Perfect series to answer Windiesí World Cup questions

Wed, Feb 20, '19


Windies v England

The first One-Day International (ODI) between West Indies and England will bowl off today from 11:00h Eastern Caribbean time at the Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados.Today, February 20 marks exactly 99 days to the historic International Cricket Council (ICC) 50-over Cricket World Cup that is scheduled for Thursday, May 30, 2019, in England and Wales.

From West Indies’ point of view, this ODI series is the perfect preparation for this mega-event. Post this five-match ODI series, West Indies will play a Tri-Nation series prior to the World Cup. The Caribbean team will play four ODI matches in Ireland in the triangular series that features Bangladesh, starting from May 5, 2019.England have won all of the four last ODI series against the West Indiesconvincingly, both at home and away.

In 2012, Windies toured England and lost the three-match ODI series 2-0. The 2013-14 ODI series in the Caribbean saw England take the three-match series 2-1. England continued their dominance in the ODI format, whitewashing Windies 3-0 in 2016-17 in the Caribbean and 4-0 in England on the 2017 tour.England have won 11 of their 14 ODI matches against West Indies in a bilateral series since 2012. This time around, the upbeat men in maroon, led by Jason Holder, will fancy their chances in this 2019 five-match ODI series after winning the Test series 2-1, stunning the Englishmen.

read more at Guyana Times

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Windies vs England 1st ODI Preview

Tue, Feb 19, '19


Windies v England

As Jason Holder returns to take charge of his team for five ODIs against England, the first of which begins on Wednesday in Barbados, we must remind ourselves that this is a different format; the format that brings Caribbean fans the most headaches, a format in which England sits atop the rankings, and a format in which the visitors are one of the favourites to lift the tournament’s trophy in May.

Injuries have struck the West Indies where it hurts, as three suspected starters of Holder’s team have been sidelined; Evin Lewis, Rovman Powell and Keemo Paul. Most certain to benefit from this, though, is Nicolas Pooran; between Powell and whom it seemed an ‘either/or’ decision as to who would have made the final XI. In the wake of the injuries, the Trinidadian can fill two of the three now-vacant roles; the innings’ finisher (Powell’s) and opener (Lewis’).

Shai Hope, too, could be asked to fill in at the top of the order once more, but with time and indeed games running out before this summer’s World Cup, it might serve the West Indies’ best interest in the long-term to allow the wicket-keeper batsman a sense of comfort and familiarity in the position he will more than likely be occupying this summer.

The injury to Evin Lewis will not only put a dent in any thoughts Holder and his team were harbouring of an upset, but it was the final opportunity to see the combination of Gayle, Lewis and Hope at the top of the innings against top opposition before heading off to England/Wales.

With opening batsman, John Campbell, earning his maiden ODI call-up, if he is to be handed his first cap as well, opening the batting with countryman Chris Gayle, it is important that Pooran then, in typical West Indian fashion, does not bat ahead of Shimron Hetmyer. While Hetmyer has performed wherever he has been asked to bat, it should be stressed that this series goes beyond just the five games and their results, but players should now be settling into the duties that will be expected of them in the summer. Barring injuries, the ideal scenario at the end of this series would have been a predictability to this team, in its entirety. A reminder that cricket is not just selecting an XI, nor is a player’s performance always soley down to him, but may be affected by the moving pieces around him.

And so, maybe the biggest blow of those injured will be the absence of the skills of young Keemo Paul. While Lewis and Powell can be replaced with big-hitting openers and finishers, who in this squad will do Paul’s work? Hence the disappoitment of Obed McCoy’s exclusion from the initial squad as well as being overlooked as a replacement for Paul. By so doing, the West Indies enters this ODI series against the number one team in the world without a specialist death-bowler.

