Defending champions Chennai Super Kings began the 2024 Indian Premier League with a comfortable six-wicket win over the Royal Challengers Bengaluru at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chepauk on Friday.

RCB first posted 173-6 from their 20 overs after winning the toss.

Wicket-keeper/batsman Anuj Rawat top scored with a 25-ball 48 while Dinesh Karthik and captain Faf Du Plessis provided good support with 38 and 35, respectively.

Mustafizur Rahman was excellent with the ball for the Super Kings with 4-29 from his four overs.

CSK then used contributions from all their batsmen to easily reach 176-4 with eight balls to spare.

Debutant Rachin Ravindra led the way with 37 while Shivam Dube (34*), Ajinkya Rahane (27) and Ravindra Jadeja (25*) also played well.

Cameron Green took 2-27 from his three overs for RCB.

Full Scores: Royal Challengers Bengaluru 173-6 off 20 overs (Anuj Rawat 48, Dinesh Karthik 38*, Mustafizur Rahman 4-29)

Chennai Super Kings 176-4 off 18.4 overs (Rachin Ravindra 37, Shivam Dube 34*, Ajinkya Rahane 27, Ravindra Jadeja 25*, Cameron Green 2-27)

Jamaica moved four points clear at the top of the 2024 CWI T20 Blaze points table thanks to a six-wicket win over Barbados at Warner Park on Thursday.

NaiJanni Cumberbatch (25) and Aaliyah Alleyne (16) were the only two Bajan batters to reach double-figures as they were reduced to 63 all out off 17.3 overs after winning the toss and batting first.

Chinelle Henry did the bulk of the damage with the ball for the Jamaicans with 4-9 from 3.3 overs while captain Stafanie Taylor took 2-9 from three overs.

Jamaica then needed only 11.4 overs to reach 69-4 and secure their third win in as many games.

Rashada Williams top scored with 21 while Taylor made 15.

In Thursday’s other games, T&T Women secured a narrow two-wicket win over the Windward Islands and the Leeward Islands Women successfully defended 104 to defeat Guyana Women by four runs.

Full Scores: Windward Islands Women 81 all out off 20 overs (Jannilea Glasgow 36, Shalini Samaroo 3-14, Karishma Ramharack 2-14)

Trinidad & Tobago Women 84-8 off 18.2 overs (Djenaba Joseph 43, Zaida James 3-10)

Leeward Islands Women 104-9 off 20 overs (Divya Saxena 42, Nyia Latchman 2-10, Sheneta Grimmond 2-19, Ashmini Munisar 2-23)

Guyana Women 100-9 off 20 overs (Shabika Gajnabi 44, Jahzara Claxton 3-13, Reniece Boyce 2-15)

After three rounds, CG United Super50 Cup champions Jamaica are top of the table with 13 points followed by Trinidad & Tobago (9), Leeward Islands (9), Guyana (4), Barbados (4) and Windward Islands (0).

 

 

Andrew Flintoff has been tipped as a future England head coach by director of men’s cricket Rob Key.

Key has been integral in offering the 2005 Ashes hero a path back from showbusiness to elite sport after the former captain suffered serious facial injuries in a car crash while filming Top Gear.

Flintoff accepted his friend’s invitation to anonymously attend games at last year’s Ashes series and has since accepted mentoring roles with England’s white-ball side as well as the England Lions and Under-19s.

He will further build his CV by leading Northern Superchargers in The Hundred this summer and has been inked in to assist Matthew Mott at the T20 World Cup in June.

With fans and players alike welcoming the return of one of the country’s most popular figures of recent times, he is already being spoken about as a possible successor and Key can see why.

“Without question, I think he would be an excellent head coach,” Key told the Daily Telegraph.

“He will be a worthy candidate going forward. When that time comes and whoever is in this job, and it might be outside of my time, they would be stupid not to look at him.

“For all the things he has done, cricket is always the thing he goes back to. Like all of us, it is the thing we know better than anything else and the thing we love.

“It is almost like he has no choice. It is what he thinks about the most after his family.”

Key praised Flintoff’s ability to understand the highs and lows of international cricket and sees him as a natural working with the the current crop.

“Flintoff is a leader like (Ben) Stokes. He is not going to need to learn leadership qualities,” said Key.

“He has those in abundance, which is what you need at the top level. He has that empathy that Stokes has as well as being a great player.

