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West Indies to wear Black Lives Matter logos on shirts in England Test series

The West Indies cricket team will wear “Black Lives Matter” logos on their shirts during next month’s Test series against England in a show of solidarity with the global movement.

The tourists will follow the lead of English Premier League footballers during the three-Test series, which starts at the Ageas Bowl on July 8.

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The move comes after the death of African-American George Floyd in US police custody last month.

The logo, which has a clenched fist in place of the letter ‘A’ in the word “Black”, was designed by Watford player Troy Deeney’s partner Alisha Hosannah.

West Indies captain Jason Holder said the team remained focused on winning the series but that there were bigger issues to address.

“This is a pivotal moment in history for sports, for the game of cricket and for the West Indies cricket team,” he said in a statement issued by Cricket West Indies.

“We have come to England to retain the Wisden Trophy but we are very conscious of happenings around the world and the fight for justice and equality.

“We believe we have a duty to show solidarity and also to help raise awareness.”

Jason Holder points to the Black Lives Matter logoSource:FOX SPORTS

Holder said sportsmen and women could influence opinion and be a force for change.

“We did not take our decision lightly,” he said.

“We know what it is for people to make judgments because of the colour of our skin, so we know what it feels like, this goes beyond the boundary.

“There must be equality and there must be unity. Until we get that as people, we cannot stop.” Deeney said he and Hosannah were overwhelmed by the gesture.

“Alisha and I are immensely proud to be asked and take part in a monumental moment in world sport, this amazing decision by the West Indies cricket team to show their support for Black Lives Matter,” he said.

Player power was behind the Premier League’s move to put “Black Lives Matter” on the back of shirts for the first 12 games following the restart of the competition.

Footballers are also wearing the logo on their sleeves for the rest of the campaign.

West Indies head coach Phil Simmons is in self-isolation after leaving his team’s bio-secure location in Manchester for a short period of compassionate leave.

Cricket West Indies confirmed that Simmons had twice tested negative for the virus since returning on Friday, and would have another test on Wednesday before rejoining the squad.

The West Indies start a four-day warm-up match against England at Old Trafford on Monday.

Simmons attended the funeral of his father-in-law, who had died prior to the team’s recent assembly in Manchester, having been given permission by medical officials.

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West Indies coach Phil Simmons in self-isolation after leaving bio-secure location for compassionate leave

West Indies head coach Phil Simmons is in self-isolation after leaving his team’s bio-secure location in Manchester for a short period of compassionate leave.

Cricket West Indies confirmed that Simmons has twice tested negative for the virus since returning on Friday, and will have another test on Wednesday before rejoining the squad.

The West Indies start a four-day warm-up match against England at Old Trafford on Monday, prior to the start of the first Test on 8 July.

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Simmons attended the funeral of his father-in-law, who had died prior to the team’s recent assembly in Manchester, having been given permission by medical officials.

Cricket West Indies medical chief Donovan Bennett said: “Phil Simmons adhered to the process of managed exit and re-entry as discussed with and agreed on between CWI and the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board).

“These contingencies were put in place before the tour was agreed on and all exits from the bio-secure environment must be agreed by both medical teams, before concessions are given.”

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Ben Stokes to captain England for the first time against West Indies

Ben Stokes to captain England for the first time against West Indies with Joe Root set to be at the birth of his second child – forcing the skipper to self-isolate for a week

  • Joe Root is set to miss England’s first Test next week against the West Indies
  • The 29-year-old has not missed a Test since being made skipper back in 2017
  •  His absence will mean Ben Stokes is set to captain England for the first time

Ben Stokes is preparing to captain England for the first time after the team management resigned themselves to being without Joe Root for next week’s first Test against West Indies.

Root’s wife, Carrie, is due to give birth to their second child, and has been booked in for a C-section in Sheffield over the next few days. But with Covid-19 protocols dictating that Root would have to self-isolate for a week even after leaving hospital, his chances of walking out at Southampton’s Ageas Bowl on July 8 are remote.

