West Indies Women all-rounder, Hayley Matthews, produced a fine display to help the Warriors Women secure a 54-run win over Deandra Dottin’s Barmy Army Women in the FairBreak Invitational T20 tournament at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium in the UAE on Thursday.

Matthews first struck a well-played 52 off 35 balls to help the Warriors post 156-6 off their 20 overs after the Barmy Army won the toss and elected to field first.

She wasn’t the star of the day with the bat, however, as South African Mignon Du Preez shone with an excellent 75 not out off 54 balls including six fours and three sixes.

Dottin took 1-11 off two overs for the Barmy Army before leaving the field with a slight injury.

Matthews then returned to pick up 2-3 off three overs to combine with Sri Lanka’s Udeshika Prabodhani (2-17 off two overs) and restrict Barmy Army Women to 102-8 off their 20 overs.

Pakistanis Fatima Sana (34) and Rumana Ahmed (26 not out) were the top scorers for the Barmy Army Women.

Warriors Women finish their tournament with one win from five games, while the Barmy Army Women will now move on to the semi-finals alongside Spirit Women, Tornadoes Women and Falcons Women.

 

MS Dhoni was the only Chennai Super Kings player able to hold his head up high as their outside chance of reaching the Indian Premier League play-offs ended with a five-wicket loss to bottom side Mumbai Indians.

Dhoni took over as CSK captain once again after Ravindra Jadeja – who is sidelined with a rib injury – stepped down following just over a month in the role.

India great Dhoni led by example with an unbeaten 36 on Thursday, but the defending champions were skittled out for only 97 from 16 overs, with no other batter making more than 12.

Daniel Sams spearheaded the Indians' bowling attack with 3-16 from his four overs - two of those wickets coming in the first over.

Ishan Kishan fell cheaply as Mumbai's chase started poorly, with Mukesh Choudhary (3-23) drawing an edge and Dhoni taking the catch.

Dhoni caught his counterpart Rohit Sharma (18) from a Simarjeet Singh delivery in the fourth over, before Sams fell to Choudhary, who then sent Tristan Stubbs packing for a duck.

Yet Hrithik Shokeen and Tilak Varma steadied the ship, and although the former was bowled out by Moeen Ali, Varma's 34 not out set Mumbai well on their way, with two sixes from Tim David (16 not out) ensured the Indians got home with 31 balls to spare.

Super Kings unable to make a case for the defence

CSK had four wins from their last seven matches in the IPL prior to Thursday's meeting. However, this is the first season in which CSK have failed to register consecutive wins so far and that run rolled on as they were convincingly beaten.

With only two games to play, the defending champions have no chance of finishing in the top four.

Indians bring up 20 against CSK

Mumbai have now won 20 of their 34 IPL meetings with CSK. Indeed, the Super Kings have lost more times against the Indians than they have any other team in the competition. This was only a third win of the tournament for Mumbai.

Former England captain Michael Atherton has praised the "bold and imaginative" appointment of Brendon McCullum by England.

McCullum was named England's new Test head coach on Thursday, replacing Chris Silverwood after his dismissal in the wake of the 4-0 Ashes defeat in Australia.

Rob Key decided to bring in separate Test and white-ball head coaches after he was appointed as managing director of England men's cricket last month and chose McCullum for the longer form of the game.

"I think it's a very bold and imaginative choice, and an inspiring choice from Rob Key," Atherton told Sky Sports.

"Giving Ben Stokes the captaincy was the obvious choice and so his first big decision was to give Brendon McCullum the Test job.

"A week or so ago I don't think that was on anybody's radars, so he's not made the obvious choice here, but I think it's a very bold choice."

McCullum captained New Zealand and has coached in limited overs cricket in the Caribbean and Indian Premier Leagues, but this is his first coaching job in Test cricket.

Atherton does not think that lack of experience is a problem, however.

"I don't think it's a concern. Some other people within the professional coaching environment may think so," the former Lancashire batsman said.

"His limited coaching experience has come in the IPL with the Kolkata Knight Riders and in the CPL with their sister team. But he did play 100 Tests, scored a Test match triple hundred and he was very significant in Test cricket in his own right.

"As captain, he really led New Zealand into a brave new era, from the moment he took over – in Cape Town 2013 – the very first innings New Zealand were bowled out for 45. It was a really low ebb and a very difficult transition from Ross Taylor.

