SPECTATORS at Sabina Park witnessed the venue's debut of cricket mascot 'Chirpy the Cricket' and were entertained by Scotiabank Kiddy Cricketers during the innings break of the second Digicel One-Day International (ODI) match between the West Indies and New Zealand on Saturday.
The fleet-footed 'Chirpy', who represents the jointly-organised Scotiabank and West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Kiddy Cricket programme, shared the spotlight with 80 young aspirants from primary schools across the island during a display session on the Sabina outfield.
Scotiabank's regional manager of marketing and sponsorships Simone Hull told the Jamaica Observer that while the kids were showing off what they learned, they were able to interact with 'Chirpy'.
"The kids had loads of fun displaying their skills and had fun with him (the mascot) as he played on the field with them, showed a few of his cricketing moves and danced to the music," she said.
The new mascot was designed by a Kiddy Cricket student and replaces 'Clarence the Crab' — who existed since 1999 — as part of a focus to freshen the programme.
Said Hull: "The debut of the mascot in Jamaica was a huge success. He was very energetic, full of vibes, flexible and fun. He had a great time interacting with fans in the George Headley and the North stands."
The Scotiabank Kiddy Cricket programme has been unearthing a large number of young talent as a result of increased hours of play and additional youth cricketing activities being staged.
The programme aims to give children an appreciation for the game and complements the appeal of education in schools, while providing equipment and training for coaches to teach the basics of the game.
The 80 Jamaicans join over 560 students in seven other Caribbean countries who have been given the opportunity to display their skills on the international scene as the climax of this year's programme.