After placing second to the Guyana Jaguars for five consecutive years, Barbados Pride were crowned champions in the Regional Four Day competition. Cricket West Indies (CWI) terminated the tournament in the eighth round with two games remaining due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in March.
At that stage in competition, Barbados Pride were at the top of the points standings with an impressive 134.8 points, and CWI declared the Kraigg Brathwaite-led team winners of the Headley/Weekes trophy. Their long-standing rivals Trinidad and Tobago Red Force were trailing 40.2 points behind in second place on 94.6 points.
Barbados Pride lost their first match against the Windward Islands Volcanoes by three wickets, but bounced back to win five successive games. They defeated Guyana Jaguars by a whopping 235 runs at Providence, after bowling out the defending champions for the paltry scores of 55 and 94.
All-rounder Kyle Mayers was the major batsman for Barbados Pride, the left-handed batsman compiled 654 runs, including two centuries and five half centuries at an average of 50.30. Mayers struck 71 fours and 18 sixes at a remarkable strike rate of 81.34. Only Jamaican Jermaine Blackwood who scored 768 runs made more runs than Mayers during the tournament.
As a result of his excellent performance during the season Mayers was named as a reserve on the West Indies’ tour to England, and selected in the Twenty20 squad for the tour to New Zealand, and made his International Twenty20 debut in the second match at the Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui.
Opening batsman Shayne Moseley had a moderate season scoring 490 runs with a highest score of 155 not out at an average of 35.00, and was included among the reserves for the West Indies tour to England in July. Towards the end of the year, while Brathwaite made 468 runs at 33.42, Moseley was included in the West Indies Test squad for a two-match series against New Zealand down under.
Young fast bowler Chemar Holder had an outstanding season with 36 wickets including three five-wicket hauls and a ten-wicket haul at an average of 18.91. Holder’s performance earned him selection in the West Indies Test squad to England and New Zealand, where he made his Test debut in the second Test at the Basin Reserve.
Veteran pacer Kemar Roach was a force to reckon with in the five matches in the tournament dismissing 30 batsmen at 13.70 runs, and the fiery Keon Harding made his presence felt with 29 wickets at 23.20.
Defending champions Barbados Tridents failed to qualify for the play-offs after a torrid performance in the Caribbean Premier League tournament which was held in Trinidad and Tobago in a bio-secure bubble because of COVID 19. Mayers’ good form with the bat continued during the Twenty20 tournament with 222 runs in nine innings. Captain Jason Holder scored 192 runs and captured 10 wickets. The new kings of the competition were Trinbago Knight Riders who played unbeaten throughout the season.
On the domestic scene the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) cancelled the Under-15 and Under19 Schools tournaments because of the pandemic. After the go ahead was given for sports to resume, the BCA made the decision to play three separate Twenty20 competitions. The BCA Elite/ Division One T20 Cup, the Intermediate T20 Shield and the Second Division Plate, instead of the Elite, Intermediate and Second Division competitions. Gladiola won the BCA Elite/Division One T20 Cup after defeating Wanderers by 36 runs in the final at Kensington Oval.
The St Peter-based St Boscobelle team were victorious over St Catherine by two wickets in a thrilling, low-scoring game at the Oval. While Midas Magic Ipswich brought joy to the Eden Lodge community when they narrowly defeated BNOC by eight runs to capture the T20 Plate.
Sir Everton Weekes’ the great Barbados and West Indies’ batsman and last surviving member of the three Ws (Sir Frank Worrell and Sir Clyde Walcott), the great batting triumvirate of the late 1940s and the 1950s died in July at the age of 95.
Sir Everton held the record for five consecutive Test centuries. He played 48 Tests, scoring 4,455 runs at 58.61 with 15 centuries. Several Barbadians including Governor General Dame Sandra Mason, Prime Minister Mia Mottley, National Hero former West Indies captain Sir Garry Sobers, attended Sir Everton’s official funeral at Kensington Oval. Sir Everton was laid to rest at the 3 Ws Oval alongside Sir Frank and Sir Clyde.
President of the BCA Conde Riley received Barbados’ third highest national honour the Gold Crown of Merit for his contribution to cricket. Riley, a former investment banker, was first elected to the BCA’s board in 1996 and except for one year has served Barbados’ cricket for the past 21 years.
