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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.

In this story that was initially published on Friday, May 15, 2020, the writer inadvertently attributed comments from the Dominica Cricket Association in relation to funds earmarked for the Dominica Cricket Academy to Mr Tony Astaphan. Those comments were actually made by Glen Joseph President of the DCA. Sportsmax.TV sincerely apologizes for the error and any harm that may have been caused to Mr Astaphan. 

 

 

 

Did Cricket West Indies (CWI) run the risk of being involved in money laundering when it acted as a conduit for more than US$100,000 intended for the development of cricket in Dominica in 2018?

That and more are questions being asked by auditors and former West Indies fast bowler Michael Holding, who spoke out on the issue which was among several red flags raised by auditors in a recent report on the operations of the CWI.

According to Holding’s reading of the audit, that CWI has reportedly classified as ‘confidential’, but which the fast bowler characterized as damning and harsh, in 2018, the CWI received funds of US$134,200 from a sponsor on or about August 8, 2018, on behalf of the Dominica Cricket Association (DCA).

The money was received from a third party, which appeared to be an offshore corporation, Holding explained.

The auditors, Holding said, wrote that it was unclear why the funds did not go directly to the DCA.

However, the auditors, according to Holding, said the money was paid over to the DCA in three tranches; US$104,100 on November 16, 2018; US$15,700 on August 15, 2019, and US$14,400 on September 21, 2019. “In this particular situation, CWI was the financial conduit,” the auditors are quoted by Holding as adding.

The situation has created some underlying concerns.

“What due diligence was performed to ensure that the source of the funds was legitimate and that the funds were clean from an anti-money laundering compliance perspective,” Holding read.

According to Holding, the auditors also wanted to know what measures were taken to minimize the risk CWI may have been involved in money laundering, noting that they were unable to find an executed agreement for the transaction.

The funds were supposed to be specifically earmarked for cricket development in Dominica. However, there was no evidence CWI obtained confirmation from the DCA that the funds were used as directed.

Holding, while speaking with host Asif Khan on ‘Michael Holding Nothing Back’, also wanted to know whether any directors of the CWI board were involved in the transaction.

The former fast bowler turned commentator was the one who brought the matter to light while speaking with Khan, revealing that he had received a copy of the auditors’ report in his email and thought the Caribbean people would be interested in hearing its contents.

He also wanted to know what process was implemented by the CWI in authorizing the transaction.

However,  Glen Joseph President for the DCA told Andrew Mason, host of the popular Mason and Guest on Friday, that he was surprised by Holding’s comments.

He said he was aware that CWI had received the money and kept it for a long period of time.

Joseph explained the CWI held onto the funds because they were having cash-flow issues and had to use the money for some operations.

“This resulted in our academy having to struggle because we had no money to run the academy so realising the fact that we needed our funds, I made a demand for these funds and I am aware that it was sent. All money that was sent was received and it was solely used for cricket development purposes,” Joseph said.

“Recently, Mr Wilbur Harrigan, who is principal of PKF, (a Dominican firm of auditors and consultants) visited during the time when CWI came to visit in connection with the upcoming game against New Zealand and asked questions on the transaction.

“We explained to him that we received the money, what the money was spent for and shortly after we were able to send him documents on the spending of the funds. There are documents to prove that these funds were used for cricket development purposes. That I can confirm for anybody.”

Joseph said anyone who wishes to get information on the issue can contact the DCA.

“We are very transparent in what we do. I try my best to ensure that we give an account for every dollar received and every dollar spent.”

However, questions remain unanswered with regards to this issue and others raised in the report Holding read, which suggest the auditors were expressing grave concern.

“We have become aware of several matters that cause consternation with respect to whether things were done in the best interest of Cricket West Indies,” Holding quoted the auditors saying.

Chris Gayle has apologized for some of the comments made regarding his departure from the Jamaica Tallawahs in three videos posted on YouTube on April 27.