“He knows what it is like to nick off and to struggle. All these things as a leader, your interactions with people, mean you can impact people in a positive or negative way with everything you do. Fred is aware of that, and not many are aware of that, and he understands how to use that gift with people.”

Graham Onions believes both he and his boyhood county Durham are “back where we belong” as they prepare for a top-flight return eight years on from their “incredibly harsh” relegation.

Onions was a key part of the side treated with unprecedented severity by the England and Wales Cricket Board in 2016, demoted to Division Two and hit with a 48-point penalty for the following season after falling into serious financial trouble.

He left for Lancashire in 2017 as the club’s record wicket-taker, part of a talent drain that also saw the likes of Scott Borthwick, Mark Stoneman and Keaton Jennings move on, but returned from Old Trafford at the start of the year as lead bowling coach.

The team he rejoins is finally back at the top table of English cricket after a stirring promotion season under Ryan Campbell, with Onions delighted to be part of Durham’s long-awaited comeback.

“The punishment was extremely harsh. A lot of people would say it was completely wrong and I get that because it wasn’t based on our performances,” he told the PA news agency.

“A lot happened – financial troubles and a lot of uncertainty – and it got messy. Did it leave a chip on the shoulder? Yeah, a little bit. The members here will feel ‘we’re going to show you’.

“There’s been years where we haven’t gone straight back up and that does surprise me but we’re in a good place now. We’re back to where we belong now and we just need to go out and show how good we are.

“I’m excited to be back home, I’ve still got the Geordie twang and the weather hasn’t changed! As a young lad I was given the opportunity to play for this amazing county and that seems a long time ago.

“But now I’ve got the chance to come back and work with some incredibly talented players and I feel very privileged again. I’m proud of where I’m from, it’s important to me being from the north-east.”

Onions was part of Durham’s impressive roll call of fast bowlers to represent England and now has responsibility for overseeing an attack containing two more, Matthew Potts and Brydon Carse.

Potts is nudging his way up the Test pecking order after excelling on the England Lions tour of India this winter and a strong start to his first Division One campaign, which begins at home to Hampshire on April 5, could make the 25-year-old an irresistible pick.

“He’s a determined lad and he wants to do well for us to force his way into that side and stay there,” said Onions.

“I don’t see any reason why he can’t do that. He’s got the work ethic, he’s got the skills. Wickets are your currency and if you keep knocking over top players, you will get recognised.”

The Leeward Islands Hurricanes are firmly in control of their fifth round 2024 West Indies Championship fixture against the Jamaica Scorpions at Sabina Park after a dominant display with the ball on Thursday’s day two.

The Scorpions, who began day two 173-6, were eventually bowled out for 221 off 68.2 overs.

Carlos Brown added 12 runs to his overnight 68 before becoming one of Rakheem Cornwall’s three wickets.

Brown’s knock came off 178 balls and included 12 fours.

Jeremiah Louis took 3-34 from his 11 overs while Cornwall took 3-69 from his 22 overs.

Collin Archibald and Daniel Doram also took a pair of wickets, each.

The Hurricanes then replied with 213 all out off 58.3 overs thanks to 62 from Justin Greaves and 53 from Keacy Carty.

Greaves faced 113 deliveries and hit two fours and two sixes while Carty hit eight boundaries in his 80-ball knock.

Peat Salmon starred with the ball for the hosts with 5-50 from 23 overs while Ramaal Lewis took 4-80 from 17.3 overs.

Batting a second time, the Scorpions struggled to 59-4 at stumps, a lead of just 49 runs.

Kirk McKenzie (24*) and Peat Salmon (2*) are the batsmen at the crease.

Jeremiah Louis has taken 2-11 from six overs so far.

Full Scores: Jamaica Scorpions 221 all out off 68.2 overs (Carlos Brown 80, Romaine Morris 42, Jeremiah Louis 3-34, Rakheem Cornwall 3-69, Collin Archibald 2-23, Daniel Doram 2-27) & 59-4 off 18 overs (Kirk McKenzie 24*, Brandon King 19, Jeremiah Louis 2-11)

Leeward Islands Hurricanes 231 all out off 58.3 overs (Justin Greaves 62, Keacy Carty 53, Kieran Powell 41, Jewel Andrew 32, Peat Salmon 5-50, Ramaal Lewis 4-80)

At Coolidge, leaders Windward Islands Volcanoes trail the Guyana Harpy Eagles by 363 runs at stumps on day two.

