The Trinbago Young Starz Touring Cricket Academy is a registered non-profit sporting organization ( N.G.O.) founded within Trinidad and Tobago. The main goal of this team is to develop and harness the talent possessed by the country’s young cricketers and within the region by having them heavily involved in international cricket, thus giving them exposure and training. By doing so, this will build confidence, character and talent at a personal and also professional level. International tours will further aid in successfully developing these young men, providing them with the experience, recognition and opportunity to demonstrate and test their skills against their global competitors in foreign lands with multinational teams. This article is of it’s first kind in recognizing the youthful and naturally talented cricketers this country of Trinidad and Tobago has in existence.
This team started in 2019 as an N.G.O., however, back in 2017 the Secondary School Cricket League toured England that Summer and beat the Lancashire Under 17’s by 2 runs in a 50-over One-Day Final. This was the start of great things to come. During the pandemic would have been tough for all sporting teams globally, therefore the team members were inactive in this period. Fortunately when the World started reopening post pandemic in 2022 July/August, Trinbago Young Starz participated in a cricket competition held by the Ontario Cricket Academy within the region of Mississauga. This was a T20 tournament comprised of teams hailing from different parts of the Caribbean, Canada, U.S.A. and Trinidad and Tobago. Having reached the final, Trinbago Young Starz painstakingly lost to Ontario Cricket Academy by one run. These young men were in tears and some were thinking “could it get worse from here?”
The first T20 final saw Trinbago Young Starz defeating Largo Cricket Club by 22 runs and they also reached the second final where they beat Florida University via a super over. Imagine the drama in that second final. The spectators at the ground were probably at the edge of their seats.
Cricket is a glorious game of uncertainties and one has to keep in mind that anything can occur on any given day. It’s the team that plays better on the day that usually comes out victorious. Fast-forward to the Summer of 2023 as the Trinbago Young Starz participated in a T20 tournament held in Sarasota, Florida. Eight teams competed in the tournament with four teams per competition (two competitions in the tournament). The first T20 final saw Trinbago Young Starz defeating Largo Cricket Club by 22 runs and they also reached the second final where they beat Florida University via a super over. Imagine the drama in that second final. The spectators at the ground were probably at the edge of their seats.
For any sporting team, there must be the core members that make up the back-bone. Giovanni Ramdenny is a twenty year old right-handed all-rounder from Sangre Grande. He opens the batting as well as the bowling with his medium-fast pace. His role models are Shai Hope and James Anderson. He can probably be the next Dwayne Bravo or Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff for the West Indies team. Sameer Mohammed is a right-arm wrist spinner and left-handed batter. He is also 20 years of age and is from Tunapuna. This young man can be the savior that West Indies cricket so desperately need. Shazad Mohammed, labelled “The Wall” after the legendary Rahul Dravid is a 20 year old number three batter and right-arm off-spinner also from Tunapuna. Word has it that he is solid as a rock and “Shazzy” as he is called has a very sharp eye. It’s these sorts of talented cricketers that the World needs to see over the course of time. Certainly exciting times ahead not just for Trinidad and Tobago but for West Indies.
Amir Ali is a twenty year old left-arm unorthodox spinner and left-handed batter from Aranguez. His mystery is a rare talent as the World has not seen much of these left-arm wrist spinners. Only Brad Hogg from Australia in years gone by and Kuldeep Yadav as of the modern era possess this kind of action. Kion Paul is a twenty-one year old left-handed batter from Sangre Grande. Look out for this young man as he is known to hit the ball like thunder. The next Andre Russell aka “Superman”. Aidan Lakhansingh is an eighteen year old right-arm off-spinner and promising right-hander also hailing from Sangre Grande. He gets the ball to drift and turn. Somewhat eye catching is the word going around. Other members of this young team to keep an eye on in the future are Sameer Ali, Kyle Jattan, Aneil Pitiram and Alexander Kassiram.
Having these young cricketers tour globally will certainly showcase Trinidad and Tobago as a destination for Sports Tourism. Our young cricketers would be motivated to pursue their dreams and work harder on their skills and abilities. This would assist them in rising to National, Regional and International success and glory. Touring for the young cricketers of Trinbago Young Starz would give them the chance to learn about the educational and career opportunities available Worldwide for their future growth and development. It was seen in the past that the likes of players such as Brian Lara, Ian Bishop, Daren Ganga and Nicholas Pooran benefited tremendously from playing against teams from all over the globe when they were young men. The Caribbean still has the talent to not just compete at the highest level, but also to win major tournaments. We look forward to the future successes of this group of young men from Trinbago Young Starz.