Coach praises gutsy Under-17 cricketers
JAMAICA'S young cricketers returned to the island yesterday after enduring a trying spell to finish third in the Regional Under-17 tournament in Trinidad & Tobago.
The recently appointed head coach Clive Ledgister, who has enjoyed unrivalled success at schoolboy level with St Elizabeth Technical High School, said the tournament provided a lasting lesson to the youngsters.
"It was a very good experience. There was some good and there was some bad," he said regarding his first stint with the national outfit.
"I think the guys responded very well. They showed guts, they showed determination and I think this team is built of character."
Barbados, who beat Jamaica in the pivotal final round of matches, accumulated 19.9 points overall to clinch the title for the first time in their history.
Windward Islands were second with 19.5 points, followed by Jamaica (18.6), fourth-placed Guyana on 14.1, fifth-placed hosts T & T on 12.1 and cellar team Leeward Islands on 7.9.
The Under-17 tour, laced with logistical burdens throughout, started badly for the Jamaicans when their flight to Trinidad & Tobago was put back a day, leaving less time in which to compress their five matches in the round-robin competition.
"We won the first two games and it took a lot to get them prepared and settled for that first game against Trinidad. The second match [against the Windward Islands] was very good and we played some good cricket overall," Ledgister said.
After being housed in one place for the first two matches, the delegation was relocated to a new spot, totally exhausting the designated rest day.
Thereafter things took a dip as Jamaica lost two of the last remaining three encounters.
Captain Michael Frew, bowling off-spin, accounted for 12 victims and was awarded for being the top wicket-taker in the tournament, while Brad Barnes scored one of two centuries in the competition and won the prize for most individual runs in that match.
— Sanjay Myers