PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC):Test captain Jason Holder says the standard of regional pitches needs to be improved if teams are to produce more attractive cricket.The 24-year-old, also the Barbados Pride skipper, said that scores in the ongoing Regional Super50 had been low because pitches were slow and turning and not conducive to good strokeplay.”It’s been tough. Obviously, the scores are not what we’ve been accustomed to in one-day cricket, and I think that’s been due to the slow pitches,” Holder said.”I’ve found it very difficult so far batting in this tournament, in the middle overs especially, and trying to get the ball off the square. I think spinners are dominating it, and that’s because the ball has spun quite early and quite sharply.”I just think we need to work a little bit more on improving our pitches and … strokeplay, and the viewing of the cricket would be a lot better.”The highest total of the tournament has been Jamaica Scorpions’ 260 against minnows ICC Americas at the Sir Frank Worrell ground at St Augustine here in the second-round Group ‘A’ contest.In Group ‘B’ played in St Kitts, the highest total there was 255 by Guyana Jaguars in the final round when they chased down a competitive total set by Combined Campuses and Colleges Marooners.Between both groups, there have been 14 totals under 200 runs, with four of these coming at Queen’s Park Oval, and Holder said that the par score at the tournament’s premier venue would be quite small.”It’s been a tough pitch. The games I’ve seen here and have played here have been tough going in terms of batting, so you have to be very sharp in the field in terms of restricting opposition under 200 runs. I think 200, 210 is probably a par score on this track.”The tournament is in its final stages. Barbados Pride clash with Windward Islands Volcanoes in the second semi-final today.
The state of the swimming pool at the G.C. Foster College of Physical Education and Sport has been a sore point for decades. Current principal of the institution, Dr Joyce Graham-Royal, said it will cost $91 million to repair the facility, which has never been used since it was built in 1980. In late 2014, Minister of Sport Natalie Neita-Headley had announced that Government would be donating the funds to repair the pool via the Sports Development Foundation. However, Graham-Royal told The Gleaner yesterday that she had since learned that the funds, which had been earmarked for the pool work, had been spent on refurbishing the synthetic track at the institution, which was reopened last October. The track cost $171 million to repair. Graham-Royal said because of the clay soil at the Spanish Town-based sporting college, repairing the track had cost much more than the projected figure. Successive principals over the last few years have threshed around with the idea and as recently as 2008, the estimate to repair the Olympic-sized swimming and diving pools was at $50 million. GETTING THE MONEY Graham-Royal, who became principal of the institution in 2014, said fixing the pool will be her next ‘big’ project and said she does not intend to begin the project until she is sure she has all the money to complete it as she does not want to start and not be able to finish. “(I need) at least three quarters of it because it wouldn’t make sense; it means work would have stopped,” she told The Gleaner. Students of the school, who train to be teachers of physical education, must now use a tiny pool in Old Harbour for swimming lessons. “So I have to pay more than $10,000 monthly for them to learn to swim. You’re not a complete PE teacher until you’re able to swim,” Graham-Royal, herself a graduate of the G.C. Foster College, who later studied abroad, said. “When I went to the University of Mainz in Germany to study, I could not graduate until I learned to swim,” she added. Meanwhile, Graham-Royal also noted that the institution as also losing money as there were some interested parties who would have used the facility had it been operational. “Just this morning some students from a university in Canada called. They had a contingent of 50 and wanted to come for the summer,” she said. “So we are missing all of that. We really do need some private sector injection. We can’t do it otherwise,” she concluded.
GENEVA (AP):The head of the World Health Organization’s Zika response team is predicting that Brazil will host a “fantastic Olympics”, and that the mosquito-borne virus will be “way down” by the time the Summer Games begin in Rio de Janeiro on August 5.Dr Bruce Aylward, WHO’s executive director for outbreaks and health emergencies, said yesterday at a news conference that the mosquito population is expected to drop off around when Rio hosts the games, since it will be winter in the southern hemisphere.Rio’s Olympic venues are also in a relatively confined area, he noted, making it easier for authorities to control the local mosquito population.”Brazil is going to have a fantastic Olympics and it’s going to be a successful Olympics and the world is going to go there,” Aylward said. “I just wish I was going there, but there’s not going to be a lot of problems there by then, so I’ll be somewhere else.”Aylward also pointed to the “probability” that the Zika virus will have “gone through” a large slice of the country’s population by then, so many Brazilians might have developed an immunity to the disease by the time of the August 5-21 games.Zika, however, is just the latest cloud hanging over Brazil ahead of South America’s first Olympics. The country is coping with its worst recession in 100 years, impeachment proceedings against President Dilma Rousseff and a wide-ranging corruption scandal centred on the state-controlled oil-and-gas giant Petrobras.Brazil has recorded more than one million suspected Zika infections in recent months amid strong concerns that the virus could be linked to a spike in the number of babies born with abnormally small heads microcephaly and to a rare neurological syndrome that can cause temporary paralysis in people of all ages.In Brazil yesterday, ministers, state governors, health authorities and members of the armed forces visited schools throughout the country to involve students in the nationwide campaign to eradicate the Aedes aegypti mosquito that spreads the Zika virus.WHO has declared a global health emergency due to the virus, saying it could produce as many as 4 million cases in the next year. The mosquitoes that spread Zika which also spread dengue and yellow fever are entrenched across the region and in a wide belt around the globe, mostly in tropical areas.
