DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, (CMC):Superstar opener Chris Gayle made an inauspicious start to the Pakistan Super League with a failure but Lendl Simmons hit an unbeaten half-century to propel Karachi Kings to a seven-wicket victory in their opening game of the Pakistan Super League here yesterday.Sent in at the Dubai International Stadium, Gayle’s Lahore Qalanders managed just 125 for eight off their 20 overs, with the West Indies left-hander scoring just six.He perished to the fourth ball of the game, holding out too long on off-spinner Shoaib Malik with the score on six.Wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan top scored with 37 from 31 deliveries, while Sohaib Maqsood struck 22, to be the only two batsmen past 20.West Indies teammate Dwayne Bravo also failed to get among the runs, scoring a run-a-ball 14 before he was bowled by paceman Mohammed Amir in the penultimate over.Simmons then took command of the game for Kings, hammering an unbeaten 62 to guide them home with 25 deliveries remaining in the run chase.The right-hander faced 46 balls and counted eight fours and two sixes and put on 109 for the third wicket with Bangladeshi Shakib Al Hasan who made 51 off 35 balls with three fours and three sixes.Their stand pulled Kings around from a dangerous position of four runs for two wickets in the second over.Bravo proved expensive with his two overs of medium pace, conceding 27 runs and going wicketless.In the second game of the day at the venue, Jamaica and West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell took three wickets but his Islamabad United crashed to a 24-run defeat to Darren Sammy’s Peshawar Zalmi.Batting first, Zalmi tallied 145 for seven with opener Tamim Iqbal stroking a run-a-ball 51 with three fours and a six.Sammy, the West Indies Twenty20 captain, scored just ten before he was run out with three balls left in the innings.Medium pacer Russell claimed three for 31 from his four overs but then had no such luck with the bat, falling for a run-a-ball 12 as United crawled to 121 for nine.
ST JOHN’S, Antigua, (CMC): Left-hander Darren Bravo today became the third player to pull out of the troubled Twenty20 World Cup squad. Following the high profile withdrawals by Kieron Pollard and Sunil Narine last week, the West Indies Cricket Board announced that Bravo had also opted out of the squad in order to be available for Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in the Regional four-day championship. In a letter sent to the Board, Bravo said while he was “very grateful and humbled” to be selected, he preferred to focus on developing his game in the longest format. Selectors will now mull over yet another replacement after having to find alternatives for Pollard and Narine. All-rounder Carlos Brathwaite was named to replace Pollard while today, the board said that Barbados off-spinner Ashley Nurse had been chosen in Narine’s absence. Nurse has played four Twenty20s for West Indies and 60 overall.
KINGSTON: Danielle James of G.C. Foster College, with a time of 19:55, and Kirk Brown, with 16:04, topped this year’s staging of the Digicel 5K Imagine Run, which saw over 10,600 participants running for special needs – a vast increase over the 8,052 entrants last year – for the Night Run/Walk event that took place in downtown Kingston on Saturday night. Both James and Brown are no strangers to the winner’s podium, as James placed first in the 2013 staging, while Brown was second in the same year. Meanwhile, the other fast finishers were Tanice Barnes and Crystal Brown in the female category, with times of 20:17 and 20:43, respectively. For the male division, Oshane Archibald (16:25) and Dwayne Graham (16:44) placed second and third, respectively. In the wheelchair category, Sheldon Cox, who has represented Jamaica at the World Wheelchair Basketball Championships in the past, was first with a time of 22:18, while Paralympian Sylvia Grant clocked 28:18 to top the female category. Second- and third-place females were Cherry White (32:32) and Vinnette Green (32:45). The second- and third-place finishers in the male wheelchair segment were Marcus Banton (29:42) and Joel Brown (30:22). “Seeing the thousands of individuals lined up at the start line this year was heart-warming, humbling and very encouraging for us,” said David Butler, CEO for Digicel Jamaica. “Tonight’s turnout shows what a community can achieve when it comes together for a worthy cause.” The fourth staging of the event was in aid of 12 special-needs beneficiaries, namely the Jamaica Autism Support Association, Early Stimulation Plus, Genesis Academy, Jamaica Down’s Syndrome Foundation, The STEP Centre, Liberty Academy, Jamaica Association for the Deaf, Jamaica Association on Intellectual Disabilities, Jamaica Society for the Blind, Mustard Seed Communities, Naz Children’s Centre and Special Olympics Jamaica.
