Former England batsman Ian Bell is to retire from professional cricket at the end of the season.

Bell is regarded as one of England's classiest batsmen of his generation, scoring 7,727 runs in 118 Test matches and 5,416 in 161 ODIs.

The 38-year-old last played for his country in 2015 and will call it quits at the end of the campaign with Warwickshire, where he made his debut in 1999 as a 17-year-old.

"My body simply can't keep up with the demands of the game to the standard of which I expect of myself," Bell wrote on Twitter.

"It's true when they say you know when the time's right, and unfortunately, my time is now.

"To have been part of an England Test team to reach number one in the world, to win five Ashes series, one of them as player of the series, and an away series in India is some return for a young lad who simply dreamt of batting at Edgbaston.

"Thank you to all the cricket fans for the most unbelievable support I've had throughout my career."

Toe and knee injuries meant he missed much of last season and Bell is now aiming to pursue a career in coaching.

His 13,331 international runs are the fourth highest among English batsmen, while he scored 22 international centuries.

For Warwickshire, Bell has over 20,000 first-class runs with a high score of 262 not out and almost 14,000 in limited-overs cricket.

New Zealand head coach Gary Stead has been reappointed until the end of the 2023 Cricket World Cup.

Stead replaced Mike Hesson at the helm in 2018 and led the Black Caps to the Cricket World Cup final last year, when they fell to England in a thriller.

The 48-year-old has extended his contract to remain in charge in all three formats through until the end of the 2023 tournament, which is scheduled to be played in India.

"It's an honour and a privilege to be reappointed," he said.

"I think this group of players is growing as a team. There's an exciting schedule ahead of us and I know everyone is feeling very optimistic about our chances in all three formats.

"I'm very appreciative of the backing I've enjoyed from the players, the support staff and NZC [New Zealand Cricket] and hope I can repay that confidence by helping the Black Caps achieve their goals and objectives over the next three years."

NZC chief David White praised Stead, who was given a contract extension after a process that included an interview with an appointments panel.

"What was immediately clear was that Gary had overseen a particularly successful chapter in New Zealand cricket history, during which time his team had been very strong in the Test and ODI formats," he said.

"Winning an away Test series against Pakistan and a Test in Sri Lanka was a tremendous effort, as were the home Test series wins against Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, England and India.

"To tie the World Cup final and miss out on winning the trophy through a countback was a gut-wrenching experience, but I think we can all agree on how well the team played during that campaign and, equally, how well they conducted themselves afterwards."

New Zealand are due to host Bangladesh, West Indies and Pakistan later this year.

England great James Anderson is taking inspiration from Tom Brady and Ryan Giggs as he targets playing top-level cricket into his forties.

Anderson, 38, reached the latest landmark of a phenomenal career this week when he took his 600th Test wicket in England's draw against Pakistan at Southampton.

No fast bowler has taken more in the longest format and Anderson, who first turned out for England in Tests 17 years ago, feels he has plenty more miles left on the clock.

Manchester United great Giggs and six-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback Brady are useful touchstones, especially with the 2021-22 Ashes in Australia on the horizon.

"I'm a member of the same golf club as Ryan but I've never met him, or spoken to him," Anderson told The Times. "But I've looked into it, because I just want to see whether you should be doing anything different approaching your forties, but I don't think there is. Some people are just lucky with their metabolism.

"You see Tom Brady and you wouldn't think that he's 42 to see him play. I think there is a bit of stigma around age in sport, but I don't see any reason why I can't play into my forties.

"I don't set targets but I've spoken to Joe [Root, England captain] and he's keen for me to go to Australia. I never like to look too far ahead, and we don't know when we'll be playing next, but I'll be preparing as I always do.

"I want to keep playing. If I feel like I do now, I don't see why I can't play into my forties, go to Australia and beyond.

"Everyone has got their opinions about retirement, but I feel I'm improving as a bowler and I don't feel like I'm levelling off yet. As long as I keep doing that, why would I stop?"

At the other end of the age bracket in Root's Test side, batsman Ollie Pope is facing an extended period on the sidelines with a shoulder injury.

The 22-year-old dislocated his left shoulder while fielding against Pakistan at the Rose Bowl and an MRI scan confirmed he would require surgery, necessitating a four-month recovery period.

Pope will then undergo a period of rehabilitation with England and Surrey's medical teams and target a return for his country's proposed tours of Sri Lanka and India in early 2021.

