West Indies fast bowler Shamar Joseph has been lauded by Cricket West Indies (CWI) for being named the International Cricket Council (ICC) Player of the Month for January, earning recognition for his outstanding performances in the two-match drawn Test Series against Australia.

Miles Bascombe, Cricket West Indies (CWI) Director of Cricket, extended congratulations to the Guyanese player on receiving the prestigious award, stating, "On behalf of Cricket West Indies, I wish to congratulate Shamar on this award, may it be the first of many in what is hopefully a long career in maroon."

The recognition from the ICC reflects Joseph's significant contributions to West Indies cricket and marks a memorable moment in his promising career

In the first Test at the Adelaide Oval, Joseph showcased his prowess with both bat and ball. He contributed a valuable 36 runs off 41 balls, including three fours and a six, facing the formidable Australian pace attack. Moreover, he impressed with a remarkable five-wicket haul, making a stunning debut in Test cricket. Notably, Joseph dismissed Steve Smith with his very first delivery and went on to claim the wickets of Marnus Labuschagne, Cameron Green, Mitchell Starc, and Nathan Lyon.

Undeterred by challenges, Joseph continued to make an impact in the second Test at the Gabba, Brisbane. Despite facing an injury setback, being hit flush in the toe by a yorker from Mitchell Starc, Joseph displayed resilience. In the first innings, he secured one wicket and retired hurt at the end of Day 3.

However, Day 4 saw a historic performance from Joseph. Despite entering the field late due to a uniform issue, he bowled an incredible spell of 11.5 overs, taking seven wickets. Joseph's stellar performance led West Indies to their first Test match victory in Australia in 27 years, ultimately tying the series.

 

The LSU track and field program has signed South Plains College sprinter Gregory Prince, Head Coach Dennis Shaver announced on Wednesday.

“LSU is surrounded with champions and that’s where I want to be,” said Prince.

The Spanish Town, Jamaica, native will arrive to LSU with plenty of experience at a young age. Prince specializes in the 400 meter and can get it done across 200 meters also. Currently he holds personal-best times of 45.70 seconds in the 400m and 20.92 seconds in the 200m.

At last year’s NJCAA Outdoor Championships he was able to record a collegiate personal-best time of 45.85 seconds to finish sixth. He also helped the 4×100-meter relay team to a third-place finish and a time of 39.76 seconds. Indoors, Prince finished 12th in 2023 at the Championship with a time of 21.40 seconds.

The former St. Jago High School student helped Jamaica to a silver-medal finish last year at the NACAC U23 Championships with a squad time of 3:19.66.

In high school Prince was the 2022 ISSA/Grace Kennedy Boys’ and Girls’ Athletics Championships Class One champion across 400m, winning with a time of 45.99 seconds.

At LSU, Prince joins fellow Caribbean athletes Jaiden Reid of the Cayman Islands, Jaden James of Trinidad and Tobago and Jahiem Stern of Jamaica on the school's men's roster.

Leicester’s meeting on Thursday and Friday’s fixture at Ffos Las have both been called off due to waterlogged tracks.

An inspection was called for 4.15pm on Wednesday at Leicester but areas of false ground left officials with no option.

Ffos Las officials were able to make their decision even earlier. An inspection was held on Wednesday morning and after heavy rain, the venue was not fit for action.

The track said on X: “Due to 70 millimetres of rain in the last seven days and with further rain forecast, racing on Friday 16th February has been abandoned.”

Thursday’s fixture at Newcastle must also survive an 8am inspection. The going is heavy and further rain is forecast overnight, while Clonmel’s meeting is also in doubt.

Clerk of the course Lorcan Wyer will inspect at 7.30am with overnight rain forecast on already heavy ground.

Milton Harris has withdrawn his appeal against the decision of the British Horseracing Authority’s Licensing Committee which ruled he is not a “fit and proper person” to hold a training licence.

The Warminster handler had his licence suspended by the BHA in November pending a hearing in January, with the BHA saying it was “a result of a breach of the conditions on his licence and related matters”.

