West Indies spinner Rahkeem Cornwall is eager to make use of what could be a solid opportunity on the upcoming tour of Bangladesh, which will provide conditions more suited to spin bowling.

Amidst a flurry of withdrawals, Cornwall was one of the current members of the squad to readily accept the invitation to tour the Asian country next month.

The 27-year-old has been part of the West Indies squad since being invited to the England tour with the team in July.  He then traveled to New Zealand with the team for the tour that took place in December.

Cornwall has, however, had a difficult time making an impact.  Called to the first-team squad for the third Test in England, the spinner bowled 46 overs but did get a wicket.  He was not added to the first team for the New Zealand tour.  On the slower, more spin-friendly matches in Bangladesh, however, the player hopes to have a much bigger impact.

“I think I’m in a good space and we know Bangladesh is known for being more conducive to spin, so I just have to set my mind for a next bubble and go out there and perform the way I should,” Cornwall told the Antigua Observer.

“I went on two tours in England and New Zealand and there was nothing there for spinners and after playing three Test matches, I finally got something that suits me and I hope I can go there and perform,” he added.

Cornwall will have good memories of performing in Asia, as he claimed his career-best figures of 7 for 75 against Bangladesh last year.

Kyle Jamieson ripped through Pakistan’s batting line-up but their middle order proved defiant as New Zealand edged day one of the second Test.

The 6’8” fast bowler grabbed his third five-wicket haul for 69 runs in his sixth Test appearance as the tourists were bowled out for 297 in Christchurch.

Mohammad Rizwan’s side were reeling at 88-4 at lunch after Kane Williamson put Pakistan into bat and Jamieson recorded figures of three for 26 runs in a devastating first session.

Tim Southee made the breakthrough removing Shan Masood for a duck, before Jamieson claimed Abid Ali for 25, Haris Sohail for one and Fawad Alam for two as Pakistan lost three wickets for 17 runs.

Azhar Ali and Rizwan’s 88-run fifth-wicket partnership helped Pakistan recover from their morning collapse until Jamieson found Rizwan's outside edge and BJ Watling snared his opposing wicketkeeper for 61.

West Indies talisman Chris Gayle has targeted matching the exploits of India great Yuvraj Singh who once cleared the boundary rope six times in one over.

Singh, who retired from cricket in June of last year, achieved the feat in 2007 in a league-stage match of the inaugural T20 World Cup when he clobbered Stuart Broad.

The India legend achieved the feat on the biggest stage, but six other cricketers have also managed the achievement.  West Indian legend Gary Sobers, Ravi Shastri of India, Herschelle Gibbs of South Africa, Ross Vitali of England, Hazratullah Zazai of Afghanistan, and Leo Carter of New Zealand.

Despite being 41, Gayle still fancies his chances of becoming the eighth player to do so.  Based on his recent performances at this season's IPL, one wouldn’t bet against it.  It was at the IPL this season that Gayle became the first player to get to 1000 sixes in T20 cricket.  The big left-hander went close to the feat in 2016 when he hit five sixes in an over off Sulieman Benn in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL).

"It’s very much possible to hit six sixes.  So, if six is possible and Yuvraj has done it before so why can’t I do it? Yes, you, I anybody can do that,” Gayle told the Hindustan Times.

The Nevis Cricket Association (NCA) has strongly refuted claims batsman Kieran Powell has not made the West Indies selection fitness standard, pointing out that the player achieved the requirements in June.

Despite several key players choosing to make themselves unavailable for the upcoming Bangladesh tour, Powell was surprisingly not selected for hastily compiled ODI or squads.  In explaining the unusual situation, chief of selectors Roger Harper claimed the player had not been considered as he was yet to make the team's required fitness standard.  In a recent release, however, the NCA has vehemently disputed the claim.  The 30-year-old top-order batsman was the top scorer in the previous season of the Cricket West Indies (CWI) Regional Super50 competition.  Powell scored 524 runs at an average of 58.22, with two 100s and two 50s.

“When questioned on the omission of Powell, Chairman of Selectors, Roger Harper, responded that Powell is ‘yet to make the fitness standard’. This statement is incorrect. When the Leeward Islands Hurricanes conducted their fitness tests on June 30th, 2020, Kieran Powell successfully passed all aspects of the tests including the yo-yo test. The results of the tests were communicated to Mr. Peter Abraham Jr., CEO of the Leeward Islands Cricket Board, shortly thereafter. These results and, in particular, as they relate to Kieran Powell ought to have been made known to Cricket West Indies and their employees as they have an interest in the fitness of all of their players,” the release read.

