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 Olympian Alia Atkinson says she is honoured to have been named Champion Ambassador of the Special Olympics Movement. The announcement came on Thursday as the Special Olympics celebrated International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

Atkinson is the first competing Olympic athlete appointed to the role Caribbean.

“The role of Champion Ambassador for Special Olympics defines the power of real purpose,” Atkinson told the Jamaica Gleaner.

“Special Olympics athletes meet the challenge each day to realize their full potential, and I’m honoured to have the chance to learn from them, and to share our experiences together as we strive for inclusion for those with intellectual disabilities.”

Glen Phillips and Tim Seifert each scored centuries as New Zealand ‘A’ made West Indies ‘A’ bowlers toil on day two of their four-day match at Mount Maunganui ground.

Replying to New Zealand’s daunting score of  519 for 7, the West Indies began mounting a solid response by close of play on the second day of the first Test at Seddon Park in Hamilton.

Asked to face 26 testing overs at the end of the day, the West Indies reached 49 without loss. Kraigg Brathwaite and John Campbell on 20 and 22, respectively, will resume on Day 3 with the visitors still 470 runs behind a New Zealand total made possible by Kane Williamson’s imperious 251.

Resuming from his overnight score of 97 and New Zealand 243 for 2, the Black Caps captain’s marathon knock was the backbone of the home side’s massive total. Kane faced 412 deliveries in his almost 10 and a half hour stay at the crease.

Ross Taylor, who joined Williamson at the crease at 168 for 2, added seven runs to his overnight score of 31 before becoming Shannon Gabriel’s second victim when he edged to wicketkeeper Shamarh Brooks, who replaced an injured Shane Dowrich.

Williamson dominance of subsequent partnerships of 30 with Henry Nicholls (7); 72 with Tom Blundell (14) and 56 with Daryl Mitchell (9), emphasized his impact on the New Zealand’s innings. His was the last wicket New Zealand to fall when he was caught by Roston Chase at deep midwicket from an Alzarri Joseph after a 94-run seventh-wicket stand of 94 with Kyle Jamieson, who remained unbeaten on 51 when the declaration came.

Williamson’s 251 included 34 fours and two sixes.

Gabriel finished with 3 for 89, while Kemar Roach, who should have got Williamson’s wicket but for a no-ball, returned 3 for 114 from 30 overs. Joseph had figures of 1 for 99.

West Indies T20 opening batsman Andre Fletcher said he is excited about playing for Melbourne Stars in Australia’s Big Bash League once his West Indies are completed.

Fletcher was a member of the West Indies T20 squad that lost three three-match series against New Zealand 2-0. He will replace England’s Jonny Bairstow, who is unavailable due to international duty.

"I'm really looking forward to coming over to the Melbourne Stars and being part of what should be an exciting season ahead," Fletcher said.

“Hopefully, I can bring my brand of batting and recent form to the Stars during the BBL."

Stars head coach David Hussey believes Fletcher’s talents will be an asset to the club.

"We're glad Andre was in a position to join us and he'll bring plenty of power and entertainment at the top of the batting order. Andre is a former T20 World Cup winner with the West Indies so he knows what it takes to succeed in major tournaments and I'm confident he'll be a great asset around our group," Hussey said.

Fletcher brings extensive experience to the Melbourne Stars having played in the Caribbean Premier League, the Bangladesh Premier League, and the Pakistan Super League.

He will join Nicholas Pooran who has also been signed with the club for the coming season.

West Indies fast bowler Kemar Roach began the first Test in the series against New Zealand on Thursday with a heavy heart following the passing of his father, Andrew Smith.

Roach learned of his father’s death on Wednesday.

“Losing a loved one is never easy and we want to offer our full support to Kemar during this very difficult time,” said team manager Rawl Lewis in offering condolences on behalf of Cricket West Indies.

“We got the news as we prepared for the Test match here and the players and team support staff all got together and offered tremendous support.”

Both teams wore black armbands on the opening day of the Test match in honor of the fast bowler’s late father.

Roach has so far taken 1 for 53 from 15 overs at stumps on day one of the Test in which New Zealand were 243 for 2.

