West Indies batting great Brian Lara is among a three-member group of independent professionals named by Cricket West Indies (CWI) to conduct a comprehensive review of the early exit by the West Indies Men’s team from the recent ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia.

CWI on Wednesday announced that the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Review Group will undertake a holistic assessment of all aspects of the team’s preparation and performance at the global tournament. 

Along with Lara, who is also a current IPL T20 head coach, the panel also includes international cricket coach, South African Mickey Arthur and Justice Patrick Thompson Jr., a High Court Judge at the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, who will serve as Chair of the group that has already begun their work.

 “CWI is fortunate to have such a knowledgeable and totally independent panel agree to serve West Indies Cricket under challenging circumstances. I am especially grateful for their commitment to lend some of their valuable time to this important review project," said CWI President Ricky Skerritt.

"t is vital that players, coaches, administrators, and all of us who love West Indies cricket, recognize that creating a sustainable learning culture, throughout the organization, is a prerequisite for player growth and team improvement. Emotion-based and knee-jerk type decisions have failed CWI repeatedly in the past. I am confident that this independent World Cup review process will produce findings and learnings that should be of great benefit to our cricket system going forward.”

The West Indies team failed to qualify for the Super12s phase (second round) after losing unexpectedly to lower ranked teams, Scotland and Ireland. The losses caused great disappointment and frustration among all West Indies cricket stakeholders. The Group B qualifier round was played at Bellerive Oval in Tasmania where the team achieved their only victory over Zimbabwe, a team that qualified ahead of West Indies by defeating both Scotland and Ireland. 

 

 India head coach Rahul Dravid has insisted the country does not want to end up in the same position as West Indies cricket following an unceremonious exit from the T20 World Cup, at the hands of England, on Wednesday.

The 2019 champions managed to muster very little resistance in the semi-final, where England cruised to a 10-wicket win after the East Asian team made 168 for 6.  The West Indies were themselves meekly dumped out of the tournament but after losing to two associate teams sotland and Ireland in the first round.

Performances at the tournament were not, however, what the former batting star was referring to, but instead the issue of India players potentially facing a disadvantage from not being allowed to play in other T20 league’s around the world.

For his part, the coach conceded that it might be a disadvantageous but believes it is a necessity to protect the quality of India’s cricket.

“There is no doubt that England players have come and played in this tournament(Big Bash T20).  It’s tough, it’s very difficult vor Indian cricket because a lot of these tournaments happen right at the peak of our season.  I think it’s a huge challenge for us.  A lot of our boys do miss out on the opportunity of playing in these leagues, but its up to the BCCI to make that decision,” Dravid said.

“And with the kind of demand there would be for Indian players… if you allowed them to play in these leagues, we won't have domestic cricket. Our domestic cricket, our Ranji Trophy would be finished, and that would mean Test cricket would be finished. We have to be very careful; we have to understand that Indian cricket faces or BCCI faces in a situation like this," he added.

“A lot of boys are asked to play leagues in the middle of our season, we have seen what it has done to West Indian cricket, and I definitely don't want Indian cricket to go that way. It would affect Ranji Trophy and Test cricket and Indian boys playing Test cricket is pretty important for the Test game as well, I would think,” Dravid said.

Sir Vivian Richards has questioned the commitment of the current crop of West Indies players and has expressed his disappointment at the team’s performance and early exit from the 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia.

Former West Indies captain Kieron Pollard has expressed disappointment with the team’s unceremonious exit rom the T20 World Cup but believes it adds some perspective to criticism directed at the unit he led one year ago.

Pollard was captain of the team at the previous edition of the tournament, which ended in a similarly disastrous fashion.  On that occasion, however, the team, which consisted of veteran 30-somethings Pollard, Dwayne Bravo, Lendl Simmons, Andre Russell, and 40-something-year-old Chris Gayle, was criticized for being too old.

Pollard, who retired from international cricket earlier this year, however, believes the sub-par display at this year’s tournament should also serve as a cautionary tale for selecting teams with too little experience.

