Fedrick Dacres, the 2019 World Championship discus silver medalist said he is not satisfied but thankful following his season-best throw that earned him victory at the 2021 Tucson Elite Classic in Arizona on Thursday.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) will host the West Indies Professional Cricketers Draft for the 2021/2022 cricket season next Tuesday via video call.

The territorial board franchises will be convening to draft the final two players for their squads to play in the forthcoming season, which will hopefully include the CG Insurance Super50 Cup and the West Indies Championship. 

The draft will be conducted over two rounds, where each franchise must pick a player in each round. Each franchise will pick two players to add to their pre-selected squad of thirteen (13) protected players, to make a full squad of fifteen (15) players. The franchises will be selecting their two picks from a pool of nearly 100 players. 

For the 2021-22 season, each franchise will be allocated a pick number according to their final league position and performance of the franchise in the last West Indies Championship, held in 2019-20 and won by the Barbados Pride (see table below for sequence of draft picks).  Each franchise will have 90 seconds in each round to make a pick. Where a selection is not made within this time period, the franchise will miss their turn and will have to wait until all the other franchises have made their selection in that round, before making its selection.

Once the franchises have made their full picks to confirm their fifteen retained players, a total of 90 cricketers across the six franchises will be retained on full-time regional contracts for the next twelve months. 

CWI’s Cricket Operations Manager, Roland Holder said, “The draft, now in its eighth (8th) year, demonstrates that CWI remains committed to our professional cricket structure and system, even in these times of uncertainty from the COVID-19 pandemic. The ninety (90) regional players who will be awarded regional franchise contracts, will be able to train and practice professionally as CWI hopes for a return to normalcy in regional cricket later this year.”

Each choice by each Franchise selection committee will be monitored and recorded by the draft overseer (s), as notified to the Franchises by CWI.

 

West Indies white-ball captain Kieron Pollard says he wants to see Shimron Hetmyer competing in all three formats for the men in maroon, but believes the Guyanese batsman has to work harder if he wants to regain a Cricket West Indies (CWI) central contract.

The St Kitts & Nevis Patriots have announced their retentions for the 2021 Hero Caribbean Premier League which takes place in St Kitts & Nevis from August 28 to September 19.

The Patriots have brought in two players from other franchises. They have signed Dwayne Bravo from Trinbago Knight Riders in a trade deal that saw Denesh Ramdin go the other way. They have also signed Sherfane Rutherford from Guyana Amazon Warriors.

In addition to these two signings, they have retained Evin Lewis, Fabian Allen, Sheldon Cottrell, Jon Russ Jaggesar and Rayad Emrit.

Exciting young prospects Joshua da Silva and Dominic Drakes round out the retentions.

The Patriots have eight spots to fill to complete their squad and these will be announced in the coming weeks.

“The St Kitts and Nevis Franchise extends a warm welcome to the new players joining us this year as well as to our retained core team for yet another exciting season of the Hero CPL. This year makes it extra special with us playing at our home – Warner Park. I would like to thank all our team players, support staff and management as well as our global fan base for their continued love and support. I look forward to an amazing season in 2021,” said Patriots owner Mahesh Ramani.

The retained players are Dwayne Bravo, Evin Lewis, Fabian Allen, Sherfane Rutherford, Sheldon Cottrell, Rayad Emrit.

After a 14-month hiatus, football resumes in the land of wood and water with the Jamaica Premier League is set to kick off spectator free on Saturday, June 26, with the final scheduled for Sunday, September 26, 2021.

Chairman of the Professional Footballers Association of Jamaica, Chris Williams, made the announcement earlier today during a Zoom press conference and which was attended by the main stakeholders including Jamaica Football Federation President Michael Ricketts, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports Olivia Grange as well representatives of team sponsors, presenting sponsors Digicel and broadcast partners Sportsmax Ltd.

Williams revealed that a total of 66 matches are expected to be played during the preliminary round of the competition where each of the 12 teams will play each other once. Matches will be played in double-headers on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays. 

At the end of the round, the teams will be separated into two tiers. The bottom six teams will play each other in a round-robin format for points that will determine rank.

Meanwhile, the top two teams will automatically advance to the semi-finals while the remaining four will play for the remaining two spots.

The semi-finals will take over two legs with the team with the better aggregate advancing to the finals.

No team will face relegation this season.

Four venues have been approved for matches with the National Stadium and Sabina Park being the preferred venues. Should there be a scheduling conflict, Williams explained, Stadium East and the Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence at the University of the West Indies, Mona campus will be used to stage matches.

