West Indies Women’s head coach Courtney Walsh plans to focus on improving the mental and technical skills of the 30 players currently encamped in Antigua for the next month in preparation for international matches including the World Cup qualifiers later this year.

According to the former West Indies fast bowler turned coach, the upskilling of the women will be a continuation of what began when the women were called to camp in January this year.

Over the past few years, West Indies Women, world champions in 2016, has fallen down the pecking order in world cricket, struggling to make high scores when players like Deandra Dottin, Stafanie Taylor or Hayley Matthews fail to make big scores.

This was evident when the West Indies were swept 5-0 during a five T20 series against England in September 2020, when the side failed to achieve a score of 140 runs in any of the matches. England, meanwhile, scored over 140 runs in all but one of the matches.

Walsh believes that for that trend to end the team cannot rely on just two or three players.

 “Consistency can’t be just three players. If we are playing six or seven batters, not everybody is to come off all the time but we need to have four or five batters to be consistently producing. It can’t be the same three all the time,” said Walsh, who also indicated that there are other areas in which they have to improve as well.

“They also have to be aware of the game situation, so we are going to combine both as we are going to have the batters being a lot more consistent and not just depend on two or three players.”

Walsh revealed that there are signs that the camp in January had already begun to yield positive indicators of the change required.

“We started some drills in the last camp so it will be a continuation of that. We saw where we were getting a little more consistency. We saw where we able to bat 50 overs because in the first game that didn’t happen but in the last two games that happened,” Walsh said referring to three intra-squad practice matches played while in the camp that month.

“I also think it was the mindset as well so those areas we are going to be working on, with the mental skills we are going to stay there (at the crease) and we want them to be technically sound as well to be able to deliver.”

 

 

 

 

 

Nani produced a moment of magic to help Orlando City beat FC Cincinnati 3-0 in MLS, while San Jose Earthquakes and Dallas recorded crushing victories.

Tesho Akindele scored the fastest goal in club history as Orlando got off to a quick start at home to Jaap Stam's Cincinnati on Saturday.

Akindele found the back of the net after just 33 seconds, surpassing the Orlando record set by Chris Mueller (62 seconds) in April 2018.

Nani doubled the lead in stunning fashion in the 19th minute – the former Manchester United star leaving Yuya Kubo on the floor after cutting to his right foot and then his left as he curled the ball past Przemyslaw Tyton.

After Nani hit the post minutes later and saw his shot saved by Cincinnati goalkeeper Tyton just past the hour mark, Junior Urso sealed the victory with 10 minutes remaining.

Orlando – who remain unbeaten through three games – are third in the Eastern Conference, behind leaders New England Revolution and second-placed New York City.

The Revolution edged Atlanta United 2-1 and New York City defeated reigning Supporters' Shield winners Philadelphia Union 2-0.

The Earthquakes and Dallas, meanwhile, both won 4-1 against DC United and Portland Timbers respectively.

Jackson Yueill's brace and a pair of assists from Cade Cowell fuelled the Earthquakes, who are top of the Western Conference on goal difference but level on points with Real Salt Lake, LA Galaxy and Austin FC.

Dallas showed no mercy at home to the Timbers after Andres Ricaurte and Jader Obrian scored in the opening 13 minutes.

Real Salt Lake came from behind to top Sporting Kansas City 3-1 courtesy of Rubio Rubin's second-half double, while MLS newcomers Austin prevailed 1-0 against Minnesota United.

Elsewhere, New York Red Bulls were 2-0 winners over Chicago Fire, defending champions Columbus Crew were held to a goalless draw by Montreal Impact and Houston Dynamo and Los Angeles FC played out a 1-1 draw.

West Indies Women’s team coach, Courtney Walsh, admits the team could be pressed for time to be fully ready to compete at the upcoming World Cup qualifiers, particularly with a lack of international and regional fixtures.

