Harry Brook is preparing for his maiden international tournament and will bid to help England complete the white ball set with T20 World Cup glory in Australia.
Brook is one of three Yorkshire players included in England’s squad; Dawid Malan and Adil Rashid the others. Former Vikings T20 captain David Willey is also involved.
The 23-year-old has encouraged in the early stages of his international career, which amounts to 14 appearances in T20 cricket and one in the Test arena, posting a high score of 81 not out in Pakistan last month.
Earlier this week, Brook was handed an incremental contract by the ECB, giving the England management some jurisdiction on his availability and workload.
England head into the tournament which starts this weekend on the back of away series victories over Pakistan and Australia. If they are victorious, England will be current holders of both the T20 and 50-over World Cup titles.
The event starts with an initial group phase involving the likes of Scotland and Ireland.
Eight teams will be split into two groups with the top two in each qualifying for the Super 12s stage. Group A sees Namibia, Netherlands, Sri Lanka and United Arab Emirates play each other once and the tougher Group B houses Ireland, Scotland, West Indies and Zimbabwe.
The opening matches are on Sunday morning.
The first matches of the Super 12 – the main part of the World Cup – take place next Saturday when New Zealand face Australia at Sydney before England face Afghanistan in Perth (12pm UK).
England are in Group One – of two – alongside Afghanistan, Australia, New Zealand the winner of Group A and the runner-up in Group B. The top two qualify for the semi-finals.
New county captain Shan Masood is is the fourth current Yorkshire player involved in the T20 World Cup, the stylish left-hander part of Pakistan’s squad.
The 32-year-old left-hander, the owner of 25 Test and five ODI caps, has only recently made his T20 international debut – against England in Karachi last month.
A prolific domestic performer with the likes of Multan Sultans and Derbyshire in domestic cricket, Masood is set to play in one of the world’s biggest fixtures next weekend.
Pakistan are in Group Two of the Super 12s alongside Bangladesh, India, South Africa, the winner of Group B and runner-up of A.
Masood and co open their account against arch-rivals India at the MCG next Sunday (9am UK).
During the recent Pakistan v England series, Masood spoke to the English media about his impending arrival at Headingley in 2023, and he is determined to help the club bounce back from the disappointment of LV= Insurance County Championship relegation.
He said: “There’s no point dwelling on it. You need to keep moving forward. That’s the game.
“Too often as cricketers we get stuck in the past. We’ve seen mighty teams fall, and we’ve seen people at ground level go all the way up. So you always have to believe that nothing is permanent. Every day is a new day, and every season is a new challenge.”
Northern Diamonds stars Lauren Winfield-Hill and Bess Heath will begin their latest bid for silverware tomorrow when they line up for the Melbourne Stars in Australia’s Big Bash League.
Winfield-Hill has enjoyed a run-filled, trophy-winning summer, claiming both the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy and the Hundred with the Oval Invincibles.
Heath has only just signed a contract with the Stars as an overseas replacement player for India batter Jemimah Rodrigues.
They are two of three English overseas imports for the Stars, who face Brisbane Heat in Mackay tomorrow, alongside batter Alice Capsey.
Linsey Smith is also training with the Stars having headed Down Under to play Victorian women’s club cricket for Dandenong. Heath had done the same and has been playing for Ringwood.
Winfield-Hill, meanwhile, scored 953 runs in 20 matches in all cricket this summer, for the Diamonds, Invincibles and England A, averaging a superb 63.53 with nine fifties and one hundred.
Earlier this week, James Carr, the director of cricket of the Diamonds, said: “It’s like Lauren’s come back from England with a point to prove. But with that, she’s felt really comfortable in the environment.
“She’s been relaxed enough to perform whilst being switched on enough to perform. She’s found a real sweet spot to go out and perform.
“She hits one heck of a cricket ball. The sound off that Gray Nicolls of her’s is something else.
“It’s just been an absolute delight to have her back. But for how long? Hopefully, for her, she remains in that sweet spot for long enough to perform in the Big Bash and also for England if she gets back in.”
The WBBL is being televised on both Sky Sports and on the cricket.com.au website.
Tom Loten has found a new home, with Nottinghamshire offering the all-rounder a two-year contract following his recent release from Yorkshire.
Loten, 23, briefly trialled in second-team cricket with Notts last season.
He did enough to impress coach Peter Moores and his backroom staff with a score of 79 and a bowling return of 4-46 in two matches.
Of the York-born player, Moores said: “As a bowler, he has all the physical attributes needed to create bounce from a good length and has a track record of scoring runs at the top of the order.”
Former Yorkshire batter Eliot Callis has been representing a National Counties England XI at the Dream XI European T10 Championship in Malaga this week.
Callis, 27, played three first-team games for the county between 2014 and 2017 before being released.
The Doncaster-born right-hander has been involved in the England title defence against national teams from Scotland, Holland, hosts Spain and Italy.
Callis has been playing National Counties cricket for Buckinghamshire over the last two summers and also works as a Commercial Account Executive for software development company UJET.cx.
Today sees the final stages of the event. England face Scotland in the Eliminator (12.30pm) for the right to face the loser of the first Qualifier this morning between Netherlands and Spain (10.30am).
The winner of that Qualifier advances directly to tonight’s final (6.30pm).
The second Qualifier, an effective semi-final, takes place at 3.30pm. The action is being televised on FreeSports.
Australia is a country providing plenty of interest in terms of Yorkshire Cricket at present, not just with the T20 World Cup or the women’s Big Bash.
The county’s short-term overseas signing in early 2022, the Sri Lanka Test captain Dimuth Karunaratne, is currently playing club cricket in Melbourne for Endeavour Hills, a club who are determined to make a name for themselves.
They play in Victorian Sub-District Cricket Association competition, the second-tier of league cricket in the state.
But Karunaratne is starting the Aussie summer with them, under the leadership of compatriot Tillakaratne Dilshan, his compatriot and former international captain.
Karunaratne is also due to play in a two-match T20 exhibition series next month, which is being organised by Endeavour Hills and is set to feature the likes of Chris Gayle, Shoaib Malik and current Yorkshire and England star Dawid Malan.
Backed by sponsors and with access to a global management company set up by a couple of their regular players, the club are embarking on an ambitious attempt to raise funds.