International Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan is now an owner of the Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel cricket team.

Khan’s, business partner Juhi Chawla, a top-draw Bollywood actress, and Chawla’s husband Jay Mehta have bought a majority stake in the franchise valued at some US$2.5 million (TT$15.9 million), as part of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL).

Khan, with a net worth of close to US$600 million, and Chawla are co-owners of the popular Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL), through parent company Red Chillies Entertainment.

Khan has acted in approximately 80 Bollywood movies in over 25 years. In addition to being an award winning actress, Chawla is a film producer, a philantrophist, and the winner of the Miss India beauty contest in 1984.

Speaking on the recent acquisition, “King Khan” as he is known in India, was brimming with pride and is keen to make an impact in the Caribbean in this new venture

“This is in line with our vision to expand globally. We are thrilled to become part of the cricketing tradition of Trinidad and Tobago,” Khan told the Times of India. “The passion for franchise cricket in the Caribbean is evident with the success of CPL and we hope to bring all the best practices of KKR to the T&T franchise.”

Red Steel captain Dwayne Bravo, known for his supreme athleticism, energy and celebration dance moves on the field, says he can’t wait for Khan to arrive in Trinidad.

Bravo, similar to Khan, has also branched out from his niche and has produced soca, dancehall and Indian singles and recently shot a video alongside Nisha B for his song “Chalo! Chalo!”

He believes Khan’s presence will give a significant boost to this country’s global image.

“The country itself will love an owner of that stature to be a part of (CPL). It shows the respect he has for our culture and the Red Steel,” Bravo said.

The ex-West Indies one-day captain has been playing in the IPL since 2008 and says he has formed a relationship with the KKR boss. “I know him (Khan) fairly well and whenever we meet we have a dance off. I was on the phone last night with his management team and we were having some fun that I’m going to have more dance off against him now,” he said.

Recognised globally as one of Asia’s sex symbols, Khan’s influence has permeated outside the movie industry and in 2008 was named as one of the 50 most powerful persons in the world by Newsweek.

Khan’s power move into the CPL follows that of Hero MotoCorp, the largest two-wheeler manufacturer in the world, becoming the new title sponsor of the CPL. Based in New Delhi, India, Hero was valued in 2013 at US$5.7 billion.

Bravo believes it is no coincidence that Indians are investing in the Caribbean as the regional players have always been embraced by cricket fans in the sub-continent because of their panache.

He said, “If you look at the IPL and what the West Indian players have done, we have dominated more than any other country. We feel a different type of love from the Indian fans with our flair and style. We all have our part to play and it’s good to see Indian investors here. He’s in the right place, the right country, it’s a party atmosphere here with a mixed culture,” he declared.

News of Khan’s ownership stake in the Red Steel has not only cricket fans buzzing but also local women who are eager to meet the iconic figure on just his third visit to Trinidad.

He came to these shores for the first time in 1999 where he performed two shows - Skinner Park (San Fernando) and Queen’s Park Savannah (Port-of-Spain) - before returning again in 2007 to meet his adoring fans.

Anthony Maharaj, who was executive producer for the 2010 film, Dulha Mil Gaya which starred Khan and was shot in Trinidad, Tobago and India, yesterday described Khan’s presence in Red Steel as “wonderful for Trinidad.”

“It’s not the first time he’s been in Trinidad. The commitment he has to cricket, this is wonderful...He’s stood behind Kolkata Knight Riders in India and has a fondness for West Indian cricketers,” Maharaj explained.

The promoter described Khan as “undoubtably the most celebrated, most popular Indian actor for decades” and believes there will be a tremendous interest locally for him.

“He will bring out the people. It’s going to be packed (for the games). Many people who might not have come out to the cricket from the Indian diaspora will come out just to get a glimpse of him,” he added.

Maharaj, speaking of his interaction with Khan during the 2007 filming of Dulha Mil Gaya, spoke highly of the mega star’s humility and friendliness.

