Cricket West Indies (CWI) today confirmed that the West Indies Men’s team will play three T20 Internationals (T20I) and three One-Day Internationals (ODI) against Pakistan at the National Stadium in Karachi from December 13 to 22.

The ODI Series will be West Indies fourth series of 12 in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League in which the top seven teams can secure automatic qualification for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 in India. West Indies currently lie in eighth position out of 13 teams and have the opportunity to move above Pakistan into seventh position.

This will be the West Indies’ first tour of Pakistan since April 2018 when three T20Is were contested. The two-time former World Champions will be playing ODIs in Pakistan for the first time since December 2006.

“Today we have confirmed the details for the West Indies Men’s white-ball tour of Pakistan in December. CWI would like to thank the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and our own cricket operations, medical and security teams for the work that has gone into the organization of this tour,” said CWI CEO Johnny Grave.

“West Indies and Pakistan have always delivered exciting series and we’re looking forward to visiting Pakistan to complete what has been a hectic and momentous year of cricket in the light of the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The tour starts a new cycle of T20i cricket, building towards next year’s ICC T20 World Cup in Australia. The ODIs also have great significance as West Indies looks to earn more points towards securing qualification for the ICC Men’s ODI Cricket World Cup in India in 2023.”

According to CWI, independent security advisors, Eastern Star International (ESI) will continue to monitor the security situation in Pakistan, and will also have a representative assigned to the team for the duration of the tour.

Meanwhile, the West Indies Women’s Team is presently in Karachi, Pakistan for three ODIs as part of their final preparations for the upcoming Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifiers.

Tour Schedule

December 9 – West Indies arrive in Karachi

December 13 – 1st T20I, Karachi

December 14 – 2nd T20I, Karachi

December 16 – 3rd T20I, Karachi

December 18 – 1st ODI, Karachi

December 20 – 2nd ODI, Karachi

December 22 – 3rd ODI, Karachi

 

 

Azeem Rafiq says cricket desperately needs "reform and cultural change" after Gary Ballance admitted using a racial slur towards his former Yorkshire team-mate.

Ex-England batsman Ballance on Wednesday released a statement admitting he was responsible for some of the offensive and inappropriate language Rafiq was subjected to during his time at Headingley.

Ballance, 31, said he deeply regrets some of the language he used in his younger years, describing Rafiq as his "best mate in cricket".

The Zimbabwe-born former Yorkshire captain claimed he and Rafiq had "said offensive things to each other which, outside of that context, would be considered wholly inappropriate".

An independent report into Rafiq's allegations of institutional racism at Yorkshire County Cricket Club upheld that the spinner had been victim of "racial harassment and bullying”.

It also emerged the independent panel had deemed repeated use of the "P***" word against Rafiq was "in the spirit of friendly banter", according to ESPNcricinfo.

Rafiq on Thursday responded to Ballance's statement by posting on Twitter: "I'm not intending to say very much until the [Department for Culture, Media and Sport's] select committee hearing later this month. However, I wanted to stress this is not really about the words of certain individuals.

"This is about institutional racism and abject failures to act by numerous leaders at Yorkshire County Cricket Club and in the wider game. The sport I love and my club desperately need reform and cultural change."

Rafiq and Yorkshire chairman Roger Hutton are due to appear in front of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport's select committee to give evidence on November 16.

Publishing company Emerald has been among the sponsors Yorkshire have lost due to their handling of the Rafiq case.

 West Indies captain Kieron Pollard believes Thursday’s crucial T20 World Cup clash against Sri Lanka represents an opportunity for the team to break free from its shackles, so to speak, particularly as it relates to the batting line-up.

To say a West Indies line-up, filled with explosive batting talent, has struggled to ignite so far seems a bit of an understatement.  The team began the tournament being bowled out for 55 by England, then collapsing to 143 against South Africa after a promising start.  The team got 142 in a win against Bangladesh but have yet to put in a convincing display at the crease.

With a run rate of 1.598, the team has the worst run rate in Group I and the third poorest overall.  After three matches Evin Lewis is the team’s leading scorer with 68 runs but that total is not in the tournament’s top 15.  Having lost two of its first three games and low run rate the team is on the outside looking as it relates to their chances of staying in contention for the semi-finals.

