Montego Bay United FC (MBU) will face sanctions for their absence from yesterday’s Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) weekly press conference at Red Stripe Hospitality Lounge, Spanish Town Road. The finalists, Portmore United FC and MBU, were invited, but only Portmore’s representatives turned up. Chairman of MBU Orville Powell is holding firm that his club will not contest Sunday’s final if the Professional Football Association of Jamaica (PFAJ) continues to insist that the game will kick-off at 4 p.m. “We continue to protest. We are protesting. They (the PFAJ) continue to disrespect people. We are also stakeholders as clubs. I will not take the field on Sunday at 4 p.m. If they don’t compromise, we won’t compromise,” Powell told The Gleaner when contacted yesterday morning. General manager of the Premier League Clubs’ Association (PLCA) Andrew Price said yesterday that MBU would be sanctioned for not attending the weekly press conference. “This is a part of the rules and regulations of the body … so if a club is not here, they will be sanctioned,” Price said during the press conference. The PFAJ is responsible for taking decisions on match dates and kick-off times. The RSPL final will be aired live on TVJ and SportsMax. It will also be on CNTV in America and Canada.
PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC):A leading international coach has expressed an interest in assisting the Trinidad and Tobago team in their attempt to dominate world netball, the country’s netball chief has disclosed.Dr Patricia Butcher, the president of the Trinidad and Tobago Netball Association says former Australian netball and New Zealand assistant coach, Vickie Wilson is interested in becoming technical director for netball in T&T.Dr Butcher and Wilson discussed the idea on the margins of the 14th Netball World Cup which concluded in Sydney Australia on Sunday.”So while in Australia my discussions were with people like Vickie Wilson, a former top Australian netball captain and player, who served as the assistant coach of the New Zealand team at the just concluded World Cup,” Dr Butcher disclosed.”She is willing to come down here and assist us.”Trinidad and Tobago, led by Joelisa Cooper, placed ninth in the 16-team tournament while the highest placed finishers from the Caribbean were Jamaica who secured fourth spot.Australia emerged the champions, beating New Zealand in the final.”Our team possesses the necessary netball talent to get back at the top, but the association does not even have the technical person that can take us there,” said the netball association president.”I’m not saying this to pull down anyone in T&T, but if we as a sport have to advance in terms of modern and scientific techniques, we need assistance at the highest level”.
BEIJING, China: Jamaican sprinting star Veronica Campbell-Brown took time out to encourage 2015 IAAF World Championships 200m silver medallist Elaine Thompson after yesterday’s final inside the Bird’s Nest. Campbell-Brown, who finished third in 21.97 behind Thompson, 21.66 and Dafne Schippers, 12.63, believes Thompson, a debutante at this level of competition, has a bright future in the sport. “The key for her is to be mentally tough, take care of her body, eat right, train tight, stay positive. Don’t worry don’t stress and continue to work hard because the sky is the limit,” said Campbell-Brown, who made her first senior team as an 18 year-old at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. “It’s all in the head because no matter how hard you train, if you’re not focused right you cannot execute what you put in training. Campbell-Brown added the importance of Thompson’s development noting that the country must continue to develop and expose its athletes so that the country’s tradition of success can continue. “I am so proud of her,” said. Campbell-Brown. “It’s good for Jamaica that you have youngsters coming up because we have to keep it going. We have a history of great sprinters so its important that we keep it going and I’m just happy for her.” – A.L.
