Covid-19 has no friend or foe

first_imgThe world is waging war on the pandemic COVID-19 and our very own World Champion and renowned bodybuilder/Law Enforcement Officer, Hugh Ross is on the front lines in New York City. The Queens, New York based Ross is at the epicenter of the outbreak in the US.During a phone conversation with Stabroek Sport, Ross pleaded with his fellow Guyanese to stay home and stay safe.“I’ve experienced 9/11, hurricanes and other disasters but nothing has compared to this,” said Ross. “This virus has no friend or foe and we are all mere mortals, non greater than the other, hence we are all susceptible.”The former Mr. Universe Masters Champion added “As an essential worker in the middle of New York City, I’m doing my best by trying to embrace all safety measures and imploring on everyone to do likewise”.Ross continued “A common enemy forges unity so please, let’s all come together, especially at this time and defeat COVID-19.” To date, the pandemic has claimed four lives locally and more than 60,000 across the globe.The decorated athlete and advocate for health and fitness noted that “ It is hitting home now and down there in Guyana, my home country, the authorities have just begun monitoring this very carefully, so as a result people have been interacting. And I am absolutely positive interacting with those that are actually carriers.So it is just a matter of time before we see the geometrical magnitude of what is going to be happening down there. I really just cringe at the thought and all I can say is observe the rules, obey the law and stay inside.” The former Sportsman-of-the-Year concluded by urging Guyanese to practice social distancing and stay at home.“Medically there has not been a preventative measure to date and the one thing that has been effective is social distancing and avoiding unnecessary interactions.So all I can stay is stay in doors, please stay indoors and keep your distance” Ross implored. (Emmerson Campbell)last_img read more

Smith confirmed as CSA director of cricket

first_imgCAPE TOWN,  (Reuters) – Cricket South Africa (CSA) confirmed yesterday they had made former test skipper Graeme Smith’s tenure as director of cricket permanent, keeping him in the role until March 2022. Smith, the most successful test captain in history, has been in the role in an acting capacity since December.CSA acting chief executive Jacques Faul told a media conference that Smith had impressed since in the position.“Graeme has made a huge impact with his energy, expertise, hard work ethic and characteristic determination and passion he has brought to the position,” said Faul. “Although there is certainly a great deal of work to be done, as reflected by the performances of our various national teams, he has certainly put our cricket on an upward trajectory that provides light at the end of the tunnel.”Faul added they were pleased to tie Smith down ahead of what is likely to be a turbulent time for the game due to the COVID-19 pandemic.“We wanted to appoint him permanently from the word go, but there was a lot of uncertainty at the time,” Faul said. “Graeme also wanted to have the opportunity to see if the partnership can work.“I’m not sure if anybody’s career can start with so many challenges and what will be a new way of looking at cricket.”Smith appointed former team mate Mark Boucher as head coach of the national team and started with a 3-1 home test series loss to England, but ended the 2019/20 season with a 3-0 One-Day International whitewash of a strong Australia side. “There is a lot of work that still needs to be done, not just at international level but throughout our pipeline development pathways as well but I am determined to get South African cricket back to where it belongs as one of the world leaders at international level,” Smith, 39, said.The former opening batsman played 117 tests, leading South Africa in 108 of those and winning 53.South Africa are due to tour Sri Lanka for a limited overs series in June but that looks increasingly unlikely due to the global health crisis.last_img read more

