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Cricket Anyone / England tour of West Indies 2019:2nd Test
« on: February 03, 2019, 01:22:27 AM »
We winnnnnnnn!!!!!

 :wavetowel: :wavetowel: :wavetowel:

Other Sports / Fury vs Wilder
« on: December 02, 2018, 11:08:03 AM »
1. How they hell he get up from that?
2. Fury is pretty good
3. Wilder look very vulnerable
4. Boxing is the most corrupt sport there is.

Cricket Anyone / Bangladesh tour of West Indies
« on: July 04, 2018, 09:03:12 PM »
Bangladesh forget what sport they was playing?

Bangladesh 43
West Indies 201/2 * (68 ov)

Cricket Anyone / Sri Lanka tour of West Indies:1st Test
« on: June 08, 2018, 08:17:01 PM »
West Indies
414/8d & 131/4 * (40 ov)
Sri Lanka

Why no threads about this match? Too many Bajans?

Cricket Anyone / WI vs PAK. 1st ODI, April 7, 2017
« on: April 07, 2017, 03:30:12 PM »
We actually have a chance!

Pakistan 308/5 (50.0 ov)
West Indies 299/6 (48.1 ov)


Cricket Anyone / WI vs PAK. 2nd T-20, Port of Spain, Mar 30, 2017
« on: March 30, 2017, 12:25:13 PM »
as soon as I tune in, this fella get run out like a fool... sigh...

Football / EFL Cup Thread
« on: February 26, 2017, 11:51:17 AM »
This is a hell of a game.

Southampton is giving Man U all they can handle and more. And the ref done tief them a goal.

Entertainment & Culture Discussion / 2017 Chutney
« on: January 26, 2017, 04:55:33 PM »
Aaron Duncan - Chutney Fire

<a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win"></a>

Cricket Anyone / West Indies vs India 1st T20I
« on: August 27, 2016, 11:50:46 AM »
I had write that game off. Come back to find out we win by 1 run.  :wavetowel: :wavetowel:

Other Sports / Olympics: Rio 2016
« on: August 03, 2016, 01:33:00 PM »
Women's Soccer has already started.

Sweden v South Africa
Canada v Australia
Brazil v China 4:00 PM
Zimbabwe v Germany 5:00 PM
United States v New Zealand 6:00 PM
France v Colombia 9:00 PM

Cricket Anyone / Inside sexism
« on: April 19, 2016, 11:03:37 AM »
Inside sexism
A personal account that shows why Chris Gayle is part of a pervasive gender problem in cricket - and elsewhere

On Carnival Tuesday, the climax of the season of festivities in Trinidad and Tobago, Asami Nagakiya was murdered; her body, found on Ash Wednesday, was still clad in her costume. Asami, a petite 30-year-old, had been an avid steel pan player, journeying from her home in Japan annually to partake in the music and the masquerade.

This year was her last. She was strangled and bundled in the underbrush of a tree in the vicinity of Queen's Park Savannah. Bruise marks surfaced but the autopsy results, released five weeks later, would rule out a sexual assault.

The mayor of the city of Port-of-Spain, Raymond Tim Kee, took the opportunity of her murder to admonish women for vulgar behaviour, reportedly saying, "the woman has the responsibility to ensure that [she is] not abused". He cited his pre-Carnival sermon: "My argument was, you could enjoy Carnival without going through that routine… of prancing and partying. Then why you can't continue with that and maintain some kind of dignity?"

When national ire broke on his head, he offered an apology of sorts: he had not meant to offend, and look, some people endorsed his sentiments. The situation provoked protests and headlines around the world, and following relentless calls for his resignation even as he vacillated, he eventually resigned.

Listening to the radio talk shows where peppery arguments raged on both sides, I was struck by the insistence of one male host that too much was being made of it. What's the big deal? His position was that people were overreacting. His female co-host, who had begun with a very clear and emphatic denunciation of the mayor's remarks, tangibly wilted under the brunt of his brusque dismissiveness and the vehemence of callers aligned with him.

It was essentially the same kind of responses that had circulated like wildfire after Chris Gayle's boorish proposition to the television reporter Mel McLaughlin in early January.

I do not recall seeing anyone applaud Gayle's tacky solicitation, and while condemnations resounded immediately, they came under attack for several familiar reasons: Gayle was being unfairly singled out because he was West Indian or black or popular. Others have done it; why else was he being picked on? Sports personalities knocked Gayle, even those who might have been guilty of similar conduct in their time. Hypocrisy was splattered everywhere.

Truth be told, Gayle was the least significant player in this issue, and if it weren't for the fact that he generated it, I wouldn't even waste time mentioning him. He is merely a mindless soldier in the vulgar battle of chauvinism that still exists in every sphere. The consequences have been largely ignored in the conversations following this latest public eruption.

One of the more insidious statements came from Professor Hilary Beckles, who declared himself to be "first and foremost an educator". "I take his word for what [Gayle] said, that he meant no offence. I take his word for that," he said. He told the region that since he had accepted that Gayle meant no offence, we should all put it behind us and "big him up", as he had an important role to play in West Indies cricket. Ironically, the day after Beckles declared that Gayle had been "humbled", Gayle went on social media to say, "Y'all can kiss my 'Black Rass.'"

If you did not know that Gayle was 36 and not a teenager, you would think the Educator was making excuses for a child's indiscretion. There is no reference to the negative impact it has on women, and it is clear there is no concern for gender relations. The message was that Gayle is simply too important to West Indies cricket for us to dwell on his chauvinism. And the underlying point is that it is okay to be a creep if you are a success elsewhere.

The mayor and the Educator represent two elements of an old boys' network (it includes churches, schools and corporations) that continually reinforces chauvinism, often from early childhood. And while it might seem a stretch to link these two wretched stories - a murder and a proposition - they illustrate the subliminal messages transmitted to males and females. Men are still ascribing to themselves a superior role. They know what is best. Women are objects; physical spaces to be claimed and occupied by men as they see fit. Men have no reason to be responsible for their actions - if a woman looks "hot" she is asking for it. The burden will always lie on the shoulders of women.

The mayor was forced to apologise and resign, but not even a whisper of an apology has come from the Educator, and it is the very least he can do given the damaging nature of his insensitive comments.

Gayle did nothing new. With the complicity of social media he has been flaunting his machismo for years, crassly denigrating women and posturing as a stud. It is vulgar and embarrassing, and while I agree that there is almost a gleeful air to the condemnations because he is West Indian/black/popular, it does not excuse or exonerate him. He was repeating a learned behaviour, and those who foster it should be held up to equal opprobrium.

And what of the impact on women?

Twenty years ago, when I decided I wanted to write about cricket, I knew I had to bring a perspective that was different. It couldn't be reportage, it couldn't be just profiles of players; it had to be something more. I decided that I would take to analysis and commentary based on history and sociology. If I wanted to make my way into a male-dominated world, I would have to walk in on a solid platform or they would tear me to shreds. My work had to be impeccable.

So I read. I read books on cricket, on sport; social histories, biographies, magazines, journals, newspapers, everything I could get my hands on. I talked to cricketers. I began to seek out the older players and administrators - not just when I was working on a particular piece, but whenever chance presented an opportunity. I would go to matches at the Queen's Park Oval, hang about at the small grounds, tasting the culture of the cricket world, joining in old talk with anybody and everybody, and so, when the time came to write, I could bring those moments in to shape my commentaries.

It wasn't easy. There was a lot of resistance from within the journalism community. You have to remember this was 20 years ago, and women's voices were not part of the sports world. Sure, they could compete as athletes but it was not on equal grounds, and the sports pages hardly paid attention to their achievements or their struggles. It was hard to be taken seriously. I had to be careful that everything I wrote was solid, could be defended, because there were many within the community who scoffed at the idea. I had to work harder.

I had started writing a column, called "Firefly", which ran for several years in various regional newspapers. The editor at the Trinidad Guardian tolerated the ones on cricket for a short time, then sent me a note saying that he felt people had had enough of the novelty of a woman writing on cricket and he would prefer it if I didn't continue. The column moved to the Independent, and when that newspaper folded, to the Express, where I was fortunate to have an editor who was a sports lover. He would read it and send me notes that helped me add depth to what I was writing.

In 1996 something happened that became a major aspect of my relationship with cricket. The Queen's Park Cricket Club (QPCC) was celebrating its centenary, and I went to interview Gerry Gomez, a former West Indies player who was the president of the club. We had an interesting conversation, and somewhere towards the end, I asked him about the club's policy regarding female membership. He told me that though there was no written rule debarring women from joining, no member had yet had the temerity to propose a female for membership. Let me quote his words.

