Cricket West Indies boss Ricky Skerritt is hitting back at critics who have said he is going back on a pledge to hire local coaches to help get West Indies back to winning ways.

The West Indies under 19 team’s preparations for the World Cup are well and truly underway with the side already in camp in Johannesburg since Saturday.

The camp is set to run until January six days before the January 17 start of the World Cup.

Coming out of the camp, the West Indies u19s go into official warm-up games against Canada on January 13 and Scotland on January 15.

The West Indies are in Zone B of the World Cup group stage where they will face Australia, England and debutants, Nigeria.

According to Cricket West Indies, the players have been preparing well, given the exposure that has been afforded them through trial games in the Rising Stars Under-19 tournament, with players from the Super50-winning West Indies Emergin Players team, joining the World Cup outfit, as well as a skills camp in September of 2019, and two tri-series competitions against England and Sri Lanka in the Caribbean.

According to U19 coach, Graeme West, the two tri-series against England and Sri Lanka were instructive.
“The encouraging aspect of the Tri-Series was that the team got into strong positions in five out of the six games that were played, the bowling unit functioned well and was backed up by some impressive fielding that was enhanced by the introduction of Fielding Specialist, Julien Fountain. The batsman came out of the series with a better understanding of the skills they will need to deliver in order to achieve the team targets that have been set and the camp will certainly focus heavily in these areas,” said West.

“The six games has given each player a better understanding of the roles and responsibilities they will need to fulfil for the team to succeed. Equally as important was the time the players and coaches spent together to discuss, review and reflect on the cricket that was played and identify how each player can move their game forward and give more to the team.”


WEST INDIES UNDER-19 WORLD CUP SQUAD:

Kimani Melius - Captain

Nyeem Young

Ashmead Nedd

Leonardo Julien

Kevlon Anderson

Daniel Beckford

Matthew Forde

Joshua James

Antonio Morris

Mbeki Joseph

Avinash Mahabirsingh

Kirk McKenzie

Ramon Simmonds

Matthew Patrick

Jaden Seales

 

TEAM MANAGEMENT

Graeme West (Head Coach)

Kenny Benjamin (Assistant Coach)

Dwain Gill (Manager)

Dinesh Mahabir (Analyst)

Khevyn Williams (Physiotherapist)

Martin Gallyer (Strength & Conditioning Coach) 

Julian Fountain (Fielding Coach) 

Cricket West Indies has instituted a mandatory rest period for Test captain Jason Holder in what seems to be a calculated bid to avoid overuse injuries or player burnout.

Holder, who was a part of the team’s recent tour of India, will be rested for both the three-match ODI and Twenty20 series against Ireland.  The player will also be unavailable for his regional team Barbados in the upcoming four-day competition fixtures.

“Jason will be rested during the Ireland series and will be unavailable for Barbados until the end of the series against Sri Lanka in February. He will then be assessed coming out of the SL series and a decision made and communicated on what his regional workloads will be for the later rounds of the 4-day competition,” CWI Director of Cricket Jimmy Adams told Barbados Today.

With a busy 2020 coming up, which will includes the team’s defense of the T20 World title, another player targeted for load management is fast bowler Kemar Roach.

The bowler is not in the Barbados team for the opening match against Windward Islands Volcanoes in St. Vincent following a request from Cricket West Indies (CWI) that he plays six of the maximum ten matches.

“We see the need to manage Kemar and Jason’s workloads to get the best out of them for 2020," Adams explained.

 

 

Windies in-form batsman Shai Hope has labeled adaptability as a key component to his recent success and expects to successfully replicate his good form in the coming year.

The 26-year-old batsman has been the regional team’s top runs getter in the ODI format for 2019 and third overall in the world, behind the Indian duo of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma.  At year-end, the right hander plundered 1345 runs at an average of 61 with four hundreds.

Often finding himself nestled between power hitters, Hope’s unflappable nature and timely stroke play often proved crucial in whatever success the Windies team had.

“The key is knowing your role in the team and knowing how it affects your batting partners, so the key is about standing your role. I think everyone in the team is starting to understand their role and it’s making our batting performances a lot more successful and consistent,” Hope said in a recent interview.

“It’s about being adaptable. I believe that adaptability is the biggest thing in cricket, especially when you’re playing [different] formats,” he added.

