Prime Minister of Grenada Dr. Keith Mitchell has insisted that a change of structure should be the primary focus of the next Cricket West Indies (CWI) boss, following the announcement of a challenge to incumbent president Dave Cameron.

After four terms in charge of the regional body, Cameron will face a challenge from former Windies team manager Ricky Skerritt, when the organisation goes to the polls next month.

Mitchell, who has at times found himself in an adversarial relationship with regional cricket’s leadership team in recent years, however, believes very little will be different unless the new leader is willing to focus on decades-long structural deficiencies.

“30-50 years ago Governments were operating one way in terms of how they governed countries.  They made you believe they could solve all your problems, ‘just vote for me’.  That has changed dramatically, businesses had to change over the years and be more transparent,” Mitchell told the SportsMax Zone.

“Trade Unions had to also recognize that it was not about getting increases in salary but also getting productivity, it’s a competitive world.  Similarly, sporting bodies cannot operate a 19 century, 20th-century system in the 21st century,” he added.

A 2015 CARICOM-commissioned Governance Report – authored by prominent regional academic and UWI Cave Hill principal Professor Eudine Barriteau – had called for the “immediate dissolution of the West Indies Cricket Board and the appointment of an Interim Board.”

“The chop and change of presidents in my view is not going to solve the problems that are plaguing West Indies cricket.  The attitude and structure that we have in place and the transparency and accountability has to be a fundamental issue also.”

Chris Gayle scored a losing 135 on what is likely his last match in Barbados as a Windies ODI player. Centuries from Jason Royes and Joe Root gave England a comfortable 6-wicket victory in the first game of their ODI series. Gayle's innings, slow at points, has been criticised. Are these criticisms warranted?

 Solid middle order batting from the trio of Devon Thomas, Jahmar Hamilton and Terrance Ward left the Leeward Islands Hurricanes in a comfortable position, on day 1 of the West Indies Championship fixture at Warner Park.

At stumps, the Leewards were 295 for 5 after being sent in to bat by the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force who won the toss.  The score was, however, compiled after the Hurricanes staged a remarkable recover after a poor start to the innings.

The Hurricanes lost opener Montcin Hodge in the fourth over and partner Kieran Powell four overs later to leave the team struggling at 14 for 2.  Medium pacer Daniel St Clair was responsible for the removal of both openers, first bowling Hodge for 2 before having Powell caught by Jason Mohammed for 5.

Up next at the crease, however, Keacy Carty and Thomas began the repair job for the Hurricanes, adding 105 for the third wicket.

The partnership was ended when Carty, who was just short of a half-century on 44, was caught by Joshua Da Silva off the bowling of Anderson Phillips.  Thomas followed to the pavilion five overs later, when he was stumped by Denesh Ramdin off the bowling of Khary Pierre.  Thomas’ well struck 67 came from 103 balls.

There would be little respite for the T&T bowling attack, however, as Hamilton would join Ward at the crease with the duo putting on 109 for the fifth wicket.  The partnership was ended by Pierre who had Hamilton caught by Jason Mohammed on 68.

Ward ended the day on 64 and was joined at the crease by Rahkeem Cornwall, who was not out on 34 from 55.  St Clair and Pierre were the pick of the bowlers, with two wickets each for the Red Force.

Cricket West Indies President Dave Cameron will face a challenge to his attempt to lead the organization for a fourth term from former West Indies team manager, Ricky Skerritt.

Skerritt announced he would be in the running for the post that goes up for election on March 28 and announced a running mate in Dr Kishore Shallow, who will be challenging for the post of vice president. 

Windies skipper Jason Holder has hailed the impact of top opening batsman Chris Gayle who cracked 135 in a losing effort against England on Monday.

On a placid Kensington Oval pitch that suited the batsmen, the 39-year-old left-hander cracked an astounding 12 sixes and four 4s enroute to his 135 off 129 balls.  The effort was, however, somewhat in vain as England cruised to a six-wicket win on the back of centuries from Jason Roy (123) and Joe Root (102).  The result saw England move ahead 1-0 in the five-test One Day International series.

“Credit to our batters I thought we played exceptionally well on what was a really good pitch, one of the best I have seen at Kensington Oval for a while. I thought Chris played a really good innings. He took a bit of time upfront, got himself set and then put pressure back on the spinners in the middle and forced Eoin Morgan to bring back the seamers back a bit earlier. I felt he held the innings together and gave other batters a chance to express themselves,” Holder said.

“England played well to chase down our target. We’re now 1-0 down so we know we have to bounce back on Friday and look to make it 1-1 before we head off to Grenada.”

The teams will play the second ODI at the same venue tomorrow.

Legendary West Indies captain Clive Lloyd has backed the regional team to spring a few surprises at this summer’s ICC Cricket World Cup. 

The Windies only just secured a spot in the final, having qualified from the ICC World Cup qualifiers last year.  Since then, however, the team has shown signs of improvement under the leadership of current skipper Jason Holder.

Lloyd, who won the tournament as the captain in 1974 and ’78, is confident the team has the ability but is yet to find a level of consistency.

 “I think they can be the surprise package,” Lloyd said of the team’s chances.

“The West Indies had a very good one day side four years running but you can never get the same guys playing.  They go off to the IPL or somewhere else. But when you have them they gel together,” he added.

“They were quite a formidable side. If they have the right combination here they will be a force to be reckoned with in this competition.”

The Windies will play their first match of the tournament against Pakistan on May 31st.  The top four teams from the group will progress to the knockout stage

 

Universe boss Chris Gayle described his last innings at Kensington Oval on Wednesday as one of his best.

Veteran opener, Christopher Henry Gayle, now has 24 centuries under his belt after smashing 135 off 128 deliveries to lead the Windies to 360 for 8 in the first One Day International of series against England at the Kensington Oval in Barbados. 

Windies skipper Jason Holder claims the unit is pleased to once again don the underdogs' tag ahead of the One Day International (ODI) series against England, which bowls off on Wednesday.

Heading into the series as the world’s number-one ranked team, England will once again be heavy favourites, with the regional side ranked some eight places below them. 

With the situation very similar to the one they faced in the Test series, where the Windies dominated to win 2-1.  Holder, who was suspended for the only the third and only Test the team lost, is hoping to return and make an immediate impact.

“We're pretty confident, we have momentum from the Test series and good experience in the dressing room,” Holder said.

“We pack a pretty heavy punch when we're stacking up our team. 'Underdogs' is not a bad tag to have - it's more pressure on them and less pressure on us,” he added.

“It was tough watching the Test in St Lucia but I'm very hungry to get back on the park and looking forward to the challenge of carrying the team forward.”

The Windies will face an even tougher test than the Test series with both pacers Shannon Gabriel and Kemar Roach out of action.  Keemo Paul, Evin Lewis and Rovman Powell are also ruled out.

Colonial Group International Ltd. (CGI) has announced a major global partnership with Cricket West Indies (CWI) that “will benefit cricket across the region from communities and young families to professional cricketers”.

Centuries from Jason Roy and Joe Root led England to a dominant 171-run win over a University of the West Indies (UWI) Vice Chancellor’s XI at the Cave Hill Campus in Barbados. 

Shannon Gabriel has been banned for four matches for abusive language toward another player. But the ban has brought with it questions and for the second day in a row, the SportsMax Zone panel takes a critical look at the issues.

Shannon Gabriel has given his account of his third-Test exchange with Joe Root, with the West Indies bowler offering an "unreserved apology" to the England team and their captain as well as his own team-mates. 

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