York To West Indies
Thanks to the growing prominence of cricket in New York, Perkins has grown from strength to strength and developed into a good enough player to convince the West Indies selectors to select him in their Twenty/20 squad.
Following eye catching performances for Trinidad and Tobago in the two Stanford Twenty20 series, Perkins has forced his way into the West Indies squad that will take on Australia (today Friday June 20) in the lone Twenty20 encounter in the current tour.
But Perkins’s sojourn in New York helped in a big way.
“I must say that getting involved in (cricket) New York influenced me to take the game seriously," said Perkins who made a whirlwind stop in the Big Apple over the weekend. “The people in New York influenced me to believe that I could make some headway with cricket.”
Based in Trinidad and Tobago, the dashing right hand batsman, who was actually born in Barbados, is a regular visitor to United States where his family live and is always in demand to play for teams here.
Last Saturday he made an appearance for the New York XI in the opening round of the city’s biggest competition, the Ahmad Caribbean Cup, before rushing back to Barbados to join the West Indies squad.
Perkins never hesitates to highlight the many relationships he developed with players and officials in New York between 2003 and 2005.
“The interest is very high and people like the game a lot in New York,” said the opening batsman, “ I have met and now know lots of good people there.”
The 21-year-old first made his name in the New York Junior Development Program (JYDP) and went on to make several tours with NY Regional junior teams before he was snapped up by Trinidad and Tobago for their Under-19 team.
His family had migrated to New Jersey from Trinidad and Tobago where he lived for 10 years and made that country’s Under-15 team.
On a tour of Guyana
with a NY JYDP team, during the West Indies Cricket Board’s
2003 Under-19 championship, Perkins’s scintillating batting
resulted in the Trinidad Board re-staking their claim for the youngster.
Now, he is poised to cash in on the sudden explosion of money riches available in Twenty20 competition, compliments of Texan billionaire Allen Stanford and all the other benefits that goes with West Indies cricket these days.
Following sojourns with the T&T under-19 team that led to a promotion to the West Indies Under-19 2006 World Cup team, Perkins has developed into a highly rated Regional limited overs player.
He helped the senior Trinidad and Tobago side win the second Stanford Twenty20 competition, which had a one million- dollar prize at stake earlier this year.
Perkins was the leading scorer in the competition that involved all the major West Indies territories after notching the second highest aggregate score in the series’ inaugural tournament in 2006.
It means the dapper batsman should be a shoo-in for selection on the Stanford All Stars team that will challenge England for a whooping winner take all $20 million prize in November in Antigua.
And at a tender 21 years, Perkins should be in line to contest all five clashes between Stanford All Stars and England for a total winner take all purse of $M100, over the next five years.
Like most humble players, money is not every thing for the youngster who wants to develop into a good all-round batsman and who respects Test cricket, the traditional form of the game.
“If I can play good Twenty/20 cricket that is good, but I would also like to be considered good enough to win a West Indies Test cap.”
Actually at one stage, the right hand batsman had his eyes on winning either a United States or West Indies cap.
That seemed only a few short years ago, but in the blink of an eye Perkins has progressed several levels above his ex New York junior teammates.
Notables like former Trinidad and Tobago coach Theo Cuffy, among others have been singing his praises.
Cuffy feels Perkins is a batting revelation.
It is one of the
reasons New York fans will be gluing their eyes to the television
sets beginning today (Friday).
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