Guyanese all-rounder Keemo Paul has signed with the Hobart Hurricanes Stars in Australia’s Big Bash League.

West Indies bowling coach Roddy Estwick does not believe there should be any doubting the talent of all-rounder Keemo Paul but believes it is crucial to see the player getting more red ball cricket under his belt.

The 24-year-old Paul has been included in a 15-man Test squad to face New Zealand this month.  The player was previously invited for the team’s tour of England but along with Darren Bravo and Shimron Hetmyer, declined to participate for health reasons.

His selection has not been entirely without controversy, with some believing the player to be too inconsistent to play Test cricket, particularly with the way he bowls.  Estwick believes, however, that a few of those inefficiencies come down to not playing the format enough.

“Keemo is very talented player, obviously he hasn’t played first-class cricket for a while because he has been with the West Indies and on the T20 circuit.  It’s good to have him back to see where he is at.  We have two first class games coming up to see where he is at,” Estwick told members of the media.

“We know the talent of Keemo Paul there is no doubt about that, a wonderful talent player.  He reminds me of someone like the late Keith Boyce from Barbados who represented the West Indies. Very athletic fielder, good mover, excellent timer of the ball,” he added.

“Remember Keemo is only 24 so it’s about how hard you work and how much preparation you put in.  Once Keemo can do that and he can get first class cricket under his belt, there is no doubt about his talent.  The last time he played a full first-class season he got 40-odd first-class wickets.”

 

Former West Indies fast bowler, Tony Gray, has expressed surprise at the selection of all-rounder Keemo Paul to the West Indies squad for the upcoming tour of New Zealand, as he deems the player not suited for Test cricket.

The 22-year-old Paul, who has earned 3 Test match caps so far, was previously invited to join the team for the tour of England but along with Darren Bravo and Shimron Hetmyer turned down the series due to health concerns.

“Keemo Paul to me at this time is not suited to play Test cricket,” Gray told the Mason and Guest Radio program.

“He’s too inconsistent with his bowling, he tries too many things and he cannot work to a game plan.  In Test cricket you need a plan.  You need the sort of deliveries to be patient but also having the wickets to take deliveries but the thing about him is he is not patient.  His batting has declined too,” he added.

Paul made his debut against Bangladesh in 2018 and has taken six wickets in his three games, while conceding 189 runs.  Gray insisted there were enough seamers and spinner Roston Chase already in the squad.  He believes the team would have been better suited keeping discarded batsman Shai Hope around the squad, even if not a part of the first team.

 

Jason Holder and Kieron Pollard are to captain West Indies Test and T20 teams, respectively, while Shai Hope has been dropped for the upcoming tour of New Zealand.

Meanwhile, Andre Russell, Lendl Simmons and Evin Lewis have declined invitations to the T20 squad that has been selected for the tour.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) announced a short while ago, the two squads for the proposed tour of New Zealand which will feature three T20 Internationals and two Test matches from November 27 to December 15.

Details of the tour were ratified by CWI’s Board of Directors during a teleconference on Thursday. The Board agreed to the tour in principle, subject to final details on medical and logistical protocols of CWI, New Zealand Cricket and Government of New Zealand.

Left-handed batsmen Darren Bravo and Shimron Hetmyer have been recalled to the Test team, as well as all-rounder Keemo Paul. Bravo’s highest Test score of 218 came at the University Oval in Dunedin in 2013.

“The return of Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer and Keemo Paul will bolster the team, I expect that Darren will solidify the top-order, hopefully making it more productive, while Shimron gives the squad more options in the middle-order and it is another opportunity for him to show how good a player he is.  Keemo provides another wicket taking seam option,” said Chief Selector Roger Harper.

“The Test team has an opportunity to put into practice the learnings from the tour of England earlier this year.  The team has good all-round depth and I expect them be very competitive. New Zealand is a very good team especially in New Zealand, so we need to be on the top of our game.”

A group of reserves will also travel to help prepare the Test squad during the quarantine period and training camp as well as cover for injuries.

Meanwhile, Andre Fletcher, the experienced wicket-keeper/batsman has been named in the T20I squad for the first time since 2018. There is also a maiden call-up in this format for Kyle Mayers, the all-rounder, who performed well in last month’s Caribbean Premier League (CPL).

