In any form of cricket, you can’t score runs off the deliveries you don’t face. This rings true whether it’s Test, ODI or T20 cricket.

For the West Indies in the One-Day International format, a main problem over the last few years has been an inability to bat for their full 50 overs.

Speaking on Saturday ahead of the start of the regional team’s limited-overs tour of India, Captain Kieron Pollard says the main focus will be to rectify that.

“For this series against India, I think one of the things we need to take forward is how we bat 50 overs. We haven’t batted 50 overs for the last couple series against Ireland and Australia so that’s something that we need to look at. As a team, we need to follow the template and follow the plans that are put out there so we can be successful,” said Pollard.

“It’s another opportunity for us to test our skills and see where we are, coming up against a formidable Indian team in Indian conditions. If my memory serves me correctly, I think the last time we were down here, we did pretty well. We didn’t win the series but we pushed them so now we’re looking to push that one step further,” he added.

His memory does serve him correctly as the last time the West Indies toured India in 2019, they suffered 2-1 series defeats in both the ODIs and T20Is.

Asked about where he is mentally going into this series, Pollard said: "I’m in a good space, you know. I didn’t tour Pakistan so I got some much-needed time off to refresh the mind and body. Coming back in the Ireland series was difficult and the England series was tough as well but these things happen.

"Once you have intentions of playing sports; emotions, mental space, physical capabilities, all these things are tested and, for me, I’ve played my entire career with a lot of things riding on it and I’ve come through it with a smile on my face and that’s how I’m going to finish my career as well.”

The West Indies will oppose India in three ODIs and three T20Is, with the first ODI taking place on Sunday.

 

 

 

 

 

Windies skipper Kieron Pollard had plenty of reasons to strike an unmistakably defiant tone after a hard-fought series win over England at the Kensington Oval on Sunday.

The victory will have gone some way in easing the pressure faced by both the captain and the team itself following an anemic performance at the T20 World Cup and a shock loss to Ireland in its most recent One Day International series.

During the England series, the West Indies were once again put in a negative spotlight as rumours of player victimization, pertaining to fast bowler Odean Smith came to the surface.

A performance against world number one England, albeit an understrength unit, and particularly one where so many players put in exceptional performances, was timely.  The fact did not escape Pollard.

“Every single one in the dressing room, we rallied together through everything.  Every time we won a game there was something negative against us, but we came out and the guys really won it,” Pollard said after briefly opening with his own rendition of a verse from the popular Jamaica dancehall artist.

“Empty vessels make the most noise.  The guys have worked tirelessly, when we came back from Jamaica our heads were down.  We had conversations in the dressing room regarding how we wanted to play the cricket and I think the guys bounced back pretty well,” he added.

“It’s one series but we have been on the losing end of a lot of series and a lot of games and you have to take this one.  The guys needed an opportunity to just free up themselves and enjoy themselves for a couple of games.”

Particularly pleasing for the team would have been the performance of former captain Jason Holder who claimed man of the series following a virtuoso performance just months after being controversially left out of the 15-man T20 World Cup starting team.

Obviously pleased with the performance of the team in the Betway T20I Series against England in Barbados, West Indies selectors have opted not to make any changes for the upcoming three T20I series against India next month.

West Indies captain, Kieron Pollard, did not put too much blame on the shoulders of all-rounder Jason Holder after an expensive 18th over led to the ballooning of England’s first innings total.

On Saturday, England leveled the series on the back of a stroke-filled 64 from the team’s captain Moeen Ali, which bankrolled the team’s first innings score of 193 for 6.

Things had looked far more controlled at the start of the 18th over, with England on 134 for 3.  Holder, who had put together a tidy spell to that point, was the target of a savage attack from Ali who launched four consecutive sixes and eventually milk 28 off it.  The following over for Romario Shepherd also proved costly as it ended up adding another 18 to England’s tally.  Pollard admitted the expensive final overs were likely where the game turned.  

“That’s the nature of T20 cricket all it takes is six balls or a couple hits to get you away from where you want to be,” Pollard said following the match.

“We were looking at around at around 160, 170, a total that would have been chasable but them getting to 190 put that extra 20 runs out of our reach,” he added.

