As the excitement continues to build ahead of this year’s ICC Men’s Twenty20 World Cup, West Indies’ co-host United States has started construction of a new modular stadium, Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York.

 The 34,000-seat stadium, a first of its kind for cricket, is expected to be completed within a mere three months, and is scheduled to host eight matches, including the high-profile fixture between India and Pakistan on June 9.

The stadium will feature an array of seating options including premium and general admission, VIP and hospitality suites, as well as a unique party deck and cabanas.

Sustainability is at the forefront of this project. The grandstands, previously used for the Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix, are being repurposed for the T20 World Cup venue.

The design team behind this ambitious project is Populous, renowned for creating some of the most iconic stadia worldwide, including the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad and the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.

In New York, they are the architect of record for both the New York Yankees and New York Mets.

“We are excited to be unveiling the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York ahead of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024," ICC Chief Executive Geoff Allardice said.

It is an incredibly important milestone in the lead up to the biggest ICC event ever, with work commencing on the stadium which will be able to accommodate 34,000 cricket fans."

“We are partnering with world-class suppliers to deliver the modular stadium to ensure that players and fans can enjoy an unforgettable experience across the eight matches in New York in June this year.”

The stadium will not only cater to cricket enthusiasts but also promises a world-class experience for all guests. It will feature a dedicated fan zone, a variety of food and beverage outlets, and state-of-the-art media and broadcast areas.

The wicket, a drop-in square similar to those used at Adelaide Oval and Eden Park, is currently being curated in Florida. It will be transported to New York in early May.

The venue, 30 miles east of Manhattan, will have good transport and parking facilities, with three train stations also available in the vicinity.

Fans will have their opportunity to be a part of history by attending a festival of cricket and seeing the world’s best players in action, with eight T20 World Cup matches hosted at the venue, beginning with the clash between Sri Lanka and South Africa on June 3.

England are hopeful pace bowler Jofra Archer will be fit to play in this summer’s T20 World Cup.

The 28-year-old has not played professional cricket since a recurrence of an elbow injury at the Indian Premier League in May.

He has been plagued by injuries since bursting on to the international scene by helping England win the 50-over World Cup in 2019 before starring in that summer’s Ashes.

Archer did train with England during their white-ball tour of the Caribbean in December and Key is optimistic he can play a part in their T20 World Cup title defence.

“Our plan is the T20 World Cup, building him up slowly,” Key told the BBC’s Tailenders podcast.

“I saw him bowl in the Caribbean and it was like he’d never been away.

“I don’t want to get back to this thing where he plays and then goes down again.

“He wanted to play in the IPL, but we said not this time. Hopefully the years he has missed he can add to the end of his career. He is such a talent.”

England begin the T20 World Cup, which will be held in the West Indies and the United States, against Scotland in Barbados on June 4.

President of the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board Azim Bassarath believes the West Indies have set up an excellent platform for a strong challenge at next June’s ICC World T20 in the Caribbean.

The Cricket West Indies vice-president commented in light of the Caribbean cricketers’ exciting 3-2 victory over defending World Cup champions England in the T20I series which ended on Thursday with a four-wicket win for the home team at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy.

The home team also triumphed 2-1 in the five-match ODI rubber which preceded the T20s.

“The win was not surprising, since March the West Indies have been performing well having beaten South Africa and India in white ball cricket,” said Bassarath.

He said the men in Maroon clearly showed they were hungry for success and obviously enjoyed playing as a unit under Darren Sammy.

“Their superlative string of wins against very good competition augers well for the future with the T20 World Cup on the horizon, in front of their home crowd,” said the TTCB boss.

Bassarath also welcomed allrounder Andre Russell who distinguished himself on his return to the West Indies set-up after a lengthy lay-off.

He said Russell brought new energy into the team and looks like he’s enjoying his cricket having experienced a very rewarding T20I series against England.

In the first match which the home team won by four wickets, Russell took 3 for 19 and scored an unbeaten 29 from 14 balls to cop the Man of The Match award.

In the second match he scored 14 runs from 10 balls, and a poor bowling performance in which his four overs scored 66 runs as the West Indies won edged out a ten-run win.

In the third match, he scored just eight runs and took one wicket as England won by seven wickets. In the next game, he kept the innings alive with 51 runs from 25 balls after he took one wicket but the visitors levelled the series 2-2 with a massive 75-run victory.

Finally, in the fifth and deciding match he took two wickets for 25 runs and scored three runs as the Caribbean team won by four wickets.

Bassarath said Russell’s contribution was telling and that he was also was very influential in the team’s dressing room helping in strategizing especially for the fifth match.

