Legendary West Indian fast bowler Sir Andy Roberts has pointed to a poor work ethic on the part of the region’s batsmen as a major factor in the team’s inability to take a step up to the next level.

Following the promising start but a disastrous end to the tour of England, a lot of discussions surrounding how to improve the team’s performance focused on increased technological infrastructure around the region.

The typically fiery former pace bowler was, however, quick to point out that such investment is unlikely to make a difference if the attitude and work ethics of the batsmen do not improve.

“Infrastructure will not make you a better player.  You have to make yourself a better player and I don’t think the commitment is there from a lot of West Indies players,” Roberts told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“It’s not just the Test players but a lot of people who play cricket in the West Indies, I don’t think they commit themselves enough.  If you did, you would not be averaging 30 in first-class cricket and that is what we are getting.”

In the recently concluded series, it was Jermaine Blackwood that averaged the most for the team with 35.17 but he was the only one to get to 30.  Overall, for the series, the team averaged closer to 20.  In fact, the team’s highest batting average in a Test series consisting of at least two matches since 2017 is 34.66 and that was against Zimbabwe in 2017.

“You can’t beat any quality team with that type of average.  So, our guys first have to stand up in front of the mirror and think what am I doing to improve myself, because, until our players improve their batting we are not going to score runs against a strong team.”

 

An aggressive batsman, with a penchant to clear the boundary with ease, he relies on hitting the ball out of the park. He is a little susceptible against spinners and often gets out to them, unable to pick which way it is going.

A dibbly-dobbly medium-pacer, he often rolls his fingers over the ball and bowls his leg cutters on a consistent basis. As a fielder, Pollard is one of the best in the world and has taken some unbelievable catches. An all-round fielder who can field at any position, he uses his long reach to good effect.

Pollard is also the second batsman to score more than 10,000 T20 runs, and the first to play more than 500 games in the format.

His experience and ability to analyze the game, in addition to his aggression made him the perfect candidate for West Indies white-ball captain. Pollard has led a West Indies resurgence in the formats.

 

Career Statistics (2006-present)

Full name: Kieron Adrian Pollard

Born: May 12, 1987 (33), Tacarigua, Trinidad

Major teams: West Indies, Adelaide Strikers, Australian Cricketers Association All-Stars, Barbados Tridents, Bravo XI, Cape Cobras, Deccan Gladiators, Dhaka Dynamites, Dhaka Gladiators, Karachi Kings, Kerala Kings, Melbourne Renegades, Multan Sultans, Mumbai Indians, PCA Masters XI, Peshawar Zalmi, Pollard XI, RR Sarwan's XI, SC Joseph's XI, Somerset, South Australia, St Lucia Stars, Stanford Superstars, Toronto Nationals, Trinbago Knight Riders, Trinidad, Trinidad & Tobago, Trinidad & Tobago XI, West Indies Under-19s, WICB President's Celebrity XI

Playing role: Allrounder

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm medium

 

T20I Career - West Indies (Batting)

Mat   Inns NO    Runs         HS    Ave   BF         SR    100 50         4s     6s     Ct         St

73    60    12    1123         68    23.39         849 132.27         0      4      73         66    36    0

T20 Career – Batting

Mat   Inns NO    Runs         HS    Ave   BF         SR    100 50         4s     6s     Ct         St

501 450 126         10000      104         30.86       6641         150.57     1         49    647 652         288 0

 

T20I Career- West Indies (Bowling)

Mat   Inns Balls Runs         Wkts BBI   BBM         Ave   Econ SR         4w    5w    10w

73    48    654 919         35    4/25         4/25        26.25         8.43 18.6 1         0      0

T20 Career (Bowling)

Mat   Inns Balls Runs         Wkts BBI   BBM         Ave   Econ SR         4w    5w    10w

501 322 4974         6798        279         4/15        4/15         24.36       8.20         17.8 6      0         0

 

Career Highlights

  • Made 1123 T20I runs in 73 matches at 23.40
  • Has taken 35 T20I wickets at 26.26
  • First cricketer to play in 500 T20 matches
  • 2nd most runs in T20 matches (10,000)
  • One of 2 players to reach 10,000+ T20 runs

Former West Indies captain Daren Sammy has a very tangible effect on the teams he plays on. Outside of the Hero Caribbean Premier League, the team Sammy plays on, wins.

