Injury, concerns over safety and a need for a clear head are the reasons behind Evin Lewis, Lendl Simmons and Andre Russell’s decisions not to accept invitations to join the West Indies’ tour of New Zealand starting next month.

The West Indies on Friday named a 14-man squad that is expected to play three T20 Internationals in New Zealand later this year that included Andre Fletcher who was making a return to the squad after a two-year absence as well as Shimron Hetmyer and Darren Bravo. However, it was noticeable that Russell, Lewis and Simmons were absent.

Chief selector Roger Harper explained during a press conference Friday morning that the three batsman gave different reasons why they opted out.

Simmons, he said, decided against travelling after discussions with his family. Lewis, he said, also discussed the issue with family but was also concerned about a injury that needed more time to heal.

Russell, who is currently playing for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League, said he needed time to clear his head after being in quarantine situations in the Caribbean Premier League and IPL competitions.

“Lendl Simmons and Andre Russell are two very experienced T20 players who performed very well on the last tour of Sri Lanka and their absence will surely be noted,” Harper said in a release from CWI.

However, the respective decisions to decline the invitations to tour will not factor in the selection process to future teams, CWI said.

 

Jason Holder and Kieron Pollard are to captain West Indies Test and T20 teams, respectively, while Shai Hope has been dropped for the upcoming tour of New Zealand.

Meanwhile, Andre Russell, Lendl Simmons and Evin Lewis have declined invitations to the T20 squad that has been selected for the tour.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) announced a short while ago, the two squads for the proposed tour of New Zealand which will feature three T20 Internationals and two Test matches from November 27 to December 15.

Details of the tour were ratified by CWI’s Board of Directors during a teleconference on Thursday. The Board agreed to the tour in principle, subject to final details on medical and logistical protocols of CWI, New Zealand Cricket and Government of New Zealand.

Left-handed batsmen Darren Bravo and Shimron Hetmyer have been recalled to the Test team, as well as all-rounder Keemo Paul. Bravo’s highest Test score of 218 came at the University Oval in Dunedin in 2013.

“The return of Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer and Keemo Paul will bolster the team, I expect that Darren will solidify the top-order, hopefully making it more productive, while Shimron gives the squad more options in the middle-order and it is another opportunity for him to show how good a player he is.  Keemo provides another wicket taking seam option,” said Chief Selector Roger Harper.

“The Test team has an opportunity to put into practice the learnings from the tour of England earlier this year.  The team has good all-round depth and I expect them be very competitive. New Zealand is a very good team especially in New Zealand, so we need to be on the top of our game.”

A group of reserves will also travel to help prepare the Test squad during the quarantine period and training camp as well as cover for injuries.

Meanwhile, Andre Fletcher, the experienced wicket-keeper/batsman has been named in the T20I squad for the first time since 2018. There is also a maiden call-up in this format for Kyle Mayers, the all-rounder, who performed well in last month’s Caribbean Premier League (CPL).

“Lendl Simmons and Andre Russell are two very experienced T20 players who performed very well on the last tour of Sri Lanka and their absence will surely be noted.  However, Andre Fletcher has another opportunity to show us what he can do and what he brings to the table,” Harper said.

“The T20I Team is now getting back into the groove after a nine-month absence from international competition. Fortunately, a number of players have been involved in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and before that the CPL, so they have had some competitive cricket leading up to this tour. The structure of the tour with the COVID-19 quarantine period, does not give the team any real opportunity for match practice as a team but there are a number of experienced players in the team so, hopefully, they can adapt quickly. 

“In the build-up to the ICC T20 World Cup, every T20I series is an important opportunity to fine tune the team, to get our personnel, our compositions and combinations right. For our players to become more attuned to their roles and the team to have a greater understanding of what works best in each situation. So, this is a very important series for us from that perspective and also in an effort to improve our rankings.”

The T20Is will be the start of an 11-month schedule of matches building up to the ICC T20 World Cup, rescheduled for October 2021 in India. The proposed schedule for this tour of New Zealand has the defending T20 World Cup champions starting at Eden Park in Auckland under lights.

The CWI Selection Panel indicated that this upcoming series will form part of the overall planning towards defending the ICC World T20 title. The panel outlined that they will continue to monitor closely the progress of spin bowler Sunil Narine and all other players in the lead-up to the global event.

