Members of the Senior Men's Cricket Team:  See story for caption
Members of the Senior Men's Cricket Team: See story for caption

With a 14-run victory over archrivals St. Vincent and the Grenadines to win the 2018 Windward Islands cricket tournament, Dominica's youthful cricket team came home to a hero's welcome last Friday.

"This is our pride and joy," said a delighted Andy Matthew, the treasurer of the Dominica Cricket Association (DCA) at a reception held at the Windsor Park Stadium for the new champs of Windwards cricket. "You should no doubt celebrate as a team but the greater celebration is for us as a nation, as a people."

Saying that the team's success in the limited over tournament was a demonstration of Dominica's resilience after the island received a battering from Hurricane Maria, a category five hurricane that slammed into the island on 18 September 2017 Matthew said the team overcame a number of challenges.

"This championship speaks volumes to our new national slogan that we are a resilient people," Matthew said. "Cricket was spared no mercy by Hurricane Maria; cricket suffered the same fate as the entire country".

Dominica's cricket major ground, the Windsor Park Sports Stadium bore damages valued at EC$6 million; the pavilion at the other major ground in Roseau, the Botanic Gardens, is still covered by tarpaulin; and cricketers all over the island lost homes, friends and pads, bats and other cricket gear. But most significantly there's the trauma of surviving a major storm.

"We have our captain Tyron Theophille who hails from the hardest hit communities, Pointe Michel," said Matthew. "The pain and grief suffered because of loss of life would have hit close to home for him."

Alick Athanaze, Dominica's new young cricketing hero was also affected by Maria but the storm seems to have had a positive impact on his ability to score runs.

Following up on his success at the Youth Cricket World Cup, the Regional Super 50 tournament, Athanaze scored Dominica's only century at the Windwards tournament.

"Well done to you Alick," said Matthew. "We will continue to follow your progress with high expectations for the future".

With senior players such as former captain Liam Sebastian "continuing to display statesmanship", Matthew said the Dominica men's senior cricket team is actually being carried on the shoulders of young cricketers.

"You are our hope and our future," he said.

During the tournament, Dominica played three matches in four days, a bruising ordeal that Coach Mervin Thomas said tested the resolve of the team.

"Even before we left the island the commitment was to do it for Dominica," Thomas said.

Here are the summaries of the three matches that Dominica played in the tournament

Dominica vs St Vincent

Sunday, May 27 2018 (10:25) at Laressource Playing Field, St Lucia

Dominica won by 99 runs

Dominica won toss and decided to bat

Summary Scores

Dominica: 279 all out (49.2 overs): Theophile 81, Robinson 46, Hodge 43, Sebastien 25; Walters 5-23, Cottoy 3-52

St Vincent: 180 all out (36.3 overs): Browne 69, Johnson 22, Dember 18; Hamilton 2-31, Theophile 2-29, James 2-34

Dominica vs Grenada

Tuesday, May 29 2018 at Gros Islet, St. Lucia

Dominica won by 35 runs

Dominica won toss and decided to bat

Summary Scores Dominica: 289 for 9 (50.0 overs): Theophile 68, Athanaze 40, Jno Lewis 26 (not out), Robinson 23; John 4-23, Thomas 2-38

Grenada: 254 all out (48.0 overs): Noel 68, Cato 47, John 33, George 25; Theophile 5-24, Hodge 4-41

Dominica vs St Vincent & The Grenadines

Wednesday, May 30 2018 at Gros Islet, St. Lucia

Dominica won by 14 runs

Dominica won toss and decided to bat

Summary Scores

Dominica 214 all out (45.1 overs): Athanaze 101, Hodge 38, Sebastien 22; Walters 3-25, McCoy 4-17

St Vincent & The Grenadines First X1: 200 all out (40.5 overs): Johnson 37, Hector 36, Dember 24; Hodge 3-32, Sebastien 3-45

Photo Caption

Members of the Senior Men's Cricket Team: (Back row, left to right: Kevin James, Vincent Lewis, Kharmal Hamilton, Kershaski Jno Lewis and Tyrone Theophile (captain). Front row, left to right: Coach Mervin Thomas, Tahj Tavernier, Liam Sebastien, Alick Athanaze, Micah Joseph and Glen Joseph (manager). Not in photo: Kavem Hodge, Gian Benjamin, Gilon Tyson and Jerlani Robinson