Category Archive: England National Cricket

England National Cricket Team News

Apr 25

Mark Wood gets England Champions Trophy nod but Steven Finn misses out

• Wood has battled back to fitness after missing winter programme
• Seamer persuades England selectors he is ready for June tournament

England have recalled the seamer Mark Wood for the Champions Trophy, while Steven Finn has missed out on one of five pace bowling slots.

Wood has battled back to fitness after missing the winter programme, during which he had a third ankle operation. He has done enough for Durham in the opening weeks of the season to persuade the selectors he is ready for the tournament in June.

Related: Ryan McLaren secures stunning Lancashire comeback against Somerset

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Apr 24

England look for Mark Wood to pull up trees in Champions Trophy

• Pace bowler back from injury and will be selected for 50-over tournament
• Paul Collingwood speaks of ‘genuine belief’ that England can win

The importance of Mark Wood to England’s hopes of winning a first ever 50-over global tournament looks set to be underlined when the squads for the upcoming series against Ireland and South Africa, and the Champions Trophy in June, are named on Tuesday morning.

Wood, whose additional pace gives him a marked point of difference over potential rivals, is back bowling for Durham this season following a third ankle operation during the winter and, having reported no ill-effects, is expected to receive his first call-up since winning the last of his 11 one-day caps against Pakistan last summer.

Related: County cricket: Hampshire v Yorkshire, Middlesex v Essex – live!

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Apr 12

Stuart Broad will know his body’s limits, but the physios probably know better | Vic Marks

The England bowler was refused permission to play for Nottinghamshire this weekbut with fast bowlers caution is understandable

The 21st-century revival of England’s Test team has much to do with the advent of central contracts. They were introduced in 2000 to the universal relief of the England players and their coaches; there was some grumpiness around the counties but at least they were spared some significant wages. As has been clear this April, the counties have never been averse to what is effectively a handout.

But there are occasions when the central contract system is a source of exasperation. And this is one of them. Stuart Broad was very keen to play against Durham on Friday; his county, Nottinghamshire, now a second division team, were very keen to have him in the XI. But the director of England cricket, Andrew Strauss, has decreed that Broad must stick to the original ECB plan, which had him missing this game.

Related: Stuart Broad’s request to play against Durham knocked back by ECB

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Apr 11

Stuart Broad’s request to play against Durham knocked back by ECB

• Andrew Strauss declines player’s bid to delay time off after 48 hours of talks
• Broad forced to take Easter period off after only one game of the season

Stuart Broad will be a frustrated onlooker this weekend after his request to play for Nottinghamshire against Durham – a match for which he was scheduled to be rested – is understood to have been declined by the England and Wales Cricket Board.

As a centrally contracted player, Broad’s availability is dictated by England and his agreed start to the four-day season was to be his county’s opening match at Leicestershire, which ended on Sunday, and then at home against Sussex, starting on 21 April, with the away fixture at Durham in between marked down as time off.

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Apr 08

County cricket returns with a curious buzz around the English game | Vic Marks

Haseeb Hameed and his new England colleagues are back in the shires as the county game enjoys a rare moment in the sun – metaphorically and literally

It has been a strange start to the cricket season. The established pattern is that the “summer” game – misnamed since so much of the action takes place in spring and autumn – creeps into action as dozily as a hedgehog coming out of hibernation. But this year cricket somehow seems more prominent.

Usually there is just the shuffling of the shelf to make room for the latest Wisden, whose 154th edition was launched at Lord’s on Wednesday. Another yellow-bound beauty, another notch in the passage of time. For those revelling in symmetry and order, which accounts for so many cricket nuts, the latest Wisden just has to be perused and then plonked alongside the rest of them.

Related: The IPL is back: cue bedlam, squeals, thunder and pure cricketing energy

Related: County Championship 2017: fans from the 18 counties share their predictions

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Apr 05

Wisden comes out fighting and backs free-to-air cricket coverage in UK

• Almanack defends decision of Morgan and Hales not to tour Bangladesh
• Wisden also praises timing of Alastair Cook’s resignation as Test captain

Wisden has come out swinging with its 154th edition, condemning England for their Test defeat in India, calling for free-to-air coverage of cricket in the UK and criticising the England and Wales Cricket Board for bringing the County Championship “into disrepute” over its handling of Durham’s enforced relegation.

