Cricket

sky-sportsSky Sports has confirmed plans for a dedicated Ashes cricket channel this summer.

The broadcaster will offer cricket fans a channel that will be dedicated to the England v Australia test series between June 30 and August 31.

The channel will also offer county fixtures, highlights and other cricket related shows.

The punditry team will include Andrew Strauss, Shane Warne, David Gower, Michael Atherton, Nasser Hussain, David Lloyd and Michael Holding. Continue reading »

11.45pm Saturday 26 February on BBC TWO

BBC Two brings highlights of the Cricket World Cup throughout the week

Monday 30 August, 7:15pm on Five

England v Pakistan – Fourth Npower Test The summer of cricket action continues on Channel Five as England play the last of four Test matches against Pakistan. The action from Lord’s is presented by Mark Nicholas, with commentary and analysis from Geoffrey Boycott, Simon Hughes and Michael Vaughan. England won the opening Test in the four-game rubber by 354 runs. The star of the emphatic victory was undoubtedly James Anderson, who bounced back from a run of indifferent form to take 11 wickets in the game. Anderson’s haul of 11- 71 was due in a large part to his ruthless exploitation of swing on the Trent Bridge track. Pakistan’s inexperienced batting line-up could not cope with the England attack. Steve Finn and Stuart Broad also picked up wickets, reducing the visitors to 80 all out in the fourth innings. The second Test proved to be an equally one-sided affair, as England wrapped up a nine-wicket victory in four days. Pakistan’s decision to bat first went badly wrong when the visitors were bowled out for just 72 in their first innings. This was Pakistan’s lowest-ever score against England and their fourth-worst ever. The tourists rallied somewhat in the second innings, recovering from 94-5 at one point to make 296. Debutant Zulqarnain Haider top-scored with 88; however, the deficit proved too great and England were able to romp home on the fourth day for the loss of just one wicket. To add to Pakistan’s woes, fast bowler Umar Gul is likely to be ruled out for the rest of the series with a hamstring injury. England, meanwhile, have plenty of positives to take into the final two games of the series. Kevin Pietersen found some form – and a bit of luck – to make 80 in the first innings. Jonathan Trott scored two fifties in the game, while Jimmy Anderson, Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann all contributed well with the ball, the latter seizing 6-65 in Pakistan’s second innings. On the downside, Broad was fined half his match fee for chucking the ball, while Alastair Cook continued to struggle for runs.

Thursday 26 August, 7:15pm on Five

England v Pakistan – Fourth Npower Test The summer of cricket action continues on Channel Five as England play the last of four Test matches against Pakistan. The action from Lord’s is presented by Mark Nicholas, with commentary and analysis from Geoffrey Boycott, Simon Hughes and Michael Vaughan. England won the opening Test in the four-game rubber by 354 runs. The star of the emphatic victory was undoubtedly James Anderson, who bounced back from a run of indifferent form to take 11 wickets in the game. Anderson’s haul of 11- 71 was due in a large part to his ruthless exploitation of swing on the Trent Bridge track. Pakistan’s inexperienced batting line-up could not cope with the England attack. Steve Finn and Stuart Broad also picked up wickets, reducing the visitors to 80 all out in the fourth innings. Pakistan’s capitulation was all the more surprising considering they had beaten Australia in their previous game at Headingley Carnegie by three wickets. Pakistan’s first Test win over Australia in 15 years was also the first game in charge for Salman Butt. The opening batsman was only appointed to the position following Shahid Afridi’s shock resignation as captain after just one game. In response to the team’s dismal showing in the Trent Bridge match, the Pakistan Cricket Board has recalled former captain Mohammad Yousuf to bolster the batting. Yousuf was handed an indefinite ban last winter after a disastrous tour of Australia. The player was accused of dragging down the team’s morale due to infighting with Younus Khan. Yousuf has insisted he can work with another captain – but a question mark remains as to whether his visa will be issued in time for the second Test. England, meanwhile, enter the second Test with high confidence and an unchanged side. Will the mercurial Pakistan put on a better display and claw their way back into the series?