This is no accident either. Sammy has the ability to fill his teammates with self-belief and help drive them to a consistency of performance that generally results in trophies.

To add to that ability, which made him the first West Indies captain to claim two World titles since Clive Lloyd won a second World Cup in 1979.

Outside of his ability to motivate and good acumen as a captain, Sammy is also a fearsome striker of the ball and a very steady seam bowler.

Asa bowler there is not a lot of variation to Sammy’s bowling, the medium-pacer coming up at a time when a consistent line and length were the order of the day. That may speak to why his bowling in the T20 arena tailed off toward the latter part of his career.

Today, Sammy plays sparingly and when he does, he doesn’t bowl but is still good enough for dangerous cameos with the bat.

 

Career Statistics (2007-present)

Full name: Daren Julius Garvey Sammy

Born: December 20, 1983 (36), Micoud, St Lucia

Major teams: West Indies, Brampton Wolves, Glamorgan, Hobart Hurricanes, Kings XI Punjab, Northern Windward Islands, Nottinghamshire, Peshawar Zalmi, Rajshahi Kings, Royal Challengers Bangalore, St Lucia, St Lucia Zouks, Stanford Superstars, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Toronto Nationals, University of West Indies Vice Chancellor's XI, Windward Islands, World-XI

Playing role: Allrounder

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm medium

 

T20I Career – West Indies (Batting)

Mat   Inns   NO    Runs    HS    Ave      BF       SR       100  50     4s     6s    

68       52     18     587      42*   17.26    398    147.48    0      0      45     31  

T20 Career (Batting)

Mat   Inns   NO    Runs    HS     Ave      BF      SR       100    50      4s     6s    

308    259    74     3876      71*   20.95   2780   139.42     0      6      251    235   

 

T20I Career – West Indies (Bowling)

Mat   Inns   Balls   Runs     Wkts    BBI     BBM     Ave     Econ    SR     4w    5w    10w

68       59      916   1116        44      5/26    5/26     25.36    7.31    20.8     1       1       0

T20 Career (Bowling)

Mat   Inns   Balls     Runs    Wkts    BBI     BBM      Ave    Econ    SR     4w    5w    10w

308    217    3405      4498     159      5/26    5/26     28.28   7.92    21.4     2      1         0

 

 Career Highlights

  • 2x T20 World Cup-winning captain (2012 & 16)
  • Highest strike rate in T20 WC history (164.12)
  • 587 runs in 68 T20I matches at 17.26

They don’t call him Superman for nothing.

By the time Andre Russell was a little more than five years into international cricket, he was a two-time world champion. That both titles came in the T20 format defines the kind of cricketer he is. A batsman who hits the ball hard enough to make the inanimate thing scream for mercy, he functions primarily as a finisher. He generates even more pace with the ball in hand and when it is anywhere near him in the field, it doesn't matter at what pace it's travelling, Russell will probably get to it. He is less of a cricketer, in the traditional sense, and more of an athlete.

He made his way into the West Indies A squad and captured plenty of attention with his exploits in a 50-over game against Ireland in June 2010, smashing 61 off 34 balls and taking 6 for 42. It was a performance that helped him win a place in West Indies' 2011 World Cup squad.

Russell's star shone brightest at the IPL 2015 when he was named Man of the Tournament, and the Big Bash League 2015-16 when he struck at 186.86 and picked up 16 wickets - joint-second best - from 10 matches.

He won the CPL title with the Jamaica Tallawahs in 2013, the IPL title with Kolkata Knight Riders in 2014, the Bangladesh Premier League title with Comilla Victorians, the BBL title with Sydney Thunder and the Pakistan Super League title with Islamabad United in 2016.

