West Indies T20 star Chris Gayle has revealed that he skipped this season’s India Premier League (IPL) draft because he did feel like he was getting the respect he deserved.

The 42-year-old has been one of the tournament’s most successful and recognisable players since first appearing at the tournament in 2009.  The batsman, however, struggled to find his way last season while representing the Punjab Kings, managing just 193 runs from 10 games.

In addition, the batsman also made the headline after being surprisingly dropped on his birthday and eventually left the tournament early.  In the previous season, Gayle eventually scored an impressive 288 in 7 games but was left out of the team for the first 6 matches.

“For the last couple of years, the way the IPL went about, I felt like I wasn’t treated properly.  So I thought ‘okay, you (Gayle) didn’t get the respect you deserved after you did so much for the sport and IPL,” Gayle told The Mirror UK.

“So, I said ‘okay, that’s it, I’m not going to bother to enter the draft,’ so I left it as it is. There is always going to be life after cricket so I’m just trying to adapt to normality,” he added.

Much like his international career, however, Gayle does not believe his tenure in the IPL is over and claims he could return next season.

“Next year I’m coming back, they need me! I’ve represented three teams in the IPL, Kolkata, RCB, and Punjab. Between RCB and Punjab, I would love to get a title, with one of those two teams. I had a great stint with RCB where I was more successful within the IPL and Punjab, they’ve been good. I love to explore and I love challenges so let’s see what happens,” the 42-year-old said.

The India tour of the West Indies is expected to bowl off on July 22, with matches scheduled to take place in Trinidad, St Kitts, and the United States.

According to reports, the tour is expected to consist of three ODIs and five T20Is and should be the first major test for new West Indies skipper Nicholas Pooran.  Pooran took charge of the team last week, following the retirement of all-rounder Kieron Pollard.

The first of the five-match T20I matches will be played at the Brian Charles Lara Stadium on July 29, and that should be followed by two encounters at Warner Park in St Kitts and Nevis between August 1 and 2.

The last two matches will also be held on back-to-back days, but that venue will be in Florida on August 6 and 7.

Things will get underway with the 50-over matches, which will be conducted at Trinidad’s Queen Park Oval on July 22, 24, and 27.

A change of environment in the offseason seems to be paying off for Natalliah Whyte, Jamaica’s 2019 World Championships gold medallist, who last weekend ran a brand new lifetime best in the 100m, which signalled that good things could be in store for the remainder of the season.

In 2019, Whyte who was then training at MVP International in Florida ran a blistering lead-off leg before handing off to 100m gold medallist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce as Jamaica sped to a gold medal in the 4x100m relay at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Qatar.

Notwithstanding the intervening ‘pandemic year’, 2020, when Covid-19 shut the world down; her confidence boosted by the gold-medal performance in Doha, Whyte began 2021 in fine form running a lifetime best of 11.04 at the Pure Athletics Sprint Elite Meet in Miramar, Florida on May 2. However, for reasons that she is yet to comprehend, Whyte failed to make Jamaica's team to the Tokyo Olympic Games after finishing seventh in the 100m semi-finals at the National Championships last June in a disappointing 11.52.

“I don’t know what happened to be honest. I started the season well but didn’t progress,” she said while revealing that the disappointment of not making the team to Tokyo was hard to take.

“I took not making the team really hard but sometimes we rise, sometimes we fall but you have to know how to turn negatives into positives.”

During the season break, Whyte took the decision to leave the MVP International training group for the Rana Reider-led Tumbleweed group in Jacksonville, hoping that a change of environment might bring about the change she needed.

“I eventually started to take the positives from last season and knew that eventually, I had to leave the past in the past because it already happened and there was nothing I could do but work on the future. So this is a new chapter and I am just trying to work even harder, stay healthy and apply what I’m learning,” she said.

So far, it seems to be working well.

