The Cricket West Indies (CWI) Selection Panel has named 30 players for an estimated month-long West Indies Women’s high-performance camp to be held in Antigua starting on May 2.

This will be the second such month-long camp in 2021 assembled under the guidance of Head Coach Courtney Walsh and his support team.

With the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifiers now rescheduled for December, Coach Walsh has devised a programme to maximize team preparations ahead of international cricket and the qualifiers later in the year.

“The purpose of this camp is to work on consistency and game awareness. The last camp was more observational, and we got a pretty good idea of where the ladies are at. There are 30 players coming in and a few of them are coming in nursing injuries, so the coaching staff and medical team are ready to work with all of them,” he said.

“We are going to use this camp to see as much of the players as possible. I am most excited to see the younger ones coming into the camp because we’re trying to build the pool of players available. So, I think it’ll be a great opportunity for these youngsters and the other new players to grasp the chance before them.”

Among the 30 players called up for the camp are eight (8) uncapped players including teenagers Zaida James from St. Lucia and Jannillea Glasgow from St. Vincent and the Grenadines. James is a left-arm medium-pacer while Glasgow is a right-arm medium pacer.

The other uncapped players are Rashada Williams, Caneisha Isaac, Shanika Bruce, Mandy Mangru and Rachel Vincent. Making a return to the camp is left-handed wicket-keeper/batter Kycia Knight.

CWI’s Lead Selector for Women’s cricket, Ann Browne-John was excited by the bigger pool of players for this camp.

 “It is very important to have the West Indies players back in a training camp as the coaches can continue to help them hone their skills as we prepare for our next series. Most of the top international teams have now restarted playing and it is critical for the WI team to prepare as we anticipate more international cricket coming up this summer,” she said while indicating that the camp will also focus on specific areas for development.

“In an effort to continue to unearth talent, eight players have been included who were not in the January camp. It serves as an opportunity for the coaches and selectors to look at some of the young up and coming players. Due to the pandemic, a regional tournament has not been held yet, so the players haven’t had the opportunity to impress the selectors in competitive matches.

“Heavy emphasis has been placed on batters including first-timers Rachel Vincent, an opening batter from Trinidad and Tobago, and Mandy Mangru, a young player from Guyana who has been impressive in the Under-19 tournament. The camp also includes two young teenage medium pacers, Zaida James and Jannillea Glasgow.”

Cricket West Indies (CWI) has been working closely with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Sport in Antigua & Barbuda to orchestrate logistics and agree on the safety protocols for the camp after the successful hosting of the first Women’s high-performance camp, the CG Insurance Super50 Cup and the West Indies Men’s International Home Series against Sri Lanka. All players and support staff were tested with negative COVID-19 results before their arrival in Antigua. The players and support staff will train and live in a bio-secure bubble for the duration of the camp.

Full squad: Aaliyah Alleyne, Reniece Boyce, Shanika Bruce, Shemaine Campbelle, Shamilia Connell, Britney Cooper, Deandra Dottin, Cherry Ann Fraser, Shabika Gajnabi, Jannillea Glasgow, Sheneta Grimmond, Shawnisha Hector, Chinelle Henry, Caneisha Isaac, Zaida James, Japhina Joseph, Qiana Joseph, Kycia Knight, Kyshona Knight, Mandy Mangru, Hayley Matthews, Anisa Mohammed, Chedean Nation, Karishma Ramharack, Kaysia Schultz, Shakera Selman, Steffi Soogrim, Stafanie Taylor, Rachel Vincent and Rashada Williams.

The team-management unit comprises Courtney Walsh - Head Coach; Sheena Gooding - Team Manager; Ryan Austin - Assistant Coach; Corey Collymore - Assistant Coach; Steve Liburd - Assistant Coach; Samantha Lynch - Assistant Coach; Robert Samuels - Assistant Coach; Neil Barry – Physiotherapist; Shayne Cooper - Strength & Conditioning

Southampton star Nathan Redmond is yet to make up his mind regarding his international future, after recently receiving confirmed interest for his services from the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF).

