Mark Wood revealed he withdrew from the Indian Premier League auction so he could spend time with his family and to ensure he was not "goosed mentally or physically" in a big year for England.

Wood had put himself forward for an IPL stint at the highest base price (2 crore/£200,000), but opted out on the eve of the auction this week.

The paceman's decision came after he flew to India for the remainder of the Test series, five Twenty20 Internationals and three ODIs.

Wood, who was given time off after the Sri Lanka tour last month, says playing for England in his priority, with the T20 World Cup and an Ashes series in Australia to come after a busy summer on home soil - including facing India again.

The quick said: "I'm going to spend six weeks here in India and then it would be another eight weeks on top of that, so that's 14 weeks.

"We're in a strange situation with COVID and unfortunately you can't see your families during that winter period coming out with India, like we usually do. 

"I just wanted to be able to switch off, recharge and go back home for the second reason, which is being ready for England. 

"I've tried to prioritise that and think later on in the year we've got loads of cricket going on and I don't want my body to fail me or be a bit goosed mentally or physically going into the back of the year, with a World Cup, Ashes and big series against India at home.

"I wanted to make sure I was ready from that point of view and have some family time because this block is a long time away from home."

England all-rounder Moeen Ali was snapped up by Chennai Super Kings for £700,000 on Thursday and although Wood knows he may have missed out on a lucrative deal, the 31-year-old hopes to get another chance to play in the IPL.

"Obviously there's been some big names gone for some big money and never begrudge them that, I think it's life-changing money, so it was a difficult decision for me," he said on Friday.

"The plus side is you're not just going for money reasons, you want to prove [yourself] hopefully going into the World T20 and learn some skills. Plus I feel like I've got a little bit of unfinished business with the IPL, I feel like I didn't do very well well in one game for Chennai last time [in 2018].

"I'd like another crack at some point, I just didn't feel like the time was right. Every player has their own decision, but for me it was to prioritise my family and England."

Sam Curran has been ruled out of England's plans for the ongoing Test series against India because flying him in for the fourth match would have been too complicated.

It had been intended that Curran would travel to Ahmedabad to be available for what will be England's final Test of the tour, starting on March 4.

But the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said on Thursday that "making secure arrangements for such a journey proved too great a logistical challenge".

Surrey all-rounder Curran played in both of England's Tests against Sri Lanka in January, but he returned home after the series – alongside Jonny Bairstow and Mark Wood – in order to take a break from the team's biosecure bubble.

While Bairstow and Wood have returned to training and are expected to be able to play in the third Test next week, Curran was given extra time off. The 22-year-old, who also represented Chennai Super Kings in the IPL, has spent extended time in team bubbles since July 2020.

England take on India in five Twenty20 internationals and three ODI matches throughout March, and Curran will join members of the limited-overs squad travelling on a charter flight on February 26. He will arrive too late to be considered for the final Test, the ECB indicated.

With no direct flights available from the United Kingdom, Curran would have had to make a stop-over on his way to the Ahmedabad Test. That would have added more risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus, while he would have had to isolate on his arrival in India had any other passenger on his commercial flights returned a positive test.

An ECB spokesman said: "To give Sam the best chance of minimising his risk of exposure to the virus, it was decided to delay his return so that he could travel on the charter flight with the white-ball squad members due to fly on 26 February."

Over 21 Tests with England, Curran has taken 44 wickets for an average of 32.52, while he has 14 limited-overs wickets to his name.

A superb, unbeaten century by Keacy Carty and a cameo from Hayden Walsh Jr, led Leewards Islands Hurricanes to a sensational victory over Barbados Pride in Match 3 of the CG Insurance Super50 Cup on Wednesday night.

Captain Jason Mohammed believes the West Indies substitutes sent to tour Bangladesh were simply not up to the task as the visitors suffered a 120-run loss at Chattogram today. It was their third straight loss in the three-match series.

