By Ravendra Madholall in Toronto
Guyanese Eion Katchay is very assured of becoming a good cricket coach in Canada; an aspiration is long overdue since his migration to North America almost a decade ago.
An athletic cricketer during his days for both Guyana youth team and Canada and his advocacy for better cricket structure is paramount. His profound interest in this profession linked to his cricketing career.
His remarks came more efficiently following Canada’s early elimination at the just concluded T20 World Cup Qualifiers in Abu Dhabi.
He is a member of the Islanders Cricket Club at the Toronto and District Cricket Association Elite tournament and was very satisfied with his all-round performances despite they have failed to make it to the playoff.
His representation for Canada at the international level was reasonably successful but he feels he can be more instrumental by instilling his cricketing skills and expertise from the under-15 stage. He is about to begin his level one coaching programme.
His willingness is indeed inspired by the group of young cricketers. He is also motivated to perform the duty and transform his cricketing career into an individual who can impart his knowledge in two significant aspects, technically and physically.
“I want to become a cricket coach; I think I have what it takes to be one especially a good one as well; I love cricket and I think it is time to give back something to it; I have already started off with my club and the players appreciated what I had been doing during this year’s competition,” Katchay (35) related.
The right-arm fast bowler was a member of the victorious Guyana under-19 team in 1997 at the West Indies Cricket Board regional youth tournament which was held in Guyana while he represented the senior team soon after.
He stated that the experience he would have gained playing on the regional scene was invaluable and that spurred him to continue with the game since his arrival in North America. He began playing competitively representing Victoria Park Cricket Club.
“As soon as I came up here I began playing cricket professionally and had the aim of making the Canada’s team because I was confident of doing it; I really enjoyed the game but I think the guys at the administrative level will have to ensure the young cricketers can be more involved and just take away the political part from the game,” the former Demerara Cricket Club and Everest first-division player indicated.
He further emphasized that facet of the game which has taken the juice of it and mentioned the cricket must be the winner at all time. He reckoned that they have a responsibility and they must work in harmony for the betterment of Canada’s cricket.
He was apparently angry after Canada once again failed to make the 2014 International Cricket Council T20 World Cup in Bangladesh from mid-March to early April. They won two of their stipulated seven matches at Abu Dhabi, and it was a clear indication of poor preparations.
“I think they prepared poorly for this big event; yes, insufficient turf practice may have contributed to the early knockout but again I think it came back to the preparations and proper organisations of the people who [are] responsible for the game in Canada,” Katchay, who is a right-handed batsman as well, pointed out.
One of Katchay’s recommendations is that they should have a second string team to tour at various destinations and gain the exposure which can be vitally important for the development of the game. He reasoned it will generally help the game and further bolster the players’ confidence for international assignments.
“Yes, I think they should have “A” team tour and that be beneficial for the country if they really serious of making an impression on the international stage; no doubt talent and but just a matter of getting the right ideas and put into practice on a consistent basis,” Katchay, who represented his native country at the highest level too, divulged.
Like Katchay many cricketers who have attired in the Canadian colors, lamented the substandard cricket which has taken place over the years and feel the continued, political affiliation can be detrimental.
He is very optimistic however that they have got the resources to improve the standard of the game but the necessity and strategy must be implemented now.
According to Katchay, the winter weather is part of the problem and which most of the time keep the players indoor but he felt the influx of overseas players from around the world can be great for the steady participation and which will ultimately lift the spirit of the sports generally.
With the number of sponsors who have come board over the years have been playing a part too to see the popularity of the game rising with greater frequency while there are some committed and supportive individuals.