February 25, 2018

Archives for March 17, 2017

Hero CPL 2017 launches with eye-catching Draft

cplThe fifth instalment of the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) launched in spectacular fashion in Barbados on Friday morning as the Player Draft concluded with some eye-catching movement across all six franchises.

The great Sir Garfield Sobers joined the assembled guests, dignitaries, sponsors and international media to help launch the biggest party in sport.

This year each squad’s Player budget is $750,000 (USD). In addition to an unlimited group of retained players, once more there is a guaranteed roster spot for a Young West Indies emerging player as well as a representative from the ICC Americas, which ties in with one of the Hero CPL’s mandates of providing opportunities for young players across the Caribbean and north America.

CPLThough each team was permitted to retain the core of their squad this year, it still allowed for some eye-catching transfers.

Amongst some of the notable acquisitions are that of Australian all-rounder Ben Cutting who has been recruited by St. Kitts & Nevis Patriots, while West Indies ICC World T20 winner Marlon Samuels has joined the St. Lucia Stars. Samuels was not the only high profile Caribbean capture, with the Jamaica Tallawahs signing up batsman Lendl Simmons. Chadwick Walton has made the move, meanwhile, to Guyana Amazon Warriors and looks set to be a strong addition to their batting line-up.

cpl1For the first time ever, there will be an Afghanistan presence in the Hero CPL, with Mohammad Nabi (St. Kitts & Nevis Patriots) and Rashid Khan (Guyana Amazon Warriors) being snapped up. Barbados Tridents have also supplemented their bowling attack with the signing of Pakistan’s WahabRiaz.

In addition to the high-profile acquisition of New Zealand batsman Kane Williamson, coupled with the return of Dwayne Smith following his transfer from Guyana Amazon Warriors, the Tridents have retained Pakistan’s Shaoib Malik and South African all-rounder Wayne Parnell as they bid to win the coveted title they last won in 2014. Kieron Pollard will lead an exciting team which includes wicket-keeper/batsman Nicholas Pooran, who impressed following his comeback from a long injury lay-off joined the likes of Ravi Rampaul and emerging West Indies player Shamar Springer for the forthcoming campaign.

cpl4Guyana Amazon Warriors have been one of the most consistent sides since the tournament’s inception in 2013 and that is reflected in the retention of a number of stalwarts including Black Caps opener Martin Guptill, in-form Australian batsman Chris Lynn and Pakistan’s towering left-armerSohailTanvir who was one of the most consistent performers in 2016 with bat and ball. In addition, the squad will include West Indies duo RayadEmrit and Jason Mohammed, as well as exciting batsman ShimronHetmyer who led the West Indies to the Under-19 ICC Cricket World Cup title last year.

It will be a case of opportunity knocking for reigning champions, the Jamaica Tallawahs, who will be aiming for their third Hero CPL title. Rovman Powell was a standout player last year and the exuberance of youth will be balanced by a spine of a hat-trick of Asian talent in Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara, Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan and Pakistan’s ImadWasim who have all been retained. USA international bowler Timroy Allen has also been retained as the ICC Americas representative.

cpl1St. Kitts & Nevis Patriots completed one of the most eye-catching transfers in the close season by acquiring the services of two-time champion Chris Gayle, and the powerful left-hander will join ‘marquee’ overseas signing Proteas all-rounder Chris Morris and his international colleague TabraizShamsi in the Patriots squad. A string of local Caribbean talent will include influential leg-spinner Samuel Badree, Jonathan Carter, Kieran Powell and promising fast bowler Alzarri Joseph for what will be ICC World T20 winning coach Phil Simmons’ first season in charge of the ambitious Patriots. Carlos Brathwaite has been retained as a West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) ‘Free’ Player, who are players either contracted to the WICB, or, likely to be selected by the WICB for international duty.

St. Lucia Stars will once again be led by charismatic leader Daren Sammy and they will welcome back South African batsman David Miller and Australian all-rounder Shane Watson to the fold. Recently re-named and under new ownership, the Stars will also welcome Sri Lanka’s LasithMalinga for a squad brimming with quality. Local favourite Johnson Charles was a strong performer at the top of the order last year and he will line up once more alongside the likes of Andre Fletcher, Shane Shillingford and Jerome Taylor.

