West Indies Test captain Kraigg Brathwaite claims the team is eager to buck the trend of typically poor performances in Sri Lanka when the teams meet in Galle later this week.

Since 1994, the teams have played 10 series between them, with the West Indies winning two and Sri Lanka winning three.  The rest have ended in draws.  None of the West Indies wins have come in Sri Lanka.  In fact, the West Indies are yet to win a match in Sri Lanka and suffered a 2-0 loss on their last visit in 2016.

Brathwaite believes the current squad, who did experience some success on the continent in February with a win over Bangladesh, is capable of finally breaking this long-running trend.

“I was here in 2016, my first series here and we lost both matches.  As a youngster it didn’t feel good just coming into the team.  Now I’m looking forward to these games, I think we have a very good team,” Brathwaite told members of the media on Thursday.

“This team is ready to go, and we are ready to break the shackles and win some games in Sri Lanka this time around,” he added.

The West Indies face Sri Lanka in a two-Test series in the Caribbean earlier this year, which ended in a 0-0 draw.

 

 

Legendary fast bowler, Curtly Ambrose, does not believe Shimron Hetmyer is ready to be captain of the West Indies team as the batsman still has areas of his individual game to develop.

Earlier this week, former Cricket West Indies (CWI) president Dave Cameron was reported as saying that Hetmyer should replace Pollard as the team’s new white-ball captain.  In further clarifying the issue, however, Cameron has since explained that he believes his administration would have done more to groom the player to take over the post by now.

With Hetmyer plagued by issues of inconsistency and fitness over the last few years, however, Ambrose does not believe having to handle the pressure of the captaincy would be the right move for the batsman at this time.

“I certainly wouldn't (make him captain).  Hetmyer is a young man and could be a future captain in the making but I think Hetmyer needs to get his game in order first,” Ambrose told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“He needs to get his game in order.  It’s too big a responsibility for the young man at this moment when he’s not playing as well,” he added.

“For me, I would like to see Hetmyer focus on his batting.  First and foremost get it right and then who knows what can happen a few years later but I wouldn’t give it to him now, being the captain is added pressure.”

In ODI cricket, Hetmyer is currently averaging 35.29 and has played 47 matches for the regional team.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) president Ricky Skerritt has expressed delight with a decision that will see the West Indies serve as joint hosts of the 2024 T20 World Cup along with the United States.

The West Indies will be hosting a World Cup-type event for the fourth time, with the US set to make history with its first.  In addition, the 2024 edition will be the first T20 World Cup to feature 20 teams.

Based on the fixtures, approximately two-thirds of the 55 matches will be held in the Caribbean, with the World Cup venues being drawn from the 13 established international cricket grounds in the West Indies.  The United States will host the remaining one-third of the matches where they will be played at five venues.

“The CWI welcomes this historic announcement by the ICC.  It means that the Caribbean has been handed another opportunity in 2024 to host a premiere world cricket event

“We’ve done this before and I’m very sure we are going to do very well doing this again.  This time its historic because we are partnering with our neighbours from the north USA Cricket.  We know that strategic partnership has helped with accepting our bid and we must soon get to work to make this exciting historic decision a truly successful one for all concerned.”

Emerging young West Indies fast bowler Jayden Seales is looking to build on a promising start to his Test cricket career when the team faces Sri Lanka in its upcoming series.

The 20-year-old has been a revelation for the regional team, since making his debut against South Africa earlier this year.  In four games so far, the young bowler has claimed 16 wickets, including a five-for against Pakistan in August.

On debut, Seales impressed with his ability to swing the ball at pace and also the consistency and quality of his length deliveries. 

“I was satisfied with my performances in my debut series and the series after that but it just for me to look to build on those performances now and try to improve in the areas that I can improve in,” Seales told members of the media on Saturday.

On his first overseas tour, the bowler faces unfamiliar conditions on the subcontinent, which typically favours spin bowlers, but he remains determined to try and make an impact.

“For me it’s just about trying to go out there and execute my plans as best as I can, to try and work with the conditions and see what I can get done for the team.”

West Indies batsman Jermaine Blackwood will be looking to impact the upcoming series against Sri Lanka perhaps even by taking a with a ball.

The middle-order batsman’s previous encounter against the Sri Lankans earlier this year did go quite to plan after managing just 42 runs in two matches with a high score of 18.  Ahead of the upcoming series Blackwood who admits to being a better frame of mind this time around is determined to set things right.

