The Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board are throwing their support for the current leadership of Cricket West Indies in the lead up to the virtual Annual General Meeting set for March 28.

Shimron Hetmyer scored his second half-century of the CG Insurance Super50 competition earlier today as Guyana Jaguars romped to a nine-wicket victory over the Windward Islands Volcanoes in the final match of the preliminary round at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.

Hetmyer scored an unbeaten 67 off 59 balls, hitting three fours and four sixes, as he partnered with Tevin Imlach for an unbroken second-wicket stand of 93 to helped propel Guyana to 155 for 1 from 28.4 overs in reply to the Windwards’ 153 all out.

 Imlach, who scored an unbeaten 37, shared an opening stand of 62 with Chanderpaul Hemaj, who made 41.

Alick Athanaze was the lone wicket-taker for the Windwards with 1-130 from his seven overs.

Earlier, Man-of-the-Match Keon Joseph took 4-24 and Hemraj 2-11 as the Windwards were bundled out for 153 in 45 overs.

Only Kevin Stoute, who scored 41 and Emmanuel Stewart 46 offered any real resistance to the Guyana bowling attack.

Stoute and Stewart put on 60 for the fifth wicket after which Stewart and Kevin Cottoy mounted a 39-run stand for the sixth. Cottoy made 27.

The teams will meet again in the second semi-final on Thursday.

He has only played three Test matches for the West Indies but wicketkeeper/batsman Joshua Da Silva believes he has made great strides in his development as a batsman since he made his debut in New Zealand in December 2020.

Failing with the bat was all the motivation Andre McCarthy needed to inspire him to a match-winning performance with the ball against the Barbados Pride on Sunday.

Devon Conway starred with the bat at Hagley Oval as New Zealand won the first of five Twenty20 clashes with Australia by 53 runs.

Conway was 99 not out, becoming the first New Zealand player to score five successive T20 half centuries, as the Black Caps posted 184-5.

A fine showing with the ball, led by Ish Sodhi's 4-28, limited Australia to 131 all out in reply as the hosts enjoyed a dominant victory in Christchurch, a city remembering the devastating earthquakes that struck 10 years ago.

Martin Guptill started this match needing 12 runs to surpass Brendon McCullum's record as the highest run-scorer in this fixture (228) but was dismissed for a duck, caught at backward point off the bowling of Daniel Sams.

New Zealand looked to be in serious trouble when captain Kane Williamson's departure in the fourth over left them on 19-3 and with a lot of work to do.

But Conway laid the foundations with a fine knock, which came up just shy of yielding a century despite 10 fours and three maximums.

Conway was on 88 when he got on strike with three balls left, sending the first for a six and the next one for four, but he could only manage a single off the final delivery.

Aaron Finch's side, having lost back-to-back series against England and India, toiled in response.

Finch himself fell inside the first over and that set the tone, with Australia languishing on 19-4 by the fifth over.

Sodhi was the tormentor-in-chief for the tourists' mid-to-lower order, accounting for Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Agar, Sams and Kane Richardson.

Jhye Richardson, who fetched a "life-changing" bid at the Indian Premier League auction, was the last man to fall in a substandard innings from Australia that was ended after 17.3 overs.

This was just the second home win for New Zealand over Australia in this format in six attempts, with the teams set to meet again on Thursday.

Andre McCarthy took six wickets including a hat-trick as the Jamaica Scorpions defeated the Barbados Pride by 51 runs at the Coolidge Cricket Ground and book a date with the Trinidad Red Force in the semi-finals of the CG Insurance Super50 on Wednesday.

Danielle Williams won the 60mh hurdles at the final American Track League meeting this evening in the third-fastest time in the world this year.

 Cricket West Indies and title sponsors CG Insurance have unveiled the sparkling new CG Insurance Super50 Cup Sir Clive Lloyd trophy, which will be presented to the winning team following the final on February 27.

