West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite insists he was not surprised by the determined, obdurate display of opening partner Tagenarine Chanderpaul, on his debut against Australia, on Wednesday.

Facing a mammoth 598 for 4 declared, the West Indies ended day 2 at 74 without loss after facing 25 overs.  Chanderpaul, the 25-year-old son of legendary West Indian batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul, made a solid 47 from 73 balls while Brathwaite himself made a more patient 18 from 79.

Chanderpaul was called into the squad last month as a replacement for previous opening batsman John Campbell, who is currently serving a doping violation suspension.  A match-up against top-ranked Australia certainly isn’t the easiest debut for the young batsman, his captain Brathwaite was, however, not worried.

“I wasn’t surprised.  I’ve known him for a while.  I’ve played against him and he has always had fight always takes his time to bat and bats for long periods,” Brathwaite said at the end of the days play.

“I know he is a fighter, so it isn’t surprising.  I just look forward to a lot from him playing for West Indies.  It was good to see but we need to continue,” he added.

Chanderpaul previously stood out for the team last week against the Prime Ministers XI where he recorded a century in the four-day affair.

West Indies Test captain Kraigg Brathwaite believes maintaining discipline will be crucial for the unit if they are to pose any type of challenge to Australia in the upcoming series.

Despite a relatively solid year in the red ball format, the Windies will start as massive underdogs against the top-ranked Australians on Sunday.  In addition to the fact that West Indies has not secured a win against Australia at home since 1993 the team has won just games in the last 8 Test series.

Having managed solid wins against England and Bangladesh in their last two series, however, Brathwaite will be hoping to spring a surprise.  For that, keeping focus will be crucial.

“We have 10 days of hard Test cricket to play.  We know Australia are a very, very good team, especially at home.  So, the main thing for us is to focus on our discipline,” Brathwaite of the media on Tuesday.

“When we are batting, we want to bat 100 overs plus, when we are bowling, we are looking to get 20 wickets.  So that obviously is to help the team win a game.  We know Australia is a superior team.  We have to play 10 days of hard cricket that’s the focus.”

The West Indies will play Australia in two Test matches.  The first will bowl off in Perth on December 4th, followed by a trip to Adelaide from December 7th-12th.

West Indies head coach Phil Simmons admits to some disappointment with a draw in the final four-day tour game against Prime Minister’s XI at Manuka Oval but believes it has been adequate preparation ahead of the two-Test series against Australia, which begins next week.

Chasing a total of 309 runs for victory, on the final day, a win seemed possible when the team entered the final break at 221 for 5, needing another 88 runs to claim victory.

 The West Indies had a less-than-ideal start to the final session, however, and found themselves reduced to 273 for 8, following the dismissals of Roston Chase, Alzarri Joseph, and then Kemar Roach, in fairly quick succession.

 Raymon Reifer and Joshua Da Silva then combined to help West Indies fight for the draw, playing out the final eight overs to finish on 277 for 8.

“I’m not happy with the results, we should have won it,” Simmons said following the final ball.

“We have a few misplaced wickets in the middle, while we were controlling the game, so that was a disappointment, but at the end of the day the way how the guys fought is always greatly encouraging,” he added.

With the players getting plenty of opportunities to bat and bowl in pressure situations, Simmons was though satisfied with what the tour match provided, ahead of a difficult series.

“The two games have been very good for us, mind you, flattish wickets, but the bowlers got the overs in their legs and the batsmen got their time at the crease so that was good for us.”

With just a week left to go vor the Australia vs West Indies Test series concerns have been raised regarding excessively poor tickets sales ahead of the match.

The world number one-ranked Australia will host the Windies in two-matches.  The first of the games will be held at Optus Stadium in Perth, beginning on Wednesday 30th.

The public’s interest in the series, however, remains lacklustre to date.  According to reports, just hundreds of tickets have been sold to members of the public, so var, well below the stadium’s capacity of the 60,000.  There now are concerns the series could set a record low vor Test mathes between the teams.

Australia batsman Australian batsman Marnus Labuschagne does not believe the low turnout is an overall lack of interest but believes there may be some fatigue in the fanbase.

 The country is fresh off a huge T20 World Cup on home soil and went straight into a three-game ODI series against England.

 

 

West Indies call-up Tagenarine Chanderpaul insists he is focused on being himself ahead of a possible debut for the Caribbean team in the upcoming series against Australia next week.

On Thursday, the 26-year-old Chanderpaul made 119 off 293 balls during the team’s warm-up game against a Prime Minister’s XI, in the ongoing four-day tour match in Canberra.  The knock featured a risp 11 fours and a six on his way to reaching triple figures.

Chanderpaul, who was called up to the team last month, is widely expected to partner Windies captain Kraigg Brathwaite at the top of the innings for the match-up with the world number-one ranked Aussies, following the suspension of John Campbell.

