West Indies have confirmed Nicholas Pooran as the vice-captain of their Twenty20 squad for the upcoming series against India.

Pooran was handed a four-game suspension by the International Cricket Council (ICC) earlier in November after admitting to changing the condition of the ball in an ODI victory over Afghanistan – a win which sealed a 3-0 series whitewash.

Video footage showed Pooran scratching the surface of the ball with his thumbnail and he accepted the sanction put forward by match referee Chris Broad.

The 24-year-old subsequently missed the three-match T20 series against Afghanistan, which defending world champions West Indies lost 2-1.

However, Pooran has been named by a selection panel as part of the Windies T20 and ODI squads for their December matches against India.

A West Indies statement read: "The panel outlined that Nicholas Pooran will continue as vice-captain of the T20 squad, for continuity and with a view to the future, and he remains the best choice as deputy to captain Kieron Pollard."

Coach Phil Simmons is relishing putting his side's capabilities to the test against one of the world's strongest teams.

"We have three matches in each format, so we wanted to give each squad a chance to compete against India," Simmons said.

"No disrespect to Afghanistan, but facing India will be a more difficult series, especially in the ODIs. I believe we will move from strength to strength."

The first T20 takes place in Hyderabad on December 6, with further matches in the short format scheduled for December 8 and December 11.

Following the T20 series, three ODIS – on December 15, 18 and 22 – will take place in Chennai, Vizag and Cuttack respectively.

Steve Smith insists there are no hard feelings towards West Indies batsman Nicholas Pooran despite his relatively lenient four-match ban for ball tampering.

Australia's skipper at the time, Smith, along with vice-captain David Warner and team-mate Cameron Bancroft, received a long suspension for his role in the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa in March 2018.

Smith and Warner did not play for a year following sanctions handed out by Cricket Australia, with Bancroft returning after nine months.

Meanwhile, Pooran, who admitted to changing the condition of the ball in a one-dayer against Afghanistan, will miss four games after being punished by the International Cricket Council.

The Windies will soon have Pooran available again, but Smith would prefer not to reflect upon the contrasting punishments.

"Everyone is different, every [cricket] board is different with the way they deal with certain issues," Smith said. "For me, I copped it on the chin. It is what it is.

"I don't feel hard done by. It was a long time ago now. I've moved past it and I'm focusing on the present.

"I know Nicholas, I've played a bit of cricket with him, and he's a talented player and someone with a bright future.

"I think he'll learn from his mistake and move past it. I think he's going to be an exceptional player in white-ball cricket."

West Indies batsman Nicholas Pooran has been handed a four-game ban for ball tampering, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced on Wednesday.

Pooran admitted changing the condition of the ball as the Windies sealed a whitewash in their three-game ODI series against Afghanistan with a five-wicket victory in Lucknow on Monday.

Video footage showed the 24-year-old scratching the surface of the ball with his thumbnail and he accepted the sanction put forward by match referee Chris Broad, avoiding the need for a formal hearing.

As part of the suspension handed down by the ICC, Pooran will sit out the three Twenty20 internationals against Afghanistan.

Pooran said: "I want to issue a sincere apology to my team-mates, supporters and the Afghanistan team for what transpired on the field of play on Monday in Lucknow.

"I recognise that I made an extreme error in judgement and I fully accept the ICC penalty. I want to assure everyone that this is an isolated incident and it will not be repeated.

"I promise to learn from this and come back stronger and wiser."

Shai Hope marked turning 26 in style as his 109 not out inspired West Indies to a five-wicket ODI victory over Afghanistan, completing a 3-0 series whitewash.

A day after his birthday, Hope hit eight boundaries and three sixes in a supreme 145-ball innings, though the Windies left it late to secure victory.

Asghar Afghan (86), ably supported by Hazratullah Zazai (50) and Mohammad Nabi (50 no) gave Afghanistan hope of salvaging some pride in the series as they set 249-7 from their innings in Lucknow.

Afghanistan looked well set three overs into West Indies' innings - Mujeeb Ur Rahman taking the wickets of Evin Lewis and Shimron Hetmyer in the space of four deliveries.

