Tony Becca: A New year of hope

first_imgThe New year is just a few days old, and despite all the problems in West Indies cricket – the abandoned tour of India; the defeats at the hands of Australia; Sri Lanka, and Australia again; the crisis facing the Board; and the fact that no West Indian made it into Test cricket’s Top Ten at the end of the year – we wish all those in the fraternity all the best for 2016. The only saving grace last year was the wonderful and thrilling victory at Kensington Oval, the one which handed the West Indies a draw against England and which filled every West Indian with excitement and with plenty hope. Although that hope ended only in wishful thinking, my wish, despite my feeling that things will remain the same, in spite of the huffing and puffing by the toothless CARICOM governments, is that the gloom of 2015 will be replaced by a little light in 2016. I love cricket, and I am passionate about Melbourne, Jamaica, and West Indies cricket. Indeed, most people, those who know me and know me well, especially my family, will say that I eat, sleep, and drink cricket. Last year, the West Indies brought down the curtain with an embarrassing and humiliating performance against Australia. They did nothing right. They were terrible in batting, bowling, and fielding. Indeed, with the exception of Darren Bravo, Kraigg Brathwaite, and a few others, they looked like novices. This year, however, the West Indies are scheduled to play one or two series, and based on results of the recent past, things are hardly likely to be any better. In fact, every year it has been the same. Despite the utterances about improvements and little gains, nothing has changed; nothing at all. Looking at the team, which, despite its weakness, includes a few questionable selections, looking at the management team, which allows inexperience and non-performing youngsters to speak on behalf of the team, and looking at the people who consistently talk glowingly about what to expect from the players despite defeat after defeat, it is easy to write off the players – especially as it appears that nothing is really being done to remedy the situation. Despite all the talk, the huge entourage surrounding the team on every tour, the money reportedly being spent on West Indies cricket, and the outreach in West Indies cricket, nothing is really happening. The West Indies need a system to develop their young players into productive players. They need to play the game regularly, to train regularly, and not only when it is ordered and supervised. They need people, good people, checking on them regularly, and not only to sympathise with them and to pat them on the back like nice guys whenever they fail. They need people, coaches or whoever, who will also say something or do something constructive at such times, which, at this time, is most times. COMMITTED PLAYERS The West Indies need to look also for players, good players, who are also proud people, committed people, and people who, although there is not one, respect the flag. And those kinds of players are necessary, very necessary. It makes no sense, or very little sense, to have the most talented players who, at the first sign of adversity, sulk and withdraw themselves from the game, sometimes, most times, affecting other players on the team. The West Indies need players who believe in one for all and all for one, and also players who, even though it is not true, believe, like a journalist, that he, or she, is as good as his, or her, last story. It is folly to fail, and fail, after one or two good performance and to stroll around the ground, to swagger, like the proverbial “cat’s pyjamas”. It is just as bad to treat one who has failed and failed after one or two good performances like royalty. My wish for 2016 is that these things will change. West Indies cricket has been through the good and the bad. It started promisingly, it had its watershed in 1950, it had its ups and downs, it became the best in the world, and now it is back at stage one. The return to the glory days, or near to them, must come back, hopefully, if not quickly. West Indies cricket basically has good, young players. They, however, need to commit themselves to the game and to the West Indies, to train hard and to play hard, and to remember who they are, where they are from, and that although it may not be the best in the world, although players from India, England, Australia earn more money than they do, those from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and South Africa are not. The West Indies players are paid what the West Indies can afford. It is as simple as that. My wish for the new year is that from all the few basically talented West Indies players some can be found with the class to carry West Indies cricket through these parlous times. The West Indies need players who can bat, bowl, field and know how to play the game. The West Indies need batsmen who can do more than reel off a pretty stroke here and there, bowlers who can really bowl and who can get good batsmen out, and fielders who can really field. My wish for this year is that the West Indies will see the light and realise that their cricketers are nowhere nearly as good as those of yesteryear, that their cricketers will also face that fact, that their cricketers play Test cricket two or three years too early in most cases, that our administrators will end their insularity, tighten up on West Indies cricket and make it stronger, and that they need to train and practice until they hear a voice say practice no more. West Indies cricket also needs to see less swagger in the cricketers, less cheerleaders, for whatever reason, among those who should guide, and among those guide technical development, and more people who can inspire and motivate rather than simply tell how to bat and bowl.last_img read more

