Prime Minister David Thompson????

The future of West Indies Cricket is looking brighter thanks to the combined effort of the West Indies Cricket Board, the University of the West Indies and Sagicor.

This was underscored by Prime Minister, David Thompson at the launch of the Sagicor West Indies Cricket High Performance Centre, last evening at the Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination.

The Centre, which is located at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus, has currently enrolled fifteen of the region’s best, young cricketers, who will be trained to positively re-shape the future of West Indies cricket.

During his opening remarks Prime Minister David Thompson further, lauded the programme, which he stated is critical to the advancement of West Indies cricket.

Mr. Thompson further disclosed that although he was never a cricketer, he was, however, aware of the significance of the game from an early age.

"…I do remember my first day at school: the late Harry Sealy took us to the back of the hall of Combermere and the very first thing he showed us was a photograph of an outstanding team – a 1951 team which had done well… It made quite an impression on me. When I saw the photograph, I thought about how important cricket is to Barbados, but more importantly to our Caribbean civilisation as a whole," he recalled.

In his address, Principal of the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, revisited the time when they were various cricket academies within the villages. He considered this to be a natural environment for those cricketers, citing the constant constructive criticism by the several cricket fans within those communities. Mr. Beckles stated that the greatest cricketers originated from these village academies.

However, he asserted: "Those villages are no longer as productive as they used to be in producing cricket talent, cricket mentalities, cricket consciousness, and so we have to support those communities in a different way. And so, the academy, HPC, is an element that we are putting in place to support those natural village academies, with an artificial academy."????sharifa.medford@barbados.gov.bb

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