James Anderson claimed his 600th Test wicket as a rain-ruined final day in Southampton helped Pakistan claim a draw against England.

Joe Root's side win the three-match series 1-0, courtesy of their thrilling opening victory at Old Trafford, but they endured frustration over the course of three rain-affected days having established a position of dominance at the Rose Bowl.

Zak Crawley turned his maiden Test century into a mammoth 267 – the 10th highest score of all time by an Englishman in the longest format – that proved to be the backbone of 583-8 declared after Root won the toss, with Jos Buttler also weighing in with a career-best 152.

Anderson claimed his 29th five-wicket haul in red-ball cricket for England as Pakistan were dismissed for 273 on Sunday and forced to follow-on.

The subsequent delays meant it was a case of all eyes on the 38-year-old when the sides finally emerged at 16:15 local time on Tuesday.

Anderson began in alliance with Jofra Archer in typically miserly fashion and number 600 arrived when he got a ball to lift to Pakistan captain Azhar Ali.

The first innings centurion could only edge through to Root at slip and the skipper embraced the delighted man of the moment.

Any hopes of England forcing victory after the moment of jubilation were quickly put to bed as Babar Azam showed his class in a fluent 63 not out, featuring eight fours.

Root's part-time off-spin removed Asad Shafiq, caught by substitute fielder James Bracey for 21, before the sides shook hands shortly after the final hour was called – Pakistan having reached 187 for four.

James Anderson claimed Pakistan's Azhar Ali as his 600th Test wicket on Tuesday – becoming the first fast bowler in history to reach the milestone.

The latest landmark moment of a phenomenal career illuminated a rain-ruined final day, with visiting skipper Azhar edging a lifting delivery to Joe Root at slip after the first two sessions of Tuesday were lost at Southampton.

England great Anderson, playing for the 156th time in the longest format, was at his brilliant in claiming a 29th five-wicket haul in Tests as Pakistan, already 1-0 down in the series, were bowled out for 273 and forced to follow-on at the end of day three.

It meant the 38-year-old emerged with the new ball in his hand on the fourth morning, although a dropped catch behind the stumps by Jos Buttler delayed his progress - as similar errors by Rory Burns, Zak Crawley and Stuart Broad had late on Sunday.

He trapped Abid Ali lbw for number 599 and, despite the best efforts of the elements, Anderson would not be denied his moment in the final Test of the English summer.

Anderson is fourth on Test cricket's all-time list, with India leg-spinner Anil Kumble next in his sights on 619 wickets, while all-time greats Shane Warne (708) and Muttiah Muralitharan (800) are somewhat further afield.

 

A five-for on debut against Zimbabwe in 2003 launched Anderson's red-ball international career and he went on to establish himself as the leader of the England attack under Andrew Strauss' captaincy, with the side memorably winning the 2010-11 Ashes away from home and ascending to number one in the world.

He became England's most prolific bowler in his 100th Test match against West Indies in 2015, dismissing Denesh Ramdin to reach 383 victims and overtake Ian Botham.

Anderson has since continued to go from strength to strength, usually in alliance with his long-time new ball partner Stuart Broad, who joined him in the 500 club earlier this season.

When Anderson removed India's Mohammed Shami at The Oval in 2018, he moved on to 564 wickets to usurp Glenn McGrath as the most prolific seamer ever.

Australia hero McGrath then laid down a challenge now accomplished.

"I have a lot of respect for Jimmy. He's been an incredible bowler for a long time," he told BBC Radio 5Live. "If he can raise the bar to 600 wickets, that's an incredible effort."

James Anderson was left tantalisingly on the brink of history with 599 Test wickets when bad light halted play after Pakistan frustrated England on a rain-affected fourth day of the final Test.

Anderson needed two wickets on the penultimate day to become the first fast bowler to take 600 scalps in the longest format, but could only dismiss Abid Ali for a patient 42.

Jos Buttler became the fourth player to drop a catch off Anderson's bowling in the final match of the series and Pakistan produced a strong rearguard action to close on 100-2 - trailing by 210 runs - as they battled to salvage a draw.

Stuart Broad (1-23) dismissed Shan Masood, who was given that early life by Buttler, but England could only strike twice in the 56 overs that were possible on a flat pitch at the Rose Bowl.

England will end a 10-year wait for a Test series win over Pakistan on the final day as they lead 1-0, but there are major doubts over whether there will be any play as Storm Francis is heading for Southampton.

With uncertainty over when England's next Test will be, Anderson could face a long wait for his next chance to become only the fourth player to join the 600 club.

