The Latest: Berlin Marathon canceled because of virus June 24, 2020 Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___This year’s Berlin Marathon has been canceled following months of uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Associated Press Organizers say “after extensive examination and various discussions” they were not able to find a later date. Authorities in Germany have blocked the hosting of major events through October.The marathon was scheduled for Sept. 27.The Berlin Marathon is one of the fastest in the world. The current men’s world record was set in Berlin by Eliud Kipchoge in 2018.It will be the first year with no Berlin Marathon since the race was founded in 1974.The announcement came on the same day that the New York City Marathon was canceled. That race had been scheduled for Nov. 1. ___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
___Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner John Swofford says the league expects to make its decision on fall sports in “late July.”The league put out Swofford’s statement Friday afternoon, saying the league has prepared “numerous scenarios” for fall competition over the last few months. The decision would come from the league’s board of directors.Earlier this week, the ACC delayed the start of fall competition until at least Sept. 1. That move impacts non-revenue programs like soccer, volleyball, field hockey and cross country, but not football for now. The first football game involving a league team is North Carolina State’s trip to Louisville on Sept. 2.___ July 10, 2020 Virginia says two football players have tested positive for COVID-19 and will self-isolate for at least 10 days, along with other members of the program found to have come into close contact with them.The school says 110 players were tested when the player returned to campus beginning July 5 for voluntary workouts. The players were all tested before the workout began, the school says. It adds that none of the players that tested positive have required hospitalization.The tests were administered by UVA athletics sports medicine.The players with positive test results will self-isolate for 10 days, or until they have been fever-free for at least three days, whichever is longer. They also will undergo cardiac screening before they are permitted to join daily sports functions.The school did not indicate how many others were determined through contact tracing to have come into close contact with the players infected. It also did not indicate whether any coaches or other football staff have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott has tested positive for COVID-19. Arizona Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill has tested positive for coronavirus.The team said after Bidwill developed symptoms, he tested positive for COVID-19 and went to the hospital after a recommendation by his doctor. His condition has improved and he’s expected to be released this weekend.The team believes the 55-year-old Bidwill caught the virus while traveling and spending time on the East Coast for several weeks. He’s been working remotely since March and the team says he hasn’t had in-person contact coaches or players.___Chicago White Sox prized pitching prospect Michael Kopech has opted not to play this season. The team also said star third baseman Yoán Moncada and pitcher Jose Ruiz were placed on the 10-day injure list because of unspecified ailments. The 55-year-old tested positive late this week after experiencing flu-like symptoms and is self quarantining at the direction of his doctor, according to a statement by the conference.Scott is continuing to carry on his duties as commissioner remotely.___Calgary Flames defenseman Travis Hamonic is the first player to opt out of the NHL’s return.The team announced Hamonic’s decision Friday night several hours after the league and NHLPA agreed to resume the season. Hamonic opted out for family reasons. The Latest: Pac-12 Commissioner LarryS — Josh Dubow reporting.___The Red Sox and Blue Jays will play two exhibition games at Fenway Park before baseball’s delayed regular-season opener.Toronto will visit Boston on July 21 and 22 before heading down to Tampa Bay for its opener. The Red Sox are scheduled to open at home against the Baltimore Orioles on July 24.___ Kopech was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte on March 26 and likely would have opened the year in the minors had the season started on time.Kopech was acquired by Chicago in the December 2016 trade that sent Chris Sale to the Boston Red Sox. He made his big league debut in 2018, going 1-1 with a 5.02 ERA in four starts.Moncada set career highs by hitting .315 with 25 homers and 79 RBIs in a breakthrough season last year.___South American soccer body CONMEBOL said Friday its Copa Libertadores tournament will restart Sept. 15, more than six months after it was suspended. All those found to have come into contact with the infected players will be asked to self-quarantine for at least 14 days and are unable to participate in daily sports functions in that time.