Category: West Indies (page 1 of 17)

Shannon Gabriel nicks one for the Windies

Maybe this is why people have started saying ‘snick’ to mean ‘nick’ – to prevent headlines like this one from being ambiguous.

Shannon Gabriel – arguably the finest fast bowler called Shannon currently plying his trade – took 5-11 as the West Indies dismissed Pakistan for just 81 to win the second Test.

Gabriel’s figures were so good that the the official Twitter account of the West Indies Cricket Board added a few runs to make them seem more credible.

Kudos for the #WEvTHEM tag, which can presumably be appended to every post, no matter who they’re playing.


Misbah-ul-Haq – King of the Daddy Fifty

Last week Ian Bell was dismissed for 99 and we wondered whether that was more or less painful than Misbah-ul-Haq being left stranded on 99 not out against the West Indies.

Well, it seems Misbah was wondering the same thing. One Test later, he executed a textbook fatal bat withdrawal and edged to the keeper on the same score.

Misbah has always been King of the Fifty and it would seem that he is hell-bent on maximising his average before retirement without recourse to three figures. This was the third time he has made 99 in a Test match. He also has a 96 and a 97 to his name. It would perhaps be more accurate to brand him King of the Daddy Fifty.

Anyone who has watched him bat won’t be entirely surprised by this tendency. A man who at times boasts an almost tangible air of lack-of-intent, Misbah is not averse to completely renouncing progress during the latter stages of his innings.

He doesn’t so much become becalmed as struck down by a nasty case of rigor mortis. This tendency can transform the short trip from 90 to 100 into an incredibly protracted quest, such that being dismissed in the nineties becomes a statistical probability due to the sheer number of balls he faces.

You could argue that Misbah’s best hope for reaching three figures has been to do so before even he himself has noticed that it’s a possibility – but had this been a regular ploy, it would have greatly devalued one of the all-time great inexplicable innings.

Misbah-ul-Haq will retire from Test cricket after this series and anyone worth knowing will miss him enormously.

 


How much does Rahkeem Cornwall weigh?

All across the UK, people are waking up and asking: ‘Who is Rahkeem Cornwall?‘ after the majestic blob of cricket damn near beat England in a tour match.

It is for precisely this reason that we always try and stay abreast of the world’s fat cricketers long before they rise to prominence. The last thing you want is to find yourself in a situation where you’ve fallen behind and the world’s fat cricketers are getting on top of you.

We’d like to leave that last joke hanging there without drawing attention to it, but the thought that someone might leave a comment below making exactly the same joke overtly because they think our wording was just an accident is just too much to bear – which is why we’ve written this long, unwieldy sentence as well.

Exact figures for Rahkeem Cornwall’s weight are hard to come by. We’d guess it waxes and wanes considerably, according to the vagaries of his lifestyle. We’ve seen “20-plus stone” mentioned, which would be over 125kg. He’s 6ft5in though, so this isn’t quite as spectacular as we’d hoped.

Does 40 stone count as 20-plus stone or does 20-plus mean 20-odd? These are questions that demand answers. We’d also like clarification as to whether Cornwall was so-named due to his excessive consumption of Cornish pasties.

We’ll leave you with the latest photo of the great (big) man. There isn’t quite as much mouth-breathing going on as in the pic on his Cricinfo profile page, but the inclusion of another human within shot does give us a sense of scale, so that’s a welcome new development.

For further reading, we recommend the tale of Mark Cosgrove, a man who was given the green light to let his weight get ridiculous, failed to realise that 800 was less than a thousand and then flobbed back into county cricket in 2009.

You may say that’s not a tale; that it’s just three links to posts about the same fat cricketer with no narrative structure and that furthermore there have been loads of other far more interesting Mark Cosgrove developments in the meantime.

To that we say, is it not a tale? Is there not a moral in there somewhere? We then back away from you with an earnest, knowing look on our face, fading into the background as you restate your belief that no, there really isn’t any kind of story there.


