West Indies Test captain Kraigg Brathwaite claims the team is eager to buck the trend of typically poor performances in Sri Lanka when the teams meet in Galle later this week.

Since 1994, the teams have played 10 series between them, with the West Indies winning two and Sri Lanka winning three.  The rest have ended in draws.  None of the West Indies wins have come in Sri Lanka.  In fact, the West Indies are yet to win a match in Sri Lanka and suffered a 2-0 loss on their last visit in 2016.

Brathwaite believes the current squad, who did experience some success on the continent in February with a win over Bangladesh, is capable of finally breaking this long-running trend.

“I was here in 2016, my first series here and we lost both matches.  As a youngster it didn’t feel good just coming into the team.  Now I’m looking forward to these games, I think we have a very good team,” Brathwaite told members of the media on Thursday.

“This team is ready to go, and we are ready to break the shackles and win some games in Sri Lanka this time around,” he added.

The West Indies face Sri Lanka in a two-Test series in the Caribbean earlier this year, which ended in a 0-0 draw.

 

 

Legendary fast bowler, Curtly Ambrose, does not believe Shimron Hetmyer is ready to be captain of the West Indies team as the batsman still has areas of his individual game to develop.

Earlier this week, former Cricket West Indies (CWI) president Dave Cameron was reported as saying that Hetmyer should replace Pollard as the team’s new white-ball captain.  In further clarifying the issue, however, Cameron has since explained that he believes his administration would have done more to groom the player to take over the post by now.

With Hetmyer plagued by issues of inconsistency and fitness over the last few years, however, Ambrose does not believe having to handle the pressure of the captaincy would be the right move for the batsman at this time.

“I certainly wouldn't (make him captain).  Hetmyer is a young man and could be a future captain in the making but I think Hetmyer needs to get his game in order first,” Ambrose told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“He needs to get his game in order.  It’s too big a responsibility for the young man at this moment when he’s not playing as well,” he added.

“For me, I would like to see Hetmyer focus on his batting.  First and foremost get it right and then who knows what can happen a few years later but I wouldn’t give it to him now, being the captain is added pressure.”

In ODI cricket, Hetmyer is currently averaging 35.29 and has played 47 matches for the regional team.

Tournament Director Fawwaz Baksh has thanked the governments of Antigua & Barbuda, Guyana, St. Kitts & Nevis, and Trinidad & Tobago for strongly supporting Cricket West Indies in hosting its fourth global tournament.

Speaking in the aftermath of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) announcement of the host venues and match schedule for the ICC Under 19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2022, he noted it would not have been possible for the Caribbean to hold the event without important government guarantees.

Citing tax waivers, upgrading cricket infrastructure, and collaborating with hotels to ensure accommodation for all 16 teams, match officials and support staff, Baksh revealed regional governments are investing substantial efforts and resources in the tournament which will leave a major cricketing legacy while boosting host economies.

“A number of community clubs and grounds will benefit from enhanced cricketing infrastructure after this event. Of course, there will also be a welcome financial impact in host territories, in terms of hotel bookings, transportation, catering, and the hiring of temporary staff,” he added.

Baksh also lauded the visionary enthusiasm with which host venues readily embraced the U19 event which will be held in the West Indies in January-February 2022.

“When Cricket West Indies voiced its aspirations of hosting the Under 19 Cricket World Cup, regional governments were immediately receptive to the idea, especially from a developmental perspective. This is an opportunity for our youth – and fans in general – to see young men engaged in positive, healthy competition; many of them en route to becoming future stars in international cricket. It’s a great way to inspire boys and also girls across the West Indies, showing what is possible with discipline and dedication.”

The U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup, the Tournament Director pointed out, will continue the West Indies’ stellar tradition of staging the sport’s premier events.

“Since 2007, when the West Indies historically hosted the Men’s Cricket World Cup in nine countries, we have distinguished ourselves in rolling out the red carpet for world-class cricket events.  We held the men’s and women’s T20 World Cups jointly in 2010 and, most recently, the women’s T20 World Cup in 2018,” he said.

“We are proud of these achievements, and the cadre of home-grown professionals which we now have in sport-events management.”

The ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2022 takes place in Antigua & Barbuda, Guyana, St. Kitts & Nevis, and Trinidad & Tobago, from January 14 to February 5, 2022, featuring 16 participating nations in 48 matches.

