England's two-Test tour of Sri Lanka to go ahead in January

By Sports Desk December 09, 2020

England's two-Test tour of Sri Lanka in January will go ahead as planned, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has confirmed.

The news comes after the abandonment of England's ODI schedule in South Africa when two "unconfirmed positives" in the touring party followed a positive test in the Proteas ranks.

However, the ECB has reached an agreement with Sri Lanka Cricket on the logistics of playing two Tests behind closed doors in Galle.

The first match will take place on January 14-18, with the second set for January 22-26.

A statement read: "The schedule for England Men's Test tour of Sri Lanka has been confirmed with two matches being played behind closed doors in Galle next month.

"The England and Wales Cricket Board and Sri Lanka Cricket have agreed to biosecurity and travel plans for what is a rearranged tour following the postponement in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The touring party will depart on a chartered flight on January 2 and will be subject to quarantine in Hambantota. During this period, the team will be able to train and prepare for five days from 5-9 January at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium.

"The two-match Test series forms part of the ICC World Test Championship. This will be England's penultimate series in the inaugural tournament, and they hope to conclude their campaign against India in February, subject to confirmation of the India tour schedule."

After the decision to cancel the 50-over matches against South Africa was taken, ECB chief medical officer Nick Peirce announced the two individuals that returned inconclusive results were not infected and had been permitted to re-join the group ahead of their return to the United Kingdom on Thursday.

Related items

  • Holder, Pollard, express confidence in respective Super50 squads ahead of 2021 tourney Holder, Pollard, express confidence in respective Super50 squads ahead of 2021 tourney

    Barbados Pride Captain Jason Holder said his team is excited and focused on winning the CG Insurance Super50 competition set to begin on February 7 in Antigua.

    Barbados last won the title in the 2016/17 season and Holder believes that with a shortened season before them, they need to be ready to win consistently.

    “We are really looking forward to the first tournament of the year. It’s great to be back and there is a lot of excitement in our camp. We are focused on winning,” Holder said.

    “It will be important to hold our nerve under pressure and execute under pressure. The team that is most consistent always wins, and we have to look at being consistent and win for our country and our fans.”

    Meanwhile, Red Force Captain Kieron Pollard believes his team is blessed with a good blend of youth and experience to advance to the finals and eventually win it all.

    “I believe we have a very good team in terms of youth and experience and we can go that step further and make it to the finals,” he said.

    “In the last few years, we missed out, reaching the semi-finals and being beaten, once by CCC and once by Leewards. Hopefully, we have all the energy and all the gas in the tank and go all the way. This promises to be a really good tournament, and I know players will be aiming to impress and improve their careers.”

    Both captains are among several West Indies stars set to participate in this year’s tournament.

    In addition to Holder and Pollard, players such as Roston Chase (Barbados Pride), Shimron Hetmyer (Guyana Jaguars), Sheldon Cottrell (Jamaica Scorpions), Hayden Walsh Jr (Leeward Islands Hurricanes), Nicholas Pooran (Trinidad and Tobago Red Force) and Andre Fletcher (Windward Islands Volcanoes) have signalled their participation in the tournament.

    Whilst COVID-19 related constraints mean that 2019-2020 Champions, the West Indies Emerging Players, are unable to defend their title, eight of those talented young winners from the 2019 tournament have found spots in the competing franchise teams, including Keon Harding, Dominic Drakes and Justin Greaves (Barbados Pride), Kevin Sinclair (Guyana Jaguars), Ashmead Nedd (Leeward Islands Hurricanes), Jayden Seales (Trinidad and Tobago Red Force) as well as, Kimani Melius and Roland Cato (Windward Islands Volcanoes).

    Full squads:

    Barbados Pride: Jason Holder (Captain), Joshua Bishop, Shamarh Brooks, Jonathan Carter, Roston Chase, Dominic Drakes, Jonathan Drakes, Justin Greaves, Keon Harding, Chemar Holder, Akeem Jordan, Nicholas Kirton, Zachary McCaskie, Ashley Nurse, Tevyn Walcott; Dexter Toppin (Head Coach)

     

    Guyana Jaguars: Leon Johnson (Captain), Shimron Hetmyer (Vice-Captain), Christopher Barnwell, Anthony Bramble, Asad Fudadin, Chanderpaul Hemraj, Tevin Imlach, Keon Joseph, Ramaal Lewis, Gudakesh Motie, Akshaya Persaud, Kemol Savory, Romario Shepherd, Kevin Sinclair, Nial Smith; Esuan Crandon (Head Coach)

     

    Jamaica Scorpions: Rovman Powell (Captain), Derval Green (Vice-Captain), Fabian Allen, Dennis Bulli, Sheldon Cottrell, Javel Glenn, Brandon King, Andre McCarthy, Jamie Merchant, Romaine Morris, Paul Palmer, Jeavor Royal, Odean Smith, Aldaine Thomas, Oshane Thomas; Andre Coley (Head Coach)

     

