MELBOURNE, Australia (CMC): Controversial opener Chris Gayle launched a scathing attack on several former and present cricketers after an explosive innings in the Australian Big Bash T20 League. Gayle, who equalled Yuvraj Singh’s record for the fastest half-century in T20 history playing for Melbourne Renegades against Adelaide Strikers on Monday, launched his blistering attack in an instagram tirade yesterday. The explosive Jamaican batsman did not hold back in his assessment of former players who shared the BBL franchise’s view of his conduct. “I think a lot of past and present cricketers who smile in front my face could’ve had their say in the public when my so call issue was going on, but y’all don’t have the balls to stand firm when it matters,” said Gayle. “But yet when u (you) see me you’re like, Chris that’s BS against you, it was blown out of proportion. Don’t tell me, tell the media and public!” The 36-year-old West Indies opener has come under fire for appearing to openly flirt with Australian reporter Mel McLaughlin, by telling her during a live TV interview: “I wanted to come and have an interview with you as well, that’s the reason why I’m here. Just to see your eyes for the first time. It’s nice.” He continued: “So hopefully we can win this game and we can have a drink after. Don’t blush, baby.” Gayle was subsequently censured by Cricket Australia and Big Bash League organisers and also fined $10,000 (US$7,000) His comments led to him being criticised by the likes of former Sydney Thunder teammate Chris Rogers, current BBL players Shane Watson and Ed Cowan, as well as former England skipper Andre Flintoff and former Australian Test captain Ian Chappell, who recommended a worldwide ban. “The real ppl (people) who stand by Gayle worldwide through the so call BS against me in the media, Thank You. To the MEDIA, Thank You all so! The Haters, I Thank you even more,” Gayle posted in social media-speak on his Instagram account. “The past cricketer who said I make myself look like a chop, the other who claim I was no good to the youngsters while playing for the t\Thunder, the next one who said he expect that sort of behaviour from Chris – Y’all can ….. I love Australia and I will be back again.”
January 23 was a momentous day in the history of Jamaican track and field. Most people will remember it as the day Calabar High School opened the doors to its first synthetic track to be laid at a high school in Jamaica. The meet, the first McKenley/Wint Classic, was a memorable occasion.The mood was bright as all present enjoyed the sight and feel of the new facility. From a viewing perspective, the only drawbacks are that the throws and horizontal jumps are outside the oval, but that doesn’t detract from the overall value the new track brings. In any case, those ‘so-called’ drawbacks disappear if you view the new facility mainly as a training venue.As befits a meet carrying the names of megastar Olympians Arthur Wint and Herb McKenley, the event was thoughtfully operated with ticketing, parking and access to the track well worked out. It seems reasonable to assume that in the years to come, the grounds around the track will be developed with additional spectator seating and lighting.Calabar High wasn’t the only place that a new track opened on the 23rd. Thirty minutes away, the newly resurfaced oval at the GC Foster College for Physical Education & Sport was put into service at the Central Hurdles and Relays meet.Never before have two new synthetic tracks been opened in Jamaica on the same day. That’s history.Calabar High and GC Foster College join the National Stadium, the Stadium East field, the University of the West Indies and the Catherine Hall Sport Complex as locations with modern tracks.Catherine Hall is a great venue. It has already hosted the 2011 Carifta Games and shortly will play host to the annual Western Championships and Western Relays. For at least two reasons, it might be a good idea to move the Carifta Trials between Kingston and Montego Bay.Having the Trials at the Sports Complex might stimulate interest in the sport in the west. It would also relieve western teams of the financial burden of travelling in alternate years. As things stand, western teams must budget for trips to Kingston for the Gibson-McCook Relays, the Trials and Boys and Girls’ Championships, as well as for other meets in the Corporate Area that fit their needs.Consider a future where a synthetic track is laid at a central Jamaica venue like the Kirkvine Sports Club just outside Mandeville. In that future, the Trials could move from Kingston to Kirkvine and then to Montego Bay. Imagine that.n HUBERT LAWRENCE has been making notes at track side since 1980.