Hope recently produced a strong showing against the world’s top-ranked ODI team India.  It was his unbeaten hundred in the series opener in Chennai which helped the Caribbean side take a 1-0 lead but knocks of 78 and 42 in the remaining matches failed to prevent defeats.  The young batsman insists he remains focused on improving.

“[It’s] about improvement. Obviously you want to score more runs as a batsman but the key is about gaining things, adding things to your game and improving as a cricketer.”

 

West Indies Women’s captain, Stafanie Taylor, has scored the most One-Day International runs over the last decade of her career.

According to the statistics, Taylor, who led the West Indies women to a historic T20 World Cup win, has interestingly, done better in the longer format of the game, even though her team has only managed a runner up finish on the World stage.

This decade, Taylor has scored 3993 runs at a healthy average of 45.89.

Those runs mean she finishes the decade ahead of the prolific Meg Lanning, the Australian scoring 3,693 runs at an average of 52.75.

Taylor also bested another prolific scorer in the women’s game today, New Zealand’s Suzie Bates, who scored 3,621 runs this decade at an average of 45.26.

Taylor, on her way to amassing the total scored, scored the third-highest total among women in an ODI, slamming 171 against Sri Lanka in the 2013 World Cup.

Also along the way, she scored four centuries with two of those coming in 2013.

The all-rounder also scored 32 half-centuries over the period, with 2019 her most productive, where she scored five of them.

Though Taylor has not scored a century since 2013, she has consistently come close, scoring 95, 98 not out, 85, 90, 90, and 94 in the year’s following.

Taylor, a Jamaican, has opened for West Indies Women since she was a teenager, and is known for her determined accumulation of runs. At just 19, she became the youngest woman to reach 1000 ODI runs.

Given the two T20 World Cups under the belt of the West Indies, it may be no surprise that the Caribbean side has dominated ESPN’s best XI in the format over the last decade.

ESPN had come up with a list of its best XI in Test, One-Day and T20 Internationals and while there were no West Indians in the two longer formats of the game, they may have made up for it in the shortest.

At the top of the order comes Chris Gayle, T20’s all-time leading run-scorer. Interestingly, the opening spots have been covered by the West Indies with Sunil Narine earning a pick for his innovative pinch-hitting at the top of the order.

India’s Virat Kohli comes at number three in the batting line-up, with South Africa’s AB de Villiers locking down number four.

At five, ESPN has gone with another Indian in veteran Mahendra Singh Doni before turning again to the Caribbean where West Indies white-ball captain Kieron Pollard and Andre Russell can decide who bats six and seven.

At number eight, the best in the world this decade, according to the writers at ESPN, comes Dwayne Bravo before the leg-spin option of Rashid Khan. Narine, is, of course, the other spinner in the side.

Sri Lankan great, Lasith Malinga makes the best team of the decade next, while Jasprith Bumrah finds his way into the side as the second seamer. The two are seen as the best death bowlers in the world because of their ability to bowl Yorkers.

Ireland coach Graham Ford insists the team will arrive full of confidence heading into a limited over series against the West Indies at the turn of the New Year.

The teams are scheduled to play a three-match series in both the ODI and Twenty20 format, which will be the first full series for the 9th ranked Windies and 11th ranked Ireland.  The Windies are expected to be a significant challenge for the Irish following a strong showing against top-ranked India under new captain Kieron Pollard.  Ford, however, insists that the tourist will see the tour as one filled with infinite possibilities.

“There is a confidence and self-belief around the camp which comes from recent successes, and we’re looking to build on that in 2020,” Ford said in a recent interview.

 “Being our first-ever multi-format tour of the Caribbean, there is certainly a bit of a buzz around the squad and come the seventh of January, we’ll be more than ready to begin what is an exciting year in Irish cricket,” he added.

"We are very aware of the big challenge that we have here playing away from home coming out of the winter with only indoor training. The West Indies have been playing really good cricket and just pushed the number one team in the world (India) all the way and could have come out on top."

The first ODI scheduled to bowl off in a week’s time at the Kensington Oval.   The second ODI is also scheduled for Kensington Oval on January 9, with the Grenada National Stadium hosting the final ODI.

Grenada will be the venue for the opening T20 international on January 12 before Warner Park in St Kitts will host to back-to-back matches on January 18 and 19.

West Indies have beaten Ireland in seven of 10 ODIs and two of four T20s to date.

West Indies coach Phil Simmons is not be concerned that the life-changing contract awarded to Sheldon Cottrell to play for the Kings XI Punjab in this season’s Indian Premier League (IPL) will impact his cricket.

