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Monday 31st May 2010

A new phase of cricket in the West Indies will be unveiled on Monday with the start of the Sagicor West Indies Cricket Board High Performance Centre. The Centre will be based at the 3Ws Oval at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies in Barbados and is geared towards refining the skills and charting the way forward in the development of 15 of the best young cricketers in the region.

President of the West Indies Cricket Board, Dr Julian Hunte, outlined the details behind the Sagicor West Indies Cricket HPC.

“This is a very significant step forward in the future development of cricket in the Caribbean. As everyone if fully aware, West Indies cricket has faced several challenges and we are taking steps to ensure that were harness and nurture the talent that we see in this cricket-loving region. We have assembled an excellent group of young men to form part of the future of West Indies cricket and I want to wish then all the best,” he said.

“Gone are the days when you could dominate world sport on talent alone, so we know that in order to compete with the other teams on the world stage, we have to look closely at the development of our young players, and provide them with the skills and equip them with the tools to do the job. This is what we aim to do at the Sagicor West Indies Cricket HPC.”

The first groups of 15 young cricketers were selected from players across the regions, who were nominated by their local cricket board.  They are: Shamarh Brooks, Jason Holder, Shane Dowrich (Barbados), Kyle Corbin, Kevin McClean (Combined Campuses & Colleges), Brandon Bess, Ravindra Chandrika, Veerasammy Permaul (Guyana), Nkrumah Bonner, Andre Creary (Jamaica), Kieran Powell, Devon Thomas (Leeward Islands), Shannon Gabriel (Trinidad and Tobago) Keron Cottoy, Delorn Johnson (Windward Islands).

The Head Coach and Director for the Sagicor West Indies Cricket HPC is Toby Radford. As a cricketer, he represented Middlesex for several seasons in the English County Cricket Championship and after retiring from the game, distinguished himself as the head of the Academy at the Middlesex County Cricket Club. He was also Head Coach at Middlesex when they won the domestic Twenty20 Tournament and a National Coach with the England and Wales Cricket Board.

Radford said it is an honour to work with the emerging players in Caribbean. He noted: “I know the people of the West Indies are very passionate about the game of cricket and so am I. I am really looking forward to working with this excellent group of young men, who I believe will form the future of West  Indies cricket. They are all very talented and eager and enthusiastic, and what we do is hone their individual skills, while at the same time, prepare them to represent the region in cricket and recapture West Indian glory.”

Dr Ernest Hilaire, Chief Executive Office of the WICB, noted that the Sagicor West Indies Cricket HPC is a significant step forward and is part of the overall masterplan to “return the West Indies team to the top tier of world cricket.”

Dr Hilaire continued: “We are fully aware that this goal cannot be achieved overnight. Therefore we are putting the systems in place. We know the formula. Now we have to make it happen and we are confident we have the right people in place to do the job.  The Sagicor West Indies Cricket Board HPC is not just about the bat and the ball, but about the way the game is to be played; the way players are to conduct themselves; the history and legacy of West Indies cricket; being ambassadors for the game and the people they represent and preparing the present so we can have a successful future. That is our vision.”

Dr Hunte added: “The WICB wants to thank Sagicor for their tremendous support in bringing this idea to fruition. Their contribution is invaluable in the development of West Indies Cricket. We also want to acknowledge the support from the officials Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies and the 3Ws Oval. This involved a tremendous amount of planning and I would like to thank all of those worked tirelessly to get the Sagicor West Indies Cricket High Performance Centre started.”

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