Sir Vivian Richards is in full support of the appointment of Kieron Pollard as white-ball captain of the West Indies, saying the veteran all-rounder brings more aggression to the role than the two men he replaced.

Pollard, who opened his account as ODI captain on Wednesday with an emphatic seven-wicket victory over Afghanistan in Lucknow, India, has had the eye of Richards for the last five years, ever since he won the CPL with the Barbados Tridents.

"I've always admired his captaincy,” said Richards, who has been one of those to have noted a tendency towards passiveness in previous West Indies sides.

Jason Holder, the West Indies Test captain and previous ODI captain, has been criticized for not being aggressive enough on occasion and going into defensive mode too quickly.

“I've always felt that when he played the first CPL T20 at home, he was the best captain,” said Richards.

“I think Barbados Tridents went on to win it [in 2014], and he was the best captain in my opinion, more proactive than the rest of the captains we would have seen,” said Richards.

 I think he's in a good place," he said.

Richards also believes Pollard will benefit from having more talent around him than did his predecessors, Holder and Carlos Brathwaite, former captain of the T20 side.

“There's enough good players around him that can help out as well,” said Richards, referring to newcomers like Brandon King and Hayden Walsh Jr.

Pollard's first course of action as ODI captain was to marshall his troops into dismissing Bangladesh for 194 in 45.2 overs, courtesy of Jason Holder, 2-21, Romario Shepherd, 2-32, Roston Chase 2-31, Sheldon Cottrell, 1-33, and Hayden Walsh Jr, 1-33, sharing the workload. The West Indies batters then made simple work of the total, getting to 197-3 three balls into the 47th over.

Roston Chase, 94, and Shai Hope, 77, were the major contributors to the innings.

There was no room for veteran Windies opener Chris Gayle as the new Cricket West Indies selection panel named squads for all three formats for the team’s series against Afghanistan.

The 40-year-old batsman was expected to retire from the sport following this year’s World Cup but had a change of heart.  The player had also targeted the India home tour as possibly his final appearance for the regional team but insisted following the series that he had not retired.

Despite the absence of the talismanic player, however, there are several noted returnees.  As expected, having been appointed captain of the ODI and T20 teams Kieron Pollard returns to the white ball team for the first time in three years.  Pollard replaced Holder as captain of the ODI team and Carlos Brathwaite as leader of the T20 team.  While Holder has been included in all three formats, Brathwaite has been dropped from the squad. 

Fresh off successful campaigns in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Guyana Amazon Warriors opening batsman Brandon King and Barbados Tridents spinner Hayden Walsh Jr have been included in the T20 and ODI formats.  Lendl Simmons, who also put together a solid campaign for Trinbago Knightriders, has also been included in the T20 squad. 

Promising young pace bowler Alzarri Josephs, who missed the World Cup due to injury, will also return to the team for all three formats.

 

Test squad: Jason Holder (Captain), Shai Hope, John Campbell, Kraigg Brathwaite, Shimron Hetmyer, Shamrah Brooks, Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich, Sunil Ambris, Jomel Warrican, Rahkeem Cornwall, Kemar Roach, Keemo Paul, Alzarri Joseph

ODI squad: Kieron Pollard (Captain), Shai Hope, Evin Lewis, Shimron Hetmyer, Sunil Ambris, Nicholas Pooran, Brandon King, Roston Chase, Jason Holder, Hayden Walsh Jr., Khary Pierre, Sheldon Cottrell, Keemo Paul, Alzarri Joseph, Romario Shepherd.

T20I squad: Kieron Pollard (Captain), Nicholas Pooran, Evin Lewis, Shimron Hetmyer, Sherfane Rutherford, Brandon King, Fabian Allen, Jason Holder, Hayden Walsh Jr., Lendl Simmons, Khary Pierre, Sheldon Cottrell, Denesh Ramdin, Kesrick Williams, Alzarri Joseph.

St Kitts & Nevis Patriots secured their 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) playoff spot in dramatic style as Dominic Drakes bowled Harry Gurney with the final ball of the night to seal a thrilling one-run victory over Barbados Tridents, who now face a winner-takes-all clash with St Lucia Zouks on Sunday after a dramatic batting collapse when victory appeared in their grasp. 

St Kitts and Nevis Patriots skipper Carlos Brathwaite was quick to play down what appeared to be a heated disagreement between players and coaching staff, as to who should bowl the crucial super over, in the CPL battle against Trinbago Knightriders on Tuesday night.

In the end, Brathwaite went on to bowl brilliantly, restricting the Knightriders to 5 for 1, having dismissed Darren Bravo in the super over and finding some impressive wide and Yorker deliveries.

