Barbadian fast bowler Keon Harding has been selected to join the West Indies tour to Bangladesh later this month.

Jermaine Blackwood was the only West Indies batsman to emerge from the West Indies tour of New Zealand with his reputation intact in what was otherwise a disastrous tour in which some batsmen averaged less than the team’s bowlers.

Former West Indies fast bowler Ian Bradshaw believes that at the core of the failures of current West Indies team is the simple fact that they do not consistently do the “little things” well.

The 40-year-old Barbadian only took nine wickets in the five Tests he played for the West Indies between March and June 2006.

He made his debut against New Zealand in Auckland in March 2006 and played his final Test against India at Gros Islet in June that year but during his short time with the team, his passion and commitment to the team was never in question.

He is best remembered for scoring an unbeaten 34 in fading light at the Oval as he and wicketkeeper Courtney Browne mounted an unbeaten ninth-wicket partnership of 71 that lifted the West Indies from certain defeat to an unlikely victory in the 2004 Champions Cup.

Speaking on the Mason and Guest radio show in Barbados on Tuesday, Bradshaw expressed his frustration at the West Indies performance in New Zealand where they lost both Test matches by an innings and were swept by the hosts.

“Like every cricket fan I am really disappointed with the performance. We have not stood up and gave a good account of ourselves and I think that that is the most critical thing and it’s worrying the manner in which we lost the series,” he said.

“We would have seen in recent times there have been some positive steps taken in terms of our attitude and in terms of doing some of the small things better.

“I mean, you take a team like New Zealand, if we had to look at their team, maybe (they’re) not a bunch of world beaters, not the Kohli’s and the Steve Smiths that you would see dominate the headlines on other teams, but what this team has done and what we can learn so much from is that they’re doing the little things well, often and that is what we have to improve on, doing the little things well often.”

It bears noting that the West Indies only bowled New Zealand out once during the two Tests and took 17 wickets overall. Meanwhile, New Zealand’s bowlers took 38 wickets. Tim Southee was the best of the hosts’ bowlers with 12 wickets twice as many as the West Indies’ leading bowler Shannon Gabriel.

“It is not good enough that after 50 Tests or so our bowlers are not consistent enough on the first morning of a Test to be consistently putting the ball in front of the batsman,” he said.

He was equally critical of the batsmen, who failed to make any impact on the tour save for a few notable exceptions. In the second Test they also dropped seven catches, three of them off Henry Nicholls whose 174 took the match away from the visitors.

“It is not good enough that you go to New Zealand and the excuse for the batsman is that the ball is swinging. It is difficult conditions but we have been going to New Zealand for over 50 years and the conditions have not changed.

“And I appreciate the fact that New Zealand played well but I am more concerned that our performances as a professional unit was not consistent enough to merit the representation of West Indies cricket which we must hold dear.”

 

 

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

A stature of Barbados and West Indies iconic fast bowler Sir Wes Hall was unveiled at Kensington Oval on Sunday night on the eve of the country’s 54th year of independence.

The colt War Eagle unleashed one of the most awesome Classic performances in Barbados thoroughbred racing history to win Saturday’s BBD$50,000 (US$25,000) Pinnacle Feeds Midsummer Classic as a 2-1 second favourite.

Ridden by N’Rico Prescod for champion trainer Victor Cheeseman, War Eagle – part-owned by West Indies batsman Kraigg Brathwaite - shot to the front approaching the final bend and accelerated to a titanic 19-length victory while scuppering the Triple Crown bid of Guineas winner Déjà vu.

In only his third lifetime start, War Eagle clocked two minutes, eight seconds for the nine-furlong trip on a slow Garrison Savannah turf chased by the 3-2 favourite Déjà vu, with Ollivander (3-1) a distant third.

“I knew he had the potential (to win) but I was surprised by the big margin of the win even though I was confident,” triumphant rider Prescod told SportsMax.TV.

Ollivander led out of the gates ahead of the Trinidad & Tobago-bred Edelweiss but quickly gave way to the 11-1 bet Conflictofinterest, who cruised into a clear lead.

War Eagle, meanwhile, had a troubled start as Prescod’s left foot had slipped out of the stirrups. He was near the back of the 12-horse field in 10th spot but he was able to re-insert and balance himself aboard the chestnut colt just over a furlong into the race.

Jockey Jarrel Beckles was three lengths in front aboard Conflictofinterest at the halfway stage, tracked by Ollivander and Déjà vu with the smoothly recovering War Eagle a further three lengths back in fourth. 

Ollivander and Déjà vu flew past Conflictofinterest at the four-furlong marker while War Eagle gained steadily with a rail run.

Responding to a few left-hand cracks of the whip by the 22-year-old Prescod, War Eagle surged to the front and widened his lead by five lengths at the top of the homestretch.

Prescod eased his mount and began his celebration from the middle of the homestretch as War Eagle emphatically avenged his narrow loss to Déjà vu in last month’s Guineas.

“I was a bit far off the pace early and I started to panic a bit but I just kept it together and trusted the horse’s strength,” said Prescod after his second Classic triumph, having landed the 2019 Barbados Derby aboard 21-1 upset winner Nzinga just over 15 months ago.

Because War Eagle was among the least experienced in the field, trainer Cheeseman anticipated the colt’s improvement coming off his Guineas loss by a neck to Déjà vu three weeks earlier.

“He ran a bit green that day and we kept him fresh after the Guineas,” Cheeseman said.

“Remember, he hadn’t run for over a year before the Guineas and we knew he would be a far better horse for the Midsummer,” added Cheeseman, who was winning his third consecutive Midsummer Classic after scoring with Brave Star (2018) and Seventeenmillionus last year.

