Paul-Andre Walker

Paul-Andre Walker

Paul-Andre is the Managing Editor at SportsMax.tv. He comes to the role with almost 20 years of experience as journalist. That experience includes all facets of media. He began as a sports Journalist in 2001, quickly moving into radio, where he was an editor before becoming a news editor and then an entertainment editor with one of the biggest media houses in the Caribbean.

Jamaican international Alex Marshall is realizing his dream of landing an overseas contract after it was announced he would join Canadian Premier League outfit, HFX Wanderers FC.

The 21-year-old Jamaican, who until recently, plied his trade with Red Stripe Premier League outfit, Cavalier SC, has played for the Reggae Boyz on seven occasions, but will now join up with a former rival in axed Trinidad and Tobago football team coach, Stephen Hart.

Hart was head coach of the Soca Warriors during their most recent runs at the top of the Caribbean pile but was axed after declining results and rifts with the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association over payment and treatment of the programme.

Wanderers are a newly formed CPL outfit, much like the league, and was created to fulfil the idea of having a top-flight team from Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The league is split into two seasons, Spring and Fall and includes seven teams so far.

Wanderers finished fourth in the league’s inaugural Spring season with 11 points, 10 behind eventual winners, Calgary FC.

Wanderers would then falter badly in the Fall season, falling to last place with just 17 points. The side scored 21 goals from 18 games but seem intent on doing better this coming season with the addition of Marshall.

The attacking midfielder will join fellow Caribbean man, Akeem Garcia of Trinidad and Tobago, who ended the season, the club’s leading scorer with seven goals.

Midfielder, Andre Rampersad is also from Trinidad and Tobago.

Wanderers FC have also signed national striker, Alessandro Riggi.

Marshall is looking to revive his professional career after showing much promise as a schoolboy.

Playing from the Jamaica under-17 team in a Caribbean Football Union tournament, Marshall was voted Most Valuable Player and has since had some brilliant moments with Cavalier SC.

Those performances did not go unnoticed and he made his debut with the senior Reggae Boyz in 2017 as a teenager.

Despite earning a historic World Championship silver medal and a World Athletics Diamond League win in 2019, Jamaican triple jumper Shanieka Ricketts will be tweaking her preparations for the Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.

According to Ricketts coach and husband, Kerry Lee Ricketts, Shanieka will be working on more technical advances to her jumping, which will mean she competes less ahead of the Olympics.

That method is in stark contrast to the way Ricketts approached last year when she had what has been her most successful season to date.

Ricketts competed in 15 meets last year but her coach says she won’t need as many this time around.

“We won’t need many meets. I think she will probably open at either the Jamaica [International] Invitational if it has a triple jump or the Racers Grand Prix,” said coach Ricketts.

Ricketts pointed out that last year, there was a lot of testing to see what worked and what didn’t.

Now that the testing is over, Ricketts says there is no need to jump as much.

“This year, it’s not so much testing, it’s more of preparation, so we’re just basically going to prepare, prepare, prepare,” he said.

Shanieka Ricketts has been hunting for marks over 15 metres, getting closer with her personal best 14.93 metres. To get there, her coach believes she needs to get her final phase right, something that while there has been improvement, accounting for consistently bigger jumps, she still hasn’t nailed down.

“We’ve been putting in a lot of work in the last phase and we haven’t gotten it yet and we still have some work to do,” said the coach.

“It’s a learning process where, you know, you learn A and then you move on to B. You can’t learn A and B at the same time,” he said.

Despite having a torrid time of international cricket over the last year and a half, three women from the West Indies side have still been picked as part of this decade’s best XI, according to ESPN.

Stafanie Taylor, who scored the most One-Day International runs and is one of the three highest run-scorers in the World in T20 Internationals over the course of the decade, was a shoo-in, while all-rounding legend from the region, Deandra Dottin, also had no equal.

As a bowler, Anisa Mohammed has been the standout spinner this decade and so has also taken her place in the XI.

