The Windies ODI squad for the first two upcoming matches against England starting February 20, has been bolstered by the recall of Chris Gayle and Evin Lewis.

As if the suspension of Windies captain Jason Holder was not enough, reports have surfaced that the ICC could possibly sanction the Windies for the state of the Antigua pitch where England were defeated by 10 wickets last week Saturday.

Windies captain Jason Holder has climbed into the top 10 of the MRF Tyres Test Player Rankings following the completion of the Test against England in Antigua last Saturday.

Windies captain, Jason Holder, has been suspended for the final Test against the touring England. Holder was suspended for having a slow overrate in the second Test, even though the game ended within three days. Is there a ploy to help England avoid a whitewash?

Australian bowling legend Shane Warne has described as ridiculous the decision by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to ban Windies captain Jason Holder for the upcoming Test in St. Lucia.

Holder, who captained the Windies to a 2-0 series victory over England to win the Wisden Trophy for the first time in 10 years, will miss the dead-rubber Test set for St Lucia later this week.

However, it robs the Test of the Windies captain who has been the catalyst for the rare Windies triumph over a top-ranked cricket nation.

Warne, 49, the Australian leg-spinner who has taken 708 Test wickets during his illustrious career, believes the rule banning captains for slow over rates makes little sense.

"The test didn't go 3 days - can you please appeal this @JaseHolder98 ! What a ridiculous decision - where's the common sense here? Ps Congrats on a wonderful series win too. International cricket needs a strong Windies team & hopefully this is just the start @BrianLara," Warne tweeted.

Warne found support in former England Michael Vaughn.

“246 over Test Match .. that amounts to 2.6 days of Cricket .. A team hammers the opposition & plays great Test cricket yet the Captain gets a ban for Slow over rate .. @Jaseholder98 can find himself very very unlucky on this occasion .. !! The game really doesn’t help itself ...”

Holder thanked Warne for his support which prompted the blonde-haired cricket turned commentator to tweet”

, “Pleasure! The fans at the ground saw some awesome cricket from you & your team. No one at the ground would have felt short changed whatsoever. What a ridiculous decision & I hope this will be over turned!"

Kraigg Brathwaite will take over as captain and Keemo Paul has been added to the West Indies team as the Cricket West Indies (CWI) selection panel announced a 14-member squad to face England in the third and final Test match of the Wisden Trophy Series.

 

Darren Bravo one of the heroes for the Windies in their massive 10-wicket win over England in Antigua on Saturday, has declared that he is available for the Caribbean side in all formats of the game.

The Windies Women are back in Dubai after a 2-1 T20 International series win over Pakistan Women in Karachi over the weekend. 

Windies top order batsman Darren Bravo insists the team has no intentions of taking its foot off the throat of English opposition, despite securing an unassailable 2-0 lead and the Wisden Trophy on Saturday.

The 29-year-old Bravo played a starring role, albeit in typically different circumstances, as his gritty half-century off a marathon 216 balls provided the backbone for a hard-fought 10-wicket win at North Sound in Antigua. 

The win followed up on another convincing performance in the first Test, which featured a 381-run win in Bridgetown to set the cat among the pigeons.  Heading into the series it was England, the world’s number three ranked Test team that was expected to dominate a Windies team several places below them.  Despite having proven the pundits, and almost everyone for that matter, wrong, Bravo insists the regional team will remain focused on finishing the job.

“I don’t think we can take any Test match lightly. We are trying to make our way back up the Test rankings and that is of paramount importance for us.  We are going to train hard and plan the way we have been planning in the first two Test matches,” Bravo said following the match.

“Before the start of the series the first thing the coach said is we want to win this series 3-0.  There is still motivation there and I don’t see any reason we can’t do it,” he added.

 “It’s going to be tough, I don’t think England will lie down and play dead they are going to come at us and we are looking forward to it.”

When Kemar Roach launched into a delivery from James Anderson only to find a tall Ben Stokes at second slip latching onto a flier, the crowd at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium stood and applauded. 

Windies opening batsman Kraigg Brathwaite hailed a battling 49 against England, at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, as some of the toughest runs he has ever scored on a day when the team showed plenty of resilience and determination.

