West Indies fast bowler turned commentator Ian Bishop does not believe recently retired Windies skipper Kieron Pollard is washed-up but insists the time has come for the player to adjust his game.

Typically, a reliable source of runs for five-time IPL champions Mumbai Indians, Pollard has struggled mightily to make an impact this season.  In 11 IPL matches so far, the big West Indian has scored just 144 runs at an average of 14.40 and with a strike rate of 107.46.  The ball-striking tally is the player’s lowest since he made his debut in the IPL in 2010.

Having retired from international cricket a few weeks ago, some have suggested that it might be time for Pollard to take another step in moving away from the sport entirely.  While acknowledging that he has struggled in the tournament this season, Bishop believes the player could still have a bit more left in the tank.

"People are saying he's washed, I'm not going to go there. I think he's a player who can reinvent himself,” Bishop told Espncricinfo.

"You look at Pollard's numbers when Mumbai have won the championships: 400 runs in 2013 at 42, up to 2019 and 2020, where he averaged over 30 with a strike rate sometimes in the 160s to 190s - he's been integral to them. You can't forget that as a franchise, so they're giving him every possible chance,” he added.

Despite the franchise choosing to stick with the veteran player, however, Bishop insists it’s up to Pollard to adjust.

"Pollard himself has to reinvent his game, however, he chooses to do that, because he's still got a future ahead of him we hope.”

 Legendary West Indies batsman Viv Richards is confident Nicholas Pooran was the right choice for captain of the One Day  International squad and has backed the player to do well in the position.

Pooran was named as the replacement for all-rounder Kieron Pollard last week, following the latter’s surprise decision to retire from international cricket a few weeks ago.  The decision to appoint the 25-year-old by the Cricket West Indies (CWI) panel of selectors hardly came as a surprise as the players was already being groomed for the position.

Pooran, who had served as Pollard’s vice-captain over the last year, took charge of the team for a series against India earlier this year.  For Richards who himself captained the team between 1980 and 1991, the choice was an obvious one.

“There wasn’t any other choice in my opinion. I think the young man is pretty studious about what he wants to get done. He takes his cricket pretty studiously and I am a fan of Nicholas Pooran,” Richards told the Antigua Observer.

The Master Blaster believes the player has come a long way since making his debut for the team in 2016 and has now blossomed into the role.

“Early in his career I guess there was some immaturity … but having been through the mill and where he’s at now, I think he is the perfect choice as captain.”

Jimmy Adams, Director of Cricket at Cricket West Indies does not believe regional players are taking advantage of the governing body to secure T20 contracts in the more lucrative T20 leagues around the world.

During a press conference on Monday with Lead Selector Desmond Haynes, Adams, who was also present, was asked whether this was the case in the wake of the recent development wherein Shimron Hetmyer took time off from the IPL to attend the birth of his child in Guyana, promising to return to complete the season, but using the same reason, has declared himself unavailable for the West Indies white-ball tours of The Netherlands and Pakistan that start later this month.

There have also been instances in the past where players have declined invitations to represent the West Indies choosing instead to play franchise cricket.

“You will have players who will opt not to take contracts because they want the freedom to go and play whenever and wherever. While I respect that, by the same token I think we kind of understand where those players’ priorities lie. There could be a few others like that around. We live with them and we move on if we have to,” Adams said.

“I don’t think that is a majority, I don’t think it impacts us in a negative sense, per se. We have had many players in the last few years who have played, who are not contracted players - your Chris Gayles, your Andre Russells.

“Yes, it needs managing for sure at both the international and the levels within the regions around the world. I think given where we are now in world cricket, and I believe where we are now in West Indies cricket, that we are doing a pretty good job of it.”

That said, Adams does concede that in regions like the West Indies where player contracts pale in comparison to those offered by the wealthy owners of IPL franchises, there is little that can be done.

“T20 cricket and the leagues are here to stay. I don’t necessarily think that they are a bad thing. At the end of the day what players have nowadays that they did not have in my time and Sir Desmond’s time was choice and I don’t think choice is a bad thing.

“We try to ensure we don’t have any overlaps with either IPL or CPL, so all our contracted players know that there is a minimum of two windows where they will not have any competing international cricket. As it stands now it is not something that sees us losing control.”

