The Cricket West Indies (CWI) Senior Selection Panel has named both 15-man squads to play against Australia in three One Day Internationals (ODIs) and three T20 Internationals (T20Is) from February 2-13.  

The ODI squad features two debutants, Grenadian top order batsman Teddy Bishop and Guyanese wicketkeeper batsman, Tevin Imlach.

Bishop has impressed with the bat on assignments for the West Indies Academy during the recent CG United Super50 Cup and Academy series against Emerging Ireland.  Imlach, who is currently in Australia with the Test team, averages 30.1, having played 26 List A matches.

Justin Greaves, who has recently returned from a hamstring injury sustained in the CG United Super50 Cup in November, gets a recall to the ODI team. He was particularly impressive at the top of the order in that tournament, amassing a total of 403 runs in his seven innings at an average of 80.59 for the Leeward Islands Hurricanes.

Also returning to the squad are Hayden Walsh Jr. and Kavem Hodge.  Walsh Jr. last played in the ODI format in July 2022, when the West Indies played India in the Caribbean. Hodge made his debut in June 2023 when he played in all three matches against the UAE in Daren Sammy’s first series as Head Coach.

Missing from the last ODI squad that won the series against England in December, are Brandon King and Sherfane Rutherford, who have both been given the opportunity to take up T20 franchise contracts during this period, along with Shimron Hetmyer and Yannic Cariah.

In the T20I format, Alzarri Joseph, who was rested for the final two T20I’s against England comes back into the team to replace Matthew Forde.

CWI's Lead Selector, the Most Honorable Desmond Haynes is anticipating another competitive series in both formats.

“On the back of a series win against England, we are expecting our ODI team to be very competitive in Australia. We have some new inclusions, who have impressed over a significant period and a couple of returning players, who we think will have an impact. For the T20I series, this forms part of our crucial preparations for the upcoming T20 World Cup where we are hosts.  We are hoping to build on strong overall performances against India and England and to keep improving as we approach the major tournament," Haynes said.

The white ball series will follow the upcoming Test series between Australia and West Indies, which begins on January 17 and concludes on January 29.

West Indies ODI Squad -Shai Hope (Captain), Alzarri Joseph (Vice-Captain), Alick Athanaze, Teddy Bishop, Keacy Carty, Roston Chase, Matthew Forde, Justin Greaves, Kavem Hodge, Tevin Imlach, Gudakesh Motie, Kjorn Ottley, Romario Shepherd, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jr.

West Indies T20I Squad -Rovman Powell (Captain), Shai Hope (Vice-Captain), Johnson Charles, Roston Chase, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Gudakesh Motie, Nicholas Pooran, Andre Russell, Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd, Oshane Thomas

Australia vs. West Indies ODI Series Schedule (Match start time in brackets) 

1st ODI – 2 February – Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne (2:30pm local time/12am Eastern Caribbean/11pm Jamaica)
2nd ODI – 4 February – Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney (2:30pm local time/12am Eastern Caribbean/11pm Jamaica)
3rd ODI – 6 February – Manuka Oval, Canberra (2:30pm local time/12am Eastern Caribbean/11pm Jamaica)

Australia vs. West Indies T20I Series Schedule (Match start time in brackets) 

1st T20I – 9 February – Bellerive Oval, Hobart (7:00pm local time/4:30am Eastern Caribbean/3:30am Jamaica)
2nd T20I – 11 February – Adelaide Oval, Adelaide (6:30pm local time/4am Eastern Caribbean/3am Jamaica)
3rd T20I – 13 February – Perth Stadium, Perth (4pm local time/1:30am Eastern Caribbean/12:30am Jamaica)

Steve Smith will take over from the retired David Warner as Australia’s new Test opener after convincing selectors he was “willing and hungry” to embrace a new challenge.

Smith batted as low as number nine on Test debut and has taken every spot up to number three in the course of a prolific career. Now he will head the innings for the first time having publicly pitched to replace Warner.

The 34-year-old’s move will accommodate the return of all-rounder Cameron Green in the top six for the forthcoming series against the West Indies, with Matt Renshaw picked as reserve batter and Cameron Bancroft’s hopes of returning to the Baggy Green fold dashed.

