The Cricket Tier


England Look to Be the Team to Beat at T20 World Cup

The T20 World Cup in Australia is going to be one of the highlights of what is set to be a busy year in cricket in 2021. As always, the tournament is sure to deliver fireworks as all the world’s leading players will be battling it out at the crease for the coveted trophy.

This format of the game makes it possible for five or six countries to be contention for the trophy, but none are more prepared for the competition than England.

Buoyed by their success in the Cricket World Cup in 2019, England will travel Down Under full of confidence. The majority of the players in their squad were part of that victory at Lord’s last year, where they defeated New Zealand in the final in dramatic circumstances.

Since then, England have had a swagger about them. This was very evident in their recent 3-0 T20 series victory over South Africa. The tourists have often struggled in tours of South Africa, however, they swept aside the hosts in a dominant fashion this time around.

England can be backed at 7/2 in the cricket betting for the tournament next year. You could make a strong argument for making England the favourites for the trophy. That position is held by Australia, largely due to the Aussies being the hosts with the home advantage.

Runs Won’t Be A Problem for Heavy Scoring England

Eoin Morgan’s side go into the T20 World Cup with a very strong batting line-up. Whether they are batting first and setting a target, or chasing, they are able to score at a very strong run-rate.

Jason Roy and Jos Buttler have formed a dangerous opening partnership which helps England make a fast start. Dawid Malan is now the number one ranked batsman in T20 cricket, while Morgan, Ben Stokes and Sam Curran all ensure the Three Lions are strong in the middle of the order.

It is going to be fascinating to see England take on the likes of Australia and India, their biggest rivals for the trophy. Those games could come in the latter stages of the tournament in the semi-final and final. Although there will be a lot of pressure on those matches, the England players are fully accustomed to handling it and delivering in big moments.

England’s Bowling Attack Has Variety

Although it is the batting line-up which often makes the headlines for England, their bowling attack also deserves a lot of credit. Between them, Jofra Archer, Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid and Curran give Morgan a lot of options.

Archer is the man England can turn to with the ball when they need something to happen. He was excellent during the Super Over of the Cricket World Cup final and has a lot of experience in Two cricket now.

The conditions in Australia should suit Rashid who will fancy picking up plenty of wickets in the tournament. The 32-year-old featured for England at the 2016 T20 World Cup when they finished runners-up to the West Indies.

England should keep getting stronger from now until October. If they do pick up the trophy in Australia, it will be extra proof that they have become the dominant force in limited-overs international cricket.

Cricket Photograph of the Year Competition

The Wisden Cricket Photograph of the Year Competition 2020 is now open for entries

• Top three entries in this year’s Wisden Cricket Photograph of the Year will feature in 2021 Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack.

• First prize is £1,000, two runners-up each win £400.

• Gareth Copley won the 2019 competition, with an image of Ben Stokes just after he hit the winning runs in the 2019 Ashes Test at Headingley.


The 2020 Wisden Cricket Photograph of the Year competition is now open for entries. Launched in 2010, the contest is open to all photographers, amateur or professional, from anywhere in the world.

It remains free to enter. The only stipulations are that images must have a cricketing theme and have been taken during the 2020 calendar year.

The competition aims to promote and sustain cricket in all of its forms in every corner of the globe, from an international match played in front of thousands, to a game between children on the street.

Gareth Copley won the 2019 competition, with an image of Ben Stokes just after he hit the winning runs in the Ashes Test at Headingley. You can see his photograph, along with the two runners-up, here.

The best images in the 2020 competition will appear as the first three colour photographs in the 2021 edition of Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack. The winner will receive £1,000, and the two runners-up £400 each.

The independent judging panel will be chaired by Chris Smith, former chief sports photographer of The Sunday Times. Also on the panel are the acclaimed cricket photographer Patrick Eagar; cricket filming and photography manager Clare Adams; and Nigel Davies, the former art director of The Wisden Cricketer.

The editor of Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack, Lawrence Booth, said: “The cricket stopped for long periods this year, but our popular and prestigious competition goes on, inviting photographers from all round the world to respond to a challenge unlike any other.