"It is a gentleman's club. It is regarded as a sort of man's sanctuary. Right off the top of my head, if we opened the club for female membership, it would transform the club physically… I think generally speaking, its history is as a man's club. Men come here to relax away from females."

In fact, among the clauses was one that said members were not permitted to introduce as visitors rejected candidates, ladies, or children under the age of 14. I was scandalised and it showed. Gomez looked at my expression and sighed.

"I suppose you are going to apply," he said wearily.

I did. My first application was denied, and the second, lodged as soon as the six-month waiting period had elapsed, took about three years to get a reply. It would be nearly ten years before the application would be approved.

It became a crusade for me. I wrote endless columns, several letters, and spoke about it wherever I could. I talked about the history of the club, its reputation as a whites-only enclave, how it had gradually been forced into accepting members of other shades. I reminded people that one of its most celebrated members was Brian Lara, and that he would not have been allowed in a couple of decades ago - how even so, his mother still could not sit in the Members' Pavilion to watch her son shine. I said that as a practising journalist who was debarred from entering spaces that my male colleagues could enter, the club was affecting my right to practise my profession. And it is worth noting here that none of my male colleagues ever wrote a line or said a word to support my campaign.

I spoke about the campaigns by CLR James, by Sir Learie Constantine, to promote racial inclusion, and I invited the club to consider that the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), the custodians of Lord's, were at the time considering opening up membership to women. Change your rules now, I urged privately, do it before the MCC. Well, the MCC went and did it and QPCC did not budge.

One day, not a cricket day, I had just done an interview somewhere out on the grounds. The club's manager, Joey Carew, might have been showing me how they prepare the pitch, and when I was through, hot and thirsty, I went to the bar in the pavilion and asked for a drink, a soda I think. The bartender told me he could not serve me. I was taken aback and asked if they were closed. No, he could not sell me a drink because I was a woman. I asked if he could consider giving me a glass of water for free, so he would not be selling to me; but he was adamant. He could not. That was how it was.

Members of the club took the opportunity to respond to my application by singing about me at their calypso fiesta in 2000. Three calypsos immortalised me that year.

Here are some lyrics from one, rendered by George Wilcox, who, attired in wig and make-up, sang under the name of Pappy. I carried the lyrics in my column then - with his permission; the authors of the others would not let me, saying they were too lewd.

Pappy's song was called "I Want to Be a Member."

Dear Willie, forget about Vaneisa
Dear Joey, away with Vaneisa
This so-called cricket fan, this maccomere woman
I can't understand, ah only hope she could ketch a stand, Vaneisa
Vaneisa Baksh, Baksh, Baksh
Vaneisa mash, mash, mash
Vaneisa Baaaaksh

The last Test against Australia
I bounce up with Vaneisa
The Test was in Barbados
And the woman take off she clothes
She say she's in love with Brian Lara
And she want he to be she sponsor
But Joey say if he do sponsor she
He sure to lose the captaincy

Dear Willie, forget about Vaneisa
Dear Joey, away with Vaneisa
This so-called cricket fan, this maccomere woman
I can't understand, ah only hope she could find a man

Now you heard the story
About Vaneisa versus Pappy
Go and get married quickly and forget about QPCC
Or go and join the nunnery and keep your virginity
A Parkite means men, you must know
We don't want no woman to spoil we show

In 2007 I was finally accepted as a member. It was because in 2004 I had been asked to be a member of the board for the ICC Cricket World Cup, which was to take place in the West Indies. I wrote to the club saying that one of the ICC regulations was that no ground practising discrimination of any form, including by gender, would qualify as a host ground. I promised them that it was an issue I would raise, and it was this, I think, that caused them to change their mind.

While much has changed, it is still far more common than we would think to encounter behaviours that are highly charged with testosterone. More often than not, whenever I approached a cricketer or a cricket administrator to do an interview or just ask a question, the first response would be flirtatious in nature. Some were subtle, some were crass, some offered a kind of perfunctory thrust, you know, like, lemme just try something and see what happens. It was as if there was some unspoken rule that when a man encountered a woman, his first job was to see if she would be receptive to some flirting or ad hoc courtship. It took negotiating, learning to manoeuvre past the ritual, because in most cases it meant nothing.

Sometimes it became quite annoying - like the cricketer who called my house at 6am from South Africa (how he got my number I don't know) to say he just wanted to hear how my wake-up voice sounded. It seemed he was convinced that I would be bowled over (yes, he was a fast bowler) by the idea that he had called me from Johannesburg. Or the one who invited me to come up to his hotel room so he could bare all for an interview. I looked at him and said, "Young man, you are young enough to be my son, have some behaviour." His manner changed immediately and we had a pretty good interview after that.

I had to deal with being a sexual target. I had to consider whether I was dressed in a way that might invite solicitation. I had to deal with an irate partner who assumed that I "encouraged" the advances. I had to deal with being excluded from the Queen's Park Oval pavilion where male journalists could come and go if they needed to speak with people within. I would not be invited to functions that other (male) journalists were invited to. I would be given the silent treatment from many male journalists in the media boxes; and I certainly was not welcome at certain cricket clubs. I was routinely described as this one's or that one's girlfriend. If I got an exclusive interview, it was suggested I got it by sleeping with the subject. Were they obstacles to my career? Of course they were.

History is littered with stories like these. Race, class or gender biases acting as agents to block careers and ruin lives. Those who felt Gayle's sin was being exaggerated whisked out the race card. And while attention is rightfully placed on declaring these behaviours to be unacceptable, hardly any consideration is given to the forces that perpetuate the behaviour, hardly a thought is spared for the victims.

Whatever direction her career takes off in, Mel McLaughlin will always be associated with that "Don't blush, baby" remark. She will always be scrutinised to see what it was about her that so titillated Chris Gayle.

And like the tragic case of Asami Nagakiya, yet another woman is twice made the victim of a man's world.

Vaneisa Baksh is a writer based in Trinidad and the editor of UWI Today
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Cricket Anyone / World T20 2016 final: England v West Indies
« on: April 03, 2016, 05:14:44 AM »
Match facts
Sunday, April 3, 2016
Start time 1900 local (1330 GMT)

Big picture
Test cricket originated in England, West Indies became its biggest stars. Fifty-over cricket originated in England, West Indies became its biggest stars. T20 cricket originated in England, West Indies are again its biggest stars.

A little over two weeks ago, both teams were in Mumbai for their first match of this World T20. The England players stood at Marine Drive, unrecognised, and succeeded in hailing a cab after only 15 minutes, just like any average person. West Indies, though, could not move around without being mobbed. Kolkata provided another example. Tragedy had struck the city on the day of India's semi-final when a flyover that had been under construction collapsed, killing 23 people. People huddled around TV sets at paan shops seeking information, and not watching cricket. But when the West Indies team arrived yesterday, they had hundreds greeting them at the airport, at the hotel, at the ground.

With good reason. Though it is a bit of a caricature of "calypso cricket", and it doesn't quite do justice to how smart they have been, West Indies' batsmen have been attractive. They play T20 cricket in its basest style and have taken power-hitting to a whole new level. They've got the nuances right too: they field acrobatically, and when under pressure they back themselves so much that it hardly seems like they are under pressure.

Take away a bit of power-hitting, add some quicker sets of legs, and you have England. Quietly, they have revolutionised their limited-overs cricket. Among teams that entered the tournament in the second round, England are second only to West Indies in six-hitting, and only by a count of two. England make up for it with a lower dot-ball percentage - 33.85 to West Indies' 45.44, but West Indies have conceded runs at only 7.25 an over compared to England's 8.53. West Indies have edged England with their boundary percentage, but not by a lot.

Clearly England's one-day revival is not to be scoffed at. It was here, at Eden Gardens in 1987, that Mike Gatting was burnt for playing a "risky" shot that is considered commonplace now.

A final can often come down to what you are not at your absolute best at. If the pitch is flat, England will try to go well past the 182 they set against West Indies and lost in the league stage. West Indies, too, will have to match the quicker English fielders. If there was any danger of there being less attention on the final because India were knocked out, Kolkata put it to rest. When Darren Sammy stepped into the press-conference room, he was taken aback by the number of journalists waiting. It will be the same with the Eden Gardens crowd on Sunday; the final has come to its spiritual home in India, after having missed out in 2011.

