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This revelation came from principal of the campus and Pro-Vice Chancellor, Professor Hilary Beckles, as he addressed a press briefing that was held at the campus on Thursday.
Beckles spoke of the commitment of the University to West Indian cricket history and excellence: “What we have done here at Cave Hill is to begin the process of establishing the Centre of Cricket Excellence, which is why we have brought the field up to international standard.
“We have constructed the indoor cricket school, developed the Walk of Fame for the historical record and when this game is over, we will begin the construction of a library and archive. The plan at the moment is to put an extra level on top of the pavilion, which you will see as you enter the campus. We are going to go two storeys up. The middle level will have the West Indies cricket library and archives.”
Beckles also put all of the ongoing development at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies into perspective. “We are in the process of establishing the Institute for Sports at UWI, because we recognise that our region produces more international athletes per capita than any other part in the world and we have seen West Indians representing all nations of the Atlantic area, but we don’t really have full representation in our own jurisdiction, because we export athletes,” Beckles stated, adding “the university has taken the decision to develop a facility that reflects this cricketing ability.”
Professor Beckles also revealed long-term plans for the facilities at the campus: “We are going to develop an Institute for Cricketing Excellence at the Cave Hill Campus. The St Augustine Campus will have a Centre for Excellence in Soccer (and) the Mona Campus will have an Institute for Excellence in Track and Field. Each campus will, of course, carry all of the other sports, but we have designated at least one of the extra investment of resources of excellence.”
Among the features discussed, one of the most prominent was the Walk of Fame. Beckles stated that the Walk would be a constant reminder and record of outstanding West Indian performances and a public record of West Indian excellence. He also revealed that the Indoor Cricket School will be ready in two weeks’ time. “It is 90 per cent completed, we have all of the nets, all of the carpeting. We have some little details to work on, but it should be ready in 10 days or so. It will be a complete operation, dealing with the academic aspect, clinical aspect, playing aspect and the historical aspect.
“All of that will be an infrastructure which we intend to place at the behest of the West Indies Cricket Board and all of the national and territorial Boards”. One of the functions of the Academy will be to “improve the knowledge base of young cricketers”. This would include the creation of teaching modules, which are designed to improve on the knowledge of the game and its history. This would include programmes in Cricket Science and other facets of the game.
The Principal also revealed that this year’s honouree is former West Indies captain, Jimmy Adams. “In our view, Jimmy is reflective of the embodiment of the finest qualities in West Indies cricket. We feel that the spirit, personality and character of Jimmy Adams constitute a role model for young cricketers and because of that the University is of the opinion that he should be honoured”.
Beckles was clear to add that the offer had been made to the WICB, to decide how best to use the facility at the Campus. He also added that discussions were ongoing which could have a bearing on the expansion of the Campus onto lands, which are adjacent to the Campus’ main entrance.
The 3Ws Oval will be the venue for a three-day match between the UWI Vice-Chancellor’s team and the visiting Australians, starting today. (Barbados Advocate)