Long considered the touchstone of the game, the 2017 edition of Wisden’s notes also defends the decision by Eoin Morgan and Alex Hales not to tour Bangladesh on security grounds owing to the “deeply personal” nature of safety and praises the timing of Alastair Cook’s resignation as the England Test captain following a year of stagnation in the longest format.

Related: Eoin Morgan and Alex Hales should not be punished for making a choice | Ali Martin

Related: Alastair Cook resigns as England Test captain to pave way for Joe Root

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Apr 04

Chris Woakes: ‘The IPL is a one-off opportunity I can’t turn down’

An inspired spell of death bowling on England’s recent tour of India helped earn the bashful boy from Birmingham a chance with Kolkata Knight Riders

Chris Woakes admits he squirms when driving into Edgbaston these days given his face has now replaced that of Ian Bell on the side of the famous old ground as Warwickshire’s most marketable cricketer.

Any awkwardness stems solely from the all-rounder’s self-effacing nature, however, and not the fact that while his county team-mates will be pondering tea in their season opener in front of a few hundred spectators against Surrey at The Oval on Friday, he will probably be stepping out to make his debut for Kolkata Knight Riders in the Bollywood-infused glitz and glamour of the Indian Premier League.

Related: Alastair Cook: ‘My relationship with Joe Root is absolutely fine’

Related: Steve Finn: ‘Fundamentally I don’t think I’m a nice guy when I bowl’

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Apr 03

Alastair Cook: ‘My relationship with Joe Root is absolutely fine’

The former England captain insists there will be no problems playing alongside his successor come the South Africa series in July and for now is focusing purely on doing well for Essex in the County Championship

Given this is the first time since 2012 that Alastair Cook has approached an English season without the burden of the England captaincy, and the first time since his international debut in 2006 that the Test summer does not start until July, one might expect him to be discomfited by the novelty.

But a little under two months since relinquishing the leadership of the national side Cook says the buildup to the campaign has been little different from the norm. There has been no sense of a great weight lifting from the shoulders. The decision to leave the captaincy behind “wasn’t based on how I felt day to day”, he says, and familiar faces at Essex have eased what might have been a tricky transition.

Related: Jimmy Anderson and Alastair Cook to kick-start cricket’s brave new world | Vic Marks

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Apr 01

Steve Finn: ‘Fundamentally I don’t think I’m a nice guy when I bowl’

Middlesex and England quick readily admits he has plenty on his plate as he contemplates his 13th first-class season

Steve Finn knows spring has sprung because of the line of questioning he is facing. “Every year for eight years I reckon, answering the same ones,” he says. “Is this my most important year yet? Is this my year?” The laughter he produces is a tad tired.

Finn is a cricketer for whom the years are passing without our noticing – he has taken to describing himself as “long in the tooth”. Embarking on his 13th season as a first-class player, seven years from his Test debut, and turning 28 next week, he understands exactly why this annual ritual takes place, although that does not make him any more likely to rise to the bait. “It comes with the territory,” he says, another answer he has clearly had practice delivering. “International cricketers are in the limelight more than others. I accept that fully.”

Related: Steven Finn puts in a shift without getting the breaks for England

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Mar 31

Warwickshire plan move to bring Moeen Ali back to Edgbaston

• England all-rounder left the county in 2006 for Worcestershire
• Middlesex and Hampshire also monitoring player’s availability

Moeen Ali has long been considered the one that got away at Warwickshire but now the county are understood to be planning a move that would see the England all-rounder return to the club next year.

The 29-year-old began his career at Edgbaston but left at the end of 2006 to join Worcestershire after growing frustrated at a lack of first-team opportunities under Mark Greatbatch, then director of cricket, and has since gone on to become an England regular across all three formats since his debut three years ago.

Related: Liam Livingstone: ‘I have always had that confidence that I could make it’

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Mar 30

Liam Livingstone: ‘I have always had that confidence that I could make it’

After a mighty winter with the Lions, the Lancashire all-rounder is intriguing the England selectors and an ODI cap seems a certainty this summer

Lancashire’s Liam Livingstone is a cricketer on whom observers often pin that abstract trait of having “a bit about him”. In Livingstone’s case that means a certain swagger – he spent his first full county summer not only piling up runs but also rubbing opponents up the wrong way.

