‘Top­pling Gi­ants’

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - By Kerwin Cae­sar SG: My best is 5 for 3 ver­sus Do­minica.

Ihad been re­ferred by a lo­cal sports pun­dit to in­ter­view a young and up­com­ing bowler, and as is the norm I had al­ready for­mu­lated this im­age of a tall, lanky fig­ure in my head. To my pleas­ant sur­prise, the chap was the ex­act op­po­site, not that I was dis­ap­pointed though.

Diminu­tive yet de­ter­mined, Simeon Prince Ger­son is a 13-year-old of Morne For­tune, Castries. A form two stu­dent of the Saint Mary’s Col­lege (SMC), the young spin­ner has erased the skep­tic no­tions which are di­rected to his size and re­placed them with his el­e­ment of sur­prise. Barely even five feet, the young­ster’s pas­sion for the game has led him to the heights of sec­ondary school, Na­tional and Wind­wards U15 and even se­nior cricket for Gros Islet.

How did you de­velop a love for cricket?

SG: I al­ways wanted to play foot­ball but a coach from my pri­mary school saw me play­ing cricket and he asked me to go into grass­roots cricket. I did so and there I got to work with coaches like Jonathon Kho­dra, Mr. Smith and Mr. Ty­ron Har­ris, and lit­tle by lit­tle I got bet­ter.

Which pro­fes­sional crick­eters do you look up to and why?

SG: I re­ally like Su­nil Narine and Shiv­nar­ine Chan­der­paul. Narine is a mys­tery spin bowler. Chan­der­paul is a pa­tient bats­man and I love the way he ma­neu­vers the ball through the field.

You made the SMC side in form one; what were your best per­for­mances for the school?

SG: My best bowl­ing fig­ures were 3 for 2 (3 wick­ets for 2 runs) and best score was 29 runs n.o (not out).

At what age did you make the Saint Lu­cia (U15) side and what pro­pelled you to be­ing se­lected for the side?

SG: I made the side at age 12 when I was in form 1. It was def­i­nitely my in­volve­ment in the grass­roots pro­gram that got me to the na­tional team be­cause that was be­fore I be­gan play­ing for SMC.

What is your best per­for­mance for the Na­tional U15 side?

Tell HYPE read­ers of the ex­pe­ri­ence of play­ing for the Wind­wards U15 team.

SG: Since it was my first time, I re­ally wanted to be the best that I can be; so I worked re­ally hard be­cause I know the com­pe­ti­tion is tough.

You cap­tured the award for most wick­ets at the Wind­wards tour­na­ment, how many did you take in to­tal and what did it do for your con­fi­dence?

SG: I was able to take 13 wick­ets, but I had to share the award with a Gre­na­dian, be­cause he took the same num­ber as me. It re­ally meant a lot, be­cause I didn’t ex­pect do so well at my first tour­na­ment.

What do you en­joy do­ing apart from play­ing cricket?

SG: I love mu­sic and play­ing mu­sic. I re­ally love the drums; I used to play the vi­o­lin but I play the drums now.

How are you able to bal­ance your aca­demics, cricket and your mu­sic? SG: Well I have spe­cific days dur­ing the week for cricket and mu­sic. The other days are des­ig­nated for school­work, but I do have a study sched­ule.

In terms of your crick­et­ing ca­reer, what is your pri­mary ob­jec­tive?

SG: I would like to be the youngest per­son to make the West Indies se­nior team.

And how do you plan on ob­tain­ing that ob­jec­tive?

SG: I will work on my phys­i­cal fit­ness, work hard at my bowl­ing; try to master as much tech­nique as I can and to be con­sis­tently tak­ing wick­ets.

You now play your cricket with the John Eu­gene Academy; what is your opin­ion of the academy and its role in your de­vel­op­ment?

SG: I was ac­tu­ally play­ing a match against Mr. Eu­gene’s team while play­ing at grass­roots level and he asked me to sign up for his academy. He be­lieved that I was ready to move on from grass­roots and I joined. I think I play on a dif­fer­ent level now that I am at the academy.

What would you like to do be­sides play cricket?

SG: I’d love to be an ar­chi­tect and a drum­mer like Tony Roys­ter (smiles).

I also spoke with Simeon’s mother, Mrs. Ger­son, who along with the rest of the fam­ily is very sup­port­ive of Simeon’s crick­et­ing en­deav­ors.

Mrs. Ger­son: “We are aware of my son’s pas­sion for the game and we do our best to support him as much as we can. I at­tend all his games, his fa­ther prac­tices with him in our hall­way at home; gives him tips and ad­vice on how to im­prove his game. But I think Simeon’s coaches have been very in­stru­men­tal in his de­vel­op­ment; from Jonathon Kho­dra and Ty­ron Har­ris, to Al­ton Crafton and es­pe­cially John Eu­gene for re­al­iz­ing his po­ten­tial and we give credit to him for his growth and mak­ing it to the Na­tional and Wind­wards team.

Since start­ing out at age seven, Simeon has gone on to cap­tain his grass­roots and U13 side and cap­tured the most wick­ets for the Na­tional U15 side.

Simeon Ger­son, the lit­tle spin wizard with big as­pi­ra­tions of play­ing for

West Indies.

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