Newly appointed Windies chairman of selectors Roger Harper confirmed veteran batsman Chris Gayle was unavailable for the upcoming series against Afghanistan but suggested the panel would focus on younger talent going forward.

Speculation has continued to surround the future of the star batsman after he announced plans to retire, following the ICC World Cup earlier this year.  The 40-year-old, however, appeared to have a change of heart and went on to claim that the team's series again Indian, following the cricketing showpiece, would instead be his final series. 

Controversy, however, erupted with many suggesting the batsman should hang up his tips and allow for the development of younger players.  Following the series against India, Gayle was again quick to insist that was in no hurry to retire.  With young openers like Evin Lewis and Brandon King included in the squad, Harper suggested it was time to give younger players an opportunity to showcase their skills.

“Gayle told us he is unavailable for Afghanistan Series, but we all know Chris, he is a world-class player with a tremendous record and of course it’s difficult to replace Chris Gayle,” Harper explained.

But I think going forward it is in a way an opportunity for young players to showcase their skills and make a name for themselves as we look ahead to the next two T20 World Cups in 2020 and 2021 and the future.”

Nathan Lyon is refusing to give up hope on featuring for Australia at their home ICC Men's T20 World Cup despite missing out on selection against Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

The spinner has only made two T20I appearances for his country – the last of those coming a year ago – and is not included for his country's upcoming series in 20-over cricket.

But Lyon, Australia's third-highest wicket-taker in Tests, still wants to play in all three formats and will continue to make himself available.

"Definitely I want to put my hand up for all games of cricket, especially for Australia," he said.

"Whatever game I play cricket for, I just need to make sure I'm doing my job and if I keep putting my hand up for selection, who knows where that may lead to?"

Lyon, who was facing a similar battle prior to the 50-over World Cup before entering as Australia's front-line spinner, insists there is no issue with chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns.

"He just called me and told me I wasn't in," he added.

"But I had a really good chat to Cracker [Hohns] – I get along really well with him – so if I have any issues with Cracker, I'll just pick up the phone.

"There's no doubt. I have the absolute utmost respect for him so there's no dramas there."

There was no room for veteran Windies opener Chris Gayle as the new Cricket West Indies selection panel named squads for all three formats for the team’s series against Afghanistan.

The 40-year-old batsman was expected to retire from the sport following this year’s World Cup but had a change of heart.  The player had also targeted the India home tour as possibly his final appearance for the regional team but insisted following the series that he had not retired.

Despite the absence of the talismanic player, however, there are several noted returnees.  As expected, having been appointed captain of the ODI and T20 teams Kieron Pollard returns to the white ball team for the first time in three years.  Pollard replaced Holder as captain of the ODI team and Carlos Brathwaite as leader of the T20 team.  While Holder has been included in all three formats, Brathwaite has been dropped from the squad. 

Fresh off successful campaigns in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Guyana Amazon Warriors opening batsman Brandon King and Barbados Tridents spinner Hayden Walsh Jr have been included in the T20 and ODI formats.  Lendl Simmons, who also put together a solid campaign for Trinbago Knightriders, has also been included in the T20 squad. 

Promising young pace bowler Alzarri Josephs, who missed the World Cup due to injury, will also return to the team for all three formats.

 

Test squad: Jason Holder (Captain), Shai Hope, John Campbell, Kraigg Brathwaite, Shimron Hetmyer, Shamrah Brooks, Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich, Sunil Ambris, Jomel Warrican, Rahkeem Cornwall, Kemar Roach, Keemo Paul, Alzarri Joseph

ODI squad: Kieron Pollard (Captain), Shai Hope, Evin Lewis, Shimron Hetmyer, Sunil Ambris, Nicholas Pooran, Brandon King, Roston Chase, Jason Holder, Hayden Walsh Jr., Khary Pierre, Sheldon Cottrell, Keemo Paul, Alzarri Joseph, Romario Shepherd.

