Saturday7:45 a.m.: TOTTENHAM VS SUNDERLAND10 a.m.: CHELSEA VS EVERTON12:30 p.m.: ASTON VILLA VS LEICESTER7 p.m.: NEWCASTLE VS WEST HAMSunday9:05 a.m.: LIVERPOOL VS MAN UNITED11:15 a.m.: STOKE VS ARSENAL11:15 a.m: BOURNEMOUTH VS NORWICH Sunday4:30 p.m.: SOUTHAMPTON VS WEST BROMSPORTSMAX2 SPORTSMAX
ST JOHN’S, Antigua (CMC): World number one West Indies will face host nation India, along with Australia, in the warm-up round of the ICC World Twenty20 Championship, which bowls off in March. The ICC recently unveiled the pre-tournament fixtures, showing the Windies matches – both to be played at Eden Gardens in Kolkata. The match against India will be on March 10, while the contest against the Aussies will be on March 13. No other official fixtures have been listed, leaving these matches key to the team’s preparation for the March 8 to April 3 tournament. West Indies have been drawn in Group One of the Super 10 stage of the T20 World Cup and will play alongside England, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and one of the qualifiers from the first round. Group Two will comprise India, New Zealand, Pakistan, and Australia and a qualifier advancing from the first round.
First-time Jamaica Scorpions captain, Paul Palmer Jr has been relieved of his duties and dropped from the squad for their seventh round WICB First-Class League encounter fixture against the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force, starting today at Sabina Park.Opener Palmer, who has been experiencing a wretched run of the form with the bat, has been replaced by fellow opener and vice-captain, John Campbell.The new vice-captain is Barbados-born batsman, Kirk Edwards.The 24-year-old Palmer, a former Jamaica youth captain, has passed 50 just once in 12 innings, and has been one of several Scorpions batsmen who has failed to produce since the start of the season.Campbell led the Jamaica team in the recent WICB Super50 one-day tournament in January. Edwards is a former West Indies vice-captain.Palmer’s removal is one of three changes made by the Wavell Hinds-led national selection panel to a squad which lost to the Leeward Islands Hurricanes by 82 runs in Antigua last weekend.The other players omitted are experienced campaigners, wicketkeeper Carlton Baugh Jr, and all-rounder David Bernard Jr.They have been replaced by wicketkeeper Chadwick Walton, who makes a return from studies, batsman Brandon King, and fast bowler Nicholson Gordon.The selection panel is completed by Wayne Lewis, Robert Haynes, Delroy Morgan, and Cleveland Davidson.Fourth and fifth place finishers over the past two seasons, the Scorpions, with just three wins and as many losses, are all but out of the championship race with four rounds of matches to go.They are third on 52 points, 30 behind second-place Barbados Pride, with runaway leaders and title-holders Guyana Jaguars on 101 points.UNCHANGED SQUADTrinidad, in the meantime, who are fourth in the standings with 40 points and are out of the running for the top prize, have named an unchanged squad for the game.The Jason Mohammed-captained unit, without their most established players, will look to batsman Narsingh Deonarine, all-rounder Rayad Emrit, and young off-spinning standout Jon-Ross Jagessar to lead their charge.They have recorded a win, three defeats, and two draws record to date.Jamaica Scorpions (from): John Campbell (captain), Jermaine Blackwood, Sheldon Cottrell, Kirk Edwards, Nicholson Gordon, Damion Jacobs, Brandon King, Andre McCarthy, Nikita Miller, Marquino Mindley, Devon Thomas, Shacaya Thomas, Chadwick Walton.Trinidad and Tobago Red Force (from): Jason Mohammed (captain), Yannic Cariah, Narsingh Deonarine, Rayad Emrit, Kyle Hope, Akeal Hosein, Jon-Russ Jagessar, Steven Katwaroo, Imran Khan, Evin Lewis, Yannick Ottley, Marlon Richards, Jeremy Solozano.
INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP): Victoria Azarenka defeated error-prone Serena Williams 6-4, 6-4 to win the BNP Paribas Open yesterday, returning Azarenka to the world’s top 10 for the first time since August 2014. Clearly the crowd favourite, Williams gave fans little to cheer about on a 918 (328C) day in the California desert, while making 33 unforced errors. After getting broken to trail 3-0 in the second set, Williams returned to her seat and smashed her racket. Trailing 5-1, Williams won three straight games and held two break points on Azarenka’s serve in the last game. But Williams ended the match with three straight errors. It was Azarenka’s first victory over the top-ranked Williams since the Cincinnati final in August 2013. She will move up seven spots to No. 8 in the WTA Tour rankings today. Azarenka, who won here in 2012, hit just 10 winners and had 20 unforced errors in the two-hour match. She connected on 60 per cent of her first serves and broke Williams’ serve three times. Williams converted just one of 12 break chances. Williams was back at Indian Wells after ending her 14-year boycott last year, and the crowd, including Queen Latifah, was eager to support her. One fan held up a sign reading, “Go Serena. We straight outta Compton,” in a nod to the gang-infested Los Angeles suburb where the Williams sisters learnt to play tennis. But there was none of Williams’ trademark fist-pumping and screams of “Come on!” She hit just 22 winners. Azarenka and Williams met for the 21st time in their careers, with Williams now owning a 17-4 edge. The only player she has faced more in her career is older sister Venus, who watched grim-faced from a box after losing early in her return to Indian Wells for the first time since 2001. Williams was warmly welcomed back last year only to withdraw with a knee injury before her semi-final. She got emotional while accepting the runner-up trophy, tears welling in her eyes, after tournament officials thanked her and Venus for ending their boycotts. “Thank you so much for the cheers,” Williams said. “I can’t tell you how much it means to me.” Azarenka was gracious in victory, thanking Williams for her hard work that motivated the Belarussian to raise her game. Williams playfully stuck out her tongue as she walked past Azarenka posing with the winner’s crystal trophy on her way off the court.
unanimous decision LAS VEGAS (AP): His career winding down to its final seconds, Floyd Mayweather Jr took a victory lap around the ring, his fist raised in triumph. After 19 years of perfection in the ring, he deserved one final bow. Mayweather capped a remarkable career with a typical Mayweather fight Saturday night, using his defensive wizardry to frustrate Andre Berto on his way to a decision so lopsided, one judge gave him every round. The $32 million he earned was pocket change compared to what he got for Manny Pacquiao in his last fight. But the more important number was win No. 49 in the final fight of his unblemished career, tying the mark of the late heavyweight champion, Rocky Marciano. “You gotta know when to go. I’ve had a great career,” Mayweather said. “I’m leaving with all my faculties. I feel like I’m smart and sharp.” Mayweather wasn’t about to change what he does best in his last fight. Both dominant and defensive, he used all the tricks learned in a pro career that began in 1996 to take a unanimous decision over Berto and retain his welterweight titles in what he insists was his final fight. Mayweather won yet again in a fight where he was chased but never really tested. He piled up points with a sharp jab and quick counter punches, leaving Berto swinging at air most of the night. By the late rounds, Mayweather was both talking to Berto (30-4) and taunting him, secure in the knowledge he was winning big against the 18-1 underdog. The ringside scorecards reflected Mayweather’s dominance, with one judge scoring a 120-108 shutout. The other scores were 118-110 and 117-111, while The Associated Press had Mayweather winning 119-109.
History was created when three female apprentice jockeys graduated from a batch of 17 at the passing-out ceremony for the new Jockeys’ Schools trainees on the lawns of the Jamaica Racing Commission (JRC), Hagley Park Road, last Thursday.The young ladies are 21-year-old Mellisa Ward, a past student of Camperdown High; 22-year-old Natalie Berger, a graduate of Gaynstead High; and 24-year-old Andree Powell, a past student of Clarendon College.Prior to this batch, only two women had graduated from the Jockeys’ Training School since its inception in 1980 – Azel Cowie in 1992 and Georgina Sergeon in 2009.The other graduates who completed the 24-week training course from February to July were Oneil Beckford, Dane Dawkins, Odean Edwards, Amoy Gray, Bebeto Harvey, Jerome Innis, Roshane Johnson, Kemoy Parchment, Javaniel Patterson, Hakeem Pottinger, AndrÈ Powell, Oneil Scott, Linton Steadman, and Anthony Thomas. They are scheduled to ride against senior jockeys at Caymanas Park on Saturday, September 26.JRC operations steward Haldene Johansen, who gave the course overview, disclosed that there were “significant changes to the programme this time around as the JRC listened to the stakeholders.””We placed greater emphasis on the core elements of the programme in order to produce well-rounded horsemen,” he said.Emphasis was placed on horsemanship, which was taught by well-known equestrian Susan Wates, race-riding techniques by retired Hall of Fame jockey Charles Hussey (now a steward), personal development, the rules of racing and an expanded nutritional programme to help new riders cope with weight problems.be the bestGuest speaker was former JRC chairman Dennis Lalor, who challenged the class of 2015 to be the best they can be, as they enjoy the opportunity their predecessors of a bygone era never had.Lalor, who as chairman of the JRC in 1980 spearheaded the formation of the Jockeys’ School, recalled that under the old system, the apprentices “were not required to be literate or numerate like the ones coming through the school today, hence the dropout rate was 35 per cent. I vowed to break that cycle … .”You are now the glamour boys and girls of racing. Being educated, this is your opportunity to take advantage of a noble sport, to ensure that corruption is avoided. Please be careful of the company you seek … . God be with all of you, and may your careers be the best,” said Lalor.Also speaking were Jeffrey Mordecai of the JRC sub-committee; Richard Longmore of the JRC; Owners Association president Dr Graham Brown; the respective presidents of the trainers’ associations, Vin Edwards and Dale Murphy; Jockeys’ Guild President AndrÈ Martin; Cedric Stewart, CEO of Caymanas Track Limited; and Ina Lawrence, principal of the Jockeys’ School.