 

Cricket West Indies lead selector Desmond Haynes and Director of Cricket Jimmy Adams have blasted players for not being able to meet minimum fitness standards that would qualify them for selection to the senior men's squad.

“I’m pretty disappointed as well,” Haynes said speaking in a press conference on Monday.

“When you look at the amount of cricket that is being played around the world, I think there is a certain level of fitness that is required and I think there is a standard that you should set as a professional cricketer,” added Haynes before going on to mention how picking players while being unsure of whether or not they can finish tours is a concern.

“I do get concerned when you have to be selecting the side and not sure if these guys are going to be fit enough to finish the tour,” he said.

"For contracted players who are unavailable for fitness, there are consequences that are outlined in the contracts," Adams said.

One player who missed out on selection for the tour of the Netherlands in June because of failure to meet minimum fitness requirements is Trinidadian left-handed opener, Evin Lewis.

"We have players who, in our eyes are good enough to be considered for selection who are unavailable because of not even coming in on minimum fitness standards. That is very disappointing. For players who are contracted, that is doubly disappointing,” the former West Indies middle-order batsman added.

On a more positive note, Haynes commented on the inclusion of new faces in the team like St. Maarten’s Keacy Carty.

“As the new group of selectors, we have made it very clear that we will give opportunities to people and try to broaden the pool and start thinking with 2023 in mind,” he said.

 

 

Three newcomers – fast bowlers Jayden Seales and Shermon Lewis as well as specialist batter Keacy Carty – have been named in the West Indies ODI squad for the upcoming tours of the Netherlands and Pakistan starting later this month.

Meanwhile, Jason Holder is being rested to manage his workload whilst Shimron Hetmyer is also unavailable for selection following the birth of his first child. Evin Lewis was not considered for selection after failing to meet CWI’s fitness criteria.

The West Indies will visit the Netherlands for three ODIs on May 31, June 2 and 4, followed by another three ODIs on June 8, 10 and 12 in Pakistan.

Both Seales and Lewis have played at the Test level while Carty is the first player from St. Maarten to be selected for the West Indies Senior Men’s team as the era of Nicholas Pooran’s captaincy begins.

“We were impressed with Carty and the way he goes about his innings, we saw several glimpses of his ability the way he played against England earlier this year for the CWI President’s XI,” said Lead Selector Dr Desmond Haynes.

“We hope that by giving him this opportunity he will recognize the importance of representing the West Indies. We think he is a young batsman with great promise, and this is the kind of tour he can show he fits in.”

Dr Haynes also expressed confidence in the fast bowlers selected for the white-ball tours.

“We also have a very good group of young fast bowlers who have demonstrated their ability and we want to use these two tours to give them opportunities in the 50-over format,” he said.

“We have a week in The Netherlands and another week in Pakistan and this should provide them with quality opposition to bowl against as we build towards the Cricket World Cup in 2023.  Phillip has been around for some time, and we know what he can offer, Seales has been very good in Test cricket and Lewis is making a return to the West Indies set-up following some good performances.”

The tour of the Netherlands will be the first-ever ODI Series between the two teams and will be played at the VRA Cricket Ground, Amstelveen.

The matches in Pakistan will be played at the Pindi Stadium in Rawalpindi. Both series form part of the ICC ODI Super League, where teams will have the opportunity to earn points to secure one of the top seven places, excluding hosts India, to gain automatic qualification for the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup.

The West Indies squad: Nicholas Pooran (Captain), Shai Hope (Vice Captain), Nkrumah Bonner, Shamarh Brooks, Keacy Carty, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Brandon King, Shermon Lewis, Kyle Mayers, Anderson Phillip, Rovman Powell, Jayden Seales, Romario Shepherd and Hayden Walsh Jr.

Match schedule:

West Indies tour of Netherlands

May 31: 1st ODI at VRA Cricket Ground, Amstelveen

June 2: 2nd ODI at VRA Cricket Ground, Amstelveen

 June 4: 3rd ODI at VRA Cricket Ground, Amstelveen

 West Indies tour of Pakistan

June 8: 1st ODI at Pindi Stadium, Rawalpindi

June 10: 2nd ODI at Pindi Stadium, Rawalpindi

June 12: 3rd ODI at Pindi Stadium, Rawalpindi

Former India cricketer turned analyst, Aakash Chopra, does not believe India Premier League (IPL) club Mumbai Indians will play West Indies all-rounder Kieron Pollard again for the rest of the season.

