The CG Insurance Super50 Cup bowls off on Sunday, February 7 with the Leewards Hurricanes taking on the Windwards Volcanoes at the Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, only 19 matches will be played in the tournament scheduled to conclude on February 27.

According to Cricket West Indies, the health risks related to the COVID-19 pandemic caused major disruption to all domestic cricket since late March 2020, with no competitive cricket allowed regionally except for an abridged version of the Caribbean Premier League which took place last August in Trinidad.

This year’s annual CG Insurance Super50 Cup will provide a platform for the region’s six major cricketing rivals to clash in 19 action-packed 50-over matches starting from Sunday, February 7 when Leeward Islands Hurricanes host the Windward Islands Volcanoes.

The tournament will come to an exciting climax when the new champions are crowned on Saturday, February 27.

The 2019-20 champions, West Indies Emerging Players, are unable to defend their 2019 trophy due to COVID-19 constraints, however, several of those players now feature in the squads of the six competing franchise teams, one of which will emerge as the CG Insurance Super50 Cup champions.

Each team will play each other on a round-robin basis with the top four teams qualifying for the semi-finals and the opportunity to reach the grand final.

Matches will be played at Antigua’s two international cricket venues - the Coolidge Cricket Ground (CCG) and the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium (SVRS). There will be 13 matches at CCG including the semi-finals and final, and six matches at SVRS.

West Indies captain Kieron Pollard said it was good to have regional cricket back after a one-year break.

"It is very good that cricket is coming back to the Caribbean ... players will get the opportunity to showcase their skills and entertain our fans. It has been a trying 2020 for cricketers and the whole Caribbean, so it is really good that we have the CG Insurance Super50 Cup being played at this time and hopefully it can unearth some new talent,” he said.

CWI has been working closely with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Sport in Antigua & Barbuda to orchestrate logistics and agree the safety and medical protocols for the commencement and duration of the tournament.

All players, support staff, match officials and supporting professionals will be tested with negative COVID-19 results before their arrival into Antigua. Players, support staff and match officials will operate within a bio-secure bubble and will be tested at regular intervals during the tournament with assistance from the local Ministry of Health and CARPHA.

 

“A huge amount of planning and work has been put in to ensure that the Super50 Cup can return and CWI would like to offer our sincere thanks and appreciation to the Government of Antigua and Barbuda, title partners CG Insurance, our host broadcasters ESPN Caribbean and our colleagues at the Leeward Islands Cricket Board and the Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association, for all of their support in helping to stage the tournament during these unprecedented times,” said CWI CEO Johnny Grave.

Meanwhile, Naz Farrow, CEO of CG Insurance said the company was happy to be able to continue supporting regional cricket.

“CG Insurance is proud to sponsor the CWI Super50 Cup and thrilled to be a part of the first tournament of 2021. We are happy to support the many players and organizers involved and recognize the major efforts that have gone into the preparation of this event during these unique times. By partnering with the CWI series, we have the opportunity to support our various Caribbean nations and to showcase that we are stronger together,” he said.

The CG Insurance Super50 Cup is the marquee 50-over event in the West Indies featuring the six long-standing territorial rivals– Barbados Pride, Guyana Jaguars, Jamaica Scorpions, Leeward Islands Hurricanes, Trinidad & Tobago Red Force, and the Windward Islands Volcanoes.

This is the second edition of the Super50 Cup featuring CG Insurance as title sponsors, and the event promises to stage big performances and memorable moments as the teams go in pursuit of winning the coveted CG Insurance Super50 Cup and being awarded the Sir Clive Lloyd Trophy.

