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.

Jamaican thrower Ashinia Miller might have created history on Monday when he won the shot put competition at an Area Permit meeting in Tallinn, Estonia. Miller is most likely the first Jamaican track and field athlete to compete since the COVID19 pandemic shut all sports down globally in March.

In Estonia, Miller, the 2018 CAC Games silver medallist, won with a modest mark of 18.96m but just being able to compete has proven to be cathartic for the 26-year-old Jamaican.

For the last six months, Miller, a recent graduate of the University of Georgia, has been living in nearby Lithuania and training with 2017 World discus champion Andrius Gudzius under the guidance of Coach Vaclovas Kidykas. He has been living with his fiancé, Dr Alma Adomaityte, is from Lithuania, about a six-hour drive from where he competed on Monday.

However, being in lockdown, unable to compete and therefore unable to earn, have proven to be quite stressful for the powerfully built Jamaican, who also laments a relative lack of support from the Jamaica Athletic Administrative Association (JAAA).

Competing, he confessed, has allowed him to relieve some of the stress.

“Actually, I wasn’t supposed to be at the meet but I begged my fiancé, she’s a doctor; I begged her to let me go because the pandemic has been depressing,” he told Sportsmax.TV. “I’ve been sick. I have been to the ER like four times. Last week Monday, I spent the night in the hospital.

“I wasn’t supposed to go but it was mostly for mental health. I just wanted to go and feel alive again.”

That said, notwithstanding the win, Miller was not overly excited about his performance.

“The results weren’t good because I’ve been sick but I am happy about it, a little bit because it’s been tough going,” he said. “Jamaica hasn’t really helped.  The ministry of sports did send me money last month but I heard no more until next year.

“Everything has been tough: mentally, financially, everything’s been tough."

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carol Henry, president of the St Lucia Cricket Association said there is much interest in the T10 cricket tournament his association has planned for later this month.

The West Indies will most likely leave for the United Kingdom (UK) in about a week from today to play England in the first bio-secure Test series in history in July.

The teams will play and whether they win the series or not, England will come away with virtually all the revenues generated from the series. For the West Indies, the story will be significantly different.

Come July 1, the West Indies players and all Cricket West Indies (CWI) staff, will be taking a temporary 50 per cent salary cut.

However, they are not alone. In April, England’s male and female players took a 20 per cent pay cut as the pandemic began to take hold in the UK forcing the postponement of the West Indies’ visit, which was initially scheduled for June.

The thing is, on this tour other than match fees, CWI does not really earn anything. Under this dispensation, wherein the regional players are going to be guinea pigs for the way cricket could be played for the immediate future, they and CWI should be receiving extra compensation.

In fact, pandemic or not, visiting teams need to get something from away series. Without an opponent, the home team has no content for their broadcast partners.

In boxing, for example, should promoters be able to put together a fight between Mike Tyson and me, we would all agree that Tyson would command the bulk of the revenue. After all, he is who they would come to see. However, a reasonable argument could be made that I should be paid fairly for having the daylights knocked out of me.

It definitely takes two to tango.

A couple of years ago, under the Dave Cameron presidency, CWI proposed changes to the current model of wealth distribution in world cricket but those were rejected as being unworkable.

Correctly citing that competitive balance is critical to the appeal of the sport, Cameron argued that: “Broadcasters and viewers are not willing to see international cricket because they are getting to see their stars anyway in the IPL or CPL. As a result, international rights have been devalued, except in the big market, which is India, England and Australia. So, 20 per cent of each series should go to the visiting teams.”

The problem with this proposal is that given what the big teams would have to pay over at the end of a tour, there would not be equitable reciprocation when their teams visit the smaller-market teams rendering it impractical.

Mumbai Mirror writer Vijay Tagore explains it like this. In a column published on May 11, he said Star pays India about U$10 million for every international match. If the West Indies plays six matches on tour, then they would earn US$12million for the tour. When India tours the West Indies, India would earn much less from their 20 per cent take.

Under the current status quo, the International Cricket Council (ICC) generates income from the tournaments it organizes, like the Cricket World Cup. Most of that money goes out to its members.

So, for example, sponsorship and television rights of the World Cup brought in over US$1.6 billion between 2007 and 2015. Sponsorship and membership subscriptions also generate a few extra million.

