After leading his side to a seven-wicket win over Jamaica Scorpions with half centuries in both innings, Guyana Jaguars’ captain, Leon Johnson said the performances were a confidence booster. Speaking exclusively to Stabroek Sport, Johnson, who had just one half-century in the tournament prior to the match said: “Scoring back-to-back half centuries is obviously good for my confidence, I have been working hard and training with Shiv [Shivnarine Chanderpaul] and Griff [Rayon Griffith], I felt good in the first innings and in the second innings it was just to get a start and carry on seeing the team home.”The 32-year-old added, “Hopefully I could continue it in the next three rounds and finish the tournament strong.”He acknowledged that he has not set himself any personal goals for the remainder of the tournament but confessed that his confidence is high and that he would love to have three centuries. Johnson spoke highly of his friendship with Vishaul Singh whom he shared a 101-run stand in the first innings as well as an unbroken 78-run partnership in the second innings. “Vishaul is somebody I’ve had a lot of partnerships with going back to Under-15 club cricket, school cricket, first-division cricket, all levels of cricket. I played with him and you know I understand his game pretty well and he understands mine pretty well, so when we meet up at the crease it is very easy for us to communicate and I think we run well between the wickets. Obviously I know his strengths, he knows mine and it is easy to bat with him,” Johnson stated.He pointed out that the lower order also showed their strength with the bat over the previous tournaments.“The lower order has produced with the bat as well and it has shown. They put good scores and when they come it really helps and the guys work hard on their skill. I don’t consider them tail-enders but lower order batsman.” The seamers have also stepped up and despite Veerasammy Permaul being the leading wicket-taker for Guyana over the years, a bulk of the wickets have gone to the seamers.“Over the years the seamers have developed. Traditionally we are very spin-based and I think sometimes with them bowling a lot it can hamper them…I think the seamers’ skills have improved tremendously and I think it helps having two coaches that were fast bowlers and would help the seamers along the way.”Johnson said at the beginning of the tournament the team just wanted to play good cricket and continue playing good cricket. He, however said that it would be nice to have the record of five consecutive titles by one captain in the history of the competition. Jamaica is the only side to win five consecutive titles under two captains in Cricket West Indies Regional Four-Day cricket but should table-toppers, Guyana win this season, they would equal that record and Johnson would be the first captain to have done so.“We won four games in a row and we had a little hiccup where we lost two games and now we are back on track. We still have to go out and play good cricket. We would have seen if you don’t play good cricket consistently what could happen and the teams that are left, we not there as yet, I still think we are a long way. We still need to win two more games. We just need to take each game at a time and not worry about the championship as yet,” Johnson said.
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – Former West Indies pacer Winston Davis believes strongly that West Indies have the talent to return to the pinnacle of international cricket, but adjustments in the cricketers’ mindset and the relationship between players and administrators are required for that to happen. Winston Davis, who performed his last international duties for the Caribbean side in India in 1988, offered that advice Tuesday night on the Mason and Guest cricket radio show here.“West Indies cricket was at its zenith then and I look forward to when we get back to those days,” said the 61-year-old Vincentian.“There is no lack of talent in the West Indies but the mindset – you have to have a reset of the mind of the players.” Highlighting instances of players being at odds with Cricket West Indies (CWI), Davis added: “The West Indies Board has never been the best friend of the players and that is sad. “There has always been a very contentious relationship between the West Indies Cricket Board and the players. The two seeming always to be in conflict. They gotta resolve that. The board gotta look out for the interests of the players and the players gotta accept the responsibility that they’re representing about 5-6 million people who look to them for a fillip, for a lift, and cricket does give the nation a lift.”Davis, who made his mark for West Indies in ODI cricket, was paralysed after suffering spinal injuries when he fell from a tree in his native St Vincent, in 1997.He has lived in England since being flown there for treatment after the accident. “I am very fond of saying to people up here the West Indies as a group would never be an economic power, we would never be a military power, but in cricket we were a powerhouse. We just need the guys to get back there – think cricket, think West Indies, think where we come from, where are fillip is and give it our best shot,” Davis said. Meantime, the former right-arm fast bowler expressed disappointment that no spectators would be allowed into the Ageas Bowl, Southampton and Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester where West Indies will play against England to retain the Wisden Trophy next month. A group of 25 players, including 11 reserves, will leave the region next Monday to begin the three-Test series that will be played in a “bio-secure environment” because of the COVID-19 pandemic.Davis said he understood why the matches would be played behind closed doors but noted that, “when you have spectators, people who come to the games, it adds to the atmosphere and sometimes it gives you a spur”.Adding that he supported West Indies going ahead with the tour despite the spread of COVID-19 which has claimed almost 40 000 lives in the UK, Davis said: “We gotta make a move at some time.”
iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) — Yulia Skripal, the daughter of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal, is said to be “improving rapidly” and is no longer in a critical condition, according to the hospital in Salisbury, England, where she is being treated.The Skripals fell critically ill after they were attacked in Salisbury with a highly toxic nerve agent on March 4.The health service group that administers the hospital said in a statement, “We are pleased to be able to inform you that Yulia Skripal is improving rapidly and is no longer in a critical condition. Her condition is now stable. Her father remains in a critical but stable condition.” The statement went on to describe Yulia as “responding well to treatment” but that she continues to receive care 24 hours a day.The British government said Russia is responsible for the attack. Russia has denied any involvement.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.Powered by WPeMatico Related
Melvin Gordon will report to the Chargers on Thursday, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. That ends a contract holdout that began in the summer and has continued through the early part of the season. Gordon would’ve been a top-10 player in fantasy football drafts if not for the holdout concerns, which knocked him further and further down the rankings and opened the door for handcuff Austin Ekeler to become a top fantasy RB. Gordon’s return puts a huge question mark next to the fantasy value of Ekeler (as well as Gordon himself). Justin Jackson now becomes the Chargers’ third-stringer and will have no fantasy utility once Gordon is activated. (Update: Jackson is out for Week 4, and Gordon could play a limited role, according to Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn.)WEEK 4 NON-PPR RANKINGS:Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | KickerLISTEN TO THE SN FANTASY WEEK 4 PREVIEW PODCAST BELOWWill Melvin Gordon play Week 4?Gordon will not play in Week 4, according to Rapoport, who tweeted that he’s planning on being “back in the fold with his teammates.” Unlike a player who was traded, recently drafted or signed in free agency, Gordon should know the Chargers’ playbook to nearly its full extent. What’s less certain is the shape that Gordon is in.It’s likely that whenever Gordon first takes the field — likely Week 5 against Denver — his workload will be reduced for a week, much like we saw with Ezekiel Elliott in Week 1 after he reported less than a week before the opener. That week, Cowboys’ backup Tony Pollard saw about a third of the Dallas offensive snaps.WEEK 4 PPR RANKINGS: Running back | Wide receiver | Tight endMelvin Gordon fantasy outlookAs it looks now, Gordon will probably suit up in Week 5 with a potentially reduced workload. Then, in Week 6, he should start getting the majority of backfield work for L.A. That should yield solid rushing/scoring numbers, though it’s worth pointing out that prior to last season, Gordon had not averaged more than 3.9 yards per carry. It’s possible that last year’s 5.1 ypc was somewhat of an aberration and Gordon will regress mightily. On top of that, Ekeler has proven to be one of the top receiving backs in football, and it’s possible Gordon won’t be used as much in the passing game, especially over the next few weeks. That could limit him to RB2 status the rest of the way, depending how often he can get into the end zone.Austin Ekeler fantasy outlookEkeler’s been too good in 2019 for the Chargers to relegate him to “change-of-pace” status. This was evident even last season when the Chargers were sure to involve Ekeler even when Gordon was healthy.In the 11 games that both Ekeler and Gordon were active together in 2018, Ekeler averaged 9.4 standard-scoring fantasy points per game. The lowest percentage of L.A. offensive snaps that Ekeler received in those games was 17 percent and his high was 41 percent. In seven of those 11 games, Ekeler saw the field on at least a third of snaps. Ekeler was used some on third downs in his backup role, catching 27 passes across the 11 games he and Gordon both played in last season. We could see Ekeler maintain a slightly bigger role now that he’s proven what he can do in more time, possibly closer to that 40-percent mark that he reached once last year. That’s still going to be a tricky way for him to have fantasy value on a week-to-week basis, though. During bye weeks, he’ll probably work as a standard-league FLEX and RB2 in PPR formats. We wouldn’t advise dropping Ekeler. He’s too talented, we don’t know how the Chargers will split the workload, and he’s an injury away from being a top-10 fantasy RB again. Even trading him could be hard because everyone knows Gordon is returning. It might be best to stand pat and just take what you can get from Ekeler at this point.With Gordon not expected to play in Week 4, Ekeler remains a must-start against the putrid Dolphins and Jackson is in play as a FLEX possibility. Gordon’s return should be a boost to the Chargers’ offense overall, but Ekeler and Jackson will be the biggest losers from this news.