Ollie Pope left the field early in the day and did not return after the tourists resumed at the start of their second innings with a deficit of 304.

Anderson (1-18) suffered more frustration when Buttler failed to grasp a chance offered by Masood on three and Pakistan's openers dug in with defiance before an early lunch was taken due to heavy rain at 41 without loss.

Abid and Masood (18) continued to dig in after play restarted following a lengthy spell off the field, but a stand of 49 ended when the left-hander fell lbw offering no shot to Broad.

Captain Azhar Ali, who made a magnificent unbeaten century on day three, and Abid saw out another 26 overs as England appeared to run out of ideas before Anderson moved a step closed to 600.

Abid was the man to depart, trapped in front to leave Pakistan 88-2 but Anderson was soon taken out of the attack in fading light and the players were taken off with the seamer reflecting on what might have been.

 

Frustrated Anderson within touching distance 

England's leading Test wicket-taker Anderson had the Monday blues after Buttler became the latest player to spurn a chance to help him reach the 600-mark.

Rory Burns, Zak Crawley and Broad spilled catches on day three and Anderson was left shaking his head after wicketkeeper Buttler missed a straightforward opportunity to see the back of Masood.

The four drops came in the space of 37 balls from Anderson, who will be hoping some calm after the storm gives him another chance to make history on the last day of England's final Test of the summer.

 

Resolute Pakistan show great fight

Pakistan started the penultimate day facing a real challenge to avoid a heavy defeat, but their batsmen showed impressive discipline in a match England have dominated.

Abid fell for only one in the first innings after making a half-century in the second Test, but soaked up 162 balls before he eventually fell to Anderson.

Masood and skipper Azhar, with a spring his step after a brilliant knock on Sunday, also showed commendable resilience on a day of Test cricket that will not live long in the memory but really should have done.

A defiant century from Pakistan captain Azhar Ali held up England but late breakthroughs ensured Joe Root's men were able to enforce the follow-on and close in on a series-clinching victory in the third Test.

Azhar remained unbeaten on 141 when the tourists were bowled out for 273, still 310 behind.

Bad light delayed Pakistan's second innings until the fourth morning.

Mohammad Rizwan added 138 for the sixth wicket alongside his skipper, using up almost 40 overs before being strangled down the leg side by Chris Woakes for 53, leaving Stuart Broad (2-40) to get amongst the tail and James Anderson (5-56) to take his 29th five-wicket haul in Tests.

Anderson, who is now just two away from the historic landmark of 600 Test wickets, had Asad Shafiq (5) caught at slip by Root during a rain-affected morning session, although an lbw appeal from Broad and a claim for caught behind from Jofra Archer – both against Azhar – saw England burn through their reviews in quick time.

Fawad Alam joined Azhar in helping to repel a ferocious Archer spell before falling for 21 when off-spinner Dom Bess extracted turn and bounce and Jos Buttler took the catch off the shoulder of the bat.

England's gloveman was similarly sharp when Rizwan perished in unfortunate fashion, while his acrobatic leap to his right to remove Shaheen Afridi arguably topped anything the first-innings centurion accomplished with the bat over the first two days.

That was Broad's second success with the second new ball, although Anderson's landmark bid was undermined when Rory Burns and Zak Crawley each shelled slip chances off his bowling in the 87th over.

The veteran's mood was hardly improved when Broad dropped a dolly at mid-on offered by Azhar before promptly throwing down the stumps and running out Mohammad Abbas for one.

Anderson's scowl had barely lifted when Dom Sibley held on in the cordon to dismiss Naseem Shah for a duck, putting the Pakistan top order back in his unerring sights.

Azhar breaks 6,000 barrier

Although the landmark on everyone's mind was Anderson closing in on his sextuple century of Test scalps, Pakistan captain Azhar moved beyond 6,000 runs in the longest format as he fought an almost lone hand against the seemingly inevitable.

After a 17th Test ton, the 35-year-old sits as Pakistan's fifth highest runs scorer of all time in the longest format.

Buttler back on song with bat and gloves

Following his game-changing knock as England won the opening Test and Old Trafford and a career-best 152 in the first innings here, Buttler took his renewed form behind the stumps.

The England wicketkeeper's glovework came in for criticism in Manchester but smoother footwork was on display and his catches to remove Fawad and Rizwan were both top class. The flying one-handed grab to account for Shaheen Afridi was absolutely sensational.

