• PREVIEW: Windies looking to dominate minnows

    BASSETERRE, St Kitts, CMC – West Indies will be seeking to impose their superiority on minnows Afghanistan and rekindle their winning touch, when they meet the Asian side in the first of three Twenty20 Internationals here Friday night.

    The reigning champions in the format have looked anything but over the last 10 months with six defeats in their last seven matches but the Afghanistan assignment presents the opportunity for the Caribbean side to turn their fortunes around.

    West Indies boast a strong squad for the series with some of the world’s leading T20 specialists in batsmen Kieron Pollard, Lendl Simmons and Marlon Samuels, along with spinners Sunil Narine and Samuel Badree all involved.

    Captain Carlos Brathwaite said here Thursday even though they were not taking the Afghans for granted, they were confident of imposing themselves on the series.

    “We need to get back on the winning track. We pride ourselves in our T20 cricket and as usual we want to go out there and give the fans a spectacle, playing that Caribbean way, playing that exciting way to get fans off their seat,” the all-rounder said.

    “We are not underestimating Afghanistan, they were actually the only team to beat us in the recent World Cup triumph so we’re not underestimating them.

    “We are focussing on ourselves, we want to get back to the winning ways we are capable of and individually a lot of guys have stuff to prove in West Indies colours and I’m sure everyone is ready and raring to go.”

    Since their triumph at the T20 World Cup in India last year April, the Windies have declined steadily. In fact, they were swept 3-0 by Pakistan last September in the United Arab Emirates and were beaten again by Pakistan, 3-1 in a four-match series in the Caribbean two months ago.

    The problem in both series lay squarely at the feet of the Windies batting. In the UAE, they never mustered above 115 batting first and 144 chasing while in the Caribbean, they stumbled to totals of 111 and 124 batting first.

    They successfully chased 137 in the third T20I but failed to overhaul 132 in the second game, and Brathwaite said they were aware of where they had gone wrong against the Pakistanis.

    “We definitely spoke about our batting – batting in partnerships. I don’t think we did that well enough in the Pakistan series,” the 28-year-old pointed out.

    “The one game we did put up a good batting performance we came up trumps so that’s something we’ve definitely spoken about.

    “With regards to the bowling, I think we ticked all our boxes in the Pakistan series. However, we think we can improve on our fielding and we pride ourselves as an energetic fielding team, making stops and turning half-chances into chances and breaking crucial partnerships.

    “That’s something we want to improve on going into this series and I know once we play our best cricket, fans will be happy and eventually, if we play our best cricket we should also win and the aim of the series is to come out on top.”

    Several members of the squad are coming off stints in the Indian Premier League, including Pollard and Simmons who were members of eventual champions Mumbai Indians.

    Both players were among the runs with Pollard gathering nearly 400 and Simmons getting two half-centuries.

    Brathwaite, who made limited appearances for Delhi Daredevils, said he was hopeful the Trinidadian duo could bring their winning touch to the Windies side.

    “We also have two guys who just experienced winning a competition … in Lendl Simmons and Kieron Pollard so we’re banking on their recent triumphs as well to bring some sort of extra motivating factor to the team,” he said.

    “They always say winning is a habit and they’ve gotten accustomed to winning as they just won the IPL and we want to get back on the winning path as well. We all have things to play for and we all have motivating factors but hopefully those two can use their recent triumphs as an extra motivating factor to spur on the team to what we want to be a successful series win.”

    Afghanistan, coached by Phil Simmons who was axed as West Indies head coach last September, have been impressive in their recent outings going unbeaten in their last 11 T20 Internationals.

    The match is set for Warner Park at 7:30 pm.

    SQUADS:

    WEST INDIES – Carlos Brathwaite (captain), Samuel Badree, Ronsford Beaton, Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammed, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard, Rovman Powell, Marlon Samuels, Lendl Simmons, Jerome Taylor, Chadwick Walton, Kesrick Williams.

    AFGHANISTAN – Asghar Stanikzai (captain), Noor Ali Zadran, Javid Ahmadi, Usman Ghani, Mohammad Nabi, Samiullah Shenwari, Najeeb Zadran, Gulbaddin Naib, Rashid Khan Arman, Shafiqullah Shafaq, Shapoor Zadran, Amira Hamza Hotak, Farid Malik, Dawlat Zadran, Karim Janat.

  • Cricket West Indies rebrands with new website and celebrates 91 years

    St John’s, ANTIGUA – Cricket West Indies (CWI) will begin its 91st year today, with a new name and website as part of a comprehensive rebranding programme.  From today the West Indies Cricket Board will be renamed Cricket West Indies and formally recognise all representative teams as the WINDIES.

