With the much-anticipated International Cricket Council (ICC) T20 Men’s World Cup roughly eight weeks away, the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the Trinidad and Tobago leg of the tournament confirmed that there will be an expansion of the seating capacity at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy (BLCA) in the twin island republic.

The LOC, in a media conference at the Queen’s Park Oval in St Clair on Tuesday, provided an update on their preparations ahead of the June 1-29 tournament, which is being co-hosted by the Caribbean and the United States. The Brian Lara Cricket Academy, in Tarouba, will host five matches in the tournament, including four group matches and the first semifinal.

Haresh Ragoonath, venue and facilities manager for the T20 World Cup, said the refurbishing of the venue should be wrapped up within the next three weeks.

“The needs for the tournament are so great, when the facility was built it was not designed for T20 cricket as it is modernised so much right now. The commercial aspect of cricket has grown so much," Ragoonath told T&T Newsday.

Ragoonath pointed out that the adjustments are being made at the North media tower at the venue, with the installation of eastern and western wings set to see the venue comfortably accommodating over 120 media personnel.

“It’s about 95 per cent completed already. It should be completed in the next ten to 12 days in time for the tournament," he shared.

Perhaps, more importantly, to add to the atmosphere and ambience in the stadium, Ragoonath said there will be more seating to accommodate approximately 2,400 more spectators, thus turning the already 15,000-seater into a 17,000-plus capacity venue.

“There were a couple of areas we identified that had no seats, so we are going to increase the seating capacity of the stadium – all the sections," he explained.

“This has already started and will be completed in the next 20 days as well. The additional capacity will be increasing by about 2,400," Ragoonath noted.

Dawid Malan accepts his time with England has likely run its course but is planning his future in cricket by taking the first steps towards a coaching career with Yorkshire.

Malan still has six months left to run on the England central contract he signed last October but, despite finishing last year’s disappointing World Cup defence as top-scorer in a well beaten side, he is highly unlikely to wear the national team shirt again.

While not officially retired Malan’s name was conspicuous by its absence from the squads which immediately followed the dire campaign in India and, after 92 limited-overs internationals and 22 Test caps, the 36-year-old is looking to the next chapter.

Having agreed a white-ball only deal at Headingley for 2024 he will spend the early part of the season on hand to help his fellow batters, from first-team level downwards, before returning to the playing fold for the Vitality Blast.

“It’s quite exciting. I’ll see if can share some of my knowledge, if anyone wants it, and find out if it’s something I enjoy,” he said.

“I still feel I’ve got two or three years of playing if things go well and I can still perform, but I want to give back as much as I can now. It’s exciting to be back and give myself a different kind of challenge at this time of year than the one I usually have.

“It’s something I suggested to the club, because I’ve been thinking for a while about what I want to do after I’m finished. Do I want to get out totally or stay in cricket?

“Regardless of whether you earn £20million or £20,000 doing something, it’s whether you enjoy it or not. I don’t know if I’d enjoy sitting in four walls and sitting on phones all day, so this is the perfect opportunity for me.

“It’s an unofficial capacity but I’ll throw some balls and speak to whoever wants to speak to me about batting without treading on any of the coaches’ toes.”

Despite being midway through a year-long England deal, Malan is realistic enough not to pin his hopes on getting a comeback call for this summer’s T20 World Cup in the West Indies and the United States of America.

“I had a chat the day after (the World Cup) and that’s been it pretty much. They told me their reasons and that’s fine,” he said.

“I wouldn’t say performance would have anything to do with it. In 2023 I had a pretty good year in 50-over cricket and I wouldn’t say I’m old considering Jimmy Anderson is 41 or something like that!

“Obviously I know they might want to go in a different direction and they’re entitled to do whatever they think is the best way to move English cricket in the right direction. I still feel I’m good enough and young enough to do it but that’s out of my control, selection-wise.”

Despite spending a long period ranked as the number one T20 batter in the world, and averaging 55 in ODI cricket, Malan has spent much of his time as an international player defending his methods against those who prefer more extravagant hitters.

 

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And, as he turns his attention to mentoring others, he plans to learn from his own experiences.

“I guess I’ve never been someone who likes to be told what to do,” he said.

