Cricket West Indies (CWI) is set to welcome a new kit sponsor, Castore Sportswear, onboard for the new year after agreeing to a three-year deal reportedly worth £3m (US$3,903,300).

The new sponsorship deal will come as good news for the Caribbean cricket team, which has struggled in that particular area for the past several years as they are set to name a third sponsor in two years. 

The team’s most recent deals included a three-year contract with Australian sportswear brand BLK, signed in 2017, and a two-year agreement with Caribbean hotel chain Sandals in 2018.

For the English-based apparel franchise, who are relative newcomers to the sportswear market, the deal represents a significant escalation as the Windies will become the company's first major sports team deal.  Castore previously signed British tennis star Andy Murray in March.  The partnership with the West Indies is expected to commence in June when the team tours England before heading to Australia to defend the T20 World Cup title.  Castore chief executive Tom Beahon framed the partnership as an arrangement that should mutually benefit entities in similar positions.

“We see an opportunity to partner with like-minded teams who like us are aspirational, but see themselves as challenging,” Beahon told the Financial Times.

“Realistically, we’re not going to sponsor Real Madrid in the next two or three years but in the level below those trophy assets, there are teams and countries who are looking for a partner who will invest in them more than maybe the big guys will do.” 

Cricket West Indies (CWI) and Whisper, the sport and live production specialist, are pleased to announce a new trial partnership, which sees Whisper as the host broadcaster of the West Indies vs Ireland series in January 2020.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) and the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) have delivered messages of condolence at the passing of West Indies cricketer Basil Butcher.

Six candidates have been short-listed for the post of head coach of the West Indies Cricket team, Cricket West Indies announced on Friday.

Trinidadian allrounder Kieron Pollard said he is honoured to lead the West Indies One Day International and T20 teams. The 32-year-old Pollard replaces Jason Holder and Carlos Brathwaite who led the ODI and T20 teams respectively.

Cricket West Indies has officially launched the search for a permanent head coach for the regional side in time for their upcoming away tour against Afghanistan that begins in November.

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.”

Windies top order batsman Shai Hope has rejected claims a coaching change just ahead of the start of the ICC World Cup was a major contributing factor to the team’s dismal display.

Despite being considered as one of the teams capable of causing problems at the tournament, the Windies went on to register just two wins, which left them second to last in the overall standings. 

A part of the optimism heading into the tournament was fueled by the team’s performance against England during its tour of the Caribbean.  Richard Pybus was the interim coach in charge of the team’s exceptional performance for the series of matches against the English but was replaced with Floyd Reifer only weeks ahead of the World Cup by a newly appointed Cricket West Indies (CWI) administration.

The move has led to criticism in some quarters, with many accusing the administration of unsettling the team.  Hope was, however, quick to insist that the players take full responsibility for the poor results.

“Regardless of what happened behind the scenes, we have to go out there and play cricket,” Hope said.

“It doesn’t matter what happened the week before, the day before, two years before. It’s about crossing that line and playing the hardest you can for the region.”

The Windies started brightly with a big win over Pakistan but slumped to defeats at the hands of Australia, England, Bangladesh, New Zealand, India and Sri Lanka before winning a game against Afghanistan.  Hope admitted it was difficult to pinpoint what went wrong.

“If I knew the answer to that, I reckon we’d be in the semis. It’s just one of those things. As I said, we didn’t play the better cricket on the day, and in a tournament like this, you have to basically play your best game each game.”

 

Despite the promise he has shown, Windies batsman Sunil Ambris has not been given a new central contract even as Cricket West Indies (CWI) have increased the number offered in the new contract period. 

Cricket West Indies and Cricket Canada have agreed to an expanded partnership in the forthcoming months that will see more collaboration and participation of players and administrators in cricket, at CWI and Cricket Canada events.

The Antigua and Barbuda Labour Commissioner has been informed of the dispute between Cricket West Indies (CWI) and former employees, Courtney Browne and Eldine Baptiste. 

