West Indies Under-19 paceman Jayden Seales is not resting on his laurels after brilliant performances in the just-concluded youth World Cup but is eyeing improvement with a view to breaking into the senior ranks.

Seales was one of the U19 World Cup’s best pacers with 10 wickets on the way to helping the West Indies to a fifth-place finish.

Now Seales wants to see what he can achieve in first-class cricket and from their break into the West Indies Test team.

“I always told my father I want to play Test cricket. I want to open the bowling in Test cricket,” said Seales.

The pacer, who grabbed 4-49 to help the young West Indies to a three-wicket win over pre-tournament favourites Australia in its opener, understands that there is work to be done to make the transition, but is more than willing to put in the hard yards.

“For me right now it is about staying fit, training harder, getting myself ready to play four-day cricket, and hopefully get into West Indies A team or the senior team soon enough to play for the senior team in Test cricket,” he said.

Seales went wicketless against England but his 0-21 from 10 overs was impressive nonetheless. His 4-19 against Nigeria in the final game of the first round meant the West Indies were unbeaten and looked dangerous ahead of a quarterfinal encounter against New Zealand.

He also went wicketless against New Zealand but his figures of 0-21 were again a testament to his fine bowling.

Seales’ exploits did not go unnoticed by the ICC, who picked him in the team of the tournament as one of two West Indians, the other being allrounder Nyeem Young.

“For me personally, it was a good performance. Coming off the tri-series (against Sri Lanka and England) I did not have the best performance,” he said.

“I wanted to do better for the team so I trained very hard when I came back home and in the World Cup itself [in] the training sessions I worked hard.”

He may have been discarded by West Indies’ selectors but fast bowler Jerome Taylor continues to shine in English conditions.

The 35-year-old Jamaican, who at one time spearheaded the attack for the West Indies, has been signed by English County side Gloucestershire to a three-year contract. He will represent the club in all forms of the game.

Having fallen out of favour with regional selectors in recent years, Taylor has made England his stomping ground. He previously had spells with Leicestershire and Sussex and most recently T20 contracts for the last two seasons with Somerset.

Taylor was a member of the Windies' 2016 World T20-winning squad. He last played for his country in 2018.

"Jerome will add pace and international experience to the attack,” said Gloucestershire head coach Richard Dawson.

"He can contribute in all formats so he'll be a valuable addition," Dawson added.

Taylor is the second West Indies fast bowler to play for Gloucestershire in successive seasons following Shannon Gabriel, who played in two first-class matches in 2019.

"I am very excited to be joining Gloucestershire," the Jamaican said. "I am grateful for the opportunity as I really enjoy playing county cricket and I am hopeful that my experience can help on and off the field."

Promoted Gloucestershire will start the County Championship Division One season against Yorkshire at Headingley on April 12

Taylor’s home debut should be against Lancashire at Nevil Road in Bristol a week later.

Rapid on his day, Taylor, in 2009, famously grabbed 5 for 11 to demolish England, leaving the visitors all out for 51 during an unforgettable spell of fast-bowling at a Sabina Park Test. His returns in 46 Tests totalled 130 wickets at 34.46. He was also capped more than 100 times in limited-overs internationals.

West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell has expressed regret with not paying more attention to the health of his knees after experiencing serious issues with the joint in recent years.

The 31-year-old T20 star was forced to have surgery on his left knee after being out of the ICC World Cup with the injury.  Despite having a successful T20 career the issue has kept the player out of the longer formats of the game.

In retrospect, the big hitter believes things could have been dealt with differently by taking better care of the issue and has warned developing players not to follow his example.

  Russell is expected to undergo an injury assessment to determine his level of fitness as the team steps up its plans for this year’s T20 World Cup.

“Those who want to be another Russell should never do what happened to me.  When I was 23 or 24 I began to get knee pain,” Russell told Gulf News.

“If I had someone tell me: ‘Look Russ, you should get your knee stronger by keep doing these simple exercises, I would have been pain-free from my knees and hopefully I wouldn’t have to have had surgery. Unfortunately, at 23 you are fearless, and I used to ignore that pain and I always gave it a quick fix by taking pain killers and kept running,” he added.

“By the time I reached my late twenties I started feeling the pain like I never felt before. The wear and tear began to show up. If I was doing those strengthening exercises like training of the legs and doing the right things, I would have been fitter.”

