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.

 

 

 

 

 

Joe Root will continue as England's Test captain at least for the upcoming tour of the West Indies, interim managing director Andrew Strauss has confirmed.

Root's position as skipper was thought to be under threat in the wake of England's crushing 4-0 Ashes series defeat to Australia.

That embarrassment proved the final straw for much-maligned head coach Chris Silverwood and managing director Ashley Giles, who were both dismissed this week.

There have been plenty of calls from fans and pundits alike for Root to also be removed from his position, though it would appear he is safe for the time being.

In his first news conference since temporarily taking over from Giles, Strauss said: "Having spoken to [Root], it is absolutely clear the extent of his commitment to taking this England cricket team forward. He has got incredible motivation and energy to do that.

"He is bruised, hugely disappointed by what went on in the Ashes – that goes without saying and many others are in the same boat – but he has the respect of the players, they all play for him and obviously he sets a magnificent example both on and off the field.

"I'm very happy to give him my support, and make sure that we've got the right sort of structure around him to take the pressure off him and allow him to do his job on the pitch."

Graham Thorpe, who operated as Silverwood's assistant, has not been so fortunate.

A statement confirmed the former England batsman "has left his position" with immediate effect.

Strauss said: "I'd like to thank Graham for his work over many years on the England coaching staff and wish him the best for the future."

England are due to begin their three-Test tour of West Indies on March 8.

Left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein and allrounder Jason Holder have achieved career-best rankings in the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s T20I Player Rankings after helping the West Indies to a series-deciding 17-run victory in the fifth Betway T20 International against England at Kensington Oval last Sunday.

In the latest weekly update to the men’s rankings, which considers performances in the last three matches of the series, Hosein moved up 15 places to 18th position after a haul of 4-30 that helped him finish with six wickets in three matches.

“It’s not something I pay close attention to. However, when I play or train, it’s always about aiming to become the best,” Hosein said while speaking with CWI Media.

“It’s about having that mindset of wanting to improve and wanting to be at the top, so definitely it is an aspiration of mine to be the number one bowler in the world someday. Therefore, this move means a lot to me. It shows that my hard work is paying off and that I will be rewarded if I perform well. It’s definitely a good feeling.”

Holder was the star performer with the unique feat of grabbing four wickets in four balls in front of his home crowd. He finished with figures of 5-27 – the best in a T20I at the historic venue. This took his tally to nine wickets in those three matches, as he advanced three places to 23rd with a massive gain of 20 rating points. Overall, he took 15 wickets in the five matches, a new record for the most in a bilateral series, and was named the Player-of-the-Series.

Left-arm pacer Sheldon Cottrell (up 10 places to 31st) is another West Indies bowler to move up in Wednesday’s update while England spinner Moeen Ali (up three places to 32nd) and Liam Livingston (up 33 places to 68th) have also advanced.

In the ranking for batters, Nicholas Pooran is up eight places to 18th after scoring 113 runs in the three matches including a knock of 70, while opener Brandon King (up 25 places to 58th) and West Indies captain Kieron Pollard (up 15 places to 60th) have also advanced. King made a stylish 52 not out in the first match as West Indies won easily, while Pollard had a crucial 41 not out off 25 balls in the final match.

“This definitely means a lot to me, because I put a lot of work into my craft. I work day in and day out, so moving up the rankings is important. The ultimate goal is to be the best. I do pay attention to it (the rankings) because it is a good way to track your growth,” Pooran said.

Rovman Powell made the most of his return to the team with a brilliant 107 in the third matchmaking him the third West Indian to record a century in this format. He followed up with 35 not out off 17 balls in the last game.

Speaking at the end of the enthralling series, West Indies assistant coach Roddy Estwick said the improvement shown was extremely pleasing.

“After the last couple of months that we’ve had, it’s really pleasing that we’ve won a series. Improvement for me is actually more important than winning the series because you’ve got to focus on getting to the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 and doing a lot better than we did in the last one,” he said.

“The crowds coming back to the stadium is very important. The players were a lot freer this time around. The bubble was still there but a lot more relaxed and you could see the players responding to it so credit to the medical staff of the Cricket West Indies.

