Guyanese prodigy, Shimron Hetmyer, has earned a recall to the West Indies squad scheduled to play against Sri Lanka in two Twenty20 Internationals on March 4 and six after the completion of the current One-Day International between the teams.

Hetmyer and Evin Lewis were spectacularly dropped after an announcement they had both failed fitness tests Cricket West Indies selectors had implemented as a requirement for selection.

There is still no recall for Lewis, who had, not long before, overcome poor form in typically destructive fashion.

The squad also includes a recall for Andre Russell and Oshane Thomas.

Allrounder Russell, 31,  hasn't played for the Caribbean side since pulling up short midway through the 50-over World Cup in June 2019. However, he has taken part in other matches, most notably in the Bangladesh Premier League in December and January

Russell is a two-time ICC T20 World Cup winner, having played a crucial role in the triumphs back in 2012 in Sri Lanka and 2016 in India. He has successfully completed the Cricket West Indies (CWI) return-to-play assessment programme under the supervision of CWI Medical Team in his native Jamaica. He has so far played 47 T20Is for the West Indies.

Fast bowler Thomas, who turned 23 earlier this week, is selected after making a full recovery from a car accident in Jamaica recently. Additionally, wicket-keeper/batsman Shai Hope has been included alongside left-arm spinner Fabian Allen.

Commenting on the squad, CWI lead selector Roger Harper said: “Shimron Hetmyer missed out on selection for the ODI squad. He has since attained the required fitness level, becoming available for selection and has been included.

"Andre Russell is back in the squad, having been cleared by the medical panel and successfully completing CWI’s return-to-play protocol. Andre will add potency to every department of the team. Oshane Thomas appears to be focused and raring to go. He will add pace and penetration to the bowling unit.”

Harper added: “Shai Hope provides an opening option and cover as a back-up wicket-keeper also. Fabian Allen returns from the injury he sustained in the series against Afghanistan late last year. He will provide a spin-bowling option as well as adding depth to the batting group.”

Looking ahead to the T20I matches, Harper outlined that he will have one eye on the ICC T20 World Cup to be played in Australia later this year. West Indies are the defending champions and the only team to lift the trophy twice.

“I look forward to the team building on its recent performances and winning the T20 series in Sri Lanka. This is another opportunity for the team to build on its strengths and identify areas that need improvement while continuing the process of building up with the aim of peaking for the T20 World Cup in October,” said Harper.

The two T20Is will be played at the Pallakele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy.

West Indies and Sri Lanka are now contesting a three-match ODI series. Sri Lanka won the first match today by a wicket in Colombo.

The second match is in Hambantota on Wednesday.

 

West Indies T20I squad

Kieron Pollard (capt), Fabian Allen, Dwayne Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Brandon King, Nicholas Pooran, Rovman Powell, Andre Russell, Lendl Simmons, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jr, Kesrick Williams.

 

IN: Andre Russell, Oshane Thomas, Fabian Allen, Shai Hope.

 

OUT: Evin Lewis, Khary Pierre, Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd.

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.

Windies T20 star Andre Russell has insisted he lives for the high-pressure moments after a solid performance with the bat to see Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) side Rajshahi Royals safely into the final, at the expense of Chris Gayle’s Chattogram Challengers.

Russell smashed an unbeaten 54 from 22 balls, which included seven sixes and two fours as the team successfully recovered from 80-4 in the 14th over to reach 164-8 with four balls remaining.  The total saw them claim a dramatic two-wicket win over Chattogram, who had been powered by Gayle’s blistering 60 off 24 balls.

"The plan was just to stay there until the end.  I wasn't worried about the falling wickets but as more wickets fell, it put pressure on me,” Russell told Espncricinfo.

“I just wanted one person from one end, and then let me do my thing at the other end. [Abu Jayed] Rahi stood up with me. Well done to him. I think every run was really important. These scores can be very tricky at times,” he added.

"I love playing in these situations, when it is 12, 13 or 14 runs [needed] per over," Russell said. "Sometimes I love when its like even 15 or 16. I like these challenges. I am strong and I know if I stay as still as possible, I will always have an open mindset and I don't premeditate.”

Rajshahi will face Khulna Tigers in the final on  Friday.

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.

Many of the big-name West Indies T20 players, including Andre Russell and Dwayne Bravo, have been axed from their teams in the Pakistan Super League ahead of its February 2020 start during Saturday’s draft in Lahore.

The West Indies will benefit from the return of Fabian Allen and Denesh Ramdin when they go to India for a T20I series.

Allen is said to be fully recovered from a hamstring strain which put him out of the West Indies 2-1 loss to Afghanistan in Lucknow, India recently.

Ramdin played part of the series as well but had to be replaced by Shai Hope after he also went down due to hamstring issues.

The Kieron Pollard-led squad has retained newcomers Hayden Walsh Jr. and Brandon King, with an eye firmly on the T20 World Cup next year.

Andre Russell continues to be missing from both the ODI and T20I squads although the allrounder, plagued with knee injuries, was fit enough to play in the Abu Dhabi T10 recently.

