Nine-time world champion continues to put us all to shame with her altruism.

 Cricket West Indies (CWI) CEO Johnny Grave has insisted the organization is doing all it can to keep the women’s senior and junior tournaments on the cards for this year.

Concerns arising from the coronavirus pandemic led to the cancellation of the region’s Under-15 boys Championship and Under-15 tour of England set for later this year.  In addition, the domestic first-class championship was aborted two rounds early with table-topping Barbados declared the winner.

With the Women’s World Cup expected to bowl off early next year, Grave and CWI believe the tournament as a crucial part of the women’s team’s preparations.  Instead, the tournaments up for consideration, the Women’s Super50 Cup and inaugural Regional Under-19s Women’s T20 Championship will be pushed forward until later this year.

“They are very important tournaments, not just in terms of the preparation but in terms of the preparation for the selection of those respective squads as we look to compete in the World Cups of those events due to take place in the early part of 2021,” Grave said.

As expected, the official could not a date for the start but insists the CWI would be guided by the medical given to the association.

“Following the advice from our medical advisory committee, we’ve extended the suspension that we announced 10 days ago which was for an initial 30-day period.”

The Jamaica Squash Association (JSA) has suspended all scheduled tournaments and competitions as a safety precaution for players and in compliance with the Government of Jamaica’s stipulations on public gatherings to curtail the spread of COVID-19.

Samantha Wallace, the 2019 Suncorp Super Netball Finals MVP, said she is doing well despite missing her family back home as she waits out the postponement of the league because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The virus has infected close to half a million people in 198 countries globally and killed more than 22,000. There are about 3000 cases in Australia, which prompted the Super Netball League Commission (SNLC) to call a halt for the season for at least the next couple of months.

“Given the rapidly-evolving landscape, the Commission has determined that the start of the season will be deferred and will not commence prior to 30 June,” a statement from the commission said on Monday.

Wallace, the shooter for the New South Wales Swifts, is among several players from Trinidad and Tobago who are in Australia and who are unlikely to be able to travel home since the country has closed its borders in an effort to contain the spread of the virus.

However, Wallace said she is doing okay.

“I'm coping extremely well, to be honest. I'm safe, my health is great,” she told Sportsmax.tv.

“It's hard not being with my family and loved ones in this time but everyone back home is healthy and safe.”

However, she concedes that the league on hiatus is proving to be a bit of a challenge.

“It’s weird waking up in the morning and not have training to attend,” she said.

“Looking at the safer side, our health and well-being are way more important than a netball league at the moment. We, the athletes, have to find a way to keep fit in our backyards or wherever as possible.”

She offered words of encouragement in what will be challenging times.

“I see this as an opportunity to spend great quality time with your kids, family. Although I know it's a tough time here because some people are jobless and don't know when they will have a job again, in all I'm just grateful for life.”

Lincoln University’s Rene Medley said she is proud to have been named the National Women’s Track Athlete of the Year for the 2020 NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field season.

When Australia closed its borders to try to contain the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19, Jhaniele Fowler was among the thousands who were unable to leave the Land Down Under.

 Deposed Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president William Wallace has distanced from any link between himself and former T&T football top man Jack Warner.

Warner, who received a ban from football for life in 2015 and is still facing extradition to the United States on corruption charges, was a known supporter of Wallace ahead of his successful bid to oust former president David John-Williams three months ago.

Speculation has since been rife that an association between Wallace and the former disgraced FIFA officials was one of the reasons the world football governing body disbanded the newly elected TTFA administration.  Wallace was quick to insist, however, that he did not have a close relationship with Warner and indicated as much to FIFA.

 “That is a perceived relationship and one that I don’t have that when it came to the fore, I wrote FIFA, I wrote CONCACAF indicating to CONCACAF that there is no such relationship with Mr. Jack Warner and I guess that if at the end of the day that letter meant nothing then so be it,” Wallace said in an interview with the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show.

Wallace, who was relieved of his duties by FIFA last week, went on to point out that he received solid support from a lot of individuals who wanted change during the election and that he could not control who Warner chose to support.

