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David Willey, Joe Root, 2019 World Cup, England
Joe throws support behind Willey. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

David Willey Tests COVID-19 Positive; Ruled Out Of T20 Blast Group Matches

England pacer David Willey has tested positive for COVID-19, his Yorkshire county club confirmed. The Yorkshire Vikings have suffered a major setback after skipper Willey tested positive and three other players came in contact with him. They all have been isolated from the team which are currently partaking in the T20 Vitality Blast.

Disclosing the names of the four cricketers, Yorkshire confirmed that Matthew Fisher, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Josh Poysden and David Willey have been advised to self-isolate for 14 days.

This means they will miss out on the remaining matches of the league stage in the ongoing tournament.  Willey had earlier revealed he had to overlook an IPL opportunity to captain Yorkshire Vikings in The Blast T20 series.

David Willey
David Willey. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

David Willey has confirmed he tested positive for COVID-19

Willey took to his twitter handle to confirm he and his wife have tested positive for COVID-19. Since the other three players namely Fisher, Tom Kohler, and Poysden were in close contact with the couple, they will also be serving a mandatory 14-days quarantine period.

David tweeted, “Thank you for all the kind messages. My wife & I received positive COVID test results. Gutted to be missing the remaining games. Even more devastated that having been in contact with the other 3 lads Sat morning (before we had symptoms) means they’re at risk & unavailable too.”

The health and wellbeing of the players and support staff is the club’s primary responsibility: Yorkshire’s Lead Physiotherapist

Yorkshire’s Lead Physiotherapist Kunwar Basil has said they are disappointed about losing four key players of the squad but their main priority is the players’ and support staff’s health.

“Although it is disappointing that we will be without four key players, we have a duty of care to the wider squad and others. The health and wellbeing of the players and support staff is the club’s primary responsibility, as well as protecting the opposition, the integrity of the competition and playing our part in keeping the wider community safe,” Bansil said as quoted by Yorkshire website.

English T20 Big Blast 2015 Preview
T20 blast. Photo Credit: Twitter.

The Yorkshire County Club is currently placed at the fifth position in the points table of North Group with six points. The club has only managed to win to matches out of the eight played yet and have played two draws and faced f0ur losses. The Vikings have to play two more matches in the league stage of the T20 tournament, against Lancashire Lightning on September 17 and Derbyshire Falcons on September 20.

Mitch Claydon, Australian pacer
Mitch Claydon. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Australia’s County Pacer Suspended For Allegedly Using Hand Sanitizer On The Ball

English County club Sussex has suspended it’s player Mitch Claydon, Australian pacer after he was allegedly found applying sanitizer on the ball. England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has set an investigation for the same but for now, he would not be allowed to play for the club.

Sussex, on their official website, informed that ECB has opened a case against Mitch Claydon for a match between his team Sussex and Middlesex last month. Tellingly, he has taken three wickets in that match.

Australia’s Mitch Claydon Suspended For Allegedly Using Hand Sanitizer On The Ball

“Mitch Claydon is suspended pending the outcome of an ECB allegation of placing hand sanitiser on the ball in our match against Middlesex. There will be no further comment at this stage,” said Sussex on their website.

After the suspension, Mitch Claydon would not be allowed to join the Sussex squad for their next Bob Willis Trophy match against Surrey.

no saliva
ICC banned the use of saliva.

Amid the coronavirus, ICC has banned the use of saliva to shine the ball because the natural substance is the carrier of the deadly virus. But the governing council has not allowed the use of any outer substance as the replacement of saliva. The players are strictly restricted to use the saliva on the ball since the outbreak of the virus.

Using hand sanitizer is illegal because it is considered as an outer substance. Mitch Claydon might be charged for ball-tampering and consecutively, the 37-year-old might be banned from a couple of matches.

Meanwhile, the Australian team has arrived in England to play the three-match T20I and as many ODI series. The two teams have played their first T20I match where the host England registered victory.

To curb the spread of the virus, the players are under a bio-secure environment where they will not be allowed to meet any outsider.

Shoaib Akhtar Bets Misbah-ul-Haq Will Be Replaced With Andy Flower As Next Head Coach Of Pakistan
Photo Credit: Getty Images.

I Thought This Guy Is Dead: Shoaib Akhtar Recalls An Incident After Hitting A Batsman In County Cricket

Former Pakistan Speedster Shoaib Akhtar recently recalled hitting a batsman with a beamer during county cricket and left him thinking that he was dead. Shoaib Akhtar has always been infamous for his controversies on and off the field. The Rawalpindi Express is recognized as the fastest bowler in the history of cricket, delivering a world record owing to a top speed of 161.3 km/h (100.23 mph), which came in a pool match against England during the 2003 World Cup.

