Sport

Sandals Championship and Academy boost U-19 preparations for regional tourney

Saturday, July 20, 2019

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The Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) continues to laud the input of Sandals Resorts International (SRI), as its sponsorship of the Under-19 championships and academy has proved a major player in the national team's preparations for the Cricket West Indies (CWI) Regional Under-19 tournament in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Sandals Resorts International's three-year sponsorship of the JCA's tournament proved even more integral as it provides the platform for players to be selected to the national team for regional competitions, while the academy fine-tunes the preparation phase with off-field personal development sessions.

JCA's Chief Executive Officer Courtney Francis is optimistic that SRI's contribution will spark a change of form for this age group team in the upcoming regional tournament.

“We have taken time to address our dip in form in regional competition for this age group and a calculated and concerted effort has gone into preparing these young men to be regionally competitive as well as sharp enough to contend for places in the national senior setup. This approach would not have been possible without Sandals responding to us in a moment of need three years ago,” Francis shared.

“The preparation also includes a personal development component where the players are now benefitting from sessions with sports psychologist Olivia Rose. It doesn't end there because they are also trained in media management, social media etiquette, and interpersonal skills among other things. We are developing complete cricketers,” he added.

Meanwhile, Crissano Dalley, public relations manager, sponsoprships at Sandals, pointed out that the sponsorship was a no-brainer.

“We are involved at the regional senior level and the best way to secure the future competitiveness and longevity of the Windies is to get involved at the youth level in various territories. It creates moments of tremendous pride for the brand and our people when we can look at a Windies team and see talent that we have watched mature from age group cricketers into senior cricketers,” Dalley noted.

Southern Sparks were crowned champions of the recently concluded Sandals U-19 competition after seeing off Eastern Flames in the final at the Trelawny Multipurpose Stadium.

In a game reduced to 44 overs, the Sparks, led by a man-of-the-match performance by Ricardo McIntosh (76) and an unbeaten 61 from Romario Moxam, posted 235-5 and later restricted the Flames for a meagre 99 with 10 overs to spare. Andre Morgan (2-12) and Odane Thompson (2-6) were the pick of the four Sparks bowlers that picked up two wickets apiece.

The JCA will announce the final Under-19 team and management to represent the country at the July 25-August 11 regional tournament at a press conference at Sabina Park on Tuesday at 2:30 pm.


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