    Leeward Islands Hurricanes: Devon Thomas (captain), Montcin Hodge (Vice-Captain), Colin Archibald, Sheno Berridge, Quinton Boatswain, Keacy Carty, Nino Henry, Amir Jangoo, Nitish Kumar, Jeremiah Louis, Ashmead Nedd, Kieran Powell, Ross Powell, Hayden Walsh Jr, Terance Warde; Stuart Williams (Head Coach)

     

    Trinidad and Tobago Red Force: Kieron Pollard (Captain), Darren Bravo (Vice-Captain), Akeal Hosein, Imran Khan, Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammed, Sunil Narine, Kjorn Ottley, Khary Pierre, Nicholas Pooran, Anderson Phillip, Denesh Ramdin, Ravi Rampaul, Jayden Seales, Lendl Simmons; David Furlonge (Head Coach)

     

    Windward Islands Volcanoes: Sunil Ambris (Captain), Andre Fletcher (Vice-Captain), Alick Athanaze, Roland Cato, Keron Cottoy, Kenneth Dember, Larry Edward, Ryan John, Ray Jordan, Desron Maloney, Obed McCoy, Preston McSween, Kimani Melius, Emmanuel Stewart, Kevin Stoute; Andrew Richardson (Head Coach)

     

     

  • UEFA commits to 12 host cities for delayed Euro 2020 UEFA commits to 12 host cities for delayed Euro 2020

    UEFA is committed to its plan of hosting Euro 2020 across 12 host cities, despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

    Euro 2020 was due to take place last year, with 12 nations having been selected to host matches in celebration of the competition's 60th anniversary.

    However, the COVID-19 crisis resulted in UEFA taking the decision last March to push the tournament back to 2021.

    Although Europe is still struggling to deal with the pandemic, with many nations under lockdown rules and travel severely restricted in a bid to limit the spread of the virus, UEFA has reaffirmed its intention for the competition to take place later this year.

    In a statement released on Wednesday, UEFA also said it is retaining hope that the 12 venues will be able to accommodate some fans, despite club competitions continuing behind closed doors.

    The statement read: "UEFA repeated its commitment to holding the Euro across the 12 cities according to the timetable that has already been published.

    "All parties recognise the need for flexibility around decisions to be made on the arrangements for the tournament, in order to reflect the different challenges and circumstances that cities find themselves in. 

    "As a result of that and the fast-changing nature of the situation around the pandemic, the deadline for the submission of plans to accommodate fans inside the stadiums has been moved to early April."

    In limited numbers, spectators had been allowed into venues in certain European nations – including Germany, England and France – in 2020, though those schemes were ended as infection rates increased again.

    "UEFA is committed to holding Euro 2020 in the 12 cities originally planned," UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said.

    "The Euro is the flagship competition for national team football in Europe and is a vital source of funding for grassroots and wider football development. 

    "I am optimistic that things are highly likely to be very different with regard to the virus as we move closer to the tournament and it is important that we give the host cities and governments as much time as we can to formulate an accurate picture of what will be possible come June and July. 

    "Fans are such a big part of what makes football special and that is true of the Euro as much as it is of any game. We must allow ourselves the maximum space to allow their return to the stadiums."

    London, Rome, Glasgow, Bilbao, Dublin, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Baku, Budapest, Bucharest, Saint Petersburg and Munich are the designated host cities for the finals.

    Each city will host three group games, and one match in either the round of 16 or quarter-finals, with the semi-finals and final to be played at Wembley Stadium.

  • 'Face more balls, score more runs' - How simple advice from batting star Kohli helped WI batsman Blackwood 'Face more balls, score more runs' - How simple advice from batting star Kohli helped WI batsman Blackwood

    In-form West Indies middle-order batsman, Jermaine Blackwood, has credited brief advice received from top-class India batsman Virat Kohli as helpful in changing his mindset towards scoring runs.

    The 29-year-old scored his first century against England in 2015, a plucky 112 unbeaten in a draw in Antigua.  Following that impressive achievement, however, Blackwood seemed unable to cross the double-digit threshold.  In fact, before finally breaking the streak with 104 against New Zealand, in December, Blackwood had managed to score 10 half-centuries in-between but always fell short of a triple-digit score.

    Included in that number were some figures frustratingly well clear of the 50 mark, but falling just short of the 100 mark, when for all intents and purposed the batsman seemed well set to do so.  The tally includes three scores in the 90s.  He scored 92 against Sri Lanka, in Galle, in 2015; 95 against Pakistan, in Abu Dhabi, in 2016, and 95 against England, in Southampton, in July of last year.  Prior to that, Blackwood also registered 85 against England, in Bridgetown, in May 2015.  During India’s tour of the West Indies, Blackwood took the opportunity to seek the advice of run-machine Kohli when the two briefly interacted off the pitch.

    “I just asked him how come all the time I score so many half-centuries and just one century, and he just replied, ‘What did you do when you scored the century? How many deliveries did you face?’ I said I faced 212, and he said that’s it, once you can bat some balls you will score runs,” Blackwood recalled.

    “I took a lot from that and I’ve always told myself, after that conversation, once I can bat over 200 balls or 300, I’m going to score runs.  Once I’m there, the way I bat, I’m going to score runs regardless of who I’m playing against or where I’m playing.”

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.