An eight-foot bronze statue of legendary Barbados and West Indies fast bowler Sir Wesley Winfield Hall was unveiled outside of Kensington Oval. Sir Wes, the first West Indian to take a hat-trick in a Test match and the first West Indies’ fast bowler to reach the landmark of a hundred Test wickets, said he was happy and humbled at the tribute paid to him. Sir Wes played 48 Test matches for the West Indies between 1958 and 1968, he captured 192 wickets at an average of 26.38
Once again West Indies did not have a good year in Test cricket, they played five Test matches, won one and lost four. The regional team lost a three-match Test series to England 2-1, and were whitewashed 2-0 by New Zealand.
They were originally scheduled to visit England in May and June, but the tour was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. After discussions between Cricket West Indies (CWI) and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), the series was rescheduled for July.
The historic series, the first played during the coronavirus pandemic was held behind closed doors in bio-secure conditions. The first Test was played at the Rose Bowl, Southampton, while the second and third Tests were held at Emirates, Old Trafford, Manchester. The Tests formed part of the International Cricket Council (ICC) inaugural 2019-21 Test Championships, and were contested for the Wisden Trophy.
Prior to the start of the third Test, CWI and the ECB announced that future Test series between the two countries would be contested for the Richards-Botham Trophy in honour of Sir Vivian Richards, the great West Indian batsman and Sir Ian Botham, the outstanding all-rounder from England
The West Indies won the first Test at the Rose Bowl by four wickets, after winning the toss and opting to bowl. Ben Strokes led England in the absence of regular captain Joe Root who missed the Test to be at the birth of his second child.
England were bowled out for 204, captain Jason Holder took a career best of six wickets for 42 runs in England’s first innings, he was supported by fast bowler Shannon Gabriel with four wickets for 62 runs. The West Indies replied with 318, Kraigg Brathwaite top-scored with 65, Shane Dowrich made 61 and Roston Chase chipped in with 47. England made 313 in their second innings, Zak Crawley scored 76 and Dominic Sibley compiled a painstaking half century. Gabriel took five wickets for 75 runs. Set 200 runs for victory, the West Indies slumped to 27 for three, before Jermaine Blackwood (95) along with Chase (37) and Dowrich (20) guided them to 200 for the loss of six wickets.
England bounced back to win the second Test at Old Trafford by 113 runs and level the series, even though play was washed out on the third day, they were able to compete an overwhelming victory over the regional side. The West Indies won the toss and decided to field, England compiled 469 for nine declared, Stokes scored a masterful 176 and Sibley 120, Chase bowling his off -spin, took five wickets for 172 runs.
The West Indies were dismissed for 287, which gave England a lead of 182. Brathwaite made a solid 76 and Shamarh Brooks 68, fast bowlers Chris Broad and Chris Woakes took three wickets apiece. England scored 129 for three in their second innings, chasing a total of 311 runs for victory, the West Indies were bundled out for 198, Brooks scored 62, his second half century of the match and Blackwood 55.
The third Test was a walk in the park for England, they defeated the West Indies by a massive 269 runs, no play was possible on the fourth day because of rain, but the loss of a day did not stop the hosts from inflicting a humiliating defeat on their visitors from the Caribbean.
Holder won the toss for the third consecutive time and elected to bowl. England compiled 369 runs, Ollie Pope top-scored with 91, Kemar Roach took four wickets for 72 runs. The West Indies made 197 which gave England a lead of 172 runs. England posted 226 in their second innings, chasing 398 to win the match and the series. The West Indies were blown away for 129 by Woakes and Board who took five wickets for 50 runs and four wickets for 36 runs respectively. Blackwood was the leading batsman for the West Indies in the series with 211 runs, and Gabriel the leading bowler with 11 wickets.
The West Indies were humiliated by New Zealand when they toured down under early in December, they were thrashed by an innings and 134 runs in the first Test at Seddon Park, Hamilton. Sent in to bat on a grassy pitch, captain Kane Williamson played a masterful innings of 251 that allowed him to declare at 519 runs for the loss of seven wickets.
The regional side were blown away for 138 in their first innings, pacer Tim Southee took four wickets for 35 runs. In the second innings, the West Indies collapsed to 89 for six before Blackwood (106) and Alzarri Joseph (86) restored a measure of pride to the batting. Eventually, they were dismissed for 247.
New Zealand wrapped up the series with a comprehensive victory over the West Indies. They won the second Test by an innings and 12 runs. The Kiwis made 460 runs in their first innings, Henry Nicholls top-scored with 174 runs, Gabriel and Joseph took three wickets apiece and Chemar Holder on his Test debut dismissed two batsmen for 110 runs from 26 overs.
