Veteran Windies batsman Marlon Samuels will make a return to competitive cricket alongside a host of compatriots in the Abu Dhabi T10 league, which is set to bowl off in December.

The 38-year-old batsman has been out of the game for several months after taking time off to rehabilitate a troublesome knee injury.  Samuels is now slated to make a return for the Karnataka Tuskers, where he will line up alongside Kesrick Williams, Evin Lewis, Johnson Charles, and Fabian Allen.

Fresh from the disappointment of being overlooked for The Hundred draft experienced T20 campaigner Dwayne Bravo is expected to turn out for Martha Arabians alongside Jamaican Chadwick Walton.

Newly appointed Windies T20 captain Kieron Pollard   Kieron Pollard will suit up for the Deccan Gladiators, with Sherfane Rutherford expected to turn out for the Delhi Bulls.  The Northern Warriors, led by Darren Sammy, has the most West Indians in their set-up, with the likes of André Russell, Nicholas Pooran, Lendl Simmons, Rayad Emrit, and Mark Deyal set to lead their charge.

Newly appointed Windies skipper Kieron Pollard has promised to reject the idea of insularity, an accusation traditionally leveled at numerous regional team selection panels.

As captain of the One Day International and T20 teams, Pollard will assist a panel that has often been accused of favouring players from different regions of the Caribbean, based on its composition at the time.  Despite being an allegation that has never quite been proven, it has clearly caught the attention of the new skipper.

“One of the major things we (selectors) talked about is the insularity that has been going on in the Caribbean and it is something we want to [stamp out],” Pollard said in a recent interview.

“At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter where you’re from, which part of the islands you’re from, once your performance is there, once you fit into the dynamics of the team, [once] you fit into what we’re looking for, you’re going to be selected.

“[The fact] that sometimes you veer to where you’re from is unfortunate, maybe as a home captain or coach, but at the end of the day we will try to pick the best team.

“Me, knowing myself and how I go about things – and this is something I’ve been preaching since the franchise system started in the Caribbean T20 before the CPL – the bigger picture is the cricket and whichever persons are doing well, they’re going to be selected.”

Pollard replaced Jason Holder as ODI captain and Carlos Brathwaite as T20 captain.

West Indies fast bowling legend and outspoken pundit Michael Holding has pleaded for the inclusion of former opener Desmond Haynes in the regional team’s plans going forward.

Haynes, also a member of the legendary West Indies teams of the 70s, 80s and early 90s, has continually expressed interest in occupying the position of head coach and has often received the endorsement of several prominent former players.

The 63-year-old had been in the running for the position, which was recently up for grabs, but Cricket West Indies (CWI) choose to appoint his former opening partner Phil Simmons instead.  Despite not getting the position, Holding is confident that Haynes and others who applied for the post still have plenty to offer to the region and should be included in some way or the other.

 “ I would hope that they (CWI) wouldn’t just turn their backs and say ‘Phil Simmons is the coach; that’s it – the rest of you can just sit down and wait until something else comes up,” Holding told the Line & Length cricket podcast.

“I would hope that Phil Simmons would look at the people who also applied and think to himself ‘ok, I can use some of these people in my set­up. Let me try and get these people under my wing and help this West Indies team’.”

 

Former West Indies captain and legendary batsman, Sir Vivian Richards, believes Hayden Walsh Jr, can reap more success than did the world’s foremost T20 bowler at one time,Samuel Badree.

Badree, once known as the number-one leg spinner in T20 cricket, came into the West Indies line-up in similar fashion to Walsh Jr.

Walsh claimed 22 wickets in the recently concluded Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL), to lead all wickettakers and earn a debut callup to the West Indies.

Sir Viv, just like Walsh Jr is from Antigua and believes the achievement, especially coming from one of the smaller islands, is remarkable, saying he wished the Leeward Islands had picked him more often.

“I think at that particular point, that particular achievement of him getting the most wickets as a spinner and to be coming from these parts, I am wondering what would have happened earlier for him not to have been utilized by the Leewards a little bit more,” Sir Viv pondered.

Walsh Jr’s limited selection in the Leeward Islands side is something Sir Viv believes begs bigger questions about the way the team is selected and their ability to spot talent.

“And so, all these questions need to be asked but I think that certainly, he has thrown his hands in the ring for the next T20 World Cup. I personally believe that he has done well enough to be considered and to be part of that particular unit,” Sir Viv had said before Walsh Jr’s selection to te West Indies’ white ball squads.