Wednesday 18 August, 7:15pm on Five

England v Pakistan – Third Npower Test The summer of cricket action continues on Five as England play the third of four Test matches against Pakistan. The action from The Brit Oval is presented by Mark Nicholas, with commentary and analysis from Geoffrey Boycott, Simon Hughes and Michael Vaughan. England’s summer began with a two-match series win over international minnows Bangladesh. England then faced Australia in five one-day games. Andrew Strauss’s men wrapped up a morale-boosting 3-2 series win with victories in the first three games. England also won the one-day series against Bangladesh, although the Tigers were able to score their first triumph over the home side with victory in the second game. With confidence in the side riding high, the England players now face their last challenge before this year’s Ashes down under – a four-match Test series against Pakistan. Alastair Cook faces a race to be fit for the first Test match, having missed three recent games with a back injury. Ian Bell has been ruled out of the series after suffering a fractured metatarsal during the second one-day game against Bangladesh. The Warwickshire batsman will now eye a return for the one-day series against Pakistan in September. Kevin Pietersen, meanwhile, has been struggling with a thigh injury. Elsewhere, Jonathan Trott has virtually assured himself a place after a string of good displays in the recent one-day series. Pakistan, meanwhile, must regroup after Shahid Afridi’s shock resignation as captain. The mercurial all-rounder, who had only just returned from a four-year exile from Test cricket, led his side to a 150-run defeat against Australia in the first Test in July. One-day specialist Afridi cited his lack of temperament for Test cricket as his reason for retiring. Opening batsman Salman Butt has now taken charge of the team.

Monday 9 August, 7:15pm on Five

England v Pakistan – Second Npower Test The summer of cricket action continues on Five as England play the second of four Test matches against Pakistan. The action from Edgbaston is presented by Mark Nicholas, with commentary and analysis from Geoffrey Boycott, Simon Hughes and Michael Vaughan. England’s summer began with a two-match series win over international minnows Bangladesh. England then faced Australia in five one-day games. Andrew Strauss’s men wrapped up a morale-boosting 3-2 series win with victories in the first three games. England also won the one-day series against Bangladesh, although the Tigers were able to score their first triumph over the home side with victory in the second game. With confidence in the side riding high, the England players now face their last challenge before this year’s Ashes down under – a four-match Test series against Pakistan. Alastair Cook faces a race to be fit for the first Test match, having missed three recent games with a back injury. Ian Bell has been ruled out of the series after suffering a fractured metatarsal during the second one-day game against Bangladesh. The Warwickshire batsman will now eye a return for the one-day series against Pakistan in September. Kevin Pietersen, meanwhile, has been struggling with a thigh injury. Elsewhere, Jonathan Trott has virtually assured himself a place after a string of good displays in the recent one-day series. Pakistan, meanwhile, must regroup after Shahid Afridi’s shock resignation as captain. The mercurial all-rounder, who had only just returned from a four-year exile from Test cricket, led his side to a 150-run defeat against Australia in the first Test in July. One-day specialist Afridi cited his lack of temperament for Test cricket as his reason for retiring. Opening batsman Salman Butt has now taken charge of the team.

Sunday 1 August, 7:15pm on Five

First Npower Test The summer of cricket action continues on Five as England play the first of four Test matches against Pakistan. The action from Trent Bridge is presented by Mark Nicholas, with commentary and analysis from Geoffrey Boycott, Simon Hughes and Michael Vaughan. England’s summer began with a two-match series win over international minnows Bangladesh. The home side secured a comfortable victory over the Tigers in the first Test at Lord’s, although the visitors proved more obstinate with the bat than expected. England followed this up with a comfortable innings and 80-run win in the second Test at Old Trafford, routing the tourists in less than three days. Following the Bangladesh series, England faced Australia in five one-day games. Andrew Strauss’s men wrapped up a morale-boosting 3-2 series win with victories in the first three games. England then won the one-day series against Bangladesh, although the Tigers were able to score their first triumph over the home side with victory in the second game. With confidence in the side riding high, the England players now face their last challenge before this year’s Ashes down under – a four-match Test series against Pakistan. Alastair Cook faces a race to be fit for the match at Trent Bridge, having missed three recent games with a back injury. Ian Bell has been ruled out of the series after suffering a fractured metatarsal during the second one-day game against Bangladesh. The Warwickshire batsman will now eye a return for the one-day series against Pakistan in September. Kevin Pietersen, meanwhile, has been struggling with a thigh injury. Elsewhere, Jonathan Trott has virtually assured himself a place after a string of good displays in the recent one-day series. Pakistan’s four matches against England will be held at Trent Bridge, Edgbaston, The Oval and Lord’s. Pakistan also play two Tests against Australia, at Lord’s and Headingley Carnegie, in July. Highlights of the second Test begin on Friday 6th August.

