Windies U-19 success due to youth investment claims CWI boss Skerritt

By Sports Desk January 23, 2020

Cricket West Indies president Ricky Skerritt has insisted the strong showing of the U-19 team at the ongoing ICC U-19 World Cup is due to a policy of deliberate investment in youth cricket.

The U-19 Windies, who won the title in 2016, are off to a strong start at the current edition of the tournament after notching wins over Australia, England, and Nigeria.  The team’s latest win, a dominant 246 runs win over their African opponents, ensured that the Windies were top of group B.

According to the CWI president, the team’s strong showing, which has taken many by surprise, is no accident.

“This administration promised that we would invest more seriously and in a more focussed and strategic way on our youth cricket and this Under-19 team is an example of what we set about to do immediately – to give them the best possible preparation going into this World Cup,” Skerritt said recently.

“They have achieved already way beyond the expectations of most people.  They beat Australia, they beat England. We are going to hope and pray that they continue on the path of improvement and performing at their best and whatever the end result of this World Cup is for them they would have made the Caribbean people extremely proud.”

Related items

  • Bond lauds Taylor ahead of 100th Test and backs Black Caps to beat India Bond lauds Taylor ahead of 100th Test and backs Black Caps to beat India

    Shane Bond has hailed the "incredible" Ross Taylor as a New Zealand great ahead of his 100th Test and believes the Black Caps will secure a series win over India.

    Taylor will become the first player to make 100 appearances for his country in all formats when he faces Virat Kohli's side in a first Test that gets under way at Basin Reserve on Friday.

    The prolific batsman has established himself as one of the best batsmen in the world since making his international debut back in 2006 and was man of the series in a 3-0 ODI whitewash of India this month.

    Bond was a team-mate of Taylor's when he made his Test, ODI and Twenty20 International debuts and the paceman has also been part of the Black Caps coaching staff after retiring in 2010.

    The former quick says Taylor, who turns 36 next month, will go down as one of the best players New Zealand have ever produced.

    He told Omnisport: "I've known Rosco for a long time, he's a ripping bloke and he's been a sensational player for New Zealand. He's definitely one of our greatest players.

    "I didn't think he'd achieve what he has done in Test cricket, I think he's redefined himself. At the start he was a dynamic white-ball player, he could score all around the wicket a rate of knots.

    "He's changed his player to also be an incredible Test player. He's changed the way he plays in one-day cricket to clearly be one of the best in the world, but now T20 as well.

    "That's the sign of a great player is to continue to reinvent himself, continue to develop his game and I think what he has done has been remarkable, he's been such a stalwart for New Zealand and has been a massive part of some strong performances at major tournaments."

    Bond says Taylor has plenty more runs in him yet at the highest level and can feature in the 2023 Cricket World Cup.

    "It's great to see what he has achieved and hopefully he'll be going for a few more years, because I know he's motivated to keep going and he's enjoying his cricket," he added.

    "I think the way he's playing, in one-day cricket he's our best player form-wise. He's talked about the next World Cup and players are going on for longer in the modern game, so I certainly wouldn't count that out as long as he's hungry and churning out runs he can be in there as long as he wants."

    India have won all seven games in the ICC World Test Championship and top the rankings, but Bond thinks New Zealand can bring them back down to earth.

    Asked if he is confident of a series win, he replied: "Yeah I think so, we won the last series here against them when they had a really good team.

    "I think the Indian bowling attack has improved; Ishant [Sharma], [Jasprit ] Bumrah, [Mohammed] Shami is a quality line-up. You need that here.

    "It's going to be challenging for New Zealand, but we are tough to beat in our own conditions and the toss is important, because the wickets tend to do a bit then just flatten out and don't turn - especially Wellington and Christchurch.

    "New Zealand will miss [Neil] Wagner in the first Test, but it's an attritional game here and because New Zealand are a very fit team, they have worn teams down. I think it'll be incredibly close and because it doesn't turn, that probably takes away some of the weapons India have."

  • Pakistan's Umar Akmal suspended under anti-corruption code Pakistan's Umar Akmal suspended under anti-corruption code

    Umar Akmal has been suspended from all cricket-related activities by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) under its anti-corruption code.

    The PCB on Thursday revealed that Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman Akmal has been suspended under article 4.7.1 of its code, but did not state the nature of the alleged offence.

    Akmal's ban was imposed on the day he was due to play for defending champions Quetta Gladiators in the first game of the Pakistan Super League against Islamabad United.

    The 29-year-old has been replaced in the Gladiators squad by Anwar Ali, with an investigation ongoing. 

    Akmal was this month reprimanded by the PCB after allegedly exposing himself while undergoing a fitness test at the National Cricket Academy.

    That incident, which is reported to have seen Akmal ask a trainer "where is the fat?" during a skin-fold test, was described by the PCB as a "misunderstanding".

    Akmal has played 121 ODIs and 84 Twenty20 Internationals, also featuring in 16 Tests between 2009 and 2011.

  • Tuilagi and Slade on course to be fit for Ireland clash Tuilagi and Slade on course to be fit for Ireland clash

    Manu Tuilagi and Henry Slade are on course to be fit for England's crunch Six Nations showdown with Ireland at Twickenham on Sunday.

    Tuilagi suffered a groin injury early in England's defeat to France on the opening weekend of the tournament, while Slade has been out since sustaining an ankle injury in December.

    The centres trained with the Rugby World Cup runners-up on Wednesday and could face joint-leaders Ireland this weekend.

    England head coach Eddie Jones said: "Manu trained fully so should be in contention for selection. It's good to have a quality player back.

    "Slade also trained so we have just got to monitor his progress. He has a positive chance. He's a quality player. This gives us more options."

    One player who will play no part is prop Mako Vunipola, who flew to Tonga and is not available for "family reasons".

    Jones says England are well stocked to cover for the absence of the British and Irish Lion, with Joe Marler and Ellis Genge vying for a start.

    The Australian said: "Mako's a quality player but we are lucky we are blessed with two outstanding loosehead props in Joe and Ellis, so we can recover the loss of Mako.

    "But it's disappointing to lose him."

    Genge scored the winning try in a battling 13-6 defeat of Scotland before the rest weekend. 

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.