Janet Rowe did not fly to Jamaica just to vote. But when she realised her name was on the voters’ list, the US$197.50 fee she paid to change her ticket “was a small price to pay to support her party”, Rowe said. “The ticket was actually US$430 plus what I paid to change it.” But that cost couldn’t keep her from the polling station at the Content Gap Primary School in East Rural St. Andrew. “When my boss wished me a safe travel I didn’t tell her I wasn’t coming back just yet.” Instead, “I called one of my co-workers and asked her to work for me tomorrow and I will work back for her on Saturday,” she said with a satisfied grin, showing her ink-stained index finger. Her ticket was changed from February 23 to 26. The constituency is being contested by the Jamaica Labour Party’s (JLP) Juliet Holness (wife of opposition leader Andrew Holness) and the People’s National Party’s (PNP) Imani Duncan Price. Holness went into the elections with a five percentage point lead over her rival.
Pakistan’s coach Younis quits ISLAMABAD (AP): Waqar Younis has quit as Pakistan coach only a day after Shahid Afridi stepped down as Twenty20 captain. Pakistan lost three group matches at the World Twenty20 and made an early exit from the tournament in India. Younis, who was national coach for 19 months, says “unfortunately I couldn’t give the result which the nation was expecting.” Younis had three months before his contract with the PCB was due to expire, but he quit after meeting with the Pakistan Cricket Board officials in Lahore on Monday. Setback for WCup stadium MOSCOW (AP): The official completion date of Sochi’s stadium for the 2018 World Cup has slipped back five months to November, the second such delay for a Russian World Cup venue in the last week. Regional sports minister Lyudmila Chernova announced the delay in comments to the state-run Tass agency, but did not give any explanations. The Fisht stadium hosted the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2014 Winter Olympics, but has needed lengthy construction work to convert it for football and expand its capacity to over 47,000. Last Friday, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said the St Petersburg stadium had fallen three months behind schedule but would still open by the end of the year. Sammy Stadium CASTRIES, St Lucia (CMC): West Indies T20 cricket captain Darren Sammy yesterday expressed his delight at the decision of the St Lucia government to rename the Beausejour Cricket Ground, after him following the exploits of the regional team in the just-concluded T20 World Cup in India. Sammy, along with fellow St Lucian, Johnson Charles, returned to a hero’s welcome at the Hewanorra International Airport, where they were greeted by Prime Minister Dr Kenny Anthony and other St Lucians. “Big-time reception, homecoming,” Charles said in a video posted on Facebook, while Sammy said Anthony had announced that the island’s premier cricketing ground will now be known as the Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium. “To God be the glory,” Sammy said, adding “I am truly honoured, I am humbled and bless. Thank you, we always know St Lucians love their own and the love and respect and admiration I have just received at the airport, oh my God, thank you very much.” Giorgi turns down Italy call-up ROME (AP): Camila Giorgi has turned down a call-up to Italy’s Fed Cup team for its World Group playoff against Spain, choosing to compete in qualifying for a tournament in Stuttgart, Germany, instead. The 48th-ranked Giorgi announced last week that she was cutting off ties with the Italian Tennis Federation – apparently because the federation insisted she play Fed Cup. Italy captain Corrado Barazzutti called her up anyhow for the April 16-17 series. Giorgi had until Monday to confirm her call-up and the federation announced yesterday that 72nd-ranked Karin Knapp was taking Giorgi’s place on the team, which also includes Roberta Vinci, Sara Errani and Francesca Schiavone. Giorgi is currently playing in Katowice, Poland, where she beat Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus 6-4, 6-4 in the first round yesterday.
