February 12, 2020

Lazza set to release maiden tag

first_imgTomorrow’s Jamaica’s Racehorse Trainers’ Association (JRTA) 10-race programme at Caymanas Park offers a Pick-9 carryover of $2.7 million from race two to 10 and a $1.2 million carryover in the first Super-6 from race one to six.The second Super-6, which starts anew with a guaranteed minimum of $750,000 will embrace races five to 10, including the JRTA feature over 1200 metres to be contested by the maximum 16 starters, the final race on the card.We look at the first Super-6, which commences with the Dye Job Sprint over 1200 metres (restricted stakes) for native and imported two-year-olds. Seven starters have been declared, and from all indications, the unbeaten BLUE DIXIE, with former champion jockey Omar Walker riding for trainer Gary Subratie, should repeat.The bay filly by Sky Mesa out of Dixieland Bull made a smashing debut over this trip on September 27, making all to win by nine lengths from BIG AL in 1:14.4. Having looked sharp at exercise since, BLUE DIXIE should win from RALLY BABY, an easy winner over the straight on November 18.The recent winner BATIDOR DE MUNDO from the stables of Clifford Atkinson Jr holds the key to the second race (claiming $350,000-$300,000) over 1820 metres, despite the presence of PERSIAN BELLE, ABOVE THE RADAR, and GO GO TRAIN, all of whom have won over this trip in the past year.BATIDOR DE MUNDO, however, has won three races over the distance lifetime and with the useful 4.0kg claiming apprentice AndrÈ Powell securing the ride, will prove hard to beat. Prior to his recent win over PERSIAN BELLE at a mile, BATIDOR DE MUNDO beat MISS BOSS LADY over this trip on a $350,000 claiming tag August 15 and back in action from the convenient mark of 53.0kg, should win from PERSIAN BELLE (Dane Nelson up) and GO GO TRAIN (Wesley Henry).GOODFORMLAZZA, who has been knocking at the door, looks best of a moderate field of maiden three-year-olds in the third race over 1500 metres with Shamaree Muir aboard. There is not much good form present among the eight starters, hence LAZZA, who finished third to WELL BLESSED over 1200 metres last Saturday, has most appeal, ahead of MINY LEE, who is steadily coming along.Bang in form FORCE DE JOUR won his seventh race from his last eight starts last Saturday, and despite running from a different barn (claimed), is definitely one to follow with competent Harleston Lewis aboard. The 4-y-o colt from the stables of Lawrence Freemantle has most to fear from old rival SUNLIGHT EXPRESS, both having finished first and second, respectively, over the straight on October 19 in the good time of 59.1. They should form the quinella.The last two races in the first Super-6 should be won by BIGDADDYKOOL (Shane Ellis up) and NATSHADONTPLAY (apprentice Linton Steadman), who caught the eye last Saturday when a fast-finishing fourth to TOUCH DE ROAD over 1300 metres.Their respective dangers are THE PROMISE LAND in the 2-y-o race and GENUINE FRIEND, who was second to TOUCH DE ROAD recently.FIRST SUPER-6 FANCIES(1) BLUE DIXIE(2) BATIDOR DE MUNDO/PERSIAN BELLE(3) LAZZA/MINY LEE(4) FORCE DE JOUR/SUNLIGHT EXPRESS(5) BIGDADDYKOOL/THE PROMISE LAND(6) NATASHADONTPLAY/GENUINE FRIENDlast_img read more

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More sports in brief

first_imgYoung facing longtime out with injuryMANCHESTER, England (AP):Manchester United say winger Ashley Young is facing a lengthy time out with a groin injury, which will require surgery.Young picked up the injury three minutes before half-time in the 1-0 victory at Anfield last week and was replaced by Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, who has made three appearances for United this season.UEFA won’treplace PlatiniGENEVA (AP):UEFA will not replace Michel Platini as president, while he is pursuing legal routes to overturn his eight-year FIFA ban.Platini was banned over a $2 million payment from FIFA in 2011 for uncontracted salary as an adviser to Sepp Blatter.UEFA will meet in Budapest at a congress in May when a new president could have been elected before the European Championship.But UEFA says its executive committee has “decided there will be no UEFA presidential election scheduled until the sports justice appeal bodies, including potentially the Court of Arbitration for Sport, have taken a decision.”Lloyd, Hernandez voted top CONCACAF playersMIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP):American midfielder Carli Lloyd and Mexican forward Javier Hernandez have been selected CONCACAF’s Players of the Year.Lloyd, also voted FIFA Women’s Player of the Year, scored a hat trick in the World Cup final, where she earned the Golden Ball as top player.Hernandez scored the first goal for Mexico in its play-off win over the United States for a berth in the 2017 Confederations Cup.last_img read more

