(CMC) – ALTHOUGH acknowledging failing a fitness test, former West Indies opening batsman Kieran Powell has lamented being left out of the squad and in the dark about why he continues to be omitted despite credible performances on the field.But Cricket West Indies (CWI) chief selector Roger Harper has defended the decision not to include Powell, saying that factors other than performance were at play.CWI recently identified a 30-man provisional squad for the impending tour of England which is tentatively set for July. Powell, who was dropped from the Caribbean side in 2018, expressed disappointment that he was not recalled.Speaking on the Mason and Guest radio show here on Tuesday night, the left-handed batsman acknowledged that he did not pass the fitness test, but insisted that other players, who either failed the test or did not show up for it, were selected.Against this background, and the fact he was the leading run-scorer in the last Regional Super 50, amassing 525 runs in the domestic limited-overs tournament, the 30-year-old Nevisian said he was puzzled why he was not given the opportunity to wear the maroon colours again.“Even though I wasn’t really as productive as I would like to have been … I still managed to stand out above everyone else who played in the tournament. So, it’s just a bit disheartening not to have been selected,” said Powell, who has a Test batting average of 26.81 after scoring 2 011 runs, including three centuries and twice as many half-centuries, in 40 matches for West Indies.He added that what was more worrying was that he has been given no word about what is keeping him out of the squad.“It’s clearly not performance,” he said.Stressing that he was not accusing CWI of giving him a raw deal, Powell added: “I don’t mind fighting, I don’t mind training hard, I don’t mind having to do more than other people. That’s perfectly fine, but just provide me with clarity so that when I wake up I know that I have to execute x, y and z to get to my target and I can plan accordingly.”Harper, responding to Powell’s concerns in a separate interview on Mason and Guest, said selectors had nothing against the cricketer.“When we picked our squad, we picked what we thought was the best squad,” the chief selector said. “He made runs in the Super50, I know, but there were other criteria that came into contention.”However, Powell said he was unaware of any other issue that would cause him to be passed over.“I’m going to have to give him a call or hopefully he gives me a call. Somebody could reach out to the other party and explain what needs to be done,” he said.“I don’t mind not being selected; this is part and parcel of it. West Indies cricket has been here long before me and I’m pretty sure it will be here long after I’m gone, but the communication is the most important thing. He says there are more factors to it…. I’m trying to ascertain what those factors are so that I can personally work on whatever else I need to work on so I can get my international career back up.”Powell last played West Indies Test cricket in November 2018 against Bangladesh and his last ODI was against the same team the following month.The left-hander, who made his first-class debut for the Leeward Islands in March 2008, said he was not satisfied with playing cricket at just the regional level.“I think that every player should be playing regional cricket with the aim or the ambition to want to represent the West Indies. As soon as that goes for me, I will stop playing regional cricket.“As a child I’ve never envisioned myself wanting to just play for the Leeward Islands, it’s always been about playing for the West Indies. So that lack of clarity is what’s really confusing to me,” he said.Powell said he was just as puzzled about being relieved of the Leeward Islands captaincy in 2019, ahead of the start of the last Regional Super50.He said the team had seen continuous improvement with him at the helm and was “starting to become competitive again”, moving from bottom of the table to reaching the semi-final stage in the Regional Super50 tournament.There had been speculation that Powell’s refusal of a retainer contract influenced the Leeward Islands Cricket Board’s decision to replace him with Antiguan right-hand batsman and wicketkeeper Devon Thomas.“I turned down the regional retainer contract because it’s not feasible for me to be contracted to the Leewards board, so I said to them, ‘give that contract to a younger player; it offers room to continue to grow Leewards cricket, develop a younger player, but I’m still 100 per cent committed to the Leeward Islands and playing cricket,’” he explained.However, he added: “Then I was told that they’re not sure whether I’d be committed, after I had already had a long meeting with them stating my 100 per cent commitment to Leeward Islands cricket. It’s just one of those things that leave you puzzled, but at the end of the day my job is to play cricket and score runs.”Despite not getting the West Indies selectors’ nod this time around, Powell said that with the damper the COVID-19 pandemic has put on sport, he is training and working on his fitness so that whenever cricket restarts, “fitness is not an issue”.
Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on February 15, 2015 at 8:48 pm Contact Sam: [email protected] | @SamBlum3 Brandon Mullins only remembers the chaos.After goalkeeper Bobby Wardwell failed in clearing a ball to Henry Schoonmaker early in the fourth quarter, Wardwell was stuck well outside the crease as Cornell attack Matt Donovan flailed to try and tip in an empty-net goal.But Mullins’ instincts took over. He raced all the way from the sideline and stopped the ball from getting into the net with a full-body slide to preserve an already safe nine-goal lead.“I just dove to try and stop it,” Mullins said, simply. “And it didn’t go in.”It was Mullins that captained a stingy Syracuse defense to help keep Cornell’s three starting attacks to just one goal on 17 total shots. The No. 4 Orange (2-0) also forced 16 turnovers and saved 12 shots on goal in its 14-6 win over the No. 10 Big Red (0-1) in the Carrier Dome on Sunday in front of 4,127 fans. It was the 200th career win for SU head coach John Desko.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSyracuse played aggressive man-to-man defense for most of the game and held the Big Red without a goal in the first quarter and just one total before halftime.“They’re going to keep wearing down at you, keep coming at you,” Cornell head coach Matt Kerwick said. “I’m very impressed with their defense.”The Orange defense didn’t wait long to show what it was capable of. After Sean Young and Paolo Ciferri cornered Big Red midfielder John Hogan into a near-turnover with just four minutes gone by in the first quarter, Mullins came over with a cross-body check that sent Hogan and the ball flying, and Mullins to the bench.When Cornell’s Connor Buczek ran up the field with a four-on-three advantage, his seemingly open pass was intercepted by Young, who reached across his body to take the ball away.Twenty-seven seconds later, Nicky Galasso’s shot made it 4-1.And after the SU offense took 11 minutes to score its first goal and five and a half more to score its second, the Orange offense had finally taken control of the game after the defense’s strong play kept the team in it.“It was firing us up on offense, because we knew we were a little bit slow getting going,” SU attack Kevin Rice said. “They’re hitting people and they’re creating turnovers and they’re pushing the ball up the field. It gets the Dome going, it gets the crowd going. And it gives us confidence that we’re still in it.”Once Syracuse gained momentum, the offense allowed for plenty of room for error. But the defensive let up never came. Cornell’s only grasp at any form of momentum came in a 19-second stretch when it scored two goals to cut the SU lead to 7-3 coming out of halftime.Desko said it was especially impressive since the Orange wasn’t getting the ball off the faceoffs. Ben Williams was just 9-of-22 from the X, testing the defense to be the catalyst for what would become a breakout offensive performance.“We were forced to play more defense and it helped us get in a groove,” Desko said. “It’s a good win, but great practice for us, too. It was great for the defense to play well. I thought they slid and recovered well all day long.”While Desko may have alluded to it being almost a tune-up for the Orange, its containment of a team that averaged nearly 13 goals per game last season suggested otherwise. Mullins acknowledged that SU was not happy with its defensive performance in its season-opening 21-7 win over Siena on Feb. 7.On Sunday, though, he was confident that those issues were corrected.“I thought we did a good job bouncing back,” Mullins said. “… We were definitely more physical today. We had some pretty good talk, and I thought we played a lot better.” Comments
Credit:ESPN The Premier League has drawn up plans to have two trophies and two sets of medals on standby if the title race between Liverpool and Manchester City goes to the final day of the season on May 12, sources have told ESPN FC.Defending champions City moved one point clear of Liverpool with a 2-0 victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford on Wednesday and will retain the title if they win their remaining three games against Burnley, Leicester and Brighton.But with Liverpool able to reclaim top spot on Friday by defeating relegated Huddersfield at Anfield, there remains a strong possibility that the title will not be decided until the final round of fixtures.Liverpool host Wolves on the final day of the season, with City travelling to Brighton.With 270 miles separating those two stadia, sources have told ESPN FC that the Premier League has ruled out the prospect of a helicopter carrying the trophy being positioned halfway between them.If the race goes down to the wire, the Premier League will adopt the same plan as on the final day of the 2011-12 season, when City and United were separated by goal difference going into their fixtures against Queen’s Park Rangers and Sunderland.A trophy presentation team traveled to the Etihad Stadium and the Stadium of Light, each carrying a trophy and set of medals,as two stoppage-time goals secured the title for City.Sources told ESPN FC that the Premier League has two identical trophies — one housed at the League’s London headquarters and the other in the trophy cabinet of the reigning champions.