West Indies fast bowler Alzarri Joseph believes he and his teammates need to strive to be better for the second ODI against Bangladesh that bowls off on Friday. The Windies trail 0-1 in the series following their six-wicket loss to the home side on Wednesday.

The West Indies suffered a humiliating six-wicket loss to Bangladesh in the first of three ODI’s today, going down by six wickets with 97 balls to spare in the match played at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka.

The Board of Directors of Cricket West Indies (CWI) has approved in principle a three-ODI- two-Test tour of Bangladesh set to begin in January 2021.

The chair of Cricket South Africa's (CSA) interim board says there was no justification for England to cut short their tour without facing the Proteas in an ODI series.

World champions England flew home on Thursday despite two 'unconfirmed positive' coronavirus cases in the touring party being confirmed as false positives.

The one-day series was initially delayed and then cancelled due to positive tests within the bio-secure bubble.

A South Africa player and two hotel staff members were discovered to have COVID-19, forcing games scheduled for last Friday and Sunday to be postponed before the 'unconfirmed positive' tests in the England party were reported.

Judge Zak Yacoob will not accept that the hosts should take any blame for the ODI series not going ahead on a day it was confirmed Sri Lanka will arrive for two Tests in South Africa - the first of which starts on Boxing Day.

"What I want to negate is an idea that our provision of services was substandard and that there is any justification for the English saying they did not want to participate and go home," the chair of CSA's interim board said in a virtual news conference. 

"The facts are that ultimately, they were negative [test results]. We have gone into our protocols and we think that our protocols have been very good.

"There may have been an issue of psychological troubles. People may have felt nervous about false positives. Our position is that we do not wish to blame the English, but we wish to say absolutely and completely that any notion that they went away because it was in any way our fault, is completely wrong.

"There is an awkward narrative coming out that third world countries can't manage these things properly. I can say we have been managing the virus much better than England."

He added: "Many aspects of the operational side are not working and I don't want to go into details of that because then those in charge of the operational side will start running to the newspapers to say how bad the board is.

Judge Yacoob, however, acknowledges CSA should possibly have imposed stricter rules on the England party.

"The only criticism I can make, and I am not even authorised to make it, is that we were too lax with the English and their desire to do things which in our strict view they shouldn't be doing," he said.

"We were stronger on preventing our players from doing things and we allowed the visitors a little more laxity. There's a courtesy thing, because they are visitors and so on."

England will fly back from South Africa on Thursday after the two unconfirmed positive COVID-19 cases within the white-ball squad were cleared.

The one-day series against the Proteas was initially delayed and then cancelled due to positive tests within the bio-secure bubble.

A South African player and two hotel staff members were discovered to have coronavirus, forcing games scheduled for last Friday and Sunday to be postponed respectively, while there were also a pair of "unconfirmed positives" among the touring party.

However, following further testing and analysis, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has confirmed the individuals are not infected and no longer need to self-isolate.

"Following the independent ratification of the two unconfirmed positive COVID-19 tests from the England camp in South Africa, the England and Wales Cricket Board can confirm that, following further testing and analysis, in the opinion of the independent virologists based in Cape Town and London, the two individuals are not infected, and do not pose any risk of passing on the infection to the rest of the party," ECB Chief Medical Officer Professor Nick Peirce said in a statement.

"As such, the advice is they are now free to join the rest of the group and are no longer self-isolating. The England party, returning to the UK, will depart Cape Town on Thursday morning."

England and South Africa did play in three Twenty20 matches prior to the scheduled 50-over games, the tourists sweeping the series 3-0.

England's ODI tour of South Africa has been called off due to concerns around coronavirus.

The opening match of the three-game series last Friday was postponed after a positive test for COVID-19 was returned in the hosts' camp.

Two "unconfirmed" positives within the England party saw the rescheduled match in Paarl cancelled just 30 minutes before its scheduled start time on Sunday.

The second ODI in Cape Town was later postponed as a precaution while players and team management went into self-isolation in their hotel rooms.

