NEWS: This Week In Brief

Hurricanes In The West Indies

  • England breathed a sigh of relief at their training camp in the West Indies, as the tropical storm dubbed “Hurricane Matthew”, which caused death and destruction elsewhere in the Caribbean, largely passed Jamaica by. The players spent a bit of time on “lock down” at their hotel; but damage locally was fortunately minimal, and the grounds have been inspected by the WICB and passed fit for play… unlike England’s Anya Shrubsole, who is ruled-out of the first 2 ODIs with a side-strain.
  • Now the only Hurricane Matthew England have to worry about now is Hobart Hurricane Hayley Matthew(s), who is set to take on her WBBL skipper, Heather Knight, today at Trelawny Stadium, with business getting underway this afternoon at 3:30pm UK time in the 5-match ODI series – look out for a live stream and commentary on TMS.

Hotting Up Down Under

  • As dawn breaks on another antipodean summer, the Australians continue to push towards full professionalisation of their domestic game, with the announcement that the New South Wales Breakers, who compete in the 50-over WNCL, have secured a new deal from their sponsor – property conglomerate Lendlease – which will allow them to go fully professional, with all 14 squad players set to take home at least the national minimum wage of $35,000. (And a lot more for those who play WBBL and international cricket on top.)
  • Meanwhile in the T20 WBBL, last year’s “Wooden Spoon” winners the Melbourne Renegades have strengthened their squad with the addition of Australian international, and professional novelty sock-wearer, Grace Harris. Harris represented the Brisbane Heat last season, and is the only player in the WBBL’s brief history to have scored a century – clubbing 103 off 55 balls against the Sydney Sixers.

New Zealand Face New South Africa

  • New Zealand looked in ominous form as they smashed an “Emerging” South African XI in their warm-up prior to the 7-match ODI series, which also begins today.
  • There was some bad news for the White Ferns however, as spinner Leigh Kasperek was ruled out for two months with a broken finger – she’ll miss this tour and the up-coming series v Pakistan.
  • Meanwhile South Africa have named their squad for new captain Dane van Niekerk’s first series at the helm, including teenage batting prodigy Laura Wolvaardt, who made her debut against England less than a year ago, progressing to her first international century back in August against Ireland. Wolvaardt is now looking set to be a fixture of the team for years to come; but we also hear that she might soon be spending a lot of time in hospital… a teaching hospital that is, as she concurrently pursues her ambition to qualify as a doctor when she graduates from high school!