Colors: Yellow Color

England's Twenty20 tour of South Africa will go ahead after it was given the green light by the host’s government.

 

England will play three T20s, plus three one-day internationals, from November 27, with all games to be played behind closed doors.

 

The team will travel to South Africa on November 16, with games to be played at Cape Town's Newlands and in nearby Paarl.

 

It will be South Africa's first cricket since the sport's coronavirus shutdown and England's first matches overseas. Their government regards the UK as 'high risk' for coronavirus which had put the tour in doubt. The tourists (players and management) have been granted exemptions to travel and will be based in Cape Town whilst training at Western Province Cricket Club, and playing three intra-squad matches before the first T20.

 

The three ODI matches will count towards qualification for the 2023 World Cup in India.

England managed to complete their entire schedule of home men's international cricket this summer despite the pandemic by playing matches in bio-secure venues.

 

They are scheduled to play Sri Lanka and India early in 2021 but neither tour has been confirmed.

 

Pakistan have also invited England to take part in a short, limited-overs tour in early 2021.

 

The South Africa tour schedule follows:

 

  • Friday, 27 November - first T20, Newlands, Cape Town
  • Sunday 29 November - second T20, Boland Park, Paarl
  • Tuesday 1 December - third T20, Newlands, Cape Town
  • Friday 4 December - first ODI, Newlands, Cape Town
  • Sunday 6 December - second ODI, Boland Park, Paarl
  • Wednesday 9 December - third ODI, Newlands, Cape Town

 

Personalities including Peter Crouch, Sir Mo Farah and Russell Tovey are among the famous faces appearing in a series of portraits for the Movember 2020.

 

The annual campaign aimed at raising awareness of male mental health issues and suicide prevention, as well as testicular and prostate cancer sees model Abbey Clancy (who’s married to Crouch), singer Liam Payne and George The Poet also being photographed. Other celebrities involved include musicians Miles Kane and Jesse Wood, rugby player Chris Robshaw and actor Sam Claflin.

 

Speaking about taking part in the campaign, former England striker Crouch said: “I've long supported Movember and the important work they do for prostate cancer, testicular cancer and male mental health.

 

“It's been an honour to join the campaign this year and get behind the cause by growing a mo.

 

“This year more than ever, I urge everyone to get involved in the month-long movement and show your support in any way you can.”

 

Movember CEO, Michelle Terry, said: “It's great to see so many well-known faces put on a united front in support of men's health, inspiring men and women to get involved and support our fundraising drive this Movember.

 

“This year has not been an easy one on many levels and the challenges are most likely to continue, impacting all areas of our life, including our health.”

 

She added: “We've seen men embrace facial hair during lockdown and are now asking that they put that practice to good use and grow what could be the most important mo they ever grow.”

 

More than a fifth of men (22 per cent) reported their mental health had worsened compared with before the outbreak of COVID-19 and a third (29 per cent) admitted they felt lonely more often.
 
Dr Zac Seidler, Director of Mental Health Training, at Movember said: “These findings indicate that guys are hungry for connection and in need of support in these trying times.

 

“While we know these conversations can often feel uncomfortable or awkward, checking in on your mates and loved ones can make the world of difference”.

 

Movember Conversations can found at: conversations.movember.com

 

Manchester United star Odion Ighalo has added to a list of celebrities who have voice their support for protests against police brutality in Nigeria.

 

In a video on Twitter, the Nigerian striker called his country's government "a shame to the world". It comes amid reports that several people have been shot dead or wounded during demonstrations in Nigeria's biggest city, Lagos.

 

Officials initially denied anyone died and have promised an investigation. Ighalo, who has won 35 caps for Nigeria's national football team, said in his statement that he could not "stay silent anymore".

 

"I am ashamed of this government, we are tired of you guys and we can't take this anymore," he added. Among those who've also expressed their support for the protests are actor John Boyega, and musicians including Estelle, Trey Songz and Chance the Rapper.

 

Pop singer Beyoncé Knowles said in a statement that she was "working on partnerships with youth organisations to support those protests for change".

Musician Rihanna shared a picture of a bloodied Nigerian flag on Twitter and said:

 

"My heart is broken for Nigeria."

 

British-Nigerian boxer Anthony Joshua said he was exploring donations to support local hospitals and provide food packages.

 

"This was never a trend for me! It's real life and I want to learn how to make lasting change," he added.

 

The protests have also gained support from several high profile figures with no ties to Nigeria, including Twitter's chief executive Jack Dorsey, and German-Turkish Arsenal player Mesut Özil.

 

In response by Beyoncé's pledge to "provide emergency healthcare, food and shelter," some Nigerians said it was change they wanted, not food.

 

"Keep your help and aid to yourself, I don't need it and the dead definitely don't," said one Twitter user. "All we needed was your platform to create awareness for the whole issue but you prefer to send us aid like the "poor" set of people we are." Some defended Beyoncé saying she was offering support.

 

"That's stupid, and after what? She gon talk without doing anything? She's offering her money and health support and you ask for a voice?? I don't understand people!" Queen Domi tweeted.

