Mystery spinner, Sunil Narine, who was recently left out of the Windies’ provisional 15-man squad to the World Cup in England next month, is insistent that he is not done with the regional team.

Narine has turned down a number of invitations from Cricket West Indies to be part of Windies One Day International teams for a variety of reasons.

The spinner, who was sidelined from cricket on two occasions because of an illegal action, had once said he wasn’t confident he could bowl 10 overs because of his revamped action.

Narine’s various issues have meant he hasn’t played an ODI for almost three years, dating back to October 2016, and his most recent comments about an injury ruling him out have been met with, scepticism.

That scepticism comes from the fact that Narine is, at the moment, playing for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League, but the spinner claims he cannot manage more than that.

Narine sustained a torn ligament in his right middle finger a few months ago and has since been restricted in the type of deliveries and the number of them, he can bowl.

“I would have loved to play in the World Cup,” said Narine during an interview with ESPNcricinfo.

“I have missed international cricket and I’ve missed representing West Indies. It’s where my heart lies,” he said.

According to Narine, even playing T20 cricket has put a strain on the injury and he can’t get through four overs without work from the physiotherapist.

“I don't feel my finger is quite ready for ODI cricket. I can get through a T20 where I bowl just four overs. But even that isn't easy and I need help from the physio. It's holding me back from playing international cricket. I wouldn't be able to do myself or the team justice,” he said.

Narine believes that despite the scepticism from people in the Caribbean, the selectors and, in essence, Cricket West Indies, are sympathetic to his situation and the entities are well on their way, in terms of an improved relationship.

"I'm really happy that the selectors considered me," said Narine.

"It shows they have faith in me. I haven't played international cricket in so long and this shows how much they want me to come back. It was good to have some conversations with them and I feel we're all on the same page going forward."

Windies batting star Chris Gayle believes the upcoming World Cup will be a wide open one and the regional team could have a good a chance as any to lift the title.

The 39-year-old star batsman believes that the hosts England will start favourite when the tournament bowls off next month, but with other teams know to extract good performances from conditions in England Gayle believes the tournament will be competitive.

“Almost every team has a chance to actually win the World Cup. Everybody puts England as favourites and they are at home.  They have a star-studded team as well, a well-balanced all-around team as well, so you have to give them credit,” Gayle told India Today.

“India always plays well in England, Pakistan always plays well in England so you have to look at those team that always do well in those kinds of conditions.  Australia, you can’t write them off, they're always up there and you can’t write off New Zealand either.  Everybody really and truly has a chance but there is going to be one winner, the West Indies and that goes without saying,” he added.

The big left-hander was confirmed as one of 15 members for the Windies World Cup squad, where he will make a fifth appearance at the tournament.

Newly appointed president of Cricket West Indies (CWI) Ricky Skerritt has insisted the association is not looking to burn bridges with discarded officials, despite making several quick changes since taking office.

Interim coach Richard Pybus, West Indies assistant coach Vasbert Drakes and the entire Courtney Browne-led selection panel were among the casualties when the new board began to enforce its mandate last month.

Some of the parties have, however, taken exception to their dismissals and threatened legal action against CWI.  While he insisted he was not yet briefed on the legal situations, Skerritt was quick to point out that the organization was not interested in alienating the recently dismissed officials and that other positions could be open to them in the future.

“What I would say is that each situation has been handled on its own merit and there is no intention to make things more difficult for any past players than it has it to be,” Skerritt told the SportsMax Zone.

“Whatever the beliefs, we are about cricket.  We are about helping players, we are about helping past players.  We are about inclusiveness and we want past players involved in developing cricket and providing services of different kinds,” he added. 

“If somebody is not used now as a selector it doesn’t mean they can’t be used later as something else. If somebody is not used as a coach it doesn’t mean they can’t be used later as some other kind of professional in cricket.  We are not trying to burn any bridges with anybody.”

 

West Indies fast bowling legend and Bangladesh bowling coach Courtney Walsh has warned the team’s seamers to be wary of difficult conditions in England.

The Asian country will be one of 10 teams that take the field when the tournament gets under way on May 30.  Unlike drier conditions on the subcontinent, a cloudier atmosphere with more moisture in the air can cause the cricket ball to swing.

The bowling great believes doing well in different conditions will come down to discipline and use of intelligence.

  “It will be a big challenge,” Walsh said.

“There are going to be some good cricket pitches, which are batting-friendly. We have to be intelligent and try to execute well. We have to read the conditions and the surfaces we play. Some places the ball might swing more than the others. We have to assess when we get there,” he added.

Bangladesh will bowl off the tournament against South Africa on June 2nd at the Oval in London.

“Most of the pitches will be docile and flat. We have to work on our variations and execution,” he said. “Everybody studies one another these days. So they know our strengths and weaknesses. Likewise, we also know theirs.”

 

 

West Indies batting legend Brian Lara believes the current form of senior players in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) campaign is a real fillip for the region.

With the 2019 World Cup just a little over a month away Windies stars Kieron Pollard and Andre Russell have put on some impressive displays with the bat in the IPL to date.  After starting slowly for Mumbai Indians Pollard has picked up steam in recent week, hitting a crucial 46 against Sunrisers Hyderabad before an outrageous 83 against Kings XI Punjab.

