The Global Test Tournament

Who will win the Europa League?


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Short Leg Cricket

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ICC Board Meeting 1st April 2020;

Cricket has come to a standstill. The ICC are even more clueless than before. But the true wonders of virtual cricket have been shot into the spotlight of the latest arduous and boring meeting. The guy with the exciting ideas, new strategies and innovations has enlisted the support of the knowledgeable Nasser Hussain and the commentator of the World Cup 2019 Final and recent winner of Outstanding Service to Cricket, Ian Smith. The three of us came together, rattled our brains and found a system, a league, a tournament that would reignite Test Match Cricket around the World including more than 25 national teams and promote the 5 day game as the leading format in the cricketing world. Would it be possible? Would the ICC even acknowledge the idea? Is the lure of T10, T20 franchise cricket too much?

The answer was emphatic and unanimous.... yes! Test Cricket is alive and kicking again.

Page 1: Format of Global Test Tournament and Intra Squad Matches
Page 2: Intra Squad and Warm up Matches
Page 3: ummm Cricket Captain chat
Page 4: Beginning of the Europa League - England vs Scotland!
 
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Short Leg Cricket

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How will Test Cricket look?

25 teams are placed into 6 Test Mini Leagues based on geographical location and ICC ranking.
There will be 6 Test Mini League groups with 5 groups of 4 and 1 group of 5.
They will play in a League format, playing each other once for points and wins. The top 2 sides that reach their respective finals qualify automatically for the Global Test Tournament (the highest tier). The finals will determine the winner of the Mini League.
The 6 teams below the 2nd placed team in the League - who finish 3rd in their league will enter a Contenders Mini League with the same format as the Test Mini League.
The Contender Mini League games will be played at neutral venues (tbd) and the top 4 in the league enter the Contenders Mini League finals whilst also more importantly qualifying for the Global Test Tournament.
These 4 qualifying teams in the Contenders Mini League will be seeded alongside the 12 teams already qualified for the Global Test Tournament.
Therefore, there will be 16 teams in the Global Test Tournament and they will be split via a random draw into 2 groups of 8. Much like the Test leagues before, they will play each other once with the top 4 sides in each group progressing through to a knockout format.
The knockout format will consist of quarter finals, semi finals and then finals to crown the best Test team in the Globe.

Note: Teams that fail to qualify for the Global Test Tournament will enter the B grade Global League with the same format and rules as the Global TT.

The Test Mini Leagues


Australia

New Zealand

Fiji

Papua New Guinea


North America / Caribbean League


West Indies

Canada

USA

Mexico


Asian League


Pakistan

Afghanistan

Oman

UAE


Asian 2 League


India

Sri Lanka

Bangladesh

Nepal



Europa League


England

Ireland

Scotland

Netherlands


Why is this so different and so much better?


The best players from the best teams from the best nations playing all around the world spreading the beautiful game of cricket and promoting the traditional, stoic, entertaining 5 day Test match cricket that we have all come to watch and love. Teams will face different and exciting challenges in their leagues from pitches to weather to team selection and to rule and format changes. The teams that deal with the challenges, the pressure, the expectation, the media, and the whole world watching in anticipation at the new, improved, beautiful, wonderful, inspirational game of Test Match Cricket, will be the side that will be lifting the Global Test Tournament. The more teams, the more players, the more exposure for players to become the superstars of tomorrow pitting their wits against the superstars of today. What else is there to say? This is the best. Better than all the rest.

Rules, Format, Team Selections and all other Information

All usual Test Match rules, information and little intricacies still remain
80 overs new ball, same amount of challenges, 3 home, 3 away in Test Mini Leagues,
Teams can choose their home grounds, but they must be different for each game if they have the capacity e.g. Australia must play at more than the Gabba and Perth Stadium, to allow more fans from more parts of the world to watch. An example of a stadium that could be used is the Blundstone Arena in Hobart.
A squad up to a maximum of 30 must be picked.
All nations will have Numbers and names (I am not taking credit @wasteyouryouth and his academy creations can instead)
*I did change the colour of the names and numbers on some of the teams
We will be sticking to the 5 day Test Match format but you will be seeing the use of pink balls and day night games.

