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TEAM ABU DHABI AIM FOR ENDURANCE CROWN ON FIRST LEG OF QUADRUPLE TITLE BID

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24 Hours of Rouen winners chase decisive victory in Poland

Team Abu Dhabi’s pursuit of a quadruple world powerboat racing triumph switches to northern Poland this weekend as they look to clinch a first major title of the season.

Reigning Formula 1 individual champion Shaun Torrente, Emiratis Rashed Al Qemzi and Rashed Al Tayer and Italian Tullio Abbate have the upper hand as they head into the decisive round of the World Endurance Championships in Augustów.

Victory in the 24 Hours of Rouen in France two months ago for the crew of Abu Dhabi 35 has put them in pole position for the Necko Endurance, which consists of two six-hour races on Saturday and Sunday.

The all-Emirati line-up of Faleh Al Mansoori, Rashed Al Remeithi, Majed Al Mansoori and Mohamed Al Mehairbi, who took Team Abu Dhabi 36 to third place in Rouen, will also be in the hunt again on the Necko Lake.

The two crews have been spending two days training in San Nazzaro, Italy this week under the guidance of team manager Guido Cappellini and Salem Al Remeithi, General Manager of Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club, prior to the start of practice on Necko Lake on Friday.

With four powerboat world titles the outright target for the team this season, Torrente tops the UIM F1H2O World Championship standings while Rashed Al Qemzi leads the F2 title race after his recent victory in Lithuania.

Torrente hopes to have the world endurance crown in his possession before heading straight from Poland to Italy to begin his defence of the UIM XCAT World Championship alongside Faleh Al Mansoori the following weekend.

“It’s one step at a time and we have to stay focused on the next race,” said the American who maintained his lead in this year’s F1 title race with second place in Sunday’s Grand Prix of France.

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AL TAYER EYES GRAND PRIX VICTORY IN ITALY

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Team Abu Dhabi challenger aims to stay on course for world aquabike title after win in Portugal

Team Abu Dhabi’s Rashed Al Tayer says he will need to be at his best in Sardinia this weekend if he is to build on an impressive start to the 2019 UIM-ABP Aquabike World Championship.

After securing his first Grand Prix victory in the opening round in Portugal earlier this month, Al Tayer has emerged as a serious challenger to Jeremy Perez, defending champion in the flagship Runabout GP1 series.

The Emirati goes into the Grand Prix of Italy in the Roman port city of Olbia on Friday sharing the championship lead with Perez after the two rivals scored one moto victory each during an action-packed weekend in Portimao.

“Italy is very important for me after the win in Portugal,” said Al Tayer. “I’ve set the standard and must keep the momentum going and aim for another win to keep me on course for the world championship.

“Since Portugal we’ve changed a few things on the jetski and I’m confident this will make it run better in Italy and give me a good chance to win again.”

Team Abu Dhabi’s reigning world freestyle champion Rashid Al Mulla aims for an eighth Grand Prix victory in a row in Sardinia to extend his championship lead over Italian Roberto Mariani.

The Team Abu Dhabi challenge also sees Salman Al Awadhi back in action in the Ski Division GP1 where he currently holds tenth place.

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KING REIGNS AS WEST INDIES WOMEN TAKE UNASSAILABLE T20 SERIES LEAD

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Stacy Ann King starred with both bat and ball as the West Indies Women defeated Ireland Women by 45 runs in the second match of the Hanley Energy T20 International series at the Pembroke Cricket Club in Dublin, when they defended 157/6 (20 overs) to Ireland’s 112/6 (20 overs).

Stafanie Taylor won the toss again for the West Indies Women and elected to bat first in freezing conditions. Despite the sunshine, the temperature dipped to 13 degrees celcius but Hayley Matthews and Britney Cooper were blazing bats from the first ball. The pair posted 32 runs in 3.4 overs before Britney got cramped for space only to send a return catch to Kim Garth for 20.

Stacy Ann joined Hayley and they continued the scoring. Hayley in particular launched a massive six out the ground into someone’s backyard. They added 38 before Hayley was bowled for 30. Shemaine Campbelle joined Stacy Ann and this partnership posted 48 runs before Stacy Ann was caught of Garth once again for 34.

