Kwesi Mugisa

Kwesi Mugisa

Kwesi has been a sports journalist with more than 10-years’ experience in the field. First as a Sports Reporter with The Gleaner in the early 2000s before he made the almost natural transition to becoming an editor. Since then he has led the revamp of The Star’s sports offering, making it a more engaging and forward-thinking component of the most popular tabloid newspaper in the Caribbean.

Prime Minister of Grenada Dr. Keith Mitchell has insisted that a change of structure should be the primary focus of the next Cricket West Indies (CWI) boss, following the announcement of a challenge to incumbent president Dave Cameron.

After four terms in charge of the regional body, Cameron will face a challenge from former Windies team manager Ricky Skerritt, when the organisation goes to the polls next month.

Mitchell, who has at times found himself in an adversarial relationship with regional cricket’s leadership team in recent years, however, believes very little will be different unless the new leader is willing to focus on decades-long structural deficiencies.

“30-50 years ago Governments were operating one way in terms of how they governed countries.  They made you believe they could solve all your problems, ‘just vote for me’.  That has changed dramatically, businesses had to change over the years and be more transparent,” Mitchell told the SportsMax Zone.

“Trade Unions had to also recognize that it was not about getting increases in salary but also getting productivity, it’s a competitive world.  Similarly, sporting bodies cannot operate a 19 century, 20th-century system in the 21st century,” he added.

A 2015 CARICOM-commissioned Governance Report – authored by prominent regional academic and UWI Cave Hill principal Professor Eudine Barriteau – had called for the “immediate dissolution of the West Indies Cricket Board and the appointment of an Interim Board.”

“The chop and change of presidents in my view is not going to solve the problems that are plaguing West Indies cricket.  The attitude and structure that we have in place and the transparency and accountability has to be a fundamental issue also.”

 Solid middle order batting from the trio of Devon Thomas, Jahmar Hamilton and Terrance Ward left the Leeward Islands Hurricanes in a comfortable position, on day 1 of the West Indies Championship fixture at Warner Park.

At stumps, the Leewards were 295 for 5 after being sent in to bat by the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force who won the toss.  The score was, however, compiled after the Hurricanes staged a remarkable recover after a poor start to the innings.

The Hurricanes lost opener Montcin Hodge in the fourth over and partner Kieran Powell four overs later to leave the team struggling at 14 for 2.  Medium pacer Daniel St Clair was responsible for the removal of both openers, first bowling Hodge for 2 before having Powell caught by Jason Mohammed for 5.

Up next at the crease, however, Keacy Carty and Thomas began the repair job for the Hurricanes, adding 105 for the third wicket.

The partnership was ended when Carty, who was just short of a half-century on 44, was caught by Joshua Da Silva off the bowling of Anderson Phillips.  Thomas followed to the pavilion five overs later, when he was stumped by Denesh Ramdin off the bowling of Khary Pierre.  Thomas’ well struck 67 came from 103 balls.

There would be little respite for the T&T bowling attack, however, as Hamilton would join Ward at the crease with the duo putting on 109 for the fifth wicket.  The partnership was ended by Pierre who had Hamilton caught by Jason Mohammed on 68.

Ward ended the day on 64 and was joined at the crease by Rahkeem Cornwall, who was not out on 34 from 55.  St Clair and Pierre were the pick of the bowlers, with two wickets each for the Red Force.

Windies skipper Jason Holder has hailed the impact of top opening batsman Chris Gayle who cracked 135 in a losing effort against England on Monday.

On a placid Kensington Oval pitch that suited the batsmen, the 39-year-old left-hander cracked an astounding 12 sixes and four 4s enroute to his 135 off 129 balls.  The effort was, however, somewhat in vain as England cruised to a six-wicket win on the back of centuries from Jason Roy (123) and Joe Root (102).  The result saw England move ahead 1-0 in the five-test One Day International series.

“Credit to our batters I thought we played exceptionally well on what was a really good pitch, one of the best I have seen at Kensington Oval for a while. I thought Chris played a really good innings. He took a bit of time upfront, got himself set and then put pressure back on the spinners in the middle and forced Eoin Morgan to bring back the seamers back a bit earlier. I felt he held the innings together and gave other batters a chance to express themselves,” Holder said.

“England played well to chase down our target. We’re now 1-0 down so we know we have to bounce back on Friday and look to make it 1-1 before we head off to Grenada.”

The teams will play the second ODI at the same venue tomorrow.

Jamaica national representative Danielle Dowie and former Cayman Islands sprint star Cydonie Mothersille, will lend their expertise to an already knowledgeable SportsMax panel put together for this weekend’s Gibson McCook Relays.

