Uncapped Blundell named in New Zealand CWC team, Sodi preferred to Astle

New Zealand has announced their 15-man squad for this summer’s ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup. Kane Williamson will lead the side and Ross Taylor is set to be the seventh New Zealand player to feature in four Cricket World Cups. Williamson, Tim Southee, and Martin Guptill will be playing in their third tournament.

The biggest surprise is the inclusion of wicketkeeper Tom Blundell, who is yet to play a one-day international. Tim Seifert, a regular back-up in recent times to first-choice gloveman Tom Latham, has been excluded, partly due to a broken finger which has kept him out of action for the past month.

Blundell’s domestic white-ball record is modest – he has averaged 23.81 with three half-centuries in 40 games so far, though he has a Test hundred. He is also considered one of New Zealand’s most talented behind the stumps.

Uncapped Blundell named in New Zealand CWC team, Sodi preferred to Astle
Uncapped Blundell named in New Zealand CWC team, Sodi preferred to Astle

The other major contention was over the leg-spinner’s spot, and Ish Sodhi beat Todd Astle to the honor. Sodhi is the more experienced of the two, having played 63 limited-overs internationals to Astle’s 11, but the latter had been the man in possession of the slot, having played in the Black Caps’ last ODI series against Bangladesh.

Seamer Doug Bracewell, who featured in New Zealand’s home season, was also left out, with several other fast bowlers competing for spots.

Coach Gary Stead said that there were some tough calls during the selection process, but felt the right balance has been struck.

“The World Cup is the pinnacle of cricket, and to be the first nation to name a squad for the tournament is really exciting. I’d like to congratulate all the players selected. To represent your country at a World Cup is a huge honor, and I know the entire squad and support staff are

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New Zealand announce Squad for ICC Cricket World Cup 2019

Black Caps have named 15-man squad for 2019 Cricket World Cup. New Zealand have become first team to make squad announcement for CWC 2019. New Zealand Cricket has picked an experienced team for the premier ICC tournament. Kane Williamson will be captain of the Kiwi squad. Tom Blundell is selected as reserve glove-man to backup regular wicket-keeper Tom Latham. Ish Sodhi is chosen as second spinner after spin bowling all-rounder Mitchell Santner. Colin Munro has retained place in the ICC Cricket World Cup touring party.

Kiwi coach Gary Stead said: “The World Cup is the pinnacle of cricket, and to be the first nation to name a squad for the tournament is really exciting. I’d like to congratulate all the players selected. To represent your country at a World Cup is a huge honour, and I know the entire squad and support staff are looking forward to the challenges ahead.”

Martin Guptill and Henry Nicholls are likely to open New Zealand batting. Colin Munro will have to probably adjust in middle order. He may be limited to reserve batsman role if original lineup performs well. Black Caps skipper Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor will form backbone of the middle order. Tom Latham is regular wicket-keeper in squad. He may open innings in some matches if need arises. Jimmy Neesham and Colin de Grandhomme are fast bowling all-rounders. Mitchell Santner provides spin bowling all-rounder option. Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Matt Henry and Lockie Ferguson form the pace battery. New Zealand are one of the favourits for the Cricket World Cup title for 2019 edition in England and Wales.

Gary Stead further elaborated: “As with any squad named for a major tournament, there’s had to be some tough calls and there will be some disappointed players. The key for us was finding the right balance for the squad and making sure we had our bases covered for what is going to be a very competitive World Cup. As a one-day unit we’ve been pretty consistent over the past few years and possess a very experienced group of core players, proven at the top level.”

New Zealand Squad: Kane Williamson (capt), Martin Guptill, Henry Nicholls, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (wk), Colin Munro, Tom Blundell (wk), Jimmy Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson

The Mall set to crown opening of the CWC19

The CWC will launch with a bang as London’s iconic Mall plays host to a spectacular Opening Party on the eve of the event. The ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Opening Party is set to take place on the iconic London Mall on the evening of 29 May ahead of the opening fixture between hosts England and South Africa at The Oval on 30 May

The Opening Party will feature a live global TV broadcast between 5-6pm BST and a select group of lucky fans will attend the event to enjoy live music, sport, and entertainment

The Mall set to crown opening of the CWC19
The Mall set to crown opening of the CWC19

The ‘not-to-be-missed’ live broadcast Opening Party will be a mix of music, dance and some of the biggest names in the sport with a winner takes all sporting competitions. The glittering event organized in partnership with The Royal Parks within the backdrop of Buckingham Palace will be live broadcast around the world between 5-6pm British Summer Time with an audience of spectators at the ticket only event.

