Legendary West Indies batsman Viv Richards is confident Nicholas Pooran was the right choice for captain of the One Day  International squad and has backed the player to do well in the position.

Pooran was named as the replacement for all-rounder Kieron Pollard last week, following the latter’s surprise decision to retire from international cricket a few weeks ago.  The decision to appoint the 25-year-old by the Cricket West Indies (CWI) panel of selectors hardly came as a surprise as the players was already being groomed for the position.

Pooran, who had served as Pollard’s vice-captain over the last year, took charge of the team for a series against India earlier this year.  For Richards who himself captained the team between 1980 and 1991, the choice was an obvious one.

“There wasn’t any other choice in my opinion. I think the young man is pretty studious about what he wants to get done. He takes his cricket pretty studiously and I am a fan of Nicholas Pooran,” Richards told the Antigua Observer.

The Master Blaster believes the player has come a long way since making his debut for the team in 2016 and has now blossomed into the role.

“Early in his career I guess there was some immaturity … but having been through the mill and where he’s at now, I think he is the perfect choice as captain.”

West Indies T20 star Chris Gayle has revealed that he skipped this season’s India Premier League (IPL) draft because he did feel like he was getting the respect he deserved.

The 42-year-old has been one of the tournament’s most successful and recognisable players since first appearing at the tournament in 2009.  The batsman, however, struggled to find his way last season while representing the Punjab Kings, managing just 193 runs from 10 games.

In addition, the batsman also made the headline after being surprisingly dropped on his birthday and eventually left the tournament early.  In the previous season, Gayle eventually scored an impressive 288 in 7 games but was left out of the team for the first 6 matches.

“For the last couple of years, the way the IPL went about, I felt like I wasn’t treated properly.  So I thought ‘okay, you (Gayle) didn’t get the respect you deserved after you did so much for the sport and IPL,” Gayle told The Mirror UK.

“So, I said ‘okay, that’s it, I’m not going to bother to enter the draft,’ so I left it as it is. There is always going to be life after cricket so I’m just trying to adapt to normality,” he added.

Much like his international career, however, Gayle does not believe his tenure in the IPL is over and claims he could return next season.

“Next year I’m coming back, they need me! I’ve represented three teams in the IPL, Kolkata, RCB, and Punjab. Between RCB and Punjab, I would love to get a title, with one of those two teams. I had a great stint with RCB where I was more successful within the IPL and Punjab, they’ve been good. I love to explore and I love challenges so let’s see what happens,” the 42-year-old said.

The India tour of the West Indies is expected to bowl off on July 22, with matches scheduled to take place in Trinidad, St Kitts, and the United States.

According to reports, the tour is expected to consist of three ODIs and five T20Is and should be the first major test for new West Indies skipper Nicholas Pooran.  Pooran took charge of the team last week, following the retirement of all-rounder Kieron Pollard.

The first of the five-match T20I matches will be played at the Brian Charles Lara Stadium on July 29, and that should be followed by two encounters at Warner Park in St Kitts and Nevis between August 1 and 2.

The last two matches will also be held on back-to-back days, but that venue will be in Florida on August 6 and 7.

Things will get underway with the 50-over matches, which will be conducted at Trinidad’s Queen Park Oval on July 22, 24, and 27.

West Indies head coach Phil Simmons insists he understands and respects the decision of recently retired captain Kieron Pollard but insists the player’s passion and desire will be sorely missed.

After nearly 16-years representing the regional team and three years in charge of both the One Day International (ODI) and T20 squads, the 34-year-old Pollard announced his decision to step away from international cricket last week.

“Skipper it is sad to see you retire from the maroon shirt so early…I completely understand,” Simmons said, addressing the issue via Facebook.

“Your ability to give players your backing and trust to deliver and your strong leadership both on and off the field was a joy to work with,” he added.

Pollard took charge of both squads in 2019 and experienced mixed fortunes during his tenure.  The T20 squad lost 21 of 39 matches and had a disastrous defense of its World Cup title.  The ODI squad on the other hand fared better, winning 13 and losing 11 of 21 matches played.  Still, Simmons hailed Pollard as a positive force for pushing players to reach their full potential and having a genuine desire to see the team do well.

“Your passion for pushing players to build on skills and knowledge of the game and more. Your unwillingness to settle for mediocrity was a pleasure to work with,” Simmons said.

“Your undoubted passion for the game and especially the Maroon Shirt together with your desire to bring success to the West Indies cricket team henceforth Cricket West Indies will be missed. You will be missed.”

