Cricket 19: North Western Hemisphere Test Championship & Squad Announcement

Hello England fans

Having recently been appointed as Selection Architect for the England men’s cricket team, I’m delighted to announce our participation in the newly formed North Western Hemisphere Test Championship. We’ll take on Canada, Ireland, Netherlands, Scotland and USA in home and away Test matches. That’s ten Tests in all before competing in a final.

The team are looking forward to contributing to this new dawn of international cricket, helping to spread and develop the game across the globe whilst ultimately attempting to be crowned inaugural champions.

Joe Root, who I’m delighted to confirm has retained the Test captaincy for this exciting new competition, will collaborate with me in deciding the playing XI on the morning of each match.

The playing squad for our inaugural North Western Hemisphere Test Championship encounter against Scotland at The Oval, Surrey, is as follows:

This versatile twelve-man squad provides the team with flexibility should we be presented with a surprise surface or unexpected injury and allows us to balance the playing XI in a number of ways.

We’re extremely grateful for your support and look forward to you following us around the north western hemisphere both in person and online. Please visit the site in future for detailed match reports complete with images of every England game.

Paul Morris, Selection Architect, England

Disclaimer: Jack Leach and Ollie Pope will be unavailable for selection for the entirety of the competition due to injury*

*By injury I mean technical issues that prevented me from adding them to my pool of 35 players!

England Pinch Salt!

Following injury to the unfortunate Dawid Malan, England have called up Sussex’s Philip Salt for the one-off Twenty20 International against Pakistan tomorrow.

Salt has a top score of 74 in domestic T20 cricket, spent some time on the franchise circuit during the winter and regardless of format, has a habit of getting Sussex off to some brisk starts. Hopefully he can do the same for England if he makes the playing XI.

Archer Arrives!

Congratulations to England’s latest ODI recruits…

No. 252 – Jofra Archer of Sussex

No. 253 – Ben Foakes of Surrey, formerly of Essex

No. 254 – Dawid Malan of Middlesex

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_England_ODI_cricketers

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8b9ySlbdoec

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/18956/game/1161014/ireland-vs-england-only-odi-england-tour-of-ireland-2019

England’s Alternative ODI Squad!

As we approach the business end of the One-Day Cup and England commence their international summer, here’s an alternative England ODI squad based on domestic white-ball performances so far this summer:

Playing XI:

Varun Chopra, Essex (263r @ 87.67)

Billy Godleman, Derbyshire (479r @ 95.80)

Sam Hain, Warwickshire (301r @ 60.20)

Steven Croft, Lancashire (375r @ 125.00)

Jonny Tattersall, Yorkshire – Wicketkeeper (205r @ 51.25 / 10c/2s)

Liam Dawson, Hampshire – Captain (232r @ 46.40 / 13w @ 18.00)

Craig Overton, Somerset (146r @ 146 / 11w @ 12.09)

Nathan Sowter, Middlesex (15w @ 18.13)

Matt Coles, Essex (7w @ 17.14)

Luke Fletcher, Nottinghamshire (14w @ 17.93)

Saqib Mahmood, Lancashire (20w @ 15.85)

Squad Members:

Tom Westley, Essex (295r @ 49.17)

Tom Moores, Nottinghamshire – Wicketkeeper (196r @ 49.00 / 6c/2s)

Alex Thomson, Warwickshire (215r @ 53.75)

Stuart Meaker, Surrey (5w @ 24.20)

What are your thoughts?

Are there any players that I’ve omitted that you think merit recognition?

About Duanne Olivier and my Wife!

As you well know, in-form South African paceman Duanne Olivier has packed his bags for the land of tea, water and Emmerdale… Yorkshire!

That move is disappointing in itself. I’m a Yorkshireman but maintain romantic notions when it comes to international sport. I’d like to see a top player want to perform for his/her country.

The quota system in South Africa probably requires a post of its own. Maybe I don’t even understand it properly.

Olivier, capped ten times at Test level, now says that he wants to play for England. Well I don’t want him to! Does that make me xenophobic and/or a hypocrite? Possibly.

My wife is not from England. She has come to this country and worked here, therefore potentially denying a willing English person that job. Regardless of Olivier denying an Englishman a place in the Yorkshire team or enhancing the quality of the league, he has represented South Africa as an adult. My opinion is that once you’ve made your bed then you must lie in it.

I can understand sportsmen and women switching allegiance from junior level. Nationality is not always as simple as people being born in one country to parents both from said country and being brought up there until adulthood. My daughters are English born to an English father but will still be exposed to a lot of French culture and language here in England before we even consider their visits to France. If they become athletes, I’d have no qualms about them representing France. Of course Jofra Archer, despite having an English parent (And see KP etc) has to qualify to play for England.

Of course there are many previous examples all with varying circumstances but I’m very uncomfortable with the possibility of Olivier pulling on an England shirt.

