Head coach Andrew McDonald will miss the start of Australia's tour of Sri Lanka after testing positive for coronavirus.

McDonald was unable to fly out with the rest of the touring party on Wednesday after returning a positive test on Tuesday.

Michael Di Venuto will coach the Twenty20 team in the absence of McDonald, who must spend a week in isolation.

A three-match T20 series gets under way in Colombo next Tuesday.

Sri Lanka and Australia will then play five ODIs this month before a two-match Test series in Galle.

Australia have not been in action since McDonald was appointed as Justin Langer's successor on a four-year deal.

West Indies captain Nicholas Pooran has expressed delight with the team’s development of strong batting partnerships in a 7 wicket win over the Netherlands, in Amstelveen, on Tuesday.

In the end, the West Indies got to the line with quite a few deliveries to spare, in large part due to a steady 119 by opening batsman Shai Hope.  Hope, however, also received plenty of support at the top of the order, including a 120-run partnership with Sharmarh Brooks for the first wicket.

Nkrumah Bonner didn’t add much to the total in the way o partnerships, after being dismissed without scoring and Pooran might also have done better after adding just 7.  However, another strong partnership between Hope and Brandon King, who added 116 for the fourth wicket, saw the team well over the line.  King added 58 for a maiden half-century.

“The way the batsmen went about it, the opening partnership of 100 plus, that was fantastic.  That’s something we have been working on as a team, just trying to build partnerships,” Pooran said, following the match.

“Hope was excellent, as usual, Sharmarh Brooks got the opportunity to bat and grabbed it with both hands.  Brandon King came and also did well in the end there, he didn’t leave it for anyone.  Kudos to King and Hope for bringing the game home for us,” he added.

 

West Indies batsman Shai Hope joined some illustrious company after scoring his 11th One Day International century, against The Netherlands, on Tuesday.

The batsman looked in imperious form as he put together an unbeaten 119 from 130 balls, at the top of the order, to anchor the Caribbean team in a 7-wicket, in Amstelveen.

The immortal innings not only gave the West Indies a 1-0 series lead but also saw Hope join legends Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Viv Richards, and Gordon Greenidge on 11 100s for the men in maroon.  The total is the 4th highest behind Chris Gayle (25), Brian Lara (19), and Desmond Haynes (17).

“I just like batting, so any opportunity I get I am going to stay out there as long as I can,” Hope said after the match.

“The main priority here is to get the team over the line and I open the batting so that’s just how it works,” he added.

The West Indies and The Netherlands are currently locked in a three-match ODI series.

A magnificent 119 not out from vice-captain Shai Hope ensured the West Indies got their three-match One-Day International tour of the Netherlands off to a winning start with a seven-wicket win via the Duckworth Lewis method in the first game in Amstelveen on Tuesday.

The match was reduced to 45-overs per team after a rain delay during the Netherlands’ innings, an innings that saw them accumulate a competitive 240-7 off their 45 overs, leaving the tourists needing a Duckworth Lewis adjusted 247 for victory.

Debutant Teja Nidamanuru (58 not out), Vikramjit Singh (47) and Max O’Dowd (39) were the main contributors for the hosts against 2-29 off nine overs from Akeal Hosein and 2-50 from nine overs from Kyle Mayers.

West Indies openers Shai Hope and Shamarh Brooks then got the reply off to the perfect start, putting on 120 before Brooks was dismissed in the 24th over for a well-made 60 off 67 balls, including three fours and two sixes.  That wicket brought Nkrumah Bonner to the crease who lasted for just one delivery, dismissed by Logan Van Beek for a duck.

Captain Nicholas Pooran then made his way to the crease and got to seven before falling to Aryan Dutt to leave the Windies 133-3 off 26.3 overs.

Brandon King then joined Hope at the crease and the pair combined to compile a match-winning 116-run partnership which saw Hope bring up his 11th ODI hundred and King bring up his maiden ODI half-century.