Thorn: Isiah Thomas never discussed for Dream Team

first_imgIsiah Thomas calls the Dream Team omission the biggest hole on his basketball resume and insists he should have been part of the 1992 United States Olympic gold-medal roster. Thomas believes players, including rival Michael Jordan, influenced the decision of the personnel executives who assembled that team, including Rod Thorn.Thorn was responsible for putting the team together but said yesterday he never talked to Jordan or anyone else about Thomas’ inclusion.Isaiah ThomasThorn, who served as general manager of the Chicago Bulls when Jordan was drafted third overall in 1984, said he did call Jordan. However, Thorn said Thomas never was brought up in their conversation. He also said no other players on the Dream Team mentioned Thomas to him. “My conversation with Michael was strictly about Michael, about Michael playing,” Thorn said yesterday in an ESPN interview. “Obviously, the committee was hopeful that Michael would play, because he was the No. 1 player in the league at that time and the No. 1 player in the world and the most popular player in the world at that time.”The situation has come to light recently because of the docuseries “The Last Dance,” which featured an episode on the Bulls-Pistons bad blood and will also have a look at the 1992 team that blitzed the competition in Barcelona to win gold.Thorn said Thomas wasn’t the only “great player” left off the 10-man roster. Atlanta Hawks perennial All-Star Dominique Wilkins, Indiana Pacers shooting guard Reggie Miller, and Jordan’s friend and college teammate James Worthy (Los Angeles Lakers) were also part of the cut. Thorn said there was no specific reason any of those players didn’t make it, but the selection committee focused on the best 10 players.“That’s a good question, because Isiah was a great player, a fantastic player,” Thorn said. “There was some controversy with the Pistons regarding not shaking hands with the Bulls — there was some bad blood, obviously, there. … But when we ended up going with the first 10 guys, he did not end up making the team.”Thomas said Monday he would be more disappointed today to find out he didn’t make the team because of the handshake controversy. The Pistons walked off the court in Detroit after a four-game sweep by the Bulls in the 1991 Eastern Conference finals. “I thought I should’ve made that Dream Team,” Thomas said Monday. “However, I wasn’t a part of it — that hurt me. Looking back, if I’m not a part of the Dream Team because a lapse in emotion in terms of not shaking someone’s hand — if that’s the reason why I didn’t make the Dream Team, then I am more disappointed today than I was back then when I wasn’t selected.”—Field Level Medialast_img read more

Two more positive coronavirus tests in Premier League

first_imgLONDON, (Reuters) – Two people from two Premier League clubs have tested positive for the coronavirus after a second batch of testing, the Premier League said yesterday. Since the players returned to limited group training on Tuesday, eight positive tests for the virus have been confirmed from England’s top-flight clubs.“The Premier League can today confirm that on Tuesday 19 May, Thursday 21 May and Friday 22 May, 996 players and club staff were tested for COVID-19. Of these, two have tested positive from two clubs,” the statement said.“The Premier League is providing this aggregated information for the purposes of competition integrity and transparency. “Players or club staff who have tested positive will now self-isolate for a period of seven days.”The Premier League said it would not be providing details of the identities of the two new positive tests.A total of 748 tests of players and club staff made up the initial round of testing on May 17-18. Watford’s Adrian Mariappa and two members of the club’s non-playing staff and Burnley assistant manager Ian Woan were among six positive tests. They are all still in their seven-day isolation period.Two other Watford players are also self-isolating after coming into close contact with people who tested positive, according to manager Nigel Pearson.No matches have been played in the Premier League since March, but the government has given the green light for elite sport to resume from June 1, including the top-flight football. The Premier League’s “Project Restart” hopes to resume action in June, although no date has been fixed.Another round of tests are scheduled to take place tomorrow and Tuesday. All 20 clubs will hold a meeting on Wednesday to decide whether they can move to phase two of the restart and allow full-contact training.Chief executive Richard Masters said on Friday the Premier League is “as confident as we can be” about a resumption of the top flight and that the remaining 92 games would be completed. “We wouldn’t have taken the first step to get back to training if we weren’t convinced we had created a very safe environment for our players,” he said.Britain’s death toll from the coronavirus pandemic is the highest in Europe with an official figure of 36,675 as of yesterday.Germany’s Bundesliga returned to action last week with matches in empty stadiums and strict safety protocols.Spain’s government yesterday gave the go-ahead for La Liga to resume from June 8.last_img read more