“To be honest, the last time I played Sri Lanka my mind wasn’t right at that time, but now my mind is fully there, so, I’m looking forward to a very good series,” Blackwood told Windies cricket.

Despite not typically being a threat with the ball, Blackwood believes he might even be able to make an impact with the ball, should the surfaces in Sri Lanka live up to their usual reputation of being more friendly to slower bowling.

“I always tell the skipper that I want to bowl a few overs because I have the golden arm.  As you can see, I always get one of the wickets.  So it will be very interesting this series if I can get a few overs.”

West Indies Test captain Kraigg Brathwaite is expecting a strong performance from the team’s pace bowlers in Sri Lanka, despite conditions on the subcontinent tending to favour spin bowlers.

The last time the regional team faced Sri Lanka away, in 2015, it was the part-time spin of Brathwaite that stole of as the batsman claimed six wickets in an innings.  The frontline pace bowlers Kemar Roach (2), Jason Holder (3), Shannon Gabriel (1) failed to have a huge impact on the series, with the exception of Jerome Taylor who claimed 6 over two games.

Although the captain admits the surface is likely to favour spinners, Brathwaite is confident the Windies quicks will have a big role to play.

We haven’t been there as yet to see the surface but there’s always a role for the fast bowlers.  Shannon Gabriel really led the way in Bangladesh in the first Test, bowling with some good pace, then Kemar Roach getting an early wicket in the morning was very crucial.  Obviously, Jason wasn’t there but is always crucial.  So, I do believe that possibly there being spin-friendly pitches, I think the pace bowlers will do well.

“I can see them getting wickets.  It’s really about building pressure but seamers are very important and obviously, Shannon will bring some aggression and I look forward to seeing the guys operating.”

Former fast bowler Richard ‘Prof’ Edwards has called for Cricket West Indies (CWI) to take a radical approach to rebuild the fortunes of West Indies cricket, following a dismal showing at the ICC T20 World Cup.

Having entered the tournament as defending champions, the regional team crashed out of it after losing four of the five games played.  The team’s lone win came against Bangladesh and even more concerningly they were comfortably beaten in the rest of the matches.

The batting line-up, which featured the likes of experienced players Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Lendl Simmons, Andre Russell, and Dwayne Bravo was particularly disappointing as they never seemed to come to grips with the circumstances.

“At no time when you saw West Indies batting did they give any idea or feeling of permanence there.  The batsmen looked they were in a hurry to make shots, all the time looking for attacks.”

“When I compared how they batted with Finch and Warner of Australia for example, Rahul and Rohit for India, Williamson, and co in New Zealand and people like Babar Azam, it was looking like two different games altogether.  The class that those other players exuded when they were batting, it didn’t look like at any time we were going to stick around for very long,” he added.

In light of such a catastrophic failure, Edwards believes major changes are needed, perhaps even with the leadership of the unit.

“You have to come in and be fairly cold about what you want to do. You want to try and look at the team and the players.  How long they’ve been playing? Are they still producing?

“I would think that now you have to come in and be a little ruthless, look around and try to pick, but who are you going to pick?  Do you have the resources? Whatever it is, now is the time to build.  The supposedly experienced players never came to the party.”

Out-of-favour West Indies big-hitter Carlos Brathwaite will return to England’s T20 Vitality Blast after signing with Birmingham Bears.

Brathwaite, who was not selected for the West Indies team for the T20 World Cup, was the leading wicket-taker for the team last season after taking 18.  He was also handy with the bat as well, scoring a tidy 183 runs.

The former West Indies T20 captain played a crucial role in helping the Bears reach the quarter-finals for the first time in four years last season, his first with the club.

The 33-year-old big hitter is excited to be rejoining the team for the 2022 editions of the tournament, particularly with fans not allowed to return to the stands.

"Edgbaston is a very special place to play at and it was great to get a taste of the atmosphere last year," Brathwaite said. "Hopefully we can welcome thousands more fans to get the Eric Hollies Stand rocking next year and make Edgbaston the real fortress for the Bears which it's renowned for,” he added.

Brathwaite, who will be available for the whole tournament, has not appeared for the West Indies since 2019 when the team played against India.

West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo hopes to play cricket for a few more years yet, despite recently pulling the curtains on his international career.

