Cricket West Indies is hoping to give Chris Gayle a proper send-off at Sabina Park when it hosts Ireland for a white-ball series in January next year.

West Indies Women captain, Stafanie Taylor, has warned against complacency from her team as they begin their quest to qualify for the 2022 ICC Women’s World Cup to be held in New Zealand from March to April in 2022.

The Windies Women open their campaign tomorrow at 2:30am local time against Ireland in Harare and Taylor has warned against underestimating their opponents.

“That’s one thing you don’t want to do. Everyone’s here to win the competition. We’re not here to take any team for granted. We’re here to play hard cricket and come out on top,” said Taylor.

With the West Indies Women having completed a 3-0 series sweep against Pakistan prior to their arrival in Harare, Taylor says she hopes the team can carry their momentum into the tournament.

“I think we had a good series against Pakistan so I would love to see us continue where we left off from there. We’ve been playing some good cricket and getting some really good scores from our top players and even the lesser batting line up," she said.

Taylor concedes, however, that even with the team entering the qualifiers in good form there are still areas that need improvement.

“In our batting, it’s running the first one hard, turning twos into threes. In bowling, bowlers need to get early wickets and eliminate the wides,” she said.

The captain also provided some insight into the confidence of the team coming off some good results before the tournament.

“The morale is pretty good, especially seeing batters getting runs. I think that’s something that we’ve been working on because we’ve been relying on the bowling department for quite some time now so it’s really nice that the batters have been scoring those runs,” she said.

The West Indies other group games will be Saturday, November 27th against Sri Lanka and Monday, November 29th against the Netherlands with both matches beginning at 2:30am local time.

The Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifiers feature nine teams divided into two groups.

West Indies Women are in group A alongside Ireland, Sri Lanka and The Netherlands while group B comprises Pakistan, Bangladesh, Thailand, Zimbabwe and the USA.

Papua New Guinea were also supposed to be in the field but had to withdraw after a Covid-19 outbreak within the team before boarding their flight to Zimbabwe.

The top three teams from each group will advance to the Super 6 phase and the top three teams at the end of that phase will qualify for the 2022 World Cup alongside Australia, India, New Zealand, South Africa and England.

 

South Africa legend AB de Villiers has confirmed his retirement from all forms of cricket at the age of 37.

The Proteas great made the announcement on Friday, calling time on a glittering career that saw him win 114 Test caps, feature in 228 ODIs and make 78 T20I outings.

He stepped down from the international stage in 2018 but continued to represent Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League, as well as feature in other T20 competitions. 

However, the prolific batsman - an excellent fielder who also donned the wicketkeeping gloves - will no longer showcase his incredible talents after deciding to call it a day.

"It has been an incredible journey, but I have decided to retire from all cricket," he wrote on Twitter.

"Ever since the back yard matches with my older brothers, I have played the game with pure enjoyment and unbridled enthusiasm. Now, at the age of 37, that flame no longer burns so brightly.

"That's the reality I must accept – and, even if it may seem sudden, that is why I am making this announcement. I've had my time. Cricket has been exceptionally kind to me.

"Cricket has been exceptionally kind to me. Whether playing for the Titans, or the Proteas, or RCB, or around the world, the game has given me unimagined experiences and opportunities, and I will always be grateful.

"I would like to thank every team-mate, every opponent, every coach, every physio and every staff member who has travelled the same path, and I am humbled by the support I have received in South Africa, in India, wherever I have played.

"Last, I am aware that nothing would have been possible without the sacrifices made by my family – my parents, my brothers, my wife Danielle and my children. I look forward to the next chapter of our lives when I can truly put them first."

De Villiers last played for South Africa in a Test match against Australia back in March 2018, having debuted against England in 2004.

He scored 8,765 runs in Tests at an average of 50.66, with 22 centuries as well as taking 222 catches, 101 of those as a keeper.

De Villiers was even more impressive in the ODI format, averaging 53.50 and racking up 25 hundreds in 228 appearances, while he made 1,672 runs in T20I 75 knocks at an average of 26.12. 

