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.

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."

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carol Henry, president of the St Lucia Cricket Association said there is much interest in the T10 cricket tournament his association has planned for later this month.

The West Indies will most likely leave for the United Kingdom (UK) in about a week from today to play England in the first bio-secure Test series in history in July.

The teams will play and whether they win the series or not, England will come away with virtually all the revenues generated from the series. For the West Indies, the story will be significantly different.

Come July 1, the West Indies players and all Cricket West Indies (CWI) staff, will be taking a temporary 50 per cent salary cut.

However, they are not alone. In April, England’s male and female players took a 20 per cent pay cut as the pandemic began to take hold in the UK forcing the postponement of the West Indies’ visit, which was initially scheduled for June.

The thing is, on this tour other than match fees, CWI does not really earn anything. Under this dispensation, wherein the regional players are going to be guinea pigs for the way cricket could be played for the immediate future, they and CWI should be receiving extra compensation.

In fact, pandemic or not, visiting teams need to get something from away series. Without an opponent, the home team has no content for their broadcast partners.

In boxing, for example, should promoters be able to put together a fight between Mike Tyson and me, we would all agree that Tyson would command the bulk of the revenue. After all, he is who they would come to see. However, a reasonable argument could be made that I should be paid fairly for having the daylights knocked out of me.

It definitely takes two to tango.

A couple of years ago, under the Dave Cameron presidency, CWI proposed changes to the current model of wealth distribution in world cricket but those were rejected as being unworkable.

Correctly citing that competitive balance is critical to the appeal of the sport, Cameron argued that: “Broadcasters and viewers are not willing to see international cricket because they are getting to see their stars anyway in the IPL or CPL. As a result, international rights have been devalued, except in the big market, which is India, England and Australia. So, 20 per cent of each series should go to the visiting teams.”

The problem with this proposal is that given what the big teams would have to pay over at the end of a tour, there would not be equitable reciprocation when their teams visit the smaller-market teams rendering it impractical.

Mumbai Mirror writer Vijay Tagore explains it like this. In a column published on May 11, he said Star pays India about U$10 million for every international match. If the West Indies plays six matches on tour, then they would earn US$12million for the tour. When India tours the West Indies, India would earn much less from their 20 per cent take.

Under the current status quo, the International Cricket Council (ICC) generates income from the tournaments it organizes, like the Cricket World Cup. Most of that money goes out to its members.

So, for example, sponsorship and television rights of the World Cup brought in over US$1.6 billion between 2007 and 2015. Sponsorship and membership subscriptions also generate a few extra million.

However, the ICC gets no income from Test matches, One Day International and Twenty20 Internationals. In this scenario, the host country gets the money earned from its broadcast partners and sponsorship as well as gate receipts.

A breakdown of the money distributed from the ICC shows that for the period 2016 to 2023, based on forecasted revenues and costs, the BCCI will receive US$293 million across the eight-year cycle, ECB (England) US$143 million, Zimbabwe Cricket US$94 million and the remaining seven Full Members, including the West Indies, US$132 million each.

Associate members will receive US$280m.

For the CWI that equates to US$16.5 a year. In addition, CWI will generate money from broadcasts of home series. However, not every home series makes ‘good money’. Based on my conversations with CWI CEO Johnny Grave, CWI only makes money when England and India tour the West Indies.

What that means is that when teams like Bangladesh, Pakistan and Zimbabwe visit, CWI loses money.

According to an ICC Paper submitted by CWI in October 2018: The revenue is inextricably linked to the nature of the tours hosted in a member country. It is also linked to the existence of a host broadcaster to exploit media revenues.

“Media values for members vary: the West Indies does not have a host broadcaster, mainly because of the size of its market.”

According to the paper, in 2008 the West Indies revenue was US$19.6m. In 2009, revenue jumped to US$48 and then in 2010, it fell to US$24.2 million. Media rights in 2017 amounted to US$22million but fell precipitously to US$987,000 by the end of the financial year for 2018.

Meanwhile, player salaries remain constant, money goes into grassroots programmes, player development, tournament match fees and salaries, coaches and coaching development, as well as support for the territorial boards. In bad years, these costs easily exceed any revenue generated.

The current model is simply unsustainable but solutions are hard to come by. In the Caribbean, sponsorship is hard to come by. Stadia remain empty because the West Indies does not win consistently enough to bring the crowds back, and for the most part, the ‘stars’ don’t play in regional competitions meaning fans stay away.

Meanwhile, the peaks and troughs in earnings against the costs associated with what is required to maintain a competitive international cricket programme, demonstrates in part why there needs to be a better way; why there needs to be a more equitable way to distribute money generated from bilateral series.

For the smaller market teams, it amounts to a hand-to-mouth existence that keeps them poor and uncompetitive. And frankly, that’s simply not cricket.

 

 

 

 

Cricket West Indies has agreed in principle to send a West Indies team to England for a three-Test series in July. The decision was arrived at during a meeting of the board on Thursday.

The decision comes only after CWI medical and cricket-related representatives and advisors have been involved in detailed discussions with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), and their own medical and public health advisers over the past few weeks.

These discussions involved the local and international logistics and protocols, which are already being put in place to minimize risk and optimize the health and safety of all concerned.  CWI has also received and reviewed detailed plans for players and staff to be kept in a bio-secure environment for the duration of the tour, with all matches being played “behind closed doors”.

The CWI will now be awaiting the England Cricket Board who is to get approval from the UK Government sometime over the next few days.

CWI’s management is also now in the process of seeking to put all of the approvals and logistics in place within the Caribbean, including seeking permission from the various governments to facilitate the movement of players and support staff, using private charter planes and conducting medical screenings and individual COVID-19 testing for all members of the touring party.

“I would like to thank the CWI management, the Medical Advisory Committee, and the Financial Strategic Advisory Committee for their detailed and timely presentations given to the Board meeting,” said CWI President Ricky Skerritt.

“In addition to our approval in principle of the proposed Test Tour of England, we made some significant financial management decisions that will be announced and implemented in due course.  The great detail to which the Board engaged in these matters is testimony to their urgency and importance, but it meant that we had to defer a few agenda items until next Wednesday (June 3), when we have scheduled to reconvene”.

Most of Thursday’s lengthy meeting focused on discussing the initial short-term recommendations from the Financial Strategy Advisory Committee (FSAC), a special purpose committee that was put in place by CWI President Ricky Skerritt on April 2, 2020.

The committee comprised a joint membership of Directors and Executive Management, all with significant financial management expertise, chaired by JCA President, Wilford “Billy” Heaven.

The Board agreed to the committee’s business continuity plan of action, for how CWI would have to operate in order to survive its cash flow crisis, in the context of the debilitating economic uncertainties of the global pandemic COVID-19.

 

Reports have emerged suggesting that Trinidad and Tobago will host all matches in the 2020 edition of the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL).

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