West Indies vice-captain Nicholas Pooran hopes to see more batsmen taking responsibility as the team struggles to find its footing at the ICC T20 World Cup.

The defending champions opened the tournament with back-to-back losses against England and South Africa but got on the board after squeezing past Bangladesh by 3 runs in the United Arab Emirates on Friday.

Despite notching the win, the team is yet to put a solid batting performance together after getting very little from the top of the order and with several players yet to hit top form.  Along with Roston Chase, captain Kieron Pollard and the returning Jason Holder, Pooran, who received the man of the match award, was among those managing to make an impact this time around.

Pooran, who entered the line-up uncharacteristically at number 7, made an impactful 40 from 22 balls.

“Me and Polly talked about batsmen taking responsibility and doing what’s necessary for the team.  In the tournament our batting hasn’t clicked yet, so we are chopping and changing,” Pooran said following the match.

“Hopefully guys put their hands up when it’s their day.  Today I felt like it was just one of those days that I needed to put my hand up, especially losing Polly there for a bit, someone had to take the responsibility,” he added.

Prior to that, Pooran had struggled to get runs on the board after scoring 13 runs in the first two games.

West Indies great Michael Holding is hoping Quinton de Kock recognises he made a "silly, dumb mistake" after refusing to take the knee at the T20 World Cup.

South Africa were without talismanic wicketkeeper De Kock for Tuesday's clash with West Indies after he refused to play for "personal reasons".

Cricket South Africa (CSA) later confirmed De Kock was absent for the Group 1 Super 12 match in Dubai due to his refusal of a board directive to take the knee, which has become a gesture of support and unity in the fight against racism.

De Kock issued an emotional statement on Thursday after productive talks with CSA as he promised to take the knee from now on, saying he was "deeply sorry for all the hurt, confusion and anger that I have caused".

Holding, who has regularly spoken about the need to combat racism, expressed his hope that De Kock will learn from the episode and deliver on his promise going forward.

 

"I don't know him well enough to say that what he did he meant," Holding told Stats Perform, when asked about De Kock's initial decision.

"What I am hoping is that he recognises he made a silly, dumb mistake by sticking to his principle of not taking the knee.

"If you believe in a cause, you do what everyone else is doing to support that cause. You don't automatically find your own way to support that cause because then no one will know you support it."

In the wake of George Floyd's death last year, Holding spoke powerfully about combatting racism, and his book Why We Kneel, How We Rise has been nominated for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year 2021 award.

"The worldwide accepted gesture for supporting Black Lives Matter and believing everyone's life is equal is to take the knee," Holding said.

"You don't say, I'm not going to do what everybody else in the world recognises as the way forward, that's not the way it works.

"You do what is accepted as the norm, the way that everyone has seen as the gesture to support the movement and that's all I'll say on the matter.

"If he can't understand that then I can't help him understand but one would hope, as I say, he just made a silly mistake and he now understands the reason behind it – if not, then I'll send him a copy of my book!"

It remains unclear whether De Kock will return to the Proteas side, who face Sri Lanka in their next group game on Saturday.

Jason Holder is hopeful West Indies can reproduce the jubilation he felt during the winning moment against Bangladesh in their final two T20 World Cup Super 12 games.

The Windies prevailed to keep their hopes of reaching the semi-finals alive as they successfully defended 142-7, a total they reached in an innings that saw captain Kieron Pollard retire in the 13th over only to return for the final five balls.

Holder, drafted into the squad as a replacement for the injured Obed McCoy, came straight into the side and the former captain delivered critical runs at the death, hitting two sixes in an unbeaten 15, and claiming (1-22) with the ball.

It was Andre Russell who delivered the winning moment, however, his superb yorker ensuring Mahmudullah could not get the four runs needed off the final ball to lead Bangladesh to victory.

"The last ball that Russell bowled. Obviously, four runs, one ball to bowl the perfect yorker, which was a dot ball, was phenomenal," Holder said afterwards. 

"A lot of jubilation went through my veins especially, and then all the guys obviously played really well.

"So, yeah, that moment was the best moment for me. Let's hope the next two games we can feel similarly."

Having suffered defeats to England and South Africa, West Indies will need to win each of their last two matches to stand a chance of progressing to the last four. With three defeats from three, Bangladesh's hopes are essentially over.

Pollard delivers... eventually 

The 13th over appeared to be one that could potentially end West Indies' prospects of progression as Pollard retired and Russell was run out from the next delivery, leaving the Windies 62-4.

Nicholas Pooran (40) and Roston Chase (39) recovered the situation but, after they each fell in the 19th over and Dwayne Bravo was dismissed to start the last, Pollard returned to partner Holder and followed successive maximums from the ex-skipper with one of his own off the final ball to push the Windies to what proved a match-winning score.

Bangladesh's still waiting for semi-final berth

Mahmudullah (31 not out) did his best to get Bangladesh over the line, but his side are left with only pride to play for in the final two games. Bangladesh have still yet to reach the last four of this tournament.

"Definitely we'll play for our pride," Mahmudullah said. 

"We've been trying hard and hard to get a win. Two more games to go. We'll put our everything definitely to win these last two games."

West Indies batsman, Nicholas Pooran, is adamant that the team completely trusts captain Kieron Pollard and backs him to make the correct decisions in a crucial World Cup clash against Bangladesh on Friday.

