West Indies captain Kieron Pollard has not given up hope on the team advancing to the T20 World Cup semi-finals but has called on the unit to dig deep following a horrendous start to the tournament.

The Caribbean team, who are the defending champions, was routed by England in the first match where they lost by six wickets after being bowled out for 55.  In the second encounter against South Africa, on Tuesday. after a promising start the team was dismissed for a subpar 143, which the Proteas easily chased down to win by 8 wickets.

The loss leave the West Indies rooted at the bottom of the six-team table, with a net run rate of -2.550.  With only the top two teams set to advance to the final four, the Windies are already facing an uphill battle to move on to the next round.  

“Well, we just have to do what it takes,” a dejected Pollard said following the team’s loss to South Africa.

“We have to dig deeper as a team. We have to dig deeper as a batting unit,” he added.

“We have to get wins on the board now. We’ve put ourselves in a position whereas from a run rate perspective that’s pretty low, and from a win percentage we haven’t won any games.

“So we have to win the next three games. We just have to take it one at a time and try to improve each and every time.”

The West Indies will next face Bangladesh on Friday at 5:00 am.

 

West Indies captain Kieron Pollard did not speculate on Quinton de Kock's refusal to take the knee, but suggested education is a major issue when it comes to the gesture.

South Africa were without their talismanic wicketkeeper-batsman for Tuesday's T20 World Cup match, which they still won despite De Kock's absence.

The Cricket South Africa (CSA) board on Monday decided that all players must take the knee before their remaining World Cup games, as a consistent and united stance against racism.

De Kock has previously declined to make the gesture and opted not to play against the Windies at Dubai International Stadium on Tuesday following the demand from CSA.

Proteas captain Temba Bavuma said South Africa players were "taken aback" by De Kock's decision, with the batsman unsure whether the former skipper will play any further part in the World Cup.

Asked about the incident following the Windies' eight-wicket defeat, Bavuma's opposite number Pollard told reporters: "Me personally, I don't know of any player who didn't want to take it. I'm not aware of that.

"So this is sort of news to us or to me. But you know, you guys know our thoughts on this matter. It's something that we feel strongly about as a team and as a people, as well, and we will continue to do it.

"Each and everyone has their own opinions on it, but as I've always said, once you're educated, and you understand, we will understand you doing it, but I think education sort of is the key, and we don't want anyone doing it for us in solitude or to feel sorry for us.

"I'm not aware of which individual you speak about, but I'm guessing afterwards someone will increase my knowledge capacity on what actually transpired."

Pollard was then informed it was De Kock who had withdrawn his participation in the game and was asked if he believes conversations should be held with the South Africa star to educate him on the issue.

"Again, I can't speak on something that I don't know," Pollard replied. "I guess you guys know more than me.

"If I sit here, I'm going to speculate as to what actually transpired in all honesty. Again, if it's an educational thing, I guess then there's persons are wrong to educate.

"I don't think it's my job at this present time to educate. I think I have a lot more on my plate in terms of leading our team, and we're in a position where we need to win cricket games. I don't think that's my forte at the minute."

Pollard hit three boundaries, including a six, in a knock of 26 from 20 deliveries against South Africa, as well as going for nine off the only over he bowled as holders the Windies slumped to a second defeat of the Super 12 after their capitulation against England.

Jos Buttler promised England would take a united stand against racism before their T20 World Cup match against Bangladesh – after South Africa's Quinton de Kock refused to take the knee.

De Kock was conspicuous by his absence from South Africa's team for their victory against West Indies.

An initial announcement that he missed the game for personal reasons was followed by a fuller explanation, after it became abundantly clear why De Kock was playing no part.

Cricket South Africa had ordered their players to take the knee before the remainder of their games in the tournament, and such a demand did not sit right with the wicketkeeper-batsman. South Africa said the 28-year-old made himself unavailable.

The anti-racism gesture, linked to the Black Lives Matter movement, is one the England team have embraced previously, and Buttler said there would be a team-wide message sent out ahead of their next match too.

Asked about the De Kock situation, and whether England would be taking a knee on Wednesday, Buttler told a news conference: "Yeah, I think our position as a team is we stand against any form of discrimination.

"What we would like to do as a team is take a moment of unity which we did at times during our summer. We all need to reciprocate the opposition. West Indies like to take a knee, so we wanted to reciprocate that in the first game.

"But yeah, hopefully we can make some form at the start. But as a side and our culture as a team, we of course stand against any form of discrimination, and we are very passionate about that."

