George Headley takes spotlight in Scotiabank Kiddy Cricket
The young cricketers of George Headley Primary School welcomed David Bernard Jr, Chirpy - the Scotiabank Kiddy Cricket mascot, and Hope McMillan-Caanan - public and corporate affairs manager at Scotiabank, on Wednesday.
According to McMillan-Caanan, Scotiabank decided to visit the school ahead of yesterday's Kiddy Cricket Festival at Sabina Park, considering the significance of George Headley - the man - to cricket in Jamaica.
National player Bernard Jr was on hand to show the children some of his techniques as a professional cricketer who played for the West Indies in three Test matches and 14 one-day matches. He is also a certified coach. Bernard Jr said that he was happy to share his knowledge and skills with the young cricketers.
According to coach Davion Ferguson, George Headley has not distinguished itself in the past two years, having not come out of the preliminary round, only winning one of three matches played. He, however, is looking to better days as he plans to have a longer preparation period next year as well as the fact that some of the team members will still be available.
Ferguson's aim is to get the school to do better next year and even qualify for the festival. He wants the school to do justice to the person that the school is named after.
All of the children named Chris Gayle as their number one player. They also mentioned Andre Russell, Dwayne Bravo and West Indies Women's captain Stafanie Taylor.
The schools play intra-parish then inter-parish matches, after which the top eight face off at the cricket festival.
Scotiabank Kiddy cricket competition is a modified version of the game where each team plays 10 overs on a smaller field and shorter pitch (18 yards). During the game, every player bowls, fields and bats. The fielders are rotated after each over. All teams must include at least four girls. The batsmen bat in pairs and face two overs then a new pair comes to the crease.
Two hundred and forty-two schools participated with 16 per parish. Each parish has a designated Kiddy Cricket coach under the guidance of Philip Service - the West Indies territorial development officer for Jamaica.
The objective of Kiddy Cricket is to increase the number of youngsters in Jamaica and across the region who are exposed to the sport, and ultimately increase the interest in the game.