“I want the youngsters to know that guys should not just think about the upper body alone,” he explained.

“I used to go to gym and just work only on my abs and my shoulders because I wanted to look sexy for the girls. At the end of the day being sexy and then your legs being weak, don’t work. So it is very important to have a complete work out of the body. I could have done more wonders had I worked on my legs too.”

West Indies star allrounder Andre Russell is set to undergo a fitness test with a view to making him part of the region’s bid for a third lien on the Twenty20 World Cup set for Australia this year.

It has been more than a year and a half since Russell last represented the West Indies in a T20 International with the 2019 World Cup marking the last time he suited up for the side.

During that World Cup Russell was unable to finish a game without treatment and seemed in real pain. He had to do knee surgery after limping out of one game, but seems on the comeback trail, having played in a number of domestic T20 games around the world.

“Hopefully, in the next few weeks he will undergo what is described by the medical team as a return-to-play protocol,” said Cricket West Indies CEO Johnny Grave.

“So he will go through a fitness test to see how his knees have recovered from the injuries that he suffered and allowing us to see if he would be passed fit medically – which is the first stage – and injury free in terms of his ability to both bat and bowl.

“He would then build up his fitness levels and hopefully through performances in the Indian Premier League (IPL) make himself available for selection for the West Indies.”

Russell is expected to turn out for the Kolkata Knight Riders when the IPL season bowls off on March 29 later this year.

Russell’s partner at KKR, mystery spinner Sunil Narine is also somebody the West Indies are keeping a close watch on.

Narine played through a finger injury during last year’s Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL), and has also, for a number of years, struggled with his action.

“He’s obviously been a player that has been a fantastic servant and player for West Indies, particularly in white ball cricket, but at this stage, Sunil is still working on his action,” said Grave.

“He obviously had the finger injury which took him out and made him struggle to bowl, and we’re hoping that he’s going to be fully fit … and be able to bowl his full portfolio of deliveries for the IPL and then fingers crossed, from the West Indies point of view, all goes well and he can follow that through into the CPL and hopefully be in form and be available for the World Cup.”

The T20 World Cup in Australia takes place in October.

West Indies all-rounder Nyeem Young and paceman Jayden Seales have made the ICC’s U19 Cricket World Cup Team of the Tournament.

The young West Indies finished fifth in the competition won by Bangladesh, who were claiming their maiden world title.

Despite not making it to the semi-final, the West Indies did have some impressive performances with both bat and ball.

Young, for instance, became the first West Indian to take a five-for (5-45) and score a half century (66) in an under-19 match when he helped the side to a dominant victory over England in the first round. His 61 was also instrumental in helping the West Indies get past Australia.

Young would end the tournament with an average of 28 with the bat and eight wickets from six games at an average of 26.75.

For his performances, Young makes the side as the designated number six batsman.

Understandably, further down the order lies Seales, who is an out-and-out strike bowler, having taken 10 wickets with a best of 4-19 against Australia at an impressive average of 18.3. He was also miserly when not taking wickets, ending the tournament with an economy rate of 3.89 runs per over.

Only India and Bangladesh have more players in the team of the tournament with Yashasvi Jaiswal, Ravi Bishnoi and Kartik Tyagi, making the cut.

Tournament winners Bangladesh have Mahmudul Hasan Joy and Shahadat Hossain making the team as batsmen, with Akbar Ali chosen to keep wicket.

Afghanistan, like the West Indies, have two players in the side with Ibrahim Zadran and Shafiqullah Ghafari making the cut.

Canada’s Akil Kumar is the team’s 12th man.

West Indies Women’s captain Stafanie Taylor has hopes of re-experiencing the dizzying heights of capturing the ICC T20 World Cup title, as the team prepares to embark on the upcoming campaign.

The regional team shocked the cricket world after defeating heavily favoured Australia in the 2016 final.  The 28-year-old Windies skipper has freely admitted that reflecting on the unexpected triumph years later still fills her with a sense of pride and is eager to replicate it.

“I have played a lot of games over the years but the memories of India 2016 stand out so much,” Taylor told the ICC Cricket.

“Looking back on it, I’m just hoping that we can replicate it again this year – both the feeling that we had as a team and the impact that individual players had on the tournament from start to finish,” she added.

“Four years ago was a perfect storm for us. We really wanted to win, and I think we left all we had on the field throughout the tournament, especially in the final against Australia.

