Rain was the winner of the third and final T20 International of West Indies tour of New Zealand on Monday.

West Indies were outplayed by New Zealand and lost by 72 runs in the second T20 International on Sunday (Saturday night Caribbean Time) at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui.

New Zealand strike bowler Trent Boult and captain Kane Williamson have opted out of the T20 series against the West Indies, in order to be fully fit for the Test series. 

The Windies are booked to face New Zealand in a three-match T20 international series, which will run between the 27th to 30th of this month.

Both Boult and Williamson had several strong performances in the recent Indian Premier League (IPL) season, but the Blackcaps have prioritised the Test series.   New Zealand are eyeing a spot in the World Test Championship final at Lord's next year.  They are currently fourth in the standings and need to beat West Indies in the two-Test series in December to stake their claim.

"We've had to make a decision on Kane and Trent to prioritise the test matches, given how important they are to our red-ball team and the fact they both played such big roles in the recent IPL while also managing injuries," New Zealand coach Gary Stead said after announcing the squads.

"There's no secret we're right in the hunt for the World Test Championship final following our two-nil win over India and having Trent and Kane fully fit and focussed for the upcoming series will be crucial."

 

In four days’ time when the West Indies bow into action against New Zealand ‘A’ at the Queenstown Events Centre in Queenstown, New Zealand, fans should expect to see evidence of some of the areas that head coach Phil Simmons has had the players concentrating on since they arrived in New Zealand.

The West Indies were given a special dispensation to train while they were isolation but have now began more intensive training as they ramp up their preparations for their three T20 Internationals and two Test-series that begins on November 27.

Phil Simmons revealed that there are specific areas which the team has been focused on that will hopefully translate in better performances in what is expected to be a challenging tour.

“The big areas are consistency, especially in the bowling and understanding situations, especially in the batting,” Simmons said.

We have situations when we have been in control of games and people give away their wickets, so things like that are the main things that we are concentrating on now.”

Overall, things have been going well Simmons said, explaining that while some days have been cold there have also been warm days which they players have enjoyed.

“When its warm, West Indies teams tend to thrive so they’ve been very good. They’re enjoying it,” he said.

 

 

 

As the West Indies squad continues to prepare to take on New Zealand in three T2o Internationals and two Tests later this month, West Indies batsman Shamarh Brooks said he is eagerly anticipating the challenge.

All members of the West Indies team have returned negative results from their third and final COVID-19 tests, conducted on Day 12 of the ongoing tour of New Zealand.

West Indies coach Phil Simmons has apologized for the behavior of his players who breached New Zealand’s Covid-19 safety protocols and caused the team to be stripped of exemptions that had allowed to train while in isolation.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) today named the vice-captains for the upcoming series in New Zealand.  Nicholas Pooran will be vice-captain for the three T20 Internationals (T20Is), while Roston Chase has been named vice-captain for the two International Cricket Council's World Test Championship matches.

Batting all-rounder Roston Chase, 28, has so far played 35 Test matches, scoring five centuries and collecting three five-wicket hauls with his off-spin bowling. Wicket-keeper/batsman Pooran, 25, is among the leading white-ball players with two half-centuries in 19 T20I innings and also averaging close to 50 in One Day Internationals.

 “Roston Chase has been appointed vice captain of the West Indies Test Team for this tour of New Zealand. He is an experienced player who is tactically aware and very purposeful in his approach to the game. He is readily willing to offer advice and discuss ideas with his fellow players and the coaches and I think will offer good leadership support to captain Jason Holder both on and off the field,” said Chief Selector Roger Harper.

“Nicholas Pooran continues in the role of vice-captain of the T20I Team for the tour of New Zealand. He was first named vice-captain for this format for the series against Afghanistan in 2019.”

Chase, meantime, was delighted with the appointment.

“I have been making strides in Test cricket since my debut back in 2016 and I see this new role as vice-captain as an honour,” he said.

“It is just for me to try and carry on and try to achieve great things for West Indies. It is all about offering support to the captain, coach and other players as we try to plan strategy and put more wins on the board.”

Nicholas Pooran expressed that this appointment presents a chance to develop further.

“I see this as another opportunity to learn and grow in the game. I was vice- captain for the tour of Sri Lanka earlier this year, so this is continuation of that work,” he said.

