Arnett quartet dismissed

Brian McCalla

George Phang, manager of Arnett Gardens FC, confirmed to The Gleaner yesterday that some senior players at the club had received dismissal letters and that its board is planning to reconstruct the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) team around youth.

The Gleaner sought to contact Chairman Mark Golding and General Manager Peter Thelwell, but both are off the island and unavailable for comment. However, Phang, who has been manager of the popular South St Andrew club for more than two decades, admitted that big plans were in train to remodel the club.

“We are doing a total ­reconstruction of everything,” Phang said.

Meanwhile, a source close to the club said that defender Ranike Anderson and long-standing club servant, Jabuer Johnson, are just two of the senior members of the squad who were given their release letters. Phang confirmed that at least four players were issued letters.

“Yes, some players got letters. I think it is about four,” he said. However, Phang would not disclose any more information.

After failing to retain the RSPL title last season, falling out at the semi-final stage, Arnett cleared out a number of senior players, ­including stalwarts and key components of their championship team such as Oneil ‘Bigga’ Thompson, Renae Lloyd and Keneil Hyde. However, they struggled for consistency throughout the season and were midtable for the best part of the campaign.

Even after securing their place in the play-off, the four-time winners were still far from convincing and were bundled out of the play-offs at the quarter-final stage, practically after the first leg of the two way tie, after they were well beaten 3-0 by Cavalier FC, who defeated them three times in five meetings over the season, with the other two games ending in draws.

News Credit: The Jamaica Gleaner | Read here

Hurricane Ricky Skerritt


“A category Four hurricane, huffing and puffing, and unleashing powerful winds and rains across the region.”

That is an apt description of new Cricket West Indies President Ricky Skerritt, as he continues to unleash sweeping changes across West Indies cricket, leaving in his wake displaced individuals and systems that are now mere remnants of his predecessor Dave Cameron’s administration.

Skerritt is wasting no time in ringing in the changes. Out goes the recently appointed interim coach Richard Pybus, in comes Floyd Reifer. Out go long-time chief selector Courtney Browne and his panel, in come Robert Haynes, the new chief selector, and his fresh panel.

Olive branches are apparently being extended to previous prodigal sons Darren Sammy, Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, et al. Committees and subcommittees are being revamped and remodelled, as are the previously soured relationships between the board and the past Windies greats. Skerritt seems to be a man on a frantic and hurried mission.

However, the timing of these changes cannot be the best by the new president, not on the heels of the memorable Test and one-day international (ODI) series against England. The performances and the results in both of those series are arguably the best things to happen to traditional West Indies cricket for the last decade.

If the West Indies were typically annihilated and embarrassed by England and morale across the regional was at an all-time low, Skerritt’s arrival and his sweeping changes would ­probably be embraced as messianic.

Coming off the Test series victory and the tied result in the ODI series, with the players publicly expressing support for the coaching staff, and appearing to be comfortable in that space, with the entire region in an optimistic bubble, with the massive stage of the ICC World Cup on the imminent horizon, it renders the arrival and intensity of the winds of change emanating from the Hurricane Skerritt very risky, with a real potential to backfire.

Changes are absolutely necessary, but the timing of the implementation of these changes is often just as important as the changes themselves.

President Skerritt and his new administration, no doubt, have good intentions for West Indies cricket, but in terms of policy, systems and structures, they can actually do so much and no more, and neither the new administration, nor the West Indian public should lose sight of that reality. There are some powerful dynamics at play over which Skerritt, with all his moves and countermoves, has no significant control.

The elephant in the room is the fast-rising and super lucrative Twenty20 (T20) format of the game and its effect on the current and emerging generation of Caribbean cricketers. Some of the game’s biggest superstars in this format are West Indians.

In terms of the trickle down effect, the next crop of Caribbean cricket stars will be inspired and motivated by the success and the status and the millions of dollars being earned on the open T20 market by their current heroes. That dynamic will continue to place West Indies cricket firmly on the back burner for the next generation of players.

Changing the head coach, and the selectors, and inviting back some experienced players, and rekindling the relationships with past greats, and even revamping the governance structure of the board will all make good headlines in the newspapers across the region.

