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Limit on squads at ICC events increased to 30 in response to Covid-19

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Up to seven additional players or support staff will be permitted at senior ICC events

Teams at senior ICC events, starting with the 2021 T20 World Cup, will be allowed to take up to seven additional players or support staff, as part of the governing body’s ongoing response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Last year, the ICC brought in a squad limit of 23 – comprising 15 players and up to eight staff – for senior men’s and women’s tournaments, and 20 for junior events. Countries competing at the T20 World Cup later this year, as well as the Women’s 50-over World Cup in 2022, will now be able to extend their playing squads to 22, or include additional support.



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Eng vs Ind 2021 – Jack Leach admits ‘frustration’ over England omission for New Zealand Tests

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Spinner looking for “as many games as possible” having not played home Test since 2019

Jack Leach has spoken of his frustrations at being left out of the Test side against New Zealand earlier in the summer, as well as a bit-part role in the England set-up that has only seem him play five home Tests since his debut during the winter of 2017-18.

England were beaten 1-0 by New Zealand – their first Test series defeat at home since 2014 – after relying on a four-seamer attack supported by Joe Root’s part-time offspin. With England’s main seam-bowling allrounder options, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes and Sam Curran, either injured or not considered for selection after returning from the IPL, the question of how to balance the side at Lord’s and Edgbaston meant Leach sitting out on both occasions.

Having been England’s most-successful bowler over the winter, taking 28 wickets at 31.14 in Sri Lanka and India, he returned to the sidelines back in home conditions. Leach also missed out on selection last summer, with Dom Bess preferred in the spinner’s role, and it is now almost two years since his last Test appearance in England, during the 2019 Ashes.

England’s stated aim under Chris Silverwood, who took over at head coach in 2019, has been to play more of their home cricket on true surfaces, in order to improve performances overseas. But Leach has had little opportunity to practice the holding role that would then enable a more attacking brief later in the game.

“I think I said to Spoons it was frustrating, because I want to be playing as many games as possible at that level,” Leach said. “I guess the thing I’ve struggled with over the past couple of years has been that momentum of playing games, and feeling like you’re learning from those experiences. You can do as much as you want in the nets, but you want to put that into a game situation. There are things you don’t get in the nets that you only get in games.

“That was the frustrating thing. I understood it from a team point of view, in terms of the balance of the team. If it had been three seamers and a spinner, that would have been the first time I’d have played in that balance of team. Even at Somerset we’re playing with four seamers, and even a batter who bowls seam, Tom Abell, or Tom Lammonby, who bowls left-arm seam. My experience hasn’t been in that balance of team, so having not done that before, it would have been a huge challenge which I’d have loved to do, but I understand why they want four seamers, especially in England.



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Recent Match Report – Fire vs Originals 12th Match 2021

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Manchester Originals (Clarke 58) beat Welsh Fire 150 for 6 (du Plooy 43, Hartley 2-12) by

Joe Clarke produced a match-seizing innings of 58 from 31 balls – ably supported by Phil Salt in an opening stand of 94 from 48 balls – before Colin Munro and Colin Ackermann banished any late jitters with a brace of evenly-paced cameos, as Manchester Originals ended Welsh Fire’s unbeaten start to the tournament with their own second win of the campaign, a seven-wicket victory with five balls to spare at Cardiff.

After winning the toss and batting first, Fire posted a competitive total of 150 for 6, thanks largely to Leus du Plooy’s hard-hitting innings of 43 from 21 balls, allied to scores of 32 and 30 from Ben Duckett and Matt Critchley. However, the suspicion at the halfway point was that that total was 10-15 runs light on a surface that offered good value for strokeplay. Clarke set out to prove just that, bursting out of the blocks with four fours and four sixes in an innings that allowed Originals to coast to victory in the back-end of their chase.

Hartley makes hay in Bairstow’s absence
It’s hard to imagine any team has been more scuppered by a big-name absence than Welsh Fire by Jonny Bairstow’s England Test recall – as Gary Kirsten, in one of his now habitual embargo-busting faux pas, outlined to talkSPORT prior to the start of the competition.

To lose their captain after two games was unsettling enough, but Fire have also lost their single most important batter too – the man whose back-to-back fifties had powered them to victories in each of their opening games. And in his absence at the top of the order, Originals capitalised with two early breakthroughs, courtesy of Tom Hartley’s understated left-arm spin.

