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Boost for U-13s

Republic Bank CEO Ian DeSouza (right), former Test fast bowler Charlie Griffith (centre), and BCA CEO Rollins Howard, had some words of advice yesterday for boys from Combermere, the defending champions. (Picture by Sharon Harding.)

By Mike King | Fri, November 08, 2013 - 12:03 AM

This year’s Everton Weekes Under-13 Cricket Competition which opens Thursday is getting the Right Start with the Republic Bank’s (Barbados Limited) $20 000 sponsorship.

At yesterday’s Press launch of the annual Republic Bank Right Start competition, it was announced that the competition will stretch four weeks with the final slated for December 11 at Kensington Oval.

The champion team will collect $1 000 and the beaten finalists, $600. The four semi-finalists will earn $400 while the quarter-finalists pocket $200.

The Player Of The Tournament will be $500 richer while both the batsman with the most runs and the bowler with the most wickets, will walk away with $250. The wicketkeeper and the flelder with the most catches will each receive $200.

Combermere are seeking a three-peat and are quietly confident, said physical education teacher, Michael “Abu” Worrell.

“We are in the rebuilding stages, but we will come out and play hard cricket and will look to defend the title all the way.

“We are not as strong as last year but as the season progresses, we will get stronger. Coach Roddo Estwick will put the right things in place and we will get where we want to get at the end of the day. We have a nucleus of first formers that are keen to prove themselves,” he said.

Acting BCA operations manager, Roxanne Forte, said the competition is attracting 19 teams split into four zones.

At the close of the competition, the top 30 players will be chosen for a clinic to be held from December 16 to 20. Coaches Henderson Springer and Dexter Toppin will be in charge of the clinic with former Test fast bowler Charlie Griffith expected to assist.

Chief executive officer of Republic Bank Ian DeSouza, described the tournament as a “worthwhile endeavour” and said the bank was pleased to sponsor it for the third successive year.

Before an audience that included Barbados Cricket Association’s chief executive officer Rollins Howard and third vice-president Maurice Gaskin, DeSouza said the bank, through its corporate social responsibility programme, the Power To Make A Difference, will continue to support youth through education and sport.

DeSouza said that cricket remained the glue of the Caribbean and was embedded in the souls of West Indians.

“We may bicker when we operate as individual islands, but when it comes to cricket we forget all of that and we become one,” he said.

DeSouza reminded the dozens of young children from Combermere, St Leonards Boys and Ellerslie who attended the launch, that hard work pays off.

“Sir Everton can attest to this. In his time, unlike you, he did not benefit from coaching clinics and tournaments to develop his capability as a cricketer. He relied on God-given talent alone, and perhaps a few lucky breaks that provided him the opportunities that today make him a living legend.

“Sir Everton worked hard and he was determined to succeed. He did not limit himself by the circumstances of his early years. He practiced and worked with his team to accomplish a goal.

“That is his legacy and it is one that should be revered and emulated,” DeSouza added.

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