Former West Indies captain Kieron Pollard will join the England coaching team for the 2024 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.

Pollard becomes part of the England set-up specifically as an assistant coach for the June tournament.

The 36-year-old from Trinidad and Tobago will provide expertise of Caribbean conditions with the competition being co-hosted by the West Indies and the United States.

Former Somerset all-rounder Pollard helped the West Indies win the T20 World Cup in 2012 and has played a record 600-plus matches in the format.

The ninth edition of the T20 World Cup will be held between June 4 and June 30 next year, with the final to be staged at the Kensington Oval in Barbados.

England will defend the title they won for the second time in Australia 13 months ago in a tournament expanded from 16 to 20 teams.

Andre Russell pledged to arrive at next year's T20 World Cup "looking like a UFC fighter" after his comeback series for West Indies culminated in a four-wicket win over England in Thursday's decider at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Trinidad.

Russell returned to international cricket having last represented West Indies at the 2021 T20 World Cup in the UAE.

The 35-year-old was not in the regional team’s plans for last year's T20 World Cup in Australia, when selector Desmond Haynes said that West Indies had "moved on" from him, but won a recall after confirming his availability.

He was West Indies' leading wicket-taker in the series, largely bowling at the death, and scored at a strike rate of 169.35 with the bat.

"It means a lot, to be honest, getting the call-up to come back and to join the West Indies team," he told TNT Sports.

"I've been working for the last two years, waiting on a call-up. I'm just excited to be back and have a win," Russell said, highlighting the role that Daren Sammy has played in his return.

"The coach has been backing me a lot. I'm so happy. I feel like I've won a big, big championship with just a series win, that's how much it means to me."

Russell arrived in the Caribbean immediately after playing in the Abu Dhabi T10, and said that the long-haul flight across the world had affected his performance after impressing in the series opener.

"I was coming from Abu Dhabi where it's a big time difference," he said.

"Flying back into Barbados I tried to stay up as late as possible to make sure that I get enough sleep so that I can [be] fresh for the game.

“When I got to Grenada, I just couldn't sleep. I start feeling sleepy at 6am in the morning, which would be the time that I would sleep in Abu Dhabi. Fans won't know that, but I still get the pressure and the backlash and all of that. It just makes me stronger. I love my Caribbean fans and I know they are passionate about the game, and when we're messing up, they will be on our backs.

I want to make sure that I do the necessary recoveries, drink a lot of coconut water and get my body right - massages, and all of that. That's what I did to really be able to come in the last game, bowl three overs for 30-odd runs [37] - and then today was exceptional from all the bowlers."

Russell hopes to be part of West Indies' squad for the T20 World Cup in June, when they will attempt to become the first men's team to win the trophy for a third time.

"I'll be in better shape, to be honest: I'll be looking like a UFC fighter," he said. "This series win means so much. It [makes me] want to push myself to the limit."

He is due to play in the ILT20 and the IPL early next year, and said: "I have a lot of cricket to play and that's good. When you're playing cricket and in competition, your body is active and you're not just sat at home waiting for the World Cup. We are definitely going to give some teams a good, good run for their money in the World Cup."

Matthew Mott suspects the bulk of England’s squad in the Caribbean will return to the region for the T20 World Cup next year – but places will be kept open for Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer.

Stokes is convalescing from surgery to a longstanding left knee problem and the England Test captain hopes to return to full all-rounder status in 2024, having functioned as a specialist batter recently.

His unbeaten 52 in the T20 World Cup final 13 months ago got England over the line and Mott admitted that reserving Stokes a spot for next year’s title defence represents something of a no-brainer.

The England white-ball head coach is also keeping close tabs on Archer, who it is hoped can return to full fitness in time for the T20 World Cup in June after a string of injuries to his right elbow.

“Ben, aside from his incredible match-winning ability in every department is that ability to have a seam bowler in that top-six gives you so many options with your team balance,” Mott said.

“A lot of the times you have to give up something. If you win, everyone says ‘oh, they got it right’. If you lose, it’s ‘they were a bowler short or a spinner short’.

“When you’ve got a seam bowler in your top-six, it makes selection a hell of a lot easier. So (choosing him at the T20 World Cup) is a given. Every team in the world wants someone like that and they’re rare.

“In terms of Jofra, you’ve just got absolute box-office pace, change of pace, bowl any over in the innings. Him on the park is massive, everyone would agree with that.”

England, without regulars Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow and Mark Wood, have fought back from 2-0 down in their T20 series against the West Indies to level at 2-2 and force a decider in Trinidad on Thursday.

