U-19 cricketers Nandu & Thorne return home with invaluable experience

Guyanese Under-19 players, Matthew Nandu and Isai Thorne returned home on Sunday, September 19, 2021, after participating in the just-concluded West Indies tour of England. The two players proudly touched down on home soil after impressive performances in England.
Although West Indies won only two of six matches in the Youth ODI series, both players made noteworthy contributions to the West Indies challenging efforts. Matthew Nandu finished on a high by registering consecutive half centuries in two of the five matches he played. In his penultimate match, Nandu stroked 51, then in the final match followed up with a superb knock of 80 and bowling returns of 2 for 35, as West Indies won their second match of the series to restore some regional pride.
Young fast bowling sensation Isai Thorne was also impressive: At the tender age of 16, he demonstrated the ability, skill and mental tenacity to become an outstanding West Indies fast bowler. Evidently, Thorne received the full confidence of his captain and coach by twice being given the opportunity to bowl the total allotment of overs for a bowler. In two of the four matches he played, Thorne grabbed three wickets to finish the series with 8 wickets and leave a buzz of high expectations.
The members of the GCB expect that the unwavering commitment of Nandu and Thorne coupled with their ability and skill will make them forces to be reckoned with in the ICC Under-19 World Cup 2022 and beyond. The GCB will continue to provide the necessary support to these two and other players to ensure their competitive readiness for the ICC Under-19 World Cup 2022.

Rampaul & Chase named in West Indies T20 World Cup squad

The Cricket West Indies (CWI) Selection Panel today announced the West Indies squad for the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Men’s T20 World Cup, 2021. The panel named fifteen (15) players and four (4) travelling reserves for the marquee event which will be played in the United Arab Emirates and Oman from October 17 to November 14, 2021.

West Indies are the defending world champions and only two-time winners of the ICC T20 World Cup, winning in 2012 against Sri Lanka at the Premadasa in Colombo then four years later in 2016 against England in Kolkata. The West Indies now have the opportunity to create further history by becoming the first team to win a hat-trick of ICC T20 World Cup victories.

Experienced bowler Ravi Rampaul, a member of the 2012 winning World Cup squad, has been recalled for the first time since 2015. All-rounder Roston Chase is called up to the West Indies T20I squad for the first time.

Roger Harper, CWI’s Lead Selector said:

“The squad is one with good depth and strength in all departments. There is tremendous T20 experience along with World Cup winning experience which should stand the team in good stead. This squad is made up of many world-beating players who, once knitted into a world-beating team, will be extremely difficult to beat. I expect the team to do very well and with the ‘rub of the green’ I think the team has a good chance of defending the title.”

Harper added:

“Ravi Rampaul is a highly experienced bowler who performed well in the last CG Insurance Super50 Cup and the current Hero CPL to date. He will boost the team’s wicket-taking options in the power-play and the middle phase and will provide another option for the death overs. Roston Chase has shown that he is a very capable T20 player. He performed well in the CPL in 2020 and has been outstanding in the 2021 edition so far. He has shown the ability to knit the innings together while still scoring at a fast rate with a low dot-ball percentage. He will be an excellent foil for the explosive players in the team.”

West Indies have been drawn in Group 1 and will play five group games against England, South Africa and Australia along with the winner of Round 1 Group A (Sri Lanka, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Namibia) and the runner-up from Round 1 Group B (Bangladesh, Scotland, Papua New Guinea, and Oman). West Indies’ first group game will be against England in Dubai on October 23.

The groupings:

Round 1

Group A: Sri Lanka, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Namibia
Group B: Bangladesh, Scotland, Papua New Guinea, and Oman

(Top two teams from each group advance to Super 12s)

Super 12s

Group 1: England, Australia, South Africa, West Indies, A1 and B2.

Group 2: India, Pakistan, New Zealand, Afghanistan, A2 and B1.

(Top two teams from each group advance to the semi-finals)

West Indies Match Schedule

October 23: v England in Dubai (6pm UAE time, 10am Eastern Caribbean/9am Jamaica)

October 26: v South Africa in Dubai (2pm UAE time, 6am Eastern Caribbean/5am Jamaica)

October 29: v B2 in Sharjah (2pm UAE time, 8am Eastern Caribbean/7am Jamaica)

November 4: v A1, in Abu Dhabi (6pm UAE time, 10am Eastern Caribbean/9am Jamaica)

November 6: v Australia in Abu Dhabi (2pm UAE time, 6am Eastern Caribbean/5am Jamaica)

SEMI-FINALS

November 10: Group 1 winner v Group 1 second in Abu Dhabi (6pm UAE time, 10am Eastern Caribbean/9am Jamaica)

November 11: Group B winner v Group A second in Dubai (6pm UAE time, 10am Eastern Caribbean/9am Jamaica)

FINAL

November14: Final in Dubai (6pm UAE time, 10am Eastern Caribbean/9am Jamaica)

An analysis of the West Indies top order: More determination required

By Dev Tyiagi

Of the current eleven taking on the visiting Pakistan, only five West Indies batsmen, out of the eight, speaking purely of batsmen, have previously played against the sub-continent force.

