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.

Excelsior High School star Ackera Nugent and Holmwood Technical High School’s Kavia Francis will both be attending Baylor University when the next academic year begins this Fall.

An angry Chris Gayle has described Jamaica Tallawahs Assistant Coach Ramnaresh Sarwan as a snake and a backstabber in a series of videos in which he explains the reasons behind his move from the Jamaica Tallawahs to the St Lucia Zouks for the 2020 CPL season.

Right across the globe, retired athletes are often asked their opinions on the current state of their respective sports. Sometimes their responses are good, something not so much. After all, what they offer are opinions and as the saying goes, “everybody has one”.

Many times those comments are positive in nature and go down well with the public. However, there are times when the opinions are critical of the current stars and those tend to attract a certain level of vitriol.

Just recently, Lance Gibbs, the first spin bowler in history to take 300 Test wickets and was the second bowler in history to break that threshold behind Fred Truman, was asked to offer his opinion on the quality of the spin bowlers who currently ply their trade in regional cricket.

Speaking on Mason on Guest in Barbados, he said he was not particularly impressed with the current crop. He was also critical of Rahkeem Cornwall, whom many would argue is the best spinner in the region and has been for a couple of years now.

Cornwall’s 300 wickets from just 62 matches and 13 Test wickets from just two Tests, I would assume, suggest that he possesses some talent that could one day help take the West Indies back near the top of world cricket once this pandemic subsides.

Gibbs was particularly critical of Cornwall’s run-up that is two steps. He argues that taking only two steps before he delivers prevents Cornwall from finding a rhythm, which Gibbs believes could make him a better bowler.

However, as many fans are wont to do, they lashed out against Gibbs, instead of analysing what he said and putting it into proper context.

Here is the thing; there have been many instances in the past two decades or so when we have seen spinners thrive regionally only to be embarrassingly exposed when promoted to the Test side against world-class opposition.

Devendra Bishoo, Nikita Miller, and Veerasammy Permaul are just a few names who have excelled regionally but then were literally beaten into submission by Australia, England, India and so on. And it's not just the spinners. Devon Smith plunders regional bowlers every season only to be found wanting when asked to open for the West Indies.

The way I look at it, Gibbs might be well off base with his critique. Who knows, Cornwall could go on to eclipse Gibbs’ haul of 309 Test tickets and become known as the greatest off-spinner ever to emerge from the Caribbean.

However, where is the harm in hearing what Gibbs has to say and maybe taking something positive away from his critique?

Among the comments I read on SportsMax’s Facebook page from those reactions to Gibbs’ comments is that somehow he is envious of Cornwall and by extension the modern players. I have been trying my best to put myself in the shoes of the 85-year-old legend, but I struggle to think of a reason he would be envious.

If I have 300-plus Test wickets and another man has 13, it would be a long time before I have anything to be worried about, anything.

Clearly, my success would indicate that I have some level of experience and possess a modicum of understanding why I enjoyed success throughout my career.

What we fans of sport need to accept is that even though we love the contemporary players, no one is above improving and not all opinions, no matter how unflattering they might be, mean someone has an axe to grind.

The only way anyone can get better at their craft is to take on board constructive criticism that can help improve weak areas and make strong areas stronger.

Sometimes as fans, we let emotion get the better of us. Gibbs was asked his opinion, he did not volunteer it and I do not see where he said anything wrong. Maybe if Cornwall developed a better rhythm he could get even more bounce, turn, and snare many more wickets for the West Indies in the future.

We will never know unless he tries it.

So let's not punish the messenger here.

Gibbs, like all of us, wants to see the West Indies do well once more. Sometimes bitter medicine is hard to swallow but often, it does us a world of good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The United States collegiate and Jamaican Track and Field community are in mourning over the passing of former George Mason University coach, Dalton Ebanks, who died Saturday from complications of the Coronavirus Covid-19.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) on the advice and agreement with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), has announced the postponement of the West Indies Men’s three-Test series against England in June, to a future date to be determined.

Usain Bolt shocked the world in 2009 when he raced to a world-record 9.58s to win the 100m at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, Germany.

Former Jamaican high-school star athlete Christopher Taylor says he is thriving in Florida where he is training under the guidance of internationally acclaimed coach Rana Reider.

First Citizens Bank in Trinidad and Tobago has until Monday, April 27, to say whether anyone has attempted to gain control of the accounts of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA). Should they fail to do so they will be brought before the High Courts of the twin-island republic.

Lance Gibbs is not impressed with the current crop of spin bowlers in the Caribbean.

