SYDNEY, Australia (CMC):Selection chief Clive Lloyd believes the exodus of players like Chris Gayle, Andre Russell and Lendl Simmons to the lucrative Twenty20 circuit has definitely had a negative impact on the development of the West Indies Test side.The legendary former West Indies captain said the absence of such players had left the Caribbean side with a vacuum and forced authorities in the region to undertake a rebuilding process.”You can’t fault them (players who have turned to T20s),” Lloyd told a media conference at the Sydney Cricket Ground yesterday.”The money that is being paid in these shorter games, it’s obvious that players are looking towards their future. And, unfortunately, we’re missing out, all those guys who we groomed have now left, so we’re left with a vacuum and we now have to fill that.”He continued: “People might say that we’re not a top-class side, but some of these guys [in the current squad] have only played four Test matches and we can’t bring anybody from home because they’ll be just as raw, or young.”Big Bash playersWhile West Indies have been locked in the current three-Test series against Australia, Gayle, Simmons and Russell have all been campaigning in theBig Bash League here for variousfranchises.Former Test and one-day captain Darren Sammy and all-rounder Dwayne Bravo are also involved in the Big Bash after having retired from the longer format of the game.Lloyd, who oversaw one of the most successful periods of West Indies cricket in the late 1970s and early 80s, said some of these players would have played key roles in the touring Test side.”That’s the situation we have; we have guys like Andre Russell, Lendl Simmons, Chris Gayle, Bravo and these fellas, (but) they’ve retired from the longer form of the game,” he explained.”I think somebody like Russell – surely we would have had a chat with him – but he has a problem with his knee and he’s just playing one-day cricket. Lendl Simmons, too, would have been a nice guy to have in the middle there because he’s an opener, (and) he plays spin very well; he would have fitted in fine with our batting.”But he’s not involved, so we’ve got to look somewhere else. It’s a bit of a sad situation, but I’m sure that our cricket will get better.”West Indies have struggled on tour so far, losing both Tests by significant margins. They went down by an innings and 212 runs in the Hobart opener before crashing to a 177-run loss in Melbourne last week.They face Australia in the final Test here starting today.
Former champion Maria Sharapova battled past holder Caroline Wozniacki 6-4 4-6 6-3 in a third round thriller at the Australian Open on Friday.Denmark’s Wozniacki raced to a 4-1 lead in the opening set but Sharapova raised her level and reeled off the next five games to grab the early advantage in the contest.The second set followed a similar pattern before Wozniacki took advantage of Sharapova’s sloppy serving late on to drag the match into a decider.The Russian was not to be denied, however, as she closed out the win on her second match point in two hours and 24 minutes.”(feels good?) It really is. I thought the level was quite high, I knew it was going to be tough. She loves this arena, I haven’t played many matches prior to this but this is what you train for and it’s really rewarding.”I am definitely not walking around thinking that I have experience because that will be dangerous but definitely experience helps.”(About next opponent Ashleigh Barty) I think her story is phenomenal, she loves playing here. She did really well in Sydney really well and she loves it here. She took a break and came back and is doing incredibly well. I know the crowd is going to be tough but I look forward to playing,” Sharapova said after the match.Five-times Grand Slam champion Sharapova, who won her last major at the 2014 French Open, hit 37 winners against 10 from her opponent and converted her second matchpoint to set up a fourth round clash with local hope Ashleigh Barty, who eased past Greek Maria Sakkari 7-5 6-1.advertisementMeanwhile in other matches, young American Amanda Anisimova upstaged 11th seed Aryna Sabalenka 6-3 6-2, hitting her way into the fourth round.The fearless 17-year-old bullied her much higher ranked opponent who looked shell-shocked by the power being generated at the other end of the court.It was Anisimova’s third consecutive straight sets win, which included a 6-0 6-2 destruction of 24th seed Lesia Tsurenko, signalling the arrival of a genuine new talent in the women’s game.Anisimova, the youngest competitor in the draw, will play the winner of Petra Kvitova and Belinda Bencic in the fourth round.
