Pooran hit with four-match ball-tampering ban

first_imgLUCKNOW, Afghanistan, CMC – West Indies strokemaker Nicholas Pooran has been slapped with a four-match ban for ball tampering, casting a dark shadow over the Caribbean side’s recent one-day whitewash of Afghanistan. The incident took place during the third One-Day International here Monday when television footage showed the 24-year-old “scratching the surface of the ball with his thumbnail.”On-field umpires Bismillah Shinwari and Ahmed Durrani, along with third umpire Ahmed Pakteen and fourth umpire Izatullah Safi reported the matter and Pooran on Tuesday pleaded guilty to the charge of “changing the condition of the ball.”He will now miss the three-match Twenty20 International series against the Afghans starting here today, and also sit out the first T20 of another three-match series against India next month. There was no need for a formal hearing after the Trinidadian accepted the ban.“I want to issue a sincere apology to my teammates, supporters and the Afghanistan team for what transpired on the field of play on Monday in Lucknow,” Pooran said in a statement.“I recognise that I made an extreme error in judgement and I fully accept the ICC penalty. I want to assure everyone that this is an isolated incident and it will not be repeated. I promise to learn from this and come back stronger and wiser.” Pooran has also been hit with four suspension points which translates into five demerit points.The ban comes as a huge blow for the left-hander whose star has been on the rise over the last 12 months, becoming one of the West Indies’ most dependable batsmen.He was their leading scorer at the ICC World Cup earlier this year where he averaged 52, returned home to average 36 in a three-match ODI series against India and was last week praised for his maturity after scoring a match-winning 67 against Afghanistan in the second ODI last Saturday. Pooran currently boasts an ODI career average of 44.58.last_img read more

UG brush aside Third Class to claim consecutive weekend wins

first_imgThe University of Guyana (UG) yesterday registered their second win of the weekend after completing a 137-run  defeat of Third Class in the day’s lone Georgetown Cricket Association (GCA), New Building Society (NBS) forty-overs, second-division fixture.  The win was set up by left-arm spinner Oswald Benn who grabbed a five-wicket haul on debut. UG, batting first, was dismissed for 205 in the 30th over. Major contributions came from the bats of openers Keon Roberts (45) who missed out on a half-century and Melroy Stephenson (36). Sunil Tulsidas The pair’s opening stand contributed 94 runs. However, the students endured a middle-order collapse, engineered by seamer Sunil Tulsidas who sniffed out 5-38.  UG got precious runs at the bottom from Anthony Fredericks who contributed 36 to push the score beyond the 200-run mark.  Third Class in response were bundled out for 68 in 22 overs with Benn claiming 5-15 on his first outing with the students. He got support from the lively Yekini Favourite (3-13) and off-spinner Kampta Persaud (2-9).last_img read more

Mayers unbeaten hundred pulls Pride out of trouble

first_imgBRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – Kyle Mayers closed in on 500 runs for the season with his second hundred of the campaign to lift leaders Barbados Pride out of trouble and help them dominate yesterday’s day one of their sixth round match against Windward Islands Volcanoes. Sent in at Kensington Oval, the hosts were tottering on 132 for five after lunch before recovering to reach 357 for seven at the close, with the left-handed Mayers unbeaten on a splendid 121.He faced 135 balls in 3-¼ hours and struck 16 fours and three sixes. Ironically, his first hundred of the season – the maiden one of his first class career – also came against Volcanoes at Arnos Vale last month.Mayers, in his first season for his native Barbados after spending several season with Volcanoes, received support from all-rounder Kevin Stoute who made a breezy 46 and tail-ender Kemar Roach who struck a cavalier 41. Justin Greaves chimed in with 38 while opener Shayne Moseley got 36 and Test batsman Shamarh Brooks, 33.The day, however, belonged to Mayers, who carried his tally for the season to an impressive 498 runs.He featured in two key partnerships, putting on 96 for the sixth wicket with Stoute and adding a further 92 for the seventh wicket with Roach. Stoute faced 68 balls and struck five fours and a six while Roach belted half-dozen fours and a six off just 52 deliveries.Arriving at the crease with Pride fighting back on 128 for four, Mayers was unbeaten on 14 at tea to help the hosts move to 153 for five, and brought up his half-century off 77 balls with an all-run four off speedster Josh Thomas.Mayers eventually raised three figures off 124 deliveries with a gentle drive for a single to cover off leg-spinner Keron Cottoy with the close beckoning. He found an ally in Jomel Warrican (10 not out) late in the day to post 37 in an unbroken eighth wicket partnership.Pride had earlier made a stuttering start even though Moseley put on 40 for the first wicket with struggling Test opener Kraigg Brathwaite who managed just five.Thomas, who finished with two for 57, removed both in the space of five overs. Brathwaite perished for his fifth single digit score this season, caught at second slip defending while the left-handed Moseley played around a good length ball and had his off stump hit. Stumbling on 47 for two, Greaves stabilised the innings in a 50-run, third wicket partnership with Brooks before putting on a further 31 for the fourth wicket with Shane Dowrich (12).Pride were beginning to take control of the game when Both Greaves and Dowrich fell in successive overs with just four runs added, to leave Mayers and the lower order with the task of reviving the innings.last_img read more