“Subsequently, we presume Cricket West Indies were in receipt of Kieran Powell’s successful fitness test results as Powell was included in a group of probable players that were in consideration for the West Indies tour of Bangladesh as recently as two weeks ago.”

The NCA also claimed that in the first instance of Powell failing a fitness test, alongside Shimron Hetmyer and Evin Lewis, arrangements were made for the other two players to speedily retake the test, but no such provision was made for Powell.

The body has called the statement made by Harper ‘damaging’ and demanded a retraction, insisting the player is both fully fit and obviously in good form.

Legendary West Indies fast bowler Andy Roberts has questioned some of the reasoning behind players opting not to go on the team’s upcoming tour of Bangladesh.

12 players, including captains Jason Holder, Kieron Pollard, and Roston Chase all opted to make themselves unavailable for the series, citing health and safety concerns.  Joining the trio on the sidelines are Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, Sheldon Cottrell, Evin Lewis, Shai Hope, Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran, Fabian Allen and Shane Dowrich.

The West Indies was one of the first teams to resume international cricket when they visited England, under quarantine protocols, in July.  On that occasion, Bravo, Hetmeyer and Keemo Paul opted not to go on tour. The team then travelled to New Zealand earlier this month.  On that occasion, Andre Russell, Lendl Simmons, and Lewis opted out of the tour.

With so many players deciding not to accept the invitation on this occasion, however, Roberts has questioned the difference between England and New Zealand vs Bangladesh.

“How do all of these guys who couldn’t make a team two or three years ago now become so big that they are refusing to tour and blaming it on the bubble,” Roberts said.

“Was it a problem when the majority of these players went to England?  Was it a problem when the majority of these players went to New Zealand? How now is it a problem when they are going to Bangladesh?”

Bangladesh has a very high rate of COVID transmission with 510,080 confirmed coronavirus cases and 7,479 deaths.  However, England also had a high death and infection rate at the time of the tour.  Under the CWI Covid-19 rules, however, the players have the option to accept or decline tour invitations during the pandemic without it influencing thoughts of future selection.

 

West Indies fast bowling legend Curtly Ambrose has rubbished suggestions conditions in Bangladesh are a good reason for up and coming fast bowler Chemar Holder to be left out of the Test team for next month’s tour.

The 22-year-old made his debut under difficult conditions in New Zealand, earlier this month, performing creditably despite a heavy loss for the West Indies.  Holder ended with figures of 2 for 110, with one maiden, but often providing some testing deliveries despite not claiming more wickets.

For next month's tour, despite 12 first-team players opting not to take part in the series, there is no space in the Bangladesh Test squad for Holder.  One of the players missing is West Indies captain Jason Holder, who typically makes up part of a pace bowling quartet alongside Shannon Gabriel, Kemar Roach, and Alzarri Joseph.

Some believe Holder would have proved a suitable replacement for his namesake, but Cricket West Indies chief of selectors Roger Harper pointed out that the player had been excluded for a spinner, considering the spin-friendly nature of pitches in Asia.

Ambrose, however, does not agree and pointed out that it is crucial the young fast bowler, having shown promise, be given the opportunity to excel in all kinds of conditions.

“That to me is utter nonsense.  I can’t support that.  If you want to be a top-class international cricketer, you have to be able to bowl on all surfaces, in all conditions anywhere you go,” Ambrose said.

“To me, that type of reason does not hold any water, it is disappointing.  Having made his debut in New Zealand and done fairly well on his debut, he is full of confidence, he is one of the guys for the future in my view.  To be left out of the Test squad to me was a big surprise…Don’t tell me because it’s a spin-friendly environment that you are going to, you want to walk with 10 spinners, that to me makes no sense.”

 

West Indies opener Kieran Powell remains unavailable for selection after failing to make the team's fitness standard, according to CWI chief selector Roger Harper.

The 30-year-old Powell was surprisingly left out of a team that was hastily arranged after several members of the first team declined to tour Bangladesh.  Many believe Powell capable of being a regular part of the first team.

