Backed by a proud father, 15-year-old St Lucia batsman targets Test cricket in five years

By March 10, 2023

St Lucia’s batting prodigy Theo Edward wants to break into the West Indies senior team sometime during the next few years. The 15-year-old Edward, a student at the St Lucia Sports Academy, believes Test cricket is the format that suits him best so he is working his way towards that goal.

“My ambitions for the next five years; I want to play in the U19 World Cup and then hopefully go on to play for the senior team,” said Theo, who scored four consecutive centuries for St Lucia’s U15 team during the Windward Islands Cricket Board (WICB) Tournament last December.

“I have a lot of patience and I like to bat long. It gives me more time to think about my decision making so I like to play the longer format.”

In a time when most young players are drawn to the T20 format, it is a refreshing proclamation from the teenager, who made his national U15 team at the age of 11, and who recently returned home from Grenada where the Windward Islands Volcanoes staged a two-week special apprenticeship programme for a few U19 players.

Theo described his stay in Grenada as being beneficial.

“It was a good experience. The standard was very high. I learnt a lot about my batting, and mentally,” he said revealing that he has made some technical improvements.

“When I am facing spin I don’t really go deep in my crease. I learned you have to go deep, back and across so you get more time to see the ball,” he said, adding that. “My head was always falling away so I learned to keep my head straight and that helped me play the ball straighter.”

Theo, who WICB President Dr Kishore Shallow has described as a special talent, began showing an interest in the sport at age nine after his father, Cassius, a bus/taxi driver, began taking him on trips while transporting some West Indies stars while they were in St Lucia.

“Everywhere I go I used to take Theo with me,” the elder Edward said. “All the big stars, and he used to hold the bat and the ball and one day he said “Daddy, I am really interested in cricket and I must be a cricketer one day. But I never thought Theo would take that thing so serious.”

How serious?

“Theo’s life is cricket. You will never come home and Theo isn’t having some cricket watching,” Cassius revealed. “He sleeps with a bat and a ball under his head every single night.”

Theo, the second of the Edward’s two children – he has an older sister Cassie – said his father has been his biggest supporter since he first picked up a bat.

“My father offers the most support to me because he is always at my training sessions, he is always at my games, always looking for gears for me,” he said.

In the past week or so, Cassius has been attending games in the St Lucia schools U19 Tournament in which Theo has been filling his boots. He scored 49 in his team’s victory against Choiseul Secondary, 94 out of a score of 173 in a losing cause to Leon Hess Secondary and on Thursday, scored an unbeaten 40 and took five wickets in a comprehensive victory over Patricia D. James Secondary.

The doting father does so with great pride even though he has sometimes taken flak from other members of the family for his unwavering support for his son’s cricketing ambitions at the expense of his academics.

“Theo’s mother and I were in trouble for him playing cricket,” he recalled.

“When Theo wrote exams for Common Entrance, he didn’t do good at all and I got bashed from my own family who said because of me Theo didn’t do good. But right now everybody is following cricket everywhere Theo goes.”

Besides his father’s support, Theo’s development is in good hands. At school he leans on the experience and wisdom of coach Garey Mauthrin, the former West Indies and Windward Islands left-hander and his staff as well as Alton Crafton, who always has Theo’s ear.

“Alton Crafton is a man who knows a lot about Theo when it comes to cricket. Theo has a lot of respect for Alton and I believe that is why Alton loves him so much because of his patience and he is very disciplined,” said Cassius, who believes his unswerving commitment to his son will one day be rewarded.

 “I am so proud. I will turn down any trip, big trip, big money to take Theo anywhere there is cricket, you know.  I am very proud now and it is about to pay me all my time.

“Theo always tells me ‘Daddy, don’t worry. All that money and all that time you spend with me I will triple that for you. Don’t worry’.”

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

Related items

  • Unbeaten Windward Islands Volcanoes enjoy 16.6-point lead after round three Unbeaten Windward Islands Volcanoes enjoy 16.6-point lead after round three

    Three dominant wins in the first three rounds have the Windward Islands Volcanoes holding a comfortable lead atop the points table of the 2024 West Indies Championship as the teams gear up for the season’s resumption after a week off.

    The Volcanoes have racked up an impressive 62.2 points (36 match points and 26.2 bonus points) courtesy of a pair of nine-wicket wins over the Jamaica Scorpions and the Barbados Pride in the first two rounds followed by an eight-wicket win over the Combined Campuses and Colleges in round three.

    The Leeward Islands Hurricanes sit second with 45.6 points (24 match points and 21.6 bonus points) after two wins and a draw in their first three outings.

    The Barbados Pride are third with 43.6 points (24 match points and 19.8 bonus points) after also recording a pair of wins and a draw in their first three games.

    The Jamaica Scorpions, who finished at the foot of the table last season, have a win and two losses but sit fourth on the table with 29.6 points mainly due to getting 17.6 bonus points.

    The Trinidad and Tobago Red Force (27.6 points), defending champions Guyana Harpy Eagles (26.4), West Indies Academy (24) and the Combined Campuses and Colleges (14.6) round out the rest of the table after three rounds.

    Action resumes with the start of round four on Wednesday, March 13 with the Red Force taking on the Volcanoes at the Queen’s Park Oval, CCC facing the Leewards at the Sir Frank Worrell Memorial Ground in St. Augustine, the Scorpions hosting West Indies Academy at Sabina Park and the Harpy Eagles facing the Pride at Coolidge.

  • Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes’ England Test record since taking charge in 2022 Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes’ England Test record since taking charge in 2022

    England’s fourth-Test defeat to India condemned them to a first series loss under the leadership of coach Brendon McCullum and captain Ben Stokes.

    Here, the PA news agency looks at the pair’s record since taking charge in 2022.

    First setback

    The Stokes-McCullum era began with a spectacular series win over New Zealand in June 2022, England chasing down fourth-innings targets of 277, 299 and 296 to win all three Tests.

    They lost the first Test against South Africa later that summer by an innings but responded in kind in the second en route to a 2-1 series win.

    A first-innings total of 657 in less than four sessions set the tone for a 3-0 win away to Pakistan in the winter and they then shared a series in New Zealand 1-1.

    Last summer’s Ashes were also drawn, 2-2, with Australia retaining the urn but both teams emerging with pride and credit from a thrilling series.

    Stokes and McCullum’s side also won a rearranged fifth Test against India in July 2022, which completed the previous summer’s series as a 2-2 draw, and beat Ireland in a one-off Test ahead of the Ashes.

    Captain marvel

    Stokes still has a 60.9 per cent winning record in Test matches as captain, behind only WG Grace (61.5 per cent) among Englishmen with at least 10 Tests in the role.

    He has won 14, lost eight and drawn one of 23 Tests, including one while deputising as captain for Joe Root in 2020.

    His personal contributions have been impressive, with 1,342 runs as skipper at an average of 36.27 and a strike rate of 65.62 – up on the respective marks of 35.77 and 57.54 when not captaining the side.

    That ranks him fourth among England run-scorers under his captaincy, behind Root (1,737), Zak Crawley (1,531) and Ollie Pope (1,413).

    While his bowling has been limited by injuries, his 29 wickets as captain have come at an average of 28.17 – far below his prior rate of 32.74.

  • Ben Stokes brushes off suggestion that England were not ruthless against India Ben Stokes brushes off suggestion that England were not ruthless against India

    Ben Stokes dismissed suggestions England lack a ruthless edge and expressed pride at how his team have fared in Indian conditions after not being given a “chance in hell” of success.

    England succumbed to a first Test series defeat under the leadership of captain Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum, as India moved into an unassailable 3-1 lead with a five-wicket victory in Ranchi.

    India hit back from 177 for seven in reply to 353 to keep the first-innings deficit to 46 then England crumbled from 110 for three to 145 all out on a turning track and could not stop the hosts chasing 192.

    The tourists have let slip promising opportunities on several occasions in this series but Stokes is not one for regrets and instead commended Ravichandran Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja for swinging this Test India’s way after they shared all 10 wickets in England’s second innings.

    “Everyone goes into the game with their best intentions, when it doesn’t pay off people say we’re not ruthless but when they do, they say we are,” Stokes said. “I don’t really understand the saying.

    “We try to do what we think is the best way to win the game. It can be a throwaway comment when people say we’re not ruthless enough. You can say everything is a missed chance when it doesn’t go well.

    “When India have a sniff in conditions like that, any team is going to find it hard. When you’ve got three world-class spinners operating in those conditions, you know you’re going to be up against it.

    “Nothing is impossible, I wouldn’t say that. But it was nigh-on impossible to operate how we wanted to. Cricket is always skill against skill. On this occasion, their skill was better than ours.”

    The chase was far from straightforward for India, who slipped to 120 for five as Joe Root and Tom Hartley snared Yashasvi Jaiswal and Rohit Sharma before Shoaib Bashir claimed a three-wicket haul.

    But an unbroken stand of 72 from Shubman Gill (52 not out) and Dhruv Jurel (39no) got India home to dash England’s dream of a series decider in Dharamshala, with the final Test starting on March 7.

    India extended a proud winning record at home to 17 successive Test series against an England side who have relied on a rookie spin attack after Jack Leach’s tour-ending injury in the opening match.

    “We didn’t have a chance in hell of even competing with India but even that wasn’t an easy win for India and I think they would admit that,” Stokes told the BBC.

    He added in his press conference: “We always still felt in the game. Even with 30 runs left we knew that if we went bang-bang, all the pressure was back on India.

    “I’m proud of how everyone stuck at their task even if their role was just to be a fielder. That’s what I want from everyone, to never give up because you never know where a game is going to go.

    “It’s always disappointing being on the losing team. Obviously we want to win every game we play and win every series.

    “You can have it all taken away from you at the click of a finger so why not enjoy every opportunity to play and make sure you are doing it with a smile on your face regardless of what is happening.”

    James Anderson bowled a three-over spell but was off the field for much of the fourth day while Ollie Robinson was unused as Stokes stuck with frontline spinners Bashir and Hartley and part-timer Root.

    Stokes revealed no risks were taken with Anderson because the 41-year-old was feeling tightness in his quadriceps, having sent down 94 overs in three successive Tests.

    “Jimmy’s fine,” Stokes added. “There was no chance he was going to bowl at all in the (rest of the) game.

    “You look at risk v reward, there’s not too much reward from Jimmy being out in the field if he’s got a pretty tight quad after playing three back-to-back Test matches in India.”

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.