The 34-year-old big-hitter has had a difficult campaign to date for the many-time IPL champions, who have themselves struggled to make an impact.  With only two wins and eight losses in 10 games, the five-time title winners are rooted at the bottom of the IPL table.

 In ten matches so far in IPL 2022, Pollard has struggled to score just 129 runs at an abysmal average of 14.33 and a strike rate of just 109.32.  Pollard has been a loyal servant to the Mumbai franchise and despite it being the only IPL club that he has ever represented, since making his debut in 2010, Chopra believes the club is likely to take a chance with young South African Dewald Brevis.  Brevis has scored 124 runs in six games but has an incredible strike rate of 155.

“I feel Kieron Pollard will not play any further this year, that's it, they won't play him anymore because Dewald Brevis is sitting outside and Tim David is doing well," Chopra said via his YouTube channel.

"Don't know why they didn't play a punt on Tim David earlier. They had kept this six-hitting machine sitting outside for a long time. Now they have remembered that they should play him and he has not disappointed them even once since they have played him.”

 

West Indies T20 star Chris Gayle has revealed that he skipped this season’s India Premier League (IPL) draft because he did feel like he was getting the respect he deserved.

The 42-year-old has been one of the tournament’s most successful and recognisable players since first appearing at the tournament in 2009.  The batsman, however, struggled to find his way last season while representing the Punjab Kings, managing just 193 runs from 10 games.

In addition, the batsman also made the headline after being surprisingly dropped on his birthday and eventually left the tournament early.  In the previous season, Gayle eventually scored an impressive 288 in 7 games but was left out of the team for the first 6 matches.

“For the last couple of years, the way the IPL went about, I felt like I wasn’t treated properly.  So I thought ‘okay, you (Gayle) didn’t get the respect you deserved after you did so much for the sport and IPL,” Gayle told The Mirror UK.

“So, I said ‘okay, that’s it, I’m not going to bother to enter the draft,’ so I left it as it is. There is always going to be life after cricket so I’m just trying to adapt to normality,” he added.

Much like his international career, however, Gayle does not believe his tenure in the IPL is over and claims he could return next season.

“Next year I’m coming back, they need me! I’ve represented three teams in the IPL, Kolkata, RCB, and Punjab. Between RCB and Punjab, I would love to get a title, with one of those two teams. I had a great stint with RCB where I was more successful within the IPL and Punjab, they’ve been good. I love to explore and I love challenges so let’s see what happens,” the 42-year-old said.

The India tour of the West Indies is expected to bowl off on July 22, with matches scheduled to take place in Trinidad, St Kitts, and the United States.

According to reports, the tour is expected to consist of three ODIs and five T20Is and should be the first major test for new West Indies skipper Nicholas Pooran.  Pooran took charge of the team last week, following the retirement of all-rounder Kieron Pollard.

The first of the five-match T20I matches will be played at the Brian Charles Lara Stadium on July 29, and that should be followed by two encounters at Warner Park in St Kitts and Nevis between August 1 and 2.

The last two matches will also be held on back-to-back days, but that venue will be in Florida on August 6 and 7.

Things will get underway with the 50-over matches, which will be conducted at Trinidad’s Queen Park Oval on July 22, 24, and 27.

Top Windies batsman Chris Gayle believes the position of team captain is good for a player’s individual growth and insists he thoroughly enjoyed his time in the position.

The hard-hitting left-hander served as captain of the West Indies team from 2007 to 2010, with what can be described as mixed fortunes.  In One Day International’s Gayle led the team for 53 games, winning 17 and losing 30 for a 56 percent win ratio.  In Tests, he was in charge for 20 matches, winning 3 losing 9, and drawing 8.

Despite the record and a few controversies, Gayle believes his time in charge was well worth it.

“It made me a better person.  It grows you and you relate to people more.  You know who is for you.  It gives you a challenge and when the pressure is on that when you know who will fight for you and who is there for you.  It’s always a good thing to be a captain and a good thing to lead your country as well,” Gayle told Talksport Radio.

Gayle, in the meantime, has commended England for their choosing Ben Stokes as their new captain and tipped the all-rounder to excel in the role.

