James Anderson was happy to come through a "good test" for his bruised knee after starring for Lancashire against Worcestershire.

Anderson is not involved in England's World Cup squad but is expected to lead the attack in the Ashes series against Australia later in the year.

However, the seamer gave cause for concern after he was forced off during Lancashire's Royal London One-Day Cup semi-final loss against Hampshire on May 12 when a shot from James Fuller hit him in the knee.

Anderson showed no signs of any lasting damage on Monday, though, taking a five-wicket haul at the start of the County Championship fixture.

Lancashire limited the visitors to just 172 on the opening day of the Division Two clash at Old Trafford, and the 36-year-old was delighted to come through unscathed after starting out with a 12-over spell.

"It was a good test for the bruised knee," Anderson told Lancashire's official website.

"I enjoyed that first partnership with Graham [Onions] (3-52) at the other end. I thought we asked a lot of questions and got the rewards towards the end of the spell.

"But I probably wouldn't want a 12-over spell every time I open the bowling! Today was one of those days where you get into a rhythm and get on a roll and it was right I kept going."

Peter Fulton will replace Craig McMillan as New Zealand's batting coach after the Cricket World Cup.

Fulton, who played 84 internationals for New Zealand, will take over in July after McMillan announced in February he would be stepping down.

Black Caps head coach Gary Stead was delighted with the appointment of Fulton, a former top-order batsman.

"We're delighted to have Pete come on board after the World Cup and are confident he will be a good fit for our environment," he said in a statement.

"We had a thorough process and utilised our senior players to help assess all the candidates.

"Pete obviously has a good understanding of batting, but he also demonstrated a clear vision for helping our elite batsmen.

"He's shown he has the coaching skills through his work with the New Zealand Under-19s and our winter training squads, while we know from his playing days that he will certainly add to our team culture."

England bowler James Anderson will undergo tests on a knee injury sustained playing for Lancashire but coach Glen Chapple is confident there is "no proper damage".

Anderson was hit on the left knee by the ball after bowling a delivery to Hampshire's James Fuller during Sunday's Royal London One-Day Cup semi-final at Southampton.

England's record wicket-taker grimaced in pain but initially tried to complete his over only to pull out at the end of his run-up then leave the field of play.

Anderson, however, is expected to be fit to lead Joe Root's attack in the first Test of the 2019 Ashes against Australia on August 1 at Edgbaston. He is not involved in England's squad for the upcoming World Cup.

"Obviously it's a nasty blow on the inside of the knee, it's a painful area," Lancashire coach Chapple told BBC Sport. "I don't think we're certain but we're fairly confident it will just be a nasty bruise and it will settle down in a few days.

"First things first, he'll see the physio tomorrow morning [Monday] and he'll be able to tell. But as you saw, he walked off no problem and was nearly able to bowl.

"It is a bad spot and as soon as there's any swelling in there it's going to restrict movement and limit strength. I would imagine it will be very painful for a couple of days.

"A lot of us have had a blow in a similar area and it's just on the edge of the joint. I'm not an expert and can't be sure until things pan out, but I'm hopeful there's no proper damage."

Hampshire completed a four-wicket win to set up a Lord's clash with Somerset in the final.

Stuart Broad believes new England star Jofra Archer has what it takes to be a success in international cricket's longest format.

Archer became eligible to play for England this year and earned his first call-up for the limited-overs fixtures before the Cricket World Cup, although he was not included in the preliminary group for the home tournament.

The all-rounder has impressed in his early showings in an England shirt and, with the Ashes to come later this year, Test regular Broad sees no reason why Archer should not be involved.

Archer took a wicket on his one-day international debut against Ireland and a further pair in a Twenty20 international against Pakistan.

"I can't see a way that Jofra doesn't play some sort of role in that Ashes series," he said. "He has the rhythm, the style, the pace.

"He generates pace with ease, which is always exciting as a fast bowler. He has everything you would want in a fast bowler to succeed at the top level.

"He's got the character to play at the top level. I've seen him run all day when things don't quite go his way, which is a good sign.

"I hope he's in front of The Oval pavilion lifting the Ashes urn come September because he's a very exciting cricketer."

