Paul-Andre Walker

Paul-Andre Walker

Paul-Andre is the Managing Editor at SportsMax.tv. He comes to the role with almost 20 years of experience as journalist. That experience includes all facets of media. He began as a sports Journalist in 2001, quickly moving into radio, where he was an editor before becoming a news editor and then an entertainment editor with one of the biggest media houses in the Caribbean.

West Indies captain, Jason Holder, has earned the ire of former fastbowler, Winston Benjamin, who has not liked the way he has treated paceman Alzarri Joseph.

According to Benjamin, Joseph has been underutilized by the skipper, making it difficult for him to develop a rhythm and perform at his best.

“It’s not because I’ve worked with this young man, but I think Alzarri has been handled poorly by the captain from day one, not just this series, and just look at how he is being used. Here it is that you have a youngster with raw talent and we don’t have a lot of bowlers with raw talent, but how do you get experience, isn’t it by doing what you have to do?” said Benjamin during an airing of the ‘Good Morning Jojo Sports Show’.

Benjamin also suggested Holder has an issue with Joseph and may not think he is as good as people are purporting.

“If you’re not happy with an individual and you think there is too much talk about this individual and don’t think he’s as good and you want to prove a point, then you give him short spells, bowl him with the old ball when things are tight and critical so he never has a break,” said Benjamin

Benjamin went on to point out that Holder has a responsibility that comes with being captain that, if not managed properly, could be harmful.

“The captain has the ability to make or break a bowler. The time that you give him the ball to bowl, the confidence that you place in him will determine the frame of mind and if you are going to give me two overs and take me off every minute, the first thing I am going to say is that you don’t have any confidence in me so my whole demeanour is now going to change,” said Benjamin.

Benjamin, the mentor of Joseph, was speaking after the first two Tests in the three-match #raisethebat Series currently ongoing in England.

In that first Test, Joseph bowled a total of 31 overs to end with match figures of 2-98, while in the second Test he bowled even less, accounting for 25.1 overs for a match-haul of 1-84. Joseph was dropped in favour of spinner Rahkeem Cornwall for the Third Test which heads into day three on Sunday.

According to Benjamin, there is a certain selfishness in the way Holder rotates his bowlers.

“Now, what I have observed with our captain is that he doesn’t bowl unless things are happening and once things are happening the ball belongs to him and he’s not relinquishing that but as soon as you hit a little rough patch, you go and work this ball for me and as soon as things start happening he comes back in and cleans up. I have seen those things, I’ve been part of those situations many times. I’ve gone through that myself,” he said.

What Joseph needs now, more than anything else, Benjamin went on to explain, is experience.

According to the former fast bowler, who took 61 wickets in 21 Tests for the West Indies, that experience can only be had if the captain allows it.

“You can’t learn experience; you learn skill, you develop skill, but experience is you participating in whatever it is in order to gain the experience.”

The West Indies and England are locked at a game apiece in their three-Test series with England dominating the third.

England, sent into bat scored 369 and after two days of cricket, have the West Indies in a spot of bother, six wickets down for 137.

 

West Indies pacer Kemar Roach is elated to join the ranks of bowlers from the region to have more than 200 wickets in Test cricket but wants more.

Roach earned his 200th scalp when he bowled Chris Woakes, ending day two of the final Test in the #raisethebat Series against England at Old Trafford with figures of 4-72 and in the process helping the West Indies bowl the hosts out for 369.

Roach was the best of the bowlers with his 25.4 overs going at 2.81. Shannon Gabriel ended with 5-77, Jason Holder, 1-83, and Roston Chase 2-36. Rahkeem Cornwall, in his English debut bowled 27 wicketless overs for 85 runs.

“It’s a great feeling. I’ve worked very hard to get to this stage,” said Roach.

Roach, who was at the peak of his powers in 2014, suffered a car accident a number of injuries on his way to recovery, leaving many to believe his career might have been over.

“I’ve been through a lot cricketing wise with my body and injury and stuff so, today it was very heartwarming to get to this significant milestone,” he said, thinking back to his ordeal.

