Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Australia v England Ashes Winter Tour dates 2017 2018

Embed from Getty Images

Australia will host the Ashes series in 2017/18 and it all starts on November 23rd in Brisbane

England will play the 1st Test of the Ashes in Brisbane starting on 23rd Nov 2017

The 2nd test in Adelaide starting on 2nd Dec 2017 will be a day/night game, and like it or lump it, it will make watching it a lot easier back in UK with play going on until perhaps just after 9pm in Adelaide which is almost 11am in London. 

A new stadium is being built in Perth which will hold up to 60,000 spectators, if it is not ready in time, then the 15,000 capacity WACA will be the venue as normal. Now it is confirmed the new stadium will not be ready and the 3rd test will definitely be held at the WACA

Following that the usual Boxing Day start for Melbourne then on to Sydney for the New Year final test. 

Here is the full fixture itinerary

1st Test Nov 23rd - 27th  Brisbane
2nd Test Dec 2nd - 6th  Adelaide Day/Night
3rd Test Dec 13th - 18th Perth
4th Test Dec 26th - 30th Melbourne
5th Test Jan 4th - 8th Sydney 

1st ODI 14th Jan Melbourne
2nd ODI 19th Jan Brisbane
3rd ODI 21st Jan Sydney
4th ODI 26th Jan Adelaide
5th ODI 28th Jan Perth

Followed by a Tri Series T20 tournament 3rd to 18th February 2018 including New Zealand with some fixtures being played in New Zealand. 

Monday, 12 December 2016

Geoffrey Boycott gets angry its not my fault they can't pick a team

Geoff Boycott throws a bit of a wobbly while talking on BBC Radio Five Live about the latest defeat to India it's a bit of car crash of an interview to be honest, but worth a couple of minutes.

Monday, 5 December 2016

England pick the two deserters Morgan and Hales for India ODI and T20 Squads 2017

The squads for the white ball encounter with India at the start of 2017 have been announced today. 

England have decided that they are willing to forgive Morgan and Hales for deciding that Bangladesh was a security threat. An excuse that I never believed myself, but that's the party line, so it must be true. . 

Missing out in particular is Ben Duckett, I think perhaps Ben has been found out in India, and rather than take a risk they have decided not to expose him further. He is next in line no doubt about that, and I would really hope to see him playing for England in 2017 a bit later in the year. Just wrong time wrong place. But if anyone did argue his case, I certainly wouldn't put up an argument against him. I think he is a fantastic talent.  

Also not picked is Steven Finn, got to feel sorry for Finny, I am sure we will see him again in 2017 as well. 

Here are the full squads, cracking squads, and you can't have everyone, I wouldn't have picked Morgan or Hales myself, but there we go. 


Jan 15th Pune
Jan 19th Cuttack
Jan 22nd Kolkata

Jan 26th Kanpur
Jan 29th Nagpur
Feb 1st Bengalru

England ODI squad: Eoin Morgan (Middlesex, captain), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire), Jake Ball (Nottinghamshire), Sam Billings (Kent), Jos Buttler (Lancashire), Liam Dawson (Hampshire), Alex Hales (Nottinghamshire), Liam Plunkett (Yorkshire), Adil Rashid (Yorkshire), Joe Root (Yorkshire), Jason Roy (Surrey), Ben Stokes (Durham), David Willey (Yorkshire), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire).
T20 squad: Eoin Morgan (Middlesex, captain), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), Jake Ball (Nottinghamshire), Sam Billings (Kent), Jos Buttler (Lancashire), Liam Dawson (Hampshire), Alex Hales (Nottinghamshire), Chris Jordan (Sussex), Tymal Mills (Sussex), Liam Plunkett (Yorkshire), Adil Rashid (Yorkshire), Joe Root (Yorkshire), Jason Roy (Surrey), Ben Stokes (Durham), David Willey (Yorkshire).

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Keaton Jennings and Liam Dawson called up to join England in India

With Haseeb Hameed having to fly home to England to have an operation on his finger and Zafeer Ansari with an ongoing back injury. England have had no choice but to call up some reinforcements before the 4th Test which starts in Mumbai on December 8th. Desperately back luck on Hameed.