Local football’s transfer window closed at midnight last night, but with the Red Stripe Premier League set to begin in little over a week, many of the anticipated big moves did not happen.There were unconfirmed reports that Rivoli United’s Corey Burke and Kemar Beckford would be joining their former coach, Calvert Fitzgerald, at Waterhouse. Montego Bay United were said to be very keen to acquire the services of last season’s topscorer, Craig Foster of Reno, and there was even talk of Tivoli star man, Keammar Daley, training with Harbour View but despite all the rumours, none of those big moves materialised.Cavalier were the busiest in the window with six acquisitions. The Rudolph Speid-coached team finished ninth with the second-best defensive record last season, and they have added more steel to their back line after contracting experienced goaltender Carlloyd Walters from Boys’ Town and imposing defender Shawn Lawes from Barbican.The club has also drafted in former Tivoli and Boys’ Town striker Owen Powell to bolster their attack. They have also signed Kaheem Parris from Time and Patience, Romario Sterling from Dela Vega City, and Brown’s Town’s Akeem Christie.Boys’ Town were the biggest losers in the window, with four seasoned campaigners leaving the club. Apart from selling Walters and Powell to Cavalier, they traded promising defender Hugh Evans and midfielder Jason Jackson to Harbour View.New playersPortmore United, who are making a return to the top flight after one season, only added two players to their roster. They are midfield general Andrew Christie, who returns to the club after spending last season at Barbican, and Paul Shaven Sean, who also joined from Barbican.UWI made one of the biggest deals when they signed Rivoli striker Jason Greenland. The striker has shown a lot of promise over the past few seasons and will be a good asset to his new club. The other signee is Stephen Lowe from Cedar Grove.Waterhouse’s only acquisition in the window was Jermaine Henry of Rivoli United, while Boys’ Town only signed a Super League player, Mikhail Robinson, from Santos.There were no new signings by Arnett Gardens, Tivoli Gardens, Montego Bay United, Humble Lion, Rivoli United, and Reno.
It has been a slow and steady road to recovery for Waterhouse’s young ace midfielder, Kenroy Howell.The attacker was in the form of his life in his young Premier League career when an injury against Tivoli Gardens, which required surgery, halted his progress.The promising midfielder had surgery done and made full recovery in April. But being out for months, and the fact that he was just coming back from a severe injury, meant the former Jamaica College player struggled to regain the form that made him a fan favourite at Drewsland.However, on Sunday, the 22-year-old gave a small reminder of his capabilities and his knack for getting goals from midfield, as he scored the only goal in Waterhouse’s 1-0 win over Cavalier.With the game evenly poised, Howell broke the deadlock just before the half hour when he latched on to a low cross from Oshane Roberts and swept the ball past Carlloyd Walters in goal – a real striker’s finish – to give his team a much-needed win.Besides the goal, the player showed great energy at both ends of the field and, on occasions, he opened up the Cavalier defence with his penetrating dribbles from deep. Although things are starting to look promising again, the player insists he has a lot more to give.”It was very frustrating being off the pitch at first, but I am really glad that I am back. I am putting in the work and starting to see results,” he told The Gleaner after the game.Proving himself”This is the third start from seven games, and I still have more to give. I just have to come to training, work hard and show it on the pitch,” he continued.”The last time I scored was in Tivoli match on November 5th. I scored a few minutes before I got injured. I feel great about it (scoring on Sunday). We are at the bottom of the table, and to help my team actually get a win, which should put us couple places up in the table, is a good thing, so I feel real good about it,” he said.”But expect more, because I will be trying to put myself in the box and score more goals, and I am just putting in the work as usual and hoping for the best,” he added.The three points lifted Waterhouse out of the relegation zone and into 10th spot on seven points, the same as UWI and Harbour View, who are 11th and ninth, respectively. They are one point in front of bottom-placed Boys’ Town.
