Former West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo helped Worcestershire secure a 29-run win over Lancashire in their Vitality Blast North Group fixture at New Road on Friday.

Worcestershire posted a formidable 178-6 from their 20 overs after being sent in by Lancashire.

Opener Brett D’Oliveira (33) along with captain and England all-rounder Moeen Ali (31) were the main scorers while Kashif Ali (27) and New Zealander Colin Munro (26) also made valuable contributions.

Bravo, batting at number eight, played a decent cameo of 10 not out from five balls including one six.

Leg-spinner Luke Wells led the way with the ball for Lancashire with 2-26 from his four overs.

Lancashire’s reply can only be described as top-heavy as openers Phil Salt (44) and newly appointed England white ball captain Jos Buttler (42) were the only batsmen to pass 20 as they were dismissed for just 149 in 19.3 overs.

D’Oliveira capped off a fine all-round display with 4-20 from his four overs of leg-spin while Pat Brown and Moeen Ali took two wickets each.

Bravo, the leading wicket-taker in T20 history with 594 in 540 matches, added another to his tally with 1-26 from 3.3 overs.

Worcestershire remain at the bottom of the North Group with two wins, 10 losses, and one no-result from 13 games while Lancashire stay second with seven wins, four losses, and one no-result.

 

 

Cricket West Indies (CWI) on Friday announced the initial intake of 15 selectees for the CWI Emerging Players Academy. The group will start work at the Coolidge Cricket Ground (CCG), Antigua from 1 July for high-performance training and development sessions.

Several recent members of the West Indies Rising Stars U19 programme are included. Two notable selectees are Teddy Bishop and Kevin Wickham, who both made centuries for the West Indies Rising Stars U19s during the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup played in the West Indies earlier this year.

Others who have graduated from the West Indies Rising Stars U19s team to the regional franchise teams include Keagen Simmons, Kirk McKenzie and former captain, Ackeem Auguste; along with left-arm spinners Ashmead Nedd and Joshua Bishop; and left-arm fast bowler Ramon Simmonds. Also selected to the Academy squad is allrounder Nyeem Young, who was in the West Indies Men’s white-ball training camp in April.

“We want to offer a special welcome to the young men who have been selected to form the first cohort for the CWI Emerging Players Programme. They are a talented group of players, who we are sure will enjoy the benefits of their hard work,” said CWI’s Director of Cricket Jimmy Adams.

“CWI has been looking at ways of bridging that critical gap between our junior and professional levels and this Academy initiative provides us with a great start towards achieving this. This will also play an important role in building regional capacity within High-Performance player support – technical, physical, mental, and personal development.”

The plan for a CWI Emerging Players Academy was first announced in March. It will function as a nexus between regional junior and senior teams while supporting the development of talented players between the ages of 19 and 25. The Academy will have five primary objectives:

Building capacity of players, support staff and high-performance resources.

Management of Talent.

Personal Development – develop the person first and then the player.

Demonstrate Best Practices, including recruitment, selection and preparation.

Accelerating Player Development and increasing readiness of players for international cricket.

The Selection Panel met and recommended the 15 players based on a formula which included consultations with each of the six Territorial Boards. Six reserves have also been selected as cover for players who may be selected for their franchises for regional competitions.

The first Emerging Players camp has several objectives and the main focus during the initial period will be to ensure the management of talent; players’ personal development – especially creating a breeding ground for leaders in the game; accelerating development – reinforcing the importance of knowledge on the physical components; as well as increasing the readiness of the players for the international stage – with a focus on specific skill sets identified by the Head Coach of the Senior Team.

 “This is a massive opportunity for myself and all the other players involved. I can't wait to get to Antigua to get started and get involved. Being a player who has come through the West Indies Rising Stars U19 system and being at the senior white ball camp a few months back, this is a chance to further my skills. This will benefit all of us as we look to the future and I believe the camp will also help to build camaraderie,” said an eager Nyeem Young.

FULL SQUAD: Kevlon Anderson, Keagan Simmons, Kirk McKenzie, Kevin Wickham, Ackeem Auguste, Ramon Simmonds, McKenny Clarke, Johann Layne, Kelvin Pitman, Ashmead Nedd, Joshua Bishop, Nyeem Young, Joshua James, Leonardo Julien.

Reserves: Anderson Amurdan, Kimani Melius, Kirstan Kallicharan, Brad Barnes, Shaaron Lewis, and Camarie Boyce.

Rishabh Pant's inspired counter-attack ensured India ended day one of the final Test against England at Edgbaston still firmly in the match.

England came into the rearranged final encounter of last year's series on a high following the whitewash of New Zealand and soon reduced India to 98-5, before Pant (146 off 111) and Ravindra Jadeja (83 not out) led the fightback.

