West Indies bowling coach Roddy Estwick believes West Indies will miss middle order batsman Shimron Hetmyer during their upcoming tour of the Netherlands and India but hopes the player will make himself available for future tours.

The West Indies will take on the Netherlands in three ODIs on May 31, June 2 and 4. The team will then travel to Pakistan for three more ODIs on June 8, 10 and 12.

Estwick was speaking at a media conference late last week when he addressed the Hetmyer situation. Hetmyer recently withdrew from Rajasthan Royals in the IPL to travel back to Guyana for the birth of his first child.

Mere days later, he returned to the Royals which will play the Gujarat Titans on Tuesday, May 24 in the first IPL qualifier. However, the explosive Guyanese batsman has not made himself unavailable for the West Indies tours.

Estwick said the West Indies will miss his talents.

"If someone like Hetmyer's not playing, you're obviously going to miss his talent. He's having an outstanding season for Rajasthan Royals. He's doing very, very well. He's playing well,” Estwick said.

“He will be missed, but at the end of the day, he's not there. He's asked not to be selected for this tour so we have to get on without him and we hope that he will make himself available for future tours."

Notwithstanding Hetmyer’s absence, Estwick said he expects the West Indies to win the three ODI series against the Netherlands.

"Our expectation is to win all three ODIs [in the Netherlands] but it's not going to be easy," Estwick said. "Remember, a lot of the players won't have played in conditions like the ones we'll encounter in the Netherlands.

"It's about how quickly we adjust to conditions. We've only got a couple of days' practice before we go into the first ODI so it's all about adjusting and getting used to the conditions and then executing plans as well as possible."

            

West Indies cricketer Chris Gayle and South African batsman AB De Villiers have become the first cricketers to be inducted into the hall of fame of Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore.

The 42-year-old Gayle represented the franchise between 2011 and 2017.  The batsman never won a title at the club but set a number of records while there, including the highest ever individual T20 score of 175 during the 2013 IPL season. 

Former RCB skipper Virat Kohli thanked the two greats for their contribution to making the IPL what it is today. Gayle thanked the club for the special honour.  

"I want to thank the RCB family for the opportunity, for everything. It's been special to me as well. And to be inducted is something fantastic, and I will always keep RCB close to my heart. I share a lot of memories with some special players and some special coaches,” Gayle said.

“It's been fantastic. I wish I were there to give this speech, look into you guys' eyes, and tell you exactly how I feel. AB mentioned it's going to be emotional because it's very touching for such a franchise that has been created over the years. It's fantastic. And to Virat, thank you for the kind words as well. Fantastic sharing the dressing room with you guys as well."

 

Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma agreed with the team’s decision to leave him out of the squad ahead of Thursday's encounter against Chennai Super Kings.

Much-like compatriot and fellow power-hitter Chris Gayle was last year, Pollard was left out of the line-up on his 35th birthday.  Instead, the team opted to go with South Africa big-hitter Tristan Stubbs on debut.

Despite it being a special day for the West Indian, few could have disagreed with the decision considering the player’s recent form.  In 11 IPL matches so far, the big West Indian has scored just 144 runs at an average of 14.40 and with a strike rate of 107.46.  The ball-striking tally is the player’s lowest since he made his debut in the IPL in 2010.

In explaining the decision, Sharma insisted the team, which is currently bottom of the IPL, has begun to contemplate its future.

"Keeping an eye on the future, Pollard is out and Stubbs is in. He (Pollard) was the one who came up to us and he was ready for it,” Rohit told Star Sport.

 “We want to try out a few players, got to see what they have to offer.”

West Indies fast bowler turned commentator Ian Bishop does not believe recently retired Windies skipper Kieron Pollard is washed-up but insists the time has come for the player to adjust his game.

Typically, a reliable source of runs for five-time IPL champions Mumbai Indians, Pollard has struggled mightily to make an impact this season.  In 11 IPL matches so far, the big West Indian has scored just 144 runs at an average of 14.40 and with a strike rate of 107.46.  The ball-striking tally is the player’s lowest since he made his debut in the IPL in 2010.

Having retired from international cricket a few weeks ago, some have suggested that it might be time for Pollard to take another step in moving away from the sport entirely.  While acknowledging that he has struggled in the tournament this season, Bishop believes the player could still have a bit more left in the tank.

