Four young Antiguan and Barbudan cricketers have travelled to the United Kingdom to participate in the 2023 Antigua and Barbuda – United Kingdom Cricket Exchange Programme.
They are Demetri Lucas, 19, Ajahrie Joseph, 19, Jawakie Joseph 22, and D’Hari Francis, 20.
These cricketers were chosen from a competitive field of promising cricketers to participate in this year’s exchange.
The cricketerts will be placed in clubs across the United Kingdom and over the course of four and a half months from the beginning of May until the middle of September, they will compete in various matches and tournaments in their respective leagues.
Demetri Lucas will be playing at the Belvoir Cricket Club in Grantham, Ajahrie Joseph will play at the Bingham Cricket Club in Nottingham, Jawakie Joseph will play at the Harrow St. Mary’s Cricket Club in London and D’Hari Francis will play at the Grantham Cricket Club.
Through this exchange programme, the young cricketers will hone and develop their cricketing skills while experiencing new places, living in a different culture and forming lasting friendships.
The annual exchange, now in its fifth year, was conceptualized by Minister of Education, Sports and the Creative Industries, the Honourable Daryll Matthew, Antigua and Barbuda’s High Commissioner in London, Her Excellency Karen-Mae Hill, and English Cricket Board Level Three Coach, Keith Williams.
It has also benefited from the endorsement of all four of the Antiguan and Barbudan Cricketing Knights, Sir Vivian Richards, Sir Andy Roberts, Dr Sir Richard Richardson and Sir Curtly Ambrose and School Cricket Co-ordinator Ridley Jacobs.
The programme gives young, high performing cricketers from Antigua and Barbuda and the supporting UK clubs, the opportunity to participate in a sports exchange programme that would expose them to the game of cricket in different countries and conditions at a competitive level.
It also gives the opportunity for young cricketers from the UK to spend time in Antigua and Barbuda and learn how cricket is played in the West Indian context.
Presently, Antigua is hosting one young cricketer, Louis Hartland, from the UK, who has been on island for the past six weeks. He has been playing with the Combined Schools Cricket Team.
The Honourable Daryll Matthew expressed his well wishes for the cricketers, “ It is a great thing to be able to represent the nation at this level of competition. This exposure will be invaluable to their future careers and will help them develop critical skills because the UK is home to some of the best cricket training facilities in the world. It is also an opportunity to travel to and experience life in another country. I hope they will make the best of it. The Government remains committed to ensuring our young players are able to access opportunities such as these”.