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New York Youths Kick Off 2008 Training Program

By Orin Davidson
April 29th, 2008
It was super chilly, but it did not matter to more than 50 young cricketers who showed up full of enthusiasm for the launching of the Youth Cricket Players Association of New York development program on Sunday.

Some journeyed from as far as Connecticut and Massachusetts for the launch at the Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn where they were put through their paces by a number of ex first class cricketers including former West Indies `B’ player Deryck Kallicharan.

The bunch of eager players was headlined by New York Under-19 star Gregory Sewdial.

Coach Linden Fraser instructs one group of players on the correct grip for batting. (Photos by Orin Davidson)

Former West Indies B player Deryck Kaliccharran (with hoodie) lectures one group on leg spin bowling.

Players are addressed by chief coordinator Clifford Hinds.

Former West Indies players Sew Shivnarine (right) and Sydney Matthews catch up on old times talk.

They were divided into groups and drilled in the basic techniques of batting, bowling and catching conducted by among others ex Guyana national players Linden Fraser, one of the program’s founder’s, Sydney Matthews and Naresh Manbodh, apart from Kallicharran. Victor Benjamin and Cuthbert Mendonca, were also part of the team of instructors

Assistant Commissioner of the recently former Public School Athletic League (PSAL) New York school competition, Ricky Kissoon brought along a group of players. Also present was the first ever female coach in New York cricket, who is in charge of one the school teams in the PSAL competition.

Following the drills, the players were put through simulated match situations where the fast bowlers stole the show with lively stints.

The all day session continued well into the afternoon following which, the players were given a pep talk by the program’s chief coordinator Clifford Hinds who urged them to take full advantage of the opportunity to develop their game to the maximum.

Recently elected New York Representative Kris Prasad was present throughout the day also along with former West Indies allrounder Sew Shivnarine.

The Youth Players Association activities comprise free coaching for any interested player and the organizing competitions in New York and for Tri State area teams too.

The players are set to go into action for their respective teams in the inaugural Tri State Twenty20 competition set to bowl off this weekend.

The Tri State series has been in existence for two seasons comprising 50 overs a side competition and from this year the Twenty20 version has been added.

It has the full blessing of the New York Regional board and has Association has been authorized to administer the former’s junior program requirements.

The Youth Players Association (YPA), in an unofficial capacity, successfully prepared the New York under-19 team which resoundingly won the national championship last year.

Team manager Lester Hooper who is also a founder member of the YPA, said the team will lose seven players, including stars Akeem Dodson and Alex Kirton, from that team this year due to the age restriction. As a result they are extending their search far and wide for a large group to work with this year.

The national championship is scheduled for July this year.
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