West Indies Under-19s suffered a seven-wicket defeat at the hands of South Africa Under-19s in their final ICC Men’s Under-19 Cricket World Cup Warm-up fixture in Guyana on Wednesday.

South Africa Under-19s won the toss and elected to field first, which proved to be a good move as they were able to restrict West Indies Under-19s to 189 all out in 43.2 overs.

Captain Ackeem Auguste with 52 and wicketkeeper/batsman Carlon Bowen-Tuckett with 45 were the chief scorers for the Windies against 3-36 off four overs from Matthew Boast and 2-14 off five overs from Michael Copeland.

The South Africans then only needed 35.3 overs to reach their target, finishing 191-7 thanks to half-centuries from captain George Van Heerden (61) and Dewald Brevis (50) as well as 36 from Ethan-John Cunningham.

McKenny Clarke took 3-34 off five overs and Anderson Mahase took 2-31 off eight overs for the Windies.

West Indies will open their World Cup campaign against Australia Under-19s at Providence Stadium on Friday, January 14, while South Africa Under-19s will play their opener against India Under-19s at the same venue one day later.

 

 

 West Indies all-rounder Keemo Paul has his heart set on a return to international cricket after closing in on peak physical condition.

Despite being one of the region’s top prospects, the 23-year-old has not played for the West Indies since 2020.  Paul opted out of the team’s tour of England in 2020 but appeared against New Zealand in T20 internationals at the end of that same year.  He has not been seen on the international stage since.

The player has, however, in the meantime taken part in a few T20 leagues and with the regional 4-day tournament looming on the horizon, Paul will be looking to make a statement.  According to reports, the player recently turned in excellent scores in a fitness test conducted in Guyana recently.

 “I am feeling excellent, I think I needed this to get back out there and bowl a few overs to get the feel of four-day cricket. My body is responding really well and for me personally, I am feeling really happy with where I am right now. I bowled a few overs on the trot, I was not feeling tired, I just wanted to put a few balls in the right area and it’s coming out really nice and I am happy with that,” Paul recently told the Guyana Times.

“I was in the Sri Lankan Premier League, it was not the best of tournaments for me, but it is always a learning experience for me; you go to these different leagues in the different continents and you play on different pitches, you gain a lot of experience so that was a major learning curve for me,” he added.

“My body is starting to feel like where it was when I first started playing. I am in the gym and I am trying not to worry about injuries. I just want to try and enjoy my cricket as best as I can. I want to represent my country and hopefully, back to the West Indies team sometime soon.”

In the 2018-2019 season, his last full season in the four-day competition Paul claimed 42 wickets in 10 matches, while scoring 260 runs.

 

Head coach of the Guyana Eagles, Esuan Crandon, has reported that the majority of the players re-taking the Yo-Yo fitness test earlier this week improved their scores but remains perplexed at the reason fitness has become such an issue for some players.

A group consisting of Shimron Hetmyer, Chandrapaul Hemraj, and Keemo Paul were reportedly among those present for the drills, which took place on Monday at the Leonora Stadium. 

Hetmyer sent tongues around the region wagging earlier this week after it was revealed that the player was left out of the West Indies squad for the upcoming series against Ireland and England, after failing another fitness test.  The situation left head coach Phil Simmons notably frustrated.

According to Crandon, some members of the team have received higher scores this time around, but it seems clear that many of the players were still not at the required fitness levels.

“I think what we have seen today is some improvement from the guys, probably not what we were looking for but at the end of the day, most of them, about 97-98 percent would have improved on their previous scores (in the yo-yo test) so that is a good sign for us, and it also tells the entire group that once you put in the work, you will improve,” Crandon told the Guyana Times.

“It is simple as that. I do not understand why it is difficult for some of these players to understand. You are professionals and they have to put in the work to get to the level of fitness we are looking at.”

The coach revealed that there could be another test in a few days for players who were still not at the required level.  The team is currently in preparation for the regional Regional 4-Day Tournament next month.

There will be free entry to watch cricket’s future stars in the ICC Under 19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2022, starting on January 14.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) should appoint Guyanese batsman Shimron Hetmyer as the new white-ball captain after the disappointing run of Kieron Pollard at the ICC T20 World Cup and, generally, for the men in Maroon.

This assertion has come from former CWI President Dave Cameron who believes that the current CWI leadership is not looking at the precedent of players’ leadership records when selecting captains.

“We felt as an organization that Hetmyer would be a future leader for West Indies. The way he conducted himself when we won the 2016 Under-19 World Cup and coming through the ranks,” Cameron said while speaking as a guest on Line & Length on SPORTSMAX.

