High-performance camps filling academy void, says CWI President
By Akeem Greene
Cricket West Indies (CWI) President, Ricky Skerritt, has indicated that there will be no academy in the immediate future, and that the numerous high-performance programmes they are hosting are filling that void.
In 2010, the then West Indies Cricket Board, under the leadership of Julian Hunte, started the Sagicor High-Performance Centre (HPC), which was based at the 3Ws Oval at the University of West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados.
It was geared towards refining the skills and charting the way forward in the development of 15 promising young cricketers in the region at that time. In 2016, the HPC at Cave Hill closed.
In 2017, CWI, in conjunction with the government of Antigua, purchased the Stanford Cricket Ground and among the reasons given for securing the venue was the creation of an HPC.
According to Skerritt, they hope to restart the programme. “(But) not in the way it was in place before,” he told News Room Sport in an exclusive interview.
“Before it was broken down, there was a healthy sponsorship from a financial services company in collaboration with the University of the West Indies, who ran the academy and housed players on a full-time basis. We had several players, who attended the academy on a full-time basis, lived there on campus and did some academics, but did 75% cricket.”
Skerritt added, “We will get back to that? We hope so, especially for some of those young players, but at the moment, the funding just does not allow that.”
In the interim, Skerritt said the high-performance camps cater for more players and individual skill training.
“What we do is a series of high-performance interventions. We built out a team of high-performance coaches and all of the positions have now been filled. So, it is shorter-term academy type experiences, except that it ranges from the very young to the very senior. The most senior players will be able to go and work and specifics of their game…the higher performance will have camps from Under-15 to senior.”
Recently, the President said that they are placing great emphasis on the emerging players after they would have moved on from the Under-19 group.
Skerritt also felt it was important territorial boards play their part in developing programmes to continue the growth of these players.