West Indies star allrounder Andre Russell is set to undergo a fitness test with a view to making him part of the region’s bid for a third lien on the Twenty20 World Cup set for Australia this year.

It has been more than a year and a half since Russell last represented the West Indies in a T20 International with the 2019 World Cup marking the last time he suited up for the side.

During that World Cup Russell was unable to finish a game without treatment and seemed in real pain. He had to do knee surgery after limping out of one game, but seems on the comeback trail, having played in a number of domestic T20 games around the world.

“Hopefully, in the next few weeks he will undergo what is described by the medical team as a return-to-play protocol,” said Cricket West Indies CEO Johnny Grave.

“So he will go through a fitness test to see how his knees have recovered from the injuries that he suffered and allowing us to see if he would be passed fit medically – which is the first stage – and injury free in terms of his ability to both bat and bowl.

“He would then build up his fitness levels and hopefully through performances in the Indian Premier League (IPL) make himself available for selection for the West Indies.”

Russell is expected to turn out for the Kolkata Knight Riders when the IPL season bowls off on March 29 later this year.

Russell’s partner at KKR, mystery spinner Sunil Narine is also somebody the West Indies are keeping a close watch on.

Narine played through a finger injury during last year’s Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL), and has also, for a number of years, struggled with his action.

“He’s obviously been a player that has been a fantastic servant and player for West Indies, particularly in white ball cricket, but at this stage, Sunil is still working on his action,” said Grave.

“He obviously had the finger injury which took him out and made him struggle to bowl, and we’re hoping that he’s going to be fully fit … and be able to bowl his full portfolio of deliveries for the IPL and then fingers crossed, from the West Indies point of view, all goes well and he can follow that through into the CPL and hopefully be in form and be available for the World Cup.”

The T20 World Cup in Australia takes place in October.

West Indies all-rounder Nyeem Young and paceman Jayden Seales have made the ICC’s U19 Cricket World Cup Team of the Tournament.

The young West Indies finished fifth in the competition won by Bangladesh, who were claiming their maiden world title.

Despite not making it to the semi-final, the West Indies did have some impressive performances with both bat and ball.

Young, for instance, became the first West Indian to take a five-for (5-45) and score a half century (66) in an under-19 match when he helped the side to a dominant victory over England in the first round. His 61 was also instrumental in helping the West Indies get past Australia.

Young would end the tournament with an average of 28 with the bat and eight wickets from six games at an average of 26.75.

For his performances, Young makes the side as the designated number six batsman.

Understandably, further down the order lies Seales, who is an out-and-out strike bowler, having taken 10 wickets with a best of 4-19 against Australia at an impressive average of 18.3. He was also miserly when not taking wickets, ending the tournament with an economy rate of 3.89 runs per over.

Only India and Bangladesh have more players in the team of the tournament with Yashasvi Jaiswal, Ravi Bishnoi and Kartik Tyagi, making the cut.

Tournament winners Bangladesh have Mahmudul Hasan Joy and Shahadat Hossain making the team as batsmen, with Akbar Ali chosen to keep wicket.

Afghanistan, like the West Indies, have two players in the side with Ibrahim Zadran and Shafiqullah Ghafari making the cut.

Canada’s Akil Kumar is the team’s 12th man.

South Africa defeated England by one run after an astonishing finish to the first T20 international at Buffalo Park.

Chasing 178, England looked poised for victory after Jason Roy scored a rapid 70 and captain Eoin Morgan added a vital 52 that included some clutch late boundaries.

The tourists only needed seven from the last seven balls but Morgan holed out to long on to set up a tense finale before a tremendous last over from Lungi Ngidi (3-30) saw him remove Tom Curran and Moeen Ali.

Adil Rashid was left needing three from the final delivery for victory or two to force a super over, but he could only manage one as the returning Dale Steyn and captain Quinton de Kock combined for a runout that sparked joyous scenes in East London.

Earlier, South Africa were well set for a huge total before England recovered to limit them to 177-8.

