SYDNEY, Australia (CMC): West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell made an emphatic start to his Big Bash campaign, snatching three wickets to help fire Sydney Thunder to a convincing 36-run victory over Sydney Sixers in the opening game yesterday. With Sixers chasing 159 for victory at the Sydney Showground Stadium, pacer Russell claimed three for 13 in a brilliant four-over spell to limit their scoring and reduce them to 122 all out off 19.5 overs. Opener Michael Lumb struck 34 from 27 deliveries, with four fours, but he was only one of four players in double figures and the only one to pass 14. Medium pacer Shane Watson claimed three for 13 from two overs. Sixers looked to be getting off to a good start when Lumb posted 28 off 21 balls with Brad Haddin, who made 13. However, Haddin, looking to play an attacking stroke, was bowled middle stump by a full-length delivery from Russell, with the third ball of his first over. In his next over – the sixth of the innings – Russell bowled captain Nic Maddinson for seven with the score on 37 for two; and the innings never really recovered. Earlier, captain Mike Hussey struck an unbeaten 80 off 59 deliveries, with five fours and four sixes as Thunder made 158 for four after opting to bat first. He put on 72 for the fourth wicket with Ben Rohrer, whose 30 came from 20 balls. Russell finished unbeaten on four off five deliveries.
The dissenting voices against Usain Bolt being voted the 2015 Male Athlete of the Year across all sports by members of the international media ahead of tennis’ Novak Djokovic, football’s Lionel Messi, and Formula One’s Lewis Hamilton are relatively few but quite fervent.I too would have voted for Bolt to win this award, not because he is a Jamaican, but because of the impact of his performances at the World Championships.Indeed, I am shocked that the American decathlete, Ashton Eaton, was given the nod ahead of Bolt for the IAAF Male Athlete of the Year, but that is a separate issue.The core argument being put forward is that Bolt was not by any stretch of the imagination the most consistent athlete across all sports in 2015. Certainly, he was not more consistent than Djokovic, who won three of the four available grand slam titles and lost in the final of the other, therefore, Bolt should not have received this award.Just listening to this debate unfold, it confirms a fundamental deficiency in the analysis of sports performances in terms of impact and the magnitude of one performance relative to another.CONSISTENCY ARGUMENTThe notion seems to be that performances at the top in one sport automatically make that performance equal to the top performances in other sports. Nothing could be further from the truth. Winning three grand slam titles in tennis is hardly equivalent to winning three gold medals at the World championships.Not surprisingly, these are by and large the same voices that have been attempting to use the same flawed premise to make the case that Messi is the greatest footballer of all time based on his consistent performances season after season for his club.Again, there is a conspicuous inability or unwillingness to properly reconcile Messi’s excellent club achievements with his abysmal international failures. The simplistic thinking is that he is consistent week in, week out, so he is the best, with no regard for the magnitude of big-day performances.What the journalists across the world saw in Bolt’s performances in Beijing was enough impact in those big performances to outweigh all other performances.Who remembers that Novak won three grand slams?BIGGESTRACEOFTHEDECADEWe all remember vividly, though, that Bolt won the biggest race of the decade, repelling the threat of the drug-tainted Justin Gatlin and all that a victory for the American might have meant to the very credibility of the sport, thus the school of thought that Bolt not only retained his 100 metres title, but effectively saved the sport of track and field.These are the intangibles, the context and perspective about a particular performance which cannot be ‘Googled’ and will not show up on the stats sheet.Bolt does not have to compete every week on the Diamond League circuit to be crowned the Male Athlete of the Year. This award, after all, is not a consistency award.If there is a global event such as the World Championships and Bolt performed the way he did in Beijing in 2015, the sheer magnitude of those performances would have decimated all other performances on the relatively smaller stages provided by the other sports.That is why most of the astute international sports journalists across the globe quite rightly voted for the ‘Big Man’ as 2015 Male Athlete of the Year.Neither my fellow journalists nor I can be held responsible for anyone’s inability to grasp that simple principle.
The Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) will be declared winner of the 2016 General Elections after unseating the People’s National Party (PNP) at today’s polls. JLP party leader Andrew Holness arrived at the party’s Belmont Road headquarters a short while ago, where he was greeted by a large and jubilant crowd of party supporters. Holness, who defeated the PNP’s Patrick Roberts to retain his St Andrew West Central seat, will be joined in Parliament by his wife Juliet, who defeated Imani Duncan – Price to secure the St Andrew East Rural constituency. PNP’s deputy general secretary Julian Robinson said: “We have clearly lost a number of seats but the overall picture is very close so we will wait on the final figures.” Asked if the PNP has been taken by surprise, Robinson said, “We knew a number of seats were close but we obviously never expected to lose that many.” “We knew there were some marginals but we expected to win some of the marginals,” he added. The PNP leadership is expected to concede shortly in front of a small, somber crowd at the party’s Old Hope Road headquarters.
UNIQUE ATHLETE Meanwhile, Bolt said he is not like any other athlete. “I am different, I bring a different vibe. I am a performer, not just an athlete, but I am a performer. I bring and I entertain, so that’s what makes me different,” said Bolt. He added that he is looking forward to running here in Jamaica at the Racers Grand Prix, scheduled for the National Stadium on June 11. “I haven’t run in Jamaica for a couple of years now, so for me, I am looking forward to that, so people should definitely come out and support.” He reiterated his intention to close out his illustrious career “definitely unbeaten”. “I won’t be one of those athletes, after you dominate over a couple of years and you decide at the last minute that you want to come back, you start to lose. It doesn’t look good, so I won’t be one of those athletes. When I hang up my spikes, that is it,” he told The Gleaner. Bolt stressed that he is the best of this era when asked how he compares with American great Carl Lewis. “In this era, for sure,” he said, then added with a laugh when pressed further, “Come on, man! Come on!” As iconic Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt prepares to add to his six Olympic gold medals at the upcoming Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the 29-year-old reveals that this might be the most important year of his career. Bolt said he is “under no pressure”, but wants to entertain his fans, remain fit and compete hard. The 100 and 200m world record holder says he is looking forward to putting on a show for his fans in his Cayman Invitational season-opener on May 14 in the Cayman Islands. “I am in good nick, training hard. My time trials are going well, my coach is happy, so everything is going well, and I am just looking forward to my first meet in Cayman. “I think it’s one of the big years, now that it’s (career) finishing. It’s really a big deal, so I am just trying to refocus and get my mind right and just go out there and just execute. And just to win is always the plan,” continued Bolt. He was speaking in an interview Sunday night following a reception and auction ceremony hosted by Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS) at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston. The reception showcased items of Racers stars’ Bolt, Yohan Blake, Warren Weir and Kemar Bailey-Cole, including medals, memorabilia, kits and spikes, some of which were silently auctioned.