The meeting between representatives of the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) and Cricket West Indies over claims that players in the senior squad are being victimized has been postponed until the end of the ongoing Betway T20 Series against England.

The West Indies lead the series 2-1 with the final two matches scheduled to be played on Saturday and Sunday.

Wayne Lewis, Honorary Secretary at WIPA confirmed to Sportsmax.TV today that WIPA received an email from CWI’s Director of Cricket Jimmy Adams Thursday afternoon informing of the delay to the discussions surrounding the issue that, according to sources, has caused discord within the senior team. He expects the meeting to be held sometime next week.

The matter surfaced earlier this week when allegations were being made that Jamaican all-rounder was being victimized by the team leadership and was eventually dropped for the third match played on Wednesday that the West Indies won by 20 runs. Smith’s replacement Rovman Powell scored his maiden T20 hundred for the West Indies.

Afterwards, Coach Phil Simmons pushed back on assertions that Smith was being victimized. The burly allrounder conceded four runs in the one over he bowled in the second T20 and dropped for the next match. He has also scored useful runs batting at number 10 but according to Phil Simmons, players are selected in the best interest of the team.

“We need to stop this foolishness that we are going on with. We sit here and look at the best team for the day and if Odean was not in the best team for the day it was because we thought Rovman Powell was better suited,” Simmons said afterwards while speaking with the media.

Meanwhile, Cricket West Indies has described the claims as being unsubstantiated and mischievous as it moved to head off any fallout.

In a statement released late Thursday, CWI said it was aware that “voice notes were circulated on social media, and in sections of the regional broadcast media, suggesting that there is a rift within the West Indies Senior Men’s team.

“Contrary to the unsubstantiated statements, containing unfounded and mischievous allegations, CWI is satisfied that there is no discord between the team captain and any member of the West Indies team.”

CWI President Ricky Skerritt indicated that the rumours represent an unwarranted attack on Captain Kieron Pollard.

“I view this as a malicious attack on the credibility of the West Indies captain, designed to sow division within our team that has just recorded three very impressive T20I performances against very strong opponents, including two outstanding wins and one heroic comeback to get within one run of victory,” Skerritt said.

“This clear attempt by well-known mischief makers to discredit the captain and to derail the team’s momentum in the ongoing Betway T20I Series should not be tolerated or encouraged.”

 

West Indies all-rounder, Rovman Powell, stole the show with a maiden T20 hundred in the team’s 20-run win over England in the third of their five-match Betway Series at Kensington Oval in Barbados on Wednesday.

Powell smashed a belligerent 107 off 53 balls, including five fours and 10 sixes, to help the home side amass a total of 224-5 off their 20 overs. In the field, Powell took two catches to help the Windies restrict the English to 204-9 and secure a 2-1 lead in the series but it was with his batting that he spoke loudest.

“It means a lot. The last six or seven months have been tough, not getting a lot of runs so it was good for me to get an opportunity tonight and I took it. I hope it’s a breakthrough international performance. It’s just for me now to go back to the drawing board, think about the stuff that I did right and hopefully I can replicate it come Saturday,” Powell said after the game.

Many fans and pundits were left bemused when Powell strode to the crease at number four ahead of Darren Bravo, who batted at that position in the second game, but Powell said that the move was tactical and that he was told of the possibility the night before by captain Kieron Pollard.

“It was to split up the two left-handers. We didn’t want Pooran and Bravo at the crease at the same time, so I was the right-hander that slotted between them. Last night (Tuesday) he told me it's a possibility that I would bat four so I started to think back to some of my good innings and started to come up with a game plan. I think that plan served me well today. When I walked out to bat, I was confident because for the last five months I’ve been working hard and stroking the ball well so that confidence transferred into the game,” he said.

That confidence also comes from a fantastic stint Powell had at the Abu Dhabi T10 League in late 2021 for the Northern Warriors where he scored 305 runs in nine innings at an average of 33.88 with 15 fours and a mammoth 27 sixes.

“I think I’m in very good form. I told the guys I’m sure that I’m one of the best in the world at the moment when it comes to hitting the ball and it started from the T10. When I went there, I just tried to express myself and catch back the eyes of the selectors and now everything is coming to fruition,” he added. West Indies fans are hoping that that form will carry over into the fourth T20I which takes place on Saturday. 

One of the key things that fans of West Indies cricket over the last few years have wanted from the regional team is consistency.