Keaton Jennings who has had a excellent season with Durham was one of the few in the frame that was expected to get a telephone call, and that proved to be correct as he will now leave the Lions Squad in the UAE and he might be opening the batting in a few days time, that is a big step up.

The other phone call went to Liam Dawson and he has had some experience with the England team and is playing T20 cricket in Bangladesh so it kind of makes sense to call him up. He is "match fit" and acclimatised which is of course a big plus. 

I would really like to see Ben Duckett get another game, but I fear the batting issue that he has found in India, really needs to sorted out, and perhaps another failure wouldn't be the best way forward. But hopefully if he doesn't play again in India he will get another chance next summer. 

England still have a bit of thinking to do, they are off to Dubai on a short break which isn't a bad idea, then they will need to look at the pitch and access the fitness of players like Stuart Board before deciding on if 3 spinners is required in Mumbai. England showing signs they can win a game, but only signs, nothing really significant and sustained. They all need to improve.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Full English County Cricket Fixture List Spreadsheet 2017

Google Spreadsheet with full Cricket 2017 Fixtures

(Might take a few seconds to load, but it will)

Well I have to say well done to the powers that be for the massive improvement on the Cricket Fixtures from last years mish mash. While I dare say this won't suit everyone, overall it looks about as good as it gets. 

Of course the major change is that there are just 8 teams in Div One and 10 teams in Div Two. Which is a pretty controversial move as it means Div One season ticket holders will of course be getting one less game at home, and another away game as well. What this has meant is that the fixtures overall are much more even, and every team can play on the same day. But I doubt that is much of a consolation to those supporters losing a game. But for Fantasy Cricket player (the main reason for the spreadsheet) I can tell you having every team playing on one day, and the same day, is a dream come true.

Another improvement is that the absurd late finish at 9pm after a T20 fixture and then expected to start at 11am the following day in a championship game.......200 miles away! They have all gone. Much improved with that issue.

Its an early start to the season with 3 fixtures from both Divisions on 7th April, this is then followed by 2 more rounds of County Championship games where every team plays, there is the novelty right there. Also included is a full round of games starting on Good Friday, which is a huge improvement. And not playing over Easter was one of my pet hates. That has been well and truly sorted out.

Then the last week in April and for three weeks in May the London Cup plays all the group games with very little interruption. Early in the season, yes, but you can't have everything. To play them altogether this really is the only time. May is completed with a further two rounds of 4 day Cricket.

June sees the start of the International Tournament the Champions Trophy and County Cricket has two rounds of County games followed by London Cup Quarter Finals and Semi's. Then after one more round at the end of June every team will take part in a Day/Night Fixture. So again nice and easy to administer every team sampling the pink ball. 

July has one further round of county cricket and then a break for T20 x 14 fixtures over six weeks with just the one championship game squeezed in near the end. There is a window of 9 days break in August except for those 8 teams who have made it to the T20 quarter finals but they will only play one T20 game. So it is in effect a decent break.  

Then its the final push to finish off the county championship with one game at the end of August and up to four games in September. T20 Finals day is on the 2nd September.

So it all makes much more sense. Here is my spreadsheet, it is updated as there are often one or two changes, so be careful if you take a snapshot. There are quite a few other sporting events added as well. 

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

South African Captain Faf Du Plessis found guilty of ball tampering in 2nd Test

Well after a long 3 hour hearing the Proteas skipper has been found guilty by the ICC of breach of law 42.3. Which basically is ball tampering. This has been strongly denied by the South African team and Du Plessis pleaded not guilty. He has 48 hours to appeal.

In finding him guilty the South African captain was fined all of his match fee. One option that was available was to suspend the player for the next test match, but they have not gone that far. 

This now I think opens up a can of worms and it is certainly created a hostile atmosphere for the 3rd Test which starts on Thursday 24th November (Note this is day/night test match and starts at 3.30am each day on BT Sport) Australia making six changes after a crushing defeat.

