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.

Yohan Blake’s YB Afraid Foundation has collaborated with The Sandals Foundation to deliver new living accommodations for wards of the Mt. Olivet Boy’s Home in Walderston in Manchester.

The new facilities scheduled to be completed in November 2020, will include multi-purpose play areas and an artificial turf football field. Once completed it will become a critical tool in a thrust to raise the standard of care for wards of the state in Jamaica to unprecedented levels.

Blake, the 2011 100m world champion, started the YB Afraid Foundation in 2011 with a mandate to support organizations and develop programs that address the educational, physical and mental health and social needs of underprivileged youth, enabling them to develop into outstanding citizens and role models in society.

He told Sportsmax.TV that the project takes him closer to achieving his vision of providing safe spaces for the island’s underprivileged youth.

“I am very proud to be able to do this. It is a life-long dream and I really believe it is only the beginning,” said the 2012 double Olympic silver medallist.

“I have to thank my Richard Mille family and my Sandals family and everyone who has been so generous and has helped. Those people inspire me to be better and to do more. I can’t wait for it to be finished so I can go and spend some time with the boys.”

Executive Director of the Sandals Foundation Heidi Clarke said they were excited to be on board with the project that Jamaica so desperately needs. The foundation, she said, has been managing the execution of the project and helping the YB Afraid Foundation realize its vision.

She revealed that the project contained components that were important to the Sandals Foundation. These included the rehabilitation of the existing structures transforming them into a HEART-certified woodwork-training centre on the property and a halfway house that can accommodate wards that age out when they turn 17.

“We saw the need to create spaces that are inspirational, to uplift these young men coming from difficult situations. We feel strongly that if we provide them with an environment to develop holistically they can reach for the stars. The sky is the limit for them,” Clarke said.

 

 

West Indies captain described the upcoming tour of England as a huge step as the team and support staff departed for the 2020 Sandals Tour of England on Monday evening. The touring party is expected to arrive in the United Kingdom on Tuesday.

The players arrived in Antigua earlier Monday on two charter flights that collected players from across the Caribbean during the course of the day. The West Indies will play three Tests during the seven-week tour in defence of the Wisden Trophy they won during their home series against England in 2019.

“This is a huge step forward in cricket and in sports in general as we travel over to England for this series. A lot has gone into the preparations for what will be a new phase in the game. I’m happy for the support and well-wishes we have been receiving from our loyal and dedicated fans once it was confirmed the tour would go-ahead. This has been a source of great inspiration,” said  Holder.

“We have a fantastic group of cricketers, coaches, medical staff and support staff and I know everyone is eagerly looking forward to the start of the first match when we can get back on the field of play. There is expectation in the air that we will defend the Wisden Trophy and we will certainly put in the work and give it our all to keep hold of it.”

On arrival into Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester, members of the touring party will be tested again for COVID-19 prior to the seven-week tour during which they will live, train and play in a “bio-secure” environment, as part of the comprehensive medical and operational plans to ensure player and staff safety.

The bio-secure protocols will restrict movement in and out of the venues, so a group of reserve players will travel to train and help prepare the Test squad and ensure replacements are available in case of any injury.

Meanwhile, Floyd Reifer will join the coaching staff as batting coach. He will fill in for Monty Desai, who is based in India but is unable to travel due to travel restrictions. He will join the other members of the coaching staff that includes Phil Simmons (Head Coach) and Roddy Estwick (Assistant Coach), and Rayon Griffith (Assistant Coach).

Team analyst A.R. Srikkanth, who is s also based in India will work remotely from Bangaluru for the duration of the tour.

The medical support staff will be bolstered by the additions of Dr Praimanand Singh (Team Doctor), Neil Barry Jr (Physiotherapist), Nkoyo Meade (Massage Therapist) and Donald LaGuerre (Team Psychologist).

The series will feature three back-to-back Test matches for the Wisden Trophy, starting July 8. The first Test will be played at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton (July 8-12) with the second and third matches at Old Trafford in Manchester from July 16-20 and then July 24-28.

Test Squad: Jason Holder (Captain), Jermaine Blackwood, Nkrumah Bonner, Kraigg Brathwaite, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell, Roston Chase, Rahkeem Cornwall, Shane Dowrich, Chemar Holder, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Raymon Reifer and Kemar Roach.