“I think it’s the best choice to have a guy like Ben Stokes, he’s been around world-class players and a proper all-rounder.  I think he’s the best choice to lead the England side.  It was tough for Joe Root to step down, but I’m sure he will get support from Root and the rest of the players.”

The West Indies recently made a new captaincy appointment of their own after Nicholas Pooran was appointed ODI captain following the recent retirement of Kieron Pollard.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) on Tuesday confirmed the appointment of Nicholas Pooran as the West Indies Men’s One-Day International (ODI) and T20 International (T20I) captain, following the international retirement of Kieron Pollard.

Pooran will take over the captaincy for the West Indies ODI and T20I teams after being Pollard’s deputy over the last year. The appointment will include the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in 2022 and the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in October 2023.  Shai Hope has been recommended to stand as vice-captain of the ODI team.

CWI’s Director of Cricket Jimmy Adams said: “We believe Nicholas is ready for the challenge of leading our white ball teams given his experience, performances, and the respect he has within the playing group.  The Selection Panel believes that Nicholas has matured as a player and were impressed with his leadership of both teams when Kieron Pollard had been absent. The experience he has gathered playing in various franchise leagues around the world was also a factor in the decision to recommend him for the T20 captaincy.”

Pooran has already captained the West Indies Men in Pollard’s absence, leading them to a CG Insurance T20I Series win at home against Australia in 2021. 

The left-handed wicketkeeper/batsman has eight half-centuries and an ODI century to his name. He has also scored eight T20I half-centuries for the West Indies Senior Men’s team. He first burst onto the cricket scene representing the West Indies Under-19 team at the 2014 ICC Men’s U19 World Cup, smashing 303 runs from six matches.

CWI President Ricky Skerritt congratulated Pooran on his appointment saying, “Nicholas Pooran is a specially gifted cricketer, and the right person to take over the white ball captaincy. We are confident that he will continue to climb the leadership learning curve speedily, and successfully. I appeal to all West Indies cricket stakeholders to give Nicholas the support and encouragement that he deserves.”

Pooran expressed his delight in his appointment saying, “I am truly honored to be appointed captain of the West Indies team. I am following the footsteps of several giants of the game who have created an amazing legacy for West Indies cricket. This is indeed a prestigious role, a pivotal position in the West Indian society, as cricket is the force that brings us all West Indians together. To be named captain is indeed the highlight of my career so far and I want to drive the team forward to accomplish great things on the field for our fans and loyal supporters.”

His first outing as captain will be the three away ODIs against The Netherlands in Amstelveen starting May 31 which form part of the ICC World Cup Super League.

 

The West Indies Players’ Association (WIPA) extends sympathies to West Indies spinner Veerasammy Permaul and his family.

Waynmattie ‘Dataley’ Permaul, Veerasammy’s mother, had been missing for seven days when her son made the report of such to the Guyanese authorities on Thursday, April 28. Upon searching her Berbice home, her body was found lifeless in a shallow grave. She was 52 years old.  

WIPA President and CEO, Wavell Hinds expressed, “The WIPA family extends condolences to Veerasammy Permaul and his family during this stressful time. We regret the untimely passing of his mother and hope he will find the strength and courage to continue his lifelong journey. May her soul rest in peace and light perpetually shine upon her.” 

West Indies all-rounder Rovman Powell has urged IPL franchise Delhi Capitals to quickly move past the recent no-ball controversy as the team looks to jostle for a position in the playoffs.

In their previous encounter, a 15-run loss to Rajasthan Royals on Friday, the team was left incensed by what they believe was a missed no-ball call in the final over.  Needing an improbable 36 off the final over, Powell kept things interesting when he blasted three straight 6s off international team Obed Mccoy.

The Capitals were convinced the third six was also a waist-high no-ball and as such would have been a free hit, which would have made things even more interesting.  The delivery was, however, not called by the umpires and Mccoy fought back to dismiss Powell.  The incident led to arguments between Delhi players and the umpire, and assistant coach Rajasthan Royals Pravin Amre came onto the field.  In the aftermath, Delhi Capitals captain Rishabh Pant, all-rounder Shardul Thakur and Amre were slapped with heavy fines resulting from the incident, with Amre also given a one-match ban.  With a match upcoming against the Kolkata Knightriders on Wednesday, Powell is looking to move past the incident.