Head selector Andrew McDonald indicated all parties view the switch as a long-term move and praised the former captain for embracing change after 105 Tests and almost 10,000 runs lower down the order.

“It’s selfless that someone who’s had such success in one position or a couple of positions in the middle order, that he’s willing and hungry to have a crack at something different,” McDonald told reporters.

“For someone who has achieved as much as he has over such a long period of time across all formats, it’s a challenge or an itch he’d like to scratch and ultimately for us, as a team, it’s something that fits.

“It provides an opportunity to slot Greeny into number four where he’s had success for Western Australia. Ultimately we are trying to pick our six best batters.

“The regard in which we hold Cameron and the way the rest of that batting order is functioning left us feeling we have someone we think is pretty talented who was potentially going to find it pretty hard to get any Test cricket in the next 12 months or so.”

West Indies Test head coach Andre Coley says they will be using the opening practice match on their tour of Australia to tighten up in both the batting and bowling departments, as they brace for what will be a tough two-match Test Series Down Under.

The Caribbean side’s preparations for the series, which is part of the ICC World Test Championship (WTC), will hit another gear when they engage a young Cricket Australia XI in a three-day, practice match at Karen Rolton Oval, on Wednesday.

Coley, working with a fairly inexperienced 15-man squad which boast seven uncapped players, expressed pleasure with how things are coming together, and is optimistic that his team can find success on this occasion. It has been well over 20 years since West Indies las won a Test series in Australia dating back to a 1992-93 series, which they won 2-1.

Captain Kraigg Brathwaite is one of only five members of the squad returning to Australia, along with long-standing pacer Kemar Roach, vice-captain Alzarri Joseph, wicketkeeper-batsman Joshua Da Silva and opener Tagenarine Chanderpaul. The seven debutants are opener Zachary McCaskie, Tevin Imlach, all-rounders Justin Greaves, Kavem Hodge, Kevin Sinclair, Akeem Jordan and Shamar Joseph.

“Everybody wants to do well here, whether they have had experience of playing here in the past, or it is their first trip. It has been a good experience watching them get over the jetlag and then get into the work, whatever it has been on a specific day, and the focus has been good,” Coley shared in a Cricket West Indies (CWI) interview ahead of the warm-up game.

The practice match does not have first-class status, which means both teams can rotate more than 11 players through their line-ups, and this provides Coley the opportunity to better observe the new players in action.

“When you think about Test matches, it’s really important that you are able to bat a day to be able to set up the game from a batting standpoint. On the flipside of that it’s pretty simple for me, if you can get the opposition out before the end of a day’s play, so for me, those are easy markers,” he said.

“How we go about it as a batting and bowling group is where it becomes more specific as it relates to the roles and the different skill sets that each player brings to the table. But we are looking to keep it really, really simple, and these are some of the markers that we are looking to get out of the game,” Coley added.

That said, Coley pointed to the progress made in their build up to the Test match. The first Test is scheduled for January 17 in Adelaide, with the second set to take place on January 25 at The Gabba.

“I am happy with the progress we have made. It has been a gradual adjustment (to the conditions), but at the end of the day, regardless of how the pitch plays and what response we get from the pitch when bowling, each player has to adapt to what is in front of him,” Coley declared.

He continued: “Sometimes the pitch has little to do with it, as opposed to being locked in to what is in front of you. I think we have covered that pretty well in the batting, and similarly, adjusting to bowling lengths and what we want to achieve.

“The ability to hit specific areas has been good, as well as getting a general feel for how the ball moves around in the atmosphere from a fielding standpoint, we have been able to spend some time on that.”

England finished their triumphant Ashes series by beating Australia to win the fifth Test and complete a 3-1 victory on this day in 2011.

It had seemed a formality since the end of day three in Sydney that they would wrap up a series win – and so it proved when an innings-and-83-run triumph was confirmed just before noon.

Their success on the final day – as in many of those previous against an outplayed Australia in the 2010/11 series – came on the back of a mountain of runs from Alastair Cook and a supreme bowling collective led by James Anderson.

