Out-of-favour West Indies big-hitter Carlos Brathwaite will return to England’s T20 Vitality Blast after signing with Birmingham Bears.

Brathwaite, who was not selected for the West Indies team for the T20 World Cup, was the leading wicket-taker for the team last season after taking 18.  He was also handy with the bat as well, scoring a tidy 183 runs.

The former West Indies T20 captain played a crucial role in helping the Bears reach the quarter-finals for the first time in four years last season, his first with the club.

The 33-year-old big hitter is excited to be rejoining the team for the 2022 editions of the tournament, particularly with fans not allowed to return to the stands.

"Edgbaston is a very special place to play at and it was great to get a taste of the atmosphere last year," Brathwaite said. "Hopefully we can welcome thousands more fans to get the Eric Hollies Stand rocking next year and make Edgbaston the real fortress for the Bears which it's renowned for,” he added.

Brathwaite, who will be available for the whole tournament, has not appeared for the West Indies since 2019 when the team played against India.

West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo hopes to play cricket for a few more years yet, despite recently pulling the curtains on his international career.

The 38-year-old officially called time on representing the West Indies, following the close of a disappointing T20 World Cup campaign that ended with a loss to South Africa.  An uninspiring performance from the titleholders saw them lose four of the five matches played. 

Overall, Bravo made 295 appearances for the Caribbean team, winning two T20 World Cup titles and one ICC Champions Trophy.  Despite the disappointment of the most recent tournamet, however, Bravo, who only months ago claimed the Indian Premier League (IPL) title with the Chennai Super Kings, is not quite ready to walk away from the game completely.

“I will continue playing franchise cricket for a few more years as long as my body will allow me to,” Bravo said during the post-match press conference.

“My aim was to retire a few years ago, but with a change of presidency and change of leadership comes a change of heart, and I wanted to give back to West Indies because I was still in a good place physically and enjoy my cricket,” he said.

Bravo had previously announced his international retirement in October of 2018 but came out of retirement in 2019 to help West Indies defend their T20 title.  He is convinced now is the time for a new generation to step into the limelight.

“I think this was the right moment for me to walk away from the game, and allow the next generation and young players who I share a very good friendship with to come through.”

West Indies captain Kieron Pollard says it’s time for the team to rebuild from foundations following a disappointing showing at the T20 World Cup and the end of the road for a generation of players.

A miserable campaign for the defending champions ended with an 8-wicket loss to Australia, the team’s fourth defeat in five games.  The West Indies' lone win of the campaign came against Bangladesh, which preceded heavy losses to England, South Africa, and Sri Lanka.

For some the West Indies were listed among the pre-tournament favourites due to boasting a line-up packed with heavy hitters.  The likes of Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo, and Andre Russell were not only household T20 names but already had the experience of winning the tournament.

In reality, however, the team struggled to put runs on the board, ending with the fourth-worst net run rate and the team’s experienced players' general failure to ever really get a foothold at the crease.

"Overall it's been a disappointing campaign. In terms of the batting, we have not done well at all. Our bowling has been decent but not good enough. It's the end of a generation, we have some guys who have done good things for T20 cricket in our team and around the world," Pollard said at the post-match presentation.


"We as people are very proud. We have to look at the way we play T20 cricket. What we've seen is that one guy in the top four has to bat as long as possible. Going forward I need to do that better. We have to start from a foundation now," Pollard said at the post-match press conference."

West Indies batting star Chris Gayle joked about wanting to play another World Cup but is expected to officially sign off an exceptional career with one more match, at Sabina Park, when he returns to his birth nation Jamaica.

The 42-year-old competed in his final World Cup match on Thursday, his third appearance overall at the premier T20 competition.  Unlike the other two appearances, which had resulted in the West Indies lifting the trophy, however, this one ended in disappointment with the team limping to the line in second to last place and being eliminated at the group stages.

