ST JOHN’S, Antigua (CMC) – West Indies Under-19s head coach, Graeme West, says their participation in the NAGICO Super 50 tournament is part of a long-term build-up for the next ICC Under-19 World Cup next year.
The Windies Under-19s have been drawn in Group “B” next to the Jamaica Franchise, Leeward Islands Hurricanes and hosts Trinidad & Tobago Red Force.
West, the West Indies High Performance Centre Head Coach, says the tournament will be used to assess the skill level of the players who were picked based on recent competitions for Under-17s and Under-19s.
“So this tournament will be the start point for our countdown to the next ICC Under-19 World Cup,” said West.
“We want to assess the players and identify their strengths, so that we can start to build the nucleus of the side that we want to send to the World Cup next year. To be successful, we will need to develop a core group of players that have played at the highest level that we can make available to them at this stage”.
Windies Under-19 includes Ramaal Lewis, the incumbent Windies Under-19 captain, Roland Cato, the Windwards Under-19 captain, and Tagenarine Chanderpaul, who has played for the senior Guyana team.
“We have added a few players that are a bit over the age limit, but have played at the previous World Cup to give the side a bit more of a competitive edge,” West explained.
“Given the quality of the opposition that we were due to face, we felt we needed a bit more depth in the side and that’s why these three players have been added”.
Also included are fast bowler Alzarri Joseph, who played at the last World Cup and has been knocking at the door of the senior Leewards side in recent times, Kemo Paul, an all-rounder who caught the eye during the last Regional Under-19 tournament and opener Shimron Hetmyer who recently played first-class matches for Guyana in the WICB Professional Cricket League Regional 4-Day Tournament.
“These are three familiar faces,” said West.
“But there are others that we hope to find out more about them during the tournament as this provides them all with a chance to assess where their skills lie and where they need to improve”.
The first stage of the Tournament will be the group stage comprising a series of non-elimination matches in each group, which will be played on a round robin basis.
Following the group stage, the top two teams in each group will progress to the semi-finals at the Queen’s Park Oval, where the group winners play the runners-up from the opposite group in a one-off match for a place in the Grand Final on Sunday, January 25 at the same venue.
SQUAD: Kacey Carty, Roland Cato, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Jaeel Clarke, Michael Frew, Shimron Hetmyer, Amir Jangoo, Alzarri Joseph, Nicholas Kirton, Ramaal Lewis, Kemo Paul, Akeel Seetal, Odean Smith, Shamar Springer.