West Indies chief of selector Roger Harper admits it was a difficult choice to relegate talented all-rounder Jason Holder to a reserve position, following the unveiling of the 15-member T20 World Cup squad on Thursday.

Many were left astonished after Holder, who has had a few standout stints in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and international T20 cricket in recent months, was only named among four reserve players.

“Leaving a player of the standard and quality of Jason out of our final 15 was a difficult decision and it provoked a lot of debate,” Harper told members of the media via an online press conference.

“When we look at the type of composition we wanted, considering the all-rounders that we had and the balance, he was unfortunate not to make it,” he added.

“It was a 15-man squad, everyone couldn’t make it, different things were taken into consideration and Jason just missed out, but with a player of his stature and quality it was a difficult decision and one we didn’t take lightly.”

In 10 matches and three series against Pakistan, South Africa, and Sri Lanka, Holder totalled 90 runs, had an average of 30, and claimed 9 wickets.  He, however, struggled in the team’s most recent series against Pakistan totalling just 2 runs and 4wickets in four matches.

 

Jamaica track and field star Elaine Thompson-Herah has her eyes set on eclipsing the long-standing women’s 100m record, but after adding the Diamond League trophy to her list of outstanding accomplishments this year, she is content to leave that feat until next season.

Once again, the Olympic champion proved to be in a class of her own on Thursday's Diamond League finale, in Zurich, pulling well clear of a quality field to stop the clock at 10.65.  The time was the athlete’s fourth run under 10.7s this season, the most times done by any female athlete in history.

The performance marked yet another outstanding achievement for Thompson-Herah who a few weeks ago claimed the sprint double in Tokyo, and also in the process broke American Florence Griffith-Joyner’s longstanding 100m Olympic record.

However, it was a performance a few weeks later, a jaw-dropping 10.54 set in Eugene, Oregon, that set tongue’s wagging and raised expectations for a world record challenge.  The time was not only the second-fastest ever run over the distance but just 0.5 seconds outside of Griffith-Joyner’s world record, for many years believed to be unapproachable.  After a long, tiring but extraordinarily successful season, however, the athlete is more than content to leave that pursuit for another time.

“It has been a crazy season, a long one and a tiring one. I was so consistent because I was just keeping the faith in me and did not allow any negativity,” Thompson said following the event.

 “I am really happy and grateful. I am tired now but this is my job. I would describe this season with one word: amazing, yet it had ups and downs. I have to give God thanks that I am healthy and that I could finish such a long season…This year, it was a long season with ups and downs, but next year, the world record is definitely on my mind.”

Trinbago Knight Riders battled to a six-wicket victory in their 2021 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) encounter with Barbados Royals.

Eight-time Olympic champion sprinter Usain Bolt is not contemplating a return to athletics despite feeling the temptation for a comeback.

Bolt ended his career on the track in 2017, calling it quits at the age of 31 after a spate of hamstring injuries, one of which curtailed his efforts in what was supposed to be the Jamaican's final race at the 2017 World Athletics Championships.

Although it was not the glorious conclusion he may have hoped for, Bolt still left sprinting as the world record holder in the 100 metres, 200m and 4x100m relay and his exploits on the track saw him collect a remarkable eight Olympic golds.

Back in August 2018, Bolt begin training with Australian football club the Central Coast Mariners and he scored twice in a friendly before being offered a contract, which was to be partially funded by the A-League.

He ultimately left the Mariners in November and declared two months later that he was done with all sports – though the thought of a U-turn did cross his mind later in 2019.

However, his coach urged Bolt to resist such a temptation, seemingly denying the world another opportunity to see the legendary sprinter in action at another Olympic Games.

Asked if he was contemplating a comeback at the age of 35, Bolt told BBC Sport: "It's too late. If I was going to come back it would have been to be for this Olympics.

"When I told my coach I was going to retire he sat me down and said, 'when you retire, that's it. I'm not doing any comeback tours, nothing. So, make sure you are ready to retire'.

"I remember I went to him in 2019 and said, 'what do you think about coming back for the Olympics?' And he looked at me and said, 'don't even start'.

"So, if it's not my coach, I'm not going to do it, because I believe in him and if he says no, it's no - but I've got that itch though."

Guyana Amazon Warriors moved back into the top four of the 2021 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) table with a 17-run victory over the Saint Lucia Kings.

The Amazon Warriors won the toss and elected to bat first, but they had to overcome an early wobble to post a competitive total led by Brandon King’s enterprising 77.

