A solid century from left-handed opening batsman, Kieran Powell, anchored a solid opening day for the Leeward Island’s Hurricanes who posted 308 – 7 against Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in the West Indies Championships.

After winning the toss and choosing to bat, the Leewards suffered an early setback after losing Montcin Hodge in the second over of the match.   Hodge was caught by Bryan Charles off the bowling of Jadon Seales.  Powell, however, immediately set about repairing the damage after forming a 64-run partnership with Kacey Carty.

Carty’s dismissal left the Hurricanes at 66 for 2 but Powell feature in another pair of crucial partnerships.  First with Devon Thomas, who made 12 before being bowled by Akeal Hosein, then Amir Jangoo with the two putting on a 100-run partnership to bring the score to 198 for 4 when Jangoo was sent back to the pavilion by Jason Mohammed soon after making his half-century.  Powell’s brilliant resistance was brought to an end when he was trapped lbw by Yannic Cariah, having totalled 139 or 211 deliveries.

Terrance Ward added a patient 26 from 101 balls before being caught by Gabriel off Seales, while Cornwall could only add 5 to the tally before himself being dismissed by Gabriel.

Jeremiah Louis (16) and Hayden Walsh (8) ended the day as the not-out batsmen for the Hurricanes.  Seales was the pick of the bowlers for T&T after ending with a best of 2 for 35.

Jamaican goalkeeper Andre Blake continues to be the best paid Caribbean player in the United States Major League Soccer (MLS) according to the 2022 Player Salary Guide.

The 31-year-old shot-stopper, who has twice been named Goalkeeper of the Year, remains the main man in between the sticks for the Philadelphia Union where he has been since 2014.  For his match-saving performances, Blake earns a base salary of $750,000.00 with guaranteed compensation of $869,375.00.

Talented Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Kevin Molino is next up.  Having completed a move to Columbus Crew last season Molino is listed at $700,348.00 and guaranteed the full amount.  Unfortunately, the player remains out of action having suffered a serious knee ligament in August of last year.

His international teammate Joevin Jones was also on the move last year and having been signed by new club Inter Miami earns $360,000.00 with guaranteed compensation of $458,100.00. 
Jamaica defender Kemar Lawrence is next on the list.  Having recently been traded to Minnesota United this season Lawrence is set to make $400,000.00 with $482,500.00 guaranteed.

The Jamaican trio of Cory Burke, Damion Lowe, and Alvas Powell round out the list earning 400,000, 268,000, and 167,000 at Philadelphia Union, Inter Miami, and FC Cincinnati.

Former Reggae Girlz coach Vin Blaine has expressed concern that the women’s national program is heavily beholden to an outside benefactor.

Earlier this week, Blaine stepped down from the post after just six months in charge of the national team.  During his tenure at the helm, the coach found himself at loggerheads with members of the national team, 19 of whom had sent and signed a letter to the JFF questioning the coach’s training methods.

Blaine, however, continues to believe the players were influenced by external forces who will continue to hold plenty of sway with both a large swath of the team’s senior players and the federation itself.

“A lot of people might not want me to say it but definitely that’s what it is,” Blaine told the SportMax Zone,  when asked whether he thought the national program was being held, hostage.

“That’s from my perspective and that’s one of the reasons I decided to part ways and let them have the program.  Hopefully, I wish them all the best.  I hold no ill will towards anyone,” he added.

“It’s my country but it’s just that at this moment I have decided that this is what is best for me and the program.”

The JFF will now begin the search for a new head coach, ahead of the World Cup qualifiers in July.

 

 

Departing Jamaica Reggae Girlz coach, Vin Blaine, has insisted the toxic environment surrounding his tenure with the national team had left the situation untenable.

Blaine brought an end to a weeks-long saga yesterday when he announced that he would officially resign as coach of the team, following a dispute with some senior members of the Reggae Girlz.

The players in question wrote a letter of no confidence, to the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), signed by 19 members, which suggested the coach lacked detailed training sessions, did not provide video analysis, had issues with set pieces, and provided no post-match reviews for player improvement.

