Olympic 400m bronze medallist, Shericka Jackson, has admitted that it has been difficult to recover from recent setbacks but insists these days she is in a better place and in better form with the Tokyo Games just a couple of months away.

The quarter-miler certainly looked in good form on Saturday, at the second week of the JAAA Destiny Series, as she clocked a new personal best of 11.02 in the 100m, just a whisker away from breaking the 11-second barrier.

Considering that the 100m sprint is not her preferred event and the last time she attempted the distance, which was at the JAAA Qualification Trials, in March, she ended with a cramp, Jackson was delighted with the result.  The athlete’s previous best of 11.13 was recorded in 2018.

“I think at some point I lost who I was, so I had to take a step back and now I’m back.  The day that I got a cramp I almost gave up, because coming off some shin fractures from 2019 and then I came back and got a cramp, so it messed up my mind a little,” Jackson said following Saturday’s event.

“I have good people in my corner, so I’m back here and I’m happy,” she added.

“The last time I ran a competitive 100m was 2018 so to be back here and get a personal best is really exciting for me.”

 

Inter Miami have been hit with a record $2million fine and other sanctions after violating MLS' roster and salary rules following the signing of France international midfielder Blaise Matuidi.

Co-owned by former Manchester United, England and Real Madrid star David Beckham, Inter Miami lured Matuidi from Serie A champions Juventus to the United States for their inaugural season in 2020 – the World Cup-winning star teaming up with Gonzalo Higuain after the club used targeted allocation money (TAM).

But MLS deemed Inter Miami were not roster compliant in March – meaning the team effectively had four designated players last season rather than the three allowed.

Following an extensive investigation on Friday, Inter Miami's violations were found to include the incorrect roster categorisation for Matuidi and Andres Reyes – who should have occupied a designated player slot. The violations also included undisclosed agreements that resulted in the underreporting of salary budget amounts for players Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Nicolas Figal and Julian Carranza.

As a result, Inter Miami – along with the stiffest fine in league history – had a reduction of $2,271,250 in allocation dollars for the 2022 and 2023 seasons, while managing owner Jorge Mas was fined $250,000 and former sporting director Paul McDonough received a suspension through the 2022 campaign and he subsequently departed Atlanta United.

"The integrity of our rules is sacrosanct, and it is a fundamental principle of our league that our clubs are responsible for adhering to all league regulations," said MLS commissioner Don Garber.

"Our rules will not be compromised. These sanctions reflect the severity of Inter Miami's violations, should encourage complete cooperation by all parties in future investigations, and will serve as a deterrent for clubs from violating roster rules."

The investigation also found no wrongdoing on the part of Inter Miami owners Marcelo Claure, Masayoshi Son, Jose Mas, and Beckham.

In a statement, Mas said: "Inter Miami CF acknowledges that the club violated Major League Soccer's roster rules in our first season. 

"We have worked closely with MLS to address these issues and have made significant changes in our management structure. Following our inaugural season, we took a deep look at our soccer operations leadership group and made decisions that not only strengthened our internal roster compliance measures, but also better positioned us to build a sustainable, long-term competition strategy with the hiring of Chris Henderson as chief soccer officer and sporting director in 2021.  

"Inter Miami is an ambitious club with big aspirations. We believe our fanbase, market and ownership group propel us to be one of North America's most-followed futbol teams in the world. We are committed to supporting our team and building a roster we are proud of."

Inter Miami – led by head coach Phil Neville this season – are ninth in the 14-team Eastern Conference with eight points from seven games in 2021.

Legendary West Indies captain, Clive Lloyd, has called on embattled batsman Shimron Hetmyer to answer doubters by scoring a lot of runs whenever he gets the opportunity.

The 24-year-old has been in the spotlight in recent weeks after losing his international retainer contract with Cricket West Indies.  The young batsman has long been considered to be one of the region’s premier talents but has struggled to hit top gear in recent seasons.

In Test cricket, where he has not played for the team since 2019, he averages 27.93 having played 16 matches.  In One Day International cricket, where he last played in January of last year, he averages 36.66.  In T20 international cricket, he averages 18.95 with a strike rate of 116.97.

In addition, the player has struggled with fitness issues, twice failing a fitness test during the period, ahead of a subsequent tour of Sri Lanka last year and a visit of the same team earlier this year.

“The guy has got ability, we know that all he has to do is produce the runs and there should be no problem,” Lloyd told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“We all know Pooran, Hetmyer these are very talented guys, but that talent must come out with runs.  For a bowler it’s wickets,” he added.