Jamaica's 2019/2020 football season in - nationally and at the parish level - has been cancelled and declared null and void, Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) Michael Ricketts said in a statement on Friday.

Reports have emerged that Cricket West Indies has contacted 29 regional players telling them to prepare for a possible tour of England this coming July.

Cricket commentator David Brooks believes South Africa’s Jacques Kallis does not merit a place on the Sportsmax Zone’s Ultimate Test XI. This, despite the fact that the now-retired South African has scored a mammoth 45 Test centuries and more than 13,000 Test runs in what has been an outstanding career.

According to Brook, who provides cricket commentary on the Guerilla Cricket online portal, Kallis is simply not memorable.

“It’s not just the statistics. We’re thinking about the manner in which players score their runs, and for that reason, I just can’t have Jacques Kallis in there,” Brook said in explaining his reason for eliminating Kallis from the selection pool.

“We talk about players that empty bars, he wasn’t one of them. I can’t remember a single innings. I know that stats are there. I can’t put him in, I’m sorry.”

His comments drew laughter from the panel that included businessman and former Jamaica footballer Chris Dehring and regional cricket umpire Chris Taylor as well as hosts Whittaker and Mariah Ramharack.

Host Lance Whittaker was taken aback by Brooks’ reasoning. “Forty-five Test hundreds!” he remarked incredulously.

However, Brook remained resolute.

“Can’t remember a single one of them,” was his retort. “I may have seen a few of them, I just can’t recall them, and certainly not enjoyable or memorable in any way,” he said while making the case for Pakistan’s Javed Miandad.

“Whereas Javed Miandad, I can recall, playing shots all round the wicket, a genuine entertainer.”

(See Brook’s fill comments below)

With a focus on rebuilding for the 2020 CPL season, the beleaguered Jamaica Tallawahs franchise has opted to retain four players including star player Andre Russell for the new season.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) and Cricket South Africa (CSA) have agreed to postpone both the Women’s Colonial Medical Insurance One Day International (ODI) Series against South Africa Women, scheduled to begin at the end of the month in Jamaica and Trinidad, as well as the Men’s ‘A’ Team Series scheduled to commence in Antigua in June.

 Darren Sammy, the captain of the St Lucia Zouks franchise believes Chris Gayle will be focussed and motivated for the new season set to begin on August 19.

It has been about two months now since we have seen any live sport anywhere. Football, cricket, track and field, basketball, everything has ground to a halt as the world battles this pandemic in pretty much the same way it dealt with the Spanish Flu, just about 100 years ago.

CPL stars Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmyer, Keemo Paul and Brandon King have all been included among the 10 Caribbean players retained by the Guyana Amazon Warriors for the 2020 CPL season scheduled to get underway in August.

Paul and Hetmyer are two of seven Guyanese players retained by the Warriors. Big-hitting Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd, Chanderpaul Hemraj and Anthony Bramble were also retained as has been the emerging player Kevin Sinclair.

Odean Smith from Jamaica will also be back for the coming season.

“The Guyana Amazon Warriors Franchise has and will always be committed to the continued development of our local and regional players. From the inception of the CPL, we included young Guyanese players in our squad as part of the franchise’s mandate to provide opportunities to young aspiring Guyanese cricketers to assist in their overall development as professional cricketers,” said Omar Khan, Guyana Amazon Warriors Team Operations Manager.

“Shimron Hetmyer, Keemo Paul and Sherfane Rutherford have all benefitted from these opportunities prior to them becoming full-fledged members of our team. 

“We are extremely delighted that we were able to retain the majority of our local and regional players, including Nicholas Pooran and Brandon King, both of whom have been hailed by the cricket pundits as potential future stars of West Indies cricket and who were members of our team last year. The Guyana Amazon Warriors wish all of the retained players great success in the CPL 2020."

Retentions and signings of international players will be announced at a later date.

 This year teams can retain as many players from their 2019 squads as they wish. They could also transfer players to other teams and sign emerging players. 

