Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

After an almost three-year hiatus from the sport, sprinter Daniel Bailey is planning a comeback at the 2021 World Indoor Championships from March 19-21 in Nanjing, China. His coach Carl Casey believes the veteran sprinter could be even better than before on his return.

The 34-year-old Bailey, the first Antiguan to win a 60m indoor global medal, took a break from the sport in 2018 and many believed he had retired.

However, according to Casey, he has been preparing Bailey for his intended return to the sport in 2021 and things have been going well.

“Daniel is not really a person who shies away from working…when it comes to training he is very focused,” Casey said during a recent interview on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show in Antigua.

“This time around we are seeing a whole different person in terms of maturity and focus.”

A decade ago Bailey, who boasts a personal best of 9.91, was among the best sprinters in the world, he was fourth in the final of the Men’s 100m at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, where Usain Bolt set the world record of 9.58s.

The following year he won bronze at the World Indoor Championships in Doha, Qatar and won a silver medal in the 100m at the Continental Cup in Split.

Despite Bailey’s age, Casey believes there is a lot more in the tank.

“He is the first person to run sub-10 in a South American country. Daniel Bailey is the only (Antiguan) athlete to have won a medal at indoors so he has substance,” the former national coach said.

“Maybe it’s me but I think the second time coming is a better Daniel Bailey.”

 

I use my Sundays to look back at what has been happening in the world of sport. On many a Sunday, I realize that people have looked at the stories they have seen throughout the week through different lenses. I have my own personal take on some of these issues and I will share them with you. Welcome to #INCASEYOUMISSEDIT. 

) Nicholas Pooran - one for the future.    

West Indies have provided Nicholas Pooran with the opportunity to prove that he is worthy of being part of the Test squad by including him in a 14-man 'A' squad to play a pair of first-class matches in New Zealand next month.

This, I feel is a good move.

The 25-year-old Trinidadian has played well in the shorter formats to the extent that many fans and pundits alike have suggested that he should considered for Test selection. There are others, however, who believe he should not be included because of his limited participation in first-class cricket in that he has only played three games for Trinidad and Tobago back in 2014.

My question is, how will we know unless he tries?

Sometimes an opportunity is all you need. The chance Pooran is now being given will allow selectors to determine if he has what it takes. Cricket West Indies lead selector Roger Harper believes the player deserves an opportunity.

"This series will give our players an opportunity to play first-class cricket against foreign opposition as well as experience different conditions here in New Zealand. It will also help to keep them in the frame should the need for replacements for the test team arise as we will have players who have been playing red-ball cricket and in form to consider."

There are two four-day matches set for December 3 in Mount Maunganui and December 11 in Nelson.

 

  1. Ineffective bowling cost the Windies

West Indies were outplayed by New Zealand and lost by 72 runs in the second T20 International on Sunday at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui. New Zealand’s Glenn Phillips cracked a 51-ball century, the quickest in T20Is by a New Zealander as the home side took a winning 2-0 lead. 

The West Indies struggled to make a mark in the first two matches of the series. In the first match, there were a combination of errors with the bat and ball.  Despite the heroics of skipper Kieron Pollard, who blasted 75 not out, the Windies lost five wickets for one run and needed Pollard’s brilliant knock to get them back into contention.

Wickets were also hard to come by as Keemo Paul went for 39 runs in three overs that included five costly no-balls. Kesrick Williams gave up 33 runs in two overs while Fabian Allen went for 32 runs in the 12 balls he was allowed.

 

In the second T20 international, Andre Fletcher looked good for the time he lasted but was run out on 20 having faced 14 deliveries. Brandon King failed miserably and was dismissed for duck. West Indies' biggest hopes in the middle order Shimron Hetmyer and Nicholas Pooran failed to fire.

How many times do we expect the Windies captain to carry the side? Skipper Kieron Pollard top-scored again for the Windies with his 15-ball 28, which included three consecutive sixes off Mitchell Santner but it was not enough.

