Will Macpherson

Author's posts

Ashes 2017-18: player-by-player guide to the Australia squad

England can expect a feisty sledge or two from opener David Warner, Steve Smith will need to win the captaincy battle with Joe Root while paceman Mitchell Starc is sure to supply a dose of hooping, blasting yorkersDAVID WARNERBullies bowlers and loves …

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/nov/18/australia-england-first-test-ashes-player-guide

England Lions opt for a mixed bag of Test hopefuls and youthful promise | Will Macpherson

The Lions squad to shadow the England team in Australia contains typical mix of talents but there are some notable and baffling outcasts

England Lions squad announcements, in their own little way, provoke as much fury as the senior squad, with focus as much on who is out than in. This time, for the flight (economy class, so their heads don’t swell too much) to Australia to shadow the Ashes squad – which may yet find it has a large hole in it – the story was the same, with the selectors choosing a mixed bag of Test cricketers (namely Tom Westley, Keaton Jennings, Mark Wood and Ben Duckett), those who have pushed on this year, those who have stalled but have credit in the bank, and those who barely register with their counties but are all the rage at Loughborough.

Ostensibly this is a training camp, but they play a three-day game against a Queensland XI, as well as three T20s against Perth Scorchers, too. The real business takes place after Christmas in the Caribbean, with three “Tests” and three one-dayers against West Indies A. Selection will be revisited in December, when the squads for North-South will also be picked. Those supporting coach Andy Flower are as interesting as the squad; Chris Silverwood, mastermind of Essex’s title win, will look after the bowlers, while Adam Hollioake, the former Surrey and England captain, is fielding coach.

Related: County cricket talking points: Hampshire stay up as Middlesex (probably) go down

Related: It’s the Wills 2017! The complete review of the county cricket season

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/oct/02/england-lions-squad-test-hopefuls-young-promise-ashes-cricket

It’s the Wills 2017! The complete review of the county cricket season

Essex and Worcestershire will remember the 2017 season for ever while Middlesex and Yorkshire cannot forget it soon enoughWith a word for Worcestershire, another of the little guys whose overachievement has been fostered at home, this has to be Essex. …

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2017/sep/29/county-championship-cricket-season-review-2017-wills

Paul Collingwood named in World XI squad to play Pakistan in Lahore

• 14-man squad captained by Faf du Plessis and includes Morkel and Amla• Three-match T20 series due to start on 12 SeptemberThe former England all-rounder Paul Collingwood has been named in a World XI squad to face Pakistan in Lahore next month. The si…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/aug/24/paul-collingwood-world-xi-pakistan-lahore-faf-du-plessis

Joost van der Westhuizen, South Africa rugby great, dies aged 45

• World Cup-winning scrum half had motor neurone disease since 2011
• Van der Westhuizen was admitted to hospital on Saturday

Joost van der Westhuizen, the South African Rugby World Cup winner, has died aged 45. The former scrum-half had been living with motor neurone disease since 2011 and was admitted to a Johannesburg hospital on Saturday morning.

The J9 Foundation, the charity founded by Van der Westhuizen in 2012, confirmed that he had died at home, saying in a statement: “It is with great sadness that we confirm the passing of Joost. He passed away in his home surrounded by his loved ones. He will be sorely missed.”

Related: Joost van der Westhuizen will be remembered for inspirational spirit and dignity | Robert Kitson

Related: Joost van der Westhuizen obituary

RIP Joost van der Westhuizen. An incredible player and fighter to the end. The first of the new age 9’s.

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/feb/06/joost-van-der-westhuizen-south-africa-rugby-great-dies