On April 30, in her first 100m of the season at the UNF Invitational in Jacksonville, she ran a lifetime best of 10.97 to follow up on the 22.57 she ran over 200m two weeks before at the Tom Jones Memorial Invitational in Gainesville.

“I’m really happy with the results as much as you would imagine,” she told Sportsmax.TV afterwards. “I just want to stay patient, continue to work on the many things I can improve on and see what else God has in store for me.”

She does admit, however, that despite the early success, making the move to Tumbleweed to work with Reider was not an easy decision but she believes it was the correct one.

“I have to say making changes is hard but sometimes changes can be good,” she said.

“I have been working on a lot of things and also learning a lot of new things so hopefully putting the new knowledge together will help me reach the goals I have made for myself for this season.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Jamaica international Leon Bailey has vowed to not give up in the face of a difficult season at English Premier League (EPL) club Aston Villa.

The 24-year-old winger is back on the sideline for a third spell this term after leaving the field just before half-time last weekend.  It appears the player picked up what looked to be an ankle injury.  Aston Villa coach Steven Gerrard confirmed that the prognosis is not as bad as first feared but the player will still miss the team’s fixture against Burnley this weekend.

"Leon Bailey won't make the game," the manager told a news conference on Friday. "He left the pitch last week and unfortunately this game will come too soon. I don't think we're dealing with a serious issue... but he won't be at Burnley.”

The injury is the third for Bailey, who has had a stop-start season to life at the club, with a thigh injury previously putting him on the sidelines for weeks, on two separate occasions.  For his part, the forward is determined to recover from his early setbacks and looks determined to return before the end of the season.

“This season has been very tough, but God gives the hardest battles to his strongest soldiers. The most important thing is to overcome all those obstacles in your way & never give up, that’s what makes you a solid/stronger individual,” Bailey posted via social media platform Instagram.

“I just wanna say I really appreciate all the love and support from everyone & I’ll be back VERY soon.”

West Indies bowling great, Sir Andy Roberts was recently recognized by the Windward Islands Cricket Board (WICB) for his continued contribution to cricket development in the West Indies.

WICB President Dr Kishore Shallow presented a plaque to Sir Andy following a fruitful engagement with fast bowlers at the Windward Islands franchise. The West Indian cricket legend travelled to Grenada, home of the Volcanoes franchise, from April 27 – 30, 2022.

The franchise hosted Sir Andy to observe and help the fast bowlers as they prepare for the resumption of the West Indies regional 4-day tournament. The exchanges included discussions on the theory and art of fast bowling. International players Shermon Lewis and Preston McSween participated in the sessions.

“As we continue the efforts to zoom in on specific components of the game, this fast bowling engagement was timely and productive,” said WICB Technical Director, Miles Bascombe.

“The experience and knowledge that Sir Andy has shared with these cricketers are invaluable and will eventually bear fruits.”

WICB Vice President Dwain Gill said Sir Andy’s presence was crucial for the development of the young bowlers.

“Hosting Sir Andy aligns with the New Windwards policy of advancing our cricketers on all fronts,” he said.

“While this was primarily about developing our fast bowlers’ skills, another critical element of this activity was to allow these young players to identify with a West Indian legend and be inspired.”

The Volcanoes team travels on May 15 to Trinidad and Tobago for the final three rounds of the regional four-day tournament.

Jamaica track and field superstar Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce insists she will not focus on the absence of American Sha’Carri Richardson ahead of the World Athletics Continental Tour, at the Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi, Kenya, on Saturday.

Instead, the nine-time World Champion is more intent on keeping her attention on the rest of the field that she is set to face, which will include 200m Olympic silver medallist Christine Mboma of Namibia.

Ahead of the meet, a lot of attention had been placed on the possibility of another 100m match-up between the Fraser-Pryce and Richardson, no doubt a spillover from last season which feature a highly-anticipated showdown at the Eugene Diamond League meet.  Just two days ahead of the Continental Tour, however, and for the third time this season, it was discovered that Richardson had withdrawn from the meet without a public explanation being provided.

