LONDON, England, CMC- Former England captain, Andrew Strauss, says he is excited about the role he is playing in helping to develop cricket in St. Lucia.
Strauss is involved in a cricket academy, founded here recently, which will engage local coaches for summer training programmes specifically targeting youth interested in the game.
The academy is an outreach initiative of a new multi-million dollar eco resort being developed called the Freedom Bay Project which Strauss has invested in.
“It will help the locals to have some decent facilities and to play the game of cricket rather than basketball or some other game and hopefully see some players develop out of that as well” said Strauss , one of England’s most successful captains after winning Ashes series at home and away.
“I have invested myself in the development .I am quite excited about having a property to go on out there on holiday to but I was also excited about the fact that they are setting up this academy”.
Strauss, who retired from professional cricket last year, also plans to assist young St. Lucian cricketers with the development of important life skills such as teamwork, discipline, cooperation and to deal with disappointment.
Freedom Bay, which sits on 68-acres of a World Heritage site beneath the Piton Mountains, also plans to help upgrade cricket facilities in the area.
“West Indies is not as lucky the way we are with their facilities” Strauss said in a BBC television interview.
“The facilitates there are way far more rudimentary that they are here and this is an opportunities for some of those young guys who don’t have many of those opportunities to get a bat and ball in their hands and play the game of cricket”. Andrew Strauss who has played international cricket in St. Lucia on three occasions enjoys the distinction of being only the fourth batsman to score a century at Lord’s on his debut.
“I am very interested in initiatives over there as well and rightly so because I think facilities could be improved and updated here” said Strauss, whose understated authority underpinned England’s rise to the top of the world rankings – for the first time in 31 years,
“But I am also conscious that the world needs strong cricket from all parts of the world and the west indies in particular it would be fantastic to see them gaining strength in the coming years and improve as a side”.
When complete, the US 300 million dollar Freedom Bay resort project being built in three phases over a five year period, will be divided into two sections, a private residential area and a public hotel.
Other former England cricketers who bought properties in the Caribbean include Michael Vaughan and Freddie Flintoff who both own villas in Barbados.