Ben Stokes Confirmed for T20 South Africa Tour

Coaching personnel for England’s National Cricket Team have begun announcing their lineup of players for their T20 exhibition tour in South Africa. This tour is arriving in December & will mark the first instance of England competing inside the borders of South Africa in decades. Supporters of international cricket are excited to see the action that unfolds during this exhibition tour, with most hoping that Ben Stokes would be confirmed for contention. It’s been announced by England’s T20 Squad that their Captain will return at the South African tournament. Stokes hasn’t competed for nearly two months following his fathers downward spiral with brain cancer. However, the England National Team has managed to sustain identical results without Ben Stokes.

The South African exhibition series will sustain six matches, which will begin on November 27th and end of December 9th. There’ll be three matches under the T20 Division, with an additional three games formatted in the ODI Division. Ben Stokes won’t be the exclusive player with prominent skillsets competing at these games, with Sam Curran & Jofra Archer confirmed for the exhibition series.

Competing at the South African T20 & ODI exhibition series will give these cricketers superior experience towards proposed internationals with India & Sri Lanka. England hasn’t contested in either of these nations for a prolonged period. It’s not guaranteed that either of these international exhibitions will be sustained with neither being confirmed. Permitting that the “England & Wales Cricket Board” approves these tournaments, the England National Team will support more prominence throughout the global cricketing community.

Steve Smith, the previous Captain of Australia’s National Cricket Team, clarified that Ben Stokes is an exceptional player that will provide England with a formidable chance at winning against South Africa. Steve Smith left Australia for the England National Cricket Team in 2020. Additional competitors slated to compete against South Africa include Eoin Morgan, who is employed domestically in the Indian Premier League. This league regularly competes against South Africa, giving England’s Captain inside information into strategies that’ll evoke positive results. It should be noted that whichever team wins the upcoming exhibition tour will receive contention for the 2023 World Cup.

ECB Announces Australian Limited-Overs

The England Cricket Board announced the upcoming dates for their postponed series against Australia, which is sustaining the Limited-Overs format. It was initially expected that England would host the Australian Cricket Team in July 2020, which inevitably entered into postponement status against the COVID-19 Lockdowns. The England versus Australia Limited-Overs will begin in Mid September.

The Australian Government permitted their cricketers to travel under special exemptions, with their international flight slated to enforce severe COVID-19 Protocols upon the team’s arrival & departure to England. This will ensure that none of their bowlers has contracted the virus before entering or leaving Great Britain. Australian’s Cricket Team having an outbreak & bringing it back to their home shores is what the Government is actively looking to avoid. It should be mentioned that before the England versus Australia Limited-Overs, the T20s in Great Britain will unfold.

The T20s are unfolding between September 6th to 8th. Australia’s meetup with England will follow on September 11th, 13th, and 16th. It’s not expected that Australia’s Cricket Team will return home until September 18th, with their arrival scheduled for September 4th. This marks a two-week period in the United Kingdom. Players cannot traverse the country for tourism purposes, having to remain locked down in their respective hotel rooms when not competing. Meals will be cooked by COVID-19 Tested Chefs, with drivers to & from the Old Trafford Stadium will also be tested.

Tom Harrison’s Statements

The EBC Chief Executive Officer released a formal statement of gratitude towards the Australian Government. Tom Harrison mentioned the significant debt owned towards Administrators & Staff with Cricket Australia; who’s direct efforts allowed for their upcoming competition to obtain approval. ECBs Tom Harrison also thanks to the Australian Government for permitting travel exemptions, knowing fully what was required to make this goal achievable. Harrison ended his sentiments by remarking excitement for the upcoming Limited-Overs, hoping his home-team will be victorious. This marks the 2nd international meetup for the England National Cricket Team, who recently competed against the West Indies & Ireland. They’re currently fighting against India, with Australia slated to be their next opponent.

Cricket Ireland Announces ODI Team

Professional sports have begun resuming in Ireland, which follows after COVID-19 social distancing restrictions were lifted. Irish Cricketers were pleased to learn they’d be permitted to compete at the England ODIs later this month. Subsequently, Ireland’s National Cricket Team have announced their squad for 2020. It’ll be led by Andrew Balbirnie, with his position at Captain sustains pasting the ODI Series with England. Talents provided by Andrew & the other cricketers will be seen throughout Southampton in Southern Great Britain. It’ll mark Ireland’s first return since the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded worldwide.

