by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada
- Management of young talent is affecting development of cricket in Grenada
- Association hopes for more Grenadian players on Windward Islands Under-15 team
- Team departs 9 December for St Lucia
As Grenada prepares to defend its 2017 WINLOTT Inc/Windward Islands Under-15 Tournaments title in St Lucia, on Thursday, former cricketer Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell gave the team of young men some words of encouragement.
Grenada snatched the title away from 4 times champions St Lucia and is looking forward to repeating last year’s performance. The team is expected to depart on 9 December for St Lucia where they will be playing the host country the next day.
The tournament concludes on 18 December and will see Grenada, St Lucia, Dominica and St Vincent playing in a double round-robin format where each team plays the other twice in 50 over matches.
Lamenting on the current state of West Indies cricket, Dr Mitchell reminisced on the glory days of cricket and told the players that the future of the sport lies on their shoulders. He said the poor performance of the West Indies team was discussed at the recent Special Heads of Government meeting in Trinidad and Tobago. “I am extremely concerned the only part of the work where cricket is failing is in the Caribbean. I just came from Heads of Government meeting, and we lamented what is happening to our cricket. Young men, I am only saying this to you because on your shoulders lies the future of something that characterised the Caribbean identity… that feeling of pride and Caribbean spirit.”
Prime Minister Mitchell said the manner in which young talents are being managed, is the problem affecting the development of cricket in Grenada. “Clearly if you can succeed at the Windward Island level, it means that you have the talent. We are not short on talent is how we now use that talent, build it and mobilise it into success.”
The young men were reminded to conduct themselves as Grenadian ambassadors. “As ambassadors going out there, you represent your country. What you do out there and how you conduct yourself is extremely important, how people see you and see your country… and clearly we are looking forward to you bringing home the cup.”
President of the Grenada Cricket Association, Dwain Gill said the association hopes for more representation of young players on the Windward Islands Under-15 team. “I am told we have a stronger team this year than last year because we have 6 players returning, including the captain and vice-captain. One of our objectives apart from winning the tournament, we want to see players going on to play for Windward’s team. Last year we won, but we had 2 players, we expect to have more than 2 players this year. He added, “The other objective is that the West Indies Under-15 team always tour in the UK in the summer. We never had a player on the West Indies Under-15 team since these tours in the UK started. Therefore, we expect from this group that we would have at least 2 on the West Indies Under-15 team next year.”
6 players from last year’s tournament have returned to defend their title: Divonie Joseph (Captain), Kervyn Gangadeen, Mahid Lambert, Kellis Andrews, Devin Tyson, and Jerel Jeremiah.
Using Dr Mitchell as an example, Sherma Wells, representative of WINLOTT Grenada encouraged the young players to advance in the sport of cricket since this can also assist in shaping their professional life in the process.
Wells said, “Prime Minister would have started with a discipline that you are experiencing now in that game which is key to your education, key to your development and to your future because you aren’t just playing a game you are involved in a process that is for your developmental purpose.”
The tournament is the flagship of a partnership between WINLOTT Inc and WICBC which began in 2015.