TOP PLAYERS Only recently, he blasted a 12-ball half-century in the Big Bash to equal the record for the fastest ever fifty in T20s. Russell, meanwhile, has become one of the most sought-after T20 players and last year plied his trade in the Indian Premier League, South Africa’s Ram Slam, the Caribbean Premier League, the Bangladesh Premier League, and the Big Bash. He emerged as one of the leading players for Sydney Thunder as they wrapped up the BBL title last week, scoring 185 runs at a strike rate of 186 while taking 16 wickets with his pace bowling. The Windies squad also sees the return of combative left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn, who has not played for West Indies since last April after being dropped following England’s Test tour of the Caribbean. Benn, 34, had an outstanding campaign with the ball in the Regional Super50 which wrapped up on Sunday in Trinidad and Tobago, taking 15 wickets to be the tournament’s leading bowler. All-rounder Darren Sammy, who led West Indies to the T20 World Cup title four years go in Sri Lanka and into the semi-finals in Bangladesh in 2014, has been re-appointed skipper. West Indies are set to play in Group One alongside reigning champions Sri Lanka, South Africa, England and yet-to-be determined qualifier. WEST INDIES – Darren Sammy (captain), Lendl Simmons, Chris Gayle, Darren Bravo, Dwayne Bravo, Keiron Pollard, Marlon Samuels, Denesh Ramdin, Samuel Badree, Sulieman Benn, Sunil Narine, Andre Fletcher, Jason Holder, Jerome Taylor, Andre Russell. BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC): Batting sensation Chris Gayle and all-rounder Andre Russell have both been included in the 15-man West Indies squad for the Twenty20 World Cup in India. Some media reports yesterday announced the squad without Gayle and Russell, sparking some speculation on social media, but CMC Sports understands that the Jamaican pair is definitely part of the Windies campaign for the March 8 to April 3 tournament. The squad, which is yet to be named officially by the West Indies Cricket Board, includes embattled off-spinner Sunil Narine, who is currently banned from bowling internationally. However, Narine is expected to undergo testing on his action at Loughborough University in England next month, before confirming his spot on the side. All eyes will be on Gayle, however, especially after he sparked controversy during the recent Australia Big Bash with his now infamous ‘Don’t blush, baby’ live television interview, where he appeared to openly flirt with Channel Ten’s Mel McLaughlin. The 36-year-old left-hander has played in every T20 World Cup since the inaugural tournament in South Africa eight years ago, when he announced himself in the format with a stunning hundred against the hosts in Johannesburg. He has since become arguably the most valued commodity on the global T20 circuit, and his presence will ensure West Indies will be installed as one of the early favourites.
Kolkata, Apr 4 (PTI) Indias star batsman Virat Kohli has maintained his number one position in the ICC T20 batsmen rankings and so have India in the team charts after the conclusion of the World T20. West Indies, who won the World T20 title here last night, have number-one ranked India firmly within their sights after they became the only side to win the tournament twice. The West Indies defeated 2010 winner England by four wickets in front of a packed Eden Gardens, and have consequently moved ahead of New Zealand in second place. The West Indies are now on 125 points, one point behind India who lost to the eventual champion in Mumbai in the second semi-final on Thursday. After finishing as the second best side in the tournament, England are now fourth after swapping places with South Africa. New Zealand, who lost to England in the first semi-final in Delhi on Wednesday, have retained their third place at 120 points. In the batsmen rankings, Virat Kohli has comfortably defended his number-one position. India?s top-order batsman, who was adjudged player of the tournament, leads Australia?s second-ranked Aaron Finch by 86 points. Kohli had entered the home competition leading Finch by 24 points. England?s Joe Root, who finished as the third leading run-getter behind Tamim Iqbal and Kohli with 249 runs, has broken into the top five for the first time in his career. Root scored 27 not out in the semi-final and 54 in the final, for which he has been rewarded with a jump seven places that has now put him in fourth position. Marlon Samuels, who won the player of the final award, has also returned to the top 20 in 18th position. The top-order batsman scored eight in the semi-final and 85 not out in the final, which has helped him rise five places to share the position with South Africa?s Quinton de Kock. England?s Jos Buttler is the other batsman inside the top 25 to improve his ranking. The wicketkeeper/batsman is now in 24th spot after moving up three places. Amongst the bowlers, India?s pace duo of Jasprit Bumrah and Ashish Nehra have achieved career-best rankings. Bumrah has vaulted six places to seventh, while Nehra has climbed five places and is now in 11th position. West Indies? Samuel Badree is the number-one ranked bowler and he leads fellow wrist-spinner Imran Tahir of South Africa by 50 points, while India?s Ravichandaran Ashwin is in third position, another 28 points behind. There is no change in the top five of the all-rounders? list, which is headed by a retired Shane Watson. He is followed by Shakib Al Hasan of Bangladesh, Pakistan?s Shahid Afridi, Australia?s Glenn Maxwell and West Indies? Marlon Samuels. PTI BS CMadvertisement
Russian Premier League side Rostov had their entire team subjected to a random doping test following their match against Dinamo Moscow on Thursday, FIFA said.FIFA, confirming a report by Russia’s Tass news agency, said the test was routine and there were no complaints from players or officials.Rostov, second in the league and two points behind CSKA Moscow, won the match 3-1.”We have to be unpredictable, they have to know that we can turn up anywhere at any time,” FIFA’s chief medical officer Jiri Dvorak told Reuters by telephone.”I have to stress that the team was very co-operative, there was no resistance or complaints whatsoever; they understood what we were doing and that is very important.”FIFA later said in a statement, “the initiative was based on previous media reports regarding potential use of Meldonium.”An independent World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) commission last November revealed widespread state-sponsored doping in Russia, which led to a ban on the country competing in international athletics competitions.Unless that ban is lifted, Russian athletics competitors will miss the Rio Olympics in Brazil, set to run Aug. 5-21.At least 16 Russian sportsmen and women, including world tennis player Maria Sharapova and speed skating Olympic gold-medallist Semion Elistratov, have been caught using meldonium since it was banned by WADA on Jan. 1.Meldonium, manufactured for people suffering from heart problems, helps boost blood flow and increases the amount of oxygen taken in by the body, allowing athletes to recover faster while training.The use of meldonium was widespread before the ban. One study showed 490 athletes at last year’s European Games in Baku had taken it.advertisement