New-look CPL for 2016

first_imgKINGSTON (CMC): The salary cap of franchises has been raised for next year’s Hero Caribbean Premier League, in what is one of several changes to the region’s premier Twenty20 tournament. Organisers announced yesterday the salary cap had been placed at US$780,000, up from $600, 000 from last year. Also, franchises will now be able to sign one ‘marquee’ player as a free agent before next February’s player draft, but will be allowed only three retained players instead of four. The limit on overseas players has increased to five from four players while players who live in the franchise territory has been reduced from four to two. Squad sizes have also been increased by one to 17. Tom Moody, CPL’s International Director of Cricket, said the changes were designed to further improve the quality of the competition. “Our aim each year is to make CPL even bigger and better so that we can attract the best T20 players in the world and make it as entertaining as possible for the fans,” the Australian said. “Over the past few months, we’ve worked alongside the franchise owners to make sure that the 2016 player draft is open and competitive so that the buzz and excitement of CPL will start building from January right through to the tournament launch in the summer.” He added: “From early January 2016, we’ll start to reveal the franchise marquee players and the retained players so that by the time the draft comes around in February fans will already have plenty to talk about.” CPL involves six franchises:- Barbados Tridents, Guyana Amazon Warriors, Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel, Jamaica Tallawahs, St Kitts and Nevis Patriots and St Lucia Zouks – vying for the title of regional T20 champions. Red Steel are defending champions after beating Tridents in last year’s final in Port of Spain. The tournament is heading into its fourth year.last_img read more

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Windies at the double – Women, men in T20 World Cup finals

first_img BRUTE STRENGTH MUMBAI, India (CMC): West Indies crushed the hopes of a billion Indians when they produced a magnificent run chase to stun the home side by seven wickets and clinch a place in Sunday’s final of the Twenty20 World Cup. Entering yesterday’s semi-final as the underdogs against tournament favourites India, the Caribbean side silenced the full house at the Wankhede Stadium by overhauling an imposing target of 193 with two balls to spare in a riveting encounter. They were propelled by half-centuries from Lendl Simmons, who carved out an exhilarating, career-best unbeaten 82, and opener Johnson Charles, who belted an aggressive 52, while Andre Russell weighed in with a whirlwind unbeaten 43. Stumbling at 19 for two in the third over after losing key players Chris Gayle (5) and Marlon Samuels (8), West Indies recovered through the trio’s efforts to reach 84 for two at the halfway stage before plundering 112 runs off the last 58 balls of the innings. Requiring eight runs from the final over bowled by part-time medium pacer Virat Kohli, West Indies managed just a run from the first two deliveries, but Russell tugged the third ball to the midwicket boundary before clearing the ropes at wide long-on, to spark celebrations among the visitors. Simmons, who only arrived here from the Caribbean earlier this week to replace the injured Andre Fletcher, faced 51 deliveries and struck seven fours and five sixes. Living a charmed life, he survived three chances to anchor two key partnerships, putting on 97 for the third wicket with Charles before adding a further 80 in an unbroken fourth-wicket stand with Russell. Charles played a blinder, cracking seven fours and two sixes off 36 deliveries, while Russell flaunted his brute strength in belting three fours and four sixes off a mere 20 balls. With the win, West Indies set up a meeting in the final in Kolkata against England, who they beat in their opening game of the preliminaries. Earlier, the in-form Kohli top-scored with an unbeaten 89 as India raced to 192 for two off their 20 overs, after they were sent in. Openers Rohit Sharma (43) and Ajinkya Rahane (40) put on 62 for the first wicket before Kohli arrived to marshal the latter half of the innings. He crunched 11 fours and a six off 47 balls and added 56 for the second wicket with Rahane before dominating an unbroken third-wicket stand of 64 with captain M.S. Dhoni, who was unbeaten on 15. India scored freely in the opening overs with Sharma smashing three fours and three sixes off 31 balls, and Rahane giving support with a 35-ball knock that included two fours. With the Windies in need of a jump-start, Simmons and Charles reignited the innings with superb batting to keep their side in touch with the required run rate. Charles took a couple of boundaries from Bumrah’s next over and then got stuck into off-spinner Ravi Ashwin, taking 13 runs from his second over – the ninth of the innings. He reached his third T20I half-century off 30 balls with a boundary to long-off off medium pacer Hardik Pandya, but departed soon after in the 14th over when he swatted at the first ball of Kohli’s first over and holed out to Rohit running in from long off.last_img read more

