June 27, 2017

Green Machine, USA South clash possibly shifted to July 29

Whichever date is decided upon, a high octane clash is expected between both sides

Guyana’s National Rugby team, the Green Machine, were initially set to do battle with USA South Panthers on July 1 for the Rugby Americas North (RAN) 15s title but due to unforeseen circumstances, the match has possibly been shifted to July 29.

According to a source close to the Guyana Rugby Football Union (GRFU), the extension was given by RAN as the Panthers were not able to secure tickets for the entire team travel to Guyana for initial date.

The source explained the confirmation on the date and possible venue will be made when the Local Organising Committee meets on Friday (June 23).

It was also disclosed by the source that the extension will aid in their preparation and promotion of the event.

The meeting of the teams comes after they defeated Trinidad and Tobago 24-17 to win the South Championship. The prediction was that Guyana would have to travel to Mexico City to play the home side in the North versus South final. Last year Guyana lost lost 32-3 to host Mexico.

However, Mexico suffered a 39-17 loss to Cayman Islands on Saturday, which meant that USA South topped their group. It is understood that Panthers had 11 points compared to Mexico and Cayman Islands, who both ended on nine points.

This translates into Mexico falling from 9th to 12th in the Americas’ Rankings. The Cayman Islands move up one spot to 11th. There are also gains for Guyana and Trinidad & Tobago.

In 2014, the Green Machine etched their names in the history books after edging the Panthers to claim their maiden RAN (formerly North American and Caribbean Rugby Association) 15s title with a come-from-behind 30-27 win.


Windies Women to play for increased prize money

KOLKATA, INDIA – APRIL 03: West Indies celebrate their teams win over Australia during the Women’s ICC World Twenty20 India 2016 Final between Australia and West Indies at Eden Gardens on April 3, 2016 in Kolkata, India. (Photo by Matthew Lewis-IDI/IDI via Getty Images)

LONDON, England – West Indies Women will be vying for a winner’s cheque of US$660,000 when they open their campaign in the ICC Women’s World Cup which bowls off Saturday.

The top prize is part of an overall tournament bounty of $2 million which, according to the International Cricket Council (ICC), is 10 times the amount on offer at the last World Cup in India four years ago.

The losing finalists will walk away with a handy $330,000, with the losing semi-finalists each pocketing $165,000.

Teams bowing out at the group stage will still collect $30,000 each with each preliminary round win rewarded with $20,000.

West Indies Women enter the June 24 to July 23 tournament as one of the favourites following their capture of last year’s Twenty20 World Cup in India.

They have also excelled in the 50-overs format, reaching the final of the 2013 World Cup and also finishing fourth in the ICC Championship last year to be one of four teams to earn automatic qualification for the pending tournament.

The Caribbean side has had a rough last three weeks, however, losing all their unofficial warm-up games.

They play their first official ICC warm-up against Pakistan in Leicester today before taking on South Africa in their final warm-up in Oakham.

West Indies open their preliminary campaign with a rematch of the 2013 final against reigning champions Australia in Taunton. (Jamaica Observer)


Ming, the new F4 champion in Mexico

Standing Tall! Calvin Ming lifts the winning trophy on the podium

Overseas-based F4 Driver Calvin Ming continues to write his own chapter in Guyana’s Motor racing history. On Saturday at the world famous Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez Formula 1 Circuit in Mexico City, Ming sealed the top spot in the Mexican NACAM FIA Formula 4 championship series.

According to reports from Mexico, Ming started off the weekend activities of the 8th and final round by turning in the fastest times during the first practice session. He later went on to qualify and start race #1 in second position.

After leading the race for several laps, he encountered some problems with the engine’s performance when it started losing power. Having carefully calculated the various permutations, and being aware that he had a 55-point lead, he nursed the car to a fourth place finish, knowing that in this position he would emerge as the champion of the series, irrespective of whether or not he participated in the two other races on Sunday.

Stanley Ming, Calvin’s father and manager, felt the efforts of the members of the Ram Racing Team, which is owned by retired Mexican Air-force General Jose Antonio Ramos and meticulously managed by his son ‘Pato’, were undoubtedly major contributory factors to the entire team’s successes during the series.

He also extended sincere thanks and appreciation to the Mexican officials, and especially Flavio Abed and his brother Felipe Abed, “who provided invaluable support and guidance from the beginning of our participation in the series”.

The veteran motor racer added, “To my extremely supportive fans in Mexico, Guyana, and Guyanese around the world, the Ming family members are buoyed and encouraged to make our best efforts, as proud Guyanese, to keep the Golden Arrowhead flying high”.

On Sunday, Calvin started in Position 4. He took the lead from lap #1 and never looked back, winning from Alexis Carreno in P2 by 11.85 secs, with Alexandra Mohnhaupt in P3.


