A panel of experts thought better of booting Glenn McGrath from the early reckonings for a place among the SportsMax Ultimate XI team with the Aussie eventually forcing his way into the final picks.

In the final analysis, India seems the place for producing One-Day International (ODI) players of real quality with the country holding onto four of the 11 spots up for grabs in the team.

At the top of the order in the SportsMax Ultimate XI are Indians Sachin Tendulkar and Rohit Sharma, while current India skipper Virat Kohli holds one of the three middle-order spots and Mahendra Singh Dhoni holds onto the wicketkeeper-batsman place in the side.

The West Indies, having won two World Cups in its history and making a final and a couple of semi-finals, are not far behind the Indians, holding down three places with Viv Richards hanging onto a middle-order place and Joel Garner making being part of the bowling attack.

Pakistan, who won the World Cup in 1992, led by Imran Khan also get two spots with the winning captain holding onto the allrounder position and Wasim Akram, the man who was seen as his heir apparent, asked to run in and swing the ball at pace.

Sri Lanka has for its only representative, Muttiah Muralitharan, while the Australian interest in the side has been decimated with just McGrath still standing from the plethora of greats they have produced.

 

Ultimate XI:

Sachin Tendulkar, Rohit Sharma, Viv Richards, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, MS Dhoni, Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Joel Garner, Glenn McGrath, Muttiah Muralitharan

 

Last week fans were left aghast after a panel of experts and the SportsMax Zone picked a middle-order from three-five, without Brian Lara, a man generally agreed to be the region’s best-ever batsman.

 

Fanalyst Picks

Sachin Tendulkar, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Brian Lara, AB de Villiers, Jacques Kallis, MS Dhoni, Muttiah Muralitharan, Wasim Akram, Curtly Ambrose, Glenn McGrath

 

That decision stood with the panel and the experts and the SportsMax Zone’s combining to create an unbeatable 60% of the total votes.

The same was true for Curtly Ambrose, who the fans decided was the ultimate One-Day International bowler but had to watch as the Zone and the panel left him out in favour of Joel Garner.

Fans also did not get their way with the allrounder pick for the Ultimate XI, as, once again, the Zone and the panel joined forces to pick Imran ahead of their favourite, Jacques Kallis.

Still, there was some joy for the Fanalysts, who benefit from voting for McGrath.

McGrath was not in the final XI picked by the SportsMax Zone, who had to watch as one of their picks, Michael Holding was left out.

 

Zone Picks

Sachin Tendulkar, Rohit Sharma, Viv Richards, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, MS Dhoni,

Imran Khan, Muttiah Muralitharan, Wasim Akram, Joel Garner, Michael Holding

 

Panel’s Picks

Sachin Tendulkar, Rohit Sharma, Viv Richards, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, MS Dhoni,

Imran Khan, Muttiah Muralitharan, Wasim Akram, Joel Garner, Glenn McGrath

In 1993 a score of 284 was challenging and when Pakistan’s Basit Ali took a liking to Curtly Ambrose, Anderson Cummins and Carl Hooper, the West Indies were in trouble.

It was the final of the Pepsi Champions Trophy in Sharjah and the West Indies faced a powerful Pakistan inclusive of Saeed Anwar, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Saleem Malik.

Electing to field first, The Richie Richardson led West Indies must have thought they were in a great position after Anwar and Aemer Sohail struggled to get going, scoring 16 from 26 deliveries and 10 from 40 respectively.

Things looked even more promising when Sohail was caught at slip by Brian Lara off the bowling of Kenny Benjamin.

Inzamam was not known for really pushing the scoring rate and his 30 from 51 deliveries would not have scared the West Indies but there were signs that the tide was turning with Malik at the other end putting on a good display.

Malik would go on to score 84 from 96 deliveries but that was after Courtney Walsh had Inzamam caught by Desmond Haynes.

While Malik’s batting was inspired and helped to bring some stability to a flagging innings, it was the entrance of Basit Ali that really turned the game around for Pakistan.