“I thought right until then, and even when we started to bat, we had a very good chance.  We slowed up in the middle not losing wickets but we were a little slow.”  

Former Windies skipper, Darren Sammy, believes the team has the potential to do well on the upcoming tour of India, particularly with some of the talents on display during the England series.

The Caribbean team will head to South Asia immediately following the conclusion of the ongoing series against England, where they are currently leading 2-1.  The series has featured a number of standout performances so far, with the likes of Akeal Hosein, Romario Shepherd, and some of the more commonly known names like Rovman Powell and Nicholas Pooran all putting together noteworthy performances during the series so far.

 “They have got some really good one-day players, but we have unearthed some new talents in the ongoing series against England,” Sammy said of the team’s chances for the upcoming series.

“I think the West Indies would do well, but you would need the guys to take the wickets with the new ball.”

The former captain also believes the team’s cause could be helped by the knowledge of current captain Kieron Pollard.

“He has been playing in India for so long (at the IPL) and knows the conditions very well,” Sammy said. “Hopefully that experience and knowledge he could bring on to the field.”

 

The meeting between representatives of the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) and Cricket West Indies over claims that players in the senior squad are being victimized has been postponed until the end of the ongoing Betway T20 Series against England.

The West Indies lead the series 2-1 with the final two matches scheduled to be played on Saturday and Sunday.

Wayne Lewis, Honorary Secretary at WIPA confirmed to Sportsmax.TV today that WIPA received an email from CWI’s Director of Cricket Jimmy Adams Thursday afternoon informing of the delay to the discussions surrounding the issue that, according to sources, has caused discord within the senior team. He expects the meeting to be held sometime next week.

The matter surfaced earlier this week when allegations were being made that Jamaican all-rounder was being victimized by the team leadership and was eventually dropped for the third match played on Wednesday that the West Indies won by 20 runs. Smith’s replacement Rovman Powell scored his maiden T20 hundred for the West Indies.

Afterwards, Coach Phil Simmons pushed back on assertions that Smith was being victimized. The burly allrounder conceded four runs in the one over he bowled in the second T20 and dropped for the next match. He has also scored useful runs batting at number 10 but according to Phil Simmons, players are selected in the best interest of the team.

“We need to stop this foolishness that we are going on with. We sit here and look at the best team for the day and if Odean was not in the best team for the day it was because we thought Rovman Powell was better suited,” Simmons said afterwards while speaking with the media.

Meanwhile, Cricket West Indies has described the claims as being unsubstantiated and mischievous as it moved to head off any fallout.

In a statement released late Thursday, CWI said it was aware that “voice notes were circulated on social media, and in sections of the regional broadcast media, suggesting that there is a rift within the West Indies Senior Men’s team.

“Contrary to the unsubstantiated statements, containing unfounded and mischievous allegations, CWI is satisfied that there is no discord between the team captain and any member of the West Indies team.”

CWI President Ricky Skerritt indicated that the rumours represent an unwarranted attack on Captain Kieron Pollard.

“I view this as a malicious attack on the credibility of the West Indies captain, designed to sow division within our team that has just recorded three very impressive T20I performances against very strong opponents, including two outstanding wins and one heroic comeback to get within one run of victory,” Skerritt said.

“This clear attempt by well-known mischief makers to discredit the captain and to derail the team’s momentum in the ongoing Betway T20I Series should not be tolerated or encouraged.”

 

West Indies white ball captain, Kieron Pollard, says the team will be starting from scratch in their Betway T20 International series against England beginning on Saturday in Barbados.

The last outing for the regional team in the format came in January with a 3-0 defeat in an away series against Pakistan.

The majority of that squad will get another opportunity to represent the region and Pollard, speaking in a pre-match press conference today, says the team is eager to get started.

“For us, it’s like starting from scratch. These guys got a run out in Pakistan in the three T20Is and I’m sure they’re looking to build on their own personal performances and that, in extension, will help us get victories,” he said.

If the West Indies are to come out victorious in the five-match series, Pollard says execution in all three phases of the game will be critical.

