West Indies head coach Phil Simmons on Friday courted controversy when he slammed “interference from outside” as the reason for the omission of Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard from the one-day squad, for the upcoming tour of Sri Lanka.The 52-year-old Simmons, who took charge of the squad back in March following the International Cricket Council’s Cricket World Cup, said he, chairman of selectors Clive Lloyd, and captain Jason Holder, were all in favour of the Trinidadian duo’s re-inclusion but “people” had used their “influence” to keep them out of the squad.In a candid interview with reporters on the final day of the West Indies camp at the 3Ws Oval, Simmons castigated such interference as “wrong” and said it had robbed the region of its best ODI squad.However, he did not say who the interference was coming from.”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,” an irate Simmons said.EXCEPTIONAL SPEECH”The chairman, Mr Lloyd, he came and he gave an exceptional speech saying that he thinks it is time they are back in the squad and he gave exceptional reasons for them being back in the squad.”Unfortunately, when we went into the selection [meeting] we lost it 3-2. Him and myself – the captain doesn’t have a vote in this – but the captain also gave his views as to why they need to be back.””It is wrong and I don’t like it and that is my beef with the selection of the ODI team.”Bravo was sacked as captain, and along with Pollard, controversially axed for the ODI series in South Africa last January, and also overlooked for the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.- CMC
Fresh from a controversial draw decision in New York against American Jason Sosa, Nicholas ‘The Axeman’ Walters arrived in Jamaica last Saturday for an extended holiday in his hometown Anchovy, St James. “I will be in Jamaica for about a month. I will be taking it easy for the first week or so, just relaxing after my fight with Sosa. After that I will be getting back into training with my dad, as I cannot afford to get out of shape now, as 2016 will be a big year for me,” he told The Gleaner. The Walters versus Sosa fight has been the talking point in boxing circles for the past few weeks, following the surprising draw decision in Verona, New York, on November 19, in which nearly everyone except the three judges thought that Walters had won easily. One judge had Sosa as the winner 96-94, while the other two judges scored it 95-95, for a majority draw decision. The punch statistics favoured Walters as they showed that he landed 436 of 610 punches thrown, while Sosa landed 121 of 225. Walters also hurt Sosa in the fifth round but did not go in for the kill. Commenting on the fight, Walters said that there was no doubt in his mind that he had won his first fight as a super featherweight, and that he did not see his opponent winning more than possibly one round. What he has learnt from this experience he said, is that he has to “knock out all my opponents, so as to avoid any more bad decisions”. His father Job, who returned to Jamaica with him after being in his corner for the fight, said that ” it was a very poor decision. I think that Nick won every round. That is behind us now, however, and we are looking to the future”. He went on to say, “I think that it was a blessing in disguise, as we got more publicity from this bad decision than when Nicholas beat Donaire to become super champion. Everywhere we went, Nicholas was mobbed. He received a great welcome when he returned to Panama, and when we landed in MoBay, the people were all over us. It has been good, and the important thing is that he is still unbeaten.” Walters is now 26-0-1. A decision that has to be made by the Walters connections is whether he will fight as a featherweight at 126 pounds or as a super featherweight at 130 pounds in 2016. He told The Gleaner that when he returns to Panama next month, he will sit down with his team, go through all the options and make the decision. ” I can fight at either weight” he added.
