The 2022 West Indies Championship will resume on Wednesday, May 18, Cricket West Indies (CWI) announced on Tuesday.

CWI unveiled the match schedule for the final three rounds of the four-day first-class red ball tournament for the six professional regional franchises.

The first and second rounds were played in February ahead of the Apex Test Series which concluded yesterday with West Indies beating England 1-0 to win the newly-minted Richards-Botham trophy.

The West Indies Championship returns with all matches being played in Trinidad at the Queen’s Park Oval, Brian Lara Cricket Academy and the Diego Martin Sporting Complex. The third round will run from May 18-21, the fourth from May 25-28, with the fifth and final round from June 1-4.

Defending champions Barbados Pride lead the points table with 42 points, with Trinidad & Tobago Red Force second on 38.6 points – both recorded wins in their first two matches. They are followed by Leeward Islands Hurricanes on 24.6 points, Guyana Harpy Eagles on 21.4 points, Windward Islands Hurricanes on 10.8 points, and Jamaica Scorpions on 8.8 points.

The teams will be competing for the Headley Weekes Trophy named in honour of West Indies legends George Headley and Sir Everton Weekes.  The current top two teams face each other in Round 4 at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy with the chasing four teams aiming to win their games in round 3 of the West Indies Championship to close the points gap ahead of the concluding matches.

“The resumption of the West Indies Championship, our regional four-day competition, has been good to see. While we cannot recover the two years lost to the COVID-19 pandemic, we can now re-start critical aspects of our development pathway that depended on this tournament. I'm especially pleased for all the players and support staff that have had to put their own development on hold during the enforced break,” said Jimmy Adams, CWI’s Director of Cricket welcoming the return of the four-day format and reiterating this competition plays a critical role in the player-development pathway.

For the ongoing tournament, each squad will consist of 15 players due to the COVID-19 pandemic. CWI is also implementing a special “player loan” system to try to ensure that each team will be able to complete their fixtures. If a team has a player(s) ruled out due to a positive COVID-19 result, they can request to use a player(s) from another team and/or from a pool of locally registered reserve players

LIVE ball-by-ball scoring of each game will be available through the www.windiescricket.com match centre. CWI will be streaming each of the matches with commentary via the Windies cricket YouTube channel. The Championship will also be streamed live in India on FanCode, as part of CWI’s partnership with the Indian broadcaster.

 

The recent Jamaica Gun Club Sporting Clays tournament turned out to be a good one for the McMaster family.  The tournament attracted 148 shooters from across the island to its Salt Island facility in Clarendon where the McMasters demonstrated their mastery.

In extreme heat, Ray McMaster shot a score of 92 to take the top spot by long run ahead of Chad Ziadie and Brett Thwaites, who also had scores of 92.

McMaster’s wife Wendy shot a 78 to win the Ladies' competition while their in-form daughter Aliana was second with a score of 69. Aliana’s sister Abigail finished with a score of 62 to finish in fourth place.

McMaster, who for the second time walked away with the trophy for the Highest Overall score, was thrilled at the outcome.

"Awesome, awesome, awesome! I actually didn't think the 92 would prevail," he said, revealing that he was unable to say exactly what made him victorious.

"I don't know but I just come out and do the same exact thing, come out and execute. For one, the breeze wasn't blowing too much and I think that helped with the course. Shooting is like that, you just come out and everything happens for you on the day. I must say I am happy that I prevailed but the score could have been better but I am very happy."

Wendy, meanwhile, was equally chuffed at her triumph.

"I feel really good. My confidence level is going back to where it was. I was struggling back in several shoots before and I worked on my weakness and I have discovered how to correct it so right now I am in a good place, just to work on it a little bit more so I can always be on top," she said.

