West Indies opening batsman, Kieran Powell, admits he is looking forward to an opportunity to cement his position in the squad having recently earned a long-awaited recall.

Earlier this week, the 31-year-old left-hander was named among the final 13-man Test squad that will compete against South Africa.  His selection marked a two-and-a-half-year absence from the team, despite some believing the player to be among the region’s top talents.

 Powell, who last represented the West Indies in 2018, during the team’s series against Bangladesh, was in contention for selection to the team last year but failed a fitness test in May.

With several first-string players opting out of the Bangladesh tour earlier this year, he was certainly favourite to claim a spot in the squad but was declared to not have met the fitness standard required by the Cricket West Indies (CWI) selection panel.  Both the player and the Nevis Cricket Association (NCA) rejected the claims and insisted the batsman had in fact met the required fitness standard.  Having been given another chance to shine, Power is, however, eager to claim the opportunity.

“I’ve been out of the team for two and half years now and I’ve counted each month I was not on it,” Powell told members of the media.

“So, it’s obviously a great feeling to be back, but being back is just the start.  Obviously, now when I get my opportunity I have to go out and perform and cement my spot,” he added.

 

Shai Hope, Kieran Powell, and Jayden Seales have been included in a provisional 17-man squad for the upcoming Betway Test Series against South Africa set to begin on June 10. Opening batsman, John Campbell, however, has not made the cut.

West Indies opening batsman, Kieran Powell, is hopeful that a polished half-century, crafted in the ongoing West Indies Best vs Best practice match, will be enough to get the attention of the selectors ahead of the upcoming series against South Africa.

On Wednesday, Powell anchored the WI Best B innings with a responsible 95 from 175 balls, which was earned in 227 minutes.  The batsman, who has not represented the West Indies since 2018, during the team’s series against Bangladesh, has had a difficult relationship with the selection panel as of late.

With several first-string players opting out of the Bangladesh tour earlier this year, Powell was favourite for a return to the squad but was declared to not have met the fitness standard required by the West Indies.  Both the player and the Nevis Cricket Association (NCA) rejected the claims and insisted the batsman had in fact met the required fitness standard.  Powell had earlier failed a test in May of 2020.

Now back in contention, the player will be hoping to put such episodes behind him.

“I would hope it (the score) leaves me in a position of strength.  I think there has been just one century, so this is the second-highest score if I’m not mistaken,” Powell said, following the day's play.

“Hopefully, I can get into the squad, and we will take it from there.  I’ve wanted to get back into the team for some time now.  So, obviously spending time and showing application, I am hoping there is hopefully a reward for that.”

 

 

 

A solid half-century at the top of the order from left-hander Kieran Powell left Jahmar Hamilton XI in a strong position against Jermaine Blackwood XI, on the third day of the Best v Best practice match.

The 31-year-old opener fell just five runs short of a century, but his 95 from 175 balls anchored the West Indies B second innings total of 218 for 4 heading into the fourth day.  The total, at the end of the day’s play, left the team with just 92 runs needed to win the match, with plenty of wickets in hand.

Powell was the anchor throughout the innings, forming key partnerships with opening partner Shane Moseley, who added 36, Shamarh Brooks (39), and Raymond Reifer (22), before being dismissed by spinner Rahkeem Cornwall, who also accounted for Moseley.

Earlier, WI Best A had resumed the day on 197-3 with an unbeaten and confident-looking Shai Hope at the crease on 104.  However, young pace bowler Javon Searles continued an excellent performance with the ball when he added Hope to the collection of top-order batsmen he removed from the crease.  Hope only managed another two runs before being caught by Mosely off the bowling of Searles.  Searles ended the innings with the best figures of 4 for 40.

Paul Palmer, not out on 15, and Reifer, who was not out on 22, will resume the day at the crease for WI Best B on Thursday.

Trinidad & Tobago Red Force maintained their unbeaten run in the CG Insurance Super50 Cup with a nine-wicket win over Leeward Islands Hurricanes at Coolidge Cricket Ground on Wednesday night.

The Red Force bowled out the home side for 129 and then motored to 130-1 off 24.5 overs. It was their fourth win and earned them a spot in the semi-finals.

Sunil Narine, playing his 100th List A match, was brilliant as he took 3-36 from his 10 overs. One of his wickets came from a perfectly flighted off-break which turned a long way and rattled the stumps of Terrence Warde.

However, fast bowler Ravi Rampaul was named the CG Insurance Man-of-the-Match for his excellent new-ball spell and took 3-17 from seven overs.

The top score for the Hurricanes came from opener Kieran Powell (29), while Hayden WalshJjr chipped in with 26.

The Red Force them reached the target with little bother as Kjorn Ottley and Jason Mohammed shared an unbroken second-wicket partnership of 93. Ottley made 47 not out with six fours and a six over cover, while Mohammed remained unbeaten on 40 off 55 balls with four boundaries.

 Evin Lewis gave the innings a flying start as he smashed two sixes and three fours in 28 off 27 balls, but fell, caught at point off pacer Quinton Boatswain.

Rampaul was quite pleased with his contribution and the outcome.

“I am very happy with the performance of all our bowlers throughout this tournament. I’ve been putting some hard work in the conditions and I reaped the rewards today (Wednesday),” he said at the conclusion of the match.

“It feels great to get the Man-of-the-Match.  It’s always a pleasure to play for my country and I’m really enjoying it. I grew up playing with a lot of my team-mates and it’s been good fun. We believe we can win and we want to win."

Thursday: Windward Islands Volcanoes vs Barbados Pride at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium. First ball is 9 am (8 am Jamaica Time).

 

 

The Nevis Cricket Association (NCA) has strongly refuted claims batsman Kieran Powell has not made the West Indies selection fitness standard, pointing out that the player achieved the requirements in June.

Despite several key players choosing to make themselves unavailable for the upcoming Bangladesh tour, Powell was surprisingly not selected for hastily compiled ODI or squads.  In explaining the unusual situation, chief of selectors Roger Harper claimed the player had not been considered as he was yet to make the team's required fitness standard.  In a recent release, however, the NCA has vehemently disputed the claim.  The 30-year-old top-order batsman was the top scorer in the previous season of the Cricket West Indies (CWI) Regional Super50 competition.  Powell scored 524 runs at an average of 58.22, with two 100s and two 50s.

“When questioned on the omission of Powell, Chairman of Selectors, Roger Harper, responded that Powell is ‘yet to make the fitness standard’. This statement is incorrect. When the Leeward Islands Hurricanes conducted their fitness tests on June 30th, 2020, Kieran Powell successfully passed all aspects of the tests including the yo-yo test. The results of the tests were communicated to Mr. Peter Abraham Jr., CEO of the Leeward Islands Cricket Board, shortly thereafter. These results and, in particular, as they relate to Kieran Powell ought to have been made known to Cricket West Indies and their employees as they have an interest in the fitness of all of their players,” the release read.

“Subsequently, we presume Cricket West Indies were in receipt of Kieran Powell’s successful fitness test results as Powell was included in a group of probable players that were in consideration for the West Indies tour of Bangladesh as recently as two weeks ago.”

The NCA also claimed that in the first instance of Powell failing a fitness test, alongside Shimron Hetmyer and Evin Lewis, arrangements were made for the other two players to speedily retake the test, but no such provision was made for Powell.

The body has called the statement made by Harper ‘damaging’ and demanded a retraction, insisting the player is both fully fit and obviously in good form.

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