West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite came very close to a second century in the second Sandals Test match on Thursday, which helped the team to a commanding position against Sri Lanka after the fourth day.

The experienced opener followed his 126 in the West Indies first innings with a patient 85 in the second innings which, along with half-centuries from Kyle Mayers and Jason Holder, allowed him to declare the second innings at 280 for 4, setting the visitors a target of 376 on a good pitch at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium. Holder was 71 not out, having shared a 53-run partnership with wicket-keeper Joshua Da Silva who was 20 not out.

West Indies then had 40 minutes to bowl at Sri Lanka before stumps and they reached 29-0 with captain Dimuth Karunaratne (11 not out) and Lahiru Thirimanne (17 not out) at the close. They will resume on Friday with another 347 needed for victory, while West Indies will be hunting 10 wickets in 98 overs on what is expected to be an enthralling last day.

Sri Lanka started the day at 250-8 in its first innings and the home side took just over three overs to wrap up the innings at 258 and take a first-innings lead of 96 runs. Pathum Nissanka, on 49 overnight, completed his half-century from the fifth ball of the day, but was out soon after for 51 – caught by substitute Hayden Walsh Jr. at deep backward square from the bowling of Kemar Roach after the trap was set for the hook shot.

When West Indies batted a second time Mayers went on to a half-century from 63 balls, with eight fours, before eventually falling lbw to seamer Saranga Lakmal for 55. Brathwaite reached his 21st half-century from 137 balls and looked set to reach centuries in both innings when he went on to 85, which came off 196 balls and included four boundaries. Holder played a number of outstanding shots and paced the innings well with his half-century requiring just 69 balls.

 

Cricket West Indies (CWI) presidential candidate, Anand Sanasie, has announced the decision to withdraw from the race for regional cricket’s top governing post, after citing concerns with recent events at the CWI and Guyana Cricket Board (GCB).

Doubts had been raised regarding the viability of the former secretary of the GCB’s candidacy, following the election of a new executive on Monday.  Losing his position on the CWI board would not necessarily have meant the end of Sanasie’s candidacy but serious doubts were raised regarding the ability to garner support from his home country.  Sanasie's running mate, Calivn Hope of Barbados, also announced his withdrawal.

The deposed official, however, continues to question the legitimacy of the election that he claims were influenced by partisan actions on the part of the Guyana sports minister.

“Unjust, irregular, imprudent and hasty actions taken by the partisan and compromised Minister of Sport in Guyana, Mr. Charles Ramson Jr, have led to dubious GCB elections being held and a new group purporting to be the new executive installed. I am advised by my legal team that these elections cannot withstand judicial scrutiny which may arise and which have every possibility of prevailing. It should also be noted that the court-ordered Demerara Cricket Board election is very likely to be set aside,” Sanasie stated in the press realease.

He went on to claim that the meetings with the sports minister were held without the then nominated GCB directors despite their objections.  Sanasie also claimed that there was attempted impropriety at last week’s CWI annual general meeting, which was to feature the leadership election.

“…there was an attempt to hold an Annual General Meeting and Presidential and Vice Presidential Elections without critical requirements outlined by the Articles of Association being complied with. This attempt, until it was thwarted at the last minute, remains cause for serious concern by those who have an interest in good governance of CWI. A major scandal was averted by the judicious and prudent actions of the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) and the Guyana Cricket Board to save CWI global embarrassment and ridicule.”

He, however, also extended congratulations to incumbent president Ricky Skerritt who will head into next weekend’s elections unopposed.

“Consequently, I take this opportunity to extend congratulations and best wishes to Mr. Ricky Skerritt since he will be uncontested. I urge that more deliberate efforts be made to strengthen the finances of CWI and to improve in the areas of prudent fiscal management, accountability and transparency. I also urge that greater respect be accorded to Territorial Boards and that there is considerably more inclusivity in executive decision making and corporate governance.”

 

West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite has been offered a contract by English County Championship club Gloucestershire for the first eight games of the season.

