International cricket has been plunged into crisis by a row over pay between the West Indies players and their board that has led to the abrupt termination of their tour of India. There are now doubts over the West Indies team’s next series in South Africa, their participation in the World Cup early next year, and even their future in Test cricket – which would have a direct impact on England, who are due to play a three‑match series in the Caribbean next spring.

India have already warned that they may consider withdrawing from a scheduled tour of West Indies in 2016, a move that would have crippling financial implications on a board who are dangerously reliant, like most of the rest of the cricketing world, on Indian television revenue. That would be in addition to any legal action they take against the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) for this abandonment, which has been estimated to cost India up to £31m in sponsorship and broadcasting rights.

That all adds up to a grave challenge for the International Cricket Council, which was so controversially reshaped in February to give the big three of India, England and Australia more power. But they have yet to make any public comment.

Relations between the West Indies players and their board have rarely been anything other than tense, with the latest flare-up over appearance money focusing on Wavell Hinds, an unremarkable former opener who is now the president and chief executive of the West Indies Players’ Association.

The players, led by the one-day captain, Dwayne Bravo, are said to be angry that Hinds accepted the terms offered by the WICB without consultation. That led to the dramatic announcement during the fourth match of their one-day series against India in Dharamsala on Friday that the squad would be heading straight home, without playing a scheduled Twenty20 international and three Tests. India are understood to be especially annoyed by an apparent assumption by the WICB that they would make up the shortfall.

Relations between the WICB and the Board of Control for Cricket in India had previously seemed cordial, evidenced by West Indies stepping in at short notice to provide the opposition for Sachin Tendulkar’s Test farewell in a hastily arranged series last year.

But Sanjay Patel, the BCCI secretary, could not have been clearer in warning of the potential consequences now. “It will be very difficult to play West Indies in bilateral series in future,” he told Reuters. “They have to demonstrate the willingness that such situations never happen again. I would say that India’s next tour of West Indies is highly unlikely to go ahead in the current situation. Whatever the dispute, they should have honoured the bilateral agreement. We have suffered huge losses and the ICC is our parent body and we are going to ask them to ensure that this never happens in the future.”

Some of the greats of West Indies cricket will now be involved in the attempts to plot a course out of the mess. Richie Richardson is now the team manager and sent the email to the BCCI confirming the players’ decision, and Clive Lloyd was recently appointed chairman of selectors. Lloyd began the process of damage limitation in India, apologising and describing the decision of the players as “a mistake”. “We have great affection and love for Indian people and I hope that this will not affect our future relations,” the chairman of selectors said. “I hope the damage is not irreparable.” The WICB is to hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday.


The governing body of women’s tennis has fined the president of the Russian Tennis Federation $25,000 (£15,500) and suspended him for a year after he referred to the Williams sisters as “the Williams brothers”.

Shamil Tarpischev, a member of the International Olympic Committee, made the reference on a television chat show last week.

But his remarks were condemned by the chair of the Women’s Tennis Association, Stacey Allaster: “The statements made by Shamil Tarpischev on Russian television with respect to two of the greatest athletes in the history of women’s tennis are insulting, demeaning and have absolutely no place in our sport.

“The WTA was founded on principles of equality, opportunity and respect and Venus and Serena embody all of these attributes. Mr Tarpischev’s statements questioning their genders tarnish our great game and two of our champions. His derogatory remarks deserve to be condemned and he will be sanctioned.”

The WTA also called for Tarpischev – who is the chairman of the board for the Kremlin Cup tournament currently being held in Moscow – to issue a personal apology to the Williams sisters.

Earlier on Friday, the United States Tennis Assocaition (USTA) had described his comments as “reprehensible”.

“As the president of the USTA and a member of the board of directors of the International Tennis Federation, I call on Shamil Tarpischev to issue a formal apology to Venus and Serena Williams,” said a statement from president Dave Haggerty.

“As the president of the Russian Tennis Federation and a member of the International Olympic Committee, Mr Tarpischev is expected to conduct himself with the highest degree of integrity and sportsmanship. Unfortunately, his comments do not embody either of these traits and in fact were reprehensible.”


  • Shamil Tarpishchev referred to ‘Williams brothers’ on TV
  • ‘I did not want to cause any offence or make fun’

The Russian Tennis Federation (RTF) president, Shamil Tarpishchev, has officially apologised for making an inappropriate comment about the Williams sisters on state television.

Appearing on a chat show, the programme host said: “I was at the Olympics, where Maria Sharapova was in the final, playing with one, with one of the …”

Tarpishchev responded by saying “Williams brothers”.