With the worst of his injury woes behind him, Roach is now looking toward the future and seeing how far up the ladder of great West Indies fastbowlers he can climb.

Roach, with 201 wickets in his 59th Test, is ninth on the list of all-time highest wicket-takers from the West Indies. He is one wicket behind Andy Roberts and 34 behind Sir Garfield Sobers.

Ahead of those three are Courtney Walsh (519), Curtly Ambrose (405), Malcolm Marshall (376), Lance Gibbs (309), Joel Garner (259), and Michael Holding (249).

Roach is aware of all the names ahead of him and sees these milestones as important.

“I base my career on milestones actually, 100 wickets, 150 wickets, and obviously if you get to those stages it means you’re doing well so I push myself to the limit trying to get to as many milestones as I can in my career. That is a motivating factor for me,” he said.

“That is a motivating factor for me. This 200 was great for me to tick off but let’s see what 250 looks like, let’s see what 300 looks like.”

The West Indies reply to England’s 369 has not gone well, with the visitors struggling at 137-6. Holder, on 24, and Shane Dowrich on 10, are the not-out batsmen.

The West Indies and England are tied 1-1 in their three-Test series with the next three days set to decide who takes home the Wisden Trophy.

Olympic 400-metre champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo, who is likely to just run the 200 metres in Tokyo next year, has sent a strong message to her opponents after a sub-11-second clocking at the Back to the Track meet in Claremont on Friday.

Miller-Uibo, who has tried in vain to have the 400 and 200 metres spread out at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, will likely be running just the half-lap event and not defending her title.

She went a long way on Friday to show she was getting faster, clocking 10.98 to smash her personal best twice after first easing to 11.03 in the heats.

The time puts Miller-Uibo in rarified air, the tall Bahamian now just one of four women to ever run sub-11 over 100 metres, sub-22 over 200, and sub-49 over 400.

Miller-Uibo got the better of 17-year-old United States athlete Tamari Davis, who clocked 11.15 seconds, and Jamaica’s Natalliah White, 11.19.

Stuart Broad wrested the momentum of the deciding third test back in England’s favour Saturday by smashing a counterattacking 62 before the team was dismissed by the West Indies for 369 to bring up lunch on day two.

Resuming on 258-4, England lost a wicket in four consecutive overs to collapse to 280-8, with Ollie Pope falling first and failing to add to his overnight score of 91.

The collapse brought Broad to the middle and the left-hander hit the Windies’ bowlers to all parts of Old Trafford, reaching his half-century in 33 balls — putting him tied for third place in the all-time list of England’s fastest test fifties.

Broad’s 45-ball innings ended when he holed out in the deep off an ambitious swept volley, but by then he had frustrated the West Indies and put England back in charge of a series currently poised at 1-1.

His potentially game-changing ninth-wicket partnership with Dom Bess was worth 76 runs, with Broad hitting nine fours and a six.

Bess was left stranded on 18 after Anderson was the last man out for 11. England added 111 runs in the session.

Earlier, Pope was dropped at slip off Shannon Gabriel before the same paceman got one through the gate his very next over.

Chris Woakes (1) then slashed at a wide ball onto his stumps to give fast bowler Kemar Roach his 200th test wicket.

Jos Buttler, who resumed on 56, was out for 67 when he edged Gabriel to Jason Holder at second slip and the West Indies captain also pouched a catch to remove Jofra Archer (3) off the bowling of Roach.

Roach had team-best figures of 4-72.

The Windies, who won the first test in Southampton before losing the second match in Manchester, are looking to capture a test series in England for the first time since 1988.

While Rahkeem Cornwall went wicketless in his first outing of the #raisethebat Series at Old Trafford in Manchester on Friday, his vice-captain thinks the big off-break bowler had a good outing.

Cornwall ended the first day of the third Test, with the West Indies and England locked 1-1, with figures of 0-71 from 21 overs, while England were 258-4.

England’s batsmen, except for an lbw shout looked comfortable against Cornwall’s spin and when Ollie Pope, 91, and Jos Buttler, 56, started coming down the wicket, Cornwall struggled to keep them back in their crease.