The qualifiers are expected to take place in Sri Lanka, in December of this year, giving the team just around 7 months to prepare.  The presence of the coronavirus and protocols put in place to stop its transmission, however, has meant that regional competition for female cricketers has been put on hold.

It is a similar case for international fixtures, with the team having not played a series since November of last year when the Windies faced off against England.

“Not being able to play enough cricket, you would not say it is enough time but we have to try to understand the situation and work with it as best as we can,” Walsh told members from media from Antigua, where the team was gathered for a training camp.

“In an ideal world we would be able to tour and play as much cricket as we could then yes,” he added.

“It is a tickling situation, but it is something that is understandable, so we have to do what we can and get in as much as we can.  The back of the year might be a little busier coming closer to that time.  I am still hoping that we can have a couple of tours and play and have the regionals and stuff.  Once the girls are playing, I much prefer that because it gives me a better chance of seeing who is in form, seeing who is improving, who is not improving.  With them not being able to play that’s my biggest challenge.”

Former West Indies batsman Suruj Ragoonath insists that he would leave both veteran players Chris Gayle and Sunil Narine out of a squad for the T20 World Cup, but very for different reasons.

With the World Cup just a few months away, the debate has raged on regarding the most effective composition of the squad.  Experienced players like Gayle, Narine, and Dwayne Bravo, who all have world titles under their belts, remain eligible for selection.  Some have called for the selection panel to look past the players.

Recently, the selection of veteran players Fidel Edwards and Gayle, for the West Indies series against Sri Lanka, set off vigorous debate around the region.  While some endorsed the decision the Cricket West Indies (CWI) selection panel’s decision to add experience to the World Cup squad.  Some argued that Gayle being 41 and Edwards 39, the CWI should be invested in selecting promising youth players.

 In the meantime, top spinner Narine is only 32 but has not appeared for the West Indies since 2019 and prior to that had not played consistently.

“I don’t think that Sunil Narine is interested in going to World Cup, to be honest, given the challenges he had,” Ragoonath told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“Dwayne Bravo is showing that he is still capable and Chris Gayle for me is a big question mark.  For the first time, I’ve seen Chris Gayle actually dive around in a match.  The last game they played (Punjab King’s XI).  He looks a little fitter, but at the same time, I am not inclined to taking Chris Gayle to a World Cup at this stage,” he added.

Gayle struggled to make an impact against Sri Lanka in March, scoring just 29 runs in three matches.  Since the start of this season’s IPL, the batsman has been solid, if not spectacular for Punjab Kings XI after scoring 165 runs from seven matches.

“Of the three, I would love to have Sunil Narine on my side, but psychologically Sunil is not half the player he used to be and so Bravo is the only one I would give serious consideration to.”

Dwayne Bravo has been traded by the Trinbago Knight Riders to St Kitts and Nevis Patriots. The 37-year-old Trinidadian requested the trade that will see compatriot Denesh Ramdin move the other way prior to the start of the new season.

Legendary former West Indies captain, Clive Lloyd, has called for a redoubling of efforts to get regional bowlers to achieve peak fitness levels as part of realizing ambitions to consistently challenge the world’s best.

In assessing the difference between the fitness levels of some of the current crop of bowlers and those who dominated oppositions in his time, Lloyd admitted that the players of yesteryear had the advantage of much heavier involvement in English County Cricket.

“Joel Garner was a big fellow, but he was terribly fit.  Walsh was a big fellow, tall fellow, but he was fit.  Those guys were accustomed to playing in County cricket, where you would have to bowl four spells a day and travel the next day and start again.  They got accustomed to that, our guys are not accustomed to that,” Lloyd told the Mason and Guest radio program.

He, however, insists there should be no excuses when it comes to athletes being in the very best physical shape for cricket.

“We should have our young men fit, we have the climate and we have the coaches.  You should have fitness guys there who are strong, mentally, like Dennis Waite.  When he says run four laps, you have to run four laps,” he added.

