Women’s cricket will take centre-stage in the coming week as Cricket West Indies (CWI) continues to unfold its plan to grow the game and create more opportunities for females who are keen to develop their skills and help increase participation in the sport, at all levels.

CWI will deliver a series of free events — featuring several former players and administrators — which include an Online Women’s Foundation Coaching Course for over 80 present and past players, an interview series with special guests that explores the past, present and future of West Indies women’s cricket, as well as several Cricket Development Workshops held in Antigua. The aim of these initiatives is to engage, inspire and recruit more female players, coaches and course facilitators.

CWI President, Ricky Skerritt, will address the participants at the start of the virtual training session on Tuesday evening. In response to a question following his speech at the recent UWI Frank Worrell Lecture series, Skerritt promised that West Indies Women’s Cricket would soon see an increased attention and focus which he said should help vitalize Women’s cricket and strengthen the female cricketer’s pathway from grassroots to the international stage. The President highlighted the recent appointment of Courtney Walsh, as one of the key steps already taken.

Chris Brabazon, the CWI’s Coaching Development Manager, will be part of the CWI team who will be delivering these events in collaboration with Territorial Boards, Ministries of Sport and a host of past greats and contributors to West Indies cricket.

“In what is a hugely exciting time for women’s cricket with the inaugural ICC Women’s Under-19s and Cricket World Cups on the horizon, we want to ensure that women and girls from across the Caribbean feel that they can be part of the game in a playing, coaching or administrative capacity at any level as their involvement is crucial to a thriving and sustainable cricket pathway,” Brabazon said.

“The response to this week’s Online Foundation Course has been overwhelming with over 80 women signed up to take part in the event which is a clear reflection of the passion that exists for the game. The course will be held online, via Zoom, over two evenings due to the present COVID-19 restrictions.

“We will also be releasing a series of interviews and presentations that highlight the rich heritage of women’s cricket, the current landscape and the future direction which will bring together some of the ‘best of the best’ to share their views including newly appointed West Indies Women’s Coach, Courtney Walsh, Jimmy Adams, Merissa Aguilleira and Anne Browne-John.”

West Indies batsman Darren Bravo believes that being appointed captain of the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in January aided in his development and his maturity as a cricketer.

Jai Hind, West Berbice and Demerara Masters were among the winners during Sunday's round of matches in the GCB Tropical Spring T20 Over 40 Tournament in Guyana.

Jai Hind defeated Sarjoo Tigers by 38 runs at the Jai Hind Ground in Berbice.

Batting first, Jai Hind opening batsman Subramani Mangal blazed 36 and Kemraj Sumair, 29, to propel the team to 154 for 7 from their 20 overs.

Mangal smashed three fours and a six that helped set the foundation for the competitive score. Sumair, who batted at three, hit two fours and two sixes. Zahir Moakan contributed a useful 18 runs that included a six and a four.

David Perreira was the pick of the bowlers with 2 for 19 from three overs while there was a wicket each for Mark Ferreira, Tagenarine Ramroop and Rohan Sarjoo.

Chasing 158 for victory, opening batsman Surendra Hiralall gave the Tigers a good start, hitting two fours and two sixes in his score of 33. However, other than Tagenarine Ramroop, who stroked a polished 39, which included a four and three sixes, the remainder of the batting failed to deliver as the Tigers were restricted to 117.

Mangal completed an outstanding match claiming 2 for 8 from three overs. However, Rafeek Kassim was the best of the bowlers returning the incredible figures of 2 for 2 from two overs.

In the day’s second match at the Jai Hind ground, West Berbice defeated General Marine Masters by six wickets.

Batting first, General Marine Masters was only able to muster 91 for 9 from their 20 overs. Daiaram Hemraj was the top scorer with 23 while middle order batsman Mustak Shaw contributed 18 to the score.  Rajban Hemraj was the best of the West Berbice bowlers taking 4 for 8 from three overs.

In what proved to be a comfortable chase, Jaipaul Hiralall scored an unbeaten 44 as West Berbice eased to 92 for 4 from 16 overs. Hemraj followed up his four-wicket haul with 11 runs in the successful pursuit. Hemchan Persaud returned figures of 2 for 6 in the losing effort.

Over in Demerara county, intermittent rainfall saw the match between Bel-Air Rubis Ultra Tec and West Demerara Masters being reduced to 15 overs a side, which the latter won by seven wickets.

After winning the toss and electing to bat, Bel-Air Rubis Utra Tec posted a meagre 78-9. Richard Rambarran top scored with 18, while Nadir Baksh added 11. Nirmaldeo Sarwan and Shauan Messiah each made 10 as Mohamed Abit Haniff picked up two wickets for just five runs.

West Demerara Masters reached their target in the 13th over as Ramesh Thakur (19) and Sudesh (18) led the way before falling to the bowling of Arthur Duke who took 2-16.