West Indies ‘A’ all-rounder Romario Shepherd scored his maiden first-class century as he and Raymon Reifer rescued the West Indies ‘A’ from a disastrous start to their match against New Zealand ‘A’ at the Mount Maunganui ground in New Zealand on Thursday (Wednesday night Caribbean).

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson was closing in on his 22nd Test hundred, as the home side emerged on top at stumps of the opening day of the first Test against West Indies.

Andre Russell has been lighting up the Lankan Premier League with both bat and ball delighting his many fans around the world.

Sophia Smith Butler, a woman believed to be the mother of Jamaican football player Kyle Butler is standing behind her son, who earlier this week accused his father of physically abusing him.

“I stand with my son and support him 100 per cent in the statements he has made. The days of slavery are done and over,” the mother posted on Facebook this morning in what is the latest twist to the developments that began days ago when the 22-year-old Butler posted disturbing pictures of what he said were injuries suffered at the hands of his father, football agent and coach Craig Butler.

“I’ve had enough of this abuse and it’s time u understand,” Kyle posted on social media Monday while revealing wounds he said he said he suffered during an attack while training at Mona High School.

Later that evening he posted again. “My mother has been abused mentally and physically by this man for several years. “I really don’t want to put this out in the media but you should all know the pain and the abuse that I’ve been enduring since I was 9 years-old….that my mother has been enduring”.

The elder Butler has since denied those claims in a statement released to the media on Tuesday.

“Let me categorically state that I have not been abusive to my son on that date or any other date. I have encouraged him and helped him to achieve his full potential. I have worked hard to create opportunities for my son of which he enjoyed for years,” Butler said in a statement.

However, in an interview on Nationwide Radio on Tuesday, Kyle backed up his statements and provided detail on the physical abuse he said his father inflicted on him. Those claims have now been given additional credence by the mother, who said the family and her boys have suffered long enough.

“People owning other people are done and over. Our creator does not even force us to worship him, he gives us free will,” she wrote.

“Yet mere creatures of dust believe they should demand people to bow at their feet and be subjected to abuse, robbing them of their human rights and dignity. When you take that, what is left? The damage that one narcissistic personality can do to the lives of others is literally unimaginable.”

She invited any friend on friends list who is a talented writer to reach out to her to inbox her, as she seeks to put her experiences into a book she intends to publish.

 

Three-time Olympian Michael Frater said the new administration of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA), plans to engage the country’s athletes in a move to improve relations between the governing body and its primary stakeholders.

Rain was the winner of the third and final T20 International of West Indies tour of New Zealand on Monday.

A stature of Barbados and West Indies iconic fast bowler Sir Wes Hall was unveiled at Kensington Oval on Sunday night on the eve of the country’s 54th year of independence.

President of the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) Conde Riley was this morning conferred with the Golden Crown of Merit for his contribution as a sports administrator in the field of cricket.

After an almost three-year hiatus from the sport, sprinter Daniel Bailey is planning a comeback at the 2021 World Indoor Championships from March 19-21 in Nanjing, China. His coach Carl Casey believes the veteran sprinter could be even better than before on his return.

The 34-year-old Bailey, the first Antiguan to win a 60m indoor global medal, took a break from the sport in 2018 and many believed he had retired.

However, according to Casey, he has been preparing Bailey for his intended return to the sport in 2021 and things have been going well.

“Daniel is not really a person who shies away from working…when it comes to training he is very focused,” Casey said during a recent interview on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show in Antigua.

“This time around we are seeing a whole different person in terms of maturity and focus.”

A decade ago Bailey, who boasts a personal best of 9.91, was among the best sprinters in the world, he was fourth in the final of the Men’s 100m at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, where Usain Bolt set the world record of 9.58s.

The following year he won bronze at the World Indoor Championships in Doha, Qatar and won a silver medal in the 100m at the Continental Cup in Split.

Despite Bailey’s age, Casey believes there is a lot more in the tank.

“He is the first person to run sub-10 in a South American country. Daniel Bailey is the only (Antiguan) athlete to have won a medal at indoors so he has substance,” the former national coach said.

“Maybe it’s me but I think the second time coming is a better Daniel Bailey.”

