Cricket West Indies president Ricky Skerritt wants to involve more former West Indies players in the process of recreating world-beating teams but believes there is a part of that process they are neglecting.

According to Skerritt, the gap between first-class cricket in the region and international cricket is too great and that may be where past players would best be served.

Speaking on the ‘Good Morning Jojo Sports Show recently, Skerritt said “the legends in their own home islands, it would be great if they could do more. Some of them would tell you that well, I have been living here for so many years and the cricket association president or whoever has never asked me to do anything, so people tend to sit back and wait to be asked because of bad experiences in the past or whatever.”

It is the opinion of many who have an interest in seeing West Indies cricket develop that those who have contributed to the sport as players are being sidelined and their various experiences are going to waste.

Skerritt says his administration has actively been trying to change that.

“I can tell you that more of our former players have been engaged since I have been president and maybe some of them feel like they haven’t been engaged enough and I have no doubt they could be engaged more,” he said.

 “[ … ] but the people who really operate across the region and for whatever reasons that gap is just too huge,” said the CWI president.

Former West Indies fastbowler and cricket commentator, Ian Bishop, is watching the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) with bated breath, as he sees the tournament and as a proof of concept for cricket’s way forward.

Cricket has been at a virtual standstill, with a smattering of games being undertaken in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, but according to Bishop, if a big tournament like the CPL can maintain its bio-security, then the world has a model from which it can re-start regular programming.

According to Bishop, the resources of England made it easier for that country to host the recent #raisethebat series against the West Indies but that the CPL would prove that even countries without those resources can also maintain the same kind of safety.

"Firstly, the economic resources that England and the broadcasters put into that West Indies-England Test series and the Pakistan one that's going on now is significant," Bishop said during a press conference organised by the ICC following the worldwide premiere of its documentary Beyond the Boundary.

Bishop made mention of the fact that the two grounds at which the #raisethebat series were played had hotels there which is not the norm.

But Bishop, who is in T&T where he will operate as one of the commentators on the CPL, believes this tournament an even more important testing ground than the Manchester and Southampton models.

“We don't have as many resources, economically, to put into it, but our folks have been brilliant in utilising the hotel and the staff, the protective forces in carrying out this bubble so far. We still have a month to go, but the end of that month, we will know even better how teams and countries and boards without the economic advantage can carry this out safely,” said Bishop.

According to Bishop, the success of the CPL will depend heavily on the discipline of players as well, saying responsibility in maintaining a safe environment was huge.

“The players have to take responsibility, they have to take ownership of this, discipline themselves and mentally steel themselves in this new normal about staying away from the public and doing things responsibly,” said Bishop.

The CPL example, Bishop went on to say, was also important to the women’s game in the Caribbean, which has been stagnant since sport’s lockdown, months ago.

“Now the women's game and the administrators can look at this without endangering anyone's lives and say, 'Ah, we can play cricket safely.' So now is the time to get back on the bicycle and start putting things in place because I don't know the women's game can continue to be as inactive as it has been. We must now look to drive it forward, even if it's for bilateral tours because we know we can do it safely,” he said.

“So this [the CPL's bubble] is another research and development project. And if we can do it here in Trinidad, I promise you that anyone else in the world can do it because we are doing it without the millions of dollars that other territories may have, so keep an eye on the Hero CPL and if we can do this properly, it will be great.”

Sachin Tendulkar hailed the "immense contribution" MS Dhoni has made to Indian cricket and described winning the Cricket World Cup alongside his former team-mate as the best moment of his life.

Modern-day great Dhoni posted on Instagram on Saturday to say "consider me retired", along with a video montage of his India appearances over the years, though he did not specify whether his announcement refers to all cricket or just the international arena.

India legend Tendulkar, who scored 15,921 Test runs and a further 18,426 in ODI cricket, led the tributes to Dhoni, who captained his country to World Cup glory on home soil nine years ago.

