GTTA’s meeting with Chinese Embassy fruitful

Mr. Chen Xilai, the Deputy Chief of the Chinese Embassy, invited Guyana Table Tennis Association (GTTA) President Godfrey Munroe and his team last Thursday (February 2) to have a discussion on the shared vision and continued partnership between the Peoples Republic of China and the Guyana Table Tennis Association.
Mr. Chen shared a quote which forms part of the Chinese philosophy “It is joyful to play alone but its more joyful to play with others”

On this premise both sides discussed the continued partnership in relation to overseas and local training stints for players at all levels at the High Yield Training centres in China in 2023, training opportunities for officials, high level coaches to visit Guyana to work with our national teams, technical support and combined efforts on projects which will be geared to impact the livelihood of members of communities.

GTTA President Mr. Godfrey Munroe and Mr. Chen Xilai, Deputy Chief of the Embassy.

Several other initiatives were discussed including a goodwill tournament similar to the one held last year to celebrate 50 years of bilateral engagement between the two nations.

A review of some initiatives inclusive of the donation of equipment to the national program and the school program in partnership with the Ministry of Education was presented by GTTA President who also took the opportunity to convey greetings on behalf of the Minister of Education Hon. Priya Manickchand who is keen on having China’s support for expanding the national table tennis for schools project as part of the Ministry’s and Minister’s plan to have each student exiting the schools system exposed and oriented to sports, language and playing one musical instrument .


Chanderpaul, Brathwaite achieve rare feat in Bulawayo run fest

An opening double century stand from openers Kraigg Brathwaite and Tagenarine Chanderpaul has lifted the West Indies into the ascendancy against Zimbabwe in the first Test match in Bulawayo.

In control for large periods across day one and two, the pair’s biggest threat seemingly came from inclement weather, though rain only could delay the success of the pair who were both close to their best with the bat.

Brathwaite (126*) brought up his century first, reaching the milestone with a late cut through the slip cordon off the bowling of Wellington Masakadza. Not to be outdone, Chanderpaul brought up his maiden Test century in just his third Test match, calmly pushing Victor Nyauchi into the leg-side.

Tagenarine Chanderpaul reacts upon reaching his maiden test century vs Zimbabwe in Bulawayo.

Chanderpaul’s hundred was also the first Test century scored by a West Indies opener outside of Brathwaite since 2013, breaking a streak of a dozen unmatched hundreds from his partner.

As a result of their efforts, the pair joined elite company in their achievement, compiling just the West Indies’ tenth opening wicket double-century stand since their first ever Test back in 1928.

Rather fittingly, Daren Ganga, who accompanied Chris Gayle to the West Indies’ other opening double-century stand in Zimbabwe (214 in 2001 at the same ground), was on the call when the pair passed his figure. The stand is the first double-century opening stand for the team in Test cricket since 2012, and the fifth away from home.

Perhaps making the feat more remarkable, just 17 fours and a six have been hit by the pair at stumps on day two, with Zimbabwe’s bowlers toiling to no avail across the two days.

The hosts’ five-pronged attack have 20 maidens to show for their efforts, with Masakadza’s 0/30 from 16 overs the most economical of the group (1.87).

(Story & Photos from ICC – By Daniel Beswick)

Smith 2nd innings fifer fires Harpy Eagles to victory over Barbados Pride – WI Championship

By Michelangelo Jacobus

A fiery spell after lunch from Guyana Harpy Eagles pacer Nial Smith ensured that his side recorded a big win in their first round encounter against the defending champions Barbados Pride at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua on Saturday afternoon.

Smith’s 2nd innings figures of 5/31 (10 Overs) vindicated the Harpy Eagles’ skipper Leon Johnson’s decision to bat first as the previously dull pitch came alive on the fourth and final day of the match. Smith’s performance complemented the first innings effort of 19-year-old debutant Matthew Nandu who set the platform for the win with his excellent 126 on debut.