Nor was Gayle’s performance particularly statistically significant.  In five matches, Gayle tottered to 45 runs with a high score of 15 and an average of 9.  In fact, even before the tournament, the player's inclusion had divided opinion around the Caribbean region with many insisting that the batsman, no longer at the top of his game, should have stepped aside for younger talent.  He admits it was not the fairytale ending.

“It was a very disappointing World Cup, disappointing for me as well.  This is probably my worst World Cup, but these things happen and it's just sad that it came at the back end of my career,” Gayle told ICC Cricket media.

“We still have a lot to go in West Indies cricket, we have some great talent coming up right now, so all I can do is play my supporting role with them and wish West Indies Cricket the best.

“I’d love to play one more World Cup, but I don’t think they would allow me,” a laughing Gayle added.

“I haven’t announced any retirement because they have given me one more game in Jamaica, in front of my home crowd then I can saw alright, thanks, guys.  So, let’s see.  If it wasn’t for that I would have announced it a long time ago with DJ Bravo.”

Gayle has been one of the most dominant players in the sport of T20 cricket, with over 14,000 runs scored.  Internationally, he has scored the most runs for the West Indies with 1899.

 

 

 

 

West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo has officially announced his retirement from international cricket, following a disappointing title defense for the team at the T20 World Cup.

The West Indies still have one fixture remaining against Australia but have officially been eliminated after losing to Sri Lanka on Thursday.  Overall, the team lost three matches and won one.  The West Indies' lone win so far came against Bangladesh, after losing to England and South Africa to open the tournament.

Ahead of the World Cup, the 38-year-old Bravo had suggested that the tournament would be his last for the region, after a long and decorated career.

I think the time has come," Bravo to the ICC Cricket media channel.

 "I've had a very good career. To represent the West Indies for 18 years, had some ups and downs, but as I look back at it I'm very grateful to represent the region and the Caribbean people for so long,” he added.

Since making his debut in 2006, against New Zealand, Bravo went on to represent the West Indies 90 times in T20 internationals.  Overall, he has made 223 appearances for the Caribbean team in all formats.

"To win three ICC trophies, two with my captain [Daren Sammy] on the left here. One thing I am proud about is that the era of cricketers we had we were able to make a name for ourselves on the global stage and not only do that but have silverware to show for it,” he added.

As for the current campaign, Bravo admitted that it did not go the way the team wanted it to, but that he hoped to be able to still pass on his knowledge to the upcoming generation.

"For me now I want to try and pass on whatever experience and information I have with the younger players," he said. "I think in the white-ball formats West Indies cricket have a bright future and it's important for us to keep supporting the guys and keep encouraging them.

"It wasn't the World Cup we expected, it wasn't the World Cup we wanted as players. We shouldn't feel sorry for ourselves, it was a tough competition, we should keep our heads high."

 

 

Former West Indies opening batsman Philo Wallace believes T20 captain Kieron Pollard must shoulder a huge part of the blame following the team’s faltering and ultimately fruitless title defense of the T20 World Cup.

On Thursday, the regional team limped out of semi-final contention after losing to Sri Lanka by 20 runs, a result that had followed heavy defeats to England and South Africa. 

In between the three defeats, the team did manage one win, which came against Bangladesh but that was far from some of the loftier expectations heading into the event.

Ahead of the competition, the selection of several senior players had proven to be a major bone of contention with some fans around the region, who clamoured for younger players to be included. 

In response, however, it was argued that the experience of the senior players would prove vital to the campaign.  In reality, things did not quite pan out that way.  The likes of Chris Gayle, Lendl Simmons, Ravi Rampaul, Dwayne Bravo, and Pollard himself, had disappointing performances.  In addition to his performances with the bat and ball, Wallace argues, however, that Pollard failed to deliver in another key area, his leadership.

“I think Pollard has failed us in that he has not stepped up to lead the team, the way we thought he would have led the team,” Wallace told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“…I thought that Pollard would have been the one to step up and say gentlemen I will take this on my back, and we are going to do this, X, Y, Z.  To tell the public that it is not a developing tour and then be in the position that we are in with seasoned campaigners is detrimental to his credibility,” he added.

