Dwayne Bravo has signed for Worcestershire Rapids for the 2022 Vitality Blast season in a bid to win another T20 league title.

With players choosing to play in the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL) over representing their respective countries in Test cricket, West Indies batting legend Brian Lara is urging the International Cricket Council to take the necessary steps to address the vexing issue.

Over the past decade or so several West Indies players have dropped their ambitions of representing the West Indies at Test cricket for the IPL where they have earned millions of dollars. In more recent times, South Africa has been facing similar challenges.

Reports indicate that the Proteas could lose all their front line bowlers for the upcoming Tests against Bangladesh, increasing the prospect of Cricket South Africa fielding a much-weakened team for the series.

The situation has irked Lara, who played 131 Tests for the West Indies during which he scored 11,953 runs at a healthy average of 52.9. The Trinidadian believes a player’s country should take precedent.

“Playing for the country should come first,” said Lara, who is the strategic advisor and batting coach of the Indian Premier League franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad.

He was speaking during an interview with Sportstar when he also said Test cricket also provides chances for players to make a good living for players.

“Because I played for the West Indies, other opportunities opened up for me. It’s disappointing to see young cricketers leaving Test cricket. The ICC should come up with a rule stating a cricketer must play a certain number of games for his country before he can play in the Twenty20 leagues. Something needs to be done.”

Ever since Nicholas Pooran made his international debut against Pakistan in 2016, many admirers have been asking when will he suit up for Test cricket?

In an interview with ESPNCricinfo last Friday, the West Indies T20 vice-captain shed some light on how he feels about representing the region in the longest format of the game.

“Playing Test cricket is still in my plans, but as I say, everything happens at the right time. When it's my time to play Test cricket, I'm sure I will,” he said.

One way that Pooran could find his way into the West Indies Test team is by playing first-class cricket but that has proven to be logistically challenging.

“After the IPL finishes in May, West Indies have a few white-ball series, so I don't know when there's actually time for me to play first-class cricket or what the way forward is. It's a challenge,” he said.

“It's difficult, we don't really get much time off for ourselves. I believe there should be a compromise, but everyone sees it differently,” he added.

Since his debut in 2014, Pooran has only played five first-class matches with the last one being in December 2020 for the West Indies A against New Zealand A.

Pooran, who is set to represent the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL), said he has already had conversations with Desmond Haynes, the lead selector for the West Indies men’s senior team about his red-ball prospects.

“We had a small conversation. It went well actually, so let's see what happens in the future. Going forward, it's a conversation I need to have with the selectors and coach,” he said.

 

 

Jamaica and Texas A&M sophomore Lamara Distin claimed the women’s Long Jump title at the NCAA Indoor Championships in Birmingham, Alabama, on Saturday.

Distin, who set the NCAA’s leading mark and national indoor record last month, got the better of Trinidad and Tobago and Texas Longhorns jumper Tyra Gittens.  The Jamaican jumper equalled her best of 1.92 metres to win the event, with Gittens recording a season best of 1.89m to earn the silver medal.  Third place went to South Carolina’s Rachel Glenn who recorded a mark of 1.86m.

Elsewhere, University of South Carolina’s Davonte Burnett claimed the men’s 60m title with a new personal best of 6.50.  The Jamaican finished ahead of Indiana’s Rikkol Brathwaite, who was second in 6.52, with Tennessee’s Favour Ashe third in 6.55.

In other events, Wayne Lawrence of Iowa finished 7th in the men’s 400m, an event won by North Carolina’s Randolph Ross and Texas Tech’s Vashaun Vascianna finished just outside the medal places in the men’s 60 MH, which was won by Florida State’s Trey Cunningham.

 

 

Trinidadian bodybuilder Dexter Simon continues to amaze.

On Sunday, two and a half years since he last competed, he finished in the top five of the Ajman IFBB Elite Pro in Dubai while competing against men 20 years younger.

Competing in the Men’s Physique Professional category, the 53-year-old phenomenon made the top five to advance to the final where he was also fifth.

No wonder he was proud of the work that he put in preparing for the competition.