“Lendl Simmons and Andre Russell are two very experienced T20 players who performed very well on the last tour of Sri Lanka and their absence will surely be noted.  However, Andre Fletcher has another opportunity to show us what he can do and what he brings to the table,” Harper said.

“The T20I Team is now getting back into the groove after a nine-month absence from international competition. Fortunately, a number of players have been involved in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and before that the CPL, so they have had some competitive cricket leading up to this tour. The structure of the tour with the COVID-19 quarantine period, does not give the team any real opportunity for match practice as a team but there are a number of experienced players in the team so, hopefully, they can adapt quickly. 

“In the build-up to the ICC T20 World Cup, every T20I series is an important opportunity to fine tune the team, to get our personnel, our compositions and combinations right. For our players to become more attuned to their roles and the team to have a greater understanding of what works best in each situation. So, this is a very important series for us from that perspective and also in an effort to improve our rankings.”

The T20Is will be the start of an 11-month schedule of matches building up to the ICC T20 World Cup, rescheduled for October 2021 in India. The proposed schedule for this tour of New Zealand has the defending T20 World Cup champions starting at Eden Park in Auckland under lights.

The CWI Selection Panel indicated that this upcoming series will form part of the overall planning towards defending the ICC World T20 title. The panel outlined that they will continue to monitor closely the progress of spin bowler Sunil Narine and all other players in the lead-up to the global event.

 Test Squad:

Jason Holder (captain), Jermaine Blackwood, Kraigg Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell, Roston Chase, Rahkeem Cornwall, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Shimron Hetmyer, Chemar Holder, Alzarri Joseph, Keemo Paul and Kemar Roach.

 Test Reserves:

Nkrumah Bonner, Joshua DaSilva, Preston McSween, Shayne Moseley, Raymon Reifer, and Jayden Seales.

 T20 International Squad:

Kieron Pollard (captain), Fabian Allen, Dwayne Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell, Andre Fletcher, Shimron Hetmyer, Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Rovman Powell, Keemo Paul, Nicholas Pooran, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jr, and Kesrick Williams.

As is things were not bad enough for the Jamaica Tallawahs this season, news has emerged that their middle-order batsman Asif Ali has been found guilty of a breach of the CPL’s Code of Conduct and has been fined 20 per cent of his match fee.

 According to a statement from the CPL on Friday, during the Tallawahs’ match against the Guyana Amazon Warriors on August 25 at Queen’s Park Oval, Ali swung his bat in the direction of opposition bowler Keemo Paul when he was dismissed in the eighth over of his team’s batting innings. 

 He was charged with being in breach of section 2.18 of the Code of Conduct, acting contrary to the spirit of the game. Ali admitted the offence, CPL said.

 The Jamaica Tallawahs are fifth in the six-team standings having won only two of their five matches to date.  

 

Guyana Amazon Warriors overcame losing 10/62 in 81 balls and a vintage onslaught from Andre Russell to record the lowest successful defence in Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) history in an astonishing game against the Jamaica Tallawahs.

West Indies all-rounder Keem Paul, despite bagging 4-19 in his second match of the 2020 Hero Caribbean Premier League to help give his Guyana Amazon Warriors their first points of the season still feels he did not do as well as he should have.

Keemo Paul and the spinners handsomely repaid Guyana Amazon Warriors’ decision to go with an unchanged XI from their opening day loss, and Shimron Hetmyer’s brilliance meant even a misfiring batting line-up won with time to spare, consigning St Kitts & Nevis Patriots to the bottom of the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) table.

West Indies fast bowling great Andy Roberts believes Shimron Hetmyer erred when deciding to forego the West Indies tour of England.

The three players who pulled out of the upcoming West Indies tour of England expressed serious misgivings about the risk posed to their health, despite the assurances provided.

The trio, Darren Bravo, Keemo Paul, and Shimron Hetmyer all respectfully declined to be part of a 25-man squad picked to tour England next month.  With eyes firmly on the coronavirus epidemic, the three-Test series will be played in empty stadiums and players placed in a quarantined bio-secure environment as soon as they arrive in the UK.  In addition, the players will be brought in on a private flight.

