Thursday, 19 December 2013

Aussies select 14 for Test and ODIs

The Southern Stars have selected two separate squads of 14 for the Test and the ODI series against England in January. A third squad for the T20 series will be selected in early January.

Meg Lanning is named as the new vice-captain, taking over from Alex Blackwell, in what CA say is "part of a leadership development plan". This would suggest that she is regarded as the future Southern Stars captain.

Jemma Barsby, Alyssa Healey, Julie Hunter and young Gemma Triscari, who all toured England in August, have all been omitted from the squads, with Rene Farrell returning after two years out of international cricket and Nicole Bolton, who has been in fine form for Western Australia, joining the fray.

24 year old Bolton has been selected on the basis of her form with both bat and ball over the past two seasons in the WNCL and WT20 competitions. She is also currently perfoming well for Otago in the NZ Women's Cricket League.

Farrell is an interesting selection. At 26 years old the right arm opening bowler already has 48 international appearances for Australia under her belt, but the last of those was two years ago when she took a hat-trick against England to help win the Ashes' Test. Worn out by the travelling she decided to take a year out from the game and then joined the ACT Meteors team last season. But she only managed two rounds of games after tripping over her dog and falling down stairs and breaking her toe. This season she has come out all guns blazing, particularly in the WT20. She has 10 wickets (including a five-for against NSW) and 200 runs at an average of 25.It will be interesting to see if she is selected ahead of Schutt, Coyte and Ferling to partner Ellyse Perry with the new ball.

Elyse Villani, who toured with the Aussies this summer, but did not get many opportunities to bat, has been in great form for Victoria and may muscle her way into the Aussie top order, probably at the expense of Rachael Haynes, who struggled in England last year and has not really found any form back in Australian domestic cricket.

The squads are
Test Match Squad - Jodie Fields (C), QLD; Meg Lanning (VC), VIC; Alex Blackwell, NSW; Nicole Bolton, WA; Jess Cameron, VIC; Sarah Coyte, NSW; Sarah Elliott, VIC; Rene Farrell, ACT; Holly Ferling, QLD; Rachael Haynes, NSW; Erin Osborne, NSW; Ellyse Perry, NSW; Megan Schutt, SA; Elyse Villani, VIC

ODI Squad - Jodie Fields (C), QLD; Meg Lanning (VC), VIC; Alex Blackwell, NSW; Nicole Bolton, WA; Jess Cameron, VIC; Sarah Coyte, NSW; Rene Farrell, ACT; Holly Ferling, QLD; Rachael Haynes, NSW; Jess Jonassen, QLD; Erin Osborne, NSW; Ellyse Perry, NSW; Megan Schutt, SA; Elyse Villani, VIC

CA have also named a 12-player squad for the Shooting Stars XI to play England in a two day warm-up game on 6/7th January.
The squad is:-
Alyssa Healy (C), NSW; Kristen Beams, VIC; Lauren Ebsary, SA; Katelyn Fryett, TAS; Julie Hunter, VIC; Jess Jonassen, QLD; Delissa Kimmince, QLD; Beth Mooney, QLD; Chloe Piparo, WA; Angela Reakes, NSW; plus two Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars batters


Wednesday, 11 December 2013

England light on spinners in Aus Squad

England have named their squad(s) for the Australian Tour, who will be charged with attempting to retain the Ashes on Aussie soil. Fortunately they will be competing for them not over just one Test Match, but in the newly-formatted Ashes Series - One Test, three ODIs and three T20s, with 6 points available in each format.

The squad for the Test and the ODIs is Edwards, Brindle, Brunt, Cross, Elwiss, Greenway, Gunn, Hazell, Jones, Knight, Sciver, Shrubsole, Taylor, Winfield, Wyatt.

The squad for the T20s is Edwards, Brindle, Brunt, Elwiss, Farrant, Greenway, Gunn, Hazell, Jones, Knight, Sciver, Shrubsole, Taylor, Winfield, Wyatt

It is good to see Brunt, Knight and Shrubsole back after injury kept them out of the recent West Indies tour. Laura Marsh it seems has not made such a good recovery. England will be keeping their fingers crossed that all three of the returnees remain fit as they are key components of a strong England side.

However without Marsh and the "retired" Holly Colvin England are looking rather short in the spin bowling department. Dani Hazell has her good and her bad days, and Danni Wyatt bowled just three overs in the recent Caribbean crusade. No explanation was given for her lack of arm-twirling, and had Colvin or Marsh been available for Australia then her place on the tour may well have been in doubt. As it is England will be looking to these two to get through plenty of overs in the Test. Wyatt was not selected for the Test at Wormsley (behind Marsh and Hazell) and Hazell herself bowled 31 wicketless overs conceding 132 runs. Whilst the WACA is unlikely to be a raging bunsen, spinners will play an important part in a long game in a hot climate. 

