West Indies batting star Chris Gayle will miss out on this year's edition of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) in order to focus on the launch of the 6IXTY, a new format of the sport expected to make its debut in St Kitts and Nevis in August.

The tournament is set to feature six men’s teams and three women’s teams who will each battle for a version of the Universe Boss Trophy, which has been named in honour of the legendary T20 player.

The new format will see each team allotted ten overs to bat.  In many respects, the game will look very different from the typical 10-over format.  The teams will be allotted just six wickets instead of ten, a floating third powerplay will also be unlocked if the batting team manages to hit two sixes in the first two-over powerplay.

The fielding team will be allowed to bowl five consecutive overs from the same end instead of changing ends after every over.  If a team fails to complete the overs during the allotted time of 45 minutes will a fielder will be excluded for the final six balls of the innings. The fans will also be directly involved and able to vote for a ‘mystery-free hit’.

“It is a great feeling to actually have a trophy named after The Universe Boss, something fantastic, and I am really and truly looking forward to it. I am sure people will ask if this is real, a trophy named for Chris Gayle. Yes, it is happening, and I am really happy about it. I am looking forward to all the innovations," Gayle said.

"I am looking forward to the mystery team ball and hitting two sixes in the first 12 balls to unlock a third PowerPlay over.”

In addition to taking part in the tournament, Gayle will also play the role of ambassador.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) has confirmed the international retainer contracts for the West Indies Men’s and Women’s players for the 2022-2023 season. A total of 36 players have been offered contracts for the period – which runs from 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023. 

This is in addition to 90 players across the region who are contracted to Territorial Board Franchise Squads.  

The West Indies Men’s contracted player list sees fast bowler Jayden Seales, left-arm seamer Obed McCoy and allrounder Odean Smith awarded international retainer contracts for the first time. The West Indies Women’s contracted player list sees allrounders Mandy Mangru and Jannillea Glasgow along with batter Rashada Williams awarded international retainer contracts for the first time, all of which are development contracts.

For 2022-23, CWI has changed the Men’s retainer contract structure to offer player contracts across all formats of cricket, compared to specific red or white-ball contracts in previous years.  The offer of retainer contracts to all players follows an Evaluation Period of performances from 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022, which is also supported by statistics from the previous 2019 -2020 Evaluation Period. This allows for all players to be appraised immediately after the Evaluation Period and provides a notice period before new contracts start on 1 July 2022. The system is designed to reward hard work and performance results. 

“Congratulations to all the players who have been offered contracts.  We think this is a dynamic group, with the right mixture of experience and youthfulness to properly represent the people of the Caribbean. With general retainer contracts, it gives us a pool of talented and dedicated cricketers, who can take West Indies cricket forward in years to come,” said West Indies Men’s Lead Selector the Hon. Desmond Haynes.

West Indies Women’s Lead Selector, Ann Browne-John also offered her congratulations.

“The selectors have placed a great focus on the young developing players because these are the ones who will help to build the team as we look towards the future. The panel believes that the combination of experienced players and the emerging players will give a good base as we continue to prepare teams for international matches and the T20 World Cup early next year,” she said.

“I am delighted for all the players who have been offered retainers for the upcoming period. This represents a significant investment in the ongoing development of our international players whilst also ensuring our best players are available for selection,” said CWI Director of Cricket Jimmy Adams.

Full list of contracted players:

West Indies Men

Jermaine Blackwood
Nkrumah Bonner
Kraigg Brathwaite
Joshua Da Silva
Jason Holder
Shai Hope
Akeal Hosein
Alzarri Joseph
Brandon King
Kyle Mayers
Obed McCoy
Nicholas Pooran
Rovman Powell
Kemar Roach
Jayden Seales
Romario Shepherd
Odean Smith
Hayden Walsh Jr.

 

West Indies Women

*Denotes developmental contract 

Aaliyah Alleyne
Shemaine Campbelle
Shamilia Connell
Deandra Dottin
Afy Fletcher
Cherry Ann Fraser *
Shabika Gajnabi *
Jannillea Glasgow *
Chinelle Henry
Mandy Mangru *
Hayley Matthews
Anisa Mohammed
Chedean Nation
Karishma Ramharack
Kaysia Schultz *
Shakera Selman
Stafanie Taylor

Rashada Williams*

 

Pat Cummins is excited to have the "luxury" of being able to call upon Mitchell Swepson in the first Test against Sri Lanka.

