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.

Newly appointed president of Cricket West Indies (CWI) Ricky Skerritt has announced big changes to West Indies cricket.

Windies all-rounder Kieron Pollard has admitted he is hopeful of a recall to the regional team, following the recent change of regime and appointment of a fresh panel of selectors.

Newly appointed Cricket West Indies (CWI) president Ricky Skerritt announced several changes to the administration on Thursday.  Robert Haynes was named to replace Courtney Browne as chairman of selectors, with Floyd Reifer replacing Richard Pybus as interim Windies coach to name a few.  In addition, the entire panel of selectors has been dismissed.

Pybus, who led the team to a surprise win over England in the Test series and a 2-2 draw in the One Day Internationals (ODI), was expected to take the team to the World Cup.  The 31-year-old Pollard, who was previously called to the Windies squad ahead of the ICC World Cup qualifiers, was not expected to factor in the occasion. 

The Trinidadian had made himself unavailable prior to the World Cup qualifiers, after taking issue with just being given four days to respond and prior commitments to take part in the Pakistan Super League (PSL).  The player, however, continued to express an interest in continuing to represent the team and hopes the latest changes will give him another chance.

 “There has been a lot of turmoil in West Indies cricket over the last couple of years. I was blacklisted. We have seen in the last couple of weeks there’s a change. The most I can do every time I step on the cricket field is try to put runs on the board,” he said in reference to the appointment of Skerritt as CWI president.

“We have a new chairman of selectors, there’s a new president of the cricket board, and as I said you take it as it comes. There’s people there who have the job to select and whatever and let’s see how that goes. I’m 31 years old, I have cricket left in me. Gayle is still playing, he’s 39, and he’s whacking it all around.”

Pollard recently showed plenty of quality in the IPL, smashing an astounding 83 off just 31 balls for Mumbai Indians, which upstaged Gayle’s Kings XI Punjab earlier this week. 

Robert Haynes has been confirmed as the new Cricket West Indies (CWI) chairman of selectors, ushering in a clean sweep of the selection panel by the newly appointed Ricky Skerritt-led administration.

The 54-year-old Haynes will replace Barbadian Courtney Browne as head of the four-man committee.  The rest of the panel will consist of CWI director of cricket Jimmy Adams and Floyd Reifer, who has also been named as a replacement for interim coach Richard Pybus.

Pybus who previously served as head of the high-performance centre in 2018 and Windies Director of Cricket from 2013 to 2016 seemed off to a promising start in the job.  Under Pybus, the Windes defeated England after winning the Test series 2-1 and sharing the ODIs 2-2 to lift the team’s confidence ahead of the World Cup. 

Reifer comes in to replace Pybus before the Englishman's contract ends. He was contracted by the previous administration until the end of the India series in the Caribbean in August.

 

Kings XI Punjab will one eye nervously set on Windies star Chris Gayle who is believed to have suffered an injury during the team’s IPL encounter against Mumbai Indians on Thursday.

Gayle struck a 36-ball 63 but was eventually upstaged by regional teammate Kieron Pollard who scored an astounding 83 runs from 31-balls.  The 39-year-old opener is, however, more critically believed to have suffered a back injury during the match, the severity of which is yet to be assessed.

 “He (Gayle) said he twisted his back. We have to go check and how he is,” KXIP captain Ravichandran Ashwin said.  KXIP batting coach Sridharan Sriram also confirmed that the athlete had suffered an injury.

“He felt a twitch in the back – that’s what he said. We need to assess and monitor what he’s going to do over the next couple of days.”

Gayle did not take the field during Mumbai Indians’ successful run chase.  The big left-hander has been in fine form for both club and country scoring 223 runs in six games.  For the West Indies Gayle put in a sensational performance in the recent home series where he scored 424 runs in four games, which fueled a strongly contested 2-2 draw against higher-ranked England.  With the World Cup just a couple of months away the Windies will be hoping to keep their talisman in pristine condition if possible.

 

Former West Indies and Jamaica player Robert Haynes is expected to replace Courtney Brown as chairman of selectors, recent reports have claimed.

