Top­-class West Indies fast bowler, Kemar Roach, admits that the depth and quality of the new generation of fast bowlers is an encouraging sign for the regional team.

The 33-year-old Barbadian-born speedster continued to enhance his own legend this week when he moved up to join Michael Holding on the all-time Windies wicket-takers list.  With 249 Test wickets, Roach has established himself as the premier fast bowler of this Windies generation.

At 33, however, the player is heading towards the back end of his career, with the likes of Shannon Gabriel in the same position.  For pace bowling wickets though, it seems the Windies will continue to have plenty of options for years to come with the likes of Alzarri Joseph, Jayden Seales, and all-rounder Kyle Mayers all showing plenty of promise in recent times.

“You have Jayden and Alzarri 24, 25, and Kyle Mayers who is showing great skill with the ball and there are other guys on the outside trying to get in as well,” Roach told members of the media on Wednesday.

“It’s good that we have a crop of fast bowlers coming through that can get the job done and they are learning every day at practice, how to improve their skills, their body and technique and whatever, that’s all you ask from these guys.  It’s good that we have a pretty big quartet of fast bowlers now.”

Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz secured a spot in the next round of the Concacaf Men’s Under-20 Championship following a 2-0 win over Antigua and Barbuda on Wednesday.

Goals from Zion Scarlett and Jahmari Clarke, on either side of half-time, ensured that the team would at least finish third in Group H and condemned their Caribbean neighbours to a winless goalless campaign.

That does not mean that the Jamaicans had things all their own way, with Antigua and Barbuda showing plenty of fighting spirit, and goalkeeper Coniah Boyce-Clarke doing his best to keep the Reggae Boyz at bay.  There was very little to be done when Scarlett was given too much time in the area and spun away from the attending defender to find plenty of space to put the ball wide of a stranded Boyce-Clarke in the 41st minute.

With the Antiguans failing to find a way to get back on level terms Clarke made full points for the Jamaicans safe in the 81st minute from the penalty spot after substitute Tyler Roberts was brought down in the area by Antigua defender Dajun Barthley.  Barthley was later ejected from the game by referee Rubiel Vázquez after reviewing the VAR system.  The Jamaicans will now face Haiti on Sunday in Tegucigalpa.

Former West Indies cricketer Sylvester Joseph admits he was surprised by the decision to deploy Raymond Reifer at number 3 in the team’s batting line-up for the first Test against Bangladesh.

The 31-year-old batsman struggled to make an impact in the opener, dismissed for 11 in the first innings before being one of three batsmen dislodged in a brutal spell from Khaled Ahmed, this time without scoring.

Reifer cobbled together a strong season for the eventual champions Barbados Pride scoring 345 runs at an average of 49.28 in five matches.  Typically, however, the batsman was deployed to the middle order.

“Where he is batting is not where he batted throughout the season, which was at number 5, number six and you could understand that,” Joseph told the Mason and Guest radio show.

“To be honest when I just saw his name, I thought he might have been there to replace Kemar Roach who had some injury issues…it was really surprising to me that they had him as the number three batter,” he added.

“It was a bit of a shock…the selection of batting Reifer there was kind of baffling and it’s still baffling now because we are looking to see what the next move is, if they will carry on with him.”

Eight-time national 800m champion Natoya Goule was announced as a second brand ambassador for Recycling Partners of Jamaica at the company’s offices on Retirement Road in Kingston on Wednesday. Veteran entertainer Sasco is RPJ’s other ambassador and he continues in that role but Goule, the Olympic and World Championships finalist in 2019 and 2021, respectively, will be the face of the company at sporting events.

The announcement was made by RPJ Marketing and Communications Manager Candice Ming, who explained what Goule’s role will be during the initial one-year agreement.

“We decided to partner with Natoya for sporting events in particular,” Ming said, “she will be our face in sports as we expand our reach from having the bins and having Sasco’s jingle on the radio. We have been at sporting events. We have been at sporting events, I am not sure if you are familiar with us partnering with the Carifta Games earlier this year for the collection of plastic bottles and so we are expanding the initiative off the success of the Carifta Games including to the National trials this weekend.

“All four days we will be collecting plastics so as we move further into the field of sport you will be seeing a lot more of us, particularly through Natoya and her efforts.”

RPJ Chairman Dr Damien King explained that selecting Goule to be a brand ambassador was a straightforward decision.