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MLS pioneer Butler to be honoured by Earthquakes

first_imgNational Under-20 coach and former Reggae Boy, Altimont ‘Freddie’ Butler will tomorrow be honoured by the San Jose Earthquakes as one of the Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise’s original roster members when the league kicked off 20 years ago. Butler, the first Jamaican to play in the MLS, was drafted by the San Jose Clash (later renamed Earthquakes) in February 1996 in the second round (eighteenth overall) of 250 players in the league’s Inaugural Player Draft. He was also on the team’s roster for the first ever MLS game to be played which was against DC United. Tomorrow the San Jose Earthquakes will hold a 20th Anniversary Celebration when D.C. United visits to Avaya Stadium in a recreation of MLS’ inaugural match in San Jose on April 6, 1996, just four days shy of the exact day 20 years ago. As part of the affair all the former San Jose Clash players, staff and MLS representatives that made the inaugural season possible will be honoured at half-time. “It is always a great feeling to be part of history especially being the first Jamaican to be drafted for and to play in the MLS. Being recognised as one of the pioneers is a special feeling,” said Butler who departed the island yesterday for California. Among the former players who will be honoured alongside Butler are current Chelsea technical director and former Nigeria international Michael Emenalo, US Internationals Eric Wynalda, Eddie Lewis, Paul Bravo and John Doyle. Others include Mexican international Eduardo Missael Espinoza, Jorge Rodas (Guatemala) and  Ben Iroha (Nigeria). Having been there at the start Butler now looks on with pride. “It has grown a lot. Right now it is a real big league compared to what it was then and all the signs show that it will grow even more. What I am most proud about is that it has opened the doors for a lot of Jamaicans and the performance of most of them means that we can become a major supplier of talent for the League,” said Butler, who was drafted out of the University of Southern New Hampshire. Even with that success though, the Port Royal native who distinguished himself as a schoolboy at Dunoon Technical High and at Harbour View before venturing overseas, said there is still more for Jamaicans to do in the MLS. “We have to change our outlook, training attitudes and approach. We are too laid back and that is one of the reasons for the most part why some of us do not stay too long there. Our thinking has to get to the level where we treat the sport as a job. We have to prepare our youngsters to know that this (football) is a job just like those you get dressed up in your suits for,” the man, who shares coaching responsibility for the country under-20 Boyz with his former Reggae Boy teammate Ricardo Gardner, said.last_img read more

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All about winning the RSPL title, says MoBay United striker Gordon

first_imgWESTERN BUREAU:Arnett Gardens FC will have just another 90-plus minutes to try and keep hold of their Red Stripe Premier League title when they battle Montego Bay United (MBU) in the return leg semi-final on Sunday at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex.Hopes of returning home with an advantage were dashed on Monday night when they stumbled to a 2-1 loss in Montego Bay; a gallant effort, but not good enough on the night against resolute MBU, who showed glimpses of the kind of football their fans love to see.The MBU forward, Owayne Gordon, was at his imperious best once more, capping his night with a spectacular goal in the 23rd minute.Arnett responded like true champions when Michaelos Martin prodded home from close range in the 43rd for the equaliser.Midfielder Ronaldo Rodney sealed victory for the home side when he poked home his chance after some shocking goalkeeping from Peter Harrison in the Arnett Gardens goal.”We deserve the win because all season we have had it rough against this Arnett side,” said Gordon, who was scoring his league leading 20th goal.”It’s all about the final and winning the title. Nothing else matters. Once we get there, if Humble Lion or Portmore make it, we will win it,” Gordon added.NEW-FOUND CONFIDENCEThe forward has been a revelation all season and is relishing his new-found confidence. In tandem with either out-of-favour Dino Williams or the industrious Cory Hylton in attack, he just continues scoring goals.Against one of the better defensive teams in the defending champions, he was great. His goal was sublime to say the least.He picked up the ball in midfield sped by his marker, slid the ball to Hylton, who back-heeled the ball into his running path and without breaking stride Gordon took one touch before curling the ball expertly into the net.”I am really feeling good, and I am promising another goal on their ground next week because we know now that we can defeat them,” he added.Arnett Gardens were left ruing a number of missed chances, but will have loads of confidence playing at home, where MBU have found it difficult this season, as they have not done particularly well on their travels to the capital city Kingston.”It’s an advantage we can work with. We haven’t done greatly playing in Kingston this season, but it is an opportunity for us to show quality if we can hold off this Arnett Gardens team in their home,” said Dillon Thelwell, MBU’s assistant coach.last_img read more

