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.

Anand Sanasie says he will focus on improving team performance, strengthening regional cricket and revolutionizing grassroots cricket if he becomes the next president of Cricket West Indies at the next Annual General Meeting on March 29.

He also makes a case for improving women's cricket and expanding the sport into the North American market stating that now is the time for CWI to adopt more visionary policies.

In a lengthy statement released Wednesday night, Sanasie outlined the pillars of his manifesto as he formally announced his challenge to the presidency of Ricky Skerritt, who is in the latter stages of the role he won in March 2019 when he unseated then-incumbent Dave Cameron.

Sanasie, the long-standing secretary of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) said his decision to run for the presidency had been a year in the making.

“Over the past year, several directors of CWI along with many stakeholders across the region have reached out to me and sought to persuade me that I should consider serving as CWI President. Over the past months I have given it deep thought and consideration, discussed it with my family and the executives of the Guyana Cricket Board and today I consider it a distinct honour to announce that I will be contesting the CWI presidency,” Sanasie said in the statement.

“I am equally honoured to also announce that I will be contesting along with a stalwart of West Indies Cricket administration, my colleague Mr Calvin Hope of Barbados. Calvin and I have consulted widely across the region and out of these consultations we have developed a detailed manifesto which we will be unveiling in the coming weeks.”

He identified what he said are the key pillars of that manifesto.

“First we recognize that the performance of the West Indies Team serves as a barometer for the state of West Indies Cricket and as the only constant in the regional psyche. Therefore, the West Indies Team Performance is one central pillar,” he said.

“Secondly, regional cricket is what supplies and fortifies the West Indies Team. The territorial boards manage the production line of elite players for the West Indies teams. We believe that regional cricket requires greater investment from the CWI level and will implement a system of greater sponsorship share and larger annual subvention to each territorial board.”

He also stated that for there to be any sustained success of the West Indies team there needed to be a better grassroots programmes across the region.

“Thirdly, he said, regional cricket and ultimately the West Indies Team is only as strong as our grassroots cricket programmes. We believe that there needs to be the renewed focus, revitalization and a revolution in grassroots and school cricket all across the Caribbean.”

Sanasie also announced plans to return power to the territorial boards, increase support to women’s cricket and tap into the potential massive US market.

“We recognize, critically that over the past two years, there has been a systematic centralization of power and decision making and the ostracization and miniaturization of the territorial boards who are the shareholders of West Indies Cricket acting on behalf of the people of the Caribbean,” he said.

On Women’s cricket: “Our team will place renewed and heavier emphasis on the development of women’s cricket, focusing on girls’ cricket in the form of training, competition and tournaments, camps and succession planning. The West Indies Women’s Team must be consistently among the best in the world and we will ensure there is a comprehensive strategic measurable programme in place to achieve this.”

With regards to the tapping into the US, Sanasie said:

“Cricket globally is in the throes of rapid transformation from the perception of a lethargic past time to high energy, desirable entertainment. West Indies cricket and CWI must be at the forefront of this transformation.

“West Indies Cricket must also meaningfully and purposefully pursue expansion into the vast and lucrative North American market as a critical plank of augmenting and guaranteeing financial stability. This requires a planned strategic approach which our Team will pursue with the United States cricket authorities through partnership, collaboration and synergies. The US market is poised for transformative and explosive take-off and as the leading cricket governing body in this hemisphere, CWI can both partner with and offer support and guidance to Cricket USA for our mutual benefit.

It is not long before T20 cricket and other variations of the shorter game become staples on the US sporting and entertainment calendar.

It is now time for the executive leadership and governance of Cricket West Indies to transition from raw political horse-trading and a centralized hoarding of power to professional, visionary and astute policy-making based on equity, transparency, fairness and demonstrable competence.”

President of the Bahamas Aquatics Federation Algernon Cargill was returned unopposed to the post at the federation’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Saturday.

Secretary of the Guyana Cricket Board Anand Sanasie has confirmed to Sportsmax.TV that he will challenge incumbent Ricky Skerritt for the presidency of Cricket West Indies at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) set for March 29.

“I can confirm that I have been nominated by two full members,” Sanasie told Sportsmax.TV today. he declined to elaborate saying he will be issuing a formal statement on his intentions between tonight and Thursday morning.

Sanasie's confirmation came after cricket commentator and talk show host Andrew Mason reported that Sanasie, the long-serving secretary of the Guyana Cricket Board will challenge Skerritt for the presidency and that his likely running mate will be Calvin Hope, Vice President of the Barbados Cricket Board, who is also a CWI Director.

The pair, Mason reported, has the support of Guyana and Barbados and are confident of making inroads into “Skerritt territory”.

Nominations close on Thursday.

