A triumph for teamwork

Stabroek News
March 26, 2000

Last Week's amazing come-from-behind win by the West Indies cricketers over Zimbabwe in the first Cable and Wireless Test was a good fillip for the team and its fans.

After the disappointment of New Zealand and much off-field debates in recent weeks, it was heartening to see the regional side display the determination, spirit and teamwork which it took to emerge victorious last Monday at Queen's Park Oval in Trinidad.

For the first four days, the regional squad seemed in the shadow of the Zimbabweans and squandered several chances to seize the initiative in the game. By the fifth morning, many predicted an early loss for Jimmy Adams' boys but the self-confidence and resolve that were the hallmarks of bygone eras of West Indies cricket came to the fore.

Over by over, the balance of power in the game shifted, until Curtly Ambrose - who has delivered countless victories for the Windies - inflicted the final blow on the stunned visitors.

The bowling quartet of Ambrose, his twin tower Courtney Walsh, Franklyn Rose and Reon King should take a bow. Once again, they faced the challenge head-on and came up trumps. In the quest for success, all performed with conviction and a will to win and were ably supported by those in the field.

Fans of West Indies cricket will be hoping that this unit, now engaged in the second Test against Zimbabwe, can go from strength to strength and that the batsmen, whose poor returns have troubled Windies cricket in recent years, will be inspired by their bowling peers.

Yet another measure is being taken to ensure the future prosperity of West Indies cricket.

The recent launch of "Scotiabank Kiddy Cricket" around the Caribbean is a move in the right direction and we will hopefully see the fruits of this initiative in years to come as thousands of children around the region are exposed to our beloved game.

The programme, jointly organised by Scotiabank and the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), is designed to teach the basics of cricket to children under 10 years old, thereby spreading the love of the region's number one sport.

"Kiddy Cricket" is being run in each country by the local cricket boards and also involves parents and Scotiabank employees. A qualified local coach will train teachers and Scotiabank employees to be "Kiddy Cricket" coaches also. The programme features mini-matches during the lunch breaks of the ongoing Cable and Wireless Test series involving Zimbabwe and later Pakistan.

"Scotiabank is honoured to have the opportunity to be such an integral player in this important programme. We believe the efforts of the WICB and our Scotiabank volunteers in this programme will ensure the passing of skills and passion for cricket...and the preservation and celebration of the Caribbean identity," said Brooke Frizzell, Scotiabank's Senior Vice-President, Caribbean and Central America.

The WICB's Chief Marketing Executive, Chris Dehring, described "Kiddy Cricket" as "an appealing and safe way" to introduce cricket to young children in the Caribbean. This, he added, will complement recent cricket policies such as allowing children and women accompanying them to attend domestic matches free of charge.

The programme, he said, has already resulted in the increased attendance of children and their parents at regional cricket matches.

Scotiabank must be commended for working with the WICB on this very important project to secure the future of West Indies cricket.