An inspired spell of pace bowling from Alzarri Joseph jumpstarted a floundering ICC Men's T20 World Cup campaign for the West Indies who registered a crucial 31-run win over Zimbabwe on Wednesday.

Joseph ended the match with impressive figures of 4 for 16, but more than anything the innings will be remembered for the bowler's crucial breakthroughs when the Caribbean team’s tournament seemed destined to unravel.

Chasing a somewhat below-par total of 157, a surging Zimbabwe hammered 29 off the first two overs from the opening tandem of Kyle Mayers and Akeal Hosein.  Joseph, however, struck crucially to remove Wessely Madhevere for 9 to dent Zimbabwean invulnerability and return some hope to his team, who took the initiative and battled back into the game.

Joseph’s effort was well backed up by former West Indies captain Jason Holder who claimed 3 for 12 and played a key role in ensuring the plucky African unit was restricted to 122.

In their turn at the crease, the West Indies looked set for a big score, at one point,  cruising at 90 for 3, at the start of the 12th over, with a set Johnson Charles at the crease.  Once again, however, the team was, however, bogged down by spin and Sikandar Raza wove a magical web to end with 3 for 19 after curtailing the Windies' momentum.  At the back end of the innings, though, Rovman Powell and Hosein combined for a crucial 49 from 35 to give the Windies innings a much-needed lift.  Charles had earlier given the team a strong start at the top of the innings with a purposeful 45 from 36.

Scores:

West Indies 157/7 (20)

Johnson Charles 45 (36)

Rovman Powell 28 (21)

Akeal Hosein 23* (18)

Sinkadar Razza 3 /19 (4), Blessing Muzarabani 2/38 (4)

Zimbabwe 122 (18.2)

Luke Jongwe 29 (22)

Wesley Madhevere 27 (19)

Ryan Burl 17 (19)

Alzarri Joseph 4/16 (4) Jason Holder 3/12 (3.2)

 

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.

The CG United Super50 Cup returns on October 29, with the Caribbean’s 50-over cricket rivals competing for the first time since February 2021.

The West Indies Academy team and Combined Campuses & Colleges (CCC) will join the six regional franchise teams to contest the 2022 CG United Super50 Cup, to be played in Antigua and Trinidad from October 29 to November 19.

 The 2022 edition of the region’s pre-eminent 50-over white-ball competition also marks the start of the countdown towards the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup and an opportunity for players across the West Indies to push for consideration and selection for the West Indies ODI team. 

Trinidad & Tobago Red Force will defend their title and host Zone A featuring the Windward Islands Volcanoes, Guyana Harpy Eagles and CCC. Zone B will feature hosts the Leeward Islands Hurricanes, Barbados Pride, Jamaica Scorpions and the West Indies Academy. The opening match will be on Saturday 29 October and sees Zone B hosts Leeward Islands Hurricanes facing the West Indies Academy.

For the first time, the West Indies Academy will be featuring in the CG United Super50 Cup and the West Indies Academy players will have the development opportunity to play List A cricket against the best in the Caribbean. This opportunity is part of the Academy programme’s main objectives of bridging the gap between youth and professional cricket in the region. The West Indies Emerging Players side famously won the Super50 Cup in 2019 and six of those players have since gone on to represent the West Indies.

The opening match will be the first of 10 Zone B games to be played at the Sir Vivian Richard Stadium (SVRS), all of which will be broadcast live on ESPN Caribbean, the exclusive Caribbean broadcast partner of the CG United Super50 Cup, as well as on ESPN+ in the USA. Two further Zone B games will be played at the Coolidge Cricket Ground (CCG), the home of Cricket West Indies.

All of the Zone A matches in Trinidad will be split equally between the Brian Lara Cricket Academy (BLCA) and Queen’s Park Oval (QPO), with the first two games played on Monday, October 31. Every Zone A match will be streamed live on the Windies Cricket YouTube channel in the Caribbean and around the world.