“Our proudest moments as a nation have to do with what we have achieved on the track. We want Jamaica to be known just as well for environmental management. We want all Jamaicans and the entire rest of the world to know that Jamaica is serious about having a clean and inviting, beautiful environment. It is natural that our ambitions to be number-one on the track and number-one on the environment come together,” he said.

The 31-year-old Goule, who is on the island for the 2022 National Senior Athletics Championships where she will go for a ninth consecutive title, expressed her delight at being selected for such an important role.

“It is a great pleasure that I am a part of this and I am going to be here to do my part and contribute as much as I can,” said Goule, who RPJ will engage in a number of initiatives islandwide that they intend to roll out. Some of those initiatives will unfold in Goule’s home parish of Manchester, Ming disclosed.

 

Cricket West Indies (CWI) hosted the Professional Cricketers Draft for 2022-2023 on Friday, which took place over two rounds via a video call with representatives from all six Territorial Board Franchises. Each team had 13 retained players and then drafted two players to complete their 15-member squads for the forthcoming 2022-23 season to compete in the CG United Super50 Cup and the West Indies Championship.

Two key picks saw all-rounder Justin Greaves and wicket-keeper Tevyn Walcott being chosen by the Windward Islands Volcanoes. Both have played first-class cricket for the Barbados Pride. Greaves was also a member of the Emerging Players team which won the CG United Super50 Cup back in 2019.

The other franchises all picked players from their home territories. Barbados Pride selected off-spinner Chaim Holder and batter Zachary McCaskie; Guyana Harpy Eagles chose experienced left-handed batter Vishaul Sigh and allrounder Antony Adams; Trinidad & Tobago Red Force selected batter Jyd Goolie and allrounder Tion Webster; Jamaica Scorpions picked right-arm pacer Gordon Bryan and newcomer Khari Campbell, a left-arm fast-medium bowler; while the Leeward Islands Hurricanes added allrounder Karima Gore and uncapped keeper Daren Benta.

Greaves made his international debut for the West Indies against Ireland in the CG United ODI Series at Sabina Park, Jamaica in January. He has so far played 29 first-class matches and 29 List A matches with a highest score of 114. Gore previously played for the United States of America at the international level. The 23-year-old has played 16 ODIs and eight T20Is but is yet to make his first-class debut.

The six franchises will now continue their preparations for the upcoming season and Regional Tournaments. The CG United Super50 Cup is planned to return in November where defending champions the Trinidad & Tobago Red Force will attempt to retain their title and the Sir Clive Lloyd Trophy, named in honour of the great captain who led West Indies to the World Cup triumphs in 1975 and 1979. The Barbados Pride were crowned champions of the 2021-22 West Indies Championship, when they won in Trinidad earlier this month, to retain the Headley/Weekes Trophy named in honour of West Indies legends George Headley and Sir Everton Weekes.

FULL SQUADS:

Barbados Pride: Shamarh Brooks, Jonathan Carter, Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich, Dominic Drakes, Keon Harding, Chemar Holder, Akeem Jordan, Shayne Moseley, Raymon Reifer, Ramon Simmonds, Shamar Springer, Jomel Warrican. 2022 Draft Picks: Chaim Holder, Zachary McCaskie

Guyana Harpy Eagles: Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Gudakesh Motie, Keemo Paul, Veerasammy Permaul, Chandrapaul Hemraj, Tevin Imlach, Akshaya Persaud, Nial Smith, Demetri Cameron, Anthony Bramble, Kevin Sinclair, Leon Johnson, Ronsford Beaton. 2022 Draft Picks: Vishaul Singh, Antony Adams

Jamaica Scorpions: Brad Barnes, Carlos Brown, John Campbell, Akim Fraser, Nicholson Gordon, Leroy Lugg, Kirk McKenzie, Jamie Merchant, Marquino Mindley, Paul Palmer Jr, Javor Royal, Aldaine Thomas, Alwyn Williams. 2022 Draft Picks: Gordon Bryan, Khari Campbell

Leeward Islands Hurricanes: Rahkeem Cornwall, Devon Thomas, Colin Archibald, Keacy Carty, Jeremiah Louis, Jahmar Hamilton, Kieran Powell, Terrence Warde, Sheeno Berridge, Daniel Doram, Ross Powell, Kofi James, Damion Williams. 2022 Draft Picks: Karima Gore, Daren Benta

Trinidad & Tobago Red Force: Darren Bravo, Imran Khan, Jason Mohammed, Uthman Mohammed, Khary Pierre, Shannon Gabriel, Terrance Hinds, Jeremy Solozano, Isaiah Rajah, Anderson Phillip, Yannic Cariah, Bryan Charles, Keegan Simmons. 2022 Draft Picks: Jyd Goolie, Tion Webster

 Windward Islands Volcanoes: Sunil Ambris, Alick Athanaze, Keron Cottoy, Darel Cyrus, Kenneth Dember, Larry Edward, Kavem Hodge, Johann Jeremiah, Shermon Lewis, Daurius Martin, Preston McSween, Nicklaus Redhead, Jerlani Robinson. 2022 Draft Picks: Justin Greaves, Tevyn Walcott.