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IAAF says it spends more than UCI in anti-doping fight

first_imgMONACO (AP):The International Association of Athletics Federations says it spends more money than cycling’s governing body, Union Cycliste International (UCI) in the fight against doping.A day after two-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome recommended that athletics invest more to fight doping, the IAAF said it spent more than $2 million on its 2014 anti-doping programme while cycling’s governing body “spent approximately 1.1 million” Swiss francs (US$1.1 million) in 2013.Citing World Anti-Doping Agency figures, the IAAF said it performed more than 25,000 tests in 2014, compared to cycling’s 23,000.Earlier this month, two anti-doping scientists who reviewed data obtained by media outlets suggested blood doping was widespread in track and field. They compared the IAAF’s current doping problems with those faced by professional cycling 20 years ago when the use of the blood-booster EPO was common practise.last_img read more

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Seaga resigns as PFAJ chairman

first_imgAfter six years at the helm of the Professional Football Association of Jamaica (PFAJ), Edward Seaga will be resigning as chairman of the organisation effective today. Seaga, who remains as head of the Premier League Clubs Association (PLCA), announced his resignation from the post at the launch of the Red Stripe Premier League, at the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) office yesterday. He will be replaced by respected pollster and former Jamaica Olympic Association vice-president Don Anderson. Seaga explained that when he was asked to assume the role six years ago, he only committed to doing it for three years, but that extended to six years, and he believes he has done enough, and that it is time to step aside. “Six years ago, I was asked by the Captain (Horace Burrell) to take the chairmanship of the PFAJ because, at that time, we were settling into the new order. Now, I have brought it to the end of the sixth year, and I’d promised that I would only do it for three years,” Seaga explained. “I told him (Burrell) that it was my intention to resign as of tomorrow from the PFAJ chairmanship. But I am sure they (PFAJ) will continue to operate at the high level as we have done over the last year. They will continue to play the role we have played to make football what it should be,” he added. Burrell could not find praise enough for Seaga, for the work he has done with both the PLCA and PFAJ. “I want to thank Mr Seaga for a tremendous job. It would have been extremely difficult to achieve all that we have. We now have an organisation that is well structured and well run, and Mr Seaga, with his leadership, has been able to keep everyone together and the ship afloat, despite the many challenges,” Burrell stated. The new chairman insisted that Seaga’s boots would be hard to fill. “The vote of this level of confidence in me to take over is an awesome responsibility; it’s a huge set of shoes to fill,” said Anderson. “But I will approach it in a way that I have approached all my involvement in sports all my life, and that is in a very professional way. “I will take to the table the high degree of professionalism that has kept me in good stead for 32 years as vice-president of the Jamaica Olympic Association,” said Anderson. – Livingston Scottlast_img read more

