West Indies T20 captain, Kieron Pollard, has pointed to the fact that the senior players recalled to the team have consistently proven their value with high-level performances, which has not always been the case with younger players who got the opportunity.

The recent recall of veteran players Chris Gayle and Fidel Edwards, who are 41 and 39, respectively, caused consternation in some quarters.  Some argue the selection of such senior players may have taken opportunities away from younger players looking to secure places in the World Cup squad.

Pollard, however, insists that several players have been given an opportunity in recent years and have failed to consistently provide what the team has needed.  With the reigning World Champions currently ranked at 10th in the ICC rankings and the World Cup just a few months away, Pollard believes it’s time to prioritise winning games.

“Some of the guys have gotten opportunities when we started off in 2019, I believe, and it hasn’t produced the results that we might have wanted on a consistent basis.  Guys were still in and out for non-cricketing reasons and stuff like that,” Pollard told members of the media via a Zoom press conference on Tuesday.

“These guys (Gayle and Edwards) continue to perform despite their age and one thing that has been said throughout is that the door is open to each and every individual, once you show that you can perform at the highest level,” he added.

“We need to start winning cricket matches, we need to win series…so we have to strike a balance.  We are the defending champions of the T20 World Cup and we have to get into that winning habit.  If it’s the case that we have a couple of extra senior guys to start that process, so be it.”

 

 

 

West Indies and Jamaica batsman, Chris Gayle, has expressed concern regarding the state of cricket in his home country.

In its most recent campaign, the team crashed out of the Regional Super50 competition after being comprehensively beaten in the semi-finals by eventual champions Trinidad and Tobago.  The result ended yet another poor run of form in the competition, which the team has not won since the 2011-2012 season.  In fact, since that time Jamaica has only managed just one final appearance.

Jamaica’s poor form isn’t limited to just the Super50 competition.  In the regional four-day competition, despite having 12 titles, the team also not won since the 2011-2012 season.  Jamaica’s franchise has fared better in the shortest format, the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) T20 but even then has not won that competition since 2016 when Gayle himself played a crucial role in lifting the trophy.  For his part, the batsman does not believe the country has been making full use of its talent pool.

 “Jamaica cricket needs help.  We need help and there is a lot of talent there and we don’t really want to lose them.  We have lost a lot of talent in Jamaica already,” Gayle said.

“We need to try and keep the players happy and then we can try and rebuild Jamaica cricket as well,” he added.

“I will offer whatever (help) I can offer in terms of Jamaica cricket, but a lot of structure needs to be put in place.”

 

West Indies talismanic batsman, Chris Gayle, has stressed the massive importance of talented players like Shimron Hetmyer to the regional set-up and vowed to speak to the young batsman regarding staying focused on achieving his full potential.

The 24-year-old Hetmyer will miss the upcoming T20 and One Day International (ODI) matches against Sri Lanka after disqualifying himself from selection because of a failed fitness test.  The player, who recently took part in the Regional Super50 competition, will return to the team for the Test squad after subsequently passing another fitness test, along with Roston Chase.

Of concern, however, is the fact that Hetmyer also failed a fitness test administered at around the same time last year and a result missed out on some matches of an away series to the same opponents.

“It’s very unfortunate that he is out of the squad for fitness reasons but there is a protocol and things put in place.  It is beyond my control but it is up to him if he really wants to represent the West Indies and to really help West Indies cricket because he is such a talent,” Gayle told members of the media via a Zoom press conference on Monday.

“West Indies cricket needs that type of talent, it’s just unfortunate and hopefully things work out and these guys take it seriously.  These guys are the future.  A guy like Hetmyer, with his talent, he is the future.  We need him, we definitely need his talent,” he added.

“We don’t want to lose such a talent, so if I see Hetmyer I will try and have a talk with him.  I’ve spoken to him before and I will do so if I get the chance again.”

 

A letter released on behalf of Jamaica’s national football players has described recent information circulating in the media, regarding specifics of ongoing negotiations with the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), as ‘inaccurate’ but were unable to set the record straight due to contractual obligations.

The details of the report caused bulging eyeballs, with claims the national team’s representatives had requested a few eye-watering sums for the upcoming campaigns.  Among the standout details was a US$7000 ($1,053,791.20) per player, per match request, in addition to a US$1,000 (150,541.60) win bonus, for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers. 

