Barbados Cricket Director Stephen Leslie has called on regional cricket custodians to do more to ensure top local T20 talent is not cast aside, in light of limited places in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL).

The recently concluded edition of the tournament, which was won by the Trinbago Knight Riders, did feature some of the region’s emerging talent.  In fact, a list of 20 young players was, as is required, named ahead of the tournament and several players featured prominently throughout the competition. 

The list included Alick Athanaze, Joshua Bishop, Leniko Boucher, Keacy Carty Roland Cato, Joshua da Silva, Dominic Drakes, Amir Jangoo, Nicholas Kirton, Mikyle Louis, Kirk McKenzie, Kimani Melius, Ashmead Nedd, Jeavor Royal, Jayden Seales, Keagan Simmons, Kevin Sinclair, Shamar Springer, Bhaskar Yadram and Nyeem Young. 

There are, however, a few players who remain outside this group.  Leslie pointed to the example of Roshon Primus who represented Trinbago Knight Riders in the two previous seasons.  Leslie believes the idea of another country-based T20 tournament could be considered.

“The CPL has a franchise model, which in my view, has not been able to expose the best T20 cricketer that ply their trade in the Caribbean,” Leslie told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“I’ll give an example of Barbados.  Barbados started a T20 domestic tournament back in 2009.  Every year there are some players that contribute very well.  Roshon Primus, for example, does extremely well, but the opportunity for Roshon Primus to be selected, I’m not sure there is that level of transparency,” he added.

“Simply put, you can have young U-19 West Indies players given an opportunity to make the franchises because they were on a global stage. You can have the West Indies emerging players from the Super50, did very well, given an opportunity to play T20 cricket.  But what happens to local Barbadian T20 players, Trinidadians, and those across the region who ply their trade and play consistently well in their domestic tournament.  I believe there is very little for those persons.”

Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Director of Operations, Michael Hall, has hailed the recently concluded edition of the tournament as a huge success, in light of the obstacles presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year’s staging, which had initially been in doubt due to the global coronavirus outbreak, was eventually staged in Trinidad and Tobago in a biosecure environment, without fans.  The Trinbago Knight Riders created history by being the first team to claim the title without losing a match.

Things, however, did not go off without a hitch.  Many spectators took issue with the standard of play at the low-scoring tournament, while many players struggled with the quarantine requirements and conditions of the heavily used pitches.  Hall, while accepting that there were challenges and admitting that he was eager to see things return to normal, believed things went reasonably well.

“I think by any measure, this year, the Caribbean Premier League was a resounding success for the simple reason that we were able to do what we did, stage the tournament successfully, have some decent cricket played despite the fact that a number of cricketers would have been rusty,” Hall told the Mason and Guest radio program.

 “To pull it together, to stage it, to have it successfully completed without anyone testing positive for the virus throughout that entire almost eight-week period, anyone that tries to tell me the Caribbean Premier League was not a success this year, I am having none of it,” he added.

Despite no fans being in the stadium, this season's CPL was the most viewed tournament in the history of the competition.

Glenn Maxwell said he had "freedom" to attack after delivering a stunning century to guide Australia past England in the third ODI.

With Australia chasing 303 for victory in Manchester on Wednesday, Maxwell arrived at the crease with the tourists reeling at 73-5 in the series decider.

But Maxwell (108 off 90 balls) and Alex Carey (106 off 114) combined for a 212-run partnership as Australia reached the target with two balls to spare.

Maxwell, who scored his second ODI century and first since 2015, said he felt free to play his aggressive game with Australia in such a poor position.

"I was probably thinking that we haven't got much to lose so I had a bit of freedom I suppose to try and take the bowling on and put a bit more pressure on them," he told reporters.

"I thought if I could make the most of that short boundary as much as I could early on and just back my bat swing. There was a fair bit of a breeze heading that way as well so I just tried to get it up in the air and I was able to get a couple pretty clean early on in the innings and then hopefully start to build a partnership with Alex.