Earlier reports had suggested that the 27-year former England U-21 representative was among a number of players that had decided to switch their allegiances to Jamaica after being approached by the JFF.

 The player had, however, later rejected those claims, insisted he was yet to be contacted by the JFF regarding the option of joining the country’s national program.

"I’ve not been contacted. I’ve heard some stories and seen a lot of stuff in the media, but no one from the international set-up in Jamaica has contacted me,” Redmond had told UK publication The Daily Echo.

 "So, I’m seeing it exactly the same way as everybody else is."

A recent update, however, indicates that the player was contacted three weeks ago, and he is now carefully considering the decision.  Redmond had also previously indicated that the decision would include his family.

"I’ve not really spoken to my family about some of that stuff as of yet,” he had said.

"Obviously, it’s been difficult to see people during lockdown. So, I’ve not really spoken to the family about that,” he added.

"That’s a decision I guess for all of them to make with me, because I’m quite close with my family and whatever I do football-wise impacts them and our lives."

A number of players, including West Ham star forward Michail Antonio and Swansea’s Jamal Lowe, have already accepted the invitation to join the Jamaica national team, who will begin competing in the final round of the FIFA World Cup qualifiers later this year.

The University of Minnesota’s Abigail Schaaffe emerged from last weekend’s Fighting Illini Big 10 Relays with two gold medals but armed with the knowledge that she has to work on being more consistent before the conference championships in mid-May.

 Jamaica gymnast Danusia Francis believes the option of allowing full-length bodysuits to be worn in competition will empower the sport’s female athletes.

Last week, German gymnast Sarah Voss grabbed headlines after wearing a full-body suit at the European Gymnastic Championships.  She was later joined in wearing the type of outfit at the event by two teammates.  Voss described a part of the motive as taking a stand against ‘sexualisation in gymnastics’ an issue that has come to the fore in recent years following the conviction of former USA national team doctor, Larry Nassar, who was sentenced to 175 years in prison for several counts of sexual abuse two years ago.

Typically, female athletes compete in leotards, however, the international gymnastics federation (FIG) rules state that competitors are allowed to wear a "one-piece leotard with full-length legs - hip to ankle", provided it is of elegant design.

Francis admitted that she did not know the uniforms were allowed but was pleased with the choice that is offered.

 "I think it's amazing," Francis told BBC.

"I feel empowered that we've got this option where we can choose to cover up," she added.

Francis also believes the ability of female athletes to speak out on issues that affect them is in part due to people staying in the sport for longer.

"I think as people are staying the sport longer, obviously they're not young girls and they've got voices, they are women, so to see them making a statement, and on an international stage... I think it was great to see," Francis said.

The upcoming edition of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) set to be held entirely on the island of St Kitts & Nevis and bowls off on August 28.

Due to the threat posed by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the entire 2020 edition of the tournament was held in Trinidad and Tobago, under strict COVID-19 protocols.

In several respects, the tournament was a success with the event successfully being delivered to a record audience of over 500 million.  The Trinbago Knightriders were eventually crowned champions on their own patch.

St Kitts and Nevis’ Warner Park has been the scene of some of the most iconic matches in Hero CPL history.  Fans were treated to Chris Gayle’s brilliant hundred against the Jamaica Tallawahs in 2019 and Andre Russell’s even more explosive century against the Trinbago Knight Riders in 2016. There have also been some amazing matches, not least the game that went to a Super Over finish between St Kitts & Nevis Patriots and the Knight Riders in 2019.

This year’s tournament takes on extra significance with it taking place in the lead up to the ICC T20 World Cup and both West Indies and overseas players will be using the opportunity to push for selection for their international teams.

 “We are delighted to be able to announce that we will be having the Hero CPL in St Kitts & Nevis in 2021 and we would like to thank those involved in welcoming the tournament to this wonderful country,” Pete Russell, Hero CPL’s COO, said.