Full Scores: Guyana Harpy Eagles 308 off 80.5 overs (Kevin Sinclair 74, Kevlon Anderson 48, Gudakesh Motie 46, Veerasammy Permaul 30, Darel Cyrus 5-67) & 168-1 off 57 overs (Tevin Imlach 88*, Tagenarine Chanderpaul 78*)

Windward Islands Volcanoes 113 all out off 31.5 overs (Tevyn Walcott 41, Isai Thorne 4-38, Ronaldo Alimohamed 3-30, Gudakesh Motie 2-12)

At the Queen’s Park Oval, Trinidad & Tobago Red Force trail the Barbados Pride by seven runs at stumps on day two.

Full Scores: Trinidad & Tobago Red Force 172 off 53.5 overs (Amir Jangoo 93*, Jason Holder 4-47, Chemar Holder 3-28, Shaquille Cumberbatch 3-50) & 100-3 off 36 overs (Kjorn Ottley 39, Amir Jangoo 30*, Jomel Warrican 2-19)

Barbados Pride 279 all out off 87.3 overs (Jonathan Drakes 72, Zachary McCaskie 46, Shane Dowrich 40, Jason Holder 34, Kevin Wickham 34, Kraigg Brathwaite 30, Khary Pierre 3-54, Jayden Seales 2-33, Bryan Charles 2-57)

At the Sir Frank Worrell Memorial Ground, Combined Campuses and Colleges trail West Indies Academy by 113 runs at stumps on day two.

Full Scores: West Indies Academy 300 all out off 78.3 overs (Carlon Bowen-Tuckett 76*, Johan Layne 63, Joshua Dorne 36, Joshua Bishop 32, Yannic Ottley 5-47, Jediah Blades 3-59) & 44-1 off 11.5 overs (Kadeem Alleyne 32)

Combined Campuses and Colleges 231 all out off 80.2 overs (Demario Richards 59, Zishan Motara 56, Ashmead Nedd 4-51, Joshua Bishop 2-44, Johan Layne 2-60).

 

The Republic Bank Caribbean Premier League (CPL) created a record total economic impact of US$101,683,135 for Guyana during the 2023 tournament.

 There were six regular season matches and four playoff matches in Guyana between the 13th and 24th September and the tournament concluded in front of a sell-out home crowd at the Providence Stadium with the Guyana Amazon Warriors claiming their first CPL title.

 The Economic impact study was compiled by World renowned research organisation, YouGov Sport who reported on the impact CPL had on the local economy. A lot of factors are taken into account, though the key economic drivers are organiser spend, visitor spend and media value for Guyana.

During the CPL window, the tournament was responsible for filling a record 23,217 hotel room nights in Guyana, made up by CPL’s significant cohort which included players, coaches, administrators, TV and media crews, team owner groups, league and franchise event management teams, alongside overseas visitors who arrived to watch the games. A large part of the total economic impact figure came from the money spent by these overseas visitors who spent a considerable amount of time in Guyana during the CPL matches, enjoying the many activities put on as part of the Cricket Carnival.

Guyana also benefited from the tournament being broadcast around the world with CPL’s total audience reaching 853.5million viewers. As always, the tournament worked closely with the local tourism authorities to create world class content which highlighted the fantastic eco-tourism opportunities that exist in this stunning country. These exclusive features and vignettes were shown during the CPL matches, further promoting the tourism message to a global audience.

Pete Russell, Republic Bank CPL’s CEO, said: “The conclusion of the 2023 tournament was certainly dramatic, as all eyes were on Guyana to see the Amazon Warriors claim their first CPL title. This was a fantastic moment for the country and it is extremely rewarding to have seen both the social and economic impact the tournament had in Guyana, with the figures released today confirming what we all felt during those memorable 11 days last September.

“Having the showpiece finale the Biggest Party in Sport in Guyana was certainly a huge success and these numbers show how sports tourism can leave a significant and lasting legacy.”

Kamrul Baksh, Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority, said: “The Caribbean Premier League (CPL) has been a game-changer for Guyana’s tourism industry. More specifically, since becoming the host nation of the CPL finals in 2022, Guyana’s visitor arrivals have significantly increased by 131% from 2022 to 2023. This is the highest number of visitors for September on record. In just two years, the rush of cricket fans and travellers from around the world has filled our hotels and restaurants and provided opportunities for local businesses to thrive. The CPL has not only brought exciting matches but has also displayed Guyana’s rich culture and natural beauty worldwide, reinforcing our status as a leading tourism destination. We aim to capitalise on this success, leveraging sports tourism to drive steady economic development.”

