England have named 14 uncapped players among a 55-man squad to join up for England group training. 

Will Jacks, Dan Lawrence, Tom Kohler-Cadmore and Henry Brookes are among those selected yet to feature at international level, but there is no place for experienced duo Alex Hales or Liam Plunkett. 

David Willey, Ben Duckett and Dawid Malan, however, will be hoping to make a return for England after they were asked to report for sessions that will go ahead subject to government approval. 

Bowlers were able to begin individual training last week for the first time since they were forced into lockdown due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

There has been no confirmation of when England will play next, but a large training group was announced on Friday ahead of a proposed Test series with West Indies on home soil, as well as one-day games against Ireland.

England and Wales Cricket Board performance director Mo Bobat said: "It's really pleasing to be in a position to have players returning to training and a huge amount of work has been done by many to get us this far. 

"The pool of players will give selectors strong options when it comes to selecting squads across formats further down the line, as we move closer to our aim of playing international cricket this summer. 

"We will need to continue to work closely with our medical team and government to ensure that our return to training and play activities are in line with best-practice guidelines. 

"We're also really grateful for the positive and collaborative response from our county colleagues who are doing a great job at facilitating coaching and support for the players. The fact that we can call on our network to support the national effort shows the strength of our system." 

 

England training group: Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Tom Banton, Dom Bess, Sam Billings, James Bracey, Stuart Broad, Henry Brookes, Pat Brown, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Brydon Carse, Mason Crane, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Liam Dawson, Joe Denly, Ben Duckett, Laurie Evans, Ben Foakes, Richard Gleeson, Lewis Gregory, Sam Hain, Tom Helm, Will Jacks, Keaton Jennings, Chris Jordan, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Liam Livingstone, Saqib Mahmood, Dawid Malan, Eoin Morgan, Craig Overton, Jamie Overton, Matt Parkinson, Ollie Pope, Adil Rashid, Ollie Robinson, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Phil Salt, Dom Sibley, Ben Stokes, Olly Stone, Reece Topley, James Vince, Amar Virdi, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have confirmed there will be no domestic cricket played before August 1 due to coronavirus.

While England are set to go up against West Indies in a behind-closed-doors Test series in July, the County Championship and Twenty20 Blast will not go ahead until at least August.

England's domestic season had already been delayed twice, but with uncertainty over the coronavirus pandemic continuing, the planned start date of July 1 has been pushed back a further month.

An ECB statement released on Thursday said: "The specifics of the season remain subject to ongoing advice from UK government and health experts, but the ambition remains to host domestic men's and women's cricket across England and Wales later this summer.

"The Professional Game Group (PGG) will look to outline a number of opportunities for domestic play, which will be presented to the ECB Board in June.

"These plans include a number of options for both red-ball and white-ball cricket including matches played at all first class grounds, the use of a regional group model as well as consideration for matches played behind closed doors or with a limited number of supporters while strictly adhering to government guidance on social distancing.

"As the ongoing COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, these scenarios will be worked on and assessed."

Recreational cricket is also still on hold, with nets and training facilities only allowed to be used for exercise.

ECB chief executive Tom Harrison said: "Naturally we want to see cricket being played at every level. We remain hopeful of seeing both domestic and recreational cricket this season and planning with the PGG has allowed us to map a number of potential scenarios for domestic play.

"Across the recreational game it has been heart-warming to hear of clubs where players have returned to the nets.

"As children start returning to school in the coming weeks, we look forward to exploring how those guidelines and learnings can be deployed for cricket. This can then see the recreational game continue its phased return as soon as we have government approval."

Alex Hales' return to the England team does not appear imminent after limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan suggested "more time" is needed before the opener can be forgiven.

Hales has not played for his country in any format since March 2019 after he was removed from the Cricket World Cup squad following an "off-field incident", with reports claiming he served a suspension for failing a drugs test.

England went on to win that tournament but Morgan has not forgotten how his team's preparations were disrupted by Hales.

All-rounder Chris Woakes recently stated he would welcome Hales back into the fold, but ahead of the T20 World Cup, which is due to begin in Australia in October, Morgan stressed he does not think enough water has passed under the bridge.