There are periods where the team is clicking at all levels, as evidenced by a dominant 4-1 T20I series win over Australia in July 2021 but there are also periods where the team just can’t seem to buy a win.

The Caribbean side are currently locked 1-1 in a five-match T20I series with England and Jason Holder, in a press conference today, pleaded for the team to strive for consistency.

“We’ve just got to keep challenging ourselves to play a complete game. If we can be a lot more clinical and consistent, we can make our lives a whole lot easier. The challenge for each and every individual is to seek consistency. I think consistency is something that we’ve been talking about for years and it’s just time we start heading in the right direction and progressing. I just want to see progression and development, consistently,” he said.

The former West Indies Test and ODI skipper, who has so far taken figures of 4-7 and 2-25, in the first two games of the series, also said that with a relatively young squad, he has to take on a leadership role even without the captaincy.

“I just try to give anything to the team that I think will benefit us. We have a relatively inexperienced group so I just try to help out as much as I can and give what advice I can give. I don’t think it’s a situation where I have to give too much information because that becomes clouded for individuals, so I keep it as simple as possible. Anything I pick up I pass it on to the captain and then obviously to individual players but I think my role is just to help guide and nurture the young talent that we have,” Holder added.

There are three games remaining in the series, but Holder wants the team to take a game-by-game approach rather than looking to the future too soon.

“I’m just focused on what’s ahead tomorrow. Tomorrow is our next encounter so there’s no point in looking at the last three matches before we get to the one tomorrow,” he said.

In the second T20I the regional team’s fielding left a lot to be desired and Holder echoed the same sentiments.

“I don’t think we were good enough in the field in the last encounter and that probably hurt us in the end,” Holder added.

The West Indies can, hopefully, have a better day in the field tomorrow when they take on England in the third T20I at the Kensington Oval in Barbados.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Indian Premier League is the most popular T20 franchise league in the world and many cricketers across the globe dream about playing in it one day.

West Indies all-rounder Romario Shepherd is no different.

The Guyanese fast bowler and right-handed batsman, who dazzled with the bat with an unbeaten 44 in the second T20 international between the West Indies and England yesterday, has put his name in the last three IPL auctions but is yet to be awarded a contract.

Speaking in a press conference today, Shepherd says the dream, which at this point is very close to reality, is still alive.

“It’s a great platform for any youngster. Many people dream to go to the IPL and I’m no different. It’s something that I’ve dreamed about for a very long time. My name was in the draft for the last three years so this year I’m definitely looking forward to it,” he said.

In the midst of a five-match T20I series with England at the moment, Shepherd says his full focus is on helping the West Indies win.

“I’m trying my best to get there but, at the same time, trying my best to help us win this series. I try to focus on what is at hand right now and try to put my all in there. Eventually, if an IPL contract comes that would be great for me but I try not to think about it while in the game,” Shepherd said.

Shepherd has so far played 11 T20 Internationals with 100 runs and eight wickets to his name.

The IPL player auction is scheduled to take place on February 12 and 13 and he will have another opportunity to enhance his reputation when the West Indies and England square off in the third of five T20 internationals in Barbados on Wednesday.

 

 

 

West Indies secured a comprehensive nine-wicket win over England in the first of their five-match T20 International series at the Kensington Oval in Barbados on Saturday.

 After winning the toss and choosing to bowl first because of, according to captain Kieron Pollard, the presence of some ‘juice’ in the pitch, the West Indies produced one of their best bowling displays in a long time to wreck the England batting line-up for just 103 in 19.4 overs.

Jason Holder took his best bowling figures in T20s with 4-7 off 3.4 overs and he was supported by Sheldon Cottrell who claimed 2-30 from his four overs.

Chris Jordan top-scored for the English with 28 and Adil Rashid added 22.

The West Indies looked comfortable in their chase, only losing one wicket before getting to the target in just 17.1 overs.

Brandon King got his second T20I 50, finishing not out on 55, while Nicholas Pooran finished not out on 20.

The second match of the series takes place tomorrow at the same venue and time.

 

West Indies white ball captain, Kieron Pollard, says the team will be starting from scratch in their Betway T20 International series against England beginning on Saturday in Barbados.

The last outing for the regional team in the format came in January with a 3-0 defeat in an away series against Pakistan.

The majority of that squad will get another opportunity to represent the region and Pollard, speaking in a pre-match press conference today, says the team is eager to get started.

“For us, it’s like starting from scratch. These guys got a run out in Pakistan in the three T20Is and I’m sure they’re looking to build on their own personal performances and that, in extension, will help us get victories,” he said.

