain Mahmudullah said at the post-match presentation.

"Especially the way Liton showed consistency and hunger, really happy for him too. The hunger was there. Last couple of series we were not up to the mark. We are trying to build up the confidence for the World Cup."

Wednesday has seen the coronavirus outbreak take further toll on sport across the world.

Further matches have been postponed while others appear unable to go ahead due to increased travel restrictions between affected countries.

Governing bodies are also taking steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by cancelling planned meetings, while others are calling for further changes to the calendar.

Here are some of the latest events to be impacted.

Football's governing body has decided to cancel the next FIFA Congress in Addis Ababa on June 5. It has also pushed back the coming FIFA Council meeting in Zurich, due to be on March 20, until June or July. Attendees may be required to join via a video link.

In France, the Coupe de la Ligue final on April 4 between Paris Saint-Germain and Lyon has been postponed. The Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) said a new date would be announced in due course. It means the PSG-Metz and Lyon-Nimes Ligue 1 matches will be moved to the weekend of April 4-5 but be held behind closed doors. PSG will have Kylian Mbappe available against Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday, though: the striker is in the squad after overcoming illness, with L'Equipe among those to report he had tested negative for coronavirus.

Germany has seen the first confirmed instance of a footballer contracting coronavirus. Hannover defender Timo Hubers has tested positive but been praised by the club for his "absolutely exemplary" behaviour, as he immediately self-isolated before coming into contact with the rest of the squad.

Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich will face Union Berlin on Saturday behind closed doors, and the latter's derby with Hertha Berlin on March 21 will take place under the same circumstances. Borussia Monchengladbach have urged fans not to gather outside the stadium ahead of Wednesday's match with Cologne.

FIFPro, the footballers' union, has urged governing bodies across the world "to respect the wishes of players to take short-term precautionary measures including suspending training or competitions". Steps are certainly being taken in Spain, where the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has recommended football at all levels beneath the top two professional leagues to be called off for two weeks. The RFEF will reportedly meet with league officials to discuss similar proposals for LaLiga and the Segunda Division.

Meanwhile, Roma's match with Sevilla in the Europa League last 16 on Thursday is off after the Italian club confirmed they had not been given permission by the government to fly to Andalusia. Getafe had already refused to travel for their game with Inter in Italy.

The big news in England was that Manchester City versus Arsenal was called off as a precaution after the Gunners came into contact with Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis, who announced on Tuesday that he had caught the disease. In general, though, the UK has not been following the same stringent protocols as some other European nations and that is continuing for now. Arsenal's match with Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday has not been called off, while England's planned friendlies at Wembley this month against Italy and Denmark are, at present, going ahead. Forest have also confirmed all players and staff have tested negative for coronavirus.

In Scotland, Rangers boss Steven Gerrard says the domestic season must be completed, even if behind closed doors, "because people have earned the opportunity to get to the stage where everyone is at". League chief executive Neil Doncaster claimed last week that completing the Premiership season could become "very difficult".

The England and Wales Cricket Board has told supporters "to maintain good levels of hygiene" during England's tour of Sri Lanka. As a precaution, players and staff have been told to avoid casual interaction with fans, such as selfies and autographs.

In Bangladesh, the World XI v Asia XI matches that would have marked the birthday celebrations of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman have been postponed, while the Indian Open has been called off following a consultation between the Indian Golf Union, the European Tour, the Asian Tour and tournament sponsors.

MotoGP has also announced that the Argentina Grand Prix has been moved to November. The opening race of the season in Qatar and the Grand Prix of the Americas have already been rescheduled.

Soumya Sarkar hit an unbeaten 62 as Bangladesh eased to a 48-run victory over Zimbabwe in the first Twenty20 International.

Sarkar's 32-ball innings, which included four fours and five sixes, helped propel Bangladesh to 200-3 in Dhaka. All five batsmen reached double figures, Liton Das also scoring a half-century with his 39-ball 59.

Zimbabwe wilted in response as they were bowled out for 152 with an over to spare. Mustafizur Rahman and Aminul Islam took three wickets apiece, with debutants Tinashe Kamunhukamwe (28) and Carl Mumba (25) the pick of the batsmen for the tourists.

The series comes to a close on Wednesday when the second and final match takes place at the same venue.

Mashrafe Mortaza earned glowing praise from Bangladesh team-mates after captaining his country for the final time in ODIs.

Bangladesh thrashed Zimbabwe by 123 runs on the Duckworth–Lewis–Stern method in Sylhet, sealing a 3-0 series triumph and making it 50 ODI wins from 88 matches as skipper for Mortaza.

The 36-year-old was then showered with effusive tributes from the likes of Liton Das, who scored a stunning 176 to set a new national record in the format.

"He's got a very special place in my heart," Das said of Mortaza. "I made my debut under him.

"He's always supported me. Having a captain like that is always rare.

"We will miss him, because when he leads, there's no distinction between seniors and juniors. It's a lot of fun."

Mortaza gave credit to his players, saying: "This is a great honour. My boys have been fantastic. They have given everything for the team. I'd like to say my thanks to all the boys."

Adding to the kind words, Mahmudullah cited Mortaza's overall impact on the game in Bangladesh.

"He's been a brother and a friend, and he's done so much for Bangladesh cricket," he said. "We have operated in a very nice way. When he took over, we were floundering a little bit."

They were sentiments echoed by Tamim Iqbal, who shared a 292-run opening stand with Das on Friday.

"When he took over in 2014, we were nowhere," said Tamim, after making an unbeaten 128. "From 2014 to 2019, he took us to a stage where we were taken seriously all over the world.

"There were people who wanted me dropped, but he backed me all the way."

Liton Das and Tamim Iqbal dominated Zimbabwe's bowlers to complete a 3-0 ODI clean sweep for Bangladesh and give Mashrafe Mortaza a fitting send-off as captain.

In a match shortened by rain to 43 overs per side in Sylhet, the hosts posted 322-3 in Mortaza's final game as skipper, with Das and Iqbal sharing a 292-run opening stand – the third highest in ODI history.

Zimbabwe were set a revised target of 342 and came up well short, Mortaza earning his 50th win in the format as the side's leader, the 36-year-old chipping in with 1-47 in a 123-run DLS triumph. 

The home side were making fine headway when the weather closed in, the Tigers going off for more than two and a half hours with 182 runs on the board and the first pairing still going strong.

After resuming, Carl Mumba did manage to break the bond, taking three late wickets, although Tamim – who made 158 in the second match – remained unbeaten on 128.

Das smashed 16 fours and eight sixes in his stunning career-best 176, which came from 143 deliveries and ensured he eclipsed Tamim's tally from the previous outing to claim a national record in the format.

Zimbabwe's response was not nearly as spectacular, with Tinashe Kamunhukamwe falling in the first over to Mortaza and setting the tone for an innings of fruitless toil from the tourists. 

Sikandar Raza did post a defiant 61, with Regis Chakabva (34) and Wesley Madhevere (42) also gaining some credit, but their contributions came in another losing effort as Mohammad Saifuddin (4-41) did most of the damage.

The result completed a miserable series for Zimbabwe, who lost the opener by a record 169 runs, before succumbing to a defeat by just four runs in the second meeting. 

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