Hope ended up 119 not out off 130 balls, including 12 fours and two sixes, while King ended 58 not out off 51 balls, including five fours and two sixes.

Logan Van Beek took 2-49 from eight overs for the Dutch.

The second ODI will take place on Thursday.

 

 

New Zealand paceman Tim Southee says England "won't die wondering" under his former team-mate Brendon McCullum.

McCullum was this month appointed as England Test head coach on a four-year deal.

It will be the ex-Black Caps captain's first international coaching role and he has been charged with the task of turning around the fortunes of a side in poor form.

England are bottom of the World Test Championship and have not won any of their past five series, a dismal run that resulted in Joe Root stepping down as captain and Ben Stokes replacing him.

New Zealand will attempt to make it a painful start to McCullum's tenure in the first Test at Lord's, which starts on Thursday, but Black Caps quick Southee thinks the 40-year-old can make a big impact.

He said: "It's exciting, obviously a great challenge for Brendon. I know him pretty well. Everything he does, he gives it a 100 per cent, so this will be no different.

"He's excited about the next wee while and what lays ahead of him. I'm sure he'll be doing everything he can to bring the best out of this England Test side. He's a great man-manager and he loves to try to get the best out of people.

"I'm sure he'll be doing that here as well. The way he played his cricket was exciting and fearless, and that's the way he is a person and I'm sure that's the way he is as a coach as well.

"It will be an exciting brand of cricket, I'm sure. They [England] won't die wondering I'd imagine if the way he goes about things is anything to go by."

New Zealand won the World Test Championship in England last year, but drew their past two series against Bangladesh and South Africa.

They have had changes of their own with Ross Taylor and BJ Watling retiring, but Southee is optimistic they can show their class in London.

He said: "It's very important, dropping a couple of Test matches in our home summer puts a little bit extra on this series. But our focus is the first five days here at Lord's, then we shift on to the second Test and the third. As a group, we try to play what's in front of us, attack it one Test at a time.

"We've been lucky that we've had a pretty consistent group of guys for a long period of time. Those two guys, BJ and Ross, have been massive parts of the side for such a long time, they're obviously big holes to fill.

"But we've got guys who have been playing some pretty good cricket and waiting in the wings for a while. Tom Blundell's had glimpses, played the last year and made some pretty handy contributions and the likes of Devon Conway and Will Young have impressed in their short international careers so far."

Cricket West Indies (CWI) on Tuesday paid tribute to David Holford, the former West Indies allrounder who passed away on Monday in his homeland Barbados. He was 82.

As a leg spinner and lower middle-order batsman who played 24 Test matches between 1966 and 1977.

His finest hour came during the Lord’s Test of 1966 when he made a magnificent unbeaten century, as part of a historic partnership of 274 with his cousin Garfield Sobers. In just his third Test innings, Holford made 105 not out to help save West Indies from danger of 95-5 in the second innings. His best bowling figures were 5-23 against India in the first innings which helped set-up a victory at Kensington Oval in 1976.

He was also captain of Barbados and led them to the Shell Shield title, and briefly played for Trinidad and Tobago. After retirement Holford held several roles in the game. He was President of the Spartan Club, Director of the Barbados Cricket Association, West Indies Selector and Manager of the West Indies team.

“David Holford epitomized the values of cricket both on and off the field, and was the quintessential West Indies cricketer and ambassador,” said CWI President Ricky Skerritt.

“As a player he was a top quality allrounder and captain who gave his utmost at all levels. As an administrator, team manager and pitch curator he demonstrated his ongoing love for the game by his vision and dedication. He had a hand in the development of several young players across the region, not just in cricket but in several other fields of endeavor. David’s legacy is therefore one of service and dedication to Barbados and West Indies cricket. CWI hereby extends our deepest condolences to his wife, Marva, and all family and friends,” Skerritt added.

 

Luke Wood and David Payne are the new faces in England's first ODI squad ahead of June's three-match tour of the Netherlands.