The 28-year-old Brathwaite, who recently replaced Jason Holder as captain of the West Indies, is expected to depart for England following the conclusion of the ongoing series against Sri Lanka.

The opening batsman could possibly make his debut against Surrey next week but is much more likely to be available for the team’s next fixture against Somerset.

Brathwaite is no stranger to English county cricket, having previously played for Yorkshire (2017), Nottinghamshire (2018), and Glamorgan (2019).  For his part, he revealed that he was eager to return to playing County cricket.

"I truly look forward to the opportunity to represent Gloucestershire,"  Brathwaite said.

"I have always enjoyed county cricket and cherished the times I've been able to play in England. I'm excited to come to Bristol and do my best for the team, the club, and of course the Gloucestershire supporters,” he added.

Having made his Test debut at just 18, Brathwaite has averaged 32.24 over 67 matches with a top score of 212 made against Bangladesh in 2014.

This year, under his captaincy, West Indies have won two Tests against Bangladesh and drawn the opening Test of their two-match series against Sri Lanka

      

Stubborn resistance from Pathum Nissanka and persistent rain frustrated the West Indies on the third day of the second Test, as Sri Lanka closed play on 250 for 8, still some 104 runs behind the first innings target.

The Sri Lankans resumed play at 136 for 3 but the promising partnership of Dinesh Chandimal (44) and Dhanajaya De Silva (39) was halted in its tracks during the morning session.  Chandimal was tempted into an attempted hook shot by Shannon Gabriel and caught at deep square leg.

De Silva was given lbw on a delivery from part-timer Jermaine Blackwood, which seemed to be turning away from the stumps.  The decision was, however, not appealed.

The rain repeatedly interrupted play after lunch but there was still time for all-rounder Jason Holder to account for Niroshan Dickwella (21), who was caught behind from an inside edge.  Suranga Lakmal did not stick around long as he lasted for 9 deliveries before being caught at mid-on by Kraigg Brathwaite off Alzarri Joseph.  Dushmantha Chameera became the eighth wicket to fall, after tea, when he was caught by Joshua Da Silva off Holder but Nissanka dug into to reach to within one of a half-century and will resume tomorrow with Lasith Embuldeniya, who is scoreless. 

The rain meant that, overall, only 42 over of play were possible at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.

West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite completed his ninth Test century to place his team in a strong position at the close of play on the second day of the second Sandals Test match against Sri Lanka.

 Brathwaite needed only two balls at the start of the day to reach triple figures – when he worked the second ball from Suranga Lakmal to fine leg for a single to reach the landmark off 241 balls with 11 fours.

Brathwaite ended on 126 off 311 balls with 13 fours in seven hours and shared a crucial 103-run eighth-wicket partnership with Rahkeem Cornwall, which helped West Indies to 354. Cornwall reached a new highest score of 73 off just 92 balls with 10 fours and a six, to follow up his 61 in the first match last week.

Sri Lanka replied with 136-3 at the close of the day.

Lahiru Thirimanne followed his scores of 70 and 76 in the first Test with 55, which provided solidity at the top of the Sri Lanka order. Dinesh Chandimal and Dhananjaya De Silva then batted through 25 overs in an unbroken fourth-wicket partnership which was worth 59 runs at stumps. Chandimal was 34 not out and De Silva 23.

 

The Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) and president Wilford Heaven have re-ignited calls for structural reform, following the postponement of Cricket West Indies (CWI) elections at the weekend.

The election would have pitted incumbent president Ricky Skerritt and his vice-president Kishore Shallow, against challengers Anand Sanasie of Guyana and Calvin Hope of Barbados.  The event was, however, called off after a quorum could not be reached, following the absence of representatives from Barbados and Guyana.

The reason presented by both the Guyana Cricket Board and Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) is that Cricket West Indies (CWI) had failed to observe protocol by submitting an audited financial statement 14 days before the AGM.

The JCA, through a release issued on Monday, claims the decision to postpone the election, once again spoke to the need for government reform.

“This occurrence which is potentially damaging to the reputation of the people in the Caribbean as well as those in the diaspora highlights the urgent need for change to the structure of CWI,” the release read.

