Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) Officials, Director of Sports, Christopher Jones, and Digicel came together to welcome and congratulate Guyanese trio (Shimron Hetmyer, Tevin Imlach and Keemo Paul) home yesterday at the GCB Secretariat. These youngsters were a part of the victorious West Indies U-19 team that won the ICC youth World Cup for the first time in Bangladesh last month.
President of the GCB, Drubahadur, stated that the future of West Indies cricket is in safe hands, adding that the GCB has been placing heavy emphasis on leadership qualities in an effort to elevate our cricketers’ capabilities to withstand pressure. The President highlighted some of the defining moments of the Guyanese trio in the World Cup. Hetmyer emerged through heavy criticism with a match winning half century in the semifinal and his smart captaincy led to a World Cup title, Tevin Imlach’s brilliance in effecting a run out of India’s top batsman in the final turned the match West Indies way, and Keemo Paul’s all-round heroics in the final, grabbing two wickets and batting over 20 overs to see his team to victory. He lauded the players for their commitment, discipline and positive attitude, noting that they were good ambassadors not only for themselves and Guyana but for the entire Caribbean.
Drubahadur further indicated that the GCB remains committed towards the development of the sport at all levels. The Board this year will roll out a computer skills programme, since cricket is not only a game, but also a business where the use of modern technology is vital.
Director of Sport, Christopher Jones, congratulated the three players the other members of the squad, team management and support staff members. He stated that the ICC Under-19 World Cup win has reenergised West Indies cricket and the Caribbean at large. “We do believe that as a result of this win, it has re-engaged the younger players, perhaps the Under-17 team to endeavour to do what you have done so West Indies at the Under-19 level can win the next World Cup and beyond. But of course you guys have started the ball off, and that has reenergised West Indies cricket and of course the Caribbean at large,” Jones said.
Cellphone giant, Digicel, presented the three players with one Galaxy S6 Edge phone each. Digicel’s Public Relations Officer, Vidya Brijlall-Sanichara, told the gathering that the telecommunication company remains committed towards youth development and sport in general.
This victory was the first major title for the West Indies at any level since Darren Sammy’s senior team won the ICC World Twenty20 in Sir Lanka in 2012. The West Indies won the Under-19 World Cup for the first time in their history after beating India by five wickets – with only three balls to spare in Dhaka.