By Neto Baptiste
Youth Training Development (YTD), an ongoing cricket training and development initiative in the New Winthorpes community, could soon become a member of the Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association (ABCA) and have a home of its own.
This was revealed by President of the YTD and former national footballer, Kerry Skepple, while speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show.
“We are in the process to become a member of the ABCA and Parish League because we are looking in the long term to play competitive cricket and we will be registered as a club. We are also developing our own [field] so in a year’s time or less, we will have our own practice and playing facilities as a club, so we are working behind the scenes,” he said.
The group, which has been at the center of some controversy over the use of the playing field in the New Winthorpes community, raised a few eyebrows when, in December last year, attempts were made to enter a team into the ABCA 10 Splash competition.
Kerry sought to clarify that this was only in an attempt to allow players an opportunity to get some competitive cricket under their belt.
“We know we have some players who are dedicated to the clubs they play for, like Elroy Francis Jr, Demari Benta and Kadeem who play for Pigotts, but our idea was that we have a host of players who are not affiliated with any clubs and wanted to play some cricket, so we were thinking that we could put them into this competition to have some cricket being played,” he said.
Another member of the group, Lesroy Skepple, said the YTD has always sought to be fair and have employed the proper channels in getting the necessary permission from the community sports club to utilise the field but was still being met with resistance.
“We started practicing on a particular strip right between the basketball court and then, in conjunction with the president [of the sports club] we went and prepared the main pitch and we started practicing there. We were clear that the president knew what we were doing, but it was during that time when we were using the central pitch one Saturday, when we were doing our practice, that the police came and that was the first time,” he said.
The former player clarified that they have since rectified the issues and have received permission to occupy the field.