“We had a host of people supporting us and actually, we won the election 26 votes to 20 votes so it meant that 26 of the delegates supported me along with many other Trinidadians who felt at that point in time that something was definitely wrong with the organisation at that point and they needed a change so as a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago, even though Jack Warner expressed his opinion in terms of there should be change at the association then he has a right to do that, I really can’t stop him from doing that,” he added.

FIFA sent word of its decision to replace the TTFA executive with a normalisation committee two weeks ago in the face of what it described as extremely low overall financial management methods, combined with massive debt.  A surprised Wallace, who pointed to positive meeting with FIFA only a few weeks prior has vowed to fight the decision.

 

 

 

The Barbados Pride have been declared winners of the 2020 West Indies Championship (Four-Day), following a CWI Board of Directors teleconference held Tuesday afternoon.

 Acting upon the advice of the CWI Medical Advisory Committee, the board decided to cancel the last two rounds of matches in the first-class season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With Barbados Pride top of the points table after the eighth round, the Board unanimously agreed to award the Headley/Weekes Trophy to Barbados.

“All around the sporting world, we are faced with the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Cricket, cricketers and all our stakeholders involved in the game have been affected at various levels and we must continue to work to together and act responsibly in containing the spread of the virus,” said CWI CEO Johnny Grave.

“Ten days ago, we suspended our tournaments and camps for 30 days and now we have extended that suspension until the end of May as well as reluctantly cancelled some tournaments and tours in their entirety.  We will continue to monitor and assess the situation and make further decisions and announcements in due course.”

Grave added that the health and safety of everyone concerned were paramount and noted that CWI has put all systems in place to make sure its staff was observing the necessary protocols as outlined by the CWI Medical Advisory Committee and the World Health Organisation.

CWI has also reinforced the importance for all Territorial Boards and Local Cricket Associations to follow the advice of their respective Ministries of Health.

 

Below is the final points table:

 

Barbados Pride                                  134.8 points

 

Trinidad & Tobago Red Force          94.6 points

 

Guyana Jaguars                                  91.8 points

 

Jamaica Scorpions                             91.8 points

 

Windward Islands Volcanoes           78 points

 

Leeward Islands Hurricanes            52.8 points

  

Meanwhile, the Tournaments and Camps immediately affected are:

Colonial Medical Insurance Women’s Super50 Cup – postponed to later this year.

Regional Under-19s Women’s T20 Championship – postponed to later this year.

Regional Under-15s Boys Championship – cancelled for 2020.

West Indies Under-15s Tour to England in the summer – cancelled for 2020.

West Indies High-Performance and International preparation training camps – cancelled until at least May 31, 2020.

 

 

 

 

Lawyers representing the ousted executive of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) are demanding that FIFA withdraw their letter appointing the normalisation committee following their failure to respond to correspondence challenging the legality of said committee and the appointment of an interim manager.

They also declared that Tyril Patrick’s decision to remove himself as interim manager of the TTFA further strengthens their position.

On March 21, 2020, Patrick, who was the accountant employed by the previous TTFA administration, responded to the attorneys’ assertion that his appointment was invalid, stating that he was no longer accepting the appointment and that he had informed FIFA of his decision.

The lawyers, Matthew Gayle and Dr Emir Crowne, in a series of letters to Member Association Services Manager Sofia Malizia, questioned the motives behind FIFA’s installation of the normalization committee that replaced the executive that was constitutionally elected in November 2019.

“The political backdrop of this matter is not lost on those we represent,” Gayle wrote. “The ‘existing debt of at least USD 5.5’ was wholly accumulated under, or as a consequence of actions taken during the previous TTFA administration.

“That notwithstanding, FIFA stood idly by and took no punitive steps whatsoever. Now, in the face of a new administration with less than three months substantive tenure, which now threatens to uncover the rank impropriety of the previous administration by installing a regime of financial probity, the FIFA steps in an attempt to prevent this.

“It is passing strange that you purport to have installed Tyril Patrick, the accountant who oversaw at least in part the amassing of the very debt that the FIFA now complains of.”

