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Bravo says Caribbean side focussed ahead of World Cup

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) – Marquee batsman Darren Bravo said yesterday West Indies would not be overawed by their opposition at the upcoming ICC World Cup in England, but would be focussing on executing their unique brand of cricket.The two-time World Cup champions are not among the favourites for the May 30 to July 14 tournament largely due to their lowly number nine ranking, with hosts and world number England the hot favourites.“To be honest, most other teams are quality teams but having said that, when we played against England no one gave us a chance, so I think that once we concentrate on what we have to do as a team, I think that is the most important thing,” the left-hander said during the Windies training camp at 3W’s Oval.“We are not going to focus very much on the opposition. We have certain plans and certain roles we want to execute and I believe that the result will take care of itself. As I said before, no one gave us a chance against England and we went out there and proved that we can beat the best team in the world so we just have to go out there and continue believing in ourselves as much as possible.”Bravo was referring to the recent five-match series home series against England which the hosts drew 2-2, with one match rained off.Written off before the start, West Indies played outstandingly after losing the opening match by 26 runs at Kensington Oval, rebounding to win the second match of the doubleheader by 26 runs.Rain forced the abandonment of the third ODI in Grenada before England clinched the fourth contest at the same venue, despite West Indies’ record 389 in pursuit of 419.West Indies crushed England by seven wickets in the final match in St Lucia, with Chris Gayle slamming an astonishing 77 off 27 balls to end the series with 424 runs.“I think it was a fantastic series for us as a team, led brilliantly by Jason and Chris Gayle,” Bravo said.“I think Chris set the tone at the top of the order in the ODIs that gave the motivation to go out there and perform against the best team in the world. It was a very good series and I am happy that it was very competitive and it should give us confidence moving forward.”Bravo is part of the Windies 14-man squad preparing for the tour of Ireland which runs from May 3 to 17 in Dublin. They will clash with the hosts and Bangladesh in the triangular series.The camp is being overseen by new interim head coach Floyd Reifer, who was appointed last week, and the experienced Bravo said he was making the most of the preparation, especially with former Test batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan playing a key role with the batting group.“The coach outlines what he wants from us and we try to come up with the brand of cricket we want to play,” said the 30-year-old Bravo, who averages 32 from 102 One-Day Internationals.“Moving forward the guys have been working on their technical areas as much as possible. Now we have Sarwan who came in for a couple of days to help us with our batting. He has been working tremendously well with us. I had a couple sessions, so far so good.“Hopefully he will be with us moving forward to Ireland because I believe with a young batting team like this, someone of Sarwan ‘s stature will mean a lot to us as a batting unit. We will see how it goes but so far the camp has been going well.“It has been a lot of hard work, fitness-wise and otherwise and we are enjoying it.” read more

