Many have questioned the inclusion of Rahkeem Cornwall in the final Test of the #raisethebat Series in Manchester, England after the West Indies were thoroughly beaten by a strong England showing with bat and ball.

Cornwall, who went wicketless throughout the game, still feels his inclusion had value.

According to the offspinner, on another occasion, going wicketless does not mean he bowled badly.

“I don’t feel too bad about my performance and maybe on a different day wickets would have come my way, but I didn’t get any wickets. I think I bowled pretty well. Opportunities came about but it was just not my day to get wickets,” said Cornwall.

Cornwall has not been deterred by his performance in the least and believes there is only better for him to get.

“Going forward I just think that I have to work on my game and make sure I can perform under every condition that I might be going to but I wouldn’t say it was a bad tour, I just have to move on and learn from it,” he said.

Last week I wrote Test Cricket wasn’t in the DNA of this West Indies Cricket team. Since that article the team offered up yet another insipid display to lose the three-match Test series against England 2-1 and the Wisden Trophy forever.

 And of course, the typical excuses have come from all quarters. “These were difficult conditions to play in”, because Test cricket usually is like a game of Pictionary I presume. “Decisions didn’t go our way”, “luck wasn’t on our side” were some of the other gems passed around. And of course there was the obligatory “taking the positives” statement which comes with every post mortem of a series.

And frankly I’m tired of all of it.

I was a supporter of West Indies cricket long before I became a journalist 17 years ago, and I’ve heard these excuses before. And back then we actually had superstars like Brian Lara, Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh in the team.

Now, we were told, we have a group of guys that will fight and show grit, even though the talent isn’t quite there. But the DNA results came in, and proved that that was a lie. The capitulation I saw was typical of the Caribbean team of recent years gone by. And frankly, if this team doesn’t have fight and fortitude, it has nothing.

Before the start of the series, there was a point of view that if the players were acclimatized in these conditions and if their minds were solely on cricket and they had no distractions because of the fact they were in a bubble brought on by covid19 restrictions, that maybe we would see the best that West Indies had to offer.

And we were well on our way after a very good, if not convincing performance in the opening Test at Headingley. But it all went downhill after that. And yes, of course, we had our moments in the game, but every Test playing team has their moments, so that shouldn’t be the standard.

Last week I pointedly stated that our batsmen were more likely to win a T20 game than a Test match, citing the different approaches required for victory. We had a day to navigate at Old Trafford on a pitch which had no terrors and we lasted 37.1 overs.

Yes, we succumbed to defeat a mere half an hour before the heavy rains returned which would have surely washed out the remainder of play. All this after day 4 was also washed out. But this is where we are again as West Indies supporters, doing rain dances under mango trees to hide the ineptitude.

 West Indies had only one century partnership in the entire series. England had four. Our best batsman Jermaine Blackwood averaged 35.16 in the series, and Shannon Gabriel took the most wickets (11) at 32.27 apiece. This is ordinary.

 And now the team is playing on the heart strings of the world. We are using our players to beg the likes of England and India to play us at home in order to help with our coffers which have taken a further hit due to the pandemic. And the reason why this appeal is necessary is because as a performing team we can’t attract the teams or the sponsors and the television demand. Where is our superstar to help fill up a stadium? At least Lara was able to break a Test record once or twice.

My friend and co-worker Ricardo Chambers disagrees with me when I say Test Cricket isn’t in the DNA of this West Indies cricket team, not that his point of view comes with any ray of hope. He believes there is little talent on the batting side of things, and has pointed to the fact there is no batting superstar in the team. And some have pointed out to me that that was the difference between the teams and not necessarily the fact our boys simply cannot play Test cricket.

However, having Test Cricket in your DNA doesn’t mean you have to be a superstar or the best in the world. It just means you have to be efficient in carrying out tasks like batting for half an hour to save a Test match. I’m hardpressed to find the characters. Because I once thought we had fight in us, at the very least.

Donald Oliver is a football and cricket commentator and a senior producer at SportsMax. Learn more about him at www.thedonaldoliver.com or email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Donald Oliver believes the West Indies do not have the mettle to play Test cricket, Ricardo Chambers believes the team is missing a world-class batsman.

While Rahkeem Cornwall went wicketless in his first outing of the #raisethebat Series at Old Trafford in Manchester on Friday, his vice-captain thinks the big off-break bowler had a good outing.

Cornwall ended the first day of the third Test, with the West Indies and England locked 1-1, with figures of 0-71 from 21 overs, while England were 258-4.