The West Indies were blown away for the paltry score of 131 runs. Southee and his fellow fast bowler Kyle Jamieson wrecked the innings with five wickets for 32 runs and five wickets for 34 runs respectively. The visitors amassed their best total of the series 317, in the second innings, three batsmen scored half centuries, John Campbell 68, Jason Holder 61 and Joshua Da Silva on his Test debut 57. Blackwood was the leading West Indian batsmen in the series with 216 runs. In One Day Internationals (ODIs), the West Indies had mixed success, they defeated Ireland 3-0 in the Caribbean and were whitewashed by Sri Lanka on the Asian subcontinent. The ODI series against Ireland was played in Barbados at Grenada.
The two ODIs at Kensington were day/night matches, the West Indies won the first ODI at Kensington Oval by five wickets after Ireland were bowled out for 184 runs, Man of the Match Alzarri Joseph had the outstanding figures of 10-1-32-4. The West Indies scored 184 for five wickets in 33.2 overs, opener Evin Lewis stroked a run a ball 99 runs.
The second ODI was a cliffhanger which the West Indies won by one wicket. Ireland scored 237 runs. Opener Paul Stirling steered the inning with 63 runs off 79 balls, Man of the Match Joseph had the identical bowling figures as the first ODI. Chasing 238 for victory, the West Indies slipped to 76 for four before Nicholas Pooran (50) and captain Kieron Pollard (40) repaired the damage with a fifth wicket partnership 64.
The West Indies sank deeper into trouble at 200 for 8 wickets and were looking into the face of defeat when Hayden Walsh (46) guided them to victory.
Lewis struck a superb century that guided the West Indies to a five-wicket victory in the final match of the series. The visitors were dismissed for 203 after batting first, captain Andy Balbirnie made 71, Walsh captured four wickets for 36 runs with his leg -spin. The West Indies’ target was adjusted to 197 after rain interrupted the game, Lewis blasted 102 runs from 97 balls to ensure the Irishmen were whitewashed in the series.
The ODI series between the West Indies and Sri Lanka played in late February and early March, was a keenly contested battle, even though the visitors were whitewashed. Shai Hope’s century (115) was not enough to prevent the West Indies narrowly losing the first ODI against Sri Lanka by one wicket. The West Indies amassed 289 for seven wickets. Sri Lanka replied with 290 for 9 wickets.
Sri Lanka hammered 345 for 8 wickets off the West Indies’ bowlers in the second ODI, opener Avishka Fernando smashed 127 and Kusal Mendis stroked a run a ball 119. West Indies were bundled out for 184 as leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga de Silva three wickets for 30 runs spun a weave around the batsmen.
In the third ODI Sri Lanka were dismissed for 307 runs, despite the efforts of Hope 72, Sunil Ambris 60, Pooran and Pollard 49, the West Indies were 301 for 9 at the end of their 50 overs.
In Twenty20 version of the game, the series between the West Indies and Ireland was drawn, the visitors stunned their hosts by winning the first match at the Grenada National Stadium by four runs. Ireland made 208 for 7 wickets, opener Paul Stirling scored 95. Dwayne Bravo playing his first Twenty20 International after being not included in the West Indies’ team for several years took two wickets for 28 runs. The West Indies replied with 204 for 7 at the end of their 20 overs.
After a no result in the second game in St Kitts because of rain, the West Indies outplayed Ireland to win the third match by nine wickets. Ireland were bowled out for a paltry 138, Pollard had the outstanding figures of three wickets for 19 runs from four overs. Lendl Simmons smashed 91 runs that included ten sixes and four fours from 40 balls in the West Indies score of 140 for 1, in 11 overs.
The West Indies rebounded to win both matches in the Twenty20 series against Sri Lanka, they won the first match by 25 runs and the second game by seven wickets. In the first match, the West Indies scored 196 for 7 wickets with Simmons blasting 67 not-out off 51 balls. Sri Lanka were dismissed for 171, their batting was ripped apart by fast bowler Oshane Thomas who took five wickets for 28 runs from three overs.
In the second match, Sri Lanka amassed 155 for the loss of six wickets, the West Indies replied with 158 for three wickets off 17 overs, Andre Russell smashed 40 runs that included six sixes from 14 balls.
