West Indies all-rounder Keemo Paul has his heart set on a return to international cricket after closing in on peak physical condition.

Despite being one of the region’s top prospects, the 23-year-old has not played for the West Indies since 2020.  Paul opted out of the team’s tour of England in 2020 but appeared against New Zealand in T20 internationals at the end of that same year.  He has not been seen on the international stage since.

The player has, however, in the meantime taken part in a few T20 leagues and with the regional 4-day tournament looming on the horizon, Paul will be looking to make a statement.  According to reports, the player recently turned in excellent scores in a fitness test conducted in Guyana recently.

 “I am feeling excellent, I think I needed this to get back out there and bowl a few overs to get the feel of four-day cricket. My body is responding really well and for me personally, I am feeling really happy with where I am right now. I bowled a few overs on the trot, I was not feeling tired, I just wanted to put a few balls in the right area and it’s coming out really nice and I am happy with that,” Paul recently told the Guyana Times.

“I was in the Sri Lankan Premier League, it was not the best of tournaments for me, but it is always a learning experience for me; you go to these different leagues in the different continents and you play on different pitches, you gain a lot of experience so that was a major learning curve for me,” he added.

“My body is starting to feel like where it was when I first started playing. I am in the gym and I am trying not to worry about injuries. I just want to try and enjoy my cricket as best as I can. I want to represent my country and hopefully, back to the West Indies team sometime soon.”

In the 2018-2019 season, his last full season in the four-day competition Paul claimed 42 wickets in 10 matches, while scoring 260 runs.

 

Cricket West Indies (CWI) and Cricket Ireland (CI) have confirmed changes to the match schedule for the ongoing CG Insurance One-Day International Series.

The second CG Insurance ODI will now be played on Thursday, January 13 with the third and final CG Insurance ODI on Sunday 16 January at Sabina Park.

Both matches will begin 9:30 am Jamaica time.

The rescheduling occurred following five COVID-19 positive cases, as well as injuries in the Ireland camp leaving the Ireland squad depleted ahead of the 2nd CG Insurance ODI which was originally was scheduled for Tuesday, January 11.

As a consequence, the one-off CG Insurance T20 International has been cancelled to allow for this revised schedule and to avoid impact on the teams’ travel plans and subsequent fixtures.

These ODI matches form part of the ICC ODI Super League with both teams having the opportunity to win points and become one of the top seven teams, excluding hosts India, to gain automatic qualification for the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup.

In the standings, last updated on September 13, 2021, Ireland sit fourth with 50 points while the West Indies are eight with 40 points.

West Indies lead the three-match series 1-0 following their 24-run victory in the first CG Insurance ODI on Saturday.

 

Cricket West Indies (CWI) and Cricket Ireland (CI) issued a joint statement today announcing the postponement of the second CG Insurance One-Day International scheduled for January 11 between the two teams.

They came to the decision after two further positive COVID-19 cases were reported in the Ireland camp following recent testing, as well as two players being ruled out due to injury, resulting in Ireland having a severely depleted squad.

CWI and CI are in discussions to review the match schedule and are working to explore all possibilities for the series to be completed.

The five members of the Ireland team who have returned positive COVID-19 results remain in isolation under the care and supervision of the medical teams.

Further updates will be provided by CWI and CI as soon as possible.

West Indies are 1-0 up in the series after winning the first ODI by 24 runs on Saturday.

 

 

It has been an interesting start to the 2022 New Year for West Indies cricket.  The first days of 2022 have produced some exciting appointments to the West Indies Selections Panel, ongoing fitness concerns surrounding at least one key player, as well as a few very enlightening comments from head coach Phil Simmons.

Most West Indies cricket fans would have been excited by Cricket West Indies’ successive announcements of the appointments of the Rt. Hon. Dr. Desmond Haynes and Ramnaresh Sarwan, as the Selection Chairman and Member replacements for the recently deposed Roger Harper and Miles Bascombe.

The reputations of both Haynes and Sarwan, within both the Region and the wider cricketing world, as very well respected, knowledgeable, high calibre former West Indies players are undeniably solid.

The announcements of their respective appointments would have created a sense of optimism that some of the bizarre selection choices that were far too often characteristic of the previous panel, would now not be repeated. With the West Indies about to begin its all-important quest for qualification at two forthcoming World Cups, this year’s T20 as well as the 2023 50 overs, wisdom-guided selection of the best possible teams will be of immeasurable value.

The Haynes, Sarwan appointments also seem to be indicative of a Cricket West Indies decision to continue with the panel’s 3-person composition, with head coach Phil Simmons as the additional selector.  This despite the suggestion that had been made by several individuals including ourselves, that the process of selecting the very best West Indies teams would be much better served by a reversion to the former, far more successful, utilization of a five-member panel.

