Former West Indies fast bowler Tony Gray has questioned the selection of left-arm pacer Sheldon Cottrell and leg-spinner Yannic Cariah for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup in Australia.

“His involvement in T20 cricket has been non-existent,” Gray said of Cariah on the Mason & Guest radio show in Barbados on Tuesday.

The 30-year-old Trinidadian made his One-Day International debut for the Windies in the recently concluded series against New Zealand in Barbados last month.

“With Cariah, I think the selectors are assessing him on the couple of games he played against New Zealand but those were 50-over games. Where are you going to bat Cariah? He’s a very intelligent player, hard-working. I had him at the Under-19 level and I had to stop him a few times because he would be the one that would over-train and put too much pressure on himself,” added Gray, who represented the region in five Tests and 25 ODIs from 1985-1991.

Cariah has played four T20 matches in his career, the last coming six years ago.

Regarding Cottrell, Gray pointed to his fitness as his main question mark heading into Australia.

“I don’t think Cottrell has been fit enough in recent times to warrant a place on the West Indies team.  When you look at Cottrell in the last 50-over tournament, he was the player of the tournament for the West Indian people. When we look at Cottrell then, he was extremely fit. He was not only brilliant with the ball, but he was also brilliant in the field and took some stunning catches,” Gray said.

“The point I’m trying to make about Cottrell is that if he’s not playing consistently, I’m not sure that he’s going to fare well. We understand that he’s going to be playing on bouncier tracks in Australia and that he has different types of deliveries, but I’ve not seen him enough in recent times to make a determination on his fitness,” he added.

Cottrell has taken 48 wickets in 43 T20 Internationals since his debut in 2014. In the 2022 CPL, he took five wickets in six matches for the St. Kitts & Nevis Patriots.

 

Barbadian All-rounder Jason Holder has warned his West Indian teammates against complacency in the qualifying round for the ICC T20 World Cup scheduled to commence October 15 in Australia.

The Windies, who won the tournament in 2012 and 2016, will face Scotland, Zimbabwe and Ireland in Group B with the top two teams advancing to the Super 12.

"We've got a task to uphold in terms of qualifying for the main round," Holder said.

"More or less, we have to focus on the qualifier. Ireland, Scotland and Zimbabwe by no means are pushovers. We've got to take it as seriously as we possibly can and just make sure we get into the next phase of the tournament."

Holder, entering his third T20 World Cup believes there are positives to playing in the qualifiers for the regional side.

"I think it's good in a way that we're playing the qualifiers," he said.

 "West Indies teams of the past have proved that we get better as we go along. To have the warm-up phase of the tournament and then to go into the actual group stage after qualification, I think it's going to be to our betterment in the sense we get more cricket. The talent we have got - depth in terms of resources and batting and bowling - we've always been pretty athletic in the field, so I'm looking forward to that challenge."

The team will be looking to rebound from an abysmal 2021 T20 World Cup in the UAE where they got just one win in five matches, failing to advance from the Super 12.

 

 

Legendary West Indies fast bowler Sir Andy Roberts believes not having a settled team could make things difficult for the team in the upcoming T20 World Cup qualifiers.

In order to officially book a spot in Australia next month, the two-time champions must advance from a play-off group that will also feature Ireland, Scotland, and Zimbabwe.  The team will start as heavy favourites to advance from the group but the squad will feature several players that have not been in the squad for the last few months and even some who have never played the format internationally.

Since a disastrous campaign at the 2021 World Cup, the Windies have played 22 matches, but a few of the players added to the squad have not played in the majority of them over the past year.  For instance, Evin Lewis has not played since the last tournament, Johnson Charles has not played for the team since 2016, Sheldon Cottrell has played sparingly since the start of the year, and Yannic Cariah and Raymond Reifer are yet to play in the format.

Having played so many matches Roberts believes the team should have been already been using a settled squad ahead of the tournament.

“We don’t have a settled team and that is the biggest problem.  You don’t know what your teammate is capable of doing because he has just come into the team,” Roberts told the Mason and Guest Radio program.