Chelsea snub Lukaku bid but may let Lampard go for free – reports

first_imgDanish club FC Copenhagen have had an offer to take striker Romelu Lukaku on loan rejected by Chelsea, according to The People.The same newspaper also reports that Chelsea have refused to let defender Gary Cahill play for Britain at this summer’s Olympics, while Daniel Sturridge has been given permission.Boss Roberto Di Matteo and the club’s top brass are said to have insisted that Cahill, who missed Euro 2012 because of a broken jaw, must complete a full pre-season with them.The Mail on Sunday say LA Galaxy are ready to make a fresh move to prise Frank Lampard away from Chelsea.The People claim Lampard has been offered a two-year deal worth £13m by the MLS outfit, is seriously considering the move and may even be allowed to leave on a free transfer to save the £9m he will apparently be paid in the final year of his Blues contract.Lampard, 34, has repeatedly dismissed speculation about his future and insisted he intends to stay at Stamford Bridge.The People also say QPR will ask Tottenham if they can take David Bentley on loan, and that Fulham are in talks to sign Czech Republic midfielder Tomas Sivok, who is a free agent after leaving Turkish club Besiktas.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Humboldt State football kicks off season with international friendly vs. CETYS Universidad

first_imgArcata >> Rob Smith has never been in this kind of position before as a head coach.Smith’s Humboldt State football team takes the field for the first time against CETYS University at 6 p.m. tonight at the Redwood Bowl. Although, when it comes to this one counting in the win-loss column, it won’t, with the Jacks playing the first-ever exhibition game of Smith’s coaching tenure in Arcata.It’s an international friendly, sure, but it’s also the one and only in-game tune-up for HSU before it opens …last_img read more

SA leads as HIV/Aids tide turns: UNAids

first_img22 November 2012 South Africa scaled up its provision of state-sponsored antiretroviral therapy by 75% in the last two years, ensuring that 1.7-million people had access to the life-saving treatment, according to a new report released on Tuesday ahead of World Aids Day by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/Aids (UNAids).‘Exceptional leadership’ The report found that South Africa had taken the lead by increasing its domestic public investment in combating HIV/Aids to US$1.9-billion in 2011 – a five-fold increase since 2006, and the highest investment by any low- or middle-income country. “Exceptional leadership is coming from the world’s fastest-growing emerging economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS),” the report states. “Together, they contribute to more than half of all domestic spending on Aids in low- and middle-income countries. Their momentum is unparalleled, having increased domestic public spending by more than 122% between 2006 and 2011.”Cut in new infections, Aids-related deaths In South Africa’s case, the increases in investment and treatment had contributed to a dramatic 41% cut in the country’s rate of new HIV infections since 2001, with new HIV infections in falling by more than 50 000 in the last two years. They had also slashed the number of Aids-related deaths – showing that antiretroviral therapy has emerged as a powerful force for saving lives – with South Africa seeing 100 000 fewer Aids-related deaths in 2011 than in 2005. The area where the country had made perhaps the most progress, according to UNAids, was in reducing new HIV infections in children, with the number of children newly infected with HIV falling by at least 40% between 2009 and 2011.Successes across sub-Saharan Africa According to the report, these improvements in HIV prevention and treatment were echoed across sub-Saharan Africa, the part of the world most affected by HIV. Since 2001, rates of new HIV infections have been cut by 73% in Malawi, 71% in Botswana, 68% in Namibia, 58% in Zambia, 50% in Zimbabwe and 41% in Swaziland. At the same time, sub-Saharan Africa has reduced its Aids-related deaths by one-third in the last six years and increased the number of people on antiretroviral treatment by 59% in the last two years alone. Impressive gains were also made in cutting deaths from tuberculosis (TB) in people living with HIV, the report found, with TB-related Aids deaths in sub-Saharan Africa falling by 28% in the last two years. “This accomplishment is due to record numbers of people with HIV/TB coinfection accessing antiretroviral treatment – a 45% increase between 2009 and 2011. India, Kenya, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe accounted for two-thirds of all new people with HIV/TB co-infection being treated.”Pace of progress ‘quickening’ According to UNAids, the latest data, from countries in sub-Saharan Africa and around the world, “tell a story of clear success”, with record numbers of lives being saved in the past six years, and more than half-a-million fewer people dying from Aids-related illnesses in 2011 than six years earlier. “The national declines in HIV incidence in populations shows that sustained investments and increased political leadership for the Aids response are paying dividends. In particular, countries with a concurrent scale-up of HIV prevention and treatment programmes are seeing a drop in new HIV infections to record lows.” UNAids executive director Michel Sidibe said the pace of progress was quickening. “What used to take a decade is now being achieved in 24 months. We are scaling up faster and smarter than ever before. It is the proof that, with political will and follow-through, we can reach our shared goals by 2015.”Global Aids targets for 2015 A thousand days remain for the world to achieve its 2015 global Aids targets of reducing sexual transmission of HIV and new HIV infections among people who inject drugs by 50%, eliminating new HIV infections among children, providing antiretroviral treatment to 15-million people, and reducing TB-related Aids deaths by 50%. These targets form part of the UN Millennium Development Goals agreed upon by all UN member countries in 2000. To enable the targets to be reached, countries committed to investing up to $24-billion annually on combating HIV/Aids by 2015. The UNAids report shows that countries are increasing their Aids response investments despite a difficult economic climate, with the global gap in resources needed annually by 2015 now at 30% – $16.8-billion was available in 2011. “In 2011, for the first time ever, domestic investments from low- and middle-income countries surpassed global giving for HIV,” the report states. “However, international assistance, which has been stable in the past few years, remains a critical lifeline for many countries. In 26 of 33 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, donor support accounts for more than half of HIV investments.” At the same time, UNAids said, countries had to take steps to reduce their dependency on international assistance for HIV treatment programmes. The United States accounts for 48% of all international assistance for HIV and, together with the Global Fund for Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, provides the lion’s share of investments in HIV treatment. SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Congress to unpack retail success

