Former New Zealand international Jeetan Patel has been appointed England spin bowling consultant for the five-match Twenty20 series against the Black Caps.

The Warwickshire captain has been given special dispensation from Cricket Wellington to miss the first three matches of the Plunket Shield season and will join up with the England squad in Christchurch next week.

Patel played 43 ODIs, 24 Tests and 11 T20 Internationals over an 11-year period and has continued to thrive in first-class cricket in the twilight of his career.

New Zealand Cricket and Cricket Wellington fully support Patel with his assignment in the England set-up under new head coach Chris Silverwood as he makes plans to become a coach when he calls time on his playing days.

The first T20 begins at Hagley Oval on November 1.

 

Lasith Malinga returns to captain Sri Lanka, while Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Oshada Fernando have retained their places in the Twenty20 International squad for the series in Australia.

Malinga was among a host of players who opted out of the recent tour of Pakistan, which Sri Lanka ended with a historic 3-0 whitewash of the top-ranked T20 side in the world.

Dasun Shanaka skippered an inexperienced team in Malinga's absence, but the paceman is set to resume leadership duties in a three-match series that starts at Adelaide Oval on October 27.

Batsmen Rajapaksa and Oshada are also among the 16 players selected after making their debuts in Pakistan.

Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera and Niroshan Dickwella are among the other names to come back into the squad.

 

Sri Lanka squad:

Lasith Malinga (captain), Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Danushka Gunathilaka, Avishka Fernando, Niroshan Dickwella, Dasun Shanaka, Shehan Jayasuriya, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Oshada Fernando, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lakshan Sandakan, Nuwan Pradeep, Lahiru Kumara, Isuru Udana, Kasun Rajitha.

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."

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."

Sarfraz Ahmed warned Pakistan must improve in all three facets of the game after they were consigned to a historic 3-0 Twenty20 International series whitewash by Sri Lanka.

Pakistan top the rankings in the shortest format but they did not resemble the best side in the world as the tourists sealed a first T20 clean sweep with a 13-run victory in Lahore on Wednesday.

Oshada Fernando blasted 78 not out off only 48 balls as Sri Lanka posted 147-7 at Gaddafi Stadium, Mohammad Amir the pick of the Pakistan bowlers with 3-27.

Pakistan fell short on 134-6 in reply despite a half-century from Haris Sohail (52), with man of the series Wanindu Hasaranga (3-21) and Lahiru Kumara (2-24) doing the damage.

Captain Sarfraz says his side must raise their game after losing six of their last seven T20 matches.

The wicketkeeper-batsman said: "We were subdued, we didn't express ourselves throughout this series,

"We just wanted to try out as many players as possible. We need to work a lot on all three fronts, especially fielding.

"We can't beat any team if we drop catches like that in the middle overs."

New Sri Lanka skipper Dasun Shanaka, on the other hand, savoured a dream start to his reign.

"It's really a good victory. It's a big honour. All the players were bonded, that was the key to our success. Bonding is the key - they do the right things in the middle," he said.

"There are no extraordinary players here - they're all equally talented, but the unity was the secret. If we play smart cricket, there's always a possibility to win. The decisions were taken smartly today, each and every one of us."

Oshada Fernando smashed a blistering half-century on his Twenty20 International debut and Wanindu Hasaranga excelled with the ball as Sri Lanka beat Pakistan by 13 runs to seal a historic whitewash.

The tourists wrapped up a first bilateral T20 series win over the top-ranked side with a match to spare and put the icing on the cake with a first ever 3-0 whitewash in Lahore on Wednesday.

Oshada bludgeoned 78 not out from only 48 balls as the tourists posted 147-7 after winning the toss, Mohammad Amir the pick of the bowlers with 3-27 at Gaddafi Stadium.

Pakistan - who left out Ahmed Shehzad, Umar Akmal and Mohammad Hasnain - could only make 133-6 in reply, the excellent Hasaranga taking 3-21 and Lahiru Kumara 2-24 to secure an unlikely clean sweep as Haris Sohail's 52 proved to be in vain.