The Licensing Committee said the concerns of the BHA surrounded “the nature and extent of MH’s admitted breaches of the conditions which already exist on his licence, which were imposed in 2018 and MH’s failure to be candid in his dealings with the BHA in respect of those breaches, particularly when the BHA was seeking to provide opportunities for MH to remedy those breaches”, “misconduct in his dealings with others, including fellow licence holder Mr Simon Earle” and “in respect of safeguarding arising out of MH’s conduct with young persons employed at his racing yard”.

Harris confirmed last week he had lodged an appeal, but the BHA said on Wednesday he had subsequently withdrawn it.

Harris, who started his training career in 2001, had a seven-year enforced absence from 2011 to 2018 due to financial issues.

Since returning to the sport he had saddled some notable winners, highlighted by Knight Salute, who claimed the 2022 Grade One Jewson Anniversary 4-y-o Juvenile Hurdle at Aintree along with three Grade Two victories that season.

The BHA also released a statement informing that conditional jockey Dylan Kitts had been issued with a disciplinary officer exclusion order having failed to comply with an investigation into his ride on Hillsin in July last year.

A disciplinary officer exclusion order is issued “in instances where a person’s presence on premises licensed by the BHA, or association with racing’s participants, is undesirable in the interests of racing based on their conduct”.

The statement read: “The BHA can today confirm that Mr Dylan Kitts has been issued with a disciplinary officer exclusion order as a result of his failure to co-operate with an investigation. This order, which prohibits Mr Kitts from attending premises licensed by the BHA and/or associating with racing’s participants, has been issued after Mr Kitts failed to provide relevant information requested by the BHA’s integrity team as part of an ongoing investigation.

“This investigation remains ongoing and the BHA will be making no further comment at this time.”

Classic Chase winner My Silver Lining will head to Haydock on Saturday for the Virgin Bet Grand National Trial, rather than wait for next week’s Eider Chase at Newcastle which was her original target.

While the ground is heavy at both tracks, Lavelle sees little point in waiting a week with her mare, who she reports to be “absolutely flying” on the gallops.

Only out of the first two once in her last six races, the improving eight-year-old jumped with aplomb at Warwick and held off Galia Des Liteaux to win the £100,000 race and she is now chasing another major prize.

“She’s absolutely flying. Our original plan was to go to the Eider, so we discussed it today and it came down to the fact they are both going to be run on heavy ground – so do we want to run over three and a half this week or wait a week to run over four-and-a-quarter,” said Lavelle.

“We only made the entry for Haydock as a bit of a back-up originally, but we just can’t guarantee the ground will be any better next week and with an extra half a mile in that ground, it’s a lost to ask of the mare.

“I wouldn’t be worried about any track for her, but anywhere where jumping is at a premium suits her.”

There was nothing at stake for either Trinidad and Tobago or Jamaica in their recent warm-up fixtures, but good results were still crucial to set a solid foundation on which they can build heading into their respective Concacaf Under-20 Men’s Championship assignments.

While there was no clear winner at the end of the two-match tie, as Trinidad and Tobago won the first 3-2 and Jamaica won the second 3-1, John Wall and Brian Haynes took heart from their team’s display across both games, though both highlighted the need for more improvements to achieve consistency.

Wall, Head coach of the young Reggae Boyz, heavily rotated players during the camp, as he also had the distinction of securing a goalless stalemate with one of Trinidad and Tobago’s senior club outfit.

“Three games, three different outcomes, but mainly it (the camp) was just to build a solid foundation in our style of play, how the environment is, what we value and what it takes to play in the national setting. So, it gave me a lot of answers as to where the players are at present, and what needs to be assessed as we move forward towards St Kitts, so hopefully the process can continue ahead of the tournament,” Wall said.

The Swedish tactician is expected to name a final squad this weekend, for their upcoming Concacaf Championship Group F assignment, which his young Reggae Boyz will open against Martinique next Saturday, followed by a clash with Grenada on February 26, before closing against Bermuda two days later, in St Kitts and Nevis.

“Martinique had four of their U-20 players in a game against Lille which they lost 12-0; Grenada has five English-based players that is going to be a part of their squad and we basically have them covered, and Bermuda are more of a dark horse. But for me it’s about controlling the controllable at this point in terms of what we can do,” Wall declared.

