Jones 'feels sad' for Woodward after call for England 'scrutiny'

By Sports Desk December 02, 2022

England head coach Eddie Jones has hit back after criticism from Clive Woodward.

The team's former head coach called for England's situation – including Jones' position – to be "scrutinised" should they fail to beat Scotland in next year's Six Nations opener.

England suffered a 27-13 defeat to world champions South Africa on Saturday, having also recently been beaten by Argentina at Twickenham, with doubts growing over their credentials ahead of the 2023 Rugby World Cup following a poor showing during the Autumn internationals.

With just one win in November against Japan, England's schedule concluded with a loss to a Springboks team missing key European-based players.

Woodward led England to the 2003 Rugby World Cup crown and he believes Jones' position should be under threat ahead of the latest Rugby Football Union (RFU) review, writing in his Daily Mail column: "England are not just losing, they are going backwards at an alarming rate of knots.

"A full and totally transparent review must be done immediately to look into where the team are at. As head coach, Eddie Jones has serious questions to answer. Everything must be scrutinised."

 

Speaking to Men's Health UK, Jones issued a sharp response, claiming he is currently at the peak of his coaching powers.

"I feel sad for him [Woodward]," he said. "If that is the best thing he has to do in his life, then he hasn't a lot to do.

"I'm 62 now and I think in pure coaching terms I am coaching better than I ever have. Results aren't always perfect, but I'm happy with how I have been coaching.

"After this, I want to do something really meaningful. I've enjoyed England a lot, it was a bit of a rescue job at the start, now rebuilding, and I am confident I will leave things in good shape."

Jones has already said he will leave the role after next year's World Cup.

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    It is no secret that many across the region believe Roston Chase is not quality enough to have been selected in West Indies’ 15-man squad for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. But Chase could care less about those critics, as he is more focused on delivering the goods leading up to, and during the June 1-29 global showpiece.

    Despite lacking the power of his big-hitting counterparts, Chase has proven that he can be effective in the game’s shortest format. Since his debut at the 2021 World Cup, he has so far played 12 T20Is for West Indies and has tallied 143 runs with a strike rate of 110.0, with 10 wickets for 212 runs to his name.

    The 32-year-old, who recently captained Windies 'A' team to a 3-2 series victory away to Nepal, and is currently serving as vice-captain to stand-in captain Brandon King for the regional side’s three-match warm-up series against South Africa, is confident in his abilities, regardless of what others think.

    “People may not necessarily know the intricate details that go into playing a cricket match. I'm not one of the big superstars that may hit the ball 100 metres or bowl at 90 miles per hour or take a five-wicket haul or anything like that, but I think I still play a key and vital role in the team,” Chase said in a Cricket West Indies (CWI) interview.

    “So people just tend to see me chipping in here and they say, 'Chase ain't no good.' But I know what I can do, my teammates know what I can do, and the coaches know what I can do. But at the end of the day everyone has their own opinion,” he added.

    With 49 Test matches to his name, Chase’s credentials in that format speaks for themselves, as he been a steady middle-order batsman since his 2016 debut. He is one of only four West Indian, after Denis Atkinson, Collie Smith and Garry Sobers, to take a five-wicket haul and score a hundred in a Test –a feat he achieved in his second Test, at Sabina Park.

    The Barbadian rose to prominence in T20s during the 2021 Caribbean Premier League (CPL) season, when he finished as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) after a tally of 446 runs and 10 wickets. He also assisted St Lucia Kings to the final –their second in CPL history –in that 2021 season.

    That performance resulted in his inclusion for the 2021 T20 World Cup, where he played the last three matches in West Indies' failed campaign as they were eliminated at the group stage. He next featured for the Windies in a 3-0 series loss away to India in February 2022, before being discarded from the T20 setup for just over a year.

    Now back in the team, Chase is determined to prove his worth, with both bat and ball, and his performance in Thursday’s opening warm-up contest against South Africa, underscored that much.

    The right-hander, who bowls off spin, played an anchor role in West Indies innings and scored an unbeaten 30-ball 32, before returning to take one wicket for 12 runs from two overs, in the 28-run win at Sabina Park.

    "I know that I don't have a lot of variations, so I just try to think as quickly as I can on my feet and I try to be as smart as I can, especially with the ball. I know my role is kind of the power-play bowler, so I think that's probably one of the hardest jobs outside of death bowling," Chase shared.

