West Indies captain Kieron Pollard is confident the team has done enough work to address concerns surrounding an inability to rotate the strike ahead of the start of the T20 World Cup.

The Caribbean side will open the tournament on Saturday against England but despite being defending champions will have several questions to answer.  One of those recurring issues has been the ratio of the team’s use of traditional hitting versus rotating the strike with singles.

In the past, the Windies have had success with their power-hitting game, winning the tournament twice in just such a fashion.  In recent years, however, the team has shown a propensity to get bogged down looking for boundaries.  Pollard, however, insists that the team has been looking to address the issue, but were at the same time not looking to get away from their style of play.

“A lot of work has been done behind the scenes.  The guys have worked tirelessly to get to where we are right now in terms of trying to cover our bases,” Pollard told members of the media on Friday.

“I’ve said before that we try to keep our strengths and work on our weaknesses.  We’ve accepted certain things and gone back behind the scenes and hopefully, we will see a difference,” he added.

“In terms of the two games that we played, guys didn’t show that intent and different things might have come out but we are confident that the guys have done what is needed and will look to hit the ground running come the first game.”

Andre Russell could be a game-time decision for the West Indies as they get ready for their opening match in the ICC T20 World Cup in Dubai on Saturday.

As their sponsorship arrangement comes to an end, Cricket West Indies (CWI) has expressed its gratitude to Sandals Resorts International for their contribution to West Indies cricket as a principal partner during the last four years.

Sandals became CWI’s principal partner, enjoying branding rights across all West Indies Men’s, Women’s and age-group teams in 2017, a partnership extended by a further year during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Over the course of many years, CWI and Sandals were able to achieve many positives, including the fact that it was CWI and the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB), who one year ago jointly led the resumption of international cricket at all levels following the initial Pandemic shutdown. Sandals’ encouragement and support for that historic CWI decision to tour the UK was much appreciated”, said CWI CEO, Johnny Grave.

“Global sports and tourism have suffered badly from the unprecedented health-based crisis, caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic, which has reduced Caribbean travel and hospitality revenues immensely. In spite of those setbacks, we were still able to encourage Sandals to extend their sponsorship for a further year. That extended period has now come to an end, and we want to again thank Sandals and its Board for their immense contribution and long-standing support of West Indies cricket.”

The CWI Partnership with Sandals was part of the incredible legacy of the late Sandals’ Chairman, Gordon “Butch” Stewart, who was a life-long supporter of West Indies cricket and who made sure that the Sandals brand stood proudly on the shirts of all West Indian cricketers, continuously over the past four years.

CWI paid tribute earlier this year to Stewart, whose passing was closely followed by the loss of his senior management colleague David Roper, himself also a Sandals-based West Indies cricket stalwart. It was Mr Roper who coordinated the varying commercial relationships with West Indies cricket for more than two decades at home and abroad.

Sandals’ financial contribution through the most recent four-year period of commercial sponsorship, provided much-needed capital to CWI for investing in players and tournaments across all formats of the game.

Sandals had also previously entered into shorter-term sponsorships with CWI on a number of specific tours to the United Kingdom (UK), one of the major tourism markets where Sandals received a significant return on investment from their partnership with West Indies cricket. Sandals was the first-ever West Indies sponsor to have their logo across the chest of the Test teams.

Stephen Francis, coach of Jamaica-based track club MVP, has backed quarter-miler Stefenie Ann Mcpherson to recover from the disappointment of the Olympic Games and is confident she still has plenty of time to claim an individual major Games medal.

The 32-year-old runner finished just outside of the medal places in Tokyo, after being caught and passed close to the finish line by USA legend Alisson Felix who captured the final podium spot.  The race was won in dominant fashion by the Bahamas’ Shaunae Miller-Uibo with second place going to the Dominica Republic’s Marileidy Paulino.

McPherson’s finishing time of 49.61 was much slower than her season-best of 49.34, which had been recorded in the event's semi-final.  The athlete collapsed violently sobbing after the event.  Francis admits that the athlete’s time in the final was a bit of a surprise but believes she is poised to recover and post exceptional performances in the upcoming season.

“It was disappointing because I thought she would have run 48 high in the 400m (Olympic final),” Francis told Sportsmax.Tv in a recent interview.

“She is, however, young enough and determined enough that she will be able to try again,” he added.

McPherson, the event’s reigning national champion, returned to training with the majority of the club’s athletes earlier this week.