“The guys are confident, we know exactly what’s needed from a run rate perspective and we’ll take all things into consideration when that match starts,” Pollard told members of the media on Wednesday.

“I believe it’s very important that we try to go through the process of trying to improve each and every game as a team and especially from a batting perspective,” he added.

“It’s an opportunity now, guys can kind of take off the shackles that have been kind of holding us back in terms of our batting performances, there’s no secret about that.  Having said that the first thing to think about is winning the cricket game.”

 

 

 

Former West Indies batsman Carlisle Best has been made a Barbados selector, reports coming out of Barbados said on Wednesday. The 62-year-old Best replaces Ronald Butcher, who has resigned his position from the Barbados selection panel.

According to cricket commentator and talk show host Andrew Mason, the members of the board of the Barbados Cricket Association voted unanimously in favour of Best’s addition to the selection panel.

The 62-year-old Best, played eight Tests and 24 One Day Internationals for the West Indies after making his debut for the West Indies against England in 1986. He is among a handful of batsmen to hit a six to open his account in a Test career.

He did so while facing Ian Botham, who bowled two bouncers at the Barbadian opener, who responded by carting the third ball for six and becoming only the second batsman to do so.

Australia’s Eric Freeman was the first to accomplish the feat.

 

Raymon Reifer and Rahkeem Cornwall scored half-centuries as the second BestvBest between Team Brathwaite and Team Blackwood ended in a draw on Wednesday at the Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua.

Resuming from their overnight score of 213-8, Team Blackwood scored 268 with Reifer 40 not out overnight going on to score 62. Cornwall, 27 overnight, scored a valuable 52 that took Team Blackwood to within 58 runs of Team Brathwaite’s first innings score of 326-6 declared.

Alzarri Joseph was the best of the bowlers with 4-48. Jomel Warrican who did most of the damage on Tuesday ended with 3-38.

Batting a second time, Team Brathwaite stumbled to 46-4 when Captain Kraigg Brathwaite declared. Jeremy Solozano top-scored with 12 before retiring hurt. Joshua Da Silva, who seems to be struggling for form, scored 11 before he was dismissed lbw by Cornwall.

Shannon Gabriel, who is returning from injury, claimed the wickets of Kyle Mayers for seven and Brathwaite for two to finish with figures of 2-24 from his five overs. Cornwall was stingy taking 2-2 from 2.4 overs.

Chasing 105, Team Blackwood’s Shayne Moseley scored 29 and Kavem Hodge 26 in a first-wicket partnership of 57. Hodge then lost his wicket to Imran Khan before the match was called off and declared a draw.

Khan had figures of 1-27 from 7.2 overs.

Rahul Dravid will replace Ravi Shastri as India head coach after the T20 World Cup.

Shastri's reign will come to an end following the tournament in the United Arab Emirates and the Board of Control for Cricket in India last month invited applications for the post.

Legendary former India batter Dravid was expected to succeed Shastri and his appointment was confirmed while India were playing Afghanistan in a crucial World Cup match on Wednesday.

Dravid, 48, will start his tenure with a home T20I series versus New Zealand this month followed by two Tests against the Black Caps.

Shastri took over as head coach of his country for a second time in 2017 and helped guide India to the top of the Test rankings and an inaugural World Test Championship against New Zealand, which the Black Caps won this year.

Dravid said: "It is an absolute honour to be appointed as the new head coach of the Indian Cricket Team and I am really looking forward to this role.

"Under Mr Shastri, the team has done very well, and I hope to work with the team to take this forward. Having worked closely with most of the boys either at NCA, U19 and India A setup, I know they have the passion and desire to improve every day.

"There are some marquee multi-team events in the next two years, and I look forward to working with the players and the support staff to achieve our potential."

Sourav Ganguly, president of the BCCI, said: "The BCCI welcomes Rahul Dravid as the head coach of India's senior men team.

"Rahul has had an illustrious playing career and is one of the greats of the game. He has also served Indian cricket as head of National Cricket Academy (NCA) with distinction. Rahul’s effort at the NCA has nurtured several young cricketing talents who have gone on to represent the country at the international stage.

"I am hopeful that his new stint will take Indian cricket to new heights."

Ben Stokes is relishing the prospect of making his return in "the pinnacle of Test cricket" when England do battle with Australia in the Ashes.