Taylor, according to ESPN, is joined at the top of the order by New Zealand’s Suzie Bates, while at number three, Australia’s Meg Lanning was a sure pick. At four in the batting line-up comes Indian great, Mithali Raj, who averaged 55.31 in ODIs this decade and 37.18 in T20Is.

England wicketkeeper Sarah Taylor is set to walk at five in the team of the decade, while Australia’s Ellyse Perry and Dottin prop up the rest of the middle order.

The specialist bowlers in the side are made up of Shagnim Ismail, England veteran Anya Shrubsole, Mohammed and South Africa’s Dane van Niekerk.

This decade, Taylor scored 3993 runs at an average of 45.89, which included four centuries and 32 half-centuries. In T20Is, the 28-year-old West Indies captain managed 2639 runs at an average of 35.66 including 14 half-centuries.

Dottin’s all-round cricket has been impressive. She scored 2349 runs in ODIs this decade while taking 64 wickets. In T20Is the all-rounder was just as impressive, scoring 2175 runs while taking 58 wickets.

Mohammed has been the standout bowler this decade, taking an incredible 142 wickets in ODIs over the period. In 2011, for instance, the offspinner managed to remove 37 scalps from just 13 games. She has taken five or more wickets on three occasions since 2010.

In T20Is, where batters reign supreme, Mohammed was also brilliant, bagging 102 wickets with best figures of 5/12. She took five or more wickets twice in the period and had four for nine in 2010 and 2011.

West Indies Women’s captain, Stafanie Taylor, has scored the most One-Day International runs over the last decade of her career.

According to the statistics, Taylor, who led the West Indies women to a historic T20 World Cup win, has interestingly, done better in the longer format of the game, even though her team has only managed a runner up finish on the World stage.

This decade, Taylor has scored 3993 runs at a healthy average of 45.89.

Those runs mean she finishes the decade ahead of the prolific Meg Lanning, the Australian scoring 3,693 runs at an average of 52.75.

Taylor also bested another prolific scorer in the women’s game today, New Zealand’s Suzie Bates, who scored 3,621 runs this decade at an average of 45.26.

Taylor, on her way to amassing the total scored, scored the third-highest total among women in an ODI, slamming 171 against Sri Lanka in the 2013 World Cup.

Also along the way, she scored four centuries with two of those coming in 2013.

The all-rounder also scored 32 half-centuries over the period, with 2019 her most productive, where she scored five of them.

Though Taylor has not scored a century since 2013, she has consistently come close, scoring 95, 98 not out, 85, 90, 90, and 94 in the year’s following.

Taylor, a Jamaican, has opened for West Indies Women since she was a teenager, and is known for her determined accumulation of runs. At just 19, she became the youngest woman to reach 1000 ODI runs.

Given the two T20 World Cups under the belt of the West Indies, it may be no surprise that the Caribbean side has dominated ESPN’s best XI in the format over the last decade.

ESPN had come up with a list of its best XI in Test, One-Day and T20 Internationals and while there were no West Indians in the two longer formats of the game, they may have made up for it in the shortest.

At the top of the order comes Chris Gayle, T20’s all-time leading run-scorer. Interestingly, the opening spots have been covered by the West Indies with Sunil Narine earning a pick for his innovative pinch-hitting at the top of the order.

India’s Virat Kohli comes at number three in the batting line-up, with South Africa’s AB de Villiers locking down number four.

At five, ESPN has gone with another Indian in veteran Mahendra Singh Doni before turning again to the Caribbean where West Indies white-ball captain Kieron Pollard and Andre Russell can decide who bats six and seven.

At number eight, the best in the world this decade, according to the writers at ESPN, comes Dwayne Bravo before the leg-spin option of Rashid Khan. Narine, is, of course, the other spinner in the side.

Sri Lankan great, Lasith Malinga makes the best team of the decade next, while Jasprith Bumrah finds his way into the side as the second seamer. The two are seen as the best death bowlers in the world because of their ability to bowl Yorkers.