Last year, the Eugene match-up between Richardson and Fraser-Pryce had been billed as a great redemption story of sorts for the American.  The athlete had missed out on facing the Jamaica medal-winning trio of Fraser-Pryce, Elaine Thompson-Herah, and Shericka Jackson at the Olympics, after being suspended for a month for marijuana usage. 

Despite the American’s presence, however, the Jamaicans finished in the same order as the Tokyo Games, where Thompson-Herah finished ahead of Fraser-Pryce and Jackson third. Richardson finished in last place.

“As far as I’m concerned there are seven other competitors in the race that I think deserve the same amount of attention and respect as me because when we each line up to compete I don’t think we are fearful of who is beside us or in the next lane.  We are just here to compete and give our best,” Fraser-Pryce told members of the media.

“So, if someone is missing from the competition it doesn’t stop me from focusing on what I’m here to do and getting the job done.”

In addition to Mboma, the 100m field will consist of the USA’s Shannon Ray, Maximilla Imali (Ken), Bassant Hemida (Egy), Rani Rosius (BEL), Patrizia Vanderweken (Lux), and Javianne Oliver (USA).

 

Top Windies batsman Chris Gayle believes the position of team captain is good for a player’s individual growth and insists he thoroughly enjoyed his time in the position.

The hard-hitting left-hander served as captain of the West Indies team from 2007 to 2010, with what can be described as mixed fortunes.  In One Day International’s Gayle led the team for 53 games, winning 17 and losing 30 for a 56 percent win ratio.  In Tests, he was in charge for 20 matches, winning 3 losing 9, and drawing 8.

Despite the record and a few controversies, Gayle believes his time in charge was well worth it.

“It made me a better person.  It grows you and you relate to people more.  You know who is for you.  It gives you a challenge and when the pressure is on that when you know who will fight for you and who is there for you.  It’s always a good thing to be a captain and a good thing to lead your country as well,” Gayle told Talksport Radio.

Gayle, in the meantime, has commended England for their choosing Ben Stokes as their new captain and tipped the all-rounder to excel in the role.

“I think it’s the best choice to have a guy like Ben Stokes, he’s been around world-class players and a proper all-rounder.  I think he’s the best choice to lead the England side.  It was tough for Joe Root to step down, but I’m sure he will get support from Root and the rest of the players.”

The West Indies recently made a new captaincy appointment of their own after Nicholas Pooran was appointed ODI captain following the recent retirement of Kieron Pollard.

The Surrey Royals were crowned champions of the inaugural Dream 11 Jamaica T10 tournament after securing a four-wicket win over the Surrey Kings, at Sabina Park, in Kingston on Thursday.

The Kings got to a competitive 110-7 after the Royals won the toss and elected to field first.

That total would’ve been a lot different without a crucial 52 off 32 balls from opener Kennar Lewis.

The Jamaica Tallawahs opener’s innings included one four and five sixes.

Pete Salmon (2-17), Raewin Senior (2-14), and Ryan Francis (2-29) were the best bowlers for the Royals.

The Royals reply looked in bad shape at 63-4 off 5.4 overs before an enterprising knock of 37, off just 14 balls, from Carlos Brown left them needing 18 runs from 17 balls for victory at the time of his dismissal in the eighth over.

Salmon (21 not out) and Jamie Hay (6 not out) then held their nerve to carry the Royals over the line at 114-6 off 9.1 overs.

Leroy Lugg (21) and Romaine Morris (15) also contributed with the bat for the champions, while Andre Dennis with 2-25 was the most successful bowler for the Kings.

 

Former West Indies batsman Philo Wallace is surprised at the decision by the Cricket West Indies (CWI) selection panel to not name a vice-captain for the T20I team.

Trinidadian left-hander Nicholas Pooran was announced as the West Indies’ new T20 and ODI skipper on Tuesday following the retirement of former captain Kieron Pollard from international cricket last month.