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Rookie Thompson for 200m gold at World Championships

first_imgShelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce will not defend her 200 metres title in Beijing. However, things will not change for Jamaica as Fraser-Pryce’s training partner, Elaine Thompson, looks set to make a successful World Championships in Athletics debut and keep the title in the ‘Land of Wood and Water’.Twelve months ago when the name Elaine Thompson was called in track and field circles, not many would have known who she was except for her teammates at the University of Technology (UTech).Things have changed significantly over the past six months, and the rookie is now one of the hottest female sprinters in the world.Thompson is the second- fastest Jamaican woman this year in the 100m, behind teammate Fraser-Pryce, with 10.84 seconds.Down to contest the 200m in Beijing, the number three-ranked athlete in the event is the odds-on favourite to win the gold medal.The Stephen Francis-coached athlete competed with the big guns for the first time in the 200m at the London Diamond League meet in late July and clocked a personal best of 22.10 seconds.Impressive victoryWhat made that victory impressive was the manner in which she destroyed the American, Candyce McGrone, who, days earlier, had scored a convincing win in Monaco in 22.08 seconds. However, she was no match for Thompson, who even had time to ‘shut it down’ close to home. Sub-22 seconds is definitely on the cards for Thompson, as this could be the start of a dynasty.With many-time champion Allyson Felix opting for the 400m, McGrone will be the flagbearer for the United States in Beijing. Jenna Prandini, with a season-best 22.20, Jeneba Tarmoh, 22.23, and Senior Pan Am Games champion Kaylin Whitney, 22.47, are the USA’s other prospects.Good competition is also expected to come from Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands, who was a close second behind McGrone in Monaco in 22.09 seconds.Two other Jamaicans, Sherone Simpson and 2005 and 2011 champion Veronica Campbell-Brown, will be hoping to medal as well. Despite their experience, they will need to do something extra special for this to happen. With season-best times of 22.62 and 22.61 seconds, respectively, they will have to show dramatic improvement.Also, 2013 silver and bronze medallists, Murielle Ahoure of the Ivory Coast and Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria, will be hoping to improve their placings.Thompson, however, looks the most likely winner.Top Three: 1. Elaine Thompson (Jam) 2. Dafne Schippers (Ned) 3. Murielle Ahoure (CIV).last_img read more

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MBU seek face-saving win

first_imgWestern Bureau:Montego Bay United (MBU) will have it all to do as they seek to overturn a 3-0 deficit in the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League return match against DC United this evening at the Montego Bay Sports Complex. Kick off is at 7:30.Their first meeting in Washington was difficult for the local boys who had zero competitive matches under their belts and with a new coach Tim Hankinson giving them orders from the sidelines.Hankinson noted that this evening’s match will be different in that respect.”We feel a lot better about our chances against them than when we first played them recently for sure,” said Hankinson.”When we first met them about a month ago, we had just about two weeks of work and about no practice match under our belts and now we are fully into our local leagues, about five games into that and are match-ready and confident,” Hankinson added.MBU are currently sixth in the Red Stripe Premier League standings, after two matches, where they won one and lost the other.Their chances of moving beyond the group stage are almost nil, but that will not stop them giving their all to defeat their opponent in tonight’s game.MBU lost their first Champions League matches, 3-0 away at Panamanian club Arabe Unido on August 5, then travelled to the US capital where they were soundly thrashed in an identical 3-0 loss to DC United on August 25 to be without a point at this stage.They, however, can save face and could possibly end on six points if they defeat DC tonight and accomplish the same against Arabe Unido on October 22, also at the Montego Bay Sports Complex.DC United, meanwhile, are surging ahead and are certain of the next round, which means, according to assistant coach Chad Ashton, a win against MBU would give them top seeding in the next round.”We know it’s going to be tough beating them on their home field and where they are expected to play with lots of confidence, but we are okay. We have a good squad and we are looking to a good game,” stated Ashton.The US side have maximum nine points from three matches, having done the double over Arabe Unido 1-0 in Panama City and 2-0 playing at home, both matches after they had thrashed MBU in DC.last_img read more

