NEWS: Pakistan World Cup Squad Announced

Hamadullah Sohu writes:

The PCB have announced Pakistan’s 15-woman squad for the forthcoming World Cup, which will be played in England from 24 June to 23 July.

They have also confirmed that Pakistan will feature in two warm-up matches before the main event, against West Indies and Australia on 20 and 22 June respectively.

Sana Mir, Pakistan’s captain, said: “The warm-up matches provide us with just the kind of chance we need to fine-tune our game ahead of the ICC Women’s World Cup. We get to play last year’s finalists Australia and the West Indies in these matches and look forward to using the opportunity to prepare well for the tournament ahead.”

Pakistan qualified for the tournament at the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier 2017, played in Colombo in February this year, along with India, South Africa, and Sri Lanka. They play their first game of the campaign against South Africa on 25 June at Grace Road, Leicester.

Full Squad:

Ayesha Zafar

Bibi Nahida

Marina Iqbal

Bismah Maroof

Javeria Khan

Syeda Nain Fatima Aabidi

Sidra Nawaz (WK)

Sana Mir (Captain)

Kainat Imtiaz

Asmaviiya Iqbal Khokhar

Diana Baig

Waheeda Akhtar

Nashra Sandhu

Ghulam Fatima

Sadiya Yousuf

Sabih Azhar (Coach)

 

 

NEWS: Sarah Taylor To Join UAE Camp

England have announced that Sarah Taylor will after all join England’s pre-season training camp in the UAE, during which an England XI will play 3 non-international matches against Ireland.

Although Taylor has stayed out of the limelight for the past year, and hasn’t played any competitive cricket since the World T2o semi-final in India last March, she has remained a part of the England squad throughout that period, and has been training over the winter.

Nevertheless if she is, as England clearly hope, to make her return in time for the World Cup, she needs something more than nets at Loughborough to prepare, and hopefully this fairly low-key training camp offers that opportunity.

Additionally joining England on the camp in a coaching capacity will be recently retired Lancashire men’s captain Tom Smith, who is also going to be involved with Lancashire Thunder during KSL2.

England Head Coach Mark Robinson said:

“Bringing people [like Tom Smith] in helps further their own careers and brings continuity and quality within the coaching setup… He is fresh out of the game and is hungry to learn and develop as a coach. It’s great to get him in.”

BREAKING: The Women’s County Championship

At the launch event for the (Men’s) County Championship at Merchant Taylors School last week, Clare Connor stood on stage alongside the bigwigs of the men’s game to celebrate the inclusion of a fourth “major” trophy into the pantheon of English domestic cricket – alongside the (Men’s) County Championship, the (Men’s) One Day Cup and the (Men’s) T20 Blast, we now have the Women’s Kia Super League.

“It’s a visual reminder for the game that we now have four major trophies on offer in our domestic season.”

The following day, Scyld Berry reported to readers of the Telegraph:

“Clare Connor, the ECB’s director of women’s cricket, made the point that counties had ceased to produce a good national women’s team and had to be replaced by franchises.”

Replaced?

Replaced?

Well, no – we can assure you that on Sunday 30th April, players from Berkshire to Yorkshire, and all manner of shires in-between, will walk out onto the fields of England to embark upon the chase for the Women’s County Championship of 2017.

To be fair to Scyld Berry, he was only reporting what he heard… and to be equally fair to Clare Connor, we don’t doubt that what he heard probably wasn’t quite what she said.

But the impression is clear enough – as far as the ECB are concerned, the Women’s County Championship occupies the status of Mrs Rochester to the KSL’s Jane Eyre, and we all remember what happened to Mrs Rochester… right? (TLDR: madness, fire, suicide, blar, blar, blar.)

As if to emphasise the point, at the end of last week, the ECB sent out a press release detailing the international player rosters for KSL2, which (lest we forget) doesn’t even start until after the World Cup, in which the only mention of the word “county” was to confirm that Finals Day will be held at the “Central County Ground” in Hove.

