In a move that celebrates both his sporting prowess and his national pride, Guyanese cricket sensation Shamar Joseph has been appointed as a Tourism Ambassador for his homeland of Guyana. The announcement, made by the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA), comes as Joseph's star continues to rise following his remarkable performance against Australia in January, where he played a pivotal role in the West Indies' historic Test victory.

Joseph, hailing from Baracara, Berbice, has captured the hearts of cricket fans worldwide with his record-breaking spell of seven wickets for 68 runs in the crucial test match against Australia not only secured a thrilling win for the West Indies but also marked a significant milestone in his burgeoning career.

"Shamar Joseph's outstanding achievements on the cricket field have not only brought glory to the West Indies but have also shone a spotlight on the rich cultural heritage and natural beauty of Guyana," the  GTA said in a statement. "As a Tourism Ambassador, we believe he will play a vital role in promoting our country's attractions and welcoming visitors from around the globe."

Joseph's heroics against Australia, including his remarkable eight-wicket haul in the second Test match, have earned him widespread acclaim within the cricketing fraternity. His final wicket to clinch the historic victory was met with jubilation from fans and commentators alike, with renowned cricketing commentator Ian Bishop hailing it as "a real dream come true for 'Joseph the Deliverer', for the West Indies."

In addition to his on-field achievements, Joseph's off-field contributions have not gone unnoticed. Cricket West Indies recently awarded him an international retainer contract in recognition of his stellar performances against Australia. Furthermore, he made history by becoming the first-ever West Indies player to receive the ICC Men's Player of the Month award for January 2024, solidifying his status as a cricketing icon.

James Anderson insists his history-making 700th Test wicket was “nothing to celebrate” after England’s series defeat in India and is already looking to booking his place in the side this summer.

Anderson became the first fast bowler to reach the remarkable landmark when he dismissed Kuldeep Yadav in Dharamsala, joining spinners Muttiah Muralitharan and Shane Warne in one of cricket’s most elite clubs.

The 41-year-old seamer has been collecting various records since he first surpassed Sir Ian Botham as England’s leading wicket-taker back in 2015 and, with his big moment coming in an innings defeat and a 4-1 loss overall, he was happy to downplay the significance of an achievement which is unlikely to be matched.

“I didn’t really celebrate, I’ll be honest. There’s nothing to celebrate,” he told his Tailenders podcast.

“My dad was here so I had a drink with my dad, which was nice. He was more excited than I was. Maybe I would’ve felt more excited if we’d have won the Test or the series.

“I don’t know how I felt really.”

Anderson has been garlanded with praise, including his former captain Nasser Hussain’s suggestion that his final career tally will one day go down alongside the great Sir Donald Bradman’s batting average of 99.94, but claimed that was not the kind of of glory he sought.

“That’s irrelevant to me. I don’t get anything out of what other people say,” he added.

“I don’t play cricket to get personal milestones, I guess. I want to win games. I love playing a team sport, that’s when I get the biggest buzz. So I’m a little flat because we lost 4-1 in the series.”

Anderson has been swatting aside questions over when he might hang up his boots for several years but looked fit, held his pace and bowled skilfully enough to leave no question that he would be in contention for yet another domestic season in 2024, with England facing Test series against the West Indies and Sri Lanka.

“I’m really excited for the summer. I’m definitely in the best shape I’ve ever been in,” he said.

“I’m not getting any worse. I like where my game is at and I still have that enjoyment of turning up every day and trying to get better in the nets.

“My place in the team is not a given, so I’ve got to work hard to prove I’m worth a place in the summer.”

Cricket West Indies (CWI) commends the proactive efforts undertaken by the Government of Saint Kitts and Nevis to bolster cricket infrastructure within the region. President Dr. Kishore Shallow commended the efforts by the Government and the St. Kitts Cricket Association to develop Conaree Cricket Ground, marking a considerable step towards enhancing regional cricket facilities and fostering the sport's growth.

President Shallow echoed the importance of governments investing in cricket infrastructure, stating, "Cricket West Indies is impressed with the developments and prospects of Conaree Cricket Ground, which has enabled Saint Kitts & Nevis to host regional matches and tournaments. It is imperative that governments recognize the significance of infrastructure in the development of cricket and the broader sporting community. Minister Duggins' efforts ought to be commended for his efforts in this regard."