Initially, it had seemed that pacer Alzarri Joseph was set to bowl the super over having been seen warming up on the sidelines only minutes before.  With the game on the line, however, it was Brathwaite who took ball in hand, much to what seemed like annoyance from some members of the coaching staff who hurriedly called Joseph to the sideline.

Having scored 17 of 18 runs in the super over and 64 from 30 in regular play, Brathwaite, however, took the responsibility of silencing the Knightriders and his critics.

“I was warming up and just getting ready but the guys gave me the final decision and said ‘tonight is your night so you need to step up and do it’,” Brathwaite said after the game.

“I was ready and willing and to have that kind of confidence from my teammates just made the job a little easier.”   

St Kitts and Nevis Patriots captain Carlos Brathwaite has hailed the team’s bowling effort as the most complete to date following a 6 wicket win over St Lucia Zouks in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) on Sunday.

Patriots home team debutant Akeem Jordan was the star of the show as his four-for rattled the visiting Zouks, particularly early on.  Crucially, Jordan dislodged both openers Andre Fletcher (1) and Rahkeem Cornwall (5) who have proven to be dangerous scorers on several occasions this season.

 For Brathwaite, who also saw Usana Mir and Rayad Emrit claim two wickets each, the performance could not have come at a better time.

“This is probably the most complete bowling effort we’ve had so far,” Brathwaite said following the match.

“One of the things we asked for was wickets at the top, that’s why we brought Akeem Jordan in and he delivered, so congrats to him.  As a team, we executed as well as we wanted to and obviously, in the end, we got the result we wanted as well.”

For his efforts, Jordan was named the player of the match

 

St Kitts and Nevis Patriots captain Carlos Brathwaite insists the team never lost belief during a miraculous runs chase of historic proportions, against Jamaica Tallawahs, in the Caribbean Premier League on Tuesday.

Spearheaded by 116 from 62 balls from talisman Chris Gayle, his 22nd T20 century, the Jamaica Tallawahs posted what seemed to be an unassailable 241 for 4, which was the highest total in CPL history. 

The hosts, however, had other ideas and led by a blistering 50, in just 17 balls, from explosive opener Evin Lewis, reached to 242 for 6 with seven balls to spare and 4 wickers in hand.  Lewis' knock was the fastest half-century in CPL history.

“Actually, before we got off the field we got into a small huddle and we said this is the bullring, any total is chaseable,” Brathwaite said following the match.

Lewis and Devon Thomas got the Patriots off to a blistering start and the duo got to 85 for 0 inside the Power Play.  After he was surprised by extra bounce and caught behind by Glenn Phillips off Andre Russell, his opening partner took point.

Thomas got to 50 off 30 balls and new arrival Laurie Evans from England also made a strong contribution, his 41 coming from just 20.

“We just planned to get a good start, keep the run rate manageable and then close off the game.  Evin is in fantastic form, Fabian Allen as well, Devon Thomas, it's his second back to back 50.  We thought they got about 20 runs too much but it was a fantastic track, the wind wasn’t blowing and it was a small outfield.”

The runs chase, which was carried home by Allen’s 37 from 15, was the second-highest total chased in T20 history.

  

 

Windies batsman Kieron Pollard is poised to become the new captain of the regional team in both the T20 and ODI formats, numerous reports have claimed.

The 32-year-old Pollard, long thought of as a viable alternative for the post, is set to replace Jason Holder as head of the ODI team and Carlos Brathwaite as skipper of the T20 squad.  Holder was appointed the head of the regional team in 2014, with Brathwaite appointed as leader in the shorter format in 2016 after an outstanding performance at the World Cup.

 Neither captain has performed particularly well, however, with Holder losing 24 of 54 matches played and Brathwaite managing just a 33 percent win ratio.

Pollard has, however, not been a regular participant for the Windies squad in recent years, particularly in the ODI format where he last appeared for the team in 2016.  The player had, however, been named as a reserve for the 2019 World Cup but failed to make an appearance, as the regional team managed just one win and an eighth-place finish. 

Pollard made his T20 debut on June 2008 against Australia but was overlooked for several years after disputes with the regional board. He was, however, re­called to the West Indies team for the T20 internationals against Indian last month.

 

The St Kitts & Nevis Patriots were charged with a breach of Article 2.5 of the Hero Caribbean Premier League Code of Conduct – Minimum Over Rate Offences – at the end of Match 1 between themselves and the Trinbago Knight Riders on Wednesday at the Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain.

The charge of being one (1) over down was laid by the Match Officials Team against the captain of the Patriots, Carlos Brathwaite, who accepted the charge.

As provided for at Appendix 2, Section 4.2 of the Code of Conduct, the applicable monetary fine was imposed on the captain, and the Patriots team was penalized with a 0.05 reduction in their Net Run Rate.

