Top fashion designer Louis Vuitton has come under fire for a recently released 'Jamaica-inspired' line of clothing, which seems to have mixed up the colours of the country’s national flag.

The description for the pricey high-end fashion products, which include a $US1,366 sweater and jumper, initially described one item as a ‘Jamaican striped sweatshirt.’ Additionally, the other description read 'Jumper with a striped design inspired by the national flag of the Caribbean island.’ 

The only was problem was that instead of the island’s flag colours of black, green and gold, the design featured green, yellow, and red which are typically associated with the African country Ethiopia.  The aforementioned colours do, however, feature prominently in an aspect of the country’s culture as those are the colours of the flag of the Rastafari movement.  The religious movement, founded in Jamaica in the 1930s, adopted a version of the Ethiopian flag used by Emperor Haile Selassie during his reign.

The mistake was quickly seized upon and ridiculed by some with Cedella Marley, herself a fashion designer and daughter of late great Reggae king Bob Marley, pointing out the fashion designer’s mistake via an Instagram post. 

 "Bob says that's the Ethiopian flag @LouisVuitton,” she posted, along with a photograph of the late singer.

 Some also criticised the company for cultural appropriation and exploiting the island's brand.  Following the wave of criticism, the item was removed from the company’s website, with an apology and explanation later appearing in the UK Guardian newspaper.

  “We are deeply sorry for the error made in the description of our website and we have corrected it. The sweater belongs to the spring-summer 2021 season of the men's collection, which is armed with the colors green, yellow and red, the colors of the Ethiopian flag, in honor of African independence, including the tribute to the culture of Ghana, where our designer Virgil Abloh comes from.”

 

Trinidad and Tobago Red Force made it six wins in a row, as they produced a commanding performance to power past the Jamaica Scorpions and into the CG Insurance Super50 final.

This victory was set up by three key efforts,  Ravi Rampaul started with the ball and was then complemented by Lendl Simmons and Nicholas Pooran with the bat.

Firstly Rampaul, in claiming his second CG Insurance Man-of-the-Match award of the tournament, with figures of 29 for 4, played a key role in restricting the Scorpions to a below-par score of 255-7 on a very good batting surface.

In reply, batting second for the sixth consecutive match, Simmons (63) scored his 27th List A half-century to set the perfect platform, before Pooran’s unbeaten innings of 54, his 11th List A half-century, finished things off in style with eight overs to spare.

Earlier on, Jamaica lost the early wicket of Aldaine Thomas but after that John Campbell (88) and Brandon King (58) played well. When they reached 95-1 in the 22nd over, King smashed Jason Mohammed for a big straight six to bring up his second half-century of the tournament.

The Red Force would strike five overs later with the Scorpions, at 113-2 in the 27th over, when King gave Anderson Phillip his second wicket, playing back to a delivery that kept a bit low. The wicket ended the 108-run second-wicket alliance between Campbell and King.

At 168-2 in the 35th over, the Scorpions looked set for a big final charge. However, the Campbell/McCarthy third-wicket partnership of 58 runs would end as McCarthy (35) presented a catch off veteran leg-spinner Imran Khan to Rampaul at leg on.

Attempting to defend that total, the Scorpions almost got a perfect start in the first over, but Nkrumah Bonner dropped a difficult long-on boundary catch from Simmons off Scorpions off-spinner Jamie Merchant. When Red Force were 29-0 in the fifth over, Evin Lewis (14) was also dropped by Campbell at first slip, again by the unlucky Merchant. As the big-hitting opening duo raced to their 50-partnership in the eighth over, those missed catches were even more critical.

Leading up to the 25th over, Jamaica got three wickets, the last of which when Simmons (68) skied a catch off Allen to Bonner at the long-on boundary. Despite T&T further losing Jason Mohammed (41), who was bowled by Odean Smith, Pooran (54 not out) was joined by captain Pollard (36 not out) who quickly hit five massive sixes to celebrate the win in style and get ready for Saturday's grand final.

Prominent Guyana attorney Arudranauth Gossai has cast doubts any injunction put forward to prevent the staging of the Guyana Cricket Board elections on Friday will succeed, as he does not believe the objections to be ground on a firm legal footing.

Earlier this week, lawyers for Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) Secretary Anand Sanasie wrote sharply worded letters to Guyana Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Charles Ramson Jr and Attorney Kamal Ramkarran, objecting to the appointment of both a cricket Ombudsman and the 7-day time period given for the staging of elections as illegal under the Guyana Cricket Administration Act.

