Unheralded West Indies middle-order batsman Larry Gomes has rated his century against India at Queens Park Oval in Trinidad and Tobago as his best.

Having signed for Mississippi State University (MSU) in the USA this past week, Kingston College star jumper Shacquille Lowe is looking forward to winning titles and battling with former teammate Carey McLeod when he begins his collegiate career, hopefully in the fall.

Legendary West Indies fast bowler Curtly Ambrose has encouraged spinner Rahkeem Cornwall to silence critics by achieving success with his own unique style.

The 27-year-old was recently the target of criticism from legendary spin bowler Lance Gibbs, who doubted whether the spinner could be truly successful with such a short run-up.  Gibbs was, in fact, critical of the current crop of regional spinners in general who he insisted did not turn the ball enough.

While not going into the specifics of Gibbs’ objection to Cornwall’s style, Ambrose insisted it was part and parcel of the sport for professional athletes.  Ambrose went on to encourage the spinner to keep focused and get the job done in his way.  Since bursting on the scene a few year ago, Cornwall has had some measure of success at the regional level but has also faced criticism for his weight.

“Everyone has their own opinion about things and if Lance Gibbs gave his opinion about Jimbo then that is just his opinion but that should not deter Jimbo from progressing so I wouldn’t even want to touch that subject because that is his opinion,” Ambrose told the Antigua Observer.

“As an athlete, a sportsman or sportswoman, you are going to get criticised no matter what, so that is not anything new. But I would say to Jimbo, continue to work hard, you know your ability, you know what you can do so just ignore all of the negative comments or, as a matter of a fact, take those negative comments and turn them into positives and prove these people wrong. Let them see you can get the job done in your own way and your own style,” he added.

Ramnaresh Sarwan has vehemently denied having anything to do with the Jamaica Tallawahs’ decision not to retain for the upcoming 2020 Hero CPL and that he encouraged the Tallawahs’ overseas players to disrespect him.

Former legendary West Indies wicketkeeper Jeffrey Dujon believes recent social media flare-ups from veteran Windies players Marlon Samuels and Chris Gayle are sad but not unusual for players facing the end of their careers with some amount of bitterness.

The 63-year-old former player turned commentator, pointed out that while he did not have insight into the specifics of the situations the phenomena itself is nothing new.  He believes it has, however, been magnified with the advent of the social media age and players being able to share their opinions with the click of a button.

Gayle and Samuels recently garnered the attention of the ‘social media verse’ with blistering tirades against former teammates.  Samuels vented his frustration with current West Indies Test captain Jason Holder, while Gayle reserved his anger for Ramnaresh Sarwan his former teammate and assistant coach at the Jamaica Tallawahs.  The Caribbean Premier League (CPL) team did not resign Gayle in the offseason.

“This is not the first time something like this has happened, this goes way back.  In terms of even myself the way that my career ended.  In those days we didn’t have the media like what they have now to voice their opinions,” Dujon told the Mason and Guest radio program recently.

“It’s always sad when someone, people who have been outstanding in one way or the other end their careers on a sour note like that, but that’s the world today, people have the platforms to speak their minds and are more inclined to do so,” he added.

“It’s not nice when people are at the end of their careers and there is that much bitterness, but we have to move on.”

 

The Jamaica Tallawahs have claimed that the decision to not retain Chris Gayle for the 2020 CPL season was strictly business.

The Jamaica-based Hero CPL franchise on Wednesday refuted claims made by Chris Gayle on Monday, that politics and Ramnaresh Sarwan were behind their decision to let Gayle leave for the St Lucia Zouks for the coming season.

Gayle, in a series of videos posted on Youtube on Monday,  suggested that Sarwan, his former West Indies teammate, turned management against him. He said when he refused to back Sarwan’s bid to become team manager, Sarwan sought payback. Gayle called Sarwan a snake and said he was worse than the Coronavirus.

Gayle also said he believes that accepting an invitation from Guyana’s Minister of State Joe Harmon in 2018, also played a part in the decision to let him go.

However, in a statement released early Wednesday, the Tallawahs said Gayle’s comments were far off base and that they are only focussed on rebuilding a team that disappointed during the 2019 season.

“The ownership and management of the Jamaica Tallawahs was disappointed to see the comments made by Mr Christopher Gayle about his departure from the Tallawahs, as we would much rather have had these discussions in private,” the statement said, explaining that Sarwan did not play a role in any decision affecting the self-styled ‘Universe Boss’.

“Mr Gayle gave several reasons for the decision that was made not to retain him in the Tallawahs. However, the truth is that this decision was made collectively by the ownership and management team, which did not include Mr Ramnaresh Sarwan, and based purely on business and cricketing reasoning.”

The Tallawahs also dismissed Gayle’s claim about him being targeted because of perceived political connections.