Protests began nearly two weeks ago amid calls for the disbandment of a controversial police unit, the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (Sars).

 

The unit has been accused of illegal detentions, assaults and shootings, and was disbanded by Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, but the demonstrations have continued around the country, with calls for more reforms to Nigeria's security services, and the government more widely.

 

Over the last two weeks, an outpouring of support for Nigerian protesters has played out on Twitter, with various hashtags, but predominantly #EndSARS.

Protests have sometimes turned violent.

 

Human right group Amnesty International said a group of armed people attacked protesters in the capital, Abuja. In turn, police have accused people "posing" as protesters of looting weapons, and torching police buildings in southern Edo state.

 

In a video address, President Buhari said every police officer responsible for wrongdoing would be brought to justice, and that the disbandment of Sars was "only the first step in our commitment to extensive police reform".

 

The daily schedule for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games has been released today, with the organisers confirming which sports will be held on each of the 11 days of competition and urging fans to sign-up for ticket updates, as planning for the Games accelerates. The first day of competition is packed with action and is set to feature an impressive 14 different sports. This includes Basketball 3x3 at the recently announced venue at Smithfield in the centre of Birmingham, Artistic Gymnastics at Arena Birmingham, and hockey and squash, which will take place at the University of Birmingham, unveiled last month as a major partner for the Games.

Women’s cricket T20, added to the programme in August last year, will be also begin at Edgbaston Stadium on Friday 29 July and the aquatics programme will start on the same day with the swimmers getting the action underway at the brand new Sandwell Aquatics Centre, which is currently under construction in Smethwick. Netball, which will see Team England defending the gold medal they won in dramatic fashion at Gold Coast 2018, also begins at the NEC Arena on the first day of competition, with the final being held on Sunday 7 August.

The Games, the largest sports event to be held in UK since the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, will feature 19 sports, with eight para sports integrated into the programme, creating the biggest para sports offering in Commonwealth Games history. The unveiling of the new schedule confirms that there will now be two full weekends of competition, a move which is hoped will allow more than one million spectators to attend the biggest sporting event ever to be held in the West Midlands.

Nigel Huddleston, Minister for Sport, Tourism and Heritage said:

"The unveiling of the daily schedule marks another important milestone as we look towards the Games in 2022. It's great to see that for the first time ever at a Commonwealth Games, there will be two full weekends of sport offering more opportunities for everyone to experience Birmingham 2022."  

Birmingham 2022’s Chief Executive Officer, Ian Reid, said: “We’re extremely excited to be unveiling the daily schedule as we know that this will make the Games much more real for everyone, now that they can see exactly which sports will be taking place on each day.

“I’d like to thank all of the international and national governing bodies who have been working closely with us to ensure that we created an exciting schedule which also provides all competitors with the maximum period of recovery possible during what will be an action packed summer of sport in 2022.”

 

The main athletics programme at the redeveloped Alexander Stadium in the Perry Barr area of the city, won’t begin until day five of the competition on 2 August, therefore allowing additional recovery time for athletes who are also planning to compete at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon, which takes place earlier in the summer. The track and field action will take place across six days with the number of sessions yet to be finalised. The marathon will be held earlier in the programme on 30 July, with the location of the start and finish and the route expected to be confirmed in 2021.

The Commonwealth Games Federation’s CEO, David Grevemberg, said: “My message to Commonwealth Sport fans around the globe is simple: Get Excited!

“Now is moment to visit the Birmingham 2022 website and sign-up for updates around tickets, volunteering and general opportunities to get involved in what will be one of the greatest sporting spectacles the country has ever seen. This innovative and exciting sports schedule highlights exceptional partnership working from so many stakeholders to ensure the UK stages a fantastic, celebratory summer of sport in 2022.

“The level of collaboration with the likes of World Athletics and UEFA has been unprecedented to ensure Birmingham 2022 retains a premium spot in an exciting period that will include the UEFA Women’s EURO in England and World Athletics Championships in Oregon. For athletes and spectators, Birmingham 2022 will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to be part of something truly special for the city, the region, the country and the entire Commonwealth. I hope all of you out there embrace this opportunity to be part of a Games for everyone.”

The latest venues to be unveiled for the Games, West Park in Wolverhampton and St Nicholas Park in Warwick, will host the road cycling events on Thursday 4 August and Sunday 7 August, where as another stunning park in the region, Sutton Park in Birmingham, will host the triathlon competition on day one (29 July 2022) and day three (31 July 2022).

Councillor Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “With less than two years to go until the eyes of the sporting world will be on the city and wider West Midlands, the announcement of the daily schedule represents the passing of another significant milestone on the road to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

“A huge amount of planning and preparation has got us to this point – having this information on what will be happening and when, will help build interest and excitement amongst our residents and spectators – and start to focus the minds of the athletes and officials that we will be a proud Host City for in the summer of 2022.”

Coventry Stadium, which is set to host three sports, rugby sevens, judo and wrestling has a packed agenda, as it will see sports action on eight out of 11 days of competition and the NEC will be even busier, with badminton and table tennis, two of the four sports occupying halls at the exhibition centre, featuring on every single day of the Games.