However, the ICC gets no income from Test matches, One Day International and Twenty20 Internationals. In this scenario, the host country gets the money earned from its broadcast partners and sponsorship as well as gate receipts.

A breakdown of the money distributed from the ICC shows that for the period 2016 to 2023, based on forecasted revenues and costs, the BCCI will receive US$293 million across the eight-year cycle, ECB (England) US$143 million, Zimbabwe Cricket US$94 million and the remaining seven Full Members, including the West Indies, US$132 million each.

Associate members will receive US$280m.

For the CWI that equates to US$16.5 a year. In addition, CWI will generate money from broadcasts of home series. However, not every home series makes ‘good money’. Based on my conversations with CWI CEO Johnny Grave, CWI only makes money when England and India tour the West Indies.

What that means is that when teams like Bangladesh, Pakistan and Zimbabwe visit, CWI loses money.

According to an ICC Paper submitted by CWI in October 2018: The revenue is inextricably linked to the nature of the tours hosted in a member country. It is also linked to the existence of a host broadcaster to exploit media revenues.

“Media values for members vary: the West Indies does not have a host broadcaster, mainly because of the size of its market.”

According to the paper, in 2008 the West Indies revenue was US$19.6m. In 2009, revenue jumped to US$48 and then in 2010, it fell to US$24.2 million. Media rights in 2017 amounted to US$22million but fell precipitously to US$987,000 by the end of the financial year for 2018.

Meanwhile, player salaries remain constant, money goes into grassroots programmes, player development, tournament match fees and salaries, coaches and coaching development, as well as support for the territorial boards. In bad years, these costs easily exceed any revenue generated.

The current model is simply unsustainable but solutions are hard to come by. In the Caribbean, sponsorship is hard to come by. Stadia remain empty because the West Indies does not win consistently enough to bring the crowds back, and for the most part, the ‘stars’ don’t play in regional competitions meaning fans stay away.

Meanwhile, the peaks and troughs in earnings against the costs associated with what is required to maintain a competitive international cricket programme, demonstrates in part why there needs to be a better way; why there needs to be a more equitable way to distribute money generated from bilateral series.

For the smaller market teams, it amounts to a hand-to-mouth existence that keeps them poor and uncompetitive. And frankly, that’s simply not cricket.

 

 

 

 

Cricket West Indies has agreed in principle to send a West Indies team to England for a three-Test series in July. The decision was arrived at during a meeting of the board on Thursday.

The decision comes only after CWI medical and cricket-related representatives and advisors have been involved in detailed discussions with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), and their own medical and public health advisers over the past few weeks.

These discussions involved the local and international logistics and protocols, which are already being put in place to minimize risk and optimize the health and safety of all concerned.  CWI has also received and reviewed detailed plans for players and staff to be kept in a bio-secure environment for the duration of the tour, with all matches being played “behind closed doors”.

The CWI will now be awaiting the England Cricket Board who is to get approval from the UK Government sometime over the next few days.

CWI’s management is also now in the process of seeking to put all of the approvals and logistics in place within the Caribbean, including seeking permission from the various governments to facilitate the movement of players and support staff, using private charter planes and conducting medical screenings and individual COVID-19 testing for all members of the touring party.

“I would like to thank the CWI management, the Medical Advisory Committee, and the Financial Strategic Advisory Committee for their detailed and timely presentations given to the Board meeting,” said CWI President Ricky Skerritt.

“In addition to our approval in principle of the proposed Test Tour of England, we made some significant financial management decisions that will be announced and implemented in due course.  The great detail to which the Board engaged in these matters is testimony to their urgency and importance, but it meant that we had to defer a few agenda items until next Wednesday (June 3), when we have scheduled to reconvene”.

Most of Thursday’s lengthy meeting focused on discussing the initial short-term recommendations from the Financial Strategy Advisory Committee (FSAC), a special purpose committee that was put in place by CWI President Ricky Skerritt on April 2, 2020.

The committee comprised a joint membership of Directors and Executive Management, all with significant financial management expertise, chaired by JCA President, Wilford “Billy” Heaven.

The Board agreed to the committee’s business continuity plan of action, for how CWI would have to operate in order to survive its cash flow crisis, in the context of the debilitating economic uncertainties of the global pandemic COVID-19.

 

Reports have emerged suggesting that Trinidad and Tobago will host all matches in the 2020 edition of the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL).

