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Oct. 15, 2021 | Friday
Local News
Hard work and play pays off for cricket coach
Donna Brown, chair of the Caribbean Workers Outreach Program, Prophet Elisha Steele, coach of the team, and Nancy King, longtime member of the outreach program, with the trophy. (Brittany Carter/Niagara Now)

Work hard, play harder – coach Prophet Elisha Steele infuses his passion and dedication into the annual migrant worker cricket match, which takes place this Sunday.

The match is hosted by the Caribbean Workers Outreach Program. Held at the Veterans Memorial Park on King Street in NOTL from 2 to 7 p.m., the public is invited to watch as the Niagara Clippers take on the Lincoln Lions.

Grace Foods, Bethany Mennonite Church and Welland’s Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen are sponsoring the event, providing a chicken dinner and refreshments for everyone in attendance.

While the Caribbean workers’ cricket matches have been taking place since before Steele came on board in 1992, he has taken the team to the next level through his leadership. He insists on three practices before each annual match, ensuring those who do make it onto the team are as dedicated, serious and passionate about playing as he is. He’s 60 now and has been playing since he was 17.

It’s not just about playing the sport, he said, he wants to win. And when it comes to his team he said his standards are high. His eye is on the trophy and Steele said he doesn’t plan on leaving the match without it in his hands this year.

“I don’t like to lose, I’m a trophy guy. I really love to play. I love the fun, but I like to win the trophy,” Steele said, adding that most years the Niagara Clippers have been victorious.

When Steele is back home in Jamaica, he said he plays for several different teams – cricket is a big part of who he is.

“I play lots of cricket here, but I play more back home.”

The best cricketer Steele said he ever played against was Rohan Kanhai of the West Indies. He is considered one of the best batsmen of the 1960s, Steele said, and it was an honour to compete against him.