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.

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. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minister of Gender, Culture, Entertainment and Sports Olivia Grange has congratulated Garth Gayle on his ascendency to the presidency of the Jamaica Athletic Administrative Association (JAAA).

Gayle, who was the Honorary Secretary of the JAAA for two decades, replaced Dr Warren Blake who stepped down after two four-year terms. Gayle defeated Olympic Quarrie in a landslide winning 236 delegate votes to Quarrie’s 28.

Marie Tavares will fill Gayle’s former position, after defeating Anthony Davis while Leroy Cooke is the Director of Records.

Ian Forbes was elected unopposed as First Vice President, as were second Vice President Lincoln Eatmon, Third Vice President Olympian Michael Frater and Fourth Vice President Vilma Charlton. Ludlow Watts returns as Treasurer while Brian Smith will be Assistant Secretary.

In her congratulatory message, Minister Grange said she was expecting great things from the new administration.

“As I offer my congratulations to Garth and those on his slate for the success in the elections yesterday, I say Jamaica is looking forward to the best performance over the next four years in the best interests of the country’s track and field athletes,” she said.

“There is a lot to be done in the further development of the sport and as the Minister of Sport, I am right here in the middle to give my support to the new administration.

“I am also hoping that with the elections out of the way, all will work together to build on Jamaica’s long, proud and wonderful record of performance in track and field.”

The full executive of the new JAAA administration also include committee members Keith Wellington, Heleen Francis, Julette Parkes-Livermore, Ewan Scott, Judith Ewart, Fedrick Dacres, Dr Carl Bruce and Gregory Hamilton.

 

 

West Indies white-ball captain Kieron Pollard blames his side’s erratic bowling for their five-wicket loss to New Zealand in Auckland on Friday.

New Zealand ‘A’ were 45 without loss at stumps on day two of their warm-up match with the West Indies in Queenstown.

A dramatic batting collapse and poor bowling were at the root of the West Indies five-wicket loss to New Zealand in the opening encounter of their three-match T20 series in Auckland on Friday.

In a match interrupted several times by rain, the West Indies lost five wickets for one run but recovered to 180 for 7 from 16 overs thanks to some calculated hitting from their captain, Kieron Pollard.

However, New Zealand replied with 179 for five from 15.2 overs to win by Duckworth/Lewis method.

The home side won the toss and asked the visitors to bat and they obliged racing to 58 without loss in 19 balls courtesy of Andre Fletcher’s 14-ball 34 that included three fours and three sixes.

However, when he was bowled by Lockie Ferguson the second ball of the fourth over, it triggered a collapse wherein the West Indies lost five wickets in 11 balls. Four balls later, he had Shimron Hetmyer caught behind without scoring – 58 for 2.

The West Indies lost two wickets in the following over bowled by Tim Southee, who removed Brandon King for 13 and Rovman Powell without scoring as the West Indies stumbled to 58 for 4. In the very next over, Ferguson trapped Nicholas Pooran lbw for 1 and the West Indies had collapsed to 59 for 5.

Pollard came to the rescue of the Caribbean side as he and Fabian Allen hauled the West Indies to 143 in the 14th over when Ferguson had Allen caught for 30 behind and Keemo Paul out by a similar route without scoring to leave the West Indies 146 for 7.

Meanwhile, at the other end Pollard was at his destructive best, smashing 75 off just 37 balls with four fours and eight sixes to carry the Caribbean side to a competitive total.

Man of the Match Ferguson returned figures of 5 for 21 from his four overs, while Southee took 2 for 22 from 3.

However, the Pollard-led recovery was all for naught as New Zealand, led by Neesham’s unbeaten 24-ball 48 and Devon Conway’s 29-ball 41, propelled New Zealand to 179 for 5 from 15.2overs and the series lead.

Neesham and Conway dragged New Zealand back from 63 for 4 mid-way the seventh over to what turned out to be a comfortable victory. In a fifth-wicket stand of 77 that came off just 34 balls, the pair smashed the West Indies bowling to all parts before Conway fell to Pollard in the 13th over but by then the damage had been done.

Mitchell Santer picked up from there smashing three sixes as he raced to an unbeaten 31 from just 18 balls to secure victory.

New Zealand were aided by poor bowling from the West Indies, especially from Keemo Paul and Kesrick Williams being, who were most culpable. Paul bowled five no-balls while giving up 39 runs from his three overs while Williams’ half volleys saw him being taken for 33 runs from two overs. Allen gave up 32 from two overs.

Oshane Thomas 2 for 23 from three overs was the best of the West Indies bowlers while Sheldon Cottrell returned figures of 1 for 30 from his four overs.

 

 

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