"Your contribution to Indian cricket has been immense, @msdhoni," Tendulkar posted on Twitter.

"Winning the 2011 World Cup together has been the best moment of my life. Wishing you and your family all the very best for your 2nd innings."

Fellow India great Virender Sehwag highlighted Dhoni's coolness under pressure as crucial to his longevity at the top of international cricket.

"To have a player like him, Mission Impossible…Players will come and go but there won't be a calmer man like him," Sehwag wrote. 

"Dhoni with his connect (sic) with people having aspirations was like a family member to many cricket lovers."

Suresh Raina, 33, added his own tribute on Instagram, in a post in which he confirmed he too is stepping away from international cricket.

"It was nothing but lovely playing with you, @mahi7781. With my heart full of pride, I choose to join you in this journey. Thank you India," he wrote.

India batsman Shikhar Dhawan added simply: "Captain. Leader. Legend. Thanks Mahi bhai for everything you have done for the country!"

Ravichandran Ashwin said the memories of his triumphs alongside Dhoni will forever stay with him.

He wrote: "The legend retires in his own style as always, @msdhoni bhai you have given it all for the country. 

"The champions trophy triumph, 2011 World Cup and the glorious @ChennaiIPL triumphs will always be etched in my memory. Good luck for all your future endeavours. #MSDhoni."

Dhoni, an explosive batsman and quality wicketkeeper, also won the World Twenty20 in 2007 and helped his team ascend to the top of the Test rankings.

He last played for his country in the July 2019 World Cup semi-final defeat to New Zealand at Old Trafford.

West Indian players have made a big impact on the T20 game the world over and a panel of experts deciding on the final list of impact players to be discussed as part of a SportsMax Ultimate XI.

The panel, which makes up 40% of overall votes towards the decision in coming up with a final XI, picked Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, and Andre Russell to be part of a list of six for a final discussion on Monday.

The discussions take place on the SportsMax Zone at 5pm Jamaica time and 6pm in the Eastern Caribbean.

When the votes are all tallied, the SportsMax Zone will have contributed 25% of them, while fans have an input too, there’s counting for 35%.

The panel, today, had to pick from among 12 short listed as the best impact players the T20 game has ever seen.

That list of 12 read; Shane Watson (Australia), Shahid Afridi (Pakistan), Bravo, Russell, Pollard, Jos Buttler (England), Imad Wasim (Pakistan), Ben Stokes (England), Colin Munro (New Zealand), Yuvraj Singh (India), Daniel Vettori (New Zealand), and Daren Sammy (West Indies).

When the cuts were made, Sammy, Imad, Buttler, Vettori, Munro, and Stokes, were deemed just a little off the pace.

So, for final discussion on Monday, Watson, Afridi, Bravo, Russell, Pollard, and Yuvraj will be the men being considered.

But the panel’s list is not final and fans, called fanalysts, can still sway the outcome of who makes the SportsMax Ultimate XI, no matter what the panel decides.

To do that, to have your say, vote by clicking here or going to SportsMax.tv and just clicking on the Ultimate XI tab at the top of the screen.

SportsMax.tv has also built a list of profiles where Fanalysts can go to have a look at the careers of the players who have made the SportsMax Ultimate XI shortlist just in case you want to learn a little more about them before making your choice. To take a look at those players click here.

The Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) over the course of seven years has cemented its place in my heart as one of my favourite competitions.

This year, there almost was none, but the administrators of the CPL adapted, showing a willingness to innovate and Trinidad and Tobago, maybe not for the best reasons, stepped in to help fill the breach.

With travel restrictions the order of the day, with COVID-19 cases worldwide rising to more than 21 million cases, with more than 760,000 deaths, the CPL could easily not have happened.

Players in the Caribbean who ply their trade in T20 leagues all over the world have been, in a word, stuck.

This is why it is incredulous to me, how one of these players managed to miss his flight.

Fabian Allen would have missed tournaments after the shutdown of sport and should have been anxious to get back onto the field.

