In a riveting display of talent and skill, Hayley Matthews scored a blazing 99 not out from just 74 deliveries in the first T20 International against Australia at the North Sydney Oval. However, her lone effort couldn't save the day for the West Indies Women, who were soundly defeated by eight wickets.

Matthews took the opposition bowlers to the cleaners, hitting boundaries at will, and missing her well-deserved century by a whisker. Her innings was adorned with 12 fours and 4 sixes, making it one of the most memorable performances of her career.

The West Indies, riding on Matthews' brilliance, posted a defendable total of 147-3 in their 20 overs. However, the opposition seemed unfazed by the challenge and chased down the target in 13.2 overs, losing only two wickets in the process, to finish the game on 149-2.

Skipper Alyssa Healy scored 56 off 29 while Tahlia McGrath finished on 60 not out from 32 deliveries to guide the home team to the opening win.

Although the day belonged to the home team, Matthews won countless hearts with her valiant effort. Head Coach Shane Deitz remarked, "Magnificent innings, she really deserved the hundred. It's one of the best innings I've seen for a long time. She's been brilliant around the group as a leader, batter, and bowler."

Deitz also touched upon the team's overall performance, sharing his perspective on the outcome. He added, "I think we were a bit short as the wicket started playing better in the second half. It was a pretty good total, and maybe if we had taken our chances while fielding, things could have been different."

No surprise that Matthews was the Player of the Match for her 99 not out and bowling figures of 2-0-17-1.

The West Indies Women will now regroup for the second T20I Sunday night, hoping to bounce back stronger.

Kent maintained their Division One status in the LV= Insurance County Championship after a dramatic final day of the season which saw Middlesex relegated instead.

Kent had to settle for a draw from their game with Lancashire at Canterbury and then faced an agonising 80-minute wait for news from Trent Bridge, where a Middlesex win over Nottinghamshire would have consigned Jack Leaning’s side to Division Two.

There had looked to be only one outcome as Nottinghamshire, having been set a target of 207 in a generous 58 overs by Middlesex skipper Toby Roland-Jones, progressed to 64 without loss and then 106 for one.

But on a dry, turning pitch on a sunny afternoon, spinners Jayant Yadav, Josh De Caires and Sam Robson – who finished with a career-best four for 46 with his leg spin – reduced the home side to 157 for seven and suddenly a great escape looked on.

However, Matt Montgomery (34 not out) held the tail together to drag Nottinghamshire across the line at eight down, with 16 balls to spare, and left Kent celebrating survival despite being frustrated by dogged Lancashire resistance.

Third-placed Hampshire became just the second team to beat Surrey across their back-to-back title-winning campaigns.

Only Lancashire had beaten Surrey in 2022 and 2023 in red-ball cricket, winning once in either campaign.

But Liam Dawson took his season tally to 49 wickets by claiming two of the four scalps needed to secure victory at the Ageas Bowl, with Surrey only scoring 20 of the 73 required to lose by 52 runs before 11am.

Despite the defeat, Surrey were presented with the Division One trophy by England and Wales Cricket Board chair Richard Thompson.

Warwickshire and Somerset’s rain-hit clash ended in an expected draw.

The Division One contest was officially abandoned just after lunch on the final day when, with the sun shining, the umpires ruled that areas of the field remained unsafe.

Somerset had been 90 for two in the second innings, a lead of 32. The result saw Warwickshire end the campaign in fourth with Somerset seventh.

In Division Two, Shan Masood’s brilliant 123 helped Yorkshire chase down a final-day target of 360 to beat promoted Worcestershire at Headingley and avoid finishing bottom for only the second time in their history.

Yorkshire’s fourth-highest successful run chase was achieved with relative comfort in the end, with six wickets in hand and three overs of the allotted 70 remaining.

With the game meandering ahead of day four, both sides opted to contrive a finish, with Yorkshire risking the draw which would lift them off the bottom of Division Two.