Newcomers Kate Cross and Tash Farrant will both get to experience an Ashes abroad, with the former selected for the both the Test and ODI squads and the latter taking her place for the T20s. It seems a diplomatic solution as neither disappointed in the Windies. In reality it is unlikely either will play unless there are injuries or England win the Test and the first two ODIs.

Amy Jones is once again selected as the back-up keeper - a pretty thankless task behind the world's number one keeper in Sarah Taylor, but they have to have some cover in case of injury. This means that Tammy Beaumont misses out, but given that she has 49 ODI and T20 caps and is yet to make a 50 she has had plenty of opportunities to nail down a place in the team.

Charlotte Edwards will, of course, be skipper. England will be hoping she regains her form with the bat and that she and Knight can get England off to the starts they need in the longer formats of the game. It would not surprise me to see her relinquish the opener's role in the T20s, especially if England have the series wrapped up.

The Aussies are due to announce their squad later this week. There are unlikely to be too many surprises, but they have batsmen in form in Villani, Lanning, Bolton, Ebsary, Blackwell and Cameron. Their bowlers are not having quite such a good time of things at the moment, but they have games to play before England turn up. England will need to hit the ground running with 6 points immediately at stake for the Test which starts on 10th January.


Tuesday, 10 December 2013

New T20 Divisional Format for 2014

The Women's T20 2014 competition shifts from its former regional basis with a national final, to a divisional basis which follows the current Women's County Championship structure (ie 9 teams in each division) and the current team format (ie Div 1 teams will play in Div 1 of the T20). But from 2015 the two competitions will diverge as teams are relegated and promoted in the Women's County Championship and two teams are relegated and promoted in each division of the separate T20 format.

The 9 teams in each division are split into three T20 groups of three, who will each play each other twice over two days. The three winners of each group then play each other again (on a separate date) to decide first, second and third in that division. Those who finish second in their groups in the first phase play each other for fourth, fifth and sixth. Those who finish third play off for seventh, eighth and ninth - with the bottom two being relegated.

Group A                                              
Group B                                                    
Group C                                                   

Group A

Group B
Group C

Group A

Group B
Group C

DIVISION 4 (becomes three groups of 4 in second round)
Group A
Group B
Group C
Group D

The first round of group games will be on Tues/Wed 22nd/23rd July.

The second round games will be played on Sun 29th June.

I can see Net Run Rate playing a big part - get your calculators ready!!


WCC14 - Full Div 1 & Div 2 Fixtures

The full fixture list for Divisions 1 and 2 of the Women's County Championship 2014 (WCC14) are below:-

Sunday 4th May
Division 1
Surrey v Warwickshire
Notts v Berkshire
Sussex v Essex
Kent v Yorkshire
Division 2
Somerset v Worcestershire
Durham v Wales
Lancashire v Ireland
Cheshire v Staffordshire

Monday 5th May
Division 1

Sussex v Warwickshire
Middlesex v Kent
Surrey v Yorkshire
Notts v Essex
Division 2
Somerset v Lancashire
Devon v Staffordshire
Worcestershire v Cheshire
Durham v Ireland

Sunday 25th May
Division 1

Essex v Surrey
Yorkshire v Middlesex
Kent v Warwickshire
Berkshire v Sussex
Division 2
Wales v Devon
Worcestershire v Lancashire
Staffordshire v Durham
Cheshire v Ireland

Monday 26th May
Division 1
Kent v Essex
Notts v Sussex
Berkshire v Surrey
Warwickshire v Middlesex
Division 2
Staffordshire v Ireland
Durham v Lancashire
Wales v Worcestershire
Devon v Somerset

Sunday 15th June
Division 1
Yorkshire v Sussex
Essex v Berkshire
Warwickshire v Notts
Middlesex v Surrey
Division 2
Lancashire v Cheshire
Wales v Ireland
Durham v Somerset
Devon v Worcestershire

Sunday 22nd June
Division 1

Notts v Middlesex
Essex v Warwickshire
Yorkshire v Berkshire
Sussex v Kent
Division 2
Cheshire v Durham
Worcestershire v Staffordshire
Lancashire v Devon
Wales v Somerset

Sunday 29th June
Division 1

Berkshire v Middlesex
Surrey v Sussex
Kent v Notts
Essex v Yorkshire
Division 2
Worcestershire v Ireland
Cheshire v Devon
Somerset v Staffordshire
Lancashire v Wales

Sunday 20th July
Division 1
Kent v Berkshire
Warwickshire v Yorkshire
Essex v Middlesex
Surrey v Notts
Division 2
Staffordshire v Wales
Cheshire v Somerset
Devon v Ireland
Durham v Worcestershire

Sunday 27th July 
Division 1
Yorkshire v Notts
Surrey v Kent
Middlesex v Sussex
Berkshire v Warwickshire
Division 2
Devon v Durham
Somerset v Ireland
Wales v Cheshire
Staffordshire v Lancashire


Monday, 9 December 2013

County Cricket in 2014

It looks like Somerset and Lancashire will have another season in Division 2 next year, as the fixtures for the 2014 season have been released to the counties, although I have yet to see them published anywhere in full.

