Recently recalled Windies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo is confident the talent of the current squad could see the team return to dominating world cricket in 10 to 12 years.

The 36-year-old recently returned to the team ahead of the ongoing T20 series against Ireland, after nearly four years out of action.  The return to the fold was an unhappy one as Ireland registered a rare win over the hosts.  There were a few bright sparks, however, with Bravo himself claiming 28 for 2.

The veteran all-rounder would also have witnessed up close the new generation of players tasked with taking Windies cricket back to the top.  He admits that he is impressed so far and eager to play a part.

“I feel good to know that I am among this talented squad here and I think these guys have 10, 12 years in front of them where they can dominate world cricket at some point,” Bravo said.

“My role is not to come back and try and take anyone’s spot or to play every game but to try and share whatever knowledge I have and have gained over the years. I believe with a captain like Polly and a coach like Phil (Simmons) that these young players can produce great things for West Indies in times to come.”

Windies skipper Kieron Pollard has pointed out running between the wickets as a key area of concern for the team, on the back of a surprise four-runs loss to Ireland in the opening T20 international.

On the back of a brisk 95 off 47 balls, which included an explosive eight 6s, the Irish posted 208 for 7.  The Windies, led by Evin Lewis’ 53 and a decent all-round team batting performance, made a good chase of the target before running out of enough balls to get there.

In analyzing the match, Pollard commended the bowlers for recovering from a poor start and the batsmen for making a competitive chase of the target.  He, however, believes the team could have done more running between the crease.

“When we were batting we did not have the urgency running between the wickets.  We know we are a good power-hitting team but when the singles are there and the twos are there we need to run hard between the wickets,” Pollard said.

“When Ireland were batting they hit the ball to our fieldsmen and they ran and that is something we did not do,” he added.

In their total, the Windies amassed 142 boundaries with 55 singles as compared to Ireland’s 124 boundary runs and 74 singles.

 

Windies T20 star Andre Russell has insisted he lives for the high-pressure moments after a solid performance with the bat to see Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) side Rajshahi Royals safely into the final, at the expense of Chris Gayle’s Chattogram Challengers.

Russell smashed an unbeaten 54 from 22 balls, which included seven sixes and two fours as the team successfully recovered from 80-4 in the 14th over to reach 164-8 with four balls remaining.  The total saw them claim a dramatic two-wicket win over Chattogram, who had been powered by Gayle’s blistering 60 off 24 balls.

"The plan was just to stay there until the end.  I wasn't worried about the falling wickets but as more wickets fell, it put pressure on me,” Russell told Espncricinfo.

“I just wanted one person from one end, and then let me do my thing at the other end. [Abu Jayed] Rahi stood up with me. Well done to him. I think every run was really important. These scores can be very tricky at times,” he added.

"I love playing in these situations, when it is 12, 13 or 14 runs [needed] per over," Russell said. "Sometimes I love when its like even 15 or 16. I like these challenges. I am strong and I know if I stay as still as possible, I will always have an open mindset and I don't premeditate.”

Rajshahi will face Khulna Tigers in the final on  Friday.

Windies skipper Kieron Pollard has heaped praise on recently returned all-rounder Dwyane Bravo, despite the player experiencing mixed fortunes in a rare T20 international loss against Ireland in Grenada on Tuesday. 

The 36-year-old, who has been out of competitive action at the highest level for several months, got off to a rocky start when he entered the bowling attack in the 5th over.  The bowler conceded 17 runs but recovered to end with 2 for 28, in the end playing a pivotal role in restricting Ireland to 208 for 7.

At one point, on the back of 94 from Paul Sterling and 48 from Kevin O’Brien, the Irish, who set the record for the highest power play score in T20 cricket, seemed set for a much bigger score.

“I thought he was fantastic.  After going for 17 or 18 in his first over a lot of chatter would have been about what’s going on with Bravo, he’s back and he’s expensive but it goes to show the importance of experience in T20 cricket.  You don’t lose a game in an over and he came back to get two crucial wickets,” Pollard said following the match.

Bravo accounted for the wickets of O’Brien, where he got the crucial breakthrough, and later removed Garth Delany.  Pollard also commended spinner Hayden Walsh.

“Hayden Walsh in all the carnage that was taking place as well, he bowled two overs on a trot and he was consistent with his line and length.”

 

 

 

Recently recalled Windies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo is confident of providing part of the solution needed for the team regarding its noted lack of quality in the fast bowling department.  

The 36-year-old was recently recalled for the team’s upcoming series against Ireland after being out of international action for four years.  During the time, however, the all-rounder has enhanced his reputation as one of the sport’s premier death bowlers.

Chairman of selectors Roger Harper admitted that a primary reason for Bravo’s inclusion is geared towards bolstering the team’s death bowling.