It will indeed be very interesting to see what the panel’s decided size will actually be. Regardless of its final membership size, one of the issues the new selection panel will have to address almost immediately is that of the continuing issues surrounding the fitness of West Indies cricketers.

Both Haynes and Sarwan would have been alarmed by the reported failure of two West Indies selection contention players, Chanderpaul Hemraj and Shimron Hetmeyer, to pass the Guyana Cricket Board’s (GCB) most recent fitness tests. The tests were administered during the first week of January 2022, as part of the Guyana National team’s preparation for its participation in the forthcoming Regional four-day competition. Kudos to Guyana’s head coach Esuan Crandon for having made those results public.

Given his encouraging performances at the recent 2021 ICC T20 World Cup, as well as his unquestionable potential to be one of the very brightest future stars of West Indies cricket, Hetmyer’s ongoing fitness challenges have long since become a matter of grave concern. Now still only a 25-year-old, Hetmeyer was West Indies' leading run-scorer in their disappointing 2021 T20 World Cup campaign. He has, however, now been left out of the West Indies ODI and T20 squads to play Ireland and England after failing the GCB fitness test.

Head Coach Phil Simmons’ reaction to Hetmeyer’s most recent fitness test failure was to describe it as a “heart-wrenching indication of his continuing inclination to be letting himself and his international team-mates down by paying insufficient attention to his physical fitness!” Hetmyer has now been omitted from several West Indies squads on fitness grounds, having also missed the recent tour of Pakistan due to personal reasons.

Prior to the Hetmyer exclusion, the former West Indies batting coach Toby Radford had, however, described the West Indies selection-related fitness testing protocols as being inconsistent. According to Radford, the existing policies are a convenient excuse for either omitting or excluding specific players.

“I do not think there is a consistency with the fitness testing and the way it has been used. It seems to me (that) if they want to pick a player, they give him a wavier! If on the other hand, they do not want to pick a certain player, they give the excuse that the guy is not fit. We have seen, with the T20 World Cup, (that) there were players who were selected that obviously did not pass any fitness test!

Radford has also advocated CWI’s adoption of an above-board, robust selection process with consistent fitness testing. 

 “Everyone has to be treated the same way and tested in an identical manner on the same day. At the moment, it is being used to select whoever they CWI want to have included in the respective teams,” Radford said.

We certainly agree wholeheartedly with Toby Radford’s comments. To those, we would now add the suggestion that the Desmond Haynes-led Panel should, as its very first order of business, announce the implementation of a new selection-related fitness policy.

Our suggested policy would require all CWI contracted players, as well as those others who are in contention for immediate selection to West Indies teams, to be tested by their respective Regional Boards, four times each year with all of the tests being conducted on the same day. Failure by any player to meet the established required, uniform standard would not only result in their exclusion from selection consideration but would also result in the immediate suspension of their contractual benefits. Such penalties would, however, only remain in effect until the affected player had improved their results to the required standard.

With the squads of the immediately forthcoming Ireland and England white-ball series having already been selected, West Indies cricket followers’ attention towards the Desmond Haynes led new selection panel should now be whether it does indeed issue any sort of definitive statement in terms of what its approach towards fitness will be. Attention should, however, also be focused on the actual performances of the selected players during the forthcoming series, and certainly in terms of their execution of the “still lacking basic skills,” according to Simmons.

Now more than halfway through his four-year contract, Simmons’ biggest current concern, as expressed during a most recent media conference, is the need for the players under his charge to do the small things better.

 “Running between the wickets is one aspect of the batting that has let us down, and it is an area that the team will be placing a lot of emphasis on going forward. Fielding is another key area in which we want to see improvement!”

More than two years into the job and our head and batting coaches are still seeking improvements in the most fundamental requirements of strike rotation and pressure fielding. Meanwhile, their associate in charge of the bowlers, Roddy Estwick, likewise speaks publicly of the need for those under his guidance to be more disciplined.

Isn’t this now the most glaringly damning evidence of their respective incompetences? If not, then surely the Pope cannot be Catholic!

A new year, fresh Selection Panel members but the same old coaching cadre! Should we now expect the results to be any better than those that were produced in 2021?

 

 

Windies middle-order batsman, Shamarh Brooks, admits it was a crushing blow to narrowly miss out on a debut ODI century but insists it is just part of a learning curve.

Brooks put on a solid performance that proved the backbone of a close 24-run win in the opening match of the series on Sunday

Together with Windies skipper Kieron Pollard, Brooks put 155 runs on the board for the 5th wicket, which proved critical in stabilisng the team’s middle-order after floundering at 4 for 62.