There is no suggestion De Kock has taken his stance for any reason other than believing there should be a right to choose how and when to oppose racism. He has in the past refused to take the knee, saying the reason for doing so was "my own personal opinion". He may be asked to expand on that in light of being absent from Tuesday's World Cup game.

Buttler was asked whether it was the job of cricket boards to impose such demands on players, and said: "I'm not sure, to be honest. I can only speak about myself and our team. I think it's something we feel strongly about. It's an important part of our culture as a team, and that's all I can say on that."

Former England captain Michael Vaughan said on Twitter that it should be "down to the individual" and that a player should not be kept out of games for refusing to engage with such movements.

Whether England take the knee or not against Bangladesh may depend on what stance the opposition consider most appropriate.

Asked whether he knew exactly what gesture England would make, Buttler said: "No, I don't. I think it's something we'd like to do as a team. I think you have to get some clearance from the ICC [International Cricket Council] for that, as well.

"It's something we would like to do as a team, but I don't know the specifics behind it at the moment."

Aiden Markram and Rassie van der Dussen sealed an eight-wicket T20 World Cup for South Africa over holders West Indies in the absence of Quinton de Kock.

There was drama before a ball was bowled at Dubai International Stadium on Tuesday, as De Kock made himself unavailable for selection after refusing a Cricket South Africa demand for all Proteas players to take a knee before the rest of their games in the tournament.

South Africa secured their first Group 1 win, following a loss to Australia in their opening match, as they chased down a target of 144 with 10 balls to spare.

West Indies were embarrassingly bowled out for 55 in a crushing loss to England in their first game, but this time they posted 143-8 after being put in by Temba Bavuma.

Evin Lewis top-scored with an explosive 56 from 35 balls, with Dwaine Pretorius taking 3-17 and Keshav Maharaj 2-24 as Kieron Pollard's side lost their way in the second half of their innings.

Reeza Hendricks (39) laid a platform for South Africa after Bavuma was run out by a direct hit from Andre Russell in the first over.

Markram (51 not out from 26 balls) and Van der Dussen (43 from 51) then combined for an unbroken third-wicket stand of 83 to get the Proteas up and running in the Super 12 stage.

West Indies have lost three consecutive T20I matches and face a major battle to qualify for the semi-finals of a tournament they won five years ago.

Lewis lays platform as Simmons struggles

There were two contrasting innings from the defending champions' openers, with Lewis in great touch and Lendl Simmons struggling.

Simmons laboured to 16 from 35 balls after he was dropped by stand-in keeper Heinrich Klaasen on four, failing to score a boundary.

Lewis, on the other hand, raced to a half-century in 32 balls, clearing the rope six times before he was caught in the deep by Kagiso Rabada off Maharaj. Pollard made a quickfire 26 before a flurry of late wickets fell in the Windies innings.

 

Aiden makes his Mark along with ice-cool Van der Dussen

Markram and Van der Dussen provided an exhibition of how to go about a run chase as West Indies ran out of ideas.

Akeal Hosein (1-27) was the only Windies bowler to take a wicket thanks to a great diving catch from Shimron Hetmyer to see the back of Hendricks.

Markram played the role of aggressor, hitting four sixes, while the composed Van der Dussen ticked along nicely as South Africa cruised home amid huge doubts over whether De Kock will play any further part in the World Cup.

South Africa's Quinton de Kock opted out of Tuesday's T20 World Cup game against West Indies as he refused to take the knee.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) initially revealed De Kock was unavailable for South Africa's Group 1 match at Dubai International Stadium for "personal reasons".

That came after the CSA board on Monday came to an agreement that all Proteas should take the knee before their remaining World Cup games, as a consistent and united stance against racism.

Some players had not taken the knee prior to the loss to Australia on Saturday, and wicketkeeper-batsman De Kock has previously declined to make the gesture.

CSA has now confirmed former captain De Kock refused to go along with the order.

A CSA statement said: "Cricket South Africa has noted the personal decision by South African wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock not to take the knee ahead of Tuesday's game against the West Indies.

"All players had been required, in line with a directive of the CSA board on Monday evening, to take the knee in a united and consistent stance against racism

"This is also the global gesture against racism that has been adopted by sportspeople across sporting codes because they recognise the power of sport to bring people together.

"After considering all relevant issues, including the freedom of choice of players, the board had made it clear it was imperative for the team to be seen taking a stand against racism, especially given SA's history.

"The board's view was that while diversity can and should find expression in many facets of daily lives, this did not apply when it came to taking a stand against racism. The board will await a further report from team management before deciding on the next steps.