 Jamaica U-20 Reggae Boyz coach Marcel Gayle expects a rapid bounce back from the team on the back of a 5-0 hammering at the hands of hosts Honduras in the Concacaf Men’s Under-20 Championship on Monday.

The highly one-side affair left the Jamaicans third in group H, with one game remaining against Antigua and Barbuda.  With three teams advancing from the four-team group, however, the team remains in contention to secure a place in the next round if they can secure a point against Antigua.

“We know what is expected of us, so we just want to go out there and express ourselves again.  We realise it’s a must-win situation and we are looking to go out there all guns blazing to represent the nation,” Gayle said of the upcoming fixture on Wednesday.

“Everyone is disappointed, the boys are disappointed but they are young so they will get over it…we’ll come again.  We’ll take heart from the game.  We’re still in it, so I just have to encourage the guys to come again, so, you can look forward to greater things.”

With the win Honduras moved to the top of the group with 6 points, followed by Costa Rica on 4 and Jamaica on 1.  Antigua and Barbuda are yet to secure a win.

There is a new format coming to the Caribbean in 2022 with Cricket West Indies and the Caribbean Premier League bringing you THE 6IXTY – Cricket’s Power Game.

The first edition of THE 6IXTY will take place from August 24-28 in St Kitts & Nevis at one of world cricket’s fastest scoring grounds – Warner Park. Future expansion plans of the 6IXTY include the potential of multiple events at different locations around the Caribbean and beyond.

THE 6IXTY is a joint venture between Cricket West Indies and the Caribbean Premier League with the two organizations working closely together to create another world-class event.

“This is a hugely exciting moment for both CPL and Cricket West Indies as we create a tournament that will see cricket fans brought closer to the game,” said CPL CEO Pete Russell.

“There will be world-class men’s and women’s cricketers taking part in a fantastic event for the Caribbean and this combined with cutting-edge innovations, signals a great moment for all fans of West Indian cricket.”

CWI President Ricky Skerritt said he is excited by the introduction of the new format.

"THE 6IXTY has come about because of a close collaboration between CPL and CWI which is the way forward," he said.

"I am really excited about the innovation, excitement and entertainment that it is going to bring to the fans.”

The first edition of THE 6IXTY will see men’s and women’s teams compete in a new 60-ball tournament featuring many of the best cricketers from around the world with SKYEXCH the title sponsor for 2022.

This revolutionary format will see brand new innovations that will change T10 cricket and make the game even faster-paced and action-packed.

Under the rules, each batting team has six wickets – at the fall of the sixth wicket they are all out; each batting team has two PowerPlay overs. They can unlock a third PowerPlay by hitting two sixes in the first 12 balls. This extra PowerPlay over can be taken at any time between overs three to nine.

There will be 30 balls bowled from one end before the action switches to the other end for the final 30 balls, the 30 balls will be delivered as five separate overs, with no bowler being able to bowl more than two overs for the innings.

 If teams do not bowl their overs within the allotted time, a member of their team is removed from the field for the final six balls. Fans will vote for the timing of a “Mystery Free Hit” where a batter can’t be dismissed by the bowler.

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Cricket West Indies (CWI) Men’s Selection Panel has named an unchanged squad for the second Padma Bridge – Dream Fulfilled - Friendship Test match against Bangladesh.

Andy Murray has hinted he could compete alongside Emma Raducanu in the mixed doubles at Wimbledon, depending on how they fare in the singles.

Two-time Wimbledon champion Murray returns to SW19 later this month for only the third time since his last victory in 2016.

A quarter-final exit in 2017 was followed by two absent years and the 2020 event was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic prior to last year's third-round exit.

Meanwhile, Raducanu has struggled to find consistency and fitness in grand slams since her astonishing US Open success last year, being knocked out in the second round of both the Australian Open and French Open.

