Babar Azam’s half-century for Pakistan helped condemn West Indies to a seven-wicket loss in their first warm-up match in Dubai on Monday.

Guyana Amazon Warriors claimed a stunning Super Over victory over the Trinbago Knight Riders at the 2021 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL).

Guyana Amazon Warriors kicked off the 2021 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) with a nine-run win over defending champions Trinbago Knight Riders at Warner Park in St Kitts.

The Knight Riders won the toss and put the Amazon Warriors into bat and despite Shimron Hetmyer’s 50, they were able to restrict their opponents to 142-7. However, the Amazon Warriors were to produce an even better bowling performance taking wickets at regular intervals to get their campaign off to a winning start. 

The Amazon Warriors began their innings well with Chandrapaul Hemraj striking two sixes but he was caught at short third man once Sunil Narine entered the attack.

The Amazon Warriors then sprung a surprise with the hard-hitting Odean Smith entering at number three to maximise the PowerPlay overs. Smith justified his promotion with 24 runs from 15 balls but once he fell the Amazon Warriors innings lost impetus leaving them struggling at the halfway stage on 57-3.

When Isuru Udana removed Shoaib Malik for a laboured two runs from 12 balls and Akeal Hosein got rid of Mohammed Hafeez shortly afterwards it looked as if Guyana had given themselves too much to do.

 Captain Nicholas Pooran walked in at a surprising number seven with five overs remaining and tried to up the ante with Shimron Hetmyer but Pooran then fell to a stunning Darren Bravo in-out-in catch on the boundary.

 Vice-captain Hetmyer had anchored the innings throughout the flurry of wickets and he cashed in at the death with some lusty blows to score the first 2021 Hero CPL 50 and ensure Guyana ended on a tricky total to chase.

 Despite losing the wickets of Lendl Simmons and Colin Munro in the PowerPlay the Knight Riders were ahead of the game at the end of the 6 overs.

 The turning point came with the introduction of Imran Tahir as he removed both Sunil Narine and Bravo in quick succession and the Amazon Warriors then continued to take wickets at regular intervals.  Smith put the game in the balance when he forced Tim Seifert into a false shot to leave the Knight Riders on 78-5 after 12 overs and it was to go from bad to worse for the Knight Riders when Romario Shepherd got Kieron Pollard to nick behind to Pooran for two runs.

 Late hitting from Dinesh Ramdin kept the Knight Riders in the game but when he fell to a smart catch from Malik all hope was lost.

Scores: S.Hetmyer 142-9, Odean Smith 24. Smith 2-10 beat Trinbago Knight Riders 133-9 (Ramdin 28, Siefert 24; Narine 2/17, Hosein 2/17) by 9 runs. 

 

West Indies head coach Phil Simmons has backed mercurial talent Shimron Hetmyer to eventually find his way back into the Test team after an extended absence.

Despite being considered one of the team’s brightest talents, and having appeared in all formats, Hetmyer has not suited up for the Test team since 2019, against Afghanistan.

The 24-year-old, who made his debut against India in 2016, has struggled for consistency, scoring five 50s in 15 matches with a high score of 93, but with several other innings where he has not delivered.  Despite obvious potential, his overall average of 28 falls on the mediocre side.

In addition, the athlete has also had his share fair of fitness issues over the past two years, twice failing fitness standards after being included in touring squads.  Simmons has, however, backed the batsman to eventually get things right.

“I think that Hetmyer can be a world-class Test player when that time comes,” Simmons told members of the media.

“I’m sure at some point he’s going to return to the Test squad.  I’m sure the experience he’s gotten from being there before will serve him well and that he will make use of it.  I think he is maturing as we go along.  He’s had a few incidents he’s not proud of, but he’s maturing and I’m sure he will get back into the Test squad at some point in time and show what he’s made of.”

 

The Cricket West Indies (CWI) Selection Panel announced the West Indies squad for the CG Insurance One-Day International (ODI) Series against Australia. The squad features most of the players from the 3-0 clean sweep over Sri Lanka in the CG Insurance ODI Series earlier this year.

There are recalls for experienced left-arm fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell; Shimron Hetmyer, the left-handed top-order batsman; and Roston Chase, the right-handed all-rounder.

The CG Insurance ODI Series will be played at Kensington Oval in Barbados on July 20, 22 and 24 with all three matches scheduled as day/night encounters. The first ball is 2:30 pm (1:30 pm Jamaica Time). There is great anticipation as this is Australia’s first tour of the West Indies since the tri-nation series back in 2016.

The series forms part of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) ODI Super League where both teams are aiming to win points to be one of the top seven teams that will secure automatic qualification for the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup in India.

