Carib Sports

Spice Boy Jason Roberts takes up CONCACAF Post

MIAMI, United States (CMC)| Former Grenada international and English Premier League campaigner Jason Roberts has joined continental governing body CONCACAF as its new director of development.

In his role, the 39-year-old will be in charge of developing CONCACAF’s grassroots programmes as well as streamlining the organisation’s coaching education, and professional football development initiatives. “I am honoured and excited to have been selected to lead the development department as CONCACAF continues strengthening and enhancing its support for member associations to advance the game,” Roberts said.

“Football is my passion, I see the potential as well as untapped opportunities for growth within our region. I am especially looking forward to our department working on a foundation focused on grassroots, coaching education, and programmes that raise the level of play.” Roberts made his name as a dynamic forward in the English professional leagues, representing the likes of West Bromwich Albion, Wigan Athletic and Portsmouth in an 18-year career. He ended his career at Reading three years ago and has since become a respected football television pundit. Roberts is a graduate of the UEFA MIP Executive Course and member of the FIFA Players’ Status Committee. He is one of two new additions to CONCACAF’s development department as former Curacao head coach, Etienne Siliee, has also signed on as the confederation’s new development manager of the Caribbean. “As part of our ONE CONCACAF Vision, we have a focused investment in football development to transform the confederation’s future,” said CONCACAF president Victor Montagliani. “Mr Roberts is the right leader to continue fulfilling our mission, while providing an integral support to our member associations efforts.

“Furthermore, Mr Siliee brings significant experience and extensive knowledge of coaching and development, which will greatly contribute to raising the quality of our sport.” Siliee will report to Roberts who in turn will report to Chief of Football Officer Manolo Zubiria. CONCACAF oversees football in North, Central America and the Caribbean.

CWI Five-year Agreement with Pakistan

KARACHI, Pakistan (CMC) | West Indies’ three-match Twenty20 (T20) series against Pakistan has been rescheduled for next March, and will form part of a bilateral agreement which will see the two sides face each other annually for the next five years, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has announced.

The series, originally carded for late November, was aborted because of severe smog in Lahore and the unavailability of the leading West Indies players, but will now be played from March 29th to April 1, 2018. “West Indies and Pakistan Cricket Board have signed an agreement to play a series of T20 matches each year for the next five years — in Pakistan and in the USA — subject to availability of dates and venues,” PCB chairman Najam Sethi told media here. “West Indies has confirmed that its full team will tour Pakistan next year to play three T20Is on March 29th, 31st, April 1st.”

He added: “There were talks that the series should be played in November, but the weather conditions were not good, so we didn’t take any risk. “Now we will start everything from March next year. The first series will be in Pakistan, and then we will go to America to play the [reciprocal] series. The series in America will be a tri-nation affair which will include Pakistan, West Indies and a third country.” The PCB is on a quest to have international cricket returned to the country after several years, following an attack by militants on the Sri Lankan team bus back in 2009 which left several of the security forces dead.

Since then, Pakistan have been forced to play home games in United Arab Emirates, as all major Test- playing nations have refused to tour the country because of security concerns. The PCB hosted the final of the Pakistan Super League in Lahore earlier this year and then successfully staged a threematch series against a World XI last September, a move that attracted praise from the International Cricket Council and went some way in allaying fears surrounding players’ security. Sethi said the agreement with West Indies showed a confidence by international sides in touring Pakistan again. “I wanted to reveal this [agreement] so that it would become clear that the visits to Pakistan by international teams are not one-time affairs, and the five-year contract with West Indies explains our position,” he said.

“Many countries have contacted us for but we are reluctant to talk to any of them at the moment because our calendar is quite packed at the moment,” Sethi added. While West Indies will tour Pakistan, Sethi said it was CWI’s (Cricket West Indies)decision not to have the return series in the Caribbean because of commercial reasons. “It was their wish. They think holding a series in the US is financially more feasible. And if you look at it, a threenation tournament will attract a lot of interest,” Sethi ended.

Gayle Snubbed But Bravo Brothers snapped up

LAHORE, Pakistan (CMC) | West Indies’ superstar Chris Gayle was stunningly overlooked in Sunday’s Pakistan Super League draft, as brothers Dwayne and Darren Bravo both landed contracts for the third edition of the tournament slated for the first quarter of next year.

The 38-year-old Jamaican, one of the most sought-after names on the international T20 circuit, was one of 308 overseas players up for grabs but found no takers from among the six franchises, in perhaps the biggest surprise of the auction.

One franchise owner, who requested anonymity, told Wisden India that Gayle’s partial availability for the PSL coupled with his poor form in the last Indian Premier League, had made him an unattractive option. “We were told that Gayle is partially available so that was one of the reasons, but even if he was available we would not have picked him because he is no more the Gayle force he once was,” the official said.

Gayle has had two unflattering seasons in the PSL, managing only 103 runs from five outings in the 2016 edition and 160 runs from nine innings last year. His poor run of form coincided with paltry returns for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL, where he scored 227 runs in 10 matches, with just two half-centuries. Gayle is the only batsman to have passed 10,000 runs in T20s and still boasts the records for the highest score – an unbeaten 175 – and for the most centuries with 18. His partial availability for the PSL is believed to be due to his commitment to represent West Indies in their World Cup qualifier in Zimbabwe next March.

That event is expected to clash with the PSL which has issued tentative dates to franchise owners of February 23 to March 24, 2018. All-rounder Dwayne Bravo had no such issues as he was quickly picked up by the Darren Sammy-led Peshawar Zalmi while his brother Darren, a stylish left-hander, was nabbed by the Multan Sultans. Darren’s selection raised further speculation over his West Indies future, following his protracted fall-out with Cricket West Indies which subsequently led to his non-selection for the international team.

Sultans also went for West Indies’ left-hander Nicholas Pooran while Quetta Gladiators moved once again to pick up West Indies’ T20 captain, Carlos Brathwaite. At Sultans, Darren Bravo and Pooran will join fellow Trinidad and Tobago and West Indies’ teammate, Kieron Pollard who was retained by the franchise.

Attacking Windies’ limited overs opener, Evin Lewis, and Andre Fletcher, were claimed by Peshawar Zalmi as their supplementary players – those who can be called on in case other players become unavailable.