Pakistan ahead, but England contain lead with timely wickets

Halfway into the first session, England were getting helmet reinforcements to the dressing room. Sky Cricket ensured there was a nice, long shot of the support staff walking along the boundary lines, big cartons carrying helmets suspended from his two hands. Shane Warne even cracked a pizza box joke on air but it wasn’t so light-hearted out in the middle. Naseem Shah, much younger than Shoaib Akhtar but possibly cut out from the same cloth, had just hit Chris Woakes on the helmet. Ollie Pope had succumbed to a totally unplayable ball in the same over. Things were tense.

That England would then go on to lose six wickets to the leg spin of Yasir Shah (4 for 66) and Shadab Khan (2 for 13) came as a bit of surprise. Yes, there was plenty of turn and bounce, as Dom Bess would find out later in the day too, but the morning portended a very different day in-store. Younis Khan, scribbling away in his notebook and who possibly had a say in team selection, would be glad it was what it was.

The hosts had settled into the right template early in the day. Taking a cue from Pakistan, who had scored at 1.84 runs per over yesterday morning, Pope and Jos Buttler started slowly. Very slow in fact, adding only 19 runs across 14 overs in the first hour of play. Come the other side of the drinks break, they had even started pinching aggressive singles, which were more than inspired by what Shadab Khan and Shan Masood did all afternoon yesterday. But Pope’s dismissal put paid to those plans.

It was all Yasir Shah after lunch from thereon. Buttler was bowled by a leg break that didn’t spin and sneaked through the bat-pad gap, Bess was caught at slip by a flying Asad Shafiq (leading to some real photoshop surge on Twitter) and Woakes was bowled by a quicker delivery. England had lost three quick wickets after lunch for only 11 runs when Shadab logged in, taking out Jofra Archer (caught behind) and James Anderson (leg before). It was Stuart Broad’s 29 not out off 25 balls that got England past 200, else the lead was set to be much bigger.

Pakistan weren’t quite as impressive second time around with the bat, finding themselves 137 for 8, but they wouldn’t mind one bit the help that was on offer from the pitch. Of course, that wouldn’t concern Masood, who was strangled by Broad down the leg-side, or Abid Ali, who saw one ball from Dom Bess spin and took on the next with a terminal slog-sweep.

England’s host of other fast bowlers — which also included Ben Stokes, surprise surprise — then got into the act. Woakes worked out Babar Azam to slip and Azhar Ali in front of the stumps before Ben Stokes bounced out Shaheen Afridi. Sandwiched between was Dom Sibley’s crucial run out of Asad Shafiq, then batting on 29, which remains the highest score in the second innings. It must have been cathartic for the home side, that run out, given how easily they have conceded singles to Pakistan in this Test match.

A lead of 244, made prettier by Mohammad Rizwan’s busy 27 off 43, could well prove to be enough. At least that’s what a 14-wicket day suggests. But be prepared for more helmet reinforcements on the fourth day. And possibly fifth. This is one of those Test match pitches and this is one of those Test matches.

Brief Scores: Pakistan 326 & 137/8 (Asad Shafiq 29, Mohammad Rizwan 27; Chros Woakes 2-11, Ben Stokes 2-11, Stuart Broad 2-23) lead England 219 (Ollie Pope 62, Jos Buttler 38; Yasir Shah 4-66, Mohammad Abbas 2-33, Shadab Khan 2-13) by 244 runs.

‘He could have been a really good leader’: Irfan Pathan names player who should have captained India more

Throughout his career, Gautam Gambhir was mostly viewed as a smart cricketer, stunning batsman, and a great opener for India. Gambhir proved time and time again that he was an absolute match-winner on his day and his innings of 97 runs in the World Cup 2011 final against Sri Lanka was crucial to India’s trophy win.

However, in the latter stages of his career, people recognised Gambhir’s skills as a leader as well. In 2011, Indian Premier League franchise Kolkata Knight Riders bought Gambhir and appointed him as the captain. That same year, Gambhir led KKR to the playoffs for the first time before winning the IPL trophy a year later. In 2014, Gambhir led KKR to their second title win and his leadership skills were on display for the world to notice.