According to West Indies coach Phil Simmons, who marked his return to the post with successful series against Afghanistan, India is expected to provide more of a challenge than did Afghanistan and is a good way to continue to test the ‘newbies’ in lieu of the T20 World next year.

"We have three matches in each format, so we wanted to give each squad a chance to compete against India," said Simmons.

"No disrespect to Afghanistan, but facing India will be a more difficult series. Our players really got the hang of things, with the 3-0 series win in the ODIs [against Afghanistan], and I believe we will move from strength to strength," he added.

According to Simmons, the battle for places in the T20i squad will heat up and everybody should be given a fair chance to show what they are made of.

"In the T20s this will be another chance for them to play and develop, and again, with no disrespect to Afghanistan, this should be a stronger T20 country and we will look to see how they perform against India. The next ICC T20 World Cup is in Australia and the one after that is here in India so there is a lot of preparation to be done for first for Australia. We have given the players here a chance in this series and we know we have players outside who may be coming in later on as well, so it's good to give those here another opportunity."

The T20I series begins in Hyderabad on December 6. There are two further T20Is, in Thiruvananthapuram and Mumbai, before three ODIs in Chennai, Vizag and Cuttack.

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

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

Rashid Khan entered the history books as the first player picked in the draft for the inaugural season of The Hundred, while Andre Russell was snapped up but Chris Gayle and Lasith Malinga went unsigned.

Afghanistan spinner Rashid, the ICC's top-ranked Twenty20 bowler, was selected in the top-tier £125,000 bracket by the Trent Rockets to join a team that also includes England Test captain Joe Root, Alex Hales and Australia big-hitter D'Arcy Short.

West Indies' electric all-rounder Andre Russell was the second man chosen and is bound for the Southern Brave, where Australia slogger David Warner and England's lightning paceman Jofra Archer are among his team-mates.

"I'm feeling good, I was nervous before, it's the first time being in the draft in this competition," Russell said. 

"I've got a lot to offer, a 100 ball [format] is definitely see ball, hit ball. I don't have to worry about my head [with Archer as a team-mate]. He's a great character. 

"I will try to just bowl faster than him."

Windies legend Gayle and veteran Sri Lanka quick Malinga will not be involved in the tournament, which starts in July next year, after their reserve prices were not met.

Welsh Fire selected world-class Australian quality with the menacing Mitchell Starc and superstar batsman Steve Smith joining England international Jonny Bairstow.

Northern Superchargers coach Darren Lehmann went with Australian familiarity by selecting Aaron Finch and Chris Lynn. 

Lehmann also chose Mujeeb Ur Rahman for a team that already has England's Cricket World Cup hero Ben Stokes.

Glenn Maxwell, Mohammad Nabi, Mohammad Amir and Mark Wood link up with Eoin Morgan – who skippered England to World Cup glory – at London Spirit, while classy New Zealand star Kane Williamson and Ravi Bopara are headed to the Birmingham Phoenix.

Manchester Originals landed Imran Tahir for their top-bracket selection, while Sunil Narine offers spin and top-order explosiveness for the Oval Invincibles.

The Jamaica Tallawahs are hopeful that Andre Russell will be able to return to the team in time for Wednesday night’s clash with the unbeaten Guyana Amazon Warriors at Sabina Park.

When Andre Russell went down and out of Thursday night’s game between the Jamaica Tallawahs and the St. Lucia Zouks at Sabina Park, it proved to be a turning point in the game that ended with the visitors coming out victors.

St Lucia Zouks secured an impressive first victory of their 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) campaign on a night marred by a nasty-looking injury for Jamaica Tallawahs’ star all-rounder Andre Russell.

Trinbago Knight Riders secured their second win of the 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) with a 22-win over Jamaica Tallawahs despite Andre Russell threatening to pull off another unlikely heist.

Last year, Russell had won a game against the Knight Riders almost single-handedly from a seemingly impossible position with a century for the ages, and for a while here he threatened something similar in a game TKR had otherwise dominated.

The Tallawahs needed 99 from 42 when Russell came to the crease, but he smoked the third ball he faced high and handsome over wide long-on for six. When he muscled the next one down the ground and was dropped by Neesham – the ball rolling into the rope for good measure – a repeat of 2018 looked all too feasible.

Ultimately, though, he had been left just too much to do on this occasion. Despite three more monster maximums and the able assistance of George Worker, who finished with 46 and more than played his part in a thrilling 67-run stand it was instead a maiden Hero CPL half-century for Tion Webster and Sunil Narine’s all-round efforts for the Knight Riders that proved decisive.

Webster batted through the TKR innings for his unbeaten 66, with the Knight Riders given early impetus by Narine’s quick-fire 46 at number three. Kieron Pollard made 33 not out at the back end of the innings to lift the total to 191 for 4 before Narine added figures of 2 for 23 from four overs to his night’s work.

Narine got the first Tallawahs wicket to fall, following his batting exploits with the crucial dismissal of Glenn Phillips. The Kiwi keeper-batsman was the second-highest run-scorer in last season’s tournament but made just 6 in his first outing of the 2019 Hero CPL before being bowled by one that spun through the gate.