 A review of the situation by the JFF technical committee, however, cleared the coach of any wrongdoing and recommended Blaine stay in the post.  From his perspective, however, making that decision would not have been in anyone’s best interest. 

“Based on the situation, if everyone knew the entire process I went through; It was a toxic environment,” Blaine told the SportsMax Zone.

 “Sad to say from day one or two, in the program, you had staff undermining the program, the previous staff.  You had players telling you who should be the equipment person, who should be the fitness coach, those are things that went on,” he added.

“I came out with a smile on my face because it’s not for me to disclose those things in a training camp.  So, I don’t think I could move forward although the federation said they were clearing me for that.  For the program to go forward and for my own peace of mind, I did not need that kind of toxicity.”

West Indies cricketer Chris Gayle and South African batsman AB De Villiers have become the first cricketers to be inducted into the hall of fame of Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore.

The 42-year-old Gayle represented the franchise between 2011 and 2017.  The batsman never won a title at the club but set a number of records while there, including the highest ever individual T20 score of 175 during the 2013 IPL season. 

Former RCB skipper Virat Kohli thanked the two greats for their contribution to making the IPL what it is today. Gayle thanked the club for the special honour.  

"I want to thank the RCB family for the opportunity, for everything. It's been special to me as well. And to be inducted is something fantastic, and I will always keep RCB close to my heart. I share a lot of memories with some special players and some special coaches,” Gayle said.

“It's been fantastic. I wish I were there to give this speech, look into you guys' eyes, and tell you exactly how I feel. AB mentioned it's going to be emotional because it's very touching for such a franchise that has been created over the years. It's fantastic. And to Virat, thank you for the kind words as well. Fantastic sharing the dressing room with you guys as well."

 

Jamaica Scorpions coach Andre Coley would like to see batsmen taking more responsibility at the crease, and place more emphasis on batting time, as the West Indies Championship resumes next week.

With two rounds already in the books for the shortened season, the Scorpions will have plenty of work to obtain a satisfactory finish.   On the back of some lukewarm performances, the Jamaica franchise finds itself at the foot of the six-team standings having earned just 8.8 points they have so far.

In that regard, the team has added two batsmen, in West Indies batsman Brandon King and wicketkeeper Aldane Thomas who it is hoped will provide the team with added impetus heading into next Wednesday’s fixtures against the Windward Islands in Trinidad & Tobago.  Coley, however, also believes a change of attitude will be needed to turn things around.

“We are not just looking or starts but to transfer and to translate that into bigger scores, into bigger team partnerships and actually spending time (at the crease),” Coley told members of the media on Friday.

“We are a team that if you look at our record or even the first two games, our run rate has always been healthy.  We just now have to bat time and accept personal responsibility, from a batting standpoint and build more significant partnerships.”

 

Jamaica jumper Lamara Distin took top spot at the Southeastern Conference Championships, on Friday, adding to an already impressive run of results this season.

Distin, who has broken the national long jump record several times in the last several months, kept her concentration to dominate the field after a six-hour weather delay.  Eventually, the Texas A&M athlete posted an event-winning mark of 1.95m to complete the SEC indoor and outdoor high jump title sweep.

The athlete finished ahead of South Carolina’s Rachel Glenn who recorded a best of 1.86m and LSU’s Nyagoa Bayak who finished third with 1.86m on the countback.  The in-form Distin also had three attempts at 1.99m but failed to clear the bar.

Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma agreed with the team’s decision to leave him out of the squad ahead of Thursday's encounter against Chennai Super Kings.

Much-like compatriot and fellow power-hitter Chris Gayle was last year, Pollard was left out of the line-up on his 35th birthday.  Instead, the team opted to go with South Africa big-hitter Tristan Stubbs on debut.

Despite it being a special day for the West Indian, few could have disagreed with the decision considering the player’s recent form.  In 11 IPL matches so far, the big West Indian has scored just 144 runs at an average of 14.40 and with a strike rate of 107.46.  The ball-striking tally is the player’s lowest since he made his debut in the IPL in 2010.

