West Indies Women lost their final ODI by six wickets to South Africa’s Women in Johannesburg on Sunday and with it the series 2-1.

Rohit Sharma enjoyed a brilliant start to life as India's ODI captain in a dominant six-wicket defeat of West Indies on Sunday.

Rohit was named skipper in December but only now, in the series opener in Ahmedabad, has he been able to lead his side due to a hamstring injury.

It was worth the wait, however, as India cruised to victory in their 1,000th ODI, aided by 60 runs from 51 balls from Rohit.

That knock, which included 10 fours and a six, set the tone for a straightforward chase after West Indies had been bowled out for 176.

Even that modest total required some heavy lifting from Jason Holder, whose 57 improved markedly on a woeful 7-79 start after the Windies skipper survived a scare.

Holder could have been the victim of a hat-trick ball from Yuzvendra Chahal (4-49), but his inside edge fell short of short leg.

Chahal's fellow spinner Washington Sundar – returning for his second ODI more than four years after his first – finished with 3-30 to help ensure a straightforward target for Rohit and Co.

An opening partnership of 84 with Ishan Kishan took any jeopardy out of the situation, as India comfortably made 178-4 in 28 overs to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

Holder reaches milestone in attempted rescue act...

A stunning spell from Chahal, whose four wickets took him to 103 in 60 ODIs (the fifth-fastest India bowler to 100), had West Indies in all sorts of trouble, but it also brought Holder out into the middle.

The captain led the way as the tourists belatedly showed some fight, making 57 to pass 2,000 ODI runs (2,011) and become the fifth West Indies player to reach that mark along with 100 wickets in this format. Holder has 141 ODI wickets but could not add to that tally.

But both innings belong to opposite number Rohit

There is little doubting Rohit's ability with the bat, and the opener's 60 took him past Sachin Tendulkar (1,573) onto 1,583 ODI runs against West Indies, with only Virat Kohli (now 2,243) scoring more for India.

The full-time captaincy role is a new one, however, and Rohit was just as impressive in that sense. Rewarded for putting his faith in the spinners, the skipper also had three successful reviews from three to account for Darren Bravo, Nicholas Pooran and Shamarh Brooks.

Rohit Sharma takes charge of India for a milestone ODI against West Indies on Sunday, saying the team "have to change" as his tenure as captain begins in earnest.

India have lost their last four ODIs, after slumping to a 3-0 series defeat to South Africa in January, with Rohit forced to miss the games against the Proteas due to a hamstring injury.

The opening batsman was appointed India's ODI skipper in December, taking over from Virat Kohli, but he has yet to feature for his country since then.

Now his chance to stamp a mark on the team has arrived, and Rohit said it would be "the same template" rather than anything radical that he brings to the leadership, but it is clear this is a flexible template.

A three-match ODI series awaits, with matches being played on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday, all at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, ahead of a three-game T20I tussle in Kolkata.

At the age of 34, Rohit is seen as a wise tactician, a safe pair of hands for the coming years, and he has no designs of being a radical skipper.

"We are a good team and have good players. It's just that on certain occasions, there will be situations presented in front of us where we have to change our game a little bit," he said.

"We have to change our game, there is no doubt about that. Adaptability and being open to different things at different points is what we have spoken of."

He explained: "We have played good ODI cricket over the course of a few years – more than a few years, actually.

"Suddenly a loss of a series doesn't mean there's a panic that we need to create. It's just the certain understandings, certain learnings that we need to take into our game.

"The South Africa series was a great learning [experience] for us as to what we didn't do collectively as a team."

India's 1,000th ODI arrives on Sunday. They will become the first men's team to reach that mark and have won 518 matches in the format to date (L431 T9 NR41) – only Australia have won more such games (581).

Rohit will be partnered at the top of the India order by Ishan Kishan, with COVID-19 positive tests sidelining both Shikhar Dhawan and Ruturaj Gaikwad, while Mayank Agarwal, called up to add another option, is in the quarantining stage as he joins the team bubble.


A tangled history

India have won seven of their last eight men's ODIs against West Indies; however, it has been a different story at the venue for this series. In fact, West Indies have won four of the five ODIs they have played against India at the Narendra Modi Stadium.

India's lone win came in November 2002. The latest meeting of the teams at this ground took place in 2011, so although there is a historical record of West Indies dominance, it would be a stretch to point to this as particularly relevant to this series... unless, of course, West Indies rout India, then wise heads can say they saw it coming.

That seems unlikely, though. India have won nine of their last 10 bilateral home men's ODI series (L1), including the last three. Their lone defeat in this period was a 3-2 loss to Australia in March 2019. The last time West Indies triumphed against India, in India, in a bilateral ODI series was a 4-3 success in November 2002.

