West Indies fast bowling great Andy Roberts believes Shimron Hetmyer erred when deciding to forego the West Indies tour of England.

West Indies captain described the upcoming tour of England as a huge step as the team and support staff departed for the 2020 Sandals Tour of England on Monday evening. The touring party is expected to arrive in the United Kingdom on Tuesday.

The players arrived in Antigua earlier Monday on two charter flights that collected players from across the Caribbean during the course of the day. The West Indies will play three Tests during the seven-week tour in defence of the Wisden Trophy they won during their home series against England in 2019.

“This is a huge step forward in cricket and in sports in general as we travel over to England for this series. A lot has gone into the preparations for what will be a new phase in the game. I’m happy for the support and well-wishes we have been receiving from our loyal and dedicated fans once it was confirmed the tour would go-ahead. This has been a source of great inspiration,” said  Holder.

“We have a fantastic group of cricketers, coaches, medical staff and support staff and I know everyone is eagerly looking forward to the start of the first match when we can get back on the field of play. There is expectation in the air that we will defend the Wisden Trophy and we will certainly put in the work and give it our all to keep hold of it.”

On arrival into Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester, members of the touring party will be tested again for COVID-19 prior to the seven-week tour during which they will live, train and play in a “bio-secure” environment, as part of the comprehensive medical and operational plans to ensure player and staff safety.

The bio-secure protocols will restrict movement in and out of the venues, so a group of reserve players will travel to train and help prepare the Test squad and ensure replacements are available in case of any injury.

Meanwhile, Floyd Reifer will join the coaching staff as batting coach. He will fill in for Monty Desai, who is based in India but is unable to travel due to travel restrictions. He will join the other members of the coaching staff that includes Phil Simmons (Head Coach) and Roddy Estwick (Assistant Coach), and Rayon Griffith (Assistant Coach).

Team analyst A.R. Srikkanth, who is s also based in India will work remotely from Bangaluru for the duration of the tour.

The medical support staff will be bolstered by the additions of Dr Praimanand Singh (Team Doctor), Neil Barry Jr (Physiotherapist), Nkoyo Meade (Massage Therapist) and Donald LaGuerre (Team Psychologist).

The series will feature three back-to-back Test matches for the Wisden Trophy, starting July 8. The first Test will be played at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton (July 8-12) with the second and third matches at Old Trafford in Manchester from July 16-20 and then July 24-28.

Test Squad: Jason Holder (Captain), Jermaine Blackwood, Nkrumah Bonner, Kraigg Brathwaite, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell, Roston Chase, Rahkeem Cornwall, Shane Dowrich, Chemar Holder, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Raymon Reifer and Kemar Roach.

Reserve Players: Sunil Ambris, Joshua DaSilva, Shannon Gabriel, Keon Harding, Kyle Mayers, Preston McSween, Marquino Mindley, Shayne Moseley, Anderson Phillip, Oshane Thomas and Jomel Warrican.

Veteran batsman Darren Bravo and newcomers Keemo Paul and Shimron Hetmyer will not face any backlash from Cricket West Indies for their decision not to travel to England for the three-Test series in July.

As was reported by Sportsmax.TV on Tuesday, Cricket West Indies' (CWI) selection panel named a 14-man Test squad for the proposed Sandals Tour of England 2020 that features newcomers Chemar Holder and Nkrumah Bonner.

The selectors have also named 11 reserves for the tour that includes fast bowlers Shannon Gabriel and Oshane Thomas.

The 22-year-old Holder – who is not related to captain Jason Holder – was the leading fast bowler in the West Indies Championship with 36 wickets in eight matches at 18.91 each, and was one of the successful ICC U-19 World Cup-winning side in 2016.

Bonner, 31, will be making his Test squad debut after being one of the leading batsmen in the 2020 West Indies Championship with 523 runs in seven matches at an average of 58.11.  He has previously represented the West Indies when he played two T20 Internationals back in 2011 and 2012.

Subject to the final approval of the UK Government, the West Indies will defend the Wisden Trophy in three back-to-back Test matches to be played behind closed doors,  starting on July 8.   The touring party that will all be tested for COVID-19 this week, is scheduled to fly to England on private charters on June 8.

According to CWI, the West Indies squad will live, train and play in a “bio-secure” environment during the seven weeks of the tour, as part of the comprehensive medical and operations plans to ensure player and staff safety.

The bio-secure protocols will restrict movement in and out of the venues, so the selection panel has also named a list of reserve players who will travel to train and help prepare the Test squad and ensure replacements are available in case of any injury.

Chief selector Roger Harper explained that the squad will have the time to get accustomed to the new norm in the UK but feels that they have selected a competitive squad.

“The new cricketing environment will take some getting used to. However, being in England and working together for four weeks before the first Test will give the squad the opportunity to get acclimatized and hopefully, mentally and technically adjusted to the demands of the new environment. Playing in July could be a blessing as the weather is likely to be warmer which will allow the squad more of an opportunity to play its best cricket,” he said.