It had been hoped that back-to-back ODIs could be played at Newlands in Cape Town on Tuesday and Wednesday before the tourists returned to England on Thursday.

However, on Monday, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) confirmed the tour was off "to ensure mental and physical health and welfare of players from both teams".

ECB CEO Tom Harrison said: "We have always maintained that the welfare of our players and management is paramount.

"We were concerned about the potential impact that recent developments might have on the wellbeing of the touring party, and so after consultation with Cricket South Africa [CSA], we have jointly made the decision to postpone the remaining matches in this series, in the best interest of the players' welfare.

"I would like to thank Cricket South Africa for their support and understanding on this matter and look forward to working with them to identify a time when we can return to play these fixtures in the future."

CSA acting CEO Kugandrie Govender said: "The concern over the mental health impact of recent events on all involved is not one that we as CSA or the ECB take lightly, and the decision to postpone the tour is the most responsible and reasonable course of action for us.

"I would like to thank the ECB for the continued positive relations, and we look forward to hosting the England men's team in the near future."

England won the three-match Twenty20 series between the sides 3-0.

South Africa and England have agreed to postpone Monday's second ODI in Cape Town due to continuing COVID-19 concerns.

The opening match in the three-game series was postponed on Friday after a positive test for COVID-19 in the South Africa camp.

It was rescheduled for Sunday but the game in Paarl was cancelled 30 minutes before the scheduled morning start time, and it emerged there had been two "unconfirmed" positives within the touring England party.

There had been hopes the series could start on Monday, but that will not be happening, and it remains to be seen if it can start at all.

The final two matches of the series had been due to be held in Cape Town on Monday and Wednesday. England are scheduled to fly home on Thursday.

Players and team management have been self-isolating in their hotel rooms.

In a joint statement issued on Sunday evening, CSA and the ECB said: "The second one-day international between South Africa and England, which is due to take place at Newlands, Cape Town, will now not take place on Monday 7 December.

"The decision has been taken by Cricket South Africa [CSA] and the England and Wales Cricket Board [ECB] whilst they await the outcome of the independent ratification of the two unconfirmed positive COVID-19 tests from the England camp and the continued health and wellbeing of both playing groups.

"Once the findings of this review have been received, CSA and ECB will then discuss how best to proceed concerning the remaining two matches of this ODI series."

England won the three-match T20 series between the sides 3-0.

The opening ODI of the series between South Africa and England has been abandoned after two members of the tourists' squad returned unconfirmed positive COVID-19 tests.

Initially scheduled to get under way in Cape Town on Friday, the series was delayed because of a positive test in the South Africa camp.

The first match was moved to Sunday, but proceedings in Paarl never got going as the game was called off 30 minutes before it was due to start.

Earlier the ECB had confirmed the match had been delayed pending the results of additional PCR tests, which players and staff underwent on Saturday after the positive tests by two members of staff at their hotel.

A statement confirming the abandonment read: "The decision was taken after two hotel staff members testing positive for COVID-19.

"As a precaution, the England players and management underwent an additional round of PCR tests on Saturday evening.

"Following the test results, two members of the England touring party have returned unconfirmed positive tests for COVID-19. The players and management are now self-isolating in their rooms until further advice from the medical teams. 

"The medical advice from both CSA and ECB is that the match cannot take place. A decision on the remaining matches in the series will be taken once the results of the tests are ratified independently by medical experts."

The final two matches of the series are due to be held in Cape Town on Monday and Wednesday. England are scheduled to fly home on Thursday.

"We regret that we are unable to play in today’s ODI, but the welfare of the players and support staff is our primary concern and whilst we await the results of further tests the medical advice from both teams was that this game should not take place," said England director of men's cricket Ashley Giles.

"We remain in constant dialogue with Cricket South Africa and will continue to work closely with them to determine how best to move forward."

England won the three-match T20 series between the sides 3-0.

