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.

Marlon Samuels was an instrumental player in the West Indies ICC T20 World Cup triumphs in 2012 and 2016. In 2012, Samuels scored a 56-ball 78 that proved to be the foundation for the West Indies 137 for 6 that was good enough to defeat Sri Lanka by 36 runs.

Then in 2016, the outspoken Jamaican scored an unbeaten 85 from 66 balls to help the West Indies pull off a remarkable victory chasing down England’s 155 for 9.

Carlos Brathwaite stole the show at the end with his unbeaten 34 from just 10 balls and which included four consecutive sixes in the final over bowled by Ben Stokes, but it was Samuels who kept the West Indies in the game after they had stumbled to 107-6 and needing 49 from just 27 balls.

Samuels has since retired, but the West Indies might already have a replacement in their camp in the form of Roston Chase.

The lanky Barbadian believes he is the man to take over that very important role as the West Indies go in search of a third consecutive title.

“I see myself playing a similar role,” Chase said while speaking with the media from the West Indies training base in Dubai on Thursday.

“I played for the St Lucia franchise for the past two years where I come in mostly after the Powerplay and knock it around and pick up the ones and twos and the occasional boundary when the ball is in my area to score so it’s an easy role for me.

“I like that role and with the power-hitting guys that we have, my role is just to give them the strike and let them do their thing but if the ball is in my area I will put it away.”

Chase demonstrated as much during the 2021 Hero Caribbean Premier League in the summer when, after a slow start to the season, he was among the league's leading run-scorers with 446 runs. Those runs came at a remarkable average of 49.55 and strike rate of 144.33.

That success, he revealed, came as the result of an adjustment he made to the way he was playing.

“Early on in this year’s CPL, the pitches were a bit difficult. They had a lot of grass but the grass was kind of spongy. It wasn’t like even grass for the ball to slide on. The ball was bouncing a bit; that was a bit hard so I just thought that after the first couple of matches I was trying to go at the ball a bit too hard. It was a wicket that you needed time to get in first and then it became easier,” he explained.

“So that is what I told myself after the first couple of games, just give myself a bit of time at the crease and then let my stroke play take over from there.”

He might have to make another adjustment for the pitch in Dubai where the West Indies will open the defence of their title on October 23 against England.

“We’ve had three training sessions so far and basically, the pitches have been coming on pretty good. The only issue I see with the pitches is that they’re keeping low, so you probably have to stay low when you’re executing your shots and that should work but the pitches are coming on a lot nicer than the ones we usually get in the CPL, so it should be a bit easier to get some runs,” he said.

 

 

Nicholas Pooran said he is not worried about his form and expects to be back to scoring runs once the T20 World Cup begins later this month.

West Indies head coach Phil Simmons has revealed that Chris Gayle will be entrusted with specific roles for the West Indies once the ICC T20 World Cup begins later this month.

 Gayle, 42, was a controversial pick for the West Indies selectors with detractors citing his prolonged poor form and age as factors why he should not have been selected. However, Windies selector said Gayle’s experience and leadership were intrinsic factors that made him an asset for the Caribbean side looking to win their third T20 world title on the trot, having won in 2012 and 2016.

During a media session from the United Arab Emirates on Monday, Simmons indicated that more will be asked of the Universe Boss in his final World Cup campaign.

“We have specific roles we have put on Chris and we trust that he is going to be ready and in form and having had a short rest from the game and from the bubble he is going to come back fresh and ready to do what we ask him to do,” Simmons said of Gayle, who left the IPL bubble last month citing bubble fatigue and the need to refresh himself for the world cup.

"Over the last few months, I have been a part of the CWI bubble, CPL bubble followed by the IPL bubble, and I wish to mentally recharge and refresh myself," Gayle said in a statement last month. "I want to refocus on helping the West Indies in the T20 World Cup and would like to take a break in Dubai. My thanks to the Punjab Kings for giving me the time off. My wishes and hopes are with the squad always. All the very best for the games coming up."

Over the past weekend, Gayle posted pictures on Instagram of him enjoying his time off, refreshing himself before returning to action in the world cup.

Gayle had a lukewarm turnout for the Punjab Kings in the 2021 IPL. In 10 matches, the Jamaican star scored 193 runs at an average of 21.85 and strike rate of 125.32. His best score for the Kings was 46.