The ticket of Skerritt and Dr Kishore Shallow defeated then-incumbent Dave Cameron and Emmanuel Nanthan 8-4 in March 2019 after a contentious campaign.

 

Hydel track coach Corey Bennett has expressed pride in being involved in the development of an ambitious and "hard-working” Charokee Young.

The former Jamaican high-school star was a key member of Texas A&M’s record-breaking 4x400m relay team that set new standards at the Tyson Invitational in Arkansas last Saturday.

The 20-year-old Young ran a third-leg split of 51.12 as Texas A&M set an all-time collegiate record of 3:26.27.

The incredible time makes them the fourth-fastest women’s 4x400m relay team and is the ninth-fastest in history.

In addition to being a season-best run, the time broke the meet record of 3:27.94 set by Texas in 2016 as well as the facility record of 3:27.66 set by Texas in 2003.

Texas was more than six-seconds behind in second place with their season-best time of 3:32.64. Florida State University also ran a season-best of 3:34.02 for third.

The team of Young, Athing Mu, the U20 indoor 400m world record holder; Syaira Richardson and Jania Martin, will now go down in history as one of the greatest ever in school history. Only Mu’s split of 50.27 was faster than Young’s as Martin opened with 53.04. Richardson, who handed over to the Jamaican, split 51.86 on the second leg.

“3.26 indoor is such a special run, even outdoors, it’s a great run and to have the second-fastest split of 51.1 on such a special team. It’s really a blessing to see that you had something to do with her development,’ said Bennett.

“She is in an excellent programme at Texas A&M and I am so happy that we actually chose that school for her.”

Bennett believes her experience at Hydel has prepared Young for what she has been accomplishing since she enrolled at Texas A&M.

“She is going well. She is improving every weekend. She was also part of several record-breaking Hydel teams at the Penn Relays so she is used to being on several good 4x400m teams,” he said.

Young has thrived at Texas A&M ever since she arrived there two seasons ago after winning the finals of the 800m at the ISSA Boys and Girls Championships in Kingston in March 2019.

The then Hydel star clocked 2:06.02 to win gold ahead of the talented duo of Shaquena Foote and Abigail Schaaffe, who were second and third, respectively.

In her first season at A&M, she ran 2:05.80 over 800m indoors. She subsequently dropped down to the 400m and so far this season has run a personal best 51.93 on February 6.

Bennett said while he was disappointed that she has dropped the 800m he sees where it has been beneficial to Young’s development.

“It’s paying off and I am sure that her coaches and her handlers right now are preparing her looking at getting her ready for trials this year. She will do well at trials as long as she remains healthy,” Bennett said while revealing Young’s ultimate ambition.

“Charokee will achieve through hard work and she is not afraid to work hard to achieve what she wants. She wants to make an Olympic team or World Champs team and she will stop at nothing (to achieve her goal).

 

 

 

Jason Mohammed scored a timely hundred and Evin Lewis 61, as the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force battled to a three-wicket win with five balls to spare over the Barbados Pride in the CG Insurance Super 50 tournament in Antigua earlier today.

Victor “Poppy” Thomas said he is grateful that his work at Lincoln University is being recognized after it has emerged that the Jamaican coach, considered one of the greatest in the university’s history, is to be inducted in the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame on February 25, 2021.

Calabar High and Legacy Track Club coach Nicholas Neufville is being remembered as a brother and best friend by members of the track and field fraternity mourning his tragic passing.

Jamaica’s Track and Field community, especially at Calabar High and Legacy Track Club are in mourning today following news of the death of respected track and field coach, Nicholas Neufville.

In the wake of setting two new national indoor records on the weekend, Antigua’s Joella Lloyd believes her hard work off the track has been paying off on it.

Nkrumah Bonner’s outstanding Test debut against Bangladesh saw him being awarded the Man-of-the-Series at the conclusion of the second and final Test in Dhaka on Sunday.

Kraigg Brathwaite has praised his team for their discipline and resilience following the West Indies’ thrilling 17-run victory over Bangladesh today that sealed a 2-0 series win.

Chasing 231 with more than four sessions to play, Bangladesh were bowled out for 213 with less than 10-minutes to go on the penultimate day of the match. Rahkeem Cornwall was the hero of the piece taking 4-105 and nine-wickets in the match.

Brathwaite, who captained the team following the withdrawal of Jason Holder and several senior team members, said the victory was due to a collective effort from a group of players, who were not expected to win.

“People wrote us off. But we kept it simple, enjoyed it, and we proved them wrong,” said the proud captain afterwards.

“I would say it's a team effort. The one-day team not doing well, but we wanted to here. We had a plan, enjoyed it, and happy to win the series.”

The Barbadian opener, who had scores of 47 and 6 in the match, perhaps his biggest contribution with the ball taking 3 for 25 including the openers Tamim Iqbal for 50 and Soumya Sarkar, who enjoyed an opening stand of 59 that threatened to wrest the match from the West Indies.