Towards the end of the year, the West Indies lost the first and second Twenty20 against New Zealand, the third match ended in a no result due to rain. New Zealand won the first match on Duckworth-Lewis -Stern method. The West Indies scored 180 for seven, Pollard blasted a hurricane 75 from 37 balls with eight sixes and four fours to pilot his team to 180 for seven wickets. New Zealand’s target for victory was revised due to two interruptions for rain. The Kiwis were in trouble at 64 for four in the seventh over, until James Neesham 48 not-out and Mitchell Santner with an unbeaten 31 took them to their total of 179 for the loss of five wickets in 15. 5 overs.
Glen Philips hit 108 that included 10 fours and eight sixes from 51 balls to pilot New Zealand to the massive total of 238 for three, the West Indies made 166 for 9.
The West Indies’ ladies had a calamitous year in 2020, after a comprehensive seven-wicket victory over Thailand in the first of the ICC World Twenty20 Cup in Australia which was played in Australia from February to March.
They lost to Pakistan by eight wickets, in the following match, and suffered a 46-run defeat at the hands of England. Their match against South Africa was abandoned without a ball bowled because of rain.
In September, they were whitewashed 5-0 by England when they visited the United Kingdom. Deandra Dottin was the sole West Indies’ batter to score half centuries in the series, the powerful all-rounder scored 68 in the first match and 63 in the third game.
The West Indies Under 19 team finished fifth at the ICC Youth Under 19 World Cup in South Africa. After reeling off a string of impressive victories against Australia, England and Nigeria in Group B of the tournament, unfortunately, the Caribbean lost by two wickets to New Zealand in the quarter-finals.
Seven matches were played in the Coca Cola Premier League, four in the Division One competition and two in the Guardian Group Youth competition before the season was suspended in March due to the coronavirus.
Before the season came to a premature end, local football powerhouses Weymouth Wales were leading the tournament with 16 points, followed closely by BDFSP [Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme] on 12 points. Before the season was suspended Combermere captured the Barbados Secondary Schools’ Under 19 league title. After being held to a 1-1 draw by the Lodge School at Massiah Street, St John, the lads from Waterford needed one point in the match against Lodge to take the title.
President of the Barbados Football Association (BFA) Randy Harris was re-elected unopposed for his third four-year term at the annual general meeting of the BFA that took place in September at the Wildey Gymnasium. His deputy Captain Al Walcott fought off a challenge from Rasheed Belgrave, Barney Callender and former national goalkeeper Chris Graham to retain the post of vice president.
Omari Eastmond ousted long-serving third vice president Ashton Chapman from the position, the senior assistant secretary was Gregory Thompson, and Christian Renrick was elected treasurer. Kenville Layne, Carlos Jackman, O’Brien Smith, Nicole McKenzie and Dale Rudder were elected to the executive for a two-year term.
A memorandum of understanding was signed between the BFA and former senior men’s national captain Emmerson Boyce and the members of the Emmerson Boyce Foundation to develop female football on the island.
Speaking at the signing of the memorandum, Boyce who captained Barbados from 2008 until 2016, said after several years of planning, he thought the time was right to execute his plans which were intended to provide opportunities for young people and develop the sport holistically.
Boyce explained that his decision to focus on women’s football was due to the game growing at a rapid pace and added there were endless opportunities for female footballers.
The BFA announced plans to construct a new grass field on the eastern side of the Widley Turf, the project is expected to cost an estimated $150,000 and will be fully financed by FIFA, the governing body of world football.
President of the BFA Randy Harris was honoured for his contribution to football in Barbados’ Independence Honours. Harris received Barbados’ third highest honour, the Gold Crown of Merit, the veteran football administrator has been involved with the sport in Barbados and the Caribbean for the past 40 years. He is also the president of the Caribbean Football Union.
The coronavirus forced the cancellation of the major athletics meetings on the island but not before 11- year-old Ethan Hart of St George Primary established himself as the fastest primary schoolboy on the island in the 200m, 400m and the 100m at National Primary Schools Athletics Championships (NAPSAC).
Hart broke the Under 13 Boys 400m record on two occasions during the Championships. His record-breaking run began in the NAPSAC quarterfinals at the National Stadium when he ran 57.84 seconds to break Mario Burke’s 11-year-old record of 5.75 seconds. In the final at the same venue, Hart blazed the track in 56.70 seconds which smashed his own record and establish a new NAPSAC record.
The young running sensation ran 25.23 in the 200m in a NAPSAC preliminary meet to shatter Jhamal Burke’s record of 25.70. A couple of days later at the quarterfinals, he erased his own record with a fantastic run of 25.10 before an excited crowd at the Stadium. Hart who was the Victor Ludorum at the final, won the 100m in 12.9 seconds and the 200m in 25.43 seconds.