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Wolmer’s captain wants to end season with title

first_imgWolmer’s Boys’ captain, Kashaun Smith, said the Heroes Circle-based school should have had a more successful 2015 schoolboy football season. However, he believes that the Walker Cup KO title is worth fighting for and declared that his team would be giving everything to end with a trophy. “It is our last match and a chance to get a trophy, and we are going to do our best. We would have wanted the Manning or Super Cup more, but this is still a title, and we are going to do our best to win it,” he told The Gleaner. The right back is part of the Wolmer’s strong defence, which conceded just seven goals in 15 matches this season, three of which came against Jamaica College (3-1) in the Manning Cup quarter-final. Despite St George’s potency in attack, the defender is confident, they can nullify the threat of Alex Marshall, Shevon Stewart, Gregory Messsam Jr, and company. “They are very good footballers, scoring a lot of goals, but our strength is defence, and we are confident that we can keep a shut-out, but we have to take our chances when we get them and make as little defensive errors as possible,” he continued. “I think I have done well as captain. There is a lot more responsibility and the pressure to lead the team on the field as well as off it. But we are in a final. “This will be a very interesting match-up. The best defence against the best attack. What will decide the game, though, is who makes fewer mistakes, so we have to take our chances when we get them and make as little defensive errors as possible,” he said.last_img read more

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Young starts second Waterhouse stint with draw in Red Stripe Premier League

first_imgPaul Young’s second stint as coach of Waterhouse Football Club started with a 2-2 draw against Tivoli Gardens at Waterhouse Stadium yesterday. The home team took the lead through Kemar Beckford after 10 minutes, but Junior Flemmings equalised midway the first-half, and AndrÈ McFarlane fired them in front after 62 minutes. However, Kenroy Howell secured a point for the hosts with a goal four minutes later. Tivoli Gardens were reduced to 10 players in the 69th minute when Ranike Anderson was ejected after picking up his second yellow card. Young, who had only three days with the team prior to the game, thought they should have taken all three points. “We let them off the hook,” he told reporters after the game. “With 20 minutes to go, we had an extra player, and we didn’t capitalise on the chances because they (players) didn’t follow instructions. But the discipline has stepped up. We just need to get more organised defensively, concentrate throughout the duration of the game and score the chances when we get them. WORK IN PROGRESS – Waterhouse 2 Tivoli 2 – Boys’ Town 3 Portmore 0 – Rivoli 2 Humble Lion 2 – UWI FC 1 Cavalier 0 – Harbour View 1 Arnett 3 8:40 p.m. Montego Bay United vs Reno FC at Montego Bay Sports Complex. “It’s work in progress, and I am looking for better things,” he added. Tivoli’s head coach, Christopher Bender, believes the red card and forced changes were their downfall. “We made two forced changes because of injury, and that affected us because we had players to come in to affect the game, and we had to change that plan. Also going down to 10, we had to be resolute in defending; but I thought we gave it way,” he said. Waterhouse remain at the bottom of the 12-team League with 14 points, while Tivoli are ninth on 19. Yesterday’s Results Today’s Gamelast_img read more

