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‘World Cup expansion gives kids in Associate countries chance to be superstars’

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Netherlands coach Ryan Campbell, Scotland captain Kyle Coetzer and Namibia coach Pierre de Bruyn hail the ICC’s decision

Netherlands head coach Ryan Campbell, Scotland captain Kyle Coetzer and Namibia coach Pierre de Bruyn are among the leading voices in Associate cricket who have hailed the ICC’s decision to include more teams in both men’s ODI and T20 World Cups in the 2024-2031 cycle.

Both events will expand by four teams each – the T20 World Cup to 20 teams starting in 2024 and the ODI World Cup to 14 teams beginning in 2027 – thereby guaranteeing that Associate teams will be represented in both global events in the near future.

“The World Cups are meant to be a showcase of our great game, not a showcase of our elitism,” Campbell told ESPNcricinfo on the eve of his side’s opening match in the ODI Super League against Ireland. “The expansion of World Cups will give cricket a chance to thrive worldwide and gives kids in associate countries a chance to be the next world superstar.”
Scotland recorded their first-ever ODI win over England in the summer of 2018, just months after they were cruelly denied a place in the ten-team 2019 World Cup at which England emerged victorious. The contrasting results just a year apart hinted the gap between Associate sides outside the top ten rankings and a world champion side wasn’t as big as perceived.
Former Scotland captain Preston Mommsen retired initially in 2016 – before a brief comeback – blaming it on lack of fixtures. Current Scotland captain Coetzer believes the expansion of teams in both World Cup formats will prevent other players taking a decision similar to Mommsen.

“This will create much more wholesome global events and provide real aspirations for developing nations to continue growing the game,” Coetzer said. “I know from personal experience that a desire to play at global events is a real driving force towards finding the motivation to continue developing through many sacrifices. This is a real positive step in the right direction. It will provide much hope for the next generation of players who will have a greater chance of achieving childhood dreams of playing on the world stage.”

While the news is positive on the limited-overs front, there are still some who feel that more support could be given by the ICC to Associate teams. Namibia coach de Bruyn has been a very outspoken advocate in this regard and he feels Associate countries and leaders should still continue to push for more.

“When the news came out, I was personally very pleased to see the ICC global events and the expansion of that,” de Bruyn said. “The first thing that came to mind was growing the game of cricket and nothing else. Growing the game of cricket not just in Full Member countries like India, Australia and England, but everywhere because I think there’s a mis-perception out there in how much work is put in by ‘no-name’ Associate countries: the groundwork, the pathway work, the development work. It’s excellent and it will be a reward for an extra couple of Associate countries to get on that stage and announce themselves.

“If we’re only going to focus on 10 or 12 countries for the rest of our lives on the global stage, then we might as well just not grow the game in the pathway of Associate cricket. It will be pointless because what is the reward. We’ve had a discussion on red-ball cricket and they’ve already cut that. We still need to continue fighting to get red-ball cricket back in Associate cricket.”

The expected format for the expanded 14-team ODI World Cup will involve two groups of seven teams playing each other followed by a Super Six stage. It means that the likelihood of an Associate team advancing to the second stage is slim. Kenya did so in 2003 – and went on to the semi-final where they lost to India – though they were aided significantly by achieving a walkover win against New Zealand, who refused to travel and play in Nairobi. The reality is that a Super Sixes format could lead to the top three spots in each group being clinched well before the conclusion of the group phase, but de Bruyn says focusing on that would be missing the entire point of including more teams.



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Recent Match Report – Bears vs Northants North Group 2021

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Malan, Hain set up 55-run win with pair of emphatic half-centuries

Birmingham 170 for 3 (Hain 69*, Malan 62) beat Northamptonshire 115 (Lintott 4-20) by 55 runs

Birmingham spinner Jake Lintott produced career-best Vitality Blast figures as the Bears hammered Northamptonshire Steelbacks by 55 runs to secure their third straight win.

Lintott finished with 4 for 20, scything through the Steelbacks’ middle order as the home side subsided to 115 all out – with seven wickets going down for just 17 runs.

That left Northamptonshire well short of the Bears’ total of 170 for 3, built around Sam Hain‘s undefeated 69 from 42 balls and Pieter Malan‘s knock of 62.
Ricardo Vasconcelos gave the Steelbacks hope with a lively 36 from 27 balls but, once he was out, the home side – who remain winless in this season’s Blast – folded rapidly against the Birmingham bowlers.

The Bears opted to bat first, but their innings began badly, with Ed Pollock chopping the first ball of the match from Graeme White into the hands of point, and they struggled to gain any traction during the powerplay.

Will Rhodes departed for 13, miscuing a paddle shot off Wayne Parnell – but the Steelbacks missed their chance to remove Malan, handed a life on 15 as he drove to mid-off, where Ben Sanderson spilled a straightforward catch.

Malan began to find some fluency, while Hain was immediately into his stride, dispatching Nathan Buck’s full toss for four and then slamming the resulting free hit over long on for a maximum.

Their 51-ball partnership realised 90 but, once Malan had holed out with a skier to the wicketkeeper off Sanderson, the Bears’ innings never regained momentum, with White’s impressive figures of 1 for 19 backed up by efficient death bowling from Parnell and Sanderson.

