English cricket authorities announced on Monday that a three match “North vs. South” series will be played next year in the United Arab Emirates, featuring players from England’s county circuit who are not already playing international cricket.
The players will be selected by a player ranking system that provides more rigorous analysis of performances than traditional averages, taking into account less tangible factors like fielding, venues, conditions and standard of opposition.
Andrew Strauss, managing director of the England and Walse Cricket Board, says “this is a bit of a step into the unknown..but the logic behind it very solid.”
England will host the 2019 World Cup.
In the last couple of World Cup England’s performance was not up to the mark. In 2015, World Cup England was shattered by Bangladesh and New Zealand. In 2011 they also lost to Bangladesh. Their performance in 2007 was marred by controversy.
The last time they qualified for final in 1992 when Pakistan’s Wasim Akram ripped apart. Since then they are an ordinary team in the world cup.
Had the rules been in place in 2015 the players to qualify from the South would have been Steven Davies, Benny Howell, Liam Dawson, Ravi Bopara and, as the spinner, Jack Taylor. From the North, Wes Durston, Samit Patel, Scott Borthwick and Alex Hales would have qualified. Riki Wessels finished ahead of Hales but was not, at the time, England qualified. Stephen Parry would have qualified as the spinner.
Twenty-six players will be chosen for the two squads in total, with no age limits applied. Nobody who has retired from ODI cricket will be selected, ruling out the likes of Marcus Trescothick, Ian Bell, Paul Collingwood or Jonathan Trott, while it is also unlikely that members of England’s ODI squad – who will have just finished a series in the Caribbean in March – will be considered for selection.
However, no sponsorship or broadcasting arrangements have yet been made for the games , though there is plenty of time to resolve both issues.