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