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Teenagers O'Neal and Warrican arrive from West Indies

Date: 17th June 2011

Organised by Dave Goodall, LCB's man in Merseyside.

With the recent success of the film Fire in Babylonreminding everyone of the glory days of West Indian cricket, fans in South Liverpool will now get the chance to see two future Caribbean stars with the arrival this week of two young Barbadians at Wavertree and Sefton Park.

Teenagers Rachid O'Neal and Jomel Warrican will spend the next three months honing their skills in Liverpool thanks to a partnership between Lancashire Cricket Board and the Barbados Cricket Association, which was organised by the LCB's man in Merseyside, Dave Goodall.

"In 2009, I turned 60 and my partner gave me free reign as to where we took our summer holiday," said Goodall.

"I chose to attend a seniors' cricket tour in Barbados which was where I met BCA board member Winston Stafford. Together with LCB Director, Andy Hayhurst we developed a proposal for two young players to come over and work alongside me in my community coaching role in Liverpool and be attached to a club."

The scheme came to fruition in 2010 with Rashidi Boucher and Miguel Cummins making the long trip to England where they both made a significant impact at their clubs, Boucher scoring 514 runs for Sefton Park and Cummins taking 47 wickets for Wavertree.

Mr Stafford, who used to play for Preston CC in the 1970s, believes the trip will be crucial in the two players' development.

"English conditions are unique but these players are not just here to learn about cricket but also about how to be leaders," said Stafford.

"I saw one of the players on his return last year give a very able and articulate interview to reporters at the airport. You could see there was a real advance in terms of his social skills. It builds their confidence and helps them progress as people."

This season off spinner Warrican will represent Sefton Park with fast bowler O'Neal playing for Wavertree and both club's captains are hoping they can repeat the success of their compatriots.

"Jomel comes highly recommended and already has international experience having played for the West Indies at the Under 19s World Cup," said Sefton Park skipper Paul Squires, whose team is currently struggling in the First Division.

"It has been a disappointing start to the league campaign but it is still relatively early days and we are still in all the cup competitions. The wicket here has traditionally suited spinners and I am very excited to have Jomel here and we are all looking forward to welcoming him to Sefton and helping his cricket development."

Meanwhile at Second Division Wavertree, captain Rod Salisbury is looking forward to their new West Indian paceman spearheading a charge for promotion.

"We have had a good start to the season but the way it has worked we have a few players missing so Rachid will slot right in and I think it will give a big boost to the players," said Salisbury.

The Sandown Lane club are currently fourth in the table, with only one defeat to their name and Salisbury is determined his players can better last season's performance.

"We finished fourth last year and I would like to finish higher this campaign and if that means promotion than that is great."

Despite the much anticipated arrival of their Barbadian import, Salisbury is confident his squad will not be overshadowed by the talented West Indian quick bowler.

"Opener Josh Birch has scored a couple of hundreds so far and Matt Nation always gets wickets. I joined 16 years ago and it was my dream to captain the side."

(The above article is reproduced with the courtesy of the Liverpool Daily Post.)

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