Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

Jhaniele Fowler put on another shooting masterclass on Sunday as the West Coast Fever defeated the Sunshine Coast Lightning to book a spot in Sunday’s grand final.

Despite enjoying an outstanding 2020 track season World 400m hurdles champion, Karsten Warholm does not believe he is the man to replace Usain Bolt as the face of track and field. In fact, he believes no one can.

The 24-year-old Warholm came incredibly close to Kevin Young’s world record of 46.78 set back in 1992, when he ran 46.87, a European record, at the Diamond League meeting in Stockholm in August.

Warholm also became the first athlete to run 47.10 or faster over the 400m hurdles multiple times during the course of a single season. He did it four times.

His remarkable performances made him the standout star in 2020 as every time he raced fans expected him to challenge or break the world record.

During a recent chat on Instagram Live with Olympian and athletics broadcaster Ato Boldon, Warholm was asked he if was ready to assume the mantle of the man to replace Usain Bolt. Achieving that, he said, would be impossible.

"When Usain Bolt came into the sport, he didn't have anyone right before him that... He didn't have any shoes to fill at that point,” he said.

"Now everybody talks about who's going to be the next Usain Bolt. Nobody is going to be the next Usain Bolt! Nobody is going to be the next Ato Boldon either.

"I think everybody's got to find their own way, Usain Bolt was huge so it's an honour just being compared to him but for me it's always been about developing.

"I don't want to build myself up as the face of the sport or the next Usain because for me it's about the running. If what comes with it is that people get inspired by what I'm doing, then I think that's great."

The Kolkata Knight Riders are sweating on the health of Andre Russell, who injured his knee during their two-run win over the hapless Kings XI Punjab on Saturday.

Chris Gayle was hospitalized on Saturday presumably as a consequence of the food poisoning that he has been suffering from early last week.

Gayle posted a picture of himself on his Instagram page on Saturday in a hospital bed with cucumber slices over his eyes while chewing on a carrot strip while speaking on the phone.

He seemed to be in good spirits.

“I can tell you this!!! I will never go down without a fight. I am the #UniverseBoss – that will never change…Thanks for all your concern peeps, much appreciated,” he stated in part in the caption under the picture.

Gayle, 41, was expected to debut this IPL season for the struggling Kings XI Punjab on Thursday against Sunrisers Hyderabad, but according to coach Anil Kumble, the Universe Boss was unable to because he was in a lot of discomfort because of food poisoning.

“Chris Gayle was going to play today’s match but he is sick. He is down with food poisoning that’s why he isn’t in playing eleven,” Kumble told commentators during the game.

Gayle is still expected to come into the side to replace marquee player Glen Maxwell who has struggled for form so far this season.

KXIP have won only one of their seven games this season and sit at the foot of the 2020 IPL standings.

Three-time Olympian Sherone Simpson will be the patron for the inaugural Team Jamaica Bickle Virtual 5K run/walk set to take place between October 9 and 24. Team Jamaica Bickle hopes to raise US$25,000 from the event that will go towards supporting athlete welfare in the coming year.

This was announced during an online press conference hosted by TJB Chairman Irwin Claire on Friday morning.

The funds raised will support TJB’s programs, mainly its hospitality services which include the provision of meals, transportation, accommodations and medical care for Caribbean athletes participating at the annual Penn Relays Carnival at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA. The organization also embarked on a Defibrillator to Schools program approximately six years ago ensuring that these life-saving devices are available to athletes participating in sports at high schools in Jamaica.

TJB are hoping to attract 1000 participants who are being asked to register via either the TJB website or https://events.elitefeats.com/bickle20.

Once registered, participants have approximately two weeks from October 9-24, 2020, to complete their run or walk and upload their time using the Strava APP which can be downloaded from the Apple or Google Play Store. Two lucky runners will be awarded automatic entry to the Reggae Marathon, which will be held virtually this year. There will also be10n prizes, awarded to five males and five females. The announcement of these prizes will take place on Sunday October 25, 2020 at 12 noon and will be streamed live on Jamaicans.com, on TJB’s Facebook Page and its other Social Media Platforms.