Below is the match schedule for the CG Insurance Super50 Cup

 

Sun, Feb 7 - Leewards Hurricanes v Windwards Volcanoes (day match)  - CCG

Mon, Feb 8 - Guyana Jaguars v Barbados Pride - CCG

Wed, Feb 10 - Leewards Hurricanes v Barbados Pride - CCG

Thur, Feb 11 - Jamaica Scorpions v Trinidad & Tobago Red Force - SVRS

Fri, Feb 12 - Leewards Hurricanes v Guyana Jaguars - CCG

Sat, Feb 13 - Windwards Volcanoes v Trinidad & Tobago Red Force - CCG

Sun, Feb 14 - Jamaica Scorpions v Guyana Jaguars - CCG

Mon, Feb 15 - Trinidad & Tobago Red Force v Barbados Pride - SVRS

Tue, Feb 16 - Windwards Volcanoes v Jamaica Scorpions - CCG

Wed, Feb 17 - Leewards Hurricanes v Trinidad & Tobago Red Force - CCG

Thu, Feb 18 - Windwards Volcanoes v Barbados Pride - SVRS

Fri, Feb 19 - Leewards Hurricanes v Jamaica Scorpions - SVRS

Sat, Feb 20 - Guyana Jaguars v Trinidad & Tobago Red Force - CCG

 

Sun, Feb 21 - Barbados Pride v Jamaica Scorpions - CCG

Mon, Feb 22 – Windwards Volcanoes v Guyana Jaguars - SVRS

Wed, Feb 24 - SEMI-FINAL 1 - CCG

Thur, Feb 25 - SEMI-FINAL 2 - CCG

Fri, Feb 26 - Fifth placed v Sixth placed -SVRS

Sat, Feb 27 – FINAL - CCG

Shimron Hetmyer, Dwayne Bravo and Andre Russell were among West Indies players were retained by their Indian Premier League franchises on Wednesday. However, several others were cut loose and will re-enter the pool of players eligible for the IPL Draft coming up on February 11.

Kieron Pollard will lead a powerful TT Red Force squad when the CG Insurance Super50 Cup bowls off in Antigua and Barbuda from February 7-27.

Pollard heads a seasoned squad of players that include the likes of Evin Lewis, Lendl Simmons and the hard-hitting Nicholas Pooran. Darren Bravo, who will form part of the strong squad will also serve as vice-captain for the team that were semi-finalists last time out.

The T&T selectors have also picked the experienced Jason Mohammed, who is on West Indies duty in Bangladesh as well as former West Indies representatives Sunil Narine, Denesh Ramdin and Ravi Rampaul.

Imran Khan, Akeal Hosein, opener Kjorn Ottley, Khary Pierre, Anderson Phillip and Jayden Seales are also in line to represent the team from the twin-island republic that on paper should start as favourites to win the shortened version of the competition in 2021.

The full squad reads: Kieron Pollard (captain), Darren Bravo (vice-captain), Evin Lewis, Lendl Simmons, Jason Mohammed, Nicholas Pooran, Sunil Narine, Denesh Ramdin, Imran Khan, Akeal Hosein, Ravi Rampaul, Jayden Seales, Kjorn Ottley, Anderson Phillip, Khary Pierre.

Nicholas Pooran believes the West Indies’ low ranking in T20 cricket is due mainly to the fact that it hasn’t been able to put its best players on the field of play often enough.

The West Indies are currently ranked 10th in the ICC T20 rankings despite having some of the best players in the world in their talent pool. However, Pooran anticipates that the team could show its full potential at the next world cup.

“I just believe that most of the series West Indies play, they don't play with their strongest team. And by strongest I mean Chris Gayle, Pollard, Russell, Narine, Bravo in the team together,” the talented Trinidadian said in a recent interview with ESPNCricinfo.

“In the last couple of years, we haven't witnessed these players together. Either most of them weren't selected, some were unavailable ... but definitely a case around that.

“We couldn't play as a team after the last T20 World Cup. This, I am saying from a player's and a fan's point of view. Not seeing some of my favourite players represent West Indies might be one of the reasons.”

Notwithstanding the disappointment that comes with that reality, Pooran said he is looking forward to the coming T20 World Cup where he expects to be a better player holding his own amongst the best players from the region.

