West Indies Women’s all-rounder, Hayley Matthews, has hailed the impact and approach of head coach Courtney Walsh for the team’s noticeable recent improvements.

Walsh took charge of the team in 2020, on the back of a difficult period that had seen the WI Women swept aside 5-0 during a tour of England and four straight series defeats prior to that.  The team was also the subject of criticism for their overall fitness levels.

Fast forward a few months later and a fitter-looking Windies Women have shown signs of improvement, putting together much stronger performances that saw them win 2 of the last 3 ODI series.  Matthews believes a new approach has slowly started to show benefits for both herself and the team.

“I think it’s been fantastic, just looking at the structure.  Our entire camps and training session have been going really well.  He’s brought in some fantastic coaches to work with us, you have Corey Collymore as a fast bowling coach, you have Ryan Austin as our spin coach, Steve Liburd for the fielding and the wicketkeeping and then Robert Samuels has been working with us for batting as well.  So, I think there’s a really good balance at the moment,” Matthews told the Mason and Guest radio show.

“Everyone has been getting a bit more zoned in on the specifics and that’s something we were missing in the past, not having as much firepower in the coaching area.  Really breaking it down to the basics in those general areas.  That’s been really good and Courtney has done a fantastic job bringing in the right people to blend with the girls.”

Matthews has had an exceptional season herself and is one of three nominees for the ICC Women’s ODI Player of the Year award.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) announced the appointment of legendary former West Indies opening batsman, the Most Hon. Dr. Desmond Haynes, as the Lead Selector of the West Indies Senior Men’s Team today.

Along with his outstanding cricket credentials, Haynes was recently honoured by the University of the West Indies with an Honorary Doctorate Degree and is a former Senator in the Parliament of Barbados.

He was confirmed as the new Men’s Team Lead Selector during a meeting of the CWI Board of Directors earlier today and CWI President, Ricky Skerritt, reacted to the appointment.

 “I am delighted to confirm that the Most Hon. Dr. Desmond Haynes has agreed to re-join the CWI cricket system as the Lead Selector. His cricket knowledge and experience are second to none, and I am confident that Desmond is the right man for the right job, at the right time,” he said.

“On behalf of our Board of Directors and all stakeholders, I wish Desmond every success as he commences his important Lead role, which starts immediately.  I want to also take this opportunity to thank Roger Harper and Miles Bascombe for their commitment and integrity whilst they served on the panel over the past two years,” Skerritt added.

Haynes was grateful to the board for the opportunity to serve West Indies cricket again.

“I would like to thank President Skerritt and the CWI Board of Directors for giving me the opportunity to serve West Indies cricket once again. Being a selector is a thankless task, but a critical role in our cricket system and I am honoured to be appointed. I have always indicated that I would assist West Indies cricket in any way possible and I see this as an opportunity to do just that. I pledge to carry out my duties in a fair and professional manner,” he said.

Haynes will lead the West Indies Men’s Selection Panel until June 30, 2024, a period that includes four ICC Global Events, two T20 World Cups (2022 & 2024), the Cricket World Cup (2023) and the World Test Championship Final (2023).

He played 116 Test matches, four as captain, and 238 One-Day Internationals for the West Indies between 1978 and 1994.

He scored 7487 runs in Tests, including 18 centuries, and 8648 runs in ODIs, including 17 centuries.

He was a member of the West Indies team which won the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in 1979 and was inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame in June 2021. 

 

 

With the West Indies One Day International (ODI) series beginning on Saturday, pacer Jayden Seales is feeling relaxed ahead of his maiden stint in the West Indies white-ball set up.

The 20-year-old Trinidadian pacer has already represented the region at the highest level, so far taking 16 wickets in four Test matches, with his debut coming against South Africa as a 19-year-old last year in St. Lucia.

His talents were first put on display for the world to see in the 2020 ICC Men’s Under-19 World Cup where he spearheaded the West Indies attack and was one of the most impressive bowlers in the tournament, finishing with 10 wickets in six matches at an average of 18.30.