Form guide
England WWWWL (last five completed matches, most recent first)
West Indies WLWWW

In the spotlight
Sammy has faced 11 and bowled 12 balls in the tournament. It shows how good West Indies have been because he is the man to call when one of the five bowlers goes for plenty or when the batting fails. Sammy, though, will be disappointed that when things did go wrong he didn't set them right. Against South Africa, he fell to an Imran Tahir wrong'un first up, but West Indies managed to close a tight chase. Against Afghanistan, though, West Indies went on to lose. Sammy has been a superb captain on and off the field, but in perhaps his last match for West Indies, Sammy will want to make a big personal contribution. The only thing better would be if Sammy weren't even called upon.

Ditto for Eoin Morgan, who has two golden ducks to his name. "It'd be nice to get past the dot ball," he joked.

Chris Jordan was 14 when he moved to England from Barbados. At one point he ran the risk of ending up as another Jade Dernbach, a big-hearted trier who couldn't make it as England's slog-overs specialist. England kept the faith in Jordan though, and his yorkers have carried the team into their second World T20 final. Unlike Dernbach, Jordan kept it mostly simple: bowl yorker after yorker after yorker. Against New Zealand in the semi-final, Ben Stokes benefitted from the pressure Jordan created. England won't mind if the same happens in Kolkata. Sammy acknowledged the criticism that his team does not rotate strike enough, but also said the opposition has to stop them from hitting boundaries first. Jordan will be key for England.

Team news
Neither team should have any reason to change the XIs that won them the semi-finals. If the pitch turns, they have two spinners each. If it helps the quicks, they have the bowlers to exploit that too. England had a couple of players down with illness in the lead-up, but they were fit and ready to train.

England (probable) 1 Jason Roy, 2 Alex Hales, 3 Joe Root, 4 Eoin Morgan (capt), 5 Jos Buttler (wk), 6 Ben Stokes, 7 Moeen Ali, 8 Chris Jordan, 9 Adil Rashid, 10 David Willey, 11 Liam Plunkett

West Indies (probable) 1 Chris Gayle, 2 Johnson Charles, 3 Lendl Simmons, 4 Marlon Samuels, 5 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 6 Dwayne Bravo, 7 Andre Russell, 8 Darren Sammy (capt), 9 Carlos Brathwaite, 10 Sulieman Benn, 11 Samuel Badree

Pitch and conditions
"There is a nice covering of grass," Morgan said. "Looks like a really good cricket wicket, which is good news." Kolkata remains a good chasing ground with dew likely to play some part in the evening. There is a chance of a thunderstorm on Sunday, but not serious enough to disrupt the cricket.

Stats and trivia
Dwayne Bravo is four wickets from joining the two-member club of players with 50 T20I wickets and 1000 runs. Shahid Afridi and Shakib Al Hasan are already there.
West Indies have met England in two major finals, and beaten them on both occasions, in the 1979 World Cup and the 2004 Champions Trophy. In three other finals, they have beaten England twice, and lost once, in Sharjah in 1997.
Going into the final, Joe Root is the fourth highest run-getter of the tournament. With 195, he is exactly a hundred behind the leader, Tamim Iqbal. Among those who didn't play in the first round of the tournament, Virat Kohli leads with 273 runs.
West Indies played eight completed matches (and one no-result) between the last World T20 and this one, England played nine.

"We are quite real about this. We know it is not going to be a normal game. Even in the semi-final there was quite a lot of hype of expectation playing the final. I want all of our players to embrace it. Tomorrow everything will feel rushed to start with, but we want to be in a really good frame of mind to slow things down when needed. Most importantly execute our skills."
England captain Eoin Morgan stays away from the cliché. Almost

"We have studied England. We look at the players. They have a lot of match-winners. We don't take that for granted. But after we have done that we shift the focus back on us… One of the senior players made a comment in a team meeting, I think it was Dwayne Bravo, the only team that can beat us is ourselves. We believe that. Only we can defeat ourselves. Once we do what we know we do well, we will win. That's the mentality we take into the final. "
West Indies captain Darren Sammy knows how good his team is

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Handicapped SL wander into WI territory

Match facts
Sunday, March 20, 2016
Start time 1930 local (1400 GMT, 10:00 AM EST)

Big Picture
Sri Lanka have been happy to fly under the radar. As a matter of fact, they are the defending champions, but they cling to the underdog tag like it's a life vest. Just as well, because they are heading straight into a storm.

Chris Gayle is in his home town - A cosy little realm of flat pitches, short boundaries and spoilt fans called Bangalore. Gayle loves it here - he hit 175 at the M Chinnaswamy and has it emblazoned on his RCB jersey - and the fans love him right back. Of course, that does not mean they will stop expecting him to hit another 175.

So do Sri Lanka have a sufficiently skilled kill joy among them? Nuwan Kulasekara has the wiles. Angelo Mathews can certainly annoy. Rangana Herath has to have a magic wand stowed somewhere on his person. But there is a name missing from that list. A man who can remove the 22 yards from the equation, and match the West Indian gunslingers' for firepower. What's more, he had done it all before too. Lasith Malinga was part of a Mumbai Indians line-up which forced Gayle to plod on for 10 off 24 balls in a chase of 210 in April 2015. He won't be part of the Sri Lanka team tomorrow, a proper blow considering the rematch of the 2012 final is likely to devolve into West Indies' batsmen v Sri Lanka's bowlers.

Form guide
West Indies WWLLW (last five completed matches, most recent first)
Sri Lanka WLLLW

Watch out for
Marlon Samuels is one of eight men still standing from West Indies' title triumph in 2012. And it was his innings that refused Sri Lanka the joy of becoming world champions at home. A man capable of taking your breath away with his strokeplay and tear your hair out when he is out of form, Samuels continues to be an enigma 15 years since his debut.

Dinesh Chandimal is remaking himself as a T20 opener. Some of that is because most reckon he can slip into Mahela Jayawardene's shoes. While that can be a heavy burden, Chandimal can turn it to his advantage. Presently he tries to hit the ball a bit too hard. For a batsman whose skill lies in timing and imagination, he does not need to rely on such crude tactics. Jayawardene certainly did not.

Team news
Indications from West Indies' training session on the eve of the match are that they would keep to the same XI that played England. They might be tempted to find a way to include Jason Holder, who had come out as an opener during the warm-up stage.

West Indies (probable) 1.Chris Gayle, 2 Johnson Charles, 3 Marlon Samuels, 4 Dinesh Ramdin (wk), 5 Dwayne Bravo, 6 Andre Russell, 7 Darren Sammy, 8 Carlos Brathwaite, 9 Samuel Badree, 10 Jerome Taylor, Sulieman Benn.

Sri Lanka do have plenty of bowling options, and that is bound to come useful. They may retain the same XI that beat Afghanistan last Thursday.

Sri Lanka (probable) 1.Tillakaratne Dilshan, 2 Dinesh Chandimal (wk), 3 Lahiru Thirimanne, 4 Milinda Siriwardana, 5 Angelo Mathews (capt), 6 Thisara Perera, 7 Chamara Kapugedera, 8 Shehan Jayasuriya, 9 Nuwan Kulasekara, 10 Dushmantha Chameera, 11 Rangana Herath.

Pitch and conditions
Dharamsala and Nagpur have been slow on the take. Mumbai has been in the batsmen's pockets, and if history is anything to go by, Bangalore will be too. There was a tinge of green to the pitch at M Chinnaswamy stadium, but it is unlikely to hinder strokeplay. If anything, it might help the ball come onto the bat quicker. Chasing has been the favoured route here, even without the complication of dew. The forecast is for a clear day, but a cloudy night.

Stats and trivia
Chris Gayle averages 54.37 and and strikes at 168.84 at the M Chinnaswamy stadium. He has three hundreds, eight fifties, 115 fours and 132 sixes.
Nuwan Kulasekara is Sri Lanka's third highest wicket-taker in T20Is - but his tally of 56 is well short of Malinga's 78

"It's a plus for us. Chris has played, I think five IPL seasons here in Bangalore. I played here last year. We have a lot of knowledge of the conditions here in India"
West Indies captain Darren Sammy feels right at home

"Very often when you have this kind of tournament, the defending champions have that burden of defending the title. The high expectations of media and fans does create extra pressure. In quite a nice kind of way, quite a lot of that is not present at the moment. With a younger group it's quite nice not to have that pressure."
Sri Lanka coach Graham Ford on flying under the radar

Alagappan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Entertainment & Culture Discussion / Pan legend Jit Samaroo has died
« on: January 07, 2016, 01:07:52 PM »
Pan legend Jit Samaroo has died

STEELPAN icon Jit Samaroo has died. Samaroo passed away at his home in D’Abadie shortly before noon on Thursday. He was 65.

