Shimron Hetmyer, Dwayne Bravo and Andre Russell were among West Indies players were retained by their Indian Premier League franchises on Wednesday. However, several others were cut loose and will re-enter the pool of players eligible for the IPL Draft coming up on February 11.

The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management  (ODPM) hurriedly withdrew a previous advisory, which stated that the Russell’s T20 Restaurant and Sports Bar franchise, owned by Windies T20 star Andre Russell, had been ordered closed for breaching regulations.

On Wednesday the government body had issued a release stating that both the restaurants Old Harbour and newly opened Kingston location would be closed for breaching COVID-19 regulations.

 Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Desmond McKenzie, however, then claimed that the both establishments were operating in contravention to other regulations.  The ODPM has since claimed that the release had been prepared but was sent out in error.  

There is yet to be any update in relation to the claims of other permit violations later referred to by the minister.

Russell, one of the region’s biggest T20 stars, opened the Old Harbour franchise in 2017 before adding the Kingston location earlier this month.

Two restaurant sports bar locations owned by Windies T20 star Andre Russell have been ordered to close immediately for operating in contravention of the Disaster Risk Management Act and not having the proper licensing in place.

Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Desmond McKenzie confirmed that both the St Catherine and 12 Dunrobin Avenue locations of Russell's T20 Restaurant and Sports Bar were issued with orders to immediately close on Wednesday.

Night clubs across the island were ordered closed in March, in a bid to arrest the spread of the Covid-19 virus.  According to McKenzie, however, some of the locations across the island have been operating as restaurants in an apparent bid to circumvent the regulations.  In addition to that, however, McKenzie also claimed some of the establishments were not licensed to operate in the manner in which they were.

“There are two locations that we have decided to take actions against, immediate actions.  They are facilities that are owned by a prominent sports individual,” Mckenzie told Nationwide Radio.

“I’m talking about Russell’s T20, the one on Dunrobin and the one in Old Harbour.  The KSMEC and the St Catherine Municipal have never received an application for an amusement license or permit for the operations of these facilities."

Russell opened the Old Harbour branch of the restaurant in 2017, the Kingston location was opened earlier this month.

West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell said he had changed his mind about travelling with the West Indies to New Zealand for their three-match T20 series but by the time he did, the team had already been selected and he was unable to join.

Andre Russell has been lighting up the Lankan Premier League with both bat and ball delighting his many fans around the world.

West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell slammed a blistering 14-ball fifty, in a 34-run win for Colombo Kings over Galle Gladiators, who both featured in a severely shorted rain-affected Lanka Premier League fixture on Saturday.

The 32-year-old heavy hitter showed no signs of a recent injury or quarantine fatigue, as he crashed 13 of the 19 deliveries he faced to the boundary.  His total included nine fours and four sixes - en route to an unbeaten 65.

Overall, the score put Russell in elite company, as he became the joint fifth fastest scorer of a half-century in T20 cricket.  Only compatriot Chris Gayle, India’s Yuvraj Singh and Afghanistan’s Hazratullah Zazai who reached the mark in 12 deliveries, and England’s Marcus Trescothick, who reached the mark in 13, remain ahead of Russell on the list.

In getting to the total of 96 for 1 from five overs, Colombo lost Russell’s opening partner Thikshila de Silva who was dismissed for a golden duck.  After being sent in to bat, Russell by himself scored three more runs than the entire Gladiators team when they unsuccessfully chased the target.  In fact, he was on 44 from 11 balls and just one six away from matching the fastest T20 half-century but could only take one run from the 12th delivery he faced.

 Danushka Gunathilaka top-scored for Gala with an unbeaten 30 as the Gladiators managed to get to 62 for 2.   

 The place of talented all-rounder Andre Russell could be in doubt for future West Indies teams after a number of injuries and invitation declines.

Russell was invited to join the team for the upcoming tour of New Zealand but, according to Cricket West Indies (CWI) chief of selectors Roger Harper, declined after claiming he needed space to ‘clear his head’ after having to deal with playing during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The player last represented the West Indies on tour of Sri Lanka earlier this year, where his scintillating 40 from 14 deliveries saw him named man-of-the-match.

Even with such brilliant performances under his thumb, Harper insisted he was keeping an eye on things and that emerging talent could make it difficult for the 32-year-old to continually be selected ‘if they take their opportunities.’