The Jamaica Cricket Association has expressed sadness at the passing of National Senior Women’s team coach Cleon Smith who died on Thursday, after a brief illness.

is truly saddened at the passing of Mr Cleon Smith, who was at the time of his death today, the coach for the National Senior Women’s team.

In addition to Jamaica’s senior women’s team, Smith was also the coach for the Northern Panthers Franchise, the Senior Men, Women and U15 coach for the St. Ann Cricket Association and he also coached at York Castle High School.

According to the JCA, Smith fell ill and was admitted to the Kingston Public Hospital just about two weeks ago but failed to recover from his ailment. They praised him for his contribution to the sport.

“Coach Smith was the epitome of commitment to the sport. Cricket has been a life-long love for him, and his association with the JCA dates back well over a decade. While Cleon was involved with the national programme as a coach for the national women’s team for an extended period, he stood in as U-17 men’s coach at one point. Beyond that, he was involved at the local franchise level, the parish level and even Headley Cup,” said JCA CEO Courtney Francis.

“It is quite a sad day for us at the JCA and across the local cricket landscape. Jamaica’s cricket was better off for his years of dedicated service. Our thoughts and prayers are with the senior women’s team in this moment and we will reach out to provide support for them as they would be the hardest hit within the national programme.

“To his family, we extend our deepest condolences. We are with you in this period of grief and we will be a pillar of strength on which you can lean. The JCA is here for you,” he added.

Raised as a baseball player, Quinton de Kock's fearless striking and handy glove work, early in his career, earned him comparisons to greats of the game like Adam Gilchrist and Mark Boucher.

By the age of 21, de Kock shared the record for the most successive ODI centuries - three - before it was bettered by Kumar Sangakkara. A year later, he had established himself in all three formats.

In November of 2013, de Kock scored his first ODI century against Pakistan and a month later, he reeled off three in a row against India.

By his 20th ODI match, he had already scored five centuries. He became the fourth player to score three successive one-day centuries and the second player to score four ODI centuries before his 21st birthday.

In his 74th ODI, against Sri Lanka on February 10, 2017, he became the fastest player to complete 12 ODI hundreds, bettering Hashim Amla, who had achieved the landmark in 81 innings.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Quinton de Kock

Born: December 17, 1992, Johannesburg, Gauteng

Major teams: South Africa, Cape Town Blitz, Cape Town Knight Riders, Delhi Daredevils, Easterns, Gauteng, Gauteng Under-19s, King Edward VII High School, Lions, Mumbai Indians, North of South Africa, Royal Challengers Bangalore, South Africa A, South Africa Under-19s, South African Composite XI, South African Invitation XI, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Titans

Playing role: Wicketkeeper batsman

Batting style: Left-hand bat

Fielding position: Wicketkeeper

 

ODI Career: South Africa (2013 – Present)

Mat Inns NO Runs HS  Ave       SR   100  50  Ct St

121 121  6  5135  178  44.65  94.84 15  25  164 9

 

Career Highlights

  • 164 catches and 9 stumpings in ODIs
  • Fastest South African to reach 1,000 ODI runs
  • 4th player to score 3 successive one-day centuries
  • fastest to complete 12 ODI hundreds (74 ODIs)

Andy Flower was, for a long time, Zimbabwe's only batsman of true Test quality in all conditions.

He also holds a peculiar record as an ODI wicket-keeper-batsman of world-class quality. Andy Flower is also the only player to score an ODI hundred on debut in a World Cup match.

He also has the record for the most matches (149) between his first and second centuries with the latter coming in his 150th ODI.

He, along with Heath Streak set the record for the highest 7th wicket partnership for Zimbabwe in ODIs.

For a period of about two years from the start of 2000, he was so phenomenally consistent that he has no rival as the best player in Zimbabwe's history. He was expected to excel in both departments: wicket-keeping and batting and was handed the additional responsibility of leading both the ODI and Test teams.

