As the group stage of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 comes to a close, the action will move to the next chapter in the event, the Super Eights, which will see eight remaining teams battle it out for four semi-final spots.

India (Group A), Australia (Group B), Afghanistan (Group C), West Indies (Group C), and South Africa (Group D) are the five teams who have qualified for the second round thus far.

India, Australia, and Afghanistan will feature in Group 1 of the next round, whereas West Indies and South Africa will feature in Group 2.

All of these sides have been unbeaten in their respective groups, and are shaping well ahead of the next round.

The second round commences in Antigua on June 19.

The following day will see the unbeaten India and Afghanistan face-off in Barbados in what looms as a crucial fixture prior to the knockout stages of the tournament. This will also be the first occasion on this tournament that India will play a contest in the Caribbean.

The rampant Afghans will look to make amends for their close loss to Australia at last year's ICC Men's Cricket World Cup when the two sides meet on June 22 in St Vincent. Back-to-back games against formidable opponents can overwhelm most sides but Rashid Khan’s team have shown an indomitable fighting spirit in the tournament thus far.

More crucial fixtures follow up in coming dates: with co-hosts West Indies taking on South Africa in their final Group 2 clash on June 23 in Antigua.

The Proteas have historically dominated the West Indies, but the tables were turned last month when the Men in Maroon swept the three-game T20I series between the two sides at home.

Another Men’s Cricket World Cup-centric encounter takes place in St Lucia, where finalists India will clash against the eventual winners Australia on June 24.

Antigua, Barbados, St Lucia, and St Vincent will host all 12 games in this round.

Fixtures

19 June: A2 v South Africa, North Sound, Antigua

19 June: B1 v West Indies, Gros Islet, St Lucia

20 June: Afghanistan v India, Bridgetown, Barbados

20 June: Australia v D2, North Sound, Antigua

21 June: B1 v South Africa, Gros Islet, St Lucia

21 June: A2 v West Indies, Bridgetown, Barbados

22 June: India v D2, North Sound, Antigua

22 June: Afghanistan v Australia, Arnos Vale, St Vincent

23 June: A2 v B1, Bridgetown, Barbados

23 June: West Indies v South Africa, North Sound, Antigua

24 June: Australia v India, Gros Islet, St Lucia

24 June: Afghanistan v D2, Arnos Vale, St Vincent

 

 

 

West Indies batsman Sherfane Rutherford rates his well-compiled half century against New Zealand at the ICC T20 World Cup on Wednesday as his best knock.

The 25-year-old came to the crease with the hosts teetering at 22-4 in the sixth over after bring put in to bat at the Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba.

On a pitch that he described as “tacky” and “spongy” in the post-match press conference, Rutherford took his time in the early part of his innings before accelerating to a top score of 68* to help the West Indies post a match-winning 149-9 from their allotted 20 overs.

Rutherford described the innings as perhaps the best of his career, so far.

“I will put it as my best knock. It’s a World Cup. This is my dream. I’ve always wanted to play in a World Cup and this one is going to stay close to my heart. Hopefully, I can continue to take out good innings like this for my team and for myself,” he said.

At the halfway point of the innings, the West Indies were 49-5 and Rutherford says head coach Daren Sammy’s advice was to bat time and take it deep.

“He was just telling me to take it deep. I was batting with Akeal (Hosein) so I told him to keep going but my role was to basically take it to the 15th or 16th over but after we lost wickets I just told myself to try and take it to the 20th over and try and maximize those last two overs which they had to make up with two bowlers,” he said.

The Guyanese hard-hitter was recently a part of the Indian Premier League with the Kolkata Knight Riders and, despite not getting a game, he says he has been using that time to prepare for situations like the one he faced on Wednesday.

“I pattern my game off these situations. Even before the World Cup, I try to put myself in positions in the nets where I have to bat properly and then have to excel in the end so I think it’s good to see that my plans and my work are coming to show,” he said.

He faced a similar situation when the West Indies found themselves 79-5 batting first in the third T20I against Australia in Perth in February.

