St. John’s, Antigua – The West Indies Under-19s are mentally and physically prepared for what will be a “tough tour of duty” at the International Cricket Council’s Under-19 World Cup in Australia next month. Head Coach Roddy Estwick knows his players well and backed them to win the tournament for the first time in West Indies history.
“We have a very good group of young men and I’m very confident that they will do well for the West Indies in this tournament. The team has been together for more than a year now and they work well together,” Estwick said.
“We did well in the tour of Dubai last year [against Australia], battled hard in India and were dominant when we played in the United States. We had a very good camp in Barbados over Easter at the Sagicor HPC and everyone has come back refreshed and ready for the big assignment in Australia.”
Estwick added: “So far our preparations have been spot on and I’m happy with the level of development among the players. We will be flying out (to Australia) early to have another camp where we will get the opportunity to get into the nets again and have some games against local opposition.
“This is a very good move as we will make maximum use of the time we have in Brisbane before the World Cup starts. As a team we have never played in Australia before, so it’s crucial that we make the most use of the time in the camp. A crucial part of winning is preparation and we are going to Australia to win, so we must be well prepared.
“In the bowling, we will be focusing on cutting down the ‘big’ overs. We will also have to work on scoring
against the spinners — we realised our ‘dot’ ball count is quite high against the slow bowlers and we need to decrease that. We hit a lot of boundaries but we need to look at accumulating the ones and twos.”
Test opener Kraigg Brathwaite has been named Captain of the team with his left-handed opening partner John Campbell as Vice Captain. The other opener in the squad is Keiron Joseph, a small right-hander.
The middle-order is strong with left-handers Anthony Alleyne and Akeal Hosein; stylish right-hander Kavem Hodge; as well as reserve wicket-keeper Sunil Ambris and first-choice keeper Seven Katwaroo.
The team includes two fast bowling all-rounders — the hard-hitting Kyle Mayers and the hardworking Justin Greaves. There are also three specialist quick bowlers — Marquino Mindley, left-armer Jerome Jones, and Ronsford Beaton, the loose-limbed six-footer.
The squad is rounded off with two specialist spinners – Amir Khan, who bowls leg-breaks and googlies; and the ambidextrous Derone Davis, who bowls left-arm orthodox.
Estwick has worked at the developmental level in West Indies cricket for over a decade, and was Assistant Coach when the Windies placed third in the last World Cup in New Zealand two years ago. He expressed confidence that the batting will deliver and added that he is “excited” about the young fast-bowling prospects.
“We have an experienced batting line-up, a number of players who have done well at the Regional Under-19 level. Kraigg has played Test cricket with some success and John is also a good player.
They opened together in the last World Cup two years ago, so they will be able to share their knowledge with the others in the team,” said Estwick.
“I’m really excited by our pace bowling department, we have a good crop. Beaton had a good Regional Four-day Tournament for Guyana and Jones bowled really well for Barbados in the recent Under-17 Tournament. Mindley swings the ball both ways and forced his way into the squad with his brilliant bowling in the camp.
We also have Greaves and Mayers, who bowl well and can also provide valuable runs in the middle-order.”
The West Indies team departs from Barbados on Tuesday, July 17. The ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup will be played in Townsville, Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast in Queensland from August 12 to 26. West Indies have been drawn in Group C alongside India, Zimbabwe and Papua New Guinea in the 16-team biennial event.
FULL SQUAD: Kraigg Brathwaite – Captain (Barbados), John Campbell – Vice Captain, Jamaica), Anthony Alleyne (Barbados), Justin Greaves (Barbados), Jerome Jones (Barbados), Kyle Mayers (Barbados), Kavem Hodge (Dominica/Windwards), Ronsford Beaton (Guyana), Amir Khan (Guyana), Marquino Mindley (Jamaica), Sunil Ambris – Wicket-keeper (St. Vincent/Windwards), Derone Davis (Trinidad & Tobago), Steven Katwaroo – Wicket-keeper (Trinidad & Tobago), Akeal Hosein (Trinidad & Tobago), Keiron Joseph (Trinidad & Tobago).
Team Management: Courtney Walsh (Team Manager), Roddy Estwick (Head Coach), Stuart Williams (Assistant Coach), Janel Springer (Physiotherapist), Ronald Rogers (Trainer).
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