“He is very approachable, charismatic and very down-to-earth,” he revealed.

Minister of Sport Brent Sancho was also buoyed by the news, stating: “It’s always good to get that celebrity buy-in and power into sport to bring that glitz and glamour. Having him come on board not only bodes well for sport in this country but also the tourism aspect.”

The Trinidad and Tobago Government has come to an agreement with the CPL to host both semi-finals and the Grand Final of this year’s competition at the Queen’s Park Oval.

It was the same in 2013, and Minister of Tourism Gerald Hadeed noted that the direct impact on the economy of the three main matches of the annual tournament being here was US$21 million. He predicted that figure to double in 2015.

Indian High Commissioner Gauri Shankar Gupta was elated over the development telling Newsday, “It is good news that Bollywood superstar and Kolkata Knight Riders owner Shah Rukh Khan has bought Caribbean Premier League team Trinidad and Tobago, joining Mark Wahlberg and Gerard Butler.”

Wahlberg and Butler, Hollywood blockbuster stars, are respective shareholders in Barbados Tridents and Jamaica Tallawahs.

The Indian High Commissioner added, “It just goes to show how closely associated we (TT and India) are with each other. It will also strengthen our union bringing us closer in the future.”

And Mastana Bahar producer, Khayal Mohammed, feels Khan’s involvement in the CPL will certainly bring excitement to the game once more.

“The good news is he (Khan) has also taken over the TT Red Steel where a lot of young people will be involved in this game,” Mohammed told Newsday. “Now the (Queen’s Park) Oval or any other venue in the Caribbean will be packed to capacity because of Shah Rukh’s presence. I think there will be a renewed passion for the game of cricket from the Trinidadians who follow him through Bollywood movies.”


Trinidad and Tobago’s lone professional player and eight-time National Men’s squash champion, Colin Ramasra, has decided to call it quits on his illustrious career which spanned approximately 22 years.

The 31-year-old athlete made the shocking revelation yesterday just weeks ahead of this year’s National Senior Squash Championships, where he would have once again been in defence of his Men’s title. The three-time St Lucia Open champ has been competing on the local circuit since the age of 10 and turned pro in 2010. During his 22-year career, the Petrotrin player travelled the globe vying for honours at the highest competitive level, among the world’s top-ranked athletes.

On his retirement, the 2010 Cayman Islands Open winner revealed, “I just feel it’s the right time. I’m still number one in Trinidad as a National champion and I’m happy to be leaving the sport on top. Since the Commonwealth Games and Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games last year, I’ve hardly been training. The desire is not as strong as it was to compete now. After going through all that I went through last year, I somewhat lost the motivation. It’s time for a different aspect of life for me.”

Ramasra backed up his decision to retire by stating that he had dedicated his entire life to squash. He expressed elation with the multiple opportunities presented to him representing TT across the globe and was pleased to have been the first person in local squash history to go professional and put TT on the map. His highest placing on the Professional Squash Association (PSA) world ranking was 148.

“I have achieved most of the goals that I have set out to professionally so I’m comfortable with my decision. I definitely want to continue doing some coaching and still be involved with squash locally,” he added.

When asked what he considers to be the highest and lowest points of his career, the nine-time Junior National champion indicated that winning gold at the Montreal Open in Canada back in 2007 was indeed a major achievement. However, like many other local athletes, Ramasra’s biggest obstacle was funding. He noted that sports such as squash which is not high profile in TT, is difficult to get sponsored.

Ramasra thanked all those who worked with and alongside him throughout his 22-year campaign, declaring: “Squash has been such an important part of my life since first representing Trinidad and Tobago in 1993 at the Caribbean Junior Championships in Guyana. I am honoured to have represented TT in squash for the past 22 years all over the world. I have had some truly amazing experiences competing locally, regionally and internationally. I would like to thank the Ministry of Sport, the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee, the Trinidad and Tobago Squash Association as well as my sponsors. I would like to thank the media for all their years of coverage of squash. Personally I would like to thank my family, friends and girlfriend for all their support throughout my career. I would also like to thank my home club the Pointe-a-Pierre Staff Club and everyone at Pointe-a-Pierre for all their support and encouragement throughout my career.”