T20I squad: Kieron Pollard (Captain), Nicholas Pooran, Evin Lewis, Shimron Hetmyer, Sherfane Rutherford, Brandon King, Fabian Allen, Jason Holder, Hayden Walsh Jr., Lendl Simmons, Khary Pierre, Sheldon Cottrell, Denesh Ramdin, Kesrick Williams, Alzarri Joseph.

Australia all-rounder Mitchell Marsh has been ruled out for up to six weeks after breaking the middle finger on his right hand when he punched a dressing room wall.

The embarrassing incident followed his dismissal for Western Australia against Tasmania on Sunday.

Marsh lashed out after he was caught and bowled for 53 by Jackson Bird on the final day of a drawn Sheffield Shield opener at the WACA.

He vowed never to repeat the rush of blood to the head and faces the prospect of being ruled out for the start of the Test series against Pakistan due to a self-inflicted injury.

"I've fractured my middle finger. It's going to leave me out for about four to six weeks at this stage," said the 27-year-old Western Australia captain.

"It certainly will be an isolated incident, that's for sure, and it won't be happening again.

"It's a good lesson for me, hopefully it's a good lesson for other people as well. At the end of the day it's a game of cricket. Sometimes you get beaten, sometimes you get out, and you can't be punching walls.

"As a captain, I've done a lot of work in setting a good example on and off the field over the last 18 months since I took over.

"This is a small hiccup for me. I said I was disappointed in myself and it won't happen again, and it's not an example I want to be setting not only for my team-mates, but for everyone here at the WACA and everyone else in cricket."

Guyana Amazon Warriors captain, Shoaib Malik, believes that ending up runners up in the Hero Caribbean Premier League for a fifth time is not down to bad luck.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) has confirmed the appointment of former West Indies player, Phil Simmons as the Head Coach of the West Indies Senior Men’s Team for a period of four years, as well as the appointment of three new selection panels.

 Phil Simmons was confirmed as the Head Coach during a meeting of the CWI Board of Directors today, following the conclusion of a short but intensive recruitment process.  The Board had made it clear prior to the start of the recruitment process in September that “persons without West Indian heritage need not apply.”

Simmons served previously for a short period as Head Coach of the West Indies Senior Men’s team, during which he coached the team to the 2016 ICC T20 World Cup title, following which he was controversially dismissed.

He served since as the Head Coach of Afghanistan, who he helped qualify for the first time for the 2019 ICC ODI CWC. His tenure as head coach of Ireland, saw them improve their ICC rankings and qualify for all major ICC events. Simmons’ latest coaching success came just two days ago when he coached the Barbados Tridents to the 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League title with an impressive victory over the Guyana Amazon Warriors in Saturday’s Final.

 “Bringing Phil Simmons back is not just righting a past wrong, but I am confident that CWI has chosen the right man for the job at the right time. I want to also thank the very talented Floyd Reifer for the hard work he put in while he was the interim coach,” said CWI President Ricky Skerritt.

CWI’s Director of Cricket Jimmy Adams said he was pleased with the appointment.

 “I am happy, after a very robust recruitment process at the appointment of Phil to the role of head coach. I have no doubt that Phil brings the requisite leadership skills and experience needed to drive improvement across our international squads and I look forward to supporting him in the role,” Adams said.

 CWI also announced the appointment of three new Men’s, Women’s and Girls’ Panel, and Boys’ Selection Panel following a recruitment process that ran parallel to the selection of the new coach.

The recommendation of a new CWI selection structure and policy were the main outputs of the report of the Selection System Review Task Force, presented by Vice President Shallow at the September Board meeting in Tobago.  Eighteen (18) candidates were considered and evaluated for the five positions across the three Selection Panels. The CWI recruitment panel unanimously selected the following candidates who have now been confirmed:

Roger Harper is now the lead selector while Miles Bascombe has been named to the selection panel. 