West Indies legend Sir Vivian Richards believes veteran T20 player Kieron Pollard would make a better option for team captain than current skipper Carlos Brathwaite.

The 31-year-old Brathwaite was named captain of the squad in 2016, following the controversial dismal of World Cup-winning captain Darren Sammy and his heroics against England in the final.  The Barbadian has, however, struggled since taking charge of the unit, winning just 11 and losing 17 of his matches in charge of the team for a 36 percent win rate.

Despite being out of the squad for a couple of years, Pollard has continued to be one of the game’s most reliable players, recently returning to score 115 in a three-match series against India.  The Windies, however, lost the series 3-0.

“Given his experience in that format, I would have liked to see Kieron Pollard as the best choice for our T20 captain. But he is not, for there are some reasons for that. During the CPL, he is the best with the bat and his fielding talent,” Richards recently told the India Times.

“There is no disrespect to Carlos Brathwaite, but he probably would have been part of the team still. It was a political scenario after Darren Sammy exited the captaincy. Brathwaite is magnificent as an individual and highly competitive, but I know a lot of players in that team who believe Pollard would have been a great choice as captain.”

 

 

West Indies all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite is confident his side can bounce back from their 59-run defeat Sunday to level their ODI series against India in the second ODI in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad.

Windies T20 skipper Carlos Brathwaite insists that he was encouraged by aspects of the team performance, despite a 22-runs loss to India at Lauderhill on Sunday.

The result saw the visitors claim a second straight win over the regional team and an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.  India won the first contest of the series on Saturday by four wickets with 16 balls remaining after the Windies were restricted to 95-9.

On Sunday, fueled by the furious Rohit Sharma, India made 167 for 5 during their time at the crease.  Sharma made 67 from 51 balls, in the process passing Windies talisman Chris Gayle for the most T20 sixes.  The Caribbean team made made 98-4 in their reply in the second encounter, but a storm brought a premature end to the contest, with the team still some way short of the adjusted target of 121.

Rovman Powell offered the most resistance for the Windies scoring six boundaries and three sixes, reaching 54 before he was lbw to Krunal Pandya (2-23).

“I didn't think it went wrong to be fair. I think we had a solid enough base, so we still backed ourselves to get 70 odd, but very well played to Rovman to get us into that situation,” Brathwaite said following the encounter.

“I give the batting a bit more credit than yesterday. With the total we figured our lineup is flexible enough, with guys like Pollard at the end to set Rovman up. Batting-wise we were a lot closer to where we want to be. In Guyana we hope to get consistency.”

A 100 per cent fit Sunil Narine is happy to be back bowling for the West Indies and had an immediate impact on the first T20 against India in Fort Lauderdale despite his team’s four-wicket loss.

Defending a paltry 95, the West Indies were in trouble but Narine with figures of 2-14, from his four overs, showed great control and the ability to still take wickets.

“Sunil's four overs very important, he showed his experience, brought us back into the game. Great bowling effort,” said Narine's skipper, Carlos Brathwaite.

"Always good to be back in maroon. Being able to perform for the country is a proud moment,” said Narine after his efforts.

The mystery spinner has been troubled with a finger injury and the workout in Lauderhill was a good way to test where he was.

“Fitness is there, finger is now 100%,” said Narine.

Now, the spinner says his goal is to find consistency.

“T20 I'm trying to stay on for as long as I can. Let's see how it goes. We still have to play positively, start well in the Powerplay, whether we're batting or bowling,” explained Narine.

That positive intent, Narine believes, is the key to winning games again for the West Indies.

“We've to start winning matches. No new thing at the moment, just enjoying my cricket. Hopefully you can see good performances in the near future."

Windies skipper, Carlos Brathwaite believes his unit could have made a fight of the first T20 international against India in Lauderhill on Saturday had there been but a few better decisions with the bat.

According to the skipper, the T20 side, stacked with new-ish faces, not for the first time, did not adapt to the conditions they were faced with after early-morning showers made batting a little tougher.

“Once again don't think we assessed conditions,” said Brathwaite after the game the West Indies lost by four wickets.

Batting first, the ‘home’ side amassed a paltry 95-9 from their 20 overs, thanks in large part to Kieron Pollard’s run-a-ball 49.

Sent to bat at number four, Pollard showed experience in waiting for the right moments to get the scoring going, but fell in the 20th over.

Brathwaite paid attention.

“Kudos to Kieron coming back into the team. He showed his experience,” he said.

“Had we made 130, it would've been a different game. We batted ourselves out of the game,” said a disappointed Brathwaite.

