West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell appeared to have suffered a hamstring injury during the Kolkata Knight Riders’ two-wicket loss to the Chennai Super Kings in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

West Indies Women Head Coach Courtney Walsh believes middle-order batter Rashada Williams is on the verge of breaking into the first team following her outstanding series against South Africa.

For a record third year in a row, Jamaica’s standout shooter Jhaniele Fowler has been voted MVP of the West Coast Fever franchise of the Suncorp Super Netball League. She is now also the first winner of the Stacey Marinkovich Medal.

The MVP Award was renamed the Stacey Marinkovich Medal this season to honour the former captain and coach’s legacy at the club, which included being appointed inaugural captain and coaching 104 games, including two Grand Finals.

Fowler won the Stacey Marinkovich Medal with 55 votes ahead of captain Courtney Bruce with 35 votes and rising star Sunday Aryang with 21 votes.

“I am very grateful for all that this team has invested in me as a person and as a player and always believing in me, year in, year out,” said Fowler, who topped the scoring this past season with 883 goals at 96 per cent accuracy.

 “Since I’ve been here in 2018, I’ve only wanted to do my best by this club to perform my best.

“I’m so much more mature in my game and in my personal life since I’ve been here and I’m very grateful for that. This wouldn’t have been possible without my amazing teammates so I’m very thankful to them too.”

In her four seasons in Super Netball, Fowler has scored 3455 goals for the Fever. Her 57 offensive rebounds were second overall and she was the Nissan Net Points leader board with a total of 1611 points.

The towering Jamaican recently signed for two more years with the Fever.

Cavalier and Waterhouse will take 1-0 advantages to the second legs of the Jamaica Premier League (JPL) playoffs after narrow wins in their first leg matches, at the Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence, on Saturday.

With the game seemingly drifting towards a scoreless draw, Colin Anderson left entered the field of play to make a telling impact.  Just 30 seconds after replacing Shaniel Thomas, Anderson was played through on goal by Nickache Murray and sprinted onto the brilliant through ball to round Tivoli goalkeeper Kewong Watkins and slot into an empty net to give Cavalier a precious first-leg lead.

The second match between Waterhouse and Mount Pleasant was a similarly cagey affair with both sides crafting good opportunities to take the lead.  It was Waterhouse who took one late on, however, when Shaquille Bradford was set up by Kymani Campbell.  The angle was a difficult one but his fierce shot managed to creep through the legs of goalkeeper Shaven Paul at his near post, in the 79th minute.  Paul will, however, be slightly disappointed having been up to what would have been considered by many to be more difficult efforts throughout the match.

The teams will meet at the same venue on Wednesday for the second leg starting at 2:30pm.

MVP head coach, Stephen Francis, is content to take a wait-and-see approach when it comes to reports that track star Elaine Thompson-Herah could be planning to leave the club.

According to reports earlier this week, the double Olympic champion had submitted a letter to the club that stated her intentions to sever ties ahead of the new season.  Later in the week, however, the athlete denied the reports suggesting that they may have arisen out of her not starting training as yet.

The athlete is, however, not back due in training as yet and Francis insists that while he is not jumping to conclusions the future remains uncertain.

“From my perspective, we start back training sometime in October, the 18th or 19th…and my philosophy, as usual, is to see who turns up,” Francis told Jamaica television station TVJ.

“What my experience tells me is that sometimes athletes, in general, especially those that come from a lower expectation level.  In other words, not much was expected from them, they are usually unable to separate themselves from people who hop on to their bandwagon,” he added.

The 29-year-old is coming off her best season to date.  Thompson-Herah successfully defended both the 100m and 200m title at the Olympics and joined with former MVP athlete Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Shericka Jackson, and Briana Williams to win the 4x100m relays.  The sprinter later went on to record a blistering time just outside Florence Griffith-Joyner’s longstanding 100m record.

The MVP track club is no stranger to athletes leaving the club at the peak of their career with Fraser-Pryce and Melanie Walker also having secured moves away after years of success.

 

Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls could be forced to make adjustments for next month’s tri-series following the reported withdrawal of South Africa from the tour.

Originally, the series was set to feature the no 4 ranked Jamaicans, 5th ranked Australians and 10th ranked Trinidad and Tobago and was set to tip-off on October 9th.  However, negotiations between Netball South Africa and the Jamaica Netball Association (JNA) are said to have broken down due to the island’s rising number of Covid-19 cases.

The JNA is expected to give an update on the situation in the next few weeks with a replacement team being added being another possibility that is being looked at.

The series will be the first for the Jamaicans since the Netball World Cup in 2020, the team is, however, also expected to travel to England, in September, where they will face the England Roses in a three-match series.  The Sunshine Girls had been due to face England in January of this year, but those plans were postponed due to then-existing Covid-19 travel restrictions.  The team will be looking to vastly increase its activities in the coming months with the Commonwealth Games scheduled for next year.

Jamaica international Leon Bailey is set to miss the country's next set of World Cup qualifiers after being diagnosed with a thigh strain.

The 23-year-old winger made a lively appearance for Aston Villa last weekend, playing an active role in two of the team’s three goals in a 3-1 win over Everton.  Among them was a net-busting volley to goal, which punctuated a quick counterattack.

Unfortunately, the player had to be substituted soon after but it was hoped that he would not miss much time off the pitch.  However, the club manager Dean Smith recently confirmed that the player would be out of action for the next few weeks.

"Leon has a strain which is likely to keep him out until after the international break," Smith told reporters.

