West Indies captain for the Bangladesh tour, Jason Mohammed, has taken to heart words of encouragement from former WI captain Clive Lloyd, in light of what he believes have been some negative perspectives.

In all honesty, few are likely to favour the team’s chances against a full-strength Bangladesh when the tour bowls off later this month.  The West Indies were left short-handed in the experience department after 12 of their first-string players opted out of the tour after listing health and safety concerns.

As a result of the regulars opting out, the selectors were forced to hastily assembly a squad that consisted of majority fringe players and a few others with limited experience.  Bangladesh outplayed the full-strength team during a 2018 tour, and have generally had the better of the results in recent encounters.

Still, Mohammed refuses to completely write off the team’s chances before a ball is bowled and was grateful to receive encouragement from the well-respected former West Indies captain, Lloyd, who reportedly penned letters to several players.

“It meant a lot coming from one of our greats.  Those are the things you want to hear because there has been a lot of negative talk going around,” Mohammed told members of the media on Thursday, via an online press conference from Bangladesh.

“When you hear from someone like Clive Lloyd it puts great belief within you. With the World Cup coming up it’s an opportunity for all of us to put our hands up and try and get into the original team, when the full squad is back and have a chance of going to the World Cup.  I think it inspired the guys a lot and hopefully, we can back his words up.”  

 

 

 

West Indies coach, Phil Simmons, has encouraged players who will get an unexpected opportunity to represent the regional team to make full use of it.

Following the withdrawal of 12 first-team players from the Bangladesh tour, the regional team will be made up of a majority of fringe players.  In fact, for the Test squad, four players could be in line for a debut with five having less than 10 caps.  The One Day International (ODI) squad contains 7 players who could be picked for the first time.

Despite being massive underdogs, however, Simmons believes the situation presents a unique opportunity for the inexperienced players that have been selected.

“My role and my message to all the players here: you’re not here to fill in, you’re here to give yourself a chance,” Simmons told members of the media via a Zoom press conference on Tuesday.

 “You have a chance now to seal your place in this team. If you do well here, that augurs well for you going forward.  You come here, you do well in the three games in the ODI series and the two-Test matches then you’re putting yourself in a place where nobody can move you, so you have that opportunity and only you have that opportunity,” he added.

 

West Indies coach, Phil Simmons, believes the team has travelled with a balanced bowling line-up for the Bangladesh tour, despite recent discussions surrounding too many spinners being selected for the squad.

The issue was brought to the fore after up and coming fast bowler Chemar Holder was left out of the Test team for the tour.  Holder, who made his debut in New Zealand, showed plenty of promise in tough conditions.  Chief of selectors Roger Harper went on to explain that the player had been left out to accommodate more spinners, in order to take advantage of Bangladesh’s slow pitches.

The Test squad selected included four spinners but also has the usual pace bowling trio of Kemar Roach, Shannon Gabriel, and Alzarri Joseph and Simmons insists the balance of the first team is yet to be settled.

“I think we are here with a balanced squad, we have three spinners, we have three fast bowlers and a seeming all-rounder, it’s a case where we have balance all round,” Simmons told members of the media via a Zoom conference on Tuesday.

“So, it’s a case where we have balance all around.  The decision has to be made whether we go with three fast bowlers, two spinners, two fast bowlers, three spinners, a decision hasn’t been made yet.  We just have a balanced lineup and that’s what we came here with.  We will make decisions closer to the game.”

 

 

West Indies stand-in vice-captain, Sunil Ambris, has joined those expressing optimism ahead of the team’s upcoming tour of Bangladesh, despite admitting the unit is likely to be impacted by inexperience.

The 27-year-old Vincentian native was appointed second in command of the One Day International (ODI) squad, with Jason Mohammed named as captain, after several regular players pulled out of the tour.

With regulars like captain Jason Holder, Shai Hope, Shimron Hetmyer, Darren Bravo, and Nicholas Pooran missing, Ambris, who has so far played 13 ODIs, will rank among the senior members of the squad.  In fact, eight players will be first-time call-ups for the format.

“It is obvious that we have a very inexperienced team travelling to Bangladesh, but having said that, I think it is a talented bunch of guys,” Ambris told Searchlight.

 “Once we stay positive and do what we know we can do, we should be okay … Once we play some good cricket, we can win the series,” he added.  Ambris, who made his debut in 2017, has scored 448 runs at an average of 44.7. He has two fifties and one hundred to his name.

 

West Indies spinner, Sunil Narine, believes that cricket’s T10 format could be the best choice for inclusion at the Olympic Games as it is even more exciting than the T20 version.

Cricket has not been played at the Olympic Games since 1900, where Britain and France were the only two teams that participated.  There have, however, been numerous discussions geared towards reviving the sport at the Games in recent years, with T20 cricket identified as the best format.  Narine, however, believes that T10 could also be a consideration.