“I would like to say to all the young people, Mr. Hetmyer and the rest of the gentlemen.  They are asking you to be fit, they want you to produce the goods.  If you do well, we would have a world-beating team.”

Following the 2021 player draft of the Hero CPL, the franchises announced their full rosters earlier today.

Included in the squads are a number of overseas signings that include Shakib al Hasan, Chris Morris, Faf du Plessis, Matthew Wade, Sandeep Lamichhane and Shoaib Malik. There are also spots for talented Pakistani players Haider Ali, Azam Khan and Usman Qadir and Englishman Samit Patel, who will be playing at his first Hero CPL.

The full squads are listed below:

The Jamaica Tallawahs – Andre Russell, Shakib al Hasan, Carlos Brathwaite, Rovman Powell, Haider Ali, Chadwick Walton, Fidel Edwards, Qais Ahmad, Jason Mohammed, Migael Pretorius, Kennar Lewis, Veerasammy Permaul, Abhijai Mansingh, Joshua James, Kirk McKenzie, Ryan Persaud.

St Lucia Zouks – Faf Du Plessis, Keemo Paul, Wahab Riaz, Matthew Wade, Andre Fletcher, Kesrick Williams, Usman Qadir, Samit Patel, Obed McCoy, Rahkeem Cornwall, Mark Deyal, Roston Chase, Javelle Glenn, Keron Cottoy, Jeavor Royal, Kadeem Alleyne, Alzarri Joseph.

Trinbago Knight Riders – Kieron Pollard, Ravi Rampaul, Sunil Narine, Colin Munro, Sandeep Lamichhane, Darren Bravo, Lendl Simmons, Khary Pierre, Isuru Udana, Sikandar Raza, Anderson Phillip, Denesh Ramdin, Tion Webster, Akeal Hosein, Jayden Seales, Leonardo Julian, Ali Khan.

St Kitts and Nevis Patriots – Dwayne Bravo, Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Fabian Allen, Rassie van der Dussen, Anrich Nortje, Sherfane Rutherford, Sheldon Cottrell, Winindu Hasaranga, Devon Thomas, Rayad Emrit, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Colin Archibald, Jon-Russ Jagesar, Dominic Drakes, Joshua Da Silva, Mikyle Louis.

Barbados Tridents – Chris Morris, Jason Holder, Thisara Perera, Mohammad Amir, Johnson Charles, Shai Hope, Oshane Thomas, Kyle Mayers, Hayden Walsh Jr, Azam Khan, Raymon Reifer, Justin Greaves, Ashley Nurse, Shafiqullah Ghafari, Nyeem Young, Joshua Bishop, Samit Patel.

Guyana Amazon Warriors – Nicholas Pooran, Shoaib Malik, Imran Tahir, Shimron Hetmyer, Mohammad Hafeez, Brandon King, Naveen Ul Haq, Romario Shepherd, Waqar Salamkheil, Chandrapaul Hemraj, Odean Smith, Niall Smith, Gudakesh Motie, Anthony Bramble, Kevin Sinclair, Ashmead Nedd.

The 2021 Hero CPL bowls off at Warner Park on August 28 with the final set for September 19.

 

 

Cricket West Indies (CWI) hosted the Professional Cricketers Draft for the 2021-2022 season, which took place over two rounds via a video call with representatives from all six Territorial Board Franchises. Several teams drafted young, emerging players to complete their 15-member squads, while others chose to boost their ranks with more experienced players.

Among those drafted, are several former West Indies Under-19 players, two of whom won the ICC Under-19 World Cup in 2016. Batsmen Jyd Goolie and Kirstan Kallicharan, who were both members of the team which won the world title in Bangladesh, were drafted by their native Trinidad and Tobago to the Red Force team. The left-handed Goolie, who turned 24 earlier this month, has so far played four first-class matches and has a highest score of 128.

Left-arm spinner Barbadian Joshua Bishop, who bowled impressively in this year’s CG Insurance Super50 Cup, was snapped up by the Barbados Pride. The Pride’s second pick was another Barbadian, seam bowler Akeem Jordan, who, like Bishop, took a five-wicket haul in the marquee 50-over event earlier this year. Windward Islands Volcanoes has also chosen youthful talents in Darius Martin, a fast bowler from St Vincent and the Grenadines and Gilon Tyson, a Dominican fast bowler who is also a capable lower-order batsman.