The development of facilities and hosting of regional cricket align seamlessly with the vision outlined by Minister of Sports, Hon. Samal Duggins, who emphasized the importance of sports development as a cornerstone of the nation's youth empowerment agenda. Minister Duggins highlighted cricket's significance in the region and the promising opportunities it presents for the youth of Saint Kitts and Nevis.

"At the heart of our nation's vision for youth empowerment and sporting excellence lies a profound commitment to sports development. Sports development stands as a key aspect of the Government of Saint Kitts and Nevis' Sustainable Island State agenda, offering invaluable avenues for our youth to progress in personal development, bolstering their self-esteem, fostering international exposure, and honing essential team-building skills among other essential life skills. With cricket being one of the leading sports in our region, the increasing opportunity within this sport holds immense promise for our young people. The introduction of these tournaments signals a gateway to deeper collaboration and partnership between CWI and Saint Kitts and Nevis," Minister Duggins remarked.

CWI looks forward to working closely with the Government of Saint Kitts and Nevis in realizing the shared vision of enhancing cricket facilities and promoting the sport's development across the region. 

President Shallow further reiterated Cricket West Indies' commitment to collaborating with Saint Kitts and Nevis to elevate the standard of cricket facilities and nurture the development of players within the nation.

"We are dedicated to fostering a strong partnership with Saint Kitts and Nevis, not only to enhance the infrastructure for cricket but also to support the development of talented players. Cricket West Indies will continue to work closely with Leeward Islands Cricket Board and the two national cricket bodies in the twin-island federation to further improve the standard of facilities and provide the necessary resources for the development of their players," President Shallow affirmed.

So far this year, Saint Kitts and Nevis has hosted the West Indies Championship (the Men's first-class tournament) and the ongoing CG United Women’s Super50 Cup. The women will follow the Super 50 Cup with the CWI T20 Blaze. Saint Kitts and Nevis is also home to the CPL franchise, St. Kitts & Nevis Patriots.

 

England should play the long game with Jofra Archer and prime him for India’s visit next year as well as the 2025/26 Ashes, according to former fast bowler Steve Harmison.

Archer’s last Test was more than three years ago, but he remains a much-coveted asset and England are hopeful he will be available for their T20 World Cup title defence in the Caribbean in June.

Harmison, though, believes the next two marquee five-Test series against India in the summer of 2025 then in Australia the following winter should take priority above all else where Archer is concerned.

“It’s slowly but surely with him,” Harmison told the PA news agency. “I’d build Jofra Archer up to play in 10 Test matches over the next two years – five against India and five against Australia or four each.

“I’d treat him like a prize racehorse. If England can keep him fit for the majority of those two series, I’d feel as though they have got a chance of winning.

“If he can play in Test matches in between and his body is holding up then everything after that is a bonus.”

Archer has had a succession of stress fractures in his bowling elbow and another in his back since his most recent red-ball appearance for England, while his last professional appearance was 10 months ago.

He joined England in Barbados before Christmas during their white-ball tour of the West Indies and took part in some bowling drills as part of his rehabilitation from the latest setback in his right elbow.

Just a couple of days afterwards, Archer, who was awarded a two-year central contract in October, blindsided England by playing for his old school side in the Barbados Cricket Association league.

But Harmison feels it could be better for everyone involved if the 28-year-old is allowed to get back to full fitness away from prying eyes.

“When I heard he was playing in that game in Barbados, I was over the moon, I just wish he had told (England’s managing director of men’s cricket) Rob Key first,” Harmison said.

“If he turns up for the T20 World Cup, fantastic, if he turns up for a Test match this summer, fantastic, but the most important thing for me is about his mental health and making sure he’s in a position to play cricket without thinking, ‘In however many weeks, I’m going to be injured again’.

“The more he does the bowling repetition and the muscle memory stuff under less scrutiny and less pressure, the better it will be for him coming back into top-level cricket.”

England have won three and lost six of their last 10 Tests against India and Australia and, in both series, there were instances where Ben Stokes’ side let promising positions slip.

After India sealed a 4-1 triumph in Dharamsala on Sunday, England head coach Brendon McCullum admitted they were too “timid” in passages and said their ‘Bazball’ style would be refined.

Harmison, who criticised England’s lack of a warm-up match before the series, expects them to rebound with six wins out of six against the West Indies and Sri Lanka this summer, but he insisted there must be lessons learned from what happened in India.

