Barcelona forward Lionel Messi and Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton became the first joint-winners of the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year on Monday.

Messi and Hamilton were level on votes made by former sports legends who are members of the Laureus Academy.

Argentina international Messi inspired Barca to a 26th LaLiga title last season with 36 goals in 34 appearances, form that earned him a record sixth Ballon d'Or.

Mercedes driver Hamilton was crowned F1 world champion for the sixth time in 2019, putting him second only to Michael Schumacher on the all-time list.

Hamilton was in Berlin to collect his award in person, while Messi – the first individual from a team sport to claim the prize – sent a video message.

"I would like to thank the Academy for giving me this recognition. The truth is that this is a very important and special award," said Messi.

"I am honoured to be the first to win this award being a sportsperson coming from a team sport and not an individual sport, which is usually the case. Thank you very much.

"For me it's a huge delight to be part of this award and the first team player to receive it. Of course, I would like to thank my team-mates, my family and the fans who support me. Thanks to them this kind of individual recognition is possible."

The pair collected more votes than fellow contenders Rafael Nadal, Marc Marquez, Tiger Woods and Eliud Kipchoge. 

Gymnast Simone Biles was named Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year having become the most decorated gymnast in world championship history and helped the United States to a fifth team title.

Cross-country skier Oksana Masters was handed the World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability award.

South Africa men's rugby union side, who won the World Cup in 2019, were selected as the team of the year.

The other major winners were cyclist Egan Bernal (breakthrough), racing driver Sophia Florsch (comeback) and basketball player Dirk Nowitzki (lifetime achievement award).

Darren Bravo marked his return with a stroke-filled century as West Indies had their first warm-up match on the ongoing tour against the Sri Lanka Cricket XI on Monday at the P Sara Oval.

The experienced left-hander hit 14 fours and a six in an even 100 – before he retired. He faced just 88 balls and played a number of powerful shots on both side of the wicket but was particularly eye-catching driving through the covers. His effort helped the West Indies post 282 all out off 48.4 overs.

The score, however, wasn’t enough as the Sri Lanka XI made 283-8 off 47.3 overs.

Bravo shared in two crucial partnerships as the West Indies batsmen looked to get valuable time in the middle ahead of the ODI series, which starts on Saturday. He added 113 with Sunil Ambris, who made 41 off 63 balls with six boundaries.

After Ambris fell, Nicholas Pooran joined Bravo and the pair of left-handers dominated the bowling with a stand of 79 in just 12 overs. Pooran, who made his maiden international century against Sri Lanka at last year’s World Cup, scored 41 off 38 balls, with two fours and two huge sixes. In the backend Fabian Allen (28) and Jason Holder (22) played cameos to boost the total.

“My goal was to spend at much time as possible at the crease. I had a particular game plan and it worked out so I’m confident going into the One-Day Series, later this week,” said Bravo.

In the second half of the match, left-arm pacer Sheldon Cottrell (2-22) was sensational with the new ball to have the home side two wickets down in the first over.

Left-arm spinner Fabian Allen (2-62) and leg-spinner Hayden Walsh (2-52) both bowled well but they were trumped by a brilliant knock of 120 from former Sri Lanka captain Upul Tharanga, who hit 16 fours and a six off 124 balls.

The West Indies will remain in Colombo this week, where they will have another warm-up match against the SLC XI on Thursday.

The first ODI is at the Sinhalese Sports Club on Saturday.

It’s been a while away from the action and now she is back from a major injury and rehab, back with the West Indies team, and back on the world stage, where she belongs.

Unbeaten centuries from Devon Smith and Kavem Hodge helped the Windward Islands Volcanoes bat their way out of an outright loss against the Guyana Jaguars on Sunday’s final day of their West Indies Championship game at St George’s Park.

Scores in the match, the Volcanoes, 318 and 273-1, the Jaguars, 426.

The Volcanoes began the day 62 runs in arrears after their first innings 318 on the back of half-centuries from Hodge, 53, Keron Cottoy, 56, and Shane Shillingford, 63, was overhauled by the Jaguars, who benefitted from Leon Johnson’s unbeaten 189, and Christopher Barnwell’s 107 to be in a strong position, some 108 runs ahead.

The Volcanoes, after losing Roland Cato on two, steadily set about overhauling the deficit, ending Saturday on 46-1 with Smith on 16 and Hodge on 17.

The two were not to be parted when they resumed on Sunday morning, as an enthralling game of cricket ended in a stalemate.

Smith faced 262 deliveries on his way to 147, while Hodge would score an even hundred from 227 balls.

Smith struck 12 fours and a six on his way to the total, while Hodge was helped to his three figures with 11 boundaries.