As it was, they were able to achieve that by going for broke as captain Masood hit 15 fours in 131 balls.

Sussex took just 45 minutes to complete a 339-run victory that condemned Gloucestershire to a winless season and bottom spot.

The hosts took only 9.5 overs to achieve a third victory of the campaign after Gloucestershire resumed on 113 for five, needing another 400 runs.

Durham sealed an emphatic victory over Leicestershire by an innings and 141 runs to end their title-winning campaign on a high.

The home side required 10 wickets to secure their seventh victory of the campaign at Seat Unique Riverside and took only 42.5 overs to tear through the Leicestershire batting line-up.

The Durham bowlers shared the wickets around as Vishwa Fernando and Matt Parkinson claimed three apiece, while Matthew Potts, Ben Raine and Jonathan Bushnell also struck.

The hosts took 24 points from the contest, ending the term with a mammoth total of 233.

Leus Du Plooy’s last game for Derbyshire ended in a draw despite another Luis Reece century as their side came up four wickets short after setting Glamorgan a target of 384 to win on the final day in 70 overs.

Derbyshire had eight fielders around the bat in the chase for wickets but eventually called time one over short at 5.37pm as the game petered out into a draw with Glamorgan on 135 for six. Derbyshire finished sixth in the table and Glamorgan fifth.

West Indies T20 sensation, Nicholas Pooran, was unveiled as the Durban's Super Giants wildcard pick ahead of the SA20 auction that took place in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

This will be Pooran's first time playing the tournament and he will represent the same owners he plays for in the Indian Premier League.

The 27-year old delivered a recent reminder of his capabilities with a 51-ball hundred at the Caribbean Premier League where his team, Trinbago Knight Riders, was part of the final.

He was the highest scorer in the inaugural Major League Cricket tournament in the USA earlier this year, a performance that helped the team he was captaining, MI New York, win the title.

In all, Pooran has 5861 T20 runs at a strike rate of 144 across a career that spans 292 matches and 10 years.

Fellow West Indians Kieron Pollard and Romario Shepherd were also snapped up at the auction. Pollard will play the first three matches for MI Cape Town as cover for Rashid Khan while Shepherd, who was instrumental in helping the Guyana Amazon Warriors claim their maiden CPL title, will suit up for the Joburg Super Kings.

Jos Buttler believes the weight of history suggests India are clear-cut favourites to win the World Cup on home soil despite England’s considerable experience of the conditions.

Staging the showpiece in recent years has come with a distinct advantage as the last three editions – India in 2011, Australia in 2015 and England in 2019 – have all been won by the host nation.

England may be double world champions, but even a side that turbocharged the white-ball formats have fallen short in India, losing keenly contested ODI and T20 series both in early 2017 and spring 2021.

While Buttler is bullish about England’s fortunes, he rates an India side that have won 14 of their last 16 ODI series on their own patch as well as the Asia Cup earlier this month as the team to beat.

“The clear favourites are India,” Buttler told the PA news agency. “You only have to look at the past few World Cups – England won in England, Australia won in Australia and India won in India before that.

“History tells you that it’s quite advantageous to be the home nation and they’re obviously a brilliant team. In their own conditions, India are fantastic. I certainly see them as favourites.

“We’re going out there to try to win a World Cup – we don’t see ourselves as defending champions. It’s very much a new tournament and we know it’s going to be tough because there are some top, top teams.

“But we know we’re a really good team, a dangerous team, we’ve got a lot of experience in the group and we back ourselves.”

England have arrived in Guwahati ahead of three warm-ups which will act as final preparation for the tournament opener against New Zealand – a rematch of the 2019 final – in Ahmedabad next Thursday.

Their 15-strong squad contains eight members of the side that went all the way four years ago, while Gus Atkinson is an outlier as the only one who has not featured in the Indian Premier League.

A number of others including Buttler, an IPL regular since 2016, have substantial knowledge of what to expect in India which England’s limited-overs captain hopes they can exploit.