___San Francisco Giants star catcher Buster Posey is the latest big-name player to skip this season because of concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.Posey announced his decision on Friday. He says his family finalized the adoption of identical twin girls this week. The babies were born prematurely and Posey said after consultations with his wife and doctor he decided to opt out of the season. Posey had missed three practices while dealing with a personal issue.Posey joins other big-name players like Dodgers pitcher David Price, Washington first baseman Ryan Zimmerman, Colorado’s Ian Desmond and Arizonna pitcher Mike Leake in deciding not to take part in the 60-game season this year. The White Sox believe they are poised for a turnaround after seven straight losing seasons. But losing Kopech for the season and Moncada for at least a little while are big blows.Both players had been absent since the White Sox resumed workouts last week for the first time since Major League Baseball shut down camps in March.The team had said Kopech was dealing with a personal issue.“We recognize that reaching this decision is incredibly difficult for any competitive athlete, and our organization is understanding and supportive,” general manager Rick Hahn said in a statement. “We will work with Michael to assure his development continues throughout 2020, and we look forward to welcoming him back into our clubhouse for the 2021 season.”The 24-year-old right-hander is coming back from Tommy John surgery in September 2018. He hit triple-digits on the radar gun during his first spring training appearance. The Copa Sudamericana, the second most prestigious club competition of the region, will resume on Oct. 27, CONMEBOL said.South America is one of the epicenters of the COVID-19 pandemic. Brazil alone has counted more than 70,000 fatalities due to the virus.The soccer body said teams that need to play out of their hometowns because of the pandemic will have enough time to do so. The presence of fans will depend on local authorities, according to CONMEBOL’s health protocols.___The University of Michigan says two athletes tested positive during a second round of COVID-19 testing, bringing the total to four out of the 375 who have been tested. The school says none of the 139 staff members have tested positive. Associated Press Hamonic said worries about his young children contracting COVID-19 prompted his decision. His daughter was hospitalized with a respiratory illness last year.“My family has and always will come first,” he said in a statement. “Being my little kids’ dad every day is the most important job I have.”Hamonic, who turns 30 next month, is a pending free agent. The Flames are set to face the Winnipeg Jets in the qualifying round, starting Aug. 1 in Edmonton.“Travis explained that due to family considerations, he has made the difficult decision not to participate,” Calgary general manager Brad Treliving said. “While we will miss Travis in our lineup, we understand and respect his decision.”___ More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
He immediately hit the field for a 30-pitch bullpen session and had no issues.Keller was the Royals’ starter opening day last year. Danny Duffy will take the ball in next Friday night’s opener in Cleveland.“I’m feeling great now,” Keller said. “This morning I was cleared about 8:30, so that was probably one of the best phone calls I’ve had. I felt like I got called up to the big leagues or something. It was nuts.”Earlier in the day, Royals prospects Nick Dini and Daniel Tillo tested positive for the virus. They are now quarantined.___ The SEC hasn’t announced plans for football and other fall sports yet. The league said it will determine later if the policy should be extended at least to the spring semester.___USA Diving has canceled the junior world trials after deciding not to send a team to the FINA world championships because of the COVID-19 pandemic.The organization cited four reasons for making its decision — the health and safety of coaches and athletes, the inability to adequately train because of closed facilities, international travel restrictions and other national federations already announcing they wouldn’t compete.