The first match at the Enmore Community Centre ground saw West Demerara Mavericks emerge winners over KV Construction by virtue of walk over. Both matches at the Everest ground were abandoned due to heavy rainfall.

The tournament resumes on Tuesday, 24 November when West Demerara Mavericks take on West Demerara Masters and RP Construction Legends versus Everest Masters at the Enmore Community Centre.

At the Everest Cricket club ground, Bel-Air Rubis Ultra Tec will battle Regal Masters in the morning encounter while KV Construction Masters will compete against Sand Pipper

Paceman Kagiso Rabada has compared South Africa's bio-secure environments to "luxury prisons" but says it is important they retain perspective about their privilege. 

The South Africa squad are staying in carefully controlled accommodation ahead of their Twenty20 international series against England amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

While Rabada admits it has proved challenging, he says he is constantly reminding himself of the fortunate position he and his team-mates find themselves in. 

"It can be quite tough," he told ESPNcricinfo. "You can't interact. You've basically lost your freedom. 

"It's almost like luxury prisons we are in. But we have to remind ourselves that we are fortunate.

"People have lost their jobs, people are struggling at the moment, so we must be grateful for the opportunity we have been given to make some money and to do what we love.

"And we don't get treated too badly. We stay in great hotels. We get the best food. It's like a spoilt kid not getting what they want at the candy store. It can be quite tough because you are surrounded by four walls the whole time and that can be a factor mentally.

"But just remind yourself of all the good things that are happening and once we start playing, it will take away from the desolate times."

Rabada has recently returned to South Africa after an impressive stint in the Indian Premier League, where he finished as the top wicket-taker. 

That followed a long period in his home country without playing cricket, having spent most of 2020 in some form of lockdown imposed by the South African government. 

Rabada says the break helped him reset both physically and mentally but does not expect to have similar periods off in the future. 

"The break helped to refresh the body and to take the mind off of a lot of things," he added. "But I don't know if long extended breaks will happen in future because cricket is getting more and more. 

"I'm not sure how much of it is due to a long break, but I don't think it will happen a lot in the future. I don't think we will get breaks that long unless we get Covid-20."

The three-match Twenty20 series starts in Cape Town on Friday, while the Proteas and England will also contest a three-match ODI series after competing in the shortest format.

Darren Bravo said challenging himself to bat for as long as possible was the key factor behind his century against New Zealand A on Saturday.

West Indies bowlers once again showed a lack of a cutting edge as their three-day match against New Zealand ‘A’ petered out to a dull draw at the John Davies Oval at Queenstown on Sunday.

Fakhar Zaman will miss Pakistan's tour of New Zealand as he is still suffering from a fever.

Batsman Fakhar was named in a 35-man squad for three Twenty20 Internationals and two Tests against the Black Caps.

The 30-year-old opener tested negative for coronavirus but is not deemed to be well enough to fly out of Lahore with his team-mates on Monday.

Pakistan doctor Sohail Saleem said: "Fakhar's covid test report was received on Saturday which came out negative but today he picked up fever.

"As soon as his condition was reported, he was isolated from the rest of the squad in the team hotel. We are constantly monitoring his condition and remain hopeful of his quick recovery; however he is not fit to travel with the squad and as such has been withdrawn from the touring party."

Pakistan and New Zealand start the T20 series at Eden Park on December 18.

Former West Indies pace bowler Tony Gray has expressed concern with the bowling technique of spinner Rahkeem Cornwall, which he believes could eventually lead to the player suffering injury issues.

Another former player, legendary spinner Lance Gibbs, sparked controversy after questioning the effectiveness of the player’s short run-up technique last year.  Taking the analysis a step further, however, Gray believes the unusual technique could also put a strain on the player’s body.

Cornwall has constantly faced criticism for his overall fitness level but has achieved some measure of success despite that.   At an estimated 1.96 m and 308 lbs, he is believed to be the heaviest man to ever play Test cricket.

“I ask the question that has never been answered.  Is Cornwall’s problem genetic, because if it’s genetic it’s going to be difficult to lose the weight?  If not, why hasn’t he lost the weight yet, since the under-19 level,” Gray said recently on the Mason and Guest radio program.

“I share Lance Gibbs's opinion…the thing about it is if you look at Cornwall’s mechanics, he is a big guy, he takes two steps and it puts a lot of pressure on his body," he added.

“He had a knee operational earlier this year, not a serious one but he still had some pressure on that knee.  My thing with him is that early on in his career he should have been coached with better mechanics, giving him at least four or five steps.  Spinners who can rip the ball, they don’t only use their wrist or their fingers, but obviously, their body as well and you can’t use your body if you are taking only two steps.”