Marvin Anderson, president of the Olympian Association of Jamaica, said the 5K run/walk fits perfectly with the Memorandum of Understanding signed between his association and TJB that was signed earlier this year.

Grace Kennedy, JTB, Caribbean Food Delights, Jamaicans.com, Energice, Reggae Marathon, Awesome Power Track Club, Joseph Sports LLC and True Tribute Organization are sponsors of the event.

 

 

Following his whirlwind half century for Kings XI Punjab on Thursday, albeit in a losing cause, Nicholas Pooran has come in for high praise from IPL pundits, former players Tom Moody and Ajit Agarkar.

The 25-year-old Trinidadian raced to 77 from just 37 balls smashing seven massive sixes and five fours as KXIP chased the 201 set by Sunrisers Hyderabad in their 20 overs.

The ninth over of the KXIP was especially memorable for the 28 runs Pooran scored off the bowling of Abdul Samad’s leg-break deliveries.

Pooran smashed four sixes and a four in the over. He slammed the fourth ball over long off for the third six in the over that brought up his 50 in just 17 balls, the fastest so far this season.

Moody, the former all-rounder turned commentator and administrator, has been watching Pooran for a number of years now in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) and in the IPL and believes the batsman has an exciting future ahead of him.

“I don’t think there are better strikers of the ball in world cricket than Nicholas Pooran,” said Moody while speaking on T20 Timeout.

“He times the ball. He has got a wonderful bat swing. It’s a bit like Yuvraj Singh’s bat swing. It’s very long and elegant one that not only possesses a huge amount of power but incredible timing, hits the ball a long, long way and he seems to do it for fun.”

The former all-rounder continued: “I think this is just the beginning of an exciting number of years for Nicholas Pooran in IPL cricket and cricket outside the IPL.”

Agarkar, the former Indian fast bowler, was in agreement.

“Those sixes were massive sixes,” he said. “Just beautiful timing every time he hits the ball, pace and spin, it’s not one or the other, and just bats beautifully.”

 

 

 

A case of food poisoning prevented Chris Gayle from playing for the Kings XI Punjab on Thursday.

Suspended Phoenix Rising forward Junior Flemmings has won the Golden Boot award for the 2020 USL Championship season, the league announced today.

Lead selector for West Indies Women Ann Browne-John has echoed sentiments expressed by former team captain Merissa Aguilleira earlier this year that members of the current team lack the required passion for the game.

Aguilleira was speaking on Sportsmax’s Commentators Podcast in April when she made reference to the team's 5-nil home series defeat by India in November 2019 ahead of the T20 World Cup in Australia in February.

The team subsequently failed to advance from their group after losing two of their preliminary round matches. Another was rained out.

"Somehow the drive, the passion is not there and that's a huge cause for concern.,” Aguilieira said then. “We as West Indies players love to express ourselves, not just play cricket but have fun playing cricket, so when you look at the players and you realize they are not having fun, you realize that the passion is not there." 

Following their recent 5-0 drubbing at the hands of England, Browne-John said that lack of passion remained an issue of concern.

“We would like to see the passion we had before,” Browne-John said during an interview on Sportsnation Live on Nationwide Radio on Jamaica on Saturday.

“I have been involved with the team over a length of time even before I became a selector and that is one of the things I always hear the coaches mention to the girls. They want to see the intensity, they want to see the drive, the passion that we are supposed to have.”

The issue has been the subject of conversation on a number of occasions, she revealed, adding that she believes that the players have to embrace the idea of taking responsibility.

“It has been discussed a lot whether it is a lack of confidence, whether it is a dependency on one or two persons, and we always try to say to the girls, each individual must take responsibility. If you are batting at the top and opening, then you must take responsibility. If you are batting at three or four, anywhere you are you need to take responsibility for that position,” Browne-John said.

“Hopefully by doing that we could see some of the passion and drive coming back, but I am agreeing that we are not seeing that at the moment.”

 

 

 

 

 

Phoenix Rising midfielder Junior Flemmings has been suspended for six games and fined an undisclosed sum following an investigation into allegations that he used “foul and abusive language” against a San Diego Loyal player on September 30.