“After two years and six months off the stage, this start of the 2022 season @ifbbelitepro_official in Dubai was unforgettable,” he said following his latest accomplishment.

“The seven months of preparation with a laser-sharp focus and daily sacrifices all paid off.”

Iran’s Mazinar Kiani took the top spot while Enrique Guitierrez from Spain finished as the runner up.  Balthan Haimour of Jordan was third.

Notwithstanding finishing outside the top three, Simon, who is still in Dubai, was more than satisfied with his showing.

“This is not an easy task at the age of 53 to make a top five amongst men 30-plus years younger,” he said. “My testimony is about self-care and self-love. Understanding that age is just what people say you are and not what you should allow being told you are or should be.”

He praised his twin brother Derrick, who was instrumental in helping him achieve his goal.

“A massive special thanks to my brother for his unwavering support with my daily training for the last seven months. I know you have become very familiar with Panadol, Olfen, and gels hahaha,” he said. “I could not have done this without you at all bro!! 

“So many days you helped me through some taxing workouts and made me uncomfortable until I became very comfortable to suffer and grow. Your words of advice and belief in me made the journey even better and the result even sweeter. Top 5 was your request and payment for your suffering and that is what I delivered. “

And delivered he did. Derrick told Sportsmax.TV that during the seven months, he changed some elements of Dexter’s nutritional regime and his overall preparation.

So what did he think of the outcome? “Excellent,” he said. “When he asked me to support him, I told him I would only help if he did the work to finish in the top five. When he came off the stage, he called me and said ‘you asked for top five, you got it.”

Simon will next compete at the IFBB Florida Classic from June 25-25 before he does the IFBB Central American and Caribbean Championships in Barbados from July 27-August 1. He will then travel to Spain for the Arnold Classic from September 15-19.

In-form West Indies wicketkeeper/batsman Nicholas Pooran smashed a whirlwind century for the Leatherback Giants in the ongoing Trinidad T10 Blast at the Brian Lara Stadium in Trinidad on Monday. Pooran smashed a 37-ball 101 not out in the 10-overs-a-side match to take the Giants to a comfortable nine-wicket victory.

Chasing 129 to win in 10 overs against the Scarlet Ibis Scorchers, Pooran’s blast ensured that the Giants raced to a comfortable win with 9 balls to spare. Kamil Pooran remained unbeaten at the other end with Nicholas on 20 off 11 balls.

Pooran’s century was studded with 10 massive sixes and six fours and came with a strike rate of 272.97. Batting first, the Scorchers posted 128-3 in 10 overs.

Scorchers opener Tion Webster top-scored with 54 off 26 balls with five sixes and four fours. Ewart Nicholson remained unbeaten on 42 off 16 balls with four sixes and three fours to be the next highest scorer.

Pooran’s effort ensured that this was the Giants’ first win of the tournament after three matches. They are currently fourth on the points table with 2 points from 3 matches. While the Scorchers are yet to win a single match and are right at the bottom of the table after three matches.

 

Former West Indies spinner Sonny Ramadhin has died aged 92, Cricket West Indies President Ricky Skerritt has confirmed. He was living in England at the time of his death.

Between 1950 and 1961, Ramadhin played 43 Tests for the West Indies taking 158 wickets at 28.98.

Born in Esperance Village in Trinidad and Tobago, in 1929, Ramadhin was introduced to cricket at the Canadian Mission School in Duncan Village.

His trials for the West Indian team were two first-class matches bowling for Trinidad versus Jamaica, where he took 12 wickets at an average of 19.25. The performance led to his selection for the 1950 tour to England at the age of 20.

During the 1950 series between West Indies and England, Ramadhin and fellow spinner Alf Valentine dominated the English batting taking 59 wickets between them.

West Indies won the series 3-1, which was their first series victory in England. When England returned to the West Indies in early 1954, Ramadhin took 13 wickets in the first two Tests and was instrumental in West Indies' victory.

The Windward Islands Volcanoes are staring down the barrel of defeat after they were bundled out for 98 in response to Trinidad and Tobago’s first innings score of 326. Following on the Windwards were in trouble again at 32-3 at stumps.