Law confident of securing Olympic spot despite Tokyo Games postponement

first_img(Reuters) – Four years after being inspired by watching compatriot Justin Rose claim gold at the Rio Olympics, Bronte Law had all but secured a spot on the British golf team before the 2020 Tokyo Games were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. With the Olympic qualifying period likely to be extended for another year, Law remains confident of maintaining her strong form to secure her ticket to Tokyo.She flew back from her American base to her family home in Cheshire just before Britain went into lockdown earlier this week to slow the spread of the coronavirus.With the LPGA Tour shut down indefinitely, Law, who won the 2015 English amateur by 16 strokes, will have plenty of time to ponder the Olympics. “It’s been something on my mind for a couple of years now,” she told Reuters in a telephone interview.“(During the 2016 Rio Games) I was still in college. To see (Rose win) made it very real as far as golf now being an Olympic sport.“You can win grand slams in tennis and majors in golf, and all of those are incredible achievements but when you become a gold medal winner you become part of a very select group of incredible athletes that branch across all sports.” Law is 18th on the Olympic qualifying list, the second-placed Briton, immediately behind Charley Hull and well ahead of 39th-ranked Georgia Hall.Two British women will qualify.“(The delay) is obviously very disappointing,” said Law. “I really set my sights on Tokyo and have been playing well, and hope to continue to do that, so I’m not so concerned about making sure I make the team.”Whenever the LPGA Tour resumes, the 25-year-old Law will be ready rather than rusty.“We have a nice place with plenty of room and land and I figured I would be at least able to practice and have a gym at home here,” she said. “We have land attached to the garden where I can hit a range of iron shots, not too many drivers but I’m planning on putting up a net. I don’t have it too badly here.”Though Law is rarely venturing out because of the lockdown, her parents have been busy supplying packaging to food manufacturers.“My parents are working non-stop and it’s just me and my sister at my house,” Law said. “We’re trying to do our best to not leave the house at all.”That will soon change, however, as Law has signed up to deliver groceries to those most in need, including health workers who are working long hours due to the pandemic. “It’s an unknown time for a lot of us but a time we can give back in a way we’re not always able to, having such busy schedules,” she said.last_img read more

