Veteran International commentator, Joseph ‘Reds’ Perreira has launched a stinging rebuke of Cricket West Indies (CWI) and the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) for the timing of contracting players for the upcoming calendar year.

In addition, the 81-year-old Perreira says he is totally and utterly disappointed that there has been no cover for fast bowler Shannon Gabriel, who in his estimation has deteriorated.

“We have given contracts to people who played four Test matches in a year, that cannot be fair,” Perreira said on the Line & Length TV Show on Sportsmax.

“The omission of (Shamar) Brooks and (Roston) Chase was surprising given the limited amount of cricket they played, I mean two series? Four or five Tests? I was hoping that WIPA would not have pushed for contracts now, especially since there is no first-class season.

“You dropped players and don’t give them contracts so how will you adequately judge their form and scores. Ideally, because of all that’s going on, those contracts should have been delayed until after the South Africa or Australia tour….or even Pakistan,” he passionately explained.

“(Shimron) Hetmyer not given a contract? He was losing weight and looked good in the IPL and we have to be careful not to lose players. Chairman Roger Harper said they are working with him, but doing what?! We just rushed a bit this year with the contracts,” he said.

As far as Gabriel is concerned, Perreira pointed to the fact that the 33-year-old who has 157 wickets from 54 Tests has slumped over the last season and CWI should have seen fit to contract two younger fast bowlers as cover for him.

“Gabriel is getting on and had an operation on his ankle. He is not the same! He struggled for rhythm and pace in England, seemed out of sorts against Sri Lanka, and in my estimation can’t play back-to-back Tests matches anymore.

“Gabriel is not bowling 140kmph easily and one good spell is not good enough. Surely, if you pick him, then the Board should have contracted two young fast bowlers to work alongside him and (Kemar) Roach,” he said.

The Guyanese Perreira who is a St. Lucian resident also endorsed the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground, previously the Beausejour Stadium as the venue to hosts the West Indies vs South Africa series and advocates for a crowd of at least 1,000 spectators in the Johnson Charles stand, once they can prove a certificate of vaccination against the COVID19 virus.

 

 

Jamaica College (JC) captured the ISSA Grace/Kennedy boy’s champs title, while Edwin Allen reclaimed the girls crown, as the competition came to close at the National Stadium on Saturday.

In the end, JC finished with 328.5 points, comfortably clear of second-place Kingston College (KC) who finished with 313.  It was KC who began the fifth and final day in front but, predictably JC took the lead by midday and in the end sealed the title with two events to spare.

Calabar claimed third spot with 241.5, St Elizabeth Technical was next on 181, while St Jago closed out the top 5 with 129.

For the girls, Edwin Allen wrapped up a performance in which they rarely trailed.  The eventual champions finished on 340 points, well clear of second-place St Jago who ended on 309.5, third place went to Hydel High on 301, Holmwood was next with 160.5 and Vere Technical 5th with 160.5.

The team sped to a new record in the Class 2 4x100m.  Anchored by Tiana Clayton, the team recorded a time of 44.81. Clayton was securing her third gold of Champs 2021. The team beat the old mark of 44.88.

Aliyah Clarke, Tia Clayton, who false-started in the 100m, and Serena Cole were the other team members.

St. Jago won both boys’ and girls’ Class I 4x100m finals.

 

 

West Indies all-rounder, Jason Holder, is set to be given rest ahead of the upcoming series against South Africa, as part of the team’s load management strategies.

The 29-year-old recently returned to the Caribbean following the postponement of the Indian Premier League (IPL), where he represented Sunrisers Hyderabad.  The West Indies are expected to begin camp in St Lucia, on Sunday, ahead of the series which will take place between June 10 and July 3.

The camp, which comprises 30 players, will include two 'best v best' inter-squad matches.  Holder, who was replaced as Test captain earlier this year, will join the camp at the end of the month.

The team’s Test captain Kraigg Brathwaite and fast bowlers Kemar Roach and Alzarri Joseph will also not be attending the camp, as they are currently competing in English County Championship and will return to the West Indies for the Test series if selected.

 

 

Jamaica international and Bayer Leverkusen winger, Leon Bailey, will be out of action for the rest of the season after suffering a broken toe.

The 23-year-old sustained the injury after a collision early in the match but continued to play until halftime when he was withdrawn.    

The player then missed the team’s midweek training session, with later scans confirming that the midfielder had fractured the digit.

Bayer Leverkusen head coach Hannes Wolf confirmed on Friday that the player would not return for the season.  The diagnosis meant that Bailey missed the player’s match against Union Berlin on Saturday, a 1-1 draw, and the club’s final game against Dortmund.

"He will not be able to play again [this season]," Wolf told reporters ahead of Leverkusen's game against Berlin.

The winger was not expected to suit up for his country during the international break, due to contractual issues and it remains to be seen how long he will be out of action.

In total, Bailey has scored 15 goals this season and provided 10 assists in a solid campaign for Leverkusen who are fighting for a place in European football next season.

 

West Indies fast bowler Alzarri Joseph has credited increased mental focus on his batting with improved performances at the crease.

