Cricket West Indies (CWI) has confirmed several organisational changes at the start of a significant year, that will see the launch of a new four-year strategic plan (2024-27) and the hosting of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in June.

Johnny Grave, Chief Executive Officer of CWI, stated, “As an organization, we are dedicated to nurturing a culture of continuous evolution and improvement. We are steadfast in our pursuit to maximize our human capital, engage the best talent, and foster an environment where excellence thrives throughout the entire system.”

Grave also revealed that “We have concluded a thorough appraisal process, resulting in the realignment of responsibilities of some of our team members. As part of this process, while some contracts have reached a natural conclusion, including those of Dominic Warne, Commercial, Marketing and Communications Director, and Philip Spooner, Media and Public Relations Manager; both individuals will continue supporting us in the extremely important year ahead, in new roles working directly on the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in June. We appreciate their contributions and dedication to our organization and remain committed to their involvement in this significant period.”

One of the components being assessed as part of the new cricket strategy is the selection system. CWI will further explore the strengthening of this area, building on the established policy from the 2019 selection review.

Miles Bascombe, Director of Cricket at CWI, emphasized the importance of this review, stating, "We are dedicated to refining our selection processes to better serve the needs of West Indies cricket. The ongoing evaluation and restructuring efforts are integral steps toward achieving this goal."

Bascombe elaborated that the review has resulted in some immediate changes in structure and personnel. “The review has been planned to coincide with the end of the contracts of some selectors to enable a seamless transition. CWI expresses its gratitude to Roland Butcher, Travis Dowlin, and Robert Haynes, whose tenures ended on 31 December 2023. Their dedication has been laudable, and CWI acknowledges their significant role with gratitude.”

CWI has taken the decision not to immediately replace these selectors until the completion of the review process. The remaining Lead Selectors shall continue to serve under their existing contracts with CWI.

Bascombe further added, “Coach Development Manager, Chris Brabazon, has also left the organisation to take up a new role back home in Australia.  We are grateful for the tremendous contribution that Chris has made over the past 4 years, which has seen the introduction of a comprehensive range of coaching courses and accreditations, resulting in over 1,000 newly certified coaches in the region.”

CWI reaffirms its commitment to fostering an environment of continuous improvement and transparency within its operations. The recruitment process for a new Commercial Director and Coach Development Manager will begin imminently.

Former West Indies captain Kieron Pollard is set to start a new chapter in his decorated cricketing career, as he is expected to join reigning Twenty20 World champions England as a batting consultant ahead of their title defence in the Caribbean and the United States, next year.

According to media reports, Pollard, 36, is expected to impart knowledge of Caribbean conditions and pitches to the England, for the showpiece tournament scheduled for June 4-30.

With the region notorious in recent years for its low, slow pitches, conditions are expected to play a key role in the tournament, and, as such, Pollard's experience of same, will be an asset for England.

The Trinidadian's appointment is expected to flawless, as he is already acquainted with current England captain Jos Buttler with whom he played during a couple of stints with county Somerset, and others, who he would have rubbed shoulders with, in franchise tournaments.

Pollard, who retired from international cricket last year, after a T20 series away to India two months prior. Still, the powerfully built player continues to feature in the global short-format franchise leagues, recently leading New York Strikers to victory in the Abu Dhabi T10.

His vast experience in the T20 format, will also be of value to England, as Pollard has 123 One-Day International and 101 T20 International appearances under his built. Overall, he has featured in 537 T20s, scoring over 12,000 runs, with 300 wickets from his part-time bowling.

Pollard was at the helm when West Indies copped the T20 World Cup title in 2021, to go along with the 2016 title won by a Darren Sammy-led team which he was a part of.

John Turner is bidding to push his case for a spot in England’s T20 World Cup title defence during the upcoming tour of the Caribbean.

Turner made his T20 bow less than six months ago but flourished for Hampshire in the Vitality Blast with 21 wickets in 11 matches, leading to a maiden England call-up towards the end of the summer.

A side strain delayed his debut but England remain keen on the 22-year-old and named him in both white-ball squads to face the West Indies, who will co-host the 2024 T20 World Cup alongside the United States.

His selection next summer would be a surprise given those ahead of him in the pecking order, but a woeful 50-over World Cup means England’s established players cannot take their places for granted.

Having been fast-tracked into the England set-up, though, Turner – born and raised in Johannesburg – is trying to take everything in his stride ahead of a potentially pivotal next few weeks in his career.

“All I can do is give my best performances and make life hard for the selectors when it comes to the time for the World Cup – but it definitely does give me some focus,” Turner told the PA news agency.

“Naturally after a World Cup, there will be some form of change – some years more than others. There’s quite an exciting crop of players coming through. It’s quite an exciting time for English cricket.

“Obviously the World Cup was massively disappointing for everyone but, with disappointment, it opens the door for new opportunities and new ways for things to be done.”

Turner, who qualifies for England through a Zambian mother born to English parents, is looking to be a point of difference among fast bowlers with Jofra Archer and Mark Wood absent in the Caribbean.

He describes his pace as his biggest asset even though his action by one former coach was likened to Glenn McGrath, whose precision control of line and length made him one of all-time great fast bowlers.

“It’s obviously an unbelievable comparison to have,” Turner said. “If I was half the bowler he was, I think I’m doing very well.

“I’m not necessarily a traditional English bowler that’s going to try to swing it away and nick you off, I’m just going to try and hit a hard length, be consistent there and bowl as fast as I can.

“I’ve got some variations. During the season, I didn’t necessarily go to them as much as I would have thought, but I’ve got some things to go to when I’m under the pump.

“So far the ride for me has been really positive. It could go horribly wrong but having the backing of everyone and particularly England at the moment gives me massive confidence.”

Turner grew up idolising South Africa great Dale Steyn and sees a bit of the fiery former quick in himself.

“The way he bowled with the aggression, the pace, the ability and everything… he wore his heart on his sleeve and that’s something I probably do, to a certain degree,” Turner said.

Turner has spent the past couple of weeks on an England Lions winter training camp in Abu Dhabi but could make his international bow as part of a new-look ODI side in Antigua on Sunday.

“It would be really emotional and a massive day for me,” Turner added, when asked about the prospect of a first England appearance on this trip.

“Growing up, you’re always wanting to play international cricket and on the biggest stage in the world – that’s what this is. Hopefully just the start of quite a long journey.”

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