ST GEORGE’S, Grenada, (CMC) – Superb unbeaten hundreds from veteran Devon Smith and captain Kavem Hodge dashed Guyana Jaguars’ hopes of a final day victory, as Windward Islands Volcanoes forced a draw in their fifth round match of the Regional Four-Day Championship here Sunday.Starting the day on 47 for one – still requiring a further 62 runs to erase their first innings deficit, Volcanoes were 273 without further loss in their second innings when rain ended the contest prematurely at the National Stadium, about 20 minutes after tea.The 38-year-old Smith was unbeaten on 147 not out, a knock that spanned 261 balls, nearly 5-½ hours and included 12 fours and a six.Hodge, meanwhile, made exactly 100, striking 11 fours off 228 balls in a shade over five hours at the crease, after resuming the day on 17.Together the pair, posted 263 for the second wicket after coming together late on Saturday’s penultimate day to stabilise the innings after Roland Cato (2) fell cheaply.On 16 at the start, Smith marched to 85 at lunch accompanied by Hodge on 41, as Volcanoes cruised to 147 for one.The Grenadian reached his 38th first class hundred but first of the season in the seventh over after the resumption, cutting seamer Chris Barnwell to deep point for a single.Unbeaten on 90 at tea with the hosts on 256 for one, Hodge raised his third first class hundred in the fourth over after the break with a top-edged pull for four off pacer Nial Smith, which narrowly evaded the fielder in the deep.
(CMC) – Barbados and West Indies left-hander Omar Phillips has been forced to wait even longer before he can return home, after the Australian state of Victoria extended its state of emergency for another four weeks, in response to the continued spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic.Australia closed its borders last month to mitigate against rising cases of the virus and while the travel ban does not apply to international departures, several airlines have grounded flights until May-June, leaving hundreds of travellers stranded.Based in Melbourne where he has been playing for Stratmore Cricket Club, the 33-year-old Phillips was scheduled to return home on April 12 but as tension heightened amidst the outbreak, he re-booked his ticket for March 23.However, that flight was subsequently cancelled and attempts to secure a flight for the following day also proved futile.Perhaps the biggest blow to his chances of leaving Australia came earlier this week when Victoria, of which Melbourne is the capital, extended its shutdown for another four weeks until May 11.“Every day it’s something new so I’ve just got to play by ear at the moment. I’m just waiting on word on when they will start back flights,” Phillips said.“(The club) has been great, (they’ve been) fantastic. It’s a good family club and everyone’s been chipping in and trying to make sure I’m as comfortable as possible because it’s not easy being away especially in this time.“For me, I have to give them top marks because before they realised how serious it was, they had certain measures in place to make sure I was comfortable and they made a promise to my Mom that they would look after me so I really have to tip my hat to them.”Phillips, an opener, played two Tests for West Indies as part of a second-string team during the tumultuous players’ strike of 2009, when Bangladesh toured West Indies.He narrowly missed out on joining an illustrious club of batsmen with centuries on debut when he perished for 94 in the first innings at Arnos Vale in Kingstown.Overall, he has played 57 first-class matches and scored a single hundred but has not featured in the domestic championship in nearly two years.Phillips said he was trying to make the best use of the time while the city remained under the state of emergency.“I’ve been on a couple bike rides out just to get some exercise. The gym I was in do the online fitness courses so it’s been good,” he explained.“Staying indoors can be mentally challenging especially for someone who is not accustomed to being locked indoors all day.”Australia has already recorded nearly 6 500 infections and 63 deaths. Victoria, meanwhile, has reported 1 291 infections and 14 deaths, and Premier Daniel Andrews said he had not yet ruled out extending the curfew “well beyond” the May 11 date.
FIBA’s Foundation, the International Basketball Foundation (IBF), yesterday launched its new ‘Basketball for Good’ digital platform (http://www.fiba.basketball/foundation).The Foundation, according to a FIBA release, will use the power of basketball to initiate positive social change globally, contributing to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.Following their recent inclusion in the United Nations Sports for Climate Action Framework, FIBA said, “This is another aspect where FIBA is aligning with the International Olympic Committee’s Olympic Agenda 2020 that endorses sustainability goals.”Integrated into the FIBA basketball website, the platform will showcase the diverse Basketball For Good projects the Foundation runs globally.As part of the new platform, IBF is also launching a “propose a project” form, enabling people to submit projects which require assistance and which align with the IBF’s vision and mission around ‘Basketball For Good’..The IBF started developing its Basketball For Good programmes in 2016 and now runs 15 projects in 64 countries, reaching 28 000 youths globally.The Foundation aims to grow the scale and impact of its Basketball For Good programme and this new digital platform will also become a central hub for the wider Basketball For Good community, including FIBA’s stakeholders such as national federations, leagues, clubs, NGOs and individuals that share the same vision of using basketball’s power to initiate positive change.Through the Basketball For Good platform, individuals can make donations, offer equipment or services to support the projects, or find out about volunteering opportunities.IBF president Horacio Muratore in a statement said: “We are very happy to launch our new platform as it will not only be a great way for us to display the impact that our projects have, but it will also allow us to showcase all the good that our basketball family creates throughout the world.”Patrick Haynes, the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) General Secretary and FIBA 3×3 Commission Member, is featured on the impact of the Foundation’s Antilles 3×3 project in the Caribbean region, saying, “Sport has the power to unite out communities – both the International Basketball Foundation and the Caribbean Basketball Confederation are dedicated and committed to developing and promoting the game of basketball, to bring people together, to unite our communities, and to make basketball the most popular sport in our communities.”The IBF’s new digital presence and social media platforms will be promoted on FIBA’s social media channels via Facebook and Instagram.