The life of a brilliant high-school footballer was tragically cut short yesterday.Jordan Foote, who almost single-handedly led the unheralded Holy Trinity High School to the FLOW Super Cup final in 2014, lost his battle with bone cancer at 10 a.m. in the University Hospital of the West Indies.His mother Nadine Sutherland said the footballer died peacefully. Her home, she said, was “full of persons showing support” despite heavy afternoon rain.”His last moment was peaceful as he saw everybody he wanted to see,” Sutherland said. “Words can’t explain how I am feeling. The family was right there with him through it all,” she told The Sunday Gleaner. “We are all taking it hard. He was our hero and pet,” added a tearful Sutherland.Foote took his last breath with his mother, a brother, cousin and school coach Devon Anderson by his side.Last year, Foote started feeling pain in his knee during preseason preparations for the Manning Cup. He was diagnosed with bone cancer and had his leg amputated last December. There were plans to get him a prosthetic leg but he was readmitted to hospital earlier this year.Foote, the third of four sons for his mother, was born on June 1, 1997 and attended Elletson Primary School before moving on to Holy Trinity High.COACH SHAKEN UPAnderson, who admits to sharing a fatherly relationship with his former charge, said he was shaken up.”It’s difficult to say how I feel right now,” said Anderson, adding he was at Holy Trinity High trying to gather his thoughts and reflecting.The late footballer was ruled out of last season’s FLOW/ISSA Manning Cup as well as school.His former principal, Margaret Bolt, described him as “a young man with potential and a lot to give back to society”.”He wasn’t a brilliant academic student, but he really tried. At football, he was unbeatable, he was the life of our team and put our school on the map,” Bolt underlined.Several organisations, including schoolboy football sponsors FLOW, the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association and the Premier League Clubs Association had made monetary contributions to help with Foote’s medical bills.”Condolences to his family on behalf of myself and FLOW. It is very sad news to hear of his passing. We want to remember Jordan as the bright, positive and happy young man he was,” FLOW’s head of marketing and products, Carlo Redwood, said.President of the Jamaica Football Federation, Captain Horace Burrell, expressed sincerest condolences to the family, friends, schoolmates and former teammates of the footballer.”It is with deep sadness that we hear the news of his passing” Captain Burrell stated. “Many of us remember not just his skills on the field, especially in the 2014 season, but his positive attitude and encouragement to his teammates at Holy Trinity, even when he was in hospital.”This spirit, even in adversity, we are sure, impacted many. Our heartfelt thoughts also extend to his former coaching staff, the ISSA fraternity and the principal and staff of Holy Trinity.”
Scottish Championship Hibernian FC holding midfielder, Marvin Bartley, says he can bring stability and balance to the Jamaica national senior men’s team in their pursuit of a spot at the FIFA 2018 World Cup Finals in Russia.”As a holding midfielder, I can bring stability and balance into the centre of the park, allowing more attack-minded midfielders to do their business – although I’m not too shy in getting involved in an attack,” Bartley, who transferred from Leyton Orient FC in England to Hibernian in Scotland last summer, told The Gleaner.”I am also fit and athletic enough to cover a lot of ground in a game, allowing me to provide cover for fullbacks that like to push forward. But, I do believe that talk is cheap, and I’m more than happy for those watching to decide what I bring to the team should I receive a call-up,” he added.”With my current form being good and my fitness level high, I am more than ready to pull on the gold jersey and play for my family’s country,” Bartley assured.Born in Reading, EnglandThe 6″ 3′ (1.9m) player was born in Reading, England, but has Jamaican roots with his mother born in St Ann and father from Manchester.”I have had my Jamaican passport since 2012 and have been available to represent Jamaica ever since. It has long been an ambition of mine to play for the country, ever since I started my career as a footballer. I’ve had conversations on a few occasions since then, but due to me not feeling I was in the best form possible or being injured I’ve yet to represent Jamaica. But this is something I hope will change in the not too distant future as I feel in prime condition and believe I am playing well,” Bartley said confidently.”I’ve followed the national team’s results ever since being a young boy due to my family all being from the country. This interest was obviously taken up a notch or 10 due to the ’98 World Cup team. Even last year I found myself watching how the side got on in the Gold Cup as they reached the final, which was particularly impressive considering they had also competed in the Copa America earlier that summer too,” the 29-year-old reflected.Bartley says he visits Jamaica regularly and was here less than a year ago.”This has only helped to strengthen my desire to compete at international level for the Jamaican national team,” he emphasised.Bartley is yet to score for Hibs in 19 appearances in all competitions this season. He also represented Bumham, Hayes, Didcol Town, Hampton and Richmond Borough, Bournemouth and Burnley.