In the latter part of his career, Flower was compared with Adam Gilchrist, who many pundits acknowledged was the best wicketkeeper-batsman the world had ever seen.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Andrew Flower

Born: April 28, 1968, Cape Town, Cape Province, South Africa

Major teams: Zimbabwe, Essex, Marylebone Cricket Club, Mashonaland, South Australia

Batting style: Left-hand bat

Fielding position: Wicketkeeper

Height: 5 ft 10 in

 

ODI Career: Zimbabwe (1992 – 2003)

Mat       Inns      NO        Runs      HS        Ave       BF         SR         100s       50s          Ct        St

213        208       16         6786      145       35.34     9097      74.59          4         55           141       32

 

Career Highlights

  • 3rd batsman to score a century on ODI debut
  • Has scored 6,786 runs in ODIs at an average of 35.34
  • 4 hundreds and 55 half-centuries in ODIs

The West Indies are set to play Australia in three T20 Internationals in October, Cricket Australia has announced.

Has Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce switched coaches and camps once again as she continues to prepare for what will be her final Olympic Games?

If not, why is she reportedly training separately from her MVP teammates?

The recently minted four-time 100m world champion is, according to eyewitness accounts, now training under the watchful eye of Reynaldo Walcott at Jamaica’s National Stadium in Kingston while MVP’s athletes train at the nearby Stadium East facility.

Walcott, who coaches at St. Elizabeth Technical High School in Santa Cruz, Jamaica, briefly coached the two-time Olympic 100m champion after she left the club following the 2016 Rio Olympics campaign.

The Digicel Ambassador returned to the MVP track club in early 2017, eventually going on to win her fourth 100m world title in Doha in 2019 under the brilliant guidance of Coach Stephen Francis.

In response to queries from Sportsmax.TV, the athlete’s management has been mum on the issue.

Bruce James, Fraser-Pryce’s manager, said he was unable to comment on whether Walcott was once again coaching the woman many believe to be the greatest-ever female sprinter. Walcott also declined to comment when questioned by Sportsmax.TV on Thursday. “I cannot comment on that,” he said.

However, in the past few days, Fraser-Pryce’s name was reportedly on a list of athletes approved to train at Independence Park inside the National Stadium. Moreover, several individuals not affiliated with MVP, but who still declined to go on record, told Sportsmax.TV that looking on, they saw Fraser-Pryce training alone under Walcott’s watchful eye as recently as yesterday (Wednesday).

Sources indicate that Fraser-Pryce has not been at the MVP training site for several days. Some MVP athletes, those sources said, believe an injury is the reason for her absence.

The “Pocket Rocket’ first came to prominence at the MVP track club in 2008 when she surprised many by finishing second at the Jamaican National Championships in 10.82s behind Kerron Stewart but upstaging veterans Sherone Simpson and Veronica Campbell-Brown, who finished third and fourth, respectively.

At the Beijing Olympics that year, she won the 100m in 10.78, becoming the first Jamaican woman to win an Olympic 100m title. She followed up that performance by winning the first of her four 100m World titles in 10.73s at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, Germany.

She would go on to Moscow in 2013 where she won the treble (100m, 200m, 4x100m) and then defended her 100m title in Helsinki in 2015.

She battled a debilitating toe injury at the 2016 Rio Olympics where she won a bronze medal in the 100m before temporarily parting company with the club.

The joint national 100m record holder will be attempting to win a third 100m Olympic gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics, which were postponed until 2021 because of the Coronavirus COVID19 pandemic.

 

 

Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines Dr Ralph Gonsalves has given the proposed West Indies tour of England in July his blessing once Cricket West Indies can establish that the players representing the region will be safe.

Shakib al Hasan’s contributions to Bangladesh's ODI team have been vital with bat and ball. He became the first player from Bangladesh to achieve the double of 2000 runs and 100 wickets. He also became the first batsman from Bangladesh to score five hundreds, despite mostly batting at No. 5.

The best player in the team, it wasn't surprising when Shakib was handed the captaincy in 2009. His ability to perform consistently and to stay calm under pressure worked well for Bangladesh, as they won 22 out of 47 games under him, and even beat England in the 2011 World Cup.

In 2015, Shakib became the first and only cricketer in history to be ranked the 'No.1 all-rounder' by ICC in its Player Rankings in all three formats of the game.

In June 2019, Shakib became the fastest player to score 6,000 runs and take 250 wickets in ODIs in just 199 matches.

He is the highest run-scorer as well as the highest wicket-taker for Bangladesh in ICC ODI World Cups. He is also the only cricketer to score 1000 runs and to take 30 wickets in the World Cup.

