Wilford ‘Billy’ Heaven was last night returned for a third successive term as president of the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) after seeing off the challenge of Melbourne Cricket Club President Mark Neita at the organisation’s annual general meeting yesterday. Ninety-nine votes were counted at the Medallion Hall Hotel, with confirmation arriving shortly after 8 p.m. that Heaven, who also serves as CEO of the CHASE Fund, had secured a 62-37 majority. Heaven had centred his campaign around what he described as strong governance policy and pointed to several major marketing and commercial projects that are being undertaken by the association. The businessman will now keep control of the island’s cricketing affairs for at least another two years after first being voted into office in 2013.
Rugby League NRL star David Fifita called the Gold Coast Titans last night to tell them he was rejecting their monster deal for next season and staying in Brisbane — sparking an even bigger offer from the club that would make him the richest player in NRL history. The boom back-rower is at the centre of a tug-of-war between the two Queensland sides that has seen plenty of twists and turns as the 20-year-old struggled to make up his mind. Kayo is your ticket to the 2020 NRL Telstra Premiership. Every game of every round Live & On-Demand with no-ad breaks during play. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly. Fifita reportedly told the Broncos on Tuesday night he was accepting the Titans’ lucrative $1.1 million offer, before backflipping on Wednesday morning and telling the Broncos he was back in and wanted to stay at Red Hill in 2021. Fifita called Titans coach Justin Holbrook this evening to break the bad news but Gold Coast has since made a stunning last-ditch play to get their man. The club’s head of culture and performance Mal Meninga has reportedly tabled Fifita a deal worth $1.25 million-a-season — the richest deal in NRL history. Fox Sports chief rugby reporter James Hooper — who described the whole situation as a “circus” — mentioned the jaw-dropping offer on NRL 360 as the news was broken in the Courier-Mail. The Broncos can only offer Fifita $700,000 so if he opts to stay in the Queensland capital, he will be sacrificing $550,000 next year. Rugby league writer for The Australian, Brent Read, spoke to Fifita’s mum Gwen who said earlier on Wednesday her son was having real trouble making a decision. “Even she said, ‘One day it’s the Titans, the next day it’s the Broncos … tomorrow it could be the Titans again’,” Read said on NRL 360. “He’s struggling with it all.” Queensland Origin great Ben Ikin said if the Broncos convince Fifita to stay on less money, it’s “one of the greatest pieces of negotiation I have ever seen”. Fifita has been earmarked as a franchise player the Broncos can build their club around, and is one of several young forwards Brisbane hopes will guide it to its next premiership. The injured star has been the most sought-after talent in the game as he negotiates his next contract, reportedly also receiving rich offers from clubs in Sydney, including the Bulldogs, Rabbitohs and Roosters. It was reported last month the Titans had offered the 20-year-old a five-year, $5 million deal, but it has since been revealed Fifita will only sign a one-year contract for 2021 before he intends to sign a long-term deal at the end of next season. Broncos legend Gorden Tallis said last month he hoped Fifita made the decision to move to the Titans to become the face of the club. – AAP