 

In a thrilling turn of events at the 2024 draft of The Hundred, five West Indies power-hitting batters clinched top-bracket contracts, setting the stage for an electrifying season ahead. The draft, held on Wednesday, saw these dynamic players securing lucrative deals worth £125,000 each, promising an explosive display of cricketing prowess when the latest season of The Hundred kicks off on July 23.

The Northern Superchargers made the headlines by selecting Nicholas Pooran as their first pick, highlighting the team's strategic focus on acquiring top-tier talent. Pooran's exceptional batting prowess and aggressive style make him a formidable force on the field, adding depth and flair to the Superchargers' lineup.

London Spirit secured the services of two West Indian powerhouses, with Andre Russell and Shimron Hetmyer joining their ranks. Known for their ability to smash boundaries with ease, Russell and Hetmyer are expected to bring an exciting brand of cricket to the Spirit camp, captivating fans with their explosive stroke play.

Meanwhile, Southern Brave strengthened their batting lineup by acquiring the services of Kieron Pollard, adding the experienced all-rounder's firepower to their arsenal. Pollard's ability to turn the game on its head with his big-hitting prowess makes him a valuable asset for the Brave as they aim for glory in The Hundred.

Rovman Powell emerged as a top pick for Trent Rockets, further solidifying the West Indian presence in the tournament. Powell's aggressive batting style and knack for scoring quick runs make him a perfect fit for the Rockets' lineup, providing the team with a dynamic middle-order batsman capable of changing the course of a game single-handedly.

While the draft brought joy to these five West Indian stars, there was disappointment for Trinidad and Tobago's mystery spinner Sunil Narine, who went undrafted. Despite his absence from the draft, Narine remains a formidable force in the world of cricket, with his unique bowling skills and all-round abilities.

A four-wicket haul from Jason Holder put the Barbados Pride in a strong position over the Trinidad & Tobago Red Force at stumps on day one of their fifth round 2024 West Indies Championship fixture at the Queen’s Park Oval on Wednesday.

Holder starred with 4-47 from 17 overs as the Pride restricted the Red Force to 172 all out from just 53.5 overs after the Red Force won the toss.

Amidst the carnage, Amir Jangoo played brilliantly to finish 93* off 159 balls including 14 fours.

Chemar Holder and Shaquille Cumberbatch provided good support for Holder with 3-28 off 10.5 overs and 3-50 off 11 overs, respectively.

At stumps, the Pride reached 99-4 off 35.4 overs. Zachary McCaskie top scored with 46 while captain Kraigg Brathwaite made 30.

Khary Pierre has so far taken 2-18 from 12 overs.

Full Scores: Trinidad & Tobago Red Force 172 off 53.5 overs (Amir Jangoo 93*, Jason Holder 4-47, Chemar Holder 3-28, Shaquille Cumberbatch 3-50)

Barbados Pride 99-4 off 35.4 overs (Zachary McCaskie 46, Kraigg Brathwaite 30, Khary Pierre 2-18)

At Coolidge, leaders Windward Islands Volcanoes trail the Guyana Harpy Eagles by 296 runs at stumps on day one.

Full Scores: Guyana Harpy Eagles 308 off 80.5 overs (Kevin Sinclair 74, Kevlon Anderson 48, Gudakesh Motie 46, Veerasammy Permaul 30, Darel Cyrus 5-67)

Windward Islands Volcanoes 12-0 off four overs

At Sabina Park, the Jamaica Scorpions were 173-6 off 51.4 overs at stumps.

Full Scores: Jamaica Scorpions 173-6 off 51.4 overs (Carlos Brown 68*, Romaine Morris 42, Jeremiah Louis 3-34, Collin Archibald 2-23)

At the Sir Frank Worrell Memorial Ground, Combined Campuses and Colleges trail West Indies Academy by 289 runs at stumps.

Full Scores: West Indies Academy 300 all out off 78.3 overs (Carlon Bowen-Tuckett 76*, Johan Layne 63, Joshua Dorne 36, Joshua Bishop 32, Yannic Ottley 5-47, Jediah Blades 3-59)

Combined Campuses and Colleges 11-1 off five overs

Jason Roy and David Warner were overlooked in The Hundred draft as Andrew Flintoff kick-started a West Indies rush by snapping up Nicholas Pooran with his first pick.