England’s batsmen, except for an lbw shout looked comfortable against Cornwall’s spin and when Ollie Pope, 91, and Jos Buttler, 56, started coming down the wicket, Cornwall struggled to keep them back in their crease.

Despite the struggles which saw Cornwall go at 3.38 runs per over, the most expensive of the West Indies bowlers, Brathwaite still believed it was a good outing.

“I thought Rahkeem was good. The pitch spun a bit and I thought he controlled the runs,” said Brathwaite.

Cornwall was involved in something spectacular though, a one-handed grab at slip that came from the slashing blade of Rory Burns, 57, off the bowling of Roston Chase.

Chase only bowled eight overs but had more luck than Cornwall, bagging 1-24.

But according to Brathwaite, there is enough there for Cornwall to be hopeful about.

“He didn’t go for too many runs, which was good. It was unfortunate that he didn’t get a wicket but I thought he was decent,” said the West Indies vice-captain.

The best of the West Indies bowlers was kemar Roach, who ended the day with 2-56, while Shannon Gabriel, 0-47, and Jason Holder, 0-45, were not as penetrative as in previous Tests.

West Indies vice-captain Kraigg Brathwaite points to the second morning of the third and decisive Test against England as being crucial after a partnership between Ollie Pope and Jos Buttler wrested their early advantage on Friday at Old Trafford.

England are in a good position, having ended the day on 258-4, a far cry from the 122-4 they were in when Buttler came to the crease.

Before that, Kemar Roach had removed second-Test century-maker, Dom Sibley, for a duck, trapping him leg before wicket in the first over of the day.

Then came the run out of Joe Root for 17, Roston Chase clipping the bales.

Ben Stokes and opener Rory Burns tried to fashion a recovery before the latter was pushed back with some short deliveries before being bowled by Roach for 20.

The West Indies were looking good with England at 92-3, and when Burns was caught brilliantly at slip by Rahkeem Cornwall off the bowling of Roston Chase for 57, the West Indies were in great shape with two new batsmen and England teetering at 122-4.

But that’s where it ended as Pope, 91, and Buttler, 56, saw out the day in relative comfort, their partnership now worth 136.  

“I thought we started very well. Obviously Buttler and Pope had a good partnership, they batted well and so we know we have some hard work come tomorrow,” said Brathwaite in a press conference following stumps.

While Pope and Buttler have rescued England from a precarious position, Brathwaite does not believe the game has gotten away from the West Indies and tomorrow brings a fresh opportunity.

“We had a plan and obviously to bowl first but it’s been a pretty even day and obviously good from the two at the crease but I think tomorrow we have to start well and look to limit them to as few as possible,” said Brathwaite.

While tomorrow’s morning session is important, Brathwaite says the West Indies won’t panic and will stick to their plans and be patient.

“We have to start well and by that I mean we don’t have to rush wickets. I think if we build pressure by bowling a lot of dot balls and no boundary balls, that will create pressure to bring wickets. We don’t have to rush it in the morning session, I believe once we keep it tight, the tightness will bring wickets,” he said.

England and the West Indies will compete for a new Richards-Botham Trophy when they next meet in a Men’s Test series to pay tribute to two of their greatest players whose rivalry and friendship embodies the close relationship and mutual respect between the two sides.

The third Test of the #RaiseTheBat Series, which starts at Emirates Old Trafford on Friday will be the last time the two sides compete for the Wisden Trophy, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Cricket West Indies (CWI) have announced.

In its place, the new Richards-Botham Trophy will now be designed ready for when the teams next meet in a Test series.

The title honours Sir Vivian Richards, one of cricket’s greatest batsmen, who scored more than 8,500 runs in a 121-Test career, and Sir Ian Botham, the legendary all-rounder who scored more than 5,000 runs and took 383 wickets in 102 Tests.

Fierce competitors on the pitch, the pair developed a great friendship off it, which still endures, and the new trophy is a fitting way to celebrate the warm relationship between the nations and to honour the gladiatorial spirit of contests past and present.

The Wisden Trophy, first introduced in 1963 to commemorate the hundredth edition of the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack, will now be retired and will be displayed at the MCC Museum at Lord’s where it has traditionally been kept.

“This is a huge honour for my good friend Ian and myself. I am delighted to know that the game that I have shown my love for since a little boy is naming such a prestigious award in my recognition of what I managed to achieve as a cricketer. When I had the opportunity to go to England and represent Somerset, one of the first persons I met was Ian Botham, who would later become of one my best friends. We are friends for life,” Sir Vivian said.

