With the International Cricket Council’s rankings set to be released this later this month, Cayman Cricket has continued to develop their junior programs in hopes of sending youth teams abroad in 2018. Senior Development Officer Connor Patterson says their efforts have paid off.
“This year we will send three junior teams away, an under-19 men’s, an under-15 men’s, and an under-15 female team across the Americas region to compete in a tournament.”
This is first time Cayman will send an amateur youth team to compete since the 2014-15 Under-17 boys competed in the ICC’s Youth Tournament in Bahamas.
“I think it’s really positive for the region that they’re putting on junior cricket. It definitely helps the overall goal of enhancing the men’s national program by exposing these kids to cricket at an early age.”
Since the beginning of October, young cricketers have honed their skills at the association weekly academy held at the King Sports Complex. Patterson says the approach was to rebuild from scratch.
“We went back to basics like how you hold the bat, and then into more cricket specific skills like par-hitting and bowling at the death. After Christmas, we will transition to outdoor where the focus will go to match practice. We will do one hardball session per week, then the academy members will play in a division-two men’s league.”
With the release of the ICC’s rankings later than usual, Patterson says the youth squads as well as Cayman’s national men’s team have had to juggle their future plans as the ranking determines the financing they receive.
“In 2017, it’s very difficult to plan unless you know where your budgets are. Last year, we ran approximately 12 junior programs, this year he hope to expand it to about 15 or 16 that includes an all-girl competition that will aid the girls trip away before they head off and compete against other countries.”