Coronavirus Protocols for Ireland’s National Cricket Team

The Government of Ireland has implemented multiple protocols onto their national cricket team. These protocol requirements are necessary for the safety of cricketers, team personnel, and British punters. Ireland’s National Cricket Team is departed on July 18th from Dublin through a Military-Aided Charter. Bio-Secure Busses will then transport Irish Punters from the Southampton Airport to their hotel.

Players are unable to leave their respective rooms, with socially distanced room service issued for consumption purposes. Two players will be permitted to use the Hotel Gym Services by signing a timesheet, with those individuals having to use opposite sides of that workout facility. Upon leaving the hotel, Irish Cricketers will then be transported to the Ageas Bowl Southampton Grounds by the same Bio-Secure Busses.

The Press Release

Cricket Ireland’s Chair of Selectors, Andrew White, issued an official statement regarding the upcoming ODI Series in Great Britain. He emphasised that fourteen players from the twenty-one announced they would be selected for the 1st & 2nd lineup, with remaining crickets acting as “Back-Ups” if individual athletes cannot compete.

Andrew White than remarked his pleasure towards reacquiring Mark Adair, who hasn’t competed since early 2019 after breaking his ankle. Multiple surgeries throughout the last year have enabled him to be cleared by Cricket Ireland Doctors. Andrew mentioned that athletes by Shane Getakate and Stuart Thompson would allow them to hold serious opposition over their competitions. Chairman White suspects that their combined experience will create formidable challenges for England’s National Cricket Team. Supporters for Cricket Ireland can watch their bowlers compete on July 30th, August 1st, and August 4th.

Cricket Training Academy Opens in British Columbia

The infamous players of tomorrow in professional cricket could be arriving from Canada. Headlines regarding a specialized cricket centre in Surrey, British Columbia have begun circulating online. Called the Stallions Cricket Centre, it’s owned and operated by Khurram Dilshad. He confirmed that two versions of training would be offered, which includes the Passionate Cricketers Academy and the Youth Team. They’ve been active since February 9th but are beginning to garner immense popularity.

North America doesn’t engage with international or professional cricket, often determining that the sport is underwhelming and provides little to zero excitement. That’s why most in Surrey are shocked to learn that Crickets professional fanbase exceeds 2.5 billion. It’s the second most popular sports in the world, with Surrey becoming one of the most popular markets for cricket in North America. It’s made it continuously more challenging to locate training time on fields or placements into teams. That’s what prompted Dilshad to create the Stallion Cricket Centre.

It’s cited that 85% of all cricket players in British Columbia and 73% in Canada are located from Surrey. Having this high level of competition has made it challenging for parents to cater to their children’s passion. That’s why Dilshad created an indoor and outdoor field, allowing for countless games to be players. It should be noted that the standard version of cricket takes upwards of several hours of playtime. This sometimes forces limited freedom for these children.

Those that want to register their children with the Stallions Cricket Centre will be greeted with the best facility in North America for training. The highest-rated coaches are employed by Dilshad, ensuring that all children are provided with the opportunity to learn and play. It’s not known how much it’ll cost to register players, with most sports in Canada costing parents upwards of $10,000.00 yearly.

Dilshad stated: “When the kids have to play at 8 a.m. and rush their games to finish before noon (when most competitive games start), the kids end up playing in long grass and it’s very wet out then, not ideal for teaching fundamentals.”

It is the hope that the new academy will improve the environment that the kids are playing within and allow them a safer more productive place to learn, practise and build upon their skills. Considering the cost and short season, this is certain to have an impact in the years ahead.

ICC Temporarily Bans Kagiso Rabada

The International Cricket Council has actively governed over the South Africa and England test series, with the ICC making multiple announcements this week. It was confirmed that Kagiso Rabada had been banned from the final match during this test series. His removal follows after celebrating the dismissal of Joe Root in a disrespectful manner, which occurred on the 1st day of the third matchup. Kagiso Rabada began to scream inappropriate remarks to Joe Root after being dismissed. One demerit point followed for Rabada as well, adding to four in two years. That immediately triggered a one-match ban, meaning that South Africa’s national cricket team loses one of their most profound players in the final matchup.