Speaking to promote England’s official kit supplier Castore extending its ‘summer of sport’ campaign to highlight key occasions such as the World Cup, Buttler said: “It gives you a sense of familiarity.

“A lot of the cricket grounds we’ll play at, guys will have played there and know the surroundings. They will understand the pitches and conditions, more so than if they’d not been there before.

“There’s a lot of other teams that have that advantage as well with guys playing a lot of IPL cricket, it’s been around for quite a few years now so everyone’s accustomed to playing in India in that sense.”

Jofra Archer will be England’s only travelling reserve as he completes his rehabilitation from the latest stress fracture in his right elbow that ruled him out of the entire summer schedule.

He will not be ready to make his return until at least the latter stages of the tournament, raising the prospect of him making a dramatic comeback if injury strikes one of England’s quick bowlers.

While England are cautious over rushing back the bowler who was entrusted with the super over that led to them being crowned world champions for the first time, Buttler is delighted to have Archer in tow.

“He’s someone who will go on and have so much impact for England,” Buttler added. “Everyone is hopeful this will be the end of his injuries and we can see him back on the park more consistently.

“He’s such a superstar, you want to see these guys perform, he’s someone who puts bums on seats.”

:: Jos Buttler was speaking to promote Castore, the official kit suppliers of the England cricket team, investing in an extension to its national brand marketing campaign. For more information, visit https://castore.com

The West Indies Women got their tour of Australia off to a winning start with a four-wicket victory over a New South Wales (NSW) Women's team at Wilson Park.

Karishma Ramharack had the NSW ladies spun tightly in her web of off-spin and were restricted to posted 105-9 from their 20 overs. Ramharack finished with figures of 3-12. Captain Hayley Matthews supported with some wizardry of her own taking 2-7 from her two overs.

NSW skipper Sammy-Jo Johnson was the top-scorer with 28 with Hannah Darlington making 24.

Shemaine Campbelle led the West Indies Women's run-chase posting 33 from 34 deliveries which included five boundaries. Skipper Matthews was next best with 24 off 27. Aaliyah Alleyne 19 not out and Zaida James 15 not out took the visitors home to victory in 17.5 overs.

Head Coach Shane Deitz was pleased with the team's first outing since arriving in Australia four days ago.

“It's good to get the first win on tour. I think we've got a lot of areas we need to improve on, especially getting used to batting on these wickets with some extra pace and bounce. Overall, I think we played generally good all-round and it's going to put us in a good position to play on Sunday,” he said.

The ODI series against Australia is West Indies’ fourth fixture in the ICC Women’s Championship 2022-2025 after playing New Zealand, England and Ireland.

Each match provides West Indies with opportunity to win valuable points to climb the Championship table where they currently lie ninth of 10 teams.

Following the Australia Series, West Indies Women will play four three-match ODI series over the next two years. At the end of the cycle, the top five teams in the ICC Women’s Championship will book berths in the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup in 2025 along with hosts India.

The remaining teams will have to go through the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup Qualifier.

 

 

Surrey have retained their LV= Insurance County Championship title as Essex’s slim hopes ended after their batters collapsed in a heap against Northamptonshire.

A 20-point gap between the top two Division One teams heading into the final round meant Surrey needed just five points in their fixture against Hampshire to celebrate a 21st championship triumph.

They secured three bowling bonus points at the Ageas Bowl but none with the bat, which opened the door for Essex, who needed to amass a 400-plus score in 110 overs to have any chance of catching Surrey.

But Essex were unable to claim the maximum amount of batting bonus points as they capitulated to 211 all out on Thursday morning, with last man Jamie Porter bowled by Tom Taylor to crown Surrey champions.

Surrey, who have won the championship five times since the turn of the century, became the first side since Yorkshire in 2014 and 2015 to claim back-to-back titles.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) has moved to provide clarity on the ongoing process of venue selection for the ICC Men's T20 World Cup scheduled to take place in the Caribbean and USA in June 2024.

