Zimbabwe allrounder Sikandar Raza is excited by the prospect of being the first from his country to play in the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL).

Raza was picked up by the Trinbago Knight Riders in the competition’s draft on Monday.

“CPL was missing from the CV and I’m glad it’s now there. But most importantly, I’m glad that there will be Zimbabwean representation,” said Raza.

According to Raza, the decision by the TKR could now help open the door for other Zimbabwean cricketers trying to break into the major T20 competitions around the world.

“What I believe in is that if one goes, then he’ll bring another one and then if the two impress, the number will double. I’m hopeful that more Zimbabweans can be snapped up next season,” said Raza.

The TKR failed to defend their title in 2019, with the Barbados Tridents claiming the top spot ahead of the Guyana Amazon Warriors.

The CPL, this year, will run from August 18-September 10 and be held entirely in Trinidad and Tobago.

England suffered a late collapse in Southampton to close day four on 284-8 – giving them a lead of 170 over West Indies – to leave the first Test delicately poised. 

Still with eight wickets in hand, England have fought their way back into the first Test at the Ageas Bowl after openers Rory Burns, 42, and Dom Sibley, 50, slowly chipped away at the West Indies' 114-run lead, removing altogether just after lunch.

Burns was the only dismissal in the morning session on Saturday, caught by John Campbell at backward point off Roston Chase for a 104-ball 42.

Sibley got to his 50 off 164 deliveries but lost out to Shannon Gabriel soon after.

Joe Denly, 20, and Zack Crawley, 7, are the men at the crease with England 125-2.

England had resumed its second innings on 15-0 at the empty Rose Bowl in reply to West Indies' first-innings total of 318. Progress was slow in the morning with at one point only three runs off nine overs, and 64 runs from 30 overs overall in the session.

England scored 204 in its first innings of the rain-affected test.

The Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) and the government of Trinidad & Tobago have come to an agreement for the whole of the 2020 season to be played in that country. The tournament will run from Tuesday 18 August to Thursday 10 September.

The CPL will have a full season and will feature overseas and Caribbean players with the standard higher than it has ever been with the likes of Rashid Khan, Chris Lynn, Carlos Brathwaite, Dwayne Bravo, Alex Hales and Kieron Pollard all set to take part.

Last year’s CPL had a combined broadcast and digital viewership of 312 million and with the tournament being the first franchise T20 event to take place in several months there will be more interest than ever.

The CPL have worked with the Trinidad & Tobago Ministry of Health and the CPL’s own board of medical advisors to create protocols which minimize risk of transmission of the COVID-19 virus to the population of Trinidad and in amongst those who will be travelling to Trinidad & Tobago from overseas.

All teams and officials will be housed in one hotel and everyone will be subject to strict quarantine protocols for the first two weeks they are in the country. Everyone travelling from overseas will be tested for COVID-19, before departure and then again on arrival in Trinidad.

Teams and officials will be put into “households” where social distancing will need to be in place. There will be smaller clusters within each household where these measures can be relaxed. However, if any member of this cluster display signs of COVID-19 at any time during the tournament all members of that cluster will be expected to self-isolate for a period of 14 days from the time that a member of that cohort first shows symptoms.

All members of the CPL party will be subject to regular temperature checks and will be re-tested for the virus throughout their stay in Trinidad and again before departure.

Pete Russell, COO of Hero CPL, said: "We would like to express our gratitude and thanks to The Hon. Dr. Keith Rowley, Prime Minister of Trinidad & Tobago, The Hon. Shamfa Cudjoe, Minister for Sport and Youth Affairs, The Hon. Terrence Deyalsingh, Minister for Health, Dr. Roshan Parasram, Chief Medical Officer for Trinidad & Tobago, Douglas Camacho, Chairman of Sport TT and their respective ministries and organisations for their support and guidance in making this all possible.