As part of team selection, players injured during a match will be out for a period of time and my plan is that a match begins on a hypothetical Thursday can end on Monday with 4 days rest before the next one. The schedule will be an ongoing thing for the leagues even if in real life I take 2 months to play a round (I hope not!)

As I started this early in March/April, players injured in real life (like Archer and Anderson were after the South Africa tour) they were not considered for selection as I’ve tried to keep as up to date with the cricketing world as possible although this will alter and change but shouldn’t be a big issue.

To begin with, I will be playing as England in the Europa League and then New Zealand in the Oceania League. If both teams get through, it is expected however I am playing it so anything can happen, then I will pick one team for the Global Test Tournament (tbd).

This will be fun :)
 
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Short Leg Cricket

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1ST APRIL 2020
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England Cricket 30 Man Squad Announcement
The ECB has today announced the 30 man squad that will be vying for selection in the Europa League Test Competition, which will start on the 21st April. The squad will all go into a two-week training camp based at the Kia Oval ahead of the first match against Scotland. The camp will consist of two three day internal matches, one at the Kia Oval starting on Friday 3rd April and one down at Lords on Wednesday 8th April as well as a four day Test match against African League competitors Zimbabwe starting on Monday 13th April at Old Trafford.

England Training Group

Rory Burns (Surrey), Dom Sibley (Warwickshire), Zak Crawley (Kent), Keaton Jennings (Lancashire), Joe Denly (Kent), Joe Root (Yorkshire and Captain), Dan Lawrence (Essex), Sam Hain (Warwickshire), Dawid Malan* (Yorkshire), Jos Buttler (Lancashire), Ben Foakes (Surrey), Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire), James Bracey (Gloucestershire), Ben Stokes (Durham and Vice-Captain), Sam Curran (Surrey), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire), Craig Overton (Somerset), Lewis Gregory (Somerset), Mark Wood (Durham), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Olly Stone (Warwickshire), James Anderson* (Lancashire), Jofra Archer* (Sussex), Ollie Robinson (Sussex), Jamie Porter (Essex), Dom Bess (Somerset), Jack Leach (Somerset), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), Matt Parkinson (Lancashire), Amar Virdi (Surrey).

*James Anderson and Jofra Archer will not join up with the training group due to injury. Archer is projected to return after his injury rehabilitation in May and Anderson is expected to be available for the second half of the Europa League.
*Dawid Malan will not be available for the first internal match at the Oval due to a groin strain but is expected to join up with the squad for the match at Lords.

Speaking after the announcement, Jamie Hamilton, the newly appointed England Cricket Head Coach and Selector said:

"We are delighted to announce our 30 man strong squad that will compete in the Europa League, in what will be just the start of an amazing summer of Test Cricket. The squad are thrilled to be back in action and are looking forward to playing and experiencing the newly formed competition, which we are certain will be a fantastic spectacle of the game's longest-serving and traditional format.

"This squad we believe has all the assets and qualities to succeed in the Europa League and the subsequent Global Test Tournament later on in the year. We look forward to entertaining Scotland, Ireland and the Netherlands in the League, with venues and dates to be confirmed in due course. We would like to thank the fans constant support throughout the winter and hope you can join us with the Barmy Army to cheer the team on and watch the fantastic cricket we have in store. In the build-up to our first match on the 21st April, we would like to encourage fans to come and watch the team either in person or on the ECB website for unprecedented access to our training sessions and inter-squad matches and our first 4 day Test match against Zimbabwe. It will be great to see cricket being broadcast and played around the world which will no doubt produce the stars of tomorrow from watching the superstars and talented players of today's ilk. We would like to thank everyone involved with the Global Test Tournament for all their hard work in organizing these leagues which will bring no doubt joy to fans and players alike.

"We would also like to put on record that Joe Root will remain as Test captain for the foreseeable future with Ben Stokes as his understudy. Joe's captaincy has been exceptional throughout his tenure and we hope he can continue in his vein of form and leadership. As well as this, we are happy to announce that we will have
the flexibility to send players back into the County Championship should they not be picked for the first XI. This will allow players to get adequate game time, helping out the County sides whilst also staking their own claim to be part of the starting lineup.