Rutherford and Andre Russell put on 139 for the sixth wicket with Rutherford finishing 67* off 40 balls.

He says the main thing he took from that innings was the importance of giving himself time at the crease.

“The innings in Australia is one that I kept close to me and, even though it was a good innings, I try to pick a few things out of it. One of the few things was give myself time. It’s always a process and when you look too far ahead you can forget about the process so, for me, it was just ball after ball, give myself time, run singles and get myself ready so that in the back end I can make up,” he said.

Finally, Rutherford made mention of the crowd at the Brian Lara Stadium.

“When batting I try not to worry about the crowd. I just try to look at what’s in front of me and focus on the process but it’s good to have some support. It’s good to have the home crowd with us and hopefully they can keep supporting us,” he said.

The West Indies will next take on Afghanistan at the Daren Sammy Stadium on June 17.

 

 

 

 

 

 

India secured their place in the T20 World Cup Super 8s with a game to spare, after recovering from a slow start to see off the United States.

Suryakumar Yadav hit an unbeaten half-century as India successfully chased down their opponents' target of 111 for a seven-wicket victory - and their third win in as many Group A matches.

The tournament co-hosts also entered the contest with a perfect record from their opening two games, but endured a poor start as Arshdeep Singh claimed Shayan Jahangir and Andries Gous in the first over.

That left them at 3-2, but they managed to settle with Steven Taylor (24 from 30 balls) and Nitish Kumar (27 off 23) top-scoring as their side finished at 110-8.

However, the States made a purposeful start in the field. With the second ball, Virat Kohli was gone for a duck as Gous caught him from Saurabh Netravalkar, who also dismissed Rohit Sharma for just three.

Suryakumar (50 off 49 not out) stepped in and held the fort alongside Shivam Dube (31 off 45 not out), though India were still in danger of a potential shock, needing 35 off the final 30 balls.

Nevertheless, an untimely five-run penalty was awarded to them as the USA took longer than a minute between overs for the third time.

That swung the pendulum firmly in India's favour. Successive boundaries from Suryakumar eased the pressure as they saw out what was eventually a comfortable win.

Data Debrief: India through, but Kohli's struggles continue

It was not as comfortable as India would have hoped for but, nevertheless, they managed to get the job done, with Suryakumar leading the charge.

However, the form of Kohli will be a cause for concern. His dismissal for a golden duck means he has now scored just five runs in his nation's opening three matches.

The ninth edition of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup will see the winners of the 20-team tournament earn at least $2.45 million, the highest prize money in the history of the tournament, along with the trophy that they will lift at Kensington Oval in Barbados on 29 June.

The runners-up will receive at least $1.28 million, while the losing semi-finalists walk away with $787,500 each from the total, historic prize pot of $11.25 million.

The four teams that fail to make it out of the Super 8s will earn $382,500 each, while the teams placed ninth, 10th, 11th and 12th receive $247,500 each. Participants who finish 13th to 20th place will return $225,000.

And every team receives an additional $31,154 for each match they win barring the semi-finals and final.

The 55-match event will be played over 28 days, across nine venues in the West Indies and USA, making this the biggest ICC T20 World Cup ever.

The format of this year’s tournament will see 40 first round matches played before the top eight progress to the Super 8s. Four teams will then qualify for the semi-finals, which will be staged in Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana, ending with the final in Barbados where the 2024 men’s champions will be crowned.

ICC Chief Executive Geoff Allardice said: “This event is historic in so many ways so it is fitting that the prize money for players reflects that. Hundreds of millions of fans around the world will be entertained by the players in what we’re hoping to be an Out of This World event.”

 

In a nail-biting encounter, Namibia triumphed over Oman in a Super Over during their 2024 ICC T20 World Cup opener on Sunday night. After both teams were tied with scores of 109, Namibia outclassed Oman in the one-over eliminator, setting the stage for a memorable start to the tournament.