“We have to execute in all three facets of the game. It’s been mentioned over the last week or so, batting has definitely been a problem for us but a good thing about it is that we have some new faces in the group again. Guys are looking to make a name for themselves on the international scene and so we just need to be able to do the basics and play according to the situation of the game,” Pollard added.

With the team coming off a disappointing ODI series loss to Ireland, Pollard says it will be important to leave that in the past and focus on what they can do going forward.

“It’s a new series. We can’t take the disappointment from that series into this one. There’s a different sort of mindset and approach that is needed to come into this series,” Pollard said.

The first match of the T20I series between the West Indies and England bowls off at the Kensington Oval in Barbados at 3:00 pm Jamaica time.

 

 

 

 

West Indies One Day International and T20 captain, Kieron Pollard, implored his team to aim to put together a string of consistent performances on the eve of their first ODI against Ireland at Sabina Park in Jamaica.

Pollard spoke in a pre-match press conference on Friday and acknowledged the criticism the team has received for its frequent inconsistent play.

“A lot has been said over the last couple months in terms of performances by the West Indies team; us not doing well and losing games and it is something that we accept. We want to be able to string good performances together on a consistent basis and that is the nature of some of the conversations we’re having as a team,” Pollard said.

The Trinidadian also explained that finding the right combination can take time so fans should be patient.

“Hopefully the fans can bear with us until we find that right combination and guys in the frame of mind to actually perform on a consistent basis,” he added.

Finding that right combination is also made more difficult by the fact that some of the most talented players in the region have persistent fitness issues that prevents them from being selected to represent the Caribbean side, a notion which Pollard also echoed during his press conference.

“It has been a topical issue that has been plaguing us for the last couple years or so. I think it’s an individual choice. The selection policy is there, the fitness policies are there. Guys know exactly what is needed for you as an individual to represent the West Indies and sometimes as individuals, we tend to take things for granted. Yes, it has hindered the process of selecting the best team at any given time,” he said.

In terms of preparation, the captain says training has been going well and the team is relishing the opportunity to produce.

“We have an opportunity to try and put things right, so for the last couple days guys have been training hard. This is a different format to the ones that we have played recently and we’re looking forward to the challenges for the season ahead, not only this series,” Pollard said.

The first ODI between the West Indies and Ireland bowls off at Sabina Park on Saturday, January 8 at 9:30 am Jamaica time.

 

 

 

The Cricket West Indies (CWI) interim selection panel has announced the squads for the upcoming series against Ireland and England.

Captain Kieron Pollard is fit again and returns to lead both the ODI and T20 sides that will battle the Irish in three ODIs and one T20I at Sabina Park, in Jamaica, starting January 8.

The CG Insurance ODI Series between West Indies and Ireland will form part of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League, in which the top seven teams can secure automatic qualification for the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in India.

The West Indies are currently eighth in those standings with 40 points, while Ireland sits fourth with 50.

The Caribbean side will then play five T20 Internationals against England, in Barbados, beginning on January 22.

“We have tried to maintain the general make-up of the squads from the Pakistan tour before Christmas, with the captain and some senior players coming back in. The challenges in the next couple of months are getting the young players in both squads to not only improve on their skills but maintain the attitude and desire we saw in Pakistan,” said West Indies coach Phil Simmons.

Simmons also emphasized the need for his team to start the year on a good note.

“We do need to start the year on a high. We know both Ireland and England have very good teams so we expect a very strong challenge as we look to improve our chances of automatic qualification for the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2023 and building the team for the ICC T20 World Cup in 2022,” Simmons added.

ODI squad for the Ireland Series: Kieron Pollard (captain), Shai Hope (vice-captain), Shamarh Brooks, Roston Chase, Justin Greaves, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Gudakesh Motie, Jayden Seales, Nicholas Pooran, Romario Shepherd, Odean Smith, Devon Thomas, and the COVID-19 reserves are Keacy Carty and Sheldon Cottrell.

T20I squad for Ireland and England Series: Kieron Pollard (captain), Nicholas Pooran (vice-captain), Fabian Allen (England T20Is only), Darren Bravo (England T20Is only), Roston Chase, Sheldon Cottrell, Dominic Drakes, Shai Hope, Akeal Hosein, Jason Holder, Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Rovman Powell, Romario Shepherd, Odean Smith, Hayden Walsh Jr, and the COVID-19 reserves are Jayden Seales, Alzarri Joseph, and Devon Thomas.