The veteran's 157 matches for RCB yielded 4,522 runs at a strike rate of 158.33.

West Indies captain Stafanie Taylor struck a masterful unbeaten century on Sunday to lead West Indies Women to a comprehensive six-wicket victory with six over to spare over Pakistan Women and complete a sweep of the three-match series in Karachi.

Chasing Pakistan’s Women’s 225-7, Taylor scored 102 not out after coming to the rescue of her team that has slumped to 15-3 within the first five overs.

Taylor shared in an 83-run fourth-wicket partnership with Hayley Matthews, who made 49, and then a match-winning unbroken partnership of 128 with Chedean Nation, who scored 51 not out, her maiden ODI half-century.

Taylor faced 117 balls for her score that included 12 fours while Nation struck seven boundaries facing 67 balls during the match-winning stand.

Anam Amin, who did the early damage by dismissing the in-form Diandra Dottin for 4 and Shemaine Campbelle for one, finished with 2-45 from her 10 overs. Diana Baig, who dismissed Rashada Williams for 6, returned figures of 1-36 from her eight overs.

Sadia Iqbal, who snagged Matthews’ wicket, finished with 1-36 from seven overs.

Earlier, sent in to bat, Pakistan Women owed their best score of the series to opener Muneeba Ali, who scored a patient 58. She and Ayesha Zafar staged an opening stand of 49 before the latter was out caught and bowled by Aaliyah Alleyne (2-41) for 13.

Ali and Javeria Khan put on 74 over the next 20 overs as the West Indies bowlers tightened their grip on the innings. Ali eventually fell to Taylor in the 31st over with the score on 123. Six runs later, the pressure began to take a toll as Taylor ran Khan out for 13.

Two balls later, Alleyne picked up her second wicket when she bowled Omaima Sohail for 27.

Iram Javed and Aliya Riaz held up the progress of the West Indies bowlers with a 44-run fifth-wicket stand that was eventually broken when Javed was dismissed by Shakera Selman for 26.

Riaz would eventually get Pakistan Women past 200 with her unbeaten 44 that helped set up a decent total for the West Indies Women to chase.

Selman took the wicket of Fatima Sana for nine to end with figures of 2-40.

Baig was run out for nine off the last ball of the innings.

 

Australia will tour Pakistan for the first time in 24 years, it was announced on Monday.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) confirmed details of a month-long tour in March and April 2022 comprising three Test matches, three ODIs and one T20I.

The Tests will be held in Karachi, Rawalpindi and Lahore in March, with the latter also hosting the white-ball matches.

While the Tests will form part of the ICC World Test Championship, the one-day matches will be linked to the ICC Cricket World Cup Super League, a 13-team event from which seven qualifiers and host nation India will progress to the final tournament in 2023.

Speaking of Australia's first visit since 1998, PCB chairman Ramiz Raja said: "I am delighted to welcome Australia to Pakistan. From a personal point of view, it pleases me no end that we'll be engaged in a three-Test match series, connoisseurs delight.

"Australia are one of the high-performing sides and them playing in our backyard for the first time after a gap of 24 years will be a special treat for the fans.

"Likewise, it will be a great opportunity for the Australia cricketers to not only play at our iconic venues but also feel and enjoy the respect, love and hospitality that this great country offers, something which most of their previous generation of cricketers missed out by playing offshore."

Cricket Australia chief executive Nick Hockley: "Cricket Australia is excited about the prospect of touring Pakistan next year for what will be a highly anticipated series in a country so incredibly passionate about the game and their national team.

"Pakistan is a formidable opposition with an exceptionally talented team, as evidenced by their dynamic performances in the current ICC Men's T20 World Cup in the UAE.

"We thank the PCB for their considerable efforts in planning for the tour and look forward to continuing to work closely over the coming months to finalise the necessary operations, logistics, security and Covid-19 protocols.

"The safety and welfare of our players and staff remains our number one priority, and we will continue to work with the PCB and relevant agencies to ensure that appropriate and sufficient arrangements are put in place for the tour."