But Hope came to the fore, anchoring himself at the crease, with debutant Brandon King (39) providing support before Nicholas Pooran offered a quickfire 21 as the Windies' remaining opener moved beyond 50.

Captain Kieron Pollard provided a useful 32, with Roston Chase (42 no) then coming in to up the run rate.

Hope brought up his seventh ODI century with a tidy single off Rashid Khan, with Chase on hand to wrap up the series in style with a four over short leg with eight deliveries to spare.

Roston Chase came to the fore again for West Indies as they beat Afghanistan by 47 runs to claim an unassailable 2-0 lead in their ODI series.

Having starred with the bat in the opening seven-wicket win, scoring 94, Chase showed his talent with the ball as he took 3-30 from his 10 overs in Lucknow

That came after Shai Hope (43) and Evin Lewis (53) put on a 98-run opening partnership for the Windies, with Nicholas Pooran adding 67 down the order to take his side to 247-9.

Afghanistan came up well short in reply, succumbing for 200 to leave them facing a series whitewash with one game to go.

After winning their first match under the new captain-coach partnership of Kieron Pollard and Phil Simmons last time out, the Windies looked assured from the outset on Saturday.

Hope and Lewis laid a solid platform but when they fell in consecutive overs, Afghanistan sensed an opportunity.

Indeed, there were only two other notable contributions from the Windies' batting line-up, Shimron Hetmyer making 34 to play his part.

It was Pooran who provided the most telling knock, though, as he held firm until the final over for his eye-catching 67 from 50 deliveries.

That helped guide his side to a credible total and Pooran even put in a shift at wicketkeeper when Hope went off for treatment midway through Afghanistan's reply. 

It was a reply that faltered almost immediately, Javed Ahmadi out for a duck having faced only four deliveries.

The Asian nation struggled to build any momentum, with Rahmat Shah run out for a 33-run knock that soaked up 54 balls, increasing the required run rate.

Chase accounted for Hazratullah Zazai (23), Ikram Alikhil (19) and Asghar Afghan (3) to keep the Windies well on top.

Najibullah Zadran (56) and Mohammad Nabi (32) provided some lower-order resistance to extend the contest, but they fell to consecutive balls in separate overs as Afghanistan's hopes faded away. 

Alastair Cook has no concerns over Jonny Bairstow's ability to rediscover his best form in Test cricket after he was called up to cover for Joe Denly ahead of England's tour of New Zealand.

After an indifferent Ashes series, wicketkeeper-batsman Bairstow was left out of England's Test squad for the two-match series, which starts on November 21 at Mount Maunganui.

Denly has played no part in the ongoing Twenty20 series against the Black Caps, which is tied at 2-2 heading into the final match after David Malan's record-breaking hundred earned the tourists a 76-run win in Napier on Friday.

While Denly, who has suffered ankle ligament damage, is hopeful of being fit for a three-day warm-up match against a New Zealand Cricket XI, which starts on November 15, England have confirmed Bairstow – who has hit just 43 runs from his three innings so far on the tour – will remain in the country as cover.

Despite Bairstow's initial omission from the squad, former England captain Cook, the all-time leading run-scorer in Tests for his country, has backed the Yorkshireman to step up if required.

"He is a world-class player," Cook told Sky Sports. "His white-ball career has flourished, but he has struggled a little bit for form in the Test arena.

"He had such an impact at the top of the order after moving up to opener a couple of years ago – he was opening the batting with David Warner in the IPL – but I think that has probably made him stay a little bit legside of the ball and, as a consequence of that, he is probably getting bowled a little too often in the red-ball game.

"The break will do him good. He got left out of the Sri Lanka tour last year, when he was injured, and he then came back in at number three and got a hundred straight away.

"He has been called up probably for logistics as well. It's a long way to fly someone over to New Zealand when he is already out there as cover.

"It will be good for him to reassess where he's at with Test cricket. When you get dropped, it's that line in the sand and it's about how you respond to that.