Roy was released by Oval Invincibles after a modest past couple of seasons and a £100,000 base price plus his expected participation in Major League Cricket, which has a minor schedule clash with The Hundred this year, seems to have put off potential bidders.

England’s 2019 World Cup-winning opening batter was not the only big name snub as Australia left-hander Warner, New Zealand’s Kane Williamson and Pakistan’s Babar Azam were also unsold.

Instead, there was a distinct Caribbean flavour at the outset of the men’s draft as five of the seven buys in the top-tier £125,000 bracket went on big-hitting Windies stars.

Former England captain Flintoff, having been appointed Northern Superchargers men’s head coach in November in his first official role since returning to cricket, plumped for Pooran, who was bought for 2million US dollars (around £1.56million) in this year’s Indian Premier League auction.

After finishing bottom of the pile last year, the Superchargers had the first chance to fill up their squads at an event hosted at the Shard on Wednesday and Flintoff also added Daniel Sams for £100,000, Tom Lawes for £50,000 and Graham Clark for £40,000 to his roster.

London Spirit offered £125,000 deals to Andre Russell and Shimron Hetmyer while Rovman Powell and Kieron Pollard are set to receive the same remuneration from Trent Rockets and Southern Brave respectively.

As there is no schedule clash between The Hundred and the Caribbean Premier League this year, many teams have stocked up on proven Windies talents.

Welsh Fire paid £125,000 for Tom Kohler-Cadmore as did Birmingham Phoenix for Pakistan quick Naseem Shah, while England duo Ollie Pope and Dawid Malan were purchased for £50,000 by Oval Invincibles and London Spirit respectively.

Mark Wood was also conspicuously overlooked at a reserve price of £100,000 for a tournament scheduled to start on July 23 and run to August 18, although England stringently manage his workload and it seems likely the express quick will be involved in a Test against the West Indies starting on July 26.

Those who were disregarded in the draft could still feature this year, swapping in for anyone who drops out at their base price limit or higher. For example, Shaheen Shah Afridi went to Welsh Fire for £100,000 but if he was unavailable, the Cardiff-based team could select Roy or Wood as a replacement.

A total of 75 spots were filled, including 26 for the overseas contingent, across both drafts. In the women’s draft, Birmingham Phoenix retained England wicketkeeper-batter Amy Jones as their first pick.

With vaunted Australia stars Meg Lanning, Ashleigh Gardner and Beth Mooney all in the reckoning, it was a curious selection from the Phoenix, who added another two wicketkeepers to their ranks in Richa Ghosh and Seren Smale.

Mooney, the world’s number one T20 batter, was chosen by Manchester Originals while former Australia captain Lanning, who announced her international retirement late last year, was also in the top women’s pay bracket of £50,000 and is set to join England skipper Heather Knight at London Spirit.

Gardner and Annabel Sutherland also got top whack with Trent Rockets and Northern Superchargers respectively, as did Sri Lanka’s Chamari Athapaththu at Oval Invincibles and India’s Smriti Mandhana at Southern Brave.

Jemimah Rodrigues, Deandra Dottin and Suzie Bates were among the high-profile players not to get deals.

Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago all secured wins in the second round of the 2024 CWI Women’s T20 Blaze at Warner Park in St. Kitts on Tuesday.

In the day’s early game, Barbados secured a 19-run win over the Windward Islands.

The defending champions first scored 123-5 from their 20 overs after winning the toss and deciding to bat.

Opener Trishan Holder led the way with a 54-ball 68 including eight fours and a six while Aaliyah Alleyne provided good support with 28 off 27 balls including three fours.

Zaida James was the best bowler on the day for the Windwards with 2-28 from her four overs.

Erin Deane (2-12 off four overs) and Alleyne (2-17 off three overs) then starred with the ball for Barbados to restrict the Windwards to 104-8 from their 20 overs.

Captain Afy Fletcher tried her best with a top score of 28 while Namiah Marcellin hit 19.

In the day’s second game, Trinidad & Tobago dominated the Leeward Islands on the way to a comfortable nine-wicket win.

The Leewards, after winning the toss, were restricted to a paltry 78-6 from their 20 overs.

Jahzara Claxton, Divya Saxena and Shebani Bhaskar were the only batters to reach double figures with 25, 17 and 13, respectively, against 1-6 off four overs from Steffi Soogrim and 1-13, each, from Karishma Ramharack and Samara Ramnath.

