England will employ separate head coaches for the Test and limited-overs teams in a new era following Chris Silverwood's sacking.

Silverwood paid the price for a 4-0 Ashes thrashing in Australia when he was relieved of his duties early in February.

Joe Root then quit as Test captain before Rob Key was appointed as managing director of England men's cricket this month.

Key replaced Andrew Strauss, who took the role on an interim basis following the sacking of Ashley Giles in the wake of a nightmare tour Down Under.

Former England batter Key was expected to revert to different coaches for the red and white-ball sides and advertisements have now been posted for those roles.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) set a deadline of May 6 for applications, with the first interviews to take place on May 9 and 10.

Gary Kirsten, Simon Katich, Tom Moody are Graham Ford are among the names to be linked with the Test job.

England start their next Test against New Zealand on June 2 and begin an ODI series versus Netherlands on June 17.

Eoin Morgan believes "brilliant leader" Ben Stokes would find it difficult to turn down the England Test captaincy. 

Vice-captain Stokes is a leading contender to take over as skipper in the longest format after Joe Root stepped down last week.

England white-ball captain Morgan says the all-rounder has all the right credentials to step up and succeed Root.

He told Sky Sports: "Obviously Ben is a fantastic player, a brilliant leader, though he doesn't need to have the captain's armband on to lead like he does.

"The experience of the World Cup final here [at Lord's] really showed his true colours in the way that he led from start to finish – and throughout the whole tournament as well. He'd certainly be a candidate.

"I think it would be hard to turn down the captaincy. It's a privileged position to be in. Obviously circumstances have to be right, but most people who want to take red-ball cricket forward would like to take it on."

Morgan played his last Test for England a decade ago and has not featured in a first-class match for Middlesex since 2019, so he has no interest in replacing Root.

Asked if he would be interested in the role, the 35-year-old batter said: "Absolutely not, no.

"I'm very happy with the role that I play within the white-ball team and English cricket at the moment. It has been the part of my career that I'm most proud of.

"My career is firmly focused on World Cups, and hopefully sustaining what we've built over the last six years is probably going to be the most important part of what I leave behind eventually.

"I haven't played red-ball cricket for a long time. I wouldn't have any interest in the job. I would be no good at it."

West Indies limited-overs captain Kieron Pollard has announced his retirement from international cricket.

The all-rounder, who turns 35 next month, revealed in a video posted on social media he has called time on his 15-year Windies career.

His decision to no longer play for his country comes in a year that will see West Indies attempt to regain the T20 World Cup title in Australia.

Pollard, who is currently playing for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League, feels it is the right time to "make room for those who will carry the game forward in West Indian colours".

"After careful deliberation, I have today decided to retire from international cricket," Pollard said. "It was a dream of mine to represent the West Indies team from the time I was a boy of 10 years and I am proud to have represented West Indies cricket for over 15 years in both the T20I and ODI forms of the game.

"Wearing those maroon colours and playing alongside such greats has been a privilege that I never took lightly, giving my heart and soul in every facet of the game – whether bowling, batting or fielding

"As with many sports, there are highs and lows, but throughout it all I have always felt the unwavering support and love of the fans of West Indies cricket who understand the importance of this great sport to the people of the Caribbean.

"As I move on and make room for those who will carry the game forward in West Indian colours, know that I will always be supporting in whatever way I can.

"It is with profound gratitude for living my dream that I now raise my bat in salute to all that is West Indies cricket."

Pollard led West Indies to series wins over Australia and England after being appointed ODI and T20I skipper in 2019.

The clean-striking right-hander played in 123 ODIs, scoring 2,706 runs and taking 55 wickets in the 50-over format.

He took 42 T20I wickets and made 1,569 runs, winning the T20 World Cup in 2012 but missing the 2016 triumph due to injury.

One of the great entertainers when in full flow with the bat, Pollard last year became only the third man to hit six sixes in an over during an international match, taking Sri Lanka's Akila Dananjaya apart.

Rob Key has been named as the new managing director of England men's cricket.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) confirmed Key's appointment on Sunday. He replaces Andrew Strauss, who took on the role on an interim basis following Ashley Giles' departure in February.