Speaking at a press conference today, ahead of the start of the Ireland series, Seales spoke about coping with pressure as well as how staying away from negative comments and focusing on Cricket has been the key to his early success.

“I think I’ll be under pressure most of my career seeing that I’m the youngster in the team. If I don’t perform then the media and everybody will say I’m too young, so I tend to just not focus on that stuff. I don’t really go to social media during series or during a game. I tend to stay off social media and stay away from comments. I just talk to my parents and to my family back home and keep my mind away from all the negatives and focus on the cricket. I just go out and enjoy my cricket and play to the best of my ability and if on the day I happen to perform well for the team then I’ll be very pleased,” Seales added.

Fresh off a successful stint in the recently concluded Lankan Premier League T20 where he took 15 wickets in seven matches to help his Jaffna Kings defend their title, Seales will be hoping to make his ODI debut for the West Indies when they take on the Irish on Saturday, January 8 at 9:30 am Jamaica time at Sabina Park.

 

 

 

West Indies Women’s team will play four One-Day Internationals against South Africa Women in Johannesburg from January 28 to February 6 as part of their preparations for the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup. 

Ahead of the first ODI West Indies will have a warm-up match against a South Africa XI on January 25.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) and Cricket South Africa (CSA) on Wednesday confirmed a revised schedule as both teams finalize preparations for the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup to be played in New Zealand from March 4 to April 3.

West Indies Women were previously scheduled to play three T20 Internationals and five One Day Internationals against South African Women from January 15 to February 6. 

All matches in South Africa will be played in a bio-secure environment at the Imperial Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg, a venue close to the teams’ hotel which has been secured for exclusive use due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“There has been a lot of hard work and collaboration with our friends at Cricket South Africa regarding this tour and we are very pleased that we have been able to confirm this rescheduled ODI Series, allowing us to play vital high-level international competition and complete preparations ahead of the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup. We are extremely grateful to both CSA’s and CWI’s operational and medical teams for their efforts in confirming the schedule and we look forward to an exciting ODI series,’’ CWI CEO Johnny Grave said.

West Indies Women’s head coach Courtney Walsh says the tour is a good opportunity for the team to get valuable matches in.

“This tour will give us a chance to get some cricket in before the World Cup, especially since we have played less cricket than anticipated following the cancellation of the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe. This tour will show us exactly what we need to fine-tune before departing for New Zealand so that when we get there, we can hit the ground running and give a proper showing of ourselves on the world stage,” Walsh said.

The series will feature two-day matches and two day/night matches under lights.

The day matches start at 4 am Eastern Caribbean time/3 am Jamaica time and the day/night matches at 8 am Eastern Caribbean time/7 am Jamaica time.

 

 

 

Stuart Broad believes he has "a lot to offer" the England Test side after he claimed a five-wicket haul against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Thursday.

Broad took 5-101 on day two of the fourth Ashes Test at the SCG, where Australia declared on 416-8 and the tourists were 13 without loss at stumps.

Paceman Broad was surprisingly left out for England's defeat in the first match of the series at the Gabba before also being omitted for another heavy loss at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The 35-year-old expressed his frustration at only being selected for the day-night contest at the Adelaide Oval before being restored to the team in Sydney this week.

Broad let his undoubted ability with the ball do the talking by taking five wickets in a Test innings for the 19th time and an eight in the Ashes.

The vastly experienced quick is confident there is more to come.

"I still feel like I have a lot to offer this team," he told BT Sport.

"Whether that is playing week in, week out like I did when I was 26, 27, maybe not. But I'm old and experienced enough to know how to bowl on different pitches and how to get myself ready and right when the chances come.

"I think when you haven't been playing, particularly at 35 years old, you realise how special it is. I've had points in my career where I've felt like I've always been playing.

"That's not happened in 2021 and it's my job to make that happen in 2022."

Usman Khawaja borrowed a celebration from NBA superstar LeBron James as he marked his return to Australia's Test team with a sublime century against England.