Captaining Ireland in place of Laura Delaney who was injured in the first match, Kim Garth had a top-notch all-round performance, as she struck her maiden T20 half-century and picked up 3/22, despite her team falling short of the 158 target.

WEST INDIES WOMEN won the toss and elected to bat first

WEST INDIES WOMEN

157/6 (20 OVERS)

KING 34, MATTHEWS 30, MCLEAN 16*

GARTH 3/22

IRELAND WOMEN

112/6 (20 OVERS)

GARTH 51*, WALDRON 25

FLETCHER 2/8, KING 2/15

WEST INDIES WOMEN WON BY 45 RUNS

FULL SQUAD:

  1. Stafanie Taylor (captain)
  2. Hayley Matthews (vice-captain)
  3. Britney Cooper
  4. Afy Fletcher
  5. Karishma Ramharack
  6. Chedean Nation
  7. Chinelle Henry
  8. Kycia Knight
  9. Kyshona Knight
  10. Shakera Selman
  11. Shamilia Connell
  12. Shemaine Campbell
  13. Natasha McLean
  14. Stacy Ann King

Ireland Tour Schedule

1st T20 International- May 26, YMCA Cricket Club, Dublin

2nd T20 International- May 28, Pembroke, Dublin

3rd T20 International- May 29, Pembroke, Dublin

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ICC Chief Executive David Richardson hopes World Cup will inspire a new generation of fans

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  • ICC plan to make this World Cup: ‘the greatest celebration of cricket ever’
  • Tournament organisers want to connect and entertain existing fans and open the door for new ones

ICC Chief Executive David Richardson is anticipating ‘the greatest celebration of cricket ever’ on the eve of the 2019 Men’s Cricket World Cup.

Richardson, along with tournament managing director Steve Elworthy and tournament safety and security director Jill McCracken, faced the press on Monday morning at The Oval to outline their plans for the 12th edition of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup and the first on British soil in 20 years.

The tournament is expected to break new ground in a number of different areas.

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Clean bill of health for England after Afghanistan success

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  • Good news for Mark Wood ahead of second England warm-up
  • England lay down a marker before tournament opener

Before a ball had even been bowled this morning, England had received their first piece of good news.

Mark Wood’s scan on his left foot had come back clear, and their day only got better from there.

A defeat to Australia on Saturday was far from an ideal opening warm-up for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup hosts and No.1 side in the world, particularly when you factored in Wood’s injury.

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Power of victory vital for Usman Khawaja as Australia bag second warm-up victory

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  • Usman Khawaja scored 89 as Australia beat Sri Lanka by five wickets at the Hampshire Bowl
  • Australia are defending champions and have enjoyed a strong 2019 in ODI cricket

The winning feeling is back in Australian cricket and batsman Usman Khawaja knows their form is no fluke.

Khawaja scored a fluent 89 as Australia continued their ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup preparations in positive fashion, downing Sri Lanka by five wickets at the Hampshire Bowl.

With a 3-2 series win in India also on their 2019 formbook, this upturn in performances has not come out of the blue.

Confidence is therefore high as the defending champions look to hold onto their crown, hopeful a positive dressing room can translate to victories on the biggest stage of all.

“Behind the scenes we’ve put in a lot of hard work, you need that to be able to compete at this level,” said Khawaja.

“Everyone has put in a lot of effort. We had India over in our place for a series and while we lost, that was a big turning point for us.

“They’re one of the best sides and we gave them a run for their money. Then we went to India, lost the first two matches and went on to win the series. We always had the confidence we could do that.

“Winning is a habit, we say that a lot among the team. We want to keep that going, we might have lost that before, but we might have found that again heading into the World Cup.

“I know what it feels like when you’re losing and I know what it’s like when winning, it’s obvious which one you want.

“This time last year there was a lot of talk about our batting, everyone has their different plans – it’s just about winning games and we’re managing to do that.”