Amir struck twice in the powerplay to leave the tourists in trouble on 30-3, cleaning up Danushka Gunathilaka and getting rid of Bhanuka Rajapaksa after the economical Imad Wasim removed Sadeera Samarawickrama.

Angelo Perera was run out for only 13 but Oshada came to the rescue, dominating a fifth-wicket stand of 76 with new captain Dasun Shanaka and reaching his half-century from only 33 balls.

Oshada and Shanaka were dropped off back-to-back deliveries in an over from Wahab Riaz and the debutant rubbed salt into the woods by hitting the left-arm seamer and Amir for six. 

Wahab had the skipper taken by Fakhar Zaman for 12 and Amir had a third wicket in the penultimate over as the Pakistan bowlers did a good job of restricting Sri Lanka to what appeared to be a below-par total. 

Pakistan endured an awful start to their run chase, with Kasun Rajitha bowling Zaman with a peach of a first delivery of the innings, but a slow-moving partnership of 76 between Babar Azam and Haris laid a solid platform.

Babar (27) fell caught behind attempting to cut Kumara, and Pakistan were 94-3 in the 16th over and needing to step up the run rate as Haris was dismissed by Hasaranga.

Imad and Ali failed while Hasaranga bowled Sarfraz Ahmed as the best T20 side in the world made another mess of it with the bat, failing to secure a consolation victory.

Australia’s Ashes hero Steve Smith is ready to return to cricket after a much-needed break since returning home from England.

The batsman was a pivotal figure as Australia retained the Ashes with a 2-2 draw in England this European summer, having compiled 774 runs across four Tests for the Baggy Green.

Focus now turns to the Australian summer, with T20 series against Pakistan and Sri Lanka over the next month, and Smith says he feels refreshed after shaking off fatigue from the Ashes campaign.

"It was probably a bit of everything: mental, emotional, physical," Smith told reporters at Sydney Airport.

"Towards the last Test match it got to day two and my mind was saying 'keep going', but my body had shut down and wouldn't let me do anything.

"I was a little bit sick after that. I've had a good couple of weeks just to lay low. I just got back into things over the past week.

"I've had three hits now. That will be enough to be ready to go for this first Shield game."

Smith will make his first appearance in domestic first-class cricket since the 2018 ball-tampering scandal when NSW face Queensland in Thursday’s Sheffield Shield clash at the GABBA.

Our #SheffieldShield squad for our season opener against Queensland at the Gabba starting tomorrow! 

? https://t.co/4LZpCormJN #QLDvNSW pic.twitter.com/DgDLE7zmIV

— NSW Blues (@CricketNSWBlues) October 9, 2019

Questions have already been posed regarding the possibility of Smith captaining the Australia side again, with his leadership ban set to expire in 2020, but the 30-year-old played down speculation and praised the work of current skipper Tim Paine.

"I'm not even thinking about that at the moment," Smith said.

"I was pretty chilled out the whole time (in England). I'm obviously pretty intense when I am out there batting but I help out wherever I can.

"I don't want to sit back and not say something if I think it might help us. We will cross that bridge later if it comes. At the moment I am comfortable and Tim is doing a great job."

Smith is expected to make a domestic return to Test action in November when Australia host Pakistan in a three-match series.

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."

Australia stars Steve Smith and David Warner have returned to the Twenty20 fold for back-to-back three-game series against Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

Smith and Warner have already made Test and ODI comebacks following their year-long ball-tampering bans, however, the duo are back in the T20 setup for the first time since the infamous saga.

Australia named their 14-man squad on Tuesday, with an eye on the ICC T20 World Cup, which the country will host in October next year.

While Smith and Warner headline a squad captained by Aaron Finch, Australia have axed all-rounder Marcus Stoinis and overlooked big-hitting batsmen Chris Lynn and D'Arcy Short for the series against Sri Lanka and Pakistan, which gets underway in Adelaide on October 27.

Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins will lead Australia's pace attack that also includes Billy Stanlake, while leg-spinner Adam Zampa retains his place as star Nathan Lyon continues to battle an ankle problem following the Ashes.