Samaroo was the arranger for the Renegades Steel Orchestra for for over four decades, and created history when he won nine Panorama Competitions between 1982 and 1997.

Samaroo was also awarded the Chaconia and Hummingbird medals for his success with the Renegades.

He leaves to mourn four children and three grandchildren. His son, Amrit Samaroo, is the leader of Supernovas.

Red Steel 134/5 (14/14 ov)
Patriots 43/1 (4.1/14 ov, target 142)

Licks sharing...

Cricket Anyone / CPL: Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel v Barbados Tridents
« on: July 16, 2015, 07:18:25 PM »
Red Steel 99/2 (15/20 ov)

Cricket Anyone / CPL: Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel v St Lucia Zouks
« on: July 14, 2015, 07:12:52 PM »
Rain has made this a 9 over match.

Red Steel 35/2 (4/9 ov)

I'm trying to figure out what the batting plan is though.

Other Sports / Wimbledon 2015
« on: July 11, 2015, 07:49:52 PM »
Another Serena slam.  You could say what you want, but now she is definitely in the conversation for greatest ever.

She had a really bad start today, and then I had to leave the house, I was expecting a tough 3-set match, instead: 6-4, 6-4.

Muguruza looks like a player who can seriously challenge her though, and that's good for women's tennis.

Cricket Anyone / CPL: Jamaica Tallawahs v Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel
« on: July 09, 2015, 07:45:17 PM »
Why am I watching this crap team?

Jamaica Tallawahs 180/6 (20/20 ov)
Red Steel 76/6 (12.2/20 ov)

Blues Legend B.B. King Dies at 89

Christopher Morris
Music Reporter

Singer-guitarist B.B. King, the “King of the Blues” who helped define his genre’s electrified postwar sound and became the music’s best-known international ambassador, has died. He was 89. His attorney said he died Thursday in Las Vegas.

He had announced on May 1 that he had entered hospice care after being in poor health for some time.

“King’s is now the name most synonymous with the blues, much as Louis Armstrong’s once was with jazz,” critic Francis Davis wrote in “The History of the Blues” (1995). “You don’t have to be a blues fan to have heard of King.” He was a star in music for 60 years, and his fame grew exponentially over that time.

From the late ’40s to the late ’60s, King developed his style before exclusively black audiences on the Southern “chitlin circuit” and initially won stardom with a series of authoritative R&B hits backed by brawny big bands on the Modern and ABC labels.

He lifted blues guitar playing to a new level of virtuosity on those recordings. Masterfully synthesizing divergent streams of blues and jazz on his instrument — the Gibson ES-355 he lovingly dubbed “Lucille” — he fused the approaches of such sophisticated precursors as Charlie Christian, Django Reinhardt, Lonnie Johnson and T-Bone Walker into a fluid, hotwired attack all his own.

His forceful yet elegant single-string picking and roaring, emotion-packed singing won him devotees like the white blues-rock guitarists Michael Bloomfield, Steve Miller and Eric Clapton, who helped introduce him to a youthful new audience in the late ’60s. By the end of the decade, he had released a top-20 pop hit, “The Thrill Is Gone,” and was on the way to becoming an icon whose renown transcended his art’s humble origins in the Deep South.

Born Riley B. King in Berclair, Miss., he took up the guitar at age 12. As a boy, he picked cotton and later, in nearby Indianola, he labored as a tractor driver for $22.50 a week.

Like many bluesmen, he got his start singing gospel, but as a teen he was drawn to the accomplished Lonnie Johnson, among the most fluent of pre-war blues guitarists. He also became more deeply involved in the music through his cousin Bukka White, an ex-convict and brilliant blues singer who had recorded for Victor and Vocalion.

Following a brief stint in the Army during WWII, King returned to farming, but after a 1946 accident in which he totaled a tractor, he fled with his guitar to nearby Memphis, where he lived with White and began to hone his professional chops.

Permanently installed in Memphis by 1949, King convinced the owner of WDIA, then the only radio outlet in the nation catering exclusively to black listeners, to give him a 10-minute daily show. He began performing and DJing as “the Beale Street Blues Boy” — soon shortened to “Bee Bee” King and finally to B.B.

A first single for Nashville’s Bullet Records went nowhere, and a session produced by future Sun Records impresario Sam Phillips came to nothing. However, a deal with L.A. R&B label Modern Records’ RPM imprint spawned the 1952 hit “3 O’Clock Blues.” The impassioned slow blues, recorded at the Memphis YMCA, soared to No. 1 on the national R&B chart and stayed there for five weeks.

During 11 years on Modern’s labels, he released three more No. 1 R&B sides — “You Know I Love You,” “Please Love Me” and “You Upset Me Baby” — and a total of 28 chart singles, including staples of his live sets like “Woke Up This Morning,” “Every Day I Have the Blues,” “Sweet Little Angel” and “Sweet Sixteen.” He became one of the most popular attractions on the black touring circuit, rolling up hundreds of dates as he took to the road in a customized bus.

By the early ’60s, King had wearied of Modern’s half-hearted, budget-line marketing of his music, and in 1962 he was signed to ABC-Paramount by Sam Clark, the same executive who had snatched Ray Charles away from Atlantic.

His early tenure at the label produced some minor hit singles and one landmark album that became a blueprint for many a young blues guitarist: “Live at the Regal” (1965), a powerful set recorded before an involved and loudly appreciative audience at the titular theater on Chicago’s South Side. However, he remained largely unknown to the white populace as he stuck to playing before black crowds and eschewed appearances at folk and jazz festivals and international touring.

He stepped into the rock spotlight in 1967 after pleas from acolytes Bloomfield and Miller led San Francisco promoter Bill Graham to book him on a bill at his Fillmore ballroom with Miller’s popular band and another top Bay Area attraction, Moby Grape. He followed up that wildly received date with more shows in the rock halls of the era, and he also became a regular in Las Vegas’ lucrative showrooms. By 1969, he was opening the Rolling Stones’ arena gigs.

While his heightened profile pushed his 1969 LP “Live and Well” to No. 56 on the national charts, “The Thrill Is Gone” made King a legitimate pop star. The string-drenched remake of Roy Hawkins’ 1951 ballad climbed to No. 15 on the pop singles chart and thrust the album “Completely Well” to No. 38. It won a Grammy Award for best male R&B vocal performance — the first of King’s 15 Grammys — and in 1998 it entered the Grammy Hall of Fame. At the age of 44, King had completely arrived.

The ’70s were fertile for King, as he reached the charts with several popular and imaginatively produced albums that found favor with both his new and old fans: “Indianola Mississippi Seeds” (No. 26, 1970), a pairing with Leon Russell; “Live at Cook County Jail” (No. 25, 1971), cut at the Chicago penal institution; the obligatory British all-star session “B.B. King in London” (No. 57, 1971); and collaborations with R&B/blues peer Bobby “Blue” Bland and jazz trio the Crusaders.

King’s career cooled off in the early ’80s, but he was acknowledged in 1987 with a lifetime achievement award from the Recording Academy and, in just its second year in existence, induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 1988, he extended his reach yet again with a guest shot in superstar Irish band U2’s doc “Rattle and Hum” and a show-stopping performance of “When Love Comes to Town” on its soundtrack album.

In 1991, King inaugurated a branded chain of blues clubs around the country with the opening of a venue on Memphis’ Beale Street. He was the marquee name on the all-star sessions “Blues Summit” (1993) and “Deuces Wild” (1997). (The similarly styled “80” followed in 2005).

At the turn of the millennium, at age 75, he enjoyed his commercial high-water mark with “Riding With the King,” a co-billed project with star pupil Eric Clapton. It peaked at No. 3 in 2000, sold more than 2 million copies and won an inevitable Grammy as best traditional blues album.

He received Sweden’s prestigious Polar Prize for music in 2004. An autumnal high-water mark came four years later: “One Kind Favor,” a reflective contemplation of the past and imminent mortality, produced by T Bone Burnett, featuring covers of such lifelong inspirations as T-Bone Walker, Lonnie Johnson and Blind Lemon Jefferson. It collected a valedictory Grammy for traditional blues album.

King, who was diagnosed with diabetes in 1990, played concert dates in 90 countries and routinely continued to perform 100-150 shows a year until late in his career.

Twice divorced, he reportedly fathered between eight and 15 children.

