Current and former West Indies players were thoroughly impressed with the talent on show after the first day of the Digicel coaching clinic at the 3Ws Oval.
More than 30 youngsters, including members of the Barbados Under-13s, were given coaching and guidance from Chris Gayle, Kenny Benjamin, Keith Arthurton and Ronald Straker along with Ramnaresh Sarwan, Denesh Ramdin and Lance Gibbs.
"There is a lot of talent here and this is a good sign for the future," Gayle said. "Hopefully we can nurture these young talented cricketers, groom them as we go along so that we do not lose them in the future, they need the right guidance, proper training and good facilities.
"It was a very good and pleasing start, everyone enjoyed the day's activities, the kids got a run around and to socialize a bit as well."
The young cricketers were taught a number of innovative fielding techniques in the first half the session before being taken to the indoor centre for various batting drills. Gayle was a particular attraction, in a fielding game he called 'the weakest link'; players were split into two sides, and the team to drop the first ball was penalised with some strenuous physical exercises.
Matthew Greaves, a 12-year-old fast bowler who impressed the coaches, and who is a member of the Barbados Under-13 team, was thrilled with the day. "It was a good experience working with the coaches and West Indies players," he said. "They taught me a lot about how they play and how to get better than them and I learnt a lot of new drills, different techniques and they taught me the basics of cricket."
The next clinic begins in Trinidad on July 26, with further events in Jamaica, Guyana, St Vincent and Antigua.