The English top flight follows Germany’s Bundesliga and La Liga in Spain in rebooting their seasons after the coronavirus lockdown, aiming to cram 92 games into six weeks of breathless action.Aston Villa kick off against Sheffield United, to be followed later on Wednesday by Manchester City v Arsenal, before a cascade of matches.Despite vocal complaints from some clubs and stars including Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling, “Project Restart” has largely gone smoothly, with regular testing of players and staff yielding few positives.Liverpool are 25 points clear of Manchester City at the top of the Premier League. AFP/File/Oli SCARFFBut when Villa and Sheffield United kick off, the watching world will be confronted with a jarring spectacle, with an eerie silence in the usually noisy stands.Piping crowd chants into stadiums, cardboard cut-outs of supporters and live video fan walls will add colour but it will be impossible to mimic the usual vibrant atmosphere.In total, about 300 people will be allowed in stadiums for each match, with strict health protocols in place.There will be widespread disinfection of changing facilities, dugouts, matchballs, goalposts, corner flags and substitution boards.People other than players and coaching staff on team benches must wear face coverings.The games themselves will look different. Players have been told to maintain social-distancing during goal celebrations and encouraged not to spit.Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta admits players will have to find motivation without the urgency provided by fans.“The game is different,” he said in his pre-match press conference on Monday. “The intensity drops a little bit. That urgency from the crowd doesn’t exist any more, how passionate the crowds are in England. We have to adapt.“We have to experience it. We have to find ways to motivate our players as well in moments.”But Aston Villa manager Dean Smith said his players were desperate to return, talking about the honour of playing the first game.“The eyes of the world will be on us and we are looking forward to it,” he said. “The players have been itching to get back.”– Muted celebrations –The hectic fixture list, warm summer temperatures and a lack of preparation time could lead to more injuries, so world governing body FIFA has given the green light for five substitutions per match.People wearing masks outside Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium. AFP/File/Isabel InfantesSome believe that unfairly helps teams with bigger squads. Villa’s Smith said he was not in favour of the change.Following the recent death of George Floyd, killed by a white police officer in the United States, the Black Lives Matter cause will also be visible.Players’ names will be replaced on the back of their shirts with “Black Lives Matter” for the first 12 matches, while the league will back anyone who chooses to take a knee in protest before or during matches.The subdued mood and constant fear of the virus making its presence felt will overshadow the remainder of a season that will always have an asterisk next to it in the history books.When the campaign was halted on March 13, Liverpool were two wins from their first English title in 30 years.Manchester United and Chelsea are battling for a Champions League place. AFP/File/Adrian DENNISJurgen Klopp’s side, 25 points clear at the top, could be crowned champions as soon as this weekend if second-placed Manchester City lose at home to Arsenal on Wednesday and the Reds win their first game of the restart at Merseyside rivals Everton on Sunday.Whenever they clinch that long-awaited 19th league title, it will be a moment to treasure for Liverpool.But, with fans being told not to gather outside the stadium and no trophy parade planned due to social-distancing rules, the celebrations are likely to be muted.Since the Bundesliga resumed there has been a drop in the number of home wins as teams struggle without the drive provided by their fans.That could influence some key issues in the Premier League.Chelsea and Manchester United will try to hold off unexpected challenges from Sheffield and Wolves in the race to reach the Champions League.At the other end, Norwich, Villa and Bournemouth bid to climb out of the bottom three at a time when relegation could be more costly than ever.