However, without the minds, hearts and souls, as well as the loyalty and patriotism of the players to the West Indies cause, Hurricane Skerritt might very well be huffing and puffing in vain.

News Credit: The Jamaica Gleaner | Read here

Edwin confident about Penns success

Gladstone Taylor

ISSA/GraceKennedy Girls’ Athletics champions Edwin Allen will leave the island this morning for the 125th staging of the Penn Relays at Franklin Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, which runs from Thursday to Saturday.

The Michael Dyke-coached team are the defending champions in the 4x100m relay, and the team, led by the outstanding Kevona Davis, are favourites to retain their title and make it six wins in a row.

They are the record holders in the event, with the milestone of being the first high-school female quartet to go sub-44 seconds when they won in 43.96 two years ago. With twin sisters Tia and Tina Clayton set to be part of the team this year, a low 43 seconds looks likely.

The team will compete in the 4x100m, 4x400m and 4x800m relays, while they will have athletes also competing in individual events.

“We are very confident of doing very well this weekend, as we hope to defend our title in the 4x100m relay and we are hoping to win our first 4x800m title since 2012,” Dyke said.

Edwin Allen have been the top team this season in the latter, and they will be hoping to dethrone defending champion, Holmwood.

Two members of Edwin Allen – long jumper Lotavia Brown and high jumper Jonique Burgher, who are now in the Cayman Islands representing Jamaica at the 48th Carifta Games – will join their teammates in Philadelphia on Wednesday.

News Credit: The Jamaica Gleaner | Read here

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I still have an ODI role – Gabriel



West Indies fast bowler Shannon Gabriel still believes he has much to offer to one-day international (ODI) cricket, despite having not played in the limited-overs format for the regional outfit in almost two years.

The 30-year-old last featured in a 50-over match for the Windies in 2017 during the Windies’ tour of New Zealand.

However, with the Tri-Nations Series in Ireland and the ICC World Cup looming, Gabriel said his ­wicket-taking ability was still very much needed.

“I think I still have a part to play in one-day cricket for the West Indies, and I just want to keep improving every step. It’s been a while, over a year, since I’ve played one-day cricket, so I just want to relish the opportunity once given the chance,” Gabriel said during the Windies’ camp at 3Ws Oval, UWI Cave Hill Campus.

“Moving on from Test cricket, I don’t think my role has changed. They see me as someone who will go out there and look to take wickets, and I think my role is very clear and I always enjoy the ­challenge. I just want to go out there and ­perform to the best of my ability, take each game one game at a time.”

Gabriel said the time spent at the camp was extremely crucial as the regional team’s last competitive series was against England more than a month ago.

He said he had used the time to work on his depth bowling and to improve his yorkers and slower deliveries.

“Camp has been going good. The fellas have been working really hard preparing themselves for the ODI series in Ireland. I think it is a very important part leading up to what we have coming up in the next few months. Obviously, the last series against England was over a month ago, so the guys weren’t playing any form of competitive cricket, so this is a good opportunity for the guys to sharpen up on their skills,” Gabriel said.

News Credit: The Jamaica Gleaner | Read here

Girlz hopeful about national eligibility


Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) President Michael Ricketts says they have received positive responses for three of the four girls awaiting clearance from the world governing body, FIFA, so they can become eligible to represent to the senior national women’s team at this summer’s Women’s World Cup.

While the fate of a fourth player still hangs in the balance, Ricketts says the federation remains hopeful that her clearance will be granted as well.

Ricketts refused to release the names of the players involved, insisting they will not make that available until the issue is completely resolved. But since Jamaica gained their historic qualification to the World Cup back in October, players born outside the country looking to represent Jamaica through their parents and grandparents have increased tremendously. But FIFA eligibility rules have suspended this process for four of these players.

Ricketts said that the eligibility complication stems from some of the players looking to represent the Reggae Girlz, but finding difficulty in doing so because they have already represented the country of their birth. It means that even though they qualify to play for Jamaica through their parents or grandparents, it is much more difficult to get clearance for players who have already represented the country of their birth.