Lancashire seamer Wood and Gloucestershire paceman Payne have been included in a 14-man party by white-ball coach Matthew Mott.

England have not played an ODI series since facing Pakistan in July 2021.

While Payne was previously called up for last year's series, this is Wood's first inclusion in the national set-up, with both seeking a maiden cap.

Captain Eoin Morgan returns after missing out last year due to a COVID-19 outbreak that forced a complete last-gasp squad overhaul.

Apart from Payne, Brydon Carse, Dawid Malan and Phil Salt are the only players from that second-string selection to make the cut this time, as a host of familiar faces come back into the mix.

Among them are Liam Livingstone and Jos Buttler, who both enjoyed successful campaigns in the Indian Premier League.

Livingstone scored 437 runs across 14 appearances for Punjab Kings, while Buttler's superb form propelled Rajasthan Royals to Sunday's final, though they lost to Gujarat Titans.

"We have tremendous depth with a blend of youth and experience," Mott stated. "We want to continue to play in an expressive style and let our players showcase their skills and firepower.

"Luke Wood deserves his call-up. He has been consistent for Lancashire over the past 12 months and we have been monitoring his progression.

"If given a chance to play, I'm sure he will make most of his opportunity. This is a historic occasion for the sport and the first time England men have played the Netherlands in an ODI series.

"We can't wait to head over to Amsterdam and put on a show for the thousands of fans travelling to support the team."

The series against the Netherlands starts at Amstelveen on 17 June, with the next two games to follow at the same venue on June 19 and 22.

England squad in full: Eoin Morgan, Moeen Ali, Jos Buttler, Brydon Carse, Sam Curran, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, David Payne, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, Phil Salt, Reece Topley, David Willey, Luke Wood.

Ben Stokes will find the England Test captaincy to be a "learning curve", according to team-mate Jonny Bairstow.

But the Yorkshire batsman does not expect the Durham star to change much as a player now he has been given the armband.

Stokes gets his tenure as Joe Root's successor underway against New Zealand in the first match of a three-Test series this Thursday.

The all-rounder is looking to help reverse England's dismal form after a difficult few months.

"Not much will change from Ben Stokes the player," Bairstow told BBC Sport's Test Match Special.

"The way he goes about his bowling and his batting, it's all whole-hearted stuff and his captaincy will be the same. [But] it's going to be a learning experience for him as well.

"We need to understand and recognise that it's going to be a learning curve, but the experience that he's got around him, and the visions that he's got are great.

"If we can all pull together in the right direction, then it is going to be an exciting brand of cricket."

Stokes will hope to get his captaincy off to a winning start against the Black Caps at Lord's, though he has been handed a blow after Ollie Robinson tested positive for COVID-19.

The Sussex bowler had been omitted from the latest squad amid playing time concerns and his attempts to return to full fitness with a view to featuring in the third Test have suffered a setback.

New Zealand meanwhile could be without Henry Nicholls and Trent Boult, though both have been named in the tourists' 15-man squad.

The former has been recovering from a calf injury sustained in training before the team arrived, while the latter arrives this week after playing for Rajasthan Royals in Sunday's IPL final.

Newly appointed West Indies One-Day International (ODI) captain, Nicholas Pooran, has warned against complacency from his team ahead of Tuesday’s start of their three-match ODI series against the Netherlands in Amstelveen.

The West Indies will play matches on May 31, June 2 and June 4 in what will be their first-ever ODI series against the Dutch side and Pooran believes his players need to be in the correct frame of mind.

“Obviously, we don’t want to be complacent. We just saw the Netherlands play New Zealand and they did well,” said Pooran in a pre-match press conference on Monday.

“They didn’t get a win but, as a team, they played really well. They have some good players.”

Pooran, who recently ended a stint for the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League, will be in charge in his first assignment as full-time West Indies ODI captain and provided some insight as to how he plans to lead.