 Host team, West Indies, start their title quest on January 14 against Australia at Guyana National Stadium while reigning champions, Bangladesh, begin their defence versus England on January 16 at Warner Park, St. Kitts.

 

Cricket West Indies (CWI) president Ricky Skerritt has expressed delight with a decision that will see the West Indies serve as joint hosts of the 2024 T20 World Cup along with the United States.

The West Indies will be hosting a World Cup-type event for the fourth time, with the US set to make history with its first.  In addition, the 2024 edition will be the first T20 World Cup to feature 20 teams.

Based on the fixtures, approximately two-thirds of the 55 matches will be held in the Caribbean, with the World Cup venues being drawn from the 13 established international cricket grounds in the West Indies.  The United States will host the remaining one-third of the matches where they will be played at five venues.

“The CWI welcomes this historic announcement by the ICC.  It means that the Caribbean has been handed another opportunity in 2024 to host a premiere world cricket event

“We’ve done this before and I’m very sure we are going to do very well doing this again.  This time its historic because we are partnering with our neighbours from the north USA Cricket.  We know that strategic partnership has helped with accepting our bid and we must soon get to work to make this exciting historic decision a truly successful one for all concerned.”

West Indies coach Phil Simmons and Captain Kraigg Brathwaite have both backed wicketkeeper/batsman Joshua Da Silva to return to form during the upcoming two-Test series against Sri Lanka later this month.

Emerging young West Indies fast bowler Jayden Seales is looking to build on a promising start to his Test cricket career when the team faces Sri Lanka in its upcoming series.

The 20-year-old has been a revelation for the regional team, since making his debut against South Africa earlier this year.  In four games so far, the young bowler has claimed 16 wickets, including a five-for against Pakistan in August.

On debut, Seales impressed with his ability to swing the ball at pace and also the consistency and quality of his length deliveries. 

“I was satisfied with my performances in my debut series and the series after that but it just for me to look to build on those performances now and try to improve in the areas that I can improve in,” Seales told members of the media on Saturday.

On his first overseas tour, the bowler faces unfamiliar conditions on the subcontinent, which typically favours spin bowlers, but he remains determined to try and make an impact.

“For me it’s just about trying to go out there and execute my plans as best as I can, to try and work with the conditions and see what I can get done for the team.”

West Indies batsman Jermaine Blackwood will be looking to impact the upcoming series against Sri Lanka perhaps even by taking a with a ball.

The middle-order batsman’s previous encounter against the Sri Lankans earlier this year did go quite to plan after managing just 42 runs in two matches with a high score of 18.  Ahead of the upcoming series Blackwood who admits to being a better frame of mind this time around is determined to set things right.

“To be honest, the last time I played Sri Lanka my mind wasn’t right at that time, but now my mind is fully there, so, I’m looking forward to a very good series,” Blackwood told Windies cricket.

Despite not typically being a threat with the ball, Blackwood believes he might even be able to make an impact with the ball, should the surfaces in Sri Lanka live up to their usual reputation of being more friendly to slower bowling.

“I always tell the skipper that I want to bowl a few overs because I have the golden arm.  As you can see, I always get one of the wickets.  So it will be very interesting this series if I can get a few overs.”

West Indies Test captain Kraigg Brathwaite is expecting a strong performance from the team’s pace bowlers in Sri Lanka, despite conditions on the subcontinent tending to favour spin bowlers.

The last time the regional team faced Sri Lanka away, in 2015, it was the part-time spin of Brathwaite that stole of as the batsman claimed six wickets in an innings.  The frontline pace bowlers Kemar Roach (2), Jason Holder (3), Shannon Gabriel (1) failed to have a huge impact on the series, with the exception of Jerome Taylor who claimed 6 over two games.

Although the captain admits the surface is likely to favour spinners, Brathwaite is confident the Windies quicks will have a big role to play.

We haven’t been there as yet to see the surface but there’s always a role for the fast bowlers.  Shannon Gabriel really led the way in Bangladesh in the first Test, bowling with some good pace, then Kemar Roach getting an early wicket in the morning was very crucial.  Obviously, Jason wasn’t there but is always crucial.  So, I do believe that possibly there being spin-friendly pitches, I think the pace bowlers will do well.

“I can see them getting wickets.  It’s really about building pressure but seamers are very important and obviously, Shannon will bring some aggression and I look forward to seeing the guys operating.”