Can Holder dazzle again for West Indies?

West Indies are fresh from beating England 3-2 at home in a T20I series, so their morale is high. Jason Holder's four wickets in four balls in the final over of the series decider stands him in good stead, and the former captain will have another achievement in his sights. 

Holder, who has 141 ODI wickets, needs 46 more runs with the bat to reach 2,000 in ODI cricket. It would make him the fifth man to register 2,000 runs and 100 wickets for West Indies in the format.

In any form of cricket, you can’t score runs off the deliveries you don’t face. This rings true whether it’s Test, ODI or T20 cricket.

For the West Indies in the One-Day International format, a main problem over the last few years has been an inability to bat for their full 50 overs.

Speaking on Saturday ahead of the start of the regional team’s limited-overs tour of India, Captain Kieron Pollard says the main focus will be to rectify that.

“For this series against India, I think one of the things we need to take forward is how we bat 50 overs. We haven’t batted 50 overs for the last couple series against Ireland and Australia so that’s something that we need to look at. As a team, we need to follow the template and follow the plans that are put out there so we can be successful,” said Pollard.

“It’s another opportunity for us to test our skills and see where we are, coming up against a formidable Indian team in Indian conditions. If my memory serves me correctly, I think the last time we were down here, we did pretty well. We didn’t win the series but we pushed them so now we’re looking to push that one step further,” he added.

His memory does serve him correctly as the last time the West Indies toured India in 2019, they suffered 2-1 series defeats in both the ODIs and T20Is.

Asked about where he is mentally going into this series, Pollard said: "I’m in a good space, you know. I didn’t tour Pakistan so I got some much-needed time off to refresh the mind and body. Coming back in the Ireland series was difficult and the England series was tough as well but these things happen.

"Once you have intentions of playing sports; emotions, mental space, physical capabilities, all these things are tested and, for me, I’ve played my entire career with a lot of things riding on it and I’ve come through it with a smile on my face and that’s how I’m going to finish my career as well.”

The West Indies will oppose India in three ODIs and three T20Is, with the first ODI taking place on Sunday.

 

 

 

 

 

Jamaica and West Ham United striker Michail Antonio has been nominated for the 2021 CONCACAF Men’s Player of the Year award.

The 2021 nominees have been selected based on performance statistics and voting by expert panels consisting of former professional men’s and women’s players and football broadcasters.

The other nominees are Mexico star Hirving Lozano (Napoli), the Canadian pair Jonathan David (Lille) and Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich) and Americans Weston McKennie (Juventus) and Christian Pulisic (Chelsea).

The winner will be determined in voting by national team head coaches and captains in the region, media and fans via www.concacaf.com.

Antonio has so far scored three goals in six games for the Reggae Boyz in World Cup Qualifying and nine goals for West Ham this season, including eight in the Premier League.

 

Richard Pandohie, the Chief Executive Officer of the Seprod Group of Companies, has been named patron of the 2022 Carifta Games.

 As the patron, Pandohie will be the primary spokesperson for the event and will use his traditional and social media platforms to promote the Games scheduled for Kingston from April 16 - 18.

An estimated 500 athletes from across the region are expected to compete at what will be the 49th staging of the event.

 Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee, Mikel Fennell, made the announcement at the weekly meeting on Friday.

 “It’s a happy day when on behalf of the LOC, we can welcome our patron. He is one of the brightest minds representing business in the corporate sector, having transformed the Seprod Group of Companies into one of the most dynamic companies in the region,” Fennell said. 

 “His association with the Games which seeks to convert the lives of young people in the same way as he has done with the manufacturing and distribution company makes him a natural fit for this role.”

 In accepting, Pandohie said he is aware of the magnitude of the appointment.

 “I understand fully the role I have to perform,” he said. “There is so much in Jamaica that comes with what sport (track and field) has to offer in the process of developing world-beaters.

 JAAA President Garth Gayle acknowledged Pandohie’s appointment saying that his contribution will be of “tremendous value, not just to the Games, but to track and field in Jamaica.” 

 

 

Joe Root will continue as England's Test captain at least for the upcoming tour of the West Indies, interim managing director Andrew Strauss has confirmed.

Root's position as skipper was thought to be under threat in the wake of England's crushing 4-0 Ashes series defeat to Australia.

That embarrassment proved the final straw for much-maligned head coach Chris Silverwood and managing director Ashley Giles, who were both dismissed this week.

There have been plenty of calls from fans and pundits alike for Root to also be removed from his position, though it would appear he is safe for the time being.

In his first news conference since temporarily taking over from Giles, Strauss said: "Having spoken to [Root], it is absolutely clear the extent of his commitment to taking this England cricket team forward. He has got incredible motivation and energy to do that.