Jacques Kallis, Lisa Sthalekar and Zaheer Abbas were inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame on Sunday.

Legendary South Africa all-rounder Kallis is the fourth player from his country to receive the honour, while Sthalekar is the 27th Australian and Abbas the sixth from Pakistan.

The great Kallis is the only player to score at least 10,000 runs and take at 250 wickets or more in both Test and ODI cricket.

Kallis is South Africa's leading Test run-scorer and the third-highest from any nation, while he also took 577 wickets for the Proteas in all formats during a stellar career.

"It's a great honour to be inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame. It is something that I never expected when I started playing," said Kallis.

"I certainly did not play the game for any accolades or anything like that, I only wanted to win the games for whoever I was playing for."

Gifted all-rounder Sthalekar was a key member of the Australia side that won the Women's World Cup in 2005 and 2013, as well as the T20 World Cup in 2010 and 2012.

She topped both the ODI batting and bowling rankings and goes down as the first woman to as score 1,000 runs and take 100 wickets in ODIs

Sthalekar said: "I am deeply humbled to receive this honour. Never in my wildest dreams did I believe that I would ever get to join such an illustrious group of players."

Abbas was known as the 'Asian Bradman' due to the style in which he piled on the runs in the 1970s and 80s.

He is the only player from Asia to have scored at least 100 first-class centuries.

"I feel privileged and truly humbled to be inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame of the class of 2020. I am excited to be in the midst of other illustrious cricketers," said Abbas of becoming one of 93 players to join the Hall of Fame.

Zak Crawley joked he and Jos Buttler "ran out of things to talk about" during their mammoth stand against Pakistan.

Crawley scored a brilliant 267 and Buttler got a career-best 152 to help England to 583-8 (dec.) at the Rose Bowl on Saturday.

James Anderson then starred with the ball in the final stages, taking 3-13 to leave Pakistan on 24-3, with the tourists trailing by 559.

Crawley and Buttler's stand of 359 was the joint fourth-highest fifth-wicket partnership in Test history.

And though Crawley was ultimately the star with his double century, he heaped the praise on Buttler for guiding him through.

"Not a lot to be honest, we ran out of things to talk about towards the end," Crawley chuckled to BBC Sport when asked what he and Buttler discussed during their stint.

"He's just such a cool head, he kept me calm leading up to all the different milestones.

"He just seemed unfazed all the way through. He played brilliantly today, he played a lot better than I did, actually.

"It was a flawless innings and he deserves everything he gets for it."

Buttler, meanwhile, insisted all of the credit must go to England's number three.

"I just thoroughly enjoyed the partnership with Zak. It was an incredible innings to watch," Buttler told a news conference.

"He hits the ball incredibly hard, [hits] shots all around the wicket and he's a great kid to bat with.

"I really enjoyed it, great fun and glad we were able to put together a really good partnership and put us in a strong position in the game."

Zak Crawley struck a sublime double century and Jos Buttler made a classy career-best hundred before James Anderson put Pakistan on the ropes on a dream day two of the deciding Test for England.

Crawley reached three figures for the first time on the international stage on day one at the Rose Bowl and went on to craft a majestic 267 on Saturday.

The number three's stunning knock, which included 34 fours and a six, was the 10th-highest by an England batsman and the seventh-largest maiden century by a player from any country.

Buttler (152) also tormented the tourists with his second Test century, after successfully reviewing when he was given out on 99, in a magnificent fifth-wicket stand of 359 - a record for England - before Joe Root finally declared on a mammoth 583-8.

Anderson took 3-13 late in the day to leave Pakistan in deep trouble on 24-3, trailing by 559 and facing their first Test series loss to England for a decade.

Buttler was triggered caught behind one away from his century in a rain-affected morning session, but immediately signalled for the DRS and punched Mohammad Abbas for four in the same over to end a two-year wait for his second Test hundred.

Crawley drilled Naseem Shah to the ropes to move into the 190s after lunch and shifted through the gears after bringing up 200, taking the Pakistan attack to all parts.

The 22-year-old soon raised his bat again after making 250 with a disdainful four over square leg and looked untroubled before he was stumped down the leg side off Asad Shafiq.

Buttler had taken a back seat with Crawley in full flow but drove Naseem for a glorious 13th boundary of his brilliant innings to reach 150, then fell tamely caught and bowled by Fawad Alam.

Chris Woakes struck 40 before he became Fawad's second Test scalp, while Dom Bess was unbeaten on 27 and Stuart Broad struck a couple of sixes in his 15 before the declaration came.