“Akeal Hosein was really brilliant for us when the chips were down along with Fabian Allen. They turned the tide, put England under pressure, continued to get wickets and that’s all we can ask, that people put their hands up when they need to and lead and fight and battle.”

The West Indies will head back to the silence of an empty stadium for part of its tour of India following the announcement that the upcoming One Day International series will be played behind closed doors.

In addition to the cricket, the West Indies most recently concluded series against England looked like a rollicking good time.  Vaccinated spectators were allowed to enter the Kensington Oval and added plenty to the atmosphere.

The team’s tour of India will begin with three One Day International’s at the Narendra Modi Stadium, scheduled between February 6 to 11.  The Gujarat Cricket Association, however, confirmed that due to the current situation with the Covid-19 pandemic the match will be played behind closed doors.

“We are all set to host West Indies Tour of India ODI Series 2022. 1st ODI on 6th of Feb will be a very special and historic match as India will be playing it’s 1000th ODI. The Indian team will be the first cricket team in the world to achieve this feat. @BCCI #INDvsWI #teamindia,” the GCA said via its official Twitter account.

“Considering the current situation, all the matches will be played behind the closed doors,” the state cricket body said in another tweet.

Following the ODI series, the teams will play a three-match T20 International series in Kolkata, for which the West Bengal government has allowed 75 percent crowd attendance.

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.

It was a special Sunday night at the Kensington Oval in Barbados as the West Indies defeated England by 17 runs in the fifth T20 International to win the Betway series 3-2.

Former West Indies Test and ODI captain Jason Holder was the hero of the day with four wickets in four balls in the final over as the West Indies defended their score of 179-4.

Not surprisingly, Holder was chuffed.

“What a real night last night. I just want to thank each and every fan that came to the stadium yesterday. It was a wonderful feeling seeing everyone back in the stands cheering," he while speaking with the media Monday morning. "Special thank you also to the supporters who travelled all the way from England to support their team. I think both teams played a really good series and it’s good to see the way it ended.”

Holder, who was voted Man-of-the-Series after an excellent return of 15 wickets in five matches, was pleased with the attitude of the team that saw them bounce back from a disappointing 2-1 ODI series defeat to Ireland earlier in January.

“I think it’s been great. After the start we had against Ireland in Jamaica and everybody was really down and deflated, to see the way we bounced back against England, it just shows the character in the dressing room. I think we really pulled together and it’s the first time in a long time it’s felt that close in the dressing room. It’s a great feeling,” he said.

“Hopefully we can continue this and build something special. I think this group has to be the group now, with such young and talented players, to become even closer and get better. I think if we do that, the future of West Indies cricket would be in good hands.”

The West Indies next assignment will be a white-ball tour of India where they will play three ODIs and three T20Is beginning on February 6.

“I think this series is a big series. India, for me, is the best all-round cricket team in the world and they’ve proven that over the last couple of years so to go in their backyard and beat them is not going to be an easy feat but it’s not impossible,” Holder said.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) and Apex Group have announced an extended partnership which will see Apex Group become the title sponsor of the three-match Apex Test Series between West Indies and England in March 2022.

Apex Group, a global provider of financial, sustainability and environmental services, will feature prominently on the global television broadcast, as well as prime pitch and wicket branding placements, and the Apex logo will also appear on the breast of the West Indies Test kit for the duration of the Apex Test Series. Apex will be granted access to the West Indies team for marketing activation and content and will deliver several sustainability initiatives involving the participation of West Indies players.

CWI’s and Apex Sustainability Partnership commenced in October 2021, ahead of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup with the Apex brand appearing on the West Indies’ ICC T20 World Cup shirt. Apex is providing sustainability and environmental advisory services over a three-year period as CWI’s Exclusive Sustainability Partner. By providing CWI with annual carbon footprint assessments, Apex will help lead the way in driving sustainability in cricket across the region by supporting CWI in creating an action plan to reduce and offset climate-altering outputs, including international travel.