“We are really excited to bring high-class cricket to the Caribbean and to the rest of the world. The standard of players involved in this year’s tournament will be higher than ever and we can’t wait to get the tournament under way.”

Fast-bowling legend-turned-legendary commentator, Michael Holding, effortlessly threw case studies here and there while backing up his views on the issue of racism.

West Indies racked up a 114-run first innings lead against England to take control of the first Test at the Rose Bowl on day three.

Kraigg Brathwaite (65) and Shane Dowrich (61) led the way for the tourists, who benefitted from valuable contributions all the way down the order as they reached 318 all out on Friday.

That was in stark contrast to England's efforts as they were skittled for 204, although openers Rory Burns and Dom Sibley dug in to negotiate a tricky evening stint and reach stumps at 15-0.

Having made the most of bowling at England under leaden skies on Thursday, West Indies capitalised on the clouds parting to steadily compile a position of strength.

Denied helpful overhead conditions, the home attack were confronted by a fairly benign surface – one that meant Jofra Archer being denied an lbw verdict against Shai Hope due to overstepping was an error they could ill afford.

That moment in itself did not prove too costly as Hope was caught at slip by Ben Stokes for 16 after swiping at Dom Bess, the off-spinner who bowled tidily and also dismissed Jermaine Blackwood to claim 2-51.

But Archer would end the innings wicketless, with stand-in skipper Stokes (4-49) and James Anderson (3-62) sharing seven scalps.

Brathwaite could not turn his half-century into something more substantial, as he shuffled across to be trapped in front by Stokes, while Shamarh Brooks drove delightfully before edging Anderson behind to Jos Buttler for 39.

Roston Chase took on the anchor role – in stark contrast to Blackwood's devil-may-care efforts – and was trapped on the crease by Anderson when three shy of a richly deserved fifty.

Stokes removed opposite number Jason Holder cheaply and bowled Alzarri Joseph for a breezy 18, with Shannon Gabriel falling in similar fashion to Mark Wood.

Dowrich, who punished the England pacemen whenever they erred in line or length, was the penultimate man to fall, edging Stokes through to Buttler.

Gabriel, Holder and Kemar Roach found Burns and Sibley to be in resilient mood, although England will hope their hard yards have just begun.

 

PERSISTENCE PAYS OFF FOR BRATHWAITE

Brathwaite had not passed 50 in 21 Test innings heading into the series opener, meaning the prospect of skilled seam attack in English conditions with a Dukes ball might have filled him with dread. If it did, it certainly did not show, as he masterfully laid a platform. The 27-year-old slightly opening his stance, allowing him to access the on-side and confidently play the in-swinger, looks a shrewd adjustment.

TOIL AND LITTLE REWARD FOR ENGLAND QUICKS

Historically, this rivalry has been dominated by West Indies pacemen, so there was obvious excitement around England fielding two men capable of frequently hitting 90 miles per hour and beyond. However, Wood and Archer turned in combined figures of 1-135. The pair will surely fire in tandem at Test level soon – maybe even in the second innings here – but their struggles jarred as a brooding Stuart Broad watched on from the sidelines.

MOMENT OF THE DAY – ANDERSON HANGS ON TO REMOVE CAVALIER BLACKWOOD

West Indies day was a tale of patience and steady accumulation, very much classic Test cricket. The match situation encouraged Blackwood to try and take the action away from England, but his approach sat in hilarious contrast to his more measured team-mates. It felt like the 28-year-old played several expansive attacking shots for each of the 12 runs he ended up scoring, although Anderson's grab at mid-off to end a bizarre and entertaining interlude was as sharp as they come.

Roston Chase, 47, and Shane Dowrich, 61, helped the West Indies to a first-innings lead of 114 on day three of the first Test at Southampton on Friday.

The tourists lost Shamarh Brooks (39) and Jermaine Blackwood (12) soon after lunch to slip to 186-5 in reply to England's 204 all out, but recovered through Chase (27 not out) and Dowrich (30 not out) to be in a strong position to build a healthy lead at an empty Ageas Bowl.