He has since translated that form into a mighty winter with the Lions and the England selectors are interested to the extent that it would be a surprise if he is not the owner of an ODI cap by the end of the summer. It looks likely to come against Ireland in May, when Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler are playing in the Indian Premier League, but he may have to wait and face West Indies in September, when a raft of debutants are expected.

Related: Lancashire’s Liam Livingstone hammers maiden hundred against Somerset

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Mar 28

Jimmy Anderson hopes for injury-free England Test summer in runup to Ashes

• Lancashire swing bowler taking road to fitness ‘step by step’
• Anderson could line up for county against Alastair Cook’s Essex from 7 April

England’s all-time leading wicket-taker Jimmy Anderson remains confident his body can withstand the rigours of seven Tests in two months this summer but, as he turns 35 in July, accepts he has to take things “step by step”. As a result, the Lancashire swing bowler is unable to look as far ahead as England’s tour of Australia later in the year, which would be his fourth Ashes tour.

Related: ECB talking to major broadcasters, Facebook and Twitter over T20 rights

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Mar 27

Joe Root backs new T20 plan but says it should be free to air for fans

• ‘Cricket is there for everyone to see,’ he says
• ‘We want families involved,’ says Michael Vaughan

Joe Root has welcomed the ECB’s grand plans for Twenty20 cricket but has underlined the need for it to be shown on terrestrial television.

The England and Wales Cricket Board has unveiled a blueprint for the future , declaring that its proposed eight-team T20 format was needed to ‘future-proof’ domestic cricket.

Related: New Twenty20 tournament will ‘future-proof’ cricket, says ECB’s Tom Harrison

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Mar 24

Saqlain Mushtaq set to sign two-year deal to be England’s spin-bowling coach

• Former Pakistan spinner set to work with senior side, Lions and Under-19s
• Shashank Manohar reverses decision to stand down as ICC chairman

Saqlain Mushtaq is close to agreeing a two-year deal as England’s spin-bowling consultant, a role that will see the former Pakistan international work with players in the men’s national team, the Lions and the Under-19s.

The 40-year-old joined the senior side’s staff for a brief spell during the Old Trafford Test last summer before touring Bangladesh and India during the winter, with both Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid, England’s first-choice spinners, glowing in praise of his methods.

Related: Trevor Bayliss: I’m not a dictator, says England cricket coach

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Mar 23

Trevor Bayliss: I’m not a dictator, says England cricket coach

Before the Champions Trophy and an Ashes series the Australian intends leaving no stone unturned watching emerging players in the County Championship

A few things have become familiar in Trevor Bayliss’s time as England coach. The wide-brimmed floppy atop his head and permanent long sleeves – Bayliss, like so many Australians, is all too aware of the sun’s threat to those who spend a lifetime working in its glare – is one. A grinning, if not always winning, England team is another. So are the stern look and discreet style – pronouncements, public or private – come only when absolutely necessary.

Related: Jason Gillespie checks in with Kent for short-term assistant coaching role

Related: Cricket’s All Stars scheme is fine but kids must see the game as well as play it | Andy Bull

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Mar 19

Batman begins: meet Haseeb Hameed, English cricket’s rising star

It has taken a father’s obsession and a brother’s sacrifice to create the brightest cricketing prospect England has seen in years. Tim Lewis meets ‘Baby Boycott’

As the Observer’s photographer, Murdo, is about to take his first picture, Haseeb Hameed moves a step to the side, like he might do on the cricket field to interrupt the run-up of a bowler while he readies himself. “Hang on,” he says, before standing on one leg, hopping for balance. He removes first one sock, then the other and slips his bare feet back into his loafers. Hameed continues: “It was cold when I put them on this morning.”

It’s still pretty chilly for bare ankles now, to be fair, as we stand on a terraced street in south Bolton in mid-January. Murdo, as Scottish as shortbread, looks on approvingly. “You’re a hard man,” he says, before clicking the shutter.

My dad’s always had a dream of one of his sons playing for England

Personally I don’t want to put my success down to talent. I’m a believer in work

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