Mixing up the time of the only flight that would allow him to take part in the tournament seems careless on somebody’s part.

Then there was also an announcement that Ramnaresh Sarwan would not be taking up coaching duties with the Jamaica Tallawahs this season.

That announcement was in addition to an upheaval in the Tallawahs that began with Chris Gayle’s distasteful movement to the St Lucia Zouks and Andre Russell’s declaration that this would be his last season with the Tallawahs.

Eventually Gayle would pull out of the tournament altogether, leaving a star-shaped gap in the competition.

Spare a thought for the Zouks though, who, while having good players in their roster, seem to be lacking some star power.

Then there was more controversy once the teams got to Trinidad and Tobago.

Apparently, the local T&T players were not subject to the same protocols as visitors and those visitors got pissed.

Daren Sammy, skipper of the Zouks, was most vocal about this, saying no team should have had the advantage of being allowed to train early because they were not yet in the isolation of the bubble at the Hilton Hotel.

In addition, Sammy and others felt the longer the locals were allowed to stay outside of the bubble, the greater the chances of their entry being unsafe for those already in the bio-secure environment.

Chief of CPL operations Michael Hall sought to reassure the other teams, however, that all precautions were taken to make sure the entrance of the T&T players into the bubble was safe.

So, with just about four days to go before the start of the tournament, things don’t look great.

And the CPL, while producing great cricket, has been a big seller because it showcases the self-proclaimed greatest party in sport.

But can the tournament stand just on the performances of the players?

Can the worldwide acclaim it has garnered still be guaranteed without the fans?

Can the pitches in the twin-island republic where the entire tournament is to be played, stand up to the rigours of as many games as will be played on them?

Whatever the case, just as the West Indies were the first team to stand up for cricket during these uncertain times, the CPL has stood up for the franchise format the world over.

If the CPL can manage to answer these questions in a positive way, then cricket might just come out on the other side of COVID-19 smelling like roses.

 Former West Indies fast bowler turned noted commentator Ian Bishop believes the successful hosting of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) in Trinidad and Tobago should serve as a signal for a more widescale return for the sport across the globe.

Following a months-long break, international cricket officially returned to the global calendar with the West Indies versus England series and is continuing with the England versus Pakistan series.  Bishop, however, pointed out that most countries could not match the tremendous resources need to put on those contests.

He believes if the CPL is able to host the tournament successfully on what must certainly amount to a shoestring budget compared to the amount spent by the England Cricket Board, then other countries should be able to as well.

"Firstly, the economic resources that England and the broadcasters put into that West Indies-England Test series and the Pakistan one that's going on now is significant," Bishop said during a press conference organised by the ICC.

"I don't think there are too many other countries that will have the resources to do it like that because you've got two grounds where hotels are actually on the ground,” he added.

"Another testing ground is where I am now. I am sitting in the Hilton in Trinidad where our CPL T20 is going to start next week.  We don't have as many resources, economically, to put into it, but our folks have been brilliant in utilising the hotel and the staff, the protective forces in carrying out this bubble so far. We still have a month to go, but at the end of that month, we will know even better how teams and countries and boards without the economic advantage can carry this out safely.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

England were left frustrated by both Mohammad Rizwan and bad light on a truncated day two of the second Test against Pakistan.

Rizwan was on 60 not out when play was called off amid the gloom in Southampton, only 41.1 overs of play possible on a Friday that had also seen a delayed start due to rain.

Pakistan were on 223-9 at stumps thanks to some lower-order resistance, despite the best efforts of England seam duo James Anderson and Stuart Broad.

Anderson (3-48) dismissed Yasir Shah for five to take his Test tally to 593 wickets, while Broad claimed the key scalp of Babar Azam with a superb delivery that the right-hander edged through to wicketkeeper Jos Buttler when on 47.