Despite being bundled out for 109, Oman mounted a dramatic comeback with the ball, pushing the match into the Super Over. However, Namibia, led by the composed and experienced David Wiese, dominated the Super Over to secure a crucial victory.

This match marked only the third time a men's T20 World Cup game has gone to a Super Over and the first since 2012. Wiese and Gerhard Erasmus racked up an impressive 21 runs against the seasoned Bilal Khan. Wiese then ensured Oman couldn't pull off another comeback, limiting them to just 10 runs.

On a challenging pitch where runs were hard to come by, Wiese began the Super Over in style, drilling a full delivery through the covers and then smashing a full toss for a six wide of long-on. Erasmus continued the onslaught, flick-sweeping for a boundary and squeezing a yorker past short third to post the highest score in a T20 World Cup Super Over.

Wiese then took control with the ball, conceding just two runs off his first two deliveries before dismissing Naseem Khushi with an edge onto the stumps. Oman managed only a single off the next ball, making the target unreachable, and Wiese closed out the win, becoming only the fourth player in men's T20Is to bat and bowl in a Super Over.

Namibia’s modest chase was spearheaded by Jan Frylinck, who brought the equation down to 18 runs needed off the last three overs. Mehran Khan began the 18th over with four byes, then had JJ Smit caught at long-on and bowled three consecutive dots to Wiese.

In the final over, with Namibia needing just five runs, Mehran bowled Frylinck off his pads for a 48-ball 45. He then trapped new batter Zane Green lbw and kept the pressure on, allowing only two runs from Wiese and nearly securing victory for Oman.

Namibia’s decision to bowl first paid off when Ruben Trumpelmann trapped Kashyap Prajapati lbw on the first ball. Trumpelmann then dismissed Oman captain Aqib Ilyas with a searing inswinging yorker and struck again in his next over, reducing Oman to 10 for 3.

Zeeshan Maqsood attempted to rebuild with a flurry of boundaries but fell to Bernard Scholtz. Namibia’s spinners, Scholtz and Erasmus, then stifled Oman’s scoring, bowling 44 consecutive deliveries without conceding a boundary.

Oman managed a late surge, with Ayaan Khan attacking Scholtz for a six. However, tight bowling from Wiese and Trumpelmann restricted Oman, with the latter finishing with figures of 4-21.

Bilal Khan provided Oman an early breakthrough, but Namibia navigated the powerplay cautiously. The pressure from Oman's spinners, particularly Ilyas who bowled a maiden, slowed the scoring rate. Despite dropped catches, Jan Frylinck anchored Namibia’s innings, helping take the game to the last over.

Having come so close, Oman will rue their missed chances. Meanwhile, Namibia, buoyed by Wiese’s heroics, will look to build on this thrilling victory as they progress in the T20 World Cup.

West Indies captain Rovman Powell acknowledged that his team has areas to improve following a less than convincing victory over Papua New Guinea (PNG) in their 2024 ICC T20 World Cup opener on Sunday. The match, held at Providence Stadium, saw the West Indies narrowly reach their target, scoring 137-5 with six balls to spare after restricting PNG to 136-8.

The win was largely due to a mature 42 from 27 deliveries by Player of the Match Roston Chase, along with notable contributions of 33 from Brandon King and 27 from Nicholas Pooran.

Powell was candid about his team's performance, giving credit to PNG for their strong showing. "Credit has to be given to PNG. I think their plans were simple and they played good cricket. I think PNG's score of 136 for 8 was a little, 10 or 15, too much. And as a bowling group, that's something we need to work on. They played smartly," he said.

He also praised Chase for his all-round contribution. "That was very good. Started from a bowling effort, I think he bowled pretty well. And coming at the end, when we were under pressure, coming there with composure, and to come out with a winning innings was great for us. I think we can be better in all three departments," Powell noted.

Chase, who was named Player of the Match for his unbeaten 42, expressed satisfaction with his performance and the team's victory. "I'm very pleased. To start the tournament with a win is always good. I had to take it home for the team, and I did it," he said.