“It’s something that we have to put behind us and put behind us very fast.  We have a lot of upcoming matches and we have no time to sit down and dwell in the past,” Powell said of the incident.

“We have some important games coming up, important games that we have to win to get to the next round of the competition,” he added.

“We are about 6th or 7th in the table that is a good place to be. It’s just for us to climb the ladder and hopefully, we’ll reach our goal, which is the top four.”

West Indies head coach Phil Simmons insists he understands and respects the decision of recently retired captain Kieron Pollard but insists the player’s passion and desire will be sorely missed.

After nearly 16-years representing the regional team and three years in charge of both the One Day International (ODI) and T20 squads, the 34-year-old Pollard announced his decision to step away from international cricket last week.

“Skipper it is sad to see you retire from the maroon shirt so early…I completely understand,” Simmons said, addressing the issue via Facebook.

“Your ability to give players your backing and trust to deliver and your strong leadership both on and off the field was a joy to work with,” he added.

Pollard took charge of both squads in 2019 and experienced mixed fortunes during his tenure.  The T20 squad lost 21 of 39 matches and had a disastrous defense of its World Cup title.  The ODI squad on the other hand fared better, winning 13 and losing 11 of 21 matches played.  Still, Simmons hailed Pollard as a positive force for pushing players to reach their full potential and having a genuine desire to see the team do well.

“Your passion for pushing players to build on skills and knowledge of the game and more. Your unwillingness to settle for mediocrity was a pleasure to work with,” Simmons said.

“Your undoubted passion for the game and especially the Maroon Shirt together with your desire to bring success to the West Indies cricket team henceforth Cricket West Indies will be missed. You will be missed.”

Former India players Sunil Gavaskar and RP Singh are among those critical of all-rounder Krunal Pandya kissing former West Indian skipper Kieron Pollard during Sunday’s India Premier League (IPL) encounter between Mumbai Indians and Lucknow Super Giants.

So far this season, Mumbai, the many-time champions, have failed to gain any traction, losing all eight of the games played so far.  In Sunday’s loss, Pandya found himself at the centre of controversy after running to give Pollard a kiss on the head after dismissing the West Indian.

Despite it being generally known that the men are friends, Gavaskar believes the bowler went too far with his celebration and that his mockery could have provoked a negative reaction from the West Indian. 

“I know he is not going to like it, No! No! However good friends you are, that has to happen once the game is over. He is lucky that Pollard didn’t do anything,” Gavaskar told Star Sports.  Singh agreed, adding that the Lucknow player had gone too far.

“Nobody likes losing. When a player is not doing well, one should avoid such things. You don’t know what emotions he is going through. What if he (Pollard) had turned back and reacted. He was walking back disappointed at being unable to win matches and that reaction was definitely too much.”

 

Late fireworks from Windies all-rounder Andre Russell proved to be inadequate as Kolkata Knight Riders lost out to Gujarat Titans in a dramatic eight-run win in Mumbai on Saturday.

Chasing 157 for a win, KKR ended their innings at 148 for 8, with the run of the destructive Russell finally coming to an end with the second ball of the final over.

The batsman had entered the innings with the team needing 77, with just 8 overs remaining, and immediately smashed Yash Dayal for back-to-back sixes.  In total, Russell hammered six, sixes for a late 25-ball 48, which brought the team to needing 18 from the final over.  Facing international teammate Alzarri Joseph, he smashed the first ball for a six, but it was Joseph who had the last laugh when the rampaging batsman was gobbled up by Lockie Ferguson on the very next delivery.

Prior to that, Russell had put in an even more impressive cameo with the ball.  With the 20th to be bowled and the Titans potentially poised for a big score, on 151 for 5, KKR captain Iyer Shreyas turned to Russell for the first time in the match.

Russell's amazing last over brought the Knights right back into contention. The West Indies all-rounder conceded just five runs off that final over and picked up four wickets, with Rinku Singh picking up three of those catches.  The bowler’s 4 for 5 in 1 over was the best ever for one over in IPL history.

For the Titans, Mohammed Shami, Rashid Khan, and Dayal took two wickets each, with Alzarri Joseph and Ferguson getting one each. Veteran India pacer Shami bowled a destructive opening spell, taking the wickets of new opening pair of Sam Billings (4) and Sunil Narine (5) to reduce KKR to 2 for 10 in the third over. 

 

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