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.

Shai Hope is the most prolific One-Day International batsman to his first 3000 runs the West Indies has ever seen.

On Sunday, during a losing effort against India , Hope struck a single to get to 35 runs and with it, reached 3,000 runs in ODIs.

Sir Vivian Richards, long known as the most fearsome ODI batsman the West Indies has ever seen, took 69 innings to get to 3000 runs, while Lara, the greatest the region has produced and arguably the greatest of all time, took 79 innings to do so. Hope was playing his 67th innings on Sunday.

Gordon Greenidge, who formed part of the greatest opening ODI parternships in West Indies history with Desmond Haynes, achieved the milestone in 72 innings, while one of the greatest exponents of white ball cricket, Chris Gayle took 80 innings.

In fact, there has only ever been one batsman in world cricket to get to 3000 runs faster than has Hope, with South Africa’s Hashim Amla owning the record of the quickest to the milestone of all time, getting there in 57 innings.

Hope would go on to score 42, as the West Indies went on to post 315, a total India got to for the loss of six wickets in the 49th over.

On the way to 316-6, Rohit Sharma scored 63, KL Rahul, 77, and Virat Kohli, 85, to smother the efforts of Hope, Nicholas Pooran, 89, and Kieron Pollard, 74.

Hope had also scored 102 not out and 78 in the previous two games, taking his tally to four centuries this calendar year, along with seven half-centuries.

The West Indies lost a T20I series to India, 2-1, and suffered the same result in a three-match ODI series that ended Sunday.

Former Jamaican sprinter and triple-double Olympic gold medallist, Usain Bolt, said he was heartened to see the kind of support that turned out for the inauguration of the National Stadium in Tokyo ahead of the Olympic games to be held there and what it meant for the 2020 showpiece multi-sport event.

West Indies middle-order batsman, Shimron Hetmyer, while happy for a second chance at the Indian Premier League, isn’t focusing on the lucrative, high-profile show, in which his price tag suggests he needs to play a starring role.

Hetmyer was discarded by the Royal Challengers Bangalore after just one season but scored a brilliant century in the first One-Day International against India, as well as a few attractive-looking cameos in T20 Internationals against the same team, inclusive of his first half-century.

The left-hander went for US1.1 million to the Capitals at the IPL draft but wasn’t paying any attention to it, choosing instead to focus on the final game his Windies side have against India on Sunday.

The teams go into that third ODI locked at a game apiece.

“I wasn’t really looking too far ahead about it (auction). Really and truly I was just thinking all about the West Indies,” he said.

Hetmyer believes it is what has happened while playing with the Windies that makes him an attractive sell in the IPL and he doesn’t want to quickly forget that.

“They have brought me [here] and made me the person I am today so all thanks to the West Indies for just giving me the chance to represent [them]. I just do my thing and it’s all for the team,” he said.

Windies fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell is raring to go after he landed a million-dollar contract from the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) earlier this week.

Cottrell entered the draft at a base price of US$70,400 but found himself the subject of a bidding war, with Rajasthan Royals, Delhi Capitals and Kings XI Punjab displaying more than just a passing interest.

That interest catapulted his value to US$1.2 million with Kings XI eventually coming out tops.

“I’m really looking forward [to] that,” the Jamaican left-armer said following the auction.

“I am very thankful and humbled at the same time, and just to play alongside Chris (Gayle) and Nicholas (Pooran), KL Rahul – just some of the names – I’m very elated.”

Cottrell  earned his place among the elites of T20 cricket after a year in which he bagged 30 wickets from 23 One-Day Internationals and 14 from 12 T20 Internationals.

Even a disastrous World Cup campaign for the West Indies did little to stop his momentum, the pacer collecting 12 scalps despite.

Though his good bowling has not resulted in many wins for the West Indies, Cottrell doesn’t believe he could have achieved what he has this season without his teammates.

“Without my teammates [and] West Indies, I wouldn’t have made it here in my personal view,” he pointed out. “They have backed me 100 per cent and I just want to tell them thanks.”

Before all that though, Cottrell will be eyeing another good performance for the West Indies in the deciding game of three-match ODI series against India in a few hours time.  

 

Jamaica Football Federation president, Michael Ricketts, held nothing back recently when he slammed former Reggae Girlz head coach Hue Menzies for being unprofessional.