The Apex Test Series will be played for the newly-minted Richards-Botham Trophy, named in honour of legends Sir Vivian Richards and Lord Ian Botham. The Apex Test Series opens appropriately at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua from March 8-12, followed by the second Apex Test at Kensington Oval, Barbados from March 16-20. The third and final contest will be at the idyllic Grenada National Stadium from March 24-28. All three Apex Test matches are part of the ICC World Test Championship with both West Indies and England vying for points to challenge for qualification for the World Test Championship final in 2023.

“We’re delighted to build on our growing relationship with Apex for the upcoming Apex Test Series, which continues to be the most anticipated and highest-profile international sports event in the Caribbean,” said CWI CEO Johnny Grave.

“With the West Indies versus England Test rivalry dating back nearly one hundred years, this deeper partnership with Apex enables CWI to make cricket more sustainable as we move towards a second century of West Indies cricket and build the next generation of cricketers across the Caribbean.”

Meanwhile, Peter Hughes, Founder and CEO of Apex Group said this is an important partnership for his company.

“Following a challenging two years for sport, we are pleased to be a part of the return of International Test Cricket hosted in the West Indies,” he said.

“This is an important partnership for us, as we look forward to further leveraging the combined global platform Apex Group and the West Indies represent, to raise awareness for driving greater environmental sustainability in the sport; for fans, players and future generations.”

Jason Holder sensationally came up trumps at the end as he took four wickets in succession to help secure the West Indies a 17-run victory over England in the final T20I that sealed a 3-2 series win.

West Indies skipper Kieron Pollard had won the toss and elected to bat, with the hosts posting 179-4, with England falling short in reply, bowled out for 162 in the 20th over with Player of the Match Holder (27-5) decisive with a double hat-trick in the final over.

After an encouraging start, West Indies did suffer a minor wobble as they lost wickets in consecutive overs, with Kyle Mayers (31) and Romario Shepherd (six) falling in the sixth and seventh, giving England a boost.

Brandon King (34) was the next to go as he was caught at the rope, and Nicholas Pooran (21) was dismissed in the 14th over, with West Indies looking solid if unspectacular ahead of the final five overs of their batting innings.

It was then that they really picked up the slack, with Pollard (41 not out) and Rovman Powell (35 not out) accumulating runs at a much greater rate, their fifth-wicket stand of 74 ultimately integral in the grand scheme of things.

The total of 180 certainly did not look unassailable for England and they reached the halfway stage at 86-2 having only lost Jason Roy (eight) and Tom Banton (16), with James Vince in fine form.

The wickets of Moeen Ali (14) and Liam Livingstone (six) followed just a few minutes apart, and while Vince (55) reached his half-century, he too departed in the 14th as a top-edged slog fell short of the boundary from Akeal Hosein (30-4).

The excellent Sam Billings (41) at least got England into a position where they were still alive in the final over, but they could not meet their target of 20 in six balls as Holder's incredible haul clinched the series.

Holder's historic heroics

Having almost looked without hope, England did make things a little tense towards the end – but what a performance from Holder.

Just when West Indies needed the ultimate display of experience, Holder took over in style. His hat-trick was the Windies' first in men's T20Is, and then he went one better. It was a truly memorable end to the series.

Billings deserving of praise

Although he was not England's highest scorer, Billings did play a vital role in keeping them in contention.

His 41 off 28 balls meant England were still in the hunt in the final over. A poorer showing could have seen them fold much earlier – he can leave with his head held high.

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.”  

England secured a 34-run win over the West Indies in the fourth Betway T20 International at the Kensington Oval today to tie the five-match series 2-2.

West Indies captain Kieron Pollard won the toss and chose to field, and the home side had early success when Jason Holder removed the man who got 73 for England in the last match, Tom Banton, for just four to leave the visitors 8-1.

Jason Roy and James Vince then put on 85 for the second wicket before Roy was dismissed in the 12th over for 52 off 42 balls.

Vince was next to go for 34 in the 13th over to leave the tourists 97-3.

A 65-run fourth-wicket partnership between stand-in captain Moeen Ali and Liam Livingstone then carried the English to 162-4 before Livingstone was dismissed in the 19th over for 16.

