Romario Shepherd sponsors U-13 cricket competition in Berbice
“You are a gem of Berbice Cricket, a positive role model and it is a good feeling for all of us at the Berbice Cricket Board when our players who we have invested so much in, pays it forwards.”
Those were the words of Berbice Cricket Board President, Hilbert Foster, to West Indies all-rounder Romario Shepherd, who has come on board as an official sponsor of Berbice Cricket.
The Tucber Park all-rounder joins his fellow West Indies teammate Shimron Hetmyer as sponsors of a Berbice Cricket tournament. Hetmyer sponsors the Berbice Intermediate tournament, while Shepherd would now sponsor an Under-13 tournament.
Foster had approached the tall medium-pacer for the sponsorship during the West Indies tour to New Zealand and the player readily agreed to the request. The tournament, which would start in the first quarter of 2021, is expected to attract about 12 teams with the cut of date of birth being 2008-09-01.
The participating players must be attending school and teams would be expected to provide proof of their date of birth when required. Only Berbicians would be allowed to play in the tournament.
Clubs have until the end of February to inform the BCB Competitions Committee about their participation. BCB Competitions Committee Chairman, Leslie Solomon, disclosed that teams who play overaged players would be disqualified from the tournament and face a stiff financial fine.
All players are expected to be uniformed in white. Teams would be divided into two zones with the top two in each zone advancing to the semi-final.
Foster stated that the BCB intends to host a minimum of 30 cricket tournaments in 2021 at the different levels- Under-15, 17, 19, 21, 23, Female, Second Division, Internal Zone, Intermediate and First Division.
The board has already secured sponsorship for some of the tournaments, including an Under-13, Under-15, Female and a two-day First Division.
The BCB President expressed confidence that the Marketing Committee, headed by himself, would raise funds for all of the projected tournaments and development programmes for 2021.
He reassured Shepherd, who recently scored his maiden First-Class century against New Zealand A, that the tournament would be well organised and would achieve all of its objectives.
Shepherd, in brief remarks, stated that he was pleased with the state of Berbice Cricket and was delighted to invest in the development of youths. He committed himself to assisting in the future.
Former West Indies opener Clayton Lambert received the sponsorship from Shepherd and congratulated him on remembering his roots.
Meanwhile, the proactive cricket board on Sunday also launched another publication by its former Secretary Mortimer George. The 169-page magazine was published under the title “Know Your Heroes- Berbice Cricket”.
George, who was Secretary between 1975 to 1983, is a prolific writer on Berbice Cricket and has published several books and magazines, including special ones for the BCB 75th and 80th anniversaries in 2014 and 2019.
President Foster hailed the publication of the magazine as another red-letter day in the rapid development of Berbice Cricket and expects it to play a major role in educating youth cricketers on the history of Berbice Cricket and its heroes.
Among the chapters in the magazine are the Magnificent 10, Rising Stars, List of Windies Cricketers, Hall of Fame Inductees, West Indies female cricketers from Berbice, Life Members, Berbice Test Cricketers and featured articles on Rohan Kanhai, Basil Butcher, Joe Solomon, Leslie Amsterdam, Lennox Phillips, Ancel Hazel, John Trim, Alvin Kallicharran and Duncan Stuart.
The President expressed gratitude to George for his investment into Berbice Cricket and urged him to continue doing so as it was important for the history of the game in Berbice to be recorded for future generations.