“We understand that this decision will be disappointing to our athletes, coaches, and parents but it is our duty to always protect the safety of our membership and do our part to protect the safety of our international diving community,” USA Diving explained in a news release. ___Formula One says two people tested positive for the coronavirus in the latest batch of tests carried out before the Hungarian Grand Prix.F1 said 4,997 tests for COVID-19 were carried out from July 10-16 ahead of Sunday’s race outside of Budapest. No further information was given about the two people who tested positive. They have been removed from the Hungaroring vicinity and isolated.F1 reported no positive cases from more than 8,000 tests carried out over the previous two races held in Austria at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___Kansas City Royals pitcher Brad Keller, who had been out the last two weeks after testing positive for COVID-19, returned to the club Friday following a pair of negative tests. Michigan says 121 tests were conducted those days on athletes, coaches and staff with four positives. To date, the athletic department has reported 635 tests with eight positives. All the positive tests have been on athletes.Michigan State announced it conducted testing on 38 athletes Monday, with three positives. None of the three people had taken part in workouts in the last two weeks. Three additional athletes will need to quarantine for 14 days, since they are roommates of the positive individuals. There were also 27 athletic department staff members who were tested July 13, with one person testing positive. The school said the staff member does not work with the programs back on campus and had no exposure to athletes.___Southeastern Conference schools will honor the scholarships of athletes who opt not to participate in fall competition because of concerns about COVID-19.The league announced the decision Friday, saying the athletes will remain in good standing with their team. SEC’s Presidents and Chancellors voted unanimously on the issue based on a recommendation of the league’s athletic directors. Arizona has three positive coronavirus tests among 83 football players still on campus for voluntary offseason workouts. Two were asymptomatic and all three entered department protocols for self isolation.Arizona has performed 366 test encounters including PCR, antigen and antibody testing among the players already on campus before the school paused bringing additional student-athletes to campus earlier this month.None of the 28 staff members who have been on campus to support voluntary workouts have tested positive while on campus.___The Royals will use the stadium of the independent minor league Kansas City T-Bones, which is located across the state line in Kansas, as their secondary training site as the start of baseball’s abbreviated regular season approaches. Personnel attending the races are tested every five days with results made public every seven days.There are two scheduled races at the British GP on Aug. 2 and Aug. 9.___The world triathlon championships will be staged this year but it’s unclear where and when.The worlds were originally scheduled to take place in August at the Edmonton world series grand final but they were canceled in April because of the coronavirus pandemic. The governing body of the sport now says a 2020 worlds can go ahead after recommendations from athletes and coaches and talks with national federations. July 17, 2020 The Latest: Pitcher Brad Keller back in Royals’ rotation If replacement teams cannot be lined up, the Cardinals would now open the season by hosting Wyoming on Sept. 26. Ball State still has eight league games on the schedule, too.___ Five more baseball players tested positive for COVID-19 in the past week, raising the total to 80 since testing started in late June.Major League Baseball and the players’ association said six of 10,548 samples were new positives in the week ending Thursday, a rate of 0.05%. In addition to players, one staff member tested positive.The week included a five-day span with no new positive tests. Including the initial intake screening that started in late June, 93 of of 21,701 samples have resulted in new positives, a rate of 0.4%. The positives included 80 players and 13 staff members. World Triathlon also canceled three World Cups in Brazil and China.World Triathlon says it was forced to scrap two World Cups and three Asian Cups in China scheduled for September and October after the country’s government last week canceled all international sports for the rest of the year.___The Atlantic 10 Conference is postponing its fall sports season, which includes soccer, cross country, field hockey and women’s volleyball. The conference announced it will try to play those sports in the spring semester, and has agreed to a “look-in” window during September to evaluate whether it is possible to conduct shortened, conference-only seasons in fall sports. Athletic department protocols require each person with a positive test to self-isolate until further notice as contract tracing begins. Anyone deemed to be in close contact with someone who has tested positive also will be quarantined.Coach Tom Allen said earlier this summer that he would mix up the workout groups in an attempt to prevent the spread of the illness. He wanted to keep roommates in the same groups while splitting up position groups to avoid losing too many players.School officials say the pause will not impact voluntary workouts for other teams on campus. Players in men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, volleyball and field hockey are all participating in voluntary workouts in Bloomington.