Grassroots Aiming To Bring Youthful Flair To BPL

September 4, 2023 | 2 Comments

[Written by Patrick Bean]

Grassroots Cricket Academy promises to bring positive, quality, competitive cricket to the inaugural Bermuda Premier League [BPL], the island’s newest and potentially most exciting version of T20 formatted competition.

The Antigua and Barbuda outfit is to contain a mixture of youth and experience and a squad that will take on sides that include a Kraigg Brathwaite-led Barbados outfit, the Bermuda senior men’s team, and a Bermuda Select XI.

The team is coach by former West Indies fast bowler Winston Benjamin, who anticipates a good showing by his charges.

“Our goal is to come and produce some good cricket, classy cricket, and give up good account of ourselves,” said Benjamin prior to his squad’s departure from the Caribbean. “We have a mixture of talent included in the side.

“We have a lot of young guys that are ready to showcase what they have. I think our strength will be our batting and we have some good bowlers in our seam department.”

The tour of Bermuda will allow for much needed international exposure for many of the players, including captain Kadeem Henry, who will lead the squad, and Uri Smith.

Henry is a promising all-rounder who bowls left-arm spin and bats right, while Smith is in mainly as an explosive batter, who also bowls right-arm off breaks.

“These are some very talented players,” said Benjamin, adding that his hope is for them to put on an exciting show. “I want them to go out there and apply themselves, just to show the Bermudian public that they can play the game and compete.

“We want to lay a foundation that we can build from. We want to show ourselves as a solid entity that can play together and this is the type of competition that will allow them to show their skills.”

Benjamin was a medium-fast bowler – bordering on outright fast – for the West Indies, who made his debut in 1987 against Pakistan, playing alongside the likes of West Indies legends Curtly Ambrose and Jeffrey Dujon.

He played for Leicestershire in the County Championship from 1986 to 1993, before moving to Hampshire, where he performed from 1994 to 1996.

Benjamin made his Test debut against India at Delhi on the West Indies 1987–88 tour of the subcontinent.

Post retirement he coached the Leeward Islands until 2005.

Asked why he had turned to coaching, Benjamin related such as a sense of responsibility.

“The fact that I was given an opportunity and when I look at cricket in the Caribbean and cricket in Antigua and cricket interest in the West Indies, somebody has to look out for the youngsters,” said Benjamin. “Viv Richards looked out for me and if I wasn’t given a chance, I wouldn’t have reached my potential.

“So it’s there for me to do the same thing. I don’t have the same connections, but looking at the regional level and the international level and the experience that I have, it’s for me to share my experience with the young players.”

Grassroots Cricket Academy will be involved in the BPL’s first match, when they take on Bermuda Select XI on Wednesday at White Hill Field at 10.00am.

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Comments (2)

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  1. Lion Paw says:

    Thank you Benjamin I knew we still existed. Wishing you players whole team much success in your endeavors

  2. Lion Paw says:

    Thank you Benjamin I knew more cared about the direction of the game in the islands and to read about you making a change is just beautiful.

    Much respect and love. All the best to you players and team

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