“We have a young captain, we have young players, guys who have played only a handful of T20 cricket and now they are in the World Cup.  When I look back at it, I sit back and I have a smile on my face because I remember some of the things that we said around last year this time when some individuals weren’t selected,” Pollard told Trinidad and Tobago radio.

“I just had to remind these people that there was a World Cup we were going to and another bilateral series.  Now some of these individuals get a chance to play in the World Cup and again look what has happened. It's no fault of theirs,” Pollard added.

"When we tried to protect them and let people understand they were not ready and for that we were lambasted.  There were a lot of things that were said that we are very derogatory at times.  It’s a sad day for West Indies cricket and all of us.”

 

 

    

Cricket West Indies President Ricky Skerritt promised a “thorough post-mortem” after the West Indies elimination from the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia on Thursday.

The team entered their final game in the qualifying round needing a win against Ireland to advance to the super 12s but were handily beaten by nine-wickets.

“I am deeply disappointed with the performance results of our team in Australia and I appreciate the sense of utter frustration that is being experienced by many,” Skerritt said in a statement on Friday.

The team, once again, showed an inability to play spin bowling, with Ireland’s spin duo of Gareth Delany and Simi Singh combining to bowl six overs for just 27 runs, grabbing four wickets in the process.

“The ongoing inability of our batsmen to prevail over opposing slow bowling continued to be an obvious weakness in Australia, and untimely shoe selection seems to be deeply embedded in the batting culture of our senior team,” Skerritt said.

The statement continues: “However, I want to ensure stakeholders that a thorough post-mortem will be carried out on all aspects of our World Cup preparation and performance, and that solutions will be found in keeping with CWI’s strategy to improve the quality and sustainability of cricket on all fronts, and in all formats. West Indies cricket is bigger than any one individual or event, and continues to need the input and support of all stakeholders.”

West Indies T20 captain Nicholas Pooran believes a bitterly disappointing end to the ICC Men's T20 World Cup should serve as a learning experience for the team.

On Friday, a dominant half-century from veteran opener Paul Stirling put an end to the campaign of the Caribbean team, in the first round of the tournament.  Stirling’s 66 from 48 deliveries led the Irish to a resounding 9-wicket win with 15 balls remaining and a spot in the Super-12.

The result confirmed a far fall for the West Indies, the two-time champions of the event lost two of three matches to teams who came through the qualification phase.  Once again, the Windies struggled with the bat on what looked like a fair surface, limping to 146 for 5 in their 20 overs, before Ireland easily moved down the total, with a little application, proving there were no demons in the pitch.

"It’s obviously a learning experience.  We have disappointed our fans back home and most importantly disappointed ourselves,” Pooran said following the match.

“It’s definitely hurting.  I definitely disappointed the guys in how I performed as well but we live to see another day,” he added.

In continuation of a general theme in the format this year, the team continued to find runs at the crease hard to come by and were well bogged down by the Ireland strategy.  Brandon King ended the innings unbeaten for the West Indies on 62 from 48.

“We haven’t batted well in this tournament at all.  On a really good batting surface coming out here and making 145 it was always difficult to ask the bowlers to defend that on this track.”

West Indies all-rounder Jason Holder has rejected claims the team is missing the impact of some of its most explosive players, following a shock opening-day loss to Scotland.

For the first time in decades the team heading into a tournament, without the likes of some of its most experienced T20 campaigners with the likes of Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, and Andre Russell no longer counted among their numbers.

Despite that fact, however, Holder insists the team has plenty of quality at its disposal.

“I don’t think we are missing anyone, I think we have every tool that we need in this dressing room,” Holder said.

In Sunday’s opening Group B encounter, the team suffered a shocking 42-run defeat at the hands of Scotland.  The match almost certainly put West Indies in a must-win situation against world number 11th- ranked Zimbabwe, with only the top two teams from the group.

Against Scotland, the team put in a creditable performance with the ball as Alzarri Joseph and Holder himself each claimed two wickets.  With the bat, however, the team was once again found wanting.  As has often been the case it was spin that proved the undoing of the Windies at the crease.  With Mark Watt and Michael Leask leading the way for the Scots, the Windies were bundled out for 118, with only Holder again making an impact with 38 from 33.