Barbados batsman Shai Hope was named the ODI vice-captain but there was no such announcement for the T20 format.

“Shai Hope is being designated as his deputy for the 50-over squad. There’s no vice-captain for the T20 squad, which I find very interesting,” said Wallace while appearing on the Mason & Guest Radio Show in Barbados on Tuesday.

Missing international assignments has been a big problem for the West Indian players, who are involved in various T20 leagues around the world and Wallace hopes this doesn’t become an issue with the new Windies skipper.

“His first assignment is away to Holland and I hope that we don’t hear that Pooran is going to miss a lot of international cricket after being elevated to this very serious post. I do hope that the selectors would’ve sat down with him via zoom and have a serious discussion with him about what they are expecting of him and what he’s expecting of himself and try to pick the best possible squads going forward,” he said.

“All I can say is I wish him all the very best and I do hope that he can help turn our cricket around and work closely with the players, selection panel and the coaches to try to lift the quality of our white ball cricket,” Wallace added.

Pooran has so far scored 1121 runs at an average of 40.03 in 37 ODIs and 1193 runs at an average of 27.74 in 57 T20Is.

Hosts the Dominican Republic and Jamaica bowed out of the CONCACAF Women’s Under-17 Championship on Wednesday as Mexico, United States, Canada and Puerto Rico sealed places in the final four.

Reigning champions, the USA blanked Jamaica 4-0 in the first game of the day played at the Estadio Panamericano in San Cristobal.

Amalia Villarreal scored her eighth goal of the tournament to open the scoring in the fourth minute for the winners who also got goals from Charlotte Kohler in the 32nd, Riley Jackson in the 42nd. Melina Rebimbas completed the scoring in the 56th.

Meanwhile, at the Estadio Olimpico Felix Sanchez in Santo Domingo, Mexico drubbed the host nation Dominican Republic, 10-0.

Tatiana Flores (16’, 33’, 41’) and Alice Soto (19’, 22’, 38’) each had a hat trick and were joined on the scoresheet by Maribel Flores (37’), Natalia Colin (49’), Deiry Ramirez (70’) and Layla Sirdah (80’).

The second game of the day at the Estadio Olimpico Felix Sanchez saw Puerto Rico meet El Salvador and in the end the spoils belonged to the Boricuas, 2-0.

Marilia Nieves-Melchor broke the deadlock in the 37’ for a 1-0 Puerto Rico lead, followed by Indigo Sims’ insurance score in the 65’ to complete the 2-0 scoreline.

Wrapping up the day at the Estadio Panamericano was Canada downing Costa Rica, 3-0.

It was a tight first half between the two teams, with each side getting good looks at goal.

However, the difference came in the second half beginning with Jaime Perrault’s goal in the 54’. Renee Watson doubled the advantage to 2-0 in the 66’ and then 2022 CWU17 leading scorer Rosa Maalouf scored her 10th goal of the tournament in the 70’ to seal the 3-0 triumph.

The Seattle Sounders are already looking ahead to taking on either Liverpool or Real Madrid after achieving "immortality" by winning the CONCACAF Champions League.

The Sounders beat Pumas UNAM 3-0 at Lumen Field on Wednesday to complete a 5-2 aggregate triumph and finally deliver a first Champions League title for MLS.

Seattle are the league's third CONCACAF champions but first in the Champions League era after a series of heartbreaks for rival clubs.

Two goals from Raul Ruidiaz and a late clincher from captain Nicolas Lodeiro sparked scenes of mass celebration in front of a raucous, record crowd of over 68,741.

Garth Lagerwey, the Sounders' general manager, gave Extratime his assessment: "Immortality. You get into sports for stuff people can never take away.

"This will be written down, it will be there forever. Hopefully it's the first of many."

Real Salt Lake, CF Montreal, Toronto FC and Los Angeles FC had each previously fallen at this final hurdle.

