Virat Kohli returned to form with a crucial 73 as Royal Challengers Bangalore kept their Indian Premier League playoffs hopes alive with an eight-wicket victory over Gujarat Titans.

Titans opener Wriddhiman Saha scored a brisk 31 and David Miller added 34 in a 61-run partnership with captain Hardik Pandya, who finished unbeaten on 62 as Gujarat posted 168-5 at the Wankhede Stadium.

That total was boosted by a late flurry from Rashid Khan, who smashed 19 off just six balls, but the target seemed below par as RCB's openers raced out of the blocks.

Kohli and Faf du Plessis made a blistering start to the chase, the India star reaching his second half-century of the tournament off 33 deliveries with a six against Khan (2-32).

Khan then removed Du Plessis, caught by Pandya, for 44 with the score on 115-1 in the 15th over, before beating Glenn Maxwell for pace and clipping the stumps without the bails coming off with the next ball.

Maxwell capitalised on the reprieve by blasting the next Pandya over for 21 and, although Khan had Kohli stumped in the 17th over, the Australian's unbeaten 40 off just 18 balls saw RCB over the line with eight deliveries to spare.

RCB's playoff hopes now rely on Delhi Capitals losing to Mumbai Indians on Saturday, while IPL debutants Gujarat are already assured top spot after winning 10 of 14 games.

King Kohli

Before this game, Kohli averaged just 21.45 in the IPL this term – his lowest in the tournament since 2008, when he averaged 15 – and had been dismissed for under 10 runs six times, including three golden ducks.

The 33-year-old has acknowledged he may need a break to rejuvenate mentally and physically, but he was at his imperious best here, smashing eight fours and two sixes in his 54-ball 73.

Hasaranga keeps it tight

Wanindu Hasaranga, who claimed 1-25 from his four-over allocation, continues to dominate through the middle overs for RCB.

The Sri Lanka international dismissed Miller with a wonderful caught and bowled to pick up his 24th wicket of the tournament – the joint-most with Rajasthan Royals' Yuzvendra Chahal.

England fast bowler Mark Wood has conceded he may not be able to play Test cricket until the end of the English summer as he makes "slow progress" in recovering from elbow surgery.

Wood bowled 17 overs before suffering an issue with his right elbow in the first Test of a three-match series against West Indies, which ended in a 1-0 defeat for England in March.

The 32-year-old was forced to pull out of the ongoing Indian Premier League, where he was due to play for new franchise Lucknow Super Giants, and underwent an operation on his elbow.

Durham quick Wood hopes to use spells in Eoin Morgan's ODI team to regain fitness, with the three-match Test series against New Zealand that starts on June 2 at Lord's proving a step too soon.

England then face India in the rescheduled fifth Test in July, and Wood may target the visit of South Africa for three Tests in August and September as a potential return.

"Every time I bowl there's still a bit of swelling," said Wood, who was speaking at an event for England Test sponsors LV= Insurance.

"I'm hoping I can get off my full run in the next couple of weeks then play for Durham after that. 

"At the minute it's a little bit slow going. The back-end of the summer is where I'll be looking at for Test matches, nothing early doors.

"If I can build up through one-day cricket first, that would make it easier for me to come back into Test matches."

 

Wood is one of seven pace bowlers sidelined for England's first Test against New Zealand, with Olly Stone, Sam Curran, Chris Woakes, Jofra Archer, Saqib Mahmood and Matt Fisher all out of action due to injury.

Ollie Robinson was also not considered for Brendon McCullum's new England Test squad due to fitness issues, which opened the door for a maiden call-up for Durham's Matty Potts.

Potts is the leading wicket-taker in the County Championship this season with 35, claiming 7-40 in a win over Glamorgan last time out, and Wood knows firsthand the qualities of his Durham team-mate.

"He's a proper bowler," said Wood. "He's got something about him and finds ways to get wickets. He's a big, strong lad, built like a tank.