It might come as a surprise to some fans but Gambhir has actually led the Indian team in six ODIs between 2010 and 2011 and has a 100 percent win record. Perhaps that is the reason why his former India team-mate Irfan Pathan believes Gambhir should have captained India more.

“People don’t talk about Rahul Dravid as much. So, people who don’t talk about Rahul Dravid as much, do they dislike him? No. Under his captaincy, India won 16 consecutive ODIs while chasing. Sometimes it gets under the wrap,” Pathan told in an interview. “As a winning captain, as a result-oriented captain and the guy who got the result, who had an excellent team, it was Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

“I have huge respect for Sourav Ganguly, I have great respect for the captaincy of Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble and I think Gautam Gambhir should have led the Indian team a lot more as well than he did. He could have been a really good leader,” Pathan went on.

“I really admire Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, but that doesn’t mean, I don’t admire the quality of Mahendra Singh Dhoni.”

Gambhir captained India in a five ODI series against New Zealand in 2010, in which the home team blanked the Kiwis 5-0. He was named Man of the Series for his tally of 329 runs. In December of 2011, Gambhir captained India in an ODI against West Indies – the fifth match of the series – and bagged his sixth win as India skipper.

Dmitry Makarov: “This is a historic moment in the development of Russian cricket»

Dmitry Makarov-First Vice-President of the all-Russian sports and sports public organization “Cricket of Russia” spoke with the correspondent of

Good day, Dmitry! How did you learn about cricket and why did you decide to develop it in Russia?

About four years ago, my friend and partner Vladimir Anatolyevich shlenov invited me to participate in the development of baseball in Russia. In the course of this work, I have gained unique experience, including organizing competitions, interacting with the Ministry of sports, building stadiums, etc. In addition, I met interesting people, among them a cricketer — Alexander Sorokin, who introduced me to this game.

Alexander invited me to the Iskra stadium in Moscow (near VDNH) for a game. At that time, I didn’t understand what was happening on the court, but the energy in the stadium was amazing! It was also there that I met Subir Roy, who had been running cricket tournaments for more than three years with pure enthusiasm.

In other words, you can say that you were inspired to develop cricket by chance?

I am sure that there are no accidents in life, at all. Even if it doesn’t seem that way, every event serves a purpose. Sometimes, a minor incident is the basis of important life changes.

When I was at matches, I was surprised that 80% of the players who participate are natives of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh. There are very few Russian guys. One day, I was invited to take part in a training session. There I met our Russian athletes: Boris Zharky and Andrey Kurlenko. At this training session, Alexander Sorokin told me in more detail about the rules of cricket, as well as that in Moscow, and especially in Russia, cricket is unfairly ignored.

I was very surprised that the second most popular sport in the world is not officially a sport in Russia.

In other words, imagine that a gambling, exciting, sports game that develops not only all muscle groups, but also forces you to include logical and strategic thinking is not a sport in Russia.

It was at this moment that I had an idea about the need to popularize cricket in our country, recognize it as a sport and attract our talented Russian youth to it.

Did you take part in the game yourself?

No, I didn’t participate in the game, but I participated in a training session that the guys called me to. And this day I will remember for a long time!

Batting was practiced during training. Alexander served the ball, and Boris batted it, my task with Andrey was to take these balls. Now imagine a picture: a bowler delivers a ball at a speed of more than 80 km / h, a batsman must hit it with the bat, thereby increasing its speed, the ball flies at a speed of more than 100 km/h. In addition, the weight of the ball is approximately 155 grams. I, a fielder, at a distance of 100 meters, try to catch this ball with my bare hands. Although the guys shouted to me: “get Away, don’t catch this ball!”, but in the excitement, I didn’t hear them. At that moment, I couldn’t catch the ball, it flew straight into my stomach. To put it mildly, the feeling was not pleasant. This was the end of my training.

Then I realized that this is a gambling and real men’s sport. I was reminded of this incident by a large maroon bruise for a month.

What have you already done to implement your plans?