For their part, Zimbabwe were impressive in their opener against Ireland, taking the encounter by 31 runs and Holder knows it will take a special effort. 

“We are just going to have to dig deep.  There is no other way to really put it, we just have to dig deep and bring it together,” Holder added.

The West Indies will face Zimbabwe at 3:00 am on Wednesday.

“There’s no doubt that we have what it takes” was the message from West Indies all-rounder Jason Holder ahead of his team’s must-win game against Zimbabwe at the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia on Wednesday.

The Windies are in a must-win situation after suffering an embarrassing 42-run defeat at the hands of Scotland on Sunday, leaving them at the foot of Group B needing wins in their last two games to move on to the Super 12s.

“Obviously, we had a tough start yesterday,” said the former West Indies Test and ODI skipper in a pre-match press conference on Monday.

“We’re all disappointed with the performance we had but I think the most important thing we have to do now is to come together and try to find solutions. There’s no doubt that we have what it takes to turn it around and it’s all about hitting the ground running against Zimbabwe,” he added.

The Zimbabweans will enter the game on a high after getting a comprehensive 31-run win over Ireland in their first game, also on Sunday.

“They’re a very good cricket team. We’ve played against them quite a bit in the recent past and they’ve been more and more competitive. They’re on a bit of a win streak as well so we’re expecting a highly competitive game; one of the hardest games we’ll have in the competition.”

The first game saw the Caribbean team struggle with the bat, being bowled out for 118 in just 18.3 overs in pursuit 161.

Better situational awareness and the forming of partnerships were Holder's answers when asked about possible solutions for the team's batting struggles.

 “We’ve got to be a little more situationally aware and try to build partnerships. Partnerships are key in any cricket game.”

“The situation of the game will determine how we play. If that requires that we go for boundaries then we’ll go for boundaries but if it requires that we have to knock it around for a bit, we’ll make that adjustment.”

The game is scheduled to start at 3:00 am Jamaica Time (4:00 am ECT).

 

 

 

 

Nicholas Pooran joined the other captains on Saturday to launch the Big Show and the stage is now set for the marquee cricket event of the year. West Indies skipper was among the 16 men in charge as they made history, coming together Melbourne, Australia – one of the world’s iconic sporting cities. This was the first time all captains came together at an ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.

The Captains’ Day marks the start of the eighth edition of the event that promises to keep more than a billion cricket fans across the globe on the edge of their seats from start to finish. Pooran is charged with leading the West Indies as they go in search of an unprecedented third title. Daren Sammy was at the helm in 2012 and 2016 when the West Indies lifted the trophy – making them the only team to win the coveted title twice – a rich legacy.

Pooran told the audience: “To be honest, I don’t feel like there’s a lot of pressure … we believe that we are a new group of guys, yes, we are new when it comes to T20 cricket. We start at the bottom … think we have the toughest way to the World Cup, and the guys understand that. I keep telling them it may be a blessing in disguise for us to start in the qualifiers first. Obviously everyone knows when you want something you have to work really hard for it.” He added: “But yes, we want to qualify, and obviously there's some pressure, as well, but the guys are not thinking about that. We just want to focus on ourselves and try to play the best cricket we can.”

The big event gets underway on Sunday at 3pm local time when Sri Lanka face Namibia at Kardinia Park Stadium in Geelong in Group A. It will be followed by the United Arab Emirates against the Netherlands at 7pm local time. This marks the first of 45 matches over 28 days with the champions to be crowned at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on 13 November.

West Indies will bowl off their campaign on Monday against Ireland at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart. First ball is 3pm local time (12 midnight Eastern Caribbean/11pm Jamaica). The two teams are in Group B alongside Zimbabwe and Scotland. The two top teams in the preliminary round will advance to the Super12s stage of the event.

 

 

Legendary West Indies fast bowler Curtly Ambrose has expressed surprise at the unusual circumstances that have led to the dropping of explosive batsman Shimron Hetmyer ahead of the team’s campaign for the upcoming T20 World Cup.

