Young cricketers need overseas exposure – Coach
Coach of the SVG Community College cricket team Roxell John believes that the Sir Garfield Sobers Schoolsâ Cricket Tournament, held annually in Barbados, should be used as an outlet for Vincentian cricketers.
John, who guided the French Verandah SVG Community College to third place in this yearâs hosting of the 31st edition of the tournament, stated: “In my opinion, the best players of the inter-secondary schools competition should be rewarded with a trip to this tournamentâ.
John added: “The youths in St Vincent and the Grenadines are still as talented as any around the world and can compete on any level, given the right guidanceâ.
He noted, though, that more people with the technical know-how should be more involved in ventures such as getting the youths better prepared for such a tournament which attracts teams from across the globe.
Putting in a verbal jab, John said that there has to be, however, a withdrawal of the politics regarding support to ventures in which persons like him are involved.
Despite not going all the way in the tournament, John was high in praise of his charges.
“The SVG Community had an extremely successful year â¦ We had set two goals: getting to the semis, then getting to the finalâ¦ We achieved one of the two goals,â John reasoned.
“Playing unbeaten in the preliminary round was no easy achievementâ¦ There was only one other team of the 24 that had that record at the end of the preliminary round, which is Lodge of Barbadosâ¦ We were one of four teams that had to play eight games in 11 days and thatâs no easy feat, given how we play cricket here at home in St Vincent and the Grenadines,â the SVG Community College head coach declared.
Putting the overall performance into perspective, John noted: “Given the workload and the fact that the entire camp was suffering from the flu throughout tournament, I am extremely proud of my chargesâ¦ We moved from seventh of 16 teams in 2016, our first outing, to third of 24 teams in a year when qualifying to the semi-finals was even more difficult.
“The success was due to a complete team effort. All… even those who never played in the St Vincent and the Grenadines local competition, stepped up to the plate when they played… in the persons of Zivon Walker, Randall Roberts, Romando Mars-Browne, Donte Hinson and Aleon Ceasar. We had good performances from Jerremy Haywood, Rayon Williams, Dillon Douglas, Rashorn John, Jeremy Layne, Alex Samuel, Tilron Harry and Ronaldo Franklyn, throughout the competition,â John commented.
Of note, too, John revealed that the players on their own raised $28,000 of the $54,000 that was required to make this trip a reality.
“We are extreme grateful to our main sponsors â French Verandah, who also made all our successes thus far possible,â John remarked.
SVGCCâs impact on local cricket
John, in pointing to the impact of the emergence of the SVG Community College on Vincentian cricket, commented, “We have featured five selectees on the SVG Under-19 team in 2016 and eight in 2017, plus three of the four reservesâ¦ That speaks for itselfâ.
St Vincent and the Grenadines have won the Windward Islands two-day tournament for the past three years, 2015-2017.
John also confirmed that for two years in succession, the SVG Community College have lost one of 14 games in the local competition and three of 16 games in this international competition.
Beaten finalists in last yearâs First Division of the national cricket programme of the SVG Cricket Association Inc, the SVG Community College are again in the 2017 semi-finals.