Boxing Referee Agard does it differently -key to success

Romona Agard made history when she
became the first Guyanese referee to
be selected for officiating at the South
American Youth games

One Star boxing referee/judge Ramona Agard who recently created history in Guyana when she became the first from the Land of Many Waters to be selected to officiate in the South American Youth Games attributed her continued success to “doing things differently”.

Agard, who was notified of her selection by way of a recent letter from the Americas Boxing Confederation (AMBC) said that she is more overjoyed at being selected to officiate at the tournament which is slated to take place in October of this year and hailed her selection as a plus for Guyana.

“I am overjoyed, elated and overwhelmed” a grateful Agard told Guyana Times Sports, she pointed out that she does things differently as she keeps abreast with the ever changing International Boxing Association (IBA) rules by doing a lot of research, reading and by asking questions of colleagues.

Agard maintained that she sticks to the rules and practices what she is taught. “At all times I just stick to the rules, do what I was taught, control the ring, control the bout and I am in charge at all times.”

Interestingly, Agard has always been selected to referee in the finals of her international tournaments.

The humble but experienced referee extended gratitude to President of the Guyana Boxing Association (GBA) Steve Ninvalle and his executives, her supportive family, international colleague Trinidadian James Beckles who is a three star referee and K.A Juman Yassin the president of the Guyana Olympic Association.


Eastman, Williams sparkle at 2017 Harlem Skyscraper Cycling Classic NY

Hamzah Eastman (left) took third spot in the 2017 Harlem Skyscraper Cycling Classic NY

Guyana’s Hamzah Eastman and National Champion Geron Williams turned in good performances placing second and fourth respectively in the 2017 Harlem Skyscraper Cycling Classic in New York on Sunday.

Coco’s Cycling’ Eastman came in second behind Thomas Gibbons who won the Harlem Skyscraper Classic. Stephen Hall came in third while Geron Williams was fourth, two other Guyanese riders Stephano Husbands and Shaquel Agard participated but finished 20th and 24th respectively.

The Harlem Skyscraper Cycling Classic was created in 1973 by David Walker—a former New York Police Officer and NYPD Community Affairs Officer in Harlem’s 25th Precinct. The Harlem Skyscraper Cycling Classic was designed as a community event focused on bicycle racing and safety programs for youth.

Within three years, the race became one of the premiere attractions of the United States Cycling Federation. Each year the race draws over 400 United States Cycling Federation (USCF)—(now known as USA Cycling) licensed cyclist from the greater NYC area, national and international riders, as well as hundreds of community participants.


Trinidad to host CPL 2017 finals

The Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) has announced that the finals of the 2017 tournament will take place at the new Brian Lara Cricket Stadium in Trinidad from 5th to 9th September.

According to a CPL press statement, the four matches will see the exciting conclusion to the Biggest Party in Sport which will draw in spectators and television viewers from around the world. “Trinidad & Tobago is a vibrant hub of Caribbean cricket and will be an ideal host for the finals, that will see the top four teams from the league stage fight it out for the Hero CPL title”, CPL said.

The Brian Lara Cricket Academy is a state-of-the-art 100,000sqft training and competition venue with a capacity of 15,000-seats. This fantastic facility will be hosting its first Hero CPL matches and the teams will be able to make use of the world-class outdoor nets and training complex. The North Tower at the academy also houses the ultra-modern written press and broadcast areas.

Damien O’Donohoe, Chief Executive Officer of the Hero CPL said: “We are absolutely delighted to be bringing the Hero CPL finals to Trinidad & Tobago. There is nowhere that can host the CPL finals quite like Trinidad & Tobago.  We would like to express our thanks to the Trinidad & Tobago government, especially the Prime Minister, Keith Rowley and the Minister for Youth and Sports, Darryl Smith.

“CPL is without doubt the biggest sports event in the Caribbean and has attracted huge international attention so this is a great opportunity for Trinidad & Tobago to showcase everything that makes this country so special to hundreds of millions of viewers around the world. Sports tourism is now creating lots of much needed jobs in the region and so Trinidad and Tobago are set to really benefit from hosting these games.

“Trinidad and Tobago were fantastic hosts of the 2015 Hero CPL finals and I am sure that the games at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy will be even better in 2017.”

Minister Smith said: “What better tribute could we ask for the Academy’s namesake and the cricket loving citizens of Trinidad & Tobago? The CPL has become a true spectacle for the game and is enjoyed by cricket lovers across the Caribbean and the world. When the CPL officials visited last month and discussions began, I was quietly confident. We will ensure that it will be one of the best finals in the tournament’s history.”

Pakistan move closer to direct qualification for 2019 World Cup

Pakistan’s triumph in the Champions Trophy has pushed them to sixth in the ICC ODI rankings, and closer to direct qualification for the 2019 World Cup in England.