Cheeseman, the reigning Barbados champion racehorse trainer for a record seven years in a row, is now confident the K&C Stables-owned War Eagle, by Eagle’s Peak out of the Lemon Drop Kid mare Stream Kid, can land the final leg of the Triple Crown, the Barbados Derby on December 26 (Boxing Day). “Oh yes, once he feels good on that day,” Cheeseman said.

 

Kieron Pollard and Jofra Archer were among the major award winners of the just-concluded 2020 IPL season.

Barbados wicketkeeper-batsman Jamal Smith has labeled out-of-favour West Indies batsman Shai Hope as ‘technically flawed,’  and insists he was never convinced by the player’s Test cricket batting strength, despite heroics in England three years ago.

The 27-year-old was recently dropped from the West Indies squad for the tour of New Zealand, after a nightmare run of form had seen the player averaging 19.48 since December 2017 and just 14.45 since February 2019.

 On the England tour, the scene of his triumph three years ago, Hope averaged below 18 in a 2-1 defeat against England.  Overall, his Test cricket average has slipped to around 26.27.

“He never suggested to me, even with the games where he scored those two wonderful 100s, as far as the red ball is concerned that he is a force to be reckoned with,” the former Combined Campuses and Colleges player turned analyst told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“If I remember correctly, Shai Hope took a long time before he started to score runs in our regional first-class competition and do well…I think we are always looking for heroes.  Certainly, when Shai Hope is on the go, you’d pay your money for two cover drives, but at the end of the day Shai Hope has never suggested permanence at the top,” he added.

“It’s something that at Test level, I keep stressing on his strike rate. He bats about 80 to 90 balls and gets out somewhere between the 15s to 20s.  That suggests more to me, rather than him just having to adjust his mindset, that he is technically flawed.”

Smith believes the break from the team will provide the player with an opportunity to address some of those issues.

Barbados Aquatics said it is willing to host the 2021 Carifta Swimming Championships next Easter once the governments of the participating nations agree to certain travel protocols. The meet would be held from April 3-6, 2021.

Cricket commentator Ian Bishop believes Jason Holder’s CPL form over the past two seasons was largely responsible for his recall to the Indian Premier League this season.

West Indies captain Jason Holder came in for praise for his performance for the Sunrisers Hyderabad in their emphatic eight-wicket victory over the Rajasthan Royals on Thursday in Dubai.

Convener of selectors, Roger Harper, has revealed that Jason Holder will retain the captaincy of the West Indies team for the coming tour New Zealand.

The West Indies will play two Tests against New Zealand in November and according to Harper, there is no reason for a change in the captaincy.

“We have discussed a lot of things and all of those things (leadership) we discussed but I think at this point we’re not thinking of changing the captaincy at all,” Harper said of Holder.

West Indies have won seven of their last 20 Tests and are eighth in the ICC Test rankings. The team was beaten 2-1 in their three-Test series against England in July.

However, Harper said Holder remained the first choice captain since there was a dearth of leadership qualities not only throughout the ranks of the Test side but across the regional game.

“I looked at a lot of the four-day championships. I had the opportunity to see most of the captains on show and I think that there are some decent captains out there but there is also a lot of improvement that can be made,” he said.

“I think some of our captains need to know when to attack, when not to attack, how to defend and how to put pressure on the opposing batsmen and those sort of things. These are the areas we need to improve on.”

Barbados Cricket Director Stephen Leslie has called on regional cricket custodians to do more to ensure top local T20 talent is not cast aside, in light of limited places in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL).

The recently concluded edition of the tournament, which was won by the Trinbago Knight Riders, did feature some of the region’s emerging talent.  In fact, a list of 20 young players was, as is required, named ahead of the tournament and several players featured prominently throughout the competition. 

The list included Alick Athanaze, Joshua Bishop, Leniko Boucher, Keacy Carty Roland Cato, Joshua da Silva, Dominic Drakes, Amir Jangoo, Nicholas Kirton, Mikyle Louis, Kirk McKenzie, Kimani Melius, Ashmead Nedd, Jeavor Royal, Jayden Seales, Keagan Simmons, Kevin Sinclair, Shamar Springer, Bhaskar Yadram and Nyeem Young. 

There are, however, a few players who remain outside this group.  Leslie pointed to the example of Roshon Primus who represented Trinbago Knight Riders in the two previous seasons.  Leslie believes the idea of another country-based T20 tournament could be considered.

“The CPL has a franchise model, which in my view, has not been able to expose the best T20 cricketer that ply their trade in the Caribbean,” Leslie told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“I’ll give an example of Barbados.  Barbados started a T20 domestic tournament back in 2009.  Every year there are some players that contribute very well.  Roshon Primus, for example, does extremely well, but the opportunity for Roshon Primus to be selected, I’m not sure there is that level of transparency,” he added.

“Simply put, you can have young U-19 West Indies players given an opportunity to make the franchises because they were on a global stage. You can have the West Indies emerging players from the Super50, did very well, given an opportunity to play T20 cricket.  But what happens to local Barbadian T20 players, Trinidadians, and those across the region who ply their trade and play consistently well in their domestic tournament.  I believe there is very little for those persons.”

Sixteen teams are down to contest a youth cricket tournament named in honour of the later Barbadian cricket commentator and journalist Tony Cozier.

Any possibility of South Africa playing in the West Indies later this year will largely be dependent on the IPL and the lifting of travel restrictions that will allow the team to travel to the Caribbean.

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