And Broad is not worried that the arrival of Archer on the Test scene would threaten his place, insisting his focus is on England winning.

"I'm not threatened at all," he said. "I think he's a brilliant cricketer. At the end of the day, as an England supporter, you want England to win every trophy available this summer.

"He's going to be in the World Cup squad, I'd imagine, not that it's my decision. You can't leave a player like that out, I don't think. And I'm sure he'll go well in that."

Australia coach Justin Langer backed Steve Smith and David Warner to deal with whatever is thrown at them at the Cricket World Cup and Ashes.

Smith and Warner were both named in Australia's 15-man squad for the Cricket World Cup, which begins in England on May 30.

The duo are set to make their international returns after being handed 12-month bans for their roles in the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa last year.

Though that incident is likely to ensure the pair are targeted by opposition supporters, Langer said Smith and Warner can handle the criticism.

"I think there's going to be plenty of spotlight on the whole team," he told a news conference on Friday.

"Obviously the boys, they're big boys now and they've worked through a really tough 12 months, they'll be thicker-skinned for it. There's no real remedy for it.

"We know what we're going to get, we'll be ready for it, there'll be some personal and collective strategies in place so together we're moving in the right direction and doing what we love doing which is playing cricket and, World Cup and Ashes cricket, it doesn't get much better than that."

Langer dismissed any suggestions there was "tension" within his squad after the returns of Smith and Warner.

He also had a message for the pair, particularly with Australia also in England for the Ashes, which begins in August, recalling his own memories of the 'Barmy Army' after a Boxing Day Test in 2002.

"The biggest lesson of my sporting career. I got 250 at the Boxing Day Test match and just before stumps they were calling Brett Lee for chucking, they were calling him [for a] no-ball and I just got 250," Langer said.

"So I walked in, I think I'm Viv Richards, feeling I've got the gold chain and the chest out and like I'm the king of the world, 250, Boxing Day Test against England.

"I made one comment about the Barmy Army cos I was sticking up for Brett Lee. Well, then they started signing the song about the Seven Dwarfs. So, you don't mess with the Barmy Army, I'm not messing with the Barmy Army!

"We'll be friends and we'll be bantering and we'll be having some fun but I'm never messing with the Barmy Army."

Australia begin their World Cup campaign against Afghanistan in Bristol on June 1.

Alastair Cook insists he will not return to international cricket, backtracking on his earlier statement that he would "never say never" to playing for England again. 

The former England captain retired following his 161st Test in September last year, saying farewell with a century against India at The Oval, but the team have struggled to replace Cook at the top of the order. 

The Essex man refused to rule out a return earlier this year, yet he now says he regrets the words he chose. 

Discussing a future in Test cricket again on Friday, Cook said his time was up and there would be no coming back. 

"The call's not coming. It's not coming," he told Sky Sports. 

"In the last couple of interviews I've done, there's always been a headline. Look, I'm not coming back. I've had my go. I said, 'never say never', and that's the worst thing I've said. 

"Someone said, 'If there was 15 broken legs, would you come back?' No, that's it. Unfortunately, my time has gone. 

"I look back on it with great, fond memories, but it's time for me to move on, it's time for England cricket to move on. I'm here just to hopefully enjoy a couple of years of county cricket." 

"I often have to explain to people he didn't score all of the 375 off me," Chris Lewis quips as he reflects with mixed emotions on Brian Lara's astonishing record knock in Antigua.

It is 25 years to the day since Lara whipped an expectant Antigua crowd into a frenzy by hooking Lewis to the boundary to eclipse fellow West Indies legend Garry Sobers' long-standing highest Test score of 365 not out.

A quarter of a century on, that historic moment is still fresh in the memory of former England all-rounder Lewis.

"Oh no," Lewis replies when asked if he would mind sharing his recollection of an incredible tour de force from one of the greatest batsmen of all time.

That must have been what the England bowlers were thinking when captain Michael Atherton asked them to warm up as Lara majestically piled on the runs.

The Windies had been reduced to 12-2 on day one of the final match of the series, but Lara spent 12 hours and 46 minutes at the crease to surpass a record set by Sobers back in 1958.

