Fri | Jul 28, 2017

GraceKennedy Helping Young Cricketer Achieve his Goal

Published:Monday | April 13, 2015 | 4:00 AM
Sixteen-year-old cricketer Brad Barnes shares company with (from left) Jasford Gabriel, principal of Manchester High School; Kerrene Grant, GraceKennedy Financial Group banking executive, and Patrick Reid, assistant coach and head of the school’s physical education department.

If you have never heard of Brad Barnes or had the opportunity to see him in action, bear in mind that he could be waiting to break and set new records on the cricket pitch.

Only 16 years old, Barnes stands more than six feet tall and is already demonstrating his impressive prowess on the pitch.

His latest spectacular performance was during the recent GraceKennedy Financial Group's (GKFG) ISSA Schoolboy Cricket Competition in which his school participated.

A fourth-former at the Manchester High School in Mandeville, Barnes is already making his schoolmates, teachers and his family proud, particularly his dad Bertram, who is an avid cricketer and his coach. He is grateful to his dad and mom, Melody, for their unwavering support.

Barnes is captain for both the Manchester High School Under-16 and Under-19 cricket teams. His best score to date is 105 not out in a Jamaica versus Leeward Islands Under-17 competition and taking 11 wickets for 99 runs in the Jamaica All-Island Under-16 competition.

Barnes said he, along with scores of other high-school cricketers, were thankful to the GraceKennedy Financial Group for giving them the opportunity to showcase their talents.

FINANCIAL SUPPORT

"I thank GraceKennedy for giving their financial support to cricket. It is not an easy sport to fund," said Barnes.

Principal Jasford Gabriel said the school's administration was anticipating that Barnes would reach the highest level in cricket.

The talented Barnes did not hone his skills overnight. He shared that he had been playing cricket since age three, adding that he was born a natural cricketer - a tradition that runs in the family, handed down from his grandfather to his father and now to him, and even his nine-year-old brother.

Cricket has traditionally earned the reputation of being a 'gentleman's sport' and Barnes can attest that the discipline of the game has been impacting his everyday life positively.

"It molds us mentally and physically and teaches us how to be disciplined. As players, we will meet different people from different backgrounds and the sport is preparing us from now to handle different situations," he noted.

Barnes says he admires Kumar Sangakkara's behaviour on and off the field, and he would like to emulate him in the future.

His five-year plan includes playing for the West Indies, and he knows that it will take hard work, dedication and discipline to make it to the big games; and Barnes says he is well prepared to face and conquer the challenges to achieving his goal.