SYDNEY, Australia (CMC):Carlos Brathwaite’s boundary-studded half-century on yesterday’s rain-hit second day of the third Test against Australia carried deeper value than just fours and sixes.The audacious right-hander carved out 69 off 71 deliveries with seven fours and four sixes, and while the innings sustained West Indies’ fightback at 248 for seven at the close at the Sydney Cricket Ground, it also had a special significance.Brathwaite has dedicated his career to his mother, Joycelyn, who is a breast cancer survivor. And with the third day of the Sydney Test designated ‘Pink Day’ in support of the fight against breast cancer, the Barbadian’s knock could not have been more timely.”Mom messaged me and said the first 50 was for her. So, overnight, she was telling me that I have 35 of her runs, so get the other 15 today and then start over fresh for mine,” Brathwaite said yesterday.”I ended with 69 – so that’s 19 for me,” he added with a smile. “She not a ‘big’ cricket person, but she understands a bit about the game and she has been a tremendous supporter all my life.”‘Pink Day’ is an initiative of the McGrath Foundation – organised by fast bowler legend Glenn McGrath in honour of his late wife Jane, who died of breast cancer seven years ago.Ahead of the match, members of the West Indies and Australia teams posed for special team photos wearing pink caps and interacted with breast cancer patients and their caregivers.With first-hand knowledge of the struggle against the disease, Brathwaite made it his duty to speak to the visitors and offer words of encouragement.”Just to see someone who went through it and people that care for people going through it, I just felt the need to put my arm around them and say, ‘Thanks for the job you are doing’,” he said.”And then I went to the lady (with breast cancer) to say, ‘You are a fighter, you are a survivor, and just keep going’.”Brathwaite revealed that his mother was diagnosed during 2011, the year he made his debut for the Windies in Bangladesh. He shaved his head during that tour to show solidarity and sent the photos home to show his support.”She took it better than I did. I was the one stressing all the time, wondering if she was okay, crying at times, and she was always the one with a smile on her face,” he recalled.”Through the ordeal, I cried the whole night, slept away from home because I couldn’t manage to stay with her and watch her going through it. But she was really buoyant throughout, always smiling and cracking jokes.”She is a very spiritual person and she was always saying, ‘Just keep faith and God will come through for you’. And her ordeal showed me what God can do, and that is why I have the faith I have.”SCOREBOARDWEST INDIES 1st innings(overnight 207 for six)K Brathwaite c Smith b Lyon 85S Hope c wkp Nevill b Hazlewood 9DM Bravo c Khawaja b Pattinson 33M Samuels run out 4J Blackwood b Lyon 10+D Ramdin not out 30*J Holder c Burns b O’Keefe 1C Brathwaite b Pattinson 69K Roach not out 1Extras (b5, lb1, nb1) 7TOTAL (7 wkts, 86.2 overs) 248To bat: J Taylor, J Warrican.Fall of wickets: 1-13 (Hope), 2-104 (Bravo), 3-115 (Samuels), 4-131 (Blackwood), 5-158 (K Brathwaite), 6-159 (Holder), 7-246 (C Brathwaite)Bowling: Hazlewood 15.2-5-37-2, Pattinson 16-3-67-2 (nb1), Lyon 35-12-78-2, Marsh 4-1-15-0, O’Keefe 16-5-45-1.AUSTRALIA – *S Smith, D Warner, J Burns, U Khawaja, A Voges, M Marsh, +P Nevill, S O’Keefe, J Pattinson, J Hazlewood, N Lyon.Toss: West Indies.Umpires: C Gaffaney, I Gould; TV – M Erasmus.