    CEO Johnny Grave, commented:

    “Cricket West Indies better reflects how the organisation operates, as there are many different stakeholders who we work in partnership with, under the unifying aim of improving cricket at all levels within the region.  We plan to work even more closely with them over the next few years and consultation will begin immediately as we develop a new strategic plan for 2018-2023.”

    President Dave Cameron added:

    “Whilst the Board of Directors has an important role, we feel that the new name is more inclusive and appropriate, as we want to recognise the valuable role that our players, territorial boards, staff, supporters, governments, coaches, match officials and volunteers, play in the organisation.  For Cricket West Indies to operate effectively and efficiently we need all of our stakeholders to work in partnership and the name change is an important first step in our strategy.”

    The WINDIES name has long been associated with the representative teams within International cricket and this new brand will be used on all team playing shirts along with a new website focused on providing all WINDIES supporters more user-friendly information including live scores, team updates, videos and player information.

    The new website is www.cricketwestindies.org and the new match centre will launch on www.windiescricket.com ahead of the first International T20 against Afghanistan on Friday, June 2.

  • Cummins, Cottrell can’t stop Afghans in warm-up win

    BASSETERRE, St Kitts, May 31, CMC – Twenty20 World Cup star, Johnson Charles, stroked a half-century but was the only bright spark as Afghanistan opened their limited overs tour of the Caribbean with a 12-run victory over the WICB President’s XI here Tuesday night.

    Chasing a modest 116 at Warner Park, the President’s XI could only muster 103 for nine off their 20 overs, with opener Charles gathering a typically robust 53 off 44 deliveries.

    However, the right-hander was the only batsman to pass 15 and just one of three in double figures, as the run chase lost impetus in the middle overs.

    They were slumping at 31 for three in the seventh before Johnson combined with wicketkeeper Devon Thomas (13) in a 40-run fourth wicket stand to revive the innings.

    The hosts were then seemingly well poised at 71 for three in the 14th but once Charles, who struck five fours and two sixes, became the second of off-spinner Mohammad Nabi’s two wickets, the innings fell away with six wickets falling for 30 runs.

    Teenaged leg-spinner Rashid Khan was the best bowler with three for 11 from his four overs while left-arm spinner Amir Hamza chipped in with two for 17.

    Earlier, Afghanistan rallied to 115 for nine off their 20 overs, with opener Usman Ghani top-scoring with 33 from 34 deliveries with four fours and a six.

    Fast bowlers Miguel Cummins (3-19) and Sheldon Cottrell (3-24) finished with three wickets apiece while left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul picked up two for 25.

    The Afghans face West Indies in the first Twenty20 International of the three-match series here on Friday at 7:30 pm (Eastern Caribbean time).

    Scores:

    AFGHANISTAN 115 for nine off 20 overs (Usman Ghani 36; Miguel Cummins 3-19, Sheldon Cottrell 3-24, Veerasammy Permaul 2-24)

    PRESIDENT’S XI 103 for nine off 20 overs (Johnson Charles 53; Rahmat Shah 3-11, Amir Hamza 2-17, Amir Hamza 2-17)

    AFGHANISTAN
    U Ghani c wk Thomas b M Cummins 33
    G Naib b S Cottrell 10
    M Stanikzai* b M Cummins 4
    S Shinwari b M Cummins 8
    M Nabi c Cummins b V Permaul 14
    K Janat lbw b A Nurse 6
    S Shafaq+ c Reifer b V Permaul 15
    N Zadran b S Cottrell 15
    R Khan c Charles b S Cottrell 0
    A Hotak not out 7
    S Zadran not out 0
    Total: 115/9 (20 Overs)
    Fall of Wickets: Samiullah Shenwari 1-17, Asghar Stanikzai 2-37, Shafiqullah Shafiq 3-56, Usman Ghani 4-57, Karim Janat 5-71, Mahammad Nabi 6-83, Najibullaah Zadran 7-95, Rahmah Shah 8-96, Shapoor Zadran 9-115.
    WICB President’s XI Bowling: S Cottrell 4-0-24-3-0, K Mayers 2-0-12-0, M Cummins 4-0-19-3, R Reifer 2-0-11-0, Ashley Nurse 4-0-23-1, V Permaul 4-0-25-2.