“Personally, I am looking forward to the T20 World Cup. As a team, our strength is T20s. For the last couple of years, we've been doing good in World Cups, but as a team where we are ranked [10th], it doesn't show how good our team actually is,” he said, indicating that believes that situation could change in the near future.

“Most of the senior guys are coming back to the West Indies team ... like Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo, Andre Russell and Sunil Narine are all coming back eventually.

“As a player, I am especially excited because I want to do good for the West Indies people and put a smile on their faces. My record for West Indies in T20s isn't that good and I want to improve that for the next couple of months.”

 

 

West Indies captain Jason Holder has been confirmed to be among 12 players that have declined to take part in the upcoming tour of Bangladesh due to health concerns.

Joining Holder in making themselves unavailable for the tour are vice-captain Roston Chase, T20 captain Kieron Pollard, Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, Sheldon Cottrell, Evin Lewis, Shai Hope, Shimron Hetmyer, and Nicholas Pooran. Fabian Allen and Shane Dowrich will be unavailable because of personal reasons.

The CWI Covid-19 policy allows any player the opportunity to decline selection because of health or safety fears, without the decision affecting their consideration for future selection.

The tour is set for January 10 to February 11.  It was only approved after recommendation by the CWI’s Medical Advisory Committee (MAC), who received a detailed report from a pre-tour visit of Bangladesh by CWI Director and Member of the CWI and ICC MAC, Dr Mansingh, and Security Manager, Paul Slowe.

It seems the precautionary measures were not enough to assuage the fears of the majority of the squad.  With 510,080 confirmed coronavirus cases and 7,479 deaths, Bangladesh is one of the countries hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic.  The country has, however, been hosting cricket tournaments under heavy quarantine restrictions.

The West Indies were one of the first teams to resume playing international cricket when they travelled to England in July.  The team then went to New Zealand for a series earlier this month. 

Big-hitting West Indies stars Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard were both named as part of the ICC T20I Team of the Decade.

While the majority of his exploits in the game’s shortest format have occurred in the league format, Gayle has also made his presence felt on the international stage.  The towering left-hander played a crucial role in the West Indies winning two T20 world titles, first in 2012 and then again in 2016.

In addition, Gayle is fifth on the all-time list for the most T20I sixes with 105 registered so far.  India's Rohit Sharma is at the top of the pile with 127.  The player is fourth on the list of highest scores, with 117 off 57 balls, and is one of only nine players to score more than one century in T20I cricket.

Pollard, the West Indies T20 captain, was part of the successful World Cup-winning team in 2012.  He has scored a total of 1226 runs and has blasted 78 sixes with a highest score of 75 unbeaten.  Gayle and Pollard were the only West Indian men named to an ICC team of the decade

 

ICC T20 team of the decade

Rohit Sharma, Chris Gayle, Aaron Finch, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Glenn Maxwell, MS Dhoni (c), Kieron Pollard, Rashid Khan, Jasprit Bumrah, and Lasith Malinga.

The West Indies does not lack talent in cricket but a lot more is needed if the team is to rise from the doldrums to become a respected force once more.

These sentiments were expressed by Head Coach Phil Simmons and White-Ball Captain Kieron Pollard in the aftermath of another losing series, this time in New Zealand where the West Indies lost the T20 series and Test series by 2-0 margins.

Since then, debate has swirled around the failings of the West Indies and what, if anything, can be done to bring about a reversal of fortunes.

Simmons and Pollard are of the view that a lot needs to be done administratively and by the players, if things are to change for the better.

“We are never, in the Caribbean, wanting for talent,” Simmons said in a video from CWI posted on Youtube on Wednesday.

“But now is a time for us to realize that all the talent we have hasn’t taken us anywhere and that there are some things that have to go with the talent. “There’s teaching, there’s understanding, there’s learning how to play different games in all different formats.