"He never seems to drop off. He's really fit, constantly running in and making things happen. When you think nothing is happening, he gets a wicket. That's a great knack to have."

India star Virat Kohli might take a break to "rejuvenate mentally and physically", but assures he is in "the happiest phase of my life".

Kohli stepped down as India's Test captain in January following a series defeat to South Africa, having already relinquished his role as skipper of his country's white-ball teams.

The 33-year-old has struggled for form in 2022, averaging 21.45 in the ongoing Indian Premier League before Thursday's clash with Gujarat Titans – his lowest figure in the tournament since 2008.

Kohli, who also gave up the captaincy at Royal Challengers Bangalore last year, has not scored a century in any format since November 2019 when he managed 136 in Kolkata against Bangladesh.

While he averages 49.95 in the longest format, Kohli acknowledged it may be time for a rest.

"It's not a lot of people who mentioned it [taking a break]," Kohli told Star Sports. "There is one person precisely who has mentioned it which is Ravi [Shastri] and that's because he has seen from close quarters over the last six, seven years the reality of the situation that I have been in.

"The amount of cricket that I have played and the ups and downs and the toll that it takes on you to play three formats of the game plus the IPL for 10, 11 years non-stop with the seven years of captaincy in between.

"It is definitely a thing that one needs to consider because you don't want to do something which you are not a part of 100 per cent and I have always believed in that in my life.

"So to take a break and when to take a break is obviously something that I need to take a call on, but it is only a healthy decision for anyone to take some time off and just rejuvenate yourself mentally and physically.

"Not so much physically because physical fitness you keep up with through the course of playing cricket all the time, but it is a mental kind of reset that you need, and you want to be excited for what you are doing. You don't want to feel like you have been forcing yourself into any situation.

"It's only a thing of creating a balance and finding that balance which is right for you as an individual moving forward and I'll definitely discuss this with all the people involved – [India coach] Rahul [Dravid], the Indian team management, everyone to chart out whatever is best for myself and for the team definitely."

 

Kohli would not be the first high-profile international player to take a break from cricket to prioritise their mental and physical health, given new England Test captain Ben Stokes did so last year.

However, Kohli insists he is still enjoying his game as he looks to secure a playoff spot in the IPL with Bangalore.

"Right now, there is nothing that you can point out saying there is a problem here," Kohli said.

"I know where my game stands and you cannot come this far in your international career without having the ability to counter the situations and counter conditions and counter different kinds of bowling.

"So this phase for me is the easier phase to process but I don't want to put this behind me. I want to learn from it and understand that what are the core values that I have as a sports person and as a human being.

"As long as I'm ticking those boxes, I know these are ups and downs and when I come out of this phase I know how consistent I can be. I know how motivated I will be once the scores start coming.

"My experiences are sacred to me – whatever I have experienced in this phase or in the past as well. 

"So I am experiencing now that I value myself and I care for my own well-being way more than I would have in the past. And actually, contrary to a lot of belief or a lot of perceptions as I mentioned on the outside, I'm actually in the happiest phase of my life."

Brendon McCullum believes Ben Stokes will bring a "follow-me" attitude to the England captaincy as the new coach set out his blueprint to transform the team's nosediving fortunes.

England have won just one of their past 17 Test matches, a dire run that has led to McCullum and Stokes finding themselves thrust into fresh roles.

New Zealander McCullum has been hired as Test head coach to replace Chris Silverwood, who departed after a thumping Ashes defeat, while Stokes steps in to succeed Joe Root as skipper.

As a batsman, McCullum was among the swashbuckling best in the game, while Stokes is widely considered one of the most gutsy and exciting players England have had in decades.

Their dynamic will be eagerly observed, and McCullum said he is enthused by the prospect of working closely with the all-rounder to turn around a sinking side.

"I like the idea of trying to build something from a pretty low base," McCullum said. "Without being disrespectful to what's been before in the English set-up, I think the last 12 to 18 months has been trying times.

"It looks like there's an appetite for change and an appetite to try to recalibrate things somewhat and try to reengage some of the talent which sits amongst the English players.