While to the leadership contingent of the team- comprising present captain and vice captain, as well as the former captain, Kraigg Brathwaite, Jermaine Blackwood, and Jason Holder, respectively, Pakistan aren’t an unfamiliar opponent, to the likes of Kyle Mayers, Nkrumah Bonner and Joshua Da Silva, this is a team they’ve only seen video footage of or read about; but haven’t locked horns previously before.

Gladly, West Indies’ opener Kieran Powell, currently in his second wind in the game, which he left following a brief Baseball stint in the USA, Pakistan isn’t an unfamiliar opponent as well.

Ditto for Roston Chase, the bedrock of the lower order.

And yet, from what one saw in the last Test, a contest the hosts won in a nail-biting fashion, none of the current lot inspire a great deal of confidence playing the opponent.

While victory at Sabina Park a week back was indicative of a huge positive, the hosts having taken an unassailable lead in the ongoing series, that the win didn’t come at the expense of batsmen but at the behest of a tail stitching a rescue operation, Roach and Seales taking the team over the line, should drive home an important lesson.

Even if the West Indies are in the driver’s seat, their batsmen aren’t pushing the throttle!

The possible exception being Kraigg Brathwaite, whose 97 showed the captain’s patience and diligence, an act where the leader led by an example.

While captain Brathwaite’s composed 221-ball stay at the wicket led the way to West Indies scoring a fine 253 on a difficult-to-score surface, that his next five batsmen produced 3 ducks and 43 collective runs offers glaring evidence of the problem.

And the problem, unless you aspire to investigate it wearing the Sherlock attire whilst smoking the pipe, just for the kicks, isn’t an undecipherable one.

It’s that they don’t have any problem whatsoever in white-ball cricket, which the West Indies have been playing for quite some time in the recent weeks, especially a format in which they’re considered kings: the T20Is.

But where it comes to Test cricket, the batsmen’s woes are clearly evidenced by their failure to stick to the wicket, stitching stands and converting starts into scores worthy of giving attention.

So is this a cruel declaration muttered in vile banter or is there evidence to support the claim?

One look at the recent Tests featuring South Africa suggests where the problem lies.

Not once in four separate innings did the West Indies put on even a 200-odd total on board.

Suffering massive defeats to a side that had toured the Caribbean for the first time in a little over a decade wasn’t the only hurting issue; it’s the fact that the West Indies began their maiden Test outing versus the Proteas this year with a score where they failed to touch the three-figure mark on the board.

Remember the name is what they say when you do something popular in the Caribbean.

But the hurt fan was compelled to ask his cricketers in whom he sees light and a reason to watch the sport- Remember the 97 all out at St. Lucia?

What’s more, in the fourth inning of the Second and Final Test, when all the West Indies could’ve done was to have batted the game for a draw, if a win wasn’t coming, they were bundled out for 165.

Similarly, a few days ago when the Windies took a settled approach at Sabina Park, in stark contrast to their woeful Proteas performance, they ended up scoring 253. But what might have happened if Kraigg Brathwaite’s fifty not have led to 97 of those runs alone?

While victory in the end thanks to a nerve-wracking fourth-inning display got them home, did it do enough to hide what the top order managed?

Let’s cut some slack to the captain, who could make no more than 2. But that Powell and Bonner collectively made 9 runs with Chase making no more than 22 offered where it is the batsmen are getting it wrong.

Moreover, while Roston Chase, from the two innings collected 43 runs, including a broken inning repairing first-inning stand with his captain, he’s hardly looked the Roston Chase of 2017, when Misbah and Younis’ team were slaughtered with 2 magnificent hundreds.

In here lies a key issue captain Brathwaite would want his batsmen to rectify. The requirement of modern cricket is such that one must immediately adapt provided one wishes to leave behind an indelible mark in the game.

There’s little excuse for Powell to underperform, who the team are posing faith in, having found little results from Campbell. So the otherwise studious left-hander cannot hide under the excuse of having not faced Abbas, Yasir, Afridi before.