Zachary Wall who also attends St George Primary, placed second in the 200m, the 400m and the 100m. As a result of the outstanding performances of Hart and Wall, St George Primary amassed 117 points and won their first ever NAPSAC boys’ title. West Terrace Primary secured 153 points to win the girls’ title.
The Barbados Secondary Schools Athletics Championships (BSSAC) were cancelled after Barbados discovered its first case of the coronavirus a couple of days before the final was scheduled to be held at the National Stadium.
In the BNOC Frank Blackman Zone St Michael Cougars girls amassed 437 points and the boys collected 387 points to do the double. Harrison College won the boy’s title in the Sol Zone with 425.50 points and 483.50 points were enough for Christ Church Foundation to be crowned queens of the zone.
Horseracing was dealt a severe blow in March when the country was placed on lockdown because of the coronavirus. Before the pandemic forced the cancellation of all sporting actives on the island, Jalon Samuels created history by capturing the 39th edition of the Sandy Lane Gold Cup for a record fifth time. The champion jockey rode the Night Prowler owned by Sir David Seale to victory in spectacular style.
Samuels other victories in the Caribbean’s most prestigious race were aboard Dancin’ David, Dorsett in 2016 and 2017 and Sir Dudley Digges. Horseracing was cancelled after Gold Cup day on March 7th, seven months later on October 24th, starter Mark Batson released the starting gate to signal the return of the sport.
A new era was ushered in for horseracing on December 12th when the Barbados Turf Club held night racing at the Garrison Savannah for the first time. After Prime Minister flicked the ceremonial switch to light up the Garrison, Delano Lopez wrote his name into the history books of horse racing on the island when he rode Conkie Man to victory in the Dancin David Trophy over 1,100 metres for West Indian-bred two-year maidens in a time of 1.08.01 minutes to become the first jockey to win a night race at the Garrison.
American Ken Block and his co-driver Alex Gelsomino won the Sol Rally Barbados 2020 title, the pair driving a Ford Performance/Monster Energy / Hoonigan Racing Ford Fiesta Rally 2, won the race in a time of 56 minutes, 03.19 seconds.
Britain’s Rob Swann and his Welsh co-driver Darren Garrod in a Blue Sky Luxury /Marriott All-Inclusive raswann.co.uk Ford Fiesta WRC came second a time of 56 minutes 12.67 seconds. The 2018 winners, Jamaicans Jeff Panton and Mike Fennel Jr driving a Ford Fiesta WRC were in third position with a time of 56 minutes, 38.78 second. Andrew Mallalieu and Geoff Goddard who came fourth in a time of 57 minutes, 04.88 seconds driving a Ford Fiesta R5 were the highest Barbadians drivers to place.
Twenty one of the 38 starters in the rally were classified as finishers.
Volleyball was one of the first sports to restart when the all clear was given to resume sporting activities on the island. The UWI Blackbirds’ ladies were crowned queens of volleyball, the Cave Hill Campus-based team won their second Goddard Enterprises senior knockout title by defeating Deacons Chargers 23-25, 25-17, 25-20, 25-22, in a thrilling final at the Wildey Gymnasium in October. Two months later, they brought an exciting end to the season by defeating Chargers 25-19, 26-28, 25-19, 25-19. Blackbirds ended the season with 59 points, Chargers finished second on 51 points,
Deacons Men were the kings of volleyball after doing the double in 2020. They trounced Barbados Bearing Progressive 25-20, 25-1, 28-26 to capture the knockout title in October, and defeated the same opponents 33-31, 25-19, 18-25, 25-19 to gain an unassailable 38 points from eight wins with two matches remaining before the end of season. Deacons final points tally was 47 and Cawmere placed second with 31 points.
The road tennis tournaments with the big prize money held under the auspices of the Professional Road Tennis Association have become a thing of the past over the last two years, but a few local tournaments were still held around the island.
Bruce Pounder won the Bush Hall B Class tournament and veteran Sandra Bailey was the ladies champion. Toward the end of the year, 15-year-old Shakeem Nurse defeated Aaron Barker to the top prize in the Goddard’s Sports & Cultural Club This is Who We Are Tournament. Rachel Smith beat Maudlyn Blunt in the ladies’ final.
Whether it was netball, squash, badminton, hockey, lawn tennis, swimming or any other sport, 2020 will be remembered as a year when a global pandemic played spoilsport with activities in the pool, track, field or indoor facilities across the island.