Australia captain Cummins has confirmed leg-spinner Swepson will play when the two-match series gets under way at the Galle International Stadium on Wednesday.

Swepson made his debut in the longest format during the series victory in Pakistan in March, taking two wickets in as many matches.

With Ashton Agar ruled out due to side strain and Jon Holland nursing a finger injury, the 28-year-old will get another opportunity in a Test that will be dedicated to the late, great Shane Warne four months after he tragically passed away.

Skipper Cummins said: "We're really happy with Swepo. He is bowling beautifully and really ready for this one.

"These conditions … it's quite different to what we experience in Australia. That's the challenge of trying to win overseas.

"A lot of our preparation work has been around trusting our own methods. We might go about it a little bit differently to how Sri Lanka will."

The paceman added: "I think his role here might be slightly different as well. Pakistan we knew was going to be a slow grind and I thought he did his job despite not taking the wickets he would like. He was a really important cog in that bowling engine.

"It's always exciting having a leggie in the side as a captain. It feels like a real luxury to throw him the ball and see him go about it."

Glenn Maxwell could provide another spin option along with first-choice tweaker Nathan Lyon if Travis Head misses out with a hamstring injury.

If World Test Championship leaders Australia take a 1-0 lead in their quest to win the Warne-Muralidaran Trophy, it will be their 400th Test victory. However, Sri Lanka have won each of their past three Tests against Australia on home soil.

Sri Lanka beat Bangladesh 1-0 away from home in their last Test series under new head coach Chris Silverwood.


Sri Lanka looking to put Australia in a spin

Captain Dimuth Karunaratne suggested Sri Lanka will select three spinners, with the uncapped Jeffrey Vandersay called up after impressing in a 3-2 ODI series win over Australia.

Lasith Embuldeniya, Praveen Jayawickrama and Ramesh Mendis are the other tweakers in the squad.

Sri Lanka have won eight of their past 12 Tests at Galle International Stadium, including the previous two.

Landmark Test for in-form Khawaja 

Usman Khawaja has had a new lease of life since he was recalled during the 4-0 Ashes hammering of England.

The left-handed batter is set to play in his 50th Test in Galle on the back of an outstanding series in Pakistan - scoring two centuries and making 97 in the first Test.

Khawaja has an average of just 28.4 against Sri Lanka – his second lowest against any team he's played more than one Test against. 

Cricket West Indies’ (CWI) Selection Panel on Tuesday announced the West Indies Men’s squad for the upcoming three-match T20 International Series and the three-match CG United One-Day International Series against Bangladesh.

Rovman Powell has been announced as the new Vice Captain for the T20Is while left-arm fast bowler Obed McCoy returns after recovering from injuries. There are also recalls for experienced wicket-keeper batter Devon Thomas and allrounder Keemo Paul. In the CG United ODI Series squad, there is a call up for left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie.

“We know Rovman’s history. He has captained the West Indies before and is also the captain of his CPL franchise. Our role is to look at future leaders as well and we have identified a few, including himself, who we will be putting programmes around to ensure we keep them involved in that aspect of the cricket,” said lead selector Dr the Hon. Desmond Haynes.

“Thomas is a very versatile cricketer, who has been knocking on the door in all formats. He has been doing well in franchise cricket and with that level of talent, we must ensure we keep him interested. He brings a lot to the table and is basically a four-dimensional player, he can bat, bowl, he is brilliant in the field, and he can keep wicket as well. McCoy has done exceptionally well in the IPL and enjoyed a successful stint in England as well, so we are confident that he is back to his best in terms of playing and fitness. Generally, we have to start looking at the bigger picture of getting these players playing together as often as possible in preparation for the ICC T20 World Cup later down in the year. We need to ensure we are fielding a very strong side for that tournament,” Haynes added.

The T20I Series opens with back-to-back matches on Saturday, 2 July and Sunday, 3 July at the Windsor Park in Dominica. This will see a return to international cricket at the fully refurbished venue, where international cricket is being hosted for the first time since the hurricane damage of 2017. The Series climaxes with the third and final match on Tuesday, 7 July at the Guyana National Stadium. The CG United ODI Series will be played at the Guyana National Stadium on Friday, 10 July, Monday 13 July and Thursday, 16 July.

