West Indies hit a record 23 sixes against England on Wednesday as Chris Gayle fired the hosts to 360-8 in the opening ODI. 

Windies skipper Jason Holder claims the unit is pleased to once again don the underdogs' tag ahead of the One Day International (ODI) series against England, which bowls off on Wednesday.

Heading into the series as the world’s number-one ranked team, England will once again be heavy favourites, with the regional side ranked some eight places below them. 

With the situation very similar to the one they faced in the Test series, where the Windies dominated to win 2-1.  Holder, who was suspended for the only the third and only Test the team lost, is hoping to return and make an immediate impact.

“We're pretty confident, we have momentum from the Test series and good experience in the dressing room,” Holder said.

“We pack a pretty heavy punch when we're stacking up our team. 'Underdogs' is not a bad tag to have - it's more pressure on them and less pressure on us,” he added.

“It was tough watching the Test in St Lucia but I'm very hungry to get back on the park and looking forward to the challenge of carrying the team forward.”

The Windies will face an even tougher test than the Test series with both pacers Shannon Gabriel and Kemar Roach out of action.  Keemo Paul, Evin Lewis and Rovman Powell are also ruled out.

Windies wicket-keeper batsman Shai Hope has hailed the addition of star left-hander Chris Gayle to the squad as the team prepares to face England in the upcoming One Day International series.

The 39-year-old will return to the ODI team for the first time since 2018 when the Windies faced off against Bangladesh.  Gayle will play the opening two matches of the five-match series against England.

With the experienced batsman just short of 10,000 ODI runs at an average of 36.98 and 15 centuries, Hope is confident Gayle’s addition will be a major boost to the team.

"It’s great, just to see him (Gayle) at nets. Good laugh, good shots as well, and he’s going to strengthen the team a lot," ICC quoted Hope as saying. 

 "We know the importance that Gayle brings to the team. He has a lot of experience and we need to make sure we use that experience and strengthen the entire team," he added.

Hope, who was part of the team's recent Test series win against England also believes that victory will give the team added confidence ahead of the series.

"It’s a lot to look forward to. It's a very exciting time, especially leading up to the World Cup so I’m sure the guys are ready and raring to go. We are just coming off a Test series win and that was fantastic for everyone involved and the fans, so it is important for us to continue in that vein and try to get the series win as well.”

The Windies will face England in the first ODI on Wednesday at the Kensington Oval.

Chris Gayle is to retire from ODIs following the Cricket World Cup, West Indies have confirmed. 

The explosive batsman is second only to the legendary Brian Lara in the list of most ODI runs scored by a West Indies player, having scored 9,672 to date.

Gayle has played 281 50-over matches in his career, scoring 23 hundreds – the most by a West Indian in the format.

The 39-year-old's involvement in one-day cricket has dwindled in recent years due to his stints in various lucrative Twenty20 tournaments. 

Cricket West Indies announced the news via a short statement that read: "Talismanic WINDIES batsman, Chris Gayle, has announced he will retire from One-Day Internationals following the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 England & Wales."

Gayle was included for the Windies' first two ODIs of the five-match series with England, the first of which takes place in Bridgetown on Wednesday.

West Indies have called Carlos Brathwaite, Sheldon Cottrell and John Campbell into their squad for the first two one-day internationals against England, in response to a succession of injury problems.

All-rounders Rovman Powell and Keemo Paul have both been ruled out, while opener Evin Lewis has withdrawn from the squad due to a groin injury.

Former Windies T20 skipper Brathwaite and Cottrell have therefore earned recalls, while Campbell is in line to win a first ODI cap after impressing in the recent Test series victory over England.

"With our squad suffering from a few players with injuries even before a ball is bowled, an opportunity presents itself for other players to make a claim for ICC Cricket World Cup spots," said chairman of selectors Courtney Browne.

"The [selection] panel take this opportunity to wish the injured players a speedy recovery and to wish the team success in the upcoming ODIs."

Kensington Oval in Barbados will host the first two games in a five-match series on Wednesday and Friday, before contests in Grenada and St Lucia.

