Paul-Andre Walker

Paul-Andre Walker

Paul-Andre is the Managing Editor at SportsMax.tv. He comes to the role with almost 20 years of experience as journalist. That experience includes all facets of media. He began as a sports Journalist in 2001, quickly moving into radio, where he was an editor before becoming a news editor and then an entertainment editor with one of the biggest media houses in the Caribbean.

Jamaican track legend Usain Bolt and his United States counterpart Carl Lewis, rarely agree on anything, but both have stood firmly beside each other in chiding ESPN reporter Max Kellerman, over disparaging comments about the sport. 

India skipper, Virat Kohli, believes his charges completed a successful routing of the West Indies in the Caribbean by being tough when they needed to be. 

Kohli was speaking after his touring side completed a 257-run victory over a virtually hapless West Indies in Jamaica.

Sent into bat, India scored 416 against the bowling of Jason Holder, 5-77 and debutant Rahkeem Cornwall, 3-105. India pressed the advantage when they bowled, skittling out the West Indies for a paltry 117 thanks, in large part to Jasprit Bumrah’s 6-27. Batting again India took a commanding lead after scoring 168-4 before again bowling out the West Indies, this time for 210.

"Pretty comprehensive again. We played good cricket, and getting the result in the manner you want is crucial as a team,” said Kohli after the game.

But it wasn’t always easy, despite the margin of victory and Kohli thanked his team for toughing out those moments when it wasn’t.

“We were put under pressure in a couple of sessions. While batting, there were some tricky situations but it took some character from the boys. Hanuma [Vihari] was the standout batsman, but Ajinkya [Rahane] in the second innings, Mayank [Argarwal] in the first innings, Ishant [Sharma] with the fifty - it was an innings full of grit,” said Kohli.

Vihari scored his maiden Test century in the first innings before going on to score an unbeaten half-century in the second to claim the man-of-the-match trophy.

“According to the surface, Vihari's innings was top class. He looks confident and the dressing-room feels calm when he bats. He's always willing to improve and correcting his mistakes. Plays with a lot of heart. Up to do anything for the team. That's why he invariably plays crucial innings for us. Young career for him so far, but he showed why he's been backed by this team,” said Kohli.

The man of the match was elated with his performance as well.

"Maiden Test hundred feels great. Missed out on the hundred in the last match, so was focusing on a big score this time. We were 200 for 5 in the first innings, and that was my goal while batting with Rishabh Pant. You had to be patient on this wicket, and select the ball where you'll score runs. There was something for the bowlers, so you need to wait for the balls. Took some calculated risks against the spinners. Even in the second innings, the template worked well for me,” said Vihari.

Two of the 12 coaches in Jamaica’s Red Stripe Premier League have already been fired.

Jerome Waite, longstanding coach with Arnett Gardens, was last week, sacked and this week, the coach of Dunbeholden, former Reggae Boy, Fabian Taylor was shown the door.

Waite, it was said, would not have enough time with Arnett Gardens because of his duties with the national programme. Waite is coach of Jamaica’s under-23 outfit.

Taylor’s case also had to do with the stresses involved in starting a new season at the top level in Jamaican football. The former Reggae Boy was, reportedly, not pleased with the nature of the squad Dunbeholden were going to start the season with.

Dunbeholden have returned to the tried and tested, Regel Smith, who got them to the Premier League.

Waite, who won four Premier League titles with the club,  has been replaced by Wolmer’s player and former Arnett Gardens centre half, Alex Thomas. Thomas is also the coach of Wolmer’s Boys’ in Jamaica’s schoolboy urban area competitions, the Manning and Walker cups.

Barbados have had a plethora of great results over the past few years. In 2016 they beat Curacao 1-0 in the Caribbean Cup and in 2017 they defeated Bermuda 3-2 on the road. Both of those teams were just a few years away from fantastic 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup showings. 

Barbados have also had some of the strongest home form in the entire confederation in recent time, having become a difficult beast to break down when playing at the friendly confines of Wildey. In 2018 the Bajans fended off Bermuda, Belize, Jamaica, and Cuba in four successive home matches, completing three shutouts along the way.

From back to front, Keasel Broome is an excellent goalkeeper who has spent time with multiple clubs in the USL. Emerson Boyce may be gone, but Ricardio Morris was on the back line for many of those famous wins mentioned above, and 19-year-old Kaeson Trench is currently in the Toronto FC system. Captain Rashad Jules plies his trade in Finland, and forward Mario Harte (15 goals for the national team) will cause a lot of headaches for the defenses in this group.

Barbados are a team that is very capable of producing great results, and their record speaks for itself. The players are there, the experience is there, and certainly the passion for the game is there; take a look at the sizable crowds and streaming numbers for the island’s domestic leagues for proof. 

Promotion is the goal for Barbados and a very attainable one at that, but there are six matches in this group and they need to stay focused and organized for all six of them to succeed.

Liverpool and Netherlands defender Virgil Van Dijk beat Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi and Juventus tallisman Cristiano Ronaldo to UEFA's Best Player title. Should he have? The Zone Blitz team asks the question.

The St Lucia Zouks have announced a number of changes to their playing roster for the upcoming Caribbean Premier League (CPL) season. 

The 2019 Scotiabank Concacaf League Round of 16 continues on Thursday night with a decisive second-leg clash between reigning SCL champion Herediano of Costa Rica and Waterhouse of Jamaica at the Estadio Eladio Rosabal Cordero in Heredia, Costa Rica.

The two teams played to an entertaining 1-1 draw in the first leg, with Andre Fletcher scoring early for the Jamaicans prior to Keysher Brown’s equalizer for the Ticos in the first half.