“To have this trophy – West Indies vs England – named in honour of our work on the cricket field is great. What I think is also remarkable is that it says a lot about our relationship off the field as well. We were competitors on the field, but we showed we were brothers off the field. I’m proud to have my name on one side of the trophy with him on the other side.”

Sir Ian Botham was in agreement with the Master Blaster’s sentiments.

“Viv was the finest batsman I ever played against. He’s a great friend but we’ve always been competitive, not least when we were on the cricket field, and there was no one else’s wicket I would treasure more,” Botham said.

“Playing the West Indies was always one of the toughest tests in cricket, and it’s an honour for this trophy to bear our names. I hope future series will be just as exciting as the one we’ve all been enjoying this summer.”

Sir Vivian averaged 62.36 against England across his career with eight hundreds. He dominated the 1976 series between the two sides, scoring 829 runs at an average of 118.42 in the series, which West Indies won 3-0. This included 232 in the first Test and 291 in the fifth. He also made what at the time was the fastest Test hundred in the game against England in 1986, taking just 56 balls to reach his century. It is still the equal second fastest of all time.

 

Facing the best team in the world at the time, Sir Ian took 61 wickets at an average of 35 against the West Indies, with three five-wicket hauls and a best of 8-103 at Lord’s. He also scored four 50s, with a best of 81 in the same game at Lord’s in 1984.

“England and the West Indies have produced many magic cricketing moments over the years, and this series has been no different even though it’s been played in very different circumstances. We remain very grateful for West Indies travelling here to play this series, and it’s fitting that we’ve got such an exciting final test in store as the teams compete for the Wisden Trophy for the final time,” said ECB Chairman Colin Graves.

“The Wisden Trophy was introduced nearly 60 years ago to mark the 100th edition of the Almanack, and we’ve been extremely proud to contest it since then. Both we and Cricket West Indies felt that the time was right to honour two of our greatest modern players. Sir Vivian and Sir Ian were fierce competitors on the pitch but great friends off it, exemplifying the spirit of the contests between our two cricketing nations and providing perfect inspiration for those who compete for the Richards-Botham Trophy in years to come.”

CWI President Ricky Skerritt said both men were deserving of the honour.

“Sir Viv’s phenomenal West Indies track record against England, both as a player and captain, and his longstanding friendship with his former Somerset teammate and England rival, Sir Ian Botham, presented an excellent opportunity to honour two uniquely suited living legends,” Skerritt said.

“Both honorees put their heart into the game, and always gave their all for their teams and countries. There are other West Indian cricket legends whose names could also have been chosen for this honour, but none more deserving than Sir Viv.”

It’s been a long time since the West Indies has had consistently good results in Test cricket. In fact, since the Caribbean men gave up the Frank Worrell Trophy to Australia in 1995, we have only won 22 Test series. Twelve of those wins were against Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan, teams which do not represent the best this game has to offer.

Most of our joy, as West Indies cricket supporters in the recent past, has come from our advent in the world of T20 cricket. We have won 56 of 124 matches, of which 5 were no results. It’s a record which betters our Test match results despite the fact we only have a 45 per cent win record.

However, within that win record, we have beaten the best on the planet to capture two world titles. But because of inconsistency, we are ranked ninth in world T20 cricket.

So yes, as supporters, we have been living off scraps.

And that’s simply because West Indies doesn’t know what it’s like playing as a team anymore, which is fundamental when trying to be the best in Test Cricket.

We, in the media (and I have been guilty of this at times), try to shape a narrative which leans to the dramatic when trying to tell a story. So we may say stuff like; “the match was lost at the toss”, in the aftermath of a team’s failure to overcome.

No match is ever lost at the toss.

Or we may say “the turning point in the game was when he was dropped”. Again, this is just used as poetic license. More often than not, we miss minor shifts in the game, and we fail to take into account innocuous happenings on the field of play which may determine a wicket or even an extra run.

And Test cricket takes into account these minor shifts.

The reason why the West Indies team is so poor, especially in Test cricket is that we rely too much on individual performances.

We tend to get away with it, the shorter the game of cricket becomes because any one of our talented boys can win a match by sheer skill and will for a short period of time.

Ask any of our batsmen to bat an entire two-hour session to make just 25 runs, and save a Test match in the hot Sharjah sun, or in the cold Old Trafford breeze, and they struggle mentally and otherwise to do so.

