West Indies captain Jason Holder was named Player of the Year and Test Player of the Year at the West Indies Players' Association/Cricket West Indies annual awards in Antigua on Monday night.

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.”

 

 West Indies batsman Shai Hope said the team’s underwhelming performance at the ICC World Cup will be a learning experience for him and the other young members of the team that ended their campaign on Thursday with a 23-run over Afghanistan.

In Shimron Hetmyer and Shai Hope, West Indies possess two batting talents that have the potential to light up the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup. 

West Indies blitzed their way to a 400-plus total against New Zealand in the last warm-up game before the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 gets under way, and the power in their batting was unreal. 

Windies batsman Shai Hope jumped five places to enter the top five of the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Rankings for batting after his splendid performances in the recent tri-nation series in Ireland. 

Mustafizur Rahman and Mashrafe Mortaza have continued to pose problems for the Windies, restricting the visitors playing in the Walton Tri-Series to just 247-9 in their 50 overs earlier on Monday in Dublin Ireland. 

Windies captain Jason Holder has hailed the contribution of young players John Campbell and Shai Hope who have made promising starts to their careers so far.

The 25-year-old Campbell and 21-year-old Hope put on a world record 349 runs partnership as the team steamrolled Ireland in the opening match of the One Day tri-nation series.  The century was the first for Campbell in six games, but he had otherwise been off to solid start in prior matches, leading to a healthy average of 49.60.

Hope has perhaps been even more impressive as his follow-up century against Bangladesh in a losing effort, carried him to 2056 runs in 51 ODIs, making him one of the quickest Windies players to 2000 runs.

“Both of them have played well (Campbell, Hope) Shai especially, he’s probably been our most consistent player over the last two years.  It’s been really good to see him backing up performance the way he has done,” Holder said.

“I just saw a stat coming up that he is the quickest West Indian to 2000 runs, which is a really phenomenal feat.  I saw the list of guys on the tv and its really good for him to be in that company,” he added.

“If he continues he could be one of our best ODI players to ever play.  Performances like that from young players is something we definitely looking for.”

Shai Hope and Chris Gayle have been named as the vice-captains of West Indies team for the Ireland Tri-Nation Series and ICC Cricket World Cup, respectively.

Windies top order batsmen Shai Hope and John Campbell set a new world record for an opening partnership, after amassing a jaw-dropping 369 in the first One Day International (ODI) against Ireland, in Dublin, on Sunday.

Campbell, who was recording his maiden ODI century after six appearances, stroked a majestic 179 off 137 balls.  Hope, who was recording a 5th century coming from 50 ODI matches, made seven runs less runs off 152 balls.

The new mark replaced the previous best of 304 set by Imam-ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman of Pakistan against Zimbabwe in 2018.  The previous best by a West Indian opening pair was 200, set by Stuart Williams and Shivnarine Chanderpaul against India in 1997.  Overall, the total is the second highest ODI runs partnership for any batting pair, just behind the 372 set by Marlon Samuels and Chris Gayle against Zimbabwe in 2015.

The record partnership put the regional team in a strong position against Ireland, after ending the innings with a total of 381 for 3.  The score was also the second highest ODI total posted by the West Indies, just below the 389 set by the regional team against England at the National Stadium in Grenada earlier this year.

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 wicket-keeper batsman Shai Hope has hailed the addition of star left-hander Chris Gayle to the squad as the team prepares to face England in the upcoming One Day International series.

The 39-year-old will return to the ODI team for the first time since 2018 when the Windies faced off against Bangladesh.  Gayle will play the opening two matches of the five-match series against England.

With the experienced batsman just short of 10,000 ODI runs at an average of 36.98 and 15 centuries, Hope is confident Gayle’s addition will be a major boost to the team.

"It’s great, just to see him (Gayle) at nets. Good laugh, good shots as well, and he’s going to strengthen the team a lot," ICC quoted Hope as saying. 

 "We know the importance that Gayle brings to the team. He has a lot of experience and we need to make sure we use that experience and strengthen the entire team," he added.

Hope, who was part of the team's recent Test series win against England also believes that victory will give the team added confidence ahead of the series.

"It’s a lot to look forward to. It's a very exciting time, especially leading up to the World Cup so I’m sure the guys are ready and raring to go. We are just coming off a Test series win and that was fantastic for everyone involved and the fans, so it is important for us to continue in that vein and try to get the series win as well.”

The Windies will face England in the first ODI on Wednesday at the Kensington Oval.

When Kemar Roach launched into a delivery from James Anderson only to find a tall Ben Stokes at second slip latching onto a flier, the crowd at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium stood and applauded. 

At lunch on the second day of the second Test between the Windies and England, the home team at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua were 126 for one, just 61 runs behind the visitor’s first-innings total of 187. 

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