___The University of Michigan and Michigan State have announced has positive COVID-19 tests. The championships are scheduled for Nov. 29-Dec. 6 in Kiev, Ukraine___Ball State athletic department officials are looking to fill three open dates on the school’s football schedule after losing its third non-conference game.The Cardinals were scheduled to play host to Maine in the Sept. 3 season-opener — before the Black Bears and the Colonial Athletic Association announced they had suspended the fall sports season.Ball State’s road trips to Indiana and Michigan were canceled last week when the Big Ten opted to conduct a league-only schedule, a move that reportedly will cost the Mid-American Conference school almost $1.7 million in guaranteed money. The family that owns Bandimere Speedway in Morrison issued a statement saying it was “dedicated” to finding a new date later this season. Brainerd International Speedway owner Kristi Copham offered similar sentiments in her statement.“We are disappointed that we have to postpone our event,” she said. “But we hope that, by working closely with state and local authorities and NHRA, we can find a way to put on a nationals race later this season, especially for our fans, who deserve to enjoy a great weekend of NHRA drag racing. We appreciate everyone’s patience – our fans, vendors, staff and race teams — as we try to work through the issues that would allow us to hold the event, and we’re continuing to work hard on it every day.”The rest of the current schedule will remain unchanged, NHRA President Glen Cromwell said.___Indiana University has put its voluntary football workouts on hold after six participants tested positive for COVID-19 this week. The T-Bones are not playing this season due to the coronavirus pandemic. That made their small but modern stadium near Kansas Speedway in Wyandotte County the perfect choice for Royals players to work out when they are not with the team.The Royals also will use Kauffman Stadium as workout space when the team is playing on the road.___The NCAA Division II Great Northwest Athletic Conference has suspended all athletic competitions, including football, through Nov. 30.The league, which has teams in Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana and Alaska, said schools will be able to make individual decisions on organized practice activities, but no outside competition will be permitted. No fans have been allowed at stadiums since sports resumed in the country in June after a three-month shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic.British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says “from October we intend to bring back audiences in stadia … in a COVID-secure way subject to the successful outcome of pilots.”___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The GNAC said it intends to make a decision on competitions beyond Nov. 30 by mid-October. The league also said it’s exploring options for fall sports to have a season, including the possibility of playing in the spring.___The NHRA has revised its schedule yet again, postponing its next two stops until further notice while adding a fourth race in the Indianapolis area.Series officials announced that the events scheduled for Morrison. Colorado, on Aug. 7-9 and Brainerd, Minnesota, on Aug. 14-16 will not take place because of the COVID-19 pandemic.The Indianapolis event replaces Morrison on the schedule and will host its third consecutive event with limited spectators, from Aug. 6-9. Qualifying will be broadcast by FS1 with the final round of eliminations airing on FOX. Indy also is scheduled to hold the U.S. Nationals in early September. ___The restart of the Paraguayan soccer league has been called off after three teams came down with cases of the coronavirus.The Paraguayan soccer association says Guarani, 12 de Octubre and San Lorenzo cannot play and train until another medical examination is held.The soccer association did not say how many players or club staff members have become infected.The league had been scheduled to resume later in the day after a four-month suspension caused by the pandemic. San Lorenzo was to play General Diaz. Guarani was scheduled to play Guaireña on Saturday and 12 de Octubre was to play Sol de America.Club executives are expected to meet later in the day to discuss whether other matches will go forward.Paraguay has done comparatively well in combating the virus. Only 27 people in the country of almost 7 million residents have died with the virus of about 3,300 infected.___Sporting events in England could be opened up to spectators starting in October. Associated Press
Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___Cleveland Browns guard Colby Gossett has opted out of the 2020 season, becoming the fourth player on the team — and third offensive lineman — to decide not play because of the coronavirus pandemic. August 5, 2020 The Latest: Gossett becomes 4th Browns player to opt out Associated Press Gossett qualifies for the high-risk opt-out agreed to by the NFLPA and will receive a $350,000 stipend for not playing. He was due to make $675,00 this season.He is the second Browns guard to opt out, following Drew Forbes. The team also will be without offensive tackle Drake Dorbeck and defensive tackle Andrew Billings.The Browns promoted Gossett from the practice squad late last season. His loss will hurt Cleveland’s depth and likely force general manager Andrew Berry to look for free agents.The deadline for players opting out is Thursday at 4 p.m.___ More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