West Indies coach Phil Simmons is not be concerned that the life-changing contract awarded to Sheldon Cottrell to play for the Kings XI Punjab in this season’s Indian Premier League (IPL) will impact his cricket.

Specialist fielding coach, Trevor Penney, has been named as an assistant to West Indies head coach, Phil Simmons, with specific responsibility for white-ball cricket.

Penney will begin a two-year contract with the West Indies on January 2, 2019, with the hopes of getting the team ready for the Colonial Medical Insurance One-Day International series against Ireland at home.

That series will comprise three ODI games. There will also be three Sandals T/20 Internationals to consider against the Irishmen, both encounters from January 7-19.

The 51-year-old Penny, himself a former player for Warwickshire, has had stints as head coach of Sri Lanka, one as fielding coach of India, as well as was a consultant coach to the Netherlands.

Penney also comes to the position with experience from the Indian Premier League (IPL), where he served as assistant coach at the King’s XI Punjab, Deccan Chargers and the Kolkata Knight Riders. He also provided his services to the St Lucia Zouks and to the St Kitts & Nevis Patriots in the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL). Most recently he helped the Barbados Tridents to their second lien on the CPL trophy.

There he was assisting Simmons, who believes him to be well suited for his latest tour of duty.

“Trevor is an excellent coach and has demonstrated this everywhere he has worked. He has huge experience with Sri Lanka and India at the highest international level, and in most T20 leagues around the world including the CPL. He brings enormous energy and is very well respected by all the players,” said Simmons.

Penney believes he is also a good fit, especially because of the experience he has with the very players who make up the white ball squads.

“I’m thrilled and excited to be given this opportunity to work with this brilliant bunch of cricketers and staff led by Kieron Pollard and Phil Simmons. I’ve been lucky enough over the last few years to work with several members of the squad and the Caribbean is like ‘home away from home’ for me being involved in the CPL,” said Penney.

 

 

 

Penney is very aware that the West Indies have suffered a decline in fortunes in T20 cricket, where they have won two World Cups and wants to get them back to a stage where they are a dangerous outfit.

“We have two big T20 World Cups coming up (in Australia 2020 and India 2021) and it’s my aim to try and improve everybody and be as good as we can and hopefully win those two major ICC events for the great people of the West Indies.”

 

MATCH SCHEDULE

 

Saturday, Jan 4: warm-up vs CWI President’s XI – Three Ws Oval, Barbados

 

Tuesday, Jan 7: 1st Colonial Medical Insurance ODI – Kensington Oval, Barbados 

 

Thursday, Jan 9: 2nd Colonial Medical Insurance ODI – Kensington Oval

 

Sunday, Jan 12: 3rd Colonial Medical Insurance ODI – Grenada National Stadium, Grenada

 

Wednesday, Jan 15: 1st Sandals Resorts T20I – Grenada National Stadium 

 

Saturday, Jan 18: 2nd Sandals Resorts T20I – Warner Park, St Kitts

 

Sunday, Jan 19: 3rd Sandals Resorts T20I – Warner Park

 

 

 

TEAM MANAGEMENT

 

Phil Simmons (Head Coach)

 

Rawl Lewis (Team Manager)

 

Roddy Estwick (Assistant Coach)

 

Trevor Penney (Assistant Coach)

 

Monty Desai (Batting Coach)

 

Ronald Rogers (Strength & Conditioning Coach)

 

Denis Byam (Physiotherapist)

 

A.R. Srikkanth (Team Analyst)

 

Zephyrinus Nicholas (Massage Therapist)

 

Philip Spooner (Media Manager)

The sport of boxing in Jamaica has been missing the likes of former WBA World Featherweight champion Nicholas Walters, but that could soon change, according to president of the Jamaica Boxing Board, Stephen Jones.

According to the JBB boss, Walters, who has not fought since a technical knockout loss to Ukrainian Vasyl Lomachenko for the WBO World Junior Lightweight championship, has been a great ambassador for the sport in the island and is still a big name in the ring.

Walters quit in the sixth round of his fight with Lomachenko and returned a year later when he was to fight Arturo Santos Reyes, however, he had to call off the fight with the Mexican after coming down with the flu.