As was the case in the first match, none of the Windies bowlers made an impact. Instead of gaining momentum when Guptill and Seifert were dismissed they literally dropped the ball. There were a number of misfields and a general lack of discipline from the bowlers.  Fast bowler Keemo Paul conceded 64 runs in four overs and Sheldon Cottrell went for 39 runs.  

The final T20 international will be held at Mount Maunganui on Monday, before a two-Test series begins in Hamilton on December 3.

  

  1. The world rocked by the passing of Diego Maradona. RIP Sir.

 On Sunday, Lionel Messi paid an emotional tribute to Diego Maradona by revealing a Newell's Old Boys shirt after scoring for Barcelona in their 4-0 win over Osasuna. The forward looked emotional during the minute’s applause for Maradona, who died at the age of 60 on Wednesday after a heart attack.

Messi, his fellow Argentine, alongside Pele and Cristiana Ronaldo best summed up the passing of the legend when they said "He is gone, but he will be with us for eternity."

Without a doubt, Maradona will be remembered for his many achievements on the field. He won titles in three different countries. He took Argentina to victory in the 1986 World Cup. He delivered two league titles to the city of Naples, something most felt was impossible. However, the Argentine’s impact off the field is what touched people the most.

He was vulnerable and showed that openly as he lived a life of excess in the public eye.  He immersed himself in whatever he did and took on the authorities when they failed to represent what he stood for. He will be remembered for his work on and off the field. Rest in peace, Sir. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minister of Gender, Culture, Entertainment and Sports Olivia Grange has congratulated Garth Gayle on his ascendency to the presidency of the Jamaica Athletic Administrative Association (JAAA).

Gayle, who was the Honorary Secretary of the JAAA for two decades, replaced Dr Warren Blake who stepped down after two four-year terms. Gayle defeated Olympic Quarrie in a landslide winning 236 delegate votes to Quarrie’s 28.

Marie Tavares will fill Gayle’s former position, after defeating Anthony Davis while Leroy Cooke is the Director of Records.

Ian Forbes was elected unopposed as First Vice President, as were second Vice President Lincoln Eatmon, Third Vice President Olympian Michael Frater and Fourth Vice President Vilma Charlton. Ludlow Watts returns as Treasurer while Brian Smith will be Assistant Secretary.

In her congratulatory message, Minister Grange said she was expecting great things from the new administration.

“As I offer my congratulations to Garth and those on his slate for the success in the elections yesterday, I say Jamaica is looking forward to the best performance over the next four years in the best interests of the country’s track and field athletes,” she said.

“There is a lot to be done in the further development of the sport and as the Minister of Sport, I am right here in the middle to give my support to the new administration.

“I am also hoping that with the elections out of the way, all will work together to build on Jamaica’s long, proud and wonderful record of performance in track and field.”

The full executive of the new JAAA administration also include committee members Keith Wellington, Heleen Francis, Julette Parkes-Livermore, Ewan Scott, Judith Ewart, Fedrick Dacres, Dr Carl Bruce and Gregory Hamilton.

 

 

West Indies white-ball captain Kieron Pollard blames his side’s erratic bowling for their five-wicket loss to New Zealand in Auckland on Friday.

New Zealand ‘A’ were 45 without loss at stumps on day two of their warm-up match with the West Indies in Queenstown.

A dramatic batting collapse and poor bowling were at the root of the West Indies five-wicket loss to New Zealand in the opening encounter of their three-match T20 series in Auckland on Friday.

In a match interrupted several times by rain, the West Indies lost five wickets for one run but recovered to 180 for 7 from 16 overs thanks to some calculated hitting from their captain, Kieron Pollard.

However, New Zealand replied with 179 for five from 15.2 overs to win by Duckworth/Lewis method.

The home side won the toss and asked the visitors to bat and they obliged racing to 58 without loss in 19 balls courtesy of Andre Fletcher’s 14-ball 34 that included three fours and three sixes.