Earlier in the day, the Guyanese batting order collapsed in a heap as the Barbados pacers got the ball to move with poor shot selections not helping either. Seamers Akeem Jordan and Keon Harding were the destroyers-in-chief sharing six wickets between them with 3-apiece. Veteran Veerasammy Permaul and Smith had the highest partnership of the Guyanese 2nd innings and when the former was bowled by Chaim Holder, the Guyana Harpy Eagles declared at 126/9 leaving Barbados staring at a total of 278 for an unlikely victory.

Enter Smith; he began proceedings by getting first innings top scorer Sheyne Mosely to nick one to wicket-keeper Anthony Bramble for a duck in the second over while Shamar Joseph trapped Zachary McCaskie LBW in the very next over. However Jonathan Drakes and Shamarh Brooks looked to steady the ship and took their side from 9/2 to 30 before Brooks became Ronsford Beaton’s first victim.

The beginning of the end for the defending champions came courtesy of Veerasammy Permaul who snared the scalps of Nicolas Kirton and Shamar Springer in the 19th over to take his career tally to 504 wickets (the highest by a Guyanese bowler). Then Beaton added his second wicket of the innings when he sent back the Bajan skipper, a wounded Shane Dowrich for a two-ball duck to leave Barbados in serious trouble at 38/6.

Drakes (36) and Akeem Jordan (20) offered a brief resistance but the return of Smith sealed their end. He had Jordan holing out to Kevin Sinclair, then Drakes followed in similar fashion, caught by Permaul while Harding was also dismissed via a catch. Fittingly Smith sealed his five-wicket haul and a resounding win for the Guyana Harpy Eagles by bowling Jair McAllister to end the Barbados innings at 94 (36 overs).

SCORES: Guyana Harpy Eagles – 371 & 126/9 Declared, Barbados Pride – 220/9 & 94 All out

Guyana won by 183 runs.

Regions 4 & 3 set up One Guyana President’s Cup Final encounter for Jan 1

A star studded Region 4 (Demerara-Mahaica) side thrashed Region 5 (Mahaica-Berbice) 8-1 to set up a date in the One Guyana President’s Cup Final with Region 3 (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) who came out 5-2 victors over Region 7 (Cuyuni-Mazaruni).

In semi-final one, played at the National Track & Field Center in Leonora, Region 4 bossed the game throughout and the winner was never in doubt. Braces from Nicholas McArthur (17′, 30′) and Omari Glasgow (51′, 55′) along with strikes from Kelsey Benjamin (45′), Daniel Wilson (53′), Samuel Garnett (71′) and Jeremy Garrett (42′) condemned Region 5 to defeat. Abumchi Benjamin was the lone goalscorer for the losers, netting in the 84th minute.

Action in semi-final one between Regions 4 & 5 (One Guyana President’s Cup Photo)

Semi-final two at the same venue, saw Region 7 come up against Region 3, this match provided a more entertaining game but in the end Region 3 would persevere. Momentum swung both ways throughout the game as Region 7 took an early lead thanks to the boot of striker Whitney Welcome after just 3 minutes of play. However Region 3 tied things up in the 24th minute when Delon Lanferman struck, the eventual winners would take the lead seven minutes later through veteran Trayon Bobb. Shortly after the start of the second half, Lanferman extended his side’s lead with his second goal of the night in the 55th minute. Region 7 would then give their fans hopes of a comeback when Andrew Simmons found the back of the net in the 69th minute. However, Region 3’s Jamal Perreira put those hopes to bed when he made it 4-2 just 3 minutes later, Colwyn Adams 80th minute strike for the leaders was the proverbial nail in the coffin for Region 7.

With the semi-final win, Region 3 earned $400,000 to take their total to $1M in the tournament so far.

Region 4 also earned $400,000, putting their prize-tally to $1.2M, having played unbeaten in their four game Group-stage.

The two sides will collide on Sunday, (January 1, 2023) at the National Track & Field Center, Leonora where the winner will pocket $2M while the losers will walk away with $1M. The tournament’s MVP will receive a House Lot, compliments of the Government of Guyana, and highest goal scorer one Honda XR.

