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Yesterday, 19:56

England captain Ben Stokes rallied his side with four wickets on day three of the first £raisethebat Test, but the West Indies were still able to leave the field with an enviable 99-run lead.

All 18 First-Class Counties have agreed to participate in the same competitive red-ball and white-ball competitions during this summer’s shortened men’s domestic season.

The Shepherd Neame Essex League have confirmed a nine-week season will begin on Saturday July 18.

West Indies captain Jason Holder landed the first significant blow in the battle of the star all-rounders, claiming career-best figures of six for 42 to put Ben Stokes’ England under pressure on day two of the first £raisethebat Test.

Reece Topley and David Willey have been included in a 24-strong behind-closed-doors training group which will go into camp at the Ageas Bowl later this month to prepare for three one-day internationals against Ireland.

Goresbrook Cricket Club welcomed news of the return to action for recreational cricket, as announced by the government last week.

England vice-captain Jos Buttler hopes his side’s decision to join their West Indian opponents in taking a knee sends a “very powerful message” about cricket’s support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

For Rishi Patel the wait is nearly over to prove he is the man to fill the vacancy in Essex’s middle order this season.

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.

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.

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.

With the 2020 Shepherd Neame Essex League season on pause due to the coronavirus pandemic, Goresbrook have named their all-time best XI.

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.

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.

Test teams will be allowed to use substitutes to replace players displaying coronavirus symptoms in one of several interim regulation changes rubber-stamped by the International Cricket Council on Tuesday.

Cricket clubs across England and Wales can benefit from digital skills webinars as part of a new partnership between the ECB and Google Digital Garage.

Three West Indies players have decided against travelling to England for next month’s Test trip, which will go ahead behind closed doors at ‘biosecure’ venues because of coronavirus.

England’s three-Test series against the West Indies will go ahead next month subject to government clearance, the England and Wales Cricket Board has confirmed.

County cricket’s reduced pay deal has been extended to the end of July, as players continue to wait for their season to resume.

May & Baker vice-captain and Goresbrook cricket captain Kane Messenger insists he thrives on pressure whatever sport he is playing.

Cricket West Indies has granted approval in principle for the proposed Test tour of England in July as the return of international cricket moves closer.

The England and Wales Cricket Board has named a bumper 55-man training group ahead of what it hopes will be a busy international schedule, with a host of new and returning faces joining the core squad.

The Twenty20 World Cup may not go ahead as the leader of the game in host nation Australia revealed the schedule for October and November is under a “very high risk”.

The England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have confirmed a further delay to the start of the professional domestic cricket season, with no play before August 1.

Eoin Morgan would be “surprised” if the T20 World Cup goes ahead as scheduled later this year but indicated any deferment will not shape his future as England captain.

The owner of cricket ball manufacturer Dukes says bowlers should have ‘no problem’ producing swing in England this summer despite the imminent ban on using saliva.

Under normal circumstances, Essex would this week be embarking on the defence of their Vitality Blast T20 title.

The International Cricket Council (ICC)’s recommendation of a temporary ban on using saliva to shine the ball could hand batsmen a significant advantage, claims Australia paceman Mitchell Starc.

With live sport remaining on hold during the ongoing coronavirus shutdown, why not put your sporting general knowledge to the test?

Essex Cricket have jointly launched ‘Together Through This Test’ – a nationwide campaign to shine a light on how the cricket family has reached out to local communities during the coronavirus pandemic.

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