"It is almost a year to the day until Australia hosts the men's Twenty20 World Cup and we have selected this squad with that in mind," national selector Trevor Hohns said in a statement.

"We have looked to put a squad together that we think can take us through to that tournament. The squad we have selected is quite role specific and we believe it gives us the flexibility to thrive in all match conditions."

Hohns added: "In terms of batsmen, we have selected top and middle-order specialists. The likes of Glenn Maxwell, Ben McDermott, Ashton Turner and Carey provide us excellent options through the middle-order after Finch, Warner and Smith.

"In terms of spinners, we feel like the all-round package Ashton Agar possesses is irresistible at the moment and Adam Zampa has proven to be a very good T20 bowler in all conditions.

"We're also confident in the potency and flexibility of our fast bowling group. Mitchell Starc gives us a left-arm option and has earned a reputation as one of the world's leading quicks at the top of the innings and at the death.

"Pat Cummins is a world-class right-arm option and has been in superb form of late. Andrew Tye is a wicket-taking proposition, Billy Stanlake has the X-factor and Kane Richardson has been an excellent short-form player for some time now."

Australia will face Sri Lanka on October 27, 30 and November 1 before meeting Pakistan on November 3, 5 and 8.

 

Australia squad: Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Glenn Maxwell, Ben McDermott, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Billy Stanlake, Mitchell Starc, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, David Warner, Adam Zampa.

Bhanuka Rajapaksa bludgeoned a half-century and Nuwan Pradeep starred with the ball as Sri Lanka sealed a maiden Twenty20 International bilateral series win over Pakistan with a 35-run victory in Lahore.

Rajapaksa, playing only his second match for his country, smashed 77 from only 48 balls in the tourists' 182-6 at Gadafi Stadium on Monday.

Top-ranked Pakistan, beaten by 64 runs on Saturday, went 2-0 down with only one match to play after they were all out for 147, Pradeep taking 4-25 and Wanindu Hasaranga 3-38.

Sri Lanka had lost four T20 series' in a row, but stopped the rot at the start of a new era with Dasun Shanaka captaining a youthful side. 

Danushka Gunathilaka fell to Imad Wasim for only 15 following his half-century at the weekend and Sri Lanka were 41-2 after five overs, having won the toss, when Shadab Khan ran Avishka Fernando (8) out.

Rajapaksa then took centre stage, smashing Mohammad Amir back over his head for six with disdain and clattering Shadab for back-to-back maximums as he raced to a maiden international half-century from 31 balls.

The number three also struck Mohammad Hasnain, who took a hat-trick in the opening match of the series, for back-to-back sixes before a superb third-wicket stand of 94 ended when Asif Ali ran Shehan Jayasuriya out for 34.

Rajapaksa fell to the expensive Shadab (1-38) after clearing the ropes six times in a swashbuckling knock and skipper Shanaka made a brisk unbeaten 27, with Wahab Riaz taking just the one wicket for 31 on his T20 return.

Pakistan were up against it at 11-2 with the recalled Fakhar Zaman (6) and Babar Azam (3) bowled by Kasun Rajitha (1-11) and Pradeep respectively before Hasaranga struck three times in the eighth over.

The spinner cleaned up an advancing Ahmed Shehzad (13) with a googly before removing Umar Akmal leg before for back-to-back golden ducks and captain Sarfraz Ahmed was also bowled for 26.

Imad struck a T20I best 47 off 29 balls and put on 75 with Asif Ali (29) for the sixth wicket, but the excellent Pradeep and Isuru Udana (2-38) prevented Pakistan from keeping the series alive. 

Chris Silverwood has been appointed as England head coach.

Silverwood took over as England fast bowling coach under Trevor Bayliss early last year and it was announced on Monday he is the man to succeed the Australian.

Bayliss decided to bring his four-year reign, which included a Cricket World Cup triumph in July, to an end at the conclusion of the Ashes series last month.