Making the comparison to Badree, Sir Viv said:

“And especially with this last performance in terms of being on the winning team with the most wickets, this is how I think Samuel Badree came into contention for the West Indies … I think he came in and he had some success … I don’t think he was as successful as what Hayden Walsh would have [been].”

According to Sir Viv, Walsh Jr can offer more to the West Indies than did Badree because he has other attributes.

To be fair as well, too, he brings so much as well, especially as a spinner; his athleticism in the field. Everything is so brilliant about him, you need some sort of an individual like that for those sort of tournaments,” he said.

Few would have heard of the 27-year-old Antiguan-American before the start of this season but it's safe to say his whirlwind leg break bowling took the competition by storm.  His 22 wickets in 9 matches representing a tournament-high that earned him the Hero Player of the Tournament award.

Twice this season the spinner proved completely unplayable for the opposition, claiming five wickets against the Trinbago Knight Riders and four against the St Lucia Zouks to help catapult the then-struggling team into the playoffs. 

Eventually, it set the stage for one of the biggest upsets in the competition's history with a win over the previously unbeaten Guyana Amazon Warriors in the final.  

Perhaps even fewer would remember the bowler’s forgettable CPL debut season for St Kitts and Nevis Patriots in 2018 where his two overs in just two matches went for a costly 54, with no wickets to show. 

For Walsh, the gentle placing of the CPL crown on a head once plagued with uneasiness, surely once again proved the old adage, the price of success is hard work.

Windies chairman of selectors Roger Harper believes newly drafted spinner Hayden Walsh Jr’s ability to take wickets could be a missing component for the regional team.

The Windies ineffectiveness with the ball during the middle overs of One Day Internationals has been an issue that has come to the fore in recent years.  The problem was recently laid bare at the ICC World Cup. 

Making good use of pace bowlers to open the innings, the team often managed to prise out openers with quick deliveries and variable bounce.  The Windies would often lose any early momentum, however, with an inability to keep taking wickets. 

On the back of a successful CPL campaign, where he claimed 22 wickets with crafty spin bowling, Harper believes the bowler could eventually make a big difference.  

“During CPL he excited everyone with his performances and given the direction white-ball cricket has gone, we realize the need for bowlers capable of taking wickets,” Harper said.

“Walsh has proven he is a wicket-taker and I think he will have a great impact on the team, especially in middle overs so that we won’t be drifting through but can keep control of games.”

The Antiguan-American Walsh previously represented the United States but is now clear to represent the West Indies.

Newly appointed Windies chairman of selectors Roger Harper confirmed veteran batsman Chris Gayle was unavailable for the upcoming series against Afghanistan but suggested the panel would focus on younger talent going forward.

Speculation has continued to surround the future of the star batsman after he announced plans to retire, following the ICC World Cup earlier this year.  The 40-year-old, however, appeared to have a change of heart and went on to claim that the team's series again India, following the cricketing showpiece, would instead be his final. 

Controversy, however, erupted with many suggesting the batsman should hang up his tips and allow for the development of younger players.  Following the series against India, Gayle was again quick to insist that he was in no hurry to retire.  With young openers like Evin Lewis and Brandon King included in the squad, Harper suggested it was time to give younger players an opportunity to showcase their skills.

“Gayle told us he is unavailable for Afghanistan Series, but we all know Chris, he is a world-class player with a tremendous record and of course it’s difficult to replace Chris Gayle,” Harper explained.

"But I think going forward it is in a way an opportunity for young players to showcase their skills and make a name for themselves as we look ahead to the next two T20 World Cups in 2020 and 2021 and the future.”

There was no room for veteran Windies opener Chris Gayle as the new Cricket West Indies selection panel named squads for all three formats for the team’s series against Afghanistan.

The 40-year-old batsman was expected to retire from the sport following this year’s World Cup but had a change of heart.  The player had also targeted the India home tour as possibly his final appearance for the regional team but insisted following the series that he had not retired.

Despite the absence of the talismanic player, however, there are several noted returnees.  As expected, having been appointed captain of the ODI and T20 teams Kieron Pollard returns to the white ball team for the first time in three years.  Pollard replaced Holder as captain of the ODI team and Carlos Brathwaite as leader of the T20 team.  While Holder has been included in all three formats, Brathwaite has been dropped from the squad. 

Fresh off successful campaigns in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Guyana Amazon Warriors opening batsman Brandon King and Barbados Tridents spinner Hayden Walsh Jr have been included in the T20 and ODI formats.  Lendl Simmons, who also put together a solid campaign for Trinbago Knightriders, has also been included in the T20 squad. 

Promising young pace bowler Alzarri Josephs, who missed the World Cup due to injury, will also return to the team for all three formats.