“My hope and aspiration (for the tournament) lie in the work that we put down and not the talent that we assess, so we have to do the work consistently because ultimately what I care about is making sure that Jamaica prevails,” he added.

Meanwhile, Haynes and his young Soca Warriors, also had a third warm-up contest which they lost 1-2 to Angus Eve’s senior team.  Though pleased with the cohesiveness within the camp, he underscored the importance of consistency heading into the tournament.

“We need to have some consistency. We have to work on being much more effective on offence. I think we do a good job getting the ball from the back to the midfield and to the top of the 18-yard (box), but the final product has to become better,” Haynes reasoned.

“All we have to do is keep working hard no matter what happens. We concentrated for the most part...I am thankful it is happening now and not in the tournament. While we didn’t win the game, the experience they got here is something you cannot get in practice,” he added.

Trinidad and Tobago will host Group D where they will open against St Vincent and the Grenadines next Friday, before tackling Dominica on February 25, and Canada on February 27.

With a number of overseas-based players are expected to try out for Haynes’ squad, he declared that they would only be considered, if they make the team better.

“This group here has made me proud, and I am saying I love it. We have good players coming from overseas, but we have good soccer players here in Trinidad, and if the guys that are coming in are not challenging these guys, this is what I am going with,” Haynes declared.

Only the group winners will progress to the next phase of the Concacaf Under-20 tournament to join the top teams –United States, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic –ranked in that order.

Aston Martini puts her unbeaten record on the line in the Weatherbys Cheltenham Festival Betting Guide Jane Seymour Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle at Sandown on Thursday.

Both Love Envoi and You Wear It Well have used the race as a stepping-stone towards Cheltenham Festival glory for the past two seasons, and another informative renewal looks to be in prospect.

Nicky Henderson’s Aston Martini was first past the post at Lingfield on Winter Millions weekend, only for the raceday stewards to deem she had caused interference to runner-up Ooh Betty. However, Aston Martini’s connections appealed the decision and were successful.

“It’s very exciting. She’s still got that unbeaten record to protect – she’s still a big work in progress, but so far so good,” said Liz Rutter, racing manager for the Henry Ponsonby syndicate.

“I think going back up in trip will probably help her as she’s won over further.

“Hopefully the ground won’t be too bad, but she did handle Lingfield and she seemed to handle that very well.

“She battled on very well there, she was headed and came back to win and really that was her first proper race, the first time she’s had to battle. She still seems progressive.

“Hopefully that form holds up as they think a lot of the Irish horse (Only By Night) in third. Obviously it will be hugely competitive and a big step up for her, but she’s an exciting one to have.”

Henderson also runs Either Or, a winner at Warwick last month.

Nigel Twiston-Davies inherited Smiling Getaway from Dan Skelton after she had run just one bumper, finishing fourth, but she has won both starts for her new yard.

Impressive at Ludlow, she made even more of an impression under a penalty at Warwick.

Assistant trainer Willy Twiston-Davies said: “She’s done absolutely nothing wrong since she came to us, she’s two from two.

“Her jumping has been fantastic, she stays very well so we’re hoping for a very good run.

“She’s earned this step up in grade, Aston Martini won OK last time but on the figures she should be bang there.

“I thought she won very well the last time and she’d taken a big step forward from her win at Ludlow to Warwick and hopefully there’s a bit more improvement to come.”

Skelton’s Cherie D’Am, Olly Murphy’s Little Miss Dante, Fergal O’Brien’s Springtime Promise and Lucy Wadham’s Jeune Belle complete the runners.

Blazing Khal will miss the Cheltenham Festival having suffered a fibrillating heart when defending his Boyne Hurdle crown – with a question mark over whether he will race again.

Charles Byrnes’ stable star won the Navan Grade Two following a long absence 12 months ago, teeing up an unsuccessful shot at the Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle at last year’s Festival.

Off the track for a further 332 days since finishing sixth in that Prestbury Park contest, connections were attempting to see if history could repeat itself when sent off 4-1 at Navan on Sunday.

