New Zealand's Devon Conway put himself into the record books with a double hundred on his Test debut, though England got themselves back into contention at Lord's.

Mark Wood (3-81) and England debutant Ollie Robinson – who came into the second day on the back of issuing an apology for offensive historic social media posts – managed to wrestle the hosts back into the fray after the tourists closed on 246-3 on Wednesday.

Robinson finished with impressive figures of 4-75 and would have had a five-for on debut if not for Stuart Broad dropping Tim Southee's drive.

Yet the day belonged to Conway, who brought up his 200 with a six before succumbing to a strange run-out in the Black Caps' 378 all out, with England surviving a nervy start to reach the close on 111-2.

Starting the day on 136 not out and, along with Henry Nicholls (61), New Zealand's opener picked up where he left off and, when he hit 154, had surpassed legendary figures WG Grace and Ranji to establish himself as the highest scoring Test debutant on English soil.

Wood delivered in his second over, a bouncer drawing Nicholls into a miscontrolled hook to Robinson, and the paceman soon had his second and third wickets, dismissing BJ Watling and Mitchell Santner either side of Robinson trapping Colin de Grandhomme lbw.

Kyle Jamieson followed to Robinson after lunch as the Black Caps lost a fifth wicket within the space of 29 runs, though Conway trundled on and, amid a late flurry from Neil Wagner, the 29-year-old got his 200 when a top edge soared over the deep square leg boundary.

Conway's record stand came to an end in bizarre circumstances. Joe Root seemed to have let the opportunity for a run-out slip by when he missed the stumps after collecting Ollie Pope's throw, yet England's captain recovered just in time to knock the bails off before Conway made it back.

In reply, England were a wicket down inside four overs. With Southee having an lbw appeal against Rory Burns rightly turned down, Jamieson struck when Dom Sibley (0) was hit on the pads just in line with off stump.

Zak Crawley edged through to Watling as fears of another batting collapse grew, but Burns and Root steadied the ship, reaching unbeaten tallies of 59 and 42 respectively before stumps.

RECORDS TUMBLE FOR CONWAY

There can be no full house just yet at the home of cricket, but the Lord's crowd were treated to a masterclass of an innings by Conway, who became just the second Black Caps batsman, after Matthew Sinclair in 1999, to score 200 on his Test debut, and just the seventh player ever to score a double century on his first appearance in the longest format.

Conway is the oldest player to hit 200 on his Test debut, and his runs accounted for 52.91 per cent of New Zealand's first-innings total.

ROBINSON FALLS JUST SHORT

Wednesday was a difficult day for Robinson, on what should have been a proud moment for the seamer.

He can at least take pride in what was a resilient response, and if not for Broad's dreadful spill from Southee's shot, Robinson would have had a five-for. It would also have matched a unique statistic, as only once previously in Test history have a century and a five-for been recorded by debutants in the same innings, with Harry Graham (107) and Bill Lockwood (6-101) doing so at Lord's in 1893.

Ronald Koeman will remain as Barcelona head coach for the 2021-22 season, president Joan Laporta confirmed on Thursday.

Despite admitting that life inside consecutive bubbles has taken a toll on him mentally, Jamaican all-rounder Andre Russell has vowed to do all he can to lift the Quetta Gladiators once the Pakistan Super League T20 competition resumes on June 9.

West Indies opening batsman, Kieran Powell, is hopeful that a polished half-century, crafted in the ongoing West Indies Best vs Best practice match, will be enough to get the attention of the selectors ahead of the upcoming series against South Africa.

On Wednesday, Powell anchored the WI Best B innings with a responsible 95 from 175 balls, which was earned in 227 minutes.  The batsman, who has not represented the West Indies since 2018, during the team’s series against Bangladesh, has had a difficult relationship with the selection panel as of late.

With several first-string players opting out of the Bangladesh tour earlier this year, Powell was favourite for a return to the squad but was declared to not have met the fitness standard required by the West Indies.  Both the player and the Nevis Cricket Association (NCA) rejected the claims and insisted the batsman had in fact met the required fitness standard.  Powell had earlier failed a test in May of 2020.