Captain Jason Holder fell for just five, holing out to his opposite number, Ben Stokes, who ended with figures of 4-49.

Mark Wood finally got among the wickets to end with figures of 1-74.

James Anderson was involved in both of the wickets in the second session, firstly finding Brooks' edge for a caught behind. Brooks decided to review but UltraEdge showed a clear nick.

Five overs later, Anderson took a simple catch at mid-on to remove Blackwood, who tried to launch spinner Dom Bess into the deep.

Anderson ended with 3-62 and Bess, 2-51.

West Indies opening batsman, Kraigg Brathwaite, has admitted it was a bit of a relief to put runs on the board after heading into the ongoing series, against England, on the back of a lean spell.

With lots of talk heading into the Test focused around the ability of the West Indies top order, Brathwaite crafted an enterprising 65 from 125 balls.  Prior to that, the batsman averaged just 16 from his last six Tests, to see his overall average drop to 33.

Since the start of the series, however, Brathwaite has looked more in line with the player who had a solid performance for the West Indies in 2017, scoring 40 in the first Test, before adding scores of 134 and 95 in a surprise win for the team in the second.

“I’m very happy to have got a score.  It was tough, I was obviously thinking about getting runs, personally, it was tough.  What I tried to focus on was building that foundation for my team,” Brathwaite said of the innings.

“I know I could bat three hours in a game that’s what I was really focusing on.  It was a tough period, but I have accepted that you have to go through these periods to be good or great.  I just decided to keep my mind nice and strong and trust my ability,” he added.

Brathwaite's innings kickstarted the tourists reply to England's 204 all out, with the Caribbean side scoring 318 all-out to rack up a 114-run against England at the Ageas Bowl on Friday.

The West Indies had contributions all the way down their line-up with Shamarh Brooks, 39, John Campbell, 28, Shane Dowrich, 61, and Roston Chase, 47, all contributing to the total. There was even a nice cameo from Alzarri Joseph, 18.

England have responded to the West Indies lead with Rory Burns (10) and Dom Sibley (5), fighting off an onslaught of good bowling from Kemar Roach, Gabriel, and Holder.

West Indies stayed in control of the first test against England on Friday by reaching lunch on Day 3 at 159-3 to trail by 45 runs.

Resuming on 57-1, the touring side lost the wickets of Shai Hope (16) and Kraigg Brathwaite (65) but added 122 runs in the sunshine at an empty Rose Bowl to close in on England's first-innings total.

Shamarh Brooks (27) and Roston Chase (13) were the unbeaten batsmen at the end of the first session.

England's fast bowlers couldn't generate the same movement achieved by the West Indies' pace artillery over the first two rain-affected days, with the two quickest — Jofra Archer and Mark Wood — awaiting their first wickets.

Indeed, it was spinner Dom Bess who claimed the first wicket of the day in his first over, finding Hope's edge for Ben Stokes to take the catch at slip.

Hope had just been given a reprieve after being trapped in front of his stumps by Archer. The on-field umpire awarded an lbw but replays showed Archer overstepped the crease for a no-ball.

Stokes took the other West Indies wicket, trapping Brathwaite lbw. The tourists reviewed and the DRS stayed with the umpire's call as Hawk-Eye showed the ball was hitting the bails.

England paceman Stuart Broad is "frustrated, angry and gutted" after missing out on selection for the first Test against West Indies at the Rose Bowl.

Broad was England's leading wicket-taker in the 2019-20 series victory in South Africa and the drawn Ashes series with Australia last year.

There was no place in the side for the 34-year-old in the first of three Tests versus the Windies, though, as James Anderson, Jofra Archer and Mark Wood got the nod.

England's second-highest Test wicket-taker is at a loss to understand why he was left out in Southampton, missing out on a home Test for the first time since 2012.