“This squad is coming off a comprehensive series win against Sri Lanka which should boost their confidence going into what is expected to be a tougher contest against Australia. The return of Shimron Hetmyer, Roston Chase and Sheldon Cottrell adds greater depth and experience to the squad,” said Roger Harper, CWI's Chief Selector.

“Playing in familiar home conditions, hopefully, will bring out the best in each player thereby enabling the team to perform at a consistently high standard. This CG Insurance ODI series against Australia is part of the ICC Cricket World Cup qualification process where every game and every point counts, so it is very important.”

FULL SQUAD: Kieron Pollard (Captain), Shai Hope (Vice-Captain), Fabian Allen, Darren Bravo, Roston Chase, Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammed, Anderson Philip, Nicholas Pooran and Romario Shepherd.

 

Legendary West Indies captain, Clive Lloyd, has called on embattled batsman Shimron Hetmyer to answer doubters by scoring a lot of runs whenever he gets the opportunity.

The 24-year-old has been in the spotlight in recent weeks after losing his international retainer contract with Cricket West Indies.  The young batsman has long been considered to be one of the region’s premier talents but has struggled to hit top gear in recent seasons.

In Test cricket, where he has not played for the team since 2019, he averages 27.93 having played 16 matches.  In One Day International cricket, where he last played in January of last year, he averages 36.66.  In T20 international cricket, he averages 18.95 with a strike rate of 116.97.

In addition, the player has struggled with fitness issues, twice failing a fitness test during the period, ahead of a subsequent tour of Sri Lanka last year and a visit of the same team earlier this year.

“The guy has got ability, we know that all he has to do is produce the runs and there should be no problem,” Lloyd told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“We all know Pooran, Hetmyer these are very talented guys, but that talent must come out with runs.  For a bowler it’s wickets,” he added.

“I would like to say to all the young people, Mr. Hetmyer and the rest of the gentlemen.  They are asking you to be fit, they want you to produce the goods.  If you do well, we would have a world-beating team.”

West Indies white-ball captain Kieron Pollard says he wants to see Shimron Hetmyer competing in all three formats for the men in maroon, but believes the Guyanese batsman has to work harder if he wants to regain a Cricket West Indies (CWI) central contract.

The Guyana Cricket Board has written to Cricket West Indies expressing what it says is its disappointment at public comments made by Chairman of Selectors Roger Harper relating to four Guyanese players, who were not awarded retainer contracts by the governing body.

West Indies legend, Viv Richards, has called on talented young batsman Shimron Hetmyer to take a more mature approach to cricket, in order to realise and maximise his full potential.

In the same breath, the iconic former batsman fondly referred to as the ‘Master Blaster,’ believes any failure by the player to do so would be a great loss not just to the West Indies, but the sport as a whole.

The 24-year-old Guyanese-born batsman has been in the spotlight recently, after failing to secure an international retainer contract from Cricket West Indies (CWI).  Long-touted as one of the region’s premier talents, Hetmyer has had a disappointing period, missing out on several appearances for the West Indies and twice failing a fitness test.

“You’ve got to put in the work [because] if you take half measure, then you are going to get half measure results for sure. Shortcuts in this particular profession are of no substance and I am not sure if what I am saying here now will get to him at some point, but the individual is a talented individual and there are times when I see him on the field and he is pretty playful like he is still a kid and he actually has to be a little more mature at this stage now,” Richards told the Antigua Observer.

 “The guy has got too much talent and I think that if this talent goes to waste, it would be a huge loss, not just maybe to himself but to world cricket on a whole,” he added.

Hetmyer, who has played all three formats for the West Indies, last appeared for the team in a T20I series against New Zealand last year.  He has, however, not played One Day International Cricket since January of last year and has not played a Test match since November of 2019.

“If he really wants to make this sport his profession and to get the maximum result that everyone feels he has in him in terms of the talent then he has got to really start looking at himself in the mirror and start to think. I think he is [24 years old] now, so he has got to be serious. When you hear some of the stuff like they fail a fitness test and all that sort of stuff then that is just totally unprofessional.”

The Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) has written to Cricket West Indies requesting a copy of the criteria used to award international retainer contracts and the report submitted by the selection panel on which the decision was made not to award international retainer contracts to Shimron Hetmyer, Keemo Paul and Romario Shepherd as well as Veerasammy Permaul.

The missive to the CWI comes on the heels of the recent announcement by CWI of 18 players who were offered retainer contracts for the year July 1, 2021-June 30, 2022. Among those who were awarded were newcomers Kyle Mayers, Joshua Da Silva and Nkrumah Bonner, who had standout performances against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

However, there were no contracts for the four Guyanese players, a troubling development for the GCB.

