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For the better part of the last decade the focus has shifted from the athletes on the playing field to the administrators in the Board rooms. From today and through weekly publications the Trinidad Guardian will engage you in discussions and debates as the Sport Doctor examines sports on and off the field.
While sporting disciplines such as basketball, boxing, cricket, cycling, football, gymnastics, hockey, athletics, netball and swimming are all worthy of being my first focus in this debut edition, I will instead focus on the National Sport Policy for which consultation with National Governing Bodies (NGBs) commences on Wednesday and will end this Friday.
This policy is what will guide 55 sporting organizations of which 15 are directly under the Sports Company of Trinidad and Tobago (SPORTT).
My concern is that the last policy was not honoured to the letter by the NGBs, SPORTT and the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs.
The big question is, what will make this new policy more effective since both the NGBs and SPORTT failed to adhere to the requirements of the last policy and gave funding to many broken administrations, including those of basketball and swimming, which displayed a lack of accountability for public funds.
Further, the Ministry of Sport issued a press release back on March 16, 2016, indicating that having consulted with the T&T Olympic Committee, it advises the public that as government entities the Ministry and SPORTT may monitor, but should not intervene in, disputes within NGBs for sport.
The release also stated: “NGBs may be held accountable to the Government should the use of public funds be in question.
Further, the Ministry responsible for Sport may consider withholding funds from an NGB if it cannot resolve its internal disputes professionally and maturely or if executive decisions are not in keeping with best sporting practice or the tenets of the National Sport Policy.
“The Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs and the Sports Company of Trinidad and Tobago will continue to support NGBs in the conduct of their affairs and in the best interest of the athletes and support staff who represent Trinidad and Tobago. We hope for a fair and speedy resolution to all disputes and for good governance in sport to be normalised in the affairs of all NGBs.”
The use of the word ‘may’ demonstrates that both the ministry and SPORTT are not serious about holding administrators accountable for misappropriation of funds which is always the end result.
This new policy must indicate that NGBs ‘will’ be held accountable.
As we all know, to date, of the 15 disciplines under SPORTT, only gymnastics had their funds withheld while the jury is still out as to why, while sports associations like those for basketball and swimming—which have not held Annual General Meetings and have failed to present audited financial statements to their members for a period of time—have received funding for 2015 and 2016.
The Ministry of Sport and SPORTT must lead by example by enforcing their own rules and policies and only then sport and sport administrators will start earning administrative respect.
The Ministry of Sport and SPORTT have propped up delinquent and incompetent administrators over the last five years by providing them with funding under the guise of doing it for the good of the athletes.
The Minister of Sport Darryl Smith and the Chairman of SPORTT Michael Phillips must ensure that their staffs are held accountable for any breach of the new policy when implemented.
The National Sport Policy must be upheld without favour and compromise.(‘Without fear or favour).
Sport administrators who failed to contribute towards the development of their discipline and fail to account for their actions must resign or their membership must vote against them for being incompetent.
The Ministry of Sport and SPORTT must also discontinue funding.
• EDITOR’S NOTE: Keith Clement is the Assistant Sport Editor at the Trinidad Guardian.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates—Pakistan withstood Sunil Narine’s late charge to beat the West Indies by 16 runs in the second Twenty20 international and win their three-match series yesterday with a match to spare.
Captain Sarfraz Ahmed hit an unbeaten 46 in leading Pakistan to 160-4. Khalid Latif (40) and Shoaib Malik (37) also made useful contributions to set up a strong target for the World Twenty20 champion in humid conditions.
But West Indies’ top order stumbled for the second successive day, and the target looked out of reach until No 9 batsman Narine made a rapid 30 off 17 balls. But with 30 needed off the last over, West Indies fell short at 144-9 and Narine was out on the last ball.
“There were some problems toward the end because of the dew factor, but we finished it well,” Ahmed said.
“Credit goes to Malik for finishing the innings, and the youngsters are coming good which is a great sign for Pakistan cricket.”
Left-arm seamer Sohail Tanvir rattled West Indies’ top order to finish with 3-13, while Narine top-scored and distorted the figures of another seamer, Hasan Ali, who ended up with 3-49.
“In hindsight, 150 could have been manageable,” West Indies captain Carlos Brathwaite said. “In the first six-seven overs, we just didn’t turn up with the bat, and it is frustrating.”
West Indies met a similar top-order collapse in the first match on Friday, when it lost by nine wickets. Tanvir dismissed Evin Lewis and Marlon Samuels cheaply to reduce the visitors to 19-3, and Dwayne Bravo (18) was clean bowled by left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz to leave his team lurching at 45-4 in 10 overs.
West Indies lost another three wickets in the space of seven runs to be reeling at 89-7 in the 16th over. Ali removed Andre Fletcher and Kieron Pollard in one over while Nicholas Pooran, playing his second T20, holed out in the deep off Tanvir.
Earlier, West Indies fielders struggled in testing conditions as Ahmed and Malik featured in a fourth-wicket stand of 69 runs off 44 balls, featuring some brisk running between the wickets.
Samuel Badree dropped Malik at point before the batsman scored, and Jerome Taylor missed a run out chance off his own bowling just before Malik eventually was caught in the deep in the last over.
Opening batsman Latif batted solidly until he was run out in the 12th over, after fellow opener Sharjeel Khan, on 2, was bowled by Badree for the second successive time. The last T20 will be at Abu Dhabi on Tuesday, followed by a three-match ODI series and equal number of test matches.
The third and final game is set for Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.—(AP)
Pakistan vs West Indies – 2nd T20I
Sharjeel Khan b Badree 2
Khalid Latif run out 40
Babar Azam c Pollard b Brathwaite 19
Shoaib Malik c Pollard b Bravo 37
Sarfraz Ahmed not out 46
Umar Akmal not out 1
Extras (lb10, w5) 15
TOTAL (4 wkts, 20 overs) 160
Did not bat: Mohammad Nawaz, Imad Wasim, Wahab Riaz, Sohail Tanvir, Hasan Ali.
Fall of wickets: 1-4 (Sharjeel Khan, 2.2 overs), 2-58 (Babar Azam, 8.1), 3-85 (Khalid Latif, 11.4), 4-154 (Shoaib Malik, 19.2)
Bowling: Badree 4-0-24-1 (w1), Taylor 4-0-28-0 (w2), Narine 4-0-36-0 (w1), DJ Bravo 4-0-38-1 (w1), Brathwaite 4-0-24-1.
J Charles c Akmal b Wasim 10
E Lewis c Khan b Tanvir 3
A Fletcher b Ali 29
M Samuels c wkp Ahmed b Tanvir 1
DJ Bravo b Nawaz 18
K Pollard c wkp Ahmed b Ali 18
C Brathwaite c Akmal b Hasan Ali 8
N Pooran c Nawaz b Tanvir 4
S Narine c Akmal b Riaz 30
J Taylor not out 10
Extras (w7, nb6) 13
TOTAL (9 wkts, 20 overs) 144
Did not bat: S Badree.
Fall of wickets: 1-12 (Charles, 2.3 overs), 2-15 (Lewis, 3.4), 3-19 (Samuels, 5.3), 4-45 (Bravo, 10), 5-82 (Fletcher, 14.2), 6-83 (Pollard, 14.5), 7-89 (Pooran, 16), 8-119 (Brathwaite, 18.2), 9-144 (Narine, 20)
Bowling: Imad Wasim 4-0-18-1, Sohail Tanvir 4-0-13-3 (w1), Mohammad Nawaz 3-0-19-1, Shoaib Malik 1-0-3-0, Hasan Ali 4-0-49-3 (w2), Wahab Riaz 4-0-42-1 (w4, nb2).