He told Sky Sports: "I'm not a particularly emotional person but I've found the last couple of days quite tough.

"To say I was disappointed would be an understatement; you're disappointed if you drop your phone and the screen breaks.

"I'm frustrated, angry and gutted. It's difficult to understand. I've probably bowled the best I've ever bowled the last couple of years, I felt it was my shirt. I was in the team for the Ashes and going to South Africa and winning there.

Broad revealed he had asked national selector Ed Smith why he was not included.

He added: "I spoke to Ed Smith last night, he said he was involved in picking the 13 and this side was picked purely for this pitch. I wanted clarification on my future and I was given pretty positive feedback going forward.

"So yes, I was frustrated in the fact that I felt like I deserved a spot in the team."

Broad knows his omission shows the strength in depth England can call upon.

"You can't argue the bowlers walking on that field don't deserve to play," Broad said. "Everyone deserves to play. Chris Woakes, Sam Curran were bowling really well and probably deserve to be in the XI.

"It's just annoying when it's not you that's in that XI. Very rarely do you get guys fit and available for each Test match. That's where selection has been tricky.

"It's great to see strength and depth in the fast bowling ranks. It's the only way that England cricket moves forward and gets better. And with high competition in squads it keeps the standard high. Everyone is under pressure for their spots."

Jason Holder is eyeing a century after ticking off a five-wicket haul on English soil as West Indies piled pressure on England on day two of the opening Test.

West Indies captain Holder led by example with the ball, claiming career-best figures of 6-42 to help the visitors bowl out England for 204 before tea in Southampton on Thursday.

Shannon Gabriel weighed in with 4-62 but it was the Holder show at the Rose Bowl, where the Windies reached 57-1 at stumps – trailing England by 147 runs.

Holder's figures were the best for a West Indies captain in England and he has now taken at least five wickets in an innings in six of his past 10 Tests.

The Windies paceman revelled in his performance as he set his sights on another feat with the bat, saying: "My Test match is far from over.

"I've still got a massive contribution to make with the bat, and that's where my focus is going to be channelled now in this innings.

"One of the things I've always strived to do… was to score a hundred in England and to take a five-wicket haul here. I've ticked one box so far, so I guess it's now left for me to knuckle down and try to get a hundred."

After dismissing Zak Crawley (10) and Ollie Pope (12) before lunch on the second day, Holder then claimed the prized scalp of captain Ben Stokes (43).

Stokes and Jos Buttler (35) looked as though they might get on top of the Windies after England were reeling at 87-5, but Holder broke the threatening partnership in the middle session.

"It was a big wicket to get," Holder said. "Stokesy was looking quite set. We put down two chances and he was looking to make us pay for them. When I came on, his partnership with Jos was starting to blossom, and it was important to break that partnership quickly and not let it materialise into something that could really hurt us.

"I just wanted to be really consistent to him. He was pretty settled and countering the line that we were bowling by walking across and walking down. I was getting just enough movement there to keep him at bay, and I wanted to keep him playing."

England will have their work cut out on day three as Kraigg Brathwaite (20 not out) and Shai Hope (3 not out) return to the crease, with John Campbell (28) the only wicket to fall prior to stumps.

"They've done really well today and showed us the way to go," England paceman Mark Wood said. "We were in a similar position in the first innings and now we've got a chance to make it right like they did."

Wood added: "We haven't had the best day so plenty to do. I'd prefer a few in the wickets column rather than the pace column.

"They bowled well and got to give them credit, but 204 wasn't on the radar, we'd have liked 250 or 300. We didn't get it right with the ball, they got their line and length spot on. It's a bit of cobwebs and rust."

Jason Holder led by example with the ball as West Indies seized control of the first Test against England in Southampton.

West Indies captain Jason Holder has hailed the outstanding efforts of returning pace bowler Shannon Gabriel, who formed the perfect partner in excoriating the England batting line-up, in the first Test at the Rose Bowl, on Thursday.

