Tony Becca: Going, going, and may be almost gone

first_img 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 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.”last_img read more

Man seeks bail after claiming his cellmate is a smoker

first_imgA notorious criminal has asked a judge to release him from jail because his cellmate is a smoker.Gary Brodie was arrested and brought back to Ireland from Scotland on a European Arrest warrant earlier this year. He has been in custody for the past two months facing alleged assault charges in Co Donegal.Brodie, aged 33, appeared at Letterkenny District Court today where he sought bail on theft charges.He told the court that he has been on remand at Cloverhill Prison.He told Judge Paul Kelly “I’m being held on remand for the past two months in terrible conditions.“I don’t smoke but the guy I’m sharing a cell with a guy who smokes.“I’m being forced to sleep on the floor on a mattress. I’m being treated like an old dog. I wouldn’t keep my dog in those conditions.”However, Detective Garda Michael Galvin told the court that he was objecting to the bail application.He said the alleged assault cases involved a situation where a man was allegedly stabbed with a broken bottle and received serious injuries.He said he felt that Brodie was a flight risk and that the seriousness of the offences meant that Brodie should not be given bail.Brodie had claimed that he has an address of a former prison friend in Crumlin in Dublin which he could stay at if he was released on bail.He is due to appear before Letterkenny Circuit Court on alleged assault charges in Donegal on December 5th next.Brodie had resisted extradition from Scotland earlier this year claiming that the IRA “would kill him”.Brodie claimed he fled Ireland in 2009 after he was warned by an IRA that he had 24 hours to leave or he would be killed.Brodie feared that he would end up like his father William, who is thought to have been murdered by the IRA after disappearing in 1994.At another preliminary court hearing earlier this year in Scotland Brodie spat at court sheriff officials and branded them, “Fenian ba****ds.”At Letterkenny District Court yesterday, Judge Paul Kelly said he was refusing a bail application on separate charges of theft against Brodie.He said the seriousness of the cases against Brodie and also his bail history.Brodie asked the court if he could be remanded back to Castlerea Prison and wardens told Judge Kelly that he will be transferred back there.Man seeks bail after claiming his cellmate is a smoker was last modified: November 14th, 2017 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:cellmatecourtdonegalGardaiGary Brodiesmokerlast_img read more

The 5 Takeaways from the Coyotes introduction of

first_img The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo TEMPE, Ariz. — Heading into the 2017 season, few Cardinals will be under as bright a spotlight as Robert Nkemdiche.The team’s first-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, he appeared in just five games as a rookie, collecting three tackles and one pass defensed.While disappointing, an ankle injury he suffered in training camp set him back, and he struggled to crack a deep defensive line rotation once the games started. His inability to get on the field had many questioning his work ethic, which at times was even brought up as a concern by his coaches. Ultimately, however, by the end of the season they said he had matured and still expect great things from the former No. 29 pick.They are not the only ones.“Of course,” Nkemdiche answered when asked if he notices himself improving.The 22-year-old was at Steak 44 in support of the Arians Family Foundation Fundraiser, and he said his goal is to keep growing.“The sky’s the limit for me and I know what I can do as a player and I want to keep that edge on me and keep it going day-by-day,” he said.Whereas last season the Cardinals may not have needed much from Nkemdiche, things are different now. With Calais Campbell in Jacksonville, there is now a hole on the team’s defensive front.Knowing that, Nkemdiche is aware how big this upcoming season is for him, even though it is only his second in the NFL.According to Cardinals coach Bruce Arians, the expectation of Nkemdiche is to play a bunch and play well.“He’s playing extremely well,” he said after Wednesday’s OTA practice. “He jumped offsides twice today, but that’s probably the first time. “He’s been playing extremely well and (we want him to) be the player we drafted, which he is. He is.”Asked if Nkemdiche could replace Campbell, Arians said, “Oh hell yeah.”Paying attention to details is the biggest difference, Nkemdiche said, adding that the biggest difference between his rookie year and now is that he truly gets what he must do in order to succeed. No one will know what kind of progress he has made until training camp and then when games begin, but for now Nkemdiche seems to be on the right track.If nothing else, he understands where his career is at.“I’ve got to prove to the coaches as much as I have to prove to myself,” he said.And what’s that, exactly?“What kind of player I can be, what I know I can be, what I’m supposed to be.”Less time in OTLast season the Cardinals were part of one of two ties the NFL produced, and no doubt their 6-6 bout with the Seattle Seahawks at least played a part in the league’s decision to shorten overtime from 15 minutes to 10.While evidence points to it likely leading to more games without a victor, Arians has no issue with the change.“I think it will effect the calling of the game a little bit,” he said. “People are worried about 10-minute drives — I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a 10-minute drive.” Dobson is a part of that, and while he knows he’s been playing well, he said he’s just trying to take things one day at a time while stringing good days together.“There’s going to be highs and lows, so I’m just trying to keep it more on the high end,” he said. “Just come to play every day, make plays when they come to me and just keep moving forward.”A 25-year-old former second-round pick, Dobson has caught 53 passes for 698 yards and four touchdowns in his career. His best season was his rookie one, when in 2013 he hauled in 37 passes for 519 yards and all of his scores.He is excited to be in Arizona, where he said Arians and GM Steve Keim said he would have an opportunity to play.“That’s all I really can ask for, so now I’m here and I’m just trying to make the most of it.”Dobson understands how deep the team is at receiver, but says all it will do is make each player better. He likes the mix of skill sets, and while at 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds he more or less fits the mold of a “big” receiver, he is confident he can fill whatever role is asked of him.With his roster spot not necessarily a given, he pretty much has to. As he said, every opportunity he has to play in the NFL is a big one. In Arizona, making good on it means continuing to do what he has been. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling DL Robert Nkemdiche chats with Ed Stinson during an OTA practice May 24. (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires “Just let them know that I can actually play, make plays when they come to me, learn my playbook and just keep moving forward,” he said.Follow Adam Green on Twitter – / 21 Comments   Share   Top Stories Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Arians admitted he has probably seen a couple drives of that length, but added if a team gets the ball run on them for that kind of duration they “deserve to lose anyway.”The coach believes the change has to do with safety, as he noted following the tie vs. Seattle, in which each team ran an obscene number of plays, they were unable to actually practice the following week.Whether the shortened overtime period will lead to more ties, Arians said, is something the league probably understands. And while the game may be called a bit differently because of it, he is happy with the decision.The shortening of overtime is not the only rule change Arians appreciates, as he agrees with the decision to be more lenient on celebrations.“I’m happy with that,” Arians said. “I danced all the time when I scored touchdowns; I didn’t get many, but I danced my ass off when I got one.”And at receiverNot much was made of the Cardinals’ decision to sign receiver Aaron Dobson to a future contract in January, but as May nears its end the former New England Patriot seems to be making quite a name for himself.On Tuesday, Cardinals QB Carson Palmer mentioned how Dobson has “had a great spring,” and on Wednesday Arians said he had never been around a receiver group with as many NFL-caliber players.last_img read more