Having reached the halfway point of the inaugural North Western Hemisphere Test Championship we now turn our attention to ODI Cricket. There are seven straight ODIs to be played as we complete the first half of the newly formed Global ODI Invitational.
I’m delighted to announce that in this format Jos Buttler will lead the side. With Joe Root captaining the Test side, it’s just too much to ask for one person to lead in both formats given the current volume of international cricket.
Our England squad for the opening match against Papua New Guinea at The Oval is:
Jos Buttler (Captain)
Jonny Bairstow (Wicketkeeper)
There’s a strong emphasis on consistency with our Test squad and no compromise has been made in terms of selecting our strongest ODI XI, save for Stuart Broad and James Anderson focusing on Test cricket.
Dawid Malan and Jofra Archer, both of whom have featured in NWHTC squads without playing, come into the playing XI. Liam Dawson, who’s made one NWHTC appearance comes in to the team and Liam Livingstone, who was 12th man for our most recent Test in the Netherlands, will make his ODI debut.
Imad Wasim, who yesterday broke Afghanistan hearts and kept Pakistan in the 2019 Cricket World Cup was born in… Wales, Swansea to be precise!
I’ve just returned from a scorching Headingley where Pakistan’s senseless top order batsmen did their best to throw the match away but Afghanistan’s captain did instead!
To say that the atmosphere was vibrant would be an understatement… and that was just outside the ground!
Afghanistan ground their way to 227-9 and though Pakistan lost an early wicket they soon looked in command. Both Imam and Babar got out though when trying to force the pace even though the required rate was far less than a run-a-ball.
Needless run outs also contributed to Pakistan’s demise but Imad Wasim seized the initiative while Afghan skipper Gulbadin Naib conceded 18 in a torturous over before absurdly still bowling the final over. Though Hassan was injured and I’m not sure what happened to Rahmat who seemed set to come on at one point, any other bowler (Player even!) who bowled anything slower than Gulbadin would’ve been a more sensible choice.
It was the hottest day of the year but my three bottles of water and big hat helped me through. I still managed to get burnt and had to buy a t-shirt just to protect my legs!
The match went to the wire and for England and romantics out there, a Pakistan victory is disappointing but they scraped through in the end. Fair play!
This will take some coming back from for Afghanistan who also let victory slip away from them against India. It also leaves England likely needing to defeat both India and New Zealand to progress to the semi-finals.
Matthew Wade’s Test record is ordinary. If you don’t believe me…
He has however been tearing it up on the Australian domestic circuit in recent seasons and does appear to have genuinely improved as a player. The wicketkeeper by trade is focusing on his batting in order to get back in the national side and wielding the willow as high up the order as possible.
On the Australia A-team’s tour of England he’s made back to back hundreds (117 & 155) in the two List A games played so far…
Admittedly the bowling attacks of Northamptonshire and Derbyshire aren’t comparable to England’s. It’s still not going to be easy for the thirty-one-year-old to force his way into Ashes reckoning but if he carries on like this then you just never know.
Not for the first time on the international stage, West Indies’ all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite demonstrated his immense talent…
Unfortunately, if not for the first time, it was only about the second or third time he’d done so in 79 international appearances…
This can’t be another bi-annual flash in the pan for the thirty-year-old. With age and experience must come consistency.
As for criticism of the tournament structure, it’s misguided. Yes I’d love more nations to be a part of the WORLD Cup but as it is, the set-up is correct. Quite simply, everybody plays everybody and the best four teams qualify for the semi-finals. Call it predictable but isn’t this how it should be?
Smaller groups with less teams lead to one shock effecting the whole tournament. Don’t get me wrong, I’m truly a sporting romantic and love the underdog to prevail but the structure of the 2019 Cricket World Cup is fine. Some teams just need to play better and unfortunately teams like West Indies, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka took too long to do so!
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:
Joe Root (Captain)
Jonny Bairstow (Wicketkeeper)
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!
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.
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.