Now back in contention, the player will be hoping to put such episodes behind him.

“I would hope it (the score) leaves me in a position of strength.  I think there has been just one century, so this is the second-highest score if I’m not mistaken,” Powell said, following the day's play.

“Hopefully, I can get into the squad, and we will take it from there.  I’ve wanted to get back into the team for some time now.  So, obviously spending time and showing application, I am hoping there is hopefully a reward for that.”

 

 

 

A solid half-century at the top of the order from left-hander Kieran Powell left Jahmar Hamilton XI in a strong position against Jermaine Blackwood XI, on the third day of the Best v Best practice match.

The 31-year-old opener fell just five runs short of a century, but his 95 from 175 balls anchored the West Indies B second innings total of 218 for 4 heading into the fourth day.  The total, at the end of the day’s play, left the team with just 92 runs needed to win the match, with plenty of wickets in hand.

Powell was the anchor throughout the innings, forming key partnerships with opening partner Shane Moseley, who added 36, Shamarh Brooks (39), and Raymond Reifer (22), before being dismissed by spinner Rahkeem Cornwall, who also accounted for Moseley.

Earlier, WI Best A had resumed the day on 197-3 with an unbeaten and confident-looking Shai Hope at the crease on 104.  However, young pace bowler Javon Searles continued an excellent performance with the ball when he added Hope to the collection of top-order batsmen he removed from the crease.  Hope only managed another two runs before being caught by Mosely off the bowling of Searles.  Searles ended the innings with the best figures of 4 for 40.

Paul Palmer, not out on 15, and Reifer, who was not out on 22, will resume the day at the crease for WI Best B on Thursday.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) and the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) will continue to offer development opportunities to some of the best young West Indians during the ninth edition of the CPL, which takes place in St Kitts later this year.

Since 2019, and for the third consecutive season, 12 players have been drafted, retained or signed into the two mandatory Emerging Player positions in each of the six CPL franchises.

Each CPL franchise will have to field an Emerging Player a minimum of five times during the tournament, ensuring that these players get at least some competitive playing experience and the opportunity to train with some of the best players and coaches from across the Caribbean, and around the world.

The list of 12 retained and drafted players include recent West Indies Men’s Test and T20I debutants Joshua Da Silva and Kevin Sinclair who will feature for St Kitts & Nevis Patriots and Guyana Amazon Warriors respectively. At relatively young ages, these two players have notably risen through the CWI development ranks in the last 18 months since featuring for the victorious West Indies Emerging team in the 2019 CG Insurance Super50 Cup.

Four of the Emerging Players will be experiencing the CPL for the first time: Joshua James, Kirk McKenzie, Kadeem Alleyne and Leonardo Julien.  McKenzie and James were members of the West Indies Under-19 side that featured in the last ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup, held in South Africa in 2020, who now have a chance to develop their white ball skills with the Jamaica Tallawahs.

CWI’s Director of Cricket, Jimmy Adams congratulated the selected players saying: “CWI is extremely happy for the 12 Emerging Players who will participate in this year’s CPL tournament. The Emerging Player programme is now a focal point of our elite player pathway and the CPL plays a critical role in exposing these young players to elite players and high level competition. We have no doubt that the experience gained by these young players will be a significant factor in establishing the next generation of international players within this format of the game.”

Reflecting on the third year of the CWI and CPL collaboration, CWI’s High-Performance Manager Graeme West said: “The Emerging Player Programme underlines the growth and strength of the CWI and CPL partnership. In a year where running high-performance activities for our talented young players has been challenging, CPL will provide the 12 emerging players a great learning and development opportunity.”

