ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Cricket West Indies today appointed former West Indies captain, Floyd Reifer, as the Under-19 head coach, tasked with the responsibility of preparing the youth side for the ICC Under-19 World Cup, scheduled next year for the Caribbean.
The 48-year-old, who oversaw West Indies’ ill-fated campaign at the 2019 World Cup, replaces Englishman Graeme West who has led the Under-19s in recent years, including their successful title quest five years ago in Bangladesh.
Director of cricket, Jimmy Adams, said Reifer’s track record of developing young cricketers made him an asset to the new position.
“I am happy that we have been able to appoint Floyd to lead our Under-19 programme and take the lads through to the World Cup early next year,” said Adams, himself a former West Indies captain.
“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.
“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.”
Reifer has previously enjoyed success in developmental coaching roles with West Indies A, Combined Campuses and Colleges and West Indies Emerging Players, the latter of whom he guided to the capture of last season’s Super50 Cup.
He enjoyed no such fortune with the senior Windies side, however, as they won just two of their nine matches in their worst-ever outing at a World Cup.
Reifer, the batting coach on last July’s Test tour of England, said there were already “solid plans” in place to kickstart the preparations of the Under-19 squad.
“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,” said Reifer, the current head coach of the West Indies Emerging Player and High Performance Programmes.
“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.”
He added: “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.” (CMC)