Reports have emerged suggesting that Trinidad and Tobago will host all matches in the 2020 edition of the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL).

Grant Flower expects Pakistan run machine Babar Azam to "break a lot of records" but fears there is a danger he could regret taking over as captain.

Babar is the top-ranked Twenty20 international batsman in the world and has established himself as one of the best players on the planet in all formats.

The 25-year-old was named T20I skipper last October and also took the ODI captaincy this month.

Flower recognised the elegant right-hander was a special talent when he first started working with him as Pakistan batting coach and believes he is destined for greatness.

He told Stats Perform News: "Babar is brilliant.

"The first time I saw him play and first time I worked with him - when I threw balls at him at the academy in Lahore - he picked up length so much quicker than the rest of the players and I think that's the hallmark of a great batsman.

"If you look at some of the best players in the world like Steve Smith, Virat Kohli et cetera, they pick up length really quickly and play the ball late, have a great eye and hand-eye coordination. He has that and I think he is going to break a lot of records.

"Even in T20 cricket he plays normal cricket shots and that is also the sign of a great player. As long as he stays humble, which I'm sure he will as he's a good bloke, there is no reason why he can't be one of the best and he already pretty much is."

Sri Lanka batting coach Flower hopes Babar thrives as a leader but fears his form could suffer due to the extra pressure on his shoulders.

The former Zimbabwe all-rounder said: "He's got a good cricketing brain but there's a lot of politics in Pakistan cricket and a lot of pressure from the public.

"If you start losing, it's one thing being the best batsman but that will put pressure on your batting skills and it can all come tumbling down pretty quickly.

"We've seen with great players in the past the pressures that captaincy can bring, but some players get better and if he gets better then the world is his oyster. Time will tell.

"But he seems pretty positive about it, I read what he said in an interview when he got the captaincy. I wish him all the best and hopefully all positives come with that."

 

- Grant Flower was speaking on behalf of The Conservation Games, a first-of-its-kind initiative from the Zambesia Conservation Alliance. To watch Grant in action, visit and subscribe to the Conservation Games channel on YouTube.

The Jamaica Cricket Association has expressed sadness at the passing of National Senior Women’s team coach Cleon Smith who died on Thursday, after a brief illness.

is truly saddened at the passing of Mr Cleon Smith, who was at the time of his death today, the coach for the National Senior Women’s team.

In addition to Jamaica’s senior women’s team, Smith was also the coach for the Northern Panthers Franchise, the Senior Men, Women and U15 coach for the St. Ann Cricket Association and he also coached at York Castle High School.

According to the JCA, Smith fell ill and was admitted to the Kingston Public Hospital just about two weeks ago but failed to recover from his ailment. They praised him for his contribution to the sport.

“Coach Smith was the epitome of commitment to the sport. Cricket has been a life-long love for him, and his association with the JCA dates back well over a decade. While Cleon was involved with the national programme as a coach for the national women’s team for an extended period, he stood in as U-17 men’s coach at one point. Beyond that, he was involved at the local franchise level, the parish level and even Headley Cup,” said JCA CEO Courtney Francis.

“It is quite a sad day for us at the JCA and across the local cricket landscape. Jamaica’s cricket was better off for his years of dedicated service. Our thoughts and prayers are with the senior women’s team in this moment and we will reach out to provide support for them as they would be the hardest hit within the national programme.

“To his family, we extend our deepest condolences. We are with you in this period of grief and we will be a pillar of strength on which you can lean. The JCA is here for you,” he added.

Raised as a baseball player, Quinton de Kock's fearless striking and handy glove work, early in his career, earned him comparisons to greats of the game like Adam Gilchrist and Mark Boucher.

By the age of 21, de Kock shared the record for the most successive ODI centuries - three - before it was bettered by Kumar Sangakkara. A year later, he had established himself in all three formats.

In November of 2013, de Kock scored his first ODI century against Pakistan and a month later, he reeled off three in a row against India.

By his 20th ODI match, he had already scored five centuries. He became the fourth player to score three successive one-day centuries and the second player to score four ODI centuries before his 21st birthday.