Online ticket sales are now live via the new WINDIES TICKETS service, presented by Mastercard, at www.tickets.windiestickets.com. Fans can purchase in advance without the need to travel to box offices to save tickets to their mobile phones which can then be presented for scanning at the stadium entrance. Fans who register for the WINDIES TICKETS service and purchase tickets will also receive offers and promotions for future games.

In Dominica, there is great excitement on the Nature Isle for the return of international cricket with tickets available in three price categories providing a range of viewing positions for every budget. Ticket prices range from US$6 (EC$15) for the Mound/Grounds, to US$15 (EC$40) for the standard seats and US$25 (EC$70) premium seating in the Shillingford Stand.

In Guyana, the prices will range from US$6 (GUY$1200) for the Mound/Grounds, to US$15 (GUY$3000) for the Orange Stand or US$25 (GUY$5000) for the best seats in the Red and Green Stands, as the fans in Guyana welcome the busiest “Summer of Cricket” to the South American mainland. 

Fans can watch live on ESPN Caribbean and listen to live radio commentary on the Windies Cricket YouTube channel.

 

FULL SQUADS

T20 Internationals

Nicholas Pooran (Captain)

Rovman Powell (Vice Captain)

Shamarh Brooks

Akeal Hosein

Alzarri Joseph

Brandon King

Kyle Mayers 

Obed McCoy

Keemo Paul

Romario Shepherd

Odean Smith

Devon Thomas

Hayden Walsh Jr.

Reserve: Dominic Drakes

 

One-Day Internationals

Nicholas Pooran (Captain)

Shai Hope (Vice Captain)

Shamarh Brooks

Kaecy Carty

Akeal Hosein

Alzarri Joseph

Brandon King

Kyle Mayers

Gudakesh Motie

Keemo Paul

Anderson Phillip

Rovman Powell

Jayden Seales

Reserve: Romario Shepherd

 

 

Brendon McCullum said England's performance across their series whitewash of New Zealand will have set "alarm bells" ringing throughout Test cricket, as he called for a similar approach against India on Friday.

With McCullum and Ben Stokes in place as the new red-ball coach-captain partnership, England recorded a 3-0 series win, with each triumph including chases of more than 250 runs, a first for a team in a single Test series.

After winning just one of their previous 17 Tests, it represented an incredible turnaround for England, who do not have long to wait until their next outing.

With the rescheduled Test against India due to start on Friday at Edgbaston, McCullum is hoping to see England's positive approach replicated.

"It'll be quite good fun to look at a new opponent," said McCullum, as reported by ESPNcricinfo. "The world Test champions were a formidable opponent to overcome, and the alarm bells have probably gone off somewhat around world cricket as to how this team is going to play. 

"We need to make sure against a different opposition we're well researched, well planned, well prepared, and try and roll out a similar kind of performance."

McCullum called for England to push their daring style to new limits against India, who are 2-1 up in a series originally scheduled to conclude last September.

"I hope we take it too far because then we'll know exactly where that line is. Until you do that, you're not really sure," he added.

"We've seen it with the England white-ball stuff – there have been times where they've probably pushed too hard, and then they know. 

"I think it'll be the same with us, and we've got to keep exploring what that line is.

"It's not just about batting either. If you look at how we've fielded and how we've bowled as well, some of the field placements that the skipper's had in place and the mentality the guys have had, is constantly to try and chase wickets."

'Bazball' – the term given to England's entertaining style under McCullum – has won universal praise, but the head coach says he was fortunate to take on his new role when a clear desire for change existed.

"Timing is important – you have got to be ready for change," McCullum said. "I think taking over this job when the skipper and I have, there was a thirst for change. 

"When your results haven't been good, people are more receptive to change.

"The freshness of some of the ideas, the approach, stripping out some of the noise, but [also] getting guys to play the game for the game's sake. 

"The skipper has taken them on a journey, I've tried to fill in the gaps where needed, and they've got instant gratification for that change. It doesn't always happen. But that's why those guys are so keen on this style."

Former England captain Michael Vaughan believes Jos Buttler is the ideal candidate to replace Eoin Morgan as white-ball skipper.

Morgan is expected to step down as captain on Tuesday, with a news conference at Lord's having been arranged.

It is thought Buttler, the vice-captain, will replace Morgan, who has been in charge since 2014. He has led England to World Cup glory, as well as the T20 World Cup final.

The Ben Stokes-Brendon McCullum red-ball tenure started with a 3-0 series win over New Zealand, but while new white-ball coach Matthew Mott saw his team claim an easy series victory in the Netherlands earlier in June, Morgan is now set to quit his post and retire from international cricket, having passed 50 just once in his last eight ODI outings.

