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National Stadium for Reg 10, President Ali announces

Linden, Region Ten can expect major transformational development in the coming years with the construction of a national stadium on the cards, His Excellency, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali announced on Friday.

The president made the announcement while engaging residents of Linden at the Christiansburg Community Centre ground.

This new development will add to the synthetic track and field facility at the Bayroc Community Centre Ground, Wismar.

While these major projects are in the pipeline, President Ali stated that all recreational spaces, footpaths, and roads leading to schools, health centres, and other public spaces will be upgraded.

“Whether it is the fence, grading and shaping the ground, bringing the facility up to standard, this year we are going to fix all the grounds associated with schools in Region 10,” President Ali said.

President Ali also announced plans to develop the town of Linden as a center for mechanical and engineering services. The local people will be trained to work in these fields.

“We want to work on developing a particular area that will be able to provide mechanical services, engineering services, tire repair so that we can service the hinterland with here being the major hub to provide those services,” he explained.

In the area of agriculture, a team will be returning to the area to identify a programme to improve production. Drainage and irrigation will be addressed simultaneously.

Currently, Linden is benefitting from major developments in the housing sector as part of the government’s 1,000 homes project announced by President Ali during his first major outreach in 2021. Several homes have been completed and handed over to individuals under this project.

The head of state emphasised the government’s commitment to providing equal opportunities for all citizens and called for collective action to identify and prioritise issues. The government will then provide the necessary support to address these issues.

“So let us move on this trajectory of development here in this community…

That is why I want the ministers to come and walk the grounds with you next week. So that you will say what your priorities are because you are people who understand the reality,” he said.

The residents, who raised concerns and issues, commended the President Ali-led Administration for the work it has been doing, particularly in the vulnerable communities.

The president was accompanied by Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hugh Todd, Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Nigel Dharamlall, and other technical officers.

Brian Lara to assist Cricket West Indies as Performance Mentor

Cricket West Indies (CWI) today announced that former West Indies Captain and batting legend, Brian Lara, has agreed to assist CWI as a Performance Mentor – working across all international Teams and with input into the West Indies Academy.

Lara’s new role will be to support the various Head Coaches in providing players with tactical advice and improving their game sense, as well as working closely with the Director of Cricket on ICC World Cup Tournament strategic planning.

Jimmy Adams, CWI Director of Cricket said, “I am really looking forward to Brian making a significant contribution to our cricket system by providing invaluable guidance and advice to our players and coaches. We are confident that Brian will help to improve our high-performance mindset and strategic culture that will bring us more success on the field across all formats. Everyone is excited to have Brian involved in supporting our players.”

Brian Lara said, “Having spent time with the players and coaches in Australia and in discussions with CWI, I really believe that I can help the players with their mental approach to the game and with their tactics to be more successful. I’m looking forward to joining the group in Zimbabwe and the opportunity to work with other West Indies teams later in the year.”

Lara’s first assignment will be with the West Indies Test squad. He has joined the Test squad in Zimbabwe where he will assist in the team’s preparations ahead of the first Test Match in Bulawayo on 4 February 2023.

Defending Champions Barbados to face Guyana in WI Championship opener

Cricket West Indies (CWI) today announced the match schedule and venues for the first two rounds of the West Indies Championship, the region’s first-class four-day red ball tournament, which will be played in Antigua and Grenada. The tournament will open with the Windward Islands Volcanoes hosting the Trinidad & Tobago Red Force at the Grenada National Stadium (GNS). This match will start on 31 January and will continue on 1 to 3 February.

In Antigua, defending champions the Barbados Pride will start their bid for a third straight title when they face Guyana Harpy Eagles in the feature match at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium (SVRS) on 1 to 4 February. The third contest will see the Leeward Islands Hurricanes hosting the Jamaica Scorpions at the Coolidge Cricket Ground (CCG) from 1 to 4 February.

The second round will be played from 8 to 11 February when the Barbados Pride will meet the Jamaica Scorpions at CCG; Trinidad & Tobago Red Force travel to face the Leeward Islands Hurricanes at the SVRS, and the Guyana Harpy Eagles take on the Windward Islands Volcanoes at the GNS.

The third round of the West Indies Championship resumes on 15 March with the final round concluding on 1 April when the 2023 Champions will be crowned and presented with the Headley Weekes Trophy. The final three rounds will all be played in Trinidad and the venues will be announced at a later date.

Roland Holder, CWI’s Manager of Cricket Operations said: “We are happy to announce the match schedule and venues for the first two rounds of the West Indies Championship, our flagship regional tournament on the annual calendar. The six teams have been preparing diligently for the upcoming season and we expect to see keen competition this year as they battle for the Headley Weekes trophy. From the tournament, the best performers also have the reward of playing for Team Weekes and Team Headley in the new tournament announced by CWI scheduled for April and May.”

The new Headley Weekes Series will follow the West Indies Championship and will feature three matches and three teams. Team Headley and Team Weekes will select from the best performers in the 2023 West Indies Championship and players outside the starting West Indies Test XI. The new West Indies Academy will provide the third team in the new Series.

Team Headley and Team Weekes are named in honour of West Indies pioneers and legendary batting greats George Headley and Sir Everton Weekes, whose names are also honoured on the Trophy for the winners of the West Indies Championship. All three matches will be played from 18 April to 6 May at CCG in Antigua.

Every West Indies Championship match will be streamed live on the Windies Cricket YouTube channel. Fans can follow each and every game from their mobile devices, computers or connected TVs, including access to live ball-by-ball scoring on the Windiescricket.com live match centre.

2023 WEST INDIES CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH SCHEDULE

All matches start at 10am Eastern Caribbean time (9am Jamaica time)

GNS – Grenada National Stadium, Grenada

SVRS – Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua

CCG – Coolidge Cricket Ground, Antigua

ROUND 1:

31 January to 3 February – Grenada

Windward Islands Volcanoes v Trinidad & Tobago Red Force at GNS

1 to 4 February – Antigua

Barbados Pride v Guyana Harpy Eagles at SVRS

Leeward Islands Hurricanes v Jamaica Scorpions at CCG

ROUND 2:

8 to 11 February – Grenada and Antigua

Windward Islands Volcanoes v Guyana Harpy Eagles at GNS

Leeward Islands Hurricanes v Trinidad and Tobago Red Force at SVRS

Jamaica Scorpions v Barbados Pride at CCG

ROUND 3:

15 to 18 March in Trinidad – Venues to be confirmed

Trinidad and Tobago Red Force v Guyana Harpy Eagles

Jamaica Scorpions v Windward Islands Volcanoes

Leeward Islands Hurricanes v Barbados Pride

ROUND 4:

22 to 25 March in Trinidad – Venues to be confirmed

Trinidad & Tobago Red Force v Barbados Pride

Guyana Harpy Eagles vs Jamaica Scorpions

Leeward Islands Hurricanes v Windward Islands Volcanoes

ROUND 5:

29 March to 1 April in Trinidad – Venues to be confirmed

Trinidad & Tobago Red Force v Jamaica Scorpions

Guyana Harpy Eagles v Leeward Islands Hurricanes

Barbados Pride v Windward Islands Volcanoes

Headley Weekes Tri-Series

All matches to be played at CCG, Antigua

Match 1: 19 to 22 April: Team Headley v West Indies Academy

Match 2: 26 to 29 April: Team Weekes v West Indies Academy

Match 3: 3 to 6 May: Team Weekes v Team Headley

Briton John wins Invitational cycling season opener in dominant fashion

Exciting young cyclist Briton John dominated the opening race of the 2023 cycling season to claim first blood of the new year at the inner circuit of the National Park on Saturday morning.

Unchallenged! Briton John crosses the finish line to claim the season opener.

Deemed an unofficial race (not sanctioned by the Guyana Cycling Federation) and organized among the cyclists and former cyclists of the fraternity, rain put a damper on attendance and saw only 9 cyclists at the starting line.

Jamual John crosses the line ahead of youngster Alexander Leung to claim 2nd place.

However the weather did not put a damper on competitive spirits as first Jamual John led the pack only for Briton to attack and break away from his counterparts as he established a lengthy lead that he would maintain for the remainder of the race.

The real competition was mid pack as youngster Alexander Leung showed incredible stamina and determination to keep pace with the much more experienced Jamual John among others.

The latter would finish second overall while Leung finished third, Aaron Newton fourth, Alexis Mendez fifth and Marlon Williams sixth.

Leung claimed first place in the Junior category with Aaron Newton second and Jerone Ghanie third respectively.

Ghanie claimed top honours in the Juvenile category with Christian Dudley coming in second.

Of the five Primes (Sprint Prizes) on offer, Jamual John took one while the other four were claimed by Briton.

Nedd, Savoury, Joseph & Nandu earn Guyana Harpy Eagles call-up

The Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) has announced a 13-man squad for the first and second rounds of the West Indies Championship, 2023. The squad sees four newcomers in promising young opener Matthew Nandu, wicket-keeper/batsman Kemol Savoury, exciting young fast bowler Shamar Joseph and spinner Ashmead Nedd. On the flipside, there is a notable absentee in experienced middle-order batsman Vishaul Singh.

The Guyana Harpy Eagles will play Barbados Pride at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua, from February 1 to February 4, and Windward Islands Volcanoes at the National Stadium in Grenada from February 8 to February 11.

Ashmead Nedd

The Guyana Harpy Eagles squad is: Leon Johnson (Captain), Veerasammy Permaul (Vice Captain), Chandrapaul Hemraj, Matthew Nandu, Kemol Savory, Tevin Imlach, Anthony Bramble, Kevin Sinclair, Nial Smith, Ronsford Beaton, Akshaya Persaud, Ashmead Nedd and Shamar Joseph.

The Manager is Albert Clements, Head Coach Ryan Hercules, Assistant Coach Garvin Nedd, Cricket Analyst Keshava Ramphal and Physiotherapist Angelica Holder.

Shamar Joseph

Reserves: Mavindra Dindyal, Kevlon Anderson, Demetri Cameron, Richie Looknauth and Antony Adams.

Prior to the expected Guyana Harpy Eagles departure on Sunday, January 29, the squad and reserves will be engaged in training sessions from Monday (January 23) to Friday(January 27) at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence.

Guyana Harpy Eagles Practice Match: Sinclair’s all-round brilliance hands Imlach’s XI big win!

After a quiet 1st innings with both bat and ball, all-rounder Kevin Sinclair produced the goods (74 & 4/54) to help the Tevin Imlach XI to a 143-run victory over Gudakesh Motie’s XI.

Resuming day 3 on 167/4, Imlach’s XI lost a further 2 wickets quickly before Sinclair entered the fray and together with Akshaya Persaud, the duo put on an 88-run partnership before the latter fell for 31. Sinclair followed shortly for a well played 74, from there, wickets tumbled cheaply and Imlach XI were eventually all out for 300.

Needing a challenging 310 to win, Motie’s XI never quite got going with Anthony Bramble providing the only spark of resistance with a well-played 55 while opener Rampertab Ramnauth got a start (35) but couldn’t kick on. Sinclair along with Anthony Adams (4/25) ran through the batting line-up as the Motie XI could only muster up 167 before being bowled out, 143 runs behind the required target.

Scores: Tevin Imlach XI 1st Innings 226 (Nandu 50, Motie 3/8), Motie XI 216 (Dindyal 43, Permaul 5/8), Tevin Imlach XI 2nd Innings 300 (Sinclair 74, Looknauth 4/87), Motie XI 2nd Innings 167 (Bramble 55, Adams 4/25)

Imlach & Hemraj half-centuries hand Imlach’s XI a healthy lead on day 2

With day 3 of the 2nd Guyana Harpy Eagles practice match set to be played today, Tevin Imlach’s XI enjoys a healthy lead of 177 runs in their 2nd innings. When play resumed yesterday at the Providence National Stadium, Gudakesh Motie’s XI were 46/2, 180 runs adrift of Imlach XI’s 1st Innings total of 226 and were eventually bowled out for 216.

Veteran left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul was ruthless enroute to yet another five-wicket haul, he snared the scalps of top-scorers Mavindra Dindyal (47) and Anthony Bramble (37) and ended with figures of 5/8 (7.5 overs). He was well supported by seamers Demitri Cameron (2/32), Shamar Joseph (2/49) and Clinton Pestano (1/40).

Batting a second time, Imlach’s XI suffered an early blow as 1st innings top scorer Matthew Nandu was caught behind off the bowling of Nial Smith for a duck, however Chandrapaul Hemraj and skipper Tevin Imlach (65) combined to steady the ship with a second wicket partnership of 116 before the latter fell caught off the bowling of Ashmeade Nedd.

Hemraj would follow shortly as he fell off the bowling of Motie for a typically aggressive 60 which included 14 boundaries. The only other casualty before the close of play was Leon Johnson who was bowled by Motie for 11.

When play resumes today, Imlach’s XI lead by 177 runs in their second innings with Kevlon Anderson on 18 and Akshaya Persaud yet to face a delivery.

Harpy Eagles Practice Match 2: Nandu & Motie performances highlight day 1

With play set to resume today, a patient half-century from young opening batsman Matthew Nandu and miserly figures of 3/8 (8.4 Overs) from Gudakesh Motie highlighted day one of the 2nd Guyana Harpy Eagles practice match at the Providence National Stadium.

Earlier yesterday, Tevin Imlach’s XI won the toss and elected to take first strike against the Gudakesh Motie XI. Nandu along with veteran Chandrapaul Hemraj got Imlach’s XI off to a flyer. Hemraj was the aggressor racing to 46 from 36 deliveries before he got out with the score at 72. From there on out, wickets fell at regular intervals as Imlach (11) and Kevlon Anderson (5) both came and went. The returning Leon Johnson joined Nandu and together they guided their side from 90/3 to 140 before Nandu fell for a well composed 50 courtesy of Ronaldo Mohamed-Ali.

Johnson (25) along with Akshaya Persaud (22) and Shamar Yearwood (37) were the only other batsmen to get scores worthy of note as all the others fell cheaply.

For the bowling side, Motie led from the front as the chief destroyer and was well supported by spinners Junior Sinclair (2/33) and Richie Looknauth (2/29) while Ashmeade Nedd, Mohamed-Ali and Nial Smith took a wicket apiece.

In response at stumps, Motie’s XI was trailing by 180 runs on 46/2 having lost opener Rampertab Ramnauth (24) and night watchman Ronsford Beaton (4). When play resumes today, Tagenarine Chanderpaul (12 not out) and Mavindra Dindyal (6 not out) will resume the innings.

Day 1: Imlach XI won the toss & elected to bat

Scores: Imlach XI 1st Innings- 226 All Out (Nandu 50, Motie 3/8)

(Close of Play) Gudakesh Motie X1: 46 for 2 (12 overs) trail by 180 runs

Motie, Gabriel & Warrican recalled to WI side for Zimbabwe tests

ST JOHN’S, Antigua – The Cricket West Indies’ (CWI) Men’s Selection Panel today announced the 15-member squad for the upcoming two-match Test Series in Zimbabwe, starting on 4 February. The Selection Panel recalled experienced fast bowler Shannon Gabriel, as well as left-arm spinners Gudakesh Motie and Jomel Warrican.

Gabriel has taken 161 wickets in 56 Tests, placing him joint 12th in the West Indies all-time wicket-takers list and more recently was the joint-leading wicket taker in the CG United Super50 Cup for the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in November last year.

Gabriel’s last Test Match was against Sri Lanka in November 2021. Warrican’s last international appearance was also in Sri Lanka in December 2021 when he played in both matches in the Test Series. Motie made his Test debut for West Indies in Antigua in June 2022 in the first Test of the two-match Series victory against Bangladesh.

Jayden Seales is unavailable for selection following a knee injury and subsequent surgery; while Anderson Phillip is also unavailable due to injury.

Lead Selector, The Most Hon Dr Desmond Haynes said: “This is the start of the international calendar for 2023 and we will hope to start with a win. We appreciate it won’t be as easy assignment as Zimbabwe, like most other teams in world cricket, play very well on their home soil on pitches that will support their style of play.”

Haynes added: “We looked at the conditions we anticipate playing in, and have included two left-arm spinners who didn’t go to Australia in Motie and Warrican. With our fast bowlers, Seales has done extremely well for us since he started back in 2021, but with him unavailable we have decided that Gabriel would be best able to fill that role. He (Gabriel) is an experienced bowler who has been at the international level for over 10 years and has knowledge of the conditions in Zimbabwe when we won there in 2017.”

West Indies will play both Test matches at the Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo, with the first Test running from 4 to 8 February, and the second match from 12 to 16 February. Ahead of the two-Test Series, West Indies will have a three-day warm-up match against a local side set for 28 to 30 January at Bulawayo Athletic Club. All matches start at 10am local time (4am Eastern Caribbean/3am Jamaica).

The last Test Series between Zimbabwe and the West Indies was also played at Queens Sports Club in October 2017. West Indies won the two-match Series 1-0, winning the first contest by 117 runs with the second Test ending in a draw.

FULL SQUAD

Kraigg Brathwaite (captain)

Jermaine Blackwood (vice captain)

Nkrumah Bonner

Tagnarine Chanderpaul

Roston Chase

Joshua Da Silva

Shannon Gabriel

Jason Holder

Alzarri Joseph

Kyle Mayers

Gudakesh Motie

Raymon Reifer

Kemar Roach

Devon Thomas

Jomel Warrican

MATCH SCHEDULE

28-30 January: three-day warm-up match at Bulawayo Athletic Club

4-8 February: 1st Test at Queens Sports Club, Bulawayo

12-16 February: 2nd Test at Queens Sports Club

Australia pull out of Afghanistan ODIs

Cricket Australia has withdrawn their men’s team from a scheduled three-match ODI series against Afghanistan to be played in the UAE in March following consultation with the Australian government.

Australia were scheduled to play Afghanistan as part of the ICC Super League following the tour of India. But CA released a statement on Thursday stating that it had withdrawn from the series following a recent announcement from the Taliban that it was banning university education for girls, which ICC CEO Geoff Allardice described as concerning.

“Following extensive consultation with relevant stakeholders, including the Australian Government, Cricket Australia has decided that it is unable to proceed at this time with the upcoming ICC Super League three-match Men’s ODI series between Australia and Afghanistan scheduled for the UAE in March 2023,” the CA statement said.

“This decision follows the recent announcement by the Taliban of further restrictions on women’s and girls’ education and employment opportunities and their ability to access parks and gyms.

“CA is committed to supporting growing the game for women and men around the world, including in Afghanistan, and will continue to engage with the Afghanistan Cricket Board in anticipation of improved conditions for women and girls in the country.

“We thank the Australian Government for its support on this matter.”

The ICC has also expressed its concern over the situation in Afghanistan. “We want to see men and women safely playing cricket in Afghanistan and have consistently held the view that the best way to achieve this is by supporting our Member, the Afghanistan Cricket Board, in its endeavours to develop the game in the country,” an ICC spokesperson told ESPNcricinfo. “We are concerned by recent developments in Afghanistan and the ICC board will consider the implications of these developments at its next meeting and we remain in contact with other global sporting organisations who share our aim of seeing men and women playing sport in Afghanistan.”

This is the second time in two years CA has cancelled a bilateral fixture with Afghanistan due to the Taliban government’s policies on women following the postponement of the one-off Test that was scheduled to be played in Hobart in November 2021.

Australia did play Afghanistan in Adelaide during the recent T20 World Cup. The two sides have met four times in international cricket but never in a Test match and only once in a bilateral match in 2012, with the other three meetings coming in World Cups.

Australia are slated to meet Afghanistan twice more in the next Future Tours cycle with three T20Is scheduled for a neutral venue in August 2024 and Afghanistan due to tour Australia in August 2026 to play one Test and three T20Is.

(Story from ESPNcricinfo)

Khawaja, Smith & Head pummel SA to put Australia in command

Usman Khawaja made his highest Test score, while Steven Smith overtook Sir Donald Bradman in the record books with his 30th Test hundred, as Australia gained a stranglehold on the third Test against a hapless South Africa.

Khawaja was ruthless on a slow SCG surface to finish unbeaten on 195 and anchor Australia’s massive 475 for 4. But their push for a declaration before stumps on day two was thwarted by rain ending play an hour early.

With a declaration looming, Khawaja and Travis Head accelerated after tea with Australia keen on moving the match forward due to more rain forecast in Sydney on days three and four.

In what has become a trademark, Head played a swashbuckling innings to smash a flagging South Africa attack with a 59-ball 70 before holing out. In his first Test match since 2018, and having tested positive for Covid-19 on a rapid antigen test before play on day one, Matt Renshaw was on 5 not out.

Khawaja bettered his highest Test score of 174 in streaky fashion with a gloved boundary that just beat high-flying wicketkeeper Kyle Verreynne. His 13th Test century took him level with Wally Hammond, Doug Walters and VVS Laxman as the only batters to have struck three consecutive tons at the SCG.

Having revived his Test career a year ago with twin centuries against England on this ground, Khawaja has now hit four centuries from seven Tests at the SCG with an average over 100.

It ended a frustrating Test summer for Khawaja, who had missed out on Australia’s run glut and only averaged 27.43 from seven previous innings.

Khawaja combined in a 209-run partnership with Smith to torment South Africa for most of the first two sessions on day two. It was their 10th century partnership from just 33 innings and their highest stand, overtaking their 188 against England at the SCG in 2018.

Having moved past Bradman on the career Test century list with his 30th ton, Smith fell for 104 after tamely spooning a return catch to spinner Keshav Maharaj.

After a slow start, Smith produced a masterclass and reached his ton with a pull shot to the boundary off Anrich Nortje. His back-foot trigger movement was more pronounced in this innings, having been refined earlier in the season, but it didn’t affect his game with Smith toying with the bowlers.

It would have particularly satisfied Smith, who in 20 previous innings against South Africa averaged 41.67 – nearly 20 below his career mark. His only Test ton was in his first innings against them when he struck 100 in Centurion in 2014.

In the process, Smith overtook Matthew Hayden and Michael Clarke to sit fourth overall in Test career runs for Australia. He also passed 1000 Test runs at the SCG as he struck his fourth ton on his home ground.

Another strong Australian batting effort put them on track for a clean sweep of the series with victory to secure a position in the World Test Championship final in June. They also completely sucked the life out of a beleaguered South Africa, who have been out of answers.

With just four wickets in 131 overs, the spotlight might further shine on under-pressure skipper Dean Elgar who has seemingly been reactionary and conservative with his tactics.

He juggled his bowlers sometimes bafflingly like when Nortje and spearhead Kagiso Rabada were not used after lunch with offspinner Simon Harmer taking an almost brand new ball.

Harmer had been under-bowled on day one and in the first session, but struggled to make an impact and was hit for a huge six by a fleet-footed Smith.

Nortje couldn’t quite summon the same fire he conjured during his heroic day one effort, where he claimed the only two wickets, while Rabada was wayward to continue a disappointing series.

There was relief for left-arm spinner Maharaj after removing Smith out of nowhere. He was finally rewarded having leaked 247 runs off 75.5 overs in the series before his long overdue first scalp.

Their chances of a victory to revive their slim chances of making the World Test Championship final appear forlorn. To avoid a series whitewash, South Africa might need Sydney’s temperamental weather to further intervene.

Stumps Australia 475 for 4 (Khawaja 195*, Smith 104, Head 70, Nortje 2-55) vs South Africa

(Story from ESPNcricinfo by Tristan Lavalette)

Barcelona need extra time to beat third-tier Intercity in Copa del Rey

Former Barcelona junior Oriol Soldevila scored a hat trick against his old club but still ended on the losing side as third tier InterCity took the LaLiga giants to extra time before losing 4-3 in a dramatic Copa del Rey tie on Wednesday.

InterCity, promoted to the third division last season, came from behind three times to force extra time after a 3-3 draw at the end of 90 minutes, but were then knocked out when substitute Ansu Fati netted a 103rd-minute winner in Alicante to put Barca in the round of 16.

Ronald Araujo, Ousmane Dembele and Raphinha were Barcelona’s other scorers while the 21-year-old Soldevila netted his three goals in a 25-minute second-half spell including a dramatic third in the 86th minute to take the tie to extra time.

Soldevila spent two years at the Barcelona academy before moving to England for two seasons at Birmingham City, where he failed to break through into the first team.

“The Copa is like this, we know it, it’s not easy,” Araújo said. “It’s important that we learn from it and correct our mistakes.”

The game was played not long after Spain’s administrative court for sports upheld a three-game suspension for Barcelona striker Robert Lewandowski in the Spanish league, taking him out of the league match against Atletico Madrid on Sunday. He had not been in the squad for the Copa match against Intercity.

The suspension had been lifted by a court of disputes after an appeal by Barcelona. The Poland striker had been allowed to play in last weekend’s 1-1 league draw against Espanyol, which later challenged the result of the derby saying it was harmed by the unexpected decision by the Madrid court to temporarily lift the suspension.

Barcelona, Real Madrid, Valencia and Real Betis had not played until this round because they are part of the Spanish Super Cup that will begin next week.

Dani Alves accused of sexual assault in Barcelona

Brazil international Dani Alves was formally accused of sexual assault at a nightclub in Barcelona last week, a Catalan police source confirmed to the news agency EFE.

A spokesman for the local police in Barcelona told ESPN a complaint was filed on Monday relating to an incident at Sutton, a popular night spot in the city, but could not confirm the identities of those implicated.

“The investigation is still ongoing,” the spokesman said.

ESPN has also contacted Alves’ camp for comment.

EFE reported that a woman has filed a police report against Alves, alleging that he touched her inappropriately under her clothes without consent during a night out on Dec. 30.

After the incident, the woman says she told security what had happened and local police were informed and took witness statements.

Alves, 39, was in Barcelona following his participation at the World Cup with Brazil in Qatar. He had spent time in the city training with Barca’s B team in the lead-up to the finals and returned following the Selecao’s elimination..

He is now back in Mexico, where he plays for Pumas UNAM following a 22-year professional career that has seen him play for Bahia, Sevilla, Barcelona, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and Sao Paulo.

(Story from ESPN FC)

Bad light & rain ends day with Australia two down

Stumps Australia 147 for 2 (Labuschagne 79, Khawaja 54*, Nortje 2-26) vs South Africa

Marnus Labuschagne and Usman Khawaja hit half-centuries for Australia on a truncated day one before Anrich Nortje helped South Africa claw back into the third Test at a gloomy SCG.

After captain Pat Cummins won a crucial toss and elected to bat on a dry surface, Australia reached stumps at 147 for 2 with Khawaja unbeaten on 54 and Steven Smith yet to face a delivery.

Labuschagne fell for 79 on what turned out to be the final delivery of the day’s play. Only 47 overs were bowled due to bad light and rain much to the disappointment of the 31,000 crowd in another Sydney Test match affected by inclement conditions.

Labuschagne and Khawaja had built a strong platform with a 135-run partnership after the early loss of opener David Warner for 10. There was a delay of more than two hours due to bad light before five overs were squeezed in late in the day and Nortje capitalised with a cracking delivery to remove Labuschagne.

Exerting plenty of energy, Nortje conjured sharp bounce and pace on the slow surface to produce an unplayable delivery that had Labuschagne caught behind.

After a lionhearted effort in Melbourne, Nortje was again the standout with 2 for 26 from 11 overs having earlier taken the wicket of Warner. He has kept a struggling South Africa buoyant after Australia threatened to grab an early stranglehold of the contest.

Labuschagne had been irrepressible until on 70 he appeared to be dismissed out of nowhere when he edged seamer Marco Jansen to first slip where Simon Harmer claimed a low catch.

It was given out on the soft signal but Labuschagne stood his ground and it seemed difficult to prove from replays whether Harmer had his hands under the ball close to the turf.

Third umpire Richard Kettleborough overturned the decision much to the frustration of South Africa. It only furthered Labuschagne’s reputation as a rather charmed batter but he had played imperiously before that contentious incident with five boundaries in 12 balls to go from 40 to 61.

After bowling well before lunch, Harmer trapped Khawaja lbw with the second delivery of the second session only for the decision to be reversed when replays showed the ball hit the glove first.

Having revived his career a year ago with twin centuries against England on this ground, Khawaja passed 4000 career Test runs en route to a half-century.

Under-pressure South Africa captain Dean Elgar once again made questionable decisions, including under-utilising Harmer who bowled just five overs even though his off-spin particularly threatened left-handed Khawaja.

Elgar, however, backed underperforming left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj who bowled nine overs for 35 runs with Labuschagne and Khawaja sweeping effectively against him.

Maharaj has now bowled 52.5 overs without reward in this series.

While Nortje toiled, spearhead Kagiso Rabada continued his underwhelming series to finish with 0 for 45 off 12 overs. He unsuccessfully reverted to bowling short against Labuschagne, who counterattacked with ease.

Ashton Agar, Josh Hazlewood and Matt Renshaw were named in an Australia team attempting a clean sweep of the series and a spot in the World Test Championship final in June.

There was drama when Renshaw, playing his first Test since 2018, tested positive for Covid-19 on a rapid antigen test after feeling unwell before the day’s play, but he will continue to play in the match.

With the SCG surface set to play more traditionally, Australia named two frontline spinners at home for the first time in six years with left-arm spinner Agar making his return having not played Tests since 2017.

Regular quick Hazlewood returned from a side strain having edged out Scott Boland and uncapped tearaway Lance Morris.

Along with Harmer, who replaced Lungi Ngidi, South Africa named batter Heinrich Klaasen in place of Theunis de Bruyn who returned home for the birth of his first child.

South Africa still have a slim chance at qualifying for the WTC final with a consolation victory as their spirit lifted after Njorte’s late heroics.

(Story from ESPNcricinfo by Tristan Lavalette)

Mavi impresses on debut as India defend 162

India prevailed in a low-scoring thriller thanks to late runs from Deepak Hooda and Axar Patel, and exceptional seam bowling from an attack missing Jasprit Bumrah, Arshdeep Singh and Mohammed Shami. The Wankhede pitch was anything but the batting paradise it usually is in T20 cricket: there was grip for spinners, which Sri Lanka used well, before the new ball seamed around for India’s quicks.

Ishan Kishan got India off to a quick start before the spinners pulled them back. Hooda and Axar then added 68 in 5.5 overs to take India to 162. On the same pitch, India found assistance for fast bowlers with Hardik Pandya joining debutant Shivam Mavi, Umran Malik and Harshal Patel in causing damage.

Sri Lanka had a brief recovery from 68 for 5 through captain Dasun Shanaka’s 45 off 27, but Axar managed to defend 12 in a last-over gamble.

Theekshana, Hasaranga slow India down

With all three of KL Rahul, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma missing, India played only one anchor batter in debutant Shubman Gill. Kishan got them off to a rollicking start, taking 26 off the first two overs, but then the masters went to work. Theekshana hardly bowled anything to pull or drive with his subtle variations causing more jeopardy. Gill picked a carrom ball, but it landed on the leather to skid on with the angle to trap him lbw.

Needing a big sixth over to salvage the powerplay, Suryakumar Yadav, finally getting to bat at No. 3, cue-ended the first ramp he attempted. This seam-up delivery had come on slowly off the surface.

Looking at the grip available, Shanaka cleverly slipped in an over of Dhananjaya de Silva before introducing Hasaranga. In that over, de Silva had Sanju Samson mistiming two slogs, the second of which had him caught at short third man.

Then Hasaranga spun his web during the partnership between Kishan and Pandya. Eventually Kishan, who had gone from 17 off 8 to 36 off 27, felt the need to slog-sweep everything. When that is happening, Hasaranga makes sure he picks up wickets. A wrong’un had Kishan caught at deep midwicket.

When the returning Dilshan Madushanka had Pandya cramped for room and nicking off, India had lost half their side for under 100.

Hooda, Axar give India the finishing kick

It started with the first loose ball from Theekshana. Probably looking to get out of the spell, Theekshana dragged down an attempted wrong’un in the 16th over. Hooda got going with that pulled six. And what do you know, Theekshana then responded with driving length for the first time, and Hooda picked it up over midwicket for another six. Hasaranga had one over at the death, and Hooda managed to pull one six off him too as he went flatter to get out of that over.

Kasun Rajitha and Madushanka closed out well but India managed 34 off the last three. Hooda ended with 41 off 23, Axar 31 off 20.

Fiery start from India

Pandya bowled the first over and found movement off the surface. It then made sense to have Mavi share the new ball because Malik and Harshal don’t often stand the seam up. With his fifth ball in international cricket, Mavi had Pathum Nissanka bowled with seam movement back in. Pandya followed it up with a tight over, and Mavi responded with de Silva’s wicket, caught at mid-on.

Pandya bowled through the powerplay, and Malik kept the pressure up with high pace and accurate radar. Charith Asalanka top-edged a pull, which Kishan ran back to take with a spectacular dive. Harshal was lucky that Kusal Mendis timed a cut so well it carried straight to deep cover. His second wicket was proper deception, though, with Bhanuka Rajapaksa tricked early into a shot.

Shanaka threatens India

Amid all that, it appeared Shanaka was playing on a different surface. Everything he hit came sweetly off the bat. When Hasaranga joined him with two successive slog-swept sixes off Yuzvendra Chahal in the 14th over, Sri Lanka were well and truly back with 56 needed off the last six.

This is when India’s bowling depth came in handy. They could have decided now to bowl no spin at all with 47 off four overs of spin till then. Mavi came back to have Hasaranga caught at mid-off, and Malik returned to have Shanaka caught at extra cover.

The final twist

It seemed all over with 29 required off the last two with two wickets in hand, but Harshal bowled an ordinary 19th over to let Sri Lanka back. There was a no-ball, a wide, two full tosses and a half-tracker to let Karunaratne bring it down to 13 needed off the last over.

Two curious events happened around the last ball of the 19th over. Karunaratne took the single off the last ball, which meant Rajitha would be on strike at the start of the next over. Then Pandya, who had an over left but had suffered a cramp earlier, asked Axar to bowl the last over. Karunaratne got an early six in to make it five off three. Axar, though, got a dot with a wide ball and then conceded just singles off the last two balls, not letting the batter get under the ball.

(Story from ESPNcricinfo by Sidharth Monga)

GFF President makes donation to Albouystown youths

On January 1st, 2023, President of the Guyana Football Federation, Wayne Forde, visited Albouystown and interacted with a number of budding young footballers. During the visit, Forde handed over a quantity of Balls, Cones and Bibs to Coach Clifford Anthony aka Zebulun who is a senior member of the community and for many years has been volunteering his time as a coach and mentor to young Boys and Girls.

GFF President Wayne Forde hands over the gear to Coach Clifford “Zebulun” Anthony (GFF Photo)

During his interaction President Forde also played in a 5 V 5 Mini competition.
“I know how important football is to all of you and I can see how well you can play because of the many hours you spend in the streets playing. I want ask you a big favor – please also spend some of that time on your school work in the evening. Education is your safest bet to having a better life”.

“I will continue to provide Coach Zebulun with more equipment to do this important work and will be back here to officially launch a inter- street weekend knock out competition for Boy, Girls and adult players as well. It is my intention to visit many more inner city communities and support the work of community Coaches”.


The visit to the community was coordinated by Coach Sampson Gilbert, who is a Coach educator assigned to the GFF.

Borussia Dortmund’s Sebastien Haller back in training after cancer battle

Borussia Dortmund striker Sebastien Haller has returned to training after undergoing surgeries and chemotherapy to treat a testicular tumour that was discovered in July.

“Happy New Year to all! And it’s off to a great start for me because it means getting back on the field,” the 28-year-old Ivory Coast international wrote on Twitter, posting images of himself working out at the gym.

“2022 wasn’t the easiest year but it prepared me for all the new challenges that 2023 will bring.”

German side Dortmund signed Haller for an initial fee of €31 million during the close season after the striker scored 34 goals last season for Dutch champions Ajax.

Dortmund said Haller would be “carefully introduced” back into the team.

The club are sixth in the Bundesliga, nine points behind leaders Bayern Munich. The season resumes later this month, with Dortmund taking on Augsburg on Jan. 22.

(Story from Reuters)

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.

AUS vs SA: Carey’s maiden ton & Green’s defiant fifty bury South Africa

South Africa 189 and 15 for 1 trail Australia 575 for 8 dec (Warner 200, Carey 111, Smith 85, Green 51*, Head 51) by 371 runs

Alex Carey scored his maiden Test hundred as Australia piled on the runs at the MCG then removed South Africa captain Dean Elgar in the second over before rain brought an early end to the third day

Australia piled on 189 runs in 54 overs on an overcast day with Carey and Cameron Green, who defied a fractured finger, adding 117 for the eighth wicket against an increasingly exhausted attack. South Africa were kept in the field for more than five sessions and bowled 145 overs in total and were unable to bowl Australia out on a surface that remained good for batting.

Elgar was unable to take advantage of them as he gloved Pat Cummins down the leg side off the third ball he faced. The edge died on Carey but replays showed he took a clean catch low down to send Elgar back for a duck. It was the second time in the series Elgar had been dismissed in this fashion after also being caught down leg in the first innings in Brisbane.

Australia could have done further damage when Cummins found Theunis de Bruyn’s edge in his next over but it swerved away from David Warner at first slip and he could not hold on. Mitchell Starc, who bowled despite suffering tendon damage his finger in the field on the first day, just missed Sarel Erwee’s edge and had two appeals for lbw against de Bruyn which were missing. Starc was expected to continue bowling despite his wound, which opens up as he bowls and necessitates him to mop up the blood after almost every delivery.

Alex Carey, the first Australian wicketkeeper to score a Test hundred since 2013

Starc was not the only one who battled through pain. Green also had a broken finger after being hit while batting but returned to the crease to score an unbeaten half-century and provide solid defence while Carey counterattacked. The pair ground South Africa’s attack down after a bright start. Despite bowling in 40 degree heat throughout the second day, South Africa came out with good intent and, helped by cooler conditions, struck early. They took three wickets in six balls as Anrich Nortje turned up the heat.

After Travis Head reached a 54-ball 50 with a pull off a short ball, Nortje went full and straight and took out his off stump. The dismissal brought Warner, who retired hurt with cramp after reaching 200 on day, back for more. He danced to the crease but was met by a Nortje ball that zoned in on leg stump, beat the flick and bowled him. Warner, having walked back in to a standing ovation, left to another.

Cummins found the boundary when he steered a wide Nortje ball through point and then nicked off against Kagiso Rabada. South Africa were convinced of the edge but needed to confirm it on review.

South Africa had created an opening but Carey and Green soon closed it with a stand that shut out the attack. Carey was strong on the drive and drilled Lungi Ngidi for three successive fours including the one that brought up his fifty while Green was content with biding his time as he tried to protect his finger from any further blows.

Carey brought up the Australian 500 with a top-edge off a hook shot from a Rabada bouncer and his own hundred when he ran three off Jansen. He was the first Australian wicketkeeper to score a century in nine years, since Brad Haddin in 2013. His innings ended when a popped a short delivery from Jansen straight up in the air.

By then, Green had faced 164 balls and if there was any pain, he wasn’t showing it. He had also started to play some shots and took on the short ball. He reached fifty off 170 balls with a cut over point. To add insult to injury, Starc also tucked into the bouncer and top-edged Nortje over square leg to six. In the next over, Starc was hit on the helmet and was undergoing his concussions check when Cummins called the batters in.

Australia will operate with a four-man attack for the rest of the match, with Green unable to bowl. Head and Marnus Labuschagne are expected to provide back-up if required.

(Report from ESPNcricinfo by Firdose Moonda)

AUS vs SA: Warner’s 100th Test double century puts SA to the sword on day 2

Australia 386 for 3 (Head 48, Carey 9) lead South Africa 189 by 197 runs

An epic David Warner innings in his milestone match. A 239-run partnership with Steven Smith, who brought up 1,000 runs at the MCG A scoring rate of 4.3 runs per over in the day, which peaked at 5.54 in the final session, in temperatures that touched 40 degrees. This was Australia’s day.

They seized control of the Melbourne Test and the series and are on track to beat South Africa at home for the first time since the 2005-06 summer.

Before the Test, amid questions over his long-format future, Warner promised to return to his old self and take on the bowling and he stayed true to his word. From his opening runs on the second day – a square cut off Kagiso Rabada’s first ball – to his final runs when an edge flew wide of slip and brought up his 200, Warner took the fight to South Africa. He became the second batter to score a double hundred in his 100th Test after Joe Root in a display of extreme determination, strong strokeplay and incredible fitness.

In a minute less than six hours at the crease, Warner ran 63 singles, 14 twos, seven threes and three fours, in addition to the 16 fours and two sixes he hit. No South African bowler was spared but Warner asserted his authority over their spearhead Rabada with such assurance, it would not have given the rest much confidence. He scored 57 runs off the 60 balls he faced from Rabada and 72 off 81 from Keshav Maharaj.

On a track that flattened out beautifully for batting, South Africa’s attack were never in the contest and may have some stern words for their line-up, who wasted the opportunity on the first day. Anrich Nortje was the most impressive of an energy-sapped pack and kept his pace above 150kph consistently. His fastest ball was clocked at 155kph. He was also the only one to enjoy some reward, when Smith upper cut a short ball to gully. By then, most of the damage was done.

Smith and Warner put on the second-highest third-wicket stand by Australia against South Africa, after Marnus Labuschagne was run-out in the morning session. Smith was less fluent than usual but still managed to cash in on loose deliveries as the attack grew weary. But his time with Warner was not without its chances.

Lungi Ngidi found Warner’s edge with his third ball, but it flew past gully for four and Marco Jansen drew Smith forward and got a healthy nick, but it fell short of second slip. Then, Smith offered a genuine chance when he gloved Jansen down leg. Kyle Verreynne made good ground to his left but could not hold on before Warner inside edged Ngidi past the stumps.

All those half-chances meant nothing when Warner reached 8,000 Test runs and then went on to bring up his hundred with a pull off Rabada. He celebrated with a jump and air punch. Rabada thought he had Smith before the former captain reached fifty but overstepped on the delivery Smith appeared to glove on the pull although replays were inconclusive. Smith brought up fifty soon after, with a cut past point off Jansen.

Australia led by 42 runs at tea and and accelerated in the final session. They scored 83 runs in 11 overs in the post tea session – and 155 in 28 in total – as they ripped into Ngidi and Rabada. Both bowled a little too short in search of a wicket. Smith looked well on his way to a century of his own before Nortje got the better of him, with Warner eight runs away from a double hundred and starting to cramp severely.

He seemed to barely have the energy to keep going but the motivation of a double ton kept him at the crease until he was able to reach for a wide Ngidi delivery and it flew off the edge to the boundary. His second hundred came off just 110 balls. Warner dropped to his haunches and raised both arms in a double salute but he struggled to get back up. Once he’d made his way to stand, he was helped off the field to an ovation from the 40,000 strong crowd. If he does not return to bat, his will be the highest individual innings in Test cricket to end retired hurt.

South Africa took the second new ball as soon as it became available and it was shared by Nortje and Jansen. While Nortje asked questions again, Jansen only seemed easier to hit. As he searched for swing, Travis Head flicked him over square leg for six and then four and raced to a run-a-ball 48.

Australia are likely to continue to bat for as long as they can, especially as their attack could be depleted for the second innings. Mitchell Starc injured his left middle-finger while fielding on the first day and will bowl only if required while Cameron Green was hit on the right index finger by Jansen while batting and it immediately swelled up. Green also retired hurt which could leave Australia with only Pat Cummins, Scott Boland and Nathan Lyon to close out the match.

(Story from ESPNcricinfo by Firoose Moonda)

2023 West Indies Championship schedule to be followed by new Headley Weekes Series

Cricket West Indies (CWI) today announced a new innovation for the long format of the game, with the addition of a triangular red-ball tournament to start at the end of the West Indies Championship in April, 2023. The new Headley Weekes Series will feature three matches and three teams. Team Headley and Team Weekes will be selected from the best performers in the 2023 West Indies Championship and players outside the starting West Indies Test XI. The new West Indies Academy will provide the third team in the new Series.

Team Headley and Team Weekes are named in honour of West Indies pioneers and legendary batting greats George Headley and Sir Everton Weekes, whose names are also honoured on the Trophy for the winners of the West Indies Championship. The matches will be played from 18 April to 6 May at Coolidge Cricket Ground (CCG) in Antigua.

Before that, the 2023 edition of West Indies Championship will be played across five rounds of four-day, red ball cricket featuring the six regional Franchise teams – defending champions Barbados Pride, Guyana Harpy Eagles, Jamaica Scorpions, Leeward Islands Hurricanes, Trinidad and Tobago Red Force, and Windward Islands Volcanoes.

The 2023 West Indies Championship commences in February. The first two rounds will be played from 1 February to 11 February in Grenada at the National Stadium and in Antigua at the CCG and the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium (SVRS). There will then be a break and the tournament will resume on 15 March and run until 1 April for the final three rounds, after which the champions will be crowned and presented with the Headley Weekes Trophy. These matches will be played in Trinidad at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy (BLCA), Queens Park Oval (QPO) and the Diego Martin Sports Complex (DMSC).

Johnny Grave, CEO of CWI said: “We are delighted to unveil the Headley Weekes Series, which is a new idea that will extend the four-day season, create more opportunities for our players to showcase their skills and will be a huge incentive for them to strive towards selection into our ‘A’ Team, and ultimately our Test Team. It will also provide some strong competitive red-ball cricket for our new West Indies Academy Players as we continue to try to ensure that the next generation of players are being prepared along the pathway to international cricket. Whilst the West Indies Championship is once again going to be played on a ‘one’ round, five-match basis, with the plans we have for our ‘A’ Team and Academy to go on overseas tours after the Headley Weekes Series we expect our best players in the region will still play at least ten four-day games in the first half of next year.”

TOURNAMENT SCHEDULES

West Indies Championship 2023

(for Headley Weekes trophy)

1 to 4 February: 1st round in Grenada and Antigua

8 to 11 February: 2nd round in Grenada and Antigua

15 to 18 March: 3rd round in Trinidad

22 to 25 March: 4th round in Trinidad

29 March to 1 April: 5th round in Trinidad

Full Fixtures to be announced soon

Headley Weekes Tri-Series

(to be played at CCG)

19 to 22 April: Team Headley v West Indies Academy

26 to 29 April: Team Weekes vs West Indies Academy

3 to 6 May: Team Weekes vs Team Headley

Sam Curran becomes most expensive player in IPL history

Sam Curran broke Chris Morris’ record (INR 16.25 crore) to become the most expensive buy at an IPL auction, when Punjab Kings outbid five other teams to sign him for INR 18.50 crore (USD 2.25 million approximately).

At that price, Curran is also the most expensive player in IPL history – even more than retained players like Virat Kohli and KL Rahul – and he was reunited with the franchise that first brought him into the IPL with an INR 7.2-crore bid in 2019.

The England allrounder was the Player of the Final and the Tournament at the 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia, and since September this year he has taken 25 wickets in 14 T20s at an economy rate of 7.08. He has also improved his batting, especially against spin: in 31 T20 innings since 2020, he has an average of 27.07 and a strike rate of 154.69.

“Absolutely overwhelmed and incredibly humbled to receive that bid,” Curran told Star Sports. “Punjab is where I did my debut season a few years ago … It will be very different but I know the stadium at Mohali pretty well, and surely our team-mates will help me … Incredibly excited to come to India for this big opportunity. So many things running through my mind. At 9am this morning I was struggling to find a stream, it [the auction] wasn’t on TV in England. ̛I sat with my girlfriend and her dad to watch it. I actually turned my phone off because I thought I was behind and didn’t want to see any messages saying congrats. I saw the bids coming from Mumbai, then Chennai, having played for Chennai earlier it was cool to see them [bidding].”

Mumbai Indians went as far as INR 18.25 crore to try and line-up Curran alongside Jofra Archer, their other big-ticket England signing at the previous auction, but they were eventually outbid by Punjab, who had begun the auction with the second-largest purse. Shortly after failing to buy Curran, Mumbai got their hands on Cameron Green for INR 17.50 crore, making the 23-year old Australian allrounder the second most expensive player in IPL auction history.

“I’m pinching myself that this has all happened. It’s such a weird feeling watching an auction for yourself. I can’t believe how nervous I was, and I was shaking like anything when the final call was confirmed,” Green said. “I’ve always been a huge fan of the IPL and it’s going to be so cool to be a part of it. The Mumbai Indians are one of the powerhouses of the competition, so I feel very humbled to be joining them. I can’t wait to get there next year.”

Green’s T20 stocks have risen significantly in the last six months. Not part of Australia’s T20 World Cup squad initially, he was a last-minute inclusion after Josh Inglis picked up an injury while playing golf. Green attracted the attention of IPL team scouts in a big way after a prolific T20I series in India this year, where he made 118 runs, including two half-centuries, at a strike rate of 214.54 at the top of the order. His ability to bat anywhere in the order and bowl at a lively pace went in his favour at the auction.

Ben Stokes then became Chennai Super Kings’ costliest signing in an auction at INR 16.25 crore, which also made him the joint-third most expensive player ever at an auction. Stokes will line up alongside MS Dhoni in the IPL once again, after a brief stint together at Rising Pune Supergiants.

Royal Challengers Bangalore and Rajasthan Royals also bid for Stokes, but it soon became clear that their limited budgets would be a constraint. Having come into the auction with INR 20.45 crore, Super Kings spent nearly 80% of their budget on Stokes alone. He is also a viable captaincy candidate as the franchise begins to explore the idea of succession planning after Dhoni.

Sunrisers break the bank for Brook and Agarwal
Harry Brook also made a splash when Sunrisers Hyderabad staved off aggressive bidding from Rajasthan Royals to buy the England batter for INR 13.25 crore (USD 1.6 million approx.), the most a franchise has paid to sign an overseas batter at an auction.

Brook, 23, is set to feature in his first IPL season following a breakout year in international cricket. Only two months ago in Pakistan – his first international overseas trip – Brook impressed with his power-hitting to win the Player-of-the-Series award after hitting 238 runs at a strike rate of 163.01, in a T20I series that England won 4-3.

Brook’s superior record across all T20s in Asia – 581 runs in 16 innings at a strike rate of 167.43 – may have been an attractive proposition for teams. More recently, Brook put behind a disappointing T20 World Cup campaign to blast three centuries in the three-Test series that England won 3-0 in Pakistan.

Having signed Brook, Sunrisers also went hard to secure opening batter Mayank Agarwal for INR 8.25 crore (USD 1 million approx.), thereby spending nearly 51% of their auction purse of INR 42.25 crore on back-to-back buys. This meant Sunrisers, who went as high as INR 14.75 crore to try and get Stokes, eventually missed out on a marquee allrounder.

Pooran takes home more than a million dollars again
Nicholas Pooran began the year by becoming the most expensive West Indian ever sold at an IPL auction, and he broke that record again when Lucknow Super Giants spent INR 16 crore (USD 2 million approx.) to buy him.

For a while, the fight for Pooran seemed to be a contest between Delhi Capitals and Rajasthan Royals, but once Super Giants swooped in with a bid nearing a million dollars, it became a two-team race between them and Capitals.

Pooran’s endured a mixed year as far as his international career is concerned. He was named Kieron Pollard’s successor as West Indies’ T20I captain but stepped down following a dismal T20 World Cup campaign where West Indies failed to make it out of the first round after losses to Scotland and Ireland. He had a decent IPL 2022, though, being among the few notable performers in a disappointing season for Sunrisers. He made 306 runs including two fifties at an average of 38.25 and a strike rate of 144.33.

His power-hitting ability was most recently seen in the Abu Dhabi T10, where he was adjudged Player of the Tournament for his 345 runs, which came at an average of 49.28 and a phenomenal strike rate of 234.69.

The bargain buys
Sikandar Raza broke an eight-year barren run when he became the first Zimbabwean to be bought at an IPL auction since Brendan Taylor in 2014. At his base price of INR 50 lakh, Raza could be a steal for Punjab, given the form he’s been in. Raza was the top run-getter (219 at a strike rate of 147) and second highest wicket-taker (ten wickets) for Zimbabwe at the T20 World Cup.

“As a friend, I wish someone picks him,” Hardik Pandya said with a laugh, when asked about Kane Williamson at a press conference prior to India’s T20I series against New Zealand last month. Now, they will team up at Gujarat Titans, who secured Williamson’s services at his base price of INR 2 crore. At Titans, Williamson will also be reunited with his one-time Sunrisers team-mate Rashid Khan.

Having played just one IPL game so far, in 2021 for Punjab Kings, Adil Rashid will hope for a happier second stint. At INR 2 crore, the England legspinner was a steal for Sunrisers, who may have perhaps been surprised at the lack of competition. A key member of England’s T20 World Cup-winning squad, Rashid has an excellent wrong’un, bowls ripping legbreaks, and he can bowl in the powerplay too. And he’ll probably be among the most explosive batting options at No. 10.

Royal Challengers’ new signing Reece Topley had missed out on England’s T20 World Cup squad because of injury but he had a run of impressive performances in the lead-up to the tournament. Topley’s height allows him to extract steep bounce even on docile surfaces and he has the ability to move the ball both ways. With Josh Hazlewood’s workload likely to be monitored, given Australia have potentially the World Test Championship final and Ashes coming up after the IPL, Topley is an excellent back-up option for Royal Challengers at a base price of INR 1.5 crore.

“We wanted to have a like-for-like replacement for Jason Behrendorff,” RCB head coach Sanjay Bangar said. “We’ve kept tab on most of the left-armers available. Josh isn’t going to be available for the first few games, so we looked at availability of players and that’s where Topley fit in really well. To get a high-quality performer like him adds strength to our squad.”

Knight Riders – the silent spectators
Having come into the auction with the smallest purse (INR 7.05 crore), Knight Riders patiently watched proceedings; they entered the bidding just once – for South Africa batter Heinrich Klaasen – as the other franchises snapped up the first 38 players.

Curiously, Knight Riders were willing to spend INR 2.4 crore on the uncapped Jammu & Kashmir allrounder Vivrant Sharma, who was eventually bought by Sunrisers.

They came alive when they made aggressive bids to get an Indian wicketkeeper, having let B Indrajith and Sheldon Jackson go. They eventually got in-form N Jagadeesan for INR 90 lakh. Jagadeesan has been in the form of his life recently, having racked up a record five List A centuries last month.

After buying Jagadeesan, Knight Riders bought back allrounder Vaibhav Arora and tried hard to buy back fast bowler Shivam Mavi. Having released Mavi to free up INR 7.75 crore for this auction, Knight Riders went as far as INR 1 crore before bailing out. Mavi eventually went to the Titans for INR 6 crore.

Towards the end of the auction, KKR snapped up overseas allrounders Shakib Al Hasan and David Wiese, and Bangladesh opener Litton Das to strengthen their squad.

The notable uncapped Indian signings
At a trial held to scout for talent in Jammu & Kashmir, one player – Vivrant Sharma – made a mark with his composure and shot selection against pace. On Friday, those impressions translated into an IPL contract for the 23-year-old allrounder when Sunrisers signed him for INR 2.6 crore, having been part of their camp as a net bowler for IPL 2022. In addition to his big hitting, Vivrant also bowls fast legbreaks and googlies.

Eight years ago, Mukesh Kumar was told he couldn’t play cricket. He was anaemic and the bone edema in his knees was supposed to make bowling impossible. Yet, he persevered and made a mark in Bengal’s competitive club circuit and also the Ranji team.

A stellar performance in 2019-20, when Bengal made the Ranji Trophy final, proved to be the turning point as Mukesh built on his breakout season to earn an India A and a national call-up earlier this year. He was meant to come in as a replacement player in 2021 for RCB but missed out after contracting Covid-19. Earlier this year, he was a net bowler for Delhi Capitals and now he’s part of their squad for a price of INR 5.5 crore, the second-highest amount spent on an uncapped Indian player this auction.

Last-minute shopping
There was a flurry of activity right at the end of the auction, as teams filled up slots with players during the accelerated phase. Delhi picked up South African batter Rilee Rossouw – who was unsold earlier – for INR 4.6 crore; KKR got Shakib and Royals got Adam Zampa for INR 1.5 crore each; And England’s Joe Root secured a maiden IPL contract – also with the Royals – at his INR 1 crore base price.

(Story from ESPNcricinfo by Shashank Kishore/Photos from ESPNcricinfo)

GFF & FIFA+ TO BRING LIVE GUYANESE MATCHES TO THE WORLD

Guyana Football Federation and FIFA+, the new one-stop digital destination for football fandom, have teamed up to take Guyana football to the world. As part of its mission to give fans engaging and innovative ways of interacting with the beautiful game, FIFA+ offers free access to live football action from every corner of the globe, which now includes matches from the GFF Pro-League, GFF Women’s League, GFF Men’s Super 16 Cup and the GFF Women’s Super16 Cup.

The platform, which is available on the web, as a mobile app and on select connected devices, and is now accessible in ten languages, represents a ground-breaking approach to showcasing live football from men’s, women’s and youth leagues and cups to a global audience.

“This is a monumental forward leap for the development of Guyana’s Football. More importantly however, is the level of exposure our players will enjoy throughout the football season. Displaying our football pedigree before a global audience will vastly increase the chances of our players, both males and females securing international scholarships and professional contractual opportunities. This level of exposure will also drive the GFF to lift the standards of our football infrastructure, facilities and game management protocols, so that the viewing experience would be the best we have to offer.” President Wayne Forde.


Charlotte Burr, Director of Strategy, Corporate Development and Digital FIFA, said: “For the first time ever, our MAs can seamlessly tap into a truly global football fan base and grow a direct relationship with it on a daily basis. We are proud to work side by side with the Guyana Football Federation and are excited about helping to really grow the game across Guyana, the Caribbean and beyond.”
Since its launch, FIFA+ has steadily expanded its reach and added exciting new content streams in order to deliver a truly multifaceted digital experience.
Completely free, the platform offers an extensive archive (including all men’s and women’s FIFA World Cup™ matches), thousands of live fixtures every year, interactive games and predictors, and a slate of original documentaries, docuseries, talk shows and shorts.

By the end of 2022, FIFA+ will be streaming the equivalent of 40,000 live games per year from 100 MAs across all six confederations, including 11,000 women’s matches. FIFA+ provides live coverage ranging from Europe’s top-flight leagues to previously unserved competitions from around the world in men’s, women’s and youth football. FIFA+ can be accessed worldwide at fifaplus.com and on major app stores.

Gov’t invests $15M to develop sport in Region 8

Residents in Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) will be enjoying sports even more, now that they have received much needed financial support from the government to upgrade their community grounds and associated facilities.

Some $15 million has been given to the villages to ensure they have proper sport areas, where professional sportsmen and women could be developed.

The villages of Paramakatoi, Kurukabaru and Waipa, received $5 million each for the enhancement project.

The funds were requested at the National Toshaos’ Council Conference, an annual event of the PPP/C Administration, which gives all Amerindian leaders an opportunity to meet with members of central government, including the president.

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson Jr., MP, delivered the cheques to the village leaders on Wednesday.

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson Jr. inspecting the sport facility at Kurukabaru, Region Eight

He said due to the strong leadership and representation by Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Pauline Sukhai, MP, and the commitment of President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali to develop sport across Guyana, the money was made available to the villages.

“Knowing that you need investment in your sport facilities she [Minister Sukhai] has been representing you. Government has to make the investment in facilitating development. Sport is very important for our country, and President Ali sees sport through a special lens, which is using sport to bring the country together. It also helps to lift our prominence in their world.”

Cricket and football are prominent sport activities in the villages.

Minister Ramson noted that the funds are not the extent of government’s support. He committed to purchasing more sport gears to support the hinterland in football and cricket.

“We want you to use sport to be a vehicle to take you places where you would not envision without the assistance of sports. Government support is critical to take you there faster,” Minister Ramson said.

Toshao of Paramakatoi, Barry Joe, was pleased with the government grant.

“It means so much to us because we’ve been asking for assistance to do this enhancement on the ground, and fortunately it is here and I know for sure that it will have a lot of benefits. We will see development; we will see upgrading on the field which we would have been waiting for,” he said.

Representative of the Moonstone Youth and Sports Club of Kurukabaru, Charlyn Anchieta also noted that the grant will revolutionise sport in the village.

“I would like to thank the Government of Guyana for having a positive impact on the life of Guyanese, the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports for taking this great initiative in rendering assistance financially towards our sports club. With your continued support it will help us develop youths with discipline through sports,” Anchieta said.

Andre Coley appointed Interim Head WI Coach for Zimbabwe & SA Tours

Andre Coley has been named as the Interim Head Coach of the West Indies Men’s team for the upcoming tour of southern Africa. Following a meeting of the Cricket West Indies’ (CWI) Board of Directors on Monday 19 December, CWI announced that Coley will oversee the two-Test tour of Zimbabwe from 28 January to 16 February, as well as the multi-format tour of South Africa, which includes two Tests, three One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and three T20 Internationals (T20Is) from 21 February to 28 March.

Coley said: “To be asked to oversee the West Indies team on the upcoming tours of Zimbabwe and South Africa is a special honour. West Indies cricket holds a special place in my heart. The upcoming assignment will be challenging as we will come up against two teams in their home conditions. We will need to ensure that our planning and preparation are appropriate, and demonstrate consistency in the execution of these plans, to give ourselves the best opportunity to achieve positive results.”

He added: “The players, I’m sure, are enthusiastic about the opportunities that both series should offer and are eager to contribute to our team’s success. I look forward to the tours ahead and the opportunity to make a tangible and meaningful contribution to the growth of West Indies cricket.”

Jimmy Adams, CWI Director of Cricket said: “We welcome Andre back to the West Indies dressing room and with his wealth of knowledge of the game, player-management skills, dedication and hard work, as well as attention to detail, we know he is well equipped. He is a highly experienced coach who has functioned at every level within the CWI High-Performance Pathway. This has prepared him for the job at hand and we expect he will again approach this new role with the same vigor and zeal which have characterized his time in the CWI coaching system and has earned the respect of players and everyone who he has interacted with.”

Coley, a former Jamaica wicket-keeper/batter, is currently Head Coach of the CWI Academy programme. While Andre Coley fulfils the interim role, CWI’s High-Performance Manager Graeme West will oversee the West Indies Academy programme, supported by the Director of Cricket, Jimmy Adams to ensure there are no disruptions to the Academy programme during the period.

Coley previously served as the Assistant Academy Head Coach and Interim Academy Head Coach when the Sagicor Academy was launched in 2010. He was also Head Coach of the West Indies U19 Team; Assistant Coach of the West Indies Men’s and Women’s Teams, as well as Head Coach of Jamaica Scorpions and Windward Islands Volcanoes, who were the 2018 Super50 Cup Champions.

In 2016 he was Assistant Coach of the West Indies Men’s Team which won the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup and earlier this year he was Assistant Coach of Jamaica Tallawahs when they captured the Caribbean Premier League title.

CWI also confirmed that the contracts of Assistant Coaches Roddy Estwick and Monty Desai had ended.

Adams said: “I’d like to thank Roddy and Monty for their hard work and dedication in supporting the team over the last few years and wish them the very best in the future.”

TOUR SCHEDULES

West Indies in Zimbabwe

28 to 31 January: four-day warm-up at Bulawayo Athletic Sports Club

4 to 8 February: 1st Test at Queens Sports Club

12 to 16 February: 2nd Test at Queens Sports Club

West Indies in South Africa

21 to 24 February: vs South Africa Invitational XI at Willowmoore Park, Benoni

28 February to 4 March: 1st Test at SuperSport Park, Centurion

8-12 March: 2nd Test at Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg

16 March: 1st ODI at Buffalo Park, East London (day/night)

18 March: 2nd ODI at Buffalo Park, East London (day/night)

21 March: 3rd ODI at JB Marks Oval, Potchefstroom

25 March: 1st T20Is at SuperSport Park, Centurion

26 March: 2nd T20I at SuperSport Park, Centurion

28 March: 3rd T20I at Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg (night)

WI set for 2-test tour of Zimbabwe

The West Indies Men’s team will start their 2023 international year with two Test matches against Zimbabwe. The visitors will play both matches at the Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo.

Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) confirmed the schedule on Wednesday, with the first Test slated for 4-8 February, and the second Test match for 12-16 February. Ahead of the two-Test rubber West Indies will have a four-day warm-up match against a local side set for 28-31 January at Bulawayo Athletic Club.

All matches start at 10am local time (4am Eastern Caribbean/3am Jamaica).

Jimmy Adams, CWI’s Director of Cricket said: “The tour to Zimbabwe early in 2023 will be an important part of our 2023 Test programme, which also includes series against South Africa and India. Having produced some good results early in 2022, the team will be eager to begin the year with strong performances in Zimbabwe.”

Zimbabwe’s last Test match was way back in July 2021 against Bangladesh in Harare and, according ZC Director of Cricket Hamilton Masakadza, they will be eager to make the most of the upcoming series.

“We are pleased to confirm the West Indies will be visiting us for two Test matches that will be played in Bulawayo,” Masakadza said.

“Although it’s been a while since we last played Test cricket, our boys will be hungry and ready for some red-ball action and I believe an exciting series against one of the game’s top sides is on the cards.”

The last Test Series between Zimbabwe and the West Indies was also played at Queens Sports Club in October 2017. West Indies clinched the two-match series having won the first game by 117 runs while the second match ended in a draw.

MATCH SCHEDULE

28-31 January: four-day warm-up match at Bulawayo Athletic Club

4-8 February: 1st Test at Queens Sports Club, Bulawayo

12-16 February: 2nd Test at Queens Sports Club, Bulawayo

Messi magic sends Argentina to World Cup final

Lionel Messi put on a sensational display as he helped Argentina secure a spot in the World Cup final with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Croatia on Tuesday.

Messi opened the scoring with a powerfully hit penalty on 34 minutes — becoming Argentina’s all-time leading goal scorer at World Cup finals — and shortly after Alvarez completed a direct solo run through the heart of the Croatia defence before tapping home to double Argentina’s lead before half-time.

Alvarez added the side’s third, thanks in part to a signature run from Messi who used his change of speed to guide past Josko Gvardiol before sliding the ball back to Alvarez for an easy finish.

Argentina, who have twice won the World Cup in 1978 and 1986, advance to Sunday’s final where they will face either France or Morocco, who play on Wednesday.

Croatia, who finished runners up in Russia four years ago, exit the competition after putting together another shock run to the semifinals.

“Throughout the World Cup it has been incredible what we have experienced. We are going to play the final which is what we wanted,” Messi said.

“I don’t know if it’s my best World Cup, it’s been a long time I’ve been enjoying. This team is crazy. We are going to play one more final, we are going to enjoy all of this.”

Messi’s inclusion in the starting lineup meant he drew level with Germany’s Lothar Matthaeus as joint record holder for most World Cup appearances with his 25th game.

Croatia wanted possession at the start, as they had done against Brazil in their quarterfinal, and circulated the ball well but struggled to find a way into the Argentina box.

Argentina enjoyed a prime chance to take the lead when Alvarez was brought down by Croatia goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic in the box for a penalty, with Messi on hand to convert.

But the best was yet to come and it was Alvarez again involved as he picked up a Messi pass in his own half, sprinted 50 metres and weaved his way into the Croatia box, thanks to two lucky bounces and some sloppy defending, before tucking in the second goal.

Livakovic, who had carried Croatia into the semifinals with saves in their penalty shootout wins against Japan and Brazil, did well to stop an Alexis Mac Allister header on the stroke of half-time that could have killed off the game after 45 minutes.

However, unlike their extra-time comeback heroics against tournament favourites Brazil, there was no way back this time for Croatia.

Argentina were in no mood to squander their two-goal advantage as they had done against the Netherlands in the last eight, and they conceded no space.

Alvarez dashed any lingering Croatia hopes in the 69th, tapping in a cutback after Messi tricked his way past defender Gvardiol on the right to pick out his teammate in the box who sealed Croatia’s tournament exit.

“We have gone through some tough situations, some very good ones,” Messi added. “Today we are experiencing something spectacular.

“I’m enjoying it with all these people and with all the Argentinians who are in our country. I imagine it must be crazy.”

(Story from ESPN FC/Photos: FIFA)

Ramdeholl spins Guyana U-13s to victory over TT U-13s

Richard Ramdeholl spun the Guyana U-13 side to victory over their Trinidad and Tobago counterparts on Tuesday at the Providence National Stadium. The 43-run victory in the second match of the Bilateral/Goodwill series means that the series is now level at 1-1. Ramdeholl recorded outstanding figures of 3 for 0 off 4.5 overs in a game-changing spell, bowling his off-spin.

His spell brought about a collapse by Trinidad and Tobago after they were 47-4 at one stage chasing 100. Guyana’s captain Brandon Henry also chipped in with his left-arm spin and supported Ramdeholl with figures of 2 for 17 off 5 overs, while fast bowler Raffel Mc Kenzie, who sent back both openers early, finished with 2 for 29 off 4 overs. The Guyanese players were elated when the final wicket fell for TT after they bounced back from the first match thumping to successfully defend the seemingly small total of 99 made by their batsmen earlier in the day.

Trinidad and Tobago batsmen needed to score just over two runs per over to complete what would have been an unassailable 2-0 lead in the four-match bilateral series. However, the Guyanese bowlers had other ideas as pacer Mc Kenzie sent back both openers early; one of which was a beauty to clean bowl, Tyler Ramroop. The bowlers then continued to make steady inroads, although the TT batsmen scored freely, getting to 54-5 in the 12th over and needing just another 44 runs for victory. At this stage, Ramdeholl was introduced into the attack, and the game dramatically changed as TT was eventually dismissed for 56 in the 20th over.

Earlier in the day, Guyana limped to 99 all out in 37.5 overs after winning the toss and deciding to bat in overcast conditions. The Guyanese batsmen fared better with the bat this time, following the 43 all-out they had made in the first match played on Sunday. Opening batsman Mohammed Balle looked good during his innings top score of 17 off 40 balls before he was dismissed. Arif Marimutoo was the second top scorer with 13 off 35 balls, Raffel McKenzie chipped in with 11 off 18 balls, and Rayaz Latiff finished on 12 not out off 29 balls.


Bowling for Trinidad and Tobago, pacer Tyler Ramroop took 3 for 15 off 8 overs and player of the match in the first game, Shaan Ramtahal, again took 3 wickets, this time finishing with figures of 3 for 16 off 5.5 overs.

The third match of the Bilateral/Goodwill series will be played on Thursday, December 15, at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence, from 10:00 hours.

CWI congratulates Sir Clive Lloyd on prestigious award from University of Guyana

Cricket West Indies (CWI) has congratulated Sir Clive Lloyd on being awarded an Honorary Doctorate from The University of Guyana. The legendary former West Indies captain received the honor for being an exemplar in the field of sport, management and leadership during the university’s graduation ceremony in Georgetown on Friday.

Ricky Skerritt, President of CWI said: “We want to congratulate Sir Clive on this well-deserved honor bestowed on him by the University of Guyana. Sir Clive’s leadership style brought unity and pride to his team. His vision and passion on the game and his respect and trust for his colleagues were the driving forces behind his immense success as he drove the West Indies to become a sporting dynasty. We celebrate with Sir Clive as he receives this valued award for his service to Guyana and West Indies cricket.”

Sir Clive was captain of the West Indies team during a period of unprecedented dominance, which included winning the Cricket World Cup in 1975 and 1979. He played 110 Test matches between 1966 and 1985, where he scored 7,515 runs with 19 centuries. He also played 87 ODIs and made 1,977 runs with a best score of 102 in the 1975 World Cup final against Australia at Lord’s.

Guyana U-13s to face T&T U-13s in Goodwill Series from Sunday

The Guyana U-13 Cricket team will face their visiting Trinidad & Tobago counterparts in a four-match Bilateral (Good Will) series starting on Sunday, (December 11). The first match bowls off from 10:00 to 16:15 hours, at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence. All matches will be played at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence, from 10:00 hours.

Following the series of trial matches recently played at the National Gymnasium between Demerara, Berbice and Essequibo, Chairman of the Junior Selection Committee, Andre Percival, led the selection of the national Under-13 team.

Guyana’s U-13 Vice Captain: Richard Ramdeholl

Demerara’s Under-13 Captain, Brandon Henry, will lead his country, while Berbice’s Under-13 Captain, Richard Ramdeholl, will serve as his deputy. The team also includes exciting opening batsman, Ravid Fredericks who scored a century and a fifty during the trial matches.

Meanwhile, the Trinidad & Tobago side will be led by Zakariyya Mohamed while Mikael Ali will serve as his deputy.

Trinidad & Tobago Vice Captain: Mikaeel Ali

Guyana Under-13 Team: Brandon Henry (Captain), Richard Ramdeholl (Vice-Captain), Ravid Fredericks, Ethan Silas, Lamar Seecharan, Mohamed Balle, Khush Seegobin, Nathaniel Ramsammy, Makai Dowlin, Rayaz Latiff, Tameshwar Deonandan, Raffel Mc Kenzie, Darrius Pearson, Thierry Davis, Leon Ready, and Arif Marimutoo.

Coach: Lathman Yadram
Manager: Rayon Da Costa

Trinidad and Tobago Under-13 Team: Zakariyya Mohammed (Captain/Wicket Keeper), Mikaeel Ali (Vice-captain), Brian Harricharan, Shaan Ramtahal, Reyad Jerome, Roberto Badree, Ethan Ramcharan
Ra’ed Ali- Khan, Sameer Ramdath, Zion Phillip, Abdiel Boland, Tyler Ramroop, Aaden Owen
And Jordan Julien.

Asst. Coach – Brent Francis
Coach – Kenneth Samuel
Asst. Manager – Azard Mohammed
Manager- Peter Padmore

Labuschagne and Head post dominant twin tons

Australia 330 for 3 (Labuschagne 120, Head 114, Khawaja 62) vs West Indies

Marnus Labuschagne and hometown hero Travis Head struck near-flawless centuries to dominate the pink ball, as Australia put a struggling West Indies attack to the sword on day one of the second Test in Adelaide.

After stand-in captain Steven Smith elected to bat, Labuschagne and Head combined for an unbeaten fourth-wicket partnership of 199 to power Australia to a commanding position at stumps. Labuschagne hit his 10th Test century on the back of his double-century and hundred in Australia’s 164-run series opening win in Perth.

While his good fortune has been widely noted, rearing again after riding his luck in the first Test, Labuschagne produced a chanceless innings as he became the first Australian batter to notch three straight Test tons since Adam Voges in 2015-16.

He completed the feat with a boundary through point under lights in the final session and raised his arms aloft to strong applause from the 24,449 crowd at the Adelaide Oval. Labuschagne’s 235-ball knock was marked by unwavering concentration and patience in tricky early conditions before he toyed with West Indies’ flagging bowlers.

He was well supported by Head, who scored his fifth Test ton and first on his home ground with a brilliant drive to the boundary much to the delight of the Adelaide Oval faithful. Head’s aggressive mood continued after making 99 in his sole innings in Perth, targeting the short square boundaries and continually plundering West Indies’ increasingly ragged bowling through point.

The pair flattened West Indies’ attempts at a comeback after the quick wickets in the middle session of opener Usman Khawaja and Smith, who fell for just his fifth duck in Tests in Australia. But sloppy bowling and fielding left West Indies frustrated as their hopes of ending a 25-year Test drought in Australia with a series-levelling victory already appearing forlorn.

Much like in Perth, where they claimed only six wickets in 190 overs across two innings, West indies’ bowlers were inconsistent and failed to penetrate on a surface with occasional bounce and movement. Without injured frontline quicks Kemar Roach and Jayden Seales, West Indies speedster Alzarri Joseph unsuccessfully targeted a short-ball strategy and resisted trying to conjure swing with the new ball.

But he did dismiss opener David Warner, who was caught behind for 21 in a rash dismissal in another missed opportunity to end a near three-year Test century drought.

Briefly attempting a rally, West Indies bowled with more discipline in the second session through seamers Jason Holder and Anderson Phillip, who impressed with accuracy in just his second Test match.

But it was debutant Devon Thomas who broke through by trapping Khawaja lbw for 62 with his handy seamers providing a surprise option.

It was a much-needed tonic for an injury-hit West Indies, whose woes deepened when debutant quick Marquino Mindley left the field in the first session with a suspected hamstring injury after bowling just two overs. Mindley had arrived in Adelaide on Monday from the Caribbean as injury cover.

Captain Kraigg Brathwaite scrambled for inspiration throughout the day’s play and used seven bowlers. He unsuccessfully reverted to spinner Roston Chase as the first change bowler in a baffling move. He again unwisely used Chase and his own part-time spin before the tea break to release the pressure on new batter Head, who counterattacked with ease.

It paved the way for a sub-par final session for West Indies under lights with the second new ball failing to do the trick as the beleaguered tourists stare down the barrel of conceding another massive first-innings total to Australia.

Both teams made a host of changes, with Australia’s regular captain Pat Cummins failing to overcome a quad strain he picked up during the first Test, while quick Josh Hazlewood was ruled out with a side strain.

Seamers Scott Boland and Michael Neser added to Test matches they played last summer against England, while former captain Smith took the reins from Cummins like he did in last year’s Ashes Test in Adelaide.

Even though he endured an uncharacteristic failure with the bat, falling to Holder in a return catch, Smith should be well pleased with Australia making a strong start in their bid for an 11th straight day-night Test victory.

(Story by Tristan Lavalette/ESPNcricinfo. Photos from ESPNcricinfo)

ONE GUYANA PRESIDENT’S CUP GROUP STAGE MATCH-UP ANNOUNCED

The Guyana Football Federation (GFF) on Tuesday announced the draw for the championship round of the prestigious One Guyana President’s Cup during a live press conference at the National Cultural Centre, Homestretch Avenue, Georgetown.
The 10 regional teams now know who they will face in the round-robin group stage, before advancing to the knockout phase of the tournament, to have a chance to become the first One Guyana President’s Cup champions on January 1, 2023.
The teams were first seeded and then placed into two groups of five at the end of the draw conducted by the GFF.


The tournament focuses on expanding the reach of football across Guyana and increasing the player’s population, while at the same time creating opportunities to scout new talent within communities that were traditionally off the formal football grid.


“To have so many young talents take centre stage during the prestigious FIFA 2022 World Cup Season is without a doubt a great source of pride for my administration. Therefore, on behalf of the entire football fraternity of Guyana, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to President Ali and his Government for their investment in the development of football,” shared GFF President Wayne Forde.

The first leg of the tournament kicked off on November 13 and only the top clubs advanced to the December championship round.
“We are happy to see that the players and coaches have committed themselves to this tournament. We are taking notice of the emerging talent on display and our national team players pool will be extremely competitive and full of talent. We now await the decisions of the individual regional scouting teams and look forward to how they manage the selection process inclusive of the minimum requirements of six U20 players. There is now a real pathway into the SMNT and we are excited. Over 3,000 players have auditioned thus
far and now we are full of anticipation of what the Regional Playoffs will reveal,” explained GFF Technical Director Acting Bryan Joseph.
The ten qualified teams will battle in front of crowds at grounds across Guyana, including Leonora National Stadium, West Demerara & GFC.


“The K&S organisation is pleased to collaborate once again with the GFF in staging this prestigious tournament. We believe that our extensive event management expertise compliments very well the disciplined, professional and structured approach President Forde has instituted in the management of football from the inception of his tenure,” K&S Co-Founder Kashif Muhammad stated, adding:
“We are here to play our role in ensuring the success of the inaugural One Guyana President’s Cup.”

Fixtures for the One Guyana President’s Cup

Neymar returns as Brazil cruise past South Korea into World Cup quarterfinals

Brazil turned on the style, dancing their way to a one-sided 4-1 win over South Korea in their World Cup round-of-16 match at Qatar’s Stadium 974 on Monday.

Vinicius Junior, Neymar, Richarlison and Lucas Paqueta were all on the scoresheet in a dominant first half as Brazil cruised into a quarterfinal matchup against 2018 World Cup finalists Croatia on Dec. 9.

Neymar, who had missed Brazil’s final two group games after picking up an ankle injury against Cameroon, and Danilo returned to the starting XI for Tite with the Selecao continuing their quest for a sixth World Cup title.

With 82-year-old Brazil legend Pele cheering the team from hospital while recovering from a respiratory illness, Vinicius wasted no time putting his side ahead, settling a cross from Raphinha that found him unmarked at the back post and calmly curling a shot into the side netting.

South Korea’s Jung Woo-Young fouled Richarlison in the area minutes after the opener to give Neymar a chance to double the lead. The Paris Saint-Germain star made no mistake from the spot, sending goalkeeper Kim Seung-Gyu the wrong way to make it 2-0 inside of 15 minutes.

Richarlison made it 3-0 before the half-hour mark, sliding the easiest of finishes into the South Korean goal following some brilliant individual skill and clever interplay with Thiago Silva at the top of the penalty area.

For their fourth goal of the first half, Brazil hit a helpless South Korea with a counter-attack that saw Neymar feed Vinicius, who in turned scooped a cross for the onrushing Paqueta to sidefoot home with his first touch.

Tottenham Hotspur’s Son Heung-Min forced a great save from Alisson just after the restart and Raphinha was twice denied at the other end as he looked to add to Brazil’s tally.

Despite holding Brazil goalless in the second half and scoring a stunning late consolation goal through Paik Seung-Ho, the damage was already done as South Korea’s World Cup came to an end against the high-flying tournament favourites.

(Story from ESPN FC, Photos from FIFA)

Croatia beat Japan on penalties to claim World Cup quarterfinal spot

Croatia progressed into the World Cup quarterfinals after winning a penalty shootout over Japan on Monday following a hard-fought 1-1 draw in regulation time.

Daizen Maeda gave Japan the lead at the Al Janoub Stadium just before half-time when he pounced following a deep free-kick into the opposing penalty box. Croatia hit back through a super header from Ivan Perisic on 55 minutes to set up a tense final half hour, although neither side could find a winner inside 90 minutes, nor in extra-time.

Ivan Perisic scored an important equalizer for Croatia in the 55th minute!

Croatia goalkeeper Dominic Kivakovic saved penalties from Takumi Minamino, Kaoru Mitoma and Maya Yoshida before Mario Pasalic scored to claim a 3-1 win on penalties and send them through to the quarterfinal stage, where they will face either Brazil or South Korea, who play later on Monday.

For Japan, this was last-16 heartache for the fourth time after a loss to Turkey in 2002, exiting on penalties against Paraguay in 2010 and giving up a 2-0 lead to lose to a stoppage-time goal against Belgium four years ago.

The game was more open than anyone had reason to expect, with Croatia ratcheting up the physicality to gradually take control of midfield and Japan trying to hit them on the break.

Perisic was put through on goal in the eighth minute but Gonda pushed away his shot and Bruno Petkovic also had a one-on-one, only to tap an attempted pass tamely through the Japanese goalkeeper’s legs.

Japan showed far more adventure than they had in the first half of their group matches and Shogo Taniguchi, Daichi Kamada and Maeda all had chances to open the scoring before the latter broke the deadlock in the 43rd minute.

Ritsu Doan took the ball from a short corner and curled it into the box where Bruno Petkovic deflected it back across the six-yard area under close attention from Yoshida and Maeda pounced to tuck it into the net.

The equaliser came 12 minutes later with a cross from the same flank, Dejan Lovren lofting a beauty into the box and Perisic getting in front of his marker to head the ball powerfully into the bottom right corner of Gonda’s goal.

That brought Japan out of their shells and Wataru Endo was soon firing in a long-range effort which Livakovic tipped over the bar.

Extra time was a little more ragged although a thrilling run and piledriver of a shot from Japan substitute Kaoru Mitoma brought a fine save out of Livakovic just before the break.

Japan kept their nerve throughout the match but they crumbled in the penalty shootout as Nikola Vlasic and Marcelo Brozovic put Croatia 2-1 ahead before Pasalic sealed the deal for Croatia.

(Story from ESPN FC)

Brathwaite’s ton defies Australia but Lyon strikes late

West Indies 283 & 192 for 3 (Brathwaite 101, Mayers 0) need 306 more runs to beat Australia 598 for 4 dec & 182 for 2 dec (Labuschagne 104*)

Captain Kraigg Brathwaite scored his 11th Test century to defy an Australian attack without Pat Cummins as a gutsy West Indies pushed the first Test into a fifth day.

Needing a record 498 runs for victory or – more realistically – to bat through 154 overs to draw, Brathwaite superbly batted through the final two sessions of day four to provide hope for the injury-hit tourists.

But West Indies’ chances of starving off defeat in the series opener still appear unlikely even amid the uncertainty over Cummins, who did not bowl after experiencing quadricep soreness/ He returned to the field in the final session and appeared to be moving around without obvious discomfort. An assessment tomorrow morning will determine whether Cummins can bowl on the fifth day.

Marnus Labuschagne scored an unbeaten century to become only the 8th man to score a double-century & a ton in the same Test Match.

Nathan Lyon relished shouldering more of the workload and claimed two wickets as he conjured menacing bounce on the Optus Stadium surface.

Leading from the front, Brathwaite was in sublime touch and scored uncharacteristically quickly to make Australia’s shorthanded attack toil. He reached a deserved ton just before stumps but will likely need to bat for the long haul on day five to thwart Australia’s bid for victory.

Brathwaite passed 5000 Test runs with a gorgeous drive down the ground to capitalise on the unavailability of Cummins, who had starred in West Indies’ first innings to claim his 200th Test wicket.

Former skipper Steve Smith took the captaincy reins during Cummins’s absence as Australia failed to make inroads against Brathwaite and debutant Tagenarine Chanderpaul, who batted mostly untroubled through the entire second session. Chanderpaul scored just three runs off his first 36 balls in an effective rearguard alongside a fluent Brathwaite.

Tagenarine Chanderpaul impressed for his 45 in West Indies 2nd innings as he & skipper Kraig Brathwaite put on an opening stand of 116.

For a spark, Smith even resorted to Marnus Labuschagne who bowled medium pacers instead of his usual legspin but it didn’t do the trick.

But the return of Cummins, even though he couldn’t bowl, was surely a tonic for Australia as quick Mitchell Starc finally provided the breakthrough when Chanderpaul chopped on to end an impressive Test debut with scores of 51 and 45.

Starc made amends after dropping Chanderpaul moments earlier on the boundary with Australia’s frustration underlined by Cameron Green punching the ground having missed out on a wicket.

Australia’s mood brightened when Lyon picked up Shamarh Brooks, who as the concussion substitute had batted well against the odds in the first innings but fell cheaply second time around after edging to slip.

Australia hoped to tear through West Indies amid the ground’s increasing shadows but Jermaine Blackwood successfully reviewed a lbw decision off Josh Hazlewood. However, He never looked comfortable and fell to Lyon just before stumps.

Australia had earlier declared their second innings at lunch after Labuschagne added a ton to his first innings double century. Labuschagne rode some luck to become just the third Australia batter after Greg Chappell and Doug Walters to score a double century and century in the same Test.

Labuschagne made 308 runs for the match to continue a personal run spree at Optus Stadium after he scored 143 and 50 against New Zealand three years ago in the last Test played at the ground.

Labuschagne received luck on his way to his ninth Test century when he top-edged to gully via his helmet but was reprieved by a no-ball from Alzarri Joseph amid a riveting battle.

After receiving medical attention, Labuschagne continued on his merry way and passed 2000 Test runs in Australia in his 31st innings. Only Sir Don Bradman (19 in England and 26 in Australia), and Sir Garfield Sobers (29 in West Indies) have achieved the milestone in a country faster.

David Warner, however, missed a golden opportunity to end a three-year Test drought when he fell for 48, while Green didn’t bat in the match in his debut Test at home.

West Indies’ shorthanded attack was unable to limit Australia with spearhead Kemar Roach forced off after injuring his left thigh, while seamer Kyle Mayers did not bowl in the innings due to a strain in his right teres major muscle.

Adding to their woes, top-order batter Nkrumah Bonner was on day three substituted out of the match with concussion after being hit in the back of the helmet from a Green short delivery.

But the beleaguered tourists reached the final day and their hopes rested on their gritty skipper.

(Story by Tristan Lavalette/ESPNcricinfo)

Windies survive late exam after Smith’s unbeaten double

Despite boasting a pair of double century makers in the same Test innings for the first time in over a decade, Australia’s remorseless dominance of the first NRMA Insurance Test was stymied by a brave West Indies opening stand that announced the arrival of a new batting hope.

In reply to their hosts’ daunting first innings of 4(dec)-598 – underpinned by Marnus Labuschagne’s 204 and Steve Smith’s unbeaten 200 – the West Indies reached 0-74 at stumps on day two with Tagennarine Chanderpaul in sight of a half-century in his maiden Test innings.

Smith and Labuschagne became the first pair of double century makers in the same innings since Michael Clarke and Ricky Ponting achieved the rare feat against India at Adelaide Oval in 2011, with Travis Head missing out on his triple-figure milestone by the barest of margins.

But in contrast to the often-abject resignation they showed in the latter half of their bowling innings, the West Indies reply with bat in hand was doggedly defiant.

Skipper Kraigg Brathwaite (18no) and his debutant opening partner Chanderpaul (47no from just 73 balls faced) withstood 21 overs of high octane pace bowling under thick evening cloud during which they both copped multiple blows.

Chanderpaul was especially impressive, wearing an eye-watering hit from Josh Hazlewood that left him prostrate on pitch edge for several minutes as team medicos pumped his legs in a brave bid to quell the pain and mitigate the shock.

The fine-boned left-hander was also struck several times on the upper body as he concertina-ed himself limbo-style beneath a barrage of short balls, but in between those moments he drove and cut without fear to suggest a productive career awaits.

The 26-year-old – whose father, Shivnarine, was inducted to the ICC’s Hall of Fame last month – also survived a confident shout for lbw in Mitchell Starc’s second over (when on four) that fell narrowly in his favour when adjudged as ‘umpire’s call’.

Brathwaite also benefited from the DRS process, although the appeal for a catch behind off Pat Cummins when he was on 16 was revealed to be more in hope with the ball passing harmlessly past his outside edge.

But for all the pluck shown by the visitors’ first-wicket pair, they still have a sizeable mountain to scale.

At the close of play yesterday, Usman Khawaja told cricket.com.au he expected day two to offer the best batting conditions of the Test.

But even at his most optimistic, he could not have envisaged Australia would subjugate the West Indies bowling as utterly and remorselessly as they did for 62.4 overs today.

During those two-and-a-bit sessions, they plundered 305 runs against some of the most desultory bowling Test cricket in this country has witnessed for the loss of just two wickets – both of which fell to occasional spinner Brathwaite as the result of self-inflicted wounds.

The first of those was Labuschagne, having celebrated his second Test double-century on the cusp of lunch at which point his half-hearted dab at one of Brathwaite’s round-arm off-breaks nestled in the gloves of keeper Joshua da Silva.

It’s not often a Test batter heads to the sheds with a double-hundred to his name but so demonstrably disconsolate, a clear indication the 28-year-old felt he had left at least another century out there.

It was also a less rueful countenance than that aired by Head, who had motored to 99 at better than a run per ball with his greatest conundrum being how to engage in some mindful eating against a sumptuous buffet of parklands bowling until he outsmarted himself.

With his teammates all waiting boundary side in full playing kit, having been told Australia’s declaration would come immediately after both he and Smith posted their respective milestones, Head attempted a similarly meek shot to that which undid Labuschagne.

And instead of netting him the single that would have brought his fifth Test century, it instead yielded an inside edge back on to off stump that meant Head became the 25th Australia batter – and the first since Shaun Marsh against India at the MCG in 2014 – to be dismissed for 99.

It was an ignominious end to an innings of otherwise flawless fluency that shone far brighter than the bowling he faced, but was always going to be an afterthought to Smith’s contribution.

With barely a mishit during the seven hours and batted and from the 311 deliveries he faced, Smith not only made good his prediction he was getting back to his batting best but ensured the statement was heavily underscored and appended with an exclamation point.

Although he would have to concede he’s faced more searching training sessions against teenage net bowlers than he was subjected to for much of today’s knock.

The fact West Indies skipper Brathwaite enlisted barely medium pacers Jason Holder (around 125kph) and Kyle Mayers (120kph) before finally unleashing his fastest bowlers Alzarri Joseph and Jayden Seales until much later in the opening session.

Mayers had indicated prior to play starting he was feeling sore after yesterday’s 11-over workload, and Seales must surely have been afflicted by some ailment given he had taken one of the two wickets to fall on day one during which he was his team’s most threatening bowler.

But even if the West Indies boasted an attack the calibre of those legendary 1980s outfits, it’s doubtful they could have curtailed Smith such was his technical mastery and mental strength.

Upon reaching his 29th Test ton shortly after the day’s first drinks break, Smith not only equalled the centuries tally of Don Bradman but did so in his 155th Test innings with only Bradman (79) and India’s Sachin Tendulkar (148) having reached the milestone in fewer knocks.

By that stage, another of the game’s all-time greats – former West Indies skipper Brian Lara – noted in commentary for Fox Cricket that his former team had no chance of claiming all 10 Australia wickets and their best hope was to limit scoring until a declaration salved their pain.

But that modest assignment proved beyond them as Smith joined with Labuschagne to flay 109 from the 28 overs until lunch, and then found even greater freedom in union with Head as they carved 166 from the next 30 overs up to tea.

In reaching his fourth double-hundred moments before Head’s dismissal brought the declaration, Smith joined Greg Chappell and Clarke with four scores of 200 or more for Australia.

Only Bradman (12) and Ponting (six) have posted more.

The ease with which Australia’s batters scored represents a troublesome trend against a once-feared bowling line-up which is scheduled to return here for a further two Tests next summer.

In their past five first innings against West Indies on home soil (including today’s efforts), Australia have piled on 2,428 runs for the loss of 20 wickets at an average of more than 485 per innings and in excess of 120 runs per scalp.

And that includes the first innings of the previous encounter at the SCG seven years ago when rain curtailed the game with Australia 2-176 in their first innings and seemingly on target for another hefty total.

The visitors’ plight was best encapsulated by the belated introduction of Joseph into the attack more than an hour into the day, by which time Labuschagne had progressed to 186 without being troubled by the diet of medium-pace he had been fed throughout the morning.

With his third delivery of his second over – having changed ends after his first – Joseph’s extra pace induced a tentative steer from Australia’s number three that flew barely over the outstretched fingertips of substitute fielder Shamarh Brooks stationed at fine gully.

Joseph’s clear irritation at his teammate’s less-than-urgent effort was doubtless compounded by the knowledge Brooks was on the field for Holder who – at around 30cm taller and one of world cricket’s best close catchers – would likely have plucked the rare offering.

(Story by Andrew Ramsey/Cricket.com.au)

Diamond Mineral Water Hockey Festival returns on Thursday!

On Thursday December 1st, the Diamond Mineral Water International Indoor Hockey Festival will bully-off for the sixteenth time. Born from the idea of Joseph ‘Reds’ Perreira, who upon visiting Guyana in 2003, met with the Guyana Hockey Board and encouraged them to stage an annual international hockey festival. Reds being a huge proponent of sports tourism thought that the Guyanese sporting bodies needed to do more to attract foreign athletes to our shores. The Guyana Hockey Board took up the challenge and secured the volunteer services of former national hockey players, Troy Hugh Peters, to be the Tournament Coordinator.

Sarah Klautky in action at the 2019 edition of the Diamond Mineral Water Hockey Festival

Eighteen years later, the Festival has grown into one of the premiere indoor hockey events in the region and attracts top club teams and players from the Pan American region. While over the years the festival has had its challenges and missed years due to renovations at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall in 2012 and then again during the restrictive covid-19 times.

This year the mighty Queens Park men’s contingent returns to compete in the men’s veteran over 35s and the Guinness Masters over 45s divisions. The over 35s will be the first foreign side on show as they take on the Antonio’s Hickers at 19:30hrs on the opening night.

Trinidad Police makes their debut this year with a large male and female contingent. The TT Police men will be on show for the final match of the evening on Thursday as they take on the recent GTT National Indoor Champions, Bounty GCC. The police ladies similarly will face local national champs the GBTI GCC Tigers in the TLC ladies division at 20:10hrs

The tournament will feature 18 teams which includes 6 foreign teams. In addition, four players from Canada and two from the USA will be on show as guest players among the local sides, adding to the international flare of the festival.

Diamond Mineral Water has been the mainstay of the festival and has been the title sponsor since its inception in 2004. Local freight-forwarding company, TLC Guyana Inc, which is the sponsor of the women’s division is new to the sport locally while Guinness, more popular with football, has been the welcome sponsor of the Masters division.

All matches are being player at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall and begin at 18:00 hrs on Thursday 1st December, 15:00hrs on December 2nd, 13:00hrs on December 3rd and 11:00 hrs on the final day of December 4th.