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC):Phil Simmons was yesterday suspended as West Indies head coach for criticising the selection process regarding the one-day team for the upcoming tour of Sri Lanka.The Trinidadian, only appointed six months ago, made the shocking move of slamming the omission of Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo from the yet-to-be announced ODI squad, claiming there had been “outside interference” in the selection process.In a statement, the West Indies Cricket Board said it had “learnt of the comments from head coach of the West Indies team Phil Simmons in the print and electronic media which appear to question the legitimacy of the selection process of the one-day international squad for the tour of Sri Lanka”.”As a result, the management of the WICB has taken action to suspend the head coach, pending an investigation into the issue,” the release said.”The head coach will not now travel with the team on the tour of Sri Lanka.”Ironically, one group of West Indies players were scheduled to leave here yesterday for the Test tour of Sri Lanka, with the second group set to depart today.Eldine Baptiste, who was expected to be the ‘selector on tour’, will now replace Simmons for the two-Test series which will be followed by the one-day series.In a media conference at the conclusion of the team-preparation camp last Friday, Simmons took the unusual step of accusing “people” of using their “influence” to determine squad selection.”I think it’s disappointing from the fact that I haven’t got the best 50-over ODI squad that we can select in the Caribbean,” Simmons said.”The chairman, Mr (Clive) Lloyd, he came and he gave an exceptional speech, saying that he thinks it is time they (Bravo and Pollard) are back in the squad, and he gave exceptional reasons for them being back in the squad.No success in meeting”Unfortunately, when we went into the selection [meeting], we lost it 3-2. Him and myself – the captain (Jason Holder) doesn’t have a vote in this – but the captain also gave his views as why they need to be back.”He added: “That’s not the disappointing fact. The disappointing fact is that you can lose 3-2 in a vote-off, but there is too much interference from outside in the selection of the ODI squad, and it’s disappointing for me to know that in any aspect of life … [people would use] their position to get people into a squad, or in this case, get people left out of a squad.”It is wrong, and I don’t like it, and that is my beef with the selection of the ODI team.”Simmons was appointed last March following the ICC Cricket World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, and has overseen home series against England and Australia.West Indies drew the three-Test series against England, 1-1, but lost the two-Test series to Australia, 2-0.Simmons, 52, is a former West Indies cricketer, who played 26 Tests and 143 ODIs between 1987 and 1999.
Kaliese Spencer said she felt like an “outcast”, while Christine Day spoke of a “break-up” text message. However, as the two athletes broke their silence about their split from the Stephen Francis-led MVP Track Club, it’s clear they have little doubt about the move they have since made. Spencer and Day, who both said they felt they were not getting the desired attention, have also expressed confidence in their move, having swapped the MVP Track Club for Bert Cameron – the 1983 World champion in the 400m – and his Cameron Blazers outfit. The Olympians, who for 10 years were guided by the highly-regarded Francis, yesterday spoke to The Gleaner about the developments, while outlining the circumstances around the break-up that dominated headlines last week. “Maybe I outgrew him (Francis) and I didn’t feel I was needed any longer; let’s put it that way, I was like an outcast really,” said a relaxed-looking Spencer yesterday. “I just needed a different environment to be more relaxed, I was just not comfortable anymore, and I believe this change will work to my advantage,” she added. Spencer, who with 21 wins in the 400m hurdles on the Diamond League circuit, is the most successful track athlete in the history of the series, thanked and credited Francis for her success. “First I must say, it (decision to leave MVP) had nothing to do with Christine (Day). I was there for 10 years and was getting a little uncomfortable, so I came to the conclusion that I was moving to a different stage in my life and it was just time for a change and time to move on,” said Spencer. She also paid a lot of credit to Francis and noted she was expecting to have a meeting with the MVP management team before she left, admitting, however, that she had already decided to leave two days before Francis came on local television and stated that she was no longer a part of the club. Happy with choice Day is happy with her choice to join the Cameron Blazers and thanked Francis for his contribution to her development. “Honestly, I am not disappointed and I am looking forward to the future,” she said. “I thank Mr Francis for all the years he coached me, but I am now looking to the future,” added Day, who ran a personal best 50.14 seconds for fourth place at the recently concluded World Championships in Beijing, China, in August. Cameron, who is working alongside administrator Marvin Anderson to continue the club’s improvements, added that he is looking forward to the experience and challenge in working with the