Following his whirlwind half century for Kings XI Punjab on Thursday, albeit in a losing cause, Nicholas Pooran has come in for high praise from IPL pundits, former players Tom Moody and Ajit Agarkar.

The 25-year-old Trinidadian raced to 77 from just 37 balls smashing seven massive sixes and five fours as KXIP chased the 201 set by Sunrisers Hyderabad in their 20 overs.

The ninth over of the KXIP was especially memorable for the 28 runs Pooran scored off the bowling of Abdul Samad’s leg-break deliveries.

Pooran smashed four sixes and a four in the over. He slammed the fourth ball over long off for the third six in the over that brought up his 50 in just 17 balls, the fastest so far this season.

Moody, the former all-rounder turned commentator and administrator, has been watching Pooran for a number of years now in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) and in the IPL and believes the batsman has an exciting future ahead of him.

“I don’t think there are better strikers of the ball in world cricket than Nicholas Pooran,” said Moody while speaking on T20 Timeout.

“He times the ball. He has got a wonderful bat swing. It’s a bit like Yuvraj Singh’s bat swing. It’s very long and elegant one that not only possesses a huge amount of power but incredible timing, hits the ball a long, long way and he seems to do it for fun.”

The former all-rounder continued: “I think this is just the beginning of an exciting number of years for Nicholas Pooran in IPL cricket and cricket outside the IPL.”

Agarkar, the former Indian fast bowler, was in agreement.

“Those sixes were massive sixes,” he said. “Just beautiful timing every time he hits the ball, pace and spin, it’s not one or the other, and just bats beautifully.”

 

 

 

A case of food poisoning prevented Chris Gayle from playing for the Kings XI Punjab on Thursday.

Kings XI Punjab batting coach, Wasim Jaffer,  has assured fans they will see West Indies batting legend Chris Gayle soon and insists the player is hungry to make his debut in this season’s Indian Premier League (IPL).

The 41-year-old T20 superstar is yet to make an appearance for Kings XI who are off to a slow start to the IPL season.  After 5 games, the team sits at the bottom of the table with just one win and four losses.  The team has, however, so far not necessarily struggled with batting, having scored over 200 in two of the five games.

Jaffer, however, believes that Gayle’s match-winning capabilities could yet help the team turn their poor form around.

“It should happen soon. As I said, it needs to happen sooner than later. We don’t want to bring them when every game is a must-win game. Hopefully, we will have those guys featuring soon,” Jaffer told news agency Press Trust of India from Dubai.

“Chris looks very much ready and is keen to get on to the park, he has been training really well and has looked really good in the nets,” Wasim Jaffer said.

“He is such an impact player, we all know what he can do. I hope he turns up and turns it on straight away and changes the tide for all of us. He looks hungry and that is a very good sign for the franchise,” he added.

“I am hoping he plays quickly. We need match-winners, as many as possible. Not just for the next game, also for the rest of the tournament as he can easily win you four-five games on his own,” he further said.

Kings IX Punjab opener KL Rahul is confident that Windies star Chris Gayle will be ready and capable when called on to deliver for the team.

So far, the big West Indian has been left viewing from the bench in this season’s Indian Premier League (IPL).  In the meantime, Kings IX have struggled to one win and three losses.

The reasons for Gayle’s but breaking into the line-up is not as easy as it seems.  Despite his absence, KXIP has managed to put 200+ totals on the board in two of the four matches they have played. With the likes of Rahul and Mayank Agarwal at the top, Punjab has both the centurions of this IPL at their disposal, and hence the need to have Gayle in the team hasn’t really been felt.

The only player Gayle can come in the team for, at the moment, is his countryman Nicholas Pooran who has been batting at the No. 3 spot. Pooran’s fielding exploits, however, make it hard for the KXIP management to remove him from the team.  Rahul, however, remains convinced the West Indies will make an impact.

"It's been a lot of fun playing with Chris. Not just (that) I have played two seasons with him at KXIP, I have played with him at RCB as well.  I have known him for a good 6-7 years.  As a youngster, I did speak with him a lot and I was looking at him as an opening batsman.  How destructive, powerful, and how intimidating he is,” Rahul told TimesofIndia.

 “I try to learn a lot from him (Gayle). We share a good friendship and that’s what came out in the middle in the last two seasons.  He is somebody who is such an impact player, such a match-winner for whatever team he has played.  Like I said he is very intimidating and takes down the opposition on a given day.  He can destroy any bowling attack.”

West Indies legend Clive Lloyd has pointed to a continued lack of inclusion of former players at the board level of regional cricket as being a significant hindrance to improving the fortunes of the struggling team.