2015 champions Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) have opted to retain all but three of last year’s squad and will once more by led by Dwayne ‘DJ’ Bravo. TKR will look to the guile of Sunil Narine while Darren Bravo will firm up a batting line-up which includes ‘marquee’ player Brendon McCullum, who will be joined again by fellow Black Cap Colin Munro. South Africa’s HashimAmla also returns to the panel who will be coached by Australian Simon Katich.


BARBADOS TRIDENTS: Kieron Pollard, Kane Williamson*, Shoaib Malik, Dwayne Smith, Nicholas Pooran, Wayne Parnell, Ravi Rampaul, WahabRiaz, Raymond Reifer, Christopher Barnwell, Imran Khan, Damian Jacobs, AkealHosein,Ryan Wiggins, Tino Best, Shamar Springer (Young W.I.), Akeem Dolton (ICC Americas)

GUYANA AMAZON WARRIORS: SohailTanvir, Martin Guptill*, Chadwick Walton, Chris Lynn, RayadEmrit, Rashid Khan, Jason Mohammed, Steven Taylor, VeerasammyPermaul, Roshan Primus, Gajanand Singh, Assad Fudadin, Keon Joseph, Steven Jacobs, Steven Ketwaroo, ShimronHetmeyer (Young W.I.), Muhammad Ali Khan (ICC Americas)

JAMAICA TALLAWAHS: Lendl Simmons, Kumar Sangakkara*, Shakib Al Hasan, ImadWasim, Muhammad Sami, Rovman Powell, Gidron Pope, Kesrick Williams, GareyMathurin, Jon-Russ Jaggesar, KrishmarSantokie, Jonathan Foo, Kennar Lewis, Andre McCarthy, Odean Smith, O’Shane Thomas (Young W.I.), Timroy Allen (ICC Americas)

  1. KITTS & NEVIS PATRIOTS: Chris Gayle, Chris Morris*, Ben Cutting, Mohammad Nabi, Evin Lewis, Samuel Badree, Jonathan Carter, TabraizShamsi, Brandon King, Devon Thomas, Sheldon Cotterell, Kieran Powell, Fabian Allen, Shamarh Brooks, Jeremiah Louis, Alzarri Joseph (Young W.I.), Nikhil Dutta (ICC Americas), Carlos Brathwaite (WICB ‘Free’)

  2. LUCIA STARS: David Miller, LasithMalinga*, Shane Watson, Daren Sammy, Johnson Charles, Andre Fletcher, Jerome Taylor, Marlon Samuels, Kamran Akmal, Rakheem Cornwall, Kyle Mayers, Shane Shillingford, Eddie Leie, KeddyLesporis, Sunil Ambris, Obed McCoy (Young W.I.), Timal Patel (ICC Americas)

TRINBAGO KNIGHT RIDERS: Dwayne Bravo, Brendon McCullum*, Sunil Narine, HashimAmla, Darren Bravo, DeneshRamdin, Colin Munro, Shadab Khan, Khary Pierre, Ronsford Beaton, JavonSearles, Nikita Miller, William Perkins, Kevon Cooper, Brad Hogg, Anderson Phillip (Young W.I.), Hamza Tariq (ICC Americas)

*Denotes ‘marquee’ player (CPL)


Guyana Amazon Warriors team 2017


CONCACAF boss optimistic about infrastructural development in Guyana

By Akeem Greene

The members of the head table at the press conference at the Guyana Pegasus on Tuesday. From left; President of Aruba Football Federation Richard Dijkhoff, Guyana Football Federation PresidentWayne Forde, CONCACAF President Victor Montagiani, St Marteen Football Federation President Fabrice Baly and Member Associations and Legal Affairs of CONCACAF Director Marco Leal

The members of the head table at the press conference at the Guyana Pegasus on Tuesday. From left; President of Aruba Football Federation Richard Dijkhoff, Guyana Football Federation PresidentWayne Forde, CONCACAF President Victor Montagiani, St Marteen Football Federation President Fabrice Baly and Member Associations and Legal Affairs of CONCACAF Director Marco Leal

It has just been nine-months in office for Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football CONCACAF President Victor Montagliani and on his first visit to Guyana on Tuesday expressed optimism about the future of football in the South American nation.