According to a release issued by Cricket West Indies (CWI), which roiled the cricketing world on Monday, the body opted to replace Hetmyer with Shamarh Brooks after the player missed a rescheduled flight, having been advised of the consequences of doing so.

The release stated that the player's original flight was changed from Saturday to Monday due to family reasons but did not mention if Hetmyer had given a reason for being unable to catch the second flight.

“I must say I am a bit surprised because who wouldn’t want to play in the World Cup tournament and who wouldn’t want to represent their country,” Ambrose told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“What I heard in the media is that he had some family issues.  So, I take it that if you are going to miss playing for your country, or playing at the World Cup then he has some serious issues to deal with.  I reckon that if that’s the case, you want to ensure that whatever issues he has with his family are being sorted, so he has to miss the World Cup.  I wish him well.”

 

West Indies white-ball Captain Nicholas Pooran on Tuesday gave his first reaction to the absence of left-hander Shimron Hetmyer from the squad preparing for their series against Australia and the subsequent ICC T20 World Cup.

Hetmyer was originally named in the 15-man squad for the Australia series and the World Cup before being replaced by Shamarh Brooks on Monday.

The Guyanese batsman, who recently captained the Guyana Amazon Warriors to a playoff appearance in the Caribbean Premier League, was scheduled to travel to Australia to join the squad on Saturday before informing CWI that he would be unable to make the flight.

He was then rebooked for a flight on Monday before, once again, informing the CWI that he wouldn’t be able to make it. CWI’s selection panel then unanimously voted to replace him with Brooks. Before scheduling the Monday flight, he was informed that failure to make the flight would leave CWI no choice but to replace him in the squad.

“To be honest, that’s not my focus at the moment,” Pooran said in a press conference on Tuesday.

“The decision has been made, there are consequences for your actions. At the moment, I just want to focus on why we’re here and how we’re going to achieve our goals. Obviously, we planned with him but, unfortunately, he’s not here and we have to plan differently now,” he added.

“He’s definitely an experienced cricketer,” was Pooran’s reaction when Australian journalists questioned him about Hetmyer’s replacement in the squad, Shamarh Brooks.

“He’s been in our white-ball set up for the last year and has been doing fantastic. He had a really good CPL as well. He has a vital role to play for us,” he added.

Brooks is fresh off a fantastic CPL playoffs where he had scores of 47, 109* and 47 to help the Jamaica Tallawahs win their third CPL title.

 

 

Former West Indies fast bowler Tony Gray has questioned the selection of left-arm pacer Sheldon Cottrell and leg-spinner Yannic Cariah for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup in Australia.

“His involvement in T20 cricket has been non-existent,” Gray said of Cariah on the Mason & Guest radio show in Barbados on Tuesday.

The 30-year-old Trinidadian made his One-Day International debut for the Windies in the recently concluded series against New Zealand in Barbados last month.

“With Cariah, I think the selectors are assessing him on the couple of games he played against New Zealand but those were 50-over games. Where are you going to bat Cariah? He’s a very intelligent player, hard-working. I had him at the Under-19 level and I had to stop him a few times because he would be the one that would over-train and put too much pressure on himself,” added Gray, who represented the region in five Tests and 25 ODIs from 1985-1991.

Cariah has played four T20 matches in his career, the last coming six years ago.

Regarding Cottrell, Gray pointed to his fitness as his main question mark heading into Australia.

“I don’t think Cottrell has been fit enough in recent times to warrant a place on the West Indies team.  When you look at Cottrell in the last 50-over tournament, he was the player of the tournament for the West Indian people. When we look at Cottrell then, he was extremely fit. He was not only brilliant with the ball, but he was also brilliant in the field and took some stunning catches,” Gray said.

“The point I’m trying to make about Cottrell is that if he’s not playing consistently, I’m not sure that he’s going to fare well. We understand that he’s going to be playing on bouncier tracks in Australia and that he has different types of deliveries, but I’ve not seen him enough in recent times to make a determination on his fitness,” he added.