“Whether it’s by coaches or by the media, I feel it’s always been ‘you have to play this way to be successful’. But there’s not just one way to score runs or win games of cricket. There’s plenty of ways to score runs without being the stereotypical batter, put it that way.

“Hopefully that’s enjoyable for me as well – putting in the work with guys and seeing how they can put that into practice.

“I know I’ll have to be the guy that throws a thousand balls because I’m a player who demanded a thousand balls from the coaches when they’re throwing at me.”

Haseeb Hameed will always harbour aspirations of resuming his England career but he is for now ignoring outside distractions as he prepares to captain Nottinghamshire this season.

Already Nottinghamshire’s 50-over skipper, Hameed was named the successor to Steven Mullaney in the off-season for their Vitality County Championship campaign, starting with the visit of Essex on Friday.

While he believes he has time on his side to add to his 10 Test caps, the last of which came two years ago, the 27-year-old is channelling all his energies into Nottinghamshire’s Division One campaign.

“The focus for me is Notts but that doesn’t mean I’ve not got ambitions to play for England again,” he told the PA news agency. “As long as I’m playing, I’ll never lose the ambition to play for England.”

 

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Hameed first opened the batting for England aged 19 and earned glowing reviews for a measured approach and tight technique in three Tests in India, but injuries and a drastic drop in form prompted a change of counties in 2020 as he swapped Lancashire for Nottinghamshire, breathing fresh life into his career.

He played seven more Tests between August 2021 and January 2022 but, while there were a couple of promising showings against India at home, he was part of the collateral after a humbling 2021-22 Ashes.

“I’d played 10 Test matches by the age of 24 – all of them were against India and Australia and seven of them in their backyard, I don’t think it will get too much tougher than that,” he said.

“Those experiences were invaluable to me and I’m still edging towards the prime of my career. Hopefully, a number of years of that can be in an England shirt.

“I’ve been playing for nine years now and I feel like I’ve had so many different experiences that I’ve learnt from, I’d like to think I’m a better player for it. I’m definitely keen to keep improving, too.”

England’s much-discussed approach under Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum in the last couple of years might seem at odds with a batter who was once recognised as ‘Baby Boycott’.

While Hameed has previously committed to embracing the new philosophy, he believes ‘Bazball’ has been widely misinterpreted.

“I’ve been in England Lions environments, I’ve sat in meetings where Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes have spoken and they were clear that when it’s necessary, it’s about absorbing pressure,” Hameed added.

“But then it’s about having the confidence to put pressure back on them whenever the opportunity is there. People look at the second part and don’t acknowledge the first part. That’s not lost on me.”

With Stuart Broad’s retirement and the departures of club stalwarts Samit Patel and Jake Ball in the winter, there is a feeling of a new dawn at Nottinghamshire – who have signed England fast bowler Josh Tongue, plus promising pair Dillon Pennington and Jack Haynes from Worcestershire.

“I’m just looking for players to play with confidence and back their strengths, knowing I’ve got their back,” Hameed added.

“We’ve lost some big, senior players but as big as those losses are, it opens up opportunities for different people to step into that space and mark their mark.

“I’m going to learn a lot on the job. I’m fresh to this kind of role even though I’ve been captain in the past. I’ve had a little bit of experience but getting a full-time role at this level is new to me.”

West Indies cricketer John Campbell finds himself in a frustrating state of limbo as his appeal hearing before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against his four-year ban is postponed for a sixth time without any explanation.

The saga began in April 2022 when Campbell was handed a four-year ban for refusing to submit a blood sample. Despite the ban being retroactively effective from May 10, 2022, Campbell and his attorneys were determined to fight the decision. In December 2022, they filed an appeal with CAS, seeking justice and the opportunity to clear Campbell's name.

Months have turned into years as the appeal process drags on. The matter was finally heard before CAS in April 2023, raising hopes for a resolution. However, those hopes were dashed when the decision, initially scheduled for August 31, 2023, was postponed repeatedly, with the latest ruling date set for May 31, 2024.

For Campbell, each postponement brings a fresh wave of frustration and uncertainty. The prolonged legal battle takes its toll on him, both mentally and emotionally. As a professional athlete, the uncertainty surrounding his future is particularly agonizing.