Montagliani’s viewpoint stems from the fact that the government through the National Sports Commission (NSC) has expressed a willingness to support the game especially in helping to develop facilities.

“One of the biggest issues in CONCACAF is that you have struggle with facilities and those are challenges that cannot be fixed overnight but I was pleased to see a government really supporting our sport in looking at ways to help,” the Canadian stated while speaking at press conference at the Guyana Pegasus.

He added, “With that kind of support tackling the issues of facilities will be good since at the end of the day no one entity can do it on its own; I’m very optimistic that those infrastructural challenges can be tackled.”  However, though the support is welcomed by Montagliani, he felt that it must not be short-term since “it has to be tackled in the right way and has to be a long term plan over the next 10 to 20 years.”

In the interim, the development of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) Academy Training Centers (ATC) should remain a focus since in the President’s mind, this will be the precursor for more to be accomplished.

Montagliani contended that the relations being built is due to the body being more inclusive to territories and it will only auger well for countries like Guyana.


Twenty years of Style

In celebration of her 20 years in the fashion industry, local doyenne of fashion, Sonia Noel,recently launched a collection of skirts with her signature lattice designs.

Designer Sonia Noel

Designer Sonia Noel

“It is a blessing to be able to reach this juncture – which was no smooth sailing. It took a combination of navigational skills to outmanoeuvre hurdles,and a resilience to literally row my own boat when the waters got rough.But my faith in God got me to two decades in style.I am particularly proud of being able to use the platform of fashion to inspire lives,” Noel expressed in an interview with Sunday Times Magazine.

DJI_0632Her favourite fashion quote is by Colombian fashion journalist and critic Nina Garcia, who once said: “If you look back in history of the women who are most memorable and most stylish, they were never the followers of fashion. They were the ones who were unique in their style, breakers of the rules. They were authentic, genuine, original. They were not following the trends.”
Locally, regionally and internationally, the designer is famous for her sophisticated, versatile designs that can be worn from the beach to the ballroom.
Notably, these colourful skirts can be converted to dresses and tops.

DJI_0576 DJI_0596
For more information, visit sonianoel.com or Sonia Noel Designs on Facebook.
This week’s featured designs are worn by models Anasha, Nkechi, Ambika, Saudia, Peggy, and Odessa.

Guyana’s MMA fighter creates history

Shenese Bobb (left) and Sensei Troy Bobb

Shenese Bobb (left) and Sensei Troy Bobb

In less than two months in an unfamiliar territory, Shenese Bobb became a champion in a sport that is not popular locally. Due to her achievement every Guyanese should be proud and her name should become a household one, especially if she wins her rematch later this month.

On January 10 2017, Bobb enrolled in the Guyana Police Force to train, by March 4 Bobb defeated her Trinidadian rival in the Ruff and Tuff battle in Trinidad to win her first competitive bout in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).

In doing so she became the first Guyanese to win a title in this brutal combat sport. The lofty 20 year old Berbician, who fought in the 132 lbs weight category is very gentle in person but fierce in the octagon.

Bobb, who hails from Rosignol West Coast Berbice, won her debut fight in less than three minutes of the first round and is expected to have a rematch with her opponent on March 25 in Guyana.

Her technique is not the best you will see because she is still at the developmental stage but her reach and counterattack is vicious and very effective.

However, this is not an issue for her trainer Sensei Troy Bobb because he understands that she is still fresh in the sport but her strides have been rapid.

Sensei Bobb was not in Trinidad to witness her success in the amateur bout and though neither of the Bobbs knew anything about the Trinidadian competitor, the Sensei was optimistic of a positive result due to his student’s potential.

According to the trainee police, she was watchful as she entered the octagon but when she analyzed her opponent she was confident of a victory and it took her a very short time to achieve success.

MMA 10-bout card is tipped to take place at the Ramada Princess Hotel in Guyana on March 25 and Bobb is expected to feature on the historic night.