Division 1 will again have the same nine teams as last season - Berkshire, Essex, Kent, Middlesex, Nottinghamshire, Surrey, Sussex, Warwickshire and Yorkshire and the league fixtures will be all-but over by the end of June. There are two week gaps in mid-May and at the beginning of June, which could be for the Super 3s, and the first ywo weeks of July are clear of WCC games which would suggest a touring team could be in the country - no news on this yet.

We do however know that India will be in England in August which is being kept completely clear of all WCC games, although the T20 finals will be held on Sunday 3rd August 2014.

The only confirmed fixtures I have to date are for Berkshire and Sussex (email me if you have others -

Berkshire Fixtures
Sun 4th May Nottinghamshire v Berkshire
Sun 25th May Berkshire v Sussex at Wokingham CC
Mon 26th May Berkshire v Surrey at Wokingham CC
Sun 15th June Essex v Berkshire
Sun 22nd June Yorkshire v Berkshire
Sun 29th June Berkshire v Middlesex at Wokingham CC
Sun 20th July Kent v Berkshire
Sun 27th July Berkshire v Warwickshire at Wokingham CC
Sussex Fixtures
Sun 4th May - Sussex v Essex
Mon 5th May - Sussex v Warwickshire
Sun 25th May - Berkshire v Sussex at Wokingham CC
Mon 26th May - Sussex v Nottinghamshire
Sun 15th June - Yorkshire v Sussex
Sun 22nd June - Sussex v Kent
Sun 29th June - Surrey v Sussex
Sun 27th July - Middlesex v Sussex

Tues/Wed 22nd/23rd July - T20 South Regional - Berkshire, Middlesex and Sussex (down to three from last year's four teams) at Wokingham CC - each play each other twice.

Sun 3rd August - T20 Finals

More news as it trickles in over the next few weeks/months.


Monday, 2 December 2013

Who is in form for the Southern Stars?

With the Aussie season having just about reached its half-way stage (each state only plays six WNCL 50 over games and 12 T20 matches) and with just over a month until the Ashes Series kicks off with the Test Match at the WACA (10th January) lets have a look at who in the Southern Stars squad has found some form.

Meg Lanning  is the top run scorer in WT20 cricket with 283 runs in eight knocks at an average of 47.17, including two 50s.

She is closely followed by Elyse Villani, who has notched up 259 runs in the same number of games at an average of 43.17, also including two 50s.

Left-hander Nicole Bolton (not currently in the Southern Stars squad) holds third spot, ahead of Jess Cameron, who has managed just one fifty in eight visits to the crease, during which time she has amassed 175 runs at an average of 35.00.

While the three Stars have hit their stride in the shorter format of the game runs have been harder to come by in the the longer format. In four innings Lanning has scored 133; Cameron 118; and Villani 154 runs (with 133 of those coming in one knock). Above these three in the 50 over format are Nicole Bolton (again), who is top run scorer with 187 runs; Jodie Fields 177 runs in just two innings (but has not kept wicket in a 50 over game yet) and Sarah Elliott 155 runs in four knocks, including two 50s.

In fact the 31 year old "Test Specialist" Sarah Elliott is having a good time with the ball too, spinning her way to ninth spot in the top 50 over wicket takers with 5 @ 19.20 and eighth in the T20 list with 7 @ 12.29. In fact none of the big names are above her in the T20 bowling list with Ellyse Perry languishing way-down with just two wickets in 18 overs of bowling and Holly Ferling not much better with just three in 20 overs. Erin Osborne and Jemma Barsby have six wickets each and Megan Schutt has four. Top T20 wicket-taker is veteran Kirsten Pike who has 13 wickets in 22 overs. One name that does appear in both the WT20 and the WNCL top wicket-taker list is Nicole Bolton, who has four wickets in WT20 and six in WNCL for the Western Fury. Together with her runs you would think the selectors will be watching her closely over the next few weeks.

In the 50 over game Erin Osborne heads the leading takers with eight wickets from just 21 overs at an average below 10. Ellyse Perry has six wickets (including four in one game) @ 13.00; Jemma Barsby also has six @ 21.67. Megan Schutt  has five; Rachael Haynes and Julie Hunter four and Holly Ferling  just three so far.

The next round of WNCL and double-header T20 fixtures take place this weekend with Vic Spirit v Tassie Roar; NSW v Queensland and ACT v SA. Vic Spirit  and NSW  head the field in both competitions and are likely  to remain on top after this round of fixtures. Tassie Roar are currently holding up the rest in the both the WT20 and WNCL, but Queensland could give NSW a run for their money in the short format, if not in the long, where they are only just above the Roar.

(with many thanks to Bronwyn Calver for providing all the stats)