Reflecting on his strategy during the match, Chase said, "I knew from our first innings bowling, it was always hard for batsmen coming in to start. I gave myself time, backed myself. I've been putting in a lot of hard work so I just backed my preparation."

Chase also acknowledged the efforts of Papua New Guinea. "They're not an A-list team, but we don't want to take any team lightly in the World Cup. We came out with the mentality that we were playing Australia or India. We started slowly but we had a chat at the halfway stage and the guys just wanted to rally and put the best foot forward."

The West Indies will look to address the issues highlighted by their captain as they prepare for their next match. Powell's candid reflection on the team's performance indicates a commitment to improvement, with hopes of delivering a stronger showing in the upcoming games.

Despite the less than flawless victory, starting the tournament with a win provides a solid foundation for the West Indies. With key players like Chase demonstrating resilience and maturity, the team aims to build on this performance and strive for excellence as they progress through the World Cup.

 

Two-time T20 World Cup winner Andre Russell delivered a stirring speech to his teammates on Saturday, just hours before their World Cup opener against Papua New Guinea in Guyana this Sunday morning. The 36-year-old all-rounder, fresh off his 2024 IPL title win with the Kolkata Knight Riders, shared his excitement and motivation with the squad, hoping to ignite a fire that would carry them through the tournament.

Russell’s words came after a significant moment in the team’s preparations: he was presented with his official playing kit by team captain Rovman Powell, who wished him the best of fortune during the competition. This gesture highlighted the respect and camaraderie within the team, setting the stage for Russell’s heartfelt address.

“I am super-excited to be a part of another World Cup and it’s my first time playing at home in a World Cup event, so I think it’s going to be big for all of us,” Russell began, his enthusiasm palpable. “It would mean so much to the Caribbean people and so much to us moving forward in our careers to win a home World Cup.”

Emphasizing the importance of the event, Russell continued, “It’s bigger than how we look at it but just leave everything out there. We know the conditions better than everyone else; that’s a big plus for us. I’m excited to be here and with this, we can show the world cricket is what we live for here in the Caribbean. And for all of us coming together, with so many playing first-class cricket here in the Caribbean, and we are the best 15, let’s not take that for granted.”

Russell’s message was one of unity and seizing the moment. “Let’s rock together and achieve something great,” he urged. “We have everything in this room, support staff, everything. Everyone is backing us. Let’s make it count.”

With such inspirational words from one of the team’s most experienced and successful players, the squad is undoubtedly motivated to make their mark in the tournament. As they face Papua New Guinea this morning, the Caribbean side will be looking to start their campaign with a strong performance, driven by the passion and determination that Russell embodies.

The stage is set, the players are ready, and the hopes of a region rest on their shoulders. With Russell’s rallying cry echoing in their ears, the team steps onto the field, ready to make history.

Match time for the West Indies/PNG match is 10:30 am Eastern Caribbean time/9:30 am in Jamaica.

The 2024 ICC T20 World Cup will get underway on Saturday, June 1 with an exciting clash between North American neighbours the USA and Canada at the Grand Prairie Stadium in Dallas, Texas.

This will be the second appearance at a T20 World Cup for the Canadians while this will be the joint-hosts first time appearing at a T20 World Cup.

The teams most recently played a five-match T20I series from April 7-13 in the USA with the hosts coming out 4-0 winners.

The top run-scorer in that series was Jamaican-born Canada batsman Aaron Johnson with 124 runs in four innings at an average of 31 and a strike rate of 144.18.

Aaron Johnson was the top run-scorer when these two teams last met.

The next two best batsmen were India-born USA skipper Monank Patel and Steven Taylor, both of the USA, who finished with 120 runs and 115 runs in three innings each.

Overall, Patel has 441 runs in 25 T20Is at an average of 22.05 including a pair of fifties.

Taylor, in 24 T20Is, has 742 runs at an average of 41.22 with a hundred and four fifties. He can also contribute with ball in hand having taken 11 wickets at an economy of 5.32 during his 24 games.