Key will have responsibility for the men's national teams and the performance pathways that lead into them. Additionally, he will also play a key role in the upcoming High Performance Review.

He will be under pressure to engineer a turnaround in the performance of the men's Test team, which is without a head coach, selector or captain after skipper Joe Root stepped down on Friday.

England have won just one of their last 17 Tests, a 1-0 loss in their recent tour of the West Indies making it four successive series defeats. The cancelled fifth Test from India's tour of England last year will be played in July with the tourists holding a 2-1 lead in the five-match series.

Key played 21 times for England across all formats. He will relinquish his role at Sky Sports to take on the task of transforming England's red-ball fortunes.

"It is an absolute honour to take up this role," Key said in a statement. "The chance to have an impact and make a difference is an opportunity given to very few and I will give it everything I have to try shape the next great era of English men's cricket.

"I have absolutely loved my time at Sky and I could never have imagined leaving were it not for this incredible opportunity. I'd like to personally thank Bryan Henderson and everyone in the team for their help and support."

While the Test team continues to struggle, England will defend the Cricket World Cup they won for the first time in 2019 next year in India and will look to claim the T20 World Cup crown in Australia this year having lost to New Zealand in the semi-finals of the 2021 tournament.

"Although at this current moment it has been a challenging time in English cricket, I also think it's as exciting a time as I can remember," Key added.

"With two of our teams near or at the top of the world rankings and an undoubted amount of talent in our game, I hope to try and bring everyone along for the ride, so we can all help take English men's cricket to new heights across all formats."

England are back in action in June with a three-Test series against reigning world Test champions New Zealand, which will take place alongside a limited-overs tour of the Netherlands.

India then return to complete their Test series before facing England in a three-match T20 and ODI series, with South Africa then touring the country for series in all three formats.

Aaron Finch's half-century and Ben McDermott's composure proved to be decisive as Australia defeated Pakistan by three wickets in Tuesday's thrilling one-off T20I.

Pakistan won the ODI series thanks in large part to the brilliance of captain Babar Azam and his superb 66 propelled the hosts to a competitive 162-8 in Lahore.

Babar's composure at the crease was much-needed for Pakistan, who lost Mohammad Rizwan (23) and Fakhar Zaman (0) in successive balls to T20I debutant Cameron Green (2-16).

Adam Zampa finally drew a stray shot out of Pakistan's skipper, who picked out Nathan Ellis to leave his side on 118-4.

Having already dismissed Iftikhar Ahmed, Ellis – the pick of Australia's bowlers with 4-28 – then did the damage through Pakistan's middle order, getting rid of the dangerous Khushdil Shah (24), Asif Ali (3) and Shaheen Shah Afridi (0), though Usman Qadir's flurry of 18 not out boosted the hosts.

Travis Head quickly set about getting the tourists' chase on its way, scoring a rapid 26 that included four boundaries before he was sent packing by Haris Rauf.

Josh Inglis (24) kept up the pace until Qadir struck, but Australia seemed well set before Marnus Labuschagne, Marcus Stoinis and Green were dismissed in the space of 20 balls.

Yet captain Finch anchored the chase as he returned to form following back-to-back ducks in the ODI series, with his steady innings steering Australia into needing 15 runs from three overs.

A costly start to the 18th over from Haris saw McDermott plunder successive boundaries, though the pressure was back on Australia when Finch found Asif in the deep.

Afridi (2-21) rounded off an excellent spell by bowling Sean Abbott for a duck, yet another poor Haris ball handed McDermott the chance to clip away the winning boundary.

Captains come up big

Babar gave yet another exhibition of how he has risen to the top of the batting rankings in another sensational knock - his 66 coming at a strike rate of 143.47.

Yet it was World Cup winner Finch who took the trophy, as he showed plenty of patience to stay at the crease for 18 overs, showing why interim head coach Andrew McDonald backed him to stay on as skipper.

Historic tour comes to a close

It has been a brilliant match-up between Pakistan and Australia over the last month or so and the tourists will finally return home.

Australia have now won each of their past four T20Is against Pakistan, the first time they have gone on such a run, though this was the first meeting in the format between the teams in Pakistan.

