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Ian Bell to play for Warwickshire through 2021 season



Ian Bell has signed a one-year contract extension with Warwickshire to the end of the 2021 season, extending his association with the club’s senior ranks to 23 years.

Former England batsman Bell, who turned 38 in April, is one of Warwickshire’s most successful players with 17,350 runs, including 38 centuries, across all formats. He is also the most capped England men’s cricketer to represent the county, having played 118 Tests and 161 one-day internationals.

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Coventry-born Bell joined the Warwickshire set-up as a 10-year-old and progressed through the county age group system and academy. He made his First Class debut in 1999 and became a regular in the senior team in 2001, winning his county cap later that year.

Bell missed Warwickshire’s entire 2019 season through injury. In 2018, he was the leading run-scorer in division two of the County Championship with 1027 runs at an average of 54.05 and he also topped Birmingham Bears’ scoring in the Vitality Blast with 580 at 48.33, putting him third in the competitoin overall.

“I’ve been fortunate to be part of some fantastic Warwickshire sides that have won trophies across formats throughout my time with the club, and I firmly believe that we are building for another period of challenging for more titles,” Bell said.

“In the last couple of years we’ve seen some really promising young players come into the side and make an immediate impression. Part of my role now is to provide support to them as they have the potential to achieve a huge amount both with Warwickshire and England.”

ALSO READ: Bresnan joins Warwickshire on two-year deal

Paul Farbrace, Warwickshire’s Sport Director, said the signing meant that the club’s youngsters would continue to benefit from Bell’s vast knowledge and experience.

“It’s also important to remember that in the last season that Ian took to the field, he was one of the leading run scorers in both the Championship and the Blast,” Farbrace said. “He has still got a huge appetite for scoring runs and winning games of cricket, so we’re thrilled that he will continue to do this for Warwickshire.”

Warwickshire announced on Monday that its men’s squad would return to training this week in preparation for the delayed start to the 2020 county season on August 1. Details of the formats and fixture list will be revealed by the England & Wales Cricket Board in the coming weeks.

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Phil Simmons faces calls for sacking after leaving lockdown to attend funeral



The president of the Barbados Cricket Association has called for the “immediate removal” of Phil Simmons as head coach of West Indies.

Conde’ Riley, who is also on the board of directors of Cricket West Indies (CWI), has described Simmons’ decision to attend a family funeral as “inconsiderate and reckless” and claimed it has “endangered the lives” of the rest of the touring party.

Simmons, who is based in the UK, was allowed to leave the West Indies training base to attend the funeral of his father-in-law at the end of last week. As a consequence, he was obliged to go into quarantine in the team hotel upon his return.

In an email to board members Riley wrote: “I just heard on the radio that our head coach Mr Phil Simmons attended a funeral recently and is now being quarantined as a result. If this is true I am calling for his immediate removal as head coach.

“I am being bombarded by concerned parents and members of the BCA. This behaviour is inconsiderate and reckless. It endangers the lives of those 25 young men in the UK and in fact the entire management team and cannot be tolerated.

“The English press will have a feast on his judgement and I suggest we act swiftly.”

Nine members of West Indies’ 14-man Test squad are from Barbados, as well as four of the squad’s 11 reserve players. Three further players – Shimron Hetmyer, Keemo Paul and Darren Bravo – opted out of selection prior to the series due to their concerns about the pandemic.

ALSO READ: Blackwood keen to prove himself against England attack

A statement from CWI at the time confirmed that Simmons had gained permission to attend the funeral ahead of the tour.

“The entire process of his exit and re-entry to the bio-secure location was approved and managed by the medical teams of the CWI and the ECB and strictly followed protocols set up prior to the tour which addressed such scenarios,” the statement said.

“Following his return, Simmons has been in self-isolation away from other members of the squad, exactly as had always been planned. He has so far undergone two Covid-19 tests since Friday – both of which came back negative. He will have another test on Wednesday before he will re-join the squad as they prepare for the three-match #RaiseTheBat Series against England.”

Simmons’ movements have been barely noted in the UK press as of now. Joe Root, the England captain, has been given similar dispensation to leave the training bubble to attend the birth of his second child. He will miss the first Test as a consequence.

Riley’s email comes a week before West Indies begin the three-Test series in England with the first match scheduled from July 8 in Southampton. West Indies hold the Wisden Trophy after their 2-1 win at home last year, but have not won a Test series in England since 1988.

There is wider context behind this. In 2019 Ricky Skerritt ended Dave Cameron’s six-year reign as CWI president, winning the elections by an 8-4 margin with voting conducted through a secret ballot. However, the BCA was one of the boards to nominate Cameron. Cameron now also wants to contest for the ICC chairman’s position, which is up for grabs after incumbent Shashank Manohar recently said he would not be standing for another term. Although the CWI is yet to take a formal stance on whether to support Cameron’s nomination, on Tuesday Riley told the Mason and Guest Cricket Show, hosted on Starcom Network, a Barbados-based radio station, that he would “certainly” support the Jamaican.

