LICB official advocates for more emphasis on youth tournaments

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By Neto Baptiste

Cricket Operations Manager for the Leeward Islands Cricket Board (LICB), Vernon Springer, has called on the sport’s regional governing body, Cricket West Indies (CWI), to place more emphasis on its youth tournaments.

Speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show earlier this week, Springer said that based on past experiences, very little thought goes into the planning and execution of the regional youth tournaments.

“The under-17s, they played on some awful pitches in Trinidad and Tobago, and if we want to fix West Indies cricket, we can’t fix it from the top down. We have to fix it from the bottom up which means that we have to be able to make sure that our young cricketers who are playing, both male and female, that they are treated with respect,” he said.

“The under-17 tournament in Trinidad and Tobago, the head coach and the manager said all they got was just a simple trophy; for the under-15s we didn’t even have a proper closing ceremony. I am saying that when we have youth tournaments, we have to make sure we reward the youngsters so the guys who make a hundred, we have to be able to give them a cricket bat, and the guy who becomes the MVP for each team, we have to outfit them with cricket equipment,” he added. 

Springer, who has served in the LICB post for several years, also called on CWI to afford the youth tournaments the same privileges given to the senior competitions.

“We struggled to get scores out of Trinidad and Tobago and I don’t know why because we are living in an era where everybody has a phone, and why are we not streaming the games. Why can’t we say with the under-17s we can go on the Cricket West Indies website and see the games being streamed? We have to be able to promote our young talents,” he said.

The Leeward Islands Cricket Board last week named a 14-man squad to contest the CWI Under-19 Championships in St. Vincent starting 28 July. 

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