"With Stokesy in the chair as the skipper, I think our personalities should align as well, and hopefully we can play that kind of entertaining [game]. I won't say 'cavalier', because that's probably what other people expect us to do, but it's certainly not how I anticipate us playing the game."

In the interview, released by the England and Wales Cricket Board, McCullum spoke of what he admired most about Stokes, a former rival on the pitch who will now be a close ally.

"I've had the luxury of playing against Stokesy in the past, and I've admired him from afar, his tough character and also the style of cricket that he plays," McCullum said.

"He's uncompromising, but he seems like an immensely loyal person as well. The style of cricket he plays certainly lines up with the style of cricket I like to play as well."

McCullum admitted the up-and-at-'em style is "not for everyone", but that looks to be the only way England can go given their new leadership.

"Stokesy will be a fine leader for us because he'll be a real follow-me type of guy," McCullum said. "He'll go over the wall first and take the opposition on and that's a pretty exciting proposition for a coach to have a captain like that."

McCullum said his England job would not be all "beer and skittles" as he prepares to face intense scrutiny, starting when England tackle his native New Zealand in three Tests in June.

He said there was "meat on the bone" of the challenge, enticing him to take on the role.

McCullum played 101 Tests in a stellar career between 2004 and 2016, scoring 6,453 runs at an average of 38.64, winning 11 and losing the same number of his 31 matches as New Zealand skipper. The maverick right-handed batter racked up 260 ODI appearances and 71 Twenty20 Internationals, scoring 6,083 runs in the 50-over game and 2,140 in the shortest format.

He faced Stuart Broad and James Anderson often enough to know England should at least give them another shot at Tests, after both were left at home for the recent West Indies tour, having previously been used sparingly against Australia.

Stokes has pushed for their reinstatement, and McCullum said: "I love the fact Stokesy was so strong on it.

"One of the messages that I'll try to get across to them and work out is: 'How big a legacy can you guys leave for the next generation?'

"If we can extract that little bit extra out of them in the last couple of years in their careers then that's going to go a long way to being able to be successful as an English side.

"I'm incredibly lucky to have over 1,100 wickets just waltzing back into the line-up."

England fast bowler Jofra Archer will miss the rest of the season after suffering a stress fracture in his lower back.

Paceman Archer has not played for England since March 2021, in a T20I against India in Ahmedabad.

The 27-year-old has only featured four times since for his county Sussex, last playing in July last year.

He underwent surgery in May on a long-standing elbow problem, and needed a second operation to try and fix the issue in December, having missed the T20 World Cup and the Ashes.

That was expected to keep him out until June, though Archer had hoped to return to action for Sussex in the T20 Blast later this month. However, he failed to feature in second-team warm-up matches and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has now confirmed the seamer is facing another long spell on the sidelines.

"After being diagnosed with a stress fracture to the lower back, England and Sussex seamer Jofra Archer has been ruled out for the rest of the season," a statement from the ECB read.

"No timeframe has been set for his return. A management plan will be determined following further specialist opinion over the coming days."

News of Archer's injury is a fresh blow for England, who are without a host of fast bowlers for the first Test against New Zealand in June.

Ben Stokes, who has replaced Joe Root as captain, is unable to call on Chris Woakes, Ollie Robinson, Sam Curran, Mark Wood, Olly Stone, Matthew Fisher or Saqib Mahmood, who like Archer has a stress fracture in his lower back and will not play again this season.

 A devastating five-for from pace bowler Marquino Mindley put the Jamaica Scorpion in a strong position against the Windward Islands Volcanoes on day 1 of the West Indies Championship fixture at Tarouba.

At the close of play, the Scorpions were 118 for 4 and trailed the Windwards by 18 runs after bowling out the Volcanoes for 137.  Keron Cottoy was the only Windwards batsman to show any resistance, after making a trying 50 from 108 balls.