However, he was one of the first to come under pressure, weakening after three out and eventually being pulled up by Philip Byrnes.

Blazing Khal’s trainer has now confirmed a return to the Cotswolds is off the cards and the eight-year-old will be given an easy time before a further decision is made on his future.

Byrnes said: “We’re going to give him a few weeks off, he had a fibrillating heart afterwards and that was the reason he ran so bad.

“He is not going to Cheltenham and we’re not making any plans going forwards at the moment.

“Whether he’ll race again or not we don’t know, we will just see how he is in a couple of weeks and make a decision then.”

Craig Kieswetter has paid tribute to the training prowess of Willie Mullins, as the former England cricketer begins to dream of Cheltenham Festival glory with Leopardstown scorer Il Etait Temps.

Owned by the Kieswetter family’s Barnane Stud in conjunction with the Heffer family’s Hollywood Syndicate, the six-year-old struck at the Dublin Racing Festival for the second year in a row.

Having lowered the colours of Facile Vega over hurdles 12 months ago, Il Etait Temps was back to cause another upset in the Irish capital, this time the beneficiary of Marine Nationale’s Irish Arkle no show, as he battled past Found A Fifty in the hands of Danny Mullins for his second Grade One success.

The South Africa-born Kieswetter played 71 times for England in white-ball internationals and is also a scratch golfer, having competed on both the PGA EuroPro Tour and MENA Golf Tour since his retirement from cricket.

As such, he is well qualified to judge sporting excellence and has always spoken in glowing terms of Il Etait Temps’ trainer, the master of Closutton.

“He’s probably along the lines of a Messi or Ronaldo or a Schumacher – he’s a champion,” said Kieswetter when explaining what makes Mullins so prolific.

“He’s going to go down as one of the all-time greats, but there is still plenty of life in the old dog yet. He certainly isn’t ready to hand over the reins yet and you can see how passionate and energetic and driven he is to keep winning and getting the results.”

The 36-year-old also reserved plenty of praise for Il Etait Temps and his jockey, as they both advertised their class at the back-end of a thrilling renewal of the two-mile Grade One event.

“It was very impressive and it might have just been fate or destiny with it being a year to the day since he won his first Grade One,” continued Kieswetter.

“We were delighted and it was another terrific ride from Danny (Mullins) – I was very hoarse the next day after shouting so loudly at the TV.

“It was terrific to have Ross Doyle there on course; Peter, Ross and Anna Doyle are good friends of the family and sourced the horse for us, so it is fantastic that they were there.

“He’s quite a difficult horse to follow I suppose, because his jumping – even though it is getting better than it was over hurdles – is still quite inconsistent and he is certainly a horse who puts you through the full range of emotions when you are watching a race.”

Il Etait Temps’ gutsy triumph came on a weekend where Mullins claimed all eight Grade One prizes on offer at the Dublin Racing Festival.

Mullins’ dominance at one of Ireland’s premier meetings left people questioning if his superiority is diminishing the competitive nature of the sport.

However, Kieswetter has leapt to Mullins’ defence – highlighting his winning mentality and great ability to treat every owner and horse among his vast arsenal equally.

“I have read articles questioning if it is good for the industry that Willie is dominating, but at the end of the day, Willie Mullins provides results and this is a results-based sport,” continued Kieswetter.

“With Willie and his team – not only his management team, but the whole staff – you have never once had a feeling of bias in the yard, which is probably a very difficult thing for them to do.

“Every single horse is treated equally and given the opportunity to run their race, no matter how many he may also saddle in the same race.

“You go to Closutton and you see the professionalism of Willie and his staff. What we have always been impressed with about Willie is he gives a lot of ownership to his staff in terms of the horses, which is impressive to see.

“His results speak for themselves and we have always been delighted to be associated with him.

“He’s set up a model at his yard that works and I think it is a bit unfair for the industry to be having a crack at him and saying it is the Willie Mullins Festival. The drive at the yard is very impressive and very fun to be a small part of.”

Il Etait Temps is now the general second-favourite for the Arkle at the Cheltenham Festival and, having twice ran with credit at the showpiece meeting, has connections excited ahead of his third bite of the Prestbury Park cherry.