Viv Richards has a chilli sauce

Or possibly had. Graeme Swann doesn’t make it clear in his tweet just how long the bottle’s been at the back of his cupboard.

More of this kind of thing in our latest Twitter round-up.

Unsure how to respond to this news? We’ll start you off with a trio of condimentary wicketkeepers: Jeffrey Dijon Mustard, Bruce French Mustard and of course, Phil Mustard.


Why Andre Russell was banned

If you didn’t know it already, “it’s not my fault, I asked someone else to do it for me” is not a legitimate defence for failing to tell dope testers where you’re going to be. Andre Russell has therefore been handed a one-year ban.

If that sounds harsh, consider that testing athletes for performance enhancing drugs is kind of important. If you can’t test them, you can’t catch them and doping is almost certainly a bigger problem in cricket than anyone currently thinks it is.

Alternatively, you might think the ban too lenient. However, its duration reflects a general impression that Andre Russell is more of a plain old shambles than he is a devious doper playing the system.

The message here – which really isn’t being broadcast loudly enough – is that all professional cricketers have to take anti-doping seriously. Failure to do so undermines confidence in the sport.

The West Indies’ World T20 win last year is far from soiled by the fact that one of their number could have been banned for the entire tournament, but it does have a bit of a greasy smudge on it now. A bigger doping scandal – or a large number of them – would tarnish the event to a greater extent. No-one wants this. Swifter action in such cases wouldn’t go amiss either.

An effective testing regime is a deterrent as much as a means of actually catching people – although it has to do the latter to function as the former. As was mentioned above, if you can’t test athletes, you can’t catch dopers, so there have to be consequences for repeated unavailability for testing.

Unfortunately for Russell, for the reasons given above, being a bit of a shambles and not really worrying too much about letting the doping authorities know where you’re going to be simply doesn’t cut it as an explanation.


Andre Russell might actually find out whether he’s going to be banned from cricket next week

If you’ve a decent memory, you might remember that Andre Russell had a possible two-year ban from cricket hanging over him after being unavailable for three doping tests during a 12-month period back in 2015.

‘Oh yeah,’ you may think. ‘What happened with that in the end?’

Well, the answer is that Andre Russell still has a possible two-year ban from cricket hanging over him. According to Cricinfo, the anti-doping panel will finally deliver its verdict next week.

We’ve read quite a bit about this case. As with pretty much anything that involves lawyers, the relentless arguing over every last little procedural detail only really leaves you pondering the brevity of life.

The gist is that Russell didn’t miss any tests in the literal sense, he just didn’t maintain his ‘whereabouts’ information. However, being as this information is what’s used to ensure that an athlete can be tested, as far as the doping agency’s concerned, it amounts to the same thing.

The whereabouts system is used in all sports. You can even update information on the day, an hour before your designated testing window. Russell said he didn’t know how to use the website. In fact he said he found the whole system a bit confusing and so asked his agent and travel agent to look after it for him.

Set against that, the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission’s case is something like: ‘Tough shit, it’s your responsibility.’

And after that, it all got a bit…

‘You never showed me how to use the system properly.’

‘You never asked us to show you how to use it.’

Our take is that Russell’s approach to the system seems believably shambolic, but we’re not really sure that’s an acceptable excuse.

In any case, the more important point, surely, is that we are talking about 2015 filing failures in 2017 and there has still been no decision taken.

This isn’t fair on fans, who could in theory have spent the last couple of years watching someone who has had an unfair advantage over the men he has played against. Nor is it fair on Russell, who has had a potential two-year ban hanging over him that whole time for what may prove to be little more than a minor administrative failure.

Cricket really isn’t very good at this sort of thing.


Video: Cricket, penguins and lasers – together at last

dj-bravo-and-zooper-dooper

Finally!

It’s the video for the latest version of Dwayne Bravo’s Champion song, in which our man lists everyone and everything he’s ever encountered and brands them all champions.

Toast is a champion, plate is a champion, floor is a champion, wall is a champion…

If you don’t immediately comprehend the reasoning behind some of the visuals, we recommend that you don’t investigate. The real explanation is unlikely to make you any happier than the idea that they for some reason concluded that a penguin firing lasers at Dwayne Bravo from its eyes was an appropriate inclusion.