“Hetmyer is a very confident young man, very aggressive and talented, we felt he could be someone who could lead us and be a future captain of the West Indies.”

Cameron spoke as part of a review of the leadership roles in the team and CWI managerial structure after the side won one in five matches and finished near the bottom of the table with captain Pollard once again contributing very little with the bat.

After 23 matches in four T20 World Cups, Pollard has scored 254 runs at a poor average of 14.11. Since he was appointed West Indies T20I captain in September 2019, Pollard has played 31 matches, winning 10, losing 16 with five no-results.

During the T20 World Cup, Hetmyer topped the batting with 127 runs averaging 31.75. Only two others managed over 100 runs – Evin Lewis (105, avg 21.00) and vice-captain Nicholas Pooran (103, avg: 20.60) - as the defending champions bowed out.

“I am disappointed but not surprised, we tried a different method a few years ago and we started to have results. This administration has decided that they wanted to go back to what has been tried and failed… so the results were always there,” Cameron said.

“We won two games at the 2019 World Cup and now we won one at this event. Everybody has a different strategy and different leadership styles. You require different types of leadership and management depending on where you are in your cycle.

“In 2013 when we took over, West Indies Cricket was at a serious crossroad with our players and finances and we had to make some different decisions then.

“In my mind Cricket West Indies needs professional leadership. It’s not just West Indies cricket, I think cricket as a game is not growing as it should because we focus on the game itself rather than opportunities within the sport to expand it so that so many more people can participate. That is where I was, and I think this is where we need to be heading. So, in my mind, however you want to structure CWI, you need to take it out of this parochial structure and give it the opportunity to really perform as a company.”

 

 

Jamaica's motoring fraternity is mourning the passing of former Jamaica Race Drivers Club (JRDC) president Hilary Jardine on Sunday, October 17.

Women’s 400 Metres

 Five Caribbean women advanced to the final.

Marileidy Paulino of The Dominican Republic won semi-final 1 in a national record of 49.38 to advance.

Jamaica’s Candice McLeod and Cuba’s Roxana Gomez also progressed from semi-final 1.

McLeod ran a personal best of 49.51 to finish second and advance automatically while Gomez finished third in a personal best 49.71 and advanced in a fastest loser spot.

Shaunae Miller-Uibo advanced by running 49.60 to win the second semi-final.

Jamaica’s Roniesha McGregor and Guyana’s Aliyah Abrams were also in semi-final 2 but failed to advance, finishing third in 50.34 and seventh in 51.46 respectively.

Stephenie Ann McPherson won semi-final 3 in a personal best 49.34 to qualify.

Sada Williams finished third in that race in a national record of 50.11 but that wasn’t enough to get her into the final.

 

Men’s 200 Metres

 Canadian Andre DeGrasse ran a Canadian record 19.62 to take gold.

DeGrasse, silver medalist behind Usain Bolt at the 2016 Rio games, will be joined on the podium by Americans Kenny Bednarek and Noah Lyles.

Bednarek ran a personal best 19.68 for silver and Lyles ran a season’s best 19.74 for bronze.

Jamaica’s Rasheed Dwyer finished 7th in 20.21 and Jereem Richards of Trinidad & Tobago finished 8th in 20.39.

 

Women’s High Jump

 St. Lucian Levern Spencer finished 22nd in qualifying.

 

Women’s 4x100 Metres Relay

 The Jamaican team consisting of Briana Williams, Natasha Morrison, Remona Burchell and Shericka Jackson ran 42.15 to finish third in heat 1 and advance to the final.

 

Men’s 4x100 Metres Relay

 Jamaica qualified for the final after running the fastest time in the heats.

The team of Jevaughn Minzie, Julian Forte, Yohan Blake and Oblique Seville ran a time of 37.82 to win heat 1.

Trinidad & Tobago were also in heat 1 and finished 6th with a time of 38.63.

Their team consisted of Kion Benjamin, Eric Harrison, Akanni Hislop and Richard Thompson, silver medalist from the 2008 Beijing games.

 

Men’s 110 Metres Hurdles

 Jamaica secured two medals in the final of the men’s 110 metres hurdles.

Hansle Parchment, a bronze medalist at the 2012 London Olympics, ran a season’s best of 13.04 to win gold ahead of the prohibitive favourite, Grant Holloway of the USA, who took silver in 13.09.

 Ronald Levy ran 13.10 for bronze, his first Olympic medal.

 

 

 

The opening session of the track and field portion of the Tokyo Olympics was highlighted by a trio of strong performances, with Jamaicans Natoya Goule, Elaine Thompson-Herah and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce showing impressive form.

