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England Cricket Summer Review

England v Pakistan Cricket World Cup Hospitality

This Summer has proven to be not only one of the warmest on record but also one of the most productive for an England Cricket team in a long while. Engage’s Nicholas Gibbens takes a look back at the Summer of 2018.

England v Pakistan

England were off to a sluggish start against Pakistan back in May, when at Lord’s, Home of Cricket they were beaten comprehensively within 4 days by a margin of 9 wickets.

A lot of soul searching was needed after a below-par winter in Australia and New Zealand, and there were more questions than answers when the teams headed to Headingley for the second test.

A hallmark of this England team under Root has been inconsistency, unbeatable one week and then undesirable the next. The Leeds Test was no different, a revitalized England team, spearheaded by the dependable Anderson & Broad partnership, bowled Pakistan out twice in conditions that have historically suited English bowlers.

Returning to the Test team at Lord’s  a decision made by the newly appointed head of selectors Ed Smith  Jos Butler along with a young Dom Bess put in match-winning performances. A great start for Smith and his new team of selectors.

In short, Butler’s selection had come off the back of an effective IPL, where he saw five 50+ scores in a row  equaling the record alongside the great Mahendra Singh Dhoni. After one of the most fruitful summers for any England batsman, I think we will be seeing Butler in Test Whites for years to come.

England v Scotland

A move to white ball Cricket with a one off ODI against Scotland would see the most exciting game between these two teams in the history of the fixture. Scotland racking up 371/5 in their 50 overs on a very small Edinburgh Grange ground. England ‘only’ mustered 365 in response. Cue the celebrations.

England v Australia

Due to the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2019 Australia would be entertained a year early in five ODI’s and one T20. Australia were missing 5 front line players due to injury and various misdemeanors allowing a full strength England to show their class in the white ball format; winning five out of five, and breaking the record for the highest ODI total along the way. The T20 did little to halt English momentum, completing the whitewash at Edgbaston.

England v India

India’s arrival halted the English summer party, comprehensively winning their opening contest in conditions more reminiscent of Mumbai than Manchester. India was always going to provide much sterner competition, and with the little known Kuldeep Yadav in their line up bamboozling English batsmen, the true contest of the summer was beginning. England leveled the series but the final matched proved decisive as India took the T20 Series 2- 1.

England wrapped up the ODI series 2 – 1 with back to back hundreds from Captain Root (Drop the mic). A timely return to form leading into a five tests. However, it turned out that the Test Series was dominated by one man, Virat Kholi scoring 593 runs at an average of 59.30; at times taking on England’s bowling attack single handed. Special mentions for Jos Butler England’s top batsmen and player of the summer, Alistair Cook who retires as England’s GOAT (Greatest Of All Time), James Anderson who is now the leading Fast Bowler in Tests with 540 wickets, and finally Sam Curran who has burst onto the Test scene with both ball and bat. A man, and hopefully a team, with a very bright future ahead.

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Anthony Joshua’s Road to Legend

Anthony Joshua defeated Alexander Povetkin by TKO

Anthony Joshua v Alexander Povetkin

Alexander Povetkin was never going to be a pushover. The Russian heavyweight is an Olympic gold medallist and has been boxing professionally at the highest levels for over a decade. In the 35 professional bouts he fought before meeting Joshua, Povetkin was only defeated once, by all-time great Wladimir Klitschko. The first round showed that Anthony Joshua was not invincible, receiving a broken nose at the end of the first round with a fiery combination from the Russian veteran. In the second round, too, Povetkin looked strong as he darted inside the taller man’s reach looking for connection.

However, by the third round AJ had started to find his equilibrium again, evading hits and dealing damage. It was in the fourth round that he landed a smarting uppercut that split Povetkin’s brow, as he started to gain real momentum in this fight. It wasn’t one-sided by any means, and if Povetkin’s renowned left hook had connected, it could have swung the other way – but the Russian started to look wild in his aggression, desperately seeking a strike that would tip the scales back in his favour. For his part, Joshua looked cool and composed, two left hooks finding Povetkin’s face.