The top three shooters in the various classes were as follows:

 A Class: Brett Thwaites 92, Shaun Barnes 91 (LR) and Jordan Thwaites 91 (LR);

B Class: Najeeb Haber 79, Craig Davis 77 and Evan Thwaites 76;

C Class: Nathan Chin 90, Paul Burke 82 (LR) and Ricky DuQuesdnay 82 (LR);

D Class: Gordon Bucknor 87, Justin Samuda 83 and Richard Todd 80;

E Class: Noah Vaughn 81, Matthew Grant 77 (LR) and Carlton Davis 77 (LR);

Hunters or Beginners: Kashka Jones 72 (LR), Lucas Thomson 72 (LR) and Anthony Ayoub 72 (LR);

Ladies: Wendy McMaster 78, Aliana McMaster 69 and Tara Brown 67;

Juniors: Nathan Chin 90, David Wong 87 and Mark Desnoes 82;

Sub Juniors: Christopher Lee 50.

Two shooters, Noah Vaughn and Kashka Jones were promoted to D Class and E Class respectively after winning their respective classes on the day.

 

 

 

Former Merlene Ottey High School sprinter Akeem Blake and Bahamian Olympian Anthonique Strachan stole the show at the 2022 staging of the John Wolmer Speed Fest at the National Stadium on Saturday.

Blake sped to 10.13 to win the Men’s 100m, a new personal best, ahead of former national champion Oshane Bailey (10.18) and 400m specialist and former Petersfield High standout Antonio Watson (10.21).

Just last week in Florida, Blake ran a then-personal best 10.17 to finish second in the Men's 100m at the Hurricane Invitational.

Strachan dipped below the 11-second barrier for the first time in her career, running 10.99 to win the Women’s 100m ahead of Shashalee Forbes (11.24) and Jodean Williams (11.54).

400m Hurdles semi-finalist at the Tokyo Olympics Jaheel Hyde ran a big personal best to win the Men’s 400m. The former Wolmer’s man clocked 45.78 to win ahead of Anthony Cox (46.09) and Keeno Burrell (47.65).

2011 World 100m champion Yohan Blake looked impressive, easing down before crossing the finish line in 20.95 to win his 200m heat. Also looking impressive in the Men's 200m was former STETHS man Nigel Ellis who won his section in 20.43.

Double Olympic sprint champion Elaine Thompson-Herah opened her outdoor season with a third-place finish in the Women’s 400m. She ran 56.72 to finish behind the 2019 World Championships 400m hurdles bronze medallist Rushell Clayton (54.41) and Gabrielle Matthews of the Queen's School (56.42).

Newcomers Nyeem Young and Keacy Carty have been named among 16 players selected by Cricket West Indies (CWI) for a white-ball camp to be held at the Coolidge Cricket Ground from Thursday, March 31 to Wednesday, April 13.

Young was a member of the West Indies Rising Stars squad at the 2020 ICC U19 World Cup and has also played for Barbados Royals in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL). Carty, meanwhile, has been a consistent member of the Leeward Islands Hurricanes squad for the last five years. He was Player of the Match in the final of the 2016 ICC U19 World Cup won by the West Indies.

West Indies Head Coach Phil Simmons outlined that the camp will focus on improving skill sets as the West Indies look ahead to two major global events over the next two years – the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia later this year and the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup to be played in India.

“The camp will be a chance for us to do some work with players in the white-ball formats, players who might have a chance to play in the coming white-ball teams later this year,” Simmons said.

“The most important thing is that we will be doing things in the camp that we have not been doing well, such as rotating strike, sweeping, and playing spin better. It’s about working on things that we’re not 100 per cent at yet. We have several players at IPL who will be working at their games as well, so we’re working with the players here to make sure they keep up the standard and improve.”

Simmons also weighed in on the selection of Carty and Young for the camp.

Keacy Carty was a reserve for the team which toured India in February. If there was any reason why players couldn’t go, he was the next batsman in line. He is one of the players we have looked at before,” Simmons revealed.

“Nyeem Young is one of the potentially good young all-rounders we have around the Caribbean, so we just want to bring them in and get them to understand what we expect of them if they get to that level.”

In late May, the West Indies travel to The Netherlands for the first-ever three-match One Day International Series between the two teams, to be followed by the rescheduled three-match ODI Series against Pakistan which was postponed in December.

These fixtures form part of the ICC ODI Super League, where teams will have the opportunity to secure points to try and secure one of the top seven places, excluding hosts India, to gain automatic qualification for the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup.

