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.

South Africa tightened their grip on the second Test against West Indies as Rassie van der Dussen and Kagiso Rabada forged an unlikely sturdy batting alliance to get the tourists out of trouble.

At 73-7 in their second innings, South Africa's lead was 222, and there was the prospect of West Indies possibly chasing a target under 250 to win the game and tie the two-match series.

But Van der Dussen and Rabada combined to add 70 for the eighth wicket, with tail-ender Rabada racing to a Test-best 40, including a six off Kemar Roach. South Africa made it to 174 all out, setting a victory target of 324.

Van der Dussen finished unbeaten on 75, while in the course of the innings former West Indies captain Jason Holder became just the 15th man in Test history to reach 50 catches, 1,000 runs and 100 wickets in a career. He joined that club with a spectacular catch at second slip to see off Keshav Maharaj.

West Indies' batting fragility had been exposed by South Africa on Saturday, the second day of the match, when they were bowled out for 149, exactly half of the tourists' first-innings 298 total. It meant the hosts were on the back foot heading into day three, but they had South Africa rattled as the Proteas top order offered desperately little resistance.

The morning session was wiped out due to rain in St Lucia, but when play began at the Daren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, Roach was quick to make an impact, having openers Aiden Markram and Dean Elgar both caught cheaply at second slip by Jason Holder.

Keegan Petersen chopped Kyle Mayers' second ball of the innings into his stumps to fall for 18, and Kyle Verreynne, Quinton de Kock, Wiaan Mulder and Maharaj then contributed an aggregate 12 runs. 

Medium-pacer Mayers drew edges to get rid of Verreynne and Mulder and post figures of 3-19, before Van der Dussen and Rabada set about the rescue act.

They made batting look achievable, if not always easy, with Rabada the aggressor as he cracked five fours before lashing a ball of good length from Roach over long-on for six.

That saw him go past his Test-best of 34 not out, but his innings was soon over, Roach (4-52) taking his revenge as Rabada top-edged to Darren Bravo.

West Indies trundled to 15-0 in their second innings before fading light brought an end to play, still needing 309 more runs for victory.


Rabada revives flagging South Africa

Given West Indies' form with the bat in this short series, it was hard to imagine them successfully chasing anything above 200, but had they skittled their visitors for a double-figure total the energy behind such a performance might have inspired the home batsmen.

Rabada might not have fancied bowling at a team newly imbued with confidence, and he soon set about changing the complexion of the match, slapping away the ball to the boundary with gusto, particularly when he picked the moment to go deep off Roach.


Holder joins starry list

Holder became the latest man to reach the 50 catches, 1,000 runs and 100 wickets club, Cricinfo statistics showed.

The first to that all-round haul was England's Wilfred Rhodes, while the list includes the likes of luminaries Richie Benaud, Garfield Sobers, Ian Botham, Ben Stokes, Shane Warne, Anil Kumble and Jacques Kallis.

Jakob Glesnes scored a sensational stoppage-time equaliser as Philadelphia Union came from two goals down to secure a 2-2 draw with Atlanta United on Sunday. 

Anthony Fontana and Kacper Przybylko were denied by Brad Guzan as Philadelphia looked more likely to find the breakthrough in the first half of the Eastern Conference clash at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. 

It was Atlanta who opened the scoring, though, the unfortunate Przybylko heading into his own net from a corner shortly before the hour. 

Anton Walkes looked like he had secured three points for his side with a powerful header seven minutes from full-time, but the visitors had other ideas. 

Cory Burke pulled one back a minute later with a close-range finish before Glesnes sealed a share of the spoils with a stunning drive from 30-yards that crashed in off the underside of the crossbar.

President of the Jamaica Gymnastics Association has described Alana Walker’s historic bronze medal performance in women artistic gymnastics at the Junior Pan Am Gymnastics Championships in Guadalajara, Mexico, on Saturday as a major boost for the sport locally, one that could help the association generate desperately needed funding.

The 14-year-old Walker scored 49.850 to finish third in the All-Around – bars, beam, floor and vault - that was won by the USA’s Katelyn Jong with a score of 54.10.  Her compatriot Madray Johnson scored 53.550 for second place. It was the first time that Jamaica has ever won a medal in gymnastics at a major event.