Specialist fielding coach, Trevor Penney, has been named as an assistant to West Indies head coach, Phil Simmons, with specific responsibility for white-ball cricket.

Penney will begin a two-year contract with the West Indies on January 2, 2019, with the hopes of getting the team ready for the Colonial Medical Insurance One-Day International series against Ireland at home.

That series will comprise three ODI games. There will also be three Sandals T/20 Internationals to consider against the Irishmen, both encounters from January 7-19.

The 51-year-old Penny, himself a former player for Warwickshire, has had stints as head coach of Sri Lanka, one as fielding coach of India, as well as was a consultant coach to the Netherlands.

Penney also comes to the position with experience from the Indian Premier League (IPL), where he served as assistant coach at the King’s XI Punjab, Deccan Chargers and the Kolkata Knight Riders. He also provided his services to the St Lucia Zouks and to the St Kitts & Nevis Patriots in the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL). Most recently he helped the Barbados Tridents to their second lien on the CPL trophy.

There he was assisting Simmons, who believes him to be well suited for his latest tour of duty.

“Trevor is an excellent coach and has demonstrated this everywhere he has worked. He has huge experience with Sri Lanka and India at the highest international level, and in most T20 leagues around the world including the CPL. He brings enormous energy and is very well respected by all the players,” said Simmons.

Penney believes he is also a good fit, especially because of the experience he has with the very players who make up the white ball squads.

“I’m thrilled and excited to be given this opportunity to work with this brilliant bunch of cricketers and staff led by Kieron Pollard and Phil Simmons. I’ve been lucky enough over the last few years to work with several members of the squad and the Caribbean is like ‘home away from home’ for me being involved in the CPL,” said Penney.

 

 

 

Penney is very aware that the West Indies have suffered a decline in fortunes in T20 cricket, where they have won two World Cups and wants to get them back to a stage where they are a dangerous outfit.

“We have two big T20 World Cups coming up (in Australia 2020 and India 2021) and it’s my aim to try and improve everybody and be as good as we can and hopefully win those two major ICC events for the great people of the West Indies.”

 

MATCH SCHEDULE

 

Saturday, Jan 4: warm-up vs CWI President’s XI – Three Ws Oval, Barbados

 

Tuesday, Jan 7: 1st Colonial Medical Insurance ODI – Kensington Oval, Barbados 

 

Thursday, Jan 9: 2nd Colonial Medical Insurance ODI – Kensington Oval

 

Sunday, Jan 12: 3rd Colonial Medical Insurance ODI – Grenada National Stadium, Grenada

 

Wednesday, Jan 15: 1st Sandals Resorts T20I – Grenada National Stadium 

 

Saturday, Jan 18: 2nd Sandals Resorts T20I – Warner Park, St Kitts

 

Sunday, Jan 19: 3rd Sandals Resorts T20I – Warner Park

 

 

 

TEAM MANAGEMENT

 

Phil Simmons (Head Coach)

 

Rawl Lewis (Team Manager)

 

Roddy Estwick (Assistant Coach)

 

Trevor Penney (Assistant Coach)

 

Monty Desai (Batting Coach)

 

Ronald Rogers (Strength & Conditioning Coach)

 

Denis Byam (Physiotherapist)

 

A.R. Srikkanth (Team Analyst)

 

Zephyrinus Nicholas (Massage Therapist)

 

Philip Spooner (Media Manager)

West Indies Legend, iconic captain of the 1980s, Clive Lloyd will be knighted as part of the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List and will be joined by former opening batsman, Gordon Greenidge.

Lloyd and Greenidge are the latest member of former West Indies teams to receive knighthood, following greats like Sir Gary Sobers, Sir Everton Weekes, and Sir Vivian Richards.

Lloyd, who earned a CBE as early as 1993, was forced to wait on the prestigious honour because as a Guyanese citizen, knighthood would have to come directly from the queen, unlike is the case in Antigua where that country gave the honour to, Sir Vivian, Sir Curtly and Sir Richie directly.

Lloyd, who led the West Indies during its most successful era, is likely to have made the list for his contribution to cricket not with the Caribbean side but with English County outfit Lancashire, where he plied his trade for some 20 years.

Lancashire skipper at the time, Jack Bond, was full of praise for Lloyd, saying: “His value to Lancashire cannot be measured by ordinary standards.”