Result: Pakistan won by 16 runs.
Series: Pakistan lead three-match series 2-0.
Man-of-the-Match: Safraz Ahmed.
Toss: West Indies.
Umpires: Ahmed Shahab, Shozab Raza; TV – Ahsan Raza.—(CMC)
Two weeks after winning the body fitness category at the National Senior Bodybuilding Championships, T’chelle Harris is considering an early retirement. Citing a lack of support, the 34-year-old is uncertain about how much longer she can dig into her own pockets to meet the demands of her sport.
“The week of a competition can cost me up to $10,000,” she revealed to the Sunday Guardian this week. “You spend all this money and time preparing, but after you win you feel like, ‘what’s next?’ It’s been eating up my savings for five years now and I think I’ve reached a point where I can do no more.”
Excelling in a “minor” sport, Harris sits well below athletes in football, cricket and track and field in the pecking order for funding from the Ministry of Sports. She said her lone visit there had left her feeling disillusioned with her prospects.
“They were very dismissive and said there were other people to see about. It was a big demotivator where I started to question what I had been doing for all these years. Have I wasted my time? That’s the way I feel; like all these things I’ve done, I have nothing to show for it apart from a few pictures and trophies.”
Harris began competing in body fitness in 2011 and within a year had won her category at both the National Junior Championships and the Sportsworld Classic, which she has taken a further three times. She enjoyed success around the Caribbean last year, winning the Wesley Barrow Invitational in Antigua, the St Lucia Invitational, the St Martin Invitational and, most notably, the CAC Championships in the Bahamas.
“I cannot say I’ve ever got help from anybody,” she said looking back. “For the years I’ve been competing, I’ve funded myself to bring myself to the structure that I am. I have invested in myself, from my training, my travel, my food. Everything I do for myself… My friends think I’m crazy to spend all this money without getting anything in return, but you do it for the love of the sport.”
Despite her frustrations, the resident of Sangre Grande said it would be difficult to turn her back on body fitness as it had been the driving force in her life.
A member of the CLX Gym in El Dorado she explains: “It has given me a sense of purpose and a goal. If I don’t have these competitions, if I don’t have the gym to go to on an evening, I don’t know what I’d be doing with myself. I don’t really party. I’m more of a homebody. Competing is what I look forward to and it’s helped with my confidence, my self esteem and has contributed to me being a more all round person.”
As she prepares to defend her CAC title, she reckons the event may prove to be her last hurrah.
“From where I sit, it’s not looking bright. If a young person asked me about this sport, I’d tell them you end up spending all your money on it to reach to a certain level. Why would you want to do that?”
The 30th Tobago International Cycle Classic (TICC) is set to peddle off Tuesday. Cyclists from across the globe are already on the island for the annual six-day cycling event.
The opening ceremony will take place at TICC Cycling Village at Johnsons’ Apartments, Store Bay, Crown Point getting at 9 am. The first leg of the four-stage race will get underway later on Tuesday at 1.30 pm with the Division One 10 laps/120km on the Shirvan/Carnbee/Buccoo Circuit.
The Division Two riders will compete over Five laps/60 km. Among the first to arrive is the five-member international all-women team riding under the name Team Eleven. They will create history as Team Eleven is the first women’s professional cycling squad to compete in the event for the first time in the 30 year history of the TICC. The line-up includes Germans Sofie Mangertseder, Sabina Ossyra and Alina Layne and the Swiss duo of Caroline Baur and Desiree Ehler.
Nineteen-year-old Mangertseder and Ossyra, 20, are training partners. They won the German National Team Pursuit titles, Mangertseder in 2016 and Ossyra in 2014. Ossyra also copped gold at the German National Junior Championships in 2013. Layne, 25, was 29th in this year’s German National Road Race Championships and will be using the Tobago International Cycle Classic to prepare for her next race in South Korea in November.
Ehler can be considered the most accomplished road racer on Team Eleven. She was fourth in both the Road Race and Time Trials at the 2012 Swiss National Championships and has been in the top team in both events ever year since.
Baur, 22, raced to sixth in the Road Race at the this year’s Swiss Championships and was 19th in NEA Race in Finland, earlier in the year. Team Eleven arrived in Tobago on Monday and is staying in Buccoo. With the inclusion of the first all-women teams, the organisers will be looking into hosting separate categories for elite women in the future.
The second leg is carded for Wednesday at 8.30 am starting along side the YMCA Pool in Courland, Turtle Beach. The Division One riders will do battle over four laps/100km on the Turtle Beach/Les Coteaux, Arnos Vale Curcuit. The Division Two compete ride two laps/50km. Leg three is the Plymouth Village Criterium starting on Shelbourne Street in Plymouth on Friday with the 50 laps/65km race for Division One riders and the 20 laps/26km for Division Two.
The Division Three and Novice riders will compete over five laps/7km. The fourth and final leg is the Market Square Criterium in Wilson Road Scarborough on October 1 where the riders all battle over 60 laps /60 km (Division One)/ 20 laps/20 km (Division Two) and Five laps/5km) Division Three and Novices. Overall winners will be crowned.
This year’s edition will culminate with the UCI 1.2 Tour of Tobago Road Race (120km) which will begin at 7.30 pm. Others events on the schedule are the Three stage Mountain Bike Classic (Race One-September 29-Courland Estate, September 30 and October 3-Arnos Vale, Oct 1), Classic Kids Cycling Festival (Oct 1-Wilson Road, Scarborough, October 2-Esplanade, Scarborough), Corn Soup Line (September 28-Johnsons Apartments), Run Punch Beach Lime and Pinic (September 29-Pigeon Point).
Police FC coach Richard Hood wants his men to show their full potential in the shortened 2016/17 season which runs from September 30 to February.
The Lawmen will kick-off their 2016-2017 Digicel Pro League campaign on October 4 against Ma Pau Stars, formerly North East Stars, but action commences on Friday with a South-vs-North double-header at the Mahaica Oval in Point Fortin.
This season the DPL will have two Rounds, with teams facing each other twice and not the regular three Rounds, while only the First Citizens Cup and Digicel Pro Bowl knockout competitions will be contested to facilitate the shortened season format before the Pro League reverts to its April to December calendar for the 2017 season.
Hood said his players have the “potential to do really well” and the ultimate goal of Police FC has always been to win titles.
Police came closest to ending a two-decade title drought in 2014 by reaching the final of the Digicel Pro Bowl, under Hood, but lost to W Connection in the title game. The Lawmen last enjoyed silverware in 1994 with the National League and FA Trophy double.
Hood believes it has been difficult for most of his players in overcoming psychological and physical challenges in balancing their jobs as policemen and the football.
“The fact is that we are not fully a professional team,” Hood said. “We have the players with the quality but always had the problem having to battle with the football and duties (off the field). Our players can’t dedicate their lives to the football as a professional team could. It’s not comfortable for the players and it makes it even more difficult to try and have success on the field. This has been responsible for a lot of the inconsistencies in our performances.”
Last season Police finished sixth in the Digicel Pro League—heir best finish in the last three seasons —and Hood, who pointed out that his team were second at the end of Round One, stands optimistic ahead of the shortened 2016/17 season although being without scoring ace Makesi Lewis who suffered a broken leg in pre-season training after colliding with a goalkeeper.