Lewis had tried everything to remove the elegant left hander, whose foot dislodged a bail - which fell back into the groove - as he swung around after hitting one of 45 fours to make history.

He told Omnisport: "People identify me with running in to bowl that ball to Brian, so I often have to explain to people he didn't score all of the 375 off me!

"But I remember running in to bowl the ball and really just thinking, 'I've tried everything else, so I'll have a go at getting [the ball] as high as I can', and there were two men back, so see what happens.

"I bowled the ball, he whacked it for four and it was chaotic, with the game stopped halfway through, people came onto the field - including Garry Sobers - and we're just spectators taking it in, not quite believing what's going on.

"While that was happening, Jack [Russell, England wicketkeeper] came up to me and said, 'Do you know he stepped on his stumps when he hooked it?' I had no idea.

"Here we are 25 years later and certainly I didn't want Brian to break the record, certainly not off my bowling and certainly not against our team. I wouldn't say I was happy to be a part of it but I'm happy for Brian. He was the best batter I ever played against, one of the most exciting cricketers I've ever seen and he deserves it."

Lewis added: "It was really surreal. I remember Brian getting his hundred and I remember thinking, he's got his hundred so sooner or later - hopefully sooner - he'll probably chip one to cover or point or something like that, because it often happens - batsmen give it away after getting to the century.

"But he kept going and after day one nobody was thinking of the world record, then during the second day there almost seemed to be a build-up and an inevitably about it."

While Lewis is now happy to doff his cap to Lara - who went on to make an unbeaten 400 on the same ground against the same opponents to reclaim the Test record 10 years later - for his herculean knock, it was too painful to appreciate at the time.

"I must admit it took me a while to be admiring it, because it's a bit like being in the midst of a boxing fight and someone has given you a great right hook and you stand back and admire," the 51-year-old said. 

"It's very much later when there is not so much aggression going on or in some cases even after your career when you can look back. I didn't want to admire batters too much, it was a competition, but 25 years later Brian Lara coming into bat... if I wasn't bowling it would be a very enjoyable day!"

 

- Lewis is currently on tour for The Long Walk Back, a theatre production based on his fall from grace. 

Cameron Bancroft hopes to impress Australia's selectors and earn a Test recall in the future as he looks to move on from the ball-tampering scandal.

Bancroft was banned for nine months after admitting to trying to alter the condition of the ball during Australia's third Test against South Africa in 2018.

The 26-year-old made his return to action in the Big Bash League last December and will spend the next few months with Durham in the County Championship.

Bancroft will captain Durham in the second tier this season, a decision that was met with some surprise given his involvement in the scandal that also saw Australia team-mates Steve Smith and David Warner suspended for 12 months.

Smith and Warner are expected to make their international comebacks ahead of the Cricket World Cup, with the plan to see them return to Test cricket at the Ashes later in 2019.

When Bancroft could add to his eight Test caps remains unclear, but he hopes that it will happen one day.

"The aspiration to play Test cricket is certainly in my mind and where I'd love to be one day. But I also can't be there. I'm here right now," he told reporters ahead of Durham's home match with Sussex.

"[Playing for Australia] would mean a lot to me, definitely. But I also know that I've got a lot of great things in my life

"Even just playing club cricket back home in Perth, it's a game I felt like where you get self-absorbed and single-minded in your pursuits to achieve things.

"At the forefront is just the enjoyment of it all. If I do that then I know the results will take care of themselves. Hopefully it will happen one day."

Bancroft says he grew up during his time out of the game and believes there have been some positives to come out of what happened.

He added: "We all make mistakes and I guess it's how you're able to grow as a person, in admitting and being honest with yourself about those mistakes.

"I certainly have been and as a person that's something that I'm completely accountable for. I wouldn't have it any other way.

"I've learned a lot about myself, I think being able to take time to detach myself from cricket was something that I found a lot of joy in.

"Turning that event from South Africa into a positive was something I was really proud of and to have that opportunity to grow as a person, you'd be silly not to take those steps forward."

Virat Kohli has become the first player to be crowned the world's leading cricketer for a third successive year by Wisden.