Stokes was initially omitted from the squad for the series Down Under as he recovered from a second operation on a broken finger and took a break to protect his mental wellbeing.

The all-rounder then gave Joe Root's side a huge lift last week by declaring he was ready to make his comeback.

Stokes will fly out to Australia with the Test and Lions squad on Thursday and is raring to go ahead of the first Test at the Gabba on December 8.

"I just took it day by day, step by step. I had fantastic support around me to help me through that, and I'm just excited to get out there," Stokes told Sky Sports.

"I had a lot of scar tissue build-up around my joint and my tendons so he [the surgeon] removed all that, which thankfully allowed me to actually get some movement and took away the frustration in terms of pain as well.

"I'm glad to come out the other side of that. I think it's important for anyone [to take a step back]. Whether it be a job or their day-to-day life, it's important for everyone."

 

Stokes believes England have a good chance of regaining the urn, with the onus not only on proven world-class players such as himself to perform.

"One player doesn't make a team, and although I know I'm a senior member of that team over the last few years, every member of that team is just as important as each other," he added.

"We have got a huge amount of experience in our squad, although we've got some young guys who are still learning their way in Test cricket.

"We've got the likes of Jimmy [Anderson], Broady [Stuart Broad] who have obviously been there, done that. Rooty - fantastic leader and England's greatest-ever batter, so we've got everything to come back at Australia with what they've got.

"You are playing at the highest level possible and the Ashes - for an Englishman in Australia, that is the pinnacle of Test cricket. It is the only series that is almost like a World Cup, because they are such rivals."

Luckless England paceman Tymal Mills has been ruled out of the rest of the T20 World Cup with a right thigh strain.

The left-arm quick did the damage while bowling in the victory over Sri Lanka in Sharjah on Monday.

Mills went for a scan on Tuesday and discovered that he would not be able to play any further part in England's quest to win the tournament for a second time.

Reece Topley, who was already in the United Arab Emirates as a traveling reserve, has been added to the squad.

It is another unfortunate setback for Mills, who has been beset by injury problems and was wearing a back brace at the start of this year.

The 29-year-old was recalled for the World Cup following four-and-a-half years in the international wilderness.

Mills had taken seven wickets as Eoin Morgan's side won their opening four matches to stand on the brink of the semi-finals.

A stunning 93 off 56 deliveries from Martin Guptill helped New Zealand to a 16-run victory over Scotland in the T20 World Cup Super 12 stage.

The Black Caps' quest for the semi-finals got off to a strong start as they set a target of 172 in Dubai.

Although they lost Daryl Mitchell (13) and captain Kane Williamson for a duck in the fifth over, Guptill steadied the ship with a supreme display of batting that included six fours and seven sixes.

Glenn Phillips managed 33 off 37 balls before he was caught off a good ball from Brad Wheal (2-40). Guptill fell at the next ball, a tired launch to long on comfortably caught by Calum MacLeod.

Scotland put up a spirited chase after Kyle Coetzer (17) was caught by Tim Southee. George Munsey (22) and Matthew Cross (27) spearheaded a brave batting display, the latter smashing five consecutive fours in the sixth over to put his side at 48-1.

When Munsey was caught superbly by Southee after hammering a full toss from Ish Sodhi (2-42), Scotland's resistance seemed to falter, Southee skittling Cross in the 11th over.

Michael Leask led a late charge with a brilliant 42 from 20 balls, but they could not stop New Zealand moving onto four points in the group.

Guptill greatness

Guptill's ruthless knock saw him become just the second batsman to reach 3,000 runs in T20 internationals after Virat Kohli.

Only four men have hit more sixes in the entire tournament this year than the 35-year-old managed in these innings alone.

Scotland show heart

Scotland have now gone three defeats in a row in this format for the first time since they lost four on the spin from January 2017 to June 2018.

Yet this was a spirited performance that should give them confidence ahead of Friday's showdown with India.

Babar Azam claimed "everything has gone to plan" after Pakistan sealed their T20 World Cup semi-final spot with victory over Namibia on Tuesday.

Captain Babar and Mohammed Rizwan combined for their second 100-opening stand of the tournament, leading Pakistan to 189-2 – the second-highest score in the competition so far.

