World of Cricket: ICC scraps soft signal rule, Ashes injury scare for Anderson

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has also introduced a new law making it mandatory for players to wear helmets in “high risk positions.” In another ICC change, any runs scored off a free hit when the ball hits the stumps will now be given as runs, rather than byes. The ICC’s new rules come into effect on June 1, meaning the June 7-11 World Test Championship Final between Australia and India at The Oval will be played according to the new rules.

England pace spearhead James Anderson tweaked his groin while playing for Lancashire in the County Championship. A scan revealed that the injury was not too serious. The 41-year-old expects to be fully fit for the Ashes. Anderson was ruled out of the 2019 Ashes after just one session due to a calf injury. He is England’s all-time leading wicket-taker in Tests with 685 victims.

Daren Sammy has been named West Indies white-ball coach, while Andre Coley will take charge of the Test and the West Indies A teams. Sammy has led the West Indies to two T20 World Cup titles. Sammy’s first assignment will be a three-match ODI series against the UAE in Sharjah in June, while Coley’s will be a two-match home Test series against India in July.

David White will step down as CEO of New Zealand Cricket in August. “I feel the time is right for myself, my family, and NZC,” White said. “NZC is in a secure financial position with a solid balance sheet and long-term commercial agreements in place.” During White’s tenure, the New Zealand men’s team won the inaugural World Test Championship and reached the final of the World Cup three times (one T20 and two back-to-back ODI World Cups).

Grant Bradburn has been appointed as Pakistan men’s cricket team’s head coach for the next two years.
Bradburn, a former New Zealand international cricketer, had previously served as the fielding coach of the side from 2018 to 2020. “It is a great honour for me to work with the highly talented and skilful side like Pakistan as a head coach,” Bradburn said in a PCB release. Former South African cricketer Andrew Puttick will serve as the batting coach, while strength and conditioning coach Drikus Saaiman and physiotherapist Cliffe Deacon will continue in their respective roles.

Jofra Archer will miss a second successive Ashes series, after scans revealed a recurrence of a stress fracture to his right elbow. It is the third time the 28-year-old has suffered the injury. Meanwhile, Jonny Bairstow will take over the wicketkeeping duties from Ben Foakes, who has been left out of the squad.

Former Test player and field hockey Olympian Brian Booth died at 89. Booth played 29 Tests for Australia, including two as captain. He had five Test centuries and scored 1,773 Test runs at an average of 42.21. Booth also represented Australia in field hockey at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics.

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