First of all, we have found a team of like-minded people in more than half of Russia’s regions who are ready to develop cricket in their regions together with us. For this we created the all-Russian physical training and sport public organization “the Cricket of Russia” (ISOCR).

What are your goals in the development of Russian cricket?

We have a lot of work ahead of us. First of all, it is necessary to develop and approve a sports training Program, as well as detailed methodological recommendations.

Next, you need to organize training and training of trainers. It is not enough just to find people, expats, who know how to play and hold competitions, this is the way to nowhere. We need to teach our young people and children and make them real athletes. In our opinion, only this way can lead to the development of cricket in Russia, meets the sporting principles and is useful for society. Staff starvation is a problem for all young sports, but we have preliminary agreements with some Universities in our country to open faculties.

Our task is to introduce you to cricket, to show that it is interesting and multi-faceted. Do you know, for example, that cricket can be both a very complex, technical sport, and children’s fun during a picnic? And boys and girls in many parts of the world know.

We plan to open sections and children’s schools. We will need stadiums, and it will be very difficult, but we will manage and gradually they will appear.

I believe that one day our, Russian, children’s and youth teams will compete for medals at international level tournaments. And our men’s and women’s teams will take prizes in the world cricket Championships. And the most important dream is for Russia to be able to host the European and World Championships.

Ben Stokes proud of ‘different’ innings as patience pays off for England

Ben Stokes says that he took pride in his display of patience on the opening two days of the second Test, as he came through a battle of wills with West Indies’ bowlers to make 176 from 356 balls, his highest Test score on home soil and the first time he has ever batted for more than 300 balls in an innings.

Speaking to Sky Sports on the third day at Emirates Old Trafford, where rain caused a delayed resumption, Stokes spoke of his determination to not to get drawn into the sort of errors that caused his downfall in the first Test at the Ageas Bowl, where he was dismissed twice in the match by Jason Holder, for 43 and 46.

Asked to appraise his innings, in which his first hundred came from 255 balls, Stokes acknowledged that it had been “different”, but that both he and Dom Sibley, whose own hundred came from an even more sedate 312 deliveries, had been obliged to play the situation due to West Indies’ disciplined gameplans.

“I made a real conscious effort to be as clinical as I possibly could,” said Stokes, “especially around that sort of fourth- and fifth-stump line that Jason and Kemar [Roach] are fantastic at doing.

“It was about understanding what we had to do at different times throughout the game,” he said. “I had to be really disciplined in leaving the ball because I know by now that teams will hang the ball wide and test my patience. So I was playing the game with them as long as I could, and waiting to be able to capitalise on anything.”

It’s a measure of Stokes’ determination to improve his record as a batsman that, even in the wake of a 2019 home summer that featured two of the greatest innings ever produced by an England cricketer, he was willing to reappraise his technique and work on a new, more open stance that he feels has given him more chance to get settled early in his innings.

“I went into the winter and worked a lot with [assistant coach] Paul Collingwood,” he said. “After 2019, one thing that stood out for me was that, early on in my innings, I felt I was going quite hard at the ball, because I wanted to feel the ball on bat. I made a conscious effort to find a way that allows me to play the ball as late as possible for my first 20 to 30 balls.

First day of big cricket! They drank tea… and didn’t come back

Cricket is back, officially! The first big match between England and the West Indies started today. This is good news.

Now it’s bad. Had to play the entire 82 minutes and 17 overs bowled! On the 5th innings of the 17th over, the match stopped. The reason is rain. Although the weather in England has been perfect all week, today, to the detriment of everyone, it has failed. The players took a break for tea, but never returned.

Earlier in the day, England won the toss and captain Ben Stokes chose to bet.

Before the start of the game, a minute of silence was declared in memory of the victims of the coronavirus, as well as the truly great player of the West Indies team, Everton Weekes, who died last week at the age of 95. Next, players got down on one knee in support of the Black Lives Matter campaign movement.

And “rushed”. With long pauses, waiting times, and phone weather views…

Rory Burns and Dominic Sibley were the opening batsmen. First over, fourth pitch from Shannon Gabriel, fastball, bounce off the pitch 4 meters from the batsman. Dominic raises the bat, trying to pass the ball, but after the bounce, the ball turns sharply towards the wicket. And knocks it down! The batsman’s home debut is blurred. Score 0 / 1 knocked out!