In relation to player and personnel safety, players and support staff will be tested for the Covid-19 virus in the days leading up to matches.

Minister Grange revealed that there is a plan is to have all players vaccinated.

Further announcements are planned to unveil team sponsors and uniforms as well as the fixture schedule.

 

Former West Indies fast bowler turned analyst, Richard ‘Prof’ Edwards, believes veteran batsman Chris Gayle could still add plenty of value as an x-factor, with the team set to continue preparations for the upcoming T20 World Cup.

The big-hitting left-handed was included in the 18-man squad for a flurry of upcoming T20 matches, in the Caribbean, which will include series against South Africa, Australia, and Pakistan.

The 41-year-old batsman’s inclusion, along with the inclusion of a few other senior players, has continued to divide opinion.  While some believe the players are solid and experienced additions to any potential World Cup squad, there are others who believe the focus should be on developing younger players.

Edwards, however, believes a player like Gayle's ability to change a game means he should very much remain a consideration, despite other potential drawbacks.

 “You do want fellows to be very mobile.  The trouble that we all know with Chris Gayle is that if you hit the ball to him, he will catch it, but he’s not as fast these days, he slowed down quite a lot,” Edwards told the Mason and Guest program.

“He is still such a dangerous player with the bat, though, if he gets away and hits an 80 off 28, off 30 balls, you’re in with a chance to win the match,” he added.

“If you put him at first slip, short extra cover, short mid-wicket and say well ‘they may get one of two past him, but we’ll still be in a position to win because he has made 80 runs off 30 balls.”

Strange as it may sound, Tyra Gittens is both happy and disappointed with her record-breaking performance in the heptathlon at the SEC Championships at Bryan College Station in Texas last weekend.

The 22-year-old Trinidadian who attends Texas A&M University scored a personal best 6418 points to win the two-day event. Her score which was just two points off the Olympic qualifying standard of 6420 points is also a championship-leading effort as well as a meet and facility record. 

“I am proud of where I am. I am proud of my accomplishments. I hope the world sees that I have so much potential and I have so much more room to grow. This is just the beginning,” she said.

Along the way, Gittens achieved several personal milestones, including a massive personal lifetime best in the long jump of 6.96, which qualifies her for the Olympics this summer and a personal best and a national record 1.95m for the high jump and a centimetre shy of the Olympic standard.

It was also the first time in history that a woman had jumped 1.95m in the high jump and beyond 6.95m in the long jump in the same heptathlon. Gittens now holds national records for the high jump outdoors and indoors, the long jump outdoors and indoors, the pentathlon and the heptathlon.

However, she wasn’t satisfied and revealed her true ambitions, believing she is capable of so much more.

“I don’t like to talk about my goals publicly because then people take it as ‘Oh, she’s trying to talk smack’ but I want people to hold me accountable when I say this. I want to be the ultimate heptathlete and that means breaking Jackie Joyner’s record and that’s what I’m going for.

 “This is my first time saying that publicly but I have never been at a point in my life when I’ve felt so confident saying that, and after this weekend, even though my heptathlon wasn’t what I wanted, my mentality and how I pushed through one of the hardest weekends but one of the best weekends of my life, I am ready and I know, I really think I can get this world record.”

 It is that lofty goal and it is the accompanying mentality that has her experiencing mixed feelings about her record-breaking weekend. Joyner-Kersee’s heptathlon record, which has stood since 1988, is 7291 points and it explains why Gittens wasn’t so happy with her performance last weekend because she understands that if she is to break that record, she has to be better at all her disciplines, not just two or three.

 “The long jump and the high jump were the highlights of my meet. I rarely surprise myself but I definitely surprised myself in the long jump,” she the Texas A&M senior said.

 “The high jump wasn’t necessarily a surprise. I knew this is where I wanted to be around this time. In the long jump, I didn’t expect to reach 6.90 so soon. I know I could do it, I knew I could be up there but I was thinking later on in my career, like years later.”

However, as good as she was in the long and high jumps, Gitten concedes that her performance in several other disciplines did not meet her expectations and it was a bitter pill to swallow.

 “The shot put definitely hurt me, just because of how inconsistent it was. It was embarrassing for me to come off such a high in the high jump, not to be able to gather myself correctly for the shot put. I thought I did but I still had a lot of adrenalin and excitement from the high jump and it never allowed me to focus on the shot put and it just didn’t click,” she said of her 658-point 11.96m throw that was well short of her 13.58m throw that earned her 807 points in a heptathlon on May 8.