CG Insurance has commissioned the new elegant and contemporary glass trophy, which incorporates CG’s company colours, as part of their long-term investment into West Indies cricket as official insurance partner which is focused on their title partnerships of all CG Insurance ODI Home Series and both Men’s and Women’s CG Insurance Super50 Cups. 

In a statement, CG Insurance said: “We wanted this year's trophy to embody the spirit of the islands and the spirit of the series. CG Insurance has offices in many of our Caribbean nations and we felt this trophy was an opportunity to showcase the water that unites us and the movement and excitement of the sport. We are thrilled with the outcome and congratulate the team who gets to take this trophy home.”

The CG Insurance Super50 trophy honours Sir Clive Lloyd’s captaincy of the West Indies teams winning back to back 50-over ICC World Cups in 1975 and 1979.

Sir Clive said he was proud to have the trophy named in his honour and said he hoped it would inspire the next generation of West Indies cricketers. He also said it is a celebration of 50-over cricket in the West Indies, dating back more than 45 years ago and a tribute to his teams which won the inaugural Cricket World Cup in 1975 and again four years later.

“It’s a very nice trophy and I’m very pleased. I have been watching the tournament and I am enjoying every moment of it. It is good to see we continue to produce cricketers in the region. It’s an excellent competition with the teams playing hard and fair and you can see the talent on display as we look to continue to improve and develop West Indies cricket,” he said.

“As a proud West Indian, I’m happy to have this honour. I also see it as not just for me but for all the members of the World Cup teams who played alongside me and won in 1975 and 1979. This trophy has my name on it but all the others who played with me should think they are part of it too.”

The CG Insurance Super50 bowled off on Sunday, February 7 and will climax on Saturday, February 27 with the grand final under lights at the Coolidge Cricket Ground. Fans across the region can watch the matches on ESPN Caribbean and also get LIVE radio coverage on stations via broadcast partner Vibes FM.

Trinidad and Tobago Red Force recorded their fifth win in a row to end the preliminary round of the CG Insurance Super50 Cup with a perfect record and 20 points.

Australia will be counting on the stars of the Big Bash to step up when they attempt to stop the rot in a five-match Twenty20 International series against in-form New Zealand.

Aaron Finch's side go into the first match of the series at Hagley Oval on Monday looking to avoid a third consecutive series defeat following losses to England and India.

The Black Caps, on the other hand, have won their last two against West Indies and Pakistan as they build momentum ahead of the T20 World Cup, which starts in October.

Australia will be without the likes of Steve Smith, David Warner and Mitchell Starc, with 19-year-old spinner Tanveer Sangha set to make his debut and Jhye Richardson back in the squad.

Richardson, Glenn Maxwell and New Zealand paceman Kyle Jamieson should have a spring in their step after landing lucrative Indian Premier League deals this week.

Paceman Richardson has not played a T20 for his country for two years, but gets the chance to put shoulder injury woes behind him after an impressive Big Bash campaign.

There were doubts over Martin Guptill's fitness for the opening game in Christchurch, with the promising Finn Allen on standby, but the dangerous New Zealand opener is expected to be available.

Jhye on a high after striking it rich

Richardson was the leading wicket-taker in the Big Bash with 29 for Perth Scorchers, prompting Punjab Kings to fork out 14 crore (£1.4m) for his services.

He said after going for such big money in Thursday's auction: "It felt like I wasn't watching it. After everything that's happened you are obviously really excited then you hit this massive wall, it was pretty late, I had all this emotion, all the adrenaline, a load of messages coming through on my phone and then completely crashed and felt exhausted.

"I feel like I played a game, mentally exhausted myself. Still sinking in, that's for sure. I think it's an amazing result. It's life-changing to be honest.

Maxwell went to Royal Challengers Bangalore for the same fee, while Riley Meredith will face Australia's trans-Tasman rivals on the back of also being picked up by Punjab. Jamieson will be out to show why RCB paid 14.25cr (£1.5m) to land him.

