Webster’s sights set on Windies
When someone says you can’t do it, do it twice.
That sums up Jaden Webster’s striking of not one, but two double centuries for Scotiabank Wanderers in the Barbados Cricket Supplies Under-13 Tournament.
Speaking to THE NATION following his achievements on March 4 and 19, he explained that ever since the newspaper release, he has been trying to wake up from what is certainly a good dream.
“It was a surreal feeling just to see my name on the paper and my face and I did it twice. The motivation for the second one came because the first time people said it was a fluke and that I would never do it again so I used that as motivation to push forward.
“I think it definitely boosted my confidence. Before they said that I batted too slowly and that I would never be able to score 100 but now I didn’t only score 100 but I scored two doubles,” he said while wearing a shy smile.
The 13-year-old left-hander and student of Harrison College scored 266 not out in Wanderers’ 294-run win against the Northern Cricket Academy ‘B’ at Dayrells Road and 244 not out in a 337-run win against Windward at Lucas Street.
But 13-year-old Webster’s accomplishments on the field are no mere acts of luck – he has been working to get to this point from the tender age of three.
His love for cricket first sparked through one of the first major role models a child often has, his father, in this case Kevin Webster, who also loves and played the game. But at that stage his love of handling a cricket bat and his father’s dream of his son going all the way in cricket didn’t quite earn him a pat on the back at practice.
“It was hard for me to go to clubs because everyone was older than me and they would say that I was too small to play cricket at three. It was very discouraging at times, but it pushed me to play harder and that is how I got this good at this stage,” he said.
He started playing at Charles F. Broome before he was transferred to St Cyprian’s. And having to prove himself among the bigger boys didn’t end at the primary school level since he again had to do so on reaching secondary school – this time among boys who were 18 years old.
Nonetheless, Webster doesn’t seem to be one who ever allowed the thoughts of people to derail him. Instead he guards his emotions like any good batsman guards his stumps.
It turns out that those early lessons in resilience were just the stepping stones needed for him to gain success on the pitch.
“At times it’s difficult to stand up and bat for so long because it’s 35 overs that we face and because Barbados is so hot you have to keep getting water to stay hydrated but I had to do it,” he said.
Webster is already imagining his picture among those of West Indies and Barbados cricketers such as Jason Holder, Kraigg Brathwaite and Ian Bradshaw on the walls of the Wanderers Club.
“I would like to play for the West Indies and make records at that level of the game . . . . I admire Sir Garfield Sobers and Brian Lara. Sir Garry is one of the greatest players to ever play so most batsmen should probably look at him for inspiration. Brian Lara is a left-hander and I am a left-hander and when I was at my old club Passage Road they used to call me Lara so I started watching videos of him on YouTube to see how he played,” he said.
Although he is just in second form, Webster has already taken a holistic approach to life, also thinking, too, about making “runs” in his academics.
“I want to study to be an engineer. I have to do technical drawing, maths and science. My mum and I sat and worked out a schedule so I can be balanced in both cricket and my schoolwork,” he said.
“On Mondays I go to practice at Wanderers and when I come home I would revise. Tuesday I have Barbados training at the Centre of Excellence, Wednesday school practice again and Thursday Barbados training. On Monday I would revise any subject I choose and then on Tuesday the same thing and it keeps going on. My favourite subject is maths.”
As he talked about his mother and little sister a smile returned to his face as he looked down playing with his fingers.
“She [my mum] didn’t come to the games anymore because I wouldn’t score runs when she was there, so my dad told her to stay home but she has started to come back now because she wants to see me score runs. My sister would come too but when she is there she plays with dollies”.
Webster said that in addition to his family’s support, including that of his dad who usually brings him lunch and Powerades, his former coach at Passage Road, Richard Clarke, was a great inspiration along with his current coaches.
“I also have the support of my coaches at the Barbados Training Centre of Excellence and at Harrison College too. . . I try to stay humble because I have further things in my future,” said Webster. (RG)