"Knowing Jonny and his competitive spirit, it will give him a little kick up the backside and he'll be back scoring runs for England, because good players like him respond."

Cook also hailed Eoin Morgan's decision to stay on as ODI and T20 captain after England's triumph over New Zealand in the World Cup.

"I suppose the tempting thing is to always go out on a high," said Cook. "The pinnacle, standing at Lord's, his home ground, after such an amazing World Cup win. How do you top that?

"But, actually, with the T20 World Cup only 12 months away - they got to the final in 2016 - I think there is some unfinished business there.

"The way he is striking the ball at the moment is fantastic; he has played really, really well over the last two years or so - and the way he leads the team, I would have been surprised had he not carried on."

Kieron Pollard lauded Roston Chase and Shai Hope after their efforts with the bat helped West Indies to a seven-wicket ODI win over Afghanistan in Lucknow. 

Chase made his highest score in the format with a fine 94 that included 11 boundaries, with Hope having laid the foundation for a successful chase with an unbeaten 77.

The pair's 163-run stand did most of the work as the Windies overhauled Afghanistan's 194 all out with 21 balls to spare, the hosts having collapsed from 126-2.

And Pollard was delighted to see Chase and Hope lead the way, helping to assuage some of the captain's concerns over his side's batting performances in the 50-over format.

"Losing early wickets and not batting 50 overs is something that has been haunting us for a long time," he said, while also reserving praise for bowlers Romario Shepherd (2-31) and Hayden Walsh (1-33)

"Two guys showed the way – Hope and Chase. Both of them are class batsmen, kudos to them for batting well and getting us a victory.

"We've been talking about how we want to play cricket. Express ourselves, who better than Jason Holder, who continues to prove he wants to be the number one in this format.

"Then Shepherd and Hayden Walsh were superb. We want to play every game with the same intensity."

The second match takes place at the same venue on Monday.

Roston Chase made his highest ODI score after doing did damage with the ball as West Indies started a new era by cruising to a seven-wicket win over Afghanistan in Lucknow.

The Windies cruised to a target of 195 in their first game under the captain-coach partnership of Kieron Pollard and Phil Simmons, who is back for a second spell in charge.

Afghanistan were going well with Rahmat Shah (61) and Ikram Alikhil (58) at the crease but collapsed from 126-2 to 194 all out - debutant Romario Shepherd, Chase and Jason Holder taking two wickets apiece.

Chase (94) and Shai Hope (77 not out) put on 163 for the third wicket as West Indies got home with 21 balls to spare to lead the three-match series 1-0.

Sheldon Cottrell removed Hazratullah Zazai's leg stump with a yorker and Afghanistan were in trouble on 15-2 when the excellent Holder (2-21) got rid of Javed Ahmadi.

Ikram and Rahmat steadied the ship, the former taking a liking to the pace of the expensive Alzarri Joseph.

Rahmat clattered new boy Shepherd over his head for six and Ikram struck Joseph over the rope as he scored a 47-ball half-century, though he was then run out in schoolboy fashion when wandering out of his crease to congratulate his partner on reaching 50 when the ball was not dead.

Afghanistan capitulated in Rashid Khan's first ODI as skipper after the third-wicket stand of 111 came to an end, Chase (2-31) dismissing Rahmat as they lost eight wickets lost for 68 runs, Asghar Afghan (35) also run out.

Paceman Shepherd (2-32) struck twice as the last four wickets fell for three runs, yet it looked to be game on when the Windies were 25-2 with Evin Lewis and Shimron Hetmyer back in the pavilion.

However, Hope and Chase - promoted to number four - applied themselves well to take the wind out of Afghanistan's sails.

Opener Hope was content to accumulate steadily as Chase played more expansively, hitting 11 boundaries but missing out on three figures when he was cleaned up by Mujeeb Ur Rahman, leaving Nicholas Pooran to come out and hit the winning runs.

Windies skipper Kieron Pollard has insisted it will be important for the team to carefully plan its approach in what could be a tricky upcoming series against Afghanistan.