“I think as we move forward we will look at all situations, all players and determine whether we need to continue to look at those players, continue to consider those players, or we need to move on,” Harper told members of the media, from the team’s training camp in New Zealand, in reference to the situation.

“A lot of things are determined by how well the team performs.  How well the players in the team at the time perform, and the success of the team.  I think if players in the team perform exceedingly well, then it will make it difficult for those that are not on the tour to get back into the team. So a lot of things will be taken into consideration as we move forward.”

 

 

On the heels of news that Andre Russell has withdrawn from the 2020 Lankan Premier League it has emerged that the all-rounder did not request a No Objection Certificate from Cricket West Indies that would allow him to play in the Sri Lankan T20 league.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) chief selector Roger Harper insists he is keeping a watchful eye on the situation surrounding all-rounder Andre Russell after the player decided to spurn the team’s invitation to tour New Zealand because he needed time to ‘clear his head.’   

The 32-year-old’s choice could be looked upon as quite a reasonable one given his recent struggles, particularly in this season’s Indian Premier League (IPL).  According to reports, however, Russell was recently drafted to take part in the Lankan Premier League, which will begin on November 21 and roughly take part at the same time as the team’s tour of New Zealand.

 When pressed on the issue, Harper insisted he could not draw any conclusions and could only rely on what he had been told.

“Andre said he needed some time to clear his head.  He wasn’t handling a situation very well, that’s what he said.  How he chooses to clear his head, I can’t determine that,” Harper told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“I don’t know what decision he has made.  Where he is playing or if he is playing.  I can only look and see what he had told me and then look at what happens subsequently,” he added.

“He is free to make those decisions.  We will look to see what the situation is, how it develops, and take it from there,” Harper said.

“What I will say is that it gives a younger player an opportunity and hopefully that player can make the most of it and really do us proud.”

Injury, concerns over safety and a need for a clear head are the reasons behind Evin Lewis, Lendl Simmons and Andre Russell’s decisions not to accept invitations to join the West Indies’ tour of New Zealand starting next month.

The West Indies on Friday named a 14-man squad that is expected to play three T20 Internationals in New Zealand later this year that included Andre Fletcher who was making a return to the squad after a two-year absence as well as Shimron Hetmyer and Darren Bravo. However, it was noticeable that Russell, Lewis and Simmons were absent.

Chief selector Roger Harper explained during a press conference Friday morning that the three batsman gave different reasons why they opted out.

Simmons, he said, decided against travelling after discussions with his family. Lewis, he said, also discussed the issue with family but was also concerned about a injury that needed more time to heal.

Russell, who is currently playing for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League, said he needed time to clear his head after being in quarantine situations in the Caribbean Premier League and IPL competitions.

“Lendl Simmons and Andre Russell are two very experienced T20 players who performed very well on the last tour of Sri Lanka and their absence will surely be noted,” Harper said in a release from CWI.

However, the respective decisions to decline the invitations to tour will not factor in the selection process to future teams, CWI said.

 

The Kolkata Knight Riders are sweating on the health of Andre Russell, who injured his knee during their two-run win over the hapless Kings XI Punjab on Saturday.

All-rounders Sunil Narine and Andre Russell bounced back with the ball to spearhead Kolkata Knight Riders' 10-run win over Chennai Super Kings in a low-scoring Indian Premier League encounter.

Narine, who has struggled with the bat throughout this IPL, and fellow West Indian Russell were two of those who failed to deliver as Kolkata were bowled out in 20 overs for 167, a total that owed much to Rahul Tripathi's 81 as he repaid the decision to promote him to open.

Chennai were confident of chasing their modest target when Shane Watson (50) and Ambati Rayudu (30) made 69 for the second wicket.

However, some brilliant death bowling from Narine (1-31) and Russell (1-18) meant the Super Kings came up short with 157-5.

Kolkata were indebted to Tripathi's 51-ball knock, which included eight fours and three sixes, as their star-studded middle order for once failed to show up.

Narine, who had been opening, was dropped down to four but could only make 17, while Eoin Morgan (7) and Russell (2) had rare off-days as Dwayne Bravo (3-37) led the Super Kings' fine bowling display.

There was then a boundary in each of Chennai's first 10 overs and they were coasting when requiring 69 off the final 48 balls with nine wickets in hand.