However, when he was bowled by Lockie Ferguson the second ball of the fourth over, it triggered a collapse wherein the West Indies lost five wickets in 11 balls. Four balls later, he had Shimron Hetmyer caught behind without scoring – 58 for 2.

The West Indies lost two wickets in the following over bowled by Tim Southee, who removed Brandon King for 13 and Rovman Powell without scoring as the West Indies stumbled to 58 for 4. In the very next over, Ferguson trapped Nicholas Pooran lbw for 1 and the West Indies had collapsed to 59 for 5.

Pollard came to the rescue of the Caribbean side as he and Fabian Allen hauled the West Indies to 143 in the 14th over when Ferguson had Allen caught for 30 behind and Keemo Paul out by a similar route without scoring to leave the West Indies 146 for 7.

Meanwhile, at the other end Pollard was at his destructive best, smashing 75 off just 37 balls with four fours and eight sixes to carry the Caribbean side to a competitive total.

Man of the Match Ferguson returned figures of 5 for 21 from his four overs, while Southee took 2 for 22 from 3.

However, the Pollard-led recovery was all for naught as New Zealand, led by Neesham’s unbeaten 24-ball 48 and Devon Conway’s 29-ball 41, propelled New Zealand to 179 for 5 from 15.2overs and the series lead.

Neesham and Conway dragged New Zealand back from 63 for 4 mid-way the seventh over to what turned out to be a comfortable victory. In a fifth-wicket stand of 77 that came off just 34 balls, the pair smashed the West Indies bowling to all parts before Conway fell to Pollard in the 13th over but by then the damage had been done.

Mitchell Santer picked up from there smashing three sixes as he raced to an unbeaten 31 from just 18 balls to secure victory.

New Zealand were aided by poor bowling from the West Indies, especially from Keemo Paul and Kesrick Williams being, who were most culpable. Paul bowled five no-balls while giving up 39 runs from his three overs while Williams’ half volleys saw him being taken for 33 runs from two overs. Allen gave up 32 from two overs.

Oshane Thomas 2 for 23 from three overs was the best of the West Indies bowlers while Sheldon Cottrell returned figures of 1 for 30 from his four overs.

 

 

Kraigg Brathwaite completed a double-century on day two of their warm-up match against New Zealand ‘A’ at Queenstown as the West Indies went to lunch on 463 for 4.

At the break, Brathwaite was unbeaten on 235 and Shane Dowrich, 19. So far the pair have added 34 runs for the fifth wicket from nine overs.

Resuming from his overnight score of 183 and the West Indies 353 for 3, Brathwaite and Jermaine Blackwood, 19 overnight, pushed the score for 429 when the latter was bowled by Rachin Ravindra for 53.

Blackwood scored his runs from 82 balls in his 115-minute stay at the crease during which he hit four fours. Together the pair that came together at 322 for 3, put in 107 runs in 27.1 overs as the West Indies continued to build on their massive total.

Ravindra has taken 2 for 59 from 19 overs.

Jamaica Football Federation President Michael Ricketts has written to the President of the Argentina Football Association Claudio Tapia expressing his sorrow at the passing of football legend Diego Maradona.

The 60-year-old Maradona, who was widely considered one of, if not the best player that has ever lived, died of cardiac arrest in his sleep Wednesday, mere weeks after undergoing brain surgery.

His death has set off a wave of mourning across the globe for the player who captivated the world of football for more than two decades. Among them, the JFF.

“The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) is indeed saddened by the death of the legendary Diego Armando Maradona. He was an extraordinary player and an inspiration to individuals in every corner of the world, including Jamaica,” the letter stated.

“We watched him with awe throughout his glorious career and remember him in a good way. His performances for Argentina, especially those at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, are etched indelibly in our subconscious. Many of my countrymen became supporters of your team because of his incredible exploits.

