West Indies coach Phil Simmonds expects improved bowling performances from spinner Gudakesh Motie in the future after a fruitless debut with the ball against Bangladesh last week.

Overall, the spinner ended the opening Test with no wicket from 16 overs and conceded 43 runs.  The debut stood a far way from his performances in the West Indies Championship this season where he claimed 17 wickets in five matches, earning the attention of the West Indies selectors.

The 27-year-old did, however, make some sort of contribution with the bat after making 23 unbeaten from 21 deliveries, in the first innings.

“He scored a 100 in the Championship, so he can hold the bat and he can score like we saw but his bowling is going to improve,” Simmons said, following the first Test.

“I think when you play in your first Test match there’s always nerves, there’s a lot of things, but his bowling is going to improve,” he added.

While, for the most part, it was the pace bowlers who dominated affairs, Bangladesh spinner Mehidy Hasan claimed 4 for 59 in the first innings to put some pressure on the West Indies batting line-up.  West Indies and Bangladesh will face off in the second and final Test on Friday.

West Indies Head Coach Phil Simmons has praised Captain Kraigg Brathwaite’s determination after the team’s seven-wicket victory over Bangladesh in the first Test at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium on Sunday.

In the first innings, Brathwaite made 94 off 268 balls, batting for 400 minutes in the process.

“There’s not much to tell as a batsman because I think everybody’s seen his determination and unique style,” Simmons said in an interview after the match.

“He doesn’t have a problem being there for five days and doing his job which is unique because a lot of batsmen nowadays want to play shots and be done with it but, from his point of view, he wants to be there all the time for his team and that rolls into the captaincy,” he added.

Since being named permanent Captain in March 2021, Brathwaite has led the team to a series win against England and drawn series against Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

“He seems to be growing into the role as we go along,” Simmons said.

“He’s not loud but the players know what he wants in his unique way. He makes them understand what he wants from them,” he added.

Brathwaite’s next assignment will be to lead the team to victory in the second test against Bangladesh which begins on Friday at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground in St. Lucia.

 

West Indies head coach Phil Simmons insists he understands and respects the decision of recently retired captain Kieron Pollard but insists the player’s passion and desire will be sorely missed.

After nearly 16-years representing the regional team and three years in charge of both the One Day International (ODI) and T20 squads, the 34-year-old Pollard announced his decision to step away from international cricket last week.

“Skipper it is sad to see you retire from the maroon shirt so early…I completely understand,” Simmons said, addressing the issue via Facebook.

“Your ability to give players your backing and trust to deliver and your strong leadership both on and off the field was a joy to work with,” he added.

Pollard took charge of both squads in 2019 and experienced mixed fortunes during his tenure.  The T20 squad lost 21 of 39 matches and had a disastrous defense of its World Cup title.  The ODI squad on the other hand fared better, winning 13 and losing 11 of 21 matches played.  Still, Simmons hailed Pollard as a positive force for pushing players to reach their full potential and having a genuine desire to see the team do well.

“Your passion for pushing players to build on skills and knowledge of the game and more. Your unwillingness to settle for mediocrity was a pleasure to work with,” Simmons said.

“Your undoubted passion for the game and especially the Maroon Shirt together with your desire to bring success to the West Indies cricket team henceforth Cricket West Indies will be missed. You will be missed.”

Newcomers Nyeem Young and Keacy Carty have been named among 16 players selected by Cricket West Indies (CWI) for a white-ball camp to be held at the Coolidge Cricket Ground from Thursday, March 31 to Wednesday, April 13.

Young was a member of the West Indies Rising Stars squad at the 2020 ICC U19 World Cup and has also played for Barbados Royals in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL). Carty, meanwhile, has been a consistent member of the Leeward Islands Hurricanes squad for the last five years. He was Player of the Match in the final of the 2016 ICC U19 World Cup won by the West Indies.

West Indies Head Coach Phil Simmons outlined that the camp will focus on improving skill sets as the West Indies look ahead to two major global events over the next two years – the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia later this year and the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup to be played in India.

“The camp will be a chance for us to do some work with players in the white-ball formats, players who might have a chance to play in the coming white-ball teams later this year,” Simmons said.

