The West Indies are expected to embark on a tour of New Zealand in the coming months after the country’s government gave the approval for quarantine arrangements to the cricket board.

The West Indies became one of the first teams to resume international cricket, in wake of the coronavirus pandemic, when they toured England in August.  The entirety of the tour was conducted within a biosecure environment.  New Zealand officials had said last month that they were examining the series with the hope of staging a similar version.  Pakistan is also expected to be invited to tour the country.

New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White said the tours would help the sport through the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s a huge boost for us, it’s our financial lifeline,” he told reporters on Friday. “International cricket funds the whole game of cricket in New Zealand, so it’s very, very important for us."

White said the teams would fly to Auckland then catch a charter to Christchurch, where they would stay in quarantine while training at NZC’s high-performance centre in Lincoln University. White said all players would follow health and testing protocols set down by the government.

“It’s not going to come cheap; we will be footing the bill but we are happy to do that and fully understand it’s a user-pays model.”

New Zealand has been one of the world's most successful nations at containing the new coronavirus and the country's borders remain closed to almost all visitors.

The West Indies Women lost the third Vitality T20 International match by 20 runs against England Women, at the Incora County Ground as part of the Sandals West Indies Women’s Tour of England 2020.

England Women won the toss and elected to bat first. West Indies Women made two changes with Chedean Nation and Sheneta Grimmond replacing Britney Cooper and Aaliyah Alleyne.

Shamilia Connell had the English batters on the backfoot early in the powerplay as she removed both openers, Tammy Beaumont and Danielle Wyatt in the third over, to register a much better performance in her opening spell that what she had in the second match last Wednesday.

Deandra Dottin returned to international bowling for the first time since February 2019 when the West Indies Women played three T20I matches in Karachi Pakistan. Dottin and the other West Indies bowlers were able to constrain the English batters for most of their innings, except for the nineteenth over, when they were able to score 17 runs off Stafanie Taylor.

England Women finished their innings on 154 for 6. Nat Sciver was their top scorer with 82 followed by captain Heather Knight with 29. Shamilia Connell was the pick of the West Indies bowlers, finishing with figures of 2 for 13 from three overs, followed by Deandra Dottin with 2 for 29.

Deandra Dottin once again started the West Indies run chase in expedient fashion as she notched four boundaries inside the powerplay. But, two quick wickets of Lee Ann Kirby and Shemaine Cambelle, saw the scoring rate dip just for a moment.  Hayley Matthews, batting at number four, and Dottin started the innings rebuild. The pair posted a 48-run partnership before Matthews was trapped lbw for 21.

Dottin in her prolific return to international cricket, reached 2500 T20 International runs on her way to a West Indies Women’s top-score of 63 off 56 deliveries, which included 9-fours and a six.

West Indies were at one stage 83 for 2 in the 13th over but lost momentum in the second half of the innings and finished on 134 for 5 – 20 runs short of the target. The win gave England an unassailable 3-0 lead with two more matches to be played on Monday night and Wednesday night at the same venue.

 Scores

West Indies Women 134 for 5 from 20 overs England’s 154 for 6 from 20 overs

 

West Indies Women interim coach Andre Coley has revealed that the team is still easing all-rounder Deandra Dottin back into full action, against England, after a lengthy injury layoff.

With scores of 69 and 38 in the T20 series so far, Dottin has looked anything but rusty.  Notably, however, the player is yet to have a turn with the ball.  Dottin, as she often has, would prove more than a valuable weapon for the West Indies with the ball as well.  In 115 matches, she has claimed 59 wickets.

Having suffered a serious injury to her right shoulder in early 2019, which required reconstructive surgery in June of last year, however, Coley insists the team is still doing recovery work with the all-rounder.

“She’s just recovered from injury.  It’s no secret that our players haven’t been able to do much for a very long time,” Coley said.

“Deandra is on a back to bowling program.  She started that whilst we were here, so she is still on that.  We need to make sure that she is 100 percent, to be able to bowl competitively.  She has been doing bowling work behind the scenes in training,” he added.

“We are comfortable in terms of where she is at, but we want to make sure that long term she is ok and she can bowl at the intensity she wants to consistently and not just for a game or two.”

 

West Indies Women’s interim coach Andre Coley admits the team lost a bit of momentum after losing intensity during its unsuccessful runs chase against England on Wednesday.

In pursuit of England’s target of 151, the West Indies were at 71 for 1 at around the halfway point of the runs chase.  The team was anchored by a 61 run top-order partnership between captain Stafanie Taylor and Deandra Dottin.

Once Dottin was dismissed lbw, however, Taylor followed two overs later and a rapid collapse saw the team eventually all out for 104.  In the last 6.1 overs, the team nosedived from 72 for 1, to 96 for 8. 

“For this format of the game, the intensity is very important. We had that early on with that significant partnership between Deandra and Stephanie of 60-odd that really kept that momentum going,” Colley explained following the match.