 The CPL is scheduled to take place between August 19 and September 26, but the tournament organisers are currently watching the current situation with COVID-19 closely and are liaising with medical advisors and governments.

 A decision on whether the tournament can proceed as planned, or at a different time, will be made as soon as possible.

 

Of the top wicket-takers, few have a lower average than Joel Garner’s 20.98.

Garner made his debut for the West Indies in 1977 and became an integral part of the outstanding West Indian cricket teams of his era, alongside Colin Croft, Michael Holding, Andy Roberts, and Malcolm Marshall to form some of the most daunting bowling partnerships in cricket history.

Not blessed with great speed like many of his contemporaries, Garner used his height to good advantage. Standing at 6-foot-eight, the Barbadian was able to extract steep bounce and use his unerring accuracy to deadly effect.

That accuracy, when combined with his toe-crunching yorkers, made Garner more than a handful. That he did not take more than 258 wickets is down to the other bowlers he bowled in tandem with more than any inability to penetrate the defence of the world’s best batsmen.

In fact, as alluded to above, Garner was one of the stingiest bowlers in all forms of cricket and averaged just less than five wickets per Test throughout his career.

He was selected Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1980. In the 1983–84 Test series against visiting Australia, Garner took 31 wickets.

 

Career Statistics

Full Name: Joel Garner

Born: December 16, 1952, Enterprise, Christ Church, Barbados

Bowling style: Right-arm fast

Height: 6 ft 8 in

 

Test Career: West Indies (1977-1987)

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

58        111    13169   5433     259    6/56    9/108     20.97   2.47    50.8    18      7       0 

Career highlights

  • In his time, the tallest fast bowler to play Test cricket (6’8”)
  • Nicknamed “Big Bird”
  • Took 259 wickets at 20.97
  • Career best figures 6 for 56
  • Never took 10 wickets in a match

The master of reverse swing Waqar Younis once had the best strike rate of any fast bowler until the arrival of Dale Steyn will be remembered as one of the most potent not just of the 1980s but also in the history of the game.

His trademark was his ability to reverse swing a cricket ball at high speed, which enabled him to snare 373 Test wickets in just 87 Tests. Together with Wasim Akram, he formed one of the world's most feared bowling attacks.

Waqar Younis has taken five or more wickets in an innings on 22 occasions in Test cricket.

  

Career Statistics

Full name: Waqar Younis Maitla

Born: November 16, 1971, Vehari, Punjab

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

Bowling style: Right-arm fast

 

Test career: Pakistan (1989-2003)

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

87       154     16224   8788     373       7/76    13/135   23.56   3.25     43.4    28      22      5

Career highlights

  • Captured 373 wickets in 87 Tests
  • 2nd best strike rate for bowlers over 300 wickets (43.4)
  • 2nd best match figures by a captain (13/135)
  • Captured four 10-wicket hauls

Blessed with pace, swing and the ability to bowl an explosive bouncer, Malcolm Marshall was arguably the best bowler of the West Indies attack in the 1980s.

He also possessed an uncanny ability to outthink any batsman. He later developed a serious leg-cutter that made him even more cunning.

His strike rate of 46.22 was phenomenal, his average of 20.95 equally so.

In 1984, he broke his left thumb while fielding early in a Test against England but with his left hand in a plaster cast, destroyed the England batting, taking 7 for 53.

Four years later, on an Old Trafford wicket prepared specifically for spinners, he pitched the ball up and swung and cut it to such devastating effect that he took 7 for 22.

Marshall died of cancer in 1991 at the age of 41.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Malcolm Denzil Marshall

Born: April 18, 1958, Bridgetown, Barbados

Died: November 4, 1999, Bridgetown, Barbados (aged 41 years 200 days)

Bowling style: Right-arm fast

 

Test Career: West Indies (1978-1991)

 

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

81      151     17584   7876     376    7/22    11/89    20.94    2.68    46.7     19      22       4 

 

Career Highlights

  • Often regarded as best West Indies fast bowler
  • Best average of any bowler over 300 Test wickets (20.94)
  • 3rd best strike rate of any bowler over 300 wickets (46.77)

Secured 376 wickets in 81 Tests                    

At the height of his career, Dale Steyn was perhaps South Africa's best-ever bowler. His extreme pace, the ability to swing the ball both ways, and accuracy made him the bane of the world’s batsmen.