In his 74th ODI, against Sri Lanka on February 10, 2017, he became the fastest player to complete 12 ODI hundreds, bettering Hashim Amla, who had achieved the landmark in 81 innings.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Quinton de Kock

Born: December 17, 1992, Johannesburg, Gauteng

Major teams: South Africa, Cape Town Blitz, Cape Town Knight Riders, Delhi Daredevils, Easterns, Gauteng, Gauteng Under-19s, King Edward VII High School, Lions, Mumbai Indians, North of South Africa, Royal Challengers Bangalore, South Africa A, South Africa Under-19s, South African Composite XI, South African Invitation XI, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Titans

Playing role: Wicketkeeper batsman

Batting style: Left-hand bat

Fielding position: Wicketkeeper

 

ODI Career: South Africa (2013 – Present)

Mat Inns NO Runs HS  Ave       SR   100  50  Ct St

121 121  6  5135  178  44.65  94.84 15  25  164 9

 

Career Highlights

  • 164 catches and 9 stumpings in ODIs
  • Fastest South African to reach 1,000 ODI runs
  • 4th player to score 3 successive one-day centuries
  • fastest to complete 12 ODI hundreds (74 ODIs)

Mushfiqur Rahim was included in Bangladesh's squad to tour Zimbabwe for five ODIs in 2006. He was one of three uncapped ODI players included in the squad alongside all-rounders Farhad Reza and Shakib Al Hasan.

On that tour, he scored his maiden half-century at Harare against Zimbabwe.

However, he would not score his first ODI century until 2011 when he compiled 101 against Zimbabwe at Harare in August that year.

Since then he has scored six others against Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Australia.

April 2019, he was named in Bangladesh's squad for the 2019 Cricket World Cup.

In the first innings of Bangladesh's opening match in the World Cup, against South Africa, he scored an 80-ball 78, contributing to a 142 run partnership with Shakib Al Hasan.

Bangladesh went on to score their highest total in an ODI match, finishing on 330/6 from their 50 overs, beating South Africa by 21 runs.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Mohammad Mushfiqur Rahim

Born: May 9, 1987, Bogra

Major teams: Bangladesh, Bangladesh Under-19s, Karachi Kings, Khulna Tigers, North Zone (Bangladesh), Rajshahi Division, Rajshahi Kings, Sylhet Division, Sylhet Royals

Playing role: Wicketkeeper batsman

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Fielding position: Wicketkeeper

 

ODI Career: Bangladesh (2005-present)

Mat        Inns        NO         Runs      HS          Ave        BF           SR           100s        50s           Ct          St

218           204        34          6174      144        36.31     7794      79.21               7          38           181        44

 

Career Highlights

  • 2nd most appearances by a Bangladeshi in ODIs (218)
  • Most runs by a Bangladeshi at numbers 4 and 6
  • Has scored 6,174 runs in ODIs at an average of 36.31
  • He has 7 hundreds and 38 half centuries in ODIs

Andy Flower was, for a long time, Zimbabwe's only batsman of true Test quality in all conditions.

He also holds a peculiar record as an ODI wicket-keeper-batsman of world-class quality. Andy Flower is also the only player to score an ODI hundred on debut in a World Cup match.

He also has the record for the most matches (149) between his first and second centuries with the latter coming in his 150th ODI.

He, along with Heath Streak set the record for the highest 7th wicket partnership for Zimbabwe in ODIs.

For a period of about two years from the start of 2000, he was so phenomenally consistent that he has no rival as the best player in Zimbabwe's history. He was expected to excel in both departments: wicket-keeping and batting and was handed the additional responsibility of leading both the ODI and Test teams.

In the latter part of his career, Flower was compared with Adam Gilchrist, who many pundits acknowledged was the best wicketkeeper-batsman the world had ever seen.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Andrew Flower

Born: April 28, 1968, Cape Town, Cape Province, South Africa

Major teams: Zimbabwe, Essex, Marylebone Cricket Club, Mashonaland, South Australia

Batting style: Left-hand bat

Fielding position: Wicketkeeper

Height: 5 ft 10 in

 

ODI Career: Zimbabwe (1992 – 2003)

Mat       Inns      NO        Runs      HS        Ave       BF         SR         100s       50s          Ct        St

213        208       16         6786      145       35.34     9097      74.59          4         55           141       32

 

Career Highlights

  • 3rd batsman to score a century on ODI debut
  • Has scored 6,786 runs in ODIs at an average of 35.34
  • 4 hundreds and 55 half-centuries in ODIs

Brendon McCullum was a brutal batsman capable of destroying bowling attacks like few other men in international cricket.

A wicketkeeper-batsman, McCullum has been used throughout the New Zealand batting order and was destructive wherever he bats.

His wicket-keeping was also quite brilliant.

On April 5, 2009, on day three of the third Test match during India's tour of New Zealand, he displayed an amazing level of alertness in the dismissal of Rahul Dravid.

Dravid attempted a sweep shot off Daniel Vettori's bowling, but McCullum saw what Dravid was up to before the ball had even pitched and moved swiftly to his left (Dravid's leg side). Ross Taylor at first slip did the same. The ball came nicely off Dravid's bat but flew straight into the hands of a waiting Brendon McCullum.