FIRST SUPER-6 FANCIES They include MEET JUSTIN, who was noted making rapid headway to finish 2-1/2 lengths eighth to GANJA MAN over the straight last Saturday. He will appreciate the longer distance and with outgoing champion jockey Dane Nelson sticking with the ride. I take the Patrick Lynch-trained colt to win from CAPTAIN GRANVILLE, who was just behind him on his recent debut when third to SAMORA over 1500 metres. OFFICIAL REPORT, having beaten better in the not-too-distant past and now dropped in class, is preferred to the recent winner, FRANKENSTORM, in the third race, the Pick 3 Easy to Win Bonanza Trophy ($450,00-$400,000) claiming over the round five course. Nine have been declared, but OFFICIAL REPORT with Ruja Lahoe and the consistent FRANKENSTORM (speedy) are the two standouts. BARS OF GOLD, a winner in much better company when last raced on September 12, has been thrown in for a tag by trainer Anthony ‘Baba’ Nunes in lowly $180,000 and should slaughter his 15 rivals over 1500 metres with leading jockey Ellis retaining the ride. Despite the suspicious drop this low in class, BARS OF GOLD will report in good condition (seen at exercise) and should lead home GRAN CORAZON, PRINCE O’SHAUN, and EASTWOOD. The last three races in the first Super-6 should be won by the 2-y-o GOLDEN GLORY, with Aaron Chatrie riding for trainer Gary Subratie; CHIEF SECRETARIAT (Nelson up) in the Pick 3 Five Times A Day Trophy over 1820 metres, a non-winner of three event for four-year-olds and up; and DARLIN EMMA in the seventh for maiden four-year-olds and up over the straight. (1) MEET JUSTIN/CAPTAIN GRANVILLE (2) OFFICIAL REPORT/ FRANKENSTORM (3) BARS OF GOLD (4) GOLDEN GLORY/ OCEAN SEEKER (5) CHIEF SECRETARIAT/ ROUGH PATRICK (6) DARLIN EMMA/ALL FOR THE GLORY. – O.C. A huge upset by PRINCESS SALLEMA at 43-1 in the eighth race at Caymanas Park last Saturday ensured that the Pick-9 eluded punters and the carryover to tomorrow stands at $1.8 million. PRINCESS SALLEMA, one of three winners for the promising apprentice Bebeto Harvey on the card, also ensured that there were no takers in the late Super-6, resulting in a $1.3 carryover from race six to 11. The Pick-9 will be conducted from race three to 11 and the first Super-6 from race two to seven. We look at the first Super-6, which commences with the Pick 3 Simple Ting Fi Win Trophy over 1600 metres, to be contested by 11 maiden three-year-olds. MEET JUSTIN
COMMITTED PLAYERS The West Indies need to look also for players, good players, who are also proud people, committed people, and people who, although there is not one, respect the flag. And those kinds of players are necessary, very necessary. It makes no sense, or very little sense, to have the most talented players who, at the first sign of adversity, sulk and withdraw themselves from the game, sometimes, most times, affecting other players on the team. The West Indies need players who believe in one for all and all for one, and also players who, even though it is not true, believe, like a journalist, that he, or she, is as good as his, or her, last story. It is folly to fail, and fail, after one or two good performance and to stroll around the ground, to swagger, like the proverbial “cat’s pyjamas”. It is just as bad to treat one who has failed and failed after one or two good performances like royalty. My wish for 2016 is that these things will change. West Indies cricket has been through the good and the bad. It started promisingly, it had its watershed in 1950, it had its ups and downs, it became the best in the world, and now it is back at stage one. The return to the glory days, or near to them, must come back, hopefully, if not quickly. West Indies cricket basically has good, young players. They, however, need to commit themselves to the game and to the West Indies, to train hard and to play hard, and to remember who they are, where they are from, and that although it may not be the best in the world, although players from India, England, Australia earn more money than they do, those from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and South Africa are not. The West Indies players are paid what the West Indies can afford. It is as simple as that. My wish for the new year is that from all the few basically talented West Indies players some can be found with the class to carry West Indies cricket through these parlous times. The West Indies need players who can bat, bowl, field and know how to play the game. The West Indies need batsmen who can do more than reel off a pretty stroke here and there, bowlers who can really bowl and who can get good batsmen out, and fielders who can really field. My wish for this year is that the West Indies will see the light and realise that their cricketers are nowhere nearly as good as those of yesteryear, that their cricketers will also face that fact, that their cricketers play Test cricket two or three years too early in most cases, that our administrators will end their insularity, tighten up on West Indies cricket and make it stronger, and that they need to train and practice until they hear a voice say practice no more. West Indies cricket also needs to see less swagger in the cricketers, less cheerleaders, for whatever reason, among those who should guide, and among those guide technical development, and more people who can inspire and motivate rather than simply tell how to bat and bowl. The New year is just a few days old, and despite all the problems in West Indies cricket – the abandoned tour of India; the defeats at the hands of Australia; Sri Lanka, and Australia again; the crisis facing the Board; and the fact that no West Indian made it into Test cricket’s Top Ten at the end of the year – we wish all those in the fraternity all the best for 2016. The only saving