Jamaican sprint king Usain Bolt has advised up and coming USA sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson to focus less on talking and more on training to get better performances on the track.

Bolt has admitted to being a fan of the energy and sassy attitude of the American sprinter, which he believes is good for the sport.  Richardson has in recent times, however, failed to turn that energy into strong performances on the track.

There was plenty of enthusiasm surrounding Richardson earlier this year, following several impressive performances in the months of April and May.  Among them was a 10.72 clocking in Florida, which was at the time the fastest for the season.

Heading into the Olympics, the American cast herself as the one that could bring an end to over a decade of Jamaican dominance of athletics.  Heading into the Games, however, Richardson tested positive for marijuana, was suspended for a month, and missed the event where Jamaica swept all the podium spots in the 100m.

After that, came a much-publicised Diamond League meeting between the American and the Jamaican Olympic medallist, in Eugene, Oregon, which was framed along the lines of being an opportunity for Richardson to show what would have happened had she not been suspended for the Olympics.  Things did not go to plan, however, as she finished in 9th place, with the Jamaicans once again sweeping the top three spots. 

She followed that up with a second-place finish in Italy, and a fourth-place finish, in the 200m, at the Diamond League meet in Brussels.  Off the track, the sprinter was also criticised for what many believed amounted to disrespect for American sprint legend Allyson Felix.  Bolt believes, at this point, the young American needs to refocus.

“I would tell Sha’Carri to train harder and to be focused and not say too much…,” Bolt said in a recent interview with the New York Post.

“If you talk that big talk you have to back it up,” he added.

“So just train hard and focus on that and try to come back, do it and then talk about it.”

Richardson’s performances have split a vocal global track and field fanbase.  Her most ardent fans have continued to express support for the struggling sprinter, but others have expressed disappointment at both her performances and recent outbursts.  Many, particularly supporters of Jamaican track and field, found the American’s massive failure amusing given her pre-race antics, exuberant expression, and what they believe is disregard for their decorated Olympic medallists.

“Jamaicans were vexed because she was talking a lot of s–t before the actual race, it is just one of those things,” Bolt said of Richardson’s lopsided loss in Eugene, where Olympic champion Elaine Thompson clocked 10.54, the second-fastest time ever run over the distance.

 “Jamaicans don’t like when people talk s–t about us because we are a very proud people. So, if you talk about us we are gonna want you to back it up. It definitely gave those women the extra push.”

 

 

Jamaica international, Leon Bailey, insists he feels at home at new club Aston Villa after an impressive cameo against Everton on Saturday.

Since joining the Clarets from Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen at the end of the transfer window, Bailey has been used sparingly in the team’s line-up and is yet to start a match.  Against Everton, however, he gave fans a hint of what could be in store for this season with a match-changing introduction.

Bailey entered the pitch in the 61st minute and had almost an immediate impact on proceedings.  After Matty Cash’s thunderous shot put the hosts ahead in the 66th minute, Bailey’s viciously swung corner was headed into the back of his own net by Lucas Digne.

The Jamaican then got his first goal for Villa in fine style after sprinting on from the halfway line to a long ball provided by Danny Ings and crashing his shot into the net past a stranded Everton keeper Asmir Begović.  Things, however, ended on a worrying note for Bailey who had to be substituted in the 82nd minute after going down with an injury.  The change was later revealed to be more of a precaution.

“To have the fans chanting my name when I was going on, it was such an amazing feeling.  Words can’t even explain.  The fans were great tonight, it was perfect for me to get the goal for them tonight.  I feel welcome as a Villa player,” Bailey said following the match.

“I was just excited to get on the pitch, and I delivered, it was a perfect night,” he added.

As for the injury, the player did not think it was that serious.

“It might have been from hitting the ball, maybe I hit it too hard.  I just felt a little stiff in my quad, but I don’t think it’s anything serious.  So instead of risking it, I just decided to come out instead of risking it.  We have a lot of games coming up.”

Mount Pleasant secured the early advantage in the Jamaica Premier League (JPL) quarterfinals following a 3-1 first-leg win over Harbour View at the Captain Horace Burrell Centre For Excellence on Saturday.