 Test Squad:

Jason Holder (captain), Jermaine Blackwood, Kraigg Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell, Roston Chase, Rahkeem Cornwall, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Shimron Hetmyer, Chemar Holder, Alzarri Joseph, Keemo Paul and Kemar Roach.

 Test Reserves:

Nkrumah Bonner, Joshua DaSilva, Preston McSween, Shayne Moseley, Raymon Reifer, and Jayden Seales.

 T20 International Squad:

Kieron Pollard (captain), Fabian Allen, Dwayne Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell, Andre Fletcher, Shimron Hetmyer, Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Rovman Powell, Keemo Paul, Nicholas Pooran, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jr, and Kesrick Williams.

Trinbago Knight Riders man-of-the-match Lendl Simmons revealed that he was spurred on by the previous season’s failure and determined to see them over the line this time around.

In the end, it proved to be a reversed performance of sorts for Simmons, when considering the Knight Riders' previous Caribbean Premier League (CPL) campaign.  Last season, he started the competition well but went missing in the later rounds.  His 1 run against the Tridents, in the semi-finals, perhaps set the stage for the team's loss.

One season later, after a poor start to the competition, Simmons is free to bellow his redemption song.  His 54 from 44 in the semi-final and 84 from 49 in the final game, played a big role in the Knight Riders not only lifting the title but achieving a historic unbeaten season.

“Last year I did well in the prelims and when it came to the semi-finals, I didn’t get a score and we ended up losing the game.  So, I took the responsibility upon myself to make sure we got it over the line this time," Simmons said following the game.

“I did not start the tournament well, but I ended well, and I am happy with my performance,” he added.

Simmons finished the tournament as the top runs getter with a total of 356.

 

Lendl Simmons and Darren Bravo ensured Trinbago Knight Riders completed the first perfect season in franchise T20 history with an unbroken partnership of 138 off 88 balls, the highest of Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2020 and the highest ever in a final. The St Lucia Zouks put up what seemed a competitive total, but ultimately a loss of 7/39 off the last 32 balls of their innings cost them dearly against this history-making Knight Riders squad. 

Rakheem Cornwall swept Akeal Hosein for four but was lucky to edge over DJ Bravo at slip. Knight Riders captain Kieron Pollard gave the second over to Ali Khan, and Ali responded by flattening Cornwall’s middle stump. Andre Fletcher clipped fine for four, the Zouks thus closing the second over at 16/1.

 Mark Deyal slog-swept Hosein for two fours, and Fletcher was aggressive against Sikandar Raza, taking him over cover and long-on for Hero Maximums then cutting for four. Khary Pierre went for just five, but Fletcher twice smoked Ali through cover for four and the Zouks motored to 60/1 off the Powerplay.

 Deyal lofted Pierre over cover for four and launched Pollard for six, but struggled to combat Fawad Ahmed’s googly and edged to DJ Bravo at slip. Hosein returned with a tight over, and at halfway the Knight Riders had slowed the Zouks to 79/2.

Roston Chase clipped through midwicket for four early in Fawad’s second over, which went for 10, but Fletcher’s assault ended as he aimed Pollard down the ground but found only Darren Bravo at long-off. Najibullah Zadran slashed his first ball for four, and the over went for seven to leave the Zouks in need of a partnership at 79/3 off 12 overs.

While Chase slog-swept the last ball of Pierre’s over for a Hero Maximum, he and Mohammad Nabi fell within four balls, the former chipping a Pollard cutter to deep-mid on and the latter clubbing Fawad to long-off. Zouks captain Daren Sammy smashed his second ball for a Hero Maximum, and after 15 overs the Zouks were 123/5.

Despite a Najibullah four, Ali’s return over went for just six, and Sammy should have fallen to Hosein but Ali badly misjudged the catch. Najibullah flicked Hosein for a delightful Hero Maximum over cover, but Hosein recovered to dismiss Sammy LBW. After 17 overs, the Zouks were 138/6.

 DJ Bravo was unable to bowl, and so Pollard had to step up at the death and did so admirably, picking up two wickets with his off-cutter. First Javelle Glenn looped to backward point, then Najibullah failed to clear Raza at deep backward square off another cutter. Kesrick Williams was run out, Ali Khan bowled Zahir Khan with a perfect yorker, and the Knight Riders had bowled the Zouks out for a decent rather than dominant total.

