National cricket coach Theo Cuffy is bowled over by the progress made in the game here.
‘I don’t think many people are aware of how much we have achieved over a short period of time,’ he says.
‘The senior level is fantastic. We have done tremendously well,’ says Cuffy as he prepares to mark 10 years in the job
‘We have grown in stature year after year and have reached number 17 in the list of ICC associates.
‘Our playing standards have placed us at number 17 after three years,’ he says.
Since Cuffy arrived here from coaching in Trinidad and Tobago the number of teams and players in the game has increased.
This year, for the first time, Cayman took part in the three-day competition, the ICC Americas Intercontinental Cup.
‘We lost both matches but it was fabulous experience and it showed we have to take cricket up to another level to compete regionally and then worldwide,’ says Cuffy.
Cayman was also in the World Cup qualifiers for 2007 and placed fifth, with only the top team going through.
Plans are already in hand for the World Cup 2011 qualifiers which get under way next year.
And Cayman is in line to take part in next year’s prestigious Stanford 20/20 competition which could mean a total cash injection of about $280,000 for cricket here, says Cuffy.
But Cuffy is quick to acknowledge the efforts of everyone who has helped to put Cayman cricket on the international map.
‘I have had, and continue to have extraordinary people working with me and that has made my job easier,’ says Cuffy.
‘It’s not a coach Cuffy thing. It’s a people’s and cricket association’s thing. We are each able to combine our efforts in different ways,’ he says.
He praises the efforts of all concerned with Cayman cricket, from bottom to top, starting with the groundsmen who have had to work with limited equipment.
‘Our administration has been outstanding in the association and it is recognised in the ICC Americas as one of the leading lights for administration,’ he says.
Cuffy has worked with two presidents of the association – Jimmy Powell and Courtney Myles – and says both in their own way have been able to lead Cayman cricket to where it is now.
Cuffy also pays tribute to his right hand man Andy Myles, the coaching committee and others.
And he is full of gratitude to the government and the sponsors of cricket, especially major corporate sponsors Cable and Wireless and Money Express.
Umpiring and officiating has touched high levels and umpires are being called on to officiate in matches regionally and internationally, says Cuffy.
Cricket has grown tremendously over the years and that means it is no longer simply a local thing, he says.
There are more demands from a travel point of view because of the amount of tournaments and meetings that have to be attended all over the world.
‘We have to keep aware of the developments in the game internationally and secure our position as a leading association in the region,’ he says.
The cricket association’s motto is ‘shaping the future,’ says Cuffy.
‘We are putting in bricks one at a time and with God’s help we will be able to achieve our goal.’