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ST JOHN’S, Antigua – The West Indies Under-19 (U19) Rising Stars continue their preparation for the ICC Under-19 World Cup in South Africa from January 17 to February 9, with a training camp in Johannesburg from January 4-11.
This camp will occur before the two official World Cup warm-up matches versus Canada (January 13) and Scotland (January 15). West Indies are in Zone B alongside three-time winners Australia, 1998 winners England and tournament debutants Nigeria.
The camp concludes a year of targeted preparation for the West Indies Under-19 team, that accelerated under the revised CWI Strategic Plan that incorporates the Skerritt-Shallow 10-point campaign plan of “Increased exposure for Under-19 and Under-23 cricketers.”
The targeted preparation initiatives included trial games in the Rising Stars Under-19 tournament in St. Vincent for the stand out performers and players that had been introduced to the programme in December 2018, several players participating in the victorious West Indies Emerging Players team in the Colonial Medical Insurance Super50 Cup, a skills camp in September and the Rising Stars Tri-Series versus England and Sri Lanka that were both held in Antigua.
All of these cricket initiatives were aimed at giving the team not just the best chance of succeeding in the youth World Cup, but also improving their development for the future.
“A training camp has been organized in Johannesburg to ensure the players receive ample time to acclimatize and more importantly work on the focus areas that came out of the Tri-Series”, said West Indies Under-19 coach Graeme West before the team departed the Caribbean on January 1st.
West further reflected on what the team gained from facing England and Sri Lanka in the recent Rising Stars Tri-Series.
“The encouraging aspect of the Tri-Series was that the team got into strong positions in five out of the six games that were played, the bowling unit functioned well and was backed up by some impressive fielding that was enhanced by the introduction of Fielding Specialist, Julien Fountain. The batsman came out of the series with a better understanding of the skills they will need to deliver in order to achieve the team targets that have been set and the camp will certainly focus heavily in these areas.
He continued: “The six games has given each player a better understanding of the roles and responsibilities they will need to fulfill for the team to succeed. Equally as important was the time the players and coaches spent together to discuss, review and reflect on the cricket that was played and identify how each player can move their game forward and give more to the team.”
WEST INDIES UNDER-19 WORLD CUP SQUAD:
Kimani Melius – Captain
Graeme West (Head Coach)
Kenny Benjamin (Assistant Coach)
Dwain Gill (Manager)
Dinesh Mahabir (Analyst)
Khevyn Williams (Physiotherapist)
Martin Gallyer (Strength & Conditioning Coach)
Julian Fountain (Fielding Coach)