Recently retired West Indies captain Kieron Pollard has faced his fair share of critics but ends his international career with one of the highest win percentages of any captain to lead the One Day International (ODI) team in the last 20 years.

The 34-year-old, who took charge of the ODI team in September 2019, called time on an international career that spanned some 16 years and a three-year spell in charge of two regional teams.  In ODI’s, Pollard led the team for 24 games, winning 13, losing 11, and drawing none for a win percentage of 54.17.

 Alone that would not seem so impressive, turns out that’s not so bad, as far as West Indies captains go.  Pollard’s win percentage puts him ahead of Dwayne Bravo (44.44), Darren Sammy (36.00), and Jason Holder (27.91).  The big-hitters win percentage also puts him above the like of legends Brian Lara, who won 47.20 percent of his games, and Chris Gayle who had a 32.08 win ratio.

His success rate for T20s has been much less than the ODI’s.  Pollard’s 33.33-win ratio puts him well behind Sammy at 59.57, Bravo at 50 percent, Gayle at 41.18 percent, and Carlos Braithwaite at 36.67.

West Indies legend, Sir Andy Roberts, has called for more aggression from the Caribbean fast bowlers ahead of the third and decisive Test against England, which bowls off in Grenada on Wednesday.

So far, bowlers have rarely managed to gain the ascendancy with the two previous pitches in Antigua and Barbados offering very little in the way of assistance.  In the previous Test, a total of 1,238 runs were scored, including a deflating 507 for 9 declared scored by England in the first innings.

If the West Indies are to break the deadlock on the back of two prior draws, Roberts believes the region’s pace bowlers must give more effort at the crease to unsettle the English batsmen.

“Aggressive doesn’t mean you have to be up in somebody’s face, but you can be aggressive in your approach, you can be aggressive in your steering because that’s one of the things I did. I never swore but when I looked at you and I see you turn away, then I say ‘yes, I have you because you can’t look me in the eye’, and that is what is required,” Roberts told the Good Morning Jojo Radio program.

“I see many West Indian fast bowlers going back to the days of Mervyn Dillion, Reon King, and when they get hit for boundaries they smile, they don’t get upset,” he added.

“The ball doesn’t come off the pitch faster than you release it, so if you’re a fast bowler then it means you’re a fast bowler, you can’t be a fast bowler and a fast-medium bowler. What is being taught today is line and length and bowl fourth and fifth stump outside the off stump, but instead of attacking the batsman, attacking the stumps, they are bowling outside of off stump, which is what they practice so sometimes it seems as though the coaches are at fault sometimes. In order to get the best out of the fast bowlers, you have to encourage them to bowl fast.”

West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite insists he has not completely turned his back on the shorter formats of cricket, despite sole dedication to red-ball cricket for the past several years.

Few can argue that the format has certainly suited the opener.  On Saturday, against England, Brathwaite scored his 10th international century, and the batsman has been far and away the team’s most consistent player over the last five years.  Overall, it is Brathwaite who has scored the most runs during the period with 1730.

Brathwaite has never played a T20 international for the West Indies and has not played a One Day International since 2017.  The formats could, however, pique his interest in the future.

“It’s just unfortunate that every time we have a Test series it’s during our 50 over tournament.  So, I don’t get an opportunity to perform in that format,” Brathwaite told members of the media on Saturday.

“I still love to play 50 over cricket, it’s an aspiration of mine but obviously Test cricket I have been fighting hard for the last few years and I really enjoy it, the grind, but at some point, I would love to get back into ODI cricket,” he added.

“T20 as well, obviously you get into 50 over and show progress there and then get into T20.  It will be tough but I’m still looking to get there.”

 

West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite hopes to see a more efficient performance from the bowling line-up as the team eyes pulling ahead of England when the three-match Test series resumes on Monday.

In the opening match, a total of 1,182 runs were scored over five days in a stern examination of bowlers from both teams.  Things did not start out that way, however, as the Windies took four wickets at the top of the first innings only for Jonny Bairstow to lead England’s recovery in the middle overs.

“I think we just have to be a bit more disciplined in the middle periods, probably a little tighter, under three runs an over, I think.  Creating that pressure will help to get more wickets in the middle overs,” Brathwaite told members of the media on Tuesday.

The West Indies will have fond recent memories of facing the English in Barbados having secured a massive 381 run win when the teams last met at the venue in 2019.  Brathwaite was quick to point out, however, that the team would not be preoccupied with history.

 “I think it’s history, to be honest, and we really have to look more to the future and be more disciplined.  I think we can draw from some things we did well, so of the players for sure, but I think we have to buckle down and start fresh.”

