Paul Pogba, Manchester United midfielder, feels “good” during the recovery of the ankle operation to which he underwent four weeks ago. This was shared by the French in their social networks, showing another step in the recovery of the injury that has off the pitch for almost two months.The midfielder has not played with United since last December 26, although He is optimistic about being next Monday in the match against Chelsea corresponding to the Premier League. After a movidito summer and marked by Pogba’s intention to leave Old Trafford, the Frenchman has barely had an impact on his team’s game due to physical problems. Pogba has lost 31 total meetings this ankle injury and has only been able to play 610 minutes divided into eight games.
For the strikers, the goal is their food. Although defenders or midfielders also seek to achieve it during the match, the greatest responsibility lies with the attackers. And in the case of Dani Gómez, he begins to feed himself well with a curiosity: his successes become victories. Forever. The Madrid player has six league goals and every time he saw the door, Tenerife added three points.The clear example was Saturday. Thanks to his goal, in the 12th minute of the match, the Blue and Whites defeated Elche with justice and away from the lower zone. The ‘9’ took advantage of a good pass from Alex Muñoz to define against Edgar Badía. “I thought it was out of play. I looked at the assistant and I even had to ask Luis Milla. In the end they considered it good and very happy, ”explained the player after the game.Dani made his first goal as blue and white on September 15 at Carlos Belomonte, the day of the win by 0-4. It was he who opened the scoring. More than two months later, he celebrated again, in this case in Gijón where he won 0-2. There began a good run coinciding with its continuity. At the beginning of January, Alba suffered it again in Heliodoro, a duel that the insulars took 4-2. And a few weeks ago, he shouted twice in Extremadura where those of Baraja got the three points (2-4). In the meantime, it is worth noting, he scored in the Cup against Valladolid (2-1) and Athletic (3-3), the only time he failed to succeed.“The team has given a change of face since the beginning of 2020, the streak invites optimism but it is better to think about each game, time will tell us where we need to be,” Dani Gomez summed up after the win against Elche that places Tenerife in an expectant position and placed him as the top scorer of the team. Last year, at Real Madrid Castilla, he scored eight goals and every time he scored, his team did not lose. This year he has gone to more and his celebrations, in Tenerife, are synonymous with victories.
Once Health approve the return of League competition, the teams will face an unprecedented situation in history. Matches every three days from the same competition and resolution of it, after three months stopped, in just a month and a half of competition. There is not going to be time for the players and the teams to get in tune. Whoever does not start well, will be able to see all their chances of reaching their goals diminished. It will be a very strange situation for everyone. So, there are several factors that experts predict as relevant, once the atypical preseason that awaits them is completed, and La Liga is restarted with 11 weeks to play.1.- Physical preparation in the months of confinementThe level of physical preparation that each player has had in this confinement it will seem key in the first matches of competition. It is true that, first individually and then in groups, the players will carry out a mini preseason in the facilities of each club. However, the individual basis that each one brings from their time in confinement can be fundamental when starting the league express butt. “Each one’s level of preparation will be very important. Whoever has been able to maintain involvement in unusual conditions will have a lot of livestock“says Pako Ayestarán, former coach and fitness trainer of Valencia. Furthermore, the physical conditions in which each one has developed the confinement will have to do with how they return to the sports cities.”A player who lives in a chalet and has his space is not the same outdoors to work than someone else who lives in a small apartment with more restrictions, “says Carmelo del Pozo, sports director and physical trainer.2.- The youth hourAs it is an ‘express’ competition, which will last more or less like a World Cup, the first matches will have extreme relevance. In the first ten or 12 days of competition each team will have already played four games, more than a third of what remains until the end. And there young players always have a competitive advantage with older footballers. “The young player, often finer and more agile, the preseason has always started better and the seasons and the veteran always have a little more trouble starting. The Ferran, Joao Félix, Vinicius or Ansu may have an advantage in what remains of the League “, warns Alberto Escobar, coach Birmingham City assistant. Ayestarán, in addition, affects the recovery, more difficult for veterans, since it will be played with so little rest time between games. “The veteran clearly has a bigger problem with resilience. However, this is supplemented by more correct tactical behavior and greater effort, “he says. 3.