 “Further, the ownership and management of the Tallawahs have no political affiliation with any political organization in any country of the Caribbean,” the statement said.

“The Tallawahs had a very disappointing season in CPL 2019, where the team finished last in the tournament. The ownership and management team has exercised its rights in the selection of players for CPL 2020 for the betterment of the team.

“The ownership and management of the Tallawahs will not be making any further comment on this matter as we are focusing on building the team for the future.”

The 2020 season of the CPL will be the last for Andre Russell with the Jamaica Tallawahs.

On the eve of his 32nd birthday, Russell, perhaps the most dangerous player in T20 cricket globally, in a rambling speech on Instagram Live on Tuesday night, accused the team’s ownership of poor communication and continued disrespect that helped create the impression that he was part of a conspiracy to get rid of Chris Gayle.

“I have another year’s contract with the Tallawahs and I am going to play and try and win because that is all I play for, but this will be my last because I have been getting mixed up with all these (expletive) that is happening,” he said, “and I can’t be playing cricket and I am not comfortable.

“And I think another franchise that has been coming last and fifth and fourth in CPL will appreciate me more. I am not getting it here.”

Russell revealed that he only heard about Chris Gayle’s departure from the team when the Universe Boss sent him a copy of a report in the Jamaica Gleaner that suggested that Gayle was not going to be retained by the two-time CPL champions and that there were going to changes to the coaching staff.

Rovman Powell was to be made captain.

That information, when combined with recent statements from Marlon Samuels suggesting that Russell must have known about Gayle's departure and Chris Gayle's subsequent comments, gives the impression that he knew what was going on behind the scenes at the Tallawahs when nothing could be further from the truth.

He said in 2019, he was not involved in anything with regards to the Tallawahs whom he said treated him like a player who was making his debut and whose opinion is not valued.

This is despite his decision to play for much less money because he wanted to play before his home fans. “I have accepted a pay cut just to play in front of my home crowd, my family and my friends,” he said.

This year, nothing has changed, Russell said.

“They communicated with my agent. My agent agreed. I agreed with my agent, ‘okay, let we sign’. The only time the CEO (Jeff Miller) or the only time the Jamaica Tallawahs contacted me was to ask me how soon will I sign,” he revealed. “The deadline is that time and can you sign please.”

Russell said when he asked who the team planned on retaining he did not get answers. “Who you guys planning on buying, I don’t get no answers on that. So I just leave it,” he said.

He said he read the newspaper report before he called Gayle and it made him nervous when it said that Floyd Reifer was going to be the head coach.

Reifer had messaged him, he said, indicating that he might be the head coach for the Tallawahs and mentioned plans they have for the upcoming season. However, Reifer suddenly ceased all communication and Miller still was not communicating with him.

During that time, Russell said, rumours began to circulate that Gayle was leaving for the Zouks.

He said his respect for Gayle made him fearful to even approach the ‘Universe Boss’ about whether the rumours were true. So when Gayle messaged him with the newspaper article asking if he knew anything about it, he was stunned.

“I called Chris instantly and I addressed the situation. I said to Chris that the only thing I heard was that Floyd Reifer was potentially going to be the coach.”

However, Russell believes that the fact that Rovman Powell and Reifer are friends and the perception that he knew what was going on behind the scenes, it creates the impression that he was part of a conspiracy to get rid of Gayle.

“Up till now I know nothing that was going on but now it looks like me, Rovman and Floyd Reifer plan up and a get of Chris. Why would I get rid of Chris? Chris has a three-year contract, you’re not supposed to breach your contract,” he said. “I had to address the situation because things don’t look good right now.”

However, this was something Russell said that was a feature of the ownership from the start.

He said when he signed to the Tallawahs in 2018, he had just returned from a one-year ban. The ban was for whereabouts violations after he had missed three doping tests within a calendar year, which under the WADA Code is equal to a doping violation.

He was made captain but, according to Russell, “the way they go about things kinda allowed me to dress back a bit”.

He said when he was made captain he gave the owners a list of the players that he wanted them to sign for the team.  “Overseas players, local players, players from inside the Caribbean. It wasn’t about friends. It wasn’t about Jamaicans,” he said. “I am a guy that plays to win and I have won 13 championships, maybe the only player that has done that, so I don’t play to lose.”

He said he tried to reach out to the owners on the day of the draft and got no reply. However, when the draft was completed they reached out and asked him if he was happy with the team they selected.

He said it took him a while to reply because he was disappointed that they did not communicate with him when he reached out to them. However, his agent urged him to reach out to them and indicate that he still wanted to be captain and that he was happy with the draft.

He concedes that they did pick a good team but it lost in the playoffs to St Kitts and Nevis.

However, Russell believes the owners of the Tallawahs need to change if they are to remain viable.

