What should the authorities do to get Supreme Soul back home to Jamaica?

By January 29, 2020
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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  • Opinion: Hosts keep missing the point about COVID19 Opinion: Hosts keep missing the point about COVID19

    The hosts of the various big events in the world of sports have been missing the point over and over for the last three months, much like many governments have.

    The COVID-19 Pandemic has inch by inch, ground sports to a halt all over the world and looming events have had to be either cancelled or postponed as it becomes clear that the word ‘pandemic’ is as horrifying as it sounds and the world won’t get over this issue in a few weeks or months as administrators seem to feel.

    But even more important than that, these administrators seem to feel that whether or not an event can go on, depends on the environment at the event.

    But I suggest there is more to it than that.

    The Olympics, for instance, in Tokyo, Japan, seemed to hinge on whether or not the island could get its COVID-19 problems under control before the rest of the world would travel to the event.

    When it became clear that this would not be the case, the event was postponed.

    However, up until that time, even as preparatory events for the Olympics were being cancelled and/or postponed all over the world, the International Olympic Committee had been asking athletes to prepare as if there would still be an event in July of 2020.

    That, I believe, was unfortunate, because it meant, even without travelling to meets all over the world, training was putting athletes at risk of contracting the virus.

    The danger of picking up the virus becomes even more acute when you consider team sports and how much contact it takes to get one working in unison and performing at a high level.

    For that to happen, there needs to be a combination of technical staff, trainers, teammates, and much more. That will up the chances of contracting a virus and therefore it doesn’t matter what is happening at whichever venue in the world, the athletes are at risk.

    I am acutely aware that much planning goes into putting on a large event like the Olympics or the UEFA Champions League, and that there is a lot of money riding on the event going ahead as planned.

    These considerations, I believe, make decisions grey and not as completely black and white like it might from the outside, however, sports and entertainment being the last to get on board with social distancing was, in my mind, slightly callous.

    But that’s just in my mind. These organisers may well have foreseen the financial fallout for the athletes themselves and wanted to save them, for as long as they could, from months without earning in some cases.

    Whichever way you see it, the truth is COVID-19 is likely to bankrupt far more people than it kills.

    Many of the reports on COVID-19 have also indicated that it hurts people with underlying conditions and the elderly, so the athlete with his fitness at the peak of their value, along with usually being under 40, is not in any real danger.

    But how about the person the athletes give it to? And, as was the case of 21-year-old Spanish coach, Francisco Garcia, who knows who has an underlying condition that this virus may attack?

    Garcia, a coach at Atletico Portada Alta, found out he had undiagnosed Leukemia, after being admitted to hospital with coronavirus symptoms. By then, it was too late.

    How I see it is that people and countries can recover from going broke. It happens all the time.

    I’ve never seen anybody recover from being dead.

    Cricket West Indies and the England Cricket Board are entertaining the idea of having a series between the two, scheduled for June, behind closed doors.

    Hopefully, they think better of it in short order.

  • Opinion:  Russell the Windies new Gayle, Lara - not so fast Bravo Opinion: Russell the Windies new Gayle, Lara - not so fast Bravo

    Few could fail to be amazed by the flat-out, raw hitting power or the devastating ability to single-handedly change a game that Windies T20 star Andre Russell possesses, but as far as being the new Chris Gayle or Brian Lara, he’s not quite yet there.

    Now, the point recently made by veteran West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo is not lost.  After a solid performance against Sri Lanka with both bat and ball, which in the end delivered the team a comfortable win, Bravo sees Dre Russ as having picked up the mantle as the team’s go-to guy.  The role played to great effect by both Gayle and Lara for the regional team over multiple formats.

    To some extent, Russell has, on occasion, delivered for the Windies.  And, if we were speaking about club T20 cricket where his many big-time performances have seen him stack up titles right around the globe, there could be little argument regarding the snap assessment. 

    At the international level, however, Russell still trails behind the two greats in one important area; consistency.