And Mott gave a strong indication that the majority of the players involved in this series will be on the plane when England return for the T20 World Cup in June in the Caribbean and United States.

“We always said with this series we’d go pretty close to the side we’re looking for,” Mott said. “Otherwise, why would they be here? We don’t get many opportunities to play together before the World Cup.”

Phil Salt has made an irresistible case to open alongside Jos Buttler for the foreseeable future with match-winning innings of 109 not out in Grenada on Saturday and an England record 119 in Trinidad.

While he has flickered in an England shirt before, Salt is reaping the benefits of continuity in selection, having been on the fringes of both white-ball sides before this breakout tour.

“I’ve always thought he was an amazing player,” Mott said. “He does stuff that not many people can do and we’ve seen it at domestic level for a long time and we’ve seen glimpses of it internationally.

“It was funny – after he got the first hundred I said ‘it’s a habit now’ and he had true belief in it. You could see a different look in his eyes, it was like ‘not only do I belong, but I’ve got this’.

“You don’t know what you’ve got until you’ve achieved it. All of a sudden, he’s away, his international career is flying and he’s in the record books forever.”

England’s two wins have taken some pressure off Mott after their group-stage exit at the 50-over World Cup and ODI series defeat to the West Indies.

“I’ve been around the game a long time and I know it’s like the share market, your stocks go up and down all the time,” the Australian added.

“When you get into coaching, you realise you shouldn’t take too much credit for the success and not too much blame for the failures.”

Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Hon. Olivia “Babsy” Grange, says Jamaica intends to throw their hat in the ring in hopes of being able to host matches at next year’s ICC T20 World Cup set to be held in the West Indies and the USA in June.

“In relation to the World Cup, we are interested. We are looking at the numbers and I’m in discussion with Billy Heaven, President of the Jamaica Cricket Association,” Grange told SportsMax.TV.

“A letter was written to the Prime Minister about it by Cricket West Indies and he has referred the matter to me. We’re looking at the numbers and having discussions. The bid is coming up shortly so we have to make a decision very soon but it is something we’d like to do,” the minister added.

For context, Jamaica has not hosted a Caribbean Premier League (CPL) match since 2019 and will, once again, not host any in the upcoming season. The country last hosted an international game in January 2022 when the West Indies hosted Ireland for three ODIs and three T20Is.

As it relates to 2023, “things didn’t quite come together for matches” according to CPL Head of PR and Communications Peter Miller.

“Talks are ongoing for 2024 and we are hopeful that we will have matches in Jamaica in the future.”

The main problem, as put by CPL CEO Pete Russell, has been “a lack of support from the Government and the private sector.”

“We have made no secret of the fact that we have lacked support in terms of bringing the CPL to Jamaica over the years and this has been a challenge,” Russell told the Jamaica Observer recently.

The CEO emphasized his point by drawing a comparison with Guyana, who will host the playoffs for this year’s tournament and have also submitted a proposal to host games at the World Cup.

“We feel that what CPL does for the host countries speaks for itself, with Guyana Government’s Cricket Carnival a prime example of what can be achieved if stakeholders work together. There was a 90% increase of international arrivals into Guyana in September 2022 with 31,050 international visitors arriving in the country. There were no hotel rooms available, and money was being put into the Guyanese economy,” he said.

“We want to be able to come back to Jamaica but, for this to happen, we need support from the Government and the private sector,” he added.

 

West Indies batting great Brian Lara is among a three-member group of independent professionals named by Cricket West Indies (CWI) to conduct a comprehensive review of the early exit by the West Indies Men’s team from the recent ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia.

CWI on Wednesday announced that the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Review Group will undertake a holistic assessment of all aspects of the team’s preparation and performance at the global tournament. 

Along with Lara, who is also a current IPL T20 head coach, the panel also includes international cricket coach, South African Mickey Arthur and Justice Patrick Thompson Jr., a High Court Judge at the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, who will serve as Chair of the group that has already begun their work.

 “CWI is fortunate to have such a knowledgeable and totally independent panel agree to serve West Indies Cricket under challenging circumstances. I am especially grateful for their commitment to lend some of their valuable time to this important review project," said CWI President Ricky Skerritt.

"t is vital that players, coaches, administrators, and all of us who love West Indies cricket, recognize that creating a sustainable learning culture, throughout the organization, is a prerequisite for player growth and team improvement. Emotion-based and knee-jerk type decisions have failed CWI repeatedly in the past. I am confident that this independent World Cup review process will produce findings and learnings that should be of great benefit to our cricket system going forward.”