"All players are expected to follow this directive for the remaining games of the World Cup. CSA thanks all other Proteas players for agreeing to unite and make such an important public stand against racism."

CSA board chair Lawson Naidoo earlier stated: "A commitment to overcoming racism is the glue that should unite, bind and strengthen us.

"Race should not be manipulated to amplify our weaknesses. Diversity can and should find expression in many facets of our daily lives, but not when it comes to taking a stand against racism."

Quinton de Kock sat out South Africa's T20 World Cup match against West Indies on Tuesday for personal reasons.

De Kock played in the Proteas' defeat to Australia in their first match of the tournament on Saturday, but he made himself unavailable for the latest Group 1 Super 12 showdown at Dubai International Stadium.

Heinrich Klaasen took the gloves in the absence of wicketkeeper-batsman De Kock.

The board of Cricket South Africa (CSA) earlier issued a directive requiring all Proteas players to take the knee before their remaining World Cup games, as a consistent and united stance against racism.

That decision was made on Monday after some players had not taken the knee prior to the loss to Australia.

De Kock has previously declined to take the knee before matches. South Africa did not indicate whether his absence on this occasion was linked to the new instruction to the team.

A CSA statement on the directive read: "Concerns were raised that the different postures taken by team members in support of the BLM [Black Lives Matter] initiative created an unintended perception of disparity or lack of support for the initiative.

"After considering all relevant issues, including the position of the players, the board felt that it was imperative for the team to be seen taking a united and consistent stand against racism, especially given SA's history. Several other teams at the World Cup have adopted a consistent stance against the issue, and the board felt it is time for all SA players to do the same."

CSA board chair Lawson Naidoo said: "A commitment to overcoming racism is the glue that should unite, bind and strengthen us.

"Race should not be manipulated to amplify our weaknesses. Diversity can and should find expression in many facets of our daily lives, but not when it comes to taking a stand against racism."

West Indies head coach has admitted that the game and situational awareness of the team was not at its best against England on Saturday but said the team will continue to be aggressive in its approach when they take on South Africa on Tuesday.

West Indies head coach Phil Simmons has defended the decision to exclude Roston Chase from the team’s opening match in the ICC T20 World Cup against England on Saturday and insists that they did not misread the pitch before selecting the team.

In a rematch of the 2016 T20 World Cup final when the West Indies emerged victoriously, England bowled the defending champions out for 55 with Chris Gayle top-scoring with 13. England’s spinners took six of the 10 wickets to fall before their batters achieved the winning target in 8.2 overs.

The West Indies were unable to build partnerships and were missing the role of an anchor that Chase demonstrated while scoring an unbeaten 54 in the West Indies’ final warm-up match against Afghanistan. Playing anchor was something demonstrated he could do well during the 2021 Hero CPL season when he was the top scorer with 446 runs at an incredible average of 49.55.

When England batted, Akeal Hosein, the only spinner selected, was the best of the bowlers with 2-24.

Chase, a more than useful bowler, would have also given the West Indies another bowling option as a spinner in the match where spinners took eight of the 14 wickets to fall, the best of them being England’s Adil Rashid, who boasted ridiculous figures of four wickets for two runs from his four overs.

Still, Coach Simmons speaking with the media on Sunday, insisted that the team they selected was the right one for the conditions.

“I don’t think we misread the pitch. Yes, the spinners got some wickets but as you go along you have seen that the pitch was a good pitch,” he said during a media conference from Dubai on Sunday where the West Indies are preparing to face South Africa on Tuesday.

“You have to try and make the most of the first six or seven overs and then you have to fight until you get to the latter part. I think when you assess the pitch, you assess the squad we thought that the 11 that went into the game was the right squad.

“Yes, Chase got some runs in the game before but when were at the ground we assessed and we thought it was the right combination.”

 

 

The Cricket West Indies (CWI) Selection Panel announced the squads for the upcoming Best v Best men’s red-ball matches.

The panel named 24 players for two three-day fixtures, which will be played at the Coolidge Cricket Ground on October 27-29 and November 1-3. The two teams will be led by Kraigg Brathwaite and Jermaine Blackwood.

The players will use these matches as preparations ahead of West Indies’ forthcoming tour to Sri Lanka for two Test matches following the ICC T20 World Cup. The team will depart from Antigua on November 6 and the tour will run until December 4. The full tour squad and schedule will be announced at a later date. The series is the second of six series, three at home and three away, that West Indies will play in the 2021-2023 ICC World Test Championship after drawing the first Betway Test Series against Pakistan in August.