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It’s now Sir Tony McCoy

first_imgLONDON (AP): Jockey Tony McCoy, former Manchester United striker Denis Law, two-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome, and five-time world snooker champion Ronnie O’Sullivan are among United Kingdom sporting figures honoured by Queen Elizabeth in her New Year list. McCoy, who retired this year after winning 20 straight British champion jockey titles and a record 4,358 races in a 23-year career, was knighted in recognition of his services to horse racing. He is only the second jockey to be made a Sir, after Gordon Richards in 1953. The 75-year-old Law, who played for United from 1962-73 and was part of the club’s so-called ‘Holy Trinity’ with George Best and Bobby Charlton, was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to football and charity. Froome was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) after becoming the first Briton to win a second Tour de France in July. O’Sullivan also was awarded an OBE in recognition for his services to snooker, having won the world championship five times most recently in 2013 and become the sport’s box-office name. The success of the England women’s football team in finishing third at the World Cup in Canada this year was recognised as captain Steph Houghton and teammate Fara Williams were both made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE). John Surtees, the only man to win world championships on two and four wheels, was made a CBE. The 81-year-old Surtees won seven world motorcycling championships before switching to four wheels and winning the 1964 Formula One title. Heather Rabbatts, a director at England’s Football Association who became the organisation’s first female board member in 2012, was awarded a damehood for services to football and equality. As a campaigner on behalf of women in sport, she recently spoke out in support of former Chelsea doctor Eva Carneiro in her dispute with the club. Former Manchester City striker and chairman Francis Lee received a CBE, while ex-England rugby winger Mark Cueto and IBF super-bantamweight boxing champion Carl Frampton were awarded MBEs.last_img read more

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Dr Paul Wright: Drug-free sport is attainable

first_img UKAD being investigated We now hear that this same group is being investigated by a former assistant police chief constable in Britain, Mr Andy Ward. This investigation became necessary as a British newspaper, the Sunday Times, published a report that alleges that a British doctor, Mark Bonar, had claimed that he provided numerous athletes, including Premier League footballers, England cricketers and Tour de France cyclists with banned substances such as EPO growth hormones and steroids. Amazingly, the report also indicates that UKAD was given information about the activities some two years ago by an athlete who was trying to reduce possible sanction after failing to submit to a drug test when called upon to do so. This whistle-blower even provided signed prescriptions for banned substances signed by the doctor, but alleges that UKAD refused to probe further, claiming that the accused physician was not associated with any organised sport. Yes, UKAD, the same organisation selected to lead the fight against doping in sports leading up to the Summer Olympics this year! Icons protected It appears that anti-doping organisations around the world have very little interest in finding and announcing positive drug test results for the so-called icons of sports. We now know that credentials and expertise in anti-doping could also mean very little when a nation’s credibility is at stake. Lord Coe lamented publicly his disappointment at the absence of Russia from the World Indoor Championships, as he simultaneously held out hope that Russia could still send athletes to the Rio Olympics. Kenya had dates for compliance with World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) directives repeatedly postponed seemingly in a desperate effort to have them compete in Rio. The announcement that Ethiopia, Morocco, Ukraine, and Belarus are all on a list of countries not fully compliant with WADA’s anti-doping code was quickly followed by assurances that these countries were not banned from competing in the Olympics. The obvious question is: ‘What on earth is going on?’ The call from British athlete, Paula Radcliffe, for drug testers to be allowed visa-free entry to countries where independent testing is scheduled (as the issuance of a visa will alert cheaters that the tester is coming) has not received any support from the authorities, including the new head of the medical and anti-doping commission of the IAAF, South African Harold Adams, who replaced Gabriel Dolle, who is now banned for bribing athletes to conceal positive results. The answer to clean sports will only be achieved when those previously present when corruption was rife are removed and the selection of their replacements be removed from government appointees. Drug-free sport is attainable. All that is needed is the will to make sports drug-free. Athletics remains the number one watched sport in the Olympics. This fact will be questioned as the fans of the sport watch the build-up to the Summer Olympics in Rio, Brazil this year. Doping scandal after doping scandal has left some of the fans wondering ‘just who is clean’. The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has announced that the Swedish runner, Abeba Aregawi, has tested positive for the performance-enhancing substance meldonium and is provisionally banned from competition. Aregawi was the Ethiopia World indoor 1500-metre champion who switched allegiance to Sweden after the 2012 Olympics. Her ‘excuse’ for the positive test is that she was given tablets by a doctor in Ethiopia that she thought was vitamins! Thanks to whistle-blowers, we now know that doctors, coaches, drug testers and even those in charge of Anti-Doping Commissions have aided and abetted cheating in the sport of athletics. The present head of the IAAF, Lord Sebastian Coe, is facing mounting criticism as he tries to clean up a sport that now seems destined for life support as major sponsors withdraw their support. The United Kingdom Anti-Doping organisation (UKAD) was recently named as the body to oversee the anti-doping programme in Russia, and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) appointed UKAD as the secretariat for the task force that will coordinate the fight against doping in the build-up to this summer’s Olympics.last_img read more

