England’s ‘largest yr in a era’ begins with Windies check



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12 Jan 2019, 10:58 IST

London, Jan 12 (AFP) England start a 2019 that England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chief govt Tom Harrison believes represents a “as soon as in a era” alternative with a West Indies tour that might but show uncomfortably awkward.

With each a World Cup — a event the England males’s workforce have by no means gained — and an Ashes on residence soil on the horizon, will probably be a problem for England’s main cricketers in each the one-day and Take a look at codecs to take care of their give attention to the problem in entrance of them slightly than be distracted by the larger prizes forward.

A 3-Take a look at tour and five-match one-day collection within the Caribbean, which will get underway with a warm-up fixture towards a West Indies Board XI in Barbados subsequent week, ought to present a very good barometer of England’s progress.

Joe Root’s Take a look at facet are second on the earth rankings, whereas Eoin Morgan’s males high the equal one-day standings.

Against this, the West Indies are presently eighth within the Take a look at desk and ninth within the ODI checklist.

England, recent from an emphatic away Take a look at collection win in Sri Lanka that adopted a house success towards top-ranked India, might be agency favourites.

And but England have gained just one Take a look at collection within the West Indies since 1968, when Michael Vaughan’s workforce sealed a 3-Zero victory in 2004.

– Overwhelming favourites –


They’ve toured the Caribbean twice extra since then, dropping 1-Zero in 2009 after which drawing 1-1 4 years in the past after a build-up the place ECB chairman Colin Graves had dismissed the West Indies as “mediocre”.

Root’s males should address the strain of being overwhelming favourites to beat a struggling West Indies facet who might be coached by an Englishman within the recently-appointed Richard Pybus.

But for England, the stakes are even larger in what might be Australian coach Trevor Bayliss’s remaining yr in cost earlier than stepping down.

Following their depressing first-round exit on the 2015 World Cup, former England captain turned ECB supremo Andrew Strauss, made limited-overs cricket a precedence.

This yr’s version will show the price of that coverage.

Greater than that, the very fact the Ashes and the World Cup fall in the identical season — one thing that hasn’t occurred for the reason that inaugural 1975 males’s World Cup in England — might present the ECB with a large alternative to attach with a wider British sporting public who’ve misplaced contact with the sport.

Many informal followers, and potential cricket lovers, had been ‘deserted’ when the ECB determined to finish dwell free-to-air tv protection of residence internationals after England’s 2005 Ashes triumph in favour of extra profitable offers with satellite tv for pc broadcasters.

However as Michael Atherton, the previous England captain turned The Occasions cricket correspondent wrote, the absence of a serious worldwide soccer event in 2019 presents cricket the prospect to “personal” the summer time in its birthplace.

“Not often, although, have the 2 largest occasions within the English cricket calendar, the World Cup and Ashes — in addition to the ladies’s Ashes — mixed with so little competitors for what advertising varieties time period ‘eyeballs’,” mentioned Atherton


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