JCA president Wilford Heaven, a part of the CWI finance committee, responsible for distributing the financial report called the inability to reach a quorum regrettable.  He claimed that five regional boards had already agreed to waive the 14-day requirement for the consolidated report.  The fault, Heaven explained, was that of the auditors and as such there was little the CWI could do.

“We have to ensure that this does not happen again in West Indies cricket.  I believe it is an embarrassment to everyone concerned and its obvious that we need for better governance to ensure better leadership,” Heaven said.

“The Wehby report is an outstanding agenda item that we now need to pay serious attention to.  It is now even more important given what happened to the AGM.”

Cricket West Indies (CWI) vice president, Dr Kishore Shallow, does not expect the recent Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) elections to affect the candidacy of former GCB secretary Anand Sanasie as independent candidates are allowed to run for the post of the presidency.

On Monday, the GCB elected Guyana businessman Bissoondyal Singh to the post of president of the association, with Rabindranauth Saywack and Hilbert Foster set to serve as vice-presidents and Ronald Williams named secretary.

Sanasie is part of a two-man slate set to challenge incumbent vice CWI president Ricky Skerritt, with Barbados’ Calvin Hope set to challenge Shallow for the vice-presidency.  Following the election, however, Sanasie would no longer be a member of the board, and as such speculation arose regarding the future of the challenge.  Shallow, however, expects Sanasie to be on the slate when the election takes place on April 11.

“Independent persons can be nominated for the post of president and vice-president, so he is not automatically disqualified,” Shallow explained.

“You don’t have to be a voting member or a shareholder to be eligible to be a candidate and that means both his and the nomination of his running mate would stand at this point,” he added.

The CWI elections were scheduled to be held last weekend but was postponed after a quorum could not be reached, following the absence of representatives from Guyana and Barbados.

 

 

West Indies captain, Kraigg Brathwaite, batted through the day for an invaluable 99 not out as the team reached 287-7 at the close of play, on the opening day of the second and final Sandals Test against Sri Lanka, at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, in Antigua on Monday.

Brathwaite demonstrated patience and tenacity on a pitch which offered some assistance to the seam bowlers in the first session. Brathwaite’s innings has spanned six-and-a-half hours in which he faced 239 balls and struck 11 fours. He is on the verge of a ninth Test century, which would also be his second at the venue, the other was 121 against Bangladesh in 2018.

When he reached 98, Brathwaite also became the 16th West Indian batsman to surpass 4,000 Test runs – to join an elite list. The others are Sir Everton Weekes, Sir Viv Richards, Brian Lara, Sir Garry Sobers, Rohan Kanhai, Sir Gordon Greenidge, Alvin Kallicharan, Sir Richie Richardson, Sir Clive Lloyd, Roy Fredericks, Chris Gayle, Shiv Chanderpaul, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Desmond Haynes and Carl Hooper.

He held the innings together and shared the day’s honours with Saranga Lakmal who had claimed two early wickets – John Campbell and Nkrumah Bonner and added Jermaine Blackwood to end the day with 3-71.

Brathwaite and Kyle Mayers had a third-wicket partnership of 71 as the left-handed made 49. West Indies slipped to 222-7 in the final session of the day, but Brathwaite found another resolute partner in Rahkeem Cornwall, who closed unbeaten on 43, in a partnership that has been worth 65 runs so far for the eighth wicket.

 

Justin Langer says there is "no captaincy position available" for Steve Smith after the former skipper expressed his desire to lead Australia again.

Smith's reign as Australia captain ended when he was banned from international cricket for a year and prevented from taking a leadership role for his country for two years due to the 2018 Newlands ball-tampering scandal.

Tim Paine took over as Test skipper and Aaron Finch white-ball captain, but Smith stated that he wants another chance to take charge again.

"I've certainly had a lot of time to think about it and I guess now I've got to a point where if the opportunity did come up again, I would be keen," the 31-year-old told News Corp.

