World of Cricket: Stokes, Pooran at the helm

All-rounder Ben Stokes has been appointed as the captain of England’s Test team; Nicholas Pooran has been appointed as the West Indies captain in One-Day Internationals and T20 Internationals.

Cricket - Ben Stokes Press Conference - Emirates Riverside, Durham, Britain - May 3, 2022 New England captain, Ben Stokes poses for a photograph before the press conference Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith   -  Action Images via Reuters

Stokes is England Test captain

All-rounder Ben Stokes has been appointed as the captain of England’s Test team, less than a fortnight after Joe Root stepped down as captain.

With England’s Ashes rout and the 2-1 series loss to West Indies in the Caribbean, there is immense pressure on Stokes to effect the team’s turnaround in Test matches.

Stokes left the game for the best part of a year to focus on his mental health, but he says he is now ready to embrace the new challenge.

“There is always a negative feeling around mental health but I took my break, I went and spoke with someone, and will continue to do that. I see it as a positive that me being in this role now, having gone through what I went through last summer and even before that, I have a huge amount of experience at what life can throw at you,” Stokes said.

He declared: “Test cricket is my No. 1 priority.”

Wisden reduces W. G. Grace’s tally of first-class centuries

Cricketer and physician, William Gilbert Grace (1848 - 1915), circa 1900. Known as W G, he started playing first- class cricket for Gloucestershire in 1864 and made 126 centuries during his long career. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)   -  Getty Images

 

Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack has decided to reduce the number of first-class centuries scored by England’s Victorian-era star, W. G. Grace.

Wisden has downgraded the status of several ‘first-class’ matches played by Grace. Ten matches have been removed from Grace’s record, lowering his centuries from 126 to 124.

Grace was thought to have scored his 100th century for Gloucestershire against Somerset on May 17, 1895. Instead, Wisden has ruled that Grace’s 100th hundred came a fortnight later when he also became the first man to hit 1,000 first-class runs before the end of May, one of only eight cricketers to achieve the feat.

Chris Cairns: I harboured anger and frustration, but carried it silently

Former New Zealand all-rounder Chris Cairns spoke publicly for the first time about the court battles he fought between 2012 and 2015. He said he could talk candidly about it now that he had survived multiple health scares.

“I harboured a lot of anger and frustration, but I carried that silently. I dug my hole in Australia and got on with life, but I was angry. But now, after the last seven months, it’s so far down my thinking. It’s not a priority. It seems like another time, another place,” he told media company NZME.

“Maybe during that time it (the match-fixing trials) built up the steel in me that allowed me to survive what I went through — because it was about survival at that time. I was on my own, cast as the villain, that was my role,” he said.

Cairns underwent a trial for perjury — related to charges against him of match-fixing — in the U.K. in 2015 and was acquitted of all charges.

Pooran to lead West Indies in limited-overs cricket

After Kieron Pollard’s retirement from international cricket, wicketkeeper-batter Nicholas Pooran has been appointed as the West Indies captain in One-Day Internationals and T20 Internationals.

Pooran said: “This is indeed a prestigious role, a pivotal position in the West Indian society, as cricket is the force that brings us all West Indians together. To be named captain is indeed the highlight of my career so far and I want to drive the team forward to accomplish great things on the field for our fans and loyal supporters.”

Pooran’s first assignment as captain will be a three-match ODI series in the Netherlands, starting on May 31.

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