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.

Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, The Honourable Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, has described West Indies Cricket as being in a state of crisis.

Speaking on Mason & Guest radio show in Barbados on Tuesday evening, Prime Minister Gonsalves said he based his assessment on a string of poor performances from the Caribbean side and an apparent lack of development.

“On the basis of the recent performances in the T20 World Cup, the abysmally poor outcome we have had in Sri Lanka and the very mediocre performance here in the Caribbean in recent times, I think it would be fair to say that the cricket is now in a state of crisis,” said Gonsalves, who went on to say that he believes a lack of ideas for a way forward from leaders of cricket around the region continues to be a contributing factor to the demise of the game.

“What we are having here is a full-blown crisis, not a crisis of governance so much, but a crisis in the performance which is connected to governance. I see a crisis as a condition in which the principals are innocent of the extent of the condition and have no credible bundle of ideas as to the way forward,” he said.

Gonsalves said he doesn’t believe those in charge of West Indies cricket truly understand the magnitude of the situation at hand.

“Every time I hear persons speak after a poor performance, you get commentary about how we didn’t do so badly; that there are bright spots and we keep looking for them as though we have to fool ourselves as to what is taking place. I don’t think we ought to fool ourselves and I’m not so sure from what I’ve been hearing that the persons who are in charge at different levels fully grasp what is here upon us,” Gonsalves said.

The West Indies next assignment will be a limited-overs tour of Pakistan consisting of three T20 Internationals and three ODIs beginning on December 13.

Cricket West Indies is hoping to give Chris Gayle a proper send-off at Sabina Park when it hosts Ireland for a white-ball series in January next year.

Former West Indies batsman Carlisle Best has been made a Barbados selector, reports coming out of Barbados said on Wednesday. The 62-year-old Best replaces Ronald Butcher, who has resigned his position from the Barbados selection panel.

According to cricket commentator and talk show host Andrew Mason, the members of the board of the Barbados Cricket Association voted unanimously in favour of Best’s addition to the selection panel.

The 62-year-old Best, played eight Tests and 24 One Day Internationals for the West Indies after making his debut for the West Indies against England in 1986. He is among a handful of batsmen to hit a six to open his account in a Test career.

He did so while facing Ian Botham, who bowled two bouncers at the Barbadian opener, who responded by carting the third ball for six and becoming only the second batsman to do so.

Australia’s Eric Freeman was the first to accomplish the feat.

 

The inaugural Tony Cozier and Reds Perreira 23 and Under T-6 Regional Cricket Festival is scheduled to bowl off from April 14-18, 2022 in Barbados.

The Master Blaster, Sir Vivian Richards is siding with Sir Curtly Ambrose in the latter’s public spat with the Universe Boss Chris Gayle.

Barbados all-rounder Dominic Drakes is to join the Chennai Super Kings as a replacement for England’s Sam Curran, who is out of the Indian Premier League (IPL) with a back injury.

The 23-year-old hero for 2021 Caribbean Premier League champions, St Kitts and Nevis Patriots will reunite with his CPL captain Dwayne Bravo ahead of their last league match against the Punjab Kings on Thursday, October 7.

Drakes took 16 wickets in 11 matches for the SKN Patriots during the CPL season and won the tournament with his bat when he scored an unbeaten 48 from 24 balls in the final against St Lucia Kings and was named the Player of the Match.

In 19 T20s so far, he has picked 20 wickets and has scored 153 runs at a strike rate of 159.37.

Former West Indies opener Philo Wallace does not believe Chris Gayle should be included in a West Indies squad for the ICC T20 World Cup to be held in the United Arab Emirates next month.

Wallace believes the 42-year-old Jamaican, arguably the best T20 player in history, who has served West Indies cricket well over the years, is now well past his best. He cites Gayle's performances so far in the 2021 Hero Caribbean Premier League as clear signs that the Universe Boss is not the game-changing player he used to be.

“Past performances don’t cut it,” Wallace argued while speaking on the Mason&Guest radio show in Barbados on Tuesday evening.