Govt plans to bid for hosting of PAK vs WI & ICC U-19 World Cup games

At the request of the newly-elected Executive Committee of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB), Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Hon. Charles Ramson Jnr. met with the members for a guided tour of the Providence National Stadium.
Minister Ramson updated members on the continuing works at the Stadium and in particular the playing area.

He said that he was well aware of the upcoming international tours to the region and revealed that the Government of Guyana, when necessary, will be bidding for matches at the Stadium, including the West Indies vs Pakistan T20 series and the ICC Under-19 World Cup Championship to be played in the West Indies in August 2021 and January 2022 respectively. The GCB members were all impressed with the facilities at the Stadium and noted that the ground and pitch were in excellent condition and up to international standard.

The Providence pitch is in perfect condition

Minister Ramson took the opportunity to again congratulate the Executive Members of the GCB on their recent appointments and urged them to build a strong cricket structure and establish partnerships with all cricket stakeholders in this new dispensation. He reminded the members that cricket is our national sport and that, in the discharge of their duties and responsibilities, they raise the bar in cricket administration.

He added that the Government of Guyana would be willing to partner with the GCB to ensure that Guyana is firmly placed as a cricket tourist destination. He noted that the GCB is the only sports body in Guyana that is governed by an Act of Parliament. So, it is incumbent on the Executive Committee to leave an exemplary legacy of accountability, good governance and public confidence.

The Minister once again expressed his profound sadness at the passing of the GCB Treasurer, Mr. Pretipaul Jaigobin, and suggested that the GCB should consider a cricket competition be played in his honour.

President of the GCB, Mr. Bissoondyal Singh, responded by thanking Minister Ramson for accommodating the visit by the GCB. He praised the Minister for the pivotal role he played in resolving the cricket impasse and added that the GCB looks forward to working with him and the Government of Guyana to realise the aims and objectives of the Board.

Skerritt & Shallow re-elected CWI President & VP; Singh & Foster elected CWI Directors from Guyana

ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Ricky Skerritt and Dr Kishore Shallow have been re-elected unopposed to the posts of President and Vice President respectively, of Cricket West Indies (CWI). They will serve a second two-year term. The re-election process was conducted as one of the key items on the agenda of the 22nd Annual General meeting of CWI, on Sunday April 11, 2021.

Skerritt said:

“I am humbled and deeply honored to be re-elected to serve as CWI President for a second term. I take the responsibility to lead the Board of this prestigious organization, most seriously. We have much unfinished work to do, and we renew our pledge to work untiringly to help achieve sustainable improvement, both on and off the field, for West Indies cricket.”

Dr. Kishore Shallow

Dr Shallow said:

“I am again grateful for the continued support of the member representatives for Ricky and myself. This re-election is a victory for West Indies cricket as we continue on the path of growing the game across the region, and achieving good outcomes on all fronts and at all levels.”

In addition to the election for President and Vice President, the following persons were duly elected as Member Directors of CWI:

  • Conde Riley – Barbados Cricket Association
  • Calvin Hope – Barbados Cricket Association
  • Bissoondyal Singh – Guyana Cricket Board
  • Hilbert Foster – Guyana Cricket Board
  • Wilford Heaven – Jamaica Cricket Association
  • Dr Donovan Bennett – Jamaica Cricket Association
  • Enoch Lewis – Leeward Islands Cricket Board
  • Leon Rodney – Leeward Islands Cricket Board
  • Azim Bassarath – Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board
  • Arjoon Ramlal – Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board
  • Julian Charles – Windward Islands Cricket Board
  • Dwain Gill – Windward Islands Cricket Board

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the meeting took place virtually via video conference. All of the Territorial Board Member Associations were fully represented. (CWI)

GAPLF Novices/Juniors National Championships set for April 25

The Guyana Amateur Powerlifting Federation (GAPLF) will host its Novices/ Juniors National Championship and Qualifiers on Sunday, April 25 according to a press release.

