ST JOHN’S, Antigua (CMC):Antigua have already begun preparations to host a Test during the upcoming India series, in anticipation of getting official word from the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB).Sports Minister EP Chet Greene said the country had received “verbal information” that the tour would go ahead, and officials at the island’s premier cricket venue, the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, had already started putting things in place.”We are waiting for the official communiquÈ, but the verbal information is yes, the Test series is happening,” Greene told the Observer newspaper here.Preparations have already begun at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium to host a Test during the India series.”But even at the level of preparation at the stadium, we have already started the work because we don’t want to get the announcement and then we find ourselves short of time.”FOUR-TEST TOURWICB president Dave Cameron confirmed last month that the four-Test tour would go ahead in July and August, but specific dates and venues had not been announced.The tour had been in jeopardy for some while after the Board of Control for Cricket suspended bilateral relations with the WICB, following the controversial abandoned tour of India two years ago.Antigua last hosted a Test during England’s tour of the Caribbean last year, when the first Test ended in a tense draw.Greene praised the stadium team for its commitment to moving quickly to spruce up preparations.”I want to commend Anthony Merrick and his team (and) Conley Phillip, who heads the stadium staff. We have started the work, but are just waiting on the official communiquÈ from the WICB that the game is happening.”
Five-time Olympian Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn is predicting Jamaica to overhaul the 12 medal count earned at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, pointing to improvements among the athletes expected to make the team to the Rio Olympics this summer. The track and field athletes will be selected following the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) Senior Championship in July. “The top athletes that got medals at the World Championship last year will do better. I think we are going to do incredibly well in Brazil,” Cuthbert-Flynn told The Gleaner. “I see us doing a little better than the 12 medals at the World Championship,” she emphasised. “I believe that the athletes will get up there and do the best as the Olympic Games is a bigger stage than the World Championship,” the former sprinter added. In addition to Usain Bolt, who got a combined six gold medals at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games; Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, winner of the 100 m and a silver medallist in the 200m, as well as others such as Warren Weir and Yohan Blake, the two-time Olympic silver medallist, Cuthbert-Flynn is confident that World Championship 100 m gold medal winner, Danielle Williams will do well at her first Olympic Games. Looking back, Cuthbert-Flynn made her first Olympic Games in 1980 at age 16 but did not run in an event. “It was a good experience, as I returned four years later and made it to the 100 m semi-finals. Then in 1988, I made the final and finished seventh,” she reflected. However, it was in 1992 that Cuthbert-Flynn got most success at the Olympic Games, where she earned silver in the 100 m and 200m events. “It was an awesome experience as it was fourth time a charm. I was an underdog to Merlene Ottey, Gail Devers and other people,” she highlighted. “It taught me resilience going to five Olympic Games. I practise that in life and keep working hard,” Cuthbert-Flynn, who was successful at the Jamaica General Elections in February as a Member of Parliament for the ruling Jamaica Labour Party,” said.