“The JFF extends condolences to the Argentina Football Federation and the people of Argentina who have lost a true football icon. May his soul rest in peace in the hands of God.”

Meanwhile, Olivia Grange, Jamaica’s Minister of Gender, Culture, Entertainment and Sports said she was also saddened by the news.

“This is a sad day for world football. Whether you supported Argentina or not, you have to admit that Diego Maradona was one of the greatest football players the world has ever seen. Nobody dribbled like Maradona. Maradona was colourful and gifted and made the game exciting.  It was a pleasure to watch him play at every level,” she said in a statement.

“People will recall the ‘hand of God’ controversy and his personal struggle with substance abuse.  But I want to focus on his skill that propelled him to make his international debut at age 17; his World Cup glory in 1986, his winning the FIFA Player of the Century award in 2000, jointly with another great, Pele and just the inspiration that he was and will continue to be for football players and fans everywhere.”

She described Maradona’s passing as  a great loss to the world of sports as he inspired an entire generation of youths across the world to be involved in and support football.

 “May his soul rest in peace.  We will miss him,” she said.

Wesley Brown followed up his first-round score of 66 on Monday with a five-under par 67 to win the two-day Sterling Asset Management-sponsored Golf Tournament by the Pro Golf League in the  at the Caymanas Golf Course in St Catherine on Tuesday.

In the final tournament on the Jamaican Pro League calendar, Brown’s exceptional play saw him finish 13 shots clear of Raymond Brown and Sean Green, who shot identical scores of 72 and 74, respectively, for overall scores of 146.

Allan Graham completed the final round with a 77 for an overall score of 150 while Orville Christie and Ricardo Perry shot 79s and 74s, respectively, to close on 153, a massive 20 shots off the winner.

Al Robinson, who was six-over on Monday, was seven-over on Tuesday for a score of 157.

Martin Butt was the best of the Senior Pros with a final round score of 73 but he just managed to hold off a charging Joel Campbell. Campbell’s 69 was the best score of the final round but had him coming up a stroke short of Butt’s combined score of 148.

Campbell was eight-over and five shots behind at close of play on Monday.

Meanwhile, Linval Higgins final round score of 78 gave him a combined score of 152 for third. Windell Stewart was a further shot back after he closed with 74, an improvement on the 79 he shot on Monday.

Joe Soe (77/79) for 156 and Ian Christie (81/77) for 158 rounded out the top five.

Sean Morris was the best of the amateurs with his final round score of 73 to register a two-stroke win over first-round leader Justin Burrowes, who shot a 79 to fall behind to finish two shots back.

Having shot a first round score of 74, Shamir Wilson wasted a glorious opportunity to challenge for the win but collapsed with an 8-over par score of 80 to register a final score of 154 to finish third, four shots off the pace.

Rocco Lopez’s opening round of 75 had also put him in early contention but he imploded massively on Tuesday with an 11-over par 83 to finish eight strokes behind the winner. He ended in a tie with Christian Chin, who shot 82 to finish on 158.

Ahman Dhiman (81) for 162 and Milan Roof (94) for 173 rounded the amateurs.

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Kraigg Brathwaite produced an unbeaten hundred and Darren Bravo just missed out on his second of the tour as the West Indies compiled 353 for 3 against New Zealand ‘A’ on the opening day of the second warm-up match at the John Davies Oval in Queenstown on Thursday.

Football legend Diego Maradona has died after suffering cardiac arrest, multiple media entities are reporting.

The Argentinian who led his country to the 1986 World Cup title in Mexico, died two weeks after being released from hospital after undergoing brain surgery.

Considered one of the greatest ever to play the game during his illustrious but oftentimes scandal-ridden career, Maradona played for Newell's Old Boys, Sevilla, Napoli, Barcelona, Boca Juniors and Argentinos Juniors scoring more than 250 goals in a career spanning more than two decades.

