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Under-19 team on the move

Justin Marville

Under-19 team on the move

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KRAIGG BRATHWAITE couldn’t make it this far without Roddy Estwick. No surprise then that the two are moving up the ladder together.
The prolific 18-year-old opening batsman and his long-time school coach have been appointed to lead a West Indies Under-19 squad as captain and head coach respectively, on a tour to Dubai for an upcoming series against the Aussies.
The 16-man squad left Grantley Adams International Airport yesterday.
“Kraigg is obviously very important to us as he and John Campbell are the two boys returning from the last World Cup team,” said Estwick recently.
“[But] there are a lot of young, exciting playerslike Kyle Mayers, Justin Greaves and Anthony Alleyne, so once we can gel early and adjust to the conditions then we should do well.”
Estwick’s appointment comes as an elevation following his role as assistant coach to last year’s Under-19 squad that reached the semi-finals of the 2010 World Cup.
At that same championship, Brathwaite finished as the tournament’s second-highest run scorer with 335 runs with an impressive average of 67 per innings at the top of the batting order.
This preceded West Indies’ ‘A’ team appearance, and the second of his three regional first-class seasons, where Brathwaite has now cemented his position as a Barbados opener.
But he is just one of three players in the Under-19 setup with first-class experience, the others being Guyanese bowlers Ronsford Beaton and Amir Khan.
Four Bajan debutants are among the several newcomers, including Brathwaite’s schoolmate Justin Greaves, English-based top order batsman Anthony Alleyne and pacers Kyle Mayers and Jerome Small.
“I don’t know a lot about the team outside of the five Barbadians but it’s not a tournament where we are looking to win,” said Estwick.
“We’re looking to see where we are at in terms of next year’s Under-19 World Cup. 
“Having done as well as we did at the last tournament, we’re looking to improve on that and we believe that if we can start as early as possible then it gives us an opportunity to do even better.”
Former West Indies opener Stuart Williams will serve as Estwick’s assistant, while senior selector Courtney Browne has been appointed as the team manager.
The team is scheduled to play the first of three 50-over matches on Sunday before closing the tour with a three-day match against Australia starting April 24.
Squad: Kraigg Brathwaite (captain), Anthony Alleyne, Ronsford Beaton, John Campbell, Brian Christmas, Kwame Crosse, Derone Davis, Justin Greaves, Kavem Hodge, Jerome Jones, Keiron Joseph, Steven Katwaroo, Amir Khan, Kyle Mayers, Donovan Nelson, Akeem Saunders.