“I think we have a squad that will be very competitive. More than half of the squad were involved in the victorious Test series against England in the Caribbean last year so they will bring that experience, that knowledge and belief with them and marry it to the enthusiasm and vitality of the newcomers.

“The experience of the players who toured England before in 2017 will also benefit the squad greatly. I expect that the bowling unit will once again provide a serious challenge for England and our batting will have to deliver. England is a tough team when playing in home conditions, however, I think the West Indies has a good chance of retaining the Wisden Trophy. We will have to bat consistently well to do so.”

Harper believes newcomers Holder and Bonner will benefit greatly from the tour.

“Chemar Holder is an exciting young fast bowling talent who is coming off an excellent domestic First-Class season. He should enjoy bowling in English conditions. He could prove a real asset to the team in England,” Harper said.

 “Nkrumah Bonner is an unflappable character. His ability to hold the innings together and bat through tight situations could serve the team very well.

“Jermaine Blackwood returns by sheer weight of performance in the domestic First-Class season. His patience and application were evident and that resulted in much greater consistency which I look forward to him taking back into the Test arena. His experience of playing Test cricket in England should stand him in good stead.”  

The chief selector also shed light on the inclusion of allrounder Raymon Reifer and Shannon Gabriel who is returning after undergoing surgery.

“Raymon Reifer has been around for a while and has proved to be a real competitor with both bat and ball – qualities that will add great value to the team. Shannon Gabriel is working his way back to full match fitness after his ankle operation last year.

“The four weeks leading up to the first Test will be of tremendous benefit to him. A fully fit and firing Shannon adds great potency to the bowling attack, so it is important to have him back at his best.”

West Indies are scheduled to arrive in Manchester on June 9 and will be based in Manchester for a three-week period before moving to Southampton for the first Test at the Ageas Bowl. They will then return to Manchester for the second and third matches at Emirates Old Trafford.  All these matches will be played behind closed doors and are still subject to UK Government approval.

The West Indies are scheduled to play the first Test at Ageas Bowl in Southampton from July 8-12.

The action will then move to the Emirates Old Trafford in Manchester for the second Test from July 16-20 as well as the third Test from July 24-28.

WEST INDIES TEST SQUAD: Jason Holder (Captain), Jermaine Blackwood, Nkrumah Bonner, Kraigg Brathwaite, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell, Roston Chase, Rahkeem Cornwall, Shane Dowrich, Chemar Holder, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Raymon Reifer, and Kemar Roach.

RESERVE PLAYERS: Sunil Ambris, Joshua Da Silva, Shannon Gabriel, Keon Harding, Kyle Mayers, Preston McSween, Marquino Mindley, Shane Moseley, Anderson Phillip, Oshane Thomas, and Jomel Warrican.

 

 

 

Reports have emerged that the West Indies selectors have chosen a squad to play against England in a three-Test series in July. However, the squad will not include Darren Bravo, Keemo Paul or Shimron Hetmeyer who have all opted out of the three-Test match tour.

The squad is expected to depart from the Caribbean on June 8.

According to cricket commentator and talk show host Andrew Mason, the selectors had a hard time selecting a squad but in the end, came up with a squad that includes the recalled Jermaine Blackwood and Shannon Gabriel.

The names of the others who were selected include Captain Jason Holder, Kraigg Brathwaite, Shai Hope, Shane Dowrich, Roston Chase, Shemarh Brooks, Rahkeem Cornwall, Nkrumah Bonner, Alzarri Joseph, Chemar Holder, John Campbell, Raymon Reifer and Kemar Roach.

The West Indies will be in the United Kingdom for about four weeks and will be housed in a bio-secure environment while they get up to speed before the start of the first Test.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) confirmed on Tuesday that a three-Test series without spectators is scheduled to start on July 8 at the Ageas Bowl.

Old Trafford will host the second and third Tests.

The venues have been selected from a group of four that submitted an interest, having had to demonstrate to the ECB board an ability to meet criteria surrounding biosecurity, medical screening-testing provision, footprint to enable social distancing and venue-cricket operations.

Edgbaston was picked as a contingency venue and will be utilised for additional training throughout July.

The Windies are due to arrive in England on June 9 and will use Old Trafford as their base for training and quarantining before travelling to the Ageas Bowl.

 

 

 

Cricket West Indies offered condolences to the family and friends of Cleon Smith, head coach of the Jamaica Women’s cricket team. He passed away on Thursday.

Smith played a crucial role in the development of several players on the island, including Stafanie Taylor, the West Indies women’s captain.

He is credited with the success of the Jamaica team in the CWI Women’s tournaments where they won several titles in the last decade. He also coached the St Ann’s parish team several clubs and in schools. Smith was a regular co-ordinator of the Kiddy Cricket programme, which was part of the CWI age-group and junior development pathway.

CWI’s Director of Cricket Jimmy Adams paid tribute to Smith.

“It is with a deep sense of loss that all of us at CWI heard of the passing of Cleon Smith. He has been an integral part of the Jamaica cricketing landscape serving as head coach of the country’s women’s national programme for over ten years,” Adams said.

