Call to scout lower divisions
A call has?come from a politician and two experienced cricket coaches for national selectors to go back to the community level when scouting potential talent.
Parliamentary representative for St Michael South East, Hamilton Lashley, and coaches Gregory Small and Rodney Simpson believe there is a lot of talent buried within the communities across the island which needs to be unearthed.
Their remarks came just days after they held a Press conference at which it was revealed that two cricketers from the Pine – Rachad Forde and Damien Davis – were awarded six-month contracts to play semi-professionally in Trinidad and Tobago.
Forde, also a national athlete, played for Malvern in the Barbados Cricket Association’s (BCA) Second Divsion, while Davis played in the Barbados Cricket League for the Pine.
Lashley said cricket was born in the community and there was a need to revisit those roots.
“Some of our finest sportsmen have been discovered at the community level. The community is where sportsmen are nurtured and their skills harnessed.
“There is a definite need for the enormous talent which is littered throughout our communities to be scouted and developed by our national selectors,” he maintained.
Small and Simpson, who both coach at the Pine and Wildey Sports Academy and have more than 40 years experience between them, believe that for far too long only those players who play first division cricket are considered for national duty.
“For years, only those players who after entering secondary school pass through the Combined Schools team, or the players who join first division clubs are called to trials,” said Simpson, a former Spartan and Carlton cricketer.
“But when you look at some of the cricketers who play in the BCL and some of the other divisions, you would realize that there are some very good players who for some reason or another, have chosen to play for their community’s cricket team, irrespective of what division that side is playing in.”
Small suggested that the BCA selectors watch cricket at all levels to be able to pick good players who chose to play cricket in the lower divisions.
“There is a widespread belief that if you play Intermediate cricket or BCL cricket that you are not a top cricketer, but that is foolishness,” he maintained.
“We need to get rid of all the politics in local cricket and look for our best players.
“It should not make a difference at what levels they are playing. What is important is that those players are groomed and helped in their development.”