May 19, 2015
Change in English cricket is currently swirling like tea leaves in your favourite mug – so drink in this season’s international preview, written by our friend John Fuller from Cricket Yorkshire.
England embark on a hectic schedule of international cricket back on home turf where off-field controversy has matched performances with bat and ball for intrigue.
Front and centre has been the will-he wont-he saga over Kevin Pietersen’s possible return.
That has been kicked into the long grass for now as we count down to the opening Test match of the summer.
From this Thursday at Lord’s, England take on New Zealand over two Test matches, five one-day internationals and a Twenty20 fixture.
Following that, we can all look forward to the challenge of Australia who are here to defend the historic Ashes urn.
England’s disappointing 1-1 Test series draw over in the West Indies is fresh in the memory and the squad will want to remind the cricketing public what they’re capable of.
Once upon a time, New Zealand were minnows in world cricket but they are here as equals, having captured the imagination with a run to the final of the ICC World Cup.
New Zealand’s contingent of T20 stars who play in the Indian Premier League (IPL) arrive on these shores mere days before Lord’s.
But the firepower of bowlers – like Trent Boult and Tim Southee, firecracker batsman Brendon McCullum and batting mainstay Kane Williamson – illustrate the quality the visitors possess.
In terms of coaching and playing personnel, England are in a state of flux.
England coach Peter Moores was recently sacked following the appointment of Andrew Strauss as the Director of Cricket at the governing body, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).
For the New Zealand series, assistant Coach Paul Farbrace takes charge in a caretaker role but speculation continues over whether Jason Gillespie, coach at Yorkshire, will be appointed for the visit of Australia.
To continue the Yorkshire theme, much is expected of opening batsman Adam Lyth who is expected to make his Test debut for England in London this week.
Phew! Enough drama there to get you reaching for a calming cuppa – as if we all need an excuse.
Whatever your interest in cricket, enjoy the game and here’s to wishing England every success in the months ahead.
For conversations and ideas on both professional and amateur cricket, head over to Cricket Yorkshire for a fun read.