Cayman’s Boys Under-19 national cricket squad were set to compete in six-team International Cricket Council (ICC) tournament featuring nations from the Americas Division Two 14th-21st July.
The field was scheduled to feature Cayman along with Panama, Suriname, Argentina, Brazil, and Bahamas.
Cayman Cricket President Abali Hoilett says the association had invested heavily in youth development.
“Throughout the last two years, we’ve seen an increase in numbers and with that the board decided invest the extra effort and financial commitment and high performance academy.”
The last time Cayman sent a youth team abroad was 2015 for a Boys Under-17’s regional tournament in Bahamas.
Along the way, however, things changed. Some nations lacked financing, while others were deemed unfit for international competition. The tournament was cancelled. Many in Cayman’s cricket community like Senior Development Officer Connor Patterson were left disappointed with how it all went down.
“For us to spend all that time and money, it doesn’t sit well with us, and it doesn’t sit well with the board either. We want our kids to be going away and playing against the best guys in the local region.”
The two nations were moved up to the Americas Division One. Hoilett says they presented an alternative to salvage preparations.
“What we tried to do is reach out to other countries region who were either in Division One or playing in Division Two.”
Hoilett says a tentative group of Cayman, Bermuda and Argentina was proposed with Canada playing host to round out the group. The ICC however offered little assistance.
“They committed $5,000 USD for four teams. Which is a significant amount in isolation, but moving from covering four teams in a Division Two tournament to not being able to cover $15,000 to cover airfare and accommodations? It really made the option for Argentina not viable.”
Cricket Canada, however, face constraints with the launch of it’s Global T20 Canada league. Hoilett said the writing was on the wall.
“With Bermuda and Cayman unable to organize a tournament in Canada itself, we were left with no choice but to look for other opportunities here in Cayman and in Bermuda and that was cost prohibitive.”
Hoilett says, however, there are positives to the setback.
“We do have the 2019 event to look forward to, and recognizing it does present challenges and the kids have to wait a while long to challenge themselves.”
The 2019 Boys Under-19 Americas Division One tournament will feature Cayman, Bermuda and Argentina and Canada. The date is undetermined.