Colin Ramasra Career Highlights:

- Nine-time National Junior champion (1993-2001)

- Eight-time Men’s National champion (2002-2014) *No Nationals in 2003/ 2004; Winner in 2002, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014 (Forced to withdraw from 2008 final due to injury)

- Two-time T&T Open champion (2008 and 2010 – the last T&T Open)

- Three-time St Lucia Open champion ( 2012-2014) Only time in history a player won three times

- 2010 Cayman Open champion (only Caribbean player to ever win this title )

- Petrotrin Caribbean Open champion 2013

- Lutchmeesingh Transport Caribbean Invitational champion 2011

- Montreal Open champion 2007

- Harrow Holland Series Event champion 2010

- CAC Games 2010 – Silver medal in Mixed Doubles with Kerrie Sample

- Two-time Caribbean Men’s runner up (CASA) 2007 and 2009

- Two-time Southern Caribbean Men’s runner up 2006 and 2008

- Three-time Commonwealth Games participant (2006, 2010, 2014) Best finish 19th in 2010 – highest finish by a Caribbean male

- Three-time CAC Games participant (2006, 2010, 2014)

- T&T’s first and only medal at a multi sport games

- Winner of every tournament held in Trinidad at some point (South Closed, South Opens, Carnival Squash Event, Graded Events etc )

- Three-time South Open Champ 2010, 2011, 2012.


...‘It may be too late for FIFA’
LONDON—A global sports organisation pummeled by a corruption scandal. The president under pressure to resign. The US Justice Department and FBI leading the investigation. Sponsors clamouring for reform.

FIFA in 2015?
This was the crisis facing the International Olympic Committee in the late 1990s. The IOC, however, managed to move quickly to clean itself up and enact reforms that helped restore credibility and confidence in the Olympic body. Now, the IOC is being held as a model for FIFA to follow as its tries to dig itself out of the biggest bribery scandal in its 111-year history. According to the man who helped lead the IOC cleanup, it will be a much more difficult challenge for soccer’s governing body.

“It’s a complete and utter mess,” senior IOC member Dick Pound told The Associated Press. “It may be too late.” Pound, a Canadian lawyer, headed the internal investigation into the bribery allegations that rocked the IOC to its foundations. The case, which broke in December 1998, centered on the cash, scholarships, medical care, lavish gifts and other favours linked to Salt Lake City’s winning bid for the 2002 Winter Olympics.

The inducements totaled about $1 million—mere peanuts compared to the more than $150 million cited by the Justice Department in its probe of bribery, racketeering, money-laundering and wire fraud at FIFA over more than two decades. While the scale of the Salt Lake City allegations was much smaller, the crisis was arguably more severe for the IOC. The organisation was held to a higher standard because of the ethical values and ideals associated with the Olympics.

Six IOC member expelled, four resigned
“It was a lot more critical for us,” Pound said by telephone from Montreal. “Our basic existence was hanging in the balance. In the sense of football, so many people know it’s crooked. It doesn’t have the same ethical platform that we did.” Pound’s investigation led to the expulsion of six IOC members, the resignation of four members and severe warnings for several others. Unlike in the FIFA case, no members faced criminal charges.

Under embattled President Juan Antonio Samaranch, the IOC brought in outside experts to help reshape the organisation. Within about a year, the IOC approved a 50-point reform package that included a ban on member visits to bid cities, creation of an independent ethics committee and term limits.