“There is a lot to be done still. We have to put together everything else in the Caribbean that goes with the talent to make it a successful unit again.”

Pollard, one of the best T20 players in the world and who has played with in some of the best T20 leagues across the globe, while agreeing with the head coach, opined that until the structures can be put in place for the West Indies to make full use of the talent, the current crop of players need to shoulder a greater share of responsibility. This, he said, would likely inspire the administrators to do more.

“We talk about fixing cricket and wanting to take it forward but I think as individuals, the hard work needs to be put in and I just believe that sometimes you look at it, it needs to start at the administration level,” Pollard said.

“In this case, I think we can be the driving force on the field, the group of guys we have at present, we can continue to show that we have the drive and the determination and desire to go forward and push forward, and also put ourselves in uncomfortable positions in order for this vehicle to go forward then it would transcend onto the administration and they will realize that we need to pull our socks up.

“When you look at it, we are not wanting for talent. Talent, pound for pound, we are always there and sometimes a lot better than we have seen around the world but what they have around the world is structure. What they have is people investing in the cricket, investing in themselves.”

Pollard believes the West Indies have remained in the doldrums for a long time because of a willingness to accept mediocrity suggesting that, unfortunately, it part of Caribbean culture.

He said with a renewed effort to move forward, hopefully the effort will attract the type of investment needed in regional cricket.

“There is still a long way to go in terms of playing in proper facilities. Pitches in the Caribbean, in all honesty, are not at a great standard. Things that we call world class, when you go away you see world class and those are the things we need to see as individuals and from an administration point of view.”

West Indies captain Kieron Pollard has backed the team to rebound following a disappointing five-wicket loss to open its three-match T20I series against New Zealand on Friday.

For his part, Pollard crafted a masterful unbeaten 75 as the team posted 180 for 7, but in the rain-affected fixture the hosts chased down the total with a 179 for five response from 15.2 overs to win via the Duckworth/Lewis method.

Despite setting a reasonable total there will be plenty for the West Indies to ponder in the loss.  They got off to a fast start after racing to 58 without loss in 19 balls courtesy of Andre Fletcher’s 14-ball 34, following his dismissal the team lost five wickets in 11 balls.

In chasing down the target, Jimmy Neesham and Devon Conway led a New Zealand recovery, pulling the team back from 63 for 4 mid-way the seventh over to get a comfortable victory in the end.  They were aided by plenty of wayward bowling.  Keemo Paul and Kesrick Williams being were particularly culpable. Paul bowled five no-balls while giving up 39 runs from his three overs while Williams’ half volleys saw him being taken for 33 runs from two overs.

“We will continue to fight, hopefully, we will get over the line and set up an exciting third match for the final game,” Pollard told members of the media following the match.

“We definitely have to look at our plans and come back, in terms of the bowling aspect of it and try not to lose wickets in clusters, these are conversations that we continue to have but as cricket goes sometimes these things play a part.”

West Indies white-ball captain Kieron Pollard blames his side’s erratic bowling for their five-wicket loss to New Zealand in Auckland on Friday.

A dramatic batting collapse and poor bowling were at the root of the West Indies five-wicket loss to New Zealand in the opening encounter of their three-match T20 series in Auckland on Friday.

In a match interrupted several times by rain, the West Indies lost five wickets for one run but recovered to 180 for 7 from 16 overs thanks to some calculated hitting from their captain, Kieron Pollard.

However, New Zealand replied with 179 for five from 15.2 overs to win by Duckworth/Lewis method.

The home side won the toss and asked the visitors to bat and they obliged racing to 58 without loss in 19 balls courtesy of Andre Fletcher’s 14-ball 34 that included three fours and three sixes.

However, when he was bowled by Lockie Ferguson the second ball of the fourth over, it triggered a collapse wherein the West Indies lost five wickets in 11 balls. Four balls later, he had Shimron Hetmyer caught behind without scoring – 58 for 2.

