Friday, April 19, 2024

Athey hopes for Windies revival

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FORMER England Test player Bill Athey believes world cricket needs West Indies cricket to be strong.The retired English player suggested that West Indies cricket was in a “a state of transition”, but he maintained: “World cricket needs West Indies cricket to be strong for the sake of the game not only in the West Indies but for the world game.”And he said the Sir Garfield Sobers Schools International Cricket Tourmanent had the potential to produce future Test cricketers for the West Indies.“There are some good players kicking around in the tournament,” said the coach of the First XI team for the English School Dulwich College. Speaking to MIDWEEK SPORT at a reception hosted for teams participating in the 24th edition of the tournament by British High Commissioner Paul Brummell last week, Athey said the tournament had given boys from Dulwich Colege greater experience in learning to play under different climatic conditions, while playing against boys from the Caribbean.Athey made 23 Test appearances as a middle order and opening batsman for England over an eight-year period, and was part of the English team defeated by the West Indies in the 1981 series in the Caribbean.In earlier remarks at the reception, the British High Commissioner pointed to “the huge amount that schools’ cricket does in the development of the relationship between [Britain] and Barbados”.He said it “helped to prolong Barbados’ tourism [season] in an extremely positive way”. “When people think about sports tourism, it is about the high-profile international events such as the ICC Twenty/20. This is really important, but in terms of sports tourism as a real contribution to the tourism industry, schools’ cricket is also important because of the inter-personal ties,” Brummell added.“The kind of bedrock activities like schools’ cricket are absolutely crucial . . . They help to prolong Barbados’ tourism [season] in an extremely positive way.” (GC)

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