Cottrell has taken 48 wickets in 43 T20 Internationals since his debut in 2014. In the 2022 CPL, he took five wickets in six matches for the St. Kitts & Nevis Patriots.

 

Barbadian All-rounder Jason Holder has warned his West Indian teammates against complacency in the qualifying round for the ICC T20 World Cup scheduled to commence October 15 in Australia.

The Windies, who won the tournament in 2012 and 2016, will face Scotland, Zimbabwe and Ireland in Group B with the top two teams advancing to the Super 12.

"We've got a task to uphold in terms of qualifying for the main round," Holder said.

"More or less, we have to focus on the qualifier. Ireland, Scotland and Zimbabwe by no means are pushovers. We've got to take it as seriously as we possibly can and just make sure we get into the next phase of the tournament."

Holder, entering his third T20 World Cup believes there are positives to playing in the qualifiers for the regional side.

"I think it's good in a way that we're playing the qualifiers," he said.

 "West Indies teams of the past have proved that we get better as we go along. To have the warm-up phase of the tournament and then to go into the actual group stage after qualification, I think it's going to be to our betterment in the sense we get more cricket. The talent we have got - depth in terms of resources and batting and bowling - we've always been pretty athletic in the field, so I'm looking forward to that challenge."

The team will be looking to rebound from an abysmal 2021 T20 World Cup in the UAE where they got just one win in five matches, failing to advance from the Super 12.

 

 

Legendary West Indies fast bowler Sir Andy Roberts believes not having a settled team could make things difficult for the team in the upcoming T20 World Cup qualifiers.

In order to officially book a spot in Australia next month, the two-time champions must advance from a play-off group that will also feature Ireland, Scotland, and Zimbabwe.  The team will start as heavy favourites to advance from the group but the squad will feature several players that have not been in the squad for the last few months and even some who have never played the format internationally.

Since a disastrous campaign at the 2021 World Cup, the Windies have played 22 matches, but a few of the players added to the squad have not played in the majority of them over the past year.  For instance, Evin Lewis has not played since the last tournament, Johnson Charles has not played for the team since 2016, Sheldon Cottrell has played sparingly since the start of the year, and Yannic Cariah and Raymond Reifer are yet to play in the format.

Having played so many matches Roberts believes the team should have been already been using a settled squad ahead of the tournament.

“We don’t have a settled team and that is the biggest problem.  You don’t know what your teammate is capable of doing because he has just come into the team,” Roberts told the Mason and Guest Radio program.

“When West Indies was at its best, we had a settled team for five, ten years.  If you check out Australia, Australia has a settled team, and Pakistan has a settled team.  India is fiddling around with the team and just look at the issues they have been having.  You need settled teams,” he added.

“We are going with a number of new players, new to the international scene.  We knew for a long time that the World Cup was going to be this year, so we should have been trying our best to make sure we have a unit that is ready to go from ball one.”

 

 

Former West Indies opening batsman Philo Wallace believes the 15-man squad selected for the upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia has the issue of being short of genuine batsmen.

It’s safe to say that the selection announced by the Desmond Haynes-led panel, earlier this week, included quite a few surprises.  The list included some players on the fringes of the T20 unit for a while, with the likes of Sheldon Cottrell and Johnson Charles recalled and the inexperienced Yannic Cariah also earning somewhat of a shock selection.  

In some ways, Wallace believes the team is similar in composition to the West Indies squad selected for last year's failed World Cup campaign, which had focused on stacking up power hitters.

“We’re going to Australia on bigger cricket grounds and we are carrying a lot of hitters of the cricket ball.  I think when these guys are asked to bat, they are going to find themselves in problems.  A lot of them are not even in form,” Wallace told the Mason and Guest radio program.

The former opener also had questions regarding how different pieces of the team would fit together.

“If you play Johnson Charles you have four openers on that T20 squad right now.  Is he going to keep wicket or is he going to field out.  Yannic Cariah is a wildcard, he doesn’t play T20 cricket, and he’s not involved in CPL.  If he plays where is he going to fit into the 11?”

 

 

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