West Indies will then be hosting tours by Bangladesh, India and New Zealand with all three series featuring white-ball matches. Details of these tours will be announced in the coming weeks.

Players for white-ball camp: Nkrumah Bonner, Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, Keacy Carty, Roston Chase, Justin Greaves, Chandrapaul Hemraj, Shai Hope, Brandon King, Kjorn Ottley, Keemo Paul, Anderson Phillip, Raymon Reifer, Nial Smith, Devon Thomas and Nyeem Young.

 

World-class cyclist Nicholas Paul and Olympian Tyra Gittens walked away with the Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year titles at the 59th edition of the First Citizens Sports Awards in Trinidad and Tobago on Saturday.

T&T’s Olympic 4X400m metre relay team of Machel Cedenio, Jereem Richards, Dwight St. Hillaire and the late Deon Lendore, who won the Lytsra Lewis Award, were also recognized at the ceremony hosted by 2013 400m hurdles World Champion Jehue Gordon and aired on CNC3 Television in the twin-island republic.

Swimmer Nikoli Blackman was crowned the Youth Sportsman of the Year 2021 for the consecutive year while tennis player Jordane Dookie was selected as the Youth Sportswoman of the Year 2021 title. Meanwhile, the Jeffrey Stollmeyer Award went to The Tennis Association of Trinidad & Tobago for outstanding administrative work.

Overall, 46 of T&T’s top athletes were honoured during the ceremony for their outstanding achievements over the past year. The country’s Minister of Sport and Community Development Shamfa Cudjoe praised the awardees for what he described as their “unrelenting spirit, sense of pride and purpose, and the larger than life persona they exude every time they set out to represent the red, white and black.

“You are our true heroes, who serve as a symbol of hope, perseverance, courage and strength, not only to our youth but to our nation,” she said.

Chairman of the First Citizens Sports Foundation, Dr Terry Ali, echoed similar sentiments while adding that the Sports Foundation would continue with its collaborative work with key stakeholders to support the successful restart of sporting events in Trinidad and Tobago.

Karen Darbasie, Group Chief Executive Officer at First Citizens, expressed gratitude at being able to honour the country’s best athletes. “The First Citizens Sports Awards is yet another proud moment, not only for those being honoured but also for us, who have been privileged to uphold that responsibility of bestowing honour,” she said.

Among the youth finalists who received awards were Alan-Safar Ramoutar – Chess; Ryan D’Abreau – Cycling; Shakeem Mc Kay – Track & Field; Zara La Fleur – Chess; Janae De Gannes – Track & Field; and Natassia Baptiste – Volleyball.

Among the senior finalists were Nigel Paul – Boxing; Dylan Carter – Swimming; Andrew Lewis – Sailing; Teniel Campbell – Cycling; Kennya Cordner – Football; Felice Aisha Chow – Rowing, and Samantha Wallace – Netball.

Saturday’s final day of the 2022 Texas Relays at the Mike A. Myers Stadium saw a number of Caribbean athletes put in impressive performances to kick off the NCAA outdoor season.

Jamaica’s Kevona Davis and St. Lucia’s Julien Alfred were both members of a  University of Texas quartet who were victorious in both the 4x100 and 4x200m relays. The Longhorns ran 42.83 to win the 4x100m ahead of LSU (42.97) and Texas Tech (43.11) then returned to run 1:29.03 to be the overall winners of the 4x200m ahead of Star Athletic (1:30.55) and Hurdle Mechanics (1:30.65).

Two former Class One 800m champions at Jamaica’s ISSA GraceKennedy Boys and Girls Championships, Kimar Farquharson formerly of Calabar High and Chevonne Hall formerly of Edwin Allen, were members of a victorious South Plains College team in the Men’s 4x800m. South Plains ran 7:20.31 to win ahead of Texas A&M (7:24.03) and Arkansas (7:26.84).

Former Excelsior High star Ackera Nugent was in fine form for Baylor University, running 12.72 to finish third in the Women’s 100m Hurdles.

