Stafanie Taylor and Reneice Boyce will lead the West Indies Senior Women’s team and the ‘A’ team, respectively for the three CG Insurance T20Is against Pakistan Women from June 30 to July 3, with the West Indies Women’s ‘A’ Team also playing their historic, first-ever, three-match T20I Series on the same dates.

South Africa welcome back white-ball captain Temba Bavuma but will have to do without Dwaine Pretorius for the five-match T20I series against West Indies after the all-rounder tested positive for coronavirus.

Following their series-sealing Test win in St Lucia, South Africa's squad travelled to Grenada, where all five of the matches will be played at St George's over the course of eight days starting on Saturday.

The remaining players have returned negative COVID-19 tests, but Pretorius is ruled out of the compacted schedule under recovery and return to play protocols despite being asymptomatic.

Wiaan Mulder – who took a remarkable 3-1 in four overs in the first innings of the second Test - will take Pretorius' place in the travelling party, having been retained from the red ball squad, and will hope to add to his solitary T20I cap. Similarly, left-arm seamer Beuran Hendricks had been due to return home after the Tests but has stayed on.

Bavuma missed South Africa's dominant 2-0 Test series triumph, dislocating a finger after being initially laid low with a hip complaint, but the batsman is expected to be fit for the toss as his side look to snap a six-match winless run in the format.

West Indies begin an intensive period of preparation for the defence of the T20 World Cup in India later this year, with the South Africa series the first of three consecutive five-match rubbers.

Australia and Pakistan are also on the agenda for Kieron Pollard's side within the space of the next six weeks.

Star all-rounder Andre Russell is back in the fold alongside batsman Shimron Hetmyer, pace bowlers Sheldon Cottrell and Oshane Thomas and leg-spinner Hayden Walsh Jr.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

West Indies – Evin Lewis

Lewis will be charged with providing the fireworks at the top of the West Indies order – something he relishes. The powerful left-hander is 11 runs away from 1,000 in T20Is. He would be the sixth Windies player to reach the landmark and the second-fastest in terms of innings, with the series opener set to be his 35th. Chris Gayle reached four figures in his 34th match.

South Africa – Aiden Markram

Opener Markram began the Test series with a fifty but could only contribute nought and four to a resounding 158-run win last time out. Nevertheless, he is likely to be in a confident mood heading into a format he relishes. Markram has hit a boundary for every three deliveries faced in T20Is since the beginning of 2019 – the most frequent for any batter to have faced 50 balls or more from a Test-playing country.

KEY OPTA FACTS

- West Indies will be aiming for back-to-back multi-game bilateral men's T20I series victories for the first time since March 2013, following their 2-1 triumph over Sri Lanka in March.
- Ireland defeated West Indies by four runs in the only previous T20I at the National Cricket Stadium in Grenada.
- West Indies have scored 62 per cent of their runs from boundaries in T20Is since the beginning of 2019, the best rate of any Test-playing country and five percentage points higher than South Africa (57 per cent).
- South Africa have a bowling dot-ball percentage of 33 per cent in T20Is since the beginning of 2019, the lowest of any Test-playing country and two percentage points fewer than West Indies (35 per cent).
- South Africa have saved 58 runs when fielding in men's T20Is since the beginning of 2019. Only New Zealand (61) have prevented more in that time amongst Test-playing countries.

UWI FC has opted out of the Jamaica Premier League (JPL) ahead of the new season, Dean of the Faculty of Sports, Dr Akshai Mansingh, confirmed earlier this week.

With the competition scheduled to get underway this weekend, Mansingh pointed to a number of issues relating to the timing of the league and the availability of members of the UWI team.  The players are scholarship athletes and are currently on summer holidays.

 Mansingh also pointed out that the extended delay to the start of the league had severely impacted the university financially.  As part of its preparation, the team housed athletes on campus, allowing for small group training in order to build team chemistry and strengthen relationships with the coaches.

However, the administrator went on to explain that the university follows strict guidelines regarding the semester system, and unfortunately, they have now come to the end of the academic year.

Mansingh further clarified that the university’s objectives were different from the remaining teams in the Premier League.  He said that the priority of the University is to offer students the best opportunity to excel at sports and in so doing represent the UWI.  Members of the team must be university students.

Mansingh insisted that the university would prefer to play in the JPL but would not sacrifice the principles of being a university team in order to be one with just its name.  The UWI FC were promoted to the league in 2015 and have since done well for themselves.

