Princes Town West returns to SSCL Premiership after eight-year hiatus
SECONDARY Schools’ Cricket League (SSCL) South Championship winners Princes Town West welcome their return to the Premiership division for the 2024 season.
It’s been eight years since the South school has featured in the league’s top flight and coach/manager Kadar Manick is pleased to be back.
“The journey’s been a tough one,” he said, reflecting on the school’s last championship stint in 2020, in which they lost all seven matches.
This year, Princes Town West had a scary deja vu start to their campaign as they lost the opening match against ASJA Boys San Fernando.
However, the Jaylan Ransome-captained unit rallied back to win their five remaining matches and deservedly lifted the title with an emphatic seven-wicket triumph over ASJA Boys Charlieville, one week ago.
On his team’s ability to shake off their shambolic 2020 performance and this year’s opening-round loss, Manick said the three-year absence, owing to the pandemic, from schools’ cricket matured some of his returning senior players.
They - Ransome, Matthew Lum Kin, Sachin Jefferes and Kallis Ali among others - had a score to settle.
“The root reason for this success is we started training very early, since September. There’s about six or seven guys who played in 2020 and it was a very poor season.
“But they grew comprehensively during the pandemic and came back with a vengeance, with a chip on their shoulders, because they knew how bad they got beat in 2020. They just wanted to do well for the school and themselves.
“Everyone is ecstatic and very much looking forward to next year. We had a rough few years but we’re pleased to be back at the top-tier competition of schools cricket. We lost the first game and came back very strongly to win the remaining five matches. The players are eager and happy.”
Princes Town West’s top three batsmen after six rounds were Ransome (252 runs), Lum Kin (89 runs) and Amrish Rampersad 78 runs while Ganesh Gobin (15 wickets), Ali (13 wickets) and Josiah Caramally (10 wickets) topped the bowling attack.
On his team’s successful season, opening batsman Lum Kin said, “For the last five games, we did not put down our heads during games. We just helped each other and made sure everyone was in the right state of mind to play.
“It’s amazing, 2020 was terrible but it’s great to come back to now play premiership next year. The best we have to do to make a good impression in premiership is to train, as much as possible, together as a team.”
Manick, whose been an electrical and electronic technology teacher there for 17 years, thanked staff and players’ parents for their “overwhelming” support.
Like most schools, Princes Town West remain dependent on Ministry of Education disbursements to help offset costs.
Manick said “funds were limited” in this regard, but teacher and parental support with cooking meals, transportation and other logistics went a long way in helping propel their school to succeed in their first competition, post-pandemic.
"Princes Town West returns to SSCL Premiership after eight-year hiatus"