Anderson added insult to injury by trapping Shan Masood lbw before Abid Ali edged to Dom Sibley at second slip. He also struck Babar Azam bang in front with the last ball of the day.
 

Crawley masterclass spells double trouble for Pakistan

After his heroics on day one, Crawley might have been forgiven for thinking it was job done but he returned to the crease on Saturday hungry to add to his overnight total of 171.

Rock solid in defence and so strong on the front and back foot, he played with panache to become the youngest England batsman to score a Test double hundred since David Gower 41 years ago.

Only Tip Foster, with 287, has made more runs in his maiden Test century for England, while Crawley is the third-youngest Englishman to score a double century and he did so in great style. 
 

Leading run-scorer Buttler serves up a treat

Buttler was upstaged by Crawley, but the wicketkeeper-batsman played with great control and skill to post his highest first-class score.

He was happy to keep ticking along while Crawley took centre stage, showing his maturity to deliver another emphatic message to his doubters after a crucial innings in the victory at Old Trafford.

His marathon stand with Crawley was the joint fourth-highest fifth-wicket partnership in Test history and all-but ended Pakistan's hopes of drawing the series. 
 

Devastating Anderson closes in on 600

Anderson has also had to contend with questions about his future during this series and once again let his class with the new ball do the talking.

A devastating late burst put the icing on the cake for England and left the seamer just four wickets away from 600 in Test cricket.

Zak Crawley became the youngest England batsman to score a Test double century for 41 years as the hosts piled on the runs on day two of the series decider against Pakistan. 

Crawley had reached his maiden international hundred on the opening day at the Rose Bowl and was raising his bat again at the venue on Saturday. 

Aged 22 years and 201 days, he is the youngest Englishman to reach 200 in the format since David Gower, who achieved the feat against India in 1979 at 22 years and 102 days. 

Only the great Len Hutton (22 years and 58 days) and the elegant Gower have made double hundreds for England at a younger age than Crawley, who had resumed in the morning on 171.  

Jos Buttler completed his second Test century, albeit only after using a review to survive on 99 having been given out caught behind.

The wicketkeeper-batsman combined with number three Crawley to put on a new record fifth-wicket stand for England against any opposition. 

Crawley and Buttler surpassed the previous best of 254 set by Keith Fletcher and Tony Greig against India in 1973, taking England beyond 400 for the loss of just four wickets and well on course to win the series.

Zak Crawley hit his maiden Test century as he combined with Jos Buttler to help England end the opening day of the series finale against Pakistan firmly on top. 

Going into the third Test holding a 1-0 lead after rain ruined the previous encounter in Southampton, the home side were teetering when 127-4 midway through Friday's play.

However, Pakistan were unable to get another breakthrough in the remainder of proceedings, Crawley finishing up unbeaten on 171 as England progressed to 332-4 by the close.

The 22-year-old, who has made just three hundreds for Kent in his first-class career, shared an unbroken stand worth 205 with Jos Buttler, who will resume on the second morning on 87 not out.

The stunning fifth-wicket alliance completely changed the complexion of proceedings, as well as vindicating the decison by captain Joe Root to bat first.

Crawley had arrived at the crease midway through the fifth over after Rory Burns fell cheaply again, the left-handed opener edging Shaheen Afridi through to Shan Masood in the slips when on six. 

Dom Sibley (22) helped add 61 for the second wicket but also departed before lunch, given out lbw to leg-spinner Yasir Shah following a successful review by Pakistan. 

Naseem Shah produced a sublime delivery to end a promising start for Root (29), while Ollie Pope's decision to play back to Yasir resulted in his downfall, bowled for three to leave the hosts in a spot of bother. 

But, as was the case in the first Test in Manchester when his 75 helped England recover from 127-5 to reach a victory target of 277, Buttler emphatically tipped the balance in his side's favour.

The wicketkeeper-batsman will hope to reach three figures for a second time in the format on Saturday, while batting partner Crawley has a double ton in his sights.

Having been stuck at tea on 97, he made it to three figures with a drive on the up through the covers and, impressively, continued to pile on the runs after reaching the landmark, Pakistan becoming increasingly ragged as not even a second new ball helped them find a late breakthrough.

Struggling captain Azhar Ali knows he and Asad Shafiq must "step up" and contribute with the bat when Pakistan attempt to avoid a Test series defeat to England. 

