The West Indies will benefit from the return of Fabian Allen and Denesh Ramdin when they go to India for a T20I series.

Allen is said to be fully recovered from a hamstring strain which put him out of the West Indies 2-1 loss to Afghanistan in Lucknow, India recently.

Ramdin played part of the series as well but had to be replaced by Shai Hope after he also went down due to hamstring issues.

The Kieron Pollard-led squad has retained newcomers Hayden Walsh Jr. and Brandon King, with an eye firmly on the T20 World Cup next year.

Andre Russell continues to be missing from both the ODI and T20I squads although the allrounder, plagued with knee injuries, was fit enough to play in the Abu Dhabi T10 recently.

According to West Indies coach Phil Simmons, who marked his return to the post with successful series against Afghanistan, India is expected to provide more of a challenge than did Afghanistan and is a good way to continue to test the ‘newbies’ in lieu of the T20 World next year.

"We have three matches in each format, so we wanted to give each squad a chance to compete against India," said Simmons.

"No disrespect to Afghanistan, but facing India will be a more difficult series. Our players really got the hang of things, with the 3-0 series win in the ODIs [against Afghanistan], and I believe we will move from strength to strength," he added.

According to Simmons, the battle for places in the T20i squad will heat up and everybody should be given a fair chance to show what they are made of.

"In the T20s this will be another chance for them to play and develop, and again, with no disrespect to Afghanistan, this should be a stronger T20 country and we will look to see how they perform against India. The next ICC T20 World Cup is in Australia and the one after that is here in India so there is a lot of preparation to be done for first for Australia. We have given the players here a chance in this series and we know we have players outside who may be coming in later on as well, so it's good to give those here another opportunity."

The T20I series begins in Hyderabad on December 6. There are two further T20Is, in Thiruvananthapuram and Mumbai, before three ODIs in Chennai, Vizag and Cuttack.

T20I squad: Fabian Allen, Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder, Brandon King, Evin Lewis, Keemo Paul, Khary Pierre, Kieron Pollard (capt), Nicholas Pooran, Denesh Ramdin, Sherfane Rutherford, Lendl Simmons, Hayden Walsh Jr, Kesrick Williams

ODI squad: Sunil Ambris, Roston Chase, Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Brandon King, Evin Lewis, Keemo Paul, Khary Pierre, Kieron Pollard (capt), Nicholas Pooran, Romario Shepherd, Hayden Walsh Jr.

Graeme Smith has withdrawn his interest in becoming Cricket South Africa's (CSA) first full-time director of cricket due to concerns over the existing structure.

It was reported last week that former Proteas captain Smith, who played 117 Tests, 197 ODIs and 33 Twenty20 internationals for his country, had interviewed for the position.

According to ESPNcricinfo, the 38-year-old faced competition for the role, which was created after the 2019 Cricket World Cup, from interim post-holder Corrie van Zyl and former national selector Hussein Manack.

However, Smith has pulled out of the running because he does not have confidence the role offers sufficient ability to implement change at CSA.

"Following the news in the media this week that I interviewed for the CSA director of cricket role, I feel it necessary to confirm that I have unfortunately withdrawn my interest for the role," Smith wrote in a statement posted on Twitter.

"I would love to have taken on the role. However, despite my obvious desire to make a difference, during the long and, at times, frustrating process over the last 10 or so weeks of discussions, I have not developed the necessary confidence that I would be given the level of freedom and support to initiate the required changes.

"My passion for our nation's cricketing fortunes remains steadfast and I give my heartfelt best wishes to whomever does take the role on.

"I will continue to support the teams and give my advice and guidance whenever I can."

It was not long ago that Roston Chase was seen as one of a growing number of match-winning players in the West Indies ranks.

Since that time, however, Chase has suffered long dips in form and has not done much saving.

Chase, from 22 One Day Internationals averages 28.28 with the bat and has scored 396 runs but has scored just two half-centuries to date.

Against Afghanistan in a recently concluded One Day International in Lucknow, India where the visitors thumped the home team 3-0, he was immense.

Chase began with scoring 94 as the West Indies easily won the first ODI by seven wickets. Earlier he had bowled economically to end with figures of 2-31.

In the second ODI, Chase failed with the bat, only scoring nine as the West Indies only managed 247, but his 3-30 was instrumental in limiting the reply from Afghanistan to 200.