“This time around, we just need to do that again, play our game and push until the last ball to see how far that can take us. Winning the title and bringing the trophy back to the West Indies would be success for us.”

The West Indies Women will hope to emulate the feats of the men’s team who are two-time winners of the competition.

 

 

A sensational seven-wicket haul from Jamaica Scorpions debutant Peter Salmon set the foundation for a 7-wicket win over the defending Guyana Jaguars in the West Indies Championship on Sunday.

Beginning the day at 155-9 with tailenders Veerasammy Permaul 20 not out and Keon Joseph on 5 and still 27 runs short of the target, the Jaguars would have needed things to go their way to stave off defeat.  They managed to add another 19 runs before Permaul was dismissed lbw off the bowling of Derval Green.

With the match evenly poised, however, Salmon had done all of the damage in the previous day’s play.  After dismissing the Scorpions for 184 and needing 182 for victory the Jaguars seemed likely to get a second straight win at home. 

Their pursuit began in shaky fashion when they lost usually dependable batsmen Tagenarine Chanderpaul (12), Chandrapaul Hemraj (13), Leon Johnson (19) and Vishaul Singh (0), after finding themselves 48-2 at the tea.

Salmon removed Chanderpaul, Hemraj and Singh before bagging the big wicket of Christopher Barnwell (12) who was like Chanderpaul trapped lbw.

The spinner then accounted for the further dismissals of Raymond Reifer (13), Anthony, Sinclair (13) and Niall Smith (0) who was also trapped lbw and put the spinner on a hattrick.

Earlier, the Scorpions had crashed to another low total as they were restricted to 184 in their second innings. Nkrumah Bonner led the way with a top score of 57 not out.  Permaul claimed magical second-innings figures of 6-50

West Indies batting star Chris Gayle has, through his attorney, directed a Guyanese political official to withdraw statements made about him during a political meeting.

The politician in question Charles Ramson Jr, a member of the Peoples Progressive Party (PPP), reportedly endorsed and shared a claim made during a meeting in Albertown, Georgetown in January.  The claim stated Gayle had been promised US$50,000 by the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR)  for a visit to Linden late last year and was still trying to get the money, which was owed to him.

The West Indian star was spotted in Linden last year with officials of the PNCR.  The opening batsman who was in the country for a cricket match and to celebrate his 40th birthday was quick to dismiss any political motive or links to the appearance.  Gayle pointed out that the visit had simply been part of a community outreach program.

In a letter dated February 4 Gayle’s attorney Roysdale Forde gave the politician 24 hours to retract the statements, which were referred to as “defamatory” and totally “false.”  The letter went on to state that the claims also seem calculated to subject [Gayle] to ridicule and portray him as being paid by a political party in Guyana to engage in work on its behalf.”

“As you are aware my client is an internationally recognized personality and cricketer and has carefully protected his brand and reputation especially by refusing to engage in public relations activities at the request of political parties,” the letter states, before adding that Gayle has engaged in a number of business ventures in Guyana, such as the promotion of a number of entertainment events, branded on his personality and persons in Guyana,” the letter read.

“Your statements are injurious to the financial success of these events and by extension necessarily to the said business undertaking of my client in Guyana and worldwide,” the letter concluded.

  The West Indies U-19s captured fifth place at the ICC Under-19 World Cup after their playoff match again Australia in Benoni was rained out on Friday.

The Australians may well be cursing the inclement weather as they had looked in control at the break.  Anchored by half-centuries from Liam Scott and Cooper Connolly, the Australians put 319 for 8 on the board.  Matthew Patrick was the pick of the Windies bowlers after claiming 3 for 43.

In pursuit, the West Indies began briskly with openers Kimani Melius and Leonardo Julien scoring 62 runs in 12.3 overs.  Melius was dismissed for 39 but no more play was possible when the skies opened up after the player left the field and the rain never let up.  The situation forced the umpires to call off the match.  The Windies ended with a run rate of 4.96, which was behind the required Australia rate of 6.88.

According to tournament rules, in case of a washed-out knockout game, the team that finished higher on points at the end of the group stage would finish higher. West Indies were unbeaten in Group B, while Australia had lost to West Indies.

 

CWI chief executive refutes claims players omission was no conspiracy and players have known rules for two years.