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Ahead of the player’s potential debut, comparisons to his famous father, West Indies legend Shivnarine Chanderpaul, are inescapable.  In an outstanding 164 Test match career for the West Indies, Chanderpaul scored 11867 runs, which puts him second all-time behind the great Brian Lara.  It’s a towering legacy to live up to.

“They’re big boots but I try and be myself.  I can only be myself, so I just try and be me,” the young Chanderpaul said after Thursday's match.

Like his father, Tagenarine has shown the propensity to be watchful and patient at the crease, which could bode well for the regional team.  The batsman, however, is hoping to eventually be recognized for his own style.

"I try and be myself. I can't replicate him, so I can only be myself. Fingers crossed… I'll try to get some runs if I'm selected."

 

West Indies wicketkeeping great Jeffrey Dujon believes the decision taken by captain Nicholas Pooran to step down is the best one for the player at this point in time.

The 27-year-old, who took charge of the region’s white-ball teams earlier this year, made the surprise decision to step down as captain, after just 7 months on the job.

As captain of the team, Pooran had faced severe pressure following the team’s poor showing at the T20 World Cup.  The West Indies failed to advance from the first round of the competition, following losses to Scotland and Ireland.  The results led to the resignation of the team’s head coach Phil Simmons but having only just been appointed to the post, Pooran was widely expected to keep the position.

Dujon admitted to being surprised but believes the player has done the right thing given the circumstances.

“I think it’s a good thing for him.  As a young player, you have been given responsibility but things haven’t worked out for him,” Dujon told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“He still has a career ahead of him and shedding this responsibility might just help his cricket as time goes on,” he added.

Pooran captained the T20 team for 23 matches, winning 8 and losing 14 for a win ratio of 35 percent.

West Indies legend Shivnarine Chanderpaul believes several of the current generation are more motivated by money as opposed to the pride that drove their predecessors to global success.

Over the last several years the Caribbean team’s struggles with the losing its players to lucrative T20 league around the world is a well noted one.  At various points in time some of the region’s most notable players have found themselves at loggerheads with Cricket West Indies (CWI) over availability issues.

On occasion, the Windies best players have opted to take part in the world’s year-round T20 leagues ahead of international fixtures, which has left the team without some of its most experienced campaigners.

“We played for pride,” added Chanderpaul told Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald, on the heels of his recent induction to the International Cricket Council’s Hall of Fame.

“There are a lot of Premier leagues around the world. West Indies cricket is not what these guys would depend on these days, so I don’t think they’re as keen. They can go elsewhere and play and not focus on having to represent West Indies,” he added.

“Whatever comes up, the guys are happy to make as much as they can while their cricket career lasts,” he added.

 

West Indies all-rounder Jason Holder does not expect a hangover from a poor T20 World Cup campaign to impact the team for the upcoming Test series against Australia.

A shocking first-round exit from the tournament last month cast a long shadow over cricket in the Caribbean region, which remains in the process of searching for answers.

Despite the change in formats, some have suggested that the team could be negatively impacted heading into the series.  Holder, however, does not believe it will be the case.

“I think for me the World Cup is behind me, we just have to look forward to this series,” Holder told members of the media on Tuesday.

The Test unit, led by Kraigg Brathwaite has been in before form and has won the last two series.

“It’s a fresh group with different players a whole different dynamic. The prospects of this team have been really good, they’ve played some really good cricket this year and they have good leadership.  Kraigg has done an outstanding job and he’s led the boys really well, so we are looking forward to the prospects here.”

West Indies Test captain Kraigg Brathwaite admits he is looking forward to a potential partnership with new comer Tagenarine Chanderpaul, who could make his debut in the upcoming series against Australia.

Chanderpaul, the 26-year-old son of legendary Windies batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul, was called into the team earlier this month and widely expected to get his first cap when the series gets under way in one week’s time.

The younger Chanderpaul is expected to become the 7th batsman to join Brathwaite in an opening partnership for the West Indies in the last five years, joining the likes of Kieran Powell, Shai Hope, Devon Smith, Jermaine Blackwood and John Campbell.

Campbell, Brathwaite’s most recent partner at the crease received a four-year ban for a whereabouts doping violation earlier this year.  Despite the fact that the duo are yet to face a ball, Brathwaite believes there is potential for the partnership to do well.

"I think the partnership will work extremely well, to be honest," Brathwaite told members of the media on Monday.

"Tage is obviously a guy that could spend a lot of time. For me, my game, there's nothing that's going to change, just focusing on being in the right positions for each ball and… I look forward to the partnership. I've seen him play first-class for a little while, and he's always impressed with the time he has spent (batting). And I really look forward to seeing us do good things together."

Chanderpaul has scored 2669 runs in first class cricket so far and has 5 100s and 10 50s.

West Indies legend Sir Vivian Richards has insisted the cricket-loving fans of the region deserved more from the team in light of a disappointing World Cup campaign.

