Yesterday, 19:29

England have named a 13-man squad for their long-awaited return to Test cricket against the West Indies next week, preferring Joe Denly to the uncapped Dan Lawrence and confirming Dom Bess as number one spinner.

Recreational cricket is set to resume next weekend after Prime Minister Boris Johnson appeared to back-track on his earlier claim that issues surrounding communal teas and dressing rooms made the sport unsafe.

England’s final preparations for the long-awaited return of Test cricket were boosted on and off the field on Friday, with Sam Curran testing negative for Covid-19 and a handful of key batsmen spending important time at the crease.

Shaz Rehman joined Hornchurch Athletic in 1977 and has made lifelong friendships at Hylands Park – and he hopes his three children will do the same.

Essex’s cricketers have come off furlough, out of lockdown and back to training, but into a world that has changed almost beyond recognition.

England all-rounder Sam Curran is awaiting the results of a Covid-19 test after being placed in self-isolation at the Ageas Bowl, casting a shadow over the second day of the intra-squad clash.

Newcomers James Bracey and Dan Lawrence stole the spotlight as England’s leading red-ball players went head-to-head on day one of a rare intra-squad clash at the Ageas Bowl.

Ben Stokes will captain England for the first time in next week’s opening Test against the West Indies, taking over from regular skipper Joe Root as he takes time out for the birth of his second child.

The 18 first-class counties will debate the structure of the domestic season at a meeting early next month after being given the go-ahead to start on August 1 by the England and Wales Cricket Board.

Keith Mitchell would surely have been adding to his impressive haul of wickets during the 2020 season, were it not suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Three Harold Wood Cricket Club members took on a mammoth cycling challenge to raise much-needed funds last Friday.

Shepherd Neame Essex League chairman Tom Clarke has asked clubs to be ready to play from July 11, despite no return date being set in latest government advice.

Amara Carr, Naomi Dattani and Cordelia Griffith have been awarded professional playing contracts with the London and East regional hub of the new domestic Women’s structure.

Peter Such believes Simon Harmer’s position in the rankings of world-class spinners can only be properly gauged if and when he returns to the international stage.

Mark Wood fears England could be deprived of the next Ben Stokes or Joe Root if the interruption to the recreational season because of the coronavirus pandemic extends much further into the summer.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has described a cricket ball as a “natural vector of disease” as he confirmed the sport remains banned outside the elite level.

Ben Stokes will be out to prove he is the world’s premier all-rounder ahead of Jason Holder when England take on the West Indies next month, according to the tourists’ head coach Phil Simmons.

England will pay tribute to the key workers of the coronavirus pandemic during next month’s three Tests against the West Indies, which will be called the £raisethebat series.

Essex’s Dan Lawrence remains resolutely phlegmatic about the attention he is receiving as England’s brightest prospect of a benighted cricket summer.

When Dan Lawrence dreamt as a boy of playing for England he can never have imagined it would involve thermometers, face masks and hand sanitisers.

Brentwood’s sixth team captain Kevin Brailey says he is loving playing more than ever right now – as most people his age have already retired from the sport.

Essex batsman Dan Lawrence has been named in a 30-strong England training group to go into camp at the Ageas Bowl on Tuesday ahead of the July Test series with the West Indies.

Pakistan’s head coach Misbah-ul-Haq insists the decision to tour England this summer has no strings attached regarding a return visit.

Dave Castell has been a member at Shenfield for the small matter of 44 years, making him the longest-serving at the club.

Paul Collingwood is set to be put in charge of England’s planned one-day series against Ireland, while a handful of county coaches will help oversee an expanded Test squad next month.


The NHS Test and Trace service brings together testing, contact tracing and outbreak management into an end-to-end service to stop the spread of the virus and help us move out of lockdown.

The UK Government has launched a campaign to shine a light on businesses and employees across the country who have responded to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in remarkable ways and are now going back to business.

Veterans are providing vital skills across a range of projects to help the country tackle the current coronavirus outbreak. From helping to build Nightingale Hospitals to delivering essential supplies to those who are shielding, they have helped thousands of people across the country. We take a look at how one such veteran is helping out.

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