 

Test squad: Jason Holder (Captain), Shai Hope, John Campbell, Kraigg Brathwaite, Shimron Hetmyer, Shamrah Brooks, Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich, Sunil Ambris, Jomel Warrican, Rahkeem Cornwall, Kemar Roach, Keemo Paul, Alzarri Joseph

ODI squad: Kieron Pollard (Captain), Shai Hope, Evin Lewis, Shimron Hetmyer, Sunil Ambris, Nicholas Pooran, Brandon King, Roston Chase, Jason Holder, Hayden Walsh Jr., Khary Pierre, Sheldon Cottrell, Keemo Paul, Alzarri Joseph, Romario Shepherd.

T20I squad: Kieron Pollard (Captain), Nicholas Pooran, Evin Lewis, Shimron Hetmyer, Sherfane Rutherford, Brandon King, Fabian Allen, Jason Holder, Hayden Walsh Jr., Lendl Simmons, Khary Pierre, Sheldon Cottrell, Denesh Ramdin, Kesrick Williams, Alzarri Joseph.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) has confirmed the appointment of former West Indies player, Phil Simmons as the Head Coach of the West Indies Senior Men’s Team for a period of four years, as well as the appointment of three new selection panels.

 Phil Simmons was confirmed as the Head Coach during a meeting of the CWI Board of Directors today, following the conclusion of a short but intensive recruitment process.  The Board had made it clear prior to the start of the recruitment process in September that “persons without West Indian heritage need not apply.”

Simmons served previously for a short period as Head Coach of the West Indies Senior Men’s team, during which he coached the team to the 2016 ICC T20 World Cup title, following which he was controversially dismissed.

He served since as the Head Coach of Afghanistan, who he helped qualify for the first time for the 2019 ICC ODI CWC. His tenure as head coach of Ireland, saw them improve their ICC rankings and qualify for all major ICC events. Simmons’ latest coaching success came just two days ago when he coached the Barbados Tridents to the 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League title with an impressive victory over the Guyana Amazon Warriors in Saturday’s Final.

 “Bringing Phil Simmons back is not just righting a past wrong, but I am confident that CWI has chosen the right man for the job at the right time. I want to also thank the very talented Floyd Reifer for the hard work he put in while he was the interim coach,” said CWI President Ricky Skerritt.

CWI’s Director of Cricket Jimmy Adams said he was pleased with the appointment.

 “I am happy, after a very robust recruitment process at the appointment of Phil to the role of head coach. I have no doubt that Phil brings the requisite leadership skills and experience needed to drive improvement across our international squads and I look forward to supporting him in the role,” Adams said.

 CWI also announced the appointment of three new Men’s, Women’s and Girls’ Panel, and Boys’ Selection Panel following a recruitment process that ran parallel to the selection of the new coach.

The recommendation of a new CWI selection structure and policy were the main outputs of the report of the Selection System Review Task Force, presented by Vice President Shallow at the September Board meeting in Tobago.  Eighteen (18) candidates were considered and evaluated for the five positions across the three Selection Panels. The CWI recruitment panel unanimously selected the following candidates who have now been confirmed:

Roger Harper is now the lead selector while Miles Bascombe has been named to the selection panel. 

The selection panel for the WI Women's and Girls consists of lead selector Ann Browne-John and selector Travis Dowlin.

Robert Haynes has been appointed Talent ID Manager.

The Head Coach of each team will complete the makeup of each of the respective panels.

“We have been delighted at the interest and quality of candidates who participated in the recruitment process to fill the roles for the Selection Panels," said CWI Vice President Dr. Kishore Shallow. "These roles are vital to execute the new selection policy to select squads for the West Indies teams at every level. We wish the selectors every success as they commence work immediately.”

Commenting on the Selection Panels, Jimmy Adams said that with the comprehensive revamp of the CWI selection system including the introduction of separate panels he was confident "that our ability to identify and manage talent will be enhanced. I have all confidence that the new system, along with the selectors chosen to the various panels will continue to help drive our game in this critical area. “

The Selection Panels have already begun work with the West Indies Men’s team preparing to play Afghanistan in India in November in three T20 Internationals, three One Day Internationals (ODIs) and one Test match. The Men’s team will then stay in India to play three T20Is and three ODIs before returning home before Christmas.

 Meanwhile, the West Indies Women will host India Women for three  ODIs and five T20Is starting on November 1.

The West Indies Under-19 team will host a triangular series with Sri Lanka and England Under-19s in December as they prepare for the ICC Under-19 World in January in South Africa.

 The Men’s Teams squads will be announced in a press conference at 11 am at Queens Park Oval, Port of Spain, Trinidad on Tuesday, November 16.