Khawaja had a scare when a blow to the knee brought a premature end to his day in the field, recovering suitably to profit with the bat as Australia successfully chased 240.

Lahiru Thirimanne was the only other player in the match to pass 50 with Khawaja enjoying his spell as an opener, despite watching skipper Aaron Finch depart early.

The make-up of Australia’s top order remains up for discussion but whatever position the World Cup rookie takes, he remains happy to fulfil his role for the team.

The 32-year-old added: “I wasn’t thinking about securing an opening berth, we’ve looked to be clinical and not take it lightly. We’ve won three warm-ups here, and it was more about us continuing the winning ways in Dubai and India.

“I was concentrating on contributing to that winning run – some things are just out of your control

“It’s a mindset thing, opening is slightly different to three which in itself is different to five.

“The beauty of our team is that guys can bat in different positions, we’ve changed it around but we’ve all contributed which is the important thing.

“I do love opening, that’s where I’ve batted my whole life in one-day cricket. But it’s about winning games and doing the best of the team – I’d rather score a duck and win than a century and lose.”

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SPORTING LEGENDS HELP RAISE OVER US$400,000 FOR LAUREUS SPORT FOR GOOD THROUGH CHALLENGE AFRICA TREK

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  • Laureus sporting legends Brian O’Driscoll, Bryan Habana, Jean de Villiers and Annabelle Bond joined by 100 inspirational fundraisers on Just Challenge trek through Drakensberg Mountains
  • Funds raised will go directly to five Laureus-supported programmes around the world
  • ‘We’ve challenged ourselves, made memories for life and raised a considerable amount of money for five life-changing programmes in the process’ – Brian O’Driscoll

Members of the Laureus family have joined 100 inspirational fundraisers from around the world to trek 100km and raised over US$400,000 to date to support the work of Laureus Sport for Good.

Rugby legends Brian O’DriscollBryan Habana and Jean de Villiers swapped their rugby boots for hiking boots to join experienced adventurer Annabelle Bond, South African TV personality Dan Nicholl and a group of inspiring people from around the world for the four-day trek through the stunning Drakensberg Mountain range.

Every cent raised by participants will go to support the work of Laureus programmes around the world: Active Communities Network (Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland), Coolplay (South Africa), Mathare Youth Sports Association (Kenya) and the grantees supported by the Model City Hong Kong initiative. Each of the programmes use sport as a tool to improve the lives of young people. From assisting them with education or employment to supporting young people with their mental health and wellbeing, all funds will be put to good use in bringing to life the positive power of sport.

Over the four days, participants were treated to the stunning views of Drakensberg World Heritage site. Brian, Bryan, Jean, Annabelle and Dan joined participants in covering the tough terrain of the mountain range, trekking across mountain passes and walking through a game reserve alongside herds of zebra, antelope and giraffe.

Participants were also joined by young leaders from Coolplay, one of the programmes who will benefit from funds raised. Coolplay uses sport to equip children with the skills needs to manage the complexities, demands and pressures of everyday life. Four rugby coaches joined the participants during the trek, introducing them to the transformational power of the programme and thanking them for their generous fundraising efforts.

Laureus Academy Member Brian O’Driscoll, said: “It’s been an amazing week trekking through the incredible Drakensberg Mountains with 100 inspirational fundraisers. We’ve challenged ourselves, made memories for life and raised a huge amount of money for five life-changing programmes in the process. I’d like to thank everyone who took part, and each and every person who supported our participants with their donations, they really are going to make a difference.

Laureus Ambassador Bryan Habana, said: “It has been a privilege for me to trek alongside these incredible people, raising over US$400,000 for Laureus-supported programmes both in here South Africa and around the world in the process. The bodies might be tired after 100km of trekking, but the impact these funds will have on young people around the world make everything worth it. The highlight for me was having the young leaders from Coolplay join us, they are proof that sport has the ability to transform young lives for the better.”