With an assumed squad of 22 players, at that rate, excluding the bonus, the JFF could be forced to fork out US$154,000 ($23,183,406) per match for the 14 match qualifiers.  In total, the bill would amount to US$2,156,000 ($324,567,689) for the period and that would be the wage bill, exclusive of other expenses like travel and accommodation.  If the reports are accurate, the parties remain miles apart as the JFF has insisted the most it can offer is US$2000 ($301,083) per match.

In addition, the information released claimed the players have requested US$5,000 ($752,708), for an international friendly, which includes a US$1,000 dollar win bonus.  For the CONCACAF Nations League, that amount would fall to US$3,000 ($451,624.80).

According to the release issued by the players’ attorney, negotiations remained ongoing and it was premature to offer details on the issue.

“The players have indicated that it would be premature to make comments on an ongoing negotiation of such national importance,” the release read.

 “The players, upon request by the JFF through their attorney, were asked to keep details of the current negotiations confidential. The players are therefore exercising this responsibility and will not dishonour that request.

The players consider qualification to the World Cup and maintaining Jamaica's top 50 rankings as an important responsibility and remain committed to an amicable resolution with the JFF.

 They look forward to continuing meaningful discussions with the JFF around a number of outstanding issues, including, but not limited to, match remuneration.”

 

 

 Shimron Hetmyer and Roston Chase are now available for selection to the West Indies teams after both players passed fitness tests during the past few days, Cricket West Indies Director of Cricket Jimmy Adams announced today.

“We had done a press conference very recently and we had explained that there were some players that had missed the minimum fitness standard for selection, two of those players have since met that standard, that’s Roston Chase and Shimron Hetmyer,” Adams said earlier today.

“They would now be available for selection for the next selection meeting around the Test matches coming up later in March.”

The players were among four that the West Indies selectors said were not named to the T20 and ODI squads to face Sri Lanka starting March 3 because they had failed fitness tests.

Hetmyer’s omission, especially, caused a bit of a stir regionally, considering that the news of his non-selection came against the backdrop of him scoring a century for the Guyana Jaguars in the semi-final of the CG Insurance Super50 semi-final against the Windward Islands Volcanoes last week Thursday.

During a press conference last Saturday, Adams, in response to questions regarding whether the selectors would consider overlooking Hetmyer’s fitness considering his current form, said that was not likely to happen.

 “The policy asks for a minimum standard in certain aspects of fitness testing.  So on the yo-yo intermittent test, that minimum standard is 40 and for a couple of years we have had selection tied to the achievement of that minimum standard,” Adams said.

“It’s pretty simple and all the players are aware of it.  Failure to get to 40 makes them unavailable for selection. So when the panel sits, the first thing that they will consider, before looking at the teams and the squads they want to put together, is who are the players that are available through achieving that minimum standard.”

Professional Football Jamaica (PFJ) have secured two additional club sponsors and a category sponsor for the upcoming season of the Jamaica Premier League, powered by Digicel.

The club sponsors are Kemtek Development & Construction and ConserveIT Limited, who were both announced at a recent press signing at the Jamaica Pegasus. Also back on board is former title sponsor, Red Stripe, who join the fold as a category sponsor. Red Stripe remains the “official beer of the Jamaica Premier League”.

These recent agreements bring the total number of sponsors to 13 as ConserveIT, Kemtek and Red Stripe join Digicel, SportsMax, Yummy Bakery, JMMB, Jamaica Producers, Indies Pharma, Wata, Tru Shake, Burger King and Mount Pleasant Academy as sponsors.

The Premier League seeks to get underway with applications submitted to the Ministry of Sport and the ODPEM for consideration. The club sponsors will be assigned to their respective clubs prior to the start of the season.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) President, Ricky Skerritt, has congratulated the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force on their outstanding performance in winning the CG Insurance Super50 Cup at the Coolidge Cricket Ground.

The Red Force romped to victory in last Saturday’s final by 152 runs over the Guyana Jaguars. They were the only unbeaten team in the competition winning all seven matches giving skipper Kieron Pollard the honour of lifting the CG Insurance Super50 Sir Clive Lloyd Trophy.

In the wake of the impressive showing, CWI President Ricky Skerritt sent congratulatory messages to the team and the president of the TTCB President Azim Bassarath.

“This was a remarkable show of force by Trinidad from start to finish,” Skerritt said.

“It was a total team effort and Red Force found a match-winner at every stage. The other five franchise teams, including losing finalist Guyana Jaguars, all worked hard and showed good fighting qualities to varying degrees. But The Red Force was more dominant and consistent than ever, and simply unstoppable.” 

