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Emily Arlott rise shows way forward for England youngsters – Heather Knight



Heather Knight admitted even she had been taken aback by Emily Arlott’s progress this year as the young seamer received her maiden England call-up ahead of the one-off women’s Test against India next week.

Arlott’s selection in a 17-strong squad comes days after figures of five for 29, including four wickets in an over and three in three balls, as Central Sparks beat defending Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy champions Southern Vipers.

The 23-year-old was one of 41 female cricketers awarded a full-time domestic contract late last year by the England and Wales Cricket Board, and the strides she has taken have convinced Knight that a number of others who benefited from those deals will soon be putting themselves in the shop window for international recognition.

“She’s come out of nowhere, really, which is great,” said the England captain. “I don’t know a huge amount about her apart from the last month or so when I’ve been watching her a little bit more closely.

“These girls having the opportunity to train professionally throughout the year, which I think is the biggest difference – they can work at all aspects of their game and be more ready if they do get that England call-up.

“I think there will be more players coming out of the woodwork. Emily is one of the first to do that, but I think there will be many more to come and that’s what we need.

“What we really want (is) to have that competition and players below pushing the players who are in the team and pushing us to go to new heights as individuals and as a team.

“Hopefully, it’s going to be a great thing for England and hopefully Emily tears things up.”

Heather Knight is set for her eighth Test appearance next week (Nick Potts/PA)

Fellow seamers Tash Farrant and Freya Davies, all-rounder Sophia Dunkley and spinners Sarah Glenn and Mady Villiers have represented England in one or both of the shorter formats but are uncapped at Test level.

The four-day match against India, which starts on June 16 in Bristol, will be just the ninth Test in the last decade in women’s cricket and will count towards a multi-format points system identical to that used in the Ashes.

Three one-day internationals and three Twenty20s against India follow the Test, where a Kookaburra ball will be used instead of a Dukes in preparation for England’s winter trip when they attempt to regain the urn in Australia.

“It’s no secret that this Test match is a huge part of our preparation going into that Ashes series and Test match away from home,” said Knight, whose deputy in all three formats going forward will be all-rounder Nat Sciver.

“It’s worth looking at using the Dukes ball in women’s cricket and women’s Test cricket around the world. I think it’s definitely worth looking into.

“But obviously we want to use a Kookaburra this summer because it’s the best preparation we can have leading into that Ashes Test match.”

Knight is set to make her eighth Test appearance next Wednesday against India, whose last foray in the format was in 2014, and the 30-year-old admitted there will be trial and error from both sides.

“I think sometimes it’s tricky when you play Test cricket so rarely to know exactly what to do in certain situations because you haven’t been put in them very regularly,” added Knight.

“We don’t play any multi-innings cricket domestically so we’re finding our feet a little bit as we go. There’s the added nerves and expectation.

“I’m sure the Indians will have a few nerves as well, having not played a Test match in about seven years. It’s the same for both teams.”

England squad to face India at Bristol from June 16-19: Heather Knight (captain), Nat Sciver (vice-captain), Emily Arlott, Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Kate Cross, Freya Davies, Sophia Dunkley, Sophie Ecclestone, Georgia Elwiss, Tash Farrant, Sarah Glenn, Amy Jones, Anya Shrubsole, Mady Villiers, Fran Wilson, Lauren Winfield-Hill.


Reports | Tottenham set to announce Paulo Fonseca as their new manager



According to the Guardian, Tottenham are set to appoint Paulo Fonseca as their new manager this week on an expected three-year deal following the signing of Fabio Paratici. The former Roma manager has been linked with a move after talks with Antonio Conte fell apart due a difference in ideologies.

Following the sacking and subsequent departure of Jose Mourinho to Roma, Tottenham have struggled to find their next manager. Reports had indicated that they had originally picked Erik ten Hag but the Ajax boss signed a contract extension with the Dutch sides. Not only that, the club lost out on Julian Nagelsmann with the German signing for Bayern Munich. But while there was a shock move for Antonio Conte on the cards, that fell apart due to a difference of ideologies.

However, the club’s managerial search is set to come to an end with the Guardian reporting that Spurs have picked Paulo Fonseca as their new manager. The former AS Roma boss is set to reportedly sign a three year deal with the move made by, Tottenham’s new managing director of football, Fabio Paratici after the move for Conte fell apart. Paratici was recently confirmed to have signed for the North London side earlier this week with Fonseca reportedly keen on the job.

The former AS Roma boss originally rose through management in Portuguese football, having spent the entirety of his playing career in Portugal. With notable management experience including Porto, Braga and Shakhtar Donetsk, where he won the league three times. Fonseca is set to sign a three year deal with Tottenham but it will be, reportedly, structured as a two year contract with an option to extend it by a year.

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India versus NZ is a fitting World Test Championship final



New Zealand and India face off in a rare Test knockout, the culmination of two years of hard work. (more…)

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Alabama season opener vs Miami game marks the end of an era for Crimson Tide



The Alabama football program is leaving the neutral-site affairs behind in favor of more home-and-home series after the 2021 college season.

Once the Alabama football team presumably defeats the Miami Hurricanes on Labor Day in Atlanta, the Crimson Tide will finally begin playing Power Five teams in much-anticipated home-and-home series.

For years, this had served Nick Saban and his program. Alabama would only play Power 5 teams out-of-conference at a neutral site. While this gave the Crimson Tide a major scheduling advantage, everything will change after the Chick-fil-A Kickoff vs. Miami down in Atlanta this year. This truly marks the end of an era in what will surely be Saban’s final years down in Tuscaloosa.

Alabama football: Crimson Tide will play its last neutral-site game vs. Miami

Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne should be applauded for all the exciting games he has on tap for the football program down the line. The Crimson Tide will play teams like Texas, Wisconsin, Florida State, West Virginia, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, Georgia Tech, Boston College and Virginia Tech between 2022 and 2035. Of course, Saban will most likely be retired well before 2035.

While Alabama fans may love the opportunity to go to places like Austin and Columbus, the reason Byrne is doing this with presumably Saban’s blessing is very simple: Alabama will not be punished by losing a game on the road out-of-conference once the College Football Playoff expands from four to 12 teams. Saban will coach in some of these games, but will not coach in all of them.

Alabama can afford to drop a road game in South Bend, Stillwater or Blacksburg as long as the Crimson Tide are one of the 12 best teams in the country at the end of the year. Other programs may have beaten Alabama to the punch when it comes to impressing the Selection Committee with their non-conference resume, but the Crimson Tide will be making up for it when it counts.

Look for Alabama to win its last neutral-site game vs. Miami before doing away with them in favor of the home-and-home series.

For more NCAA football news, analysis, opinion and unique coverage by FanSided, including Heisman Trophy and College Football Playoff rankings, be sure to bookmark these pages.

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