After losing the typically reliable Devon Smith, with just 6 runs on the board, the Volcanoes lost wickets at regular intervals as Mindley ripped through the middle order, removing Kavem Hodge (23), Alick Athanaze (6), and Ackeem Auguste (3) to leave the team struggling at 54 for 5.

Cottoy’s brave resistance briefly staved off the inevitable, but he rapidly ran out of partners before being dismissed, caught, and bowled by Nicholson Gordon.  Mindley ended with overall figures of 5 for 20, while Gordon claimed 4 for 43.

In response, John Campbell and Leroy Lugg put 71 on the board before that partnership was broken with Campbell being dismissed by Josh Thomas, just two runs short of a half-century.  Lugg (36) was next to go after he was caught by Kimani Melius, off the bowling of Sherman Lewis, and the team suffered a mini-collapse after losing Nkrumah Bonner and Jermaine Blackwood in the space of a few balls.  Marquino Mindley (1) and Brandon King are the not-out batsmen at the crease.

A solid century from left-handed opening batsman, Kieran Powell, anchored a solid opening day for the Leeward Island’s Hurricanes who posted 308 – 7 against Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in the West Indies Championships.

After winning the toss and choosing to bat, the Leewards suffered an early setback after losing Montcin Hodge in the second over of the match.   Hodge was caught by Bryan Charles off the bowling of Jadon Seales.  Powell, however, immediately set about repairing the damage after forming a 64-run partnership with Kacey Carty.

Carty’s dismissal left the Hurricanes at 66 for 2 but Powell feature in another pair of crucial partnerships.  First with Devon Thomas, who made 12 before being bowled by Akeal Hosein, then Amir Jangoo with the two putting on a 100-run partnership to bring the score to 198 for 4 when Jangoo was sent back to the pavilion by Jason Mohammed soon after making his half-century.  Powell’s brilliant resistance was brought to an end when he was trapped lbw by Yannic Cariah, having totalled 139 or 211 deliveries.

Terrance Ward added a patient 26 from 101 balls before being caught by Gabriel off Seales, while Cornwall could only add 5 to the tally before himself being dismissed by Gabriel.

Jeremiah Louis (16) and Hayden Walsh (8) ended the day as the not-out batsmen for the Hurricanes.  Seales was the pick of the bowlers for T&T after ending with a best of 2 for 35.

Quinton de Kock's incredible 140 was only just enough as the Lucknow Super Giants edged to victory against the Kolkata Knight Riders on Wednesday, securing their place in the playoffs.

An astonishing contest came down to the last ball, and just as it looked as though KKR would reach the improbable target of 211, two wickets from the final two balls from Marcus Stoinis (3-23) sealed a dramatic two-run win for LSG.

De Kock and KL Rahul became only the fourth opening pair to bat first and go through an Indian Premier League innings without dismissal as they put on 210-0 from their 20 overs, the highest unbeaten opening partnership in IPL history.

The South African's score of 140 from 70 balls was the third-highest in IPL history, after Chris Gayle's 175 not out for Royal Challengers Bangalore against Pune Warriors India in 2013, and Brendon McCullum's 158 not out for KKR against RCB in 2008.

However, Rinku Singh's 40 from 14 balls looked to have put KKR on the verge of victory, needing just three from the final two deliveries, only for Rinku and then Umesh Yadav to both fall to Stoinis.

Rahul was steady in his 68 from 51 balls, but the fireworks came from De Kock, particularly near the end of the innings, hitting four sixes in the 19th over off the bowling of Tim Southee (0-57).

The Knight Riders' response could not have got off to a more contrasting start, with Venkatesh Iyer (0) and Abhijeet Tomar (4) both out early on to Mohsin Khan.

Nitish Rana's 44 from 22 balls showed some fight, before Shreyas Iyer (50 from 29) and Sam Billings (36 from 24) put their team in a position where victory actually looked possible, but the former spooned a Stoinis delivery into the air and into the waiting hands of Deepak Hooda just after reaching his half-century.