"He is bruised, hugely disappointed by what went on in the Ashes – that goes without saying and many others are in the same boat – but he has the respect of the players, they all play for him and obviously he sets a magnificent example both on and off the field.

"I'm very happy to give him my support, and make sure that we've got the right sort of structure around him to take the pressure off him and allow him to do his job on the pitch."

Graham Thorpe, who operated as Silverwood's assistant, has not been so fortunate.

A statement confirmed the former England batsman "has left his position" with immediate effect.

Strauss said: "I'd like to thank Graham for his work over many years on the England coaching staff and wish him the best for the future."

England are due to begin their three-Test tour of West Indies on March 8.

Jamaica’s Sports Minister Olivia Grange has pledged JMD$10 million in support to the country’s Premier League clubs for the 2022 season.

South Africa have levelled their Women’s One-Day International series with the West Indies at 1-1 after securing a 96-run win in the third ODI at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg Thursday.

After winning the toss and batting first, South Africa put the West Indian bowlers to the sword to post their best total of the series, 299-8 off their 50 overs.

Opener Laura Wolvaardt dazzled with 117 off 123 balls including 11 fours and a six and captain Sune Luus contributed 56 off 93 balls.

Chloe Tryon provided some big hitting late in the innings with 42 from 24 balls including two fours and three sixes.

Shamilia Connell was the only bowler to have a good day for the West Indies with 4-54 off her 10 overs.

West Indies had to attempt their chase one batsman short as Chedean Nation, who got 35 in the second ODI, was unable to bat after picking up an injury in the field.

The batting was further handicapped when Captain Stafanie Taylor had to retire hurt for the second time in three games after being struck on the helmet by South Africa’s Nadine de Klerk early in the innings.

Eventually, despite a career-best 69 from 94 balls from Kycia Knight, the West Indies fell comfortably short of their target, finishing 203-9 off 43.5 overs.

Shabnim Ismail was the pick of the South African bowlers with 4-37 from 8.4 overs while Ayabonga Khaka took 2-27 off nine.

The decisive fourth ODI will take place on Sunday.

 

Left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein and allrounder Jason Holder have achieved career-best rankings in the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s T20I Player Rankings after helping the West Indies to a series-deciding 17-run victory in the fifth Betway T20 International against England at Kensington Oval last Sunday.

In the latest weekly update to the men’s rankings, which considers performances in the last three matches of the series, Hosein moved up 15 places to 18th position after a haul of 4-30 that helped him finish with six wickets in three matches.

“It’s not something I pay close attention to. However, when I play or train, it’s always about aiming to become the best,” Hosein said while speaking with CWI Media.

“It’s about having that mindset of wanting to improve and wanting to be at the top, so definitely it is an aspiration of mine to be the number one bowler in the world someday. Therefore, this move means a lot to me. It shows that my hard work is paying off and that I will be rewarded if I perform well. It’s definitely a good feeling.”

Holder was the star performer with the unique feat of grabbing four wickets in four balls in front of his home crowd. He finished with figures of 5-27 – the best in a T20I at the historic venue. This took his tally to nine wickets in those three matches, as he advanced three places to 23rd with a massive gain of 20 rating points. Overall, he took 15 wickets in the five matches, a new record for the most in a bilateral series, and was named the Player-of-the-Series.

Left-arm pacer Sheldon Cottrell (up 10 places to 31st) is another West Indies bowler to move up in Wednesday’s update while England spinner Moeen Ali (up three places to 32nd) and Liam Livingston (up 33 places to 68th) have also advanced.

In the ranking for batters, Nicholas Pooran is up eight places to 18th after scoring 113 runs in the three matches including a knock of 70, while opener Brandon King (up 25 places to 58th) and West Indies captain Kieron Pollard (up 15 places to 60th) have also advanced. King made a stylish 52 not out in the first match as West Indies won easily, while Pollard had a crucial 41 not out off 25 balls in the final match.

“This definitely means a lot to me, because I put a lot of work into my craft. I work day in and day out, so moving up the rankings is important. The ultimate goal is to be the best. I do pay attention to it (the rankings) because it is a good way to track your growth,” Pooran said.

Rovman Powell made the most of his return to the team with a brilliant 107 in the third matchmaking him the third West Indian to record a century in this format. He followed up with 35 not out off 17 balls in the last game.

Speaking at the end of the enthralling series, West Indies assistant coach Roddy Estwick said the improvement shown was extremely pleasing.

“After the last couple of months that we’ve had, it’s really pleasing that we’ve won a series. Improvement for me is actually more important than winning the series because you’ve got to focus on getting to the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 and doing a lot better than we did in the last one,” he said.

“The crowds coming back to the stadium is very important. The players were a lot freer this time around. The bubble was still there but a lot more relaxed and you could see the players responding to it so credit to the medical staff of the Cricket West Indies.

