Manchester CA celebrate Under-13 title as JCA delivers on youth development promise


Manchester CA celebrate Under-13 title as JCA delivers on youth development promise

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

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The Manchester Cricket Association secured top honours last weekend in the inaugural Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) National Under-13 Championship.

The competition comes from a commitment made by the local governing body for the sport at its retreat held in October 2018. Then, the JCA created a five-year strategic youth development plan which, among other things, would focus on national talent identification and preparation from earlier phases, like the Under-13 level.

“We have to get them playing more competitive cricket at an earlier phase and introduce them to hard-ball cricket early too,” said JCA CEO Courtney Francis. “This has been on the cards for a while and at the 2018 retreat we committed to bringing it to the fore. It is not a sponsored competition just yet, but we will be seeking partnership to help it grow. We have ensured that the coaches at this level are properly equipped and are able to get these youngsters technically sound with their stroke play and other areas of playing the sport.”

He added: “Today's final between Manchester and Kingston Cricket Club was such a heart warming moment as it was a rural-urban matchup. The JCA wants to see development taking place from Negril Point to Morant Point and today was evidence of that. In fact, all of our national teams reflect a rich mix of rural and urban-based talent.”

After four weeks of competition, 20 teams from the JCA's clubs and parish associations came down to two contesting the final played at Sir P's Oval in Treadlight, Clarendon. After winning the toss Manchester CA opted to field first and restricted Kingston CC to 125 runs from the allotted 25 overs. Nicoli McKenzie (42) and Ajani Banton (39) were the best batsmen from Kingston, while Adrian Silveria (two for 20) did well with the ball for Manchester.

In response, Rhevon Morgan (37 not out) along with Ukallee Broomfield and Oraine Wright with 25 runs apiece, led the way for Manchester CA, as they got to 126 for five from 22.2 overs, earning them a five-wicket victory. Brian Charles Largie of Kingston CC picked up three for 14, earning him man of the match honours despite his team finishing as runners-up.

Burtram Barnes, technical director of Manchester CA, was elated with the victory and noted that seven of the players have earned scholarships to attend Manchester High School.

“The Manchester CA has been working hard to identify talent across the parish and ensure that they follow the right path for complete development. As you know, Manchester High School has a strong cricket programme and it is a balanced programme. The players must maintain strong academic averages to complement their cricket.

A number (seven) of these young men just completed their PEP and were accepted to Manchester High School. We are proud of them and have rewarded them with scholarships to attend the institution. The association has to support their development in all areas so that they can work hard at school while playing hard on the pitch,” he said.

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