Lewis, who is expected to be out for eight months, top scored in the DPL last season with 20 goals, while his performances won him three international caps for T&T against Grenada, Uruguay and China.
“We will miss having Makesi (Lewis) but I am hoping that other players can take up the mantle,” said Hood. “We have players that can destroy any defence at any given time. It’s now for those players to go out and show a little more maturity and do well. It’s also my job to find the best way for the players.
“I expect us to have a really good season. We encountered a number of problems along the way last season in our goalkeeping department with (Adrian) Foncette away at times as well as a number of injuries. But things are expected to be better this season having goalkeeper Foncette for the full season as well as a number of new additions to the squad.”
Hood has boosted his arsenal with the return of former T&T Under-23 midfielder Micah Lewis, who spent last season in Turkey with lower division side Serik Belediyespor, as well as new signings in former T&T youth captain and defender Ryan O’Neil (St Ann’s Rangers), Nideon Noel (Point Fortin Civic), Kadeem Hutchinson (St. Ann’s Rangers), Ken Ceohas, Xavier Wheeler, Nequan Caruth and Joshua Leach.
Regular captain and veteran midfielder Todd Ryan will again lead the squad inclusive of goalkeepers Adrian Foncette and Theon Browne; defenders Karlon Murray, Anton Hutchinson, Dexter Alleyne, Elijah Belgrave, Jibri Mc David, Akeil Thomas and Kemron Purcell; midfielders Kaaron Foster, Kareem Freitas, Dillon Kirton, Kurdell Brathwaite, Kadeem Riley, Christon Thomas, Wendell Joseph and Kenaz Williams; forwards Jameel Perry, Keion Wilson, Shaquille Nesbitt and utility player Clevon Mc Fee.
T&T had to settle for sixth spot at the Third Under-23 Women’s Pan American Volleyball Cup, in Lima, Peru, following a 23-25, 16-25, 14-25 loss to Costa Rica in their fifth place playoff at the Canete Colisuem, Lima, Peru, yesterday.
It was the second loss for T&T against the Central Americans in the tournament, after the latter won their round-robin meeting, 25-13, 25-16, 20-25, 25-20.
The set won by T&T was the only set won for the Nicholson Drakes-coached squad which also only managed to win one set on debut in the 2014 edition, which was also held in Peru, and ironically, against the same Costa Ricans, in a 25-19, 22-25, 21-25, 17-25 loss.
The T&T squad entered the tournament without four key members in Kaylon Cruickshank, Makila Yorke, and North American-born duo, Taila Thomas and Nya Steel due to US school commitments.
Last night in the semifinals, two-time defending champions Dominican Republic faced Cuba and Argentina battled host Peru.
This after Dominican Republic swept Peru 25-11, 25-9, 25-13 to end with a 4-1 round-robin record, the same as Argentina and Peru, but with a better points-difference ratio for the top seeding ahead of the semifinals.
With the win, Dominican Republic also secured one of two available spots to next year’s FIVB U23 World Championship to be disputed among the four teams from Norceca Confederation while the third ticket will come from the top South American side, either hosts Peru or Argentina.
Nathaniel Dyer netted late as Presentation College of San Fernando eked out a 1-0 win over lowly Queen’s Royal College (QRC) to go two points clear at the top of the 15-team Shell/First Citizens Secondary Schools Football League Premier Division yesterday.
With both teams seem headed for a share of the points, Dyer fired in the decisive item at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella in the 87th minute to carry Presentation College to 15 points from six matches, two more than previous joint leaders Shiva Boys Hindu College, who were held to a shock 1-1 draw by cellar-placed East Mucurapo at the David Williams Recreation Ground, Penal.
Judah Garcia fired Shiva Boys ahead in the 53rd minute, but with nine minutes left in the contest, national Under-20 player, Micah Lansiquot salvaged a first point of the season for East Mucurapo after three straight defeats to start the season.
Two-time defending champions, Naparima College joined Shiva Boys on 13 points with a hard fought 1-0 win over Signal Hill at its Lewis Street, San Fernando home ground thanks to a 19th minute strike from Isaiah Lee, his league leading sixth of the season.
Also in South, St Anthony’s College, fourth on the table with ten points from four matches, needed a late second-half brace from national Under-20 striker, Kathon St Hilliare, to earn a 2-2 draw with host Fyzabad.
Natinni Jones (19th) and Shaquille Louison (49th) scored for Fyzabad to lead 2-0, but St Hillaire replied in the 75th and 85th for the “Westmooring Tigers”, who will play their make-up match against East Mucurapo tomorrow at home.
In other matches, St Mary’s College edged San Juan North 2-1; St Augustine pipped Trinity College of Moka 1-0 and Pleasantville also won 1-0 against St Benedict’s.
Yesterday’s SSFL Premier Division Results
Fyzabad 2 (Natinni Jones 19th, Shaquille Louison 49th) vs St Anthony’ 2 (Kathon S Hillaire 75th, 85th)
Pleasantville 1 (Jezneel Duntin 25th) vs St Benedict’s 0
Naparima 1 (Isaiah Lee 19th) vs Signal Hill 0
St Mary’s 2 (Kerdell Sween 8th o.g, Trey La Motte 43rd) vs San Juan North 1 (Josiah St Baird 53rd)
St Augustine 1 (Rahim Gordon) vs Trinity Moka 0
Presentation (San F’do) 1 (Nathaniel Dyer 87th) vs QRC 0
Shiva Boys 1 (Judah Garcia 53rd) vs East Mucurapo 1 (Micah Lansiquot 81st)
Intelligence Cross is awarded our vote for the group one Middle Park Stakes over six furlongs of good ground at Newmarket this afternoon. Earlier stable-companion Roly Poly could initiate a tremendous juvenile double for Irish trainer, Aidan O’Brien.
Both are by prolific USA sire, War Front!
During the last few days we’ve been going through the daily motions but, in the back of my mind, was the aforementioned duo, which certainly tick enough boxes. Both are strongly-fancied by the irrepressible Coolmore team comprising owners, Tabor, Magnier and Smith, who have invested millions and been rewarded for their courage and confidence in the indefatigable Irish maestro.
Four weeks ago, Intelligent Cross was favourite for a group three race on yielding ground at the Curragh. Without warning he improved considerably under Seamus Heffernan and bolted in by four lengths from previous, well-regarded winner, Holy Cat.
Remarkably Intelligence Cross clocked a slightly faster time than 82-rated handicapper Sors did an hour later.
Admittedly, the latter carried a stone more but it still represented tremendous form, given weight-for-age.
Blue Point will be favourite judged on his scintillating, unchallenged, success in the Gimcrack at York last month but official ratings suggest Saeed bin Suroor’s charge and Richard Hannon-trained Mehmas are only 5lbs superior to Intelligence Cross. Our time-handicap has them much closer!
As ever we’ll be targeting one of three places with a good-priced selection. Roly Poly, winner of the group two Newmarket Duchess Of Cambridge in July, split the Frankel sired pair, Queen Kindly, and Fair Eva when penalised 3lbs in a pulsating Lowther at York six weeks later. Distances were three-quarters of a length, and the same.
Queen Kindly is second favourite today, obviously 3lbs worse off than Roly Poly in the six-runner, group one Cheveley Park Stakes, also over six furlongs. Lady Aurelia is odds-on!
What a race, fantastic expectations, and it will be no surprise if Roly Poly, a much bigger price earlier this week, causes one. Hold on to your seats!