Fabian Allen is fully recovered from an ankle injury but is unavailable for the Ireland series after a positive COVID-19 test.

Former New Zealand bowler turned commentator, Danny Morrison, has named West Indies captain Kieron Pollard as one of the most overrated players of the current generation.

The 35-year-old is typically one of the sport’s most widely regarded players, having amassed an impressive 11,326 runs in 573 matches.  The tally is surpassed only by compatriot Chris Gayle who is the top runs scorer in the format.

In addition, the player, who has spent 11-years at India Premier League (IPL) club Mumbai Indians, has played for the franchise and played a key role in capturing five IPL titles.  Recently, Mumbai Director of Cricket Operations Zaheer Khan hailed the player’s leadership and influence, also branding him as one of the strongest finishers in the game. 

The West Indian was one of only one four players retained, along with Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, and Suryakumar Yadav.  Speaking with Sportskeeda in a recent question and answer styled interview, the commentator singled out Pollard as a player he believed was overrated.  In the same breath, Morrison listed Indian wicketkeeper-batsman Ishan Kishan as one of the most underrated.

Injury has forced Kieron Pollard out of the West Indies’ white-ball tour of Pakistan later this month. Pollard suffered the injury during the recent ICC T20 World Cup and has not sufficiently recovered in time for the tour that runs from December 13-22.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) should appoint Guyanese batsman Shimron Hetmyer as the new white-ball captain after the disappointing run of Kieron Pollard at the ICC T20 World Cup and, generally, for the men in Maroon.

This assertion has come from former CWI President Dave Cameron who believes that the current CWI leadership is not looking at the precedent of players’ leadership records when selecting captains.

“We felt as an organization that Hetmyer would be a future leader for West Indies. The way he conducted himself when we won the 2016 Under-19 World Cup and coming through the ranks,” Cameron said while speaking as a guest on Line & Length on SPORTSMAX.

“Hetmyer is a very confident young man, very aggressive and talented, we felt he could be someone who could lead us and be a future captain of the West Indies.”

Cameron spoke as part of a review of the leadership roles in the team and CWI managerial structure after the side won one in five matches and finished near the bottom of the table with captain Pollard once again contributing very little with the bat.

After 23 matches in four T20 World Cups, Pollard has scored 254 runs at a poor average of 14.11. Since he was appointed West Indies T20I captain in September 2019, Pollard has played 31 matches, winning 10, losing 16 with five no-results.

During the T20 World Cup, Hetmyer topped the batting with 127 runs averaging 31.75. Only two others managed over 100 runs – Evin Lewis (105, avg 21.00) and vice-captain Nicholas Pooran (103, avg: 20.60) - as the defending champions bowed out.

“I am disappointed but not surprised, we tried a different method a few years ago and we started to have results. This administration has decided that they wanted to go back to what has been tried and failed… so the results were always there,” Cameron said.

“We won two games at the 2019 World Cup and now we won one at this event. Everybody has a different strategy and different leadership styles. You require different types of leadership and management depending on where you are in your cycle.

“In 2013 when we took over, West Indies Cricket was at a serious crossroad with our players and finances and we had to make some different decisions then.

“In my mind Cricket West Indies needs professional leadership. It’s not just West Indies cricket, I think cricket as a game is not growing as it should because we focus on the game itself rather than opportunities within the sport to expand it so that so many more people can participate. That is where I was, and I think this is where we need to be heading. So, in my mind, however you want to structure CWI, you need to take it out of this parochial structure and give it the opportunity to really perform as a company.”

 

 

West Indies captain Kieron Pollard says it’s time for the team to rebuild from foundations following a disappointing showing at the T20 World Cup and the end of the road for a generation of players.

A miserable campaign for the defending champions ended with an 8-wicket loss to Australia, the team’s fourth defeat in five games.  The West Indies' lone win of the campaign came against Bangladesh, which preceded heavy losses to England, South Africa, and Sri Lanka.