Chase was at it again on Monday,first bowling economically to end with figures of 1-24, before going on to bludgeon the bowlers, scoring 42 from just 32 deliveries to help seal the whitewash with a five-wicket victory.

Speaking after the game, Chase explained that skipper, Kieron Pollard, had reminded him to stay focused on the task ahead of him.

"Skipper told me last night we'll bat in a different position, but he said, 'Don't worry. Just concentrate on your bowling, and if you get a chance to bat, show that’.” Chase explained.

Pollard was referring to the fact that he would bat ahead of Chase in the final ODI for the first time in the series, and that he should not change what he was doing because of it.

“He [Pollard] said, 'Ros, just take over and play at a run-a-ball.' I did that, and put away the boundary balls,” Chase said of his innings.

As for his effectiveness with the ball, Chase says he has begun to understand how to change his pace to deal with different batsmen and, of course, different conditions.

“I was just trying to vary my pace, and the pitch was helping out a lot. Each game, our bowlers came to the party. This is my first series win in five years, and I'm quite happy for that."

West Indies opening batsman Shai Hope played no small part in getting the regional side their first series win in five years.

The batsman, who scored an unbeaten 77, 43, and 109 not-out, said the regional side were at pains to earn a series win and that achieving a whitewash a day after his birthday was special.

“It was a long time coming. We've been waiting for this series win for a long time, so it felt good,” said Hope.

For the series win and the eventual whitewash to come to reality, Hope explained he had to take the responsibility of batting the team into good positions.

“Someone had to put his hand up and bat through the innings,” he said.

“Felt good to be able to do it. It's just about reading the situation, and as long as someone batted through, we were always going to win the game," said Hope.

The West Indies completed a whitewash over Afghanistan with a five-wicket win in Lucknow, India.

Afghanistan, having the best game of the three-match series, scored 249-7 in their 50 overs thanks to Asghar Afghan’s 86 and Hazrafullah Zazai’s 50, Mohammad Nabi, 50, and Najibullah Zadran, 30, but found they were still outgunned after the West Indies cruised to 253-5 in 48.5 overs.

The West Indies total was anchored by Hope’s 145-ball knock. Hope reached the boundary eight times and went over it on a further three occasions and was ably supported by debutant Brandon King, who scored 39, Nicholas Pooran, 21, Kieron Pollard, 32, and Roston Chase, 42.

West Indies captain Kieron Pollard is of the belief that the regional side has venom in them and needed to show it against Afghanistan, something they achieved after a 3-0 whitewash in their One-Day International that concluded on Monday in Lucknow, India.

"We are thankful to God for giving us this opportunity,” said Pollard.

“We came here with a mission and specific roles for players, and all the players deserve credit,” he said.

“Winning is a habit, and anything that we want to do as a team is a process, and it's something we had to improve in a period of time,” said Pollard.

According to the new captain, the team took the chance to show how aggressive they could be and urged them to make that way of playing cricket, habitual.

“This was an opportunity for us to show we have that kind of venom inside us. We knew we had to rally as a team, and we proved we can bat 50 overs, and once we do that, we can win games,” he said.

The West Indies destroyed Afghanistan over a three-game ODI series, winning the first by seven wickets thanks to Shai Hope’s unbeaten 77 and Roston Chase’s 94 before claiming a series-winning 47-run victory, this time courtesy of Evin Lewis’ 54 and Nicholas Pooran’s match-saving 67.

In the final game, playing with Brandon King and Keemo Paul in the line-up, the West Indies restricted Afghanistan to 249-7 despite 50 from Hazratullah Zazai and 86 from Asghar Afghan. In reply the West Indies scored 253-5 with Chase scoring 42, King, 39, Pollard, 32, and Hope, an unbeaten 109.

Despite Hope’s knocks, Chase was named player of the series.

Dale Steyn hopes a stint with Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League can boost his chances of representing South Africa at next year's T20 World Cup in Australia.

Veteran paceman Steyn missed the 2019 Cricket World Cup due to a shoulder injury and announced his retirement from Tests in August.

With the Proteas taking on England in four Tests across December and January, the 36-year-old has been granted leave for the Stars' first six games – the last of which is the derby with Melbourne Renegades at the MCG on January 4.

That is exactly one month before the white-ball leg of England's tour to South Africa, and Steyn hopes the BBL experience will help him achieve his ultimate goal of representing his country.

"This is the first year where the cricket schedule gives me the opportunity to come down and enjoy everything Melbourne has to offer," said Steyn.

