The ECB have made a great move reintroducing 50-over cricket to the domestic season, and it could lead to a greater England performance at next year’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
Following on from four consecutive seasons of 40-over matches, the extension of List A contests will prepare players knocking on the door for a place in the squad that will travel down under after Christmas.
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Alastair Cook’s side ended a 10-match winless streak with a 266-run victory over India at the Ageas Bowl last week, but attentions will soon turn towards limited-overs cricket after their final two Test matches this summer.
The poor form of a number of senior players, combined with retirements and the exile of Kevin Pietersen has resulted in a host of young stars coming to the fore and impressing for
Joe Root, Gary Ballance and Moeen Ali have been outstanding for England this summer, and they will hope to carry that form through to the 50-over World Cup. But, just like the Test side, there are plenty of places in the ODI side still up for grabs.
Despite reaching the final of the World Cup in 1979, 1987 and 1992, England have never won the tournament, although they were World T20 Champions in 2010. Under the guidance of Peter Moores, England will look to rectify that omission from their trophy cabinet.
Drawn in a group with both host nations – Australia and New Zealand – as well as Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Scotland, they will have their work cut out to make it to the quarter-finals.
Royal London One-Day Cup
The return of 50-over cricket is a great barometer for the selectors to assess potential international stars. An identical format to One Day Internationals will result in county players adjusting to the tactical and physical requirements on the global stage.
With the best players announcing themselves in this year’s competition, hopefully the ECB can pick the best performers to travel to the World Cup.
Best of the rest
Alex Hales announced himself on the international stage by becoming the first Englishman to hit a century in a 20-over contest at the World T20 in Bangladesh earlier this year. The opening batsman will serve as inspiration for a lot of county cricketers who are aspiring to represent their country at next year’s World Cup.
And by playing the same format as their international cricketing counterparts, there is a real chance that no player is excluded from the opportunity to play their way into the England team with a strong campaign.
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