Fans around the world will get to enjoy the Opening Party too. It will be broadcast live across multiple territories taking the official opening of cricket’s 50-over pinnacle event to homes and communities of millions of global cricket fans.

Tickets will be allocated through a ballot system and applications will open at 10am British Summer Time on Thursday 4 April and will close at 10pm British Summer Time on 1 May with winners being notified on 7 May. Subject to success, each applicant will be limited to two free tickets to ensure a fair process across the ballot stage and tickets will not be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. Fans without tickets will not be able to attend the live event on The Mall.

Steve Elworthy, Managing Director at CWC19, said: “The Opening Party will seizure the very essence of what makes this tournament so special and will be hugely exciting for the fans that are lucky enough to attend but also across broadcast we will show the world what they have to look forward to over the next 45 days of cricket action.

“The Mall, with Buckingham Palace in the background, is synonymous with some of the biggest events held in the UK and is instantly familiar to everyone around the globe. It will be a suitable celebration of a CWC, cricket, and sport with diversity at its core.”

Interest in tickets for the 48 matches at the tournament has been unprecedented with over 3 million ticket applications from 148 countries across six continents truly showing the global appeal of the CWC.

Alun Mainwaring, Head of Events and Filming at The Royal Parks, said: “The ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Opening Party will be a unique and spectacular way to kick off this incredible tournament.

“Millions of people around the world will be watching the excitement unfold in central London and we are honored to be a part of it.”

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We are going to do something special’-Alex Hales on England’s CWC

Alex Hales, the England opener, thinks his team has a good chance of winning the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 at home later this year. Cricket World Cup Final Tickets can be grabbed from our global event ticket sales market.

England placed No.1 in ICC Men’s ODI Team Rankings, which have been touted as strong favorites for the CWC, which gets underway at home on 30 May. Now Hales, the team’s opener, has also expressed confidence that the side can lift their maiden title.

“Yep, I am going for it and saying yes,” Hales said when asked about England’s chances in the competition in an interview published in The Guardian on Monday, 1 April. “I’m the happiest I have ever been. I really think we’re going to do something special.”

We are going to do something special’-Alex Hales on England’s CWC
We are going to do something special’-Alex Hales on England’s CWC

As their ranking indicates, England has evolved into a formidable fifty-over outfit since their shock first-round exit in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2015. Since then they’ve been particularly strong at home, winning 30 of their 42 ODIs while losing only nine.

Hales himself has been an integral part of that success story – he has scored 2229 runs at an average of 40.52 and a strike-rate of 97.72 since the previous World Cup. It is likely that he will be in England’s playing XI when they face off with South Africa in the opening match at The Oval.

While his stocks in one-day cricket have risen, Hales’ red-ball story hasn’t been quite as promising. He featured in 11 Tests but managed only 573 runs at 27.28. He last played a Test in 2016.

But he isn’t too worried about his Test career. In fact, he seemed to have embraced his fate when, in 2017, he decided to sign a white-ball only contract with Nottinghamshire until 2019. He feels he can’t be ‘world-class’ in the longer format, but hopes to continue making progress in the shorter formats.

“I think there are only trickles of players who can be truly world‑class at all three formats and having played all three, I’m not one of them. But I think I can be in white-ball,” he said.

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There will be a couple of upset player longer on Aussies’s CWC headache

Justin Langer, the Australia coach, said the team’s recent spike in form in one-day internationals means the selectors will have to make tough calls while choosing their 15-man squad for the CWC.  Cricket World Cup Final Tickets can be garbing from our global event ticket sales market.

For over a year, Australia hadn’t won an ODI series and their prospects at the World Cup were gloomy. However, they’ve dramatically turned things around in the last couple of months, winning eight matches on the trot across India and the UAE.

Being 2-0 down against India, they bounced back to win the remaining three matches before sweeping Pakistan in the five-match series in UAE.

Several players, including Captain Aaron Finch, have hit form, and with David Warner and Steve Smith back in the mix after serving their 12-month bans, selection for the marquee event is going to be an interesting affair.