He represented Argentina at the 1982, 1986, 1990 and 1994 World Cups and scored 34 goals in 91 appearances for the national team. At the 1986 World Cup, he controversially scored with the "Hand of God" in Argentina's 2-1 win over England. His second goal in that match is widely regarded as one of the best goals ever scored in a World Cup.

Maradona was the coach of Argentinian club Gimnasia y Esgrima at the time of his death. He was 60 years old.

In a time of national crises stemming from the eight-month old global pandemic, two-time Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce continues to come to the rescue of many of those in need.

West Indies batsman Darren Bravo believes that being appointed captain of the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in January aided in his development and his maturity as a cricketer.

Alia Atkinson capped off her strong 2020 ISL campaign with two second-place and a third place finish during the weekend finals when last season’s runners up, London Roar, finished third.

Jai Hind, West Berbice and Demerara Masters were among the winners during Sunday's round of matches in the GCB Tropical Spring T20 Over 40 Tournament in Guyana.

Jai Hind defeated Sarjoo Tigers by 38 runs at the Jai Hind Ground in Berbice.

Batting first, Jai Hind opening batsman Subramani Mangal blazed 36 and Kemraj Sumair, 29, to propel the team to 154 for 7 from their 20 overs.

Mangal smashed three fours and a six that helped set the foundation for the competitive score. Sumair, who batted at three, hit two fours and two sixes. Zahir Moakan contributed a useful 18 runs that included a six and a four.

David Perreira was the pick of the bowlers with 2 for 19 from three overs while there was a wicket each for Mark Ferreira, Tagenarine Ramroop and Rohan Sarjoo.

Chasing 158 for victory, opening batsman Surendra Hiralall gave the Tigers a good start, hitting two fours and two sixes in his score of 33. However, other than Tagenarine Ramroop, who stroked a polished 39, which included a four and three sixes, the remainder of the batting failed to deliver as the Tigers were restricted to 117.

Mangal completed an outstanding match claiming 2 for 8 from three overs. However, Rafeek Kassim was the best of the bowlers returning the incredible figures of 2 for 2 from two overs.

In the day’s second match at the Jai Hind ground, West Berbice defeated General Marine Masters by six wickets.

Batting first, General Marine Masters was only able to muster 91 for 9 from their 20 overs. Daiaram Hemraj was the top scorer with 23 while middle order batsman Mustak Shaw contributed 18 to the score.  Rajban Hemraj was the best of the West Berbice bowlers taking 4 for 8 from three overs.

In what proved to be a comfortable chase, Jaipaul Hiralall scored an unbeaten 44 as West Berbice eased to 92 for 4 from 16 overs. Hemraj followed up his four-wicket haul with 11 runs in the successful pursuit. Hemchan Persaud returned figures of 2 for 6 in the losing effort.

Over in Demerara county, intermittent rainfall saw the match between Bel-Air Rubis Ultra Tec and West Demerara Masters being reduced to 15 overs a side, which the latter won by seven wickets.

After winning the toss and electing to bat, Bel-Air Rubis Utra Tec posted a meagre 78-9. Richard Rambarran top scored with 18, while Nadir Baksh added 11. Nirmaldeo Sarwan and Shauan Messiah each made 10 as Mohamed Abit Haniff picked up two wickets for just five runs.

West Demerara Masters reached their target in the 13th over as Ramesh Thakur (19) and Sudesh (18) led the way before falling to the bowling of Arthur Duke who took 2-16.

The first match at the Enmore Community Centre ground saw West Demerara Mavericks emerge winners over KV Construction by virtue of walk over. Both matches at the Everest ground were abandoned due to heavy rainfall.

The tournament resumes on Tuesday, 24 November when West Demerara Mavericks take on West Demerara Masters and RP Construction Legends versus Everest Masters at the Enmore Community Centre.

At the Everest Cricket club ground, Bel-Air Rubis Ultra Tec will battle Regal Masters in the morning encounter while KV Construction Masters will compete against Sand Pipper

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