"Having watched closely from afar, the BBL is a top tournament which has a great reputation overseas. I love cricket and want to make a difference in any team that I am playing for. I have had time to get fit and have been bowling for two months now. I can't wait to get over there and get going.

"Obviously the first prize is always to play for your country. Representing South Africa is the only thing I've ever done for my whole career so far, so to get back into that team is prize number one.

"They're pretty tight on not allowing players to go and play in the Big Bash, but knowing that I'm not available for the Tests, wanting to keep me fit, and also having one eye on the Twenty20 World Cup at the backend of next year, they probably felt like it was a good call.

"Which is great because it keeps me in the running for that World Cup. If I can go over to Australia and get some more experience in those conditions, that could be beneficial."

Danushka Gunathilaka's century was in vain as Sri Lanka slipped to an ODI series defeat in Pakistan.

The opener scored 133 from 134 balls in the third and final match in Karachi, but Sri Lanka could still only manage 297-9 from their 50 overs.

Fakhar Zaman (76) and Abid Ali's (74) opening partnership of 123 laid the platform for Pakistan to overhaul the tourists' score with 10 balls to spare.

Pakistan therefore won the three-match series 2-0 and focus now shifts to the three-match T20 series, which starts on Saturday.

Gunathilaka hit 16 fours and a six in an innings that was finally ended in the 45th over when he was removed by a Mohammad Amir yorker.

That his dismissal reduced Sri Lanka to 243-6 was indicative of the lack of support he received.

Lahiru Thirimanne (36), debutant Minod Bhanuka (36) and Dasun Shanaka (43) were the only other players to pass 13, while Pakistan's bowlers all kept things relatively tight with the exception of Wahab Riaz (1-81 from 10).

Pakistan quickly set about making light work of the target, with 123 runs on the board by the time Abid fell to Wanindu Hasaranga in the 20th over.

Haris Sohail struck a 46-ball 50 as he and Sarfraz Ahmed (23) comfortably guided Pakistan towards victory, which was secured with successive fours from Iftikhar Ahmed after poor deliveries down leg from Nuwan Pradeep.

Babar Azam and Usman Shinwari starred as Pakistan eventually saw off a Sri Lanka fightback to secure a 67-run victory in the second ODI in Karachi.

After rain wiped out the series opener last Friday, conditions were far more conducive for play on Monday, with Pakistan posting 305-7 thanks mainly to a century from the brilliant Babar.

Sri Lanka quickly slipped to 28-5 in reply as Shinwari (5-51) struck three times, only for a record stand between Shehan Jayasuriya and Dasun Shanaka to keep the tourists' hopes alive.

However, having added 177 - the highest sixth-wicket stand for Sri Lanka in one-day cricket - both well-set batsmen were dismissed with the score on 205 following a second delay due to floodlight issues at the National Stadium.

Jayasuriya fell four short of a first ODI ton when he edged through to wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed off the bowling of left-arm paceman Shinwari, who went on to complete a second five-wicket haul in the format.

Shanaka, meanwhile, holed out in the deep on 68 when trying to deposit a short ball from Shadab Khan (2-76) two balls later, with the tourists losing their last five wickets for 33 runs to be bowled out for 238 in 46.5 overs.

While made to wait a little longer than expected after the early clatter of wickets, Pakistan were able to celebrate a first one-day win at the venue for more than a decade.

Unlike their opponents, their top order had prospered. Fakhar Zaman made 54 from 65 balls, including sharing in a first-wicket stand worth 73 with Imam-ul-Haq (31), before Babar and Haris Sohail (40) put on 111 for the third wicket.

Having reached his 11th ODI hundred from just 97 deliveries, Babar eventually fell for 115 having hit eight fours and four sixes, the right-hander miscuing a shot to square leg.

Iftikhar Ahmed – playing in his first one-dayer since November 2015 – added a quickfire unbeaten 32 from 20 balls to help push the final total beyond 300, a score that was beyond Sri Lanka despite the best efforts of Jayasuriya and Shanaka.

The two teams complete the 50-over series at the same venue on Wednesday before shifting to Lahore for three Twenty20 games.

Afghanistan have appointed Lance Klusener as their new head coach.

The former South Africa all-rounder takes over following the departure of Phil Simmons, who left the post after the Cricket World Cup, with Andy Moles having served as interim coach for the recent tour of Bangladesh.