Apoel moved closer to a fifth consecutive championship title after their easy 4-1 win over AEL in Limassol while AEK defeated Apollon and kept alive their (slim) chances of overhauling the leaders. In the relegation group Doxa Katokopias remain rooted at the bottom following their loss to Aris but are still in with a fighting chance as their nearest rivals, Karmiotissa, also lost, leaving the three point difference unchanged.Apoel suddenly burst to life against AEL after a run of disappointing displays and poor results and this despite having a host of key players unavailable through injury or suspension.Vander Viera opened the score in the 17th minute after a great solo run and then the same player set up Embezilio to double the score before the break.Apoel’s Pieros Sotiriou, who had failed to find the net in his last 6 league games, managed to score twice in the final fifteen minutes with AEL’s only response a late Mitrea penalty.In a tense and cagey game a late goal by AEK’s Acoran was enough to give the home side the precious three points against Apollon.A decimated by injuries and suspensions Anorthosis defied the odds and defeated Omonia by 4-3 despite having to come back from behind twice.In the relegation group, a goal by Aris’ Antoniou in the first half against Doxa eased the Limassol’s teams relegation worries while Ermis’ Martynyuk gave the group leaders the three points against Karmiotissa.In the final group game Ethnikos defeated Nea Salamina thanks to a Nick Kacharave goal early on in the game.Next weekend both the title and the final relegation spot may be decided as Apoel face AEK, the Nicosia team needing a win to clinch the title while Karmiotssia can secure their first division status if they defeat Doxa Katokopias.FOOTBALL HIGHLIGHTS – Round 7
Senior Vice President of Operations and Marketing at GraceKennedy Money Services, Noel Greenland, has said that brands and athletes who endorse them, should put more focus on selling their products in what he describes as a “unique way.” Greenland was speaking at the Regional Conference On The Strategic Use of Intellectual Property In Sport, yesterday. He said that he has noticed that brands are failing to effectively make an imprint on the minds of consumers because their marketing strategies are not memorable enough. He said that many brands are too focused on just getting star athletes aligned with their products, rather than choosing athletes who have relevance to what they are trying to market. “When a talent (athlete) is overexposed to the point where that talent is used on multiple products, it doesn’t bring the same weight,” Greenland said. “To the consumers it’s almost like ‘Oh, that’s just another ad.’ He mentioned that many television viewers do not even watch many commercials during programme breaks because of this, and advertisers lose money as a result, because of how much they have spent to produce these commercials. “I don’t like those types of sponsorship,” he said. “Your message is invariably lost after a week or two.” Greenland said that in order to establish what he calls a “perfect brand,” advertisers need to figure out their target audience. “It will not come because the athlete is the fastest in the world, or because the athlete is the best looking athlete, or the best shaped body. “The test should be ‘Who am I targeting best?’ I believe if we sell the right product to the right demographic, that demographic will use that product well. I would want to use talent that can appeal and speak a language that the audience will be enticed by.” The conference took place over two days at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston and featured presentations on the protection of copyright on the Internet, broadcasting and media rights and sports, broadcast piracy, digital media, infringement of rights relating to sports, use of athletes as brand ambassadors, and strategies to develop sponsorship, merchandising and trade related to sports intellectual property. Olympian Veronica Campbell Brown spoke about athletes including herself, recognising that their career is their business. “Veronica Campbell-Brown is not just a name but also a brand that my team and I had to protect and enhance by our actions,” she said. “At the end of the day, it was my sole responsibility to be responsible in the way I approach training sessions, competitions, and my conduct on and off the track. This enabled my team to better assist carrying out my vision and help me gain success. Winning medals led to higher fees, respect and more exposure.” Sprint icon Asafa Powell made several presentations to Sport minister Olivia Grange. One of these was his training jacket and running shorts from the London Olympics for the Jamaica 55 Anniversary time capsule. His running spikes from the same Games were contributed to the National Sport Museum and he also presented Grange with products from his new line of deodorants and training bands. He said that some of the proceeds from the merchandise will go towards breast and prostate cancer research.