On Sunday, at the end of the 2022 ICC Men's T20 World Cup final, either Pakistan or England will join the West Indies as two-time winners of the tournament.

The Caribbean team, however, once the standard bearers in the world’s shortest format, were nowhere close to hitting those heights in this edition as they crashed out of the tournament in the first round following losses to Scotland and Ireland.

Richards, who once thrilled as part of an all-conquering squad, insists such results are difficult for fans in the region to take, particularly given the team’s once proud legacy.

“There is a legacy where this whole thing is concerned and maybe that’s why some of these players are currently on show,” Richards told the Good Morning Jojo Radio program.

“So, there are a lot of things to represent and I just think that’s lacking. The West Indian fans deserve much more because we have had so many issues like the pandemic and we needed something to uplift us and there are times when we look to our sportsmen and women to do that and presently, the West Indies team is basically lacking where that is concerned.”

The former captain, however, also believes the issue of player availability must be addressed.

 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.

Young Windies fast bowler Jayden Seales is expected to join English cricket club Sussex for the start of the 2023 season.

The 21-year-old, who last played for the West Indies in July is expected to represent the English club for the first three months of the 2023 season, which is scheduled to get underway in April.

During the period the player will have the opportunity to take part in both the team’s Championship and T20 games.  The young bowler, who became the youngest player to take five wickets for the West Indies in Tests, last year against Pakistan, was understandably excited for the opportunity.

“As a young fast bowler, I like to find myself facing as many different situations and challenges as possible,” Seales said.

“I can’t wait to test myself in England and hopefully contribute to a winning start for Sussex in both Championship and T20 cricket.”

 

West Indies legend Sir Vivian Richards has been named as brand ambassador for the upcoming Lankan Premier League (LPL).

The tournament, which will take place from December 6-23 will be its third edition, having bowled off in 2020.  As such it remains one of the newest and smaller leagues in world cricket and hopes the high profile of the former swashbuckling West Indies, one of the most respected in the sport, will help elevate its profile.

“We are pleased to announce one of the finest batters of all time, Vivian Richards as Brand Ambassadors for the 2022 LPL. Having someone like Sir Vivian Richards will boost the league and attract more followers from the whole world, and help in our quest to make this tournament a global cricketing attraction. I am really excited to see great Sri Lankan talents on display in the league,” Anil Mohan, Chairman of IPG Group and founder of LPL.

The LPL will also have West Indies presence on the pitch with big-hitter Evin Lewis and Carlos Brathwaite expected to feature.

 

 

Former West Indies captain Darren Sammy believes regional body Cricket West Indies (CWI) and the smaller boards can be stuck between a rock and hard place when it comes to holding on to their top players, as they lack the financial clout to do so.

Since the advent of lucrative global T20 leagues, the team has on many occasions struggled to have its top players available, as they opt to take part in the competitions over scheduled international fixtures.

At the moment, the problem is less of an issue for some of the sport’s bigger for team who hold a much tighter rein on when and where their players play.  India for instance does not allow their player to take part in any other T20 league except the IPL, as Sammy points out, the issue comes down to money.

“India is strong because they can tell their players that you don’t play anywhere else. You have to understand that they have the money to back it up,” Sammy said in an interview with the Press Trust of India (PTI).

“An India A list contracted player could probably make a million dollars a year (match fees plus TV rights money) compared to a Windies A-lister, who would earn USD 150,000,” he added.

Successive West Indies administrations have tackled the issue with various approaches that have yielded little success, the former captain does not see things changing anytime soon.

“Gone are those days when you played for love. Love doesn’t buy you groceries from a supermarket,” he added.

The player believed the region could possibly think of adopting a similar model to the one used by New Zealand.

Former Cricket West Indies (CWI) president Dave Cameron has branded the player-centric approach employed by the incumbent administration as a failure, insisting it prioritizes the needs of a few players over those of the region.

After surprisingly ending six years of the Cameron administration in 2019, the Skerritt and Shallow body promised significant improvements to the player, regional cricket board dynamic, which had soured over previous decades.

Under the new administration, the cricketers, board and players association seem to enjoy a less acrimonious existence, but previous issues of players choosing to make themselves unavailable for the regional team, while continuing to take part in lucrative T20 leagues around the world has remained an issue. 

The Skerritt association has, however, insisted that no action would be taken against players who choose to go that route.  Cameron has again questioned the merit of the approach.  

“The Shallow-Skerritt experiment has failed, basically what that Shallow-Skerritt experiment did was it put the players ahead of the region and that is the challenge,” Cameron told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“Someone had attacked me and said some players weren’t happy and I said to him you could name the players that weren’t happy on one hand versus the region,” he added.

“If you are running a business and you are trying to move the system forward you have to look at greater good not just what’s good for a few players.”

 

 

 

 

 

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