Steven Taylor averages 41.22 for the USA in T20Is.

South Africa-born ISA batsman Andries Gous was the only other batsman to score more than 100 runs in the series with 11 runs in three innings.

Gous has appeared in just six T20Is, scoring 161 runs at an average of 26.83 with two fifties.

Another key player for the Americans will be former New Zealand all-rounder Corey Anderson. Although he didn't light the world on fire when the two teams last met, his ability to hit the ball a long way and send down sone overs of left arm pace could be vital to the American charge.

As far as wickets go, former India Under-19 representative Harmeet Singh finished with six wickets in four games for the hosts while South Africa-born Shadley van Schalkwyk finished with similar returns for the USA.

Former India U-19 spinner Harmeet Singh.

Canada’s best bowler in the series was Pakistan-born Saad Bin Zafar with five wickets from four games.

All these players will be crucial to the chances of either team kicking off the World Cup with a win.

The hosts should also come into the game with a world of confidence after producing a 2-1 series victory over Bangladesh from May 21-25 in the USA.

The Canadians won their only warm-up fixture ahead of the showpiece event with a 63-run win over Nepal in Dallas on May 27 while the Americans have had both their scheduled warm-up games abandoned without a ball being bowled.

The World Cup is scheduled to run from June 1-29 in the West Indies and the USA.

 

In a powerful display of batting prowess, the West Indies sent a strong message to their T20 World Cup competitors with a commanding 35-run victory over a depleted Australian side in their final warm-up match at Queen's Park Oval on Friday night.

Blistering half-centuries from Nicholas Pooran and Rovman Powell highlighted the West Indies' innings, propelling them to a formidable total of 257 for 4 in their 20 overs. Pooran was particularly destructive, smashing 75 from just 25 balls, including five sixes in a mere six balls against Australian spinners Ashton Agar and Adam Zampa.

Powell continued the onslaught with a quick-fire 52 from 25 balls, ensuring the West Indies maintained an aggressive tempo throughout their innings. Sherfane Rutherford added the finishing touches with an unbeaten 47 from just 18 deliveries.

Australia, struggling with a short-handed team for the second consecutive match, fielded only nine players, supplemented by coaches and selectors acting as substitute fielders. The absence of key players and the late arrival of allrounder Marcus Stoinis, whose kit was delayed in Miami, further hampered their performance.

Despite the challenges, Nathan Ellis showed promise with the ball, claiming 2 for 42 from his four overs. However, the Australian bowlers were otherwise put to the sword, with Zampa conceding 62 runs and Josh Hazlewood 55 in their respective spells.

Sent in to bat, West Indies got off to a quick start with Shai Hope and Johnson Charles laying the foundation. Pooran then took centre-stage, hitting the first three legal deliveries he faced for sixes and maintaining a high strike rate. His half-century came off just 16 balls, demonstrating his aggressive intent. Although Borovec dropped a catch off Pooran, it didn’t prove too costly as Bailey managed to dismiss him shortly after.

Powell continued the momentum with a brutal assault on Zampa and Agar, who conceded 120 runs between them. Tim David, in a rare role as a bowler, managed to be the least expensive with figures of 1 for 40 from four overs.

Chasing 258, Australia’s reply was spirited but ultimately fell short at 222 for 7. Josh Inglis top-scored with a brisk 55 off 30 balls, but the lack of depth in the batting lineup was evident. In a surprising move, Agar opened the batting and contributed 28 off 13 balls, but the rest of the lineup failed to capitalize.

David Warner, who missed the recent Australia-West Indies Test series, was bowled for 15 by Shamar Joseph after a brief flurry of boundaries. Mitchell Marsh, playing in his preferred No.3 position, was dismissed cheaply, and while David and Matthew Wade managed 25 runs each, they couldn't keep pace with the required run rate.

