News Releases

Cricketer Omar Phillips moving up the ranks

For Release Upon Receipt - July 14, 2009

St. Augustine

Barbadian Omar Phillips fell just short of breaking a West Indian record with an impressive 94 in his first Test, on the third day of the First Digicel Test between the West Indies and Bangladesh. He would have been the first West Indies Test batsman, since fellow countryman, Dwayne Smith, smashed 105 against South Africa in 2004 to have hit a ton on debut.  Phillips, who  plays regional First Class cricket for the Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC) team, was included as part of the West Indies replacement side after the regular players took industrial action.

The left-handed Phillips opened the innings with fellow Barbadian, Dale Richards, and began the third day’s play on nought but progressed steadily to within touching distance of the century but fell short when he drove medium pacer, Rubel Hossain, loosely to short cover. The 22-year-old, who has never represented his homeland, though delighted with the achievement said that he was saddened that he did not go on to triple figures. “It was one of the easiest hundreds you will ever get at this level and I was really disappointed,” Phillips said at the end of the day’s play.

Phillips credited cricket enthusiasts Sir Hilary Beckles, Pro Vice Chancellor and Principal of the University of the West Indies (UWI) Cave Hill Campus and Director of the West Indies Cricket Board, for soothing his nerves prior to the event.

“We had a little meeting last night and he actually calmed my nerves a bit. He is always a good father figure to talk to when you need some advice so I try to make him proud as much as possible representing CCC and UWI,” said Phillips, who is in his second year reading for a degree in history at the UWI Cave Hill campus in Barbados.

Phillips was especially proud of his achievement since he noted that it is a watershed moment for the CCC team which has been making marked progress at the First Class level. “It sends a good message to the public that you don’t necessarily need to represent your country, you can play for CCC which is a team of youngsters from the Caribbean and you can also play cricket and further your education which is a good thing,” Phillips reasoned.