"If it was what Cricket Australia wanted and it was what was best for the team at the time, it's certainly something I would be interested in now, that's for sure,"

He added: "Time keeps moving forward, and I've learnt so much the last few years about myself and grown as a human being.

"I feel as though I'd be in a better place if the opportunity did come up. If it doesn't, that's fine as well and I'd support whoever is in charge the same way I've supported Tim and Finchy. I haven't always felt like I wanted to do it again. That's only come in the last little bit."

Yet Australia head coach Langer says both Paine and Finch are secure in their positions.

"We have two very good captains and two important competitions coming up – an Ashes and a T20 World Cup. Our future looks good," he told the ABC.

"Despite the media chatter there is no captaincy position available."

English Championship strugglers Sheffield Wednesday have decided against signing Jamaica international Ravel Morrison after a brief trial period at the club.

The former Manchester United youth standout was invited to train with the club earlier this month after leaving Eredivisie minnows ADO Den Haag in January.  The Owls were weighing up the decision to give the midfielder a contract until the end of the season but decided against doing so.

The club would have needed to register the 28-year-old last week, in order to add him to the first-team squad for the rest of the season.  The team currently finds itself mired in the relegation zone, in 23rd position, with only a handful of games to save themselves.

For his part, Morrison will be looking for his 12th club in what has been a nomadic career to date.  Some of the player’s former clubs have included West Ham United, Lazio, Queens Park Rangers, and Middlesbrough.

Interestingly Wednesday is coached by another Jamaica international Darren Moore.   Moore's men entered the international break in good heart following a positive win over Barnsley.

Wednesday return to action on Friday when they travel to automatic promotion contenders Watford.

Discarded West Indies players Shai Hope and Roston Chase will have to fight their way back into the Test team, after not being selected for the matches against Sri Lanka.

Hope, widely agreed to be one of the region’s most talented batsmen, was dropped from the team after a poor run of form in November of last year.  Chase, the consistent all-rounder, at the same time replaced Kraigg Brathwaite as vice-captain ahead of the New Zealand series.

Both players were called to the team ahead of the Bangladesh series but were among 12 players to decline due to health and safety concerns. 

Hope has since returned to the ODI squad, where he looked to be in strong form.  Chase, who initially missed out on the minimum fitness requirement ahead of the series, put on a strong display in the warm-up tour matches.  Both players remain on the sideline, so far.  For now, according to Simmons, however, the current players are doing well enough to keep their places.

“The guys who played in the Test matches have done well, so we need to continue to back the guys who have done well in the last three Test matches,” Simmons told members of the media via a Zoom press conference.

“The way I look at it is the guys did well.  The guys went to Bangladesh, each one of the batsmen did well.  They earned their places.  So, it is a case where they continue to play and play well,” he added.

“Roston, Shai, those other players will have to fight their way back in, and that just how cricket goes.”

Guyanese businessman, Bissoondyal Singh, has been elected as president of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB), following an election in Georgetown on Monday.

After being postponed last month, due to a number of contentious issues raised by the Essequibo Cricket Board (ECB), the process, conducted by recently appointed cricket ombudsman Kamal Ramkarran, reportedly went off without a hitch.

Other appointments will see Rabindranauth Saywack and Hilbert Foster serve as vice-presidents with Ronald Williams named secretary.  Former West Indies batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan has been named as the Chairman of the Senior Selectors, with current Cricket West Indies chief of selectors Roger Harper, also offered a position as a technocrat member with voting rights at executive meetings.

On Sunday, the CWI elections, which were slated to have Guyana’s Anand Sanasie and Barbados’ Calvin Hope challenge the incumbents Ricky Skerrit and Kishore Shallow, was postponed after a quorum could not be reached due to the absence of representatives from the Guyana and Barbados.

The elections have been re-set for April 11 but could now take on an entirely context following the GCB elections.  Sanasie previously held the post of general secretary but has through his attorney’s questioned both the legality of appointing the Ombudsman and elections themselves.