For some the West Indies were listed among the pre-tournament favourites due to boasting a line-up packed with heavy hitters.  The likes of Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo, and Andre Russell were not only household T20 names but already had the experience of winning the tournament.

In reality, however, the team struggled to put runs on the board, ending with the fourth-worst net run rate and the team’s experienced players' general failure to ever really get a foothold at the crease.

"Overall it's been a disappointing campaign. In terms of the batting, we have not done well at all. Our bowling has been decent but not good enough. It's the end of a generation, we have some guys who have done good things for T20 cricket in our team and around the world," Pollard said at the post-match presentation.


"We as people are very proud. We have to look at the way we play T20 cricket. What we've seen is that one guy in the top four has to bat as long as possible. Going forward I need to do that better. We have to start from a foundation now," Pollard said at the post-match press conference."

Former West Indies opening batsman Philo Wallace believes T20 captain Kieron Pollard must shoulder a huge part of the blame following the team’s faltering and ultimately fruitless title defense of the T20 World Cup.

On Thursday, the regional team limped out of semi-final contention after losing to Sri Lanka by 20 runs, a result that had followed heavy defeats to England and South Africa. 

In between the three defeats, the team did manage one win, which came against Bangladesh but that was far from some of the loftier expectations heading into the event.

Ahead of the competition, the selection of several senior players had proven to be a major bone of contention with some fans around the region, who clamoured for younger players to be included. 

In response, however, it was argued that the experience of the senior players would prove vital to the campaign.  In reality, things did not quite pan out that way.  The likes of Chris Gayle, Lendl Simmons, Ravi Rampaul, Dwayne Bravo, and Pollard himself, had disappointing performances.  In addition to his performances with the bat and ball, Wallace argues, however, that Pollard failed to deliver in another key area, his leadership.

“I think Pollard has failed us in that he has not stepped up to lead the team, the way we thought he would have led the team,” Wallace told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“…I thought that Pollard would have been the one to step up and say gentlemen I will take this on my back, and we are going to do this, X, Y, Z.  To tell the public that it is not a developing tour and then be in the position that we are in with seasoned campaigners is detrimental to his credibility,” he added.

“For all that he is worth in T20 cricket, I have not seen it at this World Cup…I know he had an injury but I expected more from him in terms of gluing that middle order together and with bowling and stuff, those guys needed a leader.”

Overall, Pollard scored 46 runs, with a best of 26 and an average of 15.33.

 

West Indies captain Kieron Pollard has admitted that the senior players simply did not deliver as the team crashed out of the T20 World Cup, on Thursday, following a loss to Sri Lanka.

In a disappointing campaign, the defeat was the third in four games for the two-time defending champions, who in truth since the first ball was bowled never looked likely to mount a strong title defense and were barely clinging to semi-final hopes ahead of the Sri Lanka match-up.

Heading into the tournament, the team had highlighted its experience as a major advantage with several players in the team having won multiple world titles.  In reality, however, things never really panned out.  T20 star Chris Gayle, a controversial selection for the squad, made 30 runs in four games for an average of 7.50.  Lendl Simmons made 19 over two matches for an average of 9.50, Andre Russell, who came into the tournament with an injury, made 7 runs in four matches for an average of 1.75.  Pollard did slightly better with 46 runs at 15.33, while Dwayne Bravo claimed two wickets in four matches.

"A couple of young guys are putting up their hands (up) but the experienced guys, myself included, have not done well. We are not going to hide from the fact that it's been disappointing for us,” Pollard said following the match.

On Thursday, it was indeed the younger generation who stood up to be counted. Shimron Hetmyer was the team’s top scorer with 81 from 54, followed by Nicholas Pooran who scored 46 from 34.

"I'm sure all the guys are hurting in that dressing room. It's something we didn't see it coming but we have to face reality," Pollard added.

"I think we were below par. In a crucial match like this, you don't want to see those things (for fielding). Our bowlers did okay, they got 189 but it was a very good batting track.

"I think cricket smarts is something that has plagued us. We have spoken time and time again especially from a batting perspective what we need to do as individuals and we have not done well.”

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