Meanwhile, Bobb has begun preparation for fight night under the guidance of Sensei Bobb at the Guyana Police Force Gym with special emphasis on kicks and punches.


Sammy wants to play in upcoming series

Darren Sammy (Photo: CMC)

Darren Sammy (Photo: CMC)

Daren Sammy is leaving the decision about whether he plays again for West Indies up to the selection panel.

The former West Indies captain said he is available for selection for the West Indies team in the limited-overs formats for the upcoming series against Pakistan, which features four Twenty20 and three One-day Internationals – in addition to three Tests.

Sammy has not played for West Indies since their stunning victory over England in the final of the ICC Twenty20 World Cup last April, but has indicated he would relish the opportunity to put on the burgundy strip once again.

“I’m only retired from Test cricket,” he said. “I’m not retired from limited-overs cricket…I’m available for selection. The selectors have a job to select the team. We have a series coming up against Pakistan, (I’m) available for that and wherever my services are needed.”

At the same time, Sammy hoped the recent appointments of new chief executive officer Johnny Grave, new director of cricket Jimmy Adams and new head coach Stuart Law would cool the strained relations between the West Indies Cricket Board and several senior players over a controversial selection policy, as well as terms and conditions of engagement.

“I had some conversations with Jimmy,” Sammy said. “He has some good ideas for cricket. It’s all about everyone heading in the right direction because if Jimmy and Stuart don’t have the support to implement these ideas then it will still be a back and forth.

“Everyone has to buy in and West Indies cricket has to be the No 1 priority, not any personal agendas…I want what’s best for West Indies cricket.” (CMC)


Crawford relishing in recent success

By Romario Samaroo

Romello Crawford

Romello Crawford

Winning the second race of his senior career, PSL rider, Romello Crawford is relishing in the success of his recent wins, notably in both forms of cycling.

On Monday, Crawford rode off with the title in the 4th annual Benjamin Sports Store cycling road race in a time of one hour 54 minutes and 29 seconds with the race being hosted in his hometown of Berbice. The 50-mile event pedaled off from in front of the Benjamin Sports Store at Fyrish Corentyne and proceeded to the No. 51 Police station before returning to its place of origin for the finish.

Crawford was followed by Paul Denobrega (Team Evolution) in second, Hamzah Eastman (Team Cocos) in third, Geron Williams (Continental CC) in fourth, Shaquel Agard (Linden Bauxite Flyers) in 5th, Andrew Hicks (WS United) in 6th, Jamual John (Team Cocos) in 7th, Slivio Inniss (Linden Bauxite Flyers) in 8th, Stephano ‘Sunny’ Husbands (Team Cocos) in 9th and Mark Harris (Team Cocos) in 10th.

Also, Saturday saw Crawford outsprinting Williams in the 12th Demerara Distillers Limited 35-lap featured race in the National Park to complete the feat in a time of one hour 16 minutes and 24 seconds. After these achievements, Crawford acknowledged that it was a good feeling to beat some of the seasoned riders especially in the presence of his home crowd while crediting his stringent training and familiarity to the conditions for the win.

The 18 year old who only came over to the senior class this year has immediately caught the eyes of the other riders and is now considered one of the better riders with a bright future. This is particularly interesting since the former Corentyne Comprehensive High School student only started riding competitively just under four years since he was one of the best jumpers in the ancient county, having made the inter district National Championship team in 2014 and would have made it again last year had he been available.

Crawford has also made tremendous strides on the regional scene, having been included in a team to the United Cycling International (UCI) tour of Tobago in 2015 where he was successful.

The Number One village native, like the long list of family members fell in love with cycling after following in the footsteps of his cousins but intends to surpass all of their efforts by being the number one ranked cyclist at the end of the year as well as his personal goal of making the National team.

Crawford would now be tested in unfamiliar conditions when he heads over for the final leg of the 20th Cheddi B. Jagan Memorial Cycling road race in Essequibo this Sunday.