While speaking on Mason and Guest in Barbados on Tuesday, Gibbs expressed his disappointment at the spin bowlers currently playing in the Caribbean and was particularly critical of the much-heralded Rahkeem Cornwall.

Apparently, the 85-year-old former West Indies off-break bowler knows a bit about spin bowling. Between 1958 and 1976, Gibbs played 79 Tests for the West Indies taking 309 wickets at an average of 29.09 and enjoyed an economy rate of under two runs an over.

He was the first spinner in Test history to take 300 wickets and the second bowler behind England’s Fred Truman to do so.

His best performances came in the 1961/62 home series against India.

Over the course of five Tests, he picked up 24 wickets at just 20.41 apiece. Additionally, in one of the game's greatest spells of bowling at Bridgetown, he single-handedly reduced India from 149 for 2 to 187 all out. In 15.3 overs, Gibbs took eight wickets for just six runs to finish with figures of 8 for 38, his best Test-match haul.

Asked if he has seen any off-break bowlers in recent times who have caught his eye, Gibbs responded with an emphatic, “No!”

“They’re not spinning the ball,” he said.

Asked his thoughts on Cornwall, who has taken 13 wickets in the two Tests and 303 First-ClassWi wickets in 62 matches, Gibbs was critical of the player’s technique. “How can you take two steps and bowl? Where is your rhythm, where is that rhythm?” he asked.

“As a spin bowler you have got to use the crease, you have the return crease and you have the stumps, you have to bowl between those two. I never then had to go around the wicket to bowl, a lot because by using the crease I could get close to the stumps on the offside and still bowl and make it go on straighter instead of going around the wicket.”

Gibbs, who stood at over six feet in height, also revealed the secret of his success while playing cricket back in his heyday even while playing in a team characterized by its fast-bowling talent.

“I started as a leg spinner and I couldn’t bowl a googly,” he revealed. “I realized that with my height and with my high arm-action I am going to get bounce off any wicket in the world and if you’re getting bounce it is difficult to really hit you in the meat of the bat. It hits more higher up, and therefore you get catches all around.”

After he retired, Gibbs returned to manage the West Indies team in 1991 during their tour of England.

 

 

 

The Wanda Diamond League today suspended a further two meetings in June as it continues to adapt the 2020 season calendar in the face of the coronavirus crisis, while Oslo’s Bislett Games are to be staged in an alternative format.

In recent weeks, the Wanda Diamond League has been forced to suspend a number of its early-season meetings as a result of health and logistical concerns brought about by the global coronavirus crisis.

Today the series announced the postponement of further meetings in Eugene, scheduled for 7 June, and Paris, June 13.

As with previous suspensions, this decision was reached in close consultation with all relevant parties and based on concerns over athlete safety as well as widespread travel restrictions which make it impossible to stage the competitions as planned.

Meanwhile, the Bislett Games also announced plans to host an alternative athletics competition, an exhibition event dubbed 'The Impossible Games', on June 11, the original date of this year’s Oslo Diamond League meeting.

The concept will see a number of world-class athletes take part in a one-off showpiece event in full observation of Norway’s coronavirus regulations and social distancing rules.

The programme is currently set to include a world record attempt from Norwegian hurdles star Karsten Warholm and a long-distance pole vault battle between world record holder Mondo Duplantis and record Diamond League Champion Renaud Lavillenie.

Organisers were nonetheless keen to stress that the full programme is yet to be confirmed and subject to changes.

The hour-long event will be shown live by Norway’s public broadcaster NRK and will be partly financed by the Norwegian National Athletics Association and World Athletics.

“This is really positive news for athletes and fans and promises, even in this early stage, to be another great night of athletics from the Bislett stadium. Congratulations to the Oslo Bislett Games for dreaming this up and following it through, working within the pandemic guidelines set out in Norway,” said World Athletics president Sebastian Coe.

“We are delighted to support the event by releasing the funds World Athletics makes to each Diamond League event but with one caveat, which is that the entire amount we are contributing goes to prize money for the athletes competing.”

Oslo meeting director and Bislett Alliance CEO Steinar Hoen said the athletes were “hungry for competitions”.

“We want to give them a high-class event. We have had a very positive dialogue with both the municipality of Oslo and the infection prevention superior in Oslo, and have confirmed a concept that is well within the government's infection control requirements,” he added.

 

 

Dutchman Ronald Koeman is probably the most versatile defender of all time. Not only was he capable of playing both as a defender and as a midfielder; he frequently played as a sweeper and was equally known for his goal-scoring, long-range shooting, and accuracy from free-kicks and penalties.

