The Cricket West Indies (CWI) Selection Panel has named a 30-man squad for a three-week high-performance red-ball training camp in St Lucia, starting today in preparation for the upcoming Test Series against South Africa.

Javier Hernandez went from zero to hero as the Los Angeles Galaxy continued their strong start to the 2021 MLS season with a 2-0 home triumph over newcomers Austin.

Hernandez had won a 26th minute penalty but spurned the early chance, with Austin goalkeeper Brad Stuver saving to his left.

Galaxy midfielder Sebastian Lletget got in behind the Austin defence and calmly put them ahead 10 minutes later.

Former Manchester United man Hernandez earned redemption for his missed penalty when he scored the Galaxy's second goal in the 77th minute to seal the points.

The Galaxy have four wins from five games and move into second spot in the Western Conference, while it is back-to-back losses for Austin.

Eastern Conference leaders New York City stumbled to a second consecutive draw with Toronto's Jacob Shaffelburg equalizing with a quarter of an hour to go to finish 1-1.

City, who drew at Orlando City last weekend, had gone ahead through Jess Medina in the 54th minute but could not claim the three points.

Last season's Supporters' Shield winners Philadelphia Union maintained their uplift in form with a 1-0 home victory over the New York Red Bulls.

Philadelphia have now gone three games unbeaten, with Jamaican striker Cory Burke netting a ninth minute winner.

The Red Bulls suffer their third loss of the campaign and had substitute Dru Yearwood given his marching orders late on to rub salt into their wounds.

Logan Ketterer made a penalty save as the Portland Timbers recorded a 2-0 away win over the San Jose Earthquakes.

Ketterer dived low to his left to deny veteran Chris Wondolowski from the spot in the 62nd minute with Portland up 1-0 at the time.

Yimmi Chara had earlier chipped in the opener in the fifth minute, with Marvin Loria heading home his first goal of the season in the 74th minute, condemning San Jose to a second straight home defeat.

Colorado Rapids climbed up to third in the West with a 3-1 home win over Houston Dynamo after a thrilling four-goal first-half.

Michael Barrios provided two assists while Cole Barrett scored on the stroke of half-time after an explicable error from Houston keeper Marko Maric.

Marcelino Moreno scored a 94th minute header to help Atlanta United leapfrog Montreal into second in the Eastern Conference with a 1-0 win.

Finnish midfielder Robin Lod scored a last-gasp winner, forcing the ball home from close range from a corner, as last season's MLS Cup semi-finalists Minnesota United edged Dallas 1-0.

Nashville SC remain unbeaten after their fourth draw of the campaign, holding Real Salt Lake 0-0.

 Veteran International commentator, Joseph ‘Reds’ Perreira has launched a stinging rebuke of Cricket West Indies (CWI) and the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) for the timing of contracting players for the upcoming calendar year.

In addition, the 81-year-old Perreira says he is totally and utterly disappointed that there has been no cover for fast bowler Shannon Gabriel, who in his estimation has deteriorated.

“We have given contracts to people who played four Test matches in a year, that cannot be fair,” Perreira said on the Line & Length TV Show on Sportsmax.

“The omission of (Shamar) Brooks and (Roston) Chase was surprising given the limited amount of cricket they played, I mean two series? Four or five Tests? I was hoping that WIPA would not have pushed for contracts now, especially since there is no first-class season.

“You dropped players and don’t give them contracts so how will you adequately judge their form and scores. Ideally, because of all that’s going on, those contracts should have been delayed until after the South Africa or Australia tour….or even Pakistan,” he passionately explained.

“(Shimron) Hetmyer not given a contract? He was losing weight and looked good in the IPL and we have to be careful not to lose players. Chairman Roger Harper said they are working with him, but doing what?! We just rushed a bit this year with the contracts,” he said.

As far as Gabriel is concerned, Perreira pointed to the fact that the 33-year-old who has 157 wickets from 54 Tests has slumped over the last season and CWI should have seen fit to contract two younger fast bowlers as cover for him.

“Gabriel is getting on and had an operation on his ankle. He is not the same! He struggled for rhythm and pace in England, seemed out of sorts against Sri Lanka, and in my estimation can’t play back-to-back Tests matches anymore.

“Gabriel is not bowling 140kmph easily and one good spell is not good enough. Surely, if you pick him, then the Board should have contracted two young fast bowlers to work alongside him and (Kemar) Roach,” he said.

