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Nov 2, 2021

Belize’s Cricket Team Heads to Antigua for Regional Competition

In the days ahead, Belize and seven other countries will be participating in the World T20 cricket qualifying tournament for the Americas.  The event is being hosted by the International Cricket Council and is the highest level of international cricket Belize will be attending.  The event will be a double round-robin with no final.  The two teams at the top of the league table once all matches have been completed will be declared the winner and runner-up.  Thereafter, both teams will advance to the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifiers in 2022.  News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The journey to the World T20 cricket qualifying tournament in Antigua has been a unifying experience for Team Belize, a selection of talented young cricketers from rural parts of the country.  Led by captain Kenton Young, a wicket keeper and batter, the team has been training together in Bermudian Landing since last year.

 

Kenton Young

Kenton Young, Captain, Belize Cricket Selection

“We have a young group of guys and everybody’s been motivated from the start, for one main goal, go and compete in the competition, do our best and try to get the W for Belize.”

 

Getting that win, however, means that the guys will have to outperform at least two formidable teams that they are going up against at the start of the competition.

 

Michael Sobers

Michael Sobers, Head Coach, Belize Cricket Selection

“We have actually been preparing from 2019 but, you know, due to COVID conditions we had to break.  But it has been forty weeks of hard training and preparation for this tournament.”

 

Isani Cayetano

Talk to us about your schedule and how you guys plan to be able to either, you know, work at your optimal while in Antigua or to try to represent Belize to the fullest in terms of this leg of the competition.

 

Michael Sobers

“Our schedule, our first three days we have to be quarantined to do our COVID test and then after that, once we have a negative result, then we will start our training.  We have a day of full training and then we will be into the competition.  So after that we’ll start, our first two games will be against USA and Canada which is two tough teams actually to be playing first up but the guys are pumped, they’re confident and we’re ready to go.”

 

The opportunity to represent Belize along with his teammates is an honor for Young.

 

Kenton Young

“Just fi be able fi represent my country in a whole, that da wah once in a lifetime opportunity, yoh know, and I just feel bless that I get the chance fi do it eena dis time with a group of guys that I feel motivated as much as me fi win and make Belize proud.  So it means a lot to me personally to represent Belize and show the talent that we have here.”

 

Dr. Roy Young is the president of the Belize National Cricket Association.  He has been working closely with the team in getting them ready for the competition.  Beyond the tournament, however, is an active effort to raise public awareness about the sport.

 

Dr. Roy Young

Dr. Roy Young, President, Belize National Cricket Association

“For us, this event means a lot because it’s the highest level that we have been to.  We probably have been to this level in 2018 but this means a lot because we have put in a lot and we’re expecting to get a lot from it.  And for people to know about cricket in Belize, we want to start with the awareness and a lot of people don’t want to play the game because they are scared of the ball.  There are different versions of the ball, there are tennis balls, there are softballs and so on.  So we have our females also playing now and they played a slightly similar ball to the hardball.”

 

The feeling of being yet another one of the country’s many sports ambassadors is an overwhelming one for the team captain.

 

Kenton Young

“I feel great, you know, dis da wahn great opportunity fi Belize and fi expand cricket in Belize because as you know, it’s mostly in the rural areas so this will bring a lot of spotlight on cricket in Belize and hopefully we could get more funding so we could participate in more competitions which would eventually help us to get better as well as a team.”

 

Reporting For News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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