"I knew once I started to get into the innings they would start to bowl a bit differently to me and I might be able to cash in on some loose balls, but everything pretty much went to plan.

"The way our partnership built was outstanding so it was good fun out there and I'm really happy to get that result."

Jonny Bairstow's 112 had earlier helped England to 302-7 after they elected to bat first at Old Trafford.

England captain Eoin Morgan accepted Australia were simply too good for his side.

"We were still in the game. When you break big partnerships and the ball is offering a bit, you're never out of the game," he said.

"But Australia were too good for us … we were right in the game but Carey and Maxwell played outstandingly well."

An unbeaten 85 not out from Lee-Ann Kirby helped Team Dottin secure a 26-run victory over Team Selman in the West Indies Women’s second practice match at the Incora County Ground on Wednesday.

Glenn Maxwell and Alex Carey scored magnificent centuries as Australia claimed a three-wicket victory over England in a thrilling ODI series decider at Old Trafford.

Australia had been reduced to 73-5 in response to England's 302-7 and looked to be on the brink of defeat, but they were rescued by their highest-ever ODI sixth-wicket partnership of 212.

Maxwell hit seven maximums as he racked up 108 runs from 90 balls – his highest score in the 50-over format – while Carey added 106 for his maiden ton.

Both players were dismissed as part of a dramatic finale, but Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins got the 10 runs required from the final over as the tourists won with just two balls to spare.

Earlier, an astonishing start to Wednesday's play saw England lose Jason Roy and Joe Root in the first two deliveries of the day, as Starc set about dismantling England's top order.

Yet Jonny Bairstow (112) led a superb counter-attack that had not only given the hosts a fighting chance, but put Australia on the back foot.

Chris Woakes and Root took two wickets apiece in the early stages of Australia's reply as England took control.

But Maxwell and Carey's heroics flipped the script and meant it was Australia who won 2-1, avenging their loss by the same scoreline in the trio of T20I matches.

Australia coach Justin Langer has admitted the team could have discussed continuing a show of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, during the ongoing tour of England, but insists there was no disrespect or disregard meant.

Legendary West Indies fast bowler Michael Holding was recently critical of both teams, as he pointed out that they had ditched the symbolic taking a knee gesture during the ongoing series. England and the West Indies showed support for the movement before all three Tests at the start of the season, and the practice continued for the one-day series against Ireland. It has not been seen for the visits of Pakistan and Australia.

While insisting that the team had not forgotten the issue, Langer pointed out that Australia had simply been focused on the series and unusual circumstances, but that in retrospect there could have been more discussions surrounding the issue.

“When Mikey says what he says, it’s certainly worth listening to. In terms of taking a knee, to be completely honest, we could have talked more about it perhaps leading up to the first game,” Langer said.

“There was so much going on leading up to us getting here, maybe we should have talked more about it,” he added.

“What we do talk about within the team was that we want to have a response that is sustained and powerful and that it can go not just in one action but a sustained period. Not just throughout this series and the summer but throughout time.

“I just hope if it looked like there was a lack of respect, it wasn’t the intention of our team. We were very aware of it.”

England pace bowler Jofra Archer had issued a much sharper response, insisting that England had not forgotten the issue and that Holding should have “done his research”.

A mixture of shock, sadness and disappointment greeted Mickey Haughton-James’ announcement last week that he would close the Spartan Health Club indefinitely at the end of September because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The gym opened in 1976 and has largely been associated with the beautiful women of the Miss Jamaica World franchise but Spartan has also been home to some of Jamaica’s greatest athletes, among them some of the very best in the world.

Reggae legend Bob Marley also broke sweat there.

Members of the West Indies cricket team, Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz, World and Olympic medallists and Jamaica’s world-class netballers have all, at one time or another used the facilities to hone their bodies in the pursuit of athletic excellence.