 

Guptill backed to show class is permanent

Guptill has been struggling with a hamstring injury, but the 34-year-old appears to be ready to start the series.

Although Guptill is comfortably New Zealand's leading run scorer in the shortest format, he is in a poor run of form, but head coach Gary Stead has backed the explosive right-hander to come good.

"Gups is a class player and has been a class player for a long time. Form and what people do while in form can change perceptions so quickly," said Stead.

"But we have a number of people who are capable of playing international cricket and that's exciting for us."

 

Key series facts

- This will be the sixth meeting between the Black Caps and Australia in New Zealand in T20Is and their first at Hagley Oval. New Zealand have won only once against Australia in this format on home soil.

- New Zealand have lost only one of their last five completed T20Is at home (W4). Their only previous match at Hagley Oval ended in a seven-wicket loss to England (November 2019).

- Australia have the highest catching success rate of any Test-playing nation in the shortest format since the start of last year (91.8 per cent); New Zealand have taken 75 per cent of their catching opportunities in that time.

- Sangha took 21 wickets at an average of 18.3 in the recent Big Bash, the most by a teenager in a single edition of the competition.

- Guptill has scored 217 runs in T20 matches between the trans-Tasman rivals. He is just 12 runs shy of eclipsing Brendon McCullum’s record as the highest run-scorer in this fixture (228).

Former West Indies fast bowler and Barbados cricketer, Ian Bradshaw, would not be in favour of replacing team captain Jason Holder just yet but believes questions regarding the player’s state of mind must be cleared up.

On the back of an impressive effort in marshaling the squad to defeat Bangladesh, in a two-Test series last week, calls have arisen for Kraigg Brathwaite to lead the team, ahead of regular captain Holder, for the upcoming series against Sri Lanka.

Holder missed out on the team’s tour of Bangladesh after being one of 12 players to pull out of the campaign due to health and safety concerns.  In addition, however, the captain, who had led the team to previous tours of England and New Zealand, also admitted to experiencing a high level of fatigue, particularly having gone through several weeks of quarantine.

For Bradshaw, provided he is in a good mental state, Holder should resume his duties leading the squad.

“I would support the retention of Jason if it is that we understand his state of mind at this time,” Bradshaw told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“Jason has been earmarked as our long-term captain.  Let’s recall that he’s had some success and we were very excited when we won the Wisden Trophy.  He has had some success and he has been molding the team,” he added.

“He has led by example and I would want to sit down with him and understand the challenges he was going through.  Because if he is still challenged it may need a situation where he is given that space to ensure that his individual performance does not suffer.”

Holder was appointed captain of the team in 2015.

 

West Indies fast bowling legend, Curtly Ambrose, has not been selected for the position of England Cricket Board (ECB) elite pace-bowling coach, despite making the shortlist of candidates interviewed.

The ECB put out an advertisement for three vacant positions, pace-bowling coach, spin-bowling coach and batting coach, in December.  Interviews were conducted in recent weeks after applications closed last month.

Ambrose, who made known that he had applied for the post a few weeks ago, revealed that he had been contacted but unfortunately was not selected for the post.

“I got a call from one of the panellists yesterday [Thursday] to inform me that I was unsuccessful in my bid. The interview went very well. There were four panellists and everything went according to plan and I thought I did a wonderful job, so I was pretty excited. I thought I probably would have made it but I am not going to really worry too much about it. To have made the shortlist is a step in the right direction obviously,” Ambrose told the Antigua Observer.

With the Ashes on the horizon, Ambrose, who has taken 128 wickets against Australia (fourth-best all-time, with the best economy rate among the top 5), admits that he was hoping that his previously dominant performances down under might have weighed in his favour.

“I was expecting to be part of the squad considering the World T20 coming up and, of course, the Ashes. You know that when England play Australia in the Ashes, it’s a big one and I thought that maybe because of my tremendous success in Australia that it would have, at least, given me an extra step, but it didn’t work out and I am quite happy with how everything went. In life, we get some good news and some not so good, and you learn to accept it and move on,” he said.