"Alex is in a unique position, probably in a position nobody else has found themselves in before," Morgan told reporters.

"On the cusp of a World Cup, the huge breakdown in trust between him and the players was extremely dramatic, given the circumstances surrounding the four years and the build-up and the way things unfolded.

"I've spoken to Alex and certainly see an avenue for him to come back to playing cricket but, like in life and in any sport, when there's a breakdown of trust, the only healer in that is time.

"It's only been 12 or 13 months since the incident which could have cost us four years of hard work.

"Given it could have derailed a World Cup campaign, I think it might take some more time, yes."

Hales, 31, scored the second most runs in last season's Big Bash League and Morgan is the only English batsman to have scored more runs than him in T20 internationals.

His unbeaten 116 against Sri Lanka in 2014 remains the highest individual score for an England player.

"It's obviously not about performance with Alex," Morgan added.

"Alex is a fantastic player, it's never been discussed whether he's good enough to be in the squad or not.

"Playing cricket for England is about on and off the field, values we adhere to or do our best to adhere to, and Alex showed complete disregard for them.

"Building up that for as long as he can and then hopefully an opportunity will present itself down the line."

Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines Dr Ralph Gonsalves has given the proposed West Indies tour of England in July his blessing once Cricket West Indies can establish that the players representing the region will be safe.

World Rugby has ruled out the possibility of holding an international invitational tournament in the United Kingdom and Ireland in 2021 to provide relief following the coronavirus pandemic.

Former Rugby Football Union chief executive Francis Baron had proposed the one-off 16-team competition to raise money "for keeping the game of rugby alive around the world", with sport suspended in recent months due to the global crisis.

The event, held in the UK in order to avoid disrupting France's 2023 Rugby World Cup preparations, would see 31 matches across June and July and prompt the postponement of the British and Irish Lions' tour of South Africa.

The suggested tournament - dubbed the 'Coronavirus Cup of World Rugby' as Baron revealed his plan to the Telegraph - would reportedly aim to bring in up to £250million to support the sport as it recovers from the pandemic.

However, the  idea has been dismissed by governing body World Rugby.

A statement read: "World Rugby notes a proposal by former RFU CEO Francis Baron suggesting the organisation of a major international rugby event in the UK in 2021 to alleviate the impact of COVID-19 on global rugby.

"World Rugby does not intend to pursue such a proposal.

"All stakeholders continue to progress productive discussions regarding the immediate global COVID-19 financial relief strategy and international rugby calendar optimisation, both of which will further the success of Rugby World Cup 2023 in France."

World Rugby has already postponed all July Tests and set aside a $100million relief fund in a bid to assist those struggling the most.

Andrew Flintoff’s one-day figures were good without being outstanding but it was his presence that had the biggest impact on his teammates and crowds.

He was always a correct, powerful batsman, even though he was sometimes hesitant against quality spin.

He scored 50 on his one-day international debut against Pakistan at Sharjah in 1999. The following year, he hit 84 in just 60 balls as England began their tour of Pakistan with victory in the opening one-day international at Karachi.

With scores of 43, 59, and 123 against the West Indies, 99 against India, and 104 and 106 against New Zealand, 2004 was perhaps Flintoff’s best year playing One-Day Internationals. That year he was named the ICC ODI Player of the Year.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Andrew Flintoff

Born: December 6, 1977, Preston, Lancashire

Major teams: England, Brisbane Heat, Chennai Super Kings, ICC World XI, Lancashire

Playing role: Allrounder

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm fast-medium

Height: 6 ft 4 in

 

ODI Career (Batting): England (1999-2009)

Mat        Inns        NO       Runs      HS          Ave        BF           SR           100s        50s           4s        6s              

141         122          16       3394       123        32.01      3821       88.82            3          18           308        93                     

 

ODI Career (Bowling): England (1999-2009)

Mat        Inns        Balls       Runs      Wkts       BBI        BBM      Ave       Econ      SR        4w      5w          10w

141          119        5624       4121        169        5/19       5/19      24.38     4.39       33.2        6       2               0

 

Career Highlights

  • 3rd most wickets by an England player (168)
  • Only England player with 3000+ runs and 150+ wickets
  • Amassed 3394 runs at an average of 32.01 in ODIs
  • 1 of 4 England players to take a hat-trick in ODI cricket

West Indies bowler Shannon Gabriel is hopeful of returning from injury in time to be selected for a planned Test tour of England.

