A devastating five-for from pace bowler Marquino Mindley put the Jamaica Scorpion in a strong position against the Windward Islands Volcanoes on day 1 of the West Indies Championship fixture at Tarouba.

At the close of play, the Scorpions were 118 for 4 and trailed the Windwards by 18 runs after bowling out the Volcanoes for 137.  Keron Cottoy was the only Windwards batsman to show any resistance, after making a trying 50 from 108 balls.

After losing the typically reliable Devon Smith, with just 6 runs on the board, the Volcanoes lost wickets at regular intervals as Mindley ripped through the middle order, removing Kavem Hodge (23), Alick Athanaze (6), and Ackeem Auguste (3) to leave the team struggling at 54 for 5.

Cottoy’s brave resistance briefly staved off the inevitable, but he rapidly ran out of partners before being dismissed, caught, and bowled by Nicholson Gordon.  Mindley ended with overall figures of 5 for 20, while Gordon claimed 4 for 43.

In response, John Campbell and Leroy Lugg put 71 on the board before that partnership was broken with Campbell being dismissed by Josh Thomas, just two runs short of a half-century.  Lugg (36) was next to go after he was caught by Kimani Melius, off the bowling of Sherman Lewis, and the team suffered a mini-collapse after losing Nkrumah Bonner and Jermaine Blackwood in the space of a few balls.  Marquino Mindley (1) and Brandon King are the not-out batsmen at the crease.

A solid century from left-handed opening batsman, Kieran Powell, anchored a solid opening day for the Leeward Island’s Hurricanes who posted 308 – 7 against Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in the West Indies Championships.

After winning the toss and choosing to bat, the Leewards suffered an early setback after losing Montcin Hodge in the second over of the match.   Hodge was caught by Bryan Charles off the bowling of Jadon Seales.  Powell, however, immediately set about repairing the damage after forming a 64-run partnership with Kacey Carty.

Carty’s dismissal left the Hurricanes at 66 for 2 but Powell feature in another pair of crucial partnerships.  First with Devon Thomas, who made 12 before being bowled by Akeal Hosein, then Amir Jangoo with the two putting on a 100-run partnership to bring the score to 198 for 4 when Jangoo was sent back to the pavilion by Jason Mohammed soon after making his half-century.  Powell’s brilliant resistance was brought to an end when he was trapped lbw by Yannic Cariah, having totalled 139 or 211 deliveries.

Terrance Ward added a patient 26 from 101 balls before being caught by Gabriel off Seales, while Cornwall could only add 5 to the tally before himself being dismissed by Gabriel.

Jeremiah Louis (16) and Hayden Walsh (8) ended the day as the not-out batsmen for the Hurricanes.  Seales was the pick of the bowlers for T&T after ending with a best of 2 for 35.

Jamaican goalkeeper Andre Blake continues to be the best paid Caribbean player in the United States Major League Soccer (MLS) according to the 2022 Player Salary Guide.

The 31-year-old shot-stopper, who has twice been named Goalkeeper of the Year, remains the main man in between the sticks for the Philadelphia Union where he has been since 2014.  For his match-saving performances, Blake earns a base salary of $750,000.00 with guaranteed compensation of $869,375.00.

Talented Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Kevin Molino is next up.  Having completed a move to Columbus Crew last season Molino is listed at $700,348.00 and guaranteed the full amount.  Unfortunately, the player remains out of action having suffered a serious knee ligament in August of last year.

His international teammate Joevin Jones was also on the move last year and having been signed by new club Inter Miami earns $360,000.00 with guaranteed compensation of $458,100.00. 
Jamaica defender Kemar Lawrence is next on the list.  Having recently been traded to Minnesota United this season Lawrence is set to make $400,000.00 with $482,500.00 guaranteed.

The Jamaican trio of Cory Burke, Damion Lowe, and Alvas Powell round out the list earning 400,000, 268,000, and 167,000 at Philadelphia Union, Inter Miami, and FC Cincinnati.