Entertainment & Culture Discussion / Smokey and Bunty burns
« on: April 29, 2015, 05:07:58 PM »
Fire at Smokey and Bunty
Gerard Best
Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Popular St James liming spot Smokey and Bunty has been severely damaged by afire that broke out earlier this evening.

The building, which also housed Bobby's Fast Food, appears completely gutted, and thick smoke continues to billow from the structure.

Fire officers are on the scene.

Images circulating on social media appear to show a completely destroyed structure.

General Discussion / BABYLON BACKS DOWN
« on: March 22, 2015, 09:10:58 AM »

KINGSTON, Jamaica—

Attend any outdoor sound system party in Kingston and you are guaranteed to experience at least two things: loud, bass-thumping reggae and dancehall blasting from a gigantic stack of speakers, and clouds of marijuana smoke rising over the crowd. Like peanuts at a baseball game, the two go hand-in-hand, and it’s been that way for almost five decades.

While not everyone at the party is smoking, marijuana is usually easy to come by if you’re looking. Just stop one of the vendors who will be periodically walking through the crowd with 12-inch stalks, selling buds from the dried plant for $100 Jamaican dollars ($1).

An estimated 37,000 acres of marijuana grow across the island of Jamaica, but perhaps surprisingly to Bob Marley–worshipping foreigners, selling and using marijuana here has been against the law for the past 67 years. Until very recently, being caught with any amount of marijuana could lead to arrest and up to five years of jail time and a hefty fine up to J$15,000 (roughly $1,500). Those with marijuana convictions can also have a hard time finding work or obtaining visas to travel abroad. The strict illegality of cannabis in a country where the plant grows wild has long been a controversial sore spot between the Jamaican government, the Constabulary Force (the island’s police organization), and many of the country’s citizens—particularly Rastafarians.

But now, Jamaica’s government, which has long had a fraught relationship with the ganja-smoking Rastas, is slowly embracing the plant’s use. A new amendment to Jamaica’s Dangerous Drugs Act, which was passed Feb. 6, Marley’s birthday, makes any possession under 2 ounces only a ticketed offense and allows any Rastafarian person to grow marijuana on designated lands. The amendment also permits the use of ganja for religious, medical, and scientific purposes. Smoking ganja is still prohibited in public places.

Rastafarians have welcomed the amendment, albeit with deep-rooted wariness.
“Give thanks for the decriminalization of herbs because we Rasta man go through a lot of struggle over it,” says Ras Ayatollah, sitting in the garden of the well-hidden restaurant of Ibo Spice on Orange Street in downtown Kingston that serves up a strictly vegetarian menu that Rastas called “ital.” A Rastafarian elder at the Scotts Pass Nyabinghi Center in Clarendon, about a 40-minute drive outside of Kingston, Ayatollah grew up a fisherman in the Kingston shanty community of Hannah Town. According to Ayatollah, he got his name after hearing a radio report that the Iranian Ayatollah had declared he would stop “wickedness and earthquakes.”

Ras Ayatollah speaks with the writer in the yard at Ibo Spice in Downtown Kingston. Photo: Saxon Baird

Marijuana first arrived in Jamaica with indentured workers from India (who called the plant “ganja,” the Bengali word for hemp and a term still widely used across the island) in the 19th century. The use of cannabis grew in popularity along with the rise of the radical, Afro-centric spiritual movement Rastafarianism in the 1930s. The movement, which originates in Jamaica, has roots in Abrahamic religious tradition but identifies former Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie as a Jesus-like figure who represented God on Earth.

Followers see Zion (often identified as Ethiopia) as a promised land they’ve been forcefully taken away from by Babylon—which encompasses what they see as a wide-breadth of corrupt Anglo-Western values such materialism and greed. Cannabis, which Rastafarians often refer to as “herb,” is a holy plant to believers, according to their interpretation of certain passages in the Old Testament. Many Rastas believe the plant grew on the grave of King Solomon.

The use of ganja was further promoted with the worldwide popularity of reggae in the 1970s. Many of its biggest stars—most notably Marley—adhered to tenants of the Rastafarian lifestyle and often sang about its sacred status along with the plant’s medicinal benefits. Peter Tosh’s anthem “Legalize It,” which was banned from airplay in Jamaica upon its 1975 release, is perhaps the most known example.

The hardline approach that the Jamaican government has taken toward ganja use and cultivation has naturally resulted in a long and strained relationship with Rastafarians. But the complexities run deeper than just ganja use. Like many elder Rastafarians, Ayatollah has endured decades of stigmatization by many Jamaicans and, in particular, the local police. Over the years, this has often played out in violence and aggravation.

One often-cited clash is the Coral Gardens incident, which took place in 1963. A number of Rastafarians took to the local police station near Montego Bay to protest police harassment over their presence near resort hotels. The situation turned violent, and eight Rastafarians were killed. The incident is still remembered each year on its anniversary by Rastafarians, who refer to it as “Bad Friday.”

Another famous incident in post-independence Jamaica revolves around the destruction of a downtown Rastafarian community that was called Back O’Wall in 1965. The area was a center for pan-Africanism and early Rastafarians; Marley lived here when he was young. After being branded by politicians as a slum and a center for violence, it was leveled by bulldozers and rifle-armed police officers. The area was replaced by low-income housing and renamed Tivoli Gardens, but it remained a hotspot for violence, epitomized by the government’s armed capture of Tivoli Gardens’ famed drug lord Christopher Coke in 2010, which resulted in more than 50 deaths, many of whom were unarmed residents.

These instances are among the reasons why Ayatollah remains skeptical about the government’s motives. But he’s hopeful that the Rastafarian community will see the benefits.

“At the end of the day, they should donate something to the Rastafari community in Jamaica for the struggles we endure,” Ayatollah says. “I know that in due season they will have to give back something to I and I.” (Many Rastafarians don’t say “me” or “I” but “I and I” in reference to their God, Jah, and themselves”—a mix of the Jamaican patois and the Rastafarians own spiritual use of language.)

Michael Barnett, a senior lecturer at the University of the West Indies and editor of Rastafari in the New Millennium, a collection of essays that examine the religion as a modern, worldwide movement, shares Ayatollah’s sentiments.

“The real issue that many of us in the Rastafari community have is if we are going to have a stake in the commercial industry,” Barnett says. “The commercial motivation by the government is quit obvious. But what regard is being paid to Rastafari? Shouldn’t Rastafari be a part of any economic benefits that are to be incurred in this initiative?”

To be sure, there is money to be made from legal ganja. The new law opens the door for the creation of licenses for allowing the development of a medicinal and commercial ganja industry—something toward which the powerful and business-savvy Marley estate has already taken steps, creating its own strain of the plant called “Marley Natural” this past November.


A promotional shot for Marley Natural, “the official Cannabis brand of Bob Marley”. One of Marley’s favorite strains, Lamb’s Bread, is sold throughout California in medical marijuana dispensaries. Photo: Courtesy of Marley Natural

The new law can only benefit tourism, Jamaica’s biggest revenue-generator. More than 2 million people visited Jamaica last year, many in search of sun, music, and marijuana in resort towns such as Negril. It’s also here where rogue “ganja tours” are already attractions that authorities have largely turned a blind eye to, despite their illegality, possibly in fear of scaring away visitors.

“The investment opportunities from legalizing ganja are huge,” argued Delano Seiveright, director of the lobby group Cannabis Commercial and Medicinal Research Taskforce, at last year’s Investments and Capital Markets Conference in Jamaica. “The more obvious relate to the impact on our agriculture, tourism, and financial sectors.”

Upon passing the reform, Justice Minister Mark Golding echoed these sentiments, saying, “We need to position ourselves to take advantage of the significant economic opportunities offered by this emerging industry.”

Barnett doesn’t see why Rastafarians can’t also take advantage of these benefits.

“Rastafari should be able to make a living out of something they’ve long promoted and championed,” explains Barnett. “What may happen, and I hope it doesn’t, is that Rastafari will have no real part, or real input, in the commercial aspect of the herb industry.”

Barnett’s colleague Clinton Hutton, a lecturer in political philosophy and culture at University of the West Indies, has similar concerns. Speaking in his office surrounded by portraits he’s taken over the years of Jamaica’s Rastafarians, Clinton is pragmatic.

“I don’t think that we Rastas can say, ‘We have done all of these things, and therefore there’s automatic right.’ For me, they should have that right. But some rest of society and especially certain people in business, they will box that idea right out of our mouths, as we say in Jamaica,” he said.