first_imgThis year’s World Retail Congress Africa will be held in the continent’s economic hub, Johannesburg.(Image: Brand South Africa) Professor David Block, was one of four astronomers who studied the Hypatia pebble.(Image: World Retail Congress)MEDIA CONTACTS • World Retail Congress+44 (0)203 033 2020MediaClub South Africa reporterMore than 250 retail leaders from across the world will meet in Johannesburg at the World Retail Congress Africa, to be held from 4 to 6 November, to discuss, debate and define the future of retail on the continent.The World Retail Congress Africa is new to sub-Saharan Africa, created in response to the rapidly changing and diversifying marketplaces on the continent. It is anticipated that it will go straight to the heart of retail opportunities, and that speakers will look at servicing and understanding the new African consumer across new channels in new markets. They will also provide global retail intelligence, with an Africa market focus.No other continent offers the same growth potential for retailers as Africa. Faced with limited population growth and sluggish economies at home, many American and particularly European retailers are expanding into emerging markets in the hope of finding growth opportunities. But competition is intense in the large markets of China and Brazil, prompting many to look elsewhere to gain an advantage. Africa is a good place to look: although traditional forms of retailing are still dominant on the continent, a growing middle class is demanding branded products and the opportunity to shop in modern retail formats.Africa’s main challenges, however, lie in its enormous size and diversity: Africa is not one country. A thorough understanding of local cultures, beliefs, customs, economics, and practices is necessary for success. With this in mind, the World Retail Congress Africa agenda will focus on specific country case studies to help participants identify the opportunities, and grow their business based on successful examples across the continent.For African groups to expand their presence, they must build brands underpinned by local insights that motivate African consumers while delivering on a global standard.Stakeholders in the sector are encouraged to attend the congress. Effective and prosperous businesses in the most promising countries will explain how they have changed their business models through understanding consumer trends. More than 40 sessions have been planned for the two-day congress, covering a variety of topics, such as:$1·         The informal versus formal retail economy – financing retail development and roll-out through domestic financing, and funding from Brics members and the West;$1·         Identifying sustainable growth markets – market insight and chief executive officer case studies from Angola, Botswana, Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa;$1·         Online consumers – introducing the online, mobile, connected African consumer and new retail opportunities;$1·         Entering African retail successfully – business models, including joint ventures, franchises, and acquisitions, and market conditions for launch and expansion; and,$1·         Delivering best practice operational excellence and supply chain management to exceed customer expectations.More than 60 speakers, all leaders in their fields, have been confirmed. They will bring personal and continent-wide insights on successfully adapting to a changing marketplace. They include:$1·         Steve Hammett, president – retail at Al Futtaim, United Arab Emirates (Marks & Spencer);$1·         David Kneale, chief executive, Clicks Group;$1·         Therese Gearhart, president South Africa, Coca-Cola;$1·         Paula Disberry, group planning head, Woolworths;$1·         Jonathan Ciano, chief executive, Uchumi;$1·         Jeremy Hodara, managing director, jumia.com.ng;$1·         Sullivan O’Carroll, chairman and managing director South Africa, Nestlé;$1·         Bill Paladino, chief executive internet, MIH, Naspers Africa (including Kalahari.com);$1·         Andre Farber, executive vice president, Grupo Boticário;$1·         Yaw Nsarkoh, managing director East and South Africa, Unilever;$1·         Suzanne Ackerman, transformation director, Pick n Pay; and,$1·         Mncane Mthunzi, group head – Africa food retail and supplier development, Massmart.Success stories in particular nations will also be unpacked:● Angola: How can one conduct business successfully in Angola? What are the business models that are working? The Angola country session will hear from Grupo Boticário, which after more than 35 years of successful franchising in Brazil, is considered the largest point of sale network in cosmetics and fragrances in the world. In Angola, a well-financed country, it sells to the international consumer base at the heart of the country’s oil economy. The session will look at what changes it effected to remain locally minded and sensitive to the needs of its growing consumer groups. Speakers: Nicolas Borrero Pabon, international business unit manager, and Andre Farber, executive vice-president, Grupo Boticário● Botswana: As one of the leading supermarket brands in Botswana, Choppies addresses the one to three level consumer in Africa. The brand is now in neighbouring countries, including South Africa. Botswana itself has been identified by AT Kearney’s Global Retail Development Index as the top sub-Saharan African country for retail business. This session will look at what it means to address the bottom of the pyramid consumer now and the potential in the sector. Speaker: Ramachandran Ottapathu, chief executive, Choppies● Egypt: The Al-Futtaim Group, founded over 70 years ago, is one of the most respected corporations in the lower Gulf and North Africa. It operates more than 65 companies across diverse retail sectors, including Ikea, Marks & Spencer, Toys R’ Us, Robinsons and Guess. Despite its recent political instability, Egypt is a lucrative market when you manage to get it right. Learn how Marks & Spencer in Egypt has managed to survive and thrive in this environment. Speaker: Steve Hammett, president – retail, Al Futtaim (Marks & Spencer)● Kenya: As the largest retailer in East Africa, including Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda, Nakumatt is still expanding into the wider region and plans to add internet shopping to its direct-to-consumer platforms. Find out how to deliver retail experiences to 41 million people and how to prioritise markets for expansion. Speaker: Thiagarajan Ramamurthy, director of strategy and operations, Nakumatt● Nigeria: Nigeria’s online retail industry is on the rise more so than any other African country. What makes the conditions right in this country to set up and grow your online business? How can online retail businesses survive and negotiate the existing offline challenges of getting product to market? This session will look at funding, accessing core online consumers vis-a-vis mobile network development, and remaining innovative and relevant as new physical and online competition hits the commercial sphere. Speaker: Sim Shagaya, chief executive, Konga.com● South Africa: One of the largest retailers in Africa, Woolworths is a South African chain that extends, through franchise partnerships, throughout Africa and into the Middle East, trading through more than 400 outlets. How does Woolworths split its approach to the rest of Africa’s markets and non-grocery strategy, where supply chain complexities exist? This session will look at best practice in sourcing, trending and keeping the customer at heart. Speaker: Paula Disberry, group director retail operations and international, Woolworths.last_img read more