Match fees owed to players

first_imgA newly formed Financial Strategy Review Committee (FSRC) is expected to submit an initial report on the way forward regarding Cricket West Indies finances when the Board of Directors meets on April 30. This is according to Chief Executive Officer of Cricket West Indies, Johnny Grave who told Stabroek Sport, “We have established a financial strategy review committee to help management assess all the scenarios and make recommendations to the board.”While the committee is expected to put forward its report via teleconference, Grave indicated that “they will continue to operate until the Covid-19 pandemic has passed.”Billy HeavenGrave said that the committee is headed by Jamaica Cricket Association President and Chairman of CWI’s finance committee, Director Wilford ‘Billy’ Heaven. Several players have confirmed to this publication that they are yet to receive payments for the West Indies Championship which concluded last month.Grave, in sections of the media, confirmed that Cricket West Indies have not paid, and is not in a position, to pay players their match feesThe CEO added that the body is pursuing medium-term financing in light of the Coronavirus pandemic and is hopeful that it would be completed by month-end but is difficult to say with any certainty when the players will be paid. Despite the pandemic, Grave had stated previously that CWI will not be considering pay cuts at this time and indicated that the players and staff are a priority.Meanwhile, Grave is expected to take part in the International Cricket Council’s CEO’s Teleconference tomorrow where they will discuss a way forward in relation to the pandemic as well as West Indies’ three upcoming series, two of which they are expected to host.last_img read more

CPL wants top players to take pay cut

first_imgThe Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) is asking the top players to accept less money for the 2020 edition. An EspnCricinfo report yesterday said, “The competition will be played, subject to (TT) Government approval, behind closed doors with the top-paid players expected to accept a salary cut of up to 30 per cent when compared to 2019 levels. There will be no salary cut for players below the US$20,000 bracket.”Players who normally earn US$160,000, $130,000, $110,000, $90,000, $70,000, $60,000, $40,000 and $30,000 would be asked to accept a 30 per cent cut, and players who would have made US$20,000 will accept a ten per cent cut. Players in the $15,000 bracket or less will not receive salary cuts.CPL organisers are hoping to stage the competition in TT between August 18 and September 10.last_img read more

U.S. Open will go ahead without fans amid COVID-19-reports

first_img(Reuters) – The United States Tennis Association will hold the U.S. Open this year without fans amid the COVID-19 outbreak even though some top players have expressed concerns about attending the tournament due to the virus, according to multiple reports. The New York Times, which both cited unnamed sources, said the USTA announce this week that it will hold the Aug. 31-Sept. 13 event in New York with the support of the men’s ATP Tour and the WTA, which runs the women’s circuit.Novak DjokovicThe USTA’s agreements with the men’s and women’s tours are “happening or almost there,” one source told Forbes. ESPN, which cited a source familiar with the plan, said the USTA is waiting for a green light from local and state health officials.“We’re following each step in the procedure that we need to with the great hope that we can announce that the 2020 U.S. Open will be played in its regularly scheduled date,” USTA spokesman Chris Widmaier said in an email to Reuters. “We hope to make an announcement regarding the status of the 2020 U.S. Open in the very near future.”No professional tennis tournaments have been held since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has left the sport’s calendar in tatters, and the shutdown will extend until August.Wimbledon was cancelled altogether while the French Open has been moved to September and is due to start one week after the scheduled U.S. Open men’s final. World number one Novak Djokovic and reigning U.S. Open men’s champion Rafa Nadal are among the players who have expressed concerns about attending the New York tournament.Nadal said earlier this month he would not travel to the U.S. Open in present circumstances while Djokovic said playing the event this year would be impossible given “extreme” protocols that would be in place.In mid-April the USTA said its decision on whether to hold the Grand Slam this year will be made in June, and playing it without fans is on the table but highly unlikely. The U.S. Open is held annually in New York City, which has been hit hard by the pandemic. The USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center was even turned into temporary hospital to help in the battle against the virus.Last year’s edition drew an all-time attendance record of nearly 740,000 fans and the event is the engine that drives the governing USTA.last_img read more