LONDON was Alia Atkinson’s third Olympic Games but it was also her breakthrough moment and her performance there catapulted Jamaican swimming to a whole new level. Atkinson first competed in Athens in 2004 and finished 25th in the 200m breaststroke in Beijing in 2008, but as a 23-year-old with college experience under her belt, Atkinson went to a third Olympic Games. Having tied with Canadian Tera van Beilen for eighth place in the semi-finals of the women’s 100m breaststroke, Atkinson was forced to swim off with the North American to decide a spot in the final. Then-Amateur Swimming Association of Jamaica president, Martin Lyn recalls the intensity of the experience. “At first she was a little almost nervous even though it was her third Olympics but as she progressed she became more and more confident. That came to a head when the swim-off occurred. She was ready to swim but the Canadians wanted to put the swim-off to the next day and we (Jamaican officials) ensured that the swim occurred within hours of the previous swim and because she was so fit and ready she was able to perform and she won the swim off by metres,” Lyn told The Gleaner. The swimmer was supported by members of the Jamaican contingent in the Olympic Pool at the finals in London and they watched as Atkinson came within metres of a bronze medal. She eventually finished fourth Lyn, who was president of the ASAJ from 2009-2015, said Atkinson’s exploits in London helped to attract more interest and sponsors to the sport, as the image of swimming being one for elitists, slowly shifted. “The popularity of aquatics definitely grew as a result of Alia’s performance and more sponsors became aware. It takes more work for us to push sponsorship and to bring up other Alia’s in Jamaica and we have in Jamaica which are very many (like her). We have a great programme and I see where we can produce many more Olympians in the pool,” Lyn said. He added that the increased sponsorship helped the association to send Atkinson to events overseas which helped improve her stature as well. “It (London) was the first time she was swimming against Europeans because she had never been to Europe and we were able to send her to Europe after that which is why she has been able to do so much better,” he noted. Atkinson, now 27, is looking forward to her fourth Olympics. Since 2012 she became the first black woman to win a world title when she set a world record in the 100m breaststroke at the 2014 Short Course World Championships in Doha, Qatar. Atkinson also won a bronze medal in 100m breaststroke and silver in the 50m breaststroke at the Long Course World Championships in Kazan, Russia in 2015.
The best of the native bred three-year-old fillies will hold centre stage at Caymanas Park today in the 77th running of the Caribbean Choice Jamaica Oaks over 2000 metres and given the presence of a top heavy favourite in NUCLEAR AFFAIR, victory for her should be a mere formality.Offering a total purse of $3 million, this the season’s third classic has attracted 10 starters, including the first eight past the post in the April 9 Post to Post 1000 Guineas, which saw the howling favourite, NUCLEAR AFFAIR, powering home by 9 1/4 lengths from A THOUSAND STARS and SORRENTINO’S STAR in a fast 1:39.2 for a mile.NUCLEAR AFFAIR was then ridden by three-time champion, Dane Nelson, who left the island last week for another riding stint in Canada. Her connections have called up big-race jockey Shane Ellis, the reigning champion, to replace Nelson, who will be back to ride her in the derby.Unbeaten in three starts this season, NUCLEAR AFFAIR has already stamped herself as an exceptional three-year-old filly and Subratie is looking beyond the Oaks to the June 25 derby where she will come face to face with the colts.GLORIOUS UNCERTAINTY”She has everything in her favour today, having beaten seven of her opponents in the Guineas. But she still has to go out there and execute for racing is a sport of glorious uncertainty,” said Subratie, who is seeking his first Oaks win, having finished second with the 99-1 outsider ZACAPA some years ago.”She has done everything asked of her this season and I was particularly pleased with how she carried herself at exercise last Sunday morning in a six-furlong gallop, looking pretty easy in 1:14.4.”Nuclear Affair can do anything … she can run with the pace or come from behind if the situation demands and I am confident she will deliver for her deserving owner Michros,” he added.”It is only left to be seen whether my other runner, Golden Glory, can complete the exacta after finishing fifth in the Guineas. She did not have much luck in running, however, and my hope is that she can beat the runner-up, A Thousand Stars, and the third horse, Sorrentino’s Star, for second, with Ameth Robles who rode Zacapa taking the ride,” said the second generation trainer.For me, NUCLEAR AFFAIR, a chestnut filly by Nuclear Wayne out of Commandra Affair, bred by her owner, is so much better than her opponents that it will take an act of God to deny her today.The Wayne DaCosta-trained A THOUSAND STARS, a fast improving sort, should follow her home, again.Other firm fancies on the 12-race programme are CAMPESINO to repeat in the third race for open allowance horses; last year’s Oaks winner, MOM’S STUDENT, in the fourth; SOUND OF MIRACLE in the fifth; RUNAWAY GAL in the sixth for the Ricochet Cup; PROLIFIC PRINCESS in the seventh; and LORD EQUUS in the ninth.