 She was equally devastated by how poor she was in the 800m that she completed in 2:31.97 and which she said came as a shock.

 “The 800 was a surprise. I did not expect to run that slow. I started the race and normally I have someone yelling my 100m splits but this time there were two events going on so my coach wasn’t able to so he put some people to say the times. I didn’t hear them and so I was kind of running blindly and it wasn’t until the last 150 when I saw the finish-line time board and I saw that I was way behind my pace,” she said.

“I honestly started tearing up running down the straightaway because I knew I didn’t set myself up in the other events like the shot put and the hurdles, even though my long jump and high jump were great, the Hep was not very consistent for me.” 

Such is the mentality of the effervescent Trinidadian that she has chosen to focus on the silver lining rather than dwell on the dark clouds.

 “That being said, everything happens for a reason. I was very impressed with myself that my hep was a pretty bad one. The things that saved me, the high jump, my 200 and long jump because everything else was not where I wanted to be at all,” she confessed, “the hurdles, shot put, javelin even though it was PB in the Hep for me, I see myself a little farther along than 40 metres. The 800 definitely broke my heart.”

She was devastated to come so close to the Olympic standard. 

“Being only two points away from the standard is definitely tough to swallow because it was just two points and I knew what I needed to do but at the end of the day, it is what it is. It happened. I came out with an Olympic standard and literally kissing the other standards,” she said. 

“I am on pace. I knew my open events would come before my Hep because it is a lot harder to put together than get one jump. I am not worried. I am not stressing. I am actually above my pace for what I want to do and the next Hep is going to be bigger and better because I am going to come in ready to be more consistent and ready to stay focused. 

“I want to shine. I want to be the ultimate heptathlete, meaning I want to be consistently good, amazing in some (events) and consistently good in others. I would love to be a Jackie Joyner and be amazing at all seven but that’s not my reality, so you have to take advantage of what you’re really good at and then you have to work and stay focused on what you’re not so gifted in.”

 Gittens also finished second in the individual high jump, clearing 1.89m. She was also fourth in the long jump with a 6.56m leap. For her efforts, she was named United States Track & Field Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) National Athlete of the Week.

 

The blockbuster women’s 100m clash scheduled for this Sunday, at the Müller Grand Prix Diamond League meet, in Gateshead, will feature three of the six fastest women ever to run over the distance.

In what many predict could be a preview to the Olympic Games later this summer, Jamaican speed queens Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Elaine Thompson-Herah will finally face red-hot American Sha'Carri Richardson, the early-season favourite, for the first time this year.

Historically, as far as the speed record book is concerned, the early season clash could be one of mammoth proportions.  The trio are not only three of the six fastest women alive, but also the only ones still active on the all-time speed list.

Fraser-Pryce holds the fourth-fastest time ever recorded over the distance at 10.70, set in Kingston, Jamaica, in 2012.  Her compatriot, Thompson-Herah, matched that identical time, at the same venue, in 2016 and is joint-fourth on the list.  Richardson joined the exclusive list last month with her clocking of 10.72, recorded in Florida, making her the sixth-fastest of all time.

The times are only bettered by Marion Jones (10.65), Carmelita Jeter (10.64), and Florence Griffith-Joyner (10.49), a trio of American sprinters who are no longer active.

Richardson has of course set the season marker with her burst of speed last month, but Thompson-Herah is not far behind having registered 10.78 in Clermont.

The trio are, however, not the only big names in the field with Great Britain’s fastest woman Dina Asher-Smith and Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare also set to face the starter.  Another Jamaican, who will also line up in the blocks, Natasha Morrison, is also in fine form this season having recorded the third-fastest time, 10.87, last month in Florida.

In addition to just the times, there will be plenty of pedigree on display, between them Fraser-Pryce and Thompson-Herah have claimed 7 of the last 9 major games 100m Olympics and World Championship titles.  The only exceptions to that dominance being the 2011 World Championships, which was won by Jeter, and the 2017 World Championships, which was won by another American Torrie Bowie.

Also scheduled to take part in the meet are world long jump champion Tajay Gayle, world triple jump silver medallist Shanieka Ricketts, and world shot put silver medallist Danniel Thomas-Dodd.

Jamaican Olympian Neville Myton died today after a prolonged battle was cancer. He was 74.

Australian cricketers, David Warner, and Pat Cummins could be given rest ahead of the West Indies series, as tensions continue to simmer over the latest ball-tampering comments.

