Windies skipper Jason Holder was adamant he had no issues with the team’s selection, despite a 318-run mauling at the hands of India in the first Test.

Ahead of the series, the omission of spinner Rahkeem Cornwall had furrowed the brows of several fans and pundits alike, following a string of impressive performances at the regional and A-team level.  Some took exception to the inclusion of pace bowler Miguel Cummings, at the expense of the all-rounder Cornwall who they believed could have troubled the Indian line-up.

Holder, however, insisted that there was no issue with the decision to include four fast bowlers in the team’s line-up, which had proven fruitful in a recent series.

 "No, I think team selection was good. We had won the first series early in this year with four fast bowlers and it worked for us,”

“It was difficult for me to change the winning bowling combination. It is a matter of time, sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't."

West Indies will now face India in the second Test of the series at Sabina Park in Kingston from August 30.

West Indies legend Sir Vivian Richards believes veteran T20 player Kieron Pollard would make a better option for team captain than current skipper Carlos Brathwaite.

The 31-year-old Brathwaite was named captain of the squad in 2016, following the controversial dismal of World Cup-winning captain Darren Sammy and his heroics against England in the final.  The Barbadian has, however, struggled since taking charge of the unit, winning just 11 and losing 17 of his matches in charge of the team for a 36 percent win rate.

Despite being out of the squad for a couple of years, Pollard has continued to be one of the game’s most reliable players, recently returning to score 115 in a three-match series against India.  The Windies, however, lost the series 3-0.

“Given his experience in that format, I would have liked to see Kieron Pollard as the best choice for our T20 captain. But he is not, for there are some reasons for that. During the CPL, he is the best with the bat and his fielding talent,” Richards recently told the India Times.

“There is no disrespect to Carlos Brathwaite, but he probably would have been part of the team still. It was a political scenario after Darren Sammy exited the captaincy. Brathwaite is magnificent as an individual and highly competitive, but I know a lot of players in that team who believe Pollard would have been a great choice as captain.”

 

 

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is not taking seriously, an email which purported there was an imminent threat to the Indian cricket team currently in the West Indies on tour.

The Indian cricket team has already gone through three T20 internationals and three One Day Internationals in the Caribbean, with the first match of a Test series set for Antigua on August 22.

The BCCI have contacted authorities in Antigua regarding the threat and will be beefing up security, though the threat is being viewed as a hoax.

“We have briefed the home ministry and shared the email. The embassy in Antigua has also been contacted and briefed. The Mumbai police has also been informed and the security of the Indian team in the West Indies has been beefed up," BCCI CEO Rahul Johri had told Indian media.

Regional all-rounder Rahkeem Cornwall is confident of making an impact for the West Indies in the Test format, having performed consistently at the four-day format for several seasons.

The selection of the 26-year-old Cornwall raised a few brows earlier this month, as many doubt the athlete’s physical conditioning for the longest format. 

Regionally, however, there is very little doubting Cornwall’s record.  The all-rounder was the leading wicket-taker, with 54, in last season’s regional first-class tournament and followed that up with a haul of 23 wickets in List A and first-class games against England Lions earlier in 2018.  In the recent series against the touring India A, Cornwall took an impressive nine wickets in six matches.

"I believe the Test format suits my game because of the consistency a player needs over a long period of time to be successful, and I've enjoyed that challenge so far in my career playing first-class cricket," Cornwall told the Cricket West Indies website.

"The feeling [on getting called up] is great - it's something I've been pushing to achieve for a long time,” he added.

"I've been putting in a lot of work over the last couple of months. I've always pushed myself. I feel I can go on and I think the on-field results I've achieved have shown the progress I'm making."

If selected, Cornwall could make his debut against India when the series bowls off at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium on Thursday.

West Indies legend Sir Vivian Richards has admitted to feeling let down by the Ricky Skerritt-led Cricket West Indies (CWI), following its controversial decision to dismiss the coaching staff ahead of the ICC World Cup.

Less than a month after taking the reins of the association from the four-term president Dave Cameron, the decision was taken to dismiss interim coach Richard Pybus and the entire selection panel.

 The decision was particularly debatable with the ICC World Cup just a few weeks away and the interim-coach and team having put on an outstanding performance against England, the world’s number one team, and eventual World Cup winners only a month prior.

Despite being a huge supporter of the Skerritt slate ahead of it being elected, Richards strongly believed it was a major misstep.

“To be fair I did put my everything behind my support for the individual who is at the helm, but I wasn’t happy with the so-called coming into that particular position and just the way in which subtle little changes were made to get certain individuals in place for them to be managers and coaches of the tour to the World Cup.  I didn’t like the start and I made my point, Richards said.

“I didn’t like the start. I am hoping that the finish is much better than the start.”

West Indies legend Sir Vivian Richards insists that star batsman Chris Gayle could be allowed to retire on his own terms provided he continues to perform at a high level.

The 39-year-old Windies star was thought to have retired following the third One Day International (ODI) against India earlier this week.  Ahead of the match, talk in some quarters surrounded the batsman continued presence in the team, particularly after a poor performance at the ICC World Cup and a combined total of 15 in the two prior games.

