Old school tie by Haydn Gill
BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS - The school with arguably the richest cricket tradition in the island could create another significant piece of history today.
Combermere School, an institution that has produced countless national cricketers and won numerous trophies, have five former s tudents in Barbados’ 13-man squad for their sixth-round WICB Regional Four-daymatch at Kensington Oval.
If all of them play – Kraigg Brathwaite, Shane Dowrich, Christopher Jo rdan, Carlos Brathwaite and Jomel Warrican – it is almost certain it will be a record for the highest number of players from one school in a Bar bados team at the same time since regional first-class cricket was sponsored in 1966.
Kraigg Brathwaite, Dow rich and Jordan played in Barbados’ fifth-round match against Guyana , but Carlos Brathwaite has joined the four-day squad after recovering from a knee injury he sustained in the Caribbean Twenty20 almost two months ago, while Warrican has earned a senior call-up for the first time.
The quintet was beaming with pride when inform ed yesterday of the potential history and each of them lavished praise on th e school’s long-standing cricket master Roddy Estwick.
“It speaks volumes for the school. I a m sure that all five of us passed through Roddy Estwick. I’d like to say thanks to him and the programme at Combermere for producing five cricke ters worthy of making the national team,” said Carlos Brathwaite.
“All schools practise and t rain hard but one of the main attributes we had was the fighting spirit to win at all costs. Even when we were behind and out of a game, we believed we c ould have won a game from whatever position we were in.”
Brathwaite, a fast bowling all-rounder, is e ager to get back in the middle after his hiccup at the start of the year, wh ile left-arm spinner Warrican will be looking to transfer his success from y outh level.
“I’v e been working hard towards this and it has finally come through,” Warrican said.
“It makes me feel accomplished to be part of history. To be in the same team as four ot her Combermerians, it is a pleasure. You have to give credit to Mr Estwick. He is a wonderful coach, he knows how to motivate players. It is about work e thic. He emphasizes on working very hard and being disciplined.”
Checks by WEEKENDSPORT and consul tations with other statisticians revealed that no more than four players fro m any school were in a Barbados team simultaneously in the past 45 years.
The last instance was in 2000 when former Ellerslie old boys – Philo Wallace, Dave Marshall, Sulieman Be nn and Wayne Blackman – were in the national team that played agains t Leeward Islands at Kensington.
Th ere were eight occasions between 1993 and 1998 when another Ellerslie quarte t – Wallace, Marshall, Ottis Gibson and Sherwin Campbell – r epresented Barbados in the same match.
“It is an honour to be a Combermerian. I’m very proud o f my school,” said wicketkeeper/batsman Dowrich. “Mr Estwick has been there for us. He is a great coach. He inspires the guys a lot. Tec hnically he is very sound and he puts that self-belief in the guys.”
For fast-bowling all-rounder Jo rdan, it is a re-union of sorts after spending most of the last few years on the English county circuit.
It’s just nice to be part of history. It speaks volumes about t he work everyone at Combermere is doing in bringing young cricketers through ,” he said.
Opening bat K raigg Brathwaite is the only one of the five to have played Test cricket.
“Having grown up at Comberm ere with mates like Warrican and Dowrich, this is a very proud moment for me ,” he said.