Guyana Jaguars, went for the more experienced Guyanese duo of wicket-keeper/batsman Anthony Bramble and fast bowler Keon Joseph; while Leeward Islands Hurricanes chose seamer, Antiguan Nino Henry and Daniel Doram from St. Maarten, a tall left-arm spinner. Jamaica Scorpions have put their faith in Jamaicans, Nicholson Gordon, the livewire fast bowler with eight first-class matches under his belt, as well as Alwyn Williams, a medium-fast bowler who bats left-handed, and who had so far made five appearances at the first-class level.

Starting July 1st 2021, a total of 90 professional cricketers inclusive of the 12 cricketers drafted today, will receive regional retainer contracts for the next twelve months.

The draft was conducted over two rounds, with each franchise allocated ninety (90) seconds to make their pick. Round one picks were completed in the reverse order of the tournament standings at the end of the 2019/2020 West Indies Championship, won by the Barbados Pride, meaning the Leeward Island Hurricanes had the first pick. The draft was independently supervised by BDO Eastern Caribbean.

 Full Squads for West Indies Championship 2021/2022:

 Leeward Islands Hurricanes: Colin Archibald, Sheno Berridge, Keacy Carthy, Jahmar Hamilton, Amir Jangoo OHT, Kofi James, Kian Pemberton, Ross Powell Jeremiah Louis, Devon Thomas, Damion Williams, Tyron Williams, Terance Ward, Nino Henry*, Daniel Doram*.

 

Windward Islands Volcanoes: Sunil Ambris, Alick Athanaze, Keron Cottoy, Kenneth Dember, Larry Edward, Kavem Hodge, Ryan John, Obed McCoy, Desron Malony, Preston McSween, Kimani Melius, Denis Smith, Devon Smith, Darius Martin*Gilon Tyson*.

 

Jamaica Scorpions: John Campbell, Sheldon Cottrell, Akim Fraser, Patrick Harty, Brandon King, Andre McCarthy, Jamie Merchant, Marquino Mindley, Paul Palmer, Rovman Powell, Jeavor Royal, Odean Smith, Oshane Thomas, Nicholson Gordon*, Alwyn Williams*.

 

Guyana Jaguars: Kelvon Anderson, Christopher Barnwell, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Chandrapaul Hemraj, Shimron Hetmyer, Leon Johnson, Gudakesh Motie, Keemo Paul, Veerasammy Permaul, Romario Shepherd, Vishaul Singh, Kevin Sinclair, Nial Smith, Anthony Bramble*, Keon Joseph*.

Trinidad &Tobago Red Force: Bryan Charles, Terrance Hinds, Imran Khan, Anderson Phillip, Khary Pierre, Jason Mohammed, Uthman Muhammed, Isaiah Rajah, Denesh Ramdin, Jayden Seales, Keegan Simmons, Jeremy Solozano, Tion Webster, Jyd Goolie*, Kirstan Kallicharan*.

 Barbados Pride: Shamarh Brooks, Roston Chase, Jonathan Carter, Dominic Drakes, Shane Dowrich, Justin Greaves, Keon Harding, Chemar Holder, Kyle Hope, Shayne Moseley, Raymon Reifer Ashley Nurse, Jomel Warrican, Akeem Jordan*, Joshua Bishop*

Jamaica defender Alvas Powell is currently in training the Major League Soccer (MLS) club Philadelphia Union, with a possible move on the cards.

The 29-year-old had joined Sudanese club Al-Hilal Clu in December after Inter Miami CF declined to offer him a new contract.  He had previously just made four appearances for the franchise owned by former Manchester United and Real Madrid star David Beckham.

According to reports, in addition to training with the unit, Powell played the second half as an unnamed trialist in a friendly last week when the Philadelphia Union 2 played against USL League Two club Real Central New Jersey.

Powell, who has also represented the Jamaica national team 49 times and scored twice, spent the majority of his career at MLS club Portland Timbers where he made 101 appearances between 2015 and 2018.  He has also had a spell at FC Cincinnati.

Powell has spent the majority of his career at right-back but he can also play centrally in the defense or in the midfield if need be.

Chris Gayle, Shakib al Hasan and Faf du Plessis will be playing at 2021 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) which takes place in St Kitts & Nevis from 28 August to 19 September.

Chris Gayle will be back with the St Kitts & Nevis Patriots, a team he played for in 2017 and 2018. Gayle guided the Patriots to their only Hero CPL final in his first year with the franchise. As the leading run-scorer in T20 history, he brings a huge amount of experience to the Patriots squad. 

Shakib al Hasan has joined the Jamaica Tallawahs for the 2021 season. This will be the second time that the world’s leading spin-bowling allrounder has represented the Tallawahs having been with the franchise in 2016 and 2017.

