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Campion’s Abihjai Mansingh sets sights on playing for Windies

Published:Thursday | March 26, 2015 | 3:00 AMLivingston Scott
Abihjai (right) and brother Atishai pose with the Grace Shield Trophy at Melbourne Oval last Thursday, after they defeated St George's College by six wickets in the ISSA Grace Shield final.

Campion College's first senior schoolboy cricket title in 27 years was down mainly to the excellence and consistency of their captain and star player, Abihjai Mansingh, with both bat and ball

The off-spin bowler and batsman was devastating on both fronts throughout the season, leading from the front with 56 wickets and over 400 runs.

Although eligible to return to school for another year, and though he would love to lead Campion to back-to-back titles, he is on a journey to play for the West Indies senior team.

"I am eligible to play next year, but I won't be coming back to school as this is my last year; I am in upper sixth form. I had a great experience at schoolboy level, and I am just happy it ended this way," he said.

"But cricket is definitely what I want to play (for career). I want to play Test cricket for West Indies. Hopefully, I will score some runs at the Under-19 level for Jamaica and get picked for the (Under-19) World Cup for West Indies," he noted.

senior team aspirations

"Jamaica's senior team is definitely a goal for me this year. But I would love to play cricket anywhere the opportunity is given to me. There is so much cricket to play this year, and I just want to build on this success and take it to a different level," he told The Gleaner.

In the final against St George's College, Mansingh took eight wickets (four for 51 and four for 68) and scored 61 runs, 29 in the first innings and an unbeaten 33 in the second innings, in a 38-run fourth-wicket partnership with his little brother, Atishai Mansingh.

In the semi-final, he was also equally destructive, taking 12 wickets (six for 36 and six for 58) to help his team claim the outright win needed to advance to the final. His only disappointment is that he did not score a century.

"I was happy with how I bowled this season; I got a lot of wickets (56) and scored over 400 runs with two half-centuries. But I was disappointed with my batting because this is the first schoolboy season that I didn't make any centuries, and I thought I gave away my wicket too easy after I passed 50," he added.

The talented young player, who grew up in a cricket-oriented family, says taking Campion over the line with his younger sibling was also a really special moment.

However, Atishai disclosed that for the first time, he provided the calming influence.

"My brother usually calms me down. But when we were nearing the target, he made a big shot and was dropped, and that was the first time I had to control him," he revealed. "But although there are always internal wars about who makes more or gets more wickets, it's always a pleasure playing with your brother," he insisted.