Defending champions Wesley Hall will open their campaign in the feature game against former champions St Giles when the Guardian Group-sponsored National Sports Council’s Herman Griffith Primary Schools Cricket Competition bowls off tomorrow at Dover, Christ Church.
There are 61 schools participating in the tournament this year with a few rejoining the competition after missing a few years. Among these are Mount Tabor, St Margaret’s, Gordon Walters, St James and Lawrence T. Gay Memorial Primary.
This is the 16th year the tournament is being sponsored by the Guardian Group and during a Press conference held this morning at the Hilton Hotel to launch the tournament, executive manager of Guardian General Insurance Limited, Nigel Adams, and those present first observed a minute’s silence in memory of George Linton, former National Sports Council cricket coach who passed away last month.
Adams said the competition undoubtedly laid the foundation for young Barbadian cricketers and his company would be looking to introduce a few initiatives this year to boost the competition.
“As a sponsor we are extremely proud to know that this competition has been a cricket nursery for many of our young talented cricketers. We will highlight the various aspects of the competition on our Guardian Group Barbados Facebook page; fans would be able to follow updates on our Facebook page including highlights of the matches and profiles of the teams who are successful at the semifinals and final,” the manager said.
He told those at the media conference that Guardian Group would continue to support the competition which has grown from strength to strength and continued to produce young talented cricketers such as Rivaldo Clarke, a former Wesley Hall student who at age seven was the youngest boy to play in the competition and who also became the youngest player at age eleven to play in the Elite Division of the BCA this year. Adams also referred to West Indies opener Kraigg Brathwaite who recently scored his first maiden double century against Bangladesh.
National Sports Council coach Richard Straker told Barbados TODAY they were pleased with the number of teams involved in the tournament this year but due to a shortage of cricket coaches at the NSC especially with the passing of Linton, they would be asking some physical education teachers in the primary schools to assist with umpiring.
Straker said: “We are pleased with the numbers from last year because the numbers are up from last year. But there is a shortage at the Sports Council and George Linton has passed on so we are short of coaches but we expect the schools and guardians in the area to assist especially the coaches at the schools. We have coaches that we supply but we cannot provide thirty-one umpires a day. So the schools are expected to play a very important part. At the quarterfinals and semifinals we would be able to provide the adequate umpires though.”
Ten-time champions Wesley Hall will be led by captain Janesh Jaunai and will be hoping to add title number 11. The semi-finals will be played November 19 to 20 while the final is slated for December 4.