“For all that he is worth in T20 cricket, I have not seen it at this World Cup…I know he had an injury but I expected more from him in terms of gluing that middle order together and with bowling and stuff, those guys needed a leader.”

Overall, Pollard scored 46 runs, with a best of 26 and an average of 15.33.

 

West Indies captain Kieron Pollard has admitted that the senior players simply did not deliver as the team crashed out of the T20 World Cup, on Thursday, following a loss to Sri Lanka.

In a disappointing campaign, the defeat was the third in four games for the two-time defending champions, who in truth since the first ball was bowled never looked likely to mount a strong title defense and were barely clinging to semi-final hopes ahead of the Sri Lanka match-up.

Heading into the tournament, the team had highlighted its experience as a major advantage with several players in the team having won multiple world titles.  In reality, however, things never really panned out.  T20 star Chris Gayle, a controversial selection for the squad, made 30 runs in four games for an average of 7.50.  Lendl Simmons made 19 over two matches for an average of 9.50, Andre Russell, who came into the tournament with an injury, made 7 runs in four matches for an average of 1.75.  Pollard did slightly better with 46 runs at 15.33, while Dwayne Bravo claimed two wickets in four matches.

"A couple of young guys are putting up their hands (up) but the experienced guys, myself included, have not done well. We are not going to hide from the fact that it's been disappointing for us,” Pollard said following the match.

On Thursday, it was indeed the younger generation who stood up to be counted. Shimron Hetmyer was the team’s top scorer with 81 from 54, followed by Nicholas Pooran who scored 46 from 34.

"I'm sure all the guys are hurting in that dressing room. It's something we didn't see it coming but we have to face reality," Pollard added.

"I think we were below par. In a crucial match like this, you don't want to see those things (for fielding). Our bowlers did okay, they got 189 but it was a very good batting track.

"I think cricket smarts is something that has plagued us. We have spoken time and time again especially from a batting perspective what we need to do as individuals and we have not done well.”

 West Indies captain Kieron Pollard believes Thursday’s crucial T20 World Cup clash against Sri Lanka represents an opportunity for the team to break free from its shackles, so to speak, particularly as it relates to the batting line-up.

To say a West Indies line-up, filled with explosive batting talent, has struggled to ignite so far seems a bit of an understatement.  The team began the tournament being bowled out for 55 by England, then collapsing to 143 against South Africa after a promising start.  The team got 142 in a win against Bangladesh but have yet to put in a convincing display at the crease.

With a run rate of 1.598, the team has the worst run rate in Group I and the third poorest overall.  After three matches Evin Lewis is the team’s leading scorer with 68 runs but that total is not in the tournament’s top 15.  Having lost two of its first three games and low run rate the team is on the outside looking as it relates to their chances of staying in contention for the semi-finals.

“The guys are confident, we know exactly what’s needed from a run rate perspective and we’ll take all things into consideration when that match starts,” Pollard told members of the media on Wednesday.

“I believe it’s very important that we try to go through the process of trying to improve each and every game as a team and especially from a batting perspective,” he added.

“It’s an opportunity now, guys can kind of take off the shackles that have been kind of holding us back in terms of our batting performances, there’s no secret about that.  Having said that the first thing to think about is winning the cricket game.”

 

 

 

West Indies Test captain Kraigg Brathwaite says the team will be looking to finish the year strong as they prepare to face Sri Lanka in a two-match Test series at Galle next month.

The series, which will take place from November 21 to 25 and November 29 to December 3, will be part of the 2021-2023 ICC World Test Championship.  In preparation for the series, the West Indies team is currently taking part in the Best vs Best intra-squad matches and Brathwaite insists the team is brimming with confidence and ready for the challenge.

“Sri Lanka is a very strong team, especially at home and as a team, we are looking forward to the challenge,” Brathwaite said.

“We know it won’t be easy.  The last time we went down there we did ok, it was a couple of years ago and we look forward to the challenge,” he added.