2021 Jamaica Olympian and former STETHS student Stacey Ann Williams helped Texas run 3:22.94 to win the Women’s 4x400m to close out the meet.

 

Cricket West Indies (CWI) has lauded the West Indies team on their win over England in the Apex Test Series.

West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite believes his team is just getting started after clinching a series win against England in Grenada.

Following two draws in the first couple of Tests, a superb performance from the hosts on day three and day four overwhelmed the tourists and led to a 10-wicket victory to take the series 1-0.

England recovered from 90-8 to 204 in the first innings of the third and final Test but were never ahead in the game as Brathwaite's side took a first-innings lead of 93, before bowling England out for just 120 in their second.

That left Brathwaite and opening partner John Campbell to secure victory as they required less than five overs to chase down 28 on Sunday, condemning England to a fifth consecutive series defeat.

England have won just one of their last 17 Tests and are winless in nine red-ball outings, their longest such streak in the format since a run of 10 between August 2013 and July 2014.

The West Indies have still lost only once to England at home in Test cricket since 1968, with that solitary defeat coming in 2004.

"Very proud," Brathwaite said of his players after sealing the win. "My first home series win, so very happy.

"It was a very, very good series for us. In two hard-fought draws in the first two games I thought England played extremely well and we had to show some fight in the last days of both of those games. But coming here, we ramped it up. It's been a remarkable effort."

The 29-year-old had a strong series, top scoring with 341 runs to his name at an average of 85.25.

It was a team effort, though, and notable how several of the younger players stepped up in key moments, with Brathwaite name-checking Joshua Da Silva, who hit a century on day three to rescue his side's innings; Jayden Seales, who took 11 wickets in the series (joint-most with Kemar Roach and England's Jack Leach); and Alzarri Joseph, the taker of 10 wickets.

"I believe this is the start," he said. "But we can't become complacent. We have got to keep learning, keep improving.

"That is one thing with the youngsters in the team – Joshua, Jayden, Alzarri – they are willing to listen. That is the only way to get better. Jason Holder and Kemar Roach and Jermaine Blackwood really leading the way, and the guys learnt a lot on the job.

"I think it's the start and we have to continue to work hard."

Joe Root's tactics against West Indies "fell a long way short", according to Michael Vaughan, who warned England "may go further backwards" before going forwards.

England were held to consecutive draws across Tests in Antigua and Barbados before faltering in the winner-takes-all decider in Grenada.

Root's tourists recovered from 90-8 to 204 in the first innings, but were never ahead in the game as Kraigg Braithwaite's side mustered 297 before again bowling England out for just 120.

That left Brathwaite and opening partner John Campbell to secure a 10-wicket victory as they required just 4.5 overs to chase down 28 on Sunday, condemning England to a fourth consecutive series defeat.

England have won just one of their last 17 Tests and are winless in their last nine red-ball outings, their longest such streak in the format since a run of 10 between August 2013 and July 2014.

Questions over Root's captaincy remain prominent with the ECB searching for a new managing director and coach, and Vaughan believes his fellow Yorkshireman needs to take some time to consider his future.

"Let Joe Root sleep on it for a week or so," Vaughan said to BT Sport of Root's future at the helm.

"I fear this red-ball team might go further backwards before it goes forward and you're going to have to have a lot of energy as a leader, a captain you're going to have to have a huge amount of energy to wake up every morning to captain this side.

"Generally in English conditions, the Test match team win lots of games, win lots of series – well last summer they lost to New Zealand and they were losing to India, so I don't see this Test match side suddenly becoming a team that consistently wins series after series and that's in English conditions. 

"So Joe is going to have to find a huge amount of energy and he's also going to have to improve, because tactically in this game he was a long way short. The England side fell a long way short.

"I don't see too many players, out of this England Test team, who can suddenly come in and spark England into getting 450 consistently against the better opposition, when the ball is moving about.

"That's why I do think there could be some darker days ahead and it's going to take a leader with a lot of energy to try and get this Test match team right."

 

Paul Collingwood took temporary charge for the series in the Caribbean after Chris Silverwood was dismissed following Ashes disappointment, but the identity of England's next permanent coach remains unclear.