Basit wasted no time in getting to work, hoisted Ambrose over midwicket for a massive six on one occasion, the innings including five such strikes. Ali wasn’t just dealing in sixes though as he slammed 12 boundaries on his way to a 67-ball century. The final 50 of that 100 took just 25 deliveries.

Basit would end unbeaten on 127 from 79 balls with wicketkeeper Rashid Latif on two for company while Pakistan were 284-4, a much better position than they had seemed they would get into.

The opening pair of Desmond Haynes and Phil Simmons, who had replaced the retired Gordon Greenidge was broken up as a 24-year-old Brian Charles Lara walked at the top.

The move was made to get the innings going and give the West Indies the best chance at chasing down what, at the time, was a mammoth total.

The Trinidad and Tobago batsman, already seen as arguably the best in the world, was up for the task, even after losing Desmond Haynes for just three.

Ata-ur-Rehman did not have a long international career but had a growing reputation for getting the better of good batsmen and when he rubbed Haynes’ edge on the way through to Latif Pakistan must have felt they were in a good place with the West Indies at 29-1.

Simmons had been struggling for form in international cricket but he was in a belligerent mood and proceeded to form a partnership worth 111 with Lara. Simmons accounted for 42 of that century partnership, scoring his runs from 38 deliveries before he was caught and bowled by Malik.

Lara had already been the dominant partner, scoring 69 runs from the 111, but had to take a back seat as another stylish left hander took over the reins.

Keith Arthurton would score 44 during that fateful final, slamming his tally off just 30 balls from a partnership with Lara worth 73.

At 213 for three and Lara having scored 100 from 93 deliveries, the game was over as Richardson pushed the ball around in a bid to ensure there were no hiccups for the West Indies.

Richardson would end unbeaten on 15 from 50 deliveries, while Carl Hooper scored five from 11 to also finish not out.

Lara was the final wicket to go, taking the West Indies to 273-4 before Mushtaq Ahmed had him caught behind.

The innings, which interestingly did not include a single six, was made, in large part, courtesy of 21 boundaries. The 143 deliveries Lara faced, nearly half the innings, made the victory over Pakistan a fairly run-of-the-mill affair after the West Indies got to 285-4 with almost five overs still to be bowled.

Former England Test captain Kevin Pietersen does not want to see Ben Stokes made skipper should Joe Root miss a game against West Indies next month.

England are set to return to action with three behind-closed-doors Tests against the Windies at the Rose Bowl and Old Trafford.

However, current five-day captain Root may be missing for one of those fixtures as his wife, Carrie, is due to give birth, with the batsman conceding he would leave the bio-secure areas in Southampton and Manchester to attend the birth.

Root has not missed a Test since being named captain in 2017 but has backed current vice-captain Stokes to step up should he not be available.

However, Pietersen has advised against having all-rounder Stokes fill the void given his own brief experience of a role he had for only three Tests.

"Do I want to see Ben Stokes change from who he is and the current player he is? Probably not, Jos Buttler would be my guy," Pietersen, who resigned as England captain in 2009, told talkSPORT.

"The entertainers and the guys that have to carry the mantle in the team sometimes aren't the best captains and sometimes struggle with the extra added pressure.

"As a player you are looked at completely differently until that phone call comes and you are announced as the Test captain.

"Responsibilities change, communication changes, the way in which you carry yourself in the dressing room changes.

"I struggled with it, I absolutely hated it and I was rubbish. You have to change and I couldn't command the respect of the dressing room. You say something and it is frowned upon, it is a completely different story."

Although insisting that he respected the decisions, legendary West Indies fast bowler Michael Holding believes the tour of England could be counted as a missed opportunity for the duo of Darren Bravo and Shimron Hetmyer.

Hetmyer and Bravo joined bowler Keemo Paul in rejecting the offer to join a 25-member squad to tour England this month.  With the UK being one of the countries most badly ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic, the trio insisted that they did not feel it was safe to take the risk associated with going on the tour, despite safety assurances given by the England Cricket Board (ECB).  The matches will take place in front of empty stadiums and players will be kept in an enclosed and heavily quarantined environment.

With both players, despite their prodigious talent, struggling for firm footing when it comes to the West Indies squad, Holding believes the match could have provided useful hitting time.