Champions vow to overturn deficit against confident MoBay UnitedHome advantage will mean everything to defending champions Arnett Gardens when they host Montego Bay United, the team they dethroned to take last season’s title, in the Red Stripe Premier League second leg semi-final at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex for a place in the final. Game time is 6 p.m.The defending champions looked anything but that when they faced Montego Bay United away in the first leg, as they were undone not only by one of their former players, Owayne ‘Turtle’ Gordon, but their own sloppiness in defending and their failure to find the back of the net. Today they will have to overturn a 1-2 scoreline.”We let them off the hook, but despite that, our errors helped them win the game. That is behind us, though, and we are ready for today’s game,” said Arnett Gardens head coach Jerome Waite.”We will be firing on all cylinders. We will be going for it. We are at home and will be using that to our advantage,” added the man who returned the club to the winners’ enclosure last season.While Waite is very confident of a win, Montego Bay United are perhaps just as confident that they can hold on to their advantage.”The first leg was good for us, but that is history now. Going to Arnett is going to be difficult, but we have the right frame of mind and know that we have a strong team.”We are going there with a plan. We had a good week in training and we are all on one path,” said assistant coach Dillon Thelwell, as head coach Paul ‘Tegat’ Davis, a man who had a stint at Arnett Gardens, was so focused, he passed on the interviews.WILLIAMSSITTINGOUTUnlike the past two seasons when Dino Williams was the man who came to life for Montego Bay United at this stage of the competition, the skilful player will be sitting out due to an injury.Gordon, their most consistent player all season, will lead their charge and will get support from Ronaldo Rodney, speed merchant Allan Ottey, midfield workhorse Keneil Kirlew, and the veteran Dwayne Ambusley.”We still have a strong unit. Only Cordel Simpson has a little niggle and we will assess him later today to see if he can go, but aside from that everybody is ready. But Dino is not a consideration as we will not risk him,” Thelwell explained.Waite said Arnett Gardens are at full strength now, with everyone in training. That could see goalkeeper Peter Harrison, the man many blamed for last week’s loss – after he spilt a regulation catch that caused the second MoBay United goal – sitting out to make way for the fit-again Damion Hyatt.”He contributed to it (the loss) but you cannot bash him. It was no one player’s fault. It was a team performance,” Waite said about Harrison, as he attempted to shield him from blame.Hyatt, Waite said, was training, but he refused to say which of the goalkeepers would start.Goalscoring has also been a recent problem for Arnett Gardens, as their leading scorer, Kemal Malcolm, has not looked like the same player who was on fire heading into the new year. That, though, is not a major worry for Waite.”The aim of the game is to score goals and never focus on one player to get that done. We have to get other players involved and sharing in this responsibility. Our squad is strong enough where goals can come from anywhere and we are at full strength,” he said.Full strength for Arnett Gardens means that they will also have the option of choosing from captain Oneil Thompson, Dicoy Williams, Jabeur Johnson, and Ranique Anderson to make up their backline.Vishinul Harris has been the best midfielder in local football all season and should be creating opportunities for Malcolm, Strickland, and company.Today’s Game:6 p.m. Arnett Gardens vs Montego Bay United at Anthony Spaulding Sports ComplexTomorrow’s game:8:40 p.m. Portmore United vs Humble Lion at Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex
Local experts believe the writing was on the wall for Jamaica’s historic win over the United States in their Gold Cup semi-final in the United States yesterday.The Reggae Boyz have only ever beaten the United States once at senior level and yesterday’s win was even more significant and historic as it put the Boyz in CONCACAF’s premier football championship decider for the first time.Former national assistant coach, Bradley Stewart, says team spirit and confidence have been high since the tournament started, and defensively they are difficult to break down.”I always felt they had a good chance of winning,” Stewart said.”The confidence that the coach has in the players and the confidence the players have in themselves have all been showing and, I thought a lot of that came through in the game,” Stewart added. “If we turn over the US and then Mexico … then our stocks would sore sky high.”Harbour View’s general manager, Clyde Jureidini, also believes this win will have a wonderful ripple effect on the national football programme and team. He, too, thinks a lot of credit must go to the defensive unit for the result and the performance throughout the tournament..”The US would have been the favourites, they would have the history of more victories (against Jamaica) and have more big game experience, so they are always favoured to beat Jamaica.”But coach Klinsmann starting a 5-3-2 formation was a major blunder … and Jamaica used the space to play more confidently and stronger in midfield, got our attack going and scored two excellent goals. It was a deserved victory. Our defensive discipline helped us a lot, we managed the game professionally and the two dead-ball situations provided clear evidence that we came prepared,” he noted.Arnett Gardens and national under-23 assistant coach Jerome Waite agreed that the team was well prepared and are now reaping the fruits of the preparations.”The preparation from the Copa (America) led to what the team is doing now.”We also have to give coach Sch‰fer credit. He is out of Germany and was up against another German coach (Juergen Klinsmann), but the silver fox outsmarted the young fox,” he added.