Unfortunately, Campbell's case is not an isolated incident. Many athletes, across different sports and countries, find themselves entangled in the web of the sports dispute resolution system, unable to access timely justice. The ineffective processes of CAS leave athletes like Campbell stranded, facing the daunting prospect of abandoning their careers due to the financial and emotional strain of prolonged legal battles.

Calls for reform echo loudly across the sporting world. Human rights experts urge CAS to overhaul its processes to ensure fairness and transparency for all athletes. Player associations, including the World Players’ Association (WPA), the Federation of Cricketers’ Association (FICA), and the West Indies Players’ Association (WIPA), stand in solidarity with Campbell, demanding immediate action from CAS.

Surrey wicketkeeper-batter Jamie Smith will relish the chance to take on Nathan Lyon in Friday’s season opener at Lancashire but is relaxed about his future international prospects.

Smith made his England bow in September when he appeared in two ODIs against Ireland after an excellent domestic campaign.

The 23-year-old has long been earmarked as a future international since he scored a century on his first-class debut in 2019 against an MCC attack which included Stuart Broad. Last year he turned potential into results.

 

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A tally of 736 red-ball runs helped Surrey to Vitality County Championship success and Smith is excited to begin the new campaign against a high-quality Lancashire line-up that should include Aussie spinner Lyon.

“Yeah, I think you have to (relish it) and with aspirations of playing Test cricket, you will come up against world class players anyway,” Smith told the PA news agency.

“There is always a little bit of analysis that goes into it and he’s played a lot. A few guys have played against him in the changing room, so I guess it is getting those experiences as well.

“We know he is a fantastic player. No one gets that many Test wickets (530) without being a fantastic player so you respect what he has done, but also play him like anyone else on the day.”

After Smith started the 2022 season with a maiden double ton at Gloucestershire but failed to back it up, he was determined to bring a level of consistency to his game last year.

What followed was two hundreds, which included a sensational 114 off 77 balls to help Surrey chase 501 at Kent, four fifties and an average of 40.88 with a 65.3 strike rate.

His success was not just limited to red-ball cricket either, with contributions with both the bat and gloves able to fire Surrey to Vitality Blast finals’ day and he also starred for Birmingham Phoenix in The Hundred.

It earned Smith two England white-ball caps in September and his name is in the mix for a Test shot should Surrey team-mate Ben Foakes be discarded.

Smith added: “That was important to put a season together instead of a few scores. For me what was a big turning point was staying consistent with my approach.

“There are going to be low scores in there, but instead of panicking about it or changing the way you want to play, I stayed quite consistent with a positive style.

“It was obviously an incredible end to a fantastic summer and fantastic recognition to have that (England debut).

“No one can ever take it away from you that you have represented your country, no matter who it was against or in what capacity.

“It was a proud day for my family. They made a lot of sacrifices when I was growing up and still now, so it was an incredibly proud moment.

“When you get a taste of something like that, you obviously want to have it again knowing that it is probably not my time right now, with the guys they’ve got picked but if I keep chipping away and scoring runs you never know when the next one could come.

“If you are outscoring people in the County Championship or the Blast and putting in performances, winning games when it matters, scoring runs when it matters, then people will always take notice.”

England suffered last-over heartbreak in the final of the World Twenty20 as Carlos Brathwaite clubbed Ben Stokes for four successive sixes to seal an unforgettable West Indies win on this day in 2016.

England were strong favourites to lift the crown heading into the final over, with the Windies needing 19 off the last six balls of the match.

But Brathwaite launched an audacious assault on Stokes, heaving him over the ropes four times in a row to seal a four-wicket success.

Joe Root’s 56 off 36 balls helped England to 155 for nine in their 20 overs at Eden Gardens and that looked like being enough to earn a second T20 World Cup.

Despite Marlon Samuels’ impressive half-century, West Indies were set to fall short going into the final six balls of the match.

But Braithwaite had other ideas and sent four huge hits over the rope to win it in style and follow up their 2012 success.

England went on to thrive in the white-ball game, lifting the 50-over World Cup two years later and winning the T20 World Cup in 2022.

Cricketers around the country are gearing up for the Vitality County Championship which gets under way on Friday.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at five players who could make their mark this season.