The selection panel for the WI Women's and Girls consists of lead selector Ann Browne-John and selector Travis Dowlin.

Robert Haynes has been appointed Talent ID Manager.

The Head Coach of each team will complete the makeup of each of the respective panels.

“We have been delighted at the interest and quality of candidates who participated in the recruitment process to fill the roles for the Selection Panels," said CWI Vice President Dr. Kishore Shallow. "These roles are vital to execute the new selection policy to select squads for the West Indies teams at every level. We wish the selectors every success as they commence work immediately.”

Commenting on the Selection Panels, Jimmy Adams said that with the comprehensive revamp of the CWI selection system including the introduction of separate panels he was confident "that our ability to identify and manage talent will be enhanced. I have all confidence that the new system, along with the selectors chosen to the various panels will continue to help drive our game in this critical area. “

The Selection Panels have already begun work with the West Indies Men’s team preparing to play Afghanistan in India in November in three T20 Internationals, three One Day Internationals (ODIs) and one Test match. The Men’s team will then stay in India to play three T20Is and three ODIs before returning home before Christmas.

 Meanwhile, the West Indies Women will host India Women for three  ODIs and five T20Is starting on November 1.

The West Indies Under-19 team will host a triangular series with Sri Lanka and England Under-19s in December as they prepare for the ICC Under-19 World in January in South Africa.

 The Men’s Teams squads will be announced in a press conference at 11 am at Queens Park Oval, Port of Spain, Trinidad on Tuesday, November 16.

 

 

 

 

 

News is emerging that Phil Simmons will be the new head coach of the West Indies Senior Men’s team.

Zimbabwe and Nepal have been readmitted by the ICC after suspensions for political interference were lifted.

The world governing body stripped Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) of full member status in July after state-owned enterprise the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) suspended the board.

SRC acted after issuing a directive that the governing body's elective annual general meeting would be suspended amid allegations over the nomination process and the violation of ZC's constitution, along with "various other controversies".

The ICC has now cleared Zimbabwe to regain member status following board meetings in Dubai.

Zimbabwe will be able to feature in the ICC Men's Under-19 Cricket World Cup in January and compete in the ICC Super League next year.

ICC chairman Shashank Manohar said: "I would like to thank the Zimbabwe Sports Minister for her commitment to the reinstatement of Zimbabwe Cricket.

"Her desire to work in support of Zimbabwe Cricket was clear and she has unconditionally complied with the conditions set down by the ICC Board. Funding to Zimbabwe Cricket will continue to be on a controlled basis as part of a collective effort behind getting the game in Zimbabwe back on an even keel."

Nepal has also been added as members on a conditional basis three years after they were suspended for breach of the ICC regulations that prohibit government interference and require free and fair elections.

Manohar added: "Given the progress made in Nepal, a transition plan will now be developed for the Cricket Association of Nepal to support full compliance with Associate Membership criteria, which will also involve controlled funding."

Cricket South Africa (CSA) chief executive Thabang Moroe has issued a rallying cry and declared these are "exciting times" just a day after the Proteas suffered a record Test defeat to India.

India won by an innings and 137 runs - their biggest margin of victory against South Africa - in Pune on Sunday to wrap up the series with a match to spare.

Virat Kohli's side took the opening match by 203 runs and the tourists will have to show a vast improvement in order to avoid a whitewash in Ranchi.

Moroe has called for fans to back Faf du Plessis' side in a transitional period in a new era following the departure of head coach Ottis Gibson and the retirement of key players.

"It was always going to be a difficult challenge taking on the top team in the world – certainly under their own conditions – in India at a time when we have introduced a new team structure," Moroe said.

"In the past two years we have had to bid farewell to some of the great names of international cricket such as AB de Villiers, Hashim Amla, Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn who between them played nearly 450 Test matches for the Proteas.

"You don't replace that kind of experience overnight and we need to give a new generation time to settle.

