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.

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.

England head coach Eddie Jones has included Henry Arundell in his 36-man training squad ahead of July's Test series with Australia.

London Irish flier Arundell has caught the eye with a string of impressive performances since making his Premiership debut in February. 

The 19-year-old, who is also eligible to represent Scotland and Wales, may now be in line for a maiden senior England appearance against the Barbarians next month.

That match at Twickenham on June 19 will act as a warm-up ahead of July's three-match series in Australia, starting with a showdown at Optus Stadium in Perth.

Arundell is joined in England's latest training squad by fellow uncapped London Irish player Will Joseph, who is the younger brother of former England centre Jonathan.

Owen Farrell is also included after missing the Six Nations with an ankle injury, while Anthony Watson returns to the Red Rose fold following an injury lay-off of his own.

Ten uncapped players have been included in total and seven members of the squad have 50 caps or more, including the returning Mako Vunipola.

Ben Youngs, Joe Marler, Henry Slade and Jamie George are all rested for the three-day training camp, which runs from Sunday to Tuesday.

"We're going to use this camp as an opportunity to prepare a base game for the Barbarians fixture and for a really important Australia tour," Jones said. 

"We'll focus on how we want to play, how we want to be as a team off the field and continue to develop the squad cohesiveness and behaviours.

"It is also 16 months to the World Cup and every minute counts. We want a hard-working and enjoyable environment for the players and make sure we are all on the same page. 

"We want to take a look at some younger players and prepare a base camp for the Barbarians game, particularly as we will be without the Premiership finalists.

"We also want to give some senior players a rest as we get to a crucial part of the season. These players will still be in contention for the Australia tour."

England beat Australia at Twickenham in November, but that preceded a disappointing 2022 Six Nations campaign as they lost three of their five matches and finished third.

 

England training squad

Forwards

Alfie Barbeary (Wasps), Jamie Blamire (Newcastle Falcons), Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers), Tom Curry (Sale Sharks), Nic Dolly (Leicester Tigers), Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins), Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby), Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers), Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers), Maro Itoje (Saracens), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints), George McGuigan (Newcastle Falcons), Tom Pearson (London Irish), Bevan Rodd (Sale Sharks), Will Stuart (Bath Rugby), Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Jack Willis (Wasps).

Backs

Henry Arundell (London Irish), Orlando Bailey (Bath Rugby), Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby), Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints), Owen Farrell (Saracens), Tommy Freeman (Northampton Saints), George Furbank (Northampton Saints), Will Joseph (London Irish), Louis Lynagh (Harlequins), Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints), Harry Randall (Bristol Bears), Marcus Smith (Harlequins), Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers), Manu Tuilagi (Sale Sharks), Jack van Poortvliet (Leicester Tigers), Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby).

England seamer Saqib Mahmood will miss the rest of the season after sustaining a lumbar stress fracture.

The 25-year-old was handed a Test debut against West Indies in March and impressed in his two matches in the Caribbean, taking six wickets.

Mahmood has only made one appearance since that tour for Lancashire against Gloucestershire in the County Championship last month.

He now faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines at the start of a new era for England following the appointments of head coach Brendon McCullum and captain Ben Stokes.

The England and Wales Cricket Board said in a statement: "After being diagnosed with a lumbar stress fracture, England and Lancashire seamer Saqib Mahmood has been ruled out for the rest of the season.

"Mahmood was unavailable for Lancashire's last Championship fixture [against Yorkshire] due to low back pain, and scans have revealed that he has a lumbar stress fracture and will miss the remainder of the 2022 English summer. 

"No timeframe has been set for his return. His ongoing rehabilitation will be co-managed between Lancashire and England medical teams."

Mahmood has also made his mark for his country in white-ball cricket, playing in 12 Twenty20 Internationals and seven ODIs.

England start a three-match Test series against New Zealand at Lord's on June 2.

New England Test head coach Brendon McCullum and captain Ben Stokes must challenge each other to transform the country's red-ball fortunes, says Nasser Hussain.

