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‘It’s great to see these guys come out and give back to the youth’

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Yahz Albean shows promise at cricket’s meet and greet (Photograph by Ras Mykkal)

Gleaming bright eyes and wide smiles, mixed with the bounding energy of youth made for many joyful moments during Saturday’s Meet and Greet at the National Sports Complex’sNorth Field, where members of Bermuda’s senior cricket squad coached a bevy youngsters.

Ranging from toddlers to school-age, little ones of both genders were treated to a fun-filled afternoon of loosely competitive cricket-related activities, including shuttle-runs, hurdling, fielding practice and batting drills.

Clearly playing with an intent to succeed, regardless of physiological property, was Ancilla Dsouza, her lineage of being the child of parents from the Indian subcontinent, where cricket is religion and victory is paramount.

Ancilla Dsouza prepares to make contact at cricket’s meet and greet (Photograph by Ras Mykkal)

“This is really fun,” said Dsouza, when asked her thoughts of the event. “I like to play cricket, so that I can win trophies.”

Mom, a keen sideline observer was less concerned about collecting silverware, yet more than satisfied to have her daughter and son gleefully engaged in wholesome extracurricular activity.

“I see that they’re really playing well,” said the family’s matriarch, noting how they and her husband, Henelo Dsouza, often busied themselves with the game’s backyard variety. “This is the second time that my daughter has come here to take part.

“She came for the first time about two months ago and is really interested in cricket and I see she and her brother both doing quite well and enjoying it, so I’m very happy about that.”

Chief among those aiding in the delivery of fun-filled pleasure was newly installed team captain Delray Rawlins, who regarded the community outreach endeavour as a warming success for all parties concerned.

Team manager Courtney Trott keeps a close eye on youngster Jah’nir Hill (Photograph by Ras Mykkal)

“It’s been good,” said the Sussex County Cricket Club professional. “Obviously, there’s probably not as much opportunity for the younger kids to play cricket, so to just get them out here and have some fun is always good and they look like they’ve enjoyed themselves, along with the players, who have had a lot of fun too.”

These moments offered pause for the all-rounder to reflect on his own youthful adventures as an aspiring talent, where any chance to learn in the midst of the country’s lead cricketing practitioners represented a time to feast in its consumption.

“Whenever you had a chance to play around some of the national squad players it was always fun and this definitely does bring back some memories,” he added. “It’s great to have fun while learning and developing some skills with friends, but just for them to have fun is the main thing today.”

Rome Bean has fun at cricket’s meet and greet (Photograph by Ras Mykkal)

One of those demonstrating advanced capability to perhaps one day mimic Rawlins’ accomplishment of playing first-class cricket, was Jah’nir Hill.

Fully kitted in traditional whites, Hill flashed stylishly correct front-foot technique in his punishment of more than a few casual deliveries from Bermuda’s top paceman Kamau Leverock.

Bermuda cricket captain Delray Rawlins (Photograph by Ras Mykkal)

“I like to stay low to hit and then run,” said Hill, indicating a firm grasp of batting’s main objective. ‘”It’s fun and entertaining just to be here with them and it makes me happy.”

Likewise, happy to witness his son Rome Bean be tutored by the best was Edward Albouy, who stood in rapt attention while his younger version was put through the paces.

“I think it’s good what these guys are doing for the youth, giving back, showing their face in the community to the kids that like cricket,” said Albouy. “It gives them opportunity to meet guys they might not have got to, like Delray, Charles Trott and Tre Manders.

“These guys are well known cricketers in Bermuda. I know that my son likes cricket a lot and has been looking forward to this week, so to see these guys come out here and spend time with the youth, giving back and teaching the basics is great.”

Tre Manders teaches technique to youngster Tristan Kuesters (Photograph by Ras Mykkal)

Marching In lockstep with Bean and others of the four-and-under crew was Tristan Kuesters, rocketing balls off tees, navigating with ease the obstacle course and cloning himself in the field as a Jonty Rhodes, in throwing down the stumps with unerring accuracy, feats that stimulated a proud reddening of his father’s face, himself a player, albeit more of the recreational variety.

“This is his first real exposure to cricket,” said father Tommy Edwards, a third-generation cricketer whose father and grandfather both played for the now defunct National’s Sports Clubs, while he currently turns out for Associates of the Evening League.

”He’s come down to watch previously, but this is the first time he’s getting any instruction. Hopefully he’ll take a liking to it, which would be nice.”

This week, the Bermuda squad returns to serious preparation before jetting off to Florida on February 15 to take part in the President’s Cup T20 tournament against several leading United States franchises.

The tournament is to serve as a warm-up in advance of the ICC T20 World Cup Americas qualifier in Argentina, which starts on February 25.

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Published February 06, 2023 at 7:43 am (Updated February 06, 2023 at 7:43 am)

‘It’s great to see these guys come out and give back to the youth’

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