Pacific brings back football program after 19-year hiatus

first_img Florida State at Oklahoma Prediction: Oklahoma 27, Florida State 20 After narrowly escaping defeat at home against Utah State, head coach Bob Stoops and the Sooners will face a serious contender when they host Florida State. Florida State demolished its foe last week, Samford, 59-6. New Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher will have to shore up his run defense to make sure Oklahoma running back DeMarco Murray doesn’t have free reign. Murray turned in more than 200 rushing yards in the close call last week. Penn State at Alabama Prediction: Alabama 23, Penn State 17 Joe Paterno and the Nittany Lions will face a much tougher game this week. It will be interesting to see how Penn State’s true freshman quarterback, Rob Bolden, holds up against Alabama’s defense. Alabama was in fine form last week against San Jose State, but it too will face a greater challenge. This game will be close, mostly because the Tide’s Heisman winner, running back Mark Ingram, is still sidelined. No upset, but still a grind-out game. Comments Published on September 8, 2010 at 12:00 pm Miami (Fla.) at Ohio State Prediction: Ohio State 21, Miami 10 This is the first matchup between these two teams since the 2003 national championship game won by the Buckeyes. OSU quarterback Terrelle Pryor looks to turn in another good game, after throwing three touchdowns in a romp of Marshall last week. Miami will need to prove it deserves its high ranking so far this season, but it will have its work cut out for it. Syracuse at Washington Prediction: Syracuse 23, Washington 20 Everybody knows about Jake Locker by now. How many times have we heard the phrase ‘Heisman candidate’? Syracuse looked quite good last week against Akron and should give the Huskies all they can handle, and perhaps more. If Ryan Nassib can keep the chains moving for the SU offense, the defense should be able to hold their own. For the first field goal ever by Pacific’s Jon Lee, everything went wrong. The snap came back wobbly. The holder promptly dropped the ball. As Lee came forward to kick, the ball laid on the ground horizontally. But Lee pushed through — sending the ball 26 yards through the field goal posts. ‘I’m still questioning myself on how I did it,’ said Lee, a Pacific senior. In that Sept. 4 game at Puget Sound, Lee played in his first football game ever and scored the first points of his career.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text The field goal also represented the first points Pacific has scored in 19 years. 19. In 2009, the University brought back its Division III football program after an almost two-decade hiatus and gave head coach Keith Buckley a year to put the team together. In the team’s first game, Lee kicked four field goals en route to a 36-19 loss for the Boxers. ‘Hopefully, next time we’ll have more touchdowns, so I won’t have to kick as many field goals,’ Lee said. At Pacific, Lee’s story of how he joined the program symbolizes how most players ended up on the team. Lee played collegiate soccer at Pacific for two years. He played in an intramural football league with some other students, too, just having some fun. At one intramural game, a friend told Lee that he had a great leg. ‘You might make a great kicker,’ his friend told him. When Buckley started putting together his team, Lee tried out. For Lee, the biggest adjustment to that point came when he began running in pads and a helmet. ‘I had never worn pads,’ he said. ‘I had never run in pads. So I had a little trouble.’ To build the program, Pacific plucked Buckley away from his assistant coaching job at UC-Davis. Both Buckley and his wife attended UC-Davis, and it looked daunting to pack up their lives and their children for something completely new, he said. ‘The biggest thing was that life-changing decision of leaving your alma mater, your wife’s alma mater, and jumping into something new,’ Buckley said. In the summer of 2009, Buckley and his family arrived at their new home. And Buckley quickly found that Pacific lacked any blueprints for constructing the team. ‘There’s not a manual for starting a football program,’ he said. ‘I pretty much dropped my bags and hit the road recruiting.’ Buckley traveled down the West Coast, trying to talk players into joining his program. He recruited from California, Oregon and Washington. He even made a seven-day trip to Hawaii, where 25 percent of Pacific’s student body comes from, including his current kicker, Lee. Buckley stuck to his recruiting timetable even in Hawaii, he said. ‘I didn’t even stick my toes in the water once — now that’s depressing,’ Buckley said. Buckley eventually won enough students over with his pitch. Pacific’s team would give them a chance to start as freshmen — no need to wait for playing time, Buckley would tell potential players. This summer Buckley started camp with more than 130 athletes. Now that number has dwindled to around 130. Division III schools accommodate larger teams because their players don’t receive scholarships. So far, so good, Buckley says. He has more time with his family, and it’s his team to build. He expects it will take about six to 10 years to build Pacific into a respectable program. ‘You don’t take this kind of task on if you expect to bounce in three years,’ he said. ‘I keep telling people that we’re putting our toes forward and just thinking about the future.’ Facebook Twitter Google+ Michigan at Notre Dame Prediction: Michigan 30, Notre Dame 27 One of college football’s best rivalries comes to South Bend, Ind., where these two recently down-on-their-luck programs will clash. Both teams hope to prove themselves this year, but if Notre Dame’s recent history proves one thing, it’s that the team lets its fans down in big games. New Fighting Irish head coach Brian Kelly got off to a good start last week, but don’t expect that success to continue as Notre Dame loses a heartbreaker at home. adbrow03@syr.edulast_img read more

Football: Pittsburgh Steelers select T.J. Watt with No. 30 overall pick

first_imgThe Pittsburgh Steelers selected former Wisconsin linebacker T.J. Watt with the No. 30 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.In surprising fashion, T.J. Watt, younger brother of current NFL players Derek and J.J. Watt, came off the board before Badger teammate and offensive tackle Ryan Ramczyk.Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel Wisconsin football beat writer reported the eventual news before the selection was even made via Twitter. Football: Ramczyk, Watt headline Badgers 2017 NFL Draft classWith the 2017 NFL Draft fast approaching April 28, ESPN’s foremost NFL draft analyst, Mel Kiper Jr., chimed in on Read…Wisconsin OT Ryan Ramczyk, a Divison III transfer from University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and one-year starter for the Badgers, still waits to hear his name called. But based on many expert projections, he shouldn’t be waiting for much longer.In his final mock draft, ESPN NFL Draft Analyst Mel Kiper Jr. projected the Denver Broncos to take Ramczyk with the No. 20 overall pick. Watch Ramczyk’s highlight real here.Including Watt, Wisconsin has seen six Badgers taken in the first round since 2011.Football: Ramczyk, Cichy, Watt named to Sports Illustrated’s Midseason All-America TeamThe University of Wisconsin football team’s Ryan Ramczyk, Jack Cichy and T.J. Watt earn national recognition Tuesday after being named Read…last_img read more