August 2017

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It has been 14 years since The UWI St. Augustine student cricket team tasted success in the UWI Games which are held biennially among the four campuses.

Keshava Ramphal, a member of that winning team in 2003 returned, no longer as a player but as coach, to reclaim the trophy for St. Augustine in June this year.

“I am happy to be part of the teams to win it as a player and coach. It’s a great accomplishment,” he said.

The former Under 19 Trinidad and Tobago national cricketer now pursues a PhD in Sport Studies at the University of Trinidad and Tobago.

Keshava has played 16 years of premiership cricket since he first started his career at PowerGen before leaving to captain the Preysal cricket team. Transitioning from a player to coach was a decision of necessity, he said, explaining that his age, education and family life were major factors.

Keshava is one of the few Level 3 cricket coaches in Trinidad and Tobago, having completed his certification through Cricket Australia, the only ICC-endorsed training body for certification.

“As a coach I had to give up some of the playing time, especially as new coaching opportunities arrived. After a few years of being a player-coach, I decided to go in to coaching full time this year.”

He has been assistant coach to the Combined Campuses and Colleges Cricket Team (CCC) since 2014, and this regional experience has been instrumental in helping the team win the UWI Games 2017 Cricket title.

He foresees the St. Augustine Campus becoming a platform for players who wish to continue their development in cricket and be selected to the national team via the route of the CCC team. He also expects that this can be an attraction for players who want to pursue academics whilst continuing cricket at a higher level.

Keshava has high aspirations for the recently launched Faculty of Sport and is hopeful that its introduction would create a greater appreciation for student athletes, but noted that more needs to be done to accommodate them.

“I would like to see a student athlete service department which manages and coordinates academic affairs of the students while they are fulfilling playing commitments.”

His vision for cricket at The UWI is to see full-time coaches at St. Augustine so they can continue the development of the sport at the campus. At Cave Hill, for example there are four full-time coaches and ten cricketers on full scholarship. At St. Augustine Keshava is the only coach, and he is part-time. He is on a two-year no-pay study leave from his teaching job at a secondary school, while he does his PhD.

While he praised the efforts of the UWI Sport and Physical Educational Centre (SPEC) for its efforts to provide cricketers with good quality physiotherapists, training and gym facilities, he hopes to see indoor facilities being introduced.

As for the cricket programme, the young coach is all behind its chances of collecting more trophies and successes for the St. Augustine Campus in the upcoming season.