DraftKings delays UK launch to early 2016

first_img Share DraftKings CBO – Industry ‘only just scratched the surface’ of US sports betting July 16, 2020 StumbleUpon DraftKings expands Sportradar partnership to launch mobile live streaming May 29, 2020 Submit Related Articles Kambi and DraftKings agree on final closure terms July 24, 2020 Share DraftKings Inc has delayed its planned product launch for the UK fantasy sports market, pushing back its release to “early next year”.The US based fantasy sports operator, confirmed the delay this morning via the release of a short statement.Having gained a UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) licence in August, DraftKings had earmarked the release of dedicated UK DFS product in Q4 2015.The operator had further appointed former bwin.party Entertainment Group Poker Director Jeffery Haas to lead the product launch as Chief International Officer (CIO).Nearing its planned UK launch date, DraftKings operational legality would come under scrutiny following raised questions of the DFS industry by US lawmakers amid concerns of data policy breaches by DraftKings and main competitor FanDuel employees.A rough Q4 2015 for DraftKings and FanDuel has seen the operators being served ‘cease & desist’ injunctions by New York Attorney General Eric T Schneiderman.US fantasy sports news sources have reported that player activity has declined on DraftKings DFS tournaments during the Q4 2015 period, which in previous years has been marked as the busiest period for the DFS sector as the NFL season reaches its ‘play-off’ qualifying period.DraftKings stated that it would update the market regarding its UK product launch in 2016last_img read more

ESSA releases statement following tennis corruption reports

first_img Related Articles Share Victoria Police charges two following tennis corruption investigation June 29, 2020 StumbleUpon ESSA have reacted to the suspected match-fixing at the top level of world tennis by stating their intention to work closely with the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU), and throwing their support behind the recently launched UK Sports Betting Integrity Action Plan.Yesterday, secret files exposing evidence of widespread suspected match-fixing, including at Wimbledon were leaked online. In fact, over the last decade, 16 players ranked in the top 50 have been repeatedly flagged to the TIU over suspicions they have thrown matches.ESSA, formerly the European Sports Security Association, released the following statement:We are aware of the report and leaked evidence that suggests potential criminal elements and corrupt sportspeople have been seeking to manipulate tennis. Clearly such activity would be of great concern to the sport’s governing body and betting operators. During 2015, whilst tennis constituted the largest proportion of suspicious betting alerts identified by ESSA members, it should be noted that the vast majority of tennis events are fair.As the industry body that represents many of the major regulated gambling companies on sports betting integrity matters, ESSA has been passing on any suspicious betting alerts to the tennis integrity team and cooperating as appropriate in providing relevant evidence.Anything that undermines the confidence and integrity of sport is not only damaging for sport itself but is potentially serious for the betting industry too. It is for this reason that ESSA continues to support tennis and any other sport in supporting the implementation of good governance and integrity regimes.The ESSA Chairman, Mike O’Kane, stated that: “The issue of sports betting integrity is an important one and ESSA and its partner sports are committed to ensuring that sports participants and betting customers have confidence in the sport they enjoy.“We will continue to liaise closely with the Tennis Integrity Unit and all other sports governing bodies who have any concerns with integrity. In addition, the recently launched UK Sports Betting Integrity Action Plan, which is fully supported by ESSA and its betting operator members, provides a guide to reducing the risk of sports betting integrity issues.” Share TIU denies two requests to lift provisional suspensions July 27, 2020 Submit GVC Foundation backs Eastern European Championship tennis appeal June 17, 2020last_img read more

Prime Minister Muscat opens Malta Gaming Authority’s new offices

first_imgMalta Prime Minister Dr Joseph Muscat officially inaugurated the opening of The Malta Gaming Authority’s (MGA) new offices at technology complex ‘SmartCity Malta’.In attendance of the Malta business, igaming and political community, the MGA opened the doors to it new +25000 square metre office, which will house 150 employees.MGA governance stated that the office opening, outlined the organisations commitment to growing Malta’s digital and commercial services for the igaming and betting sectors.Prime Minister Muscat praised the work of the MGA, stating that it had created the best working conditions for industry  stakeholders to operate in, with the island becoming the leading jurisdiction for at attracting international operators.Speaking at the inauguration, Parliamentary Secretary for Competitiveness & Economic Growth Dr Jose Herrara praised MGA on a significant milestone for the organisation.“The gaming industry contributes substantially to Malta’s overall GDP, and it is in our interest to keep sustaining this sector. The new MGA offices have been equipped and designed to continue to deliver positive results as reflected in the interim performance report published just a few weeks ago.” StumbleUpon Share Share Genesis to appeal UKGC’s ‘disproportionate suspension’ July 23, 2020 Related Articles Soft2Bet continues new market drive with Irokobet launch August 26, 2020 Submit TVBET passes GLI test for five live games in Malta and Italy August 25, 2020last_img read more