On an eight-race programme first four are for two-year-olds, including the group two Royal Lodge Stakes down the famous Rowley Mile. We have a sneaking TH fancy for the ultra-progressive Mark Johnston runner, Montataire, magnificent at Salisbury last time, earning a 100 rating!
Today is judgement day and after all the hype which is associated with the biggest race for three-year-olds in their career, the grade one Trinidad Derby over 2,000 metres, all questions will be answered just after 4.37 pm when the field will race for the $400,000 purse event.
Who will win the 86th running of the prestigious “Run For The Roses” at Santa Rosa Park, Arima? Will it be Crown The King from the barn of John Leotaud or will it be Academy Award from the stable of Anthony Nunes?
Both thoroughbreds possess the ability to win this event and they do stand above their rivals. Jockeyship and tactics will tell and I am putting my neck on the line for the classy Merlin Samlalsingh-owned Academy Award.
When he won the Easter Guineas, it surprised me but the manner in which he buckled down in the final 200m under the Emile Ramsammy drive made me realise that he could have won the Triple Crown. Subsequently, he did not run in the second leg of the Triple Crown, the Midsummer Classic, and that was won by stablemate The Gatsby which beat Magical Victory convincingly.
However, three weeks ago he returned from a five-month layoff and lost his unbeaten tag on Independence Day behind the impressive Crown The King. On Sunday last, Academy Award brought the stands down with an imperious gallop over 1,200 metres under veteran jockey Haniff Emamlie. The duo raced over the distance in the fantastic time of 1:12.03 and yesterday cantered on the main track saying, all is set.
Academy Award has already posted a time of 1:10 for a 1,200-metre run. I think he will be difficult to beat over 2,000m.
The Mohali Stables owned Crown The King will race from widest of all, but he looked superb on Thursday morning when cantering and there is no doubt about his well-being. He is in tremendous form.
His rider Dillon Khelawan will need to be at his best and control the race from the front. Coming from the outside draw will light up this free running colt and if he is allowed to do too much too early he could make it easy for Academy Award. But should he go fast early he could set up the race for closer like Howsweetitis which will be running on at the end or Magical Victory, which will be close to the pace.
It is all in the hands of the “little men” now.
Can Badrie give Samlalsingh another Touch of Class or will Khelawan give Leotaud his first Derby winner? Time alone will tell.
The Republic Day card will also see the top class horses racing over 1,350m in the Diamond Stakes. I expect the Glenn Mendez trained Control Unit to win again. The Steward’s Cup winner is at his best and should have too many guns for the ultra consistent Thisonesforron. Once, Wilmer Galviz holds Control Unit up for 900m and then sets him alight, the race is effectively over.
In the Derek Cozier Classic, Leotaud horses seem to be form choice with only Fast ‘N’ Furious and the Mendez trained Latin Dancer likely to upset them. The quartet of Desert Dancer, Caliburn, Murano and Blazing Spirit could give Leotaud a major part of the prize money. But I expect Desert Dancer to win.
Post time is 11.45 am.
Local women’s cricket has experienced unimaginable growth and development due to a harmonious relationship that exists between the T&T Cricket Board and the T&T Women’s Cricket Association (TTWCA).
The relationship has deepened and widened to an extent that women’s cricket has indeed been acknowledged, recognised and successfully integrated into the fold of serious professional sport, Jocelyn Francois Opadeyi, president of the TTWCA said during the T&T Cricket Board Annual Awards ceremony held at the National Energy Skills Centre, Couva last Saturday.
“This has been accomplished even while the TTWCA has been allowed to maintain its independence, as a professional association, tasked with leading, directing and managing national women’s cricket” Francois Opadeyi said.
She noted the success currently being enjoyed by the national team and its star players on the West Indies squad is as a result of the attainment of important objectives, set more than eight years ago.
It was put into train when the territorial cricket boards were mandated by the world governing ICC and the regional administration of the WICB to have men’s and women’s cricket managed under one umbrella body.
According to Francois Opadeyi, the model developed by the TTCB and TTWCB has produced a winning formula, which has propelled the game forward and instead of being stifled, the women have gained added prominence since the merger.
“Kudos must go to the TTCB and its management for the openness and flexibility which have been evident in all our inter-reactions. Instead of wielding power, which easily could have been done as the dominant party, or attempted to take control of the management of women’s cricket, they have allowed our women’s association to set and implement its own plans,” said Francois Opadeyi.
This confidence shown in the women by the TTCB is based on the awareness that the TTWCA knew, and better understood the needs and requirements of their members and clubs.
“What they (the TTCB) sought to do was facilitate our efforts, encouraging and providing support, both moral and financial. We can truly say that local women’s cricket had advanced under this structure and for this we are thankful to Almighty God,” said Francois Opadeyi.
Reflecting on the recent 2015-2016 season, she said it has been without doubt a most successful and rewarding year with the TTWCA’s various league tournaments generating great excitement and attracting media attention.
She said the TTWCA staged four competitions namely the League, T20, Knock-Out and Six-a-Side in two divisions, Premiership, and Championship and this effort has coincided with the attainment of several laudable benchmarks at the regional level.
“We are pleased to report that after five years of not coming out on top, our persistence and determination have finally paid off,” said Francois Opdeyi and cited that the senior women’s team under the stewardship of Gerald Garcia, Marjorie Thomas and Wayne Samuel were champions in the regional 50-Overs and T20 regional tournaments and the Under-19 team, under the stewardship of John Trumpet, Sue Lynne Rose and Shenelle Lord won the WICB Invitational competition staged here in T&T.
Francois Opadeyi said the Under-19 tournament is an important part of the TTCA developmental programme which gained sponsorship from the WICB and the Sports Company of T&T.
“This tournament continues to reveal the talent existing in our regional players and sows the seeds of a safe and secure future for women’s cricket,” said Francois Opadeyi. Haley Matthews and Shaquana Quintin, both of Barbabos who consistently performed in the regional tournament and who excelled on the campaign when West Indies won the ICC T20 Championships earlier this year in India.
DUBAI—Reigning World champions West Indies were humbled by Pakistan in the opening Twenty20 International yesterday, after virtually condemning themselves with a feeble batting effort at the Dubai International Stadium.
Sent in, they recovered from a shocking position of 48 for eight in the 12th over to stumble to 115 all out with a ball remaining in the innings, and Pakistan wasted little time in cruising to their target in the 15th over, to complete an uncomplicated nine-wicket victory and take a valuable 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
Veteran all-rounder Dwayne Bravo was the only one to emerge from the encounter with any semblance of pride, striking a top score of 55 from 54 balls under pressure.
He put on a 66 in an all-time record ninth wicket stand with Jerome Taylor who made 21, but the Caribbean side never really recovered from the damage done by left-arm spinner Imad Wasim who ripped through the innings with a Man-of-the-Match spell of five for 14 from his four overs.
In reply, Pakistan never looked in danger of botching their run chase and Babar Azam made sure of this with a fluent unbeaten 55 off 37 deliveries.
In only his second T20 International, the right-hander smashed six fours and two sixes and posted a match-winning, unbroken 88-run, second wicket stand with opener Khalid Latif who made a patient 34 not out from 32 balls.
With the second T20 International scheduled for Saturday at the same venue, West Indies were left with several problems to solve in a short space of time.
Without the experience of axed captain Darren Sammy and the unavailable Chris Gayle and Andre Russell, West Indies stumbled and stuttered from the outset.
Left-hander Evin Lewis holed out in the deep for one off the fifth ball of the innings from Imad Wasim who then removed both Andre Fletcher (2) and Marlon Samuels (4) within the space of three deliveries in his next over.