The Windies and England are attempting to organise a three-match series - to be held behind closed doors - for July, with games pencilled in for July 8, July 16 and July 24, according to Johnny Grave, the Cricket West Indies (CWI) chief executive.

Grave also confirmed a 25-man squad, including 10 reserves, will travel to the United Kingdom in the week commencing June 8.

Gabriel has not featured in the longest format since September 2019, having struggled with an ankle injury which subsequently required surgery in November last year.

Now, the paceman is focusing on stepping up his rehabilitation with the aim of returning to the fold for the series.

"It's a good feeling always to represent West Indies. It's good to be back out on the park," he told i955FM.

"The plan is right now to try to make it to the tour to England - hopefully that comes off. I'm just trying my best to stay positive and I hope everything goes well.

"It has been a long journey since November when I did the surgery on my ankle. Everything is going well, it has been a long process in terms of getting back to running and bowling and stuff like that.

"I am trying my best to be as fit as possible so I'm really working hard in terms of my fitness and managing my weight, trying not to get too heavy to put too much strain on my ankle. So I know once I put in the hard work everything will be okay in the end. I just want to stay positive.

"There has been no high-intensity work, I'm just taking my body back into it easy, taking it one day at a time and not trying to push too hard but it's still long while before the first Test in England and by that time I'm sure I'll be fit and ready."

With cricket having been suspended since March due to the coronavirus pandemic, Gabriel does not expect it to be an easy transition for many players to return, especially with physical-distancing measures introduced by the ICC.

"It's going to take a lot. It's going to be mentally taxing on the brain but you have to stay positive. Keep your mind fresh," Gabriel said.

"I know they [England] are going to be coming at us all guns [blazing] at us, but I know the guys

"Plus plenty of the guys haven't been playing any cricket, so it is going to take us a while to get back there. On the positive side, you're still getting the opportunity to play cricket and represent your country so that in itself should be enough motivation."

A decision on whether the West Indies will go ahead with their three-Test tour of England could be made by Thursday this week, CWI CEO Johnny Grave has said.

England lock George Kruis insists he is not kissing goodbye to his international career after securing a move to Japan.

The 30-year-old will leave Saracens to join up with Panasonic Wild Knights later this year, he has confirmed.

He may be ineligible for England selection while playing his club rugby overseas, with coach Eddie Jones usually limited to selecting home-based players.

However, Kruis, capped 45 times by his country, told BBC Radio Five Live: "This is not international retirement."

Former Japan national team coach Jones looks likely to keep the England door open for Kruis, whose move is reportedly an initial one-year switch.

It remains to be seen whether any exception could be made, given Kruis is leaving a Saracens side who will be relegated from the Premiership at the end of this season as punishment for salary-cap breaches.

Quoted by i News, Jones said: "I wish George all the best for his move to Japan. We had some discussions about his club rugby and I think this offers him the opportunity for a different rugby and cultural experience which will allow him to continue to grow and develop as a player and as an individual.

"George is a tough, well-respected member of our [England] team and I respect his decision."

Kruis will be joined in the Wild Knights ranks by 32-year-old Wales international Hadleigh Parkes, another new addition.

Speaking of what lies ahead, Kruis told his new team's website: "I am extremely excited and honoured to take on this new challenge and chapter in my career, joining [coach] Robbie Deans and the team at Panasonic Wild Knights at what is a really exciting time for rugby in Japan, following the tremendous World Cup they hosted last year.

"I'm taking on new challenges in my career. I'm really looking forward to what I can do."

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall said: "We wish George every success in the future. He will always be considered a central figure in everything that has been accomplished at Saracens."

Real Madrid have two reasons to remember May 24 fondly, while cricketer Nasser Hussain is also unlikely to ever forget the date.

Madrid have lifted the Champions League trophy twice on this day in sporting history, beating familiar opponents on both occasions.

As for Hussain, the former England batsman bowed out with a final innings that was perfectly scripted (well, except for his involvement in an untimely run out).