The West Indies team failed to qualify for the Super12s phase (second round) after losing unexpectedly to lower ranked teams, Scotland and Ireland. The losses caused great disappointment and frustration among all West Indies cricket stakeholders. The Group B qualifier round was played at Bellerive Oval in Tasmania where the team achieved their only victory over Zimbabwe, a team that qualified ahead of West Indies by defeating both Scotland and Ireland. 

 

 India head coach Rahul Dravid has insisted the country does not want to end up in the same position as West Indies cricket following an unceremonious exit from the T20 World Cup, at the hands of England, on Wednesday.

The 2019 champions managed to muster very little resistance in the semi-final, where England cruised to a 10-wicket win after the East Asian team made 168 for 6.  The West Indies were themselves meekly dumped out of the tournament but after losing to two associate teams sotland and Ireland in the first round.

Performances at the tournament were not, however, what the former batting star was referring to, but instead the issue of India players potentially facing a disadvantage from not being allowed to play in other T20 league’s around the world.

For his part, the coach conceded that it might be a disadvantageous but believes it is a necessity to protect the quality of India’s cricket.

“There is no doubt that England players have come and played in this tournament(Big Bash T20).  It’s tough, it’s very difficult vor Indian cricket because a lot of these tournaments happen right at the peak of our season.  I think it’s a huge challenge for us.  A lot of our boys do miss out on the opportunity of playing in these leagues, but its up to the BCCI to make that decision,” Dravid said.

“And with the kind of demand there would be for Indian players… if you allowed them to play in these leagues, we won't have domestic cricket. Our domestic cricket, our Ranji Trophy would be finished, and that would mean Test cricket would be finished. We have to be very careful; we have to understand that Indian cricket faces or BCCI faces in a situation like this," he added.

“A lot of boys are asked to play leagues in the middle of our season, we have seen what it has done to West Indian cricket, and I definitely don't want Indian cricket to go that way. It would affect Ranji Trophy and Test cricket and Indian boys playing Test cricket is pretty important for the Test game as well, I would think,” Dravid said.

Sir Vivian Richards has questioned the commitment of the current crop of West Indies players and has expressed his disappointment at the team’s performance and early exit from the 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia.

Former West Indies captain Kieron Pollard has expressed disappointment with the team’s unceremonious exit rom the T20 World Cup but believes it adds some perspective to criticism directed at the unit he led one year ago.

Pollard was captain of the team at the previous edition of the tournament, which ended in a similarly disastrous fashion.  On that occasion, however, the team, which consisted of veteran 30-somethings Pollard, Dwayne Bravo, Lendl Simmons, Andre Russell, and 40-something-year-old Chris Gayle, was criticized for being too old.

Pollard, who retired from international cricket earlier this year, however, believes the sub-par display at this year’s tournament should also serve as a cautionary tale for selecting teams with too little experience.

“We have a young captain, we have young players, guys who have played only a handful of T20 cricket and now they are in the World Cup.  When I look back at it, I sit back and I have a smile on my face because I remember some of the things that we said around last year this time when some individuals weren’t selected,” Pollard told Trinidad and Tobago radio.

“I just had to remind these people that there was a World Cup we were going to and another bilateral series.  Now some of these individuals get a chance to play in the World Cup and again look what has happened. It's no fault of theirs,” Pollard added.

"When we tried to protect them and let people understand they were not ready and for that we were lambasted.  There were a lot of things that were said that we are very derogatory at times.  It’s a sad day for West Indies cricket and all of us.”

 

 

    

Cricket West Indies President Ricky Skerritt promised a “thorough post-mortem” after the West Indies elimination from the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia on Thursday.

The team entered their final game in the qualifying round needing a win against Ireland to advance to the super 12s but were handily beaten by nine-wickets.

“I am deeply disappointed with the performance results of our team in Australia and I appreciate the sense of utter frustration that is being experienced by many,” Skerritt said in a statement on Friday.

The team, once again, showed an inability to play spin bowling, with Ireland’s spin duo of Gareth Delany and Simi Singh combining to bowl six overs for just 27 runs, grabbing four wickets in the process.

“The ongoing inability of our batsmen to prevail over opposing slow bowling continued to be an obvious weakness in Australia, and untimely shoe selection seems to be deeply embedded in the batting culture of our senior team,” Skerritt said.

