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No catching Sheldon

Fast bowling soldier Sheldon Cotterrell (right) sees off another batsman.

Fast bowling soldier Sheldon Cotterrell (right) sees off another batsman.

Antigua Hawksbills birthday boy Sheldon Cotterrell may not be getting ready for a Limacol Caribbean Premier League semi- final in Trinidad this week but the left-arm pace bowler has still written his name large on the inaugural tournament.

The man who celebrated his 24th birthday yesterday has seen his profile soar after enjoying a tournament that, from a personal perspective, has been an unqualified success. The recognition he has received, however, has not been due simply to his ability to bowl in excess of 145 kilometres per hour or the eight wickets he took, but also thanks to his distinctive celebration – a straight-backed military salute.

”I am a Jamaica Defence Force soldier and I take pride in my work,” he said. “In Jamaica we would say that it (the military) is my bread and butter and my saluting is just to show my co-workers and my superiors I respect them very much. I respect what I do and I enjoy it.”

Cotterrell said the celebration was just a sign of his enjoyment, and was not planned but instead something he just did. Cotterrell slotted in easily to the Hawksbills squad and admitted there were aspects of the tournament that were cricketing heaven. ”As I said in our final

team meeting to (former Australia captain) Ricky Ponting, I was just being born when he made his international debut.

Playing with him has been wonderful and so has having Sir Viv (Richards as coach). They have both been inspirational to everyone and very motivating.” ”Franchise cricket is all about professionalism and I think I have been strictly professional. I have played with a wonderful bunch of guys and I have enjoyed my time working with my coaches.

”Phil DeFreitas (the assistant coach and former England fast bowler) has given me some little pointers and it worked. And whenever I have made a mistake, he has been the person there to see it.” Cotterrell’s ambition now is to make the step up to the next level and with the squad for a West Indies A team tour to India soon to be announced, he has done a great deal to put himself well and truly in the frame for selection. ”My ambition? I only have one ambition and that is to play cricket at the highest level (I can),” he said. “West Indies Test cricket – that is my pride and joy.

Whether playing for my club or my country, my goal has always been to make it to the West Indies senior team.” For now though, Cotterell is set to be a spectator as the LCPL reaches a climax at the Queen’s Park Oval. ”I was hoping to spend my birthday travelling to Trinidad but that was cut short (by defeat to Guyana Amazon Warriors on Saturday in the side’s final league match),” he said. “I was hoping my team could make the semi-final but unfortunately we did not.” (LCPL)

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