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‘Don’t let your youth stop you’

BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

‘Don’t let your youth stop you’

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The Derek Sealy tournament is already being viewed as an avenue for aspiring cricketers to build their innings.
World-renowned commentator Tony Cozier believes one’s youthful age should not deter them from aiming for West Indies selection, reasoning competitions like the regional Under-15 competition can be used as a springboard into a senior career.
Cozier made the comments during Sunday’s reception for the junior tournament at the Cricket Legends of Barbados, citing Sealy’s West Indies debut at the tender age of 17 as an example.
“Ramnaresh Sarwan played his first first-class match at the age of 15 so there are opportunities there if you are good enough, if you work hard enough and if you practise regularly,” said Cozier.
“Don’t say, “Oh, we’re young and many of the young players aren’t getting through” because look at Nicholas Pooran of Trinidad. He made his debut at 17 and I’m sure the Indian Premier League will be looking at him very carefully for next season if the West Indies snatch him up before that and put him in the side.
“There are plenty of opportunities now. There’s Under-17, Under-19, West Indies tournaments, there’s Under-19 World Cup and now there’s this tournament which could be your stepping stone to West Indies cricket and to higher cricket,” he added.
It was the main message coming out of the launch for the second edition of a regional tournament honouring the little-known West Indies batsman, who played the first of his 11 Tests in 1929 and helped foster regional unity by appearing for Barbados and Trinidad.
So it’s fitting the competition currently features three squads from the twin island republic, including the reigning Garfield Sobers International champs Powergen Penal.
Those three Trinidad teams are joined by local teams Al Falah, the Hamilton Lashley Foundation, Isolation Cavaliers, Wanderers and defending champs Northern Cricket Academy.
The tournament got underway yesterday with matches at Wotton, Briar Hall and Mapp Hill. (JM)