The Caribbean is synonymous with cricket. Although not as dominant of a sport as in the past, the game is still a favourite Caribbean’s pastime’. Although many young persons lately seem to gravitate toward sports like basketball and football, enthusiasts like Jamal Lesmond aim to keep the sport alive.
Like most children, Jamal began playing cricket on the road with his friends. The 19-year-old from the small community of Mamiku, developed a passion for the game and wanted to obtain the skills to become a successful cricketer. Categorized as a bowling all rounder, he is now one of the most promising young spin bowlers on the east coast, bowling left arm off spin. Here is his story.
What sparked your love for the game?
Seeing my older brother Shervin Charles play really motivated me. He has been playing cricket from school, represented Saint Lucia at the under-15 and 19 levels and at the Stanford T20 Tournament.
When you began playing the game, what did you see yourself as?
During my early stages, I wanted to be a medium pacer. At age 11, I joined Mr. Marcellus Serieux’s training camp because I wanted to learn the fundamentals of the game. Coach Serieux
had already seen me practicing spin bowling, he thought that I had potential and encouraged me to go into spin. So he worked with me and taught me to bowl with control and little by little I got better at it. By age 13, I was playing in senior cricket competitions in Mon Repos with Creations Sports Club.
Brief us on your involvement in secondary school’s cricket.
I attended the Micoud Secondary and played for the school throughout my five years. I captained the Under 15 side from form one to form two. Then I moved on to the Under 19 level in form three and was chosen to captain the side in form five.
You’ve represented Saint Lucia in cricket. On what levels have you been able to do so?
I have represented my country only at the Under 15 level and that was a very enjoyable two years for me. I was invited to trials for the National under 19 side on two occasions but somehow I never made the side.
How successful have you been in 2014 in terms of your performances?
This year has been a good one so far. I am currently participating in the National Two-Day Competition for the Mon Repos senior team. We have played our three group games and so far I am the leading wicket taker with 25 wickets, including (3) five-wicket hauls and (1) six-wicket haul.
What is your main aim for this year in terms of your cricketing career?
My goal is to continue playing good cricket, to continue taking wickets and obtain a call up to the national senior side. With that, I will work harder to get picked when the final team is called and then prove to myself that I am worthy of competing at the highest level.
What motivates you to continue playing cricket?
I have a love for the game, but I think the coaches that I have worked with have been very instrumental in me having that urge to continue playing. From my very first coach, Marcellus Serieux, to Keith Charles, my community coach, Walter Emmanuel and national coach Alton Crafton; they have all contributed to my achievements and appreciation for the game.
What do you enjoy doing apart from playing cricket?
I love playing football; it’s my favorite sport apart from cricket. I also love watching football on television, the Premier League in particular, with Manchester City being my favourite team.
What awards and achievements have you obtained throughout your young career?
I won the Windward Islands U15 Tournament in 2008. That year was also a really good year for me club-wise, and I walked away with the award for Outstanding Performance in Cricket at the Mon Repos Youth and Sports awards. When I graduated from the Micoud Secondary School in 2011, I captured the Cricketer of the Year award.
Do you remember any of your best bowling figures?
My best figures are 6 for 10 (6 wickets for 10 runs). That was at the secondary school level and 5 for 8 at the national U15 level.
Share with HYPE readers your favorite cricketing memory.
Winning the Windwards Tournament. We had a great team; it was a wonderful experience and my best achievement so far.