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 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 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 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 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”.

West Indies Women’s captain Stafanie Taylor scored an unbeaten half-century to help her team scored an eight-run win over Deandra Dottin’s in their first warm-up match at the University of Derby on Monday ahead of their T20 series against England, in a week's time

The 18 members of the squad were divided into two teams captained by Stafanie Taylor and Deandra Dottin, respectively.

Taylor scored 71 from 52 balls. She smashed nine fours in her knock as the team racked up 131 for 6 from their 20 overs. Britney Cooper contributed a useful 24 to the score. Bowling for the opponents, Aaliyah Alleyne used her pace to good effect taking 3 for 35 while Shakera Selman finished with 2 for 15.

Needing 132 to win Dottin led her team from the front scoring a brisk 41 from 43 balls but the efforts of Sheneta Grimmond (2 for 16) and Shamilia Taylor (2 for 23), proved good enough for Taylor’s team to eke out a close victory.

Head coach Andre Coley was pleased with the performance of the women.

“We’ve been here for two weeks doing a combination of various skills sessions in the nets, strength and conditioning and game-planning but today was our first time to get as close to a game scenario with this practice match,” he said.

“We split the teams as evenly as possible and some very promising performances came out of that. Both teams were able to bat the full 20-over innings and the players spent time at the crease building partnerships. So, that was good to see and we are happy with how things went. Now it’s just about fine-tuning and building momentum leading into the series next week.”

The first match of the five-match Vitality Series is set to bowl off on Monday, September 21 at the Incora County Ground.

 

Cricket West Indies (CWI) announced today the extension of their worldwide betting partnership with global sports betting brand, Betway until 2022. 

The Betway Group is a leading provider of innovative, entertaining and exciting entertainment across sports betting, casino, bingo and esports betting. Launched in 2006, the company operates across a number of regulated online markets and holds licences in the UK, Malta, Italy, Denmark, Spain, Belgium, Germany and Ireland. Based in Malta and Guernsey, with support from London, Isle of Man and Cape Town, the Betway team comprises over 1,500 people.

The extension will see Betway continue as the Official Betting Partner of CWI, with pitch and broadcast presence at all men’s and women’s International Home Series matches.

The partnership has been broadened so that Betway will also become the Official Betting Partner of the Colonial Medical Insurance Super50 Cup, the marquee 50-over tournament in the West Indies. Betway’s partnership will also mean continued support for CWI’s integrity and player education programmes.

“CWI is delighted to extend our relationship with Betway as one of our major partners whose support makes a real difference for the development of international and regional cricket in the West Indies,” said Dominic Warne, CWI Commercial Director in welcoming the extended partnership with Betway.

“The partnership demonstrates the appeal of West Indies cricket in terms of media visibility and content and we are excited that Betway is bringing additional support to the women’s game and the Super50 Cup too.”

Anthony Werkman, Betway CEO, highlighted the strength of the partnership and outlined why it has been extended.

“Cricket is a hugely popular sport and this deal has been the cornerstone of our entry into the game. We are extremely happy to be extending this deal which will bring us to many more fans throughout the world in conjunction with one of the most prestigious international teams,” he said.

Betway’s initial partnership with CWI started with the International Homes Series between West Indies and Sri Lanka in June 2018 and ran through to the International Homes Series against Ireland in January 2020.

  The extended partnership will include all men’s and women’s international home matches in the ICC Future Tours Programme until the end of 2022 as well as the next three editions of the Colonial Medical Insurance Super50 Cup.

 

 

Former West Indies skipper Darren Sammy has called on the International Cricket Council (ICC) and other bodies to prioritise addressing racism in the sport, with as much gusto as it tackles integrity of the game issues.

The issue of societal racial inequality barged its way into public discourse after an unarmed African American man, George Floyd, was killed in the United States by white police officers a few months ago. 

As part of the process of reckoning, Sammy had himself reacted with anger when he discovered that the name previously used to refer to him by Indian Premier League (IPL) teammates, a few seasons ago, was the equivalent of the derogatory term ‘blackie.’  Since then, several players have admitted that they too have been impacted by racism in the sport.  Sammy, who has found himself at the forefront of the cricket movement, believes a lot more can be done to address the issue.

 “We made the recommendations.  You know racism is real. It’s not something that we can hide,” Sammy told Reuters news agency in a recent interview.

“So I urge them, the same emphasis they put on protecting the integrity of the game.  Why not protect the integrity of the human being?”