Vaughan believes England will forever be indebted to Morgan, writing in The Telegraph: "There have been many Test captains who have made an impact on the history of English cricket during their time in charge, but there has only been one white-ball captain that has done so – Eoin Morgan.

"The freedom and fearless approach that he's given this white-ball team is going to be with England forever. He's going to be remembered forever and can now sit back and be very proud of what he's achieved as an individual leader. 

"English cricket is in an exciting place – you've got this white-ball group of players that is so deep and so full of power, and the question is how many are going to be left out that should be in the side. And a lot of that is down to what Morgan has put in place."

 

And Vaughan feels Buttler, fresh off some wonderful displays against the Netherlands and in the Indian Premier League, is the perfect replacement.

"For me it's a no-brainer that Jos Buttler takes over that role. He's the best white-ball player in the world, he's got a very smart cricket brain, and he's got that calmness you need," Vaughan wrote.

"I guess his personality might be different from Eoin. The one thing that Jos will have to be very, very good at is staying the same when he doesn't have a good game or two. That has been Eoin's massive strength – he has never changed and even last week in Holland after getting two noughts, I bet he was still the same person in the dressing room."

Vaughan also believes Buttler could provide the solution to a major weakness in England's Test side.

"That might not be all Jos could do for England, though. Kumar Sangakkara said something this week, which I thought was ridiculous the first 10 minutes I thought about it: Buttler should be England's Test match opener," Vaughan continued.

"And then it hit me that with this Test match team and the way that they're playing: this might be an idea worth exploring. England have this fearless, aggressive nature. If something as radical Buttler as Test opener was ever going to work it would be now, under this management group of Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum.

"I wouldn't say it's a sensible option – because it's not sensible. But I don't think some of the decisions that this Test match team are going to be making are going to be sensible.

"What's the most aggressive, radical thing that we could think of? Let's go. Jos opening in Test cricket is quite radical. Just go for it."

Buttler has not featured for England in a Test since the 2021-22 Ashes in Australia, where he failed to impress with the bat, top-scoring with a 39 in Brisbane.

The West Indies secured 2-0 series victory over Bangladesh after a comprehensive 10-wicket win on day four of the second Test at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground in St. Lucia on Monday.

Bangladesh started day four 132-6, trailing the Windies by 42 runs with Nurul Hasan on 16 and Mehidy Hasan yet to score.

After the entire morning session was delayed by rain and a wet outfield, proceedings got underway after lunch with the Windies quickly cleaning up the Bangladesh tail with the wickets of Mehidy Hasan (4), Ebadot Hossain (0), Shoriful Islam (0) and Khaled Ahmed (0).

Nurul Hasan was the only batsman to offer any resistance for Bangladesh with an aggressive 60 not out off 50 balls as the tourists were dismissed for 186 with Kemar Roach, Alzarri Joseph and Jayden Seales doing the damage with three wickets each.

Needing just 13 runs to win, West Indies openers Kraigg Brathwaite and John Campbell made short work of the total to secure the win and a 2-0 series triumph.

Final Scores: Bangladesh 234 and 186, West Indies 408 and 13-0.

Sam Billings has been added to England's squad for the rescheduled Test against India at Edgbaston, while Zak Crawley has retained his place despite struggling for form.

Kent captain Billings was drafted in as a COVID substitute for Ben Foakes on the fourth day of England's third Test against New Zealand, which concluded on Monday.

Billings' main contribution in the seven-wicket triumph was a bizarre caught-behind off Neil Wagner that he wedged between his knees.

He is now in line for a third Test appearance, though Foakes may yet feature as he is due out of isolation on Thursday, a day out from the India Test beginning in Birmingham.

The addition of Billings is the only change made by England, who have kept faith in Crawley at the top of the order, despite some unconvincing showings against New Zealand.

Crawley finished the three-match series with 87 runs and was at fault for the comical run-out of opening partner Alex Lees in his side's second innings of the final Test.

India lead England 2-1 ahead of the final Test, which originally scheduled to be played last September but was cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns.

The tourists announced on Monday that Mayank Agarwal has been called up after captain Rohit Sharma tested positive for coronavirus.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson insists he still has the "appetite" to lead the Black Caps amid questions over his tenure following a 3-0 Test series whitewash against England.