“It’s the 15 for the World Cup actually becoming more obvious by the day to me. The same with the other selectors,” said Langer. “It becomes clearer as you watch games. That’s why games are so important.

“There’s obviously going to be a couple of really disappointed players. But that’s the tough business we’re in.”

One of the more pressing dilemmas the selectors face will be in the opening department. Usman Khawaja has been in spectacular form with two centuries and four fifties in the last eight ODIs. Finch came back from his own rut and scored two hundreds and two fifties in the five games against Pakistan.

There will be a couple of upset player longer on Aussies’s CWC headache
There will be a couple of upset player longer on Aussies’s CWC headache

Meanwhile, Warner has been making big runs in the Indian Premier League. Langer hinted one of the three will have to be pushed down the order.

“Aaron has had a really good partnership with David Warner as well. This partnership’s developing between Aaron and Uzzie at the moment,” Langer said. “David has shown he’s a very versatile cricketer, Uzzie’s batted three a number of times, Finchy’s batted in the middle order. Versatility’s important.”

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Curran content to be in IPL for now he races CWC vision

England all-rounder Sam Curran said that it’s a dream to represent his country at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019, but is content to be playing in the 2019 Indian Premier League for now. Cricket World Cup Final Tickets can be garbing from our global event ticket sales market.

Curran, who had a breakout Test season last year, is currently engaged with Kings XI Punjab in the Indian league’s 12th season. He was the most expensive overseas purchase, at INR 7.2 1 million USD approx., thanks to a bidding war between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Punjab. It was reward for a terrific rookie year in Test cricket, where he was named England’s Player of the Series in the Test matches against India at home.

“It’s a dream for every player to represent his country in the World Cup,” Curran told The Times of India. “I also want to represent my country in the mega tournament. For now, I am focusing on the IPL. I want to give my best.”

Curran content to be in IPL for now he races CWC dream
Curran content to be in IPL for now he races CWC dream

Curran also sounded optimistic of England’s chances at the tournament. England has never lifted the World Cup, but is heavy favorites to do so this time. They are playing at home and are a formidable one-day unit, ranked No.1.

“There is amazing one-day cricket being played by England,” Curran said. “The way England is playing in ODIs, the chances are bright. England playing at home are a strong side, and hope they have better luck at the World Cup.

“They have a bunch of talented cricketers, and I wish they carry on the same show at the World Cup. It will be amazing if they win the title in front of the home crowd.”

 

As he prepares to be a part of that pursuit, Curran is getting to share the dressing room with some of the world’s top international cricketers, and is getting valuable game time and experience in a highly competitive league such as the IPL.

Curran was nine years old when the IPL came into existence, in 2008. Since then, he has come a long way to now being team-mates with the likes of Chris Gayle, KL Rahul and R Ashwin.

“I was playing cricket with my father in the backyard of my house when the IPL started,” he said.

“I was learning the game at that point. I was viewing big stars hitting the ball, taking wickets, and doing some great fielding on the TV.

“I am really excited to be a part of the IPL. I really look forward to playing some good cricket and sharing the dressing room with the best players in the world.

“Punjab has a talented bunch of boys. It is a well-balanced side. I have shared net sessions with these players. I am sure I will learn a lot from players around the world. We have a great captain in Ashwin. He is a good leader. He did well for Punjab last year and I am sure he will guide Punjab to the title this year.”

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Soumya Sarkar plans to play with patience at CWC2019

Soumya Sarkar, the Bangladesh player, is absorbed on changing his starts into big, match-winning hits at the CWC, even if it means creation changes to his normal hostility. Grab your Cricket World Cup Final Tickets from our global event ticket sales market.

Since making his international entrance in December 2014, Sarkar has scored just two ODI centuries in 40 innings. Notwithstanding crossing 20 runs 24 times in ODI, he has recorded just nine fifty-plus scores.

In the CWC 2015, he had 20-plus scores in all five matches, but went on to score a half-century – 51 against New Zealand – on just one time. Now, he’s resolute to make amends.

Soumya Sarkar plans to play with patience at CWC2019
Soumya Sarkar plans to play with patience at CWC2019

“I was new in this international arena at that time,” he told presspersons on 28 March. “If I get the chance this year, there will surely be a good plan in place for the tournament.