The Leeward Island’s batsman was the highest runs scorer in the previous season of the Cricket West Indies Super50 tournament.  Powell scored 524 runs with a high score of 121 not out.  He also had two 50s and two 100s.

The player was initially surprised he was not selected to the team to tour England earlier this year, after a strong showing for the season.  He admitted, however, to having failed a fitness test but claimed he was perplexed as others who did not show up for the test or also failed it were still selected.  According to Harper, however, the issue of Powell’s fitness remains a hindrance and formed part of the consideration on this occasion as well.

“Mr. Powell has performed very well, he was the leading runs scorer for the Super50 competition, but he is yet to meet the fitness standard,” Harper told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“Players have been left out of the team for the same reason.  The players we have selected on this squad have all met the fitness standard,” he added.

“Evin Lewis declined the invitation but he too is now available for selection.”

Lewis was dropped from the squad, along with Shimron Hetmyer earlier this year, after failing fitness tests.

 

Cricket West Indies chief of selectors Roger Harper is confident the team will put in a competitive showing, in Bangladesh, despite the absence of several regular first-teamers.

Team captains Jason Holder, Kieron Pollard, and Roston Chase were among 12 players opting not to go on the Bangladesh tour due to Covid-19 concerns.  The list includes Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, Sheldon Cottrell, Evin Lewis, Shai Hope, Shimron Hetmyer, and Nicholas Pooran. Fabian Allen and Shane Dowrich will be unavailable because of personal reasons.

With the first team players missing Kraigg Brathwaite will lead the Test team, with Jermaine Blackwood assigned as his deputy.  Trinidad & Tobago and West Indies A team captain, Jason Mohammed, will lead the ODI team with Sunil Ambris as vice-captain.

 The absence of the A-list players will see Kavem Hodge, a right-handed top-order batsman, called to the Test squad for the first time.  Left-handed opener Shayne Moseley and all-rounder Kyle Mayers will now feature in the first team for the first time, after making trips to England and New Zealand as reserves earlier this year.

Two other players will earn their first call-ups for the ODI squad — Akeal Hosein, a left-arm spinner allrounder; and Kjorn Ottley, a left-handed top-order batsman.

Despite coming off the back of dismal Test performances in England and then New Zealand, where they lost both matches by an innings, Harper believes the desire to prove themselves as good enough to play at the highest level could see the stand-in team put in a strong shift.

“Touring Bangladesh is not easy.  Bangladesh is a team that plays well in its own conditions but I really believe that the group of players that we put together, the squad for both the Test series and ODIs, will be competitive and give a good account of themselves,” Harper told members of the media on Tuesday.

“I think we can come away with some positive results from this series.  Bangladesh plays extremely well in one-day cricket, so the players will have to play well be at the top of their games and make smart decisions,” he added.

 

Cricket West Indies chief of selectors Roger Harper believes the opportunity for cricketers to earn, despite the ongoing global pandemic, should be seen as a positive with many others not so fortunate.

Recently, several players, including team captains Jason Holder, Kieron Pollard, and Roston Chase have pulled out of the upcoming tour of Bangladesh after citing health and safety concerns. With the team about to embark on its third tour in a few months, concerns have been raised regarding the mental effect of having to quarantine for weeks at a time, in order to take part in these competitions.  The West Indies were one of the first teams to resume playing international cricket when they toured England in July, under heavy quarantine restrictions.  The Windies then managed to keep busy with a tour of New Zealand earlier this month and are lined up to tour Bangladesh next month.  

While admitting that it was a concern that CWI took seriously and one that was still being assessed, Harper insists things have to be looked at in a positive manner in light of the uncertainty the pandemic has unfurled.

“If you look at things from the other perspective there are a lot of people looking for the opportunity to work and continuing to do.  I still think cricket is providing that opportunity for several people,” Harper told members of the media following the naming of an adjusted West Indies squad on Tuesday.

“I know there is a vaccine on the horizon and in some places, it's being doled out.  We don’t know how long before it gets to this region but if cricket is going to survive, we have to seek every opportunity to play the sport at the international level and continue to perform.  Life in the general sense is being affected because several people are out of work and would love the opportunity to work.”

As part of attempts to mitigate the situation, the CWI has included a psychologist as part of the touring management team.  