 "We would be hopeful that he would be available for the Wolves game, but we'll need to assess him nearer the time and see how he progresses over the next 10 days or so."

Jamaica will resume its World Cup qualification campaign next month, with matches away to the United States, at home to Canada, and away to Honduras.  The player also missed out on the first round of the qualifiers with an injury last month.

The Jamaica international joined Villa from Bayer Leverkusen earlier this summer from a reported 25 million pounds ($US34m), is targeting a return to action against Wolverhampton Wanderers on October 16.

Elaine Thompson-Herah has poured cold water on reports that she is leaving MVP Track Club.

She has described those reports as rumours and said she is on a well-deserved break following her record-breaking season during which she became the first woman to successfully defend 100 and 200m titles at the same Olympic Games.

Reports emerged on Thursday that following her outstanding season, Thompson-Herah had taken a decision to leave MVP and going forward will be coached by her husband, Derron Herah.

Late Thursday, the 2021 Diamond League 100m champion appeared on the Brother from Another show on NBC Sports, denouncing the reports.

"I am the fastest woman alive so they are going to create some sort of news to distract the world so it's rumours of course. I have seen articles in the media that I have died before, more than once. There are always rumours in the media, they are always targeting me, I don't know why,” she told hosts, Michael Smith and Michael Holley.

"It's probably because I didn't show up at practice. I am still on my rest period, so maybe they are just speculating why I am not at practice, but I just came back from the international circuit and we normally get like a month's rest and I am in my second week.”

Thompson-Herah set a new Olympic record of 10.61 while defending her Olympic 100m title and 21.53 to win back-to-back titles in the 200m. She won a third gold on Jamaica’s 4x100 relay team. After the Olympics, she ran the fastest series of times in history – 10.54, 10.64, 10.72 and 10.65 –  to close out the season as the only woman to run four wind-legal times faster than 10.70.

 

Bobsledder Carrie Russell is on the mend from a horrific injury she suffered from a freak accident in training recently. However, she says she should be fine to begin competing once the bobsled season begins in November.

On the heels of her record-breaking, history-making season Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah is reportedly parting ways with MVP Track Club, just under 18 months after Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce departed to join Elite Performance.

The Jamaica Sunshine Girls are set to take on England in a three-match series dubbed the ‘Vitality Roses Reunited’ set for London, in November.

The teams were originally set to face-off in a series in January but that was postponed due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and strict travel restrictions.  The upcoming series will still be subject to Covid-19 travel restrictions but will be played in front of a maximum capacity stadium, with measures regarding crowd sizes eased in England.

The series will help both teams begin preparations for the next year’s Commonwealth Games, which will take part in Birmingham, England next year.  The Jamaicans have not played in an official international competition since the World Netball Cup in 2020.

The series is set to tip-off on November 28th at the Copper Box Arena, before moving on to the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham, with consecutive games on December 4 and December 5.

Mount Pleasant coach Wally Downes has hailed the impact of star forward Jourdaine Fletcher in pushing the team to the semifinal of the Jamaica Premier League.

Having gone behind in the first half it was Fletcher who grabbed a crucial goal for the team, after being introduced from the bench.  The alert forward came into the game at the start of the second half, found the back of the net in the 62nd minute, after profiting from a defensive mix-up.

The equaliser was a heavy blow to the Stars of the East, who had come into the encounter with a 3-1 first-leg deficit but quickly cut the lead to one goal after scoring early in the second half.

The goal was the fifth of the season for Fletcher, who also found the back of the net in the first leg.

“He wasn’t 100 percent fit to play 90 minutes but he’s an addition to us that you just can’t leave off the pitch,” Downes said of the player’s substitute role.

“So I waited as long as I could and clearly it was the tactical change at the right time.”

Mount Pleasant will next face Waterhouse in the next round.

 

 

Tivoli Gardens soared into the last four of the Jamaica Premier League (JPL) with a rousing 4-0 second-leg win over Vere United at the Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence on Wednesday.

After a scoreless first leg between the team, goals from Stephen Barnett, Trayvone Reid, Horatio Morgan, and Jermaine Johnson blew the tie wide open, and perhaps at the end of the tie flattered the West Kingston squad.

Barnett got things rolling in the 18th minute when he was served up with a well-weighted cross from Delroy Grey, which he was able to deflect neatly into the corner of the goal.

With Vere pushing to get back into the game, it was Tivoli who struck after catching their opponents on the counterattack. Reid broke away from a high Vere backline before calmly slotting the ball around goalkeeper Shavon Wilson to double the lead in the 62nd minute.

A loosely marked Morgan then slotted the ball into the net at close range after being picked out from a corner in the 83rd minute.  Veteran Johnson then rubbed salt into the wounds of Vere Technical after coming off the bench to score a penalty in the fifth minute of stoppage time.

In the day’s other game, Mount Pleasant also advance to the semi final's following a 1-1 draw with Harbour View to advance 4-2 on aggregate.  The Stars of the East started the game on fire after Oshane Staple found the back of the net in the first five minutes.  Needing a goal to tie the aggregate score, however, Harbour View had a mix-up at the back, which allowed Jourdaine Fletcher to ghost in and tie the game at 1-1.

Jamaican Olympian Toni-Ann Williams is in Belgium to begin studies in Sports Administration on an Olympic Solidarity Scholarship via the Jamaica Olympic Association.

Consolidated Bakeries Jamaica Limited through its Purity Bakery brand is in discussions to formalize a professional relationship with Olympic relay gold medalist and 100m bronze medalist Shericka Jackson.

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