Some unexpected individuals came to the benefit of this South African player. Graham Onions from the England national cricket team went to social media, where he described this punishment as harsh from the ICC. Jonathon Trott, a bowler that previously played for England, noted that Rabada’s celebration was aggressive and crossed the line. That Kagiso had displayed aggressive behaviour multiple times and this one-game ban if rightfully deserved. Another instance of Kagiso Rabada receiving a demerit point came when South Africa was competing against India. Kagiso aggressively shouted racial remarks to Shikhar Dhawan. It’s the second time that he’s thrown his racist behaviour into the public eye, with the International Cricket Council unimpressed. Continued offences could result in a permanent ban from international cricket.

Old Trafford Redevelopment Approved

Positive news struck cricket headlines this week when Trafford councillors approved the redevelopment of the “Emirates Old Trafford Stadium”. This follows after a town hall meeting on January 16th, 2020. It was confirmed after the meeting that the Emirates old Trafford would be redeveloped with a new stand, allowing for 2850 additional seats. It was noted that this new stand would replace the Red Rose Suite, providing enhanced member facilities to VIP personnel.

New redevelopments include a newly formatted ticket office, retail shop and heritage centre. After the redevelopment phase is completed, more than 26 thousand fans can fill this house.  Additional announcements made with the redevelopment of Emirates Old Trafford include a new extension to the Hilton Garden Inn Hotel. The Civic Quarter area that surrounds this stadiums will be reformatted for visitors, becoming more appealing and approachable in the process. 

Criticism from Health Campaigners

The Hundred Tournament is set to take off on July 2020. This brand new tournament is an initiative of the England and Wales Cricket Board to interest youth in playing cricket. Now it is slammed with criticism from those who are the strong advocates of a healthy lifestyle. Their main concern with the tournament is that it will promote obesity in the youth through their main sponsor, KP Snacks.

The Origins of the Hundred

This 100-ball tournament was a proposal by the ECB already made in September 2016. This followed after discussions between the Professional Cricketer Association, the Marylebone Cricket Club and 18 of the top cricket counties. The vote was far in favour of the proposed format. The format would be shorter than a Twenty20 with 100 balls in each innings and change usually ends following ten shots. Bowlers would deliver 5 or 10 balls but no more than 20 per game. The idea was to attract a new and younger audience to the game. It is a plan which Joe Root, current Test Captain to England welcomed.

Announcing Sponsorship

Early this month the teams, as well as the branding of the tournament, were published with KP Snacks being the main sponsor to the event. This brought on a wave of criticism from various anti-obesity groups. They claim that KP Snacks are a supplier of junk food and that the brand will become the main focus in the minds of children. The KP Snacks logo is presented on the branding of each team’s clothing. Kate Cross, a cricketer for England, stated that she had hopes that this competition would inspire the younger generation to be more active.

The Involvement of KP Snacks

The Hundred Tournament is set to become a great deal of family fun with various men’s and women’s teams being involved from Cardiff, Leeds, Birmingham, Southampton, Nottingham and London. The tournament will be played at Lord’s as well as the Oval, and it will be broadcasted on BBC and Sky Sports. The ECB stated that their focus is to regain a family involvement in the game and that they want to connect communities. KP Snacks have an extensive portfolio including Skips, Hula Hoops, Butterkist popcorn and McCoy’s crisps. These snacks are part of the British households, and this is the market where KP Snacks wants to get involved in, promoting the game of cricket and educating people on the importance of a balanced lifestyle which entails enough activity.

The Anti-obesity Campaigners

This is not how the anti-obesity campaigners perceive the situation. The tournament and its main sponsor were slammed for using the opportunity to make junk food centre stage in the event, exposing the children to unhealthy products. The criticism is further fuelled by new legislation which prohibits companies whose products contain high amounts of fat, sugar and salt from advertising to those under 16. The counter-argument from these companies that their products can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet stays wholly ignored.

Virat Kohli Received Double Honours in 2019 Wisden

The reputation of Virat Kohli as an outstanding cricketer has been further enriched by a series of accolades from the 2019 edition of the Wisden Cricketers Almanack that was published earlier this week.

The Accolades of Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli, who is going to lead the World Cup campaign for India in England, has recently been voted the leading cricketer of the world for 3 consecutive years after receiving the vote again in 2019. He has also managed to receive one accolade that has been eluding him for most of his career, getting voted as one of the Five Cricketers of the Year by Wisden, which is considered the oldest award on an individual level within the world of cricket.

