Will Anthony Joshua find redemption against Andy Ruiz on Saturday?

By December 06, 2019
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.

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  • Yes, Windies players lack commitment but they do need better facilities in order to improve Yes, Windies players lack commitment but they do need better facilities in order to improve

    No one can question Andy Roberts’ passion for West Indies cricket. After an outstanding career for the West Indies where he took 202 wickets as part of a battery of fast bowlers, who terrorised teams for more than a decade, the no-nonsense Antiguan has for the last two decades has had to watch with despair and disdain while batting line ups have taken our bowling attacks apart almost at will.

    I would imagine it would be even more frustrating for him to watch as West Indies’ batsmen, more often than not, seem incapable of batting for time in a Test match.

    This was evident in the last two Test matches the West Indies lost to England at Old Trafford last month.

    Therefore, it was no surprise to hear Roberts speak passionately about the team’s failures during an interview with Andrew Mason last week. Responding to comments regarding the lack of technological infrastructure that puts the West Indies at a disadvantage when compared to England, Roberts was quick to rubbish those claims, instead choosing to throw the blame squarely at the feet of the players.

    “Infrastructure will not make you a better player.  You have to make yourself a better player and I don’t think the commitment is there from a lot of West Indies players,” he said.

    “It’s not just the Test players but a lot of people who play cricket in the West Indies. I don’t think they commit themselves enough.  If you did, you would not be averaging 30 in first-class cricket and that is what we are getting.”

    On the issue of commitment, I believe he makes a strong point. My perspective is that when you watch a West Indian batsman bat these days, you see a couple of things right away.

    You see the deficiencies in technique but what you also see is how those weaknesses persist over time. I remember when Ronnie Sarwan just came into the West Indies. He was in love either with cutting balls that were close to or on his off stump.

    Consequently, he would constantly get out by either playing on, being caught behind or snapped up somewhere between gully and point. However, over time he was more selective when choosing to play the shot and went on to have a successful career.

    Shivnarine Chanderpaul adjusted his batting stance that allowed him to achieve incredible things like bat for 25 hours in a Test series between dismissals and face 1050 consecutive deliveries without losing his wicket.

    This is something he did repeatedly – in 2002, 2004, and 2007 - all because he learned from his previous errors and adjusted.

    I have yet to see this from any of the current players – a clear lack of commitment to improve, satisfied with mediocrity instead of striving for excellence.

    You also see an inability to concentrate for extended periods. Watch any West Indies batsman in the current team. If they last more than an hour at the crease, you can literally see them struggling to maintain the high levels of concentration.

    It manifests in bizarre shots unexpectedly as well as retreating into a defensive mode before eventually giving his wicket away.

    You would never see that happen to Tiger because of how he practised.

    Australian opener David Warner shared a story about how in 2011 Chanderpaul revealed to him the secret of how to occupy the crease for long periods.

    “He batted on the bowling machine for six hours. I said, ‘This is ridiculous, how can you do this?’ And he said, ‘If you’re going to bat for six hours in a game you might as well practise it.’”

    When you watch the current batsmen in the West Indies set up, I am sure none of them spends two hours batting in the nets let alone six.

    This is the commitment needed and which Roberts believes is missing.

    However, I do believe that improved structures would help the players improve.

    Better facilities, better equipment, better coaches help deliver more information to players and in most cases lead to better performances even if marginal.

    Better infrastructure allows players, regardless of the sport, to perform at a higher level. Think of it this way.

    If you go to work each day in a rundown building where you don’t have access to the most basic of equipment; the copier doesn’t work, the air-conditioning makes you sick, and you have to take the stairs instead of an elevator, wouldn’t you feel demotivated?

    To make matters worse every time you visit another office where the basics are in abundance, it depresses you. Eventually, the quality of your work deteriorates without you even realizing it.

    It is the same with athletes.

    If an athlete is not comfortable with his training environment, his or her ability to learn can be impacted. Like everyone else, athletes need to feel motivated in order to improve.

    Modern facilities encourage athletes to work harder and hence improve..

     

     

     

     

     

  • Moments In Time: The race that made Elaine Thompson Moments In Time: The race that made Elaine Thompson

    Elaine Thompson-Herah looks a woman who is back to her fabulous best.

  • Let's not forget our Windies women Let's not forget our Windies women

    On many a Sunday, I realize that people have looked at the stories they've seen throughout the week with different lenses. I have my own personal take on some of these issues and I will share them with you. Welcome to #INCASEYOUMISSEDIT

    Kudos, King on making a difference on and off the field

    Jamaican hard-hitting batsman, Brandon King, is using his platform as a cricketer to support the Black Lives Matter movement and those affected by the coronavirus pandemic. This selfless gesture of the young man is deserving of mention and commendation.