Yet Narine - who bowled overs 12, 14, 16 and 19 - applied the handbrake, along with Russell, whose two-over figures would have look much better had Ravindra Jadeja not struck the final three balls of the innings for an ultimately frivolous 14.

 

BATTING SHAKE-UP PAYS OFF FOR KNIGHT RIDERS

Kolkata's problems in the early stages of the tournament were due to a lack of big scores, with top scorer Shubman Gill down in 13th in the IPL for runs.

However, Tripathi hit their highest individual score in their five games so far, and boy was it needed given the rest of the order's struggles.

 

BOUNDARY DROUGHT COSTS SUPER KINGS

At 90-1 at the halfway point, Chennai were cruising and required only 78 from 60.

However, they failed to find or clear the ropes across the next 33 deliveries and were then left needing 55 off 27. It was that barren patch in the middle of their reply that ultimately proved their undoing.

The Indian Premier League returns this weekend, with the creme de la creme of the sport in the United Arab Emirates for the marquee Twenty20 competition of franchise cricket.

Mumbai Indians, the defending champions, face Chennai Super Kings in Saturday's curtain-raiser, which is a repeat of the 2019 final.

Here, we take a look at the players who should light up the tournament.

 

VIRAT KOHLI (Royal Challengers Bangalore)

No man has more IPL runs than RCB captain Kohli, whose 5,412 have been accrued at an average of 37.84 across his 117 matches.

Key Stat: India superstar Kohli is the only batsman in the history of T20 internationals to average more than 50 (50.80) among those with a minimum of 20 innings.

MS DHONI (Chennai Super Kings)

He may have retired from international duty, but Chennai skipper Dhoni is not calling time on his IPL career just yet. You feel the 'finisher' will want to end with a flourish.

Key Stat: Dhoni has made the most runs as a captain (4,142) among the eight skippers. Rajasthan Royals captain Steve Smith is the only man to have a better win percentage (65.5 per cent) than Dhoni's 59.8 per cent too.

JASPRIT BUMRAH (Mumbai Indians)

Player of the match in the 2019 final, it was Bumrah's 2-14 that proved pivotal to Mumbai's success. The seamer has mastered the art of death bowling.

Key stat: No one bowled more balls at the death (overs 17-20) than Bumrah's 172 deliveries in 2019. He had an economy of just 7.7 during that period. 

ANDRE RUSSELL (Kolkata Knight Riders)

West Indian all-rounder Russell is a box office draw for Kolkata Knight Riders having averaged 56.7 with the bat last year.

Key stat: Russell made 510 runs in 2019, of which 85.5 per cent were made from boundaries. That was the biggest percentage for those to have made at least 20 runs.

ROHIT SHARMA (Mumbai Indians)

A record four-time winner of the IPL as Mumbai captain, Rohit made 52 fours last season - the most of his 12-year IPL career.

Key stat: Rohit is 102 runs away from becoming the third batsman to reach 5,000 IPL runs after Kohli and Suresh Raina.

DAVID WARNER (Sunrisers Hyderabad)

Last season Warner won the Orange Cap - awarded to the IPL's leading run-scorer - for a record third time after amassing 692 runs, 99 more than anyone else in the tournament.

Key stat: Warner has now accumulated at least 600 runs in three separate campaigns. Chris Gayle (also three) is the only other batsman to have done so more than once.

DEEPAK CHAHAR (Chennai Super Kings)

Chahar had a breakthrough campaign with the Super Kings last year, claiming 22 wickets - a figure only South African duo Imran Tahir and Kagiso Rabada could better.

Key stat: The seamer bowled 64.3 overs in 2019 and 49 per cent of his deliveries were dot balls - the highest figure among those who bowled at least 10 overs.

KAGISO RABADA (Delhi Capitals)

The Proteas quick made his mark in the IPL last season when he took 25 wickets in the Capitals' run to the semi-finals.

Key stat: Of those who bowled at least 10 overs, Rabada had the best average (14.72) while he and international team-mate Tahir were the only two bowlers to have more than one four-wicket haul.

Jamaica Tallawahs CEO Jeff Miller believes Andre Russell will be back with the team for the 2021 season of the Hero CPL, despite the latter’s outburst earlier this year that this would be his last season with the team.

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