Former Reggae Girlz coach Vin Blaine has expressed concern that the women’s national program is heavily beholden to an outside benefactor.

Earlier this week, Blaine stepped down from the post after just six months in charge of the national team.  During his tenure at the helm, the coach found himself at loggerheads with members of the national team, 19 of whom had sent and signed a letter to the JFF questioning the coach’s training methods.

Blaine, however, continues to believe the players were influenced by external forces who will continue to hold plenty of sway with both a large swath of the team’s senior players and the federation itself.

“A lot of people might not want me to say it but definitely that’s what it is,” Blaine told the SportMax Zone,  when asked whether he thought the national program was being held, hostage.

“That’s from my perspective and that’s one of the reasons I decided to part ways and let them have the program.  Hopefully, I wish them all the best.  I hold no ill will towards anyone,” he added.

“It’s my country but it’s just that at this moment I have decided that this is what is best for me and the program.”

The JFF will now begin the search for a new head coach, ahead of the World Cup qualifiers in July.

 

 

Ivan Kuliak has been banned for one year by the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) for wearing a Russian war symbol on the podium next to a Ukrainian competitor in March.

Kuliak taped the letter 'Z' to his chest after winning bronze in the parallel bars final at the Apparatus World Cup in Doha, displaying it as he stood next to gold medallist Illia Kovtun from Ukraine.

The Z has become a prominent symbol of Russia's invasion of Ukraine and has been painted on military vehicles and worn by Russian pro-war politicians.

Kuliak was investigated by the Disciplinary Commission of the Gymnastics Ethics Foundation (GEF), which elected to disqualify him from the Apparatus World Cup, ordering him to return his bronze medal and his prize money.

Announcing additional sanctions against Kuliak, a FIG statement said: "Mr Kuliak is not allowed to participate in any FIG-sanctioned event or competition organised by an affiliated FIG member federation for one year as of the date of this decision. 

"If the protective measures keeping Russian athletes from competing are still in place on 17 May 2023, the ban shall continue and expire six months after the removal of said measures."

Kuliak has 21 days to appeal against the decision.

While his old club Liverpool battle to finish in first place in the Premier League, Xherdan Shaqiri is top of the money tree in Major League Soccer with the Chicago Fire.

Switzerland international Shaqiri is the highest-earning player in the US-centred top flight, new figures released on Tuesday by the MLS Players' Association (MLSPA) revealed.

The 30-year-old is on a base annual salary of $7.35million, with guaranteed compensation of $8.15million.

Shaqiri left Liverpool at the end of last season to join French club Lyon, but he spent less than six months in Ligue 1 before being signed as a designated player by Chicago in February.

He became the Fire's most expensive acquisition, reportedly costing €6.5million ($7.5million), and was described by Chicago sporting director Georg Heitz as "a game-changing player".

The club's new number 10 has scored two goals and had three assists in nine games to date for Chicago.

On the money list, he sits ahead of LA Galaxy's former Manchester United and Real Madrid forward Javier Hernandez ($6million base salary) and Inter Miami's Gonzalo Higuain ($5.1million), another Madrid old boy.

Top five highest base salary earners in MLS, according to MLSPA (players under contract on April 15 2022):

1. Xherdan Shaqiri, Chicago Fire, $7.35million ($8.15million guaranteed compensation)
2. Javier Hernandez, LA Galaxy, $6million ($6million guaranteed)
3. Gonzalo Higuain, Inter Miami, $5.1million ($5.79million guaranteed)
4. Alejandro Pozuelo, Toronto FC, $3.8million ($4.69million guaranteed)
5. Josef Martinez, Atlanta United, $3.7million ($4.14million guaranteed)

Departing Jamaica Reggae Girlz coach, Vin Blaine, has insisted the toxic environment surrounding his tenure with the national team had left the situation untenable.

Blaine brought an end to a weeks-long saga yesterday when he announced that he would officially resign as coach of the team, following a dispute with some senior members of the Reggae Girlz.

