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.

Cricket West Indies has awarded first-time international retainer contracts to Nkrumah Bonner, Joshua Da Silva, Akeal Hosein and Kyle Mayers while newly-appointed Test captain Kraigg Brathwaite and Darren Bravo received International contracts for red-ball and white-ball cricket, respectively.

A total of 18 players have been offered contracts for the upcoming 2021-22 season which runs from July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2022.

Meanwhile, Roston Chase, Shamarh Brooks and Shane Dowrich are among several who have lost their retainer contracts. Also losing their contracts were Sunil Ambris, Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer, Brandon King, Keemo Paul, Rovman Powell, Romario Shepherd and Oshane Thomas.

“Contracts offered for the 2021-22 period sees 18 players being retained, a decrease of four from last year. Jason Holder is the only player to retain his all-format contract due to his strong Test and T20I performances during the evaluation period,” CWI Lead Selector Roger Harper confirmed.

“There are several new players offered red-ball contracts earned by their strong performances during the last period. A number of players were not retained because they did not meet the minimum requirements.”

CWI Director of Cricket, Jimmy Adams was pleased for the players who were retained.

“I am happy for all the players who have been offered retainer contracts for the upcoming period. Especially pleasing was the number of players who were awarded first-time contracts in recognition of their performances during the period under review,” he said.

“I know that the 11 players who have lost their international retainers will be striving and fighting hard to get back into the teams and earn their central contracts back next year.  These players, along with our T20 specialists, will ensure that we have genuine competition for places that will push everyone to attain higher standards of performance.”

The evaluation period for the 2021-22 contracts covered performances and statistics from April 1, 2020, to April 1, 2021 (this was also supported by statistics from the previous 2019-2020 evaluation period). This allows for all players to be appraised immediately after the evaluation period and provides a notice period before new contracts on July 1, 2021.

Below are the players who have been awarded retainer contracts.

All-Format Contracts: Jason Holder.

Red Ball Contracts: Kraigg Brathwaite, Jermaine Blackwood, Nkrumah Bonner*, Rahkeem Cornwall, Joshua Da Silva*, Shannon Gabriel, Kyle Mayers* and Kemar Roach.

White Ball Contracts: Kieron Pollard, Fabien Allen, Darren Bravo, Shai Hope, Akeal Hosein*, Evin Lewis, Alzarri Joseph, Nicholas Pooran and Hayden Walsh Jr.

*Players offered contracts for the first time in 2021-2022

Players who are no longer receiving international retainer contracts are:

All Format Contracts: Roston Chase.

Red Ball Contracts: Shamarh Brooks and Shane Dowrich.

White Ball Contracts: Sunil Ambris, Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer, Brandon King, Keemo Paul, Rovman Powell, Romario Shepherd and Oshane Thomas.

 All players who are no longer on International retainer contracts are offered an A* grade Regional Franchise Contract for the following year.

West Indies ‘A’ were 26 without loss at stumps on day three of their four-day match against New Zealand ‘A’ still needing a further 332 runs to achieve victory.

West Indies white-ball captain Kieron Pollard blames his side’s erratic bowling for their five-wicket loss to New Zealand in Auckland on Friday.

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.

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