The penguin is called Coolio. It is unclear to us whether or not he is the same Coolio who was responsible for Gangsta’s Paradise but it seems pretty safe to assume that he is.

And there we were thinking that promoting a Twenty20 tournament using a robot with flames for eyes was a bit leftfield.


The riddle of Kraigg Brathwaite’s extra G

Maybe one day someone will be able to answer the riddle of Kraigg Brathwaite’s extra G. The K we can understand – it’s jarring, but not unprecedented. But the second G? What does that contribute to proceedings?

Maybe his parents wrote Kraig, knew it looked wrong and added a bonus G in the hope that this would prove the necessary correction. Realising they had actually made matters worse, they would then have resolved to stop messing lest things really got out of hand. Sometimes you just have to cut your losses.

Kraigg’s made a few Test hundreds, including a double against Bangladesh, but an away win against Pakistan – should it come about – would make for a far more significant match result than for any of those others. His first innings 142 not out already looks like being the most significant contribution to the Test and at the time of writing he’s not out in the second dig as the Windies set about chasing 153 to win.

Perhaps this is the Test when Kraigg will finally make a name for himself. If he gets to choose, may we suggest ‘Craig’.


Mickey Arthur really knows how to retract a compliment

Even by the lofty doublespeak standards of a Test match press conference, this was an impressive effort from Mickey Arthur after Pakistan were bowled out for 123 by West Indies’ Devendra Bishoo.

“I am not going to take anything away from the way Bishoo bowled because he bowled really, really well. I thought we gave him eight soft wickets.”

One can only presume that Bishoo was incredibly unlucky with pretty much all his non-wicket-taking deliveries but then dismissed batsmen with each of his eight poor deliveries thanks to terrible shots.


Tony Cozier – the man who saw all and knew all of West Indies cricket

Cricket fans moan about commentators a lot, but in general we are well served by our sport. Tastes differ, but very few talk down to us and the majority have the capacity to offer some sort of insight when working in the right environment.

But as the world becomes smaller, even the best broadcasters are becoming more homogenous. They watch the same games, read the same articles and they know the same things about the same players. There’s a slick Dubai internationalism about it all.

Not everyone’s like that though. There are still a select few – generally from the smaller Test nations – who bring a distinct flavour of their region with them. Tony Cozier was of course one.

It is not about knowing the players. Every commentator should know the players. It is about knowing the people. When the West Indies toured, Cozier could tell you not only how a player played, but why he did so. He would know his upbringing; he would know where he learned his cricket; he would know how that player was viewed in the region.

Cozier would know the player’s background better than the player himself did. He would know the history of the club he had played for in his youth and how the island’s cricket and culture had evolved since the last great player from that same club. Some commentators tell you everything they know. It’s not that Cozier wouldn’t – he couldn’t. He could show you the relevant tip of the iceberg but you always got the sense that there was infinitely more left concealed.

In recent years Cozier seemed increasingly pissed off with the chronic ill health of West Indies cricket, but his despair never reached the point of giving up on it. It was almost as if the bouts of impotent frustration would renew his energy to look for solutions – and by the broad bat of Sobers, he had to look hard to find them.

He’d cover the latest spat between players and board, or the latest Test series defeat and you’d forgive him for being worn down by it all. But then next thing you know, he’d be full of cautious hope about Rahkeem Cornwall or someone. That is what you might accurately call irrepressible enthusiasm for the sport.

Cozier was one of the few men with an impartial overview of West Indies cricket. You’d think a man who could take a step back and see things for how they were and how problems might be resolved would be greatly valued, but this doesn’t seem to have been the case.

More than one obituary has mentioned that Cozier recently filed a lawsuit against WICB president Dave Cameron. Cameron pretty much called him a blind old man.

Blind? Tony Cozier? The man who saw all and knew all of West Indies cricket surely had the clearest vision of all.


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