If the West Indies are to come out victorious in the five-match series, Pollard says execution in all three phases of the game will be critical.

“We have to execute in all three facets of the game. It’s been mentioned over the last week or so, batting has definitely been a problem for us but a good thing about it is that we have some new faces in the group again. Guys are looking to make a name for themselves on the international scene and so we just need to be able to do the basics and play according to the situation of the game,” Pollard added.

With the team coming off a disappointing ODI series loss to Ireland, Pollard says it will be important to leave that in the past and focus on what they can do going forward.

“It’s a new series. We can’t take the disappointment from that series into this one. There’s a different sort of mindset and approach that is needed to come into this series,” Pollard said.

The first match of the T20I series between the West Indies and England bowls off at the Kensington Oval in Barbados at 3:00 pm Jamaica time.

 

 

 

 

West Indies fast-bowling allrounder Odean Smith is taking his ascension to the West Indies limited overs team in stride.

Speaking to the media, on Thursday, before the team’s five-match Betway T20 International series against England, Smith said he has ambitions to be a fixture in the West Indies white-ball setup for years to come.

“Definitely. I think I have a long way to go and a lot of work to do but it’s all a learning process. Cricket is a learning process. I just have to work on my game along the way and I think I’ll definitely get to where I want to be when the time comes,” he said.

One of the biggest talking points across the regional cricket landscape over the last few years has been player fitness and Smith said he is fully aware that if he wants to achieve his goals, he must prioritize taking care of his body.

“I think it’s very important. If you’re not taking care of your body then you probably won’t have far to go so, I work a lot on my fitness. Cricket is a lot of running so I tend to do a lot of that. I don’t really go to the gym to do a lot of strength work. Running and eating well are the things I take pride in,” Smith added.

A member of the triumphant 2016 West Indies Under-19 team, Smith also stated that it is an ongoing process because of a busy schedule.

“I’m not where I want to be right now because, as I said, it’s an ongoing process and there’s a lot of cricket going on so it’s hard to get anything done during the season. When I get a little time, I’ll focus on distance running and my eating habits,” he added.

Smith has, so far, played 3 ODIs and 5 T20Is for the West Indies.

With the team coming off a disappointing ODI series defeat to Ireland and England coming off a 4-0 defeat to Australia in the Ashes, Smith believes the upcoming series will be an important one for both teams.

“Both teams have an equal opportunity to go out there and win this series. England has a very good team and we also have a very good team as we’re trying to rebuild. We have a few new guys so the coaches are trying to figure out roles for everyone. This series is going to be very important for both teams going forward,” he added.

The series between the West Indies and England gets underway at the Kensington Oval in Barbados on Saturday.

 

 

West Indies senior Men’s head coach Phil Simmons says players must be more aware of situations ahead of the Betway T20 International Series against England.

“Each game has a situation. Every ball is a situation in the game, and we’ve got to be able to assess that situation and know how we have to play in that game. If you’re 20-3 you play differently than if you’re 40-0. These are the little situations that we need to highlight and win and that will take us to winning the game,” he said in a press conference on Tuesday.

Simmons also explained that the return of the West Indies to the pinnacle of world cricket will only come with a focus on development at all levels.

“Definitely things need to be changed at different levels. You don’t become bad batsmen at this level,” he said.

He continued on, saying that responsibility lies with coaches at all levels to see to the development of players in the region.

“You come up here thinking you are able to play up here, but things are not going the way they should do so there must be some sort of responsibility taken from the levels before us and that’s something that has to be addressed, generally, as an organization,” Simmons added.

With that said, Simmons also acknowledged that once players get to the international level, they also have a part to play.

“In saying that, the guys, when they come up here, need to fight harder. They need to put more effort into wanting to be the best in the world when they come up here,” he added.

The West Indies will play five T20 Internationals against England in Barbados starting on January 22.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cricket West Indies (CWI) today announced a squad of 23 players for a medical and fitness camp in Barbados, from January 9 to 14, ahead of departure for the four-match One-Day International (ODI) series against South Africa Women in Johannesburg.

The camp sees the return of veteran leg-spinner Afy Fletcher, following her year-long maternity leave, while teenagers, Zaida James from St. Lucia and Jannilea Glasgow from St. Vincent and the Grenadines have again been included in a senior West Indies Women’s camp.

Britney Cooper, Shabika Gajnabi, and Shawnisha Hector have all been ruled out by the CWI Medical Panel for medical reasons.

