Legendary West Indies captain, Clive Lloyd, has called on embattled batsman Shimron Hetmyer to answer doubters by scoring a lot of runs whenever he gets the opportunity.

The 24-year-old has been in the spotlight in recent weeks after losing his international retainer contract with Cricket West Indies.  The young batsman has long been considered to be one of the region’s premier talents but has struggled to hit top gear in recent seasons.

In Test cricket, where he has not played for the team since 2019, he averages 27.93 having played 16 matches.  In One Day International cricket, where he last played in January of last year, he averages 36.66.  In T20 international cricket, he averages 18.95 with a strike rate of 116.97.

In addition, the player has struggled with fitness issues, twice failing a fitness test during the period, ahead of a subsequent tour of Sri Lanka last year and a visit of the same team earlier this year.

“The guy has got ability, we know that all he has to do is produce the runs and there should be no problem,” Lloyd told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“We all know Pooran, Hetmyer these are very talented guys, but that talent must come out with runs.  For a bowler it’s wickets,” he added.

“I would like to say to all the young people, Mr. Hetmyer and the rest of the gentlemen.  They are asking you to be fit, they want you to produce the goods.  If you do well, we would have a world-beating team.”

The West Indies cricket team camp in St Lucia is reportedly dealing with a COVID-19 scare, which has seen players and the management team forced into isolation.

The details or extent of the outbreak are yet to be confirmed by Cricket West Indies (CWI), but the team’s practice session at the Darren Sammy Grounds in St Lucia on Saturday was cancelled, with no official reason yet to be provided.

Several members of an 18-man squad, which had been called ahead of a flurry of upcoming T20 international series, reported to a bio-secure environment, where they were to live and train in preparation for the upcoming series.  The players and support staff were expected to undergo rigorous COVID-19 testing.

In addition to that, however, 13 members of the training squad and management received vaccinations against the coronavirus last week.

CWI has been painstakingly and, for the most part, successfully navigating play during the coronavirus pandemic for the last several months.  The West Indies and England were the first teams to return to playing international cricket, with the Raise The Bat series, which took place in a biosecure environment in England in July of last year.

The Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) has written to Cricket West Indies requesting a copy of the criteria used to award international retainer contracts and the report submitted by the selection panel on which the decision was made not to award international retainer contracts to Shimron Hetmyer, Keemo Paul and Romario Shepherd as well as Veerasammy Permaul.

The missive to the CWI comes on the heels of the recent announcement by CWI of 18 players who were offered retainer contracts for the year July 1, 2021-June 30, 2022. Among those who were awarded were newcomers Kyle Mayers, Joshua Da Silva and Nkrumah Bonner, who had standout performances against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

However, there were no contracts for the four Guyanese players, a troubling development for the GCB.

 “The Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) notes with great concern the information that Shimron Hetmyer, Keemo Paul and Romario Shepherd were not awarded International Retainer Contracts by the Cricket West Indies (CWI),” the board said in a statement Friday.

“The GCB is also concerned with the non-award of an International Retainer Contract to Veerasammy Permaul.”

The GCB said it is not aware and was not informed of the criteria used for the award of international retainer contracts nor were any reasons given for the non-award contracts to the four players.

“The non-award of International Retainer Contracts to these players by CWI is a matter of extreme concern to the GCB and to the Guyanese public and the GCB intends to fully investigate this matter,” the GCB said.

Former Windies captain, Jason Holder, admits he has been left disappointed with how some things have been handled by West Indies cricket, particularly given his monetary sacrifices over the years.

The 29-year-old, who made his debut for the West Indies in 2013, has been an ever-present in the regional team.  Since 2014, Holder, who has been both ODI and Test captain, has been on a retainer contract with Cricket West Indies (CWI), which gives the regional team priority in many instances.

It has meant the sought-after player has perhaps been unable to ply his trade in some of the cash-rich cricket competitions around the globe, as they, at times, have clashed with regional engagements.

“I could sit down here and safely say I’ve passed up a lot of money to play for West Indies. I could have been a lot more well off than I am. I consider myself really blessed because I’ve made a lot of money in my life for a guy my age…but I probably could have made a lot more but I’ve always had that desire to play for West Indies,” Holder told the Headstrong An Innings With… podcast.  The player was addressing the situation that arises when players are often forced between signing lucrative deals and representing the regional team.

