Each territory should have own cricket academy - Harper By Naz Yacoob Port of Spain-Trinidad
Guyana Chronicle
June 6, 2002

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FORMER West Indies off-spinner and current coach of the regional team, Roger Harper, said that each territory should have its own cricket academy.

And in doing so, they will be able to produce more cricketers for the West Indies team.

Harper was speaking to Chronicle Sports last Thursday at the official opening ceremony of the Sir Frank Worrell Cricket Development Centre at Balmain in Central Trinidad.

He said that the idea and the whole concept of development centres in the region is terrific.

"I would like to see something of a similar nature in each territory in the West Indies, rather than an academy in Grenada. I believe if each territory has its own academy, they would be able to produce more players for the West Indies," said Harper.

The sporting complex occupies 17 acres of land and has expended to date US$900 000.

President of the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board of Control, Alloy Lequay, said that the plan for the establishment of a cricket academy was conceived by cricket luminaries such as Sir Garfield Sobers, Sir Everton Weekes, Jackie Hendriks and David Holford and it was endorsed by the late Michael Manley and Professor Hillary Beckles after the South Australia Academy and Ken Barrington Cricket School experiences.

Lequay said that the bold initiatives and innovations that the TTCBC have displayed and implemented over the past two decades would be buttressed by ideas and a renewed commitment to reach a plateau of excellence that will mark the start of another era of dominance of West Indies cricket.

Several dignitaries attended the gala function including President of the West Indies Cricket Board, Rev. Wes Hall, former West Indies greats Sir Clyde Walcott and Sir Everton Weekes of Barbados, Test players Brian Lara and Mervyn Dillon and West Indies team manager, Ricky Skerritt.

Rev. Hall praised the vision and leadership skills of Lequay and noted that this Development Centre is the start of a new era in West Indies cricket.

The unveiling of the photo and plaque of the late Sir Frank Worrell was performed by Walcott and Weekes.

West Indies youth players Dwayne Bravo, Ravi Rampaul and Lendl Simmons head a list of 18 players who will take residence at the Centre every weekend from August to December and will be taught all about cricket and life.

Former West Indies vice-captain and wicketkeeper Deryck Murray was appointed as head of the Centre.

Murray, who represented the West Indies in 63 Tests, has been employed by the TTCBC to oversee the development of the game in this country.