Brilliant centuries from Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur fueled India Women to a massive win over West Indies Women at the ICC Women’s World Cup on Saturday.

The loss was the first for the Caribbean team who began the tournament with wins over New Zealand and England.  The powerful combination of Mandhana and Kaur, however, typified an attacking India and set the Windies a daunting 318 for a third straight win, which would always have been a difficult scenario.

In pursuit, the West Indies did, however, get off to a flyer with opener Deandra Dottin and Hayley Matthews smashing the India bowlers around the ground.  Suffering from back issues Dottin was particularly aggressive as she looked to deal in boundaries to avoid scampering between the wickets.  In fact, the all-rounder reached her fifty in just 35 balls and the Windies were 81 without loss at the end of the Powerplay.

Spinner Sneh Rana, however, eventually got the breakthrough as Dottin's miscalculated sweep attempt was caught.  Facing the massive target, wickets continued to tumble for the West Indies with Meghna Singh joining Rana in the attack to pick up the wickets of Kycia Knight and Stafanie Taylor.  Rana then dismissed Matthews.

With the required run-rate around seven, the pressure of run-scoring got to the rest of the Windies batting line-up, which saw the team bundled out for just 162, still 156 runs short.

Earlier Mandhana smashed 123 from 119 balls and Harmanpreet contributed 109 from just 107 deliveries.  Their partnership was the highest by any Indian duo at a Women's Cricket World Cup, beating Thirush Kamini and Punam Raut's 175-run opening stand against the West Indies at the 2013 edition of the tournament.

West Indies pace bowler Shakera Selman has hailed the growth of all-rounder Deandra Dottin and the prominent role she continues to play not just on the pitch but increasingly these days also off it.

With three One Day International 100s to her name, the 30-year-old has been undoubtedly been one of the team’s most influential players since making her debut in 2008.  On the back of recent performances, which were critical in the team’s wins over New Zealand and then England, it is clear that that much hasn’t changed.  But at least some things have

According to Selman, in addition to her on-field heroics, Dottin, like so many great players, has matured not just into the role of serving as a role model for the next generation, but also in terms of imparting tactical know-how whenever possible.

“Deandra has grown tremendously as a leader over the past few years.  She was the vice-captain when we were back in England in 2020 and I think given that responsibility she has grown tremendously,” Selman told members of the media on Friday.

“We’ve seen helping a lot with the youngsters, she is a bit aggressive and that helps in the field, helps as a batter.  She is always offering advice to all the youngsters, even the senior players.  Now she is in conversation with Stafanie Taylor on the field when we are trying to make crucial decisions,” she added.

Dottin and the West Indies will look for a third straight win in a row when they take on India on Friday night at 8:00 pm.   

 

Veteran West Indies Women’s spinner and vice-captain Anisa Mohammed has hailed the match-changing impact of all-rounder Deandra Dottin on the back of the team’s second straight win at the ICC Women’s World Cup.

By her normal standards, Dottin has had an average start to the tournament with the bat, scoring just 43 in two matches.  An abundance of caution in regard to a recent shoulder injury also means the player has not bowled a lot of overs either.  Despite that, however, Dottin has a knack for showing up when her team needs her.

On Wednesday, with England off to a solid start in pursuit of a below-par West Indies score of 225 for 6, Dottin flew high, at full stretch and with one hand, to pluck a hard cut shot from opener Laura Winfield-Hill out of the sky and give the team a crucial breakthrough.

In the team’s first match, against New Zealand, with the hosts needing just six in the last over Dottin, who had not bowled for the whole match, demanded the ball and promptly took two wickets and effected a run out to secure a dramatic win for the team.

“Deandra is one of the persons that set a high standard for herself in whatever aspect of the game she plays…I think that was a crucial moment in the game,” Mohammed told members of the media.

“Deandra is a game-changer, whether it is with bat or ball or in the field.  It was a spectacular catch and I know we can expect more from Deandra.”

A cracking half-century from Shemaine Campbelle and a decisive late-match spell from experienced spinner Anisa Mohammed propelled the West Indies Women to a narrow 7-run win over England and a second straight win at the ICC Women’s World Cup.

In a game that featured several swings in momentum, England seemed on course for victory after Sophie Ecclestone and Kate Cross combined to put on 61 for the ninth wicket.

In the last three overs, England needed just nine runs for victory and still had two wickets in hand.  In the 48th over Eccelstone went after Mohammed who missed a return catch but inadvertently run out Cross at the non-striker's end.  The experienced Anya Shrubsole was then bowled by the spinner to leave England all out on 218 and set off jubilant celebrations.