“When West Indies was at its best, we had a settled team for five, ten years.  If you check out Australia, Australia has a settled team, and Pakistan has a settled team.  India is fiddling around with the team and just look at the issues they have been having.  You need settled teams,” he added.

“We are going with a number of new players, new to the international scene.  We knew for a long time that the World Cup was going to be this year, so we should have been trying our best to make sure we have a unit that is ready to go from ball one.”

 

 

Guyana Amazon Warriors captain Shimron Hetmyer was full of praise for all-rounder Odean Smith who played a pivotal role for the team in a 12-run win over Jamaica Tallawahs in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) on Wednesday.

With the Warriors desperately needing a result, in their first match on home soil this season, Smith impacted the game decisively at both ends.  Batting first, the Warriors found themselves in deep trouble at 98 for 7 before Smith bludgeoned 42 from 16 and shared in a seventh-wicket partnership of 74 from 27 with Keemo Paul to push the team to a respectable 178 for 8.

At the other end, on the back of a defiant 104 from Brandon King, the Tallawahs seemed poised for an unlikely victory, needing just 20 off the last over.  King got things started off with a 6 but Smith shut the door, taking 2 wickets and effecting a runout for an overall 26 runs. He was named the man of the match.

“I actually had no idea we would have actually gotten that many I was actually thinking let’s get to 140, 150 and we’ll fight but as we saw today it was a fantastic innings from him (Smith), hats off to him,” Hetmyer said of Smith's contribution.

“He played one of the most special innings that I’ve had the pleasure of seeing and he’s one of those guys that anything can happen on a given day.  He’s just one of those special guys.”

Former West Indies opening batsman Philo Wallace believes the 15-man squad selected for the upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia has the issue of being short of genuine batsmen.

It’s safe to say that the selection announced by the Desmond Haynes-led panel, earlier this week, included quite a few surprises.  The list included some players on the fringes of the T20 unit for a while, with the likes of Sheldon Cottrell and Johnson Charles recalled and the inexperienced Yannic Cariah also earning somewhat of a shock selection.  

In some ways, Wallace believes the team is similar in composition to the West Indies squad selected for last year's failed World Cup campaign, which had focused on stacking up power hitters.

“We’re going to Australia on bigger cricket grounds and we are carrying a lot of hitters of the cricket ball.  I think when these guys are asked to bat, they are going to find themselves in problems.  A lot of them are not even in form,” Wallace told the Mason and Guest radio program.

The former opener also had questions regarding how different pieces of the team would fit together.

“If you play Johnson Charles you have four openers on that T20 squad right now.  Is he going to keep wicket or is he going to field out.  Yannic Cariah is a wildcard, he doesn’t play T20 cricket, and he’s not involved in CPL.  If he plays where is he going to fit into the 11?”

 

 

One big-hitting left-hander Evin Lewis has surpassed another, Chris Gayle, for the most sixes scored in Caribbean Premier League (CPL) history.

On Sunday, the 30-year-old managed just 19 for St Kitts and Nevis Patriots in a lopsided 49-run loss to the St Lucia Kings but despite the defeat, there was a positive side.  Lewis's two sixes in the innings moved him level and then one clear of legendary T20 star Chris Gayle.

Gayle has remained at the top of the six-hitting leader board for some time on 172 from 85 matches.  Lewis's new high of 173 has come in 86 matches.  Kieron Pollard is in third place on 152.

Lewis, who was recently named to the West Indies World Cup squad, has long listed the big Jamaican as the player he idolized the most over the years.  Gayle arguably the most dominant batsman to ever play the format leads many of the boundary-hitting statistics, including the most sixes with 1056.

Cricket West Indies chief of selectors Desmond Haynes is confident veteran fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell remains able to provide the team with plenty of firepower up front despite a recent spell of indifferent form and injury.

Two years ago, the 33-year-old was one of the most explosive fast bowlers in the sport and was bought by the Kings XI Punjab ahead of the Indian Premier League season.  The bowler has, however, since struggled to build on that momentum and has also been plagued by recurrent injury.