"Death bowling is an art," Bravo said in a recent espncricinfo interview.

"Not many people around the world have really nailed death bowling to the T. If you ask anyone in world cricket to name five death bowlers in the last decade, definitely my name will come along with Lasith Malinga, Jasprit Bumrah, Mitchell Starc,” he added.

"It is not an easy time of the game, that's why it is called death. A special skill is required to bowl in those situations. Most times, if you have the ball in the death overs, and you don't win the game, everyone turns to you, and says, "okay, it is because of the last over.”

With the team’s struggles containing batsmen during the middle and death overs, often on full display, as it was at the ICC World Cup, Bravo hopes to serve as a mentor to a new generation of West Indies bowlers.

“My motivation also to try and work with current bowlers. There's [Sheldon] Cottrell, there's Keemo Paul, there's Alzarri Joseph, there's Oshane Thomas, there's Kesrick Williams. Collectively all of us have to get better, myself included. But with the experience that I have, I can get them to understand the importance of certain deliveries and when to bowl certain deliveries and work on a better finishing game plan."

Windies skipper Kieron Pollard seemed to make good on his promise to take ‘tough decisions’ after being dissatisfied with the team’s performance in the second ODI against Ireland.

Top-order batsman Shimron Hetmyer was dropped from the team’s line-up for the third One Day International (ODI) against Ireland, on the back of what has been general frustration with the looseness of his stroke play in the first two matches of the series.

On Sunday, however, the skipper seemed to make it clear the move was just a temporary one with Hetmyer expected to return to the team’s line-up later this week.  In the two ODI games played, Hetmyer made 14 runs and was caught on both occasions after questionable shots.

“We spoke about working hard and the discipline and what is required for the team.  He is a very important player for us and it is a discussion that we had.  We need him to settle down and bat the way that we know he can bat.  In India he did it very well for us,” Pollard said following the match.

“These things happen, it just goes to show the dynamics of the team we have, Sunil coming in and getting that opportunity as well.  We want guys to be very, very hungry because there are other guys knocking on the door so we can’t relax and take anything for granted,” he added.

“At the end of the day, all is well that ends well.  He is a jovial guy.  He has helped out throughout the day and we look forward to him making runs in the T20 series.”

Windies top-order batsman Evin Lewis has cautioned that he is hungry for runs after what was in many respects an underwhelming performance in 2019.

The 28-year-old batsman went the entire season without scoring a century after eight appearances, despite getting over the half-century mark on three occasions.  In fact, the last time Lewis did make it to triple figures was in 2017.  On Sunday, in the third and final ODI against Ireland, he ensured that the trend would not continue after scoring 102 in a comfortable win and series sweep over the tourist.  

The left-hander had come close to a ton once again but failed to convert to triple figures in the first ODI eventually being stuck on 99 not.  Now with 306 runs in three matches under his belt to start the season, which earned him man-of-the-series honours, Lewis is looking forward to a good year.

“I’ve been working hard in the nets with the batting coach.  I’ve been trying to open up a little more and hit the ball straight down the ground and it has been working so far,” Lewis said following the match.

“To be honest with you I have been hungry for runs.  My last ODI century was in 2017, so this year I’m very determined and I just want to make the best of it,” he added.

“Sometimes when I score 50 I get a little ultra-aggressive.  It was a great opportunity to put my head down and bat.  We weren’t behind in the game, we were in control most of the time.  Going forward I just want to continue batting like that.”

Ireland captain Andy Balbirnie has admitted that the team is distraught after coming up just short against the Windies in a low-scoring thriller at Kensington Oval on Friday.

In the end, pace bowler Sheldon Cottrell smashed a six off the penultimate over of the match to give the hosts a one-wicket win.  However, at several points during the match the Irish seemed on the verge of securing a rare win over the Windies, with the hosts struggling at 3 for 24, 4 for 76 and 7 for 148 before heroics from Khary Pierre, Alzarri Joseph and Cottrell lifted the team to 242 for 9.

Before Cottrell’s heroics, the big pacer only narrowly just avoided being run out at the bowler’s end.  Cottrell was a long way short of his ground when but was given a reprieve after the third umpire determined Mark Adair failed broke the stumps with his hand before the ball actually hit the wicket.

The drama in the final over was not yet over with Cottrell finding himself stranded three-fourth of the way down the pitch after Hayden Walsh failed to take a second run but luckily, the return throw went to the wrong end and Cottrell, despite slipping on his way back, managed to return to the striker's end safely.

“I can’t really fault guys now, they’re all distraught now actually.  We have thrown everything into the game and come up short and that will definitely haunt us today,”  Balbirnie said.