 Simmons pulled Scott Kuggeleijn for four first ball of the chase, becoming Hero CPL’s all-time leading run-scorer in doing so. Webster swept Nabi for four but then top-edged off Chase, Williams taking a fine catch. After three overs, the Knight Riders were 14/1.


Tim Seifert got off the mark with a four off Kuggeleijn but fell edging behind next ball. Darren Bravo too got off the mark with a boundary, a glorious lofted Hero Maximum over long-on off Chase, and Simmons took fours straight, fine down the leg side and backward of point off Williams’ first over to close the Powerplay with the Knight Riders 40/2.

Chase and Nabi put the pressure on, going for just five between them, and Simmons and Bravo both struggled against Zahir. When Simmons did take on the big shot though he nailed it over the fence, and at halfway the Knight Riders were 59/2 and needed 96 more to win.

Sammy brought himself on and bowled five good deliveries, but Bravo smashed the sixth for a Hero Maximum, and Simmons pulled Williams for a six then cut him for four, becoming Hero CPL 2020’s leading run-scorer and bringing up his 50 off just 31 balls. Bravo though continued to struggle against Chase, who closed out a superb spell.

 After 13 overs, Bravo was just 23 off 32 balls, and the Knight Riders needed almost 10 an over, but he eased both of those equations somewhat with two Hero Maximums off Glenn. Williams’s third over went for nine thanks to two wides and a loose short ball, and the Knight Riders entered the last five overs needing 45 with eight wickets still in hand.

Kuggeleijn managed to go for just four off the 16th despite starting with a wide, but Simmons targeted Zahir, taking him for four off the first and six off the second. Bravo added two big Hero Maximums, the second bringing up his 50 off 45 balls. Suddenly, the Knight Riders needed just 18.

Simmons was not going to hang around now, walloping Kuggeleijn for a Hero Maximum over midwicket then clubbing him over cover and slicing him through third man for two fours. The winning runs came off an inside edge, but there was now no denying the Knight Riders’ domination of Hero CPL 2020.


All season, the Knight Riders had absorbed the loss of key personnel - Colin Munro fractured his hand, Ali Khan missed games, Narine had kidney stones removed and was unable to play the final with a knee injury. But perhaps the 12th and final win is the greatest measure of how great a squad Pollard and Brendon McCullum have built - victory was achieved two wickets down, with 11 balls to spare, without DJ Bravo bowling or Pollard batting. The Knight Riders had come together in the bubble and emerged from it to achieve something truly monumental.

Summary (Trinbago Knight Riders 157/2 (Simmons 84*, DM Bravo 58*; Chase 1/13, Kuggeleijn 1/30) beat St Lucia Zouks 154 all out (Fletcher 39, Deyal 29, Najibullah 24, Chase 22; Pollard 4/30, Fawad 2/22, Ali Khan 2/25, Hosein 1/26) by 8 wickets)

 

Trinbago Knight Riders' opening batsman Lendl Simmons has credited some tough love from uncle Phil Simmons with a breakout performance against St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, in the CPL on Wednesday.

Simmons slammed a whirlwind 96 from just 63 balls, registering 7 fours and a towering 6 sixes.  His performance anchored a 174 innings for the Tridents, who then restricted St Kitts to 115 to score an eighth straight win.

Prior to the fireworks, Simmons had eked out an average season to date, registering scores of 32 and 25 against the Barbados Tridents and Jamaica Tallawahs respectively but with ducks against the Tallawahs and St Lucia Zouks.  According to Simmons, however, being able to bide his time with the team winning and encouragement from his uncle provided the motivation.

“I’ve been struggling for the last couple of games that I played.  I didn’t get the start to the tournament that we wanted but seeing that we were winning it game me confidence that I would come good at some point in time,” Simmons said.

“Last night I had a talk with Phil(Simmons) and he told me what I needed to hear and that reminded me of my ability and talent and what I can do.”

The Trinbago Knight Riders showed they are a formidable squad, not just a starting XI, as Kieron Pollard rested both himself and Sunil Narine from an experimental lineup that was still far too good for St Kitts & Nevis Patriots. Lendl Simmons found form, Sikandar Raza and Pravin Tambe were excellent with the ball, and the Patriots are all but out of Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) semi-final contention.

