MUMBAI, India (AP): India’s limited-overs captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Suresh Raina will play for new franchises Pune and Rajkot for the coming two seasons of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Pune and Rajkot are temporary replacements for Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, who are suspended for two years over corruption and spot-fixing in 2013. Players from Chennai and Rajasthan were made available in a draft yesterday for the two teams to pick five players each at the salary they were getting with their old teams. Dhoni was earning $2 million per season at Chennai, while Raina used to get $1.5 million. Australian captain Steven Smith, South African batsman Faf du Plessis and Indians Ajinkya Rahane and Ravichandran Ashwin were also selected by Pune. Rajkot picked India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, flamboyant New Zealand batsman Brendon McCullum, Australian all-rounder James Faulkner and West Indian all-rounder Dwayne Bravo. The remaining players from Chennai and Rajasthan will be available to Pune and Rajkot in an auction to be conducted in February. Last week, New Rising Consortium-owned Pune and mobile phone manufacturer Intex-owned Rajkot were selected as the replacement franchises following a reverse-bidding process in which bidders were asked to discount their annual revenue share of $6 million. New Rising gave up that revenue entirely and also committed to pay $2.4 million per year to the BCCI. Intex will pay $1.5 million per year.
Brazil, Uruguay qualifier still on in Recife MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay (AP) Uruguay will go ahead with a World Cup qualifier scheduled next month in Recife, the Brazilian city at the centre of an outbreak of the Zika virus. “For the moment, we have no qualms about the location,” Eduardo Belza, the national team’s sports director, told The Associated Press. “But it’s a fluid situation, and we’re very aware of what health officials in Brazil and Uruguay are saying.” The match will be played in the northeastern city on March 24. Belza said players have been told to use mosquito repellents, bring long-sleeve shirts and avoid being out in the early morning or evening when mosquitoes are more prevalent. Belza said he’s already been to Recife and has chosen a hotel with tightly sealed windows and a ventilation system that keeps insects out of the building. Neymar urged to come clean MADRID (AP) The Brazilian company that says it hasn’t been properly compensated for Neymar’s transfer to Barcelona wants him to come clean and put an end to his judicial problems in Spain and Brazil. The co-founder of Grupo Sonda, which invested in Neymar early in his career, issued a public message to the player in a news conference yesterday in Madrid, saying he risks having his career tainted by a crime. “You are an exceptional player and I wouldn’t like to see you going down in history marked by a crime,” Delcir Sonda said. “Hopefully, you will show the same maturity that you have on the field and will put an end to your judicial problems in Brazil and Spain. No one deserves this.” DIS, the investment group that belongs to Sonda, has claimed in court that it was financially damaged because Barcelona, Neymar, and Brazilian club Santos withheld the real amount of the player’s transfer fee in 2013. DIS was entitled to 40 per cent of the total transfer amount. Neymar and his father appeared before a judge in Madrid on Tuesday to testify in an investigation into the transfer. Former and current Barcelona presidents also were questioned by a judge this week, as well as representatives of Santos. They have all denied wrongdoing. The Brazilian club claims it also has been hurt in the transfer.
ST JOHN’S, Antigua:In a press release after yesterday’s final, West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) president Dave Cameron had high praises for the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the BCCI (host organisation) for a most memorable 2016 ICC World Twenty20 tournament.Cameron said he thought that the “tournament was of the highest quality and the Indian fans and others from around the world came out in full support of cricket”.Obviously overjoyed that the West Indies teams took the double, Cameron noted that the tournament was “an all-round success”.INAPPROPRIATE COMMENTSThe release further stated: “The President would like to, however, apologise for what could be deemed inappropriate, comments made by the West Indies’ male captain, Darren Sammy, in a post-match interview and would like to apologise on behalf of the WICB to the millions of fans who witnessed.”The president has pledged to enquire the reason and will have the matter addressed.”The release added: “Coming up in May this year, the board will host its annual review (retreat) with the players, WIPA, selectors and the technical team to review player, management and technical plans. This will be done after the Indian Premier League.The president said further: “There are players who are currently committed to playing in the T20 cricket leagues around the world and we are aware of that schedule, hence the plan to meet at that time.”We want to see how we can find common ground in ensuring that the best players in the region are available for selection for West Indies teams. We are fully aware of the financial rewards on offer in the lucrative international T20 leagues, but we believe deeply in the importance of cricket to the people of the region and of West Indies cricket’s place in world cricket. It is, therefore, a priority to have all of our players competing and available for selection.”We will also engage the ICC on this so that we protect not only the rich heritage and legacy of West Indies cricket, but also its future.”
