Test players Darren Bravo and John Campbell have been included in a 14-member West Indies “A” squad for the three-day, Tour Match against India, starting Saturday at the Coolidge Cricket Ground, Antigua.

West Indies legend Sir Vivian Richards has admitted to feeling let down by the Ricky Skerritt-led Cricket West Indies (CWI), following its controversial decision to dismiss the coaching staff ahead of the ICC World Cup.

Less than a month after taking the reins of the association from the four-term president Dave Cameron, the decision was taken to dismiss interim coach Richard Pybus and the entire selection panel.

 The decision was particularly debatable with the ICC World Cup just a few weeks away and the interim-coach and team having put on an outstanding performance against England, the world’s number one team, and eventual World Cup winners only a month prior.

Despite being a huge supporter of the Skerritt slate ahead of it being elected, Richards strongly believed it was a major misstep.

“To be fair I did put my everything behind my support for the individual who is at the helm, but I wasn’t happy with the so-called coming into that particular position and just the way in which subtle little changes were made to get certain individuals in place for them to be managers and coaches of the tour to the World Cup.  I didn’t like the start and I made my point, Richards said.

“I didn’t like the start. I am hoping that the finish is much better than the start.”

West Indies legend Sir Vivian Richards insists that star batsman Chris Gayle could be allowed to retire on his own terms provided he continues to perform at a high level.

The 39-year-old Windies star was thought to have retired following the third One Day International (ODI) against India earlier this week.  Ahead of the match, talk in some quarters surrounded the batsman continued presence in the team, particularly after a poor performance at the ICC World Cup and a combined total of 15 in the two prior games.

The big left-hander, however, gave a stirring response to his critics with a smashing 72 off just 41 deliveries.  In addition, Gayle insisted that he had not announced his retirement following the series, creating a conundrum for the selectors in upcoming ODI series. West Indies bowling legend Curtly Ambrose had suggested that Gayle should step aside to allow the team to focus on new talent, with the next World Cup in mind.  Richards, however, believes Gayle could still be a valuable contributor to the Windies squad.

“Over the years Chris has been a brilliant batsman.  The only worrying thing I have would have with Chris now is if we cannot see the performances that we did in Port of Spain,” Richards said in an exclusive SportsMax Zone interview.  

“We can agree that one particular thing is that he is not as mobile in the field as when he was younger but if he can put in those types of performances, that in my opinion would suggest that we can still have him around to add that type of experience,” he added.

“I love to see class, I appreciate class and Chris brings this.  If he cannot perform like he did on a consistent basis well then we can start thinking other things like whether he should be there or not.”    

Brian Lara and Ramnaresh Sarwan, two of the best West Indies batsmen of the last two decades, will join the team’s preparation ahead of the upcoming MyTeam11 Test Series against India.

Windies captain Jason Holder has bemoaned the team’s inability to take crucial chances following yet another loss to India in the second One Day International (ODI) at Queen’s Park Oval.

India took a 2-0 lead, on the back of a brilliant 114 from Virat Kohli, after securing a 6-wickets win via the DLS method on Tuesday.  Anchored by 72 from talisman Chris Gayle the Windies put up a competitive 240 and got off to a good start after dismissing Rohit Sharma with 25 runs on the board.

  Kohli, batting on 11, was surprised by a Keemo Paul with a delivery that went past him as he tried to make room to play on the leg side and caught an inside edge, he was, however, dropped behind by Shai Hope.

"We have got to hold our chances and we didn't hold them today. [Kohli] made us pay for it," Holder said.

"Credit to him he batted really well and he won the game for India in the end.  They got off to a really good start and so did we. I think it was a really, really good wicket for cricket. Conditions got a little tougher in the afternoon after the rain fell. The ball was a bit wet and the outfield was obviously very wet, too. It didn't work for us today."

Lennox Graham, coach of Jamaican sprint hurdler Danielle Williams, said he was happy with the decision of the JAAA to consider the sprint hurdler for selection to the Jamaican team to compete at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar starting in late September.

Former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum has added the head coach role at the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to his stewardship of the Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR).

Last week it was announced that McCullum, in addition to taking up head coaching duties with the Hero Caribbean Premier League defending champions, TKR, he would be an assistant with parent organization, KKR in the Indian Premier League.