ST JOHN’S, Antigua (CMC): Nikita Miller has moved past Gudakesh Motie to become the leading wicket-taker in the WICB Professional Cricket League which resumed with the start of a lone fixture in round six yesterday. The Jamaica leg spinner’s four-wicket haul for 63 runs has taken his tally to 37 after a performance which helped bowl out Leeward Islands Hurricanes for 155 runs after tea. Hurricanes were blown away by Miller and his spin partner Damion Jacobs, the main destroyer with five wickets for 50 runs. At the close, the Scorpions were in trouble on 54 for the loss of four wickets after Rahkeem Cornwall dislodged openers Paul Palmer and John Campbell cheaply. Sent in by Jamaica Scorpions, Volcanoes cruised to 51 for the loss of one wicket by lunch after a quiet morning session. However, Hurricanes innings plunged into chaos in the post lunch session as Jacobs and Miller wreaked havoc. Daron Cruickshank struck a defiant 51 which contained eight fours while opener Montcin Hodge resisted with a knock of 41. Only two other batsmen, Jacques Taylor 18 and Jahmar Hamilton 13, got into double figures. Jacobs finished with five wickets for 50 runs, including the scalp of captain Nkrumah Bonner, who was caught behind without scoring moments after surviving a confident shout. At stumps, Scorpions, who lost Jermaine Blackwood for 26, were attempting a recovery on the back of an unbeaten 19 from Andre McCarthy. Cornwall has conceded 31 runs in taking two of the four Scorpions wickets to have fallen thus far.
Director of elections at the Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ), Orette Fisher has rubbished claims that election equipment have been malfunctioning at polling stations across the island. It was reported that many persons across the island, who turned out to cast their votes, had to return home without doing so because lines were too long and election equipment had been malfunctioning. Candidates from both the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and the People’s National Party (PNP) have also been complaining of the slow voting process and that the electoral machines were malfunctioning. According to reports from the EOJ, as at 1:00p.m. over 500,000 persons had voted, which accounts for 31.54 per cent of the voting population. There are 1,824,412 electors on the voters’ list. Polls opened at 7:00 a.m. and will close at 5:00 p.m. EOJ said special accommodation will be made for voters who were in line before 5:00p.m. This will allow them to cast their vote.
When the finalists of the boys’ Class Three high jump final were announced at the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletic Championships at the National Stadium yesterday, all eyes were on Cayman-born high jumper and the Class Three champion and record holder, Calabar High’s Lamar Reid. Not many had their eyes on the Herbert Morrison’s pair of Antonio Hanson and Javier Hall, who both jumped 1.85 metres to take first and second, respectively, and relegate the defending champion, Reid — who scaled 1.75m — to third. Gold medallist Hanson said many people knew of their potential after both jumped personal bests of 1.90 metres at the St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) meet earlier this year, but no one expected them to take the top positions. “People knew we jumped 1.90m at STETHS so they were looking out for us, but they never expected us to win. I knew it would have been hard for us because no one was looking out for us, everyone was looking out for Lamar Reid, the record holder to take this event,” said Hanson. “But we trained hard, trained together and fed off each other’s energy and we came out here and we won … and I expect to beat him (Reid) even if he jumped higher because when he did the last jump I didn’t feel the vibes to jump anymore,” he told The Gleaner. Hall said he expected a tougher fight from Reid. “We expected to win and we came out to win, but he (Reid) never put up the fight we expected so there was no competition. But it is a joy taking back home the gold and silver,” he added. Reid said it was just a bad day. “I feel very bad, I expected to win. But the other team won because I had a bad day today,” he said.