Some of Jamaica’s football coaches will go down in history as the first to participate in the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) FIFA Fitness Coaching Course, which started yesterday at the JFF’s Centre at the University of the West Indies.The course, which is scheduled to end on Friday, will be under the guidance of FIFA instructor Tobias Wawroschek of Germany.”This is the first time a fitness course will be conducted here, so it is a historical event starting today (yesterday),” said Vin Blaine, JFF’s director of football.Wawroschek, who is a strength and conditioning expert, said he is here to “enhance coaching in Jamaica”.”I hope that I can bring some further information and have some fun. Thanks to FIFA, the JFF and others for bringing me. So let’s start the dance,” he concluded.Professor Colin Gyles, acting president of the University of Technology (UTech), spoke of the importance of physical training in football.”The course will focus on fitness. A good player should be able to run for 45 minutes in each half. Being fit is very important to play the sport,” Gyles said.”I want to acknowledge support of the JFF and sponsor JMMB (Jamaica Money Market Brokers). It is not by chance that Jamaica has improved in football. We have set a vision under Captain Horace Burrell (JFF president),” he added.Jerome Smalling, CEO, JMMB Merchant Bank, noted they have been in existence for 23 years and are supportive of projects to improve coaching.”We have been involved with the coaching programme for six years. However, it is important to develop players, so the coaches have to be equipped.”Remittance remains a big way for the economy, so exporting talent is good for the country. We all want academic excellence, but sporting talent is important, so I encourage the coaches to continue the good work,” Smalling outlined.The five-day course has 28 spaces for coaches, includes one female, Toni Cowan, and was open to Premier League clubs, parish associations and tertiary institutions.”Fitness is a very important aspect of football, and this course is towards the development of the sport. My plan is to specialise in fitness in the future,” Cowan, the lone female in the group, and representing Cavalier, SC said.
ATHENS, Greece (AP): A group of refugee athletes will march together in the opening ceremony of the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in a symbol of hope for the world’s migrants, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach said yesterday. On a three-day visit to Greece, Bach also said a refugee would carry the torch during the Greek leg of the flame relay and that the route would include a stop at an Athens refugee camp. The flame-lighting ceremony at Ancient Olympia will take place on April 21. “We want to turn the attention of the world to the fate and the problems of the 60 million refugees in our world and their suffering,” Bach said. He visited the refugee camp in Athens, played football with a group of young men, and met potential candidates who could compete for the first time as refugee athletes at the Rio Games. “They have no hope, no flag to march behind, and no anthem,” Bach said. “We have invited them to participate, and these athletes will march behind the Olympic flag” at the August 5 opening ceremony. Bach said he expected between five and 10 refugee athletes to qualify for the Olympics. He said he spoke to two potential Olympic competitors in Athens, who could compete in shooting events and karate. The IOC has already pledged US$2 million to help refugees, and is asking authorities in refugee camps to identify any top-level international athletes. Three athletes found The IOC said in December that three potential Olympic athletes had been identified so far from among the wave of refugees and migrants. Greece has been hard hit by the migration crisis that escalated dramatically in 2015 when more than 850,000 travelled in dinghies and mostly unsafe boats from Turkey to the Greek islands. Despite growing European pressure on Athens to toughen border controls, Bach described Greece’s assistance to refugees as “really extraordinary” and promised funds for planned sports facilities on the Greek island of Lesbos. Bach praised progress in Brazil’s Olympic preparations despite the country’s serious financial downturn and outbreak of the mosquito-borne Zika virus. “Brazil is in financial and political crisis, and is facing a great corruption scandal,” he said. “And under these circumstances, it is even more remarkable what the Brazilians have done.” Bach said the timing of the games, during Brazil’s winter, could limit difficulties caused by the virus outbreak, and he promised to have consultations with national Olympic Committees on safety guidelines by late today. Before leaving Athens yesterday, Bach said he would visit the marble Panathinian Stadium, where the first modern Olympics were held in 1896.