By Amlan ChakrabortyNEW DELHI (Reuters) – At 6’6” and 140kg, Rahkeem Cornwall would struggle to fit into anyone’s perception of what a modern day cricketer should look like but the West Indies off-spinner says he knows exactly how to get the best out of his big frame on the pitch.While his talent was recognised early on, the 27-year-old only made his Test debut against India in August last year.Three months later, he claimed his first 10-wicket match haul against Afghanistan and also played in the third and final Test against England last month.“Everybody’s not going to be small,” the towering spinner told Reuters from Trinidad. “I just stick to my strength and do what I know I can do and perform.” With his height, Antigua-born Cornwall generates more bounce than most off-spinners and combines it with his accuracy to trouble batsmen.“I think my height has played a big part … I also have to put the ball in the right areas to get the ball to spin,” said Cornwall, who is considered the heaviest player to have played Test cricket.Blessed with soft hands and sharp reflexes, Cornwall has also grown into a safe slip-catcher, illustrated by his stunning one-handed grab to dismiss England opener Rory Burns in Manchester last month. “I think my hands are good. I think I’m a good catcher of the cricket ball, so fielding in the slip comes easy to me.“I can field in different positions but I just prefer to be in the slip because I can catch.”Cornwall went wicketless in the Manchester Test, where England triumphed by 269 runs to complete a 2-1 series victory, but he said it was a learning experience. “Patience and adapting to different conditions is key,” said Cornwall, who currently plays for St Lucia Zouks in the Caribbean Premier League. “I think England is one of the toughest place to play cricket. I learned a lot from the test series.”
Asegun Comprehensive Secondary School, Ibadan, Oyo State, and Niger College Junior School, Benin City, Edo State, have qualified for the Etisalat U-15 School Cup football competition after emerging champions at the Ibadan Centre.The Edo and Oyo team outclassed schools from Ekiti, Ondo, Lagos, Ogun and Osun states at the Lekan Salami Stadium, Adamasingba and Wesley College playing ground, Elekuro to win the tickets to the National Finals billed for Lagos in November.Oyo defeated Osun State with the a solitary strike from Abdul Rasheed Qudus in their first game before walloping Ogun State 5-1 in their second game with Qudus again scoring a brace and providing two assists before edging Lagos team 1-0 in their last game.Similarly, Edo maintained an unbeaten run throughout the qualifiers after successive victories over Delta, Ondo and Ekiti states, scoring a total of eight goals and conceding just one. Meanwhile, schools from Kwara, Kogi, Nassarawa, Niger, Plateau, FCT, Benue and Cross River states will battle for the two slots available at the Ilorin regional qualifiers starting today at the Ilorin Township Stadium.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
The competition which is aim at discovering talents among the youth in the region is scheduled for July 18 to August 3 at the Iseyin District Grammar School, Iseyin, Oyo state.Speaking at a press conference, held at the House of Chiefs, Secretariat, Ibadan, the sponsor of the tournament, Shina Peller of Aquila Group said about 300 will compete for the trophy where the winner will represent the region at the proposed Oyo State league. As part of activities marking the 20 years remembrance of the late Moshood Abiola Peller, a football competition, tagged-Peller Unity Cup will berth among clubs in Oke-Ogun area of Oyo State. Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram The competition will played across 10 local government axis of Oke-Ogun and will involve 300 players.He said, “this is the maiden edition of the Peller football Unity Cup among our youths in Oke-Ogun area, my passion is for football and that is why we choose football ahead of other sports.The winner will go home with N500,000, the second and third position will share N450,000 while both MVPÂ and top scorers will share N100,000.Meanwhile, Oyo state commissioner for Youth and Sports, Mr. Yomi Oke applauded the conviction of the sponsor to give back to his community.He said, “Sports is no longer business of government alone but we need individuals to promote the game of sports. What Peller is doing today would go a long way in the mind of our youth.â€