The cricketing almanack annually recognises the top players across all formats of the game, and once again Kohli has been named as the world's best.

During 2018, India captain Kohli scored five Test hundreds and amassed an impressive 1,322 runs – 299 more than any other player.

Across all three formats Kohli scored 2,735 runs, with 1,202 of them coming in ODIs – the 30-year-old averaging 133.55 in the 50-over format.

Smriti Mandhana claimed the women's leading player award, completing a clean sweep for India, while Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan is the top Twenty20 player for a second year in a row.

Meanwhile, Kohli has also been named as one of Wisden's five cricketers of the year, where he is joined by England quartet Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran and Tammy Beaumont – who scored a 47-ball T20 hundred against South Africa at Taunton in June.

England captain Joe Root is "fine" after taking a blow to his left hand late on day three of Yorkshire's County Championship fixture at Nottinghamshire.

Root was struck by a Joe Clarke drive with three overs remaining at Trent Bridge on Sunday and left the pitch for medical attention.

However, Yorkshire head coach Andrew Gale quickly allayed any fears of serious damage when speaking to Sky Sports at the close of play.

"No, he's fine. He's just strapped it up, just icing it up," he said.

"It was just precautionary really, he'll be fine for tomorrow [Monday]."

Nottinghamshire closed day three on 329-5 in their second innings, a lead of 446 runs.

Ben Stokes hopes his response to being arrested and the subsequent court case could prove to be a major positive influence on his mentality during the rest of his career.

The star all-rounder was arrested in September 2017 during a night out after England's one-day international against West Indies.

He missed the 2017-18 Ashes series against Australia as a consequence, but was later acquitted after facing charges of affray. 

"No matter what happens in life with me now, the Bristol thing will always be there," he told ESPNcricinfo.

"It's something I'll always carry with me. It'll always be there. Always.

"I want to do things on the field to be remembered for. If we win the World Cup, that becomes the first paragraph [of a career profile], doesn't it? I don't want to be remembered as the guy who had a fight in the street."

Despite his international and professional future being at risk before and during the trial, Stokes claims he had always considered himself fortunate to play cricket for a living.

"The easy thing to say is yes, it made me appreciate it more," he said.

"But I don't know - I always did appreciate it.

"But thinking all this is going to be taken away from me might be the thing that has changed the way I do things. I was that close to my career ending and being thrown away just like that. Maybe that is it.

"It sounds silly but, could Bristol have been the best thing that could have happened to me? Who knows. But maybe in terms of my way of thinking."

Alastair Cook says the battle to become England's first-choice opener is wide open ahead of the Ashes, with James Vince, Jason Roy and Keaton Jennings all in contention.

England have been unable to settle on a reliable opening pair since Andrew Strauss' retirement in 2012, with Cook having a string of partners in the years that followed.

Jennings was one of the many to try their hand alongside Cook and following the latter's retirement last year England again began to assess their options.

In the West Indies only Rory Burns opened in all three Tests, with Jennings partnering him in two and Joe Denly in the other.

None of them averaged more than 30, though, and the make-up of England's top order remains uncertain heading into the Ashes, beginning on August 1.

Vince will open for Hampshire in a bid to boost his chances, while Roy has also expressed a desire to be given the nod against Australia, though a hamstring injury may have damaged his hopes.

Cook believes all three have the quality to force their way in and is relishing watching the battle unfold.

"It's very exciting for anyone out there, the top order hasn't been settled for England for a while and there are places up for grabs," he told Sky Sports. 

"Any player, with such a big summer ahead with the World Cup and Ashes, has such an opportunity. If you have a good year you can make a name for yourself.

"I haven't seen much of Jason playing four-day cricket, we've all seen what he can do in white-ball stuff and it is – in one way – a very similar game. 

"You can see he can handle himself in international cricket, he's a fantastic strokemaker. He hasn't batted a huge amount at the top of the order for Surrey so that's a bit of a concern in one way but he's so talented."

Cook added: "Obviously now [Vince's] opening for Hampshire, going up the order, I think it's a fantastic opportunity for him.