 “These Best v Best matches are a critical part of the Test team’s preparation for the series in Sri Lanka. For a number of players, it will be the only serious red ball cricket they will have since the Betway Test series against Pakistan and prior to going on this tour. So, it helps to get them back into the groove of the red-ball format and gives the Selection Panel an indication of the players’ readiness for the tour,” said Lead Selector Roger Harper.

SQUAD A: Kraigg Brathwaite (Captain), Shamarh Brooks, Rahkeem Cornwall, Joshua Da Silva, Shannon Gabriel, Shai Hope, Kyle Mayers, Veerasammy Permaul, Jayden Seales, Preston McSween, Nial Smith and Jeremy Solozano.

 SQUAD B: Jermaine Blackwood (Captain), Nkrumah Bonner, Jahmar Hamilton, Chemar Holder, Kavem Hodge, Alzarri Joseph, Imran Khan, Shayne Moseley, Kieran Powell, Raymon Reifer, Kemar Roach and Jomel Warrican.

West Indies captain Kieron Pollard said the T20 World Cup defending champions would have to take a wretched performance against England on the chin.

A desperate 55 all out from West Indies allowed England to sprint to a six-wicket victory in Dubai, with this Group 1 clash a rematch of the 2016 final.

England's small measure of revenge for that heartbreaking defeat stemmed from West Indies posting the second-lowest T20 international total by a Test-playing nation.

Pollard said: "Being bowled out for 50-odd as an international team is never acceptable but we'll come back stronger."

He explained: "We didn't bat well and it's disappointing to start our tournament like that, being defending champions.

"But we have to accept it and take responsibility for what happened out there. We have to put this game to bed and move on.

"We just need to go back and look at the way we've performed and see if we can maybe find a medium as to how we approach it. It's very important we forget a game like this. For us, it's pretty simple – accept and move on."

Pollard sought to find a positive by praising the "intensity in the field" of his players as England chased their small target.

An England victory was all but a formality, however, and for Adil Rashid it was a day to remember, England's spinner taking 4-2 from 2.2 overs.

Rashid said afterwards: "I don't think we could have asked for a better start. We bowled exceptionally well and everything went to plan."

He added: "As a bowling unit, we know we have five or six match-winners and on any given day anyone can come on and get wickets. We don't want to look too far ahead and we'll take it a game at a time. Whatever's in front of us, we'll play that."

West Indies are next in action on Tuesday, when they play South Africa, while England must wait until Wednesday for a clash with Bangladesh.

England gained a measure of revenge by bowling sorry West Indies out for a paltry 55 as they thrashed the holders by six wickets in their first game of the T20 World Cup.

The Windies beat England in the 2016 World Cup final but humiliatingly crumbled to their second-lowest T20 International total in a totally one-sided Group 1 clash at the Dubai International Stadium on Saturday.

England had never beaten West Indies in their five previous T20 World Cup matches, however, they ended that record as the defending champions' embarrassing innings was over in 14.2 overs.

Adil Rashid claimed stunning best T20I figures of 4-2 after fellow spinner Moeen Ali (2-17) produced a magnificent opening spell.

Tymal Mills was also hugely impressive in his first T20I for his country since February 2017, taking 2-17 as England were flawless in the field, holding some excellent catches.

Chris Gayle (13) was the only Windies batter to reach double figures, with Chris Woakes and Chris Jordan claiming a wicket apiece.

Akeal Hosein claimed 2-24 as Kieron Pollard's side showed great character in the field after being blown away by the England bowlers, but Jos Buttler made an unbeaten 24 as England sealed an emphatic victory with 70 balls to spare.

A crushing win for Eoin Morgan's side put them top of the group, level on points with Australia.

 

Moeen sets the tone, Rashid puts Windies out of their misery

Eoin Morgan's decision to open the bowling with Moeen proved to be a masterstroke, as he removed Lendl Simmons and Shimron Hetmyer after taking a great catch for Woakes - picked with Mark Wood out due to an ankle injury - to see the back of Evin Lewis 

Moeen bowled 18 dot balls as he bowled four overs straight before Mills' pace and variety caused all sorts of problems. Rashid gave another demonstration that he is a world-class performer with the ball, claiming his four wickets off only 14 balls as the Windies folded.

Pitiful holders humbled

West Indies had no answer to the skill of the England bowlers as they posted the second-lowest T20I score by a member nation and the lowest by a Test-playing side.

While Morgan led England superbly with his clear thinking in the field, the Windies lost their heads with some poor shots and must regroup ahead of meeting with South Africa on Tuesday.