Laureus Ambassador Annabelle Bond, said: “I’m so proud to have taken part in this memorable challenge alongside wonderful people from around the world. I’ve been fortunate enough to reach summits and climb mountains throughout my career, and trekking through the Drakensberg to raise funds for a cause so close to my heart means the world to me. As Laureus Ambassadors, we have a collective belief in the positive impact sport can have and the past week has reinforced that for me.”

Globally, Laureus Sport for Good supports more than 160 programmes in over 40 countries who all use the power of sport to end violence, discrimination and disadvantage. Each programme Laureus supports is measured against charitable standards set out by the United Nations, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.

Challenge Africa is the second Laureus-supported adventure Just Challenge have led, following last year’s Challenge Himalayas trek which raised over US$350,000 for Laureus Sport for Good. Just Challenge delivers life changing adventures, for all abilities, with impact and meaning. They provide organisations with the opportunities to engage employees, clients and/or leaders through physical challenges.

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Alex Hales heading to Barbados after 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League

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Alex Hales was a happy man after being picked up by the Barbados Tridents as first pick during the 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League draft at the Gfinity eSports Arena in London.

The Tridents wasted little time in using the very first pick of the draft to snare the big-hitting England batsman, who, speaking later during the draft, said he was thrilled to be heading back to an island he described as one of his favourite places to play cricket for what will be his first taste of the biggest party in sport.

The St Lucia Stars are looking to make an impact after a couple of tough years and look to have done some good business Last year’s leading CPL wicket-taker Fawad Ahmed arrives from Trinbago Knight Riders as St Lucia Stars’ marquee player

There will also be a real Sri Lankan flavour to the Stars’ 2019 line-up. Lasith Malinga, match-winning hero for Mumbai Indians at the recent IPL final, was snapped up in round one of the and will be joined at St Lucia by two of his countrymen in power-packed all-rounder Thisara Perera and the livewire keeper-batsman Niroshan Dickwella.

The Stars also secured John Campbell, who has been making a real name for himself for the West Indies in 2019, and Rahkeem Cornwall for their 17-man squad.

Two-time defending champions TKR understandably saw little reason to make wholesale changes. They were the only franchise to take full advantage of the option to retain or acquire six players ahead of the draft, with the high-profile return of Kieron Pollard already confirmed before the news came that his old mate Dwayne Bravo would again be leading the Trinbago charge.

The leading run-scorer in the 2018 Hero CPL Colin Munro was also retained, along with the versatile and dangerous Sunil Narine and one of the breakout stars of last year’s tournament, USA quick Ali Khan.

The Knight Riders then moved to bring back more familiar faces in rounds five and eight of the draft in Denesh Ramdin and Khary Pierre. New Zealand all-rounder James Neesham continues a fine tradition of Kiwi talent at the Knight Riders, while the exciting Muhammad Hasnain adds further bowling depth to a squad that will have eyes firmly fixed on a third straight Hero CPL title and fourth overall.

Last year’s runners-up, Guyana Amazon Warriors, have also kept faith with plenty of last year’s heroes. Keeper-batsman Nicholas Pooran was acquired ahead of the draft as a marquee player, while young hometown heroes Shimron Hetmyer, Keemo Paul and Sherfane Rutherford were all retained along with veteran Pakistan batsman Shoaib Malik.

Australia spinner Chris Green, who ended last season captaining the Amazon Warriors, was redrafted in round six. The exciting Brandon King and Romario Shepherd are also on board as Guyana, so often the Hero CPL bridesmaids, look to make that last step to glory.

Having bagged Hales early and announced Jason Holder as their marquee player, the Tridents continued to make waves with some high-quality additions. Pakistan left-arm pacer Wahab Riaz was retained and is joined in Barbados by two international team-mates.

Hard-hitting all-rounder Asif Ali, whose impressive ODI form against England recently has earned him a World Cup spot, was a round-three pick while canny left-arm spinner Imad Wasim could prove an inspired choice down in round nine of the draft.

West Indies pair Ashley Nurse and Shai Hope were retained, while Nepal leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane is another exciting addition for the Barbados franchise.

The headline news for Jamaica Tallawahs was the return of the Universe Boss himself, Chris Gayle, and the prospect of him lining up with Andre Russell – arguably the world’s biggest T20 star right now and an easy choice for retention – is a mouth-watering one.

