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England Women v West Indies Women

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West Indies and England women will take a knee in support of Black Lives Matter during their five T20Is starting on Monday.

Stafanie Taylor, the West Indies captain, revealed on Saturday that the teams would perform the gesture and praised England counterpart Heather Knight for offering her side’s support for any way the visiting side wanted to recognise the movement.

“They’re very much in support of it,” Taylor said of the England side. “It’s very much what we want to do, and they’re going to support whatever we decide, and, yeah, we are going to be honouring the Black Lives Matter movement.

“We will be wearing the Black Lives Matter movement logo on our jersey but, yeah, we’ll be taking a knee for all the games.”

ALSO READ: ‘Making cricket more inclusive would be a small positive from the pandemic’ – Knight

The England and West Indies men’s teams wore the same logo on their shirts during the Test series in July. They also took a knee before the start of play throughout the series, as did England and Ireland for their three ODIs. But England, Pakistan and Australia did not perform the gesture during their series, drawing criticism from West Indies great Michael Holding.

“It means a lot to us,” Taylor added of England women’s support. “A lot has been happening around the world and you pretty much want to be on the same page. It was really nice of her [Knight] to send a message to say, ‘Hey Staf, you know, we’re very much in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, and we want to support it as best as we can, so let me know what it is that you want to do.’ That brings a smile to all of our faces.”

All matches will be played behind closed doors at Derby, where West Indies have been based for three weeks.

“It feels like home,” Taylor said. “Normally when we go on a tour it’s like we’re the away team, but this time it feels like we’re the home team pretty much. The girls are in great spirits. We’ve had a few weeks to get out there and get used to the conditions and everything is going well.”

Monday’s series opener will be the first women’s international since 86,174 people watched Australia defeat India in the T20 World Cup final in March. Australia will play New Zealand in three T20Is from September 26, followed by three ODIs.

“Given what happened in the World Cup, we had 80 something thousand people at the game and probably how many millions actually watching, you definitely want to see the rise again,” Taylor said. “And it’s hard with COVID now, kind of setting the game back. It’s really nice that the women are back up and running.”

Taylor, who was stretchered off with a groin injury during West Indies’ penultimate fixture of the T20 World Cup, has missed one of two intra-squad warm-up matches since arriving in England, although she scored 71 in the first.

And while allrounder Deandra Dottin has bowled just two overs across both matches as she continues her comeback from shoulder surgery, she has been in decent touch with the bat scoring 41 and 29. Lee-Ann Kirby scored an unbeaten 85 in the second warm-up and Taylor was not worried that those were the only real innings of note.

“No it’s not, it’s not a concern at all,” she said. “We basically played against ourselves, and if you split the team, you have to try and balance it. When you look at the scorecard, you basically see that most of the batters who were actually getting runs were the batters, which is good.

“That’s what we need, we need the batters to spend that time out in the middle, get yourself in. Even though we’re playing against ourselves, you know, mark yourself hard and I think we did just that.”



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BBL 2020-21 – AB de Villiers opts out of BBL, Mujeeb Ur Rahman returns to Brisbane Heat

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AB de Villiers will not return to the BBL with the Brisbane Heat this season due to the imminent birth of his third child and the complexities created by Covid-19 although the club have re-signed Afghanistan spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman.

De Villiers’ signing was announced to much fanfare last season as he played six matches for the Heat although his returns were middling with 146 runs at 24.33. He is currently enjoying an impressive IPL with Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Heat hope he can return in the future.

“While things initially looked fine for him to come back, there have been a few factors emerge which have changed everyone’s plans,” coach Darren Lehmann said. “The main one, aside from the challenges represented by Covid-19 and international travel, is that AB and his wife Danielle are expecting their third child very soon.

ALSO READ: New Zealand-New South Wales air bubble could help bring top West Indies players to BBL

“Naturally we’re very pleased for them and know that the next few months will be a very special time for all. We’ll stay in contact and see what develops. He has been in excellent touch in the IPL for Royal Challengers Bangalore, so he obviously remains a player we’d like to keep working with when the circumstances allow.”

Had de Villiers joined the BBL he would have been required to undergo 14 days quarantine in a hotel room before being able to link up with the Heat squad.

“It’s exciting for Danielle and me with the arrival of our new baby very soon,” he said. “So with a young, growing family, and the uncertainty around travel and conditions due to Covid-19, we reluctantly decided it wasn’t going to be this season.