"But after that, he led boldly and fearlessly, and transformed that New Zealand team to the point which he laid the foundations for Kane Williamson's team that became World Test champions and have been very significant players in ICC events. So as a captain and as a leader, he's got plenty of experience in Test cricket."

Atherton also believes the relationship between McCullum and new England skipper Ben Stokes should thrive given both have similar aggressive approaches to the game.

"He's a nice fit with Stokes, they both approach the game and play the game in a similar manner and they'll look to give very clear message, captain and coach, and show they're singing from the same hymn sheet to a team you now expect to be given a bit of freedom and licence to play," he said.

"Neither Stokes nor McCullum are shy characters when it comes to playing the game of cricket, they like to take the game on and play it aggressively.

"One assumes that McCullum as a coach is going to be very similar to McCullum as a player and captain."

Brendon McCullum's appointment as England's Test head coach is "good news" for James Anderson and Stuart Broad, according to former New Zealand bowler Simon Doull.

McCullum was confirmed on Thursday as the successor to Chris Silverwood, taking up his first coaching role at international level.

The former Black Caps captain will step down from his role as head coach of Indian Premier League franchise Kolkata Knight Riders at the end of the season, having also previously coached similarly named Caribbean Premier League team, Trinbago Knight Riders.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, Doull believes McCullum's loyalty will mean England's two leading Test wicket takers will have no concerns about being left out of the squad again, after both were overlooked for the recent Test series against West Indies.

When asked if it would be good news or bad news for Anderson and Broad shortly before the official confirmation, Doull replied: "Good news. Absolute good news.

"Not only is [McCullum] an astute cricketer and an astute cricket brain, he's also quite a loyal bloke and I think there is a little bit of cricket left in both those guys, and probably a little bit more in Stuart Broad than some might think, so I would imagine it'll be very good news for those gentlemen."

Doull also said he thinks McCullum will get on well with Stokes, who was appointed as Joe Root's replacement as England's Test captain last month.

"I think there's a huge amount of respect already," he said. "I'd like to think [Stokes] would be the sort of captain who would want to own that team, and I don't think Brendon will have a problem with that whatsoever.

"He will do everything he can to get the best out of what is, outside of Joe Root, England's best cricketer... He knows as well as a captain [with New Zealand], he kind of ran that team. [Former head coach] Mike Hesson facilitated, he coached from the periphery... but Brendon basically ran that team and I would imagine he'll look for Ben Stokes to do the same thing.

Doull – who made 32 Test appearances for the Black Caps, taking 98 wickets – was also keen to back McCullum, in particular suggesting that he will want England to play their own style, rather than trying to adopt another.

"[McCullum's] best qualities? Very simple as far as his philosophies are concerned," he added.

"He turned New Zealand around completely [as captain], just because he wanted a New Zealand way to play and maybe that's something he'll look to do with England as well. Play the England style of cricket rather than trying to play like someone else, or invent a style that's not really suitable for English players.

"He's a straight talker... there's no airs and graces about Brendon. He's a South Island boy brought up pretty hard, pretty tough, and he played his cricket exactly that way.

"He will have enormous respect from the players... and he's obviously already had good conversations with Ben Stokes and [England managing director] Rob Key.

"So communication, tough but honest, and he will find a philosophy, I think, that works. Those will be his key things." 

New Zealand legend Brendon McCullum has been appointed England's Test head coach.

The 40-year-old was confirmed on Thursday as Chris Silverwood's successor and will take up his first coaching role at international level.

Former Black Caps captain McCullum had been considered a strong candidate to coach England's white-ball teams, having been employed by Indian Premier League franchise Kolkata Knight Riders and Caribbean Premier League team Trinbago Knight Riders.

Rob Key decided to bring in separate Test and white-ball head coaches after he was appointed as managing director of England men's cricket last month.

Key led the interviews for both roles this week, and it is former wicketkeeper-batter McCullum who has been given the opportunity to turn England's fortunes around in the longest format under new skipper Ben Stokes.

McCullum said: "I'd like to say how pleased I am to be given this opportunity to positively contribute to England's Test cricket set-up and move the team forward into a more successful era.

"In taking this role on, I am acutely aware of the significant challenges the team faces at present, and I strongly believe in my ability to help the team emerge as a stronger force once we've confronted them head-on.

"I've enjoyed several robust conversations with Rob Key about the direction of travel for the team and have found his enthusiasm contagious. I'm no stranger to bringing about change within a team environment, and I can't wait to get started.