Round five was quieter for the most part, and for a while in round six it looked like Povetkin was coming back, with explosive energy belying the fact he was fighting a man 11 years his junior. AJ took it well though, biding his time and landing some hits of his own, body shots to an opponent he described afterwards as “strong to the head, weak to the body”. Finally, in the seventh round, Anthony Joshua delivered his conclusive blows, true heavyweight knockout punches that would obliterate any opponent. Povetkin to his credit managed to stagger back to his feet, but swaying, his reactions slowed, he was unable to defend himself from AJ’s onslaught and the referee quickly called an end to the bout.

Next Steps

The same day as this fantastic fight at Wembley Stadium, the two main contenders for AJ’s next opponent announced a fight of their own: Deontay Wilder will defend his WBC heavyweight title against Tyson Fury on December 1st. It’s no secret that Joshua is looking for the WBC belt to complete his set and become undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. The fans will be crying out for a unification bout to happen, and the odds are good, given that Joshua is the obvious opponent for whoever wins, if they have the ambition.

That fight, when it happens, will take place at Wembley. As Joshua said before his fight with Povetkin, “Providing I beat Povetkin, April 13 is booked. Wembley is there.” Engage Hospitality is therefore excited to present the next instalment of Anthony Joshua’s meteoric rise to the status of boxing legend, to becoming a name spoken in the same breath as the very greatest boxers of all time, in the city of his birth. Our ICON Club is a ring-facing hospitality facility that delivers the thrill and electricity of a big fight; with luxurious dining, delightful service, and boxing legends and celebrity guests hosting to make an already special night into an unforgettable occasion. Experience better with Engage and register your interest now to secure your place at this historic occasion.

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What to Wear to Rugby Hospitality

Smart casual rugby hospitality Ugo Monye

Often we get people asking what clothes are appropriate for rugby hospitality, at an event such as the 2018 Quilter Internationals, or the ever-popular Six Nations. This is a great question, because many of our rugby hospitality guests are entertaining clients or business partners as part of a corporate charm offensive, whereas others are simply there to enjoy the creature comforts and celebrity guests of the hospitality area with their friends and family. This situation calls for finesse and balance on the sartorial front, but don’t worry, because we have you covered: this is Engage Hospitality’s guide to getting it right when dressing for rugby hospitality.

Rugby hospitality dress code
The ideal for rugby hospitality is smart casual, as competently modelled by this cheerful Engage guest at Twickenham

No trainers or ripped jeans

Please remember that hospitality is somewhat more formal than only attending the match itself. As such, the appropriate clothing is somewhat smarter than might otherwise be expected. Please refrain from wearing trainers or ripped jeans. Smart-casual is the name of the game, even when entertaining business clients – it’s important that everyone feels comfortable and ready to enjoy themselves, in a less formal environment than the boardroom. Dress as you would feel comfortable attending a nice restaurant.

Rugby shirt at hospitality
Rugby shirts can be a suitable option for hospitality guests

Rugby shirts are appropriate

Don’t make the mistake of being overly formal however. Remember that this is after all a sporting event, and people are attending to have fun! There’s categorically nothing wrong with supporting your favourite team with a scarf or rugby shirt, and at Engage we’re always delighted to see them. Just leave the shorts and boots at home…

Charlie Ewels rugby hospitality clothing
Bath and England lock Charlie Ewels balancing style and practicality with a classic quilted jacket while hosting for us

Dress warmly

As some of you are no doubt aware, rugby is a winter sport, and it can be quite cold in the stadium. While there are few sights as inspiring as tens of thousands of England fans singing Swing Low (Sweet Chariot), their breath visible rising in the crisp air of Twickenham Stadium, it’s best not to be shivering so you can fully appreciate it. Bring a nice warm winter coat to keep you warm until the action on the pitch gets your blood flowing! Before and after the match, you will be toasty, ensconced in the comfortable environs of the hospitality facility with hot food and drinks, so worry not.

Best clothes for rugby hospitality
England vs Ireland on St Patrick’s day in the 2018 Six Nations was an opportunity for some spectacular wardrobe choices!
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Joshua vs Povetkin — Who Will Win?

Anthony Joshua vs Alexander Povetkin VIP Hospitality

Anthony Joshua vs Alexander Povetkin – two national heroes will step into the ring on the 22nd of September in the iconic Wembley arena. All eyes will be on the two men as they seek weakness, and any chinks in their opponent’s defence. 12 rounds of World Class boxing to be savoured; however with only Joseph Parker going the distance against AJ, can Povetkin cause an upset, or will it be job done as usual for Joshua?