T&T then needed only 11.4 overs to reach 79-1 and secure the win. Shunelle Sawh and Djenaba Joseph were the not out batters with 20* and 22*, respectively. Captain Britney Cooper also contributed 21.

The day’s final game saw Jamaica get their second win in as many games with a five-wicket win over Guyana.

After winning the toss, Guyana were only able to muster up 107-7 from their 20 overs.

Mandy Mangru and Captain Shemaine Campbelle led the Guyanese batting with 36 and 33, respectively.

Jamaica Captain Stafanie Taylor was excellent with the ball on her way to 2-12 from her four overs while Chinelle Henry also bowled well for her 2-22 from four overs.

Rashada Williams then followed up her 52 from the first game with 42 to help Jamaica reach 108-5 with eleven balls to spare.

Taylor provided good support with 33 as Nyia Latchman took 2-15 from 3.1 overs for Guyana.

The competition with continue with round three on Thursday with Trinidad & Tobago facing the Windward Islands, Jamaica facing Barbados and Guyana facing the Leeward Islands.

 

West Indies Women will tour Pakistan for a limited-overs series, comprising three ODIs and five T20Is, scheduled to begin on April 18.

The three ODIs will form a part of the ICC Women's Championship 2022-25, and will take place on April 18, 21 and 23.

It will be followed by a five-match T20I series from April 26 to May 3, which will provide both sides with plenty of time to finalize their preparations for this year's ICC Women's T20 World Cup.

All matches games will be played at the National Bank Stadium (NBS) in Karachi.

This will be West Indies women's second tour of the country since 2021. They last visited Pakistan in November 2021 for three ODIs, which they won.

The upcoming ODI series will be Pakistan women’s fourth at home, having earlier hosted Sri Lanka (June 2022), Ireland (November 2022) and South Africa (September 2023).

Pakistan are currently third in the ICC Women's Championship standings with 16 points, while West Indies are towards the bottom at ninth with eight points.

The T20Is will also kick start preparations for both teams in the build-up to the Women's T20 World Cup, scheduled to take place in Bangladesh in September.

Pakistan's Head of Women’s Cricket Tania Mallick said the series forms part of a strategic move.

"We extend a warm welcome to the West Indies women's team to Pakistan for the upcoming series. Hosting the fourth women's championship series at home within the 2022-25 cycle is a testament to PCB's commitment to promoting women's cricket and providing our players with opportunities to shine on the international stage," Mallick said.

“The forthcoming series against West Indies is not just about cricket; it's about developing relationships and strengthening bonds between cricketing nations. The current position of the Pakistan women’s team reflects our determination and dedication, and we aim to collect maximum points from the three championship matches at home,” she added.

Series schedule

18 Apr – First ODI, Karachi (ICC Women’s Championship)

21 Apr – Second ODI, Karachi (ICC Women’s Championship)

23 Apr – Third ODI, Karachi (ICC Women’s Championship)

26 Apr – First T20I, Karachi

28 Apr – Second T20I, Karachi

30 Apr – Third T20I, Karachi

2 May – Fourth T20I, Karachi

3 May – Fifth T20I, Karachi

 

Despite the pressure to live up to expectations where delivering another ICC Twenty20 (T20) World Cup title is concerned, West Indies all-rounder, Jason Holder, says it is important that players also enjoy the experience of the global showpiece to be hosted in United States and the Caribbean from June 1-29.

Holder, who expressed his excitement ahead of the tournament, believes the Darren Sammy-coached team possesses enough firepower to prove as competitive as any other team, but is also mindful that efficient execution will be crucial to their chances of securing the title.

“We've got a team with depth. I think it is very, very important to have depth. We've got mostly two-dimensional cricketers…some three, and it's a matter for us just to come and deliver,” Holder said.

“I think like anybody else in the competition, I think we’ve got really good chances, we've got to hold our nerve, deliver, and enjoy doing what we're doing. I think we wouldn't be a West Indies team if we didn't enjoy what we're doing and play the cricket we know how to play,” he added.

That said, Holder, 32, pointed to the significance of starting the tournament –which bowls off with United States against Canada at the Grand Prairie stadium, in Texas –on a high, to set the foundation for how they want to proceed throughout.