“During that middle period, however, we actually dipped in terms of our intent and moved away from that intensity around scoring boundaries and that obviously led to us losing some momentum toward the end.  We needed to keep going to stay on pace with the required rate,” he added.

Even before that, however, the team must certainly be regretting not doing a bit better with the ball.  Having reduced England to 96 for 6, they let it slip in the last bowling five overs, and a 150-target was always going to be a tough task.

"In this game, we were able to pull things back in the middle.  Our spinners did well to pull back in the middle.  The last five overs was really what cost us, they scored 50 runs in the last five and that pushed them past a score we were looking at.”

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.

 West Indies Women bowler Shakera Selman has dismissed notions suggesting she is in the twilight of her career, insisting that she has instead only gotten better with age.

 The 31-year-old new ball bowler put in an impressive shift in the first T20 International against England on Monday.  The experienced seamster secured figures of 3-26 from her four overs– the second-best figures of her career – following 3-24 against New Zealand, at Invercargill, in 2014.

With a career spanning 12 years, Selman pointed to an improvement in her patience and working extra hard on mental skills as factors that have led to a recent resurgence.

“I think I’m actually peaking now at this later stage.  Funny enough, I think I have always bowled well but I never had the wickets that would quite justify that or really suggest that," Selman said in a recent interview with Windies Cricket.

"But, I’m very happy with the returns (At this stage). I think the hard work is finally paying off and I’m happy with where I am."

Additionally, she noted that increasing her discipline in exercise regimes, and maintaining appropriate nutrition have played a very important part in her continued success.  She also paid tribute to the coaches she has worked with over the years.

West Indies women all-rounder Deandra Dottin expressed some amount of disappointment at not being able to carry the team over the line, in a loss against England, but insists it was good to be playing cricket again.

Dottin showed very little sign of rust in crafting an industrious 69 from 59 deliveries, in dogged pursuit of England’s total of 163.  She was, however, the team’s only batsman to reach double figures as the Windies eventually crashed 47 runs short of the total.  

"It's been a long time since we've played international cricket but we've been here for two and a half weeks and we've been preparing and I think we ticked our boxes, it was just a matter of execution and we didn't do that today with the bat or the ball but I think the girls were really happy to get out there and play some international and competitive cricket,” Dottin said after the game.

The allrounder has spent more time out of the game than most, having suffered a serious injury to her right shoulder in early 2019 and underwent reconstructive surgery in June of last year.  Having only recently returned to action earlier this year, the sport was halted by the pandemic.  The player, however, now seems to be on the verge of rediscovering her best form.

"The game plan was for me to bat through the innings and set up the game.  If it came down to the latter part, we could actually get a couple of big overs.  Unfortunately, England bowled very well, they used their variations very well, so we did not get the score we projected,” she added.

 Natalie Sciver and Sophie Eccleston each claimed two wickets as an economic England were found to be in a miserly mood.

 West Indies pace bowler Sheldon Cottrell did not make his debut for Kings XI Punjab in the team's Indian Premier League (IPL) opener but received a warm reception nonetheless after being given his cap by none other than T20 legend Chris Gayle.

In typically flamboyant style, Gayle welcomed his countryman to the team with a short march and salute.  The celebration style has been made popular by the fast bowler who treats fans to the salute every time that he takes a wicket.

The 31-year-old former soldier was bought for a whopping INR 8.5 crore ($US1,156,239) by Punjab during the IPL 2020 auction.  The player joined the IPL after taking part in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL).  It was not smooth sailing for Kings XI on debut.   Chasing 158, Kings XI needed 13 from the last over bowled by Australia Marcus Stoinis. Mayank Agarwal started the over with a six followed by a couple and a four, thereby equalling the score.

Now, the KL Rahul-led side required just one run to win off three balls. But in a significant twist, Punjab failed to score. The game went to the Super Over where DC successfully defeated KXIP.  Gayle was also not a part of the team picked for the opener.

 West Indies Women’s team captain Stafanie Taylor has revealed that the team is buoyed by its comfort level, having been given time to settle in England ahead of the upcoming series.

The particular nature of the series, played in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, allowed the Caribbean team to arrive in England at the end of last month.  The players have been since locked away in a biosecure environment where they have had the time to get used to conditions.

“The good thing is that we have been here for a while now.  It feels like home.  Normally when we go on a tour it feels like we are the away team.  This time it feels like we are the home team.

“The girls are in good spirits.  We’ve had a few weeks to get out there and get used to the conditions,” she added.

 All matches will be played behind closed doors at Derby, where West Indies have been based for three weeks.  The England Women has dominated the West Indies in recent meetings and have racked up comfortable victories in multiple formats.   Monday's series opener will be the first women's international since 86,174 people watched Australia defeat India in the T20 World Cup final in March.

West Indies batsman Nicholas Pooran will head into the new Indian Premier League (IPL) season in a record-breaking mood as he looks to topple either the fastest 100 or fastest 50 competition record.

