ALL four members of the Trinidad and Tobago squad will be making their first Davis Cup appearances next Wednesday in Panama.

American Zone Group III of the world’s premier male tennis competition will take place over four consecutive days on clay courts in Panama City and the top two of the 11 participating nations will be promoted to Group II next year.

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic and all complications related to travelling at this time, the Tennis Association of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT) has been forced to select only foreign-based players.

And United States-based former prominent junior Rodney Ross will make his coaching level debut in the tournament. Nkrumah Patrick, who is studying at university in the United States, is the only member of the quartet who is not a teenager.

The others picked are Kamran McIntosh-Ross, an American whose grandfather hails from Trinidad, as well as Ebolum Nwokolo and David Rodriguez.

After spending a few months training in Spain last year, Nwokolo returned there not long after capturing the Under-18 titles in both junior tournaments last season—Lease Operators Limited and RBC Junior Tournaments—in November and December.

Rodriguez looked on top of the world after impressively lifting the Under-14 and 16 trophies in the Catch National Junior Championships in April, 2018. However, the grandson of former West Indies cricketer Willie Rodriguez then spent significant time on the sidelines because of injury, and has been based in Florida, USA, for the last two years after only playing a couple more tournaments here.

McIntosh-Ross, who was the national Under-14 runner-up in his first local tournament in 2017 and the Under-16 champ two years later, led T&T to the bronze medal in the North/Central America and Caribbean Pre-qualifying Tournament for the Junior Davis Cup in El Salvador two years ago.

Patrick, a former national Under-18 and 21 runner-up, reached the quarter-finals of the last edition of the National Championships in 2019 and competed in the Davis Cup trails at the end of that season.

TATT president Hayden Mitchell stated that “Nabeel Mohammed, Akiel Duke and Vaughn Wilson” would have definitely been the front-runners in normal circumstances.

Mohammed is the two-time defending national champion and the top-ranked player in the country, while Wilson has won his last three tournaments, including the Tranquillity Open in January, two years after the second-ranked Duke lifted this trophy.

T&T will be competing against the likes of Bahamas, Bermuda, Costa Rica, Cuba, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Panama, Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands next week. The countries will be placed in two round-robin groups and the top two from each group will advance to battle for the two promotion places.


Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is among the standout Caribbean athletes expected to do flag-bearing duties at the Olympic Stadium here in Tokyo, Japan, today.

The Tokyo 2020 opening ceremony comes a year later than planned. For many athletes, last year’s unprecedented postponement of the Games in response to the Covid-19 pandemic was a huge disappointment. For others, the decision represented opportunity: to qualify; recover from injury; train some more.

Former West Indies captain Carlos Brathwaite got runs but was on the losing side as Oval Invincibles edged out Manchester Originals by nine runs as the men’s Hundred kicked off in entertaining fashion at The Oval, in London, yesterday.

Five-time Olympian Kelly-Ann Baptiste will have the perfect start to Tokyo 2020 when she carries the “Red, White and Black” during the Parade of Nations at today’s opening ceremony, at the Olympic Stadium here in Japan.

The ceremony starts at 7 a.m. (TT time).

Baptiste is 34, and coming to the end of her career on the track. The Plymouth, Tobago, sprinter has enjoyed many successes over the years, and is deserving of the flag-bearing honour bestowed on her.

Covid-19 has cast a shadow on the future of the ongoing West Indies international home series against Australia after the second One-Day International (ODI) was “postponed” yesterday due to a positive Covid-19 test result.

It’s officially open for sport now.

Commissioner of Police (CoP) Gary Griffith launched the US$100,000 (TT$680,000) 3G multi-purpose astroturf at the Police barracks in St James yesterday. The turf is part of his drive to revitalise the base of sports like hockey, football and cricket and encourage more young people in sports.

Mohammad Naim and Soumya Sarkar scored half centuries as Bangladesh beat Zimbabwe by eight wickets to win the first match of their Twenty20 series at the Harare Sports Club yesterday.

The pair featured in a 102-run opening wicket partnership to set Bangladesh on their way to a comfortable victory as they chased down a target of 153 for victory with seven balls to spare.