Despite the struggles which saw Cornwall go at 3.38 runs per over, the most expensive of the West Indies bowlers, Brathwaite still believed it was a good outing.

“I thought Rahkeem was good. The pitch spun a bit and I thought he controlled the runs,” said Brathwaite.

Cornwall was involved in something spectacular though, a one-handed grab at slip that came from the slashing blade of Rory Burns, 57, off the bowling of Roston Chase.

Chase only bowled eight overs but had more luck than Cornwall, bagging 1-24.

But according to Brathwaite, there is enough there for Cornwall to be hopeful about.

“He didn’t go for too many runs, which was good. It was unfortunate that he didn’t get a wicket but I thought he was decent,” said the West Indies vice-captain.

The best of the West Indies bowlers was kemar Roach, who ended the day with 2-56, while Shannon Gabriel, 0-47, and Jason Holder, 0-45, were not as penetrative as in previous Tests.

West Indies vice-captain Kraigg Brathwaite points to the second morning of the third and decisive Test against England as being crucial after a partnership between Ollie Pope and Jos Buttler wrested their early advantage on Friday at Old Trafford.

England are in a good position, having ended the day on 258-4, a far cry from the 122-4 they were in when Buttler came to the crease.

Before that, Kemar Roach had removed second-Test century-maker, Dom Sibley, for a duck, trapping him leg before wicket in the first over of the day.

Then came the run out of Joe Root for 17, Roston Chase clipping the bales.

Ben Stokes and opener Rory Burns tried to fashion a recovery before the latter was pushed back with some short deliveries before being bowled by Roach for 20.

The West Indies were looking good with England at 92-3, and when Burns was caught brilliantly at slip by Rahkeem Cornwall off the bowling of Roston Chase for 57, the West Indies were in great shape with two new batsmen and England teetering at 122-4.

But that’s where it ended as Pope, 91, and Buttler, 56, saw out the day in relative comfort, their partnership now worth 136.  

“I thought we started very well. Obviously Buttler and Pope had a good partnership, they batted well and so we know we have some hard work come tomorrow,” said Brathwaite in a press conference following stumps.

While Pope and Buttler have rescued England from a precarious position, Brathwaite does not believe the game has gotten away from the West Indies and tomorrow brings a fresh opportunity.

“We had a plan and obviously to bowl first but it’s been a pretty even day and obviously good from the two at the crease but I think tomorrow we have to start well and look to limit them to as few as possible,” said Brathwaite.

While tomorrow’s morning session is important, Brathwaite says the West Indies won’t panic and will stick to their plans and be patient.

“We have to start well and by that I mean we don’t have to rush wickets. I think if we build pressure by bowling a lot of dot balls and no boundary balls, that will create pressure to bring wickets. We don’t have to rush it in the morning session, I believe once we keep it tight, the tightness will bring wickets,” he said.

Last week I suggested England’s ben Stokes was close to overtaking Jason Holder as the number one allrounder in the world, despite Holder’s heroics in the first #raisethebat Series Test at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton.

This week Stokes confirmed my suspicions.

Stokes scored a couple of 40-odds and took 4-49 and 2-39, the most wickets for England, in that first Test, but still, Holder’s six-for put him ahead, even though the latter had a very ordinary outing with the bat.

I have consistently thought Stokes, over the course of his career, displays the better all-round ability, though Holder clearly wins in the bowling department.

Now, after two Tests of a three-Test series, Stokes has shown, with both bat and ball, he may very well be the greatest allrounder of the modern era.

After the second Test, Stokes duly took his place as the number-one Test allrounder in the world.

I agree with that.

Stokes is a complete allrounder.

In that second Test between England and the West Indies at Old Trafford, Stokes was in full flight.

He began the Test with 176, then broke the back of the West Indies innings when he had Kraigg Brathwaite caught and bowled for 75.

Stokes would continue to impact the Test in no uncertain terms, scoring a bruising 78 not out from just 57 deliveries to give England a platform from which they could bowl at the West Indies.

Stokes’ 2-30 when the West Indies bat was crucial, as he was the man who bounced out Jermaine Blackwood who had scored a classy 55 just before tea on the final day. I believe that was the wicket that ensured England their 113-run victory. He also proved the undoing of Alzarri Joseph, who has already proven a capable lower-order batsman.