After a brace of seam-up sets from Steven Finn and Carlos Brathwaite, Hartley entered the fray for ball 11, and by the end of his first back-to-back ten, he had extracted both Josh Cobb and Tom Banton – each of them unwitting victims of Cardiff’s tempting short, straight boundaries that encourage drives back through the line.

Cobb was the first to go, overshadowed in the opening exchanges as Tom Banton picked off a brace of early fours, then frustrated by Hartley’s tight line for two more dots in a row. His third ball, however, was a full toss, but he drilled it straight back at the bowler’s shins, who stooped well to prise the first wicket.

Banton added his third four soon afterwards, a firm pull through square leg, but Hartley held his nerve, and his length – drawing Banton out of the crease for an elegant loft… straight into the hands of Calvin Harrison at long-on. At 21 for 2 after 18 balls, Fire were spluttering from the outset.

Derbyshire pairing have a Blast
There’s no preparation like no preparation. Leus du Plooy spent ten days in isolation prior to his late arrival in the Welsh Fire squad, after getting caught up in the Covid outbreak that caused the abandonment of Derbyshire’s County Championship fixture with Essex earlier this month – as well as the cancellation of the club’s final Vitality Blast fixtures.

But at the first time of asking, both du Plooy and his county team-mate, Matt Critchley (in his third match but batting for the first time) brought a taste of the Derbyshire Blast action that had earned each of them a call-up to the competition – Critchley in the redraft after going unpicked in 2019, and du Plooy as a wildcard, after being released from his original Fire contract.

Du Plooy arrived with Fire in some strife at 62 for 3 after 54 balls, following the end of a stuttering innings from Glenn Phillips, and that scoreline got worse moments later when Ben Duckett, their mainstay in the top half of the innings, was brilliantly run out by Colin Ackermann in his followthrough.

With the pressure on two new batters, the legspin of Matt Parkinson was Carlos Brathwaite’s attacking response – and he was content to bowl him straight through for ten balls in the expectation of buying another innings-breaking wicket. But du Plooy was equal to the threat, clouting him for a brace of sixes down the ground, including a smear over long-on that landed in the River Taff.

Five balls later, the return of Lockie Ferguson’s out-and-out pace brought a similar response – a 91mph length ball was pinged by du Plooy back over his head for a third six, and he added a fourth six – a fierce pull off Steven Finn over square leg – three balls before Brathwaite’s extra height at mid-off brought an end to his rampage, on a valuable 43 from 21.

Critchley, by this stage, was very much into his own stride. Twice in as many sets from Brathwaite, he picked off back-to-back fours – from a brace of slower balls in the first innings (the latter a touch streaky), and a brace of yorkers in the second, from the 94th and 95th balls, as he finished unbeaten on 30 from 17. Let’s hope their relative success was some consolation for the Derbyshire faithful who have seen their usual fare ransacked in recent times.

Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo. @miller_cricket



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Recent Match Report – Pakistan vs West Indies 2nd T20I 2021

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Andre Russell was left out for the second T20I against Pakistan in Guyana

Toss West Indies opt to bowl vs Pakistan

After a washed-out first T20I in Bridgetown, the second T20I began at the Providence Stadium in more promising fashion, with the sun peeking through the clouds and West Indies captain Kieron Pollard opting to bowl first at the toss against Babar Azam‘s Pakistan.
Both teams have been forced to make changes due to injuries. Lendl Simmons’ injury to the neck and arm off a Mohammad Wasim delivery in the first match has left West Indies bringing in Andre Fletcher at the top. Andre Russell, too, was left out for Romario Shepherd, most likely as a rotation policy with the T20 World Cup due in a few months.
For Pakistan, a blow to the head for Azam Khan during training between the two games gives a chance to Sohaib Maqsood, who had a forgettable white-ball tour of England after winning the Player-of-the-Season award at PSL 2021.

West Indies: 1 Andre Fletcher, 2 Evin Lewis, 3 Chris Gayle, 4 Shimron Hetmyer, 5 Nicholas Pooran (wk), 6 Kieron Pollard (capt), 7 Jason Holder, 8 Romario Shepherd, 9 Dwayne Bravo, 10 Hayden Walsh, 11 Akeal Hosein

Pakistan: 1 Mohammad Rizwan (wk), 2 Sharjeel Khan, 3 Babar Azam (capt), 4 Fakhar Zaman, 5 Mohammad Hafeez, 6 Sohaib Maqsood, 7 Shadab Khan, 8 Hasan Ali, 9 Mohammad Wasim, 10 Usman Qadir, 11 Shaheen Shah Afridi



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