After a positive start to the encounter by the Stars of the East, it was Mount Pleasant who gradually gained the ascendency.  The Montego Bay-based franchise took the lead through 17-year-old forward Devonte Campbell in the 30th minute as he blasted past Harbour View keeper Tafari Chambers at his near post.

With the game in the balance, Kesslan Hall sprinted on to an inch-perfect Daniel Green rainbow pass over the backline and chipped over the head Chambers and into the back of the net in the 55th minute.  Jourdaine Fletcher’s neat finish in the 75th minute put Mount Pleasant in complete control but Tyrese Williams gave Harbour View a lifeline after heading home from close range in time added on.  In the day’s other match, Tivoli Gardens and Vere United ended in a 0-0 draw.

 

Inter Miami had their six-match unbeaten streak snapped by New York Red Bulls, who cruised to a 4-0 victory in MLS.

Former Manchester United utility Phil Neville – current head coach of the franchise co-owned by ex-Red Devils team-mate David Beckham – had overseen a club-first run of three consecutive victories.

Inter Miami were also in the midst of their best undefeated run in the team's young existence, having kept four straight clean sheets for the first time in their history.

However, 10-man Inter Miami crashed back down to earth at the hands of the visiting Red Bulls on Friday.

Patryk Klimala opened the scoring in the 18th minute before Red Bulls team-mate Omir Fernandez doubled the lead just past the half-hour mark at DRV PNK Stadium, where Inter Miami defender Nicolas Figal was sent off following a second yellow card prior to the interval.

The Red Bulls had collected just six points over their last 10 matches (W1 D3 L6) following a 2-1 loss to Columbus Crew on Tuesday – the fewest points New York have collected in any 10-game span since totalling just four points (W1 D1 L8) in June-August 2009.

But the Red Bulls emerged victorious after Fabio sealed the points with a second-half brace.

Inter Miami are eighth in the Eastern Conference, a point outside the play-off positions, while the 11th-placed Red Bulls are six points further back.

On Friday, Beckham increased his stake at Inter Miami, with the former United, England and Real Madrid winger "more committed than ever" to the MLS club.

Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz have fallen 20 points in the latest FIFA Coco-Cola World Rankings following a dismal start to the CONCACAF World Cup qualification campaign.

The national team began the hexagonal round with a 2-1 loss to the region’s top-ranked team Mexico but followed that up with a heavy 3-0 loss at home to Panama.  The team then ended the first round with a 1-1 draw away to Costa Rica.

As far as rankings go, the poor start has proved costly with the team currently ranked at 59th and outside of the world’s top 50 teams for the first time in several years.

In the meantime, teams like Canada and Panama who are off to a strong start to the final round have headed in the other direction.  After jumping 16 places, Canada is now ranked above Jamaica at 51st, with Panama jumping 23 points to 68th

Mexico remains the region’s top-ranked team at 9th, followed by the United States at 13th and then Costa Rica at 44th.  The World Cup qualifier will resume next month with Jamaica travelling away to face the USA, hosting Canada at home before travelling away to face Honduras.

 

A patient half-century from Matthew Nandu and a four-wicket haul by Vasant Singh helped steer West Indies U19s to a 17-run win over England Young Lions in the final ODI between the teams that was played at Canterbury on Friday. The victory means the Caribbean youngsters lost the series 4-2 but ended it on a high.

After winning the toss and electing to bat, West Indies scored 230 all out from their 50 overs thanks to Nandu, who was the top scorer with 80 from 120 balls faced. He struck nine fours. He lost his opening partner Anderson Amurdan, who failed to score and then Teddy Bishop for 12 as the West Indies got off to a poor start at 25-2.

However, Nandu and Ackeem Auguste mounted a recovery with a stand of 78 before the latter was dismissed by Rehan Ahmed for 25.

The loss of two additional wickets – Justin Beckford and Giovonte Depeiza - for just four runs saw the West Indies slip from 103-2 to 107-5 and in danger of collapsing. However, Nandu and Carlon Bowen-Tuckett staged another recovery with a 55-run sixth-wicket partnership that was broken when he was dismissed by Sonny Baker.

Tuckett and Johan Layne (16) put on 25 for the seventh wicket and then 19 more with Isai Thorne (6) before being ninth out for a well-played 48 from 94 balls faced.

Baker finished with 4-41 and Ahmed 3-30. Nathan Bramwell took 2-37.