Over the past several months, the bowler has made the headlines for positing solid totals at the crease, as much as if not more than multiple wicket hauls.

Against New Zealand, in December of last year, Joseph recorded his highest total of 86, which was his maiden half-century. The Antiguan then went on to add another after scoring 82 in February this year against Bangladesh.

Fast forward a few months later and the player has taken his form with the bat to a debut season of English County cricket for Worcestershire.  With best scores of 46 and 61, Joseph has shown plenty of ability to be handy with the bat when the team needs it.  In four matches to date, Joseph has scored 128 runs and claimed 10 wickets.

“Whatever I could contribute to the team I am happy to do, so it’s good that I have been getting a few scores but for me, I think it’s also about being consistent doing it,” Joseph told the Antigua Observer.

“I have always enjoyed batting but it was just down to me being a bit more focused on it so I think for me it’s just about staying focused, being consistent in any aspect of the game.”

 

 

 

It has been confirmed that the West Indies will officially host South Africa for the first time since 2010, with the series booked for the islands of Grenada and St Lucia.

The parties have been locked in negotiations for the past several months, with several obstacles to overcome.  The latest it is believed was a venue for the tour, which was reportedly originally set for Trinidad and Tobago.

A recent spike of COVID-19 cases has, however, forced an alteration to those plans.  The current plan will see the teams play two Tests at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground in St Lucia and the T20s taking place at the National Cricket Stadium in Grenada.  The series will take place between June 10 and July 3.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) director, Graeme Smith, expressed delight to be heading back to the Caribbean, particularly in light of the difficult and uncertain times caused by the pandemic.  He reserved a special word of thanks for the countries that stepped in to host the series on relatively short notice.

 “We are extremely pleased to have the men’s team’s tour to the West Indies officially confirmed. Covid-19 has played havoc with the ICC Future Tours Programme and we are thankful to Cricket West Indies and the governments of St Lucia and Grenada for ensuring that the tour goes ahead as planned‚” Smith said.

“The hosting nations‚ in particular‚ came to the party at very short notice and Cricket South Africa would like to extend its immense gratitude to them for their enthusiasm and willingness to host us."

St Vincent and the Grenadines will play a second consecutive home match away from home, with its upcoming CONCACAF World Cup qualifier against Cuba booked for the Kirani James Athletics Stadium, in Grenada.

The match, which was originally scheduled for the Arnos Vale Stadium for June 8, however, existing protocols, including quarantine, means that it would not be possible for the country to host the event.  The match is set to kick off at 4 pm, the St Vincent and the Grenadines versus Cuba encounter will precede Grenada against Montserrat, which takes place at 7 pm.

Prior to this round, St Vincent and the Grenadines played a home ‘match’ against the British Virgin Islands at the Ergillo Hato Stadium in Willemstad, Curacao.  The Vincy Heat emerged 3-0 winners from the match.

The team is just one of several who will see their fixtures altered as countries around the region continue to battle the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Other teams expected to be playing their upcoming home matches away are Aruba, the British Virgin Islands, Barbados, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Cuba, Montserrat, Trinidad and Tobago, Canada, Anguilla, and Puerto Rico.

With two matches played in the first round of the qualifiers, St Vincent and the Grenadine are currently third in Group C behind Curaçao and second place Guatemala.

 

Jamaica Rugby League operations director, Jason Robinson, has tipped the team to make a big statement both on and off the field at the Rugby League World Cup this October.

The Reggae Warriors beat Canada and the United States to qualify for the tournament in 2018 and will face New Zealand, Lebanon, and Ireland in the group stages of the event.

While admitting that the task facing the first-timers will be a daunting one, Robinson remains confident the team has enough ability and experience to make a mark on the competition.

“There’s jokes around Cool Runnings but I’ve played in three World Cup finals and I know the demands,” Robinson said.

“We want to be as competitive as possible,” he added.

“We’ve got a real mixture of guys, playing at all different levels. There will be some guys coming over from Jamaica and it’s going to be great for seasoned campaigners like Michael Lawrence and Ashton Golding, while we’ve Dom Young over in the NRL.

“The key is to prepare well and, come the World Cup, give a good account of ourselves.”

The team on Tuesday revealed that British sportswear manufacturer PlayerLayer would be the team’s official kit supplier.  The company’s fabrics are made from coffee and bamboo.

Rangers forward and prospective Jamaica international, Kemar Roofe, has seen an appeal to reduce a four-match UEFA competition ban rejected, after an egregious tackle on Slavia Prague goalkeeper Ondrej Kolar.

The incident happened during Rangers' 2-0 Europa League defeat, at the hands of the Czech side, back in March.  Roofe was given a straight red card after firmly planting the bottom of his boots into the face of the keeper as the duo clashed in an aerial duel.

Kolar was left with lacerations and a fractured skull, but Rangers believed the punishment taken against the player was too harsh.  UEFA, however, upheld the decision.

“The appeal lodged by Rangers FC has been dismissed,” the release read.

“Consequently, the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body's (CEDB) decision of 13 April 2021 is confirmed,” it continued.

 “The CEDB had decided to suspend Rangers FC player, Mr. Kemar Roofe, for four (4) UEFA club competition matches for which he would be otherwise eligible, for dangerously assaulting another player.”