His selection would have come as somewhat of a surprise for many having not represented the T20 team since earlier this year when he played in series against India and England.  The player also missed out on this season’s IPL and has not featured regularly in the CPL so far.

  The left-arm seamer, who recently recovered from injury, only just returned to action for the St Kitts Patriots and has not made a telling impact so far.

 In 8 overs bowled, in the three CPL matches to date, he has produced figures of 2 for 73 at an average of 36.50. The economy rate for his 8 overs bowled has also been an unimpressive 9.12.  Haynes, however, believes once fully fit the player will have plenty to contribute to the campaign.

“He does the job for us up front but he is coming back from an ankle injury, so everyone is going to be assessed before we go to Australia,” Haynes said.

“I think that with Cottrell we know that he has been very good for us and that’s the reason we would select him.”

Afghan all-rounder Mohammad Nabi will join the Jamaica Tallawahs at the 2022 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL). Nabi has played 237 times for Afghanistan in international matches and brings a huge amount of experience from T20 cricket across the globe. 

This will be Nabi’s third time playing for a Hero CPL franchise having previously represented the St Kitts & Nevis Patriots and the Saint Lucia Kings.  In 12 matches at the tournament, the player has taken 9 wickets and managed to average 24.50.

Nabi will be available for selection for the Tallawahs from the start of the Guyana leg of the tournament.

The Tallawahs were left a man short following the departure of Nepalese bowler Sandeep Lamichhane.  Sandeep left the Caribbean last week to return to his homeland to answer charges after an arrest warrant was issued in his name.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) Desmond Haynes says the panel decided to not pick T20 big-hitter Andre Russell for the Windies World Cup squad based on a combination of his long-term absence from the regional team and recent struggles.

The 34-year-old has not played for the West Indies since representing the squad at the World Cup last year, despite controversially featuring in several lucrative T20 tournaments since then, including the Indian Premier League (IPL) and Vitality T20 Blast.

In addition, the player has failed to make much of an impression in this season’s Caribbean Premier League (CPL), which is admittedly closely watched by the panel of selectors.  In six matches the all-rounder has averaged 7.40 and has a top score of 17.  With the ball, he has taken four wickets.

“We just didn’t consider Russell for selection and that was it,” Haynes said of the player’s exclusion.

“We haven’t really seen a lot of Russell in playing cricket for the West Indies recently and judging from what is happening now we just decided that we would move on,” he added.

Russell has played 67 matches for the West Indies and averaged 19.50 with a strike rate of 150.  He has taken 37 wickets at an economy rate of 9.18.

Legendary Windies skipper Viv Richards believes it is important for players to remember the role representing the team played in earning big-money T20 contracts, but insists there should be plenty of room for negotiation with cricketers currently out of the team.

The absence of the likes of Sunil Narine and Andre Russell, for example, two of the team’s most explosive players, from the unit for the last year has been a sore point.  Despite the fact that they have continued to play in lucrative T20 leagues around the world, both players have been unavailable for the regional team.

Russell has not played for the team since last year’s World Cup while Narine has not appeared since 2017.  Another player, opener Evin Lewis, remains out of the team after opting out of fitness tests.  Recently West Indies coach Phil Simmons expressed frustration with the issue.  Richards believes a lot of the issues could come down to communication.

 “Guys sometimes try and make that particular decision in terms of what they want to do because they don’t feel that they are represented well enough on the left, and that’s why they will move to the right so it is pretty much troublesome knowing and hearing that from the coach, which means there are issues where these matters are concerned,” Richards told the Antigua Observer.

“There has got to be a meeting of all the individuals who participate and that’s the board and all the individuals they may believe to be in that particular lane where they do not want to play,” he added.

“That’s always your first aim, for you to represent your country as a sports person and then, if you can move further up-field like representing the region, which is obviously the West Indies cricket team, and then expand elsewhere because if that’s what you’re looking for, then that’s the opportunity you’re looking for,” he said.