The series’ leading wicket-taker’s seven in the match took him up to 24 for the campaign, and Cook’s 189 in England’s mammoth 644 all out carried him above all but Wally Hammond among his country’s highest run-scorers in an Ashes series.

But there were several other significant contributors at the SCG, and elsewhere, as Andrew Strauss’ team achieved their long-held ambition – to become the first from England to win the Ashes outright in Australia for 24 years.

Such was their ultimate dominance – three innings victories, against one equally resounding defeat in Perth – that it was tempting to conclude it had all been a little bit more straightforward than expected.

However, captain Strauss said: “It hasn’t felt easy, there’s no doubt about that.
“There is always a feeling you don’t know what is round the corner, what’s going to be sprung on you.

“Thankfully, as the series has gone on, I think we have become more dominant – and certainly those last two Test matches were as well as an England side I’ve played in has performed.”

It remains the last time an England side won the Ashes on Australian soil.

Two-time champions West Indies will kickstart their ICC Men’s Twenty20 World Cup campaign against Papua New Guinea, as the fixtures for the ninth edition of the tournament was revealed on Friday.

The event to be co-hosted by West Indies and the United States of America is scheduled to run from June 1-29.

West Indies, having won the title in 2012 and 2016, will begin their hunt for a third title against Papa New Guinea at the Guyana National Stadium on Sunday, June 2.

This tournament will see a record 20 teams divided into four groups competing across 55 games for the right to be crowned T20 World Cup Champions 2024. Along with the co-hosts, the list also includes Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, England, India, Ireland, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Oman, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea (PNG), Scotland, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Uganda.

These 20 teams have been divided into four groups of five, with the top two teams progressing to the Super Eights:

Group A: India, Pakistan, Ireland, Canada and the USA

Group B: England, Australia, Namibia, Scotland and Oman

Group C: New Zealand, West Indies, Afghanistan, Uganda and Papua New Guinea

Group D: South Africa, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, the Netherlands and Nepal

ICC's Chief Executive, Geoff Allardice said the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 marks an exciting expansion of our sport with more teams than ever before set to compete in this event.

"It’s going to be an incredible spectacle bringing together 20 international teams from Africa, the Americas, Asia, East-Asia Pacific and Europe. The release of the fixtures is made even more exciting for fans as we enter a new frontier, with the USA hosting a major ICC event for the first time. With 16 matches being played across three venues in the USA, it allows us to make a statement in the world’s biggest sports market. It will also be great to have an ICC event back in the West Indies, which has such a rich history of the game. It has hosted World Cups with great success in the past and this tournament will certainly provide a boost to the game there, especially with the final being played in Barbados," he said.

The event commences with the two co-hosts starting their campaigns on the first two days of June. United States of America will take on Canada in the tournament opener at the Grand Prairie Cricket Stadium in Dallas on Saturday, June 1.

One of cricket’s biggest rivalries will take place in one of the world’s most iconic cities, with New York to host India and Pakistan on Sunday, June 9. The fixture will be played in a cutting-edge 34,000-seat modular stadium just 30 miles east of downtown Manhattan in Nassau County, New York. Eight matches will be played at the venue.

Defending champions England will begin their title defence on Tuesday, June 4, in Barbados against Scotland, and 2022 finalists, Pakistan, will get their challenge going on Thursday, June 6, when they play the United States in Dallas.

Among the plethora of blockbuster matchups scheduled in the group stage, fans can look forward to Sri Lanka taking on South Africa in New York on Monday, June 3, while England will go up against archrivals Australia in Barbados on Saturday, June 8. Another highly anticipated fixture will see the West Indies taking on New Zealand on Wednesday, June 12, at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Trinidad and Tobago.

First-time qualifiers Uganda will play their first ever ICC Men’s T20 World Cup fixture in Guyana against Afghanistan on Monday, June 3. Nepal, who qualified for the T20 World Cup for the first time since 2014, will open their campaign against Sri Lanka in one of four matches to be played at Broward County Stadium in Lauderhill, Florida.

Upon completion of the group stage, the top two teams from each of the four groups will move into the Super Eight stage of the competition. Teams seeded first and second in their groups in the first round, will retain that seeding in the Super Eight, provided they qualify. Super Eight matches are scheduled to be played in popular Caribbean tourist destinations Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines.

