Windies skipper Kieron Pollard has insisted it will be important for the team to carefully plan its approach in what could be a tricky upcoming series against Afghanistan.

The Pollard-led regional squad will square off against the Rashid Khan-led Afghans in three One Day Internationals (ODI) and three T20 internationals.  Despite being ranked just above the hosts in the ICC ODI standings, the Afghans hold an advantage in recent results after winning three of the last six encounters.  The Asian team has often taken advantage of the Windies noted weakness against spin bowling, a fact not lost on the Windies skipper.

 "Rashid Khan is a world-class bowler. It was seen by all of us and all around the world. Again there is no secret about it. Nabi himself has been doing well, he is a classical off-spinner. Mujeeb has done well for himself," Pollard said ahead of the match.

"We as a team, we have to plan how we are going to structure our fifty overs of batting and then our fifty overs of bowling. Each and every one of us is a good player in his own right and must show what we have to offer," he added.

 The team will bowl off the series on Wednesday at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee International Cricket Stadium, in Lucknow.

West Indies fast bowling legend Courtney Walsh has been appointed as interim assistant coach for the Windies Women’s team.

Walsh, the region’s all-time Test wicket-taker, will join Gus Logie who was recently announced as interim head coach.  The duo will be joined by former Guyana seamer Rayon Griffith.  The coaching triumvirate will replace the unit led by Henderson Springer.  

The 57-year-old former speedster recently served as bowling coach for the Bangladesh team.  Although his new appointment is expected to come with more sweeping responsibilities than his previous post, Walsh has revealed that his primary duties will involve working with the bowlers.

"My function is to focus a lot more on the bowlers and the cricket, in general, to get the ladies together," Walsh said.

"I’m just happy to be able to work with Gus - we haven’t had a chance to be on the same team since we were players and we just want the women to play the type of cricket we know they can play."

The team takes charge as the Windies Women prepare to host India Women in a three-match One Day International series.  Logie believes the program is already off to a positive start.

"We’ve had some of the best minds and coaches in the region working with the players," he said.

"Courtney and Rayon have been working really hard with the ladies at training and we are hoping to see the results on the field."

 

Leewards Islands batsman Devon Thomas insists playing international Test cricket for the West Indies remains his ultimate objective despite a strong run of form in the T20 format of the game.

The 29-year-old batsman showed plenty of promise in the game’s shortest format, firing at the top of the order for St Kitts and Nevis Patriots during the Caribbean Premier League (CPL).  The player, however, did not feature in any of the three squads selected for the regional team’s upcoming tour match against Afghanistan.  Thomas, however, insists he was not troubled to not make the teams for the shorter formats.

“West Indies is always the ultimate goal and I even want to play my first Test. I have never played Test cricket so I think my hunger is still out there to play for West Indies. After the CPL, I didn’t see that I needed a CPL [T20] pick because, honestly, I am more looking at the longer version of the game,” Thomas told the Antigua Observer.

Thomas made his debut for the West Indies in 2009 but is yet to make an appearance in the longest format.  The batsman made has gone on to play 21 ODI matches and made three T20 appearances.

The batsman was the leading run-scorer for the Leeward Islands in the 2018–19 Regional Super50 tournament, with 238 runs in eight matches.  He was then the 2nd highest run-scorer for the team in the 2018-19 Regional Four Day Competition and 4th highest scorer in the competition as a whole.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Afghanistan team manager Nazeem Jaar Abdurahimzai insists the team will be ready for the challenge posed by the visiting Windies when the teams meet in the upcoming series.

The Afghans will host the regional team for three One Day Internationals (ODIs), three T20s and a one-off Test, in India’s Lucknow, a venue that will serve as a home away from home. 

The Asian team has undergone several big changes since a disappointing World Cup campaign.  In addition to Rashid Khan being appointed as the captain for all formats, the squad will replace five players in addition to the suspension of Mohammad Shahzad and Aftab Alam.

Despite the period of upheaval, however, Abdurahimzai is confident the team can be competitive.

“There has been a lot of change in the mentality of the team since the World Cup in July and we are hoping for a good series here, Abdurahimzai said.