However, it was his batting that captured the imagination for the sheer brutality.

On November 6 2009, against Pakistan at Abu Dhabi, McCullum scored his second ODI century of 131 to elevate New Zealand to 303 and win the match to level the series.

On February 16, 2010, during the only Test match against Bangladesh, he scored 185, which is the highest score ever by a New Zealand wicket-keeper in Test cricket. He was also involved in the record highest sixth-wicket partnership for New Zealand of 339 runs.

On February 27, 2010, McCullum became the second player to score a T20I hundred, finishing 116 not out, the West Indies Chris Gayle was the first.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Brendon Barrie McCullum

Born: September 27, 1981, Dunedin, Otago

Major teams: New Zealand, Brisbane Heat, Canterbury, Chennai Super Kings, Glamorgan, Gujarat Lions, Kochi Tuskers Kerala, Kolkata Knight Riders, Lahore Qalandars, New South Wales, Otago, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Sussex, Toronto Nationals, Trinbago Knight Riders, Warwickshire

Playing role: Wicketkeeper batsman

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Fielding position: Wicketkeeper

 

ODI Career: New Zealand (2002-2016)

Mat        Inns        NO         Runs      HS          Ave        BF           SR           100s        50s           Ct           St

260        228        28           6083      166        30.41     6312      96.37     5             32           262        15

 

ODI Career: New Zealand (2002-2016)

  • Fastest to score a fifty in World Cup history (18 balls)
  • Has the 4th fastest ODI 50 of all time
  • Led the New Zealand team to their first World Cup final

England have named 14 uncapped players among a 55-man squad to join up for England group training. 

Will Jacks, Dan Lawrence, Tom Kohler-Cadmore and Henry Brookes are among those selected yet to feature at international level, but there is no place for experienced duo Alex Hales or Liam Plunkett. 

David Willey, Ben Duckett and Dawid Malan, however, will be hoping to make a return for England after they were asked to report for sessions that will go ahead subject to government approval. 

Bowlers were able to begin individual training last week for the first time since they were forced into lockdown due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

There has been no confirmation of when England will play next, but a large training group was announced on Friday ahead of a proposed Test series with West Indies on home soil, as well as one-day games against Ireland.

England and Wales Cricket Board performance director Mo Bobat said: "It's really pleasing to be in a position to have players returning to training and a huge amount of work has been done by many to get us this far. 

"The pool of players will give selectors strong options when it comes to selecting squads across formats further down the line, as we move closer to our aim of playing international cricket this summer. 

"We will need to continue to work closely with our medical team and government to ensure that our return to training and play activities are in line with best-practice guidelines. 

"We're also really grateful for the positive and collaborative response from our county colleagues who are doing a great job at facilitating coaching and support for the players. The fact that we can call on our network to support the national effort shows the strength of our system." 

 

England training group: Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Tom Banton, Dom Bess, Sam Billings, James Bracey, Stuart Broad, Henry Brookes, Pat Brown, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Brydon Carse, Mason Crane, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Liam Dawson, Joe Denly, Ben Duckett, Laurie Evans, Ben Foakes, Richard Gleeson, Lewis Gregory, Sam Hain, Tom Helm, Will Jacks, Keaton Jennings, Chris Jordan, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Liam Livingstone, Saqib Mahmood, Dawid Malan, Eoin Morgan, Craig Overton, Jamie Overton, Matt Parkinson, Ollie Pope, Adil Rashid, Ollie Robinson, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Phil Salt, Dom Sibley, Ben Stokes, Olly Stone, Reece Topley, James Vince, Amar Virdi, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

Cricket Australia (CA) is braced for a huge financial hit due to the possible postponement of the ICC Twenty20 World Cup, as well as playing home games without spectators. 

Speaking to the media on Friday, CA chief executive Kevin Roberts predicted the governing body stands to miss out on 80million Australian dollars due to the potential changes caused by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Admitting there is a “very high risk” of the global T20 tournament being pushed back from the original plan of October and November this year, Roberts outlined the expected missed income due to such a delay. 

However, the bigger blow is a home summer without any fans present at international fixtures, while there is also the extra cost of the biosecurity measures required to host opposing teams. 

"The likelihood of significant crowds is very slim - ordinarily that would deliver well over $50m revenue to CA," Roberts told reporters. 

"The T20 World Cup is a big question and that's a factor of perhaps $20m. We have been hopeful all along that it could be staged in October-November, but you would have to say there's a very high risk about the prospect of that happening. 

