Youth in focus…Sankar wants to excel at cricket and football
By Zaheer Mohamed
Eighteen year old Malteenoes Sports Club leg spinner Steven Nicholas Sankar aims to excel at both cricket and football. Born on 25th of September 1995, Sankar plays football at the school level for Chase Academy. He started to play soccer at a very young age after he migrated to the United States of America where he represented MT Vernon FC at the U-15 stage, scoring six goals in four games as a forward.
At the school level here, he played in the 2013 and 2014 Milo tournament as well as the Digicel competition in 2013. His best performance to date is against the Business School where he netted on five occasions, guiding his team to an 8-1 victory in the 2013 Digicel tournament.
Sankar was introduced to cricket by his father Devanand Sankar at the age of nine. His talent was spotted by Coach Neil Barry who took him to the Malteenoes Sports Club. He first turned out for the club in the Brain Street U-15 tournament in 2010 at the age of 14 where he took 7-22 against Transport SC. He won a call up to the Demerara U-15 team the following year after scoring 82 versus Everest at the club level.
Sankar caught the eyes of many when he took 5-34 against Essequibo in the 2011 U-15 Inter county competition and earned selection to the Guyana team the said year and grabbed 6-7 against Leeward Islands in Trinidad and Tobago in the regional U-15 tournament, ending the competition with 20 wickets. He then graduated to the national U-17 team taking 4-17 versus Barbados in 2012 in the twin island republic.
After performing outstandingly for his club in 2013 in the GCA U-19 tournament, he was selected for the Demerara team in the Guyana Cricket Board inter county competition where he bagged 15 wickets with a match haul of 12 scalps versus the President’s XI thus winning a place on the Guyana team that contested the Regional U-19 competition in St. Kitts. His best performance was 3-5 against Canada; he played four 3-day games and took 11 wickets and eight in the 6 one day matches.
Sankar recalled when he made his second division debut against GDF as a 12 year old and took eight wickets in the 2-day game. “I was a bit nervous, but was guided by my senior team mates,” he added. He got his first division call up at the age of 15 years taking three wickets versus GNIC on debut.
Apart from sports, Sankar wants to further his studies in Business Management. He has three subjects at the CSEC examination; Math, Principles of Business and Social Studies. He said that he is looking forward to undertake a few more subjects before furthering his studies in Business Management. “Apart from sports I also take my education seriously. Apart from being cricketers or footballers, there are other careers in sports such as coaches, managers, referees, umpires, scorers, commentators and journalists and that’s why athletes should take their education seriously”, he said.
Sankar informed that it is challenging to play both games and do his studies. “I relish the challenges and I know there is a time for everything. My senior team mates at Malteenoes are very helpful in this regard,” he stated.
Sankar, who attended Eccles Primary School, said that he manages to balance sports with his education, adding that he attends classes in the morning and practices cricket three times a week and football twice in the afternoon. He indicated that he wants to get on the Guyana U-21 football team in the near future and also desires to represent the West Indies at the highest level. “To achieve this I have to stay fit throughout the year because when I am not involved in cricket I play football so I train a lot and always willing to take advice,” he said.