Through displeasure over fine, Harbaugh raises fair point on injury reports

first_imgOWINGS MILLS, Md. — In case there were any lingering doubts over John Harbaugh’s feelings toward the NFL’s decision to fine the Ravens $20,000 last week for failing to list Ed Reed on the injury report, the head coach made his position crystal clear on Friday.After listing 16 players on this week’s injury report, Harbaugh said the Ravens would include everyone “that has a hangnail” and admitted he lends no stock toward the opposing team’s injury report each week. Browns coach Pat Shurmur included 19 players on his injury report ahead of Sunday’s meeting in Cleveland.“There’s no credence on the injury report now,” Harbaugh said. “It doesn’t mean anything. It has no value. The injury report is without value.”You can hear Harbaugh’s full press conference HERE (starting around the 4:00 mark) as most of his comments related to the injury report will likely be interpreted around the league as sour grapes after being fined. However, the fifth-year head coach brought up an interesting point in regards to those players listed as full participants on the injury report, meaning they took part in all practice reps for a given day or week.The contention would be that these players might become targets for the opposition during games after these minor conditions were revealed to the world. For example, a player dealing with sore ribs who has not missed any practice or game time could find himself in a vulnerable position if an opponent would decide to take a cheap shot — such as a knee to the side of the chest in a pileup — during a game.“Aren’t there HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) rights [to privacy] here?” Harbaugh said. “If I’m a player and I’ve been out there playing and I don’t want that on the injury report and I’m told I have to be put on the injury report, we have some players that resent that. I have a problem with that in all honesty.”According to the team, two players voiced disenchantment over being included on the injury report as full participants. The Ravens listed a total of 12 players with that designation on their injury reports this week.Harbaugh will almost certainly face a fine from the league, but the point raised about players dealing with injuries that normally wouldn’t put them in any jeopardy of missing practices or games is a valid one the NFL should consider in the future.“If a guy goes out there and doesn’t miss a practice, doesn’t miss a game, and doesn’t want to be on the injury report, and [they] have to be on the injury report, I want the league’s answer on that,” Harbaugh said. “I’m looking forward to hearing that. So, I’ll probably be getting fined for that now.”last_img read more

Ravens-Steelers: Five predictions for Sunday

first_imgPoised with an opportunity to complete a regular-season sweep over the Pittsburgh Steelers for the second straight year and third time in team history, the Ravens return to M&T Bank Stadium trying to clinch their fifth straight trip to the playoffs with a win.In contrast, the Steelers would be eliminated from AFC North contention and would see their playoff hopes take another major blow with a loss on Sunday. The Ravens will have their second straight division title and fourth in 10 years with a victory and a Bengals loss in San Diego on Sunday afternoon.Here’s what to expect as the Ravens try to win their fourth straight game over the Steelers for the first time in franchise history and improve to 16-18 all-time against their most bitter rival …1. With Ben Roethlisberger sidelined again and Charlie Batch under center, the Steelers will make a stronger commitment to the running game with less success than they enjoyed two weeks ago. One of Pittsburgh’s biggest downfalls in the teams’ first meeting was allowing backup Byron Leftwich to throw 39 times while the Steelers averaged 5.0 yards per ground attempt. Offensive coordinator Todd Haley won’t make the mistake again as Jonathan Dwyer will receive a bigger workload with Isaac Redman also in the mix. However, the Steelers have a patchwork offensive line with right tackle Mike Adams out — and replaced by seventh-round rookie Kelvin Beachum — and left guard Willie Colon questionable. The latter’s absence could lead to even more shuffling with starting center Maurkice Pouncey possibly shifting to guard and backup Doug Legursky handling center duties. It all adds up to a less-effective running game and a very nervous Batch in the pocket.2. The Ravens will match their season low for points scored at M&T Bank Stadium this season. Baltimore has averaged an incredible 36.8 points per game, but the Steelers bring the top-ranked defense in yards allow to town and held the Ravens without an offensive touchdown at Heinz Field in Week 11. Quarterback Joe Flacco will throw the ball often as he typically does at home, but a strong Pittsburgh secondary will also include a returning Troy Polamalu. The Ravens will use short and intermediate passing to counter the Pittburgh pass rush working against a shaky offensive line that will be without tight end Ed Dickson’s pass-blocking abilities, and Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce will grind away tough yards to keep the Steelers’ front seven honest. The Ravens’ low for points scored at home this season was 23 against Cleveland in Week 4, and that sounds like a respectable day against one of the best defenses in the league that will be without outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley.3. Pittsburgh receiver Antonio Brown will be a factor in a limited passing attack to have 75 receiving yards in his return to action. Batch doesn’t have the arm to repeatedly test the Ravens deep, so the speedy Brown will be used underneath as the Ravens try to keep him and fellow speed receiver Mike Wallace in check. Cornerbacks Cary Williams and Corey Graham will play with cushion to respect speed on both sides of the field while safety Ed Reed won’t be able to shade to one side. Brown had 499 receiving yards in his first eight games this year before suffering a high ankle sprain last month but surprisingly doesn’t have a catch longer than 27 yards this season. He’ll eclipse that with a big gain after a short reception at some point on Sunday to put his team in position for a score.4. Anquan Boldin will catch a touchdown pass as he continues a trend of strong games against the Steelers defense. The 32-year-old receiver is quietly on pace to finish with the best totals in receptions and yards he’s had in his three seasons with the Ravens. However, Boldin hasn’t found the end zone since catching a touchdown against the Cincinnati Bengals in the season-opening 44-13 win. Predicting that the Ravens will use shorter passing as the Steelers protect against deep shots to Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones, I expect Flacco to find Boldin often as the possession receiver puts together another strong performance against Pittsburgh. Boldin was one of the few offensive standouts against Pittsburgh at Heinz Field two weeks ago, finishing with eight catches for 79 yards. He’ll have a similar day on Sunday but will add a long-awaited touchdown catch to his total.5. Baltimore will win its 16th straight regular-season contest at M&T Bank Stadium with a 23-13 victory to clinch a playoff spot. These teams are going in opposite directions as the Ravens jockey for one of the top spots in the AFC while the Steelers face the prospects of their third straight loss as Roethlisberger continues to be sidelined with shoulder and rib injuries. Pittsburgh’s stout defense will keep this one from getting out of hand, but there’s just no way Batch will do enough against an improving Ravens defense to give the Steelers the type of offensive output they need to do what no one has done in Baltimore in 727 days. The Steelers were the last team to beat the Ravens in their home stadium on Dec. 5, 2010, but Baltimore will pass the two-year mark of that most recent home defeat with another win to eliminate their biggest rival from division contention and punch its own ticket to the postseason for an NFL-best fifth straight season.last_img read more

