By Royo P. Sankar
Born in Queens, New York in the year 1996, Michael Katwaroo, the sixteen-year-old left-arm unorthodox spinner was fascinated with the game of cricket at an early age.  His father, Sham “Tillo” Katwaroo, a cricket fanatic himself, would take his young son to almost every cricket match. Bowling at local batsmen during the warm-ups before the start of play. His bowling immediately caught everyone’s attention and he quickly became the most talked-about youngster during his early cricketing career. He attends John Adams High School in Queens, NY, and is very active during that school’s cricketing season.

Michael Katwaroo in action against Vikings CC of Canada. Photo by Shiek Mohamed

Michael debuted for the New York Region in the Under-15 competition at the age of 13 with figures of 4-0-13-1. Apart from his bowling, he is also a very dexterous fielder and if given the opportunity to bat, can hold-on to his end during certain crisis.

Playing as a substitute fielder for East Bank against Rising Stars in the Eastern American Cricket Association league during the 2009 season, he took two stunning catches fielding at square-leg which immediately impressed everyone playing. Last April, Richmond Hill hosted Vikings Cricket Club of Canada in a friendly encounter—as his seniors were getting clobbered around the park, the introduction of Michael Katwaroo immediately got the break-through Richmond Hill needed. His bowling figures were 5-0-25-2 wickets. At the Sarjoo Memorial game; playing for RHCC/East Bank he captured the “Best Bowling Award” in a losing cause with figures of 6-0-35-3 while bowling at the leading scorers of the game; Steve Massiah (45), Tamesh Balwant (89) and Dilly Khilawan (47).

Playing for Richmond Hill vs. Enmore in a T20 match in 2011, the youngster had figures of 3.1-0-5-3 wickets, against Liberty 5-0-26-2 wickets, and against Golden Arrow 1-0-5-2 wickets. Representing New York Youth Cricket Club, coached by former Guyana and West Indies wicketkeeper Milton Pydanna in the 2012 season, he had the following bowling figures: Versus Centurions 3.5-0-14-2 wickets —versus Superstars 2-0-5-2 wickets —versus NYCR under-21, 4-0-18-5 wickets —versus Queens United 3-0-18-2 wickets —versus Kingsgrove 7-0-15-4 wickets. Representing NYPD superstars vs. Kings Punjab in a T20 match-up he took 2 for 5 in 2 overs, a true testament of a precocious young career.

Asgar Alli, Debo Sankar, Ricky Kissoon and trainer Rudy John have also commended Michael Katwaroo on his outstanding performances, so far. Cuthbert “Cutty” Mendonca commented on, “Michael Katwaroo, I am very proud of you, since the first day I saw you, it was evident you were going to be one good cricketer. Take it one day at a time and you will do well. Don’t forget your books! Keep it up and respect the older guys and you will go far.”  There are other fine performances by this left-arm unorthodox spinner which can be accessed on the , PSAL, New York Cricket Region officials, and – websites.

This young and spirited sixteen-year-old cricketer is a very good listener and quick learner. Coming to practice sessions during the afternoon after school at The Cage in the summer months— he is first at the box to get the matting out to the center of the park, and at the same time enthusiastic about advice from senior cricketers.

Bowling for long spells during the practice session gives him the opportunity to improve his skills as a bowler. Fielding is no exception; he has taken difficult catches, and is very lively in the outfield, similar to a pro. “Even the batsmen, pause at the crease before heading towards the pavilion.”  This sixteen-year-old will do well in the future—given the opportunity.