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England vs New Zealand 2021 – Teams will take “a moment of unity” ahead of first Test, Joe Root says | Cricket

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Joe Root keen to ensure moment is no empty gesture © Getty Images


Joe Root has confirmed that both teams will “be taking a moment of unity” ahead of the first LV=Insurance Test between England and New Zealand as part of a wider commitment to combat issues around inclusion within the game.

Root, the England captain, acknowledged that “sport and society” had faced some “hard truths” over the last year around the issues of inclusion and diversity and resolved to “make a difference and keep bettering our sport.”

That ‘moment of unity’ ahead of the Lord’s Test is likely to be similar to the one that preceded the first round of County Championship games in April when players, support staff and match officials stood in silence on the boundary edge for two minutes. Last year, in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd, the entire England and West Indies squads took a knee ahead of each match of their three-Test series.

The game was also rocked by a series of allegations from non-white players – notably Michael Carberry and Azeem Rafiq – which have precipitated a period of soul-searching and the introduction of various initiatives – including mandatory education programmes, a confidential helpline and a code of conduct – which have been designed to improve the game’s record at attracting more diversity in terms of players and spectators.

Root is adamant the ‘moment of unity’ will be no empty gesture and instead the start of a year that “is all about action”. To that end, he revealed that England’s players will be “working with hopefully three projects” over the summer. The details of those projects has not yet been confirmed, though an ECB spokesperson said they would “cover diverse, hard to reach and under-represented communities with a good geographical spread aimed at all ages”.

“We will be taking a moment of unity at the start of the game,” Root said. “New Zealand will also be doing that. They are happy to work alongside us and support us in that.

“We know at the start of last summer there were some hard truths throughout sport and society. We have spent a lot of time talking about how we can better our game and how we can educate ourselves more. We have worked with the PCA and the ECB in trying to find ways of doing that and have done some workshops recently to try and make ourselves a bit more comfortable dealing with those issues.

“Throughout this summer, we will be looking at working with hopefully three projects where we can take the game to more diverse areas around the country where we can continue to look to grow the game and offer our help and support in doing that.

“We have spent a lot of time talking about this sort of thing, but this year is all about action. It’s about actually doing something about it.

“It has taken time. We wanted to make it really clear about how we are going to make a difference and keep bettering our sport.

“Hopefully this year we can really start to make a difference and keep that conversation current. We can make our game more diverse and make sure it is the game for everyone. We [must] do as much as we can in that regard to grow the game and make everyone feel comfortable playing cricket.”

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo


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ESPN Sports Media Ltd.






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SL vs Ind 2021 – Shikhar Dhawan to captain India on limited-overs tour of Sri Lanka

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Bhuvneshwar Kumar named vice-captain, Chetan Sakariya and Nitish Rana among new faces in the mix

Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Nitish Rana, K Gowtham and Chetan Sakariya have all received maiden call-ups to the national team, figuring in the 20-man India squad for the white-ball series in Sri Lanka, scheduled for July. The second-string squad – the main team will be in England at the time – will be captained by opening batter Shikhar Dhawan, who has never led India previously, and will also see the international comeback of fast bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who has been appointed vice-captain.
India’s Sri Lanka tour comprises six matches: three ODIs (on July 13, 16 and 18), followed by three T20Is (July 21, 23, 25). Former India captain Rahul Dravid has been confirmed as the head coach, although the BCCI did not announce the coaching staff for the side on Thursday when it announced the squad, which will have five reserve bowlers.

Squad: Shikhar Dhawan (capt), Bhuvneshwar Kumar (vice-capt), Prithvi Shaw, Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Suryakumar Yadav, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Nitish Rana, Ishan Kishan (wk), Sanju Samson (wk), Yuzvendra Chahal, Rahul Chahar, K Gowtham, Krunal Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Varun Chakravarthy, Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini, Chetan Sakariya

Net bowlers: Ishan Porel, Sandeep Warrier, Arshdeep Singh, R Sai Kishore, Simarjeet Singh

More to follow…



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County cricket 2021 – Kyle Jamieson signs for Surrey on short-term deal

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Fast bowler will head to Kia Oval at conclusion of the World Test Championship final

Kyle Jamieson, the New Zealand fast bowler, has signed a short-term deal for Surrey across formats, and will link up with the club at the conclusion of the World Test Championship final against India later this month.

Jamieson, who has been rested from the ongoing second Test against England after claiming three wickets in the opening match at Lord’s, will be available for the Vitality Blast London Derby against Middlesex at The Kia Oval on June 25, and will remain with the squad until their final group game in mid-July.

In that period, he will also be available for Surrey’s final two group games in the LV= Insurance County Championship, against Hampshire at The Ageas Bowl from July 4-7 and against Somerset at The Oval from July 11-14. This will be his first time playing in English domestic cricket.

“I’m really excited to get the chance to play some county cricket after the Black Caps tour,” Jamieson said. “Originally I didn’t think this opportunity would be possible with the schedule this year, but with how things have unfolded it’s great to be able to join Surrey and experience both T20 and first-class cricket.

“Playing county cricket is something I’ve always wanted to do in my career, so to have the chance to do so now is awesome. I’ve heard a lot of great things about county cricket, particularly T20 Blast nights at The Kia Oval, and can’t wait to take up the opportunity with Surrey to continue to learn and grow whilst trying my best to contribute to the teams’ success.”



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The Hundred 2021 – David Warner, Marcus Stoinis and Sophie Devine pull out of the Hundred

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ECB bracing for further withdrawals amid clashes with international tours and restrictions on overseas travel

David Warner, Marcus Stoinis and Sophie Devine have pulled out of the inaugural season of the Hundred, with the ECB bracing for further withdrawals amid clashes with international tours and restrictions on overseas travel.

Warner and Stoinis were both contracted by the Southern Brave on deals worth £100,000 and £80,000 respectively, but have opted to withdraw from the competition. Both players have been named in Australia’s preliminary squad for white-ball tours to the Caribbean and Bangladesh, which overlap with the Hundred’s window from July 21-August 21, but are expected to withdraw in order to spend time with their families.

Trevor Hohns, Australia’s national selector, added six players to the preliminary squad for those tours following discussions with those initially named. “During the course of those discussions, it has become clear that recent experiences abroad, including but not limited to extended periods in bio-secure hubs and hard quarantine, have had an impact on the health and wellbeing of some players and their families,” he said.

“CA has maintained that the wellbeing of players, staff and officials is a top priority, and never more so than during the Covid-19 pandemic given the extraordinary challenges it has placed upon international athletes and sporting teams.”

“It is obviously disappointing to lose players with the ability of David and Marcus, but the realities of Covid mean there are practicalities that are difficult for some overseas players to overcome,” the ECB said in a statement to ESPNcricinfo. “Replacement overseas players will be signed by Southern Brave, and we look forward to the Hundred showcasing world-class cricket this summer.”



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