He continued: “With seven players retained from the 2020 CPL, this draft represents a reward for the performances and potential that the franchises saw from the Emerging Players in Trinidad last year. I’m delighted that three players from last year’s West Indies Under-19 squad have been drafted for the first time with McKenzie, James and Julian joining team-mates Nedd, Young and Seales who will look to build on their performances in 2020. The drafting of Kadeem Alleyne is really significant as it demonstrates to all young cricketers in the Caribbean that outstanding performances in local tournaments can be recognized and rewarded.”

 

The full list of drafted, retained and signed Emerging Players for their respective CPL teams is as follows:

Joshua Bishop​​ (Barbados) - Retained by Barbados Tridents

Nyeem Young (Barbados) - Retained by Barbados Tridents

Ashmead Nedd​​ (Guyana) - Retained by Guyana Warriors

Kevin Sinclair (Guyana) - Retained by Guyana Warriors

Joshua James* (Trinidad & Tobago) - Drafted by Jamaica Tallawahs

Kirk McKenzie​​* (Jamaica) - Drafted by Jamaica Tallawahs

Dominic​ Drakes (Barbados) - Retained by St Kitts & Nevis Patriots

Joshua Da Silva​​ (Trinidad & Tobago) - Retained by St Kitts & Nevis Patriots

Kadeem Alleyne* (Barbados) - Drafted by St Lucia Zouks

Jeavor Royal (Jamaica) - Drafted by St Lucia Zouks

Leonardo Julien* (Trinidad & Tobago) - Signed by Trinbago Knight Riders

Jayden Seales​​ (Trinidad & Tobago) - Retained by Trinbago Knight Riders

 

England fast bowler Ollie Robinson issued an apology after historic messages of a racist and sexist nature posted on his Twitter account emerged on the day of his Test debut.

Robinson took 2-50 on the opening day of the first Test against New Zealand, who reached stumps on 246-3 at Lord's.

However, while the Sussex seamer was in action on the field, comments he made in 2012 and 2013 – when he was aged 18 and 19 – emerged on social media.

In a statement published by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) at the close of play, Robinson admitted to being "embarrassed" and "ashamed" at the social media posts.

"On the biggest day of my career so far, I am embarrassed by the racist and sexist tweets that I posted over eight years ago, which have today become public," he said.

"I want to make it clear that I'm not racist and I'm not sexist. I deeply regret my actions, and I am ashamed of making such remarks. 

"I was thoughtless and irresponsible, and regardless of my state of mind at the time, my actions were inexcusable. Since that period, I have matured as a person and fully regret the tweets.

"Today should be about my efforts on the field and the pride of making my Test debut for England, but my thoughtless behaviour in the past has tarnished this.

"Over the past few years, I have worked hard to turn my life around. I have considerably matured as an adult. 

"The work and education I have gained personally from the PCA (Professional Cricketers' Association), my county Sussex and the England cricket team have helped me to come to terms and gain a deep understanding of being a responsible professional cricketer.

"I would like to unreservedly apologise to anyone I have offended, my team-mates and the game as a whole in what has been a day of action and awareness in combatting discrimination from our sport. 

"I don't want something that happened eight years ago to diminish the efforts of my team-mates and the ECB as they continue to build meaningful action with their comprehensive initiatives and efforts, which I fully endorse and support.

"I will continue to educate myself, look for advice and work with the support network that is available to me to learn more about getting better in this area. I am sorry, and I have certainly learned my lesson today."

The discovery of the comments came after England's players wore anti-discrimination T-shirts carrying messages regarding racism, sexism, transphobia, homophobia and ageism ahead of play starting on Wednesday.

ECB chief executive Tom Harrison strongly condemned the posts and confirmed a full investigation will be launched as part of the governing body's disciplinary process.

"I do not have the words to express how disappointed I am that an England men's player has chosen to write tweets of this nature, however long ago that might have been," Harrison said in a statement.

"Any person reading those words, particularly a woman or person of colour, would take away an image of cricket and cricketers that is completely unacceptable. We are better than this. 

"We have a zero-tolerance stance to any form of discrimination and there are rules in place that handle conduct of this nature. We will initiate a full investigation as part of our disciplinary process. 