Australia won the series 1-0 in their previous tour of Pakistan, which was their first since Richie Benaud's side won 2-0 in 1959-60.

The previous four series between the countries have been held offshore, most recently in 2018-19, when Pakistan won 1-0 in the United Arab Emirates.

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."

England players will no longer be awarded separate red and white ball contracts under a new structure that was revealed on Friday.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced the first 20 players who have been awarded a single contract for 2021-22.

A change of structure was introduced following consultation between the ECB, Team England Player Partnership (TEPP) and the Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA).

The ECB stated that it was "designed to meet England's future needs in what has become a fluid and dynamic landscape."

Spinner Jack Leach, batsman Dawid Malan and seamer Ollie Robinson receive central contracts for the first time.

Dom Sibley has lost his central contract after the opener was dropped during the home Test series against India.

All-rounder Liam Livingstone is awarded an increment contract along with seamer Tom Curran, who is among the players to have a white-ball contract for 2020-21.

Dom Bess and Chris Jordan have also been given increment contracts, while Saqib Mahmood, Craig Overton and Olly Stone earned pace bowling development contracts.

Managing director of men's England Cricket, Ashley Giles, said: "I would like to thank TEPP and the players for all their constructive input through the process of developing this new system, which I believe is the fairest and most transparent way of rewarding players across all formats.

"We have worked well to get to this stage and the refinements made will take into account the amount of cricket we will be playing across formats over the next period of the ICC Future Tours Programme.

"Since the inception of central contracts in 2002, the system has facilitated improved preparation, performance and professionalism of the England team and has ensured that players are well rewarded for representing their country at the elite level.

"The international game continues to evolve, and we have to be mindful that we have to lead the way in player performance across cricket's ever-changing landscape. Our objective remains the same to develop world-class players in all three formats as we strive to become the most respected team in the world.

"I would like to congratulate all the players offered agreements for the coming year, particularly newcomers Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, and Ollie Robinson. Receiving your first central contract is a great moment in any player's career. They will all play a pivotal role in England's fortunes over the next 12 months."

 

England men's central contracts:

Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Eoin Morgan, Ollie Pope, Adil Rashid, Ollie Robinson, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

England increment contracts:

Dom Bess, Tom Curran, Chris Jordan, Liam Livingstone.

England pace bowling development contracts:

Saqib Mahmood, Craig Overton, Olly Stone.

West Indies Women Head Coach Courtney Walsh was impressed by the young bowlers, Qiana Joseph and Sheneta Grimmond, who performed well in the recent series against South Africa but insists that there is a need for greater levels of consistency from them.

Joseph, the 20-year-old left-arm spinner from St Lucia, was the leading wicket-taker for the West Indies Women with five wickets in the four ODI matches she played at an average of 19.40 and economy rate of 3.38.

Speaking to the media late last week, Walsh lauded Joseph’s performance during the series.

“Obviously, Qiana has played before but it’s the first time we were looking at her to play the role she did and she did it in both competitions; very, very satisfying,” Walsh said.

“We haven’t had a left-arm spinner for quite some time, most teams struggle against that or have that in their set up, so from a coaching perspective, it was something I had been very keen to have a look at and she has answered the right questions.

“She did well, it was very satisfying with her performance and how she went about it so it is definitely something to work on to give us those options with the bowling.”

Grimmond, the 23-year-old right-arm off-break bowler from Guyana, played in just two matches in the ODI series but four wickets at an average of 13.00 and an economy of 3.66.

“Grimmond came into the last two games and did well in the last game from a bowling perspective, so that is also another good question answered,” he said while also singling out Trinidadian Karishma Ramharack for praise on the strength of her best bowling figures of 3-8 in the T20 series.

“Ramharack did well in the T20 in the game she played and won Player of the Match, so these are some of the positive signs, what is lacking is the consistency and that is what we have to work on and which we will keep working on,” Walsh said.

“We want them to execute more consistently and once that is happening then it will give us more chances of winning games.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

West Indies Women Head Coach Courtney Walsh believes middle-order batter Rashada Williams is on the verge of breaking into the first team following her outstanding series against South Africa.