Kieswetter added: “Horse racing is about selling the dream and I’ve never enjoyed going into a race with lots of media and talk about a horse, but he has certainly proven that he deserves to be not taken lightly.

“We will certainly be over there and we’re excited every year for Cheltenham – and we can’t wait to be there cheering on Il Etait Temps with the team.”

Broadway Boy was found to be suffering from stomach ulcers after he disappointed at Warwick behind Grey Dawning.

Having won three of his first four outings over fences, the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained novice was prominent in the betting for the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase next month.

However, having been harried for the lead he was beaten approaching the second last and finished over 30 lengths behind Grey Dawning.

Whether he now steps up in trip for the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham or goes for the Grade One Brown Advisory has still to be decided.

“It’s completely up in the air and there’s a lot of water to go under the bridge yet,” said assistant trainer Willy Twiston-Davies.

“It’s been narrowed down to either the Brown Advisory or the National Hunt Chase but that is it, we’re not sure yet and we’ll make a decision the week before, probably. Both options are definitely open.

“It will be a case of seeing who goes where and what the ground is looking like.

“He’d be close to the top of the ratings for the National Hunt Chase whereas he might have to improve slightly for the Brown Advisory, but we’ll see nearer the time.

“He scoped badly after Warwick and then we also found that he had stomach ulcers as well, but we’re back on track now.”

Tellherthename is all systems go for the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle having missed out on a shot at Newbury’s Betfair Hurdle on account of the testing ground.

Trainer Ben Pauling has never hidden his admiration for highly of his talented novice, who has won two of his four starts to date in taking fashion at Huntingdon.

The Cheltenham Festival opener has always been on the radar for the Megson family-owned five-year-old, but Pauling was keen to stop off at Newbury en route and try to exploit a rating of 135.

However, with persistent rain in the days leading into the prestigious handicap turning conditions in Berkshire heavy, connections made the decision to skip the contest in favour of heading to Prestbury Park without the risk of a gruelling race prior to his main objective.

“It’s ironic because the Betfair Hurdle is such a valuable race and takes a lot of thinking about, but the Supreme is one of the sort of blue riband events of our sport,” said Pauling.

“To have a horse we think is good enough to feature in it doesn’t happen very often and the owners were keen to save him for that day rather than end up at Cheltenham having had a harder race than necessary in the Betfair.

“We had always said to ourselves we would love to go via a Betfair Hurdle if everything fell right. So he was trained for the race and couldn’t have been in better form, but unfortunately the rain that Newbury got meant the ground was always going to be too testing.

“Actually, the fact the rain stopped and it started to dry out a little bit meant it was going to be quite tacky and hard work, so that even further secured our thoughts not to go there which was a shame because we thought we had him going there in great form and off a very nice mark and a good position to do himself justice.

“He’s at home in his stable looking magnificent and we will now prepare him for the Supreme.”

The Naunton Downs handler has tasted success three times at the Cheltenham Festival and heads to the showpiece meeting in four weeks time with the best squad of novice talent he has ever assembled.

His Festival hopes were enhanced by Handstands’ impressive victory in Sidney Banks Memorial Novices’ Hurdle last week and he will now head attempt to repeat Willoughby Court’s 2017 victory in the Baring Bingham Novices’ Hurdle, while Fiercely Proud and Challow Hurdle third The Jukebox Man are other smart prospects Pauling could unleash in the Cotswolds.

“We do seem to have a lot of novices that are going the right way at the moment and they are a very talented and progressive bunch. It’s nice to have such nice younger horses.” continued Pauling.

On Handstands, he added: “He’s come out of Huntingdon well and I was really, really pleased with his performance in the Sidney Banks.

“He’s a horse that previous to that race had only beaten what he had beaten, but Ben Jones who had ridden him twice before felt we were only scratching the surface and had not got to the bottom of him.

“You are not quite sure until you run them in that better grade what you have, but we were thrilled by the way he went about it and he put the race to bed quite nicely – when he got to the front he didn’t do an awful lot and probably won a bit cosily, so it was a good performance.”