FOOTBALL:KINGSTON:Local scrimmage players are gearing up to showcase their skill on a global stage, when the Guinness Street Football Competition (GSFC) kicks off on March 1.Now in its sixth year, the GSFC will give Jamaican street footballers a chance to prove they are made of more, while increasing their exposure to international game play.The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF)-endorsed event will kick-off with parish playoffs for Hanover and Westmoreland on March 12. Teams can sign up for the four-a-side scrimmage online at www.gsfcjamaica.com, via social media or by calling the GSFC Hotline at 618-9291.Sixteen randomly selected teams will then play for the parish title. Parish winners all go on to play for the national title and an all-expenses paid trip to St Lucia to compete against other Caribbean teams in the GSFC finals.?For Guinness, community development and the game of football are at the heart of who we are as a brand. We are excited to give Jamaicans an opportunity to shine in the premier street football tournament of the Caribbean,? said Imru James, brand manager for Guinness and Stouts at Red Stripe. ?We want to see our teams do well at home as well as in the international arena.?Last year, Jamaica had the honour of hosting the finals, but this year?s ultimate contest will be staged in St Lucia, the home of the reigning champions. This means the winning Jamaican team will get a chance to travel in addition to cash prizes at each level of the competition.?There is no lack of opportunity with this competition,? said James. ?Our players are competing just as competitively as in any national league to prove they are made of more and the opportunities that come with the competition are second to none.?The national champion will claim their portion of the $1.3m up for grabs and gain a shot at US$6,000 if they take home the big prize in St Lucia. Guinness will fund the cost of travel, including accommodation, along with spending money for the team.
WESTERN BUREAU:Organisers are looking at participation in this year’s MoBay City Run/Walk races to top 4,000. The event last year drew almost 3,000 runners and raised approximately $3 million in the process.”We are doing our best to see how much we can, but we are realistically looking at about $5 million this year,” said chief organiser, Janet Silvera.The event is held to raise funds for assisting students in defraying costs at tertiary institutions.Four institutions will benefit directly from proceeds of the MoBay City Run – the University of the West Indies and University of Technology (western campuses), Sam Sharpe Teachers’ College, and Montego Bay Community College.The event, which consist of a 5K Run/Walk and a 10K Run, had its launch on Tuesday at the Holiday Inn Resort and indications are that this year’s renewal will be much bigger and better for the runners.RACE ROUTEThe race will get under way on Sunday, May 1 in the vicinity of the Old Hospital Park in Montego Bay and will take the runners and walkers through the city and back to the starting line, where the race will end.Two-time men’s winner, Ronique Williams, will be back defending his title, as will female champion Arieta Martin.Williams have made the MoBay City Run his own, winning the overall title in the event’s inaugural staging in 2014, and return with a bang last year to defend his title, when he completed the race in 36 minutes and 17 seconds. He is among the favourites again this year.Martin took the female first place medal and trophy in a time of 47 minutes and 10 seconds and could repeat as champion.However, with an expected increase in overseas participation, especially among the female runners, Martin will be hard pressed to hold on to her crown.In preparation for the event, organisers have maintained the fitness camp, which will run from March 12 at the Old Hospital Park, on Gloucester Avenue.The team section was one of the most exciting aspects of the City Run last year and will again be a spectacle of colours. Riu Hotel won the team trophy by sending a huge contingent of 521 members in 2015.Scotiabank, FLOW and the Royalton Hotel will feature again this year with big contingents also.