The West Indies lost two wickets in the following over bowled by Tim Southee, who removed Brandon King for 13 and Rovman Powell without scoring as the West Indies stumbled to 58 for 4. In the very next over, Ferguson trapped Nicholas Pooran lbw for 1 and the West Indies had collapsed to 59 for 5.

Pollard came to the rescue of the Caribbean side as he and Fabian Allen hauled the West Indies to 143 in the 14th over when Ferguson had Allen caught for 30 behind and Keemo Paul out by a similar route without scoring to leave the West Indies 146 for 7.

Meanwhile, at the other end Pollard was at his destructive best, smashing 75 off just 37 balls with four fours and eight sixes to carry the Caribbean side to a competitive total.

Man of the Match Ferguson returned figures of 5 for 21 from his four overs, while Southee took 2 for 22 from 3.

However, the Pollard-led recovery was all for naught as New Zealand, led by Neesham’s unbeaten 24-ball 48 and Devon Conway’s 29-ball 41, propelled New Zealand to 179 for 5 from 15.2overs and the series lead.

Neesham and Conway dragged New Zealand back from 63 for 4 mid-way the seventh over to what turned out to be a comfortable victory. In a fifth-wicket stand of 77 that came off just 34 balls, the pair smashed the West Indies bowling to all parts before Conway fell to Pollard in the 13th over but by then the damage had been done.

Mitchell Santer picked up from there smashing three sixes as he raced to an unbeaten 31 from just 18 balls to secure victory.

New Zealand were aided by poor bowling from the West Indies, especially from Keemo Paul and Kesrick Williams being, who were most culpable. Paul bowled five no-balls while giving up 39 runs from his three overs while Williams’ half volleys saw him being taken for 33 runs from two overs. Allen gave up 32 from two overs.

Oshane Thomas 2 for 23 from three overs was the best of the West Indies bowlers while Sheldon Cottrell returned figures of 1 for 30 from his four overs.

 

 

Kieron Pollard and Jofra Archer were among the major award winners of the just-concluded 2020 IPL season.

When the Mumbai Indians defeated the Delhi Capitals on Tuesday’s final of the 2020 season of the Indian Premier League, it also made Kieron Pollard the player with the most T20 titles in the history of the format.

The powerfully built Trinidadian allrounder was winning his 15th title and his fifth with Mumbai, also a record for the franchise.

It puts him above compatriot Dwayne Bravo, who has 14, Shoaib Malik with 12, Rohit Sharma, Mumbai’s captain Rohit Sharma with 10 and Lasith Malinga, who has nine titles.

Following Tuesday’s comfortable five-wicket victory over the Capitals, Pollard expressed his joy at winning yet another title but confesses that the path to winning the many trophies he has won has never been easy.

“It's a great feeling. I've been here 11 years, fifth trophy,” said Pollard who won a record fourth Caribbean Premier League title with the Trinbago Knight Riders in September.

“No one sees the planning and training, it's pressure playing for a franchise like this. The amount of trophies, the amount of work, the amount of players who go on to play for their countries, I think we'll have to say so [that this is the best T20 franchise].”

Pollard praised the owners and management of the franchise and aimed a friendly dig at his fellow Trinidadian, who plays for the Chennai Super Kings.

“Dwayne Bravo you're behind now and I'm in front of you, just had to say it on camera.”

From all indications, he seems to relish the pressure that comes with a final. He made reference to this prior to Tuesday's final in a video on Mumbai's Twitter page.

“The name of the game is pressure, in a final. Everyone takes that pressure. You want to win and not commit a mistake, but at the end of the day, you have to try to take the finals as a normal game. Just go out there, enjoy yourself and the atmosphere,” Pollard said.

“Obviously, no crowds in this final, but enjoy the magnitude of it. It is an IPL final, it’s the biggest thing after the World Cup final,. 

Pollard will now head to New Zealand where he will represent the West Indies in their three-match T20 season set to begin on November 27.