 

Career statistics (2010-present)

Full name: Andre Dwayne Russell

Born: April 29, 1988, (32) Jamaica

Major teams: West Indies, Comilla Warriors, Delhi Daredevils, Eagles (UAE), Islamabad United, Jamaica, Jamaica Select XI, Jamaica Tallawahs, Khulna Royal Bengals, Kolkata Knight Riders, Melbourne Renegades, Multan Sultans, Nangarhar Leopards, Northern Warriors, Nottinghamshire, Rajshahi Royals, Sagicor High-Performance Centre, Sydney Thunder, Sylhet Royals, UWI Vice Chancellor's XI, Vancouver Knights, West Indies A, West Indies Select XI, West Indies XI, Worcestershire, Worcestershire

Playing role: Allrounder

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm fast

 

T20I Career – West Indies (Batting)

Mat        Inns        NO         Runs      HS        Ave        BF           SR          100        50           4s           6s             

49           41           14           540        47       20.00     357        151.26        0            0          32           42          

 

T20 career (Batting)

Mat        Inns        NO         Runs      HS          Ave        BF           SR           100        50           4s           6s             

321         270          71         5365      121*      26.95     3132      171.29           2          18         356         425       

 

T20I Career – West Indies (Bowling)

Mat        Inns        Balls       Runs      Wkts      BBI         BBM      Ave        Econ      SR      4w          5w         10w

49           42           643        974        26           2/10       2/10       37.46     9.08       24.7       0            0            0

 

T20 Career (Bowling)

Mat        Inns        Balls       Runs      Wkts      BBI         BBM      Ave        Econ        SR           4w          5w         10w

321         297         5460        7532       291        4/11       4/11       25.88      8.27       18.7           8            0             0

 

Career highlights

  • Made 540 T20I runs at an average of 20.00
  • Taken 26 T20I wickets in at 37.46
  • Has taken 291 T20 wickets at 25.88
  • Best strike-rate in IPL history (186.41)
  • IPL player of the tournament 2015 & 2019
  • 5365 runs at 26.95

Dwayne Bravo's skills and self-confidence on the big stage made him a match-winner in T20 cricket. Dangerous with the bat and cunning with the ball, Bravo proved his worth wherever he plied his trade.

He hit 107 against South Africa in April 2004-05 at Antigua to bring up his maiden century and in November 2005, scored a magnificent 113 against Australia at Hobart. He dazzled in the ODI series against India in May 2006, bamboozling the batsmen with his slower ones and chipping in with match-winning contributions with the bat.

He grew as a player in the limited-overs format in the 2006-07 season with a fluent unbeaten 112, his maiden ODI ton, against England in the Champions Trophy and achieved his best career figures, 4 for 39, against India in the last game before the World Cup.

His value as a Twenty20 player came into focus in the IPL, especially for the Chennai Super Kings for whom he became a fixture. In the 2013 season, he led the wickets tally with 32.

He was the first bowler to take 400 wickets in the format and is about to become the first to take 500 wickets, currently boasting an impressive haul of 497 T20 wickets.

 

T20I Career – West Indies (Batting)

Mat        Inns        NO         Runs      HS          Ave        BF           SR           100        50           4s           6s              

71           60           12         1151       66*        23.97     988        116.49          0          4            67          50          

 

T20 Career (Batting)

Mat        Inns        NO         Runs       HS          Ave        BF           SR           100        50           4s           6s              

455        367        103          6307        70*        23.89     4973      126.82          0         20          410         301       

 

 

T20I Career – West Indies (Bowling)

Mat        Inns        Balls       Runs      Wkts      BBI        BBM      Ave      Econ      SR       4w       5w      10w

71           61           1151      1600          59        4/28       4/28     27.11     8.34      19.5       2          0         0

 

T20 Career (Bowling)      

Mat        Inns       Balls      Runs      Wkts      BBI        BBM      Ave      Econ      SR        4w        5w       10w

455         436        8869      12191       497       5/23       5/23     24.52     8.24       17.8       9          2           0

 

Career highlights            

  • Most wickets in all T20 cricket (497)
  • Leading WI wicket-taker at T20 WC (25)
  • Secured 59 T20I wickets at 27.12
  • 2x IPL Purple Cap winner for most wickets 2013 & 2015
  • Made 1151 T20I runs at average of 23.98
  • 6307 T20 runs at an average of 23.89

With the typical Caribbean flair and the ability to make it look effortless, Samuels can be a tough proposition on his day and win it for his side single-handedly.