“We’ve lost a game of cricket, which is usually disappointing…I backed the bowlers to keep their heads, we have skillful enough bowlers.  Garry Wilson came up with an outstanding bit of fielding that almost won us the game but like I said I can’t fault our bowlers.  We have put in two really good efforts with ball and in the field and hopefully, we can come up better in the third ODI.”

 

Veteran Windies batsman Chris Gayle has admitted he is not a fan of the proposed four-day Test cricket format, insisting that shortening the game would lessen some of its appeal.

Gayle, who has scored a total of 7214 runs in 104 Test matches, with a high score of 333, is no stranger to the format.  The player last set foot in the Test area six years ago but has not lost the affinity for the grueling nature of the longest format.

It is of little surprise that Gayle recently added his voice to the throng of players and former players that have come out strongly against the possibility of reducing five-day Test matches to four-dayers.  The topic is expected to be discussed by the ICC over the next few months.

“I am not a fan of that (four-day Tests). I played 100 Tests, I mean a few finished in three days, a few in four but five days Test cricket is the ultimate and to have a four-day Test…I am not a big fan of that,” Gayle said.

“It has set the trend and it’s been there for ages so why go and mess with that. If they give other players a chance to experience that, it can be a life-changing experience to play five-day cricket. It is a mental state so that you can cope in life as well,” said Gayle.

 Indian captain Virat Kohli, South African skipper Faf du Plessis, English captain Joe Root and Indian great Sachin Tendulkar are among the other players to have spoken out in opposition to the change.

Windies star Chris Gayle insists he hopes to play for another five years or at least as long as possible.

The left-handed batting talisman turned 40 earlier this year and had initially speculated about retiring after the ICC World Cup.  Gayle, however, had a complete change of heart regarding that possibility and now insists that he believes he still has a lot to offer to the sport.

The West Indian already has a long list of accomplishments which includes being the highest ODI runs scorer for the West Indies, and having the most centuries with 25.  Gayle is also the first batsman to score a triple century in Test cricket, a double century in ODI cricket and a century in T20 internationals.

Despite his long list of accomplishments, however, Gayle believes he still has plenty to give to fans of the sport and league's around the world.

“A lot of people still want (to) see Chris Gayle out there in the middle. I still have that love for the game and that passion for the game as well. And I would love to carry on as long as possible,” Gayle said in a recent interview.

“Forty-five is a good number. Yeah, we can target 45. Let’s target 45, that’s a good number,” he added.

“Even in franchise cricket, I am still playing a few games here and there around the globe because I still feel I have a lot to offer.  The body is feeling good. And I am sure I am getting younger as days go on.”

 

Prime minister of Grenada and outspoken CARICOM official Dr Keith Mitchell believes the use of promising Windies talents over multiple formats could prove a hindrance in their future development.

Currently, the likes of Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmyer, and Shai Hope, who lead a group of the next generation of talented Windies players, play both the 50 over and T20 formats or all three.  The practice is not at all uncommon as the evolution of the sport has offered different advantages to players taking part in multiple formats.  Particularly the lucrative T20 format, which offers major cash incentives.

Mitchell, however, believes that different temperaments and various styles needed to be successful in the different formats could prove damaging to young players still honing their craft.

"We have some talented players, the Poorans and Hetmyers and so on. I’m not sure that the right thing is to play these young people in all formats of the game at this point in time,” Mitchell explained in a recent interview.

“You have talent in Pooran and Hetmyer – these guys on the 50-over and on the Test team, we’d be moulding these guys. But when a guy gets used to sixes and sixes and hitting the ball in the air in the 20-over game which they must do, I think the mindset if they’re not well-developed yet … you can be spoiling a talent that is there for the [longest] version of the game and the 50-over game,” he added.

“That’s my opinion; I might be wrong … but in watching it from the sidelines, I think it is something [CWI] and selectors must look at – do you need to play these young players in all versions of the game? I’m not sure that’s the right thing to do.”

Veteran Windies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo has been revealed as the face of 10PL World Cup, a UAE-based tennis ball cricket tournament.

The 36-year-old Bravo will be heavily involved in the proceedings from start to finish, beginning with the tournament launch press conference in February, to a celebrity appearance on the final day.

 The tournament, now in its third year, has garnered increased interest for this edition with a reported 40 teams in pursuit of just 20 spots.  The first two editions of the tournament saw 16 teams take part.  Bravo has indicated his delight at both the association with and taking part in the tournament.

 “I am delighted to be the face of the 10PL World Cup of tennis ball cricket tournament. I have learned a lot of my key tricks that I'm sure many of the players in the tournament will employ, especially the use of slower ball and Yorkers,” Bravo said.

“The tournament, therefore, promises to be the perfect platform for raw talents to showcase what they are capable of. I am really looking forward to this competition,” he added.

Meanwhile, Abdul Latif Khan, who is the chairman of Petromann Events has expressed delight with having Bravo onboard.