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Pellegrini’s long goodbye turning sour

first_img DIFFERENT PRIORITY MANCHESTER, England (AP): Manuel Pellegrini’s long goodbye at Manchester City is turning sour. At the end of a week in which the team surrendered meekly in the Champions League semi-finals, City were held 2-2 by Arsenal in the English Premier League to throw into doubt their return to Europe’s elite competition next season. A top-four finish is no longer in City’s hands with one week left in the season. Even more galling, their great rivals – Manchester United – could grab City’s Champions League qualification berth. Fourth-place City are two points clear of United, who have two games left – against West Ham and Bournemouth – to City’s one. “If you don’t depend on what you can do, it’s more difficult. But I think we deserve to be in the Champions League next year,” said Pellegrini, who is being replaced by Pep Guardiola in the offseason after three years in charge. Alexis Sanchez earned Arsenal a point with a 68th-minute equaliser at Etihad Stadium, consolidating his team’s position in third. A draw at home to already-relegated Aston Villa on the final day will guarantee Arsenal a 20th straight top-four finish under Arsene Wenger. Despite losing 2-1 at home to Southampton, Tottenham are assured of a top-three finish and therefore automatic qualification to the Champions League group stage. Spurs’ end to the season is also proving a disappointment, though, having failed to win any of their last three games and allowing Leicester to seal the title at the start of this week. Steven Davis scored both goals for Southampton, who are in sixth place and in position to qualify for next season’s Europa League. Son Heung-min gave Tottenham the lead in the 16th. In yesterday’s other game, Liverpool beat Watford 2-0 through goals by Joe Allen and Roberto Firmino to stay in eighth place, but the Premier League isn’t the team’s priority for the rest of the season. Liverpool play Sevilla in the Europa League final on May 18 and manager Juergen Klopp will likely continue to rotate his line-ups for the Reds’ remaining two league games. After taking charge of his final home game as City manager, Pellegrini took to the microphone soon after the final whistle to say a final ‘thank you’ to the club’s fans. City’s players stood in the centre circle, mostly with folded arms, to watch highlights of Pellegrini’s tenure on the big screens. Yet, only a few thousand fans stayed back after the game to bid Pellegrini farewell. The Chilean coach has won one Premier League title, the League Cup two times and guided City to the Champions League semi-finals – the furthest the club has ever progressed in the competition. But his reign is ending in limp fashion. City barely posed a threat in bowing out to Real Madrid on Wednesday and the possibility of now losing their top-four place is, in Pellegrini’s words, a “disaster”. Sergio Aguero’s eighth-minute opener was cancelled out two minutes later by Olivier Giroud’s header from a corner, in a riveting start to the match. Kevin De Bruyne put City back in front with a low shot from the edge of the area in the 51st, before Sanchez played a one-two with Giroud and beat Hart with a low finish from just outside the penalty area. “It is in our hands,” Wenger said of Champions League qualification. “Our character has been questioned a few times this season and we gave the right response on the pitch.” For Pellegrini and City, much now hinges on Man United’s game at West Ham tomorrow. Win that and United can finish the job by beating out-of-form Bournemouth at home on the final day. City finish the season away to Swansea.last_img read more