Apprentice rider Bebeto Harvey highlighted the United Racehorse Trainers’ Association (URTA) meet at Caymanas Park yesterday with three winners, including the 43-1 outsider PRINCESS SALLEMA for trainer Rowan Mathie in the eighth race, confined to apprentices over the straight five course. Harvey, a past student of Waterford High who started riding on September 26 after graduation from the Jockeys’ School, became only the second apprentice from the latest batch of 17 to ride a triple. Linton Steadman holds the distinction of doing so twice, the more recent on the November 14 Superstakes Day programme. Harvey booted home SIK THE BISMARK at 9-5 for trainer Victor Williams in the fourth race over 1300 metres, followed by GANJA MAN at 12-1 for dreadlocked trainer Terrence McWhinney in the sixth race over the straight for maiden three-year-olds and PRINCESS SALLEMA, who held on by three-quarter length from the fast-finishing 2-1 favourite TERRA MARIQUE. Harvey, who is apprenticed to big-race trainer Richard Azan, could not contain his glee. “Having ridden two winners on a programme prior to today, I was looking forward to my first triple and had a feeling it would come today,” he said. “However, after winning aboard the first two, I was looking to the highly fancied Our Creation to close it out in the seventh race, not knowing it would come aboard the outsider Princess Sallema. “For me, it’s a marvellous feeling and I will continue to work hard to maintain my fitness level and weight,” added the promising 20-year-old. MARVELLOUS FEELING
BIG MONEY UP FOR GRABS Last year, the winner, subsequent ‘Horse of the Year’ SEEKING MY DREAM, received a record $6.5 million, while lucrative purse money was paid to the first 10 past the post, an unprecedented move. In addition, a commemorative trophy valued at $500,000 donated by the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission will be won outright by the owner of the winner, while the winning trainer, jockey, breeder and groom will also receive trophies. The launch, though put on this early for a race scheduled to be run in December, attracted the top executives from related entities, including Cedric Stewart, CEO of Caymanas Track Limited; Paul Hoo, chairman of Supreme Ventures Limited and Gary Peart, chairman of the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission who conceived the idea for the Diamond Mile in the summer of last year. In a brief address, Peart said: “The BG&LC is pleased to report on the highly successful inaugural staging of the Diamond Mile , held just seven weeks ago, on Saturday, December 5, 2015, exceeded all expectations. The main objectives of the event were to stimulate growth of the racing sector, to increase revenue for the Government of Jamaica and to attract new target groups to racing, thereby also creating a positive cultural shift for the racing community and I am happy to report we achieved all of that and more. “The record for the highest handle ($66 million) for any one race was broken, so too the record for the most money spent on any one race, despite the fact that the inaugural Diamond Mile was held against competing high-profile events. “The turnout was excellent and all guests enjoyed themselves thoroughly,” said Peart, who disclosed that plans are in the pipeline of creating a five-year plan for the Diamond Mile including a week-long festival of racing. – O.C. Two major changes have been made for the second running of the $13.9 million Diamond Mile to be run on Saturday, December 10 this year. This was announced at the recent launch by CTL’s racing secretary Denzil Miller Jr, following consultations with racing stakeholders and the organisers of the event, the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission and corporate sponsors, including Supreme Ventures Limited. The organisers were responding to concerns among owners and trainers that last year’s inaugural running on December 5 saw the omission of a number of good horses who, despite their form, did not have the requisite lifetime earnings to force their way in the field (first 16). These horses include the Caymanas Invitational Mile winner PHINEAS, Caribbean Sprint Champion POKER STAR, as well as CAMPESINO and the vastly improved filly LONG RUNNING TRAIN. This has prompted two major conditional changes going forward. First of these is that the winners of the Jamaica Derby, the Superstakes, Caribbean Sprint Championship and Invitational Mile will get automatic entry into the race. The second change is that instead of lifetime earnings, the other horses will earn their place based on their year-to-date earnings from January 1, 2016 to December 3. Earnings gained from claiming races will not be considered. This year the race will offer a record $13.9 million (US$115,000) which represents an increase over last year’s purse due mainly to the movement of the Jamaican dollar against the US dollar.
Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls were beaten by 38 goals yesterday in the first encounter in a three-match netball tour of New Zealand. The Sunshine Girls went down 34-72 to a New Zealand team that is two places above them in the netball world ranking. As the score indicates, the host team completely outplayed Jamaica when they met at the Trafalgar Centre in Nelson. New Zealand, the world number two team, led after the first quarter 18-9 and never looked back. Match statistics revealed that Jamaica had far more turnovers and reflected a similar disparity at 43 to 18. The scores in the other three quarters were 16-7, 19-8 and 18-11. Shanice Beckford, who scored 15 goals in 19 tries, and Shantal Slater, with 10 goals from 13 attempts, were the best shooters for the team coached by Minneth Reynolds. Vanessa Walker chipped in with nine goals from 14 tries. The Sunshine Girls, who are world-ranked at number four, will be back in action against New Zealand on Wednesday (Tuesday night Jamaica time). The final match of the tour will be played on September 17. – H.L.
