By Neto Baptiste
The Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association (ABCA) is set to roll out its Under-15 Girls Programme this weekend with a recruitment and sign-up session at the Rising Sun Cricket Grounds.
This is according to President of the association, Leon Rodney, who said the programme is being held in partnership with Cricket West Indies (CWI) as they seek to groom players for the future.
“If you look at the team, I am sure you will see that the current team is aging and if you look around maybe you are not seeing enough young women who are delivering the quality performances that will replace the aging girls anytime soon. Notwithstanding that, there are a couple of girls around that need to be given an opportunity at the highest level,” he said.
The association had invited players 15 years and younger, to attend today’s “roll out” of its Under-15 programme via letters to various schools and notices via the media.
Rodney explained how the programme will be run.
“Based on the document, each area will have to put in at least 22 sessions and then after that you’d have to play some matches to find the players you’d want to move forward. That’s not saying that after you would have found the better players that you are going to stop the other people because some people will take a little longer to learn the game. But in this under-15 tournament, I think we will be picking up the Jamaica model in terms of that under-19 tournament that goes on in Trinidad next year and Leeward Islands is bound by CWI to participate in the under-19 women’s tournament in Trinidad; so it’s serving a lot of purpose,” the cricket boss said.
The former player also explained that a number of issues had hampered the planned start of the programme, which was slated to roll out some weeks ago.
“We are behind in introducing the programme because [it] should have been introduced maybe three months ago, but we’ve had numerous amount of challenges with a lot of cricket taking place and then availability of grounds and so forth. So what we are going to do tomorrow [Saturday] is a soft opening,” he said.
Today’s session is slated to run from 9 am to 11 am.