The Guyanese Perreira who is a St. Lucian resident also endorsed the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground, previously the Beausejour Stadium as the venue to hosts the West Indies vs South Africa series and advocates for a crowd of at least 1,000 spectators in the Johnson Charles stand, once they can prove a certificate of vaccination against the COVID19 virus.

 

 

Jamaica College (JC) captured the ISSA Grace/Kennedy boy’s champs title, while Edwin Allen reclaimed the girls crown, as the competition came to close at the National Stadium on Saturday.

In the end, JC finished with 328.5 points, comfortably clear of second-place Kingston College (KC) who finished with 313.  It was KC who began the fifth and final day in front but, predictably JC took the lead by midday and in the end sealed the title with two events to spare.

Calabar claimed third spot with 241.5, St Elizabeth Technical was next on 181, while St Jago closed out the top 5 with 129.

For the girls, Edwin Allen wrapped up a performance in which they rarely trailed.  The eventual champions finished on 340 points, well clear of second-place St Jago who ended on 309.5, third place went to Hydel High on 301, Holmwood was next with 160.5 and Vere Technical 5th with 160.5.

The team sped to a new record in the Class 2 4x100m.  Anchored by Tiana Clayton, the team recorded a time of 44.81. Clayton was securing her third gold of Champs 2021. The team beat the old mark of 44.88.

Aliyah Clarke, Tia Clayton, who false-started in the 100m, and Serena Cole were the other team members.

St. Jago won both boys’ and girls’ Class I 4x100m finals.

 

 

West Indies all-rounder, Jason Holder, is set to be given rest ahead of the upcoming series against South Africa, as part of the team’s load management strategies.

The 29-year-old recently returned to the Caribbean following the postponement of the Indian Premier League (IPL), where he represented Sunrisers Hyderabad.  The West Indies are expected to begin camp in St Lucia, on Sunday, ahead of the series which will take place between June 10 and July 3.

The camp, which comprises 30 players, will include two 'best v best' inter-squad matches.  Holder, who was replaced as Test captain earlier this year, will join the camp at the end of the month.

The team’s Test captain Kraigg Brathwaite and fast bowlers Kemar Roach and Alzarri Joseph will also not be attending the camp, as they are currently competing in English County Championship and will return to the West Indies for the Test series if selected.

 

 

Jamaica international and Bayer Leverkusen winger, Leon Bailey, will be out of action for the rest of the season after suffering a broken toe.

The 23-year-old sustained the injury after a collision early in the match but continued to play until halftime when he was withdrawn.    

The player then missed the team’s midweek training session, with later scans confirming that the midfielder had fractured the digit.

Bayer Leverkusen head coach Hannes Wolf confirmed on Friday that the player would not return for the season.  The diagnosis meant that Bailey missed the player’s match against Union Berlin on Saturday, a 1-1 draw, and the club’s final game against Dortmund.

"He will not be able to play again [this season]," Wolf told reporters ahead of Leverkusen's game against Berlin.

The winger was not expected to suit up for his country during the international break, due to contractual issues and it remains to be seen how long he will be out of action.

In total, Bailey has scored 15 goals this season and provided 10 assists in a solid campaign for Leverkusen who are fighting for a place in European football next season.

 

Kingston College did not win a medal in the final event – the Class 1 Boys 400m hurdles on Thursday but they got seven points from Rayon Campbell and Jayden Brown. Those seven points made all the difference as the defending champions lead Jamaica College by 7.5 points heading into Saturday’s final day of the 2021 ISSA GraceKennedy Boys and Girls Championships at the National Stadium in Kingston.

After 24 finals, KC leads the standings with 187 points while JC has 179.5 points. Calabar High School, which had a very good day in the field are third on 144 points while St Elizabeth Technical lies fourth with 93 points. St Jago High are fifth with 63 points.

Edwin Allen leads the girls after 27 finals. They have 213 points but St Jago are within touching distance with 187.5 points. Hydel are not that far behind either as they have 161.5 points. Holmwood have 65.5 points while Holmwood are fifth with 49 points.

Kingston College picked up some critical points late in the day when Campbell and Brown finish fifth and sixth in the 400m hurdles won by Jamaica College’s Javier Brown in 49.86, a new record. Devontie Archer of Excelsior clocked 50.43 for second place while Roshawn Clarke of Camperdown was third in 50.93.

Those seven points came right after they picked up 15 points in the Class 2 400m hurdles that was won by Antonio Forbes in 51.84. KC also got the bronze medal from Shamari Jennings, a 52.52 effort. Shamer lake of STETHS was the winner of the silver medal clocking 52.16.