Reserve Players: Sunil Ambris, Joshua DaSilva, Shannon Gabriel, Keon Harding, Kyle Mayers, Preston McSween, Marquino Mindley, Shayne Moseley, Anderson Phillip, Oshane Thomas and Jomel Warrican.

Donovan Bailey, the 1996 Olympic champion and former 100-metre world record holder, believes Canada has to confront its own issues of racism.

On October 3, 2019, eight of the world’s best female runners lined up for the final of the Women 400m final at the World Championships in Doha, Qatar.

Among the eight were Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson, Bahamian Shaunae Miller-Uibo and an exciting young talent Salwa Eid Naser of Bahrain. Also among the finalists were 2017 champion Phyllis Francis, Wadeline Jonathas of the USA, Stephenie-Ann McPherson of Jamaica, and the Polish pair of Justyna Święty-Ersetic and Iga Baumgart-Witan.

They were about to be role players in what was one of the greatest races of the championships and one of the fastest of all time.

About 15 months earlier – July 20, 2018 - about 6000 km away in Monaco, Naser and Miller-Uibo had set the stage for their much-anticipated clash in Doha.

In a stirring battle inside the Stade Louis II, the Bahamian running in lane 6 was pushed to a personal best 48.97 by the young Bahranian - running in lane 5 - who also delivered a lifetime best of 49.08s, clearly demonstrating that she was getting a lot closer to getting a leg up on the towering Bahamian star.

It was the only loss Naser suffered over 400m in 2018.

Fast-forward to October 3, 2019, when Naser is one again in lane 5. This time, however, Miller-Uibo is running in lane 7. Jackson is in lane 3.

People across the globe were expecting something special. Many, including me, smelled a possible upset. Naser had looked strong coming into the final, I daresay as good as Miller-Uibo, the favourite.

The only question in my mind was whether the two 400m legs Naser ran to help Bahrain to the bronze medal in the mixed relays a few days earlier had sapped whatever energy she had left in those powerful legs of hers.

When the gun went, it was immediately clear that Naser was going to be a real threat. She powered down the backstretch steadily closing the gap until she was on the Bahamian’s shoulder with just over 100 metres to go.

Naser then slung off the curve into a three-metre lead over Miller-Uibo and held her immaculate form to cross the line in 48.14 and the claim the gold medal.

The 48.14 was a world-leading time, an area record, a personal best and the third-fastest time in history. Only East Germany’s Marita Koch 47.60 and Czechoslovakia’s Jarmila Kratochvílová 47.99 have run faster.

Like the rest of us who witnessed it, Miller-Uibo, who had just run the sixth-fastest time in history (48.34), sat stunned at what had just transpired.

For weeks, the race was the topic of many conversations as we discussed whether the 35-year-old world record was under legitimate threat.

So imagine my dismay when last week Google alerts brought my attention to the fact that Naser had been provisionally suspended under Article 2.4 of the WADA Code.

Whereabouts violations make little sense to me.

The World Anti-Doping Agency requires that athletes fill out a form online that says where they will be for an hour each day. This allows doping control officers to locate and conduct out-of-competition tests on an athlete.

If an athlete misses three tests in a 12-month period, it is tantamount to a doping violation and the athlete, if found culpable can be banned for up to two years. Mind you, it does not mean an athlete has been doping but it also does not mean they have not.

However, it is the duty of the athlete to ensure that the update their whereabouts. It is not that hard. In this age of smartphones, an athlete can update his or her information on the fly because, in reality, things can change in a hurry.

In recent times, a number of Caribbean athletes have run about of this code. Jamaican cricketer Andre Russell and Trinidad and Tobago’s Michelle-Lee Ahye have been suspended for missing tests.

Track and field athletes know how important it is for them to uphold the integrity of their sport. The flood of doping cases over the past few decades have served to badly taint the sport that it is hard to trust performances because you never truly know.

It has got so bad that even Usain Bolt’s times have been called into question even though he has never failed a dope test in his outstanding career.

So, it is shocking to me that an athlete could manage to miss three Tests in a year. In the case of Naser, it was four, according to the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), who also claim that Naser’s third missed test was under investigation while she was powering her way to victory in Doha.

What is even more disappointing is that the gravity of the situation seems to be lost on the young woman.

“It can happen to anybody. I don’t want people to get confused in all this because I would never cheat,” she said.

“Hopefully, it will get resolved because I really don’t like the image. It’s going to be fine. It’s very hard to have this little stain on my name.”

Her comments are shocking to me.