He played just seven first-class matches before he was selected for South Africa and made his debut against England in 2004.

He did not have an immediate impact, but after honing his craft playing for Essex in Division 2 of the county championship and the 2005-06 domestic season, he returned a different beast.

He took 16 wickets in his second series against New Zealand but when he faced them the following season, the summer of 2007-08, he announced himself as one of the fierce fast men.

Steyn took 10 wickets in the first Test in Johannesburg. Then, shortly after lunch on the first day of the second Test in Centurion, he delivered a short ball to Craig Cumming, who missed. The ball crashed into his face and sent him to intensive care.

The flow of wickets became a gush, and in 2008, he became the fastest South African at the time, and the 15th fastest overall, to reach 100 Test wickets. That September, Steyn was named ICC Test Player of the Year after taking 86 wickets in 14 matches at an average of 18.10.

He went on to win the Test championship with the team in England in 2012 and took his 300th Test wicket the following year against New Zealand. He was only the fourth South African to rack up that many scalps. 

 

Career Statistics 

Full name: Dale Willem Steyn

Born: June 27, 1983, Phalaborwa

Major teams: South Africa, Africa XI, Botha XI, Cape Cobras, Cape Town Blitz, Deccan Chargers, Essex, Glamorgan, Gujarat Lions, Hampshire, Islamabad United, Jamaica Tallawahs, Melbourne Stars, Nelson Mandela Bay Stars, North Eastern Transvaal, Northerns, Proteas, Rest of South Africa, Royal Challengers Bangalore, South Africa A, South African Invitation XI, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Titans, Warwickshire

Playing role: Bowler

Bowling style: Right-arm fast

 

Test Career: South Africa (2004-2019)

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

93      171     18608     10077    439       7/51   11/60   22.95   3.24     42.3   27      26       5 

 Career Highlights

  • Best strike rate of any bowler over 300 Test wickets (42.3)
  • 8 times selected to ICC Test Team of the Year
  • Took 439 wickets at 22.95
  • 9th most 5-wicket hauls in Tests (26)

Seen more as a support act to Muttiah Muralitharan in his early years, Rangana Herath eventually evolved into Sri Lanka’s go-to bowler.

His unrelenting accuracy and his ability to subtly vary his pace and flight have made him a potent force even overseas, where conditions don't always favour spin bowling.

On Sri Lanka's tour to South Africa in 2011-12, Herath's match haul of 9 for 128 helped the team to their first Test win in South Africa.

The following season he also had an impressive tour of Australia, bowling long spells, taking wickets and keeping the runs in check when the fast bowlers struggled

He was the leading wicket-taker in Tests in 2012, with 60 at an average of 23.61, thus proving conclusively that he had broken out of Murali's shadow, and was among the best left-arm spinners in the world.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Herath Mudiyanselage Rangana Keerthi Bandara Herath

Born: March 19, 1978, Kurunegala

Major teams: Sri Lanka, Hampshire, Kandurata Maroons, Kurunegala Youth Cricket Club, Moors Sports Club, Sri Lanka A, Surrey, Tamil Union Cricket and Athletic Club, Wayamba

Playing role: Bowler

Bowling style: Slow left-arm orthodox

 

Test Career: Sri Lanka (1999-2018)

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

93         170    25993      12157      433     9/127    14/184  28.07    2.80    60.0   20      34     9 

 

Career highlights

  • Most wickets by a left-arm bowler in Test history (433)
  • Most fifers taken in 4th innings (12)
  • Oldest player to take a hat-trick in Tests
  • 1 of 3 bowlers to take 5-wicket hauls against all Test nations
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