… Afruica Gentle slams her way to the topWHEN Afruica Gentle made her way into Sabina Park, it was mid-2018 and she was a national tennis player, who was very good at her craft, but curiosity and patriotism had gotten the better of her.Her Guyanese cricketers were battling their Jamaican counterparts and Gentle wanted to see the action live. Over the years, she had seen numerous cricket matches but this one was different; this one was a female regional encounter.Seeing national skipper Shemaine Campbelle manoeuvre the willow ignited a passion in the teen and she fell in love with cricket all over again, but this time as a player – not as a spectator.A little over eight months later, Gentle will now join Campbelle in the national team when they play in the Cricket West Indies (CWI) Regional 50-over and T20 tournament which bowls off tomorrow in Guyana.NATURALLY GIFTEDGentle has always been a natural at sports and her tennis exploits prove just that.She started to play that sport at the age of four. She was inspired by her sister and was driven. By the tender age of seven, she had already made the national team and since then has become a regular member of the national squad.In 2013, she won the Caribbean Junior Invitational and the St Vincent ITF Singles Title. Two years later she became the youngest tennis player to win three titles at the GBTI Open.Additionally in 2017 and in 2018 she won the Bakewell Junior Championship, and in July in Jamaica, she won the Quest Super Series. Her most recent major conquest was done last November when she won the U-18 Girls Inter-Guiana Games title.WHY CRICKET!For Gentle, who turned 18 earlier this month, cricket is a new and exciting challenge. “I was encouraged by Devon Gonsalves and my family to start playing because they told me they think I will do well and I took their advice and with the help of my father, who bought my cricket gear, it took off from there.”EXCITEMENTPrior to making the national senior team, Gentle’s time in the middle was impactful.In U-17 franchise cricket last year, she made 322 runs (including 109 against West Berbice) and took 10 wickets with her left-arm spin-bowling.The right-handed batter then went on to represent the Select U-19 team in last month’s Guyana Cricket Board Senior Female Inter-County tournament.Outside of hardball cricket, Gentle was the MVP at the just concluded NSC Al Sports and Tour Promotion Forbes Burnham Windball School Championships, where she exploded in the five-over competition, hitting a tournament-high 150 unbeaten runs in one of the games for Mae’s Schools.GAINING EXPERIENCEFor the teen, she hopes to use the competition to gain some valuable experience, which she can use in the future to transition to the West Indies team.“I am grateful and I am also excited, I hope to gain a lot of experience from the players on the team so I could better my cricket.”
Clubs and their number of registered athletes:Guyana Police Force (74), Hopetown Flames of West Berbice (24), New Amsterdam (12), Running Brave (58), Ruralites (9), Super Upcoming Runners (19), Titans United of East Bank (3), University of Guyana (13) and Upper Demerara Schools (23).Action will start at 10:00hrs both days. … 270 athletes to participateAT least 270 athletes are set to compete on the track and in the field this weekend at the National Track and Field Centre (NTFC), Leonora, West Coast Demerara, when the Guyana Overseas-Based Sports Association (GOBSA) runs off its fourth Annual Independence Track and Field Meet.The meet will see high quality competition on tomorrow and Sunday with 273 athletes already registered from as young as the U-10 age group.Speaking at the pre-competition press conference yesterday at the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG) head office, president Aubrey Huston opined that the sheer number of registered athletes would make for enthralling competition.David Thomas, GOBSA president, also noted that the meet will ideally serve in helping to identify young talent as Guyana prepares to host the 2021 CARIFTA Games.Meanwhile vice-president Gordon Lewis had high praises for Anisha Gibbons, Guyana’s first U-17 javelin female gold medallist at the recent CARIFTA Games.Gibbons was the recipient of two female javelins, courtesy of former national thrower Patrick Harding, in conjunction with GOBSA.This is the first time the 14-year-old will be able to train with the right javelin as she continues her journey as a national athlete.Andrew Forester Lumber, Banks DIH Limited, National Sports Commission and Guyana Community of Service are the notable sponsors.
