More than 60 youths benefit from BCB spin and wicket-keeping clinic

By Brandon Corlette in Berbice

The Berbice Cricket Board (BCB) continued to be proactive as it hosted another cricket clinic for youths in the Ancient County, following up the recent visit of Sir Curtly Ambrose.
Former Guyana and West Indies spinner Clyde Butts and former national wicketkeeper Sheik Mohammed graced Albion on Sunday with their presence, to conduct sessions that saw more than 60 youths gaining invaluable knowledge.
Butts, who played seven Test matches and 87 First-Class matches with 348 wickets, was impressed with the number of off-spinners present in Berbice. Mohammed, the former national wicketkeeper, who was also impressed, was delighted to share his knowledge. The former wicketkeeper, who is now the owner of Star Sports, a popular sport store, also made presentations of cricket uniforms and gear to the players present at Albion.
The former wicketkeeper said he did not hesitate when BCB President Hilbert Foster contacted him. “It was a good initiative. Mr Foster invited me, and without doubt, I was willing to come and share my knowledge on wicket-keeping. I think it was a good bunch of youths, once they commit themselves and be disciplined and work hard. Wicket-keeping is the easiest thing to make a team,” Mohammed said.
“We did some slip catches, throw downs, and we taught them about having good balance, because it is important. I find that a lot of them are falling forward, and that is one of the areas I found they were lacking in.”
Sharing his sentiments on the presentations made, Mohammed said: “I just wanted to do it, that is just how I am. I like kids, and I do this all over. I will continue to do it, especially the ones that are neglected. There are a lot of people with potential, but they need help, so I help in whichever way I can,” the former cricketer now businessman said.
Meanwhile, the legendary Guyanese off-spinner Butts, who has 23 First-Class five-wicket hauls, said:
“I was very impressed with the youngsters on show. When you take that we had some 25 off-spinners, that is great for Berbice cricket, and I think Berbice cricket is in good hands. Initially, I thought it was a spinners clinic, but when I got here, I saw off-spinners mostly, and that was more surprising, that Berbice has so much spinners. I think that is very good, and you look at the age group.”
The off-spinners present at Albion went through the basics – grip, bowling under-arm and then going through the paces over-arm. “You don’t want them to try too many things, you want them to stick to the basics and not try too many things,” Butts told Guyana Times Sport.
When asked if this should be a countrywide initiative, Butts said it was important to have former players involved in the game and help out where possible – throughout Demerara, Essequibo and places like Linden as well. The BCB will continue the progress when legendary fast bowler Sir Andy Roberts and Roland Butcher visit in the near future to conduct separate clinics.