But, having slipped from 78-1 to close a shortened opening day on 126-5, the tourists battled hard in bowler-friendly conditions, Rizwan leading the way with some help from the tail to keep England's opening batsmen waiting for their opportunity.

Early showers had already held back the home team's push for a series-clinching victory, while they failed to take a wicket in a shortened opening session once play finally got under way.

However, having appeared on course to record a Test half-century in a sixth successive first innings, Babar fell to Broad not long after the lunch interval.

Yasir's departure was followed by the careless run out of Shaheen Afridi, who was beaten by Dom Sibley's direct hit when considering a single that was never on, leaving the score at 176-8.

Yet Rizwan added 29 with Mohammad Abbas and while the latter was trapped lbw by Broad (3-56), the wicketkeeper-batsman was still fighting when the overhead conditions forced the players off not long after tea, with no further resumption possible.

Rizwan shows fighting spirit

Aided by a considerable amount of luck, Rizwan posted his second half-century in Test cricket. He played and missed plenty as the ball continued to swing throughout, yet also played some gloriously aggressive shots at times to carry his team's total past 200.

Light work needs to be longer?

It does Test cricket few favours when players are seen trooping off despite no real obvious change in conditions. There is undoubtedly a stage when bad light becomes dangerous to all involved, but it also must be remembered that this a spectacle for viewers, even if there is not a paying crowd inside the Rose Bowl.

Cricket West Indies Director of Cricket Jimmy Adams has insisted on the development of a world-class Test cricket spinner would be a multi-tiered and complicated process.

While the Windies have produced top-quality spinners in the shortest format of the game, with the likes of Devendra Bishoo and Sunil Narine.  The fact that neither has really made the transition to the red-ball format, means it is another area that continues to be lacking for the team.

 In fact, it could be argued that the last West Indies world-class spinner to dominate Test cricket was Lance Gibbs who represented the team in the 60s and 70s.  Gibbs claimed 309 Test wickets.  Creating another player of Gibbs caliber, for Test cricket, is not a simple process.

“It’s a combination of quite a few things.  The first thing is to keep making sure that we encourage spin bowling throughout the region, but also to ensure that the environment in which they are developing their skill is one that can develop world-class slow bowling,” Adams told the Mason and Guest radio program.

In the West Indies regional tournaments, it is spinners that have dominated the bowling in recent years.  For at least the last five years a spinner has taken the most wickets in the WICB Regional 4-day tournament. The honour has been achieved by Rahkeem Cornwall, with Veerasammy Permaul and Nikita Miller achieving it twice.

“Good cricket wickets play a big role in player development, not just spinners but obviously it does for spinners as well.  The Indian spinners in the 90s proved that if you didn’t have wickets that got outside your region, you would struggle whenever you went outside the region,” he added.

“Also, though, we have to improve the quality of batting against spin bowling because spin bowlers also develop their craft by bowling to good batsmen.  You don’t want a spinner to see high-quality batting for the first time when they leave the region.”

 

 

 

 

Josh Philippe is one of three uncapped players included in Australia's squad after their ODI and Twenty20 tour of England was confirmed to go ahead.

Philippe, Daniel Sams and Riley Meredith were included in a 21-man touring party.

Australia named a preliminary squad last month amid uncertainty over the tour due to the coronavirus pandemic, but it was confirmed on Friday the matches would go ahead in September.

Philippe scored 487 runs at an average of 37.46 for the Sydney Sixers during the 2019-20 Big Bash League, while the Sydney Thunder's Sams (30) was the leading wicket-taker.

Meredith, meanwhile, took 10 wickets at 13.70 in six games for the Hobart Hurricanes.

Australia will fly to the United Kingdom later this month before a three-game T20 series starts on September 4, while the ODIs are scheduled to begin a week later.

Glenn Maxwell returns to the squad, replacing D'Arcy Short, while Marcus Stoinis was also recalled.

"It's a squad with great depth and a sprinkle of some exceptional young players," Australia national selector Trevor Hohns said. 

