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.

 

 

 

 

England captain Owen Farrell is a doubt for the Six Nations after suffering an injury in training.

The versatile Farrell has not played since November after undergoing ankle surgery he required due to damage done during a 32-15 victory over Australia at Twickenham.

Farrell was due to feature for Saracens in their European Challenge Cup clash with London Irish on Sunday, but the 30-year-old has suffered another setback.

Sarries said in a statement: "Owen was back in full training having recovered from the ankle injury he sustained against Australia during the Autumn internationals. 

"We will have a further update after he sees a specialist early next week."

Farrell's place in the England side has been called into question, but Eddie Jones this week firmly backed his skipper after naming his squad for a Six Nations tournament that the Red Rose start against Scotland at Murrayfield on February 5.

"We believe Owen can get into his best form very quickly and we believe he will be right to play against Scotland," the England head coach said.

“We are hopeful he's going to play this weekend. He has got a good training week with us next week and we will know whether he is right to play. We will just have to wait and see how he goes over the next couple of weeks.

"He's the best person to captain the team. Very clearly, he's the best person in my judgement to captain the team.

"If he's fit and eligible for selection, he will captain the team. If he's not then we will make an adjustment to that."

Courtney Lawes would appear to be the most likely player to take over as captain after leading his country in a win over South Africa in the absence of Farrell.

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.

 

 

T20 World Cup holders Australia will face 2021 finalists New Zealand in the Super 12s stage of this year's tournament.

Australia triumphed over their trans-Tasman rivals by eight wickets in the final of last year's competition in the United Arab Emirates to clinch the T20 World Cup for the first time.

Aaron Finch's team will look to defend their title on home soil later this year, with the World Cup running from October 16 to November 13.

Sri Lanka, champions in 2014, start the preliminary round – which also includes 2016 winners West Indies – against Namibia, with the Super 12s starting on October 22.

The first fixture will be a repeat of last year's final, with New Zealand taking on Australia in Sydney.

England, who lost to New Zealand in the 2021 semi-finals, and Afghanistan are also in the same group.

India, Pakistan, South Africa and Bangladesh will face off in Group 2. 

Pakistan and India go head-to-head in Melbourne on October 23.

The semi-finals will take place on November 9 and 10.

West Indies opener, Brandon King, is looking to keep things simple on his return to international cricket after recently returning to the team.

King was named as part of the Windies T20 squad who will play against England in the upcoming five-match series.  The batsman looked in solid form after returning to the team against Pakistan last month, after more than a year away from the team.  He scored 111 runs in three matches, with an average of 37 and a high score of 67.

On the back of another controlled showing against a BCA President's XI in a warm-up match at Kensington Oval, on Tuesday, King will be looking to provide solidity against the English for a Windies team that has struggled as of late.

“For me mentally, I play my best cricket when I am keeping things simple out there while I am batting.  I just try and play the situation as it is and that has really helped me to do better out there,” King said of his form since returning to the team.

Despite the World Cup coming up later this year, however, and the West Indies in rebuilding mode, he insists he is not looking too far ahead in terms of regular selection.

“I try to focus on the things that I can control.  For me, that is just every game that presents itself I just try and do my best and perform.  Selection and those other aspects I don’t have any control over it but I just try and put myself in a position to be in the conversation.”

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eddie Jones has named six uncapped players in England's training camp ahead of the Six Nations.

A group of 36 players will meet in Brighton next Monday for a five-day camp before heading to continue their preparations for the tournament at Pennyhill Park.

Orlando Bailey, Alfie Barbeary, Ollie Chessum, Tommy Freeman, Ollie Hassell-Collins and Luke Northmore have been called up for the first time.

England face Scotland in their first Six Nations match at Murrayfield on February 5.

Red Rose head coach Jones said: "Selecting this squad has been a difficult task, we've got plenty of good young players coming through and some of our more experienced are rediscovering their best form.

"We think this 36 for the first training week reflects a good balance of that experience and up-and-coming talent.

"In Brighton we’ll focus on getting the fundamentals of our game in play right and developing the cohesion of the team.

"The Six Nations is going to be the most competitive we've ever seen. All the countries performed well in the autumn, so we need to be at our best and improve with every game."