 

West Indies Women are set to tour Pakistan for three One-Day Internationals from November 8 to 14, Cricket West Indies announced Thursday.

There were no surprises at the National Indoor Sports Centre on Wednesday night when Jamaica demolished Trinidad and Tobago 73-22 to complete a sweep of the Margaret Beckford Sunshine Series.

LA Galaxy breathed life into their MLS play-off aspirations after securing back-to-back wins for the first time since August with a 3-0 victory at Houston Dynamo on Wednesday.

Galaxy, who had endured a nine-game winless skid, had beaten Portland Timbers 2-1 on the weekend before backing that up in Houston to reinforce their grip on sixth spot in the Western Conference midweek.

Greg Vanney's Galaxy went ahead in the 39th minute from veteran Sacha Kljestan's penalty, after Maynor Figueroa brought down Kevin Cabral inside the box.

Zarek Valentin's own goal on the stroke of half-time from Efrain Alvarez's cutback doubled Galaxy's advantage.

Two minutes into the second half, Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez provided a well-weighted pass for Kevin Cabral to add a third, moving Galaxy up to 45 points and above Real Salt Lake into fifth in the west.

New England Revolution moved another step closer to clinching the Supporters' Shield with a come-from-behind 3-2 win at DC United.

Adam Buksa, Carles Gil and Gustavo Bou all scored within 18 minutes as the Revolution responded to Nigel Robertha's 51st-minute opener for DC United.

The result moved Eastern Conference pacesetters New England to 69 points from 31 games, with Western Conference leaders Seattle Sounders closest behind them on 58 points after 30 games after they lost ground following a 1-1 draw with third-placed Colorado Rapids.

Elsewhere, Nashville – second behind New England in the east – drew for the fifth straight game in a 1-1 stalemate against defending MLS champions Columbus Crew and Cristian Arango's hat-trick guided Los Angeles FC past Dallas 3-2.

Inter Miami snapped their six-game losing skid and kept alive their faint play-off aspirations with a 3-0 home victory over Toronto.

Gudmundur Thorarinsson equalised late for New York City but their winless run extended to six games after a 1-1 draw at Atlanta United, Minnesota United were 3-2 winners against Philadelphia Union, Orlando City and Montreal played out a 1-1 draw.

Chicago Fire prevailed 4-3 over struggling FC Cincinnati, Vancouver Whitecaps came from two goals down to win 3-2 away to Portland Timbers, while San Jose Earthquakes eased past lowly Austin 4-0.

Jamaica discus thrower Fedrick Dacres is looking forward to bouncing back strongly in the upcoming season after an admittedly difficult 2021.

The World Athletics Championships silver medallist missed out on the final of the Men's Discus Throw, at the Olympics in Tokyo, after throwing a best mark of 62.91m.  The mark was well below his personal best of 70.78 but the thrower has struggled to get close to the distance, set two years ago, after undergoing a series of surgeries.

“This year has been my hardest year in track and field because of the whole surgery thing.  I think overall I have done overall five surgeries in six years but this was the hardest,” Dacres said.

It was really the (throwing) hand, I’ve done a few knee surgeries done surgery on the other hand but it wasn’t the main hand.  So, for me coming back this year I struggled but it is what it is,” he added.

The athlete did, however, stage a rebound of sorts after throwing 65.33 to finish in third place at the Wanda Diamond League final last month.

“I think I finished well, not too well at the Olympics, but coming third at the Diamond League isn’t so bad.  I’ll take that as I push for next year.”

Led by Jhaniele Fowler’s near-perfect shooting, Jamaica took a 2-0 lead over Trinidad and Tobago, after winning 64-32 in the Margaret Beckford Sunshine Series at the National Indoor Sports Complex on Tuesday.

Fowler, arguably the best shooter in the world, did not start as Sunshine Girls head coach Connie Francis chose to open with Gezelle Allison and Shanice Beckford. However, the pair of attackers were unable to sufficiently spur the Jamaican attack as the first quarter ended 12-8.

They fared slightly better in the second quarter and they extended the four-point lead to 10 to lead 24-14 at halftime.

However, once Fowler was substituted in at the start of the third quarter, the Sunshine Girls got an immediate lift and extended their lead to 22 and led 44-22 at the end of the third. Fowler would eventually score 36 goals from 38 attempts as Jamaica won by 32.

Allison finished with 13 goals from 20 attempts while Shanice Beckford scored 12 from 14.