Though typically the realm of lifelong administrators and businessmen, the cricket boards of the sport’s big three, England, India, and Australia have included former players at the top level of the game’s governance.  Currently, India is the best example with former captain Sourav Ganguly serving as president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, on a body that also included Brijesh Patel.  The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) recently added former captain Andrew Strauss as a non-voting member but also includes women’s player Lucy Pearson.  For Cricket Australia, Michael Kasprowicz resigned from the board earlier this year but two-time women’s World Cup winner Mel Jones remains a member of the board.

“The board should have four ex-cricketers.  Knowledgeable, intelligent people who want to take our cricket forward,” Lloyd told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“When I was at Lancashire on the committee, we had 16 or 17 people on the committee, but we had to have six cricketers, that was enshrined in the constitution because it’s a cricket club.  That’s why cricket is taken care of in England.  All the clubs have the same situation.”

“We do not have a Test cricketer of note on our board.  If you look at all the other boards, Australia have had four captains on their board.  India have had some of their ex-players on their board.  England, who they have coaching the team, and the ECB have their ex-cricketers…cricketers are involved in the development of the game. (In the West Indies) If you decide to be a part of the board and you are somebody of some standing, they don’t seem to want you because they believe you will overshadow them.”

The current Cricket West Indies (CWI) body does have Michael Findlay, who played Test cricket for the West Indies between 1969 to 1973 along with Julian Charles and Enoch Lewis who played cricket at the regional level.

 

 

 

 

If he had a chance to do it all over again, West Indies legend Curtly Ambrose would relish another match-up with iconic India batsman Sachin Tendulkar.

The fiery fast bowler claimed some 405 Test wickets with some 22,103 balls but none of them ever dislodged the wickets of India great Tendulkar.  In general, Ambrose statistics suggest that on a whole he may have underperformed against India.  In nine Test matches, with two contests in the Caribbean - 1989 and 1997 - Ambrose took only 15 wickets at an average of 38.33 with only one five wicket haul.

In the 1997 series, Tendulkar scored a total of 270 runs with an average of 67.5, Ambrose managed to claim just 7 wickets for the five-match series.  At the peak of his powers in 1994, he missed out on the West Indies tour to India after sustaining a rotator cup injury and perhaps an epic showdown with Tendulkar.  The batsman hammered 213 runs, in the three-Test series, including 179 in the second Test.

“I would say Sachin Tendulkar because I’ve never gotten him out in a Test match,” Ambrose said in an interview with the Antigua Observer.

“I’ve played a few Tests against him but have never gotten him out although I’ve gotten him out in One Day cricket, so if I could relive that, I would have loved to have gotten him out.”

Tendulkar regarded as one of the greatest batsmen of all time, is the highest run scorer in international cricket and has scored 51 Test centuries.

 

 

Cricket Australia (CA) has announced the one-off Test against Afghanistan and the ODI series against New Zealand have been postponed due to the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Australia were due to face Afghanistan in the longest format for the first time in Perth in November, but that one-off game will not go ahead as planned. 

The rescheduled IPL season - which is due to finish in early November - created issues over Australian players quarantining upon their return from the Twenty20 tournament in the United Arab Emirates. 

New Zealand's limited-overs tour in January 2021 has also been called off amid "the challenges around international travel and quarantine restrictions" caused by the global health pandemic. 

CA hopes to find new dates for the fixtures in the coming years, with the postponements meaning India will be the only international side to visit Australia during the 2020-21 season.

"Cricket Australia looks forward to working with our good friends at the Afghanistan Cricket Board and New Zealand Cricket to deliver the matches at a time when, hopefully, the restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic have eased," CA's interim CEO Nick Hockley said in a statement.

"We all worked incredibly hard to make the series happen this summer, but the challenges around international travel and quarantine restrictions ultimately convinced all parties that the series would need to be played at a later date.

"CA looks forward to welcoming the Indian men's team for a full schedule of matches this summer in what promises to be an incredible contest across all three formats.

"CA would also like to take this opportunity to thank our wonderful partners for their understanding and support as we have navigated the complexities of hosting international sport during a pandemic to deliver a thrilling summer across men's and women's cricket at international and domestic level."

Australia are due to face India in a four-Test series, as well as three one-dayers and a trio of Twenty20 fixtures. Details over the schedule are yet to be confirmed.

West Indies all-rounder Jason Holder will get a chance to appear at this season’s India Premier League (IPL) after being earmarked to replace injured Australian Mitchell Marsh.