"An inter-squad matches lineup announcement can be expected in the very near future. These matches will help determine the playing eleven for the Zimbabwe encounter and then the subsequent start of the Europa League."

The ECB have also announced the coaching staff for the Test Summer:
Batting Coach: Alastair Cook
Bowling Coach: Sir Ian Botham
Fielding Coach: Paul Collingwood
Team Analyst: Michael Atherton
Motivational Coach: Geoffrey Boycott and David Gower
 

Short Leg Cricket

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Sure it will be. My problem is that i always start enthusiastically but lose interest too soon. hopefully you wont have that problem! Good read so far indeed.

I have loved reading some of yours, like your Netherlands one last year that was great. I’ve also taken some inspiration from @Rumple43 Australia story and thought it would be a good time to start my own just as cricket returns. I found blogging difficult with my time before and during lockdown so I’ve decided to just leave that there and try something on here which will hopefully seem more people read it and enjoy it.

FYI I picked my squad way before this one was announced and they are pretty similar, both went for Jennings. It will be an intriguing challenge to try and not lose to Ireland, Scotland and Netherlands...
 

Dutch

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I have loved reading some of yours, like your Netherlands one last year that was great. I’ve also taken some inspiration from @Rumple43 Australia story and thought it would be a good time to start my own just as cricket returns. I found blogging difficult with my time before and during lockdown so I’ve decided to just leave that there and try something on here which will hopefully seem more people read it and enjoy it.

FYI I picked my squad way before this one was announced and they are pretty similar, both went for Jennings. It will be an intriguing challenge to try and not lose to Ireland, Scotland and Netherlands...
Well it certainly might inspire me to try to pick up one of my stories again. Cant see you beating the Dutch though :p
 

Short Leg Cricket

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upload_2020-7-7_19-24-12.jpeg

The now upgraded 4 day internal match taking place at the Kia Oval will see Team Root vs Team Stokes playing against each other, in the battle of the skippers. Joe Root, the England Captain, will lead an 11 man side against his vice captain Ben Stokes. The teams will be an 11 a side and with the next game at Lords, both squads will rotate their 14 and 15 man squads to make sure everyone gets some valuable game time and experience. We anticipate the game will be of the highest qualify and will give us some indication to who is in form and who isn’t. However, it is important to note that we won’t be making drastic changes to our “predicted” starting lineup on the back of the warm up matches unless there are some exceptional performances.

Team Root Coach: Alastair Cook
Rory Burns
Zak Crawley
Dan Lawrence
Joe Root (C)
Ollie Pope
Ben Foakes (+)
Lewis Gregory
Chris Woakes
Jack Leach
Mark Wood
Olly Stone
—————————————-
Jonny Bairstow
Matt Parkinson
Amar Virdi

Team Stokes Coach: Ian Botham
Dom Sibley
Keaton Jennings
Joe Denly
Sam Hain
Ben Stokes (C)
Jos Buttler (+)
Moeen Ali
Sam Curran
Dom Bess
Ollie Robinson
Stuart Broad
—————————————
Dawid Malan
James Bracey
Craig Overton
Jamie Porter

The match will be streamed on the ECB website and live updates will be fed through this story and feed. Who have you got to win, Root or Stokes? Who is your top run scorer? Who is your lead wicket taker? And who will be man of the match in the first game of the summer?
 

Dutch

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Going to go with Stokes on this one despite Keaton Jennings being in the line up. Going to put my money on Sibley scoring some runs and Broad and Ali leading the way with the wickets. Could be a tight game though.
 

Short Leg Cricket

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3RD APRIL 2020

Ali takes 6 but the game is evenly poised after D1!

Moeen Ali starred on Day 1 of the first Intra England squad match taking 6 wickets for Team Stokes to put his side in the narrow ascendancy despite Rory Burns' brilliant 96. Ali, who is returning to Test Cricket following a long hiatus, removed the bottom four batsmen as well as England captain Joe Root and Ollie Pope to take 6-78 in 21.5 overs which left Team Root scoring 284 all out before Team Stokes survived the last 15 overs only losing one wicket, with Warwickshire's Chris Woakes removing his teammate Dom Sibley for 9. Team Stokes ended at the close of play 33-1.