When the West Indies began their training sessions in Colombo on Thursday in preparation for their two-Test series against Sri Lanka later this morning, there were several areas of immediate focus for the players.

Among them, combatting the home side’s dangerous spinners.

Head Coach Phil Simmons, in his first media session on Thursday, revealed that successfully playing Sri Lanka’s spinners was high on their list of priorities like it was in Bangladesh where the West Indies emerged 2-0 winners over the home side in February.

“I think there will be a heavy dose of spin coming from them because we saw it when they played England they even opened the bowling with a spinner, so we are going to be focusing a lot on how we combat that spin with the new ball and then bat as normal after that because we played spin alright in Bangladesh,” Simmons revealed.

“We did what we had to do to score the runs we needed and to win the games, so we need to bring that same sort of mentality we had on that away tour and preparation today started like that.”

Doing well against Sri Lanka’s spinners, Simmons explained, could prove to be crucial to time the West Indies batsmen spend at the crease, rotating the strike and not losing wickets playing rash shots out of frustration at being bogged down.

That also will be something he and his players will pay some attention to, Simmons revealed.

Rotating the strike will be “definitely an area of focus, especially when you’re playing against quality spinners,” he said, “you have to continually change their mode, especially if we have left and handers at the crease so it is something that we are going to be discussing and putting into practice.”

The West Indies will play a four-day warm-up match in Colombo starting on Sunday, November 14 because they take on Sri Lanka in the first of two Tests beginning on November 21 at the Galle International Cricket Stadium.

The second Test is set to begin on November 29 at the same venue.

  

 

 

 

Former fast bowler Richard ‘Prof’ Edwards has called for Cricket West Indies (CWI) to take a radical approach to rebuild the fortunes of West Indies cricket, following a dismal showing at the ICC T20 World Cup.

Having entered the tournament as defending champions, the regional team crashed out of it after losing four of the five games played.  The team’s lone win came against Bangladesh and even more concerningly they were comfortably beaten in the rest of the matches.

The batting line-up, which featured the likes of experienced players Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Lendl Simmons, Andre Russell, and Dwayne Bravo was particularly disappointing as they never seemed to come to grips with the circumstances.

“At no time when you saw West Indies batting did they give any idea or feeling of permanence there.  The batsmen looked they were in a hurry to make shots, all the time looking for attacks.”

“When I compared how they batted with Finch and Warner of Australia for example, Rahul and Rohit for India, Williamson, and co in New Zealand and people like Babar Azam, it was looking like two different games altogether.  The class that those other players exuded when they were batting, it didn’t look like at any time we were going to stick around for very long,” he added.

In light of such a catastrophic failure, Edwards believes major changes are needed, perhaps even with the leadership of the unit.

“You have to come in and be fairly cold about what you want to do. You want to try and look at the team and the players.  How long they’ve been playing? Are they still producing?

“I would think that now you have to come in and be a little ruthless, look around and try to pick, but who are you going to pick?  Do you have the resources? Whatever it is, now is the time to build.  The supposedly experienced players never came to the party.”

The next stage of the Cricket West Indies (CWI) High-Performance Coach Programme has been successfully delivered as part of CWI’s development and investment strategy to upgrade and upskill coaches across the region.  A number of enthusiastic coaches from across the region participated in the week-long event at the end of October at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua, which was delivered on the back of five online modules leading into the event.

 The latest stage involved face-to-face practical components to build coaches’ knowledge. In addition to the technical basics of elite cricket, topics included Leadership, Programme Management, Communication, Skill Acquisition as well as Visual Technology and Data Analysis. One of the highlights was a bowling master-class with iconic fast bowler Courtney Walsh, who is the Head Coach of the West Indies Women’s Team.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul, the legendary West Indies batsman, was among the participants and he was very positive about the programme. “It is a lot of information being passed on. There are so many different and informative things, which we have gone through on this High-Performance Level 3 coaching course and I am very happy to be participating. It is very beneficial for all of us, this is where coaching is going, and it is very necessary that we are aware and equipped to be able to share the knowledge to our players,” he said.

 Several other former international players participated including Nikita Miller, Garey Mathurin, Vishal Singh, Ryan Austin, and Rayad Emrit.

 This is the first-ever locally planned and delivered High-Performance Coach Programme (Level 3) CWI which forms a key part of the “Cricket First” strategic plan, which includes investment in building coaching depth and quality across the region, especially considering the vital role coaches play in developing cricketers’ skills across all age groups and abilities both on and off the field.