CWI acknowledges the enthusiasm and interest expressed by various governments, cricket boards, and stakeholders in hosting the highly anticipated tournament. However, there has been some confusion over how the process works, especially in light of recent developments wherein Barbados Cricket Association President Conde Riley claimed that Barbados has been selected to host the finals of the tournament next June.

Those claims have been debunked by CWI President Dr Kishore Shallow.

So, what is the actual truth?

CWI Chief Executive Officer Johnny Grave explained, stating, "Following a robust selection process of our seven host venues, CWI-appointed Venues Selection Committee, chaired by President Dr. Kishore Shallow, has made recommendations to the ICC on allocations of matches for ICC Men’s T20 World Cup scheduled to take place in the Caribbean and USA in June 2024."

Grave acknowledged the commendable efforts made by nations within the region; however, he emphasized that final decisions have yet to be reached.

"These recommendations are subject to venues confirming commitment to all required obligations and ICC approval,” explained.

“We are delighted by the enthusiasm and interest expressed by our host governments and cricket Boards and appreciate the hard work and commitment shown as we look to deliver a spectacular Men's T20 World Cup next year. We will now work with the ICC, our hosts and ICC Members to finalize the match schedule in the coming weeks."

Geoffrey Boycott has warned “there will be trouble” if Yorkshire sell their Headingley home to Mike Ashley, and added: “Everybody in Newcastle hates him.”

Ashley owned Newcastle United Football Club until October 2021, when the Magpies were bought by a Saudi-led consortium.

The PA news agency understands the Frasers Group, where Ashley is chief executive, is one of the parties interested in purchasing Headingley and securing naming and sponsorship rights, with Yorkshire working to refinance their debts and obtain sufficient working capital to thrive rather than merely survive.

Former Yorkshire and England batter Boycott, 82, voiced his view on the club’s future direction at a heated extraordinary general meeting at the ground on Thursday morning and urged the club’s board to be transparent with members.

“Every week I pick up a paper and I hear you telling us ‘we’re near a deal’. That’s been going on for months and months,” he said to the club’s chief executive Stephen Vaughan.

“We know nothing more except (what’s in) the newspapers about that guy at Newcastle wanting to buy it, and the club near to selling to him.

“Everybody in Newcastle hates him. I don’t know him, but that doesn’t sound good for Yorkshire cricket if you’re going to sell to him and lease back. I don’t want to be leasing back Headingley, why the hell do I?

“So tell us something, for God’s sake! If you do try to sell and lease back, I’m telling you there will be trouble.”

Vaughan responded: “There are various offers with different connotations, but what I will say, if people genuinely think people have come forward with some sort of unicorn bid to buy the stadium, to keep it as a members’ club, all these things, then they’re kidding themselves.

“We would have taken something like that in a heartbeat. If anybody thinks there was some sort of miracle answer out there, they’re kidding themselves.

“If anybody thinks we aren’t taking certain offers seriously, personalities don’t come into it. The very best thing for our creditors, our members and other stakeholders will be accepted by the board, it’s as simple as that.”

The club have done a deal to defer any repayments of the £14.9million owed to their major creditor, the Graves Trust, until 2025 which they hope will afford them the breathing space to secure the right refinancing deal and then pay that debt off.

The club are also trying to get back on an even keel following the financial and reputational costs of the racism scandal which engulfed them over the last three years.

Vaughan and chair-elect Harry Chathli both gave guarantees that whichever refinancing deal was ultimately accepted, Yorkshire remaining at Headingley in perpetuity would be a “red line”.

Asked in a separate interview with PA after the meeting whether Yorkshire remaining as a member’s club was also a red line, Vaughan said: “We’ve made it extremely clear to everybody that we’ve spoken to that we have no intention of Yorkshire becoming a non member’s club.

“Indeed, with anybody that’s approached us saying that they would like to explore that opportunity, we have gone one step further and said it’s not within our gift.