Leeroy Gray was a physical trainer at the gym for many years. Before he migrated, he worked with some of the very best including eight-time Olympic gold medallist and world record holder Usain Bolt; 2011 100m World Champion Yohan Blake as well as Olympic bronze medallist Warren Weir.

Gray also trained St Kitts’ Kim Collins, the 2003 100m World Champion; British 100m champion Dwayne Chambers, Olympian Aleen Bailey, World Championship bronze medallist Ristanana Tracey and Commonwealth 100m champion Kemar Bailey-Cole during his time at what he described as Jamaica’s No. 1 gym.

“To hear that the gym is closing for good, it is not good,” he told Sportsmax.TV, clearly at a loss for words.

He was not the only one taken by surprise.

“I don’t even know where to start,” said Blake, the second-fastest man of all time. “Usually, when I get up in the morning I scan through the news while preparing for training. It was a shock to find out that Spartan was closing for good.

“I remember clearly this amazing facility that helped not only me, but so many of our world-class athletes reach where they are today. It was a wonderful place to do your workout and have a talk with everyone. I have many good memories of Spartan. I still can't believe it. I understand this facility has been around from 1976. It represents the end of an era. I am truly sad that it has to close.”

Blake alluded to the fact that Spartan was more than just a gym. It was a place where like-minded athletes shared conversations and inspiration with the many patrons.

Weir, who along with Bolt and Blake, finished 1-2-3 in the 200m at the 2012 London Olympics also had fond memories of the days when he trained there.

“Spartan was that place where you went and just felt motivated to work because there was so much inspiration around you. People were always encouraging you to just be your best,” Weir recalled.

“I remember when I just started at Spartan, there were always people there telling you ‘you’re gonna be good, you’re gonna be great, just continue training’

“Then seeing other sports people and artistes there putting the work in, also motivates you and lets you see that you on the TV is work that is being done on the back end.”

Former West Indies opener Wavell Hinds spent a lot of time at Spartan after his Test career ended in 2005. The work he put in there helped him prolong his playing days and for that, he expressed his gratitude to Haughton-James.

“The generosity of Mr James and the Spartan Gym contributed immensely to my career between 2007 and 2011,” he said.

“In fact, the entire Jamaica Cricket team benefited from the use of Spartan gym during the said period.  I want publicly thank Mr James and Spartan for their contribution to the development of Jamaica's cricket.”

Former Netball Jamaica President Marva Bernard said read the news of the impending closure made her very sad.

“Many, many years ago we used to get support from Mickey to use the gym to train the Sunshine Girls and I vividly remember Connie Francis, in particular. I can still see her running on that treadmill as if her life depended on it, that is how hard she trained,” Bernard said.

“And so, I want to say to Mickey, thank you so much for the years of support that you have given, not only to Netball Jamaica but several of the elite athletes in all sporting disciplines.

“Your generosity knows no bounds and I hope that one day you will rebound because you’re a good man and your gym has made a difference in many people’s lives.”

Cricket West Indies (CWI) announced today the extension of their worldwide betting partnership with global sports betting brand, Betway until 2022. 

The Betway Group is a leading provider of innovative, entertaining and exciting entertainment across sports betting, casino, bingo and esports betting. Launched in 2006, the company operates across a number of regulated online markets and holds licences in the UK, Malta, Italy, Denmark, Spain, Belgium, Germany and Ireland. Based in Malta and Guernsey, with support from London, Isle of Man and Cape Town, the Betway team comprises over 1,500 people.

The extension will see Betway continue as the Official Betting Partner of CWI, with pitch and broadcast presence at all men’s and women’s International Home Series matches.

The partnership has been broadened so that Betway will also become the Official Betting Partner of the Colonial Medical Insurance Super50 Cup, the marquee 50-over tournament in the West Indies. Betway’s partnership will also mean continued support for CWI’s integrity and player education programmes.