    "You have to want to bowl in the power play. It's a tough job, but I always try to go into it with a clear mind and strong belief,” he noted.

    With the World Cup now exactly one week away, Chase pointed out that West Indies –who will co-host with the United States –need to fine tune their all-around approach against the Proteas.

    The second and third encounters are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, also in Kingston. West Indies, who won T20 titles in 2012 and 2016, will open their World Cup account against Papua New Guinea, on June 2, in Guyana.

    “I think this is a time for us to just get our tactics and strategies right and get the guys gelling," Chase declared.

    “Obviously, the areas we have been weak in over the past couple of series, in terms of controlling the power play in the bowling aspect – I think that's one area, once we tend to do well in the game, we usually come out on top,” he ended.

  • CWI, JCA partner to give young cricket enthusiasts taste of international action CWI, JCA partner to give young cricket enthusiasts taste of international action

    In a bid to foster a deeper appreciation for cricket among the youth of the Caribbean, Cricket West Indies (CWI) provided tickets for students and teachers, as well as members of Jamaica’s age-group teams to enjoy the three-match series between West Indies and South Africa at Sabina Park.

    The initiative which CWI says forms part of its corporate social responsibility efforts. The regional body provided 2,685 tickets to students, 412 to teachers, and 198 tickets to players from the Under-15, Under-17 and Uner-19 teams, ensuring these young athletes have the chance to experience top-tier cricket action.

    The Schools Ticketing Programme, a central element of this initiative, is designed to immerse young minds in the thrill of cricket, offering them the opportunity to witness international matches and develop a lasting passion for the sport.

    CWI President, Dr. Kishore Shallow, underscored the importance of cultivating a strong cricket culture across the region, and this he said reflects his administration’s ongoing commitment to youth engagement and sports development.

    "We are keen to help revitalize cricket in Jamaica. Introducing the children to cricket is vital for the future of the sport in Jamaica and the entire region. By bringing students to these matches, we are not only providing them with an enjoyable experience but also nurturing an appreciation and love for cricket that can grow with them,” Shallow said.

    "This Schools Ticketing Programme initiative is about more than just watching a game; it's about creating a connection with the sport that can inspire future generations,” he added.

    Recently-elected Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) President Dr. Donovan Bennett, expressed enthusiasm for the initiative and its potential impact.

    "We are thrilled to collaborate with CWI for this Schools Ticketing Programme. This initiative promotes cricket and instils values of teamwork, discipline, and perseverance in our young people," he said.

    "By exposing students to live cricket matches, they are getting a deeper understanding and appreciation for the game. This experience is invaluable for their personal and athletic development,” Dr. Bennett noted.

    West Indies won Thursday’s first game by 28 runs. The remaining two matches of the series are scheduled for Saturday, May 25 and Sunday, May 26 at the same venue. Start time is 2:00pm.

  • King leads the way as West Indies see off South Africa in T20I opener King leads the way as West Indies see off South Africa in T20I opener

    Brandon King led the way as West Indies enjoyed a 28-run victory in the opening match of their T20I series with South Africa. 

    In his first T20I as captain, King top-scored with 79 from 45 balls during the first international at Sabina Park in nearly two years.

    The 29-year-old set the forthcoming T20 World Cup co-hosts on their way with a 79-run partnership with Kyle Mayers helping them to 109/1 after 10 overs.

    However, they struggled to build on that momentum and were 66/7 thereon to finish on 175/8 with Ottneil Baartman and Andile Phehlukwayo both taking three wickets apiece.

    South Africa were slow out of the blocks with Quinton de Kock failing to reach double figures as they were reduced to 35/3 in the fifth over, and required 99 runs to win at the halfway point in their innings.

    Reeza Hendricks - the only visiting player to score more than 20 - put on an impressive late surge of 87 off 51 balls, but it proved academic with the Proteas bowled out for 147.

    Data debrief

    Becoming the 14th different player to captain West Indies in men's T20Is, King will have been pleased to start his reign against South Africa - the nation against whom he boasted his best T20I batting strike in the format (171.4).

    He certainly continued in that vein, reaching 50 off just 26 balls for his fastest T20I half-century. It proved crucial as the hosts went on to record their biggest margin of victory over the Proteas when batting first.

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