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Updated: 18 min ago

Warriors target Canada today

14 hours 48 min ago

T&T’s senior women will be looking for their second straight victory when they face 2012 Olympics Bronze Medallist Canada in their second match of the 2016 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifiers at the BBVA Compass Stadium from 5 pm (T&T time) today. 

In another match being played today, regional neighbours Guyana will come up against Guatemala from 1 pm. Both T&T and Canada are coming off opening victories with the Canadians thumping Guyana 6-0 and T&T coming from a goal down to defeat Guatemala 2-1 on Thursday night. 

Canada may even feel that they hold the upperhand after whipping T&T 4-0 when both teams met at the International Women’s tournament in Natal, Brazil, in December last year. That game was followed by an equally impressive 3-0 triumph by the Canadians over Mexico at the same tournament before they were stopped by Colombia (1-0), Costa Rica (2-0) and then Brazil (2-0).

This time T&T will field a stronger team that is being led by captain Maylee Attin-Johnson and is expected to pose a tougher challenge for the Concacaf giants. Following a training session yesterday, defender Arin King said: “This time we have a stronger team and we have been preparing for longer periods than when we played them in Brazil, so I’m expecting us to be better than in that performance.” 

“I think we are all really looking forward to the match because a win can give us a chance of topping the group. 

“We know the game will be a challenging one but I think we have in us what it takes to come out on top and then finish the group on a high next week” the Canadian-born player added.

Coach Richard Hood conducted a light session on Friday which consisted mainly of recovery exercises and he put the players through their final paces during a another session at the Houston Training Centre yesterday afternoon. 

“We know the Canada game will be a lot more demanding physically and we will have to be more precise and clinical in our approach,” Hood said.

“Like I said, I wasn’t particularly happy with the performance in the last match even though it was enough to get the result. But we have two games left and we know a good result against Canada will put us in a very good position going into the last group match against Guyana” he added.

Midfielder Tasha St Louis who scored the winner against Guatemala is hoping her side can rise to the occasion again. 

“This is a tough game ahead but we really want to top the group. I think we will have to start the match much stronger than we did against Guatemala. We have to tidy up a few things and definitely make better use of our goalscoring chances. 

“We faced Canada before so we know what they are like and hopefully we can bring our best game on the day,” St Louis said.

T&T goalkeeper Kimika Forbes expects T&T to lift its level today. “We didn’t put away our chances in the last game so it’s very important that we make use of our chances in the next game. Against a team like Canada we have to believe in ourselves and our ability. I believe we have the ability to upset Canada” Kimika Forbes added.

There are no major injury concerns in the T&T camp. Canada meantime will be looking to 21-year-old Ashley Lawrence to continue her good work after she scored a hat-trick in the win over Guyana. Sixteen-year-old Deanne Rose notched a double as Canada featured a strong line-up that included striker Christine Sinclair, Erin McLeod in goal and midfielder Desiree Scott who earned 100th cap for Canada.

“We gave some new players new opportunities and that was really exciting and to see Lawrence get a hat-trick and Desi Scott get her 100th cap, it was a good night for us,” said coach John Herdman.

13 players sign, 2 keep WICB waiting

14 hours 52 min ago

The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) is awaiting the signatures of two more players from the squad of 15 selected and they have until this afternoon to indicate whether they will be part of the Caribbean side World T20 team or not.

The WICB had given the players a deadline of today, to indicate their willingness to play at the World Tournament after the players indicated they were dissatisfied with their financial remuneration for the tournament. 

Captain Darren Sammy had written the WICB informing them that the players wanted to re-negotiate their match fees and bonuses for the event, as they are not members of the West Indies Players Association (WIPA). 

Sammy called for a doubling of the US$6900 match fee and also called on the board to give the players 100 per cent of the prize money should they go on to win the tournament in India. 

The WICB responded by saying they were not open to any negotiations with anyone but the players body and held their ground, telling the players that if they did not sign by today, they would not be on the plane to India.

On Friday evening, the board had received nine signed contracts and were still awaiting the others. Yesterday, the board received four more and with two outstanding it seems that the full team will be assembled after all.

...Nurse replaces Narine
Meanwhile, Barbadian spinner Ashley Nurse has been included on the team, after mystery spinner Sunil Narine pulled out. 
Narine in a letter to the WICB indicated that he was not ready to resume international cricket, he cited insufficient progress in the rehabilitative work on his bowling action. He is currently banned from bowling in International Cricket. 

The selectors decided to go for Nurse as the replacement and he would enter camp with the team later this week in Barbados. He is currently playing for the Barbados Pride against the Windwards Volcanoes at Kensington Oval.

The West Indies team will host a camp in Barbados before moving on to Dubai where they play four warm-up matches and then on to India for the tournament. They play two warm-up games before going into action in their first match of the tournament on March 16 against England in Mumbai.

Cariah leads Red Force chase

14 hours 53 min ago

GEORGETOWN, Guyana—Trinidad and Tobago Red Force, replying to Guyana Jaguars’ 237, were 136 for three in their first innings at the close on the second day of their sixth round match in the Regional First Class championship at the National Stadium yesterday.

CMC

SCOREBOARD

Guyana v T&T

JAGUARS 1st Innings
(overnight 204 for seven)
T Chanderpaul b Emrit     3
R Chandrika b Emrit     15
A Fudadin b Richards     18
L Johnson run out     23
V Singh not out     104
A Bramble lbw b Richards     1
R Reifer lbw b Jagessar     1
V Permaul c wkp Katwaroo b Richards     47
D Bishoo c Hope b Jagessar     11
G Motie lbw b Jagessar     2
K Joseph c Y. Ottley b Emrit     5
Extras (lb7)     7
TOTAL (all out, 90.4 overs)     237
Fall of wickets: 1-15, 2-18, 3-47, 4-73, 5-84, 6-85, 7-198, 8-215, 9-223, 10-237.
Bowling: Emrit 17.4-6-44-3, Richards 21-6-41-3, Jagessar 27-7-59-3, Deonarine 12-1-27-0, Imran Khan 10-1-46-0, Mohammed 3-0-13-0.

RED FORCE 1st Innings
E Lewis c Bishoo b Joseph     26
K Hope c Johnson b Permaul     9
Y Cariah not out     58
N Deonarine lbw b Reifer     18
J Mohammed not out     18
Extras (lb1, nb6)     7
TOTAL (3 wkts, 44 overs)     136
To bat: Y Ottley, +S Katwaroo, R Emrit, M Richards, I Khan, J Jagessar
Fall of wickets: 1-19, 2-49, 3-98.
Bowling: Joseph 9-1-25-1 (nb2), Reifer 10-2-21-1, Permaul 9-2-41-1, Bishoo 12-2-38-0 (nb4), Motie 5-3-10-0.
Position: Red Force trail by 101 runs with seven wickets intact.
Toss: Jaguars.
Umpires: Nandkumar Shivsankar, Verdayne Smith

...Pride takes control of Volcanoes
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados—Barbados Pride, replying to Windward Islands Volcanoes’ 250 all out, were 272 for two in their first innings at the close on the second day of their sixth round match in the Regional First Class championship at Kensington Oval yesterday.