“We have to do things better for the future,” Russell said, who seemed genuinely disappointed and upset about what transpired between Gayle and Jamaica Tallawahs.

“To deal with Chris Gayle the way that they have dealt with the situation is nothing to do with cricket. It’s more personal.

 “This is going to be an awkward dressing room. It’s going to be an awkward CPL but no one will actually see that when I step out to bat or to bowl while I am on the field because I play to win.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Legendary West Indies fast bowler turned commentator Michael Holding has described proposals to legalise ball-tampering, in wake of the threat posed by the coronavirus, as ‘illogical’.

The thinking behind the move stems from the fact that fast bowlers often use bodily fluids like sweat and saliva to polish one side of the ball, which impacts its aerodynamics.  The method is particularly useful in aiding swing bowling.  Under Law 41, however, all other actions which alter the condition of the ball are illegal.

Players are often known to scuff the ball with a sharp object carried onto the field, fingernails, or even teeth.  With concerns raised regarding the threat posed by bodily fluids in spreading the virus, however, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has considered amending the rules to allow the use of foreign substances on the ball, with the caveat that it is done in front of the umpire.  The proposal has found favour in some circles but Holding did not agree.

“I have read that ICC is contemplating preventing people from using saliva on the ball due to Covid-19 and allowing them to use foreign substances on the ball to keep the shine on but in front of the umpire. I don't understand the logic behind that,” Holding told Espncricinfo.

“Before they got to that point they said, if they restart cricket, it has to be played in a bio-secure environment. They were saying cricketers, for instance, would have to isolate themselves for two weeks to make sure that everything was fine for when they got to the venue before the match started. And everyone involved (with the match) will have to do the same thing,” he added.

“Now if you are saying everyone is in the bio-secure environment, you are staying in the same hotel, you are not moving for the length of time you are playing the matches, if that is the case, why are you worried about someone's saliva? That person, according to what you are doing, should be free of Covid-19.”

Excelsior High School star Ackera Nugent and Holmwood Technical High School’s Kavia Francis will both be attending Baylor University when the next academic year begins this Fall.

An angry Chris Gayle has described Jamaica Tallawahs Assistant Coach Ramnaresh Sarwan as a snake and a backstabber in a series of videos in which he explains the reasons behind his move from the Jamaica Tallawahs to the St Lucia Zouks for the 2020 CPL season.

The United States collegiate and Jamaican Track and Field community are in mourning over the passing of former George Mason University coach, Dalton Ebanks, who died Saturday from complications of the Coronavirus Covid-19.

Retired Jamaican sprint star Usain Bolt has listed the 2015 Beijing World Championships 100m struggle against American Justin Gatlin as one of his toughest ever races.  

Heading into the championships, Bolt, who was recovering from injury, was short on fitness with many doubting his capacity to hit top gear.  It would have taken a brave man to bet against the Jamaica sprint king but some were convinced an upset was on the cards as the American had looked imperious.  Heading into the event, Gatlin had dominated opponents all season to put together a 28-race win streak.

“I was totally not the favourite this time,  I could tell that,” Bolt said in an interview with India media outlet Power Sportz.

“This was the first time Justin Gatlin was going to have me chasing after him (wearing favourite tag).  But, when I knew he was nervous was when I went into the warm-up area and he was talking to me.  That was strange, he never speaks to me.  So, it clicked to me that he was nervous as well because this was the first time we were ever going to compete and he was favourite.”

In the end, Bolt only just came past a faltering Gatlin at the death to snatch victory by one-hundredth of a second.  Well short of his best, but good enough for gold.

“I happy but you couldn’t see it on my face because it was so much pressure that came off me.  I just thought, thank you.  For me, that was one of the hardest races I’ve run in my life.”

 

Cricket West Indies (CWI) CEO Johnny Grave has continued to insist the body will put the players' health first but remains flexible regarding the scheduling of the West Indies versus England series.

The series was originally expected to begin in London on June 4, followed by matches at Edgbaston and Lord's starting on 12 and 25 June respectively.  With the world, however, yet to assert any significant measure of control over the spread of the novel coronavirus, sporting activity remains suspended.  Even if the series between the teams is played later in the year rules banning mass gatherings would likely still be in force, meaning matches would have to take place behind closed doors.  Grave insists the CWI would remain guided by the best medical advice available and discussions surrounding the issue are already under way.

"Clearly playing in June is now not possible and we will continue our discussions with the ECB and other international boards on trying to find new dates," said Grave in a statement from the governing body.

"Our respective medical teams are beginning to discuss how this (England) series could be played whilst guaranteeing the health and safety of our players and support team,” he added.

"We will be as flexible as we can without compromising the safety of our team.”

Cricket West Indies (CWI) on the advice and agreement with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), has announced the postponement of the West Indies Men’s three-Test series against England in June, to a future date to be determined.

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