Klusener, who played 49 Tests and 171 ODI games for the Proteas, has filled a number of different roles since ending his playing career, including serving as batting coach for Zimbabwe in 2016.

He has also worked with Mumbai Indians' bowlers in the Indian Premier League, as well as being part of interim team director Enoch Nkwe's staff for the Twenty20 series during South Africa's ongoing tour of India.

"I am extremely excited and honoured to be given the opportunity to work with some of the best talent in world cricket," Klusener said.

"Everyone knows the fearless brand of cricket Afghanistan play. I am very confident that with some hard work we can become one of the best sides in the world.

"I am really looking forward to working with the Afghanistan team and helping them take their cricket to the next level."

Pakistan and Sri Lanka have pushed the second one-dayer back by 24 hours after their series opener was washed out in Karachi on Friday.

Heavy downpours prevented any play in the first ODI to be staged at the National Stadium in over a decade, as sections of the ground were left under water.

With wet weather in the days preceding the fixture too, the two cricket boards have agreed to a change in the schedule.

The second match was due to take place at the same location on Sunday but has now been shifted to Monday instead, allowing extra time to get the ground fit for action.

"This week's unseasonal heavy rains have forced us to review the series schedule," Pakistan Cricket Board director Zakir Khan said in a statement.

"I am thankful to Sri Lanka Cricket, as well as our host broadcasters, for agreeing to amend the match schedule to ensure there are no further abandonments due to rain in what is an important bilateral FTP series for Pakistan."

The final ODI – also to be staged in Karachi – will still be played on October 2, as originally planned.

Pakistan and Sri Lanka will then play three Twenty20 games in Lahore.

Ashely Giles is thrilled Eoin Morgan elected to stay on as ODI captain following England's triumphant Cricket World Cup campaign.

Morgan led England to their maiden success in a 50-over World Cup in July, with the final settled in dramatic fashion at Lord's – the tournament hosts edging out New Zealand in a super over.

Following the tournament, the 33-year-old suggested he was undecided as to whether he should stay on as captain of the limited-overs side.

However, the ECB confirmed on Friday that Morgan would remain in charge and Giles is delighted with the batsman's decision with England now having the T20 World Cup in their sights.

"Eoin took some time to decide whether, all things considered, it was right to continue," Giles told Sky Sports.

"It didn't take him too long, thankfully. I'm delighted, he's been a great leader for us and with us losing [coach] Trevor Bayliss as well it's great for the team and the environment that he's staying on.

"Having one of those two guys still there gives us consistency and now we can look to perhaps go with the team we've got and to hold two white-ball trophies within a year would be a great achievement."

Bayliss called time on his tenure as England coach across all formats at the end of the Ashes series, but Giles is confident a replacement will be finalised within the coming weeks.

"I see one coach leading the whole thing. I've been part of a set-up where there are two coaches and role-playing that out, for me, it doesn't end particularly well," Giles told BBC Sport.

"If we have one head coach and some very good assistants, we are going to have to look after those guys well. The head coach would have some time off, so it's an opportunity for those assistants to lead in different forms.

"I hope we have a shortlist in a week to 10 days and we will go through interviews. We won't rush it but it would be nice to have someone in place before we leave for New Zealand."

Giles also added Alex Hales – who was dropped ahead of the World Cup due to an "off-field incident" – should not give up hope of returning to the fold despite not being given a central contract.

"The door isn't closed. He's a very fine short-format player," Giles said. "He needs to keep working hard and getting the runs - but if he does that, who knows?"

Joe Root will captain England's Test side regardless of their new head coach, Ashley Giles has confirmed.

Test skipper Root came under pressure in the recent Ashes series as England were held to a 2-2 draw, seeing Australia retain the urn as tourists for the first time since 2001.

The uncertainty around the coaching position added to speculation regarding the Yorkshireman's future, with Trevor Bayliss leaving his role following the series.

But Giles, the managing director of England men's cricket, has confirmed Root will continue to lead the side going forward.

"There have been no questions asked [about Root's future] by me," Giles told Sky Sports News. "I would hope that is the most important thing for now.

"One of the most important things for Joe is that we now redress that balance between red and white-ball cricket and we have more focus on Test match cricket.

"And when the new coach arrives, Joe gets a choice to sit down with him and really plan and decide a way forward - with me as well - our DNA around Test cricket going forward.

"If I were Joe, and we've had these discussions, we need to start planning towards winning the Ashes back in Australia in just over two years."