"We are very pleased with the final group which was chosen with a view to continuing our recent form in T20 cricket and the longer term goal of returning to the top in the 50-over game.

"The top and middle order is extremely strong, there's plenty of accomplished all-rounders, fantastic fast bowling depth and spin options. The squad also has the cover required to meet all contingencies given replacements are not available for this tour if injury or illness were to occur.

"The NSP [National Selection Panel] believes this squad, along with those who missed out and others who perform well in domestic cricket, offers a solid platform for success in the white-ball game going forward."

Australia senior assistant coach Andrew McDonald will not travel with the squad due to a commitment to coach the Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League.

Australia: Aaron Finch, Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Riley Meredith, Josh Philippe, Daniel Sams, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa.

It is 30 years to the day since India legend Sachin Tendulkar scored a match-saving maiden Test century against England at Old Trafford.

The 'Little Master' was still churning out the runs in his 200th and final Test more than 23 years later.

Tendulkar is comfortably the leading run-scorer in the history of Test cricket, having racked up a mammoth 15,921 at a staggering average of 53.78.

The elegant right-hander is the fifth-youngest player to make his Test debut – against fierce rivals Pakistan aged 16 years 205 days – back in November 1989 and bowed out on a high note with a half-century against West Indies well over two decades later.

With help from Opta, we look at some of the astonishing numbers Tendulkar amassed during his record double-century of Test appearances.

 

From boy to a man in Manchester

It was already apparently India had unearthed a gem in Tendulkar before his heroics in Manchester, but the teenager showed his incredible maturity on this day three decades ago.

Coming in at number six, he showed great application and skill to make a brilliant unbeaten 119 after contributing 68 in the first innings as India salvaged a draw on the final day.

Aged 17 years, three months and 21 days, he goes down as the third-youngest batsman to score a hundred in the longest format behind Mohammad Ashraful and Mushtaq Mohammad.

He went on to score almost twice as many Test runs as a teenager than anyone else (1,522).

 

A master at home and away 

There have been plenty of players over the years who have varying records playing at home and away, but Tendulkar is not among them.

He averaged 52.7 on home soil and 54.7 on tour, scoring 8,705 runs in 106 Tests outside of India and 7,216 in 94 games in his country of birth.

Tendulkar also scored three of his Test double-centuries away from home and as many in front of his adoring fans in India.

 

A half-century of centuries, Australia a happy hunting ground

No batsman has made as many Test centuries as the 47-year-old icon.

The majestic middle-order talisman reached three figures as many as 51 times, with 22 of those achieved in his homeland. 

Tendulkar also has fond memories of batting in Australia, where he crafted 11 Test hundreds and chalked up nine in Sri Lanka. He also struck 68 Test half-centuries in a magnificent career.

 

A record-breaking 2010

While Tendulkar can reflect on such a special day 30 years ago, he also has plenty of fond memories to look back on from a decade ago.

He was unstoppable in 2010, scoring seven Test centuries: with two against Bangladesh, a couple versus South Africa before double-hundreds against Sri Lanka and Australia.

Only Mohammad Yousuf has more in a calendar year, the Pakistan batsman making a jaw-dropping nine in 2006. Tendulkar also scored 1,000 Test runs in six calendar years – which no other player has achieved.

 

Leading by example

Judging by the numbers, the captaincy did not weigh too heavily on Tendulkar's shoulders.

He averaged 51.4 in 25 Tests as skipper compared to 54.2 in 286 knocks without that responsibility.

There were seven hundreds and the same amount of half-centuries in Tendulkar's 43 visits to the crease during his captaincy.

Fans and the SportsMax Zone were not in agreement with a panel of experts, who made a decision on its picks for SportsMax’s Ultimate XI T20 bowlers today.

The panel on the set of the Zone, made up of former West Indies fast bowler and cricket commentator Ian Bishop, cricket umpire Chris Taylor, and statistician Zaheer Clarke, along with Tom Moody and Vernon Singer (offset), have picked Sunil Narine, Rashid Khan and Lasith Malinga as their three bowlers.

