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Recent Match Report – Leicestershire vs Warwickshire, Royal London One-Day Cup, North Group

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Leicestershire 340 (Taylor 98*, Ackermann 74, Dearden 69) beat Warwickshire 304 (Yates 66, Taylor 3-58) by 36 runs

All-rounder Tom Taylor made a career-best unbeaten 98, took three wickets, effected a run-out and held on to two fine catches as Leicestershire ended their Royal London Cup campaign with victory over Warwickshire.

Foxes’ skipper Colin Ackermann chose to bat after winning the toss, and although triallist George Munsey went quickly, bowled off the inside edge by Oliver Hannon-Dalby, fellow opener Harry Dearden took full advantage of a series of wide and over-pitched deliveries, hitting eleven boundaries, almost all through the off side, in going to a half-century off just 34 balls.

Warwickshire captain Jeetan Patel turned to spin to slow the scoring rate, and was rewarded when Alex Thomson deceived Mark Cosgrove with an arm-ball that hurried inside a defensive push to hit the left-hander’s leg stump.

Patel himself then produced the delivery of the day, straightening the ball past Dearden’s outside edge to remove the left-hander’s off stump, and Warwickshire continued to make inroads, first when Lewis Hill lifted a short ball from Craig Miles high into the hands of third man, and then when Ateeq Javid was run out by Miles at the non-striker’s end after being sent back by a late call from Ackermann.

Ackermann himself looked set to register what would have been his third century in the competition this season, but on 74 skied an attempt to hit Patel through the off-side, and was caught by Will Rhodes at backward point.

At 222 for 6 the Foxes’ innings was in danger of petering out, but with spinners Thomson and Patel having bowled their allotted spells, Taylor ensured the momentum did not falter, launching into the seamers and hitting eight fours in going to a half-century off 34 balls.

The 24-year-old received good support from Ben Mike and then Callum Parkinson as he passed his previous List A best of 59, and then charged towards three figures. With Taylor on 98 however, Hannon-Dalby deflected his straight drive on to the stumps at the non-striker’s end, running out Parkinson, and in the following over Mohammad Abbas could not get his bat on a full, straight delivery from George Panayi, leaving Taylor stranded.

Warwickshire’s response began promisingly, openers Ed Pollock and Dom Sibley hitting 70 off the first ten overs before Sibley, back on his stumps, was leg before to a full, in-swinging delivery from left arm seamer Klein.

Pollock hit seven fours and a six in going to his first half-century of the season in 47 balls before being bowled by left-arm spinner Parkinson, pushing forward to a nicely flighted delivery that went on to hit off stump, and Will Rhodes holed out to Taylor at long-off off the part-time off-spin of Javid.

The key dismissal, however, was that of Rob Yates, who was batting with impressive maturity and assurance on debut for Warwickshire, and had gone to 66 when he turned for a tight second run and found his path inadvertently blocked by bowler Ben Mike. Dodging around Mike cost the 19-year-old Yates a vital moment and his dive to beat Taylor’s throw was unsuccessful.

Thereafter there was a good effort from Liam Banks, and Craig Miles and Patel hit out bravely in the final overs, but scoreboard pressure told, and an excellent catch above his head on the midwicket boundary to dismiss Miles completed Taylor’s outstanding day.



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Bundesliga injuries show need for sensible management of seamers, says Surrey physio

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Fast bowlers need to build up their workloads “as sensibly as possible” in order to help mitigate against increased injury risk as they look to return from a prolonged period of rest, according to Surrey’s lead physiotherapist.

Plans are being drawn up around the world for players to return to training after an enforced break from the game, and Alex Tysoe told ESPNcricinfo that building up progressively will be vital for seamers in order to avoid the “undesirable” injury scenario seen in Germany’s Bundesliga.

A report by sports scientist Joel Mason found that injury rates shot up from 0.27 per game to 0.88 in the first weekend of top-flight football in Germany for two months, with soft-tissue injuries particularly prevalent as teams rushed back to the pitch. Tysoe said that fast bowlers needed to find a sensible balance as they prepare to return to cricket.

ALSO READ: ECB handed discretion over move to stage two training by government

“There’s a lot about elite sport and the Covid situation which is not ideal, and we’re possibly seeing the effects of a sustained lockdown on football” he said. “You’ll have seen in the Bundesliga, there were a reported six soft-tissue injuries in the first eight games, which is an unusually high number for that league and sport.

“Bowling is a lot more difficult to facilitate during this period because players haven’t been able to use their local clubs or outdoor facilities. We know from a research point of view that one of the ways to mitigate the risk of a sharp rise in workload is to try and improve the individual’s relative strength, and then all you can do is be sensible when you get back into things: increase people’s bowling workloads as fast as possible but as sensibly as possible too.”

Tysoe is a co-author of a recent paper published in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport which examined bowling loads and injuries for 49 fast bowlers at six different counties, and some of the conclusions drawn are relevant to the ongoing crisis.

The study was primarily methodological, exploring the ability of ‘differential loads’ to predict injury risk compared to the widely-used ‘acute-chronic workload ratio’ method, but also demonstrated that large week-to-week increases in bowling loads and bowling after a long period without are associated with the possibility of heightened injury risks.

“A simple analogy is that if you’re flying a plane, you have to consider the throttle, the level of the nose, and keeping your wings level on the horizon,” Tysoe said. “If you can keep all those within certain ranges, then your plane is much more likely to have a nice smooth journey; if you move the nose up and down, the wings left and right, and you’re messing around with the throttle, it’ll be a bumpy ride. It’s about getting up to cruising height nice and smoothly and staying there.