    WEST INDIES
    J Charles c S Zadran b M Nabi 53
    A Fletcher c S Shenwari b A Hamza 4
    N Pooran c A Stanikzai b M Nabi 1
    J Carter b A Hamza 1
    D Thomas+ b R Shah 13
    R Reifer run out (Shafaq) 13
    A Nurse* LBW R Shah 0
    K Mayers b R Shah 8
    V Permaul c M Nabi b S Zadran 7
    S Cottrell not out 1
    M Cummins not out 1
    Total: 103/9 (20 Overs)
    Fall of Wickets: Andre Fletcher 1-18, Nicholas Pooran 2-29, Johnathan Carter 3-31, Delorn Johnson 4-71, Devon Thomas 5-73, Ashley Nurse 6-73, Raymon Reifer 7-93, Kyle Mayers 8-95, Veersammy Permaul 9-101.
    Afghanistan Bowling: S Zadran 4-0-32-1, A Hamza 4-0-17-2, K Janat 4-0-23-0, M Nabi 4-0-20-2, R Khan 4-0-11-3.

    Result: Afghanistan won by 12 runs
    Man of the Match: Rashid Khan
    Umpires: Gregory Brathwaite, Nigel Duguid
    Reserve umpire: Leslie Reifer Jr.

  • Stuart Law is the new Men’s Head Coach

    ST JOHN’s, Antigua – The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has appointed Australian, Stuart Law as Head Coach for the West Indies Senior Men’s Team.

    In a career spanning almost 30 years as a professional coach and player, Stuart was the batting coach for the Australian men’s team to Sri Lanka in 2016. Before that he was part of the coaching staff for Bangladesh Under 19, Queensland Bulls, Brisbane Heat and had stints as High Performance Coach for Cricket Australia and head coach for Sri Lanka and Bangladesh senior teams.

    In his role as Head Coach his core functions will include improved team results while providing leadership to players and team management. He completes the senior technical team headed by newly-appointed Director of Cricket, Jimmy Adams and Chairman of Selectors, Courtney Browne.

    His professional playing career was over a ten-year period where he played in one Test for Australia and 54 one-day-internationals. He had a successful first class tenure with Queensland, Essex, Lancashire and Derbyshire.

    Stuart is touted as the most successful captain in Australia’s domestic cricket with five first class and two one day titles and additionally scoring the most runs at that level – 27,080 in 367 matches. Stuart has the distinction as being named one of five Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 1998 and was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2007.

    Stuart is happy to be a part of the West Indies set up at this time. “I am excited at the opportunity to contribute to what I think is an interesting time for West Indies. I think this assignment has come at an important time of my career.”

    Outgoing Director of Cricket, Richard Pybus who sat as part of the selection panel says, “We are delighted to welcome Stuart to West Indies Cricket, he comes at an exciting and critical time in the development of the WI men’s team, with the emergence of some outstanding young talent, as seen in the most recent test series against Pakistan. He has great experience and breadth of knowledge as a player and coach and his cross-cultural experience and winning attitude will be key assets in the development of the team. “

    Stuart’s appointment becomes effective Wednesday, February 15 and he has a two-year contract.

  • Adams – Structure key to winning culture

    BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – Newly appointed Director of Cricket, Jimmy Adams, says one of the major items on his agenda is creating a structure that can lead to the establishing of a new winning culture in West Indies cricket.

    The former Windies Test captain, who took up the post this month, said while the success of the international teams was important, a proper developmental structure would ensure the sustainability of that success.

    “I think ultimately, we all want success, we want first team success,” Adams told Line and Length Network.

    “I would back that up and say we want a structure that guarantees a certain standard of cricket even if you’re not winning every day, but you know that with what we have from grassroots through youth cricket through the first class structure, you know that the standard will be within a certain range.

    “I think in terms of sustainability that becomes critical. We want to see the first team – men’s and women – winning. I think that goes without saying but I would also like to underpin that with a structure that would guarantee a certain standard of cricket going forward.”

    While West Indies have excelled in the game’s shortest version, they have slumped badly in the Test and one-day formats with performances which have left them in the nether regions of the international rankings.

    The current state is a far cry from the halcyon era of the late 1970s and 1980s when the regional unit dominated world cricket in both formats.

    Adams, who led West Indies in 15 Tests and 26 ODIs, said he believed his vision was one shared by the West Indies Cricket Board and fans across the region.

    “I think I share a common vision with, not just the people I am employed to, but the people of the Caribbean,” the 49-year-old Jamaican noted.

    “[They] would like to see West Indies cricket strong again. I know we’ve been through some lean years and to share the vision – which is good competitive cricket coming out of West Indies – is something we all want to see and hopefully I can play some role in helping the region achieve that.”

    Adams will bring to the post the experience of a successful playing career which saw him average 41 from 54 Tests, and also feature in 127 ODIs.