West Indies captain, Kieron Pollard, says the team’s famous victory over England at the 2016 World Cup still serves as motivation as they look to open their title defense against the same opponents on Saturday.

In the 2016 final, the Caribbean team needed an improbable 19 off the final over before Carlos Brathwaite famously smacked four 6s off Ben Stokes to give the team its second world title.

Although Brathwaite is not in the squad this time around and admitting that things are not quite the same, Pollard insists the moment is a good reference point, which serves as an example of triumphing despite heavy odds in adversity.

“What Carlos did in those four deliveries, in that last over, it’s unbelievable.  It’s something we saw as a team last night and it brought goosebumps back to us,” Pollard told members of the media on Friday.

“For us to be in that situation and get over the line, it shows that never say die attitude.  As a team, we hope to replicate winning the entire tournament, and those kinds of moments, they stick with us.  Hopefully, we can go out and play good enough cricket to get back in that kind of position, so we can be in another final and have some memories going forward,” he added.

“I don’t think it will have much bearing on the game (against England) because it’s another game of cricket and that situation was totally different it being a final, but we are looking to come out and give a good account of ourselves.”

 

 

 

West Indies captain Kieron Pollard is confident the team has done enough work to address concerns surrounding an inability to rotate the strike ahead of the start of the T20 World Cup.

The Caribbean side will open the tournament on Saturday against England but despite being defending champions will have several questions to answer.  One of those recurring issues has been the ratio of the team’s use of traditional hitting versus rotating the strike with singles.

In the past, the Windies have had success with their power-hitting game, winning the tournament twice in just such a fashion.  In recent years, however, the team has shown a propensity to get bogged down looking for boundaries.  Pollard, however, insists that the team has been looking to address the issue, but were at the same time not looking to get away from their style of play.

“A lot of work has been done behind the scenes.  The guys have worked tirelessly to get to where we are right now in terms of trying to cover our bases,” Pollard told members of the media on Friday.

“I’ve said before that we try to keep our strengths and work on our weaknesses.  We’ve accepted certain things and gone back behind the scenes and hopefully, we will see a difference,” he added.

“In terms of the two games that we played, guys didn’t show that intent and different things might have come out but we are confident that the guys have done what is needed and will look to hit the ground running come the first game.”

West Indies captain Kieron Pollard believes Fabian Allen missing out on the T20 World Cup because of injury is a major blow to the West Indies ahead of the campaign to defend the title they won in 2016.

As their sponsorship arrangement comes to an end, Cricket West Indies (CWI) has expressed its gratitude to Sandals Resorts International for their contribution to West Indies cricket as a principal partner during the last four years.

Sandals became CWI’s principal partner, enjoying branding rights across all West Indies Men’s, Women’s and age-group teams in 2017, a partnership extended by a further year during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Over the course of many years, CWI and Sandals were able to achieve many positives, including the fact that it was CWI and the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB), who one year ago jointly led the resumption of international cricket at all levels following the initial Pandemic shutdown. Sandals’ encouragement and support for that historic CWI decision to tour the UK was much appreciated”, said CWI CEO, Johnny Grave.

“Global sports and tourism have suffered badly from the unprecedented health-based crisis, caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic, which has reduced Caribbean travel and hospitality revenues immensely. In spite of those setbacks, we were still able to encourage Sandals to extend their sponsorship for a further year. That extended period has now come to an end, and we want to again thank Sandals and its Board for their immense contribution and long-standing support of West Indies cricket.”

The CWI Partnership with Sandals was part of the incredible legacy of the late Sandals’ Chairman, Gordon “Butch” Stewart, who was a life-long supporter of West Indies cricket and who made sure that the Sandals brand stood proudly on the shirts of all West Indian cricketers, continuously over the past four years.

CWI paid tribute earlier this year to Stewart, whose passing was closely followed by the loss of his senior management colleague David Roper, himself also a Sandals-based West Indies cricket stalwart. It was Mr Roper who coordinated the varying commercial relationships with West Indies cricket for more than two decades at home and abroad.

Sandals’ financial contribution through the most recent four-year period of commercial sponsorship, provided much-needed capital to CWI for investing in players and tournaments across all formats of the game.

Sandals had also previously entered into shorter-term sponsorships with CWI on a number of specific tours to the United Kingdom (UK), one of the major tourism markets where Sandals received a significant return on investment from their partnership with West Indies cricket. Sandals was the first-ever West Indies sponsor to have their logo across the chest of the Test teams.

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