India's Smriti Mandhana joins Kia Super League club Western Storm

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Smrti Mandhana will be flying to England this summer

Smriti Mandhana will become the first Indian to play in England’s Kia Super League after she was snapped up by defending champions Western Storm.

The 21-year-old batter becomes Storm’s second overseas player and already has a lot of T20 experience after representing Brisbane Heat in the Women’s Big Bash League.

“I am very excited to be playing for the Kia Super League champions,” Mandhana said on Western Storm’s website. “To be the first Indian player to appear in the tournament is a real honour and I hope that I can help Western Storm to more success.”

Harmanpreet Kaur, India’s T20 captain was due to feature in the competition last year but a shoulder injury ruled her out.

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Desert Cubs' youngsters to play against Australian opposition during Brisbane tour

Denzil Pinto 14/06/2018
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Desert Cubs are Australia-bound.

Budding cricketers of Desert Cubs Academy will test themselves against their Australian peers when they embark on their tour of Down Under later this month.

Their Under-12, U-14 and U-16 teams will play a minimum of five 50-over matches, one two-day game, as well as a T20 during their 13-day stay in Brisbane and Gold Coast. Their opposition will include some promising Australian youngsters who feature in Brisbane’s junior district teams.

On top of that, Desert Cubs will also field an adults side that will play a series of games during their tour.

It will be the second time the Sharjah-based academy will travel to Australia following their visit in 2015 and head coach Presley Polonnowita believes the tour will be great learning curve.

“It’s a dream for most of the young cricketers from the sub-continent to play either in England or Australia at least once in their cricketing career,” he said.

“Pitches which offer lightning pace, bounce and extra swing makes it different from other cricketing nations around the world.

“This experience and the exposure at an early part of their career will provide these young lads a great opportunity to understand the expectations in their senior level future cricketing challengers.

“This in a way is a great advantage for Emirates Cricket Board where their future Under-16, 19 & senior cricketers are getting a great and valuable experience in one of the world’s top ranking cricket-playing countries. The whole idea of the tour is to provide our cricketers something different, unique and challenging at the end of their long season in UAE which runs from September to end of June.”

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Live Cricket Blog: England secure tense win

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Stuart Appleby and the rest of the Sport360 team are in place to provide you with the latest news, comment and analysis on all things cricket.

Our daily blog will ensure you have all the latest updates throughout the week but we want you to get involved, too.

Tell us your thoughts on what’s happening by tweeting @Sport360.

11:30 pm – England beat Australia

England held on to their nerves as they defeated Australia by three wickets in the first ODI on Wednesday.

Eoin Morgan hit 68 as they chased down 215 with tail-ender David Willey scoring an unbeaten 35.

Read the report here.

10:30 pm – Pakistan sweep T20 series

Pakistan crushed Scotland by 84 runs to win the two-match T20 series. Batting first, the visitors made 166-6 thanks to a 49 from Shoaib Malik.

In reply, Scotland were shot out for just 82 with all-rounder Faheem Ashraf picking up 3-5.

Read the talking  points from the game here.

8:00 pm – Amelia Kerr becomes youngest ever double centurion

New Zealand Women's Headshots Session

New Zealand’s Amelia Kerr smashed an unbeaten 232 to help her team score 440 for three against Ireland as the White ferns became the first team in either men’s or women’s internationals to cross the 400-run mark in three consecutive ODIs.

Kerr, 17, became the youngest ever double centurion, overtaking Pakistan great Javed Miandad who did so at the age of 19.

Read the full report here.

6:00 pm – Kevin Pietersen delivers the MAK Pataudi Memorial lecture

England’s Kevin Pietersen became the first non-Indian to deliver the MAK Pataudi Memorial lecture, organised by the BCCI.

In his speech, Pietersen asked administrators to make Test cricket more engaging. “Let’s make Test cricket a spectacle. Garnish it with colour and fireworks. Fill the grounds. Play in the evenings. Give the umpires microphones to broadcast to the spectators,” he said.

More more click here.

5:15pm – Stanikzai hoping Afghanistan can live up to expectations in inaugural Test

Meanwhile, Rahane’s opposite counterpart Asghar Stanikzai has said that it is the responsibility of his Afghanistan players to live to to expectations when they take the field against India in their inaugural Test on Thursday. The Afghan skipper had plenty more to say ahead of his men’s big day. Read what Stanikzai has said here.

5:00pm – Ajinkya Rahane’s India aiming to be ruthless in Afghanistan’s maiden Test

On the eve of Afghanistan’s inaugural Test, stand-in India skipper Ajinkya Rahane has said that his side will be nothing but ruthless against the latest entrants in the five-day format. Read what else the stand-in skipper said about his side’s preparations here.

3:45pm – Follow live ball-by-ball coverage as England face Australia

Eoin Morgan says England will go again.

Can England bounce back after defeat against Scotland?

Australia have won the toss and will bat first in the series-opening one-day international clash with England at The Oval.

Click here for the live scorecard.

9:30am – New Zealand legend recovering from bowel cancer

Kiwi legend: Sir Richard Hadlee.

Kiwi legend: Sir Richard Hadlee.

New Zealand great Sir Richard Hadlee has been diagnosed with bowel cancer but is expected to make a full recovery.

Read more, here.

9:00am – A look back at England’s harrowing limited-overs losses

Stuart Broad missed a run-out in the 2009 game against Netherlands

The Netherlands triumphed over England in 2009.

England open their white-ball home season against Australia on Wednesday with Eoin Morgan’s side looking to bounce back from Sunday’s six-run loss to Associate nation Scotland in Edinburgh.

It’s not the first time that England have been beaten by teams that have been ranked below them.

Denzil Pinto brings you this throwback piece.

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