Almost 150 students from throughout the federation benefitted these past few days from the expertise of former senior cricketers, some of whom played for the West indies, Combined Islands, Leeward Islands, St. Kitts and also Nevis.
It was also bonus for the youth cricketers when they were able to meet and mingle with current West Indian stars, including opening batsman Kraigg Brathwaite and fast bowler Kemar Roach, who are graduates of the Kiddy Cricket program.
The 18-year-old Barbadian schoolboy, Brathwaite, made his debut against Pakistan in the second Digicel Test at Warner Park, and became the fifth youngest West Indies Test cricketer to do so.
Roach, the 22-year-old speedster, also from Barbados, made his Test debut in 2009 against Bangladesh in St Vincent and has made 12 Test appearances thus far.
Both Roach and Brathwaite recalled being part of the Kiddy Cricket displays at Kensington Oval during their primary school days.
“I was part of the program and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It used to be fun getting a chance to play during the lunch breaks,” Brathwaite said.
Roach said: “I had a great time! I remember being out their running around and hoping to one day make it on the big stage.”
Also provided technical direction to the primary and secondary school children from schools across St. Kitts & Nevis, were former St. Kitts and Leeward Islands captain and all rounder, Victor Eddy of St. Kitts and former West Indies star opening batsman, Stuart Williams, who is also a former captain of Nevis and the Leeward Islands.
Scotia Bank Regional Sponsorship Manager Simone Hull commented: “This is the ultimate reward for Scotia Bank’s sponsorship of the Kiddy Cricket program. To see Kemar and now Kraigg graduate to the highest level of the game is not only fulfilling to us as sponsors but must inspire the current Kiddy Cricketers that they too can achieve their dreams, not only in cricket but life in general.”
“Scotiabank has been investing in developing the next generation of West Indian cricketers for the past 12 years. We have remained steadfastly committed to teaching the fundamental skills of cricket in schools and giving the kids the opportunity to display their skills on the international stage,” Hull added.
“Scotiabank is extremely proud to see the success that the program has been having, delivering on the promise of developing the next generation of pro West Indian cricketers,” Hull said.
KJ Singh, WICB Project Officer, Kiddy Cricket said that the achievement of Roach and Brathwaite justifies the WICB commitment to developmental cricket at all levels.
“Kiddy Cricketers have been learning on the field and in the classroom as we seek to develop them into great sportsmen and the next generation of West Indian players and Caribbean citizens,” Singh added.
The students participating this year in the Kiddy Cricket in St. Kitts were drawn from 24 schools, and received instructions in batting, fielding, bowling and catching. This is the 12th year of the initiative.