The statement continues: “However, I want to ensure stakeholders that a thorough post-mortem will be carried out on all aspects of our World Cup preparation and performance, and that solutions will be found in keeping with CWI’s strategy to improve the quality and sustainability of cricket on all fronts, and in all formats. West Indies cricket is bigger than any one individual or event, and continues to need the input and support of all stakeholders.”

West Indies T20 captain Nicholas Pooran believes a bitterly disappointing end to the ICC Men's T20 World Cup should serve as a learning experience for the team.

On Friday, a dominant half-century from veteran opener Paul Stirling put an end to the campaign of the Caribbean team, in the first round of the tournament.  Stirling’s 66 from 48 deliveries led the Irish to a resounding 9-wicket win with 15 balls remaining and a spot in the Super-12.

The result confirmed a far fall for the West Indies, the two-time champions of the event lost two of three matches to teams who came through the qualification phase.  Once again, the Windies struggled with the bat on what looked like a fair surface, limping to 146 for 5 in their 20 overs, before Ireland easily moved down the total, with a little application, proving there were no demons in the pitch.

"It’s obviously a learning experience.  We have disappointed our fans back home and most importantly disappointed ourselves,” Pooran said following the match.

“It’s definitely hurting.  I definitely disappointed the guys in how I performed as well but we live to see another day,” he added.

In continuation of a general theme in the format this year, the team continued to find runs at the crease hard to come by and were well bogged down by the Ireland strategy.  Brandon King ended the innings unbeaten for the West Indies on 62 from 48.

“We haven’t batted well in this tournament at all.  On a really good batting surface coming out here and making 145 it was always difficult to ask the bowlers to defend that on this track.”

West Indies all-rounder Jason Holder has rejected claims the team is missing the impact of some of its most explosive players, following a shock opening-day loss to Scotland.

For the first time in decades the team heading into a tournament, without the likes of some of its most experienced T20 campaigners with the likes of Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, and Andre Russell no longer counted among their numbers.

Despite that fact, however, Holder insists the team has plenty of quality at its disposal.

“I don’t think we are missing anyone, I think we have every tool that we need in this dressing room,” Holder said.

In Sunday’s opening Group B encounter, the team suffered a shocking 42-run defeat at the hands of Scotland.  The match almost certainly put West Indies in a must-win situation against world number 11th- ranked Zimbabwe, with only the top two teams from the group.

Against Scotland, the team put in a creditable performance with the ball as Alzarri Joseph and Holder himself each claimed two wickets.  With the bat, however, the team was once again found wanting.  As has often been the case it was spin that proved the undoing of the Windies at the crease.  With Mark Watt and Michael Leask leading the way for the Scots, the Windies were bundled out for 118, with only Holder again making an impact with 38 from 33.

For their part, Zimbabwe were impressive in their opener against Ireland, taking the encounter by 31 runs and Holder knows it will take a special effort. 

“We are just going to have to dig deep.  There is no other way to really put it, we just have to dig deep and bring it together,” Holder added.

The West Indies will face Zimbabwe at 3:00 am on Wednesday.

“There’s no doubt that we have what it takes” was the message from West Indies all-rounder Jason Holder ahead of his team’s must-win game against Zimbabwe at the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia on Wednesday.

The Windies are in a must-win situation after suffering an embarrassing 42-run defeat at the hands of Scotland on Sunday, leaving them at the foot of Group B needing wins in their last two games to move on to the Super 12s.

“Obviously, we had a tough start yesterday,” said the former West Indies Test and ODI skipper in a pre-match press conference on Monday.

“We’re all disappointed with the performance we had but I think the most important thing we have to do now is to come together and try to find solutions. There’s no doubt that we have what it takes to turn it around and it’s all about hitting the ground running against Zimbabwe,” he added.

The Zimbabweans will enter the game on a high after getting a comprehensive 31-run win over Ireland in their first game, also on Sunday.

“They’re a very good cricket team. We’ve played against them quite a bit in the recent past and they’ve been more and more competitive. They’re on a bit of a win streak as well so we’re expecting a highly competitive game; one of the hardest games we’ll have in the competition.”

The first game saw the Caribbean team struggle with the bat, being bowled out for 118 in just 18.3 overs in pursuit 161.

Better situational awareness and the forming of partnerships were Holder's answers when asked about possible solutions for the team's batting struggles.

 “We’ve got to be a little more situationally aware and try to build partnerships. Partnerships are key in any cricket game.”

“The situation of the game will determine how we play. If that requires that we go for boundaries then we’ll go for boundaries but if it requires that we have to knock it around for a bit, we’ll make that adjustment.”

The game is scheduled to start at 3:00 am Jamaica Time (4:00 am ECT).

 

 

 

 

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