Combining all those abilities he chalked out a crucial 78 in the ICC World T20 2012 final, one of the finest innings in the shortest version of the sport, to help West Indies take a world title home. The way he took on Lasith Malinga, the deadliest limited overs bowler in the world, was a testament to his talent.

Samuels was also part of various T20 leagues in the year 2012. He was bought by Duronto Rajshahi and played the Bangladesh Premier League, and was even the team's highest run-scorer with 242 runs in 11 innings in the competition. In the same year, he signed a contract with Pune and represented them in the fifth and sixth IPL editions.

 

Career Statistics (2006-2018)

Full name: Marlon Nathaniel Samuels

Born: February 5, 1981 (39), Kingston, Jamaica

Major teams: West Indies, Antigua Hawksbills, Basnahira Cricket Dundee, Comilla Victorians, Delhi Daredevils, Duronto Rajshahi, Jamaica, Karnataka Tuskers, Kowloon Cantons, Leeward Islands, Melbourne Renegades, Peshawar Zalmi, Pune Warriors, Rajshahi Royals, Sagicor High-Performance Centre, St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, St Lucia Stars, UWI Vice Chancellor's XI, West Indies A, West Indies B, West Indies Select XI, West Indies Under-15s, West Indies Under-23s, West Indies XI, WICB President's Celebrity XI

Playing role: Top-order batsman

Batting style:  Right-hand bat

Bowling style:  Right-arm off-break

 

T20I Career - West Indies

Mat    Inns   NO    Runs     HS      Ave       BF      SR       100    50     4s      6s 

67       65      10      1611     89*     29.29   1386    116.23    0     10     144     69 

 

T20 Career

Mat      Inns      NO   Runs     HS      Ave       BF     SR        100    50     4s     6s  

187       181       38     4571     106*   31.96   3876    117.93    2      29    388    191   

 

Career Highlights

  • Only player to win 2 T20 WC player-of-the-final awards (2012 &2016)
  • Most runs scored in a T20 WC final (85)
  • 2nd most T20I runs by West Indian, 1611, avg. 29.29
  • 67 T20I caps for WI
  • 4571 T20 runs at 31.96

West Indies leg spinner Samuel Badree was at one stage of his career, the best T20 bowler in the world.

He earned that position through unerring accuracy and honing the pace of his deliveries where he hurried even the most technical competent batsmen.

Interestingly, though Badree is a leg spinner, he rarely ever bowls the delivery that should be his stock in trade.

Instead, Badree relies on his quicker delivery as well as his googly.

Badree’s hit the heights of the big time at the 2011 World T20 League where he finished third on the economy chart behind Sunil Narine and Brett Lee.

He would continue to stay at or near the top for the next few years, regularly opening the bowling for the West Indies.

His ability to control the new ball was impressive and by 2016 he had played a big part in helping the West Indies to his and their second World T20 title. He had stints in the IPL where he often went unused, largely because he isn’t the most mobile fielder and he can’t bat.

But as a bowler, there are few to ever play the shortest format of the game who have been more economical.

 

Career Statistics (2006-2018)

Full name: Samuel Badree

Born: March 9, 1981, Barrackpore, Trinidad (39)

Major teams: West Indies, Brisbane Heat, Chennai Super Kings, Islamabad United, Jamaica Tallawahs, Rajasthan Royals, Royal Challengers Bangalore, St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, Trinidad, Trinidad & Tobago, Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel, West Indies A, World-XI

Playing role: Bowler

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Legbreak

 

T20I Career

Mat   Inns   Balls   Runs    Wkts    BBI     BBM     Ave     Econ    SR      4w    5w    10w

52       52     1146    1180      56       4/15     4/15     21.07   6.17    20.4     1         0      0

