Jason Holder wants holistic development of U-19 cricketers
West Indies Captain Jason Holder is encouraging the Sandals Jamaica Under-19 cricketers to develop themselves holistically if they are to make it to the summit of international cricket.
Holder, Kemar Roach and John Campbell were guests of the Jamaica Cricket Association and the Sandals Cricket Academy who hosted a reception at Sabina Park on Wednesday.
Holder had high praises for the initiative from the Sandals Resorts International and praised the investment being made in youth cricket and encouraged the youngsters to see cricket as a career from an early stage.
"A lot of youngsters get lost in the system as they see cricket as just cricket and not as a job. It is important to know where you want to be in the future and work hard early towards those goals because the rewards can be hugely beneficial."
Holder also preached the importance of fitness to the youngsters and encouraged the players to look after their bodies as the lifespan in cricket is a short one.
"You have to fuel your bodies with the right things from early, cut out alcohol and those kinds of things and look after yourself because your bodies are your work tools in cricket."
In the meantime, Sandals Academy players Matthew Comerie and Christopher Green welcomed the message from the West Indies captain and hope to one day emulate the Bajan on the international stage.
"I am glad that Jason spoke to us about fitness and the mental preparations required to make it to the next level. I knew those things were important but hearing it from Jason makes it even more meaningful", said Comerie.
Green, who is also an all-rounder said he will be taking the advice seriously as he wants to play at the highest level one day.
"I am privileged to be here to hear all this advice from the West Indies captain. I liked the message about fitness and treating your body right, and I will be implementing some of those ideas to help me to be better at my game."
Sandals Academy Manager Gibbs Williams says the initiative has been reaping great rewards, as four members from the Jamaica Academy were invited to the West Indies Under-19 training camp.
"Last year we had two players who were invited to the camp, now this year we had four players and this goes to show that the work that we are doing with these youngsters are paying a dividend.
Members of the Sandals Jamaica Academy were presented with their participation certificates following a 10-day camp which focused on developing their cricketing, mental and soft skills to the 18 best players on the island.
The Sandals Academy is also conducted in St Lucia and Antigua.