Roy's superb innings – which saw him become the country's first player to score three consecutive T20I fifties - took just 38 balls with seven fours and three sixes as Morgan's men made a strong start to their reply.

Morgan appeared ready to put the finishing touches on a strong run chase but a dramatic conclusion meant it was South Africa who took a 1-0 lead in the three-match rubber, with their opponents finishing agonisingly short on 176-8.

England are now in danger of losing their first T20I series since July 2018 and this morale-denting defeat was an unwelcome start to a year that builds towards the T20 World Cup in October.

West Indies Women’s captain Stafanie Taylor has hopes of re-experiencing the dizzying heights of capturing the ICC T20 World Cup title, as the team prepares to embark on the upcoming campaign.

The regional team shocked the cricket world after defeating heavily favoured Australia in the 2016 final.  The 28-year-old Windies skipper has freely admitted that reflecting on the unexpected triumph years later still fills her with a sense of pride and is eager to replicate it.

“I have played a lot of games over the years but the memories of India 2016 stand out so much,” Taylor told the ICC Cricket.

“Looking back on it, I’m just hoping that we can replicate it again this year – both the feeling that we had as a team and the impact that individual players had on the tournament from start to finish,” she added.

“Four years ago was a perfect storm for us. We really wanted to win, and I think we left all we had on the field throughout the tournament, especially in the final against Australia.

“This time around, we just need to do that again, play our game and push until the last ball to see how far that can take us. Winning the title and bringing the trophy back to the West Indies would be success for us.”

The West Indies Women will hope to emulate the feats of the men’s team who are two-time winners of the competition.

 

 

Kane Williamson praised the way New Zealand handled the pressure after his depleted side completed an ODI series sweep over India with a five-wicket win at the Bay Oval.

The Black Caps' attack – minus Trent Boult and Lockie Ferguson, as well as Matt Henry and Adam Milne – restricted India to 296-7 in the third and final game, despite a century from KL Rahul.

Martin Guptill (66) and Henry Nicholls (80) gave the hosts a sound platform in their reply, sharing an opening stand of 106, and despite a mid-innings wobble, Colin de Grandhomme smashed an unbeaten 58 to see his team home with 17 balls to spare.

Captain Williamson was particularly pleased with the way New Zealand fought hard with the ball, Hamish Bennett claiming 4-64, to restrict their opponents, India having at one stage reached 162-3 during the 31st over.

"As you know on some of these surfaces with some short boundaries, the job of the bowlers is so important," Williamson said during the post-match press conference. "They also operated nicely in partnerships and we were able to hold our nerve in key moments.

"Today was a great example. Once again, we were put under pressure by India, but we were able to have a really good death phase, which helped us keep India to about a par total.

"A lot of positives in different areas, so it's an opportunity to build on this series and keep moving forward as an ODI side."

Opposite number Virat Kohli admitted India had been second best throughout the 50-over games, a dramatic reversal after they had won 5-0 in the Twenty20 series.

"With the ball we were not able to make enough breakthroughs. And in the field as well, we were not good at all," Kohli said at the presentation ceremony.

"We didn't deserve to be on the winning side at all in the series. [We] haven't played so badly, but if you don't grab your chances at this level then teams are going to hurt you."

The focus for both nations now turns to Test cricket, with a two-match series beginning at the Basin Reserve in Wellington on February 21.

Williamson was able to provide a positive update on injured duo Boult and Ferguson, saying: "[I'm] Expecting all of those guys to be fit for the first Test and they're all tracking nicely."

Keaton Jennings and Ben Foakes have been recalled for England's Test series in Sri Lanka but there is no place for Jonny Bairstow or James Anderson.

Jennings has not played for his country since being dropped following the series defeat to West Indies a year ago, but the opening batsman returns along with Foakes.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Foakes has also been overlooked since the loss in the Caribbean, despite making such an impressive start to his England career in Sri Lanka in November 2018.

Jennings and Foakes both scored centuries in a 3-0 whitewash of Sri Lanka, where the latter was named man of the series.