The Afghan Rashid, the Sri Lankan Malinga and the West Indian Narine, were picked from a group of six that included India’s Jasprit Bumrah, South Africa’s Dale Steyn, and Australia’s Mitchell Starc.

Jasprit’s exclusion is where the bone of contention lies.

According to the SportsMax Zone, while Malinga and Narine are shoo-ins, Rashid was not.

In Rashid’s stead, the Zone has picked Jasprit.

In coming up with SportsMax’s Ultimate XI T20, there is a three-way split in the decision-making process with the panel’s picks accounting for 40% of votes, while the Zone has 25, and fans who vote online have a 35% stake in who makes the team.

Fans, so far, have agreed with the SprotsMax Zone’s take on the three best bowlers the T20 game has ever seen, also picking Jasprit to go alongside Narine and Malinga.

There is still an opportunity for the fans to change their minds, but at the moment, they are joining the zone in beating back the opinions of the expert panel.

So far, the panel has picked Chris Gayle and David Warner as its openers, Virat Kohli, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, and AB de Villiers as its middle order to go along with Rashid, Narine and Malinga as its bowlers.

Tomorrow the panel will go about whittling down what are termed impact players in a bid to come up with its version of an Ultimate XI.

The Zone has differed in small ways to date, picking Rohit Sharma to go along with Gayle as well as picking Jasprit over Rashid.

Fans have stuck even closer to the panel to date. As far as openers and the middle order are concerned they are in complete agreement but have veered away with the bowling choices, choosing the same way as the Zone.

But the voting isn’t finished and fans, called fanalysts, can vote by clicking here or going to SportsMax.tv and just clicking on the Ultimate XI tab at the top of the screen.

SportsMax.tv has also built a list of profiles where Fanalysts can go to have a look at the careers of the players who have made the SportsMax Ultimate XI shortlist just in case you want to learn a little more about them before making your choice. To take a look at those players click here.

Seven years ago I was watching this T20 series involving the hosts West Indies women, England women and New Zealand women in Barbados.

The West Indies won the triangular tournament in which Deandra Dottin was named MVP. Stafanie Taylor was named player of the final as West Indies defeated England by a resounding eight wickets.

However, during that tournament, a 17-year-old girl impressed me, and I just knew she was going to be a superstar.

Against England, Shaquana Quintyne almost single-handedly won a match for the West Indies that we had absolutely no business winning. England were 69 without loss, chasing 141 to win with openers Charlotte Edwards, England’s skipper and the number two batter in the world at that time, and Lauren Winfield going great guns.

Shaquana, however, with her leg-spin, picked up both openers and also added the world’s best batter at the time Sarah Taylor as another scalp.

The much-vaunted England batting wilted under the pressure, and the girl from Barbados had stolen my heart and garnered admirers all over the world as she picked up a career best 5-16 off 4 overs. I still remember her beaming child-like toothy smile during that game.

The following March, she was ranked the second-best bowler in all of T20 cricket.

But this story does not have a happy ending.

Shaquana Quintyne, though not formally, for all intents, at just 24 years old, is retired. She cries herself to sleep.

She cries not just because of the pain she endures in her leg but she’s haunted by a future she now knows she will never have.

In March 2017 while fielding in a West Indies squad practice match at the Coolidge cricket ground in Antigua, Shaquana did some damage to her right knee. She felt the pain immediately.

What happened afterwards was a laid back, negligent response to her plight.

After all, what does a 21-year-old girl know about serious injury? It must be an exaggeration. She’s fine. Give her ice and Cataflam, that’ll do it.

Neither the Cataflam nor the ice worked.

A month later, when the pain became unbearable, she took it upon herself to get an MRI scan done. And the scan showed she had a full-blown posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) grade three tear. Then and only then did the medical team of the then West Indies Cricket Board take it upon themselves to advise her to have the urgent surgery needed… three months later in Jamaica.