“Also, there are times when we should look at the lighter side of things where one has got to remember that it was the West Indies platform that obviously gave you an opportunity for you to expand yourself.”

Cricket West Indies’ (CWI) Selection Panel on Wednesday announced the West Indies squad for the upcoming International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Men’s T20 World Cup.

The panel confirmed the fifteen (15) players who will represent the West Indies in the eighth ICC T20 World Cup, which will be played in Australia from October 16 to November 13. 

The West Indies are the only team to have won the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup twice, in Sri Lanka in 2012 and in India in 2016. The West Indies campaign to win an unprecedented third ICC Men’s T20 World Cup title starts on October 17, when they take on Scotland in first of three Group B fixtures played at the Bellerive Oval, in Hobart, Tasmania to qualify for the Super 12 phase of the tournament. Nicholas Pooran leads the West Indies in his first World Cup as captain, with Rovman Powell as vice-captain. 

Left-hand opening batter Evin Lewis has been recalled for the first time since the 2021 ICC T20 World Cup. Two uncapped players have been selected; right-arm leg-spinner allrounder Yannic Cariah and left-arm batting allrounder Raymon Reifer.

The Most Honourable Dr. Desmond Haynes, CWI’s Lead Selector said: “We have selected a mixture of youth and experience to represent the West Indies. In the selection process, we have been cognizant of the ongoing CPL and we have been looking at the players who have been playing very well. I said at the beginning of my tenure that I would be interested in giving players the opportunity and I think I have been consistent in doing that. I believe it is a very good team we have selected, and it is a team that will compete, given that we have to qualify from Round 1 into the Super12s.”

Dr. Haynes added: “ There are players who did not make the team and I hope they will continue to work hard and perform to their best in the CPL and the upcoming CG United Super50 Cup; because you never know what can happen in case of injuries or any other unforeseen situations where we might need to call up players as replacements.”

West Indies will face Zimbabwe on October 19 and then Ireland on October 21 with the top two teams from Group B joining the Super 12s, along with the top two teams from Group A which features Sri Lanka, the United Arab Emirates, the Netherlands and Namibia. ​ The top two teams from each Super12 group will advance to the semi-finals on November 9 and 10. 

Before the start of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, the West Indies will meet home team Australia in a two-match bilateral T20 International (T20I) series on October 5 at the Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast and on October 7 at the historical Gabba, in Brisbane.

FULL SQUAD

  1. NICHOLAS POORAN - Captain
  2. ROVMAN POWELL – Vice captain
  3. YANNIC CARIAH
  4. JOHNSON CHARLES
  5. SHELDON COTTRELL
  6. SHIMRON HETMYER
  7. JASON HOLDER
  8. AKEAL HOSEIN
  9. ALZARRI JOSEPH
  10. BRANDON KING
  11. EVIN LEWIS
  12. KYLE MAYERS
  13. OBED McCOY
  14. RAYMON REIFER
  15. ODEAN SMITH

 

West Indies T20 star Andre Russell insists he is content to focus on the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), at the moment, leaving questions regarding his selection for the upcoming World Cup up to the selectors.

The 34-year-old has found himself at the centre of controversy in recent months, with the majority of the debate surrounding his lack of availability for the West Indies team.  In the last year, despite his appearances at various T20 leagues around the globe, the player has not appeared for the West Indies since the T20 World Cup last year.

It is a situation that has at times left Windies coach Phil Simmons, and some fans, admittedly exasperated.  With the player having not been part of the Windies T20 squad for the last year, many have speculated on the merits of his inclusion for the upcoming tournament.

The all-rounder, who is currently plying his trade for the Trinbago Knight Riders, insists the CPL tournament is his only focus at the moment.

"I am focusing on CPL at the moment. This is where it is for me at the moment. I am taking it one day at a time, one game at a time,” Russell told members of the media.

“Whatever is to happen will happen. I have no control over what’s going on at the (CWI) or what is going on in (the) selectors' minds…whatever happens in the next week or two only God knows, so I am not even going to stress on that,” he added.