 “West Indies has been a good side, but we are ready to challenge them on home turf,” he added.

The series will kick off with a three-match T20I series, with the first game taking place on November 5.  Three ODIs, will follow before the tour concludes with a one-off Test.  All the matches will take place at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Dehradun in India.

West Indies Test captain, Jason Holder, believes the time is ripe for him to make his mark in the shortest form of the game he has risen to the top of in its more traditional form.

Legendary West Indies batsman Sir Viv Richards believes newly appointed skipper Kieron Pollard was kept out of leadership roles because of politics.

The 32-year-old Pollard was recently appointed both captain of the One Day International and T20 squads, replacing Jason Holder and Carlos Brathwaite respectively.  While heartily agreeing with the move, Richards believes it was a long time in coming.

“I’ve always felt he should have been [appointed] a bit earlier,” Richards said in an interview with the Line And Length cricket podcast.

“I guess the politics with the last regime and the things that obviously went down in India, and some of these guys, in my opinion, were blacklisted from playing the role that they should and helping to move the team forward, and I think because of those political issues, it didn’t quite help the progress,” he added.

Pollard was part of a one-day squad that infamously walked out of the team’s tour of India in 2014.  A new Cricket West Indies governance body, led by Ricky Skerritt, deposed the Cameron-led administration earlier this year.  The change in the administration led to a number of adjustments, which included a new selection panel in addition to Pollard’s elevation to the leadership posts.

Veteran Windies batsman Marlon Samuels will make a return to competitive cricket alongside a host of compatriots in the Abu Dhabi T10 league, which is set to bowl off in December.

The 38-year-old batsman has been out of the game for several months after taking time off to rehabilitate a troublesome knee injury.  Samuels is now slated to make a return for the Karnataka Tuskers, where he will line up alongside Kesrick Williams, Evin Lewis, Johnson Charles, and Fabian Allen.

Fresh from the disappointment of being overlooked for The Hundred draft experienced T20 campaigner Dwayne Bravo is expected to turn out for Martha Arabians alongside Jamaican Chadwick Walton.

Newly appointed Windies T20 captain Kieron Pollard   Kieron Pollard will suit up for the Deccan Gladiators, with Sherfane Rutherford expected to turn out for the Delhi Bulls.  The Northern Warriors, led by Darren Sammy, has the most West Indians in their set-up, with the likes of André Russell, Nicholas Pooran, Lendl Simmons, Rayad Emrit, and Mark Deyal set to lead their charge.

Newly appointed Windies skipper Kieron Pollard has promised to reject the idea of insularity, an accusation traditionally leveled at numerous regional team selection panels.

As captain of the One Day International and T20 teams, Pollard will assist a panel that has often been accused of favouring players from different regions of the Caribbean, based on its composition at the time.  Despite being an allegation that has never quite been proven, it has clearly caught the attention of the new skipper.

“One of the major things we (selectors) talked about is the insularity that has been going on in the Caribbean and it is something we want to [stamp out],” Pollard said in a recent interview.

“At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter where you’re from, which part of the islands you’re from, once your performance is there, once you fit into the dynamics of the team, [once] you fit into what we’re looking for, you’re going to be selected.

“[The fact] that sometimes you veer to where you’re from is unfortunate, maybe as a home captain or coach, but at the end of the day we will try to pick the best team.

“Me, knowing myself and how I go about things – and this is something I’ve been preaching since the franchise system started in the Caribbean T20 before the CPL – the bigger picture is the cricket and whichever persons are doing well, they’re going to be selected.”

Pollard replaced Jason Holder as ODI captain and Carlos Brathwaite as T20 captain.

Windies all-rounder Rahkeem Cornwall hopes to make full use of the upcoming series against Afghanistan to deliver his best as he looks to cement a place in the regional squad.

The 26-year-old Antiguan made his debut for the regional team in August against India, where he claimed three wickets and made 15 runs.  Having been selected as a part of the 16-man ODI squad for the upcoming series against Afghanistan, the player is hoping for a much bigger impact this time around.