 “The Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) notes with great concern the information that Shimron Hetmyer, Keemo Paul and Romario Shepherd were not awarded International Retainer Contracts by the Cricket West Indies (CWI),” the board said in a statement Friday.

“The GCB is also concerned with the non-award of an International Retainer Contract to Veerasammy Permaul.”

The GCB said it is not aware and was not informed of the criteria used for the award of international retainer contracts nor were any reasons given for the non-award contracts to the four players.

“The non-award of International Retainer Contracts to these players by CWI is a matter of extreme concern to the GCB and to the Guyanese public and the GCB intends to fully investigate this matter,” the GCB said.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) chief of selectors, Roger Harper, believes it is an absolute necessity for players to get used to the idea of having to perform at the very top of their games in order to secure top-class retainer contracts.

The omission of the likes of Roston Chase, Shimron Hetmyer, Shamarh Brooks, Shane Dowrich, Sheldon Cottrell, Rovman Powell, and Oshane Thomas from the international retainer contracts lists, for the upcoming year, has rubbed a few supporters the wrong way.  Particularly, based on the fact that fewer contracts were handed out this year.

However, according to Harper, some players did not meet the minimum criteria for selection or simply did not display the quality need.

“We have to accept that these are performance-based contracts.  So, the contracts are awarded based on performance during the evaluation period, as well as the selection panel must feel that the players must play a major role or form the nucleus of the team going forward,” Harper told members of the media on Thursday.

“The players who were not awarded contracts their performances over the period did not meet the necessary criteria as well as you had new players who came to fore and performed, so they were offered contracts,” he added.

“Going forward as a culture, if we want to see our team progress, if we want to see our team compete with the best in the world.  We have to be more conscious of the fact that we have to earn our stripes and we have to perform consistently.  I think our retainer contracts are given on that basis.”

In addition to playing at least 50 percent of the games during the evaluation period, to be considered, batsmen must average at least 30 in Test and ODI cricket.  For T20Is players the player’s batting average and strike rate combined must be a minimum 150.

 

Cricket West Indies (CWI) chief of selectors, Roger Harper, has admitted that there is some concern over the form of batsman Shimron Hetmyer after the player failed to secure a retainer contract.

The 24-year-old explosive batsman has been previously heralded as one of West Indies cricket’s brightest prospects but has not been at his best in recent seasons.

Hetmyer has not played a Test for the regional team since 2019, against Afghanistan, and has not played in a One Day International since January of last year, against Ireland.  In addition to that, the player has twice failed fitness tests during the period.

The batsman missed out on the team’s tour of Sri Lanka in February of last year and then missed out on early selection for the squad this year, after failing another following the arrival of the Sri Lankans to tour the Caribbean.  Hetmyer subsequently passed a follow-up test.

“I still think Shimron is the type of player that has the ability to be a world-class player in every format going forward,” Harper told members of the media via an online video chat on Thursday.

“Naturally, when you have that sort of potential, we want to see it reach the kind of level that he is capable of reaching.  So, yes, we are concerned.  Yes, we will continue to work with Shimron and yes we will try to give the short of focus that we think is required for him to maximise his potential.”

Despite losing out on his regional contract, Hetmyer, however, retains a franchise contract.

 

The first match of the inaugural virtual CPL was a run filled spectacle as Trinbago Knight Riders’ Colin Munro emerged victorious against Ashmead Nedd after a Super Over finish.  

West Indies talismanic batsman, Chris Gayle, has stressed the massive importance of talented players like Shimron Hetmyer to the regional set-up and vowed to speak to the young batsman regarding staying focused on achieving his full potential.

The 24-year-old Hetmyer will miss the upcoming T20 and One Day International (ODI) matches against Sri Lanka after disqualifying himself from selection because of a failed fitness test.  The player, who recently took part in the Regional Super50 competition, will return to the team for the Test squad after subsequently passing another fitness test, along with Roston Chase.

Of concern, however, is the fact that Hetmyer also failed a fitness test administered at around the same time last year and a result missed out on some matches of an away series to the same opponents.

“It’s very unfortunate that he is out of the squad for fitness reasons but there is a protocol and things put in place.  It is beyond my control but it is up to him if he really wants to represent the West Indies and to really help West Indies cricket because he is such a talent,” Gayle told members of the media via a Zoom press conference on Monday.

“West Indies cricket needs that type of talent, it’s just unfortunate and hopefully things work out and these guys take it seriously.  These guys are the future.  A guy like Hetmyer, with his talent, he is the future.  We need him, we definitely need his talent,” he added.

“We don’t want to lose such a talent, so if I see Hetmyer I will try and have a talk with him.  I’ve spoken to him before and I will do so if I get the chance again.”

 

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