“I think it’s unfortunate as far as West Indies cricket is concerned.  I’m not going to tell anyone that they should be going to England, because the COVID-19 is around.  Someone may get sick or even worse,” Holding said on youtube podcast Mikey – No Holding back.

“But at the same time, I think it’s unfortunate for the West Indies team because these guys have quite a bit of talent and they’ll be missed," he added.

“I’m sorry that Bravo in particular isn’t going, because I think he needs to resuscitate his career.  He started off so brilliantly, everyone thought he was going to be another great West Indian batsman but he hasn’t really fulfilled that.  I think the more cricket he can play now, especially with the West Indies, is the more he has a chance of getting on track and showing everyone the great player he could be,” Holding said.

“Hetmyer is another talented player and again I’m sorry that he is not going to get more opportunities to express himself, but I’m not blaming them for not going.”

 

 

Former West Indies captain Darren Sammy has been left seething after realizing a term used to refer to him when he took part in the Indian Premier League (IPL) may not have been a term of endearment after all.

Sammy, the two-time T20 World Cup winner, recently took to social media platform Instagram to reveal that during his time playing for the Hyderabad franchise he and Sri Lanka all-rounder Thisara Perera were called 'kalu'. 

The West Indian reveals he was told that the word meant ‘strong stallion’ but in Hindi, it translates as black and is said to be a common name for black cats. 

 "I just learnt what that kalu meant when I played for Sunrisers in the IPL. They called me and Perera by that name. I thought it meant strong Stallion. My previous post tells me something different and I am angry,” Sammy wrote.

Earlier this week the 36-year-old called out the International Cricket Council (ICC) and other boards for not speaking out in support of ongoing protest around the globe, which call for racial equality. 

The protests originated in the United States after an African American man in his 40s, George Floyd, was killed by a white police officer.  Derek Chauvin, who has since been charged with second-degree murder was filmed kneeling on the neck of the handcuffed man for several minutes.  Floyd, who pleaded with the officer, went unconscious at the scene and later died at the hospital. 

West Indies all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite has added his name to a growing number of professional athletes choosing to take part in Black Live Matter (BLM) protests around the world.

The 31-year-old Windies big-hitter joined the march in London on Saturday, where thousands of protesters took part in the largely peaceful anti-racism demonstrations.  In Parliament Square, Westminster, protesters knelt for a minute's silence before chanting "no justice, no peace" and "black lives matter". 

The protests, which began in the United States following the death of an African American man George Floyd, have steadily spread around the world.  A white Minneapolis police office, Derek Chauvin, was filmed kneeling on the back of Floyd’s neck for several minutes during an arrest.  Floyd, who was already pinned to the ground, pleaded that he could not breathe before later going unconscious and dying at the hospital.

Earlier in the week, former West Indies captain Darren Sammy and global star Chris Gayle raised their voices in support of the movement.  On Saturday, Brathwaite who recently reviewed his World Cup-winning innings with the BBC took things one step further and took to the streets.

“The revolution will be televised.”

#blacklivesmatter

Brathwaite posted on social media platform Instagram, along with photos from attending the event.  The big West Indian rocketed to fame after an unforgettable performance against England in the T20 World Cup final, where he smashed four straight sixes to hand the Caribbean team the title.

Once there is a commitment from the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) regarding safety protocols and the Ministry of Health gives the all-clear, Trinidad and Tobago is all for hosting the entire tournament in the country.

Last week it was reported that the CPL were intent on presenting a proposal to T&T Prime Minister Keith Rowley for the country to host the entire tournament at two venues, the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Torouba and the Queen’s Park Oval in St Clair.

This week, Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs, Shamfa Cudjoe, said the government was “very, very much open” to the proposal.

The CPL and the Ministry of Sport met on Thursday to discuss plans for a tournament under the health protocols that have become standard since the beginning of the spread of COVID-19.

T&T already has a three-year deal with the CPL where it is to pay US$1 million to facilitate the hosting of semi-finals and finals in addition to the Trinbago Knight Riders’ home games. According to Cudjoe, the financial element of the proposal is not something that has been broached just yet.

