Ambrose slams 'pathetic' West Indies

Updated 22 August 2017
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Ambrose slams 'pathetic' West Indies

LONDON: Curtly Ambrose labelled the current West Indies side “embarrassing” and “pathetic” after their humiliating innings defeat by England in the first Test.
England went 1-0 up in the ongoing three-match series courtesy of a mammoth innings and 209-run win as the first day/night Test in Britain ended inside three days at Edgbaston on Saturday.
Amid a welter of depressing statistics for the West Indies, perhaps the worst was that they lost 19 wickets in under a day on Saturday after being made to follow-on.
“In the end it was totally embarrassing,” West Indies fast-bowling great Ambrose told Monday’s Daily Mail.
“I never saw any aggression from the West Indies players throughout the three days,” added Ambrose, who took 405 wickets at an outstanding low average of 20.99 in his 98-Test career.
“There was no belief that they could compete, let alone beat England. They seemed to be waiting for England to make mistakes and at this level that is not going to work.
“Trust me, it was painful to watch.”
West Indies have now won just three out of 87 away Tests in the past 20 years excluding matches against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.
Ambrose said he had tried to stop the slide as a member of the backroom staff but in the end felt it was a “waste of time.”
“I was with the team for two years as bowling coach and we tried to educate them about our heritage,” he recalled. “I talked about the pride and passion in representing the region and our people.
“I could talk to them all day but once they stepped over that rope they were on their own and if they were not prepared to listen, it was simply a waste of time. It does hurt.
“And it has reached a point where it is very embarrassing.”
Ambrose was now left hoping the West Indies could compete in the remaining two Tests of the England series at Headingley and Lord’s as “what we have seen so far has been pathetic.”
Meanwhile, England great Geoffrey Boycott said the West Indies were the worst Test side he'd seen during his five decades of involvement in cricket, labelling their plight a "tragedy" for the sport.
“This West Indies lot are the worst Test match team I have seen in more than 50 years of watching, playing and commentating on cricket,” wrote Boycott in his Daily Telegraph column.
“They can’t bat and can’t bowl.”
The former England opener, whose career coincided with that of such West Indies stars as Garfield Sobers, Michael Holding and Vivian Richards, added: “I take no pleasure out of saying this as I played against some of the greatest players the world has ever seen wearing the maroon cap of the West Indies.”
“It is a cricketing tragedy to see the West Indies like this and there is no gloating over them losing.”
"It is just sad to see a once-proud cricket Test team lower than any I have ever seen before."
The second Test starts on Friday.


NBA, FIBA announce plans for pro league in Africa

Updated 17 February 2019
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NBA, FIBA announce plans for pro league in Africa

  • The Basketball Africa League is a new collaboration between the NBA and the sport’s global governing body FIBA
  • Qualification tournaments will be held to determine those clubs that will take part

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina: The NBA is bringing a pro league to Africa.
The Basketball Africa League, a new collaboration between the NBA and the sport’s global governing body FIBA, was announced Saturday. The initial plan is for the 12-team league to begin play in January, and former President Barack Obama is among those who are expected to have direct involvement with the league’s plan to keep growing the game in Africa through the league and other initiatives.
The scope of what Obama’s involvement will be remains unknown, and it’s yet to be determined which existing club teams will be part of the league. Qualification tournaments will be held later this year to determine those clubs, with teams from Angola, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia expected to be among those taking part. No nation will have more than two teams in the league.
“As we’ve been talking about this concept over the last several months, there’s been a tremendous reception from many of our NBA team owners ... and in addition, several of the partners of the NBA have expressed a strong desire to work with us in Africa,” Silver said.
Silver said Pepsi and Nike’s Jordan Brand — Charlotte owner Michael Jordan was among the owners in the room where Silver made the announcement — are among the partners who have reached out to the NBA and said they want to be part of the Africa league. Silver also said that Obama, an enormous basketball fan, has told him he wants to “be directly involved with these activities in Africa.”
Silver said talks between the NBA and Obama are ongoing. Obama spoke on a video that was shown during the event where Silver announced the league.
“I hope you know through sport, that if you put in effort, you will be rewarded,” Obama said. “I hope you learn through sport what it means to play as a team, and even if you are the best player, your job is not just to show off but your job is to make your teammates better.”
The NBA and FIBA’s involvement will include financial support and resources toward continued growing of the game on the continent, as well as providing training for players, coaches and referees and some infrastructure for the new league. Silver said there are 438 companies in Africa that generate more than $1 billion in revenue annually, but that sport there has not seen the same growth — yet.
“Africa is a huge economic engine,” Silver said. “And one place, though, where we haven’t seen enormous economic growth yet is in the industry of sport. And that’s something that we are all particularly focused on.”
The NBA has held three games in Africa since 2015, all of them selling out — two games in Johannesburg, the other in Pretoria. Many of the league’s current players and coaches, along with several legends and Hall of Famers, have been part of those trips.
“I went with them last year,” Basketball Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar said. “The NBA reaches out across the world.”
The league has an office in South Africa, has helped create 87 learn-and-play facilities in seven African nations, and 13 players who were born in Africa on opening-night NBA rosters this season. The league also built an academy in Senegal that opened nearly two years ago.
“It’s a huge joy to see our partnership with the NBA enter uncharted territory as we work together for the first time to maximize the potential of professional basketball in Africa,” said Andreas Zagklis, FIBA’s secretary-general.
This marks the first time the NBA has been involved with the operation of a league outside of North America.
“We’re excited to work closely with the NBA to develop and put in a place a professional league like none that we have ever seen in our region before,” said FIBA Africa Executive Director Alphonse Bile. “Through the Basketball Africa League, we can provide the many great clubs and players with the best possible environment to compete for the highest stakes.”
The NBA says more details about the new league will be released in the coming months.