- A ‘new’ LeagueFor the experts, it will be useless in this league final express, the moment of the teams when the competition was suspended, at the middle of March. “It is a new league where the past only counts to know the starting position of each team and the physical aspect is going to be as important as the psychological one. It will be a very short competition held in a very short time where a bad or good streak of results can lead to achieving or losing goals without correction margin“, highlights Carmelo del Pozo. Furthermore, heaccording to the five changes that FIFA wants to implement It will be another important aspect to manage to have a good League final. “The five changes will be important. A footballer who plays less than 60 minutes has a much faster recovery. Whoever is able to play that trick well will have a great advantage, “says Ayestarán.4.- Psychological and motivational aspectAlmost more important than tone physical that soccer players maintain is the psychological and motivational. On the one hand, playing behind closed doors continuously will be a factor that footballers are not used to. Further, footballers are people and they cannot abstract from what has happened and it could continue to happen while they are contesting a championship. “Everything goes through the minds of footballers and could influence the emotional aspect: the uncertainty, the contagions, the tests …“Ayestarán points out. In addition, the succession of matches in a few days (in seven weeks 11 league games will be played) can make Team dynamics, for better or for worse, are difficult to change. “There may be teams that have been down all season and win three games in seven days and are out of the drop. Or the other way around, teams that walked halfway through the table without problems and in a few days were in big trouble, “says Del Pozo.5.- Climatology and heatOne factor that should not be overlooked is that the 11 matches will be played, At first, at the end of June and throughout the month of July. This means that in many parts of Spain the thermometer can mark more than 30 degrees. LaLiga has not yet determined schedules although, as in the beginning of the leagues, it is normal to play at night. Still and with so few days of rest between games, heat acclimatization and stress management in these circumstances another key element for the last eleven games of the championship. “Keep in mind that the competition will be in the summer months. JPlaying in cities such as Valencia or Seville will continually be a handicap. How each staff handles that level of fatigue and recovery will also be important, “says Ayestarán.”It will be like a World CupIf there are finally concentrations, it will look even more like a World Cup. We in England will be less hot but it is true that in Spain if the heat pays hard it will be more complicated“, wields Escobar.
It is reasonable and fair. It would have been a punishment of unimaginable dimensions for a generation that has earned it. I celebrate and applaud him. I am happy for this generation that I love so much. It is an absolutely right decision.How do you prepare?If God wants the qualifying matches for the U21 Euro Cup to resume in September, in an ideal scenario, we could have free dates in March to play matches for a pre-Olympic team. There would be more advantages.But it will be even more difficult to choose 18 …Let’s see how they arrive. But it is good, because footballers are going to progress a lot in this year of competition. The generation of 2000 and 2001 will continue to grow and we will have more footballers. Some of those who seem untouchable just the same on that date have a drawback. Therefore, the more we have to choose the better. Then I will have to get wet and you will hit the sticks (laughs).I get Oyarzabal, Olmo, Fabián, Ceballos … who will go to the European Championship. Can you combine Eurocup and Games?Today I would say yes. They are young and motivated. A player with desire and motivation gets those two conversations without problem. The ideal hypothesis is that they go to the Absolute, that they play all the matches reaching the final. You leave with the moral through the roof and it takes away in two days any fatigue.On the part of the Federation there would be no problem?For our part, none. And Luis Enrique has always said that he supports that, he said it at the time. And the clubs … There could be inconvenience with foreigners, who do not have the obligation to transfer them.Madrid did not want to give up Vinicius and Rodrygo to Brazil …With Spanish clubs I think they are not going to put any inconvenience, I want to think of it like that. The relationship with the