While the Costa Rican side boasts plenty of Concacaf experience in both the SCL and the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League, Waterhouse showed in the first leg in Kingston that it can go toe-to-toe with Herediano, which should make for a thrilling and decisive second leg.

Fletcher and Keithy Simpson will lead the Waterhouse attack, while Herediano has its own dangermen in the form of Jose Guillermo Ortiz, Francisco Rodriguez and first-leg scorer Brown.

Also in Herediano’s favor is its home form in Concacaf play.

In previous SCCL appearances, Herediano owns a 21W-3D-5L record on home soil, while in last season’s SCL, the Florenses posted a 4W-0D-0L record, with eight goals scored and zero conceded.

Asafa Powell is looking further and further away from the heady form that saw him set two world records over 100 metres after the ‘Sub-10 King’ could only manage a seventh place finish at a track meet in Madrid, Spain on Sunday. 

Reggae Boy Dever Orgill opened his account in the Turkish Super League on Saturday, helping his side, Ankaraguchu, earn a 1-1 draw with Kayserispor.

The goal, scored in the 59th minute of the encounter, was the 29-year-old’s seventh goal for the club.

Kayserispor would cancel out Orgill’s strike all the way in the 90th minute. Orgill joined Ankaraguchu in January from Austrian club Wolfsburger for €1 million.

He also scored two goals for Jamaica at the CONCACAF Gold Cup earlier this summer.

Portmore United player Emilio Rousseau, for the first time in his career, is in the mix to represent the Reggae Boyz as the team gets ready to play in the CONCACAF Nations League Group Stage in September.

The Reggae Boyz will begin their group stage campaign with a game against Antigua and Barbuda and then against Guyana in September.

Rousseau will be joined by the returning Corey Burke as names that were absent from recent friendlies.

Goalkeeper Jeadine White makes the squad along with players like Kevon Reid, Amal Knight, Fabion McCarthy, Ladale Richie, Daniel Green, Kemar Bennett, Ajeanie Talbott, Andre Lewis, Tevin Shaw, Alex Marshall, Leonard Rankine, Kaheem Parris, Clifton Woodbine, Nicholas Hamilton, Kevaughn Isaacs, and Shaquille Dyer.

Reggae Boyz coach, Theodore Whitmore is investing a lot in this squad, the former player, saying his charges upcoming matches have huge significance to their World Cup bid.

“It is important that that then edn of the group phase the country finishes in the top six in CONCACAF in order to be in the best position entering the World Cup qualifiers in September 2020,” the coach had said.

Whitmore was speaking to stake holders within the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), asking for as much support as they could possibly muster.

"Even after finishing in the top six in November 2019, it will be important to maintain that position through other FIFA international match dates down to June 2020, so I am urging total focus and support through the next couple of months in the first instance," he said.

Jamaica’s Stephenie-Ann McPherson ran a blinding final 50 to win the 400 metres inside the Charlety Stadium at the Paris Diamond League on Saturday.

McPherson clocked 51.11 seconds to claim the Diamond League one-lap event ahead of the United States’s Kendall Ellis, who was timed in 51.21.

Another US athlete, Shakima Wimbley, was third in 51.50.

McPherson, coming off the final bend was not in the frame for a medal but found an extra gear over the last 70 metres, advancing from fourth to storm past Ellis, who was also moving past Wimbley.

The strong finish from Ellis was impressive but McPherson showed real heart, making sure her lane seven assignment counted for nothing.

The United States’ Phyllis Francis was a disappointing fourth in 51.56, while the Netherland’s Lisanne de Witte was fifth in 51.83.

Botswana’s Christine Botlogetswe, 52.02, France’s Deborah Sananes, 52.04, and her countrywoman Amandine Brossier, 53.29, rounded out the field.

Elaine Thompson, despite putting together consistent wins over 100 metres this season, believes she is still not at 100 per cent just yet.

Thompson made it five wins from as many starts over the shortest sprint on Saturday when she blew away the challenge of the Ivory Coast’s Marie-Josee Ta Lou to stop the clock at 10.98 seconds.

While the time wasn’t as quick as the heady 10.73 she clocked earlier this season, the performance was dominant and the 2016 Olympic champion may be looking like a favourite for a 2019 World Championship title.

Thompson is staying calm though and going through the process to ensure she is at peak when she gets to Doha.

"It's still five weeks to Doha so it's all preparation at this stage," the 27-year-old Thompson said.

"I'm not 100 percent yet because it's all about the world championships. It's very important to put races like this in because it was a strong field."

Despite saving something for the finish, Jamaica’s Natoya Goule was pipped by a well-timed late sprint from the United States’ Hanna Green during their 800-metre Diamond League meeting in Paris on Saturday. 

Jamaican sprinter Elaine Thompson continues to look unbeatable over 100 metres lately, easing to her latest victory at the Paris Diamond League on Saturday. 

Jamaican triple jumper, Shanieka Ricketts, is still in search of the elusive 15-metre mark after a fourth-place finish at the Paris Diamond League on Saturday.

The triple jump was won by Brazil’s Yulimar Rojas, who got out to 15.05 metres and was the only athlete over the mark.

The next three jumpers were all bunched up, with Cuba’s Liadagmis Povea ending second with a hop, skip and a jump of 14.75 metres.

Third was the United States’ Keturah Orji with 14.72, a personal best.

That personal best came with Orji’s final jump, giving her third place ahead of Ricketts by just a centimeter.

Ricketts’ coach and husband Kerrylee Ricketts said his charge was now working on her landing because 15 metres was not far away were she to get that right.

Another Jamaican, Kimberly Williams, finished further down the field in sixth with a leap of 14.45 metres.   

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