West Indies head coach Phil Simmons says he is not concerned about the form of his vice-captain Nicholas Pooran as the team prepares to begin the defence of their ICC World T20 title later this month.

The West Indies, the only team to win the T20 title twice – in 2012 and 2016 – has seen their vice-captain struggle for form in the Indian Premier League where he batted in the middle order for the Punjab Kings with little success.

Coming off a fair campaign for the Guyana Amazon Warriors in the 2021 Hero CPL where in 10 innings he scored 263 runs at an average of 32.88 and strike rate of 163.35, Pooran who turned 26 on October 2, has experienced a precipitous dip in form in the IPL.

In 11 innings for the Punjab Kings, Pooran has only managed to score 85 runs at an anaemic average and strike rate of 7.72 and 111.84, respectively, numbers that have even him concerned.

“Definitely not the IPL season I wanted but the opportunity to be tested both mentally and physically was a great experience, one to learn from very fast,” the Trinidadian posted on Instagram this past weekend.

However, Simmons expressed faith in the player’s ability to return to form in time for the world cup in the United Arab Emirates where the West Indies will open their campaign against England on October 23.

“I am not too worried about Nicholas. I think Nicholas has been batting well,” said the head coach during a media session from the UAE on Monday. “In the CPL, he played well, there was a lot of pressure on him there and there is going to be more pressure here but I think he has been working hard enough. He is doing all that he has to do and sometimes it doesn’t come off, but it will come off so I am not worried about him.”

Since the start of the CPL in August, Pooran has had one score of over 50 runs in T20 matches, and that was an unbeaten 75 against the Jamaica Tallawahs on September 10.

 

 

Khadijah ‘Bunny’ Shaw scored her second Women’s Soccer League (WSL) goal for Manchester City on Saturday as 10-woman Citizens played to a 2-2 draw with Manchester United.

Barbados all-rounder Dominic Drakes is to join the Chennai Super Kings as a replacement for England’s Sam Curran, who is out of the Indian Premier League (IPL) with a back injury.

The 23-year-old hero for 2021 Caribbean Premier League champions, St Kitts and Nevis Patriots will reunite with his CPL captain Dwayne Bravo ahead of their last league match against the Punjab Kings on Thursday, October 7.

Drakes took 16 wickets in 11 matches for the SKN Patriots during the CPL season and won the tournament with his bat when he scored an unbeaten 48 from 24 balls in the final against St Lucia Kings and was named the Player of the Match.

In 19 T20s so far, he has picked 20 wickets and has scored 153 runs at a strike rate of 159.37.

Members of Craig Butler’s Phoenix Football Academy, who play at the national and international level, are likely to be included under Jamaica’s Athletes Insurance Plan, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports Olivia Grange announced on Saturday.

The Universe Boss Chris Gayle has left the IPL bubble citing bubble fatigue and a need to stay fresh for next month’s ICC T20 World Cup.

West Indies Women Head Coach Courtney Walsh was impressed by the young bowlers, Qiana Joseph and Sheneta Grimmond, who performed well in the recent series against South Africa but insists that there is a need for greater levels of consistency from them.

Joseph, the 20-year-old left-arm spinner from St Lucia, was the leading wicket-taker for the West Indies Women with five wickets in the four ODI matches she played at an average of 19.40 and economy rate of 3.38.

Speaking to the media late last week, Walsh lauded Joseph’s performance during the series.

“Obviously, Qiana has played before but it’s the first time we were looking at her to play the role she did and she did it in both competitions; very, very satisfying,” Walsh said.

“We haven’t had a left-arm spinner for quite some time, most teams struggle against that or have that in their set up, so from a coaching perspective, it was something I had been very keen to have a look at and she has answered the right questions.

“She did well, it was very satisfying with her performance and how she went about it so it is definitely something to work on to give us those options with the bowling.”

Grimmond, the 23-year-old right-arm off-break bowler from Guyana, played in just two matches in the ODI series but four wickets at an average of 13.00 and an economy of 3.66.

“Grimmond came into the last two games and did well in the last game from a bowling perspective, so that is also another good question answered,” he said while also singling out Trinidadian Karishma Ramharack for praise on the strength of her best bowling figures of 3-8 in the T20 series.

“Ramharack did well in the T20 in the game she played and won Player of the Match, so these are some of the positive signs, what is lacking is the consistency and that is what we have to work on and which we will keep working on,” Walsh said.

