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.
Month: February 2020
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.