Pakistan, who began the tournament placed eighth, gained four points to move past Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, who are now ranked seventh and eighth respectively. Hosts England and the seven highest ranked teams at the cut-off date of September 30, 2017, receive direct qualification for the next World Cup.

“We’ve got two years until the 2019 World Cup,” Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur said after beating India in the Champions Trophy final. “We’ve got the monkey off our back in terms of qualifying. We now have two years to identify a squad we want to take forward and give them enough game time.”

In the ODI bowlers rankings, Pakistan’s Hasan Ali, who took 13 wickets in five games to be named Player of the Champions Trophy, broke into the top 10, leapfrogging 12 of his peers to claim the seventh spot.

Batsman Babar Azam moved up three positions to reach a career-high fifth spot in the batting rankings. Babar scored 133 runs in five Champions Trophy games, without a fifty. Fakhar Zaman, who scored two fifties and a hundred in the tournament, was among the top 100 despite playing just four ODIs.

The top four spots in both the batting and bowling rankings – with Virat Kohli and Josh Hazlewood in the lead – remained unchanged.

ODI team rankings

  1. South Africa (119)

  2. Australia (117)

  3. India (116)

  4. England (113)

  5. New Zealand (111)

  6. Pakistan (95)

  7. Bangladesh (94)

  8. Sri Lanka (93)

  9. West Indies (77)

ICC mulls scrapping Champions Trophy

David Richardson

The ICC is once again mulling over the prospect of scrapping the Champions Trophy, in favour of two expanded World T20 tournaments in a four-year cycle. Talk of the impending demise of the tournament has become almost a ritual. And with the next edition tentatively inked in for 2021, in India, David Richardson, the ICC CEO, said the body is considering scrapping the event to capitalize on the popularity of the T20 format to open the tournament up to more teams.

“It’s always been quite difficult to distinguish or differentiate between the two 50-over global events,” Richardson said. “With the World Cup becoming a ten-team event, it’s almost like the World Cup is becoming more like the Champions Trophy, which I think is a good thing.

“I think it (World Cup) will still be a longer event. The World Cup format will allow the best chance for the best four teams to get into the semifinals. So it takes away the risk of maybe a rain-affected game or one poor game having a huge impact on the tournament like it can be in this tournament (Champions Trophy). But still, highly competitive matches hopefully.

“And then, whether the Champions Trophy in 2021 stays a Champions Trophy, or we move to two World T20s – that still needs to be discussed and settled. It’s a possibility, yes. I wouldn’t say it is categorically going to happen because, as we’ve seen, the Champions Trophy on its own is a very good event and very well-supported, particularly in the UK, where you get support for all teams. So let’s not be too hasty in writing it off, but to be honest and frank, there is consideration for moving towards two World T20s in a four-year cycle.”

Two World T20s in a four-year cycle, Richardson said, gave the ICC a chance to open the tournament to more Associate teams, a balm to the decision to curtail the number of teams at the 2019 World Cup to ten. That decision drew flak from Associate players, with Ireland and Scotland cricketers quite vocal.

“Having two World T20s in a four-year cycle gives us an opportunity to globalise the game to a great extent, open the tournament to more teams – 16 or maybe even in a longer term to 20 teams,” Richardson said. “It’s easier to be competitive in that format, and thus easier to accommodate more teams.”

Richardson’s thoughts will hardly come as a surprise. In 2012, it was decided that the last edition of the tournament would be held in 2013, as the ICC sought to introduce a World Test Championship from 2017, and there was talk of scrapping it even as long ago as the time of the 2009 event. However, the significant commercial success of the tournament in England in 2013 – a short, sharp competition that featured eight teams – led to its retention at the expense of a World Test Championship.

The ICC, however, is discussing the idea of a two-year Test league, with a 9-3 format – the top nine Test countries compete among themselves and against the three lower-ranked teams comprising Zimbabwe, and most likely Ireland and Afghanistan (depending on whether they earn Test status), which could also put some strain on the international calendar.

The 2017 edition, Richardson said, highlighted the importance of context, and the ICC CEO was happy with the success of the tournament.

“Overall, very satisfied with the Champions Trophy (2017). Across all aspects of the event, really, from the enthusiasm of the volunteers – cricketeers, as they were called – to the broadcaster viewership, the digital content that we put out, umpiring, player behaviour, pitches … everything went well. The cricket has been great. It shows that if you’ve got context and competitive teams, you will have a great event.” (ESPNCricinfo)


Telephone giant GTT signs major sponsorship deal with Amazon Warriors

By Akeem Greene

GTT CEO Justin Nedd (third from left) and Guyana Amazon Warriors representative Ashminie Jailall (centre) pose with a signed bat after the symbolic partnership is sealed. They are flanked by Guyana
Amazon Warriors Assistant Operations Manager John Ramsingh (right front); Assistant Coach Esuan Crandon (back right) and local Warriors Shimron Hetmyer (left), Steven Jacobs (second left), along
with Keon Joseph, Veerasammy Permaul and Assad Fudadin

Guyana Telephone and Telegraph (GTT) is now the signature sponsor of the Guyana Amazon Warriors for the fifth edition of the gala Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL).

