Veteran left-handed batsman Chris Gayle has been named vice-captain of the Jason Holder-led West Indies squad for the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup.
"It is always an honour to represent the West Indies in any format and this World Cup for me is special. As a senior player it is my responsibility to support the captain and everyone else in the team," Gayle said in an official statement released by Cricket West Indies on Monday (local time).
"This will probably be the biggest World Cup, so there will be great expectations and I know we will do very well for the people of the West Indies," he added.
Meanwhile, Shai Hope, the wicket-keeper batsman was announced as Holder's deputy for the ongoing Tri-nation series against Ireland and Bangladesh.
"It's a tremendous honour to be appointed vice-captain for this series here in Ireland. Ahead of this tournament, I was asked to take on this role and I was happy to accept. Anything I'm asked to do for West Indies cricket I'm always happy and willing to put my hand up, so this is great," Hope said in an official statement released by Cricket West Indies.
The West Indies got off to a good start in the Tri-nation series as they comfortably defeated Ireland by 196 runs on Sunday.
The match witnessed quite a few records tumbling. West Indies openers Hope and John Campbell registered the highest opening ODI partnership of 365 runs and it was the first time in a match that both the openers went past the score of 150.
The team takes on South Africa and New Zealand in the warm-up matches before the World Cup on May 26 and 28.
The 50-over tournament will take place in England and Wales from May 30 to July 14. West Indies will open its World Cup campaign against Pakistan at TrentBridge on June 1.
West Indies full 15-member team for the World Cup: Jason Holder (captain), Chris Gayle (vice-captain), Andre Russell, Sheldon Cottrell, Shannon Gabriel, Kemar Roach, Nicholas Pooran (w/k), Ashley Nurse, Fabian Allen, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope (w/k), Oshane Thomas, Carlos Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Evin Lewis.
Nortje ruled out of World Cup with injury; Morris called up
South Africa suffered a blow ahead of the World Cup with fast bowler Anrich Nortje being ruled out of the tournament due to a fractured thumb.
Chris Morris has been called up as his replacement for the mega-event, commencing on May 30 in the UK.
Nortje overcame ankle and shoulder injuries over the course of the summer before he could make his international debut in March this year. On the basis of his performances, the 25-year-old was selected in South Africa's World Cup squad.
Unfortunately, Nortje fractured his right thumb while practising in the nets, and it has now been confirmed that he would need six to eight weeks rest to recover fully.
The 32-year-old all-rounder Morris, who has not played an ODI in more than a year, has replaced Nortje in the 15-member squad.
Morris is currently playing at the IPL with Delhi Capitals, for whom he has taken 13 wickets in nine games this season.
South Africa squad: Faf du Plessis (captain), JP Duminy, David Miller, Dale Steyn, Andile Phehlukwayo, Imran Tahir, Kagiso Rabada, Dwaine Pretorius, Quinton de Kock (w/k), Chris Morris, Lungi Ngidi, Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, Hashim Amla, Tabraiz Shamsi.
Long home summer for Aus after India rebuff
Australia's international schedule will stretch into late-March for the first time in 41 years in 2020 after the country's cricket board was unable to cut a deal with India to move a one-day tour.
Cricket Australia had hoped to host New Zealand in an ODI series in January but Aaron Finch's team will instead travel to the subcontinent after the Board of Control for Cricket in India declined to shift their home series.
That has pushed the three-match New Zealand series back to the middle of March, with the final ODI in Hobart on March 20 making it the latest finish to a home international schedule since Australia hosted Pakistan for a test in Perth in 1979.
"CA took the position that while January was our preference for these ODI matches there are times we need to honour our commitments to work in the greater context of international cricket scheduling," CA's Peter Roach said.
"We evaluated different options for an alternative and saw the most value in the March opportunity to extend our window in the traditional cricket season."
The Gabba returns as venue of the opening Test of the summer in a two-match series against Pakistan from November 21.
Last summer, the Brisbane ground was snubbed as one of the venues for the marquee Test series against India and relegated to a January test match venue for the short Sri Lanka tour.