The 54-year-old Haynes who recently serves as head coach of the Jamaica Scorpions in the recently concluded West Indies Championship is expected to be one of a few changes announced by new Cricket West Indies (CWI) boss Ricky Skerritt in a press conference in Antigua on Thursday.  Skerritt recently replaced Dave Cameron as head of the regional body in the CWI elections.

Other changes expected to be made are the axing of interim West Indies coach Richard Pybus who took over as coach of the team in January.  Pybus who previously served as head of the high-performance centre in 2018 and Windies Director of Cricket from 2013 to 2016 seemed off to a promising start in the job.  Under Pybus, the Windes defeated England after winning the Test series 2-1 and sharing the ODIs 2-2 to lift the team’s confidence ahead of the World Cup.

The Windies squad for the upcoming triangular series in Ireland and the World Cup is also expected to be selected on Wednesday.

 

 

Former West Indies pace bowler Winston Benjamin has heaped praise on his former pupil Alzarri Joseph, praising both the player’s commitment and willingness to work hard, following an IPL debut to remember last week.

Joseph claimed an IPL record for the Mumbai Indians, in a 40-run victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad. Even as the tributes and congratulations poured in for the 22-year-old, earmarked as potentially the next great West Indies pace bowler, Benjamin has been quick to point to the player’s attitude and work ethic.

 “It’s a misconception that West Indies bowlers just come and bowl fast. A lot of hard work goes into the making of a genuine fast bowler,” Benjamin said in a recent interview.

“Obviously, the more matches he played, the more he learnt, but he never shied away from advice or hard work. He has that attitude, and the passion for the game, not the money involved in it,” he added.

Joseph who was a part of the successful ICC Under-19 World Cup winning squad in 2016, made his debut for the senior team later that year but was later out of the game for several months due to injury.

“He was maybe a yard or two quicker but was all over the place. Besides, his action was more prone to injuries. So we made it shorter, a bit straighter and he doesn’t jump as wildly.”

Former West Indies coach, Phil Simmons, may be back at the helm of the team he was unceremoniously dropped from if what he says is anything to go by. 

Windies skipper Jason Holder sees no reason the team should not be capable of emulating the exploits of the legendary Clive Lloyd-led 70s squad, which claimed back-to-back World Cup titles.

Despite showing admirable qualities in recent months, the Holder-led Windies squad will not be among the favourites to lift the title when the tournament gets under way next month.

With the likes of talismanic batsman Chris Gayle in good form and several improving younger players, Holder believes the team could yet lift the title.  

“Our boys are probably not the finished product but we're definitely on the right path to becoming pretty good West Indian players. If we stick together for the next two or three years, the sky's the limit,” Holder told the Daily Mail.

 “And, being in England, this was the last place we lifted the World Cup. Who knows, maybe there's a script to be written there,” he added.

The regional team’s chances will not have been hurt by a strong showing against England in the Caribbean where they played to a 2-2 draw in the One Day International series, which came on the back of a surprise 2-1 Test series win.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) and former Windies coach Mr Phil Simmons have announced an amicable resolution to the claim from Simmons’ dismissal as head coach in 2016.

Former West Indies Cricket team manager Ricky Skerritt has been appointed as the new president of Cricket West Indies (CWI) after securing the necessary votes at the association’s Annual General Meeting, at the Jamaica Pegasus on Sunday.

By the official count, Skerritt and his running mate Dr Kishore Shallow defeated incumbents Whycliffe ‘Dave’ Cameron and Emmanuel Nanthan by an 8-4 margin.  Unofficially, it is reported that Skerritt and Shallow managed to secure the support of Trinidad and Tobago, Leeward Islands, Windward Islands and Camron’s home nation Jamaica.  The incumbents Cameron and Nantan are believed to have received the support of Barbados and Guyana.

The result ended a three-term spell for the Jamaican, which spanned a six-year period.  Cameron was first elected to the office in 2013 when he toppled former St Lucian diplomat Julian Hunte, to whom he had served as vice-president from 2007 until he took office.  During his tenure, Cameron has been credited with implementing improved retainer contracts for players and officials, restructuring the regional competitions and improved relations with the West Indies Player’s Association (WIPA).  On his watch, the Windies team while struggling in the world rankings, claimed two T20 world titles, and the women’s and youth titles. 