The left-hander made a magnificent 137 in Australia's 416-8 declared on day two, leaving the tourists staring at a major challenge to avoid another Ashes defeat at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Khawaja reached his second Ashes hundred after being given a life on 28 when an edge off Jack Leach grazed Jos Buttler and was dropped by England skipper Joe Root at first slip.

He celebrated with a high-knees strut and thumped his chest, copying Los Angeles Lakers star James' famous 'silencer'.

Khawaja had not featured in a Test for Australia since the dramatic Headingley loss to England in 2019, when Ben Stokes' sensational century drove the hosts to victory, so for the 35-year-old this was a moment to savour.

"It's the silencer - you probably shouldn't do it to a home crowd," said a cheery Khawaja after England closed on 13-0.

"I was so excited, everything just came up to me. I love LeBron James, so it just felt right.

"I do it mucking around with the boys all the time and if I'm playing basketball and hit a few good shots I do it, so I've had a bit of practice at it, so it just happens.

"I love Test cricket. Sometimes it feels a bit traditional for my liking, so I like to give it a bit of spark."

Australia lead 3-0 so have already retained the urn, and now they are pushing for a clean sweep of the five-match series.

Khawaja said of his near seven-hour innings: "It's pretty sweet. I wasn't expecting it. Hundreds don't come every day.

"It's a pretty tough wicket. I'm just trying to bat. I'm just trying to grind away. It's a lot of fun. I'm a bit tired, a bit lost for words. It's pretty special."

Khawaja said he had been "in a very good spot the last couple of years", despite being absent from the Australia team.

He has become a father, with his wife and daughter in the SCG crowd on Thursday, and has enjoyed his cricket despite dropping out of the Test side.

This might be a one-off recall, with Khawaja included due to Travis Head returning a positive COVID-19 test result.

"I said earlier, I've got nothing to prove to anyone," Khawaja said on beIN Sports.

"I love playing cricket, whether it's grade cricket down at my local club Valleys [Valley District], or playing for Queensland. I'm just really enjoying the game

"Getting selected in the Australian squad and then playing this game, they're all bonuses for me now, so I'm just really enjoying my life and cricket.

"Every time I go out to play for Australia it's special, and then when you score a hundred on top of that, I guess the only way to make it better is if we get a victory here."

Usman Khawaja scored his ninth Test century after being recalled by Australia for the first time in more than two years as the hosts took control against England in the fourth Ashes Test.

Australia declared at 416-8 late in the final session on day two at the SCG, in an innings headlined by Khawaja's 137, where he batted for almost seven hours and hit 13 boundaries.

Khawaja reached his second Ashes hundred after being given a life on 28 when an edge off Jack Leach grazed Jos Buttler and was dropped by Joe Root at first slip.

England's openers survived five overs late in the day to be 13-0 at stumps, with Zak Crawley given a reprieve for a no-ball after being caught at first slip by David Warner off Mitchell Starc for a duck.

Australia, though, took a major advantage in the Sydney Test having resumed at 126-3 after a rain-interrupted opening day, with Steve Smith and Khawaja putting together a 115-run fourth-wicket stand.

Stuart Broad was the pick of the English attack, claiming the first five-wicket haul for the visitors this series with figures of 5-101.

England's hopes of making inroads into the Australian batting line-up were not helped by Ben Stokes limping off with left side tightness. He later returned to field but did not bowl.

Broad had Smith caught by Buttler for 67 shortly after taking the new ball, representing the ninth time the English paceman has dismissed the Australian vice-captain at Test level.

The headband-wearing 35-year-old paceman also claimed the wickets of Cameron Green (5), Pat Cummins (24) and Khawaja, who played on to a leg-cutter.

Starc got lucky with a series of reviews in his batting cameo with 34 not out before Australia declared, getting five overs late at the tourists who got through with Crawley and Haseeb Hameed at the crease.

Broad justifies his recall

Broad's five-wicket haul was his sixth against Australia and a 19th across his decorated career, where he has taken 531 Test dismissals.