Holder claimed an impressive 6 for 42 and Gabriel 4 for 62, as England were dismissed for 204, in the first innings.  Gabriel’s performance is all the more impressive with the series being the player’s first competitive match since recovering from ankle surgery last year.

In truth, concerns regarding Gabriel’s overall match fitness had quickly evaporated when he removed England opener Dom Sibley and provided plenty of deliveries that teased the edge of the batsmen in the first session.  He went on to account for, Rory Burns, Sibley's opening partner, Joe Denly, and James Anderson at the bottom of the order.

“Shannon was outstanding.  He came in after not playing cricket for a while, coming back off injury.  He is one of those players we try to manage as best as we possibly can,” Holder said following the end of the day’s play.

“He is a strike force for us, he is a weapon.  I think we were able to use him in short bursts where he can run in and express himself.  To me his consistency was good, and he looked good.”

In reply, the West Indies were 57 for 1 at the end of play, with John Campbell the batsman dismissed, on 28, by Anderson.

 

West Indies captain Jason Holder took a career-best 6-42 as England was bowled out for 204 on the second overcast day of the first test at the Ageas Bowl on Thursday.

Shannon Gabriel nabbed the first three wickets, Holder the next six including England counterpart Ben Stokes for a team-best 43, and Gabriel grabbed the last wicket to finish with 4-62.

England, at 174-9, didn’t look like reaching 200 but Dom Bess hit 31 not out and shared 30 with fast bowler James Anderson, the last man out.

An early tea was taken with England set to repay the West Indies' batting lineup in ideal bowling conditions.

Gabriel and Holder reduced England to 106-5 at lunch.

But the break enlivened Stokes and Jos Buttler, who came out punchy and riding some luck.

Stokes, dropped on 14 by Kemar Roach on the run, was dropped again on 32 off Roach to a simpler chance by Shamarh Brooks at extra cover.

Stokes and Buttler combined for 67 and 13 boundaries in the empty arena until Holder drew Stokes forward on 43 and earned an edge behind.

Buttler, on 35, was out to another seaming ball by Holder and a low, one-handed catch behind by wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich.

When Jofra Archer was out for a duck after a West Indies review showed his front pad blocked his leg stump, Holder had his fifth wicket and taken 3-1 in 14 balls.

The five-wicket haul was Holder’s seventh, and sixth in his last 10 tests.

Mark Wood on 5 slashed at Holder straight to Shai Hope at gully, and Holder would finish the innings with career-best figures of 20-6-42-6.

Bess and Anderson gave England a little lift to get past 200, but Anderson lost his off stump trying to defend Gabriel, who removed opener Rory Burns (30) and Joe Denly (18) in the morning.

Australia coach Justin Langer believes his team must tour England if it is possible in 2020, as international cricket aims to get back on track after the impact of coronavirus.

After a four-month break, Test cricket resumed on Wednesday with a rain-hit first day of England's behind-closed-doors match against West Indies in Southampton.

Australia were due to tour England for a white-ball series starting on July 3, with new dates for the rescheduled trip yet to be confirmed.

With the Twenty20 World Cup still due to be played in Australia in October, Langer believes the tour of England also has to be a priority.

"I think we have to go to England. There's lots of challenges, of course, but we have to find solutions to make sure that can happen if possible," Langer told reporters.

"That's my view. I think for the health of world cricket.

"If things out of control happen and we can't end up going, at least we can say we've done everything in our power to make it happen."

Langer also claimed Cricket Australia (CA) should be willing to let its star names – such as Steve Smith – play in the Indian Premier League (IPL), with preparation for the T20 World Cup vital.

"I think we have to, talking frankly," said Langer, who would even let players leave if it meant them missing part of the domestic season in Australia.

"I'll always look for win-win situations and hopefully we do that when we get some clarity on what's happening with the schedule."

India will tour Australia later in 2020, with a four-Test series scheduled.

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