Academy by next month

(CMC) A full service West Indies Cricket Academy looks set to become a reality very soon.

Julian Hunte, president of the West Indies Cricket Board said: ‘The WICB has agreed to establish in October 2009 a cricket academy which will be a regional academy network, headquartered within the UWI system, and which will be supported by Sagicor Financial Corporation.

‘This is a major project and will be a critical part of our renewed effort at modernisation. The Sagicor/WICB Academy will assist in the development of a new mentality and level of professionalism among our future and current players.’

West Indies will become the last of the major cricket-playing nations to establish a permanent academy as a serious means of developing the talent pool.

Previously, the St George’s University in Grenada hosted a West Indies Cricket Academy which was sponsored by Shell Antilles & Guianas Ltd.

It was an intense three-month summer programme in which players benefitted from technical as well as personal development sessions under the administration of former West Indies manager and sports psychologist Dr Rudi Webster.

Three former West Indies coaches, Roger Harper, Bennett King and Gus Logie, all shared their expertise before relations between WICB and Academy officials soured, and sadly, this initial programme which produced several recent West Indies players closed down after four years.

The list of graduates that played for West Indies include Ryan Austin, Lionel Bakers, Carlton Baugh Jr, Sulieman Benn, Dave Bernard Jr, Patrick Browne, Sewnarine Chattergoon, Narsingh Deonarine, Fidel Edwards, Shawn Findlay, Ryan Hinds, Amit Jaggernauth, Sylvester Joseph, Runako Morton, Donovan Pagon, Daren Powell, Darren Sammy, Jerome Taylor, and Dwight Washington.