In their turn at the crease, the West Indies were off to an excellent start and seemed set for a big target with openers Hayley Matthews (45) and Deandra Dottin (31) putting 81 on the board, with 58 of those runs coming during the opening powerplay.

England spinner Ecclestone, however, was introduced into the attack with great effect and turned the match on its head during an eventful 21st over as the West Indies lost three wickets in five deliveries.

Matthews was the first to go after edging Ecclestone to Anya Shrubsole and Dottin was run out three balls later, courtesy of some excellent fielding from the experienced Danni Wyatt.

The West Indies then lost skipper Stafanie Taylor first ball as Ecclestone gave England the ascendancy, but Campbelle and Chedean Nation (49*) launched a furious fightback with an impressive 123-run stand for the fifth wicket.  

Campbelle eventually fell to Nat Sciver in the penultimate over, but the West Indies had recovered sufficiently from a mid-innings collapse eventually ending with a score of 225 for 6.  Ecclestone ended with figures of 3 for 20.

The win moved the Caribbean team up to second in the table, while England will have plenty of work to do if they are to repeat their 2017 heroics.

 

West Indies fast bowler, Chinelle Henry, insists the team is determined to take things one game at a time after a dizzying start to the ICC Women's World Cup, which saw them net a thrilling win over hosts New Zealand.

On the back of a fine century from opener Hayley Matthews and crunch-death bowling from all-rounder Deandra Dottin, the team snatched a narrow 3-run win over the Kiwis in their first match. 

The Windies return to action Tuesday, at 5:00 pm, for the first time since that game, and Henry insists they will head into the contest grounded and focused on the task at hand.  England will be looking to get on the board after losing their first encounter against Australia.

“For us, it really is game by game. That first game against New Zealand - Yes, we had discussions with the coaching staff. We had discussions with everybody - but as a team, you know going out there we just had the discussions among ourselves that doesn't matter what happened,” Henry said on Monday.

“We just have - once everybody takes up the responsibility that I am going to do it for the team, then collectively we will just - we all will do it for the team. And I think that's the mentality we have brought into this team going into this World Cup - that if every single player put up their hand and be like, okay, today's my day, then when all 11 players come together collectively, we will and can beat anything.”

A former member of the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB) has been ordered to play former West Indies cricketer Dinanath Ramnarine US$122,768.85 in damages for a 2016 Facebook post, which was found to be libelous.

Rafi Ali who was president of the Esmeralda Cricket Club and a nominated member of the TTCB made the comments while Ramnarine was a member of the Sports Company of Trinidad and Tobago.

In addressing the matter, Master of the High Court Martha Alexander insisted that Ali acted deliberately, jeeringly, and maliciously.  She believed the judgment would “serve to caution any defendant who uses Facebook or any other social media platform to libel and destroy a claimant’s reputation that he will feel the punitive arm of the court acting to deter such behaviour.”

She added that Ali’s Facebook statement was posted to destroy Ramnarine’s reputation.

“And the court must send a message that such reckless abuse of social media platforms must stop.  The defendant before this court will not be allowed to use Facebook to boost his popularity at the claimant’s expense or ‘to sell another man’s reputation for profit.”

The fees amounted to US$114,382 in damages, plus interest and an additional US$8,386 in legal fees.

West Indies middle-order batsman Nkrumah Bonner insists the approach toward England will be the same despite the visitors missing two of their most experienced fast bowlers in Stuart Broad and James Anderson.

The duo was unexpectedly dropped for the tour of the Caribbean, albeit being England’s leading wicket-takers. Since 2004, Anderson has played 22 matches against the West Indies and taken 87 wickets, the most by any England player, 36 of those wickets have come in 10 matches in the Caribbean.  His best figures of 7 for 49 also came against the West Indies in 2017.

 Broad, who first featured against the West Indies in 2009, has gone on to take 73 wickets.  Despite the absence of the two dominant bowlers that have wreaked havoc in the team's batting line-up over the years, however, Bonner insists the team’s mental approach will not be different as the English still have plenty of firepower.

“It’s a Test match nevertheless, whether Anderson or Broad are playing.  Obviously, they still have quality bowlers and the same application is required,” Bonner told members of the media on Saturday.

“In every series, it’s the same approach and this one will be no different,” he added.

Bonner insists he is looking forward to the challenge of facing England.

“After coming from India, I played some four-day games in Barbados.  I was able to spend some time at the crease and obviously coming into this camp I’ve done a lot of hard work as well, and I’m looking forward to playing against England.  It will be an important series for us.”

 

 

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