Wisden Trophy 2020: Pace is the key for Jason Holder’s West Indies as they look to spring a surprise in England

As international cricket returns after a three-month long hiatus, a massive challenge lies ahead of the West Indies at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton. Although the men from the Caribbean enter the three-match Test series as the current holders of the Wisden Trophy, their record in England over the last three decades has been shambolic.

It was all the way back in 1988 that the Windies recorded a series win on English soil and they are currently on a dismal streak of six straight series losses in the country. With a current ICC Test ranking of eight compared to the No4 slot held by England, an uphill task awaits Jason Holder and his men on the tour.

Amid the doom and gloom for the once mighty West Indies, there are also reasons to be optimistic. Rustiness induced by the long break could be a great leveller for both sides, while Joe Root’s absence for the opening Test should come as a boost for the visitors as well. However, the biggest trump card in the Windies deck is undoubtedly their rising prowess in the pace department.

The batting might still bear an unconvincing look and the lack of consistency in the department is a huge concern. As a pace unit, however, West Indies have been making all the right noises in the last two years or so. It might still be a far cry from the legendary pace quartet of Andy Roberts, Michael Holding, Colin Croft and Joel Garner, but the visitors have ample ammunition in their pace department to ruffle a few feathers in England.

THE KINGPIN – JASON HOLDER

Leader, talisman, a prolific pacer and gritty lower-order batsman: The No1 ranked Test all-rounder dons several hats for this West Indies side. Though he is clearly a man of enviable

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De La Hoya says he’s training, hints at comeback fight

FILE – Golden Boy Promotions Chairman and CEO Oscar De La Hoya gestures during a news conference for the bout between Canelo Alvarez and WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev at the KA Theatre at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on October 30, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP

MANILA, Philippines — Former boxing world champion Oscar De La Hoya is seriously considering a comeback which could very well happen sooner than later.

In an interview with CBS Los Angeles, the 47-year-old legend said he’s been training and is set to spar in a couple of weeks.

“I’ve been thinking about it (comeback) more and more each day,” said De La Hoya in a story on ringtv.com. “I’ve been actually training and actually running. Who knows if it (fight) will take place at the end of the year or early next year, but I’m getting there. I feel really good.”

“I start sparring in two weeks. Maybe we can have this interview in a couple of weeks. We’ll see how I feel with a black eye.”

De La Hoya hasn’t fought since he was forced to quit on his stool in an eighth-round stoppage at the hands of Manny Pacquiao in 2008.

Despite facing personal problems after retiring, De La Hoya has cleaned up and has been more involved with Golden Boy Promotions, the company he founded in 2002, promoting some of the sport’s top fighters.

The Mexican-American first rose to mainstream consciousness when he won the gold medal in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics before carving up a Hall of Fame career that saw him win world titles in six different weight classes.


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Davis likes Lakers’ title chances when NBA returns

FILE – Los Angeles Lakers’ Anthony Davis (3) and LeBron James (23) celebrate as they walk back to the bench in the final seconds of overtime in the team’s NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks in Dallas, Friday, Nov. 1, 2019. The Lakers won 119-110. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Anthony Davis says he likes the Los Angeles Lakers’ chances of winning the NBA title when the coronavirus-halted season resumes July 30 even more after the four-month break.

The 27-year-old power forward says he feels “100% healthy” after working out at home nearly every day since the NBA shut down on March 11 after Utah’s Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19.

“Actually I think our chances are higher because we’re all rested,” Davis told reporters Thursday. “It’s going to be who wants it more.

“We’re motivated as a team and self-motivated to win.”

The LeBron James-led Lakers had the second-best record in the NBA at 49-14 and topped the Western Conference by 5.5 games over the Los Angeles Clippers when the campaign was halted.

They will travel to the NBA “bubble” at Orlando, Florida, next week for training camp and play eight more regular-season games without fans starting July 30 against the Clippers before the playoffs begin.

If the Lakers do make a run to the championship with the NBA Finals in October, they would spend about three months in the quarantine atmosphere.

The Lakers will be without guard Avery Bradley, who opted out of the comeback plan, and might not have center Dwight Howard, who’s status is uncertain.

“Obviously we’ll miss (Bradley) but we have guys that are healthy, guys that are ready to go,” Davis said.

The Lakers have added J.R. Smith, a former James teammate in Cleveland, to replace Bradley, while Dion Waiters and Markieff Morris had barely

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