Education provides one of the main planks for the pursuit of enhanced lives and lifestyles. The ability to read is critical to student success, as well as lifelong earning potential and economic security.In spite of the many and various challenges facing Guyana in the delivery of services in the various sectors, when one focuses on the education sector – one can see marked success in the programmes initiated by past and present Governments to deliver quality education to all of Guyana’s children and provide equitable opportunities for all in the pursuit of upward mobility.A primary initiative in the education system that has created successes in the education sector was the establishment of the multimedia centre at the National Centre for Educational Resource Development (NCERD), with one of the centre’s main activities being the production and broadcast on television of educational programmes. The learning television channel is dedicated to broadcasting programmes throughout the country via the use of satellite communications technology. Broadcasting commenced in 2011 and has proven a great success story.Additionally, organisational capacity and managerial capability have been enhanced, strengthening the management of the education sector and central ministry.Focus has been placed on achieving improved educational outcomes through a continuum of policy reviews, initiation of new programmes and initiatives, promoting improved performance management, and monitoring mechanisms geared to ensure that the goals of the Education Strategic Plan were achieved.Teacher training has been also enhanced with the introduction of the Associate Degree in Education (ADE), for which an initial batch of 426 persons enrolled and commenced training at the Cyril Potter College of Education, along with other teachers in training.Teachers have been benefiting from continuous development programmes, especially in special training for Maths and English teachers who participate in the non-graduate programmes.Efforts to support the advances made in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) at the school and post-secondary levels have also borne fruit, as well as in the field of Information Communication Technology (ICT), where teachers receive basic training in the use of computers, with a project of equipping computer labs completed. As such, there have been great strides in ensuring the professionalisation of the teaching force.In the student community, remediation programmes to facilitate improved Maths and English scores are an ongoing facet of quality education.There have been stringent efforts to promote child-friendly schools, including enhancements to the school buildings; sanitation blocks; health, nutrition and counselling services; revitalising the PTAs; community outreaches, student councils and inclusive education. These elements facilitate the realisation of child-friendly schools.However, irrespective of the efforts of Government, the development of Guyana’s children needs cooperative partnership between parents and educational mentors, so parents need to recognise that their support and participation are integral to the holistic development of their children so that they can emerge as rounded adults primed to engage and overcome the challenges of adulthood.
Dear Editor,There is a lot in a name and we need to get names right. Assuming that our President David Granger and the majority of us Guyanese would welcome one (or more) Commission of Inquiry (CoI), which would provide our nation an understanding, as true as can be, and would take us along a path of revelation, redemption, resolution and reconciliation, then the names we start with and the terms of reference are important.The term ‘Jagdeo era killings’, which has even been repeated by President Granger, is to be regretted, as it is misleading.That submerged subterranean killing wave has its origin in the rejection of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) win at our 1997 election by an opposing and extreme criminal fringe with ethno-political pretensions and links, which, when our national security forces were not having any success in apprehending them, evoked a similar irregular counter-force.The period from1998 to 2008 should be enquired into as a whole and that would naturally be in chronological sequence. One cannot help, but be suspicious of the coalition Government’s move in embarking on enquires into spliced-out pieces, starting near the end and proceeding in an order known only to themselves.Starting at the end indicates an attempt to negate and escape the logical deductions, which would be inherent in a chronological review of events over that period. The period from 1998 to 2008 was one of great testing of our peoples and our country. Rather than make it appear that Jagdeo and/or the PPP/C was the cause of those troubles, I submit, that it should be recognised that our (PPP/C) handling of that period, though criticised from many directions, saw our nation through as a whole avoiding the intensified polarisation, which was intended by the opposing and extreme criminal fringe with ethno-political pretensions