With a focus on rebuilding for the 2020 CPL season, the beleaguered Jamaica Tallawahs franchise has opted to retain four players including star player Andre Russell for the new season.

 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

Windies T20 captain Kieron Pollard is very aware that while his side cruised to victory against Sri Lanka in the first game of a T20 series in Pallekele could have gone very differently had Andre Russell not bowled Kusal Perera in the 18th over.

The West Indies won the game by 25 runs after scoring an imposing 196-4 on the back of Lendl Simmons’ unbeaten 67 and 30s from Brandon King (33), Russell (35) and Pollard (34).

It almost wasn’t enough, as Kusal counter-attacked brilliantly, slamming 66 from 38 deliveries, despite Oshane Thomas’ soul-crushing 5-28.

Wanindu Hasaranga was also dangerous against the West Indies, scoring 44 from 34 deliveries, to keep the run chase alive after helping his recover from 56-5 in the sixth over.

While Pollard understands that Kusal was dangerous and could be so again, he was not yet willing to divulge what his bowlers needed to do hold on to a more powerful position.

“I'll tell you our plan to Kusal Perera after the next game, he's obviously their mainstay,” he said.

Rather, Pollard wanted to focus on the effort the team put into creating a fairly comfortable victory in the end.

Thomas came in for some praise, with Pollard speaking about the work he had put in recently after questions arose about his fitness.

“Total team effort, Oshane Thomas brilliant, he has been doing hard work back home and it's showing,” said Pollard.

Pollard also thought highly of Rovman Powell’s performance with the ball.

Powell removed Hasaranga in the 16th over, trapping him leg before and changing the course of the game, as well as Thisara Perera, who was also scoring quickly when he had him caught by Sheldon Cottrell.

“We had an unsung hero in Rovman Powell with the ball late in the innings,” said Pollard, recognizing that the efforts of Thomas and Simmons may have overshadowed the allrounder’s contribution.

Guyanese prodigy, Shimron Hetmyer, has earned a recall to the West Indies squad scheduled to play against Sri Lanka in two Twenty20 Internationals on March 4 and six after the completion of the current One-Day International between the teams.

Hetmyer and Evin Lewis were spectacularly dropped after an announcement they had both failed fitness tests Cricket West Indies selectors had implemented as a requirement for selection.

There is still no recall for Lewis, who had, not long before, overcome poor form in typically destructive fashion.

The squad also includes a recall for Andre Russell and Oshane Thomas.

Allrounder Russell, 31,  hasn't played for the Caribbean side since pulling up short midway through the 50-over World Cup in June 2019. However, he has taken part in other matches, most notably in the Bangladesh Premier League in December and January

Russell is a two-time ICC T20 World Cup winner, having played a crucial role in the triumphs back in 2012 in Sri Lanka and 2016 in India. He has successfully completed the Cricket West Indies (CWI) return-to-play assessment programme under the supervision of CWI Medical Team in his native Jamaica. He has so far played 47 T20Is for the West Indies.

Fast bowler Thomas, who turned 23 earlier this week, is selected after making a full recovery from a car accident in Jamaica recently. Additionally, wicket-keeper/batsman Shai Hope has been included alongside left-arm spinner Fabian Allen.

Commenting on the squad, CWI lead selector Roger Harper said: “Shimron Hetmyer missed out on selection for the ODI squad. He has since attained the required fitness level, becoming available for selection and has been included.

"Andre Russell is back in the squad, having been cleared by the medical panel and successfully completing CWI’s return-to-play protocol. Andre will add potency to every department of the team. Oshane Thomas appears to be focused and raring to go. He will add pace and penetration to the bowling unit.”

Harper added: “Shai Hope provides an opening option and cover as a back-up wicket-keeper also. Fabian Allen returns from the injury he sustained in the series against Afghanistan late last year. He will provide a spin-bowling option as well as adding depth to the batting group.”

Looking ahead to the T20I matches, Harper outlined that he will have one eye on the ICC T20 World Cup to be played in Australia later this year. West Indies are the defending champions and the only team to lift the trophy twice.

“I look forward to the team building on its recent performances and winning the T20 series in Sri Lanka. This is another opportunity for the team to build on its strengths and identify areas that need improvement while continuing the process of building up with the aim of peaking for the T20 World Cup in October,” said Harper.

The two T20Is will be played at the Pallakele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy.

West Indies and Sri Lanka are now contesting a three-match ODI series. Sri Lanka won the first match today by a wicket in Colombo.

The second match is in Hambantota on Wednesday.

 

West Indies T20I squad

Kieron Pollard (capt), Fabian Allen, Dwayne Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Brandon King, Nicholas Pooran, Rovman Powell, Andre Russell, Lendl Simmons, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jr, Kesrick Williams.

 

IN: Andre Russell, Oshane Thomas, Fabian Allen, Shai Hope.

 

OUT: Evin Lewis, Khary Pierre, Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd.

Jamaica and West Indies pace bowler Oshane Thomas is said to be home resting as he recovers from mild injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident on Sunday night, and is expected to return to training later this week.

The Jamaica Scorpions began their 2019 Colonial Medical Insurance Super50 competition much in the same way they ended the last one, with a deplorable instance of batting that ended in defeat.

Choosing to bat, the Barbados Pride, thanks to half-centuries from Nicholas Kirton (55), and Kyle Mayers (52), as well as useful contributions from skipper Jonathan Carter (33), Tevyn Walcott (32), and Ashley Nurse (38), racked up 265 all out before bowling out the Scorpions for 190.

Pride got their runs against strong performances from Oshane Thomas, 4-52, and Andre McCarthy, 4-41

While the total for the Pride was competitive, it was certainly gettable but when McCarthy joined Aldaine Thomas at the crease with the Scorpions at 38-2, things looked interesting.

Thomas would go on to score 41 to leave the Scorpions in a better position at 81-3 but McCarthy would begin to lose partners at regular intervals after that.

Nkrumah Bonner, 5, skipper Rovman Powell, 1, Derval Green, 3, and Jamie Merchant, 3, all fell in quick succession, before McCarthy’s resistance, 95 from just 83 deliveries was broken by a Chemar Holder delivery.

McCarthy had struck six fours and five sixes before he got out, leaving Markino Mindley and Christopher Lamont to make up the deficit.

It was a bridge too far, as Lamont could only manage four while Thomas failed to trouble the scorers. Mindley was left high and dry on seven.

The Pride benefitted from the bowling of Nurse, who took 4-26, and Chemar Holder, who took 3-37, and Joshua Bishop, 2-54. There was just one wicket for Miguel Cummins, who ended with 1-18

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