Bairstow was brought back into the Test squad for the recent 3-1 win in South Africa, but failed in both innings of the defeat at Centurion and played no part in the rest of the series.

The Yorkshireman misses out along with Anderson, who will continue his recovery from the cracked rib suffered in the second Test at Newlands to prepare for the English season.

"Jonny Bairstow has been in England squads across the three formats without a significant break," said national selector Ed Smith. "This two-Test tour presents a good opportunity for Jonny to be rested.

"Jimmy Anderson will continue to work with Lancashire and the ECB so that he is ready for the start of the County Championship season leading into the Test series against the West Indies in June."

All-rounder Moeen Ali remains unavailable selection in the longest format, but fellow spinner Jack Leach has recovered from illness to take his place in the 16-man squad.

Uncapped leg-spinner Matt Parkinson is also included for the two-match series, which starts in Galle on March 19.

 

England squad: Joe Root (captain), Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Ben Foakes, Keaton Jennings, Jack Leach, Matt Parkinson, Ollie Pope, Dom Sibley, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

Sohail Tanveer hailed "very special" pace sensation Naseem Shah after the 16-year-old took a record-breaking hat-trick in Pakistan's Test victory over Bangladesh.

Naseem made history in Rawalpindi on Sunday, becoming the youngest bowler to take three wickets in as many balls in the longest format.

The paceman, who turns 17 on Saturday, has shown enormous potential since becoming the ninth-youngest Test player when he made his debut against Australia in the cauldron of the Gabba last November.

Tanveer, who harbours hopes of making a Pakistan comeback, has seen Naseem's ability at close quarters while training with Pakistan Super League side Quetta Gladiators and believes Pakistan have unearthed a gem.

The quick told Omnisport: "Unfortunately Naseem was injured for the PSL last year, but when I first saw him in the nets I thought this kid has serious talent, I've never seen someone of that age bowl so fast and he can bowl with control as well.

"He has incredible ability and is a really exciting talent. To play Test cricket at that age and make the step up like he has is amazing. He is very special.

"He's a quiet guy, he doesn't say a lot, but he knows if he needs to ask any of the senior players for advice then we are there for that."

Tanveer is optimistic Pakistan can be a force in all formats with a combination of youth and experience.

"We have seen youngsters coming in and developing, such as Shaheen Shah Afridi and Naseem Shah," the leading wicket-taker in the 2019 National T20 Cup said.

"We are seeing some serious talent and the day will come where you have the right combination.

"We have Babar Azam and we hope to see more young batting talent come through, then we have [Mohammad] Hafeez and [Shoaib] Malik now to offer a mixture of youth and experience. I'm hopeful Pakistan cricket is in good hands and I really hope things will keep getting better."

Naseem was cleared of serious injury after complaining of a rib problem on day three of a crushing innings-and-44-run victory over the Tigers.

David Warner showed his emotion and expressed gratitude for being allowed back into the Australia set-up as he accepted his third Allan Border Medal.

Having been reintegrated to the team after his involvement in the ball-tampering scandal against South Africa in 2018 resulted in a one-year ban, Warner edged out Steve Smith by one vote to win the country's top individual prize.

He expressed his thanks to team-mates, coaches and Cricket Australia after beating Smith and last year's winner Pat Cummins to the accolade.

Warner also fought back the tears as he thanked his parents and wife Candice, who he described as his "rock and inspiration".

"I'm taken aback by this," said Warner. "It has been quite challenging. I want to thank Cricket Australia, Belinda Clark, Kevin Roberts and Justin Langer for that opportunity [to come back].

"You were really working your backsides off behind the scenes to reintegrate the three of us [Warner, Smith and Cameron Bancroft] into the cricketing family.

"Everything to get us back in there amongst the guys, taking us to Dubai, starting that way, was absolutely fantastic and the way [ODI captain] Aaron Finch and [Test captain] Tim Paine accepted us and were always in contact with us, we really appreciate that. 

"I want to thank my home club team at Randwick-Petersham for giving me that opportunity to go out there and play grade cricket. 