In explaining the decision, Sharma insisted the team, which is currently bottom of the IPL, has begun to contemplate its future.

"Keeping an eye on the future, Pollard is out and Stubbs is in. He (Pollard) was the one who came up to us and he was ready for it,” Rohit told Star Sport.

 “We want to try out a few players, got to see what they have to offer.”

West Indies fast bowler turned commentator Ian Bishop does not believe recently retired Windies skipper Kieron Pollard is washed-up but insists the time has come for the player to adjust his game.

Typically, a reliable source of runs for five-time IPL champions Mumbai Indians, Pollard has struggled mightily to make an impact this season.  In 11 IPL matches so far, the big West Indian has scored just 144 runs at an average of 14.40 and with a strike rate of 107.46.  The ball-striking tally is the player’s lowest since he made his debut in the IPL in 2010.

Having retired from international cricket a few weeks ago, some have suggested that it might be time for Pollard to take another step in moving away from the sport entirely.  While acknowledging that he has struggled in the tournament this season, Bishop believes the player could still have a bit more left in the tank.

"People are saying he's washed, I'm not going to go there. I think he's a player who can reinvent himself,” Bishop told Espncricinfo.

"You look at Pollard's numbers when Mumbai have won the championships: 400 runs in 2013 at 42, up to 2019 and 2020, where he averaged over 30 with a strike rate sometimes in the 160s to 190s - he's been integral to them. You can't forget that as a franchise, so they're giving him every possible chance,” he added.

Despite the franchise choosing to stick with the veteran player, however, Bishop insists it’s up to Pollard to adjust.

"Pollard himself has to reinvent his game, however, he chooses to do that, because he's still got a future ahead of him we hope.”

 Legendary West Indies batsman Viv Richards is confident Nicholas Pooran was the right choice for captain of the One Day  International squad and has backed the player to do well in the position.

Pooran was named as the replacement for all-rounder Kieron Pollard last week, following the latter’s surprise decision to retire from international cricket a few weeks ago.  The decision to appoint the 25-year-old by the Cricket West Indies (CWI) panel of selectors hardly came as a surprise as the players was already being groomed for the position.

Pooran, who had served as Pollard’s vice-captain over the last year, took charge of the team for a series against India earlier this year.  For Richards who himself captained the team between 1980 and 1991, the choice was an obvious one.

“There wasn’t any other choice in my opinion. I think the young man is pretty studious about what he wants to get done. He takes his cricket pretty studiously and I am a fan of Nicholas Pooran,” Richards told the Antigua Observer.

The Master Blaster believes the player has come a long way since making his debut for the team in 2016 and has now blossomed into the role.

“Early in his career I guess there was some immaturity … but having been through the mill and where he’s at now, I think he is the perfect choice as captain.”

Reigning Olympic 400m champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo will go head-to-head with Jamaicans Stefanie Ann-Mcpherson and Candice McLeod when the 2022 Diamond League season runs off with the Doha meet, in Qatar, on Friday.

The Bahamian will head into the event as favourite, on the back of a strong indoor season where she added the Indoor title to her medal collection, in Belgrade.  The Doha meeting will feature the first match-up between the trio since the Olympics, where Miller-Uibo took gold and Mcpherson and McLeod finished just outside the medals.

In the half-lap event, Olympic 100m bronze medallist Shericka Jackson will battle reigning 200m champion Diner Asher-Smith of Great Britain, who will be opening her season in the event.  The field is also set to feature a rejuvenated Anthonique Strachan of the Bahamas and Olympic finalist Gabby Thomas of the US.

There will also be a strong Caribbean presence in the women’s 100m hurdles with the Jamaican duo of Olympic bronze medallist Megan Tapper facing off with compatriot Britany Anderson.  The Bahamas’ Devynne Charlton will also be part of that field.

 

Noted racing administrator and commentator Chris Armond has died after an extended battle with illness.