The CWI president in a direct message to the TTCB boss said: “Congrats on a great tournament and final victory for TTCB and your team. This incredible performance should emphasize the vital importance of planning and preparation. I hope it has also reminded us why cricket administrators should not simply throw away senior players while these players still have such good value to their team and country. Successful cricket teams employ a healthy balance of youth and experience, just like your team did in winning this tournament.”

President Skerritt also thanked the Government of Antigua and Barbuda, local health and medical officials, the tournament officials and operators from the Antigua & Barbuda Cricket Association, The Leeward Islands Cricket Board, and CWI and tournament sponsor CG Insurance who worked diligently to make the CG InsuranceSuper50 event such a huge success.

 

Cricket West Indies (CWI) has announced the signing of another major long-term broadcast rights agreement, this time with Sky New Zealand for the exclusive live coverage to all West Indies home matches played in the Caribbean.

The agreement covering both television and digital rights will mean that Sky New Zealand including its Sky Go mobile app and Sky Sport Now streaming app will offer live coverage and highlights of televised West Indies regional tournaments including the current and future editions of the CG Insurance Super50 Cup.

The agreement will feature next month’s visit of Sri Lanka for three CG Insurance T20Is, three CG Insurance ODIs and two Test matches. Later this year West Indies is expected to host South Africa, Australia and Pakistan. The postponed 2020 white ball series against New Zealand is likely to be rescheduled into 2022.

“CWI is pleased to announce that we will be doing business with another leading sports broadcaster, Sky New Zealand,” said CWI President Ricky Skerritt.

“We are continuing to ensure an expanding worldwide coverage of the exciting West Indies brand of international and regional cricket.”

Johnny Grave, CEO of CWI, welcomed the new agreement.

“This landmark long-term agreement with Sky New Zealand will ensure West Indies matches and New Zealand tours of the West Indies can be watched live on TV and mobile devices. This partnership delivers on our strategy to deliver the best of West Indies cricket to fans all over the world,” he said.

Sophie Moloney, CEO Sky New Zealand said fans love to see the West Indies play.

“The West Indies have always delivered some of the most exciting and explosive cricket, appreciated by fans around the world. New Zealand cricket lovers are no exception, and we look forward to continuing our fantastic relationship on behalf of our customers,” she said.

This is CWI’s fourth new broadcast rights agreement announced in recent weeks, following announcements with ESPN+ for the United States; BT Sport for the United Kingdom and Ireland; and SuperSport for sub-Saharan Africa including South Africa, Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Kenya.

 

An excited Michail Antonio has begun the process of applying for his Jamaican passport and is eager to represent the country of his parents’ birth, Jamaica Football Federation President Michael Ricketts told Sportsmax.TV this morning.

 The Reggae Boyz are set to face the United States in Austria in an international friendly on March 25, as the team ramps up preparations for the CONCACAF Gold Cup in July and the World Cup qualifiers later in the year.

JFF President Michael Ricketts made the announcement during a virtual press conference earlier today.

Due to the current conditions related to the global pandemic, the match will be conducted under the UEFA Return to Play Protocol and will be played without fans at the Stadion Wiener Neustadt in Wiener Neustadt.

Ricketts said the JFF will be attempting to have a camp leading up to the match in Australia. They are to apply to the government for an exemption to the ongoing Covid-19 protocols. If not, they will try to leave for Austria on March 20, so the team will be able to spend a few days preparing in that country.

The meeting between the two teams will be the first since they clashed in the semi-finals of the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup in Nashville, Tennessee on July 3, 2019. The USA won that encounter 3-1 courtesy of two goals from Christian Pulisic and another from Weston McKennie.

Shamar Nicholson netted for Jamaica.

Jamaica had won a previous encounter 1-0 when the teams met in a friendly on June 5, 2019, in Washington D.C.

Since 1988, the teams have met 26 times with the USA holding a 16-3-8 overall record.

Barbadian umpire Gregory Brathwaite is likely to stand in a Test between the West Indies and Sri Lanka later this month, media reports say.

Joella Lloyd and Carey McLeod shone brightly for the University at Tennessee at the SEC Championships at the Randal Tyson Indoor Track Centre in Arkansas on the weekend.

The West Indies have named 26 players to participate in a “Best v Best” four-day practice match in preparation for the upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka.

When Joshua Da Silva dedicated his 92-run match-winning knock in Bangladesh to Andrea Bharratt, Ashanti Riley and other Trinidadian women who have been victims of violence, he did so in part because a recent horrifying incident made the matter personal.

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