Their partnership of 222 – in which Pant did the heavy lifting with a barrage of boundaries and the fastest Test century by an India wicketkeeper – helped carry the tourists to 338-7 by stumps.

Ben Stokes had unsurprisingly put India in to bat, potentially pursuing a fourth successive successful fourth-innings chase.

The England captain first needed his bowlers to deliver, and James Anderson (3-52) did exactly that in the morning session in tempting edges from Shubman Gill (17) and Cheteshwar Pujara (13) – Zak Crawley taking each catch either side of putting down a chance from Hanuma Vihari off the bowling of Matthew Potts.

Rain interrupted play – bringing an early lunch – but not England's momentum, as Potts (2-85) pinned Vihari (20) and then bamboozled Virat Kohli (11), who pulled his bat away too late and saw the ball run off the face into his stumps.

Anderson's third wicket from Shreyas Iyer (15) owed a great deal to a superb Sam Billings catch, yet Pant's big hitting turned the tide – helped by some increasingly untidy work from England.

Pant eventually departed to Joe Root, nicking to Crawley in attempting another blast to pass 150, but the hosts still have work to do with the ball before they will again be asked to score well with the bat in a continuation of this entertaining new era under Stokes.

New foe for Kohli

Many have pondered the possibility this is the last time Anderson and Kohli come face to face in a Test match, given the England great turns 40 later this month. No bowler has claimed more Kohli wickets in Tests than Anderson (seven).

But this time it was the turn of the new man. Potts had stunning figures of 3-3 bowling to Kane Williamson in the New Zealand series and quickly added another huge scalp, with Kohli now averaging an underwhelming 28.63 for this delayed series.

Pant profits

Despite India's 2-1 lead as they bid to win a Test series in England for the first time since 2007, Kohli was not alone in struggling slightly with the bat last year. Pant's series average entering this match was 20.86, with a high score of 50.

But suspicions England's aggressive approach could soon meet their match were affirmed by his ability to find the boundary time and again, avoiding the sort of errors on which Stokes' attack might have preyed. Pant had 23 boundaries in this innings, surpassing his 15 in the previous four matches between the sides combined.

Uncapped Lancashire seamer Richard Gleeson is the new face in Jos Buttler's first white-ball squads as England captain for the upcoming ODI and T20I series against India.

Bowler Gleeson joins his domestic team-mate in his first selection since succeeding the retiring Eoin Morgan as skipper last month.

The 34-year-old has taken 70 wickets in 64 domestic T20 matches and posted career-best figures of 5-33 against Worcestershire Rapids in this season's T20 Blast.

Elsewhere, there are a mix of familiar names for Buttler and coach Matthew Mott, although Yorkshire bowler Adil Rashid is absent after the ECB gave him permission to make The Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.

Harry Brook is named in both squads, seemingly the beneficiary of Morgan's retirement.

Brook was an unused member of Ben Stokes' first Test squad, with the red-ball team's own new era getting off to a roaring start with a series whitewash against New Zealand.

Star Test batsmen Stokes, Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow were all named to Buttler's ODI group.

But there is no room for David Payne and Luke Wood, who made the ODI trip to the Netherlands last month, while Dawid Malan only makes the 20-over team.

Tom Banton, James Vince, George Garton and Sam Billings miss out from the T20I squad that toured the West Indies in January.

England T20I squad : Jos Buttler (Lancashire), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), Harry Brook (Yorkshire), Sam Curran (Surrey), Richard Gleeson (Lancashire), Chris Jordan (Surrey), Liam Livingstone (Lancashire), Dawid Malan (Yorkshire), Tymal Mills (Sussex), Matthew Parkinson (Lancashire), Jason Roy (Surrey), Phil Salt (Lancashire), Reece Topley (Surrey), David Willey (Yorkshire).

England ODI squad : Jos Buttler (Lancashire), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire), Harry Brook (Yorkshire), Brydon Carse (Durham), Sam Curran (Surrey), Liam Livingstone (Lancashire), Craig Overton (Somerset), Matthew Parkinson (Lancashire), Joe Root (Yorkshire), Jason Roy (Surrey), Phil Salt (Lancashire), Ben Stokes (Durham), Reece Topley (Surrey), David Willey (Yorkshire).

Pat Cummins was delighted with Australia's "brave" approach after they thrashed Sri Lanka by 10 wickets on day three of the first Test.

The tourists took a first-innings lead of 109 at the Galle International Stadium on Friday before bowling Sri Lanka out for only 113.

Nathan Lyon took 4-31 after claiming a five-wicket haul in the first innings, and part-time spinner Travis Head, who had never taken a Test wicket, claimed stunning figures of 4-10 as Sri Lanka folded.

Mitchell Swepson took the other two wickets, and after being set only five runs to take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series, David Warner hit Ramesh Mendis for four and then six inside the first over to seal an emphatic victory.