“We will have to get 50 per cent quorum to vote – which would be going some versus the numbers we’re getting at the moment – and then 75 per cent to vote in favour of Yorkshire becoming a non-member’s club. Other than the fact that would be challenging in the extreme, we have no say on that as a board.”

Chathli is set to become Yorkshire’s new permanent chair in succession to Lord Kamlesh Patel in the coming weeks, with special resolutions passed on Thursday which would allow his appointment outside of an annual general meeting.

Members voted in favour of Chathli’s appointment to the board as an independent non-executive director, and he will officially become chair once Financial Conduct Authority ratification of the appointment is received. That is expected by mid-October.

However, his election to the board was far from unanimous, with 108 of the 389 members who voted by proxy going against the motion to appoint him. A further eight of those 389 abstained.

Essex’s lingering hopes of winning the LV= Insurance County Championship Division One title were dealt a huge blow by Ben Sanderson’s bowling for Northamptonshire.

Essex need at least 400 but Sanderson claimed three for 15 with the wickets of Alastair Cook, Nick Browne and Dan Lawrence in a devastating nine-over spell, conceding just 14 runs.

They were 125 for four by close of play, still trailing by 244 runs but their slight hopes are still alive following Surrey’s collapse at the Ageas Bowl.

Liam Dawson claimed his fourth five-wicket haul of the season for Hampshire to make Surrey suffer, but the visitors only need a draw to seal top spot.

Left-arm spinner Dawson moved to 45 wickets for the season and his five for 44 kept Surrey, who needed to post 300 for the title, waiting.

Joe Denly smashed an unbeaten century to help relegation-threatened Kent to 345 for four on day two against Lancashire at Canterbury.

Kent were in pursuit of 327 and Ben Compton anchored their innings but fell five short of a century.

Denly then played a more flamboyant 105 not out, from 149 balls with 11 fours and a six, to record his first red-ball century of the season as Kent closed with two potentially crucial batting points and a lead of 18.

Neil Wagner registered a career-best 72 for Somerset but weather played spoilsport once again in their meeting with Warwickshire at Edgbaston.

There were 35 overs lost on day one and another 36 were wiped out on day two, which ended with Warwickshire on 112 for three in reply to the visitors’ 215.

Ryan Higgins became only Middlesex’s second player to make a County Championship century to give the relegation threatened side a chance of victory against Nottinghamshire.

Higgins held Middlesex’s first innings together with 137 – his first hundred for the county and shared partnerships of 61 with Stevie Eskinazi (58) and 108 with Jayant Yadav (56).

Middlesex claimed three batting bonus points with 366, but Nottinghamshire responded with 92 for two, with Ben Slater on 49 not out.

Worcestershire have secured promotion back to Division One of the LV= Insurance County Championship.

The Pears secured second spot in Division Two, behind champions Durham, after they reached 300 for a second batting bonus point during the early stages of a weather-interrupted second day against Yorkshire at Headingley.

Worcestershire started this fixture needing a maximum of two points to seal top-flight cricket for 2024 and were 280 for five overnight.

Captain Brett D’Oliveira reached a century before he fell lbw to Matt Milnes to leave the score 299 for six and Worcestershire were stuck on 299 for 10 balls before Baker pushed Milnes through the covers for two at 10.55am – 25 minutes into day two – as celebrations erupted on the players’ balcony.

Durham batter David Bedingham passed 1,000 runs for the season before team-mates Ben Raine and Vishwa Fernando did the damage with the ball on day two.

In a rain affected day, Division Two champions Durham looked to secure maximum batting points and declare with rain heavily on the radar and Bedingham passed his landmark and went on to make 156 as Durham declared on 457 for eight in Chester-le-Street.

Bowler Raine dismissed the visitors’ top four in the hour before lunch and Fernando picked up his first two wickets for Durham before rain arrived at 1.45pm with Leicestershire 96 for six.

Derbyshire’s Luis Reece became the first batter to be given out by a female umpire in 123 seasons of county cricket as they totalled 450 on day two over Glamorgan.