For the West Indies, Lloyd played 110 Tests, becoming the first player from the region to play over 100 games in the format, scoring 19 centuries and 39 half-centuries at an average of 46.67. His highest score was an unbeaten 242 against India in Mumbai to set up a series-deciding win for the West Indies.

Lloyd also led the West Indies to two World Cup titles, first in 1975, then again in 1979.

But Lloyd also contributed to West Indies cricket as an administrator, holding stints as a director of the West Indies Cricket Board as well as the team’s chairman of selectors.

Lloyd is particularly well remembered for ‘cometh the hour, cometh the man moments’, famously scoring a wonderful century in the final of the World Cup in 1975 at Lord’s.

Greenidge, meanwhile, a 68-year-old former opening batsman, has been conferred with the Order of St Michael and St George Knight Commander for “services to cricket and to the development of sport” on the overseas list.

Conde Riley, the Barbados Cricket Association president and Cricket West Indies director, has also been honoured for “services in the field of sport and in particular cricket administration”.

West Indies legend Brian Lara has hailed India batting star Virat Kohli as the Cristiano Ronaldo of the sport based on the player’s extraordinary commitment to fitness.

Kohli was recently named in the Wisden top five cricketers of the decade and it was a well-earned accolade considering the fact he has scored 5,775 more international runs than anyone else in the last 10 years.  In fact, since bursting on the scene, the India skipper has sent records tumbling at a remarkable pace.  Kohli has, however, also become noted for his strict diet and rigid fitness routine.  Lara believes his attention to that aspect of his career development, comparable to the likes of Ronaldo and LeBron James, has taken the player to another level.

“It’s unbelievable. He's cricket’s version of Cristiano Ronaldo. I think he’s taken fitness to another level,” Lara said in a recent interview with The Hindu.

“When you see guys in the 70s and the fun that they were having, the fitness level wasn't that great.  In 2019, pretty much, fitness is a major part of the game and Kohli is leading the charge, not just in India but around the world. His mental strength is unbelievable,” he added.

The 31-year-old Indian was named captain of the Wisden Test team of the decade, while also featuring in the ODI XI.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) is set to welcome a new kit sponsor, Castore Sportswear, onboard for the new year after agreeing to a three-year deal reportedly worth £3m (US$3,903,300).

The new sponsorship deal will come as good news for the Caribbean cricket team, which has struggled in that particular area for the past several years as they are set to name a third sponsor in two years. 

The team’s most recent deals included a three-year contract with Australian sportswear brand BLK, signed in 2017, and a two-year agreement with Caribbean hotel chain Sandals in 2018.

For the English-based apparel franchise, who are relative newcomers to the sportswear market, the deal represents a significant escalation as the Windies will become the company's first major sports team deal.  Castore previously signed British tennis star Andy Murray in March.  The partnership with the West Indies is expected to commence in June when the team tours England before heading to Australia to defend the T20 World Cup title.  Castore chief executive Tom Beahon framed the partnership as an arrangement that should mutually benefit entities in similar positions.

“We see an opportunity to partner with like-minded teams who like us are aspirational, but see themselves as challenging,” Beahon told the Financial Times.

“Realistically, we’re not going to sponsor Real Madrid in the next two or three years but in the level below those trophy assets, there are teams and countries who are looking for a partner who will invest in them more than maybe the big guys will do.” 

West Indies all-round legend Sir Garry Sobers has warned England fast bowler Jofra Archer is not yet the finished article, as the bowler has struggled to make a significant impact in recent appearances, after a brilliant start to his career.

The 24-year-old Barbadian born fast bowler captured the attention of the world with a brilliant showing for England at ICC World Cup. Archer then went on to steal the limelight in the 2-2 home Ashes draw with Australia, taking 6-45 in the third Test at Headingley and finishing the series as the third leading wicket-taker with 22, despite only making his debut in the second Test.

The player, however, then struggled in New Zealand recently, returning figures of just 2-209 in England’s 1-0 series defeat.

“One swallow does not make a summer,” Sobers said of the players start to life in international cricket.

“Jofra has a lot of talent and the potential to go a long way, but how far depends on him.  You see a promising player come along and do well for a series, which maybe gives an inflated impression of his ability. If he thinks, ‘Oh, I’ve got it now, I’ve done this, done that’, there’s a danger he will not fulfill his potential,” he added.

“He must recognize the harder he works, the better results he will get.”

Archer will feature for England in a Boxing Day Test against South Africa at Centurion.

