West Indies legend, Clive Lloyd, is hopeful the region will not soon be locked in a battle for the services of burgeoning talent who may be tempted by the prospect of playing in big-money T20 leagues.

Since the advent of the cash-rich shortest format of the sport, the top Caribbean players have often found themselves caught between representing the regional team and earning from the major payday provided by the global T20 calendar.

With the emergence of a new generation of talented West Indies players, the likes of Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmyer, and particularly more recently Kyle Mayers, Nkrumah Bonner, and Joshua Da Silva, Lloyd is already worried Cricket West Indies could find itself in a similar position to several years ago.

“I impress on the board and all those that are in charge, to make sure that these guys stick with our cricket,” Lloyd told the Mason and Guest radio program.

 “We can’t afford to lose another three guys because I know the IPL fellows are going to come knocking and it’s very difficult for them to say no,” he added.

“They have a lot of T20 games in which they will be able to make money, but the point is the other countries seem to be able to harness their talent.  They go to those places and play but when international cricket is being played, they are back there.  Let’s just hope that we keep these young men we are grooming that we work hard with and they’ve now come to fruition; so that the captain or whoever will have people to call on.  If you keep losing players, it’s like digging a hole to fill a hole.”

Fast bowling great Sir Curtly Ambrose believes some West Indies players who opted out of the tour of Bangladesh could come to regret their decisions not to go because of how well the team is performing there.

West Indies fast bowler, Alzarri Joseph, is confident that he will eventually get to triple digits after another close miss against Bangladesh on Thursday.

The 24-year-old racked up an impressive 82 from 108 balls, as part of staunch mid-lower order resistance, en route to the Windies posting a satisfactory first innings score of 409.  In the end, Joseph’s aggressive innings was ended when he was caught by Liton Das as he attempted to pull away Abu Jayed.

His total proved a handy one for the team, who will count any runs from the bowler as a huge bonus.  For Joseph, however, a player who prides himself on his batting, it was the second time he was coming close to making his first Test century.

Against New Zealand, in December, Joseph put together a commendable 86, which remains his highest score to date.

“It’s disappointing not to get 100 but I’ve been working hard on my batting, so there will be other opportunities to get that total,” he added.

“When I came to the crease it was just to spend some time and support Josh (Joshua Da Silva) at the crease."

Together Joseph and Da Silva put together an important 7th wicket partnership.

 

  

Evin Lewis, Darren Bravo, and Rovman Powell are among 19 West Indies players who have been shortlisted for the Indian Premier League draft set for Chennai on February 18 at the ITC Grand Chola.

West Indies and Trinidad and Tobago wicketkeeper-batsman Joshua Da Silva dedicated his performance against Bangladesh today to Andrea Bharratt, the young woman, who recently was abducted and murdered in Trinidad and Tobago.

The 23-year-old woman was abducted on January 29 and her body was found on February 4 in the Heights of Aripo in the twin-island republic. Police have taken into custody a man who they said is linked to several sex crimes committed in that country.

The tragic news has shaken many in the country, including Da Silva, who is on duty for the West Indies, thousands of miles away in Bangladesh.

Wearing a black armband, the 22-year-old batsman scored 92 on Friday as the West Indies made 409 all out. He featured in partnerships of 88 with Nkrumah Bonner and 118 with Alzarri Joseph that put the Caribbean side in a strong position going into Saturday’s third day.

In a post on his Instagram page afterwards, he explained the reason behind wearing the armband.

“Today was for Andrea and the women of Trinidad and Tobago,” he said while calling for more to be done to protect his country’s women from violence.

“We have been silent and we have allowed too many tragedies to pass in vain. Silence and inactivity are not acceptable anymore. Our voices must be heard and our women must be respected and protected.

“More must be done to educate and teach our men to end the violence against women. I stand in solidarity with the people of Trinidad and Tobago and with the Bharratt family. Justice for Andrea.”

Andrea Bharratt's funeral was held earlier today.

 

 

 

Joe Root urged Dom Bess to find consistency after he was left out of the England squad for the second Test against India.