Menzies, the coach who led the Reggae Girlz to a historic World Cup Qualification earlier this year, quit the team via the media recently, citing numerous problems with remuneration and issues with getting information about a new contract, which elapsed earlier this year.

Ricketts, however, said Menzies has been less than truthful about his issues with the JFF and pointed out that the nature of his resignation was not inkeeping with proper protocol.

“If I were to say the things that Menzies have done, it would cause all of us major embarrassment. We’ll refrain from saying anything else; just to say that Menzies up to now has not yet said to the JFF that here’s my letter of resignation, but he tells the world and every single media house that he has resigned so we take it that he has resigned so we move on,” said Ricketts on Jamaican radio station, Hitz 92 FM.

Menzies had missed the first stage of the Reggae Girlz’ Olympic qualifiers earlier this year, saying he would not coach the team until the JFF resolved their issues with him.

According to Ricketts, his organization were only made aware that this was the case, again through the media.

“Just before the start of the preliminary round of the World Cup Qualifiers, Minister (Olivia Grange) and I were on the phone and got in contact with the coach to have a three-way discussion. Menzies said to us that he could not come to the first stage of the qualifiers because he had a board meeting to attend. The next day Menzies was on the radio saying that he was not coming because the JFF owed him money,” said the JFF president.

The announcement of a new coach, the JFF has said, will take place before the end of the year.

Head coach of the Trinidad Tobago senior football team, Terry Fenwick, believes his experience in the T&T Pro League will serve him well as he attempts to turn around the flagging fortunes of the twin-island republic.

Fenwick was offered a two-year deal by the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association’s Technical Committee earlier this week but must show improvement for that to be increased to four years.

According to the former England defender, who had successful stints with San Juan Jabloteh and Central FC in the T&T Pro League, his experience with the very players who now make up the national squad makes his transition to head coach much easier.

“I know most of the players relatively well and, having been here as long as I have, I know the strengths and weaknesses of Trinidad and Tobago football,” Fenwick told Trinidad and Tobago online news entity, Wired868.

According to Fenwick though, he cannot achieve success without support.

“I will try to tailor my plans to their strengths to bring quick success. I need support around me and I welcome the public’s support to help lift our football back to where it should be.”

Where the Soca Warriors should be and where they are, is a gargantuan distance as Fenwick’s predecessor, Dennis Lawrence, oversaw a period where the team won one of 15 games in the last calendar year, failing to take three points from a competitive fixture since a 2-1 win over the United States all the way back in October of 2017.

But Fenwick believes he has attributes that counteract that slide from grace.

“I’m organised, I’m structured and players know exactly what they have to do in my system,” he said.

“I’m also very flexible tactically and I’m able to change formations during matches and I’ve demonstrated that over the years. I demand plenty from my players.

“We might not have the Dwight Yorkes and Russell Latapys of yesteryear but we have still got lots of quality, particularly in terms of the defenders we have produced over the last 10 years.”

That quality will be called into question as early as March where Fenwick will have to lead the Soca Warriors into friendlies during the FIFA international window in a bid to get them ready for a CONCACAF Gold Cup playoff qualification tie against either Barbados or Guyana in June.

Former England defender, coach of Central FC and San Juan Jabloteh in the Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) Pro League, Terry Fenwick, has been named the head coach of the twin-island republic’s senior football team, the Soca Warriors.

Jamaica and West Indies women cricketer Stafanie Taylor was, on Tuesday, named in the International Cricket Council's (ICC) One-Day International (ODI) Team of the Year.

Reggae Boyz defender Alvas Powell was selected by David Beckham's newly formed Major League Soccer (MLS) club Inter Miami FC.

Powell, who signed from Eastern Conference MLS side, FC Cincinnati, was selected in the second round (third overall) of the 2019 MLS Expansion Draft on Tuesday evening.  FC Cincinnati will receive $50,000 in General Allocation Money in compensation for the selection.

The 25-year-old Powell made 13 appearances for FC Cincinnati, including 10 starts in the club’s inaugural MLS season in 2019. The Jamaican was acquired from the Portland Timbers via trade on December 27, 2018. 

Powell made 14 appearances for the Reggae Boyz and scored his first two international goals in a CONCACAF Nations League group stage match in Guyana on September 9.

Inter Miami co-owner Beckham will welcome his former club LA Galaxy to Florida for the new franchise's MLS home opener.

MLS is welcoming two new teams for the 2020 season, with Inter and Nashville SC taking the league to 26 franchises.

