TT blind cricketers in Jamaica camp
PORT OF SPAIN, TRINIDAD - Six national blind cricketers will leave for Jamaica tomorrow to participate in a special development camp as they attempt to seal coveted individual spots on the West Indies team.
The six-member contingent will be led by national team captain Jennson Poyah, vice-captain Rodney Ramrattan, Ulric Andrews, Rajendra Ramnarine, Michael Durham and newcomer Curtis Wells. These specially selected blind cricketers will go through a detailed and all-round development programme in Jamaica during July 16-24.
This camp is being held in an effort to select the best regional team for the forthcoming World Blind Cricket T20 Championships, scheduled to bowl off in Bangalore, India, from November 27 - December 8.
Originally, Trinidad and Tobago had eight cricketers selected to attend the camp. However, Sheldon Phillip and Adrian Ragoonanan may not be available for the programme due to previous injury and other commitments.
Coach of the national blind and visually impaired cricket team, Harrilal Kissoon revealed that he is confident that the six chosen players will give a lasting impression on regional selectors.
He was certain that Poyah and Ramrattan would be eventually selected and hoped that the remaining players work tirelessly toward sealing a West Indian team spot.
“I’m more than a hundred percent sure that they will pick the captain and vice-captain. They have been representing the region for some time now and have always recorded commanding performances in all their games,” he explained.
“The other local players are very good as well, but they will have a lot of competition from the other contesting countries like Jamaica, Barbados and Guyana. But I’m confident that we may get more than two team selections, if not all,” Kissoon added.
Trinidad and Tobago are the current regional T20 Blind Cricket champions and much of their winnings have come from impressive performances from the selected six.
The national coach also made mention that Poyah, Ramrattan, Andrews, Ramnarine and Durham have previously played for the regional team, while Wells, once selected will make his long-awaited West Indian debut.
“Five of the six players have represented the Caribbean in earlier competitions. This is Curtis’ first chance to seal a West Indies team spot, so we wish him all the best. He was also named ‘Best Fieldsman’ at a recent tournament. Andrews already has four centuries to his name and finished with the highest individual score (257 not out) at last year’s meet, so we have a strong field of players,” he continued.
He admitted that this was the type of exposure that was needed to fuel the development and furtherance of blind cricket, both on the national and international level. Kissoon also hinted that the World Blind Cricket T20 Championships was a step in a positive direction for the enhancement of the sport in the global stage.
“I’m proud that these players were chosen and are being recognised for their competitive contributions. They have been working very hard and I give them all the kudos. This camp will be a great stepping stone for their personal development as blind cricketers. I wish them all the best and hope they all get picked for the regional squad,” he concluded.