The Pollard-led regional squad will square off against the Rashid Khan-led Afghans in three One Day Internationals (ODI) and three T20 internationals.  Despite being ranked just above the hosts in the ICC ODI standings, the Afghans hold an advantage in recent results after winning three of the last six encounters.  The Asian team has often taken advantage of the Windies noted weakness against spin bowling, a fact not lost on the Windies skipper.

 "Rashid Khan is a world-class bowler. It was seen by all of us and all around the world. Again there is no secret about it. Nabi himself has been doing well, he is a classical off-spinner. Mujeeb has done well for himself," Pollard said ahead of the match.

"We as a team, we have to plan how we are going to structure our fifty overs of batting and then our fifty overs of bowling. Each and every one of us is a good player in his own right and must show what we have to offer," he added.

 The team will bowl off the series on Wednesday at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee International Cricket Stadium, in Lucknow.

Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan has been handed a two-year suspension from all forms of cricket after accepting three charges relating to breaches of the ICC anti-corruption code.

Shakib's ban, one year of which is suspended, comes after he contravened article 2.4.4 of the code on multiple occasions, the International Cricket Council said.

That part of the code compels cricketers to disclose full details of "any approaches or invitations received to engage in corrupt conduct" to the governing body's anti-corruption unit (ACU).

"I am obviously extremely sad to have been banned from the game I love, but I completely accept my sanction for not reporting the approaches," world number one all-rounder Shakib said in a statement released by the ICC.

"The ICC ACU is reliant on players to play a central part in the fight against corruption and I didn't do my duty in this instance.

"Like the majority of players and fans around the world, I want cricket to be a corruption-free sport and I am looking forward to working with the ICC ACU team to support their education programme and ensure young players don't make the same mistake I did."

The first charge relates to the Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe Tri-Series in January 2018 and/or that year's IPL; the second to another approach in respect of the same Tri-Series; and the third to an IPL match between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kings XI Punjab on 26 April 2018.

In its summary of the background to the case, the ICC detailed the various instances where there was contact, via WhatsApp, between Shakib and a man "suspected of involvement in corruption in cricket".

Shakib has appeared in all three formats for his country, with 56 Tests under his belt and 206 ODI outings.

The 32-year-old's ban is effective immediately.

Newly appointed Windies skipper Kieron Pollard has promised to reject the idea of insularity, an accusation traditionally leveled at numerous regional team selection panels.

As captain of the One Day International and T20 teams, Pollard will assist a panel that has often been accused of favouring players from different regions of the Caribbean, based on its composition at the time.  Despite being an allegation that has never quite been proven, it has clearly caught the attention of the new skipper.

“One of the major things we (selectors) talked about is the insularity that has been going on in the Caribbean and it is something we want to [stamp out],” Pollard said in a recent interview.

“At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter where you’re from, which part of the islands you’re from, once your performance is there, once you fit into the dynamics of the team, [once] you fit into what we’re looking for, you’re going to be selected.

“[The fact] that sometimes you veer to where you’re from is unfortunate, maybe as a home captain or coach, but at the end of the day we will try to pick the best team.

“Me, knowing myself and how I go about things – and this is something I’ve been preaching since the franchise system started in the Caribbean T20 before the CPL – the bigger picture is the cricket and whichever persons are doing well, they’re going to be selected.”

Pollard replaced Jason Holder as ODI captain and Carlos Brathwaite as T20 captain.

Zimbabwe and Nepal have been readmitted by the ICC after suspensions for political interference were lifted.

The world governing body stripped Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) of full member status in July after state-owned enterprise the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) suspended the board.

SRC acted after issuing a directive that the governing body's elective annual general meeting would be suspended amid allegations over the nomination process and the violation of ZC's constitution, along with "various other controversies".

The ICC has now cleared Zimbabwe to regain member status following board meetings in Dubai.

Zimbabwe will be able to feature in the ICC Men's Under-19 Cricket World Cup in January and compete in the ICC Super League next year.