The tourists have opted for a new-look bowling attack in the second meeting at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, despite winning the opening match of the series by 227 runs at the same venue.

Bess drops out of the reckoning, with James Anderson and the injured Jofra Archer also missing out, paving the way for Stuart Broad to come back in and Moeen Ali to return.

Having taken five wickets in the four-match series opener and scored 59 runs with the bat, Bess was offered some words of advice by captain Root.

"It wasn't an easy decision; Dom's contributed fantastically well in these three games and has made a real impact," Root said.

"With him missing out, the message for him is to keep working at that consistency of his game, delivering that skill time and time again. We talk about building pressure over long periods of time and I think, as well as he has done, that is one area that he can improve on.

"But he is very young, very much at the start of things and this doesn't mean that he is going to be pushed back down the pecking order.

"It gives him an opportunity to step out of Test cricket, the harshest of environments, especially in these conditions against a team that plays spin so well, to take stock and work at his game.

"It gives Moeen a chance to come back into things, with all his experience. He's someone who is bowling very well in practice.

"It was a very difficult decision to make, I'm sure Bessy will be frustrated about it but that's good as well. You want that competition for places, you want guys to be playing all the time and be amongst it all

"That's certainly how he goes about his cricket. He's a wholehearted player and I expect a response from him."

Root is certainly well placed to talk about consistency, having once again underlined his brilliance last time out when he clocked up a first-innings double century in his 100th Test appearance to continue riding the wave of his fine showing against Sri Lanka.

The 30-year-old has piled on 684 runs in his previous three matches, which equates to 39 per cent of his side's total runs in Test cricket in 2021. 

Fans hoping to see the Yorkshireman showcasing his skills in the Indian Premier League will once again be disappointed this year, but Root does want to get involved in the future.

"It was a very difficult decision," he said regarding his decision not to register. 

"At some point in my career I'm desperate to try and be part of an IPL season and hopefully a few more beyond that as well.

"It's something I'd love to experience and love to be a part of, but with the amount of cricket – and Test cricket in particular – this year, I didn’t feel like it was the right time.

"I didn’t feel like I could throw all my energy into it, which I think it deserves. And I don’t think it would set English cricket up best with what's to come.

"It's a very difficult decision and hopefully next year there's an opportunity to be a part of the IPL."

The atmosphere at games is one of the IPL's most appealing qualities and the famously vociferous India fans will have a chance to make themselves heard in the second Test, with 15,000 allowed in.

Asked if he thinks it will change the dynamic of the contest, Root said: "Yes, I do. I think it will improve it massively

"I think having an atmosphere within a stadium is a massive part of international cricket.

"What makes it special, in many ways, is that interaction between the fans and the players. It makes those big moments, that noise and the build-up… it adds to it all

"Obviously, we know how passionate India is about cricket. It's a big part of life in many ways here and we're all excited about that.

"We want to be playing on the biggest stage in front of people. We're looking forward to that atmosphere and it's going to add to what has already started off as a brilliant series for us."

Nkrumah Bonner and Joshua Da Silva just missed out on their maiden Test centuries while Alzarri Joseph produced his second-highest score as the West Indies dominated play on Friday’s second day of the second Test against Bangladesh at Dhaka.

England will have a new-look bowling attack on duty for the second Test as they go up against an India side determined to bounce back in the series.

James Anderson, Jofra Archer and Dom Bess were all part of the XI that helped England become the first visiting nation to win a Test at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai since Pakistan in 1999, ending an eight-game unbeaten streak for the hosts.

However, none of the trio will be involved when the two teams face each other again at the same venue.

While Archer is ruled out with an elbow injury, Anderson has been rested and Bess left out of a 12-man squad. Stuart Broad seems certain to play, with the other seam-bowling spot between Chris Woakes and Olly Stone. Moeen Ali will be the second spinner; the all-rounder has not featured in Test cricket since August 2019.

Captain Joe Root admitted it was not an easy decision to give Anderson a break considering how well he performed in the opener, but England had to look at the bigger picture during such a busy year.