Groups such as the Ganja Law Reform Coalition, the Ganja Future Growers and Producers Association, and the Cannabis Commercial and Medicinal Research Taskforce have been the driving forces over the past few years in pushing for ganja reform on the island. However, none of these groups has seriously taken up the issue of financial reparations or inclusion for Rastafarians. The various branches of the Rastafarian communities have also been slow to act. Having historically avoided political involvement, no significant political or social group has developed from the various branches of their community.

But how the new law will financially benefit Rastafarians is not the only concern.

While the new law does recognize Rastafarians use of the plant in holy ceremonies and makes steps to allow these practices to go unprosecuted, this brings up another question that has existential consequences to Barnett: “There is something problematic in allowing the government to now determine who is Rasta,” he said. “It’s a whole can of worms in itself.”

How exactly this will play out legally is still to be seen. The Jamaican government has determined that the Cannabis Licensing Authority will be the regulatory body helping establish the lawful industry. However, National Security Minister Peter Bunting has acknowledged in a speech to Parliament this past February that the new law would take some time to implement.

Hutton calls the government making decisions on who is Rastafarian foolish. “Maybe everyone will become Rasta now,” he says with a laugh.

Yet, it’s these kinds of unanswered issues that Hutton believes make it all the more imperative for Rastafarians to be active and vocal about the implementation of the law.

“This is an issue that Rastas have died for,” Hutton explains with a sudden seriousness. “This is an issue many have gone to prison for, that they have been victimized for, that they have been shut out of school and jobs for. Everything should be done to understand that. This issue is one of rights and justice. Not just in Jamaica but globally.”

New Zealand aim to continue as overwhelming favourites

Match facts
Saturday, March 21, 2015
Start time 1400 local (0100 GMT; 9:00 PM EST)


Big Picture
South Africa are not the only country to have struggled with knockout games in previous World Cups. New Zealand have won only one such match. But how have they made it to - and lost - six semi-finals then? In five of those World Cups the semi-finals were not preceded by a quarter-final, but by group or round-robin combat.

That history, however, will not impact Brendon McCullum's side being billed as overwhelming favourites to beat West Indies at the Regional Stadium on Saturday.

New Zealand have spent the days leading up to the quarter-final training, resting, and signing autographs and being part of 'selfies' at a fan event. They have been out and about - one Wellington resident said on Twitter that she walked past Trent Boult at the post office - embracing the increasing love and expectation, fully aware that this is a special time in their lives. They have confidence in their aggressive game, though McCullum understates it, and unless they have a shocker it is hard to see them not doubling that tally of one knockout victory in World Cups.

Over the last few days, several people from the West Indies camp - Darren Sammy, Curtly Ambrose, Jason Holder and Clive Lloyd - have acknowledged that not many people gave their troubled campaign a chance of getting this far. With Chris Gayle struggling with his back and the rest of the West Indian top order mis-firing, there is an acceptance of being the underdog. Unlike Ireland, who narrowly missed out on this quarter-final, the West Indies team is often less than the sum of its parts despite being filled with players capable of astonishing individual feats. But nothing less than unison will be enough to derail New Zealand.

March 21 is the equinox, the date after which nights get longer in this part of the world. All of New Zealand will hope their World Cup summer lasts another week.

Form guide
(last five matches, most recent first)
New Zealand WWWWW
West Indies WLLWW

In the spotlight
Gayle's dodgy back. Without him the West Indies top order looks paper thin, and more so against arguably the best new-ball attack in the World Cup. Gayle has a cortisone injection in a bid to play the quarter-final, and if he does, but is even a trifle slow in his movements, Tim Southee and Trent Boult could be too good for him. Would West Indies risk anything than a less-than-fully-agile opener against two quicks on top of their game?

McCullum and the New Zealand fast bowlers have headlined their World Cup campaign, but Corey Anderson has been an important part of their success. He's scored 158 runs at an average of 39.50 but more importantly taken 10 wickets at an average of 13, strike rate of 16, and economy of 4.82. His bowling success has ensured McCullum hasn't had to use a sixth bowler too often. Kane Williamson and Grant Elliot have had to bowl only eight overs in the World Cup.

Teams news
McCullum said New Zealand were likely to make only one change to the XI that beat Bangladesh to make it six wins out of six in the group stage: Adam Milne, who missed that game with an injured shoulder, was set to replace Mitchell McClenaghan.

New Zealand (probable) : 1 Brendon McCullum (capt), 2 Martin Gupill, 3 Kane Williamson, 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Grant Elliott, 6 Corey Anderson, 7 Luke Ronchi (wk), 8 Daniel Vettori, 9 Tim Southee, 10 Trent Boult, 11 Adam Milne.

If Gayle is fit to play, a decision on that will be taken only on Saturday, then he should come in for Dwayne Smith, who has made 93 runs in six innings in the tournament. Johnson Charles and Jonathan Carter had half-centuries against UAE and should keep their spots. The other decision West Indies will have to make is whether to play an all-pace attack, or pick Sulieman Benn instead of Kemar Roach, who has one wicket in three games and an economy of 6.81. Marlon Samuels wasn't at training on the eve of the game but the West Indies management said that he had been given the day off because of a hectic schedule and is available for selection.

West Indies 1 Chris Gayle/Dwayne Smith, 2 Johnson Charles, 3 Marlon Samuels, 4 Jonathan Carter, 5 Lendl Simmons, 6 Denesh Ramdin 7 Darren Sammy, 8 Andre Russell, 9 Jason Holder, 10 Jerome Taylor, 11 Sulieman Benn/Kemar Roach

Pitch and conditions
The forecast for Saturday is some cloud, some sun, and no chance of rain. Temperatures are expected to range between 19 and 14 degrees. There was not a blemish in the sky when the ball swung heaps for Southee against England, but there wasn't as much assistance for the bowlers in the other two games at this venue. The pitch will be the same one on which South Africa made 341 before dismissing UAE for 195.

Stats and trivia
  • Since 2012, West Indies have won six ODIs against New Zealand and lost three.
  • McCullum averages 24 in six innings against West Indies over the last three years. Williamson's average in eight innings is 29.
  • Gayle averages 55 and has a strike rate of 102 in his last five innings against New Zealand. Samuels averages 67 in his last four.

"No, I wouldn't."
West Indies captain Jason Holder on whether he was able to give a percentage probability of Gayle playing.

"There is added pressure because it's a knockout game, but the game doesn't change because there is more on the line. We still need to play the attacking brand of cricket, it doesn't guarantee us success but it gives us our greatest opportunity of being successful."
New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum

Ireland coach Phil Simmons set to be named new head coach of West Indies

Phil Simmons is poised to take over as head coach of West Indies in time for their three-Test series against England starting on 13 April.

Simmons, who has been in charge of Ireland since 2007 and oversaw their recent World Cup campaign, is understood to have agreed terms with the West Indies Cricket Board and is expected be announced in the role following the tournament.

The Trinidadian Simmons, who played 26 Tests and 143 one-day internationals for West Indies between 1988 and 1997, was contracted to Ireland until December but their board have previously indicated he will not be prevented from taking the job.

West Indies have been without a permanent head coach since Ottis Gibson, the former England bowling coach, was removed before Christmas.

Their current World Cup campaign – they face New Zealand in Sunday’s fourth quarterfinal – has been overseen by Stuart Williams on a temporary basis.

The 51-year-old Simmons joins after eight years with associate side Ireland, having been in charge for two World Cup campaigns, the most recent of which saw them eliminated on net run rate after defeat to Pakistan last Sunday.

Ireland left Australia and New Zealand having defeated West Indies in their Pool B opener, before going on to beat Zimbabwe and the United Arab Emirates.

Their campaign represented a sixth successive presence at an ICC global tournament under Simmons, having also qualified for four World Twenty20s.

Cyclone Pam could ruin West Indies' Cricket World Cup quarterfinal hopes

The West Indies are anxiously watching weather forecasts as they prepare for a pivotal Cricket World Cup match against the United Arab Emirates on Sunday.

Tropical Cyclone Pam, currently a category five superstorm, is bearing down on New Zealand's east coast, bringing gale force winds and rain, but is not expected to make landfall before Monday. The forecast for Napier on Sunday is for cloudy weather and possible showers, sending a wave of apprehension through the West Indies camp as it needs a win from the last pool match to make the quarterfinals.

"We have to play the game to give ourselves a chance, so we want sunshine," West Indies manager Richie Richardson said. "We need two points badly and we need it big."