The players in question wrote a letter of no confidence, to the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), signed by 19 members, which suggested the coach lacked detailed training sessions, did not provide video analysis, had issues with set pieces, and provided no post-match reviews for player improvement.

 A review of the situation by the JFF technical committee, however, cleared the coach of any wrongdoing and recommended Blaine stay in the post.  From his perspective, however, making that decision would not have been in anyone’s best interest. 

“Based on the situation, if everyone knew the entire process I went through; It was a toxic environment,” Blaine told the SportsMax Zone.

 “Sad to say from day one or two, in the program, you had staff undermining the program, the previous staff.  You had players telling you who should be the equipment person, who should be the fitness coach, those are things that went on,” he added.

“I came out with a smile on my face because it’s not for me to disclose those things in a training camp.  So, I don’t think I could move forward although the federation said they were clearing me for that.  For the program to go forward and for my own peace of mind, I did not need that kind of toxicity.”

Vin Blaine has confirmed his resignation from his position as head coach of the Jamaica Senior Women’s Football Team.

The former Harbour View head coach took the decision to walk away after 19 Reggae Girlz squad members signed a letter to the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) President Michael Ricketts asking that he be replaced.

“The Jamaica Football Federation would like to express sincere thanks and appreciation for the work that coach Vin Blaine has done with the Senior Women’s National Team. Unfortunately, he has decided against taking the team to the next level. We hoped that the relationship shared with the Federation would not end this abruptly, but we appreciate his take on the situation at hand. The JFF wishes him all the very best for the future,” the JFF said in a statement on Tuesday.

Blaine coached the Reggae Girlz at all levels for more than a decade before becoming director of football for the JFF from 2014 to 2017.

He took up Grenada's post of Technical Director in 2017 then had a brief stint as US Virgin Islands coach before his reappointment as Reggae Girlz head coach in December.

He was unbeaten in his four matches as coach and led the Reggae Girlz to four straight victories in Group C of the Concacaf Women's Championship qualifying.

The Reggae Girlz next assignment will be the final round of the Concacaf Women’s Championship beginning on June 4th in Mexico.

The third meet in the “JAAA/SDF Jubilee series” will be staged this Saturday, May 21, at the National Stadium between 5pm and 7pm. Spectators will not be charged an entry fee.

These events are designed to assist senior athletes as they prepare for the JAAA National Championships and other international competitions including the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon, later this year. The Junior athletes will compete between 2pm and 4pm. 

Saturday’s meet will see athletes contesting the following events for males and females; long jump, discus, shot put, Sprint hurdles, 100m, 200m 400m, 400m hurdles and an invitational 800m.

All the athletes will be ranked based on performances this season. The 100m will only accommodate the top 32 ranked athletes, the 400m will see the top 24 and the top 16 will be in the sprint hurdles.

The 400m hurdles will have the top eight based on entry while the field events will see the top twelve based on entry. 

Monetary prizes will be awarded in the 400m hurdles for men and women, the 110m hurdles for men, the 200m for men and women and the discus for women.

The winner of each of the selected six events will get $90,000.00, second place gets $45,000.00, third takes home $30,000.00, fourth $20,000.00 and fifth $15,000.00. 

In total, each event will offer $200,000.00 in prizes, with $1.2 million being handed out overall for the day, providing the athletes meet a minimum standard. Only Jamaican athletes will benefit from the funds. 

The last meet in the four-event series will be staged on June 4, 2022.

Sponsors include the Sports Development Foundation, Puma and Jacden.

 

Jamaica Scorpions captain John Campbell says he is in a good place ahead of the resumption of the West Indies Championship on Wednesday.

Campbell’s Scorpions are currently last in the standings after two rounds, with 8.8 points, and will take on the Windward Islands Volcanoes at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba from May 18-21.

The West Indies Test opener will go into round three coming off some good form in the recently concluded Dream 11 Jamaica T10 tournament where he finished as the leading run-scorer, with 302 runs in 11 matches, while captaining the Middlesex United Stars to a third-place finish.