clubs is extraordinary. With foreigners there may be some doubt but it will be seen. Same shot down the middle street and take the little ones (laughs).Are you clear that you are going to use the three places for seniors?Yes Yes. If I understand that to be so, I will. I have it very clear. They are very good footballers. You have to bring three older people to complete that list. Fully determined. Unless there are boys who break it and deserve more to go than the older ones, but not because of age. The important thing is capacity. Those who are at the best time and who best adapt to the idea we have will go. Luis de la Fuente (Haro, 1961) has seen how the coronavirus totally changed his plans. As an Olympic and U21 coach, both competitions are delayed by one year: the Tokyo Games in 2021 and the U21 Euro Cup in 2022. The coach gave a joint interview to AS, Marca and Onda Cero to analyze all these situations. How are you doing these days?I’m very early riser, I’m the one that goes out to put the streets (laughs) Saving the drama that we are living, I get along well. I am orderly and routine. Work, sports, friends … I have recovered my reading, I have time to read. I didn’t have time and now I’m taking a little while, because it’s something I love. I have recovered that habit and it gives me great joy.How do you see this situation in the world of soccer?There is great concern, not surprisingly. We all wish that it would be normalized and we will try to return it to that normality. We know it will take a long time. I always say that this situation is exceptional and exceptional measures will have to be taken against that. It will be necessary to make an effort between all to normalize something that is not normal. It will not be easy, we are concerned. But I am happy for this little window to resume football activity, so it can cause not only for athletes but for society in general.What do you think about whether or not to finish the leagues?I am in favor of trying to finish them. Let’s give ourselves a chance to have that possibility. If then unfortunately there is a more negative situation, then another decision will be made. But now we have to be determined to try to overcome this. That little window that has been opened to resume activity is good news. I go beyond athletes, it is important for all of society.Can the fact that each country make war on its own make us a little crazy?You have to understand the uniqueness of each country. It is difficult to coordinate and unify all measures. Each country must assess its particular situation. I would rush until the last moment to make the decision to suspend something. As long as there is a small chance it is healthy for the competition to be completed.Before going into Selection issues … What do you think about the Cup final?We all agree that playing without an audience is not what we all want. But I insist that in an exceptional situation, exceptional measures must be taken. I think you have to wait and see if you can play with or without the public. The decision will be made when all the elements are available and it will surely be the right one, because it will be made at the appropriate time and not now. I remember that in January they asked me about Ramos and the Games and said that you never know … And now see what has happened. Well, the same, we do not know how it will be in two months. Maybe everything is better and the picture is different.The Federation has warned that either it will be played without an audience before September or they will be left without Europe …Well … That at the club level will have to be valued. I think going to Europe is important. For me, the Cup is the greatest show in Spanish football. We will have to take a measure that interests everyone at the right time. You don’t have to tear your clothes, you have to be generous. It is a situation that not even in a movie. Concessions will have to be made.Do you think it is fair that those from ’97 go to the Games? Was there concern among the players?One moment of the interview. Can the list you sent be redone?Right now I don’t know. I understand that there will be some revision, because soccer players may appear who this year begin to play. It wouldn’t be fair not to be able to add players to that list. At the moment we have no news.Is that list of the European Under-21 Championship going to weigh?It is that they are very good. And you have to be very very good to be better than them. We are guaranteed to be a brilliant generation. We would celebrate that someone had the ability to take one of those players away, hopefully, but that generation is very good.How does it change from a list of 23 to 18?Changes a lot. There are 18 plus four that can come to be in the reserve, but without options to play unless there is a loss. With 23 you can almost double positions. I have experience with the U19, which were 18. You have to spin very fine. It changes a lot and you have to find more versatile players.Were you worried about a specific player