In Leicester blue, he released Rihad Mayrez to be a creative attacking force while also protecting centre-halves Wes Morgan and Robert Huth at the other end of the field. Now he is doing the same job in Chelsea blue. Ranieri once managed Chelsea. He must rue the irony of it all. The real truth is that with the European Champions League a new assignment for Leicester, significant strengthening of squad depth was needed. While Leicester made it through Champions League first-group play unscathed and qualified for the knockout stage with a match to spare, they have lumbered and lurched through their Premiership fixtures. With Kante gone, so too have the 9.58 speed counter-attacks that made Leicester a terror last season. To top everything, the players seem unable to generate the emotional energy that gave them a cutting edge. Perhaps, that is understandably tough after the dream campaign of 2016. Manuel Pelligrini was the high-profile victim of the previous EPL campaign. During his stay at Manchester City, he won the EPL and took those Blues to the Champions League semis. The City board pressed the eject button to make way for the undeniably great Pep Guardiola, but he has struggled to get City playing consistently well. He probably will succeed as he has at FC Barcelona and Bayern Munich, but as any manager knows, getting work teams of people to mesh can take time. Leicester City needed time for Ranieri to help the squad to adjust to the demands of an expanded playing schedule. Sadly, his departure serves as a reminder to all football managers of an unending truth. Simply put, last season is history. – Hubert Lawrence has made notes at track side since 1980. Creative attacking force There is one unending truth in football. The manager’s contract isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. With very few exceptions, the only way for a manager to keep his job is to keep on winning. The statement of facts allows us to view the unpleasant departure of the charming Italian Claudio Ranieri from the reigning champion team of England, Leicester City. City had barely stopped getting awards and accolades for a perfect 2015-16 English Premier League (EPL) triumph when its board dropped the bomb on Ranieri. The decision comes at what seems to be an inopportune time. Jamie Vardy, who has been a shadow of the danger man who terrorised defences last season, broke a long goal-scoring drought in the European Champions League match that became Ranieri’s last game in charge. With the Italian bombed out of work on the team’s return from that game, Vardy scored twice more when Leicester beat Liverpool 3-1. The drought was bound to end and give some respectability to Leicester’s defence of the EPL title. Winning is out of the question, but with Vardy scoring again, relegation is unlikely. It’s a shame for Ranieri’s sake that the speedy English international didn’t find the mark a few matches earlier. Leicester City did themselves no favours by letting midfield dynamo N’Golo Kante leave. He was key to the Leicester City title run last season and he is an important cog in the dominant play of Chelsea this season. He operates like a pint-size Patrick Viera, incisive in attack at one moment and, thanks to his greyhound speed, decisive in defence at the next.
‘DOING WHAT I LOVE’ Despite admitting that she still holds ambitions of breaking the 400m hurdles world record, experienced Jamaican hurdler Melaine Walker is still hunting her dream of competing at the highest level in the 100m hurdles. Walker, who turned her back on the one-lap hurdles event in 2013 at the height of her powers after winning Olympic and World championships gold in the event, has struggled to match that success in the 100m hurdles, but remains unperturbed by the challenge of making her mark in an event that she considers closest to her heart. “I feel great, and part of the reason why I’m feeling great is because I am doing what I love,” Walker told The Gleaner from her Altis World training base in Phoenix, Arizona, where she is being conditioned by Andreas Behm, who also coaches 110m-hurdle world record holder Aries Merritt and Queen Harrison. Walker’s 400m personal best of 52.42 seconds done in 2009 on the way to World Championships gold, is only bettered by Yuliya Pechenkina’s world record of 52.34 seconds. Also, no woman has run under 52.80 seconds more than the Jamaican, and given the times being posted in the event these days, Walker is confident that she can still take a shot at the world record – even if her immediate focus is achieving self-fulfilling success in the shorter hurdling event. “It’s not a regret, it’s just that stuff never worked out for me. From the beginning I always wanted to do both events, that’s all I wanted to do – to be able to run the 400m hurdles and the 100m hurdles at times, but based on where I was and how stuff were, it just wasn’t working