"People are saying he's washed, I'm not going to go there. I think he's a player who can reinvent himself,” Bishop told Espncricinfo.

"You look at Pollard's numbers when Mumbai have won the championships: 400 runs in 2013 at 42, up to 2019 and 2020, where he averaged over 30 with a strike rate sometimes in the 160s to 190s - he's been integral to them. You can't forget that as a franchise, so they're giving him every possible chance,” he added.

Despite the franchise choosing to stick with the veteran player, however, Bishop insists it’s up to Pollard to adjust.

"Pollard himself has to reinvent his game, however, he chooses to do that, because he's still got a future ahead of him we hope.”

Jimmy Adams, Director of Cricket at Cricket West Indies does not believe regional players are taking advantage of the governing body to secure T20 contracts in the more lucrative T20 leagues around the world.

During a press conference on Monday with Lead Selector Desmond Haynes, Adams, who was also present, was asked whether this was the case in the wake of the recent development wherein Shimron Hetmyer took time off from the IPL to attend the birth of his child in Guyana, promising to return to complete the season, but using the same reason, has declared himself unavailable for the West Indies white-ball tours of The Netherlands and Pakistan that start later this month.

There have also been instances in the past where players have declined invitations to represent the West Indies choosing instead to play franchise cricket.

“You will have players who will opt not to take contracts because they want the freedom to go and play whenever and wherever. While I respect that, by the same token I think we kind of understand where those players’ priorities lie. There could be a few others like that around. We live with them and we move on if we have to,” Adams said.

“I don’t think that is a majority, I don’t think it impacts us in a negative sense, per se. We have had many players in the last few years who have played, who are not contracted players - your Chris Gayles, your Andre Russells.

“Yes, it needs managing for sure at both the international and the levels within the regions around the world. I think given where we are now in world cricket, and I believe where we are now in West Indies cricket, that we are doing a pretty good job of it.”

That said, Adams does concede that in regions like the West Indies where player contracts pale in comparison to those offered by the wealthy owners of IPL franchises, there is little that can be done.

“T20 cricket and the leagues are here to stay. I don’t necessarily think that they are a bad thing. At the end of the day what players have nowadays that they did not have in my time and Sir Desmond’s time was choice and I don’t think choice is a bad thing.

“We try to ensure we don’t have any overlaps with either IPL or CPL, so all our contracted players know that there is a minimum of two windows where they will not have any competing international cricket. As it stands now it is not something that sees us losing control.”

 

Former India cricketer turned analyst, Aakash Chopra, does not believe India Premier League (IPL) club Mumbai Indians will play West Indies all-rounder Kieron Pollard again for the rest of the season.

The 34-year-old big-hitter has had a difficult campaign to date for the many-time IPL champions, who have themselves struggled to make an impact.  With only two wins and eight losses in 10 games, the five-time title winners are rooted at the bottom of the IPL table.

 In ten matches so far in IPL 2022, Pollard has struggled to score just 129 runs at an abysmal average of 14.33 and a strike rate of just 109.32.  Pollard has been a loyal servant to the Mumbai franchise and despite it being the only IPL club that he has ever represented, since making his debut in 2010, Chopra believes the club is likely to take a chance with young South African Dewald Brevis.  Brevis has scored 124 runs in six games but has an incredible strike rate of 155.

“I feel Kieron Pollard will not play any further this year, that's it, they won't play him anymore because Dewald Brevis is sitting outside and Tim David is doing well," Chopra said via his YouTube channel.

"Don't know why they didn't play a punt on Tim David earlier. They had kept this six-hitting machine sitting outside for a long time. Now they have remembered that they should play him and he has not disappointed them even once since they have played him.”

 

West Indies T20 star Chris Gayle has revealed that he skipped this season’s India Premier League (IPL) draft because he did feel like he was getting the respect he deserved.

The 42-year-old has been one of the tournament’s most successful and recognisable players since first appearing at the tournament in 2009.  The batsman, however, struggled to find his way last season while representing the Punjab Kings, managing just 193 runs from 10 games.