“We are working on it; that is what we are trying to sort out now,” Ricketts told The Gleaner.

But if a player was born in Jamaica and migrated to England and actually played for England, then by virtue of being born in Jamaica, you can could still come back to play for Jamaica. But if you weren’t born in Jamaica and became Jamaican based on your grandparents or parents being Jamaican, then the story is going to be a bit different.

So if your weren’t born in Jamaica and qualified to play for (another country) and actually played for (another country), it is not so easy to come back and play for Jamaica. But things are looking positive for three, but the other we will have to wait and see,” he said.

News Credit: The Jamaica Gleaner | Read here

Reds back on top, United, Arsenal shocked

Martin Rickett
Everton’s Richarlison (right) scores against Manchester United during their English Premier League match at Goodison Park, Liverpool, England yesterday.


Before returning to the top of the English Premier League, Liverpool got to savour a Manchester United humiliation.

Now, unusually, Liverpool need a swift recovery by their great rivals after United’s despair at being routed 4-0 by Everton on yesterday.

Liverpool’s hopes of ending a 29-year English title drought could hinge on a big favour from sixth-place United when they host Manchester City on Wednesday.

After beating Cardiff 2-0 on Sunday, Liverpool are two points ahead of City with three games remaining. But Pep Guardiola’s champions have a game in hand over Liverpool, so defending the title is still under their control – unless they fail to beat United.

“If you are only motivated by winning the holy grail, then something is wrong with you,” Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp said. “We enjoy the ride together with our fans.”

How his team could do with United holding City to a 0-0 draw just as it did when Liverpool visited Old Trafford in February.

“Man United was in that moment obviously in a much better moment,” Klopp said. “We’ll see what comes out on Wednesday. We have no influence on that, but we still have to play games after that.”

For Arsenal, the challenge in their remaining four matches is sealing a top-four finish to qualify for the UEFA Champions League. That mission was hampered by a 3-2 home loss to Crystal Palace that left Unai Emery’s side in fourth place, but only ahead of Chelsea on goal difference and a point behind Tottenham.


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer apologised to fans after United lost for the sixth time in eight matches in all competitions — a spell that includes the manager’s caretaker position being turned into a permanent job on a three-year contract.

Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson scored before the break, and Lucas Digne and Theo Walcott added to United’s pain with further goals in the second half.

“We have got to apologise to the fans because they were absolutely fantastic and that performance is not good enough for a Man United team,” Solskjaer said. “All the way from me to the players, we know that we let the fans down, we let the club down. That performance is difficult to describe because it is so bad.

“We were beaten on all the things, all the ingredients you need, added to the talent. There is no place you can hide on the pitch.”

United are where they were when Solskjaer replaced José Mourinho in December — sixth place.


United’s loss meant Arsenal still ended Sunday in fourth place, two points ahead of Solskjaer’s side despite the north London club’s 10-match winning league home run ending.

After Christian Benteke netted his first goal in 20 games in the 17th minute, Mesut Ozil did level for Arsenal at the start of the second half.

But Benteke set up Wilfried Zaha to restore Palace’s lead in the 61st before James McArthur headed in the visitors’ third.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored in the 77th but Arsenal could not find two more goals to extend their 10-match winning league run at home.

“It was very frustrating, because it was a big opportunity,” Arsenal manager Unai Emery said. “But we’ve had plenty of big opportunities before today, plenty of key moments that give us the opportunity to achieve our first target, to play in the Champions League next year.”

That could still be secured by winning the Europa League with Arsenal facing Valencia in the semi-finals.

News Credit: The Jamaica Gleaner | Read here

Brown, Defreitas off to Pan-Am boxing


Two Jamaican boxers, super heavyweight Ricardo Brown and lightweight Shiloh Defreitas, have qualified for the Pan American Games to be held in Lima, Peru, from July 26 to August 11.

The duo booked their spots at the qualifying ­tournament for the Americas held in Managua, Nicaragua, from April 2-11.

A third boxer, welterweight Joshua Frazer, based in Canada, made the cut initially, as boxer No. 8 on the list, but was bounced out of the competition, when Peru, the host country, used one of its allotted picks to take his place.