“No one has reached out to me, no one has said anything…once I do the performance on the field then I leave everything else in their hands.”

 

Former West Indies captain Sir Richie Richardson admits he was surprised but honoured to receive recognition from the University of the West, which is poised to issue the retired cricketer with an honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD) award for his contribution to the sport of cricket.

Richardson, a former opening batsman, led the West Indies from 1991-1996 and scored 5,949 runs in 86 Tests and scored 6,248 runs in 224 One Day International (ODI) matches.  One of a handful of West Indies players that have been knighted, Richardson remains involved with the sport as he is now also an ICC match referee.

“The University of the West Indies is a very important institution to us as a Caribbean people and it’s ranked as one of the best universities in the region so for them to see the need to bestow such an honour on me, then I am deeply touched, honoured and I am very grateful,” Richardson told the Good Morning Jojo Radio Show.

“I was surprised to be honest because I never really expected it but when I realised that it was going to happen I was very excited and deeply honoured.”

Barbados are winners of the West Indies Rising Stars U-15 Championship after they defeated Leeward Islands in the final round of matches at the Grenada National Stadium on Friday. The Bajans won the 15-over-per-side match by 16 runs to top the table with 18.4 points. They finished the tournament unbeaten.

Barbados batted first and made 73-0 off 15 overs with solid knocks of 31 from Shem Sargeant and 29 from Kemar Dixon.

In reply, the Leewards ended on 57-8 with the top score of 22 from Tanez Francis, which came off 26 balls. Jakeem Pollard (2-7), RJai Gittens (2-9) and Akobi Crichlow-Byer (2-6) led the way with the ball for the Bajans.

Speaking after the match, Coach Rohan Nurse said he was pleased with the team-work which led to the side’s triumph.

“We are very happy with the way the team played throughout the entire tournament. Over the past two years we didn’t have any competitive cricket at this level, due to the pandemic. In that time, they (players) worked really hard to maintain their skills, and we had a very good build-up leading up to the tournament. It was the first time for all of them at the regional level, but they were able to adapt, and they did very well to come out and win. We are very proud.”

A day of tremendous momentum swings ended with Leeward Islands holding on with one wicket remaining to win the West Indies Rising Stars Under-19 championship in a roller coaster three-day final against Barbados at Arnos Vale in St. Vincent on Saturday.

Nathan Edwards, the left-handed allrounder ended unbeaten on 11, which came off 55 balls in over 90 minutes at the crease, played a defensive masterclass for to help Leewards hold on in their second innings on 51-9 (28 overs) to avoid being bowled out, to deny Barbados the title in dramatic fashion.

The day’s play began with Leeward Islands batting in their first innings on 172-4, 107 runs behind Barbados's first innings total of 279-8 declared.

 Overnight batsman Carl Bowen-Tuckett showed his experience during a crucial composed knock of 68 off 200 balls with two boundaries to anchor the Leewards before he was dismissed in the 98th over, ahead of the team tactical declaration on exactly 250-8 (110 overs), to receive key batting points for scoring 250 and facing that number of overs.

Although Barbados held a 29-run lead, Leewards had closed the points gap due to the fast bowling and batting points accumulated. So, when Edwards, bowling his left-arm medium, trapped Barbados opener Achilles Browne without scoring with the second delivery, that lead quickly became insignificant. Right-hand medium pacer Chamiqueko Landerfort took 4-16 as Barbados collapsed to 76-9.

The final equation to win the final meant Leewards either could chase down the 106 to win or just bat out the final session. While Barbados had to get all 10 wickets. When pacer Johan Layne struck in the first over of Leewards run chase, they started to wobble. Left-arm spinner Nathan Sealy with an inspired spell (14-8-10-6) was seemingly bowling Barbados to victory, but one final twist would occur.

Sealy unfortunately dropped Edwards at first slip with off fellow left-arm spinner Devon Stevenson which would have won Barbados the title. In the end Edwards and last man Onaje Armoy survived the final stages to win the championship for the Leeward Islands.

 

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