"These things take time and I am confident that we will already see improvement in our next Test series when England are our visitors during the festive season. I am sure that our supporters will rally behind them on home turf. 

"These are, in fact, exciting times for South African cricket with new names and faces coming to the fore. Our talent pipeline has produced the likes of Aiden Markram, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi and Zubayr Hamza over the last few years and our development systems are clearly in good shape.

"There is a huge incentive on our young players to put pressure on the incumbents. There is nothing like good competition for places that brings out the best in all."

Barbados Tridents all-rounder Ashley Nurse insists the team had little time for naysayers following a sensational upset of the Guyana Amazon Warriors in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) final.

The Tridents headed into the final as heavy underdogs against as a Warrior team that had, for the most part, swept all in their path for most of the season.  The Barbadian-based unit, however, pulled off a 27-run win to complete the turn-around of a season that had started off with indifferent form. 

Nurse, as he has in recent outings, played a key role after making 19 from 15 at the back end of the innings and claiming  2 for 17, including the wicket of the dangerous Brandon King.  For Nurse, the Tridents' ultimate triumph was crafted by determination on the pitch and a sense of camaraderie off it.

“A lot of stuff has been said but we have never worried about people that are outside the team.  We just worry about ourselves,” Nurse said following the match.

“We’ve been a family from day one.  We just worry about being a family and that is what happened today,” he added.

The title was the second for the Barbados franchise.

 

 

A visibly emotional Hayden Walsh Jr took time to reflect on the merits of hard work and the immense contribution of his late father as he basked in the glory of a first and in many ways unexpected Caribbean Premier League (CPL) title with the Barbados Tridents.

Few would have heard of the 27-year-old Antiguan-American before the start of this season but it's safe to say his whirlwind leg break bowling took the competition by storm.  His 22 wickets in 9 matches representing a tournament-high that earned him the Hero Player of the Tournament award. 

Twice this season the spinner proved completely unplayable for the opposition, claiming five wickets against the Trinbago Knightriders and four against the St Lucia Zouks to help catapult the team into the then-struggling team into the playoffs.  Eventually, it set the stage for one of the biggest upsets in the competition's history with a win over the previously unbeaten Guyana Amazon Warriors in the final.   

Perhaps even fewer would remember the bowler’s forgettable CPL debut season for St Kitts and Nevis Patriots in 2018 where his two overs in just two matches went for a costly 54, with no wickets to show.  For Walsh, the gentle placing of the CPL crown on a head once plagued with uneasiness, surely once again proved the old adage, the price of success is hard work.

“I have no words right now.  I’ve worked so hard and all I have to do is give the almighty God thanks for bringing me this far,” Walsh Jr said after the match.

“I’ve been working for years.  I’ve been getting tips all over but I think this is the time it has started to pay off,” he added.

Despite certainly having a claim to being Leeward islands cricketing royalty, his uncle Vaughn Walsh a pace bowler and father Hayden, a gritty opener who played for the region in the 90s, the journey has been a long one for the young Walsh.

He came through the ranks but often failed to find favour with the selectors of the sub-regional group.  The spinner, as a result, went on to represent the United States at the senior level.  The player was forced to overcome perhaps his biggest obstacle when his father, who introduced him to the game and served as his mentor for several years, died of a heart attack in 2010.

“I think about him every day,” a teary-eyed Walsh said.

For his breakout exploits, the bowler was named the Hero Player of the Tournament. 

 

South Africa captain Faf du Plessis would love to see his team demonstrate the ravenous hunger for runs that Virat Kohli showed for India in the one-sided second Test.

The India skipper set the platform for a dominant victory by making 254 not out in the first innings, as the home team piled up an intimidating 601-5.

After India won the first Test by 203 runs in Visakhapatnam, South Africa were thumped this time by an innings and 137 runs in Pune to surrender the series after being bowled out for 275 and 189.

It was South Africa's heaviest Test defeat to India.

Du Plessis used seven bowlers in an effort to unsettle Kohli on the first two days of the match, but to no avail.

