Eighteen (18) of T&T’s most prolific youth cricketers have been working assiduously on refining their individual talents through an intense specialist programme courtesy bmobile and the T&T Cricket Board (TTCB), over the past four weeks.
Dubbed the bmobile Cricket Academy, this developmental clinic bowled off at the National Cricket Centre in Couva on October 26.
It was especially designed to assist outstanding cricketers between the ages of 17 and 20, who were identified by the TTCB as this nation’s top performers.
Marsha Caballero, TSTT’s vice-president of Corporate Communications, chimed in on this year's bmobile Cricket Academy and was pleased to once again be a part of a national sporting development initiative.
“As Trinbagonians, cricket plays an important role in our socio-cultural fabric. It’s a big part of us. Sport unites us and provides a powerful connection for our people and nation. At bmobile, we will continue supporting sport and its holistic development, especially at the youth level,” said Caballero.
These youngsters have so far been privy to elite individual coaching on their mental and physical awareness, motivational seminars, in-depth training sessions alongside highly qualified coaches and several other elements of the gentleman’s game which aids a smooth transition out of the youth system and into the senior level.
With four weeks still to go, the live-in camp has already begun to derive several success stories from its vibrant participants and tutors.
A standout athlete, Justyn Gangoo, relayed his intimate experience at the programme thus far and credited the telecommunications leader and local cricket fraternity for their timely insight into youth development.
“It’s the first time I’ve been exposed to such an intense regime,” said a smiling Gangoo. “There have been a lot of lecturers, instructors and positive influencers who have come in and helped us broaden our athletic horizons on so many levels. The coaches have been greatly assisting us by pointing out our minor errors and it’s proving to be highly productive.”
The left-arm spinner reminisced on his interactions with ex-national bowlers, Avidesh Samaroo and Surujdath Mahabir, who played an integral role in their presentations to the talented bunch.
“During my first week, Avidesh Samaroo imparted some knowledge to me to strengthen my bowling strategy. As simple as it was, I took his advice and it has proven to be very effective.
"I have already been seeing the improvement in my own style. I’d also like to thank bmobile for this opportunity because the knowledge gained here is invaluable,” he said.
Spearheading the experienced line-up of certified instructors are former national players, David and Kelvin Williams, Samaroo, Mahabir among others. Legendary batsman and bmobile Brand Ambassador, Brian Lara, is also expected to visit the youngsters within the coming weeks to impart his wisdom and understanding of the sport.
Lara and bmobile hold a long-standing relationship and have played an instrumental role in the development of youth cricket on a national scale having previously hosted the "Future Stars Cricket Programme" in 2016 and 2017.
“It’s all about fine-tuning the talents of these young men,” said head coach David Williams following a psychology lecture with the youngsters on Sunday.
“We’re teaching them to enhance their raw talents to become better all-round cricketers in all aspects; on the field, socially, mentally and spiritually as well. Even though the 2018 season is over, this camp serves as a launching pad into the coming competitive campaign.”
Williams also praised his students for displaying a high level of professionalism towards the programme which has been pushing them to their athletic limits.
“These young men have the attitude of true professionals. If they have already adopted this way of thinking, and maintain consistency, then it augers well for T&T cricket going forward. We would like to openly thank bmobile for coming on board at this crucial developmental time in their budding careers,” he said.