Shoaib Akhtar was feared by batsman whether rookie or veteran. However, he was also banned for the use of performance-enhancing drugs and was accused of ball-tampering during his career.

Shoaib Akhtar, Shahid Afridi
Shoaib Akhtar. Image Credit: AFP.

He Said ‘Let’s Face You’. So I Went Around The Wicket And Bowled A Fast Bouncer: Shoaib Akhtar

The pacer revealed an incident on his Youtube channel, where he thought he had killed a batsman with his searing pace. The incident occurred when he was playing for English county Worcestershire and had bowled a bouncer which hit the batsman’s face who fell on the wickets owing to an impact.

“In first class cricket when I played for English county Worcestershire, I hit quite a few batsmen. And then it seemed like ‘Oh God I have done something wrong’. I could never understand why I was so mean

“One incident that I remember is with Matthew Maynard of Glamorgan. It was dull in the evening and the light was not great so I told him, ‘let’s go off because my pace is not comfortable to face at this time. So if you want we can go off,”‘ Shoaib stated.

Shoaib Akhtar
Shoaib Akhtar

“But he said ‘let’s face you’. So I went around the wicket and bowled a fast bouncer. It wasn’t very dark but I felt it would be difficult to face my pace. The ball hit him on the face and he fell on the wickets. I thought ‘this guy is dead’,” Shoaib Akhtar maintained.

The Rawalpindi Express — Shoaib Akhtar Route

Shoaib Akhtar was an amalgamation of raw pace and deadly bouncers. He was delightful to watch. He threatened batsmen with his deadly pace and bounce. He played 46 Tests, 163 ODIs and 15 T20Is for Pakistan and picked up more than 400 wickets across all formats.

Shoaib Akhtar
Image Credits: Google

The Rawalpindi Express always delivered for his team and played to his fullest, even when he was injured he used to play on painkillers. His spirit is commendable and unfathomable. His knees had given up back in 1997 itself and for the rest of the time, he played with pain and injections to keep going.

Ishant Sharma
Ishant Sharma. Credits: BCCI Twitter

Ishant Sharma Reveals The Darkest Phase Of His Career

India’s bowling spearhead Ishant Sharma had a lousy phase before 2017 when he stopped enjoying cricket. The senior pacer revived his passion during county cricket for Sussex under the coaching of Jason Gillespie.

During an Instagram live chat on the Delhi Capital’s official handle, Ishant revealed that he struggled during the middle phase of his career. He was under pressure and had sleepless nights. To get his form back, he went to play county cricket where he got a different environment which helped him to become a better cricketer.

I hardly found any joy in my bowling: Ishant Sharma

Ishant Sharma
Ishant Sharma. Credits: BCCI

“People keep saying Ishant 2.0, which it makes it sound like I am a robot! But the phase before 2017 was one when the pressure to perform was a lot,” Ishant said. “I gave me sleepless nights, and I hardly found any joy in my bowling. My county stint with Sussex was what changed everything.”

It was a gruelling stint for me because I was bowling 22-23 overs in a day, batting as well, and then coming back home to do the chores. It was a tough drill but somehow I enjoyed it a lot,” he recalled.

Ishant also credited Sussex coach Jason Gillespie for helping him cope with the tough times. Eventually, after playing there, his mindset changed and became more focused on the present.

Ishant Sharma is an improved bowler:

Ishant Sharma
Ishant Sharma. (Image Credit: BCCI Twitter)

“It was kind of a self-realization also,” he said. “I think I enjoyed a lot more there and I ended up learning a lot about myself – credit also to Jason Gillespie who was my coach there. When I came back to India to play after that, I felt a lot free and focused only on enjoying the present, which took off a lot of pressure from me. That change in mindset is the reason for me being an improved cricketer today.”

The results also started as Ishant Sharma emerged as a different bowler and was the highest wicket-taker for India in England in the 2018 Test series. Now, he is the premier bowler for India in the red-ball format. The 31-year-old Ishant Sharma has played 97 Test matches and picked up 297 wickets.

Vernon Philander
Vernon Philander. Getty

Vernon Philander Confirms Kolpak Deal With Somerset

South Africa’s veteran pacer Vernon Philander is all set to join Somerset on a Kolpak deal for the 2020 County season. Philander had recently announced his international retirement and the ongoing series against England is the last of his career. Philander had also represented Somerset in the past and he had a good time at the club.