But the fact of the matter is that it is county cricket, with the Women’s County Championship at its heart, which remains the bedrock of the elite women’s game in this country – Div 1 offering 3,920 overs of cricket (including the T2o Cup) compared to the KSL’s 680 overs. We should be shouting from the rooftops… not jumping from them! [Okay… that’s enough Jane Eyre references – Ed.]

But perhaps the real lesson here, however, isn’t for us at all – it is for the fans of the men’s game, who are being told that the coming City T20, designed around the same franchise model as the KSL, won’t downgrade the status of their County Championship.

Yer.

We were told that too.

BREAKING: England & Overseas Players Announced For KSL2

The ECB have revealed the England and Overseas player rosters for KSL2, with moves for a number of players, including for England’s two Danielle’s: Hazell heading across the Pennines to captain the Thunder, and Wyatt moving down south to the Vipers.

It has also been announced that both Charlotte Edwards and Arran Brindle will be returning for the Vipers; but not Lydia Greenway, who effectively therefore confirms her retirement from the “spotlight” level of the game, though she may yet appear for Kent this season in a “player-coach” capacity.

Two overseas players (at the Stars and the Storm) are still “To Be Confirmed”.

Lancashire Thunder

  • Kate Cross
  • Danielle Hazell
  • Sarah Taylor
  • Jess Jonassen (AUS)
  • Amy Satterthwaite (NZ)
  • Lea Tahuhu (NZ)

Loughborough Lightning

  • Georgia Elwiss
  • Amy Jones
  • Beth Langston
  • Kristen Beams (AUS)
  • Ellyse Perry (AUS)
  • Elyse Villani (AUS)

Southern Vipers

  • Tash Farrant
  • Danielle Wyatt
  • Suzie Bates (NZ)
  • Hayley Matthews (WI)
  • Dane van Niekerk (SA)
  • Charlotte Edwards
  • Arran Brindle

Surrey Stars

  • Tammy Beaumont
  • Alex Hartley
  • Laura Marsh
  • Natalie Sciver
  • Rene Farrell (AUS)
  • Marizanne Kapp (SA)
  • TBC (OS)

Western Storm

  • Heather Knight
  • Anya Shrubsole
  • Fran Wilson
  • Rachel Priest (NZ)
  • Stafanie Taylor (WI)
  • TBC (OS)

Yorkshire Diamonds

  • Katherine Brunt
  • Jenny Gunn
  • Lauren Winfield
  • Sophie Devine (NZ)
  • Sune Luus (SA)
  • Beth Mooney (AUS)

NEWS: 2017 Women’s Cricket World Cup Cancelled

The 2017 Women’s World Cup, which was due to be staged in England this summer, has been cancelled, according to a statement from Cricket Australia.

Bruce Bruceton, the Deputy Vice Chief Executive of Women’s Cricket in Australia, made the announcement at a special press conference last night in Melbourne.

Bruceton said:

“It was clear to everyone that Australia were going to win the World Cup anyway, so we’ve decided to do the sensible thing and just keep the trophy for another 4 years.”

Australian skipper Meg Megastar, who has been credited with an additional 9 international centuries, to make up for the ones she would have scored anyway if the tournament had been played, added:

“I’m really, really good at the crickets. By the way… has anyone seen Warnie?”

It is expected that a decision on the 2021 World Cup in New Zealand will be made shortly after midday.

NEWS: England Name Squad For UAE Training Camp & Ireland Matches

England have named a huge squad of 24 players for their up-coming training camp in the UAE, which will include 3 one-day matches (NB – not “official” ODIs) against Ireland on 24th, 26th and 28th of April, as well as a number of inter-squad games.

The squad includes all the contracted players except Sarah Taylor; plus 7 faces from the Senior Academy squad, including Berkshire’s Linsey Smith and Kent’s Alice Davidson-Richards. Although neither Smith nor Davidson-Richards have quite “come from nowhere”, neither was really in the England picture a year ago, but as with Alex Hartley, it shows that Mark Robinson’s England are prepared to cast their net a little wider than might have been the case in the past.