Scores: VOLCANOES 250 (Andre Fletcher 84, Kavem Hodge 53, Shane Shillingford 28; Miguel Cummings 5-47, Sulieman Benn 3-65)
PRIDE 272 for two (Kraigg Brathwaite 117, Shai Hope 98 not out, Kyle Corbin 38)

...Scorpions set 366 for victory
NORTH SOUND, Antigua—Jamaica Scorpions, set 366 for victory by Leeward Islands Hurricanes, were 58 for two at the close of the third day of their sixth round, Regional First Class championship game at the Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium yesterday.

Scores: HURRICANES 155 (Daron Cruickshank 51, Montcin Hodge 41; Damion Jacobs 5-50, Nikita Miller 4-63) and 368 for eight decl. (Jahmar Hamilton 130 not out, Montcin Hodge 72, Orlando Peters 41, Daron Cruickshank 20; Nikita Miller 4-107, Damion Jacobs 3-100)
SCORPIONS 158 (Sheldon Cottrell 37, Andre McCarthy 27, Jermaine Blackwood 26; Rahkeem Cornwall 5-74) & 58 for two.

Cooper’s brilliance inspires Qalanders

14 hours 56 min ago

SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates—Superstar opener Chris Gayle failed yet again with another first ball ‘duck’ but T&T’s seamer Kevon Cooper’s brilliant three-wicket haul was enough to fire Lahore Qalanders to a narrow four-run victory over Darren Sammy’s Peshawar Zalmi yesterday.

Sent in, Qalanders posted 164 for three off their 20 overs at Sharjah Cricket Stadium and then limited Zalmi to 160 for seven off their 20 overs, after they needed 16 runs from the final over.

Cooper was at the heart of the victory, finishing with three for 25 from his four overs but more importantly, sending down a tight penultimate over which cost just two runs.

In fact, he conceded just eight runs from his last overs which were bowled in pressure situations as Zalmi’s batsmen attacked late on. He was supported by South African Cameron Delport who claimed three for 18 with his seamers while all-rounder Dwayne Bravo went wicket-less from his four overs which cost 28 runs.

Englishman Dawid Malan top-scored with 42 off 35 deliveries while Bangladeshi opener Tamim Iqbal chipped in with 30 from 22 balls. Sammy, batting at number seven, made six before falling to Cooper in the 17th over, caught at cover mis-timing a big hit at a slower delivery.

Earlier, Gayle’s failures in the inaugural Pakistan Super League tournament continued when he missed a seaming full length delivery from Junaid Khan and was lbw to the third ball of the game. For the left-hander, it was his second first ball ‘duck’ following a similar indignity against Zalmi a week ago. He had struck 37 from 28 balls on Friday in Qalanders’ 27-run defeat to Karachi Kings.

While Gayle failed yesterday, Delport slammed 78 from 61 balls and Pakistani Umar Akmal stroked an unbeaten 52 from 31 deliveries, in a 101-run, third wicket stand to lift the innings.

CMC

Zoff calls on Sancho to pay promised prize monies

15 hours 1 min ago

WALTER ALIBEY 

Popular community sports administrator Roger “Zoff” Celestine is calling on former Minister of Sports Brent Sancho to honour a commitment to pay prize monies amounting to $70,000 for an all fours tournament held to boost his campaign for last year’s general elections. 

Zoff who will celebrate 37 years as an organiser of sports and cultural events in the San Juan area tomorrow, said he was approached by the ex-T&T defender to put on cricket, football and all fours events in the name of the People’s Partnership Government last year. All three events carried a whopping $201,000 budget which were to be shared as prize monies. 

He complied to a request by Sancho to submit proposals for a $50,000 football competition that comprised an open division, 40 and over play-off, an $81,000 cricket tourney that featured a 45 and over, men’s open and women’s league and an all fours competition for $70, 000. 

He told the Guardian he has now found himself facing threats of lawsuits, while other teams and players are promising to expose him on the popular Ian Alleyne or Beyond the Tape programmes as Sancho no longer takes his calls or responds to his text messages. 

The veteran administrator said he was told by Sancho that all his money was used during his campaign last year and he could not provide the additional funding to pay. From this amount, Zoff was not paid for the months of work he did in putting the tournaments together and ensuring it ran smoothly and successfully. 

“During the tournaments I cooked food and had drinks organised but more so, was able to put on a number of successful competitions which carried the name The People’s Partnership Constituency League and impressed the then sports minister,” Zoff said. 

His workload included putting up huge banners of the People’s Partnership contribution to community sports that also made him look good. Sancho has sinced paid the tag for the football ($50,000) tournament and was asked to give part payment for the cricket play-offs, which was drastically reduced due to the help of corporate citizens British Gas T&T, Neil Gosein and others where significant contributions came. 

Through corporate T&T, Zoff was also able to distribute trophies and medals and accumulate other operating expenses such as tents and equipment etc. Sancho’s reluctance to pay the prize monies has left Zoff severely stressed as he collapsed during the final of the all fours tourney, citing concerns by players for monies owed to them, which the veteran administrator did not have. 

“For the first time in my life I have had to be avoiding people and giving them promises for monies that were not forthcoming from Sancho. And on the night of the finals of the all fours, I took it on so much that I passed out and had to be carried home by friends and supporters of teams,” Zoff said.    

When contacted yesterday, Sancho said he would have call back to give a response, but never did and further calls to his cellphone went unanswered. 

Victoria seeks to end Parkites’ perfect start

15 hours 4 min ago

Domestic 50 overs cricket resumes today after a break for the Carnival festivities. The top national clubs will all be gearing up for action but will be missing the Red Force players, as they are currently doing battle in the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Professional Cricket League tournament.

Powerhouse Queen’s Park will be hosting Victoria and they are expected to continue their unbeaten run. The Parkites have won both their matches thus far and newcomers Victoria despite boasting the likes of William Perkins and Sherwin Ganga, will find it hard to stop them. 

Another unbeaten team PowerGen will have a more difficult battle, as they host Merryboys at Syne Village in Penal. PowerGen who has been in terrific form at the start of the season with two massive wins under their belts, will be without skipper Jason Mohammed. The right hander who is currently in Guyana leading the T&T Red Force scored two hundreds in the first two games, that powered the southerners to over 300 runs batting first. 

The third unbeaten team Alescon Comets will make the long journey to Tableland, South East Trinidad, where they will battle the up and coming rural team. Comets have surprisingly won both their games to date but will sorely miss wicketkeeper/batsman Steven Katwaroo who is on national duties.

In other matches, FC Clarke Road United will look to young Mark Deyal to continue his prolific form, as they bid to register their first win of the season. They will be traveling to the East looking to arrest their slide, when they meet Prisons, another new team on the block.

