10 The Daily Telegraph Friday 3 July 2020 *** Sport Cricket Curran forced to isolate as England given Covid scare with Test looming CHIEF CRICKET CORRESPONDENT By Nick Hoult Even though Root is not playing in the first Test he will be involved in discussions, with both sides keen to make some sort of gesture to support Black Lives Matter beyond wearing the logo. The England and Wales Cricket Board yesterday confirmed the England team will wear the logo designed by footballer Troy Deeney’s partner, but distanced themselves from the politics of the Black Lives Matter movement, which has attracted controversy over its wider demands that include the defunding of police, overthrowing capitalism and sanctions against Israel. “The England and Wales Cricket Board fully support the message that Black Lives Matter. There can be no place for racism in society or our sport, and we must do more to tackle it,” said Tom Harrison, ECB chief executive. “We are aware of certain aspects of the movement that promote their own political views, and their actions are not supported in any way by the ECB and our players. This moment is about unity.” Last winter Jofra Archer was racially abused while playing for England in New Zealand and Michael Carberry recently revealed the discrimination he faced in his county career. Lonsdale Skinner, chairman of the African Caribbean Cricketers’ Association, called on the ECB to appoint a black QC to lead a “root and branch” inquiry into the issue in cricket. All-rounder awaiting results of test after sickness bug hits plan to discuss the matter with West Indies captain Jason Holder, but it was confirmed yesterday that both sides will wear the Black Lives Matter logo. The decision over taking the knee will be left to the players, with both boards happy for the teams to make the call. Carlos Brathwaite, the West Indies all-rounder who will be commentating on the series for the BBC, said sportsmen taking the knee is only “cosmetic” but has helped develop wider recognition for the movement. “That may ruffle a few feathers,” he said. “The biggest change needs to be legislative and needs to be the reprogramming of the wider society.” Players allowed to decide if they take the knee next week Sam Curran was last night selfisolating at the team hotel at the Ageas Bowl and awaiting the results of a Covid-19 test after feeling unwell yesterday. He will learn today whether he has tested positive for the virus after complaining of sickness and diarrhoea. He will play no further part in England’s intra-squad practice match, which finishes today. Curran was feeling better yesterday afternoon but as soon as a player feels unwell the England team’s strict Covid-19 protocols kick in and they are put in isolation. The fact Curran has fallen ill despite the stringent biosecurity precautions at the hotel shows how difficult it is to protect players. So far, more than 700 Covid-19 tests have been carried out on those involved in next week’s first Test and all have returned negative. England will decide over the weekend whether they will “take the knee” before the first Test against West Indies next week to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement. Joe Root and Ben Stokes, England’s captain and vice-captain, Take it as red Players to show support for Ruth Strauss charity the #RedForRuth initiative, with players wearing red caps. Former England captain Sir Andrew Strauss, set up the foundation after the death of his wife in 2018 from a rare form of lung cancer affecting non-smokers. The third Test of England’s series against West Indies will be dedicated to the Ruth Strauss Foundation, raising money for families who have lost a parent to cancer. Day two of the game at Emirates Old Trafford will see the return of Dukes questions ‘inexplicable’ delay Bess stakes strongest claim for spinner spot By Tom Morgan bushes and throws it back, there is no issue. “We have two types of finish to our balls – the traditional English, which absorbs grease and moisture, and we’ve got our new finish which is a harder surface finish, which is actually resistant to water altogether.” The Government is understood to be inching closer to allowing club cricket to return after the campaign won support from scientists, as well as England all-rounder Ben Stokes, other leading cricketing figures, and politicians from both Conservative and Labour. The England and Wales Cricket Board, meanwhile, has submitted detailed plans for how cricket can be made as Covid-safe as possible and is hopeful that the Government will give permission imminently for a resumption, allowing club cricket to restart as soon as a week tomorrow. Bring back ing it”, he said, by claiming the ball was a “vector for the disease”. The delay is already hitting company profits. “There’s been a massive, massive impact on the sales of balls because, basically, everybody was ready to go for this season, having ordered and received balls,” Jajodia said. “Now they’re in limbo while it’s all shut, so, of course, my problem is now next year. I just hope this delay doesn’t mean that people break the habit of playing cricket altogether.” The virus risk, he believes, can easily be navigated if all players regularly sanitise hands and swing bowlers are instructed not to use spit. The ball could also be sanitised intermittently during a match, and if it runs out of play and is touched by a spectator, he said. “You know the players are sanitising, so unless it goes off the pitch, and somebody finds the ball in the CHIEF CRICKET WRITER By Scyld Berry club cricket! this three-day friendly at the Ageas Bowl, which will decide England’s spinner for the first Test against West Indies, assuming Sam Curran’s illness does not upset all plans, Dom Bess has emerged as the steadiest of the five candidates, while Matt Parkinson has been the most penetrative. Neither Moeen Ali nor Jack Leach advanced their cases on the opening day, so Bess had only to carry on from where he left off in South Africa last winter – impressively accurate for a 22-year-old off-spinner – to become the favourite for the first Test starting on Wednesday, even though West Indies have only one left-handed batsman. “I got through 20 overs and the ball was coming really nicely out of my hand,” Bess said. On whether he was affected by bowling in silence behind closed doors, he said: “I’ve been used to playing in the second team [for Somerset] quite a bit and that’s a bit of an advantage for me.” Parkinson, however, claimed the big wicket of the day, that of the new England captain, Ben Stokes, who was deceived and stumped for 41. Left without a specialist batsman, Stokes’s team finished 54 behind Jos Buttler’s side on first innings, with one day remaining. Appearing to be in no way affected by his new responsibilities while Joe Root is absent, Stokes was beginning to lord it over both aspiring spinners (Surrey’s Amar Virdi bowled only in the last hour). It may only be day two, yet it was still the The British manufacturer of one of cricket’s most popular balls has dismissed Boris Johnson’s suggestion that its product could be a “vector” for Covid-19 in the club game. Dilip Jajodia, whose company manufactures the Dukes ball used in international cricket as well as in the grass-roots game, says sanitising precautions would all but remove the risk of contamination. Joining a campaign by for the imminent return of the club game as lockdown restrictions ease, Jajodia, managing director at British Cricket Balls, said the Government’s current resistance was “inexplicable”. The Prime Minister was really “overdoIn Telegraph The Daily Telegraph
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