The Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) and the National Sports Council (NSC) must forge closer links if the success of the council's Under-13 programme is to bear fruit in the development of youth cricket.

That's the view of George Linton, former Barbados player and current NSC coach, who is being honoured by the BCA this year for his sterling and longstanding contribution to the game.

The first in a series of activities in the George Linton Benefit, a limited-overs match involving the NSC's squad which toured England last summer, was staged at Queen's Park yesterday and advertised the rich talent among the Under-13s.

There is a feeling in some quarters, however, that systems must be put in place to ensure that the talent does not just disappear.

It is not an easy thing. There must be closer collaboration between the NSC and the BCA. Something must be worked out to see that these players move smoothly out of this, Linton told NATIONSPORT.

When they go into the Under-15s, there are so many schools and so many players involved. If you can concentrate on 25 to 30 players, it is much easier. But to pick 25 or 30 from over 900 students will create problems for parents and PE teachers.

The NSC's work is primarily centred around primary schools, but to assist in the transition process, Linton suggested part of NSC's programme could involve afternoon sessions with the Under-13s or Under-15s.

It is very difficult. It is also about money, he added.

Money plays a big part in these programmes. At the NSC, it was much easier. We had to work on Saturdays. It was part of our routine hours.

We dedicated three hours every Saturday and we also had the expert help of Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes.

The NSC coach was of the view that the young players did not reach this level in the twinkling of an eye and a lot of work was needed in the future if the success was to be sustained.

The standard is very good. This group went through intense practice every Saturday for two years before they went into a game situation, he said.

With the new group coming through, we had a few months to work with them, and you don't have the time to put together what you would like.

Among those on show yesterday were three players Simon Steel, Shamarh Brooks and Jed Yearwood who have graduated to the Barbados Under-15 team for the forthcoming regional championship.

Another player, Johnathan Carter, was in the side last year but missed the cut this time.

Without wanting to let much out of the bag since he is a national Under-15 selector, Linton said it was likely that more would follow in the future.

We will see more guys coming through next year. It was a little disappointing to see that more were not in the trials. It all depends on the school you are at.

If you are in a school that is not doing well, you might not be recognised. If more guys had come . . . the exposure of playing against bigger guys would have done them well for next year.