The attorneys had given the minister until Tuesday to withdraw the appointment or that legal action could be taken to quash the appointment.  The letters further asserted that close relations with Cricket West Indies president Ricky Skerritt had tainted the overall decision.

In response, Ramson Jr flatly rejected all the assertions made by Sanasie’s attorneys and insisted that he was on firm legal ground and well within the powers of the Guyana Cricket Administration Act.

“While it must be stated at the outset that since the restoration of the provisions of the Guyana Cricket Administration Act 2014 and pursuant to Order of Court by Justice Fidela Corbin in Berbice Cricket Board v Fizul Bacchus et al dated 3rd April 2019 in Action number 2018-HC-DEM-CIV-FDA-1200, the capacity in which your client purports to instruct you is not recognized, paragraph two is denied and your position on the issue is incorrect as it is res judicata (see Judgement of Fidela Corbin dated 3rd April 2019 in SAYWACK V LEWIS in Action number 2018-HC-DEM-CIV-FDA-808),” the minister wrote in response.

“The Guyana Cricket Administration Act 2014, the subject Minister is entitled, empowered, and obliged to appoint the Cricket Ombudsman and the date for the first election of the Guyana Cricket Board until completed. I fraternally take the liberty to direct your attention to paras 15, 26, and 27 of the judgment.”

Gossai, who has been closely aligned to the issue as a legal representative of the Berbice Cricket Board (BC), agrees the minister is within his rights.

“In order to get an injunction you have to show that your claim is going to succeed.  I see some letters circulating in the press purportedly from Mr Sanasie’s lawyers to the minister to the president of Cricket West Indies and the Ombudsman and based on those things in the letter if those are the grounds then they are bound to fail,” Gossai told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“One of the things they are saying is that the minister cannot appoint another Ombudsman because he has already appointed an Ombudsman and that person has resigned.  But strangely enough, I notice in that letter that there is no mention of Sanasie when he was quote and quote secretary of the cricket board Mr (Dave) Cameron had consulted with the minister and appointed another Ombudsman.  For some strange reason, it might have been an oversight but that was left out of the correspondence.”

Former West Indies batting coach, Toby Radford, has suggested calls to replace all-rounder Jason Holder are an overreaction and would stick with the current captain, despite the success of Kraigg Brathwaite in Bangladesh.

Brathwaite was widely commended for his role in leading an understrength team to a 2-0 win away to Bangladesh earlier this month. Holder, on the other hand, was one of 12 players to pull out of the tour after citing health and safety concerns.

Holder had, however, also pointed to feeling some level of fatigue having had to deal with quarantine situations in both the West Indies prior tours of England and New Zealand.  However, in addition, aspects of the team’s performance on those tours had also put Holder and his captaincy under the microscope.

While admitting that the team had performed exceptionally well in Bangladesh, Radford, however, sees no reason to replace Holder as the man in charge for the upcoming Sri Lanka series.

“I think they surprised everybody not least of all Bangladesh, probably their own supporters as well.  They performed really well.  But it’s very easy to get carried away, isn’t it? You have a couple of big wins like that and then suddenly we have done it because Kraigg Brathwaite is captain and Jason Holder wasn’t captain,” Radford told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“Who’s to know if Jason was captain whether you would have had the two wins anyway,” he added.

“There were a lot of very good individual performances and because individuals play well and you win two matches, to me, that isn’t down to captaincy.”

In supporting his decision to stick with Holder, Radford pointed to the example of the incident with India captain Virat Kolhi, which occurred during the Asian team's big win over Australia.

“It was raised the other day, someone mentioned Virat Kohli.  They (India) lost the game in Australia, he went home for the birth of his child.  They went suddenly and won a couple of games.  When they started the Test series against England, in India, nobody questioned whether Kohli should captain the team. He came back in because he was captain.”

   

For an outsider looking in, it would appear top jockey George HoSang was living the dream, in the 1970s, dominating his sport at a young age had afforded him luxuries many at the time dared only dream of.

On the inside looking out, however, Hosang’s battle to hold steady reins during a tumultuous period, not only for Jamaica's top race track Caymanas Park, but the country on a whole, more closely resembled the stuff of vivid nightmares.

Unfortunately, in addition to being handsomely paid for booting home, at times, a seemingly endless caravan of winners, his rewards also included threats at gunpoint, verbal abuse from the stands, and even kidnapping, as part of painstaking efforts to navigate a system rife with corruption.  In the end, it simply proved too much.  This is his story.