A lot has been written regarding the appointment of 52 Government boards whose members were, as The Gleaner columnist Gordon Robinson puts it, “considered, vetted and approved in absolute secrecy”. It goes without saying that ideally, in a modern democracy, such appointments would be subject to scrutiny from the very people who would be affected by an unsuitable (incompetent) appointee. But the reality is that we have to live with it until we the people, understand and use our power to force elected representatives to govern on our behalf, not theirs or their ‘pardies’. In the popular sport of horse racing, there appeared in the Track and Pools publication of April 13, the results of an appeal heard by the Jamaica Racing Commission (JRC). This appeal was held on April 7. The facts outlined in the report of the appeal were that a horse, PRINCE OSHAUN, trained by Colin Blair and ridden by the apprentice jockey, Bebeto Harvey, won the fourth race on the 28th November 2015. At the conclusion of the race there was a Stewards Inquiry, where the film of the race was reviewed. After the review, the winner, PRINCE OSHAUN, was disqualified for intimidation and interference to horses #5, MONEY NEVER SLEEP and horse #15, ROMAN SPY. Therefore, all those punters on and off the racetrack who had backed PRINCE OSHAUN, lost their money as second-past-the-post GRAND CORAZON was now declared to be the winner. However, at the appeal, the aggrieved trainer submitted that his horse (PRINCE OSHAUN) came down from the outside after the interference occurred and could not have intimidated any other horse or jockey. Mr Blair further submitted that if his horse, PRINCE OSHAUN, was not in the race, the infractions that happened would have still occurred. The trainers’ submissions at the appeal reflected the opinions of fans of racing who were present in the North Lounge at the Caymanas racetrack on that fateful day. UPHELD THE APPEAL The appellate body reviewed the film of the race and listened to evidence from Harvey and Operation Steward Robert Clark. Its conclusion was that PRINCE OSHAUN could not have intimidated any other horse or jockey, and upheld the appeal. Thus, the new results would reflect that PRINCE OSHAUN was, indeed, the winner and directed that the appropriate adjustment to the purses be made. Unfortunately, those knowledgeable punters who had selected PRINCE OSHAUN to win the race (and who witnessed PRINCE OSHAUN winning the race) have absolutely no possibility of being rewarded for their correct decision, while those responsible for this error is allowed to say, “oops”, and continue to adjudicate on races ostensibly to keep making these errors with absolutely no possibility of any sanction, while punters are actively encouraged to “come on down to the track and support the sport of kings”. Here now is an opportunity for the new commission to inject some long-lost confidence in the administration of the sport by taking decisive action against any member of staff whose actions repeatedly are found (on appeal) to have no basis in fact. Those responsible for these (numerous) errors only serve to turn off punters (the lifeblood of the sport) as there are many alternatives for the betting dollar. Racing cannot afford to keep alienating those whose money keeps the sport alive. For even though there was no parliamentary vetting and public comment on their suitability, competence or integrity, the sport of kings, horse racing, needs board members to do the right thing.
Tennis Jamaica’s president John Bailey has urged members of his association to move forward in a positive way after he was re-elected unopposed at a rescheduled annual general meeting on Thursday evening at Campion College. “We really want to focus on moving forward and not looking back,” Bailey told The Gleaner yesterday. “We can spend a lot of time talking about what went on in the past, but it is not going to help us. It’s just time to move on.” At last November’s AGM, where Bailey was challenged by John Azar, a disparity in numbers between ballots and eligible voters forced the association to declare the elections null and void. Aswad Morgan was returned as first vice-president, Llockett McGregor; second vice-president and Marcus James, the third vice-president. The treasurer is Charles Pennicook, while Leroy Brown remains the secretary of the association. The regional directors are Pierre Battaglia and James Samson, while the directors are Micola Bicknell, Paula Harris, Charmaine Chin-Loy, Nigel Casserly, Yussuf Migoko, and Steven Shirley. Bailey also revealed that plans to develop the sport include a new playing facility in St Ann, which he hopes will get off the ground in a few months. “The exciting thing is that we are looking to open a new facility in St Ann, Drax Hall in particular, and hopefully, in the next few months, that will start,” he stated. Bailey, who is in his second term as president,, reiterated that the main players in the tennis fraternity are turning their attention to the development of the sport. “The mood in the fraternity is very positive. We will press on and continue to develop the sport and look to Jamaica being on top in the region again in the next few years. So we are back on track, absolutely,” he insisted.