The two top teams from each group in the Super Eight will progress to the semi-finals, which will be held in Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago on June 26 and 27 respectively. The final will be held at the Kensington Oval in Barbados on Saturday, June 29.

Johnny Grave, CWI's Chief Executive echoed similar sentiments.

“The announcement of the match schedule for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 marks a significant milestone in our preparations for this year’s tournament.  We know that teams, fans and cricket enthusiasts worldwide have been eagerly awaiting this announcement, and now that it is available, it provides a roadmap for the thrilling journey that lies ahead. In addition to the match fixtures, the announcement also highlights the host countries and iconic venues that will set the stage for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.

“Each host country and city will bring its own unique flavour to the tournament, and fans from every corner of the globe can expect an exciting blend of T20 cricketing entertainment, local culture and warm hospitality. From classic rivalries to history making upsets and continental showdowns, fans can start looking forward to an action-packed month of games at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup next June, and we encourage everyone to get tickets as soon as they go on sale as we expect the demand to be high," he noted.

Meanwhile, Peter Hutton, chair of T20 World Cup Incorporated, the entity established in the USA to deliver the event, is excited at the opportunity.

“The USA is already one of cricket’s biggest audiences for ICC events and bringing the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup to New York City, Dallas and Florida is a massive opportunity to exponentially grow the sport. We’ve got three fantastic venues to host matches and we strongly encourage fans in the USA and around the world to start planning to secure their tickets for what will be a unique cricket spectacle featuring the best players in the world," said Hutton.

 

David Warner has said he is “relieved” to be reunited with his baggy green Australian cricket cap midway through his final Test match.

The opener issued a public plea for the cap’s return on Tuesday after it went missing in transit from Melbourne ahead of Australia’s third Test against Pakistan at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

The search for Warner’s “baggy green” has made headline news in Australia, with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese joining the calls for its return.

The 37-year-old revealed it had been found in an Instagram post on Friday.

He said: “I’m pleased and relieved that I have got my baggy back in my hands.

“Any cricketer knows how special their cap is and I’ll cherish this for the rest of my life.

“Very grateful to all those involved in locating it: the Qantas team, the freight company, the hotel and our own team management.

“It’s a load off my shoulders going into the last couple of days; I really appreciate it, so thank you all.”

Cricket Australia said it was uncertain about the circumstances in which Warner’s cap, along with a back-up, were returned.

In his initial appeal, Warner described the cap as “sentimental to me” and that the backpack which it was in had been taken from his luggage.

Warner was out for 34 in the first innings of the Sydney Test, his 112th and final red ball appearance for his country.

At a press conference on Monday, Warner announced he was also retiring from one-day cricket, but would still be available for the T20 format.

West Indies captain Hayley Matthews has been shortlisted for the Women’s Twenty20 International Player-of-the-Year honours in the International Cricket Council's 2023 awards.

Matthews, the number one-ranked ICC Women's T20I all-rounder put together a remarkable series of performances last year, as she racked up 700 runs in the year, the most by any player in a year in Women's T20Is. She also picked up 19 wickets at an average of 16.21 in a mere 14 matches for the year.

The 25-year-old Barbadian is up against three high-class players, with, England’s Sophie Ecclestone, the top ranked T20 international bowler, Australia’s Ellyse Perry, and Sri Lanka’s Chamari Athapaththu also nominated.

Matthews’ stellar display against Australia in a bilateral T20I series in the second half of the year, was one for the ages. During that series, she posted scores of an unbeaten 99, 132 and 79, as she proved to be a thorn to the Australian side.

Matthews’ extraordinary unbeaten 99 in the first game of the series was overshadowed by her mind-blowing 132 in a run-chase of 213 in Sydney. The world-record run-chase in women's T20Is saw Matthews break several records, including that of the highest individual score in a women’s T20I run-chase.

Her overall tally of 310 runs in the series is the most by any player in a women's T20I bilateral series. Matthews also enjoyed good form in the ICC Women's T20 World Cup, where she tallied 130 runs and took four wickets and four catches.