SBC Leader Profile: Jonathan Hufford – Spreadex – Rare Market Conditions & Realities

first_img Johnathan HuffordHaving founded leading spread betting firm Spreadex in 1999, Johnathan Hufford CEO speaks to SBC on his company’s long journey. Focusing on in-house development since its founding, Hufford details to SBC readers how his firm has handled the rare market conditions and realties of running a spread betting product.____________________________SBC: Jonathan thanks for letting SBC profile you… When you founded Spreadex in 1999 what market issues and conditions were you trying to solve? How have these factors changed in the 17 years since you began operations?Jonathan Hufford: When Spreadex was first founded in 1999, we found a very competitive environment with seven operators in sports spread betting including UK legacy betting operators William Hill and Ladbrokes.Today that competition has shrunk to just two out and out spread betting operators; ourselves and Sporting Index. The financial markets were more benign in nature but they have become far more competitive.SBC: As a brand Spreadex has successfully translated the complexities of spread betting to an effective consumer proposition, how has your team achieved this vital competency?JH: Being honest…I am not sure we have!! But like any dedicated firm we continue to improve our market messaging,  via online tutorials, videos and using customer friendly language that is not centered on city technical speak or dialogue. I feel that this has helped grow Spreadex services and has  been one of our main corporate focuses.Spreadex marketing has further been supported by strategic content led PR using insightful articles in the wider media detailing markets intricacies, which have been a useful tool for engaging with the general public beyond just simply advertising our spread betting services.SBC: Competing in today’s highly saturated sports betting market, where do you see spread betting as product and service?JH: Its position will be as a small niche within the betting industry, this is simply this is a market reality. Sports spread betting was arguably the forerunner of betting in-play, and with a host of different markets. Unfortunately, because it is a small niche, it has been unable to maximise this innovation because so many people do not understand the market.I am also wary of dumbing down too much the product as this would be irresponsible in a highly regulated industry. We do not want people to lose money on products/markets they do not understand.SBC: Spreadex has placed a high focus on in-house led development, as a leader why did you focus on this strategy, when easier options were available for your spread betting product?JH: Having a strong  focus on ‘in-house’ development was a simply a reality for the business since our market was too niche,  we therefore decided it was hard to brief outside firms on product development which would hinder us long term.Aligning our divisions, some of our key IT personnel now are ex-sports traders. Having your own in-house systems allows flexibility to adjust and upgrade the platform as we see fit. However, the constraints are that we would like to be developing faster but it does not always follow that new recruits add immediately to the output.SBC: When growing and developing Spreadex services for business, what has been your toughest period as its leader, furthermore what did you learn from this challenge?JH: Undoubtedly, the financial crash in 2008-2009. We were saddled with some large bad debts in the financial markets and many related to small cap stocks where we could not liquidate the position. I learned never to give up and we reviewed all of our credit arrangements for dealing in AIM stocks . However, we did not want to throw the baby out with the bath water and punish those good clients who did pay. As ever, it is always a balance.SBC: Finally, looking ahead how do you feel that sports consumer engagement will change, what should all betting stakeholders be preparing for in terms of new demands and technologies?JH: I have no doubt the sites will continue to evolve and improve. There is a growing sign of giving more helpful information to clients before they place a bet about the sport/event which they are following. I feel also that the growing regulations will make account opening more difficult and more personal information will be required from both prospective and existing clients._____________________________Jonathan Hufford – Founder & CEO – Spreadex Share SBC Roundtable: A new ‘Pace’ for live cricket trading July 8, 2020 Submit Share Oddschecker: Interesting trends amidst Royal Ascot breakdown June 27, 2018 Related Articles Sporting Index celebrates 25th birthday April 3, 2017 StumbleUponlast_img read more