The precautions were, however, not enough to assuage the fears of the players. With 283,311 cases and 40,261 deaths, the UK recently took over from Italy as the European country most badly affected by the coronavirus.  In declining Bravo, Paul and Hetmyer wrote to the CWI authorities and cited concerns for themselves and their families.

“Keemo Paul is the sole breadwinner in his entire household and wider family. He was really concerned if something happened to him how his family would cope,” CWI CEO Grave told ESPNCricinfo.

“He wrote passionately about how hard a decision it was for him and how much he loves playing for West Indies, but after with consultation with his family he doesn’t feel he can leave them and doesn’t want to go on the tour,” he added.

Grave went on to reveal that in a similar email from Hetmyer, he explained that he “didn’t feel comfortable from a safety point of view, leaving his home, leaving his family and heading over to England.”

The CEO had earlier insisted the decision will not be held against any of the players.

Veteran batsman Darren Bravo and newcomers Keemo Paul and Shimron Hetmyer will not face any backlash from Cricket West Indies for their decision not to travel to England for the three-Test series in July.

Reports have emerged that the West Indies selectors have chosen a squad to play against England in a three-Test series in July. However, the squad will not include Darren Bravo, Keemo Paul or Shimron Hetmeyer who have all opted out of the three-Test match tour.

The squad is expected to depart from the Caribbean on June 8.

According to cricket commentator and talk show host Andrew Mason, the selectors had a hard time selecting a squad but in the end, came up with a squad that includes the recalled Jermaine Blackwood and Shannon Gabriel.

The names of the others who were selected include Captain Jason Holder, Kraigg Brathwaite, Shai Hope, Shane Dowrich, Roston Chase, Shemarh Brooks, Rahkeem Cornwall, Nkrumah Bonner, Alzarri Joseph, Chemar Holder, John Campbell, Raymon Reifer and Kemar Roach.

The West Indies will be in the United Kingdom for about four weeks and will be housed in a bio-secure environment while they get up to speed before the start of the first Test.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) confirmed on Tuesday that a three-Test series without spectators is scheduled to start on July 8 at the Ageas Bowl.

Old Trafford will host the second and third Tests.

The venues have been selected from a group of four that submitted an interest, having had to demonstrate to the ECB board an ability to meet criteria surrounding biosecurity, medical screening-testing provision, footprint to enable social distancing and venue-cricket operations.

Edgbaston was picked as a contingency venue and will be utilised for additional training throughout July.

The Windies are due to arrive in England on June 9 and will use Old Trafford as their base for training and quarantining before travelling to the Ageas Bowl.

 

 

 

CPL stars Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmyer, Keemo Paul and Brandon King have all been included among the 10 Caribbean players retained by the Guyana Amazon Warriors for the 2020 CPL season scheduled to get underway in August.

Paul and Hetmyer are two of seven Guyanese players retained by the Warriors. Big-hitting Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd, Chanderpaul Hemraj and Anthony Bramble were also retained as has been the emerging player Kevin Sinclair.

Odean Smith from Jamaica will also be back for the coming season.

“The Guyana Amazon Warriors Franchise has and will always be committed to the continued development of our local and regional players. From the inception of the CPL, we included young Guyanese players in our squad as part of the franchise’s mandate to provide opportunities to young aspiring Guyanese cricketers to assist in their overall development as professional cricketers,” said Omar Khan, Guyana Amazon Warriors Team Operations Manager.

“Shimron Hetmyer, Keemo Paul and Sherfane Rutherford have all benefitted from these opportunities prior to them becoming full-fledged members of our team. 

“We are extremely delighted that we were able to retain the majority of our local and regional players, including Nicholas Pooran and Brandon King, both of whom have been hailed by the cricket pundits as potential future stars of West Indies cricket and who were members of our team last year. The Guyana Amazon Warriors wish all of the retained players great success in the CPL 2020."

Retentions and signings of international players will be announced at a later date.

 This year teams can retain as many players from their 2019 squads as they wish. They could also transfer players to other teams and sign emerging players. 