“We want them to execute more consistently and once that is happening then it will give us more chances of winning games.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell appeared to have suffered a hamstring injury during the Kolkata Knight Riders’ two-wicket loss to the Chennai Super Kings in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

West Indies Women Head Coach Courtney Walsh believes middle-order batter Rashada Williams is on the verge of breaking into the first team following her outstanding series against South Africa.

For a record third year in a row, Jamaica’s standout shooter Jhaniele Fowler has been voted MVP of the West Coast Fever franchise of the Suncorp Super Netball League. She is now also the first winner of the Stacey Marinkovich Medal.

The MVP Award was renamed the Stacey Marinkovich Medal this season to honour the former captain and coach’s legacy at the club, which included being appointed inaugural captain and coaching 104 games, including two Grand Finals.

Fowler won the Stacey Marinkovich Medal with 55 votes ahead of captain Courtney Bruce with 35 votes and rising star Sunday Aryang with 21 votes.

“I am very grateful for all that this team has invested in me as a person and as a player and always believing in me, year in, year out,” said Fowler, who topped the scoring this past season with 883 goals at 96 per cent accuracy.

 “Since I’ve been here in 2018, I’ve only wanted to do my best by this club to perform my best.

“I’m so much more mature in my game and in my personal life since I’ve been here and I’m very grateful for that. This wouldn’t have been possible without my amazing teammates so I’m very thankful to them too.”

In her four seasons in Super Netball, Fowler has scored 3455 goals for the Fever. Her 57 offensive rebounds were second overall and she was the Nissan Net Points leader board with a total of 1611 points.

The towering Jamaican recently signed for two more years with the Fever.

Elaine Thompson-Herah has poured cold water on reports that she is leaving MVP Track Club.

She has described those reports as rumours and said she is on a well-deserved break following her record-breaking season during which she became the first woman to successfully defend 100 and 200m titles at the same Olympic Games.

Reports emerged on Thursday that following her outstanding season, Thompson-Herah had taken a decision to leave MVP and going forward will be coached by her husband, Derron Herah.

Late Thursday, the 2021 Diamond League 100m champion appeared on the Brother from Another show on NBC Sports, denouncing the reports.

"I am the fastest woman alive so they are going to create some sort of news to distract the world so it's rumours of course. I have seen articles in the media that I have died before, more than once. There are always rumours in the media, they are always targeting me, I don't know why,” she told hosts, Michael Smith and Michael Holley.

"It's probably because I didn't show up at practice. I am still on my rest period, so maybe they are just speculating why I am not at practice, but I just came back from the international circuit and we normally get like a month's rest and I am in my second week.”

Thompson-Herah set a new Olympic record of 10.61 while defending her Olympic 100m title and 21.53 to win back-to-back titles in the 200m. She won a third gold on Jamaica’s 4x100 relay team. After the Olympics, she ran the fastest series of times in history – 10.54, 10.64, 10.72 and 10.65 –  to close out the season as the only woman to run four wind-legal times faster than 10.70.

 

In-form T20 batsman Sherfane Rutherford has returned home to his native Guyana from the IPL following the death of his father, the Sunrisers Hyderabad Indian Premier League franchise announced on Thursday.

Orin Rutherford, 58, died Thursday, after testing positive for the Covid-19 virus on September 5. He was being treated at the Intensive Care Unit of the Infectious Diseases Hospital in Liliendaal Hospital in Georgetown. He was reportedly unvaccinated.

"The SRH family conveys its heartfelt condolences to Sherfane Rutherford and his family on the passing away of his father. Sherfane will be leaving the IPL bio-bubble to be with his family in this difficult hour," SRH posted on Twitter.

Following a successful season with newly-crowned Caribbean Premier League champions St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, Rutherford was looking forward to his maiden season with SRH.

It always feels good to come to a new franchise. It’s always good coming to something new. I look to learn, gather as much information as I can to work on my game and in the best way I can to help the team,” he said shortly after his arrival in India.

Rutherford, who almost inexplicably missed on being selected to represent the West Indies at next month’s ICC T20 World Cup, was called up by SRH to replace England’s Jonny Bairstow.

He last played in the IPL for Delhi Capitals in 2019.

Bobsledder Carrie Russell is on the mend from a horrific injury she suffered from a freak accident in training recently. However, she says she should be fine to begin competing once the bobsled season begins in November.

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