 

#Editor’s note

The following podcast contains brief instances of explicit language.  We, however, felt it appropriate to give HoSang the opportunity to air an unfiltered account of the horrific instances of abuse he suffered during the period and found it to be an integral part of his story.

The Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) has received approval from the relevant government authorities to stage a series of competitive meets in order to allow junior and senior athletes the opportunity to sharpen up.

In the main, local track and field events have not been held on the island since March of last year, as part of efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus.  The government recently announced plans to re-start sporting events on a case by case basis and the event, called the JAAA Qualification Trial Series, will be the first approved for the track and field local governing body.

The trials will be on February 27, held across several venues across the island, and have specific events on offer.  Among the events on offer will be the 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m, 2000m SC, 3000m, 5000m, 70mH, 80mH, 100mH, 110mH, 400mH, 4x100m, 4x400m, 4x200m, 1600m SMR, Long Jump, Triple Jump, High Jump, Pole Vault, Shot Put, Discus and Javelin.

Athlete’s wishing to compete in the meet must sign a COVID-19 waiver, with waivers signed by parents for athletes under-18.  The meets will feature no spectator with strict COVID-19 protocols in full effect at all the venues.

West Indies star batsman, Chris Gayle, will return to the Caribbean to take part in the upcoming series against Sri Lanka, interrupting his ongoing participation in the Pakistan Super League.

With the T20I World Cup just a few months away, the talismanic batsman, who has indicated a desire to suit up for the Caribbean team for the tournament, could return to the team for the first time in over a year.  Gayle last played the West Indies in August of 2019, when he played an ODI against India.  

On that occasion, the player had received a standing ovation as many had thought the game was his final in international cricket, after previously announcing his attention to retire.

The West Indies will play Sri Lanka in three T20 series, three One Day International (ODI) series, and a two-Test series.  Gayle is expected to take part in the T20I series between March 3 and March 7 before returning to the PSL to compete for the Quetta Gladiators.

The arrangement was made prior to the season, with Faf du Plessis expected to replace Gayle for the matches in which he will be absent.  The World Cup is due to take place in India in October-November.  The Caribbean team won the last edition of the tournament, also in India, in 2016.

Lawyers for Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) Secretary Anand Sanasie have written strong objections to the decision of Guyana Culture, Youth, and Sports Minister Charles Ramson Jr to appoint Attorney Kamal Ramkarran as cricket Ombudsman.

In two letters, one to Ramson and the other to Ramkarran, the attorney’s pointed out that they deemed the appointment, made in accordance with Section 17 of the Guyana Cricket Administration Act, Chapter 21:03, Laws of Guyana, to be illegal, based on the fact that it was carried out more than once.

In addition to vehemently disputing Ramson’s claims that the Cricket West Indies (CWI) board was consulted, the letters pointed out that a 7-day period for holding the proposed elections was unreasonable.

“This is the third such appointment to be made by a Minister of Sport. The first person appointed under that section was Professor Winston McGowan. He served in the office for some time and then resigned. The Minister is only once required to exercise his power to appoint a Cricket Ombudsman. The Minister claims to have “just” consulted with CWI in his Notice appointing you as Cricket Ombudsman, which was published on the 19th February 2021,” the document read.

“We are instructed that the Minister did not meaningfully or at all consult with CWI. There has been no meeting with CWI convened for this purpose. Our client is aware that the Minister shares a close relationship with the current President of CWI and supports his re-election as President of CWI in elections slated for March 2021. Our client is his challenger for the post of President at the upcoming CWI elections.”

Should Sanasie be defeated in the election, he would be ineligible to challenge Skerritt for the post of CWI president.

“The consultation which was critical to the validity of your appointment was improper for the foregoing reasons and was motivated by an improper purpose and was taken in furtherance of the interest of the current President, Mr. Ricky Skerritt who did not raise the issue of the Cricket Ombudsman of Guyana with the Board as is required by the Cricket Administration Act.

Meaningful consultation could not in the circumstances take place by a phone call between the Minister and a single member of the Board of CWI. Your appointment is, therefore, illegal and we call upon you to decline the appointment and/or resign. The Minister has fixed a time frame of less than seven (7) days with which you are to fulfil your obligations of the establishment and verification of a Register of Clubs.”