This will mark the return of an official GAPLF event since the Covid-19 pandemic struck in 2020.

The weigh in starts from 06:00 hrs to 07:30 hrs (6am to 7:30am) while competition begins at 08:00 hrs (8am). The location for the event will be announced at a later date.

The registration form and monies can be submitted to Martin Webster or payment can be made to the Federation’s bank account. After depositing the money in the account, athletes are asked to send images of both the registration form and deposit slip.

Bank: Republic Bank (Guyana) Limited
Account Name: Guyana Amateur Powerlifting Federation
Account Number: 962356552194

“Due to COVID- 19 the GAPLF will not be allowing spectators at the venue and each team will only be allowed one coach. Everyone present will be expected to wear a mask. The competition will be live- streamed for the virtual audience.”

West Indies dominate rain-interrupted day

The West Indies took control of the second Test on a rain-marred day three, with Sri Lanka’s hopes of taking a first-innings lead hanging by a thread.

Sri Lanka were 250/8 when rain halted play with the tourists still 104 runs behind.

The lone positive for Sri Lanka at the close of play was Pathum Nissanka’s presence at the crease, with the rookie unbeaten on 49.

Starting the day at 136/3 in reply to the West Indies’ total of 354, Sri Lanka’s main aim was reaching stumps with a first-innings lead established.

That looked a distinct possibility with Dinesh Chandimal and Dhananjaya de Silva both well set, having finished day two on 34 and 23 respectively.

However, the West Indies knew they were not too far away from Sri Lanka’s vulnerable tail and almost struck in the very first over of the day as Shannon Gabriel (1/33) drew an edge from Chandimal with a shorter delivery. The ball flew to the right of Rahkeem Cornwall at slip, who could not hold onto the diving effort.

Jason Holder and Kraigg Brathwaite celebrate a wicket.

But Gabriel did not have to wait too much longer for his first wicket of the match as the short ball ploy worked a trick against Chandimal. Dropped on 34, he pulled the fast bowler straight into the hands of deep square leg to fall for 44.

Fourteen overs later the West Indies stuck again as part-time off-spinner Jermaine Blackwood (1/16) struck with the first delivery of a new spell, dismissing Dhananjaya lbw for 39. To make matters worse for Sri Lanka, ball tracking suggested the delivery was going on to miss the leg stump but the batter had opted against the review.

A lengthy rain delay soon saw an early lunch taken as play was halted for an hour and a half.

Only nine overs were possible in the second session as the rain returned but the West Indies made the most of what little play there was, striking twice to expose the Sri Lankan tail.

It was the first wicket that mattered most as Jason Holder (2/39) drew an inside edge from Niroshan Dickwella, ending a dangerous 20 that came off just 25 balls. With the ball squeezing between bat and pad, the edge was missed by the on-field umpire before the West Indies wisely sent it upstairs.

With dark clouds looming, Alzarri Joseph (2/64) had Suranga Lakmal (6) caught at midwicket in the last meaningful moment before the heavens opened for a two-hour rain delay with Sri Lanka limping at 217/7, still 137 runs behind.

If not for the efforts of Nissanka in the company of the tail, their situation would have gotten even worse after play resumed.

Coming off a century on debut, Nissanka stood tall on Wednesday with an unbeaten 49.

He entrusted Dushmantha Chameera to hold his own against the fast bowlers but farmed the strike when Lasith Embuldeniya joined him in the middle, showing impressive maturity for a 22-year-old in just his second Test.

Chameera was struck twice by short deliveries before his brave 26-ball knock came to an end, edging Holder behind for two.

Offering more protection to Embuldeniya, Nissanka faced the bulk of the deliveries before rain ended the day’s play.