United States U17 U.S. U-17s relishing underdog role against familiar foe England Ives Galarcep @soccerbyives 07:59 10/21/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) AIFF Media United States U17 U17 World Cup United States U17 v England U17 England U17 The USA enters as an underdog against a well-known rival in Saturday’s U-17 World Cup quarterfinal, but manager John Hackworth remains confident The U.S. Under-17 national team isn’t generating much consideration as a real threat to knock off England in Saturday’s Under-17 World Cup quarterfinal, but the underdog label doesn’t bother U.S. coach John Hackworth all that much. For one, there isn’t a team in the World Cup he and his U.S. team knows better than England. Secondly, the underdog label just might offer up the kind of motivation that makes a difference in a rivalry that has been very tightly contested.”For sure England is the favorite, and are worthy of that,” Hackworth told Goal ahead of Saturday’s quarterfinal in Goa, India. “They’ve been a good team, have a great record, and have been great in this tournament. But just like with Paraguay (which was unbeaten before the U.S. delivered a 5-0 thumping), I didn’t get why people made us a big underdog against Paraguay. We beat Ghana, one of the best teams in this tournament, and I don’t think we were getting much respect.”Obviously the Paraguay game gave us a little bit, but that being said, we role into this game and nobody’s giving us a chance and you wouldn’t think we had a chance in hell to win. So we’re going to use that to our advantage.” Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player The Americans face an English side they know all too well, having faced them on four different occasions in the past two years. The results have been as tight as can be, with three matches resulting in draws, and England winning one courtesy of a late goal. Not only have the two teams competed many times, they have also established friendships along the way, having stayed at the same hotels in past competitions. Many of the same players who contested those four previous meetings will be involved in Saturday’s quarterfinal, and that familiarity should help the Americans feel comfortable in a pressure-packed match.”There’s no question we think they’ve been the best team we’ve played throughout this cycle,” Hackworth said. “There’s a lot of mutual respect between the players. We stayed at the same hotels together in England and they played games together, ping-pong and foosball and all that kind of stuff. We’re at the same hotel now in Goa and it’s the same way. They give each other high fives walking through the common area.”It’s interesting but there’s a mutual respect there because we play similar styles, and we’re both kind of stubborn in trying to concentrate on ourselves instead of our opponents,” he continued. “It’s going to make for an interesting chess match.”England has rolled through the Under-17 World Cup undefeated, having outscored opponents 11-2. A penalty shootout win against Japan after a 0-0 regulation has the English on course to try and match the World Cup winning accomplishment of the Under-20 England team that won a world championship last summer.It is an England team that plays free-flowing, attacking soccer, but it’s a team Hackworth feels can be beaten.”They look to always find the free player on the field. Their movement off the ball is excellent,” Hackworth said. “They do want their players to be comfortable dribbling out of pressure, and they’re good at it, but it’s also risky in a World Cup and it’s something we’re going to try and capitalize on.”The U.S. will go into the match without starting defensive midfielder Chris Goslin, who is suspended due to yellow card accumulation. His absence will force Hackworth to insert a new face in central midfield, be it Akil Watts or Indiana Vassilev.”Any time you go deep into a tournament like this, you need a deep squad,” the U.S. manager said. “Guys are going to have to step up in moments. Akil Watts is a guy who can potentially step in. He played 90 against Paraguay and played very well against a player I thought had been one of the best in the tournament.”Durkin would be a great option (in the defensive midfield role), and that’s a natural position for him. It’s a natural position for James as well, but we will probably go with a new face there.”Saturday’s quarterfinal could provide a signature moment for U.S. star striker Josh Sargent, who has scored two goals in the Under-17 World Cup, a modest total for a player who won the Silver Ball award at the Under-20 World Cup last summer.Sargent, who has reached a verbal agreement to sign with German Bundesliga side Werder Bremen when he turns 18 in February, will be the focal point of the attack, though hat-trick scorer Timothy Weah and playmaker Andrew Carleton showed against Paraguay that they can also pick up the slack in attack while Sargent does the dirty work.”(Sargent) does the work even when he doesn’t get the goals,” Hackworth said. “That’s the part that I really like about him. He creates the opportunities for his teammates by making unselfish runs off the balls. Our team is a little different than how he was with the U-20s. With the 20s, he was expected to let everyone else do the work and provide him the ball. On our team, we ask him to do a lot of those things.”Hackworth acknowledges that it will take a full team effort to beat a team like England, but admits he is hopeful the big stage will offer Sargent a chance to show off his considerable talent.”If you’re going to win the really big games, your star players have to lead the way,” he said. “(Sargent’s) done that with his work ethic, and his ability on both sides of the ball. It would be great if he had one of those breakout moments (against England) because he’s the leader of this group. Both with his talent, his work ethic and the qualities he brings.”