The full schedule for the next campaign is still to be confirmed, with the 2019 season ending just over a week ago with the Seattle Sounders defeating Toronto FC in the MLS Cup final.

But Inter have announced their first official home fixture, with Beckham's team to come up against Galaxy at their temporary stadium in Fort Lauderdale on March 14.

West Indies captain Kieron Pollard is not yet a frustrated man but the big all-rounder is noticing a trend with his side he would like to put an end to.

"I thought we gave it away in the last 20 overs with the ball, didn't execute well,” said Pollard, voicing a sentiment he has on at least three occasions since the start of a tour to India.

The West Indies were bat out of a game against India in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday after the hosts posted a mammoth 387-5 with man-of-the-match, Rohit Sharma, slamming 159 from 138 deliveries and KL Rahul more than helping with 102 from 104 balls. All-rounder, Shreyas Iyer, scoring 53 from 32 to help push the score along as the West Indies gave up too many in the closing stages of the first innings.

The West Indies, in reply, scored 280 all out in 43.3 overs, with Shai Hope, 78, and Nicholas Pooran, 75, doing the bulk of the scoring. Keemo Paul also had an enterprising cameo, scoring 46, to take the visitors to the total.

Still, Pollard believes the batting of India shows there is reason to fear the power the West Indies batting line-up has on offer.

“It goes to show in order for them to win, they've to score big against us,” said the skipper.

Again, Pollard reminded his charges that there were little things the team had to get right if they were to turn some of these losses to wins.

“For us, it's looking to improve in small areas. We weren't able to execute our plans like we would've liked. Maybe 40-50 runs less, it would've been much different,” said Pollard.

Pollard did give some of the credit for the nature of the defeat to the opposition, saying the start the openers gave the Indian middle-order made things easy for them.

“Credit to them, Rohit and KL batted well, it allowed the guys lower down the order to come and score freely.”

The series is now tied at one apiece with one ODI remaining and Pollard has issued a warning to the hosts that the one-sidedness of the defeat doesn’t mean the West Indies have dropped their shoulders or that the series won’t still go the way of the visitors.

“Pooran and Hetmyer - talented youngsters who I've spoken about earlier. Hope too has shown consistency in the way he goes about his game. It's a matter of putting the pieces of the puzzle together, nothing happens overnight. We deserve to go out with a bang, our heads and shoulders are still high. We'll come back and fight hard in a couple of days."

Coach of rising sprint sensation Jamaican sprinter, Briana Williams, Ato Boldon expects the young phenom to go even faster in 2020 after her preparations for this season put her in a good place.

Williams, who decided to run as a senior at last year’s IAAF World Championships of Athletics, made the Jamaican team after finishing third at the country’s national champions in a quick 10.94 seconds, behind legends, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, and Elaine Thompson.

Despite the qualification, Williams was not at the World Championships after a positive drug test, which was eventually commuted with the athlete found to have done nothing wrong, meant there was no time for her to get there.

Last season, Williams also ran a nippy 22.88 seconds.

According to Boldon, Williams could have been faster last season and the season before, but for some reason, was not achieving her full potential.

“In 2019, only five women ran faster at 100m. I’ve considered the possibility that she had been holding back in practice in the last two years, training with a group. That’s clearly not the case this year, and she has set numerous personal bests in her preseason practice runs,” said Boldon.

The difference, this season, is that Williams has ditched her training routine, and is now doing her practice on her own.

“As far as her training, I had some major concerns when we started in October. She had no female training partners for the first time under me and she hadn’t competed since July,” said Boldon, who had split with Williams training partner Khalifa St Fort.

“I thought taking in someone to train with her would be a good idea. Well, it turns out I was wrong. She assured me she didn’t need a training partner. Her workouts have always accurately indicated to me what’s coming, and she will be better in 2020 than she was in 2019,” Boldon said.

Sacked head coach of the Trinidad and Tobago men’s national team, Dennis Lawrence, will be replaced as early as next weekend to give the new boss time to help the side prepare for a two-legged CONCACAF Gold Cup playoff against either Guyana or Barbados.

The next FIFA match window is in March of 2020, giving the new coach just three months between the first acid test and turning the fortunes of the Soca Warriors around.

Trinidad and Tobago are in freefall at the moment, winning just one game in 2019 and currently lie at 104th in the world, just a few ranking places above its lowest all-time position.