However, if you ask the same batsmen to hit 4 sixes in an over to win a T20 World Cup, we actually stand a better chance of doing so. And we would remember their name for a long time to come.

In the midst of sustained pressure, this West Indies team flops. This doesn’t mean they are not a talented bunch of youngsters. The fact our captain Jason Holder is now the number two allrounder in the world speaks to his skill and hard work. However, he alone cannot win a Test match.

Test cricket is all about how a team performs. If last-man-standing, Courtney Walsh didn’t survive five deliveries on a cool Tuesday afternoon at the Kensington Oval in March of 1999, no one would be heralding Brian Lara’s 153 not out against Australia as one of the greatest Test innings of all time.

Grit and fight are needed to make a formidable Test cricket team. These are the attributes which were the hallmark of their current coach Phil Simmons when he was playing. And this West Indies team lacks it. That cannot be taught. However, it can be harnessed through adversity. The fact that these West Indian boys were able to reach so far in their careers shows they worked sufficiently enough to be the crème de la crème of the region. They now just need to learn how to lean on each other.

So even when a catch is dropped, they won’t be thinking that the course of a Test match is irrevocably changed against them. But they will go again.

Donald Oliver is a football and cricket commentator and a senior producer at SportsMax. Learn more about him at www.thedonaldoliver.com or email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

West Indies coach Phil Simmons can no longer ignore the top-order batting of Shai Hope, who has failed to come off with the bat in four innings of the #raisethebat Series for the Wisden Trophy, currently ongoing in England.

Hope had scores of 16 and nine in the first Test the West Indies won by four wickets in Southampton before scoring 25 and seven in a 113-run defeat in Manchester.

Hope, since scoring back-to-back hundreds against England in 2017, has only managed to get past 50 on four occasions, even as he faced the music 39 times.

“I am concerned. He has now gone some four innings without a score and in contrast to how he played over the last four months, five, six months in the other formats, I am concerned about his form and we will be sitting down and chatting about that,” said Simmons.

The coach, who was speaking in a press conference after the West Indies defeat by England in the second Test at Old Trafford, was referencing Hope’s phenomenal year with the bat as an ODI player.

In Hope’s last 10 ODI innings, he has scored three centuries, and three half-centuries, including 115, 51 and 72 in his last three innings against Sri Lanka earlier this year.

Simmons has said it was too early to decide on whether or not Hope would be dropped for the third Test or if another role in the batting line-up would suit him more.

West Indies coach Phil Simmons is disappointed that batsmen in his team have not converted good starts into big scores, blaming that fact on defeat to England in the second Test of the #raisethebat Series at Old Trafford on Monday.

According to Simmons, half-centuries from Kraigg Brathwaite, 75, Shamarh Brooks, 68 and 62, Roston Chase 51, and Jermaine Blackwood, 55, were missed opportunities.

The five half-centuries were scored in totals of 287 and 198 as the West Indies lost by 113 to hosts England, 469-9 declared and 129-3 declared, with an hour left to play on the fifth day and despite a rained-out third day.

“We had five or six half-centuries and no conversions. It is something that we have been talking about a lot and nobody has taken up that opportunity in this game yet again, so it is disappointing,” said Simmons.

The England victory tied the #raisethebat Series for the Wisden trophy at 1-1 leaving Friday’s game at Old Trafford as the decider.

“I think we have to do something different, we just lost a Test match. We have to add to things done in the first Test match and subtract from some of the things we have done in this Test match. I think it is critical that our batsmen carry on and make big hundreds,” said Simmons.

Ben Stokes’ bruising 78 from just 57 deliveries took the second Test at Old Trafford away from the West Indies, who, with 214 runs in arrears and eight England wickets to try and get, had the slightest of chances on day five.

Stokes slammed four fours and three sixes to lead England to 129-3 from just 19 overs of batting. The innings gave England two things, runs and time.

It made sure they got 85 overs to bowl at the West Indies, as well as a fair number of runs to act as a buffer in case they couldn’t get 10 wickets.

Speaking about the innings, West Indies coach, Phil Simmons, said he was not surprised, but he was disappointed because the West Indies got a chance to stop the carnage early out.

When Stokes was on 29, John Campbell, fielding at deep extra-cover, floored a chance off Shannon Gabriel, that may have changed the course of the game.

“The thing about him is that we know he can do that. And if you go out and drop him within six balls of the start, well then you’ve got problems then,” said Simmons.

“I think it was our doing that he got the opportunity to go on and show what he’s made of and we know what he’s made of.”