The attorneys have demanded Ramkarran resign from the post or legal proceedings would begin to quash the appointment.

 

Former West Indies fast bowler and Barbados cricketer, Ian Bradshaw, would not be in favour of replacing team captain Jason Holder just yet but believes questions regarding the player’s state of mind must be cleared up.

On the back of an impressive effort in marshaling the squad to defeat Bangladesh, in a two-Test series last week, calls have arisen for Kraigg Brathwaite to lead the team, ahead of regular captain Holder, for the upcoming series against Sri Lanka.

Holder missed out on the team’s tour of Bangladesh after being one of 12 players to pull out of the campaign due to health and safety concerns.  In addition, however, the captain, who had led the team to previous tours of England and New Zealand, also admitted to experiencing a high level of fatigue, particularly having gone through several weeks of quarantine.

For Bradshaw, provided he is in a good mental state, Holder should resume his duties leading the squad.

“I would support the retention of Jason if it is that we understand his state of mind at this time,” Bradshaw told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“Jason has been earmarked as our long-term captain.  Let’s recall that he’s had some success and we were very excited when we won the Wisden Trophy.  He has had some success and he has been molding the team,” he added.

“He has led by example and I would want to sit down with him and understand the challenges he was going through.  Because if he is still challenged it may need a situation where he is given that space to ensure that his individual performance does not suffer.”

Holder was appointed captain of the team in 2015.

 

The Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) has sought to assure the island’s athletes that it is doing everything possible to facilitate the safe resumption of track and field across the island.

For the most part, all types of track and field competitions across the island have been shuttered since last year, as part of efforts to halt the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

In order to resume, sports administrations must submit a series of plans that illustrate how it is that sporting events will comply with the strict protocols set out by the goverment's Disaster Risk Management orders.

The JAAA, who have submitted the documents, is confident they have put together a strong proposal and pointed to the fact that the proposal has been shared with other North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association (NACAC) members, who are expected to adopt several of the recommendations.

Among the organisations proposals are the provision of COVID protocol marshals, trained by the Ministry of Health and Wellness to oversee competitions and training; hosted sensitisation sessions with coaches, team managers, and athletes, a guide for meet organisers, and a team manual for competitors.

According to the JAAA, they are yet to be given a response from the authorities but have in the meantime urged athletes to continue to prepare for the upcoming season and to continue following the existing protocols.

 

The ill-advised decision of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) to stage an impromptu and unapproved national camp, and the resulting positive Covid-19 cases, has played a part in delaying the sport’s resumption.

Earlier this month, the JFF landed in hot water after convening a national camp at the Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence without the requisite government approval.  The camp was shut down but not before at least six players and one official tested positive for COVID-19.

In a meeting on Friday, between sports minister Olivia Grange, the JFF, and representatives of the Professional Football Jamaica Limited (PFJL), meant to chart the way forward, the minister expressed her disappointment with the incident.  She also pointed out that any approval for the sport’s restart must include strict adherence to health protocols.

“I was very disappointed with the breach which has led to the delay of the restart of football but I am hoping that with this meeting, in which I spoke frankly and we came to a clear understanding, going forward, there will be no misunderstanding. This is a very serious matter, in light of the community spread of COVID-19, and all our actions have consequences,” Grange said.

“Therefore, no one can take unilateral decisions to commence training or competition because the action of any person or organisation can directly impact the players and the country in general. I know these are difficult times, so let us work together to overcome the challenges,” she added.

In response, both President of the JFF Michael Ricketts and PFJL Chairman, Christopher Williams, committed to both organisations following protocol and expressed eagerness for the return of local football.

With the exception of the national camp, organised football has not been played on the island since last March when the leagues and national programs were shut down in a bid to halt the spread of the coronavirus.

West Indies fast bowling legend, Curtly Ambrose, has not been selected for the position of England Cricket Board (ECB) elite pace-bowling coach, despite making the shortlist of candidates interviewed.

The ECB put out an advertisement for three vacant positions, pace-bowling coach, spin-bowling coach and batting coach, in December.  Interviews were conducted in recent weeks after applications closed last month.

Ambrose, who made known that he had applied for the post a few weeks ago, revealed that he had been contacted but unfortunately was not selected for the post.

“I got a call from one of the panellists yesterday [Thursday] to inform me that I was unsuccessful in my bid. The interview went very well. There were four panellists and everything went according to plan and I thought I did a wonderful job, so I was pretty excited. I thought I probably would have made it but I am not going to really worry too much about it. To have made the shortlist is a step in the right direction obviously,” Ambrose told the Antigua Observer.