Both Britons will be hoping for better showings on home soil in 2022 but, if they suffer early elimination from the singles, Murray has revealed they could form a partnership for the mixed doubles.

"I'd love to play with her. I love watching her play. I think she's brilliant. She's going to be amazing for the sport. Not just in the UK, but especially in the UK," he told GQ.

"Actually, we had spoken last year about potentially playing mixed doubles at Wimbledon, and then both of us ended up doing well in the singles so we ended up not doing it. 

"But yeah, I would love to play with her."

However, while he spoke to his compatriot about a possible partnership last year, he has not touched base with the world number 11 ahead of this year's tournament.

"I've not spoken to her about it, but it would depend on the singles," he added.

"Obviously, we both will be prioritising that and hopefully having a good run there. And if that's the case, then that will be our priority.

"But yeah, if we both didn't do well, then maybe. At some stage in the future I would certainly love to. I think it'd be great fun."

Murray is unseeded for the men's singles, while Raducanu is seeded 10th for the women's event.

West Indies coach Phil Simmonds expects improved bowling performances from spinner Gudakesh Motie in the future after a fruitless debut with the ball against Bangladesh last week.

Overall, the spinner ended the opening Test with no wicket from 16 overs and conceded 43 runs.  The debut stood a far way from his performances in the West Indies Championship this season where he claimed 17 wickets in five matches, earning the attention of the West Indies selectors.

The 27-year-old did, however, make some sort of contribution with the bat after making 23 unbeaten from 21 deliveries, in the first innings.

“He scored a 100 in the Championship, so he can hold the bat and he can score like we saw but his bowling is going to improve,” Simmons said, following the first Test.

“I think when you play in your first Test match there’s always nerves, there’s a lot of things, but his bowling is going to improve,” he added.

While, for the most part, it was the pace bowlers who dominated affairs, Bangladesh spinner Mehidy Hasan claimed 4 for 59 in the first innings to put some pressure on the West Indies batting line-up.  West Indies and Bangladesh will face off in the second and final Test on Friday.

Expect the unexpected!

That’s the word from 2021 World U20 champion Ackera Nugent, who was responding to a question about who she thinks will emerge victorious in the 100m hurdles at Jamaica’s National Senior Championships that get underway at the National Stadium in Kingston on Thursday, June 23.

Nugent, who turned 20 in April, will miss the championships because of injury but is already on the mend as she targets a triumphant return to the track for her junior year at Baylor University. As the second fastest Jamaican woman in the world this year, Nugent will be missed but the field that will assemble is stacked.

Among the women contending for the top three spots will be Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Megan Tapper, 2015 World Championships gold medalist Danielle Williams, who is also the 2019 bronze medallist, 2022 Big 12 Conference Champion Demisha Roswell, Britany Anderson, Crystal Morrison, and Trishauna Hemmings among others.

However, Nugent perhaps one of the most talented hurdlers in her country’s history, was not willing to put her neck on the block given how keenly contested Sunday’s final is expected to be.

“Well, the hurdles is an event that you can’t really have expectations on it because anything can happen in those 12-13-seconds of the race,” she reasoned.

“So it’s a thing where you have to expect the unexpected.”

She does expect to be back better and stronger than ever for the coming 2022/2023 NCAA season.

Mere days after running a personal best 12.45 to finish second to Roswell at the Big 12 Championships, Nugent, citing injury, shut down her season in early June. It was a decision that meant that she would miss the NCAA Division I Outdoor Championships in Oregon as well as Jamaica’s National Championships where she was expected to be among the athletes making the team to the World Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, where the NCAA Championships were also held.

She revealed the circumstances that led to her decision.

“I had been having ankle problems this season more than normal but I was able to compete but at regionals, running the 4x100m I tore my plantar fascia (the thick tendon that connects the heel and the toes) and it was really bad,” she recalled.

Despite the injury, she said, she soldiered on, which made things worse.

“Knowing me as somebody that’s like ‘I have a next race to go do, let’s knock it out the way. I took some pain killers and I wrapped my leg up and went out there to compete and when I realized in the race it was getting really bad I slowed up and was still able to make nationals and then I looked and saw how swollen my foot was and I was like ‘I don’t think I have enough time to recover and make it for nationals’ so I decided to close my season down.”

As it stands, she is now able to walk and can run a little but thinks it best to give herself time to heal ahead of next season. “I don’t think it’s a smart decision to run so now I will be focusing on recovering, rehabbing and getting stronger. I have enough time to get better, to get stronger so I will be ready for next year,” she said.