“I wasn't surprised with my wickets of the openers,” he said, “wanted to come on, keep it tight. Nice, it's a series win in Asia since 2012.”

He expressed his gratitude for being selected to lead the team and how the players responded to his leadership.

 “Very thankful to God for the opportunity to captain West Indies. (The) boys stuck to their plans, they were very disciplined. Very proud of the boys. Means everything back home. Cricket means everything to us. People will be proud,” he said.

Man-of-the-math Rahkeem Cornwall took four wickets today, spurring West Indies to a nail-biting 17-run against Bangladesh inside four days to sweep the closely fought Test series 2-0.

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, in her first public comments on the indecision to resume sporting activities, has moved to dismiss recent suggestions that the authorities should hold off on granting permission to prospective promoters of sporting events applying to the Director of Sports in the Sports Ministry with a view of having their events held.

Her decision to make her views known comes in the wake of an opinion put forward recently by opposition spokesman on health Dr Morais Guy, who says he fears that giving the go-ahead for the resumption of sporting events could cause a significant rise in the number of Covid-19 infections across the island.

“In light of the new spike in numbers, I would recommend that caution be taken to hold off for some time longer. With the current numbers and the resumption of sporting [disciplines] in whatever form there is, the likelihood of a greater spread considering the numbers we have now, plus the interaction of players with each other and the community,” Dr Guy told the Jamaica Observer.

Jamaica has recorded close to 2000 new cases in recent days prompting Prime Minister Andrew Holness to announce new restrictions on movement across the island, especially at night.

However, Fraser-Pryce, who is preparing to compete in her final Olympic Games this summer, believes such a move is not progressive and said as much in a lengthy post on her Facebook account on Saturday.

“I note that there has been some push back to the recent decision by the relevant authorities to give permission for the resumption of sporting activities on a case-by-case basis and without spectators,” said Fraser-Pryce who has yet to open her season because of the cancellation of several track and field meets in recent weeks.

“Some stakeholders in the national conversation have bluntly said that in light of the Covid-19 cases spike in Jamaica, the Government should hold off on granting permission to prospective Sporting events holders applying to the Director of Sports in the Sports Ministry with a view of having their events held.

“While I do not wish to make a political statement, from a point of view of good sense and logic, the perspective that the process established, whereby permission for the holding of sporting events should be suspended, is a perspective not shared by the majority of invested parties.”

The four-time world champion and national 100m record holder argued that there is no evidence that sporting events that have no spectators in a stadium or where spectators are socially distant, have contributed to, or are likely to contribute to, a further spike in Covid-19 cases locally.

She added that she does not believe it is beyond the country to separate elite athletes and limit the number of competitors for each track meet while at the same time allowing for some meaningful resumption of events.

She cited the Velocity Fest meets held at the height of the pandemic last year when no athlete who participated tested positive for the virus.

“We should build on this and pave the way for more sporting events to be had in a safe manner,” Fraser-Pryce opined, adding that the reluctance to resume sporting events is having deleterious effects on athletes and sporting organizations.

“I urge the authorities to bear in mind that many participants in the sports industry in Jamaica cannot go overseas to compete. The mandatory two-week quarantine requirement upon return is not feasible and there's no funding mechanism in place to assist those who are struggling badly due to a lack of finances,” she said.

“I also believe there is room to call for genuine additional support to be given to assist the athletes and other participants in the sports industry.”

She said that while she is aware of the risks associated with competing while the pandemic stiff rages, Fraser-Pryce noted that athletes competing in a controlled environment are safer than those going about their regular daily pursuits. 

“Our regular day-to-day activities are way riskier in terms of exposure when compared to a controlled environment, where tests are conducted and participants in the industry - including those who engage in contact sports - are allowed to proceed with their discipline,” she said.

“Additionally, proper structures, which include testing and adherence to protocols, have also been put in place overseas to accommodate the hosting of contact sports including boxing and football, among others.

“I am confident it is not beyond us here in Jamaica to put in place similar systems to limit the risk of Covid-19 spread while at the same time allowing for the reasonable resumption of the sports industry which has contributed so much to Brand Jamaica.

“It is my view that in the interest of the athletes, along with the national and global psyche and the thousand who depend on the industry, we should strongly resist talk of "holding off" on the process allowed for a formal but control and safe resumption of sporting events.”

Jamaica’s Kemba Nelson, a junior at the University of Oregon won the 60m dash at the Tyson Invitational held at the Randal Tyson Track Centre in Fayetteville, Arkansas earlier this evening.

Danielle Williams won the finals of the 60m hurdles at the Clemson Tiger Paw Invitational earlier today in the third-fastest time in the world this year.

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