All matches get off at 9.30 am.

TODAY’S MATCH-UPS

• Q.P.C.C  vs VICTORIA at the Oval.
• POWERGEN PENAL vs MERRYBOYS at Syne Village.
• JENEXCON TABLELAND vs ALESCON COMETS at Tableland.
• T&T PRISONS SERVICE vs FC CLARKE ROAD at Prisons.

Same old cricket story, over and over

15 hours 6 min ago

And so it is. Only a few days ago, the cricket fraternity appeared very pleased with the selection of the World Cup Twenty20 (T20) team with all the world class performers included.

I certainly had predicted a victory in the tournament with that team, a feat which would have brought us closer to the hearts of cricket lovers the world over. However, the shocking letters written by the captain Darren Sammy regarding the payment pattern for the players, all indicating their disgust with the contract which was arranged by the West Indies Players Association (WIPA).

Admittedly, it was never clear whether or not the players had continued their support for WIPA since the India tragedy some months ago. Regardless of the changes in attitude among the stakeholders, one would have expected that they will do anything to rectify all the shady areas which caused the dilemma for the players to withdraw their services while in India.

If that was just a simple mistake, then the space for correction it through dialogue among the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), WIPA and the current players seemed the natural hurdle to cross.

This did not happen collectively as the dissatisfaction exposed through the media and the absence of a transparent agreement has brought almost a similar situation, except that the tournament is still a month away and there is time to correct the problems.

While the players emphasised that WIPA should not be their representatives, I wonder if this was relayed to the board? Or was it reiterated since the last comment by Dwayne Bravo and his players?

Never mind the manner in which this was relayed, why would the board not have provided a contract to be signed for approval by each player’s signature, even before the team was selected.

This would have wiped away all the areas of discontent and the players can get down to the business of winning the WC T20 tournament. It is strange that our professional cricketers do not follow the high paid professionals in most other sports, all of which are represented by agents or attorneys, appear to be void of such difficulties.

However, the response by the WICB regarding instruction to the selectors to choose an alternate squad, demonstrates that they are not prepared to have discussions with the players about the issue.

I have to admit that I am not certain whether the board presented any written document with regards to the contract for the players. A good sports psychologist will certainly comment that this hiccup may well have some negativity from both parties and could make a change in the performance levels.

I have always made the point that there is no sport called “Administration” while the selected cricketers are the ones who can bring home the trophy. Surely we should try very hard to avoid ruffling their feathers before the start of the tournament. There is still time and the WICB must show the way for a solution.

$33,000 increase in Govt subvention was illegal

15 hours 10 min ago

WALTER ALIBEY 

The decision by Minister of Sports Darryl Smith to cut the subventions given to teams in the T&T Pro League by $33,000 was just a part of his job. Yesterday Smith revealed the teams were illegally being given the additional $33,000 after a minister of sport under the People’s Partnership Government took a decision to increase the amount from $50,000 to $83,000 without Cabinet approval. 

Smith did not say which minister it was but made it clear he was put there to clean up sports in T&T and that was what he was doing. 

During the PP’s term in office, Anil Roberts was appointed Minister of Sports in 2010 -2014, but was replaced by Rupert Griffith after the revelations of the controversial Life Sports Programme. Then Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar later replaced Griffith with former national defender Brent Sancho in February 2015 in a daring Cabinet reshuffle.

Smith made it clear he has not really cut the funding but is now giving the clubs what they are supposed to be getting. Eight out of the 10 pro league teams such as W Connection, San Juan Jabloteh, Central FC, North East Stars, Point Fortin Civic Centre, Club Sando, Morvant Caledonia United and St Ann’s Rangers receive grants of $83,000 to help pay salaries.

Smith also told the T&T Guardian that contrary to what was reported in the newspapers, he never promised anyone that the funding would not have been cut. “ In fact, I have been saying it from day one that the funding would be cut because of the severe financial situation the country is in now. I have to clean up sports in T&T” Smith explained. 

Meanwhile Dexter Skeene, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at the TT Pro League has called on the Smith and government to hold back on paying teams the $50, 000 that was agreed on initially, until the end of the season. 

The pro league boss who told Guardian he cherished the Ministry of Sports as one of their partners in sport, said “The ideal situation would be for the ministry to maintain the $83,000 pay-out to clubs until the season ends, so that clubs can adjust to new contracts to its players. At present clubs have already committed themselves to pay certain amounts to players via contracts” Skeene explained.

As far as Skeene is concerned his league has received no official documents to show that there will be a cut in the grants. However he said Smith and his ministry have been very understanding and the parties have been in constant discussions on how help will be provided in a recession. 

Already Smith has agreed to upgrade community fields on a phase basis which will provide clubs with the opportunity to generate revenue through gate receipts. Skeene calls on clubs to impress upon its marketing representatives to be forceful, efficient and effective as the time has come for them to be self sufficient. He maintained the pro league is here to stay as it provides national teams with players to represent the country at the World Cup level and other key world football tournaments. 

“Football is the number one sport and it affects most of the toung people in the country, so why not use it to impact the people” Skeene said. 

Toussaint gives champs W Connection share of lead

15 hours 12 min ago

Veteran striker, Andre Toussaint scored the decisive item as DirecTV W Connection battled past Play Whe San Juan Jabloteh 2-1 for a share of the lead at the top of the ten-team Digicel T&T Pro League table on Friday night at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva.

With the win, W Connection climbed to 32 points from 16 matches, the same as Defence Force which stayed top only on goal-difference ahead of its match with Japs North East Stars today (Sunday) at the Larry Gomes Stadium, Malabar from 3.30pm while Central FC is third with 31.

In-form Jomal Williams fired the “Savonetta Boys” ahead in the 16th minute for his 11th league goal this season from the edge the area to find goalkeeper Shemel Louison’s bottom corner. But eight minutes later Jabloteh’s diminutive midfielder, Jamaican Fabian Reid, equalised with a chipped over goalkeeper Julani Archibald as both teams went into the break at 1-1.

The second-half got off to a frentic start as substitute Neil Benjamin Jr was denied by the legs of Louison while at the other end of the field Jabloteh then had a chance to take the lead in the 54th minute through out-of-favour national striker Jamal Gay, but his effort was charged down by defender Kevon Goddard after winger Nathan Lewis had produced a brilliant run from the half, evaded Triston Hodge and Gerard Williams along the way and squared to an unmarked Gay.

At the other end of the field, Shahdon Winchester almost restored W Connection’s lead, but his header on target was turned behind for a corner by Louison.

However, a few minutes later Toussaint then made his opponents pay for its missed effort when he slotted home from close range off a deflected Shannon Gomez cross to seal a seventh straight win for  coach Stuart Charles-Fevrier’s squad.