Josh Hull (Leicestershire)

A 6ft 7in left-arm seamer who has his sights set on being England’s version of Mitchell Starc. Hull may need to add a bit more pace to his weaponry but he can swing the ball and, at 19, has plenty of time on his side. Hull has made only 20 professional appearances but already shown an appetite for the big occasion after defending eight in the last over of the 2023 One-Day Cup final as Leicestershire upset Hampshire. Hull will miss the first couple of red-ball rounds this month because of injury but, fitness permitting, he can enhance a burgeoning reputation that has already attracted admiring glances from England director of men’s cricket Rob Key.

Gus Atkinson (Surrey)

The only individual included in every England squad this winter, Atkinson was sparingly used in the white-ball matches before Christmas and not at all in the 4-1 Test series defeat in India recently. Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum liked what they saw, though, and indicated the fast bowler will likely be given a go this summer. With England’s emphasis on those who can operate in the high 80mph bracket, Atkinson fits the bill. After withdrawing from the Indian Premier League, Atkinson can elbow his way into England’s plans with some starring roles for Surrey in the early part of the season.

Josh de Caires (Middlesex)

Started last season with designs on a top-order role before finishing the campaign as an off-spinning all-rounder. The son of former England captain Michael Atherton, De Caires followed up a seven-for against Hampshire with an eight-wicket haul versus Essex. It may be these two performances become outliers as the 21-year-old’s career progresses but England are always on the lookout for promising spinners, even if the cupboard appears to be more stocked than usual.

Tawanda Muyeye (Kent)

Arrived in the United Kingdom as an asylum seeker after he and his family fled their native Zimbabwe, Muyeye has one of county cricket’s more interesting backstories. He is also one of the most precocious and eye-catching talents on the circuit and a video of him batting on social media earned praise from Kevin Pietersen. With an attacking verve ready-made for Bazball – Muyeye has expressed an interest in playing for England – the 23-year-old may need to become more consistent to get his wish but he bolstered his reputation with a breakout 179 against Northamptonshire last June.

Ollie Robinson (Durham)

With scrutiny on whether Jonny Bairstow or Ben Foakes will take the gloves for England this summer, there is a very real possibility Robinson will swoop in and leave them both surplus to requirements. Robinson averaged 58.18 at a jaw-dropping strike-rate of 88.66 in Durham’s promotion last season and is more than adept behind the stumps. The 25-year-old made a couple of counter-attacking 80s in England Lions’ unofficial Tests against India A and higher honours may beckon this summer. It is therefore feasible England could have two Ollie Robinsons in their ranks – remarkably they share the same birthday although Durham’s wicketkeeper-batter is five years older than the 20-cap seam bowler.

The domestic cricket season is set to get under way this week, with the 2024 Vitality County Championship rolling into town on Friday.

Here, the PA news agency looks at some of the most compelling stories to keep tabs on as the action begins.

Three in a row for Stewart’s swansong?

It will be the end of an era when Alec Stewart takes his leave as Surrey’s director of cricket at the end of the year, with the former England captain already established as first among equals in the county’s modern history. After dominating the championship for the past two seasons, their hunger to see him off with a third successive title will now be even stronger than ever. “We’ll give it a red hot go,” he told the Sky Sports Cricket Podcast. “I know the appetite is there from the players. Is it going to be harder again? Definitely, because every side wants to beat us.”

England’s spin conundrum

England’s Test coach Brendon McCullum teed up a new narrative during the recent tour of India when he claimed it would be “slightly mad” if the strides taken by rookie spinners Tom Hartley, Shoaib Bashir and Rehan Ahmed were stymied by a lack of overs early in the domestic campaign. But it is tough to be overly optimistic about their short-term prospects. After finishing his maiden series as England’s top wicket-taker, Hartley’s path at Lancashire is blocked by the signing of Nathan Lyon, who is still available for seven of the first nine rounds despite Cricket Australia’s workload intervention. At Taunton, Bashir could be reduced to running drinks once England number one Jack Leach is back to full fitness. Ahmed has a clearer road at Leicestershire following the departure of Callum Parkinson, but he is perhaps the least ready to step up as a front-line bowler in home conditions. As ever, county cricket’s distant relationship with spin could cause headaches.