Andrew McDonald has backed out-of-form captain Aaron Finch to lead Australia in the T20 World Cup this year ahead of a one-off match against Pakistan at Gaddafi Stadium on Tuesday.

Opener Finch was dismissed without scoring in the second and third ODIs as the tourists suffered a 2-1 loss to a Babar Azam-inspired Pakistan side last week.

The skipper has not scored an international half-century since last July, but Australia interim head coach McDonald says he remains the man to lead his country when they attempt to defend their T20 World Cup title on home soil.

"From my end, there's no conversation around the [prospect] that he won't be there," said McDonald.

"His form can ebb and flow – like most players' can – and his ability to work through these patches has been significant in his career.

"We had the same conversation about David Warner leading into the T20 World Cup last [year], so all these conversations are going to happen.

"Do we think he's still good enough to play this level? One hundred per cent yes. That's as simple as it gets for us and we're building a team around him as captain.

"It's a pretty significant pillar to be discussing about not being at the T20 World Cup. From our end, we think he can still play at this level, 100 per cent."

Finch will be one of only three players who are set to face Pakistan in Lahore that were part of the side that won the World Cup in Dubai last November.

Australia will be looking for a fourth consecutive T20 win over Pakistan, but they will have their work cut out as the hosts have come out on top in 10 of their past 11 home matches in the shortest format.

Babar a class apart

Captain Babar made back-to-back centuries to give Pakistan a first ODI series win over Australia for 20 years.

The irrepressible skipper has made a staggering three hundreds, as many half-centuries and 36 in his past five knocks for his country - demonstrating his class in all formats.

As the top-ranked player in the world in both white-ball formats, Australia must find a way to remove Babar before he is set.

McDermott and Head vying for opening spot

Either Ben McDermott or Travis Head look set to open with Finch in the only T20 match before Australia head home.

There was good news for the tourists when Ashton Agar and Josh Inglis returned negative COVID-19 tests, while Marnus Labuschagne and Cameron Green are in contention to make their T20I debuts.

Ricky Ponting thinks Rishabh Pant can follow the same path as Rohit Sharma and go on to captain India after becoming an inspirational leader in the Indian Premier League.

Pant was appointed Delhi Capitals skipper ahead of the 2021 IPL with Shreyas Iyer impacted by a shoulder injury.

The India wicketkeeper-batsman retained the role on a permanent basis and will come up against Rohit when Delhi start their IPL campaign with a showdown against Mumbai on Sunday.

Capitals coach Ponting championed Rohit to be installed as Indians skipper during the former Australia captain's time with that franchise and the batter has proved to be an impressive leader - lifting the IPL trophy five times.

Rohit has also taken over from Virat Kohli as India captain and Ponting believes Pant, 24, has the credentials to have that honour.

Ponting said: "I hadn't thought about that actually but they [Pant and Rohit] are actually quite similar.

"When Rohit took over at Mumbai, he was quite a young man as well, and had started out in his international cricket.

"He was probably very similar, I'm not sure how old he was but he would have been 23-24, similar to what Rishabh is here at the Delhi Capitals.

"To tell you honestly, they're quite similar people. I know they are great mates and they talk all the time and they're probably exchanging things about leadership and captaincy along the way as well.

"Rohit probably doesn't want to give too many secrets away because we're going to play against him in a couple of days' time. I think there's every opportunity for Rishabh's journey to be similar to Rohit Sharma's.

"He's a young captain of a successful franchise and growing on a daily basis and hopefully Rishabh can have the same sort of success Rohit's had at the Mumbai Indians.

"And then with some experience in a role like this in a high-pressure tournament like the IPL, I've got no doubt in the years to come there's every chance that Rishabh could be an international captain. No doubt about it."

The Indian Premier League commences on Saturday with two new franchises, an alternative format and no MS Dhoni as captain for the 15th edition of the tournament.

Lucknow Super Giants and Gujarat Titans will make their IPL debuts when they lock horns at the Wankhede Stadium.

The iconic stadium in Mumbai will also stage the opening match, which will see defending champions Chennai Super Kings do battle with Kolkata Knight Riders in a repeat of last year's final.

