Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

West Indies head coach has admitted that the game and situational awareness of the team was not at its best against England on Saturday but said the team will continue to be aggressive in its approach when they take on South Africa on Tuesday.

West Indies head coach Phil Simmons has defended the decision to exclude Roston Chase from the team’s opening match in the ICC T20 World Cup against England on Saturday and insists that they did not misread the pitch before selecting the team.

In a rematch of the 2016 T20 World Cup final when the West Indies emerged victoriously, England bowled the defending champions out for 55 with Chris Gayle top-scoring with 13. England’s spinners took six of the 10 wickets to fall before their batters achieved the winning target in 8.2 overs.

The West Indies were unable to build partnerships and were missing the role of an anchor that Chase demonstrated while scoring an unbeaten 54 in the West Indies’ final warm-up match against Afghanistan. Playing anchor was something demonstrated he could do well during the 2021 Hero CPL season when he was the top scorer with 446 runs at an incredible average of 49.55.

When England batted, Akeal Hosein, the only spinner selected, was the best of the bowlers with 2-24.

Chase, a more than useful bowler, would have also given the West Indies another bowling option as a spinner in the match where spinners took eight of the 14 wickets to fall, the best of them being England’s Adil Rashid, who boasted ridiculous figures of four wickets for two runs from his four overs.

Still, Coach Simmons speaking with the media on Sunday, insisted that the team they selected was the right one for the conditions.

“I don’t think we misread the pitch. Yes, the spinners got some wickets but as you go along you have seen that the pitch was a good pitch,” he said during a media conference from Dubai on Sunday where the West Indies are preparing to face South Africa on Tuesday.

“You have to try and make the most of the first six or seven overs and then you have to fight until you get to the latter part. I think when you assess the pitch, you assess the squad we thought that the 11 that went into the game was the right squad.

“Yes, Chase got some runs in the game before but when were at the ground we assessed and we thought it was the right combination.”

 

 

West Indies captain Kieron Pollard believes Fabian Allen missing out on the T20 World Cup because of injury is a major blow to the West Indies ahead of the campaign to defend the title they won in 2016.

Andre Russell could be a game-time decision for the West Indies as they get ready for their opening match in the ICC T20 World Cup in Dubai on Saturday.

There were no surprises at the National Indoor Sports Centre on Wednesday night when Jamaica demolished Trinidad and Tobago 73-22 to complete a sweep of the Margaret Beckford Sunshine Series.

On the evidence of their two warm-up matches, the West Indies, the defending ICC T20 World Cup champions, will be limping into their opening match against England on Saturday, following their 56-run loss to Afghanistan on Wednesday.

Led by Jhaniele Fowler’s near-perfect shooting, Jamaica took a 2-0 lead over Trinidad and Tobago, after winning 64-32 in the Margaret Beckford Sunshine Series at the National Indoor Sports Complex on Tuesday.

Fowler, arguably the best shooter in the world, did not start as Sunshine Girls head coach Connie Francis chose to open with Gezelle Allison and Shanice Beckford. However, the pair of attackers were unable to sufficiently spur the Jamaican attack as the first quarter ended 12-8.

They fared slightly better in the second quarter and they extended the four-point lead to 10 to lead 24-14 at halftime.

However, once Fowler was substituted in at the start of the third quarter, the Sunshine Girls got an immediate lift and extended their lead to 22 and led 44-22 at the end of the third. Fowler would eventually score 36 goals from 38 attempts as Jamaica won by 32.

Allison finished with 13 goals from 20 attempts while Shanice Beckford scored 12 from 14.

Afisha Noel led the scoring for the Calypso Girls with 17 goals from 20 attempts with support from her captain Kalifa McCollin, who scored 15 goals from her 16 attempts.

Jamaica will go for the sweep tonight when the teams meet again in the final match of the series.

 

Elaine Thompson-Herah, the fastest woman and alive, said she will use the inspiration of being conferred with the Order of Distinction to help motivate women and young girls to strive without limits.

Thompson-Herah, who rebounded from five years of disappointment, to become the first woman to win both 100m and 200m titles in consecutive Olympic Games at the Tokyo Games in August, was among several sports personalities to receive national honours at the Ceremony of Investiture and Presentation of National Honours and Awards on Monday.

Thompson-Herah, who ran 10.54 on Usain Bolt’s birthday, August 21, 2021, to become the fastest woman alive and the second-fastest of all time at the Diamond League’s Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon, said the recognition has motivated her to inspire others.

“I have been inspired and motivated by powerful women around the world, powerful women from my island home Jamaica,” she said on Instagram.

“I feel so honoured and overjoyed to be given this Order of Distinction (Commander Class) by my nation. I now use this classification to help motivate and uplift women and young girls to strive without limits.”

The five-time Olympic gold medalist was among three Jamaican sprint queens to be conferred with OD’s in the Commander Class. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, the 100m silver medalist in Tokyo, and Jackie Pusey, who at 16, represented Jamaica at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, Canada were also awarded.

Former West Indies captain Jimmy Adams received the Order of Distinction (Officer Class) for his contribution to the sport of cricket.

The late Jamaican striker, Luton Shelton, Jamaica’s leading male scorer, was posthumously awarded the OD (Officer Class) for his contribution to football.  Shelton died in January 2021 from Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

He played for Jamaica on 75 occasions scoring 35 goals.

Meanwhile, Dr Praimanand Mongal Beharry Singh received the Order of Distinction for outstanding dedication and service to the field of sports.

Jamaica's motoring fraternity is mourning the passing of former Jamaica Race Drivers Club (JRDC) president Hilary Jardine on Sunday, October 17.