There has been some pushing and shoving of journalists by South African security in the last 24 hours and it is just emphasising the tension that has been created. Being found guilty is certainly to raise that another notch. 

What does this all mean for long term Cricket, well probably not a lot, and the message I would have thought is, Don't Get Caught. Its wrong, it does go on, its impossible to police, so just be aware if you get caught, you should now be charged. But we do now need clarification from the ICC and I suggest that any statement is not going to be very difficult indeed to clarify this predicament that they had dug themselves into. 

23rd Nov 2016

Faf du Plessis has just attended a very open press conference which he says

Quote Yesterday was the hearing and the verdict was that I was guilty. I completely disagree with that. I felt like I have done nothing wrong. There's two was of looking at it, either ball shining or ball tampering. For me if you talk about ball tampering its picking up the ball and scratching the ball.

Shining is something that all cricketers would say is not in that same space. It is something that all cricketers do and I think there will be a lot of emphasis after this incident on were the game is going, what the ICC is going to do about it. 

I don't believe shining is wrong, its not like I was trying to cheat or anything, I was shining the ball and I don't see a problem in that The ex players have spoken about it and its part of our game it's an unwritten rule, some people use sunblock to shine the ball, I know of people who carry lip-ice in their pocket and the shine the ball. So many different things its just so difficult to say what is right or wrong Unquote

Back to the ICC I think, because this situation now cannot be left like this. 

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Mass Changes in dramatic reaction to Humiliating defeat in 2nd Test by new Australian Selectors

Adelaide Oval venue for 3rd Test v South Africa 

After the resignation of top selector Rod Marsh after the 2nd Test, Geoff Lawson said Australia should not make massive changes. Well that advice was not taken as new chief interim selector Trevor Hohns has in fact made mass changes to the squad, turfing out four players ALONG with injured Voges goes. Burns, Ferguson, Nevill and Mennie who are all dropped. 

In come Matt Renshaw, Peter Handscomb and Nic Maddinson who are now all in line for debut Joining them is Chadd Sayers and Jackson Bird and Matthew Wade will be behind the stumps. 

Interesting times, certainly the most inexperienced Australian squad I have ever seen. 

Squad David Warner, Matt Renshaw, Usman Khawaja, Steven Smith, Peter Handscomb, Nic Maddinson, Matthew Wade (wk), Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon, Jackson Bird, Chadd Sayers.

The 3rd Test starts on 24th Nov 2016 in Adelaide and will be shown on BT Sport 

Twitter is of course a great place to get the reaction of the Aussies fans and also some banter projected their way

Friday, 18 November 2016

South African Captain Faf Du Plessis charged with ball tampering following 2nd Test in Australia

Looking around social media and comments made  in newspaper articles the current ball tampering allegation that has been created by Faf Du Plessis has split the cricket community. 

BUT perhaps some with the view that this is just Australian "sourgrapes" might just soften a little with the fact that the South African Captain has been charged with breaching Article 2.2.9 of the ICC Code of Conduct. 

As you can see on the video of the TV footage he clearly adds saliva to the ball (which is not a crime) but the claim is he had a white sweet which he was rubbing as well. Also pretty clear on the video if you ask me. But, Du Plessis has pleaded not guilty to the charge. 

When the charge will be heard has yet to be decided.

South Africa won the match very convincingly, the punishment if found guilty is a fine and/or points deducted. So it is unlikely to change the result but it is something that needs sorting out.

What do you think? My view is that yes guilty, but where do we go from here, as it opens up a complete minefield. 

Its pretty clear what Dale Steyn thinks about it anyway, no need to read between the lines

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

England have difficult decision before 2nd Test at Viskapatnam spinning track

Officially England will name their side for the 2nd Test between India and England on the morning of 17th November the 1st day of the match. It had seemed like it was going to be the same team. Trevor Bayliss had even strongly hinted it was. 

BUT, It is being reported today that Chris Woakes has a recurring knee injury that has unfortunately flared up. So it's not hard to work out that Jimmy Anderson might then get his wish to play. 