“It’s always good to share your knowledge as we look to continue the winning mentality. We were successful in Sri Lanka and this is series we believe we can get more success against New Zealand.”

FULL SQUADS

T20I Squad: Kieron Pollard (captain), Nicholas Pooran (vice-captain), Fabian Allen, Sheldon Cottrell, Andre Fletcher, Shimron Hetmyer, Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Rovman Powell, Keemo Paul, Romario Shepherd, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jr, Kesrick Williams

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

Test Reserves: Nkrumah Bonner, Joshua DaSilva, Preston McSween, Shayne Moseley, Raymon Reifer, Jayden Seales.

 

Match Schedule:

November 27: 1st T20I at Eden Park, Auckland

November 29:  2nd T20I at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui

November 30: 3rd T20I at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui

December 3-7: 1st Test at Seddon Park, Hamilton

December 11-15: 2nd Test at Basin Reserve, Wellington

 

West Indies coach Phil Simmons has made it clear that Test captain Jason Holder is always in consideration for the regional T20 team, particularly on the back of several recent eye-catching performances in the CPL and IPL.

Holder last played for the Windies in the shortest format of the game in India last year.  Recently, however, since the resumption of cricket following an enforced break due to the coronavirus pandemic, he has put in a few notable T20 performances.  In the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), Holder was the Barbados Tridents' third-highest scorer with 192 runs in 10 matches and had a high score of 69.  He also made an impact with the ball after claiming 10 wickets, the second-most on the team.

Despite not being initially drafted to the Indian Premier League (IPL), Holder was called up to replace Mitchell Marsh by Sunrisers Hyderabad where he has made a big impact.  The player has, however, not been included in the T20 squad to face New Zealand later this month.

Simmons, however, pointed to scheduling being more of a factor than anything else for the Holder's omission.

“This is an odd tour.  The T20 series here finishes a day, two days before the Test match.  Being captain of the Test team, the decision was taken by us as a selection panel that Jason would not be considered for that part of the tour,” Simmons told members of the media via a Zoom interview on Friday.

"Seeing that he is coming from IPL now, he will have one chance to play in the four-day game before the Test match, so that decision was taken by the panel,” he added.

"Jason is always in consideration for the T20s.  He has had two good years at CPL and now he has had a good tournament at IPL.”

The West Indies squad begun training in New Zealand, on Tuesday, after being given the all-clear following negative COVID-19 test results.

The team and management unit has been in isolation since arriving in the country last Friday.  Under New Zealand’s rigorous testing program, the team had to spend the first three days in isolation and then return a negative test before they could begin training in small groups at New Zealand Cricket’s High Performance Centre.

The squad must now undergo two further tests on Day 6 and Day 12 before they are allowed to train in larger groups.

 The tour will bowl off with a T20I series against the Black Caps at Eden Park in Auckland under lights. The series then moves to Mount Maunganui for two matches at Bay Oval – the first a day match and the second under lights.  The team will then travel to Hamilton for the first Test at Seddon Park and then south to Wellington for the second match at the historic Basin Reserve.

 

Match Schedule:

November 27: 1st T20I at Eden Park, Auckland

November 29: 2nd T20I at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui

November 30: 3rd T20I at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui

December 3-7: 1st Test at Seddon Park, Hamilton

December 11-15: 2nd Test at Basin Reserve, Wellington

 

 

Legendary West Indies ball blaster Viv Richards has advocated for selectors of the regional team to consider T20 batsman Nicholas Pooran for the longest format of the sport.

The 25-year-old has to date been cast in the role of a short-ball specialist, having made 21 T20I appearances for the West Indies and 25 One Day International (ODI) matches.  Pooran is, however, yet to make any Test match appearances.

Richards has, however, seen enough in the play of the batsman to suggest he could be a very viable option for the four-day format, where the West Indies has struggled to make any headway in recent years.

“We could look at that and I think he could be a serious option down in the middle order, with the gloves on as well.  These are some of the things they may have to look at because I think he has got a serious head on him in terms of the way he thinks.  He looks pretty serious and the way he would have adapted so far at the highest level, I just think that could be another option,” Richards told the Good Morning Jojo radio program.

