Hales Being Snuffed
England are preparing for the strangest summer in living memory by selecting a monster 55 man squad to choose from for the summer. To be honest I’m not sure I wasn’t that far from being called up to train at my local cricket ground the squad’s that big. Any professional cricketers not in the squad may well be questioning their future with the national team.
One person not in the squad is Alex Hales who hasn’t been seen in an England shirt since his ban over a year ago for taking illegal substances. Officially he’s served his time and is available for selection but it clearly isn’t that easy as Morgan himself has said “it needs more time”.
Some people will question this as potentially more misguided management by England of a potentially difficult but talented player but is that really the case? This isn’t an increase to Hales’s sentence but more a general question being asked of do we want Alex Hales back in the squad? After the Bristol incident and then his drug offence there will be a lack of trust between Hales and his potential team mates that won’t be fixed over night.
A sweeping number of temporary rule changes have come into affect for the upcoming test series to try and reduce the possibility of players and officials becoming infected. Some of these changes might take a little time for the players to get their heads around such as no saliva allowed on the ball and not passing personal possessions to the umpires such as caps and glasses. Other changes include allowing bigger sponsorship logos on the kits to increase revenue in these uncertain times.
Hats Off To The West Indies
Would an England team have travelled to a country such as Italy or Spain in March? I suggest it would have been unlikely which shows the commitment the West Indies have shown by doing something purely for the good of the game at potentially some risk to themselves. Couldn’t the ECB reward and thank CWI by scheduling a third test for England’s next tour of the Caribbean at the start of 2022 which currently is suppose to be only two tests?
The Beeb Back On Board
This summer was supposed to be cricket’s big chance to capture and run with the momentum generated last year by England’s heroics in the World Cup and subsequent Ashes series. Part of that plan was to have live cricket and highlight packages back on the BBC for the first time in two decades.
A commentary team led by Isa Guha with familiar names running through it could potentially be as Michael Vaughan put it last week “the Match Of The Day of cricket”. As much as the channel five version over the last 14 years was a well put together and packaged show it did feel like it got slightly lost because it was on five. The only downside now is the lack of Mark Nicholas.