“CWI is delighted to extend our relationship with Betway as one of our major partners whose support makes a real difference for the development of international and regional cricket in the West Indies,” said Dominic Warne, CWI Commercial Director in welcoming the extended partnership with Betway.

“The partnership demonstrates the appeal of West Indies cricket in terms of media visibility and content and we are excited that Betway is bringing additional support to the women’s game and the Super50 Cup too.”

Anthony Werkman, Betway CEO, highlighted the strength of the partnership and outlined why it has been extended.

“Cricket is a hugely popular sport and this deal has been the cornerstone of our entry into the game. We are extremely happy to be extending this deal which will bring us to many more fans throughout the world in conjunction with one of the most prestigious international teams,” he said.

Betway’s initial partnership with CWI started with the International Homes Series between West Indies and Sri Lanka in June 2018 and ran through to the International Homes Series against Ireland in January 2020.

  The extended partnership will include all men’s and women’s international home matches in the ICC Future Tours Programme until the end of 2022 as well as the next three editions of the Colonial Medical Insurance Super50 Cup.

 

 

Sixteen teams are down to contest a youth cricket tournament named in honour of the later Barbadian cricket commentator and journalist Tony Cozier.

Australia suffered another batting collapse as England fought back from the brink to draw level in their ODI series with a brilliant 24-run victory at Old Trafford.

Eoin Morgan's side came back in thrilling fashion in the opening Twenty20 against Australia earlier in September, and the tourists snatched defeat from what looked set at one point to be a comfortable triumph in Manchester.

Four wickets – one from Jofra Archer (3-34) and three from Chris Woakes (3-32) – in a fantastic five-over spell in the middle of Australia's innings reduced Justin Langer's side from 142-2 to 147-6.

Australia's collapse came on the back of a strong start from Aaron Finch (73), whose side had ripped through England's top order after Morgan elected to bat first.

Adam Zampa (3-36) was the pick of Australia's bowling attack, which had England on the ropes until a stand of 76 between Tom Curran (37) and Adil Rashid (35 not out) helped the hosts finish on 231-9.

Yet despite Finch and Marnus Labuschagne (48) looked to be ticking Australia towards a series win, England rallied – Sam Curran (3-35) wrapping up the victory after Woakes and Archer dismantled the tourists' middle-order.

 

Using food to cope with emotional distress or emotional eating, as it is called, is part and parcel of a typical existence for many people.  Although stereotypically classified as physical specimens, surprise, surprise, our elite athletes are no different.

Presently, many athletes are sitting at home severely impacted by uncertainty. They are stressed because of it. Some are even adjusting and readjusting to ever-changing curfew guidelines that affect stadia where they often workout.

An article published by SportsMax titled, ‘Are they T20 cricketers or Pillsbury doughboys?’ even admitted that the CPL 2020 teams would have faced some uncertainty at some point before the tournament started.

Though the article focused on how an athlete’s attitude plays a significant role in performing at their best, it didn't do anything to address their mental and emotional states.  Instead, the article compared the cricketers to blowfish.

Athletes get paid to look their best. Their appearance influences their performance, brand deals, sponsorships, I get it. But it’s likely some of the athletes were just reacting to their reality since eating is therapeutic and brings comfort.

Nutrition coach, Gabrielle Julal, who recently accompanied sports nutritionist, Mrs. Patricia Thompson, at the Jamaica Olympic Association's Eat Fit Stamina Workshop, said restricted diets can make it difficult for an athlete to resist certain foods, especially in vulnerable and stressful times.

“A lot of athletes over restrict themselves - they have a lot of restrictions and certain rules in order to maintain their body image. But what most people don't recognise is that when we have these restrictions/mental restrictions it increases our desire to eat certain foods," Julal said.

She suggests, in this case, eating is the way to deal with the constant desire for food.