I have always felt that an allrounder on the biggest stage in cricket is not just someone who is ok in all areas. These are professional cricketers and by and large, they’ll be ok at anything they do.

But an allrounder, I believe, to be classified as such, should be excellent in all areas.

A player who bowls well and bats a bit, for me, is not an allrounder. A player, who bats well and bowls a bit is not an allrounder either. Those are just cricketers. Maybe better cricketers than their peers, who only do one thing, but just cricketers nonetheless.

Jason Holder is a good cricketer.

He is no mug with the bat as his double century against England in Bridgetown, Barbados last year goes to prove. But Holder, for me is a bowler at this point in his career.

When I watch him bat, I see potential. He seems to be competent against spin as well as pace and has an uncanny way of seeming unhurried when he plays.

When I watch him bowl though, I see a bowler who can compete with the best in the world.

He is a fantastic bowler.

Standing at 6’ 7” I wish he were quicker, but at his pace, he generates bounce, movement and can be quite aggressive when he needs to be. His accuracy is phenomenal and I’ve watched him develop the perfect wrist positions to do exactly what he wants with the ball.

Holder’s ascent to the number two position among bowlers in Test cricket is no accident.

But, for me, that does not make him an allrounder.

Could he make the West Indies team as purely a batsman? He certainly could as a bowler.

Stokes, on the other hand, makes the England side in any capacity.

If he were unable to bat, the strength of his bowling, though not in Holder’s class, I don’t think, would give him a place in the England line-up.

He is certainly a key cog as a batsman and could play as solely that if he could not bowl.

In fact, I go as far as to say, Stokes is England’s best batsmen and he is the bowler who breaks the back of big partnerships.

Talking about fielding is a nonstarter since both Stokes and Holder are excellent fielders.

But, I think, by now you get my point.

With the bat, Holder is too mediocre at this stage of his career to really call him an allrounder, but there is hope.

I believe if Holder puts in the same kind of work into his batting that he does his bowling and this is difficult because he is captain of the West Indies, I believe he could become a real true-to-life allrounder.

Excellent at all things cricket.

With the West Indies faltering badly in their first innings to eventually fall to England in the second Test of the #raisethebat Series, I thought it interesting to look back at a game where the West Indies used their first innings to ensure a game that could have gotten away from them, didn’t.

It turns out that maybe the game would not have had a result anyway, but the West Indies weren’t to know that and their performance to pull themselves out of trouble, was memorable.

In December of 2008, a powerful New Zealand Test side could find no way past a game West Indies and interestingly, the tone for the fight the visitors would put up came from the bat of Jamaican pace bowler Jerome Taylor.

It was the first Test of a two-match series and the West Indies had long been missing the names of the cricketers that made them great.

Though those names, Clive Lloyd, Viv Richards, Brian Lara, Malcolm Marshall, were no longer around, the proud legacy they left behind meant even this ‘watered-down’ version of the West Indies would not be pushovers.

The West Indies were sent into the field first up and despite three wickets apiece from Daren Powell (3-68), Fidel Edwards (3-91) and skipper Chris Gayle (3-42), things were off to a rocky start.

New Zealand would put 365 on the board on the first day, thanks to 95 from Daniel Flynn and 89 from Jesse Ryder.

No play was possible on day two of the Test and when the West Indies went to bat, the conditions for batting had changed.

Still Gayle was at his aggressive best, slamming 74 from 103 deliveries to get the run chase off to a rollicking good start. However, Sewnarine Chattergoon (13), Ramnaresh Sarwan (8), and Xavier Marshall (20), did not stay very long.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul, however, would bat with, of all people, pacer Jerome Taylor, to give West Indies a chance at staying in the game.

Before Taylor came to the crease, Chanderpaul, who would eventually make 76 from 200 deliveries, lost the services of Brendan Nash for 23 and Denesh Ramdin for five.

Now he was batting with the tail, the score was 173-6. Even with a day rained out, this game could have been over in a jiffy.