“It can happen to anybody”? It should not be happening. The life of the sport depends on athletes upholding their end of the bargain. Athletics has fallen steadily down the pecking order and is struggling to attract sponsors and it is because of things like this.

In addition, no, it is not going to be fine because now like so many other outstanding athletic performances, there is now a huge cloud of suspicion over that amazing time and incredible race, a cloud that will remain forever over it no matter the outcome of the AIU investigation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 2019 Women 400m World Champion Salwa Eid Naser has been provisionally suspended for not making herself available for doping tests.

Naser was charged under Article 2.4 of the WADA Code that relates to whereabouts violations, according to the Athletics Integrity Unit of World Athletics.

Athletes are required to provide regular updates on their whereabouts to make it possible for anti-doping authorities to carry out surprise testing outside of competition.

A violation means an athlete either did not fill out forms telling authorities where they could be found or were not where they said they would be when testers arrived.

Three missed tests over a period of 12 months are the equivalent of a doping violation.

At the World Championships in Doha, Qatar, the Nigerian born runner stormed to victory in a world-leading 48.14s, the third-fastest time in history upsetting gold the medal favourite Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas.

 If a case is proven against her she could miss next year's Olympics set for Tokyo, Japan.

Winning three All-American awards has helped take the edge off a frustrating end to the 2019/2020 NCAA athletics season for University of Texas sophomore Julien Alfred.

Michael Holding played his first ODI on August 26, 1976, against England.  He took 2 for 38 in the match the West Indies won by six wickets with 84 balls to spare.

Fast and accurate, Holding, over the next decade, took wickets consistently as a member of the all-conquering West Indies team. In 102 matches, Holding claimed 142 wickets at an average of 21.36 and an economy of 3.32.

In the Prudential World Cup in 1979, Holding returned 4 for 33 from his 12 overs as the West Indies dismissed India for 190 before going on to win by nine wickets with 8.3 overs to spare.

During the Benson and Hedges World Series in January 1980, Holding produced a masterful performance with the ball, returning figures of 4 for 17 from 9.3 overs as the West Indies restricted Australia to 190 all out. However, it all went for nought as the West Indies lost the match by nine runs.

Five years later and again in the Benson and Hedges World Series, Holding would deliver a match-winning spell against Australia returning his best bowling figures of 5 for 26, dismissing them for 178. The West Indies then scored 179 for 3 to score a convincing seven-wicket win.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Michael Anthony Holding

Born: February 16, 1954 (66), Half-Way Tree, Kingston, Jamaica

Major teams: West Indies, Canterbury, Derbyshire, Jamaica, Lancashire, Tasmania

Bowling style: Right-arm fast

 

ODI Career: West Indies (1976-1987)

Mat        Inns      Balls       Runs      Wkts      BBI         BBM      Ave        Econ      SR       4w          5w         10w

102         102        5473       3034      142        5/26       5/26       21.36     3.32       38.5       5             1             0

 

Career highlights

  • Never bowled a wide in 900 overs of international cricket
  • He picked up 142 wickets in 102 ODIs
  • ODI Bowling Average: 21.36
  • Has one 5 wicket haul in ODIs

The foreboding image of a 6ft 8 inch bowler running in and delivering at lively pace from a height closer to 10 feet made many of the world’s best batsmen tremble in their boots.

That was Joel Garner for a decade.

Those characteristics, plus the ability to deliver toe-crunching yorkers with regularity also made the towering Barbadian one of the most lethal and miserly bowlers of his era.

At Lord's in 1979 he simply blew England's slim hopes away with 5 for 38, the best figures ever in a World Cup final. It included a spell of 5 wickets for 4 runs, and he was on a hat-trick twice.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Joel Garner

Born: December 16, 1952 (67), Enterprise, Christ Church, Barbados

Major teams: West Indies, Barbados, Somerset, South Australia

Bowling style: Right-arm fast

Height: 6 ft 8 in

 

ODI Career: West Indies (1977-1987)

Mat        Inns        Balls       Runs      Wkts      BBI         BBM      Ave        Econ      SR        4w          5w         10w

98           98           5330      2752      146        5/31       5/31       18.84        3.09       36.5       2             3            0

 

Career highlights

  • Highest ranked ODI bowler per the ICC best ever bowling ratings
  • Best-ever figures in a CWC Final, 5-39 in 1979
  • He picked up 146 wickets in 98 ODIs at an average of 18.84

Chaminda Vaas is easily the most penetrative and successful new-ball bowler Sri Lanka has had. He swung and seamed the ball with skill, his trademark delivery being the late in dipper. However, he also bowled a carefully disguised off cutter, and later in his career added reverse-swing to his armoury, a skill that made him a consistent wicket-taker even on bland, subcontinental pitches.