David Warner and Wriddhiman Saha's sensational unbeaten opening partnership steered Sunrisers Hyderabad into the Indian Premier League play-offs with a 10-wicket victory over table-topping Mumbai Indians.

Captain Warner (85 not out off 58) and Saha (58no off 45) put on 151 for the first wicket as Sunrisers successfully chased down a victory target of 150 in the final game of the regular season at Sharjah Cricket Stadium, moving them above Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore into third.

They consequently eliminated KKR and will now face RCB in an eliminator on Friday, while the Indians already knew they would be going up against Delhi Capitals in Qualifier 1 on Thursday.

Rohit Sharma (4) was not called up by India for the upcoming tour of Australia but returned to the line-up for the Indians, though he and Quinton de Kock (25) were the victims as Sandeep Sharma (3-34) moved onto 53 wickets from the opening six overs in the IPL – the most by any bowler.

Suryakumar Yadav (36) and Ishan Kishan (33) put on 42 for the third wicket before the former fell to Shahbaz Nadeem (2-19), who dismissed Krunal Pandya in the same over.

Jason Holder (2-25) claimed his 100th Twenty20 wicket when he removed Nathan Coulter-Nile for one with Mumbai 116-7 in the 18th over.

He also accounted for Kieron Pollard after he smashed 41 off 25 balls to push the leaders to a more respectable total, though it was still their lowest when batting first this season.

It proved easy work for Warner and Saha, as their terrific stand got them over the line with 17 balls remaining and kept Sunrisers' campaign going.

POLLARD GOES PLUNDERING

Mumbai rested Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult but failed to make things easy for their bowlers after being put in.

Pollard did his best to make the workload a little less daunting with a late flurry, clearing the ropes four times – including three in succession off Thangarasu Natarajan in the penultimate over – as he moved past the 3,000 runs mark in the IPL.

SUNRISERS DON'T GO DOWN

Warner is the leading run-scorer in the IPL and it is easy to see why when he is in such dominating form.

He sent James Pattinson (0-29) to the ropes three times in succession in the fourth over and brought up his 48th half-century in the competition with his only six of a masterful knock.

A wonderful drive between cover and extra cover for his 10th four got the job done for Sunrisers.

While he was disappointed that the Mumbai Indians suffered a shock loss to the Rajasthan Royals, Captain Kieron Pollard could not help but feel especially aggrieved for one of his teammates, Hardik Pandya.

Batting first, Mumbai were struggling at 101 for 4 after 13 overs after Pollard was bowled by Shreyas Gopal for 6. At 7.76 an over, Mumbai were looking at a score of between 155 and 170. However, Pandya smashed 60 that included two fours and seven sixes while facing just 21 balls to propel Mumbai to a competitive 195 for 5.

What they didn’t bank on was Ben Stokes smearing Mumbai’s bowlers all over the park, scoring an unbeaten 107 from 60 balls and Sanju Sampson’s 54 from 31 balls to see the Royals race to 196 for 2 with all of 10 balls to spare.

Pollard, filling in for a second game for Rohit Sharma, who is out with an injured hamstring paid tribute to Stokes but felt for Pandya, whose heroic efforts were in vain.

“I thought Hardik brought us straight back into the game, but well played to Stokes and well played to Samson,” said Pollard who now has one loss and a win as the stand-in captain.

He believed the conditions helped the Royals more than they did Mumbai.

“The wicket ended up being a good wicket with a little bit of dew. It played into their strengths. But having said that, well played to the opposition,” said Pollard, who was not particularly concerned that the loss would impact Mumbai’s ambitions of being among the top-two teams at the end of the regular season.

“It really doesn't do much to the campaign, we still have three games to do. We just have to come out with good cricket. Our bowlers tried but it wasn't meant to be today,” he said.

“[Hardik] keeps showing time and time again, doesn't matter the position of the team. Tough luck an innings like that he ends up on the losing side.”

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