McCullum’s appointments had come just weeks after the former opener announced his retirement from all forms of the game.

According to KKR’s chief executive, Venky Mysore, McCullum is an ideal replacement for Jacques Kallis, former South Africa all-rounder.

"Brendon has been an integral part of the Knight Riders family for a long time," Mysore said.

"His leadership qualities, honesty, positive and aggressive style, combined with his natural ability to bring the best out of the teams he has been a part of makes him ideally suited to lead both KKR and TKR as a head coach."

McCullum believes both organisations have the kind of pedigree that makes it an honour to take on the roles.

"It's a great honour to take on this responsibility," McCullum said. "The Knight Rider franchises in IPL and CPL have become iconic and have set the standard in franchise cricket. We have fantastic squads in both KKR and TKR and I, along with the support staff will be looking to build on the success both franchises have enjoyed," said the aggressive opener.

McCullum ended his international career a few years ago, having scored 6,453 Test runs at an average of 38.64 from 101 matches. He scored 12 centuries and 31 half centuries along the way.

In ODIs, McCullum averaged 30.41, scoring 6,083 runs from 260 games. He would score five centuries and 32 half centuries in that format.

His aggressive style meant he was well suited to the T20 game and in T20 Internationals for New Zealand, he scored 2,140 runs from 71 matches at an average of 35.66. He scored two centuries and had 13 half centuries.

In franchise cricket, McCullum was a veteran of some 370 games, scoring 9,922 runs at an average of 29.97. In those almost 400 games, he scored seven centuries and 55 half centuries.

The St Lucia Zouks will replace the St Lucia Stars for the 2019 CPL season following the recent termination of the participation agreement with the company operating the Stars franchise.

Chris Gayle's ODI career may not be over as the West Indies opener stated he "didn't announce any retirement" after blasting a quickfire half-century in the defeat to India on Wednesday.

Gayle raised his helmet on his bat and shook hands with India players as he left the field in the final match of the series in Port of Spain, where he smashed 72 from only 41 balls.

The 39-year-old was given a standing ovation following what was thought to be his last international innings in the 50-over format.

Yet, in a brief clip posted on the Windies' Twitter account, Gayle later declared: "I didn't announce any retirement". He then added that he would be around "until further notice".

Windies captain Jason Holder confirmed there had been no word on Gayle quitting ODIs.

"To my knowledge, he hasn't retired," said the skipper, whose opposite number Virat Kohli saw the tourists home with a second successive century.

"But today was an example of his career. The knock he played was outstanding. He got us off to a really good start.

"He was entertaining, he showed presence, and that's just what people have come to expect of Chris Gayle over the years."

On Sunday, Gayle broke Brian Lara's record for both ODI appearances and runs in the second match of a series which India won 2-0.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored a brace to help LA Galaxy end their losing run in MLS, while Real Salt Lake claimed an impressive win on Wednesday.

Ibrahimovic struck twice in the second half to see Galaxy beat Dallas 2-0 at Dignity Health Sports Park in California.

The superstar striker side-footed in a Jorgen Skjelvik cross to put the hosts ahead in the 68th minute.

Ibrahimovic sealed Galaxy's win from the penalty spot, moving onto 18 goals in 20 MLS games this season.

Galaxy surged into third in the Western Conference after ending a three-match losing streak in MLS, while Dallas are eighth.

Real Salt Lake are fourth after a 3-0 win over Seattle Sounders at Rio Tinto Stadium.

A deflected effort from Sam Johnson put RSL ahead before Albert Rusnak drilled in a second from the edge of the area with 19 minutes remaining.

Corey Baird sealed RSL's win as they extended their unbeaten league run to six games and left the Sounders in fifth in the table.

Elsewhere, Darwin Quintero's goal saw Minnesota United edge Colorado Rapids 1-0 and Orlando City overcame Sporting Kansas City 1-0.

In the day's final game, Portland Timbers recorded a 3-2 win over a 10-man Chicago Fire.

Frank de Boer celebrated his first piece of silverware as Atlanta United head coach after the MLS champions overcame America 3-2 in the Campeones Cup.

Former Inter and Crystal Palace boss De Boer replaced Gerardo Martino, who guided Atlanta to their first MLS title in 2018 before taking charge of Mexico.