Kingston College also picked up points in the Class 3 long jump in which Shamir Kelly jumped 6.82m for the victory and his teammate Roshawn Onfroy jumped 6.40m for bronze. Edward Sterling of Wolmers won the silver with 6.79m.

Calabar enjoyed a very good day in the field.

Javar Thomas of Calabar won the Class 2 triple jump in a keen battle against Jaydon Hibbert of Kingston College. However, Thomas emerged victorious with a 15.23m triple jump as Hibbert finished second with 15.15m. Michael Curriah of Jamaica College jumped 14.61m for third.

Calabar went 1-3 in the Class I Boys shot put. Like he has been all season, Kobe Lawrence showed why he is a class above the rest throwing an even 19m for the gold medal. Christopher Young of Edwin Allen won the silver with a throw of 18.30. Lawrence’s teammate Denz Simmons locked up the bronze medal with a throw of 17.26m.

The boys from Red Hills Road also had a good showing in the pole vault competition that was won by Kito Campbell, who vaulted over 3.90m. His fellow Lion, Julian Francis, was third having vaulted 3.80m.

They were split by Kingston College’s Jafar Moore, who had a similar height to Francis but had one less miss at 3.80m.

Luke Brown made it a really good day in the field for Calabar when he jumped 15.69m to win the Class I triple jump. Jhavor Bennett of STETHS won the silver medal with 15.31m and Iangelo Atkinstall-Daley of Wolmer’s claimed the bronze with 15.11m.

Among the girls, Edwin Allen’s Asia McKay cleared 1.62m to win the Class 4 Girls high jump. The silver medal went to Jayla Williams of St Jago, who cleared 1.55m. Rhianna Lewis of Rhodes Hall jumped 1.50m for the bronze medal.

Ackelia Smith of Edwin Allen jumped 13.42m to win the triple jump over Hydel’s Velecia Williams who jumped 12.87m. Kahdijah Bailey of St Jago was third with a jump of 12.25m.

Roxene Simpson of Clarendon College threw 45.85m to win the Class I discus while her teammate Kimola Hines threw 44.98m for the silver medal. Fabrienne Foster of Manchester won the bronze medal with a throw of 43.79m.

Garriel White of Hydel won the 400m hurdles in 57.65. She was just too good for Moseiha Bridgen of Vere Technical, who ran 58.90 for second place. Edwin Allen’s Jodyann Dixon finished third in 60.35.

West Indies fast bowler Alzarri Joseph has credited increased mental focus on his batting with improved performances at the crease.

Over the past several months, the bowler has made the headlines for positing solid totals at the crease, as much as if not more than multiple wicket hauls.

Against New Zealand, in December of last year, Joseph recorded his highest total of 86, which was his maiden half-century. The Antiguan then went on to add another after scoring 82 in February this year against Bangladesh.

Fast forward a few months later and the player has taken his form with the bat to a debut season of English County cricket for Worcestershire.  With best scores of 46 and 61, Joseph has shown plenty of ability to be handy with the bat when the team needs it.  In four matches to date, Joseph has scored 128 runs and claimed 10 wickets.

“Whatever I could contribute to the team I am happy to do, so it’s good that I have been getting a few scores but for me, I think it’s also about being consistent doing it,” Joseph told the Antigua Observer.

“I have always enjoyed batting but it was just down to me being a bit more focused on it so I think for me it’s just about staying focused, being consistent in any aspect of the game.”

 

 

 

There is much hope that the development of Jamaica’s junior gymnastics will spring to another level with the inaugural Mayberry Gymnastics Strength & Skill Testing Series.

More than 100 youngsters, aged five years and older, are participating in the first event in the series, which is scheduled to begin today (Friday, May 14) at 5:00 p.m. and run through to Sunday, May 16, at the National Gymnastics Training Centre, at 1 Slipe Road in Kingston.

The series will take place quarterly for the next four years, courtesy of a joint effort by Mayberry Investments, which have invested one million dollars, the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) and the National Gymnastics Federation of Jamaica.

“This event is the first in a series to aid in the national junior development process and will continuously test the readiness of our athletes, as part of a four-year cycle, for the Olympic programme. In other words, this series is critical to the success and growth of our budding gymnasts,” remarked Gary Peart, CEO, Mayberry Investments.

“Mayberry wants to witness the honing of this sort of talent on the local stage so that we can make a big impact on the world stage. Jamaicans are known for being ‘likkle but tallawah’ and this is just another shining example that we are a force to be reckoned with.”

As the main feature, all participants in the training event will be awarded a medal.