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Good day for Serena

first_imgPARIS, France (AP): Even before Serena Williams quickly and easily seized control of her first-round match yesterday, things were shaping up rather well for her at the French Open. Williams’ bid for her 22nd Grand Slam title, which would equal Steffi Graf’s Open-era record, began with a nothing-to-see-here 6-2, 6-0 victory over 77th-ranked Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia in all of 42 minutes. Not that she wished that it had been more of a workout. “It was a little short for me, but I think in my career, if I don’t have it by now, I need to look into something different. So I’m OK I’m OK with that,” said the top-seeded Williams, who took the last 10 games after a so-so start. What happened earlier on Day Three was more surprising – and perhaps just as significant for the defending champion: Two of the top-five seeded women exited the clay-court tournament. No. 3 Angelique Kerber, who upset Williams in the Australian Open final in January, lost to 58th-ranked Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands 6-2, 3-6, 6-3. And No. 5 Victoria Azarenka, one of the only other two women who defeated Williams this season, bowed out in the first round, too, stopping because of an injured right knee while trailing 4-0 in the third set against 118th-ranked Karen Knapp of Italy. Williams could have faced Azarenka in the quarter-finals at Roland Garros and Kerber in the semi-finals. But Azarenka’s knee buckled in the sixth game of the second set, and she started grimacing and limping. After the first point of the next game, she went to the sideline and requested medical attention, which Karin Knapp didn’t think was fair. “I don’t want to say anything bad about her,” Knapp said, “but we all know how she is.” Serena’s older sister, No. 9 seeded Venus, spent a lot more time on court, needing nearly two hours to get past 82nd-ranked Anett Kontaveit 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4). The top-seeded man, Novak Djokovic, was not tested at all, defeating 95th-ranked Yen-hsun Lu 6-4, 6-1, 6-1, while Rafael Nadal was ease in a 6-1, 6-1, 6-1 victory over 100th-ranked Sam Groth. No. 2 Andy Murray was never that at peace during his struggle of a match, which was suspended because of darkness Monday night in the fourth set, against 37-year-old Radek Stepanek. In the end, though, Murray eked out a 3-6, 3-6, 6-0, 6-3, 7-5 win. He’ll be scheduled to play for a third consecutive day today. KNEE PROBLEMSlast_img read more

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Giroud fighting for starting spot again

first_imgPARIS, France (AP):Despite helping France reach the European Championship final, striker Olivier Giroud finds himself once again fighting for his place in the national side.His position has come under serious threat from Kevin Gameiro, and coach Didier Deschamps must choose between them to play alongside Antoine Griezmann in today’s World Cup qualifier against Sweden.Gameiro appears to be the favourite to start, but Giroud’s physicality and heading ability could prove useful against a robust Sweden side level with France in Group A.”Olivier and Kevin have different styles. Olivier is more of a link player, Kevin is more about speed and making runs,” Deschamps said. “Both are very effective. I can use one at the start and one can come on during the match, depending on the opposition.”Giroud scored three goals at Euro 2016, forging a decent partnership with Griezmann, the competition’s top scorer with six, but he has lost his place in the Arsenal side to Chile striker Alexis Sanchez, while Gameiro is thriving at club level alongside Griezmann at Atletico Madrid.Although Giroud started France’s first match in qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, he missed two clear chances in a 0-0 draw at Belarus.Gameiro replaced him in a 4-1 win at home against Bulgaria and a 1-0 win at the Netherlands. He scored twice against Bulgaria, with his second goal set up by Griezmann. Their partnership is progressing well at Atletico, where they have 13 goals between them this season.However, Giroud also has found some form recently for Arsenal.He came off the bench to score twice in quick succession in a 4-1 win at Sunderland and followed that up with a goal in the Champions League.last_img read more

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Smith returns home to Tridents

first_imgRegional Twenty20 star Dwayne Smith will return to the Barbados Tridents in the second big transfer move ahead of the next season of the Caribbean Premier League. The move follows the seismic shift of batting superstar Chris Gayle from defending champions Jamaica Tallawahs to the emerging St Kitts Patriots franchise. Smith played for the Guyana Amazon Warriors in this year’s CPL, the region’s premier Twenty20 tournament, a move that was met with great consternation in his native Barbados. The 33-year-old all-rounder was the third-highest scorer with 279 runs for the Warriors, helping them to reach the final, where they lost to Gayle’s Tallawahs. “It’s great to be back with the Tridents,” said Smith, who spent the first three years of the fledgling CPL with the franchise based in his native Barbados. “I’m sure the fans will be also. Let’s hope the runs are plenty like 2014.” Smith had his best season in the CPL during the 2014 tournament, amassing 353 runs at an average 44.12, highlighted by two memorable centuries at Kensington Oval against St Lucia Zouks (110 not out) and the Amazon Warriors (104 not), helping the Tridents win the title. “It’s great to have Dwayne back with us,” said Tridents captain Kieron Pollard. “Dwayne has been instrumental in our best perfor-mances and he will be crucial in our plans to win the championship next year.”last_img read more

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