Providenciales, Turks and Caicos: The Digicel Cricket Clinics 2009 wrapped up in Turks and Caicos on Saturday with Head Coach, Keith Arthurton, pleading for local cricket associations to focus on sustained youth development programmes throughout the Caribbean.
“We have to understand that nowhere in the world would you produce players over a three day period or over a week. It’s a learning process and it takes a long time. These Digicel Cricket Clinics are great and it is fantastic for the kids to interact with players like Chris Gayle and Ramnaresh Sarwan but the Clinics need continuity and the local associations along with the private sector have to take up the mantle,” Arthurton said.
“Digicel has played its part in bringing coaches and the most exciting and experienced players in the Caribbean to various countries but more has to be done by other entities for the development to continue,” Arthurton advised.
“There is talent here in Turks and Caicos but we have to nurture the talent in the correct way and in a sustained way,” Arthurton told a large group of young players, parents and cricket officials and enthusiasts.
“I can feel the energy for cricket here. There is no doubt about it – you can see that the people want cricket to be revived but the authorities will have to make a tremendous effort to get it to where they want it to be,” Arthurton said.
Chris Gayle said that he agreed with the sentiments of Arthurton and also thanked Digicel for putting on the Digicel Cricket Clinics which allowed him, Sarwan, Denesh Ramdin and Jerome Taylor to pass on tips and information to kids in six Caribbean territories. Coaches Arthurton and Kenny Benjamin – both former West Indies players and current youth coaches – led the coaching sessions in the British Virgin Islands, Jamaica, Dominica, Cayman Islands and Barbados in addition to Turks and Caicos.
“We have to all thank Digicel for organizing these Clinics and helping the young cricketers to learn the game and I also want to thank the parents for allowing the kids to come out and for encouraging them to play the game,” Gayle said.
At the end of the Turks and Caicos Digicel Cricket Clinics, Kevaughn Brown was adjudged best batsman, while Athol Gibson took the best bowler prize and Andrew Campbell secured the best fielder award.
All participants received certificates of participation and photographs autographed by Gayle while the winners won a mini bat autographed by the West Indies team.