Last week hundreds of cricket fans turned out across Grand Cayman to see Chris Gayle, Jerome Taylor and Kenny Benjamin coach young Caymanian cricketers.
The Digicel Cricket Coaching Clinics brought sports personalities to these shores to coach 24 of Cayman’s aspiring young cricketers.
The trio also managed to fit in a number of events to make sure they met as many cricket fans as possible in Cayman.
Gayle, Taylor and Benjamin received a warm welcome to Cayman on Wednesday when they were whisked to the Digicel Camana Bay flagship store to meet and greet the public during an autograph session from 11:30am to 1:30pm.
Droves of fans and cricket enthusiasts came out to have one-on-one discussions with the star cricketers, using the opportunity to have cricket memorabilia signed and photos taken with the sportsmen.
In typical Digicel style, hundreds of residents who turned out were presented with promotional items including photos of the players, bags and visors.
There were also in-store competitions featuring the raffle of a Nokia 1200 mobile phone which was won by Yvonne Webber and a Digicel Broadband Internet modem won by Gregory Davis.
Yvonne was thrilled to have won her phone and expressed her satisfaction on the day.
‘This is fantastic! I have never won anything before and it seems like these gentlemen (cricketers) have brought me some really good luck.
‘I thank Digicel so much because they always do things differently that benefit everyone.’
The day came to an end with a reception dinner for the visitors at the upscale Edoardo’s restaurant with special guest McKeeva Bush (Leader of Government Business) delivering the keynote address.
Bush took the opportunity to express his link to cricket.
‘Since I was a child, my two favorite sports have been cricket and football. Cricket is a favorite pastime for many Caribbean people.
‘It is a privilege having these great sportsmen coaching our youngsters in the Cayman Islands and I would like to thank Digicel for taking the initiative to bring these sportsmen to our shores – this can only improve the appeal and awareness of the game as well as the islands.’
Chris Gayle presented Bush with a framed West Indies cricket shirt which was autographed by the West Indies cricket team.
Digicel Cayman CEO, Victor Corcoran said Digicel was proud to have the stars in Cayman.
‘We are delighted with the success of the Digicel Cricket Clinics. Twenty-four young cricketers took part in the two day coaching clinic under the expert eye of Chris Gayle, Jerome Taylor and Kenny Benjamin.
‘I hope that they learnt some valuable skills that will help them develop their game and hopefully one day play cricket for the West Indies cricket team.’
During the whirlwind visit, Digicel also brought the cricket stars to meet students at a number of educational institutions around Cayman.
Among them were the Lighthouse school, Red Bay Primary, Savannah Primary and Prospect Primary.
Staff and students were thrilled with the presence of the stars as they took photos and asked questions of the players. Each school was presented with autographed memorabilia by Gayle and Taylor, courtesy of Digicel.
The Cayman Islands is one of six countries across the Caribbean that is holding these clinics which are meant to benefit youth players.
Digicel hopes the benefits will be felt for years to come as this is an opportunity to identify talents and inspire young cricketers to explore the tremendous opportunities in the international cricket arena.
For more information on Digicel’s involvement in cricket, interested persons can log on to www.digicelcricket.com.