and links.Editor, you may recall the rising tensions in our country as our 1997 (December 16) elections approached. I was President then. Our National Poet, Mr Martin Carter, had died earlier that month and our (PPP/C) Prime Minister and Presidential Candidate, Mrs Janet Jagan, was being particularly hounded by crowds as she sought to pay her respects at the various ceremonies honouring her colleague of many decades. On her way to Mr Carter’s internment at ‘Seven Ponds’, she was advised to pause at the Office of the President and she sat with me. She revealed that it seemed to her that we were re-running the 1957 to 1961 period – that after the uproar at the PPP win in 1957, the people of Georgetown, overwhelmingly Afro-Guyanese and supporters of the People’s National Congress (PNC) at that time, settled into a toleration of the PPP Government, but as the elections of 1961 approached with prospects of another PPP win in their consciousness, they just couldn’t take it and all hell seemed to break out!As it happened, we, the PPP/C, did win the 1997 Elections and all hell did break loose with the ‘slow fyah. Mo fyah’ campaign, marches, lootings, burnings and beatings – all against a background of charges by PNC supporters that: (i) we, the PPP/C, had rigged the election; and (ii) that the electoral system was unfair as the PPP/C would always win a fair and free election.Ravi Dev, who in his continual search for a way forward for our country and his empathy with this ‘African Insecurity Dilema’, had once put himself in some form of association with the PNC-Reform, within and without Parliament, writes in a recent column that: “This Friday will mark the 20th anniversary of the January 12, 1998 ethnic riots, when more than 200 Indian-Guyanese were beaten and assaulted in the streets of Georgetown by members of the African-Guyanese community, in full view of the Police, yet no arrests were made. The riots followed PNC protests against the PPP’s victory in the December 1997 elections”.Following the 2001 jailbreak and their projection by key political factions as ‘Freedom Fighters’, the attacks on assumed supporters of the PPP/C were taken to a higher level. When the national security forces showed remarkable inability to apprehend them, it was inevitable that a similar irregular counter-force emerged.We have been reminded by our President about the seeming compelling evidence about one of my colleagues, sitting with me at Cabinet, obtaining and providing high-tech equipment to the phantom force. We could be reminded similarly about that conversation (illegally taped, yes) between a then Vice Chairman of the PNC and the Commissioner of Police in which the then PNCR Vice Chairman thanked the then Commissioner of Police for a number of things, including misleading his police team on the killings at Agricola. When that tape surfaced my colleague, Gail Teixeira, then the Honourable Home Affairs Minister, was assailed by our Cabinet enquiring what the then Police Commission was saying about that conversation. She reported that he did not refute that the voice was his but that he was playing along the VC to learn what the PNC knew and was thinking. And today that former Commissioner of Police and that former PNCR Vice Chairman are in President Granger’s Cabinet as Minister of Citizenship and Attorney General, respectively.Editor, most of us Guyanese have been focused, for decades, on making a steadily better living and would be hard put to recall every significant event, every turn during this period in correct sequence. Hopefully, any of us, would be able to put hands on storages of our four newspapers, which taken together should give a fair picture of events as they occurred.We, PPP/C stayed away from holding a Commission of Inquiry, waiting on a time when it could have been healing. And we would have expected that such a CoI would have been structured similarly to the one established by our Government in consultation with the then Opposition, to enquire into the 2012 disturbances in Linden, with international Commissioners and nominees of various national stakeholders.There is a common saying in an eastern country, that the East wind is blowing and the West wind is blowing and who knows which will prevail?All through this period, the winds for division were blowing strong but we, the PPP/C have been heartened that all along this period, too, there have been occasions when Indo-Guyanese have acknowledged assistance and protection from Afro-Guyanese and vice-versa. The sense of being Afro or Indo or Amerindian or whatever though slowly, is gradually and steadily being encompassed in the sense of being human and being Guyanese.Enough said.Yours truly,Samuel A A Hinds
Burnley defender Luke O’Neill has joined Leyton Orient on an emergency loan deal.O’Neill only signed a new two-year deal with the Premier League club last summer but has struggled to make his breakthrough into the first-team and was sent out on loan to Scunthorpe earlier in the season.The 22-year-old will now join the east London club until May 3 and will be hoping to help Orient move away from the foot of the table. Luke O’Neill 1