Not enough is being done to honour our local and regional cricket legends!
This is the view of former government minister and sports organizer Hamilton Lashley, who believes lasting memorials should be set up to show respect for the worth and work of the Caribbean’s biggest names in cricket.
“I have a problem with how we honour our outstanding cricketers here in Barbados. Although we have the Legends system in Barbados, I still feel that at the community-based level a lot more should be done to recognize our outstanding players,” expressed Lashley, who was speaking at a press conference this morning at the Rostrevor Hotel.
“Yes, we have Gordon Greenidge pavilion, Charlie Griffith, Wesley Hall and others. But there are so many other cricketers in Barbados that would have contributed immensely to the development of Barbados and West Indies cricket at a regional and international level. Collectively we in the islands have a lot more to do to honour the greats of the game and pay the necessary tributes,” he said.
With that in mind, Lashley has partnered with English-based cricket club Staffordshire Colts which is responsible for the likes of former England internationals Bob Taylor and Dominic Cork, to put on the Sylvester Clarke 15 and Under Regional Cricket Classic as tribute to the late West Indian fast bowler who played 11 tests and 10 One-Day Internationals.
The invitational tournament, which is set to cater for a dozen teams, will take place in April of next year.
Over an eight-day period, the preliminary stages of the 40-overs competition will take place in Trinidad and Tobago and then move to Barbados for the semi-finals and grand final.
The former St Michael South East representative pointed out that the sport of cricket needed to be evolved at the community level for players to make it onto the international scene.
“I believe a lot more needs to be put into youth development programmes of West Indies cricket particularly in the communities in Barbados and the Caribbean.”
He added: “If we put more resources within the communities, especially in community-based cricket, then we can begin redevelopment of West Indies cricket, at the community, club and international level. We have notions that cricket begins in the school but it begins in the community first.”
Staffordshire coach Martin Williams said his team was entirely grateful for the chance to take part in the tournament seeing that the English club normally toured Barbados around the Easter time.
However, Williams was concerned about the decline in young players who were interested in playing cricket at the highest level.
“This opportunity that Mr Lashley has spoken about we find very exciting. We have similar issues in the game in the UK in terms of participation. The numbers we have of young players playing the game is falling dramatically and we are putting on some initiatives to try to gain back that enthusiasm for the game. I think it is a unity sport and it helps to develop the young ones in terms of success and failure and coming together as a team.”
The Staffordshire Cricket Club also donated cricketing shirts and hats to Lashley.