The team last travelled to Sri Lanka in 2016 where they lost 2-0.  Brathwaite did, however, claim six wickets.

“I think we have had a good year so far and it would be good to finish the season strong for the fans.”

The West Indies began the year with a win over Bangladesh, followed by a draw against Sri Lanka, a loss to South Africa, and a draw against Pakistan.

West Indies vice-captain Nicholas Pooran hopes to see more batsmen taking responsibility as the team struggles to find its footing at the ICC T20 World Cup.

The defending champions opened the tournament with back-to-back losses against England and South Africa but got on the board after squeezing past Bangladesh by 3 runs in the United Arab Emirates on Friday.

Despite notching the win, the team is yet to put a solid batting performance together after getting very little from the top of the order and with several players yet to hit top form.  Along with Roston Chase, captain Kieron Pollard and the returning Jason Holder, Pooran, who received the man of the match award, was among those managing to make an impact this time around.

Pooran, who entered the line-up uncharacteristically at number 7, made an impactful 40 from 22 balls.

“Me and Polly talked about batsmen taking responsibility and doing what’s necessary for the team.  In the tournament our batting hasn’t clicked yet, so we are chopping and changing,” Pooran said following the match.

“Hopefully guys put their hands up when it’s their day.  Today I felt like it was just one of those days that I needed to put my hand up, especially losing Polly there for a bit, someone had to take the responsibility,” he added.

Prior to that, Pooran had struggled to get runs on the board after scoring 13 runs in the first two games.

West Indies batsman, Nicholas Pooran, is adamant that the team completely trusts captain Kieron Pollard and backs him to make the correct decisions in a crucial World Cup clash against Bangladesh on Friday.

The defending champions are off to a poor start to the tournament after facing crushing losses at the hands of England and South Africa.  With only two teams advancing to the semi-finals from the group a loss against Bangladesh would officially eliminate the struggling West Indies from contention.

Outside of the poor form of several batsmen, the team’s leadership and decision-making have also come under the spotlight in recent days.  Both captain Pollard and coach Phil Simmons have faced scrutiny after a batting line-up change against South Africa, in the second match, backfired and seemed to be far more disruptive than beneficial.

Inside the dressing room, however, Pooran, the vice-captain, insists there are no doubts regarding decisions taken by the team’s leader.

"We have a wonderful captain. He knows what he's doing," said Pooran told members of the media in a pre-match press conference.

"Whatever he says goes, and we back him to make some really good decisions for us tomorrow to be successful,” he added.

Pooran is one of a handful of West Indies impact players who have struggled to find form, managing just 13 runs in the two matches so far.

West Indies batting great Brian Lara does not believe it would be a good idea to drop an out of form Chris Gayle at this point, despite the player’s struggles at the T20 World Cup thus far.

The 42-year-old batsman has faced heavy scrutiny in recent weeks and has managed just a total of 25 runs in two heavy losses for the Windies at the tournament so far.  The storm of criticism surrounding the batsman, however, extends beyond that.

Heading into the tournament, Gayle had struggled to look like anything close to the player who has scored over 14,000 runs in T20 cricket.  In the last 16 matches, the batsman has averaged 15.93 and scored 239 runs with a strike rate of 13.80, well below his career average of 138.46.

Despite that, however, Lara, considered one of the game’s greatest ever batsmen, believes the player could still have a role to play in the team and should remain a part of the line-up at this point in time.

 "Chris Gayle is already in the World Cup and his experience and the fact that he can pass on something to the younger players is key,” Lara said recently on Star Sports.

"I personally believe that Chris Gayle has to be given a proper send-off. This, I think, is his last tournament. Dismissing Chris Gayle at this stage of the tournament, I am not sure it's the right thing. I would like to see some sort of nice approach for the rest of the tournament. I think he can still make an impression on the younger players even if he doesn't score," he added.

Former West Indies fast bowler Andy Roberts insists that based on his strengths and weakness, under pressure batsman Chris Gayle should not be picked for the team if batting below position number three.

