A tough young man who knows what he wants
By Sean Devers in St. Lucia
September 4, 2002
Guyana born Windward Islands middle order Batsman Sergio Fedee is enjoying a good debut season in English league cricket.
The 19-year-old Fedee, who played two Red Stripe Bowl matches for the North Windwards in Jamaica last year, is playing for Farnham Cricket Club in the Surrey League.
The left-handed Fedee, who has been living in St Lucia for the last seven years, has 642 runs from 15 innings at an average of 53.5 with three not outs.
The former Windward Island under-15 captain is also the present St. Lucia senior team vice-captain. His highest score is 108 not out for Farnham Cricket Club in the Surrey championship league. He has also had success bowling medium pace.
Fedee has bowled 87 overs with 20 maidens and has conceded just 286 runs. His bowling average stands at an impressive 13.00 with some 22 wickets to his name.
Fedee says that the experience in English conditions have been a learning one so far.
“I have learnt a lot here in the UK. The pitches are a lot more wet and soft than those in the Caribbean so the ball comes on a bit slower. You have to allow the ball to come on to the bat a bit more over here,” he said in a telephone interview from England last Monday.
The talented youth, who began his career as a fast bowler in Guyana, should be back in St. Lucia at the end of September. He says he is looking forward to returning to his adopted country and representing St. Lucia in the Windward Islands competition.
Fedee was born on the East Coast of Demerara in Guyana on January 13th 1983 at Unity Village which has produced test players Colin Croft and Shivnarine Chanderpaul.
He has fond memories of his early days in Guyana and disclosed that his first coach was Chanderpaul’s father, who also coached Chanderpaul during his formative years.
His love affair with cricket began in 1990 when he and his brothers were taken to see their first test match.
“West Indies played against Australia at Bourda and since then I have been hooked on cricket.” Fedee told Stabroek Sport.
Sergio’s brothers Jose’ and Dominic both play cricket at the first-division level in St. Lucia while Dominic last week became the newest voice on radio broadcasting regional cricket. He did five matches for Radio St. Lucia in zone ‘B’ of the Red Stripe Bowl competition.
Dominic remembers their first encounter with cricket. “We played a lot of football back in those days but when we got home from Bourda it was all cricket after that.”
“Sergio picked up the football and ran in to bowl saying he was Ambrose. I was Hooper and our test matches had started,” Dominic recalled.
Sergio pointed out that when he arrived in St. Lucia that people noticed he could also bat. “I worked hard on my batting and I am now basically a batsman who bowls a bit of medium pace,” he said.
Fedee lives in the Town of Gros Islet, and has gained the respect of all cricket lovers in St. Lucia with his accomplished batting and has copped the prestigious Junior Sportsman of the year award for St. Lucia three times in the last five years (1997,’98 & 2000).
Former Windwards batsman Julian Charles feels that Sergio and 18-year-old Darren Sammy are the two most promising young cricketers from St. Lucia.
“I hope his stint in England improves him as a cricket and a person because so much talent has emerged from St. Lucia but somehow never made it big, John Eugene is the latest example of that,” stated the 41-year-old Charles.
Fedee first came to prominence in 1998 when the then 14-year-old spearheaded St. Lucia to a clean sweep of the Windwards under-15 tournament in Dominica. He was appointed captain of the Windwards under-15 team for the West Indies under-15 competition in Jamaica.
He had an outstanding tournament and finished just three runs behind Guyana’s Narsingh Deonarine who set a new tournament record that year.
After lukewarm performances in the 1999 and 2000 West Indies under-19 competitions, he batted consistently in his last year at the under-19 level in Guyana in 2001.
His best knock was an unbeaten 83 at Enmore against Guyana and a surprise declaration by the Windwards with no result possible robbed him the chance of posting a century at this level.
Sergio told Stabroek Sport after the game that he was instructed to bat out the day to ensure the Windwards did not lose outright. When asked about the declaration, Sergio, like a true team player said: “It was better to save the game than to make a century.”
That was his first regional under-19 half-century and even now one gets the impression that being denied the chance to get a three figure score that day in his home land against his fellow countrymen, is among his biggest disappointments in his cricket career.
Last year he was among the reserve players selected for the West Indies ‘B’ team for the Busta Cup competition and his decision to accept the invitation to play in the English leagues meant that he missed the opportunity of playing in the Red Stripe Bowl in his own back yard.
The young Guyanese born St. Lucian wants to return to the Caribbean to make himself available for possible selection on the Windwards team for next year’s Busta Cup competition. He also wants to continue his studies in England where opportunities to develop his cricket and academics are a lot better than in the 238 square mile Island of St. Lucia.
There could be many tough decisions for the teenager to make as his first English season draws to a close. But Sergio Mendes Fedee is a tough young man who knows what he wants.
Cricket will always be among his major wants. His parents, St. Lucian father Francis, Guyanese mother, Ingrid, three brothers and only sister 13 year-old Avee all agree on that one.