The 35-year-old right-arm paceman had been left out for two Tests earlier in this series and justified his recall emphatically.

Khawaja stars upon return

Khawaja had not played for Australia at Test level since August 2019 in the Ashes but managed his second century against England, having earned a recall after back-to-back hundreds for Queensland in the Sheffield Shield. Khawaja reached triple figures shortly prior to tea.

Ben Stokes left the field during the second day of the fourth Ashes Test with "left side tightness".

Another difficult session for the tourists, who have already lost the series after Australia won the first three matches, saw the hosts move to 209-3 as Steve Smith and Usman Khawaja built a partnership of 92.

Khawaja was dropped by Joe Root as England went wicket-less in the first session at the Sydney Cricket Ground, but a more worrying sight came when Stokes went off clutching his side after sending down a series of short balls.

And England subsequently released an update during lunch that confirmed he was being treated for left side tightness and "would be assessed over the next hour".

Stokes, who returned to the side for the series after taking a break to protect his mental well-being, has scored 101 runs with the bat at an average of 16.83. With the ball, the all-rounder has taken four wickets.

 

Ben Stokes left the field during the second day of the fourth Ashes Test with "left side tightness".

Another difficult session for the tourists, who have already lost the series after Australia won the first three matches, saw the hosts move to 209-3 as Steve Smith and Usman Khawaja built a partnership of 92.

Khawaja was dropped by Joe Root as England went wicket-less in the first session at the Sydney Cricket Ground, but a more worrying sight came when Stokes went off clutching his side after sending down a series of short balls.

And England subsequently released an update during lunch that confirmed he was being treated for left side tightness and "would be assessed over the next hour".

Stokes, who returned to the side for the series after taking a break to protect his mental well-being, has scored 101 runs with the bat at an average of 16.83. With the ball, the all-rounder has taken four wickets.

 

Head coach of the Guyana Eagles, Esuan Crandon, has reported that the majority of the players re-taking the Yo-Yo fitness test earlier this week improved their scores but remains perplexed at the reason fitness has become such an issue for some players.

A group consisting of Shimron Hetmyer, Chandrapaul Hemraj, and Keemo Paul were reportedly among those present for the drills, which took place on Monday at the Leonora Stadium. 

Hetmyer sent tongues around the region wagging earlier this week after it was revealed that the player was left out of the West Indies squad for the upcoming series against Ireland and England, after failing another fitness test.  The situation left head coach Phil Simmons notably frustrated.

According to Crandon, some members of the team have received higher scores this time around, but it seems clear that many of the players were still not at the required fitness levels.

“I think what we have seen today is some improvement from the guys, probably not what we were looking for but at the end of the day, most of them, about 97-98 percent would have improved on their previous scores (in the yo-yo test) so that is a good sign for us, and it also tells the entire group that once you put in the work, you will improve,” Crandon told the Guyana Times.

“It is simple as that. I do not understand why it is difficult for some of these players to understand. You are professionals and they have to put in the work to get to the level of fitness we are looking at.”

The coach revealed that there could be another test in a few days for players who were still not at the required level.  The team is currently in preparation for the regional Regional 4-Day Tournament next month.

David Warner insists he relishes his Ashes battles with Stuart Broad despite being dismissed by the England bowler for the 13th time in Test cricket.

The Australia batter, who has twice come close to a century amid a dominant series for the hosts, was removed for 30 by the returning Broad on day one of the fourth Test.

Australia, who lead 3-0, closed on 126-3 at the SCG after only 46.5 overs of play were possible due to rain.

Broad had been left out of two of the first three matches and this week expressed his frustration over England's failure given he has "not really done anything" and missed the chance to play on favourable pitches.

Another veteran England bowler, James Anderson, who missed the first Test earlier in the series, also struck on Wednesday, removing Marcus Harris for 38.

And Warner suggested Australia are glad to be up against two of the world's top bowlers.

"I really enjoy giving you guys a good story, which is fantastic and it builds up the game," Warner said of his duels with Broad, who had him caught by Zak Crawley.