Trinidad and Tobago batsman, Lendl Simmons was one of the first cricketers from the region to say definitively, he was going to focus almost solely on the shortest form of cricket. For many, it was a shame because Simmons is an undoubtedly talented opening batsman, whose technique suggests he can play in any format. The nephew of West Indies coach Phil Simmons, Lendl has all the shots in the book and makes six-hitting losing easier than most. It has been a long time since he scored 540 runs in a season of the IPL, the 2015 effort bringing the Mumbai Indians the title. But still, Simmons’ ability is such that leaving him out of a team is scarcely ever a wanted outcome. In 2016, for instance, Simmons, suffering from a back injury was left out of the West Indies team but featured in a semi-final after Andre Fletcher was injured. His unbeaten 82, acquired from just 51 deliveries, helped guide the eventual champions into the final.

 

Career Statistics (2007-present)

Full name: Lendl Mark Platter Simmons

Born: January 25, 1985, Port of Spain, Trinidad (35)

Major teams: West Indies, Brampton Wolves, Bravo XI, Brisbane Heat, Chattogram Challengers, Chittagong Vikings, Guyana Amazon Warriors, Jamaica Tallawahs, Karachi Kings, Khulna Titans, Maratha Arabians, Mumbai Indians, Mumbai T20, Northern Warriors, Peshawar Zalmi, Rajshahi Royals, St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, St Lucia Stars, St Lucia Zouks, Trinbago Knight Riders, Trinidad & Tobago, West Indies A, West Indies B, West Indies Board XI, West Indies Players Association XI, West Indies Under-19s, Winnipeg Hawks

Playing role: Top-order batsman

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm medium-fast

Fielding position: Occasional wicketkeeper

 

T20I Career

Mat   Inns   NO    Runs     HS     Ave       BF      SR       100   50      4s     6s    

54        53      9      1189     91*   27.02     966    123.08    0      8      108     51   

T20 Career

Mat   Inns   NO    Runs      HS     Ave       BF         SR        100   50    4s     6s   

249     245    25     6654      100*  30.24     5576     119.33      1    54    611   292       

 

Career Highlights

  • 7th most capped West Indies T20I cricketer (54)
  • 1189 T20I runs at 27.20 (3rd most runs by a West Indian)
  • 4th most T20 WC runs for West Indies (320)
  • 6654 T20 runs at 30.24 average

Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Lendl Simmons, Sunil Narine and Darren Bravo are among 10 players retained by the Trinbago Knight Riders for the 2020 CPL season.

Windies T20 captain Kieron Pollard is feeling a sense of relief after coming away from Sri Lanka with a series victory after being swamped in the One-Day Internationals before that.

The West Indies beat back the challenge of the hosts 2-0, completing the route with a seven-wicket win in Pallekele on Friday.

Sent into bat, Sri Lanka recovered from 48-4 in the 12th over to score 155-6 thanks to Dasun Shanaka’s 31 not out and Thisara Perera’s unbeaten 21 but that wasn’t enough.

In reply, the West Indies, despite the early loss of Lendl Simmons, 9, didn’t have too much trouble chasing the target with a long, powerful batting line-up, where Brandon King scored 43, Shimron Hetmyer was unbeaten on 43 and Andre Russell scored a remarkable 40 not out, inclusive of six sixes.

“Pretty satisfied to leave Sri Lankan shores with a victory, we hadn't won a T20I series in a while,” said Pollard.

The skipper lauded the team for the effort they put into the two games, saying he liked the fact that the intensity remained high over the course of the two games. The West Indies won the first encounter on Wednesdat by 25 runs.  

“The guys executed nicely, the foundation was laid by Brandon King, the young man is finding his feet in international cricket, Russell finished it off and the bowlers were brilliant,” said Pollard.

On Wednesday, the West Indies had a scare after Kusal Perera threatened to take the game away from them. Pollard had said then, that he would reveal his plans for there not to be a repeat.

“He is always looking for the length ball, every time we bowl fuller he tends to miss, our analyst has done a brilliant job, and as I said, it was a total team effort,” he said.

The bowling effort, Pollard said, was better than in the last game and better than it has been in a while.

“We were trying to make them hit to one side of the park only,” he said, pointing out that his team had previously been leaking runs on both sides of the wicket, making it difficult to contain scoring.

Now, Pollard said, it was just for the team to create those performances consistently.

International T20 stars Rayad Emrit and Lendl Simmons have been confirmed for the Golden Republic T20 Bash set for February 21, 2020, at the Guyana National Stadium in Providence.

