Mark Wood admits England’s rainy T20 World Cup preparations ‘not ideal’

  • Two warmup matches with Pakistan washed out
  • ‘One or two might feel we need a game or two’

Mark Wood has admitted England’s preparations for the T20 World Cup have been “not ideal” after two of their first three warmup games against Pakistan were rained off. It leaves both sides heading into Thursday’s final encounter at the Oval – and transatlantic flights the following day – far from battle-honed.

Before the 2022 tournament, held in Australia, England played a seven-match series in Pakistan, then three games against the hosts – one in Perth, also the venue of their first World Cup fixture – and a final warmup match, against Pakistan again. Fully grooved by an 11-game buildup, and having got their international travel out of the way early, they went on to win the trophy.

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England v Pakistan: third men’s T20 cricket international abandoned – as it happened

Persistent rain in Cardiff meant a second washout in three games for England and Pakistan

Some learnings are bigger than others

The rain is forecast to clear around 7pm, after which the radar looks clear for at least an hour. I’m sure Andrew Miller will be able to find a radar that has the apocalypse pencilled in for 8.01pm, but for now let’s accentuate the positive.

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County cricket: Hampshire hammer Surrey and encourage chasing pack

The Division One table suddenly looks a lot more interesting but there are still too many draws blighting the second tier

By Gary Naylor for the 99.94 Cricket Blog

In Spirited Away (an adaptation of which is currently wowing crowds and critics in the West End), the enigmatic No Face reflects back the emotions and attitudes of anyone or anything he encounters. Surrey ran into their No Face at the Utilita Bowl, where Hampshire gave the champions a working over that would have made Godzilla proud.

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County cricket: Essex beat Kent, Northants draw with Yorkshire – as it happened

Essex beat Kent by an innings and 96 runs to close the gap to Surrey to two points at the top of Division One

Hosing it down here in Manchester – though play is due to start at 12.15. All depends whether OT can dodge the showers. Roses, honeysuckle, cricket pitch, all sad and soggy.

Hello Nick Richards. “Sorry to bother you but do you know why Hants got 23 points?

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Jofra Archer’s ‘goosebumps’ comeback fuels England’s T20 World Cup defence

  • ‘I’ve seen a shift in his mindset,’ says Chris Jordan
  • Archer took two wickets against Pakistan at Edgbaston

Jofra Archer’s long-awaited England return was a goosebumps moment for his close friend Chris Jordan, who now believes Archer will offer the attack a “different-level mood” come the T20 World Cup defence next month.

It was a point hard to quibble after the 23-run win against Pakistan at a sold-out Edgbaston on Saturday, Archer shaking off a rusty 15-run first over with the ball to help shut down the run chase with figures of two for 13 from his remaining three.

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Cricketers’ chief Lynch: ‘The Ashes could become like the Ryder Cup’

Cricket is changing fast: the modern player knows his value and sees the bigger picture, says the outgoing PCA head, Rob Lynch

“I have never seen a more engaged playing group than we have right now,” says Rob Lynch, the outgoing chief executive of the Professional Cricketers’ Association. “They want to understand the value of broadcast deals, crowd figures and viewerships. They get the economics and they get their value. That’s the real difference these days.”

After four and a half years at the players’ union, the 41-year-old Lynch is about to move on, a role as director of cricket operations at Marylebone Cricket Club too enticing to turn down. It is also a return of sorts, the former New Zealand Under-19s batter having been part of the young cricketers scheme at Lord’s back in the day when their first choice, a certain Brendon McCullum, was still in two minds about pursuing a rugby career.

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Moeen Ali ready to lead England when Jos Buttler is on paternity leave

All-rounder is relishing facing Pakistan on his home ground and his experience could be key when captain called away

Moeen Ali signed off from the 50-over World Cup with a typically ­honest admission that England should turn to the next generation. Although as the 36-year-old heads into the Twenty20 equivalent next month – a tournament in which he could ­captain the side at some point – there are no thoughts of­ international retirement.

Speaking in India last November, Moeen said the players failed to see “the writing was on the wall” and he would “just start again”. As such, having called time on Test cricket after his final-day Ashes heroics last summer, and currently on a one-year central contract, it raised the ­question whether next month in the Caribbean will be his last dance.

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