 Mothersille, who represented the Cayman Islands at four Olympic Games and six World Championships, will bring plenty of experience to the table.  As one of the region’s most recognized names for many years, the athlete specialized in the 100 and 200m sprints.  Mothersille, who was born in Jamaica, can also boast about plenty of relay know-how as a one-time member of the Clemson University 4x100 and 4x400m relays teams, which received All-American honours in 2001.

The 27-year-old Dowie, who remains an active competitor and a member of the famous MVP track club, is best known as a 400m hurdles specialist who represented Jamaica at the 2013 IAAF World Championships.

 Like Mothersill, however, she has plenty of experience getting the stick around the track.  Dowie was part of 4x400m relay that claimed a bronze medal at North America-Central America and Caribbean (NACAC) U-23 Championships and prior to that was a part of relay teams at the CARIFTA Games and 2009 IAAF World Youth Championships. 

As an alumnus of Texas University, Dowie gained All-America honours at the NCAA Championships as a member of the school’s 4x400m relay team.

  The athletes will be joined on the panel by an experienced coach and long-time track and field analyst Raymond ‘KC’ Graham.  The Gibson McCook relays will be broadcast live on SportsMax beginning at 4:00 pm on Saturday.

 

Windies skipper Jason Holder claims the unit is pleased to once again don the underdogs' tag ahead of the One Day International (ODI) series against England, which bowls off on Wednesday.

Heading into the series as the world’s number-one ranked team, England will once again be heavy favourites, with the regional side ranked some eight places below them. 

With the situation very similar to the one they faced in the Test series, where the Windies dominated to win 2-1.  Holder, who was suspended for the only the third and only Test the team lost, is hoping to return and make an immediate impact.

“We're pretty confident, we have momentum from the Test series and good experience in the dressing room,” Holder said.

“We pack a pretty heavy punch when we're stacking up our team. 'Underdogs' is not a bad tag to have - it's more pressure on them and less pressure on us,” he added.

“It was tough watching the Test in St Lucia but I'm very hungry to get back on the park and looking forward to the challenge of carrying the team forward.”

The Windies will face an even tougher test than the Test series with both pacers Shannon Gabriel and Kemar Roach out of action.  Keemo Paul, Evin Lewis and Rovman Powell are also ruled out.

Middle-order batsman Leon Johnson cracked an unbeaten half-century as the Guyana Jaguars wasted little time in formalizing a 7-wicket win over the Jamaica Scorpions at Providence Stadium on Sunday.

After the previous day’s demolition job by spinner Gudakesh Motie, the Jaguars needed just 145 runs to snap a three-match losing streak.  Overnight batsman Hemraj added another 26 runs before he was caught by Brandon King off the bowling of Jerome Taylor.

Sherfane Rutherford added another 5 to the total after facing 13 deliveries but he was dismissed by Derval Green.

Opener Tagenarine Chanderpaul seemed poised to stay at the crease to see the Jaguars to the meagre total but was out lbw to Kenroy Williams after making 33 from 73 balls.  The young batsman was involved in partnerships with Hemraj, Rutherford and Johnson whose 61 came from 86 balls and included 10 fours and one six.  Vishaul Sigh was also left not out on 26 from 57 balls.  Jerome Taylor, Derval Green and Kenroy Williams each took a wicket in the second innings.

 

A five-for from Rahkeem Cornwall handed the Leeward Islands Hurricanes a narrow 12-run win over the Windwards Volcanoes in a close encounter at Windsor Park.

Beginning the day in pursuit of 231, with 10 wickets in hand, the Windwards were in early trouble after Roland Cato (9) and the typically reliable Devon Smith (20) departed in the space of two overs.  Cato was dismissed Nelson Bolan, caught by Jahmar Hamilton and Smith caught and bowled by Sheno Berridge for 20.

A steady partnership between Kavem Hodge and Sunil Ambris, however, stopped the early rot as the pair put on 103 for the third wicket.

The partnership would, however, be broken when Cornwall accounted for Hodge, who had made 65 from 78 balls.

 The spinner then went on to rip through the rest of the middle and lower order, removing Alick Athanaze(8), Dennis Smith (1) Larry Cornwall (0) and Josh Thomas (0) for a combined 9 runs.

The stubborn Ambris was, however, not finished as he put on 70 runs for the 6th wicket with Ray Jordan (19) to get the team within touching distance.  After Jordan was caught by Devon Thomas off the bowling of  Quinton Boatswain, Ambris would simply run out of partners as the team was dismissed for 228.