Former Indian, SL, WI first-class players in USA selection camp

The USA team that won the Division Four title in November (Photo: Peter Della Penna)

The USA team that won the Division Four title in November (Photo: Peter Della Penna)

Former Hyderabad wicketkeeper Ibrahim Khaleel is one of three former first-class players to be invited to a USA selection camp from March 16 to 19 in Houston, Texas. The purpose of the camp is to pick a 14-man squad to tour Uganda in May for WCL Division Three matches.

Khaleel, 34, last represented Hyderabad in January 2015, having played 57 first-class matches in the Ranji Trophy since his debut in 2002. He has been playing league cricket in Chicago for the past several summers and was identified by selectors at an ICC Regional Combine held in Chicago last May.

It was understood that Khaleel has not yet met the eligibility threshold – a non-citizen can represent his resident country provided he has spent a minimum of 183 days per year over four consecutive years prior to a tournament – but would be immediately eligible if he were to secure a US passport. According to a source, Khaleel currently has US permanent residency status and was in the latter stages of obtaining US citizenship.

Roy Silva, the Sri Lankan batsman who played 87 first-class matches, and Camilus Alexander, the former Windward Islands legspinner, were also called up to the selection camp.

Silva, 36, played his last first-class match for Colombo CC in March 2013 and has been a heavy scorer in the Georgia and Florida leagues since moving to the USA. Alexander, 35, was the leading wicket-taker at the USACA T20 National Championship in 2014 while playing for the South East Region. Both would be eligible to play for USA under the ICC’s four-year deemed national rule.

The 19 players from the camp are expected to link up with a training squad of 31, which had been assembled prior to USA’s title-winning run at WCL Division Four.

The other talking point was the potential returns of off spinner Abhimanyu Rajp, batsman Charan Singh and left-arm spinning allrounder Mrunal Patel. Rajp and Charan last played for USA during the Auty Cup tours to Canada in 2013 and 2011 respectively while Mrunal had been part of the team that went to Ireland in 2015 for the World T20 qualifier.

Four recent USA Under-19 representatives will be part of the camp as well. New York batsman Randall Wilson is a strong contender for a batting spot after solid performances at the ICC’s Regional Combine in New York last June and a half-century against a touring MCC side in September. Batsmen Gauranshu Sharma, Sagar Patel and Tohidul Islam were the other former U-19 players up for selection.

“When considering players to add to the trial, the [selection] panel wanted to predominantly focus on youth players, young guys who stood out at Combines last year or in previous USA U-19 teams,” selection chairman Ricardo Powell said in a press release. “It will be good to give them some additional exposure in this environment. Those young players are accompanied by a couple more experienced players who have been consistent performers in the US and abroad.”

The large number of invitees was partly because seven of the most recent USA squad members were unavailable, including four who were a part of either the Division Four squad or the one for their previous assignment, the Auty Cup. Fast bowlers Hammad Shahid and David Pieters, and allrounder Srini Santhanam have been ruled out due to injury while seamer Aman Lobana and left-arm spinner Danial Ahmed were unavailable.

Shahid’s absence was the biggest blow. He had taken three wickets in two matches, with an exemplary economy rate of 3.55 in the Auty Cup last October. He had a strong chance of being among the final 14 to play in Uganda but sustained a torn posterior cruciate knee ligament (PCL) during a recent training session and was expected to be out for up to three months.

Santhanam had surgery on his right shoulder in December and cannot play cricket at least until the second half of 2017. Pieters, who has yet to debut for USA, tore a meniscus at a trial match in Florida last August ahead of Division Four. Subsequent tests revealed cartilage damage in his right knee. After going under the knife for a second time last week, he has been ruled out of action indefinitely.

There were doubts over batsman Alex Amsterdam and allrounder Timroy Allen attending the camp as well. Both spent a month in Barbados with the ICC Americas squad at the WICB Regional Super50 in January and February, making it difficult for them to take more time off work again, especially considering the team would be away from home for up to three weeks for the Division Three tour. Allen, one of USA’s most valuable assets, was recently retained by Jamaica Tallawahs in the CPL draft.