“As was demonstrated during the 2020 tournament the CPL is a massive boost for the host country with US$51.5million delivered in sponsorship value for Trinidad & Tobago. We are really looking forward to giving St Kitts & Nevis the exposure they deserve.”

 

Natoya Goule says she feels she has a lot more left in the tank following her fastest 400m in a decade at the UCF Knights Invitational in Florida on Saturday.

Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez and his redemption story continues to gather pace after his hat-trick guided LA Galaxy past New York Red Bulls 3-2.

Former Manchester United and Real Madrid striker Chicharito endured a difficult and injury-plagued 2020 season, Mexico's all-time leading goalscorer netting just twice after joining the Galaxy.

But Chicharito is enjoying a red-hot start to the 2021 campaign, taking his tally to five goals in two matches to begin the season following his treble against the Red Bulls.

Not since 2010 had the Galaxy opened their season with back-to-back wins, but that changed at Dignity Health Sports Park on Sunday.

Chicharito opened the scoring in the ninth minute, pouncing on a deflected shot for an easy tap in for the Galaxy before the Red Bulls equalised via Andrew Gutman 17 minutes later.

However, Chicharito restored the Galaxy's advantage with a cool finish past Red Bulls goalkeeper Carlos Coronel four minutes prior to half-time.

Chicharito completed his hat-trick on the hour-mark when he acrobatically put the ball into the back of the net at the back post, while Cristian Casseres Jr. set up a tense finale three minutes later.

The Galaxy top the Western Conference with two wins from two games, while the Red Bulls remain winless at the foot of the Eastern Conference standings.

Gonzalo Higuain made it two goals in two games as Inter Miami came from behind to 2-1 win away to Philadelphia Union in Saturday's Major League Soccer.

Former Juventus and Real Madrid forward Higuain along with brother Federico made history as the first time two brothers scored in the same game.

Last season's Supporters' Shield winners Philadelphia had taken a 54th minute lead through Jamiro Monteiro.

But Federico Higuain came off the bench 10 minutes later to devastating effect, getting the assist for Gonzalo's 73rd minute leveler from a set-piece.

Federico proceeded to head home the winner on 83 minutes and lift Inter Miami to their first win of the 2021 season, while Philadelphia are winless after two games.

 

Barco launches Atlanta rocket

Ezequiel Barco netted a spectacular goal as Atlanta United made a statement with a 3-1 home win over the Chicago Fire.

Barco's initial free-kick set-piece cannoned into the wall but he fired home the rebound emphatically to give his side the lead.

Chicago leveled through Serbian midfielder Luka Stojanovic straight after the break, but Atlanta re-claimed the lead after a 66th minute Johan Kappelhof own goal and Emerson Hyndman's 85th minute strike.

Last season's beaten MLS Cup finalists Seattle Sounders managed a tie away to LAFC with Australian full-back Brad Smith scoring a 54th minute equaliser.

Colombian midfielder Eduard Atuesta had given the hosts a second minute lead.

Christhian Paredes went from zero to hero after scoring an own goal before netting the winner as the Portland Timbers edged Houston Dynamo 2-1.

Paredes' 73rd minute winner came from a superb long ball by Bill Tuiloma which was headed into the Paraguayan's path by Felipe Mora.

 

Ochoa sparks fracas

Real Salt Lake goalkeeper David Ochoa, 20, sparked a post-match fracas after punting the ball into the Minnesota United home fans area, the Wonderwall, upon the final whistle after his side's 2-1 away win. He drew the ire of United coach Adrian Heath who said: "It's a no-no. He's got some edge on him for a kid who's not that good."

 

History-making Austin victory

Austin FC made history with their first-ever franchise goal in the MLS and their maiden MLS win, coming from behind to triumph 3-1 away to the Colorado Rapids.