"The proposal speaks primarily to the health protocol, and doesn't cover budget or anything of that sort. I must commend CPL for taking this time out to touch on and examine each and every part of the health protocol - from quarantine period after the players land, as to how they are going to be housed, how they are fed and how to maintain social distancing, even rules as to whether saliva or sweat can be used on the ball - they went into detail," said Cudjoe speaking on i95.5fm radio out of T&T.

Cudjoe also went on to say the CPL was recommending a mid-August date for the commencement of the tournament, which would be played in 25 days featuring double headers at both venues.

The Sports Minister said the CPL would be bringing budgetary proposals to the discussion table next week, and that a more concrete answer regarding the safety of hosting the tournament in the country which has remained largely unaffected by the virus with just 117 reported cases to date would be given at that time.

The Barbados Tridents are the defending champions of the Hero CPL.

Picking an all-time best XI for the different territories that make up the West Indies and compete in the annual West Indies Championship was a six-week challenge of monumental proportions.

It took scores of hours to produce it and on occasion, you the reader had to help us out in compiling what we believe to be the six best teams ever assembled from the Caribbean.

Now there is another monumental task in front of us, you included.

While everybody has a team they would like to see win an all-time best XI West Indies Championship, could you really look at a list of the teams we have been posting for the last six weeks and objectively pick a winner?

Could a Leeward Islands team led by the great Sir Isaac Vivian Richards with bowlers like Sir Andy Roberts and Sir Curtly Ambrose, backed up by the batting of Richie Richardson lift the title?

Or would the all-round power of a Barbados team with the likes of the three Ws, and a bowling attack led by Malcolm Marshall be too much?

Maybe the Jamaicans with the powerful Chris Gayle leading from the first ball and Patrick Patterson scaring the bejesus out of batsmen could surprise everybody.

But there is also a Trinidad and Tobago team led by Brian Lara and backed up by the bowling of Ian Bishop, Sonny Ramhadin, and Tony Gray.

Of course, any team with the powerful batting that Guyana has on display cannot be written off.

The potential for how a competition like this would go are incalculable. In fact, asking around the office, I got many different answers about how a competition of this nature would pan out.

Of course, for most in the office, Barbados were hard to deny but the other positions switched around often.

 

All-Time Best West Indies Championship results, office style

 

Lance Whittaker

Barbados, Jamaica, Leeward Islands, Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana, Windward Islands

 

Leighton Levy

Barbados, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Leeward Islands, Jamaica, Windward Islands

 

Kwesi Mugisa

Barbados, Leeward Islands, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana, Windward Islands

 

Paul-Andre Walker

Barbados, Leeward Islands, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica, Windward Islands

 

Donald Oliver

Barbados, Leeward Islands, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana, Windward Islands

 

Now you get to vote on who would win the championship as well. You can vote by clicking here. As usual, you are invited to discuss the virtual championship and the way it has panned out on Facebook or Twitter.  

The placement of the other teams will depend on how many votes they get as a team that wins. So if Barbados gets the second-most votes, then they will have finished second in the virtual competition and so on and so forth.  

For the purposes of ease, here are the teams once again. You may click on any headline to learn more about the names you may not be familiar with:

 

BestXI: Building an all-time West Indies Championship – Leeward Islands

Kieran Powell, Stuart Williams, Richie Richardson, Viv Richards, Keith Arthurton, Runako Morton, Ridley Jacobs, Andy Roberts, Eldine Baptiste, Kenny Benjamin, and Curtly Ambrose.

 

BestXI: Building an all-time West Indies Championship – Barbados

Gordon Greenidge, Desmond Haynes, Sir Everton Weekes, Sir Garry Sobers, Frank Worrell, Conrad Hunte, Clyde Walcott, Joel Garner, Malcolm Marshall, Wayne Daniel, and Sylvester Clarke.

 

BestXI: Building an all-time West Indies Championship – Jamaica

Chris Gayle, Easton McMorris, George Headley, Lawrence Rowe, Maurice Foster, Collie Smith, Jeffrey Dujon, Michael Holding, Courtney Walsh, Patrick Patterson, and Nikita Miller.