And so the up-and-coming star, who was at this time, the captain of the Barbados team, had to go under the knife on June 8, 2017, and do surgery, (by a WICB recommended doctor) which could take her out of the action for about a year.

However, while in Jamaica in the immediate aftermath of her release from the hospital, she experienced more pain. Ripped stitches and blood made for a dramatic scene at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel before she was rushed back to the hospital.

And although she was put on a first-class flight from Jamaica to Barbados, one week after that intrusive surgery, it wouldn’t have helped being on a plane for 12 hours, and in high altitude making stops in Antigua and Trinidad.

Back in Barbados… more pain. Shaquana was told it was all in her mind.

However it was clear she needed another surgery.

And four months later, an independent surgeon from Barbados, removed one of the screws implanted and found out that the graft from the first surgery did not take hold. The doctor also noticed her right knee was not positioned properly back into the socket. There was nothing the doctor could do for Shaquana then and there. The recommendation was to go to Canada.

By the time the third surgery came around in Canada in April of 2018 at the Fowler Kennedy Sport Medicine Clinic, the doctor informed her that based on the damage in her knee, and the lack of cartilage, she would not play cricket again.

And this is when the support of Shaquana by Cricket West Indies stopped.

Previously, according to the board, the Total and Permanent Disablement policy, which did not exist for the women’s team in 2017 was extended to the young Bajan, in light of her injury.

Since the third operation in Canada, however, she has had to fend for herself. She went under the knife for a fourth time, in Canada where she spent six months in rehab. In total her expenses have exceeded US$30,000.

There has been radio silence from Cricket West Indies since June 14, 2018 under the previous administration led by Dave Cameron. Not a call. Not a bit of inquisition. Not a care in the world. And nothing has changed under the new administration led by Ricky Skerritt.

I once had empathy for sporting associations which, based on the economic climate in the Caribbean, can do little to help athletes. However it is bordering on cruel to totally abandon one of your brightest stars, a young star, a girl, in her hour of need.

The call by chairman of selectors Courtney Browne informing her she would not have been offered a central contract for 2018 to 2019 despite the fact she was injured on the job, wreaks of the injustice many in this world are fighting against today. At the first opportunity, she was forsaken.

Where is the West Indies Players Association in all this? Their last call to her was on her birthday in January of 2019… wishing her all the best. No solid representation from an association of which she is still a member.

There is no argument which can be made stating that enough was done. The loyalty of our regional cricketers should never be questioned until this travesty is addressed.

Who failed Shaquana Quintyne? There are so many dirty hands at the moment.

Donald Oliver is a football and cricket commentator and a senior producer at SportsMax. Learn more about him at www.thedonaldoliver.com or email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Caribbean Premier League (CPL) COO Michael Hall has revealed the competition’s delight at increased interest in viewership demand, despite the scaled down nature of this season’s tournament.

With the region and globe disrupted by the effects of the coronavirus this year’s edition of the tournament will be held in Trinidad and Tobago.  The event, which will get under way August 18, will be played in a bio secure environment and without fans, which Hall admits is a big challenge.

“We will be no different than any other sporting event that has taken place since the pandemic.  Is it going to be the same, ‘absolutely not’,” Hall told the Mason and Guest radio program.

The CPL has throughout the years being known for vociferous fans, which some speculate might affect the intensity level of the cricket played.

“I don’t know how much of a factor (no spectators) that is in players performances.  I’ve always heard that the really great athletes shut out the crowd and focus, so I don’t know. But are we going to miss the fans, absolutely there are the lifeblood of the tournament,” he added.

“We are still having the tournament though, fans or no fans.  I know for a fact based on feedback.  Based on feedback, these are things that we track, the anticipation for our global viewing audience has almost trebled.  There have been people reaching out to ask where we can watch it, saying we are dying to watch it and that is only good for the league.”