Gloves up for grabs

There is sure to be plenty of speculation over the identity of England’s Test wicketkeeper over the course of the summer, with Jonny Bairstow’s long-term status uncertain and Ben Foakes’ impeccable handiwork in India undermined by modest returns with the bat. Like Bairstow, Phil Salt is away at the Indian Premier League at the start of the English season, leaving the door open for a host of up-and-comers to elbow their way to the front of a busy queue. Durham’s Ollie Robinson was first choice for the England Lions over the winter and plays an ultra-aggressive ‘Bazball’ style already. The same is true of Foakes’ Surrey team-mate Jamie Smith, while James Rew has been tipped for great things after a breakout 2023 season at Somerset. Let battle commence.

Stars to shine for Yorkshire?

Good news has been perilously thin on the ground for Yorkshire in recent times, with the fallout of the Azeem Rafiq racism scandal casting a long shadow. Relegation to Division Two in 2022 was followed by an underwhelming promotion push last time out and Darren Gough has been shown the door as director of cricket. Fans expecting another miserable campaign have two good reasons for optimism: Harry Brook and Joe Root. Having stepped away from the IPL, two of the finest batters in the country will be available for five first-class games each in the first seven rounds, including four together. It is inconceivable they will not raise the standard dramatically and go a long way to positioning the White Rose for a top-flight return.

Durham back where they belong

There is a tangible feeling of righteous indignation when it comes to Durham’s re-emergence at the top table of English cricket. In the midst of grave financial problems in 2016, they were penalised not only with enforced relegation but also a draconian 48-point penalty for the following season. A talent drain followed and hopes of coming back up were further affected by coronavirus complications. Now they are back in a spot they never lost on sporting grounds, with a progressive coach in Ryan Campbell and a fearless squad powered by Test hopefuls Matthew Potts, Brydon Carse, Alex Lees and Ollie Robinson. Every point will taste sweet for fans who have rightly felt aggrieved for eight years.

England seamer Saqib Mahmood has revealed he considered taking a break from red-ball cricket after a second stress fracture in as many years threatened to derail his career.

A serious back injury struck him down soon after a promising debut Test tour of the West Indies in March 2022 and hit again at the start of last summer, when the problem reoccurred just as he was hoping to put his name in the Ashes frame.

During the long and lonely months of rehabilitation he told Lancashire he planned to step away from the first-class game this season and ease himself back in as a T20 specialist.

He has since banished the idea, enthused by the arrival of new head coach Dale Benkenstein and by his own love of the longer format, and although he will miss this week’s Vitality County Championship curtain-raiser he is working towards a full comeback in the next month.

“It’s quite overwhelming to think that two years of my career have just sort of gone. I don’t want to have a third year like that,” he said.

“Initially I didn’t want to play any red ball cricket at the start of this season. At the back end of last summer I had a chat to the guys here because I was nervous about my body.

“I was asking for a little bit of empathy from the guys. I just want to be on the park contributing, not on the sides. I don’t want to be chasing Test cricket at the start of the season, breaking down and then not be any good to anyone. I want to do it properly.

“We left it as a question mark and when Benky (Benkenstein) came in he sort of filled me with that excitement again – a new coach telling me how important I was.

“So you have more chats and you try to find a way of doing it in as safe a way as possible. I’ve gone from not wanting to play it this year to trying to get ready for it.”

While Lancashire certainly took Mahmood’s concerns seriously, those even closer to him were more sceptical that he would be able to commit exclusively to the limitations of the limited-overs game.

“My brother told me ‘I knew you’d never do that. No way would you would sit on the side watching the guys play’. That’s not who I am,” he admitted.

“I still watch Test cricket more than I watch white-ball cricket, I still focus on it. As soon as I’ve got a red ball in hand I really love the things that come with it: trying to work batters out, the craft of bowling, things I pride myself on.

“Even the short experience I had in Test cricket, I didn’t want to give that up. It might feel like I’ve put a tick in the box by playing Test cricket but I feel I’ve got more to give in that format.

“My mindset is just to be fit. If I stay fit and do the right things I like to think the England stuff should take care of itself. Last year I was really trying to push myself to get ready for the Ashes and in the end I did too much, too soon by trying to look for something that wasn’t quite there.

