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Aakash Chopra Says Resign Chris Gayle and Sheldon Cottrell!

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Former India opener turned cricket analyst, Aakash Chopra believes Kings XI Punjab could greatly improve its fortunes for the next Indian Premier League (IPL) season by resigning Windies T20 talisman Chris Gayle and dropping pace bowler Sheldon Cottrell. Kings XI finished a disappointing 6th place in the final IPL standings, after missing out on a spot in the playoffs.  A good portion of the team’s season had, however, focused on a five-game winning streak, which had put them in unlikely contention for the final four after a 1-7 start. The man at the centre of the winning streak, Gayle, had spent the early days of the competition sitting on the bench, while Australian Glenn Maxwell, who had huge expectations placed on him heading into the season, continued to disappoint. He wasn’t alone, however, as Gayle’s international teammate Cottrell also failed to live up to expectations after commanding a whopping $US1.1 million at the auction.  In the end, Cottrell ended the competition with six wickets in six matches at an economy rate of 8.80.  Chopra believes, ahead of the next campaign, several changes should be considered. “They can keep Gayle if he wants to play although he is 41-years old he said, “They should leave out Sheldon Cottrell,” he is too expensive.

Well, cricket lovers around the world wont have very long for the exciting IPL, as the mega auction for the April 2021 event gets on the way in a few months.

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Cricket West Indies Creates More Opportunities for Development of Females

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Women’s cricket will take centre-stage in the coming week as Cricket West Indies (CWI) continues to unfold its plan to grow the game and create more opportunities for females who are keen to develop their skills and help increase participation in the sport, at all levels. CWI will deliver a series of free events—featuring several former players and administrators—which include an Online Women’s Foundation Coaching Course for over 80 present and past players, an interview series with special guests that explores the past, present and future of West Indies women’s cricket, as well as several Cricket Development Workshops held in Antigua. The aim of these initiatives is to engage, inspire and recruit more female players, coaches and course facilitators. CWI President, Ricky Skerritt, will address the participants at the start of the virtual training session on Tuesday evening. In response to a question following his speech at the recent UWI Frank Worrell Lecture series, Skerritt promised that West Indies Women’s Cricket would soon see an increased attention and focus which he said should help vitalize Women’s cricket and strengthen the female cricketer’s pathway from grassroots to the international stage. The President highlighted the recent appointment of Courtney Walsh, as one of the key steps already taken.  Chris Brabazon, the CWI’s Coaching Development Manager, will be part of the CWI team who will be delivering these events in collaboration with Territorial Boards, Ministries of Sport and a host of past greats and contributors to West Indies cricket. “In what is a hugely exciting time for women’s cricket with the inaugural ICC Women’s Under-19s and Cricket World Cups on the horizon, we want to ensure that women and girls from across the Caribbean feel that they can be part of the game in a playing, coaching or administrative capacity at any level as their involvement is crucial to a thriving and sustainable cricket pathway,” Brabazon said. “The response to this week’s Online Foundation Course has been overwhelming with over 80 women signed up to take part in the event which is a clear reflection of the passion that exists for the game. The course will be held online, via Zoom, over two evenings due to the present COVID-19 restrictions. “We will also be releasing a series of interviews and presentations that highlight the rich heritage of women’s cricket, the current landscape and the future direction which will bring together some of the ‘best of the best’ to share their views including newly appointed West Indies Women’s Coach, Courtney Walsh, Jimmy Adams, Merissa Aguilleira and Anne Browne-John.”

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Windies Darren Bravo Credits Captaincy of T&T Red Force for his Development

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West Indies top order batsman Darren Bravo said it is about time the regional team get it right and deliver the goods. The West Indies batsman believes that being appointed captain of the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in January aided in his development and his maturity as a cricketer. 

Speaking to the media on Sunday, the 31-year-old, who has so far made eight centuries in 54 Test matches, said even in the nets, he is trying not to get out and he is constantly challenging himself to lift his game and helping other players. The most recent example of his development came on Saturday when he made a stroke-filled 135 against New Zealand ‘A’ in their drawn match against the West Indies at the John Davies Oval at Queenstown. Bravo said the runs were not the most important thing about that innings, it was more about spending time out in the middle and getting to understanding the conditions. The maturity, he said, has developed after being given the opportunity to lead. “I am at a stage where I think I understand my game much more. I am more mature in the way I think, so we will see how it goes. I am excited about this series and I think it is about time I get the runs flowing once more,” he said. “I think captaining Trinidad and Tobago Red Force gave me that insight as to what it takes to be a leader. It helped me with my game and the way I see things. I enjoy the game a lot more now, so I am looking forward to the challenge.” The Test squad will remain in the southern island city for a four-day warm up match, starting Thursday just prior to the start of the first Test from December 3-7 at Seddon Park in Hamilton, and the second Test on December 11-15 at the Basin Reserve in Wellington. Before that, West Indies will face New Zealand in the first T20 International at Eden Park on Friday night.

Photo: newsonfloor.com

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Qualifying Tournament for Commonwealth Women Cricket Games Slated for Early 2021

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The announcement of the qualification process for the Birmingham Commonwealth Women Cricket Games should be a major boost for players, administrators and technical personnel across the Commonwealth. Since the West Indies is made up of independent Commonwealth countries, a qualifying tournament will be staged in March / April 2021 to determine the country that has the honor to represent the region. The details of the West Indies ICC qualification tournament must be confirmed by Cricket West Indies by January 15th 2021. It is expected that a bio secure bubble will be used similar to this year’s Premier League – CPL for the qualification tournament. The games is another opportunity for players to showcase their skills and talent in the most productive manner so as to leave an indelible mark on the minds of potential scouts of franchise cricket from across the world especially with speculations abound for a full fledged Indian Premier League for Women.

Photo: indiatoday.in

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