 

A powerful unbeaten century from Jonathan Carter handed the Barbados Pride a sensational four-wicket win over T&T Red Force on a day they began with it all to do at Kensington Oval.

In pursuit of a sizable 309 for victory, things began in bleak fashion when the overnight openers Shane Mosley and Rashidi Boucher were sent packing early.  Mosley only managed to add three to his overnight total as he was caught by Jeremy Solozano off the bowling of Daniel St Clair.

 Boucher departed just three overs later when he was caught, for 15, by Joshua Da Silva off Ravindaranth Rampaul to leave the squad wobbling at 24 for 2.  Aaron Jones was next to be dismissed when he bowled for 11 by Bryan Charles to leave the team at 53 for 3.

Carter, however, began the recovery effort and after losing Kevin Stoute (11) and Nicholas Kirton (12) as early partners, put on a massive 128 for the sixth wicket with Shamar Springer.

 The middle-order batsman then added another 94 for the seventh wicket with Tevyn Walcott, who was also unbeaten on 48.  Springer was good for a solid 66 from 105 balls. 

Red Force bowler Yannic Cariah was unable to repeat his first innings heroics as he claimed 1 for 30.  Daniel St Clair was the team’s most successful bowler after ending with 2 for 59.  The Pride reached their target a 326 for 6.

 

Openers Montcin Hodge and Keacy Carty notched half-centuries for the Leeward Hurricane to see the team end the day a satisfactory 229 for 5 in the West Indies Championship match at Windsor Park.

A three-for from Windwards pacer Ray Jordan, however, kept things interestingly poised.  Hodge and opening partner Kieran Powell got the Leewards off to solid start combining for 66 for the first wicket. 

Powell, however, became the first of Jordan’s wickets when he was caught by Dennis Smith on 29 from 64 deliveries. 

Hodge went on to form another solid partnership with Keacy Carty, the next man in at the crease, as the pair put on an identical 66-runs partnership for the second wicket before Hodge was caught on 61 by Sunil Ambris off the bowling of Josh Thomas. 

Devon Thomas did not trouble the scorer as he was dismissed for a duck from 11 deliveries, but Carty went on to partner with Jahmar Hamilton for another solid half-century stand of 51 for the fourth wicket. 

Carty was caught on 54 by Thomas, off Jordan, with Hamilton becoming Jordan’s third wicket after he was caught by Kavem Hodge.

Terrance Ward (14) and Rahkeem Cornwall (16) will resume the day as the team’s not out batsmen.

Windies Women ended a three-test tour of Pakistan a losing note as the hosts rebounded to score a 12-run win in Karachi on Sunday.

After winning the toss and choosing to bat, Pakistan Women, led by 53 off 40 balls from Nida Dar, put 150 runs on the board after their 20 overs.  The hosts lost six wickets in the process.

 In response, Windies star all-rounder Deandra Dottin was her usual belligerent self and batted freely to crack 46 from 29 balls but the team was restricted to 138 in their 20 overs.  Things began badly for the regional team when Kycia Knight was dismissed for a duck and Shermaine Campbelle following soon after.

Except for Dottin, the Windies never really got into the run chase and wickets fell at regular intervals.  Anam Amin was Pakistan’s best bowler after claiming figures of 3 for 34.  Pakistan were beaten by 71 runs in the first game but pressed the West Indies all the way in the second, tying the match before going down in the Super Over as Dottin was on point again. 

The two teams now travel to Dubai to play an ODI series that is part of the ICC's qualifiers for the World Cup.

 

Windies captain Jason Holder has pointed to a newfound hunger in the team as a key component to success, following an unexpected but dominant series win over England.

The regional team regained the Wisden trophy on the back of a 10-wicket win over the British, the world number three ranked team, on Saturday in Antigua.  The result followed on the back of a 381-run win in Barbados, where Holder had a major contribution with a sparkling double century.

 The results marked the first Test series win over England since 2009 and their first against a side other than Bangladesh and Zimbabwe since 2012.  Perhaps even more than the result was the determined, disciplined and gusty approach that the team took in securing the victory.

“We are hungry.  We are hungry for success,” was Holder’s assessment.

“This group has been together for a year and a half to two years and we have been doing some exceptional things.  Credit to the boys for sticking to the task.  I think it’s something we really wanted.  Obviously last year the way we ended was kind of down as well, it was a bit disappointing and everybody wanted to turn things around,” he added.

