ST JOHN’S, Antigua – The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has stated that from as far back as the last Under-19 Cricket World Cup, a strategic management panel was put in place for the 2016 tournament in Bangladesh.
Director of Cricket Richard Pybus said it was the long-range planning of the panel and the hard work of the high performance programme staff that contributed significantly to the success of the West Indies Under-19 team.
The cricketing world is still celebrating with the Caribbean side which had an emphatic five-wicket win over India in a nail-biting final in the ICC Cricket Under-19 Cricket World Cup final which ended on Sunday.
Pybus said it was important to highlight all the work that has been put into preparing the squad and “what can be achieved when there is an investment in human and financial resources”.
The preparation was a mixture of camps, competition and high performance (life skills) programmes which started from as far back as August 2014 when a core of young men was chosen following the regional Under-19 championship. Guyana won the title in 2014 and successfully defended their title in 2015.
Here is how it all unfolded
August 2014: A group of 20 players selected
January 2015: Pre-camp in Trinidad and Tobago
January – February 2105: The squad participated in the NAGICO Super50: – They played three games in the preliminary round before they were knocked out
Game 1 – 97/7
Game 2 – 183/9
Game 3 – 137 all out
Easter 2015 Camp in Barbados
July 2015 Under-19 Regional Tournament in Jamaica
August 2015 – Camp in Jamaica
December 2015 – Camp in Grenada
January 2016 – Two-week camp in Bangladesh
January – February 2016 – ICC Championship in Bangladesh.
The camps were all focused on every aspect of preparation – life skills, physical, mental and playing preparation, game strategy and media. These areas were covered by a wide cross-section of technical and administrative staff who provided a range of expertise.
The team included coaches Graeme West and Vasbert Drakes. Corey Collymore joined in later as assistant coach with support from physiotherapist Khevyn Williams and strength and conditioning coach, Neval Gazette. Dwain Gill started out as the team analyst, but was promoted to manager and Dinesh Mahabir became the team analyst.
Staff from the secretariat who provided support were sport performance and psychology coach and player relations officer Ayanna Cooper and project officer Rawl Lewis.
Courtney Browne, who is now a senior selector, oversaw the selection of the squad and assisted in planning as team manager, before he stepped aside to other selection duties.
Pybus stressed the collective efforts of the “team, which pooled all available resources to make this programme successful. We are pleased the team was able to execute and come away with the win.”
Like in 2015, Pybus indicated that “an Under-19 team is scheduled to compete in the Super50 tournament in 2017 and a comprehensive programme will be rolled out soon.”
The next Under-19 World Cup is scheduled for January 2018 in New Zealand.