The short turnaround between formats could pose a challenge to adapt for some batsmen but Campbell insists it’s the nature of the modern game.

“In this day and age there’s a lot of cricket being played so the waiting period between formats is, oftentimes, very slim,” said Campbell in a press conference on Monday, ahead of Wednesday’s game.

“We had an opportunity to play a three-day game before we left Jamaica and I’ve had numerous net sessions with coach Coley that were centred around the longer form of the game. I’m in a good place right now,” he added.

When asked what role he could play with the bat to help turn the Scorpions’ season around, Campbell had this to say.

“For me, It’s good starts. As an opener, setting the foundation for the rest of the innings is very important and we need big totals to win games.”

 

 

 

 

Jhaniele Fowler’s West Coast Fever defeated the Sunshine Coast Lightning 74-65 at the USC Stadium in Queensland in round nine of the Suncorp Super League on Sunday thanks to a perfect 66 goals from 66 attempts from the Jamaican goal shooter.

Fowler’s Fever now has seven wins from nine games to lead the eight-team table with 28 points

Jamaican goal shooter Shimona Nelson was on fire to help the Collingwood Magpies secure a 71-67 win over the Queensland Firebirds at the MyState Bank Arena in Tasmania.

Nelson scored 65 goals from 66 attempts to help the Magpies move to sixth in the table with 16 points from nine matches.

Goal defence Lattanya Wilson and goalkeeper Shamera Sterling each snatched three rebounds but they weren’t enough to prevent their Adelaide Thunderbirds from going down 40-54 to the New South Wales Swifts at the Ken Rosewall Arena.

The Thunderbirds are now seventh in the table with 12 points from nine games.

Kemba Nelson took the 100/200m sprint double at the PAC 12 Conference Championships held at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon on Sunday.

Julien Alfred, Demisha Roswell and Johnathan Jones pulled off impressive victories as the Big 12 Conference Championships concluded in Lubbock, Texas on Sunday.

The Seattle Sounders claimed a vital win to kick-start their MLS season, springing to life in the second half to defeat Minnesota United 3-1 at home.

Goals from Raul Ruidiaz, Nico Lodeiro and Cristian Roldan handed the Sounders a critical three points, after winning two of their opening eight games in the league.

Despite the majority of possession in the opening 45 minutes, they went into the interval down 1-0 after Robin Lod scored in the 34th minute.

The recent CONCACAF Champions League winners were then awarded a penalty which Raul Ruidiaz converted in the 50th minute and they snatched the lead with a long-range blast from Cristian Roldan in the 74th.

Lodeiro sealed the victory for the Sounders in fourth minute of stoppage time, getting on the end of Roldan's incisive cross.

Following wins for the Colorado Rapids and Houston Dynamo, the Sounders needed the three points and remain five points from the Western Conference's last playoff spot in 11th.

After a back-and-forth contest where both sides had the lead, meanwhile, Atlanta United and the New England Revolution drew 2-2 in Sunday's MLS action.

It was Atlanta who jumped ahead early through Thiago Almada's terrific strike from outside the box 15 minutes in, before Adam Buksa equalised for New England 15 minutes later from a tough angle.

Buksa put New England in front with his second goal, coming 10 minutes into the second half, but it would be short-lived as Atlanta's Luiz Araujo equalised eight minutes later, tying things up in the 63rd minute.

There would be another pair of golden chances down the stretch, as Buksa blew his chance at a hat trick in the 83rd minute as he missed from inside the six-yard box, before Araujo missed almost an identical chance down the other end less than a minute later.

The action-packed spectacle featured a combined 40 shots, with Atlanta the more hard-done-by of the two sides, finishing with 26 shots to New England's 14, and 1.81 expected goals to New England's 1.12.

With the draw, Atlanta held on to seventh place in the Eastern Conference, while New England is down in 11th.

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