Up and on
School coach offering expertise to the country
Former Barbados and West Indies “B” team fast bowler Roddy Estwick has transformed Combermere into a secondary school cricketing powerhouse. Now, he is offering his services to local officialdom to help develop cricket similarly across the island.
Estwick, a former West Indies Under-19 head coach, told Barbados TODAY that he would like the opportunity to replicate the success that has seen Combermere win every school’s title on offer by the Barbados Cricket Association since he took over as full-time cricket master at Waterford more than a decade ago. His latest triumph came yesterday when Combermere won their third successive BCA Under-15 title.
“I need a different challenge and I have made it quite public that I would love to help develop cricket in Barbados, not just at Combermere, but right throughout Barbados. I have not been around Barbados cricket now as a coach for the past ten years which is disappointing on my part. Hopefully the BCA can see what I am doing and can include me in the fold. I think that I have got a lot to offer and I still think I am fit enough to do the job. But if there is no job I will have to stay at Combermere. It is as simple as that,” Estwick said.
Estwick, who played 37 first-class matches between 1982 and 1990 and took 141 wickets, stated that the players at Combermere continued to work hard and remain disciplined and that was all he could ask for from the youngsters.
“I am happy for the players because it is not about Roddy Estwick at all; it is about the hard work that the players have put in. I just prepare them and they have to go out there and execute their skills and that is what they have done and done wonderfully well,” he said.
Combermere went into the final with a game plan of gaining first innings lead which was a strategy Estwick said they used often to put their opponents on the back foot and this was case against Queen’s College.
“We wanted to get first innings lead and then control the game but once we won the toss and we batted, we controlled the game. We could dictate at what pace we wanted to play the game. We set up Tuesday to bat the whole day which meant that the opposition did not really have a chance to win the game and then we could go for the victory from there.
“I also believe in controlling the game and I can control the game especially in this new format with 35 overs . . . By the end of the first day we had a lead of 50 runs and that is a lot of runs in Under-15 cricket,” Estwick said, as he explained his team’s strategy in the finals.
Combermere have had great cricketing success throughout the years and will be looking to take their progress one step further and compete in the Division One competition.
“I have said to the boys at school we are looking to get into Division One cricket which is our goal this season. We are doing quite well in the Intermediate and we will continue to work hard,” he said.
Combermere have made 11 appearances in the under-15 finals and have won seven titles to date. Estwick, who coached the likes of West Indies opening batsman Kraigg Brathwaite, allrounder Carlos Brathwaite, England Test cricketer Chris Jordan, Barbados wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich and Jonathan Drakes, thanked a number of former Combermere players for taking time out of their busy schedules to wish the young upcoming cricketers well whenever they had a game.
“People do not realize there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes and if you look today and over the past couple of days, a lot of our former students like Kraigg Brathwaite, Shane Dowrich came to warm the boys up, chat with them and wish them well. Jonathan Drakes, Keon Wiltshire, they were all here and they are all playing their part and that is one of the things that Combermere does well.
“We still get a lot of support from our past students. You must feel good if a guy who is 21, who is playing Test cricket comes to warm you up before the start of the game and I want to say a big thank you to Kraigg and all the others,” coach Estwick said.