“While 2019 threw up one of the most memorable summers in English cricket history, 2020 was unique for different reasons, and it will be fascinating to see what cricket-loving photographers – professional or amateur – have come up with.

“But even in a year beset by a pandemic – and irrespective of whether there were any spectators – the theme of the competition remains simple: we want to see the best cricket images of 2020. We can’t wait for the photos to start coming in.”

Entries, to a maximum of three per person, must be submitted online at:

There is no fee for entering. The closing date for entries is 23:59 GMT on Friday January 8, 2021. Winners will be announced in April 2021.

Notes by the Editor - Wisden

When Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack was first published in 1864, it included no comments or opinions at all. As the editors explained, they “carefully avoided making any remarks upon the play or players, as the purport of this little work is to record the scores of the matches”.

But by the turn of the century, things had changed, and since the first set of “Notes By The Editor” appeared in Wisden in 1901, the editor’s opinions have become a key feature of the Almanack, the first pages that readers turn to, to see what bees are in the editorial bonnet this year.

Notes by the Editors is a collection of many of the most memorable editor opinions expressed over the 120 years since they first appeared. Wisden’s views on all the great topics (and some of the smaller ones) are included – throwing, bodyline, Packer, the d’Oliveira Affair, not to mention ball tampering and the development of The Hundred. And the weather, always the weather.

“The Editor of Wisden is an important personage. It is he who decides the policy of the Cricketers’ Bible and cricketers the world over look to him to give a lead on all controversial problems. His is, therefore, no easy task, but Wisden has been fortunate in its editors”.

Jonathan Rice has compiled, written and edited many cricket books, including Wisden on India, Wisden on Grace and The Wisden Collector’s Guide. He is chairman of the County Cricket Heritage Forum, was chairman of the Lord’s Taverners from 2006 to 2008, and was president of Kent County Cricket Club in 2018. He has a complete collection of Wisden.

120 Years of Wisden Opinion
Edited by
Jonathan Rice
12th November 2020 | Hardback | £12.99 | Wisden
Also available in Ebook

A selection from Wisden’s famous “Notes by the Editor”: the beating heart of the Almanack offering the forthright opinions that have changed cricket, its laws, its players, and its history over the years.

The reliable England star who will hope for a 2021 to remember after recognition

English cricket is in a good place, as the country gears up for what will potentially be a huge 2021 in the sport.

For some, the highlight of the calendar will be the T20 World Cup that takes place in India, with Eoin Morgan and his men feeling confident that they can succeed on the big stage in the short format.

However, for others, and certainly the traditionalists, nothing can top the Ashes and the gripping five-day series will start towards the end of next year as well. Anyone connected to English Test cricket will tell you that’s the pinnacle of the sport and it promises to be a huge challenge for England.

Firstly, that they are 11/4 in the latest cricket betting odds highlights the scale of the task facing Joe Root’s side. With the Aussies having home advantage, combined with the fact that they won the little urn in 2017 and retained it last year, they are understandably favourites. Plus, they have an excellent team that has proven themselves at the highest level in recent years and they boast arguably the finest batsman on the planet in Steve Smith.

All of that means it’s a daunting task facing England but it’s one that they will relish. That’s because they have quality of their own.

The pace of Jofra Archer can frighten any batsman and Ben Stokes has rightly developed a reputation as a brilliant all-rounder that delivers at crucial moments for his country. When you add in Root and a good mix of youth and experience, the tourists will head Down Under with belief.

Yet, one man who tends to avoid the headlines but it sure to play a big part in the series is Chris Woakes.

The fact he doesn’t grab the attention that some of his teammates do may be down to his quiet personality away from the pitch but it doesn’t mean he isn’t appreciated by those in the game. And, he was recognised for his ability when he was recently named as the PCA men’s player of the year, which was voted for by the professionals.

Woakes has formed part of a very good English bowling attack in recent years and he will be 32 years old when the series begins, so it may be the last chance he gets to perform at his peak in the Ashes.

So, he will be desperate to make his mark with the ball but what makes the Warwickshire right-arm bowler stand out is his capabilities with the bat too. For too long, England have collapsed once the tail comes in but they have a player in Woakes who can stand firm lower down the order. That was evident with his remarkable recent 84 not out against Pakistan that inspired England to victory.