As for Taylor, England are clearly still hoping she might make the World Cup – she is back in training, but not at full fitness, and England have stressed that there are no timescales in place – she will be back when she is ready, be that in time for the World Cup, or not.

UPDATE

The ECB have confirmed that the contracted players will not be available for the first two rounds of the County Championship on April 30th/ May 1st; whilst the Academy players will be released on a case-by-case basis.

Full Squad:

  • Heather Knight
  • Anya Shrubsole
  • Tammy Beaumont
  • Katherine Brunt
  • Kate Cross
  • Georgia Elwiss
  • Tash Farrant
  • Jenny Gunn
  • Alexandra Hartley
  • Danielle Hazell
  • Amy Jones
  • Beth Langston
  • Laura Marsh
  • Nat Sciver
  • Fran Wilson
  • Lauren Winfield
  • Danielle Wyatt
  • Georgia Adams
  • Hollie Armitage
  • Alice Davidson-Richards
  • Sophie Ecclestone
  • Eve Jones
  • Emma Lamb
  • Linsey Smith

JOB OPPORTUNITY: Women’s Cricket Maker (Oxfordshire Cricket)

– Are you passionate about getting more women playing sport?
– Do you have an interest in Cricket?
– Do you have the skills to engage women to go give Cricket a go?
– Can you make a difference?
– If yes, this may be for you!

Oxfordshire Cricket are looking for an enthusiastic Women’s Cricket Maker for the upcoming summer.

The job will run for 5 months, with the aim to give as many women as possible the opportunity to get a bat and ball experience this summer in a fun and social environment.

More details – including how to apply – are available on the Oxfordshire Cricket website, here: http://www.oxfordshire.cricket/news/womens-cricket-maker-wanted-18215/

NEWS: England XI To Play Ireland In World Cup Warm-Up

An England XI will meet Ireland in three 50-over games in the UAE in April, two months prior to the launch of England’s World Cup campaign.

The matches will take place on 24, 26 and 28 April and, while they will not count as “official” ODIs, they will serve as a useful warm-up for England’s players in the build-up to the world tournament, which launches on June 24.

Ireland, meanwhile, are clearly treating the series as an opportunity to blood new talent, with 7 uncapped players included in their squad: Aoife Beggs, Rachel Delany, Louise Little, Lara Maritz, Sophie MacMahon, Leah Paul and Rebecca Stokell.

Ireland squad: Laura Delany (capt), Aoife Beggs, Laura Boylan, Rachel Delaney, Jennifer Gray, Shauna Kavanagh, Amy Kenealy, Gaby Lewis, Louise Little, Lara Maritz, Sophie MacMahon, Lucy O’Reilly, Leah Paul, Rebecca Stokell, Mary Waldron.

England squad: TBC.

OPINION: Women’s Salaries In Australia – The Story… And The REAL Story

Give them their due, Cricket Australia really are the masters of media management. This morning we’ve seen the mainstream newspapers, not to mention some of the cricket press who really should know better, fall over themselves to laud CA over a one-sided press release which in reality is just another battle in their war with the Australian (Men’s) Cricketers’ Association (ACA) over the future of men’s salaries.

The press release proclaims an amazing leap forwards for the women’s game:

“Women’s Pay Set To Double” is typical of the headlines in the mainstream press; and this would be big news if it was news… but unfortunately that isn’t quite what it is.

The small print begins even in that tweet from Cricket Australia – this isn’t a deal, it is an “offer” made by CA to the ACA – the latest bargaining chip in the protracted round of negotiations over a new deal for Australia’s men’s cricketers.

For a few years now, the men in Australia… in an agreement based on a “memorandum of understanding” which totally excludes the women… have been paid based on a revenue sharing agreement – when CA does well, the men do well; and when CA win the lottery (as they have with the BBL), the men win the lottery.

CA want to ditch this deal, for reasons both good and bad – they want to keep back more money for CA itself, but they would argue that this will allow them to invest in the future of the game, and put aside grain for the lean years which will inevitably roll around one day.