 The High-Performance (Level 3) programme has been designed by CWI Coach Development Manager, Chris Brabazon, in partnership with the University of the West Indies (UWI). It provides a number of the region’s best coaches with opportunities to further learn and develop contemporary coaching philosophies and techniques that will allow them to thrive in the high-performance environment of the West Indies Cricket Pathway.

 The rigorous, holistic accreditation also consists of online discussions, tutorials, and ongoing mentoring. The course was delivered by CWI’s High-Performance staff, in conjunction with UWI representatives, to provide participants with unprecedented access to best practice case studies and frameworks from the elite levels of West Indies cricket and beyond.

Out-of-favour West Indies big-hitter Carlos Brathwaite will return to England’s T20 Vitality Blast after signing with Birmingham Bears.

Brathwaite, who was not selected for the West Indies team for the T20 World Cup, was the leading wicket-taker for the team last season after taking 18.  He was also handy with the bat as well, scoring a tidy 183 runs.

The former West Indies T20 captain played a crucial role in helping the Bears reach the quarter-finals for the first time in four years last season, his first with the club.

The 33-year-old big hitter is excited to be rejoining the team for the 2022 editions of the tournament, particularly with fans not allowed to return to the stands.

"Edgbaston is a very special place to play at and it was great to get a taste of the atmosphere last year," Brathwaite said. "Hopefully we can welcome thousands more fans to get the Eric Hollies Stand rocking next year and make Edgbaston the real fortress for the Bears which it's renowned for,” he added.

Brathwaite, who will be available for the whole tournament, has not appeared for the West Indies since 2019 when the team played against India.

Rubbing salt into the gaping wound of their poor performance at the ICC T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates, the West Indies will have to play an additional qualifying round against the likes of Scotland and Namibia to make the Super 12s in next year's Men's T20 World Cup in Australia.

West Indies white-ball vice-captain Nicholas Pooran and explosive opener Evin Lewis have paid tribute to retired all-rounder Dwayne Bravo and soon-to-be-retired, who have both played in their last ICC T20 World Cup tournament.

The 38-year-old Bravo announced his retirement from international cricket last Thursday after the West Indies lost to Sri Lanka by 20 runs effectively ending their world cup campaign.

"I think the time has come," Bravo said. "I've had a very good career. To represent the West Indies for 18 years, had some ups and downs, but as I look back at it I'm very grateful to represent the region and the Caribbean people for so long.”

Gayle, meanwhile, is holding off talk of retirement for the time being as he has hopes of donning West Indies colours at least once more before he calls time on his record-breaking career.

"It's been a phenomenal career. I didn't announce any retirement but they actually give me one game in Jamaica to go in front of my home crowd, then I can say 'hey guys, thank you so much. Let's see. If not, I'll announce it a long time and then I'll be joining DJ Bravo in the backend and say thanks to each and everyone but I can't say that as yet," Gayle said prior to the West Indies’ eight-wicket loss to Australia on Saturday.

Notwithstanding Gayle’s comments, there can be no doubting the fact that his days in international cricket are numbered, a reality that prompted Pooran to pay tribute to both players, who have inspired him.

“Personally, I've witnessed (ed) two gentlemen who have left it all out on the cricket field, from being super excited to reach home fast from school to see @chrisgayle333 smash it all over the park and then see @djbravo47 defend basically less to nothing in a last over and then do his dance celebrations, to then playing with them in their last world cup game, that was something special,” Pooran posted in Instagram on Saturday.

“Seeing you guys walk away today put tears to my eyes but very pleasing at the same time knowing you guys have achieved so much in your careers. So from me to you guys, thank you for my childhood and all the best in whatever you do in the future!”

Meanwhile, Lewis, who opened with Gayle for the West Indies on several occasions, wished the two departing well.

“Words can’t describe. I’m a person of few words but it’s been an honour watching you guys on TV then sharing the same dressing room. Go well champs @djbravo47 @chrisgayle333,” said the power-hitting Trinidadian.

Pooran, perhaps the man to lead the West Indies into a new era, apologized for the team’s poor performances in the world cup and promised that even as two of the game’s greats ride into the sunset of their careers, the West Indies has the talent bounce back stronger than before.

“To our fans all over the world and back home, we know we have disappointed you guys, but let's not forget what we have accomplished in the last nine years winning two titles. It has been a wonderful era, but we will rise again,” he said.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.