The BG Trinidad and Tobago InterZone youth tournaments bowl off next Tuesday with Central, who were joint Under-19 champions with North last year, opening their 2014 campaign against South West at Presentation College Ground in Chaguanas.
West Indies Under-19 wicketkeeper Nicholas Pooran will lead Central in the BG T&T InterZone Under-19 competition which is one of the four InterZone youth competitions launched yesterday at the BG T&T Corporate Box at Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain.
The other three youth competitions are the Under-13, Under-15 and Under-17 InterZone tournaments.
All of the youth tournaments will feature teams from North, East, North East, Central, South, South East, South West and Tobago.
The Under-19 tournament will feature two-day games while the Under-17 will feature 50 overs games.
Representatives of the some of the zonal youth teams were present at the launch yesterday and got a chance to interact with former North Zone all-rounder Akeal Hosein who is now part of the T&T senior team.
Hosein scored a century in T&T’s win over the Leeward Islands in the Regional Four-Day tournament and took 11 wickets when T&T beat the Windward Islands. He is currently sidelined with a thigh strain.
Present was T&T Under-15 skipper Kirstan Kallicharan and pacer Amit Kistow who were both part of the national team that won the Regional Under-15 title in Jamaica last year.
Kallicharan will line up for the East Under-17 team this year while Kistow will represent the North East Under-17s.
The Under-17 tournament bowls off next Thursday.
During the launch, T&T Cricket Board (TTCB) president Azim Bassarath told the gathering of cricketers that the board is not only concerned about cricket but also the development of the players.
It was a sentiment shared by BG T&T policy and corporate affairs manager Candice Clarke-Salloum and Dolly and Associates behavioural change consultant Yohance Ayodike who also spoke to the youngsters.
Clarke-Salloum said 2014 represents the 20th year the company has sponsored the youth tournaments saying “This is an investment in the country’s future.”
Bassarath pointed out that all present T&T senior team players and international stars are graduates of the BG T&T youth initiative.
However he said, “cricket is not our only concern.”
“We want to turn our boys and girls into quality citizens of T&T, who will go on to be healthy, valuable members of society,” he added.
Ayodike said human development should not be linear and that cricket skills alone are not enough to guarantee success on the field of play.
“The players of the national team are chosen because they are the best. But cricket skills alone are not enough to succeed,” he explained.
“Success is not only measured by wins but also by character. Mental toughness which incorporates self-control, visualisation, goal setting, teamwork and emotional intelligence help cultivate the complete sportsman,” he added.