Demetri Lucas, 19, Ajahrie Joseph, 19, Jawakie Joseph 22, and D’Hari Francis, 20, four young cricketers from Antigua and Barbuda have been selected to participate in the 2023 UK Cricket Exchange Program
All four youngsters have already left the island for the United Kingdom.
They were selected according to a statement, “from a competitive field of promising cricketers to participate in this year’s exchange” and are expected to 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”
The four cricketers are also expected to compete in a number of 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”, a statement from the London High Commission said.
Education Minister Daryll Mathew conceptualized the annual exchange program which is now in its 5th year
Antigua and Barbuda’s High Commissioner in London, Her Excellency Karen-Mae Hill, and English Cricket Board Level Three Coach, Keith Williams were also instrumental in setting up the initiative.
The program also has the support of 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.
Sports Minister Mathew said, “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”.
Meanwhile, Coach Williams is delighted that “we have helped over 20 Antiguan and Barbudan boys and girls and 3 English boys to experience a sporting, cultural, and ‘hearts and minds’ exchange that will make them better citizens. He said I have learned an enormous amount over these years both about Antigua and Barbuda and people’.
And Demetri Lucas will be playing at the Belvoir Cricket Club in Grantham or his part is excited to be able to participate in the exchange
“I feel pretty excited to have been selected to go to the UK and I look forward to meeting new people and enjoying myself playing good cricket.”