(Written in UK English)

ST. GEORGE’S, GRENADA, THURSDAY, JUNE 17TH, 2010_ The future of Grenadian Cricket may not be as bleak as some skeptics think.

This was the sentiment echoed at Progress Park on Wednesday as day two of cricket training in the Ministry of Youth Empowerment and Sports’ Talent Identification Programme came to a close.

Twenty-three young cricketers from St. Andrew were enlisted in the programme because of their outstanding performance in the recently concluded United Insurance Secondary Schools Cricket Competition. They were highly praised by some of Grenada’s most recognized names in the sport, for their ability, discipline and willingness to learn.

“Today I’ve seen a lot of talent and I think there’s a lot of hope for them,” said Junior Murray, former West Indies Wicket Keeper. Murray offered specialized training in wicket keeping to a few of the elite athletes in the group. “I think that the attitude is good. They are willing to learn and once they have these two attributes, I think they can develop their game and probably in the future we can see them playing for Grenada, Windward Islands, and down the road West Indies.”

Senior Cricket Coach in the Ministry, Raphael Croney, who engaged the younger boys in fielding, said he was very encouraged and pleased with what he saw. “I think it looks good; I feel very optimistic that this is the way we have to go. Next three years we would be sailing with the quality of cricket produced. I saw a lot of positive responses and the coaches were very pleased with the format in which we operated.”

The format Croney alludes to is the new approach the Ministry has taken to training young cricketers. Under the Talent Identification Programme, cricketers receive specialized, individualized training in small groups that allow for greater interaction and cooperation between the coaches and the players.

Former Windward Islands Captain and West Indies Leg Spinner, Rawl Lewis, who coached some of the boys in spin bowling, believes the new format is much more beneficial to the sport’s development. “Forget generalized coaching. This is what should be going on; this is the way to go,” he said.

The 23 boys, who were broken up into groups of spin bowlers, wicket keepers, fast bowlers, batters and fielders, were themselves pleased with the programme.

“I think it’s a good opportunity for me because I learned a lot today. Hopefully I would take it into consideration and try and do better things in life and with this cricket game,” said 16-year-old Amikal Dubissette from the St. Andrew’s Anglican Secondary School (SAASS). He specializes in fast bowling.

“I would just try and be at all the training sessions, because I really want to be something in this game. I want to see myself on the West Indies team.”

Dennis Smith, a 19-year-old wicket keeper, also from SAASS, was just as pleased with the opportunity. “I myself, I am a wicket keeper; so I felt like this was good for me; I think this is a beneficial programme. I learnt about skipping across movements and that keepers should stay down and not come up.”

The recently started Talent Identification Programme is geared at elevating the standard of local cricket by focusing on strengthening the ability of talented secondary school students between the ages of 14 and 19.

The programme, which is run on a parish level, will meet with cricketers from St. George’s secondary schools at the Roy St. John Recreation Ground today at 3 pm.





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