 

Saturday's results:

New York City 5-0 FC Cincinnati
Nashville SC 2-2 CF Montreal
Toronto FC 2-2 Vancouver Whitecaps
San Jose Earthquakes 3-1 FC Dallas
Los Angeles FC 1-1 Seattle Sounders
New England Revolution 1-0 D.C. United
Real Salt Lake 2-1 Minnesota United 
Atlanta United 3-1 Chicago Fire
Inter Miami 2-1 Philadelphia Union
Austin FC 3-1 Colorado Rapids
Portland Timbers 2-1 Houston Dynamo

 

Red Bulls at LA

The Los Angeles Galaxy host the New York Red Bulls, who lost on the opening weekend, in Sunday's only match.

Bahamian 400m World Champion, Steve Gardner, has expressed frustration with recent statements made by the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations that suggested he had made himself unavailable for the World Athletics Relays.

Earlier this week, reports had claimed that a key reason for the country’s withdrawal from the World Relays was the unavailability of several athletes, included top stars Gardiner and Shaunae Miller-Uibo.

The quarter-miler has, however, insisted that things were quite the opposite and he had indeed made himself available to compete at the event.

“Each time there are relays to run, my name, my image, and my reputation gets dragged through the mud. I want to set the record straight,” Gardiner told The Bahamas Tribune.

“Ever since my first competition for the senior team it has been one conflict after another and my name is always brought up,” he added.

“My management did indicate to the BAAA my availability to compete at the 2021 World Relays.”

Gardiner and Miller-Uibo were part of a triumphant 4x400m mixed relays team at the 2017 Games, which was held in the Bahamas.

‘…I did indicate personally and through my management company that I was available to compete.”

 

Jamaica’s Natasha Morrison blew away the rest of the field on Saturday, at the TRUFit Athletics Sprint Classic, in Florida, to register a new personal best and the second fast time in the women’s 100m this year.

The World Championships relay gold medalist gave an early warning there could be a special run on the cards, after breaking the 11-second barrier in heat 2 of the preliminary round.

In the final, Morrison clocked 10.87 to finish well clear of second-place Tynia Gaither of the Bahamas who stopped the clock at 11.02.   Guyana’s Jasmine Abrams was third in 11.19.

In the men’s equivalent, Jamaica’s Julian Forte had to settle for third spot on the back of a fast run from American quarter-miler Fred Kerley.  With the win barely within the legal limit, Kerley stopped the clock at 9.91 to claim section 1.  He finished ahead of Joshua Washington who was second in 10.01 and Forte third in 10.03.

In the women’s 400m, the fastest time of the day was clocked by Jamaica’s Janieve Russell who recorded 52.12 to claim section 1.  Her compatriot Tiffany James was the winner of section 2 in 52.67 and second fastest overall.  Jordan Lavender was third in 52.82.  In the men’s equivalent, top billing went to Jamaica’s Nathon Allen who took the event in 46.02.

 

Nani scored a 79th-minute equaliser as Orlando City salvaged a 1-1 draw at Sporting Kansas City in MLS action on Friday.

Orlando, who opened their 2021 season with a goalless draw against Atlanta United, had not gone two consecutive games without scoring since August 2019 and they avoided doing so thanks to former Manchester United star Nani.

Gianluca Busio put Sporting KC ahead on the stroke of half-time – Orlando goalkeeper Pedro Gallese's pass picked off by Daniel Salloi, who teed up his team-mate.

Sporting KC won their final three regular-season home games in 2020 – the last visiting side to take a regular-season point in Kansas City were Orlando on September 23.

A cheeky backheel from Nani rescued a point for visiting Orlando with 11 minutes remaining at Children's Mercy Park, where the goal had initially been ruled offside before a video review.

Both teams had goals ruled out for offside in the first half – Nicolas Isimat-Mirin's rebound and Benji Michel's effort.

 The Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) has confirmed that it will not send a team to World Athletic Relays, set to take place in Chorzow, Poland, next month.

According to reports, the association like many has been affected adversely by the COVID-19 pandemic and was forced to give up on having a team at the event due to a lack of athletes able to participate.