in recent days? Or vice versa, delighted …Overall I was concerned that there were few current U21 players in First Division regularly. The previous European players did have more regularity. What I don’t understand is how there are such good Spanish players playing outside. With a beastly talent and without continuity here. Some sound to return …In this U21 there are fewer starters in their teams than in the previous one. Is it a concern?Yes, totally. It is true that it is his first year, in the second more will appear. I have moved an important group and in Primera they participated little. Most played in Second and without great continuity. But we bet on them for their development with the future in mind. These days I listen to a lot of coaching interviews. Many think that success lies in coaches betting on them, not going to a youth club. We must be convinced that the good ones, with confidence, are very difficult to improve. Abroad there are few better than those of our quarry.What do you think of Ansu Fati?From the first moment I said that Ansu needed tranquility, there is no need to advance processes. He had fewer minutes in his club than in the national team. You had to calm him down and wait for his moment, he is very young.Are you worried that the break will cut the projection of this generation?They are very talented. This does not have to mean harm. A talented footballer, if he has an opportunity to play, overcomes any previous inconvenience that has prevented him from playing. It is able to exploit and demonstrate its full potential in a short time. It is not the ideal situation, but it will happen to all athletes. Resuming the Games, you will see how records will be broken in the Games. Athletes with potential need little to exploit. This situation has to make us much stronger. They must value what they have and not miss opportunities.What do you think of Éric García and Cucurella?Éric has always been ahead of his generation. And now it competes with those of 98 being from 2001. It has tremendous potential. He knows how to take advantage of his moment and makes good use of it. In the plants we are seeing some lack in Spain, there are not many. But I hope that some will be consolidated. And Cucurella … It’s doing a year to frame. That versatility it offers you … It was a discovery, I bet as a side. At Eibar they passed him and it was a discovery and look at Bordalás. I recognize the merit of those coaches because I saw it as lateral. It is true that in our style there were other soccer players who adapted better. It seems to me a success of the coaches. In the Selection we have more possibilities, surely I would choose another more specific end. But Cucurella is very important, especially for that wealth of being able to play in two positions.What do you think of Brahim? Are you concerned? Do you think you should be on loan?It is legitimate what you think, it is a demonstration of the confidence that you have in your possibilities. But reality is what it is. I can be very confident in my chances but if expectations are not met I will have to find another scenario. It would be interesting for players so young that they have a chance to play. Knowing that nobody is going to give you anything. Wherever Brahim goes, nobody would guarantee him anything, but a priori if they offer you more options elsewhere, young footballers should play first, compete, keep growing. The important thing is to play 40 games anywhere, you cannot play eight or ten games being a promise because you do not grow the same, your evolution is delayed. You have to have the opportunity to play thirty or forty games.How do they work in the Federation now?With Luis Enrique the relationship is fluid, very friendly. Also in the last weeks all the coaches are having meetings with him talking about football, methodology, how to improve. They are being fruitful. It seems to me something historical in the Federation, I do not remember that a meeting has ever been held with all the coaches and the sports management to have a sharing. It is being something sensational. We are talking about the same idea and methodology. I say that now we work more than before, because there is a lot of time to watch soccer. Now I am seeing other players that I have not had so much opportunity to see …Like who? Who has surprised you?Surprised not because we know everyone. But for example Pepelu and Oriol Busquets …Ok, so Pepelu and Busquets …(Laughs) No, no … I was saying it because Busquets has played central, midfield … It gives me the option of having a more versatile player. I spend my time watching games I haven’t paid as much attention to …So Tondela matches have seen a few …Yes (laughs) But I had seen the two of you long before. But, for example, Busquets had paid more attention when he played as a midfielder. The games he played at central he saw but did not pay much attention to. And now I am aware of it and in a position where we needed more alternatives. For this type of situation I use this time.