A statement from the William Wallace-led Trinidad and Tobago Football Association on Sunday confirmed the sacking of the 45-year-old coach, who has been in charge of the national team since January 2017.

According to reports coming out of Trinidad and Tobago, the TTFA’s board had a nine-hour meeting Saturday at the Ato Boldon Stadium. It was at that meeting that the decision was taken to relieve the coach of his duties.

The TTFA’s statement said Lawrence’s representatives and the board will meet to determine the terms of his departure.

Under Lawrence, Trinidad played 31 matches. They won five, drew seven and lost 19 for a win percentage of 16.13 per cent.

In those matches, TT scored 36 goals while conceding 53.

Despite that poor record, Lawrence may be another in a long list of coaches to be owed significant amounts by the TTFA.

The coach had two years left on his contract and had delayed signing that contract until a performance clause for his sacking was removed.

The clause had said Lawrence had to maintain an annual success rate of 40 per cent while dropping no more than six points in the FIFA rankings.

Lawrence has overseen a 20-point drop in the rankings stemming from 795 days without winning a competitive game.

It is not yet known who the William Wallace-led Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) have been considering as replacement for Lawrence, but when the former T&T defender was given the job, Stephen Hart, Terry Fenwick and Stuart Charles-Fevrier were the names on the shortlist.

Hart recently said the job was not one he would consider under the circumstances that existed in Trinidad & Tobago.

Jamaican Richard Holmes scored a technical knockout victory over Guyanese Winston Pompey in the main event of the second staging of the Wray and Nephew Rum Punch boxing card at Skateland, Half-Way Tree on Friday night.

Referee Owen Nelson waved off the six-round contest at the 47-second mark of the second round.

In the first round, Holmes attacked Pompey aggressively while breaching his defence a few times to land shots mainly to the head. A straight right-hand shot sent Pompey crashing to the canvas for the standing eight-count.

Holmes went on the prowl again at the sound of the bell for the second round and eventually backed Pompey into one of the neutral corners and unveiled a barrage of shots  before Nelson waved off the contest.

“I am coming off two defeats and this win puts me back on track for a fight in February," said the 32-year-old Holmes.

“We worked in the gym on outside, inside body shots. The execution was very good. Tonight, with my stance, the perfection of the punch was more effective than ever. The things that I have been working on, I used them whenever time I got the chance,” he further added.

Holmes' professional record now stands at 19 wins and 11 defeats.

Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) president Michael Ricketts says his organization will be announcing a new head coach for the Reggae Girlz in a matter of days.

According to Ricketts, the JFF’s technical committee, which has the prevue of selecting a coach, will make its decision after discussions with stakeholders on Tuesday.

According to Ricketts, the decision will be made to replace former head coach Hue Menzies, who announced his intention to leave the programme via the media more than a week ago, despite not receiving a formal resignation.

“We haven’t gotten anything official,” said Ricketts.

“But he has gone public [with his resignation], so we just have to take it that he will not be a part of the programme,” he said.

Menzies announced his intention to leave the programme after four years, citing a lack of communication from the JFF regarding a new contract that had expired in August, as well as unpaid salaries and reimbursements.

Menzies had refused to coach the team until all unpaid monies were sent his way.

The former coach’s stance meant he missed the first round of Olympic Qualifiers with the Reggae Girlz.

Those qualifiers still went well under the guidance of assistant coach Lorne Donaldson, with the final round of qualifiers set to take place from January 28 to February 9, 2020.

Donaldson’s performance is reported to have made him frontrunner for the job, however, the assistant has hinted at reservations about taking the new post.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce was yesterday named the Best Female Athlete at the inaugural Panam Sports Awards in Fort Lauderdale.

The Jamaican sprint star was earning the award for her performances at the 2019 Pan American Games, while Brazillian gymnast Francisco Barretto was named the Best Male Athlete.

Fraser-Pryce, who was running in her first Pan American Games, broke the 200-metre games record, a mark that had stood for 40 years, when she clocked 22.43 seconds for gold.

Fraser-Pryce was beating American cyclist Chloe Dygert, Argentine swimmer, Delfina Pignatiello, Mexican racquetballer Paola Longoria, and Venezuelan triple jumper, Yulimar Rojas.

Barretto was beating Grenadian javelin thrower, Anderson Peters, Trinidad & Tobago cyclist Niholas Paul, Venezuelan fencer Ruben Limardo and Cuban wrestler Mijain Lopez.

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