The 57-year-old previously worked as West Indies bowling consultant between 2014 and 2016.  He was replaced by Roddy Estwick.

Former West Indies wicketkeeper, Deryck Murray, believes there should be a serious consideration for Kraigg Brathwaite to remain captain on the back of the team’s strong showing against Bangladesh.

Brathwaite, who took charge of the regional squad after Holder and several others opted out of the tour, after citing health and safety concerns, has widely been credited for unifying the team under difficult circumstances.

Holder, on the other hand, has had a difficult spell in charge over the last several months with lopsided losses to England and New Zealand.  Albeit triumphing against more lowly ranked opposition, Murray believes Brathwaite was able to pull exceptional performances out of the squad and is in favour of keeping momentum.

 “It is something that you have to talk about very seriously.  I do not discard Kraigg Brathwaite as Test captain automatically,” Murray told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“You need to look at the team that we are going to put together, and if it is that there is going to be four or five players from this (Bangladesh tour) team there is a strong case for doing that (retaining Brathwaite),” he added.

“There is a strong case for saying to Jason Holder ‘come back, don’t have the pressures of captaincy on you.  You are going to be the central all-rounder in this team.  You are going to bat at six, we need you to attack as a bowler, be a wicket-taking bowler, not a containing bowler as the fourth seamer in the team, and therefore we need to have the best available team at that time.”

“The team who is coming with the confidence of just being successful.  Rallying around the team that we are going to build for the next three or four months because we have two or three series coming up in quick succession.  We have to make sure we are doing that and that we don’t suddenly say ‘yep these players have done it but we are not putting too much emphasis on that.”

 

 

A last-wicket stand of 85 between Man-of-the-Match Jeavor Royal and Fabian Allen paved the way for Jamaica Scorpions close six-run-win by Duckworth/Lewis over the Leeward Islands Hurricanes earlier today.

Mark Wood revealed he withdrew from the Indian Premier League auction so he could spend time with his family and to ensure he was not "goosed mentally or physically" in a big year for England.

Wood had put himself forward for an IPL stint at the highest base price (2 crore/£200,000), but opted out on the eve of the auction this week.

The paceman's decision came after he flew to India for the remainder of the Test series, five Twenty20 Internationals and three ODIs.

Wood, who was given time off after the Sri Lanka tour last month, says playing for England in his priority, with the T20 World Cup and an Ashes series in Australia to come after a busy summer on home soil - including facing India again.

The quick said: "I'm going to spend six weeks here in India and then it would be another eight weeks on top of that, so that's 14 weeks.

"We're in a strange situation with COVID and unfortunately you can't see your families during that winter period coming out with India, like we usually do. 

"I just wanted to be able to switch off, recharge and go back home for the second reason, which is being ready for England. 

"I've tried to prioritise that and think later on in the year we've got loads of cricket going on and I don't want my body to fail me or be a bit goosed mentally or physically going into the back of the year, with a World Cup, Ashes and big series against India at home.

"I wanted to make sure I was ready from that point of view and have some family time because this block is a long time away from home."

England all-rounder Moeen Ali was snapped up by Chennai Super Kings for £700,000 on Thursday and although Wood knows he may have missed out on a lucrative deal, the 31-year-old hopes to get another chance to play in the IPL.

"Obviously there's been some big names gone for some big money and never begrudge them that, I think it's life-changing money, so it was a difficult decision for me," he said on Friday.

"The plus side is you're not just going for money reasons, you want to prove [yourself] hopefully going into the World T20 and learn some skills. Plus I feel like I've got a little bit of unfinished business with the IPL, I feel like I didn't do very well well in one game for Chennai last time [in 2018].

"I'd like another crack at some point, I just didn't feel like the time was right. Every player has their own decision, but for me it was to prioritise my family and England."

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