Regional cricket commentator and analyst, Fazeer Mohammed, has rubbished claims that players who showed up to play for the ICC World Cup qualifiers should have been given preferential consideration when the final squad was selected by Cricket West Indies (CWI) on Tuesday.

Of the sixteen players who took part in the qualifier in Zimbabwe last year, which secured the team a place at next month’s World Cup, nine have been included in the final squad. 

Two-time T20 World Cup winner Marlon Samuels is the most notable absentee in a list that also includes Jason Mohammed, Devendra Bishoo, Nikita Miller, Keemo Paul, Rovman Powell and Kesrick Williams. 

 In this instance, scribbled on the final list submitted to the ICC on Tuesday, the most notable inclusion would perhaps be that of Andre Russell who turned down the chance to represent the region at the qualifiers, after stating that he had not sufficiently recovered from injury. 

The situation has sparked debate in some areas, particularly the exclusion of Samuels who had not played cricket for some time due to an injury but expected to be fit for the World Cup.  In an interview with the SportsMax Zone, however, Mohammed insisted cricketing reasons should be the only consideration in selecting the squad.

“This is a competitive sport. This is not about giving favours or doing people favours for long service or that sort of thing, or turning up when others didn’t turn up,” Mohammed told the SportsMax Zone.

“You remember in the days of the Kerry Packer era when the West Indies lost their Packer players for a period and the likes of Alvin Kallicharan and even Malcolm Marshal and so on came into the West Indies squad. From the moment that was sorted out and the World Cup came up in 1979 all the top players were back,” Mohammed added.

“There is no room for sentiment in competitive sport.  I understand the recognizing the roles played but are we selecting a squad as a favour for turning up or are we selecting a squad to be competitive or even get to the winning stage of the World Cup.

A lawyer for the recently dismissed Courtney Browne-led Cricket West Indies (CWI) selection panel has insisted his clients are strongly considering the initiation of legal proceedings and taken exception to recent statements made by Cricket West Indies (CWI) president Ricky Skerritt.

In dismissing the three-man panel, which also consisted of Lockhart Sebastien and Eldine Baptiste, last week, Skerritt said “we have terminated the old embedded selection policy which secretly, but actively, victimised some players and banished them from selection consideration”.

Tony Astaphan, the lawyer for the dismissed selectors, insisted they had taken issue with both the terminations and their public characterization as a group.  He claimed the selectors were simply following instructions and had always received positive affirmation for the body.

“My clients are very troubled by their dismissal and the manner of their dismissal, particularly the statements made about the 'old embedded selection policy which secretly but actively victimised players and banished them from selection consideration.  That's a serious [charge] and it affects the manner of dismissal of Mr Browne, Mr Baptiste and Mr Sebastien,” Astaphan said in a recent radio interview.

“What we are looking at now within the context of the labour code of Antigua and Barbuda is whether having regard to all the facts and circumstances, including the terms of the agreements signed by these good gentlemen, who as you know have dedicated their lives to West Indies cricket, constitute independent contractors or employees under the Antigua and Barbuda labour code.”

Astaphan pointed out that Browne had also been considered an exceptional employee by the CWI, which led to his contract being renewed on several occasions.

“He has been there since 2010 and you having before every renewal of his contract, gone through what is called an employee job assessment and getting extraordinary marks on matters of ethics and selections, to be thrown out like that with the commentary of a discriminatory selection policy which he did not set,” the Dominican explained.

“I think it is a well-known fact there was a selection criteria either approved by the board or requested by the board, and there was a technical team set up with the specific jurisdictional authority to decide who was eligible or not. They were the ones that made the decision as to who was eligible or not.”

Browne was replaced by Jamaican Robert Haynes, with Jimmy Adams and interim head coach Floyd Reifer also appointed to the panel.

 

 

Vasbert Drakes was fired as assistant coach of the Windies after a particularly fruitful series for the Caribbean side and the former bowler for the regional side believes his ousting unjust and illegal. His Lawyer, Ralph Thorne QC, says, while he cannot go public with the reasons Cricket West Indies have outlined as those which led to the sacking, he is unimpressed.

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