 

Virat Kohli played a key innings as India signed off for 2019 with an ODI series triumph over West Indies - and then he rued the fact it was not a year of global conquest.

A four-wicket win in Cuttack on Sunday came on the back of 85 from captain Kohli after openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul weighed in with 63 and 77 to put the home side in control in their chase of 315-5.

Still, amid the celebrations, thoughts turned back to India's hopes of Cricket World Cup glory being shattered at the semi-final stage in England in July.

On that occasion, a wretched start in their reply to New Zealand's 239-8 at Old Trafford saw India's top three - Rahul, Sharma and Kohli - dismissed for one run each.

Kohli said: "2019 has been one of the best years for Indian cricket.

"Apart from the 30 minutes [against New Zealand] in the World Cup, it's been a great year. We'll keep chasing that ICC trophy, this group deserves it for the amount of hard work we have put in. We have a vision in place."

Speaking to reporters at a news conference following Sunday's match, Ravindra Jadeja expressed his satisfaction at getting India over the winning line to secure their 2-1 series success.

His unbeaten 39, paired with a guns-blazing unbeaten 17 from six balls by Shardul Thakur, shut the door on West Indies' hopes of clinging to victory.

Jadeja said: "It was a decider game today so when I went to bat I was just looking to play with Virat because the wicket was so good to bat on.

"Me and Virat were talking in the middle out there, about how the wicket was so good.

"He told me, 'Just continue trying to keep playing your shots, I'll try and finish the game', but unfortunately he got out and he told me to keep playing just normal cricket, don't try and do something silly."

The pep talk paid off as Jadeja received post-match praise from former captain Sourav Ganguly, who tweeted to say the 31-year-old's upturn in batting form was "so important" to India.

"I need to prove to myself I'm still capable of playing limited-overs cricket," Jadeja said. "So I don't need to prove to anybody else in the world, I need to prove to myself."

Virat Kohli made a 55th ODI half-century following fireworks from Nicholas Pooran and Kieron Pollard as India pulled off a big run chase to beat West Indies by four wickets and win the series 2-1.

Pooran (89 from 64 balls) and Pollard (74 not out off 51) bludgeoned 118 runs off the last 10 overs to get the Windies up to an imposing 315-5 at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack on Sunday.

That was not sufficient for the tourists to secure a first bilateral ODI series win over India for 13 years, though, as the second-ranked side in the world reached their target in the penultimate over.

Rohit Sharma hit a run-a-ball 63, while KL Rahul (77) and Kohli (85) also made half-centuries before Ravindra Jadeja (39no) and Shardul Thakur (17no) finished off the job. 

Keemo Paul was the pick of the bowlers with 3-59 and Shai Hope became the second-fastest to 3000 ODI runs, but that was scant consolation for Pollard's men.

The Windies got off to steady start after being put in by Kohli and Evin Lewis fell for a scratchy 21 before Hope was bowled playing across the line to a delivery from Mohammed Shami.

Shimron Hetmyer (37) struck a couple of lusty sixes but became Navdeep Saini's first ODI victim after he was put down by Rishabh Pant and Roston Chase (38) lost his off stump to a yorker from the debutant.

Pooran, also dropped by Pant, and Pollard cut loose with a devastating late onslaught, the former reaching his half-century with a second six in an expensive over from Kuldeep Yadav.

The majestic Pooran missed out on his hundred when he was removed by Shardul in the 48th over, but Pollard swelled his tally of sixes to seven to leave India facing a big run chase.

Rohit and Rahul - centurions in the second ODI - made a great start, the former stepping on the accelerator with a six and four in the fourth over from Jason Holder as the openers scored at around a run a ball for the first 15 overs.

Rahul was the first to reach his half-century after the 100 stand was brought up and Rohit moved to his 43rd ODI fifty, but was gone after edging Holder behind.

The elegant Rahul gloved Alzarri Joseph to Hope and India were 201-4 with 15 overs to bowl after Paul removed Shreyas Iyer and Pant in successive overs.

Kohli coasted to his half-century from only 51 with an array of sublime strokes and positive running, with India needing 79 for victory off the last 10 overs, but there was stunned silence when he chopped on attempting to drive Paul through the off side.

India required 30 from 23 balls when Kohli trudged off, but Shardul hooked Sheldon Cottrell for six in a 48th over that cost 15 runs and Jadeja showed his all-round class as India got home with eight balls to spare.

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