 

 

 

 

 

Jamaica’s Under-20 Reggae Boyz suffered a humiliating 5-0 defeat to hosts Honduras in their second game at the Concacaf Under-20 Championships at the Estadio Francisco Morazan in San Pedro Sula on Monday.

The hosts took an early lead through a Marco Aceituno header in the third minute.

The lead was doubled when Aceituno got his second of the game after Jamaican goalkeeper Coniah Boyce-Clarke failed to block his left-footed strike from inside the box.

The young Reggae Boyz’ task was made more difficult when they were reduced to 10 men after Lamont Rochester was sent off in first half stoppage time.

The start of the second half brought no extra luck for the Jamaicans as Isaac Castillo slotted home to make it 3-0 for Honduras in the 48th minute.

The hosts got a fourth in the 58th minute through substitute Jefry Macias.

The scoring was completed in the 84th minute when Macias got his second goal to make it 5-0.

Honduras now leads Group D with six points from two games while Jamaica sits third with one.

Costa Rica got a 3-0 win over Antigua and Barbuda in Monday’s other Group D game to move to four points while their opponents have two losses.

Wednesday will see Jamaica play the Antiguans while Honduras will do battle with Costa Rica.

 

The Coolidge Cricket Ground (CCG), home of West Indies Cricket, is entering the final phase for major development planning which will transform the ICC accredited facility into a truly state of the art cricket and cultural heritage centre, Cricket West Indies announced on Friday.

Infrastructural work and rehabilitation are expected to commence later this year that will see CCG become a world class centre of cricket with linkages to several other smaller cricket academies across the region.

CCG will be able to adequately host training camps and player remedial work as well as stage international matches at all levels. This will include an Emerging Players Academy and the construction of an ultra-modern indoor/outdoor facility with several inputs for players’ preparation, including medical, training, fitness, and gym facilities.

“A strategic approach to master planning of the facility is well underway, and we are stepping into a new frontier as we seek to make CCG the 'flagship’ where players from the grassroots to the international level can develop and hone their technical and mental skills. We envision the CCG of the future as a truly world-class facility with all the amenities,” said Nelecia Yeates, General Manager of CCG.

“Fans attending matches at the ‘new CCG’ will also have an exceptional spectator experience. We will leave no stone unturned as we hold firm to the commitment and belief that all islands of the Caribbean can be the birthplace of greatness in our sport, both on the off the field,” Yeates added.

As part of the redevelopment project for the 20-acre facility, CCG has announced the appointment of a design collective consisting of CJC + Associates Inc., KSS Design Group Ltd and Melon Design Architecture to design and develop a transformational high-performance, world-class concept master plan.

“We were hugely impressed by the quality of all the responses for our Request for Proposals. But the level of information showcased in the design collective proposal was both impressive and inspiring. The winners have shown exceptional talent and promise, and aligned well with CWI’s vision to create a uniquely West Indian and world class cricket and heritage centre,” said Ricky Skerritt, President of CWI and Chairman of CCG.

“It is a huge achievement and opportunity, yet a humbling experience to be selected the winners, even more so with the high standard of entries as was expressed by the client,” said Colin John Jenkins on behalf of the design collective (CJC+ Associates Inc., KSS Design Group Ltd and Melon Design Architecture).

Within the next few months, Jenkins and the design collective team are expected to submit draft master plans to CCG and CWI for final design and costing approval.

 

West Indies Head Coach Phil Simmons has praised Captain Kraigg Brathwaite’s determination after the team’s seven-wicket victory over Bangladesh in the first Test at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium on Sunday.

In the first innings, Brathwaite made 94 off 268 balls, batting for 400 minutes in the process.

“There’s not much to tell as a batsman because I think everybody’s seen his determination and unique style,” Simmons said in an interview after the match.

“He doesn’t have a problem being there for five days and doing his job which is unique because a lot of batsmen nowadays want to play shots and be done with it but, from his point of view, he wants to be there all the time for his team and that rolls into the captaincy,” he added.

Since being named permanent Captain in March 2021, Brathwaite has led the team to a series win against England and drawn series against Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

“He seems to be growing into the role as we go along,” Simmons said.

“He’s not loud but the players know what he wants in his unique way. He makes them understand what he wants from them,” he added.

Brathwaite’s next assignment will be to lead the team to victory in the second test against Bangladesh which begins on Friday at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground in St. Lucia.

 

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