Opening batter Rashada Williams unveiled a wide range of shots in a determined knock for West Indies Women but the home side could not stave off defeat against South Africa Women on Thursday.

New Zealand have called off their cricket tour of Pakistan amid growing security concerns, on the day when the opening match was due to take place.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) stated its disappointment after New Zealand Cricket (NZC) announced the team would be returning home.

Pakistan and the Black Caps were due to meet in three ODIs and five T20Is, with the first fixture set for Friday in Rawalpindi, but the entire tour has been called off.

Neither team left their hotel on Friday morning and spectators were not allowed to enter the stadium.

A statement from NZC declared the team had decided to withdraw from the tour "following an escalation in the New Zealand government threat levels for Pakistan, and advice from NZC security advisors on the ground".

NZC chief executive David White said: "I understand this will be a blow for the PCB, who have been wonderful hosts, but player safety is paramount and we believe this is the only responsible option."

The PCB did not agree with NZC's decision, however, insisting the Pakistan government had been in contact with New Zealand's government to appease any fears over the security and safety of the travelling party.

"Earlier today, New Zealand Cricket informed us they had been alerted to some security alert and have unilaterally decided to postpone the series," a PCB statement read.

"Pakistan Cricket Board and Pakistan government made foolproof security arrangements for all visiting teams. We have assured New Zealand Cricket of the same. The Pakistan prime minister [Imran Khan] spoke personally to the prime minister of New Zealand [Jacinda Ardern] and informed her that we have one of the best intelligence systems in the world and that no security threat of any kind exists for the visiting team.

"The security officials with the New Zealand team have been satisfied with security arrangements made by the Pakistan government throughout their stay here.

"PCB is willing to continue the scheduled matches. However, cricket lovers in Pakistan and around the world will be disappointed by this last-minute withdrawal."

Pakistan did not host Test matches from 2009 to 2019 after a terror attack on the touring Sri Lanka team, which left six players, two staff members and an umpire wounded, and eight others – six Pakistani police officers and two civilians – dead.

The West Indies Women lost the third CG Insurance ODI against South Africa Women by 8 wickets at the Coolidge Cricket Ground on Monday to take an unassailable lead in the five-match series.

Batting first, West Indies Women posted 157 all out in 48.4 overs. South Africa Women reached 158-2 in 36.4 overs to achieve victory.

West Indies owed their total to a patient 71 from Deandra Dottin and 37 from Rashada Williams. However, the batters were unable to rotate the strike with any regularity barely getting to three runs an over by the side was bowled out eight balls short of their 50-over allotment.

Shabnim Ismail took 3-31 and Ayabonga Khaka 2-22 to stifle the West Indies batters.

In reply, Lizelle Lee scored an unbeaten 78 and Laura Wolvaardt, a solid 53 as the visitors cruised to victory with 13.2 overs to spare.

Qiana Joseph took the only wickets to fall and finished with figures of creditable figures of 2-24.

Interim Captain Anisa Mohamed pulled no punches in her assessment of the team’s performance in yet another lopsided loss.

"I think the batters need to step up and make some runs for us. 157 runs in a 50-over game... you're only going at three runs per over which is easy pickings for a team like South Africa,” she said.

“I thought Williams and Dottin played really well today but again, they need that support. A couple of others need to step up and stay there with them."

Mohammed added: "A lot of people have been saying that South Africa have gone past us but I keep saying to the team I don't believe that. I believe that we're just not playing our best cricket. Look back at the third T20I and South Africa weren't able to beat us, so if we come out here on a game day and play our best cricket, South Africa is not going to beat us."

The two teams will switch venues to the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground for the remaining two matches on Thursday, September 16 and Sunday, September 19.

 The first ball is at 10 am local time (9 am Jamaica Time).

The Cricket West Indies (CWI) Women’s Selection Panel has announced the West Indies Women’s 13-member squad for the third CG Insurance ODIs against South Africa Women to be played at the Coolidge Cricket Ground (CCG) today. First ball 9 am (10 am).

