Fri | Feb 3, 2023

Fast-bowling teacher plans to shake up the region

Published:Wednesday | January 25, 2023 | 1:13 AMLennox Aldred/Gleaner Writer
New Scorpions pace bowler, Ojay Shields (left), while he plied his trade for the Combined Colleges and Campuses. Her he bowls to West Indies and Barbados batsman, Shai Hope.
New Scorpions pace bowler, Ojay Shields (left), while he plied his trade for the Combined Colleges and Campuses. Her he bowls to West Indies and Barbados batsman, Shai Hope.

JAMAICA SCORPIONS coach Andrew Richardson used a number of adjectives to describe new fast-bowling sensation Ojay Shields, who was named among 13 players to represent Jamaica in the upcoming regional four-day championships in Antigua next month.

Richardson made no bones about the pace at which the 26-year-old is bowling, describing it as “pure gas”. Shields will form part of the new fast-bowling trio which includes Marquino Mindley and Gordon Bryan, and the physical education teacher at Enid Bennett High School in Bog Walk is looking to make his mark on the regional game and create the sort of impact that will get him recognition.

“This has been my dream to play at the highest level and my approach is simply to hit my lengths as hard as possible get some batsmen out bowled or even lbw and just mainly use my pace to my advantage to get some wickets.”

The Kensington Cricket Club speedster says he has been working hard on his pace, and credits early influences such as coach Orville Pennant at Holmwood Technical and Gibbs Williams at GC Foster College, for bringing his game to this point.

“Education has played a major part for me and I have to give credit to my school that I teach at, Enid Bennett High, for giving me the time off from my duties as a teacher to play cricket.”

Shields, who has had first-class experience with the Combined Campuses and Colleges, is being touted as possibly the quickest pacer on the island, and with such acknowledgement, the 26-year-old is keen on taking things up a notch in order to create the type of diversion that will cast the selector’s eyes his way.

“The first thing is to get some wickets on the right-hand column while being economical. I don’t want to give myself a number in terms of wickets, but the key is to bowl well and pick up some scalps.”

The Jamaica Scorpions team heading to Antigua will face the Leewards Islands Hurricanes in their opening encounter on February 1, and Shields believes the youthful team captained by Paul Palmer can give a good account of themselves.

“Our chances are as good as any of the teams. We have a lot of talent in the group with a lot of hungry players looking for success, so I am backing the team to do well.”