North Sound, Antigua – Antigua Minister of State within the Ministry of Sport, Local Government and Special Projects, Senator, The Honourable Winston Williams Jr has called on regional governments to make greater investments in cricket.
“I call upon our CARICOM governments to get out of the governance and administration of cricket and instead focus on investing in the development of the game,” Minister Williams declared. The Minister was speaking at the opening of the West Indies Cricket Board Sandals Foundation Under 15 High Performance Camp at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Grounds. “I accept and support the call by a number of our national sports pundits for CARICOM governments to seriously consider a coordinated approach to cricket development with a strong emphasis on the school and community programmes,” Minister Williams said.
The WICB Sandals Foundation Under 15 High Performance Camp in Antigua is one of two camps which were declared open on Saturday morning. The second camp is being held at the Beausejour Cricket Grounds in St Lucia.
The top Under 15 cricketers from Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, Leeward Islands, Windward Islands, Trinidad and Tobago along with additional Under 15 cricketers from the host countries (Antigua and Barbuda and St Lucia) have gathered at the two venues for an intense two week camp under the guidance of WICB certified coaches.
In declaring the camp open Minister Williams said that regional governments must be part of a concerted overall effort to assist with the development of West Indies cricket at the grassroots level.
“It will require a master plan where each of our countries with a vested interest in the livelihood of the game commits to carrying our various responsibilities to the best of our abilities,” Minister Williams added.
“We must all make a concerted effort to convert lip service into a long term investment which has reasonable expectations. Overnight fixes, instant gratification and super cricketers from the woodwork are components of the imagination which we must bury six feet underground. Wishes, whims and notions will not bring back the glories of the past,” Minister Williams said.
The camps are collaborative efforts between WICB, Sandals Foundation and the governments of Antigua and Barbuda and St Lucia. Sandals Foundation had executed local camps for the past ten years in St Lucia and in 2010 in Antigua.