Dinesh Chandimal has been included in Sri Lanka's preliminary 22-man squad ahead of the Test series against New Zealand.

Chandimal was dropped for the Tests against South Africa earlier this year but his impressive form in domestic action has led to a recall.

Akila Dananjaya and Dilruwan Perera are also back in contention, along with opening batsman Danushka Gunathilaka and fast bowler Lahiru Kumara.

Akila was suspended from international cricket for an illegal action late last year, meaning he missed out on selection for the Cricket World Cup in England.

Angelo Mathews, who did not feature against South Africa due to injury, is back.

All-rounder Shehan Jayasuriya and fast bowler Asitha Fernando are the two uncapped players in a group that will be cut down to 15 next week.

Sri Lanka preliminary squad in full: Dimuth Karunaratne, Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera, Niroshan Dickwella, Dhananjaya de Silva, Angelo Perera, Oshada Fernando, Danushka Gunathilaka, Shehan Jayasuriya, Chamika Karunaratne, Dilruwan Perera, Akila Dananjaya, Lasith Embuldeniya, Lakshan Sandakan, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Kumara, Vishwa Fernando, Kasun Rajitha, Asitha Fernando.

Rory Best says Ireland's Six Nations failure provided a "reality check" ahead of the Rugby World Cup.

Ireland were unable to repeat their 2018 Grand Slam heroics, finishing third after losing to both England and a Wales side that pulled off a clean sweep to secure the title in March.

Captain Best says Ireland will be ready to put that disappointment behind them at the showpiece in Japan.

Best, who will retire after a tournament which will also bring an end to head coach Joe Schmidt's reign, said: "When Joe first came in the big question was 'how do we perceive ourselves?'. The big answer was 'inconsistent'.

"And what we've worked hard to do is to prepare the same whoever we play and whatever we do.

"That's how it's always been under Joe and we certainly won't go away from that now. It sometimes takes a reality check and finishing third was bitterly disappointing.

"So coming in at the start of this pre-season everyone is as hungry as I have ever seen them.

"We've had a group of players that want to prove that the 2019 Six Nations was the blip, not 2018."

Ryan Harris believes James Anderson ought to shoulder a big share of the blame for England's defeat in the Ashes opener at Edgbaston.

Anderson apologised to his team-mates after suffering a recurrence of a calf injury on day one of the series against Australia last Thursday.

England's leading Test wicket-taker was only able to bowl four overs as the tourists recovered from a poor start to win by 251 runs.

Anderson was passed fit to play in Birmingham after missing the one-off Test against Ireland due to a calf injury he sustained playing for Lancashire last month.

The 37-year-old will miss the second Test at Lord's and former Australia paceman Harris has questioned how he came to be selected for the start of the battle for the urn.

He told Omnisport: "All in all, it's easy to question Joe Root's captaincy but I'd put a bit of pressure on Jimmy Anderson, saying he was fit for the match and getting through only four overs.

"I know injury is injury, but to come off an injury and say you are 100 per cent fit for an Ashes Test match is a big call.

"Bowling in the nets to bowling in the intensity of a Test, let alone an Ashes Test, is very different. To break down after four overs, you could cop it after 20-odd overs, but after four overs puts a lot of pressure on your bowling unit.

"From the start Joe Root was sort of doomed, all Australia had to do - although they didn't in the first innings - was to grind the bowlers down as they knew they were a bowler down.

"They did that in the second innings. It doesn't help when your experienced, leading strike bowler does that."

Luckless England paceman Olly Stone has been ruled out of the second Ashes Test due to a reoccurrence of a back injury.

Stone impressed with the ball on his Test debut against Ireland last month but missed out on a place in the side to face Australia in the Ashes opener at Edgbaston.

The 25-year-old quick flew home from England's tour of the West Indies earlier this year due to a bone stress injury to his lower back and has suffered another setback.

Warwickshire revealed the paceman will be out for two weeks due to another lower back issue on his left side, which he sustained in training at Edgbaston on Tuesday.

Sport director Paul Farbrace said: "It's really disappointing for Olly that he's been ruled out of action for such an important two weeks of cricket because of a reoccurrence of his back injury.

"At the moment there's a bit of inflammation, but he will undergo a scan later this afternoon [Wednesday] so that we know the full course of treatment that he can undertake with the club's medical team and with the support of the ECB.

"In the meantime, he needs to rest up before he can get his body strong again and ready to deal with the demands of being a fast bowler."

Jofra Archer is set to make his Test debut at Lord's next week after James Anderson suffered a recurrence of a calf injury on day one of England's defeat in Birmingham.

Travis Head hailed Steve Smith as "one of the best players of spin in the world" as the England selectors reportedly ponder picking Jack Leach for the second Ashes Test at Lord's.