“The most important thing is that we will be doing things in the camp that we have not been doing well, such as rotating strike, sweeping, and playing spin better. It’s about working on things that we’re not 100 per cent at yet. We have several players at IPL who will be working at their games as well, so we’re working with the players here to make sure they keep up the standard and improve.”

Simmons also weighed in on the selection of Carty and Young for the camp.

Keacy Carty was a reserve for the team which toured India in February. If there was any reason why players couldn’t go, he was the next batsman in line. He is one of the players we have looked at before,” Simmons revealed.

“Nyeem Young is one of the potentially good young all-rounders we have around the Caribbean, so we just want to bring them in and get them to understand what we expect of them if they get to that level.”

In late May, the West Indies travel to The Netherlands for the first-ever three-match One Day International Series between the two teams, to be followed by the rescheduled three-match ODI Series against Pakistan which was postponed in December.

These fixtures form part of the ICC ODI Super League, where teams will have the opportunity to secure points to try and secure one of the top seven places, excluding hosts India, to gain automatic qualification for the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup.

West Indies will then be hosting tours by Bangladesh, India and New Zealand with all three series featuring white-ball matches. Details of these tours will be announced in the coming weeks.

Players for white-ball camp: Nkrumah Bonner, Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, Keacy Carty, Roston Chase, Justin Greaves, Chandrapaul Hemraj, Shai Hope, Brandon King, Kjorn Ottley, Keemo Paul, Anderson Phillip, Raymon Reifer, Nial Smith, Devon Thomas and Nyeem Young.

 

Cricket West Indies (CWI) has lauded the West Indies team on their win over England in the Apex Test Series.

Tuesday marks the start of the three-Test Apex series between the West Indies and England. The visitors have not won a Test series in the Caribbean since their3-0 triumph in 2004, the same series in which Brian Lara scored a world record 400 not out in the fourth Test at the Antigua Recreation Ground.

In 2019, when the teams last met in the Caribbean, the hosts secured a 2-1 series win and West Indies head coach Phil Simmons wants his team to keep the trend alive.

“We’re looking to play the cricket that we know will put us in a position to win the series. We’re trying to make sure we’re ready for everything England can throw at us,” the Trinidadian head coach said during a pre-match press conference on Monday while indicating that it will critical for the hosts to build strong opening partnerships when they bat.

In that series, Captain Kraigg Brathwaite and John Campbell shared opening stands of 53, 52, 70, 17 not out, 57 and five and they will once again be entrusted with the responsibility.

“The last time we beat England here, the opening pair was Kraigg and John Campbell. Let’s hope that’s a good omen for us because they gave the team some good starts. We’ve been talking about getting a good start and making sure that the top four put things together and not leave it for the middle and lower order,” Simmons said.

“That’s been the focus of our camp leading up to this series. We need batsmen to bat long so the bowlers can have something to work with and I think the camp went well so I expect good things from them.”

The absence of James Anderson and Stuart Broad from the England team has been a big talking point ever since their squad was announced, but Simmons says he is more interested in who they do have.

“We keep harping on no Broad and Anderson but when you don’t have the experience, you have young players who are hungry to make their name and that is something that you have to guard against too. They have quality bowlers who we still have to bat well against,” he said.

Simmons also spoke about the importance of having one specialist spinner in their squad, Veerasammy Permaul.

“Your spinner, at least in the first couple of days, will always play that holding role. Permaul has been bowling really well so, hopefully, by the time we get to the fourth day he will come into play and possibly be a match-winner for us,” Simmons said.

Simmons also mentioned the conditions he expects at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium on Tuesday.

“It looks like it’s going to be a good wicket. We’re going to have to work hard for our runs but also work hard for our wickets,” he said.

At the conclusion of the Test match, the teams move on to the Kensington Oval in Barbados for the second Test set to start on March 16. The final Test is scheduled to be played at the National Cricket Stadium in Grenada beginning on March 24.

 

 

 

 

West Indies coach Phil Simmons has admitted the team's persistent and obvious struggles with the bat are hurtful, particularly as he believes the unit had started to show improvement last year.

Despite commendable performances from its bowling line-up, the Windies batting line-up continued to struggle for yet another series after going down 3-0 to India on Thursday.  At the crease, in South Asia, the team at times looked ill-prepared or unable to find the resolve or technical ability needed to put partnerships together at crucial times or cope with the India bowlers for any prolonged period.