CSK won the title for a fourth time last October, lifting the trophy in Dubai after the tournament had to be completed in the United Arab Emirates and Oman due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Dhoni stepped down as skipper just two days before the opening game and Ravindra Jadeja has been charged with the task of replacing him.

Crowds will be allowed back in the four stadiums in Mumbai and Pune, with 70 league matches and four play-off showdowns to come over a 65-day period.

 

NEW FORMAT A VIRTUAL REALITY 

There will be two virtual groups based on the number of IPL titles won, followed by how many finals teams have contested.

Each side will take on their group rivals twice and also face two matches against one team from the other group. They will come up against the other teams from a different group just once.

KKR will take on five-time champions Mumbai Indians twice, as they are both in Group A, while Sunrisers Hyderabad are in Group B along with CSK.

 

SUPER GIANTS AND TITANS READY FOR THE BIG TIME

Lucknow and Gujarat will start life in the IPL with high hopes of making a big impact.

KL Rahul will lead the Super Giants side that has Andy Flower as coach. Big things will be expected of Quinton de Kock, Jason Holder and Marcus Stoinis but Mark Wood has been ruled out, so Andrew Tye was brought in as a replacement.

Hardik Pandya was appointed as Titans captain and Ashish Nehra coach. Star spinner Rashid Khan and Mohammed Shami were standout signings for Gujarat. Aaron Finch must bring fireworks at the top of the order after he was a late replacement for Jason Roy.

 

JADEJA WITH 'BIG BOOTS TO FILL'

Dhoni had led CSK since the inaugural IPL in 2008, so it was the end of an era when he stepped down on Thursday.

The 40-year-old will continue to play for the Super Kings and it is India all-rounder Jadeja who will step up to skipper the defending champions.

Jadeja said: "I'm feeling good. At the same time, I also need to fill in big boots, [Dhoni] has already set the big legacy so I need to carry [that] forward. I don't need to worry too much because he is here so whenever I have a question to ask, I'll definitely go to him.

"He'll be my go-to person. He was and still he is today, so I'm not worried too much."

 

 

FIT FOR THE KINGS?

Punjab Kings went into the auction with the biggest purse and their new recruits will be expected to deliver.

Powerful all-rounder Liam Livingstone was picked up for a whopping Rs 11.5 crore and his England team-mate Jonny Bairstow was another acquisition.

New skipper Mayank Agarwal will look to South Africa paceman Kagiso Rabada to fire a new dawn for the franchise.

England batter Jason Roy has been given a suspended two-match international ban by the Cricket Discipline Commission.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) revealed Roy had admitted a charge of "conducting himself in a manner which may be prejudicial to the interests of cricket or which may bring the game of cricket, the ECB and himself into disrepute."

A disciplinary panel ruled that the opener had been in breach of ECB Directive 3.3, but did not specify what the matter relates to.

Roy has been given a fine of £2,500, which he must pay by March 31.

The 31-year-old pulled out of this year's Indian Premier League for personal reasons.

Roy had been due to play for new franchise Gujarat Titans in the competition, which runs from March 26 to May 29.

The powerful right-hander was last in action for the Quetta Gladiators in the Pakistan Super League a month ago.

 

Ben Dwarshuis has been called up to the Australia squad for the limited-overs tour of Pakistan after Kane Richardson was ruled out due to a hamstring injury.

Richardson aggravated the injury during a training session in Melbourne before Australia fly out to Lahore.

A Cricket Australia statement said: "Although the injury is considered minor it was decided the long trip to Pakistan along with four games in eight days and short turnarounds [that] it was in Richardson's best interests to remain home."

Left-arm seamer Dwarshuis, 27, will be hoping to make his international debut in the absence of Richardson.

Test captain Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood have been rested for the white-ball contests with Pakistan.

The three-match ODI series starts in Lahore next Tuesday, with a T20 international to come on April 5.

Pakistan have moved their upcoming ODI series and one-off T20I against Australia from Rawalpindi to Lahore due to political unrest in nearby Islamabad.

Australia and Pakistan are currently tussling in a three-match Test series, which is level at 0-0 after two matches, with three ODI clashes and a T20I scheduled to follow.

However, the two respective cricket boards have agreed to relocate the white-ball fixtures to Lahore due to planned political rallies close to Rawalpindi in the neighbouring capital Islamabad.