Glenn Phillips’ impressive form last season saw him retained, as too were fast bowler Oshane Thomas and all-rounder Rovman Powell.

Chadwick Walton – leading run-scorer back in 2017 – was a round-three pick, while the latest Afghanistan spin sensation Zahir Khan arrived in round five.

The Patriots retained Evin Lewis, Carlos Brathwaite and the soldier himself Sheldon Cottrell, while South Africa’s Rassie van der Dussen also returns. Fabian Allen also stays with the Patriots after being drafted as a marquee player in round two.

Sri Lanka’s left-arm fast-bowling all-rounder Isuru Udana was the Patriots’ first-round pick, while Englishman Laurie Evans was picked up in round six. Former Guyana Amazon Warrior Rayad Emrit brings plenty of experience to the bowling attack, while Devon Thomas is also no stranger to Hero CPL crowds.

Each completed squad is made up of 17 players, including a minimum of nine senior West Indian players, two emerging West Indies players, a maximum of five overseas stars, and an ICC Americas player.

 

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Fuhood Zabeel Crowned Victors for the Fourth Sharjah Ramadan Futsal Championship

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TG are U14 champions thrashing Team Fast on the final day of the tournament

  • Sharjah Police secures 2nd place
  • Brazilian Jonathan Luis is the competition’s top scorer
  • Best goalie bagged by Fuhood Zabeel’s Hasan Al Hantoubi,
  • Ranjin Tayan named best player in the tournament

Fuhood Zabeel were the undisputed winners of the seniors’ team of the 4th edition of the Sharjah Ramadan Futsal Championship that concluded on Sunday. Meanwhile, team TG clinched the U14 title.
Both teams were felicitated by Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of Sharjah Media Council, under the presence of Sheikh Saqr bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Sports Council, and senior officials from state entities and sports associations in Sharjah.
Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, the 13-day tournament was organised by the Sharjah Sports Channel at the Sharjah Sports Club’s indoor stadium, Al Hazana.
Fuhood Zabeel beat Sharjah Police to clinch the championship title With strategies in place to secure the trophy, Fuhood Zabeel and Sharjah Police started the match, each eager to edge past the other. As soon as the match started, Fuhood Zabeel’s Ranjin Tayan opened the scoring, which was followed by two subsequent goals in quick
succession. Sharjah police scored their opening goal with a penalty kick by David Edwardo.
In the second half audiences were further impressed by Fuhood Zabeel’s player Williams Olivira who scored 2 brilliant goals quickly changing the score to 5-1. Brazilian Jonathan Cesar joined the scorers list and added the sixth goal for his team. Sharjah Police came back in the game and scored two goals by William da Silva at 13th minute in the second half.
Fuhood Zabeel dominated the match proceedings with another goal by Cesar, thus, defeating Sharjah Police by a comfortable margin of 7-3.
TG winner of U14 championship
The first title game of the evening was off to a blazing start, with TG’s Mohammed Al Bayat scoring the first goal of the match minutes after the match started. Team Fast pressed hard scoring a goal at the 11th minute by Badr Lutah. TG’s Saif al Kaabi and Obai Bu Samah scored two consecutive goals bringing the tally to 3-1. This was tackled by a counter attack by Fast’s Hasan Khalfan, raising the intensity of the match by the end of the first half, which continued until the final whistle, announcing TG, as the champions in the U14 category.
Honouring top players Fuhood Zabeel Brazilian player, Jonathan Cesar was named the top scorer of the
championship after securing 7 goals for his team, throughout the tournament. The best player title went to countryman and team member Ranjin Tayan, while the best goalie was also bagged by Fuhood Zabeel’s Ali Al Hantubi.
Commenting on the championship, Sheikh Sultan Bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of Sharjah Media Council stressed that the unwavering support of His Highness Sheikh Dr.Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, and the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, have immensely contributed in taking the local sports to new heights. He noted that the Sharjah Ramadan Futsal Championship held annually during
Ramadan, helps to showcase local and regional sporting talent, enabling players to take themselves to the next level.
He said, “Over the past 4 editions, the tournament highlighted exceptional futsal talents that reflect high levels of professionalism in the local sports scene. It has attracted many local and regional players who’ve displayed exemplary skills through this championship”.
Sheikh Sultan congratulated the winners and expressed his hope that such future tournaments will keep attracting talented athletes, reflecting a credible image of the sporting scene in Sharjah.