Needing 231 for a fifth victory in the series, England Young Lions enjoyed a solid start between George Thomas and James Rew. The pair had put on 52 when Nandu bowled Rew for 28. At 64-1, Singh dismissed Alex Horton for 10 and then 27 runs later had Thomas stumped for 38 as England reached 91 for 3 in the 20th over.

England slipped further to 105-5 as Layne dismissed Daniel Ibrahim for 6 and Singh picked up his third wicket when he removed James Coles for 9.

However, Ahmed’s obdurate unbeaten 68 kept England in the hunt but they kept losing wickets at the other end as Nandu dismissed Thomas Aspinwall for 1 and Singh removed Fateh Singh for 13 as England reached 165-8 in over number 38.

Andel Gordon dismissed Barnwell for 1 and then ran out Baker for 3 as the West Indies closed out the match with their pride intact.

Singh returned figures of 4-51 while Nando had figures of 2-35.

Elaine Thompson-Herah, the three-time gold medalist at the Tokyo Olympics in Japan in August, is to be rewarded with a Jamaican diplomatic passport, Minister Olivia Grange announced on Wednesday.

Former Barbadian-born Test batsman, Roland Butcher, does not believe the Cricket West Indies (CWI) panel of selectors deserves all the vitriol that it has received following its announcement of the West Indies T20 squad for the World Cup.

The decisions to include Chris Gayle, omit Jason Holder from the final 15, and the inclusion of veteran fast bowler Ravi Rampaul have been among those that have drawn criticism.  Others have called for the inclusion of players that put in strong performances in the recently concluded CPL, which includes the likes of Sherfane Rutherford and Odean Smith.

Butcher, who has himself sat on a selection panel for Barbados, has insisted some of the picks were understandable and insists that in fact, some players left themselves out of contention and does not see why the panel should bear that burden.

“In terms of the selection, Jason holder really should have been selected, because he may not have done well of late but he is a proven player if we use him correctly.  I think Jason is someone you use to bowl four overs there and then, let him bat later on the game, and he is also a good fielder,” Butcher told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“In terms of the guys who didn’t make it, everyone is shouting and screaming that Rutherford should have made it.  People forget that Rutherford has played for the West Indies for some time and he has a poor average in actual fact,” he added

“…Roger Harper didn’t say it, but if you notice Rutherford for the last few years has not played for Guyana, except for the white ball competition, that is because he has refused to take a fitness test and that is obviously why he was not selected because he was dropped before, and the caseis obviously still the same.  Why are selectors being crucified for leaving him out, by his actions he has made himself unavailable for selection.”

Butcher also did not agree with the criticism of the bowling selection as he is confident that both Rampaul and Chase can contribute meaningfully to the team.

“Roston Chase upset the applecart because no one was looking for him to perform the way he did, by doing that he forced his way into the side.  In terms of Oshane Thomas and Rampaul, Fidel Edwards really caused them to have a problem because he was picked for the 15 matches but unfortunately got injured and was able to show his best,” he said.

  “In Rampaul’s case he is proven at the international level and I can see why they have gone for him in the current crop of fast bowlers and Thomas, we’ve seen his inconsistency, but Smith is one for the future.”

 

Opening batter Rashada Williams unveiled a wide range of shots in a determined knock for West Indies Women but the home side could not stave off defeat against South Africa Women on Thursday.

Legendary WI fast bowler Andy Roberts is convinced the Cricket West Indies panel of selectors made a grave error by omitting all-rounder Jason Holder from the final 15-man World Cup squad.

Despite being better known for his exploits in the red-ball format, Holder’s exclusion from the first-team squad and selection as a reserve for the tournament caused shock and dismay across the Caribbean, following the announcement of the final squad next week.

In international T20 cricket to date, Holder has managed 27 matches with an average of 16.75 in 18 innings, added to that he has claimed 22 wickets.  In the Indian Premier League last season, however, he put on several strong performances during his time with Sunrisers Hyderabad and also had a strong showing against Sri Lanka in the series of practice games.  He did, however, struggled against Pakistan and has also failed to make a telling impact in the CPL.  For Roberts, however, the player's proven quality should have been enough to see him added to the starting team.

