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County Championship 2021 – Brexit paperwork delay leaves Graeme van Buuren in Gloucestershire limbo

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Allrounder left out of Championship clash with Hampshire after losing non-overseas status

Graeme van Buuren, the South African-born allrounder, has been ruled out of Gloucestershire’s County Championship fixture against Hampshire after the complications of Brexit lost him his status as a non-overseas player.

Van Buuren, 30, was born in Pretoria and played for Northerns and Titans in South Africa early in his career. He has been playing for Gloucestershire as a local player since 2016 through his wife’s British passport, and has become a first-team regular in all formats.

However, the UK’s departure from the European Union led to a change in the ECB’s eligibility and registration regulations on December 31, 2020. In September, Alan Fordham, the operations manager for first-class cricket, wrote to the counties outlining the changes, including the removal of “the rights of so-called ‘Kolpak’ players to be registered as a ‘qualified cricketer'” and the cancellation of the registrations of players qualifying as locals through EU passports or family or ancestral visas, unless they had evidence of having settled or pre-settled status under the government’s settlement scheme.

In van Buuren’s case, he had applied for indefinite leave to remain in the UK as a pathway to British citizenship, but delays in processing his paperwork have left him in a state of limbo. As a result, he has only been able to play as an overseas player, and with Daniel Worrall and Kraigg Brathwaite filling Gloucestershire’s two permitted spots in their fixture against Hampshire this week, van Buuren has been left out of the side, two weeks after hitting a match-winning 110 not out off 98 balls against Surrey.

It is understood that van Buuren would have been able to apply for indefinite leave to remain through a fast-tracked service, but the logistical complications caused by Covid-19 have taken that option away from him.



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Recent Match Report – Glamorgan vs Yorkshire Group 3 2021

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Glamorgan 149 (Brook 3-13, Patterson 3-27) and 108 for 3 (Carlson 44*, Lloyd 40*) lead Yorkshire 230 (Root 99, Patterson 47*, Neser 5-39) by 28 runs

Joe Root moved inexorably towards his hundred with the precision of a ticking clock. An old-time image for an old-time innings. The world could do much as it pleased, nothing would change his tempo. Then, on 99, the clock stopped.

Root has 31 first-class hundreds, but only eight of them have come for Yorkshire. Even as a feted international player, one who bears an onerous responsibility as England’s Test captain, his desire to succeed for his county remains implanted. He would surely yearn for more.

Medium-pacer Dan Douthwaite, who seamed the ball back sharply between bat and pad, was the bowler who stopped time. What’s more, Douthwaite revealed, his teammate, Kiran Carlson, predicted it.

“It was weird how it happened,” Douthwaite said. “Kiran Carlson stood at mid-off two balls before and said I was going to get him out trying to dab it down to third man and he would chop it on to the stumps and he did. I was telling him at the time to go away and let me focus on my bowling. That is the first time I have had someone predict a wicket and it has actually happened.”

If Root didn’t quite manage the century that had seemed inevitable, he looked in good trim ahead of the New Zealand Test series. His superbly controlled innings gave Yorkshire a chance of victory. That’s if you don’t believe in weather forecasts – Sunday’s analysis suggests that these sides will be collecting draw points.

England’s IPL contingent have spent much of the past fortnight in quarantine while the likes of Root have benefited from an extensive programme of Championship cricket, albeit played in empty stadiums and in largely cheerless conditions. It has not been a cakewalk. Remove his century against Kent at Canterbury and he had made 114 runs in seven innings. That rediscovered rhythm had been hard-won.

That Root’s success has been far from automatic illustrates that bowlers have held sway and also points to the difficulties that even the most driven world-class player encounters when the prestige of a fixture diminishes and the pressure relents. Nevertheless, it also tells that this season’s Conference structure has not been a succession of mismatches that many anticipated. It is a format that is gaining popularity and makes the structure for 2022 a debate still to be won and lost.



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County Championship 2021 – Keith Barker, Kyle Abbott too good for flatlining Middlesex as Hampshire surge to victory | Cricket

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Keith Barker added a wicket to his vital innings of 84 as Hampshire seized the contest at Lord’s © Getty Images


Hampshire 208 (Barker 84, Vince 62) and 66 for 3 (Holland 22, Northeast 18*) beat Middlesex 172 (Gubbins 51, Abbott 6-44) and 101 (Abbott 5-41) by seven wickets

A belligerent half-century from Keith Barker and 11 wickets for the match to Kyle Abbott sealed victory for Hampshire against Middlesex on a dramatic third day at Lord’s.

Abbott followed his 6 for 44 in Middlesex’s first innings with 5 for 41 to restrict the hosts to 101 in their second, setting Hampshire a target of 66.

In keeping with the theme of the match where batting was tough going, the run-chase was far from straight-forward amid wickets, rain and fading light, with the forecast for heavy showers throughout much of Sunday’s final day meaning time was of the essence.

Earlier, Barker defied the narrative, playing with freedom and smashing four sixes and nine fours on his way to 84, which gave Hampshire a narrow first-innings lead after they had resumed on 131 for 7, still trailing Middlesex’s paltry 172.

A first-innings lead of any sort looked unlikely for Hampshire when they slumped to 9 for 3 and Barker’s 54-run partnership with James Vince on Friday was crucial in giving them a fighting chance.