Chairman of the Professional Football Jamaica Limited (PFJL), Chris Williams, said that sincere efforts were made to ensure that UWI had remained a part of the JPL.

 


 

 

Shericka Jackson set tongues a-wagging on Thursday night when she ran a new personal best to advance to Friday’s semi-final of the 100m at the Jamaica’s National Championships at the National Stadium in Kingston.

Yohan Blake, the 2011 World Champion and double Olympic silver medalist showed glimpses of the Beast, as he also advanced to the semi-finals of the men’s 100m with the fastest time.

Jackson, 26, a 400m specialist, clocked 10.91 and was the fastest among the women. That takes some doing considering that the preliminary round also featured four-time world champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who cruised to victory in her heat in 10.97.

Elaine Thompson-Herah, the 2016 double Olympic champion also looked to be in incredibly great shape as she won her heat in 10.96.  Briana Williams, 2018 World U20, was also a picture of good form in winning her heat in 11.00.

Also among the 16 women advancing to the semi-finals were Natasha Morrison, who was second to Jackson in 11.06 while Shian Hyde was a distant third in 11.50.

Sashalee Forbes advanced from Fraser-Pryce’s heat having run 11.13, close to her personal best of 11.10 while finishing second to the two-time Olympic 100m champion. Remona Burchell, the 2014 NCAA champion, showed the form that made her champion clocking 11.14, a brand new season-best and her fastest time since she ran 11.07 in 2017.

Natalliah Whyte (11.13) and Shockoria Wallace (11.22) advanced from Thompson-Herah’s heat while Kemba Nelson ran 11.05 and Kevona Davis (11.19) advanced from Williams’ heat.

Briana Williams, the national U20 record holder at 10.97, showed that she will not be outrun by anyone cruising to an 11.00 clocking to also advance from Heat 4 along with Kemba Nelson (11.05) and Kevona Davis (11.19).

 Ashanti Moore (11.15), Kashieka Cameron (11.28), Jodean Williams (11.45) and Schillonie Calvert-Powell (11.53) are also through to Friday’s semis.

Meanwhile, Blake looked like the sprinter of a decade ago when only Usain Bolt was faster when he eased to a 10.03 clocking to win his heat. Davonte Burnett was the second-fastest through to the semi-finals when he won his heat in 10.05.

Burnett, whose father is Jamaican, grew up in Massachusetts and attends the University of Southern California. He was fifth in the NCAA Division I finals in 10.19.

Julian Forte and Oblique Seville both looked good while crossing the line together in their heat in 10.08, similar to what happened in the opening heat with Tyquendo Tracey and Nigel Ellis, who were both credited with 10.13.

 Romario Williams, who clocked 10.27, also advanced from that heat.

Also advancing to Friday’s semi-finals were Senoj-jay Givans (10.20), Oshane Bailey (10.26), Andre Ewers (10.22), Bryan Levell (10.25), Jelani Walker (10.32), Michael Campbell (10.25), Ashanie Smith (10.25), Jevaughn Minzie (10.27) and Ramone Barnswell (10.32).

The Jamaica Olympic Association and Jamaica’s Sports Minister Olivia Grange praised Veronica Campbell-Brown for her outstanding career as Jamaica’s decorated athlete.

Track and field analyst and SportsMax.tv’s The Commentators podcast host Ricardo Chambers has picked 400m specialist Shericka Jackson to spring a surprise at the Jamaica Championships, in the women’s 100m, on Friday.

Unusually, the 2016 Olympics 400m bronze medallist was not only registered in her pet event but also in the 100m and 200m as well.

The 25-year sprinter looked in exceptional form as she clocked a personal best of 11.02 seconds at the JAAA Destiny Series earlier this month.  A solid time, but to compete with a talented women’s field that not only includes the likes of Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Elaine Thompson-Herah, but also junior record holder Briana Williams, and seasoned 100m sprinter and World Championship relay gold medalist Natasha Morrison will take an extraordinary effort. 

Morrison, who clocked her personal best of 10.87 earlier this season, has the fourth-fastest time in the world this year.  Double world Under-20 sprinter Briana Williams ran her personal best of 10.97 earlier this month, and rising NCAA star Kemba Walker, who has run 10.98, could also figure in the mix.  Chambers, however, believes Jackson could be in line to deliver something special.

“She was on the 2019 4x1 team and just based on what I have seen of her this year and her entire career, I actually think personally she runs the hundred and I think she will be top four,” Chambers said on this week’s episode.

