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.
India women’s team opener Smriti Mandhana was dismissed at the stroke of lunch on Day 3 of the one-off Test against England in Bristol while the visitors were following on in the second innings. The left-hander batsman has said that the slight pressure of staying unbeaten till the end of the day might have played the part. “Definitely, a slight pressure of ending the day ‘not out’, might have played a part (in the loss of wickets in a heap) and that will come with experience,” Mandhana said. “The more we play Test matches, the more we’ll get used to the conditions – one over before lunch or one over before the day’s end and all those sessions, so we can be more mature about (approaching them) and not take pressure,” she added. India had a brilliant start to the proceedings in the first innings after Mandhana and debutant Shafali Verma put up 167 runs for the first wicket in reply to England’s 396. But Verma just fell short of her maiden Test ton after she miscued a stroke off Kate Cross and was caught by Shrubsole for 96. Mandhan soon followed her for 78 and the left-handed batter’s dismissal saw a flurry of wickets. India were soon reduced to 197/8 to eventually get bowled out for 231. The home side enforced the follow-on later in the day. Ecclestone bagged four wickets for England. India on the other hand were 83/1 with Verma scoring yet another half-century when stumps were called.