CASTRIES, St Lucia (CMC):New Zealand power-hitter Brendon McCullum and Sri Lankan stroke-maker Kumar Sangakkara are among five international stars confirmed for the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) draft set for February 11 in Barbados.They will be joined by South African Faf du Plessis, New Zealander Martin Guptill and Australian Shane Watson, all of whom represent the inaugural inclusion of marquee international players for this year’s tournament, which bowls off in June.CPL organisers are expected to announce the final marquee player closer to the draft.Australian Tom Moody, CPL’s director of international cricket, said the arrival of such quality players would bring the Caribbean tournament on par with other well established global T20 competitions.”With the confirmation of these marquee players, the CPL is now truly established as one of the leading T20 leagues and compares favourably with the likes of the IPL and Big Bash League,” Moody said.”We are entering into a fascinating year of T20 cricket, with a number of players in this year’s draft set to feature for their countries in the forthcoming ICC World T20 in India, as well as in other leading domestic T20 competitions.”With the West Indies currently sitting atop the World T20 team rankings, we believe that the top quality signings of iconic and hugely decorated marquee players demonstrate CPL’s intentions to captivate the attention of both the West Indies public and cricket followers globally.”TWO CENTURIESKnown for his all-out attacking style at the top of the order, McCullum is likely to attract the most attention. The former Black Caps captain was the first player to reach 1,000 runs in T20 Internationals and the only one to have scored two centuries in T20 Internationals.He has played 99 Tests and 256 one-day internationals and is set to retire in February after playing his final two Tests against the touring Australians.Sangakkara, meanwhile, one of the most sought after players on the T20 circuit, has featured in the CPL before along with Guptill, while all-rounder Watson will be turning out in the Caribbean tournament for the first time.The six marquee players will enter the draft and will each be assigned to one of the six franchises – Barbados Pride, Guyana Amazon Warriors, Jamaica Tallawahs, St Kitts & Nevis Patriots, St Lucia Zouks and Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel.
Coach Neil Harrison’s confidence was clear: “We are ready. We were born ready.”That’s the message he is sending as it relates to his Kingston College (KC) charges’ readiness for the fast-approaching ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Championships.Harrison was speaking at an entertaining Journey to Champs stop in which telecommunications and cable company FLOW boosted KC’s coffers with $200,000 towards their sports development and sports programme at the institution’s Elleston Road Campus, which houses grades seven to nine, yesterday.Over the past three weeks, FLOW has stopped by three schools – Jamaica College, Hydel, and now, KC.The next stops for the FLOW Champs tour are Girls’ champions’, Edwin Allen High, next Tuesday, and Boys’ champions, Calabar, on March 11.The championships’ title sponsor, GraceKennedy, was also on hand to distribute gift bags, refreshment, prizes and nutritional advice to the students.The exciting day included entertainer Bugle releasing a number of hits from his catalogue. There were entertaining dancing battles and lyrical battles between students and FLOW dancers, while former KC students Elli the Viner and Prince Pine entertained and chanted the school’s motto to much jubilation.FLOW’s Whitney Fennell, who is in charge of retail sales, who himself is a Fortis old boy, rallied his former school ahead of Champs.”FLOW believes that the future of this country rests with young people, and we will all be supporting our youngsters, so we will always power our footballers and our athletes in whatever sport they choose,” Fennell outlined.Meanwhile, dean of discipline of the North Street campus Ainsworth Walker jolted the crowd with: “KC, KC, KC … Fortis forever!””I think we are prepared to win Champs, barring injuries. We only have one serious injury in the Class One with Chadwick Brown, and hopefully, he will recover,” Walker told The Gleaner in an interview.”We stand a great chance; they (athletes) just need to be consistent in their training and be advised about their physical and mental state, and once they find a twitch, they should take it serious,” he continued.Ironically, GraceKennedy’s digital media officer, Dwayne Extol, who helped to dethrone KC of the championships at Wolmer’s Boys in 2010, said: “Calabar by far looks impressive all season, JC are dark horses, as they are well-rounded and look a strong unit this year,” Extol pointed out.