Despite being second on the table on goal-difference, W Connection, though, lead the Akeem Adams Round Two with 19 points from six wins and one draw, while Central FC and Defence Force are second and third with 14 and 12 points, respectively. In the earlier game, captain Todd Ryan scored a pair of late goals as Police FC snapped a three-game losing streak with a comprehensive 5-0 hammering of Club Sando at Couva.

The trio of Kadeem Riley, Kareem Freitas and Makesi Lewis were also on targe for the “Lawmen” to push their tally to 24 points and fourth on the standings, one point ahead of Jabloteh, who slipped a spot into fifth.

The win for Police came under the guidance of assistant coach Andy Roberts in the absence of coach Richard Hood who is on international duty as coach of the T&T senior women’s Soca Warriors squad at the Concacaf Olympic Olympic qualifiers in Houston, Texas, USA. Winger Riley put Police in front 1-0 in the 15th minute when his in-swinging corner proved too much for the gloves of goalkeeper Kelvin Henry before entering the Sando net.

Freitas then doubled the advantage in the 26th minute on a quick counter-attack involving Kaaron Foster and Makesi Lewis, with the latter slipping the final pass to strike partner Freitas to make it 2-0 with his 11th league goal of the season.

Lewis, this season’s leading league scorer, got to his 14th goal by converting from the spot for a 3-0 lead four minutes before the break, by which time already outperforming a 2-0 win achieved over Sando on Dec. 18 in round one.

Referee Rodphin Harris awarded the penalty, ruling that Lewis was fouled in the area by defender Corneal Thomas. Sando disputed Harris’ decision after both players went to ground with knocks to their heads but the protest only resulted in Kemuel Rivers joining Thomas on the caution list.

Rivers’ frustration spilled over in the 88th minute as his side struggled to find a way back and Harris awarded the full-back his second yellow card, quickly followed by the red, following a dangerous tackle on Police substitute midfielder Devon Jamerson.

Club Sando goalkeeper Jason Belfon, one of four Grenada national team signings in the current transfer window which closes on February 26  was forced into his debut immediately after the break, while Spice Boys team-mate Rickson Phillip was introduced late up front.

First choice goalkeeper, Kelvin Henry was injured after colliding with Grenada national team captain and another Club Sando debutant, Shannon Phillip, in a desperate attempt to avert danger just before the half.

But Belfon, despite getting glove to two Todd Ryan attempts, failed to prevent the goals while Ryan made it 4-0 with a 23-yard free-kick, beating the glove of Belfon. And to add salt to the wounds, Ryan got to his double for the 5-0 finish in open play with another strike off the fingers of Belfon.

The weekend continued last night when Pt Fortin Civic hosted St Ann’s Rangers at the Mahaica Oval  while today, Defence Force will attempt to regain the outright lead when it faces Stars at Malabar, and defending champions Central FC tackles Morvant Caledonia United at Couva from 4 pm.

Pro League results:

Police FC 5 (Kadeem Riley 15th, Kareem Freitas 26th, Makesi Lewis 41st pen, Todd Ryan 87th, 90th) vs Club Sando 0
W Connection 2 (Jomal Williams 16th, Andre Toussaint 66th) vs San Juan Jabloteh 1 (Fabian Reid 24th)

Today’s matches:
Larry Gomes Stadium, Malabar
North East Stars vs Defence Force, 3:30 pm

Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva
Central FC vs Morvant Caledonia United, 4pm

Maturing CPL seeks growth spurt

15 hours 16 min ago

You know you are in the Caribbean when the music is louder than is necessary and the venue for the Caribbean Premier League draft was no different on Thursday. 

Even with an 11am start there was pumping soca music and scantily clad carnival dancers. A steel drum band was at the entrance to welcome the guests and a DJ was given pride of place in the middle of the hall. 

This is very much the vibe that the CPL organisers are going for, the tournament they say is as much about celebrating the hedonistic party culture that the West Indies is famous for as it is about showcasing T20 cricketing talent. Whether they succeed in this endeavour is for those that attend to judge.

The draft itself took place underneath a now decommissioned Concorde airplane, with many of the great and good of West Indian cricket in attendance as well as the owners of the six franchise teams, five of which are now in private hands. A connection with the IPL was begun last year with Shah Rukh Khan adding to his ownership of the Kolkata Knight Riders with the purchase of the Trinidad & Tobago team. This year Vijay Mallya, owner of the Royal Challengers Bangalore, has bought the Barbados team.

KKR have cemented that relationship with a rebranding that has seen the T&T side given the moniker of “Trinbago Knight Riders”. Vijay Mallya is more reticent about a name change.

“I know that Bajans love their cricket. Barbados has produced some of the best cricketers… and the Trident is the national symbol. So I am very conscious of, and very sensitive to, that fact,” Mallya said. “So right now it is going to be the Tridents and for the foreseeable future I am going to build the Tridents brand. I think that is more important.”

Just what this Indian connection will mean for the league is far from certain, but Venky Mysore who acts as CEO of both the Kolkata and “Trinbago” versions of the Knight Riders was keen to point out that they wanted to make the link up as strong as possible. He made it very clear that in an ideal world the BCCI would allow Indian players to take part, although that is unlikely to happen any time soon.

But you would suspect that if anyone was going to get the BCCI to soften its stance on Indian player involvement in foreign T20 leagues it will be those who are involved in both the IPL and leagues elsewhere. The draft itself threw up a surprise as soon as it began. Guyana Amazon Warriors used the $160,000 bracket to select Pakistani left armer Sohail Tanvir. Roger Harper, the coach of the Amazon Warriors, was comfortable with the call. “He offers us depth in the batting and he is an excellent T20 bowler,” he said.

The other players in that top pay bracket were Chris Gayle, Lendl Simmons, Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo and South Africa’s David Miller. Shahid Afridi had set his minimum salary in this price bracket but no one was willing to purchase his services for that figure so he went unselected.

As is often the case with these events it is the players that aren’t selected that are more interesting than those that do get picked up. Amongst those that will not be playing in this year’s event are the disgraced Pakistani trio of Mohammad Asif, Mohammad Amir and Salman Butt, all of whom who put their name in the draft.

While each team was obliged to select at least one player from the ICC Americas region, none of the other 15 Associate nation cricketers in the pot got a deal. Also missing are all of the centrally contracted West Indies player as there will be a clash with India’s tour to the Caribbean during the CPL. This has led to some interesting personnel changes, with St Kitts & Nevis Patriots replacing Marlon Samuels as captain with Faf du Plessis.

The CPL’s CEO and COO, Damien O’Donohoe and Pete Russell, are upbeat about a clash, feeling that rather than it distracting from the event it will actually generate some interest in the CPL in India. “There is going to be a clash of dates, and that is why we have been working with the WICB to make sure we have a schedule that works as best as possible with the Indian tour,” O’Donohoe said.

“What is great is we will have these guys at the games, there will be a lot of Indian media in the region which is great,” Russell added.