Discarded West Indies batsmen Shimron Hetmyer and Evin Lewis could rejoin the West Indies squad in a couple weeks’ time if they are able to achieve the required fitness standards when re-tests are administered.

Hetmyer and Lewis were dropped from the regional team ahead of the upcoming One Day International (ODI) series against Sri Lanka, after failing to meet the minimum fitness standard required.

The Windies will play three matches against Sri Lanka at the Sinhalese Sports Club, the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium in Hambantota and the Pallakele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy. The ODIs will be followed by two T20 Internationals in Kandy.

According to CWI chief executive Johnny Grave, the duo could return in time for the T20 series if they manage to pass upcoming re-tests.

“In the case of Hetmyer he has been extremely fit and bought into the fitness standards but for whatever reason, the test came back well below the minimum standard, but we expect him to be re-tested in two weeks.  Hopefully, he’ll pass the test and be available for selection,” Grave told the SportsMax Zone.

“The squad that we have announced is for the three one day internationals against Sri Lanka.  There are two T20 internationals after those and that squad hasn’t been selected.  Hopefully, the players will re-take those tests and pass them and be available for selection.”

West Indies Cricket chief executive Johnny Grave maintains the regional sport’s governing body takes very little pleasure in excluding players from the squad for fitness reasons but insists the standards are well known and accepted.

Controversy struck earlier this week after promising batsmen Evin Lewis and Shimron Hetmyer were left out of the regional team, ahead of its series against Sri Lanka after both failed a fitness test.  The opener Lewis’ omission came as even more of a surprise in the circumstances, considering the fact that he was the team’s best player in the recently concluded series against Ireland.

“We’ve made it clear to the players for three years now.  The last thing we want to do is to be fining any players.  The last thing we want to be doing is to be downgrading a player’s contract.  The last thing we want to do is to not have any of our players available for selection,” Grave told the SportsMax Zone.

“At the same time if we have really to make a difference in driving a new fitness culture in our cricket and professionalizing all elements of cricket in the West Indies, we have to have minimum standards, accountability for those standards and consequences if players don’t adhere to those standards,” he added.

According to the official over the last two years, CWI has been forced to fine players significant sums of money and significantly reduced salaries.

Both players failed to meet the minimum standard but are expected to be re-tested in a few weeks.

  

 

West Indies head coach Phil Simmons believes players must adjust quickly to conditions on the subcontinent when the team takes on Sri Lanka in the upcoming One Day International (ODI) series in Colombo.

Three changes have been made to the squad that recently played against Ireland in the Caribbean, with Darren Bravo, Rovman Powell and Fabien Allen returning to the squad.  With the exception of Bravo, Jason Holder, and captain Kieron Pollard very few of the team have experience playing in Asia.

“The most important thing is for us to adjust quickly to the conditions, that’s why we’ll go in there a few days early,” Simmons said.

“How we played in Lucknow against Afghanistan is the kind of wicket we’re going to be getting there and we need to play in the same way and to train in the same way,” he added.

“We need the same attitude that we played against India.  I think if we can get the attitude right we will come out on top in the series.”

The ODIs will be played at Sinhalese Sports Club; the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium in Hambantota; and the Pallakele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy. The ODIs will be followed by two T20 Internationals in Kandy.

Darren Bravo, Fabien Allen and Rovman Powell have been recalled to a 15-member West Indies squad that will play in the upcoming One-Day International (ODI) Series against Sri Lanka later this month.

West Indies Under-19 all-rounder Matthew Patrick had a telling performance with the bat and ball as the regional team secured a 4 wickets win over South Africa, in the 5th Place Play-off of the ICC Under-19 World Cup at Potchefstroom.

The South Africans, who won the toss and choose to bat, seemed well on their way to a decent total after posting 120 for 4 in the 29th over.  Patrick and left-arm spinner Ashmead Nedd, however, then ripped through the middle order prompting a South Africa collapse that saw the team lose its remaining six wickets for 23 runs and post 143.

In pursuit of what seemed a gettable target, the Windies found themselves in early trouble after losing two wickets with only 11 runs on the board.  Patrick, who came in as the no 6. batsman, steadied the ship with a crucial 25 runs off 61 balls and ensured the team got to the target.  Bryce Parsons and Merrick Brett were the pick of the bowlers for South Africa after turning five of their 19 overs into maidens and picking up four wickets between them.

 

 

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