Reece had reached his century but Redfern lifted her finger in the 100th over of the Derbyshire first innings when he was caught behind by Chris Cooke off Jamie McIlroy for 139.

Glamorgan have a big total to chase but play was cut short by bad light with Zain ul-Hassan and Eddie Byrom unbeaten at 22 without loss from 11 overs.

 

 Cricket West Indies (CWI) President Dr. Kishore Shallow hasnextended his warmest congratulations to Vice-President Azim Bassarath and former West Indies spinner and double T20 World Cup winner Samuel Badree on their remarkable achievement of receiving the prestigious Hummingbird Medal (HBM) Gold Award at the 2023 National Awards of Trinidad & Tobago.

The awards ceremony took place on Sunday, 24 September, at the historic President's House in St Ann's, Port-of-Spain.

 The Hummingbird Medal Gold Award is one of Trinidad & Tobago's highest honors, recognizing exceptional contributions and achievements in various fields. Vice President Bassarath's and Badree’s outstanding dedication and contributions to the sport of cricket have earned them this well-deserved recognition in the highest grade of the HBM.

 President Shallow expressed his pride in Vice President Bassarath’s accomplishments, saying, "I am delighted to congratulate Vice President Azim Bassarath on receiving the Hummingbird Medal Gold award. His commitment to cricket and his tireless efforts in promoting the sport have been instrumental in our pursuit of excellence at CWI. This recognition is a testament to his unwavering passion and dedication to the game not only in Trinidad & Tobago but at a regional level."

"Since his election in March 2023, Vice President Azim Bassarath has been an integral part of the CWI leadership team, playing a pivotal role in the development of cricket. Over the years, he has been a champion of Women’s cricket, ensuring a robust development programme exists in Trinidad and Tobago."

The CWI President continued: "Samuel Badree has etched his name on the pages of history as a member of the victorious T20 World Cup squads in 2012 and 2016. No doubt, he continues to make an invaluable contribution to the sport through his academy, coaching, and commentary, inspiring a new generation of players.

"Badree founded and operates the Badree’s Academy of Sports Education (BASE), which facilitates over 100 children in Trinidad and Tobago. He continues to be an ambassador for his country as a commentator in global events such as World Cups, CPL, IPL and for West Indies Home Internationals. Badree is a level three coach and works as a mentor to West Indies spinners. The Hummingbird Medal Gold Award of Trinidad & Tobago is a fitting tribute to Vice President Bassarath and Badree’s remarkable achievements and their dedication to cricket. It serves as an inspiration to all cricket enthusiasts and showcases the profound impact that cricket has on the Caribbean community.

" CWI extends its heartfelt congratulations to Vice President Azim Bassarath and Samuel Badree on this prestigious accolade and looks forward to their continued contributions to the development and success of West Indies cricket."

Jofra Archer may be England’s only travelling reserve to India for the World Cup but Matthew Mott is aware another misstep with the fast bowler’s fitness could have “serious ramifications”.

The recurrence of a stress fracture in Archer’s right elbow sidelined him for the summer and ultimately kept him out of England’s 15-man squad for the defence of their title, which gets under way next week.

Archer is part of the touring party as cover and a tantalising option if injury strikes, even if it is anticipated he will not be ready to make his return until the tournament is close to a conclusion.

Given the repeated setbacks he has had since a breakout 2019, when he was entrusted with bowling the super over that led to England being crowned world champions, Mott will not take any risks with the 28-year-old.

“Jofra is not fit to play until the latter stages of the tournament,” England’s white-ball head coach said. “A lot of where he’s coming from is to get some intensive work with our medical staff.

“We have been very big on not rushing him back and that message has been clear to him.

“He understands – he’s desperate to play but he’s also realistic that if this thing happens again it could have serious ramifications.

“We’ll take him over there, work with him and if something happens at the back end, he’s someone who could come in.”