In reply, the Kings looked as if they were in cruise control when Roston Chase and Tim David put together a big partnership but excellent death bowling tightened the screws and the Kings succumbed to the pressure.

Having been supplanted in the top four by Jamaica Tallawahs earlier in the day, Guyana needed a win to reignite their competition. However, three early wickets in the PowerPlay put them on the backfoot as Wahab Riaz and Jeavor Royal made the early breakthroughs.

 King came to the Amazon Warriors rescue with his first Hero CPL 50 of the season but other than Nicholas Pooran’s 25 no batsmen was able to stick with King.

Once King fell for his sparkling 77, Odean Smith was able to add some maximums to take Guyana to a challenging total of 151.

Saint Lucia Kings were circumspect in their early reply and found themselves three wickets down with 43 runs on the board.  Gudakesh Motie’s parsimonious spin bowling saw him take 2 for 12 from his four overs to keep the Amazon Warriors well in the hunt.

Roston Chase and Tim David put together a boundary-laden partnership of 75 from 63 balls but just as it seemed they would take the Kings home, Naveen Ul-Haq and Odean Smith bowled four excellent overs to seal two crucial points for the Amazon Warriors.

 

 Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz got their first points of the CONCACAF World Cup final round, with a hard-fought 1-1 draw to Costa Rica, which was a tale of two halves.

Costa Rica went ahead early, but Jamaica found an answer to force the teams to split a point Wednesday at the Estadio Nacional in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Costa Rica took the lead in the third minute when Bryan Ruiz weighed up a beautiful ball for Jonathan Moya on the back post. The attacker Moya spotted Jimmy Marin making a run and used his head to set Marin up for an easy shot over the line, with Jamaica GK Andre Blake still working to defend a potential shot from Moya on the post.

Yet, Jamaica was able to find an equalizer just after the halftime break. Left-back Kemar Lawrence got into the final third with the ball and plenty of space in the 47th minute and teed up a cross for Shamar Nicholson. Nicholson didn’t hit his header entirely cleanly, but that seemed to flummox goalkeeper Keylor Navas, and Nicholson was off to celebrate his second goal of World Cup qualification.

Costa Rica was on the break again in the 68th minute, with Marin breaking free, but his touch took him too wide and Jamaica was able to recover from the danger.

There was danger on Navas’ net in the 87th minute, with the former Concacaf Goalkeeper of the Year making a pair of interventions, including using his legs to sweep away a ball that Javon East was attempting to control in the box.

It’s the first point Jamaica has earned in qualification, with the Reggae Boyz set to look for more points in October when they travel to face the U.S.

 Costa Rica’s first match of the October window is away to Honduras and the Ticos will look to add to the pair of points they amassed in September.

Decorated Jamaica sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce insists there are no ill feelings towards talented young American sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson, despite plenty of talk surrounding the athletes in recent weeks.

In truth, the majority of the arguments have come from feuding sides of the Jamaica vs the United States track and field rivalry, which has amplified in recent months since the American burst onto the scene.

The flamboyant Richardson has certainly played her part in fueling debates in recent months, even if her performances have not quite lived up to expectations, the number of eyes on track and field certainly seems to have increased.

The American was initially expected to face a high-powered Jamaica trio of Fraser-Pryce, Elaine Thompson-Herah, and Shericka Jackson at the Olympic Games, but ended up missing the top-billed event after picking up a one-month suspension for using marijuana.  At the event, Thompson-Herah broke the longstanding Olympic record with Fraser-Pryce second and Jackson third.

There was for Richardson and some fans, however, the sense of a missed opportunity and a much-hyped meeting of the American facing the Jamaica trio in Eugene two weeks later was presented in that light.  Things did not go as planned for Richardson, however, as she had plenty to say before the event but finished in last place.

The result was the same as the Olympics with Thompson-Herah finishing first, Fraser-Pryce second, and Jackson third.  However, it was Fraser-Pryce who went viral following the sprint as she was caught on camera passing an animated Richardson interview with a mirthful look and knowing smirk.  The fans had a field day, but she insists there wasn’t too much to it.

“I mean, seriously, it was just a look,” Fraser-Pryce told sports lifestyle magazine The Undefeated.

 “I was having a conversation with my teammate and she said something, and then I looked. But it wasn’t – it was just what it is. It was just a look, you know? It was just a look. Yeah. There was nothing more behind it, if I’m being very honest, there was nothing more behind it,” she added.

