Cricket West Indies (CWI) has announced the formation of a new Emerging Players Academy, aimed at supporting the development of world-class players from the Caribbean.

The Academy, which will run annually, will utilize the facilities at the Coolidge Cricket Ground – the new Home of West Indies Cricket - where the best young male and female cricketers will come to Antigua throughout the year for several High-Performance training and development camps.

 “For some time, CWI has been looking at ways of bridging that critical gap between our junior and professional levels and this Academy initiative provides us with a great start towards achieving this,” said CWI Director of Cricket Jimmy Adams.

“The programme will also play an important role in building regional capacity within High-Performance player support – technical, physical, mental, and personal development. The programme will also set a template for our Territories to mirror as they build out their individual High-Performance pathway programmes.”

The first intake for the CWI Emerging Players Academy will start in July 2022 and run for a year. Up to 30 players will be selected from both the Men’s and Women’s talent pool, aged between 19 and 25. The aim is to bridge the gap after the West Indies Under-19 level and assist their progression into one of the six Territorial Board Franchise squads, with the intention that they will graduate to earn one of the fifteen (15) retainer contracts available in each team.

Players selected for the CWI Emerging Players Academy will be first expected to meet the CWI minimum fitness requirements before they will be exposed to high-quality training programmes and camps in Antigua.

The programme will focus on developing the players holistically and include specific aspects of the game away from the pitch such as media engagements, financial management, personal development, and leadership.

Players will also enjoy playing opportunities through the CPL Emerging Players partnership with CWI and the Emerging Players team that participated in the annual CG Insurance Super50 Cup.

A dispute over the use of player agents is said to be one of the key issues at the heart of allegations of player victimisation, which roiled West Indies cricket a few weeks ago.

The controversial issue was brought to the fore during the England tour of the Caribbean after all-rounder Odean Smith was dropped from the team ahead of the third T20 international.  Reports of the accusations were initially downplayed by Cricket West Indies president Ricky Skerrit and the senior members of the team’s hierarchy as an attempt to distract.

The CWI hierarchy has, however, since met with representatives of the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) to address the claims and the body’s Honourary General Secretary Wayne Lewis has confirmed that there are in fact a few issues to resolve.

“There were complaints to WIPA about things that happened, they were uncomfortable because of the situation, they were very unhappy and so we sat with Cricket West Indies and spoke about it,” Lewis told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“The complaint was that members within the cricket West Indies set-up were calling franchises overseas and advising them that particular players would not be given NOCs to play, and we thought that was odd because we have an MOU and a protocol that covers that, that did not include anyone from that area,” he added.

“There were situations where players were encouraged to change their agents to go with an agent of their (CWIs) choice and the players were resisting that because they had their own agents already.  So that made them a little uncomfortable as well, so these issues needed to be addressed, so we did the proper thing by talking to the CWI to get to the bottom of it.”

Lewis revealed that talks between the bodies had continued to be cooperative but that a complete solution on how to address the issue had not yet been reached.

The West Indies squad have flatly rejected the suggestions that Smith's omission from the match was anything other than tactical.

 

Cricket West Indies has named a 15-member squad and five reserves to contest the ICC Under 19 World Cup to be held in the West Indies from January 14 to February 5, 2022.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) today confirmed that the West Indies Men’s team will play three T20 Internationals (T20I) and three One-Day Internationals (ODI) against Pakistan at the National Stadium in Karachi from December 13 to 22.

The ODI Series will be West Indies fourth series of 12 in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League in which the top seven teams can secure automatic qualification for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 in India. West Indies currently lie in eighth position out of 13 teams and have the opportunity to move above Pakistan into seventh position.

This will be the West Indies’ first tour of Pakistan since April 2018 when three T20Is were contested. The two-time former World Champions will be playing ODIs in Pakistan for the first time since December 2006.

“Today we have confirmed the details for the West Indies Men’s white-ball tour of Pakistan in December. CWI would like to thank the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and our own cricket operations, medical and security teams for the work that has gone into the organization of this tour,” said CWI CEO Johnny Grave.

“West Indies and Pakistan have always delivered exciting series and we’re looking forward to visiting Pakistan to complete what has been a hectic and momentous year of cricket in the light of the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The tour starts a new cycle of T20i cricket, building towards next year’s ICC T20 World Cup in Australia. The ODIs also have great significance as West Indies looks to earn more points towards securing qualification for the ICC Men’s ODI Cricket World Cup in India in 2023.”

According to CWI, independent security advisors, Eastern Star International (ESI) will continue to monitor the security situation in Pakistan, and will also have a representative assigned to the team for the duration of the tour.