Gayle and Dr Crowne also questioned the veracity of FIFA’s decision.

“The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association is a sovereign body established by an Act of Parliament of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago by way of Act 17 of 1982, The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (Incorporation) Act, 1982.

“The duly elected executive or any individual member may only demit office by operation of the constitution of the TTFA, which makes no allowance for the appointment of yourself or any other person to ‘oversee’ the day to day affairs of the TTFA as the FIFA letter purports to do or in any other capacity in place of the duly elected executive.

“It is, therefore, our client’s respectful view that the FIFA letter is null, void and no legal effect. It is not in any way binding on them.”

FIFA had until 8:00 am Monday, March 23, to respond to the lawyers but did not, which prompted the lawyers to draft another letter stating their position.

“As you will no doubt we aware by this point, Mr. Patrick has declined to accede to your unlawful and/or void and/or improper and/or unconstitutional attempts to interfere in the day-to-day running of the TTFA by the duly elected executive, led by President Mr. William Wallace,” Mr Gayle wrote.

“Our client’s respectful view is that your failure to respond by the stipulated deadline, coupled with Mr. Patrick’s clear indication that for his part he recognises the sovereignty of the TTFA, is a clear indication that FIFA itself has acknowledged the sovereign nature of the TTFA, ought rightly to put this matter to an end.”

The Caribbean Premier League is holding to its intended start date of August 19 amid concerns over the pandemic that has so far seen most sporting activities shut down. For now, they say, the season will proceed as planned.

In the seven years they have been together, Ato Boldon and Briana Williams have enjoyed a successful relationship as coach and athlete. In that time, the Trinidadian coach has guided the now 18-year-old Jamaican to several records and titles that have seen her stocks rise as one of the emerging athletes of the near future.

Late last year, Williams, who celebrated her 18th birthday on March 21, 2020, signalled her arrival among the professional ranks when she signed a multi-year professional contract with Nike.

It was just two years ago, in mid- March of 2018, that Williams signalled to the world that she was on her way when she set the 100m world age-group record for 15-year-old girls of 11.13 at the Bob Hayes Classic in Jacksonville, Florida.

Mere weeks later, she won three gold medals at the Carifta Games and claimed the coveted Austin Sealy Award as the most outstanding athlete of the meet.

However, it was the summer of 2018 that she demonstrated the immense depth of her talent when at the age of 16 she defied the odds to win the 100m and 200m titles at the World U20 Championships in Tampere, Finland.

The year 2019 was to prove as successful even though there would be a bump in the road.

At what would be her final Carifta Games, Williams repeated her exploits of 2018 and won the Austin Sealy Award for a second time.

She would go on to win the NACAC U18 100m title as well as the Pan Am U20 title and set a World U18 record of 10.94s when she finished third at the Jamaican national championships in June beaten only by world-leading times of 10.73s run by Olympic champions Elaine Thompson and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.

However, the 10.94 was erased after she failed a drug test having ingested Pharma Cold and Flu tablets tainted with the diuretic hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ). She was reprimanded by a Jamaica Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel and missed a chance to compete at the World Championships in Doha, Qatar.

It turned out to be a pit stop in her burgeoning career as greater things clearly await.

But, what is it like for her coach, shaping the future of a confident but headstrong 18-year-old?

Boldon shed some light on their relationship, first revealing that he did not start out intending to coach a then precocious 11-year-old Williams.

“I wasn’t really thinking about coaching her. I was more fundraiser in chief when it came time to find the money for her summer meets. Whatever shortfall she had after we did her go fund me, I made up,” he said.

Having ended up coaching her, Boldon said they now share a solid and fruitful connection.

“The relationship really is a good one. I think Briana and I know each other very well. I have to deal with the fact that she is a headstrong teen, she has to deal with the fact that my patience is about a quarter-of-an-inch long. I notice now when I go off on her over something, her attitude is “ok here he goes, he’ll be ok once he’s done," he said, explaining why he believes they are perfect for each other.