Holder was replaced as West Indies captain by, Kraigg Brathwaite, in March, after the latter’s strong showing in the team’s series against Bangladesh.  Holder was one of several players who declined to go on the tour.  The all-rounder cited health and safety concerns but also quarantine fatigue, as reasons he did not participate in the tour.

While not getting into the specific instances to which he was referring, Holder expressed disappointment with the fact that he doesn’t believe that West Indies cricket has always been generous in their handling of players that have sacrificed a lot.

 “My disappointment, however, comes when players like myself give up so much to commit to West Indies cricket, and then West Indies cricket isn’t as accommodating as they possibly can. There have been a few instances where I’ve been very disappointed in how things were handled,” he added.

 

Cricket West Indies (CWI) presidential candidate, Anand Sanasie, has announced the decision to withdraw from the race for regional cricket’s top governing post, after citing concerns with recent events at the CWI and Guyana Cricket Board (GCB).

Doubts had been raised regarding the viability of the former secretary of the GCB’s candidacy, following the election of a new executive on Monday.  Losing his position on the CWI board would not necessarily have meant the end of Sanasie’s candidacy but serious doubts were raised regarding the ability to garner support from his home country.  Sanasie's running mate, Calivn Hope of Barbados, also announced his withdrawal.

The deposed official, however, continues to question the legitimacy of the election that he claims were influenced by partisan actions on the part of the Guyana sports minister.

“Unjust, irregular, imprudent and hasty actions taken by the partisan and compromised Minister of Sport in Guyana, Mr. Charles Ramson Jr, have led to dubious GCB elections being held and a new group purporting to be the new executive installed. I am advised by my legal team that these elections cannot withstand judicial scrutiny which may arise and which have every possibility of prevailing. It should also be noted that the court-ordered Demerara Cricket Board election is very likely to be set aside,” Sanasie stated in the press realease.

He went on to claim that the meetings with the sports minister were held without the then nominated GCB directors despite their objections.  Sanasie also claimed that there was attempted impropriety at last week’s CWI annual general meeting, which was to feature the leadership election.

“…there was an attempt to hold an Annual General Meeting and Presidential and Vice Presidential Elections without critical requirements outlined by the Articles of Association being complied with. This attempt, until it was thwarted at the last minute, remains cause for serious concern by those who have an interest in good governance of CWI. A major scandal was averted by the judicious and prudent actions of the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) and the Guyana Cricket Board to save CWI global embarrassment and ridicule.”

He, however, also extended congratulations to incumbent president Ricky Skerritt who will head into next weekend’s elections unopposed.

“Consequently, I take this opportunity to extend congratulations and best wishes to Mr. Ricky Skerritt since he will be uncontested. I urge that more deliberate efforts be made to strengthen the finances of CWI and to improve in the areas of prudent fiscal management, accountability and transparency. I also urge that greater respect be accorded to Territorial Boards and that there is considerably more inclusivity in executive decision making and corporate governance.”

 

Cricket West Indies President Ricky Skerritt and Dr Kishore Shallow have officially launched their bid to lead for a second term with promises to build on their first term of their leadership of regional cricket.

Former Cricket West Indies (CWI) president, Dave Cameron, insists the controversial eligibility rules put in place during his tenure were never meant to disenfranchise players.

The legislation, which was implemented as the region jostled with the cash-rich T20 leagues for the commitment of its top players, stated that players who did make themselves available for domestic competitions would be ineligible for international selection.

As a result, many of the region’s top players were often left out of the line-up, which left the Windies' Test and ODI sides shorn of some of their best talents.  Cameron insists that the hope at the time was to encourage more balance between the West Indians taking part in cash-rich T20 leagues and representing the regional team.

“It was never about not wanting players to play around the world.  We respected that, we accepted that, but, West Indies cricket doesn’t have a product if we don’t have our best players playing.  So we needed to find a way to get our players to have the understanding that you can’t play everything,” Cameron told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“In the early days, I had a conversation with the players about telling us what they were going to play and when they would be available.  So the selectors could understand where they want to go.  After the strike occurred in India players decided that they weren’t going to play, and for the reduced salaries, so the West Indies first policy never actually got a chance,” he added.

“It was never intended to disenfranchise anybody, but look at what is happening in New Zealand, they still play in the leagues but they give their all to New Zealand when New Zealand is on the stage.  That’s all we were saying, as our senior players, you can’t play everything.”