The day started off with Joe Root winning the toss and electing to bat first in the sunny conditions on a slightly dry wicket. Incumbent opener Rory Burns and young 21 year old Zak Crawley opened and the latter started positively against Stuart Broad, driving on the on and off side for four twice. Broad, though, asserted his new ball dominance by removing Crawley for a brisk 13, inducing the edge for Craig Overton to pouch at third slip. Another 21 year old Dan Lawrence entered the crease and was right into the thick of the action against some beautiful swing and seam deliveries from Broad and parter Sam Curran. Lawrence also started brightly, demonstrating some of the shot play that earned him his call up but departed to fellow rookie and Sussex seamer Ollie Robinson for 11.

England Captain Joe Root joined Burns at the crease and the pair wrestled back the early advantage gained by Team Stokes and negotiated the side to lunch without further loss at 87-2. Burns in particular looked compact and solid in the opening session riding the early spell of pressure and capitalising on some rusty bowling, in the process reaching his fifty from 74 balls.

Root and Burns continued in their run scoring vein after lunch, the former hitting his opposite number Ben Stokes for consecutive fours impressively through mid on. The change of spin to Moeen Ali didn’t change the favours of Team Stokes as they were being treated to a Root masterclass with his forward defence almost as rewarding as several of his crushing drives. Burns also upped his scoring rate, feasting on half volleys from both Curran and Stokes, who both finished wicketless and struggled to find their rhythm. Root brought up another masterful half century on the stroke of the 100 partnership brought up with a familiar Burns push through cover point.

There was some hope for Team Stokes despite the ominous signs, with Broad beating Burns on countless occasions from his around the wicket angle that was so dominant in the Ashes series, the ball reverse swinging in just the 46th over. Burns was offered a lifeline on 89 when Keaton Jennings shelled a Broad out swinger in the slip cordon, but failed to seize the opportunity to make a second century in England colours when he was wrapped lbw in front of middle stump to a buoyant Broad. Burns left the wicket missing out on his century by four runs and left ruing what could have been a big score as Ollie Pope replaced his Surrey counterpart. Nevertheless, Burns could leave the field with the satisfaction that his spot would be effectively safe after another impressive performance.

The 130 run partnership, the best in the innings, was ended by Broad and then added to by the Forgotten man Moeen Ali who struck in the following over, finding some lift and purchase of the dry surface to remove Joe Root's leg stump for a swift 54. Ben Foakes, the understudy to Jos Buttler, and Pope batted well after Tea, both seemingly to be in good nick. Foakes in particular caressed the added turn and bounce of Ali with ease and got a fair share of luck after avoiding a possible lbw to Dom Bess, replays showing the ball to be hitting leg stump. That was a sign of more to come but it was from Ali where the breakthrough was made, Pope misexecuting a reverse sweep back onto his stumps.

Somerset allrounder Lewis Gregory announced himself in commanding fashion, delivering a 98m maximum off his premier ball but he was dismissed for an almost run a ball 21 with the Sussex man Robinson highlighting his credability and skillset once again, using his height to trap Gregory with a booming in swinger.

260-6 became 284 all out in the space of five Ali overs, with Ben Foakes finishing stranded on a satisfying and well crafted 47 not out. Ali got his rewards for his perserverance and paitence with his tight off spinning lines, first removing Chris Woakes caught smartly at leg slip by Dom Sibley and then Headlingley hero and stalwart Jack Leach for an uncharacteristically low one, an over later. Foakes attacked the returning Robinson, hitting him for three boundaries, but was helpless when Ali had Mark Wood plumb in front for his sixth five for in his test career. He went one better an over later succumbing Olly Stone to flight, height and dip, in a bowling performance substatnially better than his previous forrays.

Burns and Root's 130 run partnership sparked a disappointing collaspe of 8-104 after the pair batted fluently and comfortably to notch stand out scores. Foakes was the only other man to pass 30 as the Oval pitch exerted some frutiful spin later in the day which will have delighted Leach come tomorrow. Robinson and Broad complimented each other well bowling tidy lengths, sharing the other four wickets between them albeit at 3.6 runs an over. Curran, Stokes and Bess would have been disappointed to not bowl more however only the latter looked dangerous.