LONDON, England:He came to breathe life into a stadium that many consider a White Elephant these days, but in the end, Usain Bolt’s two 100-metre runs at yesterday’s Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games, had Lazarus-like effects on his own season, as he left a soaking London Olympic Stadium in burning excitement.Two races, two wins, twice the clock showed 9.87, as track and field’s poster boy crossed the line and perhaps wiped the smile off his rivals’ faces in front of nearly 50,000 pro-Bolt fans.Even worse – or better, depending on your perspective – Bolt, who had not gone this fast since the Brussells Diamond League in September 2013, seems to have more, shaking his head after the second of his two assignments, disappointed that he did not post a faster time. You would think that a man who has been struggling the way he has since the start of the season would throw a party after clocking 9.87 twice within an hour, in negative wind (-0.8) and wet and chilly conditions.Message to himselfStill, the world 100m and 200m Olympic and world champion feels his triumphant return to London – and form, is more a message to himself – even if he did have something to say to those with gold medal ambitions for next month’s World Championships in Beijing.”I was never number two. I am still number one. So, that’s the plan until I retire,” Bolt affirmed.”This does help my confidence going into the World Championships and it helps that I can see the results after putting in the work on the track. So it looks good,” added Bolt.Like he did in the heat a bit earlier American Mike Rodgers was second, clocking 9.90 with another Jamaican Kemar Bailey-Cole, the Commonwealth champion, taking third in the fastest time he has ever registered, 9.92. It did seem to come at a price, however, with the towering sprinter suffering cramp in both legs. Nesta Carter finished seventh in 10.08.Bolt, who came into the meet with 62 athletes running faster than his 10.12 posted earlier this year, is now the sixth fastest in the world, but there’s no doubting where he intends to be by the time he leaves Beijing.The sprinter says he will talk to his coach about whether or not another race is necessary with the possibility of an appearance at the upcoming Stockholm Diamond League. He also noted that he will probably pay another visit to his doctor Hans-Wilhelm M¸ller-Wohlfahrt to ensure everything is in order.Kimberly Williams, 14.15m was second in the women’s triple jump after surrendering the lead to Olga Rypakova (Kazakhstan), whose 14.33m win took her to second place in the diamond race with Dana Veldakova (Slovakia), 13.66m taking third.McPherson third in 400mIn the first track event of the evening, the women’s 400 metres, Stephenie-Ann McPherson was the best-placed Jamaican, finishing third in 50.91 with American Natasha Hastings, holding off country-woman Francena McCorory, 50.67, after running a season best 50.24.Both Novlene Williams-Mills and Christine Day posted 51.43 with Williams-Mills finishing a place ahead of Day in fifth.It was another tough day in the office for world leading discus man Jason Morgan, who fouled twice, settling with a 59.60m mark, which left him languishing in ninth position.The event was won by Philip Milanov (Belgium), 65.14m who moved into third place in the Diamond race with four points with Robert Urbanek (Poland), 64.47m and Benn Harradine (Australia), 63.98m taking second and third places respectively. Diamond race leader Piotr Malachowski (13 points) was fourth with 63.83m.The Jamaican-based Zharnel Hughes (Great Britain) posted a personal-best 20.05 to win the 200 metres ahead of Dedric Dukes (USA), 20.14 and Anaso Jobowana (South Africa), 20.20. Jamaicans Nickel Ashmeade, 20.24 and Julian Forte, 20.25 were fourth and fifth.Jasmin Stowers was back to her best, winning the 100m hurdles in 12.47 ahead of Dawn Harper-Nelson, 12.64 and Brianna Rollins, 12.65 in another US sweep in the event.Elaine Thompson is the only Jamaican in action on today’s final day of the two-day meet. She competes in the 200m at 9:58 a.m.
