The GCB/Dave West Indian Imports 2020 U-15 Inter-county tournament is set to bowl off on Sunday, February 16, at the Lusignan and GCC grounds.

The opening round will feature Demerara battling Essequibo at Lusignan, with the President’s XI facing the Berbice team over at GCC, beginning 9:30 am.

In round two, Essequibo takes on with the President’s XI at Everest, while Demerara faces off against the Berbicians at Lusignan on Tuesday, February 18.

Round three of the tournament begins on Thursday, February 20, when Demerara clashes with the President’s XI at GCC, and Essequibo simultaneously engages Demerara at Lusignan as each team vies for a position in the finals, where the two teams with the highest aggregate points, battle for the title at GCC.

The teams are as follows: Essequibo: Benny Persaud (capt.), Shazif Mohamed, Ragindra Ramblin, Bruce Vincent, Ijihad Kadir, Gladwin Henry, Mohandas Ali, Akeem John, Gulcharran Chulai, Tekeshwar Nankoo, Adesh Dass, Ramesh Seeram, Davendra Lall, Kehav Deonarine.

Berbice Under 15 team: Rampertab Ramnauth -Cpt, Avishkar Persaud, Zadeem Larose, Sanjay Algoo, Rashaad Gafur, Nyron Hicks, Damion Cecil, Kevin Kisten, Salim Khan, Matthew Pottaya- Vice Cpt, Kumar Deopersaud, Lyndon Simon, Aaron Craig, Shiv Harripersaud, Ameer Rahaman. Manager, Leslie Solomon- Coach

Demerara Under 15 Team: Romeo Deonarine, Riyad Latif, Josh Alves (Capt), Sachin Balgobin, Joshua Alves, Nityanand Matura (Vice-Capt), Reziekel Renee, Reyad latif, Dhanesh Persaud, Wayvell Allen, Bramanand Rabindranauth, Alex Datterdeen, Nicholas Sheopersaud, Hemraj Harriprashad, Coach Latchman Yadram, Manager Omar Hussain.

President’s XL: Stephon Sankar (Capt), Tulsiram Ramkarran (Vice- Capt), Arun Gainda, Sohail Gangaram, Tularam Chitamani, Yodesh Sumitra, Deonarine Dindyal, Andrew De Santos, Afazul Kadir, Aftrz Ali Budhoo, Jeremiah Singh, Tariq Walters, John Persaud, Manager Yeuraj Khemraj, Coach Ryan Hercules.

 

West Indies batting star Chris Gayle has, through his attorney, directed a Guyanese political official to withdraw statements made about him during a political meeting.

The politician in question Charles Ramson Jr, a member of the Peoples Progressive Party (PPP), reportedly endorsed and shared a claim made during a meeting in Albertown, Georgetown in January.  The claim stated Gayle had been promised US$50,000 by the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR)  for a visit to Linden late last year and was still trying to get the money, which was owed to him.

The West Indian star was spotted in Linden last year with officials of the PNCR.  The opening batsman who was in the country for a cricket match and to celebrate his 40th birthday was quick to dismiss any political motive or links to the appearance.  Gayle pointed out that the visit had simply been part of a community outreach program.

In a letter dated February 4 Gayle’s attorney Roysdale Forde gave the politician 24 hours to retract the statements, which were referred to as “defamatory” and totally “false.”  The letter went on to state that the claims also seem calculated to subject [Gayle] to ridicule and portray him as being paid by a political party in Guyana to engage in work on its behalf.”

“As you are aware my client is an internationally recognized personality and cricketer and has carefully protected his brand and reputation especially by refusing to engage in public relations activities at the request of political parties,” the letter states, before adding that Gayle has engaged in a number of business ventures in Guyana, such as the promotion of a number of entertainment events, branded on his personality and persons in Guyana,” the letter read.

“Your statements are injurious to the financial success of these events and by extension necessarily to the said business undertaking of my client in Guyana and worldwide,” the letter concluded.

In response to a request from Upper Demerara Cricket Association (UCDA) for help in developing the sport in Linden, the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) on Wednesday donated a large quantity of cricket gear to the association’s president Jermaine Figueira.

Cricket West Indies chief executive Johnny Grave has insisted the board will look to continue its objective of spreading the sport across regional venues.

Insularity and some amount of bias have often been charges leveled at those who select which grounds will be picked to host international cricket on various West Indies tours.  International grounds in bigger countries have often been given the nod but Graves insists it might not be the case in the future.

“The highest crowds we experienced in this series was in Grenada.  Grenada didn’t have cricket between 2015 and 2019 and I think it is important we spread cricket around our international grounds,” Graves said.

“I think we need to do far more as an organization to promote and market to make sure all the cricket fans and even the non-cricket fans know that the West Indies team is coming to their country to play,” he added.

“I hope everyone understands that policy and we do our best to spread cricket around the region.”

With the exception of Barbados the West Indies' first tour of the new year, against Ireland, was played in Grenada and St Kitts.  The New Zealand New Zealand tour in July will be hosted in Antigua, Dominica, and Guyana, with Trinidad and Tobago, St Lucia and Jamaica.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) and the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) have delivered messages of condolence at the passing of West Indies cricketer Basil Butcher.

The management team of the Reggae Boyz have expressed disappointment at the performance against Guyana at the Montego Bay Sports Complex on Monday night.

