England v West Indies Tests - Men's
Off-field moves boost England outlook despite washout
Rain ruled in Manchester on day four of their Test against the West Indies as attention switched to squad moves for Pakistan's Test side and more details about the coming ODI Super League
28 July 2020, 08:27 AM AEST
England's bid to take the eight wickets they need to win the third Test against the West Indies, and with it the series, were frustrated by Manchester rain that washed out the entirety of the fourth day.
Stuart Broad will seek the one wicket he needs to become just the fourth seam bowler – and seventh man overall – to reach 500 Test wickets with an improved forecast for the fifth day at Old Trafford.
While England and the West Indies put their feet up, the England and Wales Cricket Board was busy whittling down its 24-man ODI training group to a 14-man squad to face Ireland later this week, with white-ball games against Pakistan and Australia to follow.
That saw last summer's Adelaide Strikers big-hitter Phil Salt ignored by England despite his 58-ball century in a practice match last Sunday, while Perth Scorchers import Liam Livingstone and Melbourne Renegades bowler Richard Gleeson were named as 'reserves' to the 14-man party.
Reece Topley, the towering 26-year-old left-arm quick who has struggled with back stress fractures, is in line to play his first ODI in more than four years after being selected.
And David Willey – another ex-Scorchers star – has returned to the squad after missing out on England's World Cup squad last summer.
The ODI group will be without England's Test players Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler and Joe Root, as well as bowlers Chris Woakes and Mark Wood who remain on Test duty with matches against Pakistan to come, but are expected to return to the format in time for Australia's yet-to-be-confirmed visit in September.
Joe Denly, who was discarded from England's Test team, joined the limited-overs squad instead, and has been included in the squad to face Ireland, which also includes World Cup winners Eoin Morgan, Jonny Bairstow, Tom Curran, Dawson, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy and James Vince.
The three-match ODI series between England and Ireland will mark the beginning of the ICC's ODI Super League, a points table that will run in conjunction with bilateral ODI series and will determine qualification for the next ODI World Cup, to be played in October 2023 in India.
It emerged overnight that third umpires would now have the responsibility for calling front-foot no balls in all ODI and T20 international cricket using television match footage.
The ICC first trialled the process in 2016 and it was used successfully throughout the women's T20 World Cup in Australia earlier this year.
"Certainly there is the importance of the free hit in white-ball cricket, and getting no-balls called accurately," said Geoff Allardice, the ICC's general manager cricket operations.
"That is considered to be an important feature. The Cricket Committee has recommended that and it's in the playing conditions for the World Cup Super League."
On-field umpires will still be responsible for calling no-balls based on height and will continue to call front-foot no-balls in Test cricket for the remainder of the World Test Championship (WTC) cycle.
That is due to see a final played in June 2021, but that may yet be pushed back given the glut of fixtures that have had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We are currently in discussion with members in what their plans are around rescheduling their queue," Allardice said.
"Obviously there are teams which have rescheduled them as quickly as possible and depending on how many of them could be rescheduled within the available time window, that will give us a better view on the most appropriate timing for the final.
"But at this stage the final is scheduled for June 2021. But we are working with the members on that, to understand their rescheduling of the series that are postponed already."
Australia's postponed two-Test tour of Bangladesh was part of the WTC cycle, and it remains to be seen when that can be played.
Australia faces a busy home summer with a four-Test series against India – the top two ranked sides on the WTC points table – while the ICC's Future Tours Program lists a tour of South Africa next February-March before the players' annual leave period.
Meanwhile, Pakistan, who have been in training in Derby in northern England, have narrowed down their 29-member touring party to a 20-man Test squad for their three-match series with England that is due to start on August 5.
Veteran pair Wahab Riaz and Sarfaraz Ahmed, the former skipper, have both been included, as has Fawad Alam, whose last Test appearance came in 2009.
Pakistan's practice matches were dogged by poor weather, and poor batting with no player able to reach fifty in their most recent outing.
The 36-year-old veteran seamer Sohail Khan, whose last Test was the 2016 Boxing Day match in Australia, was the best of the bowlers with 5-37, while teenager Nassem Shah, who made his debut in Australia last summer, also impressed.
England ODI squad: Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Tom Banton, Sam Billings, Tom Curran, Liam Dawson, Joe Denly, Saqib Mahmood, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, Reece Topley, James Vince, David Willey. Reserves: Richard Gleeson, Lewis Gregory, Liam Livingstone.
Ireland ODI squad: Mark Adair, Andy Balbirnie (c), Curtis Campher, Peter Chase, Gareth Delany, George Dockrell, Jonathan Garth, Tyrone Kane, Josh Little, Andrew McBrine, Barry McCarthy, James McCollum, Kevin O'Brien, William Porterfield, Boyd Rankin, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Stuart Thompson, Lorcan Tucker, Gary Wilson, Craig Young.
Pakistan Test squad: Azhar Ali (c), Babar Azam, Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Imam-ul-Haq, Imran Khan Sr, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Naseem Shah, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Shan Masood, Sohail Khan, Usman Shinwari, Wahab Riaz, Yasir Shah