Tomorrow’s 11-race programme at Caymanas Park offers a Pick-9 carryover of $1.4 million, but both Super-6s start anew.The Pick-9 will embrace races three to 11, the first Super-6 from race one to six, the late Super-6 from race six to 11.We look at the first Super-6, which commences with the Cash Pot ‘Rake’ Trophy for four-year-olds and up over 1400 metres to be contested by seven starters, all native bred four-year-olds.With the likes of FIERY PATH, MONALISASMILE, HOMECOMING and FREE RANGE all expected to prove competitive, a close finish is anticipated.FIERY PATH, however, has the best credentials, having caught the eye when finishing four lengths second to UNRULY TEXAS in a fast-run one mile race (1.41.3) some days ago.FIERY PATH, who showed good speed until giving way to the winner early in the straight, finished seven lengths clear of the third horse, FREE RANGE, and with top apprentice Bebeto Harvey riding for trainer Donovan Plummer, looks the right choice over this shorter trip.The second race over 1300 metres for the Cash Pot Bonanza Trophy, should provide the steadily improving 4-y-o colt LEIGHTON REID from the stables of topline trainer Anthony ‘Baba’ Nunes with his second consecutive win.The Region of Merit offspring will have the services of bang in form claiming apprentice Dane Dawkins, and having broken the ice, should repeat at the expense of DIRECTOR DALEY (improving) and down in class MILITARY MOVE in a nine-strong field.DYSFUNCTIONAL, who was caught within shades of the wire by lesser fancied stable-companion QUEEN OF BAGDAD over 1300 metres recently, will relish the milder pace of the third race over 1820 metres, and with leading jockey Omar Walker retaining the ride from champion trainer Wayne DaCosta, should make no mistake.Fellow three-year-olds COUNTER ATTACK (Dawkins up) and GOLDEN GLORY are twin dangers in a field of nine.PRINCE KAMALI, with Harvey aboard, has been knocking at the door lately and should be good enough to stave off his only serious rival, BIG AL (Dawkins up) in the fourth race for maiden three-year-olds over 1100 metres, this for the Cash Pot ‘Play it’ Trophy.The last two races in the first Super-6 should be won by the Philip Feanny-trained 2-y-o debutante FORT KNOX (working well) with Ian Spence aboard, and in the sixth, LEEKOUT (beaten narrowly last time) with champion jockey Shane Ellis riding for new trainer Michael Marlowe in a field of 13 maiden three-year-olds.FIRST SUPER-6 FANCIES(1) FIERY PATH/FREE RANGE(2) LEIGHTON REID/DIRECTOR DALEY(3) DYSFUNCTIONAL/COUNTER ATTACK(4) PRINCE KAMALI(5) FORT KNOX/RADICAL(6) LEEKOUT/MA GRANDE
LONDON, England (AP):Arsenal playmaker Santi Cazorla will have surgery on his right ankle and be out for about three months, robbing the team of its creative influence in central midfield.The Spain international will undergo an operation in Sweden next week, Arsenal said Thursday, after the ankle showed no improvement during a period of rehabilitation. Cazorla has been out since October 19.In Cazorla’s absence, Arsenal has won two of its five Premier League games and drawn the other three. The team lacks a replacement with the same technique and vision to play in one of the two central-midfield positions.Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said last week that Cazorla was a big loss because he was “important to our technical stability in the team, to the quality of our decision-making and to our build-up from deep midfield.”Cazorla damaged knee ligaments at about the same stage last season and ended up being out for more than five months.