    He also spent four seasons as head coach at English County Kent, and said the tenure there also equipped him for his current role.

    “Kent being one of the smaller counties, there were some challenges that came with the size of the county and I think there are some certain similarities with cricket in the Caribbean,” said the 49-year-old.

    “We have challenges with resources here which tend to affect almost every decision that we make, and it’s trying to find the best way to hurdle those challenges but at the same time to have the mindset that whatever you have, you almost have to make it enough.

    “It has to be enough to create a quality cricketer and a quality cricket team.”

  • WICB President visited New York Cricket

    BROOKLYN, New York – President of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), Dave Cameron was the special guest at the New York Metropolitan District Cricket Association (NYMDCA) last Wednesday (January 11). The occasion was the professional business networking session.

    In the President’s remarks, Cameron noted that the visit to New York was to meet with local cricket organizers and players, as well as with city government officials to explore ways of further developing the growth and popularity of cricket in the Diaspora.

    It was pointed out that securing a stadium for cricket in New York City is one of the goals of the NY Metropolitan District Cricket Association, which the WICB encourages and supports.

    Cameron also highlighted that in managing the WICB as a business, there are some key priorities which includes meeting players’ needs to facilitate best performances on and off the field. “The team I am a part of now has helped the organisation to move from a deficit to having a surplus of funds,” Cameron noted.

    Additionally, he mentioned that currently all West Indian cricketers registered with the WICB are enjoying improved salary arrangements with reasonable wages, which ensure that they can give cricket full-time attention, without the need for a second job.

    Currently, compared to four years ago, where there were only 15 full-time players employed by the WICB, there are now 120, with entry-level players getting at least $30,000 (USD) per year.

    The event was organised by After Networking Wednesdays (ANW) Coordinating Cohost Gerry Hopkin and Primary Cohost, Edmund Sadio. The meeting was also addressed by Cliff Roye, the president of the New York Metropolitan District Cricket Association, who expressed optimism for the future of cricket in New York.

    Michael Roberts of Commonsense Strategies, who along with James Archibald, worked with the leadership of NYMDCA and Charles Simpson in planning the media and other government engagements of Cameron’s Itinerary.

    Other planned events on Cameron’s three-day itinerary, included visits to various cricket playing fields, a press conference on the steps of City Hall in Manhattan with NYC officials on Thursday and a Meet & Greet reception at Brooklyn’s Borough Hall, hosted by Borough President Eric Adams, on Friday.

  • Corporate Antigua meets with WICB

    ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Sections of the corporate community in Antigua met with the Commercial, Marketing and Operation teams of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) at its head office in St John’s earlier today.

    With the Regional Super50 competition two weeks away the corporate entities were given final details on packages on offer which will include access to commercial properties for the rest of the calendar year. The meeting also highlighted how to acquire commercial relationships with the Coolidge Cricket Ground (Sticky Wicket).

    The Government of Antigua and Barbuda and the WICB have entered into an agreement to co-own and manage the facility and the WICB’s outgoing CEO, Michael Muirhead, spoke about the “exciting opportunities to be available with the acquisition of the property and how both the island and cricket will benefit as a result.”

    The Sticky Wicket facility will be redeveloped into a full-service space which will cater to a range of services including cricket matches, camps, entertainment and an exquisite dining experience. “The transition will take place in phases over a three-year period,” noted Muirhead.

    Coolidge Cricket Ground along with the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium will share Zone A matches of the Super50.  Teams are Trinidad and Tobago Red Force, Windward Islands Volcanoes, West Indies Under 19 and Kent Spitfires.

    The next meeting is set for Thursday, January 12.

  • Jimmy Adams is new Director of Cricket

    ST JOHN’s, Antigua – The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has appointed James ‘Jimmy’ Adams as its new Director of Cricket.

    The former head coach of the Kent County Cricket Club (2012 – 2016) will officially take over the position today, Tuesday, January 10. He has a three-year contract.

    Jimmy will oversee and manage all cricket matters to include development of all teams, all coaching and cricket education and other technical programmes. He will have the support of an Operations department.

    While at Kent, Adams oversaw a period in which the club invested heavily in its home-grown talent via a strong academy system; the success of which can be seen in the number of players, senior and junior, that have gained recognition in national squads and the team narrowly missing out on promotion in 2016.

    Adams brings a wealth of experience to his new assignment. He has served West Indies Cricket in a variety of positions. He made his Test debut back in April 1992 and played 54 Tests with a highest score of 208 not out; that was at the Antigua Recreation Ground against New Zealand in the 1995 – 1996 series. Adams has also played 127 ODIs and 202 first class matches.