T20 Career

Mat   Inns  Balls    Runs    Wkts    BBI     BBM     Ave     Econ    SR     4w    5w    10w

197    194    4125     4144     187      5/22     5/22    22.16    6.02    22.0     2      1         0

 

Career Highlights

  • ICC T20 World Cup winner (2012)
  • 3rd most wickets at ICC T20 WC (2014)
  • 10th most T20 WC wickets, 24 at 13.58
  • 2nd most wickets by a West Indian in T20Is (56)
  • 1 T20I four-wicket haul
  • 187 T20 wickets taken at 22.16

Sunil Narine, a mystery spinner, caught the West Indies selectors' attention by taking all 10 wickets in a trial match and received a call up to the Trinidad & Tobago squad in January 2009.  Every time Narine came to bowl, he looked like taking a wicket. His arsenal of carrom balls, knuckle balls and skidders led West Indies to the World T20 title in 2012.

He was one of the chief architects of Kolkata Knight Riders' two title victories in 2012 and 2014 - well worth the investment they put in him. He was bought at US $700,000 in 2012, promptly became the Man of the Tournament and has been retained by the franchise ever since.

Narine once bowled more overs than runs conceded in a Twenty20 match, with 21 dot balls out of 24 in the Caribbean Premier League 2014. After nearly 650 overs, he went into IPL 2016 with 216 wickets at an economy rate of 5.52.

He was ranked the No. 1 bowler in T20Is when he was picked for the World T20 in 2016.

 

Career Statistics (2011-present)

Full name: Sunil Philip Narine

Born: May 26, 1988, Arima, Trinidad & Tobago (32)

Major teams: West Indies, Barisal Burners, Cape Cobras, Comilla Victorians, Dhaka Dynamites, Guyana Amazon Warriors, Kolkata Knight Riders, Lahore Qalandars, Melbourne Renegades, Montreal Tigers, Quetta Gladiators, Sydney Sixers, Trinbago Knight Riders, Trinidad & Tobago, Trinidad & Tobago XI, West Indies A, West Indies Under-19s

Playing role: Bowling allrounder

Bowling style: Right-arm off-break

 

T20I Career

Mat        Inns        Balls      Runs      Wkts      BBI         BBM        Ave        Econ      SR       4w          5w       10w

51            49          1102      1105        52         4/12         4/12       21.25       6.01     21.1       1             0           0

T20 Career

Mat        Inns        Balls     Runs      Wkts      BBI         BBM      Ave       Econ      SR         4w          5w           10w

336         331         7682      7720       379        5/19        5/19      20.36     6.02       20.2       11           1               0

 

Career Highlights

  • 52 T20I wickets 51 matches at 21.25
  • 15 T20 WC scalps in 12 matches at 15.40
  • 3rd best T20I economy rate (6.01)
  • 3rd most wickets in T20 matches (379)
  • IPL player of the tournament 2012 & 2018
  • Named in the all-time Cricinfo IPL XI
  • #1 wicket-taker in Champions League T20 history with 39 scalps

Australia's Twenty20 series against West Indies scheduled for October has been postponed.

The move comes after the T20 World Cup, which was due to be played in Australia this year, was postponed last month due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement, Cricket Australia (CA) said it and the Windies had agreed to postpone their scheduled three-game T20 series, which was set to be played in Queensland.

"Given the preference to host the warm-up three-match T20 series against the West Indies to coincide with the rescheduled T20 World Cup in Australia [which will take place in either 2021 or 2022], it has been agreed to postpone the matches," part of a statement from CA read on Tuesday.

Townsville, Cairns and the Gold Coast were scheduled to host the T20 matches.

West Indies legend Sir Curtly Ambrose has admitted to some level of disappointment with the performance of young fast bowler Alzarri Joseph in the recently concluded series loss to England.

The 23-year-old was tipped for a breakthrough performance ahead of the England series, but that promised failed to materialise.  Joseph had several bright spells of bowling when the teams met in the Caribbean last year, but in the rematch on English soil, these were few and far between.