It’s a shame for England, happy for the West Indies. Joe Denly (Joe Denly) takes the place of the knocked out.

Two more overs and the teams leave for a forced break, rain again. The score 1/1.

The teams returned for a short time. We played 14 more overs. Rory burns scored 20 points in 55 innings. Only three quarters knocked out. Joe Denly managed to earn 14 points from 48 innings, of which he also struck out three quarters. The expense of 35/1. The current run rate of the team: 1.98 points for the over.

On the 17th over, in time for the 5th innings, it was decided to leave for “tea”, i.e. to take a break. After that, the game did not continue.

Tomorrow is the second day. I don’t look at weather forecasts, it’s a thankless job in England…

P.S. in the afternoon came a great news! Joe Root’s Wife) Kerry gave birth to a second baby!

England jerseys to carry ‘Black Lives Matter’ logo during West Indies series

The England and Wales Cricket Board, on Thursday (July 2), announced that the England players will be wearing ‘Black Lives Matter’ emblems on their shirts throughout the three-match Test series against West Indies, which is starting on July 8.

The ECB, explaining their decision, rejected any politicisation of the movement. Tom Harrison, ECB’s Chief Executive Officer said, “The England and Wales Cricket Board fully support the message that Black Lives Matter. It has become a message of solidarity and a drive for progress and societal change. There can be no place for racism in society or our sport, and we must do more to tackle it.

“Our support of that message is not an endorsement, tacit or otherwise, of any political organisation, nor the backing of any group that calls for violence or condones illegal activity. We are aware of certain aspects of the movement that promote their own political views, and their actions are not supported in any way by the ECB and our players.”

The West Indies team will also be sporting the same logo and their captain – Jason Holder – earlier had called for harsher punishment against racism in cricket.

The emblem used will be the same as that used by all the 20 Premier League football clubs. It was designed by Alisha Hosannah, the partner of Troy Deeney, professional footballer and captain of Premier League side Watford Football Club. He was contacted by both the boards (ECB and CWI) and the ICC gave permission for the logo to be displayed on the collar.

“This moment is about unity. We are proud that our players will stand alongside those from the West Indies and wear a logo that embodies that philosophy. It is fitting that they do so in solidarity with athletes from the football world who wore it first. Our thanks go to Troy Deeney and his partner Alisha Hosannah, creator of the logo, who generously agreed to share it with us,” Harrison added. “We have a responsibility to ensure that cricket is truly a game for everyone. We will shortly set out further steps that build on the work we have already done to make cricket more inclusive and diverse in order to address some of the barriers which still exist for some communities

The decision, taken by ECB, was fully backed by the England cricketers who are currently playing an intra-England practice match at The Rose Bowl in Southampton. England’s Test captain Joe Root, like his West Indies counterpart, stressed the team’s empathy towards the cause and made it clear that there was no room for any kind of discrimination.

“It is important to show solidarity to the black community and to raise much needed awareness around the topics of equality and justice,” remarked Root, who will miss the first Test next week to be at the birth of his second child. “The England players and management are unified in this approach and will use the platform of international cricket to fully support the objective of eradicating racial prejudice wherever it exists.

“The majority of us do not understand what individuals from BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) background have to go through when people make judgements because of the colour of their skin. As a group, we are learning about this and educating ourselves. There has to be equal opportunity and equal rights for all. We hope by making this stance we can play our part in standing shoulder-to-shoulder as a team and we hope that by continuing to raise awareness we can move towards a society in which the colour of your skin and your background has no bearing on your opportunities.

“It is very simple, we believe there is no room for racism or any form of discrimination, anywhere,” Root concluded.

Jemimah Rodrigues – living her father’s dream

Indian batting star Jemimah Rodrigues has credited her father, and his persistence, for her success at the highest level. Since making her debut in South Africa in 2018, Jemimah has established herself as a reliable no. 3 in T20Is as well as the frontline opener in a star-studded ODI line-up.