Ben Youngs is poised to become England's most-capped player during the tournament, as the scrum-half is just two appearances away from Jason Leonard's record tally of 114.

England squad:

Forwards: Alfie Barbeary, Jamie Blamire, Ollie Chessum, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Tom Curry, Alex Dombrandt, Charlie Ewels, Ellis Genge, Jamie George, Joe Heyes, Jonny Hill, Maro Itoje, Courtney Lawes, Lewis Ludlam, Joe Marler, Bevan Rodd, Sam Simmonds, Kyle Sinckler, Will Stuart.

Backs: Mark Atkinson, Orlando Bailey, Owen Farrell, Tommy Freeman, George Furbank, Ollie Hassell-Collins, Max Malins, Joe Marchant, Jonny May, Luke Northmore, Jack Nowell, Raffi Quirke, Harry Randall, Henry Slade, Marcus Smith, Freddie Steward, Ben Youngs.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has launched an investigation after police were called to put an end to a drinking session at the team hotel in the early hours of Monday morning.

England and Australia players and staff gathered in the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Hobart after Australia sealed a 4-0 Ashes series victory on Sunday.

Tasmania Police officers were sent to the hotel to put an end to the socialising after a hotel guest complained about the noise being made by "intoxicated people".

No further action was taken by police, but the ECB is looking into the matter.

An ECB statement said: "During the early hours of Monday morning, members of the England and Australia men's teams shared a drink in the team areas of the hotel in Hobart.

"The hotel management received a noise complaint, and is commonplace in Australia, the local police attended the scene.

"When asked to leave by hotel management and the Tasmanian police, the players and management in question left and returned to their respective hotel rooms. The England party have apologised for any inconvenience caused.

"The ECB will investigate further. Until such times, we will make no further comment."

England capitulated from 68 without loss to 124 all out to lose the fifth and final Test by 146 runs.

Ian Botham led an onslaught of criticism for England's Ashes failures after Joe Root's team capitulated pitifully to lose the final Test in Hobart.

Botham was joined by fellow former England captains Alastair Cook, Michael Vaughan and David Gower in picking apart another wretched display, with Australia tying up a 4-0 series victory.

England sit at the foot of the World Test Championship, and Botham said the culture of English cricket needed to change, with the heavy emphasis on domestic limited-overs competitions harming the five-day team.

Speaking on Channel 7, Botham said: "It's been embarrassing, if I'm honest. Gutless.

"The way they performed today disappointed me and will have disappointed everyone back home."

England went from 68-0 to 124 all out, the final ignominy from a shambolic tour performance as Australia won by 146 runs.

"The one thing we need to do right now is take our heads out of the sand and pull together and prioritise red-ball cricket," Botham said. "If we're not careful, the eskimos will be beating us."

Cook, Joe Root's predecessor as captain, found it a jarring watch as England went from building a solid foundation to outright carnage, unable to hold back Australia's victory charge.

"There was no resilience there. As soon as they get under pressure, you seen how much resolve there is," Cook said.

"That was very, very tough viewing and that has to be our rock bottom. There cannot be any worse a place in terms of getting bowled out in an hour and a half."

Speaking on BT Sport, Cook added: "As a batter and a professional who plays games of cricket, you get bowled out in a session once or twice in a career.

"You see a batting line-up devoid of all confidence and belief, that once you lose one wicket or two wickets, nobody's going to step up and stop that slide.

"You can talk all you want about it in the dressing room, but until some people grab this team by the scruff of the neck and move it forward themselves, I can't see what's changed."

Vaughan, on Twitter, said England had carried through 2021's "year of the batting collapse" into this year, adding: "You can cope with losing but not when you throw the towel in."

Gower suggested the positive messages that Root and coach Chris Silverwood attempted to deliver were misleading.

"I think we understand very easily that neither Joe Root or Chris Silverwood are going to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth under these circumstances," Gower said.

"Both are under pressure for different reasons. Joe has handled it well, kept a smile on his face. When you see him run out to bat today you can see there is a man who wants to do his best to finish on a high note, but he is not being supported.

"Silverwood's role is a different one because he is fully implicated in selection, and selection's been one of the huge talking points on this tour, right from Brisbane onwards."