 

Kraigg Brathwaite will assume captaincy of the West Indies Test team with Jermaine Blackwood as his deputy when a much-changed squad heads to Bangladesh next month.

The unexpected return to leadership for the 28-year-old comes after 12 players, including captain Jason Holder and vice-captain Roston Chase declined to take part in the tour, due to concerns over the coronavirus.  Bangladesh is noted as one of the world’s Covid-19 hots with 510,080 confirmed coronavirus cases and 7,479 deaths.  Brathwaite had been previously been replaced as vice-captain by Chase, ahead of the New Zealand tour.

The tour was sanctioned following a report from a health and safety team, which was sent on a pre-series tour of the country but that was not enough to assure the majority of the players.

Former Trinidad & Tobago and West Indies A team captain, Jason Mohammed, will lead the ODI team with Sunil Ambris as vice-captain.

The absence of the A-list players will see Kavem Hodge, the right-handed top-order batsman, called to the Test squad for the first time.  Left-handed opener Shayne Moseley and all-rounder Kyle Mayers will now feature in the first team for the first time, after making trips to England and New Zealand as reserves earlier this year.

Two players have earned their first call-ups for the ODI squad — Akeal Hosein, a left-arm spinner allrounder; and Kjorn Ottley, a left-handed top-order batsman.

 

West Indies Test Squad

Kraigg Brathwaite (captain)

Jermaine Blackwood (vice-captain)

Nkrumah Bonner

John Campbell

Rahkeem Cornwall

Joshua Da Silva

Shannon Gabriel

Kavem Hodge

Alzarri Joseph

Kyle Mayers

Shayne Moseley

Veerasammy Permaul

Kemar Roach

Raymon Reifer

Jomel Warrican

West Indies ODI Squad

Jason Mohammed (captain)

Sunil Ambris (vice-captain)

Nkrumah Bonner

Joshua Da Silva

Jahmar Hamilton

Chemar Holder

Akeal Hosein

Alzarri Joseph

Kyle Mayers

Andre McCarthy

Kjorn Ottley

Rovman Powell

Raymon Reifer

Romario Shepherd

Hayden Walsh jr

West Indies captain Jason Holder has been confirmed to be among 12 players that have declined to take part in the upcoming tour of Bangladesh due to health concerns.

Joining Holder in making themselves unavailable for the tour are vice-captain Roston Chase, T20 captain Kieron Pollard, Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, Sheldon Cottrell, Evin Lewis, Shai Hope, Shimron Hetmyer, and Nicholas Pooran. Fabian Allen and Shane Dowrich will be unavailable because of personal reasons.

The CWI Covid-19 policy allows any player the opportunity to decline selection because of health or safety fears, without the decision affecting their consideration for future selection.

The tour is set for January 10 to February 11.  It was only approved after recommendation by the CWI’s Medical Advisory Committee (MAC), who received a detailed report from a pre-tour visit of Bangladesh by CWI Director and Member of the CWI and ICC MAC, Dr Mansingh, and Security Manager, Paul Slowe.

It seems the precautionary measures were not enough to assuage the fears of the majority of the squad.  With 510,080 confirmed coronavirus cases and 7,479 deaths, Bangladesh is one of the countries hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic.  The country has, however, been hosting cricket tournaments under heavy quarantine restrictions.

The West Indies were one of the first teams to resume playing international cricket when they travelled to England in July.  The team then went to New Zealand for a series earlier this month. 

Tim Paine does not believe Australia need changes to their line-up despite their struggles with the bat in the second Test loss to India.

India completed an eight-wicket victory over Australia in Melbourne on Tuesday to level the four-Test series at 1-1.

No Australia batsman managed to score a half-century in the second Test as they were bowled out for 195 and 200 at the MCG.

Joe Burns and Travis Head are under the most pressure to keep their spots, but Paine does not believe changes are the answer.

"No, not necessarily," Paine told a news conference when asked if changes were needed.

"I just think you need to bat better, doesn't matter who's out there. We need to be scoring runs, that's our job as the top seven of the Australian cricket team.

"If you're not, obviously they'll look for other people. I think we've got the best people here at the moment, we just haven't been good enough to get the job done."

David Warner could return from an adductor injury in the third Test, while Will Pucovski may make his debut after his fine form in the Sheffield Shield.