The West Indies have four points from two wins, and lie in fifth place in Pool B, two points behind Pakistan and Ireland, who will meet in the 42nd and final match of the pool rounds in Adelaide later on Sunday. The West Indies have the best run-rate of the three teams still in contention for fourth place, and will advance with a win over UAE, at the expense of the loser of the Pakistan-Ireland match.

But they would take only a point from a washed-out match on Sunday, and that would leave them short of the quarterfinals, ensuring both Pakistan and Ireland advance.

Richardson, relying on the power of positive thinking, said "It'll be fine on Sunday." He repeated the unanimous belief of the West Indies players that, despite fluctuating form in pool play, they will be a force to be reckoned with in the knockout rounds.

"We can beat anybody in this competition, but I've said at the start of the tournament that I hope we don't peak too early," Richardson said. "We still have a sniff, but we need to back ourselves.

"We know that, given a chance, we can beat anybody. Once we get past this hurdle of UAE, then anything is possible."

The West Indies had some good news on Thursday as leading batsman Chris Gayle showed signs of recovery from a sore back. Gayle was unable to train this week, but was ready to train on Thursday before showers curtailed a net session.

Richardson said Gayle was "in good spirits" and "has no problems."

"He's like every one of us so, from time to time, he has niggles."

General Discussion / Video: Man cow-ties woman over stolen peppers
« on: March 11, 2015, 07:53:00 AM »
Video: Man cow-ties woman over stolen peppers
Kevon Felmine
Published: Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The unidentified woman who was tied for allegedly stealing peppers in Gasparillo. Photo courtesy Charman Lal

A video of a man herding a Gasparillo woman through a farming community with a rope tied around her body has sparked outrage among social media users.

The video was posted to Facebook by Moruga contractor Charman Lal hours after the incident on Saturday and was viewed 39,908 times and shared 1,335 times by 3.20 pm yesterday.

It showed a man holding a rope which was tied around the woman’s arms and waist while he walked behind her swinging the excess rope.

He was challenged by Lal as he led the woman down a dirt roadway, but justified his actions by saying that “they thief my peppers.” The woman, clearly afraid, said it was her husband who stole the peppers.

In an interview yesterday, Lal said he was driving through the area to get to Bonne Aventure to drop off someone when he noticed the woman being “walked like an animal.” He said the passenger told him “don’t study them,” so he took a few pictures and drove off. He said he called the E-999 hotline twice and did not get through, so he contacted the Moruga police to get a number for the Gasparillo police. He said he made a report, but was not sure if the police ever came. After dropping off the passenger, he said, he returned and videotaped the man.

“I did not like what I saw. Nobody would like that. If it were me and my workmen we would have done something,” Lal said.

“The Gasparillo station was not too far from where it happened. I remained there for more than 20 minutes and I did not see any police come. I can't say if they came at all.

“When I first questioned this man, he said the woman stole his hot peppers, but she said she did not steal anything, it was her husband who stole it. She did not look like she was in her correct head. When I asked why he did not call the police, he said he had no transport, but he was coming from the main road when I first saw them and he was taking her further into the lonely road.

“That was kidnapping, abuse and the man admitted to me that it is the woman’s husband who stole his peppers. That was torture the way he had this woman walking through the hot sun like he kidnapped her. I hope the police holds and deals with him because at the end of the day this woman suffered.”

Mahabir-Wyatt: Why no help?

Women’s rights activist, former independent senator Diana Mahabir-Wyatt, yesterday questioned why no one helped the woman, who she said was clearly terrified. Mahabir-Wyatt said she hoped that the after the incident the woman was not found dead.

“I saw the video and I think it is a bit ridiculous to have the woman roped like a cow being led along the road. And according to the caption, he said he was doing it as a punishment for her husband stealing peppers if I am not mistaken.

“One wonders why can’t he act like a man and deal with her husband rather than pick on a skinny, frail woman.

“If you look at her face, she is grimacing, she is not smiling. She has a line between her eyebrows and it is the reaction of somebody who is frightened.

“I mean it is a big, strong, fat, gross-looking man who is holding a woman who is being led like an animal and I think that is disgusting. I think it is also disgusting that whoever took the video did not try to do anything to help her,” Mahabir-Wyatt said.

In his defence, Lal said he tried to help by calling the police but could not physically try to help the woman because of the man’s size. He said as a single parent, he had to make a wise decision as this man could have harmed him and left his children fatherless.

However, Mahabir-Wyatt said, “If everyone in this country is afraid to help, I don’t know what I’m supposed to say. None of them look exactly mentally stable in the video. If the police won't help and the people on the road passing by won't help, I am not quite sure what everybody expects this poor, frail woman to do.”​


Entertainment & Culture Discussion / Mahal – the walking legend
« on: March 09, 2015, 11:47:05 AM »
Mahal – the walking legend
Our Heritage with Al Ramsawack
Monday, March 2 2015,207717.html

How did he ever escape the Guinness Book of World Records, is yet to be known. There is little doubt that no other man, outside of the stone-age, had ever walked a total mileage comparable to the legendary Mahal of Trinidad.

To most old timers recalling the period of the 1930s through to the early 1960s, the name Mahal was enough to conjure up pictures of a lone “pedestrian-motorist”’, if there is such a term to describe one who mimes or pretends to drive a car, while he, in fact, walks, trots or runs.

For miles and miles, the man Mahal walked bare-footed and untiring, from village to village, small towns and through the city of Port-of-Spain.

The Creole-Spanish man, or ‘cocoa pahyorl’, wore an old, weather-beaten police cap on his head, long pants with legs rolled up to just under his knees unveiling sinuous calves. Around his waist he wore a thick, broad leather belt like that of the cocoa workers of that period, and across his shoulders hung a ham sack with a hand-stick or baton and other unknown objects.

With one hand clutched to an imaginary steering wheel, the man was ready to begin his long journey.

The free hand played the gear lever into the first gear position. He released the hand brake and jerked off to a start. “Beep! Beep!” he voiced the warning horn.

Again the free hand geared up to the second and third gears. Mahal was on his way, to where, no one could predict. So precise and true his act appeared, that to him, there was no doubt that he was in fact, driving a car.

He was viewed with suspicion, as the most unusual and questionable character in this country.

Long before World War II, people stared curiously out of windows from little houses, big houses and barracks throughout the country to see Mahal as he “drove” past, along the roads.

Schoolchildren gaped with curiosity and fear as the “driver” went by, making appropriate hand signals and blowing horns as a true motorist.

It was early in the 20th century, when dirt roads cut through forests, dark cocoa and coffee plantations and open sugarcane fields; the period when motorcars were few, monstrous curiosities, and when children hid under beds and sugar bags at the noisy approach of a car.

It was a time when drivers were hailed as heroes and masters of the moving machines or horseless buggies. There was at that time a little boy called Hose Gonzales of humble parentage in Siparia.

He was passionate with the dream of becoming a car or bus driver, and so, he often shied away from school, intent on fulfilling his ambition. He frequently wandered around a bus garage, whiling away his time in daydreaming; seeing himself as a bus driver. In those far-off days the bus owners gave their buses names. One of the buses in that garage was named, “Taj Mahal,” after which, he was supposedly nicknamed.

He played car, as he went on errands for his mother. Up and down George Street in Siparia, he babbled his lips to the sound of the engine, as he trotted along, togging at his imagined steering wheel and changing gears while on his errand to the parlour and back home

At the early age of ten years, he started “driving” away from home. As he grew up, he expanded his route out to De Gannes Village, then further away to Syne Village, Charlo Village and Penal in one direction.

And gaining confidence, he later “drove” through villages in the opposite direction as far South as Erin.

As a young man he added more miles exploring new destinations beyond the then borough of San Fernando.

For many days and nights he stayed away from home until the time came when being at home, was unusual. His mother missed Hose, who was by that time, well known as Mahal the driver.

From then on, there was no stopping, as he drove along roads and tracks to scattered places across the island. He was seen driving in places as far apart as Port-of-Spain, Arima, Sangre Grande, Manzanilla, Mayaro, Guayaguayare, Rio Claro Princes Town, Tamana, Cumuto, Blanchisseuse, La Brea and Cedros. A woman of Sangre Grande claimed to have seen Mahal driving through the streets of Caracas in Venezuela.

Some folks from south Trinidad related how Mahal was encouraged to enter a walking race from Charlie King Junction in Fyzabad to San Fernando, one Easter Sunday. He recalled:

“Dat morning wen Mahal line up foh de walking race in Fyzabad, well dat was de best ting foh ah long time. We fool him an’ tell him dat it was ah car race. Man Ah tell yuh! Fellahs betting big, big money orn de great Mahal, because dey know dat he is de best walker in de whole island. Wen dey buss de pistol so, Mahal screech out like de bullet from de pistol. By de time de odder fellahs mek t’ree corners, de ole Mahal done goin’ up Tito Hill in Oropouche, bat-outa-hell!

