Walsh impressed by talent pool in Cuba

Published: Sunday, July 8, 2007, 22:19 [IST]
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St John's (Antigua):Former West Indies fast bowler Courtney Walsh believes that Cuba has natural cricketing talent and could become a force in the game.

Walsh said on Thursday he had visited the communist country several times and had been amazed by the talent on show.

"There is some very good talent in Cuba and they are natural cricketers there but they do need help and I'm happy that we will going there to advance the sport," said the Jamaican, who took 519 wickets in 132 Tests.

"What is needed in Cuba is funding and closer attention needs to be paid to the development of the game. There are many natural athletes on the island and once they get the support I can tell you the game will improve at a rapid pace. You will be surprised."

On Wednesday, it was announced that Cuba would become the 21st team to join the Stanford 20/20 Project funded by Texan billionaire Allan Stanford who has invested $100 million over three years to try to lifting cricket standards at grassroots level.

The teams receive monthly grants of $15,000.

Walsh, along with 13 other former West Indies cricketers, form part of the board of directors for the project.

Walsh, 44, played for the West Indies between 1984 and 2001. He was the first man to reach 500 Test wickets and is the leading West Indian wicket-taker in Test history.


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