REGALLY BOLD should make amends for her recent disqualification by winning today’s 10th race over 1500 metres for native and imported three-year-olds (non winners of two) at Caymanas Park.Trained by Harry Jaghai for owners the Houston Stables, the lightly raced American bred 3-y-o filly came through a furlong out to beat the useful ACTION MAN by four lengths over 1300 metres on August 29, only to be disqualified following a stewards’ inquiry, this for causing interference to ACTION MAN (awarded race) on the inside at the half mile and placed second.REGALLY BOLD, however, won on merit in the fairly good time of 1:20.4. There was a lot to like about the manner in which she led a furlong out, going on to beat ACTION MAN and SILVER CLOUD, who renews rivalry today.Obviously, she looks a better animal than any of her eight opponents and with in-form Wesley Henry again in the saddle, should gain quick compensation, despite the presence of the Wayne DaCosta-trained SILVER CLIOUD, ANOTHER BULLET and VINTAGE RUCKUS, her main rivals.impressive winREGALLY BOLD continues to look sharp in her preparation and should take command leaving the half mile for an impressive win from the convenient mark of 54.0kg.Also on the 11-race programme are the round five renewal of the Winnie Anglin Memorial Cup for native bred two-year-old fillies and the eighth running of the Donald Tankoy Cup over 1300 metres, in memory of the former long serving executive of Caymanas Track Limited, who died on September 10, 2008.The Wayne DaCosta trained debutante PERFECT ASSET (Robert Halledeen up) has looked well forward at exercise and gets the nod over Philip Feanny’s SORRENTINO’S STAR in the Winnie Anglin Memorial, while STERRI’S CHOICE (Omar Walker) and DOOLAHIN (Shane Ellis) should fight out the finish of the Donald Tankoy Memorial Cup. Both races have attracted nine starters.Other firm fancies on the card are down in class LOVETTA JONES in the opening race for $180,000 claimers, RUNNER RUNNER to go one better in the second, LIGHT BRIGADE in the sixth, GLORIOUS CAUSE in the eighth and CLASSY PROSPECT in the closing race.
US Women drub T&T 6-0SAN ANTONIO, United States (CMC) :Trinidad and Tobago’s (T&T’s) national women’s team failed in its efforts to end an 11-year winning streak at home by the United States Women team on Thursday night.T&T women suffered a 6-0 drubbing at the hands of their American counterparts in a lopsided exhibition encounter at the Alamodome.T&T goalkeeper Kimika Forbes was outstanding, particularly in the first half, by keeping the scoreline manageable.The United States dominated the game and took the lead courtesy of a bizarre penalty call by the referee in the 21st minute when Alex Morgan collided with Forbes in mid-air as Forbes rushed to punch a ball out of her box.Soca Warriors go on strikePORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) :Trinidad and Tobago Soca Warriors say they would not play their next international fixture because of a pay dispute with the country’s football governing body.A release from team captain Kenwyne Jones says that the Soca Warriors have withdrawn their services for their next game against Haiti because payment promised after their CONCACAF World Cup qualifier against the United States last November has not been made.”We were promised months ago that a payment would be made to the boys after the last game,” said Jones’ statement.T&T were carded to participate in the Copa AmÈrica Centenario Berth match, scheduled for January 8, at the Estadio Rommel Fern·ndez in Panama City, Panama.Gabriel ruled out of Hobart TestHOBART, Tasmania (CMC) :West Indies fast bowler Shannon Gabriel has been ruled out of the first Test match against Australia.The strongly built six-footer from Trinidad suffered a major injury on Thursday’s opening day and will play no further part in the match at the Blundstone Arena.Gabriel felt discomfort while bowling and had scans at a local medical facility. According to team spokesman Philip Spooner, Gabriel sustained a “stress reaction in the left ankle bone” and, therefore will not be able to bowl.The 27-year-old right-armer bowled just 10 overs on the opening day and took one wicket: Joe Burns bowled through the gate.If he is unable to recover in time for the second Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, starting Boxing Day, a repla-cement will be summoned from the West Indies.
WESTERN BUREAU: The 2015-16 Charley’s JB Rum Western Confederation Super League season got cracking on the weekend with six matches, including a less-than-auspicious start for defending champions Savannah Sports Club, who were held to a scoreless draw by Lucea FC at Frome Sports Complex on Sunday. This year’s staging has the 12 teams aligned in two groups of six based on how they ended the last campaign, with Savannah, Granville, Montego Bay Boys and Girls’ Club (MBBGC), Salt Marsh, Petersfield, and Lucea in Group One. Group Two comprises Wadadah, Sandals Whitehouse, Beaches Negril, Village United, newcomers Reggae Youths and Clarks Town, the St James and Trelawny champions, respectively. Another new development of note is that Livingston Berley has taken the hot seat as coach of the defending champions. RONIEL WHYTE ON TARGET While his team failed to shine against Lucea, Roniel Whyte was on target in the 19th and 36th minutes in leading Petersfield FC to a 2-0 victory over Montego Bay Boys and Girls’ Club. Former St James Premier League kingpins, Wadadah FC, were also in the winners’ corner as forward Javier Peak struck twice in Saturday’s 3-1 win over newly promoted Clarks Town of Trelawny. Ajai Black also found the net in that match for Wadadah, while Dwayne Brown netted the consolation for Clarks Town. Also on Saturday, Reggae Youths and Beaches Negril ended 1-1, with Oshane Russell getting a late equaliser for Reggae Youths in the 81st minute to cancel out Ashley Forrest’s 18th-minute strike. In another game on Saturday, Salt Marsh edged Granville 1-0 as Marvin Reynolds scored in the 20th minute to give them three points and a share of the early lead in Group One with Petersfield. Wadadah are early leaders in Group Two on three points. The league continues on Sunday with four matches, the pick of which should be the Granville-Petersfield FC clash, starting 3 p.m. at Granville Community Centre.
