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by Alastair Symondson & Cricket World Wednesday 8 April 2020
The ECB may have suspended all professional cricket till May 28, delaying the start of the new season, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but worry no more cricket lovers.
The pleasant English summer was set to begin. The chilly winter was behind us. After the Test series against Sri Lanka, there was a bumper home season lined up, peppered with international cricket. Possibly, the busiest in a long time, with the T20 Blast, the Royal London One-Day Cup, the County Championships and not least the all-new Hundred set to capture the imagination of people, particularly the young.
However, with the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic not offering the least signs of slowing down, it seems that the County Championship would be the worst-first hit as the ECB focusses on money-generating tournaments, with a truncated season looking like the best possible scenario.
But, if you are a fan of Virtual Sports, you can now catch all the action on Cricket World. Here, the cricket summer begins as it was originally scheduled, with the matches between Somerset and Warwickshire, Lancashire and Kent, Yorkshire and Gloucestershire in Division One and between Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire, Sussex and Durham, Middlesex and Worcestershire in Division Two.
As in the original schedule, the virtual matches will also begin at 11:00 AM BST from April 12.
Apart from the top scorers of last year - Dominic Sibley and Gary Ballance (Division One) & Hasan Azad and Marnus Labuschagne (Division Two) - and the top wicket takers - Simon Harmer and Kyle Abbott (Division One) & Chris Rushworth and Ollie Robinson (Division Two), there are several players from different nationalities to look forward to in our virtual world. These include Hashim Amla, Glenn Maxwell, Morne Morkel, Fidel Edwards, Matt Henry and Nathan Lyon.
Essex - Nick Browne, Sir Alastair Cook, Tom Westley, Daniel Lawrence, Michael Pepper, Ryan ten Doeschate, Simon Harmer, Jamie Porter, Sam Cook, Peter Siddle, Adam Wheater
Gloucestershire - Miles Hammond, Chris Dent, James Bracey, George Hankins, Gareth Roderick, Benny Howell, Ryan Higgins, Graeme van Buuren, Josh Shaw, Jack Taylor, George Drissell
Lancashire - Keaton Jennings, Liam Livingstone, Brooke Guest, Glenn Maxwell, Rob Jones, Dane Vilas, Jos Buttler, George Bailey, Saqib Mahmood, Graham Onions, James Anderson
Kent - Sean Dickson, Zak Crawley, Joe Denly, Daniel Bell-Drummond, Heino Kuhn, Alex Blake, Ollie Robinson, Darren Stevens, Harry Podmore, Tim Groenewald, Matt Henry
Somerset - James Hildreth, Babar Azam, Tom Banton, Tom Abell, Matthew Wade, Eddie Byrom, George Bartlett, Lewis Gregory, Craig Overton, Dominic Bess, Jack Brookes
Hampshire - Joe Weatherley, James Vince, Felix Organ, Sam Northeast, Rilee Rossouw, Liam Dawson, Tom Alsop, Nathan Lyon, Keith Barker, Kyle Abbott, Fidel Edwards
Warwickshire - Will Rhodes, Dom Sibley, Ian Bell, Sam Hain, Adam Hose, Tim Ambrose, Chris Woakes, Oliver Hannon-Dalby, Henry Brookes, Jeetan Patel, Ryan Sidebottom
Surrey - Rory Burns, Mark Stoneman, Hashim Amla, Ollie Pope, Ben Foakes, Will Jacks, Clarke, Sam Curran, Liam Plunkett, Tom Curran, Morne Morkel
Yorkshire – Adam Lyth, Dawid Malan, Gary Ballance, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Tom Kohler Cadmore, Tim Bresnan, Matthew Waite, Steve Patterson, Ben Coad, Duanne Olivier
Worcestershire - Daryl Mitchell, Tom Fell, Brett D’Oliveira, Riki Wessels, Moeen Ali, Ben Cox, Ross Whiteley, Ed Barnard, Joe Leach, Josh Tongue, Charlie Morris
Middlesex - Sam Robson, Nick Gubbins, Stephen Eskinazi, Peter Handscomb, Max Holden, Eoin Morgan, John Simpson, James Harris, Toby Roland-Jones, Steven Finn, Tim Murtagh
Sussex - Philip Salt, Haines, Tom Haines, Luke Wells, Stiaan van Zyl, Aaron Finch, Ben Brown, David Wiese, Jordan, Jofra Archer, Danny Briggs, George Garton