Ali produced some brilliant late innings hitting before he was eventually dismissed for 63 off just 28 balls in the last over.

England’s innings eventually ended on 193-6 after their 20 overs.

Jason Holder finished with 3-44 from his four overs for the Windies.

In the chase, openers Brandon King and Kyle Mayers got off to a fast start reaching 64 before Mayers was dismissed in the eighth over for a well-played 40 off 23 balls.

King then fell in the 10th over for 26 to leave the West Indies 69-2.

After 10 overs, the West Indies were 76-2 needing 118 more to win from 60 balls with Nicholas Pooran and Rovman Powell at the crease on four and five, respectively.

Powell was unable to replicate his heroics from the third T20I after being dismissed for five by Adil Rashid in the 11th over.

After two massive sixes, Pooran was the next to go for 22 in the 14th over to leave the West Indies 97-4, needing 97 more runs to win off 39 balls.

Some brilliant hitting from Jason Holder meant that after 16 overs, the West Indies were 133-4, needing 61 off 24 balls to win with Holder on 29 and captain Kieron Pollard on 3.

Holder then went for 36 in the 18th over to leave the Windies 144-5 needing 50 from 16 balls to win.

The target eventually proved to be too much for the West Indies who ended on 159-5 off their 20 overs.

Ali followed up his 63 with 2-28 off four overs to cap off an excellent all-round performance, while Reece Topley continued his good form with the ball in the series with 1-21 off his four overs.

The series decider will take place tomorrow.

 

 

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.”

 

West Indies head coach Phil Simmons is pleased to see vice-captain Nicholas Pooran slotting comfortably into the number three role in the team’s recent T20 win against England.

Partnered with man-of-the-match Rovman Powell, Pooran put on a near-perfect display, a combination of power-hitting, game management, and finesse.  The batsman put together a crucial 70 from 43 deliveries, which formed part of a match-winning 122 partnership for the third wicket.

Simmons admits the knock was a good illustration of the type of role the team envisions the batsman is capable of playing.

“It’s been a plan since World Cup.  As we saw, he is understanding his role better and better and yesterday (Wednesday) just showed exactly how we see him controlling the innings,” Simmons told members of the media on Wednesday.

“His communication and control with Rovman was a big plus yesterday,” he added.

Pooran came to the crease following the departure of Brandon King and was part of a 37-run partnership with Shai Hope before joining forces with Powell.

In total, Pooran has played 14 matches batting at the number three position, scoring a total of 356 runs, and has averaged 32.36 so far.

 

 

 

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.”

 

The West Indies are in a position to knock off the number one ranked T20 International team in the world, England, with a win in the fourth T20I of their five-match series on Saturday.

After a 20-run victory on Wednesday, the Caribbean side now leads the series 2-1 with the chance to take an unassailable 3-1 lead on Saturday.

West Indies head coach Phil Simmons says that even with a series win in sight, he is focused on how the team is playing.

“Saturday, if we win the game we’ll win the series so yes, I’d be happy, but I’m happier now with the way that the players are taking on board how we want to play going forward,” Simmons said in a press conference today.

With the ICCT20 World Cup a few months away, the emphasis for the former Ireland and Afghanistan head coach is for the two-time champions to have a much-improved performance from the disaster of the 2021 ICC Men’s T20 Cricket World Cup in the UAE where they won only one of their five group matches and crashed out of the tournament.

“Winning as a whole is a great thing for any team so it’s something that we’re happy with, but for me, at this point in time, it’s about building back the team because at the end of the day, October is another T20 World Cup and, especially with our performances in the last one, we want to get back up to where we normally are. I’m looking at the quality of the cricket we’re playing and how we’re improving rather than just a series win,” Simmons said.

The former West Indies player also commented on Rovman Powell’s brilliant maiden T20 hundred.

“I think it was a brilliant innings from the start. The way he assessed the situation at the beginning is something that we’ve been talking about as a group and I’ve been looking forward to someone doing that in a match and he did that. We’re moving in the right direction,” Simmons added.

 

 

 

 

 

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