“I was shocked because he is the best cricketer we have in the region, bar none,” Roberts told the Mason and Guest radio show.

“I’d pick him as one of the first choices for the World Cup, what is he doing in the reserves.  It embarrassing for us to see how we could treat our best cricketer. Jason Holder is our best cricketer," he added.

Holder has been consistently ranked as the top, or second-best Test cricket all-rounder for the last couple of years but has not displayed that kind of dominance over the shorter formats.

 

 

Four-time winners Monterrey will play America in the final of the CONCACAF Champions League after a 4-1 second-leg away win over Cruz Azul sealed a 5-1 aggregate victory in their semi-final.

Leading 1-0 from the first leg in Monterrey, the visitors blew away Cruz Azul in a stunning opening 25 minutes where they opened up a 3-1 lead.

Maximiliano Meza and Orbelin Pineda traded goals within the opening 10 minutes, before Duvan Vergara and Rogelio Funes Mori netted to make it 3-1.

Mexican international Funes Mori added another in the 52nd minute to complete the win for Monterrey, who were Champions League winners in 2019.

Carlos Rodriguez found Meza unmarked inside the box, dispatching a low finish off the post for a seventh-minute lead and 2-0 advantage on aggregate.

Guillermo Fernandez teed up Orbelin Pineda for a low drive from a set-piece to equalize in the 10th minute.

Vergara curled in a spectacular 17th-minute goal after Meza's initial cross was over-hit, before Monterrey goalkeeper Esteban Andrada made a fine save to deny Fernandez.

Funes Mori made it 3-1 in the 24th minute, after a lengthy VAR review for offside, with a sweeping first-time left-foot finish.

Andrare denied substitute Bryan Angulo, before Funes Mori worked a one-two with Meza to settle the contest early in the second half.

Monterrey will face America in an all-Mexican final on October 28 in Guadalupe.

Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) president Michael Ricketts has said the organisation will consider playing the rest of the country’s home World Cup qualifiers on foreign soil, due to losses incurred from hosting the matches.

The JFF hosted its first home qualifier earlier this month and it’s safe to say things did not go as planned.  The team suffered a heavy 3-0 defeat to Panama, which led to questions surfacing regarding the stewardship of the national program.

In addition, however, the match was played in front of an empty stadium due to existing covid-19 protocols.  As such, the organisation has been unable to collect gate receipts or other revenue, while footing the expenses associated with hosting the game.  With seven home games left to go, Ricketts insists the issue could become a major one.

“We can’t afford to play games without making any money at all at the turn styles,” Ricketts said. 

“So we are looking at options and we will have to discuss it with some of our key players, then we will look at whatever options may present themselves,” he added.

The Jamaica national team will next be in action on October 7 when they face the United States, while their next home match will be against Canada three days later.

 

 

The 2021 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) team of the tournament has been announced. The team was selected by the Hero CPL commentary team – Ian Bishop, Danny Morrison, Darren Ganga, Simon Doull and Samuel Badree. 

Veteran Windies all-rounder and St Kitts and Nevis Patriots captain Dwayne Bravo has cited ‘belief’ and a willingness to give players an opportunity as crucial ingredients in hoisting the team’s maiden Caribbean Premier League title.

The triumphant St Kitts and Nevis Patriots were crowned Caribbean champions for the first time in the franchise’s history on Tuesday, edging out the Saint Lucia Kings in a last-ball thriller.

However, in a team that includes the likes of Bravo, legendary T20 batsman Chris Gayle, and fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell, it was 23-year-old Dominic Drakes who stole the match-winning headlines.  In addition to that, throughout the season it was the likes of Evin Lewis, who scored the second-most runs for the competition, Sherfane Rutherford, who also featured prominently in that category, that spearheaded the team’s title charge.

For Bravo, who left the Trinbago Knight Riders at the start of the season, with the aim of becoming a mentor for some of the league’s younger players, that was always the point.

“It’s about belief and giving people opportunities.  For me, all I ask is for the guys to just back each other,” Bravo said following the match.

“It doesn’t matter whether you perform or don’t perform, whether you play or don’t play, let’s support each other, let’s stay together, giving the young players the belief and the opportunity," he added.

The title was Bravo’s fifth overall, having previously won four with the Trinbago Knight Riders.

 

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