Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Andre Russell banned for one year for doping violation

If you don't file your whereabouts to the doping agency, then eventually the powers that be are going to have to take action. So Russell (age 28) was charged for negligence for not filing his whereabouts on Jan 1st, Jul 1st and Jul 25th, he had several reminders with phone calls, emails, and even letters.  

Russell has pleaded that because of his Cricket commitments he has authorised his agent to take care of this, but that didn't wash with the independent panel in Kingston Jamaica as he was given a one year ban.

His lawyer has said that they are considering options including an appeal but as it stands Russell's ban will start on 31st Jan 2017 (today) until 30th Jan 2018  

Monday, 30 January 2017

England name young MCC Squad to face Middlesex in Abu Dhabi

The MCC have named an 11 man squad to play in a 4 day game in Abu Dhabi on 26th March against Middlesex.

Haseeb Hameed Lancashire
Tom Alsop Hampshire
Sam Northeast Kent (Capt)
Ben Duckett Northamptonshire
Joe Clarke Warwickshire
Ben Cox Worcestershire
Lewis Gregory Somerset
Matt Coles Kent
Matt Fisher Yorkshire
Mason Crane Hampshire
Jack Leach Somerset

Saturday, 28 January 2017

England name 14 players to tour West Indies 3 ODI's March 2017

England have named just 14 players for three ODI's in early March 2017. England of course preparing for the Champions Trophy to be held in England in June. They arrive off the back of a 2-1 defeat in India, but 3 very close games. 

England will be looking for a win here after the West Indies grabbed the T20 World Cup from England in the final over. Different format but they will be up for it.

The 14 included do not include any big surprises, but Alex Hales has been ruled out due to injury sustained in India. Ben Duckett does not make the squad and neither does Stuart Broad who some thought might be included this time. 

England will play two warm up matches in St Kitts and Nevis on Feb 25th and 27th.

England Squad 
Moheen Ali
Jonny Bairstow
Jake Ball
Sam Billings
Jos Buttler
Liam Dawson
Eoin Morgan Capt
Liam Plunkett
Adil Rashid
Joe Root
Ben Stokes
David Willey
Chris Woakes 


1st ODI Antigua March 3rd
2nd ODI Antigua March 5th
3rd ODI Barbados March 9th

All games will start at 3pm BST 

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Pioneer to Women's Cricket Baroness Rachael Heyhoe Flint dies aged 77

Cricket stands to acknowledge the massive achievement of one of the greatest women's cricketers of her time. She captained England from 1966 in a brilliant career. She actually played for England from 1960 for 22 years and was Captain for 12. 

She was actually a huge part of the process of bringing the very first ever Women's Cricket World Cup in 1973 to the field. Amazing to remember it was played two years before the Men's World Cup. Rachael even captained England to win that very first competition. 

After her career she became the 1st female member of the MCC in 2004 and the 1st player to be inducted in the ICC's Women's Cricket Hall of fame in 2010. She was 1st at everything, and to prove that she was even the 1st women to hit a six in a test match!

Her other passion was football and her hometown club of Wolverhampton Wanderers were she worked on the board for many years before becoming Vice President. She was a goalkeeper for England at Hockey (in the days when Cricketers often played other sports in the winter) and she was even a single handicapped golfer. 

She was honored with an OBE in 2008 and made a life peer and the title of Baroness in 2011. Also that same year she was given the freedom of Wolverhampton. She worked tirelessly for Women's Cricket and all the sports and charities that she was involved in. President of the Ladies Taverners she raised millions of pounds, she was involved in particular helping those with special needs. A simply amazing lady who's influence will be remembered and cherished always.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Is there a Storm brewing as ECB get ready to call just Morgan back from IPL to play for England

Feroz Shah Stadium Delhi
Feroz Shah Stadium Delhi 
With the IPL just a few weeks away, the draft pick is due to take place on 4th February 2017. So then it's only correct for the ECB to get the rules in place so the players can make commitments and sign contracts. So what's the problem then?  

The IPL is due to take place between the 3rd April until 26th May 2017. England have two ODI games against Ireland on May 5th Bristol and May 7th Lords.  The ECB have already ruled that those picked must be back by May 1st, So its virtually slap bang in the middle of the IPL tournament. 

It has to be also noted that the England Cricket season starts on April 7th and nearly the whole month of May is dedicated to the London One Day Cup with most teams playing six games, players would probably miss 2 or 3 of those because of the England games, but not all six. Is that relevant? Perhaps not, but more players will be drawn into this. 