England, who head to India on Wednesday night, are not flying out any more supplementary options, with Mott set to act only if and when injury does occur and bring in a like-for-like alternative.

Jason Roy, having been culled from the squad in favour of Harry Brook, has made himself available for reserve duty, while Mott has urged everyone who was part of the shadow England side that beat Ireland in a rain-affected ODI series – where Will Jacks and Ben Duckett impressed – to stay on their toes.

“We don’t need to declare where that’s at and we certainly don’t really want to speculate on it,” Mott said. “Everyone in this group here, and everyone on the periphery, should be maintaining their fitness.

“The flight to India is not that bad and the reality is (if) someone gets called up they are not going to get called straight into the XI. So they’ll have time to adjust and that’s where we arrived.

“Pulling people around India for eight weeks is not going to get the best out of them. Every player should be ready to go.”

Mott revealed Adil Rashid and Mark Wood are both “fine” following niggles, adding he has a “rough idea” of England’s preferred XI ahead of the tournament opener against New Zealand in Ahmedabad on October 5.

England selected 12 players during their 2019 triumph but Mott envisages making more use of his squad given the variety of Indian pitches and conditions, with the defending champions also facing an extensive travel schedule as their nine group-stage matches will be played in eight cities.

“We don’t have any expectations,” Mott said. “A lot of teams are going to contest and expect to do well. We are one of them but I don’t look at it as defending champions.

“We go in with the same points as everyone else. India will be favourites in the minds of many people because of home advantage, but they can go either way as well.”

England’s summer programme finishing on Tuesday brings to an end former captain Andrew Flintoff’s stint, having joined the backroom staff for their ODI series against New Zealand and Ireland.

Flintoff returned to the public eye for the first time since a serious car accident while filming for Top Gear last December and Mott would welcome back the 45-year-old with open arms going forwards.

“He’s definitely going to join us again in future, we’ve loved having him around,” Mott added.

“He’s revered, he’s got an aura about him, he’s very special and what he’s gone through recently, the humility he’s displayed and the life experiences he can share have been immense.

“Even the seasoned Test veterans, they grew up idolising him and to see him in the flesh offering so much has been very special.”

In a potentially embarrassing development for Barbados Cricket, Dr Kishore Shallow, the president of Cricket West Indies (CWI), has poured cold water on a pronouncement from Conde Riley that Barbados has been selected to host the 2024 ICC World Cup final.

The International Cricket Council announced last week that seven Caribbean countries, and the United States, will host matches in the prestigious tournament that began in 1975. Dominica, Guyana, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda, Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados are the Caribbean countries selected.

Also, in an unprecedented decision, the ICC also stated that matches will also be played in Texas, Florida and New York in the United States.

According to reports, Riley, who was recently re-elected to the post of president of the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA), that he was in possession of documentation that said his country would be hosting the finals next summer.

“Based on the documents that Barbados is earmarked from Cricket West Indies and ICC to host the final, a semi-final and a number of games…”

However, speaking on the Mason and Guest sports talk show in Barbados on Tuesday night, Dr Shallow debunked those claims, saying, “Nothing has been communicated back from ICC to Cricket West Indies about the finals.”

The statement from the CWI president has left the Barbados Cricket Association with potential egg on their faces.

 

Derbyshire dominated the first day’s play as umpire Sue Redfern made history in the LV= County Championship fixture at Glamorgan.

Redfern became the first woman to stand as an umpire in a men’s first-class match in England and Wales as she joined Graham Lloyd in the middle for the Division Two clash.

Luis Reece made an unbeaten 139 and it was Lloyd’s finger which went up for the wickets of Harry Came and Brooke Guest as the visitors reached 308 for two.

Guest made 96 and put on 180 for the second wicket with Reece, who had captain Leus du Plooy for company on 22 not out at stumps.

The journey to next year's ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in the West Indies and the USA continues, with Bermuda set to host the Americas Qualifier from 30 September to 7 October 2023.

