ST. JOHN’S, Antigua – Regional talent scouts will start the search later this month in St. Vincent for prospective players for the West Indies Under-19 squad that will defend the title at the next ICC Youth World Cup, due to be staged two years from now in New Zealand.
The Regional Under-19 boys’ tournament will take place between July 27 and August 21, giving the region’s best young players their first opportunity to showcase their talent and impress the West Indies selection panel.
The Windies Under-19s, under the leadership of Shimron Hetmyer, claimed the ICC YWC title earlier this year in Bangladesh – and the WICB is looking to put things in place from now to ensure a robust defence.
“Being the team that will be defending the title, the bulls-eye will be on our Under-19s, so we have to once again start putting together the building blocks for a strong side that will be tough to beat,” said Roland Holder, WICB manager of cricket operations.
“Our Success in this year’s tournament should hopefully inspire the next group of players and make them hungry for similar success when they see all the excitement that was generated after this year’s team won.
“They should be eager to play and the players should see this tournament as an opportunity to start the process. No one is guaranteed a spot, so it’s about them putting in the hard work and doing it on the field when the time comes.”
This year, the Tournament will comprise three rounds of three-day matches, which takes centre stage over the first 11 days, and the Youth Super50 which fields seven teams – the six territorial sides from Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, Leeward Islands, Trinidad & Tobago and Windward Islands – along with a composite side from ICC Americas.
Guyana are the defending champions in both formats. They won the previous three-day competition which was played two years ago in their homeland, and have won the 50 overs-a-side title over the last two years at home and in Jamaica.
The Guyanese will open the three-day competition against long-standing rivals Jamaica in the eastern rural community of Park Hill.
At the same time on the outskirts of the Vincentian capital of Kingstown, Trinidad & Tobago meet sporting arch-rivals Barbados at the Arnos Vale Sports Complex on the southern side of the E.T. Joshua Airport, and at Sion Hill on the northern side of the airport, hosts Windward Islands tackle Leeward Islands.
In the first round of the Super50, Guyana face the composite ICC Americas side at Arnos Vale, Jamaica meet T&T at Sion Hill and Park Hill hosts Barbados vs Leewards. Hosts Windwards have drawn a bye.
Each of the teams will play the other once in a round-robin competition, featuring seven rounds of 50 overs-a-side matches, with the two teams accumulating the most points qualifying for the Final to determine the tournament winner on August 21 at the Arnos Vale Sports Complex.