While there is a large South African presence amongst the players drafted Dale Steyn has missed out on a CPL stint even with the relatively low minimum price of $40,000. However Hashim Amla, Du Plessis and Miller all made the cut. Perhaps most controversially of all AB de Villiers has been selected as one of the Marquee Players for this year’s tournament. Having so emphatically said that he wants time off from cricket there will be those that question him spending six weeks away from his family while playing for the Barbados Tridents.

The big winners other than those in that top bracket where Nicholas Pooran and Rovman Powell. Pooran missed last year’s event due an injured sustained in car crash but had impressed in the 2013 and 2014 tournaments. The Barbados Tridents picked him up for $90,000 after they tried to select Denesh Ramdin, who will be with the West Indies and as a result unavailable. They clearly had an eye on a wicketkeeper and selected Pooran for the job.

Powell is a player for the Combined Colleges and Campuses side and is yet to play a game of professional T20 cricket. Despite this inexperience he was purchased for $40,000 by the Jamaica Tallawahs. When asked why he was selected owner Manish Patel said he bats and bowls like Andre Russell and that he was a young man they were keen to invest in.

The final dates for the event are yet to be finalised with discussions between the CPL organisers and the WICB still on-going, but it seems certain that those players that have been bought will be playing from late June until early August, with six matches taking place in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The CPL is growing year on year, there were 92 million viewers worldwide last year and a 44% increase in attendances compared with 2014. It will be interesting to see if the American sojourn and the overseas stars that have been selected will see those numbers increase further. Much of the attraction of the CPL has been the island vibe so taking the tournament elsewhere is a risk, but such is the riches on offer if they can make the USA work as a market for the league it is one they appear very willing to take.

ESPNcricinfo

Young WI Tames Tigers

Fri, 02/12/2016 - 00:12

DHAKA—West Indies will make their second appearance in the Under-19 World Cup final after a stunning three-wicket victory over Bangladesh in the semifinal at Shere Bangla National Stadium, here yesterday.

West Indies, inspired by an all-round performance from Shamar Springer, silenced over 10,000 fans at the stadium with a gutsy run chase to overhaul the 227 runs set by Bangladesh who won the toss and elected to field.

Keemo Paul destroyed the Bangladesh lower order, grabbing three for 20 including the important scalp of Captain Mehedi Hasan Miraz who led the innings with a half century.

Half centuries from Shimron Hetmyer and Springer, under pressure, complimented a positive innings from opener Gidron Pope as the visitors, negotiated some anxious moments, before romping to victory with eight balls remaining. They will now contest the showpiece championship match against  India in Mirpur on Sunday.

Pope, who was dropped on 23, started the chase in aggressive fashion clobbering 14 runs in the first over on his way to 38. West Indies, who were cruising at 147 for 3, had lost two quick wickets including Pope who laid the foundation by putting on 44 runs for the first wicket with Tevin Imlach.

Hetmyer arrived to lead the recovery of an innings which appeared to be wobbling and compiled a 64 run stand with Keacy Carty. Heymyer’s score of 60, his second straight half century, included 7 fours and a six while Carty picked up two boundaries in his contribution of 22.

Hetmyer’s departure threatened to tilt the game towards Bangladesh but when Jyd Goolie joined Springer the two gathered 30 runs for the fifth wicket to take the score past 175.

The run chase was disrupted again when left-arm spinner Saleh Ahmed Shawon, Bangladesh’s chief wicket taker with three for 37, struck twice in four balls  to remove Goolie for nine and Paul for four. But Springer weathered the threat by teaming up with Michael Frew to steal singles and twos in a patient stand of 36.

Springer, dropped on 15, was unbeaten on 62 with five fours and a six, and scored the winning runs for West Indies when he smashed Mohammad Saifuddin through the covers for four. Earlier, captain Mehedi was forced to rescue his side with a top score of 60 after they had slumped to 88 for four.

Mehedi stitched together an 85 run partnership with Mohammed Saifuddin for the sixth wicket, which lifted the homeboys from 113 for five to almost 200. Paul broke the partnership capturing the wicket of Mehedi and added two lower order wickets to finish with impressive figures of three for 20 from three overs.

West Indies’ opening bowlers, Alzarri Joseph and Chemar Holder, started poorly by conceding nine extras in the first two overs before removing the openers. Both Holder and Springer picked up two for 36 with Springer being adjudged Man-of-the-Match. 

WICB whipping-up support for U19s

Fri, 02/12/2016 - 00:10

KINGSTON—The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) is urging the region to rally around the regional team as they prepare to contest the final of the Under-19 World Cup against India in Bangladesh on Sunday.

The WICB released a statement yesterday seeking to whip-up support for the young West Indies cricketers following their emphatic three wicket win over Bangladesh in yesterday’s semi-final.

“This is indeed a time for us to celebrate and cheer on the young men as they try to create history,” urged WICB President Dave Cameron.

“That is the kind of development we are keen on maintaining”.

West Indies were inspired by an all-round performance from Shamar Springer, as they overhauled the 227 runs set by Bangladesh at Shere Bangla National Stadium. Springer scored the second highest score of 60 not out, including the winning runs after steadying a shaky innings and after picking up two wickets.

“On behalf of the WICB  I would like to offer the team best wishes as they look forward to the final on Sunday against India,” said Cameron.

“The team in spite of challenges in the earlier rounds remained focused and that has been evident in the way the team has conducted themselves”.

The president noted the progress made by the team in rebounding from a poor start and was high in praise for the players and team management.

“The best of luck in the final game. The Caribbean is fully behind the team,” he said.

The West Indies are making their second appearance in the Under-19 World Cup final. The last time the Under 19 team reached this far in a World Cup was back in 2004 when they lost to Pakistan by 25 runs.

Knight Riders to meet with PM

Fri, 02/12/2016 - 00:05

Bridgetown, Barbados

Officials of the Trinbago Knight Riders will meet with Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley today to discuss the upcoming Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) T20 tournament. CEO of Red Chillies Entertainment, the owners of the Trinbago Knight Riders, Venky Mysore told Guardian Media yesterday that he will be meeting with the Prime Minister and Minister of Sport Daryl Smith.  

Mysore said: “What we want to do at the Knight Riders is to build a closer relationship with the Government and this meeting is critical. Last year, when I came to the Caribbean, I told everyone that I am like a sponge and just soaking up everything. Now that I have been around for a while and understand the environment in which you operate in the Caribbean, it is a good time to meet the prime minister to discuss a positive way forward.

“Back in Kolkata we have a very close relationship with the government because they understand that the Knight Riders management is bringing a win-win situation to them all the time,”

He added: “We want to introduce to the Prime Minister to the endless opportunities that the relationship with us brings. Trinidad and Tobago can tap into a base of 1.4 billion people back in India. The Knight Riders have a huge following back in India and of course owner Shah Rukh Khan has worldwide appeal and it presents a great opportunity for the people of T&T.