“It’s similar in the case of fast bowlers: it’s about making sure that they’re not doing too much, too soon, relative to the last 42 days, that on a week-to-week basis they’re not adding to what they’re doing too quickly, and that if they do have a break it’s not for too long. What we want now is to have a nice smooth take-off, to get back to that analogy, where we’re getting bowlers to take off reasonably quickly while doing it as safely as possible.”

Tysoe has been at The Oval in the past week, overseeing Sam Curran and Amar Virdi‘s first few sessions back bowling, and said that things had gone “really smoothly”. Eighteen England bowlers are now back in individual training, with a seven-week run-in between their return and the planned first West Indies Test on July 8.

The ECB’s performance director Mo Bobat has previously said that the schedule for this summer is likely to be “pretty brutal”, and that it may be necessary to rotate fast bowlers in order to reduce injury risks. Seamers have been bowling around six overs each per session and will gradually build up over the coming weeks.

“A lot of work went into drawing up the protocols with the ECB, and then implementing all of the logistics,” Tyose said. “The important thing is that the players are safe, and that they can still have some quality training – otherwise there’s no point doing it. The ECB have been brilliant throughout the process, and we’re looking forward to seeing how things progress.”

ALSO READ: How are cricketers keeping fit in lockdown?

Surrey are one of two counties, along with Lancashire, not to have furloughed players during the lockdown, meaning the squad have been checked in on regularly. The club have run weekly Zoom yoga sessions to help increase the squad’s mobility, and Tysoe is hopeful that if a county season is possible later in the summer, players “are not going to take too long to turn around at all”.

“We’re satisfied that they’re in as good a position as they could be at the moment. When we do get the green light to get back in and know when fixtures are, we’re in a position where we’re comfortable we can get them turned around in a relatively quick period of time.

“For the fast bowlers, they can’t bowl in the nets or outside but we can mimic those movements with medicine balls to make sure soft tissues are used to repeatedly producing those powerful, dynamic movements.

“One of the things we can’t do is influence the bone density of the spine. Pete Alway, who did a PhD with the ECB, did his research on spinal density of fast bowlers, and we now know that there’s nothing that can strengthen the spine for bowling better than bowling itself. You lose spine density pretty quickly when you stop bowling, and predictably it can take you longer to build that up: we need to be mindful of building them back up sensibly.”



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ECB handed discretion over move to stage two training by government

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The path for England’s return to international cricket has become clearer after the UK government published stage two guidelines for the resumption of elite sporting training.

Stage two of competitive training sees players given exemptions on social-distancing rules where necessary as part of training, with the decision on when to move from the first to the second stage at the ECB’s discretion.

Eighteen bowlers returned to training on a strict individual basis at the end of last week, with players adhering to a precise set of protocols regarding personal hygiene and social distancing under the supervision of a physiotherapist.

ALSO READ: West Indies CEO ‘increasingly confident’ on England tour

England are likely to name an enlarged squad of up to 45 players later this week, with players gradually returning to training as required. Batsmen and wicketkeepers are due to begin training on Monday, June 1, while white-ball players are likely to return later. The first Test against West Indies is pencilled in for July 8, while the first limited-overs internationals are likely to be a three-match ODI series against Ireland at the end of July/start of August.

The new guidance says that stage two training is anticipated to “start with smaller ‘clusters’ of 2-3 athletes and eventually progress to larger groups of 4-12 athletes, and ultimately full-team training”. It also stresses that social distancing should be maintained “at all other times aside from technical training”.

The guidance differs slightly from that issued by the ICC last week, which encouraged players to maintain social distancing during training.

It is highly likely that players will be encouraged to continue practices from individual training, such as bowlers bringing their own set of balls, regular use of disinfectant wipes, and washing hands regularly. The guidance recommends keeping communal areas like changing rooms closed, and re-states that athletes and staff should be made clear on their option to opt out at any point.

The ECB should also ensure that coaches and athletes are “briefed on, understand and are able to operate within the risk mitigation strategy associated with stage two training”, the guidance states.

“This new guidance marks the latest phase of a carefully phased return to training process for elite athletes, designed to limit the risk of injury and protect the health and safety of all involved,” Nigel Huddleston, the sports minister, said.

“We are absolutely clear that individual sports must review whether they have the appropriate carefully controlled medical conditions in place before they can proceed, and secure the confidence of athletes, coaches and support staff.

“Given the wide-ranging input we have received from medical experts, we believe these pragmatic measures should provide further reassurance that a safe, competitive training environment can be delivered, as we work towards a restart of professional sport behind closed doors when it is safe to do so.”

A Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) statement said: “The elite sport return-to-training guidance intends to minimise the risk to the elite sports community, while also minimising any pressure elite sport places on healthcare workers and the wider community during the resumption of training. Like all changes to current measures it will be kept under review in accordance with the government’s Covid alert system.”



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Sri Lanka cricketer arrested for possession of heroin, remanded for fourteen days

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A Sri Lanka cricketer has been arrested for the possession of heroin and remanded for 14 days by a local magistrate in Pannala, northeast of the city of Negombo.

The cricketer has not appeared for Sri Lanka in the last two years and has not been in the frame for selection recently. He is, however, an active cricketer and was playing in Sri Lanka’s domestic competitions before the Covid-19 curfews came into effect.

The player had been in possession of a little over two grams of heroin when arrested on Saturday, Sri Lanka Police’s media division confirmed to ESPNcricinfo. He was then produced before a magistrate on Sunday, and is currently in remand, awaiting a High Court appearance. He is not understood to be among the players required to begin training in June with the national squad.

Sri Lanka Cricket CEO Ashley de Silva said the board had been made aware of the arrest on Monday morning, but had not made any decisions on the player’s future. The board is expected to discuss the issue at their next meeting, on Wednesday.



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