The Ashes puts individuals under huge pressure and England know they will need to show character, composure and quality if they are to emerge victorious. That will require everyone to step up and the reliable Woakes will be ready to play a big part.

This is Cricket: In the Spirit of the Game

This autumn, Rizzoli is proud to be publishing a major new book about cricket by Daniel Melamud with a foreword by David Gower.   The second most popular sport in the world, cricket has been played for over three hundred years and in many ways remains largely unchanged.  It is this timelessness that is celebrated in This Is Cricket: In the Spirit of the Game, a record of the eternal elegance of cricket—its greatest and most stylish players, from past heroes to today's stars, along with its idyllic and hallowed grounds.

Crack open the pages of this oversized volume and venture on a journey to the Caribbean, where the fast bowling attack of the West Indies reigned in the 1970s, to India, where cricket soared to new heights in the 1980s and to such idyllic settings as Sir Paul Getty's Ground in Buckinghamshire, U.K., surrounded by rolling countryside and the sport's most hallowed venues, including Lord's (opened by Thomas Lord in 1814) and the Melbourne Cricket Ground, which hosted the first-ever International Test match in 1877.

This Is Cricket captures many of the game's most extraordinary events and players. The striking images of on-field action as well as candid dressing-room moments, many published here for the first time, are taken by some of the most respected photographers in sport. Featuring bucolic village greens, charming pavilions, endearing team portraits, extraordinary catches, devastating bowling, heroic batting, stylish sweaters, and silly fancy dress, This Is Cricket brings to life the incredibly global sport that it is loved by so many.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Daniel Melamud is a writer, editor, photographer, and lifelong cricket enthusiast who captained his primary-school cricket team to a comprehensive defeat at Lord's. David Gower played in 117 Test matches for England between 1978 and 1992, and captained them to a memorable victory in the 1985 Ashes series. He was celebrated throughout the cricket world for the grace and elegance of his batting. Since retiring from playing Gower has been a much-loved commentator.


Written by Daniel Melamud, foreword by David Gower

Hardcover / 9” x 12” / 368 pages / 300 colour and B&W photographs

ISBN: 978-0-8478-6857-5

Rizzoli New York / Release date: October 2020

Credit for the book must read: © This Is Cricket: In the Spirit of the Game by Daniel Melamud, Rizzoli New York, 2020. No image may be used, in print or electronically, without written consent from the publisher. Serial rights are available; please contact Sophie Liardet at

Lancashire Action Group latest

We've always supported the Lancashire Action Group since they started, along with purchasing all 7 of their great 'Not the Spin' fanzines.

"Everybody at the Action Group hopes that you are well in what are unprecedented times. Let us hope that next year we will be able to once again watch our beloved County play some cricket.

This year as you probably know we only produced one fanzine which was released in April and if everything next year is back to normality we intend to release 3 publications from April onwards and are delighted to announce that they will be co-edited by Roy Cavanagh MBE and Stuart Brodkin who have both written numerous books on Lancashire cricket.

The Club has just announced that the delayed AGM will be held on Monday 5th October at the Point and will also be available to view on a zoom video link. We have given the Club written notice of 3 questions and they are as following :

1) WHY are Lancashire members being denied the right to serve on the board of what is clearly a members’ club? Our understanding is that the board’s nominations committee pre-approves all nominations for the board itself, making it impossible for independent, individual members to stand for election to the board. This is clearly a closed shop; a situation which is totally unacceptable to the vast majority of members.

What does the board intend to do about this iniquitous situation?

2) In the club’s accounts for last season there is no specific mention of any costs associated with the Sedbergh fixture. However, we note that under the item, ‘Cricket Match Expenses (including hospitality)’ there is a figure of £8,449,729, a massive increase from the previous season’s total of £2,234,672.

It is unclear whether the £6million increase in match-day expenditure is due to the losses incurred by staging the Sedbergh game so to clear up this matter, is it possible for the club to furnish an item-by-item account of the costs for that fixture?

3) In light of current circumstances does the Club have any provision for carrying over StephenParry's benefit year to 2021?