8:30 p.m. Arnett Gardens vs UWI FC at Anthony Spaulding Sports Club. FOCUSING ON TIVOLI “All the time you are looking to go overseas to play football, but right now I am just concentrating on Tivoli, the players and the fans, and trying to get a trophy for the team,” he said. “You also always want to play for your country, but it is up to the coaching staff to give you that chance. And it’s up to you as well to try and play for the coaching staff to see you,” he continued. The striker was taken out of the game with under 10 minutes remaining after aggravating his shoulder from a first-half tackle. Tivoli’s coach, Christopher Bender, said it was unfortunate he had to pull the striker as he brings more than just talent to the team, and he has no doubt the former Oldham Athletic man will soon discover his magical touch. “Teddy brings experience and talent. He is a very dedicated person, and now he is different as he is more mature,” Bender commented. “He also helps the training in how we imparts knowledge to the youngsters, so he is very valuable to the team. But the next game he will be better,” he assured. Tonight’s match Jermaine ‘Teddy’ Johnson showed glimpses of his mercurial talent in Tivoli Gardens’ opening Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) football game against Cavalier, which ended 0-0 at the Edward Seaga Sports Complex yesterday. However, it wasn’t the sublime performance the home fans and many football observers had anticipated. The former Bolton Wanderers and Sheffield Wednesday striker, who is presently out of contract, told The Gleaner that although his intention is to return overseas, he wants to help the West Kingston club win trophies again. He insists, though, that he is not a one-man band and needs the support of his teammates to be successful. “Every time you play, you want to win a trophy or the competition, and that is my aim, try to help the team (Tivoli Gardens) win a trophy,” he said. – Tivoli Gardens 0 Cavalier 0 – MoBay United 0 Portmore 2 – Rivoli United 0 Waterhouse 0 – Reno 1 Humble Lion 0 – Harbour View 1 Boys’ Town 1 Yesterday’s Results TEAMWORK “I can’t believe that I am the one (to lead Tivoli back to the top), because we are a team, and we have to work as a team for everything to come together, so we have to believe in ourselves and try to go out and do it every game,” he continued. Johnson last played for Indy Eleven in the North American Soccer League (NASL). But he injured his shoulder – which required an operation – last October and has not played since. The 35-year-old is confident that as long as his fitness continues to improve, he will get better. “We never really got into the game today (Sunday), but it’s the first game (of the season). We just have to come the next game and try to do our best, and just keep the focus and keep the confidence going, and once I get fit, everything is possible,” he said. The tricky playmaker still has his sights set on a national recall. “I haven’t played any competitive football since October, since I did surgery, so I just came down here to try and get fit and see what is possible for me in the longer run.
Western BureauOmar Wedderburn, head coach at St Elizabeth Technical (STETHS) could be dubbed the most interesting coach in schoolboy football.Widely known as “Rambo”, the former goalkeeper, who scored ten goals as an outfield player for his beloved STETHS in 1998, recently guided a youthful squad to a sixth-straight Ben Francis KO title, and will take them into a fifth daCosta Cup championship match today against Dinthill Technical.Wedderburn started at STETHS back in 1995 and played daCosta Cup there for three years ending in 1998.As a goalkeeper, he was excellent. He was of the same mould as his father Clive “Spider” Wedderburn, the current national goalkeeper coach but with a lot more passion.Rambo footballThis passion and skill has seen him being used at right back, sometimes as a right link player and ultimately in the forward position during his playing days, where his 10 goals in 1998 were a great achievement for a utility player such as he was.”Those days were the beginning of Rambo football at STETHS. But I had some great people around me. It was Wendell Downswell, who took me to STETHS and he has been a great friend and father-figure to me even now,” stated Wedderburn.”My time playing football has been great, thanks to that man, among others including former STETHS coach Andrew Edwards, whom I understudied before he left for Munro College,” he reasoned.”I learnt a lot from Edwards, and I take that with me all the time, while adding my character to how we play football, which is meant to be a fun, but hard-working way,” Wedderburn said.”It is the only way to have the team performing for each other. We have fun in training and in game situations, and as the coach, I try my best to be a centre of enjoyment for the squad. We laugh over things, but we remain committed and serious about it at the same time,” he said.He listed former national coach Jeffery Maxwell, Jerome Waite, Jackie Walters and current STETHS Technical Director Wendell Downswell, as inspiration.