"Me and Broady love it when we're out there. It's good fun, good funny banter. 

"I tried to drive the ball too straight, that was my disappointment, but it's awesome to see Broady back out there.

"He's a world-class bowler. Him and Jimmy Anderson bowling at us is great. 

"Obviously, they would have been disappointed with some of these Test matches, not playing together, but that's for their selection panel. 

"It's great to come up against the world's best from England."

Mark Wood removed Marnus Labuschagne (28) before the close as Australia struggled to build on a strong start that had seen them reach 111-1.

It means Steve Smith (6 not out) and Usman Khawaja (4no) will be under pressure when they return to the crease on Thursday.

England are looking to avoid a 5-0 whitewash, a fate they have suffered twice in Australia since the turn of the century.

Amid their struggles, former England batsman Rob Key cannot comprehend why Broad has not been a regular.

He told Sky Sports: "You absolutely have bogey bowlers. I had about 18!

"For David Warner, it is Broad - which makes it even more ridiculous that Broad did not play that first Test in Brisbane. 

"Warner would have been sat there thinking, 'I could really do without facing this bloke'.

"All Warner's preparation would have been about how he was going to combat and defeat Broad and score runs against him – and then England don't pick him! This just shows how poor a decision that was.

"Now Broad has ended up playing on the two pitches so far with the least amount of movement and missed out on the two pitches that would have done a lot for him."

Mark Wood is eager to inflict more torment on Marnus Labuschagne after dismissing the prolific Australia batter on a rain-affected first day of the fourth Ashes Test.

Australia closed on 126-3 after Pat Cummins won the toss and elected to bat first at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Wednesday.

Only 46.5 overs were bowled due to poor weather, with rain preventing England from making further inroads.

Stuart Broad got rid of David Warner (30) for the 13th time in the longest format and James Anderson had Marcus Harris (38) caught by Joe Root in the slips before Labuschagne edged Wood through to Jos Buttler.

England fast bowler Wood hopes he can claim the scalp of Labuschagne time and again after sending the top-ranked Test batter in the world on his way for 28.

The paceman said: "I'm delighted to get Marnus because he's a top player. I know we've had this bowl fuller thing but I think we have to hit the wicket hard and make them play as much as we can.

"Thankfully I made Marnus play, it wasn't an easy ball to leave, and he managed to edge it.

"I'd love to have a Broad v Warner thing with him. Anybody would love that when they think they've got a chance to get someone out.

"The ball before, Marnus hit me for four so I just tried to zone in a bit more. I knew the ball before was loose but I got this one spot on.

"You want to test yourself against the best players. I've been a bit frustrated in that I've felt in good rhythm and have been bowling well in this series without getting the wickets I would have liked but to get big players like that out makes you very happy."

Wood revealed he had been suffering from illness ahead of the fourth Test as England battle to avoid a 5-0 whitewash.

He said: "I had a bit of a rough night but I managed to keep just enough energy for the day.

"I had a bit of a stomach problem but I'm hoping that with a good night's rest and some food inside me I'll be right as rain tomorrow."

Although England were frustrated by rain, Wood was delighted they got the opportunity to remove Harris and Labuschagne before play was called off for the day.

"It could have been a good opportunity for us to get another couple of wickets but after a stop-start sort of day to get a couple towards the close was a big deal," he added.

England struck twice late on a rain-affected opening day of the fourth Ashes Test at the SCG to get back into the contest on Wednesday.

Australia finished the first day on 126-3 with Steve Smith (6 not out) and Marnus Labuschagne (4 not out) at the crease after captain Pat Cummins won the delayed coin toss and elected to bat.

The hosts, who lead the series 3-0, had been firmly in control at 111-1 in the final session before veteran Jimmy Anderson (24-1 from 13 overs) and Mark Wood (31-1 from 10 overs) struck to dismiss opener Marcus Harris (38) and Test number one batsman Labuschagne (28) respectively.