The opposition to Prime Minister Imran Khan, a former cricket star, recently submitted a vote of no-confidence in the National Assembly.

The government and opposition have both planned political gatherings in response later in March, with Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) announcing they will bring one million people to Islamabad's D-Chowk square.

That led to suggestions from Pakistan interior minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Friday to move the white-ball matches, with the square less than two kilometres from both team hotels for the series.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have now followed suit and confirmed the fixtures will be moved to their cricketing headquarters, Lahore, and the dates for the games will not change.

Both teams will remain in Rawalpindi to play out the deciding Test, which starts on Monday, before relocating for the first ODI that takes place on March 29.

Shreyas Iyer struck an unbeaten 73 to guide India to a six-wicket victory and T20I series whitewash over Sri Lanka.

Rohit Sharma's side had already secured the series heading into the clash in Dharamsala after dominant victories in the opening two outings.

India carried on their imperious form in the shortest format as they cantered to victory with 19 balls to spare, sealing their 12th straight T20I win – a feat achieved only by Afghanistan among full-member sides.

Sri Lanka struggled after opting to bat first as Avesh Khan (2-23) and Mohammed Siraj (1-22) picked up early wickets to limit the tourists to a meagre 18-3 in the powerplay.

A fightback from Dinesh Chandimal (22) and Dasun Shanaka (74 not out), who captained his country for the 25th time in T20Is, propelled Sri Lanka to 146-5, with the tourists striking 56 off the last four overs.

India lost captain Sharma (five) to Dushmantha Chameera (1-19) in the second over of their response, but Iyer and Sanju Samson led the recovery before the latter fell for 18.

The hosts retain control from then on, as Iyer and Ravindra Jadeja (22 not out) secured the victory in the 17th over.

It marked India's 10th straight T20I victory over Sri Lanka at home – extending their longest such winning run against any country at home.

Impeccable Iyer

Iyer continued his domination of the Sri Lankan bowlers with another masterclass as he mustered 73 off just 45 deliveries, with his knock including nine fours and one six.

He finished the series as the top run-scorer (204), comfortably ahead of second-placed Shanaka (124), and was not dismissed in his three outings.

Shanaka's heroics in vain

Shanaka delivered for his side on a landmark appearance, striking 74 off 38 balls to take Sri Lanka from 29-4 to 146-5, but his efforts proved fruitless.

In T20Is, only Chandimal has captained Sri Lanka more than the all-rounder, who has won 11 of his 25 matches in charge (L13, T1), but Shanaka will be keen to overturn their poor run of form in Asia sooner rather than later, given they have lost six of their last seven T20I matches on the subcontinent.

A middle-order flourish ensured India eased to another T20I victory, their 100th in the format, and secured a series triumph against Sri Lanka.

The second match of three at Dharamsala went the same way as the first – and indeed the seven completed matches between these sides in this format before that.

India were seven-wicket winners after Rohit Sharma put Sri Lanka into bat, although his opposite number Dasun Shanaka threatened to make life tough for the hosts.

While Pathum Nissanka opened with 75, India would have been comfortable with the tourists' scoring rate until Shanaka arrived at the crease.

He then thrashed 47 off just 19 – five of which went for six – in the closing stages of the innings to reach 183-5.

But it was a similar story for India with the bat, as a slow start offered Sri Lanka hope even as Shreyas Iyer made an unbeaten 74.

Rather than Iyer, whose run rate slowed as the target came into view, his partners got the job done in real style, with 39 off 25 from Sanju Samson and then a stunning 45 off 18 from Ravindra Jadeja.

A four from Jadeja fittingly completed the chase on 186-3 with 17 balls still to spare.

Hundred up

India became only the second men's team to reach 100 wins in T20Is, following Pakistan, whose 117 is a benchmark Rohit's side still have a long way to go to match.

Record in sight

India are tallying wins in this format at quite some rate, however. As well as their ninth in a row against Sri Lanka, this was their 11th in succession against all opponents.

Only Afghanistan, among all full-member sides, have had a longer such sequence, but that run of 12 – set between February 2018 and September 2019 – could now be matched in the final match of this series.