Overall, though, there were plenty of solid performances as the event that will see the bulk of the Caribbean’s athletes, competing over the next few days, got underway.  

First up, the Jamaican trio of Fedrick Dacres, Traves Smikle and Chad Wright opened competition in the Men’s Discus.  Wright was the only one to progress to the final as the last qualifier, finishing 12th overall with a throw of 62.93 metres.

Dacres was only two centimetres behind Wright, throwing 62.91m to finish 13th overall, while Smikle could only manage a best distance of 59.04m to finish 25th overall.

Goule was the first competitor to grace the track and started things off with a bang as she ran a very impressive 1:59.83 to win heat 2 of the women’s 800 metres.

The men’s 400 meters hurdles saw four Caribbean men progress to the semi-finals. The list included Jamaicans Kemar Mowatt, Jaheel Hyde and Sean Rowe and The British Virgin Islands Kyron McMaster.

Mowatt finished 4th in heat 1 with a time of 49.06.  Hyde ran 48.54 to comfortably win heat 2.  Both McMaster and Rowe advanced from heat 4, with McMaster winning with a time of 48.79 and the Jamaican finishing 3rd with a season’s best of 49.18.

The session was capped off by the heats of one of the most highly anticipated events at the Olympics, the women’s 100 metres.

The event featured 10 athletes from the Caribbean.

 Antigua and Barbuda’s Joella Lloyd finished 7th in heat 1, in a time of 11.54.

Heat 2 was comfortably won by Jamaica’s defending double Olympic champion, Elaine Thompson-Herah, who signalled her intent at these games with a smooth 10.82.

Kelly-Ann Baptiste of Trinidad and Tobago also competed in heat 2 and finished 6th in 11.48.

Tristan Evelyn of Barbados ran 11.42 to finish 6th in heat 3.

Amya Clarke of St. Kitts & Nevis finished 7th in heat 4 with a time of 11.71.

Heat 5 was the turn of multiple-time Olympic and World Champion, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, to announce herself in Tokyo.

She didn’t disappoint, winning in a time of 10.84 to advance to the semi-finals.

 Tynia Gaither of the Bahamas was next up on the track, finishing 3rd in heat 6 to advance.

Heat 7 saw the most Caribbean representation with Shericka Jackson of Jamaica, Michelle Lee-Ahye of Trinidad & Tobago and Jasmine Abrams of Guyana all taking part.

Ahye won the heat with a time of 11.06, finishing just ahead of Jackson who ran 11.07 for 2nd while Abrams finished 7th in 11.49.

The fastest overall qualifier from the heats was Marie-Jose Talou of the Ivory Coast who ran 10.78 to win the 4th heat.

 

Guyana’s Chelsea Edghill has confessed to bursting with pride after becoming the first female table tennis player from the English-speaking Caribbean to play at the Olympic Games.  

The former Caribbean women’s under-21 champion made her Olympic Games debut last Saturday, defeating her opponent Sally Yee of Fiji in the preliminary round.  Edghill won that battle emphatically, beating Yee 11-5, 4-11, 11-3, 11-6, 11-8.

However, the 24-year-old then suffered a straight-sets defeat at the hands of 17-year-old Yubin Shin of South Korea, in Round One of the Women’s Singles on Saturday.

Overwhelmed by the feat, the Guyanese international shared her experience with SportsMax.tv.

“It was a very happy and emotional feeling to be the first Guyanese to play in the Olympics for table tennis, it’s a huge honour and a huge feat,” Edghill said.

“I am really happy and elated to be able to accomplish such a feat, it’s indescribable how it feels.  I am full with pride, I am very proud to represent Guyana and touch the stage, and very proud of the history I made for Guyana,” she added.

Edghill and swimmer Andrew Fowler were Guyana’s flag bearers at the opening ceremony in Tokyo, Japan, last Friday.

Guyana 400m sprinter, Aliyah Abrams, will approach competing at the Tokyo 2020 Games with fresh zeal after taking full advantage of the enforced break from the sport the coronavirus provided last season.

Like many others the Guyana national champion found herself upended with heavily disrupted training sessions, the majority of meets cancelled, and even eventual postponement of the Olympics.  Still, she endeavored to make the best use of the situation and found unexpected benefits.

“Despite the Games being cancelled and a whole lot of meets being cancelled it was the reset that I needed,” Abrams told SportsMax.TV.

“Sometimes you just need to step away from track and pursue and do other things that you enjoy.  When you come back to doing it, you can rekindle that flame that you had,” she added.