Each team will play six group matches, playing each of their Zone competitors twice. The top two teams from each Zone will qualify for the semi-finals, which will be played in Antigua at the SVRS on Wednesday 16 November and Thursday 17 November. The CG United Super50 Cup final will be at the same venue on Saturday, November 19.

“The 2022 CG United Super50 Cup promises to be an action-packed event for our fans to feast on exciting cricket rivalries and for players to push for selection to the West Indies. This year’s tournament feature some of the region’s best and upcoming talent competing to win the CG United Sir Clive Lloyd Trophy,” said CWI CEO Johnny Grave.
"We are looking forward to seeing the West Indies Academy and CCC play against our professional regional teams and expect the competition to provide them with an excellent development opportunity. This will help to broaden the pool of players being exposed to highest levels of competition at the regional level. CWI welcomes and thanks title partners CG United for their continued sponsorship of the CG United Super50 Cup, as their investment has proved invaluable to the development of the game in the region.”

 

Match schedule:

Zone A

Matches at BLCA start at 2pm local time (1pm Jamaica); matches at QPO start at 9am local time (8 am Jamaica)

31 October: Trinidad & Tobago Red Force v CCC at BLCA

31 October: Windward Islands Volcanoes v Guyana Harpy Eagles at QPO

2 November: Trinidad & Tobago Red Force v Guyana Harpy Eagles at BLCA

2 November: CCC v Windward Islands Volcanoes at QPO

5 November: Guyana Harpy Eagles v CCC at BLCA

5 November: Trinidad & Tobago Red Force v Windward Islands Volcanoes at QPO

7 November: Windward Islands Volcanoes v Guyana Harpy Eagles at BLCA

7 November: Trinidad & Tobago Red Force v CCC at QPO

9 November: CCC v Windward Islands Volcanoes at BLCA

9 November: Trinidad & Tobago Red Force v Guyana Harpy Eagles at QPO

12 November: Trinidad & Tobago Red Force v Windward Islands Volcanoes at BLCA

12 November: Guyana Harpy Eagles v CCC at QPO

Zone B

Matches at the SVRS start at 2pm local time (1pm Jamaica) unless otherwise stated. CCG matches start 9am local time (8am Jamaica)

29 October: Leeward Islands Hurricanes v West Indies Academy at the SVRS (start 1pm) – Live on ESPN Caribbean

1 November: Leeward Islands Hurricanes v Jamaica Scorpions at the SVRS (start 1pm) – Live on ESPN Caribbean

1 November: West Indies Academy v Barbados Pride at CCG

3 November: Barbados Pride v Jamaica Scorpions at the SVRS - Live on ESPN Caribbean

5 November: Jamaica Scorpions v West Indies Academy at the SVRS (start 9am) - Live on ESPN Caribbean

6 November: Leeward Islands Hurricanes v Barbados Pride at the SVRS - Live on ESPN Caribbean

8 November: Barbados Pride v Jamaica Scorpions at the SVRS - Live on ESPN Caribbean

9 November: Leeward Islands Hurricanes v West Indies Academy at the SVRS - Live on ESPN Caribbean

11 November: West Indies Academy v Barbados Pride at the SVRS - Live on ESPN Caribbean

11 November: Leeward Islands Hurricanes v Jamaica Scorpions at CCG

13 November: Leeward Islands Hurricanes v Barbados Pride at the SVRS- Live on ESPN Caribbean

14 November: Jamaica Scorpions v West Indies Academy at the SVRS - Live on ESPN Caribbean

16 November: Semi-final 1 – Winner of Zone A v Second of Zoner B at the SVRS - Live on ESPN Caribbean

17 November: Semi-final 2 – Winner of Zone B v Second of Zone A at the SVRS - Live on ESPN Caribbean

19 November: FINAL at the SVRS - Live on ESPN Caribbean

Ball-smashing T20 star Chris Gayle believes the West Indies could struggle at the upcoming World Cup, a tournament that they will head into with a new generation of players.

