Minister of Youth, Sport and Community Empowerment, Charles Griffith and West Indies Captain, Kraigg Brathwaite, pose for a photo with the Richards-Botham Trophy. Mr. Griffith and Mr. Brathwaite also discussed the development of Under 13 cricket in Barbados and how the West Indies Captain could inspire young cricketers. (F. Belgrave/BGIS)

Primary schools’ cricket, which hasn’t been played in the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is critical in the development of youth and sports.

This was underscored by Minister of Youth, Sport and Community Empowerment, Charles Griffith, yesterday at the Ministry’s headquarters, as he discussed cricket with West Indies Captain Kraigg Brathwaite.

Noting that under 13 cricket played a vital role in the development of all Barbadian cricketers and was fundamentally the foundation of cricket, he added: “We are about to start our national sports program. I believe the… Herman Griffith [tournament] is something that also will be critically key in that development. The expectation is that cricket will play a critical part as it relates to the development of sports in this country.”

Mr. Griffith also disclosed that women’s cricket needed to be improved with more females drafted to play the sport, noting; “One of the things that I know that is coming [along] as well is … female cricket in Barbados. …the National Sports Council is looking to see how best we can have female cricket starting again.”

“They’re going to start with the softball competition, because we need to have females occupy the senior West Indies team as well. I’ve always heard that when Barbados cricket is strong then West Indies cricket is strong and we need to get back to the pinnacle in Barbados. So, there is a firm place in the policy in relation to the development of sports.”

He gave the assurance that government was firmly committed to developing sports as an industry and will do all that was necessary to improve all levels of cricket.

In turn, West Indies Captain Kraigg Brathwaite assured Mr. Griffith that he was willing to help in any capacity where he saw a need, since he added that the under 13 tournament, “really set my career, pertaining to cricket”, and that it was crucial for that age group to be playing on a consistent level.

He stated: “It’s a tremendous effort to get things rolling, and I really look forward to seeing the future. I’ll obviously help in any way, giving advice to any youngsters or any teams. I’m willing to do that but it is an absolute pleasure to be here, I look forward to doing any work that you need me to do.”

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