Gregory Sewdial Poised For Cricket Stardom
By Orin Davidson
If any youngster was groomed for cricket greatness in the United
States, none is better prepared than Gregory Sewdial.
At 15 years, he is a relative veteran in the country where cricket
is growing faster than any place else.
And Sewdial has capitalized fully on every minute of time, ounce
of energy and every dime his father Michael has invested in him
After four years in the sport, Sewdial would win hands down any
contest for most accomplished 15-year-old American cricketer.
It is because he is a class act in virtually all aspects of the
He can bat better than many adults and bowl leg spin that would
confuse many, such is his ability. This summer he added the dimension
of captaincy to his game and did a fine job of it in his first try.
Taking everything into consideration it was a breakthrough season
in more ways than one for the youngster.
He scored his very first century and also broke into the New York
Under-19 squad in addition to winning the captaincy of the Region’s
Sewdial also has a five-wicket haul, which says a lot for anyone
bowler in limited overs competition, much less a young teen.
None of his accomplishments would’ve been possible though
without the desire and drive of Gregory’s father.
“Without him, I would have never reached this far,”
said Sewdial of his father’s input in his career.
Born in Guyana, Michael Sewdial said it was a desire of him to play
at a high level, but he migrated to America at 14-years old which
dashed all his hopes as cricket was dead at the time here.
And when his first and only son came along, Michael vowed to realize
his dreams through Gregory and has never regretted all the time,
energy and money invested in the boy.
At 18 months he faced his first delivery when dad started rolling
balls to him and at two years, he understood the basics of the game.
At six years, Michael said his son started batting and knew how
to judge line and length and at 11 Gregory was playing among grown
men in first class competition in the biggest league in New York.
More than 50 teams compete in the Commonwealth League and Gregory
said he was never shown any mercy whatsoever by the bowlers three
times his age.
“They never showed any sympathy and I have the black and blue
(bruises) to show for it, he explains.
Actually Sewdial played his very club game at 10 years old. His
father remembers they were representing Seven Stars against Castle
Hill and his son was drafted into the side to complete the 11 after
one player failed to show up.
As it turned out, Gregory was summoned to the crease as last batsman
with the team needing 28 runs to win from four overs with star batsman
Adrian Bevaun only needing someone to hang on.
Incredibly, young Sewdial managed to preserve his wicket, by blocking
out all the bullets that came his way to allow Bevaun to hit the
winning runs, despite the opposition recalling their strike bowler.
That was the first indication dad’s investment was bearing
The youngster went from strength to strength thereafter thanks to
additional vital exposure he got at the Cricket International Junior
Youth Development Program (JYDP).
He recorded his first century in a commanding display for Cricket
International Youths against Washington Youths in the Tri-State
Under-19 series in August.
But pundits rate a 74 he hit off New Jersey Youths as possibly his
best innings to date. It was a classic which so impressed New Jersey
coach Basil Butcher Jr he wrote about it.
Ever since, Sewdial played his first competitive match at 10 years
old, he never disappointed.
That year he toured Wales in Great Britain with the USA Academy
Under-15 squad and reeled off three half centuries.
Shortly afterwards he nailed his first five-wicket haul with his
leg spin representing the JYDP Under-15 team against a Connecticut
In the Commonwealth League he has graduated to scoring two 50’s
for Seven Stars this past season.
And he crowned the year by leading the United States Under-15 team
to victory in the International Cricket Council’s Americas
Cup Under-15 series in Florida.
Despite his accomplishments and wide exposure, Sewdial never expected
to win the captaincy.
“I was quite shocked, because there were 15 other players
there to chose from’, explains the modest youngster.
Because of rain the games were reduced to 20 and 15 overs a side
but he still grabbed five wickets in the two games including a match
winning 3-18 in the final to help his team upset the strong Bermuda
Although Gregory’s father worked exclusively on his batting,
the youngster developed a knack for leg spin from watching tapes
of world record holder Shane Warne of Australia.
“He is my favorite bowler which is why I try to bowl like
him,” explains Sewdial.
It is no surprise his most admired batsman is the other world record
holder Brian Lara.
Such was his father’s desire for Gregory to play for the West
Indies, he even attempted re-migrating to Guyana. There the youngster
attended the established Malteenoes Academy which helped groom current
West Indies vice captain Ramnaresh Sarwan.
But now, Michael believes that America is the place for his son
to live and play cricket.
“I would like him to play at the highest level whether it’s
for America or the West Indies.”
At school Sewdial is also making a name for himself. He says he
is a straight A student at the Metropolitan High School in the Bronx
and was recently recruited to its basketball team, such is his all-round
Gregory would one day like to pursue a career in law enforcement,
but for now cricket is his life. And he wants to go all the way
to the top and become the first America-born superstar.
At his rate of development his ultimate goal seems a foregone conclusion.
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