Bermuda, Canada, Cayman Islands and Panama will battle it out in a double round-robin format, over six days to earn a place in the 2024 edition of the Men’s T20 World Cup – the biggest one yet, featuring 20 teams in total.

As host, Bermuda will look to continue their good form from winning the Subregional Qualifier, to return to the biggest stage in men’s T20 cricket, after their historical appearance in 2007.

Canada, arguably the favourites of the event, will look to confirm this and seal their ticket to a new World Cup participation. The Cayman Islands are a regular fixture in the regional final but are yet to go through, and, as such, they will push hard to make it this time. Panama are underdogs, as their participation may come as a surprise to many, but with no real pressure on their backs, this could allow them to play freely and upset the main candidates.

This event promises to be a competitive affair, with the four teams confident of their chances of making it through to the main stage.

Former Captain Stafanie Taylor says the West Indies Women will need to emphasize spending time in the middle to have any chance of competing with Australia when the pair lock horns in three T20Is and three ODIs beginning on Sunday at North Sydney Oval.

The team is coming off a pair of home series wins against Ireland in July (2-0 in the ODIs and 3-0 in the T20Is) and will look to take that momentum into Australia.

A big reason for those series wins was the team’s batting. The first ODI saw the hosts bat the full 50 overs to post their second highest ODI score ever, 297-6, before successfully defending it.

The third ODI also saw an impressive performance with the bat, losing only four wickets and needing only 41.3 overs to chase down 203.

The T20s were no different with the West Indians securing a pair of eight wicket wins as well as a tense two wicket victory.

From an individual standpoint, after a rough few years due to a persistent back injury, Taylor enjoyed a welcome return to form during the ODI series.

She made scores of 55 and 79* in her two innings and is looking to continue that form against the current World Champions.

“I’ve been feeling really good for some time. The injury would’ve definitely slowed me down a little bit but it’s nice that I’ve been working hard to get my body back up and it’s been really good,” she said in a press conference ahead of Sunday’s series opener.

“For me, it’s trying to get myself back to the top and spending some time at the crease is going to be crucial because I find that once I’m able to do that, I know runs will come. I just have to believe in myself,” she added.

Just like in the Ireland series, the team will be a good mixture of youth and experience with some players who took part in the most recent ICC Under-19 Women’s World Cup as well as the CWI Regional Under-19 Women’s Tournament.

The 32-year-old complimented the youngsters before emphasizing that it is up to veterans like herself to help them achieve their full potential.

“I think we have a good crop of young players coming through. We’ve seen them in the Under-19 World Cup and it’s been really good so far where we have our Under-19 tournament that recently concluded in Trinidad and a lot of those U19s have been integrating with the senior team. You saw that in the recently concluded Ireland series,” Taylor said.

“Having them in the system, it’s for us to try an impart that knowledge that we have onto them and this series is going to be crucial for them but also it’s a learning experience and you don’t want to burden them too much,” she added.

As the most experienced member of the team, Taylor also provided insight relating to conversations she has had with the younger players in the team or players who haven’t yet played in Australia.

“Well I haven’t played here in a long time to be fair but, from what I’ve known is that Australian wickets tend to be a bit bouncy. It might be worth playing a bit late especially with the pace of the fast bowlers. I’ve played a few times at North Sydney and it’s a good wicket. I think the wickets here are going to be really good for batting. Spending time at the crease will be crucial if we want to score runs,” Taylor said.

This series will also be the first opportunity for new head coach Shane Deitz to take charge of the regional side.

In his own introductory press conference a few weeks ago, Deitz proclaimed that he wanted to bring a new attacking brand of cricket to the West Indies Women.

Taylor says that discussion hasn’t taken place quite yet.

“We’ve only had one practice session so far. We haven’t really had a meeting to discuss how we’re going to play or what it’s going to look like for this series. The first game is Sunday and we just had a meeting to welcome everyone and had a light practice session just to have a feel of things,” she said.

 

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