Players that are likely to be affected if picked are Morgan, Buttler, Billings, Stokes, Hales and Roy with Joe Root not taking part due to his new born son. Buttler and Billings have been retained by Mumbai Indians and Delhi Daredevils respectively. Stokes Hales and Roy have no contract as it stands today. Clearly if they were called back their chances of getting a deal would be greatly effected, and so they are expected to be cleared to play for the whole tournament. 

Morgan is a different story apparently, he has not been retained by any team and has experience of seven IPL seasons with three different franchises. So with the games being against his native Ireland it is being reported that he will be asked to return by May 1st.

This is quite an awkward situation again, England can still field an excellent team for the two ODI's but that means calling more players from their counties because "1st picks" are unavailable. A chance I am sure the other players will jump at. The likes of Vince, Ball, Woakes and Duckett won't be bothered. 

Ben Stokes has quite rightly already said, if we are required to play for England then so be it. 

Its a bit of no win situation in effect because the experience of playing in the IPL is impossible to calculate, the heat, the pressure, the crowds, are a one off, it is in my view they should be allowed to play in the IPL. I am sure lots of people will hold the other view, get your arse back and play for your country. But also if its ok for one, it should be ok for them all surely?

Is it fair to drag one back and not the others? Well not really. Will Morgan get picked anyway? Well he is very popular indeed in India, but doubt he will be picked if he has to disappear to play for England. Interesting, storm a brewing or is it all in a tea cup? 

After Bangladesh gate can Morgan say No again, does he want to say No. Can he make a correct decision before 4th Feb, if he say's No and does not get picked.....Whoops. 

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

The big bash has lost the plot confirmed suspension of Brendon McCullum

Please someone tell me this is a joke right? Brisbane Heat took 96 minutes to bowl their 20 overs in their match today against Perth Scorchers which is six, I will say it again SIX minutes over the allowed 90 minutes, and the result could be a suspension to captain Brendon McCullum one of the fastest and most dynamic batsman in cricket today. He could be suspended for one game. 

This is now pending with the authorities. They are totting up allowances and no doubt glancing at the media reaction before a decision soon. Brisbane Heat were previously fined on December 30th for a slow over rate when the 20 overs took just over 5 minutes and so rules state that the 2nd offence it is a one match suspension for the Captain. 
Now confirmed he will miss game on 17th Jan at the MCG against Melbourne Stars. In addition to the suspension all the Heat players will be fined $500 which has been reduced from $1000 because Brisbane are not going to contest the penalties.

So what a pickle they find themselves in again. If this happens then it will be a massive kick in the teeth for the any fans who have bought tickets to watch him play and already without Chris Lynn. Not to mention all those around the world that have PAID to watch it as well. Your rules quite honestly are wrong, they need adjusting to something more sensible.

The Big Bash is reeling with the loss of the top Australian players, gone on International duty, No Indians, most of the top English players have gone. South Africa, Bangladesh New Zealand and Sri Lanka all not available.

Also, this comes soon after the terrible decision to charge and fine another overseas Captain this time South African Faf du Plessis in "Mintgate" another very controversial decision. Come on Australia we want to see these players playing, you have got to look at your rules, and your interpretation of them at the moment,  because it's not coming across well at all.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

England return to India without Joe Root and Indian Cricket Administration up in the air for a change

Well the long five month run up to the Champions Trophy in England in June 2017 starts right here. No more Test matches until after that competition. England begin by completing their Tour of India after the Christmas and New Year break with 3 ODI's and 3 T20's 

ODI's Starting 9am GMT

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

T20's Starting 1.30pm GMT

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

India are still trying to work out the impact of the sacking of Anurag Thakur the president of the BCCI (statement below) and his right hand man the secretary, by the courts and what this will ultimately mean. Its been a bitter relationship for far too long and it would seem to have been detrimental to the game in India. As both sides could not seem to agree on anything.

Now they will have to see if this new regime (yet to be chosen) will be better or worse. Its not beyond the realms of possibility that the IPL could not take place this year, the thought process is to take a step back before going forward. But that decision has not been taken yet.

Back to the series and Joe Root will not fly out with the squad on Thursday 5th Jan as his girlfriend is expecting a baby due sometime this month. For India MS Dhoni has stood down as captain of the one day side, but is available for selection. Virat Kohli is the hot favorite to take over as captain.

STOP PRESS UPDATE Carrie has given birth a baby boy and Joe is now available to play in the 1st ODI.

Englands two full squads are as follows 

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).