Cameron - Expansion thrust for HPC
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Newly elected West Indies Cricket Board president Dave Cameron is planning a major expansion of the High Performance Centre, that will see similar academies established in every cricketing territory across the region.
The move, part of Cameron’s vision to see cricket development take place in every island on a sustained basis, will see the current HPC model replicated in every island, with players having the same resources and facilities at their disposal.
Cameron said while he was satisfied the Barbados-based HPC was performing its role, there was clearly a need to build out its capacity further.
“I am pleased in so far as what is coming out. I am not so sure that – and even in the discussions [with HPC officials] – that we all agree on what the HPC should be doing and I think we just need to define that and agree from all levels, not just at the WICB directorship level but from the territorial boards,” Cameron told CMC Sports in an exclusive interview, after holding discussions with HPC officials here recently.
“What we need to do no now is develop the academy system in each territory that feeds into the High Performance Centre here in Barbados and that’s what we are doing now.
“We have received some funding from the ICC to assist that and that’s what we are looking at now – building out all the different centres that will feed into the High Performance Centre.”
The HPC was launched at the 3Ws Oval at the UWI Cave Hill Campus three years ago, and draws young players from across the region to hone their skills in a three-month programme starting each year in June.
Players benefit not only from training but from teaching on fitness, sports psychology, maintaining professionalism and contemporary issues such as anti-doping, anti-corruption and media skills.
Cameron said replicating the programme across the region had already been made easier with the development of the curriculum at the HPC.
“You will have a centre in Jamaica, one in Guyana, one in Barbados etcetera, that will then feed into this process and one of the good things the HPC has done is that they now have a curriculum,” the Jamaican said.
“We would be able to just transport [it] to everywhere so we can have consistency across the board.”
With the expansion of the HPC programme, Cameron said discussions were also ongoing over finding sustainable financing. He said while sponsorship was a viable route, new models needed to be found to keep the development programmes going.
However, he said the WICB would partner with the territorial boards in the initial stages, in order to get the projects off the ground.
“Everything is funding. Apart from sponsorship, we have to find models that allow us to be sustainable and you would have heard me mention that in some of my pronouncements,” Cameron explained.
“We can’t continue to see cricket as something where it is a social benefit … whatever we do there needs to be a commercial arrangement that gets us to train players to be international sportsmen and a reward system that ensures that the system continues.”
He added: “That’s what I have said to all of the territories who are looking to set up these High Performance Centres – that while the WICB with the assistance of the ICC would be able to give you some funding to assist you in putting in physical structures etcetera, we need to find a way to ensure that funding comes to continue programmes going forward.
“[I have told them] we will assist you in trying to get sponsorship but I am not so sure how far that will go in being able to do all the programmes and all you want to do.”
Since its inception, the HPC has produced players like opener Kieran Powell, fast bowler Jason Holder and left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul who have all gone on to play for West Indies.
The HPC has competed in the WICB’s regional limited overs championship and toured Bangladesh last year.
Englishman Graeme West currently overseees the academy development programme.