It’s an exciting experience a young cricketer would hardly forget during his cricketing career, that is meeting three cricketing legends of the highly successful West Indies teams of the 1960s and 70s.
Today, West Indies cricketing legends, the Right Excellent Sir Garfield Sobers, former pacers Charles Griffith and Joel Garner turned up at the 3Ws Oval, Cave Hill Campus, to greet the players of this year’s finals of the Sir Garfield Sobers Tournament – Foundation School of Barbados and the PowerGen of Penal, South Trinidad, shortly before the start of the 40-over game.
Foundation School were the winners of the tournament in 2012, while PowerGen of Penal South Trinidad were the winners of the annual competition last year.
Speaking to a team from Barbados TODAY at the 3Ws Oval, president of PowerGen Penal Sports Club, Chaitram Ranjitsingh, said since his club won the trophy last year it has been preparing to recapture it this year.
Explaining why the PowerGen Club has been performing well in the competition, Ranjitsingh said: “The PowerGen Club and management have been doing a tremendous amount of work for youth cricket in Trinidad and Tobago. It is one of the most orgainsed clubs, with one of the best development programmes in the country. We currently have eight youth teams.”
While recalling that the Trinidad and Tobago team never presented a major challenge to Barbados in the 1960s and 70s, Ranjitsingh identified several Trinidadian players who have excelled at the regional and international level recently.
Pointing out that PowerGen was an academy for young cricketers, Ranjitsingh said: “It is a cricket club, but it is really an academy because of the youth programmes that are taking place. We have a youth camp with over 75 to 100 participants including the A team that is playing today.”
Explaining his association with former parliamentarian and community worker, Hamilton Lashley, the president of the club said: “ We have twinned with Lashley’s foundation so that we can assist each other. There are also exchange of programmes. We have a good relationship with the Pine team. Lashley and I have gone a long way. At this time we are seeing results of this association.”
Asked to comment on the poor showing of the current West Indies team, Ranjitsingh maintained that a country cannot excel if a youth programme was not in place.
“It starts at the youth level. You just do not produce a West Indian player. You have to start at the youth level. You cannot turn the corner until you reach out at the bottom from the school,” he said.