I have absolutely no problem with a person from any country living and working, including next door or alongside me, in this country but if they relocated as an adult then I wouldn’t expect them to represent our nation at international sport. If I lived in any other country, I wouldn’t say that I was that nationality just because I’d spent two thirds of each of three years living and working there.

There’s an argument that international sport needn’t exist. That we shouldn’t divide ourselves in such ways. There’s no balance between populations, it’s just politics and land grabbing. But if international sport does exist, I don’t think that you can change your mind in your late twenties and switch allegiance. My wife might gain British citizenship but she’ll have been here a lot longer than Olivier.

That’s my piece and I’ve said it.

2019 Women’s Ashes

IMG_4102

The Women’s Ashes takes place this summer and it’s certain to be hotly contested by two extremely talented sides. The multi-format series starts in early July with three ODIs before a single Test and a further three T20Is.

In captain Heather Knight as well as the likes of Anya Shrubsole, Nat Sciver and Katherine Brunt, England possess genuine world class professionals throughout their side.

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Not to mention super stumper Sarah Taylor!

For Australia, Captain Meg Lanning and the ridiculously effective all-round star Ellyse Perry will be key to their chances but their strength goes far beyond those two. The likes of Nicole Bolton, Ashleigh Gardner and Megan Schutt will help the visitors pose a severe threat to the home side.

With the men’s ODI World Cup and Ashes series taking place in England this summer, it’s to be hoped that the women’s encounters gain the exposure that they deserve.

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Since the multi-format points system came into place, the urn has alternated between holders with home advantage playing a pivotal role. England won at home in 2013, Australia won down under in 2014, England again won at home in 2015 before Australia regained the title on home turf in 2017. England will be hoping that Australia don’t buck the trend this year!

Twenty20 Vision?!

England have named their squad for the T20I series against West Indies and I can’t say that I’m enthused…

https://www.ecb.co.uk/england/men/news/1058447/sam-billings-and-dawid-malan-named-in-england-s-it20-squad

I back whoever plays for England (Unless there’s a serious reason that I shouldn’t. We’ll come to that!) but some of the selections in this squad are puzzling.

I’m a huge Dawid Malan fan but he’s hardly been tearing it up on the franchise circuit recently. Yes his international record is outstanding but he’s in no form whatsoever to maintain that record. This opportunity, as with his previous ones, have only come about because of squad rotation. He fully merited selection when he replaced a ‘rested’ Eoin Morgan however, in what was effectively at T20I final. Contrary to his recent franchise efforts, he had been tearing it up for England Lions. I just don’t feel that he’s primed to perform at international level right this moment. I hope that I’m wrong though and that a strong showing can put him back on the Test radar.

The selection of Chris Jordan is a generous one for me. He struggled in the Big Bash this season but is part of the T20I fabric for England. He benefits from the absence of senior bowlers to get game time in this format and of course he does take wickets. Anybody should be able to keep tallying wickets when the opposition are slogging away at the end though. He’s a good fielder but needs to take more wickets for less runs… obviously!

James Vince was superb in the Big Bash, Harry Gurney was steady away and Laurie Evans has backed up strong white-ball seasons in England by becoming an in-demand player on the franchise merry-go-round. None of the above make the squad but…

… Sam Billings does! I can understand the frustration for and with Sam Billings. It’s not easy when you’re a fill-in player, particularly in T20Is when there’s often just one match in a series. This series has three matches though, so Billings will desperately hope to bat in the top four to have a chance to impress. If he can hit the ground running then he could make the most of the series but then again, he’s just filling in. Like Malan, he’ll likely then get dropped again to accommodate the returning Roy, Buttler and Stokes.

I understand the logistical reasons but did England really need to name their squad so soon?

Liam Plunkett could be letting his World Cup place slip away though knowing him, he’ll probably take four wickets in the next ODI. If he fails to take a wicket and gets dropped during the series though, will he still be what England want in the T20Is?

What if Vince hits a couple of hundreds in the PSL between now and the start of the series? Could he be drafted into the squad? Ed Smith is sending out very mixed messages regarding Vince. He was pretty curt when he originally axed the Hampshire man, despite Vince making 76 in his previous Test innings. He did recall him because of injuries for a One-Day International, only for Vince to run himself out… again! Now following sparkling form in the Big Bash, he’s been omitted again.

Another player that’s been mentioned on forums is Joe Clarke. I think that a lot of people don’t know or don’t care why he’s been ignored. My understanding is that he wasn’t dropped from England Lions because of what a teammate may have got up to in his bed. He was dropped because of the list of women on his phone and the competitive element of that. If he matures then I’m quite happy for Joe Clarke to play for England in years to come. As it stands however, I (And that’s just me. I’m not speaking for anyone else) don’t want him anywhere near the England cricket team. Clarke can argue that he’s unfortunate it all came out and of course we don’t know what all players get up to away from work but… tuff!

Another thing that I may have mentioned before. ODIs are ODIs so I call the T20 version T20Is not IT20s… so there!

Edit:

James Vince next PSL innings: 84 off 41

Dawid Malan next PSL innings: 1 off 6