For the first time in decades, the likes of Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo, and Andre Russell will not be a part of the team.  While Bravo and Pollard have retired from international cricket, Russell was not selected for the squad after an indifferent run of form.

Instead, the unit will feature the likes of burgeoning T20 star Nicholas Pooran and a host of other talented players yet to prove themselves on the international stage for the Caribbean team.

"It will be very difficult for the West Indies team as the captain of the team is new and there is no Kieron Pollard, Andre Russell, and Bravo in the team," Gayle told India daily Dainik Jagran.

Despite the relative lack of experience, Gayle believes the team’s talent could, however, make them a dangerous prospect for any opponent on a given day.

"Yes, it is definitely that the players who are included in the West Indies team are talented and can prove to be dangerous for any team. As everyone knows it is just a matter of adapting your strategy in the right way on match day. I hope the team plays well," he added.

The West Indies will bow into action with a Group Stage encounter against Scotland on Sunday.

 

 

With the T20 World Cup on the horizon, West Indies fast bowler Alzarri Joseph has vowed to keep putting in the hard yards, following a narrow 3-wicket loss to Australia in a practice match on Wednesday.

In an encounter marred by messy fielding from the Caribbean team, Matthew Wade and Mitchell Starc got the Aussies over the line, with a ball remaining, but the last over, bowled by paCer Sheldon Cottrell, was one filled with drama.  Needing just 11 from the last 6, Wade was dropped in the deep by Raymon Reifer off the second ball and an opportunity to stump Starc on his way back for the winning run was also missed out on.

As a result, the Aussies got home at 146 for 7, surpassing the West Indies' first innings tally of 145 for 9.  Aussie captain Aaron Finch batted in the unfamiliar position of 4 but top-scored with a valuable 58.  A visibly disgruntled Cottrell ended with figures of 2 for 49, while Joseph ended with a tidy 2 for 17 and 7 runs with the bat.  The bowler would admittedly have preferred a win but took some solace in a decent outing with the ball.

“For me, it’s always about trying to add that one percent every day.  Keep on trusting the process, keep on training hard and keep doing what I need to do to get the success,” Joseph said following the match.

“It wasn’t the result we wanted but we really fought hard.  We pushed Australia down to the last over, so all in all it was a fairly good performance we just have to go back and see what we can improve for the next game,” he added.

In their turn at the crease, all-rounder Kyle-Mayers led the way for the West Indies at the top of the order, scoring 39 from 36 deliveries before his innings was ended by Pat Cummings.  Reifer contributed a 23-ball 19 from the middle order but no other batsman really got going until Odean Smith’s useful 27 from 17 at the back of the innings.  He was run out by Wade.

It was, however, Josh Hazelwood who did the most damage with the ball for the Aussies as he ended with 3 for 35, while Starc and Cummings each claimed two wickets.

 

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.”

 

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?”

 

 

Cricket West Indies chief of selectors Desmond Haynes is confident veteran fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell remains able to provide the team with plenty of firepower up front despite a recent spell of indifferent form and injury.

Two years ago, the 33-year-old was one of the most explosive fast bowlers in the sport and was bought by the Kings XI Punjab ahead of the Indian Premier League season.  The bowler has, however, since struggled to build on that momentum and has also been plagued by recurrent injury.

His selection would have come as somewhat of a surprise for many having not represented the T20 team since earlier this year when he played in series against India and England.  The player also missed out on this season’s IPL and has not featured regularly in the CPL so far.

  The left-arm seamer, who recently recovered from injury, only just returned to action for the St Kitts Patriots and has not made a telling impact so far.

 In 8 overs bowled, in the three CPL matches to date, he has produced figures of 2 for 73 at an average of 36.50. The economy rate for his 8 overs bowled has also been an unimpressive 9.12.  Haynes, however, believes once fully fit the player will have plenty to contribute to the campaign.