Ironically, Frazer was Jamaica’s most successful boxer at the tournament, as he won two bouts to get to the quarter-finals. His weight class had 23 entrants, which meant that unless he drew a bye, he had to win at least two bouts to make the qualifying eight.

In his first bout, he scored an exciting victory over Abraham Mora of Costa Rica, who had beaten him before in another tournament. That bout was stopped at 2 minutes 55 seconds of the second round. In his next bout, he was challenged by Carl Hield of the Bahamas and won that bout on points, by ­unanimous decision.

In his next bout, Frazer met the No. 2-seeded boxer in the competition, Venezuela’s Gabriel Maestre, and showing the effects of boxing three consecutive days, he lost on points. He nevertheless ended up in the No. 8 spot on the qualifying list, but was bumped by the Peruvian welterweight.

Defreitas, who boxes out of England, looked good in his first encounter, as he defeated Yonathan Contreras of Guatemala on points. In his second bout, he came up against a former professional boxer, Jonathan Romero of Colombia. He won the first round of this encounter, but Romero used his vast experience to take the next two rounds and a unanimous decision.

Super heavyweight Brown received a first-round bye that took him into the qualifying eight. He next came up against the very experienced American Richard Torrez, and lost on points after three bruising rounds. Although Torrez won, he was so banged up by Brown, that he could not fight again. He however qualified and also secured a bronze medal.

The other Jamaican boxer, light heavyweight Ian Darby, went out of the competition early, as he lost to Mexican Rogelio Romero on points.

News Credit: The Jamaica Gleaner | Read here

Gaye cautiously optimistic about season

Ricardo Makyn

With the 2019 World Championships five and a half months away, 400-metre ace Demish Gaye has been measuring his steps. However, his speed at the Western Relays and Gibson-McCook Relays in February suggests good things lie ahead for the soft-spoken World and Commonwealth finalist.

The Sprintec Track Club member is looking forward to his next outing, which he expects to be this week at the Penn Relays in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Gaye laid down a 44.90-second anchor leg at the Western Relays to help Sprintec to victory and went even faster, 44.70 seconds, a fortnight later at the Gibson-McCook Relays. That, however, ended in a loss, as schoolboy Anthony Cox produced a surprising 45.20 second finish for Racers Track Club.

As usual, Gaye relishes the ­honour of running for his country.

“Every time I’m put on the Jamaican team, it’s a great feeling,” he said. “It’s a great feeling always to represent my country and get the fan support.”

Peter Matthews, Gaye, Jamari Rose and Jermaine Gayle placed third in the USA vs the World 4x400m relay at Penns last year. Ironically, their time of 3:02.86 minutes was faster than the winning 2017 run, 3.03.14 minutes by Martin Manley, Leford Green, Gayle and Fitzroy Dunkley.

Gaye has his mind on the Doha horizon.

“For 2019, I’m just looking ahead, looking to do great things, see if I can chop off some time off my personal best and I’m just working hard towards that,” he explained early in April, in reference to the time of 44.55 seconds set in the 2017 IAAF World Championships.

The early indicators are promising, as in his only individual race of the season, the 2018 North American Central American and Caribbean 400m champion clocked a personal best 10.48 seconds in the 100m on March 16.

The 26-year-old Gaye is working with coach Maurice Wilson on all aspects of his race.

“This year, we need everything because of the long season,” he said of his training plan.

His exploits in 2017 and 2018 have put him on the Jamaica World Championships radar. He plans to stay there. “It feels very good, it feels very good to know I work hard, and this is where it takes me,” he said with a smile. “I’m just going to keep working harder and be greater.”

Gaye contributed to bronze medals for Jamaica in the 4x400m at the 2017 IAAF World Relays and at the Commonwealth Games, where he sped to a 44.80-second relay carry on the second leg.

News Credit: The Jamaica Gleaner | Read here

Jamaicans get off to strong start at Carifta Games

Gladstone Taylor

It was a great start for Jamaica’s young athletes at yesterday’s opening day of the 48th Carifta Games inside the Truman Bodden Sports Complex in The Cayman Islands.