“The last conversation that I had with him (Walters) a few months ago, he was fully committed to coming back into the fighting game,” said Jones in an an interview with Jamaican newspaper The Gleaner.

More than just indicating a willingness to get back into the ring, Jones believes Walters, who some have believed lost the passion for fighting after his loss to Lomachenko, was in the right frame of mind for a comeback.

“His mind was right and he just had to get himself back into fighting shape, and not only just to make the weight, but make sure that his fitness is at a high level,” said Jones.

At 33 years old, Walters does not have a lot of time to stage a comeback at the moment and this gives Jones the feeling, his return could be very soon.

“I am not sure how far he is in that (training) regard, but I am encouraged ... because being not just a fan, I think he was one of the most incredible talents and enough time has past and his coming back would have to be anytime now,” he said.

Jones believes that Walters’ wins and pedigree over the course of his career, overshadow any failings he may have had in his recent past and that his return can augur well for the sport.

“I think that (would) be a major boost for boxing in Jamaica because Nicholas Walters is still a tremendous name in boxing,” said Jones.

“I think it will also be a major boost for boxing worldwide because he was a world champion and he fought some incredible opponents and he had some incredible wins,” he said.

With the Olympics in Tokyo just months away, Japan has ramped up their preparations and showed their might on Saturday with a comprehensive 9-0 thrashing of Jamaica’s Young Reggae Boyz at the Transcosmos Stadium in Nagasaki.

The under 22s from Jamaica were no match for their hosts, who are also preparing for the Asian Cup next month, a competition which also acts as a qualifier for Tokyo.

Though Japan has already booked their place in Tokyo by virtue of being the hosts, they would still like to do well in the Asian Cup and have laid down a marker for their rivals.

Japan will be in Group B of the Under-23 Asian Cup, where they will first take on Saudi Arabia on January 9, 2020, before turning their attention to  Syria on the 12th.

Qatar is next for the Japan side before what they will hope are quarterfinal match-ups. There are four groups with the top two from each making the quarterfinal.

Reggae Boyz coach Theodore Whitmore was the man in charge of the under-22s, saying the encounter would have given him the chance to take a look at some of the emerging talent from the country with a bid to fitting them into senior World Cup qualification games.

West Indies Legend, iconic captain of the 1980s, Clive Lloyd will be knighted as part of the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List and will be joined by former opening batsman, Gordon Greenidge.

Lloyd and Greenidge are the latest member of former West Indies teams to receive knighthood, following greats like Sir Gary Sobers, Sir Everton Weekes, and Sir Vivian Richards.

Lloyd, who earned a CBE as early as 1993, was forced to wait on the prestigious honour because as a Guyanese citizen, knighthood would have to come directly from the queen, unlike is the case in Antigua where that country gave the honour to, Sir Vivian, Sir Curtly and Sir Richie directly.

Lloyd, who led the West Indies during its most successful era, is likely to have made the list for his contribution to cricket not with the Caribbean side but with English County outfit Lancashire, where he plied his trade for some 20 years.

Lancashire skipper at the time, Jack Bond, was full of praise for Lloyd, saying: “His value to Lancashire cannot be measured by ordinary standards.”

For the West Indies, Lloyd played 110 Tests, becoming the first player from the region to play over 100 games in the format, scoring 19 centuries and 39 half-centuries at an average of 46.67. His highest score was an unbeaten 242 against India in Mumbai to set up a series-deciding win for the West Indies.

Lloyd also led the West Indies to two World Cup titles, first in 1975, then again in 1979.

But Lloyd also contributed to West Indies cricket as an administrator, holding stints as a director of the West Indies Cricket Board as well as the team’s chairman of selectors.

Lloyd is particularly well remembered for ‘cometh the hour, cometh the man moments’, famously scoring a wonderful century in the final of the World Cup in 1975 at Lord’s.