Meanwhile, the West Indies Women’s Team is presently in Karachi, Pakistan for three ODIs as part of their final preparations for the upcoming Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifiers.

Tour Schedule

December 9 – West Indies arrive in Karachi

December 13 – 1st T20I, Karachi

December 14 – 2nd T20I, Karachi

December 16 – 3rd T20I, Karachi

December 18 – 1st ODI, Karachi

December 20 – 2nd ODI, Karachi

December 22 – 3rd ODI, Karachi

 

 

As their sponsorship arrangement comes to an end, Cricket West Indies (CWI) has expressed its gratitude to Sandals Resorts International for their contribution to West Indies cricket as a principal partner during the last four years.

Sandals became CWI’s principal partner, enjoying branding rights across all West Indies Men’s, Women’s and age-group teams in 2017, a partnership extended by a further year during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Over the course of many years, CWI and Sandals were able to achieve many positives, including the fact that it was CWI and the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB), who one year ago jointly led the resumption of international cricket at all levels following the initial Pandemic shutdown. Sandals’ encouragement and support for that historic CWI decision to tour the UK was much appreciated”, said CWI CEO, Johnny Grave.

“Global sports and tourism have suffered badly from the unprecedented health-based crisis, caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic, which has reduced Caribbean travel and hospitality revenues immensely. In spite of those setbacks, we were still able to encourage Sandals to extend their sponsorship for a further year. That extended period has now come to an end, and we want to again thank Sandals and its Board for their immense contribution and long-standing support of West Indies cricket.”

The CWI Partnership with Sandals was part of the incredible legacy of the late Sandals’ Chairman, Gordon “Butch” Stewart, who was a life-long supporter of West Indies cricket and who made sure that the Sandals brand stood proudly on the shirts of all West Indian cricketers, continuously over the past four years.

CWI paid tribute earlier this year to Stewart, whose passing was closely followed by the loss of his senior management colleague David Roper, himself also a Sandals-based West Indies cricket stalwart. It was Mr Roper who coordinated the varying commercial relationships with West Indies cricket for more than two decades at home and abroad.

Sandals’ financial contribution through the most recent four-year period of commercial sponsorship, provided much-needed capital to CWI for investing in players and tournaments across all formats of the game.

Sandals had also previously entered into shorter-term sponsorships with CWI on a number of specific tours to the United Kingdom (UK), one of the major tourism markets where Sandals received a significant return on investment from their partnership with West Indies cricket. Sandals was the first-ever West Indies sponsor to have their logo across the chest of the Test teams.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) has forged a new partnership with digital inventory management specialists, Horizm to value and unlock revenues from CWI’s website and social media channels.

Legendary West Indies captain, Clive Lloyd, has called on embattled batsman Shimron Hetmyer to answer doubters by scoring a lot of runs whenever he gets the opportunity.

The 24-year-old has been in the spotlight in recent weeks after losing his international retainer contract with Cricket West Indies.  The young batsman has long been considered to be one of the region’s premier talents but has struggled to hit top gear in recent seasons.

In Test cricket, where he has not played for the team since 2019, he averages 27.93 having played 16 matches.  In One Day International cricket, where he last played in January of last year, he averages 36.66.  In T20 international cricket, he averages 18.95 with a strike rate of 116.97.

In addition, the player has struggled with fitness issues, twice failing a fitness test during the period, ahead of a subsequent tour of Sri Lanka last year and a visit of the same team earlier this year.

“The guy has got ability, we know that all he has to do is produce the runs and there should be no problem,” Lloyd told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“We all know Pooran, Hetmyer these are very talented guys, but that talent must come out with runs.  For a bowler it’s wickets,” he added.

“I would like to say to all the young people, Mr. Hetmyer and the rest of the gentlemen.  They are asking you to be fit, they want you to produce the goods.  If you do well, we would have a world-beating team.”

The West Indies cricket team camp in St Lucia is reportedly dealing with a COVID-19 scare, which has seen players and the management team forced into isolation.

The details or extent of the outbreak are yet to be confirmed by Cricket West Indies (CWI), but the team’s practice session at the Darren Sammy Grounds in St Lucia on Saturday was cancelled, with no official reason yet to be provided.

Several members of an 18-man squad, which had been called ahead of a flurry of upcoming T20 international series, reported to a bio-secure environment, where they were to live and train in preparation for the upcoming series.  The players and support staff were expected to undergo rigorous COVID-19 testing.

In addition to that, however, 13 members of the training squad and management received vaccinations against the coronavirus last week.

