Two target senior caps
ROSTON CHASE and Shane Dowrich are looking forward to the 2011 first-class cricket season.
The two most recent recipients of the Lord Gavron Award are hoping that their exploits on the cricket field will earn them a call to the senior national side.
Chase is enjoying his final season with the Guardian General Barbados Youth side in the Division 1 Competition.
In eight games, he has 663 runs at an average of 60.27 with a highest score of 148 against YMPC. His off spin bowling has also netted 34 wickets at an average of 21.77 runs per wicket.
Chase said this was all part of the plan to win the Lord Gavron Award, and he began working towards it after witnessing last year’s presentation.
He was one of Barbados’ top performers in the Under-19 Competition, scoring 81 against the Windward Islands, and 135 against the Leewards.
“It is an honour for me to receive this prestigious award and it gives me great pleasure to accept, because last year when I came to this presentation, I was only a member of the Under-19 team.
“I said, ‘Next year I want to be the winner of this award’ and here it is’,” Chase said to applause during his acceptance remarks.
Since he made his debut for Spartan as a 15-year-old in 2007, Chase has been a consistent performer.
He scored his maiden Division 1 century the following year against Police.
The youngster, nicknamed “the 90s man” by Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) vice-president Conde Riley, also had scores of 94 versus Carlton, 99 against Banks and an unbeaten 93 against Banks in the Sagicor Super Cup.
He also scored 98 against Wanderers last year and just last weekend he made 96 against Maple.
“This was one of my goals to get the award and also I would like to achieve 700 runs in the First Division tournament.
“It would be a great honour if I could get a first-class play for the national team this year,” Chase said.
Dowrich already has senior caps and he is hoping that his performances this year will earn another call.
He has played for the Barbados Under-19 team and the West Indies Under-19 team at the Under-19 Cricket World Cup in New Zealand.
The wicketkeeper/batsman, though diminutive, has been a steady fixture on youth teams and was among the 15 elite cricketers chosen in the first batch for the Sagicor High Performance Centre.
“I am just looking to end this season with an average of over 100, try to get into the Barbados senior team and have a good first-class season in February,” Dowrich told WEEKENDSPORT.
The former Combermere and Guardian General Youth player tops the averages with 135.59 (a minimum of three games) now at YMPC, where he has scored 81 not out.
He is hoping to carry on from 2009 when he earned the Goddard Enterprises Most Improved Male Player award, finishing with 421 runs at an average of 52.63.
“As a director of the WICB [West Indies Cricket Board] I know that he is highly regarded regionally, and we believe that if he fulfills his potential – which I consider to be immense – we are sure that in the not too distant future, he will be wearing the much sought after senior West Indies colours,” Riley said.
Both players admitted it has been tough making the transition from schoolboy level to the top division.
Chase is still with Guardian General Youth, but he is a student at the University of the West Indies.
“It is a big jump from secondary school to the university but I manage my time well. I do some work, I put in my hard work behind the hours and it has paid off.
“Last season my performances were good. This season, since I put in a lot more work they have been really good and I just expect a lot more in the future,” he said.
Dowrich noted: “It has been a tough transition.
I grew up in the YMPC set up, so I felt kind of comfortable moving over, but playing cricket for a club and playing with a school team is a lot different.
“I have been doing a lot of work at the High Performance Centre with coach Toby Radford and also doing some work with my coach Roddy Estwick at Combermere School, putting in some technical stuff and just working on my mental skills.”
Both players thanked their parents – Sonia and David Dowrich and Radcliffe and Margaret Chase – as well as mutual coaches Estwick and Dexter Toppin; the BCA and others who have guided their development.