#ENGvsWI: All you need to know ahead of Test series
International cricket is set to return with England hosting West Indies in a three-match Test series under a bio-secure environment. The first Test will begin at Southampton on July 8, while the Old Trafford will host the following two Tests. While the preparations for Windies are in full swing, the hosts are presently engaged in an intra-squad warm-up game. Here is more.
A look at Day 2 of the intra-squad match
The England contingent is competing in a three-day intra-squad match, currently being held at the Ageas Bowl. The squad has been divided into two sides, led by Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler respectively. At stumps on Day 2, Team Stokes were bundled out for 233 in reply of Team Buttler's 287/5d. As expected, regular skipper Joe Root will join the squad before second Test.
Here are the two teams (as per original division)
Team Stokes: Dominic Sibley, Keaton Jennings, Zak Crawley, Jonathan Bairstow, Ben Stokes (c), Ben Foakes, Moeen Ali, Lewis Gregory, Craig Overton, Jack Leach, Olly Stone, James Anderson, Saqib Mahmood. Team Buttler: Rory Burns, James Bracey, Joe Denly, Dan Lawrence, Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler (c), Sam Curran, Chris Woakes, Dominic Bess, Mark Wood, Jofra Archer, Stuart Broad, Matthew Parkinson, Ollie Robinson.
Sam Curran to self-isolate after falling ill
All-rounder Sam Curran will take no further part in the warm-up match after falling ill. Curran, who scored an unbeaten 15 on Day 1, complained of sickness and diarrhoea the same night. Reportedly, the 22-year-old is self-isolating in his room at the Ageas Bowl. An ECB statement revealed that he is being monitored by the team doctor and was tested for COVID-19 yesterday.
Players are following the ICC guidelines
A number of measures were taken by the players and support staff during the match, as per the new ICC guidelines. The player celebrations include elbow dab, while hand-sanitizer is being used multiple times during the course of the match. Notably, saliva was not used by the bowlers to shine the cricket ball in order to contain the spread of novel coronavirus.
Shannon Gabriel promoted to Test squad
West Indies fast bowler Shannon Gabriel has been added to the Test squad for the upcoming England series after proving his fitness in the two intra-squad warm-up matches. He was recovering from a prolonged ankle injury and named in the reserves section by Cricket West Indies initially. However, in practice games, Gabriel claimed eight wickets before earning the promotion.
West Indies' Test squad for England tour
West Indies' Test squad for England tour: Jermaine Blackwood, Nkrumah Bonner, Kraigg Brathwaite, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell, Roston Chase, Rahkeem Cornwall, Shane Dowrich, Chemar Holder, Jason Holder (captain), Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Raymon Reifer, Kemar Roach, Shannon Gabriel.
Players to sport 'Black Lives Matter' logos on jerseys
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) recently announced that England players will be sporting 'Black Lives Matter' logos on their jerseys throughout the series. The West Indies players will also wear the same logo, in the wake of racism row. Reportedly, the particular logo has been designed by Alisha Hosannah, whose partner Troy Deeney is Watford's captain in the Premier League.
Third Test to be celebrated as 'Ruth Strauss Foundation Test'
ECB also announced that third Test between England and West Indies will be named 'The Ruth Strauss Foundation Test' to support families facing the death of a parent to cancer. Interestingly, the players will wear special Ruth Strauss Foundation branded Test shirts with red caps being presented before the second day's play. Old Trafford will be studded with red branding.