“I think she will definitely finish top four.  I think it’s a matter of whether she is second third or fourth, but I expect her to be in the top four,” he added.

With the schedule of the National Championships, however, it could be difficult for the athlete to do all three events and Chambers believes it could be a mistake to not compete in the 400m, with a possible gold medal up for grabs this year at the Olympics.

“Based on the schedule, three rounds of the 100, two rounds of the 200m, and two rounds of the 400, I don’t think she can do all events and a few of them overlap.  So, let’s see what final decision she makes, I expect her to run the 100m and 200m and leave the 400m,” he said.

“It’s interesting though because if you look at what is happening in the women’s 100, if you are not going to run 10.7 it makes no sense, if you are not going to run 21 for the 200m, it makes no sense…Stephen Francis is an absolute genius, I hope he didn’t make a mistake this time but we will see how this one works out.”

Listen to the full episode below 

 

Reigning sprint queen Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has paid tribute to Veronica Campbell-Brown, who announced her retirement from the sport on Wednesday on the eve of her bid to qualify for a sixth Olympic Games.

The 39-year-old VCB, the only woman to win a medal in five consecutive Olympics, in a post on social media said the time had come to hang up her spikes.

“As I take off my spikes never to put them on again, this girl from Clarks Town, Trelawny, walks away happy and contented with a race well run,” VCB said in her post, indicating that a career as a mother, entrepreneur and motivational speaker awaits.

In response, Fraser-Pryce, who like VCB is a two-time Olympic champion, thanked the track and field icon, who has helped pave the way for so many other Jamaican women.

“Thanks for leading the way @VCampbellBrown!! Carrying the torch and continuing the legacy for Jamaica,” the Pocket Rocket tweeted Wednesday.

Fraser-Pryce was a member of Jamaica’s team to the 2007 World Championships in Osaka, Japan where she was a relay alternate. However, the following year, VCB effectively passed the torch to Fraser-Pryce when the latter booked her place on Jamaica’s team to the Beijing Olympics, by finishing second at the national championships in Kingston, clocking 10.82.

VCB was fourth in 10.88.

Since then, Frater Pryce has been Jamaica’s leading female sprinter winning Olympic 100m titles in 2008 and 2012 as well as four World titles in the 100m.

New England Revolution claimed their fifth consecutive MLS victory after staving off a late scare to win 3-2 over New York Red Bulls on Wednesday.

The Revolution raced to a three-goal lead but were forced to hold on in the final quarter of an hour after strikes from Patryk Klimala and Andres Reyes midweek.

Carles Gil provided the assist for all three Revolution goals, taking his season tally to an MLS-high 10, stabbing through to Canadian forward Tajon Buchanan for the 26th-minute opener.

Spanish midfielder Gil laid off for DeJuan Jones' 32nd-minute strike, before pumping the ball forward for Gustavo Bou to make it 3-0 six minutes into the second half before the Red Bulls rallied.

The win moved New England five points clear in the Eastern Conference, sitting ahead of Orlando City – who have a game in hand – and Philadelphia Union who are both on 18 points.

Jamiro Monteiro scored the only goal of the game as Philadelphia kept up their good form with a 1-0 victory over Columbus Crew.

Seattle Sounders remain unbeaten after Raul Ruidiaz's 88th-minute penalty clinched a 2-1 win against Real Salt Lake, extending their club-record unbeaten start to 10 matches.

Cristian Roldan had put Seattle ahead five minutes into the second half, reacting fastest to score from a rebound inside the box.

RSL levelled with 12 minutes to go, when they won a penalty which was converted by Slovakian Albert Rusnak.

Ruidiaz had the final say netting his eighth goal of the season with a cool Panenka finish from the spot for the Western Conference-leading Sounders.

New York City continued their rollercoaster run with a 1-0 triumph over Atlanta United via Ismael Tajouri's 69th-minute winner.

Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez got on the scoresheet before late drama as LA Galaxy won 2-1 at Vancouver Whitecaps.

Former Manchester United and Real Madrid forward Chicharito opened the scoring, sliding home in the 47th minute with Galaxy appearing destined to claim all three points before a 90th-minute equaliser from Janio Bikel.

There would be another late twist, when the Galaxy's Efrain Alvarez scored in the third minute of stoppage – his stunning strike finding the back of the net after hopeful ball into the box.

Mexico international Carlos Vela also netted along with providing an assist as Los Angeles FC won 2-0 over Dallas.