“He does the job for us up front but he is coming back from an ankle injury, so everyone is going to be assessed before we go to Australia,” Haynes said.

“I think that with Cottrell we know that he has been very good for us and that’s the reason we would select him.”

Cricket West Indies (CWI) Desmond Haynes says the panel decided to not pick T20 big-hitter Andre Russell for the Windies World Cup squad based on a combination of his long-term absence from the regional team and recent struggles.

The 34-year-old has not played for the West Indies since representing the squad at the World Cup last year, despite controversially featuring in several lucrative T20 tournaments since then, including the Indian Premier League (IPL) and Vitality T20 Blast.

In addition, the player has failed to make much of an impression in this season’s Caribbean Premier League (CPL), which is admittedly closely watched by the panel of selectors.  In six matches the all-rounder has averaged 7.40 and has a top score of 17.  With the ball, he has taken four wickets.

“We just didn’t consider Russell for selection and that was it,” Haynes said of the player’s exclusion.

“We haven’t really seen a lot of Russell in playing cricket for the West Indies recently and judging from what is happening now we just decided that we would move on,” he added.

Russell has played 67 matches for the West Indies and averaged 19.50 with a strike rate of 150.  He has taken 37 wickets at an economy rate of 9.18.

Legendary Windies skipper Viv Richards believes it is important for players to remember the role representing the team played in earning big-money T20 contracts, but insists there should be plenty of room for negotiation with cricketers currently out of the team.

The absence of the likes of Sunil Narine and Andre Russell, for example, two of the team’s most explosive players, from the unit for the last year has been a sore point.  Despite the fact that they have continued to play in lucrative T20 leagues around the world, both players have been unavailable for the regional team.

Russell has not played for the team since last year’s World Cup while Narine has not appeared since 2017.  Another player, opener Evin Lewis, remains out of the team after opting out of fitness tests.  Recently West Indies coach Phil Simmons expressed frustration with the issue.  Richards believes a lot of the issues could come down to communication.

 “Guys sometimes try and make that particular decision in terms of what they want to do because they don’t feel that they are represented well enough on the left, and that’s why they will move to the right so it is pretty much troublesome knowing and hearing that from the coach, which means there are issues where these matters are concerned,” Richards told the Antigua Observer.

“There has got to be a meeting of all the individuals who participate and that’s the board and all the individuals they may believe to be in that particular lane where they do not want to play,” he added.

“That’s always your first aim, for you to represent your country as a sports person and then, if you can move further up-field like representing the region, which is obviously the West Indies cricket team, and then expand elsewhere because if that’s what you’re looking for, then that’s the opportunity you’re looking for,” he said.

“Also, there are times when we should look at the lighter side of things where one has got to remember that it was the West Indies platform that obviously gave you an opportunity for you to expand yourself.”

West Indies T20 star Andre Russell insists he is content to focus on the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), at the moment, leaving questions regarding his selection for the upcoming World Cup up to the selectors.

The 34-year-old has found himself at the centre of controversy in recent months, with the majority of the debate surrounding his lack of availability for the West Indies team.  In the last year, despite his appearances at various T20 leagues around the globe, the player has not appeared for the West Indies since the T20 World Cup last year.

It is a situation that has at times left Windies coach Phil Simmons, and some fans, admittedly exasperated.  With the player having not been part of the Windies T20 squad for the last year, many have speculated on the merits of his inclusion for the upcoming tournament.

The all-rounder, who is currently plying his trade for the Trinbago Knight Riders, insists the CPL tournament is his only focus at the moment.

"I am focusing on CPL at the moment. This is where it is for me at the moment. I am taking it one day at a time, one game at a time,” Russell told members of the media.

“Whatever is to happen will happen. I have no control over what’s going on at the (CWI) or what is going on in (the) selectors' minds…whatever happens in the next week or two only God knows, so I am not even going to stress on that,” he added.