Fletcher missed a slog at the second delivery and was bowled and Samuels pushed forward defensively, missed one that came on with the arm, and was adjudged lbw.
In the very next over – the fourth of the innings – opener Johnson Charles gave himself too much room, missed a cut and was bowled for seven by another left-armer, Mohammad Nawaz, as West Indies crashed to 17 for four.
When debutant Nicholas Pooran feathered a catch behind off left-arm seamer Sohail Tanvir for five at 22 for five, the Windies seemed in serious danger of their lowest T20I score but Bravo combined with Kieron Pollard (9) to settle the innings down in a 25-run, sixth wicket stand.
They seemed to be laying the groundwork for a recovery when Imad returned in a second spell to break the stand, bowling Pollard as the right-hander looked to play through the on-side, at 47 for six in the 11th over.
And Imad became the first Pakistani spinner to take a five-wicket haul in T20s when he removed captain Carlos Brathwaite two balls later without scoring, top-edging a paddle sweep to Khalid Latif who ran around to leg gully from slip to pouch the catch.
When Sunil Narine (1) failed to beat Latif’s direct hit from mid-off on a badly judged quick single, West Indies were in a deep hole but Bravo bailed them out with a quality knock which included four fours and two sixes.
He started slowly with his first 18 runs requiring 32 balls but accelerated to reach his fourth T20I half-century off 50 balls. He took 13 runs from the 15th over bowled by Tanvir and combined with Tylor to garner 19 from the following over from seamer Hasan Ali – the most expensive over of the innings.
Bravo raised his half-century in the 19th over by clearing the ropes at cover with left-arm pacer Wahab Riaz but perished in the deep off the penultimate delivery of the innings, with West Indies desperately chasing runs.
The Windies then needed an early breakthrough to remain in the game but none came, as Sharjeel Khan hammered three fours and a six in a 17-ball 22, to dominate an opening stand of 28 with Latif.
And even when he bowled by leg-spinner Samuel Badree in the fourth over, Latif and Babar kept Pakistan on course with positive stroke-play.
Pakistan vs West Indies – 1st T20I
J Charles b Nawaz 7
E Lewis c Nawaz b Wasim 1
A Fletcher b Wasim 2
M Samuels lbw b Wasim 4
DJ Bravo c Akmal b Tanvir 55
N Pooran c wkp Ahmed b Ali 5
K Pollard b Wasim 9
C Brathwaite c K Latif b Wasim 0
S Narine run out 1
J Taylor b Tanvir 21
S Badree not out 1
Extras (lb2, w5, nb2) 9
TOTAL (all out; 19.5 overs) 115
Fall of wickets: 1-3 (Lewis, 0.5 overs), 2-11 (Fletcher, 2.2), 3-15 (Samuels, 2.4), 4-17 (Charles, 3.4), 5-22 (Pooran, 4.3), 6-47 (Pollard, 10.3), 7-47 (Brathwaite, 10.5), 8-48 (Narine, 11.3), 9-114 (Taylor, 19.2), 10-115 (Bravo, 19.5).
Bowling: Imad Wasim 4-0-14-5, Sohail Tanvir 3.5-0-26-2 (w2), Mohammad Nawaz 4-0-16-1, Hasan Ali 3-0-32-1 (w1, nb1), Shoaib Malik 1-0-5-0 (w1), Wahab Riaz 4-1-20-0 (w1, nb1).
Sharjeel Khan b Badree 22
Khalid Latif not out 34
Babar Azam not out 55
Extras (lb1, w3, nb1) 5
TOTAL (1 wkt, 14.2 overs) 116
Did not bat: Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal, +Sarfraz Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz, Imad Wasim, Wahab Riaz, Sohail Tanvir, Hasan Ali
Fall of wickets: 1-28 (Sharjeel Khan, 3.5 overs).
Bowling: Badree 4-0-27-1 (w1), Taylor 1-0-8-0, Narine 3-0-21-0, DJ Bravo 2-0-16-0 (w1), Brathwaite 2.2-0-29-0 (nb1), Pollard 2-0-14-0 (w1).
Result: Pakistan won by nine wickets.
Series: Pakistan lead three-match series 1-0.
Man-of-the-match: Imad Wasim.
Toss: Pakistan. Umpires: Ahsan Raza, Shozab Raza; TV: Ahmed Shahab. (CMC)
Signal Hill, led by Asha James, rolled out another win in the Tobago Zone of the Shell/First Citizens Secondary Schoolgirls Football League Championship Division on Thursday evening, claiming a hard fought 5-3 victory over host Mason Hall.
James were responsible for four of those goals to help Signal Hill remain unbeaten after four matches, already topping Speyside High (16-1), Bishop’s High (5-2) and Scarborough Secondary (3-0), respectively.
The other goal for the winner came from Avonel Lorraine, to help Signal Hill closeout round one as the leader.
Mason Hall, who was previously undefeated with wins over Bishop’s (3-2), Scarborough (2-1) and Pentecostal Light and Life (8-0), got a goal each from Desiree Cox, Celine Lorraine and Curisia Campbell but they were all in vain as their team suffered its first loss of the season.
There were a flurry of goals in the other matches played in the zone as well, with Scarborough sealing a 6-nil victory over Speyside High and Bishop’s High, a 6-1 win over Pentecostal Light and Life.
Aaliyah Charles and Jahmilia Edwards netted three goals each for Scarborough, who secured its second victory from four matches.
In the other affair, Megan Henry, Darianne Henry and Dinesha Manning each netted a pair of goals for Bishop’s. Faith Joseph hit the lone item for Pentecostal.
Denecia Prince finally returned to action for Fyzabad in the South Zone after getting approval from the Ministry of Education and her presence was immediately felt, notching four goals, to pilot Fyzabad to a 11-1 win in a one-sided encounter.
Abishai Guy and Shanaqua Lewis scored a double each while their teammates Aniyka Sylvan, Precious Paul and Douanna Osbourne added one apiece in the comfortable win in Pleasantville, to complete the first round on top of the standings. St Joseph Convent got an easy three points after Point Fortin East forfeited the other match in the South Zone.
North Zone’s leading scorer Shauna Lee Govia scored the winner for Tranquility, who escaped with a narrow one-goal victory Bishop’s Anstey High.
Govia’s tally now goes up to 12 goals after netting five in her team’s opening match against St Joseph Convent Port-of-Spain, bettering that on Sunday against St Francois Girls, with six.
On Sunday from 3.45 pm, Tranquility will be looking to stay unbeaten to end the first round on top when it meets Diego Martin Central, who also has no losses.
Fyzabad 11 (Denecia Prince 4, Abishai Guy 2, Shanaqua Lewis 2, Aniyka Sylvan, Precious Paul, Douanna Osbourne) vs San Fernando East 1.
St Joseph Convent won after Point Fortin East forfeited.
Scarborough 6 (Aaliyah Charles 3, Jahmilia Edwards 3) vs Speyside 0
Signal Hill 5 (Asha James 4, Avonel Lorraine) vs Mason Hall 3 (Desiree Cox, Celine Lorraine, Curisia Campbell).
Bishop’s High 6 (Megan Henry 2, Darianne Henry 2, Dinesha Manning 2)
vs Pentecostal 1 (Faith Joseph).
North: Tranquility 1 (Shauna Lee Govia 57th)
vs Bishop’s Anstey 0.
St Joseph Convent vs Diego Martin Central 4
East: St George’s College 0 vs Bishop’s East 1.