Jimmy has been bowling well in the nets but of course we all know he has not had any 1st class cricket at all, so to come back straight into a long test match is risky. But it seems Anderson is raring to go. So one big decision to be made today and overnight by the management. 

The wicket in Visakapatnam at the ACA-VDCA Stadium is expected to turn from Day 2. So clearly England will play with 3 spinners, they wouldn't go to 4 would they? They do have the option of Batty of course. Decisions Decisions.

Monday, 14 November 2016

Dhaka Tribune Mistake Alviro Peterson for Kevin Pieterson

You only got one job, write a story about Alviro Peterson from South Africa who has just been charged with a string of offences under the anti corruption code. 

But instead of attaching a picture of AP you go and attach a picture of KP.......... Kevin Pieterson! 

You might image he wouldn't be happy about that, and you imagined correctly. It is being reported that the Dhaka newspaper in Bangladesh has now apologised.

Friday, 4 November 2016

Bumbling Indian Bureaucracy Strikes again as ECB requested to pay own Indian Expenses

Nothing should come as a surprise on the eve of any Indian Tournament or Test Series. With the 1st Test just 5 days away the BCCI have written to the ECB with what must be complete embarrassment at having to admit that due to a previous court order placed by the Lodha Committee (whom I am completely sick of hearing about) the BCCI cannot pay for England's Hotel's Travel and other expenses.

A BCCI official is being reported as saying "Its up to the ECB if they wish to continue the tour"

Broken seats at the World Cup
True to form the BCCI have again got a last minute drama that just takes the edge of what should be a good experience, visiting India. 

The night before the England v Afghanistan game at the T20 World cup all those with tickets for the South Stand including myself received an email to say that our stand that we had tickets for was now closed. Why the night before? Bumbling Indian Bureaucracy.

We had to run around getting tickets on the day of the game, (that were not officially on sale) no help, no information, it was a complete and utter disaster. This was of course after months and months of speculation about the location of the game, would they use the Feroz Shah Stadium or not. Would we have to change our flights or not? Well we only found that out 3 days before.

Its just another example, there are plenty more, this is an ongoing problem, it should not be happening. The very recent tour by New Zealand was thrown up in the air mid tour, with this very same problem.

BCCI you are a complete embarrassment to Cricket and this is just another terrible example of your complete bumbling bureaucracy and to say you couldn't organise a piss up in a brewery is an insult to piss up's. 

Here is the cap in hand letter from the BCCI to the ECB and I only hope the ECB tell the BCCI to get stuffed! The great Indian people deserve better than you.

Dear Phil, (Phil Neale ECB Secretary) I warmly welcome you for the upcoming cricket series. I am however at great pains to inform you that the BCCI is at present not in a position to execute the MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) between the Indian Cricket Board and the ECB. 

This is due to restrictions on execution of contracts imposed on the BCCI by a court order. Certain courtesies such as hotel, travel and various other arrangements have been extended to you on arrival in India. However, till the MoU is executed the BCCI is not in a position to commit to paying for the same. Please make arrangements to remit such payments. 

The BCCI will inform you as and when further instructions are received by the BCCI from the Lodha Committee. I apologise on behalf of the BCCI for the inconvenience that is being caused.


“The ECB has expressed full confidence that the BCCI will honour its commitment in future and agreed to meet the expenses of the team that are of immediate need. The ECB official has also acknowledged that the BCCI is the richest cricket body in the world and never defaulted on payments in the past. Further, the ECB has agreed for a future reimbursement of all the expenses incurred during the tour,” Shirke revealed.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

BT Sport to start it's Cricket from Down Under Package tonight

BT Sport to start it's Cricket from Down Under Package tonight
New BT Sport Studio 
BT Sport suddenly jump into the Cricket World with a lot of Cricket over the next three months. They have purchased the rights to broadcast Australian Cricket Home games and the Big Bash. So this will of course include the Ashes next winter.

How many contracts to BT Sport this will sell is however another question. Some very good games coming up, just difficult to stay up for unless you are from that country. Even then not easy if you have work of course. Michael Vaughan Graeme Swann in the photo with presenter Greg James and also on board is Ricky Ponting and KP. 