NU, Adamson close in on PVL finals

first_imgNational U’s Aiko Urdas connects on a hard spike against Arellano U’s Andrea Marzan (14) and Necole Ebuen during their PVL Collegiate Conference Final Four duel at the San Juan Arena. CONTRIBUTED PHOTONational University and Adamson University took pole positions in the road to the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference finals Wednesday at Filoil Flying V Centre. The Lady Bulldogs made quick work of Arellano University in the first semifinals series with a three-set sweep, 25-17, 25-16, 25-23 to take a 1-0 lead in the three-game series. ADVERTISEMENT TNT pulls even, turns back Ginebra in semis game 2 Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight “Without Jema out, there’s so much that our team is lacking. First set I put Eli (Soyud) in Jema’s spot and (Bernadette) Flora as the opposite. It’s just a learning adjustment for me as a coach you make this decisions and you think it’s gonna click but Eli’s home is at the opposite and I think when we switched it up she started coming alive,” said Adamson head coach Air Padda.Toni Rose Basas and Jeanette Villareal combined for 30 points to lead FEU. LATEST STORIES Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Jaja Santiago spearheaded NU with 24 points while Risa Sato celebrated her 22nd birthday with 11 points. “Our goal was activate our quickers and take advantage of the smaller Arellano lineup,” said Santiago whose 6-foot-5 frame towers over every Lady Chief. “And I saw that our offense clicked so we just exploited it.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutIn the other semifinals match, the Lady Falcons had to fight back from a one-set deficit to stop Far Eastern University, 21-25, 25-22, 20-25, 25-14, 15-8, and take a 1-0 series lead. Christine Soyud carried the scoring yoke for Adamson from injured captain Jema Galanza finishing with 23 points while Bernadette Flora and Chiara Permentilla had 14 points apiece. LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversarycenter_img Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City MOST READ Read Next Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games PLAY LIST 00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games View commentslast_img read more