An interesting last hour faced Team Stokes and openers Dom Sibley and Keaton Jennings with Team Root hoping to pick up some evening wickets. And despite two quick boundaries from Sibley, Chris Woakes produced an unplabyable outswinger in the second over which nipped in and out via the edge to Crawley at second slip. Woakes and Mark Wood, the new ball duo, consistently put the ball on a six pence, dangling the carrot for Jennings and Joe Denly, who did well to resist the immacautle length, line and pace on offer. Olly Stone was doubly unlucky not to have Jennings caught behind with the umpire Joel Wilson rejecting a seemingly obvious decision and then having Lewis Gregory put down a difficult chance at short midwicket. Jennings and Denly guided the side without further alram to 33-1 at the close of play on an intriguing Day 1. Jennings ended the day 8 not out off a gutsy 32 deliveries whilst Denly looked like a man on a mission racing to 16 off 27 balls.

The second day of play will see Team Stokes aim to bat their way into a lead with a middle order of Stokes, Buttler, Ali and Curran ready to be unleashed. You can catch all the action on the ECB website tomorrow from 11am.

 

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Short Leg Cricket

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Going to go with Stokes on this one despite Keaton Jennings being in the line up. Going to put my money on Sibley scoring some runs and Broad and Ali leading the way with the wickets. Could be a tight game though.

Good start for Team Stokes. Ali with 6 and Broad with 2! What’s in store for day 2?
 

Short Leg Cricket

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Team Root vs Team Stokes Intra Squad Match Lowdown (Match 1)

Scorecard Overview

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Team Stokes 1st Innings

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Team Root 2nd Innings
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Team Stokes 2nd Innings

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Short Leg Cricket

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Team Root vs Team Stokes Intra Squad Match Lowdown

- Lewis Gregory took a combined 8-85 in 22 overs whilst also contributing a useful 48. A worthy man of the match!
- Ben Foakes staked his case for International selection with the match's only hundred. A stylish 131 lifted Team Root into a match-winning position whilst also keeping tidily. Current incumbent wicketkeeper Jos Buttler also kept well with 7 catches as well as top scoring in Team Stokes' lowly 126 with a counter punching 51.
- Sam Curran strengthened the growing calls for him to be a bowling all rounder after picking up 4-76 in the second innings. He also scored an impressive 76 in Team Root's first innings.
- Captain Joe Root looked in good touch making 54 and 48 with Stuart Broad also bowling consistently with two two wicket hauls.
- Rory Burns comfortably won the battle of the four openers, almost notching a second Test hundred only to be shy by four runs. Sibley, Jennings and Crawley all struggled against the new ball; a combined 51 across 6 innings.
- Moeen Ali had a fantastic return to red ball cricket, notching a fine six wicket haul as well as providing two lower order knocks of 29 and 39. Fellow spinner Jack Leach failed to impress with 1-105 in his miserly 26 overs whilst Dom Bess bowled economically throughout, just the 1 wicket to his name.
- In the battle for of the batting rookies, neither Dan Lawrence nor Sam Hain made a score of substance, Hain scoring 4 in both innings, whilst Lawrence top scored with 35.
- Joe Denly played an uncharacteristically fluent knock of 83 silencing his critics.
- The formidable duo of Ollie Pope and Ben Stokes both scored half centuries to almost cement their place in the XI.
- Mark Wood opening the bowling took an encouraging 5 wickets, Chris Woakes with an economical 3, Olly Stone bowling with pace and accuracy also took 3 and rookie Ollie Robinson showed his credentials with 3 wickets bowling a total of 35 overs.

A big 203 run win for Team Root who set the game up perfectly with a Ben Foakes hundred and then a dominant bowling display led by MOM medium pacer Lewis Gregory. Lots of players showed their worth and the game was a highly competitive, run-scoring and wicket-taking filled match which highlights our squad depth and talent. Join us on the 6th of April for the second showdown between Root and Stokes where Team Stokes will be hoping to bounce back with a win at the Home of Cricket.
 

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