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.

Natoya Goule leaves for Doha today in high spirits following her record-setting run over 600m at the Boost Boston Games on Sunday.

Josef Martinez scored a late penalty to rescue a point for Gabriel Heinze's Atlanta United, though Seattle Sounders remain unbeaten in MLS.

Martinez equalised via an 86th-minute spot-kick to earn Atlanta a 1-1 draw with the Sounders at Lumen Field in Seattle on Sunday.

The Sounders had taken a sixth-minute lead from Raul Ruidiaz, who headed home Joao Paulo's corner to make it six goals in seven games.

Last season's MLS Cup runners-up Seattle remain undefeated and top of the Western Conference through seven matches, but had their four-game winning run ended as Atlanta – led by former Manchester United and Real Madrid defender Heinze – sit fifth in the east.

Last season's Supporters' Shield winners Philadelphia Union moved up into third in the east with a 1-0 victory away to DC United.

Kacper Przybylko netted the winner on the stroke of half-time for the Union, who are now unbeaten in their past four games.

Jamiro Monteiro laid off a perfectly weighted pass into the box for the Polish attacker to control and convert.

Union goalkeeper Andre Blake made a spectacular second-half save to deny United's 18-year-old midfielder Kevin Paredes with a curled effort from the edge of the box.

Undefeated Nashville edged past newcomers Austin 1-0 courtesy of a 35th-minute volley from Randall Leal.

Jared Stroud thought he had scored a second-half equaliser but it was disallowed by VAR for offside.

Nashville, who drew four of their opening five games, have won two of their past three matches to move up to fourth in the Eastern Conference, while Austin have lost three in a row on the road.

Following PCR Tests administered on Friday, 21 May, for all members of the West Indies Men’s red-ball training camp being held in St Lucia, Jamaican fast bowler, Marquino Mindley, tested positive on his second COVID-19 test.

In accordance with the medical protocols established with the St Lucian Ministry of Health, Mindley, who is currently asymptomatic, will now self-isolate in his hotel room under the supervision of the Cricket West Indies (CWI) Medical Team until he returns two back-to-back negative results.

All other members of the training squad and coaching team were re-tested and isolated in their rooms, with training cancelled for the weekend. All of these training squad and coaching team members have now tested negative following their repeat tests and the squad will train in small groups starting on Monday 24 May, at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground.

The West Indies red-ball training camp is being held in a bio-secure environment ahead of the ICC World Test Championship two-match Series against South Africa, scheduled to start on June 10.

CWI continues to work with all the regional governments and CARPHA to encourage and assist all squad members to get vaccinated.  To date, 43 members of West Indies Men’s playing and coaching staff have received vaccination doses.

 

 

The Jamaica Tallawahs have retained T20 star Andre Russell, former Windies T20 captain Carlos Brathwaite, Rovman Powell and Chadwick Walton ahead of the 2021 Hero Caribbean Premier League, which begins on August 28, in St Kitts & Nevis.

Russell boasted the team’s highest average of 44.40 last year, having scored 222 runs in 9 matches.  The all-rounder also bagged three wickets.  Brathwaite largely struggled with the bat, averaging just 12 runs in 11 matches but took 10 wickets.

Powell, who was the team captain, also had a below par season, scoring 106 runs in 11 matches for an average of 11.77, while Walton struggled after averaging 3 runs in eight matches, with a high score of 10.

Interestingly, there has been no mention of the team’s leading run-scorer last season, Glenn Phillips, who has been one of the team’s most consistent performers for the last 4 seasons.  The 24-year-old was recently offered his first retainer contract by New Zealand Cricket.

 Afghan off-spinner Mujeeb-ur-Rahman, who was the team’s leading wicket-taker with 16 wickets last season, and Nepal leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane, who snared 12 wickets, the second most, have also not been retained.

In the meantime, the Tallawahs have also kept faith with fast bowler Fidel Edwards who showed plenty of pace after returning to the CPL in 2020.  The Jamaica-based franchise will also be welcoming back left-arm spinner Verasammy Permaul and ICC America's player from last season, Ryan Persaud. 

The rest of the squad, which includes the remaining 10 spots, will be announced in the coming weeks.

 

The West Indies cricket team camp in St Lucia is reportedly dealing with a COVID-19 scare, which has seen players and the management team forced into isolation.

The details or extent of the outbreak are yet to be confirmed by Cricket West Indies (CWI), but the team’s practice session at the Darren Sammy Grounds in St Lucia on Saturday was cancelled, with no official reason yet to be provided.

Several members of an 18-man squad, which had been called ahead of a flurry of upcoming T20 international series, reported to a bio-secure environment, where they were to live and train in preparation for the upcoming series.  The players and support staff were expected to undergo rigorous COVID-19 testing.