For the Jaguars, Keon Joseph ended with figures of 0-21 from 10 overs, Nial Smith had 0-41 also from 10, while first-innings heroes, Devendra Bishoo and Veerasammy Permaul also ended wicketless, going for 52 runs off 17 and 41 off 19 respectively.

It was also a bad day with the ball for Johnson, who bowled five overs for 25 runs and Barnwell, who could only manage 0-32 from eight overs.

The only bowler to enjoy any form of success was Raymon Reifer, 1-50 off 13 overs.

Reifer trapped Cato leg before wicket late Saturday but toiled in vain on the following day.

The St Lucia Zouks have been sold to K.P.H Dream Private Cricket, a group of investors with extensive experience in high-profile cricket, the Caribbean Premier League has announced.

A five-for from Jamaica Scorpions pacer Nicholson Gordon helped unlocked the stubborn resistance of Leewards Hurricanes, in a 5 wickets triumph, in the West Indies Championship.

Resuming the day at 134 for 4, the Hurricanes were eventually all out for a battling 294 and leaving the Scorpions needing 137 to win.  In response, an unbeaten 66 from 48 from Nkruma Bonner, who received support in the form of 38 off 34 from Jermaine Blackwood was good enough for the Scorpions to surpass the total at 137 for 5.

Earlier, Jahmar Hamilton (12) and Terrence Ward (20) were the ones to resume the Leewards fight and added a useful 5th wicket partnership of 110.  With the team seemingly on the way to a 300 plus total, the partnership was broken when Hamilton was bowled on 54 by Bonner.  Ward was the next to go as he was caught by Dennis Smith, on 74, off the bowling of Nicholas Gordon. 

Rahkeem Cornwall added 22 before being another victim of Gordon as the Leewards lost momentum and crashed at 294 all out.

International T20 stars Rayad Emrit and Lendl Simmons have been confirmed for the Golden Republic T20 Bash set for February 21, 2020, at the Guyana National Stadium in Providence.

Reggae Boyz striker Darren Mattocks is in hot water as he is facing two felony charges in Pennsylvania, according to media reports from the United States.

The 21st annual KPMG Squash League will kick off on Tuesday, February 18, 2020, with a jam-packed roster as 22 teams do battle for top honours. 

The popular handicap tournament will have close to 90 players in action with ages, gender, experience and skill-levels ranging across the spectrum.  The competition’s unique format will ensure that each player is on a level footing with their opponent, which makes for exciting matches and unpredictable outcomes game by game.

Defending champions, the Adams Family are back in the hunt, fielding the same four-man line-up of Robert Roper, Adam Hugh, Adam Lee and Allan Roper, who got the job done last year.

Similarly, 2019 runners up, the Power Bolts, have kept their roster intact and the team, which includes four junior national squad players; Aman Dhiman, Savannah Thomson, Mia Todd and Dylan Vaz, is determined to take the title this time around.

Also in the mix are multiple-time champions, the Milex Eagles whose star-studded slate includes former Caribbean Junior Champions, Larissa and Akelia Wiltshire, former All Jamaica Junior Champion, Tahjia Lumley as well as Shane Slater, an experienced competitor.  In the same vein, 2018 winners, the ‘Cereal’ Killers, another all-juniors team, are also hoping to return to the winner’s circle.

“The KPMG League is a tournament that the entire squash community looks forward to because the participation cuts across the board and showcases the range of players who compete in the sport,” Chris Hind, President of the Jamaica Squash Association said.

“We are also pleased that this year we have strong representation from our junior players, and this will sharpen their skills for the national and Caribbean championships that are coming up later this year,” he added.

Tarun Handa, Managing Partner for KPMG in Jamaica said, “KPMG has supported this tournament for over 20 years and we continue to be impressed by the way the competition brings out a wide cross-section of players and spectators making it a true community event, and this year should be no different.”

The first phase of the tournament, which will feature a round-robin format is expected to run until the end of March.  The top 8 teams will advance to the knockout stage which will be played in the first half of April.

Barbados Pride pacer Keon Harding ripped through the rest of the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force batting line-up to formalise a massive 299 runs win in West Indies Championship action at Bridgetown.

Harding ended with second innings bowling figures of 5 for 57 and was the primary architect as the Red Force scuttled out for a paltry 77 in the second innings.  Looking to stage an unlikely rescue mission, overnight batsmen Joshua Da Silva (23) and Yannic Cariah (12) began the final day with the team struggling at 48 for 4.

Da Silva only managed to add another 13 runs before he was dismissed lbw by Chemar Holder.  Cariah followed soon after, managing to add just one more run before being caught by Shane Dowrich off the bowling of Harding.