The CPL will be the first T20 tournament played since the start of the pandemic.

 

There is no place in the final XI set of SportsMax Ultimate XI T20 bowlers for a man who, at one time or another, was the world’s foremost T20 bowler after a panel of experts had to make tough choices to reduce a shortlist of the best in the format of all time.

A panel made up of cricket umpire Chris Taylor, former Australian cricketer and commentator Tom Moody, and regional commentator Vernon Springer, today on the SportsMax Zone, had to bring a not-so-short shortlist of 17 bowlers down to six for final discussion tomorrow where another panel will pick three for SportsMax’s Ultimate XI T20 team.

Samuel Badree will not be part of that discussion.

The team is picked through a combination of voting among fans, the panel, and the SportsMax Zone’s team.

Fans vote online, with their collective decision amounting to 35% of the vote, while the Zone team’s votes amount to 25%. The panel has the lion’s share of the percentage with their vote counting for 40%.

Today, the panel had to decide among a group made up of Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga and Ajantha Mendis; Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Sohail Tanvir and Wahab Riaz; Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan; Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan; West Indies’ Sunil Narine, Badree, and Dwayne Bravo; South Africa’s Imran Tahir and Dale Steyn; India’s Jasprit Bumrah; along with Australia’s Dirk Nannes and Mitchell Starc, who would remain in the discussion for a second evening.

From that list, Afridi, Shakib, Umar, Saeed, Ajantha, Imran, Sohail, Badree, Nannes, Wahab, and Bravo, were all cut.

In the case of Bravo, the panel felt the all-rounder would be better suited as one of the Impact Players, a discussion that is to come down the line.

Badree, on the other hand, was seen as limited and not offering as much flexibility as would Rashid or Narine.

According to the panel, Taylor in particular, Badree is at his best when opening the bowling, while Narine and Rashid are useful throughout an innings.

The SportsMax Zone, in response, found no fault with the eventual six the panel came up with. The Zone and panel will discuss the merits and flaws of Malinga, Rashid, Narine, Steyn, Jasprit, and Starc before coming up with a final three.

While fans, call fanalysts, have not yet made up their mind on the three bowlers who would make up their Ultimate XI, there has been a trend that suggests their six for final discussion.

According to fans, Malinga, Narine, Jasprit, Rashid, Bravo, and Nannes would be the six they would have under consideration tomorrow.

Fanalysts can vote by clicking here or going to SportsMax.tv and just clicking on the Ultimate XI tab at the top of the screen.

SportsMax.tv has also built a list of profiles where Fanalysts can go to have a look at the careers of the players who have made the SportsMax Ultimate XI shortlist just in case you want to learn a little more about them before making your choice. To take a look at those players click here.

Teams in this year’s Hero Caribbean Premier League have voiced annoyance with a decision that seems to have given a slight advantage to the Trinbago Knight Riders ahead of the competition’s start on August 18.

The grievance appears to have been caused because local players from the TKR did not join the bio-secure bubble at the Hylton Hotel, continuing to train.

The first teams allowed to train were announced on Tuesday with the St Lucia Zouks and the Knight Riders getting the go ahead. According to a release from the CPL, local players had gone through the mandatory testing process and would this week enter the bubble.

“Everyone should have been part of the bubble from the first day to “guarantee” that the health and safety of all stakeholders is not “compromised”, read a social media post from Zouks skipper Daren Sammy.

"How can everybody else be in a bubble no access to training or practice games while others on the outside in a COVID infected area be training and playing practice games. Then allowed to join the bubble without self-isolation," read another from the Zouks skipper.

According to reports, defending champions, Barbados Tridents have also not taken kindly to the difference being shown to the local TKR players and asked why it was that all players from the franchise were not asked to enter the bubble and undergo the mandatory weeklong quarantine everybody else did.

But according to Michael Hall, operations director of the CPL, it was necessary to take precautions to ensure local players entering the bubble were not a threat to the environment’s bio-security.

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