Chris Gayle, the butt of flowing criticism for his sexist remarks during a LIVE TV interview in his Melbourne Renegades Australian Big Bash T-20 match a couple weeks ago, has ended his stint in the current tournament, virtually in a blaze of glory.
The towering Jamaican hard-hitting left-handed batsman this morning (TT time) equalled cricket’s world record for the fastest half-century in T20s, powering his way to the landmark in only 12 balls, hitting seven sixes and two fours in getting there.
His Melbourne Renegades team, chasing 171 to beat the Adelaide Strikers, lost as they fell for 143 with Gayle equalling the record for fastest T20 fifty set by Yuvraj Singh of India in 2007.
Trinidadian Dwayne Bravo also played for the defeated Renegades taking one wicket for 36 runs from four overs, another catch before making a first-ball duck.
The Renegades did not qualify for the final four tournament decider.
Staying in Australian World number one Novak Djokovic said he was approached to fix a match earlier in his career as allegations of corruption in tennis rocked the start of the Australian Open.
The BBC and BuzzFeed claimed 16 players who had reached the top 50 in the past decade, including Grand Slam champions, had been repeatedly suspected of fixing matches for betting syndicates.
The report prompted a swift denial from authorities that any evidence of match-fixing had been suppressed, as well as speculation over the identities of the players involved.
Djokovic, after opening with a win over South Korea’s Chung Hyeon, played down the report but he also said he was targeted in 2007 to throw a first-round match at St Petersburg.
“I was not approached directly. I was approached through people that were working with me at that time,” he told reporters in Melbourne.
“Of course, we threw it away right away. It didn’t even get to me, the guy that was trying to talk to me, didn’t even get to me directly. There was nothing out of it.
“Unfortunately in those times (there were) rumours, some talks, some people were going around. They were dealt with.
“In the last six, seven years, I haven’t heard anything similar. I personally was never approached directly, so I have nothing more to say about that.”
Djokovic was reportedly offered $200,000 to throw the match, in an incident which gives an insight into the murky world of match-fixing — which the Serb called “a crime in sport”.
IN Trinidad now, Former National Women and Men’s football Team coach Jamaal Shabazz has expressed optimism over the recent appointments to the Technical Committee and Women’s Senior Team made by the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association.
Shabazz, who was the co-coach of the T&T Men’s Senior Team during the 2012 Caribbean Cup Finals in Antigua alongside Hutson Charles, said the appointment of Richard Hood as the T&T women’s head coach which sees him leading the team for a CONCACAF Finals in a qualifier for a major world competition, is a step in the right direction and a boost for home grown coaches.
“I am very happy for Richard and by extension coaches in the Caribbean. Everytime we get a Head Coach appointment at National team level it signals the end of apprenticeship for the Caribbean Coach who has been accused of not having the experience to do the big jobs but never getting the time on the job to gain that experience,” Shabazz told TTFA Media.
He said the latest development would give Hood the chance to prove his worth and to show the capabilities of local coaches to build on what overseas coaches like Even Pellerud and Randy Waldrum had accomplished. Hood was an assistant to Pellerud for the 2010 FIFA Under 17 Women’s World Cup in T&T.
“I think guys like Randy Waldrum and Even Pellerud did well for us but Richard gets the opportunity to signal that our time has come. His biggest challenge is to keep the team focused from the noise and distractions around the game,” Shabazz most recently coach of the Guyana men;s team said.
T&T has a tough task to qualify for the 2016 Olympics with only the two top teams advancing out of the CONCACAF Final round. Trinidad and Tobago’s Women open their CONCACAF Final round account against Guatemala on February 11th. They l face Canada on February 14th and Guyana on February 16th.