And with the Under-19 Windies side having captured the ICC Youth World Cup earlier this year, Cameron said it was proof that West Indies cricket was “headed in the right direction.” “It is the beginning of the revival process,” Cameron told the Times of India newspaper. “We have put in place a robust system that will take some more time to churn out the results we want. The success of our U-19, ladies and men’s team proves that we are headed in the right direction”. Once World champions, West Indies have slipped to the bottom of international cricket in recent years, following poor results, especially in the Test and one-day formats. They are ranked number eight in Tests, the lowest of all major cricket nations and only above Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, and are ninth in ODIs, resulting in their non-qualification for next year’s Champions Trophy in England. However, Cameron said the WICB had made key structural changes which would see the continued rise of West Indies cricket. “Before 2005, we had an amateurish set-up in first-class cricket, where players only got to play just five four-day matches in a season. We have now replaced that with a professional set-up and players get to play at least 10 matches,” the Jamaican explained. He added: “We have 15 players who are currently contracted to the WICB. Besides this, we have 90 others who are contracted to the six regional franchises. The franchise teams currently compete in the four-day WICB Professional League as well as the one-day WICB Super 50 Tournament. “Currently, 11 women players are centrally contracted. They played some good cricket to get into the WT20 final for the first time and we hope they will go all the way.” Revival process KOLKATA, India (CMC): Embattled West Indies Cricket Board president Dave Cameron believes the region’s recent success on the international stage shows that West Indies cricket is on the rise again. He has also given the assurance that the recent pay dispute with players has been “amicably settled”. He was speaking on Friday after West Indies beat tournament favourites India on Thursday to reach the final of the Twenty20 World Cup for the second time in three competitions. West Indies Women also advanced to the final of the T20 World Cup for the first time when they defeated New Zealand Women also on Thursday.
Minister of Culture, Gender Affairs, Entertainment and Sports Olivia Grange describes the West Indies men’s team as “true and worthy champions” after they became the first team to win the ICC T20 World Cup twice.Grange also congratulated the women’s team for winning their first-ever ICC T20 Women’s World Cup, calling it “a giant step forward for women in sport”.”It is really a historic occasion and I’m really happy that I’m the minister at this time. We won the Under-19 World Cup and now added the men’s and women’s ICC T20 World titles,” said Grange.The Caribbean men edged a pulsating four-wicket win over England in the grand showdown at Eden Gardens, Kolkata, India, with Carlos Brathwaite smashing four mighty sixes in the final over.IMMENSE PRESSURE”Like every West Indian, I was nervous, too, with 19 runs required from the final over. But Carlos Brathwaite showed that he has a big, big heart. He believes in himself, and his calmness under such immense pressure is indicative of his quality and sheer class. Marlon Samuels was outstanding as well. It was his innings that was pivotal in making this victory possible.But overall, this team has proven throughout the tournament that they are true and worthy champions and it’s a victory most deserving for the entire region and all West Indians around the world,” said Grange.West Indies Women defeated their Australian counterparts by eight wickets in the earlier final.”Today is another giant step forward and a great moment for women in sports, especially for those of us from the Caribbean,” the minister said.”I must reserve special praise, though, for women’s team captain Stafanie Taylor, who I know personally as a little girl growing up in Gordon Pen in my constituency.”As the first woman to lead the West Indies ladies to their first-ever world title, she’s now a part of history that can never be eclipsed.”Grange added: “I am also pleased to tell the country that I will be resuscitating and fast-tracking plans for the Stafanie Taylor Oval at Eltham High School.”Continuing, she said: “We must not overlook the contributions of the West Indies Cricket Board, the coaching and management staff, the sponsors and ardent fans. They have all played their part in this momentous occasion for West Indies cricket, which, undoubtedly, remains an emblem of regional integration, pride and joy.”