Vaughan would like to see England appoint former Australian coach Justin Langer, who guided his country to T20 World Cup success at the end of last year before lifting the Ashes.

"I would personally go for Justin Langer – he's the sort of leader that England need at the moment," he added.

"Then it is a conversation with Joe Root to see if he's still got the energy to take England forward and even then I'd debate it.

"You could give it to Ben Stokes to the end of next year's Ashes and then hope that a younger player like Zak Crawley is ready."

Joe Root declared he wants to keep the England Test captaincy but acknowledged the decision is not entirely in his hands after another series defeat.

Root believes team-mates remain firmly supportive of his leadership, despite a disappointing loss against West Indies.

Draws in Antigua and Barbados teed up a winner-takes-all decider in Grenada, but Root's tourists were always behind after falling to 90-8 on the first day.

Jack Leach and Saqib Mahmood proved unlikely heroes to drag England to 204 all out in the first innings, though a sorry bowling performance allowed West Indies, inspired by Joshua da Silva's maiden Test ton, to scramble to 297 - a lead of 93.

Further batting struggles saw the visitors skittled for just 120 second time around, leaving Kraigg Brathwaite and John Campbell to chase down a target of 28 in just 29 balls on Sunday, sealing a 10-wicket win.

"I've made it quite clear at the start of this game and throughout this tour that I'm very passionate about trying to take this team forward," Root said.

"I will control all that I can. I don't think it's ever in your hands completely. I feel like the group are very much behind me. We're doing a lot of really good things; we just need to turn that into results now."

England are without a win in five Test series, stretching back to a triumph over Sri Lanka at the start of last year. They are also without a win in their last nine Tests, losing six of those, which is their longest winless streak in the format since a run of 10 between August 2013 and July 2014.

Root told BT Sport he felt a sense of "frustration", adding: "Throughout this series we've played some really good cricket, and we've shown what we're capable of as a group.

"We've grown over the first two games as a batting group, and we've shown big strides in that department, and shown what we are capable of. Yesterday really let us down, it's really hurt us, and it's an important day within the series.

"We just didn't stand up to it well enough, and unfortunately you find us in this position where we've ended up losing the series after we played so much brilliant cricket."

The England skipper added: "I thought the attitude throughout the whole thing has been brilliant – in that respect we've definitely made big improvements. That has to continue.

"There are so many good things we can take away from this. Of course, we came here to win, and we've not, and that's frustrating, that's disappointing. But if we're going to keep learning and keep growing as a team, and if we're going to start winning, then we've got to keep that approach."

 

Interim head coach Paul Collingwood, who replaced Chris Silverwood in the wake of a 4-0 Ashes thrashing, said he had observed total support for Root among England's players.

He said: "The one thing you do notice in that dressing room is that the team is together, they're right behind Joe.

"You can see all the players, all the management, and you can see Joe himself, he's got the determination to still take this team forward and get results.

"The leadership doesn't affect his batting. He's still going out there and scoring the runs and he's still desperate to turn things around and desperate to make this team the best they can be."

Regarding his own uncertain future with England, as the search continues for a permanent coach, Collingwood added: "If I was to be given the job, or they decide they want to give me the job, then I would certainly take it. I've enjoyed it a lot more than I was expecting to."

England suffered a crushing 10-wicket loss to West Indies in the third Test in Grenada to lose the series 1-0 as pressure was ramped up on captain Joe Root.

The tourists were reduced to 103-8 at stumps on Saturday and were all out for 120 after losing the remaining wickets of Chris Woakes (19) and Jack Leach (4) inside an hour on Sunday.

Set a target of 28 runs to win at the Grenada National Stadium, Kraigg Brathwaite (20 not out) and John Campbell (6no) got West Indies over the line in just 4.5 overs.

Speaking on Saturday, former England captain Michael Vaughan had speculated this could be Root's final match as skipper, and another punishing loss follows a crushing Ashes series defeat.

England were looking to restore some pride if nothing else when play resumed, but any hope they had of building up a triple-figure lead after their second innings soon faded.

