West Indies should win World T20

first_imgIt might sound paradoxical, but in a strange way, Twenty20 cricket has emerged as destroyer and saviour of West Indies cricket.Destroyer in the sense that it has effectively captured the hearts and passion of an entire generation of regional players, who could not care less about playing traditional Test cricket, saviour in the sense that the very same heart and passion for Twenty20 cricket by the modern players have led to us producing some of the best Twenty20 players in the world, which has resulted in the West Indies now having one of, if not the best, Twenty20 teams in the world.It is absolutely refreshing to see the West Indies entering an international tournament as genuine contenders. I will go even further by stating that the West Indies should win the World T20. The 15-man squad heading to India is full of tried and proven matchwinners.I have counted at least 10 individuals in that squad who, on any given day, can single-handedly win a game against any opposition. I venture to say there are more potential and proven matchwinners in this West Indies squad than in any other squad, including India, playing at home, and the powerful Australians.CLICKING ON ALL CYLINDERSThe objective must be for the entire team to click on all cylinders and produce overall matchwinning performances game after game but, realistically, that is not going to happen. The more realistic ask is for at least one of our stars to put their hand up and produce one match-winning performance in every single game.It should be an understanding in that West Indies dressing room that at least one of Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, Dwayne Bravo, Darren Bravo, Darren Sammy, Lendl Simmons, Marlon Samuels, Samuel Badree, Jerome Taylor, Sunil Narine and Kierron Pollard, pending availability, be obligated, by professional responsibility, to produce at least one big performance per game.The eligibility of Narine will be the key. The psychological impact of having our mystery bowler in the team will be immeasurable, even if the adjustments to his bowling action affect his execution even at 60 or 70 per cent Narine will still be a real threat.Pollard has been out of cricket for a while, but he is such a physical specimen and natural athlete, a perfect fit for this explosive format of the game, his reintroduction could very well be seamless. Worst case scenario should these two are unavailable, there is the emerging Carlos Brathwaite and Johnson Charles, a member of the 2012 winning team, both waiting in the wings.I have said and written some mean things about West Indies cricket in recent times, all justified and fair, in a context where the Windies continue to embarrass the people of the region in the longer versions of the game. I am now a full convert from traditional Test and ODI cricket to T20, as far as the West Indies team in concerned.The importance of winning this particular title, at this point in time, is crucial for the West Indies cricket brand. The sooner we realise and admit that we are a hopeless and pathetic embarrassment in Test and ODIs, it should be clearer to all that winning the World T20 would mean so much more to the region and its people, as they yearn to stand tall and proud again. GO WINDIES!last_img read more