Alick Athanaze was the only scorer of note with 33 as Anderson Phillip (4-32), Jayden Seales (3-31) did the damage for Trinidad and Tobago.

Phillip has so far taken 2-15 as the Windwards struggled once again in their second turn at bat.

Earlier, Trinidad and Tobago resumed at 217-5 with Joshua Da Silva on 51 and Terrence Hinds on five. The pair would eventually post 72 for the sixth wicket when Da Silva was dismissed for 73. Hinds would go on to make 57 as Trinidad were eventually dismissed for 326.

Sherman Lewis was the best of the Windwards bowlers with 5-43.

However, when they went to bat the Volcanoes imploded as other than Athanaze, Devon Smith (16) was the only other top-order batter in double figures. Among the lower order Ryan John (16), Larry Edward (13) and Kenneth Dember (10) were the only other batters in double figures.

The Trinidad and Tobago Red Force survived a second-innings collapse to secure a three-wicket victory over Jamaica Scorpions on day four of their West Indies Championship fixture at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy on Saturday.

The Red Force entered the fourth day 22-0, needing only 59 more runs to win with Keagan Simmons on 11 and Isaiah Rajah on eight.

Marquino Mindley got the ball rolling for the Scorpions on the final day with two wickets in quick succession to leave the Red Force 40-2.

The hosts then inexplicably lost four wickets for three runs to find themselves in a dogfight at 60-6.

Captain Imran Khan arrived at the crease and brought stability to the innings before they lost another wicket to find themselves 69-7.

Khan then combined with Anderson Phillip to bring the score to 81-7 and secure a three-wicket victory.

 

Simmons was the Red Force top scorer in the second innings with 38, while the Jamaican fightback was led by spin with Jamie Merchant taking 3-18 from 10.4 overs and Patrick Harty taking 2-21 from nine overs.

 

Final Scores: Jamaica Scorpions 141 and 212, Trinidad and Tobago Red Force 273 and 81-7.

The Jamaica Scorpions and the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force entered day 3 of their West Indies Championship match at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy evenly poised.

After starting the day 234-6, the Red Force were bowled out for 273 after 114.3 overs to lead the Scorpions by 132 runs.

Yannic Cariah led the way for the Red Force with 72 while Isaiah Rajah finished with 65.

Marquino Mindley completed his fourth five-wicket haul in first-class cricket with 5-70 off 28.3 overs while Nicholson Gordon provided good support with 4-65 off 28 overs.

In their second innings, the Scorpions fought gallantly to reach 212 all out, setting the hosts a target of 81 for victory, thanks to 45 from captain John Campbell and crucial knocks of 41 not out from Derval Green, 30 from Jamie Merchant, and 28 from Alwyn Williams.

Anderson Phillip was the pick of the Red Force bowlers in the second innings with 5-82 off 15 overs while captain Imran Khan supported him well with 3-46 off 16.5 overs.

At the close of play, the Red Force were 22-0 needing a further 59 runs on Saturday for outright victory with Keagan Simmons on 11 and Isaiah Rajah on eight.

Trinidad and Tobago Red Force ended a rain-affected day 2 of their West Indies Championship encounter with the Jamaica Scorpions at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in a commanding position.

The Red Force entered the day 98-3, trailing the Scorpions first innings score of 141 by 43 runs with Joshua Da Silva and Yannic Cariah at the crease on 32 and 11 respectively.

Da Silva added 5 to his overnight score before he was dismissed for 37 by Derval Green to leave the hosts 104-4.

Jyd Goolie was next to go for just six to leave the Red Force in a spot of bother at 118-5 before a magnificent 116-run partnership between Cariah and Isaiah Rajah put them in a comfortable position leading up to the end of play.

Cariah, who brought up his 10th first class half-century off 181 balls in the 80th over, eventually fell near the close of play for a patient 72 off 222 balls.

Rajah batted fluently to end the day, making 58 not out off 268 balls, including seven fours.

The Red Force ended Day 2 on 234-6 off 98 overs, leading the Scorpions by 93 runs.