Australia captain Cummins said: "A couple of new words we're using about our approach is about being proactive and being brave.

"We saw some really clear methods from all the batters. They might have been individually a bit different, but you saw everyone being really proactive and putting pressure back on the bowlers. It's something you'd normally talk about in one-day cricket or T20 cricket. But I think that's the style over here that's needed."

He added: "I think it's part of the environment that we are trying to create. Failure is absolutely okay, as long as you are failing in a way you are happy to be."

The paceman lavished praise on spinner Lyon, who moved into the top 10 on the list of all-time leading Test wicket-takers by taking his tally to 436.

"I wouldn't change Lyon for anyone," Cummins said. "He's gone into the top 10 wicket-takers of all time. You saw him out there. He's unplayable for left or right-handers.

"Sometimes out here, bounce for spinners is spoken about [as] something that's not desirable, but he showed here with that bounce he was unplayable. His stamina as well – you give him the ball from one end and say see you at the end of the day."

Ben Stokes warned England are capable of taking their aggressive new approach to another level ahead of the rearranged fifth Test against India.

England started a new era under Test captain Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum by beating New Zealand 3-0.

They went on the attack in three big run chases to whitewash the Black Caps, who defeated India to win the inaugural World Test Championship final last year.

England will get the chance to continue riding the crest of a wave at Edgbaston on Friday, aiming to draw the series 2-2 in a match that was due to be played at Old Trafford last year, only for India to head home early due to fears over an increase in coronavirus cases in their camp.

Asked if England can be even more positive in the longest format, Stokes replied: "If there's a team that can, it's us."

Stokes did not play in the four Tests against India last year, as he was taking a break to protect his mental health while also recovering from a broken finger.

The all-rounder is relishing an opportunity to maintain the momentum now, though.

"It is a bit strange," he said. "It is different opposition, but I made it very clear after the New Zealand series how we're going to do things, and we're going to go out there and try to operate in the same way."

James Anderson replaces Jamie Overton after missing the victory over the Black Caps at Headingley due to an ankle injury, while wicketkeeper-batter Sam Billings plays as Ben Foakes has not fully recovered from COVID-19.

Paceman Jasprit Bumrah will captain the tourists for the first time in the absence of Rohit Sharma, who is sidelined after contracting coronavirus.

India have not won an away Test series against England since 2007, and they have never won at Edgbaston in the longest format, losing six matches and drawing one.

Bairstow in the form of his life

Jonny Bairstow has thrived on having license to play with freedom in a new dawn for England.

Bairstow and former captain Joe Root were outstanding with the bat against New Zealand, scoring 394 and 396 runs respectively in six knocks.

The powerful Bairstow has racked up 774 runs this year at an average of 64.5. Only in 2016 (1,470 runs at 58.8) has he scored more in a single year since his debut in the format in 2012.

Kohli closing in on landmark as he eyes elusive century

Virat Kohli was unable to score a long-awaited century against Sri Lanka in March after stepping down as captain.

You have to go back to November 2019 for his last Test hundred, which came against Bangladesh. 

Kohli only needs another 40 runs to reach the 2,000 mark against England in Tests, a feat that only Sachin Tendulkar (2,535) and Sunil Gavaskar (2,483) have achieved.

Jos Buttler was appointed England's white-ball captain on Thursday and said he felt "inspired" by the team's achievements during Eoin Morgan's time at the helm.

Long-serving Morgan called a halt to his international career this week after a run of low scores, three years after leading England to Cricket World Cup glory.

England also reached a T20 World Cup final during Morgan's time as skipper, and it will be a tall order for 31-year-old Buttler to deliver such strong results.

Buttler, who recently finished a sensational Indian Premier League season with Rajasthan Royals, served as vice-captain to Morgan and was the obvious choice to step up.

Buttler saluted Morgan's "outstanding leadership over the past seven years" and said: "It has been the most memorable period for everyone involved. He has been an inspirational leader, and it has been fantastic to play under him. There are lots of things that I have learnt from him that I'll take into this role.

"It is a great honour to take over from Eoin, and the place he has left English white-ball cricket in is exciting, and I'm inspired for the challenges ahead.

"There is excellent strength in depth in the white-ball squads, and I'm looking forward to leading the teams out for the series that are coming up against India starting next week and later in July against South Africa.

"It is the greatest honour to captain your country, and when I have had the chance to step in the past, I have loved doing it. I can't wait to take this team forward."

Morgan had described Buttler as an "exceptional leader", and the new appointment was rubber-stamped by England and Wales Cricket Board interim chair Martin Darlow and interim chief executive Clare Connor, after managing director of men's cricket Rob Key made his recommendation.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Buttler has skippered England in 14 previous matches but now has the role on a fixed basis. He has played 151 ODI games, hitting 4,120 runs at an average of 41.20, while scoring 2,140 runs in 88 T20I matches at an average of 34.51.