“I don’t expect to be bowling at 90mph tomorrow, ready to play in an England shirt, it’s a process.
Hopefully by the time I start I’ll peak at the right time.”

The Republic Bank Caribbean Premier League (CPL) and Massy Women’s Caribbean Premier League (WCPL) generated a total economic impact of US$40,446,754 for Barbados during the 2023 tournament.  

2023 was the first time that the CPL had returned to Barbados since 2019 and the first time the country had hosted WCPL matches.  

There were six men’s matches and three Women’s matches played in Barbados between 30 August and 3 September with the games taking place at the world-famous Kensington Oval.  

The total event impact is calculated by world renowned research organisation, YouGov Sport with the final figure being based on a number of key metrics, including organizer and visitor spends on Island media as well as the commercial value generated from the extensive global TV distribution. 

One of main contributing elements was the CPL cohort, who were responsible for filling 10,951 hotel room nights in Barbados, made up by CPL’s players, coaches, administrators, TV and media crews, team owner groups, league and franchise event management teams. Other visitor groups associated to the tournament also made a significant contribution to on Island spending during the tournament.

Barbados also benefited from the tournament being broadcast around the world with CPL’s audience reaching 853.5million total viewers in 2023. As always, the tournament worked closely with BTMI to create world class content which promoted Barbados as the unique holiday destination we all know it to be. These exclusive features and vignettes were shown during the CPL matches, further promoting the tourism message.

Pete Russell, Republic Bank CPL’s CEO, said: “It was fantastic to be back in Barbados after four years away and the atmosphere at Kensington Oval was brilliant, highlighting the local and international appetite for CPL cricket. These results are great news for Barbados and we are looking forward to making an even bigger impact in 2024.”  

 Graham Clarke, Director Caribbean for Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc, said: “It is great to see the iconic Kensington Oval - the cricketing mecca of the Caribbean - hosting CPL matches again, after a brief hiatus during and immediately after the Covid 19 Pandemic. Cricket is much more than a game, it is an economy. For every dollar of revenue earned through the purchase of Bajan goods and services by visitors to our island during the week of CPL, there is a direct and multiplier effect on the people and economy of Barbados.” 

 

Ben Stokes has ruled himself out of selection for England’s T20 World Cup title defence as he prioritises being a fully-fledged all-rounder in the Test side this summer.

When put on the spot last month about whether he would be on hand for the tournament in the Caribbean and United States in June, England’s Test captain admitted he had “not even thought about that but I’m available”.

It is understood he has had no setback after briefly returning to bowling last month during England’s Test tour of India and there is no lingering discomfort in his left knee after surgery in November.

However, Stokes is intent on playing a full role with bat and ball in England’s six Tests this summer, the first of which starts on July 10, less than two weeks after the T20 World Cup final.

A busy summer schedule has led to Stokes following up his withdrawal from the Indian Premier League with pulling out of the T20 World Cup in a major blow for white-ball skipper Jos Buttler and head coach Matthew Mott.

“I’m working hard and focusing on building my bowling fitness back up to fulfil a full role as an all-rounder in all formats of cricket,” he said.

“Opting out of the IPL and the World Cup will hopefully be a sacrifice that allows me to be the all-rounder I want to be for the foreseeable future.

“The recent Test tour of India highlighted how far behind I was from a bowling point of view after my knee surgery and nine months without bowling. I’m looking forward to playing for Durham in the County Championship before the start of our Test summer.

“I wish Jos, Motty and all the team the best of luck in defending our title.”

The Lucknow Super Giants recorded their first win of the 2024 Tata Indian Premier League (IPL) season with a 21-run victory over the Punjab Kings in Lucknow on Saturday.

The hosts first posted 199-8 from their 20 overs after winning the toss and batting first.

Quinton de Kock was the main scorer for the Super Giants with a 38-ball 54 at the top of the innings.

Nicholas Pooran, who captained the team in this game, hit three fours and three sixes on his way to 42 off just 21 balls while Krunal Pandya finished 43* off 22 balls including four fours and two sixes.

Sam Curran took 3-28 from his four overs for the Kings.