For the first Test at the Gabba, England went into the match and series with star bowlers Stuart Broad and James Anderson mystifyingly left on the sidelines.

"There were jaws dropping at home and in Brisbane when the team was announced and when events unfolded," Gower said.

Also speaking on BT Sport, Gower said he had "genuine sympathy" for Root given the focus on white-ball cricket. Although England won the World Cup, in Test cricket they are firmly in the doldrums.

"This is the oldest, most important form of the game," Gower said. "We need to defend it, we need an England team that plays it well, that is not languishing at the foot ... barely even at the foot of the World Test Championship.

"These things really annoy people and apparently it's really annoying me at the moment.

"When you're going to try to be constructive, you look at personnel for sure, so there will be people fearing for their position in the side. Then you also have to consider who else is there to take over. There are players out there who would hope they might get a go as a result of other people's failures, but they've got to show character."

Joe Root declared England must make decisive changes to their Test cricket programme following their Ashes humbling – but warned that things will not "change overnight".

Australia clinched a 4-0 series victory on Sunday after another batting collapse from the visitors saw them slump to a 146-run defeat in the fifth Test in Hobart.

England had looked in a promising position to claim a first win of the series after Mark Wood's career-best 6-37 helped to dismiss the hosts for 155 in the second innings.

Rory Burns and Zak Crawley mounted a good start as they chased a target of 271, but Cameron Green (3-21) sparked another rout.

The tourists proceeded to lose all 10 wickets for 56 runs as they were bowled out for 124.

It was a pitiful end to a dreadful series from England's perspective and another indication of their problems in the longest format.

They have won only one of their past 14 Test matches since last February and, when they return to Australia in 2025, it will have been 14 years since they last won an Ashes Test away from home.

Speaking to BT Sport, captain Root said: "A number of things have to change. In the short term, guys have to learn quickly. If you want to survive at this level, you have to learn quickly. What they are lacking is the opportunities to do that at the level beforehand.

"We need to sit down and have a clear look at what direction English cricket needs to take, what direction English Test cricket needs to take to improve and improve quickly. That is not going to change overnight."

He added: "It has been a frustration throughout. We have played good cricket in parts but not managed to string a whole game together.

"We have to learn from these experiences and get better, not come away and make the same mistakes. That is the challenge moving forward."

Australia skipper Pat Cummins, meanwhile, declared his side want to make their mark on foreign soil after a resounding victory.

"It is pretty crazy," he said. "As a professional cricketer, these are the series you have in your diary a couple of years out, so to come out with so many positives and winning 4-0, I am pumped.

"It feels like we are really building to something big. Now we want to share our wares overseas."

Australia won the fifth Ashes Test by 146 runs to seal a 4-0 series victory against England, who endured a woeful batting collapse in Hobart.

England dismissed Australia for just 155 in their second innings at Bellerive Oval and took control when Rory Burns and Zak Crawley combined to reach 68-0 in reply.

But the tourists fell apart from that point and finished 124 all out, meaning it will be 14 years since their last away win in an Ashes Test by the time they return in 2025.

The tourists trailed by 152 runs at the start of play on Sunday, but Mark Wood got his side off to a strong start by taking a career-best 6-37 to skittle Australia.

The hosts dug in from 63-6 to reach 155 all out and England gave themselves hope of chasing down an improbable 271 through Burns and Crawley.

The pair mounted the highest opening partnership of any side in the series, reaching 36 and 26 respectively but, not for the first time this series, a batting collapse followed.

Cameron Green picked up 3-21, with Dawid Malan (10) his other victim, and England added just 36 more runs from their final eight wickets.

Ben Stokes, who averaged 23.60 with the bat this series, went for five runs, as did Ollie Pope, with Joe Root (11) and Sam Billings (1) doing little to hold off Australia either side.

Chris Woakes (5) fell for single figures the first time this series as he edged Scott Boland behind on the drive, before Mark Wood (11) dragged Pat Cummins onto his stumps.

Australia did not have to wait long to take England's final wicket, with Ollie Robinson bowled for a duck by a Cummins full toss to end the tourists' misery.

England undone by Green

Burns and Crawley tried their best to turn the fifth Test into a contest that could potentially go to the wire, but then up stepped Green to completely kill England's momentum.