Having survived a review after appearing to be caught at short leg off bat and thigh pad, Woakes tried to turn the ball around the corner but Jason Holder made a superb grab.

That came off Kemar Roach's first ball, and the same bowler also brought an end to Leach's resistance shortly after, the left-handed batsman being caught behind by Joshua Da Silva.

It was then left to Braithwaite and Campbell to keep the scoring ticking over, which they did with ease to spark joyful celebrations in the home ranks.

 

Mayers masterstroke

Plenty of focus will be on England after this humbling loss, but credit must go to West Indies for what was an impressive showing across a third Test that lasted barely four days.

The selection of Kyle Mayers was key, the 29-year-old taking seven wickets in Grenada, having achieved an innings best of 3-24 across 10 previous Tests.

Root-and-branch reform awaits

England are now without a win in their last nine Tests, losing six of those, which is their longest winless streak in the format since a run of 10 between August 2013 and July 2014.

The inquest into why this has happened can now be stepped up, and come the end of it there may well be a change of leadership should Root walk – or indeed be pushed.

Following his epic unbeaten maiden Test century in Grenada on Saturday, West Indies wicketkeeper/batsman Joshua da Silva has come in for lavish praise from compatriot Brian Lara, one of the greatest batsmen of all time.

In a marathon innings lasting 257 balls, the 23-year-old da Silva scored 100 not out as the West Indies chasing England’s first innings score of 204, made 297 all out in the third and final Apex test in Grenada.

He was the sheet anchor in key partnerships of 33 with Kyle Mayers, 49 with Alzarri Joseph, 68 with Kemar Roach and 52 with Jayden Seales to help the West Indies recover from a precarious 95-6 into a position of ascendancy.

For Lara, it was a joy to watch.

“The discipline and mental strength this young man showed was admirable. The partnerships with the lower order to get us into this winning position is what Test cricket is all about,” said Lara, who is currently in India as the batting coach for IPL franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad.

The man who scored a mammoth 11953 runs from 131 Tests for the West Indies also lavished praise for da Silva’s teammates as well.

“It will be remiss of me not to congratulate all the batters and bowlers that fought throughout the series culminating into this on the brink of a series win against England. I salute the captain for his tenacity throughout the series with the bat and his leadership,” said the proud West Indies icon.

“To all players and staff, I commend you and at the same time urge you to continue working on having the appetite to go out there on the battlefield for all five days of a Test match giving your all each and every single time you don the burgundy cap. At the end, you will lose some, draw some and win a lot more but more importantly, you will understand what Test cricket is all about.”

At the time of publication, the West Indies were chasing 28 runs for victory after bowling England out for 120 on Sunday.

Kyle Mayers took a career-best  5-18, Kemar Roach 2-10 while there was a wicket each for Jayden Seales and Alzarri Joseph.

England bowler Mark Wood has undergone surgery on his elbow after being previously ruled out for the remainder of their tour of the West Indies.

The Durham paceman suffered the injury during the opening Test in Antigua and has now undergone a procedure to help correct the problem.

There is no set return date for the 32-year-old, who has often proven to be one of England's more reliable performers amid a dismal year for Joe Root's side.

An official ECB statement read: "England and Durham fast bowler Mark Wood had surgery yesterday in London to address the right elbow injury sustained during the first Test against West Indies in Antigua earlier this month.

"The surgery removed bone and scar tissue to address an impingement problem that was causing pain in his elbow when bowling.

"He will now commence rehabilitation with the ECB and Durham. A date for his return to play will be established in due course."

Former Hydel High standout Lamara Distin, now competing for Texas A&M, produced a personal best and Jamaican national record 1.96m to win the Women’s High Jump at the Texas Relays at the Mike A. Myers Stadium on Saturday.

This lifetime best continues a phenomenal start to the season for Distin who jumped a national indoor record 1.92 to win at the NCAA Indoor Championships in in Birmingham, Alabama earlier this month.

1.96m is a school record, the fifth best collegiate jump of all time and also sees Distin achieve the World Championships qualifying standard.

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