West Indies overseas woes continue

By Zaheer E. Clarke

Published August 28, 2017

West Indies’s capitulation in the first Test match in England is unsurprising. They have won only three Test matches overseas in the last 17 years against the top-7 teams in world cricket.

Joe Root and Jason Holder pose with the Investec series trophy and the Wisden Trophy, Edgbaston, August 16, 2017.
©Getty Images

At the end of the first Test match in the West Indies tour of England – two weeks ago – former players, fans and pundits bemoaned West Indies’ dismal display. The players had given the West Indian fans hope from their performances in preluding warm-up matches that the team might be formidable opponents against the third-ranked English team. However, what transpired in the first Test can only be described as a debacle and a capacious capitulation.

West Indies lost the first Test by an innings and 209 runs, its sixth-worst loss ever and the third-worst against England. Interestingly, West Indies has suffered three of their six-worst losses in the past three years – against South Africa in 2014, Australia in 2015 and now England. Ungodly, four of the six have occurred in the past 10 years alone. Continue reading

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See How Easily We Can Be Ungrateful?

By Zaheer E. Clarke

Published August 21, 2017

Usain Bolt’s integrity and legacy are being seriously questioned by some Jamaican fans. Many have suggested that Bolt faked his injury in the 4 x 100m finals at the 2017 London World Championships.

Usain Bolt has won 14 World Championship medals and eight (8) Olympic gold medals representing Jamaica.
(Source: Carib Flame)

Several years ago, I came to the sudden realization that we, Jamaicans, can be a very ungrateful set of people. To be honest, at times, our ungratefulness knows no bounds and its stench – I have no doubt – reaches the heavens and disturbs the very nostrils of God.

Years ago, an athlete that I know very well use to compete in the 100m and the 200m. He was a relatively good sprinter, who I recall was only beaten by individuals who have gone on to represent Jamaica at the Olympics and the World Championships. One day at a local meet, while leading the 100m final with only 30 metres to the finish, he felt his hamstring tug and he shut it down. The rebuke he underwent from his colleagues and chaperons was unrelenting despite his allusion to his throbbing hamstring. All he had done before at previous meets was irrelevant and his competitive nature was being questioned. Continue reading

Five Reasons Neymar’s Move To PSG Makes Sense

By Zaheer E. Clarke

Broadcast August 5, 2017 on Sportsnation Live on Nationwide News Network
Published August 14, 2017

Speculation is rife as to why Neymar would leave Barcelona for PSG. Here are five reasons why I think he made the move.

Neymar signed with Paris Saint Germain for 200 million pounds
(Credit: Getty)

The expected discussion this week in the sports world should have been solely about Usain Bolt’s swansong in London at the 2017 IAAF World Championships. However, with world football undergoing an upheaval this week with Barcelona’s star Neymar making the switch to Paris Saint Germain for a record fee of 200 million pounds, let’s just say, we forgot about athletics for a second.

To put it into perspective, 200 million pounds is 33 billion Jamaican dollars. Bear in mind, this does not include his salary, which is little over 40 million pounds per year for the next five years. So, that amounts to another 200 million pounds. Therefore, the entire switch and wages will cost PSG roughly 400 million pounds, that’s in excess of 67 billion Jamaica dollars. Makes me want to ask Minister Shaw what’s Jamaica’s annual budget again? Continue reading

Gatlin is not a two-time drug cheat

By Zaheer E. Clarke

Published August 13, 2017

Justin Gatlin has been characterised as a two-time drug cheat by the media. Is the characterisation true and fair? What did the courts and the various organisations say about Gatlin’s case?

SAVIOUR: Usain Bolt is seen by many as the saviour of track and field.
(Source: Youth & Elders Blog)

Since August 2008 Usain Bolt has been portrayed as the saviour of athletics, and its villains, on the contrary, are the drug cheats who have buckled the sport to its knees with scandal after scandal. In the early 2000s several sports, including track and field, suffered recurrently at the echoes of doping.

Interestingly, the most notorious of these reverberations was the BALCO (Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative) doping scandal, which impugned the once stellar careers and performances of Marion Jones, Tim Montgomery, Barry Bonds, Dwain Chambers, and several others. However, with Bolt’s otherworldly performances as a pro starting in 2008 — backed by squeaky-clean test results — the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), International Olympic Committee (IOC), and the media had finally found an athlete they could rely on. In the opinion of many, Bolt has lifted the sport from a period of doping abyss into an era of utopian bliss. Continue reading

Up to 15 medals possible for Jamaica in London

By Zaheer E. Clarke

Published July 31, 2017

Hypothetically, Jamaica could snag up to 15 medals at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London. However, what is the realistic haul we should expect?

Jamaica could win up to 15 medals at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London.
(Photo credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

If Track and Field was a perfect world and only Jamaicans were the stars, Jamaicans could mine up to 15 medals in London at the 2017 IAAF World Championships starting next week. The popular predictions have Jamaica winning anywhere from 9-11 medals. However, are these predictions realistic, ultra-conservative or bold? I think it is time for Track and Field’s Nostradamus to be bold and deliver his predictions.

Of the 50-plus member contingent going to London, nine athletes in all – five men and four women – are ranked in the top-6 of 10 events this year. Oh, and by the way, the prodigious Usain Bolt is not among the nine. Therefore, if we add Bolt, seeing he is an anomaly we cannot debar from any conversation – outside of the relays – there are 10 Jamaicans with a theoretical opportunity to capture 11 medals in individual events. Continue reading