He is the top-scoring defender in world football.

Koeman began his career at FC Groningen before transferring to Ajax, where he won the national Eredivise title in 1984–85. He then joined Ajax's rivals PSV, winning three consecutive Eredivisie titles (1986–87, 1987–88 and 1988–89) and the European Cup in 1988.

Koeman is one of five European players to win a Treble with their club and a cup with their national team in the same year. The other four players are his teammates Hans van Breukelen, Berry van Aerle, Gerald Vanenburg and Wim Kieft.

In 1989, Koeman moved to Barcelona and became part of Johan Cruyff's "Dream Team", helping the club win La Liga four years in a row between 1991 and 1994, and the European Cup, where he scored the winning goal in the final against Sampdoria in 1992.

At the international level, Koeman was one of the stars of the Netherlands national team, alongside Marco van Basten, Ruud Gullit, Frank Rijkaard and Dennis Bergkamp. During his career with the Netherlands, Koeman won UEFA Euro 1988 and played at the UEFA Euro 1992. He would feature in two World Cup for the Netherlands, 1990 and 1994, captaining the team in the latter.

Koeman scored an amazing 90 goals in all competitions for Barcelona and was nicknamed the King of free-kicks. He is Barcelona's second-highest goalscorer from free kicks, behind only Lionel Messi, with 26 goals from set-pieces in all competitions.

He is also Barcelona's second-highest scorer from penalties in LaLiga, behind Messi once again, with 46 goals from spot-kicks.

With 67 goals, he is the most prolific defender in LaLiga history. He currently holds the record for 25 consecutive successful penalty conversions in LaLiga.

To vote for Ronald Koeman to be part of SportsMax's Ultimate XI, visit SportsMax's Ultimate XI page and watch the SportsMax Zone today as Brent Sancho, Howie Bell, and Colin Murray take a look at your picks. The SportsMax Zone airs on SportsMax at 4:30 pm Jamaica time/5:30pm Eastern Caribbean time with a repeat on SportsMax 2 at 6 pm Jamaica time/7 pm Eastern Caribbean time.

 

Full name        Ronald Koeman

Date of birth    21 March 1963 (age 57)

Place of birth   Zaandam, Netherlands

Height  1.81 m (5 ft 11 in)

Playing position(s)      Defender / Midfielder

 

Honours

 

Ajax

Winner Eredivisie       1985

Winner KNVB Cup     1986

 

PSV

Winner Eredivisie       1987

Winner            Eredivisie        1988

Winner            KNVB Cup      1988

Winner            European Cup 1988

Runner-up       Intercontinental Cup   1988

Runner-up       UEFA Super Cup        1988

Winner Eredivisie        1989

Winner KNVB Cup      1989

 

Barcelona

Runner-up       UEFA Super Cup        1989

Winner Copa del Rey  1990

Winner La Liga            1991

Winner Supercopa de España            1991

Winner La Liga            1992

Winner European Cup 1992

Runner-up       Intercontinental Cup   1992

Winner UEFA Super Cup       1992

Winner Supercopa de España           1992

Winner La Liga           1993

Runner-up       Supercopa de España            1993

Winner La Liga            1994

Runner-up       UEFA Champions League      1994

Winner Supercopa de España            1994

Feyenoord

Runner-up       Dutch Supercup          1995

 Netherlands

First place       European Championship        1988

Third place      European Championship        1992

Regarded by many pundits, managers and players as one of the greatest defenders in history, AC Milan and Italy centre-back Alessandro "Billy" Costacurta is best known for his roles alongside Franco Baresi, Paolo Maldini and Mauro Tassotti, forming one of the greatest defences in Serie A and European football during the late 1980s and 1990s.

Englishman Robert Frederick Chelsea Moore OBE is widely regarded as one of the greatest defenders of all time and was cited by Pelé as the greatest defender he ever played against.

Centre-back Italian Franco Baresi is viewed as one of the greatest defenders of all time.

He spent his entire career from 1977 to 1997, with Serie A side AC Milan, winning three UEFA Champions League titles, six Serie A titles, four Supercoppa Italiana titles, two European Super Cups and two Intercontinental Cups in 531 appearances. He scored 19 goals for Milan.

Baresi represented Italy 81 times between 1982 and 1994 during which time he won the 1982 FIFA World Cup. He also played in the 1990 World Cup, where he was named in the FIFA World Cup All-Star Team, finishing third in the competition. He was appointed captain of the squad that reached the final of the 1994 World Cup. Baresi also represented Italy at two UEFA European Championships, in 1980 and 1988, and at the 1984 Olympics, reaching the semi-finals on each occasion.