Rinku and Sunil Narine (21 not out) had one last go at reviving hope for KKR and very nearly managed it, only for Stoinis to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat with the last two deliveries to secure a vital win for the Super Giants, sealing their place in the playoffs, while KKR miss out.

De Kock wows the crowd

The fans could not believe what they were seeing as De Kock fired the ball to all sides of the ground with almost every shot imaginable.

The 29-year-old hit 20 boundaries in all (10 sixes and 10 fours) and, having only scored 362 runs from his previous 13 innings in the IPL this season, nudged himself over 500 and into third-place behind Jos Buttler (627) and Rahul (527) on the leaderboard for most runs.

So near yet so far for Rinku

When Rinku arrived at the crease his team still needed 69 runs from 26 balls. When he went back to the pavilion having hit a Stoinis delivery to Evin Lewis for a tremendous catch, his team were only three from victory.

It wasn't to be, but his two fours and four sixes from just 15 balls along with Narine's 21 from seven gave their team hope when there had previously been very little.

Ravi Shastri has urged the BCCI to give Umran Malik a central contract with India "straightaway" and says the paceman will be a "handful" in red-ball cricket.

Malik has taken the 2022 Indian Premier League by storm, claiming 21 wickets at an average of 20 for Sunrisers Hyderabad.

The 22-year-old clocked the fastest ball in this year's tournament with a delivery that registered 156.9 kilometres per hour on the speed gun against Delhi Capitals this month.

Malik rattled India captain Rohit Sharma on the helmet and took 3-23 to make another huge statement in Sunrisers' win over Mumbai Indians on Tuesday.

He became the youngest Indian to take 20 wickets in an IPL season with his latest exhibition of explosive pace bowling.

Former India head coach Shastri wants to see the rapid Malik in Rohit's pace attack on the international stage in the near future.

"Central contract straightaway," Shastri said on ESPNcricinfo's T20 Time Out.

"And keep him in the mix, don't let him float around. Keep him in the mix with the main players and then he learns seeing (and) being around with the [Mohammed] Shamis and the [Jasprit] Bumrahs, and see the way they train, see the way they manage their workload.

"Of course, there'll be the team management there, support staff, that'll help him do that, but don't let him stray at the moment. Get him into the mix, and keep him there and groom him."

Shastri says the quick will be even more potent when he learns to bowl with more control.

He said: "He'll get better and better. You see his bowling once he takes a wicket. Look at the lines he starts bowling as opposed to when he has not got a wicket – that's when he is trying everything, his lines are all over the place.

"You don't want him to cut down on pace. The last thing you would tell him looking for control, cut down on pace. What you want him to do is get his lines right: if he can bowl that stump line, attack the stumps on a constant basis, varying his lengths, he will trouble [batters].

"If he gets a wicket and new guy comes in, he can really rattle him because he has got the pace, he can keep the bloke on his toes, but it's that line - if he gets into that channel, without cutting his pace it will make a huge difference."

Shastri says Malik can provide a new dimension to the India Test attack.

"I promise you, this guy is going to be a handful in red-ball cricket. Handful, really. If he is part of an Indian pace battery that has Bumrah, Shami, you add this bloke in, a fourth guy, it's going to be a serious attack," he added.

Rob Key is confident Matthew Mott and Eoin Morgan will form a "formidable partnership" to ensure England mount strong challenges for more trophies.

Mott was on Wednesday confirmed as England's new white-ball head coach, signing a four-year deal.

The 49-year-old had been in charge of the Australia women's team since 2015, overseeing consecutive T20 World Cup triumphs and guiding them to 50-Over World Cup glory this year.

Mott helped Australia win a record 26 consecutive ODIs, while he has had success as head coach of New South Wales and been in charge at Glamorgan.

England will head to India next year to try and retain their 50-over World Cup title and should be strong contenders at the T20 World Cup in Australia later this year.

Key is confident Mott is the right man to give England every chance of further success.

The managing director of England's men's cricket said: "It is a real privilege to be able to announce Mathew Mott as the head coach of our men's white-ball team.