 

BestXI: Building an all-time West Indies Championship – Windward Islands

Devon Smith, Irvine Shillingford, Lochart Sebastien, Andre Flecher, Dawnley Joseph, Darren Sammy, Junior Murray, Kenroy Peters, Shane Shillingford, Winston Davis, and Nixon McLean.

 

BestXI: Building an all-time West Indies Championship – T&T

Jeffrey Stollmeyer, Joey Carew, Brian Lara, Larry Gomes, Gerry Gomez, Charlie Davis, Denesh Ramdin, Learie Constantine, Tony Gray, Sonny Ramadhin, and Ian Bishop.

 

BestXI: Building an all-time West Indies Championship – Guyana

Roy Fredericks, Rohan Kanhai, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Basil Butcher, Carl Hooper, Clive Lloyd, Alvin Kallicharran, Colin Croft, Roger Harper, Reon King, and Lance Gibbs.  

Barcelona great Xavi bade farewell in style on this day five years ago as he claimed a fourth Champions League title.

Elsewhere on June 6, Brian Lara set the cricket record books alight in the midst of a phenomenal 1994 purple patch, while an icon of the tennis world has great memories of this day in 1999.

Here we look back on those and some other landmark sporting moments.

 

1994 - Lara racks up 501

West Indies batsman Lara apparently did not satisfy his unquenchable thirst for runs when scoring a Test record 375 against England in Antigua.

On English soil two months later, he scored 501 not out for Warwickshire against Durham, surpassing Hanif Mohammad's 499.

It could have been very different as Lara made an uncertain start – bowled off a no ball on 12 and then dropped by wicketkeeper Chris Scott.

The Durham gloveman's error proved unfathomably costly as Lara smashed 62 fours and 10 sixes to reach his still unsurpassed milestone from 427 deliveries. Starting with the 375, it was his seventh century in eight first-class innings.

 

1997 - Rose finally blooms

Considering his breakout performance as a teenager at the Open Championship came in 1998, Justin Rose had to bide his time when it came to waiting for first PGA Tour title.

However, he took the opportunity in style when his moment came at the 2010 Memorial Tournament.

Four strokes off the lead at the start of the final day, Rose shot an imperious 66 to finish on 18 under and win by three strokes from Rickie Fowler.

In 2013, the Englishman claimed his maiden major triumph at the U.S. Open.

 

1999 - Agassi completes career Grand Slam

Andre Agassi's designs on completing tennis' career Grand Slam appeared to be slipping through his fingers when he fell two sets behind to Ukraine's Andrei Medvedev in the final of the 1999 French Open.

But he stormed back to complete a 1-6 2-6 6-4 6-3 6-4 triumph, converting a fourth match point in the decider. It made Agassi the first man in 30 years to win all four grand slams.

"It's been a lot of years since I've had this opportunity and I never thought I would see this day," he said, having won Wimbledon in 1992, the 1994 US Open and the 1995 Australian Open.

That Roland Garros triumph sparked a late career surge from Agassi, who lost the Wimbledon final to Pete Sampras and won a second US Open later that year, preceding a trio of Australian crowns in 2000, 2001 and 2003.

 

2001 - Iverson steps over Lee

In 2001, Iverson produced one of the greatest moments in NBA Finals history.

With less than a minute of overtime remaining, Philadelphia 76ers star Iverson made a 16-foot jump shot that Tyronn Lue of the Los Angeles Lakers leant in to contest.

As the ball dropped through the hoop, Lue lost his footing and Iverson mockingly stepped over him in celebration – an iconic image that sits uneasily with its main protagonist.

“I don’t like it [people making fun of Lue] because I love him," Iverson told ESPN in 2016. "I don’t like people joking on him and all that, because that’s my man."

The Lakers collectively had the last laugh, storming back from their opening night reverse to take the series 4-1. Iverson top scored for the 76ers in each game and ended the Finals with 178 points – a record for a five-game series.

 

2015 - Barca complete 'MSN' treble

Luis Enrique's fabulous Barcelona side – inspired by the MSN forward line of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar – completed their 2014-15 treble with a 3-1 Champions League final win over Juventus in Berlin.