South Zone duo, Shiva Boys Hindu College and Presentation College of San Fernando will both be confident of taking sole possession of the top spot in the 2016 Shell/First Citizens Secondary Schools Football League Premier Division when round six matches take place today from 3.40pm.
Both Shiva Boys and Presentation College are currently joint top of the 15-team table with 12 points from five matches, two ahead of two-time reigning champion Naparima College which has a match in hand while St Anthony's College, the lone team with a 100 per cent winning record is fourth with nine points from three matches.
Today, Shiva Boys which leads by virtue of a better goal-difference than Presentation College of San Fernando led by its core of senior players in Junior Assoon, Tyrell Emmanuel, Tyrel Baptiste, Yohannes Richardson, Quinn Rodney and national Under-20 goalkeeper Denzil Smith will host cellar-placed East Mucurapo which is yet to pick up a point after three matches, at David Williams Recreation Ground, Penal.
Zion Mc Leod, who has been the shining light for East Mucurapo with all three of his team's goals this season will be happy for the return of national duo, Jesse Williams and Micah Lansiquot as they try and turn their team's wretched form around.
Presentation College, on the other hand, boosted by the return of national Under-20 duo, captain Kareem Riley and Kori Cupid, and Under-17 midfielder Nion Lammy will also fancy its chances of full points against struggling third from bottom, Queen's Royal College, yet to win in four matches, at Mannie Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella. For QRC, John-Paul Rochford is expected to feature after his national Under-17 exploits as well.
Already boasting leading scorer Isaiah Lee (five goals) in its ranks, the Angus Eve-coached Naparima College will also be delighted with the return of its four national Under-17 players in Tyrique Andrews, Mark Ramdeen, Andre Raymond, Isaiah Hudson (Naparima College) as well as Under-20 pair, Rondell Payne and Shane Sandy for its home clash versus a resurgent Signal Hill at its Lewis Street, San Fernando, home.
Following a mid-week bye, the "Westmooring Tigers" of St Anthony's also sees the return of its quota of national players in Elijah Shade, Jodel Brown, Che Benny, Jaydon Prowell, Tyrese Bailey, Jabari Brice and Kathon St Hillaire when they journey to Fyzabad, which is two points behind.
In another matches, San Juan North which welcomes the return of Kerdell Sween and Brandon Semper from national duties host St Mary's College at Bourg Mulatresse, San Juan; St Benedict's College and Pleasantville Secondary meet at Mahaica Oval, Pt Fortin, and Trinity College Moka is at home to St Augustine.
Fatima 3 (Jahreed Murray, Andrew Abraham, Liam De Verteuil) vs St Benedict’s 3 (Jevaughn Humphreys 2, Jacey Parris)
Signal Hill 2 (N’Kosi Chance 3rd, Omarley James 36th) vs Fyzabad 0
Pleasantville 2 (Jabari Hodge, Jude Phillip) vs San Juan North 0
Naparima 2 (Isaiah Lee, Mark Ramdeen) vs Trinity College Moka 0
St Mary’s 2 (Trey La Motte 5th, Tyrese Spicer 32nd) vs QRC 1 (Anfernee Stokes 58th)
Shiva Boys 4 (Junior Assoon 7th, Tyrell Emmanuel 40th, Tyrel Baptiste 61st, Yohannes Richardson 83rd) vs St Augustine 2 (Zion Holder 42nd pen, Rahim Gordon 47th)
Presentation (San F’do) 3 (Kareem Riley 2, Kori Cupid) vs East Mucurapo 1 (Zion Mc Leod)
All matches kick off at 3.40pm
Fyzabad vs St Anthony's, Fyzabad
St Benedict's vs Pleasantville Sec, Mahaica Oval, Pt Fortin
Naparima College vs Signal Hill, Lewis Street, San F'do
San Juan North vs St Mary's, Bourg Mulatresse Ground, San Juan
Trinity Moka vs St Augustine, Moka, Maraval
Presentation (San F'do) vs QRC, Mannie Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella
Shiva Boys vs East Mucurapo, David Williams Recreation Ground, Penal
Latest SSFL Premier Division standing
Teams P W D L F A Pts
1. Shiva Boys 5 4 0 1 11 5 12
2. Pres (San F'do) 5 4 0 1 8 5 12
3. Naparima 4 3 1 0 9 4 10
4. St Anthony's 3 3 0 0 8 3 9
5. Signal Hill 5 2 2 1 6 4 8
6. Fyzabad Sec 5 2 1 2 9 8 7
7. San Juan North 5 2 1 2 7 8 7
8. Trinity Moka 5 2 1 2 3 5 7
9. P’ville 4 1 2 1 6 6 5
10. St Mary's 5 1 2 2 4 8 5
11. Fatima 5 1 1 3 7 9 4
12. St Augustine 5 0 3 2 5 8 3
13. QRC 4 0 2 2 1 3 2
14. St Benedict's 5 0 2 3 3 7 2
15. East Mucurapo 3 0 0 3 3 7 0
Championship Division Boys results:
Scarborough Sec 2 (Jaiye Sheppard, Shaquille Cox) vs Mason Hall 1 (Khadeem Roberts)
Speyside 2 (Kerri Mc Donald, Shaffie Mc Kenzie) vs Bishop's High 0
Pentecostal L&L 2 (Tyric Williams, Victor Gregoire) vs Roxborough 1
5 - Isaiah Lee
4 - Ken Bhola
3 - Akil Frank, Alleric Williams, Haile Beckles, Kareem Riley, Renaldo Boyce, Rahim Gordon, Tyrel Baptiste, Zion Mc Leod,
2 - Stephon Marcano, Jerome Cyrus, Tyrell Emmanuel, Jordan Riley, N'Kosi Salandy, Tyrese Spicer, Justin Araujo-Wilson, Ronaldo Edwards, Junior Assoon, Yohannes Richardson, Jevaughn Humphreys,
1 - Isaiah Mc Lean, Saleem Henry, Tigana O'Brien, Mattheus Granger, Denzil Marcano, Shobal Celestin, Derron John, Isaiah Alexander, Jezneel Duntin, Daniel Cowen, Nathaniel Dyer, Ackeem Benjamin, Dillon Yearwood, Kathon St Hillaire, Natinni Jones, Akinola Gregory, Renaldo Francois, Jarod Gordon, Shaquille Louison, Anthony Samuel, Tyrell Cameron, Jahreed Murray, Liam De Verteuil, Andrew Abraham, Jacey Parris, N'Kosi Chance, Omarley James, Jabari Hodge, Jude Phillip, Mark Ramdeen, Trey La Motte, Anfernee Stokes, Zion Holder, Kori Cupid, Nathaniel Williams (own goal)
World champions West Indies will get their official campaign going today when they engage the top Test playing nation Pakistan in their opening T20 fixture here in Dubai.
Pakistan's stellar run in Test cricket culminated with their rise to No.1 in the ICC's rankings for the first time earlier this week but their limited-overs cricket performances have left much to be desired - ninth in ODIs and seventh in T20Is. Their outdated style, based on a safety-first approach, has largely been responsible for their sharp nosedive - a stark contrast to their opponents.
West Indies are way behind the pack in Test cricket, but their attack-first approach in limited-overs cricket, especially in T20Is, has made them the heartthrobs of the shortest format. It resurfaced when they secured their second World T20 earlier this year in India.