Nissanka will resume on day four with his eyes set on a second 50+ score in just his third Test innings and Sri Lanka’s hopes of reducing the deficit largely in his hands. (Story & Photos from ICC)

2nd CG Test in the balance after Brathwaite century

(Story & Photos from ICC)

A century from Kraigg Brathwaite proved the backbone of a strong first innings for the West Indies but Sri Lanka are firmly in the contest after another fifty from Lahiru Thirimanne.

Sri Lanka reached stumps at 136/3 trailing by 218 after bowling the West Indies out for 354 earlier in the day.

With Dinesh Chandimal (34) and Dhanajaya de Silva (23) both well set, the Sri Lankans will be hoping to take a key first-innings lead.

Having played within himself with plenty of success in the first Test, Thirimanne started his innings in the second Test with notably more positivity. He opened his account with a drive through mid-off for four in the innings’ first over from Roach (1/39).

Thiramanne is bowled by Kemar Roach

With his captain and opening partner Dimuth Karunaratne struggling at the other end, Thirimanne looked to keep the pressure on the West Indies’ attack, hitting another boundary in the sixth over off Shannon Gabriel (0/28).

While Thirimanne was seeing them well, Karunaratne (1) was struggling to get going. Having scored a single off the first ball he faced, he had since been kept scoreless for 15 balls. On the 16th he edged Alzarri Joseph (1/31) to the cordon, where he was caught spectacularly. Diving full length to his right at third slip, Nkrumah Bonner pulled in the catch with his right hand at full stretch.

Despite the loss of Karunaratne, Sri Lanka reached the tea break in the reasonably strong position of 60/1, with Thirimanne closing in on a half-century following a flurry of boundaries towards the end of the session.

It had been an eventful start to the innings for Oshada Fernando, who survived two lbw reviews from the West Indies before the tea break. Both reviews had come back ‘umpire’s call’. On 18 his time was up, trapped in front by Kyle Mayers (1/6).

And the hosts were soon celebrating a double-strike as Thirimanne played one shot too many, chopping on against Roach for 55 to leave Sri Lanka in a spot of bother at 77/3. It was Thirimanne’s third consecutive half-century for the series.

His fall meant two new batsmen were out in the middle but that did not prove the opening the West Indies had hoped, with Chandimal and Dhananjaya reaching stumps with relative ease – the latter surviving a caught behind appeal from Cornwall (0/8) in the final over of the day.

Earlier, the day started on a positive note for the West Indies as Brathwaite brought up his first Test century as captain on the second ball of the morning session.

It was a welcome return to form for the opener, who had not scored a century since 2018.

Having gone to sleep on 99, he put any nerves to bed at the start of the day by nudging Suranga Lakmal (4/94) down to fine leg for a single to reach the milestone in 241 deliveries. The 28-year-old has now scored nine Test centuries and he is the only West Indies opener to have scored a hundred in the format since Chris Gayle in 2013.

In the very next over the Sri Lankans thought they had their man as Brathwaite edged Vishwa Fernando (1/71) to second slip. However, umpire Joel Wilson suspected it was a bump-ball and the third umpire quickly confirmed as much.

The West Indies were soon celebrating another milestone as Cornwall raised his second consecutive half-century with an edged four behind point. Another edge for four through the same region took Cornwall past his previous Test best of 61. His next boundary was far more convincing – a backfoot cut for four that took the eighth-wicket stand past 100.

But Cornwall’s luck would soon run out as he miscued a drive against Lakmal straight into the hands of mid-off to perish for a 92-ball 73 featuring 10 fours and one six.

With his team at 325/8 and only the tail for company, Brathwaite started to play his strokes, punching Lakmal down the ground for one boundary before smoking Dushmantha Chameera (3/69) through the covers for another.

Unfortunately for the hosts, the fireworks did not last too long. Roach (9) came and went, caught behind off Chameera, and soon after Brathwaite’s 311-ball, 514-minute vigil came to an end.

The captain dragged a good length ball from Chameera onto his stumps, perishing for 126 having lifted his side to a commendable 354 after it was 185/6 at one point.