MIAMI (AP):Miami jumped a slow-starting and inaccurate Dallas to set up a 106-82 win against the Mavericks on Friday, moving within one game of the lead in the NBA Southeast Division.Hassan Whiteside had 25 points and 19 rebounds for the Heat, who were without an ill Dwyane Wade early but still dominated.Elsewhere, Toronto rallied in the fourth quarter to beat Charlotte, and Chicago blew a big lead before steadying and beating New York.Miami’s Gerald Green added 19 points off the bench for Miami, who were forced to adjust their starting lineup shortly before tip-off when Wade was stricken by flu-like symptoms. Wade got some intravenous fluids and checked in early in the second quarter, just his 10th time playing off the bench in his 13-year career.Whiteside made 12 of 16 shots, and the Heat enjoyed their biggest victory margin of the season.Dallas had only 10 points in the first quarter – their lowest for any period this season – and shot just 36 percent for the game, compared to 56 percent for Miami.Zaza Pachulia’s 14 points and 13 rebounds was best for the Mavericks, who had won their previous four games.Toronto came from seven points down after three quarters to defeat Charlotte 104-94.DeMar DeRozan had 23 points and Kyle Lowry added 18 points and 11 assists for the Raptors.Kemba Walker had 18 points for the Hornets.Chicago blew a 17-point lead before pulling away again in the final quarter to beat New York 108-81.Jimmy Butler scored 23 points, and Nikola Mirotic had 17 points and seven assists for the Bulls, who won comfortably despite Derrick Rose missing a second straight game with hamstring tendonitis.Carmelo Anthony scored 20 for New York, who have dropped five of six.Washington beat Orlando for the 11th straight time, with John Wall contributing 24 points with 13 assists toward a 103-91 victory.Los Angeles’ Lou Williams scored 12 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter against his former team to guide the Lakers to a 93-84 win against Philadelphia in a match of the league’s two worst teams.
“My team look to me for organisation and leadership and my aerial ability, because I am a very big guy. They also rely on me to make important tackles, passes and power runs through the midfield, which has earned me the nickname ‘Yaya TourÈ’. But I need to improve on my stamina and my left foot. “Also, people have told me that I have a strong kick, and that I need to shoot more, but I tend to look for a pass. I know I have a good kick, and I am looking to improve on that,” he said. The former national under-17 and all-schools representative never really figured prominently in the national programme at the youth level, and is really working to make his mark with the senior team in the near future. “I just need to get some more exposure over here so the national coaches get a chance to look at me again. It’s been a while since they have seen me in action, but, hopefully, when they do again, they will see something that they want in the programme. “But, so far, I am pleased with how things are moving forward. I can see greater things ahead. I have contacts, and my agent (Damani Ralph) is making arrangements, so I expect another good year,” he said. “The first two seasons, I was playing at Cloud County. The first season I got injured (knee), from which I have now recovered. The following season, I was injury free, and I had a great season, as I got selected to play in the conference All-Stars first team, scored six goals and had four assists,” he told The Gleaner recently. The player, who is likened to Manchester City’s Yaya TourÈ on the college circuit because of his size and powerful runs from deep midfield, is sometimes played further forward by Byrant and Stratton coach Nick Dimitrievski, and although he relishes playing a more attacking role at times, he prefers to play out of his customary central midfield position. “I played mainly defensive mid(field), but sometimes I like to push through midfield. My new school has been a good experience because it has better facilities, more experienced players, and the coaching staff is much better. It has helped me grow, and I have grown in confidence, as the coach has me playing a free role behind the strikers sometimes, and I enjoy that,” he said. “So I feel like I can try out for the MLS, and I am going to play PDL this summer, and that’s the goal right now: to play PDL, get a few look-ins, and see where it goes from there. And if an MLS opportunity comes, I will take it. I believe I am capable of playing at a high level, so I would definitely take the opportunity if it comes my way,” he stated. Although his stock has grown considerably recently, Bedward, whose leadership ability and organisational skills are two of his main assets, has not lost sight of his overall development and wants to continue improving his game. leadership Excelsior High School 2012 Manning Cup captain, Ojai Bedward, affectionately called ‘Big 12′ because of his enormous physique and affection for the number 12 jersey, just completed a very successful collegiate season. Bedward helped his team, Bryant and Stratton-Syracuse, to the final of the national USCAA championship in November, where his team lost to University Maine of Fort Kent on penalties. However, the powerful 21-year-old, who is also on the radar of many Major League Soccer (MLS) clubs, is optimistic he can make an early break into the United States top flight when he participates in the Players’ Development League (PDL) this summer. The midfielder left Excelsior for Cloud County Community College in 2013 and spent two years at that institution before transferring to his present school, where he has seen his game improve and confidence grow since joining in September. GREAT SEASON