“In many matches, I went out for 30 or 40. So I essential to overwhelmed this situation and plan accordingly. Probably I failed to manage back in 2015, but I learned many things.”

Sarkar has already showed the will to take his time and build the innings with his knock in the Tests against New Zealand earlier this year. The 26-year-old scored a enduring 149 – his maiden Test century – in the series opener in Hamilton, and spent 255 minutes at the crease.

“My aim was to survive,” he had said after that knock. “If I had hurried against this type of bowling, I think it would have negatively impacted me and the team … Once I was set, I tried to play the ball on merit.”

Sarkar is an obviously violent batsman who likes to take on the bowlers – his ODI strike-rate of 98.60 is evidence to that. However, he is now learning to familiarize to the situation and bat as per its stresses.

”Maybe the plan will be different. I played easily as a junior cricketer, but now I can’t play like this and will feel pressure,” he admitted.

“Though, I will try to execute my international experience after going there to the CWC. I will try to keep my bravery which I showed before in the CWC or Champions Trophy. I have been thinking about how my team will suffer if I throw my wicket away.”

 

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It’s hard! – Aaron Finch on CWC selection conundrum

Aaron Finch, Australia’s limited-overs captain, has said it will be “bloody hard” to zero in on a 15-man squad for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019.  Grab your Cricket World Cup Final Tickets from our global event ticket sales market.

Finch, who has been in spectacular form of late after a tough few months, is leading an Australian side buoyed by their recent successes in India and the United Arab Emirates. Both the captain and his team came back strongly after the loss to India at home, beating them 3-2 despite trailing 2-0 in the five-match ODI series in India. They then claimed an unassailable 3-0 lead against Pakistan in the ongoing five-ODI series.

With most players in a terrific form, Finch and the Australian selectors have a dilemma in picking the World Cup squad, especially with David Warner and Steve Smith set to return following the end of their respective 12-month bans.

It’s hard! - Aaron Finch on CWC selection conundrum
It’s hard! – Aaron Finch on CWC selection conundrum

 

“It is bloody hard,” Finch was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au. No matter who misses out on the squad? Especially when the side is playing so well, it’s going to be difficult. I will definitely have my views. Justin [Langer] and I, we talk all the time, every day, about selections and team make-ups, different scenarios and things like that.”

The 32-year-old admitted that they are bound to disappoint a few deserving players, no matter how hard they try. “At the end of the day, they’re the selectors and it’s an incredibly tough decision” said Finch.

 “Whatever balance you go with in that 15-man squad, there’s going to be some very unlucky blokes out there.”

arner and Smith are currently in India for IPL 2019, and will be itching to get some big runs ahead of the World Cup. However, their potential return to the Australian side would mean an already settled top order will have to be rejigged.

The opening pair of Finch and Usman Khawaja has put on incredible performances against Pakistan, while the likes of Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Stoinis and Glenn Maxwell have all made the most of opportunities that have come their way.

And Finch stressed the importance of having a settled squad.

“The fact that guys are getting more of an opportunity to keep developing their role and developing the role they’ve been asked to play or the game demands … is gold,” said Finch.

“It [a settled squad] just helps out a lot and it’s been great that we’ve had a really similar squad for quite a while now. England has had a great four years since the last World Cup, but they’ve had a very settled side. India is no different.

“I think leading up to the 2015 World Cup; we’d had the same 15 players for a good 18 months or so. That goes a long way – not just to your culture but just an understanding of how each other play.”

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Have to win trophies to be classed as great: Stuart Broad eyes the CWC19

Stuart Broad, the England pacer, believes that their ODI side must win the ICC Cricket World Cup to be slotted as an all-time “great team”, adding that 2019 is their best-ever coincidental of getting their hands on the elusive trophy. Grab your Cricket World Cup Final Tickets from our global event ticket sales market.

England has reached the World Cup final thrice, but has been unable to cross the last frontier on all three occasions. They are intense to change that in the upcoming edition of the contest, for which they are also co-hosts.

“We are exercise hard now and doing all we can to stay in top physical shape,” said Broad on the Test Match Special podcast.

For English cricket, this is our best ever chance of winning a Cricket World Cup. I cannot think we have had before the talent of players who can win games single-handedly in the likes of Jason Roy, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Eoin Morgan.