“We took it seriously and did what we had to do,” Pound said. “I don’t know whether FIFA is willing or even able to do the same sort of thing.” While no one considers the IOC perfect or beyond reproach, Pound said the organisation is now viewed in a very different light. “Everybody accepts that the old days are way behind us and that we operate on the basis of best practice,” he said. “In that respect, we’re kind of a poster child for a lot of the other organisations that really need this.”

FIFA faces major challenge
Does FIFA have the chance to carry out a similar turnaround? “The problem with FIFA is that this has been dragging out there for a few years,” former IOC marketing director Michael Payne told the AP. “It’s like a death by a thousand cuts, which undermines confidence.” US prosecutors brought criminal charges against Salt Lake bid leaders Tom Welch and Dave Johnson, but both men were acquitted by a judge halfway through a federal trial.

In the FIFA case, the Justice Department has indicted 14 people, including seven soccer officials who were arrested in a dawn police raid on a Zurich hotel last week. US authorities are also looking specifically at Blatter, but he has not been formally charged. Blatter announced his resignation Tuesday, four days after winning re-election to a fifth term. He said he would stay as president until a new election can be held and would work to reform FIFA until then.

As the IOC scandal unfolded, Samaranch also faced calls to resign, but he hung on and the members rallied behind him as the man to drive through the reform process.

“Our conclusion was that you’ve got a better chance with him there of getting this done than if you chucked him out and got somebody else,” Pound said. While Russian President Vladimir Putin and some other politicians have criticised American authorities for leading the investigation into FIFA, Pound said there should be no escape from the “long arm of the US”

“Sometimes you get a little annoyed about the US flexing its muscles,” he said, “but if you didn’t have something like that, it would go on and on and on. It’s one of these things, if it’s wrong, it’s wrong.”


Keshorn Walcott re-set his own Trinidad and Tobago men's javelin record at the Sainsbury's Birmingham Grand Prix IAAF Diamond League meet in England, yesterday.

The reigning Olympic champion threw 86.43 metres to improve on the 86.20m standard he had established in Rome, Italy, last Thursday. Walcott's new national record earned him bronze in yesterday's competition.

Walcott's series of throws was impressive. He opened at 80.56m, and followed up with an 85.21m effort. The 86.43m T&T record came in round three, and was followed by an 85.59m throw. Walcott fouled in the fifth round, but bounced back to land the spear 84.97m in the sixth and final round.

Julius Yego had the statisticians busy, joining the 90-metre club with a huge 91.39m effort in round six. The monster throw re-set the Kenyan and African records. Czech Republic's reigning world champion, Vitezslav Vesely threw 88.18m to snap up silver.

Watch the TV6 video 'Keshorn Walcott sets new national record'

Meanwhile, T&T's Cleopatra Borel threw the iron ball a season's best 18.80m to pick up silver in the women's shot put, behind Germany's Christina Schwanitz (19.68m). However, Jarrin Solomon trailed the field in the men's 300m, the T&T athlete finishing eighth in 33.22 seconds. South Africa's Wayde van Niekirk won in 31.63.

In the men's 100m, T&T sprinter Keston Bledman clocked 10.11 seconds to finish fifth in heat one and ninth overall in the qualifying round, just missing out on a top-eight finish and a lane in the final. American Marvin Bracy topped the championship race in 9.93.

At the Flanders Cup, in Belgium, on Saturday, T&T's Josanne Lucas triumphed in the women's 400m hurdles in 57.61 seconds.

At the Jim Bush Track and Field Championships, in California, USA, T&T athlete, Mikel Thomas struck gold in the men's 110m hurdles in 13.39 seconds.

Janeil Bellille seized silver in the women's 400m hurdles in a season's best 56.72 seconds. Magnolia Howell was sixth in the women's 400m in 54.96, and seventh in the 200m in 23.95.

In Florida, Semoy Hackett, back in competition after serving a 28-month doping ban, opened her season in fine style, securing silver in the Star Athletics Sprint Classic women's 200m. The T&T sprinter completed the half-lap race in 22.81 seconds. Shermund Allsop clocked 10.51 to finish second in the men's 100m “C” race.