Well, none of his contemporaries in the playing eleven have! Add to that, the fact that the role of an opener is to score not return after an 11-ball-stay at the wicket.

That’s never going to leave the incoming number three, Bonner, any comfortable. Lest it is forgotten, he’s yet to fully recover from the concussion hit (suffered at the hands of Nortje) + the inexperience of playing against this Pakistani attack.

It’s an exhilarating site when the tail-enders forge a rescue operation. But really, is that what the West Indies with established and premier batsmen like Brathwaite, Blackwood, Holder and others want to do? What are the batsmen in the team, after all? Luckily, they have two full opportunities in this Final Test to make do for their last chances. And sadly, there’s not a Test cricket going to be played after this tour. So ideally, those who missed out have time to step in the bus and take the fans to a joy ride!

Shivnarine Chanderpaul: An unsung Hero!

By Dev Tyagi

Every generation needs a hero. Someone who can both inspire and keep their nation’s flag fluttering with pride- isn’t that what we all seek? Perhaps more so in sport where you get a chance to blaze a trail for others to follow. Yet, there are some heroes who never truly get the credit they so deserve. Heroes who don’t get talked about often, winners you don’t hear salutations sung for despite doing everything in their might and ability to contribute.

One such hero, where it comes to the sport that unifies the Caribbean like no other, is Shivnarine Chanderpaul.

AFP PHOTO/ Prakash SINGH

Maybe it’s only just to ask a pertinent question as one of Guyana’s finest exports to cricket turns 47.

Whose loss is it that we didn’t celebrate Shivnarine Chanderpaul enough, a man who’s been a bowler grinder, run accumulator, holder of an unexplainable technique, whacker of crazy hundreds, amasser of boundless runs, and giver of hope to a team that back in those days badly needed some to merely contest in cricket, let alone win games?

That even after half a decade of the left-hander’s retirement, the revered ICC has still not found it relevant to induct one of cricket’s most disciplined, consistent, and selfless cricketers into its ‘Hall of Fame,’ is something as baffling and pitiable as the situation in present-day Afghanistan.

This, mind you, was a batsman who leveled up to Brian Charles Lara, of all willow-wielders, and had abysmal cricketing selection not intervened, would’ve gone on to surpass the “The Prince of Trinidad.”

In a sport where even if you don’t play for records, it is records, at the end of the day you end up conjuring, that Shinvarine Chanderpaul’s Test career got stalled merely 86 runs shy of Lara’s 11,953 is a sad story.

Moreover, it speaks of a brazen disregard with which some of the sport’s leading lights are often treated.

To suggest the simplest of examples, back in the cricket-obsessed land called India, the likes of VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid never got a farewell Test, the kind of privilege modern masters like Tendulkar were afforded.

Similarly, in the present conception of cricket, one doesn’t quite know if Faf du Plessis, a tireless gatherer of runs for a South Africa often deflated by runs, and often stymied by politics, will get to play a farewell game.

Though in Chanderpaul’s case, the only low-scoring event, which led to his final appearance in Test cricket, circa 2015, wherein he averaged 18, saw a giant of the sport pushed to a corner, when his had been a career replete with runs doggedly collected for no fewer than 22-long years.

That we never quite gave attention to the man whose maiden season in international cricket- 2004- produced runs at the average of 50 is about as sad and absurd as overlooking the fact that the last three years prior to his departure from the game saw Chanderpaul produce runs averaging 71, 58, and- believe it or not- 98 (2014, 2013, 2012, respectively).

To many, Shiv Chanderpaul was the last remaining pillar of assurance to the West Indies that, at least, something was right about a team whose glory days belonged to the remnants of the past.

Moreover, there are sufficient examples of it, whether one speaks of his final-over six against Sri Lanka in an ODI with Vaas and Murali bowling or his 203 unbeaten runs against a Proteas pumped up with a Dale Styen bowling at peak pace.

To many others, Shiv Chanderpaul, was an old-fashioned, “bat-out-time” and “grind-the-bowlers,” batsman.

Truth, however, is, Shivnarine Chanderpaul- 125 fifties and 41 international centuries (Tests+ ODIs)- was an anomaly of sorts in the art of batting.

He was a reminder that for as long as one had the mental strength and values like discipline and toughness, often tagged ‘old world qualities,’ nothing else mattered, not even a batting stance that can only be imitated for a few laughs, not something that can be taught at a coaching clinic.

Today, when we regard the Wall of Dravid, a lot it is down to the fact that the famous right-hander, who stayed up for long periods of time, faced 31,258 deliveries.