Gudakesh Motie was instrumental in stemming the flow of runs during the middle overs, finishing with figures of 2 for 31, including the key wickets of Inglis and David. Ellis provided some late resistance with a quick 39, sharing a 51-run stand with Zampa, who remained unbeaten on 21.

The West Indies' dominant performance, spearheaded by Pooran and Powell, sets a confident tone ahead of the T20 World Cup.

The T20 World Cup kicks off on Saturday, and the West Indies' emphatic win serves as a strong warning to their rivals as they aim for glory on the global stage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

West Indies captain Rovman Powell expects a challenging group stage in the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup but insists his team is ready for anything thrown at them.

The two-time champions will do battle with rapidly improving Afghanistan, perennial title-challengers New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Uganda in Group C. The top two teams in the group will advance to the Super Eights.

They will open their account in the World Cup against Papua New Guinea at Providence in Guyana on Sunday.

“All 20 teams in the World Cup are good teams. I think we have a group that will give us some challenge. It’s T20 cricket and on a day, that is when it’s played, regardless of how strong your squad is,” Powell told the media at a training session at the UWI SPEC in St. Augustine on Wednesday.

 “I think we have a strong enough squad to fight off any battles that these teams give us,” Powell added.

West Indies will round off their preparation for the tournament a final warm-up game on Thursday against likely title-challengers Australia, at the Queen’s Park Oval.

The outing will give Powell and the players who missed the recent three-match series against South Africa because of commitments in the Indian Premier League, the chance to get some time in the middle before their opening game.

The West Indians produced some excellent cricket in that series to come out 3-0 winners and Powell says it’s important to keep that momentum going.

“It’s important that we keep on winning. Winning builds a very good morale in the team, so that is always very good,” he said.

One important player that the hosts will be without for the World Cup is all rounder Jason Holder who picked up an injury and has been replaced in the squad by left-arm quick Obed McCoy.

“Obed is a suitable replacement. It’s a good four overs that he comes with; four overs with a lot of variation and he also comes with the left-handed factor. It’s important for him to just come on and be himself,” Powell said.

The skipper also commented on the selection of fast bowler Shamar Joseph for his first World Cup.

“When we were selecting the team, there were other fast bowlers in the Caribbean that we could have selected but he comes with a little bit of X-Factor, a little bit of cutting edge,” Powell said.

“He’s faster than the other fast bowlers around the region. He’s a little bit fitter than the other fast bowlers around the region, so we think it’s an opportunity now for us to give him a go in a World Cup like this. With his exploits in Test cricket, he should be going into it pretty confident,” he added.

The ICC T20 World Cup has led to significant scheduling conflicts, causing disruptions for the Regional UWI Volleyball Games 2024, an intercampus and club volleyball competition set to begin today, Friday, May 24, 2024, at the St Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies in Trinidad.

The St Augustine campus gymnasium, designated as an official training venue for the T20 World Cup, became unavailable for the final day of the volleyball tournament due to strict security protocols. This unexpected change, combined with the last-minute unavailability of the UWI Cave Hill male team, forced the organizers to condense the competition from three days to two.

"The venue is an official training location for the ICC World Cup, and the security protocols have strict proximity rules," explained Cheryl Daley, Competitions Coordinator. "That means the gymnasium is no longer available on Sunday as was previously the case. We were able to adjust without too much upheaval since the Barbados male team dropped out, which reduced the number of games to be played overall."

This tournament marks the first inter-campus regional volleyball competition since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, featuring club and university teams from Jamaica, Trinidad, and Barbados. The new schedule compresses the games into two intense days of play, a change welcomed by Mona Head Coach Dr. Ricardo Chong.

"It just makes it all the more exciting," Dr. Chong said. "Now we have two intense days of play which will really put our teams to the test. Both the UWI intercollegiate and club teams are top teams in Jamaica, and now we will see how we match up against other islands."

Prominent Trinidad & Tobago volleyball clubs Glamorgan, Big SEPOS, and West Side Stars are confirmed for the two-day competition, which will be held at UWI’s Sports and Physical Education Centre gymnasium in St Augustine. The games will run from Friday, May 24 to Saturday, May 25, 2024, kicking off at 1 PM Jamaica time.