Similar to its performance against Ireland last month, where they lost an ODI series against that opponent for the first time, the Windies looked, perhaps more than ever, susceptible to losing wickets in huge clusters, which made it impossible to chase even modest targets.  In three matches, the team failed to reach 200 with its highest score of 193 coming in an all-out effort in the second match, in pursuit of 237 for 9.

For the batsmen, it was Jason Holder who led the way with a modest 65 over three matches, followed by Nicholas Pooran with 61, while lower-order all-rounder Odean Smith had 60.  By comparison, India’s top three featured Kuldeep Yadav who made 104 in three matches, Rishabh Pant made 85, while Shreyas Iyer made 80 in just one match.  Overall, the India batting line-up, which chased a low target in the first match, outscored the West Indies line-up by 148 runs.

“This is difficult, the last six games have been difficult in this format.  We started putting things together last year when we played Sri Lanka, it was difficult against Australia, but we started putting things together.  For this (type of performance) to come now, it’s hard to take, it’s hard to take from the batsmen,” Simmons told members of the media on Thursday.

“It’s not outwardly showing, but it’s hurtful and the players know that.  We have to make sure that we do the right things moving forward to get this batting line-up or whoever the batting line-up is to function as a batting line-up, to have big partnerships and assess the thing properly.”

The team’s highest partnership of the series was a 78 run seventh-wicket stand between Fabian Allen and Jason Holder.  Overall, the majority of the team’s biggest partnerships came from batting places below the 5th wicket.

“The mode of dismissals is the biggest issue.  If we are assessing the situation and we are playing according to the situation, and you get out then that’s execution.  But not assessing the situation and knowing what you want to do in the situations and the modes of dismissal it’s hurtful, and it doesn’t make for good watching as we’ve seen.  It’s something the players have to sit and get right as soon as possible.  We can’t keep going like this.”

 

The West Indies just played three One-Day Internationals against India and failed to make 200 runs in any of them.

176, 193 and 169 were the scores the Caribbean side managed to put up during the series and Head Coach Phil Simmons, speaking in the post-series press conference on Friday, says this trend is concerning.

“It needs urgent attention. It cost us the last two games. If you bowl India out for 230 and 260, you expect to chase it,” he said.

The West Indies, not too long ago, showed improvement in their batting performances in ODIs, particularly in Sri Lanka’s tour of the West Indies in early 2021 which saw the regional side make scores of 236-2, 274-5 and 276-5 in the three matches.

“Just under a year ago, we were cruising to 280 and 290 against Sri Lanka who has similar spinners so the batting is a huge concern and people have got to stand up now as we go into our next set of ODIs in June,” Simmons added.

On a more positive note, Simmons praised the performance of his bowlers in the series.

“I think a positive is that the bowlers have done what we’ve asked of them. We’ve kept a strong India batting line-up to 230 and 260 and I think that’s a huge positive. The way how we’ve gone about our task on the field when bowling and fielding have been a huge positive all-round,” he added.

The West Indies will play India in three T20Is beginning on Wednesday while their next ODI assignment will be a three-match tour of the Netherlands in June.

 

 

 

West Indies head coach Phil Simmons is pleased to see vice-captain Nicholas Pooran slotting comfortably into the number three role in the team’s recent T20 win against England.

Partnered with man-of-the-match Rovman Powell, Pooran put on a near-perfect display, a combination of power-hitting, game management, and finesse.  The batsman put together a crucial 70 from 43 deliveries, which formed part of a match-winning 122 partnership for the third wicket.

Simmons admits the knock was a good illustration of the type of role the team envisions the batsman is capable of playing.

“It’s been a plan since World Cup.  As we saw, he is understanding his role better and better and yesterday (Wednesday) just showed exactly how we see him controlling the innings,” Simmons told members of the media on Wednesday.

“His communication and control with Rovman was a big plus yesterday,” he added.

Pooran came to the crease following the departure of Brandon King and was part of a 37-run partnership with Shai Hope before joining forces with Powell.

In total, Pooran has played 14 matches batting at the number three position, scoring a total of 356 runs, and has averaged 32.36 so far.