The big left-hander, however, gave a stirring response to his critics with a smashing 72 off just 41 deliveries.  In addition, Gayle insisted that he had not announced his retirement following the series, creating a conundrum for the selectors in upcoming ODI series. West Indies bowling legend Curtly Ambrose had suggested that Gayle should step aside to allow the team to focus on new talent, with the next World Cup in mind.  Richards, however, believes Gayle could still be a valuable contributor to the Windies squad.

“Over the years Chris has been a brilliant batsman.  The only worrying thing I have would have with Chris now is if we cannot see the performances that we did in Port of Spain,” Richards said in an exclusive SportsMax Zone interview.  

“We can agree that one particular thing is that he is not as mobile in the field as when he was younger but if he can put in those types of performances, that in my opinion would suggest that we can still have him around to add that type of experience,” he added.

“I love to see class, I appreciate class and Chris brings this.  If he cannot perform like he did on a consistent basis well then we can start thinking other things like whether he should be there or not.”    

Windies captain Jason Holder has bemoaned the team’s inability to take crucial chances following yet another loss to India in the second One Day International (ODI) at Queen’s Park Oval.

India took a 2-0 lead, on the back of a brilliant 114 from Virat Kohli, after securing a 6-wickets win via the DLS method on Tuesday.  Anchored by 72 from talisman Chris Gayle the Windies put up a competitive 240 and got off to a good start after dismissing Rohit Sharma with 25 runs on the board.

  Kohli, batting on 11, was surprised by a Keemo Paul with a delivery that went past him as he tried to make room to play on the leg side and caught an inside edge, he was, however, dropped behind by Shai Hope.

"We have got to hold our chances and we didn't hold them today. [Kohli] made us pay for it," Holder said.

"Credit to him he batted really well and he won the game for India in the end.  They got off to a really good start and so did we. I think it was a really, really good wicket for cricket. Conditions got a little tougher in the afternoon after the rain fell. The ball was a bit wet and the outfield was obviously very wet, too. It didn't work for us today."

Windies legend Brian Lara has congratulated top-order batsman Chris Gayle on breaking his record for the most One Day International (ODI) runs scored by a West Indian batsman.

The 39-year-old Gayle reached the mark during the second ODI match of India’s current tour of the Caribbean.  Heading into the series, Gayle was 11 runs away from surpassing Lara and eventually achieved the feat in the ninth over of the second ODI.

The batsman was, however, dismissed soon afterward, making 11 runs.  The opener was also sent back to the pavilion early in the first match after making 4 runs.  Gayle now sits on 10,353 runs, five ahead of Lara's tally of 10,348 runs.

Lara congratulated Gayle for achieving the milestone via social media platform Twitter.

"Congratulations @henrygayle most runs by a West Indian in ODI cricket," Lara tweeted.

Gayle is expected to retire from international cricket, following the series and has not been included in the Test team.  The Windies will play India in the third and final ODI on Wednesday.

Pakistan medium pace bowler Kaleem Sana outlasted superb Windies all-rounder Andre Russell as the Winnipeg Hawks dethroned the Vancouver Knights to claim the Global T20 Canada title via a Super Over on Sunday.

In the thrilling encounter, the Hawks, led by an industrious 90 from 45 from Shaiman Anwar, put 192 for 8 on the board during their time at the crease.  In pursuit, the defending champions were in early trouble following the dismals of opener Chadwick Walton and then Tobias Visee with just two runs on the board. 

With the Knights continuing to lose wickets at regular intervals it seemed the Hawks were well on their way to victory when Russell came to the crease, with the team struggling at 140 for 5 and only three overs to go.  The big West Indian, however, had other ideas.  Russell clobbered a dominant 46 from 20 deliveries but saw the Knights fall just short of overhauling the target as Saad Bin Zafar was run out on the last ball of the final over, leaving the teams tied on 192.

Just like he was in the final over, Sana was given the responsibility during the one-over eliminator and although the West Indian clobbered him for six on the first delivery, he recovered to have Russell caught on the boundary by Dwayne Smith on his fourth.

Having claimed 4 for 29, Russell took the ball to defend his team’s 9 runs but was unable to do so.

Outspoken Cricket West Indies (CWI) director Conde Riley has claimed Windies captain Jason Holder pleaded with the then newly-appointed Ricky-Skerrit association not to change the regional team’s coaching staff ahead of the ICC World Cup.

The administration has come in for some heavy criticism in some quarters after the new president sacked interim coach Richard Pybus and the selection panel only weeks ahead of the tournament. 

The move had proven to be particularly controversial as the team had put in a strong performance against England in an ODI tour of the Caribbean only a few weeks prior. Despite being president of the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) and a director of the CWI, Riley, who warned against the move, was understandably among the critics.

“We ain’t win a match after the opening game against Pakistan because they fired everybody. Jason Holder, the captain, begged him not to do it, I begged him not to do it. I am hurt,” Riley told the Barbados Nation News.

“I am angry. I said, what they did was wrong to fire every selector. We just beat England and they fired everybody. The ‘A’ team lick up, the ‘B’ team lick up, and the dressing room is in disarray. I say what I have to say, the BCA board of management can vote me out. I am a life member, but I can’t see something that is wrong and say that it is right.”