ICC chairman Shashank Manohar said: "I would like to thank the Zimbabwe Sports Minister for her commitment to the reinstatement of Zimbabwe Cricket.

"Her desire to work in support of Zimbabwe Cricket was clear and she has unconditionally complied with the conditions set down by the ICC Board. Funding to Zimbabwe Cricket will continue to be on a controlled basis as part of a collective effort behind getting the game in Zimbabwe back on an even keel."

Nepal has also been added as members on a conditional basis three years after they were suspended for breach of the ICC regulations that prohibit government interference and require free and fair elections.

Manohar added: "Given the progress made in Nepal, a transition plan will now be developed for the Cricket Association of Nepal to support full compliance with Associate Membership criteria, which will also involve controlled funding."

The 2019 Colonial Medical Insurance Super50 Cup bowls off on Wednesday, November 6, with the focus squarely on the 2023 Cricket World Cup.

Chris Silverwood has already identified England's areas for improvement in Test cricket in an aim to fulfil Ashley Giles' target of becoming "the most respected team in the world".

Silverwood has been appointed as England's new head coach, replacing Trevor Bayliss, who delivered limited-overs success, winning the Cricket World Cup at home earlier this year.

While director of cricket Giles insists England are "not moving all our focus back onto Test cricket", urging the need to find a "balance", there is a desire to improve results in the longest format.

Under Bayliss, Joe Root's side could only draw at home in the Ashes, while they suffered series defeats away to West Indies, New Zealand, Australia and India.

Silverwood, previously the bowling coach, told a news conference: "I think we'll become [the most respected team] by being successful and building on the white-ball success we've had.

"We talk about prioritising red-ball cricket, but let's not forget we do have two big white-ball tournaments coming up.

"But moving the Test team forward, we're going to have to look at batting for long periods of time, then continuing to build the bowling attack where we can be successful and consistent in winning away from home as well.

"Equally, I think it's in the way we play as well. It's the way you win that helps make you the most respected team in the world, so we'll keep driving the culture behind the scenes and make sure that, when we're on the park, we are role models to everybody else out there as well."

Pushed further on England's batting order, Silverwood acknowledged there is work to do on the basics.

England have struggled to identify an opening combination since Alastair Cook's retirement, with Jason Roy the latest to fail, although Rory Burns and Joe Denly hinted at a partnership towards the end of the home series against Australia.

"It certainly needs work moving forward," Silverwood said. "One of the things we'll be looking at is building a batting group that can bat for long periods of time, stack runs up and put pressure on.

"Yes, it sounds a little bit old fashioned, but I think we need to recognise that we need to look at that - and make sure we've got the right people in the right places to achieve that as well."

Dale Steyn hopes a stint with Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League can boost his chances of representing South Africa at next year's T20 World Cup in Australia.

Veteran paceman Steyn missed the 2019 Cricket World Cup due to a shoulder injury and announced his retirement from Tests in August.

With the Proteas taking on England in four Tests across December and January, the 36-year-old has been granted leave for the Stars' first six games – the last of which is the derby with Melbourne Renegades at the MCG on January 4.

That is exactly one month before the white-ball leg of England's tour to South Africa, and Steyn hopes the BBL experience will help him achieve his ultimate goal of representing his country.

"This is the first year where the cricket schedule gives me the opportunity to come down and enjoy everything Melbourne has to offer," said Steyn.

"Having watched closely from afar, the BBL is a top tournament which has a great reputation overseas. I love cricket and want to make a difference in any team that I am playing for. I have had time to get fit and have been bowling for two months now. I can't wait to get over there and get going.

"Obviously the first prize is always to play for your country. Representing South Africa is the only thing I've ever done for my whole career so far, so to get back into that team is prize number one.

"They're pretty tight on not allowing players to go and play in the Big Bash, but knowing that I'm not available for the Tests, wanting to keep me fit, and also having one eye on the Twenty20 World Cup at the backend of next year, they probably felt like it was a good call.

"Which is great because it keeps me in the running for that World Cup. If I can go over to Australia and get some more experience in those conditions, that could be beneficial."

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