In a steady procession of wickets, Terrance Hinds (2) Bryan Charles (0) Uthman Muhammad (3) and Daniel St Clair (0) all departed while adding just a total of 5 runs added to the total.

 

 

 West Indies Women spinner Anisa Mohammed admits the team would love some measure of revenge against hosts Australia, who defeated them on Caribbean soil before going on to claim the Women’s T20 World Cup title two years ago.

The Windies and Aussies have become fierce competitors over the last two editions of the tournament.  The regional team made international headlines after stunning the heavily favoured Australians at the 2016 edition in India, to claim their first world title.

The Australians, however, returned the favour by beating the West Indies in the semifinals of the tournament, in the Caribbean in 2018, before going on to claim a fourth title.  In five days’ time, the Australians will begin a campaign they hope will culminate in them claiming a fifth on their home soil.   Mohammed believes it is the perfect opportunity for the Windies to play spoilers.

 "We've come to win this World Cup and take it back from Australia," Mohammed, whose 118 wickets makes her the most successful T20I bowler of all time, told ICC Cricket.

"It would be nice to spoil the party. They spoiled ours, so it would be nice to return the favour,” she added.

"Australia have been doing really well. They recently played in the tri-series and came out on top, but we've been working hard ourselves.”

The Windies will begin the tournament against Thailand on Saturday, with defending champions Australia bowling things off on the previous day.

 

The Barbados Pride have a massive 329-run lead going into the final day of their West Indies Championship game against the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in Bridgetown.

After scoring a paltry 209 in their first innings, the Pride hit back by skittling out the Red Force for just 175 before returning to the crease to rack up 342 and put pressure on the visitors who are now struggling at 48-4.

When the Pride bat for a second time, Kraigg Brathwaite scored 58, Sheyne Moseley had a wonderful knock of 155, and Kevin Stoute chipped in with an important 55.

Jeremy Solozano, with an even 50, was the only person to lay down a significant mark on the scoreboard in the Red Force’s 175.

On Sunday morning, Joshua Da Silva, on 23, and Yannic Cariah, on 12, will resume batting for the Red Force with Solozano, 5, Yannick Ottley, 1, Jason Mohammed, 5, and Denesh Ramdin, 0, all back in the pavilion.

Kemar Roach, 2-25, and Chemar Holder, 2-13, have been the destroyers so far.

Roach and Holder had bagged two wickets when they bowled to the Red Force the first time out, providing good support to Keon Harding, who had ended with 5-57.

The Guyana Jaguars have a 62-run lead headed into the final day of their West Indies Championship game against the Windward Islands Hurricanes at St George’s.

The Jaguars, thanks to 189 from skipper Leon Johnson, and 107 from Christopher Barnwell had made light work of the Volcanoes’ 318 all-out in the first innings, scoring 426.

That 318 was made on the back of half-centuries from Kaveem Hodge, 53, Keron Cottoy, 56, and Shane Shillingford, 53.

Devendra Bishoo, 4-73, and Veerasammy Permaul, 4-59, were the best of the Jaguars bowling before their batsmen found it easy going to score 426.

Batting a second time, the Volcanoes made it to 46-1 at the close of play on the third day.

Devon Smith, 16, and Hodge, 17, are the not-out batsmen with Cato the only man back in the pavilion, falling leg-before off the bowling of Raymon Reifer.

The Jamaica Scorpions are in a race against time headed into the final day of their West Indies Championship game against the Leeward Islands Hurricanes on Sunday at the Trelawny Muli-Purpose Stadium.

Scores in the match so far, the Scorpions, 385, and the Hurricanes, 227 and 134-4.

The Scorpions, batting first, posted the competitive total thanks to Jermaine Blackwood’s 98 and Denis Smith’s 84.

In reply, only Montcin Hodge, 52, and Terance Ward, 65, made it to landmarks while Amir Jangoo scored 35 before he was run out.

Patrick Harty was the pick of the Scorpions bowling, bagging 4-43 on the way to restricting the Hurricanes to just 227.

Batting a second time and facing a deficit of 158, the Hurricanes made a fight of it but were pegged back by Nicholas Gordon’s 2-44.

That fight came mostly from the bat of Kieran Powell, who scored 54 before Gordon had him caught by Smith.

1-37 from Harty and 1-27 from Pete Salmon left the Hurricanes 24 runs short with just six second-innings wickets still intact.

The Hurricanes could bat for a long time tomorrow and end the match in a stalemate, as Jahmar Hamilton, 12, and Ward, 20, have hunkered down.

The Scorpions, on the other hand, will look to get rid of these six wickets as soon as possible and set to the task of overhauling what they hope will be a very small target. They currently lead by 24 runs.

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