Speaking on his invitation to the Under-17 World Cup Draw in India, Kanu admitted that Nigeriaâ€™s victory at the cadet World Cup really spurred his career to the lofty heights he attained before calling it quits.â€œThe FIFA U-17 World Cup 1993 really spurred my career â€“ within years of winning the title, I won the Olympic gold and from there, as I would like to believe, there wasnâ€™t any looking back,â€ stressed Kanu to FIFA.com yesterday.The former Inter Milan and Arsenal great stressed that the competition provides young players the opportunity to express themselves and develop.â€œThis tournament provides youngsters the necessary stage for development and I believe this yearâ€™s edition (India 2017) will provide us all with exceptional talent â€“ much like the previous tournaments,â€ concludes the two-time winner of African Footballer of the Year award.Africa is to be represented in India by the quartet of Mali, Ghana, Guinea and Niger Republic.Mali was the runners-up at the FIFA U-17 World Cup Chile 2015. The junior Eagles retained the CAF Under-17 Africa Cup in Gabon to be at the top of African representatives in India in October when hostilities begin.Interestingly, another past star of the competition, Esteban Cambiasso who played for Argentina at the 1995 edition was also invited to join Kanu at the Draw in New Delhi.Cambiasso who won the FIFA U-20 World Cup 1997 and was part of Argentinaâ€™s team at the 2010 FIFA World Cup will be joined by Indian local legends Sunil Chhetri and PV Sindhu, who will take part as draw assistants tomorrow.Chhetri is Indiaâ€™s national football team captain and all-time top goalscorer. Twenty-one-year-old badminton player PV Sindhu is one of Indiaâ€™s finest athletes at the moment and made waves after winning the Olympic silver medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics, becoming the youngest Indian to make a podium finish in an individual event at the Olympics.A total of 52 games will be played to decide the winner of the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Duro IkhazuagbeEven with the absence of Golden Eaglets from the defence of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup, the gameâ€™s governing body and Local Organising Committee (LOC) of India 2017 yesterday invited Nwankwo Kanu to attend the Official Draw ceremony scheduled for tomorrow, July 7, 2017.Nigeria is the back-to-back champion of the 2013 and 2015 editions held in UAE and Chile respectively.Kanu won the 1993 edition in Japan with the Golden Eaglets to set off a career that has made him a legend of the game today. Three years later, Kanu led Nigeriaâ€™s Dream Team to the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games to claim the menâ€™s football gold for Africa for the first time.He played for the Super Eagles at the 1998, 2002 and 2010 editions of the FIFA World Cups before bowing out of the round leather game.
Shooting Stars beating Akwa thrust Enyimba into third position, needing a win of any sort against Katsina United on the last day to book a CAF Confederation Cup ticket irrespective of what happens in Uyo. That his boys got a result Akwa failed to get in Ibadan should make Anyansi-Agwu one of the happiest men around the arena but his mood was shockingly different.He was among the last to leave as he was glued to his seat long after the final whistle. Hands on his jaw, he gazed into space and couldn’t mutter a word. Obviously, bemoaning a lost opportunity. When he managed to rise up, he took the ‘long’ walk speaking to no one. He was battling hard to subdue his emotions. Men also cry, you know.His expectations may have been heightened by the fact that his boys led till four minutes of regulation time left. At that point, the prospect of leaving Enugu with maximum points was more appealing. If Chibuzor Madu didn’t convert the late penalty that shared the spoils, Enyimba was primed to secure a Champions League ticket if they beat Katsina and MFM fails to win in Maiduguri on the last day.This was Anyansi-Agwu’s ideal scenario. While a return to the continent, whatever competition, is paramount, Enyimba always craves to play in the more illustrious Champions League. Why not? The People’s Elephants are two-time African champions and are always comfortable mixing it with the continent’s best.The hunger in Enyimba was highlighted in the way they approached the Wikki game on match day 36, well aware that only a high scoreline will boost their ambitions. The 4-0 scoreline would have served as a fillip to their quest for the bigger pie.Enyimba’s emphatic defeat of Wikki made Akwa rue missed chances in the 2-1 victory over Lobi two days earlier. Suddenly, the teams were tied on both points and goals difference. Hitherto, Akwa had a superior goals difference, an advantage that would have come to the fore if both teams ended up with the same points.Match day 37 results changed all these. If both teams lost, it would have come down to who conceded or scored more goals. The emphasis on the last match day would have been on the number of goals scored if they record routine wins at home. But Enyimba’s draw in Enugu places them in third position on 58 points, one ahead of Akwa.The tie on points and goals difference has been broken. Enyimba is now in the driving seat in the battle for the Confederation Cup ticket. Akwa must beat Kano Pillars in Uyo while hoping Enyimba doesn’t win against Katsina. But, while Akwa needs favours from Katsina, Enyimba needs no such favours from anyone. All they need to do is beat Katsina and the ticket is in the bag irrespective of what happens in Uyo. This highlights the importance of that solitary point in Enugu.So while Anyansi-Agwu might play Oliver Twist, he should also take into cognizance the other possible scenarios. What if Enyimba lost and Akwa won in Ibadan? What if Akwa had also drawn in Ibadan? What if the Promise Keepers had even