Now, for MLS, Lagerwey says, Seattle are "the symbol, we're the tip of the spear, we pushed through, we finally did it, we vanquished the demons".

"But everybody's welcome," he added. "We want a crowded mountaintop up here. We don't want to be up here by ourselves."

Playing just hours after Madrid had completed an epic semi-final fightback against Manchester City in UEFA's Champions League, Lagerwey could not help consider a Club World Cup clash with a European giant.

"We're going to play against Real Madrid or Liverpool in a real game for a trophy," he said, with Seattle's place in the tournament secure. "I feel like a little kid. This is the stuff you dream of."

The Sounders had already won two MLS Cups, a Supporters' Shield and four U.S. Open Cups, but this victory takes the club to another level entirely.

"I think we're going to become a global club now," the GM added.

"I've got to think my phone's got to start ringing once some people see what our fanbase, our building... it's as good a soccer environment as anywhere in the world. It just is. This is a pretty special place."

A Raul Ruidiaz brace helped secured the Seattle Sounders their first CONCACAF Champions League title, with a 3-0 victory over Pumas UNAM to win 5-2 on aggregate on Wednesday.

With the scores level to open the game, it proved to be a very cagey opening 45 minutes and the Sounders faced early difficulty, with Nouhou Tolo and Joao Paulo forced off with injuries.

Brian Schmetzer's side got a break just before the interval, however, with Raul Ruidiaz scoring following a scramble in the penalty area in the 45th minute.

Needing to chase the game with the ball, Pumas really struggled to create anything of substance in the second half as the Sounders absorbed pressure.

Indicative of the second leg's complexion, the best chance with the tie in the balance fell to Seattle via Alex Roldan, who intercepted a rushed throw out from Alejandro Talavera in the Pumas goal.

Ruidiaz eventually wrapped up the tie and trophy for Seattle, scoring in transition in the 80th minute. After his two penalties in the first leg, Nico Lodeiro scored Seattle's third in the 87th minute after another Pumas loss of possession.

A Raul Ruidiaz brace helped secured the Seattle Sounders their first CONCACAF Champions League title, with a 3-0 victory over Pumas UNAM to win 5-2 on aggregate on Wednesday.

With the scores level to open the game, it proved to be a very cagey opening 45 minutes and the Sounders faced early difficulty, with Nouhou Tolo and Joao Paulo forced off with injuries.

Brian Schmetzer's side got a break just before the interval, however, with Raul Ruidiaz scoring following a scramble in the penalty area in the 45th minute.

Needing to chase the game with the ball, Pumas really struggled to create anything of substance in the second half as the Sounders absorbed pressure.

Indicative of the second leg's complexion, the best chance with the tie in the balance fell to Seattle via Alex Roldan, who intercepted a rushed throw out from Alejandro Talavera in the Pumas goal.

Ruidiaz eventually wrapped up the tie and trophy for Seattle, scoring in transition in the 80th minute. After his two penalties in the first leg, Nico Lodeiro scored Seattle's third in the 87th minute after another Pumas loss of possession.

Bahamian quarter milers Shaunae Miller-Uibo and Steve Gardner have reportedly been confirmed for next month’s Paris Diamond League meeting.

The meet will be the seventh in the series, which runs off with the Doha Diamond League meet on May 13.  An appearance at the Paris meeting, scheduled for June 18, could mark a long-awaited return to the city for the reigning 400m Olympic Champions.

Miller-Uibo, who has won the 200m event at the 2017, 2018, and 2019 editions and the 400m, at the 2017 event, has not appeared at the Paris meet since 2011.  Gardiner has yet to win the title and last made an appearance in Monaco in 2019. 

The duo has been in splendid form early this season with Miller-Uibo claiming the 400m title at the World Indoor Championship and Gardiner registering a number of impressive times indoors before opening the outdoor season with world-leading 44.22 seconds at the LSU Alumni Gold meet.

 

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