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Cricket

Saturday, July 4, 2020

England have named a 13-man squad for their long-awaited return to Test cricket against the West Indies next week, preferring Joe Denly to the uncapped Dan Lawrence and confirming Dom Bess as number one spinner.

Recreational cricket is set to resume next weekend after Prime Minister Boris Johnson appeared to back-track on his earlier claim that issues surrounding communal teas and dressing rooms made the sport unsafe.

England’s final preparations for the long-awaited return of Test cricket were boosted on and off the field on Friday, with Sam Curran testing negative for Covid-19 and a handful of key batsmen spending important time at the crease.

Essex’s cricketers have come off furlough, out of lockdown and back to training, but into a world that has changed almost beyond recognition.

England all-rounder Sam Curran is awaiting the results of a Covid-19 test after being placed in self-isolation at the Ageas Bowl, casting a shadow over the second day of the intra-squad clash.

Newcomers James Bracey and Dan Lawrence stole the spotlight as England’s leading red-ball players went head-to-head on day one of a rare intra-squad clash at the Ageas Bowl.

Ben Stokes will captain England for the first time in next week’s opening Test against the West Indies, taking over from regular skipper Joe Root as he takes time out for the birth of his second child.

The 18 first-class counties will debate the structure of the domestic season at a meeting early next month after being given the go-ahead to start on August 1 by the England and Wales Cricket Board.

Shepherd Neame Essex League chairman Tom Clarke has asked clubs to be ready to play from July 11, despite no return date being set in latest government advice.

Amara Carr, Naomi Dattani and Cordelia Griffith have been awarded professional playing contracts with the London and East regional hub of the new domestic Women’s structure.

Peter Such believes Simon Harmer’s position in the rankings of world-class spinners can only be properly gauged if and when he returns to the international stage.

Mark Wood fears England could be deprived of the next Ben Stokes or Joe Root if the interruption to the recreational season because of the coronavirus pandemic extends much further into the summer.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has described a cricket ball as a “natural vector of disease” as he confirmed the sport remains banned outside the elite level.

Ben Stokes will be out to prove he is the world’s premier all-rounder ahead of Jason Holder when England take on the West Indies next month, according to the tourists’ head coach Phil Simmons.

England will pay tribute to the key workers of the coronavirus pandemic during next month’s three Tests against the West Indies, which will be called the £raisethebat series.

Essex’s Dan Lawrence remains resolutely phlegmatic about the attention he is receiving as England’s brightest prospect of a benighted cricket summer.

When Dan Lawrence dreamt as a boy of playing for England he can never have imagined it would involve thermometers, face masks and hand sanitisers.

Essex batsman Dan Lawrence has been named in a 30-strong England training group to go into camp at the Ageas Bowl on Tuesday ahead of the July Test series with the West Indies.

Pakistan’s head coach Misbah-ul-Haq insists the decision to tour England this summer has no strings attached regarding a return visit.

Paul Collingwood is set to be put in charge of England’s planned one-day series against Ireland, while a handful of county coaches will help oversee an expanded Test squad next month.

Test teams will be allowed to use substitutes to replace players displaying coronavirus symptoms in one of several interim regulation changes rubber-stamped by the International Cricket Council on Tuesday.

Cricket clubs across England and Wales can benefit from digital skills webinars as part of a new partnership between the ECB and Google Digital Garage.

Three West Indies players have decided against travelling to England for next month’s Test trip, which will go ahead behind closed doors at ‘biosecure’ venues because of coronavirus.

England’s three-Test series against the West Indies will go ahead next month subject to government clearance, the England and Wales Cricket Board has confirmed.

County cricket’s reduced pay deal has been extended to the end of July, as players continue to wait for their season to resume.

Cricket West Indies has granted approval in principle for the proposed Test tour of England in July as the return of international cricket moves closer.

The England and Wales Cricket Board has named a bumper 55-man training group ahead of what it hopes will be a busy international schedule, with a host of new and returning faces joining the core squad.

The Twenty20 World Cup may not go ahead as the leader of the game in host nation Australia revealed the schedule for October and November is under a “very high risk”.

The England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have confirmed a further delay to the start of the professional domestic cricket season, with no play before August 1.

Eoin Morgan would be “surprised” if the T20 World Cup goes ahead as scheduled later this year but indicated any deferment will not shape his future as England captain.

The owner of cricket ball manufacturer Dukes says bowlers should have ‘no problem’ producing swing in England this summer despite the imminent ban on using saliva.

Under normal circumstances, Essex would this week be embarking on the defence of their Vitality Blast T20 title.

The International Cricket Council (ICC)’s recommendation of a temporary ban on using saliva to shine the ball could hand batsmen a significant advantage, claims Australia paceman Mitchell Starc.

With live sport remaining on hold during the ongoing coronavirus shutdown, why not put your sporting general knowledge to the test?

Essex Cricket have jointly launched ‘Together Through This Test’ – a nationwide campaign to shine a light on how the cricket family has reached out to local communities during the coronavirus pandemic.

Ronnie Irani comes over all Frank Sinatra when he explains the philosophy that has made Essex the most successful county team of recent times.

England’s women cricketers could return to training as early as next month as managing director Clare Connor revealed they are committed to completing as much of the international schedule as possible.

England bowlers like James Anderson may have have to rely on perspiration and inspiration this summer after the International Cricket Council recommended a temporary ban on the use of saliva to shine the ball.

The England and Wales Cricket Board has released guidelines to players and clubs on steps to take to stay safe when exercising in an outdoor cricket club environment.

James Anderson is excited about the prospect of playing Test cricket for England this summer, even if the lack of atmosphere might make it seem more like the County Championship.

London’s National Cricket League has been keeping member clubs engaged during the lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

England cricketers will return to individual training from next week with a reassurance that safety protocols should make the sessions less risky than a trip to the supermarket.

Professional sports in the UK are awaiting further details on the Government’s plans to ease the lockdown going forward as the Premier League prepares for another meeting on Project Restart later on Monday.

Surrey director of cricket Alec Stewart admits it may be best for the long-term health of county cricket if there is no action this season.

England captain Joe Root is “very optimistic” Test cricket will be played this summer, even if his side could have to go into a nine-week quarantine.

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