 “It is an absolute honour to have Bravo as the face of the tournament. In the coming days we will be unveiling a campaign with Bravo to further raise the profile of the tournament,” he said.

The tournament is expected to take place between the 8-13 of March.

The West Indies under 19 team’s preparations for the World Cup are well and truly underway with the side already in camp in Johannesburg since Saturday.

The camp is set to run until January six days before the January 17 start of the World Cup.

Coming out of the camp, the West Indies u19s go into official warm-up games against Canada on January 13 and Scotland on January 15.

The West Indies are in Zone B of the World Cup group stage where they will face Australia, England and debutants, Nigeria.

According to Cricket West Indies, the players have been preparing well, given the exposure that has been afforded them through trial games in the Rising Stars Under-19 tournament, with players from the Super50-winning West Indies Emergin Players team, joining the World Cup outfit, as well as a skills camp in September of 2019, and two tri-series competitions against England and Sri Lanka in the Caribbean.

According to U19 coach, Graeme West, the two tri-series against England and Sri Lanka were instructive.
“The encouraging aspect of the Tri-Series was that the team got into strong positions in five out of the six games that were played, the bowling unit functioned well and was backed up by some impressive fielding that was enhanced by the introduction of Fielding Specialist, Julien Fountain. The batsman came out of the series with a better understanding of the skills they will need to deliver in order to achieve the team targets that have been set and the camp will certainly focus heavily in these areas,” said West.

“The six games has given each player a better understanding of the roles and responsibilities they will need to fulfil for the team to succeed. Equally as important was the time the players and coaches spent together to discuss, review and reflect on the cricket that was played and identify how each player can move their game forward and give more to the team.”


WEST INDIES UNDER-19 WORLD CUP SQUAD:

Kimani Melius - Captain

Nyeem Young

Ashmead Nedd

Leonardo Julien

Kevlon Anderson

Daniel Beckford

Matthew Forde

Joshua James

Antonio Morris

Mbeki Joseph

Avinash Mahabirsingh

Kirk McKenzie

Ramon Simmonds

Matthew Patrick

Jaden Seales

 

TEAM MANAGEMENT

Graeme West (Head Coach)

Kenny Benjamin (Assistant Coach)

Dwain Gill (Manager)

Dinesh Mahabir (Analyst)

Khevyn Williams (Physiotherapist)

Martin Gallyer (Strength & Conditioning Coach) 

Julian Fountain (Fielding Coach) 

Cricket West Indies has instituted a mandatory rest period for Test captain Jason Holder in what seems to be a calculated bid to avoid overuse injuries or player burnout.

Holder, who was a part of the team’s recent tour of India, will be rested for both the three-match ODI and Twenty20 series against Ireland.  The player will also be unavailable for his regional team Barbados in the upcoming four-day competition fixtures.

“Jason will be rested during the Ireland series and will be unavailable for Barbados until the end of the series against Sri Lanka in February. He will then be assessed coming out of the SL series and a decision made and communicated on what his regional workloads will be for the later rounds of the 4-day competition,” CWI Director of Cricket Jimmy Adams told Barbados Today.

With a busy 2020 coming up, which will includes the team’s defense of the T20 World title, another player targeted for load management is fast bowler Kemar Roach.

The bowler is not in the Barbados team for the opening match against Windward Islands Volcanoes in St. Vincent following a request from Cricket West Indies (CWI) that he plays six of the maximum ten matches.

“We see the need to manage Kemar and Jason’s workloads to get the best out of them for 2020," Adams explained.

 

 

Windies in-form batsman Shai Hope has labeled adaptability as a key component to his recent success and expects to successfully replicate his good form in the coming year.

The 26-year-old batsman has been the regional team’s top runs getter in the ODI format for 2019 and third overall in the world, behind the Indian duo of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma.  At year-end, the right hander plundered 1345 runs at an average of 61 with four hundreds.

Often finding himself nestled between power hitters, Hope’s unflappable nature and timely stroke play often proved crucial in whatever success the Windies team had.

“The key is knowing your role in the team and knowing how it affects your batting partners, so the key is about standing your role. I think everyone in the team is starting to understand their role and it’s making our batting performances a lot more successful and consistent,” Hope said in a recent interview.

“It’s about being adaptable. I believe that adaptability is the biggest thing in cricket, especially when you’re playing [different] formats,” he added.

Hope recently produced a strong showing against the world’s top-ranked ODI team India.  It was his unbeaten hundred in the series opener in Chennai which helped the Caribbean side take a 1-0 lead but knocks of 78 and 42 in the remaining matches failed to prevent defeats.  The young batsman insists he remains focused on improving.

“[It’s] about improvement. Obviously you want to score more runs as a batsman but the key is about gaining things, adding things to your game and improving as a cricketer.”

 

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