“I’ll try to make the best decisions for the team. I’m very instinctive so a lot of my decisions you guys may not like but, hopefully, it will be the right decision for the team at that point in time. It’s similar to my batting so, hopefully, that goes well,” he said.

As for tomorrow’s game, Pooran says the team is prepared for battle.

“I believe that we’re ready to play. We’ve been here a couple days now and getting used to the weather. We came here to be successful and get some wins on under our belt to get some points so, hopefully, things can go our way and we can do the right things,” said Pooran.

The match is expected to begin at 4:00 am in Jamaica, 5:00 am ECT.

 

 

 

 

 

Cricket West Indies (CWI) has launched a search for someone to replace Ramnaresh Sarwan who has resigned as West Indies Senior Men’s and Youth Selector citing personal reasons.

The former Guyanese middle order batsman was appointed a selector for the West Indies Men’s Youth and Selection Panels on January 6, 2022. CWI Director of Cricket Jimmy Adams thanked Sarwan for his contributions during the short time he served in the role.

“Given the depth of his experience in the game, we are disappointed that Ramnaresh is unable to continue in the role of a selector, but we fully understand and accept his reasons,” Adams said.

“We are grateful for his contribution during the period he was involved and hope that he will be able to contribute to West Indies Cricket in some capacity in the future.”

Resulting from the resignation, CWI will initiate a recruitment process as soon as possible through a competitive process, based on established criteria.

The aim, CWI said, will be to complete this process in the shortest possible time so that a suitable candidate can complete the selection panel in carrying out its duties. Robert Haynes, who is the current Lead Selector of the Men’s Youth Selection Panel and former interim Chairman of Selectors, will act as Sarwan’s replacement until a suitable full-time candidate is appointed.

Haynes will work alongside Senior Men’s Team Lead Selector the Most Honorable Dr Desmond Haynes and Head Coach Phil Simmons.

The West Indies Men’s team is currently touring the Netherlands for the first-ever ODI Series between the Netherlands and West Indies as part of the ICC ODI Super League.

Former West Indies captain Daren Sammy has been conferred with the Sitara-i-Pakistan Award for Services to Pakistan during a ceremony held on Monday. The 38-year-old all-rounder was being recognized for his role in helping bring international cricket back to Pakistan. It is the third-highest civil award conferred by Pakistan.

The citation read in part: “At a time when most of the foreign players backed off from playing cricket in Pakistan for security reasons, it was Mr Daren Sammy, the captain of Peshawar Zalmi, who against all odds helped the cause of restoration of international cricket in Pakistan and highlighted its soft image. Mr Daren Sammy stood out this whole time and has been a true ambassador and flag bearer of Pakistan ever since.”

He expressed his appreciation and gratitude in a post on Instagram on Sunday.

“Cricket took me all over the world, enabling me to see and play in some amazing places. Pakistan is definitely one of these places. A place that always makes me feel at home. It is such an honour to have received this prestigious award from the Government and the people of Pakistan. Thank you,” said Sammy, who played for Peshawar Zalmi in the inaugural Pakistan Super League in 2016 and now serves as the franchise’s head coach.

In the 2017 PSL draft, he was retained by Peshawar Zalmi. During the draft, Captain Shahid Afridi announced Sammy as the new captain of Peshawar Zalmi. With Sammy as it’s captain, the team won the second edition of the PSL.

Sammy, who led the West Indies to two T20 World titles (2012 and 2016), was receiving his second civil honour from Pakistan in as many years. In March 2020, he received the highest civilian medal of Pakistan, Nishan-e-Pakistan, for his part in helping bring international cricket back to Pakistan. He was also awarded honorary Pakistani citizenship by the President of Pakistan Arif Alvi.

 

Deandra Dottin turned in a player-of-the-match performance to lead the Supernovas to a nail-biting four-run victory over Velocity and claim the Women’s T20 Challenge Trophy in Pune on Saturday.