KINGSTON, Jamaica (CMC): Legendary Sri Lankan strokemaker Kumar Sangakarra says he is already looking forward to the “enchanting” experience the Caribbean holds after being selected to represent Jamaica Tallawahs in the fourth edition of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) starting in June. The 38-year-old left-hander is one of the most sought-after batsmen in the game’s shortest format and will join the likes of superstar opener Chris Gayle and exciting all-rounder André Russell in a formidable Tallawahs unit over the summer. “Over my 15 years playing international cricket, I only toured the West Indies twice, aside from playing in ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 and the ICC World T20 in 2010, but every time I played here, it was a special experience,” Sangakkara said. He added: “When you play in the Caribbean, you can’t help but be enchanted by the public who makes playing here so special. They’re passionate, fun, and extremely knowledgeable. The island feel and the music and traditions of the Caribbean are amazing and I can’t wait to get back.” INITIAL SUCCESS Sangakkara tasted success with the Tallawahs in the inaugural year of the tournament when the Gayle-led side beat Guyana Amazon Warriors in the final in Port-of-Spain. Now retired from international cricket, Sangakkara said that he was anxious to build on this success. “I am extremely excited to be part of the Jamaica Tallawahs again this year, having enjoyed being part of the squad who went on to win the inaugural trophy back in 2013. The CPL is a competition that is growing year on year and the quality is extremely high,” the former Sri Lankan captain said. He continued: “Our goal with the Tallawahs is to build game by game and go on and try to win the competition. We have some outstanding players such as Chris Gayle, AndrÈ Russell and Chadwick Walton, and we will aim to build a cohesive side and add strength, which I believe we have done now. “It’s clear that there has been real growth in popularity and appeal in the CPL, and with the quality of cricketers who have been attracted across all of the teams, this could be the best year yet.”
WEAR AND TEAR Conventional wisdom once postulated that as he got older, the wear and tear of running the 100m would force the great man up in distance. He has resisted that theory resolutely, but 2017 might be the time for him to change. In addition, it wouldn’t hurt Jamaica if Bolt didn’t use the world champion’s wild card selection to run the 100m in London since Asafa Powell, the 2016 Diamond League 100m winner, would inherit his automatic spot in the draw. Diamond League winners, like reigning World Champions, can receive wild card selections to the next World Championships. The catch is that countries with a World Champion and a Diamond League winner in the same event must choose just one to compete. Whenever Jamaica has had this dilemma, the World Champion has always gotten the nod. Jamaica would still have the right to have four men run the 100m in London, with Powell using the Diamond winner’s wildcard and three others qualifying at the National Senior Championships. If Bolt chooses to run only the 200m in London next year, it may suit him. It would eliminate the event where the margins for error are the thinnest. It might also mitigate a source of the injuries he has suffered. The bright side is that the 30-year sprint king would reach the 200m fresh. If his training goes well, Bolt would have a chance to break a world record in his last individual championship race. There could be no grander exit from athletics than that. • Hubert Lawrence has made notes at trackside since 1980. It’s hard to conceive of a 2017 World Championship with Usain Bolt running just the 100 metres. Maybe he’s spoilt us all by doing both the 100m and 200m for all these years and winning almost everything over both distances. Given that the 200m is his favourite event, his event choice for 2017 is even more baffling. If he skips the 200m in London, his stated goal of breaking 19 seconds will fall by the wayside. To tell you the truth, I secretly imagined something really fast was on the cards at this summer’s Rio Olympics after his 200m semi-final. An easy-looking effort produced his fastest time ever at that stage of the competition – 19.78 seconds. Sadly, rain splashed the track before the final. Forty years earlier at the Montreal Olympics, the same thing happened to Don Quarrie (DQ). DQ might have made a run at the world record, but pre-race rain narrowed his focus to simply winning. Faced with the same circumstances in Rio de Janeiro this summer, Bolt produced another run of 19.78 seconds to complete the double for the third time.