At the 2019 Cricket World Cup, Shakib became the first cricketer to score 600 runs and take 10 wickets in a single World Cup.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Shakib Al Hasan

Born: March 24, 1987, Magura, Jessore

Major teams: Bangladesh, Adelaide Strikers, Bangladesh A, Bangladesh Cricket Board XI, Barbados Tridents, Brampton Wolves, Dhaka Gladiators, Jamaica Tallawahs, Karachi Kings, Khulna Division, Kolkata Knight Riders, Peshawar Zalmi, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Worcestershire

Playing role: Allrounder

Batting style: Left-hand bat

Bowling style: Slow left-arm orthodox

 

ODI Career (Batting): Bangladesh (2006- present)

Mat        Inns        NO         Runs      HS          Ave        BF           SR           100s        50s           4s           6s             

206          194        27          6323      134*        37.86     7641      82.75             9           47           574           42                

 

ODI Career (Bowling): Bangladesh (2006- present)

Mat        Inns        Balls       Runs      Wkts      BBI         BBM      Ave        Econ      SR           4w          5w               10w

206        203        10517    7857      260        5/29       5/29       30.21     4.48       40.4       8             2               0

 

Career Highlights

  • Fastest player to score 6,000 runs and take 250 wickets in ODIs
  • Most runs and most wickets for Bangladesh in World Cups
  • Only cricketer to score 1000 runs and take 30 wickets in the World Cup
  • 1st cricketer to score 600 runs and take 10 wickets in a single World Cup

Voted India's Cricketer of the Century in 2002, ahead of Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar, Kapil Dev is arguably India’s best bowling all-rounder.

Leading India to the 1983 World Cup and wresting the world-record aggregate of Test wickets from Richard Hadlee were his two greatest accomplishments.

Few, who saw it, will forget his incredible knock of 175 against Zimbabwe during the 1983 World Cup as he single-handedly dragged India from a precarious 17 for 5 to a hard-fought 31-run win.

Kapil Dev was also the first bowler to take 200 ODI wickets eventually ending his career with 253 wickets at a decent average of 27.45.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Kapildev Ramlal Nikhanj

Born: January 6, 1959, Chandigarh

Major teams: India, Haryana, Northamptonshire, Worcestershire

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm fast-medium

 

ODI Career (Batting): India (1978-1994)

Mat        Inns        NO       Runs      HS        Ave        BF         SR          100s        50s          

225          198        39        3783      175*      23.79     3979      95.07           1           14                         

 

ODI Career (Bowling): India (1978-1994)

Mat        Inns        Balls       Runs     Wkts      BBI       BBM      Ave       Econ      SR      4w     5w     10w

225          221        11202     6945       253       5/43      5/43      27.45     3.71       44.2     3        1         0

 

Career Highlights

  • Captained India’s 1983 World Cup-winning team
  • 1st player to take 200 ODI wickets
  • Peak ICC rating of 631 is the highest ever by an all-rounder in ODIs

Retired South African middle-order batsman Jacques Kallis has not been getting a lot of respect lately from the Ultimate XI panellists on the Sportsmax Zone.

Regularly dubbed the world's best limited-overs batsman, Michael Bevan was an essential part of Australia’s one-day outfit for a decade, especially when orchestrating calm chases in crises that often ended in last-over or last-ball heroics.

He will long be remembered for his pair of sensational innings against West Indies at Sydney in 1996 and New Zealand at Melbourne in 2002, when nerveless batting and juggling of the tail secured nail-biting victories.

Picking the gaps, running hard and knowing the right moment - and place - to hit a boundary were the hallmarks of his success. He was also a fine fieldsman and his left-arm wrist spin, which swung from erratic to more than useful, added to his lure and allowed him to play Tests as a batting allrounder.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Michael Gwyl Bevan

Born: May 8, 1970, Belconnen, Australian Capital Territory

Major teams: Australia, Chennai Superstars, Kent, Leicestershire, New South Wales, South Australia, Sussex, Tasmania, Yorkshire

Playing role: Batsman

Batting style: Left-hand bat

Height: 1.80 m

 

ODI Career: Australia (1994-2004)

Mat      Inns        NO         Runs      HS          Ave        BF           SR    100s        50s           4s        6s        

232        196        67           6912      108*      53.58     9320      74.16       6           46           450        21       

 

Career Highlights

  • Named as a batsman in Australia's "greatest ever ODI team."
  • He remained not out in 67 of his 196 ODI innings
  • ODI batting average never dropped below 50
  • Credited for initiating the art of finishing matches
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