Their MVPs Andre Russell and Chris Gayle are not in the team but they still have the luxury of depth. Opener Evin Lewis shellacked a 48-ball ton against India in Lauderhill last month, the sixth fastest in T20Is. The uncapped players - Rovman Powell and Nicholas Pooran, who hit 143 out of West Indies Under-19s' 208 at this venue two years ago at the World Cup - overcame a top-order flutter in the warm-up game against Emirates Cricket Board XI on Tuesday.
Despite the comfortable win, coach, Roddy Estwick is still not pleased with their execution in all departments and has been working to improve these areas in the build up to today’s match.
The Windies easily beat the Board XI by 22 runs and Estwick said the outing had highlighted deficiencies which needed to be corrected. “[The game] was a good work out for us because it was the first time we’ve been out in the middle since we’ve been here so we’re happy with that,” Estwick told reporters here.
“But there are areas to improve and we’re going to try and make sure that over the next few days we try and utilise all the facilities and get it absolutely right.”
Finisher with bat, finisher with the ball and excellent situational awareness, Dwayne Bravo is probably the most sought-after T20 player and Pakistan will have to be wary of the big dipping offcutter on sluggish surfaces the sides are likely to encounter in this series.
Pooran will jostle with Powell for a middle-order slot thrown open by the absence of Lendl Simmons, who is out because of medial reasons.
Pakistan don't have enough firepower, but Sarfraz Ahmed's calmness in a team filled with mercurial batsmen stands out. They also welcome back their highest run-getter in T20Is - Umar Akmal (1689 runs at a strike rate of 122.92). They showed some late sparks on the trip to the UK, but it remains to be seen if they can convert it into a proper white-ball revival.
Former Pakistan coach Waqar Younis was all for Umar regaining his berth following the World T20 if he showed domestic form. Umar has done just that, finishing as the leading run-getter in the National T20 Cup with 363 runs, including 34 in an over off Yasir Arafat, at an average and strike rate of 72.60 and 183.33.
Umar is a near-certainty in the XI, which means Mohammad Rizwan, who had played as a specialist batsman in the one-off T20 at Old Trafford, is likely to miss out. Left-arm spinning allrounder Mohammad Nawaz, who claimed 4 for 26 to seal Karachi Blues' tense National T20 Cup win, might push Hasan Ali and Saad Nasim out of the team.
Sheldon Phillips, former general secretary of the T&T Football Association (T&TFA) and Justin Latapy, director of sports at the Tobago House of Assembly (THA), are front runners for the position of general secretary of the TTFA.
The duo is among a shortlist of eight candidates selected from a field of 57 for the post. The Guardian learnt that two international candidates, including one from Europe will be in the toss-up for the top job, expected to offer a salary of between $25, 000 to $30, 000 monthly, along with a vehicle and other perks. The other six candidates are from T&T, it was said.
The candidates will face a rigorous interviewing process from a three-member panel that will comprise an independent consultant, a member who does work for the world governing body for football- FIFA and is known locally, and a member of the Board of Directors of the TTFA, said Joanne Salazar, third vice president of the TTFA.
Salazar refused to divulge the names of the candidates or the committee to conduct the interviews, but said the football association will ensure that the person selected will be able to withstand the scrutiny which the Association expects after the choice is made.
Phillips, who held the position under the previous Raymond Tim Kee-led administration before being sacked for his failure to follow directives, could hold the upperhand due to his knowledge and experience in the past, but Latapy, who is the brother of T&T’s midfield maestro Russell Latapy, has worked in sports for his entire life and is considered an excellent administrator in the field.
Azard Khan, who has been interim general secretary since the inception of the David John-Williams-led administration assumed office in November last year, has withdrawn his application for a more lucrative offer in one of the five positions up for grabs over the next month or so.
Surprisingly, Anthony Moore, president of the Tobago Football Association (TFA) who made it public that he intended to contest the position did not apply.
Contacted Moore said he did not apply as he has too much on his plate presently. “Because of my commitment to Tobago, I decided against going up for the position, as I am part of a foundation to have embarked on a project to offer remedial classes to children in the sister-isle, which for me is also part of giving back to the island.
“Apart from that, I am also actively involved in farming, while at the same time, have to do my job as president of the TFA, so I think I have my plate full,” Moore explained.
He noted that since the Association was making the transition to the new FIFA constitution, it was imperative he remained in the sister isle.
In addition to the general secretary, four other positions are being contested.
These include manager of finance and administration, public relations and communications manager, marketing and commercial manager and manager of national teams.
Salazar said a total of 370 applications were received for the five positions.
DUBAI—Rookie fast bowler Kesrick Williams says variation will be a key part of his arsenal once he gets a chance to show his skills in the Twenty20 International series against Pakistan starting here today.
The uncapped 26-year-old, a late call-up to the West Indies squad for the three-match series, said while he had the ability to bowl at pace, it would be more important to use a combination of different deliveries especially in the shortest format.
“A slower ball is not something you can just do, it calls for hard work and training, and it is something that I practice a lot,” the Vincentian said.
“There’s the pace there, I can bowl up to 140 [kph]. That’s there already, that’s an asset. Then in this cricket you need to have a lot of variations and I try my very best to have six different balls I can bowl in an over.
“That is something I really, really work on. It doesn’t come natural, it’s a lot of hard work.”
Williams was not a part of the original squad for the series but was summoned after star all-rounder Andre Russell pulled out late.
The right-armer has played first class matches since his debut five years ago but has come to the fore in the T20 format where he was a regular performer for Jamaica Tallawahs in the last season’s Caribbean Premier League.
Williams topped the Tallawahs bowling stats with 17 wickets from 13 matches at an average of 19 and economy rate of eight, returns which caught the eye of selectors.
“It’s really fantastic to be called up for the West Indies team. It’s something that every young man would dream about to play international cricket,” he said.
“It’s certainly a pleasure, I’m ready to go, hungry for it and determination is there. I’m just ready to go out there and execute and perform and put my name out there in international cricket.”
DUBAI—Bowling coach Roddy Estwick believes the disruption at the helm of the West Indies Twenty20 side had some impact on the players but has backed them to deal with the changes professionally and “carry on as normal.”
Last month, two-time World Cup-winning captain, Darren Sammy, was axed from the squad and he was followed by head coach Phil Simmons, who was sacked last week as players prepared to depart the Caribbean for the three-match T20 tour starting here Friday.
“Like anything it has a little bit of effect but they are professional sportsmen, they know that these things happen in sport where you lose a captain or you lose your coach and you’ve got to get on, you’ve got to buckle down,” said Estwick, who replaced Sir Curtly Ambrose in the post last June.
“There are little technical changes with different coaches coming and different captains coming in but they are well-paid professionals, they are highly-skilled professionals so they are adjusting and they carry on like normal.”
Sammy’s axing created a firestorm of controversy as it came five months after he guided West Indies to an unprecedented second T20 World Cup title in India.
The St Lucian all-rounder was widely viewed as an inspirational leader who commanded the respect of his players, and the decision to remove him resulted in protests on the opening day of the St Lucia Test against India last month.
Simmons, meanwhile, suspended by the West Indies Cricket Board last year over controversial comments regarding team selection, lasted just 17 month in the position before he was booted out for what the board termed “differences in culture and strategic approach.”
Choosing to sidestep the question on whether the constant upheaval would hamper the team’s development, Estwick said he was focussed on executing his role as best he could.
“I’m not a politician, I am a professional coach and that’s my job. My job is to work with players. I tend to leave anything [else] outside,” he told reporters.