So, my beautiful wife Jenn was diagnosed with leukemia last week…

first_imgNeedless to say it’s been a whirlwind week in my life and if you’ve reached this blog you know that my wife Jennifer has been diagnosed with leukemia and is at Johns Hopkins Hospital giving cancer one helluva fight over the next month and beyond.To say that we’ve been overwhelmed by the kindness, generosity and sheer humanity of all of the love bestowed upon us over the last three days would be a complete understatement. It was completely unexpected and we’ll never forget this crazy period in our lives.You have inspired us and made us stronger and even more committed through your caring, thoughtful words and the offers we’ve received from every corner of our lives. The acts, words and gestures have left us feeling truly humbled.A month ago we were in Brisbane, Australia seeing Bruce Springsteen and my wife woke up the next morning with an insect bite (we think it was a spider) on her right hand. Two days later it swelled and started to throb. By the time we got to Fiji for our final two days on the beach, she had her hand exclusively in a bucket of ice.We flew for nearly 36 hours to get home and between the flight, jet lag and general fatigue, she began to feel bad a few days later. On March 12, she went to she her doctor with some deep pain under her right armpit. We were worried about breast cancer and all sorts of bad things.The docs said it was a swollen lymph node and gave her an antibiotic to fight the infection. The next day she went through a battery of tests – mammogram, X rays and blood work to make sure it wasn’t more serious. On the afternoon of Wednesday, March 19 she reported back to the doctors who had long faces of concern when we arrived. They handed us a box of face masks and told us to go to the emergency room at Johns Hopkins right away because her white blood cell count was dangerously low. After five hours in the ER, she was admitted and spent the most of the overnight giving blood and getting tested.At 8 a.m. the next morning, while filling in for Drew Forrester on fumes of sleep, I announced that was coming back onto the radio every day from 3 til 6 p.m. at WNST.net & AM 1570 with a new radio show called “The Happy Hours.” I also released Chapter 1 of The Peter Principles, a book I’ve been working on for almost five months.The “comeback,” set for April 1st, was something we’ve been planning together for nearly six months.Nine hours later, at 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 20, a doctor entered her hospital room at Hopkins and dropped the biggest bombshell of our lives: “I’m really sorry to tell you that you’ve got leukemia and you’re not going to be leaving the hospital for a long time.”Family, work, friends, goals and dreams – all of it would have to be addressed and put on hold or readjusted to a “new normal” for us. It broke her heart to know that she couldn’t be with our beloved cat, Kitty, for a month. (We’ve since begun Skyping her into chat with our furry companion every morning and night.)The doctors have told us that if she didn’t get the spider bite, which was what sent her to the clinic to begin with, we might’ve been sitting on a time bomb with her deteriorated immune system. Had she contracted a common cold, it might’ve killed her because her body would’ve been weakened.Instead, she checked into the hospital very vulnerable but also very healthy and strong, which they see as a great way for her to start her chemotherapy and aids her chances for recovery during this firstlast_img read more

Daniels, J. Smith remain sidelined; Reid going through concussion protocol

first_imgOWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens continued to be without a number of notable players as they continued preparations Tuesday for the all-important third preseason game of the summer.While a number of others remain sidelined with defined injuries, veteran tight end Owen Daniels continues to miss practices while resting his legs, according to head coach John Harbaugh. The 31-year-old hasn’t practiced since Aug. 11, leading some to wonder whether he is secretly injured or to even question his desire to play after what’s been an underwhelming summer for the former Houston Texan.“He has some swelling in his leg with use, and we’re playing it safe right now rather than pounding his legs out,” Harbaugh said. “It’s training camp. He’s an older guy, and I’m just following [head certified athletic trainer] Mark [Smith’s] instructions on it. He feels like he needs some rest still, so that’s what he’s getting. But there’s no injury there.”Reserve offensive tackle Jah Reid was absent from Tuesday’s practice as he is now undergoing the NFL’s concussion protocol. The 2011 third-round pick hasn’t lived up to expectations in his four-year career, but Harbaugh complimented Reid’s play on Monday, naming him the team’s top reserve tackle and all but confirming he would make the 53-man roster.Reid was sidelined for most of the spring with a calf injury but had remained healthy through the first several weeks of training camp.“Jah has a little head dinger,” Harbaugh said. “I don’t know the extent of it or how long it’ll be, but he hit his head yesterday, so he’s [going through the] concussion protocol.”Others missing from Tuesday’s practice included cornerbacks Jimmy Smith (chest), Lardarius Webb (back), and Asa Jackson (ankle), offensive linemen Will Rackley (head) and Brett Van Sloten (knee), fullback Shaun Chapas (undisclosed). Defensive tackle Terrence Cody remains on the active physically unable to perform list while rehabbing from offseason hip surgery.Harbaugh gave the day off to wide receivers Steve Smith and Torrey Smith as well as defensive end Chris Canty.last_img read more