Armond, who was 67, was one of regional horse racing’s premier executives and served the sport in various capacities for some 40 years before retiring in 2020.

Armond, who followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather as a racing administrator, first shot to prominence as a commentator in the late 1970s.  Rated as one of the best in the business he was awarded the Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) Golden Microphone award in 1984.

Armond went on to have a commentary stint in Detroit, Michigan before heading into administration.  During his time as an administrator, Armond served as Director of Racing at Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited (SVREL), in his home country Jamaica, Executive Officer of the Arima Race Club in Trinidad, and a chief executive at the Barbados Turf club for eight years.  Armond was celebrated for longstanding service at a ceremony, at Jamaica’s Caymanas Park in December 2020.

Former India cricketer turned analyst, Aakash Chopra, does not believe India Premier League (IPL) club Mumbai Indians will play West Indies all-rounder Kieron Pollard again for the rest of the season.

The 34-year-old big-hitter has had a difficult campaign to date for the many-time IPL champions, who have themselves struggled to make an impact.  With only two wins and eight losses in 10 games, the five-time title winners are rooted at the bottom of the IPL table.

 In ten matches so far in IPL 2022, Pollard has struggled to score just 129 runs at an abysmal average of 14.33 and a strike rate of just 109.32.  Pollard has been a loyal servant to the Mumbai franchise and despite it being the only IPL club that he has ever represented, since making his debut in 2010, Chopra believes the club is likely to take a chance with young South African Dewald Brevis.  Brevis has scored 124 runs in six games but has an incredible strike rate of 155.

“I feel Kieron Pollard will not play any further this year, that's it, they won't play him anymore because Dewald Brevis is sitting outside and Tim David is doing well," Chopra said via his YouTube channel.

"Don't know why they didn't play a punt on Tim David earlier. They had kept this six-hitting machine sitting outside for a long time. Now they have remembered that they should play him and he has not disappointed them even once since they have played him.”

 

Reigning double Olympic champion, Elaine Thompson-Herah, executed a comfortable early-season performance with a dominant showing in the women’s half-lap event at the inaugural JAAA/SDF Jubilee Series on Saturday.

Thompson-Herah left the blocks quickly to effortlessly cover the rest of the field by the top of the curve and shut things down to record a 22.75 winning time.  MVP Track Club's Stephanie McPherson chased her to the line late on and was second in 23.16.  Natasha Morrison was third in 23.52.

In the men’s equivalent, Racer’s Track Club’s Zharnel Hughes finished with the fastest time of the day, after recording 20.56 to win heat 4. 

Olympic 100m bronze medalist Shericka Jackson proved a cut above the rest of the field and powered away midway through the race to claim the women’s 100m in 11 seconds flat.  Her MVP Track Club teammate Anthonique Strachan was second in 11.40 and Sprint Tech’s Remona Burchell third in 11.43.

In the men’s equivalent, Oblique Seville took top spot with a time of 10.00.  The Racer’s Track Club athlete finished comfortably ahead of MVP’s Kishane Thompson, who was second in 10.21, and Kadrian Goldson who was third in 10.24.

 

Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce registered the fastest women’s 100m season opener in history with a blistering performance at the World Athletics Continental Tour, in Nairobi, Kenya, on Saturday.

In her first appearance on Kenyan soil, Fraser-Pryce looked at home as she took apart the rest of the field with a blistering 10.67 seconds run.  In typical fashion, the decorated sprinter left the blocks in blistering fashion before coasting clear to set the season lead, running into a slight headwind (-0.4ms).

Egypt’s Hemdia Bassant was second with a national record of 11.02, while the USA’s Shannon Ray was third with 11.33.  Olympic 200m silver medallist Christine Mboma did not complete the race as she looked to have pulled a muscle.

“It was very good, the atmosphere was fantastic,” said Fraser-Pryce,” following the event.

“I’m not sure if it was perfect – I’d have to see the replay. But the time tells me that my training has been going great.” she

The run was the third fastest of the athlete’s career and her third sub-10.7 run in the last year.

  

 

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