Time to complete cricket academy

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Those passionate about cricket and especially blessed to witness the Caribbean Premiere League (CPL), the biggest party in sport, at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy, sit in awe at the burgeoning beauty of this facility.

However, those who look in through the portals of this impressive cricket venue know there’s much more potential to this gem than meets the eye. It’s ‘An Academy in Waiting’ as Vaneisa Baksh suggests.

Wow! What a brilliant use of this facility. Is Vaneisa’s article evidence of a growing louder whisper among those more knowledgeable of the game and who see this facility in context of a healthy global sport industry? Certainly.

As a high school cricket coach for over 25-odd years and more recently manager of a Toronto Mayor’s school boy’s team that toured Trinidad and Tobago in 2016, I’ve witness first hand the increasing passion of Canadian youths to learn more about this beautiful game. That excitement takes an almost euphoric turn when student players learn that I’m from Brian Lara country. Wow! You know Brain Lara, sir! Imagine now these same young cricketers wanting to advance their cricket skills at a Brian Lara Academy (BLCA). What a fillip to the meaningful development of the BLCA and by extension the sport industry of T&T. The urgency of formalising the Brian Lara cricket academy is now. It’s time has come.

That urgency becomes more so as the demographic changes taking place in North America see many immigrants coming from cricket playing countries.

As a matter of fact there are increasingly more cricket pitches than hockey rinks or baseball diamonds in the cities and suburbs of Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary and Vancouver. Locations a mere seven hours away from Trinidad. So why not move from an ‘academy in waiting’ to implementation and capitalise immediately on this burgeoning demand.

Finally, any move to accelerate the establishment of an Academy must be informed by the work of those who have already invested decades of dedicated time in advancing and memorialising the cricketing genius of Brian Lara an icon and idol of the cricketing world.

I refer Ms Baksh and others desirous of articulating the growth of an academy at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy to the work already done by the Union Park Development Committee. The intellectual spade work is done and it’s time to put that effort and those of others into action.

Let’s now put bat to ball and get this idea ‘beyond the boundary’.

Phillip Mowlah-Baksh
Niagara Falls, Ontario Canada