THE Cricket Development Committee of the Georgetown Cricket Association (GCA) has scheduled a Cricket Coaches Workshop today.The workshop takes place due to the current suspension of the cricket season and begins at 09:00hrs at the Muslim Youth Organisation (MYO), Woolford Avenue, Thomas Lands, Georgetown.The workshop will run from 09:00hrs. to 13:00hrs.All cricket coaches and captains from member clubs of the GCA are invited to attend.The objectives are to provide coaches and captains with practice and preparation structures as well as plans to improve their players.The programme will include fitness guidelines, nets options, remedial and skills development, batting, bowling, fielding, wicket-keeping, mental and tactical aspects.The instructors are Roger Harper, Mark Harper and Clyde Butts.
THE annual Jefford Classic Athletics meet is scheduled for August 11 at Mackenzie Sports Club ground, Linden, and momentum is swiftly building with an influx of corporate support.The latest entity to join is sports apparel and cleats retailer, MVP Sports, located at Giftland Mall. The company has pledged to outfit the championship athletes and to reward them financially.Those two athletes will receive $25 000 worth of Under Armour apparel and $25 000 worth in cash along with the respective trophy. Additionally, MVP Sports, along with Urban Life, will sponsor the male and female 400m.Edison Jefford, the founder of the event, expressed immense gratitude for the support and wished the company well in its expansions and hoped for a long-lasting partnership.Ian Ramdeo, manager of the store, said this is just the beginning of exposing local athletes to the various renowned brands and he earmarked these types of events as crucial in edifying the public about the durable products they have to offer.As was the case before when clubs benefitted, cash incentives, amounting to more than $2M, would now go directly to the athletes.The top three finishers would receive $40 000, $25 000 and $15 000 respectively. The event will get underway at 09:00hrs and admission is $1 000 for adults and $500 for children.Other sponsors include: National Sports Commission, ANSA McAl Trading, ExxonMobil, DeSinco Limited under Swiss Brand, Antarctic Maintenance and Repairs, YK Investments Pawn Shop, Jude Bike Shop and Power Producers Distributors Inc.
AMERICAN teenager Coco Gauff recovered from a set down to set up a meeting with defending champion Naomi Osaka in the Australian Open last 32.World number one Ashleigh Barty also reached the third round yesterday.Japanese third seed Osaka put a “childish” outburst behind her to beat Saisai Zheng 6-2, 6-4 before 15-year-old Gauff saw off Romania’s Sorana Cirstea.The world number 67 was 3-0 down in the deciding set but fought back to win 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 in two hours and six minutes.“It’s amazing,” said Gauff. “Honestly, I didn’t think I would get so much support in Australia. I was down 3-0 and you really made me believe.”Osaka, 22, went through in straight sets but threw her racquet on the floor and kicked it after China’s Zheng broke her serve in the second.“My racquet just magically flew out of my hand,” joked Osaka, who won in one hour 20 minutes.“I couldn’t control it; I think that’s how I dealt with my frustration.“It was a bit childish. I just want to play one match without throwing my racquet or kicking it. That’s all I want.”GAUFF v OSAKA – PART TWOIt is the second Grand Slam in a row where Gauff will play Osaka, who was also the defending champion when the pair met in the US Open third round in September.The Japanese triumphed 6-3, 6-0 that day but it was the way she consoled the American youngster that stole the headlines.Osaka gave Gauff a big hug at the net before inviting her tearful opponent to stay on the court with her to speak to the crowd. The Japanese even apologised for playing so well against her.