Consequently, the South African opening pacer is looking forward to having a good County season with Somerset. Philander has been right on the money with his bowling and he would like to deliver the goods for the club. The right-arm pacer was the pick of the South African bowlers as he scalped four wickets for 16 runs in the first innings against England as the visitors were dismissed for 181.

Vernon Philander Confirms Kolpak Deal With Somerset 1
Vernon Philander. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Philander has been South Africa’s finest.

“I know that they won the 50-over cup last year and came close in the Championship and hopefully I’ll be able to help them to another successful year in 2020. Right now, I am 100% focused on the series against England and then my focus will turn to my next chapter.”

The Proteas pacer has had a good time with Somerset in the past as he had snared 23 wickets at an impressive average of 23.12 in the 2012 season. Philander played five matches as an overseas player in 2012. Somerset Director for Cricket Andy Hurry is thrilled to have Vernon Philander on board.

Vernon Philander Confirms Kolpak Deal With Somerset 2
Vernon Philander. Image Courtesy: Getty Images

Speaking on Philander’s acquisition, Hurry said: “Vernon is undoubtedly a genuine world-class performer and we are delighted to have agreed to terms with such a talented player.

“When the possibility of signing him presented itself and considering the challenges that we feel lie ahead of us with regards to achieving our aspirations, we felt that it was too good an opportunity to miss.

“To put it simply, he is one of the very best bowlers in the game and he would add quality to any team in the world. His experience and knowledge of the game will also be of huge benefit to our bowling group, especially the young players looking to break into the First XI.

“The addition of Vernon to our bowling unit will enable us to continue to manage the workloads of all of our quality seamers through the demands of a full and demanding season even more effectively.

Vernon Philander has had an impressive career as he has taken 220 wickets in 61 Test matches at a fine average of 21.92. The medium-pacer who has the skills to move the ball both ways has made himself available for Somerset in all the formats.

Photo: BCCI

Liam Livingstone To Miss IPL 2020 To Push For Test Recall

England batsman Liam Livingstone has put his Test recall over playing in the Indian Premier League as he has withdrawn from the upcoming season of the T20 league. Instead, he will play county cricket for Lancashire in a bid to earn a Test recall. He is still uncapped in the longest format but was a part of the two Tests against New Zealand in 2018, which were played after England’s long stay in Australia for Ashes 2017/18.

Also Read: Rohit Sharma Likely To Be Rested For West Indies ODIs: Report

While his bid to earn a Test recall will start next year, Livingstone has already been doing his bit to be back in the T20I squad. He has established himself as one of the best T20I players and is currently playing for Cape Town Blitz in the Mzansi Super League.

Liam Livingstone
Liam Livingstone. Getty Images.

Following that, he will play for Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash League and will also play in Pakistan Super League – if he gets picked in the draft. The 26-year-old is also a part of Birmingham Phoenix in The Hundred. Livingstone would have been one of the top picks in the IPL auction but with the fixtures of the T20 tournament and county cricket overlapping, he has withdrawn.

Also Read: Released By Mumbai Indians, Yuvraj Singh Won’t Play IPL 2020; Here’s Why

Last year, he was picked by Rajasthan Royals at his base price of Rs 50 Lakh and scored 71 runs in four matches that he played. He was one of the eleven players that the franchise decided to release ahead of IPL 2020 auction.

Liam Livingstone To Miss IPL 2020 To Push For Test Recall 3
Photo: Getty Images

Livingstone has played two T20Is so far, both against South Africa in 2017. His first-class numbers are fine. In 54 first-class matches, he has scored 2955 runs at 41.61 wth seven centuries and 15 half-centuries.

Livingstone has followed the footsteps of Mitchell Marsh, who had also withdrawn from the T20 league last year to play county cricket. He later earned a recall to the Test side and was also a part of Ashes 2019.

The all-rounder shone with a seven-fer in the only Test he played. Marsh would have retained his place in the squad for upcoming Pakistan Tests but has been ruled out due to hand injury that he suffered after punching a wall.

Travis Head
Travis Head. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Australian Player Travis Head Signed By Sussex For Entire 2020 Season

Australian player Travis head is signed by the County team Sussex for entire 2020 season. This time the player missed the opportunity because of his busy schedule in Ashes 2019. Now the 25-year-old batsman will be available for all the format.

The Sussex coach Jason Gillespie is happy with the selection of Travis Head. He opines that his experience will help the team to move forward. The team needed him and Jason hopes that his skills will benefit team.