In the end, he only managed to get the advantage up to 29 runs as his remaining batting partners all fell cheaply but managed to hang around long enough for him to raise his score significantly from 23 not out overnight.

Shortly after Abbott was bowled by teenager Blake Cullen for 6, Barker pulled Ethan Bamber sweetly for four through midwicket. Barker helped himself to 11 in the next over, including a straight drive for four to bring up Hampshire’s 150 and a six over deep midwicket off a Cullen short ball.

Barker struck back-to-back fours off Tim Murtagh, both powerful strikes over the head of deep mid-on, the first bringing up his 50 and taking Hampshire into the lead.

Murtagh responded with the wicket of Brad Wheal, edging behind to John Simpson, but he came in for more Barker punishment in his next over, 18 runs worth, as he was pummelled for sixes over deep square leg and deep midwicket and crashed straight down the ground for four.

Barker hit his fourth six off James Harris way over Peter Handscomb’s head at long on. It was the same bowling and fielding combination, however, that brought about his downfall, Barker swinging his bat one too many times, on this occasion at a short ball from Harris and picking out Handscomb at mid-on to end the innings.

Vince’s tenacious 62 the previous day was Hampshire’s only other score of note as they found the going almost as difficult as their opponents had.

With pace duo Abbott and Mohammad Abbas back in action – they took nine wickets between them in Middlesex’s first innings – it was far too soon from the hosts’ perspective that they were three wickets down and still 10 runs in arrears.

The pair accounted for the first five Middlesex batters in their second innings, including a magnificent return catch to Abbas diving forward in his follow-through to dismiss Robbie White, before Abbott’s lbw dismissal of Handscomb, whose 24 was his highest score in seven innings so far for this Championship campaign.

By that stage, Middlesex were in awful trouble at 49 for 5 and that was before Barker chimed in with the wicket of Martin Andersson, lbw for 9. Wheal’s pin-point delivery then bowled Simpson, also for 9, and at 67 for 7 with the sky as bright as it had been all match, they were once again braced for the inevitable.

At 93 for 7 the rain did arrive, bizarrely a heavy sun-shower after the players had shivered through two days of bitter cold and gloom. Tea was taken a few minutes early as a result and when play resumed, it looked as though spring had finally – finally – arrived, the sky above Lord’s actually, positively, yes, most definitely, sunny.

So too was Hampshire’s outlook when, on the eighth ball after the break, Abbott had Harris out lbw to claim his 10th wicket for the match. Abbas then trapped Cullen lbw and Abbott wrapped up the innings with the scalp of Bamber, also lbw.

Ian Holland and Joe Weatherley set about the run-chase with care, Holland’s cracking drive for four through extra cover off Cullen bringing a roar from the Hampshire balcony as a bank of dark cloud hung over the Pavilion.

The visitors were 23 for 0 when another downpour arrived but, with a result in sight and the sun reappearing once more, play resumed at 6.45pm with eight overs remaining.

Bamber struck with the third ball back when he had Weatherley out lbw and there was nearly a run-out chance when Holland and Liam Dawson got involved a mix-up moments later while Bamber was appealing unsuccessfully for lbw against Holland.

Dawson, promoted to No. 3, then fell lbw to Murtagh, who claimed another when he had Holland out plumb with 26 runs still needed.

The Middlesex fielders were keen to remind the batters of the next day’s forecast in the fading light, but Hampshire had the final say, Sam Northeast’s consecutive fours off Murtagh leaving them in need of 16 off the final two overs of the day and Tom Alsop made it eight required off the last with two fours off Bamber.

There was more drama when Northeast got a leading edge on a Murtagh delivery, which sailed straight to mid-on where Cullen spilled the chance and Northeast made the most of his reprieve with fours off the next two balls to finally seal victory.

Valkerie Baynes is a general editor at ESPNcricinfo


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ESPN Sports Media Ltd.






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Recent Match Report – Durham vs Worcs Group 1 2021

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First hundred in five years for Burnham on day of dominance at Chester-le-Street

Worcestershire 213 (Fell 44, Leach 42*, Rushworth 5-56) and 60 for 0 need another 363 runs to beat Durham 246 (Lees 99, Tongue 5-39) and 389 for 5 dec (Young 103, Burnham 102*)

Durham require 10 wickets on the final day of their LV= Insurance County Championship match against Worcestershire after centuries from Will Young and Jack Burnham handed the visitors a daunting fourth-innings chase.

Young provided the foundation with his second century of the season in his final game for the home side. Burnham upped the ante late in the afternoon and notched his first hundred since May 2016. Ned Eckersley also provided a brisk knock of 86 from 57 balls, including six sixes.

Worcestershire’s openers faced a tough final hour, but Daryl Mitchell and Jake Libby remained unbeaten at the close after putting on a stand of 60, although their side require another 363 runs to pull off an unlikely victory at Emirates Riverside.

Durham added only three runs to their overnight total before Joe Leach found Scott Borthwick’s outside edge. Young held firm and worked his way his past fifty, reaching the milestone from 128 balls. He and David Bedingham put on a stand of 69 for the third wicket, but the latter played a loose drive before lunch to a Josh Tongue delivery and was caught behind.



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