Andrew Strauss steps down as ECB's strategic advisor

Andrew Strauss steps down as ECB’s strategic advisor

Former England player Andrew Strauss has decided to step down as the Strategic Advisor to the ECB Board and Chair of the Performance Cricket Committee. The former skipper of the England national team has been a prominent figure in the England Cricket Board, who served as the interim Managing Director of England Men’s Cricket between February and May 2022.

“I’ve really enjoyed my time at the ECB and am proud of having contributed to a successful period for our England teams. With increasing commitments outside of the organization, sadly I’ve decided it’s time to step away from my current role. I wish the new Board all the very best as it continues in its mission to grow our game,” said Strauss, who has also previously served as Director of England Cricket for over three years.

Strauss, who had recommended several reforms for English cricket were turned down by the counties. These recommendations were made to enable players to play in all kinds of conditions a player can get to experience around the world. In the same vein, restructuring the domestic set-up, which will focus more on playing red-ball cricket. Apart from that one of the key recommendations proposed included the use of Kookaburra balls which seams for a longer duration than the Duke balls which are mainly used in England.

ECB Chair Richard Thompson said: “Andrew has given outstanding service to English cricket over many years in a number of different roles. I’ve greatly valued the advice and expertise he has provided in my time as Chair, and have enjoyed working with him. We are currently implementing the vast majority of recommendations from his impressive High Performance Review, which I believe will help our England Men’s teams to sustain their success. I have no doubt he has much more to contribute to the game and hope he will return in the future.”

Strauss, who has been one of England’s most successful Test skippers, has been a vital part in the success of the men’s cricket team in white ball format. After the disastrous performance in the 2015 World Cup, Strauss appointed the managing director of men’s cricket helped revolutionize white-ball cricket forever and make The Three Lions a dominant force in the years to come.

With Strauss departing, the ECB has appointed four non-executive directors in their management with the likes of Penny Avis, Baroness Zahida Manzoor, Jennifer Owen Adams, and Gareth Williams, respectively. Additionally, as per the board, the appointment of two more cricket directors in non-executive roles is underway.


Zimbabwe’s Gary Ballance retires from all forms of the game

Former England and Zimbabwe international Gary Ballance has announced his retirement from all forms of cricket. The stylish left-hander quits the game with five Test hundreds to his name, with the latest one (137 not out) coming in the only Test he featured in for Zimbabwe.

In a statement issued by Ballance in the Professional Cricketers’ Association, he said, “After much thought, I have decided to retire from all forms of professional cricket with immediate effect.” He further added, “I had hoped my move to Zimbabwe would provide me with a new-found happiness for the game and I will always be thankful to Zimbabwe Cricket for providing me with an opportunity to return to international cricket and welcoming me into their team.”

Additionally, the southpaw stated, “However, I have reached the stage where I no longer have the desire to dedicate myself to the rigours of professional sport and it would do Zimbabwe Cricket and the game itself a disservice, should I carry on. I wish them every success going forward.”

Ballance, who had made a switch to Zimbabwe, his birth nation, was heavily implicated in Azeem Rafiq’s explosive testimony during the DCMS parliamentary hearings in Westminster last November after his use of the racial slur “P**i” had been deemed to be “banter” in the initial report into allegations of institutional racism at Yorkshire.

Ballance, who played 23 Tests for England after making his debut in 2014 has scored 1498 runs for them – including four centuries and seven fifties. In addition, he also won the County Championship with Yorkshire in the 2014 and 2015 seasons. For Zimbabwe, he appeared in one Test, one T20I, and five ODIs.

Harry Brook joins MLB spring training

England’s young sensation Harry Brook is an MLB Ambassador

Harry Brook has started his career with a bang. The 24-year-old, who debuted last year, has scored 809 runs in just 6 Test matches at an average of 80.90. What’s more interesting is his strike rate. A whopping 98.77!!! Now, to get his game to the next level, Harry Brook has formed a partnership with St Louis Cardinals as a Major League Baseball ambassador.

“I’m really excited for this partnership and can’t wait to try my hand at hitting some home runs. I’m intrigued to see how different it is to cricket and what similarities there are too – will a home run feel as good as hitting a six?” Brook was quoted as saying in a statement.

He further added, “I’m also excited to learn from how other professional sportspeople go about their game and see if there are any transferable skills between batting in baseball and cricket. It’s going to be amazing to see baseball first hand in the US and help spread the word back in the UK and hopefully help build baseball’s fan base here.”

Brook, whose stocks are continuously rising, is a part of Sunrisers Hyderabad for IPL 2023. The right-handed batter was snapped by the 2016 IPL champions for INR 13.25 crores. The England star has an excellent record in T20Is. In just 20 matches, he has scored 372 runs with a top score of an unbeaten 81.

Additionally, England quick Issy Wong has also signed up to promote MLB. Wong, who is currently in India to participate in the Women’s Premier League, said, “It’s brilliant to be part of the movement to introduce baseball to a new audience outside the US.”

Eoin Morgan

Eoin Morgan announces retirement from all forms of cricket

England’s ODI World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan has announced his retirement from all forms of cricket. The English cricketer had quit international cricket last July after going through a bad form in batting; he will no longer play in the leagues he has been participating in over the last few months.

Announcing his retirement, Eoin Morgan said, “It is with great pride that I am announcing my retirement from all forms of cricket. After much deliberation, I believe that now is the right time to step away from the game that has given me so much over the years. From moving to England in 2005 to join Middlesex, right up to the very end, playing for Paarl Royals in SA20, I have cherished every moment.”

Morgan has represented England in 248 ODI matches scoring 7701 runs at an average of 39.09. The left-hander has also represented England in 115 T20Is and 16 Tests. Morgan is one of the few cricketers who has played for both Ireland and England. Representing Ireland, the batsman has scored 744 runs in 23 ODIs.

Morgan further added, “Since my retirement from international cricket, I have been able to spend more time with my loved ones, and I look forward to being able to do so more and more in the future. Having said that, I will undoubtedly miss the adventure and challenges of playing professional cricket.”

Morgan clarified that after retiring from all forms of cricket, he would focus more on his commentary career.

Andrew Flintoff hospitalised after Top Gear accident

Andrew Flintoff’s car crashes while filming “Top Gear”

Former England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff has been hospitalised following a car crash while filming for BBC’s TV show “Top Gear”. The 45-year-old was filming with a crew at Dunsfold Park Aerodrome in Surrey when the accident occurred.

As reported by The Sun, “Freddie is in hospital after a crash on Top Gear. He was driving on the track as normal. He wasn’t going at high speeds – it was just an accident that could happen to anyone. All the usual health and safety measures were in place for filming too.”

Flintoff’s injuries aren’t life-threatening, and the former all-rounder was driving on the track as normal and not driving at high speed.

The report further stated, “Freddie was taken to the hospital by air ambulance shortly afterwards. Filming has been postponed for now, and all anyone cares about is Freddie recovering.”

Andrew Flintoff is one of England’s greatest all-rounders who retired in 2009 after playing 79 Tests, 141 one-day internationals and seven T20Is, where he scored 7,315 runs across all formats and took 400 wickets with the ball. Flintoff played a major role in England winning the 2005 and 2009 Ashes with his exceptional all-round skills.

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