"I realised a lot of things during that time off that we don't actually understand or realise when we're in this bubble, the importance of what this game is and the smiles on the faces that we bring to a lot of people.

"Sitting back and reflecting upon the time I had away from the game, you don't realise the importance and effect it has on everyone. It put things in perspective.

"Getting cricket taken away from you, something you've always dreamed of, it really hurt, so I'm just extremely grateful to be accepted back by Cricket Australia, the peers and also by the fans. 

"I had mixed emotions about how I was going to be received back here at home - I definitely knew what I was in for in England and obviously in a couple of weeks' time [in South Africa]. But it's just been remarkable to come back.

"Standing here I'm just really proud to have that opportunity again." 

Warner struggled in the Ashes but otherwise enjoyed a superb year across all formats.

But he thought his woes against England would have cost him a shot at the Allan Border Medal, which only Michael Clarke and Ricky Ponting have won on more occasions.

"It was a shock and a surprise," he said. "When it is that close, you really don't know so it's a big surprise to be honest.

"I had an absolutely horrendous Ashes and generally, across the Test matches, that's where a lot of the votes are polled, so I didn't think I had a chance.

"I really had the hunger and determination to come back and do the best for our team. We've been great across all three formats for 12 months, I couldn't be any prouder to stand here and receive the award."

Yasir Shah finished with a four-for as Pakistan made swift work of seeing off the Bangladesh tail to wrap up an emphatic victory by an innings and 44 runs on day four of the first Test.

Teenage sensation Naseem Shah had done the bulk of the damage on Sunday when he became the youngest player to take a Test hat-trick.

Bangladesh started Monday's play 126-6, still 86 runs in arrears, and were all out for 168 with Yasir (4-58) claiming the last two wickets to earn Pakistan 60 points in the ICC Test Championship.

Already fighting a losing battle, Bangladesh's task was even more daunting in the first over of the day at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium after Mominul Haque (41) was trapped leg-before by Shaheen Afridi.

Liton Das (29) and Rubel Hossain (5) showed resistance for 12 overs before the latter was sent back lbw by Mohammad Abbas, having overturned a review off the same bowler shortly before.

Yasir then got in on the act, pinning Das in front before tempting Abu Jayed (3) into a top edge off a slog sweep to Asad Shafiq in the slips, which brought an end to proceedings.

The second and final Test does not begin until April 5, when Pakistan will look to complete a series win in Karachi.

West Indies batting star Chris Gayle has, through his attorney, directed a Guyanese political official to withdraw statements made about him during a political meeting.

The politician in question Charles Ramson Jr, a member of the Peoples Progressive Party (PPP), reportedly endorsed and shared a claim made during a meeting in Albertown, Georgetown in January.  The claim stated Gayle had been promised US$50,000 by the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR)  for a visit to Linden late last year and was still trying to get the money, which was owed to him.

The West Indian star was spotted in Linden last year with officials of the PNCR.  The opening batsman who was in the country for a cricket match and to celebrate his 40th birthday was quick to dismiss any political motive or links to the appearance.  Gayle pointed out that the visit had simply been part of a community outreach program.

In a letter dated February 4 Gayle’s attorney Roysdale Forde gave the politician 24 hours to retract the statements, which were referred to as “defamatory” and totally “false.”  The letter went on to state that the claims also seem calculated to subject [Gayle] to ridicule and portray him as being paid by a political party in Guyana to engage in work on its behalf.”

“As you are aware my client is an internationally recognized personality and cricketer and has carefully protected his brand and reputation especially by refusing to engage in public relations activities at the request of political parties,” the letter states, before adding that Gayle has engaged in a number of business ventures in Guyana, such as the promotion of a number of entertainment events, branded on his personality and persons in Guyana,” the letter read.

“Your statements are injurious to the financial success of these events and by extension necessarily to the said business undertaking of my client in Guyana and worldwide,” the letter concluded.

Mark Boucher said missed opportunities cost South Africa as they suffered a two-wicket defeat to England in the third and final ODI in Johannesburg.