Smith scored magnificent centuries in both innings in the opening match of the series at Edgbaston, inspiring Australia to a 251-run victory.

The former captain was outstanding in his first Test since serving a one-year ban for his part in the ball-tampering scandal, making the England bowlers suffer following a great start in Birmingham.

Jofra Archer looks set to replace the injured James Anderson, while Leach could get the nod with Moeen Ali out of sorts with bat and ball.

Head, who made a half-century in the second innings and 35 in the first, says Smith will not be concerned about the prospect of facing Leach, despite not having such a great record against left-arm tweakers.

"He's one of the best players of spin in the world," Head said.

He added: "He's fantastic to bat with. He sucks the momentum out of the opposition and the way he batted in this game, it was nice to be at the other end with him.

"It's nice, I feel like I can get in a nice rhythm with him at the other end. You know he's not going anywhere - but I pride myself on making a contribution and trying to have really good partnerships.

"He's obviously in great form so it's nice to be at the other end and he obviously takes a bit of pressure off myself. They are trying to think of some plans to stop him so I was able to go a little bit under the radar, which was nice.

"So hopefully [there will be] a little bit more batting to do in the next four Tests with him."

Mickey Arthur's tenure as Pakistan head coach has come to an end after his contract was not renewed.

Arthur masterminded Pakistan's ICC Champions Trophy triumph in 2017, just over a year after replacing Waqar Younis.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Wednesday announced the South African will move on in an overhaul of the coaching staff.

Bowling coach Azhar Mahmood, batting coach Grant Flower and trainer Grant Luden have also departed.

England seamer James Anderson hopes to play a role later in the Ashes despite admitting he will be out "for a while" with a calf injury.

The 37-year-old re-injured his calf during the first Test at Edgbaston, where Australia took a 1-0 series lead courtesy of a 251-run victory.

Anderson has been ruled out of the second Test and will need to prove his fitness in a match before returning, but the veteran is hopeful of playing a role.

"The adrenalin of the Ashes was probably a factor. There were nerves on the first day of the series and maybe I tried a little harder," he wrote in a column for The Sun.

"Perhaps my calf wasn't happy with the extra strain being placed on it, but to be honest, I don't want to give too much deep thought to what caused the problem.

"My focus now is to get better and try everything possible to play a role later in the series.

"I certainly have no intention of giving up. If I don't play against Australia, then the winter tours to New Zealand and South Africa are the next target."

Anderson managed to bowl just four overs in the first Test as England had no answers to Steve Smith, who made centuries in each innings to lead Australia.

As for his return, Anderson – who has taken 575 Test wickets – accepted he would be sidelined "for a while".

"I felt very guilty – I think that's only natural – even though there was not a lot I could have done about it," he wrote.

"It's hard to say when I might play again but it won't be for a while. I hope to do some very gentle work at the end of this week – not running or bowling or anything like that – but really it is a case of assessing things on a daily basis.

"The England management want me to play some cricket before I return for a Test match. So I'll have to schedule that as well, which is not so easy because it is mainly Twenty20 matches at the moment."

Faf du Plessis will stay on as South Africa's Test captain, though a new skipper could well be selected for the one-day side.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) announced a restructuring of the Proteas team on Sunday, confirming Ottis Gibson, whose exit was first announced on Sunday, would not be coach for the upcoming tour of India.

South Africa endured a disappointing World Cup campaign, winning three out of nine matches as they were eliminated in the group stage.

A CSA statement also hinted that an interim captain could be selected ahead of the India tour, but acting director of cricket Corrie van Zyl has confirmed Du Plessis will keep his role for the Test team, if not the ODI side.

"Faf will be the captain of the Test team and then we will talk about the white-ball strategy to 2023 and how that will affect decision-making," Van Zyl told a news conference.

"It's important to look forward to 2023 as well. We need a strategy to 2023, so in terms of appointing the captain we will look at how we approach that. We are having a selection meeting in the next day and a half to confirm that."

Meanwhile, CSA chief executive Thabang Moroe indicated the search for a new coach may take longer than initially anticipated.

"We will try to make sure that before the English tour starts [in December], we will have permanent employees in place," Moroe said.

"But this is a different environment, so depending on who the director of cricket is talking to, that might delay the deadline. We've set the deadline but might not meet it."

England coach Eddie Jones has trimmed his squad ahead of the Rugby World Cup warm-up match against Wales, with Ben Te'o and Mike Brown among those dropped.

After a 12-day training camp in Italy, Jones' side begin their World Cup preparations against the Six Nations champions at Twickenham on Sunday.

Te'o, Brown, Alex Dombrandt and Ben Spencer have been cut from the group, while Jack Nowell remains to continue rehabilitation from an injury.

