The ODI series between the Netherlands and England scheduled for May 2021 has been postponed due to “continuing uncertainty regarding the Covid-19 pandemic”. The series, which consists of three ODIs and is scheduled to be played in Amstelveen, will now be played in May 2022.
The KNCB was hoping the series would attract sell-out crowds and provide a significant boost to the sport in the Netherlands. But the prospect of not being allowed to admit spectators rendered the games unviable from a financial perspective and threatened to turn the event into a missed opportunity.
A joint statement from the KNCB and the ECB read: “The participation of the Netherlands in the ICC competition, as the only Associate Member, is an enormous challenge for Dutch cricket, and the home matches versus England would be a great chance to put cricket on the map in the country.
“The prospect of having to play these matches with hardly any or no spectators at all was not a viable option for the KNCB, and the ECB showed their understanding of this situation.”
Although not confirmed, it is hoped the series will still be included in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League standings. Originally the Super League was scheduled to start on 1 May 2020 and conclude on 31 March 2022. But with some series postponed, the ICC is discussing options to provide greater flexibility.
“It is disappointing that we are unable to play the Netherlands in May in what would be England’s first visit to Holland,” Ashley Giles, the managing director of England men’s cricket, said. “Hopefully, with the prospect of crowds returning to sport soon, we can rearrange the three matches in 2022 and showcase international cricket to capacity crowds. I am sure many fans will want to travel across from England and be part of this historic ODI series.”
In official internationals, England and the Netherlands have previously only faced one another at ICC global events, at three World Cups in 1996, 2003, and 2011, and in two World T20s, both of which produced shock results – the Netherlands won by four wickets in the opening fixture of the 2009 event at Lord’s, and by 45 runs at Chattogram in 2014.
Warwickshire close to signing Che Simmons, 17-year-old dubbed ‘new Jofra Archer’
Barbadian fast bowler has UK passport and impressed on trial with 2nd XI
Having made an excellent impression, Simmons is expected to be offered a deal which might well include some type of scholarship in order that he can complete his education in the UK. He currently attends Combermere School, which has a rich history of producing top players. As well has current West Indies Test captain, Kraigg Brathwaite, Wes Hall, Clyde Walcott, Frank Worrall and Chris Jordan also attended the school. So did the singer, Rihanna.
A fast bowler with a beautiful smooth run-up and action, Simmons has represented Barbados Under-15s and came to prominence by claiming all 10 wickets in an innings while playing for the Franklyn Stephenson Academy. He finished with the remarkable figures of 10 for 16 from 5.3 overs. Only two of the runs he conceded came off the bat.
George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo
Recent Match Report – Gladiators vs Qalandars 23rd Match 2020/21-2021
Their 18-run win consigned the Lahore Qalandars to their second straight defeat
Quetta Gladiators 158 for 5 (Weatherald 48, Sarfaraz 34*, Faulkner 3-25) beat Lahore Qalandars 140 (David 46, Shahzad 3-14, Shinwari 3-32) by 18 runs
Weatherald comes to the rescue
After James Faulkner had Usman Khan loft one right down the throat of deep point in the second over, it was Usman’s opening partner Weatherald who initiated the repair job for the Gladiators. Weatherald was on 7 off 16 deliveries at one stage after the early nerves encountered by the movement of Shaheen Shah Afridi and the accuracy of Faulkner, whose slower deliveries and variations continued to keep a check on the opposition batters. But Weatherald got into Ahmed Daniyal in the fifth over after the first four had produced only 16 runs. He first pulled Daniyal to deep square before driving his slower ball to the right of mid-off for two fours in the over.
And with one over of the powerplay to go, Weatherald took the aggressive route against Faulkner as well. He cracked two fours and a six off him – a guide down to third man, a flick to deep square leg and a pull over the square leg boundary, respectively – to inject some momentum into the Gladiators’ innings. When the Qalandars introduced Haris Rauf and Mohammad Hafeez, even they were not spared by Weatherald, who fell for 48 off 41 deliveries when he was bowled by Hafeez.
Azam counterattacks, Faulkner applies the brakes, Sarfaraz hits back
Hafeez and Rashid Khan removed Cameron Delport and Weatherald in quick succession, but Azam Khan from No. 5 didn’t shy away from counterattacking. After getting a boundary off Rashid by skipping down to a googly, he bashed Rauf for four fours in the 12th over – after a gentle dab, a pull and a whip down the leg side, he rounded off the over with a subtle glide to deep point for four. But after Azam struck a six off Rashid in the next over, Faulkner hit back with his wicket off the first ball of the 15th.
Applying a change of pace yet again with a well disguised ball, Faulkner nabbed Azam for 33 off 18 balls when the batter’s attempted slog on the leg side only found deep midwicket, where Zaman ran in to complete the take. Five balls later, Faulkner’s sharp reflex catch off his own bowling sent back Mohammad Nawaz for six. That started a quiet period with the bat for the Gladiators, who could muster only 18 off the next 17 deliveries before Sarfaraz hit back with two fours and a six to provide the finishing touches with an unbeaten 34 off 27 balls, having been on 18 from 19 deliveries until the 18th over.
