By E. Glenford Prescott
Coach of the senior St. Vincent and the Grenadines Cricket team, Deighton Butler, says he is satisfied with a recent three-day trip to this country by West Indies Academy Bowling Coach, Vasbert Drakes.
Butler said the former West Indies medium pacer travelled to SVG with West Indies Academy Director, Graeme West, to assess the SVG players, pacer Obed McCoy and batsman Gidron Pope, who are short-listed for the West Indies Under-19 team.
But while in SVG, Drakes also worked with Ray Jordan, Shaquille Browne and Keswick Williams.
Jordan has been going through remedial work since after the ICC U19 World Cup, where he was one of several bowlers, who the governing body felt needed some work on their bowling action. He was sent to Australia, where an assessment was done on his action and the results sent to the WICB.
He was subsequently put under the supervision of Butler to work on the things recommended over the last 18 months. But his progress has been hampered, first by a shoulder injury and later a side strain, cricket officials have said.
Butler said that despite this, Jordan has made good progress and Drakes confirmed this at the net sessions.
“He was happy with what he was seeing, but there were just a few tiny areas that still needed to be worked on and I don’t think that these are going to take a long time to iron out,” said Butler, a former West Indies left-arm seamer.
He said that Drakes was impressed with left-armer McCoy, whom he felt needed to do a bit more on the “delivery stride” to get an “extra yard”, but, other than that, his action and run up were good.
McCoy, who was part of the first WICB U19 camp in Jamaica in Easter, where the initial squad was trimmed, said then that he was confident of making the final touring party since he had received good reviews from the management of the camp.
“They commended me on my attitude and my work rate and I tried to at all times to give my best and I think they were impressed with that”.
McCoy, along with Jordan and Delorn Johnson, was also at WICB fastbowlers camp in Barbados a few weeks ago.
McCoy, a fastbowler with Team Rivals, has impressed most who have seen him and is being ticked off as “one for the future”.
McCoy will be doing sessions in the nets at the Buccament Resort under the supervision of local coach, Cleton Burnett, Butler said.
Browne, another pacer, also attended the session and Butler said that Drakes appeared impressed with how strong he approached and his pace. He, however, said that there were some concerns with Browne’s “head movement” in his run up but this was corrected “at the point of delivery”.
Bulter said Williams, who recently returned from the UK Leagues, was invited for the final day to work along with Drakes.
He said West did extended work with Pope in helping the batsman work on some areas of weakness, including concentration, technique and shot selection. He said that Pope also had some attention paid to his offspin bowling by Drakes.
Pope and McCoy are expected to travel to Jamaica in December for another WICB U19 Camp.