Bahamian superstars Shaunae Miller-Uibo and Steven Gardiner, through their representatives, indicated that they would not be willing to travel outside of the United States due to ongoing coronavirus pandemic and travel protocols.

“We didn’t have athletes who are available to compete,” President of the BAAA Drumeco Archer told The Bahamas Tribune.

“Shaunae (Miller-Uibo) and Steven (Gardiner) camp indicated that they have decided not to travel outside of the US because of COVID-19,” he added.

“And a lot of our elite athletes are still in university and college, who are not going to be released from their duties. So, we thought it would be prudent for us not just to take a team for the team’s sake. If we’re going to take a team, we will take a team that will have an impact.”

Earlier this week, another top Caribbean sprint nation, Jamaica, announced that it would not participate in the event due to the difficulty of travel and COVID-19 restrictions.

The Bahamas were hosts to the first three editions of the tournament.

The fourth match of the Hero CPL Esports series saw Nicholas Pooran of the Guyana Amazon Warriors take on Mitchell Santner of the Barbados Tridents at a virtual Kensington Oval. It was the Warriors who emerged victorious after a brutal display with the bat and superb bowling from their spinners.

The Tridents won the toss and elected to bowl first with Pooran promoting himself up the order to open. It was a move that worked out immediately with 30 runs coming off the first over, 24 of them made by Pooran.

The early loss of Brandon King did not slow the Warriors down with Shimron Hetmyer joining Pooran in smashed the Tridents bowling around the Oval, although a good few of the boundaries came via the edge of the bat.

Pooran brought up his fifty from just 10 balls on his way to 63 (13) to set up a total of 133/4 from their five overs. Although Pooran was the star, he was well supported, first by Hetmyer and then by Ross Taylor.

It was a daunting target, and the Tridents were under pressure to get off to a good start. They got just that thanks to Johnson Charles who made 29 (8) but his departure brought with it a collapse with three wickets falling with the score on 43. That became 53-5 with three wickets in an over from Imran Tahir.

The Tridents never recovered from that cluster of wickets and as they searched for boundaries to get themselves back into the game the wickets continued to fall, with three more going to the spin of Chandrapaul Hemraj. The Tridents went from 43-1 to 73 all out as the Warriors won by a massive 60 runs.

Track and field legend and coach, Olympian Dennis Johnson, died on Thursday night after a month-long battle with Covid-19.

He was 81.

Considered the architect of the modern Jamaica track programme, Johnson started a sports program at the College of Arts, Science and Technology (CAST) now the University of Technology in 1971. It was a programme that yielded Anthony Davis, Jamaica’s first home-grown Olympic athlete.

As head coach at CAST, Johnson, in the 1980s created the famous Bolts of Lightning 4x100m relay team, the first club side to break 40 seconds for the sprint relay. He also led CAST to a more than decade-long dominance of the Intercollegiate Championships.

It was Johnson in partnership with UTech and Stephen Francis that saw the world-famous MVP Track Club having its base on the college campus and producing a number of world-beating athletes like Asafa Powell, Nesta Carter, Brigitte Foster-Hylton, Melaine Walker, Michael Frater, Shelly-Ann Frater-Pryce and Elaine Thompson.

Johnson, who was also Sports Director at Utech, was also an outstanding athlete. While attending San Jose State University in the United States, equalled the 100-yard world record of 9.3 seconds three times over a six-week span from March 11- May 5 that year.

Unfortunately, injury prevented him from competing for an NCAA title that year.

He was a member of Jamaica’s 4x100m relay team that finished fourth at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. Fifth in the 110-yards at the British Empire Games of 1962, he was forced to withdraw from the 220 yards with a groin injury.

Johnson, who was affectionately called ‘DJ’ was inducted into the San Jose State Spartans Hall of Fame. In 2001, the same year he was awarded the Order of Distinction (OD) by the government of Jamaica. He was awarded the UTech Chancellor’s medal in 2009 and in 2012, UTech renamed its athletes’ residence, previously known as the Track House, in Johnson's honour.

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