Hardik Pandya said victory for Gujarat Titans in the Indian Premier League final was a "legacy" moment for the rookie team.

The Titans scorched to a seven-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals, getting home with 11 balls to spare as captain Pandya's man-of-the-match display paved the way.

He took 3-17 as the Royals were limited to 130-9, before weighing in with 34 runs as Gujarat cruised to their target and the IPL title at their home ground, the Narendra Modi Stadium.

Pandya was acquired after being released by Mumbai Indians, with whom he was four times a champion, and he said the Titans' success in their maiden season would be remembered for years to come.

"Obviously I count myself lucky. I've been in five finals, and I've won five times, so it's very exciting," Pandya said at the post-match presentation.

"This is going to be a very special one because we spoke about creating legacy and making sure that in generations to come everyone will remember this is the team that started this journey.

"To win the championship in the first year is very special."

Pandya bowled a steady line and got his rewards, before playing a reasonably patient innings, making his runs from 30 balls.

Known for his explosive batting, Pandya has reined that in at times this season and reaped the rewards, scoring an IPL career-high 487 runs across the campaign.

Pandya said of his bowling on Sunday: "For me it was all about sticking to the right length and asking the batters to play a good shot rather than me trying something and giving away a boundary."

When asked about his batting, and veering away from sky-high strike rates, Pandya said he was acting for the betterment of himself and his team.

"Any given day I'd take the trophy than me batting at 160 or 170 [strike rate]," he said. "For me, my team is the most important, whichever team I play for.

"I have always been that kind of individual. Outside noise does not bother me, and if I have to sacrifice and maybe have a worse season and my team still wins, I'll take that."

Rajasthan were looking for another Jos Buttler masterclass in Ahmedabad, but the English opener fell for 39 from 35 balls, Pandya taking the prized scalp.

Buttler finished the season as the competition's leading run-scorer, making four centuries and plundering 863 runs in all at a strike rate of 149.05 runs per 100 balls.

He achieved competition-highs in fours (83) and sixes (45), and was only sorry that the Royals fell at the final hurdle.

Buttler said: "I've exceeded all my expectations of this season apart from today, managing to take home the trophy we really wanted.

"I'm disappointed with that but want to say a big congratulations to Hardik and his team. I think they're very deserving champions.

"I think in good teams you have a lot of trust in everyone and I certainly have huge trust in everyone in our team. We all played fantastically well all season. We came up short today.

"I've lost plenty of finals in my career unfortunately, but today's been an amazing occasion and it's been a fantastic tournament."

Buttler spoke of the players' delight that crowds returned this season, having been kept away previously by the pandemic, and urged his younger colleagues "to soak it up and use the hurt from today to push you on further in the rest of your career".

"All good things must end," reasoned Hardik Pandya when he was released by Mumbai Indians last December.

Well Hardik, it seems the good times are back.

On Sunday, at their home Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, Pandya captained Gujarat Titans to glory in the Indian Premier League final.

He took 3-17 with the ball and added 34 with the bat in an outstanding effort as the Titans beat the Rajasthan Royals by seven wickets with 11 balls to spare.

Pandya had struggled to stay fit and make an all-round contribution for Mumbai, whose four retentions ahead of the IPL auction were Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Suryakumar Yadav and Kieron Pollard.

How did that work out for them? Well, Mumbai finished bottom of the table, while Pandya picked up the trophy as skipper of newcomers Gujarat, whose maiden season could hardly have gone any better.

Mumbai's decision might – just might – have been a misjudgement.

We all make those. Just ask Yuzvendra Chahal.

What might have happened here if Chahal had clung to a glorious chance from the fourth delivery of the Titans' reply to the Royals under-par 130-9, rather than let the ball escape his flailing grasp?

Shubman Gill escaped that scare off Trent Boult's bowling and went on to carry his bat, cracking the match-winning six off Obed McCoy to finish unbeaten on 45, sharing in partnerships of 63 with Pandya and 47 with David Miller, whose rapid-fire 32 not out from 19 balls steered the Titans to the brink.

