England have named a 16-member squad for the upcoming ODI series against Sri Lanka scheduled to start on June 29.
Test skipper Joe Root, who was rested for the last series against India has made a comeback in the squad.
Batsman Sam Billings, who injured his shoulder and was ruled out of the series against India has also made a comeback while the Curran brothers (Sam and Tom) have retained their place in the ODI squad as well.
The ODI squad against Sri Lanka will also see the return of David Willey for England in the ODI side for the first time in two years.
Jofra Archer who underwent an elbow surgery was not named in the squad while Ben Stokes, who has recovered from a fractured arm also missed out of a place.
In the bowling department, Mark Wood will spearhead the pace department in the company of Chris Woakes and Tom Curran while Sam Curran will fill Ben Stokes’ shoes as an all-rounder.
Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid have been retained as spinners in the squad to face Sri Lanka.
Jonny Bairstow who faced an injury scare in the Vitality Blast has retained his place and will open the batting alongside Jason Roy while the skipper Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler will form the bulk of the middle order.
England star all-rounder Ben Stokes is all set to return to the cricketing action in a game for Durham against the Birmingham Bears in the ongoing edition of the Vitality Blast T20 tournament. Stokes was ruled out of the action in the early part of the Indian Premier League when he broke his hand while attempting to catch a ball fielding at long-on playing for the Rajasthan Royals. He was ruled out of the remainder of the IPL and England coach Chris Silverwood had last month said that Stokes’ return will begin with the Vitality Blast tournament. Meanwhile, Nottingham Outlaws all-rounder Samit Patel has registered his name in the record books of T20 cricket. He has become the first English cricketer to claim 200 wickets in T20 and 5000 runs in the format. He already had more than 5,000 runs in his career and took two wickets in the last game to go past the 250-wicket mark. He reached the dual landmarks in the last game against Derbyshire where he put on an all-round performance to win his side an important game. He first scored a sublime half century with the bat to help Notts post a good total on the board and picked up two wickets with the ball to help them defend the score.
Sri Lanka coach Mickey Arthur has said that the contract dispute wasn’t an issue ahead of their tour to England. The dispute could have come as a threat to the side’s tour. We have not mentioned it at all. It has not been on the radar. Since we have been here, it has just been cricket, cricket, cricket," he said. The coach further added that the players are “mature enough” to not get distracted from this. "Everybody has been mature enough to put it on the back-burner and realise why we're here so it has not been a distraction. It has not been an issue as far as I know,” he added. The Sri Lankan team was slated to play warm-up matches against Kent and Sussex but the fixtures were cancelled citing safety concerns due to Covid-19. The T20I series between England and Sri Lanka will commence on June 23 in Cardiff. The sides will lock horns in a three-match T20I series and as many ODIs. The touring team had intra-squad matches ahead of the T20I series. “This is a massive challenge for our young team but a wonderful opportunity and I just want to see us progressing,” Arthur said. "To see the players going head-to-head yesterday and competing for positions has certainly heightened the challenge,” he added.
Indian team playing the final of the World Test Championship wore black armbands to express sorrow and pay tributes to former Indian athlete Milkha Singh, after his demise. Singh, who was fondly remembered as ‘flying Sikh’ succumbed to Covid-19 complications in Chandigarh earlier last night. Wishes and tributes outpoured for Milkha Singh and cricketers across the country flocked to Twitter to celebrate the outstanding legacy of Milkha Singh.
Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq has said that playing against big T20I teams like England and West Indies will help the side prepare for the upcoming World T20. "England is without doubt a top team ... as is the West Indies," Misbah said in the presser. "My belief is ... I also have the experience that if you play against good teams, your preparation would be better, you can judge yourself correctly as to where you stand,” he said. Misbah admitted that the side might face some difficulties but it would also help the team understand the real potential. "Even if there are difficulties, we will get to know our real potential ... where do we stand. As far as concerns over forms, those concerns are there but we have time on our hands to work on certain things,” he added. Pakistan are slated to travel to England for a three-match ODI series and as many T20I series. The first ODI begins on July 8 in Cardiff, while the second match takes place on July 10 at Lord’s and this would be followed by the third encounter on July 13 in Birmingham respectively. The T20I series will be played between July 16 to July 20. The first match will be held in Nottingham, the second at Headingley and the final clash will be played in Manchester.