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Sports Briefs

first_imgPeru to send ex-football boss to US LIMA, Peru (AP): Peru’s president is signing off on the extradition of the country’s former football boss for his alleged involvement in a multibillion-dollar FIFA bribery scandal involving marketing and broadcasting rights. Manuel Burga has been in jail since December as part of the investigation. Peru’s Supreme Court in June had cleared the way for his extradition to the United States (US). President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski’s decree authorising the move came yesterday. It is not clear when Burga will be sent to the US. Burga oversaw Peru’s football federation for more than a decade until 2014. He has denied any wrongdoing. FIFA youth transfer rules challenged ZURICH, Switzerland (AP): FIFA rules that restrict youth players from being transferred worldwide are being challenged in a Swiss court. Zurich law firm Nater Dallafior Rechtsanwaelte says it filed the case for a 17-year-old player from Africa. It declined to identify him or any European club supporting the case. The case was filed Wednesday in Zurich’s cantonal (state) commercial court. FIFA says it had not been notified. The case argues FIFA rules discriminate against youths from outside the 28-member European Union. FIFA rules limit under-18s being transferred internationally to specific circumstances, such as a player’s family moving for non-football reasons. There are some exemptions for 16- and 17-year-olds to comply with European labour laws. Since 2014, FIFA imposed transfer bans on Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid over youth signings. Bale to have ankle surgery MADRID, Spain (AP): Gareth Bale will need surgery on his right ankle and is expected to be sidelined for at least two months. Real Madrid says Bale will undergo the procedure on Tuesday in London. Bale limped off the field after getting hurt in the second half of Madrid’s 2-1 win over Sporting Lisbon in the Champions League next Tuesday. Madrid did not give a timetable for Bale’s recovery, but players who undergo similar procedures are usually out between two and three months. Bale is certain to miss the match against Barcelona on December 3 at the Camp Nou, as well as FIFA’s Club World Cup later in the month.last_img read more

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Tony Becca | Where is Brandon King?