 

Returning West Indies batsman Darren Bravo crafted an enterprising century to anchor the team’s efforts on day two of the three-day First Class match against New Zealand A on Friday.

Bravo made 135 from 214 balls as the regional team ended the day at 329-6, inching 21 runs ahead of the Blackcaps' first innings total of 308 for 3 declared.  Bravo, 31, one of the most capped members of the West Indies Test squad on the Tour of New Zealand with 54 matches behind him, batted a little more than 4½ hours at the crease after he started the day on eight. Bravo raced towards his hundred in a volley of strokes, mostly off left-arm spinner Michael Rippon.

 In reaching the target, Bravo struck 13 fours and five sixes and formed a third-wicket partnership with Shamarh Brooks that was worth 122.

Brooks made 80 from 152 balls, with the team also receiving contributions from newly appointed vice-captain Roston Chase who made 41 from 62 balls.  The New Zealand bowling line-up did not feature anyone likely to gain selection for the official matches and no bowler claimed more than one wicket.

The first Test between New Zealand and West Indies starts on December 3 at Seddon Park in Hamilton and the second Test begins on December 11 at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.

 

Scores

New Zealand A 308-3 declared (R Ravindra 112, H Nicholls 76, D Conway 46no, J Carter 41no) v West Indies 329-6 (D Bravo 135, S Brooks 80, R Chase 41) in Queenstown.

 

 

West Indies women’s team captain Stafanie Taylor has praised players and several teams in the Women's Big Bash League (WBBL) for their continued support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

The symbolic gesture of taking a knee in support of racial equality spread around the globe an adopted by many sports in the aftermath of the death of an African American man, George Floyd, at the hands of the police earlier this year.

To some extent, the symbolic action has fizzled out in the sport of cricket, with some teams claiming other more concrete options in pursuit of equality are being pursued.  The WBBL has, however, continued to support the gesture and Taylor has been appreciative of it.

 "We have been taking a knee throughout the whole tournament and I am so pleased with the support I got from my teammate, it was really fantastic,” Taylor, who plays for Adelaide Strikers, told the Daily Telegraph.

“Sometimes I even forget, and Megan Schutt will say to me; Stafanie, don’t forget we’ve got to take a knee,” she added.

Taylor also thanked Sydney Thunder and Hobart Hurricanes for statements made by the teams and praised individual players from other teams for adopting the gesture.

“While I wish that all players from all eight teams competing in the WBBL this year were taking a knee, BLM is a global movement and I’m proud that cricket is helping to stamp out racism on and off the field.”

 

 

The Guyana Cricket Board Tropical Spring Over 40 T20 Competition bowls off on Saturday, November 21, across grounds in three counties in what will be the first competition held since the GCB was forced to suspend activities due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sixteen teams will compete for a first prize of Guy$250,00 while the runners up will secure Guy$100,000.

Eight teams in Demerara will compete for four quarter-final places, four Essequibo teams will battle for two quarter-final places while four teams representing the Berbice region will compete for two quarter – final places.

The preliminary round of matches will conclude on Saturday, 5 December 2020 with the quarter-finals being held on Sunday, 6 December 2020. The semi-finals have been scheduled for Friday, 11 December 2020 and the Final on Saturday, 12 December 2020.

Games in Demerara will be played at the Everest and Enmore cricket grounds while the Berbice matches will be played at Jai Hind ground. The Essequibo-leg of matches will take place at Imam Bacchus’ ground.

The GCB said it was grateful to the Ministry of Health and the country’s COVID-19 Task force for granting approval for the return to competition and has called on all players and officials to ensure that there is strict adherence to the Covid-19 protocols.

Further, GCB extends gratitude to tournament sponsor, Tropical Spring.

The teams: Reliance Sports Club, Invaders Masters, Imam Bacchus Over 40, Jaguars Over 40, West Demerara Masters, West Demerara Mavericks, Everest Masters, Regal Masters, KV Construction Masters, RP Construction Legends, Sand Piper Masters, Bel-Air Rubis Ultra Tec, General Marine Masters, Jai Hind Masters, Sarjoo Tigers, and West Berbice Masters

Rachin Ravindra scored a century as New Zealand ‘A’ declared on 308 for 3 on the opening day of their three-day match against the West Indies at the John Davies Oval in Queenstown, New Zealand on Thursday.

 The West Indies then lost the wicket of John Campbell before the close of play with the West Indies still 291 runs behind.

After winning the toss and choosing to bat, New Zealand crept to 43 in 16 overs before Will Young was caught down the leg side for 27 trying to pull a short one from Chemar Holder.

The dismissal brought Henry Nichols to the crease where he and Ravindra mounted a second-wicket stand of 160, putting the Caribbean bowlers to the sword.