This was disclosed by GTT’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Justin Nedd on Tuesday while speaking at a festive ceremony held at the Presidential Suit of the National Stadium, Providence.

“Our sponsorship of the Amazon Warriors is an expression of GTT’s understanding of the Guyanese heart and passion for sport especially cricket”, the CEO stated.

While there was no disclosure on a cost of the sponsorship, the agreement is expected to see the company have the main branding rights for the team as they seek to improve spectators’ experiences at the Stadium.

“GTT and the Guyana Amazon Warriors will blaze the stands and the grass mound on match days in full party mode. We want everyone to embrace what it means to be an Amazon Warrior”, Nedd added.

The CEO also disclosed their “Future Amazon Warrior” in 15 year-old Berbician Seon Glasgow. GTT will immediately provide full sponsorship for his participation in the Sir Garfield Sobers Schools Tournament in Barbados in July.

Glasgow has been selected to be part of the Electra Sports Academy that will be representing Guyana at the tournament.

“We will also pursue Seon’s training with the Guyana Amazon Warriors team here in July in preparation for the CPL Games in August,” Need disclosed.

Likewise, Amazon Warriors, Marketing and Media Officer and Assistant Operations Manager, John Ramsingh revealed that the partnership with GTT would provide more hype among other things. “Our partnership with GTT is aimed at providing more information, more hype, more opportunities to get a chance to see these matches live and even a chance to interact in person with the International, Regional and your own local players”.

Director of Sport Christopher Jones was most enthused about the proceedings since it exemplifies his contention that “government alone cannot undertake the development of sport since corporate support is needed.”

Jones congratulated GTT on the venture and assured that there is willingness to lend whatever support is needed to make the Amazon Warriors successful.

The company also unveiled, the “Amazon Warriors Song”, which is a musical collaboration between two local music stars Calvin Burnett and Drew Thoven.

The league will run from August 4 to September 9 and the Warriors will have four home games during the period of August 17 to 22. The Warriors have been one of the most consistent teams in the league reaching three of the four finals to date.

The Warriors have six newcomers in their squad with Afghanistan leg spinning sensation Rashid Khan heading the list that includes destructive Jamaican wicket-keeper/batsman Chadwick Walton who played for the Tallawahs in the last four seasons.

Big-hitting ICC Americas opener Steven Taylor will also suit up for the Warriors, along with Barbados all-rounder Roshon Primus and the Guyanese pair, batsman Gajanand Singh and fast bowler Keon Joseph, who was a replacement to Ronsford Beaton in the 2013 squad but did not play a match.

The retained players are Pakistani all-rounder Sohail Tanvir, New Zealand opener Martin Guptill, Australian middle-order batsman Chris Lynn, Trinidad and Tobago all-rounder Rayad Emrit, Trinidad and Tobago batsman Jason Mohammed, Guyanese trio Veerasammy Permaul, Assad Fudadin and Steven Jacobs and Trinidad and Tobago wicketkeeper/batsman Steven Katwaroo.

The finals of the tournament will take place at the new Brian Lara Stadium in Trinidad and Tobago from September 5 to 9.

Guyanese all-rounder Carmichael continues to shine in England

Kellon Carmichael

Guyanese all-rounder Kellon Carmichael continues to enjoy his stint with English side Goring Cricket Club, registering a century and taking four scalps in last weekend match against hosts Stenying Cricket Club in the Sussex Premier League.

The former national junior player bagged 4-25 as he orchestrated the demolition against his counterparts, who folded for a paltry first innings score of 75 all out. He then returned with the bat to record a top score of 105 in his team’s total of 250-8 declared.

The 28-year-old has not disappointed since becoming a free agent earlier this year when he was snapped up by the English Club.

Earlier in the league Carmaichael was at the centre of Goring’s success against Hastings and Leonard’s Cricket Club in the Sussex Premier League. The right handed batsman hit a cameo of 30 from 23 in his team’s innings of 290-5 in 45 overs .

He later returned to destroy the opposition with figures of 5-30 from six overs of medium fast bowling as they folded for 81.

In the Greater London League, the dapper Malteenoes Sports Club (MSC) player smashed 81 and took 4-35 in a sterling win for Sabina over Aztecs Cricket Club.

Against Seven Kings Cricket Club, Carmichael claimed three wickets and blasted 58 in a losing effort.

Carmaichael said his aim is focusing on finishing atop of the batting and bowling standings, so his team will fare well at the end of the season.