Though, little is held to appreciate Chanderpaul, who faced not less than 27,395 deliveries, which are way more than what Carl Hooper, Sir Viv or even the great Brian Lara faced in Tests.

Although, a majority of these deliveries blasted at Chanderpaul’s watertight technique by some of the finest exponents of both spin and pace, including Lee, Shoaib, Donald, McGrath, Gillespie, Bond, Waqar and Wasim succeeded only in meeting the dead end of the bat.

Yet, that he emerged with 20,600 plus international runs (Tests+ODIs) indicates the Guyanese was more than an immovable object on the crease who was left on the 22 yards to merely frustrate bowlers.

With an open-front stance, batting with a ‘V’ like structure, Chanderpaul’s batting, lest it is forgotten, had strokes on all sides of the wicket.

During one of his imperious Test tons, the 153 against Pakistan at the Kensington Oval, captain Chanderpaul caressed when Abdul Razaq bowled a little wide repeatedly at around the vacant area between third slip and first gully.

A batsman who lacked the flair but never the resolve, Chanderpaul changed gears when needed and suddenly so, much to the benefit of a side that often found itself licking its wounds having lost one wicket too many early into a game.

Picture the marathon partnership along with his famous contemporary Carl Hooper, during the 2nd ODI at South Africa, 1999.

Of West Indies’ 292 on the board, the only grace-saving win in a series where the visitors lost 6 dreadful games, Chanderpaul contributed 150, a career-best score, on his own.

That he took just 136 odd deliveries to go berserk against a Pollock and Kallis-led attack offered greater insight into the mind of a batsman some fans still admire as the ‘Tiger.’

At Bourda, in 2003, under Lara’s leadership, it was Chanderpaul, not Samuels, Jacobs, Ganga or the Prince himself, who took on the mighty Australians in a rampant century that came of just 69-deliveries, a world record in that to this day, it’s the sixth-fastest Test ton of all times.

Not that the batsman of Indian heritage or roots went quiet against India, against whom he fired 7 of his 30 centuries with gusto and application, routing a Kumble, Srinath, Prasad and Zaheer Khan-powered India with a fourth of his career tons (Tests).

His limited-overs game saw Chanderpaul offer the team’s call to take extra responsibility with much pleasure sans any complaints.

Often opening with Gayle, and on other occasions with Hinds or Jacobs, Chandepraul kept shouldering responsibilities, and tirelessly so, even as batsmen around him came and went.

However, little did this pendulum of consistency deviate from the end goal- which was to contribute to a team’s cause even as in events where giant celebrations came about, such as the 2004 Champion’s Trophy win or the Coca Cola Singapore Cup, the man would comfortably let others hold center-stage by retreating to the background.

And it’s here where Chanderpaul’s true essence as a tireless vigilante in the middle remains: do everything for the team being the prime batsman but retreat into isolation, eschewing limelight much like the Dark Knight did when one went into search for the hero who saved Gotham, time and again.

There’ll be many who’ll come and fire way more than Chanderpaul’s 30 Test hundreds. Some will score rapider than the southpaw so, some in larger magnitude of runs, but not everyone will have the delight of earning respect, whether from a Kallis, Sangakkara or Lara himself as being the man who held onto an end so that the others could do what they fancied from the other end.

For being the keeper of the flame that is West Indies cricket, we owe a lot to you Shivnarine Chanderpaul. Enjoy your 47th!

Day 2- Brathwaite 97, Holder 58, guide WI (251-8) past Pakistan’s 217

West Indies and Pakistan’s last Test match four years ago was a classic, and if the events of the second day at Sabina Park are anything to go by, we may be in for another one over the coming days.

On an attritional day of Test cricket that didn’t swing as much as it swayed in either direction, the teams go in at stumps in a Test that refuses to decisively tip one way or another just yet. Simple math would dictate the hosts have the edge, leading as they do by 34 runs with two wickets still to spare, but with Yasir Shah in the fourth innings a historically significant factor, all bets will be off.

Kraigg Brathwaite (97) dominated the day, surviving almost through to the end after having to settle nerves after the frenetic finish of last night. He saw off each of Pakistan’s pace bowlers, the first new ball, a dangerous middle order collapse, the introduction of Yasir and two full sessions. But soon after the most threatening partnership for West Indies, between the captain and Jason Holder (58), had been broken having added 95 runs, Brathwaite was eyeing up a personal three-figure score, too – ideally before the new ball in darkening conditions, with Mohammad Abbas warming up.

