bmobile and TTCB bowl off second Future Stars Cricket Programme
Port of Spain, Trinidad, July 6, 2017
West Indian batting legend, Brian Charles Lara, held his first detailed developmental session with members of Trinidad and Tobago’s Under-15, Under-17 and Under-19 cricket teams as the second annual bmobile Future Stars Cricket Programme bowled off at the National Cricket Centre (NCC) in Balmain, Couva, on Wednesday 5 July.
The internationally acclaimed batsman and bmobile Brand Ambassador spearheads a list of experienced local coaches who will train, educate and mentor to the young sportsmen as they wind down preparations ahead of their dawning respective West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Regional Tournaments.
The National Under-15’s begin defence of their 2016 50-Over crown in Barbados (July 24-August 4); the Under-17’s, also defending champions, hope to capitalize on home advantage as T&T plays host to the 2017 edition (July 11-18) while the Under-19’s head off to St Kitts/Nevis (July 21-August 28) with stern intent on also retaining their Three-Day title and bettering last year’s fourth place finish in the 50-Over format.
In collaboration with the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB), the second consecutive bmobile Future Stars Cricket Programme also comprises of veteran T&T coaches like Kelvin Williams (pace bowling), Rajindra Dhanraj and Surujdath Mahabir (spin bowling), David Williams (wicketkeeping) and Lara (batting and mental awareness). The boys will also be educated on match assessments and predictions and sportsmanship.
TSTT’s Vice President of Marketing, Camille Campbell, applauded this initiative once more and remains quietly confident that our budding stars would return victorious.
“In 2016, the Future Stars Cricket Programme was held just before competition and each team returned home with a Regional title,” stated Campbell. “This time around, we are optimistic for a repeat performance and maybe an additional trophy in the Under-19 division. At bmobile, we are pleased to once again play an important role in formulating a winning mindset for our young men who go out there and represent us so proudly. Good luck to them on their journeys.”
Meanwhile, former batting extraordinaire Lara, was pleased to again be a part of this special expansion camp. The world record holder urged his fellow countrymen to set goals during matches and to think collectively as a team towards achieving them on the field of play.
“I was involved in this programme 12 months ago and it was a well-run initiative with bmobile and the TTCB,” he stated. “The boys also did exceptionally well by bringing home three of the four trophies last year. The expectations are the same for 2017, but the pressure is different because the other Caribbean teams are going to come after them. What we want to create in all age groups is to have leaders. We want to build players to think along the same lines, players who can make contributions and not just follow along.”
National Under-19 player, Shaaron Lewis, who represented the red, white and black at last year’s edition, will also be on hand for the 2017 meet. Having been selected once more, Lewis anticipates a tightly contested competition and is well aware that their regional rivals will be gunning for the crown.
“It’s a privilege to be selected on the National team again and I intend to give it my best,” he explained. “Having seasoned players like Brian (Lara) chat and give us some inside information ahead of the tournament goes a long way for us. I believe the Future Stars programme helped us in 2016 and it is already playing an integral role for the guys this time around.”
Chief Executive Officer of the TTCB, Suruj Ragoonath, welcomed the timely intervention of bmobile and acknowledged the world classed contribution that Lara brings to the table.
“The Future Stars speaks volumes to these young cricketers. The injection of Lara in this system builds their mental strength significantly. Lara brings a different and professional cricketing perspective and his presence here creates a lasting impact on the minds of these players. This programme by bmobile is second to none and goes a long way for the guys,” said Ragoonath.
Even though the programme concludes for the Under-17s on Monday, the other youngsters will continue feeding off the knowledge and experience being delivered by the Future Stars tutors until their respective tournaments commence. Coaches and instructors alike remain hopeful that this camp continues in full stride towards achieving excellence and providing a unique platform for this nation’s grooming cricket stars.