Twenty-eight-year-old Crystal Palace and Jamaican International defender Adrian Mariappa says he is mentally prepared for a critical 2015 that lays ahead of him.
The five-foot, 11-inch defender is in a tight spot with Crystal Palace as they sit 18th in the Premier League table and will be looking to avoid relegation to the Championship.
The year is also critical at the international level as Jamaica will be participating in the 2015 Copa America and the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup tournaments, crucial events in the build up to the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.
“It’s a new year and there are new plans and targets ahead. This is arguably the most important year of my professional career as it can define many things over the next six to nine months or so. For Crystal Palace, it can determine whether we stay in the Premier League or not and for Jamaica, it can tell where we are and can give us momentum leading into the World Cup qualifiers.”
West Indies Test captain Denesh Ramdin has joined coach Stuart William in criticising a shot played by experienced batsman Marlon Samuels, which preceded another familiar collapse against South Africa on day four of the final Test match in Cape Town.
In the end South Africa, the world’s top ranked team, made light work of chasing the 215 score set by the visitors in the second innings, coasting comfortably home by eight wickets. There was, however, a time earlier in the West Indies innings, when they had seemed capable of putting up a challenging total.
Having put on 87 for the fourth wicket, recovering from the early loss of Leon Johnson, the West Indies were 182-3 with Samuels and veteran batsman Chivnarine Chanderpaul looking steady at the crease.
Lorissa Rivas says she is looking forward to locking horns with WBC Female light middleweight champion Mikaela Lauren in Trinidad this year, during a card dedicated to late champion Giselle Salandy.
The fight was announced after the 52nd Annual Convention of the World Boxing Council (WBC) late last year but sponsors Ma Pau officially launched the event on Monday in Port-of-Spain.
Trinidad and Tobago Boxing Board of Control advisor Boxu Potts said the fight would take place in late March or early April.
“I am excited about this fight,” Rivas said.
“It is an honour to be on another Giselle Salandy fight show. It was the first type of show that I fought on in Trinidad during my first visit in 2009.”
“I am definitely looking to put 110% into this fight and come out victorious. It is a big stage to be on but it is a stage I want to be on. I want to represent Trinidad and I want to bring this world title home.”
After helping to bring Reno back into the Premier League, former coach Wendell Downswell who is back at the helm is calling on the fans to be patient.
The Westmoreland-based team has been struggling since winning the Flow Knockout Cup as the team, with 15 points, is one place from the bottom. Downswell, who took over from Patrick Graham, is confident that things will get better in the New year.
"There has been some positive response recently in training from the players and they are confident that they will do their best for a turnaround," said Downswell, who was in a technical capacity before taking over.
The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) failed to send its two best male national team players between the ages of 18 and 22 years for the United States Major League Soccer (MLS) Caribbean Combine, which kicked off in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, and serves as a talent search for promising regional players.
All expenses for the camp, including travel and accommodation, are met by Major League Soccer and each Caribbean football body had to submit a profile for each player that should include their name, passport-sized photo, date of birth, height, weight, playing position and number of international caps by November 28, 2014.
However, for the second year running, there were no Trinidad and Tobago players included among a shortlist of the Caribbean’s top young players for the MLS Caribbean Combine. The man charged with the role of getting those profiles together is TTFA General Secretary Sheldon Phillips.
Windies skipper Denesh Ramdin took consolation in the performance of some of the team’s younger players, despite a 2-0 Test series loss against world number-one ranked South Africa.
Twenty-two-year-old Kraigg Brathwaite will have topped that list, not only becoming the first player in Test cricket history to make seven runs from his first scoring shot, but also putting together decent totals as well.
The batsman, who averaged 36.60 for the series, got a high score of 106 in the three-Test series, when he along with Marlon Samuels put on 176, a record third wicket partnership for the West Indies against South Africa.
Also making use of his time at the crease in the series was 23-year-old Jermaine Blackwood.
Blackwood played in two of the games and amassed 96 runs at an average of 24, his best knock, a half century of 56 coming in the third Test.
Cricket Australia (CA) has advised that Trinidad and Tobago batsman Kieron Pollard has received a fine for breaching the CA Code of Behaviour in the KFC T20 Big Bash League match between the Brisbane Heat and the Adelaide Strikers at the Gabba.
Pollard, who plays for the Strikers, was reported for breaching CA’s Code of Behaviour Article 2.1.2 -Abuse of cricket equipment or clothing, ground equipment or fixtures and fittings during a match.
The incident occurred following his dismissal in the Strikers’ batting innings where Pollard hit the pitch with his bat leaving a mark/dint in the protected area.
As per CA’s Code of Behaviour procedure, Match Referee Bob Stratford considered the umpires’ written report and offered a proposed penalty of a fine equivalent to 25 per cent of the player’s match fee.
After being approached by the Match Referee, Pollard accepted the charge and as a result a hearing was not required.