“He is a power player as well, and he has got the ability to play all formats, but it is just sometimes you have coaches telling you what they think you should be doing and the things they think you’re good at, but sometimes I believe you have to give these guys a chance.  If they have it in mind that they would love to play all these various formats, then why not.”

Cricket West Indies have named an 18-member squad for the Sandals West Indies Women’s Tour of England next month. The West Indies Women will play five T20 Internationals (T20I) against England Women from September 21-30, at the Incora County Ground, Derby.

Missing from the squad is spinner Anisa Mohammed who declined the invitation to join the squad while Kaysia Schultz is the only newcomer.

The touring party, who will all be tested for COVID-19 this week, is scheduled to fly to England on a private charter on August 30.

The West Indies Women’s squad will live, train and play in a “bio-secure” environment during the four weeks of the tour, as part of the comprehensive medical and operations plans to ensure player and staff safety which will restrict movement in and out of the venues.

Fourteen players of the touring party were part of the West Indies Women’s squad that participated at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in Australia, earlier this year.

“It is with pleasure that we are able once again to have our West Indies Women's team involved at the International level. This tour to England gives our players a great opportunity,” said Lead Selector for Women’s and Girls Cricket, Ann Browne-John.

“The larger 18-member squad also gives an opportunity to have young developing players involved, like the two players from Guyana, left-arm bowler Kaysia Shultz and all-rounder Shabika Gajnabi. It also gives the opportunity to the young Trinidadian off-spinner Karishma Ramharack to get some international experience.”

CWI’s Director of Cricket Jimmy Adams said CWI was grateful for the opportunity provided by the England and Wales Cricket Board.

“CWI is pleased to be restarting its international women’s program with a tour to England, where the standard of women’s cricket has grown tremendously. We thank the ECB for their invitation and the added opportunity to travel with a larger squad affords us the chance to introduce a few younger players to this level of the game, and fast track their development,” he said.

“With so much uncertainty surrounding cricket scheduling currently, this is a timely opportunity for our women to resume competitive cricket at the highest level.”

 West Indies Women are scheduled to arrive in Derby on August 31 and will be based in at the Derbyshire Cricket Ground for the duration of the tour.

Full squad: Stafanie Taylor, Afy Fletcher, Hayley Matthews, Aaliyah Alleyne,  Cherry-Ann Fraser, Natasha McLean, Shemaine Campbelle, Shabika Gajnabi, Chedean Nation, Britney Cooper, Sheneta Grimmond, Karishma Ramharack, Shamilia Connell,  Chinelle Henry, Kaysia Schultz, Deandra Dottin, Lee Ann Kirby and Shakera Selman.

Tour schedule:

Monday, September 21:            1st Vitality IT20, England v West Indies

 Wednesday, September 23:     2nd Vitality IT20, England v West Indies

Saturday, September 26:          3rd Vitality IT20, England v West Indies

Monday, September 28:           4th Vitality IT20, England v West Indies

Wednesday, September 30:      5th Vitality IT20, England v West Indies

West Indies players account for the lions share of those considered the best to ever play the game as SportsMax completed its Ultimate XI T20 team ahead of the start of the Hero Caribbean Premier League on Tuesday.

A combination of a panel of experts, the SportsMax Zone, and fans who voted online called fanalysts completed voting on the SportsMax Ultimate XI team with a final discussion on three impact players.

The final six players from which the three were chosen were West Indians

Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, and Andre Russell, Australian Shane Watson, Pakistani Shahid Afridi, and Indian Yuvraj Singh.

The panel, made up of cricket commentator and broadcast journalist, Fazeer Mohammed, cricket umpire Chris Taylor, and statistician, Zaheer Clarke, picked an all-West Indian cast as their impact players, in complete agreement with the SportsMax Zone and Fanalysts.

There was one dissenting voice among the panellists with Fazeer deciding on Shane Watson over Kieron Pollard, however, Clarke and Taylor’s votes were enough to overrule him.

With all parties, the Zone, the panel, and fanalysts in agreement, the final list of the greatest T20 team of all time is complete.

The openers are Chris Gayle and David warner, the middle-order, batsmen 3-5 are Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the bowlers are Sunil Narine, Rashid Khan and Lasith Malinga, while the impact players are Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Powell and Andre Russell.

