BCB assists 20 young cricketers with Singh brothers’ assistance
— coaching sessions at club level to restart shortly
The proactive Berbice Cricket Board (BCB), under the leadership of Hilbert Foster MS, continues to work behind the scenes as it seeks to develop cricket in the Ancient County, despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The BCB last Thursday donated cricket gear to 20 young cricketers drawn from across Berbice as part of its youth development programme. The donated gear included batting gloves and pads, and wicketkeeping pads, gloves and helmets.
Among the clubs from which players were drawn were the Albion, Port Mourant, Rose Hall Town Youth and Sports Club (RHTY&SC), and the Rose Hall Canje Sports Club.
BCB President, Hilbert Foster, said the donation was part of an effort to assist players to fulfill their talents despite their personal financial situation. Foster said finance for the project was made possible from funds donated to the BCB early in 2020 by Dr Tulsi Dyal Singh and Dr Puran Singh, two overseas-based Guyanese.
Dr Tulsi had sponsored a comprehensive coaching programme for young players, but that programme was placed on hold in the latter part of March while his brother, Dr Puran, had supported the annual National Players Stipend Scheme, under which every Berbice player who gained selected to the national team at the junior and female level would receive Gy$10,000.
The Dr Tulsi Dyal Singh Coaching Pogramme has been on hold for five months, after a busy first three months’ start to the year. That programme was responsible for preparing the Berbice Under- 15, Under-17 and Female teams, and also for hosting several trial matches to select the best possible teams. Several coaching clinics were also organised, while visits were made to more than 20 clubs for coaching sessions with their members.
The financial scheme never got off the ground for 2020, as all Cricket West Indies’ tournaments have been cancelled, and the BCB subsequently decided to invest the funds in assisting promising players who have the potential to develop into national under-15 players in 2021.
Foster handed over the gear to three of the players at a simple presentation ceremony held at the Area H Ground, and said the BCB would continue to invest in young players as it intends to make sure that the legacies of Rohan Kanhai and Basil Butcher live on.
He urged the players to remain focused and continue training at home, and promised that once the pandemic is over, the BCB would hit the ground running with numerous junior and female tournaments, while the coaching sessions would be expanded in 2021.
The 2020 Dr Tulsi Dyal Singh Coaching Sessions would restart in October with strict guidelines due to the coronavirus crisis. BCB Head Coach Winston Smith would be visiting clubs to conduct sessions with groups of ten players below the age of ten.
Clubs to be visited include the RHTY&SC, Albion, Port Mourant, Rose Hall Canje, Blairmont, Achievers and Edinburgh. Players’ temperature would be checked, and all the COVID-19 protocols would be observed. The BCB also distributed approximately 150 food hampers as part of the programme, and each of the players received one, while several clubs also received hampers for distribution to their membership, compliments of the Singh brothers.
The BCB, in partnership with the RHTY&SC has also distributed more than 5300 food hampers to less fortunate families across Berbice, while more than 142 youth cricketers have so far benefited from donations of cricket gear in 2020, and more youths are to receive gear later.
The BCB President has hailed the Singh brothers as dedicated supporters of county cricket, and has pledged that as long as he remains BCB head, Berbice cricket would continue to be the beacon of the game in Guyana.