 The CPL is scheduled to take place between August 19 and September 26, but the tournament organisers are currently watching the current situation with COVID-19 closely and are liaising with medical advisors and governments.

 A decision on whether the tournament can proceed as planned, or at a different time, will be made as soon as possible.

 

 Emerging West Indies stars Keemo Paul, Rovman Powell and Oshane Thomas will be featured in a series of films developed in part by the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL).

The Hero CPL has worked with Trombone Productions and Sunset+Vine to create films that tell the stories of these most exciting of Caribbean cricketers.

In each film, these talented young men travel back to their home towns to meet the people who helped them become the cricketers they are today.

“We also hear from some of the superstar cricketers who they have played with in their career, with the likes of Chris Gayle, Andre Russell and Shoaib Malik giving us their thoughts on these players,” CPL said. 

Oshane Thomas visits the site of his brother’s murder, talks about how this impacted on his life and how he overcame this to become an international cricketer.

Keemo Paul grew up in a tiny fishing village on the Essequibo River. His house had no running water and no electricity. It is more than 30 miles from the nearest road. This is where he first learned to play cricket, and the film takes viewers back to visit the community that made him the man he is today, and somewhere he still calls home.

Rovman Powell takes the cameras to meet his mother who raised him and his sister on her own, sometimes working three jobs to give him the start he needed to excel at cricket.

"When documenting sports people it is their on-field talent that is usually the focus, but behind every successful athlete is a story of where they came from, the people who made their careers possible and the defining moments in their lives that give them the drive and focus to become the best in the world at what they do,” said CPL’s Head of Production, Paul Pritchett-Brown.

“It was a privilege to be able to go to where these impressive young men came from and to tell their stories."

You can watch the first of these films featuring Oshane Thomas via https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=915x1fBODE0.

All three films will be available on the Caribbean Premier League YouTube and Facebook pages. They will be premiered on the following dates: Keemo Paul – May 22, 2020, Rovman Powell – June 5, 2020

Roston Chase is a man in great form as West Indies prepare to face Sri Lanka in a One-Day International Series. The allrounder struck a century, took two wickets and held a brilliant caught and bowled, as West Indies warmed up for the opening One-Day International with a dominant six-wicket victory over the Sri Lanka Board President’s XI on Thursday.

Playing in their final pre-series contest at Chilaw Marians Cricket Club Ground in Katunayake, the visitors easily chased down their target of 277 for just four wickets with 21 balls to spare, thanks to Chase’s 136 off 113 balls.

Opener Shai Hope hit a typically composed 85 off 102 balls while Sunil Ambris saw West Indies over the line with an unbeaten 34 from 44 balls.

The President’s XI had earlier posted 276-8 off their 50 overs. Wicket-keeper Minod Bhanuka made a top score of 69 from 88 balls and Ramesh Mendis played well with a near run-a-ball unbeaten 64.

The West Indies bowling left a little to be desired, as Chase’s 2-45 was only matched by Keemo Paul, who ended with figures of 2-57.

Fabian Allen was economical in his five overs, taking 1-17, while Hayden Walsh Jr had 1-44 from seven and Jason Holder ended with 1-34 from eight.

Romario Shepherd went wicketless for his 62 runs off nine overs while skipper Kieron Pollard had none for 14 from three overs.

In the second half, West Indies found themselves in early trouble at 35-2 in the eighth over when opener Brandon King and Darren Bravo, who made a century earlier this week, both fell in single figures to catches at the wicket.

However, Chase arrived to turn the game in the visitors’ favour, inspiring two successive century stands, first with Hope and then with Ambris. He put on 133 for the third wicket with Hope who stroked 11 fours in his knock, and then added 108 for the fourth wicket with Ambris who counted a four and a six.

Overall, Chase hit 16 fours and a six before he was dismissed with scores level, bowled by new-ball left-arm seamer Vishwa Fernando (2-56).

West Indies will play the first ODI against Sri Lanka on Saturday at the Sinhalese Sports Club. First ball is 9:30am (12 midnight Eastern Caribbean Time/11pm Friday Jamaica Time). The second match will be at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium in Hambantota on February 26 with the third and final ODI on March 1 at the Pallakele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy.

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