On a second-day pitch that still offered plenty of assistance to the bowlers, the regional team fought to 272 for 6 for a lead of 85 runs.  Brathwaite’s contribution at the top of the order amounted to falling just short of a half century and came from 156 balls, with just three fours in an innings that lasted over three hours.

“It’s some of the toughest runs I have made so far,” Brathwaite said.

“I thought the England bowlers did really well today they were really disciplined, they mixed that with some aggression and it will be tough going tomorrow.  So we just know we have to stick together and keep working,” he added.

Brathwaite partnered with John Campbell as the pair put on 70 for the first wicket opening session.  The opener was eventually dismissed by Moeen Ali.

“You can’t worry about the ball that’s gone, like Ralston Chase got one that popped and the next one kept low that was quite unlucky.  You just have to play what you see and work hard.”  

At lunch on the second day of the second Test between the Windies and England, the home team at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua were 126 for one, just 61 runs behind the visitor’s first-innings total of 187. 

Windies quick Kemar Roach admitted he was pleased with the pitch at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, which offered plenty of assistance to the bowlers on the first day of the second Test against England.

On a grassy North Sound surface that seemed to offer some variable bounce, Roach ended the first innings with figures of 4 for 30, with an economy rate of 2.00, the best of the Windies bowlers. 

Some batsmen in the English line-up seemed to be caught off-guard by the odd springy delivery, particularly Ben Stokes and Joe Root who were visibly surprised by the unexpected bounce.

“There was some variable bounce, it was pretty tough for the batsmen, but you still have to put the ball in the right areas.  I thought the guys did that very well,” Roach said of the England innings.

At one stage, the English found themselves at 93 for 6 before Moen Ali and Ben Folkes sparked a revival that saw the team eventually get to 187.  Despite complaints about the pitch, however, Roach believes that a pitch that favours the bowler on the odd occasion makes for an even and more competitive game overall.

“It’s rare in the Caribbean, very rare, but today it was good.  The pitch was pretty green and it did a lot with the ball. I’m pretty happy with the pitch as a fast bowler,” Roach said.

“I’m thinking it’s good for cricket to obviously have balance, some days for the batsman some days for the bowler.”

The Windies will resume the second day at 30 without loss.

Windies captain Jason Holder has insisted the team to focus on itself and achieving the desired level of consistency ahead of the second Test in Antigua and Barbuda on Thursday.

Many have predicted a furious fightback from the battered English, following their embarrassing collapsing to a 381-run loss in the first Test match at Kensington Oval.  In the hopes of proving to be more competitive, the visitors have made a few changes.  Opening batsman Keaton Jennings will make way for Joe Denly with Adil Rashid and bowler Stuart Broad also added to the line-up.

The 27-year-old all-rounder insists, however, that the team will not focus on any of the changes made by the English, or their state of mind heading into the second Test.

“I don’t want to focus too much on England.  I just think it’s a matter for West Indies Cricket to continue to be consistent,” Holder said in an interview with the SportsMax Zone.

“Over the year and a half we have seen individuals put up their hands on certain occasions and we have won a lot more Test matches than we have been winning in the recent past and we’ve had the opportunity to beat some top ranked sides, England being one of them in England,” he added.

“Looking back at the team’s performance for the last year and a half two years its been on the incline. It’s just a matter for us to be a little more consistent.  We still haven’t reached the level of consistency we are looking for.  I think this is one series we can target to finish off and close out well.”

Windies assistant coach Toby Radford insists the team remains underdogs despite a massive 381-run win over England in the first Test at Kensington Oval.

Heading into the three-match series four places below number three-ranked England in the ICC Test rankings, few expected the Windies to compete let alone deliver a crushing blow to the Englishmen.  However, sensational bowling from pacer Kemar Roach and a double century from captain Jason Holder eventually floored the visitors.

Despite the massive win, however, Windies assistant Radford insists the team is intent on keeping the heavy underdogs tag heading into the second match at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium on Thursday.

“We are still the underdogs,” Radford insisted.

“We are playing one of the best sides in the world and if you look at the world rankings we are quite a long way down. England were on quite a good run until last week but we have a lot of good performers and you can’t take us lightly,” he added.

“We maybe didn’t get the credit but that doesn’t matter, we’ve got to go and do it all again.”

 

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