In her mind, the fiery mentality that the American brings to the sport is also good for track and field.

“I like her. I like her personality,” Fraser-Pryce said.

“…for us as women, we’re somehow supposed to just stand at the line, look cute and just run, [and] wave. We’re not allowed to express ourselves or show our emotions.”

 

Teddy Bishop followed up his unbeaten 97 on Monday with a magnificent match-winning century which guided West Indies Rising Stars U19s to a sensational victory over England Young Lions in the third match on Wednesday.

Jamaica Tallawahs inflicted the third successive defeat on St Kitts and Nevis Patriots in this year’s Hero Caribbean Premier League with a 22-run victory at Warner Park on Wednesday.

The Patriots won the toss and opted to bowl, yet the Tallawahs were able to post a sizeable score of 169-8, largely thanks to some power hitting from captain Rovman Powell and Andre Russell. 

The Patriots were unable to accelerate and chase the total as Tallawah bowlers Imad Wasim, Veerasammy Permaul and Migael Pretorius helped produce a disciplined bowling performance which earned the franchise their third win of this year’s Hero CPL.

Jamaica Tallawahs got off to a steady start, openers Kennar Lewis and youngster Kirk McKenzie batting through the first five overs before Lewis was caught out on the boundary. Shamarh Brooks top scored with 43 runs from 39 balls to consolidate before Powell and Russell hit fast runs to take the score to a substantial total.

Patriot’s stand out bowlers were spinners Jon-Russ Jaggesar and veteran Fawad Ahmed, who ensured their side took wickets throughout the innings while maintaining low economy rates of five and under.

St Kitts & Nevis Patriots, in contrast, had an indifferent start, losing batsman Evin Lewis in the second over, closely followed by captain Chris Gayle.

Devon Thomas and Joshua da Silva accumulated runs in search of building a foundation but wickets tumbled and only Dominic Drakes later on in the innings was able to strike at the required velocity to chase the target, hitting 22 runs from just 12 balls. Once Drakes was out and Fabian Allen dismissed in the 19th over, any hopes of a Patriots win evaporated and the Tallawahs were able to successfully defend their target.

 Jamaica Tallawahs jump into a playoff spot with this victory, and will be hoping to stay there for the duration of this year’s league stages.

Scores: Jamaica Tallawahs 169-8 (Brooks 43, Powell 37; Fawad 2-14, Jaggesar 2-20) beat St Kitts & Nevis Patriots 147-8 (Thomas 35, da Silva 28; Pretorius 3-26, Permaul 2-31) by 22 runs

Lizelle Lee produced another match-winning performance as South Africa Women earned a comfortable victory in the opening match of the CG Insurance One-Day International Series. The powerful opener top-scored with a purposeful 91 not out as the Proteas easily reached 157-2 off 39.3 overs. This was in reply to West Indies 153 off 46.4 overs.

Lee’s innings earned her the CG Insurance Player of the Match award following up on her CG Insurance Player of the Series award in the recent T20 Internationals. The experienced opener made her 21st half-century at this level and laid the perfect platform for the run-chase as she faced 127 balls and hit 10 fours and a six. She added 88 in 22 overs with Laura Wolvaardt who again looked in good touch before she was bowled by Anisa Mohammed for 35, which came off 65 deliveries.

The West Indies had one other success when Sune Luus was trapped leg-before wicket to left-arm spinner Qiana Joseph without scoring.

In the first half of the match, West Indies found the going challenging. Left-hander Kycia Knight top-scored with 39 off 78 balls, but was run out by a superb throw from Mignon duPreez at deep square leg.

Deandra Dottin, looked set for a significant score as she raced to 38 off 36 balls, but was well caught at long-off by duPreez, which gave leg-spinner Dane van Niekerk her first wicket. The South Africa skipper ended with 2-23 off her 10 overs to put pressure on the West Indies middle and lower order.

 The two teams will return to the same venue on Friday for the second match of the five-match rubber. First ball is 10 am (9 am Jamaica Time).

The Barbados Royals claimed their second win of the 2021 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) with a 45 run victory over the Guyana Amazon Warriors. 

A strong all-round display from the Royals keeps their playoff hopes alive with three group games remaining. 

The Amazon Warriors never really recovered from a blistering start from the Royals batsmen who put their bowlers under real pressure after being asked to bat first.  