Like their opponents, Northamptonshire lost a wicket inside the opening over, with stand-in captain Adam Rossington dabbing Danny Briggs straight to mid-off for a second-ball duck.

The Steelbacks suffered a further blow when Hain caught Richard Levi in the deep for 10, but Vasconcelos and Parnell appeared to have the rebuilding job under way with a partnership of 42 from 29 balls.

However, three wickets in five deliveries left the middle order in tatters, with Lintott’s change of pace deceiving Vasconcelos and Rob Keogh before Dan Mousley’s first ball trapped Saif Zaib lbw.

Northamptonshire’s collapse swiftly gathered pace as Lintott claimed the wickets of Parnell and White, while Craig Miles (2 for 28) rearranged the stumps of Tom Taylor and Charlie Thurston.

Buck’s spirited late counter-attack, with sixes off Brathwaite and Chris Woakes in an unbeaten 26, lifted the total above three figures, but the contest had long been decided.



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Recent Match Report – Notts vs Durham North Group 2021

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Durham’s chase runs out of steam despite David Bedingham half-century

Nottinghamshire 195 for 5 (Hales 96*, Duckett 52) beat Durham 182 for 8 (Bedingham 65, Carter 3-43) by 13 runs

An unbeaten knock of 96 from Alex Hales guided Notts Outlaws to their second win of their Vitality Blast campaign, defeating Durham by 13 runs at Emirates Riverside.

The former England opener notched 10 fours and four sixes in his 54-ball innings, falling just short of a century in the final over. Ben Duckett supported Hales, scoring 52 as the Outlaws posted a huge total of 195 for 5 from their 20 overs.

Durham made a rapid start in their reply, but once the opening stand between David Bedingham and Graham Clark was broken their chase unravelled. Although Bedingham made 65, the home side fell short and slumped to their first defeat of the season.

Notts opener Joe Clarke appeared in great touch once again at the crease, striking Matty Potts for three straight boundaries. However, Potts responded by finding his outside edge and Ned Eckersley took the catch at the second attempt.

Hales and Ben Duckett upped the ante in response, with the visitors reaching 62 for 2 at the end of the Powerplay. The two players guided the Outlaws beyond the 100-run mark inside the 11th over before putting on the century stand for the third wicket. Hales was the first to fifty from 32 deliveries before Duckett followed one ball later, notching his second half-century in a row in the competition.

Hales then accelerated his innings, clearing the rope twice from one Liam Trevaskis over. Ben Raine broke the 126-run stand for the third wicket, trapping Duckett in front in the 15th over. Potts produced a piece of brilliance on the rope to dismiss Steven Mullaney, pushing the ball from past the boundary back into the hands of Scott Borthwick.

Late striking from Hales almost guided him to a deserved hundred, but tight bowling from Raine denied the opener and prevented Notts from breaking past the 200-run mark.

Bedingham and Clark began the Durham innings at a rapid rate, smashing the Outlaws opening bowlers around the ground. They reached their fifty partnership inside four overs, handing the hosts a great platform in the Powerplay. Clark dispatched Jake Ball over the fence to move to 39, but the bowler made the breakthrough to end the opening stand.

Matthew Carter turned the game on its head by removing Raine and Cameron Bancroft in the space of three deliveries as the home side fell from 73 for 0 to 77 for 3. There would be no repeat of Ned Eckersley’s Leicestershire heroics for Durham as he fell to Samit Patel, allowing the visitors to take complete control.

Bedingham offered hope by reaching his first T20 fifty of the term, but once he was bowled by Patel the game was up for the hosts, despite a decent late effort from Brydon Carse and Trevaskis.



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Recent Match Report – Yorkshire vs Leics North Group 2021

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Yorkshire given scare in defence of massive 240 in aggregate record for Blast

Yorkshire 240 for 4 (Bairstow 82, Lyth 51, Brook 48*) beat Leicestershire 222 for 8 (Inglis 82, Willey 3-44) by 18 runs

Jonny Bairstow smashed 82 off 45 balls as Yorkshire added to Leicestershire’s miserable start to this season’s Vitality Blast with a thrilling 18-run victory in an Emerald Headingley run-fest.
The Vikings amassed 240 for 4 before the Foxes gave them an almighty scare as Leeds-born Australian Josh Inglis matched Bairstow’s score off only 37 balls.
This was Yorkshire’s third highest total in Blast history and included Adam Lyth‘s 51, 44 for David Willey and 48 not out for Harry Brook.

Leicestershire, 146 for 3 in the 13th over with opener Inglis unbeaten, later slipped to a fourth straight North Group defeat. But Inglis ensured they fought to the death at 222 for 8.

This was Yorkshire’s second win in three North Group games, and 462 runs combined equals the Blast record.

The triumph was built on a 113 opening partnership in 10.1 overs between Bairstow and Lyth, with further half-century stands for the third and fifth wickets.

On a glorious Leeds evening, there were 29 sixes hit.

Each of the Foxes six-man attack was taken to task after home captain Willey had won his side’s 10th toss in 11 in all cricket in 2021.

Afghanistan seamer Naveen-ul-Haq claimed two wickets, getting Willey and Bairstow caught in the deep in the 17th over. That left Yorkshire at 189 for four.

Fellow quick Gavin Griffiths had a night to forget, conceding 60 in three overs, as Bairstow set the tone, giving the Foxes fielders little chance with his power.



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