It is hard to say if that played a role in his decision to hare back for a couple down to fine leg, taking on Hasan Ali, whose direct hit caught the opener well short of his ground. He had departed three runs shy of what would have been a splendid hundred, with the wicket coming at a time when West Indies had firm control over the Test. Holder carried on after tea, playing with delightful fluidity as his side pushed past 150 and bore down on Pakistan’s first innings score ominously. Yasir, not nearly at his best, was dispatched to the boundary repeatedly, and soon enough, a backfoot punch off Hasan got Holder to his 11th half century.

Faheem Ashraf provided the all-important breakthrough, subtle seam movement drawing Holder into a push that resulted in a feather through to Mohammad Rizwan. Once Brathwaite fell, the visitors had a real opening, but wayward lines with the new ball, particularly from Shaheen Afridi, saw the lower order continue to eke out runs as Joshua Da Silva manipulated the strike intelligently. By the time the umpires began worrying about the light, West Indies already had a sizeable lead they will be keen to build on tomorrow.

In overcast conditions in the morning, Abbas had picked up exactly where he left off the previous day and was the pick of the bowlers, peppering the corridor of uncertainty between a good and full length. Roston Chase and Brathwaite had to be especially sure of their footwork, with the seam movement Abbas was generating an additional challenge.

Afridi let his high standards dip somewhat, beginning with two leg-side deliveries that trickled away for four leg-byes each. It settled West Indies’ nerves, and once Chase drove Abbas straight down the ground, the runs off the bat became more frequent. Before long, they had brought up a half-century stand.

But just as West Indies looked poised to take control, Pakistan struck. Hasan, who had been testing the pair in his first three overs, especially when they got on the front foot, coaxed an expansive front-foot drive from Chase that wasn’t really on. It produced a tickle through to Rizwan, with an anguished look from the batter revealing quite how ordinary the shot was.

The second session was a dogged, scrappy affair that – one sensational over from Afridi aside – West Indies negotiated with relative conviction. The problem for them, though, was that the session would be defined by four balls from Afridi more than anything any batter could manage.

Just after West Indies brought up the 100, Pakistan broke through with the wicket they had threatened before lunch. Jermaine Blackwood’s punchy counter-attacking knock might have been evocative of Rizwan’s cameo on the first day but it wasn’t nearly as assured, with all four of his boundaries coming off shots he wasn’t in control of. Afridi landed one in the slot for him to go after, but with the ball wobbling in the air, Blackwood only managed to toe-end it to Abbas at long-on. The very next ball, Kyle Mayers was struck full on the pad, and found himself departing for a golden duck.

It might have gotten worse for West Indies. Two balls later, the irrepressible Afridi had Holder trapped in front, with the umpire raising the finger. The allrounder would survive by the barest of margins, with the review showing the ball pitching just outside leg stump.

Holder understood the magnitude of the moment, and dug in. He did not score until a straight drive off his 12th delivery, and didn’t score again for 22 more balls. He knew the chance would eventually come, and a wayward Yasir over towards the back-end of the session allowed him to take three boundaries off it. Brathwaite, meanwhile, might as well be batting on a different surface.

His patience was exemplary, his shot selection immaculate. When Pakistan appeared to be having one of their purple patches, he had the awareness to retreat completely into his shell and place an even greater value on his wicket, and with Holder keeping the scoring ticking over at the other end, West Indies began to take control.

The quick departure of both let Pakistan back in, though, and it feels increasingly as if it might all come down to fine margins again. Just as it did in 2017.

Stumps West Indies 251 for 8 (Brathwaite 97, Holder 58, Abbas 3-42) lead Pakistan 217 by 34 runs

(Story from ESPNcricinfo by Danyal Rasool)

Seales, Holder restrict Pak to 217, WI reeling at 2-2 in reply

West Indies dominated the opening day of the first Test after Pakistan lost wickets in a hurry to be bowled out for 217. That, until Pakistan struck back fiercely in the third over as Mohammed Abbas sent back Kieran Powell and Nkrumah Bonner for ducks in successive deliveries to peg West Indies back. Bad light forced Pakistan an early close to Day 1 in Jamaica with the hosts ending the day on 2 for 2 in four overs.

The only reason Pakistan got to a total of over 200 was thanks to Fawad Alam, who kept West Indies at bay with a more-than-handy 56 after his side were reduced to 123 for 5 at one stage. Faheem Ashraf and Alam settled into a sixth-wicket stand that was worth 85 keeping West Indies at bay. They scored at a quick pace with boundaries flowing at will. Anything pitched outside off, they put away as the pair revived Pakistan’s innings that seemed to be going nowhere. Ashraf fell against the run of play on 44 when he was caught short of his crease when going for a quick run as West Indies broke the resilient stand. Alam fell soon after and the rest followed as Pakistan lost their last five wickets for 31 runs.

