What a few months it has been for Northern Diamonds wicketkeeper-batter Bess Heath – an England debutant in September and possibly a Big Bash League champion in December.
Heath is currently playing as an overseas player for the Brisbane Heat, who have qualified for the women’s BBL final against Adelaide Strikers in Adelaide tomorrow (8.10am UK). The final will be live on Sky Sports.
Heath, 22, will then link up with England in India for their three-match T20 series, starting on Wednesday, followed by a one-off Test Match. All matches are played in Mumbai.
The Chesterfield-born star will hope to add to the solitary ODI she played against Sri Lanka in September.
Heath has scored one fifty in 13 innings – 16 matches – in the WBBL, and she will no doubt have hoped for better. But why not save the best until last with a match-winning display in the final!
Yorkshire may well be getting an early-season boost with the news that Joe Root has pulled out of next year’s Indian Premier League with Rajasthan Royals.
Root has opted against returning to India from March to May.
He only batted once in three matches for the Royals in this year’s IPL and has followed Test captain Ben Stokes’ decision to withdraw from his stint with the Chennai Super Kings.
That is likely to be good news for Yorkshire, whom Root did not represent at all in 2023 because of a busy schedule.
England finish their five-match Test series against India in India on March 11 and then do not play another Test until July 10, they face West Indies at Lord’s.
Rajasthan director of cricket Kumar Sangakkara said: “We respect his decision totally and wish him success in everything he does.
“Even in a short span of time, Joe was able to create such a positive impact on the franchise and the players around him.
“His energy around the group and the experience he brought to the Royals will be missed.”
Harry Brook will be aiming to show just why the Cricket Writers’ Club voted him in as their England player of the year for 2023 when he takes to the field for his country in the West Indies this weekend.
Brook was honoured by the CWC at their annual dinner in London on Monday after helping England win the T20 World Cup as well as scoring four centuries in his first 12 Test matches, becoming the fastest player to reach 1,000 Test runs in terms of balls faced.
He is the only Yorkshire player in England’s squad for a three-match ODI series in the Caribbean, which starts in Antigua on Sunday (1.30pm UK).
He is then joined by Adil Rashid for the subsequent five-match T20 series.
Brook and Rashid, meanwhile, have been released by Sunrisers Hyderabad ahead of next year’s IPL. They could both re-enter the auction pool. Jonny Bairstow, though, has been retained by Punjab Kings.
Yorkshire captain Shan Masood, Pakistan’s new Test skipper, is aiming to make history with an away win in Australia.
Pakistan start a three-match series in Perth on December 14, and if past results are anything to go by they have a mountain to climb.
Pakistan have never won a Test series in Australia, spanning 12 tours, while they have lost 14 Tests in a row Down Under.
But Masood, who made a positive impact in his first season with Yorkshire this year, is confident of a change in fortunes.
He said: “When you have not achieved something in history, then you have an opportunity to change it. So we will make an effort to produce positive results for Pakistan and for the World Test Championship.
“The positive thing will be to have the belief to play well, and all those playing contribute to give Australia some tough times.”
Northern Diamonds captain Hollie Armitage has posted scores of 52 and 13 batting at number three for the England women’s A side in their T20 series against India at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
Armitage posted her half-century in the first match on Wednesday before adding her 13 earlier today.
While the half-century came in a defeat, the 13 – added to two catches in the field – contributed to a victory today as England chased down 150 to win by four wickets. Spinner Kirstie Gordon took three wickets, while Issy Wong crashed a superb 35 not out off 13 balls late in the chase to seal victory with seven balls to spare.
The series decider will be played at the same venue on Sunday morning.
Armitage’s Diamonds coach Dani Hazell is also on the same tour as a support coach to lead coach Michael Bates, the former Hampshire men’s wicketkeeper.
Matthew Revis scored a middle order 53 for Gold Coast Dolphins in their ongoing two-day Queensland Premier home fixture with the University of Queensland, which concludes tomorrow.
Revis hit five fours in a 102-ball knock last Saturday as the Dolphins were bowled out for 357. Their visitors were 19-1 in reply at the close on day one.
Revis took the new ball and has current figures of 0-7 from four overs.
His Yorkshire colleague James Wharton is involved in a similar clash with Wanneroo over in Perth, with his side yet to bat. They will be replying to Melville’s first day 242-9.