The Women’s Tennis Federation fined him $25,000 and demanded a personal apology as well as disqualifying him for a year from working in an organisational capacity.

“Serena and Venus [Williams] are without doubt top sportswomen and they have played tennis to the highest possible level, perhaps even a different level,” Tarpishchev said in a statement on the RTF website.

“The Williams sisters will always stand out on the tour, as they do in the sport thanks to their talent and successes. They have managed to set new standards and results that will become the new benchmark for other players.”

“My comments were spontaneous and happened after we went live on the Evening with Urgant show and they not only put tennis in a bad light, but also drives a wedge into the strong and friendly tennis family within our sport,” Tarpishchev added.

“I did not want to cause any offence or make fun of any of the sportsmen. I am sorry that the joke I made, when translated into English was taken out of the context of a chat show and so much attention has been brought towards it.

“I don’t think that the incident needed to be blown out of proportion. Everything that was said on the TV show was said without meaning to cause offence.”

Tarpishchev is also an International Olympic Committee member.

American Serena Williams, 33, is the current world number one and has won 18 grand slam singles titles.

The 34-year-old Venus, a former world number one, has seven grand slam singles titles to her name.


Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) president Brian Lewis is one of two new members on the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees (CANOC) Board for the 2014-2018 term.

Lewis said its a privilege and honour to be elected to serve on the CANOC board .

" I  look forward to working with my fellow Board members.  The Board  of CANOC are stewards of the interest of the organisation. CANOC doesn't belong to the directors we hold it in trust for the members. We have to at all times act in the organisation's interest rather than self interest ".

Lewis  had been nominated by the TTOC to contest for the post of Chairman .

The CANOC constitution requires the General Assembly to elect the 7 Board members and after their election the Board members meet and decide on who will serve as chairman, secretary and treasurer.

Lewis said the Board members agreed to allow the incumbent chairman  Steve Stoute (Barbados)  to retain the position for the first two years of the four year term .

"After some robust discussion we arrived at a consensus position that was acceptable to all 7 members. We all gave our word to honour what we agreed."

The other newcomer to the CANOC Board is Alphonso Bridgewater - President of the St Kitts and Nevis Olympic Committee.

Keith Joesph (St Vincent and the Grenadines)  takes over as Secretary General . Joseph replaced Senator Elton Prescott (Trinidad and Tobago) who did not seek reelection. Don Anderson (Jamaica) also didn't seek re election.

Alfred Emmanuel (St Lucia) retained his position as Treasurer, Donald McClean (Cayman Islands) and Angel Morales (US Virgin Islands), Stoute  and Joseph were the other incumbents  reelected to the CANOC Board.


T&T goalkeeper Kimika Forbes along with her supporting back line were heroes for this country when they stood tall in a narrow 1-0 loss to world powerhouse USA when both teams met on Wednesday night in the first match of the final round of Fifa Women’s World Cup 2015 qualifying matches.

Tonight’s, much will be expected from the attacking front when the T&T women go in search of their first points at the Concacaf Women’s Championship against early joint leader Haiti in the second match of the competition.

T&T faces Haiti at 6.30 pm, at Toyota Park, Bridgeview, Illinois, and Randy Waldrum’s players will enter the very much aware of their ability to claim a much desired win, a result which will aid in the team’s progression to the knockout stage.

As it stands, USA and Haiti sit joint at the top of the four-team group A standings with three points after both teams secured one-nil wins over T&T and Guatemala, respectively. And, once T&T shows the same cohesiveness, skill and determination against Haiti as it did against the USA, a win ought to be on the cards.

It took a headed goal from USA’s record goal scorer Abby Wambach into an empty net in the 54th minute to separate the runaway favourites and the underdogs. Despite being somewhat out of position for the goal, Forbes was superb throughout, making nearly a dozen saves.

The vocal custodian was a barrage particularly against Wambach, Megan Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd. Forbes was also supported well by centreback Arin King, who has proven to be one of T&T’s most important players.

“The players executed the game plan very well. Kimika was outstanding for us in goal and Arin King was a rock in the back line,” said Waldrum after the match.

The win for the US took its all-time recorded to 8-0-0 over T&T, now with a combined total of 52-2. Wednesday’s win for the US was not one that left the players nor coach completely satisfied and quite the opposite for Waldrum, who had his own issues to deal with off the field prior to the start of the tournament.