McCullum has been tasked with fixing the failings in the five-day game of England, who will be captained by Stokes after Joe Root resigned in April following a run of one win in 17 Tests.

Former opener and now England men's managing director Rob Key has entrusted McCullum with the Test side despite all the 40-year-old's coaching experience coming within white-ball franchise cricket.

McCullum has coached Indian Premier League side Kolkata Knight Riders and their Caribbean Premier League affiliate Trinbago Knight Riders, but has playing experience in Test cricket with New Zealand.

Indeed, McCullum captained New Zealand's red-ball side through a transformative period and played in 101 Tests for his country.

Former England captain Hussain believes he and Stokes can take England in a different direction.

"It's a bold, brave, exciting decision," Hussain told Sky Sports.

"It's a little bit left field, I think most people expected maybe a Brendon McCullum type to come into the white-ball team and work with his mate Eoin Morgan and possibly somebody with more experience in red-ball cricket like a Gary Kirsten come in for the Test match format.

"But Rob Key sees it differently, I think both Stokes and McCullum are cut from the same cloth and Key has that sort of idea that he wants a positive captain and positive coach taking the team in a new direction and McCullum definitely fits that bill.

"That captain-coach relationship - they do have to sing off the same hymn sheet, they have to both constantly be working together.

"They also have to challenge each other, I'll be perfectly honest.

"It's not a case of Stokes and McCullum always agreeing with each other. It's also how you describe positive cricket really, it's not reckless cricket.

"I nearly picked Rob Key up on this the other day, he talked about brand of cricket, he wants England to play a positive brand of cricket.

"I think England fans and myself want to see England play a winning brand of cricket, however that's done, go out and start winning Test matches. If it is positive and exciting, double bonus. But winning is the most important thing.

"It's hugely exciting, to have Stokes as your captain, McCullum as your coach, it will be a very exciting few months and years ahead."

McCullum and Stokes' first task sees the pair host the country of their birth, New Zealand, in a three-Test series that starts on June 2.

Brendon McCullum is the "perfect person" to turn around England's Test fortunes, according to Andrew Strauss, who was a part of the selection panel for the new men's head coach.

England have won just one of their last 17 Tests, leading to the resignation of captain Joe Root, with Ben Stokes stepping up as skipper in April.

Former opener Rob Key was also appointed as managing director of men's cricket and was tasked with reshaping the faltering structure to make England competitive once more in the five-day game.

As well as confirming Stokes as captain, a decision was made to hire separate coaches for the red ball and limited-overs sides, with McCullum announced as Test coach on Thursday.

The decision represents somewhat of a gamble as New Zealand legend McCullum has only ever coached T20 franchises in the form of Indian Premier League side Kolkata Knight Riders and their Caribbean Premier League affiliate Trinbago Knight Riders.

However, McCullum played 101 Tests for New Zealand and captained the side through a transformative period, and Strauss believes the 40-year-old is a great appointment by England.

"I'm delighted and I'm excited. He blew us away with his clarity of thinking and his simple approach," the England and Wales Cricket Board's strategic adviser Strauss told Sky Sports.

"He's a very positive guy with a very clear mindset and he will embed that in the Test team at a time when confidence is a bit low and people need a bit of clarity and direction.

"He's an impressive guy. He can't wait to start and, quite frankly, I can't wait for him to start.

"[As a player] he was incredibly ambitious, he used to run down the wicket against some of the quickest bowlers in the world.

"He always took the positive option, he wasn't scared of failing, he wasn't scared of making mistakes and I think that is what this Test team needs at the moment.

"They need someone to back them, to give them confidence and inspire them, and they need to break the shackles and realise how good they are. I think he's the perfect person to do that."

McCullum's first task will see England host his country of birth, New Zealand, in a three-Test series that starts at Lord's on June 2.

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."

World Rugby has confirmed Australia and the United States as the next two hosts of the men's Rugby World Cup.