“After coming off the CPL, I am just trying to get in some work with the Antigua national team and do my fitness work outside of that and see how much I can prepare leading up to the India series. I think I already have a taste of what Test cricket is about so I just have to go and start to perform. I can’t wait any longer to start to deliver the goods at that level so I have to put myself in a position to perform and not really setting any goals, but performance is the key,” Cornwall told the Antigua Observer.

The all-rounder is coming off a productive season for Caribbean Premier League (CPL) team St Lucia Zouks.  His 254 runs in 10 matches was the highest runs scored for the team.  The player, however, believes things could have better.

 “I wouldn’t say I am happy. I think I had a few good starts and gave it away and I think I could have carried on, and had I carried on then, maybe, I would have been in the [West Indies] T20 squad, but it wasn’t one of the best CPL squads I’ve had,” Cornwall said.

“I think the role that I was given I did it well and it’s just up to me to carry on and make bigger things but it didn’t happen so next time around I have to make sure I do those things and see how far that performance can take me.”

 

 

Windies chairman of selectors Roger Harper believes newly drafted spinner Hayden Walsh Jr’s ability to take wickets could be a missing component for the regional team.

The Windies ineffectiveness with the ball during the middle overs of One Day Internationals has been an issue that has come to the fore in recent years.  The problem was recently laid bare at the ICC World Cup. 

Making good use of pace bowlers to open the innings, the team often managed to prise out openers with quick deliveries and variable bounce.  The Windies would often lose any early momentum, however, with an inability to keep taking wickets. 

On the back of a successful CPL campaign, where he claimed 22 wickets with crafty spin bowling, Harper believes the bowler could eventually make a big difference.  

“During CPL he excited everyone with his performances and given the direction white-ball cricket has gone, we realize the need for bowlers capable of taking wickets,” Harper said.

“Walsh has proven he is a wicket-taker and I think he will have a great impact on the team, especially in middle overs so that we won’t be drifting through but can keep control of games.”

The Antiguan-American Walsh previously represented the United States but is now clear to represent the West Indies.

There was no room for veteran Windies opener Chris Gayle as the new Cricket West Indies selection panel named squads for all three formats for the team’s series against Afghanistan.

The 40-year-old batsman was expected to retire from the sport following this year’s World Cup but had a change of heart.  The player had also targeted the India home tour as possibly his final appearance for the regional team but insisted following the series that he had not retired.

Despite the absence of the talismanic player, however, there are several noted returnees.  As expected, having been appointed captain of the ODI and T20 teams Kieron Pollard returns to the white ball team for the first time in three years.  Pollard replaced Holder as captain of the ODI team and Carlos Brathwaite as leader of the T20 team.  While Holder has been included in all three formats, Brathwaite has been dropped from the squad. 

Fresh off successful campaigns in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Guyana Amazon Warriors opening batsman Brandon King and Barbados Tridents spinner Hayden Walsh Jr have been included in the T20 and ODI formats.  Lendl Simmons, who also put together a solid campaign for Trinbago Knightriders, has also been included in the T20 squad. 

Promising young pace bowler Alzarri Josephs, who missed the World Cup due to injury, will also return to the team for all three formats.

 

Test squad: Jason Holder (Captain), Shai Hope, John Campbell, Kraigg Brathwaite, Shimron Hetmyer, Shamrah Brooks, Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich, Sunil Ambris, Jomel Warrican, Rahkeem Cornwall, Kemar Roach, Keemo Paul, Alzarri Joseph

ODI squad: Kieron Pollard (Captain), Shai Hope, Evin Lewis, Shimron Hetmyer, Sunil Ambris, Nicholas Pooran, Brandon King, Roston Chase, Jason Holder, Hayden Walsh Jr., Khary Pierre, Sheldon Cottrell, Keemo Paul, Alzarri Joseph, Romario Shepherd.

T20I squad: Kieron Pollard (Captain), Nicholas Pooran, Evin Lewis, Shimron Hetmyer, Sherfane Rutherford, Brandon King, Fabian Allen, Jason Holder, Hayden Walsh Jr., Lendl Simmons, Khary Pierre, Sheldon Cottrell, Denesh Ramdin, Kesrick Williams, Alzarri Joseph.

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