    With a playing career, just short of 20 years, he also represented Jamaica, Nottinghamshire, Orange Free State and Berkshire. He ended with a 41.26 Test average and amassed 3.012 runs.

    Jimmy thinks the timing is right for his new role with the WICB and “I am very excited to be directly involved in Caribbean cricket once again, and I look forward to working with all those committed to moving the game forward in the West Indies.

    Outgoing Director of Cricket, Richard Pybus who was part of the selection panel says “I look forward to Jimmy bringing the breadth of his international experience and knowledge of cricket in the Caribbean to continue the work of rebuilding West Indies Cricket. It is an exciting time for cricket in the region, with the momentum of the World Cup’s success and the professional cricket structures beginning to produce players capable of competing and excelling at international level.”

    Adams will be based in Antigua.

  • WICB and UWI sign MOU

    Kingston, JAMAICA – The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and the University of the West Indies (UWI), through the Caribbean Institute of Media and Communications (CARIMAC), today (April 18), signed a Memorandum of Understanding for five bursaries to begin September 2017.

    The five bursaries are being named in honour of five Caribbean media stalwarts. The honourees are the late Roy Lawrence and Tony Cozier; Tony Becca, Headley Samuels and Joseph Perreira.

    Head of CARIMAC, Professor Hopeton Dunn says “the programme is geared towards affording students with a specific interest in cricket as they pursue further education in Media/ Communications programmes to include undergraduate studies in Integrated Marketing Communication, Journalism (Radio, Television, Print and Online) and Digital Media Production. This relationship is for three years.

    Professor Dunn also noted that the MOU has prompted CARIMAC to add two new courses in the short term – Cricket Commentary and Analytics and Sport Culture and Caribbean Media. This the Professor says will begin for the new academic year.

    WICB President, Dave Cameron says “the investment is for US$150,000 over the period and the students who get selected for the bursaries will have access to work experience in WICB’s international and regional series and with other partners where applicable.”

    Cameron noted that “it was important that two of the oldest Caribbean institutions partnering for such an important programme, is a signal of the commitment of the WICB to continue on to facilitate the growth of cricket across the region. Education forms part of that role.”

    The selection criteria for the programme has been prepared and the five students will be selected shortly.

  • Cameron, Nanthan back at WICB helm

    St John’s, ANTIGUA – Almost four years to the date, Whycliffe ‘Dave’ Cameron and Emmanuel Nanthan were again elected President and Vice President respectively, of the West Indies Cricket Board on Sunday, March 26.

    The unanimous decision was taken by all 12 of the cricket delegates of the region. Cameron and Nanthan were the only two nominees for the posts this time around.

    The pair were first elected on March 27, 2013 and at that time they had opponents. Four years and two elections later, the team has managed to make some strategic changes and adjustments. Among them, one of the most important was maintaining a surplus for two consecutive years – the year which ended September 30, 2015, the board reduced its accumulated deficit and ended with a surplus of US3.4 million. Last year, a surplus of US$3.5 million was achieved with an accumulated surplus of US$1.578 million.

    The President noted in his report to the Annual General Meeting that “we cannot over emphasize the need for financial stability in cricket, as without that kind of stability, all the other development plans cannot occur.” The President added that despite the tighter financial management “the board has invested in more development tours and the addition of the A Team tours is an example.”

    Another important achievement is the fact that the WICB has managed to achieve best practices by producing audited reports within the given time for the past three financial years. The President praised the Audit Risk and Compliance and the Finance Committees for the tidy work they have done throughout the period.

    The region will be hosting the Women’s World Twenty20 Championships November 2018 and there is a comprehensive programme which is being put together as the Women will try to defend their World Twenty20 title.

    The President has advised that a public relations strategy will be deployed so that all West Indians can rally around our WI Women’s Team as they seek to defend their title on home soil. It will be a big event and we need all hands available to help as we seek to raise the profile of women’s cricket in the region; have a successful tournament and a win for our women’s team.”

    The Women’s team will also be looking to win their 1st World Cup in the UK later this summer and all plans are in place to achieve this with the regional Women’s competition being played in April in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

    In moving forward, the President and the team will have the new strategic plan which will facilitate improved performances at the regional and international level and explore a more robust governance system. The strategy revolves around the rebranding of Cricket West Indies; the development of our commercial arm – Windies Inc, and the creation of a development foundation to finance cricket development in the region”.

    This was presented at the Board of Directors and Annual General Meetings in Barbados on Saturday and Sunday, March 25 and 26.