The men's tournament will be held in Australia in 2027, and the women's World Cup will be hosted Down Under two years later. 

Australia has not hosted the men's tournament since 2003, when Jonny Wilkinson's last-gasp drop-goal ensured victory for England over the Wallabies in the final.

The USA, meanwhile, will host the competition for the very first time in 2031, with the women's tournament held there in 2033. The next women's World Cup, in 2025, will take place in England.

World Rugby confirmed the news at its annual meeting in Dublin on Thursday, promising to deliver "a golden decade for the sport".

Bill Beaumont, chairman of World Rugby, said: "We have approved three exceptional Rugby World Cup host nations – England, Australia and the USA – providing unprecedented certainty and an unparalleled opportunity to accelerate the growth and impact of rugby globally. It is great for rugby, for fans and for the host nations.

"Today is a landmark moment for the sport, and an exciting development for fans. I would like to congratulate everyone involved in making this dream a reality as we look to deliver a truly global sport for all."

Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan labelled it as "an historic day for rugby in Australia", while USA Rugby chief executive Ross Young said: "I speak for the rugby community and fans across the United States when I express our sincere gratitude to World Rugby for their trust and endorsement of our vision to grow this incredible sport exponentially across our country."

The next men's World Cup will be held in France in 2023, with South Africa the reigning champions following their triumph over England in 2019 in Japan.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin labelled the crowd trouble at the Euro 2020 final between England and Italy as unacceptable and warned it must never happen again.

Italy secured their first European Championship since 1968 with a penalty shoot-out victory over England at Wembley Stadium in July, but the game was marred by clashes before the final.

Hundreds of supporters without tickets attempted to gain entry prior to kick-off, with an independent review later concluding it was "clear we were close to fatalities and/or life-changing injuries for some, potentially many" of the fans in attendance after 17 mass breaches of Wembley's gates.

UEFA punished the Football Association (FA) with a two-game stadium ban, one of which is suspended for two years, and an £84,560 fine.

The FA subsequently apologised and said it was appalled at the disorder that saw ticketless fans fight with stewards and police officers in an attempt to force their way into the stadium.

Ceferin, who was in attendance at the final, reinforced his disappointment with the failures of football as he spoke to a UEFA congress in Vienna on Wednesday.

"We still have many problems to solve to make our sport a role model and greater source of inspiration than it is today," Ceferin said.

"The images of violence at Wembley Stadium at last year's Euro final are unacceptable.

"When a family goes to see a match of any competition, it should be a time for fun, celebration and enjoyment. People should feel safe in and around a stadium.

"They should never feel in danger. With the authorities' help, this cannot happen again. Ever."

 

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."

Top Windies batsman Chris Gayle believes the position of team captain is good for a player’s individual growth and insists he thoroughly enjoyed his time in the position.

The hard-hitting left-hander served as captain of the West Indies team from 2007 to 2010, with what can be described as mixed fortunes.  In One Day International’s Gayle led the team for 53 games, winning 17 and losing 30 for a 56 percent win ratio.  In Tests, he was in charge for 20 matches, winning 3 losing 9, and drawing 8.

Despite the record and a few controversies, Gayle believes his time in charge was well worth it.

“It made me a better person.  It grows you and you relate to people more.  You know who is for you.  It gives you a challenge and when the pressure is on that when you know who will fight for you and who is there for you.  It’s always a good thing to be a captain and a good thing to lead your country as well,” Gayle told Talksport Radio.

Gayle, in the meantime, has commended England for their choosing Ben Stokes as their new captain and tipped the all-rounder to excel in the role.

“I think it’s the best choice to have a guy like Ben Stokes, he’s been around world-class players and a proper all-rounder.  I think he’s the best choice to lead the England side.  It was tough for Joe Root to step down, but I’m sure he will get support from Root and the rest of the players.”

The West Indies recently made a new captaincy appointment of their own after Nicholas Pooran was appointed ODI captain following the recent retirement of Kieron Pollard.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.