Unsurprisingly, the men aren’t terribly keen on this, and through their union – which is what the ACA is – they are fighting tooth and nail to keep revenue sharing.

Today’s offer is an attempt by CA to cut through the Gordian Knott of the ACA’s intransigence on this issue. By bringing the women into it, and aspiring to double their salaries, CA make themselves out to be the good guys, and challenge the ACA to look like sexist dinosaurs if they spurn this latest offer.

And by releasing it to the media the way they have, CA also clearly hope to create a fait accompli – to make the deal almost impossible for the ACA to reject, because the media have already painted it as “done”.

If it eventually happens, and if the small print lives up to the headlines, then sure – it would be a game-changer. But those are big “ifs”; and the media are doing the women, who are being used as cannon-fodder in a cynical game of “blink” between CA and the ACA, a disservice in writing those headlines based on where we really are at right now.

Rising Stars: Up And Coming Talent From The England Women’s Academy, Part 2

Ffion Wynne continues her profiles of some of the top future England prospects.

(Catch up with Part 1 here!)

3. Alex Travers

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The great confidence of 16-year-old Alex Travers is remarkable for such a young age. Having played her county cricket at Surrey since the Under 11 age group, the winter of 2016/2017 has been her first in any England set-up, and her enjoyment in the squad is evident in her enthusiasm. “It was quite a big adjustment at first,” Alex explains, “but I learn so much from being around this environment, and I know exactly what I need to do to improve further from being here.”

She speaks highly of the set-up and the supportive nature of the coaching staff, demonstrating its importance in supporting the development of future England hopefuls. Similarly to Charlie Dean, Travers claims that the being a younger member of the squad doesn’t hinder the experience in the slightest, and that challenging herself against the best of her age will undoubtedly improve her skills.

Travers has also been included in the Regional Development Centre of the Surrey Stars, and is highly motivated to participate in the KSL during the next few years of her career. “It would be amazing to play in the Super League and I’d love to play for England eventually. Just from being involved in these camps over the past few months, I feel like I can improve so much,” Alex says.

Despite the high hopes for her future, Travers remains focused and is determined to keep enjoying her cricket as much as she currently does. Having made her way into Surrey’s first XI last summer, Travers’ clear enthusiasm for the game and willingness to learn will undoubtedly make her a regular performer this season, aiding her progression towards her KSL and England dreams.

4. Izzy Cloke

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Kent’s young talent Izzy Cloke concludes the trio of 16-year-olds, but this winter already marks her third in any England set-up. This experience is evident in Cloke’s enthusiasm and confidence, as she describes her aim to fully establish herself in Kent’s first XI this summer, after playing her first two games last season. “It’s a really strong team, which made it quite daunting to begin with,” Cloke says, “but Lydia Greenway was captain and she was really helpful in making me feel included. I bowled three overs on my debut at Arundel, which went really well and gave me a lot of confidence.”

Last winter, Cloke emerged onto the Development Programme from the Under 15s, which she describes as initially quite difficult as many of the girls were much older, and had been in the programme together for a while. However, Cloke also states that the supportive nature of the coaches cannot be faulted in providing a friendly and welcoming environment, where the correct amount of pressure is applied without being too overwhelming for the younger members of the squad. Alongside her England experience, Cloke trains alongside Alex Travers in the Surrey Stars Development Centre.

As she is currently studying for her AS Levels, Izzy is firmly focusing on her cricketing and academic future. “Loughborough is definitely one of my university choices,” she explains, “because I really want to stay on an England programme, and it would be useful to combine that with a really good course, but I am looking at quite a few others at the moment.”

Further along the line, Cloke does aspire to be involved in the KSL, as her experience as a spectator watching the Stars demonstrated its status as a great competition, and would really allow her cricket to develop further. With high hopes to progress into the Senior Academy over the next few years, Cloke’s positivity and the maturity of her attitude suggests that her cricket will continue to go from strength to strength.