Romaine and Minors search for stars of future
The Bermuda Cricket Board's high-performance committee is leaving no stone unturned in their search for new talent for their under-18 squad, who will compete in Toronto this summer.
Irving Romaine and Dean Minors are leading that search in the schools where they teach, Berkeley Institute and CedarBridge Academy.
The pair, who were members of Bermuda's squad at the 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean, will be hosting regular training sessions at their schools to give players an opportunity to be selected for the team for the trip in July when the team will play against Canada and the United States for a place in the 2018 Youth World Cup.
The BCB will be working with all high schools and have already started the process with Warwick Academy, Saltus Grammar School and Bermuda Institute to make sure the net is cast wide.
“Talent will be found but there is a difference the way society is now, a lot of the children are not being allowed [by their parents] to hang around or play for clubs because they don't want them in that atmosphere,” said Romaine, the captain of that World Cup team.
“So there are a bunch of kids in schools who are touched by all sports, not just cricket, but only a select few carry on and go to clubs. We're changing it around and going to the children, myself at Berkeley and Dean Minors at CedarBridge. And they can still get home at a decent time.
“We're a mega-school, 700 to 800 children, I put up sign-up sheets and there has been an influx of players.
“These are kids who played at ages eight and nine and then filtered off.
“Now, when I tell them there is going to be training at Berkeley or CedarBridge they are more receptive to it.
“It has been received well in the school system, now hopefully it can grow from there to find talent that can go into the national programme. We're hoping to get Twenty20 games in after school when the days get a little longer and also play indoor cricket. These are the things that can get them interested in cricket because we are competing against sports like football and rugby.”
Bailey's Bay, through the efforts of former players like Romaine, the club coach, and others, have a good youth programme.
“With us it's a bit different because it is just cricket at Bailey's Bay,” said Romaine, who remembers growing up playing street cricket in his neighbourhood.
“Cricket isn't played like that anymore, but with this initiative if we give them a tennis ball hopefully we'll see them during lunchtime playing cricket.”
The BCB will be holding open trials at PHC Field tomorrow from 2 to 3pm for players interested. Youngsters born on, or after, September 1, 1998 are eligible. Academy players do not need to attend the trials, only those not involved in the BCB national academy.