Despite a late wobble with the bat, England claimed victory with 40 balls unused on Sunday to ensure the three-match series finished level at 1-1, the second game in Durban having been washed out.

Boucher felt his team were "30 to 40 runs short" when making 256-7 with the bat, while they then made an abysmal start with the ball as Jonny Bairstow (43 off 23 balls) got stuck into Lungi Ngidi and Beuran Hendricks.

Although South Africa fought back, dropped chances from Joe Denly and Tom Banton hindered their hopes of turning things around.

"We were probably 30 or 40 runs short and then, with the ball, we just started off really, really poorly and we were playing catch-up after that," said Boucher in a news conference.

"We had chances and we didn't take our opportunities. When you are 30 to 40 runs short, you have got to bowl well, especially up front, and you've got to take your opportunities.

"We didn't do that. That's why we lost."

South Africa and England both rested frontline players for the ODI series, and Boucher indicated the Proteas would continue to experiment in their next 50-over matches against Australia.

"It's a long time until the next [50-over] World Cup, so we can afford to do that," he added.

"There are a lot of good things that happened and a couple of things we need to work on, obviously, but it is quite difficult to judge over two games.

"We'll probably use the next three games against Australia to find out some answers and ask some questions. We do believe we're going in the right direction."

Former skipper Faf du Plessis is likely to return against Australia, though, after being rested and replaced as captain by Quinton de Kock for the ODI and T20 series with England.

"We feel at this point in time he [Du Plessis] needs a bit of a break away from the game," Boucher explained.

"I would like to think, against Australia, the rest will be enough and they [Du Plessis and Kagiso Rabada] can come back and play."

Bangladesh won a thrilling Under-19 Cricket World Cup final over India despite a rain delay in the closing stages in Potchefstroom.

Captain Akbar Ali led his side to a three-wicket victory via the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method after the defending champions had set a target of 177.

It was Bangladesh's first World Cup triumph at any level in what was their first final of the tournament.

"It's an unbelievable experience," said Rakibul Hasan. "We came here with plans and it worked out really well. Whichever team executes their plans better on the day wins, and that happened for us today."

An unbeaten 88 from Yashasvi Jaiswal had looked likely to put India in a strong position after they were put in to bat.

However, Tanzid Hasan caught Jaiswal with ease at short midwicket to spark a collapse, India losing their final six wickets for a further 21 runs.

Ravi Bishnoi (4-30) gave India some hope, some masterful leg-spinning leaving Bangladesh in danger of falling well short in their chase as they reached 85-5.

But Ali steadied the ship with 43 off 77 deliveries before the covers came on with Bangladesh just 15 runs short of victory.

A revised target of 170 in 46 overs was set and duly reached with 23 balls remaining, sparking wild celebrations.

Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara rolled back the years as Cricket Australia raised over 7.7 million Australian dollars (£3.9million) in the fundraising Bushfire Cricket Bash on Sunday.

At Melbourne's Junction Oval, a Ricky Ponting XI beat an Adam Gilchrist XI by one run, with superstar line-ups turning out in support of the relief effort.

Former Australia captain Ponting made 26 from 14 balls and West Indies great Lara plundered 30 in the 10-overs-a-side match, as the Ponting XI made 104-5 from their allocation.

In the reply, Gilchrist scored 17 before he was bowled by former Australian rules star Luke Hodge, before Shane Watson cracked three sixes in a nine-ball 30 and Andrew Symonds added 29.

Ponting, Lara, Watson and Symonds all retired to give others a chance to shine in the charity contest, which saw bowlers including Peter Siddle, Courtney Walsh, Wasim Akram and Dan Christian come in for some uncharitable treatment from batsmen.

Brett Lee's 2-11 from two overs bucked the trend, as the former Baggy Green paceman took the wickets of Gilchrist XI stars Brad Hodge and Yuvraj Singh.

Tendulkar, who was named coach of the Ponting XI, made a crowd-pleasing cameo between innings when he faced an over shared by Ellyse Perry and Annabel Sutherland.