“Mayberry is particularly happy that all the athletes involved will be awarded medals at the end of the testing series, because we believe that all efforts are valid, from the smallest to biggest,” Peart said.

Ryan Foster, Secretary General/CEO of the JOA, expressed his delight at the partnership that will bring yet another sport to the forefront of Jamaican athletics.

“The JOA is pleased to have brokered this deal under our JOA/Mayberry partnership that was established in 2019. The sport of gymnastics will be one of the sport that will be representing Jamaica at this summer’s Olympics and we are pleased with the trendsetting work done by President Grant-Brown and her team.

“The synergies between Mayberry and the Jamaica Gymnastics Federation was seamless and one built on developing the next generation of athletes. The JOA is extremely proud of one of our key partners, Mayberry, who has truly bought into our vision of building now for the future,” Foster shared. “They have demonstrated that they are good corporate citizens whose philanthropy has no bounds. We will continue to find avenues for our athletes and members to develop."

All told there will be five sessions, which includes the first that ended at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, followed by a 30-minute awards ceremony. Sessions two, three and four are slated for 9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m, 12:15 p.m.-2:30 p.m. and 3:00-5:30 p.m., respectively, on Saturday; while Session five will run from 9:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m. on Sunday. The final half-hour in each session is reserved for awards presentations. 

Former national hockey president and now President of Gymnastics Nicole Grant-Brown praised the effort of their partners and noted the impact of their support.

“Mayberry Investments is shining a light on us that is certainly helping us to have hope. Jamaica Gymnastics is in its growth stage and like any child, we need help to grow and with a good support system we can grow big and strong,” she said.

“We are happy and elated that the vision of the Jamaica Olympic Association is wide enough to recognize that gymnastics, which is seen in Jamaica as a minor sport, requires partnerships of this nature to make it major and will one day be placed in its rightful position as one of Jamaica’s most consistent Olympic sport and most participated by our youth in this country.

“Already we have made two consecutive Olympic Games, 2016 and 2021, and the sport has not yet reached its maturity stage.”

She also noted the strategies involved in carving out this series, which marks the beginning of Jamaica’s junior Olympic programme.

“The skills and strength testing is two to three times per year, which is the base for their development. This program compares to that of the United States’ USA TOPS program, which they use to draft gymnasts as young as six years old in their National Gymnastics program. If we want to be the best, we have to adopt what works from the best while developing our own strategies based on our unique culture and natural athletics abilities,” she said.

Ten-year-old gymnast, Rihanna Williams, endorsed the series, saying: “We are the future of gymnastics. We train 5-6 hours, five days per week and it’s very hard. We do this because we love gymnastics and at the end of the day, we want to make Jamaica proud.

“We hope you will not leave us but stay with us and help us grow as we will be Olympians in the future. Thank you again Mayberry Investments, we will make you proud to be part of our family.”

It has been confirmed that the West Indies will officially host South Africa for the first time since 2010, with the series booked for the islands of Grenada and St Lucia.

The parties have been locked in negotiations for the past several months, with several obstacles to overcome.  The latest it is believed was a venue for the tour, which was reportedly originally set for Trinidad and Tobago.

A recent spike of COVID-19 cases has, however, forced an alteration to those plans.  The current plan will see the teams play two Tests at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground in St Lucia and the T20s taking place at the National Cricket Stadium in Grenada.  The series will take place between June 10 and July 3.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) director, Graeme Smith, expressed delight to be heading back to the Caribbean, particularly in light of the difficult and uncertain times caused by the pandemic.  He reserved a special word of thanks for the countries that stepped in to host the series on relatively short notice.

 “We are extremely pleased to have the men’s team’s tour to the West Indies officially confirmed. Covid-19 has played havoc with the ICC Future Tours Programme and we are thankful to Cricket West Indies and the governments of St Lucia and Grenada for ensuring that the tour goes ahead as planned‚” Smith said.

“The hosting nations‚ in particular‚ came to the party at very short notice and Cricket South Africa would like to extend its immense gratitude to them for their enthusiasm and willingness to host us."

Elizabeth Palmer, the mother of Jamaican elite athlete Akeem Bloomfield, died on Thursday morning after a three-year battle with breast cancer.

Bloomfield, a finalist in the 400m at the 2019 Doha World Championships, had announced three weeks ago that his mother had been diagnosed with cancer in 2018, but only just revealed her condition to her children last month.

Bloomfield and his sister Kaydene Wright launched a GoFundMe account hoping to raise USD$65,000 to assist with the cost of surgery on her spinal that had been compromised by cancer that had also spread to other parts of her body.