Joseph claimed figures of 2 for 98 in the first Test, before getting 1 for 84 in the second Test.  He was replaced in the final Test by off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall.

Ambrose, himself once one of the world’s premier fast bowlers, believes the young West Indian may have been guilty of being too passive.

“I was a little bit disappointed with the performance of Alzarri Joseph.  The pitches they played on, obviously, they were not the quickest, but as a fast bowler, you can’t be telling yourself that boy, it’s a slow pitch so I am just going to amble in and put it on a spot, no.  Whether a pitch is fast or slow, you as a fast bowler have to put out your best, and Alzarri, to me, he was bowling within himself and not looking to bowl fast,” Ambrose told the Antigua Observer.

“Alzarri Joseph is not a put-on-a-spot, hold-up-one-end type of bowler.  Jason Holder, the captain, can do that.  He can’t really bowl fast, but he can come at one end and put it on a spot and swing it around, seam it around and get a couple of wickets, but Alzarri is a guy who has to run in and bowl fast, look to rough up batsmen.  He will look to get wickets obviously, but rough batsmen up and let them know that ‘I am here’.”

 

 

 On many a Sunday, I realize that people have looked at the stories they've seen throughout the week with different lenses. I have my own personal take on some of these issues and I will share them with you. Welcome to #INCASEYOUMISSEDIT

  

Mental exhaustion or not enough effort on the field?

  England beat the West Indies by 269 runs and took the series 2-1 to reclaim the Wisden Trophy forever. Windies captain Jason Holder, speaking at the end of the third Test, said, “It’s been challenging, it’s been really challenging, mentally some of the guys are a bit worn out.”

Though I agree it is difficult to play any sport during a pandemic and acknowledge the upheaval, surrounding social injustice issues, taking place, to simply attribute the Windies poor result to these issues is unacceptable. I agree the current climate is different than what anyone has ever experienced before but the Windies loss was brought about by a lack of team effort on the field.

Holder went on to say, “It could be this way for a little while, so we’ve got to find ways to make it work. Hopefully, things could ease up throughout the world and probably guys can get out of the hotel a little bit more, but it has been challenging for sure.”

 Each match was played behind closed doors with players unable to feed off the crowd’s energy.  While I agree that the conditions in which they played were not ideal, as professional athletes they knew the job at hand was to retain the Wisden trophy and play smart cricket. 

The Windies made a great start to their tour with a win, at the Rose Bowl, but England found form in Manchester. The shortcomings of the Windies batsmen in English conditions were exposed numerous times. They conceded first-innings leads of 182 in the second test and 172 in the series decider. The most discouraging factor was the batsmen's inability to capitalize on the numerous starts that they got as a few of the batsmen did make half-centuries. The key difference between both squads was when England got opportunities, they went big, for example, Ben Stokes and Dom Sibley.

England’s bowlers were fresh and eager throughout and that ensured their dominance of the series. A key factor in England’s success was the class of bowlers that were available to choose from as well as the effective rotation of those bowlers. It was useful that none of England’s bowlers bowled in more than two matches – not even Ben Stokes and Dom Bess, who played every game but were not required to bowl.  In the case of the Windies, our bowlers were overworked and two of our key bowlers most notably, Shannon Gabriel and Jason Holder, were struggling with niggles.

Though the mental strain of being away from their families and playing the game during the pandemic may have affected the Windies players’ performance, I don’t believe is it the main reason they lost the series.

 

Arsenal has aced the recipe for FA Cup success

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is hoping the FA Cup victory on Saturday will convince captain Pierre Emerick Aubameyang to stay at the club after they beat Chelsea 2-1. The Gunners captain scored twice to seal the win, taking his team to a 14th FA Cup success. Aubameyang has less than a year left on his contract and his future at the club has been a topic of discussion.

On Saturday, when Aubameyang dropped the trophy before raising it above his head, Arteta joked, “He needs more experience with trophies, we can get him more used to that.” Chelsea’s manager Frank Lampard also commended Aubameyang on his match-winning performance. The North Londoners have now landed a spot in UEFA’s second-tier competition next season. 