Marsh, who was drafted by Sunrisers Hyderabad, was ruled out of the tournament after injuring his ankle in the team’s first match of the season.

As a result, Holder, who will perhaps be looking to make up for a disappointing outing in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), has been tipped to make his fourth IPL appearance.  It will be the second for the Sunrisers, but he has previously featured for the Chennai Super Kings and the Kolkata Knight Riders.

Holder, who was replaced as West Indies T20 captain by Kieron Pollard last year, had a base price of INR 75 lakh ($US100,000), in the December IPL auction but went unsold more than once.

In the most recent CPL campaign, he led the Barbados Tridents to a fifth-place finish in the six-team table. Holder scored 192 runs at a strike rate of 140.14, and also picked up ten wickets at an economy rate of 6.63.  He will be required to undergo a six-day quarantine before joining up with the rest of the team.

West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo is expected to make his debut for Indian Premier League (IPL) team Chennai Super Kings by its fourth match, despite being declared fit enough to play.

The 36-year-old Bravo reported to the Super Kings IPL camp in Dubai with a knee injury, which he picked up during the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) earlier this month.  The player has, however, since been cleared to return to the line-up but based on an agreement with the management team the West Indian will not be back in the lineup early.

So far, the Super Kings have already played three IPL games.  In Bravo’s absence, Englishman Sam Curran has been performing the overseas allrounder's job well, for the moment.

Bravo made history during last month’s CPL after becoming the first player in history to take 500 T20 wickets.  In addition, his Trinbago Knight Riders captured a fourth title on the back of an unbeaten season.  Bravo, who leads the CPL with most wickets taken, is currently 5th on the list of most career wickets in the IPL with 147.  The list is topped by Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga who has claimed 172.  The West Indian, however, tops the list for most wickets claimed in a tournament, with 32, a feat he accomplished during the 2013 edition.

Former Australia bowler Brad Hogg has admitted to being left afraid of the awesome hitting power of Kieron Pollard when the two came face to face in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

After a successful Caribbean Premier League (CPL) campaign, where he captained the Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) to the title, the West Indies skipper is currently preparing for a tenth IPL season with Mumbai Indians.

With 2755 runs and a healthy strike rate of 146.8, displays of Pollards awesome hitting powerful have been plentiful in the IPL.  Hogg, however, got a firsthand demonstration, while playing for the Rajasthan Royal in 2012.

“It was game 12 in the IPL 2012 and we were playing the Mumbai Indians in the Wankhede Stadium. Rayudu and Pollard had been building a partnership and I had been brought into the attack. I was concerned about Pollard’s big muscles and the power with which he hits straight down the ground,” Hogg recalled on his Podcast.

  “I didn’t want to overpitch because I wanted to preserve my body.  So, I just wanted to bowl back of a length and use the wrong-un to beat the outside edge.  Well, I was a little too short and he pulled me through midwicket for four,” he added.

So, I’m going, get those courage pills, go fuller with the wrong-un because you know he is susceptible to it.  So, I did, came in a little fuller, a little overpitched, and Kieron Pollard absolutely loved it.  He got on top of it and smashed it straight back down the ground head height down the wicket.  Instead of coming to me, it went to his mate Rayudu who was backing up. He’s put his bat up to preserve his body. It’s come off the bat, I’m there backtracking because I’m afraid of the power of this shot.  The ball just drops right in front of me, I could have caught it.”

Pollard went on to make a half-century as Mumbai won the game.

 In general, the idea of what a woman should look has become a problematic issue, increasingly within our current societal framework.  In athletics, it seems to be no different.

Women’s tennis legend Serena Williams once said: “I think of all the girls who could become top athletes but quit sports because they’re afraid of having too many defined muscles, being made fun of, or called unattractive.”

While not implicitly stated, appearances are also judged and discriminated against in athletics.  Women with conditions like hyperandrogenism tend to have bigger muscles due to high natural levels of testosterone and are as such, in my opinion, singled out for discrimination by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) rules.  Despite the fact that it is how they were born.

  In fact, women who compete with such conditions can be subject to gender verification testing should ‘suspicions’ arise. Hyperandrogenism or androgen excess is a medical condition characterized by excessive levels of testosterone in the body and the condition affects approximately 1% of elite female athletes.  Such embarrassing stipulations not only serve as a barrier to some women competing but also as a deterrent to getting involved in the first place.

In a recent chat with the Olympic Channel, Jamaican sprinter Elaine Thompson-Herah credited fellow athlete Dutee Chand for helping put India on the global athletics stage.

Thompson-Herah gushed over the idea of athletes from other countries vying to claim a space on the global athletics map, in hopes of proudly representing themselves and their country.