“After the tour of Bangladesh it wasn’t there but the guys really had a long hard talk in the dressing room.  We wanted to get some honesty in the dressing room…so credit to the boys.”  

Windies top order batsman Darren Bravo insists the team has no intentions of taking its foot off the throat of English opposition, despite securing an unassailable 2-0 lead and the Wisden Trophy on Saturday.

The 29-year-old Bravo played a starring role, albeit in typically different circumstances, as his gritty half-century off a marathon 216 balls provided the backbone for a hard-fought 10-wicket win at North Sound in Antigua. 

The win followed up on another convincing performance in the first Test, which featured a 381-run win in Bridgetown to set the cat among the pigeons.  Heading into the series it was England, the world’s number three ranked Test team that was expected to dominate a Windies team several places below them.  Despite having proven the pundits, and almost everyone for that matter, wrong, Bravo insists the regional team will remain focused on finishing the job.

“I don’t think we can take any Test match lightly. We are trying to make our way back up the Test rankings and that is of paramount importance for us.  We are going to train hard and plan the way we have been planning in the first two Test matches,” Bravo said following the match.

“Before the start of the series the first thing the coach said is we want to win this series 3-0.  There is still motivation there and I don’t see any reason we can’t do it,” he added.

 “It’s going to be tough, I don’t think England will lie down and play dead they are going to come at us and we are looking forward to it.”

Former English Premier League (EPL) goalkeeper and television pundit Shaka Hislop has been appointed as an ambassador for the Trinidad and Tobago Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL). 

The 49-year-old Hislop, who spent 10 years in the EPL’s top flight where he represented Newcastle and then West Ham is expected to play the role of mentor for burgeoning T&T schoolboy football talent.

According to Hislop, who attended St Mary’s College as a young player, claimed the decision to take up the position was a no-brainer.

“It was a pretty easy decision on my part.  I’m a product of the Secondary School’s Football League (SSFL).  I’ve always been a huge admirer of what it brings and what it offers to young men and women in the Trinidad and Tobago school system.

“I know how big a role it played in my own football development.  So I’m more than happy to lend a hand in hopes that it can do the same for some of the other,” he added.

 In his role as ambassador Hislop is expected to conduct clinics with coaches as well as visiting schools to give inspirational addresses.  At the end of the season, he will be selecting an All-Star team.  Hislop made some 26 appearances for the Trinidad and Tobago national team.

Windies opening batsman Kraigg Brathwaite hailed a battling 49 against England, at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, as some of the toughest runs he has ever scored on a day when the team showed plenty of resilience and determination.

On a second-day pitch that still offered plenty of assistance to the bowlers, the regional team fought to 272 for 6 for a lead of 85 runs.  Brathwaite’s contribution at the top of the order amounted to falling just short of a half century and came from 156 balls, with just three fours in an innings that lasted over three hours.

“It’s some of the toughest runs I have made so far,” Brathwaite said.

“I thought the England bowlers did really well today they were really disciplined, they mixed that with some aggression and it will be tough going tomorrow.  So we just know we have to stick together and keep working,” he added.

Brathwaite partnered with John Campbell as the pair put on 70 for the first wicket opening session.  The opener was eventually dismissed by Moeen Ali.

“You can’t worry about the ball that’s gone, like Ralston Chase got one that popped and the next one kept low that was quite unlucky.  You just have to play what you see and work hard.”  

Windies quick Kemar Roach admitted he was pleased with the pitch at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, which offered plenty of assistance to the bowlers on the first day of the second Test against England.

On a grassy North Sound surface that seemed to offer some variable bounce, Roach ended the first innings with figures of 4 for 30, with an economy rate of 2.00, the best of the Windies bowlers. 

Some batsmen in the English line-up seemed to be caught off-guard by the odd springy delivery, particularly Ben Stokes and Joe Root who were visibly surprised by the unexpected bounce.

“There was some variable bounce, it was pretty tough for the batsmen, but you still have to put the ball in the right areas.  I thought the guys did that very well,” Roach said of the England innings.

At one stage, the English found themselves at 93 for 6 before Moen Ali and Ben Folkes sparked a revival that saw the team eventually get to 187.  Despite complaints about the pitch, however, Roach believes that a pitch that favours the bowler on the odd occasion makes for an even and more competitive game overall.

“It’s rare in the Caribbean, very rare, but today it was good.  The pitch was pretty green and it did a lot with the ball. I’m pretty happy with the pitch as a fast bowler,” Roach said.

“I’m thinking it’s good for cricket to obviously have balance, some days for the batsman some days for the bowler.”

The Windies will resume the second day at 30 without loss.

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