The Gilchrist XI then needed five from the final ball of their 10 overs, but ex-Aussie rules footballer Nick Riewoldt, attempting to club a six, could only scramble a three to leave his team just short on 103-6.

Cricket Australia centred the match around its Big Appeal campaign, with television coverage taking the match to a large audience, and its fundraising was boosted by an online auction.

At least 33 people died in Australia's bushfire crisis, with wildlife taking the brunt and homes and large areas of land being destroyed.

Babar Azam continued his incredible form by reaching a career-best 143 not out as Pakistan took charge of the first Test against Bangladesh at Rawalpindi.

Coming in at number four, Babar was dropped by Ebadat Hossain when he had only scored two and went on to punish the tourists, firing 19 fours and a six off 192 balls.

Shan Masood (100) scored a century of his own as Pakistan ended Saturday's action on 342-3, 109 runs ahead of Bangladesh with seven wickets in hand.

Abu Jayed (2-66) had Pakistan on 93-2, but Babar shared stands of 112 with Masood and 137 with Asad Shafiq, who will be looking to become Pakistan's third centurion of the innings when he resumes on 60 not out.

Bangladesh made an ideal start when Jayed removed Abid Ali for a duck, the opener edging behind to Liton Das from a short and wide delivery in the second over of the day.

Pakistan captain Azhar Ali (34) also fell before lunch, taken at slip off the bowling of Jayed.

That brought Babar to the crease and he did not score in 14 deliveries before lunch and then had a major let-off in the third over of the second session.

Taijul Islam thought he had his man but Edabot could not hold the catch at long-off, a mistake he would regret increasingly as the day progressed.

Masood had already reached 65 by that point and he had his third Test century off 157 balls with a single to fine leg, having hit 11 fours.

But in the next over he was bowled by Taijul (1-111) just before tea in what proved to be the Tigers' last wicket of the day.

Babar brought up his fifth Test ton off 137 balls when he hit Taijul for four and kept his foot on the accelerator from there.

Shafiq reached his fifty from 83 deliveries as part of a useful supporting role, with both players now eyeing big individual totals on day three as Pakistan look to put the match out of reach.

In-form Babar, already on his highest Test score, has now scored a century in four of his past five matches, and had an innings of 97 in the other.

Dale Steyn has been included in South Africa's Twenty20 International squad to face England and Quinton de Kock will captain the side in the three-match series.

Steyn has not played for the Proteas since last March, but the paceman is set to return against Eoin Morgan's side.

De Kock was named as permanent ODI skipper ahead of the ongoing series with England and will also lead his country in the shortest format, as Faf du Plessis has been granted an extended period of rest.

Kagiso Rabada has also been given extra time off after being rested for the ODI series, which South Africa lead 1-0 with one match to play at the Wanderers on Sunday.

Uncapped batsman Pite van Biljon and seamer Sisanda Magala were included in the squad for a T20 series that gets under way with a day-night contest at Buffalo Park, East London next Wednesday.

Magala's participation is dependent on him passing a fitness test. 

Cricket South Africa acting director of cricket Graeme Smith said: "We are pleased with the group that we have selected for this upcoming T20 series against England.

"We have once again taken the opportunity to reward some of the hard workers of our domestic franchise system while some of our key senior players continue with their much-needed rest period and we have again, put our faith in Quinton to lead this group of exciting cricketers, picking up where he left off in India where he showed exemplary leadership."

He added: "With a T20 World Cup not too far away, we have begun the process of identifying several players whom we will be looking at over a period of time and hope that by the time September comes along, we will have the best possible squad of 15 representing South Africa."

 

South Africa squad: Quinton de Kock (captain), Reeza Hendricks, Temba Bavuma, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Pite van Biljon, Dwaine Pretorius, Andile Phehlukwayo, JJ Smuts, Beuran Hendricks, Tabraiz Shamsi, Lungi Ngidi, Sisanda Magala, Bjorn Fortuin, Dale Steyn, Heinrich Klaasen.

Page 6 of 156
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.