St Elizabeth to host West Indies Under-15 cricket tourney
BY GARFIELD MYERS Editor-at-large South/Central Bureau email@example.com
BLACK RIVER, St Elizabeth — The West Indies Under-15 cricket tournament set for Jamaica July 11 -26 will be held at four venues in St Elizabeth, Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) and local organisers said yesterday.
The venues will be the Treasure Beach Sports Complex, at Treasure Beach in south-west St Elizabeth, the Alpart Sports Club at Nain in south-east St Elizabeth, the Manley Horne Complex at Ballards Valley, south-east St Elizabeth and St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) in Santa Cruz, in the parish's north-east.
Cricketers and officials numbering 96 from six regional teams will be housed at boarding facilities at Munro College in Potsdam in the hills of Malvern. The teams are hosts Jamaica, Barbados, Leeward Islands, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago and Windward Islands.
Organisers told journalists at a press launch in Black River yesterday that the decision to host the two-week tournament in St Elizabeth was in recognition of the parish's rich tradition in the game and its considerable investment in sports facilities in recent years.
"Cricket is part of St Elizabeth," said tournament co-ordinator, Brian Breese.
Locals hailed it as a major triumph for the parish in the drive to build sports tourism.
"This is an opportunity not just for cricket but to highlight the entire parish," said chairman of the Local organising committee, Jason Henzell.
Cricket watchers suggested yesterday that the tournament will represent the first time that a regional tournament is being hosted in Jamaica, entirely outside of Kingston.
President of the JCA Lyndel Wright said the move reflected the recognition by his administration that "Sabina Park (Jamaica's headquarters of cricket) is not Jamaica".
Henzell said local sponsorship amounting to $2 million in cash and kind had been raised.
West Indies Cricket Board director Milton Henry emphasised the value of age-group cricket in the regional body's development programme with many of the region's top stars being graduates of the under-15 programme.