“Briana and I are both very interested in history. That’s why it works. It also works because she trusts me implicitly. The last three seasons have gone exactly as I told her they would in terms of times and performances.

“I’d like to think she’s inherited her sense of history from me. If it’s been done before, I am not really interested in it. I want her to blaze new trails and create history. I’m not sure she felt that way before. Her age-group world record in 2018 changed that. Hearing “Fastest 15-year-old girl ever” changed her mind quickly.”

It has not all been smooth sailing, however. After all, Briana is still a teenager.

“Briana is very headstrong. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. I tell people all the time, go look at the Kentucky Derby. You’ll see a horse that refuses to get in that starting gate. He’s not interested, won't conform, doesn’t care if the world is waiting,” he said.

“Briana can be like that, and I don’t like to be challenged when I’m coaching so it leads to some interesting interactions between us. Being headstrong I think is a trait of most great sprinters, so I’d never try to kill that part of her.”

There is a method, though, to getting the best from her.

“Once Briana sees results, she’ll do exactly what you want - and ask for more. There are workouts in 2018-2019 that I wanted to use sparingly because she’s 16 (now 17) and she’s like "coach we haven't done Workout X in a while…why not…?” and you realize “oh, she understands what that will do for her, she’s not afraid of the pain and she’s not going to avoid doing it again either."

Boldon, the first world junior champion to become a world champion at the senior level, said Williams is chest-deep in talent.

 “Briana has natural gifts that I’ve never seen. I've never seen someone at her age start like that. When it’s a big occasion, her start never deserts her. World under-20 final 100m, Jamaican Nationals 2019, 100m. I had pro sprinters in my camp that she could hold her own with - at age 14,” he said.

“I had to completely revamp her strength training this season because she can lift whatever I throw at her, but I will need that in her 20s and 30s. I can get around doing that stuff now. From hip to knee, she’s a beast. Grown men see her doing Olympic lifts in the gym and can't believe it. Much of speed is about strength to weight. She only weighs 125lb, but for her size, she’s extremely strong.”

He said he has no real issues in keeping her motivated, a critical component of her achieving greatness as she transitions to the senior ranks.

“She’s very motivated on her own. She doesn’t need me for that - until it’s something she hasn’t thought of. She knew she wanted to win World under 20s in the 100m in 2018 - even though she was only 16,” he said.

“I knew she could win both. She had to be convinced about the 200m. In 2018, people online were trying to tell her that she shouldn't be running with pros e.g. at Racers Grand Prix. Maybe she believed some of them. I convinced her otherwise. I don’t have to convince her much anymore.”

The Covid-19 pandemic will slow Briana Williams in 2020 as the 2020 Tokyo Olympics might be postponed until 2021. However, all that would do is delay the inevitable rise of the next female star of track and field.

West Indies batting legend, Brian Lara sees quite a bit of talent in the Windies squads currently hunting for a resurgence in world cricket but there is still work to be done.

Lara, speaking to ESPN Cricinfo, for instance, believes talented 23-year-old Shimron Hetmyer has personal issues like his fitness that he needs to deal with before he is quite ready to take the world by storm.

“People have challenges in different ways and Hetmyer, obviously, is a very talented cricketer, someone who plays all forms of the game for the West Indies. If he is unfit, he has to see it as a personal challenge. Fitness levels are so very important. So if fitness is his problem, I would like to see him face that challenge himself, and he’ll be a much better cricketer,” said Lara.

Lara though, has much more immediate hopes for others in the West Indies squad like Shai Hope, Nicholas Pooran and Alzarri Joseph.

According to the former Windies captain, Pooran understands his role in the team, while the West Indies can find Hope’s stability useful, even in the T20 form of the game, while Joseph is a gamechanger with his ability to take wickets.

“I like Nicholas Pooran, he’s settling down and understanding his responsibilities more now. Shai Hope could play a part in the T20 World Cup, being that solid guy with a great technique that can hold the innings together. Those are the three players I’m really looking forward to seeing. Alzarri Joseph is someone who I look at and say ‘this guy has got potential, he’s a wicket-taker’. He is someone who I’d like to see do well,” said Lara.