“The T10 format is more exciting than the T20 format. In T20s, the batters take a few overs before starting their attacking skills, however, in T10 the batters probably look for only one or two balls,” Narine told the Daily Times.

“There’s always a possibility to attract new fans through a shorter format of cricket and more exciting cricket. It will be an exciting thing if cricket is included in the Olympics as well and hopefully, maybe T10 could be a part of the Olympics,” he added.

The 10 over-format of the sport was introduced in the United Arab Emirates in 2017, it is, however, yet to be widely adopted.

Narine will be among a number of West Indies players taking part in this season’s edition.  The spinner will represent the Deccan Gladiators, alongside West Indies T20 captain Kieron Pollard.

West Indies captain for the Bangladesh series, Kraigg Brathwaite, is confident the second-string team will give a good account of itself, despite facing a difficult task.

The regional team, who are off to the third overseas tour since the sport was impacted by the pandemic, will be missing 12 first-team players.  Team captains Jason Holder, Kieron Pollard, and Test vice-captain Roston Chase are among the players that opted out of the tour for health and safety concerns.

Brathwaite will be joined by in-form batsman Jermaine Blackwood and bowlers, Kemar Roach, Shannon Gabriel, and Alzarri Joseph as some of the available first-team players on the tour, but for the most part, the team will consist of fringe players and a few debutants.  The stand-in captain, however, insists the Windies are up for the challenge.

“We are all up for the challenge… it will be a tough series in Bangladesh but we have confidence and we have belief that we will do very well,” Brathwaite said.

“We have some members of the squad who will be playing there for the first time so it will be something new to them, but they know they have the talent and are capable of performing at this level.”

The tour will comprise of two Test matches, as part of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) World Test Championship, and three One-Day Internationals (ODI) as part of the ICC’s Cricket World Cup Super League. The ODIs present the first opportunity for the West Indies to earn Super League points which count towards the pre-qualification for the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2023.

 

Former West Indies batting coach, Toby Radford, has questioned the conventional wisdom of selecting so many spinners for the team's upcoming tour of Bangladesh.

The omission of promising pace bowler Chemar Holder raised more than a few eyebrows when the squad was named last week, especially on the back of a promising debut in New Zealand.  The Test squad at current features four spinners in Rahkeem Cornwall, Kavem Hodge, Veerasammy Permaul, and Jomel Warrican along with the regular fast bowling trio of Shannon Gabriel, Kemar Roach and Alzarri Joseph.

  Cricket West Indies (CWI) chief of selectors, Roger Harper, went on to explain that Holder’s exclusion for additional spin bowling was based on the fact that the team was eager to take advantage of Bangladesh’s spin-friendly pitches.

Radford, who was part of a successful tour of the region in 2012, is unsure if that was the best approach.

“I’ve been listening to what people have been saying.  We have gone heavy with a lot of spin.  You expect the pitches to be slow and turn out there.  Whether they need as many spinners as they are taking, I’m not too sure,” Radford told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“In fact, when we won in 2012 it was done with good batting, posting big scores and having pace, actually, guys who could get it down in the high 80s, 90 miles and hour, not just assuming that because it’s slow pitches spinners are going to do the work.  I’m actually working for Bangladesh at the moment, I spent 6 weeks out there, they play spin very well, they’re brought up playing that kind of bowling.”

Legendary Windies fast bowler Curtly Ambrose is hopeful a few of the players selected for the upcoming tour of Bangladesh will be able to take full use of the opportunity to represent the team, despite being surprise selections.

Twelve players, including West Indies captain Jason Holder, vice-captain Roston Chase and T20 captain Kieron Pollard opted not make themselves available for the upcoming tour of Bangladesh this month.  The players cited health and safety reasons in their decision to reject the tour.

The absence of the team’s first-string players will see Kraigg Brathwaite, lead the Test squad with Jermaine Blackwood as vice-captain. Former West Indies A team captain, Jason Mohammed, will lead the ODI team with Sunil Ambris as vice-captain.

There will be first-time call-ups for Kavem Hodge to the Test squad and left-handed opener Shayne Moseley and all-rounder Kyle Mayers touring in the Test squad for the first time, after being part of the reserve team to England and New Zealand.

Two players earned first call-ups to the ODI squad - Akeal Hosein, a left-arm spinner allrounder, and Kjorn Ottley, a left-handed top-order batsman.  Despite expecting difficult conditions for the tour, Ambrose hopes some of the players will use the opportunity to challenge for regular places.

“I think it’s the perfect opportunity for some of these youngsters who have been knocking on the door for some time now to show the selectors and the rest of the cricket people that they are ready for this kind of cricket,” Ambrose told the Good Morning Jojo radio show.

“I am hoping these guys do very well with Bangladesh.  Whether we win the series, draw the series, or even lose the series, I hope they do extremely well so that when they get back home lead selector Roger Harper and company will have some headaches to decide who to select.”