"Everyone's heart was in favour of him being available for this game but also you have to look at the bigger picture and ideally if he is available for two of the last three, that is a huge asset for us with the way he is bowling and his reputation, as well as his numbers and the way he has performed in recent games," Root told the media.

India, meanwhile, head into this match under pressure; they have only ever lost the first two games of a home Test series against England once previously, when they went on to suffer a 3-1 defeat in 1976-77.

Virat Kohli pointed to a failure by the bowling unit to keep England's scoring rate in check in the aftermath of the opening defeat, with slow-bowling duo Washington Sundar and Shahbaz Nadeem struggling to provide support for pacemen Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma, as well as frontline spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.

Axar Patel missed that match due to a knee injury but came through a fitness test on Thursday. Kuldeep Yadav could also get an opportunity on a pitch that, according to Ajinkya Rahane, will spin from the outset.

"I am sure it will turn from day one," Rahane said on the eve of the game. "We will have to wait and see how it behaves in the first session and take it from there."

In a boost for India, there will be fans present for the second of four matches in the series. The ground is allowed to be 50 per cent full, though there will be social distancing measures in place amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.


Captain Kohli in the spotlight

India have now lost four Tests in a row under Kohli, who departed the tour of Australia after his side had been shot out for 36 to lose the series opener in Adelaide. He returned home for the birth of his first child, with stand-in Rahane then leading the side to a 2-1 triumph.

Kohli made scores of 11 and 72 upon his return to the XI, but those numbers were not enough to stop him slipping to fifth in the International Cricket Council's Test rankings for batsmen.

Root keeps on digging in

Root underpinned England's triumph last time out with a double hundred in a mammoth first innings of 578, in the process continuing his stunning run of form following on from a hugely successful tour to Sri Lanka.

The right-handed batsman has managed 684 runs in his previous three matches, which equates to 39 per cent of his side's total runs in Test cricket in 2021. There have been useful contributions from his top-order colleagues so far overseas, but no other batsman has reached three figures in an innings during the calendar year.

Key match facts

- England have only managed to register one Test series win in India since their 2-1 tour win in 1984-85 - their successful tour in 2012 being the solitary triumph during that period (D1 L4).
- India still lead the head-to-head record with England in Tests played at M.A. Chidambaram Stadium, winning five compared to the visitors' tally of four after the series opener (D1).
- England have managed to record six overseas Test wins in succession ahead of this match – victory in this game will equal their longest ever run in the format (seven in a row between 1911 and 1914).
- Rishabh Pant has a batting strike rate of 70.6 in Test cricket, only two men (with a minimum of 600 runs scored) have higher rates for India (Virender Sehwag at 82, plus Kapil Dev at 81)
- Broad (517) is three scalps away from going into sixth place on the all-time leading Test wicket-takers list, jumping above Courtney Walsh (519); the Englishman has picked up 41 wickets at an average of 14.5 since the start of 2020.

Evin Lewis’ better than a run-a-ball century helped the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force romp to a five-wicket victory with 55 balls to spare over the Jamaica Scorpions at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium today.

West Indies middle-order batsman, Nkrumah Bonner, insists he always puts pressure on himself to do well, after scoring another half-century against Bangladesh on day one of the second Test.

On the back of a patient 86, which proved crucial to the Windies in their first Test win, Bonner once against set himself up to be the lynchpin of the innings.  At the close of the first day’s play, the batsman remained unbeaten on a watchful 74 from 173 balls.

Bonner’s stand brought stability back to the innings after the Windies lost three wickets for 29 runs after lunch.  The team had gone to lunch at 84 for 1, with Brathwaite on 36 and Shayne Moseley on six.

“For me, every innings that I play, I put pressure on myself,” Bonner told windiescricket following the innings.

“We get paid to make runs and to be consistent and that’s exactly what I’m trying to do.”

Bonner, who will resume batting with Joshua Da Silva on the second day, admits the team suffered from early mishaps but has targeted making around 350 from the first innings.