Bent on bettering last year’s performance in The Bahamas, where the country captured some 82 medals, the Jamaicans made their intention very clear in the morning session, with outstanding results in the field, where they had 1-2 finishes in four of the events.

The Jamaicans picked up 5 gold and four silver medals for a quick early nine medals in the opening hours of the championships.

Vere Technical’s high jumper, Annishka McDonald gave the country a perfect start, after winning the girls under-17 high jump, with a clearance at 1.74m, with Vanessa Mercena of Curacao finishing second, also clearing 1.74m and Shaunece Miller of The Bahamas taking third place with 1.68m.

Edwin Allen’s Jonique Burgher won the under-20 equivalent with 1.77m, the same height done by her country-woman, Daniela Anglin (Herbert Morrison), who finished second with third going to Aijah Lewis of the host team with 1.60m.

Morning session

Vere’s Marie Forbes along with Edwin Allen’s Kimone Reid, gave Jamaica it’s third quinella of the morning session among the females, after taking gold and silver in the girls under-20 discus. Forbes won with 47.63m, ahead of Reid 44.60m, with Kelsie Ross Murrell of Grenada taking bronze with 40.30m.

Calabar’s Kai Chang and Edwin Allen’s Christopher Young closed out the morning session on a successful note for Jamaica, after winning their respective events. Chang the IAAF World Under-20 discus champion, easily won his pet event with a throw of 59.36m, with his team-mate Ralford Mullings taking the silver with 54.91m. Young captured the under-17 shot put with a heave of 16.00m, beating team-mate Kobe Lawrence into second place with 15.86m.

Jamaica picked up two wins in the 1500m. Tyrese Reid won the under-20 boys event in 3:55.38 ahead of team-mate Fabian Campbell, 3:56.23. Samantha Pryce captured the girls under-17 event in 4:47.34 as team-mate Jodiann Campbell was second in 4:49.49. J’Voughn Blake finished second for silver in the boys under-17 event in 4:10.52.

The country looks set to reap more medals when competition on today’s second day gets underway at 9:00 a.m. with the girls under-17 Javelin throw finals.

The morning session will also see the long jump finals for under-17 girls at 11:10 a.m.

Sixteen more finals will take place in the afternoon session including the 400m hurdles, 800m and 200m for both age groups.

News Credit: The Jamaica Gleaner | Read here

Fognini stuns Nadal to reach Monte Carlo final

Claude Paris
Italy’s Fabio Fognini returns the ball to Spain’s Rafael Nadal during their semi-final match of the Monte Carlo Tennis Masters tournament in Monaco yesterday.


Fabio Fognini ended Rafael Nadal’s winning streak at the Monte Carlo Masters, stunning the defending champion 6-4, 6-2 yesterday to reach the final for the first time and hand Nadal his first defeat here since a loss to Novak Djokovic in the 2015 semi-finals.

Fognini had beaten Nadal twice before on clay, and also once at the US Open in five sets, but this was arguably the most impressive.

“I have the game to play against him,” the 13th-seeded Fognini said. “I had nothing to lose.”

He wasn’t concerned if Nadal was out of form.

“That’s not the question that I have to answer,” Fognini said. “I just say that I played an incredible match.”

Worst matches

Still, the second-ranked Nadal called it “one of my worst matches in 14 years”, and the 32-year-old Spaniard said it was “difficult to find an explanation” for capitulating on his favoured clay-court surface.

Yet the defeat could have been even more humiliating for Nadal, who had not lost a set here by 6-0 since the 2005 final – which he went on to win for the first of his record 11 titles.

Fognini came so close to drubbing him in the second set. He served for the match at 5-0 and 40-0, but Nadal saved three match points, broke back and held.

Serving again for the match at 5-2, Fognini hit a superb forehand down the line on his fourth match point. He next plays unseeded Serb Dusan Lajovic in their first-ever meeting, and one few would have predicted.

The 48th-ranked Lajovic staged an impressive comeback of his own, meanwhile, rallying from 5-1 down to beat 10th-seeded Daniil Medvedev 7-5, 6-1.

News Credit: The Jamaica Gleaner | Read here