grace last year was the wonderful and thrilling victory at Kensington Oval, the one which handed the West Indies a draw against England and which filled every West Indian with excitement and with plenty hope. Although that hope ended only in wishful thinking, my wish, despite my feeling that things will remain the same, in spite of the huffing and puffing by the toothless CARICOM governments, is that the gloom of 2015 will be replaced by a little light in 2016. I love cricket, and I am passionate about Melbourne, Jamaica, and West Indies cricket. Indeed, most people, those who know me and know me well, especially my family, will say that I eat, sleep, and drink cricket. Last year, the West Indies brought down the curtain with an embarrassing and humiliating performance against Australia. They did nothing right. They were terrible in batting, bowling, and fielding. Indeed, with the exception of Darren Bravo, Kraigg Brathwaite, and a few others, they looked like novices. This year, however, the West Indies are scheduled to play one or two series, and based on results of the recent past, things are hardly likely to be any better. In fact, every year it has been the same. Despite the utterances about improvements and little gains, nothing has changed; nothing at all. Looking at the team, which, despite its weakness, includes a few questionable selections, looking at the management team, which allows inexperience and non-performing youngsters to speak on behalf of the team, and looking at the people who consistently talk glowingly about what to expect from the players despite defeat after defeat, it is easy to write off the players – especially as it appears that nothing is really being done to remedy the situation. Despite all the talk, the huge entourage surrounding the team on every tour, the money reportedly being spent on West Indies cricket, and the outreach in West Indies cricket, nothing is really happening. The West Indies need a system to develop their young players into productive players. They need to play the game regularly, to train regularly, and not only when it is ordered and supervised. They need people, good people, checking on them regularly, and not only to sympathise with them and to pat them on the back like nice guys whenever they fail. They need people, coaches or whoever, who will also say something or do something constructive at such times, which, at this time, is most times.
As the controversy surrounding an aborted Tennis Jamaica (TJ) election, which took place in November 2015, rages on, presidential candidate John Azar is looking to clear the air, as he disputes the association’s position on the troubled election, among other things. Azar is contesting that he was legitimately elected at the abandoned meeting and is rejecting Tennis Jamaica’s report of what transpired at the election, and noted, contrary to previous communication, that it was his supporters who called for an immediate re-vote, while taking issue with several outlined resolutions ahead of a scheduled re-vote. Tennis Jamaica’s decision to declare last year’s election null and void is also a sticking point for Azar, who noted that this matter is currently before the courts. An election of officers, which took place during Tennis Jamaica’s annual general meeting at the Sports Development Foundation’s conference room on November 19, 2015, was adjourned over what the John Bailey-led TJ administration called an ‘administrative’ error, which saw more than the 77 legitimate voters casting ballots. At the end of the election, Bailey tallied 43 votes to Azar’s 40 – six more than the total number of persons eligible to vote. This led to Tennis Jamaica subsequently declaring the election null and void. Tennis Jamaica, which has rescheduled its election of officers to April 12, has itself bashed who it termed “unscrupulous persons”, and distanced itself from the issue. A lawsuit has since been filed against the organisation and three of its senior members by Joseph Dibbs, who is also a member of Tennis Jamaica. Dibbs is challenging the aborted status of the election and contests that Azar was duly elected President of the organisation at the ill-fated AGM. The suit also demands that the election of other officers be conducted with the same voters’ list. An injunction was also filed against an extraordinary general meeting scheduled for March 3, at the Jamaica Olympic Association, where several resolutions are expected to be deliberated. ‘DELIBERATE ATTEMPT TO COMPROMISE’ In a press release issued yesterday afternoon, Azar described the over-voting at last year’s elections as a deliberate attempt by the administration to compromise the process. “At their press conference held on December 10, 2015, Tennis Jamaica referred to the over-voting at the November 19 AGM as being “nothing deliberate” and attributed it to “an administrative error”. My view of what transpired is totally different: Over-voting, or the stuffing of a ballot box can only be a very deliberate act clearly designed to hijack the democratic process,” wrote Azar. “For the record, Tennis Jamaica accepts that I received 40 votes on the night in question, while Bailey received 43 votes in the election for president. They also confirm that 77 voters were eligible on the night – either in person or via proxy. The fact is that all 40 votes cast for me have been confirmed and accounted for as sworn affidavits have been signed to that effect. Forty out of 77 is indeed a clear majority,” the release continued. Azar has also called for a list of potential voters and is arguing that resolutions set to be voted on by the membership at the March 3 meeting will change existing rules concerning the eligibility of voters prior to what is considered the continuation of an election.