Jones issued a reminder that the players could be recalled at any stage during England's warm-up campaign, which also includes an away game against Wales and meetings with Ireland and Italy.

"We have worked hard and now move into a four-game preparation phase where the development of the team tactically is paramount. We are grateful for the strong opposition to test our game fitness," Jones told England's official website.

"By the time we fly out [to Japan] on the eighth of September we will be ready to win the Rugby World Cup. We are not there yet but we have four games to get ready.

"Players excluded from being involved in this camp are naturally disappointed but may get another opportunity so they must be ready."

 

England squad:

Forwards: Dan Cole, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Tom Curry, Charlie Ewels, Ellis Genge, Jamie George, Maro Itoje, George Kruis, Joe Launchbury, Courtney Lawes, Lewis Ludlam, Joe Marler, Kyle Sinckler, Jack Singleton, Sam Underhill, Billy Vunipola, Mako Vunipola, Harry Williams, Mark Wilson.

Backs: Joe Cokanasiga, Elliot Daly, Owen Farrell, George Ford, Piers Francis, Willi Heinz, Jonathan Joseph, Joe Marchant, Jonny May, Ruaridh McConnochie, Jack Nowell, Henry Slade, Manu Tuilagi, Anthony Watson, Ben Youngs.

James Anderson will miss the second Ashes Test against Australia due to a calf injury, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) confirmed.

After bowling four overs on day one at Edgbaston on Thursday, Anderson left the field due to feeling tightness in his right calf.

The 37-year-old seamer had a scan later in the day and despite batting in both of England's innings he did not feature again in the field, as Australia - inspired by Steve Smith - won by 251 runs.

England's all-time leading Test wicket-taker will now miss the second match of the series, which starts at Lord's on August 14, and will continue to be evaluated.

An ECB statement said: "[An] MRI confirmed that Anderson has suffered a calf injury. As a result of the injury, he will commence a rehabilitation programme working with the England and Lancashire medical teams.

 "He will be reassessed on an ongoing basis regarding his availability for the rest of the Ashes series."

World Cup winner Jofra Archer, who had also been struggling with a side strain in the build-up to the Edgbaston Test, looks set to be Anderson's replacement.

Archer has been named in a Sussex second XI squad to play against Gloucestershire this week and came on as a substitute fielder for England in Birmingham.

England also had concerns over the fitness of Chris Woakes during the first Test, with the Warwickshire bowler restricted to just 13 overs during Australia's second innings.

James Anderson will miss the second Ashes Test against Australia due to a calf injury, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) confirmed.

It is the end of an era for Dale Steyn in the Test arena but there have been no shortage of magic moments from the South Africa great.

The paceman has opted to call it a day in the five-day format in order to prolong his career and retires as the Proteas' all-time leading Test wicket taker on 439.

While the past few years of his career have been injury hit, in his pomp Steyn was among the most dangerous quicks in the world.

Below we have taken a look back at some of his very best Test performances for South Africa.


Versus Australia: Melbourne, December 2008

South Africa headed to Melbourne for the Boxing Day Test already 1-0 up in the best-of-three contest. The Proteas secured a nine-wicket hammering to clinch the series with Steyn at the fore. He claimed a five-for in both innings and contributed 76 with the bat to help South Africa to a 65-run first-innings lead that set the foundations for victory.


Versus India: Nagpur, February 2010

Steyn was at his devastating best during South Africa's opening contest of a three-match series in Nagpur. After Hashim Amla's 253 and 173 from Jacques Kallis steered the Proteas to 558-6 declared, Steyn ripped through India's star-studded order to return Test-best figures of 7-51. India, who made just 233 in the first innings, were put back into bat and Steyn celebrated three more wickets to finish with match figures of 10-108. The series was drawn at 1-1.


Versus Pakistan: Johannesburg, February 2013

South Africa absolutely hammered Pakistan 3-0 during a three-match series six-and-a-half-years ago. Steyn was influential in wrapping up the opening Test by 211 runs. A remarkable return of 6-8 in the first innings was the catalyst for Pakistan's embarrassing total of 49. There was little let up in Pakistan's second knock as Steyn made 5-52 in a stunning Test performance.


Versus New Zealand: Centurion, April 2006

South Africa were up against it in the opening Test against New Zealand in Centurion when their first-innings total of 276 was answered with 327 from the Black Caps, Steyn contributing a modest 2-95. A total of 299 for the hosts' second knock set New Zealand 249 to win and Steyn showed his ever-blossoming status as a feared seamer, as he and Makhaya Ntini each claimed a five-for to bowl the visitors out for 120. It was a crucial turning point as the home side went on to take a 2-0 triumph.


