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A boost for Maggotty High’s cricket programme

crick_prog1Santa Cruz, St Elizabeth — Maggotty High is the only high school in St Elizabeth without a proper playing field.

But that hasn’t stopped Principal Sean Graham and the school’s cricket fraternity from developing a ‘2020 vision’.

“We have a plan to win the Headley Cup (symbol of supremacy in rural schoolboy cricket) by 2020,” Graham told the Jamaica Observer Central last week.

“We have told our friends at STETHS [St Elizabeth Technical High School] that we are taking aim,” he added.

STETHS, based in Santa Cruz, is the most successful school in Jamaican cricket and is the defending champion and a multiple winner of the GraceKennedy-sponsored Headley Cup.

As part of the drive to strengthen that school’s cricket programme, Maggotty High recently took control of a bowling machine, which will assist with training for batsmen in a confined space for cricket practice, in the absence of a cricket field.

The bowling machine was acquired through partnership between the parent-teachers association and past students. Anthony Kepple, Maggotty High School cricket captain in 2002 and former Jamaica Defence Force cricketer who played a lead role in acquiring the equipment, told Observer Central it cost approximately $260,000.

Last year, the past students partnered with the school in erecting a practise area, which includes two concrete pitches shielded by training nets.

For home matches and ‘full field’ cricket practice, cricketers from Maggotty High School must travel to the Appleton Sugar Estate two miles away.

Maggotty High’s cricket ambitions have been boosted by the success of 20-year-old all-rounder, Odean Smith who was part of the West Indies Under-19 squad which won the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup in Bangladesh earlier this year.

Graham hailed the value of cricket to students at his school. “The game encourages discipline, mental ability, planning and strategising,” Graham said.

— Garfield Myers

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