There, however, lies hope in Oshane Thomas. Though disappointed Caribbean fans were that Thomas was not able to make his Test debut in St. Lucia, it does though mean that the fast-bowler remains an ‘unknown’ to English batsmen. One would hope that Jason Holder took note of how the 22-year old was used by interim captain, Rovman Powell, in Bangladesh. Thomas was technically employed in three spells by Powell to great effect; sharing the new-ball, at the back end of the middle overs and during the final ten overs–where he picked up wickets. In this stead, the Jamaican pacer unveiled himslef as a potential partial solution to the problem Windies has in picking up wickets in the middle-overs. Dare we mention the abilities we know he possesses at the death? Hopefully, if trusted with the responsibility, his potential as a death-bowler comes to fruition on the international stage.

Windies Squad: Jason Holder ©, Shai Hope, Shimron Hetmyer, Chris Gayle, Kemar Roach, Oshane Thomas, Fabian Allen, Ashley Nurse, Devendra Bishoo, Darren Bravo, Nicolas Pooran, Carlos Brathwaite, John Campbell and Sheldon Cottrell.

Predicted XI: Gayle, Campbell, Hope, Bravo, Hetmyer, Pooran, Holder (c), Allen, Nurse, Roach, Thomas.

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'Nobody owes you anything' - Life lessons for Sunil Ambris from his father

Tue, Feb 19, '19


Michelle McDonald

Part 2 of Michelle McDonald's interview with Sunil Ambris

Sunil Ambris will lead the Windwards Volcanoes in their next match against the Barbados Pride, to be played in his home ground of Arnos Vale in St Vincent & the Grenadines from February 21, 2019. No doubt, the life lessons he learnt from his father, will serve him well in that role and throughout life.

As Ambris tells it, he had no choice but to play cricket. In part 2 of the audio interview, the right handed batsman shares more about his relationship with his father, who passed away in 2018, as well as his list of bests and favourites.

You can listen to the interview on Michelle's site

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Time running out for Windies before the World Cup

Tue, Feb 19, '19



It's unthinkable really, a World Cup without the West Indies. It's never happened before, of course. But if last year's qualifying competition in Zimbabwe had had the Decision Review System in place, as it should have, Jason Holder's men would have probably been knocked out at the semi-final stage at the hands of Scotland. That would have meant no West Indies in England this summer and no World Cup campaign for the team to prepare for. It could so easily have been the case.

Playing for a place in the final of the qualifying tournament, and thus a place at the World Cup proper, Scotland were just behind the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern par score as rain clouds loomed in Harare. It was then that Richie Berrington was given out LBW to a ball which was clearly going to miss leg-stump. With no DRS available because of cost considerations, the decision stood, raising the DLS par score and meaning that Scotland fell, agonisingly, five runs short of victory. West Indies, who lost the final to Afghanistan, progressed to the World Cup as a result.

Whatever the rights and wrongs of the ICC's decision to run a ten-team World Cup - and there are so many wrongs about it - West Indies can count themselves fortunate to be there, not just for the manner of their victory over Scotland, but also because their recent form in 50-over cricket has been dire. They have clearly not been amongst the best ten ODI teams of the past two years.

They have won just 11 of their 40 matches in that time, a win-loss ratio that places them 14th of all the teams who have played ODI cricket in that period. They have not won any of their last 17 series and failed to qualify for the Champions Trophy in 2017. It is little wonder then that they will start as severe underdogs in the five-match series against England beginning in Barbados on Wednesday.

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Windies trio make crucial gains in rankings

Tue, Feb 19, '19



LONDON, England (CMC) — West Indies Captain Stafanie Taylor, along with the new-ball pair of Shakera Selman and Shamilia Connell, have made important strides in the latest ICC women's one-day rankings released yesterday.

Taylor has risen two places in the batting rankings to eighth, following her 158 runs at an average of 52, in the Windies' just concluded three-match series against Pakistan in Dubai.

The 27-year-old has been joined in the top 20 by all-rounder Deandra Dottin, who jumped one spot to 20th, after scoring 129 runs in the Pakistan series with a top score of 96 in the first one-dayer.

read more at Jamaica Observer

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