Lendl Simmons' unbeaten 91 guided West Indies to a crushing nine-wicket win against Ireland as their Twenty20 series finished level at 1-1 on Sunday.

Rain briefly threatened to scupper the third and final match just as it had the second and Ireland will have wished for a greater downpour after being comprehensively outplayed at Warner Park in Basseterre.

The tourists collapsed from 50-1 to 138 all out following a 45-minute delay as Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo snared three wickets apiece.

Simmons ensured the Windies made light work of the chase, hitting five fours and 10 sixes in a blistering 40-ball innings that surpassed his previous best T20I score of 82.

Evin Lewis added 46 from 25 deliveries in an opening stand worth 133 to help dash Ireland's chances of escaping with a series victory.

Simi Singh claimed Lewis courtesy of a top edge before Simmons ended the contest two balls later, the 34-year-old launching another six at the end of the 11th over to force a drawn series.

West Indies white-ball cricket captain, Kieron Pollard is not paying attention to the difference in ranking between his side and India who are currently locked at a win apiece in their three-match T20i series.

Lendl Simmons revealed his "old-school" approach had been pivotal to his match-winning knock in West Indies' Twenty20 victory over India in Thiruvananthapuram.

Simmons' unbeaten 67 from 45 balls helped the Windies to an eight-wicket triumph, ensuring the series will go to a decider as he capitalised on being dropped with just six runs to his name in one of several fielding errors to irk India captain Virat Kohli.

Despite a slow start, Simmons soon accelerated through the gears and his eye-catching outing included four fours and the same number of sixes.

As he was presented with the player of the match award, Simmons said the pacing of his innings was all part of the plan.

"I like playing against India, it's a good challenge," he said, having been ably assisted by Evin Lewis (40), Nicholas Pooran (38 not out) and Shimron Hetmyer (23).

"I haven't played international cricket for a while, so I'm enjoying it. I didn't start how I wanted to. My partners can go from ball one, but I am a bit old school.

"With experience, you know your game, and I understand my role. It was easier to bat after the powerplay, getting the odd boundary.

"Pooran and Hetmyer were getting boundaries easily so I played the different role."

A frustrated Kohli conceded his side had come up short with their total of 170-7 but felt their complacency in the field had been telling.

"I think we were good for 16 overs while batting, but then in the last four overs we got only 30. We need to focus on that," he said.

"But if we field so poorly, no amount of runs will be enough. We were poor in the field in the last two games.

"We dropped two catches in one over. Imagine if they lost two wickets in the same over.

"Everyone saw we need to be braver with our fielding. Do or die game coming up in Mumbai [on Wednesday]."

Lendl Simmons guided West Indies to an eight-wicket thumping of India in the second Twenty20 international in Thiruvananthapuram, setting up a series decider in Mumbai on Wednesday.

Simmons finished unbeaten on 67 from 45 balls, having received able support from Evin Lewis (40), Shimron Hetmyer (23) and the returning Nicholas Pooran (38 not out) as the Windies reached a target of 171 with nine deliveries unused.

Shivam Dube had earlier compiled a maiden half-century for the hosts, impressing with 54 from 30 balls after being surprisingly promoted to number three, yet Virat Kohli's men were ultimately overpowered as West Indies hit 12 sixes to India's five.

The tourists were 26 without loss after five overs, but they accelerated in devastating fashion thereafter to win with ease.

Simmons was the star turn, hitting four fours and as many sixes as he took full advantage of being dropped by Washington Sundar on six, while Pooran scored at a strike-rate of 211 on his comeback from a four-match ban for ball-tampering.

Lewis and Hetmyer also provided the necessary impetus to get the Windies ahead of the required rate, the latter thumping three maximums before falling victim to a stunning Virat Kohli catch at long-on, which saw India's captain take the ball on the run before contorting his body superbly to avoid touching the boundary rope.

India were left to rue Sundar putting down a routine chance off Bhuvneshwar Kumar to give Simmons an early life, though, and Lewis was also dropped on 17 by wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant.

Dube, who cleared the ropes four times, and Pant (33 not out) were the only home batsmen to make significant contributions to a score of 170-7, as the Windies' attack kept things relatively tight despite conceding a glut of extras.

Many of the big-name West Indies T20 players, including Andre Russell and Dwayne Bravo, have been axed from their teams in the Pakistan Super League ahead of its February 2020 start during Saturday’s draft in Lahore.

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