Former India and South Africa coach Gary Kirsten had also been considered for the position, but the ECB's selection panel decided Silverwood was clearly the best option.

Director of England men's cricket Ashley Giles said: "We are delighted to confirm Chris as England men's head coach. We have gone through a thorough process and looked at all the options that were available to us. Chris was the standout candidate.

"I believe he is what we need to take our international teams forward. He is somebody we know well, but it is his intimate understanding of our structures and systems and his close relationships with Test captain Joe Root and white-ball captain Eoin Morgan that will help us develop our plans for the next few years.

"He has performed exceptionally well during his role as an assistant coach and has the ultimate respect of the players that have worked with him.

"Chris demonstrated in his interview a clear understanding and strategy of how both the red and white ball teams need to evolve. He has some detailed thoughts on what it will take to win the Ashes in Australia and win major ICC white-ball tournaments.

"Ultimately, his highest quality is that he is a winner and that will be an important part of the job as we look to strive to become the most respected team in the world across all formats."

Bayliss delivered on his brief of transforming England into a force in limited-overs cricket, that plan reaching its culmination as they dramatically won the World Cup on home soil.

However, England have struggled for consistency in Test cricket and failed to regain the urn in this year's Ashes, which ended in a 2-2 draw.

Silverwood will soon have a chance to turn around England's fortunes in the longest format. England face New Zealand in two Tests, the first starting on November 21, after five T20 matches in their tour of the country.

A tour to South Africa follows, beginning at the end of the year, with Silverwood hopeful England can make it a positive start to his tenure.

"I am thrilled and honoured to be appointed England head coach," he said. "I aim to continue the great work that has been done over the past five years and build on our future, especially in the Test arena.

"I have enjoyed working with the players over the past two seasons and developing the best crop of talent in the English game.

"I am excited to get started and build teams that the whole game can be proud of. There is a tremendous amount of talent coming through and there is enormous potential for growth. The hard work starts now and I am confident we can make a positive impact during our winter tours of New Zealand and South Africa."

Mohammad Hasnain's hat-trick was in vain as a young Sri Lanka side shocked Pakistan with a 64-run win in the opening match of the Twenty20 International series in Lahore. 

Top-ranked Pakistan had won six consecutive T20 contests with Sri Lanka and the tourists were smarting from a 2-0 ODI series defeat, but they pulled off an upset under new captain Dasun Shanaka at Gaddafi Stadium on Saturday. 

Sri Lanka posted 165-5 after losing the toss, Danushka Gunathilaka top scoring with 57 from 38 balls before 19-year-old Hasnain (3-37) took a hat-trick across two overs in his second international in the shortest format. 

Pakistan were bowled out for 101 in reply to suffer a fourth loss in their last five T20s, Nuwan Pradeep (3-21) and Isuru Udana (3-11) starring in a superb Sri Lanka display in the field.

Gunathilaka got Sri Lanka off to a great start after they were put in, setting about Faheem Ashraf and Hasnain to bring the 50 stand up in the fifth over. 

The left-hander timed the ball sweetly and continued to score freely through the leg side, taking 14 off Shadab Khan's first over and pulling the spinner for six to reach his half-century. 

Shadab gained a measure of revenge by trapping Gunathilaka leg before to end an opening partnership of 84, but Avishka Fernando (33) and debutant Bhanuka Rajapaksa (32) kept Sri Lanka ticking along. 

Hasnain had a moment to remember when he removed Shehan Jayasuriya to claim a hat-trick the next ball after seeing off Shanaka, having snared Rajapaksa lbw in the last ball of his previous over. 

Pakistan were in big trouble on 22-3 with star man Babar Azam (13) and the recalled Umar Akmal falling in consecutive balls to the excellent Pradeep, who missed out on a hat-trick of his own, before Udana cleaned up Ahmed Shehzad, playing for his country for the first time since last June. 

Captain Sarfraz Ahmed (24) and Iftikhar Ahmed (25) got starts but were unable to go on as Sri Lanka held their catches in a sharp fielding display, Udana finishing off Pakistan after Wanindu Hasaranga (2-20) also did damage.