Azhar is under pressure after making only 38 in his three innings against Joe Root's side so far, while Shafiq has only three more runs to his name from a defeat in the opening Test and a weather-hit draw at the Rose Bowl. 

The tourists must win the third and final match, which starts on Friday, to avoid their first series loss in England for a decade in the longest format. 

Azhar is aware that he, along with Shafiq, needs to deliver in Southampton, though the skipper said he retains the backing of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). 

He said: "Being a captain, it is my responsibility to score runs. Asad Shafiq has been a match-winner and one of the best players we have got. 

"He has always scored runs under pressure. As senior batsmen, we both need to step up and make contributions for Pakistan in the third Test. 

"We have such a good bunch of guys with us. They make my job as captain really easy. I have the full backing of the PCB as captain. 

"Right now, my entire focus is on the third Test match and not thinking about the criticism from outside."

Azhar is backing young pacemen Naseem Shah and Shaheen Afridi to deliver, too. 

"We are lucky to have exciting fast bowlers. Although they are young in terms of age, they are exciting characters," he said.  

"You can't buy experience without playing, so we have to back them [Naseem and Shaheen] because they are bowling really well and putting opposition under pressure. 

"You can’t sit outside and gain experience. These guys have taken up the challenge and impressed everyone around the world, so I still feel they are good enough to win Test matches for Pakistan." 

Azhar said Pakistan would assess the pitch before naming their side after recent poor weather on the south coast. 

Meanwhile, former internationals Mohammad Yousuf and Abdul Razzaq are among a host of former players who have taken up coaching roles with the PCB.

Joe Root has urged England to seize the moment when they attempt to seal a series win over Pakistan with uncertainty over exactly when they will play Test cricket again.

England will start the third Test at the Rose Bowl on Friday with a 1-0 lead after a frustrating weather-ruined contest at the same venue ended in a draw on Monday. 

The tourists have not suffered a series defeat in England in the longest format for a decade, drawing on their previous two visits. 

England beat West Indies 2-1 when international cricket returned following a coronavirus-enforced hiatus and with scheduling still to be confirmed in such uncertain times, Root has called on his team-mates to step up again in Southampton. 

The England captain said: "My message to the guys was quite simple today, that we don't know when the next time will be that we play Test cricket, so let's make sure we throw everything into this week. 

"Let's make sure we leave no stone unturned and we give everything to each other and the badge going into this last game. 

"The guys have prepared really well over the last couple of days and I fully expect everyone to give everything over the next five days and give ourselves the best chance of winning the series 2-0." 

England have named an unchanged squad for the finale, but Root says the hosts will leave it late to name their final XI. 

Asked if spinner Dom Bess could miss out in favour of an all-seam attack, he said: "We've not settled on an 11 yet. It's so hard to tell with that wicket right now, it's obviously been under cover for a large proportion of the last week. 

"With finally some sunshine and a bit of wind, it could change drastically over the course of today. Try and keep everything on the table for tomorrow, then we'll make a call." 

The two sides agreed to start 30 minutes earlier than scheduled in the final Test if time is lost due to bad weather on the previous day.

England and Pakistan have agreed to flexible start times for the third and final Test of their ongoing series.

The decision comes after bad light delays in gloomy, but often dry, Southampton conditions ruined the second meeting between the two teams, with only 134.3 overs of play possible across five days in a frustrating draw.

England head coach Chris Silverwood and captain Joe Root had spoken positively about an idea to make up lost time by starting at 10:30 local time, rather than the fixed usual 11:00 start for the team's home Tests.

That has previously been avoided due to complications it causes spectators travelling to grounds, but that is not presently an issue with the coronavirus pandemic meaning the series is being played behind closed doors.

A deal has now been agreed for the next match, which begins on Friday, so time can also be made up at the start of a day's play.

Implementing the new rule for future series which take place in England is also under consideration.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) confirmed "positive discussions" on the subject were held with the International Cricket Council (ICC), match referee Chris Broad and broadcast partners.

A statement from the ECB on Thursday read: "Revised start times have been agreed with the captains and coaches of both England and Pakistan and will be implemented for the final match of this series.

"The flexible approach will enable the prospect of making up time for inclement weather during the morning session of subsequent days rather than at the end of the day.

"Match officials will ensure that light is monitored to maximise playing time while it is still safe to do so. The safety of the players is still the number one priority for this protocol."

England, who lead 1-0 as they seek a first series win over Pakistan for 10 years, have named an unchanged 14-man squad for the contest.

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