1st Test 2am Australia v South Africa 3rd - 7th Nov 
(South Africa Win)
2nd Test 11pm Australia v South Africa 11th - 15th Nov
(South Africa Win)
3rd Test 3am Australia v South Africa 24th - 28th Nov

1st ODI 3am Australia v New Zealand 4th Dec

2nd ODI 3am Australia v New Zealand 6th Dec

3rd ODI 3am Australia v New Zealand 9th Dec 

1st Test 2.30am Australia v Pakistan 15th - 19th Dec 

2nd Test 11pm Australia v Pakistan 25th - 29th Dec 

3rd Test 11pm Australia v Pakistan 2nd - 6th Jan 2017 

Big Bash 20th Dec 2016 - 28th Jan 2017

Thursday, 27 October 2016

England Team to play Bangladesh 2nd Test Dhaka 28th Oct - 1st Nov 2016

England have as expected picked Zafar Ansari to make his debut for England in the heat of Dhaka. He will replace Gareth Batty after deciding 3 spinners is enough. The seam bowlers will be Woakes and Stokes and joining them will be Steven Finn who will come in for Broad who will sit this one out. So the full team is.


England again display their versatility with a team that bats all the way down. They will play with 4 batsman, 5 all rounders, a wicket keeper who can certainly bat well, and just 1 bowler Finn, who isn't that bad with the bat on his day either.

It promises to be another exciting test match starting at 5am BST on Friday and Saturday then with the clocks change on Sunday it will start at 4am GMT for the final 3 days.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Cook's Merry Men for India 2016 sadly Jimmy Anderson not included

First ever Test Match Rajkot Saurashkra India
England name the same squad that is currently touring in Bangladesh to continue to India for the Five Test Matches that start in Rajkot on the 8th November 2016. An early start time in India (due to light) of 9.30am will mean a very early 5am start for Friday and Saturday and then 4am once the clocks go back on Sunday. 

Unfortunately Jimmy Anderson will not be joining them for the start, his shoulder injury is still a problem it's therefore quite possible that he may miss the whole tour. At the moment they are hoping he can still fly out and join them at some point. This is a difficult time for Jimmy and at age 34 you have to start wondering how many more games will he play for England. Clearly not that many. It is however being reported that Anderson is now training indoors in England so all we can do is wait and see if he is considered fit enough.

Listening to Alistair Cook after the 1st Test it was obvious he was preparing the way for the media to be ready for changes to the team for the 2nd Test. It was abundantly clear the thought process was that the management wants as many players as possible to get match time in the heat and humidity of this part of Asia. Some have not played for a while, and that isn't the way this squad was designed, it was designed to be very flexible with all 16 players getting involved, with the Test Matches coming thick and fast.

Now it isn't completely impossible for all 5 of the players that did not play in the 1st Test that are on tour, to get a game. They are Ansari, Ball, Buttler, Hameed, Finn, now that would be pretty unlikely. But it's not impossible. They are all good enough in my opinion and they need to be match ready. My guess would be 2 or 3 to play. hAnsari and Finn have indeed been chosen. 

There are also rumours flying around that England might play 4 spinners, they will be assessing the pitch today to make that decision. If that was the decision then there might just be two changes. It is also expected that Duckett will get the nod again. The question is of course will Vince play, it is expected that he won't. But not confimed yet. Well confirmed now that he will play, lot of pressure hope it works out for him, but fair play to England for giving him every chance.

I don't think anyone that does not play in the 2nd Test should feel unwanted or rejected, this is a grueling schedule and more of a squad team then perhaps ever before. England need to be flexible and just as important ready to play, so hopefully making tough decisions now will pay off later. 

So England's test touring side to go to India 2016 is 

 Captain Cook
Anderson now joining squad could play in 2nd Test

Sunday, 9 October 2016

England v West Indies Day Night Test Edgbaston 17th - 21st August 2017

So what is the real reason for holding a day/night test match with a pink ball? Are we supposed to believe this will save the game? Well I don't believe that for one minute.