England were 60-0 when Green, who is the youngest player to score a half-century for Australia at Bellerive Oval, took over and they were 88-3 when he bowled his final ball.

Incredibly, the tourists were all out for 124 just 22.4 overs later.

Tourists' woes epitomised by Woakes

England have now won only one of their 14 Tests in the past 11 months, but Root must surely be left to wonder what might have been in Hobart.

A turning point arrived when Woakes appeared to have dismissed Alex Carey for 19 earlier in the day, which would have left Australia 91-7, but he was judged to have overstepped.

Carey went on to make a crucial 49 as Australia comfortably claimed another win and matched the margin of their victory from four years ago.

Sam Billings claims England have a "huge opportunity" to win the fifth and final Ashes Test, despite another poor batting display from the tourists on the second day in Hobart.

A frantic day of action saw England bowled out for just 188 in response to Australia's first innings of 303, before three late wickets gave them a glimmer of hope as they look to restore some pride after a disappointing series.

Looking ahead to day three, where Australia will resume on 37-3, Billings was optimistic about the chances of reducing England's 3-0 series deficit.

"I still think all results are possible," said Billings, speaking after the close of play on day two. "We have to cut out those bad sessions and take it to a manageable total for us as a batting unit.

"There is a huge opportunity to get a result out of this game. The first session is going to be huge, and will set the tone for the rest of the match. You have to look at those big moments and really grasp them.

"This evening was the template of how we have to bowl. The intensity and consistency was there, and we made it really difficult for Australia."

Billings joined the England squad as a late replacement last week after driving over 500-miles along the Australian coast, and became the 700th man to represent England in test cricket on the opening day of the Hobart Test.

England fought back with the ball after another batting collapse, but Australia remained on top after 17 wickets fell on a dramatic second day of the final Ashes Test.

Australia resumed on 241-6 in their first innings and were bowled out for 303 during Saturday's opening session, Stuart Broad taking 3-59 and Mark Wood 3-115 at Blundstone Arena.

The tourists then crumbled from 78-2 to 188 all out in reply, Chris Woakes top-scoring with 36 as the excellent Pat Cummins (4-45) and Mitchell Starc (3-53) did the bulk of the damage, with the ball zipping around off the seam and swinging prodigiously.

Australia were reduced to 5-2 in their second innings before closing on 37-3 in Hobart, leading by 152 runs and favourites to win the series 4-0.

Wood dismissed Starc and Cummins early on as Australia got the day's play under way, but Nathan Lyon struck the pacemen for three sixes as he held up England with a quickfire 31 and Alex Carey made 24, with Australia adding 51 runs for the last two wickets.

There was a sense of deja vu as England were two down early in their reply, Rory Burns run out without scoring on his return to the side and Zak Crawley caught by Travis Head at short leg to become Cummins' first victim.

Joe Root (34) and Dawid Malan steadied the ship, with left-hander Malan having a slice of fortune when he nicked Cameron Green behind with 13 to his name and Australia did not review.

Malan (25) was on his way after edging Cummins through to Carey, ending a third-wicket stand of 49, and England capitulated yet again, with Root trapped lbw by Australia's outstanding captain.

Lyon took a brilliant catch to get rid of Ben Stokes for four, before debutant Sam Billings (29) and Woakes offered some resistance, but Cummins ended another abysmal England innings by bowling Wood.

The tourists dazzled with the ball under the lights, with Warner bagging a pair and Marnus Labuschagne and Usman Khawaja departing, but Steve Smith (17no) and nightwatchman Scott Boland prevented further damage from being done.


Magnificent Cummins shows he's the best in the world

Cummins produced another exhibition of pace bowling as he exploited England's batting frailties yet again.

The Australia skipper was relentless and would have deserved a five-wicket haul, snaring Root with a brilliant delivery that nipped back sharply to claim the scalp of the England captain for the first time in the series.

He was supported well by Starc, Green (1-45) and Boland (1-33), who had Woakes dropped by both Warner and Khawaja early in the all-rounder's knock.


Woe for Warner as Broad strikes again, Robinson returns

It was an all too familiar story for Warner as he fell to Broad for the 14th time in Test cricket, Ollie Pope taking a stunning diving catch at point to remove the opener.

