Manchester CA celebrate U-13 title
The Manchester Cricket Association secured top honours last weekend in the inaugural Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) National Under-13 Championship. The competition comes from a commitment made by the local governing body for the sport at its retreat held in October 2018. Then, the JCA created a five-year strategic youth development plan that, among other things, would focus on national talent identification and preparation from earlier phases, like the Under-13 level.
“We have to get them playing more competitive cricket at an earlier phase and introduce them to hard-ball cricket early, too,” said JCA CEO Courtney Francis. “This has been on the cards for a while, and at the 2018 retreat, we committed to bringing it to the fore. It is not a sponsored competition just yet, but we will be seeking partnership to help it grow. We have ensured that the coaches at this level are properly equipped and are able to get these youngsters technically sound with their stroke play and other areas of playing the sport.”
He added, “Today’s final between Manchester and Kingston Cricket Club was such a heart-warming moment as it was a rural-urban match up. The JCA wants to see development taking place from Negril Point to Morant Point and today was evidence of that. In fact, all of our national teams reflect a rich mix of rural and urban -based talent.”
After four weeks of competition, 20 teams from the JCA’s clubs and parish associations came down to two contesting the final played at the Sir P’s Oval in Treadlight, Clarendon. After winning the toss Manchester CA opted to field first and restricted Kingston CC to 125 runs from the allotted 25 overs. Nicoli McKEnzie (42) and Ajani Banton (39) were the best batsmen from Kingston; while Adrian Silveria (2/20) did well with the ball for Manchester. In response Rhevon Morgan (37 n.o.) along with Ukallee Broomfield and Oraine Wright with 25 runs a piece lead the way for the Manchester CA as they got to 126/5 from 22.2 overs, earning them a five-wicket victory. Brian Charles Largie of Kingston CC picked up 3/14, earning him Man-of-the-Match honours despite his team finishing as runners-up.
Burtram Barnes, technical director of Manchester CA was elated with the victory and noted that seven of the players had earned scholarships to attend the Manchester High School. “The Manchester CA has been working hard to identify talent across the parish and ensure that they follow the right path for complete development. As you know, the Manchester High School has a strong cricket programme, and it is a balanced programme. The players must maintain strong academic averages to complement their cricket.
A number (7) of these young men just completed their PEP (the primary Exit Profile exam) and were accepted to the Manchester High School. We are proud of them and have rewarded them with scholarships to attend the institution. The association has to support their development in all areas so that they can work hard at school while playing hard on the pitch,” he said.