WWT20: Guyana hosts successful ‘MAD’ Cricket

- “We are looking to bring back cricket through informal means” – KJ Singh

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In keeping with its corporate social responsibility, Cricket West Indies (CWI) hosted its first-ever Mothers and Daughters (MAD) Cricket in Guyana last weekend at the Saints Stanislaus College ground on Carifesta Avenue, Georgetown.

According to CWI Senior Project Officer, KJ Singh, Mothers and Daughters Cricket, which is an International Cricket Council (ICC) global initiative that promotes females in cricket is running on the backdrop of this year’s Women’s World Twenty/20 (WWT20), which begins on November 9 at Providence, Guyana.

The approximately two-hour long event attracted just over 60 participants who were exposed to coaching in batting, bowling, wicket keeping and general fielding drills from experienced local coaches. There was also zumba sessions for warm-up and cool down which seemed to be a big hit as well.

It was the first-ever MAD event in Guyana, but came just one week after the initial rollout which took place in Antigua on October 20 that attracted approximately 100 participants.

CWI Senior Project Officer KJ Singh (right) and coaches ahead of the Mothers and Daughters Cricket 

St. Lucia, like Guyana and Antigua, will also host WWT20 matches and will have their MAD event on November 3 in keeping with ICC and CWI’s mandate to have participation in all three WWT20 host venues.

The interest shown in Guyana was encouraging to Singh, who stated that the event also achieved another objective.

“We are using the MAD cricket to also promote the first-ever standalone Women’s World T20 through ticket giveaways. This was done to all of the participants and to members of the public who swarmed the ground and braved the afternoon sun. It was refreshing to see the males coming out to support their wives, daughters, sisters, nieces, aunts, mothers and even grandmothers as they had wholesome fun through the medium of cricket.”

Shivnarine Chanderpaul assisting a young participant with the art of bowling

After the approximately two-hour long session, participants were quick to remark of the fun they had during the great activity and wished that it can be done more often and Singh was quick to respond.

“Mother and Daughter cricket strengthens the bond between mothers and daughters especially when they play and support each other and learn the craft together. CWI is committed to not only put women’s cricket first in the formal format but also the informal format. MAD is part of CWI’s drive for informal cricket just like beach cricket, street cricket – the formats where women may come out and connect with each other in communities. Cricket is not only about big tournaments and series it is also about developing families and communities. Cricket is the single thread that links the Caribbean as one unit and we want to bring cricket back into the communities through informal means such as MAD and we will definitely continue with it.”

The high-energy session was hosted by popular radio personality, Feliz Robertson and was also attended by West Indies legend Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who is an ambassador of the WWT20.

According to Singh, Chanderpaul, the most capped West Indies player, showed the women the true element of batting, bowling, fielding and wicket keeping which was an added treat to go with the level of coaching they were exposed to.

One of the coaches, Ryan Hercules, who worked on bowling with an eye on pace, said it was lots of fun to see mothers and daughters, who were not previously exposed to this type of cricket, getting involved. “It was a challenge initially but once they got going they had fun and it [their bowling] became easy. It was really fun as together we are promoting the WWT20 and cricket to women,” he said.

Another coach, Bharat Mangru, who was tasked with teaching the fundamentals of batting was also high in praises for the session. The local police officer and cricket coach said, “To have Shiv [Chanderpaul] around is an experience of a lifetime by itself. Then to get this type of exposure will only do well to promote cricket overall. They [participants] are already asking when is the next session, which really is a good sign. It was draining but I had fun.”

In closing, Singh thanked all the participants and coaches for making the programme a success and encouraged them to enjoy the WWT20 matches at Providence and to spread the beautiful game.

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