Young cricketers urged to give their best
--by WI selector Mike Findlay

By Donald Duff
Stabroek News
August 14, 2001

Chairman of the West Indies cricket selection panel Mike Findlay yesterday exhorted youngsters at the Malteenoes Cricket Academy to strive to be the best they can be.

"That must be your approach. You must work to be the best," Findlay told the participants at the Malteenoes Academy.

Findlay added:"The resource personnel who come here to address you are passing on the benefit of their experience," Findlay declared and using former Guyana cricket greats Lance Gibbs and Clive Lloyd as examples said they were the best off-spinner and captain respectively in the world.

The former West Indies wicketkeeper traced the relationship between cricket and life and pointed out some of the similarities for the young gathering which included one female.

"Cricket is a great leveller," Findlay said pointing out that when one is in the middle, one's status in life is not important.

Findlay noting that young West Indies player Ramnaresh Sarwan was one of the graduands of the academy told the youngsters:" Anyone of you here can become a West Indies player."

Findlay told the course participants that although each person has some amount of ability the course is designed to teach them how to make the most of their ability.

"This course is about harnessing the ability that your course co-ordinator has seen in you. They want to mould you so you can go back and apply what you have learnt in order for you to become a leading cricketer in the West Indies," Findlay said.

Findlay also spoke about the history of West Indies cricket of which Guyana has a rich tradition. He spoke of former West Indies greats Lloyd, Gibbs, Rohan Kanhai, Joe Solomon, Clyde Butts and the late Roy Fredericks and touched briefly on their contributions to West Indies cricket.

Findlay also stressed to the youngsters the importance of having a sound education which he said was an important asset to fall back on in case one was not successful in pursuing a sporting career.

He urged the youngsters to balance school and play so that they can come out well rounded persons.

Findlay told the youngsters that today persons can make an excellent living by pursuing cricket as a career.

He told the youngsters not to give up too easily but to always strive to better the next time.

While acknowledging the need to work on weaknesses, Findlay told the gathering not to ignore their strengths.

He also gave an insight into how West Indies teams are selected and told the youngsters that at their age they have the capacity to absorb more knowledge and have all the time in the world to develop their skills.

Findlay also told the group not to sit on their god given talent but to work hard in developing their talent with the aim of becoming the best in their school, club, country and possibly in the world.

"You are the people who have to carry West Indies cricket well into the future, which is why the Academy is investing in you," Findlay said.