GREAT FEELING Yesterday’s results “It’s a great feeling to score. It was my first start and I scored three, so it’s a great feeling. I will be happy scoring as many as I can. As long as the team wins, I am happy with that,” Jackson said after the game. Marshall scored all his goals in the second half, with quick strikes in the 56th, 75th and 76 minutes. The other St George’s scorers were Hakim Williams (37th), Lavaughn McKay (47th), Jevoun McKellar (61st), substitute Damani Harris (87th), and Ronaldo Watson, another substitute, completed the rout in the 88th minute. St George’s camped out in Tarrant’s half for the majority of the match and could have won by a greater margin as Tarrant spent most of their time doing damage control. St George’s coach Neville ‘Bertis’ Bell said the zone is a tough one and his team did not take anything for granted in four games played, scoring 24 goals and conceding one. “We always try to play as a team. Last year, we had many goal scorers, and so far, this year, we have had the same,” Bell told The Sunday Gleaner. Tarrant’s coach Lamar Morgan said he was ‘not pleased’ with the performance of his team. – St Andrew Technical 1 Jamaica College 1 – Excelsior 4 Greater Portmore 0 – Clan Carthy 0 Charlie Smith 1 – Mona 0 Holy Trinity 3 – Tarrant 0 St George’s College 11 St George’s College’s (STGC) hat-trick heroes Akiki Jackson and Alex Marshall put Tarrant High School to the sword, carving out an emphatic 11-0 win in ISSA-FLOW Manning Cup action at Winchester Park on North Street, Kingston, yesterday. The match, a return-leg encounter, was scheduled to be contested at Tarrant, but was shifted on Friday to the North Street school. Jackson, a former Wolmer’s student, opened the scoring in the tenth minute and added a second four minutes later. He rounded off his three-timer in the 62nd with a brilliant high-curling shot. The Jackson, Marshall combination gave the Tarrant defenders a tough time all afternoon. Marshall, last season’s top scorer has now scored six goals so far this season, while Jackson has four to his credit.
Carl Grant, coach of one of Jamaica’s most talented professional boxers, Richard ‘Frog’ Holmes, said his young charge has been forced to cancel a number of fights in the United States after being denied a visa.Grant said Holmes had secured fights in New York and Connecticut, but could not take up the offers because after he was denied a US visa by the embassy in Kingston.”Not getting the visa was a big hamper for Richard Holmes’ career because we got couple of fights in the United States, but because we did not get the visa, he had to stay in Jamaica,” said Grant. “He now has to go back to this year’s Wray and Nephew Contender, but if he had the visa, he would have been fighting in the States.”Grant added that this has affected Holmes’ ability to increase his profile as an international boxer.”This is a big loss of income for him because these fights can run up to between US$10,000 and US$15,000 per fight, and we are talking like every three weeks to a month, so it is a big income loss for him,” Grant said.VERY DISAPPOINTED”He is very disappointed because the only thing he has to do now is to wait until the Contender comes around to keep himself active until he gets a US visa before he can moves on to greener pastures,” he added.Holmes, whose professional record stands at 13 wins, six losses and one draw, was beaten by American DeMarcus ‘Chop Chop’ Corley in last year’s final of the Wray and Nephew Contender series.However, Grant noted that Holmes is in great shape, and so he expects him to win this year’s competition.”The Contender is like a job for him, and so he has to go out there this time around and win it because he has been to the final twice before, and so I think this year shall be Richard ‘Frog’ Holmes’ year,” Granted declared.