KINGSTON: Thousands of persons will tonight converge on the Waterfront in downtown Kingston for the Digicel 5K Imagine Run, which is set for a prompt 7 p.m. start. Now in its fifth staging, the event is aimed at raising awareness and financial support for persons with special needs. Last year, over 10,600 participants came out in support of the cause and contributed a total sum of $8.4 million, which was donated to 12 special needs institutions. “We are overwhelmed by the support that we get from Jamaica year after year and we are extremely thankful for it. It’s not only about the money, it is about raising awareness for special needs. Our aim is for Jamaica to become a fully integrated society, with access made for both able-bodied and special needs persons,” said Samantha Chantrelle, CEO of Digicel Foundation. She went on to emphasise the importance of sponsors to the event. “Of course, none of this would have been possible without the help of our very supportive sponsors. Corporate Jamaica continues to show that they take the social development of our island very seriously and it is no different with this 5K,” said Chantrelle. The Digicel Imagine Night Run is sponsored by Marksman, PayPak, Jamaica Producers Group, Urban Development Corporation, Express Fitness, Logo Stitch, Main Event, National Outdoor Advertising, Dairy Industries Jamaica Ltd., Honeybun, Innovative Signs, Jamaica Producers, ARRC Media, ProComm, The Lab, Courts Ready Cash, Courts Optical, Running Events, Urban Development Corporation, Pure National Ice, Gatorade and the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC). Media sponsors are Bess FM, Irie FM, Zip FM, Loop, Mello FM, Nationwide News Network, Love, Suncity, Sportsmax and members of the RJR Group including Power 106, Hitz 92 and TVJ. Traffic advisory Ahead of the race, participants are asked to take into consideration traffic changes. All roads leading to the race route and staging area will be closed to vehicular traffic between 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Traffic travelling to or from the Norman Manley International Airport will be diverted by the police during this time. The northern lane of Ocean Boulevard between West and Princess Streets and the two southern lanes of Port Royal Street between West and Princess Streets were closed to vehicular traffic from last night at 7 p.m. and will re-open tomorrow morning at 7 a.m. Parking is not permitted along the race route and on the streets in and around the staging area. Instead, participants may park at the Bank of Jamaica parking lot, Scotiabank (East lot only), Grace Kennedy (Hanover Street, George’s Lane) Kingston Craft Market, Old Fisheries Complex and the Downtown Transport Centre.
Ottey, 56, who went on to represent Slovenia between 2002 and 2012, added that she can relate to Bolt’s weariness, while sharing her own thoughts on the 100m and 200m world record holder. “I think he’s had enough. He has won everything and I mean, what else is there to do? But whatever he does in the future, I know he will be successful. I think he will always put his best forward every time,” said Ottey. “I know what he is going through. I got a bit tired. In the beginning, I was just going out there to run to see how fast I could run and I got to the point where I said I was satisfied and it was time to walk off,” added Ottey, who anchored Slovenia’s 4x100m relay team at the 2012 European Championships at the age of 52. “For me, just to watch him run is amazing. It’s a pity he has to retire soon, but I am very thankful and very grateful to Usain, he is a legend.” Ottey, who shared that she plans to travel to Jamaica for next year’s Boys and Girls Athletics Championships noted that she was convinced of Bolt’s special talent when she saw him compete at the 2002 World Junior Championships in Kingston, where he won gold in the 200m. “When he was about 15, I saw him at the Junior World Championships, I thought to myself that this is a star. People tend to forget about his earlier years and they probably recognised him in 2008, but Usain was already born, he was a champion from before that,” said Ottey. Ottey speaks about Bolt LONDON, England: Legendary Jamaican sprinter Merlene Ottey says she is looking to return to the sport and believes Usain Bolt is calling time on his career at the end of next season simply because he has had enough of life as a competitive athlete. The evergreen sprinter told The Gleaner that she would welcome the opportunity to get involved in coaching or to play an ambassadorial role in advancing and promoting the sport. Ottey, who won three silver and six bronze medals at the Olympic Games, enjoyed a long career, which saw her setting several records, including most appearances by a track and field athlete at the Olympic Games (seven) with her 14 medals being the most at the World Championships. “I am in Switzerland, I just moved there two years ago. At the moment, I am not doing anything, but I want to get back involved in the sport. A coach, an ambassador? That is something I would do, but I will see where the opportunity presents itself,” she told The Gleaner on the red carpet for Bolt’s I am Bolt premiere at the Odeon Leicester Square cinema in London last night. SHE CAN RELATE