“We expect you (teams) to play fair football, have a good season, and may the best team win,” said Hopeton Gilchrist, the competition match coordinator. Christopher Denny, VMBS’s VP of sales and services, outlined that company is proud of the almost three decades commitment to both youth and football development in the west. “The competition has contributed to the future of football,” said Denny. “It has honed the skills of many, some of whom have moved on to play nationally and internationally. It has also fostered camaraderie within the school communities as parents, spectators and general supporters band together for each successful staging,” he added. Defending champions Granville All-Age and Barracks Road Primary kicked off the first match in the competition at the UDC playing field in the second city. May the best team win Best choice “Sometimes you are on the field and want to shoot to goal but the best choice is to pass the ball to your teammate because he is in a better position to score. At the end of the day, that’s what is more important for the team,” he added. Gardner further urged the young players to eat right, train hard and above all else, be disciplined and never give up on their dreams. “There were many times when I wanted to give up when I used to be in England, the weather got cold and the going gets tough, but there was a motto that I grew up on, and that was, ‘a quitter never wins and a winner never quits’,” he noted while wishing the teams all the best in the competition. The 2017 competition will feature six zones and the top two teams from each zone will advance to the quarter-finals. The keenly contested tournament is expected to run for two months, and in addition to cash prizes, the teams and their respective players will also be up for best defender and top goalscorer, among other sectional prizes. Former English Premier League football player and former Jamaica national football star, Ricardo ‘Bibi’ Gardner, brought the message of teamwork to the future generation of footballers at Wednesday’s kick-off of the 27th VMBS/St James Football Association Under-13 football competition in Montego Bay, St James. Gardner told the 31 primary school football teams that there is no room for selfishness on the field and everyone should instead be a team player who makes decisions that benefit their respective squads. “You should remember that the game of football is not only about you but is about the entire team,” said Gardner, who currently coaches the National Under-20 men’s team.
Donegal-born Multiple Sclerosis sufferer Marie Fleming has passed away overnight.Marie Fleming and husband TomThe Lifford woman died “in peace” after a lengthy legal battle for the right to end her own life failed.Marie (59) was physically unable to take her own life because of her illness. The announcement about Ms Fleming’s death was made this morning at approximately 8.30am.The dedicated partner of the right-to-die campaigner said Marie “is at peace now” after her death following a long battle with MS was announced this morning.Visibly upset and emotional, Tom Curran said she had died peacefully during the night.Speaking at the home he shared with Marie in the rural townland of Killahurler near Arklow, Co Wicklow, Tom was softly spoken as he came to terms with the death. “She died the way she wanted to,” he told the Evening Herald.In December 2012 Ms Fleming brought her fight to challenge the ban on assisted suicide to the High Court.She had wanted her partner Tom Curran to be able to assist her death without fear of prosecution.When the High Court ruled against her she bravely appealed the decision to the Supreme Court, but in April 2013 her legal battle came to an end when it upheld the original ruling.Marie, is survived by partner Tom, daughter Corrina and son Simon, was diagnosed with MS in 1986 when she noted a change in her gait and her foot started to drag. Marie argued the ban on assisted suicide breached her constitutional rights and discriminated against her as a disabled person.Even though she knew the odds were stacked against her succeeding in her case, Marie said she was determined to take it on as she wanted her country to recognise that she was entitled to the same choice as everybody else.She had not had the use of her hands since 2010, and in the final stages of her condition as she battled in the High Court and Supreme Court she had no use of her arms or her legs, no bladder control, difficulty swallowing liquids and suffered regular choking episodes which left her exhausted, frightened and distressed.Her sight also deteriorated and she maintained contact with the world with her hearing, listening to the radio to keep up with news. DONEGAL RIGHT-TO-DIE CAMPAIGNER PASSES AWAY was last modified: December 20th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:deadMARIE FLEMING