 

I use my Sundays to look back at what has been happening in the world of sport. On many a Sunday, I realize that people have looked at the stories they have seen throughout the week through different lenses. I have my own personal take on some of these issues and I will share them with you. Welcome to #INCASEYOUMISSEDIT. 

) Nicholas Pooran - one for the future.    

West Indies have provided Nicholas Pooran with the opportunity to prove that he is worthy of being part of the Test squad by including him in a 14-man 'A' squad to play a pair of first-class matches in New Zealand next month.

This, I feel is a good move.

The 25-year-old Trinidadian has played well in the shorter formats to the extent that many fans and pundits alike have suggested that he should considered for Test selection. There are others, however, who believe he should not be included because of his limited participation in first-class cricket in that he has only played three games for Trinidad and Tobago back in 2014.

My question is, how will we know unless he tries?

Sometimes an opportunity is all you need. The chance Pooran is now being given will allow selectors to determine if he has what it takes. Cricket West Indies lead selector Roger Harper believes the player deserves an opportunity.

"This series will give our players an opportunity to play first-class cricket against foreign opposition as well as experience different conditions here in New Zealand. It will also help to keep them in the frame should the need for replacements for the test team arise as we will have players who have been playing red-ball cricket and in form to consider."

There are two four-day matches set for December 3 in Mount Maunganui and December 11 in Nelson.

 

  1. Ineffective bowling cost the Windies

West Indies were outplayed by New Zealand and lost by 72 runs in the second T20 International on Sunday at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui. New Zealand’s Glenn Phillips cracked a 51-ball century, the quickest in T20Is by a New Zealander as the home side took a winning 2-0 lead. 

The West Indies struggled to make a mark in the first two matches of the series. In the first match, there were a combination of errors with the bat and ball.  Despite the heroics of skipper Kieron Pollard, who blasted 75 not out, the Windies lost five wickets for one run and needed Pollard’s brilliant knock to get them back into contention.

Wickets were also hard to come by as Keemo Paul went for 39 runs in three overs that included five costly no-balls. Kesrick Williams gave up 33 runs in two overs while Fabian Allen went for 32 runs in the 12 balls he was allowed.

 

In the second T20 international, Andre Fletcher looked good for the time he lasted but was run out on 20 having faced 14 deliveries. Brandon King failed miserably and was dismissed for duck. West Indies' biggest hopes in the middle order Shimron Hetmyer and Nicholas Pooran failed to fire.

How many times do we expect the Windies captain to carry the side? Skipper Kieron Pollard top-scored again for the Windies with his 15-ball 28, which included three consecutive sixes off Mitchell Santner but it was not enough.

As was the case in the first match, none of the Windies bowlers made an impact. Instead of gaining momentum when Guptill and Seifert were dismissed they literally dropped the ball. There were a number of misfields and a general lack of discipline from the bowlers.  Fast bowler Keemo Paul conceded 64 runs in four overs and Sheldon Cottrell went for 39 runs.  

The final T20 international will be held at Mount Maunganui on Monday, before a two-Test series begins in Hamilton on December 3.

  

  1. The world rocked by the passing of Diego Maradona. RIP Sir.

 On Sunday, Lionel Messi paid an emotional tribute to Diego Maradona by revealing a Newell's Old Boys shirt after scoring for Barcelona in their 4-0 win over Osasuna. The forward looked emotional during the minute’s applause for Maradona, who died at the age of 60 on Wednesday after a heart attack.

Messi, his fellow Argentine, alongside Pele and Cristiana Ronaldo best summed up the passing of the legend when they said "He is gone, but he will be with us for eternity."

Without a doubt, Maradona will be remembered for his many achievements on the field. He won titles in three different countries. He took Argentina to victory in the 1986 World Cup. He delivered two league titles to the city of Naples, something most felt was impossible. However, the Argentine’s impact off the field is what touched people the most.

He was vulnerable and showed that openly as he lived a life of excess in the public eye.  He immersed himself in whatever he did and took on the authorities when they failed to represent what he stood for. He will be remembered for his work on and off the field. Rest in peace, Sir. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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