But Taylor wasn’t in the mood to give up the ghost and scored an almost run-a-ball century, slamming 17 fours and three massive sixes, to end on 106 from 107.

Nobody else scored a run and so the West Indies crept, or rather, blasted their way to 340, a deficit of just 25.

Rain made sure there was no play on the fourth day and much of the fifth day, with New Zealand, 44-2 in their second innings before the game came to an end.

But Taylor’s batting made sure there was little chance of New Zealand running away with the game and provides an example of some of the heroics current West Indies coach, Phil Simmons, will be hoping to see with today’s batsmen when the team meets England in the decider of the #raisethebat Series.

West Indies coach Phil Simmons can no longer ignore the top-order batting of Shai Hope, who has failed to come off with the bat in four innings of the #raisethebat Series for the Wisden Trophy, currently ongoing in England.

Hope had scores of 16 and nine in the first Test the West Indies won by four wickets in Southampton before scoring 25 and seven in a 113-run defeat in Manchester.

Hope, since scoring back-to-back hundreds against England in 2017, has only managed to get past 50 on four occasions, even as he faced the music 39 times.

“I am concerned. He has now gone some four innings without a score and in contrast to how he played over the last four months, five, six months in the other formats, I am concerned about his form and we will be sitting down and chatting about that,” said Simmons.

The coach, who was speaking in a press conference after the West Indies defeat by England in the second Test at Old Trafford, was referencing Hope’s phenomenal year with the bat as an ODI player.

In Hope’s last 10 ODI innings, he has scored three centuries, and three half-centuries, including 115, 51 and 72 in his last three innings against Sri Lanka earlier this year.

Simmons has said it was too early to decide on whether or not Hope would be dropped for the third Test or if another role in the batting line-up would suit him more.

West Indies coach Phil Simmons is disappointed that batsmen in his team have not converted good starts into big scores, blaming that fact on defeat to England in the second Test of the #raisethebat Series at Old Trafford on Monday.

According to Simmons, half-centuries from Kraigg Brathwaite, 75, Shamarh Brooks, 68 and 62, Roston Chase 51, and Jermaine Blackwood, 55, were missed opportunities.

The five half-centuries were scored in totals of 287 and 198 as the West Indies lost by 113 to hosts England, 469-9 declared and 129-3 declared, with an hour left to play on the fifth day and despite a rained-out third day.

“We had five or six half-centuries and no conversions. It is something that we have been talking about a lot and nobody has taken up that opportunity in this game yet again, so it is disappointing,” said Simmons.

The England victory tied the #raisethebat Series for the Wisden trophy at 1-1 leaving Friday’s game at Old Trafford as the decider.

“I think we have to do something different, we just lost a Test match. We have to add to things done in the first Test match and subtract from some of the things we have done in this Test match. I think it is critical that our batsmen carry on and make big hundreds,” said Simmons.

Ben Stokes’ bruising 78 from just 57 deliveries took the second Test at Old Trafford away from the West Indies, who, with 214 runs in arrears and eight England wickets to try and get, had the slightest of chances on day five.

Stokes slammed four fours and three sixes to lead England to 129-3 from just 19 overs of batting. The innings gave England two things, runs and time.

It made sure they got 85 overs to bowl at the West Indies, as well as a fair number of runs to act as a buffer in case they couldn’t get 10 wickets.

Speaking about the innings, West Indies coach, Phil Simmons, said he was not surprised, but he was disappointed because the West Indies got a chance to stop the carnage early out.

When Stokes was on 29, John Campbell, fielding at deep extra-cover, floored a chance off Shannon Gabriel, that may have changed the course of the game.

“The thing about him is that we know he can do that. And if you go out and drop him within six balls of the start, well then you’ve got problems then,” said Simmons.

“I think it was our doing that he got the opportunity to go on and show what he’s made of and we know what he’s made of.”

England, thanks to an all-round bowling performance would go on to win by 113 runs, bowling out the West Indies for 198, with Shamarh Brooks, 62, Jermaine Blackwood, 55, and Jason Holder, 35, the main contributors.

The #raisethebat Series for the Wisden Trophy now lies at 1-1 with the series decider on Friday at the same venue.

