JCA looking to boost women's success

Jamaica Observer article.

Kingston, Jamaica - Courtney Francis, chief executive officer of the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA), declared that his administration has taken steps towards bolstering the development of women's cricket locally.

In lauding Jamaica's female cricketers on their sixth consecutive Regional Super50 Championship win recently, Francis also lamented that enough is not being done to develop women's cricket in the West Indies.

"Some of these ladies were on tour for the first time and they came back victorious. I must use this opportunity, too, to give kudos to the national senior selectors, because they, too, have done a tremendous job," Francis told reporters after the women's team's arrival at the Norman Manley International Airport recently.

He continued: "Most of these players are playing for the first time; they (the selectors) went outside of the norm and selected some young players. So the investment is there, the longevity is there and it all augurs well for the future of women's cricket in Jamaica.

"Women's cricket in the region does not get enough as it ought to, even here locally in Jamaica, and one of the mandates of this administration is to ensure that we do better so we are on the right path."

The JCA has already implemented the Talent Identification Development (TIDD) plan based in Portland, which is aimed at unearthing and developing aspiring female cricketers. One such discovery was Shereka Shelton, who was a part of the successful team.

Francis elaborated that this is just one of the structures in place, and moving forward, the effort will be focused on "maintaining" and building on these platforms.

"It has started even in our JN and primary school competitions; we ensure that we encourage women playing. So girls are playing at a relatively young age and so we have a good cadre, and I am proud," he explained.

Wayne Lewis, who is a selector and director of the JCA, shared the sentiments of Francis.

"The JCA is looking to improve the profile of women's cricket in Jamaica, proper competition with sponsorship where the ladies can get accustomed to playing a lot of cricket throughout the year. "People are going to hear a lot about women's cricket going forward because we want to give it the attention that it needs," he declared.

Lewis went further to state that the West Indies Players' Association (WIPA) will be getting involved to ensure representation for the female players. He noted that this will safeguard that the players get "better remuneration and better standards".

The move would place the region along the path of international countries such as Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and England, all of whom have incorporated their female players on retainer contracts.

First Published In The Jamaica Observer.

Fri, 08/22/2014 - 05:49