Elsewhere, Sporting Kansas City defeated Colorado Rapids 3-1, Portland Timbers and Houston Dynamo drew 2-2, Nashville outlasted Toronto 3-2 courtesy of a 92nd-minute winner, Cincinnati edged Chicago Fire 1-0, Minnesota United beat Austin 2-0, while 10-man Montreal and DC United played out a goalless stalemate.

West Indies coach Phil Simmons believes it may be too early to assess the full impact of a crushing defeat at the hands of South Africa in the recently concluded Test series.

Things looked to be on the up for the regional squad following solid performances away to Bangladesh and at home to Sri Lanka, which had even led to the team moving up the Test team rankings table.

However, the West Indies could hardly find a foothold in the series against the visiting South Africans.  They failed to reach the 200 runs in any innings of the two Test matches and were bowled out for 97 in the first innings of the Test match.

The coach will be hoping the performance is more of an aberration than an erosion of the progress made in recent months.

“It has been a setback.  You don’t know how big a setback until we do our remedying and come up against Pakistan,” Simmons told members of the media.

“At the same time, we keep making sure that sometimes you have two steps forward and one step back in progress.  So, it is a little setback we will know how big a setback with the Pakistan series.”

The West Indies will play against a visiting Pakistan in a two-Test series in August.

 

 

 

Daryl Dike and Benji Michel each netted a brace for Orlando City in a 5-0 rout of San Jose Earthquakes on Tuesday. 

The comfortable win moved the Lions clear of Philadelphia to sit alone in second place behind New England Revolution in Major League Soccer's Eastern Conference. 

Nani opened the scoring from the spot in the seventh minute and the Orlando native Michel followed with his first goal of the season after 16 minutes. 

The USA international Dike put the game out of reach, netting in the 31st and 49th minutes with Nani assisting on both goals. 

Dike was making his first start since returning to Orlando City from a loan to Barnsley, where the 21-year-old scored nine goals in 22 appearances in all competition for the Championship side after his move during the January transfer window. 

While Dike departed after 71 minutes, Michel played the entire match for the first time this season and closed the scoring in the 90th minute. 

Former West Indies captain Darren Sammy has been appointed as a member of the Cricket West Indies (CWI) board after recently being confirmed as an independent non-member director.

The 37-year-old Sammy led the regional team to the T20 World title in 2012 and 2016, memorably criticising the then administration after claiming the latter title.

Earlier this year, Sammy stepped aside from Caribbean Premier League (CPL) team St Lucia Zouks, moving behind the scenes to become a T20 cricket consultant and brand ambassador.  He is also the current head coach of Pakistan Super League (PSL) team Peshawar Zalmi.

According to Cricket West Indies (CWI), it is hoped the appointment of the former captain will provide a fresh and youthful perspective to some of the challenges faced by the board.

“I am delighted to welcome Daren Sammy as an independent, non-member Director whose role will be to ensure that all the right questions are being asked while contributing to the shaping of new ideas and solutions. Daren’s fairly recent experience as a two-time World Cup-winning captain will bring with him a much-needed modern-day cricketer’s perspective, which should add valuable insights to Board discussions and decision-making. His appointment is testament to our commitment to strengthen CWI’s governance, and to utilize expertise from across all stakeholder groups,” CWI president Ricky Skerritt said.

For his part, Sammy expressed delight with the opportunity to continue playing an active role in West Indies cricket.

“It is an honour to be appointed as a CWI Director; this is another great opportunity for me to give my best to West Indies cricket in a new way, off the field. All my local, regional, and international experiences have prepared me to make a significant ongoing impact in West Indies cricket. I am excited and thankful for the chance to serve and look forward to giving back to the sport and region that I love so much,” Sammy said.

Sammy is one of three appointed Independent Directors approved at last Thursday’s CWI Board of Directors’ meeting.  The appointees will serve for the next two years. He joins Trinidadian Attorney Mrs. Debra Coryat-Patton and Jamaican Surgeon and University Administrator, Dr. Akshai Mansingh, who were both re-appointed to serve a second term.

West Indies captain, Kraigg Brathwaite, has insisted the responsibility of leading the team has not had a negative impact on his batting performances in the recently concluded series against South Africa.

Brathwaite, who took over as captain of the team from Jason Holder in February, had his worst performance at the top of the order for some time, albeit against a rampant South Africa.

In two matches, the 28-year-old batsman could only manage a high score of 15 and in total scored 28 runs, which included an early duck in the first innings of the second match.  Prior to heading into the series, Brathwaite had averaged 33.43, including scores of 126 and 85 against Sri Lanka in the previous series.