Ivan Rakitic gave the Catalan club an early lead but Alvaro Morata levelled for Juve 10 minutes after the interval.

Suarez restored the advantage midway through the second half before Neymar made sure of victory deep into stoppage time.

For Xavi, it amounted to the perfect farewell at his boyhood club, having also lifted the Champions League in 2006, 2009 and 2011.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has used the example of a multi-ethnic England team, winners of the 2019 World Cup, to make its point about the importance of racial equality and inclusion.

Earlier this week, former West Indies captain Darren Sammy called on the body to make its voice heard in standing up for racial injustice as protests continued to spread across the United States.  The unrest follows the killing of George Floyd, an African American man, by a white police officer.

The Minneapolis cop, Derek Chauvin, was recorded kneeling on the neck of Floyd while he was pinned to the floor for several minutes during an arrest.  He went unconscious and later died at the hospital.  Chauvin has since been charged with second-degree murder.  The protests have, however, ballooned into an international call for an end to racial prejudice with several athletes and federations lending their voices to the cause.

On Friday, the ICC posted a 90-second video clip of the final moments of victory for England with Barbados-born Jofra Archer bowling the thrilling Super Over against New Zealand.  "Without diversity, cricket is nothing. Without diversity, you don't get the full picture," read the message above the video, posted on social media platform Twitter.

The England team that won the competition, in addition to Archer, featured players that had connections to several countries.  Eoin Morgan an Irishman was captain. The best performer was New Zealand born all-rounder Ben Stokes, with the spinners Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid of Pakistani origin.

 

 

When the SportsMax Zone and a panel of experts consider the monumental task of picking its four bowlers for SportsMax’s Ultimate XI One-Day International (ODI) team, there will be an omission of monstrous proportions.

The panel will not be considering the impressive ODI career of one of Australia’s greatest pace bowlers, Glenn McGrath.

Yesterday, the panel was asked to shortlist a shortlist of pace bowlers so they could discuss what the final list of bowlers looks like this evening. The results were shocking.

From a list of 12 fast bowlers, only six have remained for consideration by the panel.

The evening began with Dennis Lillee, Allan Donald, Shane Bond, Shaun Pollock, Curtly Ambrose, Brett Lee, McGrath, Richard Hadlee, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Chaminda Vaas, Joel Garner, and Michael Holding.

The panel will consider no more, the cases of Lee, Bond, Pollock, Ambrose, McGrath, and Donald.

There wasn’t complete unison in the decision, however, as statistician and sports writer Zaheer Clarke believes McGrath’s figures over the years, in particular, his World Cup figures makes it absurd that he is not to be considered for the final three placings in SportsMax’s Ultimate XI ODI team.

Later this evening on the SportsMax Zone at 4:30 pm Eastern Standard Time and 5:30 pm in the Eastern Caribbean, the panel will discuss which three of Australia’s Lillee, Pakistan’s Akram and Younis, the West Indies’ Garner and Holding, and New Zealand’s Hadlee will take the three fast-bowling spots up for grabs.

At this point, like Clarke, Fanalysts believe the panel to be spewing hogwash with at least two of their decisions.

For the Fanalysts, Wasim Akram, Curtly Ambrose, and Glenn McGrath are the three best ODI pace bowlers the world has ever seen.

Remember, you can vote on what you want your Ultimate XI to look like by going to SportsMax.tv and clicking on the banner or clicking on the link here.

The Fanalyst vote counts for 40% of overall votes, while the panel of experts and the SportsMax Zone have 30% each.

To date, the Zone and panel have picked the same ODI Ultimate XI line-up, with that list looking like Rohit Sharma and Sachin Tendulkar as the openers, AB de Villiers, Viv Richards and Virat Kohli as the middle order batsmen 3-5, Mahendra Singh Dhoni as the wicketkeeper, and Imran Khan as the all-rounder.

The Fanalysts have differed regarding the middle-order and the all-rounder, going for Brian Lara to join de Villiers and Kohli, and Jacques Kallis to do all things cricket.

