Hello everyone and welcome to our coverage of the first ODI between England and South Africa from Headingley. It’s the final lead-in to the Champions Trophy so a chance for fine-tuning for both sides. South Africa have been in the country for a few days, notching a comfortable win against Sussex and a much tighter one against Northamptonshire. They are the No. 1 ODI side in the world, but are facing a very strong England team on their own patch. It should be a cracker. It’s a beautiful day in Leeds, and when the sun is out the runs can flow. Might not be one for the bowlers today.
There will be a minutes silence before play begins and both teams will wear black armbands in memory of those who died in the Manchester attack two days ago.
As you would expect, the security situation has become a topic and South Africa gave their response yesterday, saying they have been given reassurances over measures in place.
Rivlud: “This looks to be the main course before the dessert, absolutely brilliant that cricket has returned, looking forward to a highly competitive series!!”
dez: “Who’s do we have the pleasure of today in commentary please? Hoping for Gnasher!” It’s Gnasher here, and Alan will be joining as well.
Ryard: “Cant help but feel SA are a bit undercooked for the start of the Series. Other than Amla / Rabada / Tahir, the rest of the side might feel the rust coming into this…..” Well, it’s a chance to shake off the rust before the main event
Theresa Mallins: “What is the actual temperature in Leeds? I’m just wondering what the actual criterion is for a “beautiful day” in Yorkshire – simply that it’s not raining? :p Here is Joburg it’s a sunny 21 degrees. (A bit colder than I like it, but fair enough for winter.)” Some people will suggest that every day in Yorkshire is beautiful.
Talking of all things Yorkshire, there was a significant event in Bradford yesterday as new facilities at the Park Avenue ground were opener. An important day for the community, and David Hopps put it all into context with the help of a host of Yorkshire cricket figures.