Cricket 19: NWHTC – Round Five Squad Announcement

Following a hard fought win against Ireland we now travel to the Netherlands for round five of the inaugural North Western Hemisphere Test Championship. After defeat in our opening match we’ve since won three games on the bounce. We’re keen to get another win under our belt before switching our attention to the newly announced Global ODI Invitational.

Our squad for the NWHTC match in the Netherlands is as follows:

Ben Duckett

Haseeb Hameed

Ben Stokes

Joe Root (Captain)

Jos Buttler

Moeen Ali

Jonny Bairstow (Wicketkeeper)

Sam Curran

Chris Woakes

Stuart Broad

Jamie Porter

Liam Livingstone

Craig Overton

Ben Stokes returns to the side and will bat at three with Ben Duckett moving to his preferred position of opener. Essex’s Jamie Porter comes into the squad for his Test debut and will take the new ball alongside Stuart Broad. Porter replaces James Anderson who is rested as a precautionary measure following injury sustained against Ireland.

Liam Livingstone returns to the full England squad and provides strong cover should injury or illness occur. Liam is a versatile all-round cricketer capable of batting in a variety of positions, bowling both leg and off-spin and is an excellent fielder. Craig Overton also returns to the Test squad on the back of consistent contributions at domestic level. We envisage both players pushing for a place in the team during the Global ODI Invitational.

Unfortunately Rory Burns drops out of the squad. The door is not closed on Rory and it’s up to him to churn out the runs in the County Championship during the Global ODI Invitational in order to make a case to regain his Test spot. Liam Dawson, having acted as 12th man for the Ireland fixture, returns to Hampshire to get some game time ahead of our white-ball adventures.

We’re expecting a soft grassy pitch devoid of cracks in Northern Europe. It’s a tricky one in terms of selection but bring it on!

Cricket 19: Global ODI Invitational!

Following the huge success of the early stages of the North Western Hemisphere Test Championship, I’m delighted to announce our participation in another new cricket competition, the Global ODI Invitational. As well as ourselves the following national cricket teams will be competing in this exciting new 50 over tournament.

Canada

Hong Kong

Namibia

Nepal

Oman

Papua New Guinea

United States of America

The competition will compromise two round robins, that’s fourteen matches each, seven on home shores and as many in far flung corners of the globe. There will then follow semi-finals and a final.

The first half of the league stage will be played at the halfway stage of the NWHTC. We’ll then return to the longer format before switching once again to the shorter format in what will be an exciting build up to the finals of each new tournament. We hope to feature in both.

I know that the team are extremely excited at the prospect of wearing our new kit!

For now though it’s back to whites as we aim for a fourth straight North Western Hemisphere Test Championship win, this time in the Netherlands. Our squad for that match will be announced shortly. Our squad for our opening Global ODI Invitational match will be named after the our Dutch exam.

Weather or Not!

What a shame that the atrocious weather has already washed out a record number of matches at this summer’s Cricket World Cup.

Last year there wasn’t a drop of rain to be seen. Our lawns were yellow and our reservoirs running dry. Now our gardens are lush green and the water banks are being encroached upon, people are even having to evacuate their homes!

I’m all for a bit of precipitation, we need the stuff but hopefully it’ll hold off a little to let the fans who’ve paid and travelled from afar to witness some cricket!

Dawson and Vince Hard Done by ECB not ICC!

Following on from my latest audiocast where I touched upon the subject of Liam Dawson and James Vince being unable to represent Hampshire in the One-Day Cup final, I feel that it’s necessary to look into things a bit further.

It’s a huge shame that these two players, both of whom are likely to more often than not be sub-fielding and carrying drinks for England (But you never know what can happen?!) can’t play in the domestic season’s marquee showpiece. It is of course only appropriate in the interest of fairness that they can’t. It would be unfair for them to be getting match practice, keeping their eye in, staying in form and gaining confidence when the players of the other World Cup participants can’t do so. You do have to question the ECB’s structuring of the English county season though as it is they who should’ve seen this coming and prevented it from happening. The One-Day Cup was played in an exclusive block up to a couple of weeks ago so why on Earth did we then return to First Class cricket for a couple of weeks before the One-Day final randomly slots in to the fixture list?

It’s a shame for the players in question and a kick in the teeth for devoted fans of a county game that in most people’s eyes is seriously struggling as a spectator sport. Remember that Vince is Hampshire’s captain and Dawson has been their star player this year.

Regarding Dawson, there are rumours that he’s been courted by Warwickshire but also that he may have hinted to Hampshire that he only wants a white-ball contract in the future. I’m disappointed to hear that but realistically he’s probably struggling to play Test cricket again. He’s been mightily effective in the PSL for a couple of years and if he can get IPL and CPL gigs as well as playing One-Day and Twenty20 cricket in England then there’s just about enough cricket to occupy him in the summer. This is before we consider the PSL, BPL and Big Bash etc in the winter time, not to mention the Hong Kong Blitz, Global T20 Canada and whatever pops up next! The riches of these gigs are far greater than the county game and a lot less gruelling so the appeal is understandable but it’s also confirmation that the standard of the four-day game in England in particular will continue to decline. If the best players desert it when still in their twenties, we could be left with only young players pre peak and old players post peak to fill the teams.

As for Vince, his appearances in an England shirt this summer have been exactly what everyone expected of him. Pretty but unsubstantial. Not out of his depth but not excelling. How will bench warming for England help him press his case for a top three Test vacancy come the Ashes?

Hopefully Dawson and Vince will get some game time at the World Cup. I’m a big fan of involving the whole squad when it comes to major tournaments but whether or not the structure of the 2019 competition and England’s results will allow it only time will tell.

Telegraph Fantasy Cricket: ODI World Cup 2019 Edition

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Hi followers… and new visitors!

The 2019 ODI Cricket World Cup takes place this summer in sunny old England. The first match sees hosts (And favourites!) England take on South Africa on May 30th.

Please find my Telegraph Fantasy Cricket teams for the 45-day (!!!) tournament below:

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I’ll be looking to captain Buttler to serve a treat!

I’ll be attending Afghanistan versus West Indies at Headingley, so I look forward to witnessing first hand the Caribbean trio of Gayle, Holder and Cottrell rack up the points for me!

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In my second XI, HOPEfully Shai Hope won’t be SHAI of runs!

I’ll also be voyaging to Leeds to see Afghanistan take on Pakistan, so HOPEfully (It never gets old!) Lewis, Hetmyer, Hope, Shahidi and Zazai will fire!

I’ll let you know how I got on come the conclusion of this summer’s ten team tournament.