Monday 12 July, 7:15pm on Five

The summer of cricket action continues on Five. England take a break from the Test arena to play Bangladesh in a series of one-day internationals. The action is presented by Mark Nicholas with commentary from Michael Vaughan and Simon Hughes. England’s summer began with a comfortable victory over Bangladesh in the first Test at Lord’s, although the visitors proved more obstinate with the bat than expected. The home side followed this up with an innings and 80-run win in the second Test at Old Trafford, routing the tourists in less than three days. Before embarking on a four-match Test series against Pakistan, England now take on Bangladesh in three one-day games, at Trent Bridge, the County Ground and Edgbaston. Andrew Strauss returns to take over the captaincy from Paul Collingwood, who led the side to victory in the Twenty20 World Cup in the Caribbean. England’s compact 13-man squad for the series includes wicketkeeper-batsman Craig Kieswetter, whose impressive performances in the Caribbean have won him a place at the expense of Matt Prior. Another in-form player is Middlesex man Eoin Morgan, who hit 103 not out in England’s first one-day game against Australia, which the home side won by four wickets. Bangladesh’s one-day team, by contrast, has struggled for form. Their most recent tournament, the Asia Cup in Sri Lanka, saw the Tigers defeated in all three of their matches. The side lost their first game to India by six wickets, before slumping to a 126-run loss against the champions Sri Lanka. Matters barely improved in their third fixture, which saw Pakistan racing to 385 for seven – their highest-ever ODI score. Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan will be hoping his players can pull together as a team before their return visit to England for the NatWest one-day series. Highlights of the second ODI from the County Ground in Bristol can be seen on Saturday. Action from the third ODI at Edgbaston is on Thursday.

Saturday 5 June, 7:15pm on Five

A summer of thrilling cricket action continues on Five. England kick-start the 2010 season with a two-match Test series against Bangladesh, ahead of a four-match contest with Pakistan. The action is presented by Mark Nicholas with commentary from Geoffrey Boycott, Simon Hughes and a new addition to the team, former England captain Michael Vaughan. The England team are currently savouring their triumph in the ICC World Twenty20 tournament in the West Indies, where they beat Australia by seven wickets to lift the trophy. Their World Cup win is England’s first victory at a global event in 35 years of trying. It is testament not only to the team’s positive spirit and strength in depth, but also represents a personal triumph for Twenty20 captain Paul Collingwood and England coach Andy Flower, who was appointed in April 2009. Whilst observers are quick to point out that the limited-overs game has little in common with the Test arena, the confidence inspired by World Cup victory is bound to lift the team when they regroup for the series against Bangladesh. It will be especially challenging for players who were not selected for the tournament to slot back into the Test side. Chief among the returnees is Andrew Strauss, who missed not only the Twenty20 World Cup but also the Bangladesh tour. His stand-in for that series, Alastair Cook, likewise missed the fun in the West Indies. The England camp will also welcome back into the fold lead paceman James Anderson. The Twenty20 tournament should work wonders for star batsman Kevin Pietersen. The player has endured lean times on the Test stage, and has hit only one century since 2008. However, a series of impressive displays in the Caribbean saw Pietersen named player of the tournament after scoring 248 runs in six matches. Pietersen will be hoping he can overcome his wobbly form against left-arm spin when he lines up against the Bangladesh attack.

Saturday 29 May, 7:15pm on Five

A summer of thrilling cricket action continues on Five. England kick-start the 2010 season with a two-match Test series against Bangladesh, ahead of a four-match contest with Pakistan. The action is presented by Mark Nicholas with commentary from Geoffrey Boycott, Simon Hughes and a new addition to the team, former England captain Michael Vaughan. England are currently playing in the ICC World Twenty20 tournament in the West Indies, having spent the winter in South Africa and Bangladesh. The South African tour started with a draw in the first Test in Centurion, followed by England’s sole win of the series in Durban. This thumping victory of an innings and 98 runs saw Graeme Swann take nine wickets in a match. With 54 wickets in 2009, Swann became England’s most successful spinner in a calendar year. The rest of the series saw a decline in English fortunes, including a close-run draw in Cape Town and a heavy loss to South Africa in the final Test at Johannesburg. Andrew Strauss handed the captaincy to Alastair Cook for the tour to Bangladesh. England toiled to a 181-run win in the first Test in Chittagong before sealing a comfortable series win in Mirpur. A solid batting display from Cook and Kevin Pietersen helped secure the win, although it was a tough winter for England’s star batsman. Pietersen has hit only one century since 2008, and appears to struggle against left-arm spin. Bangladesh’s squad, led by Shakib Al Hasan, contains one uncapped player, 23-year-old pace bowler Robiul Islam. Former captain Mohammad Ashraful missed out on a place after an unsuccessful tour in New Zealand. No doubt much to Pietersen’s chagrin, the team includes three left-arm spinners – Abdur Razzak and Enamul Haque Jr as well as Shakib Al Hasan. The Tigers will be hoping they can exploit Pietersen’s perceived deficiencies and possibly seal a surprise win in England’s backyard. Highlights of the second Test at Old Trafford begin on Friday.

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