Afisha Noel led the scoring for the Calypso Girls with 17 goals from 20 attempts with support from her captain Kalifa McCollin, who scored 15 goals from her 16 attempts.

Jamaica will go for the sweep tonight when the teams meet again in the final match of the series.

 

MVP coach Stephen Francis is confident 2019 Long Jump World Champion Tajay Gayle is set to make a serious foray into the sprints in the upcoming season.

The 25-year-old, who has completely recovered from an injury that negatively impacted his performance at Olympics, showed off some good ability in the 100m sprints last year.

Despite specializing in the jumps, Gayle showed plenty of speed over the distance after clocking 10.18 in May of last year.  The athlete’s best time over double the distance is 21.18.

“I think Tajay will be in the position to do a lot more sprinting this year and I suspect that he will be in the position to challenge for the title of fastest Jamaican,” Francis said in an interview with SportsMax.Tv.

“As well as be able to defend his title as the best long jumper in the world,” he added.

Gayle had been hoping to add the Olympic title to the World title this summer and advanced to the final but injured his left knee in the process.  He was a result unable to secure a position in the final eight.

The fastest woman alive, Elaine Thompson-Herah, has now confirmed her departure from MVP and has revealed that she is yet to assemble her team for the 2021/2022 track season that includes the World Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon next summer.

Elaine Thompson-Herah, the fastest woman and alive, said she will use the inspiration of being conferred with the Order of Distinction to help motivate women and young girls to strive without limits.

Thompson-Herah, who rebounded from five years of disappointment, to become the first woman to win both 100m and 200m titles in consecutive Olympic Games at the Tokyo Games in August, was among several sports personalities to receive national honours at the Ceremony of Investiture and Presentation of National Honours and Awards on Monday.

Thompson-Herah, who ran 10.54 on Usain Bolt’s birthday, August 21, 2021, to become the fastest woman alive and the second-fastest of all time at the Diamond League’s Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon, said the recognition has motivated her to inspire others.

“I have been inspired and motivated by powerful women around the world, powerful women from my island home Jamaica,” she said on Instagram.

“I feel so honoured and overjoyed to be given this Order of Distinction (Commander Class) by my nation. I now use this classification to help motivate and uplift women and young girls to strive without limits.”

The five-time Olympic gold medalist was among three Jamaican sprint queens to be conferred with OD’s in the Commander Class. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, the 100m silver medalist in Tokyo, and Jackie Pusey, who at 16, represented Jamaica at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, Canada were also awarded.

Former West Indies captain Jimmy Adams received the Order of Distinction (Officer Class) for his contribution to the sport of cricket.

The late Jamaican striker, Luton Shelton, Jamaica’s leading male scorer, was posthumously awarded the OD (Officer Class) for his contribution to football.  Shelton died in January 2021 from Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

He played for Jamaica on 75 occasions scoring 35 goals.

Meanwhile, Dr Praimanand Mongal Beharry Singh received the Order of Distinction for outstanding dedication and service to the field of sports.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) has announced the match schedule and venues for the much-anticipated England T20 International (T20I) and Test Tours of the West Indies in January and March 2022.

Vancouver Whitecaps moved within a point of a play-off position in the MLS Western Conference table thanks to a 2-1 defeat of Sporting Kansas City on Sunday.  

Ryan Gauld scored in the 23rd minute and Russell Teibert added a second for the Whitecaps in the 35th with a left-footed strike that eluded goalkeeper Tim Melia. 

Johnny Russell netted for the sixth successive game, scoring in the 43rd minute for the visitors, but that was the extent of their comeback. 

Second-placed Sporting KC (52 points) would have clinched a play-off spot via a win or a draw but will have to wait as they remain five points adrift of leaders Seattle Sounders. 

Vancouver are on 40 points, one behind seventh-placed Minnesota and two back of Real Salt Lake and LA Galaxy. 

New York Red Bulls made a third-minute goal by Cristian Casseres Jr. stand up on the way to a 1-0 win over New York City that left the rivals tied for eighth place in the Eastern Conference. 

The two New York teams are on 40 points, one behind Montreal for the final play-off berth, and they are headed in opposite directions. 

Red Bulls are unbeaten in their last seven (5W 2D) as they seek a 12th successive play-off appearance, while New York City have won just three of their last 16 games (5D 6L).

New York City have failed to score in their last four matches and are mired in a 429-minute scoring drought stretching back to a 1-1 draw against Red Bulls on September 22. 

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