Julal explains, “A good way to deal with urges is to first remove the rules from your mind - allow yourself to eat. The more you start to eat certain foods that were restricted before, the less likely you'll desire them because you no longer have this ‘forbidden fruit mentally’ towards the food.”

 She added that “It's important to be sensitive to them [athletes] because people expect them to look a certain way and when they don’t, that can fuel disordered thoughts towards eating then can cause them to restrict themselves more.”

Athletes should not deny themselves the physical and the equally important emotional needs that are required as a human being. Still, when eating is the only form of coping, that's a problem.

According to Julal, eating is supposed to be a source of comfort and enjoyment for us but when it’s the only form of coping, she would encourage athletes to seek other ways of coping with difficult emotions like:

Talking to another athlete who is also going through ‘it’ as that will encourage both athletes to share their experiences in a space that allows them to relate to each other.

She also hinted that sharing doesn't have to take place between athletes but can be through honest conversations with a family member or a friend as well.

Julal even suggested that doing some form of exercise, learning new ways to prepare food, and finding other fun activities can lift spirits.

 

Please share your thoughts on Twitter (@SportsMax_Carib) or in the comments section on Facebook (@SportsMax). Don’t forget to use #IAmNotAFan. Until next time!

West Indies legendary fast bowler Sir Andy Roberts has criticised the recent pitches used in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) for offering significant assistance to otherwise average bowlers.

The surfaces at the recently concluded Caribbean Premier League (CPL) were at the centre of attention for most of the campaign.  Many argued that the condition of the surface played a significant part in scores that were much lower than usual.  In the end, the tournament was won by the home team, Trinbago Knight Riders who often did not seem to struggle on the surface.  In fact, the Knight Riders ended with a perfect record.  Also not finding fault with the surface, however, was the majority of the bowlers.

“I know we blame COVID for everything but this is not one of the things we should try to blame on COVID…we are making bowlers look 10 times as good as they are and especially in the spin department,” Roberts recently said on Antigua’s Good Morning Jojo Radio program.

The competition was held in unusual circumstances this season, with all the matches held in Trinidad and Tobago due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.  Roberts, however, still believes the pitches, notwithstanding, could be better prepared.

“You knew about three or four months ago that you’re going to have this tournament in Trinidad, one country, but you have two different facilities that you are going to play at so arrangements should be made to get all the pitches up to a certain standard,” he added.

“When I say all, I mean the entire square, because you can’t just use two pitches for the number of matches you are going to be playing on them.”

Newly crowned 2020 Hero CPL champion Darren Bravo, losing captain Darren Sammy and T20 record-setter Chris Gayle are among 150 players in a pool awaiting selection for the Lankan Premier League set to run from November 14 to December 6.

Shahid Afridi and Trinbago Knight Rider’s Colin Munro are also in the pool for the player auction set for October 1.

Under the rules governing the Sri Lankan T20 league, each franchise can buy up to six international players.

However, according to reports, there are still some loose ends to be tied up before the auction can take place. Among them government approval for a shorter quarantine period for players, officials and broadcast staff.

SLC officials are asking that the quarantine period for those arriving for the tournament be reduced from 14 to seven days.

 

England captain Eoin Morgan conceded his side's poor batting display in the opening 10 overs ultimately cost them in the first ODI against Australia.

Australia earned a 19-run triumph at Old Trafford on Friday, as England failed to hunt down what would have been a record ODI run chase of 295 for the Manchester venue.

Jason Roy and Joe Root both fell in the first 10 overs, while Morgan and Jos Buttler struggled.

Jonny Bairstow and Sam Billings, who scored his maiden ODI century, offered some gallant resistance, but it was not enough to stop Australia – who had Mitchell Marsh and Glenn Maxwell to thank – taking the lead in the three-match series.

"It probably got away from us in the first 10 overs with the bat," Morgan told Sky Sports.

"They bowled outstandingly well, they didn't give us much to get away with.

"I thought we did a reasonable job with the ball, a reasonable score we could chase down with a few partnerships.

"Jonny and Sam, keeping us in the game so long, if we could have extended that partnership past the 40th over we could really have been in an commanding position, but full credit to Australia, they outplayed us today.

"I think they did well. You can always be greedy and want more, but I think we did well too. An area of our game we're looking to improve is taking wickets early and we did that. To be in that position was great. An outstanding performance would have been to continue to take wickets but we didn't."

Billings has made the most of a chance to shine in England's white-ball series this year and capped a fine individual display with an outstanding 118. 

Morgan said of the Kent batsman: "Sam's opportunities over the last four years have been extremely limited and sporadic at times, but to come in and still show hunger and desire in his training and then to come in and get his maiden one-day hundred today is outstanding. It shows a lot of resilience and a lot of character.

"When Ben Stokes is missing he leaves a big hole and we tend to have a lot of players vying for places who bat in the top four for their county.

"So batting at six is an area we need to improve our depth and Sam has added to that today."

Australia took first blood in their ODI series with England as Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell and Josh Hazlewood shone in a 19-run win at Old Trafford, where Sam Billings' maiden international century was in vain.

Without Steve Smith – who suffered a blow to the head in training on Thursday – Australia still managed to set a target of 295, leaving England facing a record run chase in an ODI at Old Trafford to secure victory.

Marsh (73) and Maxwell (77) were in superb form with the bat, with their century stand taking the tourists from 123-5 to 249-6.

Maxwell eventually succumbed to an excellent ball from Jofra Archer, who had dismissed David Warner (6) with a magnificent delivery early on.

Marsh was pinned lbw by Mark Wood as Australia lost late wickets, though hosts England were then reeling at 57-4 in the 17th over of their reply, with Hazlewood (3-26) in fine fettle.

Jonny Bairstow (84) and Billings (118) took the fight back to Australia, yet England ultimately fell short on 275-9 as the world champions succumbed to a second defeat from the last three 50-over meetings with their great rivals.

Archer's wicked bowling sent Warner's stumps flying in the fourth over, and Wood had Aaron Finch (16) walking soon after when Australia's captain clipped an edge to Jos Buttler.

Wood and Buttler combined again to dismiss Marcus Stoinis for 43 in the 16th over, with Adil Rashid dismissing Marnus Labuschagne (21) lbw soon after.

Alex Carey fared little better against Rashid four overs later, yet Marsh and Maxwell steadied the innings.

While Marsh ticked over, Maxwell wasted little time in getting into his stride, and moved to 50 two balls after hitting Rashid for a huge six over midwicket.

Archer was the recipient of similar treatment for back-to-back sixes in the 44th over, yet he had his revenge the next ball when Maxwell dragged a slower delivery onto his stumps.

Pat Cummins (9) fell in Archer's next over, with Wood sending Marsh back to the pavilion and Chris Woakes dismissing Alex Zampa (5), before Mitchell Starc hit a six from the last ball of the innings as Australia finished on 264-9.

Hazlewood started impressively with the ball, taking a wonderful one-handed catch to dismiss Jason Roy (3) from his own bowling in the fourth over, and the paceman had his second wicket when Joe Root edged to Carey on one.

Two fours and a big six from Eoin Morgan (23) got England back on track, though the home captain soon picked out Maxwell from a Zampa delivery.

Zampa had a second wicket when Labuschagne took a smart catch to dismiss Buttler, and it was then that Bairstow and Billings began to unleash some thumping shots.

Bairstow, after hitting four fours and four sixes, was out in the 36th over – Hazlewood racing around in the outfield to take a fantastic diving catch – with Moeen Ali following quickly.

With Billings still in, England had hope, and despite losing Woakes and Rashid, he played some inventive shots as he moved beyond 100.

However, with 28 needed from the final over, England did not have enough fire-power – Marsh having the final say as he ended Billings' defiance to wrap up an impressive win.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.