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Wendell Smith appointed as St George’s cricket chairman

Wendell Smith, second left, has taken over as cricket chairman at St George’s, where he will work alongside brother Clay Smith, the coach, left (File photograph)

Wendell Smith is the new man in charge of cricket at St George’s Cricket Club.

St George’s president Mishael Paynter confirmed that Smith, a former club captain, coach and selector, has officially been appointed as their new cricket chairman whose role also includes heading up the club’s selection committee.

“I can confirm that Wendell Smith is the new chairman of cricket,” Paynter told The Royal Gazette.

“Our chairman of cricket is also selection chairman, so the two go hand in hand.”

Smith, who has succeeded new club secretary Jelani Carlington, is honoured and looking forward to serving in his new role.

“I was pleased to take on the role because I have never had that position before and it’s one that I don’t take lightly because obviously I feel I have something to contribute with my background in cricket,” he said.

As for his expectations going forward, Smith added: “I am expecting high standards at St George's on the part of everybody.

“Accountability for myself and those I will be working, whom I have been very impressed so far with.

“We had a meeting and Clay [Smith, the St George’s head coach] spoke extremely passionately about what his goals are for the team. He spoke in no uncertain terms what his expectations are and I was very impressed.

“Clay has laid down his rules and the players understand that, and the president has put some wonderful things in place for the players, so things are looking good.

“As you know St George’s league programme has been excelling over the past three years in winning the Premier Division T20 twice, and as long as the guys continue to work hard and attend training regularly, they will be fine.”

Smith, the first batter score 1,000 Cup Match runs, comes with years of experience and an outstanding record both as a player and coach.

The former opening batter succeeded Clevie Wade as St George’s captain in 1985 and over the next decade led the team to league and cup titles.

His St George’s team were the first to win the Camel Cup — a now-defunct knockout competition for the top four finishers in the top flight from the previous season — from 1988 through 1990.

After ending his playing career, Smith went on to enjoy success as a coach at St David’s, whom he led to three league titles in four years.

He also guided Western Stars to promotion during a two-year stint at the Pembroke club before returning to his roots at Wellington Oval, where he served as an assistant and head coach as well as on the club’s selection committee.

It is this expertise and experience that Paynter, who was voted in as the new St George’s new president in January after long-serving Neil Paynter stepped down, considers as valuable asset to the club moving forward.

“He [Smith] is an asset with a huge wealth of experience and knowledge as a former Cup Match player and coach,” Paynter said.

“The change of leadership with the new executive has brought about a lot of optimism and hope.”

Coach Clay Smith is equally as delighted to have his elder brother head up the club’s programme.

“It’s good to have Wendell on board,” he said. “He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience.”

St George’s got their 50 overs league campaign off to flying start courtesy of a 171- run thrashing of Cleveland County at Wellington Oval on Sunday.

Captain Onias Bascome (90) and Nzari Paynter (74) led the batting as the home side made 306 for nine in their allotted overs.

Former Cleveland player Q’Shai Darrell led the St George’s bowling with three for eight from 2.4 overs of off spin at the tail end of the innings, while Paynter (two for 22), Zeko Burgess (two for 30) and Shakai Darrell (two for 29) helped to hustle out Cleveland for 135 in 30.4 overs.

The club president put the emphatic result down to the players’ hard work and commitment in the build-up to the season.

“Last week’s great start was a culmination of a lot of hard work in the preseason and the team being disappointed in where they finished in 50 overs last year,” Paynter said of the team playing second fiddle to Bailey’s Bay.

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Published May 10, 2024 at 8:00 am (Updated May 11, 2024 at 12:39 am)

Wendell Smith appointed as St George’s cricket chairman

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