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Howzat! Cricket Returns to England At Last


Howzat! Cricket Returns to England At Last

When Cricket came to a standstill back in March, we didn’t know just how long we’d be living our lives without the summer game we love, and the beautiful sound of the leather ball on the willow of the bat. But it’s coming back soon, and for that reason, millions around the globe are celebrating.

We love our cricket and summer just isn’t the same without it.

We’ve been desperate for some positive Cricket 2020 news which is finally here, though some of the most passionate fans around the world will have to be patient for a little longer.

India have postponed their tours of Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe due to the continuing threat of COVID-19. And while test cricket is returning in a bio-secure series between England and West Indies next week and New Zealand and Australia are making plans, the Indian cricket authorities have decided they must still play it safe.

So the three ODIs and three T20s due to be contested between India and Sri Lanka have been put on hold, with talks progressing to try to get the series on in August if safe to do so. And that means the Indian tour of Zimbabwe could be shunted further back.

The Indian players have not been in full training and will need at least four weeks to reach match fitness, so we’ll keep watching that space.

England welcomes the Windies

There’s better news in England, though, where the West Indies arrived earlier in the month. Jason Holder and his team have been holed up in a hotel next to Lancashire’s Old Trafford ground and they are ready to do battle in ten days time on July 8th.

The Cricket 2020 betting odds will back the hosts, but there is plenty of punch in this West Indies team so we’re sure to see some great action. And there is the subplot of England’s Barbadian-born fast bowler Jofra Archer facing the Windies for the first time.

Archer has burst onto the English cricket scene as a genuinely rapid and hostile bowler with superb control. He gave Australia’s Steve Smith a torrid time last summer and English cricket fans can’t wait to see him in action again.

The three-match series will start at the Ageas Bowl, and England will be looking to its pace attack to show the type of form which can propel the Three Lions to the top of the world rankings.

Mark Wood bowls regularly at speeds of over 90mph and if he can stay fit, he, alongside Stuart Broad and Ben Stokes, could make up a fearsome pace attack. Of course, the legendary Jimmy Anderson will still push for a place, as will newcomer Ollie Stone.

The England team nutritionist reckons the players have emerged from lockdown fitter than ever. England head coach Chris Silverwood has set his sights on the Ashes in the winter of 2021/22 as his big target, and this summer’s tests against two competitive sides will be a good measure of his side’s potential.

The Three Lions are ranked fourth in the ICC Test Rankings in a tight group headed by Australia, and with India and New Zealand in close proximity, he’ll want to see some progress.

The Windies too have an impressive pace attack led by skipper Holder and fellow seam bowlers Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel. But the most exciting talent of all is 23-year-old Antiguan quickie Alzarri Joseph.

England met him before in the 2019 series in Antigua and will not underestimate a man hailed by Windies legend Andy Roberts as the backbone of their pace attack.

Pakistan players test positive

Once the Windies series is over, England will have another good challenge when they welcome Pakistan for a Test and T20 tour. But the tourists’ preparation has been thrown into some chaos with key players Mohammed Hafiz, Kashif Bhattu, Haris Rauf, Haider Ali and Imran Khan all testing positive for COVID-19.

But Pakistan have flown 20 players and 11 support staff to Manchester while further tests are carried out on the players in quarantine. Some of the Pakistan team have been criticised for sharing photos of themselves on social media, training together in close proximity and defying the Pakistan Cricket Board instructions.

The PCB has upped its checking processes and has isolated the negative testing players in a secure hotel. Let’s hope the rest of their players recover quickly.

In the meantime, we’re ready and set for the 8th of July and the chance to see some cricket. So keep an eye on the updates over the next few days and the SBOBET odds for the big re-launch of another summer sport.

We’re getting there…step by step.

 

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