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.”

 

 

Windies pace bowler Shannon Gabriel is confident he can be a huge asset to the One Day International team ahead of next month’s ICC World Cup.

The 30-year-old Gabriel has proven to be one of the region’s premier bowlers but has done most of his damage over the longest format.  Against Bangladesh last year the bowler got the third five-wicket haul of his career.  Against England in the last series, Gabriel took five wickets in the at an average of 27.4 and kept the visitors on their toes with 90mph pace.

In the 50-over format, the player has not featured for the Windies since 2017 during the team’s tour of New Zealand.  The player is, however, confident his current form will translate into the shorter format.

 “I think I still have a part to play in one-day cricket for the West Indies, and I just want to keep improving every step. It’s been a while, over a year, since I’ve played one-day cricket, so I just want to relish the opportunity once given the chance,” Gabriel said.

“Moving on from Test cricket, I don’t think my role has changed. They see me as someone who will go out there and look to take wickets, and I think my role is very clear and I always enjoy the ­challenge. I just want to go out there and ­perform to the best of my ability, take each game one game at a time.”

Bangladesh bowling coach, former West Indies pacer, wants one of his charges handled with care ahead of the International Cricket Council’s Cricket World Cup in England just weeks away. 

A provisional Windies squad will be selected next week.  Who do you think will be in and who will be out? 

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.”

 

A lawyer for the recently dismissed Courtney Browne-led Cricket West Indies (CWI) selection panel has insisted his clients are strongly considering the initiation of legal proceedings and taken exception to recent statements made by Cricket West Indies (CWI) president Ricky Skerritt.

In dismissing the three-man panel, which also consisted of Lockhart Sebastien and Eldine Baptiste, last week, Skerritt said “we have terminated the old embedded selection policy which secretly, but actively, victimised some players and banished them from selection consideration”.

Tony Astaphan, the lawyer for the dismissed selectors, insisted they had taken issue with both the terminations and their public characterization as a group.  He claimed the selectors were simply following instructions and had always received positive affirmation for the body.

“My clients are very troubled by their dismissal and the manner of their dismissal, particularly the statements made about the 'old embedded selection policy which secretly but actively victimised players and banished them from selection consideration.  That's a serious [charge] and it affects the manner of dismissal of Mr Browne, Mr Baptiste and Mr Sebastien,” Astaphan said in a recent radio interview.

“What we are looking at now within the context of the labour code of Antigua and Barbuda is whether having regard to all the facts and circumstances, including the terms of the agreements signed by these good gentlemen, who as you know have dedicated their lives to West Indies cricket, constitute independent contractors or employees under the Antigua and Barbuda labour code.”

Astaphan pointed out that Browne had also been considered an exceptional employee by the CWI, which led to his contract being renewed on several occasions.

“He has been there since 2010 and you having before every renewal of his contract, gone through what is called an employee job assessment and getting extraordinary marks on matters of ethics and selections, to be thrown out like that with the commentary of a discriminatory selection policy which he did not set,” the Dominican explained.

“I think it is a well-known fact there was a selection criteria either approved by the board or requested by the board, and there was a technical team set up with the specific jurisdictional authority to decide who was eligible or not. They were the ones that made the decision as to who was eligible or not.”

Browne was replaced by Jamaican Robert Haynes, with Jimmy Adams and interim head coach Floyd Reifer also appointed to the panel.

 

 

Windies top order batsman Darren Bravo insists self-belief will be key to the team’s chances of success if they are to mount a strong challenge at next month’s ICC World Cup. 

The 30-year-old Bravo was part of a Windies squad that recently went toe to toe with a top-ranked England team, earning a highly credible 2-2 draw.  The batsman, who only recently returned to the team, has admitted the experience has been a major confidence booster for the unit.

“We are capable of winning the World Cup, but the team must concentrate on the plans we have made as a unit which will be the most important thing,” Bravo told Barbados Today. “We are not going to focus very much on the opposition. We have certain plans and roles we have to execute. Once we get them right I believe the results will take care of themselves. No one gave us a chance against England and we went out there and proved that we can beat the best team in the world. We just got to continue to believe in ourselves and anything is possible,” he added.

The talented batsman only recently returned to the squad after an extended absence, following a feud with former CWI boss Dave Cameron.  The player insists his loyalties have always been to represent the West Indies and is happy to be back in the fold.

“As a kid growing up my dream was always to play 100 Test matches for the West Indies and that is still my ultimate goal. I guess I have some work to put in to achieve my dream. I will be doing whatever I have to do whenever I am given the opportunity to play for the West Indies. I have to try to be as consistent as possible. I want to cement my role in the team and try to win matches for the West Indies.”