Former Black Caps bowler Simon Doull, who played 32 Tests for his country before moving into commentary, suggested he would like to see Williamson relinquish the captaincy to focus on his batting.

That was prior to the third Test at Headingley, where England eased to their 296 target and became the first team to chase down 250 or more three times in a single series.

Williamson scored 31 in the first innings in Leeds and 48 in the second, but has passed 50 just once in his last 10 Test innings since crafting 238 against Pakistan in January 2021 at Christchurch.

Tom Latham, who stepped up when Williamson was absent at Trent Bridge, has been mooted as the next New Zealand skipper, but the Black Caps captain insists he is committed to the task at hand.

"We opted for the balance of the side to go with three seamers," Williamson said.

"We were curious to whether it would turn, but it's just one of those things. We made the decision not to play the spinner, but it wasn't the easiest to bat on at any time.

"It would have been nice for the top four to contribute a bit more, and that's an area we want to be contributing more from.

"I certainly love playing for this group and being their leader. It has been an interesting time and challenging, but the appetite is still there from me."

Michael Bracewell was selected ahead of Ajaz Patel and went for 163 in just 22.3 overs across the two innings, picking up two wickets.

While Williamson defended the decision on his spinners, he pointed to the aggressive approach of a new-look England side under Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum as the difference in the series.

"It's been an incredible series. In all three matches we had our opportunities and we were ahead of the game at times in each one but credit to England, they chose to counter-attack when they were under pressure and they did it well, especially in this match," he added.

"It is frustrating to lose the series but there were a lot of positives. There is clearly a new theme to England's approach and they did it extremely well.

"It was a highly competitive series, but they won those fine margins and those moments that changed the outcome of the matches."

Brendon McCullum has been happy to take a back seat so far as England head coach, even if 'Bazball' has revitalised the struggling Test team in the space of a single series.

McCullum says he does not know what 'Bazball' is – the term given to England's entertaining style under their new coach – but there can be no doubting its effectiveness.

After winning one Test in 17, England have strung together three in a row in a whitewash of world champions New Zealand.

With a new captain, too, in Ben Stokes, the side have come out on the front foot and been rewarded with three superb victories – each including chases of more than 250 runs, a first for a team in a single Test series.

Despite his impact, McCullum had stayed out of the media limelight until after a dominant day five at Headingley on Monday.

Speaking to Sky Sports, the New Zealand great – who described the early weeks of his tenure as "a really cool ride" – explained his rationale.

"It's the players who achieve wins and losses," he said. "You just try to do your best; you always support them through some tough times, and the last thing you need is the coach standing front and centre as well.

"I'll do the media when we lose, but I think it's important these guys are recognised for the success they've been able to achieve.

"We're trying to make heroes of them, you know? We're trying to make not just great cricketers but role models for the people out there who want to fall in love with this game or are already in love with this game."

England already had at least one hero in superstar all-rounder Stokes, who is a great fit for the new coach and new tactics as the leader of a team "thirsty for change".

"I'm aggressive, but I reckon he might have me covered," McCullum.

"He came in last night [after bowling New Zealand out on day four] – I think we needed 297 or something [296] off 40 overs [before the close of play] – and said: 'We'll just knock it off tonight!'

"'We get the extra half-hour as well, 47 overs, that's only seven an over'; I said: 'Skipper, let's just see how we go on.'

"He's been absolutely outstanding; he's clearly a leader that the guys want to follow. He's so consistent with his messaging as well, no matter how much is on the line.

"In those key moments, when you see guys in the dressing room look around to see if he's going to stay on that same message, he's very much there."

Stokes and McCullum will hope his captaincy can be as successful as that of white-ball skipper Eoin Morgan, who is set to announce his retirement from international cricket on Tuesday.

Morgan led Stokes and the rest of the limited-overs team to Cricket World Cup glory in 2019 but has had an impact far beyond England, according to his close friend McCullum.

"He's going to go down as one of the most influential figures not just in English cricket but in world cricket," the coach said.

"For the approach which he's undertaken when he took over the job as England captain and what he's been able to do to change the entire attitude and style of cricket that they played.

"It's had impacts right around the world, and he's won a World Cup and taken these guys on a journey.

"You look at guys like Jos Buttler, Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes, these guys are absolute international superstars, and they've been able to become those players under the leadership of Eoin Morgan."

England Test captains past and present saluted a hugely successful start to a new era after New Zealand were on the end of a 3-0 series whitewash.