The 38-year-old officially called time on representing the West Indies, following the close of a disappointing T20 World Cup campaign that ended with a loss to South Africa.  An uninspiring performance from the titleholders saw them lose four of the five matches played. 

Overall, Bravo made 295 appearances for the Caribbean team, winning two T20 World Cup titles and one ICC Champions Trophy.  Despite the disappointment of the most recent tournamet, however, Bravo, who only months ago claimed the Indian Premier League (IPL) title with the Chennai Super Kings, is not quite ready to walk away from the game completely.

“I will continue playing franchise cricket for a few more years as long as my body will allow me to,” Bravo said during the post-match press conference.

“My aim was to retire a few years ago, but with a change of presidency and change of leadership comes a change of heart, and I wanted to give back to West Indies because I was still in a good place physically and enjoy my cricket,” he said.

Bravo had previously announced his international retirement in October of 2018 but came out of retirement in 2019 to help West Indies defend their T20 title.  He is convinced now is the time for a new generation to step into the limelight.

“I think this was the right moment for me to walk away from the game, and allow the next generation and young players who I share a very good friendship with to come through.”

West Indies captain Kieron Pollard says it’s time for the team to rebuild from foundations following a disappointing showing at the T20 World Cup and the end of the road for a generation of players.

A miserable campaign for the defending champions ended with an 8-wicket loss to Australia, the team’s fourth defeat in five games.  The West Indies' lone win of the campaign came against Bangladesh, which preceded heavy losses to England, South Africa, and Sri Lanka.

For some the West Indies were listed among the pre-tournament favourites due to boasting a line-up packed with heavy hitters.  The likes of Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo, and Andre Russell were not only household T20 names but already had the experience of winning the tournament.

In reality, however, the team struggled to put runs on the board, ending with the fourth-worst net run rate and the team’s experienced players' general failure to ever really get a foothold at the crease.

"Overall it's been a disappointing campaign. In terms of the batting, we have not done well at all. Our bowling has been decent but not good enough. It's the end of a generation, we have some guys who have done good things for T20 cricket in our team and around the world," Pollard said at the post-match presentation.


"We as people are very proud. We have to look at the way we play T20 cricket. What we've seen is that one guy in the top four has to bat as long as possible. Going forward I need to do that better. We have to start from a foundation now," Pollard said at the post-match press conference."

West Indies batting star Chris Gayle joked about wanting to play another World Cup but is expected to officially sign off an exceptional career with one more match, at Sabina Park, when he returns to his birth nation Jamaica.

The 42-year-old competed in his final World Cup match on Thursday, his third appearance overall at the premier T20 competition.  Unlike the other two appearances, which had resulted in the West Indies lifting the trophy, however, this one ended in disappointment with the team limping to the line in second to last place and being eliminated at the group stages.

Nor was Gayle’s performance particularly statistically significant.  In five matches, Gayle tottered to 45 runs with a high score of 15 and an average of 9.  In fact, even before the tournament, the player's inclusion had divided opinion around the Caribbean region with many insisting that the batsman, no longer at the top of his game, should have stepped aside for younger talent.  He admits it was not the fairytale ending.

“It was a very disappointing World Cup, disappointing for me as well.  This is probably my worst World Cup, but these things happen and it's just sad that it came at the back end of my career,” Gayle told ICC Cricket media.

“We still have a lot to go in West Indies cricket, we have some great talent coming up right now, so all I can do is play my supporting role with them and wish West Indies Cricket the best.

“I’d love to play one more World Cup, but I don’t think they would allow me,” a laughing Gayle added.

“I haven’t announced any retirement because they have given me one more game in Jamaica, in front of my home crowd then I can saw alright, thanks, guys.  So, let’s see.  If it wasn’t for that I would have announced it a long time ago with DJ Bravo.”

Gayle has been one of the most dominant players in the sport of T20 cricket, with over 14,000 runs scored.  Internationally, he has scored the most runs for the West Indies with 1899.

 

 

 

 

West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo has officially announced his retirement from international cricket, following a disappointing title defense for the team at the T20 World Cup.

The West Indies still have one fixture remaining against Australia but have officially been eliminated after losing to Sri Lanka on Thursday.  Overall, the team lost three matches and won one.  The West Indies' lone win so far came against Bangladesh, after losing to England and South Africa to open the tournament.

Ahead of the World Cup, the 38-year-old Bravo had suggested that the tournament would be his last for the region, after a long and decorated career.

I think the time has come," Bravo to the ICC Cricket media channel.

