HPC players to boost BCA Elite division

Barbados Cricket Association article.

Bridgetown, Barbados - In an unprecedented, refreshing move which should benefit all and sundry, the new group of players at the Barbados-based Sagicor West Indies High Performance Centre (HPC) will be representing clubs in the BCA Elite division championship for the rest of the 2013 season, starting from the fourth series of matches on Saturday.

And the HPC Head coach, Englishman Graeme West, the former Middlesex County academy director, reckons it will be beneficial to the players in the island's top three-day competition which runs until late September, just before they embark on a tour in the Caribbean.

"It is something I was very keen to do for several reasons," West told the BCA website today.

"In terms of groups, it's pretty young and inexperienced so to get opportunities to play three-day cricket is very important.

"We feel that by playing in a regular competition, the players will see the benefit of the training and the technical work that they will be doing at the HPC," added West, who was first appointed as the HPC Head coach on June 1 last year.

West, who also served as the Middlesex Cricket Board's development officer, said the players will be involved in the three-day competition only despite the fact that the popular sixth annual Sagicor General Twenty20 tournament goes into the third round on Sunday.

Apart from the four locally-based players - all-rounder Raymon Reifer of title holders (Sagicor Life UWI), wicket-keeper/batsman Shai Hope (ESA Field Pickwick), all-rounder Kyle Mayers (Carlton) and opening batsman Kraigg Brathwaite (of Division 1 Wanderers), Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme (BDFSP) and LIME will have the services of two players each, while one player each will represent Carlton, Republic Bank St. Catherine, ICBL Empire, Super Centre Spartan and CGI Maple.

West pointed out that Guyanese fast bowler Ronsford Beaton, who has a back injury, was not yet assigned to a club as his fitness is being monitored.

Adrian Barath, the Trinidad & Tobago opening batsman, who made a century on his Test debut against Australia at Brisbane in 2010 and who has played 15 Tests, 14 One-Day Internationals and two Twenty20 Internationals, along with top order batsman Tyrone Theophile of Dominica, will represent BDFSP.

Theophile, however, has been sidelined for this series because of a hamstring injury.

LIME, back in the major championship after a one-year demotion, will have the services of Haydn Walsh, a leg-spinner and left-hand middle order batsman from Antigua and St. Lucian all-rounder Dalton Polius, who bowls off-spin.

Jamaican top order left-hand batsman John Campbell, who also bowls off-spin, will be turning out for Maple; another top order left-hander, Chandrapaul Hemraj of Guyana is with Carlton; St. Catherine will have Trinidad & Tobago wicket-keeper/batsman Steven Katwaroo; fast bowler Quinton Boatswain of Montserrat has been assigned to Empire and Trinidad & Tobago all-rounder Akeal Hosein, a left-hand batsman and left-arm spinner, will be on parade for Spartan.

Barath and Brathwaite, who is now representing West Indies 'A' against Sri Lanka 'A' in an unofficial 'Test' series in the Caribbean, are the only current HPC players with international experience. 

The HPC is based at the 3Ws Oval, Cave Hill. This is the third cohort - the first having run for two terms. The 2013 programme started June 1 and runs until December.

"It's very early days. In the initial two weeks, there has been a lot of work with testing, screening etc. We have got in a huge amount of work with the players so far," West told the BCA website.

The HPC programme has been broadened to focus more intensely on developing the mental prowess of the players in addition to the standard rigorous training in skills development and fitness required for high performance athletes.

The players will also benefit from specialised training in a number of other areas including their roles as ambassadors, personal development, anti-doping, anti-corruption and media skills.

Who's Where (At a glance):

Adrian Barath, Tyrone Theophile (BDFSP)

Kyle Mayers, Chandrapaul Hemraj (Carlton)

Hayden Walsh, Dalton Polius (LIME)

Raymon Reifer (UWI)

Shai Hope (Pickwick)

Kraigg Brathwaite (Wanderers - Division 1)

Quinton Boatswain (Empire)

John Campbell (Maple)

Steven Katwaroo (St. Catherine)

Akeal Hosein (Spartan)

NB: Ronsford Beaton is injured and has not yet been assigned to a club.

Series 4 Elite division matches: June 15, 22, 23: 

Empire v Pickwick at Bank Hall; Barbados Youth v St. Catherine at Lester Vaughan, Cane Garden; Carlton v Maple at Desmond Haynes Oval; LIME v UWI at Wildey; BDFSP v Spartan at Paragon.

First Published ON bcacricket.org.

Sat, 06/15/2013 - 06:21