Wisden Cricket Accolades Worth Mentioning

Sam Curran and Jos Buttler were also voted as one of the five cricketers after their vital roles in the summer campaigns for England along with Rory Burns, who is the championship-winning captain for Surrey, as well as Tammy Beaumont, who is another phenomenal player from the England cricket team on the women’s side.

The fellow Indian of Kohli, Smriti Mandhana, has been voted the leading cricketer when it comes to the women’s cricket game after she managed to rake in 1,291 runs in limited-over formats which included 13 half-centuries. The Afghanistan leg spinner, Rashid Khan, has been voted as the leading T20 cricketer for 2 consecutive years now.

However, Kohli was undoubtedly the dominant figure in the world of cricket for 2018, accumulating 2,735 runs on an international level at 68.37 on all formats. This is more than 700 runs than the nearest challenger who is Joe Root from the England squad.

During that time, Kohli managed to score a phenomenal 11 centuries during 37 innings, 7 of which were accumulated during India’s tour of Australia, England, and South Africa, each considered the most difficult venues for batsmen that travel overseas. His form was particularly outstanding during the Test tour of England even though India suffered a 4-1 defeat in the series. Kohli made a total of 593 runs in 5 Tests with a total of 59.30 which included hundreds at both Trent Bridge and Edgbaston.

Comments from Wisden

Wisden recently stated that “influence on, or excellence in, the previous summer in England was the major criteria for inclusion when it comes to Cricketer of the Year”, and due to the fact that Kohli has managed only 134 runs at a rate of 13.40 during his previous test tour that occurred in 2014, this was essentially his first real chance to finally claim the exclusive honour. This is not like the Leading Cricketer award which can only be achieved once in the career of a player.

“In spite of his losing side, Virat Kohli as the Indian captain managed to shine with his bat, eliminating his struggles that he endured during 2014 in England,” stated Lawrence Booth who is the editor for Wisden.

The Top Cricket Tournaments to Be Held in 2018

In most parts of the world, cricket is a game that attracts thousands of fans and celebrated like other sports.  Therefore you will hear about different cricket tournaments taking place around the year. Here is an analysis on some of the best cricket tournaments to watch for in 2018.

2018 Under-19 Cricket World Cup

Early 2018, cricket fans will head to New Zealand for the under 19 cricket world cup which begins on the 13th January ending on the 3rd of February 2018. This will be the fifth edition of the tournament which is being held in New Zealand for the third time. The first time New Zealand held the tournament was in 2002, and for the second time, they held the tournament in 2010. As a result,

Following the 2016 results, 10 participants were awarded automatic qualification, and therefore they are expected to feature for the games. These include Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Namibia, Zimbabwe, West Indies, Sri, Lanka, South Africa, and Pakistan. The other participants will be the teams that won the regional tournaments. The matches will be hosted in seven venues within NZ, and the Group stage matches are expected to begin with the opening fixtures being NZ VS West Indies.

2017–18 Bangladesh Tri-Nation Series

As the name suggests, this is a tournament that features only three nations. These include Bangladesh the host, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe. Three of the matches will be held at Sylhet International Cricket Stadium, and the remaining matches are likely to be held in Chittagong and Dhaka. The matches will be played on the 15th, the 17th, and 19th of January 2018.

2017–18 Trans-Tasman Tri-Series

This is another tri-nation tournament that will be held in Australia and in New Zealand. The countries that participate include the two hosts and England. These matches will begin on the 3rd of February and will be played on the 7th, 10th, 14th, 16th, and 18th of February 2018. The final match will be played on the 21st February 2018 at Eden Park in Auckland.

2018 ICC World Cricket League Division Two

Namibia will host the ICC World Cricket League Division Two tournament which is scheduled to begin in February 2018. There are a total of six participants including Kenya, Namibia, Oman, Canada, Nepal, and United Arab Emirates. The top teams that are participating in this tournament include Oman and Canada after they were promoted in Uganda.

2018 Cricket World Cup Qualifier

In preparation for the 2019 cricket world cup, Zimbabwe will host this upcoming tournament in March 2018. Of the 10 teams, the ones that perform well will qualify for the world’s cup. Note the decision to have only 10 participants was reached in 2015 when a new cricket structure was launched.

2018 Nidahas Trophy

This is a tri-nation tournament to be held on the 15th of March 2018 and ends on the 30th March 2018. The participants include Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and India. The teams play each other twice, and the finals will be among the top teams.

The above cricket tournaments are some of the top tournaments that are to be held in 2018.