In addition, according to reports the Jamaican could face additional sanctions from his club.

The suspension means that Flemmings will miss all of the 2020 USL Championships playoffs. He had scored 14 goals in 14 matches for the Phoenix Rising.

The USL said 11 persons were interviewed during the investigation. They included coaches, players and match officials.

Flemmings was accused by San Diego Loyals player Collin Martin, who is gay during a match on Wednesday, September 30. His actions prompted the Loyals players to abandon the match during the first half even though they were leading 3-1. Flemmings had characterized the allegations as being untrue.

The club subsequently sent the player on administrative leave while the league conducted an investigation into the allegations.

 

 

   

Courtney Walsh, the newly appointed head coach of the West Indies Women, said there is much room for improvement but he plans to leave no stone unturned in his quest to transform the fortunes of the current squad.

Walsh was appointed last week in the wake of a disappointing tour against England where the Caribbean women were swept 5-0 in an embarrassingly lopsided series.

Walsh, the only West Indies bowler to take 500 Test wickets, said he has a plan to inject a winning mentality into the team.

“There is room for improvement in all aspects of the game. My idea and plan and strategy is to re-focus, re-energize and to look at the talented players we have and work out how we can improve with the players we have and other young players to come into the set-up as well,” he said.

“To try to create that brand that we know we can play, that we used to play, going back a few years when we won the T20 world Cup in India and couple years ago when we were in the semi-finals and were doing so well.

“That is going to come from consistency, how we plan, how we strategize, how we execute and get our tactical awareness up. I’m not going to leave any stones unturned. I’m going to go right through everything to ensure we give ourselves the very best chance. We have a good solid base of players. Obviously, we have to perform. Those teams with players who perform get the best results.”

Walsh said he wants the players to go back to enjoying their cricket and that means working on building team confidence.

“I want to see them smiling again. The whole idea is to give them self-confidence and self-belief that they have a job to do and perform,” he said. “Once the players believe in themselves and they are smiling and enjoying the game that’s the right path.

“You will have some bad patches and failures here and there but that consistency and that will and pride to play for the West Indies is what I want to see more of.”

 

Cricket West Indies’ chief selector Roger Harper said that after discussing the upcoming tour of New Zealand with players, there has been no indication that they are not interested.

Harper was responding to questions regarding the upcoming tour that is to run from November 27 to December 15 on i95FM Sports.

During the three-Test tour of England in July, Shimron Hetmyer, Keemo Paul and Darren Bravo declined invitations over concerns about their safety. However, since the tour was successful and the players returned safely, it is likely that all players selected will take up the chance to travel to New Zealand next month.

“There was a briefing recently where the players were informed of what is taking place, what measures have been put in place, what protocols will obtain during the tour,” Harper said. “And when we look at finalizing the squad, we’ll discuss with them whether they are willing to tour or not. At this point, we’ve not had a definite indication from anyone that they’re not interested.”

Harper revealed that the selection process for the squads will begin sometime next week for the three T20 matches and two Tests the West Indies are scheduled to play.

“There’ll be a T20 International team and, of course, the Test team and as usual now, we’ll be taking some reserve players on tour which will serve to provide backup players if needed during the tour as well as provide practice players,” Harper said.

“What is likely to happen because of scheduling, is the Test team is likely to go out first and have an early camp and some of the T20 players who are in the region will travel with that Test team and the T20 players who are involved in the IPL will join the team later.”

President of the Trinidad and Tobago Netball Association Pat Butcher said the association is doing everything it can to get its two professional netballers home soon.

Daystar Swift and Khalifa McCollin have been stranded in Barbados for the past month after attempting to return home after their debut season in the Suncorp Super League in Australia.

They were awaiting their final travel documents from the TT Government to return home. Since the pandemic began, TT closed its borders to all commercial flights. Persons wishing to gain entry to the island first have to receive special exemption documentation that will allow them entry into the island.

Meantime, they have been staying with a fellow netballer in Barbados but they are reportedly running out of cash.