“We will discuss this among other things with the Prime Minister. You see India has a strong growing middle class that likes to and can afford to go to exotic places and T&T presents that for them.”

Red Chillies, who are also the owners of the Kolkata Knight Riders bought the T&T Red Steel last year and has changed the name to Trinbago Knight Riders. 

Today, at 2 pm at the Hyatt Regency in Trinidad, Mysore and other officials of CPL will host a press conference to officially unveil the logo. The logo looks similar to the Kolkata Knight Riders with the purple and gold colours, however Mysore says the clothing will remain in the national colours.

He said: “We are looking to continue to build our already strong Knight Riders brand and for us the logo is critical. The red, white and black clothing will remain because when I showed up at the Queen’s Park Oval for the finals last year and saw a sea of red, it told me that the people of the country loved their colours and it is red.” 

Logie hopeful as Red Force faces Guyana

Fri, 02/12/2016 - 00:03

The T&T Red Force, led by captain Jason Mohammed, will hope to turn the screws when the second half of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Regional Four-Day tournament resumes today.

Fourth-placed T&T will face leaders Guyana at the Guyana National Stadium from 10 am, a team it defeated on the way to the Nagico Super50 title, which was held in T&T last month. In the semifinal of the Nagico Super50 tournament at the Queen’s Park Oval in Port-of-Spain, T&T defeated Guyana by 54 runs, before defeating Barbados by 72 runs in the final on January 23 also played at the Queen’s Park Oval.

T&T will aim for a more consistent showing in the second half of the four-day competition after winning only one match in its first five matches of the season.

T&T head coach Gus Logie is hoping for more success during the second half of the season, which has been on a break since the middle of December because of Christmas and the Super50 tournament. Speaking earlier this week, Logie said T&T will be looking to come out on top in the five remaining matches.

“We have five games to go. If we can come out on top in the five games, I think we would have done well.”

He added: “We are taking it in two parts. The first part of the season is finished and we are in fourth position. If we could finish in first position in the second half added to what we have in the first half I think we would be pretty good.”

Spin is expected to be the major feature during the contest with Imran Khan and Jon-Russ Jagessar leading the charge for T&T. Leg spinner Khan is in fourth place on the most wickets table with 26 wickets, while newcomer Jagessar is hoping to continue the form he showed during the Super50 tournament.

Gudakesh Motie will aim to keep Guyana at the top of the standings with another top performance. The left-arm spinner is leading the bowling charts with 34 wickets, while the experienced duo of Devendra Bishoo and Veerasammy Permaul is expected to give Motie ample support.  

In the other match starting today, Barbados Pride will face Windward Islands Volcanoes at Kensington Oval, Barbados. The other match features the Jamaica Scorpions and the Leeward Islands Hurricanes, which bowled off at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground, Antigua, yesterday. 

FIXTURES, SQUADS & STANDINGS

Leewards Hurricanes vs Jamaica Scorpions, Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground (February 11 – Sunday)
T&T Red Force vs Guyana Jaguars, Guyana National Stadium (Today – Monday)
Barbados Pride vs Windwards Volcanoes, Kensington Oval (Today – Monday)

T&T RED FORCE: 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

GUYANA JAGUARS: Leon Johnson (captain), Ronsford Beaton, Anthony Bramble, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Rajindra Chandrika, Assad Fudadin, Keon Joseph, Gudakesh Motie, Veerasammy Permaul, Raymon Reifer, Vishaul Singh, Devendra Bishoo

Team    P    W    L    D    Bt    Bl    Pts
Guyana    5    5    0    0    10    15    85
Barbados    5    3    1    1    9    15    63
Jamaica    5    3    2    0    5    12    53
T&T    5    1    2    2    8    11    37
Windwards    5    1    3    1    3    11    29
Leewards    5    0    5    0    0    13    13 

WICB retained players out draft

Fri, 02/12/2016 - 00:02

The centrally retained West Indies cricketers will miss the 2016 Caribbean Premier League (CPL) T20 tournament due to the fact that they will be involved in the Test series between the West Indies and India, which will clash with the CPL.

At the draft yesterday, the Barbados Tridents choose wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin was said that he cannot be chosen because he is centrally retained by the WICB and should make himself available for the Indian Test series.

The Patriots also made a bid for Shannon Gabriel and was told the same story. The Indians are due in the West Indies from July to August for four Test matches and this is the same time period in which the CPL will be played. 

Trinbago Knight Riders coach Simon Helmot, speaking on the issue, told Guardian Media: “There is nothing we can do about the situation. We will miss Darren Bravo who played so well for us the last time around but it is just one of those things.

“It means that someone else will have to step up and fill the void that is left by him. We will surely miss him, Samuel Badree and Jason Mohammed who have been with us previously.”

Badree was drafted by the St Kitts/Nevis Patriots at a price of US$110,000, while Mohammed has gone to the Guyana Amazon Warriors for US$40,000.

CPL announced that all centrally contracted West Indies players can be chosen as replacements for other players but not as frontline selections.

Some of the big names missing are Marlon Samuels, Jerome Taylor, Carlos Brathwaite, Jason Holder and Jermaine Blackwood. 

Amla, McCullum ride for T&T in CPL

Thu, 02/11/2016 - 23:58

Bridgetown, Barbados 

Fans in T&T are in for a treat as big name players like Hashim Amla and Brendan McCullum will be representing the Trinbago Knight Riders at the Caribbean Premier League T20 tournament.

The Trinbago Knight Riders were represented at the draft at the Concorde in Barbados by coach Simon Helmot and CEO Venky Mysore. The Dwayne Bravo-led team includes five foreigners with McCullum being the marquee player and bagging US$130,000 in the draft. Amla, the South African run machine, was picked up at US$90,000. 

The other foreigners picked were Umar Akmal from Pakistan for US$70,000, Colin Munroe the New Zealander at US$30,000 and his countryman Anton Devcich at US$15,000. The Knight Riders retained skipper Bravo at US$160,000 and under an arrangement with the Guyana Amazon Warriors, they got spinner Sunil Narine for US$110,000.

The team includes just four players from T&T. They are Bravo, Narine, Kevon Cooper who was picked up at US$60,000 and opener William Perkins at US$5,000. The defending champions lost leg-spinner Samuel Badree who went to the St Kitts Patriots for US$110,000. 

Other T&T players successful at the draft were Lendl Simmons, who was chosen by St Kitts Patriots for US$160,000. Keiron Pollard was retained by the Barbados Tridents for US$160,000, while Nicolas Pooran (US$90,000), Ravi Rampaul (US$70,000), Akeal Hosein T(US$7,500), Navin Stewart  (US$5,000) and Imran Khan (US$7,500) will also line up with Tridents.

Rayad Emrit went to Amazon Warriors for US$70,000, as did Steven Katwaroo (US$40,000) and Jason Mohammed  (US$40,000), while Derone Davis will join St Lucia Zouks for US$15,000. The surprise pick was off-spinner Jon Russ Jaggessar who was snapped up by the Jamaican Tallawahs for US$15,000.

