BECKENHAM, England – West Indies Under-19s are set to clash in their opening one-day game against the hosts on Saturday, with head coach Rohan Nurse stressing the importance of focussing on development throughout the six-match tour.
While pointing out that players had impressed with their attitude to training and were already adapting to English conditions since arriving last week, Nurse said it was not lost on the coaching staff that the real objective was ensuring the squad was prepared for next year’s ICC Under-19 World Cup being staged in the Caribbean for the first time.
“It’s a process that we’re going through. We would’ve left Antigua putting in some hard work in preparation for this tour, but this tour is just part of our build-up towards the World Cup,” said Nurse who has stepped into the position due to Floyd Reifer’s unavailability for the tour.
“And we have our processes, we have our key performance indicators that we want to continue to hit and I do believe with the work that we’ve been doing over the last couple of weeks that we’re in a good place.”
The 18-man squad, dubbed the Rising Stars, are being led by Ackeem Auguste with Giovonte Depeiza as vice-captain, and was chosen following a month-long training camp – which included a tournament – in Antigua last month.
West Indies play England Under-19s in the first three Youth one-dayers at Beckenham before facing the hosts in the last three matches at Canterbury, in the tour which runs from September 4-17.
The squad began training earlier in the week after undergoing COVID-19 quarantine and Nurse said the players were all motivated for the series.
“Training has been excellent. I am quite pleased with the progress the guys have made from the first day at practice,” Nurse said.
“They have been quite willing to adapt their game to the new conditions they have been experiencing.
“The mood is very upbeat. They are very excited. They are really looking forward to testing their skills against the English opposition and also in the different conditions.”
The fixture gets underway at 10:30 am (5:30 am Eastern Caribbean time).
SQUAD – Ackeem Auguste (captain), Giovonte Depeiza (vice captain), Onaje Amory, Anderson Amurdan, Justin Beckford, Teddy Bishop, Carlon Bowen-Tuckett, McKenny Clarke, Rivaldo Clarke, Nathan Edward, Andel Gordon, Sion Hackett, Justin Jagessar, Johann Layne, Anderson Mahase, Matthew Nandu, Isai Thorne, Vasant Singh.