There is a return of experienced seamer Shakera Selman, who was rested for the first two matches. Middle-order batter Britney Cooper has been ruled out the remainder of the series due to medical reasons.

“The first two ODIs have proven to be difficult matches. The batters have not yet given the expected performances. Although South Africa is one of the higher-ranked teams, there are experienced batters in our team who have to settle down and produce some scores,” said Chief Selector Ann Browne-John.

“Them scoring will surely give a level of confidence to the lower order and also give the bowlers a score to defend. We also have the return of Shakera Selman to the 13 which gives an additional and experienced bowling option.”

The full squad comprises  Anisa Mohammed (Captain), Deandra Dottin (Vice-Captain), Aaliyah Alleyne, Shamilia Connell, Shabika Gajnabi, Qiana Joseph, Kycia Knight, Kyshona Knight, Hayley Matthews,  Chedean Nation, Karishma Ramharack, Shakera Selman and Rashada Williams.

Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq and bowling coach Waqar Younis have resigned from their roles a little over a month before the T20 World Cup begins.

The pair were appointed in September 2019 and were under contract with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for another year.

However, Misbah and Waqar informed the PCB of their decision to leave on Monday ahead of the upcoming three ODIs and five T20Is against New Zealand, with the T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates and Oman also on the horizon.

Saqlain Mushtaq and Abdul Razzaq have joined the Pakistan management team as interim coaches for that New Zealand series, which begins on September 17.

Misbah's decision to step down was for family reasons amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with the 47-year-old having recently spent time self-isolating in Jamaica after testing positive for COVID-19.

"The quarantine in Jamaica post the West Indies series provided me with an opportunity to reflect on the past 24 months as well as the schedule for international cricket ahead," Misbah said in a statement. 

"Considering that I would have had to continue to spend considerable time away from my family and that too in a bio-secure environment, I have decided to step down from the role.

"I understand that the timing may not be ideal but I don't think I am in the right frame of mind for the upcoming challenges and it makes sense for someone fresh to step in and take the side forward.

"The past 24 months have been thoroughly enjoyable and I want to thank my team and the management for their support. 

"I wish the Pakistan cricket team best of luck in the upcoming events and will continue to support them every time they will take the field to represent Pakistan."

Waqar's decision to step down was linked to Misbah's departure. 

"After Misbah shared with me his decision and future plans, it was a straightforward one for me to resign as we had walked into the roles together, had worked collectively as a pair and now also step down together," Waqar said.

"Working with the Pakistan bowlers, including the youngsters, has been most satisfying as they have now started to show progress. 

"Bio-secure environments in the past 16 months have had their impact, something we had never experienced during our playing days.

"The next eight months will be busy and exciting for the Pakistan team and, like in the past, I will continue to back and cheer them. 

"I want to thank each and every member of the Pakistan cricket team set-up as we stayed united in good and bad days, and hope there will be brighter days ahead."

The shock double exit came two hours after Pakistan had named their squad for the T20 World Cup, as well as the warm-up internationals against New Zealand and England.

Asif Ali and Khushdil Shah were among the surprise inclusions in the 15-man selection.

 

Pakistan squad: Babar Azam (c), Asif Ali, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Azam Khan, Shadab Khan, Sohaib Maqsood, Mohammad Nawaz, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Rizwan, Khushdil Shah, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Wasim.

South Africa one-day captain Temba Bavuma has been ruled out for the remainder of the Proteas' ODI series in Sri Lanka with a fractured thumb.

The skipper suffered the freak injury during Wednesday's first ODI that, inspired by centurion Avishka Fernando, the hosts won by 14 runs.

Bavuma was inadvertently struck from a fielder's throw-in during the 26th over at the R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium.

Persistent discomfort saw him retire hurt two overs later, with scans later revealing a fracture.

Bavuma will return to South Africa for further treatment, from which his recovery time will be determined.

Keshav Maharaj will deputise as captain for the second ODI of the three-match series on Saturday.

 

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