West Indies coach Phil Simmons has pinpointed five or six overs during the course of the second Test in the #raisethebat Series at Old Trafford, that were the catalyst for the visitors ending 113-run losers.

Former West Indies T20 captain, Carlos Brathwaite, says that while he understands that everybody, sports stars or not, has a life to live, he is still disappointed with Jofra Archer.

Brathwaite was speaking about Archer’s decision to visit his home in between the first and second Test in the #raisethebat Series against the West Indies.

Archer’s decision saw him miss the second Test which is headed to day four after Saturday was rained out.

The England pacer was fined by the English Cricket Board on Saturday but can play in the third Test if he tests negative for COVID-19.

For me, as a personal friend, I'm disappointed, not only in what Jofra's done but the scrutiny you get from the media,” said Brathwaite. 

According to Brathwaite, Archer has not done any favours to his image, though he believes the paceman is generally misunderstood.

“There has been talk before about his attitude and his laissez-faire way of going about things, which often discredits what he does on the field,” said Brathwaite.

“I just want to see his cricket do the talking, more than the concerns - which I think are misplaced - about his character. His tweeting, his social media, his quirky posts: that is Jofra Archer,” said Brathwaite.

Still, Brathwaite believes that there needs to be less pressure on athletes to be perfect and it must be remembered they are humans.

“As a cricketer myself, there are things outside of cricket that people would not agree with. People look to cricketers to set examples in life.

“He's not there for your son or daughter to look up to. He's there to live his life and do what he does best,” said Brathwaite.

The all-rounder wants it to be understood though, that even though he believes sportsmen get too much of a hard time, Archer still needs to be more responsible.

“That said, it does not excuse what he does. It's disappointing for me, as a personal friend, the backlash he will get.”

Three Bangladesh players, Mustafizur Rahman, Tamim Iqbal, and Mahmudullah, have declined invitations to the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) because of concerns over COVID-19 and to show loyalty the country’s domestic league.

According to Tamim, the journey to the CPL, which is set for August 18 in Trinidad and Tobago, is long and would keep him away from his family, making it difficult to respond to emergencies.

Due to the COVID-19 there is travel restriction and route to West Indies is very long. Say I make it to the islands but there is an emergency in my family, I will not be able to return easy. I do not want to take that chance,” said Tamim.

There is also the issue of figuring out when Bangladesh’s domestic cricket will restart. The last game was played in March and it is still unknown when a restart is likely but Tamim, in particular, wants to be available when it does.

“The tournament [Dhaka Premier League] is suspended but as you know, we all are waiting for it to resume which can happen any time,” said Tamim.

Mahmudullah and Tamim have played in the CPL before, the former for the Jamaica Tallawahs and the Bangladesh captain for the St Lucia Zouks.

West Indies fast-bowling legend has laid into Jofra Archer after the England pacer flouted the bio-secure protocols and was dropped from the team for the second Test in the #raisethebat series at Old Trafford.

There was no play on today’s third day because of persistent rain, with England having batted for the majority of the two days prior.

With the West Indies leading the series 1-0, scores in the second Test are England 469-9 declared and the West Indies 32-1.

“I have no sympathy at all. I don't understand why people can't just do what is required,' Holding said during an interview with Sky Sports.

According to the Sky Sports commentator and pundit, the sacrifices the teams have had to make to make the series a reality are relatively small and should not elicit actions such as Archer’s.

Archer, during his trip from Southampton where the first Test was played to Manchester for the second, rerouted to his house before making his way to the venue.

The pacer was forced to miss the Test as he had to self-quarantine and has since been fined by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) ahead of the possibility of playing in the third Test should he test negative for COVID-19.

“Talking about sacrifices - Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in a little cell and he did nothing wrong - that is a sacrifice,” said Holding.

Holding did not have kind words for the ECB either, suggesting they hadn’t thought all the protocols for the series out well enough.

“Why aren't the England team travelling on a bus? If they have already passed the COVID test and everyone is together, they have six matches and are moving from one venue to another, why aren't they just all on a bus?” Holding questioned.

“Why are they allowed to travel by car? People need to just think a bit,” said Holding.

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