"Ben Stokes is the perfect character to inspire change around him, and I look forward to working closely with him to build a successful unit around us."

New Zealand legend Brendon McCullum has been appointed England's Test head coach.

The 40-year-old was confirmed on Thursday as Chris Silverwood's successor and will take up his first coaching role at international level.

Former Black Caps captain McCullum had been considered a strong candidate to coach England's white-ball teams, having been employed by Indian Premier League franchise Kolkata Knight Riders and Caribbean Premier League team Trinbago Knight Riders.

Rob Key decided to bring in separate Test and white-ball head coaches after he was appointed as managing director of England men's cricket last month.

Key led the interviews for both roles this week, and it is former wicketkeeper-batter McCullum who has been given the opportunity to turn England's fortunes around in the longest format under new skipper Ben Stokes.

McCullum said: "I'd like to say how pleased I am to be given this opportunity to positively contribute to England's Test cricket set-up and move the team forward into a more successful era.

"In taking this role on, I am acutely aware of the significant challenges the team faces at present, and I strongly believe in my ability to help the team emerge as a stronger force once we've confronted them head-on.

"I've enjoyed several robust conversations with Rob Key about the direction of travel for the team and have found his enthusiasm contagious. I'm no stranger to bringing about change within a team environment, and I can't wait to get started.

"Ben Stokes is the perfect character to inspire change around him, and I look forward to working closely with him to build a successful unit around us."

Delhi Capitals remain in Indian Premier League playoff contention after Mitchell Marsh and David Warner powered them to an eight-wicket victory against Rajasthan Royals.

The Royals had won all four of their previous IPL meetings with Delhi in Mumbai, but their opponents had no trouble in chasing down a target of 161 for a crucial victory.

That is despite losing opener KS Bharat on a duck off the second ball, with Australian duo Marsh and Warner sharing a 144-run stand to pave the way for a successful chase. 

Rishabh Pant also contributed 13 runs after Marsh (89) was caught by Kuldeep Sen in the 19th over, allowing Warner (52 not out) to score the winning runs with 11 balls to spare.

Ravichandran Ashwin had earlier hit a maiden IPL fifty, while Devdutt Padikkal chipped in with 48, but the Royals could only muster 160-6 from their 20 overs.

Chetan Sakariya starred with the ball for the Capitals with figures of 2-23, while Marsh and Anrich Nortje also took a couple of wickets each.

Oz delight for Delhi

Marsh's blistering knock of 89 was his highest in the IPL, consisting of seven sixes and five fours.

Warner also impressed with his 52 runs, meaning he has now registered 50-or-more runs on 30 occasions – eight more than next best Shikhar Dhawan.

Royals outclassed

Only against Punjab Kings (14) have the Royals won more IPL games than they have against the Capitals (13), yet they were easily second best on Wednesday.

Instead of tightening their hold on a top-four spot, they are now just two points ahead of fifth-placed Delhi and still have work to do if they are to reach the play-offs.

Jimmy Adams, Director of Cricket at Cricket West Indies does not believe regional players are taking advantage of the governing body to secure T20 contracts in the more lucrative T20 leagues around the world.

During a press conference on Monday with Lead Selector Desmond Haynes, Adams, who was also present, was asked whether this was the case in the wake of the recent development wherein Shimron Hetmyer took time off from the IPL to attend the birth of his child in Guyana, promising to return to complete the season, but using the same reason, has declared himself unavailable for the West Indies white-ball tours of The Netherlands and Pakistan that start later this month.

There have also been instances in the past where players have declined invitations to represent the West Indies choosing instead to play franchise cricket.

“You will have players who will opt not to take contracts because they want the freedom to go and play whenever and wherever. While I respect that, by the same token I think we kind of understand where those players’ priorities lie. There could be a few others like that around. We live with them and we move on if we have to,” Adams said.

“I don’t think that is a majority, I don’t think it impacts us in a negative sense, per se. We have had many players in the last few years who have played, who are not contracted players - your Chris Gayles, your Andre Russells.

“Yes, it needs managing for sure at both the international and the levels within the regions around the world. I think given where we are now in world cricket, and I believe where we are now in West Indies cricket, that we are doing a pretty good job of it.”

That said, Adams does concede that in regions like the West Indies where player contracts pale in comparison to those offered by the wealthy owners of IPL franchises, there is little that can be done.