A familiarity has grown with the success Joshua has achieved at Wembley, and the 22nd will be no different. Apart from his points win against Parker, every other bout Joshua has won by either KO or TKO. What can the impressive Russian athlete do to upset the baying London crowd? Is there any way to stop the warrior from Watford, who in his own words is “prepared to go into the trenches” and “go to war”?

Engage Hospitality offers luxurious hospitality and unparalleled viewing from our exclusive ring-facing facility within Wembley, the ICON Club. There will be no better way to experience Anthony Joshua defending his title. Avoid the crowds down below and spectate in style; for more details click here.

AJ vs Povetkin Fact File

Anthony Joshua Alexander Povetkin
Anthony Joshua's face Alexander Povetkin's face
Nickname: AJ Nickname: Russian Vityaz
Born: 15/10/1989, Age 28 Born: 02/09/1979, Age 38
Nationality: British Nationality: Russian
Debut: 05/10/2013 Debut: 11/06/2005
Division: Heavyweight Division: Heavyweight
Stance: Orthodox Stance: Orthodox
Height: 6′ 6″ / 198cm Height: 6′ 2″ / 188cm
Reach: 82″ / 208cm Reach: 75″ / 191cm

Secure your attendance with Engage in the iconic ICON Club, the only pitch-facing facility for next step in the career of one of Britain’s greatest boxers. Create a legacy and experience with Engage.

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2018/19 Premier League: Everything you need to know

Everything you need to know before the Start of the 2018/19 Premier League Season.

The EPL juggernaut kicks back into action Friday attracting on average 12 million viewers across 212 countries per game. This global behemoth pulls in a market share of £7.83 billion and with a total league expenditure of £1.171 billion so far this summer transfer window the Premier League is truly a global giant with a multinational network.

Transfers

Riyad Mahrez’s move to Manchester City created controversy throughout last season, with the player going AWOL whilst still contracted at Leicester. Guardiola made Mahrez a top summer target, and after the success of his first campaign, the top brass couldn’t say no. The tricky Algerian winger became Manchester City’s club record signing when he joined them in a £60m deal last month.

Liverpool are this year’s big spenders totalling £182 million. Jürgen Klopp took the team to the Champions League final in Kiev this year and with new signings to straighten the squad in key positions, they must be looking to mount a genuine title challenge. None more so than Brazilian goal keeper Alisson Becker, bought in from Roma for £62 million making him the world’s most expensive keeper. No pressure! Other signings include Naby Keïta from RB Leipzig (£65 million), and Fabinho from Monaco (£45 million).

Elsewhere, Premier League new boys Wolverhampton Wanderers have also spent big, with a total of £67 million across 8 players. Big names such as João Moutinho will add experience to a team desperate to compete at the top table of English football.

Who are the likely champions?

Champions in 2017/18 Manchester City are odds-on favourites to repeat the feat, for the first time since Manchester United successfully defended the title in 2009.

After addressing key problems in their squad, Liverpool will be genuine contenders. 25 points is a lot to make up on the current champions, but Klopp is the only manager to have a positive win rate over Guardiola.

Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea have big question marks surrounding both their squads and managers, however these teams have dominated the top 6 places in the league of late. They will all surely be there, or thereabouts, come the end.

The premier league new boys

Wolves, Cardiff and Fulham were awarded their official Premier League status when they received their share certificates on the 7th June.

Wolverhampton Wanderers’ transfer window has been well documented, having brought in some big names to strengthen a squad which ultimately ran away with the Championship last year. A strong Portuguese contingent managed by the infallible Nuno Espírito Santo aren’t just looking to stay in the Prem, but compete among the elite.

Fulham are another team to have bought in quality, including World Cup winner André Schürrle. It’s great to have Fulham, a team with great history, back in the big time.

Cardiff are tipped to struggle alongside Huddersfield but with Neil Warnock at the help a manger with over 20 years of experience in management they will be doggedly fighting for every point on offer.

 

The Premier League kicks of tomorrow night at Leicester with Manchester United in town.

Engage provides primer match day hospitality across all fixtures of the English Premier League season.

Secure your attendance today.