"He has had an incredible coaching journey with so many varied experiences that have brought him to this point where he was outstanding in the interview process and the perfect fit for our white-ball teams.

"We are lucky to be able to appoint a head coach that has not only been involved in international cricket for the last few years but he has also worked in franchise cricket around the world. More importantly, what he has done with the Australian women's team is what will be asked of him to achieve for our men's white-ball sides.

"I'm confident that in Eoin Morgan and Matthew Mott, we have a formidable partnership that can push for more trophies in the coming years and that Matthew will be able to oversee any transition that team will go through in the future. 

"Furthermore, Matthew will also help us invest in English coaches getting them as much experience as possible over the next few years."

England have appointed Australia women's head coach Matthew Mott to take charge of their men's white-ball teams.

Rob Key, the new managing director of England men's cricket, decided to split the coaching roles and appointed New Zealand legend Brendon McCullum as Test head coach last week.

Paul Collingwood, interim head coach following the dismissal of Chris Silverwood, was thought to be the leading candidate for the role with Eoin Morgan's limited-overs sides.

However, Mott has landed the job, and it was confirmed on Wednesday that the 48-year-old has signed a four-year deal. 

Mott was appointed as Australia head coach in 2015 and subsequently guided them to the Women's World Cup title last April, losing just two of their past 42 ODI matches.

He is expected to be in place for the world champions' three-match ODI series against the Netherlands in Amsterdam next month.

Mott said: "I am delighted to accept the opportunity to take this white-ball role with England. Whilst I am Australian, I have deep connections, and several of my closest friends are in the UK, having spent considerable time in Scotland, Wales and England, both as a player and coach.

"When this role became available, I was attracted by the chance to work with such an established and successful team under the astute leadership of Eoin Morgan and now Rob Key, whom I have always admired as an excellent cricket mind.

"The idea of the split roles and the chance to work alongside Brendon McCullum in his red-ball role is an opportunity that I am incredibly enthusiastic about and certainly provides the right balance for my family as we embark on this exciting journey.

"It was always going to take something special to leave the role that I have loved for the past seven years with the Australian Women's team. However, I genuinely believe that the time is right to play a role in helping the England Men's ODI and T20 group continue to evolve as one of the best teams in the world.

"I am fully aware that this team has been functioning well and part of my initial plan is to work with the playing group and support staff on how we can firstly maintain, then enhance, the success they have started to build over the past few years.

"Since the excitement of accepting this role, I, like many people around the world, have been trying to come to terms with the tragic loss of my great mate Andrew Symonds. The support of his beautiful family and close friends in the coming days will be vitally important, so I respectfully request some time to process his passing and the immense loss before making any further comment on the role at this stage."

Mott has previously worked in the head coach roles at New South Wales and Glamorgan, while he has also had a few brief spells working with Australia A.

A former top-order batter for Queensland and Victoria, he was among the names floated as a potential successor to Justin Langer to coach the men's side for Australia.

In 2009, Mott was also an assistant coach in the Indian Premier League for Kolkata Knight Riders, who McCullum played for in the inaugural edition of the competition before later coaching the franchise.

Mott will be aiming to deliver T20 World Cup glory in Australia this year before they defend their ODI World Cup title in India in 2023.

West Indies cricketer Chris Gayle and South African batsman AB De Villiers have become the first cricketers to be inducted into the hall of fame of Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore.

The 42-year-old Gayle represented the franchise between 2011 and 2017.  The batsman never won a title at the club but set a number of records while there, including the highest ever individual T20 score of 175 during the 2013 IPL season. 

Former RCB skipper Virat Kohli thanked the two greats for their contribution to making the IPL what it is today. Gayle thanked the club for the special honour.  

"I want to thank the RCB family for the opportunity, for everything. It's been special to me as well. And to be inducted is something fantastic, and I will always keep RCB close to my heart. I share a lot of memories with some special players and some special coaches,” Gayle said.

