Bumper season will crease them up

The 2009 winners Prison and ESSO Cubs will join the women and masters arms of the cricket community and usher in the 2010 season this weekend.

Prison, lead by Saheed Mohamed, were the supreme side last year and they will be hard to topple.

Matches will be played on Saturday and Sunday at the Mecca of Cayman Islands cricketing activities, the Smith Road Oval.

Technical director Theo Cuffy said: ‘This year promises to be full of excitement with many activities.

‘The local season commences on 23 and 24 January in both divisions. Will Prison, ESSO Cubs and women’s team Stingrays continue their domination of the respective divisions or will the challenges appear from various directions?

‘With the national senior team set for regional and international tournaments opportunities are available for many young cricketers to step up to the plate.’

Cricket association president Courtney Myles said: ‘The economic downturn has affected everyone including us in cricket. Last year was a very trying one.

‘We were fortunate to weather the storm and 2010 looks bright and exciting. The association will be working on improving our practice and playing facilities as our numbers have dramatically increased.

‘Many youngsters are coming out and showing their natural talents. Also opportunities are there for senior team participation. I wish everyone an enjoyable and productive 2010.’

The ESSO Cubs play The Rest on Saturday from 2.30pm in a 20/20 game. The women’s team take on the masters on Sunday at mid-day and Prison play The Rest from 3pm.

Cuffy said: ‘There will be 16 men’s teams in the two divisions and four women’s teams, plus a lot of youth and primary school games.

‘The national senior team is going to the ICC Americas region championships in Bermuda in May and also a British Overseas Territories 20/20 in Montserrat in June.

‘We’ve also got to look forward to a World Cricket League in Italy in August. The Challenge Trophy was so popular that we’ll have another one.’

Cuffy is pleased at the way the best youth players are developing, especially three Under-15 stalwarts; Edward Bodden, Matthew Suberan and Joeneil Bent.

‘It’s good to see these boys doing well in cricket but we always emphasise that they must be exposed to other sporting disciplines. (Bodden is a brilliant tennis player too).

‘We’ve got some talented cricketers capable of excelling in other sports, like the Morgan twins, Carl and Carlos have done in track and field.’

Celebrated batsman/wicket-keeper Ramon Sealy went to university in Florida last week on a football scholarship. Cuffy is pleased for him.

‘Ramon’s success academically is the most important thing,’ he said. ‘I’m pleased that he is getting success in football, it is also a positive for cricket.

‘I don’t believe he is totally lost to cricket because he still has a passion for it. We support him and always encourage youngsters to play other sports.

‘Our former secretary Merta Day excelled in so many, including Taekwondo, running, squash and basketball. She also plays cricket. We’re very proud of her.’