In addition, the batsman also made the headline after being surprisingly dropped on his birthday and eventually left the tournament early.  In the previous season, Gayle eventually scored an impressive 288 in 7 games but was left out of the team for the first 6 matches.

“For the last couple of years, the way the IPL went about, I felt like I wasn’t treated properly.  So I thought ‘okay, you (Gayle) didn’t get the respect you deserved after you did so much for the sport and IPL,” Gayle told The Mirror UK.

“So, I said ‘okay, that’s it, I’m not going to bother to enter the draft,’ so I left it as it is. There is always going to be life after cricket so I’m just trying to adapt to normality,” he added.

Much like his international career, however, Gayle does not believe his tenure in the IPL is over and claims he could return next season.

“Next year I’m coming back, they need me! I’ve represented three teams in the IPL, Kolkata, RCB, and Punjab. Between RCB and Punjab, I would love to get a title, with one of those two teams. I had a great stint with RCB where I was more successful within the IPL and Punjab, they’ve been good. I love to explore and I love challenges so let’s see what happens,” the 42-year-old said.

West Indies all-rounder Rovman Powell has urged IPL franchise Delhi Capitals to quickly move past the recent no-ball controversy as the team looks to jostle for a position in the playoffs.

In their previous encounter, a 15-run loss to Rajasthan Royals on Friday, the team was left incensed by what they believe was a missed no-ball call in the final over.  Needing an improbable 36 off the final over, Powell kept things interesting when he blasted three straight 6s off international team Obed Mccoy.

The Capitals were convinced the third six was also a waist-high no-ball and as such would have been a free hit, which would have made things even more interesting.  The delivery was, however, not called by the umpires and Mccoy fought back to dismiss Powell.  The incident led to arguments between Delhi players and the umpire, and assistant coach Rajasthan Royals Pravin Amre came onto the field.  In the aftermath, Delhi Capitals captain Rishabh Pant, all-rounder Shardul Thakur and Amre were slapped with heavy fines resulting from the incident, with Amre also given a one-match ban.  With a match upcoming against the Kolkata Knightriders on Wednesday, Powell is looking to move past the incident.

“It’s something that we have to put behind us and put behind us very fast.  We have a lot of upcoming matches and we have no time to sit down and dwell in the past,” Powell said of the incident.

“We have some important games coming up, important games that we have to win to get to the next round of the competition,” he added.

“We are about 6th or 7th in the table that is a good place to be. It’s just for us to climb the ladder and hopefully, we’ll reach our goal, which is the top four.”

Late fireworks from Windies all-rounder Andre Russell proved to be inadequate as Kolkata Knight Riders lost out to Gujarat Titans in a dramatic eight-run win in Mumbai on Saturday.

Chasing 157 for a win, KKR ended their innings at 148 for 8, with the run of the destructive Russell finally coming to an end with the second ball of the final over.

The batsman had entered the innings with the team needing 77, with just 8 overs remaining, and immediately smashed Yash Dayal for back-to-back sixes.  In total, Russell hammered six, sixes for a late 25-ball 48, which brought the team to needing 18 from the final over.  Facing international teammate Alzarri Joseph, he smashed the first ball for a six, but it was Joseph who had the last laugh when the rampaging batsman was gobbled up by Lockie Ferguson on the very next delivery.

Prior to that, Russell had put in an even more impressive cameo with the ball.  With the 20th to be bowled and the Titans potentially poised for a big score, on 151 for 5, KKR captain Iyer Shreyas turned to Russell for the first time in the match.

Russell's amazing last over brought the Knights right back into contention. The West Indies all-rounder conceded just five runs off that final over and picked up four wickets, with Rinku Singh picking up three of those catches.  The bowler’s 4 for 5 in 1 over was the best ever for one over in IPL history.

For the Titans, Mohammed Shami, Rashid Khan, and Dayal took two wickets each, with Alzarri Joseph and Ferguson getting one each. Veteran India pacer Shami bowled a destructive opening spell, taking the wickets of new opening pair of Sam Billings (4) and Sunil Narine (5) to reduce KKR to 2 for 10 in the third over. 

 

Kolkata Knight Riders head coach Brendon McCullum and assistant coach David Hussey have heaped praise on his star man Andre Russell.