The UK-born Roofe, who is believed to be in the process of securing documentation to represent the Jamaican national team, will miss the start of Rangers’ Champions League qualifying bid, which kicks off on August 3.

West Indies legend, Viv Richards, has called on talented young batsman Shimron Hetmyer to take a more mature approach to cricket, in order to realise and maximise his full potential.

In the same breath, the iconic former batsman fondly referred to as the ‘Master Blaster,’ believes any failure by the player to do so would be a great loss not just to the West Indies, but the sport as a whole.

The 24-year-old Guyanese-born batsman has been in the spotlight recently, after failing to secure an international retainer contract from Cricket West Indies (CWI).  Long-touted as one of the region’s premier talents, Hetmyer has had a disappointing period, missing out on several appearances for the West Indies and twice failing a fitness test.

“You’ve got to put in the work [because] if you take half measure, then you are going to get half measure results for sure. Shortcuts in this particular profession are of no substance and I am not sure if what I am saying here now will get to him at some point, but the individual is a talented individual and there are times when I see him on the field and he is pretty playful like he is still a kid and he actually has to be a little more mature at this stage now,” Richards told the Antigua Observer.

 “The guy has got too much talent and I think that if this talent goes to waste, it would be a huge loss, not just maybe to himself but to world cricket on a whole,” he added.

Hetmyer, who has played all three formats for the West Indies, last appeared for the team in a T20I series against New Zealand last year.  He has, however, not played One Day International Cricket since January of last year and has not played a Test match since November of 2019.

“If he really wants to make this sport his profession and to get the maximum result that everyone feels he has in him in terms of the talent then he has got to really start looking at himself in the mirror and start to think. I think he is [24 years old] now, so he has got to be serious. When you hear some of the stuff like they fail a fitness test and all that sort of stuff then that is just totally unprofessional.”

Retired Jamaica international, Jobi McAnuff, has officially called time on his professional career, finally pulling the curtains on a journey that has spanned some 20 seasons.

The 31-year-old midfielder, who spent the final year of his career as player-coach for EFL League Two outfit Leyton Orient, played his final game against Carlise, on May 1, which ended in a 3-2 home defeat for Orient.

McAnuff, who also played 32 games for the Jamaica national team, believes the time had simply come to hang up his boots.

“After 20 seasons and nearly 800 career games, the time has finally come to announce my retirement,” McAnuff said via social media platform Instagram.

“It’s been a tough decision, but my body and mind have finally had enough of the rigours of day-to-day football and I definitely feel now is the right time to hang the boots up,” he added.

“I’ve put in a lot of work over the last few years to make sure I was as prepared as I could be for this day and I look forward confidently and excitedly to the next phase of my professional life.”

Despite having taken over as coach for Orient’s final 16 fixtures, while also playing in midfield, McAnuff will not be continuing on as the team’s coach.  Orient finished in 11th position.

 

 

West Indies fast bowler, Alzarri Joseph, admits that getting used to conditions on a debut English County cricket season has been challenging, but that his only true focus remains continuing to improve as a player.

The 24-year-old Joseph, who signed with Worcestershire, for the first seven games of the 2021 County Championship season, has had a fairly solid debut spell so far.

In four games, Joseph has scored 128 runs, with a high score of 61, as a lower-order batsman, and taken 10 wickets.  According to the player, things have, however, not been easy as conditions are very different to the Caribbean.

 “I wouldn’t say it’s been the best or that I am extremely satisfied, but it’s improving as I go along. It’s a lot different to the Caribbean, it’s different conditions in terms of different grounds, different types of surfaces, and different types of players, so it’s also about adjusting to everything at once.  It’s helping me to improve as a player in terms of adjusting to situations a bit quicker,” Alzarri told the Antigua Observer.

“Some days you turn up and it’s like three degrees and very cold in the mornings and then it goes from three to 12 degrees, to 15 and then back down to three. So, it’s just really difficult sometimes, but it’s all part of the job.  All part of the learning experience,” he added.

Joseph signed up with the league last month, following the West Indies series against Sri Lanka.

 

West Ham star forward and potential Jamaica international, Michail Antonio, has declared he is hungry for goals following his return to the team’s line-up on Monday.

The burly forward returned in fine style, banging in two goals against Burnley, which gave the Hammers much-needed impetus in the race for the fourth and final Champions League spot.

Antonio’s power upfront will no doubt give the team renewed confidence heading into the final weeks of the season, and the forward himself admits he is feeling in good shape and looking to make up for the lost time.

"I trained with the boys all week so I was always in contention," Antonio told the club’s official website.

"I didn't know if I'd start or not, but I did, managed to get my two goals, and should have had more,” he added.

"I'll keep moving on to the next game and hopefully score more goals."

Antonio did, however, miss out on the perfect opportunity to secure a hat-trick after being gifted a golden chance to make it three when a Pablo Fornals shot fell to him just yards from goal, but the striker got the ball stuck under his feet with the goal gaping.

"It wasn't my day to get the hat-trick, but I got my two, and I can't be greedy."

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