This triumph has rectified some of the problems Arsenal had this season, especially after finishing 8th in the Premier League.

 

 The TKR captaincy fits Polly

Kieron Pollard will continue to lead the Trinbago Knight Riders for CPL 2020. Last year, Pollard replaced Dwayne Bravo as captain after he was ruled out with a finger injury.  The decision was a beneficial one and a team with a fit Bravo and Pollard can yield success.

Bravo, who led the team to three CPL titles previously, expressed to the owner that he would rather focus on his game, while Pollard leads the team. I think it is a perfect fit for the team as Pollard and Bravo are great friends and a healthy Bravo with Pollard at the helm puts TKR in a position to win another CPL title.

Pollard has scored 1759 runs in 70 matches, at a strike rate of 148.56. He is the 6th highest run-scorer in the history of the tournament. With the ball, Bravo is the leading wicket-taker with 97 scalps in 69 games. Together both players can use their individual achievements and personalities to get the best of the unit as they seek a 4th CPL title.

South Africa have postponed indefinitely proposed tours to Sri Lanka and West Indies and are unlikely to play again until November, Graeme Smith has revealed.

The Proteas were due to travel to Sri Lanka in June for three ODIs and a trio of Twenty20 fixtures against their hosts, only to cancel due to the coronavirus pandemic.

For the same reason they called off a planned trip to the Caribbean set for July and August, when they were due to play two Tests and five T20 matches.

While there was hope of facing West Indies in September instead, director of cricket Smith admits such a scenario is impossible for Cricket South Africa (CSA) due to the rearranged Indian Premier League season.

Several of the country's leading names are contracted to franchises for the T20 tournament, which seems set to be staged in the United Arab Emirates this year.

"The West Indies tour has been postponed indefinitely," Smith told the media on Saturday.

"We are struggling to find the time with the Indian Premier League, when our players are likely to be needed from the beginning of September. Sri Lanka also [postponed].

"I expect that once things get up and running, our team, on the men's side, I would say from November onwards, if all goes well, it will be a really busy period for South African cricket, probably playing in times that we haven't played before and trying to cram in a lot of the missed tours."

As for his own situation with CSA, Smith reaffirmed his commitment to the role amid recent questions raised over his appointment, as well as the coaching staff he put in place.

Mark Boucher was named as head coach ahead of the home series with England, while fellow former international team-mates Jacques Kallis and Paul Harris were introduced to work as batting and spin-bowling consultants respectively.

"If you look at some of the things which are being said around appointments, my appointment and the appointment of my staff, I think some of those things are extremely unfair," Smith said.

"It was good to see CSA president (Chris Nenzani) put that straight with his most recent comments. But I have to come back to my value system and why I got involved in this job.

"Cricket South Africa courted me for a while, I went through the same interview process as everybody else in getting the job.

"I got involved because I have got cricket at heart and to be part of the solution. I want to help create a strong Cricket South Africa."

West Indian opener Evin Lewis has gone through his ups and downs with injury and form over the course of his eight-year career as a T20 opener to date. But there is no doubting his big-hitting potential when he is on. There are few more destructive batsmen in world cricket, with Lewis’ 125 still the highest T20I score for the West Indies, a team that boasts a colossus of T20 cricket in Chris Gayle. There are no good deliveries to Lewis when he is on the go, it is no wonder he chose Gayle as his mentor many years ago before he ended up partnering with the big left-hander at the top of the order for the West Indies. Lewis scores big too, the diminutive left-hander having had four centuries in his T20 career to go along with his 29 50s.