 

Revised West Indies squad for first two ODIs:

Jason Holder (captain), Fabian Allen, Devendra Bishoo, Carlos Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, John Campbell, Sheldon Cottrell, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Ashley Nurse, Nicholas Pooran, Kemar Roach, Oshane Thomas.

Mark Wood said he felt like a "superhero" as he tore through West Indies in a ferocious spell to set up a consolation Test victory for England in St Lucia.

The paceman's career has been blighted by injuries, but he made up for lost time by claiming a maiden five-wicket haul with first-innings figures of 5-41 last weekend.

Playing his first Test since last May, Wood provided the hostility the tourists had been lacking and the quick even surprised himself with the pace he generated in England's 232-run win.

He told The Guardian: "You almost feel like a superhero. I've been playing Mario Kart recently and yeah, it's like when you get a magic mushroom and you're just absolutely flying."

Wood added: "I'll never forget the feeling of that spell. If I'm ever down about my bowling I'll re-watch the highlights. 

"I've watched them about 20 times already – probably more. This will sound bad but seeing it back I just thought: 'Wow, that's me.' I couldn't believe how well I bowled and how fast it looked on TV. I was so happy."

Wood's Man-of-the-Match left him feeling emotional after spending so much time in the treatment room over the years.

"I held the ball up and felt so proud, then I got into the pavilion, had a hug with the physio Craig de Weymarn – he's touched me in places my wife never has! – and it all sunk in," said the 29-year-old. 

"It was everything I'd wanted after all I'd been through with injury. I know it's only one five-for and there's Jimmy [James Anderson] and Broady [Stuart Broad] with tons of them, but it was so special.

"I felt I finally belonged in the England Test team. I put the ball in my England cap, sat them next to me and just looked at them. All the emotions came out. I was a bit teary."

Shannon Gabriel has given his account of his third-Test exchange with Joe Root, with the West Indies bowler offering an "unreserved apology" to the England team and their captain as well as his own team-mates. 

Windies star batsman Chris Gayle has appealed against what has been deemed inadequate compensation, in a case against Australia Media entity Fairfax Media that was decided in his favour a little over a year ago.

In the much-publicized case, the 39-year-old batsman took the media house to court following its publication of sexual misconduct allegations levelled against him by former West Indies massage therapist Leanne Russell. 

Russell had claimed Gayle intentionally exposed his penis to her, while on a visit to the team locker room while making an indecent proposition.  Her version of events was printed by multiple tabloids.

The court, however, ruled that the publishers failed to establish a defence of truth regarding the allegations at the heart of the case.  In a judgment made in December last year, Justice Lucy McCallum awarded Gayle a total of $325,112 for the stories, including interest. The amount did not include Aggravated damages and fell at the lower end of the statutory cap on such rulings.

Fairfax, who has since launched an appeal, has since sought to delay the payment.  In filing a counter-appeal late last month, however, Gayle’s legal team has argued that the damages awarded were "manifestly inadequate" and Justice McCallum "erred in failing to award aggravated damages".

 In the original ruling, the jury had found that the publisher acted with malice, meaning the articles were published for an improper purpose.

West Indies paceman Shannon Gabriel will miss the first four games of the one-day international series against England for comments made to Joe Root during the third Test in St Lucia.

Gabriel was charged by the ICC after an altercation with the England captain on the third day of a match the tourists won by 232 runs on Tuesday.

Root was picked up on the stump microphone saying to the Windies quick: "Don't use it as an insult. There's nothing wrong with being gay".

The skipper said after the close of play on Monday that Gabriel "might regret" his comments, but refused to state what the 30-year said to him.

Gabriel admitted breaching article 2.13 of the ICC Code of Conduct, which relates to "personal abuse of a player, player support personnel, umpire or match referee during an international match".

He will be unavailable for all but one of the ODIs against England after being hit with three demerit points, taking his total to eight in the space of two years.

Gabriel, who was banned one Test last year after reaching the threshold of four demerit points, was also fined 75 per cent of his match fee.

 

Winning the third Test and avoiding a whitewash against West Indies represented a "step forward" for England, according to captain Joe Root.

England were comfortably beaten by 381 runs in the first match of the series before a hapless display in Antigua saw the tourists go down by 10 wickets.

In St Lucia, a 125-run first-innings stand from Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes was followed by a stunning five-for from Mark Wood, before Root's century set the Windies a hefty target of 485 for a whitewash.