On 93 the player seemed destined to be only the second West Indian to make an ODI century on debut but was out lbw off the bowling of Mark Adair.

“Word can’t express (how disappointing it was) but at the end of the day it was still my first game and I’m still happy with the score that I got.  It’s just unfortunate to miss out on triple figures,” Brooks said.

“I wouldn’t say I panicked in the nervous 90s.  Some people would have been a little more cautious having been set but as we all know it’s a learning curve at this stage.  I’ll take this one on the chin and look to grow from strength to strength,” he added.

The West Indies and Ireland will face off again in the second match on Tuesday.

  

 

Veteran all-rounder Dwyane Bravo will join fellow West Indian Chris Gayle at Fortune Barishal for the upcoming Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) after replacing Sri Lanka's Danushka Gunathilaka.

Gunathilaka was forced to pull out of the tournament after he failed to receive a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC). 

In addition to Gayle, who will be playing for the franchise for the third time, the franchise has also added another two Caribbean players.  Pace bowlers Alzarri Joseph and Obed Mccoy will also be joining the team.

The 38-year-old Bravo, who retired from international cricket following the ICC T20 World Cup earlier this year, has previously represented the Chittagong Kings, Comilla Victorians, and Dhaka Dynamites in the BPL.

The competition, which is scheduled to bowl off on January 21, will be played across three cities and will feature 6 teams.

 

The West Indies secured a 24-run win over Ireland in the first of their three ODIs at Sabina Park today.

In pursuit of 270 for victory, captain Andrew Balbirnie and William Porterfield strode to the crease to begin Ireland’s reply.

Their chase got off to the worst possible start as experienced opener Porterfield was dismissed for a duck by Akeal Hosein in the second over to leave them at 1-1.

Andrew McBrine joined Balbirnie at the crease and the pair carefully carried the score to 30-1 after 10 overs.

McBrine, unfortunately, had to leave the field at the end of the 17th over, on 34 from 50 balls, after being struck on the helmet by Odean Smith with the score on 62-1.

Harry Tector came to the crease to join Balbirnie and the two brought the score to 74-1 at the end of 20 overs with Balbirnie on 31 and Tector on three.

Ireland brought up their hundred with only one wicket down in the 25th over with Balbirnie and Tector on 46 and 12, respectively.

Balbirnie brought up his 13th ODI 50 off 74 balls in the 27th over.

After 30 overs, Ireland was cruising at 134-1 with Balbirnie on 60 and Tector on 32.

Balbirnie (66) and Tector (42) continued scoring freely to bring up Ireland’s 150 in the 33rd over.

Tector brought up his fifth ODI 50 off 62 balls in the 35th over.

At the start of the 36th over, Balbirnie and Tector brought up their 100-partnership.

The West Indies finally got the breakthrough they were looking for when Romario Shepherd removed Balbirnie for 71 off 94 balls in the 37th over to leave Ireland 165-2.

Odean Smith got his first ODI wicket in the 38th over by removing Harry Tector for 53 to leave the tourists 173-3 needing 97 more to win from 75 balls.

Curtis Campher then became Shepherd’s second wicket when he was dismissed for six in the 39th over to leave Ireland 173-4.

After 40 overs, Ireland was 178-4 needing 92 from 60 balls to win with Lorcan Tucker on 3 and George Dockrell on 2.

Tucker was next to go, bowled by Alzarri Joseph for 9 in the 42nd over, to leave the score at 186-5.

Joseph then bowled a perfect yorker to dismiss Gareth Delaney in the 44th over for his second wicket to leave Ireland on 194-6 needing 76 from 37 balls to win.

Neil Rock came in as a concussion substitute for McBrine and helped Ireland bring up their 200 in the 45th over with four wickets in hand.

After a promising partnership with Dockrell, Rock was dismissed by Jason Holder in the 47th over for five to leave Ireland 222-7 needing 48 from 20 balls to win.

Dockrell gave the West Indies something to think about late on with some big shots but was eventually dismissed by Joseph in the 48th over for 30 from 25 balls to leave Ireland on 237-8, needing 33 from 14 to win.

Shepherd then got his third wicket of the innings, removing Craig Young for a duck in the 49th over to leave the score at 239-9.

The win was secured when Nicholas Pooran took a brilliant diving catch on the boundary off Odean Smith to dismiss Josh Little and secure a 24-run victory.

Alzarri Joseph and Romario Shepherd took three wickets each for the West Indies and they were supported by debutant Odean Smith who got two.