The Ultimate XI T20 team is made up of five West Indians in Gayle, Narine, Bravo, Pollard, and Russell, while Kohli and Dhoni make up the Indian contingent. Then there is the South African representation in de Villiers, one Australian in Warner, a Sri Lankan in Malinga, and the Afghan Rashid.

West Indian players have made a big impact on the T20 game the world over and a panel of experts deciding on the final list of impact players to be discussed as part of a SportsMax Ultimate XI.

The panel, which makes up 40% of overall votes towards the decision in coming up with a final XI, picked Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, and Andre Russell to be part of a list of six for a final discussion on Monday.

The discussions take place on the SportsMax Zone at 5pm Jamaica time and 6pm in the Eastern Caribbean.

When the votes are all tallied, the SportsMax Zone will have contributed 25% of them, while fans have an input too, there’s counting for 35%.

The panel, today, had to pick from among 12 short listed as the best impact players the T20 game has ever seen.

That list of 12 read; Shane Watson (Australia), Shahid Afridi (Pakistan), Bravo, Russell, Pollard, Jos Buttler (England), Imad Wasim (Pakistan), Ben Stokes (England), Colin Munro (New Zealand), Yuvraj Singh (India), Daniel Vettori (New Zealand), and Daren Sammy (West Indies).

When the cuts were made, Sammy, Imad, Buttler, Vettori, Munro, and Stokes, were deemed just a little off the pace.

So, for final discussion on Monday, Watson, Afridi, Bravo, Russell, Pollard, and Yuvraj will be the men being considered.

But the panel’s list is not final and fans, called fanalysts, can still sway the outcome of who makes the SportsMax Ultimate XI, no matter what the panel decides.

To do that, to have your say, vote by clicking here or going to SportsMax.tv and just clicking on the Ultimate XI tab at the top of the screen.

SportsMax.tv has also built a list of profiles where Fanalysts can go to have a look at the careers of the players who have made the SportsMax Ultimate XI shortlist just in case you want to learn a little more about them before making your choice. To take a look at those players click here.

Fans and the SportsMax Zone were not in agreement with a panel of experts, who made a decision on its picks for SportsMax’s Ultimate XI T20 bowlers today.

The panel on the set of the Zone, made up of former West Indies fast bowler and cricket commentator Ian Bishop, cricket umpire Chris Taylor, and statistician Zaheer Clarke, along with Tom Moody and Vernon Singer (offset), have picked Sunil Narine, Rashid Khan and Lasith Malinga as their three bowlers.

The Afghan Rashid, the Sri Lankan Malinga and the West Indian Narine, were picked from a group of six that included India’s Jasprit Bumrah, South Africa’s Dale Steyn, and Australia’s Mitchell Starc.

Jasprit’s exclusion is where the bone of contention lies.

According to the SportsMax Zone, while Malinga and Narine are shoo-ins, Rashid was not.

In Rashid’s stead, the Zone has picked Jasprit.

In coming up with SportsMax’s Ultimate XI T20, there is a three-way split in the decision-making process with the panel’s picks accounting for 40% of votes, while the Zone has 25, and fans who vote online have a 35% stake in who makes the team.

Fans, so far, have agreed with the SprotsMax Zone’s take on the three best bowlers the T20 game has ever seen, also picking Jasprit to go alongside Narine and Malinga.

There is still an opportunity for the fans to change their minds, but at the moment, they are joining the zone in beating back the opinions of the expert panel.

So far, the panel has picked Chris Gayle and David Warner as its openers, Virat Kohli, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, and AB de Villiers as its middle order to go along with Rashid, Narine and Malinga as its bowlers.

Tomorrow the panel will go about whittling down what are termed impact players in a bid to come up with its version of an Ultimate XI.

The Zone has differed in small ways to date, picking Rohit Sharma to go along with Gayle as well as picking Jasprit over Rashid.

Fans have stuck even closer to the panel to date. As far as openers and the middle order are concerned they are in complete agreement but have veered away with the bowling choices, choosing the same way as the Zone.

But the voting isn’t finished and fans, called fanalysts, can vote by clicking here or going to SportsMax.tv and just clicking on the Ultimate XI tab at the top of the screen.

SportsMax.tv has also built a list of profiles where Fanalysts can go to have a look at the careers of the players who have made the SportsMax Ultimate XI shortlist just in case you want to learn a little more about them before making your choice. To take a look at those players click here.

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