“As an athlete, I think that is really exciting and great to see them coming in to deliver and perform well,” said the Olympic champion.

Having come from an impoverished community to become one of the world’s best, Thompson-Herah knows all about challenges.  Even now she battles with a nagging Achilles injury that has affected her for a good portion of her career.

For athletes like Chand, the list of obstacles can be even longer.  Thompson-Herah pointed to the athlete’s first language as another likely barrier to perhaps sharing nuggets of wisdom.

“English is not the native language for her,” Thompson-Herah explained.

“It is kind of hard to translate everything to another person who doesn't speak English, but Dutee is getting to know more and getting better each time.”

But in her short time competing as an athlete she has overcome an even bigger one.  One that were it not for her grit and determination, could have meant the end of her competing.

In June 2014, after she won two gold medals at the Asian Junior Athletics Championships in the 200 metres and 4 × 400 m relays, Chand was dropped from the 2014 Commonwealth Games contingent at the last minute after the Athletic Federation of India revealed that hyperandrogenism made her ineligible to compete as a female athlete.  Chand challenged the gender testing policies and on July 26, 2015, the court ruled in favour.  The IAAF, as a result, temporarily suspended the hyperandrogenism regulations.

Consequently, she qualified for the 2016 Olympic games without having to alter her natural hormone levels.

The issue was, however, far from concluded. After further analysis in April 2018, the IAAF announced new eligibility regulations for female runners setting an upper testosterone limit, which applied to the 400m, 800m, and 1500m events.  Chand was left unaffected by the revised regulations and has her eyes set on the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.  The rule amendment did, however, impact another woman, South African middle-distance runner Caster Semenya. 

The three-time World Championship gold medallist and two times Olympic champion could no longer compete in her preferred 800m event after the new IAAF "differences of sex development" rules that required athletes with specific disorders of sex development, testosterone levels of 5 nmol/L and above, and certain androgen sensitivity, take medication to lower their testosterone levels.  Semenya, like Chand, contested the decision but lost the case at both the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and appeal at the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland.  She has considered switching to the 200m event.

September is Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) awareness month.  PCOS is a hormonal disorder common among women of reproductive age and is one of the conditions that can affect these elite athletes.  When women have PCOS, they may have excess male hormone (androgen) levels.

Sports governing bodies should accept the fact that some women naturally produce higher levels of testosterone and those who do should be allowed to compete. When will women just be allowed to be women?

Please share your thoughts on Twitter (@SportsMax_Carib) or in the comments section on Facebook (@SportsMax). Don’t forget to use #IAmNotAFan. Until next time!

 

West Indies T20 star Chris Gayle could become the first batsman to hit 1000 T20 sixes if his uncanny obsession for clearing the boundary rope continues in the upcoming IPL season.

Currently, the 40-year-old big hitter has tallied a total of 978 sixes in T20 cricket so far.  If he can add another 22 to his 326 IPL sixes, the batsman will repeat the all too familiar habit of writing his name in the T20 cricket record books.

Gayle will be odds on favourite to achieve the feat as well.  In 11 seasons of IPL cricket to date, he has never failed to hit 22 sixes.  Last season he cleared the boundary rope 34 times and 27 times in the previous season.  Should he reach the tally it would only add to an already impressive resume racked up for the format.

Gayle has scored the most runs in T20 cricket (13,296), has the highest score (175), most sixes in an innings (18), and the fastest 100.  He has also hit the most fours with 1,026.

The West Indian is currently in training camp in Dubai, where he is preparing to face the new IPL season with Kings XI Punjab.  The batsman had been slated to take part in the recently concluded Caribbean Premier League (CPL) for beaten finalist, St Lucia Zouks, but pulled out of the competition due to personal reasons.

West Indies players account for the lions share of those considered the best to ever play the game as SportsMax completed its Ultimate XI T20 team ahead of the start of the Hero Caribbean Premier League on Tuesday.

A combination of a panel of experts, the SportsMax Zone, and fans who voted online called fanalysts completed voting on the SportsMax Ultimate XI team with a final discussion on three impact players.

The final six players from which the three were chosen were West Indians

Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, and Andre Russell, Australian Shane Watson, Pakistani Shahid Afridi, and Indian Yuvraj Singh.

The panel, made up of cricket commentator and broadcast journalist, Fazeer Mohammed, cricket umpire Chris Taylor, and statistician, Zaheer Clarke, picked an all-West Indian cast as their impact players, in complete agreement with the SportsMax Zone and Fanalysts.