Jamaica played unbeaten on their way to winning the 2021 Fireminds Rugby Americas North Sevens in the Turks and Caicos Islands on Sunday.

Babar Azam’s half-century for Pakistan helped condemn West Indies to a seven-wicket loss in their first warm-up match in Dubai on Monday.

Sunshine Girls Head Coach Connie Francis is expecting a much better performance from her shooters when they play Trinidad and Tobago in the second game of their series at the National Indoor Sports Centre on Tuesday.

Jamaica demolished their Caribbean rivals 71-22 on Saturday night with Jhaniele Fowler leading the way with 43 goals. Defensively, Jamaica was stifling limiting their opponents to only six second-half goals in a comprehensive victory.

However, Francis was not pleased with certain elements of the Jamaican execution.

“I was a bit disappointed with the shooting. I thought we were more than capable of doing a better job,” said Francis, who said the only player who she would excuse was Shanice Beckford who has not played in 18 months.

“I thought Jhaniele was too casual. Her style has changed a bit since she began playing in the Super League. She is not catching or elevating as she usually does.”

Francis also believes the team needs to tighten up defensively.
“Trinidad was able to get the ball through from the Jamaica attacking area into midcourt and into their shooting area without much pressure,” she explained.

She said she plans to tackle those areas of concern before the next game on Tuesday.

“We have a training session today (Sunday) and another on Tuesday morning, these ladies are professionals playing in leagues abroad, we should be capable of making those adjustments,” she said.

Marlon Samuels was an instrumental player in the West Indies ICC T20 World Cup triumphs in 2012 and 2016. In 2012, Samuels scored a 56-ball 78 that proved to be the foundation for the West Indies 137 for 6 that was good enough to defeat Sri Lanka by 36 runs.

Then in 2016, the outspoken Jamaican scored an unbeaten 85 from 66 balls to help the West Indies pull off a remarkable victory chasing down England’s 155 for 9.

Carlos Brathwaite stole the show at the end with his unbeaten 34 from just 10 balls and which included four consecutive sixes in the final over bowled by Ben Stokes, but it was Samuels who kept the West Indies in the game after they had stumbled to 107-6 and needing 49 from just 27 balls.

Samuels has since retired, but the West Indies might already have a replacement in their camp in the form of Roston Chase.

The lanky Barbadian believes he is the man to take over that very important role as the West Indies go in search of a third consecutive title.

“I see myself playing a similar role,” Chase said while speaking with the media from the West Indies training base in Dubai on Thursday.

“I played for the St Lucia franchise for the past two years where I come in mostly after the Powerplay and knock it around and pick up the ones and twos and the occasional boundary when the ball is in my area to score so it’s an easy role for me.

“I like that role and with the power-hitting guys that we have, my role is just to give them the strike and let them do their thing but if the ball is in my area I will put it away.”

Chase demonstrated as much during the 2021 Hero Caribbean Premier League in the summer when, after a slow start to the season, he was among the league's leading run-scorers with 446 runs. Those runs came at a remarkable average of 49.55 and strike rate of 144.33.

That success, he revealed, came as the result of an adjustment he made to the way he was playing.

“Early on in this year’s CPL, the pitches were a bit difficult. They had a lot of grass but the grass was kind of spongy. It wasn’t like even grass for the ball to slide on. The ball was bouncing a bit; that was a bit hard so I just thought that after the first couple of matches I was trying to go at the ball a bit too hard. It was a wicket that you needed time to get in first and then it became easier,” he explained.

“So that is what I told myself after the first couple of games, just give myself a bit of time at the crease and then let my stroke play take over from there.”

He might have to make another adjustment for the pitch in Dubai where the West Indies will open the defence of their title on October 23 against England.

“We’ve had three training sessions so far and basically, the pitches have been coming on pretty good. The only issue I see with the pitches is that they’re keeping low, so you probably have to stay low when you’re executing your shots and that should work but the pitches are coming on a lot nicer than the ones we usually get in the CPL, so it should be a bit easier to get some runs,” he said.

 

 

Nicholas Pooran said he is not worried about his form and expects to be back to scoring runs once the T20 World Cup begins later this month.

West Indies head coach Phil Simmons has revealed that Chris Gayle will be entrusted with specific roles for the West Indies once the ICC T20 World Cup begins later this month.

 Gayle, 42, was a controversial pick for the West Indies selectors with detractors citing his prolonged poor form and age as factors why he should not have been selected. However, Windies selector said Gayle’s experience and leadership were intrinsic factors that made him an asset for the Caribbean side looking to win their third T20 world title on the trot, having won in 2012 and 2016.

During a media session from the United Arab Emirates on Monday, Simmons indicated that more will be asked of the Universe Boss in his final World Cup campaign.

“We have specific roles we have put on Chris and we trust that he is going to be ready and in form and having had a short rest from the game and from the bubble he is going to come back fresh and ready to do what we ask him to do,” Simmons said of Gayle, who left the IPL bubble last month citing bubble fatigue and the need to refresh himself for the world cup.

"Over the last few months, I have been a part of the CWI bubble, CPL bubble followed by the IPL bubble, and I wish to mentally recharge and refresh myself," Gayle said in a statement last month. "I want to refocus on helping the West Indies in the T20 World Cup and would like to take a break in Dubai. My thanks to the Punjab Kings for giving me the time off. My wishes and hopes are with the squad always. All the very best for the games coming up."

Over the past weekend, Gayle posted pictures on Instagram of him enjoying his time off, refreshing himself before returning to action in the world cup.

Gayle had a lukewarm turnout for the Punjab Kings in the 2021 IPL. In 10 matches, the Jamaican star scored 193 runs at an average of 21.85 and strike rate of 125.32. His best score for the Kings was 46.

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