England, thanks to an all-round bowling performance would go on to win by 113 runs, bowling out the West Indies for 198, with Shamarh Brooks, 62, Jermaine Blackwood, 55, and Jason Holder, 35, the main contributors.

The #raisethebat Series for the Wisden Trophy now lies at 1-1 with the series decider on Friday at the same venue.

West Indies coach Phil Simmons has pinpointed five or six overs during the course of the second Test in the #raisethebat Series at Old Trafford, that were the catalyst for the visitors ending 113-run losers.

Roston Chase believes the West Indies are still very much in their Test match against England at Old Trafford despite playing catchup on the first two days of the team’s second encounter in the #raisethebat Series.

Under overcast skies West Indies captain Jason Holder had chosen to bowl first, only to see his much-vaunted pace-bowling attack repelled by dogged English batting that kept his side in the field for 162 overs and the better part of two days.

Architects of the English first-innings total of 469-9 declared were the side’s vice-captain, Ben Stokes, 176, and opener Dom Dibley, 120.

To help keep the run-scoring in check, Chase bowled a mammoth 44 overs to claim 5-143, while pacers Kemar Roach, 2-58, Alzarri Joseph and Holder, 1-70, offered support with their wickets.

In reply, the West Indies have already lost the services of John Campbell, after Sam Curran trapped him leg before for 12. Opener Kraigg Brathwaite, 6, and Joseph, the night watchman, 14, are the batsmen at the crease, with the West Indies 32-1.

Despite the setback, Chase believes the West Indies have the tools to overhaul England’s total.

“I would never say that the 400 and odd is beyond us with the talent of the players that we have,” he said in a post-match conference on Friday.

Chase does recognize though, that batting on the third day may provide different challenges to the ones the English batsmen managed to navigate on the first two days.

“I would say that the wicket is slower than in that first innings when the ball was skidding on, so you have to give yourself time to adjust,” said Chase.

Even with that fact, however, Chase is still optimistic about his side’s chances, even though the odds of an England win stand at 70%.

“But I am backing our players to get the total or even close to it and then put them in a place where they have to decide what they are going to do,” said Chase.

Odds for the game ending in a draw now stand at 28% with a West Indies victory at this stage at a mere 2%.

The West Indies lead the three-Test series 1-0 and only need a draw to secure their hold on the Wisden Trophy.

West Indies vice-captain, Kraigg Brathwaite said his side would not panic despite a strong showing from England on the first day of their second Test in the #RaiseTheBat series at Old Trafford, Manchester on Thursday.

The West Indies are leading their three-Test series against England 1-0 thanks in large part to their skipper Jason Holder.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) and the West Indies team today announced a new partnership with Lifebuoy, the world’s number one selling hygiene soap, for their ongoing Sandals Tour of England. The series started last Wednesday, July 8, as West Indies faced England in the opening match at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton.

Lifebuoy will be working with the West Indies by providing hand hygiene products to the full touring party. The brand will also be capturing content with the squad to help champion the cause for better health through hygiene. Players and support staff will take part in a number of ‘myth-busting’ challenges as well as light-hearted educational videos, to help motivate fans around the world to improve their hygiene behaviour.

Kartik Chandrasekar, Global Vice President of Lifebuoy, said: “Lifebuoy has always been a brand that has looked to support people in their quest for better personal hygiene. We are incredibly proud to be partnering with such an iconic team as the West Indies, who are the first international sports team to travel to the UK since the country was placed in lockdown earlier this year."

Dominic Warne, Commercial Director of Cricket West Indies said: “CWI are delighted to announce this new partnership with Lifebuoy where our cricketers will be delivering engaging and fun content as part of a serious mission to improve hygiene and health. The West Indies are loved and followed around the world, and we’re looking forward to joining forces with Lifebuoy to improve hygiene behaviour as fans tune in from around the world to follow this historic Test Series."

West Indies’ Tour of England consists of a three-match Test Series, played behind closed doors. The #RaisetheBat Series is part of the ICC World Test Championship which concludes in 2021. The First Test starts at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton on July 8 before the second (July 16-20) and third (July 24-28) Tests will be played at Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester. Players have been quarantined and entered a ‘bio-secure bubble’ ahead of the matches, with temperature checks and COVID-19 testing taking place on a regular basis.

To join the conversation, watch any of Lifebuoy’s exclusive content with the West Indies team search ‘Lifebuoy Global’ on YouTube, or follow @lifebuoysoap on Twitter and Instagram.

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