After a slow start, Ravindra grew in confidence, scoring 112 from 187 balls in a knock that included 10 fours and two sixes. Nichols proved to be a solid partner hitting eight fours before Raymon Reifer had him caught behind by Joshua DaSilva for a well-played 76.

It was soon 227 for 3 as Ravindra was eventually caught by Kemar Roach after pulling Alzarri Joseph to deep backward square leg.

Devon Conway was on 46 and Joe Carter, 41, when Captain Cole McConchie called the declaration after 79 overs.

Reifer was the best of the West Indies bowlers with 1 for 29 from his seven overs with Holder taking 1 for 58 and Josephs 1 for 55.

Campbell was dismissed for 4 playing on trying to pull Blair Tickner, whose previous delivery he had hit to the boundary.

However, Kraigg Brathwaite remained unbeaten on two and Darren Bravo, 8, as the West Indies got to the close on 17 for 1.

  

 

 

Former West Indies pace bowler Franklyn Rose believes the development of the regional team has been hampered by a ‘chop and change’ mentality with batsman Shai Hope being just the most recent victim.

The decision to drop the 27-year-old Hope, after his recent monumental struggles, has divided public opinion.  While some believe the player could benefit from time away from the team to address potential confidence and technical issues, others believe the batsman would best be served staying within the system, even if he remains outside of the first team.

Rose, for his part, believes with the team currently in rebuilding mode, nothing will be gained from the talented player being pushed out of the squad at this point.

“They’re rebuilding, how are you going to get rid of the guy (Hope) when you are rebuilding.  He’s one of the brightest talents,” Rose told the Mason and Guest radio program.

 “West Indies cricket is rebuilding.  You cannot chop and change while rebuilding.  Shai Hope, one of the best talents in the Caribbean, you just drop him like that.  I would have brought him on tour, got him to play a few of the practice games.  Even if he doesn’t get to play Test matches.  What cricket is he going to play now to get back his confidence?”

Kings XI Punjab co-owner, Ness Wadia, has made it clear that he believes West Indies star batsman Chris Gayle should start from ball one next season, as analysis surrounding the team’s unsuccessful campaign continues to unfold.

Kings XI narrowly missed out on securing an Indian Premier League (IPL) playoff spot after finishing 6th in the overall standings.  The team, however, got plenty of plaudits for an improbable run, which saw it win five games in a row after getting off to a 1-6 start.

Kings XI’s rapid ascent from the bottom of the table was fueled by the re-introduction of Gayle into the line-up.  The West Indian had been left on the bench for the first seven games of the season.  He was not picked for the first five, with a bout of food poisoning ruling him out for the next two.  Gayle fired immediately once he was inserted into the line-up, ending with 288 runs at an average of 44.14 and a high score of 99.

“The team management did what it thought was best for the team.  It is important to back experienced players and Gayle has demonstrated that he should play every game next season,” Wadia told the Press Trust of India (PTI).

The owner also had high praise for team captain and leading scorer KL Rahul, suggesting that some of Kings XI’s struggles could be based on the fact that it is a newly assembled unit.

“It’s a new captain, new team with lots of fresh faces, sometimes it clicks and sometimes it doesn’t.  The auction is coming up soon and we would be looking to plug gaps in the middle order and our bowling,” Wadia said.

“K L has been with is for three years and there was a reason we went after him so aggressively.  He has proved us right.”

 

 

 

Former West Indies fast bowler Franklyn Rose has expressed serious concerns regarding the fitness of spinner Rahkeem Cornwall, despite admitting that the bowler has incredible talent.

The 27-year-old off-spinner was recently selected as part of a 15-man Test squad that will face New Zealand in a two-match series later this month.  

After putting in several strong performances at the regional and A-Team level, the player made his debut for the West Indies senior team against India last year.

Cornwall has since gone on to appear in three matches, where he has claimed 13 wickets with a best innings of 7 for 75 against Afghanistan.  Discussions surrounding the player have, however, inexorably centred around his weight.  At an estimated 1.96 m and 308 lbs, he is believed to be the heaviest man to ever play Test cricket.  The debate surrounding the issue has settled mainly into two camps, with some believing the player should continue to be given a chance because of his achievements to date and others believing he should be judged on the same fitness merit as other players selected for the squad.  Rose has trended toward the latter.

“He has a lot of talent, but no disrespect, I have a problem with his fitness,” Rose told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“Say for example they play him in the first Test and he makes 100 runs. ‘Very well done, congratulations’ but when he goes out into the field to field, how many runs is he going to give away?” he added.

“No disrespect, it doesn’t fit the profile of a Test cricketer.  Maybe try him with the T20.  Can he bat for three days? Do you think he can bat for three days in a Test match? Can he chase the ball to the boundary, pick it up and throw it back in?”

Cornwall is often deployed in the slip positions when the team is on fielding duty.

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