Despite the scheduling challenges, the condensed tournament promises to deliver thrilling volleyball action, showcasing the resilience and competitive spirit of the participating teams.

 

 

An illustrious commentary panel featuring cricketing legends will provide insights and analysis, ensuring the fans get to experience the game in all its glory from the nine host locations across the USA and West Indies from June 1-29.

Renowned broadcasters Ravi Shastri, Nasser Hussain, Ian Smith, Mel Jones, Harsha Bhogle, and Ian Bishop will lead a dynamic team of commentators for this year's ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.

Joining them is Aaron Finch, who lifted the trophy in 2021, alongside other former T20 World Cup winners such as Dinesh Karthik, Ebony Rainford-Brent, Samuel Badree, Carlos Brathwaite, Steve Smith, and Lisa Sthalekar.

In addition, previous ICC global event winners who know the triumph of lifting a World Cup—Ricky Ponting, Sunil Gavaskar, Matthew Hayden, Ramiz Raja, Eoin Morgan, Tom Moody and Wasim Akram—will be offering their expert insights throughout the event.

American commentator James O’Brien better known as Jomboy will be making his World Cup debut as he aims to try and add context around the games for our American audiences.

Other stalwarts joining the team include Dale Steyn, Graeme Smith, Michael Atherton, Waqar Younis, Simon Doull, Shaun Pollock and Katey Martin.

The lineup across the US and the Caribbean is completed with some of the world's leading cricket broadcasters, including Mpumelelo Mbangwa, Natalie Germanos, Danny Morrison, Alison Mitchell, Alan Wilkins, Brian Murgatroyd, Mike Haysman, Ian Ward, Athar Ali Khan, Russel Arnold, Niall O’Brien, Kass Naidoo, and former West Indies skipper Daren Ganga.

In a heartfelt appeal, West Indies' star all-rounder Andre Russell has revealed that he made one last attempt to convince his Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) teammate and fellow West Indian, Sunil Narine, to reconsider his decision to sit out of the ICC T20 World Cup 2024. Despite Narine's scintillating form in the Indian Premier League (IPL) this season, the enigmatic spinner has steadfastly opted out of the prestigious tournament, which is set to bowl off in the Caribbean and the USA on June 1.

Narine, who retired from international cricket in 2023, has been instrumental for KKR this season, excelling with both bat and ball. However, his last appearance for the West Indies was back in 2019, and his return to the international fold seems increasingly unlikely. This hasn't stopped Russell and others from trying to sway his decision.

Speaking to Star Sports, Russell expressed his admiration for Narine's performance and his desire to see him don the West Indies jersey one more time. "I am so happy for Sunil, to be honest," Russell said. "I think when GG (Gautam Gambhir) came back, he said that we needed him (Narine) to open the batting. Batting him at No. 9 or No. 10, we really had no use of him in the backend. Given the opportunity, he has taken it and he is doing a good job for us. Getting close to 500 runs and picking up 16 wickets is no joke. It just goes to show his true all-round capabilities. I am very, very happy for him."

Russell highlighted the impact Gambhir's strategic decisions had on Narine's performance. "GG giving him an opportunity as well, that’s a good decision for the team," he added.

When asked if Narine should play in the T20 World Cup as West Indies co-hosts the event, Russell was unequivocal. "I definitely think so," he said. "I was trying to get in his head before the squad was announced. For like two weeks straight, me and Rutherford kept talking to him and told him, ‘Hey, please, just for this World Cup, then you can retire, do whatever you want to do’. I think he has made a decision and I respect his decision as well."

Despite Narine's firm stance on his retirement, Russell's final plea underscores the respect and admiration his teammates have for him. "If he could change his decision, the whole West Indies will be happy," Russell concluded.