From teaching her the basics, for a four-year-old who merely started as a token fielder during her brothers’ practice sessions to shaping her into a confident, dominating batter, Jemimah says if it wasn’t for her father’s persistence and sacrifices, she may not have made rapid strides in her short international career so far.

The sports enthusiast parents – Ivan and Lavita – encouraged their daughter to pursue sports. Not so long ago, Jemimah was in fact representing Mumbai in two sports – hockey and cricket. But when a tough call had to be made, the teenager went with cricket, albeit quitting hockey with a heavy heart.

The Rodrigues had already shifted from Bhandup to Bandra, in Mumbai, when Jemimah was barely seven in order to get their prodigious daughter more opportunities and facilities and even took a loan to buy a bowling machine. Ivan noticed the shortcomings in Jemimah’s batting – noticeably the tendency to get out to swing bowlers early on in age-group cricket – and promptly decided to invest.

The results were there to see. Jemimah grabbed the eyeballs with a record-breaking double-hundred that made her the youngest Indian to achieve the feat in 50-overs cricket, at 16. India selection followed soon after.

“When dad got the call that Jemimah has gotten selected for India, the tears just started rolling down his eyes. I still remember that moment,” Jemimah, on Spicy Pitch, recalls getting the news of India selection. “I actually wasn’t that emotional, but just seeing that, you know, the joy in my mom and dad’s eyes, the tears in their eyes, made me even more emotional. Then, even I started crying.

“Because it has been my dad’s dream to play for India. But he never got the support. To see me fulfilling his dream was the biggest joy he could have ever had. I mean, that’s the proudest a father can be, and even today, I can see it in his eyes.

“When it comes to practice, he’s still very particular, about practice. If it wasn’t for his persistence, I wouldn’t be here today. Sometimes it gets kind of annoying but I was actually having this conversation with my mom [that] if it wasn’t for my dad being after me, sitting on my head ‘come for practice, come for practice’, I wouldn’t have developed my game so much or reached where I am today so fast.”

Often spotted at the stadiums, tailing his daughter and her team, Ivan noticed Jemimah’s tendency to shed her natural game in order to blend in and reprimanded his daughter for the same. Jemimah credits that incident and her father’s intent behind it, in making her a self-confident batter at the highest level with a natural tendency to attack from the word go if need be.

“[After a Mumbai U19 practice match]… Dadda just stomped off. I felt so bad. But I also knew I’m going to get screamed at today. I went home, sat quietly. Dadda made me sit in a corner and said, ‘I don’t want you to play like that, ever again! I want you to dominate, no matter what.’

“He actually worked on my batting even more… Because I don’t know where would I be if he had not changed my mindset at that time. Now cricket has evolved so much.”

Ivan, and his wife, still tail their daughter – be it her debut in South Africa or more recently, the Women’s T20 World Cup in Australia earlier this year, now though merely as proud parents.

In England, sports events are allowed without spectators from Monday. The APL is due to resume on June 17

Sporting events in England will resume from Monday, June 1, without spectators and subject to all necessary measures.

The decision directly concerns professional football. The Premier League is scheduled to restart on June 17.

Horse racing and snooker competitions are already due to take place this Monday.

Athletes and staff must arrive at the bases independently and, if possible, by private transport. Before entering the base, it is mandatory to check for symptoms of coronavirus.

In cases where social distance cannot be maintained, risks must be assessed and mitigated. At the same time, the government is not yet ready to resume non-professional sports, which deprives ordinary citizens of the opportunity to play cricket and football in the Park.

However, the government will ease the measures slightly from Monday and allow groups of six people to play sports on the street if they are 2 meters apart from each other.

Lineker on easing the quarantine in England: “You can play cricket with your family in a gardening shop, but not on the bus?»

Former England striker Gary Lineker shared his opinion on the new recommendations of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic.

Johnson reported the easing of isolation measures from next Wednesday. He explained that the British can be more outdoors, sunbathe, travel by car, and play sports without restrictions, including team sports, but on the condition that only people who live together will play with each other.

The Prime Minister also said that primary schools will be able to open from June 1, and stores will also start opening in stages.