Take a look back at the major moments to occur through the years.

 

2000 - Madrid prevail in all-Spain final 

Madrid and Valencia made Champions League history in Paris, as two clubs from the same country met in the final of Europe's premier club competition for the first time.

Valencia had reached the showpiece at the expense of Barcelona, including thrashing their LaLiga rivals 4-1 in the first leg of the semi-final on their way to a 5-3 aggregate triumph (the same scoreline by which they had knocked out Lazio in the previous round).

However, Vicente del Bosque's Madrid ran out comfortable winners on French soil, Fernando Morientes, Steve McManaman and Raul with the goals in a resounding 3-0 triumph.

2000 - Pistons legend Thomas rewarded 

A two-time NBA champion and 12-time All-Star, Isiah Thomas was honoured for his achievements with a place in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

The point guard was selected by the Detroit Pistons with the second pick in the 1981 draft and went on to spend his entire playing career with the franchise, who retired his No.11 jersey.

Thomas played in 979 regular season games and was the focal point of the Detroit teams that won titles in 1989 and 1990, while the Pistons also had a heated rivalry with Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in the early 1990s.

Bob McAdoo, a two-time champion himself who was a prolific scorer in a 21-year playing career, was also voted in alongside Thomas.

2004 - Hussain signs out in style

In what would prove to be his final innings, Hussain scored an unbeaten hundred to help England beat New Zealand at Lord's.

The Black Caps had left the hosts needing a tough target of 282 in the final innings of the series opener - and they had England wobbling early at 35-2 following the dismissals of Marcus Trescothick and Mark Butcher.

Debutant Andrew Strauss combined with Hussain to put on a century stand before the former was run out following a mix-up with his senior batting partner, denying the left-hander - playing on his home ground - the possibility of scoring a century in both innings, as he departed for 83.

Hussain, however, made amends for his role in Strauss' dismissal by going on to reach three figures in a seven-wicket triumph. Three days later, he announced his retirement, swiftly moving from the field of play to the commentary box to start a career in the media.

2014 - Madrid derby sees Real clinch 'La Decima'

A 10th European title finally arrived for Madrid, though not without a dramatic late intervention from Sergio Ramos. Having not won the Champions League since 2002, they appeared set to fall at the final hurdle when they trailed city rivals Atletico 1-0 going into added time in Lisbon.

Diego Godin's first-half header had the newly crowned LaLiga champions on the brink of glory, but Ramos popped up to meet a Luka Modric corner and nod in a last-gasp equaliser.

Carlo Ancelotti's side went on to dominate in extra time, goals from Gareth Bale, Marcelo and Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored from the penalty spot, sealing a 4-1 triumph.

To rub salt in the wounds for Atletico, boss Diego Simeone was sent off before the final whistle having ran onto the pitch to confront Raphael Varane following an incident in the aftermath to Ronaldo's goal.

England all-rounder Chris Woakes savoured his first training stint for months but admitted his body was aching on Friday's "first waddle to the toilet".

The Warwickshire player had a spell in the nets at Edgbaston on Thursday, with professional cricket attempting to slowly get back up and running amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Woakes, 31, had to follow strict guidance on social distancing and admitted the experience "was a lot different" to a usual session.

"But with what everyone's been through, it was nice to get out there and get the ball back in hand really," he said.

"It's been two months since I last bowled. It was nice to be back in the middle, albeit a little different."

The 2019 World Cup winner admitted to feeling "a little bit sore this morning".

"The first waddle to the toilet was a bit interesting," Woakes said. "But it's okay, the body actually is not too bad.

"But having not bowled for two months there were a few things that were sore - sides certainly.

"I woke up this morning knowing I'd had a bowl yesterday, but it was nice to be out there."

It remains to be seen what cricket Woakes might have to play this summer, with England's planned home series against West Indies, Pakistan and Australia hinging on a variety of factors.

Those teams will want to be certain measures are in place that will safeguard the health of their touring parties.

"First and foremost, we just hope there's going to be some sort of cricket," Woakes said.

"That will be obviously very different but at the same time it'd be nice to have some cricket and some form of normality.

"Hopefully we can get some games - what that schedule will exactly look like we don't really know."