With the Ashes on the horizon, Ambrose, who has taken 128 wickets against Australia (fourth-best all-time, with the best economy rate among the top 5), admits that he was hoping that his previously dominant performances down under might have weighed in his favour.

“I was expecting to be part of the squad considering the World T20 coming up and, of course, the Ashes. You know that when England play Australia in the Ashes, it’s a big one and I thought that maybe because of my tremendous success in Australia that it would have, at least, given me an extra step, but it didn’t work out and I am quite happy with how everything went. In life, we get some good news and some not so good, and you learn to accept it and move on,” he said.

The 57-year-old previously worked as West Indies bowling consultant between 2014 and 2016.  He was replaced by Roddy Estwick.

Former West Indies wicketkeeper, Deryck Murray, believes there should be a serious consideration for Kraigg Brathwaite to remain captain on the back of the team’s strong showing against Bangladesh.

Brathwaite, who took charge of the regional squad after Holder and several others opted out of the tour, after citing health and safety concerns, has widely been credited for unifying the team under difficult circumstances.

Holder, on the other hand, has had a difficult spell in charge over the last several months with lopsided losses to England and New Zealand.  Albeit triumphing against more lowly ranked opposition, Murray believes Brathwaite was able to pull exceptional performances out of the squad and is in favour of keeping momentum.

 “It is something that you have to talk about very seriously.  I do not discard Kraigg Brathwaite as Test captain automatically,” Murray told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“You need to look at the team that we are going to put together, and if it is that there is going to be four or five players from this (Bangladesh tour) team there is a strong case for doing that (retaining Brathwaite),” he added.

“There is a strong case for saying to Jason Holder ‘come back, don’t have the pressures of captaincy on you.  You are going to be the central all-rounder in this team.  You are going to bat at six, we need you to attack as a bowler, be a wicket-taking bowler, not a containing bowler as the fourth seamer in the team, and therefore we need to have the best available team at that time.”

“The team who is coming with the confidence of just being successful.  Rallying around the team that we are going to build for the next three or four months because we have two or three series coming up in quick succession.  We have to make sure we are doing that and that we don’t suddenly say ‘yep these players have done it but we are not putting too much emphasis on that.”

 

 

  Cricket West Indies, CEO Johnny Grave, has expressed delight with the impending return of international cricket to the region, as the team prepares to host Bangladesh next month.

After weeks of negotiation and a delay due to positive COVID tests, the teams have finally settled on the official dates of the tour, which will take place in Antigua between Wednesday, March 3 and Friday, April 2.  The teams will play three T20Is, three One-Day Internationals (ODIs), and two Test matches.

With the team having played the last three Test matches away from home, in England, New Zealand, and Sri Lanka, Grave admits it will be good to see international cricket back on West Indies soil.

“It’s been a long time since we hosted Ireland in the Caribbean back in January of 2020, so I’m just delighted that we’ve been able to get Sri Lanka to fulfil their obligations under the ICC Futures Program.

“We’ve had to delay the tour by a few days due to two of the Sri Lanka party testing positive for Covid-19 but we’ve been working really closely with our counterparts at Sri Lanka cricket and we were delighted to confirm that the tour is on and that we have been able to keep all the matches, all three formats.”

The tournament will take place under biosecure conditions, with Covid protocols in full effect for the duration of the series.

Maurice Wilson, principal of Jamaica’s G.C. Foster College and a national team coach, has described recently deceased Calabar jumps coach Nicholas Neufville as a trainer that had limitless potential.

Neufville was found dead on Monday morning, in an open lot in Portmore, St Catherine, alongside a female passenger.  The athletics coach was 38 years old.

Up to the time of his death, Neufville had worked as part of the successful Calabar high school program and the newly formed Legacy Track Club.  Neufville was, however, also involved with the national team and was part of the Jamaican delegation that participated at the Pan American Under 20 Athletics Championships in Puerto Rico in 2019.

“He became a part of that cadre of coaches that would have travelled with the junior teams over the years and there were great expectations for him moving forward,” Wilson told TVJ Sports.

“He was one of the best coaches in both the long and triple jump.  He coached at the high school level, but his skills and skillsets could have taken him anywhere,” he added.

Before going on to be part of the multi-title winning Calabar high school team, Neufville had previously represented the corporate area high school.

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