“T20 cricket and the leagues are here to stay. I don’t necessarily think that they are a bad thing. At the end of the day what players have nowadays that they did not have in my time and Sir Desmond’s time was choice and I don’t think choice is a bad thing.

“We try to ensure we don’t have any overlaps with either IPL or CPL, so all our contracted players know that there is a minimum of two windows where they will not have any competing international cricket. As it stands now it is not something that sees us losing control.”

 

Chennai Super Kings all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja will miss the rest of the Indian Premier League due to a bruised rib.

It has been a miserable tournament for Jadeja, who was named CSK captain but stepped down after just over a month in the role.

MS Dhoni took over the captaincy duties once again when the India international relinquished the job at the end of last month.

And Chennai on Wednesday revealed that Jadeja will play no further part in the IPL.

Jadeja missed the 91-run hammering of Delhi Capitals on Sunday and has been ruled out of his side's three remaining games on medical advice.

Dhoni was critical of Jadeja's captaincy after he stepped down.

"I think Jadeja knew last season that he would be captaining this year," he told Star Sports.

"For the first two games, I simply oversaw his work and let him be later. After that, I insisted that he take his own decisions and bear responsibility for them.

"Once you become captain, it means a lot of demands come in. But it affected his mind as the tasks grew. I think captaincy burdened his prep and performances.

"So it was a gradual transition. Spoon-feeding doesn't really help the captain; on the field you have to take those crucial decisions and you have to take responsibility for those decisions.

"Once you become the captain, we have to take care of many things and that also includes your own game."

Holders CSK are ninth in the table with only four wins from 11 matches.

Cricket West Indies lead selector Desmond Haynes and Director of Cricket Jimmy Adams have blasted players for not being able to meet minimum fitness standards that would qualify them for selection to the senior men's squad.

“I’m pretty disappointed as well,” Haynes said speaking in a press conference on Monday.

“When you look at the amount of cricket that is being played around the world, I think there is a certain level of fitness that is required and I think there is a standard that you should set as a professional cricketer,” added Haynes before going on to mention how picking players while being unsure of whether or not they can finish tours is a concern.

“I do get concerned when you have to be selecting the side and not sure if these guys are going to be fit enough to finish the tour,” he said.

"For contracted players who are unavailable for fitness, there are consequences that are outlined in the contracts," Adams said.

One player who missed out on selection for the tour of the Netherlands in June because of failure to meet minimum fitness requirements is Trinidadian left-handed opener, Evin Lewis.

"We have players who, in our eyes are good enough to be considered for selection who are unavailable because of not even coming in on minimum fitness standards. That is very disappointing. For players who are contracted, that is doubly disappointing,” the former West Indies middle-order batsman added.

On a more positive note, Haynes commented on the inclusion of new faces in the team like St. Maarten’s Keacy Carty.

“As the new group of selectors, we have made it very clear that we will give opportunities to people and try to broaden the pool and start thinking with 2023 in mind,” he said.

 

 

Gujarat Titans secured their place in the Indian Premier League play-offs with a dominant 62-run win over Lucknow Super Giants.

The two competition debutants have enjoyed sparkling first seasons in the league and each went into this game with just three defeats.

But the Titans comfortably had the upper hand on Tuesday, cruising to victory despite being restricted to 144-4 with the bat.

Shubman Gill's unbeaten 63 got them to that total, before Rashid Khan (4-24) starred with the ball as the Super Giants crumbled to 82 all out in reply.

Gill hit seven fours as his impressive form continued, the opener anchoring the Titans' innings and combining for critical partnerships of 52 with David Miller (26) and 41 with Rahul Tewatia (22 not out).

Lucknow would likely have been confident of a successful chase despite those stands; however, their hopes soon diminished as they lost four wickets in under eight overs.

Ravisrinivasan Sai Kishore took a tricky catch to dismiss Quinton de Kock (11) one delivery after he had top-edged Yash Dayal for six. Dayal removed Karan Sharma after Mohammed Shami took the key wicket of KL Rahul, with Rashid then ending Krunal Pandya's brief innings as he was stumped by Wriddhiman Saha.

Saha stumped Ayush Badoni and ran out Marcus Stoinis before Jason Holder and Mohsin Khan fell within an over of each other to Sai Kishore and Rashid respectively. 

It was Rashid who finished things off with the wickets of Super Giants top-scorer Deepak Hooda (27) and Avesh Khan (12), who had hit him for successive sixes before being given out caught behind on review.