A six-day pre-tour to South Africa has been organised for USA before they land in Uganda for the start of the matches on May 23. In addition to the hosts, USA will be competing against Canada, Malaysia, Oman and Singapore in the next phase of the qualification process for the 2019 World Cup. The top two finishers at Division Three advance to Division Two, expected to be held in late 2017 or early 2018. It is the last step prior to the 2018 World Cup Qualifier, currently slated for Bangladesh in April 2018. (ESPNCricinfo)

Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo’s USA correspondent. @PeterDellaPenna


Brazilian pastor denied bail again over causing death charge

Pastor Haleno Luiz

Pastor Haleno Luiz

A second bail application made for Brazilian senior pastor of the Universal Church, Haleno Luiz, was again denied by Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan, when he faced the courts on Wednesday.

Luiz was previously remanded to prison for causing the death of pensioner Maurice Moseley, by dangerous driving, after an unsuccessful bail application by his then defence attorney, Eusi Anderson, just over a week ago.

The Chief Magistrate on Wednesday declared that she was not satisfied with the address provided to the immigration office, which was the Church’s Wellington Street location, instead of the accused’s Robb and Cummings Street home address, thereby denying bail.

Newly retained defence council, Mark Waldron, explained that his client’s address is listed as Wellington Street because the church had applied for the work permit on the pastor’s behalf.

The Magistrate however contended that the accused is a flight risk as the Guyana-Brazil border remains easily accessible. The court previously heard that on the day of the incident, Luiz was proceeding at a fast rate along Hadfield Street and had failed to slow down upon approaching the intersection at Smyth Street, subsequently colliding with Maurice Moseley’s motorcycle, killing him.

Police Prosecutor Deniro Jones told the court that the prosecution’s file is still incomplete, owing to outstanding post-mortem results.

Members of the Brazilian church swarmed the courtroom in support of the pastor while others surrounded the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts in large numbers.

4 remanded for armed robbery

AccusedDellon Morgan, Mark Bond, Kasey Helligar and Roberto Sankar were on Tuesday remanded to prison for armed robbery by Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan.

The first charge read that the four men, on January 30, 2017 at Pigeon Island, East Coast Demerara, while armed with a dangerous weapon, robbed Virtual Complainant (VC) Dexter Lowe of a 1.3 Taurus pistol valued at G$179,000, along with G$7000 cash.

In addition, the men, armed with a firearm, robbed Junior Cheong of G$1, 000,200, property of the said VC.

The defendants were not required to plead to the indictable charges.

Morgan, Bond and Helligar were represented by Attorney Adrian Thompson. The court heard that Morgan was a 21-year-old construction worker residing in Kitty, Georgetown and the father of a one-year-old.

Bond, on the other hand, is a 46-year-old father of three and also a resident of Kitty, while Helligar is a carpenter by trade with two small children.

Thompson related that his clients were picked up 10 days ago in Kitty and were kept at Police Headquarters, Eve Leary; and the Sparendaam and Diamond stations during the said time, postulating that Bond and Helligar were never picked out during an ID parade, although Morgan was. He continued that it was not understandable why 10 days later, the investigation was still incomplete.

Meanwhile, Sankar’s defence counsel explained that her client was the Manager of a restaurant at Pigeon Island and did not at any point in time provide an oral or written confession to Police ranks, as stated in various news articles.

Prosecutor Deniro Jones objected to bail based on the gravity of the offence, the fact that a weapon was used in the commission of the crime, and the penalty attached to the felony.

In addition, he posited that Sankar was the mastermind of the crime and had admitted to his involvement. Magistrate McLennan denied bail in the absence of special circumstances and remanded the men to prison. The matter was adjourned to March 21, 2017.

Bond and Sankar were escorted out of the courtroom, while Helligar and Morgan remained to answer to additional charges.

It was alleged that Junior Stuart, 31, of Kitty; Morgan; Helligar and Richard Seenarine, 29, also of Kitty, on March 4, 2017 robbed Aron Akbar of G$80,000 cash. The men on the same day allegedly robbed Esau Akbar of G$7000 and one cellular phone valued at G$15,000.

Bail was objected to by the prosecution based on the gravity and seriousness of the offence, and the fact that Stuart has pending matters of similar nature before the courts.

The Chief Magistrate denied bail and the men were placed on remand. The matter continues on March 21 at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts.