The Premier Sports info pages of Trinidad and Tobago in the West Indies. This blog is linked to

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Caribbean makes Rugby World Cup History

The International Rugby Board(IRB) Rugby World
Cup(RWC) was first held in 1987, The tournament has
developed at an unprecedented rate since the inaugural
event and is now the third largest sporting event in
the world behind the Olympic games and the Fifa world

For the first time in its history Rugby World Cup
Qualification began in the Caribbean.

This is six months to the day after a global audience
of billions watched the Rugby World Cup 2007 final in
France when South Africa became World Champion.

Participating nations in the six-day Caribbean
qualifying Tournament are Barbados, Bahamas, Bermuda,
Guyana, Jamaica, Mexico, Trinidad & Tobago and the
Cayman Islands.

The Caribbean Championship started on 20 April and
will end on the 26 April.The victor will progress to
meet the winner of the South America Division B
Championship involving Colombia or Venezuela,
Paraguay, Brazil and Peru.

The IRB acknowledged the historic occasion by taking
the Webb Ellis Cup to the Cayman Islands. Caribbean
Rugby players had the opportunity to see and touch the
coveted prize.

Tony Spreadbury, who refereed the opening match of RWC
2007 in France, has temporarily come out of
international retirement and took charge of the first
RWC 2011 qualification match between Cayman Islands
and Trinidad & Tobago.

Eight teams will be determined through the global
regional qualifying system, which will be completed in
2010 one year before the Tournament.

These teams will join South Africa, England,
Argentina, France, Australia, New Zealand, Scotland,
Fiji, Wales, Ireland, Tonga and Italy who have
automatically qualified for RWC 2011.

The Caribbean Championship is the first step on the
road towards the 2011 RWC and marks the start of a
new-look qualifier process that has been streamlined
to incorporate established Tournaments across the
IRB's six regions (North America & West Indies, South
America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania).

Monday, April 21, 2008

TTFF News - Forbes hoping to follow Jones leap

Forbes hoping to follow Jones’ leap


Issued by Shaun Fuentes, TTFF Media Officer, April 21, 2008


New Trinidad and Tobago Senior Team call up Jerol Forbes says the exploits of Sunderland striker Kenwyne Jones and other players who have gone on to wear the Senior Team uniform is the motivating factor behind his run of form for United Petrotrin and now he’s aiming to carry it over to the international stage.


Forbes has impressed T&T head coach Francisco Maturana in the early rounds of the T&T Pro League, earning him a place in the 25-man squad preparing for Sunday’s friendly international against Grenada at the Marvin Lee Stadium, Macoya.


Forbes, was the scorer of T&T’s lone goal in a 6-1 defeat to Brazil at the FIFA Under 17 World Championship in 2001 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium and subsequently went on trial at Manchester United with Jones. But he hasn’t not pushed on as Jones, remaining in Trinidad and looking on at other teammates such as Marvin Phillip, Julius James and Jan Michael Williams go on to represent the country at the senior international level.


Now he wants to prove his worth again.


“It feels good to be back training with the national team again. I’ve been away for a while because I didn’t really make a national team since the youth level,”Forbes told TTFF Media.


“But now being here with the guys again is a plus. I think I have a great chance of getting back out there (overseas stage) because I’m feeling upbeat about the game again and I really want to give back, especially for the fans who have stood by me through the hard times.


“I think I was missing motivation because of having not been given the opportunity after the Under 17 (Championship).  I think I was out of favour. Coach Brian Williams has pushed me a lot as well and I want to thank him for that,”


Forbes, formerly of Naparima College, wants to become reacquainted with Jones who is now in line for the Sunderland  “Player of the Year” award.


“Kenwyne is an exceptional player and I won’t mind playing alongside him again (and) getting some hints from him. I just want to take it one day at a time and keep on improving my game”


About Petrotrin’s four-match winning run so far, Forbes isn’t getting carried away.


“We have had a good start so far but we need to take it one game at a time. The season is a long one. We will not allow ourselves to become too confident because the other teams will be coming back strong as the season goes on so we have to stay focused and keep the results positive,” Forbes added.


Some of the other new faces taking part in Monday’s training session at the Marvin Lee included Jerrel Britto and Michael Edwards with the recalled Anton Pierre of Defence Force, Devon Jorsling, Kevon Carter, Clico San Juan Jabloteh duo Lester Peltier and Atulla Guerra also present. Joe Public’s Kerry Baptiste, Silas Spann and Keyeno Thomas, Aklie Edwards of Defence Force, W Connection’s Akeem Adams, Makan Hislop, Jamal Gay, Daneil Cyrus, Keon Daniel of United Petrotrin and skipper Aurtis Whitley among others also involved.


Meantime, Grenada are likely to have its star player and Caribbean “Player of the Year” for 2007 Shalrie Joseph in its line up for Sunday’s game at the Marvin Lee. The New England Revolution announced that it will release Joseph on Friday following its MLS fixture with Dallas FC the previous day.

"There is a buzz about how far [Grenada] has gotten," Joseph said. "But we have a real challenge playing Costa Rica, which is the second or third best team in CONCACAF."


Grenada booked a second round clash with Costa Rica in the 2010 World Cup qualifying phase in June after trouncing US Virgin Islands 10-0 in its first round qualifier last month.


Grenada, under coach Norris Wilson, will arrive here on Friday while another Caribbean national team, St Vincent and the Grenadines are in the country for pre-World Cup training camp. They face Joe Public  in a training match at the Marvin Lee Stadium from 4pm on Tuesday.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

TTFF News - French-based striker, Forbes called up for Puerto Rico friendly

French-based striker, Forbes called up for Puerto Rico friendly


Issued by Shaun Fuentes, TTFF Media Officer, April 14, 2008


Trinidad and Tobago National Team head coach Francisco Maturana has shortlisted a squad of twenty-six players to attend training sessions ahead of this country’s next friendly international against Puerto Rico at the Marvin Lee Stadium on April 27.


The Colombian-born coach has called up French-based forward Kevaughn Connell and in-form United Petrotrin striker Jerol Forbes.  Connell is a 24-year-old striker with French Third Division club L'Entente Sannois Saint-Gratien. Forbes meantime was a member of the T&T Under 17 team at the 2001 FIFA Under 17 World Championship, scoring T&T’s lone goal in its defeat to Brazil at the Hasely Crawford Stadium. Team manager David Muhammad confirmed that Connell who had stints with Joe Public, Clico Jabloteh, New York/New Jersey Metrostars as well as played for  French club AS Cannes, was already contacted and will make the trip home for the encounter


Also earning calls for the encounter is Toronto FC defender Julius James, English-based goalkeeper Jan Michael Williams, Lester Peltier of Clico San Juan Jabloteh and Charleston Battery’s Randi Patterson.


Current team captain Aurtis Whitley is also in the mix with some other  recalls including Defence Force defender Anton Pierre, Devon Jorsling, Michael Edwards and Caledonia AIA’s Stephan David.


The rest of the squad, for training which begins a week ahead of the game includes members of the teams hich defeated El Salvador 1-0 and drew 2-2 away to Jamaica last month. They are goalkeeper Marvin Phillip, Keon Daniel, Kern Cupid, Aklie Edwards, Kerry Baptiste, Keyeno Thomas, Jamal Gay, Silas Spann, Keston Williams, Makan Hislop and Akeem Adams. w


Maturana, who has viewed some of the opening round matches in the T&T Pro League, maintains that he will use the opportunity to see how the players fare in the training sessions and against international opposition. Some of the other overseas-based players were not considered due to the game falling outside of the FIFA international window.


“It’s a good opportunity for the players to be involved and we have made the calls according to what we have seen here in the League and of course we have our reports on some of the players from abroad,” Maturana told TTFF Media. “It is very important that we maintain our philosophy of working with the players who show the right potential and attitude that we are looking for. The last two games I saw a lot of promise and a lot of heart from my players and we are hoping to continue this pattern,” he added. Puerto Rico meantime, held T&T 2-2 in a friendly earlier this year are preparing for upcoming World Cup qualifying action against Honduras in June


T&T will also face Barbados on May 11 in another friendly international on a request from the Barbados FA with their team preparing for their World Cup qualifier against United States


The 2010 Local Organizing Committee, under the chairmanship of Jack Warner, met on Sunday at the Dr Joao Havelange Centre of Excellence to discuss the planning and hosting of upcoming events including the friendlies against Puerto Rico and Barbados, the June 1 Centennial clash with England and the June 7 return friendly international against Jamaica in Port of Spain.


The “Soca Warriors” will also face Bermuda in its first 2010 World Cup qualifier on June 15 in Trinidad followed by the away leg a week later.


Squad invited for training ahead of Puerto Rico game


1-Marvin Phillip –W.Connection

2- Kern Cupid –W. Connection

3- Makan Hislop – United Petrotrin

4- Aklie Edwards – Defence Force

5- Kerry Baptiste – Joe Public F.C.

6-Aurtis Whitley –W.Connection

7- Keon Daniel – United Petrotrin

8- Keyeno Thomas – Joe Public F.C.

9- Lester Peltier – Clico Jabloteh F.C.

10- *Randi Patterson – Charleston Battery

11-*Julius James – Toronto F.C.

12-*Khaleem Hyland – unattached

13- Akeem Adams – W. Connection

14- Jamaal Gay – Under 20 National Team

15-*Jan Michael Williams – English-based

16- *Kevaughn Connell – French-baed

17- Jerrol Forbes – United Petrotrin

18- Devon Jorsling – Defence Force

19. Anton Pierre – Defence Force

20. Stephan David – Caledonia AIA

21. Keston Williams – Defence Force

22. Silas Spann – Joe Public F.C.

23. Glenroy Samuel – T&T Under 20
24. Michael Edwards – Defence Force

25. Kevon Carter - Defence Force

26. Daneil Cyrus – T&T Under 20

Sunday, April 13, 2008



By Andre E Baptiste


                              -------                                 -------



Saturday was cool, overnight rain and heavy cloud cover, did not deter the numerous beautiful women that were at the Queens Park Oval.

Sport is a meritocracy. Women athletes appeal to men because they work hard. They combine form with function. On Saturday, the form to quote one of my horseracing friends read good, real good.

It was ordinary, it was oh so ordinary. It was a salad, a dinner roll, a steak, a half potato, a slice of cake, a clinking fork, a podium joke, a ballroom full of white-linen-tablecloth conversation, so with that I left West Indies Cricket Board box.

I managed to enter the – Trini Posse – Stand , without any fuss and without any ticket , someone noticed me passing by ( working hard, very hard) and ensured that I was allowed in to a mesmerizing experience of music, beauty , more music , food, a lot of beauties and just fun and excitement .

It was the sort of experience that ensures that cricket will not die with 50 overs and 20 overs cricket always present.

Most of the beautiful women I spoke with and there were too much to mention, were all enthralled by the spectacle and overcome by the fact, that I was interviewing them for a special piece on – Beautiful women in cricket – (Oh, by the way, I have not spoken to my editors, about when I will run the series in the Trinidad Guardian, partially because I only thought of it, the moment, I was bounced by two gorgeous brunettes.

What was great about these interviews, was their knowledge of cricketers, they knew a lot about Sarwan, Chanderpaul, Bravo and then Lara . But I hasten to add quickly he was not playing, but they countered they had seen him in the stands.

Sri Lanka’s stop start innings was always going to be difficult for any quality team, and given the fact, that Sri Lanka were beginning to look rather ordinary, it was no wonder they struggled to 112-5 from 30 overs. For the West Indies Captain Chris Gayle’s innocuous spin claimed two scalps and the brilliant Dwayne Bravo (too much pumping up from the Trini Posse CROWD) and consistent Jerome Taylor captured one each.

Now only, Duckworth Lewis could save Sri Lanka from another defeat. In a land where curry duck and cricket ducks are aplenty, it was no surprise that many at the Queens Park Oval were skeptical about Duckworth Lewis.

The West Indies were set a revised target of 125 from 25 and the air was now tensed.

The machine will win because it has no mind. It flattens even as it lifts, trivializes even as it exalts, spreads a man so wide and thin that he becomes margarine soon enough.


Supporters in Trinidad and Tobago are of a different breed to any other in the Caribbean.

It was indeed a weekend of PAIN, BEAUTY, GAIN and RAIN.


:: AB



Friday, April 11, 2008


PREVIEW OF SECOND ONE DAYER- WEST INDIES VERSUS SRI LANKA                                     

By Andre E Baptiste







Sport is a meritocracy. Women athletes appeal to men because they work hard. They combine form with function.

Today is D Day , it is another Chapter in the new Christopher Gayle Captaincy legacy. A victory against Sri Lanka on Saturday would ensure the West Indies win the series and would be the first time in the last ten years, that the West Indies has been able to win three(3) consecutive international  matches against a higher ranked team.

In Trinidad and Tobago, the swimsuit model type women who will adorn the Queens Park Oval on Saturday , particularly in the TRINI POSSE stand  appeal to men because they appear never to work . They have no function other than to shill. They are limp fantasies . How does one practice being a fantasy ? Pout in the mirror? Laze languidly beside a swimming pool? Apply eyeliner?.

 As fantasies go they are a thin gruel, too wholesome for pornography, too quaint for fashion. Men who indulge a fancy of perfect beauty, inert and compliant, entertain a hollow and boring delusion.

There is a passage in Plato that won’t leave me in peace.” The natural property of a wing is to raise that which is heavy and carry aloft to the region where the gods dwell,” Socrates notes in the Phaedrus. Later, he says that “all are eager to reach the heights…. (But as most souls) travel, they trample and tread upon one another, this one striving to outstrip that .Thus confusion ensues and conflict and grievous sweat. Whereupon …………. Many are lamed, and many have their wings all broken, and for all their toiling they are balked every one, of the full vision of being, and departing there from, they feed upon the food of semblance. In other words, do not miss this match today for any reason, both the affairs ( no pun intended) on and off the field should be more than interesting.

An old cricketer once said,” you never learn anything until you is tired “and by that criterion, I’m capable of learning plenty right now.

As to the match itself I left word for the Sri Lanka captain Jayawardene two hours ago saying I’d arrived and I wanted to talk about the recent spate of defeats, but he seems like a guy who’d rather give me a stiff beating than a straight answer, so the chance of seeing the Captain’s scrapbook seems remote.

Damien Rice in his song Blowers Daughter says,” I can’t Take my mind off of you  “, and on Saturday there will be a lot of that loving feeling in the air at the Oval.

Rice is really the man for this , giving the proof that Trinidad and Tobago has the most beautiful women, with many saying aloud or in their mind .“ I Can’t take my eyes off of you …and so it is “. Therefore for a lot of people the result will not matter.

So as this West Indies team continues to find answers and ways to win, that are harder than most , the question will be on Saturday , who will step forward and be counted.

Will it be  Ramnaresh Sarwan, Gayle , Dwayne Bravo  or Shiv Chanderpaul again with the bat or even Fidel Edwards, Darren Powell or Jerome Taylor with the ball.

Supporters in Trinidad and Tobago are of a different breed to any other in the Caribbean.

It should be a weekend of BEAUTY, GAIN and NO  RAIN.

By the way a West Indies victory would help.

:: AB


Wednesday, April 09, 2008




By Andre E Baptiste



                      ----  TIME TO MAKE SRI LANKA PAY ------


I am sitting in the middle of the lobby, unaware or pretending to be unaware that people are staring. It’s not that I look out of place, with my floor-length black leather overcoat and gold-rimmed sunglasses. It’s that I look famous. I also look like a younger, fitter, toothier version of ……...

On certain nights, when I was a boy, I used to lie in bed in the dark, unable to sleep, because of eyes – staring, glowing eyes, arrayed in a sphere all around me, not like the dastardly, conniving EYES OF Mattie Muralitharan , the embattled Sri Lanka spinning champion , who has been conveniently rested for this three match one day series. The eyes seemed to be alive, though they were not visibly attached to bodies or to faces. They were so to speak, attached to emotions either: they conveyed no menace, no affection, no curiosity, and no consternation. They simply watched me with vigilance as steady and beautiful as the shining stars at night.

Because their beauty was so evident, the eyes would not have troubled me were it not for this: I could not escape them. They had the ability to go on staring whether my own eyes were open or shut; they could in other words move with me from the real into the imaginary world.

The crowds at the Queens Park Oval  will come in their numbers to watch their hometown heroes  Dwayne Bravo, Denesh Ramdin and Keiron Pollard. There will be men and women of all sizes, all shapes, all ready for a celebration, winning is not the issue or a factor for over 70% of those present at both matches, the people of Trinidad and Tobago and the wider Caribbean want to have a “ball”.

It will therefore be an eye-popping time ( Today and Saturday), because the English speaking Caribbean needs to face the reality, Trinidad and Tobago possesses the most beautiful women, and they will all be at the Queens Park Oval.

As a journalist, you need to have a good eye for a story and there will be several journalists pretending to be working in the media box. In fact one journalist told me this on Wednesday, that he had I lost an old friend the other day. He was blue-eyed, impish; he cried a lot with him, laughed a lot with him, saw a great many things with him. He didn’t don’t know why he left him, Boredom, perhaps.

They read a lot of books together, they did a lot of crossword puzzles together, and they saw films together. They had a pretty exciting life. They saw Vivian Richards hit a century when they were both 12 years old. They saw Michael Holding rip apart Geoffrey Boycott, They saw Larry “Mr. Dependable” Gomes at his best in the 1980’s. He saw Leslie “Tiger” Stewart wake up and win a World title. I thought he led a pretty good life.

You see, the friend he lost was his eye. His good eye. The other eye, the right one, he has been carrying for years. We just let him tag along like Don Quixote’s nag. It’s been a long time since he could read the number on a right back or tell whether a ball was in or out or even which fighter was down.

So, one blue eye is missing and the other misses a lot.

 It is the great word of the twentieth century.  If there is a singly word our century has added to the potentiality of language, it is ego. Everything we have done in this century, from monumental feats to nightmares of human destruction, has been a function of that extraordinary state of the psyche which gives us authority to declare we are sure of ourselves when we are not.

·  West Indies and Sri Lanka have played each other only six times in the Caribbean, with Sri Lanka winning four and West Indies two.

·  The previous bilateral series in the West Indies between the two was won by Sri Lanka 2-1

·  West Indies and Sri Lanka have played two matches at the Queen's Park Oval, with both teams winning a game each. Coincidentally, the victory margin was the same - 35 runs

The West Indies need to salvage their pride; they need to pick themselves up. We owe it as West Indians to have our revenge on Sri Lanka for knocking us out of the World Cup in the last eight years

So we as we aim for victory, let us maintain our great memories, left by great West Indian teams of the past. This West Indies team couldn’t take those with them. They just took the future with them and the present. They couldn’t take the past.

We don’t know why the great West Indies team had to go. I thought we were all pals. I thought the things we did together we enjoyed doing together. Sure, we cried together. There were things to cry about, but they were good things for the benefit of the Caribbean people, when will these bunch of players realize their roles?

Oh, I have just been joined by …….I will have to continue this later.


:: AB



Sunday, April 06, 2008


SPORTS: FEARLESS IN THE BOX – DAY FOUR ( SUNDAY 6TH APRIL, 2008)– of the 2nd Test Match between the West Indies and Sri Lanka


By Andre E Baptiste


                                     --- A PRICELESS VICTORY FOR THE WEST INDIES---


I’m sitting in the West Indies Cricket Board Corporate Box still waiting for a call from a man who doesn’t trust me, hoping he’ll have answers about a man I don’t trust, which may clear the name of a man no one gives a damn about. To distract myself from this uneasy vigil – and from an uneasy feeling of comfort, that my Sunday Morning prayers at Santa Rosa RC in Arima would work wonders for the West Indies on Day 4, I looked around the box for other smiling faces and found only one.

She was not so slim( without being skinny), elegant, had long hair  and was very pretty. She smiled at me and I smiled back appreciatively, all I needed now, was for her to speak …and this though is where it all changed….” Would you like coffee or tea..Mr Fearless One”. So now it was obvious she did not work at the West Indies Cricket Board, no wonder she was happy whatever the outcome on Sunday.

Overnight rain in Port of Spain, had left many in doubt about the conditions.

Captain Chris Gayle walked briskly to the crease with his opening partner  Chattergoon. Both were purposeful, but ineffective, their departures in consecutive overs (5th and 6th), left the West Indies tottering at 24-2.

Marlon Samuels limped to the crease, his bat dragging, as his head remain bowed and he never settled so when he inevitably fell to Chaminda Vaas, it was not a surprise, but a conclusion, waiting to happen.

West Indies vice Captain Ramnaresh Sarwan is in a rich vein of form, back to back half centuries in all three innings( 80,72 and 57) in this series to date has given the injury prone right hander a tremendous level of self confidence and he began his innings a la – Sir Vivian Richards-. Intent on domination and destruction, - Sarwan the flamboyant - , whirled and blazed his willow, much like multi talented coconut vendor chipping away to the husk to give to his willing customer, the final product.

Sarwan has always been a showman, he has learned well under Brian Charles Lara and he immediately sought to break the rhythm of Muralitharan, with some risky drives and cuts.

His partner, the ultra consistent, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, had recovered from his mishap in the first innings and set out his stall for the battle and sought to ensure, his wicket would have been purchased in expensive currency (not Guyanese).

Sri Lanka then panicked, their Captain Jayawardene loss his composure and seem at loss for ideas, even going so far as to change the field placing for no reasons. The right (Sarwan) and Left (Chanderpaul) combination had the third ranked test playing nation looking like schoolboys with no money at a University party.

Sarwan’s tenth test century ( 102) and Chanderpaul’s 46th  test half century( 86 not out) were too much for a Sri Lanka bowling team, that is too thin without three of their front line bowlers in Malinga ,Maharoof and Fernnando. Their partnership of 157 for the fourth wicket

Can we really separate them, money and sports, on Sunday all of that was forgotten? In the end the West Indies won and  Sri Lanka loss and while the margin of the victory would suggest that West Indies won comfortably but for three days the Sri Lankans had given as good as they had got, the only problem was they all forgot the script on the fourth day and lost the plot. Only two teams (India and West Indies) have made 250 or more in the fourth innings here on this ground to win a game. This is the third occasion. A win here after eight years( including losing the last five matches played at the Oval).

Or dare we say it, THE WEST INDIES team played good, sensible cricket. This was a PRICELESS victory for the West Indies cricket team, and all of us in and from the Caribbean.

 Bing.. bing.. bing..  (It is the phone, it is ringing), could it be because the man I don’t trust is finally to calling me when it is all over. This proves how dangerous it is to ever believe that a bookie can give you good inside information on the outcome of a cricket match.


:: AB



SPORTS: FEARLESS IN THE BOX – DAY THREE ( SATURDAY 5TH APRIL, 2008) – of the 2nd Test Match between the West Indies and India


By Andre E Baptiste


                  ----- SAY A PRAYER FOR WEST INDIES ON SUNDAY ----


Benjai’s West Indian anthem “Fed up of the same thing, over and over “comes to mind………………

There was urgency though in the air at the start of Day 3, and it was not only the Sri Lankan team or our West Indians who sensed the rare smell of victory for both teams. This on paper was supposed to be another victory for the third ranked test team over the lesser lights of an eight placed West Indian team.

Like Melville’s ocean or twain’s Mississippi, cricket calls to a young man. But ON Saturday, yet again, there were only a handful of West Indian supporters. Its victims are not only those who forfeit their wits and dive into the cricket arena. The sport obviously also seduces writers, too, dragging them down with its powerful undertow of testosterone. Many die a hideous literary death, drowning in their own hyperbole. Only a few – CLR James, Michael Manley, Earl Lovelace and Samuel Selvon – cross to safety. Awash in all that blood of cricket pulling at your every movement, they become buoyant.

For most people in the wider world, outside the ten test playing nations, however, cricket makes no sense.

Even in the Caribbean in some areas, this sport that once defined the region now seems archaic, like jousting or pistols at six paces. The uninitiated, the cultivated, the educated don’t accept that cricket has existed possibly since the time of the pharaohs.

Perhaps one of the problems is that cricket concedes one musky truth about masculinity: hitting a man with a cricket ball is sometimes the most satisfying response to being a man. Disturbing maybe, but there it is.

Some of us on Day three of a compelling test match go through life feeding the athlete inside with weekend-warrior games of touch rugby, season tickets to test matches and pro league football, tailgate parties and war stories of what it was like to play any sport.

A lead of 75 to 100, we asked for on Friday, but Sri Lanka led by the wily Muralitharan restricted the lead to a meager (it seemed) 16 runs.

The small crowd sighed and prepared for a Sri Lanka onslaught, but for the first time in this two test series, both Sri Lanka openers (Vandort and Warnapura) feel cheaply and a stunned into silence crowd, blinked twice, because by the end of over number two, the score read – Sri Lanka 4 for 2 (trailing by 16 on first innings, not to be forgotten).

When their two star batsmen Jayawardene and Sangakkara fell in consecutive overs to Fidel Edwards and Darren Powell, the Sri Lanka score stood at 32-4.

Now the word spread and by lunch time , the Queens Park oval was awash with more fans than before, at 99-6 , the smell of victory seem to have caused Captain Chris Gayle to become over intoxicated and then it happen…

Poor fielding, errant bowling, blind umpiring ( Thilan Samaraweera was as plump LBW  of Dwayne Bravo as anyone , I have seen even from the stands but Billy Bowden of the crocked finger thought otherwise), loss of composure and finally the fight was being extinguished and we were all settling down to what we know – worse cricket from the West Indies.

The beneficiaries , 31 year old Thilan Samaraweera ( with a test average of 41 , punished the West Indies with his sixth test century ) and  Chaminda Vaas , together , their seventh wicket partnership of  138 , may prove to be the telling point in this close contest.

Day 4, Sunday, will need some heroic batting from the West Indies on a weary surface to chase this now daunting total .

 If you are in Church this morning – SAY A PRAYER FOR THE WEST INDIES -.

By the way, the man I don’t trust, still has not called, maybe he too is FED UP.


:: AB



Saturday, April 05, 2008

Cricket fan dies at match


PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad - The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB) and the West Indies team have expressed deep and sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Michael Hosam.

Hosam, a supporter of the West Indies team and West Indies cricket, died on Friday. He was 66-years-old and lived in El Dorado.

Dr. Julian Hunte, President of the WICB; Deryck Murray, President of the TTCB and Director of the WICB; Dr Donald Peters, Chief Executive Officer of the WICB; and Omar Khan, Manager of the West Indies team, all joined in extending sympathy.

Mr. Hosam was at the Queen's Park Oval watching the second day's play in the second Digicel Test Match between West Indies and Sri Lanka when other fans noticed him looking unwell. He received medical attention at the ground and was taken to the Port of Spain General Hospital where family said he was pronounced dead.

"I would like to extend my condolences to Mr. Hosam's family and friends on this sad occasion. I hope everyone close to him will be able to cope. We in West Indies Cricket know we have people out there who are loyal and dedicated in their support and we wish his family all the best at this time," Dr. Hunte said.


Dr. Peters noted: "I extend my deep and sincere sympathy to Mr. Hosam's loved ones. We at the WICB value every fan, the contribution they make and the love and commitment they show to West Indies cricket."

Ikin Williams, Hosam’s bother-in-law, said he was a West Indies supporter for decades and always wore his maroon shirt when he came to watch matches at Queen's Park Oval.


"He was a true West Indies fan and he loved the team. He loved West Indies cricket."

Your Fearless Cricket Update

                                      ------ The Curious Case of Muruli ----


I’m sitting in the Gerry Gomez Media Centre   waiting for a call from a man who doesn’t trust me, hoping he’ll have answers about a man I don’t trust, which may clear the name of a man no one gives a damn about. To distract myself from this uneasy vigil – and from the phone that never rings, and from the sight of poorly dressed news people, who seem to spend their money on late night ventures rather than proper attire?


 And so it came to pass that cricket  was redeemed with the recall of  a certain player ( Fidel Edwards with four wickets) and the test debut  of another ( Sewnarine Chattergoon) , but yet still  the cricketing public have stayed away..


And the Queens Park Oval pitch was called Slow-Prosper, and it was north of the Bomb in Port of Spain on Wednesday, and it was a pitch of desert and scrub weed and not tall, thirsting flowers that would wave in the breathless air.

 And there was sin in the pitch. Jezebels and Delilahs all, they did come to Slow-Prosper at the Oval to set up shop, for Slow-Prosper was unincorporated, and naught of giving the West Indies a Fair chance of victory, and beyond the law of cricket. Even Death was the oval on a Black looking Friday.

And the sinful did come to Slow-Prosper and did spill their seed in the various and lubricious chalices that did wink and wave and tempt the weak from the front porches and parlors.

But then there came upon the Queens Park Oval, the godly, the righteous, and the upper management, looking for homes from which they could journey back into the city with joy in their hearts, and with a minimum of fuss and bother, except on the weekends when traffic was hellish. And the good Queens Park Oval did come to be valued by them without the Scoreboards, and the sin was squeezed out of the place, and a town beloved by its people did grow in Slow-Prosper, and prosper they did, as the World Cup had brought new facilities and women to the Club (sooner rather than later, it is still hoped). And so it came to pass that the Oval was redeemed, and maybe a cricketing pilgrim will come here to build a great house by a fishpond over time.


On Friday, several Faithful acolytes and trusting servants of cricket have given themselves to cricket as a nun gives herself to God, and what has cricket given to them in return? The finger.


Sri Lanka was undone of their own makings over cautious on Day 2; they were out smarted by the fighting spirit of the West Indies team.

 Darren Powell, the wily Jamaican out foxed two Sri Lankan batsmen with his cheeky change of pace.

With a score of 278 to respond to, The West Indies batting to the happy beat of Soca, Chutney and Reggae Music from the Trini Posse stand enjoyed themselves, thanks to some early ill intent from Captain Chris Gayle before he was outsmarted by Mirando.

Both debutant Chattergoon and Sarwan got starts, but never continued on.

Chanderpaul’s early flight from Guyana to Trinidad, did not benefit him or the team as he looked leg weary and fell cheaply.

In the heat of the battle, tiny Devon Smith showed courage and guts, while Muralitharam threatened all the while , and finished with three wickets.

Now it is on to Saturday and maybe a game of second innings, a lead of 75 to 100 by the West Indies could be match winning, anything less and it could be a one innings match, with the West Indies in the unenviable task of facing Muruli and others on a turning pitch , batting last.

By the way, I have a Digicel Phone and a B Mobile phone, but it seems both do not work in Trinidad and Tobago, because the man I don’t trust says he has been trying to call me all day.


:: AB


Tuesday, April 01, 2008

West Indies name squad for second Digicel Test vs Sri Lanka

West Indies name squad for second Digicel Test vs Sri Lanka



PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad - The West Indies cricket selectors have named the 13-man squad for second Digicel Test match against Sri Lanka.

The match will be played at the Queen's Park Oval, Port of Spain from April 3-7.


Chris Gayle (Captain), Ramnaresh Sarwan (Vice Captain), Sulieman Benn, Dwayne Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Sewnarine Chattergoon, Fidel Edwards, Amit Jaggernauth, Daren Powell, Denesh Ramdin, Marlon Samuels, Devon Smith, Jerome Taylor.