 

Windies star Chris Gayle is admittedly grateful to achieve the significant mark of 300 ODIs, the most appearances by any West Indian player.

The left-handed opener reached the mark during the second ODI against India at Queens Park Oval, in Trinidad, on Sunday.  The appearance moved Gayle, now 39 years old, past another West Indies legend Brian Lara, who had made 299 and makes him the first West Indies player to take part in 300 ODIs.

 "I'm thankful, it's a great achievement to actually accomplish," he said in a video posted by Windies Cricket on Twitter.

"It's a very special day. I must give thanks to the almighty to actually reach this far and to the fans for the support through the years, it's been fantastic.”

Gayle could of course also make more history as he remains just 9 runs shy of Lara’s record for the most ODI runs (10,405).  The opening batsman struggled in the abandoned first ODI, scoring 4 from 31 deliveries.

“Hopefully I can make it a special one today for the fans. 300 ODIs, from a personal point of view as well I want to make it a special one. I'm grateful, but it will be more important to get a win as well and go one up as well."

The batsman will have to have to wait or his chance, however, as India won the toss and choose to bat.

 

Former Cricket West Indies (CWI) president Dave Cameron has accused his detractors of wanting overnight success and promised to write a tell-all memoir about his time in office.

Following a three-term spell in charge of the regional governing body, Cameron was defeated by Ricky Skerritt earlier this year.  The Jamaican had served as head of the association since defeating Julian Hunte in 2013.

During his time in charge, Cameron has been credited with implementing improved retainer contracts for players and officials, restructuring the regional competitions and improved relations with the West Indies Player’s Association (WIPA).  The Windies team while struggling in the world rankings, also claimed two T20 world titles, and the women’s and youth titles.

“We tried to implement certain things within West Indies cricket but I think, as a people, we want success but we don’t want to understand the road to get to success because it doesn’t happen overnight,” Cameron told the Good Morning Jojo Show.

“ We had a very successful home series earlier this year against England which I thought made a lot of people happy…but that’s not what we want; we want something else, and so I will keep those thoughts and I will commit them to writing at some point in time,” he added.

“I’ve been a part of organisations that have very high standards and I tried to implement that at West Indies cricket.  I tried to ensure West Indies cricket survived and I can say that I don’t believe anybody in management or leadership has the wrong views or different views from myself on West Indies cricket, but we just all have different ways of achieving those results.”

Windies legend Desmond Haynes has accused Cricket West Indies (CWI) of turning a cold shoulder to his aspirations of joining the regional cricket team’s coaching staff.

Haynes, once part of the most successful opening duo in West Indies cricket history, has expressed an interest in serving the regional team in the capacity of coach for the last couple of years. 

Despite receiving ringing endorsements from several former legends, Haynes was first overlooked under the Dave Cameron administration when Cricket West Indies (CWI) appointed Richard Pybus.  Under the new Ricky Skerrit-led association, which later pledged to use regional talent to fill vacancies, he was again overlooked as Floyd Reifer was named interim coach heading into the ICC World Cup.

“I would do everything in my power to assist West Indies cricket. I have sent in an application, I haven’t got a reply. So I don’t believe West Indies cricket is interested in me,” Haynes said in a recent interview with Wisden Cricket.

“I sent in an application and the CEO said he’d pass it onto Jimmy Adams [West Indies’ director of cricket]. So nothing’s happening. It’s that lack of respect – I think I deserve a reply just saying, ‘Desmond, we’re working on it’,” he added.

“It got to a stage where I sent an application in February and they name an interim coach in Reifer; they’re preparing for the World Cup and they get [Ramnaresh] Sarwan to help with the batting. They’re obviously sending a message that they definitely don’t want me around West Indies cricket.”

Windies T20 skipper Carlos Brathwaite insists that he was encouraged by aspects of the team performance, despite a 22-runs loss to India at Lauderhill on Sunday.

The result saw the visitors claim a second straight win over the regional team and an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.  India won the first contest of the series on Saturday by four wickets with 16 balls remaining after the Windies were restricted to 95-9.

On Sunday, fueled by the furious Rohit Sharma, India made 167 for 5 during their time at the crease.  Sharma made 67 from 51 balls, in the process passing Windies talisman Chris Gayle for the most T20 sixes.  The Caribbean team made made 98-4 in their reply in the second encounter, but a storm brought a premature end to the contest, with the team still some way short of the adjusted target of 121.

Rovman Powell offered the most resistance for the Windies scoring six boundaries and three sixes, reaching 54 before he was lbw to Krunal Pandya (2-23).

“I didn't think it went wrong to be fair. I think we had a solid enough base, so we still backed ourselves to get 70 odd, but very well played to Rovman to get us into that situation,” Brathwaite said following the encounter.

“I give the batting a bit more credit than yesterday. With the total we figured our lineup is flexible enough, with guys like Pollard at the end to set Rovman up. Batting-wise we were a lot closer to where we want to be. In Guyana we hope to get consistency.”

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