Jonny Bairstow has been left out of England's Test squad for the tour of New Zealand in November.

The Yorkshire batsman is in the 15-man Twenty20 group but misses out on the two-match series against the Black Caps, having failed to impress during the 2-2 Ashes draw with Australia on home soil.

Dominic Sibley has won a first call-up after an exceptional County Championship with Warwickshire, alongside Matt Parkinson, Zak Crawley and Saqib Mahmood.

Lancashire's Parkinson and Worcestershire seamer Pat Brown are included in the T20 squad for the first time, as is Tom Banton, who hit 549 runs for Somerset in the Vitality Blast.

Injured trio James Anderson, Mark Wood and Olly Stone are left out, the former now working on being fit for the tour of South Africa, which starts in December.

The two Tests against New Zealand, due to start on November 21 and 29, do not form part of the ICC World Test Championship.

The five-match T20I series gets underway in Christchurch on November 1.

England Test squad:

Joe Root (captain), Jofra Archer, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Jack Leach, Saqib Mahmood, Matt Parkinson, Ollie Pope, Dominic Sibley, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes.

England T20 squad:

Eoin Morgan (captain), Jonny Bairstow, Tom Banton, Sam Billings, Pat Brown, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Lewis Gregory, Chris Jordan, Saqib Mahmood, Dawid Malan, Matt Parkinson, Adil Rashid, James Vince.

Hamilton Masakadza bowed out of international cricket in style on Friday, striking 71 from 42 balls to help Zimbabwe to a Twenty20 victory over Afghanistan in Chattogram.

Zimbabwe's hopes of qualifying for the final of a tri-series also involving Bangladesh had already been wiped out by three successive defeats, but they at least ended the tournament on a high as skipper Masakadza produced a wonderful final innings for his country.

Having walked out to a guard of honour after Afghanistan posted 155-8, the 36-year-old thumped five sixes and four fours in his entertaining knock, underpinning a seven-wicket win completed with three balls unused.

Masakadza ended his international career, which began in 2001, having played in 38 Tests, 209 ODIs and 66 T20s, scoring 9,543 runs for his country in all formats. His tally of 1,662 in T20s is almost double that of any other Zimbabwean.

On his 32nd birthday, Regis Chakabva played second fiddle to his captain in a second-wicket stand of 70 before accelerating to 39 from 32 deliveries, while Sean Williams (21 not out) finished the chase off having been dropped by Mujeeb Ur Rahman immediately after Chakabva fell at the start of the 18th over with just 17 runs needed.

Afghanistan, who will face Bangladesh in the final, started brightly after winning the toss, openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Hazratullah Zazai contributing 61 and 31 respectively.

However, they crucially lost momentum in the second half of their innings as Chris Mpofu finished with 4-30.

Mahmudullah hit 62 from 41 balls as Bangladesh clinched a 39-run victory over Zimbabwe in Chattogram and secured their place in the T20 international tri-series final.

The all-rounder's knock helped Bangladesh post 175-7, after they had been inserted by Zimbabwe, and included five sixes.

Mahmudullah had support from wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim (32), while opener Liton Das had earlier got the hosts of to a fine start with a 22-ball 38.

Kyle Jarvis finished as the pick of the Zimbabwe attack with 3-32 while fellow seamer Chris Mpofu’s two wickets came at the expense of 42 runs.

Zimbabwe's reply quickly hit the buffers. They were reduced to 8-3 before captain Hamilton Masakadza (25) steadied the ship.

He was one of only two batsmen in Zimbabwe's top six to make double figures as Mohammad Saifuddin (1-14), Shakib Al Hasan (1-28) and Shafiul Islam (3-36) impressed.

Richmond Mutumbami blasted 54 off 32 balls from number seven while Jarvis made a quickfire 27 as Zimbabwe's innings at least finished with a flourish. 

However, Mustafizur Rahman polished off the tail with 2-38 as Zimbabwe, winless in the tournament, were bowled out for 136.

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