Barbados Tridents were able to capture the “big fish” AB de Villiers, who is their marquee player. The brilliant right handed batsman was one of nine South Africans who were drafted. CPL 2016 gets underway towards the end of June until early August.

CPL teams

Trinbago Knight Riders
Dwayne Bravo - $160,000
Brendan McCullum - $130,000
Sunil Narine - $110,000
Hashim Amla - $90,000
Umar Akmal - $70,000
Kevon Cooper - $60,000
Sulieman Benn - $40,000
Colin Munroe - $30,000
Anton Devcich - $15,000
Ronsford Beaton - $10,000
Nikita Miller - $7,500
Javon Searles - $7,500
William Perkins - $5,000
Ramnaresh Sarwan - $4,000
Amzad Tarik - $2,500

Zouks
David Miller - $160,000
Shane Watson - $130,000
Darren Sammy - $110,000
Michael Hussey - $90,000
Johnson Charles - $70,000
Andre Fletcher - $60,000
Morne Morkel  - $40,000
Fidel Edwards - $30,000
Derone Davis - $15,000
Eddy Lee - $10,000
Keron Cottoy - $7,500
Shane Shillingford - $7,500
DeLorn Johnson - $5,000
Kyle Mayers - $5,000
Keddy Lesporis - $4,000
Nitish Kumar - $2,500

Patriots
Lendl Simmons - $160,000
Faf du Plessis - $130,000
Samuel Badree - $110,000
Brad Hodge - $90,000
Tissara Perriera - $70,000 
Jonathan Carter - $60,000
Krishmar Santokie - $40,000
Evin Lewis - $30,000
Tabrais Shamzi - $15,000
Keiran Powell - $10,000
Jon Jon Smuts - $7,500
Devon Thomas - $7,500
Shamarh Brooks - $5,000
Tino Best - $5,000
Jeremiah Louis - $4,000
Nikhail Dutta - $2,500

Warriors
Sohail Tanvir - $160,000
Martin Guptil - $130,000
Dwayne Smith - $110,000
Chris Lynn - $90,000
Rayad Emrit - $70,000
Adam Zampa - $60,000
Jason Mohammed - $40,000
Chris Barnwell - $30,000
Veerasammy Permaul - $15,000
Olando Peters - $10,000
Assad Fudadin - $7,500
Anthony Bramble - $7,500
Paul Wintz - $5,000
Stephen Jacobs - $5,000
Steven Katwaroo - $4,000
Mohammad Ashan Ali-Khan - $2,500

Tridents
Keiron Pollard - $160,000
AB de Villiers - $130,000
Shoaib Malik - $110,000
Nicolas Pooran - $90,000
Ravi Rampaul - $70,000
David Wieser - $60,000
Robin Peterson - $40,000
Raymond Reifer - $30,000
Ashley Nurse - $15,000
Wayne Parnell - $10,000
Akeal Hosein - $7,500
Imran Khan - $7,500
Kyle Hope - $5,000
Navin Stewart - $5,000
Kyle Corbin - $4,000
Stephen Taylor - $2,500

Tallawahs
Chris Gayle - $160,000
Kumar Sangakkara - $130,000
Shakib Al Hasan - $110,000
Andre Russell - $90,000
Imam Wasim - $70,000
Lasith Malinga - $60,000
Rovman Powell - $40,000
Chadwick Walton - $30,000
Jon Russ Jaggessar - $15,000
Andre McCarthy - $10,000
Jonathan Foo - $7,500
Alex Ross - $7,500
Keswick Williams - $5,000
Nkrumah Bonner - $5,000
Garey Mathurin - $4,000
Timroy Allen - $2,500

Stars of yesterday’s Intercol on show

Thu, 02/11/2016 - 23:53

WALTER ALIBEY

The stage is now set for the Fourth Annual Intercol Football Nostalgia Festival tomorrow from 10 am at St Mary’s College Ground, Serpentine Road, St Clair.

Ten intercol winners including St Mary’s College, Fatima, St Anthony’s, Queen’s Royal College, Tranquil Secondary, Naparima, St Benedict’s College, Presentation (San Fernando), Belmont Secondary and newcomers St Augustine Secondary Comprehensive will compete in three categories, Under-35, 35-50 and Over 50 division, in an attempt to show young and upcoming footballers a sense of patriotism and passion towards their past school. 

At the official launch of the tournament at St Mary’s College ground yesterday, chairman of the committee, Dr Ken Butcher said the idea is also to provide an environment to engage young players in a manner that affords stability, a disciplined work ethic and credible transition to national service. 

The committee also plans to provide much needed assistance to any of its members who may fall ill or may be in need of help otherwise. Over 300 ex pupils are expected and Butcher said his committee will be aiming to increase its membership to 1,000. The registration fee is $1,000 for ten players and will be used to off-set expenses. Butcher said monies received for membership will be used for welfare purposes. 

Yesterday, players from each of the participating schools confirmed that they will be at the event, which will see St Anthony’s College, which are known popularly as the Tigers having to defend their crown in the 35-50 division, while joint winners in the Under-35 division Tranquil and St Anthony’s College will try to win for second time. 

The main Over-50 category will be defended by St Benedict’s College. This category will take the format of the intercol which will be a knock-out play-off. 

Butcher will line-up with his alma mater St Mary’s College in the 0-50 category along with Dr Alvin Henderson and Ian Bain. Belmont will also have on their roster former national striker Ron La Forest, Ricardo Woodley and Kelvin Lawrence.

Butcher said serious consideration was given to having San Fernando Technical Institute, but things did not go according to plan. He said the school, which featured players such as Russell Latapy, commonly known as The Little Magician, Leonson Lewis and Marvin Faustin, among many other outstanding national players who triumphed at the intercol play-off, will be in the tournament next year.  

The competition started 25 years ago with a clash between Belmont and CIC on Ash Wednesday, but because of the demand by other schools, it was increased by seven schools. This year saw the inclusion of St Augustine Secondary.

Wild Flower can bloom

Thu, 02/11/2016 - 23:50

Iconic Figure could benefit from ‘ground control’ in a ten-runner Maiden Stakes over six furlongs of Wolverhampton Tapeta tonight when enough boxes are ticked for a decent punt.

This will be the sixth attempt by Sandacres, recently switched to Lincolnshire trainer, Steve Collings, from David O’Meara’s new base in North Yorkshire, where the Irish ‘winning machine’ is gearing up for ANOTHER century; Iconic Figure, a ‘beaten-favourite’ fuour weeks ago, obviously didn’t figure in his plans!

Probably not good enough but certainly up to this latest venture having achieved a ‘career-best’ at Dunstall Park back in November over five furlongs of this unique surface, product of American-based Michael Dickinson, former champion jumps 
trainer!