“The players will undergo medical and physical testing before the final squad of 18 are selected to travel. It is good to have Afy Fletcher back into the setup. Unfortunately, three players, Britney Cooper, Shabika Gajnabi, and Shawnisha Hector have been ruled out of selection consideration for medical reasons,” said Anne Browne-John, CWI Lead Selector for Women’s cricket.

Browne-John also commented on the emergence of the youngsters in the team.

“What is very promising for us at CWI is the inclusion of teenagers Jannilea Glasgow and Zaida James. They’ve been a part of the senior team camps before and also played in the first-ever West Indies Women’s A-Team home series against Pakistan Women last year. Their inclusion is a continued step in the developmental pathways we have established to grow women’s cricket in the region,” she added.

The selection of the final 18 players, who will travel to South Africa, will be announced at the conclusion of the camp.

The full squad for the camp is as follows: Aaliyah Alleyne, Reniece Boyce, Shemaine Campbell, Shamilia Connell, Deandra Dottin, Afy Fletcher, Cherry-Ann Fraser, Jannilea Glasgow, Sheneta Grimmond, Chinelle Henry, Zaida James, Qiana Joseph, Kycia Knight, Kyshona Knight, Mandy Mangru, Hayley Matthews, Anisa Mohammed, Chedean Nation, Karishma Ramharack, Kaysia Schultz, Shakera Selman, Stafanie Taylor, Rashada Williams.

 

 

The Cricket West Indies (CWI) interim selection panel has announced the squads for the upcoming series against Ireland and England.

Captain Kieron Pollard is fit again and returns to lead both the ODI and T20 sides that will battle the Irish in three ODIs and one T20I at Sabina Park, in Jamaica, starting January 8.

The CG Insurance ODI Series between West Indies and Ireland will form part of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League, in which the top seven teams can secure automatic qualification for the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in India.

The West Indies are currently eighth in those standings with 40 points, while Ireland sits fourth with 50.

The Caribbean side will then play five T20 Internationals against England, in Barbados, beginning on January 22.

“We have tried to maintain the general make-up of the squads from the Pakistan tour before Christmas, with the captain and some senior players coming back in. The challenges in the next couple of months are getting the young players in both squads to not only improve on their skills but maintain the attitude and desire we saw in Pakistan,” said West Indies coach Phil Simmons.

Simmons also emphasized the need for his team to start the year on a good note.

“We do need to start the year on a high. We know both Ireland and England have very good teams so we expect a very strong challenge as we look to improve our chances of automatic qualification for the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2023 and building the team for the ICC T20 World Cup in 2022,” Simmons added.

ODI squad for the Ireland Series: Kieron Pollard (captain), Shai Hope (vice-captain), Shamarh Brooks, Roston Chase, Justin Greaves, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Gudakesh Motie, Jayden Seales, Nicholas Pooran, Romario Shepherd, Odean Smith, Devon Thomas, and the COVID-19 reserves are Keacy Carty and Sheldon Cottrell.

T20I squad for Ireland and England Series: Kieron Pollard (captain), Nicholas Pooran (vice-captain), Fabian Allen (England T20Is only), Darren Bravo (England T20Is only), Roston Chase, Sheldon Cottrell, Dominic Drakes, Shai Hope, Akeal Hosein, Jason Holder, Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Rovman Powell, Romario Shepherd, Odean Smith, Hayden Walsh Jr, and the COVID-19 reserves are Jayden Seales, Alzarri Joseph, and Devon Thomas.

Fabian Allen is fully recovered from an ankle injury but is unavailable for the Ireland series after a positive COVID-19 test.

Barbados and West Indies wicketkeeper-batsman Shane Dowrich has retained an attorney as he seeks redress over the process used by Cricket West Indies to deny him a renewal of his contract.

The matter came to light earlier this week when Barbados Cricket Association President Conde Riley revealed that he had received a letter from the player’s attorney on the Mason and Guest sports talk show.

In May 2021, Cricket West Indies announced the players who had been retained for the next cycle and Dowrich was not among them. Dowrich, 30, last played in a Test for the West Indies from December 2-5, 2020, against New Zealand.

In the early stages of that tour, Dowrich suffered a finger injury but later asked to be released from the tour citing personal reasons. However, according to his lawyer Philip Nichols, after being given leave from the West Indies, CWI then claims that he was not offered a new retainer contract because he had not played the requisite number of games to qualify for the said contract.

This is the bone of contention for the player, who at the time when he left New Zealand, was the first-choice wicketkeeper/batsman for the West Indies.