So we could possibly be playing an Ashes Test under lights next winter. That really isn't getting much support down under (or from the England Captain)  because of course the Ashes matches sell out anyway, so what is the point then. But if there is a day night test then of course we do have to play some kind of practice match. It would be foolish not to. So I can see that and believe that to be one reason.

The other main reason that is given to US all the time is that this will enable those that are working to pitch up at about 5pm to 6pm and get to watch some evening Cricket. Well yes some will, but most will want to be there at the start at 2pm. Surely the idea is to sell seats from the START of the day at full price. 

If the weather is 50/50 then you will probably still go to watch a full day, but if it is 50/50 at 5/6pm then I certainly would be a little more unlikely to go along. The other negative is going along completely sober at 5/6pm and sitting next to a drunken mob is not going to be a lot of fun.

What is the real reason? It is of course TV this is perfect for Sky TV, its not rocket science why, their viewing figures and ability to sell dishes with their overall package will obviously go up. Not many of working age can sit down in front of TV and watch a test match all day long, but they can certainly watch a couple of hours early evening. 

To get bums on seats is so very easy, you reduce the price to sensible figure. Unfortunately for far too long going to a Test Match is to most people a special treat such as a birthday present. The overall costs that used to be about £100 a day is now more like £150 a day. Yes it is a great day out, but it is also far too expensive, and we are really being fobbed off with this day night excuse, bring down the cost of tickets and you will sell out...... it is that simple. 

The game is going ahead, and it opens up an enormous amount of anomalies with the weather and light. 
They have chosen 17th - 21st August which is mainly because of the need to switch on the lights during the "Dinner Break" The first two sessions being held with lights off. Dew will be an issue, in late August..... but perhaps..... that will even up the contest as batting will be very difficult during dusk. During the experiment at Egbaston this year, the lights didn't really kick in until very late on, the Warwickshire fans said they were really only effective for about 45 minutes. This won't always be the case of course, you can get darker nights earlier with cloud cover. But this is the opposite to science, it is called the English Weather. Getting the date about right is crucial though, you can't do this experiment any old time. 

The hours of play will be 

2pm - 4pm 1st Session

4pm - 4.20pm Tea 

4.20pm - 6.20pm 2nd Session

6.20pm- 7pm Dinner

7pm - 9pm 3rd Session 

Half an hour extra is possible if required due to interruptions. 

Reading the Warwickshire forum it is clear that they are split on this, but some have posted that they are open to giving it a try and others coming up with good reasons for and against. It sounds like ticket prices are actually starting at a more sensible price, now that's a shock isn't it? Get an experiment that you want to be a success, and so you reduce the ticket price, well that helps. 

Edit - It has also now been announced that a day night "round" of matches will be played in the County Championship, the date of this has yet to be decided however it is expected to be in June, which will most certainly mean that the evening session is played in dusk, or even fading light, rather than dark 

It will be interesting no doubt about that, but with the changes in weather that we experience in England quite honestly anything could happen and probably will.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Jake Ball to replace injured James Anderson on Bangladesh Tour

The late England injury news is that James Anderson will miss the Bangladesh tour with a shoulder injury. The ODI Squad flies out to Dhaka today and the announcement is likely to be that Jake Ball will now stay on after the three ODI matches and replace Anderson. Also in the last few minutes it has also been confirmed that Mark Wood's ankle injury that has been an ongoing problem all season has returned to also rule him out of the tour, very disappointing news indeed. Steven Finn is expected to replace Mark in the ODI squad and there is a possibility another bowler will be picked to be an addition to the Test squad 

The recurring injury has always been a worry to Jimmy who is now aged 34. It is certainly no secret that the England management along with the player have been monitoring his work load very carefully as they attempt to lengthen his career. Clearly the England Test fixture list cannot be sustained by the player to a maximum of 100% attendance any longer.  