“Gayle has done wonderfully well. I have no disrespect for Christopher Gayle. I think he has done wonderfully well for the West Indies and himself but the time has come where you need to sit down or stand in a mirror and say ‘can I make it? Can I make it through a world cup?”

At the time he made his comments Gayle had scored 83 runs in five matches in the 2021 CPL with a top score of 42. He is averaging 16.6 runs an innings and has a strike rate of 110.60. According to Wallace, those numbers are simply not good enough.

“For where he is right now in the CPL, it’s a bit of a struggle for someone like Gayle knowing his reputation and what he can do, but you want people of that vintage to be striking it,” Wallace said.

“You had enough time to prepare for the CPL and you know that the CPL is coming before selection for the World Cup.

“If you really wanted to make a statement that I want to go to the world cup despite my age you need to be striking the ball and score runs. There is no excuse for it.”

Wallace named the team he would select for the World Cup and it included Kieron Pollard (captain) Nicholas Pooran (vice-captain), Evin Lewis, Lendl Simmons Shimron Hetmyer, Fabian Allen, Andre Russell, Obed McCoy, Dwayne Bravo, Jason Holder, Andre Fletcher, Hayden Walsh Jr, Akeal Hosein, Odean Smith and Roston Chase.

He listed Sherfane Rutherford, Oshane Thomas and Romario Shepherd as his reserves.

“There is no Gayle, there is no Fidel Edwards because I feel when you get to a certain vintage and you are not fit you have to quit,” Wallace said.

“This cricket is going to be hard. The UAE is not going to be easy against the best players in the world. New Zealand has left out Ross Taylor as well, so they’re looking to move on. West Indies cricket needs to move on.”

 

 

 

Barbadian Sada Williams set a new national record in the 400 metres at Tokyo 2020.

Running in semifinal 3, Williams stopped the clock at 50.11 seconds to place third. She smashed the 43-year-old Barbadian record of 51.04 seconds. It is also, of course, her new personal best.

Stephenie Ann McPherson from Jamaica won the race with a personal best of 49.34 while veteran Allison Felix was second with a season's best of 49.89.

Despite Williams' valiant run, she did not advance to the final. Her time is now the fastest run by an athlete to not make it to the final.

The finals of the women's 400 metres will take place on Friday.

 

 

 

The opening session of the track and field portion of the Tokyo Olympics was highlighted by a trio of strong performances, with Jamaicans Natoya Goule, Elaine Thompson-Herah and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce showing impressive form.

Overall, though, there were plenty of solid performances as the event that will see the bulk of the Caribbean’s athletes, competing over the next few days, got underway.  

First up, the Jamaican trio of Fedrick Dacres, Traves Smikle and Chad Wright opened competition in the Men’s Discus.  Wright was the only one to progress to the final as the last qualifier, finishing 12th overall with a throw of 62.93 metres.

Dacres was only two centimetres behind Wright, throwing 62.91m to finish 13th overall, while Smikle could only manage a best distance of 59.04m to finish 25th overall.

Goule was the first competitor to grace the track and started things off with a bang as she ran a very impressive 1:59.83 to win heat 2 of the women’s 800 metres.

The men’s 400 meters hurdles saw four Caribbean men progress to the semi-finals. The list included Jamaicans Kemar Mowatt, Jaheel Hyde and Sean Rowe and The British Virgin Islands Kyron McMaster.

Mowatt finished 4th in heat 1 with a time of 49.06.  Hyde ran 48.54 to comfortably win heat 2.  Both McMaster and Rowe advanced from heat 4, with McMaster winning with a time of 48.79 and the Jamaican finishing 3rd with a season’s best of 49.18.

The session was capped off by the heats of one of the most highly anticipated events at the Olympics, the women’s 100 metres.

The event featured 10 athletes from the Caribbean.

 Antigua and Barbuda’s Joella Lloyd finished 7th in heat 1, in a time of 11.54.

