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Under 19s hope to make use of mixed prep
CHITTAGONG—West Indies will aim to put a mixed build-up behind them when they clash with England in their opening game of the ICC Under-19 World Cup here today (Thursday, 11 pm Eastern Caribbean time).
The Caribbean side were whitewashed by Bangladesh in a three-match series earlier this month before bouncing back with victory over Scotland and a tie with South Africa in their two official warm-up games.
However, their volatile form will be put to the test against an England side which made an emphatic start to their campaign with a 299-run win over minnows Fiji on Wednesday. Head coach Graeme West said though West Indies had started the tour shakily, they had grown and were now coming into their own.
“The squad has worked incredibly hard over the last three weeks,” West said.
“The three match series against Bangladesh provided the team with a challenging first assignment but a great deal of learning took place and progress could be seen in the two warm up games against Scotland and South Africa.”
West Indies never showed up against Bangladesh. They lost their opener by eight wickets, the second game by 171 runs and the third by 16 runs. However, they crushed the Scots by 148 runs before holding their nerve in defending 153 last Sunday against the young Proteas.
Despite the mixed form, there have been encouraging performances. Captain Shimron Hetmyer and opener Tevin Imlach stroked hundreds against Scotland, batsman Gidron Pope gathered a half-century against Bangladesh and also got starts in the other games while Keacy Carty made 42 and 45 in three trips to the crease.
Much will depend on Hetmyer, however. Of the batting group, he is the most experienced with six first class appearances under his belt and having already played in a Youth World Cup. West said the fluent left-hander would bring a lot of inspiration to his side.
“Captain Shemron Hetmyer having appeared in a World Cup before, he will help to inspire the team to rise to the occasion and put on a show to make every cricket fan in the Caribbean proud.”
West Indies have been installed in Group C alongside Fiji who they play Sunday and Zimbabwe who they come up against in their final preliminary round game next Tuesday.
Shimron Hetmyer (captain), Keemo Paul (vice-captain), Kacey Carty, Shahid Crooks, Michael Frew, Jyd Goolie, Tevin Imlach, Ryan John, Alzarri Joseph, Kirstan Kallicharan, Obed McCoy, Gidron Pope, Odean Smith, Shamar Springer, Emmanuel Stewart.