England escape full impact of hurricane in Jamaica

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England Women’s bid to qualify for next year’s World Cup will not be affected by Hurricane Matthew following confirmation their one-day international series against the West Indies will go ahead.

England can book their place at next year’s tournament, on home soil, if they win the final three games of the five-match series in the Jamaican capital Kingston.

The series had appeared in jeopardy earlier this week when the England squad were confined to their Trelawny hotel after the Category Four hurricane, described as the strongest to hit the region in the past decade, approached the island.

The centre of the storm passed to the east of Jamaica – where all five games are due to be staged from tomorrow – and the West Indies Cricket Board confirmed on Wednesday that the series would not be interrupted.

“It’s great news that this five-match ODI series against the West Indies will get under way as planned on Saturday in Trelawny, and that conditions at Sabina Park on the south of the island in Kingston have been confirmed by the West Indies Cricket Board as being okay,” captain Heather Knight said.

“Our preparations have been disrupted a bit due to Hurricane Matthew, but we are incredibly lucky that the storm didn’t hit Jamaica as hard as was originally anticipated.

“We can now fully concentrate on the cricket, and look forward to the action starting at the weekend.”

After the opening two matches of the series at Trelawny, in the north of the island, the series will move to Kingston where the final three matches will count towards qualification for the World Cup.

England sit just behind second-placed West Indies in the qualification table, but can book their World Cup place if they win all three games at Sabina Park.

Somerset director of cricket Matthew Maynard has signed a two-year contract extension to stay at Taunton until the end of 2019.

Gloucestershire seamer Matt Taylor has signed a two-year contract extension until the end of 2019.