St Lucia Zouks pace bowler, Kesrick Williams, has rubbished the idea of players claiming to underperform at this season's CPL tournament because of pitches, as he insists there has been plenty of time to adjust.

The competition has so far been plagued by a number of low scoring total’s, and batsmen seemingly unable to come to grips what has so far proven to be a surface that favours bowlers.  There has so far been very little issue for Williams and the Zouks, though, as they have racked up five wins and currently occupying the third spot.

“I don’t have a problem with the pitches, to be honest.  These wickets, I love these wickets, for me, they show how skillful you are as a bowler.  If you are just running in and bowling fast and trying to hit the deck, then you are going to go for runs,” Williams told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“If you look at the guys that are getting wickets, they have skill.  T20 is a batter’s game, everyone wants to see balls hit wickets.  At the end of the day, these wickets are not suitable for T20 cricket but we are professionals and we have to learn to adjust.  If we can’t adjust as professionals it makes no sense to play cricket because you will have times like this,” he added.

Williams and the Zouks have certainly adjusted.  The team’s five wins and three losses have put them in a place-off spot for the first time in the franchise’s history.

 

Former West Indies batting coach Toby Radford believes ‘quarantine fatigue’ could explain the poor performance of some players currently taking part in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL).

So far this year’s edition of the tournament, which has been staged in the unusual circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic, has in many instances produced low scores and poor batting performances. 

There have been many factors blame for some of the poor showing, the absence of a crowd, poorly prepared pitches, and players that are still rusty, are some of a few that have been advanced.  However, another is the length of time some players have been away from family and friends in back-to-back quarantine-required competition.

For players like West Indies captain Jason Holder, Rahkeem Cornwall, Jermaine Blackwood, Shai Hope, and other members of the regional team that toured England, the CPL follows several weeks of quarantine during the international series.  With even more restrictive conditions in the CPL, Radcliffe believes the isolation could be taking its toll.

“I’m not making excuses for them but some of those guys have been in a bubble in the UK for two or three months earlier in the summer.  I think some were back in Barbados for about 5 days before heading back to Trinidad for another bubble,” Radcliffe told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“They’ve barely been home in the last 3 and a half months, that’s no excuse, but it does have an effect.  It is attritional, even if you are away from home for those times normally on tour you can go to a restaurant, you can eat out, meet up with your family and get away from cricket…it does have a mental effect.”

Guyana Amazon Warriors star batsman Shimron Hetmyer feels confident last year’s beaten finalists are beginning to gain momentum, following an indifferent start to the competition.

Hetmyer blasted an enterprising 56 from 35 balls in a low-scoring encounter as the Warriors eased past the St Lucia Zouks book their place in the competition’s semi-finals.  The win was the fifth but third in a row for the Guyana based franchise.

The team won two of its first three matches but then struggled to keep momentum after losing the next three games in a row.  Hetmyer, however, believes the team’s latest win shows full confidence is growing within the squad following its latest win.

“The guys are starting to work much harder than before and starting to believe in ourselves a little more each and every day.  From here on out its just us taking it one game at a time,” Hetmyer said.

Personally, his individual performance would also have been pleasing for Hetmyer who failed to get into double digits in the last three games with scores of 9 and 1.

“It’s coming back I thought I lost it a few years ago, but I’m working on it and trying to stay a little bit more focused on my game and how to start, build and finish and innings.”

Jamaica Tallawahs captain Rovman Powell has suggested the team will stick with struggling batsman Chadwick Walton, despite a wretched run in the competition so far.

In seven games to date, Walton has managed a paltry 14 runs at the top of the order.  A closer look at the batsman's individual scores on the Tallawah’s scorecards card makes for even more horrific reading.  On three occasions Walton has been dismissed without scoring, in three other matches he made 1 twice and 2 once.  His highest total of 10 runs came against the Barbados Tridents.

With the team struggling to hold on to the crucial fourth-place spot, after 3 wins and 4 losses, pressure has continually built on the opener, who suffered a similar fate even when coming further down the batting line-up.

“To be honest when we look at our squad, we still have to back Chadwick.  We just have to hope that he comes good at some point,” Powell said following the team’s latest loss to the Knight Riders.

“We are heading into the business end of the competition and hopefully he has the mental strength to pull through.”

Walton also struggled to make an impact for the team last season who had their worst season after finishing in last position.

 

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