England back ICC

England back ICC plans to SCRAP five-day Tests in 2023

England is backing plans to reduce all Test matches, including the Ashes, from five days to four from 2023.

The change has long been debated by cricket pundits and fans but traditionalists have so far been able to resist calls for modernization.

But with an ever-increasing workload on modern players, the Telegraph reveals that a change could be coming soon with the International Cricket Council set to officially discuss the proposal.

‘We believe it could provide a sustainable solution to the complex scheduling needs and player workloads we face as a global sport,’ an England and Wales Cricket Board spokesperson told the Telegraph.

‘We’re definite proponents of the four-day Test concept, but cautiously so, as we understand it’s an emotive topic for players, fans and others who have concerns about challenging the heritage of Test cricket.’

Cricket’s schedule has become congested with the emergence of Twenty20 in the last two decades, and the ECB is launching a fourth format, The Hundred, this year.

Test matches have been set at five days since 1979, though the ICC has permitted some to be played over four days recently, including England’s win over Ireland in July.

Originally published on – Full Sports

Vincenzo Nibali

Nibali enthusiastic about 2020 goals despite turning 35

Vincenzo Nibali has dismissed any talk about him being too old to win Grand Tours and major races at 35 and will target the Giro d’Italia and the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

Nibali is hoping to win a third maglia rosa and then make amends for a high-speed crash in Rio in 2016 that ended his chances of a medal and left him with a fractured collarbone. Nibali has moved from Bahrain-Merida to Trek-Segafredo for 2020, criticizing his former team on the way, and is excited for a new chapter in his career.

He will share Grand Tour leadership with Richie Porte and Bauke Mollema. They will target the 2020 Tour de France, while young Italian teammate Giulio Ciccone will be Nibali’s understudy and key support in the Giro d’Italia.

With the Olympic road race coming just six days after the end of the Tour de France, riders are facing tough choices. Alejandro Valverde, Michael Woods and Julian Alaphilippe will ride the Tour de France and then dash to Tokyo.

Nibali has opted to combine his love for racing his home Grand Tour with a final shot at a career-defining gold medal. He is expected to also ride the Vuelta a España to be on form for the hilly World Championships in Switzerland.

“I really believe there’s natural logic behind the decision to miss the Tour in 2020 and instead target the Giro and then Tokyo. Then there is the hilly world Championships in Switzerland to aim for. 2020 is a great season for riders like me,” Nibali said, explaining his plans for 2020.

Nibali finished second behind Richard Carapaz at the 2019 Giro d’Italia and still regrets letting the Ecuadorian slip away while he carefully marked Primož Roglič. The 2020 Giro route includes three time trials, stages on Nibali’s home turf in Sicily and a more balanced route.

“There’s more time trialing in 2020 but I like the route a little more, it’s harder, there are climbs and key stages spread across the three weeks, plus that visit home to Sicily,” Nibali said with enthusiasm.

“I’m not too bad and with the help of Trek I think I can only do better in the time trials this year. We’ve already worked on my position on the track and I’ll have a time trial bike at home to train on, incredibly that wasn’t always the case with Bahrain-Merida.”

While some riders opt to begin their seasons in Australia or Colombia, Nibali has gone for a European option combined with an early altitude camp.

“We’ve pushed my debut down the road a little to the Volta ao Algarve, so we’ve inserted an altitude camp in January,” Nibali explained. “It will be a key moment of training but also a key moment to build the group of riders that will help me at the Giro. Targeting a Grand Tour is more than just the three weeks of intense racing, there’s months of preparation and hard work.”

Few riders over 35 have won a Grand Tour but Nibali dismisses any suggestions he might be past his best. He will face Carapaz, Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale), Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) on home turf in May.

“I don’t know if I’ll win but I prepare well I think I can do something. The fact I’ve asked to start my season early and go to altitude is a sign of my motivation,” he said.

“I’m not bothered that people call me old. They’ve been saying it for three years…. If I’m past it, what about poor old Valverde, who is almost 40?”


Dominic Calvert-Lewin: Everton to begin talks with forward over a new deal

Everton will begin talks with forwarding Dominic Calvert-Lewin over a new contract.

But suggestions that a new deal for the 22-year-old, who has scored three goals in Carlo Ancelotti’s first two games, is imminent are premature.

Everton wants to reward the player, who is halfway through a five-year deal he signed in May 2017, with a new long-term contract and talks are expected to begin in the new year.

Reports overnight suggested the Sheffield United academy graduate had emerged as a transfer target for Manchester United in January.

Calvert-Lewin has scored five goals in his last five Premier League appearances, as many as in his previous 28

Calvert-Lewin arrived from the Blades in August 2016 for £1.5m as a 19-year-old and has since gone on to score 26 goals, including 10 in all competitions this season.

Meanwhile, Ancelotti says he will meet with the Everton hierarchy after Sunday’s FA Cup tie with rivals Liverpool to discuss potential January signings.

Source: SkySports