Roston Chase made a gritty hundred to keep their hopes alive, but he received minimal support as the hosts went down by 232 runs on Tuesday.

"It was important we played well this week. It should be a real confidence-booster going into an exciting summer for us," said Root.

"West Indies deserved to win the series, they outplayed us in the first two games, but it's a real step forward for this team to perform like we did this week.

"I thought we played some good cricket. In that first innings we managed to find a way to ride out some difficult moments in bowler-friendly conditions and then we got up to a good score. Then the bowlers got us on top and we went from there.

"We played better, that's important, we've got a fantastic squad, but over the next couple of years you'll see a huge amount of improvement."

Windies captain Jason Holder was suspended for the final match and had no doubt that, despite claiming a 2-1 series victory, the team can get better.

"It was disappointing the way we played in the last Test but there are still a few positives to write home about. Credit to the boys - although we lost this match we played a pretty good series. We still have a lot of improvements to make but lots of positive coming out of the series," said Holder.

"We have to keep improving in all three facets of the game - we've got to be clinical and be a lot more consistent than we have been in the past.

"Credit to our bowling unit, I think our bowlers have been outstanding and we just need our batters to come to the party more often than not.

"[The win is] important in a few contexts. It counts in the ICC rankings, counts for the morale of the side as well.

"We need to continue to build and improve as a side, not just rest on our laurels and think we've achieved something. We're still pretty low in the rankings and our goal is to be number one in the world, so there's definitely a lot to improve on and put right and a lot of positives we need to keep within in the team."

Roston Chase's gutsy century was not enough to stop West Indies falling to a 232-run defeat to England on day four of the third Test in St Lucia.

England added 36 runs to their overnight total to set the Windies a hefty target of 485, which the hosts never looked like reaching despite Chase making a brilliant unbeaten 102 off 191 deliveries.

Keemo Paul sustained a thigh injury on day three but hobbled out to the middle with Chase two short of a fifth Test century, but the match was over seven balls after he made it to three figures.

Paul was caught and bowled by Ben Stokes (2-30) as England picked up a consolation win - their first in Tests in the Caribbean since 2004 - for a 2-1 series defeat, the Windies bowled out for 252.

Shannon Gabriel, who was charged by the ICC with a breach of article 2.13 of its code of conduct after a sledging incident involving Joe Root on day three, was booed when he took the ball in the first session and Root sent the seamer's full toss straight to Shimron Hetmyer at midwicket in the sixth over of the day and immediately declared on 361-5.

James Anderson (3-27) got England off to a great start when he had John Campbell for a golden duck from just the third ball of the innings, but he owed a lot to Moeen Ali for a phenomenal one-handed catch in the gully.

Stokes managed to hold onto an outside edge from stand-in skipper Kraigg Brathwaite (8) off Anderson but Jos Buttler inexplicably put down Shai Hope in the slips to leave Stuart Broad (0-22) in disbelief.

A fine delivery from Anderson drew a nick from Darren Bravo (0) that flew straight to Root at first slip and, after appearing to gain confidence, Hope went for 14 by holing out to point off Mark Wood (1-52) as the Windies went to lunch at 35-4.

A 45-run partnership between Chase and Hetmyer stemmed the tide but the latter was run out when Jonny Bairstow sent the stumps flying from a brilliant Joe Denly throw.

Buttler nearly produced a sensational, one-handed diving catch at midwicket to remove Shane Dowrich (19), but Moeen (3-99) got the job done with a full delivery that Stokes snaffled at slip.

Denly let a powerful Kemar Roach drive burst through his fingers before tea and the all-rounder was put down on 19 and 20 by Rory Burns and Bairstow as England made hard work of moving towards victory.

Wood snaffled Roach (29) off Moeen before Chase overturned the on-field umpire's lbw decision with a successful review on 78, keeping the Windies' hopes alive.

Alzarri Joseph slammed a pair off sixes off Moeen en route to 34 off 30 balls but he picked out Anderson at mid-on in the same over, and it looked like Chase would be left stranded when Gabriel's (3) wild swing at Stokes ended in the gloves of Bairstow.