Team England, will have high hopes of a flurry of medals on the final day of competition on Monday 8 August, with badminton, diving, hockey, squash and table tennis all featuring, sports which saw the host nation for Birmingham 2022 bag 26 medals at the Gold Coast edition of the Commonwealth Games in April 2018.

The closing ceremony for the Games will also be held on Monday 8 August 2022.

A more detailed version of the schedule, to include a session by session breakdown, will be unveiled in the coming months.

 

Birmingham Phoenix have announced that Moeen Ali and Sophie Devine will be retained as captains for the first season of The Hundred.

 

The duo were originally confirmed as captains in February this year with both stating their delight at being asked to lead Birmingham Phoenix in the inaugural edition of the competition. However, originally scheduled to begin on 17 July and end on 15 August, The Hundred - involving eight teams in men's and women's competitions running alongside each other - was postponed until 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

 

The pair have plenty of experience of playing at Edgbaston and in the Midlands. World Cup-winning Moeen grew up just a short distance from the stadium and remains a much-loved member of the local community, whilst New Zealand International Devine played county cricket with Warwickshire.

 

Moeen Ali said: “Birmingham is my city and captaining my home team in The Hundred is right up there in terms of my career. I was born, raised and my life is still based in Birmingham, so to be the first-ever men’s captain of Birmingham Phoenix is very special for me.

 

“Sports fans across the country and in Birmingham especially will be eager to watch some live cricket. Leading Birmingham Phoenix out on to the field at Edgbaston, with the whole community behind you will be an amazing feeling.”

 

Sophie Devine said: “It’s a huge honour to captain Birmingham Phoenix and I’m really excited to be leading this side.

 

“We are putting together an exciting line-up and the international players we are looking to bring in are of the highest quality. I’m really looking forward to playing alongside them. With the opportunities that are here at the moment I sometimes have to pinch myself that I do this for a job.

 

“Exposing more players to the highest quality cricket is only going to benefit the women’s game globally and The Hundred is going to be a huge moment in women’s sport.”

 

Moeen has an excellent record as a captain having led Worcestershire Rapids to the past two Vitality Blast finals at Edgbaston, including their victory in 2018. He became the first Muslim to lead the national T20 side when he deputised for England captain Eoin Morgan earlier this year.

 

Devine also brings strong international captaincy experience to Birmingham Phoenix having been named the permanent New Zealand captain in July this year. She stepped up to lead the White Ferns when her predecessor Amy Satterthwaite took leave last year to have her first child and skippered the team at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in Australia.

 

Moeen added: “I had a chat with Head Coach Andrew McDonald a couple of days ago about what we’re trying to do moving forward and how we start to put some plans in place. There’s a lot of work to do before the season starts and we keep in touch regularly.

 

“When I see him at grounds when we’re playing in the IPL, we try to have a quick chat about things and we’re both really excited for The Hundred next year.”

 

Sophie Devine added: “Everyone is different, but for me being a captain is about leading with actions and leading from the front. If I can inspire my teammates to play a certain way or follow my lead, that will be more powerful than words spoken from the sidelines.

 

“I’ll try to lead from the front with bat and ball and encourage others to play to their potential and believe in themselves because I’ll be backing them 100%. It’s only a hundred balls so you’ve got nothing to lose. That’s what makes it such an exciting competition.” The news follows the announcement that Moeen and Devine will be joined at Birmingham Phoenix by Chris Woakes, Amy Jones and Dom Sibley.

 

England Men’s all-rounder Woakes and England Women’s wicketkeeper-batter Jones – both local to the region - have been retained from the initial men’s and women’s squads respectively. Sibley has been signed as a Test-contracted player after the 25-year-old batsman was awarded his first ECB Central Contract last month.

 

 

 

 

A new body has been launched by Black coaches, along with former and current players, to tackle racism in football.

 

Football's Black Coalition (FBC) aims to get governing bodies to do more to challenge racism while tackling issues of under representation in the game.

 

It is understood that the group was partly inspired by the MLS Black Players For Change group (BPCMLS) which was founded in June, in the wake of George Floyd's death in the USA in May.

 

Floyd, an unarmed Black man, died in Minneapolis after a white police officer knelt on his neck for over eight minutes. Spokesperson for BPCMLS, USA international Justin Morrow, said he hoped that Black players in England would create their own group.

 

He said: "I think it's something, as they know themselves, that's very needed.”

 

It is understood that FBC and BPCMLS have been in contact via conference calls.

 

The group's formation comes just after Queens Park Rangers director of football Les Ferdinand said the impact of taking a knee "has been diluted".

 

Players and staff have been taking a knee before games in the Premier League and English Football League since the 2019-20 season restarted in June, in order to show support for racial equality.

 

QPR did not carry out the gesture in support of the Black Lives Matter movement before their Championship match against Coventry City on 18 September.

 

"Taking the knee will not bring about change in the game - actions will," Ferdinand said.