out in my favour,” added Walker. “I feel like I have accomplished a lot in the 400m hurdles. Since I have stopped running that event I haven’t seen anyone do anything spectacular and I can always say that at any given time running that event, I am able to pull out a 52 or pull other people to run their best,” said Walker, whose point is backed up by the fact that no one has gone sub-53 seconds since 2013. “I want to run both events, I want to go after the (400m hurdles) world record but I am still trying to get a self fulfilment for Melaine and I want people to understand that. It has nothing to do with anyone, I am not trying to hurt anyone, I am just trying to kind of get a self-fulfilment and happiness from the heart for myself in this event (100m hurdles) and I feel like if I get to a place in this event where I am comfortable, I am still going to be working to approach the 400m hurdles with the mentality of trying to get the world record,” added Walker. It will take some effort for her to make a mark in the 100m hurdles though. Walker has not gone sub-13 seconds in the 100m hurdles since 2006 when she ran her 12.75 seconds PB while in college. So far this year she has posted times of 13.82 (-2.2) and 13.66 in the event but believes there is more to come as she eyes a spot on the World Championships team. ” I feel very good with technique and stuff but with more racing the times will drop. Everything is going pretty good, I’m happy with my hurdling and I’m hoping I will be able to drop the times and run faster so I will be able to show up in trials. I am not going to show up there to get beaten, I am a competitor that’s just how it is, so If I am in tip-top shape and ready to show what’s up with Melaine,” said Walker.
Winning start Gonzalez, of Nicaragua, stayed on the canvas for a couple of minutes. After rising slowly he had to be helped to his corner stool. The first knockdown came 42 seconds earlier when southpaw Srisaket landed a similar short right hook to the side of the head. Gonzalez was able to get up at the count of seven and continue — but looked out of sorts.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smogThe 30-year-old Srisaket went to work quickly in the first round, easily landing combinations and body shots — the fruits of months of intense training in the gym for the most important fight of his career.“I trained really hard for four months because I wanted everyone to know what I came here for,” said Srisaket of the brutal beatdown. “I have shown that I am the best 115 pound fighter in the world.” Gonzalez, who dropped to 46-2 overall, was taken to the hospital immediately after the fight for medical treatment.He was trying to avenge the only loss of his career against Srisaket but he failed to put up any defense against the onslaught of the Thai’s superior punches.The former pound-for-pound division king has had several gruelling fights in recent years, which have taken a heavy toll on his 30-year-old body.On the undercard, Japan’s Naoya Inoue won his US debut by defending his 115 pound WBO title with a sixth round knockout of Antonio Nieves.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Nunes keeps belt, defeats Shevchenko at UFC 215 The Thai dynamo silenced critics who had claimed his majority decision win in the first fight six months ago in New York was a fluke and the result of accidental head butts.Both fighters came out swinging from the opening bell in Saturday’s 115-pound rematch at the outdoor StubHub Center stadium, as it became apparent in the early rounds that Srisaket was in charge and the fight likely would not go the distance.“For the first fight I only trained two months. This fight I knew I was going to knock him out,” Srisaket said. “I am not scared of anyone.”Srisaket (44-4-1, 40 KOs) said he wanted to make his country proud. “I fought for Thailand, for the pride of Thailand,” he said. ADVERTISEMENT Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. CARSON, CA – SEPTEMBER 09: Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (R) of Thailand celebrates as Roman Gonzalez of Nicaragua lays motionless at StubHub Center on September 9, 2017 in Carson, California. Jeff Gross/Getty Images/AFPSrisaket Sor Rungvisai knocked out Roman Gonzalez in the fourth round Saturday with a devastating right hook to retain his WBC super flyweight world title in his second straight win over the former champ. Thailand’s Srisaket knocked ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez down twice in the final round, finishing the challenger off with a right hook with 1:45 to go in the fourth. ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend LATEST STORIES Break new ground It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson A costly, catty dispute finally settled Mayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’ Learning about the ‘Ring of Fire’ View comments