Kate Middleton has best celebrity hair

first_imgDuchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, known for her sense of style, has been voted for sporting the best celebrity hair in a new poll.Middleton topped a survey, conducted by salon products retailer Fabriah.com, which polled 500 women on who they thought had the best celebrity hair, reports femalefirst.co.uk.Experts at Fabriah.com compiled the shortlist of the top ten celebrities, before opening it up to the public’s vote. The Duchess, famed for luscious locks, polled over a quarter of the vote.”Kate Duchess of Cambridge has become somewhat of a fashion goddess. Anything she wears seems to fly immediately off the shelves, likewise hairdressers across the country are seeing an increasing demand for the Middleton-style locks,” said a spokesperson of Fabriah.com.Holly Willoughby came second in the poll scoring just 19 percent of the votes. The third place was bagged by singing sensation Lana Del Rey.Once idolised for having the best hair of the decade, Jennifer Anniston slipped into fourth place only managing to achieve nine percent of the vote. Only one per cent behind, in fifth place was Kelly Brook.Sixth and seventh place were reserved for newlywed Rochelle Hume, while Victoria Beckham, respectively.The bottom three places were reserved for Kim Kardashian and Nicky Minaj, who both polled four percent, and the “X Factor” judge Tulisa, who scored three.last_img read more

Defence sting the Scorpions in final

first_imgBy BEN HARRISA tremendous defensive effort from Queensland Stingrays ensured the men’s Elite Eight trophy remained in the northern state for another year.Playing their first men’s Elite Eight final, the Stingrays showed no sign of nerves to shut out the 2011 champions New South Wales Scorpions 5-2 in front of a huge crowd at the C.ex Coffs International Stadium.The Scorpions were a shadow of the team that had played in the earlier days of the competition.Their attack was shut down by a superb Stingrays defensive outfit.“It was our basis of the whole campaign was to back our line D [defence]. And it worked,” Stingrays captain Nathan Jones said.Defence played a huge part in the first half as the score at the break was 1-nil to the Stingrays.The lone touchdown came from a great move, which saw Graeme Clancy pass to Kristopher McMurdy who then turned it inside to Michael Singh.The second half was a complete opposite to the first.Before the fans could return to their seats after half-time, the Stingrays extended their lead to three touchdowns thanks to Peter Norman and Tristan Wagg.Midway through the second half, James de Veer showed a great pair of hands to knock a Norman long ball in the air and then regathered to plant it down over the line.Two minutes later Jordan Watts made it 5-0 and it looked like the Scorpions could end the match with a doughnut next to their name.But they managed to score two consolation touchdowns to Jordan Horo and Cain Rangi.The Stingrays’ victory in the men’s and the Queensland Chiefs’ win in the women’s division meant Queensland won both Elite Eight divisions.“There is a bit of rivalry [with New South Wales] but we also play the Queensland boys all the time and we like beating them. We come down here and they’ve [Scorpions] got some good players. We just love winning.”Player of the final was Stingrays’ Adam Pryde and for the third time Sam Brisby was named player of the series.QUEENSLAND STINGRAYS 5 (Jordan Watts, Michael Singh, Peter Norman, Tristan Wagg, James de Veer touchdowns) def NEW SOUTH WALES SCORPIONS 2 (Jordan Horo, Cain Rangi touchdowns).Related LinksMen’s Elite Eightlast_img read more

10 months agoPSG blow as Watford rule out Doucoure sale

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say PSG blow as Watford rule out Doucoure saleby Freddie Taylor10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveWatford will block Abdoulaye Doucoure from joining PSG this month.PSG are keen on bringing the £50million-rated midfielder.However, the Evening Standard claim Watford will reject any offers during this transfer window.The Hornets are currently in ninth on the Premier League table and do not want to disrupt their progress by offloading one of their top players.When they do decide to sell Doucoure, Watford will stand to make a significant profit on the £8m they paid Rennes for him in 2015. last_img read more