CWI has been painstakingly and, for the most part, successfully navigating play during the coronavirus pandemic for the last several months.  The West Indies and England were the first teams to return to playing international cricket, with the Raise The Bat series, which took place in a biosecure environment in England in July of last year.

The Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) has written to Cricket West Indies requesting a copy of the criteria used to award international retainer contracts and the report submitted by the selection panel on which the decision was made not to award international retainer contracts to Shimron Hetmyer, Keemo Paul and Romario Shepherd as well as Veerasammy Permaul.

The missive to the CWI comes on the heels of the recent announcement by CWI of 18 players who were offered retainer contracts for the year July 1, 2021-June 30, 2022. Among those who were awarded were newcomers Kyle Mayers, Joshua Da Silva and Nkrumah Bonner, who had standout performances against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

However, there were no contracts for the four Guyanese players, a troubling development for the GCB.

 “The Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) notes with great concern the information that Shimron Hetmyer, Keemo Paul and Romario Shepherd were not awarded International Retainer Contracts by the Cricket West Indies (CWI),” the board said in a statement Friday.

“The GCB is also concerned with the non-award of an International Retainer Contract to Veerasammy Permaul.”

The GCB said it is not aware and was not informed of the criteria used for the award of international retainer contracts nor were any reasons given for the non-award contracts to the four players.

“The non-award of International Retainer Contracts to these players by CWI is a matter of extreme concern to the GCB and to the Guyanese public and the GCB intends to fully investigate this matter,” the GCB said.

Former Windies captain, Jason Holder, admits he has been left disappointed with how some things have been handled by West Indies cricket, particularly given his monetary sacrifices over the years.

The 29-year-old, who made his debut for the West Indies in 2013, has been an ever-present in the regional team.  Since 2014, Holder, who has been both ODI and Test captain, has been on a retainer contract with Cricket West Indies (CWI), which gives the regional team priority in many instances.

It has meant the sought-after player has perhaps been unable to ply his trade in some of the cash-rich cricket competitions around the globe, as they, at times, have clashed with regional engagements.

“I could sit down here and safely say I’ve passed up a lot of money to play for West Indies. I could have been a lot more well off than I am. I consider myself really blessed because I’ve made a lot of money in my life for a guy my age…but I probably could have made a lot more but I’ve always had that desire to play for West Indies,” Holder told the Headstrong An Innings With… podcast.  The player was addressing the situation that arises when players are often forced between signing lucrative deals and representing the regional team.

Holder was replaced as West Indies captain by, Kraigg Brathwaite, in March, after the latter’s strong showing in the team’s series against Bangladesh.  Holder was one of several players who declined to go on the tour.  The all-rounder cited health and safety concerns but also quarantine fatigue, as reasons he did not participate in the tour.

While not getting into the specific instances to which he was referring, Holder expressed disappointment with the fact that he doesn’t believe that West Indies cricket has always been generous in their handling of players that have sacrificed a lot.

 “My disappointment, however, comes when players like myself give up so much to commit to West Indies cricket, and then West Indies cricket isn’t as accommodating as they possibly can. There have been a few instances where I’ve been very disappointed in how things were handled,” he added.

 

Cricket West Indies (CWI) presidential candidate, Anand Sanasie, has announced the decision to withdraw from the race for regional cricket’s top governing post, after citing concerns with recent events at the CWI and Guyana Cricket Board (GCB).

Doubts had been raised regarding the viability of the former secretary of the GCB’s candidacy, following the election of a new executive on Monday.  Losing his position on the CWI board would not necessarily have meant the end of Sanasie’s candidacy but serious doubts were raised regarding the ability to garner support from his home country.  Sanasie's running mate, Calivn Hope of Barbados, also announced his withdrawal.

The deposed official, however, continues to question the legitimacy of the election that he claims were influenced by partisan actions on the part of the Guyana sports minister.

“Unjust, irregular, imprudent and hasty actions taken by the partisan and compromised Minister of Sport in Guyana, Mr. Charles Ramson Jr, have led to dubious GCB elections being held and a new group purporting to be the new executive installed. I am advised by my legal team that these elections cannot withstand judicial scrutiny which may arise and which have every possibility of prevailing. It should also be noted that the court-ordered Demerara Cricket Board election is very likely to be set aside,” Sanasie stated in the press realease.

He went on to claim that the meetings with the sports minister were held without the then nominated GCB directors despite their objections.  Sanasie also claimed that there was attempted impropriety at last week’s CWI annual general meeting, which was to feature the leadership election.