Max Verstappen takes pole position at Bahrain Grand Prix ahead of Lewis Hamilton

(Story by Andrew Benson from BBC)

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen beat Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes to take a stunning pole position at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

The Dutchman was 0.388 seconds quicker than Hamilton, as Red Bull made good on the pace the world champion had always said they had before the season.

Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas was third, ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Pierre Gasly’s Alpha Tauri.

Red Bull’s Sergio Perez was 11th and Sebastian Vettel 18th for Aston Martin.

Red Bull had looked the fastest car in pre-season testing, at least in Verstappen’s hands, and Hamilton had said before this race that Mercedes were “not the quickest”.

Verstappen had played down his status as favourite, but his confident demeanour and body language told another story, and the car’s pace on track and his driving underlined it.

Verstappen was quickest in all three practice sessions, and again in the first qualifying session, and his pace in the final session was everything he had been promising up to that point.

Verstappen pipped Hamilton by only 0.023secs on his first lap in the final session, but pulled a storming lap out of the bag on his last run.

“Of course we already had a great test week,” Verstappen said. “There are no guarantees, but the whole week the car has been working so well and been really enjoyable to drive. It all worked out perfectly so of course very happy with pole position.

“My first lap in Q3 wasn’t amazing, so I knew there was more in it. I never knew how much but the balance was there and I could push more and luckily when it mattered we could perform.

“In general the car has been working really well in short and long runs.”

Hamilton said: “Amazing. Max did such a great job. He was so fast on that last lap. Absolutely gave it everything I had, but unfortunately it wasn’t good enough.

“It was the best I could do. I got absolutely everything out of the car – we did such a good job since testing, the guys back at the factory, to get the car where we needed it to be closer to the Red Bulls. In testing, we thought we were further behind.”

Leclerc lived up to his reputation as one of the fastest drivers in F1 on a single qualifying lap with a superlative performance in the Ferrari.

He had been out-paced by new team-mate Carlos Sainz for most of the weekend, but on his final lap he revived memories of some of his outstanding performances last year and beat Sainz by 0.537secs.

The Spaniard ended up eighth quickest, just ahead of the Alpine of Fernando Alonso, back in F1 after two years away.

Alonso had appeared to be struggling through the practice sessions, but he came alive in qualifying. He was 0.5secs quicker than team-mate Esteban Ocon on his first lap in the first session before the Frenchman was hampered by a yellow flag on his second lap and was knocked out at the end of Q1.

Behind Leclerc, Gasly proved that the Alpha Tauri team, Red Bull’s second outfit, have made great strides over the winter, to beat the McLarens of Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris.

The Frenchman’s rookie team-mate, the Japanese Yuki Tsunoda, caused a sensation when he went second fastest in the first session, but he fell away as qualifying progressed, and failed to make it through the second session to line up 11th on the grid.

Gasly has an advantage over Leclerc, the McLarens and Alonso in that he made it through Q2 on the medium tyre, which is the favoured tyre for the start of the race, whereas the other leading midfield cars are starting on the soft.

Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll was the final driver in the top 10.

Perez was signed by Red Bull in the hope that he could be closer to Verstappen than his predecessors Alex Albon and Gasly.

But the Mexican came unstuck in the second session, when he chose to continue on the medium tyres for a second run, after being 0.4secs slower than Verstappen on his first run, and was leapfrogged by other drivers with slower cars switching to the softs.

It was even worse for Vettel. The four-time champion had been behind team-mate Stroll all weekend, and had a mediocre lap on his first run in Q1. He could not improve on his second run because Haas rookie Nikita Mazepin spun in front of him at Turn One and brought out yellow caution flags.

Mazepin, who has had four spins over the course of the weekend so far, will not have won any friends by his actions, as there is a gentlemen’s agreement not to overtake other cars in the queue to start a fast lap in the final corners of the circuit.

His team-mate Mick Schumacher, son of seven-time champion Michael, qualified 19th on his debut for Haas.

George Russell made it into Q2 and was 15th for Williams.