 

 

 

The meeting between representatives of the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) and Cricket West Indies over claims that players in the senior squad are being victimized has been postponed until the end of the ongoing Betway T20 Series against England.

The West Indies lead the series 2-1 with the final two matches scheduled to be played on Saturday and Sunday.

Wayne Lewis, Honorary Secretary at WIPA confirmed to Sportsmax.TV today that WIPA received an email from CWI’s Director of Cricket Jimmy Adams Thursday afternoon informing of the delay to the discussions surrounding the issue that, according to sources, has caused discord within the senior team. He expects the meeting to be held sometime next week.

The matter surfaced earlier this week when allegations were being made that Jamaican all-rounder was being victimized by the team leadership and was eventually dropped for the third match played on Wednesday that the West Indies won by 20 runs. Smith’s replacement Rovman Powell scored his maiden T20 hundred for the West Indies.

Afterwards, Coach Phil Simmons pushed back on assertions that Smith was being victimized. The burly allrounder conceded four runs in the one over he bowled in the second T20 and dropped for the next match. He has also scored useful runs batting at number 10 but according to Phil Simmons, players are selected in the best interest of the team.

“We need to stop this foolishness that we are going on with. We sit here and look at the best team for the day and if Odean was not in the best team for the day it was because we thought Rovman Powell was better suited,” Simmons said afterwards while speaking with the media.

Meanwhile, Cricket West Indies has described the claims as being unsubstantiated and mischievous as it moved to head off any fallout.

In a statement released late Thursday, CWI said it was aware that “voice notes were circulated on social media, and in sections of the regional broadcast media, suggesting that there is a rift within the West Indies Senior Men’s team.

“Contrary to the unsubstantiated statements, containing unfounded and mischievous allegations, CWI is satisfied that there is no discord between the team captain and any member of the West Indies team.”

CWI President Ricky Skerritt indicated that the rumours represent an unwarranted attack on Captain Kieron Pollard.

“I view this as a malicious attack on the credibility of the West Indies captain, designed to sow division within our team that has just recorded three very impressive T20I performances against very strong opponents, including two outstanding wins and one heroic comeback to get within one run of victory,” Skerritt said.

“This clear attempt by well-known mischief makers to discredit the captain and to derail the team’s momentum in the ongoing Betway T20I Series should not be tolerated or encouraged.”

 

The West Indies are in a position to knock off the number one ranked T20 International team in the world, England, with a win in the fourth T20I of their five-match series on Saturday.

After a 20-run victory on Wednesday, the Caribbean side now leads the series 2-1 with the chance to take an unassailable 3-1 lead on Saturday.

West Indies head coach Phil Simmons says that even with a series win in sight, he is focused on how the team is playing.

“Saturday, if we win the game we’ll win the series so yes, I’d be happy, but I’m happier now with the way that the players are taking on board how we want to play going forward,” Simmons said in a press conference today.

With the ICCT20 World Cup a few months away, the emphasis for the former Ireland and Afghanistan head coach is for the two-time champions to have a much-improved performance from the disaster of the 2021 ICC Men’s T20 Cricket World Cup in the UAE where they won only one of their five group matches and crashed out of the tournament.

“Winning as a whole is a great thing for any team so it’s something that we’re happy with, but for me, at this point in time, it’s about building back the team because at the end of the day, October is another T20 World Cup and, especially with our performances in the last one, we want to get back up to where we normally are. I’m looking at the quality of the cricket we’re playing and how we’re improving rather than just a series win,” Simmons said.

The former West Indies player also commented on Rovman Powell’s brilliant maiden T20 hundred.

“I think it was a brilliant innings from the start. The way he assessed the situation at the beginning is something that we’ve been talking about as a group and I’ve been looking forward to someone doing that in a match and he did that. We’re moving in the right direction,” Simmons added.

 

 

 

 

 

Legendary West Indies fast bowler, Sir Andy Roberts, insists all of the team’s shortcomings at the crease should not be blamed on coaches at the senior team level, as overall, more work needs to be put into developing the region’s young players.

On the back of a historic shock loss to Ireland in their most recent international One Day International (ODI) series, the team’s performances have come under the microscope even more than usual, particularly as it relates to the patchy performance of the batting line-up.