first_img Two seasons ago, on a Sunday at Sabina Park, he took on a Jamaica Defence Force team with their three fast bowlers, including Sheldon Cottrell and Reynard Leveridge, and he gave them a proper caning. He was hit on the head by Cottrell early in the innings before he stood tall and played a real masterpiece of an innings. Kingston needed quick runs to try and win the Senior Cup after trailing on first innings, and he went at the bowling. He went to bat at 15 for one, he scored 92 with six sixes and five fours, he was dismissed at 167 for two, and the fans, on either side, were thrilled by his composure at the wickets, and by his stroke play. It was a classy innings. He demonstrated the stuff of which great batsmen are made. He destroyed the bowlers, including the spin bowler, with lovely, fluent drives, some of them ending in the stands behind the boundary at long-off and long-on. King, on that day, and many days after, in the Senior Cup season and in this year’s Trial matches, during which he made the most runs, including a brilliant century, showed his class. His technique is good, and pleasing to the eye. His style is good, he has the stamp of a future West Indies batsman, and he should be treated as such. He has not really demanded a place on the national team because he has not dominated the scene, but he has performed and he is not the first not to have dominated the scene and then move on to dominate the level above, and he will not be the last. For those who do not know, or who may have forgotten, King scored 438 runs with one century and an average of 43.06 in the 2014 Senior Cup season, he scored 247 runs and one century and an average of 24.76 in the 2015 Senior Cup season, and he scored 647 runs, three centuries with a top score of 179 and an average of 71.89 in the past season. In the past three Senior Cup seasons, he has scored 1,335 runs, he has scored five centuries with a top score of 179, and he has averaged 51.14. On top of that, his runs, his number of centuries, his top score, and his average for the recent season were far above every other player. In the three Trial matches a few weeks ago, King scored 223 runs, he had a top score of 155, and finished with an average of 74.33, all above his contemporaries. He has class and that should be obvious to the selectors. He deserves a run, no question about that. The fans know it, and so should the selectors. Each day I go to Sabina Park, I hear the fans asking one question: Where is young King? Where is Brandon King? King’s figures, overall, may not be the greatest, or not very great. Every time, however, I see Jamaica buckle and fall like ninepins, I remember how men like Sonny Ramadhin and Alfred Valentine, although it was a different era, were selected for the West Indies, how Wes Hall was selected, how Michael Holding was selected, how Malcolm Marshall was selected, and how Fidel Edwards was selected for the West Indies. I also remember, as great as he became, that it took Garry Sobers, the greatest all-rounder cricketer of all time, 16 Test matches before he scored a century, a memorable 365 not out, and that it took Rohan Kanhai, the magician, 12 matches before he scored a century, a scintillating 256 runs. The selectors deserve credit for calling up all-rounder Fabian Allen, no doubt about that, and although they dropped him after a few good games and after a few poor ones, also for the selection of fast bowler Marquino Mindley, who is also a good and promising one. PROPER CANNING I have been watching Jamaica at cricket for a very long time. In fact, I have been watching it for around 60 years or so, and I have been doing so almost non-stop, from the days of batsmen like Frank Worrell, Allan Rae, J. K. Holt Jr, Ken Rickards, Neville Bonitto, and Collie Smith. And from those days until now, I have never seen a Jamaica team bat so poorly, or a Jamaica team of such poor batsmen, like those of the past two or three years. I have also travelled the world of cricket and I have seldom witnessed such poor batting, be it at the first-class or the Test-match level. I have seen wickets fall in bunches, at the beginning of an innings, in the middle of an innings, and at the end of an innings, and in quick time for a few runs. I have seen it happen on sunny days and on rainy days, sometimes because of good bowling, and sometimes because of bad pitches. Mostly, however, I have seen it happen because of poor batting, the kind of batting where good technique is missing, and where playing back and playing forward, playing with a straight bat, knowing when to attack and when to defend, knowing when to cut, and when to sweep are normally foreign things. A batsman like John Campbell is the exception, and each time I see Jamaica collapse recently, and to bowling of average standard and on relatively good pitches, I wonder what has happened to Jamaica’s batting. Most times, however, I wonder what has happened to young promising batsmen, and especially to Brandon King. King is a batsman of pedigree who can develop into a batsman of class. He is a former Jamaica Under-19 and West Indies Under-19 player, he is the captain of Kingston Cricket Club, and he will be, in another week or two, only 22 years old. He is at the age when most good cricketers start their international careers, and although he did likewise last year, it was only a false start, or so it appears. After getting into the national team last year against Trinidad and Tobago, and making an impressive 71 in his second match, he was unceremoniously dropped, and after a couple of matches, and only brought back for the odd match here and there. He has played seven times for Jamaica, he has had no resting place in the batting order, he has scored 285 runs, and he has averaged only 21.92. King, however, is better than those figures suggest he is. He should bat near the top of the order and not up and down the order. He deserves to be treated better by the selectors and the captain. King, however, appears ready to become more than a good one, and he deserves a real chance. Is it that the Senior Cup is not good enough, or the Trials are not good enough, or is it that selectors are waiting on one like Ian Bishop to come in and select King for them? It is neither right nor justified to omit King, not according to the structure, not according to the process, not according to his performance and certainly not according to his talent. King may not reach the heights that others have done, and he may not be really as good as some of us may think, but he deserves the chance to really parade his skills, and because he promises so much, he deserves more than just a chance. Remember Lawrence Rowe, or one like Jeffrey Dujon, and another like Jimmy Adams? King also does not need to score an abundance of runs to prove that he is good, or that he can go further than being a good Senior Cup batsman. Unlike Cleveland Davidson, or Colin Fletcher, he does not need a bagful of runs to prove that he can bat, and that he possesses the pedigree to bat well. On top of parading the class, King made the runs, he has been through the process, and he deserves a good run in the Jamaica team, especially in a weak Jamaica batting team, so that the fans can stop shouting his name and asking the question: Where is young King? Where is Brandon King? DESERVES A REAL CHANCElast_img read more

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