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Barbados’ next generation of cricketing stars have been told that they have wonderful opportunities which should not be wasted but which should be fully exploited to better themselves and the region. That advice was given by the greatest allrounder to ever play cricket, Sir Garfield Sobers as Digicel launched its grassroots programme at Kensington Oval on Tuesday. In addressing the youngsters and coaches along with coordinator, Robin Parris, Alex Tasker of Digicel, Tony Howard of the West Indies Cricket and Michael Browne, chief executive officer of the Barbados Cricket Association, Sir Garry told the youngsters that they had been handed wonderful opportunities which he did not have as a child who was keen on cricket. “Great players of my day did not have the opportunities to be nurtured by coaches. We had to make our own bats and ball and we often had to organize games among ourselves,” said Sir Garry. “But even with such opportunities you must also get up and go out there, listen and pay attention to your coaches and do the work necessary to reach your potential since cricket can provide tremendous financial gains today. But you must decide what you want to achieve out of cricket.” While admonishing the youngsters to pay attention to their education which would enhance their ability to develop all-round skills, Sir Garry highlighted that when he undertook the task of scoring as a boy it was not to see the big shots being played by the stars. “I wanted to see how they moved and to learn the mechanics of the game. When I went into the nets it was to practise and perfect those mechanics and not to try to hit every ball for six as is often done by today’s players when they are practising,” stressed Sir Garry. However, Sir Garry was horrified when he learnt that the coaches in the grassroot programme will be using a manual set down by the WICB to coach the youngsters. “These are talented and knowledgeable coaches who have been coaching kids for years and they have to use a manual?” Sir Garry asked with incredulity. For the next three months every Saturday from 8:30 a.m. until noon, 15 children in 12 clusters will be coached in the rudiments of cricket at Queen’s Park, YMPC, Lords, Isolation Cavaliers, Passage Road, Carlton, Central and St John Cultural.