“A lot of things of things were shut down but I got a chance to spend some time with the people I love and recover my body and my mind.”

For the 24-year-old, Tokyo will represent her second appearance on track and field’s biggest stage, and in addition to being in a better frame of mind, she is also feeling in better physical shape.

“It’s been five years from 2016 to the 2021 Olympics, I was able to compete internationally and do well at Worlds and at Pan Ams, so I have more experience, I’m in better physical shape as well.  I’ve also run faster than I did heading into the first Olympics,” Abrams said.

The quarter-miler, who has a personal best of 51.13, has targeted cracking the 50-seconds barrier in Toyko, but in a highly competitive field that may not be enough to earn a place among the top eight women in the world.  Win or lose though, the plucky athlete certainly intends to give it her best shot.

“I haven’t been running the third 100 of my race the way that I want to this season, so I have been working on how to better execute that.  The problem has been the second part of my race.  Once I set that up, I’ll be in good standing,” Abrams went on.

On her Olympic debut in Rio, Abrams exited the competition in the first round, she has much higher targets this time around.

“My ultimate goal this time around is to make it to the final that would be a success for me."

 

 

Cricket West Indies (CWI) and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) today announced a revised match schedule for the upcoming “Osaka Presents PSO Carient T20 Cup” between the West Indies and Pakistan in the Caribbean.

A four-match T20 International (T20I) series, has been agreed, scheduled to start on Wednesday, July 28 at Kensington Oval, Barbados. The first ball is 10am (9am Jamaica Time) for the first match, with the final three to be played at the Guyana National Stadium on Saturday, July 31; Sunday, August 1 and Tuesday, August 3 at 11am (10am Jamaica Time).

The adjustment to the Osaka Presents PSO Carient T20 Cup schedule was necessary due to the changes to the fixtures for the ongoing CG Insurance One-Day International (ODI) Series between West Indies and Australia, which are part of the International Cricket Council’s ODI Super League, which concludes on Monday, July 26.

Ricky Skerritt, CWI President said: “Together with the PCB, CWI have examined various scenarios, and we jointly agreed that the best solution in the present circumstances is to cancel the first T20I and play a four-match T20I series starting on Wednesday and keep the rest of the tour schedule unchanged. We want to express our gratitude to the PCB Chairman, Ehsan Mani and CEO, Wasim Khan, and the Pakistan team for their understanding in this situation and for agreeing to the revised match schedule. Both teams are in the final stages of preparing for the ICC T20 World Cup, so we anticipate an exciting and entertaining series of games as both teams compete for Osaka Presents PSO Carient T20 Cup.”

West Indies, the two-time World Champions (2012 and 2016), are using this series as part of their build-up to the next ICC T20 World Cup which will be played from October 17 to November 14 in the United Arab Emirates and Oman. They enter the series on the back of a 4-1 triumph over Australia in the recent CG Insurance T20Is at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground in Saint Lucia. Pakistan won the ICC T20 World Cup in 2009.

Following the Osaka Presents PSO Carient T20 Cup, West Indies and Pakistan will then play two Betway Test matches at Sabina Park in Jamaica from August 12-16 and then from August 20-24. This is the first Test Series for the West Indies in the new 2021-2023 ICC World Test Championship.

FULL MATCH SCHEDULE

July 28: 1st Osaka Presents PSO Carient T20 Cup match at Kensington Oval – 10 am local (9 am Jamaica Time)

July 31: 2nd Osaka Presents PSO Carient T20 Cup match at Guyana National Stadium – 11 am local (10 am Jamaica)

August 1: 3rd Osaka Presents PSO Carient T20 Cup match at Guyana National Stadium – 11 am local (10 am Jamaica)

August 3: 4th Osaka Presents PSO Carient T20 Cup match at Guyana National Stadium – 11 am local (10 am Jamaica)

August 12-16: 1st Betway Test at Sabina Park – 10 am Jamaica Time (11 am Eastern Caribbean)

August 20-24: 2nd Betway Test at Sabina Park – 10 am Jamaica Time (11 am Eastern Caribbean)

One could easily have forgiven then 22-year-old Guyanese boxer Michael Parris if he had been left frozen by the large crowds, cold climate, and politically charged atmosphere of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games.

Sixty-six countries, including the Caribbean islands of Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Cayman Islands, and Haiti had boycotted the games entirely because of the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan.  Security at the athletes' village was robust, with armed soldiers and barbed wire unfamiliar sights for the quadrennial spectacle of global goodwill.