It’s significant jockey Sam James is booked again and we’re attaching more to the fact Iconic Figure has plenty of speed which might be too much for Sandacres, the only time-handicap danger, dropping back in trip; others need to improve considerably.

Wild Flower is capable of reversing recent Kempton placings with Little Indian in the ‘aged’ handicap over seven furlongs; Jim Fox’s charge was half a behind nine days ago and a pound better off this time; that’s not the reason why we’re expecting a different result.

At this time of year fillies and mares in form are devastating, Wild Flower could prove a classic example because her TH mark over six furlongs of Chelmsford back in October was at least 5lbs better; I’ll take my chance and advise this Approve mare as an each-way ‘special’ with three places on offer.

Little wont be a suprise if she causes one in the ‘aged’ handicap over six furlongs under Adam Beschizza, who won both the ‘Cambridgeshire’ and ‘Cesarewitch’ handicap at Newmarket last Autumn; has any other jockey achieved such a feat? 

SELECTIONS

2.15 LITTLE
2.45 ICONIC FIGURE
4.15 WILD FLOWER

W Connection targets top stop

Thu, 02/11/2016 - 23:46

Direc TV W Connection will have a chance to go top of the table on goal-difference when the 2015/2016 Digicel T&T Pro League resumes after a two-week Carnival break with a  double-header at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva.

Unbeaten in their last six matches since a shock 1-0 loss to Club Sando, champions W Connection are currently third on the table with 29 points from 15 matches, three behind Defence Force while Central FC are second with 31 points, also from the same number of matches.

Tonight, the “Savonetta Boys” will lock horns with Play Whe San Juan Jabloteh from 8pm while Police and Club Sando face off two hours earlier at the same venue.

Prior to the break, W Connection clobbered Japs North East Stars 7-0, with two goals each from Shannon Gomez and Jomal Williams while Jabloteh edged St Ann's Rangers 3-2 last time with a goal each from three different players.

However, when both teams met in the first round, W Connection came away 2-0 victors and with a similar result today they will go-ahead of Defence Force on goal-difference.

So far, during the transfer window which closes at the end of the month, both W Connection and Jabloteh have stayed away from signing new players and coaches Stuart Charles-Fevrier (W Connection) and  Angus Eve (Rangers) will be anxious to see how their squads respond to the resumption.

In the night's opener, Police, led by the league's top scorer Makesi Lewis, will be without head coach Richard Hood for their meeting with Club Sando, which blanked them 2-0 in December.

Hood is currently with the senior women Soca Warriors at the Concacaf Women Olympic Qualifiers in Houston, USA and his deputy Andy Roberts will be in charge today as they seek to rebound from a 3-0 loss to Central FC prior to the two-weeks break.

During the transfer window, Club Sando have been one of the busiest teams with the signing of four internationals in defender Shanon Phillip, the 27-year-old Grenada captain, 25-year-old first choice goalie Jason Belfou and 23-year-olds national teammates, midfielder Moron Phillip and forward Rickson Phillip.

The quartet were scouted during a visit to Grenada by the club's  technical director Muhammad Isa and head coach Anthony Streete in November.

While the quartet were snapped up, Club Sando also parted ways with forwards Teba Mc Knight and Kerron Mitchell, goalkeeper Deron Millard and midfielders Shane Hospedales, Jeromie Williams, and Keith Williams, the brother of T&T and Central FC goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams.

Today's matches 

Venue: Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva
• Police vs Club Sando, 6 pm
• San Juan Jabloteh vs W Connection, 8 pm

Tomorrow 
• Pt Fortin Civic vs St Ann's Rangers, Mahaica Oval, 5 pm

Sunday
• North East Stars vs Defence Force, Larry Gomes         
    Stadium, Malabar, 3.30 pm
• Central FC vs Morvant Caledonia Utd, Ato Boldon  
    Stadium, Couva, 4 pm

Teams    P    W    D    L    F    A    Pts
Defence Force    15    9    5    1    40    8    32
Central FC    15    9    4    2    36    11    31
W Connection    15    8    5    2    38    13    29
Jabloteh    15    7    2    6    26    25    23
N/East Stars    15    6    4    5    19    29    22
Police FC    15    6    3    6    34    33    21
Club Sando    15    5    2    8    15    25    17
Morvant/Caledonia    15    4    1    10    14    36    13
Pt Fortin Civic    15    3    3    9    14    35    12
St Ann's Rangers    15    2    3    10    13    34    9

Top scorers

14- Makesi Lewis (Police FC)
11 - Jerwyn Balthazar (Defence Force) 
10 - Jomal Williams (W Connection)
9 - Kareem Freitas (Police FC)
8 - Ross Russell Jr (Defence Force)
7 - Marcus Joseph (Central FC), Shahdon Winchester (W Connection)
6 - Jason Marcano (Central FC), Jamal Gay (San Juan Jabloteh) 

Sport Ministry slashes Pro League grant by $33,000

Thu, 02/11/2016 - 23:42

WALTER ALIBEY

Despite assurances from Minister of Sport Darryl Smith that there will be no cuts in the subventions given to teams in the TT Pro League, funds have been slashed by $33, 000. 

Yesterday Keith Jeffreys, technical director at pro league outfit San Juan Jabloteh said Minister Smith has cut the funding by $33, 000, which means that teams will now be given $50, 000. He said this will take effect from the end of this month. 

Teams previously received a monthly grant of $83, 000 from the Sport Company of T&T (Sportt) to help off-set  cost of salaries. Funds were withheld for September, October and November last year due to the absence of a new board at the sport company.

To date subventions for January have not been paid. Jeffreys said yesterday he sees this move as total disrespect for the football, which has been the only sport that allows people of all races,  creed and class to embrace each other. 

He described the cut as too big, saying teams have to cope with contracts for players, expenses for youth teams and other costs such as travelling and monies to help young players. “Why did he have to cut the funding by so much? Why didn’t government cut the subventions by seven percent, since that is the amount that sports’ total budget was slashed by?,” Jeffreys asked. 

According to the Jabloteh boss, the cuts will mean that teams will either have to go back to the drawing board and find ways and means of coming up with additional money to pay expenses, or drop out of the league.  “I think we may well have to go back to being a semi professional league or even a Super  League, as we may not be able to function as a professional unit,” Jeffreys said.  

Attempts to contact pro league chief executive officer Dexter Skeene proved futile as calls to his phone went unanswered.

Word of the cut comes on the heels of the team’s desire to recruit ex Central FC midfielder Marvin Oliver. The transfer window opened on January 29 and will close on February 26. Jeffreys said Oliver will have until that time to sort out his business with Central FC if he is to be a Jabloteh player for the rest of the season. 

The rasta hair-style midfielder claimed he was sacked by the Central club for no reason, but the club’s managing director Brent Sancho said Oliver is still part of his team but he has been in breach of his contract as he has not been attending training session or matches and has not contacted them to say anything. 

Oliver has publicly said he will be taking legal actions against the club for monies owed to him as his contract ends on May 31. 

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