Sanju Samson is already being talked up as a potential T20 World Cup star for India, but first he must impress against Sri Lanka.

Although Samson has played just 10 T20Is since 2015, underwhelming with a combined 117 runs, he is back in the fold again for the three-match series at home to Sri Lanka.

And the 27-year-old could be straight into the XI on Thursday, with space opening up in the middle order.

Suryakumar Yadav is out following an injury against West Indies and has not been replaced, while Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant have been rested.

That may well mean another opportunity for Samson, whose potential has captured the imagination of captain Rohit Sharma.

"His back-foot play is superb," Rohit said ahead of the first match.

"Some of the shots you might have seen in the IPL, the pick-up pull, the cut shots, standing and delivering over the bowler's head. Those kind of shots are not easy to play.

"And I believe when you go to Australia [for the T20 World Cup], you need that kind of shot-making ability.

"Samson definitely has it in him. I just wish him the best and hope that he utilises his potential to the maximum."

India have won more T20Is against Sri Lanka (14) than against any other nation; Sri Lanka have lost more against India than against any other nation.

Rohit's side will be expected to win again then, but experimentation in a World Cup year is also key.

As well as Samson's latest audition, India will take a look at their seam bowling options, with Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Siraj, Avesh Khan and Harshal Patel all in the squad.

Deepak Chahar joined Suryakumar in sustaining an injury against West Indies.

Rohit leading from the front

Rohit has been used to setting the tone for India; since the start of the 2021 T20 World Cup, no player can match his 252 powerplay runs in T20Is.

But there is added focus now in his role as captain across all three formats following Kohli's Test resignation.

As well as leading India to success, Rohit must also have a hand in guiding the team's potential future skippers.

"If you talk of Bumrah, KL [Rahul], Pant, all these guys have a big role to play in India's success," he said. "At the same time they are looked upon as leaders as well.

"They do understand what they need to do as individuals. At the same time they realise there is a responsibility on their shoulders.

"You don't want to put any pressure on these guys. They are critical to us. At the moment you want them to enjoy their game, come out freely, and execute their skills."

COVID hits Hasaranga

India's task is set to be made easier after ESPNcricinfo revealed Wanindu Hasaranga has returned another positive coronavirus test, his second this month.

Hasaranga's status for the series as a whole is now in serious doubt.

Since the start of the previous T20 World Cup, his 21 wickets in the format lead all bowlers.

Suryakumar Yadav spearheaded an India flurry late in their innings to ensure Rohit Sharma's team secured a 17-run win over the West Indies in the final T20I.

Having already lost the series heading into the final match on Sunday, West Indies had their tails up when they had India on just 93-4 towards the end of the 14th over in Kolkata.

Ruturaj Gaikwad – one of four changes for the hosts – was dismissed early on, with Shreyas Iyer falling to Hayden Walsh (1-30) on 25, and Roston Chase (1-23) sending Ishan Kishan packing for 34.

Captain Rohit managed just seven, yet Yadav and Venkatesh Iyer combined to hit 86 in the final five overs to reach 184-5.

Yadav's brilliant knock was ended by Romario Shepherd (1-50) on 65 from just 31 balls, as Venkatesh Iyer finished unbeaten on 35.

Deepak Chahar (2-15) took two early wickets to immediately put the Windies on the back foot, only to pull up with an injury and be forced off.

Rovman Powell's 25 off 14 got the run rate up, but he fell in the seventh over, with captain Kieron Pollard (five) swiftly following.

Jason Holder (two) and Chase (12) also went in quick succession, though Nicholas Pooran (61) stayed in to give the Windies hope.

However, Shardul Thakur (2-33) undid the Windies opener in the 18th over, all but ending any lingering hopes.

Stunning late show from India pair

There was some sensational batting on show from Yadav and Venkatesh Iyer, who hit seven and two sixes respectively. They added 91 off 37 deliveries to put the game, truly, beyond the West Indies' reach.

With the ball, Harshal Patel took 3-22 to pick up the slack after Chahar's injury.

India on a roll

India have now won 13 T20Is against the West Indies, only against Sri Lanka (14) have they won more.

Indeed, they also extended their winning streak in the format to nine games, their longest such run in the format. They will go up against Sri Lanka in their next series.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.