"I often have to explain to people he didn't score all of the 375 off me," Chris Lewis quips as he reflects with mixed emotions on Brian Lara's astonishing record knock in Antigua.

It is 25 years to the day since Lara whipped an expectant Antigua crowd into a frenzy by hooking Lewis to the boundary to eclipse fellow West Indies legend Garry Sobers' long-standing highest Test score of 365 not out.

A quarter of a century on, that historic moment is still fresh in the memory of former England all-rounder Lewis.

"Oh no," Lewis replies when asked if he would mind sharing his recollection of an incredible tour de force from one of the greatest batsmen of all time.

That must have been what the England bowlers were thinking when captain Michael Atherton asked them to warm up as Lara majestically piled on the runs.

The Windies had been reduced to 12-2 on day one of the final match of the series, but Lara spent 12 hours and 46 minutes at the crease to surpass a record set by Sobers back in 1958.

Lewis had tried everything to remove the elegant left hander, whose foot dislodged a bail - which fell back into the groove - as he swung around after hitting one of 45 fours to make history.

He told Omnisport: "People identify me with running in to bowl that ball to Brian, so I often have to explain to people he didn't score all of the 375 off me!

"But I remember running in to bowl the ball and really just thinking, 'I've tried everything else, so I'll have a go at getting [the ball] as high as I can', and there were two men back, so see what happens.

"I bowled the ball, he whacked it for four and it was chaotic, with the game stopped halfway through, people came onto the field - including Garry Sobers - and we're just spectators taking it in, not quite believing what's going on.

"While that was happening, Jack [Russell, England wicketkeeper] came up to me and said, 'Do you know he stepped on his stumps when he hooked it?' I had no idea.

"Here we are 25 years later and certainly I didn't want Brian to break the record, certainly not off my bowling and certainly not against our team. I wouldn't say I was happy to be a part of it but I'm happy for Brian. He was the best batter I ever played against, one of the most exciting cricketers I've ever seen and he deserves it."

Lewis added: "It was really surreal. I remember Brian getting his hundred and I remember thinking, he's got his hundred so sooner or later - hopefully sooner - he'll probably chip one to cover or point or something like that, because it often happens - batsmen give it away after getting to the century.

"But he kept going and after day one nobody was thinking of the world record, then during the second day there almost seemed to be a build-up and an inevitably about it."

While Lewis is now happy to doff his cap to Lara - who went on to make an unbeaten 400 on the same ground against the same opponents to reclaim the Test record 10 years later - for his herculean knock, it was too painful to appreciate at the time.

"I must admit it took me a while to be admiring it, because it's a bit like being in the midst of a boxing fight and someone has given you a great right hook and you stand back and admire," the 51-year-old said. 

"It's very much later when there is not so much aggression going on or in some cases even after your career when you can look back. I didn't want to admire batters too much, it was a competition, but 25 years later Brian Lara coming into bat... if I wasn't bowling it would be a very enjoyable day!"

 

- Lewis is currently on tour for The Long Walk Back, a theatre production based on his fall from grace. 

Brian Lara made 375 to break the record for most runs in a Test innings 25 years ago - and his unbeaten 400 a decade on remains the highest score today. 

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.

 

Windies fast bowler Kemar Roach has declared himself almost fully recovered from a troublesome back injury and targeted making an appearance at next month’s ICC World Cup.

The 30-year-old pace bowler recently gave another stark example of his immense talent after claiming a five-wicket haul against England in the first Test at Kensington Oval, January.  He returned to take eight wickets in the second Test, before sitting out the third with the back injury.

 “I am not 100 per cent. There are still a couple of weeks before the first game in Ireland, so I am gradually improving and I will be ready for the first game. I bowled a lot of overs in the Test series against England which took a toll on me but I am back now and ready to go,” Roach told Barbados Today.

Roach has, however, not made a One Day International (ODI) appearance for the Windies since Bangladesh in December of last year.  On that occasion, the bowler injured his hamstring.  The bowler will hope to stake his claim for a spot in the ODI squad when the team faces Ireland and Bangladesh in a Tri-series next month.

“In one-day cricket, I have to get back in the frame of things. The last ODI series I played in was in Bangladesh and I got injured there as well. So, it is about building up for all of the ODIs coming after a long World Cup at home and overseas, I am prepared to go out there and give it my best shot,” Roach said.

“Playing in the World Cup is something I have been working towards in the last couple of weeks so hopefully, if selected, I will give it my best shot and go out there and try hard to bring home the silverware for the West Indies.”

Roach has taken 184 wickets from 53 Test matches and 114 scalps from 80 ODIs.

 

 

 

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.

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.

 

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