In addition to that, however, 13 members of the training squad and management received vaccinations against the coronavirus last week.

CWI has been painstakingly and, for the most part, successfully navigating play during the coronavirus pandemic for the last several months.  The West Indies and England were the first teams to return to playing international cricket, with the Raise The Bat series, which took place in a biosecure environment in England in July of last year.

Shadae Lawrence, Jamaica women’s national record holder in the discus, shattered the record twice on her way to a second-place finish at the USATF Throws Festival at the University of Arizona on Saturday evening.

Orlando City continued their unbeaten start to the season Saturday as New England Revolution remained top of the MLS Eastern Conference table.

Tesho Akindele's header after 12 minutes to give Orlando City a 1-0 victory against Toronto FC, giving the Florida side three wins and three draws through six matches. 

The Revolution saw off 10-man New York Red Bulls 3-1 behind first-half goals from Gustavo Bou and Tajon Buchanan and an Adam Buksa tally late to seal it. 

Two late strikes from Lucas Zelarayan helped the Columbus Crew stun New York City FC 2-1 after the home side led into the 82nd minute. 

Felipe Mora's second-half brace and a penalty from Diego Valeri lifted Portland to a 3-0 triumph over 10-man LA Galaxy. 

Diego Rossi scored twice before the break as Los Angeles FC held on to defeat Colorado Rapids 2-1. 

Houston's Memo Rodriguez and Maximiliano Urruti provided the winning margin for Houston as they won 2-1 over Vancouver. 

Sporting Kansas City continued their strong start, shaking off an early San Jose Earthquakes goal from Javier Lopez en route to a 3-1 win as Jaylin Lindsey, Alan Pulido and Daniel Salloi found the back of the net. 

Luka Stojanovic lifted Chicago Fire past Inter Miami 1-0 for their first win of the season, and FC Cincinnati also emerged victorious for the first time this term with a 2-1 win at Montreal. 

Real Salt Lake escaped with a 2-2 draw at FC Dallas thanks to Damir Kreilach's goal after 86 minutes. 

Reigning Olympic 100m champion, Elaine Thompson-Herah, will not be a part of Sunday’s showdown with compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and the fastest woman in the world this season, Sha'Carri Richardson, at the Gateshead Diamond League.

The Jamaicans and the American seemed set for a blockbuster showdown over the distance, having recorded three of the six fastest times in history. 

However, Thompson-Herah is not listed on the start list for the meet and according to reports has pulled out of the event.  There has been no official reason provided for the sprinter’s withdrawal.

The field will, however, still boast plenty of quality, with Great Britain’s fastest woman, Dinah Asher-Smith, and another Jamaican, Natasha Morrison, also set to face the starter.  Morrison has clocked the third-fastest time over the distance this year, having run her personal best of 10.87, in Florida, last month.

According to reports, Thompson-Herah is also registered to face off against Richards at next week’s Doha Diamond League meet, where multiple world medallist Marie-Josée Ta Lou (Ivory Coast) and Nigeria’s national record holder Blessing Okagbare are also expected to be a part of the field.  Thomspon-Herah is the second-fastest woman this season having clocked a time of 10.78 in Florida last month.

Frustrated by recurring injuries that have stifled his ambition and cut his progress off at the knees, 2013 World U18 Champion Martin Manley has opted for retirement at the age of 24.

West Indies leg-spinner, Hayden Walsh Jr, admits he is eager to put a difficult year behind him, with solid performances in the upcoming series of T20 internationals.

The 29-year-old was named as part of a preliminary 18-man squad that recently began preparations to face South Africa, Australia, and Pakistan in a flurry of upcoming T20 internationals. 

The group was named with preparations for the T20 World Cup in mind, which is slated for India later this year.  Despite not featuring in a number of matches for the regional team this year, he was one of 18 players offered an international retainer contract.  Chief of selectors Roger Harper went on to explain that the player’s status as the only quality leg-spinner, in the region, prompted the selectors to include him in the team’s retainer plans.

The player suffered from misfortune last year after being forced to pull out of the tour to Bangladesh, after testing positive for Covid-19.

 “I’ve been having a tough year so far, so the fact that I am still in the plans and I still have a lot to work for, it’s still a good feeling,” Walsh said in an interview with the Antigua Observer.

“I started out the year testing positive for Covid, which ruled me out of the Bangladesh series, which I was really looking forward to. I came back to the Super 50 and I didn’t really do as well, mainly because I’ve been in isolation and I didn’t have any preparation,” he added.

 “If that did not happen, then I probably most likely would have been around the T20 and One Day squads against Sri Lanka, so I feel like I’ve missed out a lot.”

 

Fedrick Dacres, the 2019 World Championship discus silver medalist said he is not satisfied but thankful following his season-best throw that earned him victory at the 2021 Tucson Elite Classic in Arizona on Thursday.

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