“No one has reached out to me, no one has said anything…once I do the performance on the field then I leave everything else in their hands.”

 

Former West Indies captain Sir Richie Richardson admits he was surprised but honoured to receive recognition from the University of the West, which is poised to issue the retired cricketer with an honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD) award for his contribution to the sport of cricket.

Richardson, a former opening batsman, led the West Indies from 1991-1996 and scored 5,949 runs in 86 Tests and scored 6,248 runs in 224 One Day International (ODI) matches.  One of a handful of West Indies players that have been knighted, Richardson remains involved with the sport as he is now also an ICC match referee.

“The University of the West Indies is a very important institution to us as a Caribbean people and it’s ranked as one of the best universities in the region so for them to see the need to bestow such an honour on me, then I am deeply touched, honoured and I am very grateful,” Richardson told the Good Morning Jojo Radio Show.

“I was surprised to be honest because I never really expected it but when I realised that it was going to happen I was very excited and deeply honoured.”

West Indies spinner Yannic Cariah insists the team must find a way to see off the first 10 overs from New Zealand’s front-line bowlers if they are to have any chance of winning the ongoing three-match One Day International (ODI) series.

After losing the opening match, the Kiwis came roaring back into the series with a dominant 50-run (DLS) win over the Windies on Friday.  The team would have taken plenty of encouragement after bowling out New Zealand for 212, led by Kevin Sinclair’s industrious 4 for 41.

In their turn at the crease, however, the Windies batsmen could not come to grips with the duo of Trent Boult and Tim Southee.  Together, the two combined for a relentless opening spell that left the home team six wickets down in the 10th over.

Overall, the duo finished with seven wickets and ended the Windies response before it began.  Southee finished with 4 for 22 and Boult 3 for 18. 

Cariah, however, did play his part in making a contest of things.  He provided the majority of the little resistance getting his maiden half-century in an 85-run partnership with Alzarri Joseph.  With the series and possibly an automatic spot at the ICC World Cup on the line the bowler knows the team can’t afford a repeat performance at the crease.

“We need to find a way to bat the first 10 overs from Southee and Boult, keep them out of the game in the wickets column and we will be fine,” Cariah said ahead of Sunday’s decider.

“I just think with the new ball is we had faced some balls and bat some overs and get ourselves in it would have been easier for us,” he added.

 

Stubborn lower-order resistance from bowlers Yannic Cariah and Alzarri Joseph proved insufficient as devastating spells from Trent Boult and Tim Southee led New Zealand to a series-levelling 50-run (D/L) win over the West Indies on Friday.

In the rain-affected fixture at Kensington Oval, the West Indies, chasing New Zealand’s first innings total of 212, looked in real trouble at 27 for 6, and then 63 for 7 when the rain intervened.

On the resumption, Cariah and Joseph buckled down to steer the team into a much more competitive tally.  Cariah scored his maiden half-century with 52 from 84, while Joseph added 49 from 31.  The pair combined for 85, the highest partnership of the West Indies' innings.

Their brave resistance and the Windies' faint hope were ended when Joseph was bowled by Southee.   Cariah was the last man to go after being caught by Finn Allen off the bowling of Mitchell Santner.

Earlier, Southee and Boult had ransacked the Windies batting line-up as the pair eventually combined for 7 wickets.  Southee ended with 4 for 22 and Boult 3 for 18.  The pair’s early assault left the Windies six wickets down by the 10th over.

In New Zealand’s turn at the crease, Allen only narrowly missed out on a maiden century, after leading the team out of trouble at 31 for 3.  He was eventually dismissed on 96.

  Despite Allen’s heroics, the West Indies had another strong outing with the ball, which was led by spinner Kevin Sinclair’s maiden four-wicket haul.  Sinclair ended with 4 for 41 while all-rounder Jason Holder ended with 3 for 24.  

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