18 Aug Howzat for a great idea as cricket showcases talent
By hosting the 2023 and 2024 CPL semi-finals and finals, Guyana doubles down on youth and sports development by pushing to become the Caribbean’s premier cricket destination
Cricket players of Guyanese heritage have graced some of the West Indies’ greatest teams and starred in matches at famous stadia on nearly all continents. Household names like Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Clive Lloyd helped inspire generation after generation of new players with their wonderful skills, antics and personalities.
Like in any professional sport, the key to developing raw cricketing talent is spotting it earlier enough so that it can be nurtured, eventually, to its full potential. With this in mind, Guyana is focused on maximizing its opportunities to find the stars of tomorrow by launching regular youth tournaments with other cricket-crazy nations in the region.
This commitment was underlined in recent months by the bilateral regional tournaments for teenagers arranged by the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB). Headed by president, Bissoondyal Singh, the round-robin events are seen as a key stepping stone to the development of young cricketers with bat and ball.
An Under-13 tournament with Trinidad and Tobago in late 2022 was created with a view to adequately exposing talented schoolchildren to competitive cricket which facilitates their growth and development for the board’s two-year incremental development programmes. These include the National Under-15, Under-17 and Under-19 training activities.
“We recognize the need for children to develop their art, bowling, batting, and fielding in a fun-related manner,” he said. “However, we strongly believe that players in the Under-13 age group can begin to challenge their minds a bit more than is currently being done. Learning cricket techniques is good but executing the respective skills in competitive environments will set the players on a greater path to success. We believe in promoting the training aspects of cricket so that players can inculcate the recommended practices for the game as well as a person.”
Young players with the right attributes will have the ideal stage to showcase their range of skills at the leading regional cricketing event later this year. The 2023 Republic Bank Caribbean Premier League (CPL) will be played in several countries, with the final leg of the tournament taking place at the Guyana National Stadium in Providence in September. The knockout stages will also be held at the large and colorful sporting arena on the outskirts of the capital.
The benefits of hosting such a popular tournament were evident in 2022, when Guyana hosted the finals for the first time as part of the newly created Cricket Carnival. Analysts assessed the total economic impact for Guyana at nearly $85 million, as businesses across the country cashed in on the significant uplift of in-bound tourism. Hotels, bars, restaurants, nightclubs, shops and tourist operators were among the recipients of the giant windfall.
“We are hugely grateful for the vision of President Ali, who masterminded the Cricket Carnival concept and showed how cricket can deliver significant economic value when held alongside other entertainment initiatives,” said CPL CEO, Pete Russell. “We’re so grateful for the amazing support we continue to receive and are thankful that we have been able to repay Guyana with these fantastic numbers. We can’t wait to make an even bigger impact in 2023.”