Versus West Indies: Centurion, April 2014

After South Africa posted a mammoth 552-5 declared, West Indies were under the cosh and made just 201 in reply with a frustrated Steyn finishing wicketless. But did you really think he would completely miss out on the fun? Steyn took 6-34 in a devastating spell in the Windies' second innings following on as the visitors succumbed to an innings and 220 run defeat in the first Test of a series they would lose 2-0.

The Test career of one of South Africa's greatest ever players is over after Dale Steyn decided to give up red-ball cricket on Monday.

Over the past 15 years, paceman Steyn has been one of the most feared bowlers in the longest format of the game.

Steyn retires after 93 Tests and as his country's all-time leading Test wicket-taker.

Injuries have plagued Steyn over the past few years but he remains one of the all-time great seamers and we have analysed his best numbers with the help of Opta.

439 – Steyn accumulated 439 Test wickets from his 93 matches, placing him at the top of the Proteas' all-time list. Shaun Pollock is next on the list with 421.

5th – The 36-year-old's return is the fifth most in Test cricket among seamers. It is also the eighth best overall.

7-51 – Steyn recorded his best-ever Test-match figures of 7-51 against India in 2010. It is the second best by a South African in the longest format.

26 – Many a side have crumbled against Steyn. On 26 occasions he has finished a Test match with a five-for.

22.95 – Steyn's average of 22.95 is better than the likes of James Anderson, Courtney Walsh and Wasim Akram.

0 – His last Test was against Sri Lanka in Port Elizabeth in February this year. Steyn failed to take a wicket across both innings, bowling 18 overs. 

Tim Paine backed Nathan Lyon to keep bowling "as long as he wants to" after his star showing on day five of Australia's victory over England in the opening Ashes Test.

Steve Smith's second century of the match and three figures from Matthew Wade on Sunday meant England needed to bat out the day on Monday to avoid defeat at Edgbaston.

But the day-five conditions were perfect for a spinner of Lyon's quality and he took 6-49 to help dismiss the hosts for just 146.

In the process, Lyon became just the fourth Australian to rack up 350 Test wickets and captain Paine waxed lyrical about his quality.

"He could get plenty [of wickets] for as long as he wants to go for I reckon, he doesn't seem to have too many injuries or niggles over his career," he said. 

"The ball is coming out better than ever, he's a bit like Smithy [Steve Smith], every Test match or series they seem to get better – it's astonishing at their age. 

"If you see them train you see why, they're a great example to the group."

Steve Smith and David Warner were playing their first Test since their respective involvements in the Newlands ball-tampering scandal that shocked cricket last year.

And Paine welcomed having the experienced duo back in the dressing room.

"Yeah it certainly helps. As I said before the game those guys have played a lot more cricket in England than I have and more big tournaments and big series than I have," he added. 

"The same goes for all of our team, it's not only helping me with way they lead our group. We're all tapping into them whether captain, coach or batting coach.

"They have things they've learnt through experience that others don't know. We'd be foolish not to tap into that, they've still got a huge presence in our dressing room there's no doubt about that."

Joe Root vowed not to make any "shotgun" decisions over team selection for the second Ashes Test after England were humbled by Australia in the Edgbaston opener.

England had Australia 122-8 in the first innings and took a 90-run lead into the second but, thanks largely to back-to-back centuries from Steve Smith, eventually slipped to a 251-run defeat.

Several players therefore find their place in the team at Lord's under threat, with Moeen Ali in particular coming in for criticism after making scores of 0 and 4 with the bat and match figures of 3-172 with the ball.

The decision to play James Anderson has also been scrutinised, with England's record wicket-taker suffering a calf injury on the opening morning having suffered from a similar issue prior to the Test.

Likely replacement Jofra Archer has been struggling with a side strain and will need to prove his fitness in the interim period.

But captain Root insists due diligence will be given in regards team selection.

"We have to go about it [deciding if Archer plays] in a very calculated manner as we did with Jimmy," he said. 

"If someone is fit to play and it's a unanimous decision then you have to put trust in that because it's a recurring – well not a recurring injury – but because it's the same area in general, if you like, it's easy to say or ask questions about the process and decision-making going into it. 

"With Jofra it's a slightly different situation where he'll have played a lot more cricket in between and we'll have a clearer indication of where he's at, turn up at Lord's and make sure there are no shotgun decisions.

"It's very easy to make emotional decisions right now. We're in a lucky position that there's time between the two Test matches. We've got to make sure we're taking all the information very clear about how we want to approach the next game and take a call from there."

On Moeen's place in the team, Root added: "I think with Mo you have to remember how threatening he can be and what an asset to this team he has been in the past. 

"When he's been written off before he comes back stronger, particularly in English conditions. He'll be disappointed with how yesterday went and how the game has gone but he'll dust himself off and come back.

"As I said we've got to make sure we're clear on how we approach the next game and not make too many emotional decisions going into Lord's and sit down as a selection panel and go from there."

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