The batsman has, however, rejected notions of added responsibility for the team impacting his performance at the crease.

“I’m not feeling any pressure.  I enjoy captaining.  I didn’t get any runs as the opening batsman, I just didn’t get any runs full stop,” Brathwaite told members of the media.

The player has targeted looking at a few technical issues and better mental preparation ahead of the next series.

“Opening the batting isn’t easy, but it’s a very crucial job because it basically sets up the game to make it easier for guys that follow and we didn’t do that and it put us on the backfoot for most of the time,” he added.

 

 

 

“We are sorry!”

Those were the words of Captain Kraigg Brathwaite after the West Indies humiliating 158-run defeat to South Africa inside four days at the Darren Sammy Cricket Stadium in St Lucia on Monday.

The West Indies, resuming from their overnight score of 15 without loss in pursuit of 324, were bundled out for 165 thanks mainly to the bowling of left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj, who took 5-36, including a hat-trick that saw the home side slide from 104-3 to 104-6.

Kagiso Rabada was also among the wickets, taking 3-44 as the West Indies batting one man short, fell for 165.

Kieran Powell, who scored 51, Kyle Mayers 34 and Kemar Roach and Jermaine Blackwood, who scored 27 and 25, respectively got into double figures.

Brathwaite, who made scores of 0 and 6, laid the blame squarely at the feet of the batsmen, himself included, for the poor performance of the team who did not score more than 170 runs in any of their four innings. The batting was especially embarrassing coming off much better performances against Bangladesh in Bangladesh and the home series against Sri Lanka earlier this year.

In the first Test, the West Indies had scores of 97 and 162 and followed those weak scores with 149 and 165 in the second Test capitulation. Confronted with that reality in the post-match media conference, the disappointed captain could not hide from the truth.

“As batsmen, we know we went wrong. We didn’t bat well,” said Brathwaite, who revealed that they had planned to bat better and having consistent partnerships during the series against the South African bowling attack but said they have to come back better for the next series.

“We are very sorry. Obviously, the fans look forward to the West Indies doing well and we were disappointing,” he said.

“Sometimes it’s not about winning but you still want to see the fight and we didn’t show the fans that fight. Myself included, we have to come back better and make the fans proud.”

 

 

 

 

 

Keshav Maharaj claimed a sensational hat-trick as South Africa sealed a 2-0 Test series whitewash of West Indies with a 158-run victory on day four.

The Proteas secured their first series victory away from home in the longest format since 2017 on Monday, bowling the Windies out for 165 at the Daren Sammy National Cricket Stadium.

Set 324 to salvage a 1-1 draw, West Indies collapsed on the penultimate day in St. Lucia following a battling half-century from Kieran Powell (51).

Kagiso Rabada took 3-44 and Maharaj (5-36) became only the second South African to take a Test hat-trick in a sensational over just before lunch, with the tourists retaining the Sir Vivian Richards Trophy in the afternoon session.

Rabada reduced the Windies to 26-2 early in the day by removing Kraigg Brathwaite and Shai Hope, but Powell and Kyle Mayers showed defiance.

They put on 64 for the third wicket before Mayers (34) top-edged to Dean Elgar at second slip attempting to hook the rapid Rabada.

Spinner Maharaj then took centre stage, dismissing Powell, Jason Holder and Joshua Da Silva in the penultimate over before lunch to join the Test hat-trick club.

Jermaine Blackwood (25) and Kemar Roach (27) added 40 for the seventh wicket, but Maharaj finished off the Windies with his fifth wicket by getting Jayden Seales caught at deep square leg, with Roston Chase unable to bat due to a quad injury.

 

MAHARAJ MAGIC

Geoff Griffin was the only South African to take a hat-trick for South Africa against England at Lord's in 1960 before Maharaj worked his magic in the penultimate over of the morning session.

He had Powell taken by Anrich Nortje in the deep on the leg side and snared Holder before Da Silva was taken by Wiaan Mulder at leg slip, sparking jubilant scenes.

The left-arm tweaker put the icing on the cake by helping himself to a seventh five-wicket Test haul after lunch.

 

POWELL A PLUS FOR WINDIES

Opener Powell was recalled for this series after being left out in the international wilderness since 2018.

He made only 14 in the second innings of the first Test after being selected as a concussion substitute for Nkrumah Bonner and fell for only five in his first knock in this match.

Powell, 31, showed the sort of defiance West Indies have been lacking in a 116-ball knock, but there was an all-too familiar collapse after he departed.

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