Against Ireland, the batsmen seemed technically incapable of dealing with either the moist conditions on the pitch or the craft of the Irish bowlers.  The team’s struggles have led some to question the work of head coach Phil Simmons and the team’s batting coaches, but while admitting that more needed to be done by the coach, Roberts insists the team’s troubles run a lot deeper.

“For what it is now, I don’t think I would blame the coach alone because of the (low) quality of our players coming out of the region,” Roberts told the Mason and Guest radio show.

“We have to put some emphasis on the coaches from our lower levels coming up because that is where you learn the skills of batting because most focus today is on batting.  I read where the captain said that the West Indies has a batting problem but we’ve been having a batting problem for years… we want to blame others at the top when this is a problem that comes from the lower level.”

 

West Indies senior Men’s head coach Phil Simmons says players must be more aware of situations ahead of the Betway T20 International Series against England.

“Each game has a situation. Every ball is a situation in the game, and we’ve got to be able to assess that situation and know how we have to play in that game. If you’re 20-3 you play differently than if you’re 40-0. These are the little situations that we need to highlight and win and that will take us to winning the game,” he said in a press conference on Tuesday.

Simmons also explained that the return of the West Indies to the pinnacle of world cricket will only come with a focus on development at all levels.

“Definitely things need to be changed at different levels. You don’t become bad batsmen at this level,” he said.

He continued on, saying that responsibility lies with coaches at all levels to see to the development of players in the region.

“You come up here thinking you are able to play up here, but things are not going the way they should do so there must be some sort of responsibility taken from the levels before us and that’s something that has to be addressed, generally, as an organization,” Simmons added.

With that said, Simmons also acknowledged that once players get to the international level, they also have a part to play.

“In saying that, the guys, when they come up here, need to fight harder. They need to put more effort into wanting to be the best in the world when they come up here,” he added.

The West Indies will play five T20 Internationals against England in Barbados starting on January 22.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

West Indies legend, Viv Richards, has called for there to be more accountability across the board when it comes to the affairs of the regional team, including the performances of coaches.

The West Indies men’s team, which is coached by former player Phil Simmons, has been plagued by poor performances in recent months.  At the T20 World Cup the team, who entered the tournament as defending champions, were less than inspiring and crashed out after finishing 5th in Group 1 after winning just one match and losing four.

The performance was followed by lopsided defeats in Sri Lanka for the Test team and Pakistan.  The Women’s team, who appointed former fast bowler Courtney Walsh two years ago after a string of poor results, have in the meantime won two of their last three series.

  “We’ve got to start calling on the coaches a bit more in my opinion for performances, and to have a level at some point regarding performances, where you’d say that last year we were here at that level and where we want to be next year, so I am looking for stuff like that sort of improvement,” Richards recently told the Good Morning Jojo radio program.

 “I think I am looking for that sort of improvement, which I am not seeing at the moment,” he said.

At the same time, the former player, known as the Master Blaster in his prime, also believes that there was also the need for more transparency and equality as it relates to players' selection based on fitness standards.

“There are times we play to people’s affairs and not overall in terms of the team in itself because no one or two or three individuals make up a team in itself. It’s about the solidness, and everyone being on board, and just how you dish out the treatment, I think it needs to be a little fairer in my opinion. It gives everyone an opportunity and where the fitness is concerned, that seems to be lacking for years now,” he said.

West Indies head coach Phil Simmons is expecting more energy and enthusiasm from a new-look squad as the team bowls off the year with series against Ireland and England.

The Caribbean team has endured a disappointing few months on the back of a disastrous showing at the T20 World Cup, followed by defeats in Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

 A few of the team’s most experienced players have retired following a lackluster showing at the World Cup and the team did not select a few other regulars for the tour of Pakistan.  Despite a 3-0 T20 series loss in Pakistan, Simmons was encouraged by the team’s fervor.

“The way we started in Pakistan is the way we want to play now, have a lot more energy, more enthusiasm,” Simmons told members of the media earlier this week.

“It's a young group of guys and we are trying to mould them and get them into a winning frame of mind.  We want to win, and we want to do everything that it takes to win,” he added.

The team will see the likes of Brandon King and Odean Smith returning a potential debut for Justin Greaves and spinner Gudakesh Motie set to earn a second cap.

 

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