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Morris cops MVP at U-17 awards
Barbadian Antonio Morris copped the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award at the 2018 Cricket West Indies (CWI) Regional U-17 awards function which took place at the National Aquatic Centre in Balmain, Couva on Tuesday night.
Morris led his country to the title with a brilliant unbeaten century in the final match against Guyana at the National Cricket Centre (NCC) in Couva earlier on the day which helped Barbados go ahead of two-time defending champions and hosts T&T by just 0.1 points, to take top honours in what has been described as the closest finish ever in the prestigious regional tournament.
Both Barbados and T&T ended with similar win-loss records, three victories and one defeat each, but the eventual champions ended with 20.6 points compared to T&T's 20.5 in the final standings. Guyana (19.2) ended third, followed by the Leewards (13.6), the Windward Islands next (13.4) with Jamaica (1.5) in cellar position.
Morris emerged the batsman with the highest aggregate of runs in the tournament, 194. Tariq Newman of the Leeward Islands was the top bowler with nine wickets, while there was a tie with Leonardo Julien of T&T and Yeudister Persaud of Guyana who was the wicketkeepers claiming the most dismissals (six each).
Meanwhile, Patrice Charles acting Director of Sports representing Minister of Sports Shamfa Cudjoe brought greetings on her behalf and she was high in praise of the T&T Cricket Board for hosting another successful Regional U-17 tournament.
“I wish to thank the T&T Cricket Board for the tremendous effort that they have put into hosting and making this tournament incredibly successful for the last six years,” Charles, a former track athlete said.
On behalf of the Minister of Sports he said, "I understand the pivotal and critical role sport plays in youth development. By participating in sports, young persons can develop physical, mental and social skills as well as acquire important values that will carry them throughout their lives. I believe that sport coupled with youth development programmes are effective tools for creating well-rounded individuals and productive members of our society. When education and religion/religious knowledge are added to the mix – it makes for an unbeatable formula. Our young men, especially, need sports, like cricket, to give them a sense of focus and purpose and to help them become strong, confident, productive and successful leaders, providers, fathers, and friends. Let me remind you, the only person who can limit you – is you. American world champion athlete Jackie Joyner-Kersee once said, ‘Age is no barrier. It’s a limitation you put on your mind’.”
Minister Cudjoe observed in the statement read by Charles noted, "that the CWI Under-17 Championship, over the years, has laid the foundation for many young cricketers whose aim is to move ahead and excel in the esteemed sport of cricket. It is undeniable then, that this event is an extremely important one in promoting regional integration from a socio-economic perspective. I am always delighted when events such as these are able to unite us as a Caribbean region. I am happy that so many representative teams from Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and from the Leeward and Windward Islands were able to participate in this year’s championship and exhibit such great sportsmanship. And I also trust that your stay here has been an enjoyable one.”
Azim Bassarath, president of the T&T Cricket Board said, “These tournaments, in which the regional cricket body has invested heavily, affords motivation for youngsters like you to aspire and realise your dreams of becoming professional cricketers.”
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