Lara, as he has said before, believes the team can learn much from the example of Virat Kohli.

Kohli, he said, has worked hard on his fitness and that, Lara explained, is the perfect lead for Hetmyer to follow.

Jamaica’s football programmes are under threat from the pandemic now affecting the world says Jamaica Football Federation president, Michael Ricketts.

With the world’s top leagues either cancelled or suspended, the JFF has had to follow suit, suspending its leagues as well as a friendly against Catalonia courtesy of travel restrictions to that country.

“It is affecting the football product itself, because we are not playing any football, and our overseas assignments, we have to be putting them on hold,” said Ricketts, before looking at all the short-term issues the organization has faced.

“Our girls, by now, would have been in Mexico preparing for the Concacaf Under-17 World Cup qualifiers. We would be on our way now to look at some English-based players and then move over to Spain for our friendly match against Catalonia,” said Ricketts.

“We were having discussions for a high-profile game in June in New York, and that had to be put on hold,” he said. “This has set us back in a huge way, but it is a pandemic and it is affecting the entire world.”

According to Ricketts, the JFF will have to rush to get games as soon as it is safe to do so in a bid to get back on track.

“We are definitely going to have some catching up to do and, of course, we will now have to hastily get some games after we get permission from our parent organisation, and from the Ministry of Health and Wellness,” Ricketts said.

“For now, we are at a standstill and we just have to be very hopeful. I am pretty certain that, in a few days, the Government and Ministry of Health will be doing further assessments and will certainly advise us accordingly.”

World football governing body, FIFA, and The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) have combined forces to come up with amended Statutes as part of a bid to improve the governance of the sport at all levels.

A release from the JFF said earlier this month, Sarah Solemale, Senior Manager Governance, led discussions with the JFF hierarchy about its statutes.

Also at that meeting were Director of Caribbean Member Associations Affairs, Horace Reid, and One CONCACAF and Caribbean Projects Senior Manager, Howard McIntosh.

According to Solemale, FIFA, has since 2016, been targeting improved governance structures throughout the organisation, first within FIFA itself, and then throughout its member associations.

FIFA wants legislative, strategic, operational, and separation of powers among its member states and wants these changes to be made within the JFF before December 2020.

According to the release, the following was discussed:

 

  1. Who constitutes a member of the Federation and by so should be represented at the Congress. In this regard, the representation of regional bodies (parishes); interest groups (schools, referees etc) and the professional league was the recommendation from FIFA. By extension, the percentage representation of these groups would have to be determined. All members must be legal entities.

 

  1. The role and composition of the Board of Directors. On this FIFA recommended for discussion that three important areas of expertise must be represented on the Board: legal, finance and commercial. The recommendation is also that Board members cannot be delegates at Congress as this represents a major conflict of interest and also that there be a special focus on the competencies and efficiencies at the Board level. The composition must be guided by the question, how can the Board of Directors be made efficient to serve the development of the sport. In this regard, the Board also needed to operate on the principle of separation of powers. FIFA is also being insistent on gender inclusion on the Board and this should be clearly stated in the revised Statutes. Term limits for the President and members of the Board are also to be decided.

 

  1. The role of the General Secretariat: Emphasis was placed on the critical need for separation of powers between the Board of Directors and the General Secretariat and the need for staff expertise in the areas of Finance, Legal, Commercial and Technical. The General Secretary is the chief executive of the Secretariat and is required to provide operational leadership based on a clear Job Description and agreed to competencies, in carrying out the policies decided on by the Board of Directors. Expertise in audit and compliance was also highlighted as mandatory.

 

  1. Standing Committees: The role and composition of Standing Committees and in particular the independent committees (Judicial; Disciplinary; Appeals; Audit and Compliance and Electoral) was also discussed.

 

FIFA will send revised statutes to the JFF in time for the organisation to do a review and to dispense information on the changes to its parish associations ahead of the JFF's Congress at the end of the year where the new statutes will be ratified.

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