England will have one coach across all formats when they replace Bayliss, with Giles adding: "It's an exciting process because it's my first big appointment and we need to get it right."

The team's central contracts for the 2019-20 season were confirmed on Friday, with Eoin Morgan, England's white-ball captain, also set to continue in his role after winning the Cricket World Cup.

He has been given a limited-overs contract again, with Jofra Archer awarded an all-format deal.

The paceman starred in his first international campaign, playing key roles as England won the Cricket World Cup and drew the Ashes.

Rory Burns has been handed a Test contract following his performances against Australia, although Joe Denly got a white-ball deal.

Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid, previously contracted across all three formats, received limited-overs agreements, while Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett and David Willey missed out completely.

Jack Leach and Sam Curran were granted incremental deals.

Virat Kohli says he has learned a lesson after sending a tweet about MS Dhoni that significantly heightened speculation the wicketkeeper-batsman was about to retire.

Kohli shared a photo of himself and Dhoni from a 2016 World Twenty20 victory over Australia on Thursday, adding the caption: "A game I can never forget. Special night. This man made me run like in a fitness test."

The post prompted a frenzied reaction on social media, with many Indian cricket fans and news outlets questioning whether a retirement announcement was imminent from Dhoni, who is not part of India's squad for the Twenty20 series with South Africa that starts on Sunday.

Addressing reporters on the eve of the first T20 against South Africa, India's skipper insisted he had not intended to cause such a stir.

"I didn't have anything on my mind," Kohli was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.

"I was sitting at home and posted that photo normally. That became news and it's a lesson for me, that what I intend when I do something isn't how the world perceives it.

"I didn't even have the remotest idea that I should think about it before putting up that picture.

"Like I tweeted, I get memories of that game and I haven't talked about it before. So I thought I'll do a post about it and people inferred something else about it."

The future of Dhoni, 38, remains unclear. After featuring in the Cricket World Cup, he reportedly took a two-month sabbatical to spend time with his paramilitary regiment in the Territorial Army. 

Sri Lanka have requested government support after a new terrorism warning cast doubt on whether their limited-overs tour of Pakistan should go ahead.

An armed attack on the Sri Lanka team coach in Lahore in 2009 saw seven team members among the injured, while six policemen and two civilians were killed.

Most of Pakistan's home matches for the past decade have been held in the United Arab Emirates, due to security concerns, but Sri Lanka have agreed to visit on tour, having until now played just one T20 match in the country since the deadly attack.

Three ODIs are scheduled to take place in Karachi on September 27, 29 and October 3, before a series of Twenty20s in Lahore.

Several high-profile players - including captains Dimuth Karunaratne and Lasith Malinga - have refused to travel with the 15-man squad, with Sri Lanka naming Lahiru Thirimanne and Dasun Shanaka as skippers for the tour.

The tour may now be in jeopardy, with Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) having been informed by the office of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe there is a "possible terrorist threat" to the team.

The national governing body said it had "sought the assistance of the Sri Lankan government to conduct a 'reassessment' of the security situation in Pakistan".

"The decision was taken following a warning SLC received from the Prime Minister's office," Sri Lanka Cricket said.

"Accordingly, the warning highlights that the Prime Minister's office has received reliable information of a possible terrorist threat on the Sri Lankan team while touring Pakistan."

Andrew Flintoff says he would be keen to coach England one day and revealed he has applied for the position in the past.

The former Ashes hero retired from Test cricket in 2009 and has since gone into television work, but he harbours a desire to return to the game as a head coach.

Trevor Bayliss is set to leave his role with England at the end of the Ashes and a replacement has not yet been appointed.

However, Flintoff, while serious about holding the position in the future, is not ready to take on the job at this stage.

"Coaching is definitely an ambition," he told BBC's Test Match Special. "There are probably two or three coaching jobs I'd like - England, Lancashire or Lancashire Academy.

"I'd love to be England coach one day, just not quite yet."

Flintoff went on to explain he had previously shown his interest in taking over the England job but had not been taken seriously.

"I like to come and watch, I turn up with a sense of excitement," he said.

"A few years ago I applied for the England coaching job - we were getting beat, I was in the office and thought, 'I'm going to apply'.

"I wrote an email for the interview, a month passed and I'd heard nothing. I chased it up, then I got a phone call saying they thought it was somebody taking the mick.

"I've got two of my coaching levels - me and [friend and former team-mate] Steve Harmison might do our level threes soon."

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