Heat 2 was comfortably won by Jamaica’s defending double Olympic champion, Elaine Thompson-Herah, who signalled her intent at these games with a smooth 10.82.

Kelly-Ann Baptiste of Trinidad and Tobago also competed in heat 2 and finished 6th in 11.48.

Tristan Evelyn of Barbados ran 11.42 to finish 6th in heat 3.

Amya Clarke of St. Kitts & Nevis finished 7th in heat 4 with a time of 11.71.

Heat 5 was the turn of multiple-time Olympic and World Champion, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, to announce herself in Tokyo.

She didn’t disappoint, winning in a time of 10.84 to advance to the semi-finals.

 Tynia Gaither of the Bahamas was next up on the track, finishing 3rd in heat 6 to advance.

Heat 7 saw the most Caribbean representation with Shericka Jackson of Jamaica, Michelle Lee-Ahye of Trinidad & Tobago and Jasmine Abrams of Guyana all taking part.

Ahye won the heat with a time of 11.06, finishing just ahead of Jackson who ran 11.07 for 2nd while Abrams finished 7th in 11.49.

The fastest overall qualifier from the heats was Marie-Jose Talou of the Ivory Coast who ran 10.78 to win the 4th heat.

 

Barbadian swimmer Alex Sobers has announced that he is taking a break from the sport after the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

Sobers competed in two events in Tokyo. The two-time Olympian first took part in the Men’s 400m Freestyle, where he finished 7th in heat 2, in a time of 3:59:14. His other event was the 200m Freestyle where came 6th in heat 2, but in the process set a new national record of 1:48:09.  The time beat his previous record of 1:48:35. He, however, did not advance to the semifinals of either event

Even before hitting the pool on Saturday, however, Sobers was the centre of attention for the Barbadian public.  Many were left irate by the prediction of veteran journalist Mike King who cast doubt on the athlete’s prospects of advancing at the Games. The article was met with fierce backlash from angry Bajans who voiced their opinions on social media, they accused King of undermining the efforts of the 22-year-old. It is unsure whether the controversy had anything to do with his decision.

Another Barbadian journalist, Anmar Goodridge-Boyce, quoted Sobers via his Twitter handle, as saying, “I am just going to take a break and if I miss the sport, I will come back. If I don’t, I feel like I’ve definitely achieved everything that I set out to do”.

 Sobers first competed at the Olympic Games at Rio 2016 in the men’s 400 metre freestyle. He swam a time of 3:59:97. He did not advance to the semifinal.

 

 

Cricket West Indies (CWI) and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) today announced a revised match schedule for the upcoming “Osaka Presents PSO Carient T20 Cup” between the West Indies and Pakistan in the Caribbean.

A four-match T20 International (T20I) series, has been agreed, scheduled to start on Wednesday, July 28 at Kensington Oval, Barbados. The first ball is 10am (9am Jamaica Time) for the first match, with the final three to be played at the Guyana National Stadium on Saturday, July 31; Sunday, August 1 and Tuesday, August 3 at 11am (10am Jamaica Time).

The adjustment to the Osaka Presents PSO Carient T20 Cup schedule was necessary due to the changes to the fixtures for the ongoing CG Insurance One-Day International (ODI) Series between West Indies and Australia, which are part of the International Cricket Council’s ODI Super League, which concludes on Monday, July 26.

Ricky Skerritt, CWI President said: “Together with the PCB, CWI have examined various scenarios, and we jointly agreed that the best solution in the present circumstances is to cancel the first T20I and play a four-match T20I series starting on Wednesday and keep the rest of the tour schedule unchanged. We want to express our gratitude to the PCB Chairman, Ehsan Mani and CEO, Wasim Khan, and the Pakistan team for their understanding in this situation and for agreeing to the revised match schedule. Both teams are in the final stages of preparing for the ICC T20 World Cup, so we anticipate an exciting and entertaining series of games as both teams compete for Osaka Presents PSO Carient T20 Cup.”

