CWI investing heavily in grassroots cricket – Skerrit, Shallow

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CRICKET West Indies (CWI) president, Ricky Skerritt and Vice-president, Dr Kishore Shallow, have disclosed that ‘An unprecedented, but workable proposal has been laid out and delivered to Ministers of Sport across the region. The proposal, they said, “is designed to incentivize local Governments to take joint ownership in a system for increased investment in grassroots cricket, with a focus on schools cricket and youth representative teams.

According to the top CWI executives, “the implementation of this proposal will be pursued vigorously in the second half of this term.” The proposal is contained in their one-year review which was recently released.

Boasting of their achievements in the review, the duo pointed out that the ‘Future Stars’ Programme was created to clearly communicate and position different stages of the player development pathway and it has been well received by players, parents and sponsors. They also pointed to the proposed Under-19 female tournament planned for this year.

Speaking specifically of what players do with their down time between tours, the President and Vice-president said, “this has been one of the major setbacks for player performances over the years as contracted professional players under-utilize the opportunity between tours and competitions to do structured work geared towards improving deficiencies in skills, fitness and mental toughness.

“A player should not enter a pre-tour camp in worse shape than when he or she last exited the squad. An optimized franchise system in each territory would sufficiently address this short-coming at all levels.

Skerrit and Shallow pointed out that the following have been achieved in the first year of the two-year term:
(a) Established minimum professional standards for medical management inputs re health and
fitness leadership at the franchise level.
(b) Standardized type and timings for fitness testing across the region for all franchise players,
with more vigorous and disciplined implementation.
(c) Significantly improved the live radio and video coverage of Super 50 and Championship
matches, through streaming.
(d) Will set up a task force to comprehensively review the effectiveness of the current franchise
system structure that was first introduced six years ago.

Touching on the Modernization of Coaching through Education and Professional Collaboration, the CWI executives said the body hired a development coaching specialist in Chris Brabazon, the first ever CWI coaching education manager. This, it said, resulted in improved coaching standards by delivering home- made certification training, and bringing coaches together for consultations both at the local and regional levels.

Among the other benefits, the report pointed out, it successfully delivered coaching certification by outsourcing to the UWI Faculty of Sport and also achieved a record number of coaching certificates (272) delivered – to regional coaches at Foundation Level (112), Level 1 (79), and Level 2 (61), in eight different countries. (Frederick Halley)