Development year in review - Part 2 Across the Board - from the West Indies Cricket Board
By Dr. Michael Seepersaud, Chief Cricket Development Officer
Stabroek News
February 1, 2004

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In PART 1 we started to look at what we did last year to strengthen the development infrastructure. This week we examine other areas of success as well as highlight our priorities for the remainder of the year.

Emerging Player Programme

The Talent ID programme complements the regular camps and clinics that place talented players in an emerging player database which consists of a technical profile of individual players accompanied by a video. At the moment we have about 100 players from U15 through U23 in this database.

The Talent ID is a proactive programme where coaches go into the field to "scout" talent. For example, Kenny Benjamin was sent to Guyana to "scout" pace bowling talent. This involved observing the U19 tournament, visiting communities and providing technical services to the Maltenoes Cricket Academy.

Human Resource Development

The WICB Certificate in Personal Development was launched in the Windward and Leeward Islands providing the opportunity for young cricketers, coaches and administrators to acquire life skills training.

The George Headley Centre of Excellence was initiated in Jamaica and we continue to support other mini academies in Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago. We also plan to establish mini academies in all member territories.

The Shell Cricket Academy of St. George's University entered its third year of operations. A number of test players attended the Academy including Fidel Edwards, Carlton Baugh, and Dave Mohamed. The Academy is pivotal to our development efforts. As a "finishing school" it is integral to our development process consisting of our development tournaments and tours, remedial camps and life skills training.

Women's Cricket

The year just ended was a watershed in the development of Women's cricket. The West Indies Women's Cricket Federation (WIWCF) qualified for the International Women's Cricket Council (IWCC) World Cup in South Africa in 2005 by placing second in the qualifying tournament in Holland in 2003. The WIWCF also successfully hosted a visit by the Sri Lanka Women's Team with matches played in Trinidad and St. Vincent.

The WICB continues to provide support to the WIWCF in the areas of coaching education, competitions and institutional strengthening. Many of our programmes, including those at the mini academies, involve women.

Scotiabank Kiddy Cricket

The Scotiabank Kiddy Cricket programme was extended to several non-test and non-ODI territories including Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Martin and Anguilla. The "Clarence goes to school" teacher's manual has been launched in nine territories. Scotiabank Kiddy Cricket tournaments are currently held in Barbados and St. Vincent.

Research, Documentation and Continuing Education

Between September and December 2003, a research project in the Biomechanics of Cricket was conducted by a Cuban Biomechanics expert based in Antigua. The report is currently being proofread prior to publication.

Dr. Richard Stretch of South Africa conducted a biomechanics clinic for coaches and fast bowlers in Jamaica in September 2003. Bowlers who benefited included Fidel Edwards, Jerome Taylor and Ravi Rampaul. Several regional coaches, including Gus Logie, also participated in the week-long clinic.

In the area of fitness and conditioning, Team Trainer Ronald Rogers received further upskilling at Springfield College in the USA. He also conducted training sessions in the Windward Islands and Jamaica.

The WICB Development Unit continues to produce documentation in all fields for coaching education purposes. In this regard the following has been accomplished:

- "Across the Board" columns in the Biomechanics of Cricket- PowerPoint resources in Skills Acquisition and Sports Psychology

- Video observation guides in batting, bowling and wicket-keeping

- Specific skill acquisition guidelines

- Specific skill presentation guidelines

Priorities for 2004

This year we will continue to create the infrastructure for the sustained development of West Indies Cricket and to build the architecture that will return our cricket to winning ways. Priority areas include:

- training and upskilling of coaches

- personal development and life skills training for young cricketers

- centres of excellence in the Leeward Islands and Windward Islands

- evaluation of the Scotiabank Kiddy Cricket programme and its further expansion

- production of advanced coaching modules for use in Level II and III courses facilitation in mental conditioning with emphasis on coping skills

- further training in cricket biomechanics

The WICB Development Unit is confident that, over time, the development strategies we have adopted will achieve the desired results.