At the New Jersey International Invitational, Andre Marcano bagged bronze in the men's 100m dash in 10.70 seconds. In the qualifying round, Marcano clocked 10.63, and Lalonde Gordon got to the line in 10.88.


Toronto 2015's Pan American Games Flame has been lit in traditional fashion in an Aztec Ceremony at the Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacan, Mexico and is being transported north ahead of its arrival in the Canadian host city on Saturday (May 30).

The Ceremony was attended by Uruguay's Pan American Sports Organization President Julio Cesar Maglione as well as State Governor Eruviel Ávila, Toronto 2015 chairman David Petterson and Mexican Olympic Committee (COM) head Carlos Padilla, along with Mexico's International Shooting Sport Federation President, Olegario Vasquez Raña.

While the Olympic Flame is traditionally lit at Ancient Olympia, the Pan American version has been lit by Aztec people in ancient temples, first at the Cerro de la Estrella in Mexico City and in more recent years at the 65-metre high Pyramid of the Sun, the third largest pyramid in the world

The only exception was ahead of the Sao Paulo 1963 Games, for which the Torch was lit in Brasilia by the indigenous Guaraní people.

It was handed by International Olympic Committee member Vasquez Raña to Ávila and then Maglione, Petterson and Padilla before Jesus Omar Diaz Pastrán became the first athlete carrier.

Avila claimed athletes who participate in the Games will "strengthen the brotherhood of nations of the Americas, through healthy competition and unity".

He then wished good luck to all athletes set to compete in the event, due to take place from July 10 to 26 and follows the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara.

Maglione, President of the International Swimming Federation, who took over PASO last month following the death earlier in the year of Mario Vasquez Raña, then underlined the seriousness and commitment of the host nation that he sees as key for these Games to be a success.

After next being taken to Mexico City, the Flame will arrive in Toronto on Saturday with a celebratory event planned Canada Square.

This will be followed by a 41-day journey criss-crossing Canada in a 5,000 kilometres on the road and 15,000km in the air, before it returns to Toronto in time to officially open the Games at the Opening Ceremony.

Torchbearers are set to include retired Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, world figure skating champion Patrick Chan, two-time Olympic champion freestyle skier Alexandre Bilodeau, and two-time Olympic triathlon medallist Simon Whitfield.


A special event will be held at Toronto's Berkeley Street Theatre tomorrow in which the entertainment schedule for the Arts and Culture Festival taking place alongside this summer's Pan American and Parapan American Games will be revealed.

The event is set to feature several performances from artists who will be participating across the 35-day festival, titled PANAMANIA, which will run alongside the both the Pan Am and the Parapan Am Games, a total period of over a month stretching from July 10 to August 15.

In addition to the performances at the event, Toronto 2015 will be announcing major music headliners who will be performing at free outdoor concerts during the Games.

PANAMANIA aims to highlight the culture and artistic excellence from the province of Ontario, in which Toronto is the largest city, while it will also attempt to showcase the diversity of the Americas by featuring performances and exhibitions from outside of Canada.

Over 250 music, theatre, dance and art performances and exhibitions are due to be held at 20 locations throughout the city during the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games, including both free and ticketed events.

PANAMANIA will be presented by Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), the lead partner of Toronto 2015, and is comprised of four major programmes.

The first of which, titled “PANAMANIA Presentations”, is due to take place across the city and will feature national and international exhibitions, including a total of 28 commissioned world premieres.

The Distillery District and Nathan Phillips Square will also stage PANAMANIA Live from July 11 to 26, with the latter then set to reprise its role for the Parapan Games between August 7 and 12.

CIBC Pan Am Park, which has been be the largest sport cluster at the Games with 13 sports taking place at five venues, will also be a major cultural hub during the Pan Am Games as events will be held from July 11 to 25.