Not since Warner failed to score in both innings of the Old Trafford Ashes Test in 2019 had an Australian suffered the misery of getting a pair.

Woakes snared Labuschagne and Billings took a second Test catch when Khawaja gloved a brute of a rapid short ball from Wood. Ollie Robinson was unfortunate not to take a wicket when he returned to bowl after suffering back spams on day one as England finished a disappointing day strongly.

Australia's Travis Head struck a century to punish England on a rain-affected opening day of the fifth and final Ashes Test at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart.

The hosts, who have an unassailable 3-0 lead, finished Friday on 241-6 having earlier been reduced to 12-3 by an England side who won the toss and chose to bowl first.

England showed five changes from last week's drawn fourth Test in Sydney, including a debut for Sam Billings, and started in an impressive manner.

David Warner (0), Usman Khawaja (6) and Steve Smith (0) all went by the start of the 10th over, while Marnus Labuschagne would have followed had Zak Crawley not fumbled.

That may well prove a decisive moment in the final Test as Labuschagne and Head launched a counter-attack by scoring 53 runs from the next seven overs.

But on 71 from 72 balls, Labuschagne comically wrong-footed himself when attacking a Stuart Broad delivery and could only watch from the floor as Australia lost another wicket.

England lost bowler Ollie Robinson to injury and their problems were compounded by the work of Head, who continued to rack up the runs when joined by Cameron Green.

Head survived a big scare on his way to reaching 101 from 113 balls, but his day was ended after he chipped a Chris Woakes delivery to Robinson at mid-on.

Green got to 74 before holing out at deep mid-wicket and only nine more balls were bowled due to rain, with Mitch Starc (0) and Alex Carey (10) to resume play on Saturday.

Travis keeps his Head after Crawley loses his

England could not have asked for a much better start on the green surface, with Robinson and Broad dismantling Australia's top order by dismissing Warner and Smith for ducks.

But Crawley's drop of Labuschagne, combined with England's wayward bowling from that point on, allowed Head – recently sidelined due to COVID-19 isolation – to grab the fifth Test by the scruff of the neck.

He went past the 100 mark, becoming the seventh Australian to do so in a day/night men's Test innings after Warner, Labuschagne, Khawaja, Smith, Shaun Marsh and Peter Handscomb.

Green shoots of recovery

Australia all-rounder Green had a maiden hundred in his sights, only to fall to Mark Wood's short-ball trap 16 runs shot of three figures.

At 22 years and 225 days, he is the youngest player to score 50 or more runs in a men's Test innings for Australia at Bellerive Oval and the fourth youngest overall at the ground.

Joe Root has backed Chris Silverwood to stay on as head coach despite England's disappointing Ashes campaign

Silverwood's position, which he has held since being promoted from bowling coach in October 2019, is under growing pressure with England 3-0 down to Australia.

The 46-year-old presided over the Test defeats in Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne before missing last week's drawn fourth Test in Sydney because of COVID-19.

He is now back with the squad for the start of Friday's final Test in Hobart and Root is hopeful it will not be Silverwood's last at the helm.

Asked if he would like to see Silverwood remain in charge, Root said: "Yes, I would. 

"It was a difficult week for the group of players with him not being around and it must have been very difficult for him.

"But I think the performances we put in during the first three games, I feel we've let him and the coaches down to a degree. 

"We've not played anywhere near the level we're capable of. It's a chance to do that this week."

England have a three-Test series with West Indies to come after the Ashes and then host New Zealand, India and South Africa later in the year.

They suffered nine Test defeats in a logistically challenging 2021 that forced Silverwood to shuffle his resources due to COVID bubbles and player withdrawals.

And Root praised Silverwood for the manner in which he has gone about his business over the past 18 months or so.

"I think he's very calm, he has the respect of the guys and he's got a desperation to see everyone do well or up-skill the players as best he can," Root said. 

"He's had a very difficult time of it with the environments we've been living in, trying to manage winning matches with bubble environments away from home, and multi-format players trying to prepare for an Ashes and a World Cup. It's very difficult.

"For a long time we've not been able to put our best teams out because we've been constantly trying to make sure from a mental wellbeing point of view everyone is looked after properly, because of the schedule we've dealt with over two years."

Page 1 of 50
© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.