“The Heat were great to us last summer and I am very open to returning to the club in the future. The team didn’t get the results we were hoping for and I consider there is some unfinished business to deal with.”

Mujeeb, meanwhile, will play his third season for the Heat. He is part of the Kings XI Punjab squad at the IPL although has only made two wicketless outings at the tournament. However, his form at the CPL, where he claimed 16 wickets at 13.56 and an economy of 5.29 on surfaces heavily in favour of spin, has encouraged Lehmann.

“He’s doing a lot of the little things as well as anyone, and his control and maturity have gone to a new level, I believe,” Lehmann said. “He was outstanding in the Caribbean Premier League recently when he was the second leading wicket-taker in the competition, and he’s shown in the IPL that he can handle the very best.

“We’re very pleased to have him back with us and with the BBL schedule potentially looking quite different to the usual format, his versatility and ability to create chances in a range of conditions will be very important for us.”

The Heat also have England’s Tom Banton in their squad and teams will be allowed to field three overseas players in their XIs for the next two seasons. The schedule for the BBL has yet to be confirmed but is expected to be announced shortly after the Australia-India dates are rubberstamped.



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New Zealand fast bowler Matt Henry a doubt for West Indies series after injuring his right thumb

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New Zealand fast bowler Matt Henry has broken his thumb while training with his domestic side Canterbury in the Plunket Shield. Henry was hit on his right thumb while batting in the nets, and the injury has put him in doubt for New Zealand’s upcoming home season.

“Matt was unfortunately struck on the tip of the right thumb while batting in the nets,” Canterbury physio Tim Dovbysh said. “Matt got an X-ray [done] immediately after training which confirmed the fracture.”

Dovbysh said Henry would require about four to six weeks to be full fit, meaning he is likely to miss the first game of the home series against West Indies – the T20I at Eden Park on November 27. New Zealand are currently scheduled to play West Indies in three T20Is and two Tests, before hosting Pakistan for the same number of matches in December.

This January, Henry had also injured his left thumb during the opening day of the Sydney Test against Australia.

Henry has added to New Zealand’s injury concerns ahead of the home season, with their captain Kane Williamson also currently recovering from an adductor injury he picked up in the IPL.

Williamson last played for his side Sunrisers Hyderabad on October 13, having missed three game since, something which former New Zealand fast bowler Danny Morrison has put down to the excessive cricket played these days. Speaking to Newstalk ZB, Morrison said, “I just wonder whether, in terms of the amount of cricket these guys play these days, toing and froing in all the different genres of it… I’m not surprised it’s taking its toll.”

“Kane… plays all formats. So, when I look at that, something’s got to give. At the moment, I think he’s still very sore and very tight.”



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Sheffield Shield 2020-21 – Cameron Green set to return to bowling crease for Western Australia

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Western Australia allrounder Cameron Green is hopeful of making his long-awaited return to bowling in Friday’s Sheffield Shield clash against Tasmania.

Green, 21, has not bowled in either a domestic or club fixture since November 2019 due to lower back concerns. He has had multiple stress fractures in his lower back dating back to junior cricket and the WACA have been ultra-conservative with him since his most recent fracture late last year.

He has been bowling over the winter and has been making some technical changes with WA bowling coach Matt Mason and he is hopeful of finally bowling in a game this week.

“I’m having a bowl today,” Green told RSN Radio. “I’m having a couple more sessions before game day. Hopefully maybe a couple of overs this game but if that doesn’t happen, hopefully, the game after. But it will only be a handful of overs I would say.”

Green has two five-wicket hauls in Sheffield Shield cricket and both have come against Tasmania, including 5 for 24 on debut as a 17-year-old.

But since being unable to bowl, Green has established himself as one of the best batsmen in the Sheffield Shield scoring 929 runs at 84.45 in nine games including four centuries.

His career-best 197 against New South Wales last week has put him firmly in the Test selection frame but Green is determined to keep his head down.

“I’m going okay,” he said. “I haven’t really gone through a bad patch since I scored my first hundred so I’m just going with the wave and going with the flow of doing well and for some reason, it’s just paying off at the moment but I’m trying to keep a level head.

“Cricket doesn’t owe you anything. As soon as you think you’re better than you are, it catches up to you. I’m just trying to keep a level head.”



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