“Cleon dedicated his life to coaching the game at community, school and regional levels and the game will be left that much poorer by his passing. All of us at CWI wish to convey our deepest condolences to Cleon’s family as we share their grief during this period of mourning

Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines Dr Ralph Gonsalves has given the proposed West Indies tour of England in July his blessing once Cricket West Indies can establish that the players representing the region will be safe.

In this story that was initially published on Friday, May 15, 2020, the writer inadvertently attributed comments from the Dominica Cricket Association in relation to funds earmarked for the Dominica Cricket Academy to Mr Tony Astaphan. Those comments were actually made by Glen Joseph President of the DCA. Sportsmax.TV sincerely apologizes for the error and any harm that may have been caused to Mr Astaphan. 

 

 

 

Did Cricket West Indies (CWI) run the risk of being involved in money laundering when it acted as a conduit for more than US$100,000 intended for the development of cricket in Dominica in 2018?

That and more are questions being asked by auditors and former West Indies fast bowler Michael Holding, who spoke out on the issue which was among several red flags raised by auditors in a recent report on the operations of the CWI.

According to Holding’s reading of the audit, that CWI has reportedly classified as ‘confidential’, but which the fast bowler characterized as damning and harsh, in 2018, the CWI received funds of US$134,200 from a sponsor on or about August 8, 2018, on behalf of the Dominica Cricket Association (DCA).

The money was received from a third party, which appeared to be an offshore corporation, Holding explained.

The auditors, Holding said, wrote that it was unclear why the funds did not go directly to the DCA.

However, the auditors, according to Holding, said the money was paid over to the DCA in three tranches; US$104,100 on November 16, 2018; US$15,700 on August 15, 2019, and US$14,400 on September 21, 2019. “In this particular situation, CWI was the financial conduit,” the auditors are quoted by Holding as adding.

The situation has created some underlying concerns.

“What due diligence was performed to ensure that the source of the funds was legitimate and that the funds were clean from an anti-money laundering compliance perspective,” Holding read.

According to Holding, the auditors also wanted to know what measures were taken to minimize the risk CWI may have been involved in money laundering, noting that they were unable to find an executed agreement for the transaction.

The funds were supposed to be specifically earmarked for cricket development in Dominica. However, there was no evidence CWI obtained confirmation from the DCA that the funds were used as directed.

Holding, while speaking with host Asif Khan on ‘Michael Holding Nothing Back’, also wanted to know whether any directors of the CWI board were involved in the transaction.

The former fast bowler turned commentator was the one who brought the matter to light while speaking with Khan, revealing that he had received a copy of the auditors’ report in his email and thought the Caribbean people would be interested in hearing its contents.

He also wanted to know what process was implemented by the CWI in authorizing the transaction.

However,  Glen Joseph President for the DCA told Andrew Mason, host of the popular Mason and Guest on Friday, that he was surprised by Holding’s comments.

He said he was aware that CWI had received the money and kept it for a long period of time.

Joseph explained the CWI held onto the funds because they were having cash-flow issues and had to use the money for some operations.

“This resulted in our academy having to struggle because we had no money to run the academy so realising the fact that we needed our funds, I made a demand for these funds and I am aware that it was sent. All money that was sent was received and it was solely used for cricket development purposes,” Joseph said.

“Recently, Mr Wilbur Harrigan, who is principal of PKF, (a Dominican firm of auditors and consultants) visited during the time when CWI came to visit in connection with the upcoming game against New Zealand and asked questions on the transaction.

“We explained to him that we received the money, what the money was spent for and shortly after we were able to send him documents on the spending of the funds. There are documents to prove that these funds were used for cricket development purposes. That I can confirm for anybody.”

Joseph said anyone who wishes to get information on the issue can contact the DCA.

“We are very transparent in what we do. I try my best to ensure that we give an account for every dollar received and every dollar spent.”

However, questions remain unanswered with regards to this issue and others raised in the report Holding read, which suggest the auditors were expressing grave concern.

“We have become aware of several matters that cause consternation with respect to whether things were done in the best interest of Cricket West Indies,” Holding quoted the auditors saying.

Reports have emerged that Cricket West Indies has contacted 29 regional players telling them to prepare for a possible tour of England this coming July.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) on the advice and agreement with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), has announced the postponement of the West Indies Men’s three-Test series against England in June, to a future date to be determined.

Jermaine Blackwood scored most runs but fast bowler Alzarri Joseph topped the batting averages during the recently concluded West Indies Championships.

Cricket West Indies confirmed on Monday that Barbados Pride, as well as Guyana Jaguars’ pair of Leon Johnson and Nial Smith, were penalized under its Code of Conduct during the first half of the 2019-20 West Indies Championship season.

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.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) President Ricky Skerritt has been appointed to the Marylebone Cricket Club’s (MCC) World Cricket Committee.

Half-centuries from Nayeem Young and Matthew Patrick helped the West Indies U19 team pull off a seven-run victory over Sri Lanka in their final match of the West Indies Rising Stars U19 Tri-Series, at the Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua on Tuesday.

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