Faf du Plessis will be playing for the St Lucia Zouks this season. The former South Africa captain has been in outstanding form in recent months for the Chennai Super Kings at the Indian Premier League where he made four consecutive half-centuries, including 95 not out against Kolkata Knight Riders. This is his second stint at the Hero CPL having played for the Patriots in 2016.

 

 Reigning Olympic 100m champion, Elaine Thompson-Herah, will miss this weekend’s Doha Diamond League meet, despite being originally listed as a part of the line-up.

According to an announcement made by organisers last week, Thompson-Herah was expected to clash with compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Sha’Carri Richardson, and Marie-Josee Ta over the 100m distance.

However, earlier this week, when the start list was announced the athlete’s name was nowhere to be seen.  It was a similar situation last weekend, where weeks before, many had expected the athlete to make her season debut at the Gateshead Diamond League meet against Richardson and Fraser-Pryce.

The early season, high stakes Gateshead clash was won by Great Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith, prior to the race Richardson had clocked the season’s fastest time with 10.72.  Thompson-Herah is the second-fastest woman in the world this year with her time of 10.78 seconds.

Fraser-Pryce, the Doha 2019 world champion, ran the 100m for the first time in Gateshead, where she finished fourth in 11.51.  Thompson-Herah, who has a best of 10.70, the same as Fraser-Pryce and Richardson (10.72) are three of the fast women in history over the distance having clocked the joint-fourth and sixth fastest times over the distance.

 

 

Bahamian Olympic Champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo has admitted to having minor injury setbacks over the last few weeks but insists her Olympic preparations remain on track.

At the weekend, Miller-Uibo looked in great shape as she cruised to victory at the Adidas Boost Boston Games, in the women’s 200m straight.  In the rarely contested event, the athlete led wire to wire before cruising to the line in 22.08, which was 0.32 seconds ahead of second-place finisher Kortnei Johnson.

The time was a personal best for Johnson, who was closely followed by compatriot Wadeline Jonathas in her personal best of 22.57.

Trinidad & Tobago’s Michelle-Lee Ahye was also in the mix with a season’s best 22.62 and fellow Miller compatriot Tynia Gaither next in 22.96.

“It was a bouncy track, and I love a bouncy track.  It was a pretty easy and comfortable run,” Miller-Uibo said following the event.

“The last few weeks, we’ve been dealing with a few minor injuries, but we’re getting through it and just taking everything one step at a time,” she added.

The athlete could contest either the 400m, which she won at the Rio Olympics or the 200m where she has the fastest time in the world this season.

Shadae Lawrence’s second-place finish in the discus at the USATF Throws Fest in Arizona on Saturday was the second time she had lost in competition this season but it was perhaps her most significant achievement.

It took a world-leading throw of 70.22m from Dutchwoman Jorinde van Klinken to defeat the 25-year-old Jamaican, who achieved an important milestone of her own. Her fourth throw of 65.47m and fifth of 67.05m meant that she broke her own national record of 65.05 twice, and even more important, it was an indication that she was getting closer to her ultimate goal for this season.

“I was very happy to see those numbers. I really wanted to perform well at that meet. I was happy I could put it together and get the job done. I want to make my personal dream of being an Olympic finalist come true,” she said, explaining that the records, at this point in time, mean little by comparison.

“My only goal for the season is to make top 8 at the Olympics. I know this a great achievement (the national record) and I’m thankful but this wasn’t a goal of mine.”

The simple fact is that for Lawrence and her coach Julian Robinson the new milestone was not surprising but the immediate future is more about achieving the aforementioned goal and that for that to be accomplished, there is much work still left to be done. Robinson is under no illusions. He knows what needs to get done.

 “No, it wasn’t a surprise. Physically, I think she has the ability to produce those distances. However, she lacks the consistency and this is so for several reasons; her technique is not yet stable and she needs more exposure competing at the elite level or close to that,” he said.

Lawrence started the season with a win at the USF Bulls Invitational in Florida on March 20, throwing 63.75m, which surpassed the Olympic qualifying standard of 63.50m. She followed up with another win at the Florida State Relays on March 26 when she threw 62.88m.

After that, her performances dipped even though she kept winning. Throws of 57.76m and 57.86m resulted in victories at the USATF Sprint Summit on April 3 and at the Tom Jones Memorial Invitational, on April 16.

Two weeks later, she was second at the North Florida Invitational where she threw 58.66m before her big throws in Tucson last weekend.

The performances represented were the low-hanging fruit that she has been able to reach since she began working with Robinson in late 2019 with bigger goals in mind.