won? Enyimba would have been on the back foot. Now, the ticket is theirs lose.Not a few believe Akwa has played the best football all season. They are even good enough to pick a Champions League ticket but Enyimba’s experience in season run-ins shone through. It is not yet Uhuru but the knack to get decisive results at crucial moments has made the task easier for the seven-time Nigerian champions. And it is Akwa’s failure to get such key results that has been their bane.But, while these teams’ aspirations have been limited to the Confederation Cup ticket, MFM should be grateful to Madu for not missing the late minute spot kick against Enyimba. MFM coach, Fidelis Ilechukwu has been talking tough, fancying his team’s chances of beating Elkanemi in Maiduguri while wishing Plateau bottle it against Rangers paving the way for the Olukoya boys to win the title. Ilechukwu can now concentrate on overhauling Plateau at the top since he has no cause to look over his shoulders.One man’s meat, another’s poison. Anyansi-Agwu’s loss, Ilechukwu’s gain.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Clement Nwankpa JrEnyimba’s Chairman, Felix Anyansi-Agwu’s countenance after Rangers forced his boys to a 1-1 draw in Enugu spoke volumes. You would expect him to be happy after news emerged that Akwa United had lost in Ibadan but he, obviously had other ideas.
Duro Ikhazuagbe in St PetersburgAs the group stage matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup here in Russia are about to be rounded up tomorrow in the various cities, Adidas Football yesterday unveiled the Official Match Ball for the knockout stage.According to the sportswear manufacturing giant, the Telstar Mechta ball comes with a new vivid red design inspired by the colours of the host nation, as well as the rising heat of the knockout-stage. The name Mechta translates as â€˜dreamâ€™ or â€˜ambitionâ€™ in Russian and is constructed with the same design elements as the Telstar 18, the ball used throughout the group stage, but adapted to reflect the added intensity and opportunity the knockout stage brings.The ball has a brand-new carcass that retains the best of the Brazuca, the Official Match Ball of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, while building in new technology to maximise performance.â€œIt went through extensive testing to ensure it suits the needs of the best players in the world. Some of the leading national and club sides have been involved in the testing process,â€ observed adidas in a statement yesterday.A progression from Official Match Balls of the past, a brand-new panel design features a metallic print execution and texture graphic effect, engineered to provide performance and durability both in the stadium and on the street. Sustainability has been a key focus of the Telstar 18 and Telstar Mechta, with elements including re-cycled backing material and packaging.The Telstar 18 and Telstar Mechta feature an embedded NFC chip â€“ the first time it is ever been used in an Official Match Ball â€“ making it the most innovative FIFA World Cup ball to date. The chip enables consumers to interact with the ball using a smartphone.Upon interaction, each ball generates a unique identifier, unlocking exclusive content and information for the user.The personalised and location-aware experience displays specific details of each ball and provides access to challenges, which users can enter in the run-up to the FIFA World Cup.Dean Lokes, Vice-president, Product from adidas, said: â€œThe Telstar 18 was a huge step forward technically when it came to Official Match Balls. With the Telstar Mechta we have taken that same innovative design and re-imagined it, creating a ball that perfectly suits the pressures and opportunities of the FIFA World Cup knock-out stage.Director Marketing Services at FIFA, Jean-Francois Pathy, also commented on the launch: “adidas and FIFA have enjoyed a long history of successful Official Match Balls over the past FIFA World Cup tournaments. This year, adidas delivers yet another beautifully designed ball, the Telstar Mechta, putting innovation and performance at the core of the game.â€Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
Chelsea winger Eden Hazard has also been linked with Real, but did attend training with the Blues on Monday.Courtois was named best goalkeeper at this summer’s World Cup in Russia, where Belgium beat England in the third-place play-off.He has played 154 times for Chelsea, keeping 58 clean sheets and conceding 152 goals.Speaking on Friday, new Blues manager Maurizio Sarri said he was unsure whether Courtois would stay.He said: “At the moment Courtois is the goalkeeper of Chelsea. I don’t know in the future. It depends on the club, it depends especially on him, but I hope Courtois will be our goalkeeper.”Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who has been linked with a move to Real Madrid, did not report for training with the Premier League club on Monday.And it is understood the Blues do not know when the 26-year-old Belgium international will return.Courtois has been a Blues player since 2011, when he signed from Belgian club Genk and was loaned to Atletico Madrid.