By winning the bronze medal, Alana, who is coached by Ashley Brooke Umberger at North Stars Gymnastics in Boonton, New Jersey, automatically qualifies for the Junior Pan Am Championships in Colombia later this year.

Grant, who spoke to Sportsmax.TV from Panama said this victory provides the push needed for the sport to continue to grow locally.

“Every appearance at any international competition of this nature is always a boost for the sport, that is what we thrive to be a part of and that is why we are working on our programme to ensure that we can participate and compete effectively as a country, as young as our sport is locally,” Grant told Sportsmax.TV today.

“This major win for us is very important to the growth and development of our local sport because it shows that we have the ability and the capability to do well in gymnastics.

“This is also a major boost for our young gymnasts who are preparing for a youth competition in Colombia later this year, the Pan American Age-Group Hopes Tournament where the age-group levels are from age eight right up to age 14 and she will also be competing in the elite category as well.”

Notwithstanding these achievements, Grant said, the sport continues to face significant obstacles.

“Our setback is equipment, landing equipment, something that we have been campaigning for, for some time now and it’s very important because when someone like Alana comes to Jamaica and trains at the gym, the landing equipment is not good enough at this time because of the kind of skills that she or he has,” Grant said.

“And that is why we are working so hard because when our elite athletes come to Jamaica they are in awe of the gym but as it relates to the landing aspect, it’s just not up to the standard and it’s really dangerous for them to train their high-level skills.”

Grant thanked the Jamaica Olympic Association, which she said, did not hesitate to provide funding for the trip, despite the ‘last-minute request’.  She also thanked Alana’s parents, who “have always been there and have put out a lot of effort to ensure that she got the documentation in order for her to compete at the event.

She also expressed her gratitude to Marlene Hylton-Williams, who was instrumental in helping Alana getting the license that allowed her to be able to compete and Naomi Valenza, who allowed Alana’s late entry to be accepted into the tournament.

  

Cricket West Indies (CWI) has announced an eight-match white-ball series between the West Indies Women and Pakistan Women and a historic six-match white-ball series between the West Indies Women 'A' Team and Pakistan Women 'A' Team, with both series taking place in Antigua from June 30 to July 18. The Tour will see the return of Women’s international cricket to the Caribbean for the first time in 19 months due to the impact of COVID-19.

Pakistan will arrive in the Caribbean on June 23 ahead of the T20 International (T20I) series, which starts on June 30. The T20Is and T20 'A' Team matches will be played on the same day and at the same venues as “double-headers”. The teams will then switch gears as they head into a five-match CG Insurance One Day International (ODI) Series and three-match CG Insurance 'A' Team One-Day Series starting on July 7 and 10 respectively.

All matches will take place at the two ICC accredited grounds in Antigua, the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium and the Coolidge Cricket Ground. The ODI series will be vital preparation for both teams as they will face each other in the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifiers that are due to take place in Sri Lanka in December for one of the three remaining qualifying spots for the Cricket World Cup in New Zealand, 2022.

CWI’s investment in Women’s cricket is one of eight key initiatives within CWI’s strategic plan, designed to develop the next generation of women cricketers, increase participation in the sport and generate additional opportunities for competition at the highest level.

CWI’s Director of Cricket Jimmy Adams said: “This is a very significant home tour for our women and we are delighted that our counterparts at the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have worked with us to arrange these two series despite all the challenges we face with COVID-19. CWI continues to invest in our international Women’ program by hosting extended High-Performance camps between tours, two of which have already been held this year.

"In addition, the opportunity to host our first ever ‘A” Team Series is brilliant, as it means that our developing players will get the chance to compete against high-quality international opponents and push for selection to the senior team. The series is also an important part of our preparation for the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifiers in December. Our goal post this Pakistan series is to have our squad play against more international opposition and take part in our Regional Tournament before heading to the Qualifiers in Sri Lanka at the end of the year.”

The West Indies Women last played in the Caribbean in a bilateral series against India in November 2019, following which all home cricket was postponed in 2020 due to the impact of Covid-19. The West Indies Women last played on the Sandals West Indies Women’s Tour to England in September 2020 in a five-match T20I series.