But he perished 34 minutes before lunch when he got one from Yasir which bounced, took the shoulder of the bat, for Younis Khan to pull off a brilliant one-handed catch, leaping high to his right at slip. Hope then anchored a 58-run fourth wicket partnership with Chase to deny Pakistan any further success for the session and steer the Windies to 112 for three at lunch. Both players looked in good touch afterwards, with Hope especially growing in confidence, driving left-arm seamer Mohammad Amir straight for four and then hammering Yasir to the cover boundary in the following over. The right-handed Chase looked untroubled in 83 balls in nearly 13/4 hours at the crease before he was dismissed, driving an innocuous delivery back to Yasir at 155 for four, 40 minutes before tea. Hope, however, continued to steady the innings, this time finding an ally in Vishaul to help post 80 for the fifth wicket and ensure West Indies were consolidating at tea on 197 for four. He reached his maiden Test half-century half-hour before tea and was unbeaten at the break on 68, with Vishaul on 18. Hope hardly played a false stroke in an innings spanning 209 deliveries, just over 51/4 hours and including eight fours and a six and looked a sure bet to reach triple figures. But he suddenly lost concentration and drove Yasir uppishly to cover where Azhar Ali snared a simple catch head-high, after tea at 235 for five. His dismissal triggered a decline as five wickets tumbled for 26 runs to see Pakistan haul their way back into the game. SCOREBOARD WEST INDIES 1st Innings 312 PAKISTAN 1st Innings 393 WEST INDIES 2nd Innings (overnight 40 for one) K. Brathwaite c Younis Khan b Yasir Shah 43 S. Hetmyer b M. Amir 22 S. Hope c Azhar Ali b Yasir Shah 90 R. Chase c & b Yasir Shah 23 V. Singh b M. Abbas 32 +S. Dowrich c Asad Shafiq b Yasir Shah 2 *J. Holder c Younis Khan b Yasir Shah 1 D. Bishoo not out 16 A. Joseph c M. Amir b Yasir Shah 7 S. Gabriel not out 0 Extras (b16, lb2, w3, nb1) 22 TOTAL (9 wkts, 102 overs) 264 Fall of wickets: 1-8 (Powell), 2-41 (Hetmyer), 3-97 (Brathwaite), 4-155 (Chase), 5-235 (Hope), 6-235 (Singh), 7-236 (Holder), 8-252 (Dowrich), 9-261 (Joseph) Bowling: M. Amir 21-8-44-1 (w1), M. Abbas 25-6-57-2, Yasir Shah 39-12-90-6, Shadab Khan 17-0-55-0. Position: West Indies lead aby 183 runs with one wicket intact. Toss: West Indies. Umpires: R Kettleborough, B Oxenford; TV – R Illingworth. PERISHED BEFORE LUNCH BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC): Stylish stroke-maker Shai Hope agonisingly missed out on a maiden Test hundred in an admirable West Indies batting effort, but a clatter of wickets late on the penultimate day yesterday opened the door for Pakistan, setting up an intriguing finale to the second Test. The Barbadian right-hander struck an accomplished career-best 90, an innings that lifted West Indies to 264 for nine in their second innings – a lead of 183 runs heading into the Thursday’s last day of the Kensington Oval contest. Hope’s knock underlined West Indies’ resilience over the first two sessions which saw them reach 197 for four at tea before a collapse in the final session saw the hosts squander the momentum they had carefully gathered. Opener Kraigg Brathwaite struck 43, left-hander Vishaul Singh chipped in with 32 while Roston Chase scored 23, as West Indies battled hard on a wearing track. Leg-spinner Yasir Shah once again proved the danger man, picking up six for 90 to post his 10th five-wicket haul in Tests, while enterprising seamer Mohammad Abbas claimed two for 57. Resuming the day on 40 for one, West Indies lost Shimron Hetmyer in the day’s third over before the left-hander had added to his overnight 22, bowled by one from left-arm seamer Mohammad Amir which came back to shatter the stumps, with a single run added to the overnight score. Brathwaite and Hope then energised the innings with a 56-run, third-wicket stand which saw the hosts safely through the next hour. Without a score of note in the series, Brathwaite appeared focused on notching a big one in an innings which lasted 111 deliveries in nearly 21/2 hours at the crease and included four boundaries.