The Indian Premier League season that many feared would never happen is about to get started.

Where there is a will, and where hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake, there is usually a way.

And IPL chiefs have taken extreme measures to ensure the 2020 campaign goes ahead, taking the league and its teams to the United Arab Emirates for the next eight weeks.

The tournament that brought new levels of razzmatazz to Twenty20 cricket is set to begin behind closed doors, with Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah staging the games.

Can defending champions Mumbai Indians defy the pattern of their previous odd-year successes and retain the trophy, and if not then who will come through?

Here is a look, using Opta numbers, at what we should be looking forward to during the 13th edition of the game-changing league.

The oddest of years is an even year. Does that spell trouble for Mumbai?

Mumbai Indians have become the IPL's dominant franchise, and it is they and Chennai Super Kings who are most widely fancied to take the silverware this year.

Saturday's opener between those sides is a re-match of last year's astounding final, when Lasith Malinga pinned Shardul Thakur lbw from the final ball to nail a one-run win for Mumbai.

Two statistics leap out ahead of the reunion: Mumbai have beaten Chennai in eight of their last nine IPL clashes, including the last five; however, Mumbai have lost their last seven season openers.

Mumbai's last season-opening win came in 2012 – an eight-wicket success against... Chennai Super Kings.

In the last seven IPL seasons, Mumbai have been champions four times, but each time they have followed a title success with a relatively fallow year, finishing fourth, fifth and fifth again between their 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2019 success. If the pattern of triumphing in odd years and missing out in even years holds, we are looking for another team to hoist the trophy in November.

Only one team have successfully defended the IPL title, with Chennai achieving back-to-back triumphs in 2010 and 2011.

Will we have new champions?

Of the five franchises to appear in every IPL edition, three of them are yet to win to the competition: Delhi Capitals, Kings XI Punjab and Royal Challengers Bangalore.

It is worth bearing in mind the IPL has visited the UAE before, when 20 games were moved to avoid a clash in 2014 with India's general election.

And Kings XI Punjab will look on that time fondly, having won all five of their matches in the UAE. Mumbai, in stark contrast, lost each of their five contests during that sojourn.

Delhi, as they prepare to begin their 2020 campaign, are three defeats away from becoming the first team to lose 100 matches in the competition.

Are there records on the line?

Sunrisers Hyderabad captain David Warner and Kings XI Punjab showman Chris Gayle are two of the most exhilarating players in the league. Warner last year matched Gayle's record feat of scoring 600-plus runs in three separate IPL seasons when he scored 692 in just 12 innings, so the race is on to see if either man can go above 600 for a fourth time.

Mumbai's Rohit Sharma is 102 short of becoming the third batsman to reach 5,000 runs in his IPL career, while Warner is 294 away from that landmark. The all-time leading run-scorers in the competition are Virat Kohli (5,412) and Suresh Raina (5,368).

Can you keep a tight line?

In a format known for its ferocious hitting, is it possible to stifle teams late in an innings?

Yorker specialist Jasprit Bumrah found a way for Mumbai in 2019, bowling a competition-high 172 balls at the death (overs 17-20) and recording a highly respectable economy rate of 7.7 in those games.

His figures of 2-14 from four overs in last year's final were testament to his talent for keeping run-hungry batsmen tied down. More of the same could keep Mumbai competitive in 2020.

 Alex Robinson, the former Calabar and Wolmer’s Boys track star, who I’ve known since he was born, taught me one of life’s greatest lessons.

We attended the same church and were grounded by similar principles, and in an interview, I did with him in 2015, he spoke about his struggles with injury and disappointment. During that interview, he uttered this gem, “life doesn’t end when we pause”.

It shook me to my core.

That same year he picked up a bronze medal in the Class One Boys 110 metres hurdles as Calabar ran away with Boys’ Champs.

I’ve never forgotten about that statement, and in this year of years, it resounds in the most telling ways.

When the 2020 ISSA Boys and Girls track and field championships were cancelled because of COVID-19, I knew that it was for the best as the country needed to have been extra cautious in that initial stage when we knew very little about the coronavirus. Keeping Champs the way we knew it would have been akin to setting off a biological bomb in the heart of Kingston, Jamaica.

This is an event that sees well over 30,000 people in attendance from all over the island and the world. Tracing COVID-19 after that sporting spectacle would have been difficult… as is the situation now… but I digress.

The announcement of the cancellation of the championships affected me in ways I didn’t quite expect.  It’s not because I get to miss out on covering the event, but I know many of your stories. The commitment to your craft is an art. Many of you see it as a way of either furthering your education, coming out of poverty, or both. The same can be said of many of my young footballers who won’t be taking part in the Manning and daCosta Cup competitions this year.  This hurts me, but not as much as it hurts you, I’m sure.

But life doesn’t end when we pause.

How do you cope during this time? Always keep in mind that you’re not alone in this situation. And, if you feel you are alone, you shouldn’t be. Remember you are a part of a school community, which is there to mould, uplift, teach, and advise you through varying circumstances. I know it’s scary that your teachers and principals are learning as they go through this pandemic, but this is your time to reach out and to let them know how you feel. They won’t be able to adapt unless they know your situation. So do not suffer in silence. Your school should also have access to information in regards to your nutrition.

You’re not allowed to give no as an answer when called upon in class, so your school should endeavor to find solutions to the issues you have. It’s difficult to move the needle sometimes, but when you do, it opens a lot of doors.  This should be your quest as future leaders of your family and community.

You must also continue to work hard at your craft. However, in actively pursuing training, the same commitment must be made for schoolwork. Organize with your school’s physical education department to see how training and exercise can be done while adhering to safety protocols. Staying at home and jogging on the spot can do only so much and no more.

However, keep in mind that you must be protected, so training with masks on when you can’t avoid social distancing is imperative. It’s not ideal, but it is better than doing nothing.  Remember the main reason you’re protecting yourself is for your family. Going home to mommy and daddy or your grandparents without the virus is a massive win.

Quite a few of you elite athletes are associated with clubs, which should not be playing a dormant role at this time. These clubs have access to fields and recreational areas that must be utilized. Encourage them to operate a schedule where a limited number of you can take part in training throughout the day. If your club cannot accommodate this… find a club which can.

And finally, endeavor to utilize your environment to get your goals. Growing up in Allman Town in Kingston, Jamaica, was a challenge. However, I was fortunate enough to align myself with people who meant me well. Most of that alignment came from the church I attended. My church played cricket, I did commentary at their games, and those tapes were used as my resume. And at the age of 17, I got a job offer from Radio Jamaica. Life.

Your circumstances don’t determine your outcome in life. And, life indeed doesn’t end when we pause. There is always a path to success. Your success is defined by your attitude and ultimately your commitment to a cause.

I’m longing to say your names on commentary again.

 

Donald Oliver is a football and cricket commentator and a senior producer at SportsMax. Learn more about him at www.thedonaldoliver.com or email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

President of the Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA), Keith Wellington, is urging student-athletes to continue training for their various disciplines, in order to be in a position to capitalize on any opportunities to compete in this academic year.

The governing body for Jamaican high school sports has already cancelled all sporting activities for the remainder of 2020 due to a spike in COVID-19 cases across the island.

According to Wellington, ISSA is now using the period to assess what events, including the ones that were scheduled for this semester, could be held next year.

He pointed out that sports like table tennis and swimming are among the favourites to see competition first in 2021.

Wellington suggested that sports like basketball, football, netball and track and field might be the most difficult to stage.

Specifically speaking to the popular ISSA Boys’ and Girls’ Athletics Championships, Wellington told the Commentators podcast, “I know that a lot of people would have said athletics provides for social distancing.”

“On the field of play it does but if you think of our track and field activities, it doesn’t have to be that way, the norm is that you have persons travelling right across the island, thousands of kids from dozens of communities across the island,” he added.

“That is something that would be difficult in this time because you could have somebody from Hanover travelling to Calabar to participate in a meet…they come into contact and right away you have a spread right across.”

Speaking with Donald Oliver and Ricardo Chambers, Wellington also made it clear he did not see testing as an option, at the moment, for any sport given the financial costs associated. 

However, the man who took over the top job in June 2019, says he is committed to ensuring that student-athletes across as many sports as possible get opportunities to compete.

To athletes, he said, “all is not lost.”

“We define luck as preparedness plus opportunity. Right now, there is little opportunity, but you still have a responsibility to be prepared so that when that opportunity comes you will be lucky.”

“I would say to them (athletes) to do all that you can to prepare yourself mentally and physically to play sport. We at ISSA are serious about providing that opportunity to make your luck and we are going to do whatever we can to provide you with the opportunities in whatever format.”

 

West Indies all-rounder Rakheem Cornwall insists he was ready to go for the St Lucia Zouks, despite not being picked to bowl in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) final.

The decision not to bowl Cornwall, who recently came back from representing the West Indies in England, raised a few eyebrows.  But, the spinner has not been among the tournaments leading wicket-takers for several seasons.  In addition, Zouks captain Darren Sammy had a battery of spin bowlers at his disposal, which included Roston Chase, who took more wickets than Cornwall in England.

In the end, after making it to their first CPL final, as heavy underdogs, the Zouks fell short to the Trinbago Knight Riders.  Cornwall has insisted he was fit and ready to perform but his omission from the line-up was the captain’s choice.

“It was basically the captain’s decision; maybe it was his gut feeling to go for the other bowlers.  He thought he didn’t need me at that time so he went for especially his depth bowlers,” Cornwall recently told the Antigua Observer.

"The pitch was a spin bowlers pitch and I am always ready for whenever he calls on me and if he doesn’t then it is the case but I’m always set and ready if I am called upon,” he added.

 

Well-respected retired cricket umpire John Richard Gayle died peacefully at home on Tuesday, September 15 in the presence of family members. He was 96 years old.

Affectionately called Johnny, his involvement with sports as a cricketer began at Highgate in St. Mary in 1953 while sharing his agricultural duties at the Orange River Agricultural Station. At first, cricket was a weekend past time and he became a member of the Highgate Cricket Team. 

In his desire to remain in close contact with the game he loved from he was a youth saw him successful in passing the written examination set by the Jamaica Cricket Umpires Association in 1964, the first Umpiring organisation to require recruits to pass a written test before they could officiate in a match. As expected, he did not confine his service to the field of play as he was deeply involved in the administration and training of recruits.  His commitment to the game as an Umpire since 1964 and as an Administrator from 1970 to 2004 was exemplary and worthy of emulation. His contribution to the sport was recognised by the Government of Jamaica when he was conferred with the Order of Distinction in 2000.

After serving as a member of the Managing Committee of the Jamaica Cricket Umpires Association and as Treasurer, he was elected  Secretary in 1970, a position he held for 20 years while simultaneously occupying the post of Area Vice President of the West Indies Cricket Umpires Association for 8 years and later as Secretary for 17 years.  He was then elected President of the Jamaica Cricket Umpires Association in 1990 and served in this capacity unopposed for 12 years.

After several years officiating in the various local cricket competitions, he was appointed for his first regional first-class match in 1970 – Jamaica vs Barbados, during the 1966-1987  Shell Shield cricket competition, the glorious years of West Indies first-class cricket, when six territorial teams contested the competition.  When Gayle spoke of this match he said: “ This was the most thrilling contest in the history of inter-territorial cricket. I was happy to be involved in this tournament as an umpire for sixteen years 1970 to 1986.”

On February 16,  1972, his ambition to Umpire a Test Match was realised when he was appointed along with Douglas Sang Hue to officiate in his first Test Match at Sabina Park – West Indies vs New Zealand when Lawrence Rowe created history. Then in 1986 and 1987  -West Indies vs England and New Zealand followed by Shell Shield matches in Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad.

On the recommendation of the West Indies Cricket Board, he was invited to Belize, Cayman and Toronto to conduct Umpiring Seminars along with Douglas Sang Hue and to give an account of their experiences during their years of service.  During his period of administrative service, he enjoyed a cordial relationship with all those administrative contemporaries, both at home and abroad.

 After his retirement from officiating in first-class matches in 1990, after serving for 20 years, he continued to umpire in local matches and as a referee in regional matches at Sabina Park and acted as the television replay official during the West Indies vs England Test Match in 1998 at the same venue.

During his career, he officiated in 32 first-class matches, 3 tests, several limited over matches and served as emergency umpire on many occasions. 

Among the many awards are the Gleaner Independence Cup, presented annually by the Jamaica Cricket Association for exemplary service on 4 occasions, the Carreras Sports Foundation Certificate of Merit, the Private Sector Organisation/Jamaica Civil Service Award for Sports, the St. Elizabeth Home Coming Foundation Sports Award, the Parish of his Birth, the Shell Shield Cricket Award, in addition to other special awards from Trinidad and the Cayman Islands, for being instrumental in forming their Umpires Association. 

He was made an Honorary Life Member of the Jamaica Cricket Association, the Jamaica and the United States of America Umpires Association in addition to being made an Honorary Member of the West Indies Cricket Umpires Association.  He was also presented with a citation from the President of the Borough of Brooklyn in recognition of his service to Cricket and was inducted in the United States of America Cricket Hall of Fame in Connecticut in 2011 along with Lawrence Rowe, who he was associated with on two memorable occasions. 

Johnny was an avid reader of cricket history.  He has written several articles relative to Umpiring for inclusion in the Biennial Magazines of the West Indies Umpires Association,  in commemoration of its 70th year of existence, a body reputed to be the second oldest umpiring organisation in the world surpassed only by the Cricket Umpires Association of Victoria.

Regarded as a consultant on matters pertaining to local umpiring and because of his longevity and long association with this indispensable, but controversial facets of the game, his advice, knowledge and opinion were highly respected. 

His contribution to agriculture in Jamaica cannot be overlooked as he spent his entire working life in the Ministry of Agriculture. He was trained at the Jamaica School of Agriculture which was then at a site now occupied by the University of Technology. He worked and later managed the Beverley Research Station in St. Ann and used this opportunity for his cutting-edge research on the crop pimento. He wrote the book “PIMENTO The Allspice Story”. He has been hailed by Kenneth Magnus, CD, PhD. Professor Emeritus, University of the West Indies, Mona, to quote,  “Johnny Gayle is a retired expert in the tree crop pimento, one of Jamaica’s ‘best in the world’ products. His agronomics expertise and experience with this crop leaves us with a blueprint on how to proceed with its agricultural future.”  He did everything with perfection and thoroughness.

 In 1952, Johnny was married to Marjorie Jefferson, who passed away in 2019, after 67 years of marriage, and was the proud father of 3 children – Errol, Ruth (aka Leith) and Everton (aka Val). He is a very loved grandfather to his grandchildren, other relatives, and friends.

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.

 

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