Read More: Sarfaraz Ahmed Urges Fans To Come In Big Number For The Historic Moment

“We wanted a top-four batsman to improve our team and Travis will do that. He’s shown his class in his international career so far, he brings some useful off-spin and he will offer good leadership support to our captains from his time leading South Australia and the Strikers.”

“To have a high-quality international batsman like Travis on our staff in 2020 is very, very exciting.

“Next year’s international schedule leaves Australian players relatively free during the English summer, so Travis fits the bill perfectly.”

Travis Head, Sussex, County Championship
Photo Credit: AFP.

Travis Head is also should his excitement to be the part of the County cricket. The player has played 42 ODIs and 16 T20Is for Austalia. The middle-order batsman has scored 1,273 runs in ODI at an average of 34.40. He has played 93 first-class and 91 List A matches.

Read More: Virat Kohli In Danger To Face Suspension As He Closure To Earning Suspension Points

“I was disappointed not to have been able to take up my contract this summer so was thrilled that Jason [Gillespie] and Keith [Greenfield, Sussex Cricket’s director of cricket] were keen to lock me away for the 2020 season. I can’t wait.”

“With such a proud history, success is expected, and I want to play my part in achieving that. I look forward to seeing you all next summer. Get behind the Sharks!”


Murali Vijay Registers Second Duck For Somerset, R Ashwin Shows Resistance With Bat; Duanne Olivier Dismisses Faf du Plessis On Duck

Murali Vijay had a poor outing in his third innings for Somerset in the ongoing county season as he was dismissed on a duck on day 1 against Hampshire. Opening the innings, Vijay played nine balls before former South African pacer Kyle Abbott trapped him in front of stumps on a duck.

He followed up with the wicket of Steven Davies in the ninth over to put Somerset in all sorts of trouble. At stumps, they were two down at 30 after 11 overs.

Also Read: Deepak Chahar  appointed Team Rajasthan’s vice-captain for Vijay Hazare Trophy 2019/20

Earlier, Lewis Gregory led Somerset’s charge with the ball to bowl Hampshire for 196. The James Vince-led side, though, recovered well with two wickets.

R Ashwin shows resistance with bat –

Harbhajan Singh. Kuldeep Yadav, Ravichandran Ashwin
Image: Getty

Nottinghamshire lost just six wickets on day 1 against Warwickshire, which meant R Ashwin did not get a chance to bowl but he did make most with the bat with his unbeaten 29* off 54. Nottinghamshire were six down for 382 after 82.5 and the visitors would have thought about wrapping up the tail in last few overs.

However, Ashwin and Paul Coughlin (22* off 47) batted solidly and ensured that Nottinghamshire do not lose a wicket in the later over. At stumps, they were 425/6.

Read More: Let Virat Kohli, Selectors Make A Decision On MS Dhoni, Opines Former India Skipper Sourav Ganguly

Ashwin will hope to repeat his heroics in this match as well. In his previous match against Kent, the India Test spinner bagged nine wickets and scored 62 runs.

Duanne Olivier gets former captain Faf du Plessis –

Murali Vijay Registers Second Duck For Somerset, R Ashwin Shows Resistance With Bat; Duanne Olivier Dismisses Faf du Plessis On Duck 4

Faf du Plessis may not be a part of South Africa’s T20I squad against India but he is playing county cricket for Kent, after extending his stay there. There were extraordinary scenes in Leeds as Plessis was bowled on duck by former South Africa pacer Duanne Olivier.

Also Read: Sourav Ganguly speaks on Virat Kohli, Steven Smith comparisons

More than the Plessis’ duck, it was Olivier who stole the limelight. Earlier this year, Olivier had retired signed a Kolpak deal with Yorkshire, that forced him to retire from international cricket.

He was the star bowler for Proteas in the series against Pakistan, where he scalped 24 wickets in three Test matches but the Yorkshire deal was too good to be ignored, that forced Olivier into international retirement.

Read More: Indian Cricket Is Once Again Surrounded By Match-Fixing Cases

Jasprit Bumrah, county cricket

Jasprit Bumrah Reveals His Future Plan For English County Cricket

In very early period of his international career, Jasprit Bumrah has become a special cricketer. The 25-year-old has recently spoken about his plan to experience the English county cricket.

English county cricket is known as the top domestic cricket in the world. It also allows a specific number of foreign cricketers. Many foreign players have developed hugely after experiencing the challenge of English county cricket.

Some top Indian cricketers have played the English county cricket and hugely developed themselves. In recent times, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravichandran Ashwin, Murali Vijay have experienced the English county cricket.