 "I've had a very good career. To represent the West Indies for 18 years, had some ups and downs, but as I look back at it I'm very grateful to represent the region and the Caribbean people for so long,” he added.

Since making his debut in 2006, against New Zealand, Bravo went on to represent the West Indies 90 times in T20 internationals.  Overall, he has made 223 appearances for the Caribbean team in all formats.

"To win three ICC trophies, two with my captain [Daren Sammy] on the left here. One thing I am proud about is that the era of cricketers we had we were able to make a name for ourselves on the global stage and not only do that but have silverware to show for it,” he added.

As for the current campaign, Bravo admitted that it did not go the way the team wanted it to, but that he hoped to be able to still pass on his knowledge to the upcoming generation.

"For me now I want to try and pass on whatever experience and information I have with the younger players," he said. "I think in the white-ball formats West Indies cricket have a bright future and it's important for us to keep supporting the guys and keep encouraging them.

"It wasn't the World Cup we expected, it wasn't the World Cup we wanted as players. We shouldn't feel sorry for ourselves, it was a tough competition, we should keep our heads high."

 

 

Former West Indies opening batsman Philo Wallace believes T20 captain Kieron Pollard must shoulder a huge part of the blame following the team’s faltering and ultimately fruitless title defense of the T20 World Cup.

On Thursday, the regional team limped out of semi-final contention after losing to Sri Lanka by 20 runs, a result that had followed heavy defeats to England and South Africa. 

In between the three defeats, the team did manage one win, which came against Bangladesh but that was far from some of the loftier expectations heading into the event.

Ahead of the competition, the selection of several senior players had proven to be a major bone of contention with some fans around the region, who clamoured for younger players to be included. 

In response, however, it was argued that the experience of the senior players would prove vital to the campaign.  In reality, things did not quite pan out that way.  The likes of Chris Gayle, Lendl Simmons, Ravi Rampaul, Dwayne Bravo, and Pollard himself, had disappointing performances.  In addition to his performances with the bat and ball, Wallace argues, however, that Pollard failed to deliver in another key area, his leadership.

“I think Pollard has failed us in that he has not stepped up to lead the team, the way we thought he would have led the team,” Wallace told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“…I thought that Pollard would have been the one to step up and say gentlemen I will take this on my back, and we are going to do this, X, Y, Z.  To tell the public that it is not a developing tour and then be in the position that we are in with seasoned campaigners is detrimental to his credibility,” he added.

“For all that he is worth in T20 cricket, I have not seen it at this World Cup…I know he had an injury but I expected more from him in terms of gluing that middle order together and with bowling and stuff, those guys needed a leader.”

Overall, Pollard scored 46 runs, with a best of 26 and an average of 15.33.

 

West Indies captain Kieron Pollard has admitted that the senior players simply did not deliver as the team crashed out of the T20 World Cup, on Thursday, following a loss to Sri Lanka.

In a disappointing campaign, the defeat was the third in four games for the two-time defending champions, who in truth since the first ball was bowled never looked likely to mount a strong title defense and were barely clinging to semi-final hopes ahead of the Sri Lanka match-up.

Heading into the tournament, the team had highlighted its experience as a major advantage with several players in the team having won multiple world titles.  In reality, however, things never really panned out.  T20 star Chris Gayle, a controversial selection for the squad, made 30 runs in four games for an average of 7.50.  Lendl Simmons made 19 over two matches for an average of 9.50, Andre Russell, who came into the tournament with an injury, made 7 runs in four matches for an average of 1.75.  Pollard did slightly better with 46 runs at 15.33, while Dwayne Bravo claimed two wickets in four matches.

"A couple of young guys are putting up their hands (up) but the experienced guys, myself included, have not done well. We are not going to hide from the fact that it's been disappointing for us,” Pollard said following the match.

On Thursday, it was indeed the younger generation who stood up to be counted. Shimron Hetmyer was the team’s top scorer with 81 from 54, followed by Nicholas Pooran who scored 46 from 34.

"I'm sure all the guys are hurting in that dressing room. It's something we didn't see it coming but we have to face reality," Pollard added.

"I think we were below par. In a crucial match like this, you don't want to see those things (for fielding). Our bowlers did okay, they got 189 but it was a very good batting track.

"I think cricket smarts is something that has plagued us. We have spoken time and time again especially from a batting perspective what we need to do as individuals and we have not done well.”

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