“It’s really tough because we have to purchase our own food, pay for transportation and funds are running low,” McCollin told Trinidadian newspaper Newsday.

Butcher told Sportsmax.TV that the association has reached out to government in the hope that the relevant authorities will expedite the documentation the players need to return home.

“TTNA has been working behind the scenes and has made representation to Government on their behalf. We are hoping and praying that they will be back on the next official flight from Barbados,” the president said.

The players have been frustrated as their attempts to get home have been met mainly with silence from the relevant authorities.

“We’re only getting automated responses saying our message was received. Nothing else after that, no updates, no acknowledgement of our letters, nothing,” they said.

Lead West Indies Women selector Ann Browne-John said she and her fellow selectors are concerned that there is not a deep enough pool of women to choose from to replace non-performing players in the West Indies Women’s team.

It was an issue they had planned to begin addressing during the regional women’s and U19 tournaments that were cancelled earlier this year because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

During the recent five-match tour of England, the Caribbean women were swept 5-0 in a woefully lop-sided series. Only Deandra Dottin walked away with her head held high scoring 185 runs at an average of 37 over the five matches. She also bowled well despite nursing a sore shoulder.

No other batter made 100 runs during the series. Captain Stafanie Taylor with 78 runs was the only player to come close while Hayley Matthews was the next best having scored 38 runs, 21 of them coming in a single inning. Other than Dottin and Taylor, no other batter had a double-digit average, an area of great concern for Browne-John.

“Most definitely, and we have recognized that fact,” she said while speaking on Sportsnation Live on Nationwide Radio in Jamaica on Saturday night.

She indicated that this was a concern that the selectors had been discussing for some time and which they had planned to begin looking into with the regional tournaments this year.

“Unfortunately, we were not able to have a regional senior or U19 tournament this year but that is something we have discussed as selectors; that we now have to start looking for the next group of players, the group that would normally be like an ‘A’ team or an U19 team. So we have to start finding that group of players and start nurturing that group,” she said.

Brown-John said the selectors had hoped that there would have been a “vibrant” U19 tournament as there was supposed to be an U19 World Cup in early 2021. “So, we were looking towards that tournament to find some talent and we were also hoping for the regional tournament to look, particularly for batters because that is the area in which we are struggling most,” she said.

“It was also mentioned that we don’t have left-hand batters in our top order, we have to pick somebody who is left-handed and who is performing, so that is another consideration.”

The selectors were also hoping to unearth a specific type of bowler as well, the lead selector revealed.

“We have a great number of offspinners but we only have one leg spinner in Afy Fletcher, but we don’t have a large number of left-arm orthodox bowlers,” she said. “When we go out, every team we face we come up against left-arm orthodox. We have to look for that kind of player in the Caribbean.”

 

 

 

 

Shevon Thompson has been spending a lot of time working on his game as he prepares to make his debut in Euroleague basketball playing for Alba Berlin.

The 27-year-old, seven-footer caught the eye of the club while averaging 13.5 points and 10.1 rebounds a game playing for Filou Oostende in the Champions League where he was the only player on his team averaging a double-double.

“I been working on a lot on game IQ, different movements and reads and trying to expand my shooting range,” Thompson told Sportsmax.TV.

Performing well in Europe’s equivalent of the NBA, Thompson, said is key to helping him get his foot in the door of the best basketball league in the world.

“NBA is always the goal. It would be amazing to truly show my talent there,” he said.

However, his focus right now is doing his best for his current club.

“I want to thank God for this opportunity. This is great opportunity for me to get a chance to play in the top league in Europe. What really worked in my favour is patience and hard work,” he said about the season that began on October 1.

So far, he said, things have been going well as he works out with his teammates who he describes as a great group of guys. He said he intends to make an impact for Alba Berlin coming off the bench.

“My impact is doing what Shevon does. This is also a great group of guys and coaches to learn from.  It’s a great opportunity to take my game to higher level,” he said.

Thompson did not rack up any minutes in Alba Berlin’s opening game which they lost 80-73 to Isreali team Maccabi Tel Aviv. They next play Bayern Munich on Friday, October 9.

 

 

 

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