The middle session was a drama-filled one in Jamaica with as many as six reviews taken in the 32 overs bowled after Lunch on Thursday (August 12) after West Indies opted to bowl. After an early lunch break was forced due to a rain interruption just 17 overs into the opening day’s play, West Indies’ bowlers continued where they left off and were right on the money after resumption. Just like they had bowled in the morning session with utmost discipline, they posed questions right from the first over after lunch when Azhar Ali was given out caught-behind, poking at one. The batsman reviewed it and with nothing on UltraEdge, the decision was reversed. He went on to add 47 runs with Babar Azam as the third-wicket duo steadied the Pakistan ship.

Azhar was on the edge once again when he was given out leg-before after shouldering arms to an in-seamer. He reviewed once again to find the ball going over the stumps. Jason Holder didn’t relent, once again going for a review for a leg-before call against the batsman, who was saved by the umpire’s call in terms of the impact despite the ball crashing into the stumps. Azhar survived his fourth LBW call with the ball found to be missing leg stump.

Mohammad Abbas

However, it was fifth time lucky for West Indies as Jayden Seales forced an outside edge off Azhar’s bat as the batsman fended an away-seamer. Pakistan once again, like in the first session, lost two wickets in successive overs as Roach then beat Babar on the inside edge off a sharp in-seamer. Babar was initially given not out, but West Indies reviewed as a spike was spotted on UltraEdge, forcing him to make the long walk back for 30.

Seales then thought he had Mohammed Rizwan leg-before but the impact was slightly outside off and saved the batsman as there was still no sign of spin. Rizwan, however, couldn’t make the most of his reprieve departing via a soft dismissal flicking a full delivery straight to Roston Chase stationed at square leg, ending a reviving fifth-wicket stand of 33 with Alam. Alam thereafter joined hands with the lower order to save Pakistan the blushes.

Brief scores: Pakistan217 (Babar Azam 30, Fawad Alam 56, Faheem Ashraf 44; Kemar Roach 2-47, Jayden Seales 3-70, Jason Holder 3-26)lead West Indies 2/2 (Mohammad Abbas 2-0) by 215 runs.

(Story from Cricbuzz)

CWI name 17-man squad for Pak series, No Hetty No Permaul

Cricket West Indies have named a 17-man squad for the upcoming two-test series against Pakistan, however, Guyanese batsman Shimron Hetmyer and spin maestro Veerasammy Permaul have once again been omitted from the side.

Permaul’s absence is notable since he picked up a 5-wicket haul in the recently concluded ‘Best vs Best’ 4-day match while Jomel Warrican who continues to feature in the test side has not had any standout performances which warrants his continued selection.

The panel have recalled fast bowler Chemar Holder and middle-order batsman Shamarh Brooks. Holder made his Test debut in New Zealand last year but has not featured since then. Brooks last played in New Zealand and has earned a recall following a polished century in the Best v Best four-day match last week. Additionally, two experienced players, left-hander Darren Bravo and fast bowler Shannon Gabriel will not feature in the upcoming two-match series.

Roger Harper, Lead Selector of the Senior Men’s Team said:

“Chemar Holder returns, having recovered from his injury. He will bolster the fast bowling department. Shamarh Brooks batted his way into the provisional squad by scoring an accomplished century. He will certainly add some depth to the squad’s batting.”

“Shannon Gabriel has been given time to rehab fully and build his conditioning, so he was not part of the preparations for the Test series against Pakistan, which included the Best v Best game. Darren Bravo has been part of the ‘bubble’ from the preparation camp leading into the Betway Test series against South Africa and has been given a break.”
Harper added:

“I expect the team to be highly competitive in every department while playing with passion, purpose and determination. I look forward to the batsmen stepping up as they did in the series against Bangladesh and against Sri Lanka earlier this year in Antigua.”

The two-match Betway Test Series will be played at Sabina Park from August 12-16 and August 20-24. The Betway Test Series forms the first of six Series in the new cycle of the International Cricket Council World Test Championship to find the best Test match cricket team in the world. 

FULL SQUAD

  • Kraigg Brathwaite (Captain)
  • Jermaine Blackwood (Vice Captain)
  • Nkrumah Bonner
  • Shamarh Brooks
  • Rahkeem Cornwall
  • Roston Chase
  • Joshua Da Silva
  • Jahmar Hamilton
  • Chemar Holder
  • Jason Holder
  • Shai Hope
  • Alzarri Joseph
  • Kyle Mayers
  • Kieran Powell
  • Kemar Roach
  • Jayden Seales
  • Jomel Warrican

Australia claim 3rd CG Insurance ODI by 6 wickets to take series win

An unbeaten half-century from Matthew Wade steered the tourists to an emphatic six-wicket triumph over West Indies in Bridgetown.