“Spent the night digesting the new rules. I think I understood them: we can play cricket with close family members in the gardening shop after work, but it’s preferable not to do it on the bus. Is this close to the point?» Lineker joked on Twitter.

The resumption of the NPL is scheduled for June 12 or 13, and the teams will start training from may 18.

Chopra: “We knock on offices, but they send us away» I spoke with the captain of the Russian national cricket team, Ashwani Chopra, who supports the game with the ball and bat in the 143-million-strong country with the strength of perseverance, faith and personal funds.
– Cricket is one of the most popular sports in the English – speaking world, and very few people in Russia know about it. Not offended?

– No, it doesn’t hurt. Russia is not an English colony, is it? Every country is different. Take lapta: it is played here, and it is more or less similar to cricket.

Cricket is an Olympic sport, even if it is inactive. I think many countries are trying to develop active Olympic sports in the first place. But there is also good news: according to my data, cricket will soon return to the status of an active Olympic sport. By 2024, that’s for sure. The IOC itself wants to revive cricket in this status.

– I think it was planned for the London Olympics.

“Yes, you’re right. If you remember, at the opening of the Games, cricket was present – at the performance itself. Now the international cricket Council, which includes 107 countries, is intensively engaged in its development. This is quite a lot, you will agree. What is not the reason to return cricket to the Olympic masses?

– How does cricket fare in Russia?

– Personally, I am very happy that the Russian people have become more actively involved in the teams. After all, it used to be like this: only foreigners. And now there are a lot of local players in clubs and in the Russian national team. We played in the 2010 European Cup. So what? The entire team is made up of foreigners who play in Russia. Last year, there were eight Russians in the team, and this year there are nine. There are more of them, of course. I’m just talking about those who play well enough to get into the squad.

– Did the international ban on the performance of the national team without a single pupil lead to this?

– Yes. I personally created my own rule four years ago: that every club should have at least one Russian. And how else to develop? Without local players, any sport is doomed to collapse. On the contrary, to succeed, you need to know and love what you do. So I can brag: we have a lot of local players.

– You are actually a missionary in Russia. In many ways, you started the difficult rise of cricket.

– I can’t say I’m the only reason. There were difficult moments when no one supported me and my associates. Last year, for example, there was a split when many people separated from us, especially representatives of India and Pakistan, and created their own League. They didn’t want to waste their time on Russian players. They just wanted to play for fun, and I said: “I need entertainment plus promotion.”

There was nothing else to do but start over from scratch with the help of those who stayed with me. During the year, eight clubs were created. In Moskvich, for example, some Russians play, and it’s great.

Sporting heritage of the British Empire

In history, there are many cases when colonizers, developing new lands, brought their own color to the local culture. This is how new traditions, customs, and laws often appeared. Sports that spread like viruses are no exception. In some cases, there is a full-scale dispersion – take, for example, the same football that is played today even in the most remote corners of the planet. And in some cases, the distribution is spot-on, and clearly reflects the boundaries of the cultural influence of the monopoly on its colonies. An extremely illustrative example in this sense is cricket – an internationally recognized sport that is played professionally exclusively on the territory of the former British Empire.

The first reports of the existence of cricket date back to the XIII century. The birthplace of entertainment for farmers is considered to be the County of Kent, but the game quickly covered the surrounding area. However, cricket flourished in England in the XVIII century. It was then that the world’s first cricket club was founded in Hampshire. A little later, the entertainment reached London, and the townspeople enthusiastically began to sort things out on the grass lawns. At the same time, the British Empire was rapidly expanding. Expansion to the countries of Africa, Asia, and the Pacific region required strength, funds, and most importantly people who went to the outskirts of the world for easy earnings. Some were simply sent to distant countries, for example, to hard labor. In any case, the result was the same – more and more people familiar with cricket appeared in the British colonies. Homesickness and sporting interest made the settlers remember the rules of the simple game, which is also quite unpretentious: for the game, it is enough to have a bat, a ball, a couple of primitive wooden structures called wickets, and a little open space. Often in poor countries the game was a great success, it gained new popularity, won the hearts of fans and became almost the most popular sport.