He led the Sri Lankan new-ball attack for over a decade and has taken 400 One Day International wickets, only the second Sri Lankan to do so after Muttiah Muralitharan.

Only three bowlers have taken more wickets in ODI cricket history.

Vaas holds the record for the best bowling performance in One-Day International cricket with his 8 for 19 off eight overs against Zimbabwe at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground in December 2001. It remains the only eight-wicket haul in ODI cricket history.

Vaas has taken two ODI hat-tricks in his career, the third of only four players to have achieved the feat. 

 

Career Statistics

Full names: Chaminda Vaas

Born: January 27, 1974 (46), Mattumagala

Major teams: Sri Lanka, Asia XI, Basnahira North, Colts Cricket Club, Deccan Chargers, Hampshire, Marylebone Cricket Club, Middlesex, Northamptonshire, Worcestershire

Playing role: Bowler

Bowling style: Left-arm fast-medium

 

ODI Career: Sri Lanka (1994-2008)

Mat        Inns        Balls       Runs      Wkts      BBI         BBM      Ave        Econ      SR       4w          5w       10w

322         320         15775     11014      400        8/19       8/19       27.53     4.18       39.4       9             4          0

 

Career highlights

  • Holds the record for taking the only 8-fer in ODIs
  • 1st player to take a hat-trick off the first 3 balls of an innings
  • Youngest bowler to take 300 wickets in ODI cricket
  • Only 3 bowlers have taken more ODI wickets
  • Named in the World ODI XI by the ICC in 2004 and 2007

A master of reverse swing, Waqar Younis bucked the 1980s trend of bowling fast and pitching short by bowling fast and pitching full.

Not an obvious recipe for success until you factor in prodigious late inswing, which was designed to smash into the base of leg stump or the batsman's toes. In his youth, he was one of the fastest ever.

His method of aiming for the stumps rather than the batsman earned him the best strike rate of any bowler with over 200 Test wickets until Dale Steyn came along.

Waqar made his International cricket debut for Pakistan against India in November 1989 and made an immediate impression with his speed. Soon, he became known as "Wiki" or the "Burewala Express".

During his career, marred by persistent back injuries, Waqar took 416 One Day International wickets and with Wasim Akram, formed one of the world's most feared bowling attacks.

He is the youngest bowler to take 400 wickets in ODI cricket.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Waqar Younis

Born: November 16, 1971 (48), Vehari, Punjab

Major teams: Pakistan, Glamorgan, Karachi, Lahore, Multan, National Bank of Pakistan, Rawalpindi, Redco Pakistan Ltd, Surrey, United Bank Limited

Playing role: Bowler

Bowling style: Right-arm fast

 

ODI Career: Pakistan (1989-2003)

Mat        Inns        Balls       Runs      Wkts      BBI         BBM       Ave        Econ       SR        4w          5w            10w

262          258        12698      9919       416        7/36       7/36       23.84       4.68       30.5       14           13               0

 

Career highlights

  • Claimed 416 wickets at an average of 23.84
  • Youngest bowler to take 400 wickets in ODI cricket
  • Only bowler to have taken 5 wickets in an innings in 3 consecutive ODIs
  • First captain to take a 7-wicket haul in an ODI innings
  • Most 5-wicket hauls in ODIs (13)
  • Most 4-wicket hauls in ODIs (27)

Had Marva Holder been alive she would have been a very proud grandmother.

On Wednesday, her grandson, Chemar Holder, received a call from Cricket West Indies for his first tour with the men’s senior team that will play three Tests in England starting July 8.

For Holder, the leading pace bowler in the West Indies Championships that concluded in March, it was a dream come true.

“It was a good feeling yesterday (Wednesday) when I got the call to know that I was included in the 15. It was something that I was always looking forward to and now I have got the opportunity to represent my country,” he said.

Holder, 22, took 36 wickets at a healthy average of 18.91 during the championships that was ended with two rounds to go because of the Coronavirus pandemic, leaving him just four wickets shy of the target he had set at the start of the season.

