Show us consistency – Browne

first_imgBRIDGETOWN, Barbados, (CMC):Chairman of Selectors Courtney Browne has urged regional players to make their mark in the upcoming Regional Super50 in order to force their way into the West Indies squad.He said West Indies were expected to have a heavy One-Day International (ODI) schedule this year, and with preparations already in train for the 2019 World Cup, it was crucial players that took advantage of every opportunity in the January 24 to February 18 tournament.”We’re definitely looking forward to the Super50 to see that the incumbents go on and continue their good work,” the former Test wicketkeeper told Massy United Insurance Line and Length.”Then there are a lot of other young players who are challenging for places and we have a lot of ODI cricket coming up this year, so it is important – obviously we’re building them up towards the World Cup – that all the players come in and get their runs, get their wickets, play tough and hard cricket and really show us they have the attitude, not only to be part of the team, but the attitude that we are looking for that makes West Indian people really proud.”Browne emphasised, however, that while it was important players performed, they needed to show consistency beyond the tournament.PERFORM CONSISTENTLY”People just need to perform. That’s the most important [thing], and perform consistently,” said Browne, who replaced legendary former West Indies captain Clive Lloyd in the position last year.”What we are trying to do is look at players over at least three seasons. One of the things that we are trying not to do is to pick players after just one season.”At times that will happen, but if you can get a guy performing over three years consistently or over two years consistently, then we know he’s deserving of an opportunity at the senior level, or at least be considered for an opportunity at the senior level.”Browne noted that the Windies one-day side was at a young stage of their development, and singled out the unit which recently campaigned in the Tri-Nations Series in Zimbabwe.He said the young players, who had made their mark on that tour, needed to reiterate that form in the Regional Super50.Trinidad and Tobago Red Force are defending Regional Super50 champions and will do battle in Zone A alongside Leeward Islands Hurricanes, Windward Islands Volcanoes, West Indies Under-19s and English county side, Kent Spitfires.Zone B comprises last year’s runners-up Barbados Pride, Jamaica Scorpions, Guyana Jaguars, Combined Campuses & Colleges Marooners and ICC Americas team.Players must make themselves available for the tournament in order to be eligible for selection to the ODI format.last_img read more

Saah No. 1 in US-Trenton High School Tennis Singles

first_imgOne of America’s renowned founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin, inspiringly said, “What is the recipe for successful achievement? To my mind there are just four essential ingredients: choose a career you love, give it the best there is in you, seize your opportunities, and be a member of the team.” This is definitely the case of 14 –year-old Liberian tennis prodigy, Saah Kandakai, who is currently the No. 1 single’s player for Trenton High School, in the USA. He is a freshman.Some might call him an inspiration and also an optimist who sees the opportunity in every difficulty. Saah is a member of the New Jersey Tennis League, and amongst the top junior singles.According to the New Jersey Tennis League (NJTL) and the New Jersey High School Sports, the Liberian tennis icon in 2014 reached the finals of the USTA Sectional U-14 qualifiers. He also reached the quarterfinals in his first Sectional Tennis Tournament in Philadelphia.Eventually, some say, “Luck is when preparation meets opportunity” – and this is what happened to Saah when he escorted his father, Aflred Kandakai on one of his training sections. The young man played a tennis match against Mr. Tani Hanna, the chairman of Games World International in Liberia. Mr. Hanna was surprised at how skillful Saah played for his age and decided to give him an opportunity of a lifetime. He and Mrs. Anna Bsaibes, a shareholder at the Mamba Point and Oceano Casino (situated at Mamba Point) in 2011 sent Saah to Sanshall Casal in Barcelona – Spain and he spent three weeks at the tennis academy that Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray once attended.Two years later, Mr. Hanna and his partners further sponsored Saah to train at the Sanchez-Casal Academy in Naples, USA.How did Saah get so good at tennis?  He accredits that to his father, his present coach, who started a refugee’s tennis academy in 2006. “He’s at a pretty high level,” said Michelle Gbelama, Program Director for National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) of Trenton, affiliated with the U.S. Tennis Association (USTA). The NJTL is a non-profit developmental organization that provides tennis, education, nutritional and life skill programsFounded in 1975, NJTL now serves more than 2,700 underprivileged youngsters in the Trenton area between the ages of 5 and 17.“He found us,’’ Gbelama said about Kandakai. “He was passing Cadwalader Park and came to our office. We now support his tennis career and provide him with whatever he needs.’’“He’s such a polite young man, oh my gosh,’’ said Trenton tennis coach James Jones, a graduate of THS and coach for more than 25 years. “He has good footwork. He’s very agile and he has quick hands. He’s willing to listen and really a joy to be around.’’Kandakai does not just enjoy tennis. He wants to turn pro. His favorites are Federer and Novak Djokovic.“I love the way Federer plays and he’s a great guy,’’ Kandakai said. “And Novak, I really want to be like him because he’s most consistent in playing and he’s really focused when he’s playing a match.’’ If he fails to attain the heights of the Australian Open, Wimbledon or the U.S. Open, his Plan B is earning a degree in civil engineering.“Tennis is good for me. I want to play in grand slams,’’ he told a publication two years ago. Regarding the refugee camp, he was quoted as saying, “(It) was very hard, that situation. But I play tennis because my dad is a tennis coach and he told me that tennis will make me a good person and I will have an education.’’ Kandakai’s mother, (who works nights as a supervisor for a house cleaning company), is very proud of her son, though she laughed when she said that he is not perfect.“No one is,’’ she added. “But he’s a child you always want to be around. He’s funny and he’s loving.’’One of his roommates from the academy in Florida, Andres Diaz of Mexico, put it best, “I am learning from him,’’ he said during an interview a couple of years ago, “because Alfred is a good example that, (despite) difficulties, you can follow your dream.’’It may be recalled in 2011 and 2012; Saah represented Liberia in the under-14 and under-12 categories of the West and Central Africa junior championships in Ghana and Togo, where he was a quarter-finalist.In 2013, he participated in the under-14 West and Central Africa junior championships in Togo, where he earned laurel. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more