Durham - Gareth Harte, Cameron Bancroft, Alexander Lees, Jack Burnham, Ben Stokes, Stuart Poynter, Liam Trevaskis, Ben Raine, James Weighell, Mark Wood, Chris Rushworth
Nottinghamshire - Ben Slater, Ben Duckett, Chris Nash, Joe Clarke, Steven Mullaney, Samit Patel, Tom Moores, Peter Trego, Stuart Broad, Luke Fletcher, Jake Ball
Leicestershire - Hassan Azad, Paul Horton, Harry Dearden, Mark Cosgrove, Colin Ackerman, Lewis Hill, Tom Taylor, Ben Mike, Dieter Klein, Chris Wright, Will Davis
Glamorgan- Nick Selman, Charlie Humphrey, Marnus Labuschagne, David Lloyd, Billy Root, Kiran Carlson, Chris Cooke, Graham Wagg, Marchant de Lange, Timm Van der Gugten, Michael Hogan
Derbyshire - Billy Godleman, Luis Reece, Wayne Madsendu, Leus du Plooy, Alex Hughes, Matthew Critchley, Harvey Hosein, Fynn Hudson-Prentice, Tony Palladino, Ravi Rampaul, Sean Abbott
Here's the schedule for the Round 1:
Round 1 Cricket World Dice Cricket County Championship – Sunday April 12th
County Championship Division One 2020
Somerset v Warwickshire County Ground, Taunton 11:00 AM
Lancashire v Kent Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester 11:00 AM
Yorkshire v Gloucestershire, Headingley, Leeds 11:00 AM
County Championship Division Two 2020
Nottinghamshire v Leicestershire Trent Bridge, Nottingham 11:00 AM
Sussex v Durham County Ground, Hove 11:00 AM
Middlesex v Worcestershire Lord's, London 11:00 AM
More Info: Cricket World Dice Cricket - Virtual Cricket World Tournaments
Cricket World and Dice Cricket (part of A leading Edge) have teamed up to bring cricket fans around the world some Virtual Cricket – starting with the SpecSavers County Championship in the UK and then rolling out different tournaments and series around the Virtual Cricket World.
County Cricket Championship fans and players, we have some exciting news for you! We were all disappointed to find the County Championship matches affected by COVID-19, but to ensure that we keep bringing you results and information on cricket we have teamed up with A Leading Edge to ring you the Virtual SpecSavers County Championship 2020.
We will be previewing all the matches and bringing you the scores, results and statistics from all of the Division 1 and 2 games until the players can return to the field to pick up the season. A Leading Edge will be employing the rules of their ‘Dice Cricket’ game to make sure every delivery of all of the affected matches is bowled and generating the results we were all going to be missing out on.
A Leading Edge have developed a range of sports that can be played in the comfort of your own home using just a dice! Dice Cricket is among the 11 sports in the book entitled 'Dice Sports', which currently available on Amazon.co.uk and is a fantastic way for particularly young people to try out new sports and experience some of the drama and excitement that comes with the sports.
We will be contacting the counties for their team selection ahead of the first matches (hopefully we will have their input) with teams announced anyway on CricketWorld.com before play on the morning of the matches. A Leading Edge will be sending us updates of the scores after each day's play along with any notable performances. We will in turn publish these scores and results as well as the reviews of the day's play, as usual, on CricketWorld.com.
We hope that you as players, spectators and fans of the Specsavers County Championship will join us at 10:30am 12th April for the announcement of the teams for the first day's play in the following matches and in the evening to find out how your teams have got on during the day.
About A Leading Edge –
Wesley John Durston (born 6 October 1980 in Taunton, Somerset) most recently played for Derbyshire CCC, having represented Somerset CCC between 1999 and 2009, and the Unicorns during the 2010 season. He learnt his cricket at Millfield School and is a right-handed batsman and off break bowler.