The relationship between Cameron and Skerritt’s administration has been tense, especially of late. Last month, Cameron threatened legal action against the board unless they handed over a copy to him of an audit which had been critical of Cameron’s time in office.

Simmons was also sacked as head coach by the board during Cameron’s time as president, and was reappointed to the same post by Skerritt. The coach subsequently won a legal case for unfair dismissal against CWI and received a significant payout.

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Cricket South Africa’s 3TC competition rescheduled to July 18 | Cricket





Cricket South Africa (CSA) has rescheduled the experimental 3TeamCricket (3TC) competition, which will flag off the resumption of cricket in the country, to July 18 – also celebrated as Nelson Mandela International Day.

Three teams – led by Kagiso Rabada, Quinton de Kock and AB de Villiers – will all compete simultaneously in the same match for the Solidarity Cup at SuperSport Park in Centurion, with the game televised live. The line-ups and playing conditions remain unaltered.

The announcement comes a day after the country’s sport ministry approved CSA’s plans of having the country’s national men’s and women’s team back in training.

ALSO READ: Experimental 3TC format to kick off South Africa’s return to cricket

“It’s very exciting to get live cricket, featuring our top players, back on our TV screens again,” CSA’s acting chief executive Jacques Faul said. “I can’t think of a more appropriate day on which to hold this game than Nelson Mandela Day, when its prime objective is to raise funds for those who have been badly affected by the coronavirus. It is still nearly three weeks away, so it also gives our players more time to prepare properly and to minimise the chance of injuries.

“I would like to thank the government and our own medical team once again for everything they have done to make a return to training and playing possible. I would also like to add special thanks to the incredible sponsors involved in this event for their continued commitment towards the match and its beneficiary, the Hardship Fund.”

The match was earlier supposed to take place on June 27 but had to be postponed as CSA hadn’t received government clearance for resumption of sporting activities.

There has been no cricket in South Africa since the group stage of the domestic one-day cup was completed on March 15. The playoffs and final had to be postponed in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, with South Africa going into strict lockdown on March 27.

ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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Recent Match Report – WI Brathwaite XI vs WI Holder XI Tour Match 2020



Holder XI 120 for 5 (Da Silva 60*) v Brathwaite XI

West Indies captain Jason Holder had another short stay at the crease as the tourists’ second and final intra-squad match before next week’s first Test against England finally got under way at Emirates Old Trafford.

Holder has been recently troubled by an ankle niggle and while the Windies have played down concerns about whether he is still hampered by the injury, he is running out of chances to get some match sharpness under his belt.

He was out for a golden duck and did not bowl in the Windies’ first internal match last week, and he looked ill at ease during his brief time in the middle on Tuesday, when the all-rounder was dismissed for only five off 13 balls.

In truth, he could have departed for a second successive nought after he clipped his second ball to midwicket, only for Preston McSween to spill a relatively straightforward chance.

Jermaine Blackwood was also out for a single-figure score as the intermittent rain, which had wiped out the first four sessions of this four-day fixture, relented to allow play to start at 2.20pm local time under floodlights.

The wickets of Blackwood and Holder were part of a top-order wobble that saw the side led by the latter lurch from 79 for 1 to 108 for 5 against a Kraigg Brathwaite XI before closing early on 120 for 5 due to bad light.

The decision to abandon plans to pursue first-class status for this contest meant Oshane Thomas was drafted in to open the bowling. The paceman made an immediate impression as a precision yorker castled Sheyne Moseley first ball.

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It was a dramatic start to the game but thereafter Thomas over-pitched in an effort to find early swing while Keon Harding was wayward and bowled several no-balls to allow Joshua Da Silva and Sunil Ambris to build a platform.

Da Silva was the aggressor and the mainstay of the innings, getting off the mark with a streaky flash over the slips off Harding but then gradually warming to his task with a series of silky front-foot drives.

The pair went along at five an over in a 79-run stand, which was ended when Ambris, on 25, got a top-edge off Chemar Holder (2 for 15) which looped to short-leg, leaving Marquino Mindley to run in and take a stooping catch.

Blackwood, aiming for a recall at the Ageas Bowl on July 8 nearly three years after his last Test start, made just 1 off six balls before Mindley found the outside edge and John Campbell took a simple chance at second slip.

Campbell had no problem also snaffling Nkrumah Bonner, who failed to trouble the scorers after an attempted drive off Chemar Holder caught the edge. But McSween would give the paceman’s namesake a chance early in his innings.

Jason Holder, though, could not capitalise on his reprieve as the frugal Anderson Phillip (6-3-9-1) put the ball on a good length and the skipper tentatively prodded forward, nicking to Shamarh Brooks at a wide third slip.

Da Silva was measured amid the cluster of wickets and although he is listed in the 11 reserves – with seemingly only paceman Shannon Gabriel in with a possibility of being elevated from that group into the Test squad – the opener was still there at the close on 60 not out when the players came off 45 minutes into the final session.

Initially the players, wearing their navy and maroon training kits, were scheduled to play until 7.30pm local time but the darkening skies led to Da Silva and Raymon Reifer (2no) walking off just before 6pm on the second day.

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