Heidi Klum Honored By Gabrielles Angel Foundation

first_imgGabrielle’s Angel Foundation for Cancer Research raised $3.6 million and counting for blood cancer research at its annual fundraiser, the Angel Ball, Monday night at Cipriani Wall Street.Nick Cannon and Heidi KlumCredit/Copyright: Getty ImagesThis black-tie benefit, hosted by Grammy-nominated songwriter Denise Rich and her daughters Daniella Rich and Ilona Rich Schachter, honored the work of Heidi Klum; Amy and Brian France, Chairman and CEO of NASCAR, Founders, The Luke and Meadow Foundation; Mary Kitchen and Jon Orszag, Co-Founder of Compass Lexecon, Co-Directors of The Orszag Foundation.Heidi Klum at Angel BallCredit/Copyright: Getty ImagesPop rock sensation OneRepublic, legendary vocalist Patti LaBelle and Tony and Grammy Award-winner Billy Porter performed throughout the evening.Usher at Angel’s BallCredit/Copyright: Getty ImagesThe Angel Ball honors individuals who have made significant humanitarian and philanthropic contributions in support of cancer research and boasts attendees in the fields of business, philanthropy, and society alike for this annual celebration of life, music and the quest for a cure. The evening was emceed by Alicia Quarles, Entertainment Correspondent seen on E!, Entertainment Tonight, The Today Show & MSNBC.Nick Cannon presented the “Angel of Light” honor to his friend and “America’s Got Talent” co-host Heidi Klum, where he made note that Klum is a woman who is “beautiful inside and out.” In her acceptance speech, Klum dedicated her honor to those fighting to beat cancer.“This one’s for you. I’m just going to keep it at my house because it’s so pretty,” Klum said with a smile. Throughout the evening, Jeff Gordon presented the “Angels of Hope” honor to Amy and Brian France, and James Carville presented the “Angels of Inspiration” honor to Kitchen and Orszag.Simon de Pury orchestrated the live auction. Highlights included a 2016 Porsche Cayman GT4 that was on display outside the event, which sold for $125,000; a stunning pair of Lorraine Schwartz black and rose gold sapphire earrings, modeled by musician and actress Kat Graham, that sold for $70,000; and a 6-day Caribbean cruise on a luxury yacht that sold for $140,000.As dessert was served, LaBelle took to the stage singing “You Saved My Life.” The crowd leapt to their feet and hit the dance floor after the opening to “Lady Marmalade” began to play. LaBelle invited gentlemen from the audience to join her on-stage, including the evening’s opening performer Billy Porter, who harmonized with LaBelle as the crowd sang along.OneRepublic kept the dancing going, performing their chart-topping hits “Counting Stars,” “Good Life,” “Apologize” and “I Lived.”The Angel Ball stands out as one of the highlights of the New York social season and features a cocktail reception, dinner, surprise musical guests along with a luxury live auction and online auction hosted by Charitybuzz.com. This online auction continues through November 4th. To bid, visit: charitybuzz.com/angelball.Additional guests included Usher & Grace Miguel, Angel Ambassador Selenis Leyva, Alina Baikova, Kat Graham, Star Jones, DJ Cassidy, Patina Miller, Andreja Pejic, Sam Moore, Kelly Rutherford, Ivana Trump, Montel Williams, Shanina Shaik, Devon Windsor, Toni Garrn, Deborah Cox, Rachel Hilbert, Sharina Gutierrez and Tamara Mellon.Board Member and celebrity jeweler Lorraine Schwartz served as this year’s Gala Chair, as well as a sponsor. Other sponsors included Jynwel Charitable Foundation Limited, Porsche Cars North America, Perrier Jouët and United Airlines.last_img read more

STHELENS RFC are delighted to announce that th

first_imgST.HELENS R.F.C. are delighted to announce that their partnership with League 13 has been extended for the 2014 season, following a successful pilot in 2012 and 2013.Saints have long been associated with bringing through some of the best young talent in the country and take great pride in ensuring they look after all of their players both on and off the field.The continuing partnership with League 13 will only serve to strengthen the commitment to their Super League club’s players.A pilot scheme was introduced in 2012 and 2013 to provide the players with better welfare than had previously been the case.The programme focused on the first team squad and included assessments of mental well-being, greater awareness of financial planning and the development of a plan for career transition.Now, on the back of that success, it has been strengthened to include Academy and Scholarship players.There will be a greater emphasis on introducing a Player Pathway, so that players have a clear idea of what they wish to achieve after rugby league and how they can accomplish it.Sessions will also be delivered to the players on compliance issues such as the use of social media, drug use and gambling.Mike Rush, St. Helens Chief Executive, said: “We share League 13’s commitment to improving player welfare and it has been that shared commitment that has made the decision to extend this initiative one of the easiest decisions we have made.“The results of the pilot scheme have been tremendous and many of our players have already benefitted in a number of ways.“I now want our young players to receive those same benefits, which will only help the club in the future.”Ernie Benbow, Chief Executive of League 13, added: “Player welfare is at the core of what League 13 wants to achieve in rugby league. We have made great strides in the game already, but there is a great deal more for us to do.“We wanted to make this a local initiative with a local flavour and have also engaged fully with the St Helens Chamber of Commerce through CEO Kath Boullen. We have also involved past players in support roles.“Considering where we were two years ago, to be in partnership with an elite club like St. Helens shows how far we have come.“We now want to continue the good work we have already done and develop the idea of a Player Pathway across Super League in concert with the RFL, so that players can develop off the field, as well as on it, and achieve great things in their career in rugby league and after it.”last_img read more