At the time, Parris, now looking back, admits that all of that mattered very little.  After all, he was there for one thing and that was to win gold for Guyana, a country which despite its reputation for being rich in earthly minerals, had yet to mine a spec of precious metal on the Olympics stage. 

With that singular focus in mind, Parris recalls spending the majority of his time at the Games training in his hotel room, with the air conditioning stuck at its lowest setting, to help with acclimatisation.  Even so, once the moment arrived, once he stepped out onto the global stage, the gravity of the moment did not entirely escape him.

“I was nervous.  Nobody was calling for Guyana.  I lost at least a bucket of sweat from my face and arms.  The crowd was just so big, and you see maybe one little Guyana flag.  It doesn’t matter where you go in the world, someone from Guyana will always be there.  I saw a little flag somewhere in the crowd,” Parris recalled of stepping into the middle of the ring.

“But, when I was fighting, I never focused on the crowd, not even the coach.  When I was in the ring I only focused on the other fighter, his movement, my movement, to see when I had hurt him,” he added.

Parris began the bouts with a win over Nigeria’s Nureni Gbadamosi, in the round of 32, followed by another win over Syria’s Fayez Zaghloui in the round of 16.  Another solid performance saw the referee stop the contest between himself and Mexico’s Daniel Zaragoza, in the quarterfinals, before he faced Cuba’s Juan Hernández in the semi-finals.

 Unfortunately for Parris, the competition ended there, with the Cuban going on to outpoint him before defeating Venezuela’s Bernardo Piñango in the final to claim the gold medal.

Even if the mission wasn’t fully accomplished, the job had been well done.  Parris’ performances assured him of a bronze medal.  The long journey, which began in sunny Georgetown, Guyana had culminated with a spot on the podium nearly 5,000 miles away, in the chilly Russian city.  Forty years have passed since the monumental occasion, but for Parris, looking back, winning the country’s first and only Olympic medal to date still fills him with a deep sense of pride.

“I didn’t know if I was standing or sitting, or what, when the flag went up in the air.  The excitement, I don’t even remember if I was standing.  To see the flag raised, of 100s of other countries the Guyanese flag was up there.  It was just so good.  Some of our other athletes had flags waving as well, I was checking up on them and they thought they should have won medals as well and such,” Parris recalled.

“It was really exciting everything about it.  Everything, the crowd, the first time the Guyana flag was raised at a Games.  Many athletes went to the games before me.  The first time I went, thankfully, I qualified and was able to bring back the bronze,” he added.

Parris’ achievement is yet to be equalled.  Even the late Andrew ‘Six heads’ Lewis, who went to be WBA World Welterweight Champion, did not match his achievement at the Olympic level.  Lewis failed to advance past the first round at the 1990 Olympics after losing to Germany’s Andreas Otto.

Parris is convinced that the country’s lack of outright success, since then, at the Olympic level, is not due to a lack of talent but more a case of not being enough done to fully harness the potential of young Guyanese athletes.

“We need to find a way to support our athletes.  We need to look closely at these athletes, support them and you’ll get the best out of them.  Support them and expose them, they need financial programs and stuff like that.  Any sports you can think of Guyanese are good at it, whether it be running, swimming, cricket they just need the backing.”

He admits, however, that he has recently been encouraged by the approach taken by a newly elected government, which came into power last year, and the appointment of sports minister Charles Ramson Jr.

“I have been encouraged that we have a young sport’s minister, with this new government.  He looks like he is ready to push things ahead, so we may get a few more Guyanese medalling at the Olympic Games soon,” Parris said.

If there is one regret, Parris, now 63, says is that he has not been able to work with some of the country’s youth boxers, as he was never given the opportunity.  Still, he does his part to attempt to inspire the next generation.

“It’s been a great feeling, but the only thing I wish is when I came back with the medal, I would have loved to give something back to the youth.  I never got the chance because no one called upon me to say come and help us with the coaching program or whatever.  When they have summer camps now though, sometimes I drive around with the medal to show them so they can see it and feel it.  I want to inspire them. I want them to know they can do it as well.”

 

Guatemala are a step closer to the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup group stage after posting a 4-0 victory against Guyana in the First Round of the 2021 Gold Cup Prelims on Saturday night at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

After spending the last seven years at St John’s and last season as an associate head coach, four-time Guyanese Olympian Aliann Pompey has been appointed head coach of the school’s Track and Field and Cross Country programme.

The Guyana Cricket Board has written to Cricket West Indies expressing what it says is its disappointment at public comments made by Chairman of Selectors Roger Harper relating to four Guyanese players, who were not awarded retainer contracts by the governing body.

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