    King, who belongs to the Caribbean Premier League franchise Guyana Amazon Warriors, scored the most runs, 496, in the 2019 edition of the tournament. He held the highest score in the tournament, 132, at an average of 55.11.  He also scored the most 6’s with a total of 32. The 25-year-old game-changer scored a 72-ball 132 against the Barbados Tridents to propel the Guyana Amazon Warriors to the 2019 CPL final. 

           On Instagram, King posted, “Over the past few months, I’ve had some time to really think about how I could make a positive impact on communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and also the Black Lives Matter movement.” 

    “So, this year I will be sporting my black SG stickers and along with my management team, GGSM, we will be donating USD$100 for every six I hit during this year’s CPL tournament. Donations will be split between the Greater Trench Town, in Jamaica, and a charity in Guyana to be decided at a later date.”

    “As athletes, we have the platform to speak up and make effective change,” he said.

    “I am encouraging my sponsors, other athletes, and friends to join in on donations by either supporting a #BLM initiative of your choice or by matching my donations towards these local charities.

    I am hopeful and looking forward to getting back out on the field very soon. Thanks for your support and let’s go Amazon Warriors.”

    Some may see this as a small gesture that will go a long way, but I see a young man who cares about the less fortunate and those unable to speak up for what they believe in. This gesture will raise awareness and impact those affected by these issues in a positive manner. Based on the current climate, athletes need to use their voices and resources to educate those around them. Well done King!

    CWI, what’s the big deal sharing information that has already been leaked?

    The lawyer for former Cricket West Indies President, Dave Cameron, says he has filed an application with the Antigua High Court for CWI to disclose to his client a copy of the financial audit conducted by accounting and management consulting firm, ‘Pannel Kerr Foster.’

    After Cameron demitted office, the new Ricky Skerritt-led board commissioned PKF consultancy to look at the board’s finances and to submit recommendations. However, the report, which was handed to the board in December last year, also found its way into the public domain and called out the former president on several items including an honorarium, monies sent by the Indian board, reportedly for past players and sponsorship money intended for the Dominican Board, which found its way directly to Cricket West Indies. It is difficult for me to understand how withholding this information benefits CWI. Is it that they are trying to protect current members of their team? These are questions that may remain unanswered.

    Attorney Tony Astaphan argues it is unfair for his client’s credibility to be called into question without him even having a chance to see the document in question and to defend himself. The only logical thing to do is to let Cameron see the audit, right?

    Something must be done to ensure our women cricketers remain competitive

    The Women’s 50 over World Cup has been postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. The tournament was scheduled for February 6 to March 7, 2021, in New Zealand, but will now be held February to March 2022. It means three major women’s events will be staged in 2022. The T20 World Cup and the Commonwealth Games are the other two. While it is understandable given the circumstances surrounding COVID-19, Cricket West Indies need to do more for the Windies women.

      Most of these cricketers have dedicated all their time to the sport, it is their full-time job and as a result, it results in a major hit to their finances. A lack of competition also directly affects the form of our Windies women as the situation represents a sudden break in their momentum. CWI should find a reasonable alternative to ensure our women cricketers get back to playing some sort of competitive cricket and they do not become complacent. When a few Windies women were posed with the question, “How does this postponement of the World Cup affect you?” this is how they responded:

    Britney Cooper: It’s very disappointing that it is postponed, after the exciting and good quality of cricket that was played in the 2017 World Cup, in England, many were looking forward to an even better World Cup in New Zealand. Looking at the ICC calendar for the next few years you can see it’s full of events for the men. The fact is that they had to take months to decide on the men’s T20 World Cup but only two weeks to decide on the postponement of the women’s. With the postponement, I don't think there will be many cricket tours taking place, which means that women's cricket will be put on the back burner.

    Kycia Knight: It is disappointing to hear of the postponement of the World Cup as everyone around the world was looking forward to the tournament, especially after the success of the World T20 tournament in Australia. With that being said, it would give teams enough time to properly prepare for such a big tournament as some teams have not yet started to prepare as a unit. The tournament would've been the final World Cup event for some players and they were looking forward to the tournament and I believe it would be a little disappointing for them to have to wait a little while longer.

    Karishma Ramharack: As of now, the safety of the players is important so the decision to postpone may seem best. The worst part is that the wait to get on the field is longer! However, this gives teams a proper and fair chance to prepare fully following the safety precautions. Teams can now devise proper strategies and training methods to be much more prepared for the tournament.

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