He made his debut for the Somerset Second XI in 1999 and his List A debut for Somerset Cricket Board in the 2000 NatWest Trophy. He made his first-class debut for Somerset against West Indies ‘A’ in 2002 and made his Championship debut in 2003. He made more appearances in 2005 and was particularly valuable in one day games. In 2006 he became a regular member of the team. His maiden first-class century was 146* against Derbyshire at Derby in 2005. In 2007 he featured in the Division 2 Championship winning side although his opportunities were limited before he left Somerset in November 2009 when his contract expired, having played in the T20 Champions League in India scoring 58 and 20* in his last two matches for the county.
In 2010, Durston was selected as one of 21 players to form the first Unicorns squad to take part in the Clydesdale Bank 40 domestic limited overs competition against the regular first-class counties. The Unicorns were made up of 15 former county cricket professionals and six young cricketers looking to make it in the professional game. Durston impressed with the bat in the early stages of the competition, and after a century against Sussex CCC, he was offered a contract to play Twenty20 cricket for Derbyshire CCC for the 2010 season.
The move to Derbyshire CCC proved to be successful for Durston at a time when he could have fallen out of the professional game had it not been for the opportunity given by the Unicorns and taken with performances for them. He scored their first competitive hundred (117 off 58 balls) in what was then a record domestic limited overs run chase. In just his fourth T20 match for Derbyshire CCC he scored 111 (55balls) against Nottinghamshire CCC at Trent Bridge, Durston was then offered a full playing contract, and became a permanent fixture in both the four-day and one-day Derbyshire sides.
Durston enjoyed seven seasons at Derbyshire CCC and was made ‘white ball’ captain in 2015. He scored ten centuries for them and became the first player to score a century in all three formats of the game for the club. He took four 5 wicket hauls in First-Class cricket (all for Derbyshire CCC) with a best of 6-109 vs Surrey CCC at the Oval. Wesley retired from the professional game in 2016 and in the 2017 season scored 110* on his return to Wiltshire CCC, having previously played for the county in 2008 and 2009. He now plays for Oakham CC in the Leicestershire & Rutland Leagues and is Assistant Cricket Coach for the MCCU Men and Women’s teams and Loughborough Lightning in KSL at Loughborough University.
James Patrick Thomas Latham (born 8 October 1975) is a right-handed batsman who bowls right-arm medium pace. He was born in Hexham, Northumberland and was educated at Kimbolton School, Cambridgeshire.
Patrick made his debut for Cambridgeshire in the 1997 Minor Counties Championship against Bedfordshire. He played Minor counties cricket for Cambridgeshire from 1997 to 2002, which included 23 Minor Counties Championship matches and 4 MCCA Knockout Trophy matches. In 1999, he made his only List A appearance against Kent in the NatWest Trophy.
Patrick has played club cricket at a range of East Midlands clubs including Kimbolton, Huntingdon and Godmanchester where he captained the side in the East Anglia Premier League, before moving to Northampton Saints CC in the Northamptonshire Premier League. Patrick now represents Uppingham Town CC in the Leicester & Rutland Premier League.
Patrick has previously represented the Durham Second XI and the Somerset Second XI in Second XI cricket and has been a member of the MCC since 1999, touring with the club in 2003 to Ghana and The Gambia. His father, Michael Latham, played first-class cricket for Somerset and List A cricket for Northumberland.
Patrick is a self-employed graphic designer as well as a hockey and cricket coach & senior tutor at Oakham School.
Wes and Patrick are both ‘thinking’ cricketers with experience of captaincy at various levels of the game, with Wesley captaining Derbyshire CCC in the T20 & 50 over formats in 2015 & 2016. They both saw, through their involvement in schoolboy cricket, the need for developing players to understand the game more and begin to think more about captaincy and the game as a whole
Dice Sports has been developed by Patrick and Wes and is a fun way to introduce and experience a range of sports through fun and easy to play rules using a single dice. Sports included in the first edition include: Cricket, Rugby League, Pool, Snooker, Golf, Tennis, Rugby Union, Football, Netball, Basketball & hockey.
About Cricket World:
Cricket World is a specialist sports media company that produces unique video, audio and written content for CricketWorld.com and other media partners, press and news agencies.
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Cricket World magazine was founded in 1987 and Cricket World‘s website www.cricketworld.com went online in 1996.
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