Alas, it was in vain as Palmer died early Thursday.

“Words can’t express the feelings of loss and pain me and my family are going through right now. Unfortunately, my mother lost her battle against cancer yesterday and I would give anything just to have one more moment with her,” the grieving athlete posted on Instagram today.

“She was more than just my mom, she was my motivation and my best friend.

“I would like to thank all those who donated, whispered a prayer or just had her and my family in your thoughts.”

 

 Cricket West Indies (CWI) has announced an action-packed schedule for the West Indies Men, featuring three consecutive international home tours against South Africa, Australia and Pakistan, from June to August 2021.

The Test and T20 International (T20I) series against the Proteas, rescheduled from 2020, will start the International summer. The world-renowned tourism destinations of Saint Lucia and Grenada will be the West Indies host venues. South Africa are due to arrive at St Lucia on June 1 and will play two Test matches at The Daren Sammy Cricket Ground, followed by five T20Is at the Grenada National Cricket Stadium from June 26 to July 3. CWI is grateful to the Governments of St Lucia and Grenada for agreeing, at relatively short notice, to host the touring South Africans. This will be the first time that South Africa has played bilateral cricket in the West Indies since 2010.

The July 9 to 24 Australia white-ball tour of the West Indies will also begin at St Lucia’s Darren Sammy Cricket Ground hosting five T20Is. The Aussies then move on to Barbados for three day/night CG Insurance One Day Internationals (ODIs) at the world-famous Kensington Oval. The CG Insurance ODIs provide the opportunity for West Indies to secure more points in the ICC ODI Super League, as the West Indies strive to qualify automatically for the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup following the recent 3-0 victory against Sri Lanka. https://www.icc-cricket.com/cricket-world-cup-super-league/standings

Pakistan is scheduled to arrive in Barbados on July 21 ahead of their five-match T20I Series, with the first two matches to be played at Kensington Oval before travelling to Guyana to play the concluding three T20Is at Guyana’s National Stadium from 26 to 29 June. The West Indies and Pakistan teams will then travel to Jamaica for two back-to-back Test matches at Sabina Park from August 12 to August 24 which conclude four days prior to the start of the Caribbean Premier League in St Kitts.

This schedule features a total of fifteen T20Is for the reigning ICC T20 World Champions, as the West Indies continue the build-up to their title defence at the ICC T20 World Cup, in October and November 2021.

CWI CEO Johnny Grave said: “Following the successful hosting of the all-format series against Sri Lanka earlier this year, we are delighted to announce that we are set to welcome South Africa, Australia and Pakistan to the West Indies. To host three international teams back-to-back in five territories is unprecedented, and putting these fixtures together was an enormous Covid-related logistical challenge. We must thank the visiting teams for agreeing to travel at this challenging period for world cricket and we are especially grateful to our regional Governments who are playing such a vital role in partnering with CWI to ensure that International cricket can be hosted safely while providing entertainment for our loyal fans and income for our cricketers and cricket communities.”
CWI has also been working closely with Territorial Cricket Boards, along with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Sport in all the host countries, to orchestrate all the logistics and agree the safety and medical protocols for the tour. All players, support staff and match officials will stay, train and play in a bio-secure environment, with regular COVID-19 PCR testing taking place with the assistance of Ministries of Health and from CARPHA.

It is not yet determined whether fans will be able to attend matches in person, however, they will be able to follow live on TV in the Caribbean with Flow Sport, live on radio with Vibes FM and their partner radio stations and via ball-by-ball updates and the new live blog in the match centre on www.windiescricket.com.

West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite was a happy man on Thursday upon hearing the news that his team is now sixth on the ICC Test rankings, up from eighth following improved performances against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in recent months.

DC United have claimed their second win of the 2021 MLS season and condemned Chicago Fire to four consecutive defeats after a 1-0 victory on Thursday.

Peru international Edison Flores came up with the winner, netting his first goal for DC United with a header in the seventh minute.

Adrien Perez broke on the left side of the box and showed composure on the byline with a pinpoint cutback for Flores to head home.

United's German defender Julian Gressel came close twice with a curling early free-kick as well as a 21st minute strike which cannoned into the crossbar.

Chicago also hit the woodwork when 17-year-old Brian Gutierrez's hit a left-foot shot which beat United keeper Jonathan Kempin but not the post.

The win, in United's first home game since their opening weekend win over New York City, ends their three-game losing run and lifts them up to sixth in the Eastern Conference.

The Fire remain winless, with only one point from five games and are second last in the Eastern Conference.

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