“We had a few soft dismissals, but that’s the nature of the game, me and Josh are there now, and we still have others to come, so we will have to just bat as long as possible.”

 

 

England paceman Jofra Archer has been ruled out of the second Test against India with an elbow injury.

Archer took three wickets in the match as Joe Root's team thrashed India by 227 runs in the series opener in Chennai.

The quick will not be in the England side when the second game gets under way at M.A. Chidambaram Stadium on Saturday, though.

An England and Wales Cricket Board statement read: "Jofra Archer will miss the second Test against India in Chennai starting on Saturday after having an injection in his right elbow.

"The injection follows discomfort the fast bowler experienced during the 227-run win in the first Test at the same venue.

"The issue is not related to any previous injury and it is hoped the treatment will allow the condition to settle down quickly, allowing the player to return to action in time for the third Test in Ahmedabad."

Stuart Broad is set to come into the team and James Anderson is hoping he is not rested after playing a big part in England's crushing victory in the first match.

Olly Stone is also waiting in the wings for his opportunity, with Mark Wood not back in the squad until after the second Test, having been given a rest.

England have named Liam Livingstone in a 16-man squad for the Twenty20 series against India in March, but Test captain Joe Root and Alex Hales were not included.

Livingstone has not played international cricket since June 2017, when he scored 16 runs in a pair of T20 appearances against South Africa on English soil.

However, the 27-year-old was part of the group for the one-day series at home to Ireland last year, as well as the tour to South Africa that was cut short in December due to coronavirus concerns.

His selection comes after an impressive Big Bash tournament in Australia, though Hales – who finished as the competition's leading scorer, managing 543 at a strike-rate of 161.60 for Sydney Thunder – continues to be overlooked by the national selectors.

Root is also not included for the five-match series that offers Eoin Morgan's side further opportunities to prepare ahead of the ICC T20 World Cup, which takes place in India during October and November.

Jos Buttler – who has returned home for a scheduled break after helping England win the first Test against India in Chennai – will travel back for the white-ball games.

As well as the players in the squad, the England and Wales Cricket Board announced Jake Ball and Matt Parkinson as reserves. The party will depart on February 26, with all games to be played at the Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad.


England T20 squad for the tour to India: 

Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Chris Jordan, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Reece Topley, Mark Wood.

Reserves: Jake Ball, Matt Parkinson.

The West Indies threw away a solid start to the second Test against Bangladesh and had to rely on an unbeaten 74 from Nkrumah Bonner to end the day at 223 for 5 at Dhaka.

A superb, unbeaten century by Keacy Carty and a cameo from Hayden Walsh Jr, led Leewards Islands Hurricanes to a sensational victory over Barbados Pride in Match 3 of the CG Insurance Super50 Cup on Wednesday night.

2011 World Champion Yohan Blake has expressed admiration for the leader of India captain Virat Kohli, despite a massive loss to England in the first Test.

On the back of a majestic double century from England captain Joe Root and four-wicket hauls by Dom Best and Jack Leach, England romped to a 227-run victory over India in Chennai.

For his part, Kohli failed to get going in the first innings but top-scored for the team in the second innings with 72 as was dismissed of 192, in pursuit of a world record target of 420.

 In his analysis of the match, however, Blake gave credit to Kohli for shouldering the blame.  The result was quite a letdown from the team’s exhilarating win over Australia at the famous Brisbane cricket ground, Blake, however, backed the team India to bounce back.

 "What I really love about Team India is that Virat Kohli doesn't find any excuses. That's what I really love about his captaincy, he took the blame for everything," Blake said in a video uploaded on his social media handles.

"He said the bowlers didn't find the right areas and that the batsmen were not as consistent. He said, 'we got to go back to the drawing board and come back'. And that's what I love about Virat Kohli and his captaincy," he added.

"Test cricket is absolutely the best. The second Test should be interesting, India was 1-0 down in Australia, they are 1-0 down at their home ground now. The second Test, I'm looking forward to it."

 

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