BEIJING, China:National discus and Pan American champion, Federick Dacres, is not putting too much pressure on himself as he gets ready to compete in his first major international competition, the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China.Dacres, who just over a year ago underwent knee surgery to repair damages to his meniscus and anterior cruciate ligament, is reaping the spoils of his first full season as a senior athlete and says he is looking forward to being able to give his best effort in Beijing, with one eye set on first of all progressing to the final of the competition.”I feel good. It’s my first real senior year because I was injured last year, and so it’s my first year finishing the season. It really feels good to be here,” he told The Gleaner.”It was difficult to come back from that injury. Being injured takes a toll on the mind, and I was worried about how I could get back and I didn’t want to be a has-been or something like that, so I just focused on getting stronger while I couldn’t use my legs and when I got my legs back, I focused on strengthening the legs,. and it has brought me here, so I feel good,” added Dacres.”I’m just throwing and hoping to give my best, and I hope that I can do something in the final, so I’m going in with an open mind to see what can happen,” Dacres said.The former World Youth and World Junior champion says he was boosted by his win at the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association/Supreme Ventures Limited National Senior Championships, where he got the better of fellow World Championships qualifiers Jason Morgan and Chad Wright.”Every title counts, so winning the national title has certainly helped my confidence, and I’m going into the World Championships confident that I can do well and deliver on the day,” said Dacres. “Mentally, I am where I need to be. I have thrown 66 metres twice this year and I have had a good year, so my mind is here, and hopefully, my body will follow through.”Dacres’ season best of 66.40m makes him the second-best Jamaican this year behind Morgan’s national record of 68.19m and the 10th best on the planet.
One of the most long-standing and controversial rules in Davis Cup tennis, that the tie-breaker cannot be used in the fifth set of a match, will be changed in 2016.This was one of the major changes made at the annual general meeting of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) on September 25 in Santiago, Chile, at which a new president, David Haggerty of the United States, was elected to lead the ITF for the next four years. He succeeds Francesco Ricci Bitti from Italy, who served as president for 16 years.The local tennis fraternity has hailed the rule, and former Davis Cup player and captain, Richard Russell, told The Gleaner that he is ” happy that the change has come about” and said further that “this should have happened a long time ago”.The fifth set no tie-breaker rule has been a sore point in Davis Cup tennis for many years as the tie-breaker is used in all sets except the fifth and final set. Russell recalls, however, that there was a time when there was no tie-break rule, and how this made matches go on and on. He, himself, he told The Gleaner was involved in a doubles match that lasted over five hours.A new high was reached in Davis Cup tennis in March this year when Leonardo Mayer from Argentina defeated Joao Souza from Brazil, in a singles match that lasted six hours and 43 minutes. The final set in that match, lasted two hours and 30 minutes, and it is believed that this strengthened the case for those administrators who wanted the change to be made.The goal in a tie-breaker, after the score reaches 6-6, is to score seven points first. To win the set, a player has to win the tie-breaker by two points. Without the tie-breaker, the match goes on until one player leads by two games.Only tie-breakerOf interest is the fact that the only Grand Slam tournament that has a final-set tie-breaker rule at this time is the US Open. They have been using it there since 1970, but at Wimbledon, the Australian, and French Grand Slam tournaments, play has to go on in the final set until one player leads by two games.The longest match in history was at Wimbledon on June 4, 2010, when John Isner defeated Nicholas Mahut 6-4, 3-6, 6-7, 7-6, 70-68 in 11 hours and five minutes over a three-day period. The final set lasted eight hours and 11 minutes. Not surprisingly, Isner was so tired for his next match against Thiemo de Bakker – that he lost it in 74 minutes, 0-6, 3-6, 2-6.