His absence will end an unbroken sequence of 77 Tests since he returned to the team in 2014 following his dropping at Sydney in January that year. Only Alastair Cook, who played a world-record 159 in a row, has appeared in more consecutive Tests for England.

Ben Stokes is set to replace the absent Joe Root as captain in the first Test with West Indies

That means Stokes, less than two years after he was acquitted on charges of affray at Bristol Crown Court, will finally lead his country, despite never having captained any team more prominent than the Durham academy in 2008.

And he will do so with the endorsement of England’s senior players.

‘Ben will be absolutely fine,’ said fast bowler Stuart Broad.

‘He has got a really good cricket brain, and has grown and matured incredibly over the last three or four years. To come in and captain one game, I think he’ll find that very easy. 

‘He’s taking over Rooty’s team to make on-field decisions, so I don’t think he’ll struggle in any aspects.’

 ‘One thing we have to encourage him as other players is to make sure he uses his own ability as well.

Joe Root is set to be at the birth of his second child in the coming days and will have to isolate 

Root’s absence means that Stokes will step in his place and captain England for the first time

‘Captains can be quite shy of bringing themselves on to bowl. But we just need to him encourage him: “Actually Stokesy, now’s your time to come on with the ball and make an impact.”

‘I’ve got no doubts he will be brilliant at captaining England.’

Root is expected to be ready to resume his leadership for the second Test at Emirates Old Trafford starting on July 16.




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Jones dodges wrecks, wins 1st career Truck race

LONG POND, Pa. — Brandon Jones surged down the final two laps to win the wreck-filled Truck Series race, the first of three NASCAR races Sunday at Pocono Raceway.

It’s the first time three NASCAR National Series races will be raced on the same day at the same track. It will be the fifth time that three National Series races will run on the same day, but those were at different tracks.

The Truck race was rained out Saturday forcing the move to early Sunday. The second-tier Xfinity Series and Cup races will follow. Kevin Harvick goes for Cup victories on consecutive days at Pocono.

Jones couldn’t enjoy his win for long — he started seventh in the Xfinity race.

The Truck race never got any momentum and dragged from start to finish because of nine caution flags and two red flags on a sloppy day of racing. Clint Bowyer warmed up for his Cup race with a jog on track property as the Truck race started and tweeted in the waning laps, “There’s a good chance I still might outrun this truck race.”

Bowyer might have had the longest run of the day.

Christian Eckes blew a right rear tire that spun him out of the lead with 12 laps left, ending his race. The green flag came out with eight laps remaining only for the race to slow again three laps later when the whopping ninth caution of the 60-lap race bunched the field.

That left two laps for the traditional green-white-checkered finish and Jones made it a doozy when he sped away from Sheldon Creed to win his first Truck race in 46 career starts and in his first start since last season. He had 13 top-five finishes in the Truck Series — just never the checkered.

“We finally did it,” Jones said. “We’ve been close in the past.”

Jones drives the No. 51 Toyota for Kyle Busch Motorsports, the dominant team in the series, and he got some advice on how to handle the tri-oval track from his championship owner after Saturday’s Cup race.

“It’s not really that much pressure, honestly,” Jones said.

Austin Hill was second and Creed, who won the first two stages, was third.

The race had a pair of big wrecks inside of 10 laps that gave the drivers a wake-up call from the early-morning start. Matt Crafton, a three-time series champion, and Codie Rohrbaugh smacked the wall on the first turn of the first lap. Austin Wayne Self and Raphael Lessard also hit the wall and that brought out the red flag for extensive cleanup.

The caution flag was out shortly again when Ty Majeski crashed hard entering the first turn to bring out the third caution flag at only 12 laps. The energy-absorbing SAFER barriers were put to good use throughout the race.

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Speak In Colours lands Greenlands Stakes

Shane Crosse rode the biggest winner of his career to date when Speak In Colours gamely held on in the Weatherbys Ireland Greenlands Stakes at the Curragh.