STRIKE RATE He holds a big reputation, and he’s more than aware that he has big shoes to fill. Stylish West Indies batsman Lendl Simmons is eager to get his new Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Twenty20 experience going after he was recruited at the number-one spot by defending champions the Jamaica Tallawahs, at the draft in Barbados on Friday. Simmons, who last represented the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, will arrive in Kingston as a direct replacement for swashbuckling megastar Chris Gayle, who announced in December that he was heading in the opposite direction. “I’m ready to show my worth, I know what I am capable of, I know how destructive, I can be at the top of the order, and I am just really looking forward to playing with the Tallawahs,” Simmons told The Gleaner in an interview yesterday. “I am delighted to be selected for the Jamaica Tallawahs. I never thought I would be playing for the Jamaica Tallawahs. It’s a draft and everyone wants the best players, so I am really just delighted to be a part of the Tallawahs,” said Simmons, who was drafted at the top tier on a US$160,000 contract. “Before the draft, my agent was telling me that he spoke to them (Tallawahs management), but that they wanted an all-rounder so I didn’t really know that this would have been the outcome, but I am looking forward to it,” Simmons added. The 32-year-old Trinidadian has established himself around the region as one of the most talented cricketers from the Caribbean and also has international T20 experience with the Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League and the Karachi Kings in the Pakistan Super League. In his 39 CPL matches – 29 of which were played with two-time finalists Guyana Amazon Warriors prior to his move to the Patriots – Simmons scored 1,238 runs with a highest score of 97, an average of 36.4 and a strike rate of 113.5. By comparison, Gayle has played 45 CPL games and has scored 1,452 runs at an average of 42.7 and a strike rate of 137.1. He has a highest score of 111 not out. “Chris Gayle’s shoes is a big one to fill but every batsman has his own s,tyle of batting, and my style is not the same as Chris Gayle’s, but I do know how to accumulate my runs and set up my innings, and every batsman has their own plan,” Simmons said. “When you go in the top bracket (of the draft) for $160,000 a lot will be expected of you, and I know a lot will depend on me at the top of the order, and that’s what I am prepared to give.” “I’m looking to be in the top three in terms of aggregate runs. For the past four years that I have played the CPL, I was in the top four at all times besides when I had that injury and didn’t perform as well as I wanted to. But now I am up to full fitness and I have the IPL to play before, so once I get my form going and come into the CPL and perform for the Tallawahs like I have been doing for the past four years or so in the competition, I will be pleased,” added Simmons. VERY GOOD TEAM The batsman is confident the team can repeat as champions this year and expressed confidence in the abilities of youngster Rovman Powell. “I think we have a very good team. Not having (Andre) Russell is a very big blow; I think he plays a vital role in the Tallawahs team, being able to go out there and get quick runs and giving you outfield ability to catch and save runs. Rovman Powell, I guess, looks up to Russell and can do almost the same things, so hopefully, he can emulate what Russell does and follow in his footsteps.” Simmons finished second among CPL batsmen in 2013 before ending with the most runs a year later and capping his performance with the MVP award, while leading the Amazon Warriors to back-to-back finals. He finished with the fourth most runs in 2015.
Worthwhile opposition Down-in-class FRANFIELD, winner of the prestigious Superstakes over 2000 metres in 2015 and a disqualified winner in 2016, should have an easy passage against six inferior opponents in the 3-y-o and up open allowance feature for the Bonnie Blue Flag Trophy over 1820 metres at Caymanas Park today. Trained by Richard Azan, the accomplished six-year-old horse by Traditional out of Supa Lei last won the 2000 metres Governor General’s Stakes in October, 2016, but was disqualified after his narrow win over BIGDADDYKOOL and SEEKING MY DREAM in the November 12 Superstakes. There’s no question that FRANFIELD represents class, and having finished seven lengths second to ‘Horse of the Year’ SEEKING MY DREAM in the fast-run Chairman’s Trophy grade one feature over 1500 metres on March 11, cannot be opposed from the convenient mark of 55.0kg by virtue of apprentice Bebeto Harvey’s 2.0kg claim. Although he’s the horse to beat, FRANFIELD should receive worthwhile opposition from old rival HOVER CRAFT, with champion jockey Omar Walker riding for 16-time champion Wayne DaCosta and the lightly weighted ANOTHER BULLET, now up in class after last Saturday’s fast-time runaway win (1:37.0) over 1600 metres in overnight company. HOVER CRAFT, who finished 73/4 lengths third in the Chairman’s Trophy, looks the principal danger to two-turn specialist FRANFIELD, who has the pace and the class to dispose of him again. Elsewhere on the 10-race programme, LOOSE CANNON, with Walker riding for DaCosta, and the unbeaten TWILIGHT DREAMS (Oneil Mullings up) should have a battle royal for top honours in the opening 1100-metre race for native-bred three-year-olds, to be contested by seven starters. Both returned fast times when winning recently, but LOOSE CANNON came back to chase home classic aspirant DON CHASSIS in the recent Sir Howard Stakes over 1200 metres, and in light of that performance against quality opposition, is preferred to the Carl Anderson-trained colt TWILIGHT DREAMS, who impressed on his recent debut over the straight and returns on Lasix. Other firm fancies on the card are down in class SUNDANCE in the fifth race over the round course, BEAST, now favourably drawn on the outside, to capture the seventh over the straight, PROFILE to go one better in the eighth, and VICIOUS LOOK ahead of BIG BUCK in the closing race over 1400 metres.
