WICB Under-19 Tournament
By Sam Sooppersaud
The cricket fraternity in New York City sends its congratulations and best wishes to two young cricketers who have been included in the ICC Americas Under-19 squad for the West Indies Cricket Board’s (WICB) Under-19 Championship, to be held in Guyana, August 1 – 13, 2014.

The talented Trevis Ross. Photo by Shem Rodney

The staging of this premier youth tournament was in doubt due to the Guyana Parliament passing the controversial Cricket Administration Bill. The government’s actions were interpreted as being “tantamount to government interference in the Guyana Cricket Board.” However, the regional tournament will go ahead as planned. The ICC has made it clear that all cricket coming under its jurisdiction must be free and clear of political control. However, representatives from the WICB, the Guyana government, and that country’s opposition parties met, and they were able to successfully hammer out an agreement which paved the way for the staging of this premier youth tournament in the West Indies.

New York City High School for Construction senior, Keifer Phill, one of the Public School Athletic League (PSAL) cricket program stars, along with Trevis Ross of the Big Apple Cricket Club in the Eastern American Cricket Association have been included in the ICC Americas squad to travel to Guyana for the tournament.  The Windward Islands would be defending the championship won in 2013, against Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica, The Leeward Islands, Guyana, and Team ICC Americas.

Both Phill and Ross have had excellent performances so far, in this year’s cricket programs. In the recently concluded PSAL cricket season Keifer Phill scored 302 runs in the eight games he played for his school; his highest score being 113 runs, with an average of 75.00 runs. As a utility bowler he has taken eight wickets. He has also kept wicket for his school.

Big Apple’s Trevis Ross has shown a remarkable ascendency in his cricket potential. He is an 18 year-old who was born in Berbice, Guyana, and started playing cricket since he was nine years old. He played for the Bush Lot Elementary School, West Coast, and Berbice, as an all-rounder. He was the top scorer during his time at the school, and scoring two centuries. He also did reasonably well in the bowling department. Trevis later attended Bush Lot High School where in 2008 he took them to the finals of the high school competition. Ross scored three centuries during his time at Bush Lot High School. After high school he played for a short while with the Achievers Cricket Club in the Senior West Coast competition. He also represented County Berbice at the Under-15 level.

The Ross family later migrated to the United States, and young Trevis continued playing the game he learned to love. In 2009 he was selected to represent the USA in the ICC Americas Cup at the Under-15 level. The opponents were Canada and Bermuda, competing in a Round Robin format. It was a keen tournament with some very passionate and exciting young cricketers participating

In both preliminary games against Bermuda and Canada, Trevis contributed significantly to victories over the opponents. Against Bermuda he scored 40 runs and came back to capture four wickets for 18 runs. He scored a half-century against Canada. In the Finals against Canada he did not do as well, and USA lost the game. He subsequently went on to captain the New York Cricket Region at the Under-15, Under-17, and Under-19 levels in USACA tournaments.

Keifer Phill is one of the stars from the 2014 Public School Athletic League (PSAL) cricket program.

As a result of his exploits at the Under-15 level numerous clubs competing in the senior leagues sought him out to play for them. He enlisted with Enmore Cricket Club, and later moved on to the Big Apple Cricket Club, where he is still a member. He plays alongside many senior players, including the former West Indies Test player and fast bowler Adam Sanford. His captain is the former Guyana national Under-19 batting star Zaheer Saffie.

Trevis Ross is an exciting batsman and a joy to watch. He is capable of dispatching bowlers to all parts of the field. He has shown his power to hit them over the fence, also.  So far this season he has scored over 300 runs. He has a high score of 91 runs against his former team Enmore Cricket Club. This very entertaining young cricketer has scored six Under-19 centuries, and a century in the senior leagues in 2013.  However, he is yet to score a ton this season, but with his batting prowess, this will happen sooner than later.

Trevis is the “Baby” of the club. The senior guys lovingly tease him non-stop. Captain Saffie is his “steady tormentor.” For instance, he would playfully tell a fieldsman to “back up Travis because he would misfield the ball.”  But in reality, Travis is an excellent fielder. A good catcher in the deep, with any ball hit within his range ending up being caught.

We all wish Keifer and Trevis the best of luck.