Joe Root was replaced as skipper by Ben Stokes ahead of the series but maintained a key role against the Black Caps and was named England's player of the series.

He was far from alone in standing out, though, and far from alone in enjoying himself, as England became the first Test team to chase down 250 three times in a single series.

The third win was completed at a canter on day five at Headingley, with Root joined in the middle by the destructive Jonny Bairstow, illustrating a complete shift from what had gone before.

Prior to Root – the world's top-ranked batsman – giving up the captaincy, England had just one win in 17 Tests.

"One of the great things about this series was guys keep getting more and more confident, more and more at ease with how they want to go about things," Root said.

"It's such fun to play in and be part of. For Ben to start as he has under Brendon [McCullum, the new head coach] as well, we're all loving playing it; it's great.

"It's important that we enjoy this series win. It has been a rocky road for the Test team for a little while now, and if you can't enjoy a series like this, then what do you play for?"

Those words would be music to Stokes' ears, with results secondary to the enjoyment of his team, he says.

"For me, when I took over this job, it was more than results; it was about changing the mindset of the lads towards Test cricket, about having fun and enjoying the fact you're out there representing your country, and the results will look after themselves," Stokes said.

"But to say that we have done it so quickly is just unbelievable.

"I can only do so much; I've got to show a huge amount of credit to Brendon and the way that he's came in and influenced this group as well, the backroom staff and everyone else who's played a part in the series as well – it's been absolutely phenomenal."

Stokes described this series as "a pretty special start" and picked out the third Test as his highlight, impressed England did not "come back into our shell" when they were 55-6 in their first innings.

Those bad habits have been forgotten, it seems, and Root was not interested in reflecting on what had gone wrong during his tenure.

"I think we should leave what's happened where it is," he said. "I think we should concentrate on looking at what this team has done over the last few weeks.

"What Ben's done has been brilliant in these three games, and I'm sure he'll have a plan for the next series and this game against India as well.

"As I say, I'm absolutely loving being a part of it all at the moment. Long may it continue."

That India match concludes a series that was started last year with Root at the helm, but Stokes intends to attack it in the same manner England did world Test champions New Zealand.

The new skipper added: "It's obviously completely different opposition and we've still got a series to try to draw, but we'll be thinking about us, and trust me when I say this: we'll be coming out with exactly the same mindset."

England concluded a series whitewash of New Zealand in fashion befitting the rest of the primitive Ben Stokes-Brendon McCullum era.

The new captain-coach combo have inspired England to three relentlessly entertaining Test displays – and now three wins, after Joe Root (86 not out) and Jonny Bairstow (71 no) clinched a seven-wicket victory on day five at Headingley.

England chased down 277 in the first Test and 299 in the second, and the target of 296 in Leeds never looked beyond them as they resumed on 183-2.

Rain delayed the start of play until after lunch on Monday, and Stokes' side quickly lost Ollie Pope (82) to a beauty from Tim Southee, but Bairstow picked up where he left off in his previous two innings (136 at Trent Bridge, 162 at Headingley).

His partnership with Root passed 50 inside 39 balls – the two Yorkshiremen thrilling a home crowd – but Bairstow was scoring at a far faster rate than his former captain.

Soon enough, he reached the half-century himself from just 30 deliveries – the second-quickest 50 by an England Test batsman.

Having squandered two reviews on Sunday attempting to remove Root, Kane Williamson's third went when Bairstow was caught off his forearm, rather than his glove. The batter was never concerned and swiftly resumed his assault on the New Zealand attack.

Fittingly, Bairstow finished with a four and then a six, with victory over the world Test champions wrapped up a little over an hour after the belated start.

Blistering Bairstow only behind Botham

No England player has profited as much as Bairstow from the freedom afforded him by Stokes and McCullum, with each knock seemingly better than the last.

There was little pressure on this occasion, with plenty of time and wickets in hand, and Bairstow fell agonisingly short of a long-standing Ian Botham record – his 28-ball half-century against India in 1981 briefly within reaching distance when Bairstow sent his 27th ball over the rope to reach 46.

A dot ball and a single followed before Bairstow passed 50 with his sixth four, to go with two maximums, after just 42 minutes.

India up next after unprecedented success

England have only until Friday before their next Test against India, but there will be few complaints, with the team quickly finding their rhythm under new leadership and relishing every new challenge.

India might be tempted to put England in to bat, for no target looks beyond Stokes' men when behind; they are the first Test team to chase down 250 three times in a single series.

England limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan has created a "white-ball dynasty" but has chosen the right time to retire from international cricket.

That is the message from former England captain Michael Atherton, who was speaking after news circulated that Morgan is expected to announce his retirement on Tuesday.

Morgan has endured a tough spell with the bat in recent times, managing to pass 50 just once in his past eight ODI innings and failing to score in his last two outings against the Netherlands.

England have still won eight consecutive ODIs, their longest such winning streak since a sequence of the same length in 2017, but Morgan promised to step down when he was no longer contributing as a batter.

Vice-captain Jos Buttler appears poised to take the captaincy from Morgan, who has rejuvenated the white-ball fortunes of England since being appointed as skipper in 2014.

England won the Cricket World Cup in the 50-over format with a dramatic victory over New Zealand at Lord's in 2019, three years after reaching the World Twenty20 final.

Morgan's side also reached the T20 World Cup semi-finals in 2021, and Atherton believes the 35-year-old is making the right choice to step down with his legacy still intact.

"He created a one-day dynasty. Having taken over at a low point – the 2015 World Cup, which went badly – he decided it was time to change England's approach," Atherton told Sky Sports.

"For seven years, England have been as good at white-ball cricket as anybody. And that's the first time really you can say that about our one-day side.

"He will go down as one of England's most significant captains, but I think he has picked exactly the right time to go.

"He said the other day, 'I'm feeling old', and he told Middlesex he couldn't play two T20 games in succession. If you can't do that, how are you then going to captain in a World Cup when they come thick and fast?"

 

Morgan is set to retire as the all-time leading run-scorer for England in ODI and T20I cricket, with 6,957 and 2,458 runs respectively.

Having also played 23 ODIs for Ireland, his 225 ODIs and 115 T20s are England records for appearances, and Nasser Hussain says Matthew Mott's side will lose their greatest ever leader and a brilliant batter.

"I had an interview with Rob Key when Rob Key got the job, and I asked him about Eoin Morgan and the white-ball side," former England captain Hussain added.

"He said that one thing about Eoin Morgan is that he will always do what is best for the team. If he's not contributing to the team and if he feels him being out of the team is better for that team, then he will go. That will be the decision that Morgan is making.

"He has been short of form, short of fitness and there are other people now – there are so many white-ball batters who could be playing. 

"It's not the 10 players he is taking on the field with him, it's in the one he's leaving behind because he's in that spot, and Morgan will always think of that one.

"One thing for certain is that he has been our greatest ever white-ball captain. He's a World Cup-winning captain, and he is a superb player.

"He was the one that was reverse-sweeping, reverse-scooping and playing all of these funky shots. He was way ahead of his time both as a player and as a captain."

England white-ball captain Eoin Morgan is set to retire from international cricket.

Morgan is expected to announce his retirement during a press conference at Lord's on Tuesday, with vice-captain Jos Buttler poised to replace him.

The 35-year-old batter has transformed the white-ball fortunes of England since his appointment in 2014, leading his side to World Cup glory with a dramatic win over New Zealand at Lord's in 2019.

Morgan also guided England to the T20 World Cup final in 2016, before reaching the semi-finals of the same competition five years later.

While England have become a huge force in limited-overs cricket during Morgan's tenure, the left-hander has struggled with the bat in recent times.

England completed an ODI series sweep over Netherlands last week – extending their winning run to eight matches in the 50-over format – but Morgan failed to score in two matches before missing the final clash due to injury.

The Dublin-born Morgan has passed 50 just once in his past eight ODI innings since scoring 106 against Ireland in February 2020, and had vowed to step down when he felt he could no longer contribute.

England face India in a three-match T20I series starting on July 7 and are set to do so without their all-time leading run scorer in T20I and ODI cricket.

Morgan has scored 7,701 ODI runs and 2,458 runs in the shortest format at international level. His 248 ODIs and 115 T20s are also England records for appearances.

A brilliant leader and destructive batter, Morgan made his international debut for Ireland back in 2006 before committing to play for England. He played 16 Tests between 2010 and 2012.

Matthew Mott will expect England to continue playing the aggressive brand of cricket that Morgan instilled as his side go in search of T20 World Cup glory in Australia later this year.

They will then head to India next year attempting to defend their world title in the 50-over format.

Kemar Roach took his 250th Test wicket as the West Indies closed in on victory against Bangladesh in St Lucia on Sunday.

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