“They’ll win all six Test matches comfortably,” said Harmison, who played 123 times for England between 2002 and 2009. “It’s not a case of looking at just the summer, they’ve got to look beyond that.

“They’ve got to be smarter in identifying situations. We’ve got some cricket brains leading this team, but sometimes inside that dressing room, we might have individual characters who are happy to say, ‘That’s the way we play’, and that’s not good enough for me, it’s not acceptable.

“They have to be more accountable when they make mistakes. This is not the Dog and Duck, this is Test match cricket.

“Having the crutch of, ‘That’s the way we play, it’s Bazball’. No, Bazball is giving you the freedom to be the best version of yourself possible. You’ve still got to play the situation.”

West Indies T20I Captain Rovman Powell contributed a quick 30 in a nail-biting two-run win for the Peshawar Zalmi over the Karachi Kings in Pakistan Super League action at the Karachi National Stadium on Monday.

Peshawar first posted 147-6 off their 20 overs after winning the toss and batting first.

Captain Babar Azam led the way with 51 off 46 balls including five fours and a six while Powell’s knock lasted 18 balls and included three fours.

Arafat Minhas was excellent with the ball for the Kings going for just 11 in his four overs and picking up one wicket in the process.

Karachi were then restricted to 145-5 from their 20 overs in their reply.

Tim Seifert led the way with 41 while Irfan Khan ended 39* against 2-22 from Naveen-ul-Haq.

All-rounder Aamer Jamal defended 17 runs off the last over.

Full Scores: Peshawar Zalmi 147-6 off 20 overs (Babar Azam 51, Rovman Powell 30, Arafat Minhas 1-11)

Karachi Kings 145-5 off 20 overs (Tim Seifert 41, Irfan Khan 39, Naveen-ul-Haq 2-22)

Brendon McCullum insisted England will “come back bigger, stronger and more refined” following their 4-1 Test series defeat in India.

Here, the PA news agency looks at five aspects that should be addressed by head coach McCullum and captain Ben Stokes before England’s next Test against the West Indies at Lord’s on July 10.

Who takes the gloves?

Ben Foakes was just about flawless behind the stumps once again but he did not record a single fifty, with his career average dipping below 30, and struggles to assert himself in the fashion England want.

Jonny Bairstow is not as proficient with the gloves and also flattered to deceive in India, but he averages 59 at home under McCullum and Stokes and can marshal the tail in a way Foakes is seemingly unable to.

Knocking on the door away from those pair is Ollie Robinson of Durham and Jamie Smith at Surrey.

Jack, Tom or Shoaib?

Not for over a decade have England had such plentiful spin options.

England took a bit of a punt on Tom Hartley and especially Shoaib Bashir but the duo demonstrated they have the mettle for Test cricket.

Rehan Ahmed showed determination, too, but might be more suited to the white-ball formats for now.

Jack Leach’s fitness issues in the past 12 months mean he is not guaranteed to be inked in for the English summer, with just one spinner usually required.

Hartley may be more suited to Asian conditions but 20-year-old Bashir is someone England should invest in. Leach’s position as premier spinner at Somerset means Bashir could be sent on loan elsewhere in the early county season.

Identify a replacement for James Anderson

The evergreen swing king reached Test wicket 700 in the final Test after several months in the 690s.

Anderson has given no outward indication he is ready to slow down but time waits for no one and England must be prepared when the day comes the 41-year-old decides to hang up his spikes.

Any sign of decline after a poor Ashes showing was quietened a little with solid, if unspectacular, performances in India in unhelpful conditions.

While his longevity is astounding, wickets are his main currency and he has just 15 of them in his last eight Tests at a bloated average of 50.8.

In two marquee series against England’s biggest rivals, that is a poor return but he is not one to be kept subdued for long.

Settle on a seam attack

Anderson may well be able to keep going until the next Ashes series in 2025-26 but he has lost his long-time opening bowling partner in Stuart Broad.

That did not matter so much in India but on green seamers in England, there will be no shortage of candidates looking to step into Broad’s shoes.

Chris Woakes is likely to come back into contention although he is 35 himself, so it could be the next generation who come through.

Gus Atkinson impressed the backroom staff despite not playing in India and McCullum tipped the quick to make his Test debut in the summer.

Matthew Potts, Brydon Carse and Josh Tongue are pushing to be involved while Ollie Robinson must get to the bottom of his fitness issues.

