Cricketing territories hosting age group tournaments
ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Just about six months after the West Indies Under-19 team won its first World Championship in Dhaka, Bangladesh, a fresh round of preparation has begun with age group tournaments.
So far from July to August the Under-15, Under-17 and Under-19 tournaments have been held and the process has re-started for players who would be considered eligible for the next World Championship in 2018 in New Zealand.
Approximately 280 players are back in the mix playing for a spot on that 16-man squad and they will have to play consistently well for back to back seasons to be considered.
Apart from tournaments, camps and other sessions will form part of the overall preparation and the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) is putting all its plans in motion.
The average spend in the three territories, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago and St Vincent & the Grenadines add up to approximately US$1 million. This is the estimate for a combined 50 days of cricket across the three competitions.
Additional expenditure for the WICB includes payments to all categories of officials who are also part of the organisation of these tournaments.
Chief executive officer Michael Muirhead thinks this kind of investment “is important for cricket”.
“We see this as a critical part of our partnership with our stakeholders right across the region,” he said.
The CEO went on to reiterate the importance of all the regions benefiting from all levels of hosting.
With just two days to go for the finals of the Under-19 competition in St Vincent and the Grenadines, players are “excited about the opportunity to represent the West Indies,” said a player from the Windward Islands.
The performances for the Under-19 cricketers so far “have been promising” says one selector and the figures are indicative of “tremendous efforts by the players.”
In the three-day Under-19 so far for example, the top batsmen have scored 221 (TT); 196 and 194 (Windward Islands) in three rounds of matches; while the top bowlers took 25 (Jamaica); 22 (TT) and 16 (Jamaica) wickets respectively.
In the 50 overs, in five matches the top three batsmen so far have scored 255 (Leeward Islands); 178 (TT) and 177 (TT). The bowlers are on 14 (Barbados); 11 (Guyana) and 11 (Windward Islands) wickets respectively. The tournament will end on August 21.
So far Trinidad and Tobago has captured the under 15 and 17 categories, but could be hard pressed to win the under 19s as they currently lie in fourth place with one match to go. Windward Islands sit on top at the moment.
“Later on this year, camps will be assembled to have a closer look at players for various team selections,” noted the CEO. (PR)