Namibia – led by David Wiese (43 not out) and George Williams (40) – batted impressively in their response but could still only muster a 45-run loss against the 2009 champions, who have now won all four of their opening games.

Despite a few misdemeanours in the field, Babar was left satisfied with yet another efficient performance from his side as they became the first team to officially confirm their place in the final four.

"It was a different plan today, we wanted that opening partnership to go deep and it worked for us," Babar said at the post-match presentation.

"We then had two good players in [Mohammed] Hafeez and Hasan Ali. They'll be important in the next stage and it was important we ticked those boxes [scoring runs at the end, batting first].

"There was some dew that didn't help with the fielding, but that's not an excuse, we need to be better.

"Everything has gone according to plan. We're looking forward to the semi-finals and playing our cricket with the same intensity."

Pakistan sit on eight points at the top of Group 2, with Afghanistan currently in second on four points.

In Group 1, England have all but qualified with four wins in four games, with South Africa – Pakistan's potential semi-final opponents – on six points in second, two clear of third-placed Australia.

The West Indies Women will be guarded by a massive security detail for their upcoming tour of Pakistan with the total security team engaged for the tour expected to be above 800.

The Windies Women arrived in Karachi on Monday, ahead of a three-match ODI series against the hosts.  The tour is part of a reciprocal arrangement after the regional team hosted Pakistan in the Caribbean earlier this year.

International cricket returned to Pakistan in 2019 after a near 10-year absence, following a deadly terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore in 2009.  Things have, however, not returned to normal with both New Zealand and England pulling out of tours earlier this year, with security concerns being pointed to as an underlying issue. 

With the West Indies Women coming to town, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and country are determined to show the environment is safe for international athletes.  As such a reported 368 commandoes from the Pakistan Police Special Security Unit, including lady commandoes, and 500 personnel of the Security and Emergency Services Division (DIGa) will join other law enforcement agencies to secure the National Stadium Karachi, airport, route, hotels, and other places. 

In addition, a specialized command and control bus will remain deployed around the stadium to monitor the law-and-order situation.  A Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team including women commandos will be on standby at the SSU headquarters to deal with any emergent situation.

South Africa edged closer to a T20 World Cup semi-final spot thanks to a straightforward six-wicket victory over struggling Bangladesh on Tuesday.

Few gave Bangladesh any hope of picking up their first win following the loss of talisman Shakib Al Hasan and they folded without putting up much of a fight, South Africa comfortably reaching their target of 85.

After a somewhat slow start for the South African bowlers, they soon found their stride as Kagiso Rabada (3-20) made a real dent in Bangladesh's batting order.

Rabada took Mohammad Naim (9) and Soumya Sarkar (0) in consecutive deliveries in the fourth over and got his third wicket in the sixth, with Reeza Hendricks catching Mushfiqur Rahim (0).

Wickets continued to tumble, with Mahmudullah (3) and Afif Hossain (0) also joining their fallen team-mates back in the pavilion by the end of the ninth over.

Mahedi Hasan (27) and Liton Das (24) did their best to give Bangladesh a chance but otherwise only Shamim Hossain (11) even reached double figures and they were all out for 84 with eight balls left, Anrich Nortje (3-8) finishing them off with successive wickets.

The Proteas' chase did not get off to the greatest start as they lost Hendricks (4) lbw to the impressive Taskin Ahmed (2-18) on the sixth delivery, though they soon found something of a groove with four boundaries before losing their next wicket, Quinton de Kock (16), in the fifth over.

Aiden Markram's day then ended before it had barely started, the right-hander caught by Naim at wide slip for a duck, but Temba Bavuma (31 not out) stepped up and hit three fours and a single six as he top-scored.

Rassie van der Dussen's dismissal after 22 off 27 deliveries meant little in the grand scheme, as South Africa comfortably crossed the line with 39 balls remaining.

Victory keeps them in second place in Group 1 behind England with one match left, and with a superior run rate to Australia.

Rabada cadabra!

The wicket in Abu Dhabi always looked promising for seamers and Rabada was in fine form. Nortje got even better figures with the ball, but Rabada's work was decisive in truly dismantling Bangladesh nice and early.