Dowrich was subsequently replaced by Trinidad and Tobago’s Joshua da Silva, who has, for the most part, acquitted himself well representing the West Indies as its wicketkeeper/batsman.

Following the New Zealand tour, CWI failed to follow up with the player to determine whether he had managed to put his ‘personal issues' behind him and was now ready to return to representing the regional side.

Nichols tells Sportsmax.TV that his client hopes to have the matter resolved amicably as it is not his intention for the matter to end up in court.

Dowrich has played 35 Tests for the West Indies scoring 1507 runs at an average of 29.07. He has scored three hundreds and nine fifties in that time.

 

Businessman Chris Dehring believes the lack of professionalism among West Indies cricketers is hurting the region’s chances of becoming a force in world cricket once more.

The Roger Harper-led West Indies selection panel has been relieved of its duties.

The issue of Andre Russell’s loyalty to West Indies cricket was up for discussion on the Mason&Guest talk show in Barbados on Tuesday night and it sparked a contentious conversation between the show’s host Andrew Mason and CWI West Indies Vice-President Kishore Shallow.

Mason believes the CWI is seemingly willing to bend over backwards to accommodate the players’ fancies.

Russell had declared himself unavailable for the West Indies tour of Pakistan for three T20 Internationals citing personal reasons. A relatively inexperienced West Indies team has so far lost two of the three matches with one match to go on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Russell signed on to represent the Melbourne Stars in Australia’s Big Bash League. On the weekend, he scored an unbeaten 42 from 21 balls and was named Man of the Match in the Stars’ six-wicket win over the Sydney Thunder.

On Tuesday, Dr Shallow sought to explain why Russell was in Australia and not in Pakistan helping the West Indies.

“Russell indicated to the lead selector that he was mentally fatigued in the bubble and in the Big Bash League, where he is now, he would be required to be in a bubble,” Dr Shallow said. “That was the rationale provided to the lead selector.”

An obviously exasperated Mason was unable to contain his displeasure at the situation where certain players only choose to represent the West Indies when it suits them to.

“Yes, Dr Shallow, they have got to get the opportunity to make money but there is a word called ‘sacrifice’,” Mason declared, adding that such situations are almost unique to the West Indies.
“The other players don’t do it to their countries, and I am sure Russell is going to be ready to play for us in the world cup and we are going to pick him.

“We cannot continue with the foolishness with these guys.”

Sir Andy Roberts also weighed in on Dr Shallow’s explanation, suggesting that the players seem to make their decisions based on money only.

“These guys just don’t want to play for the West Indies because the fees ain't that high,” said the long-retired fast bowler. “I am not saying that they should not be allowed to go but they should only go if the West Indies do not require their services.”

This is not the first time Russell has faced criticism over his decisions on when to represent the West Indies.

In December 2020, the iconic Antiguan fast bowler publicly criticized Andre Russell, who declined an invitation to play for the West Indies against New Zealand but later went to play in the Sri Lanka Premier League T20.

Chief selector Roger Harper told media that Russell declined the West Indies invitation citing the need to clear his mind after being in quarantine lockdown for both the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) in Trinidad and Tobago where he played for the Jamaica Tallawahs franchise and then, the Indian Premier League (IPL) in Abu Dhabi where he played for the Kolkata Knight Riders.

“Because he wants to clear his head for a while to get his mind together, I have no problem with that because cricket is a high-pressure game,” Ambrose said then.

“So if you want to clear your head for a while, take your mind off cricket I have no issues with that, but if you are going to reject playing for your nation, your country, and then two weeks later you’re playing for somebody else, that to me is a no-no.”

In a later interview, Ambrose provided further clarity.

“The game has evolved. There is a lot more cricket being played now and many different T20 tournaments around the globe and there’s lots more money as well, so guys are going to go where the money is and I have no issues with that,” Ambrose said.

“A cricket career can be a very short one, once you have an injury it could be all over for you so with guys going around plying their trade with different franchises making money to set themselves up financially, I have no issues with it.

“However, I think it needs to strike a balance somewhere because most of these guys who are playing their trade around the world, it’s because they played for the West Indies team why people saw them and gave them contracts.

So for me, you need to find a balance somewhere where you can give back to West Indies cricket. You need to give back to West Indies cricket at some point as opposed to abandoning West Indies

Former West Indies batsman, Philo Wallace, says the Caribbean side should look to the future instead of the past in order to return West Indies cricket to what it once was.

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