The famous Qalandars collapse
They had folded up for 124 in their previous match after being 86 for 2 in the 11th over while chasing 153 against the Islamabad United, and the Qalandars repeated the script against the Gladiators on Tuesday evening. A score of 23 for 1 became 66 for 7 in the blink of an eye, as the highest score by a top five batter was Zeeshan Ashraf’s 16, with all three of Akhtar, Hafeez and Dunk falling for single-figure scores.
Nawaz produced a beauty in the seventh over when he gave the ball some air just outside off, as it turned into Dunk, who went for the drive only for the ball to find the gap between his bat and pad. He next bowled Rashid in the ninth over off a short of a length ball that didn’t get up a great deal, as Rashid played the pull only to be bowled by one that didn’t turn.
David fights as Qalandars take it deep
The Qalandars needed a 84 from 45 balls with three wickets in hand before Tim David decided to throw everything at the Gladiators’ bowlers. In Zahoor Khan’s first over – which had started with seven runs off the first three deliveries – David hammered 4, 6, 6 off the last three balls to drag the required rate down from 11.33 to 9.71. And after Nawaz finished off his quota in the next over – he ended with 2 for 16 – David resumed with consecutive fours off Shinwari just after the time-out.
But Shinwari had him caught by Sarfaraz off the last ball of the over, after David had cracked 46 off 27 balls, including four fours and three sixes. But Sarfaraz’s worries wouldn’t end with that as first Afridi’s 12 runs from six deliveries and then No. 11 Rauf’s 19 off seven brought it down to 19 needed from 13 balls. But Hasnain, who had got the battering from them both, wrapped it up with a yorker to dismiss Rauf and seal an 18-run win.
Himanshu Agrawal is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo
Match Preview – ENG Women vs IND Women, India Women tour of England 2021, Only Test
First Test encounter for seven years sets the scene for multi-format series
They call it the seven-year itch and after so long in the Test match wilderness, India are ready for a change of scene which they and their opponents, England, hope will be anything but dull or scratchy. So rare are women’s Tests that there is a sense of pressure to provide excitement, not least to a live TV audience, as well as to fans who are just beginning to whet their appetites for witnessing the action in person as pandemic-enforced restrictions slowly ease.
But more pressing for two professional sports teams is the will to win. England haven’t done so at home to India in eight completed Test matches while India are playing just their second Test since their last meeting in the format in 2014, having also played and beaten South Africa later the same year. In fact, India are on a three-match winning streak in Tests – if you can call it a streak given that that streak begins in 2006 – and victory in Bristol would pull them clear of Australia to a women’s record number of Test victories on the trot.
News that this match will be played on a pitch used for the men’s T20 Blast last Friday may boost hopes of a result but it doesn’t exactly buy in to the hype surrounding this match, which has been considerable given that the men’s WTC final between India and New Zealand starts on Friday. At least an otherwise iffy weather forecast is clear for the first day of the Women’s Test, offering them a prime chance to turn heads and perhaps even seduce a wider audience.
It also sets the stage for more to come with the Test forming the first part of a multi-format series incuding three ODIs and three T20Is.
In the spotlight
England (possible): 1 Tammy Beaumont, 2 Lauren Winfield-Hill, 3 Heather Knight (capt), 4 Amy Jones, 5 Nat Sciver, 6 Sophia Dunkley, 7 Fran Wilson/Georgia Elwiss, 8 Katherine Brunt, 9 Anya Shrubsole, 10 Sophie Ecclestone, 11 Emily Arlott/Kate Cross
India (possible): 1 Smriti Mandhana, 2 Jemimah Rodrigues/Priya Punia, 3 Punam Raut, 4 Mithali Raj (capt), 5 Harmanpreet Kaur, 6 Deepti Sharma, 7 Taniya Bhatia (wk), 8 Jhulan Goswami, 9 Shikha Pandey, 10 Poonam Yadav/Ekta Bisht, 11 Arundhati Reddy/Pooja Vastrakar
Pitch and conditions
The match will be played on a pitch used for Gloucestershire’s T20 Blast match against Sussex last Friday, which Knight branded “not ideal” and tried in vain to have changed. The weather could well play a big part with warmth and bright sunshine forecast for the opening day, followed by a high chance of rain, particularly on Thursday and Saturday.
Stats and trivia
“You obviously want to be entertaining and want to put on a show, and show off the best of your skills and the best of women’s cricket, but our job first and foremost is to try and win and be successful. That’s at the forefront of our mind, and if we can do both at the same time, even better.”
Heather Knight on winning vs playing pretty
“You ask any modern-day cricketer, they still want to play the longer format because they eventually know that the format tests the skill of a player.”
Mithali Raj on players’ love of Test cricket
Valkerie Baynes is a general editor at ESPNcricinfo
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