There is no suggestion that the future of the country’s football can rest on the shoulders of a single player. Having said that, the country has not been able to attract real quality players, plying their trade overseas, notwithstanding the fact that they were born in Jamaica. England winger Raheem Sterling, originally from Maverley, did not accept the invitation when the Captain came hunting his talent. The gifted Leon Bailey was transferred just a few days ago from the Belgian club Genk on a deal worth over £12 million. He now represents Bayer Leverkusen in the German Bundesliga. But there is a major problem with the 19-year-old, who played locally at three recognised youth levels, top-scoring in them all. Coming from his own mouth, the former Jamaica College Manning Cup left-side defence man, Craig Butler, who founded the Phoenix Football Academy for which Leon played when he was based in Jamaica, is the youngster’s adopted father. There are some old issues coming out of the administration of that entity that has put Butler and the Kingston & St Andrew Football Association (KSAFA) and, by extension, the JFF at loggerheads. Recently, as the bid to get Leon to represent Jamaica at the senior level intensifies, Butler has publicly issued an ultimatum. In order for him to allow his adopted son to play for Jamaica, there has to be an apology from the JFF for disrespect meted out to him by former national coach Winfried Schaefer. Another clause is that the JFF must outline a philosophy for the running of football if Leon is required to be a part of it. There seems to be no backing out on the decision taken by Butler, hence the problem. So what does the JFF do to address this impasse? No one should ask that the Captain slavishly accepts and complies with the dictates of Butler. However, there must be a way forward to allow the young man, if that is his wish, to represent his country and give its people an opportunity to view his exceptional skills at close range. It will take a meeting of minds, frank discussion and, above all, the will to overlook past grievances in the interest of Jamaica, land we love. Aye, aye Captain, you are needed on deck. firstname.lastname@example.org Foster’s Fairplay has always had great respect for the president of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), former Army Captain Horace Burrell. Although he is frequently described as possessing a dictatorial style, it is that which has brought a great deal of glory to the country’s football image. Over the years, Jamaica was never short of football talent. However, this was the sporting administrator who had a vision and along with the Brazilian recruit, coach Rene Simoes, attracted the support and acquired the tools to make it happen. The rest is history, as it led to the nation making its entry to the World Cup Final in 1998. A lot has changed since that time. Burrell and his team are now facing a dilemma. With a public who had experienced the sweet taste of this achievement yapping at his heels, seeking more of the same, the terrain after 1998 was always going to be tough. Although the campaign back then was flavoured by an influx of England-based players, there now seems to be less of a desire by the football fraternity to accept them with the enthusiasm with which they were welcomed more than 20 years ago. One of the reasons for the well-voiced reluctance is that the quality of a Deon Burton, a prolific striker, is absent in the present lot. The same can be said about the midfield general, Fitzroy Simpson. With the present crew, the word ‘journeymen’ seems to sum it up perfectly. The current thinking from the football management appears to be that local-based players are not the answer, either. As such, the squad named for the recent friendly against the USA was bereft of those who play their club game in England. It comprised players from Major League Soccer and others from here at home. Coach Theodore Whitmore, despite a 1-0 loss, is reported to be “encouraged” by the team performance, but what is the path forward? QUALITY PLAYERS
Today’s ‘Share the love’ football friendly, between a Brazilian All Stars team, and a Jamaica All Stars XI at the National Stadium, has been described as a ‘once in a lifetime spectacle for local football lovers,’ by event organiser Andre Virtue.He has called on the public to come out and get a chance to witness ‘quality and skill’ from world class players on home soil.”Rivaldo, Dunga, Edmilson, Paolo Sergio, Viola, Ze Carlos, these are big names and world champions.. So they will see quality, skill football and lots of excitement,” he told The Gleaner ahead of this evening’s game which kicks off at 7:30.Virtue noted that initially many people doubted that the event was real when they heard the names that were down to participate but the Brazilians touched down in the island yesterday.FANTASTIC FEELING”This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, so it is just for the public to come out and see the world greats playing here and see us rubbing shoulders with our heroes. It’s a beautiful opportunity and football will win, that’s why we call it share the love because we want love and peace and no more violence.Former Brazil defender Edmilson, who won the 2002 FIFA World Cup, said it is a fantastic feeling being able to reunite with some of his teammates ahead of their clash with the Jamaica All-Stars team.The squad is made up of Brazil’s legendary players from the 1990s and early 2000s and includes Rivaldo, Edmilson, Ze Carlos, Edilson, Paulo Sergio, and Dunga who won the 1994 World Cup as captain.”In one word, it’s fantastic. We can feel again, the same atmosphere we felt when we played (in the past),” Edmilson said.LOOKING FORWARDThe former Barcelona man said that he is looking forward to the game because he knows that the spectators will not only be cheering for Jamaica but also the Brazilians.”I feel so happy to be here. I know Brazilian football inspired so many people around the world and I want to give the same inspiration to everyone here in Jamaica,” Edmilson added.The Jamaica squad includes former Reggae Boyz such as Walter Boyd, Ricardo Gardner, Ian Goodison, Donald Stewart and Andy Williams.Meanwhile, a host of top young local players will get the opportunity to match up against their idols of the past and Virtue hopes the experience leaves a lasting impression on these players”Alex Marshall, Jahwani Hinds, Chevon Stewart, Gregory Messam Jnr, Malique Howell, Duhaney Williams, Zhelano Barnes. These are the future of our football, so we are giving them a chance to rub shoulders with these greats and hopefully it will inspire them to greatness,” he said.