Greenidge, meanwhile, a 68-year-old former opening batsman, has been conferred with the Order of St Michael and St George Knight Commander for “services to cricket and to the development of sport” on the overseas list.

Conde Riley, the Barbados Cricket Association president and Cricket West Indies director, has also been honoured for “services in the field of sport and in particular cricket administration”.

For the moment, West Indies batsman Shai Hope can count himself as one of the top ten batsmen in One-Day International Cricket after scoring heavily against India in a just-concluded three-match series in that country.

Hope will end the year as the number nine batsman in the world, jumping five places on the ICC ODI Player Rankings after scoring 222 runs in those three matches at an average of 111.

Hope opened up in Chennai, helping the West Indies to a 1-0 series lead with an unbeaten 102, before he made things interesting despite losing efforts from the West Indies.

Hope would go on to score 72 in Visakhapatnam, and 42 in Cuttack to end the year with four centuries in 2019 and a healthy average of over 60, above his lifetime average of 52. The ODI top-order batsman now has eight centuries and became the quickest West Indian batsman to reach 3000 runs in the format. Only Hashim Amla has gotten to 3000 runs faster.

Hope lies ahead of all West Indies ODI batsmen, even Shimron Hetmyer, who has also seen improvement in his ICC ODI ranking. Hetmyer now lies at 19 in the world, while Nicholas Pooran, another player from West Indies’ young and exciting middle-order, now stands at 30th in the world, up from 63 after scoring 193 runs at an average of 96.50.

Hetmyer scored 180 runs at an average of 60.

In January, former Portmore United attacking midfielder, Javon East will be embarking on a three-year stint with Primera División de Costa Rica outfit, Santos de Guápiles, when the new season begins.

Back in June, East went on loan with the Costa Rican top-tier club and has impressed enough to be offered a more permanent switch.

However, East, who made his debut for the Reggae Boyz in 2018, while happy with the club’s decision to see him as important to their future, is also looking elsewhere to secure that future.

“I am feeling good about this because it is a start to push my career towards Europe,” said East.

“I think that I just have to start the season good and finish it good in order to stand a chance to make it into Europe.”

East, had a phenomenal start to life with Santos, scoring 10 goals in 18 appearances for the club, making him its leading scorer last season, just three off the top goalscorer in the league.

East, though, has set his sights much higher, saying he wants to, at least, double that tally in the upcoming season.

“My aim for next season is to score 20-plus goals because from the first week that I went there, I adapted to their style of play and so I know that I can hit this target,” he said.

With much bigger targets, East, one of three foreigners in the Santos squad, believes he will have to do more adapting because he is no longer and unknown quantity.

“I think next season is going to be a bit tougher because my opponents in the league know about me now, and so I am going to have to double my work ethic going forward in the competition,” he said.

Trinidad & Tobago have been stripped of two Pan American Games 2019 medals after Pan Am Sports revealed in a press release that two of the country’s cyclists tested positive for drugs during the Lima, Peru event.

T&T won three medals at the Pan Am games but may now have to return its team cycling gold and an individual cycling medal, with Nicholas Paul’s individual sprint gold the only accolade that remains.

According to reports, T&T have hit back at the Pan Am Games, saying the organisers have breached confidentiality protocol in announcing the decision to rescind the gold medals and had already put the matter before a judiciary panel.

"The information put out by Pan American Sports is currently being challenged by Trinidad and Tobago. Any discussion of reallocation of medals is premature due to the number of things currently being ventilated," said T&T’s team lawyer Tyrone Marcus.

However, Pan Am Sports Secretary-General, Ivar Sisniega insists that no protocols were breached and remained confident that his organisation’s ruling would be allowed to stand.

“We have been very careful with the issue of doping at the Pan American Games of Lima 2019, respecting all the corresponding protocols and processes. After our executive committee meeting, we have officially approved the decisions of the disciplinary commission and the respective disqualifications of the athletes involved, and this has generated the changes we are reporting today. With this, we close the medal table of our Games,” said Sisniega.  