"Our England men's team, alongside others from the ECB and our partners across the game, worked together today to create a moment of unity. 

"Using today's spotlight to reaffirm our commitment to driving forward an anti-discrimination agenda. 

"Our commitment to that effort remains unwavering, and the emergence of these comments from Ollie's past reiterates the need for ongoing education and engagement on this issue."

Robinson dismissed Tom Latham and Ross Taylor but New Zealand debutant Devon Conway scored an unbeaten century to leave the tourists in control. 

Devon Conway registered a century on his Test debut as New Zealand enjoyed a productive opening day with the bat in their series with England.

Opener Conway finished up on 136 not out to help the Black Caps close on 246-3 at Lord's in the first of two matches between the nations.

Ollie Robinson also made an impact on debut for England, the Sussex seamer taking 2-50, but it was tough work for the four members of an all-pace attack, with captain Joe Root contributing 12 overs of spin.

Ross Taylor's departure for 14 during the afternoon saw New Zealand sit at 114-3 after winning the toss and opting to bat, but Henry Nicholls combined with Conway to share an unbroken stand worth 132 as England faded.

As he matched former captain Alastair Cook's England record of 161 Test appearances, James Anderson once again dismissed Kane Williamson in the format, the New Zealand captain seeing a defensive push only end up sending the ball back onto his stumps to depart for 13.

Tom Latham also perished via an inside edge, the opener the only wicket to fall in the first session when bowled by Robinson for 23.

However, Conway dazzled in the London sunshine, becoming the 12th New Zealander to mark their maiden Test outing with a century.

The 29-year-old was born in South Africa but cleared to play for New Zealand in August 2020. He had already impressed in white-ball cricket at the highest level prior to his opportunity in the longest format.

His milestone moment arrived in the final session courtesy of a flamboyant flick off his pads through the leg side, one of 16 boundaries the left-hander struck in a composed innings that has so far spanned 240 deliveries.

Nicholls was 46 not out at stumps, happy to play second fiddle to his new team-mate as the Black Caps built the foundations for a big first-innings score.

From fast starts to playing the long game 

Conway - the 281st player to represent New Zealand in Test cricket – had already featured in three one-dayers and 14 Twenty20 games in his international career. Indeed, his T20 batting average (59.1) is the highest of any of the 528 players to make at least 10 appearances. 

His first Test chance saw him set a record too, as he moved beyond Williamson's 131 against India in November 2010 to post the highest score by a Black Caps debutant made outside of New Zealand. 

Anderson able to get Kane once again 

As a busy home schedule that includes a five-match series against India got off to a tough start, Anderson provided a rare moment of success for England by getting rid of Williamson straight after lunch. 

He has now dismissed the right-hander seven times in Tests, the most by any bowler. Indeed, no other New Zealand batsman has fallen to Anderson on more occasions in the format.

West Indies batsman, Shai Hope, is happy to be scoring runs again on the back of an enterprising, unbeaten century on the second day of the Best v Best four-day match at the Daren Sammy Cricket Stadium on Tuesday.

After scoring 79 in the first innings, Hope stroked a fluid 104 from 132 balls, a total that included 9 fours and six 6s.  The total anchored Jermaine Blackwood XI’s 197 for 3 in the second innings, for an overall lead of 283 runs.  Earlier, they bowled out Jahmar Hamilton XI for 178 in their first innings.  Blackwood’s XI made 264 in the first innings.

  “It’s about making sure the bowlers don’t settle and almost putting pressure back onto them. So the key is to make sure I can stay within my game plan. Obviously, the situation of the game would dictate how I play in certain passages but more or less that is the of play I will try to portray, so hopefully, it works out in the future, and hopefully, I can continue in this vein and continue to score runs,” Hope said following the days play.

The batsman has not played a Test since the series against England last year and was dropped from the team ahead of the New Zealand series following a poor run of form.  Since returning to the team the batsman has looked in good nick, however, and will be eyeing a return to the Test team.