"Vincey is a brilliant cricketer, a brilliant batter, one I love watching bat. The amount of time he's got playing against pace bowling, he got a fantastic 80 [against Australia] in Brisbane, a real high-pressure situation, so he can do it as well.

"Keats [Jennings] is a great guy, a great batter who's experienced everything in Test cricket in such a short space of time. A hundred on debut, a hundred in Sri Lanka and then some tough moments back at home in English conditions. 

"He'll be like anyone, desperate to score runs for Lancashire, desperate for some form and to make the call for the selectors very hard. 

"No one's nailed a place and no one can say they are a shoe-in for that top three, so it's all to play for."

Australia international Marnus Labuschagne has signed for Glamorgan for the first half of the 2019 season.  

Labuschagne broke into Australia's Test team in October last year and will undoubtedly hope strong performances in the English county game can be a springboard to further international recognition, particularly with the Ashes coming up later this year.  

The 24-year-old, who was born in South Africa, has scored 210 runs in five Tests at an average of 26.25, hitting a top score of 81 against Sri Lanka in January.  

He has also taken nine Test wickets at an average of 27.11 with his leg-spin, though is yet to play any limited-overs games for Australia.

"I've always wanted to play county cricket and test myself in different conditions and a new environment, so I'm delighted to sign for Glamorgan," said Labuschagne.  
   
"I understand it was a difficult season last year for the club, but hopefully I can hit the ground running and put in some good performances to get us off to a winning start."

Australia bowlers Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon have denied that they planned to boycott last year's fourth Test against South Africa if David Warner had been free to play.

Warner, Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft were given long bans for their roles in the ball-tampering scandal at Newlands last March.

It was reported in the Australian media this week that Starc, Hazlewood, Cummins and Lyon would have refused to play in the final match of the series in Johannesburg in the wake of the Cape Town fiasco if Warner was in the side.

With Warner and Smith now eligible to resume their international careers as of this week, the quartet have refuted claims they would have made themselves unavailable if the former vice-captain had been selected.

They said in a statement released by Cricket Australia: "We are extremely disappointed in an article which was first published across Fairfax platforms on March 29, 2019.

"The article claims we intended to withdraw from the fourth Test during last year's tour of South Africa had David Warner been free to play.

"This claim is disappointing on a number of fronts but most importantly because it is false. 

"False claims circulated in the media, such as these, which question our relationship with David are inflammatory and misleading. 

"As a team we are all focused on moving forward together and helping the Australian Men's team prepare for the World Cup and the Ashes."

Adil Rashid is excited to face a full-strength Australia side featuring Steve Smith and David Warner at the Cricket World Cup.

A year on from the ball-tampering scandal that rocked Test cricket, Smith and Warner have now completed their suspensions and will eligible for selection going forward.

Both batsmen are likely to come straight back into the Australia ODI side for the World Cup, while Test spots are also expected as Australia prepare to travel to England for the Ashes.

While some may not be too welcoming towards the duo, Rashid is looking forward to facing them as England embark on a big year of their own.

"It'll be nice to face a full-strength Australia with all their batters and all their bowlers," the leg-spinner told Omnisport.

"It's better for everybody watching as well with all the players playing. It'll be exciting for us boys to play against them again."

Even if Smith and Warner return to their ranks, Australia are unlikely to be considered favourites for the World Cup.

That honour is likely to fall on England's shoulders, and Rashid is confident they will be able to handle the weight of expectation.

"I think we'll handle it [the favourites tag] quite well, in the past few years we've handled that pressure well, playing against the best teams wherever," he added.

"But we don't look that far ahead and that we may be favourites or not, we'll take it a game at a time, a step at a time, a practice at a time and work like that and let everything else fall into place and let it happen.

"We know if we go out there, stick to our strengths, we all back each other, we have that belief, we'll go a long way."

Jofra Archer could feature for England and Rashid is confident the Barbados-born seamer would be a useful asset should he be selected.

"I've seen a bit of him on tv, but I’ve not spent much time with him," he said. "It's up to the selectors [if he plays for England], but I'm sure if he is selected he will fit right in straight away because he has proven himself to be a top bowler."

Page 1 of 49
© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.