Youth Cricketers Spend Emancipation Day with West Indies Players
Wednesday, 1 August 2012 – Sabina Park – Kingston, Jamaica – As Jamaica and other countries around the Caribbean celebrated their emancipation, 28 Jamaican youth cricketers spent some of their free time with six West Indies players at the final Digicel Cricket Experience, which was held at Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica.
The youth are part of the WICB Digicel Grassroots Cricket Programme and hail from the parish of St. Andrew. The enthusiastic youngsters were taken through their paces by Jamaicans Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels who were joined by their teammates Tino Best, Kieran Powell, Fidel Edwards and Adrian Barath. The session included batting, bowling and fielding lessons and tips followed by an autograph session that included the kids getting their photos taken with the cricketers as a souvenir of their experience.
“What is happening here today has created a new fan base of kids who now want to be West Indies cricketers,” said Coach Owen Pearson who has been teaching youngsters for seven years. “My hope is that not only will these kids go away excited about having shared geographic space with these icons but that they will take some of the skills they learn today back to their schools, and their clubs and be motivated to show even greater interest in the sport.”
The kids showed up three hours early which Pearson says is indicative of how enthusiastic they were about the clinics.
Asabi Pearson, one of only two girls in the group, said she was thrilled for the opportunity to participate in the Digicel Cricket Experience.
“This is so much fun,” says the 13-year old budding spin bowler. “I have been playing cricket since primary school, and today I learned more about how to improve my technique. I hope to play for the West Indies women’s team one day.”
“This was the last Digicel Cricket Experience for the Digicel Series 2012, and it definitely ended on a high note,” said Nicola Sutherland-Hawkes, Digicel Group Sponsorship Manager. “The zeal of these kids was inspiring, and it matched the passion that we have seen throughout the Series. The future of West Indies cricket is indeed bright if what we have seen is any indication, and Digicel is proud to have been able to expose more youth cricketers to the professional aspect of the game for the past few months.”