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (CMC): West Indies were in full-blown crisis yesterday after Babar Azam slammed a record third successive One-Day International 100 to condemn them to a 136-run defeat as Pakistan pulled off an emphatic 3-0 series whitewash and sent the Caribbean side tumbling to number nine in the international rankings. The 21-year-old right-hander carved out 117 off 106 balls, while captain and opener Azhar Ali stroked 101 from 109 deliveries, two innings that powered Pakistan to 308 for six in the third and final ODI at the Sheikh Stayed Stadium – the first time in three years Pakistan surpassed 300 twice in a series. In the process, Babar became only the second batsman after South African Quinton de Kock to hit centuries in each game of a three-match ODI series and the third Pakistan player to score three successive ODI hundreds after Zaheer Abbas and Saeed Anwar. Not for the first time in the series, a lacklustre West Indies never rose to the challenge and crumbled for an embarrassing 172 all out off 44 overs. Wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin top-scored with a painstaking 37 off 70 deliveries, while opener Kraigg Brathwaite got 32 from 44 balls, and captain Jason Holder, 26 from 25 balls. They were 75 for one in the 18th over, but with the required run rate already building towards seven per over, no one stepped up to produce the innings needed, and the last nine wickets crashed for 97 runs. West Indies have now lost every game of the tour following on from their 3-0 whitewash in the preceding Twenty20 series, leaving their tour in turmoil ahead of the three-match Test series starting later this month. The defeat also saw them slip out of the top eight in the ODI rankings, with Pakistan replacing them. Opting to bat first, Pakistan benefitted from an 85-run opening stand between Sharjeel Khan and Azhar, who finally found the form he craved to lash his third ODI hundred. Azhar struck eight fours and a six in a lively knock, while the enterprising left-handed Sharjeel gathered 38 from 41 deliveries with five boundaries. Once Sharjeel holed out in the deep in the 15th over off left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn, Azhar and Babar took the game by the scruff of its neck in a demoralising 147-run second-wicket stand. Azhar reached his half-century off 61 deliveries in the 20th over with a single to mid-wicket off off-spinner Sunil Narine and then required another 46 balls to raise three figures in the 38th over. Babar, meanwhile, with knocks of 120 and 123 in the first two games in Sharjah, extended his superb nick, racing to his first 50 off 48 deliveries before reaching his century off 95 balls in the 44th over. Azhar was eventually bowled by Holder in the 39th over, missing a swing at a slower ball, and Babar followed in the 46th over, bowled by a full-length delivery from slow medium Kieron Pollard as he failed to connect with an improvised stroke. In reply, West Indies at no stage looked the part. Brathwaite and debutant Evin Lewis put on 45 off 56 balls for the first wicket but neither really threatened.
ST JOHN’S, Antigua (CMC): Seasoned right-hander Marlon Samuels is out of the Tri-Nations Series starting in Zimbabwe later this month. The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) announced yesterday that the 35-year-old had been replaced in the 15-man squad by wicketkeeper-batsman Shane Dowrich for the November 16-27 one-day international (ODI) tournament involving Sri Lanka and hosts Zimbabwe. No reason was given for the Jamaican’s withdrawal, but it comes on the heels of the news on Wednesday that the player had rejected the WICB’s offer of a central contract for the next year. The move cast doubt over Samuels’s international career, especially in light of his recent struggles in the series against Pakistan. The elegant right-hander, however, has been a key member of the ODI side of recent. He made two hundreds last year and was one of the leading scorers in the Tri-Nations Series involving Australia and South Africa last June in the Caribbean, gathering 258 runs at an average of 36. He struck a hundred against Australia in Bridgetown. Samuels is one of two players out of the Tri-Nations Series as 19-year-old fast bowler Alzarri Joseph has also been replaced by seamer Miguel Cummins. Again, the WICB gave no reason for the change, but CMC Sports understands that Joseph has opted to return to his native Antigua because of an illness in the family. Joseph has played two ODIs – both in the recent three-match series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates, which the regional side lost by a 3-0 margin. Both Samuels and Joseph were also members of the squad which beat Pakistan in by five wickets in the third and final Test in Sharjah yesterday. Squad: Jason Holder (captain), Sulieman Benn, Carlos Brathwaite, Kraigg Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Jonathan Carter, Johnson Charles, Miguel Cummins, Alzarri Joseph, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Shai Hope, Evin Lewis, Sunil Narine, Ashley Nurse, Rovman Powell. KEY MEMBER
A proposed West Indies tour to Pakistan for two Twenty20 Internationals in mid-March is off the table according to ESPNcricinfo.The report said the West Indies Cricket (WICB) rejected the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) proposal for the tour after receiving advice on security from the Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (FICA).The two boards, however, continue to discuss the possibility of two T20 internationals in Florida on March 19 and 20, ESPNcricinfo said.It is understood, ESPNcricino said, that earlier this week, the West Indies Players Association wrote to FICA seeking advice on the current security situation in Pakistan. FICA reportedly gave WIPA the latest security advisory from its security consultants, Eastern Star International, who provide security for various international boards, including the Cricket Australia, New Zealand Cricket and the International Cricket Council.In the report, FICA warned that the risk level in Pakistan remains “at an extremely elevated state” and that “an acceptable level of participant security and safety cannot be expected or guaranteed”.