 

 

New England Revolution and Seattle Sounders remained atop the table in their respective conferences with road wins Saturday. 

Thomas McNamara's goal in the 88th minute gave New England a 3-2 victory over New York City FC, just three minutes after Ismael Tajouri-Shradi had equalised for the home side.

Gustavo Bou and Jon Bell also found the net for the Revolution, who are five points clear of Orlando City in the Eastern Conference. 

Out west, goals four minutes on either side of half-time from Yeimar Gomez and Raul Ruidiaz lifted unbeaten Seattle to a 2-1 win at LA Galaxy. 

Orlando City got early goals from Tesho Akindele and Nani before Junior Urso netted in the 84th minute to defeat Toronto FC 3-2. 

Columbus Crew got a brace from Gyasi Zardes to beat Chicago Fire 2-0, while Colorado Rapids won by the same scoreline at FC Cincinnati as Diego Rubio and Jonathan Lewis found the scoresheet. 

Ola Kamara's 72nd-minute penalty was the difference for D.C. United in a 1-0 win over Inter Miami, who saw Gregore and Ryan Shawcross shown red cards. 

Portland Timbers defeated Sporting Kansas City 2-1 on first-half goals from Dairon Asprilla and Marvin Loria. 

Ricardo Pepi's 68th-minute equaliser gave FC Dallas a 1-1 draw with Minnesota United after Franco Fragapane had given the visitors a first-half lead, while Austin FC and San Jose Earthquakes finished in a 0-0 draw. 

Houston Dynamo earned a point on the road in a 1-1 draw against Los Angeles FC as Maximiliano Urruti matched Jose Cifuentes' second-half goal.

South Africa once again capitalised on West Indies' batting frailties to take charge of the second Test after Quinton de Kock fell just short of another century on day two.

De Kock made a classy century in a first Test that the Proteas won by an innings and 63 runs at the Daren Sammy National Cricket Stadium and was dismissed for 96 at the same venue on Saturday.

Kemar Roach took 3-45 and Kyle Mayers claimed 3-28 - his best Test bowling figures - as the tourists were bowled out for 298 on the second day in Gros Islet.

The Windies were bowled out for only 149 in reply, losing their last four wickets for only six runs in the space of three and a half overs.

Kagiso Rabada (2-24), Lungi Ngidi (2-27) and Keshav Maharaj (2-47) took two wickets apiece, while Wiaan Mulder took three wickets for only one run late on another miserable day for West Indies - who trail by 149 runs and are facing a 2-0 series defeat.

Roach had Mulder caught behind in his first over of the day and Maharaj fell in the same fashion to Jason Holder after putting on 36 for the seventh wicket with De Kock.

De Kock fell just shy of a hundred when he attempted to slash Mayers for four, Shai Hope taking a simple catch in the gully after the ball looped up off Joshua Da Silva's glove.

Rabada added an unbeaten 21 and then had Kraigg Brathwaite caught behind off the first ball of the Windies' reply and they were in deep trouble on 54-4 when Maharaj removed Mayers.

Jermaine Blackwood (49) and Hope (43) offered some resistance, but West Indies folded and look to be facing a whitewash on home soil in a series they started by only posting a pitiful 97 and 162 in the opening Test.

De Kock falls just short

Wicketkeeper batsman De Kock was named man of the match in the first Test for his magnificent 141.

The explosive left-hander fell agonisingly short of a second successive hundred on the same ground, but his brilliant innings could be decisive.

De Kock struck eight boundaries in another assured, high quality 162-ball knock, having arrived at the crease on day one with work to do at 124-4.

 

Late Mulder burst sums up Windies' day

The Windies were already on the ropes at 143-6 before Mulder did late damage.

All-rounder Mulder had birthday boy Da Silva caught behind in his first over, then saw the back of Roach and Jayden Seales in the space of three balls.

Blackwood top-edged spinner Maharaj to Dean Elgar, ending a sorry innings that lasted only 54 overs.

The Caribbean Premier League (CPL) will adjust the dates of this year’s competition based on a request from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

The Caribbean tournament was scheduled to take place between August 28, and end with the final, which was to be played on September 19.  However, the tournament has now been shifted by three days from August 25 to September 15.