Nonetheless, the West Indies selectors rewarded him with a place in the senior squad that is set to play the ‘bio-secure’ Tests series.

“Chemar Holder is an exciting young fast bowling talent who is coming off an excellent domestic First-Class season. He should enjoy bowling in English conditions. He could prove a real asset to the team in England,” said Roger Harper, Cricket West Indies Chief Selector.

Coming from a cricket-loving family, Holder has always enjoyed their support.

“If things are not going well, they all talk to me, tell me to keep my head up, everything is not going to be the same,” he said. “So I always get support from them, especially my grandmother, who passed away. She was always my big supporter.

“She stayed up all night and watched me during the U19 World Cup. Every time I play I remember her so she would be happy to find out this news if she was alive today.”

Marva Holder passed away in 2016 at the age of 72.

 

 

Veteran batsman Darren Bravo and newcomers Keemo Paul and Shimron Hetmyer will not face any backlash from Cricket West Indies for their decision not to travel to England for the three-Test series in July.

Reports have emerged that the West Indies selectors have chosen a squad to play against England in a three-Test series in July. However, the squad will not include Darren Bravo, Keemo Paul or Shimron Hetmeyer who have all opted out of the three-Test match tour.

The squad is expected to depart from the Caribbean on June 8.

According to cricket commentator and talk show host Andrew Mason, the selectors had a hard time selecting a squad but in the end, came up with a squad that includes the recalled Jermaine Blackwood and Shannon Gabriel.

The names of the others who were selected include Captain Jason Holder, Kraigg Brathwaite, Shai Hope, Shane Dowrich, Roston Chase, Shemarh Brooks, Rahkeem Cornwall, Nkrumah Bonner, Alzarri Joseph, Chemar Holder, John Campbell, Raymon Reifer and Kemar Roach.

The West Indies will be in the United Kingdom for about four weeks and will be housed in a bio-secure environment while they get up to speed before the start of the first Test.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) confirmed on Tuesday that a three-Test series without spectators is scheduled to start on July 8 at the Ageas Bowl.

Old Trafford will host the second and third Tests.

The venues have been selected from a group of four that submitted an interest, having had to demonstrate to the ECB board an ability to meet criteria surrounding biosecurity, medical screening-testing provision, footprint to enable social distancing and venue-cricket operations.

Edgbaston was picked as a contingency venue and will be utilised for additional training throughout July.

The Windies are due to arrive in England on June 9 and will use Old Trafford as their base for training and quarantining before travelling to the Ageas Bowl.

 

 

 

Jamaica’s Corey Burke scored a hat trick to lead St Polten to a 5-0 victory over WST Tirol as action resumed in the Austrian Bundesliga on Tuesday.

Jamaican thrower Ashinia Miller might have created history on Monday when he won the shot put competition at an Area Permit meeting in Tallinn, Estonia. Miller is most likely the first Jamaican track and field athlete to compete since the COVID19 pandemic shut all sports down globally in March.

In Estonia, Miller, the 2018 CAC Games silver medallist, won with a modest mark of 18.96m but just being able to compete has proven to be cathartic for the 26-year-old Jamaican.

For the last six months, Miller, a recent graduate of the University of Georgia, has been living in nearby Lithuania and training with 2017 World discus champion Andrius Gudzius under the guidance of Coach Vaclovas Kidykas. He has been living with his fiancé, Dr Alma Adomaityte, is from Lithuania, about a six-hour drive from where he competed on Monday.

However, being in lockdown, unable to compete and therefore unable to earn, have proven to be quite stressful for the powerfully built Jamaican, who also laments a relative lack of support from the Jamaica Athletic Administrative Association (JAAA).

Competing, he confessed, has allowed him to relieve some of the stress.

“Actually, I wasn’t supposed to be at the meet but I begged my fiancé, she’s a doctor; I begged her to let me go because the pandemic has been depressing,” he told Sportsmax.TV. “I’ve been sick. I have been to the ER like four times. Last week Monday, I spent the night in the hospital.

“I wasn’t supposed to go but it was mostly for mental health. I just wanted to go and feel alive again.”

That said, notwithstanding the win, Miller was not overly excited about his performance.

“The results weren’t good because I’ve been sick but I am happy about it, a little bit because it’s been tough going,” he said. “Jamaica hasn’t really helped.  The ministry of sports did send me money last month but I heard no more until next year.

“Everything has been tough: mentally, financially, everything’s been tough."

 

 

 

 

 

 

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