Four of Barbados’ young cricketers are now certified level two coaches thanks to a joint effort between the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) and Lancashire Cricket Club (LCC).
This morning at the Barbados Cricket Association’s office at Kensington Oval, Wanderers’ batsmen Shayne Moseley and Jonathan Drakes along with former Barbados Defence Force captain Mario Boyce and Jafari Toppin were proud recipients of the level two certificates in coaching children’s cricket presented by BCA chief executive officer David Deane and Winston Stafford, BCA Board member and chairman of the Lord Gavron Scholarship Committee.
Speaking during the presentation Stafford said the collaboration between the BCA and the LCC was one that sought to develop players holistically.
“In 2010 we [BCA] managed to strike up a relationship with Lancashire Cricket Board and ever since then we have collaborated to create a developmental programme for the awardees of the scholarship [Lord Gavron] and so far out of the 20 persons we have had 15 of them representing Barbados and seven have been selected in the West Indies cricket team,” said the former member of LCC and the historic Empire Club.
Stafford explained that the Lord Gavron scholarship started in 2001 and was a part of the course that has been reintroduced this year with Drakes and Toppin being the two lucky recipients of the scholarship. He added that the 22 week-long coaching programme sponsored only one individual but was extended in 2005 to two individuals and from there on the initiative flourished into something special that also brought about a memorandum of understanding.
“We have also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Lancashire Cricket Board so it is not a one-off thing; it is a planned programme with educational input, developmental input and a management input, a leadership input. It is a very comprehensive programme and we have had enormous success so much so that we have had two clubs who have been working with us they are thinking of sending their cricket clubs down to Barbados in 2018 to play club cricket so it says something about the relationship the Barbados Cricket Association build with the club over a period of six years,” he said.
Barbados swing bowler Miguel Cummins who was recently called up to the West Indies test squad currently playing in Australia was among the first batch of players to participate in the programme Stafford highlighted and noted that Cummins had an opportunity to improve his game when he work with England fast bowler Stuart Board at Old Trafford.
Going forward the aim is to develop a programme that will facilitate a lot more young cricketers. The BCA board member said, “It is embryonic at this stage but we are working on it and I can tell you that this year we are going to have three of our boys from the BCA in the programme this year.”
The players shared their experience with the media and the two Combermerians Moseley and Drakes said the cold weather condition was a major factor to which they adjusted well.
“The experience was a bit different. Getting accustomed to the weather was a major factor because this was my first year in England but after playing a few games I got accustomed to the condition which was different from what I am accustomed here with a lot more grass on the pitch. I think that any young person who is interested in getting different experiences or developing themselves batting-wise – this is a good start. I would like to take [this opportunity] further. I used last year as a stepping-stone in terms of development to come back here to become a better player so I would use it to work on my game here in Barbados. I have certain goals and aspirations in Barbados cricket so I would like to achieve that first,” Moseley said.
Meanwhile Drakes said it was an eye-opening experience for him both on and off the field.
“I grew holistically learning to adapt to different cultures, players and it was a challenge for me not only focusing on my batting but I think I grew a lot as a player and person. The batting condition was different, the ball swung a bit more, outside was very cold and I remember the first game I had on so much clothes. It was really cold and that was a challenge for me so as time went by I got more accustomed to the weather and conditions.
“Living away from home was also a challenge for me. Jafari and myself would have to get up on mornings make our own breakfast, cook our own dinner and it was fun but after a while it got challenging. But overall it was a good experience I learnt all that I wanted to and even more,” the 21-year-old said.