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All-day cricket fest Nov. 25

Justin Marville

All-day cricket fest Nov. 25

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Ottis Gibson is about to get further acclaim.
The best of junior cricket in Barbados will take to the field at the Desmond Haynes Oval on November 25 in an all-day, four-team T20 festival for the right to hoist the Ottis Gibson/Philo Wallace Challenge Trophy at the Lee Bistro Pirates Inc. Under-18 Cricket Classic.
Details of the country’s latest junior tournament were announced during the launch of the inaugural tournament at Kensington Oval on Friday.
“We want the youngsters to know that in our youth cricket we had people like Philo and Ottis [who] helped to lay a foundation for them to follow and we know that we have to support these youngsters because they are the future West Indies stars,” explained tournament organizer Mark Gaskin.
“I really want to see these guys eventually become professional cricketers and then expand the tournament where we can invite more Caribbean islands and have more local teams involved. [But] without sponsorship we can only afford to do four teams.
“Hopefully one year we will be able to increase to eight teams, including some teams from across the region and other territories.
“Hopefully we can take it even further where we would have an all-star team touring England or India where you will be exposed to different playing conditions,” Gaskin added.
The all-day tournament will see local champion school Foundation play club side Wanderers and Carlton face a select G-Spot Regional Tigers team in a straight semi-final affair where the winners advance to the final slated for 5:45 p.m.
And the festival should feature a lot of talented players, as G-Spot is expected to field at least three of Trinidad’s Under-18 national players captained by local prospect Lee Germon Gaskin.
“This tournament will be helpful in the development of cricket in Barbados because when you bring the youngsters to this type of exposure from a certain age, then they realize the type of respect that they can gain,” said Trinidadian coach Gerald Garcia, who will lead the G-Spot squad.
“The most important thing in life is the respect that you get from what you do in life and this is where the respect for these youngsters as human beings starts. When they have this exposure you can always demand a little more from them and you can get them to show a little more respect for the game.
“And the youngsters will be more motivated because they will be getting the exposure and they will understand the benefits of playing cricket at the senior level, so they will have that drive to keep playing,” he added.
The first match gets under way at 8:30 a.m., with G-Spot playing Carlton before Foundation and Wanderers square off three hours later. The losers will play in a third-place match at 2:40 p.m. before the grand finale.