TTCB launches WICB Grassroots in Tobago

Trinidad & Tobago Newsday article.

Scarborough, Tobago - The Tobago Cricket Association has been challenged to fully capitalise on its valuable human resources in a strategic manner and start plotting the course to win national championships.

The effort, to produce tangible results in the next three to four years, will be relying heavily on the experienced and talented cadre of cricket coaches which is being looked upon to cultivate and sustain the rich cricket legacy in the sister isle. 

So said Azim Bassarath, president of the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB) who, on Friday, officially launched its Fast Bowling Screening Sessions and the West Indies Cricket Board Grassroots Development Programme at Shaw Park, Scarborough. 

“Over the last 10 years, your Board has trained scores of coaches many of whom now work in the respective communities on the island. The older and more experienced coaches, Neil Skeete, Alston Daniel, John Pollard and Clem Hercules, among others, come readily to mind. 

“Other younger coaches now carry the mantle and at present either coach or manage your youth teams. 

These coaching practitioners, Marcus Daniel, Brian Brown and Ruthven Ross, make an interesting mix of experience. This therefore creates an extremely valuable commodity for enhancing and promoting the next generation of Tobago cricketers,” Bassarath said. 

Among those attending the launch were WICB (West Indies Cricket Board) territorial development officer Kumar Rampat, national team coaches Kelvin Williams and David Williams; and Tarandath Sammy, coach of the national Under-19 team and Vishnu Boys Hindu College of Caroni. 

Bassarath praised the quartet for being present saying that they are poised to play a significant role if Tobago cricket is to grow and flourish. “My commitment to the development of cricket here in Tobago cannot be more significantly demonstrated,” said Bassarath. 

“The presence of our two celebrated coaches, Kelvin Williams and David Williams, speaks amply to underscore my spoken comments. These two dignified and respectable cricket luminaries are here to assist us in our quest for quality fast bowlers and wicket-keepers. 

“You will agree with me quite readily, that there are no better persons, in both our twin-island states, more suited to this noble task. Additionally Kumar Rampat, our territorial development officer, and Tarandath Sammy, the chairman of the TTCB Youth and Development Committee are also here to partner with your coaches to chart more effective and varied ways to organise and deliver the WICB Grassroots Coaching Programme to deserving areas of your community,” Bassarath continued. 

But he said cricket is a glorious game best-suited for the all-round development of the young child but like life itself has its ups and downs, its fortunes and misfortunes, its successes and its failures. 

“Each game provides ample opportunities for planning and strategising, both intellectual skills of the highest order. The physical elements of the game build strong bones and muscles and the many zonal competitions and overseas youth tours create opportunities for social development,” noted Bassarath. 

In attempting to wrest dominance on the field from their Trinidad counterparts, Bassarath said the strategy was clear. “The teachers in the primary schools and the Scotiabank Kiddy Cricket Programme will identify the young talent. 

“The coaches named above will nurture that talent and usher it into the present and with the help from the experienced national coaches, your players will be fine-tuned and refined to make that rigorous claim for the national trophy,” said Bassarath. 

“Three years is a short time but it is sufficient to get your nine and 10 year olds ready with the cricketing skills and knowledge to make them strong competitors for the task outlined above. 

“Further I challenge Tobago cricket, and by this I mean all entities, the TCA, the Primary Schools League, and the Secondary Schools League, to work towards building a formidable women’s team who can hold their own in any international competition. 

“Mr Chairman, these are not far-fetched goals or pie-in-the-sky pipe-dreams. The instruments of the fast bowling initiatives, the Kiddy Cricket Programme and the Grassroots Programme are tools worthy of unearthing the hidden talent on the island,” Bassarath said. 

“All it takes is a high level of commitment, dedication and resolve to ensure a place in the annals of West Indies cricket. As stated previously the TT Cricket Board stands ready to work with you in trying to achieve these tasks. 

“Once again this year, your young and budding cricketers, overseas guests, visitors and fans the game will have the opportunity to view a regional competition on home soil, a privilege we have fought on your behalf,” commented the TTCB president.

First Published In The Trinidad & Tobago Newsday.

Mon, 05/19/2014 - 04:13