“Ah fellah who bet orn he, t’row ah bucket ah water to cool dong Mahal. Well Mahal mash he brakes one time. He watch de fellah cross-eye and bawl, ‘why de hell yuh t’row water orn mih car foh! Yuh want to flood mih cabaratah o’ wha!’ He put he mout’ one side so, and start to chug chug like he goin to shut dong. Soon after, he pick-up speed again.”

A crowd of supporters followed on foot and on bicycles urging the man to the winning post. On reaching the middle of the Mosquito Creek, Mahal began to limp and bounce, soon coming to an abrupt stop. He scooped the sweat off his forehead. He pulled up his hand brake, opened the car door and walked out; and throwing up his hands in despair, he said,

“Oh shucks fellahs! Is like ah get ah flat tyre! It go tek about two hours to patch up de chube!’” Of course, that was a regrettable loss; not only to Mahal, but to the scores of angry men who had so faithfully placed their bets on him as their winner.

In another interesting incident, an old, bearded fish vendor from Princes Town related,

“Mahal drive into Princes Town cool, cool, one day. He park up he car near mih fish cyart and buy ah long king fish from me. He open de trunk orf his car and pelt de fish inside, den he close de trunk and drive off. Buh he really leave de fish orn de road, because he ent really have no darm car atorl! As he bend de corner, Ah tek back mih fish and sell it. I wish he come and buy fish from me every day!”

The continuing drama occurred in far-off Sangre Grande, when Mahal steamed into Cunapo. An old timer recalled with a broad grin,

“Mahal drive he imaginary car an’ park it up in front ah Marlay shop in Cunapo. Everybody crowd roung to see Mahal open he car door an’ come out. He gone in de back ah de shop in Marlay sweet drink factory to drink ah sweet. W’en he come back, he see ah mash-and-leggo Ford car park up on top ah he good car. Boy, well hell roll dat day! Mahal tek out he big stick

from he hamsack, an, start to beat up de man car an’ cuss! Man, Ah nevah see ah mash-and-leggo tek off so fas’ yet!”

There is, however, yet, another intriguing slant to the Mahal story which stands as a challenge to the international world, and the question of believing or not. If the legendary Mahal had carried an odometer to record the total mileage of his driving (walking) career, it would have registered a mileage of approximately 163,800 miles. If it were possible for a person to travel around the earth on a continuous road along the circumference, which is approximately, 24,902 miles, Mahal’s mileage would have been the equivalent of a conservative six and a half trips around. Or if a path were stretched out in a straight road to the moon, (238,857 miles) he would have travelled more than half the journey to that planet.

The humble Mahal, however, had never won a medal for his country, or a reward for himself. He never heard the thundering applause for his feat; singular and unparallel in the history of walking. Instead, he departed silently, and as a pauper, was laid to rest without a verse or an inscribed headstone. But maybe some day, our values will change and his neglected grave may be sought and written as an historical monument, Mahal the Walking Legend of Trinidad and Tobago.

South Africa 408/5 (50 ov)
West Indies 57/5 (13.0 ov)

West Indies require another 352 runs with 5 wickets and 37.0 overs remaining

Cricket Anyone / SA vs WI: 2nd T-20, Johannesburg, Jan 11, 2015
« on: January 11, 2015, 08:20:31 AM »
South Africa 166/4 (14.3/20 ov)

West Indies won the toss and elected to field

General Discussion / Did historical Jesus really exist?
« on: December 19, 2014, 08:56:15 AM »
Weighing up the evidence for the ‘Historical Jesus’
Raphael Lataster

Did a man called Jesus of Nazareth walk the earth? Discussions over whether the figure known as the “Historical Jesus” actually existed primarily reflect disagreements among atheists. Believers, who uphold the implausible and more easily-dismissed “Christ of Faith” (the divine Jesus who walked on water), ought not to get involved.

Numerous secular scholars have presented their own versions of the so-called “Historical Jesus” – and most of them are, as biblical scholar J.D. Crossan puts it, “an academic embarrassment”.

From Crossan’s view of Jesus as the wise sage, to Robert Eisenman’s Jesus the revolutionary, and Bart Ehrman’s apocalyptic prophet, about the only thing New Testament scholars seem to agree on is Jesus’ historical existence. But can even that be questioned?

The first problem we encounter when trying to discover more about the Historical Jesus is the lack of early sources. The earliest sources only reference the clearly fictional Christ of Faith.

These early sources, compiled decades after the alleged events, all stem from Christian authors eager to promote Christianity – which gives us reason to question them. The authors of the Gospels fail to name themselves, describe their qualifications, or show any criticism with their foundational sources – which they also fail to identify.

Filled with mythical and non-historical information, and heavily edited over time, the Gospels certainly should not convince critics to trust even the more mundane claims made therein.

The methods traditionally used to tease out rare nuggets of truth from the Gospels are dubious.

The criterion of embarrassment says that if a section would be embarrassing for the author, it is more likely authentic. Unfortunately, given the diverse nature of Christianity and Judaism back then (things have not changed all that much), and the anonymity of the authors, it is impossible to determine what truly would be embarrassing or counter-intuitive, let alone if that might not serve some evangelistic purpose.

The criterion of Aramaic context is similarly unhelpful. Jesus and his closest followers were surely not the only Aramaic-speakers in first-century Judea.

The criterion of multiple independent attestation can also hardly be used properly here, given that the sources clearly are not independent.

Paul’s Epistles, written earlier than the Gospels, give us no reason to dogmatically declare Jesus must have existed. Avoiding Jesus’ earthly events and teachings, even when the latter could have bolstered his own claims, Paul only describes his “Heavenly Jesus”.

Even when discussing what appear to be the resurrection and the last supper, his only stated sources are his direct revelations from the Lord, and his indirect revelations from the Old Testament. In fact, Paul actually rules out human sources (see Galatians 1:11-12).

Also important are the sources we don’t have. There are no existing eyewitness or contemporary accounts of Jesus. All we have are later descriptions of Jesus’ life events by non-eyewitnesses, most of whom are obviously biased.

Little can be gleaned from the few non-Biblical and non-Christian sources, with only Roman scholar Josephus and historian Tacitus having any reasonable claim to be writing about Jesus within 100 years of his life.

And even those sparse accounts are shrouded in controversy, with disagreements over what parts have obviously been changed by Christian scribes (the manuscripts were preserved by Christians), the fact that both these authors were born after Jesus died (they would thus have probably received this information from Christians), and the oddity that centuries go by before Christian apologists start referencing them.

Agnosticism over the matter is already seemingly appropriate, and support for this position comes from independent historian Richard Carrier’s recent defence of another theory. Namely, that the belief in Jesus started as the belief in a purely celestial being (who was killed by demons in an upper realm), who became historicised over time.

To summarise Carrier’s 800-page tome, this theory and the traditional theory – that Jesus was a historical figure who became mythicised over time – both align well with the Gospels, which are later mixtures of obvious myth and what at least “sounds” historical.

The Pauline Epistles, however, overwhelmingly support the “celestial Jesus” theory, particularly with the passage indicating that demons killed Jesus, and would not have done so if they knew who he was (see: 1 Corinthians 2:6-10).

Humans – the murderers according to the Gospels – of course would still have killed Jesus, knowing full well that his death results in their salvation, and the defeat of the evil spirits.

So what do the mainstream (and non-Christian) scholars say about all this? Surprisingly very little; of substance anyway. Only Bart Ehrman and Maurice Casey have thoroughly attempted to prove Jesus’ historical existence in recent times.

Their most decisive point? The Gospels can generally be trusted – after we ignore the many, many bits that are untrustworthy – because of the hypothetical (i.e. non-existent) sources behind them.

Who produced these hypothetical sources? When? What did they say? Were they reliable? Were they intended to be accurate historical portrayals, enlightening allegories, or entertaining fictions?

Ehrman and Casey can’t tell you – and neither can any New Testament scholar.

Given the poor state of the existing sources, and the atrocious methods used by mainstream Biblical historians, the matter will likely never be resolved. In sum, there are clearly good reasons to doubt Jesus’ historical existence – if not to think it outright improbable.

Raphael Lataster is the author of There Was No Jesus, There Is No God.

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