The West Indies Under-19 training camp came to an end on Sunday, September 22 with a final practice match at the Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua.
The young men had 10 days of grueling training, which introduced some of them to the professionalism and level of cricket expected at the international level.
For three of those young men, this is their second stint with the Under-19 team. Nyeem Young of Barbados, Kimani Melius of St. Lucia, and Ashmead Nedd of Guyana. Both Nyeem and Kimani made the last West Indies Under-19 World Cup Team when the tournament was hosted in New Zealand; Ashmead missed out but is back again for selection.
Since their first taste of international cricket, the trio has grown leaps and bounds in their personal games and development. Nyeem has had stints with the Barbados senior teams and been around the CPL, while Kimani has done the same with the Windward Island Volcanoes, as well as act as a reserve for the West Indies Senior Men’s team in 2018.
The Rising Stars chatted exclusively with CWI Media:
What is different for you this time around in your second Under-19 World Cup preparation camp?
Nyeem- The first time it was just a relief to make the team and now, it is an honour to be involved for a second time. Some people don’t get that second chance. I’m more mature now, so I’m understanding everything better and enjoying my teammates more.
Kimani- It’s a great feeling, coming back from the last World Cup and what I learned, is what’s going to help me this time around.
Ashmead- It’s different this time around because this group of players are more mature than our previous team and I’ve known most of these guys for the last 8yrs or so from the CWI age-group cricket.
What have you done to develop your game?
Nyeem- I’ve been practicing back home in Barbados. I’m taking a year off from school to focus on improving my cricket in preparations for this World Cup.
Kimani– Being around the Senior West Indies Men’s team has been a great experience for me in helping to develop my game. I ask them for any feedback to help me, as they have played at the highest level. I’ve been really focused on strengthening the mental aspect of my game so that it can complement my technical skills, that will allow me to convert my scores into centuries.
Ashmead- I’ve been really focused in improving my bowling specifically, but I have also been working on the other areas to make me a better all-round player. My coaches tell me I have improved in my errors from a year ago, so I am going to continue to make sure I get to the World Cup in South Africa.
If selected into the team, what are you looking forward to?
Ashmead- If I’m selected, I want to win and make West Indies cricket proud.
Kimani- Keeping things simple, keeping my game simple and I know the rewards will come. No pressure.
Nyeem- Looking forward to using my experience to have a better and more impactful World Cup this time around.