“I train really hard. My biggest aim for this season, physically, was to get stronger,” she said. “The past few years throwing, I wasn’t strong and I was throwing decent. I knew if I could get my strength to a certain level, I could be more consistent. So every time I get into the gym I’m pushing myself.”

She believes that she can get even stronger and be a lot more consistent with throws well above 60m in the weeks she has left before the Olympic Games this summer.

“If I consistently push myself I will get stronger. I already have that mentality so once I’m healthy I will be in the best shape physically for the Games,” she explained.

“I think to be able to throw consistently you must attack your training that way. For me, I just need to train consistently. Be consistent with my gym, plyometric work, working on technical aspects of the throw. That’s how consistency comes about.”

With that goal met, she fancies the possibility of springing a surprise in Tokyo; just like she did on Saturday, produce a throw that she never has managed to deliver before but one that could produce a record that will be more meaningful.

 “If I execute the way I’m preparing to physically and mentally then anything can happen,” she said.

“The Olympic Games isn’t a walkover, no major championship is. My aim is to fearlessly execute all my throws. Before the beginning of the season, my aim was the Olympics. I told myself it doesn’t matter how I compete throughout the season; I need to get it done starting July 31st.”

July 31 is the day of the qualifying round of the women’s discus.

 

Former West Indies captain, Darren Sammy, has admitted that a nasty delivery faced by batting legend Brian Lara from Pakistan fast bowling great Shoaib Akhtar made him fearfully question whether he wanted to continue playing cricket.

The incident took place during the 2004 ICC Champions Trophy in a semi-final encounter between the teams.  Lara, then the West Indies captain, was on 30 when the brutish delivery from the Rawalpindi Express spat off the pitch and caught the evading batsman in the back of the neck.

Sammy, then a 19-year-old, had watched from the bench.

“When I made my debut for the West Indies in the Champions Trophy, I remember Pakistan playing West Indies at the Rose Bowl in Hampshire. They were opening with Mohammad Sami, Waqar Younis, and Shoaib Akhtar," Sammy told The Current.

 "I saw Shoaib Akhtar bowling a bouncer to Brian Lara and hit him in the head. Brian Lara fell back, probably almost unconscious. I was sitting, and I was 19 years old next to Dwayne Bravo. I literally questioned whether I wanted to play cricket again. Shoaib Akhtar did that to me,” he added.

After staying down for a while, Lara left the field injured and did not return.  The West Indies, however, ended up winning the match easily with seven wickets to spare.

Jamaica quarter-miler Stephenie-Ann Mcpherson has expressed delight at seeing fans returning to the seats after a year of empty stadiums brought about due to the presence of the coronavirus pandemic.

Lower case counts across the UK and Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s confirmation that the next stage of the government’s roadmap out of lockdown was on track last week meant that 2000 fans were allowed to attend the Wanda Diamond League opener in Gateshead.

In cold wet conditions, McPherson, the 4x400m relay Olympic silver medallist, had to settle for second behind the United States’ Kendal Ellis who crossed the line in 51.86.  Mcpherson, who finished second in 51.96, however, admitted that conditions were difficult but turned also her attention to other things.

“I came out here just to see where I'm at but it wasn't good conditions to run in. I am grateful to come out here and finish injury-free,” McPherson said.

“To see people back in the stands is exciting and it's always good to have people to cheer you on.”

It was another Jamaican, Shanieka Ricketts, who stole the show after winning the women’s triple jump with a leap of 14.40m.

West Indies fast bowler, Alzarri Joseph, is set to join the St Lucia Zouks for the upcoming Caribbean Premier League season, after not being retained by St Kitts and Nevis Patriots.

The 24-year-old quick has been a part of the Patriots franchise since 2016.  Joseph did, however, struggle last seasons, claiming just three wickets from seven matches, at an expensive 9.29. In 2019, the pace bowler captured 9, the third most on the team, with an economy rate of 7.75.

Late last week, the Patriots announced that they had retained Evin Lewis, Fabian Allen, Sheldon Cottrell, Rayad Emrit, Jon-Russ Jaggesar, Joshua Da Silva, and Dominic Drakes.

Joseph is currently taking part in the English County Championships where he is currently representing Worcestershire.

This season’s Caribbean Premier League (CPL), which bowls off on August 28, will be held in its entirety on the island of St Kitts & Nevis.  This year could mark the return of fans, with fully vaccinated patrons expected to be allowed to attend a half capacity Warner Park venue.  The Patriots have never won the CPL but went to the final of the competition in 2017.

Shimona Nelson outshot Romelda Aiken as the Collingwood Magpies defeated the Queensland Firebird 68-65 in the Suncorp Superleague Netball tournament on Saturday.

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