Chris Gayle hit back-to-back sixes off Mohammad Hosnain and a huge six down the ground off Ali Khan on his return to Tallawahs colours but fell to the American’s very next ball for 28 as sub fielder Akeal Hosein held a juggling catch at deep midwicket.

Rovman Powell picked out Khary Pierre in the deep to hand Seekkuge Prasanna a wicket in his first over to leave the Tallawahs three down and falling well below the required rate.

The squeeze was on. Narine, Pierre and Prasanna at one stage had combined figures of 2 for 32 from seven overs to leave the Tallawahs limping along below a run a ball at the halfway stage of the innings.

Earlier in the night, the Knight Riders innings had got off to a breathless start and rarely let up. Lendl Simmons set the tone, slashing the very first ball of the night from Oshane Thomas over point for four and adding a Hero Maximum before the over was out.

He fell in the second over, though, deceived by the spin of Christopher Lamont and bowled. That brought Narine to the middle for a whirlwind innings. In the space of his first four balls he had bludgeoned two fours, smashed a six over long-on and sent a steepler down to long-leg that was dropped by Gayle.

Two wickets in two overs seemed set to check the Knight Riders’ progress as Narine holed out to Walton at long-on off Shamar Springer for a thrilling shot-a-ball 46 from 22 and Neesham, man of the match two nights ago in the tournament opener, chipped a return catch to Steven Jacobs for just 6.

Instead, Webster simply took up the challenge. Having been content to be the silent partner during Narine’s fun, he smashed 14 in three balls off Springer to start the 11th over and send TKR screeching past 100.

 

The police have launched an investigation to determine who was the real driver of a black Mercedes motorcar said to belong to Windies cricketer Andre Russell that was spinning donuts at a busy intersection in Kingston late last week.

Assistant Commissioner  Bishop Dr Gary Welsh, head of the Public Safety and Traffic Enforcement Branch of the Jamaica Constabulary is ordering the investigation after a video emerged that suggests that West Indies cricketer Andre Russell was inside the Mercedes Benz motorcar and that his personal assistant might not have been the man behind the wheel.

Dennis Deitrich, a man claimed on Tuesday to be the driver of the vehicle that spun donuts at the intersection of Dunrobin Avenue and Dukharan Avenue in Kingston late last week.

Deitrich turned up at the location along with the police on Tuesday and publicly apologized. He claimed he was the driver but that he did not know it would become such a big issue. He said such an incident would never happen again.

The blowback on social media has been significant with most slamming the police for not doing their job and charging the driver, who risked harm to other drivers while spinning the powerful motorcar at the usually busy intersection.

Some posters on social media even called for the firing of Assistant Commissioner of Police.

“They made a fool out of @JamaicaConstab. In its stampede for publicity and likes on social media, it undermined respect for itself and public confidence. The inspector must be fired. He has abused his position and allowed this fellow to flout the law and be rewarded for it,” branding expert @DrHumeJohnson tweeted.

The new video that emerged overnight could prove to be an even bigger public relations disaster for the police, as it suggests that a man resembling Russell was a passenger in the car and that Deitrich might not have been the driver.

The video begins as the car emerges from the final donut turns, smoke billowing from the tyres as the car straightens out and races towards the videographer.

As it gets closer, the car slows to reveal two men inside, one of whom appears to be Russell in the passenger seat. It was not clear who was behind the wheel.

It is not clear if the video is from the same incident but if validated, it would prove to be more egg on the face of the police who staged the ill-advised publicity stunt on Tuesday afternoon.

Under Jamaica’s penal code, a conviction for reckless and careless driving could see an offender face a fine of about US$2000 and possible incarceration.

There has been strong public backlash over what members of the public have deemed a sham of a public apology issued by a man described as the personal assistant to West Indies cricketer Andre Russell over a stunt he pulled along Dunrobin Avenue in Kingston last week.

Pakistan medium pace bowler Kaleem Sana outlasted superb Windies all-rounder Andre Russell as the Winnipeg Hawks dethroned the Vancouver Knights to claim the Global T20 Canada title via a Super Over on Sunday.

In the thrilling encounter, the Hawks, led by an industrious 90 from 45 from Shaiman Anwar, put 192 for 8 on the board during their time at the crease.  In pursuit, the defending champions were in early trouble following the dismals of opener Chadwick Walton and then Tobias Visee with just two runs on the board. 

With the Knights continuing to lose wickets at regular intervals it seemed the Hawks were well on their way to victory when Russell came to the crease, with the team struggling at 140 for 5 and only three overs to go.  The big West Indian, however, had other ideas.  Russell clobbered a dominant 46 from 20 deliveries but saw the Knights fall just short of overhauling the target as Saad Bin Zafar was run out on the last ball of the final over, leaving the teams tied on 192.

Just like he was in the final over, Sana was given the responsibility during the one-over eliminator and although the West Indian clobbered him for six on the first delivery, he recovered to have Russell caught on the boundary by Dwayne Smith on his fourth.

Having claimed 4 for 29, Russell took the ball to defend his team’s 9 runs but was unable to do so.

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