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is hoping international series can be salvaged, with income from lucrative broadcast contracts providing a valuable backbone of the game.

Woakes added: "Obviously it would be a boost for the game. We've all seen the projections [saying] the ECB and the game in general could be in a bit of trouble if we weren't to play any cricket this summer, so hopefully we can get some form of schedule going."

Ten of the leading international rugby union teams are exploring the possibility of a new aligned schedule.

South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and Argentina - the nations that make up SANZAAR - and the half a dozen countries that compete in the Six Nations are aiming to collaborate for the sport's benefit.

Several unions have been affected by the impact of coronavirus, with World Rugby having postponed all July Tests and setting aside a $100million relief fund in a bid to assist those struggling the most.

Now discussions are ongoing between SANZAAR and Six Nations boards over a new calendar designed to limit club-versus-country rows and create more lucrative games between the world's best teams.

A joint statement read: "Even though there may be different preferences, from the outset the nations have adopted a mindset that has sought to eliminate self-interest and recognise that the international and club game have shared mutual benefits that if approached and managed correctly can enable both to flourish."

It added: "The nations, together with other key stakeholders, remain open to shape the options that have been developed in an effort to resolve an issue that has held the game back for many years and are committed to putting rugby on a progressive path."

Last month World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont suggested a Nations Championship - similar to cricket's recently formed ICC Test Championship - could get off the ground after being met with initial resistance.

 

Cricket Australia chief executive Kevin Roberts remains hopeful a squad will travel to England for a limited-overs tour in September.

The coronavirus pandemic has put the English season on hold until at least July 1, yet the England and Wales Cricket Board is still working on proposals to stage international games on home soil in 2020.

A scheduled Test series with West Indies in June had to be postponed but could still be part of a rearranged fixture list, with action potentially getting under way in early July.

Pakistan could also still visit to play Tests and Twenty20 games, while Roberts declared there is "some chance" Australia will make the trip - so long as there are no health risks - later than originally planned.

England were due to take on their Ashes rivals in a trio of T20 fixtures and a three-match ODI series in July.

"I think there's some chance we could send a team over," Roberts told Sydney's Daily Telegraph.

"Obviously we won't jeopardise the safety of the players, but the best test of that is the West Indian and Pakistan tours of England before we're due to tour. We hope they go off without a hitch."

Wasim Khan, chief executive of the Pakistan Cricket Board, told Sky Sports' Cricket Show that they intend to pick a 25-man squad for a tour that will see fixtures staged at biosecure venues.

"We are trying to get to England early July so that we can get the quarantine done," Khan said.

"If we can practise during that time then great, if not then it gives us just under three weeks to practise.

"We are told there are going to be two venues (to stage matches). We have not been told which the two venues are. We are also told there is going to be a third venue, which is going to be our base while we are in England."

Former England batsman Rob Key has revealed he suffered a mini stroke over the weekend.

Key, who turned 41 last Tuesday, posted a picture of himself smiling in a hospital bed on Monday 

He wrote alongside the picture on Instagram: "Long weekend. Turns out I've had a mini stroke.

"Thanks to everyone at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital especially Charlie And Dr baht. Now got to eat food with no flavour and take pills #triffic."

The former Kent captain, who now works in the media, played 15 Tests, five ODIs and one Twenty20 International.

David Beckham says he still misses football as he marked seven years since his retirement from the game.

The former England captain played the last match of a glittering professional career when he turned out for Paris Saint-Germain in a Ligue 1 match against Brest on May 18, 2013.

To recognise the occasion, Beckham posted a video of some of his greatest moments – including Manchester United’s 1999 Champions League triumph – along with an accompanying message on Instagram.

Beckham, now 45, cannot believe so much time has passed and still has fond memories of his playing days, with his attention now on his ownership of new MLS side Inter Miami.

"I can’t believe it's 7 years today since I played my last game as professional footballer," he wrote.

"Such great memories. I was so lucky to have played with incredible teammates and had amazing support from the fans. Still miss it. 

"Can't wait for the next chapter at Inter Miami."

As part of a 21-year professional career, Beckham also represented Real Madrid, LA Galaxy and Milan.

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