The pair were both named as part of a 23- preliminary squad for the July series, which will consist of five T20Is and three ODIs, but recent reports are suggesting that Cricket Australia is contemplating resting the players, in order to give them more time with their families as fissions within the squad have appeared.

The issue came back into the public spotlight after recent comments were made by bowler Collin Bancroft who hinted that the team’s bowlers were aware of the plan to use sandpaper on the ball during the Test against South Africa.

The 2018 incident had led to bans for then Australia captain Steve Smith and vice-captain Warner and Bancroft.  The team’s bowlers Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc, and Nathan Lyon all issued a statement denying any involvement in the issue but another investigation from Cricket Australia now seems likely.

Several players were left discontented after Warner’s manager, James Erskine recently came out openly to say that the Sandpaper Gate was handled badly and eventually the truth will come out.

 

There will be changes to way in which Cricket West Indies awards retainer contracts following backlash to the recent announcements of players who received contracts for the coming year.

Thirteen members of the West Indies men red-ball training squad and management have received vaccinations against COVID-19 in St. Lucia, where they are preparing for the upcoming ICC World Test Championship Test matches against South Africa.

The veteran trio of Chris Gayle, Fidel Edwards, and Dwayne Bravo have all been included in a provisional 18-man squad released by Cricket West Indies, ahead of a flurry of upcoming international matches.

As part of preparations for the upcoming World T20 championships the Windies, the defending champions, will be involved in three back-to-back five-match T20 International (T20I) series against South Africa, Australia, and Pakistan.

The squad, which will be captained by Kieron Pollard, will also see the return of the likes of Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer, Andre Russell, Oshane Thomas, and Hayden Walsh Jr.  The players missed out on being selected for the team’s previous T20 international series against Sri Lanka, which was won 2-1 by the regional team.

Windies coach Phil Simmons has praised the squad as a combination of experience and youth.

“These upcoming T20Is are crucial in terms of our preparation for the ICC T20 World Cup. We have assembled a very solid squad — with experienced world-class match-winners and some exciting young talented players, ready to explode onto the global stage and do great things for West Indies cricket,” Simmons said.

 “We are at that point where we have identified those who we will look to be the core of the squad to defend our World Cup title, so we want to make sure the upcoming matches create that environment — the way we train, the way we plan, the way we execute and the chemistry within the group. We won five years ago, so the next few weeks and months will be major steppingstones on the road towards defending our title and being World Champions for the third time.”

 

FULL SQUAD SELECTED:

  1. Kieron Pollard – Captain
  2. Nicholas Pooran – Vice-Captain
  3. Fabian Allen
  4. Dwayne Bravo
  5. Sheldon Cottrell
  6. Fidel Edwards
  7. Andre Fletcher
  8. Chris Gayle
  9. Shimron Hetmyer
  10. Jason Holder
  11. Akeal Hosein
  12. Evin Lewis
  13. Obed McCoy
  14. Andre Russell
  15. Lendl Simmons
  16. Kevin Sinclair
  17. Oshane Thomas
  18. Hayden Walsh Jr

Former South Africa batsman AB de Villiers will not be making a return to international cricket.

De Villiers has not been named in any of the Proteas' squads to face West Indies and Ireland next month.

After talks about a potential comeback ahead of the World Twenty20 concluded, no agreement was reached and the 37-year-old's retirement is now final.

"AB de Villiers finalises [his] international retirement," read a statement from Cricket South Africa on Tuesday.

"Discussions with AB de Villiers have concluded with the batsman deciding once and for all that his retirement will remain final."

De Villiers had also been linked with a comeback before the 2019 Cricket World Cup, but ended up not being selected after making a last-gasp offer to play in the tournament.

The veteran last played for South Africa in a Test match against Australia back in March 2018.

He played in 114 Tests for the Proteas and scored 8,765 runs at an average of 50.66, with 22 centuries as well as taking 222 catches, 101 of those as a wicketkeeper.

De Villiers was even more impressive in the ODI format, averaging 53.50 and racking up 25 hundreds in 228 appearances, while he also played in 78 T20Is.

South Africa will play two Tests and five T20Is against West Indies before three ODIs and three T20Is against Ireland.

Six uncapped players were named in the Test squad: Prenelan Subrayen, Lizaad Williams, Kyle Verreynne, Keegan Petersen, Sarel Erwee and Marco Jansen.

Dean Elgar will lead the 19-man squad for the first time as permanent Test skipper after replacing Quinton de Kock.

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