“For me, personally, I’m just happy to get those run I need in the red-ball format.  So, if I can continue that when I get the opportunity to play in the Test team if it comes, I’m definitely going to grab it with both hands and score as many runs as possible.”

Dr. Akshai Mansingh, a member of Cricket West Indies (CWI) Medical Advisory Committee, has cautioned that unvaccinated players could eventually find it difficult to take part in leagues around the world as more of the global population gets vaccinated.

At current, there are no cricket leagues around the world that require players to be vaccinated in order to take part in a competition.  However, with the risk and expense attached to the current model of staging tournaments in a biosecure environment and increasing evidence of the positive effect of vaccination on preventing the spread of the virus, there is no guarantee things will stay the same.

At current, a few members of the squad have taken the vaccine, but some remain hesitant at this point in time.  Mansingh pointed out that it was the duty of the medical team to educate the players on the risks and benefits of getting vaccinated but, at the end of the day, the freedom to make individual choices had to be respected.  He speculated, however, that the choices could plausibly, in the near future, affect an individual’s ability to earn income.

“We live in a free society, and we have to respect the decisions of people.  But there may be leagues around the world who say if you are not vaccinated then we will not take you and that is when personal decisions will have to made,” Mansingh told the Mason and Guest Radio program.

“We have erred on the side of freedom of choice, etc., etc. and we will entertain the discussion but there are leagues that are going to pop up, which will not entertain the discussion,” he added.

“We allowed people to opt-out of bubbles that we knew were safe and some of the people that opted out at that time made a completely different choice when they went to India, which was the second most infected country in the world.”

 

 

 

Stuart Broad will be England's vice-captain for the Test series against New Zealand.

Joe Root confirmed on the eve of England's first game of the summer at Lord's that paceman Broad will be his deputy.

Broad steps in with Ben Stokes still recovering from a fractured finger and Jos Buttler rested after completing a quarantine period following the cancellation of the Indian Premier League.

England face the Black Caps at Edgbaston after starting the two-match series at Lord's this week.

Broad revealed he considered retiring after he was left "frustrated, angry and gutted" over his omission from the side for the first Test against West Indies in July before responding with some outstanding performances.

James Anderson will match Alastair Cook's record of 161 Test appearances if he is named in the team to face on Kane Williamson's side in London on Wednesday.

The Jermaine Blackwood-led WI Best A find themselves in a commanding position at the end of the first day of their four-day match against Jahmar Hamilton’s WI Best B at the Darren Sammy Cricket Stadium in St Lucia.

At stumps, WI Best ‘B’ are 44-4 from the 15 overs they faced, 220 runs behind WI Best ‘A’ who scored 264 all out.

Blackwood led from the front scoring 85 while Shai Hope got 79 as the WI Best A got to 254 for 5 before collapsing to 264 all. Roston Chase did the late damage taking 4-44 from 11.3 overs.

Earlier, Chemar Holder took 3 for 44, to keep the batters in check after John Campbell and Hope got the WI Best A to a fast start, racing to 47-0 after just 10 overs with Jayden Searles and Preston McSween bearing the brunt of the onslaught.

Chemar Holder broke the partnership with the score at 62 when he got Campbell for 20.

Darren Bravo and Hope added 42 before Holder dismissed Bravo for seven and Kyle Mayers in consecutive deliveries as WI Best A slipped to 104 for 3.

At 123 for 3, Searles for Hope for 79.

Meanwhile, Blackwood, who was on eight when Hope got out, put together a 54-run stand with Joshua Da Silva, who was eventually bowled by Jomel Warrican for 13.

Kavem Hodge and Blackwood then took the score to 254 when the captain fell for 85 and triggered a collapse as Chase knifed through the lower order and saw the side lose their last five wickets for 10 runs.

When the B side batted, they lost Kieran Powell for 22, Shayne Moseley for 1, Nkrumah Bonner for a duck and Shamarh Brooks for 13 as Keon Harding took 2-23, Nial Smith 1-5 and Shannon Gabriel 1-15.

