West Indies legend Brian Lara believes the upcoming IPL could prove a key barometer for veteran players like Chris Gayle and Dwayne Bravo, who could be looking for one last hurrah at the ICC T20 World Cup later this year.

At the ages of 40 and 36, the players are in the twilight of their careers and currently on the fringes of the West Indies squad looking to prepare for the upcoming tournament.  Lara is, however, convinced that a successful IPL campaign could put the players back in the mind of the selectors.  The tournament, the former batting star insists, will not only test their current form but also their longevity by providing a grueling schedule.  The near one-month tournament could see teams play as many as 17 matches, with a minimum of 14 during the short period.

“I think the IPL is going to be a huge point or signal for who is actually going to carry on. It’s still going to be five months after the IPL for the World Cup,”
Lara said in a recent interview with bdcrictime.

“Fitness levels are very important, but a gruesome tournament like the IPL is going to tell the West Indies selectors who are the players that they really need going into the last four months of preparation for the World Cup,” he added.

 

 

West Indies coach Phil Simmons is not be concerned that the life-changing contract awarded to Sheldon Cottrell to play for the Kings XI Punjab in this season’s Indian Premier League (IPL) will impact his cricket.

West Indies middle-order batsman, Shimron Hetmyer, while happy for a second chance at the Indian Premier League, isn’t focusing on the lucrative, high-profile show, in which his price tag suggests he needs to play a starring role.

Hetmyer was discarded by the Royal Challengers Bangalore after just one season but scored a brilliant century in the first One-Day International against India, as well as a few attractive-looking cameos in T20 Internationals against the same team, inclusive of his first half-century.

The left-hander went for US1.1 million to the Capitals at the IPL draft but wasn’t paying any attention to it, choosing instead to focus on the final game his Windies side have against India on Sunday.

The teams go into that third ODI locked at a game apiece.

“I wasn’t really looking too far ahead about it (auction). Really and truly I was just thinking all about the West Indies,” he said.

Hetmyer believes it is what has happened while playing with the Windies that makes him an attractive sell in the IPL and he doesn’t want to quickly forget that.

“They have brought me [here] and made me the person I am today so all thanks to the West Indies for just giving me the chance to represent [them]. I just do my thing and it’s all for the team,” he said.

Windies fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell is raring to go after he landed a million-dollar contract from the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) earlier this week.

Cottrell entered the draft at a base price of US$70,400 but found himself the subject of a bidding war, with Rajasthan Royals, Delhi Capitals and Kings XI Punjab displaying more than just a passing interest.

That interest catapulted his value to US$1.2 million with Kings XI eventually coming out tops.

“I’m really looking forward [to] that,” the Jamaican left-armer said following the auction.

“I am very thankful and humbled at the same time, and just to play alongside Chris (Gayle) and Nicholas (Pooran), KL Rahul – just some of the names – I’m very elated.”

Cottrell  earned his place among the elites of T20 cricket after a year in which he bagged 30 wickets from 23 One-Day Internationals and 14 from 12 T20 Internationals.

Even a disastrous World Cup campaign for the West Indies did little to stop his momentum, the pacer collecting 12 scalps despite.

Though his good bowling has not resulted in many wins for the West Indies, Cottrell doesn’t believe he could have achieved what he has this season without his teammates.

“Without my teammates [and] West Indies, I wouldn’t have made it here in my personal view,” he pointed out. “They have backed me 100 per cent and I just want to tell them thanks.”

Before all that though, Cottrell will be eyeing another good performance for the West Indies in the deciding game of three-match ODI series against India in a few hours time.  

 

Evin Lewis, Shai Hope and Carlos Brathwaite were among seven West Indies players who went unsold during the 2020 IPL Auction in Kolkata, India on Thursday.

Windies veteran batsman Chris Gayle has admitted to focusing on his mental preparation, ahead of even the physical aspects as his final World Cup appearance looms on the horizon.

Despite being one of the oldest players heading to the tournament, the 39-year-old has been in solid form in recent months.  In this season’s IPL Gayle has scored 490 runs in 13 matches but really stood out for the recent England series in the Caribbean.  The veteran batsman was named man of the series after amassing 429 runs in four matches at an average of 106.  The player believes keeping fresh has been key.

"I am just taking a lot of rest, getting a lot of massages, lots of stretching, just trying to stay fresh for games. I know what is required to keep me going on the field," Chris Gayle told PTI.

"Age catches up as you ain't getting any younger. But most important thing for me is the mental part of the game. It is not so much about the physical side of the game anymore. I have not done much fitness in the last couple of months," said the Windies veteran.

"I use my experience and mental aspect. I have not done gym for some time," said Chris Gayle.

Indian Premier League (IPL) team Mumbai Indians will oversee the entire rehabilitation process of Windies pace bowler Alzarri Joseph.

The 22-year-old got his IPL career off to a lightning quick start after claiming a historic 6 for 12 in 3.4 overs.  Tragedy, however, struck for the bowler soon after as he injured his shoulder while fielding for the team in the very next game. 

The damage not only ruled the player out of the rest of the IPL season but also out of the upcoming ICC World Cup.  Despite the bowler not taking part in the rest of the tournament, the club is willing to foot the entire recuperation bill.

  "He has been in Mumbai throughout and his situation was assessed, and the surgery was done on April 30. He is currently recovering and has no movement on the shoulder as it is strapped. One of his family members is here to stay by his side. All his treatment and rehab will be taken care of by MI. He will be shifting to the MI guest house in Navi Mumbai and continue physiotherapy for the next two to three months at the Sir H. N. Reliance Foundation Hospital,” a source familiar with the situation told IANS.

 "After this, he will undergo rehab and hit the ground at the Mumbai Indians academy. It should ideally take around four to five months and even his family member shall stay with him during this phase.”

 

Kolkata Knight Riders skipper, Dinesh Karthik, is defending the balance of his team, saying it is not overly dependent on the star power of Andre Russell. 

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.”

 

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.

Andre Russell came up trumps over Chris Gayle in the battle of the West Indian superstars as Kolkata Knight Riders secured a 28-run win over King XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Wednesday.

Russell scored 49 off 19 and claimed 2 for 21 to score a second straight win for the Knight Riders.  Chasing a massive 218, King XI would have needed a big innings from Gayle who was off a strong start with 20 from 13 balls. 

Russell, however, put a stop to any hopes of a massive score after having the batsman caught, attempting to pull a delivery that hurried into him.  Gayle has been in good form, after scoring 79 in the team’s opening match against Rajastan Royals.

Russell was pleased to get bragging rights over his teammate, a man known these days as the ‘Universe Boss’.

 "Gayle is like a brother to me, the bigger legend," the 30-year-old all-rounder said.

 "To get him out early was great. The plan was to bowl tight to him and restrict him. I am happy that I could get the job done."

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