There was one dissenting voice among the panellists with Fazeer deciding on Shane Watson over Kieron Pollard, however, Clarke and Taylor’s votes were enough to overrule him.

With all parties, the Zone, the panel, and fanalysts in agreement, the final list of the greatest T20 team of all time is complete.

The openers are Chris Gayle and David warner, the middle-order, batsmen 3-5 are Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the bowlers are Sunil Narine, Rashid Khan and Lasith Malinga, while the impact players are Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Powell and Andre Russell.

The Ultimate XI T20 team is made up of five West Indians in Gayle, Narine, Bravo, Pollard, and Russell, while Kohli and Dhoni make up the Indian contingent. Then there is the South African representation in de Villiers, one Australian in Warner, a Sri Lankan in Malinga, and the Afghan Rashid.

Sachin Tendulkar hailed the "immense contribution" MS Dhoni has made to Indian cricket and described winning the Cricket World Cup alongside his former team-mate as the best moment of his life.

Modern-day great Dhoni posted on Instagram on Saturday to say "consider me retired", along with a video montage of his India appearances over the years, though he did not specify whether his announcement refers to all cricket or just the international arena.

India legend Tendulkar, who scored 15,921 Test runs and a further 18,426 in ODI cricket, led the tributes to Dhoni, who captained his country to World Cup glory on home soil nine years ago.

"Your contribution to Indian cricket has been immense, @msdhoni," Tendulkar posted on Twitter.

"Winning the 2011 World Cup together has been the best moment of my life. Wishing you and your family all the very best for your 2nd innings."

Fellow India great Virender Sehwag highlighted Dhoni's coolness under pressure as crucial to his longevity at the top of international cricket.

"To have a player like him, Mission Impossible…Players will come and go but there won't be a calmer man like him," Sehwag wrote. 

"Dhoni with his connect (sic) with people having aspirations was like a family member to many cricket lovers."

Suresh Raina, 33, added his own tribute on Instagram, in a post in which he confirmed he too is stepping away from international cricket.

"It was nothing but lovely playing with you, @mahi7781. With my heart full of pride, I choose to join you in this journey. Thank you India," he wrote.

India batsman Shikhar Dhawan added simply: "Captain. Leader. Legend. Thanks Mahi bhai for everything you have done for the country!"

Ravichandran Ashwin said the memories of his triumphs alongside Dhoni will forever stay with him.

He wrote: "The legend retires in his own style as always, @msdhoni bhai you have given it all for the country. 

"The champions trophy triumph, 2011 World Cup and the glorious @ChennaiIPL triumphs will always be etched in my memory. Good luck for all your future endeavours. #MSDhoni."

Dhoni, an explosive batsman and quality wicketkeeper, also won the World Twenty20 in 2007 and helped his team ascend to the top of the Test rankings.

He last played for his country in the July 2019 World Cup semi-final defeat to New Zealand at Old Trafford.

West Indian players have made a big impact on the T20 game the world over and a panel of experts deciding on the final list of impact players to be discussed as part of a SportsMax Ultimate XI.

The panel, which makes up 40% of overall votes towards the decision in coming up with a final XI, picked Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, and Andre Russell to be part of a list of six for a final discussion on Monday.

The discussions take place on the SportsMax Zone at 5pm Jamaica time and 6pm in the Eastern Caribbean.

When the votes are all tallied, the SportsMax Zone will have contributed 25% of them, while fans have an input too, there’s counting for 35%.

The panel, today, had to pick from among 12 short listed as the best impact players the T20 game has ever seen.

That list of 12 read; Shane Watson (Australia), Shahid Afridi (Pakistan), Bravo, Russell, Pollard, Jos Buttler (England), Imad Wasim (Pakistan), Ben Stokes (England), Colin Munro (New Zealand), Yuvraj Singh (India), Daniel Vettori (New Zealand), and Daren Sammy (West Indies).

When the cuts were made, Sammy, Imad, Buttler, Vettori, Munro, and Stokes, were deemed just a little off the pace.

So, for final discussion on Monday, Watson, Afridi, Bravo, Russell, Pollard, and Yuvraj will be the men being considered.

But the panel’s list is not final and fans, called fanalysts, can still sway the outcome of who makes the SportsMax Ultimate XI, no matter what the panel decides.

To do that, to have your say, vote by clicking here or going to SportsMax.tv and just clicking on the Ultimate XI tab at the top of the screen.

SportsMax.tv has also built a list of profiles where Fanalysts can go to have a look at the careers of the players who have made the SportsMax Ultimate XI shortlist just in case you want to learn a little more about them before making your choice. To take a look at those players click here.

Page 1 of 13
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.