Recently recalled West Indies spinner Rahkeem Cornwall insists he is satisfied with precautions taken for the team's upcoming tour of England, in light of concerns related to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The West Indies will travel to England for a three-test series next month, which marks a long-awaited return to international cricket for both teams. 

Due to the ongoing threat of the coronavirus pandemic, however, the matches will be played without fans and the players operate strictly within a bio secure environment.  The UK was the hardest-hit country by the coronavirus, recently surpassing Italy with the highest death toll in Europe.  Three players, batsmen Shimron Hetmyer and Darren Bravo and all-rounder Keemo Paul opted out of the 25-man touring party because of coronavirus fears.

“Basically we are going to be quarantined and stay in an environment where you can’t leave.  So, it’s basically you and your teammates that would have to communicate for the duration of the tour.  So, I am satisfied that the precautions are in place,” Cornwall told the Antigua Observer.

“It’s a good feeling to be selected for the series.  We just have to try and be protective in terms of what’s going on, but cricketing-wise, it’s a good feeling knowing that you are going to get some cricket under your belt.  You just have to go and do what you have to do.  It’s not spinner friendly but you never know what conditions will be like.”

Cornwall could, however, have added concerns.  According to the Intensive Care National Audit & Research Centre (ICNARC), published in the UK last month, data has shown three-quarters of critically ill UK Covid-19 patients were overweight or obese.  Weight was rated according to body mass index (BMI) - a BMI of under 25 is considered ‘healthy’ while 25 to 29 is classed as ‘overweight’ and 30 or above, ‘obese’.  It is possible the spinner falls into a category associated with a higher risk of being badly impacted by the disease.

 

 

Sir Richard Hadlee was a bowler of unparalleled skill. He moved the ball both ways, in the air and off the pitch and could hit any crack in a pitch from 17 yards with a consistency that was almost robotic.

Hadlee improved at everything he did. Initially he was not the best at the ODI game, but over time he would improve to the point where Only Joel Garner, Dennis Lillee and Michael Holding could boast better averages than he did.

At the 1983 World Cup, Hadlee’s last, the New Zealand paceman conceded just 2.88 runs per over in 13 matches.

In his first 34 ODIs Hadlee only took 38 wickets at an average of 27.89 and a woeful strike rate of 50.5.

But from January 1982 until the end of his career in 1990, the pacer bowled in 81 matches. Over that period he took 120 wickets at an average of 19.55 and with a strike rate of 35.5.

  

Career Statistics

Full name: Richard John Hadlee

Born: July 3, 1951 (age 68), St Albans, Christchurch, Canterbury

Major teams: New Zealand, Canterbury, Marylebone Cricket Club, New Zealand Invitation XI, Nottinghamshire, Tasmania

Batting style: Left-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm fast

Height: 6 ft 1 in

 

ODI Career:   New Zealand (1973-1990)

Mat    Inns    Balls    Runs   Wkts   BBI     BBM      Ave    Econ   SR    4w     5w     10w

115    112       6182   3407    158    5/25      5/25     21.56   3.30   39.1    1       5         0

 

Career Highlights

  • Captured 158 wickets from 115 matches at an average of 21.56
  • Took five 5-wicket hauls in ODIs
  • 1st player to 1000 runs and 100 wickets in ODIs

Glenn McGrath’s final One-Day International was the final of the ICC Cricket World Cup in the Caribbean. Australia won that World Cup and McGrath was named its Man of the Tournament.

McGrath went out at the top, having claimed 381 scalps in 250 games at an average of 22.02.

His strike rate of 34 and his economy rate of 3.88 in a time made for batting puts him firmly as one of the greatest bowlers of all time. In Australia, that honour has always belonged to Dennis Lillee but today, McGrath joins that conversation, no doubt.

At that 2007 World Cup McGrath bagged 26 wickets, the moment made more spectacular because he had just returned from caring for his wife, who was battling cancer. She would succumb to her fight with cancer in 2008.

McGrath was adept at bowling that ‘nagging’ length where batsmen could not go forward or hop onto the backfoot. He would hit that spot for days if his body could manage to keep up. And batsmen had to be content with scoring from other bowlers or risk heading back to the pavilion for an early shower.

