Late bloomer Badree ready for action

Fort Lauderdale, Florida – If you asked Samuel Badree what is his dream job, he would tell you being a Physical Education teacher. If you asked the leg-spinner what is his lifelong ambition, he would tell you to play cricket for the West Indies.

In life sometimes dreams do come true. Badree has already fulfilled part of his quest - he is a PE teacher at Barrackpore East Secondary School in Trinidad. The other half could be become reality as West Indies prepare to face New Zealand in the Digicel T20 Series at Central Broward Regional Park - at international cricket comes to the United States of America.

At age 31, Badree is the second oldest member of the West Indies squad. He is a bit of a late bloomer but moved up the ranks after some stand-out performances for Trinidad & Tobago in the WICB’s Caribbean T20 tournament and for the West Indies A team in the Twenty20 format.

“I enjoy doing what I do for a living. From a very young age I always wanted to be a teacher and to be involved. I have been teaching for 11 years. I like interacting with young people and the field of Physical Education has always been of interest to me,” Badree said.

“I don’t feel like I work, I absolutely enjoy what I do. Playing cricket is something that brings me joy and I get great pleasure and satisfaction from playing the game and making a contribution to any team I play in, so you could say I have the best of both worlds.”

A large crowd made up of many West Indians is expected to fill the scenic south Florida venue as the Windies play their first official match in the United States. Badree said he is excited to be part of the historic occasion, especially as several family members will be in the crowd.

“It is great to be part of this occasion as we look to bring West Indies cricket to America. We expect it to be a grand occasion and so far I am) delighted with the way things have gone. We are all looking forward to entertaining the fans and promoting the game in a new market. The aim is to give our fans lots to shout about and come away with a win.”

Badree was a member of the West Indies A team which played against India A at Queen’s Park Oval last weekend. He flew into Florida on Monday and joined the rest of the squad which was in England. He said he has settled in very well.

“I feel really welcomed in the team. I’m familiar with the environment seeing that I have been involved in a few West Indies camps before, but at the same time it’s a bit new for me, as this is the first time I have been selected in a West Indies squad,” Badree said.

“I have been around on the domestic scene for a while and I was quite successful. I have not been tested in the international circuit as yet, but I’m definitely looking forward to this challenge.”

First ball in Saturday’s first Digicel T20 is 3 pm (2 pm Jamaica Time). First ball on Sunday is 2 pm (1 pm Jamaica Time).

WEST INDIES – Darren Sammy (captain), Samuel Badree, Dwayne Bravo, Johnson Charles, Fidel Edwards, Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin, Ravi Rampaul, Marlon Samuels, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Smith
NEW ZEALAND – Ross Taylor (captain), Martin Guptill, Rob Nicol, Daniel Flynn, Kane Williamson, Dean Brownlie, BJ Watling, Tom Latham, Jacob Oram, Andrew Ellis, Doug Bracewell, Nathan McCullum, Tim Southee, Kyle Mills, Ronnie Hira.

Sat, 06/30/2012 - 03:23