Caldwell officially hired as Lions head coach

first_imgRavens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell accepted the Detroit Lions’ head coaching position Tuesday, officially filling the vacancy left after the Lions fired Jim Schwartz (Mount St. Joe) at the conclusion of the 2013 regular season.After San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt agreed to become the head coach of the Tennessee Titans earlier in the day, the Lions reportedly turned their attention to Caldwell, who interviewed for their vacancy earlier this month. He also interviewed for head coach openings with Washington and Tennessee, positions that have since been filled.The former Indianapolis Colts head coach received much praise for the job he did with the Baltimore offense in helping the Ravens win Super Bowl XLVII after being promoted from quarterbacks coach to offensive coordinator on Dec. 10, 2012. However, his offense struggled mightily in 2013 as the Ravens finished 29th in total yards and 25th in points scored while also setting franchise lows in rushing yards and yards per carry.Some had called for a change at offensive coordinator after the Ravens’ immense struggles on that side of the ball, but Caldwell’s track record in Indianapolis as well as his work late in the 2012 season make him a viable candidate for another head coaching opportunity. The Ravens were mum on Caldwell’s status for the 2014 season to avoid compromising his chances to obtain a head coach position.It remains to be seen who among the Ravens’ assistant coaches might be joining Caldwell in Detroit, but secondary coach Teryl Austin is expected to become the Lions’ new defensive coordinator. Other names rumored to potentially join Caldwell on the Lions staff are former running backs coach Wilbert Montgomery and offensive line coach Andy Moeller, whose future remains in limbo after last week’s announcement that run-game coordinator Juan Castillo would remain with the Ravens under Moeller’s title of offensive line coach.The most logical in-house candidate to replace Caldwell as offensive coordinator would be wide receivers coach Jim Hostler, who served as San Francisco’s offensive coordinator in 2007. However, the Ravens are likely to seriously explore options outside the organization to jump-start an offense expected to receive a significant facelift this offseason.Preliminary names that could be considered for the position include former Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski, Browns offensive coordinator Norv Turner, and former Vikings head coach Brad Childress.last_img read more