 

Career Statistics (2012-present)

Full name: Evin Lewis

Born: December 27, 1991, Port of Spain, Trinidad (28)

Major teams: West Indies, Barisal Bulls, Comilla Victorians, Dhaka Dynamites, Karnataka Tuskers, Mumbai Indians, Punjabi Legends, St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, Trinidad & Tobago, Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel, Vancouver Knights, West Indies A, West Indies Cricket Board President's XI, West Indies Under-19s

Playing role: Opening batsman

Batting style: Left-hand bat

T20I Career

Mat   Inns   NO    Runs     HS      Ave      BF      SR      100   50      4s     6s    

32       31       2      934      125*   32.20    601   155.40     2      6      64     73   

T20 Career

Mat   Inns   NO    Runs      HS       Ave      BF       SR        100     50     4s     6s   

148     144     8      4217      125*   31.00    2934    143.72      4      29    344    282    

 

Career Highlights

  • CWI 2018 T20I Cricketer of the Year
  • 935 T20I runs at 32.20 and 155.40 strike rate
  • Highest T20I score by West Indian (125*)
  • 4217 T20 runs at an average of 31.00

Former West Indies batting coach Toby Radford has spoken glowing of sacked interim coach Richard Pybus, insisting that he was a fan of the Englishman’s methods.

Pybus, a former Director of Cricket, served in the post from January to April of last year before being replaced by Floyd Reifer, a few weeks ahead of the 2019 World Cup.  Although his tenure was brief, Pybus is credited with orchestrating an outstanding performance from the West Indies cricket team that hosted England last year.

The Test team went on to reclaim the Wisden Trophy with a 2-1 series win over England and also matched up to the highly ranked tourists in the One Day International format where they secured a 2-2 draw.  For some critics, the performances had nothing to do with Pybus but was merely a case of the team beginning to discover its full potential.  Radford, who served as a member of Pybus’ staff, however, disagrees.

“I thought he was exceptional.  Where Richard Pybus was very good was setting the agenda of where he believed the team could go, and getting the players to buy into ‘this is where we were headed’ Cameron told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“I remember the way he drew up on a flip chart, ‘what does a world’s number one look like?’ ‘If you took the world’s best team what is it that they do in Test match cricket?’ He got the players to write down what they needed to deliver. ‘We have to bat for 120 overs. We have to get 350 plus.’  He had all these things and the players were coming up with it, so it gave the players ownership.  The players bought into this vision of what we were trying to deliver.  So there were clear targets,” he added.

‘Another thing he brilliantly did he put the list of 11 players up, he put the England 11 up and he started to do match-ups.  He would say ‘Shannon you have to take more wickets than Anderson’ and it was great there was competition for players with the opposition number.  He had all these kinds of things.  I think he was excellent as a manager and motivator.”

Former West Indies and Barbados batsman Philo Wallace has pointed to team captain Jason Holder’s lack of aggressive killer instinct as one of the issues that ailed the regional team in its recent loss to England.

The 28-year-old all-rounder has faced expected scrutiny in recent days, following a mid-series collapse against the Englishmen, which clouded over a promising start to the series. 

Holder had marshaled his troops to an impressive four-wicket win to begin the tour but the introduction of pace bowler Stuart Broad midway the second Test coincided with the team coming apart at the seams, with displays of less effective bowling and dismal batting.  Wallace believes a more aggressive stance from the typically laid-back captain would have been more beneficial.

“Jason handled the side well in the first Test match.  We won that match convincingly.  If you look at the second and third match and how he handled it, again, we see deficiencies in his aggression.  I don’t think he’s aggressive enough,” Wallace told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“I don’t think he’s aggressive enough.  When Ben Stokes decided to come around the wicket we saw things change.  We didn’t see a lot of aggression from our captain and that’s why bowlers did not show the aggression,” he added.

Wallace was also highly critical of Holder’s continuing support for a struggling Shai Hope during the series.

“Obviously, when Jason decided to continually defend Hope, it's a massive statement to defend a man who hasn’t scored runs in Test match cricket for a long time.  Yet, you have the extra batsman available to you and you did not play him,” Wallace said.

“You went down the road with Shai Hope and Shai Hope did not deliver for you, so that is a massive responsibility for a captain to take on board,” he added.

“Sometimes we need to be honest with ourselves about West Indies cricket.  If West Indies cricket is to move forward, sometimes you have to make some harsh decisions.  You have to drop your friend to bring in the man who will fight and perform for you.  You cannot pick a friend and keep getting beat.”  

 

Page 1 of 37
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.