“She’s a great competitor so I think it’s going to be a good match,” said the American, who is playing in just her third Grand Slam and making her debut at the Australian Open.BARTY, WOZNIACKI & KVITOVA THROUGHAustralian Barty, who reached the quarter-finals at Melbourne Park last year, eased to a 6-1, 6-4 victory against Slovenia’s Polona Hercog in just over an hour.Caroline Wozniacki recovered from going 5-1 down in the opening set to win 7-5, 7-5 and put off her impending retirement for at least another match.The 2018 champion won six games in a row to clinch the opening set and also went 3-0 down in the second before mounting a comeback against Ukrainian 23rd seed Dayana Yastremska.The Dane, 29, will face Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur, who beat British number one Johanna Konta in her opening match, in the third round.Meanwhile, Czech seventh seed Petra Kvitova, who was beaten by Osaka in last year’s final, progressed with a 7-5, 7-5 victory over Spain’s Paula Badosa.American 14th seed Sofia Kenin saw off compatriot and wildcard Ann Li 6-1, 6-3 while Germany’s Julia Goerges knocked out Croatia’s 13th seed Petra Martic in a 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 victory.In her final season before retirement, Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro won her first-round match against Belarusian 11th seed Aryna Sabalenka 7-6(8-6), 7-6(8-6) to set up a meeting with Polish 18-year-old Iga Swiatek. (BBC Sport)
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) – Cricket West Indies (CWI) president Ricky Skerritt has painted a challenging portrait of the governing body’s finances, pointing to a shortage of working capital as a continued problem while underscoring the need to secure sustainable revenue streams.Speaking last week on the one-year anniversary of taking up the helm of the embattled organisation, Skerritt said the board had continued to suffer from a legacy of over-spending without finding a means of off-setting costs.Additionally, vital new broadcast deals still remained up in the air, depriving CWI of key revenue, while other income had fallen short of projections.“West Indies cricket has been suffering for some time from a shortage of working capital. Basically we spend more money than we earn most years,” Skerritt said.“When we earn more than we spend it’s usually small amounts. We’ve had an approach where we always spent money we thought was coming in advance of it coming, and sometimes the money that came wasn’t quite what we expected.”Skerritt, a former tourism minister in St Kitts and Nevis, said grants from cricket’s world governing body, the International Cricket Council (ICC), was a prime example.“We had been told that the ICC would be granting us a total of US$128M over a seven-year period … well the ICC earnings fell a little bit and instead of getting US$128M over seven years, we’re going to be getting US$119M over the same period,” Skerritt pointed out.“So that means West Indies was expecting an additional US$9M, which we probably wouldn’t get, but which we’ve pretty much already spent.”Much of the recent cost has surrounded the acquisition of the Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua, formerly the old Stanford Cricket Ground.CWI chief executive Johnny Grave said last month the board had been forced to use its “operating cash flow” to complete the purchase.Skerritt explained that undertaking this venture without having a solid base of capital had obviously had a significant impact.“Part of it (income) was spent on purchasing the Coolidge Cricket Ground and that money has had to go to complete the sale of Coolidge Cricket Ground,” he noted.“The purchase was completed without having the kind of capitalisation that we needed to have, without having any long-term money so that has pulled money out of our working capital.”CWI’s fixed costs, Skerritt explained, stood at around US$45M and this was serviced largely by ICC moneys and broadcast revenue.But with CWI belatedly entering the market to renew its broadcast deal last year, Skerritt said the board had found itself disadvantaged.“The broadcast rights money expired in December last year and we still do not have completed negotiations with most countries …,” he said.“One, you should really enter the market about two years before the end of the (deal) to start negotiating and trying to cajole and to convince the broadcasters to do business with you.“We didn’t go to the market till around the same time I became president last year (March) so we’ve not had enough time in the (market and to make it worse, the market has become very, very uncertain.“So revenues which under normal circumstances we would have already begun collecting from broadcast rights, we have not done as yet.”Skerritt said CWI would continue to navigate choppy financial waters going forward.“Revenues continue to decline, expenses are fixed and even when you try to reduce some of the administrative or operational costs, you still have payrolls that exceed US$1.5M per month to cover players, et cetera and other fixed costs that just won’t go away.”