Earlier, West Indies captain and Rajasthan Royals batter Rovman Powell also attempted to persuade Narine to play in the World Cup, but his efforts were in vain. As the West Indies prepare to co-host the T20 World Cup, the absence of a player of Narine's calibre will undoubtedly be felt, but his legacy and contributions to the team remain indelible.

As teams for the ICC T20 Cricket World Cup begin arriving in the Caribbean and the USA for their final preparations, the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees (CANOC) has thrown its full support behind the West Indies T20 cricket team. The tournament, set to bowl off on June 1, marks a significant moment in cricket history, coming on the heels of the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) decision to include cricket in the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

Cricket fans across the Caribbean and the USA are eagerly anticipating the T20 World Cup, hopeful for a strong showing from the West Indies cricket team. CANOC President Keith Joseph emphasized the importance of rallying behind the team, stating, “Let’s put all of our energies in rallying around the West Indies.”

Joseph highlighted the historic significance of this World Cup, noting its unique timing post the IOC's decision. “This year’s edition of the Cricket World Cup holds a special place in the history of the sport, if only because it comes after the decision of the IOC to agree to the request by the organizers of the Summer Olympics of 2028 to include cricket on the sports programme,” he remarked.

The 2028 Olympic Games will feature cricket, but only teams entered by their respective National Olympic Committees (NOCs) will be eligible to participate. This excludes a unified West Indies team, as there is no West Indies Olympic Committee. Joseph acknowledged this challenge, drawing a parallel to the era of the West Indies Federation (1958-1962), which had unified participation in various sports.

To address this, the ICC, Cricket West Indies, and CANOC have been in discussions with PanAm Sports and Centro Caribe Sports about including cricket in the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games and the Pan American Games of 2026 and 2027, respectively. Further discussions are planned with the organizers of the South American, Central American, and Caribbean Games to consider cricket's inclusion in their sports programs.

Joseph urged cricket associations around the Caribbean to join their respective NOCs. He stated, “Our NOCs and cricket associations must work together to get it right.” While recognizing the challenges and increased expenses, he emphasized the significant opportunities. “There are immeasurable opportunities that would be open to those with whom the initiative would find favour,” Joseph added.

Cricket has deep roots in the Caribbean, having been brought by colonizers and mastered by the region’s youth to achieve global excellence. Joseph called for the region to embrace this new era, saying, “Participation in multisport Games is another frontier whose barriers to inclusion have been broken by the organisers of LA2028 and which we in the Caribbean must all embrace.”

An important starting point for this new era is the strong support for the ICC T20 Cricket World Cup. Regardless of the tournament's outcome, the collective energy and unity behind the West Indies team are crucial. Joseph concluded, “Let’s take the next compulsory steps to build the individual teams that will want to participate in LA2028.”

As the T20 World Cup unfolds, the Caribbean community stands united, cheering for their team and looking forward to a bright future in cricket, both in regional competitions and on the Olympic stage. CANOC's support for the West Indies T20 team is not just about this World Cup but about embracing a future where Caribbean cricket can shine in every international arena.

 

 

 

 

The Afghanistan Cricket Board has appointed former West Indies allrounder Dwayne Bravo as their bowling consultant for the 2024 T20 World Cup, to be held in the Caribbean and the USA from June 1-29.

Afghanistan have already arrived in St Kitts and Nevis and are expected to begin a ten-day preparatory camp, during which Bravo will join the team.

Bravo, part of the two-time T20 World Cup-winning West Indies side, retired from international cricket after the 2021 T20 World Cup but continues to play in T20 leagues around the world.

Earlier this year, he featured for eventual champions MI Emirates in the IL T20. He is currently the leading wicket-taker in T20 cricket with 625 wickets in 573 games.

Bravo is also the bowling coach of five-time IPL champions Chennai Super Kings, a position he took over after retiring from the IPL in December 2022.

Afghanistan play their first warm-up game against Oman on May 29 followed by the second one on May 31 against Scotland.

At the World Cup, Afghanistan are placed in Group C alongside West Indies, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Uganda. They start their campaign against Uganda on June 5 in Providence.

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