“We don’t do enough of that.  I think that is why our players are not bowling as many overs as they should.  You ask Malcolm Marshal at 4:30 in the afternoon ‘Malcolm I’d like four overs from you’.  He would say ‘no skip, I will give you six’.  That’s the sort of thing you need, Walsh wanting to bowl, Crofty you can’t get the ball out of his hands.  We have to get that kind of hunger again.”

 

 

 

  

 

 

Former West Indies spinner and Jamaica captain, Nehemiah Perry, has called on delegates of his home country to put the interest of the sport first and not pursue what he described as a ‘separate agenda’ than wanting the best for the game.

Although an election date is yet to set, Jamaica Cricket Association president (JCA) Wilford Billy Heaven is expected to run unopposed for a fourth two-year team when the annual general meeting is held. 

He has successfully held off two challenges, winning by only four votes on the last occasion, but many in the country’s local cricketing circles believe he would still emerge victorious if confronted by any opposition in the 2021 election.

Perry, however, sees the continued re-election of the official and his slate, unchallenged, or being re-elected by big margins as incongruous when juxtaposed against the current state of the game on the island.

“I think we definitely need change.  I cannot understand why it is that we have not won anything over the years, we have been last, second to last, we’ve only won one trophy out of 30-odd, and at the end of the day the administration is winning by a landslide,” Perry told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“Something is wrong if people keep voting for persons who are not delivering.  I don’t believe you should be there because at the end of the day we need positive results.  We need the team to be doing well, we need to produce a lot of Test cricketers and a lot of first-class cricketers,” he added.

“I’m not only saying Billy Heaven should be removed but that the delegates who continue to vote for a particular board need to examine themselves.  At the end of the day, if cricket is what you are really there for and you are not getting the results then why is it that you continue to put those persons to lead.  You don’t have the cricket at heart, somehow you have some sort of agenda.”  

 

 

Reggae Girlz striker Khadijah Shaw could be making a move to England next season based on reports that she is to sign with Manchester City.


Former Jamaica national team head coach, Carl Brown, has called for there to be a focus on the team's preparation in order to fully realise the potential of a talented squad.
The Reggae Boyz have not made an appearance at the FIFA World Cup since making their debut at the 1998 tournament in France. With a heavy influx of talented English-born players expected to bolster the team for the upcoming campaign, however, many believe it will represent the team's best opportunity in several years to make a return to the tournament.


In addition, the Jamaicans, currently ranked third in the Concacaf region, have retained the core of a talented Jamaica-born contingent that has appeared at back-to-back Concacaf Gold Cup finals in recent years.

While admitting that the country could indeed boast a formidable unit, Brown was quick to point out that current coach of the team Theodore Whitmore had to be afforded adequate opportunity to prepare the squad.

The Jamaica national team will take part in the Concacaf Gold Cup in July, before beginning the qualifiers in September.
“The English season finishes in May, so June is going to be a very, very important month for the coaching staff in terms of preparing the players and getting the right team for the Gold Cup,” Brown told FootballGps.
“The Gold Cup offers at least three quality practice games before the World Cup qualifiers and if we do well in getting to the semifinals and final then we have at least five games. I don’t think we can ask for anything better leading up to the qualifiers,” he added.
“So, I am very optimistic and just hope that we can offer the sort of preparation that is going to be needed because we have to understand that we are still faced with the Mexicos and United States' and the Canada's and the Costa Rica's and the Panamanians. We cannot just take it for granted that we have a good crop of players, probably the best we have seen since 1998 but it’s about preparation. If we don’t properly prepare for the World Cup qualifiers we really could find ourselves struggling.”

The Cricket West Indies (CWI) Selection Panel has named 30 players for an estimated month-long West Indies Women’s high-performance camp to be held in Antigua starting on May 2.

This will be the second such month-long camp in 2021 assembled under the guidance of Head Coach Courtney Walsh and his support team.