Four commendable contributions with the bat helped Australia chase down a target of 153 to win with ease.

After losing Moises Henriques (1) and Josh Philippe (10) cheaply, Alex Carey took matters into his own hands and produced a fine captain’s knock of 35 runs from 50 balls.

Carey combined well with Mitchell Marsh, who smashed 29 off 21 including three sixes, to put Australia well on track for victory.

West Indies had a sniff when Marsh was caught off a Sheldon Cottrell (1/34) bouncer in the 14th over, but the breakthrough did little to stop the visitors in their tracks.

Akeal Hosein was outstanding once again.

Matthew Wade came in at No.5 and immediately went to work, slashing Cottrell for four off his second ball.

Wade’s first boundary set the tone for the rest of his innings as he paved his way to an 11th ODI fifty.

Hayden Walsh Jr (1/41) trapped Carey lbw at the start of the 21st over but that would be Australia’s last wicket loss for the match.

Ashton Agar was the man to accompany Wade at the end of Australia’s successful chase, hitting a welcome 19* off 33, including three boundaries.

Earlier on, West Indies won the toss and elected to bat first at Kensington Oval, recording a sub par total of 152.

The hosts got off to a steady start until Evin Lewis retired on 5* under concussion protocols after top-edging the ball into his helmet.

Lewis would return later in the innings to fabricate a well-deserved half-century, the 10th of his ODI career.

Australia took wickets at regular intervals with all five bowlers chipping in. Mitchell Starc cashed in again taking a game-high three wickets for 43 runs off 9.1 overs.

Josh Hazlewood (2/18), Ashton Agar (2/31), and Adam Zampa (2/29) were also impressive, bagging two wickets each.

After complimenting his tidy bowling figures, Agar was awarded Player of the Match with an important 19* from 33 balls with the bat.

Starc was named Player of the Series courtesy of his 11 wickets across the three-match affair with an average of 10.63.

The 2-1 series win for Australia sees them consolidate third spot on the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League with 60 points. The West Indies remain sixth with 40 points.

(Story & Photos from ICC)

Tickets for Windies vs Pakistan matches in Guyana go on sale from Wednesday

The West Indies returns to Guyana and fully vaccinated fans will be able to see the T20 team in action as they continue preparations for the ICC T20 World Cup slated for October later this year. The reigning T20 World Champions will face-off against Pakistan at the Guyana National Stadium in the final three matches of the Osaka Presents PSO Cup on Saturday (July 31), Sunday (August 1) and Tuesday (August 3).

First ball bowls off at 11am (10am Jamaica Time) on each match day. These are the final three T20I matches that the West Indies play in the Caribbean in 2021 prior to selecting the squad for the ICC T20 World Cup.

 The Government of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana and the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) in partnership with Cricket West Indies (CWI) have come together to ensure that fully vaccinated fans can be in attendance. Fully vaccinated fans are those who have received their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine at least one (1) week before the date of the match they will be attending. Also, spectators will need to wear facemasks to gain entry to the matches and will be required to keep wearing their masks throughout. Fans will also need to remain socially distanced at all times.

 Johnny Grave, CEO of CWI said: “As we make a welcome return to Guyana there is great anticipation and expectation as our passionate loyal supporters will get a chance to see the West Indies in action. This is great news for our fans who we know will be eager to attend the three Osaka Presents PSO Cup West Indies vs Pakistan T20Is at the National Stadium at Providence. In the build-up to the matches, we have worked with our colleagues at the GCB and the Government to make sure all the necessary protocols are in place and all requirements are met to ensure the safety of players, officials, and spectators. Our T20 team has been in superb form and we hope to see them continue in this vein and give the people of Guyana and the whole of the West Indies plenty to shout about.”

Tickets prices are $4,000(GYD) for each match.  There are three locations where fans can make ticket purchases: GCB office-Regent Road, Bourda, Imran & Son -73 ‘A’ Rosehall Town, Berbice, and at Imam Bacchus & Sons -Affiance, Essequibo Coast. Ticket sales will start on Wednesday. July 28,2021 and will be available every day from 9:00am- 5:00pm.

