Former Cricket West Indies (CWI) Territorial Development Officer Kumar Rampat says that the 2018 graduation class of the Bmobile Cricket Academy was the best he had worked with over the years.
Rampat commented during the board’s graduation ceremony on Saturday evening for the 19 players who took part in the programme.
Rampat said: "Never before have we had such a group of young boys who were eager to improve their skills and readily accept and apply what they were being instructed in. We are also proud of the fact that there were no incidents of indiscipline during the duration of the academy."
The programme which has seen many players graduate to the top level started in 2002. It was shelved for three years from 2006 to 2009 before the current president of the TTCB, Azim Bassarath advocated for it and brought it back under his watch from 2010 until present.
Apart from receiving certificates for completing the programme, three youngsters were awarded special prizes. Sachin Soodeen was adjudged the "Most Improved", Tariq Mohammed was given the prize for the "Most Disciplined", and Justyn Gangoo was voted the "Cricketer who best embodied the spirit of the group."
Bassarath in his feature address thanked Bmobile for its investment in the young cricketers and also had kind words for the men assembled by the board to take charge of the programme. In addition to the highly respected Rampat, coaches Kelvin Williams and his assistant David Williams and former national spin bowler Avidesh Samaroo, also worked with the group. Bassarath also commended the lecturers comprising educator and cricket historian Reeza Abasali, Rydell Ramsaran, motivational speaker Ishwar Mootoo, Surujdath Mahabir and leading umpire Danesh Ramdhanie for their invaluable input.
Also coming in for kudos were physiotherapist/trainer Adarayll John and night supervisor Naushad Mohammed who looked after the welfare of the inductees while the stayed over successive weekends at the Sir Frank Worrell Development Centre.
Representing Bmobile was Anjanie Ramesar-Soom who apologised for the absence of West Indies cricket legend Brian Lara, a Brand Ambassador who also was involved in the programme.
Lara hosted the entire squad at his palatial mansion on Lady Chancellor Hill, and he also attended sessions sharing great advice and insights with the youngsters about what it takes to become a successful cricketer.
Ramesar-Soon said she was pleased with the success of the cricket academy and was optimistic that the relationship with the TTCB would continue and benefit the young cricketers. (Vinode Mamchan)
The 2018 inductees are: Aaron Bankay, Antonio Gomez, Daniel Osouna, Darren Samlal, Eric Garcia, Giovanni Letren, Joshua James, Justyn Gangoo, Leon Bassano, Leonardo Francis, Mbeki Joseph, Nathanial McDavid, Nicholas Ali, Rivaldo Ramlogan, Ryan Bandoo, Sachin Soodeen, Sameer Ali, Tariq Mohammed and Teron Jadoo.