Cricket has truly transformed from its glory days of test matches to today where a new and exciting format of play called 20/20 has dominated the scene. It has presented huge opportunities for cricketers to gain even more fame and fortune.
Dazzle Magazine takes a look at one of Barbados’ up and coming cricketers and his journey on becoming a professional West Indies player. Meet 26 year old Jonathan Lyndon Carter, a left hand batsman and a right hand bowler. Let’s take a glimpse into his game.
Where were you born and raised?
I was raised in Gall Hill, Christ Church and attended Christ Church Boys School. I later moved at age 7 to St. Andrew. Growing up in Gall Hill wasn’t an easy life. I remember seeing police chase guys on the block and times I would hear gunshots not too far away from home.
What were some of your fondest memories growing up?
From the age of 3, I was playing cricket with my uncles and brothers every Sunday after church. My dad was the pastor there and also an avid cricket fan.
I made the cricket team when I transferred to St Andrew’s primary. I was given the ball to bowl and it was the captain who was batting. The first ball hit the paling before he could get his bat down and the next ball had his stumps flying. The captain stared at me, told me to come with him, took me to the coach’s office and said I had to play. My first record was at 9 years old where I took nine wickets for nine runs. The year after that I scored two centuries and also took ten wickets for nine runs.
Did you continue playing cricket after primary school?
Yes, in 1st form I played for the National Sports Council under 13 team, where I captained the side. I attended Alleyne School and there was a brief period I stopped playing cricket because I wasn’t doing any school work. I repeated a form and my dad banned me from cricket and my coach from all sports. It was a hard time then because I felt like the world was against me. I was also dealing with an attitude problem and used to get agitated very easily. However my parents made me focus a lot on work and I made it to 5th form.
What happened next and how did you end up playing overseas?
At 17, I went on to Alexandra School where I met Kemar Roach, another up and coming talented West Indies cricketer. I became popular at that school because I was playing almost every sport there. I captained the under 19 team and the next year I was selected for the Barbados Senior team.
After I left school I was asked to play cricket in England, I decided to go and get some experience. I left Barbados and went to England not knowing that I would’ve been held for three days because I did not have the correct documentation to get through customs. It was the worst experience of my life; they kept me in the airport where I was amongst guys from other countries I’ve never heard of before. The facilities weren’t in good condition at all. That situation didn’t work out but luckily another opportunity would come my way to play for a club in England.
What are some of your accomplishments to date?
I have already played for the West Indies A team in matches as far away as India. I made my first century there and the feeling was ecstatic. I have also played for the Barbados Tridents and will be again this year.
How has cricket become a business for you?
Through cricket I have been able to make a decent living not only from playing for other clubs and the West Indies but I am also a qualified English Cricket Board and WICB level 2 coach.
Where do you see the future of cricket?
Cricket has a very viable future but there needs to be improvements made in the local and regional management of it. Better structured development programs should be in place to allow youngsters to reach their full capability and also mechanisms need to be in place that won’t favour selections.
What advice would you share with other young people interested in cricket?
What I did was a risk in not doing my school work, but I used my talent in cricket to further myself. If you are interested in cricket and have a passion, and you believe you want to succeed, go and pursue it.
Dazzle Magazine wishes Jonathan all the best in his cricketing career.