The skipper admits that the West Indies style of being aggressive up front would not change, but that there were still better decisions to be made when doing so.

“We have to play positively. The message will continue to be to keep intent, but we need to have better shot selection and awareness,” said the skipper.

Carlos Brathwaite has come to Andre Russell's defence after the West Indies all-rounder appeared in the Global T20 (GT20) in Canada hours after pulling out of an international match injured.

Russell saw his Cricket World Cup cut short with a left knee injury and then aggravated the issue in the GT20.

The 31-year-old had been named in the Windies' squad for their first two Twenty20 internationals against India pending a fitness test, yet he informed selectors of his inability to feature.

However, hours after Jason Mohammed was called up in his place, Russell turned out again for Vancouver Knights in the GT20.

Brathwaite believes Russell receives too much criticism for his patchy fitness record, however, suggesting he instead deserves credit for trying to play when possible.

The Windies skipper suggested Russell was playing for Vancouver without being "100 per cent" but did not wish to risk producing below-par performances for his country.

"I think he's been knocked in the press a bit because of his injury woes," Brathwaite told a news conference. "And I think it's easy for us to see him hobbling around the field and just take for granted that he's injured.

"But we can also look at it on the other side and say he could be home, he could be elsewhere and not trying to play for the West Indies.

"Speaking for myself as captain of the T20 team, and speaking for myself as Andre's friend, whenever we speak about playing for West Indies, that's always his main goal.

"And we've seen in the World Cup, whether he was 100 per cent or not – it's debatable – the fact that he wanted to be at the World Cup, wanted to pull on the shirt and wanted to perform for the people in the West Indies and his mates in the dressing room, I think, is testament to the person he is.

"I think we need to start commending the fact that he actually tries to get on the park and stop lambasting the fact that he probably doesn't stay on it till the end of the 50 overs or the 20 overs.

"Even against my better judgment, I told him to sit out this series. But he really wanted to play, he really wanted to come and show off his skills and show off what he does in franchise cricket for the West Indies.

"Unfortunately, he took another knock and he doesn't think that, if he comes here, he'd be doing justice to other people who could be here and are 100 per cent.

"Obviously, he's a big loss, not only on the field but off the field. In the dressing room, in and around the team, he's a big character, very jovial and, in my eyes, a leader in the dressing room as well.

"But obviously, if we need to get him ready for the Twenty20 World Cup, we have to do without him for a couple of series.

"I prefer that than pushing him in this series and making a long-term injury."

West Indies T20 captain Carlos Brathwaite has come to the defence of injured teammate Andre Russell, who he believes has come in for some harsh press after a number of injuries have impacted his international output.

After feeling discomfort during the Global T20 Canada, Andre Russell asked to be excused from duty for the West Indies in the first T20 internationals against India in the Caribbean.

During a pre-match press conference, Brathwaite, made it clear where he stood on the issue.

Brathwaite tackled those who thought Russell did a disservice to the West Indies’ World Cup hopes, saying:

"And speaking for myself as captain of the T20 team and speaking for myself as Andre's friend, whenever we speak about playing for West Indies, that's always his main goal. And we've seen in the World Cup -whether he was 100% or not, it's debatable - but the fact that he wanted to be at the World Cup, wanted to pull on the shirt and wanted to perform for the people in the West Indies and his mates in the dressing room, I think, is testament to the person he is. And I think we need to start commending the fact that he actually tries to get on the park and stop lambasting the fact that he probably doesn't stay on it till the end of the 50 overs or the 20 overs,” said Brathwaite.

According to the skipper, the more important part of the equation, is Russell’s willingness to play for the West Indies.

"I think he's been knocked in the press a bit because of his injury woes. And I think it's easy for us to see him hobbling around the field and just take for granted that he's injured but we can also look at it on the other side and say he can be home, he could be elsewhere and not trying to play for the West Indies.

Russell, Brathwaite revealed, would have played in these T20s if prodded to do so, despite his less-than-100 per cent fitness status.

"Even against my better judgment, I told him to sit out this series, but he really wanted to play, he really wanted to come and show off his skills and show off what he does in franchise cricket for the West Indies. Unfortunately, he took another knock and he doesn't think that if he comes here that he'd be doing justice to other people who could be here and are 100%. Obviously, he's a big loss, not only on the field but off the field. In the dressing room, in and around the team, he's a big character, very jovial and in my eyes, a leader in the dressing room as well,” said Brathwaite.

The skipper then asked that the press look at the bigger picture, because there were other tournaments the West Indies have an eye on doing well at, tournaments Russell will be important to.

“ … Obviously, if we need to get him ready for the Twenty20 World Cup, we have to do without him for a couple of series, I prefer that than pushing him in this series and making a long term injury.”

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