HYDERABAD, India (CMC): Chris Gayle gave Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) a typically explosive start, but their chase soon sputtered, and they lost the opening game of the 2017 Indian Premier League against reigning champions Sunrisers Hyderabad yesterday by 35 runs. Gayle lashed two fours and three sixes in the top score of 32 from 21 balls to help RCB reach 59 for one at the close of the power play before a capacity crowd at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium. The dismissal of the talismanic West Indies opener caught at long-off in the seventh over off spinner Deepak Hooda, however, transferred the balance of power to the home team and the visitors’ threat to successfully reach a target of 208 subsided. Kedar Jadhav supported with 31; Australian Travis Head made 30; opener Mandeep Singh added 24; and skipper Shane Watson, the former Australia all-rounder, 22, as RCB were dismissed for 172 in 19.4 overs. No bowler significantly distinguished himself. Indian star Bhuvneshwar Kumar, however, grabbed 2-27 from his allotted four overs to be the pick of the litter. Earlier, a rapid-fire 62 from 27 balls from Yuvraj Singh that included seven fours and three sixes and a whirlwind 52 off 37 balls from Australian Moises Henriques propelled Sunrisers to 207 for four off 20 overs. After Australia left-handed opener David Warner was dismissed cheaply, Henriques and India left-handed opener Shikhar Dhawan shared 74 for the second wicket. Dhawan was caught at long-on in the 11th over, paving the way for a stunning display of dynamic batting from Henriques and Yuvraj that raised 58 in 29 balls. Henriques was caught at long-off in the 16th over and cancer-survivor Yuvraj continued his comeback with more power-hitting before Tymal Mills bowled him in the penultimate over as the innings drew to a close. Trinidad & Tobago Red Force and West Indies compatriots Kieron Pollard and Lendl Simmons are carded to be in action in the second match of the tournament when Mumbai Indians travel to face Rising Pune Supergiant. NO BOWLERS STOOD OUT
Portmore United head coach Linval Dixon was excited about his team’s 2-1 win against Tivoli Gardens in the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) second-leg quarter-final at the Wembley Centre of Excellence yesterday. Portmore advanced to the semi-final, 3-2, on aggregate following a 1-1 draw in the first leg a week ago at Tivoli’s Edward Seaga Sports Complex. The Portmore team settled early and took the lead when Javon East netted past Tivoli’s goalkeeper, Davian Watkins, in the fifth minute. However, Tivoli equalised when central defender Barrington Pryce converted a penalty in the 23rd minute. But, Portmore found the winner courtesy of captain Ewan Grandison, who scored in the 40th minute. Dixon described his team’s performance as an improvement over the first game. “It was a much better performance from the team today. We knew the game would be physical, so we were prepared,” Dixon said at the conclusion of the game. GOOD PERFORMANCE “Of course, we are very happy and excited about the win against a good Tivoli team. It was good to see the team come back and give a good performance after the first-leg draw last week,” the former national defender added. Tivoli introduced former Reggae Boy Jermaine ‘Teddy’ Johnson at the start of the second half, and he added some venom to their attack. Johnson, who was back after being sidelined due to a hamstring injury came close when his free kick was saved by Portmore’s custodian, Shaven-Sean Paul. “We knew that Jermaine would be involved at some stage, but it was not about planning for any individual but the entire Tivoli team,” he said about Johnson’s appearance. Tivoli’s coach Damion Gordon said that he was very disappointed with his team’s performance. “The team failed to follow instruction,” an upset Gordon said. The RSPL will continue tonight with the second-leg quarter-final between champions Montego Bay United and Arnett Gardens at the Montego Bay Sports Complex in Catherine Hall, St James. Both teams are locked at 1-1 on aggregate heading into the 8 pm kickoff.