GCB full slate

President– Bissoondyal Singh

Vice-President– Hilbert Foster

Vice-President– Rabindranauth Saywack

Secretary– Ronald Williams

Assistant Secretary– Davteerth Anandjit

Treasurer– Pretipaul Jaigobin

Assistant Treasurer– Dr. Cecil Beharry

Public Relations Officer– Claude Raphael

Marketing Manager– Mohamed Baksh

Chairman of Competitions Committee– Shaun Massiah

Chairman of Senior Selectors– Ramnaresh Sarwan

Chairman of Junior Selectors– Andre Percival

Technocrat members with voting rights at executive meetings– Roger Harper and Anil Beharry.

Newly promoted West Indies skipper, Kraigg Brathwaite, insists there is no worry about the added responsibility of captaincy affecting his batting form after somewhat of a slow start to officially taking the reins.

Brathwaite, who officially took over from Jason Holder at the start of the Sri Lanka series, made a total of 26 at the top of the order for the first Test, for an average of just 13.  The batsman did, however, manage to occupy the crease, his score of 23 in the second innings coming from 124 balls.  While not showing up on the scoreboard, the player believes it was a vital contribution.

“I’m not concerned.  In the second innings I managed to spend over two hours at the crease, which was important for us as a batting unit,” Brathwaite told members of the media via a Zoom press conference.

“As I said before, I always enjoy leading and I know what I have to do, I know my role as a batsman and also as the captain.  So, I’m not concerned.”

In the previous series against Bangladesh, as the stand-in captain for Holder, Brathwaite scored 149 runs over the two matches, for an average of 37.25.  The West Indies unexpectedly won the series 2-0, which played a crucial role in Brathwaite securing the leadership post.

 

 West Indies head coach, Phil Simmons, has backed the team's strike bowler Shannon Gabriel to bounce back following a poor showing against Sri Lanka in the first Test.

The 32-year-old pace bowler had a first Test to forget, failing to claim a wicket for the entire match.  Overall, he ended with figures of 0 for 89 in 27 overs.  The bowler last went wicketless in a match last year, in the second Test against England where he ended 0 for 122.

In assessing the player’s most recent performances, however, Simmons dismissed Gabriel’s first-match struggles as just a blip and looked forward to a much better showing in the second Test.

“I thought in Bangladesh, he bowled exceptionally well in both Test matches and he was the main one, on the occasion in the first Test, who turned things around with his spell in the evening,” Simmons said in an assessment of the player’s recent form.

“He had a bad game and bowlers have that. Two of the main bowlers did not have a good game but that’s one game,” he added.

“I think he has been unsung, in New Zealand he was unsung, in Bangladesh he was unsung, so, one bad game does not change him being the strike bowler.”

In New Zealand, despite a tough series for the regional team, Gabriel, who was the pick of the bowlers, extracted plenty of pace and bounce from the surface to claim six wickets in two matches, where New Zealand only batted once.

 

 

The Annual General Meeting of Cricket West Indies that was scheduled to be held today has been rescheduled for Sunday, April 11, 2021, after the representatives from Barbados and Guyana failed to show this morning.

The meeting therefore could not proceed to business as the CWI Articles of Association stipulate that nine representatives of the Full Members need to be present in-person to constitute a quorum.

All eight (8) representatives duly authorized to represent the Jamaica Cricket Association, Leeward Islands Cricket Board (LICB), Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB) and the Windward Islands Cricket Board were present.

Despite having previously authorized their representatives to attend, when the roll was called there were no representatives present from the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) nor the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA).

The Articles of Association provide that if there is no quorum within thirty minutes from the time appointed for the meeting, it shall stand adjourned to the next business day or to such other time and place as the Board of Directors may determine, and at the adjourned meeting no other business may be transacted.

Attempts to reach the representatives from the BCA and GCB were unsuccessful. The meeting was eventually adjourned at 10:50 a.m.

The CWI Board of Directors subsequently held an Emergency Board Meeting at midday today, Sunday 28th March 2021, and decided that the AGM will resume on Sunday 11th April 2021 at 10:00 am ECT/09:00am Jamaica Time.

 

 

 

 

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