For fans to get a ticket and gain access to the stadium, the following steps must be taken to meet COVID-19 match protocols:

  • Ticket office location is at the main entrance to Guyana National Stadium.
  • Ministry of Health officials will be on hand to validate vaccination documentation and check tickets and ID.
  • Fans will need to present their ID, cricket ticket and vaccination documentation to be allowed entry.
  • Fans will need to wear face masks at all times and social distance in the stadium.
  • Fans will be accommodated in all stands but will not be admitted to the grass mound.
  • No re-entry allowed if fans leave the venue.
  • Under-18s will not be allowed entry.
  • Fans will be able to purchase tickets for themselves, friends and family members 
  • Tickets will be available from 9:00am to 5:00pm on non-match days and 7:00am to 11:00am on match days.

 Additionally, with vendors not available in the stadium, fans will be allowed to bring their own food and non-alcoholic drinks. The following list of restrictions must be adhered to for entry into the ground on match day:

  • Fans can bring in coolers of a size that can fit under their seat (12x12x12).
  • Any ice in coolers must remain bagged to allow security inspection of coolers.
  • Glass bottles of any kind are not allowed.
  • Alcohol of any kind is not allowed.
  • No knives, sharp metal objects, or firearms

Windies & Pakistan to play revised 4-match T20I series, 40% capacity crowd for Guyana matches

Cricket West Indies (CWI) and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) today announced a revised match schedule for the upcoming “Osaka Presents PSO Carient T20 Cup” between the West Indies and Pakistan in the Caribbean. Additionally, the Government of Guyana will be allowing 40% capacity for fully vaccinated fans to attend the matches slated for July 31, August 1 and 3 at the National Stadium, Providence.

The National Stadium has a capacity of approximately 15,000 which means just about 6,000 fans will be allowed entry. Fans who have received their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine two weeks before the date of the matches are eligible to attend the matches.

In addition facemasks must be worn by persons at all times, and they must present their national identification card and vaccination documentation for admission to the venue.

A four-match T20 International (T20I) series, has been agreed, scheduled to start on Wednesday, July 28 at Kensington Oval, Barbados. The first ball is 10am (9am Jamaica Time) for the first match, with the final three to be played at the Guyana National Stadium on Saturday, July 31; Sunday, August 1 and Tuesday, August 3 at 11am (10am Jamaica Time).

The adjustment to the Osaka Presents PSO Carient T20 Cup schedule was necessary due to the changes to the fixtures for the ongoing CG Insurance One-Day International (ODI) Series between West Indies and Australia, which are part of the International Cricket Council’s ODI Super League, which concludes on Monday, July 26.

Ricky Skerritt, CWI President said: “Together with the PCB, CWI have examined various scenarios, and we jointly agreed that the best solution in the present circumstances is to cancel the first T20I and play a four-match T20I series starting on Wednesday and keep the rest of the tour schedule unchanged. We want to express our gratitude to the PCB Chairman, Ehsan Mani and CEO, Wasim Khan and the Pakistan team for their understanding in this situation and for agreeing to the revised match schedule. Both teams are in the final stages of preparing for the ICC T20 World Cup, so we anticipate an exciting and entertaining series of games as both teams compete for Osaka Presents PSO Carient T20 Cup.”


West Indies, the two-time World Champions (2012 and 2016), are using this series as part of their build-up to the next ICC T20 World Cup which will be played from October 17 to November 14 in the United Arab Emirates and Oman. They enter the series on the back of a 4-1 triumph over Australia in the recent CG Insurance T20Is at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground in Saint Lucia. Pakistan won the ICC T20 World Cup in 2009.

Following the Osaka Presents PSO Carient T20 Cup, West Indies and Pakistan will then play two Betway Test matches at Sabina Park in Jamaica from August 12-16 and then from August 20-24. This is the first Test Series for the West Indies in the new 2021-2023 ICC World Test Championship.

FULL MATCH SCHEDULE

July 27: 1st Osaka Presents PSO Carient T20 Cup match at Kensington Oval – 10am local (9am Jamaica Time)

July 31: 2nd Osaka Presents PSO Carient T20 Cup match at Guyana National Stadium – 11am local (10am Jamaica)

August 1: 3rd Osaka Presents PSO Carient T20 Cup match at Guyana National Stadium – 11am local (10am Jamaica)

August 3: 4th Osaka Presents PSO Carient T20 Cup match at Guyana National Stadium – 11am local (10am Jamaica)

August 12-16: 1st Betway Test at Sabina Park – 10am Jamaica Time (11am Eastern Caribbean)

August 20-24: 2nd Betway Test at Sabina Park – 10am Jamaica Time (11am Eastern Caribbean)