Barbadian fast bowler Keon Harding has been selected to join the West Indies tour to Bangladesh later this month.

West Indies One Day International (ODI) captain for the upcoming tour of Bangladesh, Jason Mohammed, hopes to bring a sense of calm to the team ahead of what is expected to be a difficult match-up next month.

A quick glance at the record books will tell you that the hastily selected second-string unit is expected to have a difficult trip to Asia. The West Indies has won just one of the last seven ODIs against Bangladesh.  The most recent loss saw Bangladesh stroll to a comfortable 7-wicket win at the 2019 World Cup.  With several first-team players, including West Indies captain Jason Holder, in-form batsman Shai Hope, in the 50-over version anyway, and the explosive Shimron Hetmeyer are just a few of the players missing from the squad.  Their replacements will be short on experience.

While admitting that results will not be easy to come by for the series, Mohammed hopes to at least lead the team to consistent and calm performances.

“What I can bring to the table is being calm.  That’s one of the things that get us in trouble.  Speaking for myself, as an experienced player, sometimes when we overthink the situation, we just don’t stay calm in certain situations like bowling in the right areas, shot selections,” Mohammed told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“A lot has been said about the team going but I don’t think there will be a lot of pressure on us as players because at the end of the day we are going to represent the West Indies.  We still have a job to do.”

 

West Indies ODI Squad

Jason Mohammed (captain)

Sunil Ambris (vice-captain)

Nkrumah Bonner

Joshua Da Silva

Jahmar Hamilton

Chemar Holder

Akeal Hosein

Alzarri Joseph

Kyle Mayers

Andre McCarthy

Kjorn Ottley

Rovman Powell

Raymon Reifer

Romario Shepherd

Hayden Walsh jr

 

 

 

 

West Indies spinner Rahkeem Cornwall is eager to make use of what could be a solid opportunity on the upcoming tour of Bangladesh, which will provide conditions more suited to spin bowling.

Amidst a flurry of withdrawals, Cornwall was one of the current members of the squad to readily accept the invitation to tour the Asian country next month.

The 27-year-old has been part of the West Indies squad since being invited to the England tour with the team in July.  He then traveled to New Zealand with the team for the tour that took place in December.

Cornwall has, however, had a difficult time making an impact.  Called to the first-team squad for the third Test in England, the spinner bowled 46 overs but did get a wicket.  He was not added to the first team for the New Zealand tour.  On the slower, more spin-friendly matches in Bangladesh, however, the player hopes to have a much bigger impact.

“I think I’m in a good space and we know Bangladesh is known for being more conducive to spin, so I just have to set my mind for a next bubble and go out there and perform the way I should,” Cornwall told the Antigua Observer.

“I went on two tours in England and New Zealand and there was nothing there for spinners and after playing three Test matches, I finally got something that suits me and I hope I can go there and perform,” he added.

Cornwall will have good memories of performing in Asia, as he claimed his career-best figures of 7 for 75 against Bangladesh last year.

The Nevis Cricket Association (NCA) has strongly refuted claims batsman Kieran Powell has not made the West Indies selection fitness standard, pointing out that the player achieved the requirements in June.

Despite several key players choosing to make themselves unavailable for the upcoming Bangladesh tour, Powell was surprisingly not selected for hastily compiled ODI or squads.  In explaining the unusual situation, chief of selectors Roger Harper claimed the player had not been considered as he was yet to make the team's required fitness standard.  In a recent release, however, the NCA has vehemently disputed the claim.  The 30-year-old top-order batsman was the top scorer in the previous season of the Cricket West Indies (CWI) Regional Super50 competition.  Powell scored 524 runs at an average of 58.22, with two 100s and two 50s.

“When questioned on the omission of Powell, Chairman of Selectors, Roger Harper, responded that Powell is ‘yet to make the fitness standard’. This statement is incorrect. When the Leeward Islands Hurricanes conducted their fitness tests on June 30th, 2020, Kieran Powell successfully passed all aspects of the tests including the yo-yo test. The results of the tests were communicated to Mr. Peter Abraham Jr., CEO of the Leeward Islands Cricket Board, shortly thereafter. These results and, in particular, as they relate to Kieran Powell ought to have been made known to Cricket West Indies and their employees as they have an interest in the fitness of all of their players,” the release read.

“Subsequently, we presume Cricket West Indies were in receipt of Kieran Powell’s successful fitness test results as Powell was included in a group of probable players that were in consideration for the West Indies tour of Bangladesh as recently as two weeks ago.”

The NCA also claimed that in the first instance of Powell failing a fitness test, alongside Shimron Hetmyer and Evin Lewis, arrangements were made for the other two players to speedily retake the test, but no such provision was made for Powell.

The body has called the statement made by Harper ‘damaging’ and demanded a retraction, insisting the player is both fully fit and obviously in good form.

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