Steve Smith, meanwhile, has scored just 10 runs in the opening two Tests as he tries to find form.

Paine felt Australia's batting and fielding were particularly costly in Melbourne.

"I think that was one of the factors [not enough runs], I think dropping a number of catches probably didn't help," he said.

"Just a bit of a sloppy performance I think in the field and just not enough runs again."

The third Test is due to start in Sydney on January 7, although whether that goes ahead as scheduled remains unclear amid a coronavirus outbreak in New South Wales.

New Zealand closed in on victory in the first Test against Pakistan after a dominant day four in Mount Maunganui.

The Black Caps set Pakistan 373 for victory at Bay Oval on Tuesday before reducing the tourists to 71-3 in their chase as Tim Southee took his 300th Test wicket.

After losing openers Shan Masood and Abid Ali for ducks, Pakistan rallied and Azhar Ali (34) and Fawad Alam (21) were unbeaten at stumps, needing another 302 runs for an unlikely victory.

Trent Boult (1-24) removed Abid, who was caught by BJ Watling following a short ball, before Masood went in the following over, edging Southee (2-15) to Ross Taylor at first slip.

Pakistan were yet to score at that stage, and Southee had Haris Sohail (9) caught by Mitchell Santner.

Southee became the third player to take 300 Test wickets for New Zealand, joining Richard Hadlee (431) and Daniel Vettori (361). Only Hadlee (61 matches) reached the feat faster than Southee (76).

But New Zealand were left to get seven wickets on day five after Azhar and Fawad put on an unbroken 34-run stand.

Earlier, the Black Caps found the quick runs they were after thanks mostly to openers Tom Blundell (64) and Tom Latham (53).

Blundell and Latham put on 111 for the opening wicket, New Zealand getting to 180-5 before declaring.

Naseem Shah finished with 3-55 for Pakistan.

A number of high-profile West Indies are reported to have made themselves unavailable for the upcoming tour of Bangladesh due to health and safety concerns.

The tour is set to take place between January 10 and February 11.  It was greenlighted on the recommendation of the CWI’s Medical Advisory Committee (MAC), who received a detailed report from a pre-tour visit of Bangladesh by CWI Director and Member of the CWI and ICC MAC, Dr. Mansingh, and Security Manager, Paul Slowe.

The recommendations have, however, not been enough to convince some players to embark on the tour.  With 510,080 confirmed coronavirus cases and 7,479 deaths, Bangladesh is one of the countries hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic.  The country has, however, been hosting cricket tournaments under heavy quarantine restrictions.

According to initial reports, both captain Jason Holder and vice-captain Roston Chase have opted out of the tour with out-of-favour batsman Shai Hope also reportedly unwilling to accept the invitation.  The West Indies were one of the first teams to resume playing international cricket when they travelled to England in July.  The team then went on to travel to New Zealand for another series earlier this month.  Cricket West Indies (CWI) is expected to announce the squad for the tour within the next 24 hours.

West Indies women’s team captain Stafanie Taylor and dynamic all-rounder Deandra Dottin have been named to the ICC Women's T20I Team of the Decade.

Taylor and Dottin were part of the Windies team that made history after claiming victory over Australia in the 2016 Women’s T20 World Cup.  In addition, Taylor is currently ranked second for the most runs scored, her 3062 bettered only by New Zealand’s Suzie Bates.  Dottin is ranked 5th with 2565.  Taylor also features in the top ten in terms of wickets taken with 94 to date.

The West Indies women’s team captain has also earned a place on the ICC Women's ODI team of the year.  There she was joined by spinner Anisa Mohammed.  With 120 wickets taken to date, Mohammed is the format’s all-time leading wicket tacker.

Taylor had also been in contention for the ICC Women’s ODI Cricketer of the Decade but was beaten out by Australia’s Ellyse Perry.  Dottin was in the meantime in contention for the ICC Women’s T20I Cricketer of the Decade but was also beaten out by Perry.

 

ICC Women's T20I Team of the Decade

Alyssa Healy (Wicketkeeper)

Sophie Devine

Suzie Bates

Meg Lanning (Captain)

Harmanpreet Kaur

Stafanie Taylor

Deandra Dottin

Ellyse Perry

Anya Shrubsole

Megan Schutt

Poonam Yadav

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