"The way India batted, and especially Virat getting a 250, that takes a lot of mental toughness to put a score like that on the first innings," Du Plessis said.

Kohli's score was his highest in Tests and it took him through the 12,000-run barrier in the five-day game.

"It's trying to stop him," said Du Plessis. "We saw it in the first Test as well [with other India batsmen]. As captain you try to think of ways, how you can change little things, field placements or bowling placements, but he was too good in this Test match.

"All the questions, and all the stuff we threw at him, he had answers for. [He was] just relentless and sticking to his game, and for me what really stuck out from that was a hunger for runs.

"You could see they were determined to score big and not get tired and satisfied of getting a hundred and stopping. It was great value for us as batters – when you're on top of your game, making sure you're really hungry and making sure you can put in big performances that can affect the outcome of the game."

Du Plessis suggested South Africa had found the Kohli experience exhausting.

"Two days in the field, it can wear you down," said Du Plessis. "Since then, it was trying to play catch-up and with a very good India bowling attack. And these conditions, they don’t give you much and you need to be on top of your best game.

"If you're not, you're going to be found wanting, and we were found wanting in this Test match."

South Africa will expect more from their attack in the third and final Test, starting in Ranchi on Saturday.

"All in all, I think India are deservedly Test series winners," said Du Plessis. "They are a very tough team to beat at home and their record speaks for itself. We weren't at our best, so we'll try to make sure we can improve for the next Test."

Virat Kohli turned his attention to securing a whitewash after India consigned South Africa to a record innings-and-137-run defeat on day four of the second Test to win the series.

The struggling tourists were all out for 189 in the final session on Sunday to suffer their heaviest Test loss to India after Kohli enforced the follow-on in Pune.

Umesh Yadav (3-22) and Ravindra Jadeja (3-52) capitalised on the tourists' shortcomings with the bat, while Ravichandran Ashwin took 2-45 after claiming 4-69 in the first innings.

Kohli laid the platform with a Test-best 254 not out and the captain is determined to make it 3-0 in Ranchi with an 11th consecutive home series win in the longest format already in the bag.

Asked about his side's run of series triumphs on home soil, the skipper said: "It's been nice, but looking at the larger picture, the Test Championship, every game has even more value.

"We're not going to take the foot off the gas in the third Test, we're looking for a result again, and hopefully make it 3-0.

"Because these points are important, we understand that, with the Test Championship it's going to be very crucial, at all the stages, when we play away from home as well. And no one's going to relax at any stage, that's a guarantee."

Kohli says he would not have registered an astonishing seven double-centuries without taking an unselfish approach at the crease.

"I think it's getting the responsibility of being captain. If you go out planning a double-hundred, you will not get it. But if you go out planning playing five sessions for your team, invariably you cross that 200 mark as well." said Kohli.

"The mindset has always been to help the team as much as possible, play at the tempo the team requires you to, and in that process, big scores come. The mindset change is the only reason behind the big scores.

"Before that, I used to think from a personal point of view and put pressure on myself. But the moment you start thinking about the team, all the pressure goes away, and all you're thinking is how to contribute to the team's cause."

Australia all-rounder Mitchell Marsh could face an injury layoff after hitting a changing room wall following his dismissal in Western Australia's Sheffield Shield draw with Tasmania.

The Western Australia captain damaged his right hand on his return to the pavilion after he was caught and bowled by Jackson Bird for 53 at the WACA on Sunday.

Marsh, recalled for Australia's defeat to England in the final Ashes Test at The Oval last month, must wait to discover the extent of the damage inflicted on himself during the first Shield match of the season.

"Marsh sustained the injury when he struck the wall in the changerooms following his dismissal earlier in the day," a statement on the Western Australian Cricket Association website said.

"The extent of the injury and a timeframe on his return will be determined later this week after further investigation."

Australia start a two-match Test series against Pakistan at the Gabba on November 21.

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