Adelaide Oval will host the second and final Test against Pakistan, a day-night match, from November 29.
Australia also host New Zealand in a day-night Test at Perth Stadium from December 12, before the three-match series moves to the Melbourne Cricket Ground for the traditional Boxing Day Test and to Sydney in the New Year.
In a tweak to the usual day-night scheduling, the Perth test will start at 1 p.m. local time and finish at 8 pm to cater to Australia's dominant TV audience in the east of the country.
It will also have the longer 40-minute lunch break at the first interval, while the Adelaide pink ball test will continue to have the 20-minute tea break between the first and second sessions with the longer "dinner" break in the evening.
The international summer opens in late-October with back-to-back three-match Twenty20 series against Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
Women's international cricket will also play a prominent role in the schedule as Australia play a T20 tri-series against England and India from late-January in the leadup to hosting the women's T20 World Cup from February 21.
Oct 27 Australia v Sri Lanka, 1st T20 (Adelaide Oval)
Oct 30 Australia v Sri Lanka, 2nd T20 (Gabba)
Nov 1 Australia v Sri Lanka, 3rd T20 (MCG)
Nov 3 Australia v Pakistan, 1st T20 (SCG)
Nov 5 Australia v Pakistan, 2nd T20 (Canberra)
Nov 8 Australia v Pakistan, 3rd T20 (Perth)
Nov 21-25 Australia v Pakistan, 1st test (Gabba)
Nov 29-Dec 3 Australia v Pakistan, 2nd test (Adelaide Oval)*
Dec 12-16 Australia v New Zealand, 1st test (Perth)*
Dec 26-30 Australia v New Zealand, 2nd test (MCG)
Jan 3-7 Australia v New Zealand, 3rd test (SCG)
Mar 13 Australia v New Zealand, 1st ODI (SCG)*
Mar 15 Australia v New Zealand, 2nd ODI (SCG)
Mar 20 Australia v New Zealand, 3rd ODI (Hobart)*
* Denotes day-night match
Rabada shares injury update
South Africa pacer Kagiso Rabada, who is currently suffering from a back injury, ensured that 'he is good, precautionary is all.'
Rabada, keeping the forthcoming ICC Men's Cricket World Cup, was ruled out of Indian Premier League (IPL) owing to his back injury.
"Ipl was really fun! Extremely glad for the opportunity! Sad to leave but good to be home! Bittersweet. Regarding my back, I'm good - precautionary is all. Will be supporting the boys all the way! @delhicapitals," Rabada wrote in an Instagram post.
The 23-year old is the highest wicket-taker in IPL with a wicket tally of 25 wickets, four wickets ahead of second-positioned Imran Tahir, in the league and interestingly, played the least amount of games, 12, compared to the top five players featuring in the list.
Rabada's fitness is not the only concern for the Proteas as Dale Steyn also sustained a right shoulder injury. As a result of which Steyn too had to withdraw from IPL after featuring in just two matches.
Former West Indies batsman Nurse passes away
Former West Indies batsman Seymour Nurse, who played 29 Tests between 1960 and 1969, has passed away following a prolonged illness.
He was 85.
Nurse scored 2523 runs at an average of 47.60, including six hundreds and 10 half-centuries. The middle-order batsman from Barbados made 9489 runs in 141 First-Class matches at 43.93.
Former West Indies opener Desmond Haynes shared the news of Nurse's demise in a Facebook post.
"My coach my mentor, we all from the holders hill area love this man, we used to walk like Seymour bat like him and try to talk like him. Thanks for everything you have done for me. May he Rest In Peace and rise in glory," Haynes wrote.
Nurse made his Test debut against England in 1960, scoring 70 in the first innings. In his second Test, held at Melbourne in December 1960, he scored another 70 though Australia won the game by seven wickets.
After featuring in a Test against India in 1962 at Port of Spain, Nurse did not play another game for the West Indies until 1965 due to injuries. He could only cement his place in the team in 1966 when he scored four fifties and a hundred in a five-Test series in England.
He was also named Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1967.