Teams led by middle-order batsman Jermaine Blackwood and wicketkeeper/batsman Jahmar Hamilton will face off in the first of two ‘Best v Best’ matches set to begin Monday morning at the Darren Sammy Cricket Ground as the West Indies ramp up preparations for the upcoming series against South Africa.

The West Indies Men’s squad has returned to full training in two groups at their preparation camp in St. Lucia after all members of the squad returned negative PCR tests, following the latest round of testing that was conducted on Thursday.

They had team sessions on Friday as well as Saturday morning and afternoon and Head Coach, Phil Simmons is happy to be able to now finetune his squad’s preparation in the build-up to the two-match Test series against South Africa. These matches will be played at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground for the Sir Vivian Richards Trophy on June 10-14 and June 18-22 and are the final matches in the current cycle of the ICC World Test Championship. The Proteas are due to arrive on the island on Tuesday, June 1.

The West Indies players will be involved in a “Best v Best” four-day match, at the same venue beginning on Monday, May 31, and the Head Coach sees this as a great opportunity for all involved.

“I am happy that we are back to full training. We are happy with the preparations up to this point and everyone is fully aware of what is required,” Simmons said. “Yes, we had four good Test matches (vs Bangladesh and Sri Lanka), but at the same time, people need to know that their position is not guaranteed unless they continue to play well. Guys who are out, need to show that they want to get back in by doing well in these games. So, it is a benefit to every one of us.”

Simmons also praised the facilities provided in St. Lucia throughout the camp at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground, which is overseen by CWI Head Groundsman, Kent Crafton. The West Indies Men are gearing up to begin a busy summer schedule, which includes visits from South Africa, Australia and Pakistan before the Caribbean Premier League begins in late August.

The players and staff were previously forced to train in small groups, as a result of the positive COVID-19 and isolation of fast bowler Marquino Mindley on Friday, May 22.

Mindley, who has already returned one negative PCR test on Thursday, remains asymptomatic and in isolation at the team hotel. The CWI medical team continues to monitor his progress, as he requires one more negative PCR test before being allowed to re-join the squad.

The full squad comprises Jermaine Blackwood, Nkrumah Bonner, Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell, Roston Chase, Rahkeem Cornwall, Keron Cottoy, Joshua Da Silva, Shannon Gabriel, Keon Harding, Jahmar Hamilton, Kavem Hodge, Chemar Holder, Shai Hope, Kyle Mayers, Obed McCoy, Preston McSween, Marquino Mindley, Shayne Moseley, Paul Palmer Jr., Veerasammy Permaul, Anderson Phillip, Kieran Powell, Raymon Reifer, Jayden Seales, Nial Smith, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jr. and Jomel Warrican

 

 

Legendary West Indies captain, Clive Lloyd, has called on embattled batsman Shimron Hetmyer to answer doubters by scoring a lot of runs whenever he gets the opportunity.

The 24-year-old has been in the spotlight in recent weeks after losing his international retainer contract with Cricket West Indies.  The young batsman has long been considered to be one of the region’s premier talents but has struggled to hit top gear in recent seasons.

In Test cricket, where he has not played for the team since 2019, he averages 27.93 having played 16 matches.  In One Day International cricket, where he last played in January of last year, he averages 36.66.  In T20 international cricket, he averages 18.95 with a strike rate of 116.97.

In addition, the player has struggled with fitness issues, twice failing a fitness test during the period, ahead of a subsequent tour of Sri Lanka last year and a visit of the same team earlier this year.

“The guy has got ability, we know that all he has to do is produce the runs and there should be no problem,” Lloyd told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“We all know Pooran, Hetmyer these are very talented guys, but that talent must come out with runs.  For a bowler it’s wickets,” he added.

“I would like to say to all the young people, Mr. Hetmyer and the rest of the gentlemen.  They are asking you to be fit, they want you to produce the goods.  If you do well, we would have a world-beating team.”

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