Upsets by CREEDENCE at 23-1 in the closing race, WINTER IS COMING at 22-1, and CHIEF PROSPECT at 12-1 ensured that the Pick-9 had no takers at Caymanas Park on Wednesday. It offers in excess of $1 million tomorrow, while both Super-6s will start anew with guaranteed minimums of $750,000.The Pick 9 will be conducted from race two to 10, the first Super-6 from race one to six, the late Super-6 from race five to 10.We look at the first Super-6, which commences with a 5-y-o and up maiden claiming race over 1100 metres to be contested by eight starters. They include the likely favourite DEPUTY HEADGIRL, BRAVE HEART, CONNOR, and RAWALPINDI EXPRESS, who ran an improved race, for third behind CONCLUSION last Saturday and seems to be coming on now.DEPUTY HEADGIRL from the in-form stables of Steven Todd has the best form to recommend, having finished second to BLOEFOUNTAIN over the straight on January 14. Prior to that, on December 3, she was 1 3/4 lengths second to THEGREATALLIANCE over this trip, and with the competition this weak, gets a glorious opportunity to finally open her account. Jemar Jackson, who won aboard THE SALESMAN on Wednesday, has the ride.HAT-TRICK SEEKERSNext on the programme is a $450,00-$400,000 claiming race over 1100 metres, which brings together hat-trick seekers ZACKONTHEATTACK and FRANKENSTORM in a field of seven.These two, along with the proven campaigner HOLOGRAM SHADOW, now dropped in class, should ensue a close contest. If HOLOGRAM SHADOW is anywhere near his best, he can definitely take the honours with in-form Richard “Bya” Mitchell securing the ride. But I have my concerns re his current form, and preference is for the Gary Subratie-trained ZACKONTHEATTACK, who is coming off back-to-back wins against some good horses over middle distances last December and he is still at home over the shorter distance.LOST BY A NOSEThe third race over 1400 metres for native-bred maiden three-year-olds looks tailored for RADICAL, who lost out by a nose to DONTAE over a mile on January 25. Champion trainer Wayne DaCosta will present RADICAL even sharper for this race, and with champion jockey Omar Walker prevailing with the ride, the son of Fearless Vision gets the nod over PROUD OF NUCLEAR and SUBBIE in a field of nine.The fourth race over 1400 metres for five-year-olds and up should see old rivals INDY ARAZI and PARTY CITY, second and third respectively, to CRUCIAL VALOR over 1500 metres on January 21, fighting out the finish.INDY ARAZI failed by a length to catch the winner that day, but PARTY CITY has been so consistent of late that he could well turn the tables. GIRSHOM, though inconsistent, along with LITTLE PRINCE, will not be far away in the 10-horse field.The last two races in the first Super-6 should be won by DONTAE (Nelson up) and the well-forward 3-y-o debutante LIGHTNING LILY (working very well) for 14-time champion trainer Philip Feanny. Their respective dangers are NIGHT LIGHT and LOOSE CANNON.FIRST SUPER-6 FANCIES(1) DEPUTY HEADGIRL/BRAVE HEART(2) ZACKONTHEATTACK/HOLOGRAM SHADOW(3) RADICAL(4) PARTY CITY/INDY ARAZI(5) DONTAE/NIGHT LIGHT(6) LIGHTNING LILY/LOOSE CANNON