Former Trinidad and Tobago Under-19 skipper Vikash Mohan and 2013 Under-19 all-rounder Tion Webster are the latest cricketers who will benefit from the Atlantic/Kieron Pollard Scholarship.
The two players will be awarded the opportunity to play cricket in the UK for a two-month period and for the first time since the scholarship was started by West Indies player Kieron Pollard in 2012, a player from outside Queen’s Park Cricket Club will benefit.
The Kieron Pollard Scholarship was launched in 2012 and the inaugural recipient was Akeal Hosein. Last year Savion Lara, cousin of West Indies cricketers Dwayne and Darren Bravo got the scholarship and now LNG producer Atlantic have partnered with Pollard to expand the scholarship to allow two young cricketers the opportunity to play cricket in the UK.
The Atlantic/Kieron Pollard Scholarship will cover airfare and accommodation and will provide a daily stipend for the cricketers.
Queen’s Park Cricket Club player Pollard explained that he developed the annual scholarship as a form of “giving back” to the sport, facilitating international training and exposure for local young cricketers.
“When I was growing up, I wasn’t afforded the opportunity to develop my cricket skills abroad,” Pollard said.
“I have become a better player due to the fact that now I am getting the chance to play all over the world, with different players, and under varying conditions. I want to give young cricketers this international exposure that will not only impact their cricket careers but also their overall life skills, helping them become more independent young adults,” he added.
Webster was happy for the opportunity to play in the UK and believes it will help him take his game to a higher level.
“It feels really good to be chosen to go to England to play cricket,” Webster said.
“I believe the experience would improve my cricketing abilities and would provide me with a welcome challenge,” he added.
Explaining how the youngsters were selected, David Furlong, Queen’s Park Cricket Club coach and a member of the scholarship’s selection panel, explained that cricketing skills and a desire to pursue cricket as a profession were key criteria in the selection process.
“We sent letters out to clubs inviting two players from each club to attend the screening session,” Furlong said.
“A wide cross section of boys attended from clubs across Trinidad. These guys were asked to bat and bowl for about fifteen minutes and we then sent their cricket statistics to England and the final choice was then made,” the Queen’s Park coach added.