PERTH, Australia (CMC):West Indies Women’s star Deandra Dottin experienced mixed fortunes on her debut in the Women’s Big Bash on Boxing Day, as her Perth Scorchers beat Melbourne Stars by six wickets.The 24-year-old snared two for 27 from four overs of medium pacer as Stars, opting to bat first at the Western Australia Cricket Association ground, stumbled to 102 for six off their 20 overs.Fast bowler Katherine Brunt had the best figures of two for 11.Katie Mack struck 32 from 30 balls while opening partner and captain Meg Lanning got 27 from 31 deliveries in a 56-run stand for the first wicket.In reply, Scorchers reached their target in the final over, with veteran opener Charlotte Edwards stroking an unbeaten 61 off 56 deliveries.Dottin suffered the indignity of a fourth-ball ‘duck’, falling leg before wicket to leg-spinner Kristen Beams in the tenth over with the score on 50 as Scorchers lost three quick wickets for 12 runs.However, Edwards combined with Brunt (11 not out) in an unbroken fifth wicket stand of 45 to see the hosts to victory.
MANCHESTER, England (AP):Pep Guardiola and Manchester City have long been considered a likely match: football’s most admired coach and a club with massive spending power seeking to become the dominant force in Europe.It’s been four years in the making, but finally, they’ll be united.City announced yesterday that Guardiola will take over as manager on a three-year contract starting next season, furthering the English team’s goal to be a global superpower.Guardiola will replace Manuel Pellegrini, who – minutes before City’s announcement – ended a pre-game news conference by saying that he would be leaving the club at the end of the season.The news was sudden but not unexpected.Guardiola announced in December that he would be leaving Bayern Munich at the end of this season after three years in charge when he enhanced his status as football’s most sought-after coach. Then, last month, he said that his next job would be in the English Premier League.City was always his most likely destination. Backed by Abu Dhabi cash since 2008, the club has been transformed into the most successful in England of recent times, winning two league titles and two cup competitions since 2011 and assembling an all-star squad including players like Sergio Aguero, David Silva, Yaya Toure, and Kevin De Bruyne.”In recent weeks, (City) has commenced and finalised contractual negotiations with Pep Guardiola to become head coach for the 2016-17 EPL season onwards,” City said in a short statement. “These negotiations were a re-commencement of discussions that were curtailed in 2012.”That was the year Guardiola quit Barcelona, after winning 14 trophies in four years as coach, and took a 12-month sabbatical. During his time off, he agreed to join Bayern for the start of the 2013-14 season and has gone on to win back-to-back German league titles, the German Cup, and both the Club World Cup and UEFA Super Cup.