Paul put his thigh injury aside to enable Chase to seal his ton by sending Denly to the boundary, but Stokes ensured play did not enter the final day.

West Indies seamer Shannon Gabriel has been charged by the ICC with a breach of its code of conduct following a sledging incident involving England captain Joe Root.

Gabriel was involved in an on-field exchange with Root and Joe Denly on day three of the third Test in St Lucia, as the tourists built a mammoth lead.

The England captain refused to disclose the details of what was said after play on Monday but stated the Windies paceman, who was booed when he took the ball on day four, "might regret" his comments.

An ICC statement issued during play on day four read: "Shannon Gabriel has been charged with a breach article 2.13 of the ICC code of conduct.

"The charge, which was laid by match umpires, will now be dealt with by match referee Jeff Crowe. Until the proceedings have concluded, the ICC will not comment further."

Article 2.13 relates to "personal abuse of a player, player support personnel, umpire or match referee during an international match".

Root said on Monday: "It's Test cricket, he's an emotional guy trying to do everything he can to win a Test match.

"Sometimes people say things on the field that they might regret, but they should stay on the field.

"He's a good guy who plays hard cricket and is proud to be in the position he is. The battle was a good contest, he's had a wonderful series and he should be proud."

Windies interim head coach Richard Pybus said the incident would be looked into.

"Nothing has been reported to me," he said. "But if a comment was made, we'll review it. And, if it was untoward, we'll be addressing it."

England captain Joe Root feels West Indies paceman Shannon Gabriel "might regret" what he said during day three of the third Test.

England captain Joe Root led by example with an unbeaten century establishing a healthy lead over West Indies on day three of the third Test in St Lucia.

Root became the first England batsman to score a hundred in the series by posting 111 as the tourists built a 448-run advantage over the Windies at the Darren Sammy National Stadium on Monday.

The hosts started brilliantly with Keemo Paul removing Rory Burns (10) with the day's opening delivery, but he was forced off in the fourth over after sustaining a thigh injury in the field.

Keaton Jennings made a start before falling for 23 in bizarre fashion to leave serious question marks hanging over his future in the team ahead of the Ashes.

However, Root anchored England's innings by building a 107-run union with Jos Buttler (56) after Joe Denly (69) claimed his maiden Test fifty.

The skipper opted not to declare before the close, which he saw out alongside Ben Stokes (29 not out) with England at 325-4 and in a strong position to avoid a whitewash.

Burns and Jennings steered England through 10 overs on Sunday, but the former did not last a single ball more with a tame shot off Paul straight to Alzarri Joseph at square leg.

Paul was taken away on a stretcher after pulling up while chasing a cover drive from Denly and Shannon Gabriel (1-87) was left fuming when Shimron Hetmyer put the opener down on 12 at slip – although replays suggested the seamer had overstepped.

Joseph (1-63) followed Paul's lead by claiming a wicket with his opening delivery, though there was an element of luck in Jennings dragging onto leg stump via his thigh pad.

Denly brought up his fifty after lunch with the eighth of his 11 boundaries but his fine knock came to an end after a second wild cut in succession saw him edge Gabriel through to Shane Dowrich.

Buttler injected some urgency but soon settled and overturned a caught-behind decision from umpire Rod Tucker with a wise review before tea.

Root had his first fifty for eight innings off spinner Roston Chase (0-92) but Kemar Roach (1-31) made full use of the new ball by bowling Buttler with a pinpoint delivery.

The England captain punished a full toss from Joseph with a punch back down the ground to reach three figures and cap off a fine day for the tourists that puts a first win of the tour in their sights.

West Indies were dealt a blow in the opening session on day three of the third Test against England, as Keemo Paul was taken off on a stretcher with a thigh injury in St Lucia.

All-rounder Paul, who replaced suspended captain Jason Holder in the team, was chasing Joe Denly's cover drive in the fourth over of the day when he pulled up in pain.

The 20-year-old received attention behind the ropes before being carried around the boundary on a gurney.

A Windies statement read: "Keemo Paul has suffered a right quadricep strain and is unlikely to return to field before tea."

The Windies started the day trailing by 142 runs and Paul got them off to a brilliant start by removing Rory Burns with the opening delivery.

 

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