Nicholson Gordon has so far led the way for the Jamaican bowlers with 3-51 off 21 overs while opening bowling partner Marquino Mindley has taken 2-52 off 20 overs.

 

After a relatively disappointing season in 2021, Trinidad and Tobago’s Jereem Richards announced on Sunday that he is determined to make 2022 a better year.

West Indies Under-19s secured an eight-wicket win over Zimbabwe Under-19s to finish 11th in the ICC Men’s Under-19 Cricket World Cup on Monday.

In the match played at the Diego Martin Sports Complex in Trinidad and Tobago, Zimbabwe Under-19s won the toss and elected to bat first.

This proved to be a good decision as they batted well to amass 256-4 off their 50 overs thanks to half-centuries from David Bennett who made 77 not out off 105 balls and Brian Bennett, who made 62 off 84 balls. Connor Mitchell provided the Zimbabweans with an important late innings push with 42 not out off 26 balls.

Johann Layne took 2-44 off seven overs for the West Indies.

A pair of stunning innings from Kevin Wickham and Teddy Bishop ensured the West Indies chased their target without much trouble.

Wickham scored a well-played 104 off 116 balls with 17 fours.

The 18-year-old Barbadian, who was originally one of the reserves for the squad, got his third score of 50 or more in four matches in the tournament after getting 56 against Sri Lanka and 61 against Papua New Guinea.

Bishop got the second hundred of the innings and third for the West Indies in the tournament with a brilliant 112 not out off 121 balls with 11 fours and one six.

Rivaldo Clarke got 28 not out and was at the crease with Bishop when the young Windies eventually got to 262-2 off 49.2 overs to seal the win.

Wickham, with 243 runs in four innings including one hundred and two fifties, was the West Indies leading runs scorer while pace bowler Shiva Sankar was the team’s leading wicket-taker with nine scalps in six matches.

West Indies Under-19s will now compete in the 11th place playoff at the ICC Men’s Under-19 Cricket World Cup after an embarrassing 83 run loss to UAE Under-19s in their Plate semi-final in Port of Spain today.

UAE won the toss and elected to bat first, reaching 224-9 off their 50 overs thanks to half-centuries from Aayan Khan (93) and Shival Bawa (51).

Shiva Sankar led the way for the Windies bowlers with 3-31 off nine overs while Nathan Edward and Matthew Nandu took two wickets each.

Jash Giyanani and Dhruv Parashar then combined to take seven wickets between them to restrict the West Indians to a modest 142 all out in reply.

Nathan Edward (51), Kevin Wickham (22), and Isai Thorne (17) were the only batsmen to score double figures against Giyanani’s 3-21 off 10 overs and Parashar’s 4-30 off nine.

The West Indies will now play the loser of the Plate semi-final between Ireland and Zimbabwe in the 11th place playoff while UAE will play the winner in the ninth-place playoff.

 

Two Plate competition matches at the ICC Under 19 Men’s Cricket World Cup have been cancelled after nine Canada players tested positive for COVID-19, organizers revealed today. The players will now undertake a period of isolation where their welfare will be monitored by the event medical team.

As a consequence, the Canadian team has insufficient available players to be able to take any further part in the event. Canada’s plate play-off semi-final with Scotland on 29 January is cancelled and in accordance with the playing conditions, Scotland will progress to the 13th/14th play-off as a result of having a better net run rate than Canada from all matches played in the event.

The 15th/16th play-off that would have featured Canada against either Uganda or PNG will also not take place.

“We are incredibly disappointed to have to cancel two ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup games due to COVID-19 at this stage of the event,” said ICC Head of Events, Chris Tetley.

“We were expecting to see some positive cases throughout the event and to date, these have been managed in accordance with our bio-safety plan without impacting on fixtures. However, with so many players from the Canadian team testing positive it will not be possible to stage these games.

“The players are now self-isolating and will receive full support from the event medical team under the guidance of the Bio-Safety Advisory Group.”

The cancelled matches are as follows:

29 January - Canada v Scotland, Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Trinidad and Tobago

30 January - 15th/16 Play-Off, Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Trinidad and Tobago

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