West Indies hard-hitting all-rounder Odean Smith is living the dream in the Indian Premier League.

“Growing up I always watched the IPL. It has been a dream to be here. I have done a lot of work for that and I am grateful to play in this tournament,” said the Punjab Kings man in an interview with Cricketnext.

The 25-year-old Smith, who has played five ODIs and 10 T20Is for the West Indies, was man of the match in his first game after smashing 25 not out off just eight balls to help the Kings chase down 205 against the Royal Challengers Bangalore. He had a poor outing with the ball conceding 52 off his four overs.

“It’s a good feeling. I was happy that I contributed to that first win for my team. Personally, I have a lot of stuff to work on in terms of my bowling as I consider myself as a bowling all-rounder. The sole purpose of everyone in the team was to win the first game and we did that,” he said.

Smith has taken two wickets and scored 37 runs in three matches so far for the Kings who have two wins and one loss.

 

Trinidadian all-rounder and former West Indies captain Dwayne Bravo made history on Thursday when he became the leading wicket-taker in the history of the Indian Premier League (IPL) during the Chennai Super Kings match against the Lucknow Super Giants in Brabourne.

Bravo took 1-35 from his four overs, his 171st IPL wicket to move one ahead of Sri Lankan great Lasith Malinga.

His 171 wickets have come in 153 matches.

Bravo has played in the IPL since its inaugural season in 2008 and has represented three franchises-the Mumbai Indians, Gujarat Titans and Chennai Super Kings.

The next highest West Indian on the list is Sunil Narine with 144 wickets in 136 matches.

At the time of publishing, Bravo’s Chennai Super Kings were trying to defend nine runs off the last over.

 

Dwayne Bravo has signed for Worcestershire Rapids for the 2022 Vitality Blast season in a bid to win another T20 league title.

With players choosing to play in the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL) over representing their respective countries in Test cricket, West Indies batting legend Brian Lara is urging the International Cricket Council to take the necessary steps to address the vexing issue.

Over the past decade or so several West Indies players have dropped their ambitions of representing the West Indies at Test cricket for the IPL where they have earned millions of dollars. In more recent times, South Africa has been facing similar challenges.

Reports indicate that the Proteas could lose all their front line bowlers for the upcoming Tests against Bangladesh, increasing the prospect of Cricket South Africa fielding a much-weakened team for the series.

The situation has irked Lara, who played 131 Tests for the West Indies during which he scored 11,953 runs at a healthy average of 52.9. The Trinidadian believes a player’s country should take precedent.

“Playing for the country should come first,” said Lara, who is the strategic advisor and batting coach of the Indian Premier League franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad.

He was speaking during an interview with Sportstar when he also said Test cricket also provides chances for players to make a good living for players.

“Because I played for the West Indies, other opportunities opened up for me. It’s disappointing to see young cricketers leaving Test cricket. The ICC should come up with a rule stating a cricketer must play a certain number of games for his country before he can play in the Twenty20 leagues. Something needs to be done.”

Brian Lara is one of the greatest batsmen in the history of cricket with feats that many who play the game can only dream of.

The world record holder for the highest individual scores in both Test cricket (400 not out) and First-Class cricket (501 not out) has also been gracious enough to lend his knowledge of the game to the current crop of players and has been appointed as the batting coach for the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad.

One of his pupils will be his Trinidadian countryman and fellow stylish left-hander Nicholas Pooran, a prospect the current West Indies T20 vice-captain is excited about.

“Yeah, we have had a couple of conversations in the recent past. He's simply superb, amazing when it comes to batting and how he views the game. So yeah, looking forward to that opportunity to work with him,” Pooran said in an interview with ESPNCricinfo.

The West Indian great Lara scored 11,953 runs in Test cricket with 34 hundreds at an average of 52.88 in 131 matches. He scored 10,405 runs in 299 ODIs with 19 hundreds at an average of 40.48.

The 2022 edition of the IPL kicks off on March 26th while Pooran and Lara’s Sunrisers have their first game on March 29th against the Rajasthan Royals.

Pooran is coming off scores of 61, 62 and 61 in the three T20 Internationals against India last month and if his current form is anything to go by, he should have a stellar IPL season. The input of Brian Lara should certainly help.

 

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