 

 

 

 

 

Windies star Chris Gayle has sought to distance himself from rumours linking him with being a supporter of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) party in Guyana.

The 40-year-old Jamaican was recently in the country for the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) fixture between the Tallawahs and unbeaten Guyana Amazon Warriors.  The player had, however, also hosted his 40th birthday party ’40 Shades of Gayle’ at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre.

The left-handed opener was, however, also pictured with representatives of the PNCR on a tour of Mining Town.  The photos prompted widescale speculation regarding the cricketer’s affiliation with the party.  The batsman was quick to insist that he was invited for a community outreach initiative and that he remained unattached to any political party.

“I, Christopher Gayle, would like to make it very clear that I in no way, manner or form endorse or support any individual or political party in Guyana. I have noted the many Social Media comments in relation to my recent presence in Linden and I wish to set the record,” Gayle posted via social media platform Instagram.

 “I was invited to Linden to participate in community outreach. As a sports personality, I relish the opportunity to meet with my fans and also to reach out to any community under the neutral banner of sports. I am apolitical of any political commitment and strongly condemn attempts to tarnish my brand and personality.”

 

Former West Indies coach Roger Harper has been named as a member of a new four-man panel of selectors expected to begin duties next month.

According to the Trinidad and Tobago Guardian, the 56-year-old former spinner will be joined by former Windwards batsmen Mile Bascome and Lockhart Sebastien alongside Barbadian Hendy Wallace.  Sebastien will serve a second consecutive stint, having been part of a four-man body that served under the leadership of Courtney Browne.  Browne’s panel was sacked soon after a change of administration, which saw Ricky Skerritt replace Dave Cameron as CWI boss.

Sebastien, however, reapplied for the post and was chosen as part of the new panel.  The first job for the newly appointed panel will be to choose a team for the Caribbean team’s tour of India, which will be a tri-series that also includes Afghanistan.

 Harper managed the West Indies team between 2000 and 2003 and later became the manager of the West Indies Youth team in 2005.

 

Former West Indies opener Desmond Haynes and Phil Simmons as well as current coach Floyd Reifer have been short-listed for the job as head coach of the West Indies Senior Cricket team.

 Former West Indies fast bowler Winston Benjamin believes young paceman Alazarri Joseph has been hampered by being drafted into the regional team as an undercooked product.

Joseph was called into the Windies squad three years ago as a talented 19-year-old and has for far played 9 Test matches and claimed 25 wickets.  In one day international’s (ODI) the bowler has made 16 appearances and claimed 24 wickets.  During the period, the player has struggled with both injuries and inconsistency.  Benjamin does not believe the shortcomings are a surprise.

“Let us face facts; when Alzarri got into the West Indies team we were in dire need of fast bowlers and he basically got in on his potential. I worked with him from since he was 15 years old and I said I would like to have another two years with him and then by that time, you would have seen the difference,” Benjamin told Antigua radio show Good Morning Jojo Sports Show.

“He’s here and he’s there, [and] our work was not completed, so he learns from the top [when] everybody else learns from the bottom up. Rabada and all those guys, their thing is structured where you have coaches for every meal of the day and every direction you turn,” he added.

The former fast bowler has admitted to being impressed with the progress the young bowler has made in recent months and believes he could be on the way to fulfilling his potential.

 

Veteran Windies batsman Chris Gayle has voiced his annoyance regarding constant speculation surrounding his future, particularly as it relates to expected retirement plans.

Gayle, who turns 40 tomorrow, announced that he planned to retire from the sport following the ICC World Cup a few months ago.  The player, however, seemed to have a change of heart later, insisting that he could play longer.  Following his appearance at the World Cup, Gayle participated in the Windies One Day International series against India.

 At the end of that series, it appeared several players and members of the media thought Gayle’s international career was at an end as he received a standing ovation.  The Windies talisman was, however, quick to announce that he had said nothing about retirement.  With the question continuing to linger, Gayle has made it clear he has grown weary of the speculation.

“The older you get is the wiser you get and it’s the more you feel a different sort of energy,” Gayle said in an interview posted by Jamaica Tallawahs.

"You get older you might feel a bit jaded here and there.  I’m turning 40 soon and I’m feeling pretty good.  I am going to rest aside this discussion about retirement,” Gayle added.

“It’s something I learned a couple of months ago.  When you make an actual statement about retiring while you are still playing it can be a bit complicated and it can get irritating and annoying.  I get annoyed when people say this and that so from now on, I won’t be answering anyone’s questions about retirement.”

 

 

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