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Clive Lloyd to West Indies team in Bangladesh

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Former captain scripts open letter to the team in Bangladesh, urging the inexperienced players to believe in themselves

In 1966, 22-year-old Guyanese youngster Clive Lloyd made his international debut in the first Test of the India tour, played in what was then Bombay. Lloyd, the tall and bespectacled left-hander, was told he was playing the match less than an hour before the start due to the finger injury to Seymour Nurse.

Lloyd scored 82 and an unbeaten 78 to help the visitors take the series lead. West Indies won the three-match Test series 2-0 with Lloyd finishing among the top five run-makers. Lloyd utilised that fortuitous break to grow into a solid batsman and one of the most successful and dominant captains in cricket.



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Ghana in line to host cricket tournament at 2023 Africa Games

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ICC give blessing to sport’s expansion into multi-sport games, with Olympics also on agenda

Cricket could be included at the 2023 Africa Games as the ICC increasingly looks to multi-sport events as a way to grow the game.

ESPNcricinfo understands the ICC Africa office have been in discussions with the local organising committee in Ghana with a view to including cricket at the event. A delegation, including officials from the ICC, the Ghana Cricket Association and the Ghana Ministry of Sports, has visited the proposed venues to ensure the requisite facilities could be provided.

The feedback is understood to have been overwhelmingly positive, though cricket’s inclusion has not been confirmed at this stage.

Whether it comes to fruition or not, the move underlines the ICC’s apparently new-found desire to embrace multi-sports games. The inclusion of women’s cricket has already been confirmed for the Commonwealth Games of 2022, while there is increasing momentum for a return to The Olympics. The new ECB chair, Ian Watmore, is understood to be a keen advocate of such a move and will shortly be placed in charge of an ICC sub-committee with a remit to explore the possibilities. Cricket’s inclusion as early as 2028, when the Olympics return to Los Angeles, remains possible.

There has long been a hunger among ICC Associate members to include cricket in the Olympics, in particular. It would, they argue, lead to greater exposure for the sport in their individual nations and open up new avenues of public funding. But there has been resistance from some full member nations who have expressed concern that the amount of time required for the Olympics would eat into the time available for bilateral series and various national T20 tournaments.

Increasingly, however, there has been an understanding at the ICC that multi-sport games would provide cricket with both a shop-window for potential new supporters and increase competition and commercial opportunities for its members. With the ECB, who believe it would provide impetus for the growth of the women’s game in particular, now broadly behind the idea, some of the impediments towards progress have been removed.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo



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Sri Lanka vs England, 1st Test, Galle

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With tourists missing several players from 2018 whitewash, skipper senses ‘clear advantage’ for home side

England rested Ben Stokes for this series, left Keaton Jennings out, and have lost Moeen Ali to Covid-19. Although Dimuth Karunaratne sympathises with Moeen in particular, he’s pretty sure all this confers an advantage to his team.

Although Karunaratne did not mention them by name, England have also left Ben Foakes out of the first Test, and have not brought Adil Rashid on tour. All five of these players had made a substantial impact during England’s 3-0 whitewash over Sri Lanka in 2018. Stokes had played both key innings, and bowled incisive spells; Jennings had hit a second-innings hundred in Galle, and taken outstanding close-in catches; Moeen had taken 18 wickets; Foakes had top-scored in the series in addition to having kept wicket extraordinarily well; and Rashid had turned the Colombo Test with his legspin.

The England side set to take the field on Thursday, however, has several players on their first Sri Lanka tour.



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Recent Match Report – Thunder vs Sixers 38th Match 2020

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Half-centuries by Alex Hales and Daniel Sams were not enough for the Thunder who suffered a middle-order slump

Sydney Sixers 5 for 132 (Philippe 64, Sams 2-25) beat Sydney Thunder 6 for 166 (Hales 54, Sams 50*, O’Keefe 3-15) by five wickets (DLS method)

Sydney Sixers stayed top of the table with a convincing victory in the first derby of the season against Sydney Thunder as Josh Philippe‘s 24-ball half-century ensured they were always ahead in a rain-adjusted chase.

Alex Hales provided the Thunder with a flying start as he made a 29-ball half-century, but they lost their way against Steve O’ Keefe, who claimed career-best figures for the second time this season, and it needed a measured half-century from Daniel Sams to ensure the innings did not completely fall away.

After a heavy shower at the change of innings, the Sixers were left with a 14-over chase and Philippe put them on course by taking 23 off the second over from Jono Cook. During his innings, he became the leading scorer for the season, a tag that changed hands twice during the evening with Hales briefly in pole position.

O’Keefe’s best

Although things had slowed after a Hales-inspired charge, the Thunder were well placed at 2 for 85 in the tenth over. That changed in the space of three balls as Sam Billings picked out long-on and Hales clubbed to deep midwicket against O’Keefe. It meant there were two new batsmen in at the midway point, forcing the Thunder into a period of consolidation and they would end up holding back the Power Surge for the final two overs. O’Keefe then added Alex Ross, lbw missing a sweep, and finished with 3 for 15 from a spell that conceded just one boundary and included 12 dot balls. Jackson Bird’s role was also noteworthy; he picked up 1 for 23 in his four overs which meant the eight between him and O’Keefe went for just 38.

Philippe looks ready

After a couple of single-figure scores, it was normal service resumed for Philippe as he launched the Sixers’ chase by tucking into Cook with four fours and six in five deliveries. By the end of the reduced three-over powerplay, he had 31 off 11 balls and the Sixers were 0 for 41. After the six-over mark, he started to lose some of the strike as the chase got a bit tighter but was able to bring up a 24-ball fifty – the fastest of his BBL career. There are a lot of people wanting to bat at the top of the order for Australia in T20Is but it’s becoming difficult to see how much Philippe can be denied his chance. Perhaps the series against New Zealand in late February?

Last chance dropped

The wickets of James Vince and Daniel Hughes in the space of five balls gave the Thunder some hope and when Jordan Silk fell to the first delivery of the Power Surge – which was limited to one over – as he spliced Sams into the leg side the Sixers needed 32 off 23 balls. Two balls later, Dan Christian skied his first delivery into the off side but Ross could not hold over his shoulder as he ran back from inside the ring. In the next over from Nathan McAndrew, Christian launched two sixes and the game was done.

Hales starts, Sams finishes

It had all looked so promising for the Thunder early on as Hales showed his destructive power by taking 21 off the third over against former England team-mate Jake Ball which included two leg-side sixes. After briefly consolidating following the loss of Usman Khawaja and Callum Ferguson, another six, a skimming sweep off Lloyd Pope, took him to a 29-ball fifty. After the stuffing had been knocked out of the middle order, Sams nursed the innings to a stage where they could push hard in the final few overs although 24 from the last two – which were the Power Surge – was manageable for the Sixers. Sams’ resurgent batting form continued with his second fifty of the season, brought up with a boundary off the final ball after Carlos Braithwaite had managed three consecutive dots in the last over.

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo



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