“…there was an attempt to hold an Annual General Meeting and Presidential and Vice Presidential Elections without critical requirements outlined by the Articles of Association being complied with. This attempt, until it was thwarted at the last minute, remains cause for serious concern by those who have an interest in good governance of CWI. A major scandal was averted by the judicious and prudent actions of the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) and the Guyana Cricket Board to save CWI global embarrassment and ridicule.”

He, however, also extended congratulations to incumbent president Ricky Skerritt who will head into next weekend’s elections unopposed.

“Consequently, I take this opportunity to extend congratulations and best wishes to Mr. Ricky Skerritt since he will be uncontested. I urge that more deliberate efforts be made to strengthen the finances of CWI and to improve in the areas of prudent fiscal management, accountability and transparency. I also urge that greater respect be accorded to Territorial Boards and that there is considerably more inclusivity in executive decision making and corporate governance.”

 

Cricket West Indies President Ricky Skerritt and Dr Kishore Shallow have officially launched their bid to lead for a second term with promises to build on their first term of their leadership of regional cricket.

Former Cricket West Indies (CWI) president, Dave Cameron, insists the controversial eligibility rules put in place during his tenure were never meant to disenfranchise players.

The legislation, which was implemented as the region jostled with the cash-rich T20 leagues for the commitment of its top players, stated that players who did make themselves available for domestic competitions would be ineligible for international selection.

As a result, many of the region’s top players were often left out of the line-up, which left the Windies' Test and ODI sides shorn of some of their best talents.  Cameron insists that the hope at the time was to encourage more balance between the West Indians taking part in cash-rich T20 leagues and representing the regional team.

“It was never about not wanting players to play around the world.  We respected that, we accepted that, but, West Indies cricket doesn’t have a product if we don’t have our best players playing.  So we needed to find a way to get our players to have the understanding that you can’t play everything,” Cameron told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“In the early days, I had a conversation with the players about telling us what they were going to play and when they would be available.  So the selectors could understand where they want to go.  After the strike occurred in India players decided that they weren’t going to play, and for the reduced salaries, so the West Indies first policy never actually got a chance,” he added.

“It was never intended to disenfranchise anybody, but look at what is happening in New Zealand, they still play in the leagues but they give their all to New Zealand when New Zealand is on the stage.  That’s all we were saying, as our senior players, you can’t play everything.”

 

 

 

 

Lawyers for Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) Secretary Anand Sanasie have written strong objections to the decision of Guyana Culture, Youth, and Sports Minister Charles Ramson Jr to appoint Attorney Kamal Ramkarran as cricket Ombudsman.

In two letters, one to Ramson and the other to Ramkarran, the attorney’s pointed out that they deemed the appointment, made in accordance with Section 17 of the Guyana Cricket Administration Act, Chapter 21:03, Laws of Guyana, to be illegal, based on the fact that it was carried out more than once.

In addition to vehemently disputing Ramson’s claims that the Cricket West Indies (CWI) board was consulted, the letters pointed out that a 7-day period for holding the proposed elections was unreasonable.

“This is the third such appointment to be made by a Minister of Sport. The first person appointed under that section was Professor Winston McGowan. He served in the office for some time and then resigned. The Minister is only once required to exercise his power to appoint a Cricket Ombudsman. The Minister claims to have “just” consulted with CWI in his Notice appointing you as Cricket Ombudsman, which was published on the 19th February 2021,” the document read.

“We are instructed that the Minister did not meaningfully or at all consult with CWI. There has been no meeting with CWI convened for this purpose. Our client is aware that the Minister shares a close relationship with the current President of CWI and supports his re-election as President of CWI in elections slated for March 2021. Our client is his challenger for the post of President at the upcoming CWI elections.”

Should Sanasie be defeated in the election, he would be ineligible to challenge Skerritt for the post of CWI president.

“The consultation which was critical to the validity of your appointment was improper for the foregoing reasons and was motivated by an improper purpose and was taken in furtherance of the interest of the current President, Mr. Ricky Skerritt who did not raise the issue of the Cricket Ombudsman of Guyana with the Board as is required by the Cricket Administration Act.

Meaningful consultation could not in the circumstances take place by a phone call between the Minister and a single member of the Board of CWI. Your appointment is, therefore, illegal and we call upon you to decline the appointment and/or resign. The Minister has fixed a time frame of less than seven (7) days with which you are to fulfil your obligations of the establishment and verification of a Register of Clubs.”

The attorneys have demanded Ramkarran resign from the post or legal proceedings would begin to quash the appointment.

 

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