Riley - Weekes Centre bearing fruit
Barbados Nation article.
BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS - Barbados’ cricket is on a path to progress with a plethora of players now challenging for places on the West Indies’ team.
That’s the assertion of Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) vice-president Conde Riley, who says the investment in the Everton Weekes Centre of Excellence is bearing fruit.
“The past 12 months have been a fantastic period for Barbados’ cricket, culminating with our emphatic victory in the four-day final against Trinidad and Tobago. We have had success in nearly all the regional age group competitions and the women have also done well,” Riley told SUNSPORT in a wide-ranging interview.
Riley, who is also chairman of the BCA’s cricket development committee, noted that the Under-13 team again played unbeaten to win the St Kitts Festival while the Under-15 and Under-19 teams were also triumphant.
“The captains led from the front. We had Lenico Boucher (Under-15) scoring two centuries and Shai Hope (Under-19) getting four hundreds, three in the league and one in the knockout,” Riley noted.
“Our women tied at the top of the points table with Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, only to lose out on net run rate but we also beat the Trinidadians for the first time in this competition.”
Riley said that not only did the teams triumph but a number of players were selected on various West Indies teams and others were on the fringe of selection.
“We have five women on the West Indies team which went to the World Cup and the youngest of them, Shaquana Quintyne, at just 16-years-old, took the most wickets,” he said.
“Twin sisters, Kycia and Kyshona Knight, also made the West Indies side, joining Shakera Selman and Deandra Dottin, and we have some other girls at the Centre of Excellence, who are improving and can make the team as well in the future.”
Riley said that five Barbadians, captain Kraigg Brathwaite, Anthony Alleyne, Kyle Mayers, Justin Greaves and Jerome Jones, were all on the last West Indies’ Under-19 World Cup team.
“At the senior level, we have four fast bowlers, Kemar Roach, Tino Best, Fidel Edwards and now Jason Holder, who are playing for the West Indies. Our captain Kirk Edwards and Kraigg Brathwaite, who had an outstanding tournament with over 500 runs, were also in the side as well,” Riley said.
“We also had a number of players who made the “A” team like Jonathan Carter, Shane Dowrich, Holder and Carlos Brathwaite and with the performances of Miguel Cummins and Ashley Nurse this year, they will be strong candidates to be selected.
“It must also be noted that Carlos has been injured for the whole year so far and we also had Christopher Jordan, who did well before he went off to England, where he is continuing to perform,” added Riley.
“Let us not forget Anthony Alleyne, who batted so well for the CCC (Combined Campuses & Colleges) in the limited opportunities he got [in the Super50], scoring 99 in the semi-final against Trinidad and Tobago, to win that match for CCC. We at the BCA, invested a lot in him, helping to finance his stint at Dulwich College in England,” said Riley.
Fast bowler Cummins, 22, was the leading fast bowler in the Regional 4-Day competition with 35 wickets at 14.77 runs apiece while off-spinner Nurse was the third most successful bowler with 45 wickets at an outstanding average of 13.82 in his maiden first-class season.
Riley said a lot of the success must be attributed to the work being done during the weekly coaching and practice sessions at the Centre of Excellence, under the guidance of director of coaching Hendy Springer and his cadre of coaches.