The West Indies Rising Stars U19s team recently returned home after an intense six-match tour where they faced the England Young Lions. For the West Indies players, it formed part of their developmental programme, geared towards their participation in the International Cricket Council’s U19 World Cup. The Youth ODI Series ended 4-2 in favour of the home team – two of those matches ended by the narrowest of margins with victory by one wicket. Acting Head Coach Rohan Nurse said the trip to England was hugely beneficial for all the players and he wants to see them continue to grow and progress in the coming months.
“Winning the final game was very important to us because we suffered some close defeats and knowing that we have competed really well, we wanted to leave the tour with some momentum for the latter part of our preparations for the World Cup,” Nurse said. “The players stuck to their task well and executed the plans that were set in place much better.”
The six matches were played at the County Ground in Beckenham and the Polo Field in Canterbury. The ICC U19 Cricket World Cup to be hosted by Cricket West Indies from January 4 to February 3, 2022. Reflecting on the overall tour, Nurse further spoke on where the team will look to improve in the build-up to the global event.
“Over the course of the tour the players would have shown great resilience and fight especially in difficult situations. However, we will be looking at improving the consistency in terms of the batting and be disciplined in the bowling department, regarding bowling to plans for longer periods of time.”
The leading run-scorer was West Indies middle-order batsman Teddy Bishop who made 271 runs (average 54.2) including the only century of 133 in the third match victory, followed by opener Matthew Nandu with 162 (average 40.5). Isai Thorne, the 16-year-old fast bowler ended the tour as the West Indies leading bowler, picking up eight wickets (average 23) in the four matches.
“Yes, there were some useful performances on tour from these guys in particular plus others such as the left arm pacer Andel Gordon and leg-spinner Vasant Singh,” said Nurse.
“In addition, other guys would have stood up and given creditable performances at different times on tour. They probably just lacked consistency; however, I do believe the nucleus of squad that was in England will play a big part going forward.”