The 42-year-old has typically opened for the Caribbean team but has featured at the number 3 position in the last couple of years.  Against South Africa, Gayle batted even further down the order after coming in at 4.  Overall, batting down the order has failed to really bear fruit for the batsman, in West Indies colours, to date.  Gayle had an impressive showing batting at number during the 2020 Indian Premier League (IPL) campaign for Punjab Kings XI but has not managed to replicate that kind of form this season or for the regional team.

In 17 matches batting at the number three position or below, for the West Indies, Gayle has managed a total of 239 runs, at an average of 15.93 and a strike rate of 113.80.  He has a high score of 67 runs.  At the World Cup, having played against England and South Africa so far, Gayle has scored 13 runs from 13 balls, against England, and 12 runs from 12 balls against South Africa.

“If Chris is going to bat below number three then he has no right to be in the team,” Roberts told the Mason and Guest radio show.

“What is he going to do when you need to rotate the strike more as the overs keep going.  Chris’s strong point is batting at the top of the order where he can set the pace by playing his natural game, which is hitting straight.

“If you watch the last few games that he played he tends to use up a lot of dot balls, and not just in the World Cup, that dates back a while.  He takes his time now to try and get in, instead of before from ball one, ball two, you would have to put the field back because he is timing the ball so well.  (Currently) He is struggling for timing.”

Legendary West Indies captain Clive Lloyd has questioned the team’s level of planning, particularly when it comes to its batting line-up on the back of two dismal performances to start the T20 World Cup.

The defending champions have been handed back-to-back losses at the hand of England and then South Africa.  Both losses were underpinned by underwhelming performances at the crease, which first saw the West Indies dismissed for 55 and then in the second match collapsed to 143 for 8 all-out after a promising start at 73 for 1.

Following its substandard showing against England, the team tinkered with its batting line-up promoting Nicholas Pooran up the order while pushing Chris Gayle and Shimron Hetmyer further down.

“I think the planning season to be all over the place,” Lloyd said in assessing the team’s performances thus far, on the Mason and Guest radio program.

“I think if you look at what has happened.  Fifty-five runs, we are much better than that.  Our planning seems to be terrible. (Against South Africa) We had a wonderful start, and we didn’t promote people in the proper order,” he added.

“You expect the captain to come up when you are going at 9 an over, to continue, but you send Pooran who hasn’t been batting well and you have Hetmyer who has been batting well and making very good scores.  So, the batting order seems to be all over the place.”

Lloyd believes that for the team to be successful someone has to take control of the batting order.

“At one stage the prediction was 174 and we were down to so, but somewhere along the line, we feel like this game is about hitting sixes.  We are getting caught on the boundary, it’s a big ground.  If I’m at 58, I’m looking to get to 80 or 90, get more runs and take the game away from the opposition.”

West Indies captain Kieron Pollard has not given up hope on the team advancing to the T20 World Cup semi-finals but has called on the unit to dig deep following a horrendous start to the tournament.

The Caribbean team, who are the defending champions, was routed by England in the first match where they lost by six wickets after being bowled out for 55.  In the second encounter against South Africa, on Tuesday. after a promising start the team was dismissed for a subpar 143, which the Proteas easily chased down to win by 8 wickets.

The loss leave the West Indies rooted at the bottom of the six-team table, with a net run rate of -2.550.  With only the top two teams set to advance to the final four, the Windies are already facing an uphill battle to move on to the next round.  

“Well, we just have to do what it takes,” a dejected Pollard said following the team’s loss to South Africa.

“We have to dig deeper as a team. We have to dig deeper as a batting unit,” he added.

“We have to get wins on the board now. We’ve put ourselves in a position whereas from a run rate perspective that’s pretty low, and from a win percentage we haven’t won any games.

“So we have to win the next three games. We just have to take it one at a time and try to improve each and every time.”

The West Indies will next face Bangladesh on Friday at 5:00 am.

 

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