Jamaica extended their lead atop Group C of the CONCACAF Nations League on Monday night following a comprehensive 4-0 win over Guyana at the Synthetic Track and Field Facility in Leonora.

Guyana defeated Jamaica in a closely contested final to win the 2019 Caribbean Area Squash Association’s Senior Championships wrapped up over the weekend.

Jamaica’s Chris Binnie surged to his record-breaking ninth singles title at the Caribbean Area Squash Association’s (CASA) Senior Championship currently in Guyana.

The Reggae Boyz will kickstart their Nations League group stage effort on Friday against Antigua and Barbuda at the Montego Bay Sports Complex on the island’s north coast.

The game will be played on September 6, leaving the Reggae Boyz, who last played in the Gold Cup, ending their campaign in the semi-finals, with little turn-around time before their game against Guyana on September 9.

The team will leave the island September 7 for that fixture.

Coach of the Reggae Boyz, Theodore Whitmore, is under no illusions about how important these games are, expressing those sentiments to key executives of the Jamaica Football Federation just recently.

“It is important that that then edn of the group phase the country finishes in the top six in CONCACAF in order to be in the best position entering the World Cup qualifiers in September 2020,” he said.

Whitmore was appealing to the executive members for support in the next few months, saying even after that, all international fixtures took on significance.

"Even after finishing in the top six in November 2019, it will be important to maintain that position through other FIFA international match dates down to June 2020, so I am urging total focus and support through the next couple of months in the first instance," he said.

Rule changes in the region, mean that only the top six teams will be allowed to play in qualifiers for a direct place in the World Cup.

The teams finishing outside of that top six will play for FIFA’s half-spot, meaning they will play against each other for the right to play against the team that finishes fourth from the top-six.

That game will be played in a home-and-away format and will determine another fixture of the same nature against a team from another region. Those two will then play for a World Cup berth.

The hexagonal will feature 10 games for each team, beginning in September.

There will also be games in October and November this year, before a restart in March of 2021. The games conclude in September of 2021, just over a year before the World Cup.

Cricket West Indies selectors have called all-rounder Fabian Allen to replace Khary Pierre for the third and final T20 International against India in Guyana on Tuesday.

Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago played to a 1-1 draw at Children’s Mercy Park on Wednesday night in a Caribbean derby in Kansas City in which Guyana picked up a historical first ever point in a Gold Cup. 

Panama became the first team from Group D of the CONCACAF Gold Cup to make it to the quarterfinals after two goals in each half gave them a 4-2 win over Guyana at the FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland. 

The United States started their CONCACAF Gold Cup campaign with a comfortable 4-0 win over Guyana on Tuesday.

USA ended a three-game winless run in fine fashion, dominating Guyana for the most part in the Group D clash at Allianz Field in Minnesota.

Paul Arriola opened the scoring in the 28th minute before a Tyler Boyd brace and Gyasi Zardes goal in the second half.

Having been under some pressure after struggles in friendlies, it was the ideal start for the defending champions as they joined Panama on three points in the group.

Christian Pulisic was particularly bright down the left early for USA, who while dominant took time to create clear-cut chances.

Boyd fired a chance wide in the 18th minute, while Pulisic was denied by a good save from Guyana goalkeeper Akel Clarke.

But USA found a deserved opener through Arriola in the 28th minute.

Weston McKennie did brilliantly down the left before passing inside to Arriola, who curled an effort past Clarke and into the far corner from inside the area.

Pulisic almost teed up Nick Lima for USA's second, but the full-back's strike was well saved by Clarke after a pass from the attacker.

USA should have gone into the break with a 2-0 lead, however Pulisic made poor connection with a header from a Lima cross at the back post on the stroke of half-time.

But Boyd's first international goal would double USA's lead six minutes into the second half.

Michael Bradley's pass found Boyd, who took an excellent first touch before powering an angled finish into the bottom corner for USA's 1,000th goal.

Zardes was fortunate to add to USA's lead, Arriola's powerful strike partially cleared by a defender into the forward's face and into the back of the net.

USA were in control from then on, although McKennie came off with a suspected hamstring injury.

Boyd completed his brace in the 81st minute, taking a pass from Arriola before his 20-yard strike took a deflection and beat Clarke.

 

What does it mean? USA make bright start

After disappointing friendly losses to Jamaica and Venezuela earlier this month, USA's win was much-needed. Large parts of the performance would have also pleased head coach Gregg Berhalter and the group stage at the CONCACAF Gold Cup could be an opportunity for a much-needed confidence boost.

Boyd, Arriola provide plenty of spark

Although it was against Guyana, Boyd and Arriola showed their worth. They combined for the fourth goal after earlier scoring one each and their pace and creativity were crucial for USA.

McKennie injury a worry for USA

It was all going so well for USA before McKennie came off with a suspected hamstring injury in the 74th minute. The Schalke midfielder had set up the opener and his absence would be a blow for USA.

What's next?

USA's campaign continues against Trinidad and Tobago on Saturday, while Guyana take on Panama on the same day.

Guyana Jaguars captain Leon Johnson said it is an extra special feeling to have received the Golden Arrow of Achievement at such a young age. He commended his family and several past West Indies greats for being instrumental to his success.

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