Russell has been one of the players of the tournament to date, after scoring 377 runs and claiming seven wickets in 9 matches.

It remains to be seen whether any of the players, who have been outside of the One Day International set-up for several months, will be selected to the final Windies squad.  Lara, however, believes the form of the players makes them nice options to have.

“Cricketers from the West Indies have been doing well in this edition of the Indian Premier League. A few players from other nations are also making good contributions. Kieron Pollard and Andre Russell have been pretty consistent and that augurs well for West Indies cricket. Even Chris Gayle has fired on a couple of occasions, but you need to look out for guys who are making contribution regularly,” Lara said.

“The West Indies players bring their whole-hearted effort in every performance. They are not playing for the West Indies national team, so the IPL is their opportunity to shine.”

 

Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) president Wilford ‘Billy’ Heaven and Jamaican business executive Don Wehby have been drafted into the newly selected Cricket West Indies (CWI), as the body looks to improve its financial standing.

In keeping with a part of his mandate to establish good governance principles and greater transparency, newly appointed CWI president Ricky Skerritt has made several new appointments since taking office.

Heaven, who recently secured a third term as president of the JCA, will serve in the capacity as chairman of the CWI’s finance committee.  Wehby, a former Jamaica finance minister and Grace Kennedy CEO, will head a task force on corporate governance.

Other changes from Skerritt, who defeated Dave Cameron in the CWI elections last month, included the appointment of Robert Haynes as interim head of the chairman of selectors last month.

The CWI also removed interim head coach Richard Pybus and his support staff of Vasbert Drakes, Toby Radford and Esuan Crandon. Former West Indies batsman Floyd Reifer was named to replace Pybus, while Roddy Estwick, Corey Collymore and Rayon Griffith will serve as assistant coaches.

 

Former Windies batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan said he is excited about working with the Windies senior team ahead of next month’s Tri-Nations One-day International Series in Ireland and the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 England & Wales.

The Windies cricket team selected for the upcoming tri-series against Ireland and Bangladesh next month met with the new coaching staff led by Floyd Reifer on Monday.

Imran McSood-Amjad, First CEO of NAGICO Insurances has been appointed an Independent Director of Cricket West Indies. (CWI). The CWI Board of Directors ratified his appointment during a board meeting on Tuesday, April 9, 2019.

Newly appointed Cricket West Indies (CWI) president Ricky Skerritt has insisted that the newly formed body is determined to dispel the 'myth’ that several of the team’s senior players are no longer interested in representing the team.

In recent years several of the region’s most high-profile players have found themselves at odds with the regional program’s selectors as heavy T20 league schedule has often clashed with the international game.  For various reasons T20 stars like Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo, who retired from the sport last year, have not consistently represented the region.

Since taking over the office, however, Skerritt and his administration have dismissed the Courtney Browne-led selection panel and installed Robert Haynes.  The administration has since begun to reach out to the players, including Bravo.

“There's a myth that our elite players don't want to play for the West Indies. Over the last couple of weeks, we've engaged several of them and prior to the election, I personally engaged several of them and the desire and hunger to play for their West Indian colours is as strong as ever,” Skerritt said.

“What we have to do is to make sure we put systems in place that can respect the players and help the players to respect their responsibility when they are actually involved in West Indies cricket, and do it in a way that is clearly communicated and that there's mutual respect and understanding,” he added.

“I have no doubt that in the hearts and in the minds of all of these players, the performance of the West Indies team and being involved in a successful West Indies team setup is important to them.”

Windies and Mumbai Indians pacer Alzarri Joseph is likely to miss the rest of the Indian Premier League (IPL) season after suffering an injury to his bowling arm.

In Saturday’s contest against the Rajasthan Royals the 23-year-old injured the limb while fielding.  It was a bad afternoon all round for the young bowler.

After claiming record figures of 6 for 12 in his debut last weekend, Joseph experienced the flip side of the coin.  He bowled the most expensive three-over spell ever seen at the tournament.  Joseph was targeted for 53 off his three overs, the third the worst of all as he was the victim of some savagery from Jos Butler.  Butler smacked six boundaries in the over to take 28 runs.  He ended the night with 89 from 43 balls as the Royals chased down Mumbai Indians’ 187 with three balls to spare.

According to reports, Joseph has a tear in his right arm, which was dislocated during the fielding incident.  Although there has not been an estimate for the length of time the player will take to recover, the player seems set to miss the rest of the season.  With the ICC World Cup just over a month away, Joseph will hope to recover in time.

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.

The Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) will, in short order, be advertising for the post of a head coach for the Jamaica Scorpions after losing Robert Haynes to regional duty. 

Windies captain, Jason Holder, believes strongly that Jamaican fast bowlers Oshane Thomas and Shelton Cottrell will cause problems at the World Cup in England. 

The new panel of Windies selectors has recalled Shannon Gabriel and Johnathan Carter for a squad selected for a Tri-nation series against Ireland and Bangladesh starting next month.

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