Northampton Town has secured the services of experienced defender Liam Moore on a short-term deal, adding depth to their squad until the end of the season. The 31-year-old defender, formerly with Reading, has been a free agent since his contract with the Royals concluded in June 2023.

Moore, who began his career with Leicester City, brings a wealth of experience and pedigree to Northampton Town. Having made 234 appearances during his tenure with Reading, Moore has demonstrated his defensive prowess and leadership on the field.

Northampton manager Jon Brady expressed his satisfaction with the acquisition, emphasizing Moore's positive integration with the squad during training. "He has already fitted in well with the group, and he brings with him a good amount of experience and an excellent pedigree," said Brady in a statement on the club website.

The seasoned defender faced a challenging period when he was stripped of the Reading captaincy in January 2022 after expressing his desire to leave the club. Subsequently, Moore joined Stoke City on loan in the same month, but his time on the field was cut short due to a serious injury sustained during training.

The defender received his first call-up to the Jamaica national team in March 2021, joining a group of English-born players embracing their Jamaican heritage. Since his debut in March 2021, Moore has earned nine international caps for the Reggae Boyz.

Maureen Mullins, matriarch of the famous Irish racing family, has died aged 94.

Wife of multiple champion trainer Paddy Mullins, who died in 2010, Maureen Mullins was the mother of trainer Willie, fellow Grade One-winning handlers Tony and Tom, renowned horse transporter George and daughter Sandra – all of who were victorious in the saddle.

She was also a winning rider herself, steering Razzo Forte to glory in a female riders’ event at Gowran Park in 1982, a race which her daughter also rode in.

Her grandchildren include record-breaking amateur rider Patrick, multiple Grade One-winner Danny, and David, who rode Rule The World to win the 2016 Grand National.

Grandsons Charlie and Emmet have also ridden winners while the latter trained a Grand National victor in 2022 Aintree hero Noble Yeats, underlining the family’s incredible influence on National Hunt racing.

Danny Mullins posted on X (formerly Twitter): “What a woman, such an inspiration. RIP.”

She was involved as an owner and breeder down the years, with Kilcruit a recent feather in her cap having won the Grade One Punchestown bumper following his sale having initially raced in her colours.

The British Horseracing Authority paid tribute to her “tremendous passion for the sport”, saying: “All of us at the BHA are saddened to learn of the passing of Maureen Mullins. We extend our condolences to the Mullins family today.

“Maureen Mullins had a tremendous passion for the sport to which she gave so much and her legacy will continue to be felt for generations to come.”

Sir Alex Ferguson will have the chance to secure further international honours after Richard Fahey confirmed his Spirit Dancer is on course for the Neom Turf Cup in Saudi Arabia later this month.

The former Manchester United manager was no stranger to glory overseas during his time in the dugout and alongside co-owners Peter Done and Ged Mason saw Spirit Dancer collect £500,000 when victorious in the Bahrain International Trophy in November.

The seven-year-old has since tuned up for his outing in Riyadh by finishing fourth in the Jebel Hatta at Meydan and Fahey is confident that will put him spot on for the $2million event on February 24.

“I was delighted to get that run in Dubai into him,” said Fahey.

“We were pleased with the run and we were probably just drawn a little bit wide – hopefully the run will put him 100 per cent right for Saudi.

“We’re going to run in the Neom. I was keen to go for the big one there (Saudi Cup), but I just felt nine furlongs on the dirt would be sharp enough for him. He’s a horse I would probably want to go a mile and a half in Saudi rather than a sharp nine, if that makes sense.”

Spirit Dancer’s owners revelled in their Bahrain success before Christmas, with Ferguson describing it as his “best ever” victory as an owner.

All of the son of Frankel’s ownership trio appear keen on another visit to the Middle East, with Fahey predicting a strong showing from his charge in the extended 10-furlong turf contest.

“Barring problems I’m sure his owners are very keen,” continued Fahey.

“Peter Done and Ged Mason are both very keen and Sir Alex is keen as well, so it looks like they are booking and barring problems I would say they will probably be there.

“We certainly enjoyed Bahrain and anything now is a bonus, but we’re expecting him to run a big race in Saudi.”

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