Turned out again quickly by Joseph O’Brien having run respectably when fifth to Hello Youmzain at Royal Ascot, he extended his good record at the track having never finished outside the first two in six races.

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England cricketers will not be allowed contact during West Indies test

No high fives! England cricketers are issued warning over physical contact during their ‘bio-secure’ three-Test series against West Indies as they are urged to avoid celebrations and handshakes

  • England cricketers have been told to avoid handshakes, high-fives and hugs
  • The warning comes before their ‘bio-secure’ three-Test series v West Indies
  • Doctors want players to bump fists or touch elbows to stop spread of COVID-19

England’s cricketers will be told to avoid handshakes, high-fives and hugs during their ‘bio-secure’ three-Test series against West Indies in a bid to lessen the risks of coronavirus.

Instead of the usual celebrations, they have been advised by team doctors to bump fists or touch elbows, minimising the chances of the virus being transmitted via the palm of the hand or by air droplets.

The plan may be easier said than done. West Indies went into their recent three-day practice match in Manchester with similar plans, but players were soon high-fiving as normal when wickets fell.

England cricketers have been told to avoid physical contact during their West Indies test series

Last week, the ECB confirmed all 702 Covid-19 tests carried out in preparation for the three-match series — at the Ageas Bowl and Emirates Old Trafford — had come back negative. That tally included Jofra Archer, who had two tests after a member of his household reported symptoms.

Meanwhile, England spinner Jack Leach believes he might have contracted Covid-19 in January during the tour of South Africa, not long after a life-threatening bout of sepsis in New Zealand. 

He said: ‘We’ll never know. But if you had the symptoms I had there now, you’d think, “This is definitely coronavirus”. I feel healthy now, and want to stay that way.’

Doctors are bringing in the hygiene measures in a bid to prevent spread of coronavirus  




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NASCAR first: Tripleheader at Pocono on Sunday

LONG POND, Pa. — NASCAR is set for a tripleheader of racing at Pocono Raceway from three national series on Sunday.

NASCAR says it’s the first time three NASCAR National Series races will be raced on the same day at the same track. It will be the fifth time three NASCAR National Series races will be run on the same day but those were at different tracks.

Rain washed out the Truck Series race on Saturday in what was already a packed schedule. Pocono is the site of a Cup Series twin bill, with one race on Saturday, one on Sunday, and the second race comes with a twist. The field for Sunday’s race will be set by inverting the lead-lap finishers from race No. 1.

The Truck Series was scheduled for Saturday and the second-tier Xfinity Series was scheduled for Sunday.

The rainout forced the Truck Series to run at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, followed by 225 miles of Xfinity racing and a 350-mile Cup race.

The Cup Series race scheduled for Saturday is still on with a 3:54 p.m. green flag start time.

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Caspian Prince rolls back the years at Newcastle

Tom Marquand ended an up-and-down week in the best possible fashion when winning the Betfair Free Bet Streak Gosforth Park Cup on his old friend Caspian Prince.

The 22-year-old was dealt just about the first real blow of his hugely promising career on Monday when it was revealed he would be replaced on the Derby favourite English King by Frankie Dettori.

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Newbury to host pop-up event on Derby day

Newbury racecourse has attempted to recoup some of its losses incurred during Covid-19 by creating a pop-up ‘Pub in the Paddock’ for guests to watch the Investec Derby.

As well as the Derby, the Oaks will also be shown along with two live Premier League matches next Saturday.

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Judicial lays down the law in Chipchase Stakes

Judicial may be getting on in terms of a sprinter – but Julie Camacho’s eight-year-old appears to have found a new lease of life over six furlongs, having run out a ready winner of the Betfair Backs Racing Welfare Chipchase Stakes.

Having been a reliable type just below the highest class for a number of years, all Judicial’s best form was over five furlongs – save for a handful of experimental runs over six.

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