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BARBADOS - cricket archive - Sagicor General Shield 2005
Date September 23, 2005 by HAYDN GILL Compliments of the Nation News
COMBERMERE'S TRIUMPH in the Sagicor General Shield against Alexandra last Sunday was a source of joy to anyone with an affiliation to the school, but it would have been extra special to one man.
Vernon Williams was chairman of Combermere's board of management in 1999 and was instrumental in having a full-time cricket master appointed to the staff.
"These two schools have dedicated teachers who dig into cricket and it is paying dividends."
Since Roddy Estwick, a former Barbados and West Indies 'B' fast bowler, who has coached extensively outside of the Caribbean, was added to Combermere's staff, the school has had amazing success.
"When we recruited Roddy, what he was doing at Combermere, he had done
in England and South Africa. It was not difficult for him to buy into the programme that
we gave him," Williams said.
"We gave him a mandate. We wanted it to be a mini academy. We didn't want only batting, bowling and fielding, we wanted them to study the philosophy of the game, to be good commentators, scorers, umpires and learn the history of cricket.
"Because of the system, Combermere has emerged with talented players."
Williams, the current secretary of the Barbados Cricket Association, is surprised that other schools have not followed Combermere's lead by employing a cricket teacher.
He insists, however, that facilities and equipment are just as important and he sought out sponsorship to secure a bowling machine, an enclosed concrete pitch and a matting strip. Another benefactor is coming on board to help with the addition of an additional concrete pitch.
"Just before Roddy joined the staff, you would recall Combermere found it difficult
to field a team and had to amalgamate with St Leonard's Boys [in Division 2]," Williams said.
"The depth from which Roddy brought the school cannot be overemphasised. We are the leading school at the moment with cricketers.
"There is also a scheme for girls at the school. I was told that the girls were a distraction to the boys. The mandate to Roddy was don't treat the girls any different to the boys, make it a subject with them and bring them into to it."
WELL, BELLE. It was one of those magical moments all sportsmen dream of
accomplishing. With salivating fans watching, you display superhuman skills
to thrill the crowd and help your team to victory. Well, Combermere's
Gary Belle had his life-fulfilling moment in the sun on Sunday, when he
held a stupendous catch in his team's sensational 66-run victory over
Alexandra in the Sagicor General Shield final at Weymouth. Fielding on
the boundary at deep square, Belle sprinted in pursuit of a high catch
and then threw himself full stretch to end the innings of Jed Yearwood.
The brilliance was applauded by the more than 5 000 fans and gave Combermere
momentum as they powered to victory. What was more amazing was the fact
that Belle, a clever off-spinner, was a late call-up to the side after
there was uncertainty over his eligibility.
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