Smith: Bean-Rosario is a natural talent
Clay Smith has an eye for cricketing talent, which is why when he sees Katherine Bean-Rosario playing alongside the boys, he knows he is looking at a natural.
Bean-Rosario, still only 12, was the only girl taking part in the recent camp hosted by Smith, the former Bermuda coach, and Sussex all-rounder Delray Rawlins at Whitney Institute.
The fact that she did not look out of place is what got Smith's attention, a cricketing talent like LeiLanni Nesbeth and Brianna Ray, who also grew up playing cricket with the boys.
Both Nesbeth and Ray, who received the Minister's award for cricket last year at the Government Sports Awards, are now developing their talents overseas in school. Bean-Rosario is following a similar path and is also a promising footballer like Nesbeth, as well as a top junior middle-distance runner.
“I know Katherine had been playing with Bailey's Bay in the boys' league; she came to the camp this past Saturday and Sunday,” Smith said. “I've seen her before and to me she's naturally talented when it comes to sports. She bowls well and has a very good hand-eye coordination and hits the ball pretty clean.
“Obviously, at this young age, she needs some more technical work, but other than that she is a natural. I got a phone call and she was very keen to come and be a part of the camp and we were more than happy to have her. She's been on this cricket trail for a few years.
“I've seen her in summer camps in the past two or three years and if she sticks with it, there is no reason why she can't be the next girl to be going over to England, if that is the route she wishes to take.”
Smith says youngsters with natural talent stand out, same with Bean-Rosario. “Every now and then what happens is you get this special child, boy or girl, who comes through who is naturally exceptional,” he explained.
“Delray was one of those kids, LeiLanni was that type of person and another youngster who comes to mind is a youngster, Jamal Proctor, who is over in England in school. He's an exceptional cricketing talent for his age. Now you have Katherine coming along, who I put in that category. The sky is the limit for her.”
Rawlins also feels Bean-Rosario has some potential and says England could be a good place to develop it. “She got stuck right in when she showed up [for the camp],” said Rawlins, who was followed at St Bede's School in Eastbourne by Nesbeth.
“She's talented and you can see she likes the sport. I get the feeling she wants to keep playing and kick on with it. Both of them are talented girls and with Katherine, as she also plays football, can definitely follow the way LeiLanni went. She looks like she has a passion for the game; she's definitely got the talent and the knowledge and understanding of the game.”
Bean-Rosario's mother, Tammy, says it is just important that she continues to enjoy all of the sports she participates in. “I can see she's got a talent for cricket; she really bowls well and is good at fielding and catching,” she said. “Most times she's like, ‘Ah, I'm just doing it for my mom', but she enjoys it when she's out there. I just want her to enjoy it and then she can have a choice later which sport she would like to do. I think it will probably be more football. LeiLanni went over [to England] for cricket, but was able to play football as well.
“Katherine's into all of that and she enjoys it.”
Kellie Smith, who is in charge of the Bermuda Cricket Board's girls' programme, says there are a few talented girls playing cricket, including Ray, Jessie DeBragga, Samantha Knights, Sanaa Berkeley, Chance Godwin and Rosie Simmons, who is in Felsted Boarding School in England.
“Katherine is very young, but a very talented cricketer,” she said. “She's an all-rounder, she keeps [wicket], bowls well and her knowledge of the game is very strong. Sanaa is only 12, but she is an excellent bowler.
“We also have Jessie DeBragga and Samantha Knights. We don't have enough players for a girls league, but they are excellent, very committed, show good sportsmanship and support one another. They listen and are able to execute what they are taught.
“We're hoping to have an all-girls hard-ball team for this coming season.”