Stuart Broad, back in the England side at the expense of Ollie Robinson, claimed the scalp of opener David Warner for 30 caught by Zak Crawley.

The opening session had been stop-start with rain delays seeing Australia go into lunch at 30-0, before adding another 26 runs until Broad found an edge from regular scalp Warner.

Rain fell shortly after Warner's dismissal leading to tea being taken after only 21.4 overs of play, but England got a crucial double strike in the final session before the weather intervened again.

Harris had been patient across more than three hours at the crease until Anderson drew an edge which Joe Root claimed at second slip.

England skipper Root introduced Mark Wood into the attack in the next over and dismissed Labuschagne caught behind by Jos Buttler.

Broad has the wood on Warner

Broad resumed his domination of Warner, dismissing him for the 13th time in Test cricket when he struck in the second session.

The right-arm fast bowler dismissed Warner seven times in the space of 104 balls during the 2019 Ashes in England, yet has been left out for two Tests in this series.

Sydney's rain woes

Only 46.5 overs were bowled on the first day at the SCG, which has been plagued by rain at recent Test matches at the venue.

In fact, Sydney has lost 26 days of Test cricket due to rain since 1877, which is significantly the most of any Australia venue and, while there was play, it was a frustrating opening day.

West Indies legend, Viv Richards, has called for there to be more accountability across the board when it comes to the affairs of the regional team, including the performances of coaches.

The West Indies men’s team, which is coached by former player Phil Simmons, has been plagued by poor performances in recent months.  At the T20 World Cup the team, who entered the tournament as defending champions, were less than inspiring and crashed out after finishing 5th in Group 1 after winning just one match and losing four.

The performance was followed by lopsided defeats in Sri Lanka for the Test team and Pakistan.  The Women’s team, who appointed former fast bowler Courtney Walsh two years ago after a string of poor results, have in the meantime won two of their last three series.

  “We’ve got to start calling on the coaches a bit more in my opinion for performances, and to have a level at some point regarding performances, where you’d say that last year we were here at that level and where we want to be next year, so I am looking for stuff like that sort of improvement,” Richards recently told the Good Morning Jojo radio program.

 “I think I am looking for that sort of improvement, which I am not seeing at the moment,” he said.

At the same time, the former player, known as the Master Blaster in his prime, also believes that there was also the need for more transparency and equality as it relates to players' selection based on fitness standards.

“There are times we play to people’s affairs and not overall in terms of the team in itself because no one or two or three individuals make up a team in itself. It’s about the solidness, and everyone being on board, and just how you dish out the treatment, I think it needs to be a little fairer in my opinion. It gives everyone an opportunity and where the fitness is concerned, that seems to be lacking for years now,” he said.

The Youth One-Day-International series between West Indies Under-19s and South Africa Under-19s ended in a 2-2 draw after the Caribbean outfit secured a 19-run win in the fourth and final match at Arnos Vale on Monday.

For the fourth game in a row, West Indies U19 captain Ackeem Auguste won the toss, this time choosing to bat first.

In another disappointing batting display, West Indies U19s could only manage 126 all out in 35 overs.

Teddy Bishop top scored with 43 and Rivaldo Clarke added 30, against 4-11 from leg-spinner Dewald Brevis and two wickets each from pacers Matthew Boast and Aphiwe Mnyanda.

South Africa U19s were then skittled out for 107 in 23.5 overs to go down by 19 runs.

Mnyanda top-scored with 20 while Boast (11) and Valentine Kitime (13) were the only other batsmen to get double figures against 3-34 off eight overs from pacer Johann Layne, 3-23 off six overs from medium-pacer McKenny Clarke, and 3-14 off 2.5 overs from left-arm spinner Jaden Carmichael.

Both teams will now turn their attention to the start of the ICC Men’s Under-19 Cricket World Cup on January 14th in the Caribbean.

West Indies U19s will play Australia U19s in their first game at Providence in Guyana on January 14th while South Africa U19s will square off against India U19s at the same venue a day later.

 

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