St George’s Sports Club blanked Progressive FC 3-0 as the Portland FA/Portland Cooperative Credit Union KO competition kicked off at Lynch Park, Buff Bay, last Saturday. Andrew Miller (11th minute), Kemar Miller (41st) and Tyrone Brown (76the) scored the goals for St George’s SC. Jamaica Domino Council Premier League St George’s SC blank Progressive 3-0 INSPORTS netball to start Wednesday Waterford Primary will launch the defence of their Institute of Sports (INSPORTS) Portmore Primary League football title next week Friday when they oppose Ascot Primary in the feature match of a double-header, as the league kicks off with a uniform parade and opening games at Portsmouth Primary playing field, starting at noon. Prior to that match, Portsmouth, who placed third last season, will tackle Gregory Park at 10 a.m., while at 11 a.m., the uniform parade and opening ceremony will take centre stage. Waterford are in a rebuilding stage as most of their star players have left. However, they have a young crop of ballers who are eager to shine. Portsmouth have retained most of their players and are well set for a title charge. Independence City, Bridgeport, Gregory Park and the ever-improving Kensington are expected to be in the mix of things. There seems to be no stopping Waterhouse United this season. Fresh from their mid-season triumph over Braeton All Stars, Waterhouse United took down another heavyweight opponent as they outclassed Caribbean Classic 300-290 during the return-leg matches in the Jamaica Domino Council Association’s Premier League last Sunday. In other games, Spit Fyah burnt Mechanical Strikers 300-228; Right Stuff whipped Soursop Tree 300-275; Small Axe cut down Highlight Strikers 300-286; Naggo Head outlasted Jade Strikers 300-294; Vintage Pub clipped Memory Lane 300-298 in a cliffhanger and Exceptional thumped International 300-264. Waterford to defend INSPORTS football title The Institute of Sports (INSPORTS) Portmore Primary Netball League will tip off with opening games and a dress parade at Waterford Primary School this coming Wednesday. The feature match pits Portsmouth against Gregory Park at noon, while the opening game at 10 a.m. pits Naggo Head and Waterford Primary, and is expected to be quite competitive. The opening ceremony and dress parade will be at 11 a.m. Portsmouth, the two-time defending champions, will again have favourite status written on their backs. However, schools like Naggo Head, the recent INSPORTS/Klato Sutherland Portmore Primary Netball Rally champions, Ascot and Waterford Primary, will be breathing down their neck in the race for the title.
The 2017 track and field season will step up a notch this weekend with the staging of the Youngster Goldsmith meet inside the National Stadium. Fans are in for a treat with hurdlers taking the spotlight in what will be a sneak preview of the upcoming ISSA-Grace-Kennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Champ-ionships. This is the only development meet where there will be heats and finals for the sprint hurdlers, and based on the competition so far, there will be some fierce clashes among both sexes this season. Calabar’s outstanding hurdler De’Jour Russell will make his season debut in Class One, competing in the 110m hurdles. Despite competing in the class for the first time, he should not have any trouble negotiating the 99.0 centimetres barrier as competing for the first time in Poland at the World U-20 Championships last year where he raced to a world-leading junior time of 13.20 seconds when winning his semi-finals. TIGHT FOR TOP SPOTS It will be tight for the other top spots, as his former teammate Alex Robinson, who now attends Wolmer’s Boys, showed excellent form last Saturday at the Queen’s/Grace Jackson meet, where he won in a personal best 13.88 seconds. Kingston College duo of Wayne Pinnock and Davion Williams are unbeaten so far this season and will be hoping to continue their dominance in Class Two. However, they will have the Jamaica College duo of Trezequet James and Tarijmaar Miller to contend with. The girls Class Two 100m hurdles is worth going miles to see as Holmwood Technical’s Shanette Allison and Vere’s Britany Anderson will be involved in a titanic clash. Both are in impressive form and the winner could likely go 13.2 here. Despite not showing her usual good form as yet, Deznay Freeman of Manchester High, the 2016 Champs Class Two champion, cannot be counted out and could spoil the party. Vere’s Amoi Brown threw down the gauntlet in Class One last Saturday at the Queen’s-Grace Jackson meet after stopping the clock at 13.78 seconds. However, she will have the likes of Wolmer’s Janeek Brown, along with the Edwin Allen duo of Gabrielle McDonald and Khamoy Farqhuarson and the seasoned campaigner Nicolle Foster of Holmwood to contend with.