two athletes. He believes that together, they will be able to meet their objectives. Day and Spencer are expected to join their Cameron Blazers teammates, including Leford Green, Jaheel Hyde and Martin Manley. Prayed before decision “This is something I prayed about before I even made my choice,” added Spencer, the 2014 Commonwealth Games champion and World Indoor Championships 400m silver medal winner. She also explained her reasons behind choosing to work with Cameron. “I just thought that he was a very kind person. He has a great personality, always encouraging us, even though we were not a part of his club. He always motivated us and that really helped in my decision. Of course, he also did the 400m, is an Olympian and World champion, so that was a great part,” admitted Spencer. “I have seen how he (Cameron) works with his athletes and the attention he gives them, and I know I will improve,” Day chipped in. Day also shared that she was actually told by Francis via text message after this summer’s IAAF World Championships in Athletics in Beijing, China, that he would not be able to train her anymore. The Commonwealth Games bronze medal winner informed The Gleaner that this came after a conversation she had with the coach after her win at the National Senior Championships in June, which led to a disagreement and strained relations between the two. “It wasn’t concrete and he gave it a few days to think about it and I had to prove to him that I could be the same person I was when I just stepped into UTech,” she explained. “We were supposed to have another meeting, but we didn’t; he sent a text message to say he did not change his mind,” Day recounted.
Junior Flemmings’ 81st-minute strike saw Tivoli Gardens to a 2-1 win over rivals Boys’ Town in their Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) west Kingston derby at the Edward Seaga Sports Complex yesterday. Miguel Ricketts fired the home team in front after 22 minutes, but Peter Keyes equalised for the ‘Red Brigade’ on 62 minutes. However, Flemmings latched on to a pass late on and hammered a low shot past Mikhail Harrison in goal. It was only Flemmings’ second west Kingston derby at senior level, but as a resident of the community, he knows all about this fixture. “Tivoli Gardens playing Boys’ Town or Arnett Gardens is always a tough one, but we really did well. We dug deep to come out with the win, so kudos to the team,” the young striker told The Gleaner. His experience from his recent call-up for the Panama and Haiti World Cup qualifiers was a great learning curve, and he was eager to show what he had learned. PLENTY LEARNT “Being around the professionals in the national team, I really learned a lot, especially from the ones overseas, and I said that I have to transfer that mental aspect to my game and my approach to life, and I am getting there. I just have to keep working hard,” he reasoned. “It is not easy to leave schoolboy football and come into the Premier League playing against bigger, stronger guys with more experience. But I came here and worked and left the rest to God, and game by game, I will continue to work hard and, hopefully, the goals will come,” he said. Tivoli went ahead when Ricketts turned his marker and fired past Harrison. Carlos Wright thought he had found the equaliser minutes later, but he was offside. However, little past the hour, Peter Keyes fired a deflected shot past Edsel Scott from a quickly taken free kick. Boys’ Town were the stronger team after that and looked more threatening, but Flemmings broke away and fired a ferocious shot past Harrison to seal the win. Meanwhile, Portmore United climbed to the top of the standings after a 3-2 win over St Catherine rivals Rivoli. Portmore now have 27 points, two more than MoBay United, who were held 0-0 by UWI. Waterhouse and Reno drew 2-2.
Digicel congratulates ICC U-19 World Cup championsPeople usually remember the extraordinary ones – the hard workers and inventors, the movers and shakers. But most of all, they remember the history-makers.Digicel congratulates the members of the West Indies Under-19 cricket team, who have now joined the ranks of the history-makers with their outstanding performance at the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup.For the past few weeks, the entire region has been focused on the team’s progress throughout the tournament, and its momentous performance has indeed been a source of inspiration and motivation for everyone.In our support for youth and sport development, we constantly repeat the mantra, ‘from grassroots to greatness’, to encourage our young athletes to aim for the highest in all their pursuits. We are sure that this achievement by the team will also serve as encouragement for Caribbean youth who aspire to cricket beyond national borders.On that note, we also extend the heartiest of commendations to our local players Michael Frew, Shahid Crooks and Odean Smith for their outstanding performance, while representing Jamaica. We are especially delighted to see the growth and development of Michael Frew, who was a member of the winning team in the Digicel/ISSA T20 Tournament last year.The success of the team has no doubt set the stage for the exciting 2016 Caribbean Premier League season, which is fast-approaching. This accomplishment has helped to create renewed passion and pride in the sport for Caribbean people and promises a bright future ahead for West Indies cricket.