As ever if you would like to contact us then please send us an email to You can buy past copies of our fanzine at and you can also join our ever-increasing followers on twitter at @lancscccaction Thank you"


Successful IPL could help rebuild confidence in UAE

Major sporting events have had to be cancelled or rescheduled due to COVID-19 – one of which was the The Indian Premier League (IPL) that was rescheduled to September. However, it didn’t just change date but also changed location, with the venue moving from India to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The change puts a stamp of confidence on the country and sends a clear message that the UAE is relatively safe compared to other destinations, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Animesh Kumar, Director of Travel and Tourism Consulting at GlobalData, says “The event will instill confidence in the country right before the peak winter tourism season, which starts from November and goes on until April. It will also send a message to event organizers across the globe that the UAE is safe and an excellent option for various events, from sporting events to meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE).

“Furthermore, there will be a direct monetary impact for the UAE. IPL teams travel with large contingents comprising players, support staff, owners and administrators. In addition, the organizers and broadcasters arrive with their teams and equipment. These will all be booking venues, hotels, vehicles and resources, which will boost local sectors, including travel, hospitality and logistics.

“At this stage, it is not clear whether spectators would be allowed during the matches, but, if the authorities do allow some spectators, it could give an additional boost to the tourism industry. The direct contribution of IPL is estimated to be in the range of $20.5m-$25m.”

Conrad Wiacek, Head of Analysis and Consulting at GlobalData’s Sportcal, comments: "With a new $29.69m sponsorship deal with Dream11 coming into effect this year following the termination of Vivo's title sponsorship, it is vital to the future of the tournament that play resume in some way. With a huge TV audience in India ready to watch the tournament, many broadcasters will be dependent on the IPL to bring in significant advertising revenue." 

Kumar concludes: “While organizing the IPL presents significant direct and indirect opportunities for the UAE, a lot depends on the successful completion of IPL. The event is expected to start in the second half of September and there are reports that some players and support staff have tested positive for COVID-19. For the organizers and teams, arranging the matches is a difficult task, which explains the reason why the fixtures have not been announced yet. Even when the fixtures are announced, the schedule is likely to remain dynamic and flexible. 

“Successful completion would require significant efforts and cooperation from all stakeholders, including the local authorities and hospitality and logistics partners. Any disturbance in the schedule due to COVID-related risks could dent the prospects of events and tourism in UAE.

“If everything goes well, when the last ball of the IPL is bowled, irrespective of which team wins, the UAE could be the true winner.”

The Wisden Trophy Decider

With the series now all square at 1-1 after England’s dramatic win over West Indies in the second Test at Old Trafford, the teams go into Friday’s decider with Test cricket’s second-oldest trophy up for grabs.

John Wisden & Co donated the Wisden Trophy, now in its 57th year, to MCC and the West Indies Cricket Board in 1963, to mark the 100th edition of Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack. The idea behind the trophy came in part from the former West Indies all-rounder Learie Constantine. That summer, Frank Worrell guided his team to victory over an England side led by Ted Dexter. England wrested it back in 1967-68 but, when Rohan Kanhai’s side won in 1973, a long period of West Indian domination began.

It wasn’t until September 2000, after 13 unsuccessful series, that England – under Nasser Hussain – ended a painful run. The scenes of jubilation that late-summer afternoon at The Oval were capped by the sight of Hussain brandishing the Wisden Trophy on the dressing-room balcony.

Since then, England have won six further series, and drawn one. But West Indies are the current holders, having won 2–1 in the Caribbean in early 2019. The only other time they had held the Trophy since 2000 was in early 2009, when England’s calamitous second-innings 51 in Jamaica allowed the home team to complete an innings victory on their way to a 1–0 win. That Wisden Trophy series was immediately followed by another in England, which led to West Indies handing the trophy back just 69 days after winning it.

Once the Trophy is relinquished, it has proved a tricky job to reclaim: in all, it has changed hands only six times. 

Michael Vaughan is the most successful English captain, with three series wins. Only Clive Lloyd, who led West Indies to four, has a better record.

The Wisden Trophy has been at stake in every Test series between England and West Indies since the early 1960s, and so is a direct equivalent of the Ashes. After it is presented at Old Trafford, it will return to the Lord’s museum, where it is permanently displayed beside the Ashes urn. 

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