Coach confident U-19s ready for World Cup

The West Indies Under-19 cricket team leave the Caribbean for Australia next Tuesday and head coach Roddy Estwick believes they have the all-round ammunition to win the tournament.

“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.”Estwick has worked at the developmental level in West Indies cricket for over a decade, and was assistant coach when the West Indies placed third in the last World Cup in New Zealand two years ago. He expressed confidence that the batting would deliver and added that he was “excited” about the young fast-bowling prospects.

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.

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.

“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,” he said. (BCA)†

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