Rashid Al Obaid, Director of Sharjah Sports Channel commented: “Since the inaugural edition, we have been keen on identifying young talents and nurturing them. With each successful edition, the championship is gaining popularity and becoming an important sporting event in the Sharjah calendar. This is in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of
Sharjah who has always supported sports in this emirate. This has further encouraged the athletes to showcase their talents at various national and international events, continuously striving to win accolades for their country.
He further said, “Throughout the championship, the athletes proved their merit and displayed their sportsmanship. They played with passion, and were also supported by fans who came in large numbers to reflect their love and cheer for the players. I would like to congratulate the winners and hope each team eventually reaches the goals, that they have set for themselves”.
Sharjah Sports Channel was launched in 2007 under the umbrella of the Sharjah Media Corporation (SMC), as a specialised and independent sports platform to provide media and field coverage of an array of local, regional and international sporting events, tournaments and championships, such as Sharjah Sports Desert Festival (SSDF), which is organised annually by the channel.
The channel also provides special coverage for a number of local sporting events, including the Arab Women Sports Tournament (AWST), the annual Sharjah Grand Prix -the final round of the UIM F1 Powerboat World Championship, Sharjah International Cycling Tour,Belgian Football League, and other local, Arab and international sporting competitions.

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COOPER REPLACES DOTTIN FOR IRELAND AND ENGLAND TOURS

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Britney Cooper has been named as the replacement for Deandra Dottin for the West indies Women’s tour to Ireland and England.

Deandra suffered damage to her right shoulder and will require corrective surgery, ruling her out of competition for the upcoming months. Deandra’s recent destructive form has seen her rise to be the #1 player in  the ICC Women’s T20 All-Rounder rankings, just one ahead of her teammate and captain Stafanie Taylor. Deandra was player of the series in the West Indies Women’s tour to Pakistan in February, where she scored 158 runs and took 3 wickets.

Britney Cooper was part of the West Indies Women during the ICC Women’s World T20 held in the Caribbean last November. Seen as an agile fielder and pinch-hitter batter, Cooper notched up the runs during the CWI Women’s Championships in Guyana in March which earned her a spot in the preparation for the Ireland and England tours.

Interim Chairman of Selectors Robert Haynes said, “ Obviously it’s very unfortunate with Deandra having to do surgery. She is certainly a key player for us and we wish her a speedy recovery to come back and win matches for the West Indies. Britney has previous experience at the international level and we believe she will make a positive contribution.”

The West Indies Women have been in a preparation camp in Antigua from May 6-21. The team was strengthened with the return of Captain Stafanie Taylor, Vice-Captain Hayley Matthews and pacer Shakera Selman, who participated in the IPL Women’s T20 Challenged hosted by the BCCI in India.

The West Indies Women will be in search of all six (6) ICC Women’s Championship points when they play England on June 6, 9 and 13 in three (3) One Day Internationals, then three (3) T20 Internationals on June 18, 21 and 25. But before the England tour, they will play Ireland in three (3) T20 Internationals on May 26, 28 and 29.

The West Indies Women are currently seventh (7th) on the ICC Women’s Championships points table with 11 points.

FULL SQUAD:

  1. Stafanie Taylor (captain)
  2. Hayley Matthews (vice-captain)
  3. Britney Cooper
  4. Afy Fletcher
  5. Karishma Ramharack
  6. Chedean Nation
  7. Chinelle Henry
  8. Kycia Knight
  9. Kyshona Knight
  10. Shakera Selman
  11. Shamilia Connell
  12. Shemaine Campbell
  13. Natasha McLean
  14. Stacy Ann King
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