“It's been fantastic. I wish I were there to give this speech, look into you guys' eyes, and tell you exactly how I feel. AB mentioned it's going to be emotional because it's very touching for such a franchise that has been created over the years. It's fantastic. And to Virat, thank you for the kind words as well. Fantastic sharing the dressing room with you guys as well."

 

Sunrisers Hyderabad kept their Indian Premier League play-off hopes alive with a dramatic three-run win over Mumbai Indians.

Rahul Tripathi's 76 helped Sunrisers post an imposing total of 193-6 at the Wankhede Stadium.

Despite an opening partnership of 95 between Mumbai captain Rohit Sharma (48) and Ishan Kishan (43), Sunrisers appeared to be coasting to victory when Rohit's side were reduced to 144-5 in the 17th over.

But the subsequent over brought chaos as Tim David clobbered Thangarasu Natarajan (0-60) for four sixes, including three in succession.

The final ball of the over, however, saw David run out for 46 as he chased an ill-advised single.

Mumbai could not recover the initiative from there, Bhuvneshwar Kumar's excellent wicket-maiden 19th over leaving them with too much to do in the final six balls.

With one game to play, Sunrisers are among three teams two points behind fourth-placed Delhi Capitals but will need help to reach the play-offs given their negative net run rate.

Game turns on 18th over chaos

David appeared set to end Sunrisers' hopes as he punished Natarajan for a series of dismal full tosses, his fourth six of the 18th over a 114-metre blast that marked the second-longest of the tournament.

But his decision to chase the strike for the start of the 19th with a single that never looked on effectively ensured victory for Hyderabad.

Sunrisers streak stopped

A win that was too close for comfort ended a run of five straight defeats for Sunrisers, though that streak will likely still keep them out of the play-offs.

Jamaica Scorpions captain John Campbell says he is in a good place ahead of the resumption of the West Indies Championship on Wednesday.

Campbell’s Scorpions are currently last in the standings after two rounds, with 8.8 points, and will take on the Windward Islands Volcanoes at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba from May 18-21.

The West Indies Test opener will go into round three coming off some good form in the recently concluded Dream 11 Jamaica T10 tournament where he finished as the leading run-scorer, with 302 runs in 11 matches, while captaining the Middlesex United Stars to a third-place finish.

The short turnaround between formats could pose a challenge to adapt for some batsmen but Campbell insists it’s the nature of the modern game.

“In this day and age there’s a lot of cricket being played so the waiting period between formats is, oftentimes, very slim,” said Campbell in a press conference on Monday, ahead of Wednesday’s game.

“We had an opportunity to play a three-day game before we left Jamaica and I’ve had numerous net sessions with coach Coley that were centred around the longer form of the game. I’m in a good place right now,” he added.

When asked what role he could play with the bat to help turn the Scorpions’ season around, Campbell had this to say.

“For me, It’s good starts. As an opener, setting the foundation for the rest of the innings is very important and we need big totals to win games.”

 

 

 

 

South Africa batter Zubayr Hamza has been banned from all cricket-related activities for nine months by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for doping.

Hamza in March agreed a voluntary suspension after testing positive for banned substance Furosemide – which is not a performance-enhancing drug – in an out-of-competition sample on January 17.

The 26-year-old admitted the violation and, after establishing no significant fault or negligence on his part, the world governing body banned him until December 22.

Hamza's performances between January 17 and March 22 this year have been disqualified.

During that time, he scored 25 runs in the first innings and six in the second of the Proteas' innings-and-276 run defeat to New Zealand in the first Test in Christchurch.

He also made three appearances for Western Province, with a highest score of 30.

Alex Marshall, ICC general manager – integrity unit said: "The ICC is committed to keeping cricket clean and has a zero-tolerance approach to doping.

"It is also a timely reminder to all international cricketers that they remain responsible for anything they put into their bodies, to know exactly what medication they are taking so as to ensure it does not contain a prohibited substance and does not result in an anti-doping rule violation."

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