Back Ollie Pope

England’s vice-captain had one of the more curious series of modern times.

A breakout 196, which Joe Root called “one of the best knocks that I’ve ever seen”, carried England to a stunning victory in Hyderabad.

But he did not reach 40 after that, made a pair at Ranchi and looked increasingly frenetic.

England have been encouraged by his growing confidence as an authority figure on the field as deputy to Stokes and will hope that can filter through to his batting.

Pope has already been shuffled around a lot in a 43-Test career and his talent is undeniable so he just needs to find a way of taking the edge off when he goes out to bat.

Brendon McCullum will seek to fine-tune England’s approach before the summer after admitting they went into their shells during a chastening tour of India.

England head coach McCullum and captain Ben Stokes won 10 of their first 11 Tests in charge but have lost seven of the last dozen following a 4-1 reverse in India.

McCullum and Stokes have shown a resistance to making adjustments since taking charge but they let several competitive positions slip against Rohit Sharma’s side, demonstrating a lack of ruthlessness.

McCullum did not go into specifics about how England go to the next level ahead of home summer series against the West Indies and Sri Lanka but accepted there were instances where they seemed unsure of themselves in India.

“India probably outplayed us at the style of cricket that we want to play and made us start to retreat a little bit so that’s something that we will have to change,” McCullum said.

“If anything we got more timid as the series went on. It is something we need to address because other teams will put us under pressure as well and we can’t really allow that doubt to creep into our game. We need to have total conviction in what we are doing in those pressure situations.

“We will allow the dust and hurt to settle a bit and then use that to make changes we need to ensure we are a better version of what we have started out as.

“We will have some time to reflect and come back bigger, stronger and more refined.”

McCullum and Stokes have allowed players the freedom to express themselves and that, in turn, has brought accusations there are not enough honest conversations in difficult moments.

But McCullum said: “While we’re both very relaxed and happy to make sure everyone’s enjoying themselves – they’re excited to play in big series and not anxious as such and trying to let their talent come out – let’s not mistake that for us not having a hard edge.

“We didn’t get where we’ve got to in life and in our careers without having some sort of hard edge as well.”

McCullum was similarly dismissive of the suggestion batters are not under enough pressure for their spots following several collapses in recent weeks, but added those on the fringes must make compelling cases.

“At this stage, these are the guys we believe are the best cricketers to win a series,” McCullum said. “If it doesn’t play out, of course if someone is nagging down the door you look at that.

“Certainly nothing is closed to anyone, it’s just that you have to bang the door down.”

After an innings-and-64-run defeat in Dharamsala inside three days, Stokes defiantly warned “write this team off, write me off at your own peril”.

He averaged 19.9 with the bat but made a heartening return to bowling in the last Test and should be back to being a fully-fledged all-rounder by the summer.

“I actually think he wanted it too much with the bat,” McCullum said of his captain. “He was trying to give himself every opportunity to build a big innings to ensure when the pressure moments came, which he knows how to deal better than anyone else in the world, that he was going to be the man to be there.

“It takes us away from being totally present in the moment. He tried his best and wanted it too much but he’ll be back.

“To have him back in full operation is a huge positive for us and moving forward allows us to know we can balance the team in the right way.”

West Indies Women’s captain Hayley Matthews contributed a wicket and 18 runs as Mumbai Indians Women registered win number five of the Women’s Premier League (WPL) campaign with a seven-wicket beating of Gujarat Giants Women at the AJ Stadium, on Saturday.

Matthews, who opened the bowling for MI Women, ended with one for 22 from three overs, which assisted in limiting the Giants to 190 for seven from their 20 overs, after they opted to take first strike.

After a sedate start, the 25-year-old Barbadian all-rounder then stroke four boundaries in her 21-ball 18, as she posted an even 50-run opening stand with Yastikia Bhatia, which laid the platform for the successful chase that was anchored by captain Harmanpreet Kaur, who was left unbeaten on 95.

Bhatia made 49 off 36 balls, including eight fours and a solitary six, while Kaur’s breathtaking 48-ball knock included 10 fours and five sixes.

Scores: Gujarat Giants Women 190-7 (20 overs); MI Women 191-3 (19.5 overs)

Despite the slow start, Matthews maintained her composure and eventually found some rhythm with a series of boundaries, before she went caught off Tanuja Kanwar in the next over.

