Yorkshire coach Ottis Gibson is undergoing knee replacement surgery next week, which he hopes will open up the chance of bowling in the nets at his players next summer.
Gibson will be bed-bound for a short time afterwards, though he is planning to be up running quickly and hopes part of his winter will see him travel to the UAE in January to take up an assistant coach’s role at the ILT20 competition.
The former West Indies fast bowler was assistant to Andy Flower last year as the Gulf Giants won the inaugural competition.
“It’s basically half a knee replacement on the inside,” he said. “My meniscus is gone. The surgeon says, ‘No more injections, they’re not going to help.’
“Anyway, he’s very confident that I’ll be up and running in no time.
“If it goes well, I will definitely get my boots on and bowl in the nets. I’ve been looking forward to doing that, but I just can’t run on my knee.”
Lauren Winfield-Hill is set for an opposition meeting with her wife Courtney and Northern Diamonds’ team-mate Bess Heath after signing a late deal to play in the Australian women’s Big Bash competition with Perth Scorchers.
Winfield-Hill has replaced compatriot Danni Wyatt in the Scorchers’ squad for a competition which started today.
The Diamonds’ player of the year was due in Australia anyway, where she would have some downtime before playing state cricket for Queensland.
Instead, she has had to can plans for some r and r.
Courtney, the former head of the Northern Diamonds’ Academy, has taken on an assistant coach’s role with the Brisbane Heat, where Heath is playing as an overseas player.
The two teams meet on Sunday at the North Sydney Oval (3.40am).
Beforehand, the two teams are in opening round action tomorrow.
Heat face Melbourne Renegades in Melbourne (5am) before Perth face Hobart Hurricanes in Launceston (9.10am).
Winfield-Hill told cricket.com.au: “It was pretty last minute. When I saw that Danni Wyatt had pulled the pin on coming over, you hope that something might come in, with being a top order batter.
“But it only really materialised a week or so ago, and a couple of days later I’m on a flight out here.
“It’s awesome to be over here and to get the opportunity.
“I was actually supposed to already be in the country with Queensland playing in the WNCL, but my visa took a little while to come through.
“Then I was going to put my feet up for a bit while Courtney worked and coached for the Heat – but now we’re going against each other again, like we did in the Hundred.
“It’s something that we’re becoming more familiar with. I played for The Oval Invincibles in the Hundred, and she was coaching for Trent Rockets. Now we’re on separate teams again. It’s an interesting dynamic, but it’s cool and we’re embracing it.
“We’re both just living out our dreams, aren’t we?”
Adil Rashid is confident champions England can still reach the World Cup semi-finals, despite losing two out of their first three matches, including a shock reverse to Afghanistan last Sunday.
England’s defeats to New Zealand and Afghanistan – either side of a win over Bangladesh – leaves them with little room for manoeuvre in the remaining six matches.
They may be able to afford to lose twice more, but anything more would be dangerous.
The first of those six fixtures comes against South Africa in Mumbai on Saturday (9.30am UK).
“It’s part of cricket,” said Yorkshire leg-spinner Rashid. “You win some, you lose some, and you can’t win every game.
“We’re not too concerned. We know we’ve got tough competition coming up, but I’m confident we can play really well as a unit moving forward.
“Hopefully we can put in some good performances and kickstart the competition. We know we’ve still got six games, hopefully we can win and get some good momentum going forward.
I’m quite confident in the squad, in the team. I’m sure we’ll bounce back strong.”
South Africa have won two of their first three games, though they were also hurt by a shock last time out, losing to the Netherlands on Wednesday.
Yorkshire quick Matthew Fisher is one of only six players with senior international experience to have been picked in the England Lions squad for a winter training camp in the UAE from next month into December.
Fisher is part of a youthful squad who will take part in a red-ball focused training camp from November 16 to December 7.
Fisher has been a regular Lions’ squad member either side of playing his solitary senior Test Match against the West Indies in Barbados in March of last year.
The 25-year-old is in the touring squad alongside fellow internationals Rehan Ahmed, Brydon Carse, Tom Hartley, Matthew Potts and Josh Tongue.
New names include Josh de Caires, Middlesex’s son of Michael Atherton who scored a pre-season friendly century against Yorkshire at Headingley ahead of the 2022 summer and has been a stronger performer with his off-spin this year.
England Lions squad: Rehan Ahmed, George Balderson, Shoaib Bashir, Josh Bohannon, Brydon Carse, Jack Carson, James Coles, Josh De Caires, Matthew Fisher, Tom Hartley, Lyndon James, Tom Lawes, Dan Mousley, Callum Parkinson, Matthew Potts, Rishi Patel, Ollie Price, James Rew, Ollie Robinson, Josh Tongue, John Turner.
The return of cricket to the Olympics was confirmed earlier this week after International Olympic Committee members voted to include the sport at the Los Angeles 2028 games.
Cricket was last played at the Olympics in 1900 when Paris hosted the games.
It has yet to be confirmed what format will be played at the next but one games, though T20 tournaments for both the men and women are expected.
Squash is amongst the other sports to have been voted in for LA.
When asked about the possibility of cricket at the Olympics, shortly after the 2020 Tokyo Games, Yorkshire and England star Jonny Bairstow was in favour of such a move.
So he will no doubt be delighted at this week’s news
Speaking to Sky Sports in 2021, Bairstow said: “To have the opportunity to play at the Olympics would be fantastic.
“I remember recently watching the Triathlon recently and how the relay engaged with so many people, and the way in which that was put out there. It was fantastic to watch.
“For cricket to get there, whatever format it is, would be a great thing.”
And don’t rule out Bairstow being involved, as the 34-year-old is targeting a good few years more of international cricket.
Bairstow was asked about ODI retirement plans earlier this week and said that he was targeting the next 50-over World Cup in 2027.
“If in four years time my services are still wanted and needed, then I’ll happily be around,” he said.
“I don’t see myself calling it a day at the end of this. I love playing for England. I love this side. I love playing 50-over cricket.”
If that is the case, there is every chance he will be available to play at the Olympics too.
Former England women’s spinner Alex Hartley is set to be appointed as the assistant spin bowling coach of the Multan Sultans men’s team in next year’s Pakistan Super League competition, where she could join Shan Masood and Adil Rashid.
Hartley won the World Cup with England in 2017, and the left-arm spinner hung up her playing boots earlier this summer having represented Thunder and the Welsh Fire.
She has forged a successful career in the media with the BBC and is currently in India working on the men’s World Cup.
Yorkshire captain Masood has played for the Sultans since 2019, winning the competition in 2021. They have also been runners-up the last two years.
If Hartley’s appointment is confirmed, she could work more closely with leg-spinner Rashid if he is retained by the Sultans. He was signed to play in last year’s competition but didn’t play due to England international commitments.
Ottis Gibson also spent time with the same franchise as their fast bowling coach immediately before joining Yorkshire as head coach in March 2020. Earlier this week, Multan appointed former Ireland women’s player Catherine Dalton to a similar role ahead of the 2024 event through February and March.