St. John’s Antigua- Three of the country’s young aspiring cricketers have been afforded opportunities to live and play cricket in England for nine weeks.
This was revealed yesterday by Antigua & Barbuda Cricket Association (ABCA) President Zorol Barthley who said that the three players would be attached to a renowned club that will offer more than just the experience of playing cricket.
“Those three players are currently on scholarships to the University of the West Indies – Cave Hill in Barbados. Peter Abraham Jr, he is studying banking and finance; Cleton Payne is studying accounting, and Samuel Peters is studying marketing,” he said.
“But these young players are going off for nine weeks attached to the Grantham Cricket Club in Lincolnshire, England, not only to play cricket, and yes, they will be involved in playing cricket at that level, at the club level; but they will also be involved in some on-the-job training activities.”
Barthley, who launched the inaugural ABCA Twenty20 Tournament earlier yesterday, said the players would also be afforded the opportunity to experience the various working environments while in England.
“An associate of mine, Mr Ian Mayhill, has a couple of companies through his group, one of which is an insurance brokerage firm; the other is a telecoms company; the other is a call centre, and Mayhill at some stage intends to invest in Antigua & Barbuda with regards to some of his business enterprise. And in that regard, the nine weeks that the young men are going to be spending in England, they will each be attached for three weeks at a time to the different sectors of the business,” he said.
“It is going to be a great experience. They will be living together in a secured gated community as provided by the hosts. They will be playing cricket. They will be learning about themselves and from the Antigua & Barbuda Cricket Association’s standpoint that is what we are here to do – to provide opportunities, to provide initiatives and to move upon the initiatives when we see them.”
The cricket association, according to Barthley, will be hoping to invest in more of the nation’s young players, as they seek to secure the sport’s future, both on and off the field.
“One of the things that we want to make clear is that yes, they may end up playing for the West Indies but yes, they may not end up playing for the West Indies but at the end of the day we want to ensure that they are positive contributors to society and that is what we are all about,” the former cricketer added. added.
“We are hoping that the initiative will give them the impetus to complete their studies at a particularly high standard, but also to be exposed to another culture, to work at another level and we are hoping that with opportunities like those presented to these young men that they will see a viable opportunity, not only in playing cricket, but also in sports management and may position themselves somewhere down the road to take over the cricket association and build on the legacy that we have.”
The players are slated to travel to England next Tuesday.