The hard-hitting Matthews produced a match-winning performance in a tight encounter against Ireland at the T20 World Cup. In that contest, she picked up four wickets and made a 34-ball 48, but her remarkable 132 against Australia overshadowed it all.

Having taken three wickets for 36 runs with the ball as Australia made a whopping 212, West Indies were faced with a daunting task in the run-chase, but nothing could have prepared anyone for Matthews’ innings.

She hit two fours and a six in the 17th over of the run-chase to raise her century off just 53 balls, and then clubbed Jess Jonassen for four fours in a row in the 19th over to bring the equation down to eight runs needed off six balls.

While Matthews was dismissed in the over, she had set the stage for one of the most outrageous women's T20I wins of all-time with her blistering 132 off just 64 balls. The innings was studded with 20 fours and five sixes, as 110 of her 132 runs came in boundaries.

Meanwhile, the men’s T20 shortlist includes 2022 winner Suryakumar Yadav of India, New Zealand’s Mark Chapman, Zimbabwe’s Sikandar Raza and Uganda’s Alpesh Ramjani – who helped his side qualify for their first ever World Cup.

Gerald Coetzee (South Africa), Yashasvi Jaiswal (India), Dilshan Madushanka (Sri Lanka) and Rachin Ravindra (New Zealand), compete for the men’s emerging player.

Nominees for Test and ODI awards will be released later this week.

West Indies cricket has again found itself in the firing line, as Australian Test legend Steve Waugh has called for the intervention of cricket's world governing body, International Cricket Council (ICC), to salvage the credibility of the game's longest format, after South Africa followed the Caribbean selector’s lead and opted for an understrength Test side.

West Indies recently named seven uncapped players in a weakened 15-man squad for two Tests against Australia later this month, while South Africa also selected seven debutants for their two-Test series in New Zealand next month.

This, as South Africa’s top players have been allowed to focus their efforts on the shorter format, as the New Zealand tour clashes with the country’s premier Twenty20 domestic tournament.

"It's going to happen if the South African Cricket Board are any indication of the future, keeping their best players at home," Waugh said.

"If I was New Zealand, I wouldn't even play the series. I don't know why they're even playing. Why would you when it shows a lack of respect for New Zealand cricket?

"It's pretty obvious what the problem is — the West Indies aren't sending their full-strength side [to Australia this summer]. They haven't picked a full-strength Test team for a couple of years now.

"Someone like Nicholas Pooran is really a Test batsman who doesn't play Test cricket. Jason Holder, probably their best player, is not playing now. Even Pakistan didn't send a full side [to Australia],” he argued.

Both Holder, the Caribbean side's leading all-rounder, and batting all-rounder Kyle Mayers, skipped the Australia tour to explore T20 franchise opportunities.

While he acknowledged there is little financial incentive for smaller nations to play Test cricket, Waugh called for a standardised fee to be implemented by the ICC.

"If the ICC or someone doesn't step in shortly then Test cricket doesn't become Test cricket because you're not testing yourself against the best players,” Waugh said.

"I understand why players don't come; they're not getting paid properly. I don't understand why ICC or the top countries who are making a lot of money don't just have a regulation set fee for Test matches which is a premium so [that] people are incentivised to play Test Cricket. Otherwise, they'll just play T10 or T20.

"The public are the ones who are going to suffer because it's not the full side playing so it's not Test cricket,” he added.

David Warner has pleaded for the return of his baggy green Australian cricket cap after it went missing from his bag on the eve of his final Test match.

In a video on Instagram, the veteran batsman said the cap was taken from his backpack during transit to Sydney ahead of Australia’s third Test against Pakistan at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

“This is my last resort to do this,” Warner said.

 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by David Warner (@davidwarner31)

 

“A couple of days ago, our bags got freighted via Qantas. We’ve gone through CCTV footage, they’ve got some blind spots apparently, we spoke to the Quay West Hotel who we absolutely trust and have gone through their cameras, no one’s come into our rooms.

“But unfortunately, someone has taken my backpack out of my actual luggage, which had my backpack and my girls’ presents in there, inside this backpack was my baggy green.

“It’s sentimental to me, it’s something I would love to have back in my hands walking out there come this week. If it is the backpack you really wanted, I have a spare one here, you won’t get into trouble.