The defending champions are off to a poor start to the tournament after facing crushing losses at the hands of England and South Africa.  With only two teams advancing to the semi-finals from the group a loss against Bangladesh would officially eliminate the struggling West Indies from contention.

Outside of the poor form of several batsmen, the team’s leadership and decision-making have also come under the spotlight in recent days.  Both captain Pollard and coach Phil Simmons have faced scrutiny after a batting line-up change against South Africa, in the second match, backfired and seemed to be far more disruptive than beneficial.

Inside the dressing room, however, Pooran, the vice-captain, insists there are no doubts regarding decisions taken by the team’s leader.

"We have a wonderful captain. He knows what he's doing," said Pooran told members of the media in a pre-match press conference.

"Whatever he says goes, and we back him to make some really good decisions for us tomorrow to be successful,” he added.

Pooran is one of a handful of West Indies impact players who have struggled to find form, managing just 13 runs in the two matches so far.

West Indies batting great Brian Lara does not believe it would be a good idea to drop an out of form Chris Gayle at this point, despite the player’s struggles at the T20 World Cup thus far.

The 42-year-old batsman has faced heavy scrutiny in recent weeks and has managed just a total of 25 runs in two heavy losses for the Windies at the tournament so far.  The storm of criticism surrounding the batsman, however, extends beyond that.

Heading into the tournament, Gayle had struggled to look like anything close to the player who has scored over 14,000 runs in T20 cricket.  In the last 16 matches, the batsman has averaged 15.93 and scored 239 runs with a strike rate of 13.80, well below his career average of 138.46.

Despite that, however, Lara, considered one of the game’s greatest ever batsmen, believes the player could still have a role to play in the team and should remain a part of the line-up at this point in time.

 "Chris Gayle is already in the World Cup and his experience and the fact that he can pass on something to the younger players is key,” Lara said recently on Star Sports.

"I personally believe that Chris Gayle has to be given a proper send-off. This, I think, is his last tournament. Dismissing Chris Gayle at this stage of the tournament, I am not sure it's the right thing. I would like to see some sort of nice approach for the rest of the tournament. I think he can still make an impression on the younger players even if he doesn't score," he added.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) has congratulated West Indies cricket legends on recently being awarded honorary doctorates from the University of the West Indies (UWI).

Former West Indies fast bowler Andy Roberts insists that based on his strengths and weakness, under pressure batsman Chris Gayle should not be picked for the team if batting below position number three.

The 42-year-old has typically opened for the Caribbean team but has featured at the number 3 position in the last couple of years.  Against South Africa, Gayle batted even further down the order after coming in at 4.  Overall, batting down the order has failed to really bear fruit for the batsman, in West Indies colours, to date.  Gayle had an impressive showing batting at number during the 2020 Indian Premier League (IPL) campaign for Punjab Kings XI but has not managed to replicate that kind of form this season or for the regional team.

In 17 matches batting at the number three position or below, for the West Indies, Gayle has managed a total of 239 runs, at an average of 15.93 and a strike rate of 113.80.  He has a high score of 67 runs.  At the World Cup, having played against England and South Africa so far, Gayle has scored 13 runs from 13 balls, against England, and 12 runs from 12 balls against South Africa.

“If Chris is going to bat below number three then he has no right to be in the team,” Roberts told the Mason and Guest radio show.

“What is he going to do when you need to rotate the strike more as the overs keep going.  Chris’s strong point is batting at the top of the order where he can set the pace by playing his natural game, which is hitting straight.

“If you watch the last few games that he played he tends to use up a lot of dot balls, and not just in the World Cup, that dates back a while.  He takes his time now to try and get in, instead of before from ball one, ball two, you would have to put the field back because he is timing the ball so well.  (Currently) He is struggling for timing.”

Legendary West Indies captain Clive Lloyd has questioned the team’s level of planning, particularly when it comes to its batting line-up on the back of two dismal performances to start the T20 World Cup.

The defending champions have been handed back-to-back losses at the hand of England and then South Africa.  Both losses were underpinned by underwhelming performances at the crease, which first saw the West Indies dismissed for 55 and then in the second match collapsed to 143 for 8 all-out after a promising start at 73 for 1.

Following its substandard showing against England, the team tinkered with its batting line-up promoting Nicholas Pooran up the order while pushing Chris Gayle and Shimron Hetmyer further down.

“I think the planning season to be all over the place,” Lloyd said in assessing the team’s performances thus far, on the Mason and Guest radio program.

“I think if you look at what has happened.  Fifty-five runs, we are much better than that.  Our planning seems to be terrible. (Against South Africa) We had a wonderful start, and we didn’t promote people in the proper order,” he added.

“You expect the captain to come up when you are going at 9 an over, to continue, but you send Pooran who hasn’t been batting well and you have Hetmyer who has been batting well and making very good scores.  So, the batting order seems to be all over the place.”

Lloyd believes that for the team to be successful someone has to take control of the batting order.

“At one stage the prediction was 174 and we were down to so, but somewhere along the line, we feel like this game is about hitting sixes.  We are getting caught on the boundary, it’s a big ground.  If I’m at 58, I’m looking to get to 80 or 90, get more runs and take the game away from the opposition.”

Former West Indies captain has been included in the West Indies T20 World Cup squad as a replacement for injured left-arm fast bowler Obed McCoy.

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."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.