West Indies, the two-time World Champions (2012 and 2016), are using this series as part of their build-up to the next ICC T20 World Cup which will be played from October 17 to November 14 in the United Arab Emirates and Oman. They enter the series on the back of a 4-1 triumph over Australia in the recent CG Insurance T20Is at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground in Saint Lucia. Pakistan won the ICC T20 World Cup in 2009.

Following the Osaka Presents PSO Carient T20 Cup, West Indies and Pakistan will then play two Betway Test matches at Sabina Park in Jamaica from August 12-16 and then from August 20-24. This is the first Test Series for the West Indies in the new 2021-2023 ICC World Test Championship.

FULL MATCH SCHEDULE

July 28: 1st Osaka Presents PSO Carient T20 Cup match at Kensington Oval – 10 am local (9 am Jamaica Time)

July 31: 2nd Osaka Presents PSO Carient T20 Cup match at Guyana National Stadium – 11 am local (10 am Jamaica)

August 1: 3rd Osaka Presents PSO Carient T20 Cup match at Guyana National Stadium – 11 am local (10 am Jamaica)

August 3: 4th Osaka Presents PSO Carient T20 Cup match at Guyana National Stadium – 11 am local (10 am Jamaica)

August 12-16: 1st Betway Test at Sabina Park – 10 am Jamaica Time (11 am Eastern Caribbean)

August 20-24: 2nd Betway Test at Sabina Park – 10 am Jamaica Time (11 am Eastern Caribbean)

Barbadian swimmer, Alex Sobers, has set a new national record in the Men's 200m Freestyle.

Competing earlier today, Sobers smashed his previous record of 1:48.35, set earlier this year. The 22-year-old, swimming out of lane 7, in heat 2, finished in a time of 1:48.09 to finish 6th.  The heat was won by Romania’s David Popovici who touched home first in a time of  

1:45.32.  Second place went to Serbia’s Velimir Stjepanovic, who recorded a time of 1:46.26.  Both men advanced to the event’s semifinals.

For Sobers, the result follows up on the second-time Olympian’s 7th place finish in heat 2 of the Men’s 400m Freestyle yesterday. He finished in a time of 3:59.14 seconds. Sobers failed to advance to the semifinals in any of his events.

Meanwhile, his teammate, Danielle Titus also finished 6th in her heat today. The Olympic debutante hit the pool for the Women’s 100m Backstroke and finished with a time of 1:04.53. She did not advance to the semifinals. That was her only event.  The event was won by Moldova’s Tatiana Salcutan who was first in 1:01.59, with McKenna DeBever Elliot second in 1:02.09.

Barbadian Olympic bronze medallist, Obadele Thompson, has revealed that he was overcome with a sense of relief after crossing the line third at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

The historic bronze medal was the first for the sprinter and first for Barbados as an independent nation, but the sprinter had battled through his fair share of disappointment prior to securing the breakthrough.

Before that, Thompson had finished outside of the medals at the previous four major games (3 World Championships and 1 Olympics) and even before that fourth at the World Junior Championships in 1994.

Finally, though, his hard work did off in Sydney.

“Crossing third was a huge relief.  I had placed fourth at so many other championships.  I came fourth at the World Youth Championships, fourth in 1996, in the 200, when Michael Johnson set his amazing world record.  I came fourth the year before, in 1999, in the 100m and 200m,” Thompson told SportsMax.Tv’s InCaseYouMissedIT.

“To be able to cross the line and finally know I was going to be on the podium was a big deal, and to know that Barbados, never seen our flag raised at a global championship of that magnitude before was an amazing feeling,” he added. (Watch full interview below)

Still, the former athlete, as tends to be the case, admits that he also felt some amount of disappointment as the results of the race could have been even better.

“It was also disappointing, I knew I was in better shape, coming to the Olympic Games with an injury that I sustained about six weeks before and I had to come off the European circuit after running really well in the 100m.  The only person that was beating me was Maurice Green,” Thompson said.

“Having to leave the circuit, dealing with the injury, and not knowing if I would be able to compete, it was also a blessing to have made it down that track.”

 

 

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