“Please reach out to Cricket Australia or myself via my social media and I’m happy to give this to you if you return my baggy greens.”

The Sydney Test, which starts on Wednesday, marks the 37-year-old’s final red ball appearance for his country after more than a decade as Australia’s linchpin opener.

At a press conference on Monday, Warner announced he was also retiring from one-day cricket, but would still be available for the T20 format.

He said Australia’s upset victory over India in the World Cup final in November was his last 50-over match on the international stage.

He told reporters: “That was something that I had said through the World Cup, get through that, and winning it in India, I think that’s a massive achievement.

“So I’ll make that decision today, to retire from those forms, which does allow me to go and play some other leagues around the world and sort of get the one-day team moving forward a little bit.”

David Warner has pleaded for the return of his baggy green Australian cricket caps after they went missing from his bag on the eve of his final Test match.

In a video on Instagram, the veteran batsman said the caps were taken from his backpack during transit to Sydney ahead of Australia’s third Test against Pakistan at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

“This is my last resort to do this,” Warner said.

 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by David Warner (@davidwarner31)

 

“A couple of days ago, our bags got freighted via Qantas. We’ve gone through CCTV footage, they’ve got some blind spots apparently, we spoke to the Quay West Hotel who we absolutely trust and have gone through their cameras, no one’s come into our rooms.

“But unfortunately, someone has taken my backpack out of my actual luggage, which had my backpack and my girls’ presents in there, inside this backpack was my baggy greens.

“It’s sentimental to me, it’s something I would love to have back in my hands walking out there come this week. If it is the backpack you really wanted, I have a spare one here, you won’t get into trouble.

“Please reach out to Cricket Australia or myself via my social media and I’m happy to give this to you if you return my baggy greens.”

The Sydney Test, which starts on Wednesday, marks the 37-year-old’s final red ball appearance for his country after more than a decade as Australia’s linchpin opener.

At a press conference on Monday, Warner announced he was also retiring from one-day cricket, but would still be available for the T20 format.

The West Indies Test squad successfully arrived in Australia on Saturday to begin preparation for their two-test series against the reigning ICC World Test Champions and World Cup winners.

The first Test will begin on January 16 in Adelaide before the teams move to Brisbane for the second Test to begin on January 24.

The ‘Men in Maroon’ will then turn their attention to three ODIs from February 1-5 and three T20Is from February 9-13.

The West Indies last won a Test against Australia way back in 2003 and their last series win came in 1993.

Full squad: Kraigg Brathwaite (C), Alzarri Joseph (VC), Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Kirk McKenzie, Alick Athanaze, Kavem Hodge, Justin greaves, Joshua Da Silva, Akeem Jordan, Gudakesh Motie, Kemar Roach, Kevin Sinclair, Tevin Imlach, Shamar Joseph, Zachary McCaskie

 

West Coast Fever has retained premiership stars Jess Anstiss and Alice Teague-Neeld for three Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) League seasons, as well as Sunday Aryang and Jhaniele Fowler for a further two seasons.

The Club has added the experience Kelsey Browne in the mid-court for season 2024, while the arrivals of England Roses captain Fran Williams, and former Sunshine Coast Lightning player Kadie-Ann Dehaney will bolster the defence.

The future is bright for Fever with the signing of young guns Jordan Cransberg and Olivia Wilkinson for three years each, while the addition of Sunshine Girls goal-attack Shanice Beckford, is also expected to add impetus to the Perth-based club's charge.

Head Coach Dan Ryan said the Green Army should be excited about the familiar faces returning combined with the fresh injection of x-factor players.

“I’m so excited about what this team can become, and our mission is going to be to become the best team we possibly can be. All 10 players contributing, playing a role, using their skillsets and weapons to help get us across the line,” Ryan said.

“It’s going to be ferocious West Coast Fever like always, but we are going to look a little bit different and that’s what I’m really excited by," he added.

Ryan said the Club had a clear strategy during recruitment to ensure the team was very versatile. 

“I think the most important thing to take out of last season is that it really does take a full team of 10 to win the competition, which is what we saw from the Thunderbirds and Swifts,” he said.