With the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifiers now rescheduled for December, Coach Walsh has devised a programme to maximize team preparations ahead of international cricket and the qualifiers later in the year.

“The purpose of this camp is to work on consistency and game awareness. The last camp was more observational, and we got a pretty good idea of where the ladies are at. There are 30 players coming in and a few of them are coming in nursing injuries, so the coaching staff and medical team are ready to work with all of them,” he said.

“We are going to use this camp to see as much of the players as possible. I am most excited to see the younger ones coming into the camp because we’re trying to build the pool of players available. So, I think it’ll be a great opportunity for these youngsters and the other new players to grasp the chance before them.”

Among the 30 players called up for the camp are eight (8) uncapped players including teenagers Zaida James from St. Lucia and Jannillea Glasgow from St. Vincent and the Grenadines. James is a left-arm medium-pacer while Glasgow is a right-arm medium pacer.

The other uncapped players are Rashada Williams, Caneisha Isaac, Shanika Bruce, Mandy Mangru and Rachel Vincent. Making a return to the camp is left-handed wicket-keeper/batter Kycia Knight.

CWI’s Lead Selector for Women’s cricket, Ann Browne-John was excited by the bigger pool of players for this camp.

 “It is very important to have the West Indies players back in a training camp as the coaches can continue to help them hone their skills as we prepare for our next series. Most of the top international teams have now restarted playing and it is critical for the WI team to prepare as we anticipate more international cricket coming up this summer,” she said while indicating that the camp will also focus on specific areas for development.

“In an effort to continue to unearth talent, eight players have been included who were not in the January camp. It serves as an opportunity for the coaches and selectors to look at some of the young up and coming players. Due to the pandemic, a regional tournament has not been held yet, so the players haven’t had the opportunity to impress the selectors in competitive matches.

“Heavy emphasis has been placed on batters including first-timers Rachel Vincent, an opening batter from Trinidad and Tobago, and Mandy Mangru, a young player from Guyana who has been impressive in the Under-19 tournament. The camp also includes two young teenage medium pacers, Zaida James and Jannillea Glasgow.”

Cricket West Indies (CWI) has been working closely with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Sport in Antigua & Barbuda to orchestrate logistics and agree on the safety protocols for the camp after the successful hosting of the first Women’s high-performance camp, the CG Insurance Super50 Cup and the West Indies Men’s International Home Series against Sri Lanka. All players and support staff were tested with negative COVID-19 results before their arrival in Antigua. The players and support staff will train and live in a bio-secure bubble for the duration of the camp.

Full squad: Aaliyah Alleyne, Reniece Boyce, Shanika Bruce, Shemaine Campbelle, Shamilia Connell, Britney Cooper, Deandra Dottin, Cherry Ann Fraser, Shabika Gajnabi, Jannillea Glasgow, Sheneta Grimmond, Shawnisha Hector, Chinelle Henry, Caneisha Isaac, Zaida James, Japhina Joseph, Qiana Joseph, Kycia Knight, Kyshona Knight, Mandy Mangru, Hayley Matthews, Anisa Mohammed, Chedean Nation, Karishma Ramharack, Kaysia Schultz, Shakera Selman, Steffi Soogrim, Stafanie Taylor, Rachel Vincent and Rashada Williams.

The team-management unit comprises Courtney Walsh - Head Coach; Sheena Gooding - Team Manager; Ryan Austin - Assistant Coach; Corey Collymore - Assistant Coach; Steve Liburd - Assistant Coach; Samantha Lynch - Assistant Coach; Robert Samuels - Assistant Coach; Neil Barry – Physiotherapist; Shayne Cooper - Strength & Conditioning

Southampton star Nathan Redmond is yet to make up his mind regarding his international future, after recently receiving confirmed interest for his services from the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF).

Earlier reports had suggested that the 27-year former England U-21 representative was among a number of players that had decided to switch their allegiances to Jamaica after being approached by the JFF.