Playing against Namibia in 2003, the World Cup rookies had not yet understood that McGrath was a bowler best left alone for as long as possible and as often as possible. That naivety brought a World Cup record for McGrath, his 7-15 marking the best-ever figures at the tournament.

So on song was McGrath on that day in 2003 that at one point Australia had three slips and two gullies to the paceman’s bowling.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Glenn Donald McGrath

Born: February 9, 1970 (50), Dubbo, New South Wales

Major teams: Australia, Delhi Daredevils, ICC World XI, Middlesex, New South Wales, Worcestershire

Playing role: Bowler

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm fast-medium

Height: 1.95 m

 

ODI Career: Australia (1993-2007)

Mat    Inns    Balls       Runs     Wkts     BBI     BBM       Ave      Econ   SR       4w     5w     10w

250      248     12970    8391         381    7/15     7/15       22.02   3.88     34.0      9        7          0

 

Career Highlights

  • Claimed 381 wickets at an average of 22.02
  • Most wickets by an Australian in ODIs
  • Most wickets in CWC history (71)
  • Best average in CWC history with minimum 1000 balls (18.19)
  • 7 for 15 against Namibia in 2003 is best ever CWC figures
  • Took a wicket with last ball of Test, ODI & T20I careers

Rafael Nadal has celebrated plenty of times on Court Philippe Chatrier, but the jubilation he felt on June 5, 2005 is likely to live with him forever.

It was on this day 15 years ago when 'The King of Clay' won the first of his, to date, record 12 French Open titles.

Novak Djokovic and Francesca Schiavone were also crowned champions on June 5 in years gone by, while Michael Jordan produced one of the shots of his career in the 1991 NBA Finals.

Here we take a look at the most memorable sports events to have occurred on June 5.

 

1991 - Mid-Air Jordan switches hands for stunning lay-up

At this point 29 years ago Jordan was still the nearly man; a two-time MVP who had yet to win a championship ring.

The Chicago Bulls had lost Game 1 of the 1991 NBA Finals to the Los Angeles Lakers too, but they would level the series at home with a convincing 107-86 victory in Game 2 as Jordan scored 33 points.

But his display that night is best remembered for a single shot in the third quarter. Jordan drove towards the basket ready for a right-handed dunk, only to switch the ball into his left hand in mid-air upon seeing Sam Perkins and somehow flip a shot up off the glass and through the net to astound those in Chicago Stadium.

The Bulls would go on to win the series 4-1, beginning a dynasty that would see them dominate the NBA for most of the next decade.

 

2005 - Nadal begins French Open dominance

At this point 15 years ago Nadal was still a promising teenager hoping to win his first grand slam.

However, he was considered the favourite in the final against Mariano Puerta, having won three clay-court tournaments in the build up to the French Open and, despite dropping the first set, he would emerge victorious 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 6-1 7-5.

Nadal has won all but three French Opens since, though on June 5, 2016, it was Djokovic lifting the trophy as he beat Andy Murray in four sets to complete a career grand slam.

 

2009 - England stunned in World Twenty20 opener

Eleven years ago England suffered one of their most humiliating losses in any format.

In the opening game of the second World Twenty20 tournament, the hosts were expected to encounter few difficulties against the Netherlands at Lord's.

With England, who failed to hit a single six, having made 162-5 first up after being restricted to 73 in the second half of their innings, it came down to the chasing side needing two off the final ball to clinch a famous victory.

And they got them in farcical fashion as Stuart Broad's overthrow allowed Edgar Schiferli to scamper through for a second, sealing an incredible four-wicket win for the Netherlands.

 

2010 - Schiavone makes grand slam history

Tennis fans had become accustomed to the sight of Nadal winning grand slams by 2010 when Schiavone became the first Italian woman to reach a major singles final.

The 17th seed was up against Australia's Sam Stosur – who had beaten Justine Henin and Serena Williams along the way – and it was Schiavone who came out on top 6-4 7-6 (7-2).

Schiavone not only became the first Italian woman to win a grand slam singles title, but she was also the second-lowest ranked woman to win at Roland Garros in the Open era.

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