“I’m very proud of my team,” said Waldrum, who took charge just before T&T’s Women’s Caribbean Cup exploits in August. “I think they made all of T&T proud tonight. I know they made me very proud. I thought defensively we were very tight and organised and we were able to create a few decent chances off the counter,” he added.

He added, “Maylee (Johnson, captain) and Brianna (Ryce) did massive work for us in midfield, and Yaya (Kennya Cordner) was always dangerous off the counter... Overall a very good performance,” he added.

Looking ahead to tonight’s fixture, Waldrum maintained a cautious stance. “We’ve got to regroup and focus on the next match which is very important for us and which I expect to be a really tough encounter as both teams want it badly,” Waldrum said.

Haiti’s clash with Guatemala in the opening fixture was also a nail-biter and it took a 70th minute goal from Lindsey Zullo from the Caribbean team to separate the two.

Tonight, following T&T’s meeting with Haiti, USA will be eager to record a win and by a much more comfortable scoreline against Guatemala.


Remembering Edwin Roberts’ Olympic first

Happy anniversary Trinidad and Tobago.
No, I have not gotten my independence date mixed up. Exactly 50 years ago, Edwin Roberts became the country’s first Olympic medallist in the sport of athletics, claiming bronze in the men’s 200 metres final in 20.6 seconds.
That 200 bronze at the 1964 Games in Tokyo, Japan was also the very first post-independence Olympic medal for T&T. So, to Roberts and all of T&T, a happy golden anniversary.
“I think there was a greater sense of nationalism,” says historian Dr Basil Ince, “because Trinidad and Tobago had just become independent. The real nationalist environment came with Eric Williams, from ’56, moving towards independence. So, by the time we went to the Games, in ’64…people were looking forward to these Games because Trinidad was now a sovereign nation.”
Roberts, a 23-year-old sprinter from Belmont, was selected to represent the “Red, White and Black”, and advanced all the way to the 200 final.
Drawn in lane eight in the championship race, Roberts squared off against seven other sprinters, including Italy’s reigning Olympic champion, Livio Berruti, and Americans Henry Carr, Paul Drayton and Richard Stebbins.
“When I settled into the blocks,” Roberts recalls, “I didn’t feel any burden…I felt expectation. Running in an outside lane, everybody chases you. You can’t see anybody in front of you. So, it’s a mindset, how you have to plot your race. I accelerated, and right at the tape, I                                                         came very close to getting second.
“Paul Drayton, who is deceased now, was very upset that he got second. I said ‘man, you should be glad,’ in my subconscious mind, ‘that you got second, because I was right on your tail’.”
Carr won in an Olympic record time of 20.3 seconds, with Drayton (20.5) second and Roberts (20.6) third.
For the first time in history, the “Red, White and Black” was raised during an Olympic Games medal ceremony.
At the time, however, the significance of the achievement was not uppermost on Roberts’ mind. In the excitement of the moment, it did not dawn on him that he was the country’s first post-independence Olympic medallist.
The North Carolina College student recalls his thoughts as he stood on the podium.
“I did it and I’m happy to get third place, and to see my flag go up into the air…not knowing I was the first. It never did cross my mind. As that flag went up, I was enthusiastic, I was happy, I was proud. I did my job for my country.”
Thirty-two years later, Ato Boldon became only the second T&T athlete to earn an Olympic 200m medal, following in Roberts’ strides with bronze at the 1996 Atlanta Games.
“For me, I looked back and said, okay, I can do this because somebody like an Edwin Roberts did it long before I stepped foot on the track.
“Edwin Roberts was extremely good,” Boldon continues.
“If he had a little bit more exposure in terms of being seen by the T&T viewing public, he would probably be held in much higher esteem than he is. To me, he is one of the most underrated sprinters in Trinidad and Tobago history.”
Roberts lives in Pennsylvania, USA, and has stayed close to athletics through coaching and officiating.
“I got involved in officiating in athletics after I semi-retired,” says Roberts. “I was running Masters and officiating. In the last three years, I started to do starting.
“A lot of people ask me if I miss coaching. I say no. I’m still in the field. I’m still coaching people by talking to them while I’m officiating. Do this, do that, but I’m not their actual coach. I’ll give them advice.”
Roberts is 73, but is young at heart, and has an excellent rapport with the teenagers he interacts with while officiating at track and field meets in Pennsylvania.
The Olympic medallist wants to make a contribution to the development of the sport here in T&T.
Equipped with vast knowledge and incredible people skills, Roberts certainly has what it takes to inspire today’s generation of Olympic aspirants.