Punjab were then restricted to 178-5 from 20 overs in their reply despite a 50-ball 70 from Shikhar Dhawan and 42 from his opening partner, Jonny Bairstow.

Liam Livingstone also made 28* for the Kings as debutant Mayank Yadav ripped through the batting order with his impressive quick bowling on the way to figures of 3-27 from his four overs.

Mohsin Khan provided good support for Yadav with 2-34 from his four overs.

Full Scores: Lucknow Super Giants 199-8 from 20 overs (Quinton de Kock 54, Krunal Pandya 43*, Nicholas Pooran 42, Sam Curran 3-28, Arshdeep Singh 2-30)

Punjab Kings 178-5 from 20 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 70, Jonny Bairstow 42, Liam Livingstone 28*, Mayank Yadav 3-27, Mohsin Khan 2-34)

Ben Foakes will not lose sleep over whether he features in England’s Test plans for this summer.

The Surrey wicketkeeper was back in the England XI for the winter tour of India and once again impressed with his skills behind the stumps, but failed to register a fifty in 10 innings during the 4-1 loss.

Foakes has been in and out of the team since his 2018 Test debut and missed last year’s Ashes after Jonny Bairstow was given keeping duties.

The wicketkeeper berth is seemingly up for grabs ahead of home series with the West Indies and Sri Lanka this summer, but Foakes, who scored 205 runs at an average of 20.5 in India, is relaxed about his position.

“I haven’t been told anything,” Foakes said.

“Obviously the more years I’ve got into my career, the more I’ve been in and out, I’ve almost come to an acceptance that it has been the case and not try to worry about it or stress too much about getting a long run or external stuff.

“India, first and foremost, I took as just trying to really enjoy it. I think the more times you get dropped, the more times you realise you don’t know how long you’ve got left or whatever it might be.

“So while you’re out there, rather than stress too much about the game or this might be my last chance, just enjoy the fact you are playing and you don’t know how long for essentially.”

The series started with a high for Foakes, who shared a crucial 112-run partnership with Ollie Pope in England’s remarkable first Test win in Hyderabad.

A number of other starts with the bat were made by the 31-year-old, but he often batted with the tail and expressed his disappointment after failing to “kick on” during his 47 in Ranchi.

Foakes added: “I felt like I kept pretty well, keeping felt good. To start off, I didn’t feel amazing with the bat and then, yeah, disappointed in a couple of innings that I didn’t kick on.

“Again, that role of batting lower down, batting with the tail, the more I do it, the more I look at it as how many times can I impact?

“Because some series you might not get an opportunity to go big, big for example, so it is very crucial when you do get a chance to try and really kick on, which I was disappointed in the fourth Test where I could have kicked on and didn’t.

“(I’m) still evolving and trying to learn with the tail and how to manage those sort of situations.”

While Foakes bats at seven for England, he has gained the majority of his success for Surrey as one of their top-five batters, which has contributed towards a first-class average of 38.52.

Foakes will aim to be back in the runs next week when Surrey begin their Vitality County Championship title defence with a trip to Lancashire, but he acknowledged the uncertainty over his England place provides one dilemma.

“Every summer in the past, I’ve not known whether I will play so I’ve played every (Surrey) game,” Foakes said.

“I did look at the Test schedule and there would be the chance to play 28 Tests and Champo (games) if I did play from the start of India until the end of New Zealand, obviously depending on selection.

“If that was the case and I did play, that is quite a lot of cricket so there would be potential to have a rest, but again it depends on what they’re looking at. Whether I am likely to play or not and then reassess.”

The Cricket West Indies (CWI) Women’s Selection Panel has announced the 15-member squad for the tour to Pakistan in April-May.  The eight-match Series comprises three (5) T20 Internationals (T20Is) and three (3) One Day Internationals (ODIs).  

Kate Wilmott was rewarded with a call-up to the senior team for the first time, having displayed commendable performances with her right-arm medium pace during the recently concluded CG United Women’s Super50 Cup and T20 Blaze tournaments.

Qiana Joseph and Chedean Nation, who also had credible performances were recalled to the team, having missed out on the last tour to Australia in 2023. 

Lead Selector for Women’s cricket Ann Browne-John said “The upcoming series against is extremely important for the team as they return to international competition after almost six months, the last series being against Australia. Apart from the three ODI, the team will get some much-needed T20 matches as they prepare to participate in the T20 World Cup later this year.”