“We’ve got a really deep squad. We’ve got positional coverage in every single position on the court, and we can roll the subs in any position without having to make too many shuffles across the court.

“I’m excited by enough continuity that we can keep doing what we’re doing that’s seen us be successful over the past couple of years.

“But we also have some really new, exciting players coming into our line-up that can make us change the game, shift our game plan, shift our strategies and that unpredictable nature is going to be a bit of a competitive edge for us.”

West Coast Fever will officially commence pre-season training in the new year. 

West Indian cricket and broadcasting icon Michael Holding has blasted the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) decision to charge Australian opener Usman Khawaja for wearing a black armband during the Perth Test against Pakistan.

Khawaja has been told by the ICC to keep his humanitarian appeal for the people of Palestine away from the cricket field. He was officially warned for wearing a black armband during the first Test between Australia and Pakistan in Perth.

He wanted to sport a black dove on his shoe and bat in the upcoming Boxing Day Test but even that was rejected by the ICC, and Holding says he is not “surprised” by their stance of “hypocrisy”.

“The ICC regulations say re messaging ‘approval shall not be granted for messages which relate to political, religious or racial activities or causes,” Holding explained.

“So how the f*** people were allowed to take a knee for BLM (Black Lives Matter), and stumps were covered with LGBTQ colors?” Holding questioned while speaking to The Weekend Australian.

Holding argued that the ICC has not made their stance clear.

“If it would have been some other organisation with a consistent track record, I would have been surprised, but not the ICC," he declared.

The fast-bowling legend accused the ICC of being “hypocrite” and have shown again that “they lack spine as a governing body”.

Like Holding, other observers believe that by banning Khawaja's move, as well as his subsequent request to adorn his bat with the peace symbol of a dove holding an olive branch, the ICC has inadvertently boosted his message, while revealing its own hypocrisy.

After assisting Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls to break a lengthy 16-year medal drought when they secured bronze at this year’s Vitality Netball World Cup in South Africa, Shanice Beckford toyed with the idea of retirement.

At that time, Beckford was convinced that she had accomplished all she set out to in a fairly successful career spanning 10 years. After all, she was also a part of three teams that won Commonwealth Games medals in 2014, 2018 and 2022, that goes along with Fast5 medals in 2013, 2017 and 2018, as well as a 2015 stint in England’s Superleague.

The only void Beckford felt as she reflected on her journey, was the fact that she didn’t parade her skills in the Australian Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) League, though she had already given up on that dream.

But as fate would have it, a one-year deal with SSN outfit West Coast Fever came at an opportune time for Beckford, who was virtually at her wits' end.

“I am still processing to be honest. The thought of playing in the SSN has been a lingering desire of mine for years, and I had given up on the idea, so I am beyond elated that this opportunity that I have been waiting for has now materialized at this point in my career,” Beckford told SportsMax.TV.

“I feel incredibly fortunate, as this opportunity comes at a critical juncture in my life. Lately, I have been struggling to find the motivation to play netball at all levels, but this signing has reignited my passion and gives me a new sense of purpose. I am grateful for this saving grace and will do everything in my power to make the most of this incredible opportunity,” she noted.

“It is not just a dream come true, but a significant milestone in my netball career and life. The prospect of playing in the SNL has always been a driving force that has kept me motivated and inspired me to become a better player. This is a new chapter and phase in my journey, and I am ready to embrace it,” a beaming Beckford added.

The talented goal-attack will join Sunshine Girls teammates, ace shooter Jhaniele Fowler, and defender Kadie-Ann Dehaney at the Perth-based franchise for the 2024 season.

Besides the fact that it is an opportunity to add to her accomplishments, Beckford is well aware of the responsibility that comes with her new contract. It is a responsibility that she embraces but she is also focused on her commitment to her body.

“I am taking the same steps that everyone does while in a professional environment. It is important to be training at a high level, but it is also equally important to make sure you are taking care of your body so that you can be fit to perform at the highest level.

“So, for this new chapter in my life, it is almost like a whole new ball game. Although I am unable to join my team in Australia at the moment, I am keeping myself physically fit by following the necessary training programs, and mentally, I am working on getting my head in right space, basically a renewed mindset, and just preparing myself for the challenges that lie ahead,” Beckford shared.