The sombre affair of laying to rest the body of Reggae Girl Tarania ‘Plum Plum’ Clarke was replaced with the loud bangs of gunshots and the unmistakable stench of fear from mourners who were hindered from doing just that on Sunday.

What started as a day celebrating the life of Clarke, where she was described as a born leader at the Excelsior High School Auditorium in Kingston, Jamaica, ended with confusion and pain at the Meadowrest Memorial Gardens in St Catherine.

Reports are that on Sunday, there was an altercation during the burial that resulted in the stabbing of an employee at Meadowrest.

It is alleged that gunmen from the nearby community, hearing of the injury to one of their own, broke up the proceedings by firing gunshots into the proceedings.

It is unknown if anybody was shot in the incident as the police are yet to release a report on the incident as investigations continue.

The October 31 death shocked the footballing community in Jamaica, with reports surfacing that the 20-year-old was stabbed during a fight with a friend over a cell phone in Half-Way Tree.

During the memorial service inside the auditorium, Reggae Girl, Khadija Shaw asked that Clarke be remembered for being funny, caring and hard working.

“She would have wanted to be with us all, to be here with our happiest smile of our times together,” said Shaw.

“For the memories, I have with her, I can tell you she was a strong person. Plum Plum’s presence will be missed by all, but she will never be forgotten.”

Clarke captained the Waterhouse women’s team for four title-winning seasons, earning a Reggae Girlz debut on September 30 during the CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifiers and even scored her first international goal against Cuba, during a 21-1 drubbing. The defender also scored against St Lucia when the Reggae Girlz beat them 11-0.

President of the Jamaica Football Federation, Michael Ricketts, said the loss of life was caused by a lack of understanding.

“It is so sad and painful to have lost someone which such a future,” Ricketts said.

“From her days at primary school, she has exhibited that ability to lead. I want to use this opportunity to ask all of you that we showed love. We [need to] go back to the days when we respect and show love to our friends. One single act of indiscretion has cost the community, the school, and certainly Jamaica, [someone] with such great talent.”

Nicholas Pooran was always a talented batsman but fell off the wagon after a car crash left him unable to walk for six months.

His return to international cricket has revitalized a West Indies batting line-up accused of being altogether too inconsistent.

Pooran though, averaging 52 from his 19 games since his return to cricket, has helped to give his side the confidence that makes a dangerous side with the bat.

While that revival isn’t complete, Pooran is grateful that he has come this far and is thanking his skipper, Kieron Pollard, for making it possible.

“He’s been like a big brother to me, a father-figure. He’s been there since I returned to cricket. He gave me opportunity. I’m thankful for that,” said Pooran.

Pooran has already begun repaying Pollard the faith he put in him, scoring 29 not out off 23 balls, 75 off 47 balls and 89 off 64 balls in a recently concluded ODI series against India.

But it isn’t just off the field that Pollard has been there for Pooran, as batting with his father figure has helped him as well.

In the final ODI against India on Sunday, Pollard batted with the West Indies middle order to help them post a challenging 315-5, himself ending unbeaten on 74.

“We play with each other, with the same club, same franchise back home. So we had a good understanding of the wicket and the situation in the game and just executed our skills,” said Pooran, who scored 89 from 64 deliveries in a partnership that took the West Indies from 144-4 in the 32nd over to 279-5 in the 48th when he finally got out.

“We know how to complement each other. Polly was stronger to the spinners, so we allowed him to attack Kuldeep (Yadav) and I would try and play more shots to the pacers. It worked out,” said Pooran.

The middle-order batting has shown some improvement, but the ease with which India got to 316-6, doing so in the 49th over, winning their second series against the Windies at home this month, suggests there is still work to be done.

“Definitely we were on a team-building (mode). India are one of the strongest teams in the world. They proved that again today in the T20I and ODI series. At least we came here and we showed fight,” said Pooran.

Pooran, no stranger to adversity after fighting his way back to fitness after his accident, strongly believes the West Indies are on their way back to being the best team in the world.

“There are better things to come. We are taking it day-by-day and eventually we’ll get where we want to get,” he said.

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