19th February 2014
Quick Singles – news round-up
Recent events in Caribbean Cricket & beyond.
It’s been well over a week since I last did a round up of Caribbean cricket news items, and there’s a lot to catch up on!
The ICC’s revamp/overhaul/coup was overwhelming passed by the delegates, and while many of us fear for the future of cricket’s democracy, the WICB have declared the agreement to be a ‘saviour’, and have trumpeted a triumph for regional development, and a 100% revenue increase. Guyana’s Stabroek News did not share this assessment.
The WICB’s newly installed Director of Cricket, Richard Pybus spoke with a measure of intelligence and authority on his own priorities to improve cricket in the Caribbean region, and he also came across very well when interviewed on TV with Otis Gibson during the Nagico Super50 final.
The Super50 tournament in Trinidad ended in a victory for Barbados over their T&T hosts. Man of the Match in the final was a rejuvenated Dwayne Smith, and Renaldo Matadeen profiles him here. Barbados won the competition without their suspended ex-captain, Kirk Edwards. Last Tuesday, he was due to have a ‘clear-the-air’ meeting with the BCA, but Barbados Today claim this never materialised. Andi Thornhill in the Barbados Nation wondered what was going on?After Barbados’ win many players expressed the sentiment that the ‘win was for Kirk’, including his replacement as skipper, Kevin Stoute.
The competition was a qualified success, and West Indies great, Colin Croft reflected on the highs & lows of the tournament. In the Kaieteur News, Sean Devers also focused on the ups & the downs of the 17 days, but then questioned whether performances in the Super50 had been used as criteria for the WI’s selection for the upcoming Ireland games, in light of the lack of Guyana players in the squad? Guyana have since announced their squad for their upcoming opening regional 4-day game v Jamaica, with Leon Johnson as captain.
The Trinidad Express editorial felt that it had been a not-so-super50, while West Indies’ former fast bowler-turned-top commentator, Ian Bishop was highly impressed by the performances of Barbados’s Jonathan Carter & Jason Holder; although, he felt more games should have been played in Tobago. Since then, Tobago’s Cricket Association Chairman, Bill Browne has said the future looks bright. In the Trinidad Express, Fazeer Mohammed questioned T&T’s tactics.
Jamaica were skittled for 49 in the semi-finals by T&T. Orville Higgins reviews Jamaica’s performance in the competition here. Before the tournament, Jamaica’s Danza Hyatt had his nose broken in practice, but the operation on it has been a success. In the aftermath, it was noted that the JCA could not afford an on-call doctor. Dr Akshai Mansingh outlined the short-sightedness of failing to have a doctor present in a letter a few days later.
The disappointing performance of the Leeward Islands in the tournament led a couple of ex-players to disagree on whether the regional side could do with some bolstering from outside its confines. Kenny Benjamin was in favour of imported help, while coach, Ridley Jacobs was against the idea. Sylvester Joseph concurred with Jacobs. Since then the Leewards have announced their squad for the upcoming 4-day regional competition. Not in that squad is former West Indies Test player, Omari Banks who, post his cricket career turned to music, and has just released his latest single.
Ireland’s performance in the Super50 was an equally great disappointment, and they are hoping for better things in their upcoming limited overs games against the West Indies. Ireland warmed-up with a couple of games v T&T’s B team, winning the first, and losing the second.
West Indies announced their squads for the upcoming Ireland internationals, and in Barbados the selections of Kirk Edwards and Miguel Cummins were highlighted, when both had missed out on inclusion in their island’s squad for the Super50; while Shiv Chanderpaul’s omission has also been questioned. Chanderpaul will be playing in July’s MCC v Rest of the World Lord’s bicentenary match, alongside Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Adam Gilchrist, Shaun Tait, Daniel Vettori and Paul Collingwood.
Collingwood has also been announced as assistant coach for England’s limited overs 6-match tour of the West Indies later this month, while Angus Fraser has become a new England selector. Tony Cozier sees the 3 ODIs & 3 T20s as an opportunity for both sides to blood young talent.
Another coming out to the Caribbean for England’s tour will be recently retired Graeme Swann, who has joined the BBC’s radio commentary team. And also coming to Barbados in the coming months is this young fella.
After England’s visit, WI are off to defend the ICC World T20 Trophy, and the WICB announced their final fifteen for that this week. Tony Cozier questioned the wisdom of including Saqlain Mushtaq in the team’s coaching staff.
Next month 4 English teams will arrive in Barbados for their pre-season ‘warm’-ups, although Warwickshire have announced that neither skipper, Jim Troughton, nor England’s Jonathan Trott will be heading to the Caribbean. Hampshire’s newly appointed first-team coach, Dale Benkenstein will be making the trip.
In the U19 World Cup in the UAE, the West Indies won their warm-up matches v New Zealand, and versus Afghanistan. Since then, the WI have lost to South Africa, beaten Zimbabwe & defeated Canada to progress to the quarter-finals. Shiv Chanderpaul’s son, Tagenarine led the way in both wins, and he was profiled in Gulf News.
Later this year, the region’s second CPL tournament will get under way, but one man who has already ruled himself out is England discard, Kevin Pietersen who has signed a contract to play for Surrey in that period. Someone who’d like to play in the CPL is Pietersen’s former England team-mate, Simon Jones. Vinode Mamchan in the Trinidad Guardian writes that the ICC’s new governance structure of world cricket will not impact on the CPL.
Before the CPL, we of course have the IPL, and this year’s player auctions recently took place. For WI cricketers, it was good news for Dwayne Smith, Darren Sammy, Ravi Rampaul, Samuel Badree and Jason Holder; and also for Krishmar Santokie, Kevon Cooper and Andre Russell; but bad news for Darren Bravo, Denesh Ramdin and Johnson Charles. Charles did have some good news, when he was named as St Lucia’s Sports Personality of the Year. You can check out all the IPL squads here. The tournament is due to take place sometime between April 9th & June 3rd, probably in India, but possibly in South Africa.
Elsewhere, Courtney Walsh may well be playing for Lashings in Selsey near Bognor Regis in June; St Lucia’s Dwight Thomas has signed to play for Greenock Cricket Club; Jamaica’s former international umpire, Norman Malcolm has retired; and Bermuda’s Emmerson Carrington is now fully qualified. And finally, still in Bermuda, the sad news of the death of Anthony ‘Pacer’ Edwards.