Wednesday, April 24, 2024

A ton of talent

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​Justin Greaves’ sparkling unbeaten hundred for ICBL Empire versus Guardian General Barbados Youth in the penultimate series of the LIME Elite Division Competition marked his return to the local cricket stage.

It also served as a timely reminder to the cricket fraternity of the immense potential of the exciting 20-year-old, clearly one of the best young batsmen in the country.

Greaves, who captained the Barbados Youth last season and was a member of the West Indies Under-19 team to the ICC Youth World Cup in Australia in 2012 recently returned home after a successful first stint in the Marshall Two Counties League in Essex where he represented Frinton-On-Sea as the overseas professional.

His even century was simply an extension of the rich vein of form Greaves enjoyed over the English summer where he helped himself to well over 700 runs inclusive of a total of six centuries and an overall average of 60 runs per innings.

Plagued by niggling injuries, the brisk right-arm fast-medium bowler was unable to extend himself in that department and returned a modest 20 wickets.

His performance was still able to spur the club to a historic first-ever capture of the League Championship, winning by 20 points over the second-placed team.

Greaves, who played one match for the Combined Campuses and Colleges in the 2014 regional first-class competition, is particularly proud of the century he got against the Essex County Academy side.

That knock counted among the six three-figure totals he registered and prompted a few enquiries from the management of the Academy.

Among the season’s highlights for Greaves was the opportunity to rub shoulders with Essex County professionals Mervyn Westfield and Ben Foakes, who turned out for Frinton-On-Sea on a few occasions.

The former Combermere student truly treasures the experience and figures that his game has matured quite a lot and will benefit no end.

“A lot of responsibility was on my shoulders from the start in terms of batting. A number of times we lost early wickets and I really had to settle down and bat since I was the professional and was expected to score runs every time. I learnt quite a lot because when I am at home I don’t get to bat early too often, so I just grabbed the opportunity with both hands.”

It was not the first trip to England for the second-year physical education student at the Barbados Community College, who was the recipient of a scholarship offered by the Barbados Cricket Association that saw him play in Liverpool last year.

“Frinton” is keen to have the right-handed all-rounder return next summer but Greaves, who missed out on selection in the recent Draft of the West Indies Professional League, is still hoping for a breakthrough to get into the senior national side for the 2014-2015 regional season.

“The club is very excited to have me back and they are hoping that I can play for them next season,” he said.

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