 

England's opening one-day international against South Africa on Friday has been postponed after a player from the host team tested positive for coronavirus.

Eoin Morgan's side had been due to play the Proteas in the first of three ODIs at Newlands but the match was called off an hour before play was due to start.

The first fixture will now take place on Sunday at Boland Park, with the second and third ODIs at Newlands next Monday and Wednesday respectively.

A statement from the England and Wales Cricket Board said: "The ECB and Cricket South Africa have announced the postponement of the first one-day International of the three-match series to Sunday, December 6.

"This decision results from a player from the Proteas team testing positive for COVID-19 after the teams’ last round of scheduled testing performed on Thursday ahead of the ODIs.

"In the interests of the safety and well-being of both teams, match officials and all involved in the match, the acting chief executive of CSA, Kugandrie Govender as well as the chief executive of the ECB, Tom Harrison, have agreed to postpone the first fixture to Sunday."

England beat South Africa 3-0 in the recent three-match T20 series.

David Warner is in doubt for the upcoming Test series against India after withdrawing from the remainder of Australia's limited-overs matches.

Warner suffered a groin strain as Australia clinched an ODI series victory over India thanks to Sunday's 51-run win in Sydney.

The Australia star has returned home to begin rehabilitation ahead of the opening day-night Test in Adelaide on December 17.

Warner will miss Wednesday's third and final ODI in Canberra, as well as the three-game Twenty20 series – D'Arcy Short the batsman's replacement.

Pat Cummins, who has no injury concerns, will also sit out the short-format games, though no replacement has been called up for the paceman.

"Pat and Davie are critical to our plans for the Test series," said Australia head coach Justin Langer.

"Davie will work through his injury rehab and in Pat's case it is important all of our players are managed well to keep them mentally and physically fit throughout what is a challenging summer.

"The priority for both is being fully prepared for one of the biggest and most important home Test series we have played in recent years, especially with World Test Championship points up for grabs."

Australia recorded their biggest ODI score at the SCG after reaching 389-4, the country's second highest overall on home soil, as Steve Smith posted a 62-ball century.

It was the highest total conceded by India in an ODI away from home – four of the five highest totals conceded have come at the hands of Australia, with three in Sydney.

Steve Smith smashed another 62-ball hundred as Australia's cruised to victory over India in the second ODI at the SCG to clinch the series.

Smith was in blistering form in the first match on Friday as he scored Australia's third-fastest ODI century.

He replicated that remarkable performance to help the hosts post their best ODI score at the SCG, their second-highest overall on home soil, the hosts reaching 389-4.

Virat Kohli (89) led the way for India in their pursuit of a mammoth target, but the India captain's efforts proved in vain as the tourists fell 51 runs short.

David Warner and Aaron Finch laid the platform for Australia with an opening stand of 142, having combined for their team's highest opening stand of 156 in the opening game.

Skipper Finch was caught at extra cover for 60 before Warner was run out for 83 after making the ill-advised decision to push for a second that Shreyas Iyer punished.

But it was Smith (104) who again proved the talisman for Australia, racking up 14 fours and a pair of sixes in a destructive innings.

He and Marnus Labuschagne (70) put on 136 for the third wicket, though Smith was dismissed two deliveries after reaching three figures – edging Hardik Pandya to short third man.

Glenn Maxwell struck four fours and four sixes in his 29-ball 63 to push Australia towards a score India rarely had any hope of besting.

A groin injury suffered by Warner, who was sent to hospital for scans, was the primary setback for Australia as they defended their total.

Kohli and Iyer steadied the ship for India after they were reduced to 60-2 by putting on 93.

However, Iyer fell victim to a tremendous diving catch from Smith at midwicket. After a partnership of 72 with KL Rahul (76), Kohli was undone in similar fashion courtesy of a stunner from Moises Henriques.

India's lower-order faltered after Rahul was caught at short third man, leaving the tourists with nothing but pride to play for in Wednesday's third ODI.

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