Earlier, Ireland won the toss and put the West Indies in to bat.

Shamarh Brooks (93) and captain Kieron Pollard (69) were the chief destroyers as the West Indies finished 269 all out off 48.5 overs, against three-wicket hauls from Mark Adair and Craig Young.

Brooks was voted Player of the Match.

 

 

Well-compiled half-centuries from captain Kieron Pollard and debutant Shamarh Brooks propelled the West Indies to 269 all out from 48.5 overs in the first ODI at Sabina Park today.

After Ireland won the toss and chose to field, vice-captain Shai Hope and debutant Justin Greaves were tasked to open the innings for the home side.

The pair battled to 18-0 from 5.4 overs before Greaves was removed caught off the bowling of pacer Mark Adair for 7.

Nicholas Pooran joined Hope and the pair brought the score to 36-1 after 10 overs with Hope on 17 and Pooran on five.

They reached 59-1 in the 17th over before Pooran was dismissed, caught on the boundary off the bowling of off-spinner Andrew McBrine for 13.

Shai Hope was the next batsman to go, caught by wicketkeeper Lorcan Tucker off the bowling of medium-pacer Curtis Campher for 29 to leave the West Indies 59-3 early in the 18th over.

Roston Chase replaced Hope at the crease and didn’t last long, becoming McBrine’s second victim, for one, leaving the West Indies 62-4 after 19 overs with captain Pollard joining Brooks at the crease.

After 20 overs, the Caribbean side were 66-4 with Brooks on five and Pollard on one.

The same pair were at the crease when the West Indies brought up their 100 in the 27th over with Pollard on 20 and Brooks on 17.

After 30 overs, West Indies were 121-4 with Pollard on 26 and Brooks on 27.

Brooks brought up a debut ODI 50 off 61 balls in the 36th over to move the score along to 159-4.

Pollard followed suit in the 37th over, hitting consecutive sixes off McBrine to bring up his 13th ODI 50 off 51 balls.

With 10 overs remaining, the West Indies were 204-4 with Brooks and Pollard looking comfortable on 70 and 66, respectively.

Pollard finally went for 69 off 66 balls in the 42nd over to leave the Windies 217-5.

Brooks was dismissed narrowly short of a debut hundred in the 45th over, going off the bowling of Mark Adair for 93 from 89 balls to leave the West Indies 238-6 with five overs remaining.

Romario Shepherd was the seventh wicket to fall, caught off the bowling of Craig Young in the 47th over for two to leave the score at 246-7.

More misery followed as Jason Holder went off the very next ball for 13 to leave the Windies 246-8 off 46.5 overs.

Alzarri Joseph was next to go in the 48th over for a duck to leave the score 253-9.

Mark Adair was the pick of the Irish bowlers with 3-38 from his 8.5 overs and he was supported by Craig Young who recovered from an expensive start to his spell to finish with 3-56 from nine overs.

 

 

 

 

Cricket West Indies (CWI), during a meeting of their Board of Directors on Thursday, announced the appointment of former Windies batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan as a Selector to the West Indies Men’s Senior and Youth Selection Panels.

The panels are led by the Most Hon. Dr Desmond Haynes and Robert Haynes respectively.  Sarwan will be stepping down from his current role as Chairman of the Guyana Cricket Board’s Senior Selection Panel to focus on this role and avoid any conflict of interest.

“I am delighted to confirm that Ramnaresh Sarwan has agreed to accept the post of selector on CWI’s Men’s Senior and Youth Panels. He is a student of the game and knows what is required of our young cricketers in order to achieve international success. The Board of Directors are confident that Mr. Sarwan will add enormous value to the cricket system,” said CWI President Ricky Skerritt, reacting to the appointment.

Sarwan, a former West Indies captain who had an international career spanning over a decade, also reacted to his appointment to the panels.

“I want to thank CWI and everyone involved for giving me this opportunity to again serve West Indies cricket, as a member of the selection panels. I’m passionate about the game of cricket and especially West Indies cricket and once asked to contribute, I didn’t hesitate. I look forward to working with my colleagues, The Most Hon. Dr Desmond Haynes and Mr Robert Haynes, and the two Head Coaches, as well as everyone else involved in the development of this sport we love and respect so much,” he said.

Sarwan will be a member of the Men’s Senior and Youth Selection Panels until 30 June 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 81 Test matches, 181 One-Day Internationals, and 18 T20 Internationals for the West Indies between 2000 and 2013.

He scored 5842 runs in Tests, including 15 centuries, and 5804 runs in ODIs, including five centuries, and was a member of the West Indies team which won the ICC Men’s Champions Trophy in 2004.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

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.

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.

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