Heading into the election the Kittitian Skerritt had painted the incumbent as not having enough of a pro-cricket stance with his governance and failing to commit to the establishment of term limits.   

Windies T20 skipper Carlos Brathwaite has tipped the team to be a competitive force at the upcoming ICC World Cup if they are able to replicate the form shown in the recent England tour of the Caribbean.

After stunning the English to win the Test series 2-1, the Windies put in another solid shift to tie the One Day International (ODI) series 2-2.  The result was somewhat of a surprise against an England team, who are the world’s top-ranked team.

Brathwaite believes the performance will give the team a boost of confidence ahead of the tournament, which gets under way in May but has rejected any talk of the team being among the favourites.

"I think the chances are good but I don't think we will be favourites. And I don't think we will be underdogs," Brathwaite said.

"We know what we can do, especially after the series we just had against England. So, it's a balanced expectation in my opinion,” he added.

"The brand of cricket we played in the Caribbean if we can replicate that in England, we will go somewhere close to challenging for the title. We have been traditionally a good tournament team. So, hopefully, we can win the third World Cup."

Kings XI Punjab coach Mike Hesson has hailed young West Indies batsman Nicholas Pooran as the new Chris Gayle, tipping the player for a big impact ahead of the new IPL season.

The 23-year-old will play in the IPL for a second season, having been drafted by Islamabad in 2017.  On the bag of several impressive performances this season, the Trinidad and Tobago-born batsman was purchased by XI Punjab at the IPL 2019 auction for a whopping Rs 42 million (Rs 4.2 crore).  The price was a surprise for some, but Hesson is confident it will pay dividends for Punjab, who are looking to recover from a somewhat disappointing 2018 season.

“I am sure you all are excited about him when you look at the numbers he is putting up around the world at the moment,” Hesson said.

Pooran has appeared in six T20 Internationals and scored 105 runs at an average of 26.25. With five sixes, he has an impressive strike rate of 156.

“Obviously, he’s just been introduced to West Indies one-day international squad. He’s been a dynamic performer around the scene with strike-rates nearing the 200s in some competitions. Left-hand bat, I would always call him a young Chris Gayle with that imposing nature. The ability to play spin and hit spin outside the park could play well,” he added.

Barbados Pride pace bowler Keon Harding ripped through Leewards Islands Hurricanes batting order to claim a five-for that saw the team dismissed for 90, in day one of the West Indies Championship match at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.   

Opener Montcin Hodge was the team’s top batsman on 24 and one of only three to make it into double figures after facing bruising spells from Harding and Miguel Cummins. 

Cummins struck in the first ball of the first over when he had opener Keacy Carty caught for a duck by Jonathan Carter.  The consistent Devon Thomas and Hodge sought to repair the damage and settled in to put on 36 for the second wicket.  Any hopes of a full recovery were, however, quickly dashed when Thomas was caught for 11 by Roston Chase off Harding.  He returned to claim the scalp of Hodge six overs later as the batsman’s resistance came to an end when he was caught by Marquino Mindley.  The team continued to struggle to establish themselves at the crease as Harding then dismissed Akeem Saunders for 5.  Jahmar Hamilton failed to add to the score when he was caught for a duck off Cummins, with Terrance Ward (19) and Alzzari Joseph the only batsmen reaching double digits as the order collapsed.  Harding ended with figures of 5 for 29, with Cummins claiming 3 for 34.

In response, Barbados were in early trouble after losing opener Shayne Moseley and Kraigg Brathwaite with only 10 runs on the board.  Moseley was run out for 1 by Nelson Bolan with Brathwaite caught by Devon Thomas off the bowling of Cornwall.  Shamarh Brooks, however, put an end to the slide as his unbeaten 79 from 144 pushed Barbados to 154 for 4.  Shane Dowrich (28) was the team’s other unbeaten batsman as the Pride ended the day with a 64-run lead.

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