Excitement, marksmanship, and intense clay shooting action will return to the Jamaica Skeet Club today when their season curtain-raiser, the Bernard Cridland Memorial, gets underway at 10:30 a.m. at the Portmore Range in St Catherine. Following what was described as “a very enjoyable bird shooting season,” it’s now to the clay circuit in an event named in honour of former shooter Bernard Cridland. Registration fee is $1,000, and registration will begin at 9 a.m. and will be followed by the customary 10:30 shotgun start. The competition format will be 100 birds sporting, with prizes being awarded to winners and runners-up in classes A, B, C, D and E; juniors; subjuniors; and ladies. Today, participants and supporters can expect nothing but fun-rivalry and intense to-the-wire shooting, according to Jamaica Skeet Club president Khaleel Azan. “We will have a course that will have targets to please the beginners, intermediate and advanced shooters. “We are expecting a large turnout, so we need to have early registration and a shotgun start,” Azan told The Sunday Gleaner. He added that only Skeet Club ammunition would be used in today’s shoot, while food and drinks would be on sale all day. The president gave the assurance that the Skeet Club is looking to start the season in fine style, with multiple world champion and world renown shooting instructor Ben Husthwaite scheduled to visit Jamaica from November 24-30 to impart ‘world-class’ lessons at the Portmore Range. The cost for lessons is US$125 per hour.
After watching the Reggae Boyz slump to their second consecutive home defeat just three games into the Russia 2018 World Cup campaign in the most pathetic and gutless manner, I am now fully convinced that the much-celebrated performance in the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup – where they went all the way to the final – was nothing but a fluke. I thought it was, even as it unfolded, but I never said it. I make no apologies saying now that the Gold Cup run was a flash in the pan display that could well turn out to be “a curse in disguise” and might well turn out to be the worst thing to happen to this team, and indeed, the entire football programme. For the record, the word fluke as defined by the Concise Oxford Dictionary means ‘AN UNLIKELY CHANCE OCCURRENCE, ESPECIALLY A STROKE OF LUCK’. There can be no clearer, more concise word used to contextualise the Gold Cup performances as they relate to the way the team is playing now, and the results it is getting. I remember during that surprise Gold Cup run the debate erupted as to whether this team of 2015 is a better team than the 1998 World Cup Qualifying team, with the core argument emerging from the euphoria being that there are more players in this current team playing a higher level of football, including in the English Premier League, with the vast majority of them being overseas-based professionals. I remember responding then that the 1998 group was far better as a functional team, with more individual match winners and more on-field leaders and that the 1998 team was more consistent over a longer period when compared to the current “collection of players”. Regardless of what happens from here, any person who makes that comparison again should be committed forthwith to a mental institution. Yet another dispute over contracts and payment on the eve of the Panama game obviously never helped the cause, but more important, it points to the headspace of the individuals in this team and again brings into focus the questionable commitment of this group. To be soundly outplayed and beaten and tactically outfoxed in front of the home fans in and of itself is bad. But even more, the cardinal sin was to be outhustled and outmuscled by a Panama team playing with more heart, hunger, and tenacity is unforgivable. The Jamaican players generally looked disgracefully lethargic and uninterested in representing the country. I was indeed surprised that there wasn’t more booing of the team at the stadium on Friday night. Not only was the underperformance deserving of boos, I think it was a lost opportunity to send a clear message to this group that Jamaica deserves better than they are giving. Issues of tactical manoeuvring and team selection aside, the general LACK OF EFFORT on the part of the majority of the players is a clear sign that this team is going nowhere – and fast. Inevitably, the question must be asked again in a very serious way, are we pursuing the right philosophy in scampering off to England to coax more and more second-rate foreign-born players who know just as much about Jamaica as we know about their commitment to the Jamaican cause? Is the right BALANCE being struck between the pursuance of these foreign-born players and the development and systematic incorporation of more Jamaica-born players with the desired heart, passion, fire, and commitment to represent Jamaica? Those who have eyes to see, let them see!
