Bajan fast bowler at Arnos Vale spreading cheer to youngsters – Digicel Cricket Experience kicks off in St. Vincent
“This is a great thing that Digicel is doing.” Those were the words of West Indies Fast Bowler, Kemar Roach, when he finished interacting with more than 50 young cricketers who came out for the first Digicel Cricket Experience in St. Vincent. The Experience events are happening at all the Digicel Series venues to enhance the WICB Digicel Grassroots cricket development programme.
Roach, along with team-mates Andre Russell, Devendra Bishoo, Carlton Baugh, Johnson Charles, Captain Darren Sammy, Kieron Powell and Tino Best,took time after their practice session at Arnos Vale to bat, bowl and field with the excited youngsters while imparting their skills and some motivation. The players were also joined by West Indies legend, Lance Gibbs, and WI Team Manager, former West Indies Captain, Richie Richardson.
On the playing field adjacent to the Arnos Vale Cricket Ground you could hear the shouts of Windies players and youngsters alike as they interacted enthusiastically, finding a connection only with those who have a mutual love of cricket would understand. Digicel reps – along with the local coaches – divided the children into groups focusing on the various cricket skills, allowing the West Indies players to coach the kids in the different disciplines.
After some solid cricket clinic time, the kids were treated to photos with the West Indies players that were printed and framed right away and then signed by the West Indies players.
“The Digicel Cricket Experience is an integral part of our overall Digicel Series sponsorship. By bringing together the West Indies players and the Digicel grassroots programme, we create a true win/win for cricket development in the Caribbean,” explained Karl Donnelly, Digicel Group Head of Sponsorship.
Orlando Jackson, Head Coach for the St. Vincent Grassroots programme agrees. “This was so motivating for these kids. All of us were speaking afterward and thought it was such a great experience for everyone to have. I was thinking back on my younger daysand I never had a chance to do anything like this; to meet West Indies players, much less have them coach me! This is something these kids will remember their whole lives.”
“Digicel’s sponsorship of West Indies cricket is so much more than just a financial commitment; and the response from these children in St. Vincent and Coach Jackson testifies to that,” said Donnelly. “It meshes perfectly with our theme once again for the Digicel Series, Wi’ All In’, which is meant to symbolise the inclusiveness we see as vital to West Indies Cricket. What better way to achieve this than through the Digicel Cricket Experiences like this one that will be taking place throughout the Digicel Series?” Donnelly concludes.
Roach also felt the day’s events were to be treasured, “To enable future cricketers for the West Indies to meet the current players is a great way for them to learn and understand what it takes to be a professional cricketer. It was also very valuable to me, I am grateful that I am able to do this and pass on what I have learned as others did for me. It is always good to give back.”