Head coach upbeat about Windies pace attack for U19 World Cup campaign

first_imgJOHANNESBURG, South Africa, (CMC) – Head coach Graeme West is backing his fast bowling group to deliver success for the Young West Indies during the ICC Under-19 World Cup starting here later this month.When the Caribbean side captured the title in Bangladesh four years ago, they boasted a strong pace attack comprising the likes of Alzarri Joseph, and West believes this year’s side has been blessed with a similar quality complement.“What we had back then was some really good fast bowling,” West pointed out.“We had an attack led by Alzarri Joseph and Chemar Holder and we also had Keemo Paul and Ryan John, with Shamar Springer as an allrounder who bowled very well.“Again, this year we have a solid group of fast bowlers – five really good pacers, so we expect them to do very well on the pitches in South Africa. We have with us Kenny Benjamin, the former West Indies fast bowler, as the bowling coach and he has a wealth of knowledge and experience. “It also helps that he played in South Africa during his career, so that’s the kind of expertise we are happy to have in the camp.”West Indies have included seamers Nyeem Young, Jayden Seales, Ramon Simmonds, Matthew Forde and Joshua James, in their 15-man squad led by batsman Kimani Melius.The squad kicked off a one-week camp here last weekend and are down to face Canada in Soweto next Monday in the first of two warm-up matches, before taking on Scotland in Pretoria a couple days later.West Indies failed to get past the preliminary round of the last World Cup in New Zealand two years ago but West said they were hoping to make up for that disappointment.“We believe we have, in this group, the players who will do very well and compete against any team we face,” the Englishman pointed out.“It’s a tournament, so therefore the aim is to win, but we also want to see the players grow and develop as we move along. It’s a learning experience for these excellent young men, both on and off the field.“I have high hopes for them all … I believe they will make the West Indian people very proud.”With fielding coach Julien Fountain roped in for his expertise, West stressed that fielding would also be a key area of focus throughout the campaign.“In white ball cricket, actually in all forms of cricket, fielding is very, very important and we have worked hard to improve on this aspect of our game,” he said.“With Julien on board, we have seen improved levels of fielding as well as new energy and enthusiasm in the field. It’s an attitude … a commitment and the boys are enjoying it.”West Indies have been drawn in Group B alongside powerhouses Australia and England, with minnows Nigeria the fourth team in the group.The Windies will play their tournament matches at the DeBeers Diamond Oval and Country Club Field in the town of Kimberley. SQUAD – Kimani Melius (captain), Kevlon Anderson, Daniel Beckford, Matthew Forde, Joshua James, Nyeem Young, Antonio Morris, Ashmead Nedd, Mbeki Joseph, Leonardo Julian, Avinash Mahabirsingh, Kirk McKenzie, Ramon Simmonds, Matthew Patrick, Jayden Seales.last_img

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