"And it's likely that our biosecurity measures that we need to put in place to deliver the season will cost in the order of $10m." 

Australia are due to host Zimbabwe in one-day internationals in August, then West Indies arrive for T20 games in October. As for Tests, Afghanistan are due to play one in Perth in November, followed by a four-match series against India, who complete their tour with three ODIs in January. 

New Zealand are the final visitors of a packed schedule, making the short trip for three one-dayers and a one-off T20 early next year. 

On the recently released schedule, Roberts remained cautiously optimistic, adding: “We're very optimistic that we will be able to stage the India men's tour and the other inbound tours for the season. 

"But we're realistic enough to know they will look very different to a normal summer. We have been forced to effectively plan for the worst and hope for the best." 

A team in transition was what Ross Taylor found when he joined the ranks of the black caps in 2006.

Gone were the names of the 1990s and New Zealand needed a new talisman. Taylor has not disappointed, scoring his first century in just his third One-Day International, 128, against Sri Lanka in Napier.

Taylor is brave. Known for slog sweeping quick bowlers with no thought to the danger such a ploy poses to his health. He is also a very powerful puller and cutter of the ball.

With great power comes great responsibility and Taylor has shown himself up to the task of providing the Black Caps with that necessary consistency over the last 10 years, while they hone tremendous talent around him. At 36, Taylor is in the twilight of his career but nobody would bet against him adding to his 21 ODI centuries and 51 half-centuries.                 

Career Statistics

Full name: Luteru Ross Poutoa Lote Taylor

Born: March 8, 1984, Lower Hutt, Wellington

Major teams: New Zealand, Australian Capital Territory, Central Districts, Central Districts Under-19s, Delhi Daredevils, Durham, Jamaica Tallawahs, Middlesex, New Zealand Emerging Players, New Zealand Under-19s, Pune Warriors, Rajasthan Royals, Royal Challengers Bangalore, St Lucia Zouks, Sussex, Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel, Victoria

Playing role: Middle-order batsman

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm offbreak

 

ODI Career: New Zealand (2006-present)

Mat    Inns    NO     Runs     HS      Ave      BF         SR      100s    50s     4s      6s     

232     216      39     8574      181*   48.44    10273   83.46      21      51      711    146   

 

Career Highlights

  • First Kiwi to have centuries against all Test-playing nations in ODIs
  • Tallied 8574 runs at an average of 48.44
  • Produced 21 centuries and 51 half-centuries in ODIs
  • Between 2015 and 2017, he averaged 61.48
  • Between 2018 and the present, he’s averaged 68.46

While an undoubted talent, Sri Lanka’s Aravinda de Silva crowned himself in international glory with a century in the 1996 World Cup final to give the country its first hold on the title.

At the time of Aravinda’s arrival on the international scene, Sri Lanka were a team on the up as a force in world cricket, but their batsmen were often guilty of not being able to perform away from home and were suspected not to have the tools to deal with real pace bowling. Standing at 5 ft 3 in, Aravinda would become one of the giants who served to lay waste to that particular thought.

He cut and pull with verve and possessed a beautiful cover drive that would bring him 11 centuries and 64 fifties, of course, none of them as memorable as that 124 against Australia in the World Cup final.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Pinnaduwage Aravinda de Silva

Born: October 17, 1965, Colombo

Major teams: Sri Lanka, Auckland, Kent, Nondescripts Cricket Club

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm offbreak

 

ODI Career:   Sri Lanka (1984-2003)        

Mat    Inns    NO     Runs    HS     Ave       BF          SR       100s    50s  

308      296     30     9284     145    34.90    11443     81.13      11      64     

 

Career Highlights

  • Only player to make a hundred and take 3 + wickets in a CWC final
  • 3rd most runs at 1996 World Cup (448)
  • Scored 11 centuries and 64 ODI half-centuries
  • Won 31 Man-of-the-Match and 3 man-of-the-series awards

Mr Cricket, Michael Hussey’s rise to the international ranks took place belatedly, with the middle-order batsman earning a call to Australia’s One-Day International (ODI) team in 2004 when he was just two months shy of his 29th birthday. But once he got there, his attitude to everything cricket was tremendous. That attitude meant he ended with a healthy career average of 48, rarely failing to bolster the Australian middle-order. Without aiming for the big shots over the top, Hussey scored at a brisk 87.16, running between the wickets hard and never failing to find the gaps in the field. He was as busy at the crease as he was on the field, always keeping an intensity that the rest of the Australian setup fed from. In truth, Hussey was an opener but was pushed down the order in the Australian line-up. That too was accepted with the same professionalism he approached everything. Centuries were not a regular feature of Hussey’s career, not because he didn’t have a penchant for batting for long periods, but because he generally bat with the lower order and wasn’t given the time. Still, he scored three centuries, including 109 not out against the West Indies at the Kinrara Academy Oval in 2006. He would also score 105 against New Zealand in 2007 and fell a run short of his unbeaten highest against Bangladesh in 2011.

