International cricket played in the 2006 cricket season is defined as matches scheduled between May and August 2006 in all cricketing countries, as well as all international matches scheduled for the 2006 English cricket season. Matches between January and April are defined as belonging to the 2005–06 season, while matches between September and December are defined as the 2006–07 season. The main matches in this period were played in England, as this was in the middle of the English cricket season, but the third edition of the ICC Intercontinental Cup is defined as a part of the 2006 season, even though the tournament will stretch into February 2007, and three A teams are also scheduled to tour the northwestern part of Australia in June and July 2006.
England return home on the back of a disastrous Winter tour of the sub-continent, having not won any of the series before or after Christmas; while Sri Lanka look to compound their win against Bangladesh.
Sri Lankans in England 2006: Test Series drawn 1-1. Sri Lanka win Twenty20 International. Sri Lanka win ODI series 5-0.
Triangular Series (Bermuda, Canada, Zimbabwe)
This tournament was held in Trinidad immediately follow the ODI series between Zimbabwe and West Indies. Zimbabwe won the tournament after going through unbeaten, while Bermuda finished second after winning their inaugural ODI - before losing twice to Zimbabwe.
Ireland lost their debut One Day International, but England's win described by Cricinfo as "unspectacular", with Marcus Trescothick making 113 after England chose to bat first. Irish native Ed Joyce opened the innings for England, scoring 10 before he was caught by Kevin O'Brien, but a 142-run partnership between Trescothick and Ian Bell for the fourth wicket brought 200 up for England. England scored 84 off the last ten overs, with Bell making an ODI career high of 80. Ireland did bat out 50 overs, but no one could match the scores of Trescothick and Bell; Andre Botha made the best attempt, but his 52 lasted 89 balls, well below the required run rate of six an over. Steve Harmison took three wickets, but conceded 58 runs after bowling an opening spell described by The Times as "a curate's egg". Ireland's highest-scoring partnership was for the seventh wicket, with Andrew White adding 64 with O'Brien.
Bangladesh A toured Zimbabwe for three first class and five one-day matches against the A team of the hosting nation. The first-class series ended in a draw after Bangladesh A fell to defeat in the third match after giving Zimbabwe A a first-innings lead of 203 to eventually lose the match by seven wickets. However, Bangladesh A secured the one-day series by winning the first three games.
Zimbabwe A v Bangladesh A. First-class series: Drawn 1–1. One-day series: Bangladesh A won 4–1.
Pakistan won the match by five wickets, after Scotland lost four wickets in the first eight overs and then four more in the remaining 42. Ryan Watson and Neil McCallum put on 116 for the fifth wicket, an ODI record partnership for Scotland, who played their first ODI for seven years. Their innings also doubled the number of ODI fifties scored for Scotland.
Sri Lanka batted first in both matches, and won both. In the first match, they surpassed the world record ODI total set by South Africa four months earlier, making 443 for four on their way to a 195-run victory. Both Sanath Jayasuriya and Tillakaratne Dilshan made centuries. Sri Lanka made two changes for the second match, with Jayasuriya resting, and still won the second match by 55 runs
Sri Lanka in the Netherlands in 2006. One-day International series: Sri Lanka won 2–0.
After a draw in the first Test, Andrew Strauss led his team to back-to-back Test victories and secured the series before the fourth and final Test. That Test was marred by a ball-tampering controversy, which culminated in Pakistan refusing to take the field after the tea interval in protest to a decision by umpire Darrell Hair to penalise the Pakistani team for ball-tampering. This led the umpires eventually to award the game to England, who thus won the Test series 3–0. However, this result was later changed to a draw, meaning that England now win the series 2-0.
Pakistani cricket team in England in 2006. Test series result: England won 2–0. Twenty20 International: Pakistan won one-off match. One-day International Series: Drawn 2–2.
Division One of the 2006 European Cricket Championship consisted of five teams, Denmark, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands and Scotland. The three matches between Ireland, the Netherlands and Scotland were official One-day Internationals, though the match between Netherlands and Ireland was called off. Despite finishing last, Italy qualified for World Cricket League Div III because of other 4 nations already qualified for the league, so Italy claims the place as the best non-qualified nation.
This was originally scheduled to be a triangular series between Bermuda, Canada and Kenya. However, after Kenya rescheduled their ODIs with Bangladesh due to their lack of financial backing, they also cancelled their matches against Bermuda. The ODI series followed the Intercontinental Cup tie between the two nations, which Canada shaded by 25 runs; however, in the short form, Kenya won after bowling Canada out for 129 in the first match and 94 in the second.
Kenyans in Canada in 2006. ODI series: Kenya won 2–0.
Bangladesh were originally scheduled to play three One Day International matches between 19 July and 23 July. However, the Kenyan board had to postpone the matches for three weeks due to lack of funds.
Bangladesh in Kenya in 2006. ODI series: Bangladesh won 3–0.
As in 2005, Sri Lanka were set to start their international home season with a triangular series at home following a 2-Test series. India came to visit, in addition to the already touring South Africans, and the three teams were set to contest 2006 Unitech Cup. The first four matches was scheduled to be held in Dambulla, and the last three, two group matches and a final, will be held at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. However, the venue of the series became an issue in the elections for presidency of Sri Lanka Cricket, with the sitting presidents wishing to move the series to Colombo, as they feared sabotage from the opposition group if the opposition lost the elections. The opposition, however, wanted to host the matches in Dambulla. On 13 July, the Board of Control for Cricket in India said that their team would play all matches in Colombo, and a few days later a group of former cricketers were nominated to run Sri Lanka Cricket after the elections were cancelled after advice from the country's president, Mahinda Rajapakse.
The tournament was postponed by two days following rain and a bomb blast near the South African team hotel. After receiving an independent security report, the United Cricket Board of South Africa announced that they were pulling out of the tournament, leaving India and Sri Lanka to play a three-match series. The first of these games was rained off.
The series is later cancelled due to rain and bad weather during the three ODIs, the series will be played as a tri-series in 2007, after the World Cup.
Canada, Bermuda and the USA had already qualified for the World Cricket League based on their performances in the 2005 ICC Trophy, and, as Cayman Islands finished in third place ahead of Argentina, the Caymans qualified for Division Three of the 2007 League. Bermuda won all their games except for a rained-off clash with USA, while Canada lost their first two and failed to get better than fourth despite a ten-wicket win over USA in the final game.