    Not that it wasn’t ever true about the two Windies stars against which he is being compared, but too often it seems that Russell has failed to measure exactly what is required in the instant of the game when he arrives at the crease. As a result, he is sent back to hutch, head hung, with helmet in hand soon after.

    A quick look at the averages will show that Russell averages almost 12-runs fewer than Gayle’s average of 32.54 in T20 international cricket. Overall, in T20s he averages 26.95 to Gayle’s 38.20.

     Of course, each man bats at different times in a innings.

    Gayle has far more time to settle in than Russell who comes further down the order.  Even so, one can’t help but suspect that better application could have meant a higher average. 

    In T20Is Russell is yet to register a 100 or 50 in the format, while Gayle has two 100s and 13 half-centuries.  Almost 10 years Russell's senior, Gayle has played more international T20 cricket, but not a lot more. Nine more, in fact, 58 to Russell’s 49.  One would think that with a more consistent approach, Russell would at least have registered a few more half-centuries.

    As far as potential goes, however, the talented Russell could easily have the big two looking over their shoulders in the next few years.

    His wicket-taking ability, which ensures that he is also a key part of the team’s bowling attack, is an element neither Lara or Gayle would have had. 

    Russell also has the ability to be very effective in the ODI format of the game, giving us a glimpse at last year's ICC Cricket World Cup before being hobbled by injury.  During the tournament the quickest batsman, in terms of balls faced, to score 1,000 runs in ODIs, facing only 767 deliveries.

    All that points to the fact that the sky could be the limit for a fully fit, fully focused Russell but he certainly has to deliver on a more consistent basis to fall into the same category of two of the greatest to ever play the game, even as a go-to guy.

  • Opinion: Why I don’t miss sports Opinion: Why I don’t miss sports

    The world of sport has ground to a halt thanks to the coronavirus pandemic that been holding the world hostage for the past few weeks. Some of my favourites – the English Premier League, tennis, track and field – have all been hamstrung.

    My Liverpool faces the real possibility that their record-breaking Premier League season could be wiped from the record books and I will not get to see Shelly-Ann go for a record third Olympic 100m gold until next year, yet, somehow, I am not as perturbed as I expected to be.

    Sports have been a part of my life from as far back as I can remember.  Ever since my days in prep school, I looked forward to listening to the sports news on radio and later on catching sports programmes like ‘ABC Wide World of Sports’ on television -“the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat” rang truer for me than most.

    I represented my high school at track and field, cricket, football, table tennis and badminton and I faced the agony of defeat more than I did the thrill of victory. Through it all, my love for sport has grown rather than diminished.

    I cried when Donald Quarrie lost the 100m finals in Montreal in ’76 and cheered when he won the 200m. That was my first year in high school when I played book cricket and lined Quarrie up against Houston McTear, Steve Williams, Silvio Leonard, and Hasely Crawford in the 100m in book track.

    Meanwhile, Kevin Keegan, Steve Heighway, Kenny Dalglish and Ian Rush were my football heroes, alongside Pele, of course.

    West Indies cricket also became a big part of my life during those early high-school years and I became addicted. When the West Indies were not playing, no matter what else was going on, it was never enough to sate my desire to hear Tony Cozier and Henry Blofeld describe the majesty of Richards, Haynes, Greenidge and company and the carnage wrought by the likes of Holding, Roberts, Croft, Garner and Marshall.

    Sports consumed my life more than anything else and looking back, I wonder why I even attended CAST to study Chemical Technology when sports was all I cared about.

    Long story short, sports was my life and sometimes that can be a bad thing.

    There is such a thing as too much of a good thing.

    For the past decade or so, sports consumed my life more than usual. Research, watching events, analysing performances, television appearances, radio interviews across the region took their toll.

    The thing about these things is that you don’t even realise what is happening until something like this pandemic comes along. Suddenly when all the sports stop, you realise the relief.

    That is why I don’t miss sports.

    I have been using the opportunity to play catch up with other parts of my life like bonding with my boys, reading books that I started but have been unable to finish and taking a break from live sports until they finally start again.

    In time, I will miss sports but for now, I’m good.

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