“Akeal Hosein was really brilliant for us when the chips were down along with Fabian Allen. They turned the tide, put England under pressure, continued to get wickets and that’s all we can ask, that people put their hands up when they need to and lead and fight and battle.”

Defending champions Craig Simpson and Aliana McMaster successfully defended their titles at the David East Memorial Sporting Clays shoot at Murphy Hill in St Ann on Sunday.

In cool and cloudy conditions, both shooters proved to be a class apart with Simpson, who shot a 92 to be the only shooter to score in the nineties while McMaster, scored 81 and was the only female to score in the eighties.

"It feels good. It took everything I had today,” said Simpson, who had a perfect start at Station Nine picking off all six birds.

“I really put out everything today and at the end of it, I am always happy to come out with a favourable score. I know what I am up against. I know the talent that's here (and) yes it can also have a negative effect in that you are trying not to be beaten and that's actually what comes with the territory.

 “Fortunately, I was able to zone that out and just keep what was in front of me. I can feel them right behind me but I am not looking back."

Simpson hit 24 consecutive birds before dropping one on Station 14.

He said that the weather had little effect on him during the competition.

"I enjoy this weather. Actually, it wasn't too cold for me. This was comfortable for me, I like it.”

‘A’-Class shooter Geoffrey Ziadie copped the runner-up spot after posting 89 in the morning session while three-time national shotgun champion Christian Sasso who tied with Simpson last year on 96, shot an 84.

Meanwhile, 14-year-old McMaster, who had a perfect start on Station 12  before missing two at the next station said she was proud of her final score.

"Honestly, I am very proud of my score and I knew it could have been higher but I am very proud of myself. I have never felt so proud of myself and accomplished, especially after a tournament,” she said. “Honestly, the course was really good and I enjoyed even the difficult targets and stations that I might have not shot as well at, I enjoyed knowing that I need to go practice this to come back again and shoot a better course."

For her, the conditions were a factor.

"I hate shooting in the cold and when it’s kind of overcast because it kind of messes with you when you are cold. It kind of distracts you away from what you are trying to do, which is shoot and get a good score but once you just embrace it and focus on what matters most then you should be fine and I was."

 

Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson-Herah is in line for another major global award following her nomination for the Sportswoman of the Year at this year’s Laureus Awards.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) has paid tribute to Easton McMorris, who passed away on Tuesday. The former Jamaica captain and West Indies batsman was 86.

 McMorris made his Test debut for West Indies against Pakistan at Queen's Park Oval in 1958 in a team alongside Sir Everton Weekes, Sir Garry Sobers and Sir Conrad Hunte. He played 13 Test matches and scored one century – 125 against India at Sabina Park in 1962.

“I had the privilege to engage with Mr McMorris on a few occasions over the years. I found him to be an encouraging and selfless gentleman. On behalf of CWI, I want to send condolences to his family and the entire cricket fraternity in Jamaica,” said CWI President Ricky Skerritt.

“Easton was a true stalwart of the game and contributed significantly at all levels, on and off the field. He was a leader at the Lucas Cricket Club, carrying on the legacy established by the great George Headley. After retirement from playing, he gave yeoman service as a board member of the Jamaica Cricket Association and manager of the Jamaica cricket team.”

McMorris was an outstanding captain for Jamaica, including winning the much-coveted Shell Shield, and he was a steady performer for West Indies in Test cricket. As a captain, McMorris led from the front. He was an astute thinker of the game, a shrewd tactician and was respected by his teammates and opponents. He was a very determined batsman, who valued his wicket. The region has lost a true and life-long servant of the game.

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The West Indies will head back to the silence of an empty stadium for part of its tour of India following the announcement that the upcoming One Day International series will be played behind closed doors.

In addition to the cricket, the West Indies most recently concluded series against England looked like a rollicking good time.  Vaccinated spectators were allowed to enter the Kensington Oval and added plenty to the atmosphere.

The team’s tour of India will begin with three One Day International’s at the Narendra Modi Stadium, scheduled between February 6 to 11.  The Gujarat Cricket Association, however, confirmed that due to the current situation with the Covid-19 pandemic the match will be played behind closed doors.

“We are all set to host West Indies Tour of India ODI Series 2022. 1st ODI on 6th of Feb will be a very special and historic match as India will be playing it’s 1000th ODI. The Indian team will be the first cricket team in the world to achieve this feat. @BCCI #INDvsWI #teamindia,” the GCA said via its official Twitter account.

“Considering the current situation, all the matches will be played behind the closed doors,” the state cricket body said in another tweet.

Following the ODI series, the teams will play a three-match T20 International series in Kolkata, for which the West Bengal government has allowed 75 percent crowd attendance.

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