Shubman succeeds again

Shubman backed up his half-century against Mumbai Indians last time out with another here. It marked the fourth of the tournament for a player who is fourth on the list of top run-scorers with 384.

Gujarat book their place

Gujarat will finish among the final four after moving onto 18 points from 12 games. The only question remaining for the Titans is whether they will secure top spot to ensure they will get two attempts to make the final.

West Indian left-hander Shimron Hetmyer has left the Rajasthan Royals in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) to return home to Guyana for the birth of his first child.

"My stuff is still left in the room," the 25-year-old said in an interview, indicating that he will be returning to India to see out the rest of the IPL.

Royals are in third place and are looking like one of the better placed teams to make the playoffs which are set to begin on May 24.

However, the player has not made himself available for the West Indies white-ball tours of the Netherlands and Pakistan starting later this month.

Hetmyer left Mumbai on Sunday morning on the back of another high-impact cameo - 31 not out off 16 balls against Punjab Kings that helped seal a chase of 190.

 

Jasprit Bumrah's stunning five-for proved in vain as Kolkata Knight Riders kept their hopes of a place in the Indian Premier League play-offs alive with a 52-run win over Mumbai Indians.

Already out of contention for the top four having won just two of their first 10 games, Mumbai confirmed before the match that batter Suryakumar Yadav would miss the rest of the season with a left forearm injury.

However, Bumrah gave their fans something to cheer with a remarkable display of pace bowling, taking figures of 5-10 as KKR were restricted to 165-9.

Yet that total proved well beyond Mumbai as Pat Cummins and Andre Russell thrived with ball in hand to help KKR to their fifth win of the campaign.

A positive start from KKR that saw Ajinkya Rahane (25) and Venkatesh Iyer (43) put on 60 for the opening wicket eventually gave way to a Bumrah masterclass.

The turning point in their innings came in the 15th over as Bumrah removed Russell (9) and Nitish Rana (43) to reduce KKR to 139-5.

KKR never recovered from there and were helpless in the 18th as Bumrah produced a triple-wicket maiden.

Mumbai failed to deliver a batting effort to match his performance with the ball, the tone set when Rohit Sharma (2) was given out caught behind on review from the sixth ball of the reply.

Ishan Kishan (51) was the only Mumbai batter to score more than 15, Cummins displacing him in the 15th over, which also saw Daniel Sams (1) and Murugan Ashwin (0) caught to turn the tide firmly in KKR's favour.

The final three dismissals all came via run-outs as Mumbai's increasingly desperate chase ended with them bowled out for 113.

Bumrah blitz

India fast bowler Bumrah's figures marked the best of his IPL career, beating the 4-14 he took against Delhi Capitals in 2020.

The highlight was unquestionably the 18th over, in which Sheldon Jackson and Cummins both fell before Bumrah had Sunil Narine caught and bowled. Tim Southee denied him a sixth wicket and a hat-trick.

KKR still in the hunt

Defeat for KKR would have ended their top-four hopes. As it is, they still have an outside chance of making the play-offs. They are one of four teams on 10 points, four points behind fourth-placed Royal Challengers Bangalore.

However, three of those teams have a game more to play, meaning KKR's fate is therefore not in their own hands.

Three newcomers – fast bowlers Jayden Seales and Shermon Lewis as well as specialist batter Keacy Carty – have been named in the West Indies ODI squad for the upcoming tours of the Netherlands and Pakistan starting later this month.

Meanwhile, Jason Holder is being rested to manage his workload whilst Shimron Hetmyer is also unavailable for selection following the birth of his first child. Evin Lewis was not considered for selection after failing to meet CWI’s fitness criteria.

The West Indies will visit the Netherlands for three ODIs on May 31, June 2 and 4, followed by another three ODIs on June 8, 10 and 12 in Pakistan.

Both Seales and Lewis have played at the Test level while Carty is the first player from St. Maarten to be selected for the West Indies Senior Men’s team as the era of Nicholas Pooran’s captaincy begins.

“We were impressed with Carty and the way he goes about his innings, we saw several glimpses of his ability the way he played against England earlier this year for the CWI President’s XI,” said Lead Selector Dr Desmond Haynes.

“We hope that by giving him this opportunity he will recognize the importance of representing the West Indies. We think he is a young batsman with great promise, and this is the kind of tour he can show he fits in.”