Key described Buttler as "the perfect choice", adding: "I had no hesitation in offering him the role. Jos has been part of our white-ball set-up for over a decade and was integral in the transformation of the way the team has played its attacking brand of cricket over the past seven years."

A T20 World Cup is coming up in October and November, and the 50-over World Cup takes place 12 months later.

Having chosen Ben Stokes as Test captain, then seen England race to a series victory over New Zealand, Key will hope Buttler has a similarly positive impact.

"He is in the form of his life and is showcasing his talent against the best players and teams in the world," Key said. "I believe the extra responsibility will take his game to a new level and inspire those around him. I'm looking forward to seeing him take us forward. He thoroughly deserves the opportunity."

Jasprit Bumrah will captain India in their rescheduled fifth Test with England following confirmation that Rohit Sharma will miss out with coronavirus.

Regular skipper Sharma tested positive for COVID-19 last Saturday, with Mayank Agarwal called up to the squad to provide cover.

Having again returned a positive test on Thursday, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) confirmed Sharma will play no part at Edgbaston.

Bumrah will step up for his maiden stint as captain at any level, with Rishabh Pant as his deputy, and becomes the first fast bowler to lead India since Kapil Dev in 1987.

Virat Kohli skippered India in the first four Tests last year, with the final match being pushed back by nine months due to a COVID-19 outbreak in the tourists' camp.

Rohit's absence will leave a huge void to be filled, the 35-year-old's 368 runs across the first four Tests bettered only by the 564 managed by England's Joe Root.

England have a coronavirus absentee of their own for the fifth Test, which India lead 2-1, as Ben Foakes has failed to recover in time for the start of play on Friday.

Sam Billings, who was called up to the squad during the final Test of England's 3-0 whitewash of New Zealand, will therefore keep his place behind the stumps.

James Anderson returns to the England team in place of Jamie Overton, meanwhile, despite the latter impressing against the Black Caps.

Usman Khawaja and Cameron Green scored half-centuries as Australia moved into a strong position on a rain-affected day of the first Test against Sri Lanka.

Only 44 overs were bowled at the Galle International Stadium on Thursday after no play was possible in the morning session due to rain and high winds, which brought down the roof of a temporary stand.

The tourists made up for lost time after play got under way at 1.45pm local time, reaching 313-8 in reply to Sri Lanka's 212 all out when the umpires called stumps due to bad light.

The in-form Khawaja made a patient 71 and all-rounder Green struck an excellent 77, while Alex Carey scored a brisk 45 before Pat Cummins smashed an unbeaten 26 off only 16 balls.

Dhananjaya de Silva had Travis Head caught and bowled in the second over of the day and Australia were 157-5 when Khawaja became Jeffrey Vandersay's first Test victim.

Green and Carey then combined for an 84-run stand to put the tourists on top, scoring quickly as they swept with conviction in tricky conditions.

Dinesh Chandimal took an excellent catch running back from mid-off and Green finally fell leg before to Ramesh Mendis, the pick of the bowlers with 4-107, in the final session.

Captain Cummins provided a late flurry of runs to extend his side's lead to 101 at stumps, hitting two sixes in what proved to be the last over the day from Vandersay as Australia put themselves in a great position to take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.

 

Khawaja purple patch continues

This was another assured knock from Khawaja, who made his 17th Test half-century at the top of the order in what has been a magnificent year for the left-hander.

After scoring two centuries, 91 and 44 not out in the series win over Pakistan, the 35-year-old took his tally of Test runs in 2022 to 822 at a staggering average of 117.42.

Green shows maturity

The 23-year-old Green was not required to bowl as Sri Lanka were dismissed on day one, but he made his mark with the bat.

He became the second-youngest player to score a Test half-century for Australia in Sri Lanka behind the late Phil Hughes (22y 290d in September 2011). Green scored found the rope six times in a composed knock.

 Newly appointed West Indies women’s team captain Hayley Matthews admits her new role will require plenty of learning on the job.

The 24-year-old all-rounder was named as captain of the Caribbean team last week, taking over from Stafanie Taylor who took charge of the team in 2015.

Matthews has been a rising star for the team over the last two years and was the most outstanding player for the West Indies women during the last ODI World Cup.  However, leading a squad that still has quite a few veteran players, will be an entirely new experience.

“I’m still trying to balance being player and captain.  As a player, I am still trying to perform as best as I can and lead by example. That’s something a captain needs to do, lead by example, 100 percent,” Matthews told the Mason and Guest show.

“I know my success as a player is very important to the team.  Obviously going forward at the same time I am captain as well.  It’s a lot to take on, it’s obviously a team first mentality and I have a lot of learning to do on the job.”

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."

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