The revised Test Squad without Anderson and Ball now included is Captain Cook Ali Ansari Bairstow Ball Ballance Batty Broad Buttler Duckett Finn Hameed Rashid Root Stokes Woakes Wood

No Change to the ODI Squad Captain Buttler Ali Bairstow Ball Billings Dawson Duckett Plunkett Rashid Roy Stokes Vince Willey Woakes Wood/Finn

Fixtures are as follows Times are in BST 

7th Oct 1st ODI Dhaka 8am

9th Oct 2nd ODI Dhaka 8am

12th Oct 3rd ODI Chittagong 8am

20-24th Oct 1st Test Chittagong 4.30am

28th - 1st Nov 2nd Test Dhaka 4.30am

Most of the Test squad will then fly straight to India for the 1st Test of five Test which are being played virtually back to back starting on Nov 9th. It is anticipated but not confirmed that Anderson will join the touring party in time for the 1st Test in Rajkot. It is however more doubtful that Mark Wood will be fit by Nov 9th, it is hoped that he may be able to join later, too early to forecast unfortunately.

Friday, 16 September 2016

England Test ODI Squads and fixtures for tour of Bangladesh Oct 2016

Well after a short delay while everyone made up their mind on if they wanted to tour Bangladesh or not the England selectors have made their decision. Of course this was made without just two players Eoin Morgan the one day Captain and Alex Hales who both decided it was too risky. 

Test Squad

Cook Captain

ODI Squad

Buttler Captain

Fixtures Times BST

7th Oct 1st ODI Dhaka 8am

9th Oct 2nd ODI Dhaka 8am

12th Oct 3rd ODI Chittagong 8am

20-24th Oct 1st Test Chittagong 4.30am

28th - 1st Nov 2nd Test Dhaka 4.30am

Thursday, 15 September 2016

The Pro's and Con's of a City Based T20 Competition starting in 2018

Lets be clear here, this competition is now going ahead, voted on 14th Sept 2016 by a huge 16-3 by the counties in favour of exploring the event further with a aim to start in 2018 to 2020 really more or less seals the deal unless things go catastrophically wrong. (Surrey Kent and Essex voted against ECB voted for, 19 votes in total cast)

It is also obvious looking at social media there is quite a resistance against the idea of a city based 8 team tournament over the month of July. (It has to be said that some of those that are against, are of course against white ball cricket and especially T20 anyway, so a certain amount of criticism is bound to exist) But what are the facts that we know so far, and what are the pro's and con's. 

Facts about the format

1. Teams will be draft pick, which means that all players are up for grabs and can play in any city. So Ben Stokes or any England star can play for any team.

2. The teams will play at the Test grounds in London X 2 Southampton, Cardiff, Birmingham, Nottingham, Manchester and Leeds.

3. The T20 Blast as it is known now will continue in it's present format.

4. Played over the month of July in addition to other domestic games


1. Each of the 18 counties will receive approx 1.5 Million per year when the TV rights are divided up. One or two of the counties right now Durham and Northants the obvious ones simply cannot turn this down. That probably cannot be stressed highly enough, this could well save them from going out of business.

2. Overseas players a lot more likely to sign up for the City based competition with only one month of commitment.

3. Some games to be shown on free to air TV

4. It might bring in some new Cricket supporters to watch live for the first time, this is debatable, but is possible.

5. Some of the younger county players getting more chance to play 1st Class Cricket.


1. Cricket supporters not keen to switch allegiance Will fans in Southampton for instance embrace the new team as well as Hampshire. Pretty unlikely to stop watching their county. 

2. Will for instance good Somerset cricket supporters that watch and live in Taunton travel to watch in Southampton or Cardiff, I think the answer is pretty unlikely. 

3. Expensive if you want to continue to watch your county and the new competition.

4. Weather never going to be as consistently good as Big Bash or IPL a poor July could be a disaster for the competition.

5. A watered down T20 Blast and County Championship while the new competition is being played

6. Less Championship games likely to be part of the overall package, likely to see attendances affected.

Some of the decisions to be made at next meetings.

1. Team Names

2. Team Colours

3. TV Rights and Free to Air

4. England players availability

5. Split of Money from TV rights

6. Number of overseas players

7. Fixtures

Edit - It looks now almost certain that because of the complexity of the present TV rights which finish in 2019 this competition is unlikely to start until 2020.