De Boer claimed his first title with Atlanta on Wednesday thanks to a second-half comeback at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

In the annual North American clash – pitting the MLS champions against the Liga MX winners after kicking off last year – Atlanta made a dream start courtesy of Emerson Hyndman midweek.

Hyndman broke the deadlock after just five minutes, but Mexican giants America hit back via Renato Ibarra eight minutes later in Atlanta.

Ibarra's shot went in off the crossbar, though Atlanta had a golden chance to restore their lead, however Josef Martinez's 41st-minute penalty was kept out by Oscar Jimenez.

Martinez was made to pay for his miss as America's Roger Martinez put the visitors ahead approaching the hour mark.

America's lead was short-lived, however, after Jeff Larentowicz's wonder strike levelled proceedings two minutes later and Martinez made amends for his penalty miss – the Atlanta star converting a 65th-minute spot-kick.

 

 

Sportsmax.TV sources have indicated that 2017 World 110m hurdles champion Omar McLeod has joined the Tumbleweed camp of elite coach Rana Reider in Jacksonville, Florida.

Chris Gayle produced a typically dazzling display of big hitting but for his early fireworks were overshadowed by Virat Kohli, who hit an unbeaten century to help India clinch the ODI series in Port of Spain.

Three days after he overtook Brian Lara to become West Indies' record run-scorer in the format, Gayle flayed India's bowlers for a 41-ball 72, an innings that contained eight fours and five sixes.

His onslaught came to a tame end when he hit Khaleel Ahmed to Kohli at mid off, the left-hander – wearing a shirt with the number 301 on the back to mark his number of appearances - propping his helmet on the top of the handle before holding his bat up to the crowd as he returned to the pavilion.

West Indies finished on 240-7 after rain reduced their innings to 35 overs, with the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method adjusting India's target would be 255, a score they reached with six wickets and 15 balls to spare thanks to Kohli's unbeaten 114.

The touring captain's knock – plus 65 from 41 deliveries from Shreyas Iyer – means India win the three-match series 2-0 after the opener was wiped out by bad weather.

Gayle's innings in potentially his final ODI was the West Indies' key contribution, though opening partner Evin Lewis also made a handy 43 in a stand of 115, while Nicholas Pooran later cleared the ropes three times in a breezy 30 from 16 balls.

West Indies then had India in trouble at 92-3 in the 13th over of their reply, Fabian Allen taking two wickets in three balls as he removed Shikhar Dhawan and Rishabh Pant.

Kohli and Iyer led the recovery after the double setback, their 120-run partnership transforming the match as the latter matched Gayle's of five sixes before he was caught by Jason Holder off Kemar Roach.

Kedar Jadhav contributed 19 not out but it was Kohli who finished the West Indies off, hitting back-to-back boundaries off Carlos Brathwaite as he followed up his 120 on Sunday with another impressive ton.

The teams will next face each other in two Tests, the first of which begins on August 22.

Chris Gayle scored a typically brutal half-century in what looked set to be his final ODI appearance for West Indies.

Three days after he overtook Brian Lara to become West Indies' record run-scorer in the format, Gayle flayed India's bowlers for a 41-ball 72 in Port of Spain.

Boundaries accounted for 62 of the runs from the tall left-hander, who hit eight fours and five sixes in a crowd-pleasing innings.

It came to a tame end when he looked to play another big shot against Khaleel Ahmed, who had come in for early punishment.

Rather than find the ropes again, Gayle picked out India captain Virat Kohli at mid off and the catch was safely taken.

Gayle, whose match shirt carried the number 301 to signify his number of ODI appearances, was surrounded by well-wishing Indian fielders after his innings ended.

He chose to play on after West Indies' disappointing Cricket World Cup performance, despite saying in March he had played his final home ODIs.

But the 39-year-old signalled this would be his last ODI series, and if he stays true to that decision it will leave him free to concentrate on a lucrative T20 franchise career.

India's players offered what appeared to be warm words to Gayle, who walked off in a theatrical manner with his bat raised, his maroon batting helmet balanced on its top.

West Indies and India were contesting the final match in their three-game ODI series and, besides the attention on Gayle, there was plenty to play for.

The first was abandoned due to rain, before India won the second match that, like Wednesday's contest, was also played in Port of Spain.

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