West Indies U19 head coach Floyd Reifer is happy with his team’s preparations ahead of the start of their four Youth One-Day-International series against South Africa U19s on Sunday in St. Vincent.


“The team has settled in very well. The last couple of net sessions we had were very good, especially yesterday’s session, where we had a very good gym session in the morning before we went into the nets in the afternoon. I thought the bowlers bowled aggressively, hitting their lines and lengths very hard. The batters are doing very well and we’re still making sure they get in their drills to practice the shots that they want to play in the game so all is going well,” Reifer said.
Reifer noted that the quality of the pitches they practiced on got better as time went on.


“The first day the pitches were a bit slow, obviously, because it was short notice and the guys didn’t have a lot of time to prepare the pitches but yesterday, they were very good for bowling and batting so the boys were happy,” Reifer added.
The former Barbados and West Indies batsman also spoke about how his players are coping with the pressure of playing in a home World Cup.
“These youngsters understand what and who they represent. They know they represent the millions of people in the Caribbean and the millions of people that follow West Indies cricket around the world as well so they know what they’re playing for…they know the importance of the World Cup,” he said.


Reifer says the players have shown a better understanding of what it takes to be elite athletes as time has gone on.
“They’ve been preparing very well mentally, physically, and skillfully. Even off the field, they’re eating better, they’re hydrating better so they understand the importance of being elite athletes. I think they’re on the right road and the right path in terms of understanding. They’ve come a long way in terms of where we started in January to where we are now.” Reifer said while going on to commend them on their noticeable maturity as youngsters.
“There’s vast improvement and vast development. It’s good to see that these youngsters have adapted and adjusted to the lifestyle of being a professional. The conversations that they’re having with each other are very mature conversations so I’m very happy to hear that as well. All in all, we’re doing well and continuing to prepare,” he said.


Reifer finally spoke about a focus on the tactical aspects of the game in the few weeks leading up to the World Cup.
“We’re focusing a lot more now on the tactical side of the game. Focusing a lot more on game awareness and guys understanding their roles. Even in the discussions that we’ve had over the last two days, they understand their roles and responsibilities within the team. They understand about having that killer instinct and positive mindset to go out there and do well,” Reifer said.


The West Indies U19s first match in the World Cup will be against Australia U19s at Providence in Guyana on January 14, 2022.
They will compete in Group D alongside Australia U19s, Scotland U19s, and Sri Lanka U19s.

The West Indies Rising Stars U19s will continue their preparation for the upcoming U19 World Cup with a Youth One-Day International Series against South Africa U19s in St. Vincent & the Grenadines starting later this month. Cricket West Indies (CWI) announced on Monday that the teams will play four 50-over matches from December 26 to January 3 at Arnos Vale Stadium and Cumberland playing field.

The teams arrived in St. Vincent late on Monday for the series that will be used by both teams as preparation for the Men’s ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup to be hosted in the Caribbean from January 14-February 5.

West Indies Head Coach Floyd Reifer views these matches as an important way to initially see how players react to different scenarios in a competitive setting.

“It’s great for us to have these matches as part of the build-up to the World Cup. We are really looking forward to this series against South Africa, as we are at the stage where it is important for the squad to play together, to see players in various roles, see how they respond to situations and how well they execute the plans we put in place,” Reifer said.

He also stressed the importance of the matches in facilitating good team chemistry and culture ahead of the World Cup.

“It is for us to also make sure we get the team going well together and have synergy, so the players fully understand each other. This is very crucial for us as we look to build the team energy and the team culture. I can’t stress enough how vital these matches are, and we will be taking them very seriously,” Reifer said.

He thanked the parties involved in making the series possible.

“We want to thank the Government and Cricket Association of St. Vincent and the Grenadines for working with our operations and medical teams over the past week to put things in place for us to get some much-needed playing time in the middle and preparations,” he said.

The ICC Men’s Under-19 Cricket World Cup will feature 16 teams in 48 matches.

They are defending champions Bangladesh, England, Canada and the United Arab Emirates from Group A, with debutants Uganda placed in Group B alongside India, South Africa and Ireland. Group C comprises Pakistan, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe and Papua New Guinea and Group D sees host West Indies, Australia, Sri Lanka and Scotland.

 

 

Cricket West Indies (CWI) today named Floyd Reifer as the new Head Coach of the West Indies “Rising Stars” Under-19 team. Reifer is an Australian Cricket Board (ACB) certified Level Three Coach, whose leadership experience includes being a former West Indies captain.

The former interim West Indies Head Coach and current Head Coach of the West Indies Emerging Player & High-Performance Programmes will lead the development of the squad as they prepare for the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup to be played in the Caribbean in early 2022.

Reifer was chosen because of his impressive track record in building and coaching successful development teams, including the UWI Blackbirds, the Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC), the West Indies Emerging Players and the West Indies ‘A’ Team.

According to CWI, as a former interim head coach for the senior team, and as batting coach for the recent tour of England, Reifer’s experience and knowledge are perfectly suited to help young West Indians understand what is needed for them to achieve global standards.

He is also a former batting coach for the St Kitts & Nevis Patriots and is the current Head Coach of the Jamaica Tallawahs in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL). 

“It is great to be coaching the young players of the West Indies and trying to guide them as we prepare for the World Cup at home,” Reifer said reacting to his appointment.

“I am excited to have already begun the work and I’m sure the young men are also very enthusiastic. In speaking to many of the possible team members, they are all eager to start the programme. They have not been playing much cricket due to the COVID-19 situation, so it is great that CWI has started to put the preparation in place for our team a year out from hosting the World Cup.

“We have solid plans. The programme we have in place is science and technology-based and it looks at all aspects of their game, including cricket fundamentals and personal development. It is very intense and based on creating an 'elite athlete' with a professional mindset. We have held meetings with coaches and the Territorial Boards and they are all happy with the direction we are going. Within that programme, we hope to have high-performance training camps during the year, the annual Under-19 Rising Stars tournament in the summer, followed by hosting the South Africa U19s for five One-Day matches in the Caribbean.”

Jimmy Adams, CWI’s Director of Cricket, said he was happy that CWI had been able to appoint Reifer to lead the Under-19 programme and take the young players through to the World Cup early next year. “The opportunity fits perfectly given his remit as our High-Performance Head Coach, a role in which he has successfully overseen our High-Performance squads in the recent past, including Emerging Players and ‘A’ teams,” Adams said.

“I would also like to thank Graeme West who coached the U19 team in the last three campaigns, including winning the Tournament in 2016. Graeme will continue to be involved in his current role as High-Performance Manager. He will provide valuable support for Floyd in the planning and execution of the programme all the way through to the World Cup next year.”

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