 

 

 

 

Lawyers for Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) Secretary Anand Sanasie have written strong objections to the decision of Guyana Culture, Youth, and Sports Minister Charles Ramson Jr to appoint Attorney Kamal Ramkarran as cricket Ombudsman.

In two letters, one to Ramson and the other to Ramkarran, the attorney’s pointed out that they deemed the appointment, made in accordance with Section 17 of the Guyana Cricket Administration Act, Chapter 21:03, Laws of Guyana, to be illegal, based on the fact that it was carried out more than once.

In addition to vehemently disputing Ramson’s claims that the Cricket West Indies (CWI) board was consulted, the letters pointed out that a 7-day period for holding the proposed elections was unreasonable.

“This is the third such appointment to be made by a Minister of Sport. The first person appointed under that section was Professor Winston McGowan. He served in the office for some time and then resigned. The Minister is only once required to exercise his power to appoint a Cricket Ombudsman. The Minister claims to have “just” consulted with CWI in his Notice appointing you as Cricket Ombudsman, which was published on the 19th February 2021,” the document read.

“We are instructed that the Minister did not meaningfully or at all consult with CWI. There has been no meeting with CWI convened for this purpose. Our client is aware that the Minister shares a close relationship with the current President of CWI and supports his re-election as President of CWI in elections slated for March 2021. Our client is his challenger for the post of President at the upcoming CWI elections.”

Should Sanasie be defeated in the election, he would be ineligible to challenge Skerritt for the post of CWI president.

“The consultation which was critical to the validity of your appointment was improper for the foregoing reasons and was motivated by an improper purpose and was taken in furtherance of the interest of the current President, Mr. Ricky Skerritt who did not raise the issue of the Cricket Ombudsman of Guyana with the Board as is required by the Cricket Administration Act.

Meaningful consultation could not in the circumstances take place by a phone call between the Minister and a single member of the Board of CWI. Your appointment is, therefore, illegal and we call upon you to decline the appointment and/or resign. The Minister has fixed a time frame of less than seven (7) days with which you are to fulfil your obligations of the establishment and verification of a Register of Clubs.”

The attorneys have demanded Ramkarran resign from the post or legal proceedings would begin to quash the appointment.

 

The Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board are throwing their support for the current leadership of Cricket West Indies in the lead up to the virtual Annual General Meeting set for March 28.

Cricket West Indies has announced the dates for Sri Lanka’s upcoming tour of the Caribbean, which is scheduled to get under way next month.

The teams will play three T20Is, three One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and two Test matches in a bio-secure environment in Antigua from Wednesday, March 3 to Friday, April 2.  The series will mark the fourth for the regional team since July but will be the first at home following overseas trips to England, New Zealand, and more recently Bangladesh.

The T20I series will create history as the first official international matches to be played by the West Indies Men’s team at the Coolidge Cricket Ground (CCG) and the first West Indies T20Is to be played in Antigua since 2013. As reigning ICC T20 World Cup champions, West Indies will use these matches as important preparation for the defense of their T20 World Cup title which is scheduled to be held in India later this year.

The CG Insurance ODI Series will be played at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium on March 10, 12, and 14, with the third being a day/night encounter. The CG Insurance ODIs form part of the ICC Super League and these three matches provide the opportunity for West Indies to secure their first points as the team tries to qualify automatically for the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup in India.

The two Test matches will be played at the same venue with the first match starting on Sunday, March 21 and the second starting March 29, providing the West Indies with another opportunity to win points and climb the ICC World Test Championship table following the recent win in Bangladesh.

 The last International West Indies Men’s Home Series featured Ireland in January.

 

Cricket West Indies are engaged in what they describe as ‘positive discussions’ with Sandals Resorts for the latter to resume as its primary sponsor.

Sandals signed on as the CWI’s primary sponsor in 2018 in a partnership that covered all West Indies teams from U15s through to the senior men’s and women’s outfits. The Sandals’ logo featured on all West Indies playing and training kit as part of the deal that expired at the end of last year.

Cricket West Indies CEO Johnny Grave confirmed to Sportsmax.TV today that positive discussions are ongoing. He indicated that there will likely be a temporary halt in those discussions following news Monday night of the passing of Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart, the founder of the Sandals Resorts.

He indicated that the discussions would resume at an “appropriate time”.

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