Such marks will, however, not be easy to eclipse.  India batsman K.L. Rahul currently holds the record for the fastest 50, achieved in a meagre 14 balls, in 2018.  The fastest century was smacked by no other than legendary West Indian batsman Chris Gayle who reached the mark, in 2013, in just 30 deliveries.

Pooran has, however, looked in good form recently.  Just last month, he cracked 10 sixes in a 45-ball epic worth 100 runs for Guyana Amazon Warriors in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL).

"Any. Fastest fifty or the fastest hundred,” Pooran replied when asked which record, he would like to break in a recent Espn Cricinfo interview.

The player, however, also reflected on his performance in the IPL, which he believes could have been better.

 "I don't think that I've too many great IPL performances. I had a couple of scores last year and the one against the KKR (Kolkata Knight Riders) was good."

The batsman represented Kings XI Punjab in the IPL last season.

 

 

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.

West Indies all-rounder Rakheem Cornwall insists he was ready to go for the St Lucia Zouks, despite not being picked to bowl in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) final.

The decision not to bowl Cornwall, who recently came back from representing the West Indies in England, raised a few eyebrows.  But, the spinner has not been among the tournaments leading wicket-takers for several seasons.  In addition, Zouks captain Darren Sammy had a battery of spin bowlers at his disposal, which included Roston Chase, who took more wickets than Cornwall in England.

In the end, after making it to their first CPL final, as heavy underdogs, the Zouks fell short to the Trinbago Knight Riders.  Cornwall has insisted he was fit and ready to perform but his omission from the line-up was the captain’s choice.

“It was basically the captain’s decision; maybe it was his gut feeling to go for the other bowlers.  He thought he didn’t need me at that time so he went for especially his depth bowlers,” Cornwall recently told the Antigua Observer.

"The pitch was a spin bowlers pitch and I am always ready for whenever he calls on me and if he doesn’t then it is the case but I’m always set and ready if I am called upon,” he added.

 

Barbados Cricket Director Stephen Leslie has called on regional cricket custodians to do more to ensure top local T20 talent is not cast aside, in light of limited places in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL).

The recently concluded edition of the tournament, which was won by the Trinbago Knight Riders, did feature some of the region’s emerging talent.  In fact, a list of 20 young players was, as is required, named ahead of the tournament and several players featured prominently throughout the competition. 

The list included Alick Athanaze, Joshua Bishop, Leniko Boucher, Keacy Carty Roland Cato, Joshua da Silva, Dominic Drakes, Amir Jangoo, Nicholas Kirton, Mikyle Louis, Kirk McKenzie, Kimani Melius, Ashmead Nedd, Jeavor Royal, Jayden Seales, Keagan Simmons, Kevin Sinclair, Shamar Springer, Bhaskar Yadram and Nyeem Young. 

There are, however, a few players who remain outside this group.  Leslie pointed to the example of Roshon Primus who represented Trinbago Knight Riders in the two previous seasons.  Leslie believes the idea of another country-based T20 tournament could be considered.

“The CPL has a franchise model, which in my view, has not been able to expose the best T20 cricketer that ply their trade in the Caribbean,” Leslie told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“I’ll give an example of Barbados.  Barbados started a T20 domestic tournament back in 2009.  Every year there are some players that contribute very well.  Roshon Primus, for example, does extremely well, but the opportunity for Roshon Primus to be selected, I’m not sure there is that level of transparency,” he added.

“Simply put, you can have young U-19 West Indies players given an opportunity to make the franchises because they were on a global stage. You can have the West Indies emerging players from the Super50, did very well, given an opportunity to play T20 cricket.  But what happens to local Barbadian T20 players, Trinidadians, and those across the region who ply their trade and play consistently well in their domestic tournament.  I believe there is very little for those persons.”

Australia coach Justin Langer has admitted the team could have discussed continuing a show of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, during the ongoing tour of England, but insists there was no disrespect or disregard meant.

Legendary West Indies fast bowler Michael Holding was recently critical of both teams, as he pointed out that they had ditched the symbolic taking a knee gesture during the ongoing series. England and the West Indies showed support for the movement before all three Tests at the start of the season, and the practice continued for the one-day series against Ireland. It has not been seen for the visits of Pakistan and Australia.

While insisting that the team had not forgotten the issue, Langer pointed out that Australia had simply been focused on the series and unusual circumstances, but that in retrospect there could have been more discussions surrounding the issue.

“When Mikey says what he says, it’s certainly worth listening to. In terms of taking a knee, to be completely honest, we could have talked more about it perhaps leading up to the first game,” Langer said.

“There was so much going on leading up to us getting here, maybe we should have talked more about it,” he added.

“What we do talk about within the team was that we want to have a response that is sustained and powerful and that it can go not just in one action but a sustained period. Not just throughout this series and the summer but throughout time.

“I just hope if it looked like there was a lack of respect, it wasn’t the intention of our team. We were very aware of it.”

England pace bowler Jofra Archer had issued a much sharper response, insisting that England had not forgotten the issue and that Holding should have “done his research”.

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