Have to win trophies to be classed as great: Stuart Broad eyes the CWC19
Have to win trophies to be classed as great: Stuart Broad eyes the CWC19

“You talk about ages of sports teams… You are only judged on winning trophies, aren’t you? You cannot name me an inordinate sports squad that hasn’t won a major trophy. For this England ODI team to be classed as a great squad, they’re going to have to win the Cricket World Cup.”

Broad and Anderson, the expert pace duo, have both made changes their bowling method to bring enhance their output ahead of the big summer. “The teller is that both of us have made nips to our bowling methods and with our run-ups in the last four-five months,” explained Broad.

“Jimmy elongated his in St Lucia because he didn’t feel he had the impetus to get off the pitch. I have condensed mine to 16m, by at least 3-4m after chats with Chris Silverwood, Sir Richard Hadlee, to shorten my stride pattern, help my rhythm and pace. Those sorts of improvements that players are looking for is a bit of a highlight that they’re not thinking of stopping soon.

“Last summer I bowled a lot into the breeze. That completes me long in my stride and delivery action. I needed a way to cut my stride pattern so I remained a bit taller and stronger at the crease. I’m really excited by this summer. I feel like it could reinvent me a little bit in the method that I could have really good control, shake the ball both ways.

Anderson, who turns 37, has been England’s most bankable player for over a period now. This constancy, which has helped him claim 862 international scalps, has developed through a rigorous yet smart training routine.

“What Jimmy does is, he wouldn’t bowl in the nets every day,” revealed Broad. “He doesn’t train for training’s sake. He is really specific with what he gets out of each session. As a fast bowler, that’s your biggest thing. If you bowl all day every day, you’re going to break.”

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Broken thumb won’t keep Stoinis out of World Cup

Aussies all-rounder Marcus is self-assured that his thumb damage will have healed completely by the time the ICC Men’s CWC 2019 comes around. Those who don’t want to miss the entertainment have already bought their Cricket World Cup Final Tickets.

Marcus fractured his right thumb in Australia’s limited-overs tour of India previous this month. It caused him to miss one match, but has not come in the way of his contribution in the ongoing series against Pakistan.

Marcus has only been used slightly this series. He has bowled eight overs through the two matches and conceded 54 runs without taking a wicket. And he hasn’t been obligatory with the bat, with Australia’s top-order in top form.

Though, Stoinis told that he has been okay to play usually, though he has had to keep the finger protected while fielding. “I am pretty pleased it did not keep me out for too long,” he said on the day before of the third ODI in Abu Dhabi, on Tuesday, 26 March2019.

Broken thumb won’t keep Stoinis out of World Cup
Broken thumb won’t keep Stoinis out of World Cup

“It was uncomfortable for a good couple of days. It’s just something I’m going to keep covered up while fielding. But it’s pulled up pretty well. After each game, it’s been okay. I think I’ll be over it by the World Cup. I think it should be totally healed within four weeks.”

Stoinis has been busy roving around the world for the last few months. After a long BBL season with the Melbourne Stars that went all the way to the final, Stoinis took the flight to India for the five-match ODI series and is now in the UAE for as several matches against Pakistan.

He will coming back to India at the end of that tour to join his new IPL franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore. Then, if he’s selected for the CWC, he will have to go to Brisbane with the Aussies squad for a training camp ahead of the CWC, and then take the flight to England.

“It has been a time-consuming,” he said of life on the road. “Fortunately, it’s always easier when you’re winning and we’re just making sure on my off days, you’re chilling out.

“I will have my family come over to meet me in India, and then again, I will probably meet them in Brisbane in the World Cup prep. I might bring a pair of mates over for the Cricket World Cup, if I am there, awaiting selection.

“For me, it’s about having people around, making sure I’m staying in contact with home. But it is a long stint.”

Broken thumb won’t keep Stoinis out of World Cup
Broken thumb won’t keep Stoinis out of World Cup

Making that spell worthwhile, though, is the success he’s had with the Aussies squad over the last few weeks. After a famous series win in India, where they came back from 0-2 down to win their next three games, Aussies have now taken a 3-0 lead against Pakistan.

“We’ve had a lot of reflection to do over the last 12 months – on how we’ve been playing, playing in different conditions and people gaining experience. It’s good to get a bit of reward for hard work.”

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