“I don’t focus on anything that I have no control over. The control I have is over the players and making sure their preparation is spot on, make sure they work hard, make sure there is unity in the camp and those are the things I try and do well.”
West Indies face Pakistan on Friday in the first of three Twenty20 Internationals but with a side without stars like Sammy, opener Chris Gayle, all-rounder Andre Russell and batsman Lendl Simmons.
It means West Indies have included the likes of the uncapped Nicholas Pooran, Rovman Powell and Kesrick Williams and Evin Lewis, but Estwick said the growth he had seen in the younger players augured well for the future of West Indies cricket.
“I’ve worked with all these young players right through their careers coming through the Under-19s so it makes my job a little bit easier,” he explained.
“Once you get young players and you see them progressing and you see them growing, that’s going to be exciting not only for me as coach but for the people of the Caribbean as well.”
Glitter Girl looks a ‘nailed on’ each-way bet in the nine-runner, £100000 group two, Rockfel Stakes over seven furlongs of ‘good’ ground Newmarket this afternoon; indeed this rapidly improving Invincible Spirit filly may well give odds-on favourite, Fair Eva, more problems.
Five weeks ago this hitherto unbeaten Frankel filly was beaten one and a half lengths by Queen Kindly (by the same sire!) in the prestigious group two ‘Lowther’ over six furlongs at York, and looked somewhat worse for wear when pulling up on a firm surface.
Trainer Roger Charlton has wisely given Fair Eva plenty of recovery time from the exertions which resulted in an official rating of 110, 19 pounds superior to Glitter Girl!
The latter, trained locally at the all-conquering yard of William Haggas, improved by at least a stone when defying top-weight in a Doncaster nursery last month over an extended six furlongs, beating off ultra-consistent Storm Cry by half a length; ‘good run’ was my computation note and we expect that form to pay dividends.
Obviously the gap is colossal, Glitter Girl wont be considered as a threat by traditional, sensible, ‘formites’ but when a filly suddenly improves there is no telling just how far the progression will go.
Glitter Girl should trade at least 6/1, she is way superior to at least six others and so we’ll be ‘playing the place’ and my intention is to couple her into Via Serendipity in an each-way double.
Was Fair Eva jarred, was that a very uncomfortable experience on the Knavesmire which now rides much firmer than most realise? Today we will find out, once and for all, as she attempts this trip for the first time!
Twice-raced Via Serendipity, also by Invincible Spirit, is one of nine ‘decs’ for division two of a 2-y-o Maiden Stakes, also over seven furlongs; guaranteed to be placed judged on my in-form time-handicap.
Hugo Palmer’s charge suffered a shock defeat when third to Solomon’s Bay and Calibration in a fast run race over a similar distance at Yarmouth nine days ago; a replication should suffice.
Eight races are scheduled for a ‘Friday-nighter’ on Newcastle tapeta which suited Champion Harbour when racing on it around Wolverhampton last month; Richard Fahey’s charge comes out ‘best-in’ on that effort and is napped.
3.05 Glitter Girl
4.50 Via Serendipity
8.15 Champion Harbour
Former champion trainer Glenn Mendez who has the distinction of training two ‘Triple Crown” winners, spiced up Santa Rosa Park yesterday morning as the leading contenders prepared for the Grade One Trinidad Derby to be run off tomorrow when he said: “My vote goes to Magical Victory to win the Derby.”
Magical Victory is one of four runners from the John Leotaud Stable. Leotaud also saddles one of the favourites in Crown The King along with King Arthur and Howsweetitis. Mendez, whose lone entrant Saragon has had shin problems, said his charge will run a good race since he has improved over the last month or so.
However he believes that Magical Victory is the horse to beat.
“I think this is the best prepared horse in the race and he has trained well for the biggest race of his career. From my perspective, the event will be very competitive between Magical Victory, Crown The King, Academy Award and Howsweetitis. Crown The King won his last race impressively and if allowed to bowl along in front may be difficult to reel in. His draw may lead him to go to front but he will be at the front end.
“My selection Magical Victory is another who likes to be close to the leaders but I am certain Leotaud will not cut off his nose to spoil his face by cutting each other’s throat by fighting for the lead.” He noted that Academy Award galloped superbly last weekend and has class on his side.
“If he is well and has recovered from his exertion, he will go close. He has looked a different horse since being beaten three weeks ago but once all is well he will go close.”
Mendez described Howsweetitis as the plodder in the field. “If they went very fast early, they could set the race up nicely for him. He will stay well but the tactics employed in the event will decide the outcome. However, I am going for Magical Victory.”
Trainer Anthony Nunes who jetted in from Jamaica on Wednesday was very upbeat about the chances of Academy Award, the likely favourite. He said: “I am very pleased with his progress from his last start to now. He improved tremendously. He was coming from a five month lay-off when he was beaten and needed the race. Since that race we have not changed his programme and he worked extremely well over the weekend. I like the fact that we integrate the pool training with his work and this happened when he worked 1200 metres in 1:12.00. Mind you, we wanted him to come home in 1:14 but he was very comfortable in the gallop and stopped the clock at 1:12. I am not changing anything in his programme and tomorrow (today) he will be cantering the exact thing he did before his great gallop last week.”
Nunes ended by saying, “Horses are creatures of habit, so I would expect an exemplary display on Saturday.” Harriram Gobin has given the nod to Crown The King.
He said: “He has improved tremendously over the past two months and today he looked ‘superb’. All his rider has to do is hold him up for a bit before letting him run. Academy Award is the class horse but he must be 100 percent to beat the aptly named Crown The King, which is at the top of his game.”
National Under 17 men’s coach Russell Latapy has offered congratulations to the five teams from the Caribbean Football Union which have qualified for the CONCACAF Final Round of qualification for the FIFA Under 17 Men’s World Cup in 2017.
Latapy issued a statement yesterday, also thanking members of the T&T Under 17 team for their efforts during the ongoing competition which saw Haiti, Jamaica, Cuba, Curacao and fifth place finishers Suriname advancing to the CONCACAF Finals in Panama City next year.
“Firstly I’d like to congratulate the five teams that have qualified for the next round and wish them the best. Unfortunately for us we are not among those five teams but I want to thank the players for the efforts and time they gave in the preparations and during the matches and to the staff and the fans who supported us, also to the Football Association for trying to give us the best preparation during the time in which we were able to have two training camps inside a month,” Latapy said yesterday.
“Sadly it was not meant to be for us but I’d like to tell the players to not drop their heads. They still have the remainder of their careers ahead of them and there’s a lot of football to be played.
“But one of the things I think we can take from this tournament is the spirit which we showed which allowed us to come back in two of the matches. Maybe with a bit more time together things may have turned out better. We also would have to take away from this tournament the fact that there is a lot of work to be done if we are to compete strongly and give ourselves a good shot at succeeding at the international level.
“What will follow now is we’ll have a proper review of our showing in the tournament and put measures in place to ensure the team continues a programme. Like I said before, one of the discussions I had with the president and with the members of the technical committee was to have continuity and programmes in place where we do not find ourselves having serious preparations underway just two or three months before a tournament but that we have a system in place whereby our teams are together on a more regular basis,” Latapy added.
“It is imperative for the progress of our football that we change our mindset because what is happening is we tend to react after the fact. The mindset has to be one where are committed to stopping the short cuts that we are accustomed taking,” Latapy said.
“As a nation we tend to take short cuts and then at end of the day we want things to work in our favour or we are always hoping it will work in our favour but in order for that to really happen, we must give ourselves the best chance by having proper preparation and doing the hard work that is required for it.