Dr Haynes also expressed confidence in the fast bowlers selected for the white-ball tours.

“We also have a very good group of young fast bowlers who have demonstrated their ability and we want to use these two tours to give them opportunities in the 50-over format,” he said.

“We have a week in The Netherlands and another week in Pakistan and this should provide them with quality opposition to bowl against as we build towards the Cricket World Cup in 2023.  Phillip has been around for some time, and we know what he can offer, Seales has been very good in Test cricket and Lewis is making a return to the West Indies set-up following some good performances.”

The tour of the Netherlands will be the first-ever ODI Series between the two teams and will be played at the VRA Cricket Ground, Amstelveen.

The matches in Pakistan will be played at the Pindi Stadium in Rawalpindi. Both series form part of the ICC ODI Super League, where teams will have the opportunity to earn points to secure one of the top seven places, excluding hosts India, to gain automatic qualification for the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup.

The West Indies squad: Nicholas Pooran (Captain), Shai Hope (Vice Captain), Nkrumah Bonner, Shamarh Brooks, Keacy Carty, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Brandon King, Shermon Lewis, Kyle Mayers, Anderson Phillip, Rovman Powell, Jayden Seales, Romario Shepherd and Hayden Walsh Jr.

Match schedule:

West Indies tour of Netherlands

May 31: 1st ODI at VRA Cricket Ground, Amstelveen

June 2: 2nd ODI at VRA Cricket Ground, Amstelveen

 June 4: 3rd ODI at VRA Cricket Ground, Amstelveen

 West Indies tour of Pakistan

June 8: 1st ODI at Pindi Stadium, Rawalpindi

June 10: 2nd ODI at Pindi Stadium, Rawalpindi

June 12: 3rd ODI at Pindi Stadium, Rawalpindi

Joe Root captaining England "at the most horrendous time" for his side in Test cricket is "one of the great sporting achievements", according to new men's managing director Rob Key.

Root succeeded Alastair Cook as red-ball captain in 2017 and resigned last April after a torrid run of one win in 17 Tests, with a 1-0 series defeat to West Indies the final straw.

Yorkshireman Root still delivered remarkable returns with the bat in 2021, despite England's struggles, scoring 1,708 runs in 15 matches, including two double centuries and a further four tons.

Only Pakistan's Mohammad Yousuf (1,788 in 2006) and West Indies legend Viv Richards (1,710 in 1976) have ever managed more in a single calendar year.

Key, tasked with transforming English cricket in his new role, appointed Ben Stokes as the new skipper of the Test side but was quick to credit Root for his efforts during a tumultuous period.

"I remember just thinking: Oh, my God. Joe Root. How well has he done?," Key told Sky Sports. "We obviously know he's had a great year but he has had that year when he was doing everything as well it seemed.

"There was so much put on his shoulders. He was trying to be the ambassador for the England team that he is as a captain, and in a team that was struggling and the way that he was playing and what he was able to do. It's honestly one of the great achievements.

"Statistically it will just look in history as 'He got this amount of runs and he did this and he was this as a captain', but it won't actually say in there, 'Oh, and by the way, it was the most horrendous time to be an England cricketer, where you are under so much pressure and the captain was the lone man doing it all'.

"It's one of the great sporting achievements. And as well for him to then now seem to have somehow parked it all to some degree and he's like, right, what do you need? How do we move on from here? How can I help Ben? We probably don't realise how lucky we are to have him."

 

James Anderson and Stuart Broad have 1,177 Test wickets between them but were surprise omissions for the tour of West Indies, as Root travelled with a new-look side under the interim stewardship of Paul Collingwood.

However, Key and Stokes have both made it clear that England plan to reintroduce the pair for the three-Test series against New Zealand, which starts on June 2 at Lord's.

Key also acknowledged why Broad and Anderson were left out of the squad, even if he would not have done the same thing.

"I don't look at everything as just black or white, I always look at the reason," Key said. "I always thought this as a pundit; if there's logic behind what they're doing to some degree, then fine, I can understand why people are doing it.

"There was no logic to me when England in the World Cup in 2015, dropped Alastair Cook and then brought in Gary Ballance. There's no part of me that can understand why you would do that.

"But there's part of me that can understand with Broad and Anderson away from home, getting on a bit as well when you wanted to try and find out about other people. I can understand that. It doesn't mean that I would have done it – but I've shown now that they've come back."

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