Digicel will groom new stars

West Indies Cricket Board and
Digicel, sponsors of cricket in the West Indies have launched the Digicel Youth
Cricket Development Programme.

The two-year agreement will see
youth development clinics take place in all board territorial boards –
Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, Leeward Islands, Trinidad and Tobago and the
Windward Islands. Hundreds of aspiring young cricketers will be coached in the
basic skills of the game, with a view to creating a pool of talent that will
eventually compete at national level and one day play internationally for the
West Indies senior team.

The first set of clinics is for 12
to 15 year old boys and girls with basic cricket skills with one clinic per
week – each lasting two to three hours – over a period of six months. Coaches
will focus on the technical, mental and physical aspects of the game, as well
as coaching the youngsters in scoring, umpiring and the history of West Indies

The second set of clinics is for 15
to 17 year old boys and girls, with one clinic – lasting three hours – taking
place each week across several countries over a period of six months from this
month to April 2011.

The clinics will focus on introduce
more intensive practice and preparation processes, as well as simulating
competitions. At the end of the six months, 20 players will be selected to play
for their national team and have the chance to be selected to play in the WICB
Under-17 tournament.

The third and final element of the
Digicel Cricket Youth Development Programme is a clinic for volunteer coaches
to develop their coaching skills, so that future West Indies players receive
the highest standard of professional coaching.

“The Digicel Youth Cricket
Development Programme bridges an important gap between kiddies cricket and
Under 19 cricket,” board CEO, Ernest Hilaire, said. “The WICB is pleased to
have Digicel on board to launch this exciting youth initiative which will offer
teenage cricketers an invaluable opportunity to learn the fundamentals and history
of this illustrious game which is so dear to all of us.”

Digicel Group Marketing Director,
Kieran Foley, said: “As the proud sponsor of West Indies cricket, Digicel is
delighted to once again be leading the way in supporting the development of
cricket in the region. It is hugely important that aspiring young cricketers
have the support structure they need to develop their natural talent, with a
view to one day playing for the West Indies senior team.”

Digicel has sponsored the West
Indies team since 2004. Digicel is also heavily involved in cricket at a
community level across the region through various initiatives such as the
Digicel Cricket Coaching Clinics and through the support of numerous youth
cricket clubs.