  

Career Statistics

Full name: Michael Edward Killeen Hussey

Born: May 27, 1975, Mt Lawley, Perth, Western Australia

Major teams: Australia, Chennai Super Kings, Durham, Gloucestershire, Mumbai Indians, Northamptonshire, St Lucia Zouks, Sydney Thunder, Western Australia

Playing role: Middle-order batsman

Batting style: Left-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm medium

Height: 1.80 m

 

ODI Career: Australia (2004-2012)

Mat    Inns    NO     Runs     HS      Ave      BF       SR      100s    50s    4s      6s   

185     157      44     5442      109*   48.15    6243   87.16       3      39     383     80   

 

Career Highlights

  • 2007 ICC world Cup winner
  • The top-ranked ODI batsman in the world in 2006
  • Scored 3 centuries and 39 fifties
  • Scored 5,442 runs at an average of 48.15

Viv Richards’ is a career of firsts. He was the first to intimidate bowlers in an era that belonged to hostile pacers and he took his bravado and swagger from Test cricket into the One-Day International game. Such was the man’s class and quality in the era, that his statistics match up well with some of the best ODI players of today. With a strike rate of more than 90, Sir Viv still managed an uncanny consistency, averaging 47 and scoring 11 centuries along with 45 half-centuries. All the greats who played against Sir Viv have agreed there was no strategy for bowling to him because he had no weaknesses save for his insatiable appetite for dominating the bowling. Those who watched him, believed whenever he would play defensively, it was just to take a breather or just to show he could. As recently as 2002, Wisden chose Sir Viv as the greatest ODI batsman of all time and he was voted one of the five Cricketers of the Century by a 100-member panel of experts in 2000. Of course, Sir Viv was a shoo-in for the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame, making his entrance in 2009.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards

Born: March 7, 1952, St John's, Antigua

Major teams: West Indies, Combined Islands, Glamorgan, Leeward Islands, Queensland, Somerset

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm slow, Right-arm offbreak

 

ODI Career: West Indies (1975-1991)

Mat    Inns    NO     Runs     HS       Ave       BF       SR      100s   50s   

187     167     24       6721     189*    47.00     7451   90.20     11     45    

 

Career Highlights

  • 1st in ODI history to achieve 20 Man-of-the-Match awards
  • 189 vs Eng, held the record for highest per cent (69.48%) of team’s total until 2017
  • 1st player to smash a ton and take 5 wickets in an ODI
  • 1st player to complete the double of 1000 runs and 50 wickets
  • He along with Michael Holding set the record for the highest ever 10th wicket partnership in ODI history (106*)
  • He also holds the record for the highest individual ODI score when batting at number four (189*)

Christopher Henry Gayle is arguably the greatest One-Day International batsman the West Indies has ever produced but today his innings in the Ultimate XI ODI edition came up short.

Gayle had, yesterday, avoided the cut and made the final six among contestants vying for the honour of being one of the two best openers the game has ever seen.

According to the SportsMax panel of experts, Rohit Sharma and Sachin Tendulkar would form the greatest partnership the game to ever grace an ODI cricket pitch.

That would leave other greats like South Africa’s Hashim Amla, Sri Lankan legend Tillakaratne Dilshan, Pakistan’s Saeed Anwar, and, of course, Gayle as bystanders.

According to the SportsMax Zone, Sharma and Tendulkar are also the best it could come up with from the shortlist of 12, of course, the Zone did not do the culling of the herd the panel did yesterday.

For the unitiated, Rohit Sharma has scored as many ODI double hundreds as there are people who have scored them, while Tendulkar is by far and away, the heaviest ODI runscorer in the history of the sport and their picks may be hard to disagree with.

Unless, of course, you’re a Fanalyst.

Fanalysts have, so far, chosen Chris Gayle as one of their two openers and have also disagreed with the choice of Tendulkar to be the man to join him, instead going for Sharma.

Tendulkar, is at this point, the reserve option for the Fanalysts, but that could all change.

Have your say in the conversation by going to SportsMax.tv and clicking on the banner, or following the link here.

The West Indies are set to play Australia in three T20 Internationals in October, Cricket Australia has announced.

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