Rajasthan's total looked for all the world like a losing score, and it proved that way, but for a while the Royals had to take heart from the fact Mumbai posted 129-8 in the 2017 final and still won by one run against Rising Pune Supergiant.

Jos Buttler made a team-high 39 from 35 balls for the Royals in this game, and that took the Englishman to 863 runs for the season, the second-highest total by any batter in a single edition of the IPL after Virat Kohli's 973 runs in the 2016 season.

But the Royals were looking for more from their talisman, who removed his helmet and shielded his face as he left the field, knowing his team were looking to him to provide an onslaught late in the innings.

Who removed him? Pandya, of course, with Buttler looking to glance away a lively delivery to third man but instead feathering through to Wriddhiman Saha.

Gujarat celebrated with understandable gusto. Buttler hit four centuries in the IPL season, as many as all other players combined, carrying them this far. But he was gone after 12.1 overs, angry with himself, and nobody else stepped up in his absence.

The Titans began their chase slowly but kept wickets in hand.

A dishy delivery from leg-spinner Chahal eventually removed Pandya, edging to slip from a ball that turned extravagantly. Pandya was despondent, but the Titans skipper knew he could rely on others to complete the job.

Pandya finished the season with 487 runs, his highest total in an IPL season, but most importantly he now has a fifth title of his career in this competition, after four with Mumbai.

"For me, my team is the most important thing, whichever team I play for," he said at the end of the game.

The Titans were thanking their lucky stars that Mumbai decided Pandya was dispensable. On this, and the season's evidence, Pandya is anything but.

Gujarat Titans rounded off a glorious first Indian Premier League season by beating the Rajasthan Royals in Sunday's final to crown themselves champions.

The Royals had been hoping to enjoy a first IPL final success since 2008 but once again came unstuck against Gujarat, who produced a professional display in front of a home crowd in Ahmedabad.

Gujarat beat the Royals by 37 runs in April and by seven wickets just last week, with the latter result repeated on Sunday.

There was a sense the Royals were waiting for the in-form Jos Buttler to provide inspiration, but shortly after seeing Devdutt Padikkal (two) slice to Mohammed Shami at short third man, the England international came up short on a delivery from the excellent Hardik Pandya (3-17), going for 39.

The Royals looked in trouble at 79-4 in the 13th over and their position did not get much stronger.

With Ravisrinivasan Sai Kishore (2-20) also impressing with the ball, no one else managed more than 15 runs after Buttler's dismissal, with their score of 130-9 the second-lowest first innings total ever in an IPL final.

The Titans were fortunate in the first over of their chase as Yuzvendra Chahal inexplicably dropped Shubman Gill, who went on to make the Royals pay.

While the wickets of Prasidh Krishna (five) and Matthew Wade (eight) tumbled, Gill proved to be the backbone of the Titans' tilt with an unbeaten 45, aided by Hardik (34) for a while.

Chahal made amends to a degree with a classic leg spinner's dismissal of Hardik in the 14th over, giving the Royals a glimmer of hope.

But David Miller's emphatic unbeaten 32 off just 19 balls sealed the Titans' success with 11 balls to spare.

Buttler or bust

Buttler's angry reaction to being dismissed said it all. After a brilliant season in which he plundered four centuries, it ultimately felt like his campaign ended with a bit of a whimper.

While his 39 was only bettered by Gill, the scalp of Buttler was clearly decisive given the lack of runs elsewhere for the Royals.

Catches win matches

It is impossible to say how things would have turned out if Chahal had held on to that catch on the fourth ball of the Titans' chase, but considering it let Gill – the top scorer in the match – off the hook, it is difficult to look at that moment as anything other than key.

You could have sympathy with Chahal had it been a tricky one, but it looked routine and he simply appeared to misjudge the flight, almost jumping over it.

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