Young, exciting cricket talent excites JCA
The exciting talent coming through the Kingston Wharves Under-15 competition gives plenty of encouragement, according to Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) operations officer O'neil Cruickshank.
A former national youth player, Cruickshank said that players this season have shown high levels of technique in all facets of the game and identified improved coaching as a possible reason for this.
"I do believe these youngsters are technically better than some we've had in the past. Perhaps some of that can be put down to better coaching at the primary and prep school level, but it certainly has been a positive. We have seen enough talent to pick a group of players that can be advanced into a national youth programme," he told the Jamaica Observer recently.
Cruickshank credited the parish associations across the island for helping to make the staging of the tournament a "largely smooth" process.
"This season's competition was largely smooth and I think the parish associations have made it easier for everyone. Preparing for this competition is now like second nature to them and we (at the JCA) are very happy with how it turned out. There are still administrative issues like being vigilant about the registering of over-aged players, but it was generally good," he said, while adding that he still wants to see more participation from female players.
In the final which was played recently at the Sabina Park ground, St Andrew edged St Elizabeth by two wickets in a tight encounter.
St Elizabeth won the toss and batted but were dismissed for 122 as Jordane Hill made 34 and David Curtis chipped in with 20 against Orande Pearson, who took 4-18 and Roberto Brooks (4-43).
In reply, St Andrew crept to 123-8 off 49 overs with Dominik Samuels contributing 19 and Raewin Senior adding 17. St Elizabeth's David Curtis and Roshane Sailsman took two wickets each.
Scores: St Elizabeth 122 (32.3 overs); St Andrew 123-8 (49 overs).
Cruickshank highlighted the impact that the competition has had on the cricketing landscape and hopes that Kingston Wharves can remain a "loyal partner" of the JCA.
"The JCA is looking forward to continue partnering with Kingston Wharves for a long while. They have been a good sponsor and a loyal partner. This competition is the best cricket programme in Jamaica and if you look on the number of national and West Indies players who have come through this competition you will see what I mean," he said.