He said: "That wicket favoured the seamers and I'm just glad that today was my day. Every time we have the opportunity to practice, we try and implement what could possibly work for us. We always train hard, and today it paid off. It's nice to see the ball swing, especially in T20 cricket, but it wasn't a surprise, having seen that happen in the IPL games here."

Ahmed a bright spark

Ahmed was one of few reasons for optimism for Bangladesh here. Overall, he has enjoyed a decent tournament and he kept South Africa's batsmen on their toes, impressing his captain.

Mahmudullah said: "That was a poor batting display but having said that there was enough assistance in the pitch. Taskin has been bowling well in this tournament. We had the choice between Taskin and Fizzy [Mustafizur Rahman], but we went with Taskin because he has been bowling well."

Half-centuries from Shai Hope and Jeremy Solozano proved to be the foundation for Team Brathwaite’s first innings score of 280-4 at stumps on the first day of the second BestvBest match against Team Blackwood at the Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua on Monday.

Captain Kraigg Brathwaite, who opened the batting with Solozano, also scored a half-century before he retired hurt after he and Solozano had taken Team Brathwaite to 98-0 at lunch. Brathwaite faced 118 balls and struck six fours and a six but did not return to the crease after lunch.

Solozano, who was on 34 at the interval, and Shamarh Brooks took the score to 120 when the latter was dismissed by Nial Smith for 11. Solozano eventually got out to the bowling of Rahkeem Cornwall for 74.

Hope, who had joined Solozano and the crease after Brooks’ dismissal, eventually retired on 71. Kyle Mayers scored 45 before he was dismissed by Jayden Seales for 45.

Joshua Da Silva (10) and Alzarri Joseph (0) are the batsmen at the crease at stumps.

Seales was the best of the bowlers with 2-28.

 

Jos Buttler took his magnificent T20 World Cup campaign to new heights with his first international century in the shortest format as England made it four wins from four by defeating Sri Lanka.

Buttler's stunning 32-ball 71 lifted England to a dominant victory against Australia on Saturday and he reached another level in Sharjah two days later as one of the tournament favourites further cemented their position at the top of Group 1 to stand on the brink of the semi-finals.

They ultimately prevailed by 26 runs as Sri Lanka were bowled out for 137, a margin of victory that appeared unlikely as England laboured to 36-3 during the powerplay and were 47-3 after 10 overs.

But the ability of Buttler and previously out-of-form captain Eoin Morgan (40) to manage the situation on a tricky pitch turned the game in England's favour, the wicketkeeper-batsman hitting the gas with a devastating display of hitting for a 67-ball 101 that ensured their 163-4 was beyond Sri Lanka despite the best efforts of the excellent Wanindu Hasaranga (34) - who also took 3-21.

Jason Roy (9), Dawid Malan (6) and Jonny Bairstow (0) all failed to get going for England but, having withstood pressure from the Sri Lanka attack, Morgan and Buttler turned the tide emphatically.

Lahiru Kumara (0-44) was Sri Lanka's most expensive bowler and was brutally bludgeoned in a 15th over that went for 22 -  including three sixes - and Sri Lanka never looked like wresting control back thereafter.

Morgan was eventually dismissed as he became Hasaranga's 50th T20I victim, but Buttler could not be denied his hundred, which came off the last ball of the innings with his sixth maximum as a full toss on leg stump was dispatched in style.

Hasaranga's stand of 53 with captain Dasun Shanaka (26) kept Sri Lanka in the hunt but their chances essentially evaporated with some stunning fielding from Roy. 

Roy performed heroics at the long-off boundary to flick the ball to Sam Billings before falling over the rope to dismiss Hasaranga. In fourth place with two points, Sri Lanka's hopes of progress are hanging by a thread, but England can begin to start thinking about the semi-finals.

Buttler's historic innings

Buttler became the fourth English men's batter to score a T20I hundred and, in doing so, joined Heather Knight as only the second England cricketer to record a century in all three international formats.

Morgan leads the way

This was Morgan's 43rd win as captain, the most by a skipper in T20I cricket, taking him past MS Dhoni and Ashgar Afghan. The only blemish for Morgan was a quad injury for fast bowler Tymal Mills.

West Indies white-ball captain Kieron Pollard suffered a muscle injury to his left thigh in the match against Bangladesh and will be assessed ahead of their crucial T20 World Cup match against Sri Lanka on Thursday.

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