 The player had, however, later rejected those claims, insisted he was yet to be contacted by the JFF regarding the option of joining the country’s national program.

"I’ve not been contacted. I’ve heard some stories and seen a lot of stuff in the media, but no one from the international set-up in Jamaica has contacted me,” Redmond had told UK publication The Daily Echo.

 "So, I’m seeing it exactly the same way as everybody else is."

A recent update, however, indicates that the player was contacted three weeks ago, and he is now carefully considering the decision.  Redmond had also previously indicated that the decision would include his family.

"I’ve not really spoken to my family about some of that stuff as of yet,” he had said.

"Obviously, it’s been difficult to see people during lockdown. So, I’ve not really spoken to the family about that,” he added.

"That’s a decision I guess for all of them to make with me, because I’m quite close with my family and whatever I do football-wise impacts them and our lives."

A number of players, including West Ham star forward Michail Antonio and Swansea’s Jamal Lowe, have already accepted the invitation to join the Jamaica national team, who will begin competing in the final round of the FIFA World Cup qualifiers later this year.

The University of Minnesota’s Abigail Schaaffe emerged from last weekend’s Fighting Illini Big 10 Relays with two gold medals but armed with the knowledge that she has to work on being more consistent before the conference championships in mid-May.

 Jamaica gymnast Danusia Francis believes the option of allowing full-length bodysuits to be worn in competition will empower the sport’s female athletes.

Last week, German gymnast Sarah Voss grabbed headlines after wearing a full-body suit at the European Gymnastic Championships.  She was later joined in wearing the type of outfit at the event by two teammates.  Voss described a part of the motive as taking a stand against ‘sexualisation in gymnastics’ an issue that has come to the fore in recent years following the conviction of former USA national team doctor, Larry Nassar, who was sentenced to 175 years in prison for several counts of sexual abuse two years ago.

Typically, female athletes compete in leotards, however, the international gymnastics federation (FIG) rules state that competitors are allowed to wear a "one-piece leotard with full-length legs - hip to ankle", provided it is of elegant design.

Francis admitted that she did not know the uniforms were allowed but was pleased with the choice that is offered.

 "I think it's amazing," Francis told BBC.

"I feel empowered that we've got this option where we can choose to cover up," she added.

Francis also believes the ability of female athletes to speak out on issues that affect them is in part due to people staying in the sport for longer.

"I think as people are staying the sport longer, obviously they're not young girls and they've got voices, they are women, so to see them making a statement, and on an international stage... I think it was great to see," Francis said.

The upcoming edition of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) set to be held entirely on the island of St Kitts & Nevis and bowls off on August 28.

Due to the threat posed by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the entire 2020 edition of the tournament was held in Trinidad and Tobago, under strict COVID-19 protocols.

In several respects, the tournament was a success with the event successfully being delivered to a record audience of over 500 million.  The Trinbago Knightriders were eventually crowned champions on their own patch.

St Kitts and Nevis’ Warner Park has been the scene of some of the most iconic matches in Hero CPL history.  Fans were treated to Chris Gayle’s brilliant hundred against the Jamaica Tallawahs in 2019 and Andre Russell’s even more explosive century against the Trinbago Knight Riders in 2016. There have also been some amazing matches, not least the game that went to a Super Over finish between St Kitts & Nevis Patriots and the Knight Riders in 2019.

This year’s tournament takes on extra significance with it taking place in the lead up to the ICC T20 World Cup and both West Indies and overseas players will be using the opportunity to push for selection for their international teams.

 “We are delighted to be able to announce that we will be having the Hero CPL in St Kitts & Nevis in 2021 and we would like to thank those involved in welcoming the tournament to this wonderful country,” Pete Russell, Hero CPL’s COO, said.

“As was demonstrated during the 2020 tournament the CPL is a massive boost for the host country with US$51.5million delivered in sponsorship value for Trinidad & Tobago. We are really looking forward to giving St Kitts & Nevis the exposure they deserve.”

 

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