The issue stems from the fact that the Indian Premier League (IPL) is set to resume on September 19.  The IPL began in early April but was called off on May 4 after an outbreak of COVID-19 within the competition’s bio-secure bubble.

With a packed international schedule, however, that decision to continue the IPL has not found favour with some countries that have players taking part in the competition.  England and Bangladesh players have been prohibited from taking part in the rescheduled competition.

Several West Indies players who will take part in the CPL are expected to return to the IPL.  The players are Chris Gayle and Nicholas Pooran (Punjab Kings) Andre Russell (Kolkata Knight Riders) Dwayne Bravo (Chennai Super Kings) Sunil Narine (Kolkata Knight Riders), Shimron Hetmyer - Delhi Capitals, and Fabian Allen - Punjab Kings. 

 

South Africa batsman Rassie van der Dussen clean bowled by Kemar Roach after letting a straight one go.

New York Red Bulls continued their excellent home form as they climbed up the Eastern Conference standings with a 2-0 win over Nashville in the MLS.

Goals from Brazilian forward Fabio and defender Kyle Duncan either side of half-time settled Friday's contest for the Red Bulls, who recorded their fourth consecutive home victory.

The result inflicted Nashville's first defeat of the season, also seeing them slide down to eighth in the east as the Red Bulls moved up to third – five points behind leaders New England Revolution.

Fabio, who joined the Red Bulls in February, netted his first goal for the club with a fine volley in the 37th minute after Patryk Klimala's crafty flick-on.

Ten minutes into the second half, Duncan added a second, collecting the ball at halfway, running forward and unleashing a low left-foot finish from outside the box.

Real Salt Lake scored twice in stoppage time to end their three-game run of draws courtesy of a 3-1 victory over Vancouver Whitecaps.

Erik Holt and Damir Kreilach struck at the death, helping Real Salt Lake move up to fifth spot in the Western Conference.

The late double blow also condemned the Whitecaps to their fourth successive defeat.

Kreilach opened the scoring in 43rd minute following Albert Rusnak's classy pass, but Vancouver levelled 10 minutes after half-time from an unmarked Brian White at the back post.

The game appeared destined for a draw before Holt headed home from a long Aaron Herrera throw into the box in the 92nd minute, with Kreilach nodding in another to seal the win three minutes later.

Dean Elgar and Quinton de Kock staged a South Africa fightback on the first day of the second Test as the Proteas attempt to secure a series victory over West Indies.

Having claimed an innings victory in the first Test of the two-match series, South Africa initially paid the price for losing the toss and being put into bat as the Windies made early inroads.

When Rassie van der Dussen (4) was bowled by an inswinger from Kemar Roach, South Africa were in a perilous position on 37-3.

But Elgar (77) staged a partnership of 87 with Kyle Verreynne (27) and then put on put 79 with Quinton de Kock, who finished unbeaten on 59 as South Africa reached stumps on 218-5 in Gros Islet.

Aiden Markram fell for a duck when he ill-advisedly chased a short and wide delivery from Shannon Gabriel in the second over of the day.

Keegan Petersen scored seven before he followed Markram back to the sheds as Jayden Seales tempted him into a drive and drew the edge, and Roach then clattered a delivery into Van der Dussen's off stump.

But, as the wickets tumbled around him, Elgar dug in, his half-century coming off 147 balls, and the arrival of De Kock helped up the run rate.

Elgar and De Kock put on 79 in 169 deliveries, the latter reaching his fifty after just 89 balls with an edge to the boundary at third man.

Yet he did so four deliveries after Kyle Mayers beat Elgar's bat to end the opener's stay, meaning De Kock will likely have to farm the strike on day two as the Windies get into the South Africa tail.

 

De Kock in form

After an unbeaten 141 in the first Test, De Kock now has 200 off just 273 deliveries in the series for a strike rate of 73.26. If South Africa finish the job and claim a 2-0 victory, De Kock will have an excellent case for Player of the Series.

Seales' strong start

Having taken 3-75 on debut in the first Test, 19-year-old Seales continues to impress in the Windies attack. He finished with figures of 1-28 from his 13 overs on day one, four of which were maidens. The right-arm quick has so far made a very promising start to his career.

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