Read More: Afghanistan Equals Their Most Consecutive T20I Victories Record After Beating Zimbabwe

Former left-arm pacer Zaheer Khan was once struggling in international cricket and faced the exclusion. He returned to the national team after his successful mission in the county cricket. Later, he became one of the successful pacers in Indian cricket history. Zaheer also led the country’s bowling unit during its victory in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, and he was the joint-most wicket-takers (21 wickets) in that tournament.

Jasprit Bumrah Reveals His Future Plan For English County Cricket 5
Zaheer Khan (Image Credit: BCCI)

In recent time, the tall right-arm pacer Ishant Sharma has also developed his bowling skills in the county cricket.

Jasprit Bumrah Reveals His Future Plan For English County Cricket 6
Ishant Sharma (Image Credit: Google)

May be in the future – Jasprit Bumrah about county cricket

Many believe that Jasprit Bumrah is the rare talent in international pace-bowling history. Since his international debut, Bumrah has impressed with his bowling skills. But he has achieved mastery in the pace bowling after his Test debut.

In the recent Test series against Windies during the Caribbean tour, Bumrah outperformed everyone. While he managed to claim two five-wicket hauls in that two-match Test series, he finished as the most wicket-taker in that series with 13 wickets. Moreover, during the second Test of that series, Bumrah became the third Indian bowler to claim a Test hat-trick. After that success, Bumrah credited his practice with the Dukes balls in England.

Read More: India vs South Africa – 1st T20I, Dharamshala – Match Prediction

Recently, Bumrah has claimed that he may think about English county cricket in the future. But he has also added that he currently hasn’t enough time for this county cricket.

Jasprit Bumrah, county cricket
Jasprit Bumrah (Image Credit: Google)

According to Sportstar, Bumrah said, “May be in the future (I will think about county), but I don’t know as of now because you are playing throughout the year, so there is little period of time where you get time off.

“…and when you get time off, that is the time you want to work on your body, so you can’t be playing 12 months a year (and) you have to take care of your body as well. May be in the future if you get an opportunity (I will think about it)…”

Jasprit Bumrah has played 12 Tests, 58 ODIs and 42 T20Is where he has taken 62, 103 and 51 wickets respectively.


R Ashwin Shines On County Return, Murali Vijay Scores Seven On Somerset Debut

The return of county cricket also saw Indian players return to England to ply their trades in the first-class fixtures. R Ashwin, who was recently part of the India squad for the series against West Indies, returned for Nottinghamshire while Murali Vijay, who signed for Somerset for three matches, opened the innings for the county team. Here’s a look at their performances on day 1 –

R Ashwin –

Harbhajan Singh. Kuldeep Yadav, Ravichandran Ashwin
Image: Getty

Ashwin shone with the ball for Nottinghamshire on day 1 against Kent and played a pivotal ole in bowling the opponents out on 304 with a four-for. He started with the wicket of Jordon Cox (22) and soon got Kent’s skipper Sam Billings on a score of four.

Also Read: Former South Africa, Kings XI Punjab player set for USA debut

The off-spinner provided the fourth break to Nottinghamshire with the wicket of Daniel Bell-Drummond, who scored 45 off 115. Ashwin bowled Oliver Robinson as his fourth scalp of the day to lead the bowling charts.

Paul Coughlin got three wickets while Liam Patterson-White salped two. For Kent, experienced Darren Stevens top-scored with 88 off 90. Heino Kuhn too played his part with an innings of 56.

Read More: James Anderson shows faith in England captain Joe Root

Coming out to bat in the final session, Nottinghamshire lost two wickets for 35 in 12 overs. After doing his job with the ball, Ashwin would also like to get some runs under his belt.

Murali Vijay –

Murali Vijay, India's Predicted Playing XI
Image: BCCI

Making his debut for Somerset, Vijay did not have a great outing in the first innings as he was dismissed on seven off former South Africa pacer Duanne Olivier. Vijay had a cautious start and played 46 balls for his seven but could not convert his start into a big innings.

Keshav Maharaj, the South African spinner, scalped a fifer for Yorkshire to bundle Somerset out for 199. Tom Abell scored 67 for his team.

Read More: India Likely To Host Sri Lanka In Three-Match T20I Series In January 2020: Report

Coming out to bat for 21 overs, Yorkshire lost wickets of their top three – Adam Lyth, Will Fraine and Garry Ballance.

For Vijay, who made his comeback to the Test side after Australia tour last year, his three-match Somerset stint is an opportunity to score runs and be back in the scheme of things. Last year as well, he made his comeback to the Test side on the basis of performances in county cricket.


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