Baresi was capable of playing anywhere along the backline but he excelled as a centre-back and as a sweeper, where he combined his defensive attributes, and his ability to read the game, with his excellent vision, technique, distribution and ball skills. He was known for being a strong and accurate tackler, who was very good at winning back possession, and at anticipating and intercepting plays, due to his acute tactical intelligence, speed of thought, marking ability and positional sense.

Initially nicknamed "Piscinin", Milanese for "little one", due to his skill and success, he was later known as "Kaiser Franz", a reference to fellow sweeper Franz Beckenbauer. He was voted Milan's Player of the Century in 1999. In 204, Pele named him one of the 125 Greatest Living Footballers at the FIFA centenary awards ceremony.

 Baresi was inducted into the Italian Football Hall of Fame in 2013.

To vote for Franco Baresi to be part of SportsMax's Ultimate XI, visit SportsMax's Ultimate XI page and watch the SportsMax Zone as Brent Sancho, Warren Barrett, and Juan G Arango take a look at your picks. The SportsMax Zone airs on SportsMax at 4:30 pm Jamaica time/5:30pm Eastern Caribbean time with a repeat on SportsMax 2 at 6 pm Jamaica time/7 pm Eastern Caribbean time.

 

Playing Career

Full name            Franchino Baresi

Date of birth       8 May 1960 (age 59)

Place of birth      Travagliato, Italy

Height   1.76 m (5 ft 9 in)

Playing position(s)            Defender

Youth career

1972–1977          Milan

Senior career*

Years     Team     Apps      (Gls)

1977–1997          Milan     531       

National team

1982–1994          Italy       81          

Honours

Italy

FIFA World Cup

Winner  1982 Spain         

Third place          1990 Italy           

Runner-up           1994 United States

Serie A: 1978–79, 1987–88, 1991–92, 1992–93, 1993–94, 1995–96

Supercoppa Italiana: 1988, 1992, 1993, 1994

European Cup/Champions League: 1988–89, 1989–90, 1993–94

UEFA Super Cup: 1990, 1994

Intercontinental Cup: 1989, 1990

 

International

Italy

FIFA World Cup: 1982

FIFA World Cup Third-place: 1990

FIFA World Cup Runner-up: 1994

UEFA European Championship: Semifinalist 1980, 1988

Individual

Ballon d'Or: Runner-up 1989

Coppa Italia Top Scorer: 1989–90

Guerin d'Oro (Serie A Footballer of the Year): 1989–90

FIFA World Cup All-Star Team: 1990

Premio Nazionale Carriera Esemplare "Gaetano Scirea": 1994

World Soccer The Greatest Players of the 20th-century #19

A.C. Milan Player of the Century: 1999

AIC Serie A Player of the Century: 2000

FIFA 100: 2004

UEFA Golden Jubilee Poll: #17th

A.C. Milan Hall of Fame

FICTS Hall Of Fame and Excellence Guirlande d'Honneur

Golden Foot: 2012 (Under the category of "Football Legend")

Italian Football Hall of Fame: 2013

Orders

Ufficiale OMRI BAR.svgOrder of Merit of the Italian Republic

 

It is no secret that Yohan Blake’s work ethic is the stuff of legend.

That ethic helped the 2011 World 100m champion become the fastest man in the world, not named Usain Bolt. His 9.69/19.26 over the 100 and 200m is testament to that fact. In fact, had it not been for the presence of Bolt, Blake might well have been a double Olympic champion in 2012 when his 9.75 and 19.44 saw him win double silver.

However, the past few years have been unkind to the man formerly known as The Beast. Hamstring injuries have slowed Blake to the point where he missed out on winning medals in 2016 in Rio and 2017 at the World Championships in London.

The Tokyo 2020 Games would have been another opportunity for the 30-year-old Blake to re-establish himself as one of the world’s best sprinters. However, with the Games being postponed to the summer of 2021, Blake is leaning once again on that work ethic. While the pandemic rages across the globe, Blake is putting the work he deems essential to get back to being at his best.

“My career in athletics has been a dream come true.  For that, I give thanks every day.  But with injuries things get difficult. Yet, I don't stop, I keep pushing to come back,” Blake said on Instagram on Wednesday under a 90-second video of him executing some excruciating leg exercises under the supervision of his coach Gregory Little.

“With Coronavirus everything is postponed right now I am making the most of it.  I am using this time to talk with my body and unlock the power of my mind to conquer and overcome what has been holding me back on the track. I am working hard to get back to that dangerous form.”

 

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.