To say that the 28-year-old has become one of world netball’s most influential and best performed goal attacks, would be an understatement. With a significant workload and craftiness on court, a deadly accurate shot, and a cheerful personality, it is safe to say that Beckford will have little issues fitting into the new environment.

In fact, it would come as no surprise if the Dan Ryan-coached 2022 champions were to extend Beckford’s contract at the end of the season. But for now, the 5ft 9in tall goal-attack is focused on the immediate task at hand.

“I'm feeling a bit nervous and anxious, but also very excited to bring my years of experience to this new opportunity and to continue learning, as there's always room for improvement. I have the right tools to play at a high level. So, my overall goal is to make the most of this new challenge so that I can continue to grow as both a person and a player,” Beckford declared.

“I just want to maintain an open mind and be willing to embrace new ideas and perspectives. Consistency is also crucial as it helps to build momentum and produce results. Hard work is a given, but being open to learning new ways of doing things is equally important. Finally, it's also about having a great season and more importantly, having fun while doing it, building strong relationships, and making meaningful progress,” she ended.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) Senior Men’s Selection Panel on Wednesday announced the 15-member squad to travel to Australia to play a two-Test series as part of the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) from 17 to 29 January 2024. 

West Indies will again be led by Captain Kraigg Brathwaite, with fast bowler Alzarri Joseph named as the new Vice Captain. The squad will arrive in Australia on 30 December and will hold a preparation camp from 2 – 9 January in Adelaide, followed by a Four (4) Day First Class warm-up match against a Cricket Australia XI at the Karen Rolton Oval (KRO) in Adelaide from 10 – 13 January. 

The selectors have named several uncapped players in the squad. Among them are batter Zachary McCaskie, wicket-keeper Tevin Imlach; allrounders Justin Greaves, Kavem Hodge and Kevin Sinclair, as well as fast bowlers Akeem Jordan and Shamar Joseph.

This, as Jayden Seales is unavailable for selection due to a shoulder injury, while Jason Holder and Kyle Mayers are unavailable as both expressed a preference to explore Twenty20 Franchise opportunities in January.

Speaking about the make-up of the squad, CWI Lead Selector, The Most Honourable Dr. Desmond Haynes said: “The squad has been affected by the unavailability of some key players.  However, we have had a very strong red-ball program being run over the past year, which has unearthed significant talent throughout the region.  The selected players have passed each test given to them and must now be given the opportunity to showcase their skills in the test arena. Australia away is always a challenge, but we are confident in our team.”

The two teams will again compete for the Frank Worrell Trophy – named in honor of the legendary West Indies all-rounder and captain. The first Test will be a red ball fixture at the Adelaide Oval from 17 to 21 January, and the second, a pink ball Day/Night contest at the Gabba in Brisbane from 25 to 29 January.

This is West Indies second Test Series out of a total of six to play in the new 2023-2025 ICC WTC cycle. The Test Series against Australia will be the first of three away series that West Indies will play in the WTC.  West Indies drew one Test match and lost one against India in August.

Following the Test Series, West Indies will face Australia in three One-Day International and three T20 Internationals, and these squads will be announced at a later date.

FULL SQUAD

1. Kraigg Brathwaite (Captain)
2. Alzarri Joseph (Vice-Captain)
3. Tagenarine Chanderpaul
4. Kirk McKenzie
5. Alick Athanaze
6. Kavem Hodge
7. Justin Greaves
8. Joshua DaSilva
9. Akeem Jordan
10. Gudakesh Motie
11. Kemar Roach
12. Kevin Sinclair 
13. Tevin Imlach
14. Shamar Joseph
15. Zachary McCaskie

Match Schedule (start times in brackets)

17-21 January: 1st Test at Adelaide Oval, Adelaide
(Start Time: 15-20 January 7:30pm Eastern Caribbean/6:30pm Jamaica)

25-29 January: 2nd Test at the Gabba, Brisbane

(Start Time: 12 midnight Eastern Caribbean (24-28 January 11pm Jamaica)

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