Tomorrow’s well-supported 11-race programme at Caymanas Park offers a Pick-9 carryover of $1.4 million despite no major upsets last Saturday.The Pick-9 will be conducted from race three to 11 the first Super-6 from race one to six, the late Super-6 from race six to 11.We look at the first Super-6 with a guaranteed minimum of $750,000, this for native-bred three-year-olds and up over 1400 metres, to be contested by seven starters.Included in the line-up are three useful three-year-olds – ZUGULU, JAMAI RAJA and CRUISING MOTION, who has won twice for champion trainer Wayne DaCosta since the start of the season.ZUGULU has not lived up to early expectations in recent months and could only manage fifth to SHINING LIGHT over 1100 metres last Saturday. However, he looks the obvious leader, and given this milder pace, will have to be caught. I believe the four-year-old colts SILVER CLOUD and ORIGINAL TRAIN have the ability to overhaul ZUGULU over this trip, especially the DaCosta-trained grey colt SILVER CLOUD, who has won two of his last races here in good company and only needs a clean break to rebound with Robert Halledeen aboard.SMART TRAIN, to be ridden by champion jockey Shane Ellis for trainer Morris Powell, is not the most reliable of horses, but pitted against 11 moderate rivals in the second race over 1400 metres for maiden five-year-olds and up, should finally deliver.The five-year-old mare, who failed by a neck to catch OMEGA over 1500 metres on November 21, reports well drawn on the outside and gets the nod over QUEEN OF THE TOWN, MY FAVOURITE DANCER, and DEPUTY HEADGIRL, all fit animals.Race number three, division one of the Eight Thirty Sprint three-year-old Maiden Special over the straight, this marking the start of the three-year-old campaign leading up to the classics, has attracted two well-advanced fillies in PINELOPE (Ellis up) and DANCING QUEEN, with Ian Spence riding for 14-time champion trainer Philip Feanny.Both have looked sharp in recent exercise gallops over the straight, but preference is for the Dwight Chen-trained PINELOPE, a bay filly by Porto Santo out of Black Thatch, who has been more extensively prepared than DANCING QUEEN.tough-looking raceNext on the programme is a tough-looking $250,000-$210,00 claiming race over the straight to be contested by 13 mostly fit horses. Leading lights are recent winners ETERNAL JOY from the in-form stables of – Neive Graham, BATTLE SONG and FFIFTYONESTORM, as well as AUNT HILDA, CLEARLY OURS,WINESHA, and INFANTRY OFFICER.Given the competitive nature of this race, I would implore punters to use multiple choices. ETERNAL JOY could prove the fastest of all, and although not the best drawn, will have to be caught with only 53.0kg. Preference, however, is for FIFTYONESTORM (Jevanne Erwin up), who beat a good field over the course last Boxing Day and has shown good speed in his races.The last two races in the first Super-6 should be won by POISON GAS (Omar Walker up), who showed promise on her recent debut behind GLOBAL and NO COINCIDENCE (regaining form).FIRST SUPER-6 FANCIES(1) SILVER CLOUD/ORIGINAL TRAIN(2) SMART TRAIN/MY FAVOURITE DANCER(3) PINELOPE(4) FIFTYONESTORM/ETERNAL JOY(5) POISON GAS/DUTCHESS URIEL(6) NO COINCIDENCE/CLASSICAL TRAIN