Finding a vision Top eight teams According to merit Although it is common knowledge that the West Indies have lost 80 of 132 Test matches while winning only 14 against the top eight teams since losing 5-0 to England in 2000 and 5-0 to Australia in 2000-1, and have failed to qualify for the Champions Trophy while Bangladesh have done so, cricket, results on the field, have nothing to do with it, not really. The problem which threatens to explode and blow West Indies to the four corners of the earth is money, pure and simply money. The West Indies are set to participate in the World Twenty20 tournament in March in India, but once again, as happened so many times in the recent past, including the 2014 Test tour of India, the squad of players, led by captain Daren Sammy, wrote the board, demanding more money for the services. In a nutshell, that’s what the players want, more money. The players, led by Sammy, want double the match fee, 50 per cent of sponsorship money, and 100 per cent of any prize-money won. On top of that, they don’t want to deal with the West Indies Players’ Association whatsoever. The board seems adamant that it will not pay. According to the board, it cannot pay. It is as simple as that. The board, if needs be, will select a new team for the tournament. The players claim they are losing money, that they are losing as much as 85 per cent of their money, and that they cannot afford that, even if some of that money is going to subsidise the salaries of contracted Caribbean first-class players for the newly formed Professional Cricket League. The West Indies players, it seems, cannot afford to subsidise Caribbean first-class players, not even for the suffering first-class players to go from getting nothing to getting something. The West Indies players, however, would be comfortable if they were to be, as they are now, subsidised by the cricket world from the money earned by the money-spinners elsewhere in the world. Is it right for the non-West Indies player to run around in the sun day after day for days at a time and then sit down and twiddle his thumbs, with nothing to do or eat, just looking on from the outside? No, it is not right, it was never right, and it can never be right. The West Indies Cricket Board has made many mistakes in their time, but this is not one. This is one to produce for West Indies cricket. This is one to ensure that what is happening now never happens again. This is one for West Indies cricket. West Indies cricket, the envy of the world for decades past because of its exiting and brilliant batsmen, fast and furious fast bowlers, and its acrobatic fielders, and undisputed champions of the world for 19 years up to 1995, is now at rock bottom and looks like getting deeper and deeper. In fact, based on the events of this week, and after all that have gone on in the past 15 or 20 years, a good bet is that the West Indies days are numbered. West Indies cricket is not the West Indies team alone. It is the West Indies teams and West Indies cricketers, all West Indian cricketers. And every penny belongs to the West Indies – to be added up, divided up fairly and equitably, and to be distributed to the players according to merit and on value to the team. The West Indies players have been on so many strikes, it has not been funny. Some have gone ahead, and some have been short-lived. Almost after every one of them there have been court cases, all sorts of meetings, all sorts of plans, and all sorts of MOUs and understandings. There have also been all kinds of pay structures agreed on. After 2014 and the Indian embarrassment, there were all kind of calls for all kinds of meetings, for all kinds of take-overs, and there were meetings involving prime ministers, Dave Cameron and board members, players, lawyers, and players association members. There were mediations and arbitrations at which there were ICC representatives, FICA representatives, WICB members, WIPA members, and accountants, at which the players and the board discussed their responsibilities along with finding a vision of West Indies cricket. The meetings, all of them, one or the other, agreed and decided on all categories of remuneration, on player compensation re West Indies, international, franchise, or first-class levels, incentive payments, down to injury payments, and with the help and agreement of ICC and FICA.at that, according to the board. All this was done from May, and then suddenly, two few weeks before the deadline, comes another storm. “I am sending this as captain of the West Indies T20 side as a collective representative of the 15-man squad selected for the upcoming T20 World Cup,” said Sammy. And then he proceeded to say that WIPA does not represent the players, that the money is not what the players had expected, that they wanted it doubled at least, and he made it clear, in his first letter, that the players would not accept the current offer. “If you don’t agree to the above, would you consider that this matter goes to mediation for a settlement?” said Sammy. Michael Muirhead, CEO of the board, replied, politely, “If we should not hear from any player by February 14, we will presume that you have refused selection.” The West Indies payment structure was changed in 2014, partly by the ICC because of the money they decided to share around: 25 per cent of ICC cricket money guaranteed from the player pool per year, 53 per cent to international players, 47 per cent to 90 contracted first-class players, at the end of four years fund assessed and any excess will be paid to international players only. For all fees retainers, Test match fees, ODI fees, T20 fees, ICC, events, practice matches, captains fees, and per diems fees will be paid separately, worked out with WICB, WIPA, FICA, and ICC, who added on US$1,000 per day of cricket for each player who is not on a senior contract for the use of their image rights. According to the board, the retainer fees were increased in 2013 from US$5,000 to US$160,000 to most of the top players in the T20 league. Additionally, the windows are left open for Indian Premier League and Big Bash League twice a year. It is now possible for top West Indies players to earn, according the board, US$315,000 per year ($155,000 from WICB and $160,000 from CPL). West Indies cricket has so much money and no more, and they can pay only what they can afford to pay. The cricket has to be supported, and other players have to be looked after. Why, for example, wait from May until now to deal with these things? Money is money, and it is important, no doubt about it. There are times, however, when some things are more important, when one can do with a little less for the benefit of a brother or a sister. If this tour beaks up again, it may be the end of West Indies cricket. Trinidad and Tobago have already whispered the idea to members of the ICC, and Richard Pybus, West Indies director of cricket, has already said, just recently, “A split can’t be discounted in 10 years.”