The Pirates, who are undefeated this NCAA Season 93 men’s basketball tournament after nine games in the first round, got a surprise of a lifetime as NBA veteran Ray Allen dropped by their team dinner on Tuesday.Lyceum’s top gun CJ Perez shared that the whole team was shocked to meet the legendary sharpshooter, who is in the country for a couple of days.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’“We’re surprised to see someone like Ray Allen go to our school. It’s a rare thing to happen for us,” he said.In the video posted by Lyceum’s official page, the two-time NBA champion was seen shaking everyone’s hands before asking, “I heard you guys were in first place?” Police seize P68-M worth of ‘shabu’ in Pasay Allen preached the value of practice to the team in his five-minute impromptu speech, instilling to the young Pirates that the pain comes before the pleasure while encouraging them to continue working hard as they prepare for the bigger wars ahead.“It’s hard when you’re at the top, right? Because you have to work extra hard,” said Allen. “One of the things that I’ve always prided myself on, in my whole career, is execution. Now you have to work harder because you can’t sneak up on anybody anymore.”“Now, the teams you’re supposed to beat are going to play you extra tough, like you’re the world champions. Now, you have to not get tired of the process. You don’t win a championship the day they give you the trophy. You win a championship every morning you wake up at six. That’s where the reward comes.”Perez said he was honored to meet someone like Allen, who has won two titles in the NBA with the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat.“We’re all starstruck and we’re very happy because he told us what we need to do, which is to continue preparing hard because we’re the number one team and the other teams are already going after us,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT SEA Games 2019: Philippines clinches historic gold in women’s basketball PLAY LIST 05:02SEA Games 2019: Philippines clinches historic gold in women’s basketball00:50Trending Articles06:27SEA Games 2019: No surprises as Gilas Pilipinas cruises to basketball gold01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ Lyceum gets all the good things these days.ADVERTISEMENT National Historical team rescues Amorsolos, artifacts from Taal LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Bishop Baylon encourages faithful in Albay to help Taal evacuees Hotdog’s Dennis Garcia dies For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to give up royal titles LOOK: UFC fighters Ronda Rousey, Travis Browne share photos from their wedding Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ Search on for 5 Indonesians snatched anew in Lahad Datu Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to give up royal titles View comments
Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Mapua lost for the ninth straight time last Friday when the Cardinals dropped a 70-88 decision to the San Beda Red Lions. Leo Gabo, Denniel Aguirre and JP Nieles will be counted upon to turn Mapua’s fortunes around.The Stags are coming off an 81-69 drubbing of Emilio Aguinaldo College on Friday in a game where Michael Calisaan fired 19 points.But the Altas are also coming into the game with plenty of confidence, having beaten Letran, 88-82, in overtime also on Friday with Most Valuable Player race leader Prince Eze leading the way with another double-double.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. A costly, catty dispute finally settled Break new ground LATEST STORIES MOST READ End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend Arellano and Perpetual Help try to continue their climb back to the top four as they clash with separate rivals on Tuesday in NCAA Season 93 at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.Outlasting third-ranked Jose Rizal University last Thursday, 115-110, in double overtime, the Chiefs hope to inflict more misery on a shorthanded Mapua squad at 2 p.m.ADVERTISEMENT Ceres: Mission possible vs Tajiks It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Winning start OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Learning about the ‘Ring of Fire’ Mayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’ The Altas have a tougher assignment in the San Sebastian Stags, who can claim solo fourth with a victory in the 4 p.m. clash.“I just hope we stay consistent,” said Arellano coach Jerry Codiñera after the Chiefs pulled the rug from under the Heavy Bombers.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smog“We have to keep improving if we want to contend for a Final Four spot,” added CodiñeraThe Chiefs are pinning their hopes on veterans Kent Salado, Lervin Flores, Allen Enriquez and Zach Nicholls, although Kraniel Victoria and Archie Concepcion have also proven that they can deliver down the stretch. View comments