Things got worse for MI Women when they lost England international Nat Sciver-Brunt (two) in the eighth over with the score at 57-2. However, Bhatia and Kaur steadied the innings with a 41-run third wicket stand, before the former offered a return catch to Ashleigh Gardner in the 14th over.

Still, Kaur continued to flow and dominated an unbroken 93-run stand with New Zealand all-rounder Amelia Kerr, whose contribution to the partnership was a mere 12 not out.

With MI Women requiring 13 from the final over, bowled by Gardner, Kaur smashed a six and a four off the first two balls, before scrambling singles with Kerr off the next three deliveries to complete the win with one ball to spare.

Earlier, Gujarat Giants through a 121-run second-wicket stand between Dayalan Hemalatha (74) and her captain Beth Mooney (66), threatened to put the game beyond MI Women’s reach.

Hemalatha hit nine fours and two sixes in her top score which came off 40 balls, while Mooney’s 35-ball knock included eight fours and three sixes.

But their contributions were in vain, as Bharti Fulmali (21) was the next best scorer with the remaining players offering little or no resistance to the MI Women’s bowlers.

With the win, Mumbai India Women remain atop the standing on 10 points, with Delhi Capital Women (8 points), their closest pursuer.

James Anderson took his 700th Test wicket as England lost the fifth Test against India in Dharamsala.

Anderson is the leading Test wicket-taker among seam bowlers, behind only spin greats Muttiah Muralitharan and Shane Warne in the overall list.

Here, the PA news agency looks at his career record.

Record-breaker

Anderson and his long-time new-ball partner Stuart Broad are two of only five bowlers ever to take 600 or more Test wickets, a list headed by Sri Lanka star Muralitharan’s remarkable 800.

Warne is next up with 708 for Australia, with Anderson following on exactly 700, Anil Kumble 619 and Broad 604. Anderson’s average of 26.53 ranks third in that group behind Muralitharan (22.73) and Warne (25.42), with Broad at 27.69 and Kumble 29.65.

Anderson has 32 five-wicket hauls, 12 more than Broad but behind the three spinners and seventh overall in Test cricket. Muralitharan is again out in front with a scarcely believable 67, with Warne’s 37 ranking second among all Test bowlers. Kumble took 35.

Four other bowlers have taken over 500 wickets – Australia seamer Glenn McGrath and spinner Nathan Lyon with 563 and 527 respectively, West Indies great Courtney Walsh on 519 and India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who reached 516 after taking 26 in the five-Test series against England.

Vintage performer

One of the more remarkable aspects of Anderson’s Test career is the way he has improved with age.

From the start of 2014, when he was already 31 with the wear and tear of 91 Tests as a new-ball paceman in his legs, he has more than doubled his tally of games and taken an astonishing 360 further wickets at 22.67.

Only 23 bowlers including Anderson have that many wickets in their full Test career and, of those, only three have an average lower than his in that phase – West Indies greats Malcolm Marshall at 20.94 and Curtly Ambrose at 20.99, and McGrath at 21.64.

That is boosted by 123 wickets at 24.08 since the start of 2020, despite passing his 40th birthday along the way.

Hundred at HQ

Anderson is one of only four bowlers to take over 100 Test wickets at a single venue, capturing 119 at Lord’s to Broad’s 113.

Muralitharan achieved the feat at three different grounds – 166 at Colombo’s SSC, 117 in Kandy and 111 at Galle, where fellow Sri Lanka spinner Rangana Herath took 102.

Anderson’s record at Trent Bridge may be even more impressive than at HQ, with 73 wickets at a stunning average of 19.23 across 12 Tests. The Lancastrian has 38 at 23.58 on his home ground of Old Trafford.

Cricket West Indies president, Dr Kishore Shallow believes they have made significant strides in raising the profile of the women’s game over the past year, as he reaffirmed the regional body's commitment to achieve pay parity by 2027.

Shallow, in a message to mark International Women’s Day on Friday, pointed to the changes in travel for overseas tours, single room accommodation and the launch of a Women’s Cricket Academy in Antigua as measures implemented to bring the women’s game on par with their male counterparts.

“On this International Women’s Day, Cricket West Indies proudly celebrates the remarkable progress we’ve achieved in championing gender equality and empowerment within our cricketing community. Since assuming office, we have embarked on a transformative journey of inclusivity, recognizing and valuing the exceptional contributions of our female athletes," Shallow said.