“We’ll probably know the conditions better than anybody else. T20 cricket is one of those formats where it doesn’t matter the names on paper, it’s all about what you deliver on the day. And it’s really important for us to start the competition well and set a really good precedent going throughout the entire competition,” Holder reasoned.

Cricket’s shortest format remains a strong suit for West Indies, who won both their T20 World Cup titles in 2012 and 2016 under Sammy’s captaincy.

The regional side again showcased their prowess when they won T20 series against South Africa, India and England in 2023, and posted three successive 200-plus scores in Australia earlier this year, despite losing that series 2-1. Those results, coupled with their current vein of preparations, have left Holder upbeat about the prospects for the tournament.

“I think our prep coming into the World Cup when it comes to a match-play perspective has been really good. We’ve won the last three out of four series and more than likely we’ll be going into this World Cup in good spirits,” Holder said.

“There’s lots of cricket going on, plenty of T20 cricket leading up to the World Cup which a lot of boys will be involved in. So, I think preparations-wise, I think we’ll be in good stead heading into this competition,” the former captain ended.

West Indies have been installed in Group C alongside New Zealand, Afghanistan, Papua New Guinea and Uganda.

The Windward Islands Volcanoes hold a narrow 3.2-point lead over the Leeward Islands Volcanoes entering the final three rounds of the 2024 West Indies Championship.

The Windwards suffered their first loss of the season in round four last week, going down by six wickets against the Trinidad & Tobago Red Force at the Queen’s Park Oval.

They will enter their fifth-round tussle with the Guyana Harpy eagles at Coolidge in Antigua beginning on Wednesday on 67.4 points.

The Hurricanes beat the Combined Campuses & College’s by three wickets in round four at the Sir Frank Worrell Memorial Ground to move to 64.2 points in second.

The Jamaica Scorpions, who finished at the foot of the table last season with 25.6 points, are currently third with 50.2 points on the back of their second win of the season, a two-wicket win over the West Indies Academy at Sabina Park.

The Scorpions will face the Hurricanes at Sabina Park in round five.

The Barbados Pride, on the back of a 33-run defeat at the hands of defending champions Guyana Harpy Eagles at Coolidge, are fourth with 48.2 points, one point ahead of the Trinidad & Tobago Red Force in fifth.

Both teams will do battle at the Queen’s Park Oval in round five.

The standings are rounded out by the Harpy Eagles (46.2), the West Indies Academy (30.8) and the Combined Campuses & Colleges (19.8).

The Academy and CCC will face off at the Sir Frank Worrell Memorial Ground in round five.

All round five matches will begin on Wednesday.

 

 

Two-time champion Chris Gayle and United States star Ali Khan lit up the iconic skyscraper of New York’s Empire State Building, which marked the official launch of the 2024 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Trophy Tour.

Gayle, who ignited the game’s shortest format before his retirement, had the honour of pulling the lever to light up New York’s most iconic building in the navy and magenta colours of the event. The former Jamaica and West Indies batsman also showcased the trophy which 20 teams will compete for in the June 1-29 tournament across the West Indies and United States.

The event marks the first time an ICC World Cup will be held in United States, including eight matches at the brand new, state-of-the-art modular 34,000 capacity stadium in Nassau County, New York. Newly renovated existing venues Grand Prairie Cricket Stadium in Dallas and Broward County Stadium in Lauderhill, will each host four fixtures.

Co-hosts West Indies have a rich history in T20 cricket, having won the T20 World Cup twice, with popular Caribbean tourist destinations, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Guyana, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago all hosting matches.

The ‘Out of this World’ Trophy Tour will reach 15 countries across four continents as it visits iconic sporting teams and stadia, famous landmarks, and legendary cricketers, while also giving fans the chance to get a glimpse of T20 cricket’s biggest global prize. In addition to visiting all host venues across the West Indies and United States, the Trophy tour will also visit emerging Americas cricket countries Argentina, Brazil, and Canada, enabling new fans to connect with what will be a landmark event in the region.

ICC General Manager, Marketing and Communications, Claire Furlong said the anticipation has been heightened as the historic tournament is now less than three months away.

“As we count down to the World Cup, the Trophy Tour provides fans with the opportunity to be part of the event in locations across the globe. The Tour will travel extensively across the Americas, igniting the passion of both new and existing fans to share in the excitement of T20 cricket's pinnacle global event coming to the region and what better way to kick it off than by lighting up one of the world’s most iconic buildings in one of the world’s most iconic cities,” she said.