Browne-John added, “The return of experienced player Chedean Nation will strengthen the batting and 19-year-old Fast Bowler Kate Wilmott will be making her debut. The players have just completed the regional tournament where some of the experienced players had encouraging performances, and it is hoped this will continue into the Pakistan series.”

Following the ODI Series, a gripping five-match T20I series will unfold from 26 April to 3 May. This T20I series will not only offer thrilling cricket action for fans but will provide important competitive cricket for both teams to fine-tune their skills and strategies ahead of the upcoming ICC Women's T20 World Cup, which is due to take place after the Women’s CPL in Bangladesh in September.   

The West Indies Women will assemble in Dubai from 6 April for a one-week training camp as part of their preparations for the upcoming Pakistan tour.  

 

Full Squad

 

  • 1. Hayley Matthews (captain)
  • 2. Shemaine Campbelle (vice-captain)
  • 3. Aaliyah Alleyne
  • 4. Shamilia Connell
  • 5. Afy Fletcher
  • 6. Cherry Ann Fraser
  • 7. Jannillea Glasgow
  • 8. Chinelle Henry
  • 9. Zaida James
  • 10. Qiana Joseph
  • 11. Chedean Nation
  • 12. Karishma Ramharack
  • 13. Stafanie Taylor
  • 14. Rashada Williams
  • 15. Kate Wilmott

 

 

West Indies Women Tour to Pakistan Schedule

 

All matches to be played at National Bank Stadium (NBS), Karachi

 

6-14 April – Pre-Tour Preparation Training Camp, Dubai

 

14 April - West Indies Women arrive in Karachi

 

18 April - 1st ODI, Pakistan v West Indies, NBS, Karachi (ICC Women’s Championship)

 

21 April - 2nd ODI, Pakistan v West Indies, NBS, Karachi (ICC Women’s Championship)

 

23 April - 3rd ODI, Pakistan v West Indies, NBS, Karachi (ICC Women’s Championship)

 

26 April - 1st T20I, Pakistan v West Indies, NBS, Karachi

 

28 April - 2nd T20I, Pakistan v West Indies, NBS, Karachi

 

30 April - 3rd T20I, Pakistan v West Indies, NBS, Karachi

 

2 May - 4th T20I, Pakistan v West Indies, NBS, Karachi

 

3 May - 5th T20I, Pakistan v West Indies, NBS, Karachi

 

 

 

West Indies cricket stalwart Jason Holder is set to bring his wealth of experience and formidable skill set to Worcestershire County Cricket Club, bolstering their lineup for the opening five matches of the season in the Vitality County Championship.

The 32-year-old, a former top-ranked all-rounder in ICC Test rankings and Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 2021, will join Worcestershire in time for their clash against Warwickshire at Edgbaston, commencing on Friday, April 5.

Holder's signing marks a significant addition to Worcestershire's squad as they prepare to make their mark in Division One action. His impressive track record in international cricket, coupled with his versatility as an all-rounder, makes him a valuable asset for the team.

Renowned for his leadership on and off the field, Holder has captained the West Indies in over 100 internationals across all formats. His stellar performances, including a memorable double century against England in 2019, underscore his ability to make a significant impact in crucial encounters.

Speaking on his signing with Worcestershire, Holder expressed his enthusiasm for the opportunity to contribute to the team's success. "I always enjoy my time in England, and I'm looking forward to helping Worcestershire get off to a good start in Division One," he remarked.

Holder's presence is expected to provide a significant boost to Worcestershire's campaign, both in terms of performance and morale. Worcestershire CEO Ashley Giles expressed his delight at securing Holder's services, emphasizing the positive impact he will have on the team.

"When someone of Jason’s experience and quality becomes available, even for a short window, we just had to jump at it," said Giles. "We know on the field as a cricketer he is a world-class all-rounder but off the field a world-class individual as well."

With Holder's signing, Worcestershire aims to lay a strong foundation for the season ahead, knowing that his presence in the lineup will provide a significant advantage. As they embark on their Division One journey, Worcestershire looks to capitalize on Holder's talent and leadership to achieve their goals on the field.

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