The Royals innings started quickly with 67 runs from the PowerPlay with Johnson Charles (40) and Kyle Mayers (36) getting their team firing early on. The Amazon Warriors pegged things back with the wickets of Mayers and Azam Khan but a stand of 48 between Glenn Phillips and Smit Patel put the Royals back in front. 

Phillips top-scored with 44 and he was well supported by Jason Holder who made 22 from just seven balls. When both fell within quick succession the Royals innings lost some impetus but they still posted a very competitive 185/8.

Romario Shepherd was once again the pick of the Amazon Warriors bowlers, claiming 3/31 from his four overs. Gudakesh Motie bowled with penetration to claim 2/33. 

The Guyana Amazon Warriors reply started badly with three wickets falling inside their PowerPlay as they reached 39/3 off the first six overs. While wickets fell it was Mohammad Hafeez who looked to hold things together for the Warriors. He made it to 30 from 25 balls before he was well stumped by Smit Patel off a wide bowled by Ashley Nurse. 

When Hafeez fell the Amazon Warriors needed 115 runs from 65 balls and the pressure was on Shoaib Malik to see his side home. When he fell going for a big shot off Nyeem Young there was no way back for the Guyanese side. 

Some late order hitting from Odean Smith gave some respectability to the margin of defeat, but the Royals closed out a comfortable win with a very strong bowling display with wickets shared evenly across their attack. 

 

Trinbago Knight Riders cruised to victory in their 2021 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) encounter with Jamaica Tallawahs, winning by a commanding 75 runs. 

The Tallawahs won the toss and opted to field first. Trinbago Knight Riders initially struggled to score runs as they were restricted by Imad Wasim and Veerasammy Permaul, but a late onslaught from captain Kieron Pollard and Tim Seifert ensured they reached 167-4 after the duo blasted 28 runs in the final over.

Jamaica Tallawahs struggled to build partnerships amidst some fantastic bowling from Sunil Narine, Ravi Rampaul and Ali Khan as they finished 92 all out against the defending champions. 

Trinbago Knight Riders got off to a slow start as Lendl Simmons and Hero CPL debutant Leonardo Julien batted patiently. The Tallawahs were firmly in control through some disciplined bowling, but Seifert coming in the 18th over changed the complexion of the game as he smashed 24 runs off just 8 balls, his partnership with Pollard amounting to a remarkable 62 runs off 20 deliveries. 

The Tallawah’s response was hindered by the returning Khan, making his first appearance of this year’s Hero CPL, as he took three wickets in the Powerplay for just two runs, including that of both openers, Kennar Lewis and Haider Ali. Spinners Narine, Akeal Hosein and Khary Pierre further stifled the Tallawahs, with Khan returning later on in the match to pick up his fourth wicket of the day.

Trinbago Knight Riders now have four wins in this year’s Hero CPL as they look to defend their title 

 

Decorated Jamaica sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce will not compete in the final of the Wanda Diamond League in Zurich on Thursday.

The two-time 100m gold medallist had qualified for the 100m final, along with reigning Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah and bronze medallist Shericka Jackson.  Since the Olympics, where Fraser-Pryce placed second, the trio has competed together in two 100m Diamond League events, in Eugene and Lausanne, with Jackson and Thompson-Herah going on to compete in a third in Paris.

At current, it is Fraser-Pryce who leads the qualifiers for the final of the 100m Diamond race with 28 points, tied with the Côte d'Ivoire’s Marie-Josée Ta Lou.  Thompson-Herah is third on 23.  However, Fraser-Pryce is not listed among the participants for Zurich and it has been confirmed that she will not compete.  Jackson, on the other hand, is only registered to compete in the 200m.

Fraser-Pryce and Thompson-Herah have pushed each other to record-breaking performances this season and have recorded the fastest and second fastest times over the distance so far.  Thompson-Herah has clocked a best of 10.54, the second-fastest all time, with Fraser-Pryce next with 10.60.

 

Diamond League women’s 100m final (Entrants)

 GBR - ASHER-SMITH, Dina

SUI - DEL PONTE, Ajla

SUI- KAMBUNDJI, Mujinga

GBR- NEITA, Daryll

USA- OLIVER, Javianne

CIV - TA LOU, Marie-Josée

JAM - THOMPSON-HERAH, Elaine

 

West Indies U19s lost by one wicket today and went 0-2 down to England U19 in their five-match Youth ODI series at Beckenham.

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