Eyes on the future as West Indies A, India A go head-on


A crucial first stage of the post-World Cup 2019 building ahead of the inaugural 2020 ICC One-day international league and 2023 World Cup commences on Thursday (July 11), when West Indies A and India A face off in the first of five 50-over matches that will be live streamed on www.windiescricket.com and Sony LIV India, at the Coolidge Cricket Ground, Antigua.

This is the fourth A team series organised by Cricket West Indies (CWI) under the current post-January 2017 tenures of Director of Cricket Jimmy Adams and CEO Johnny Grave.

It coincides with the 10-point Skerritt/Shallow administration “Cricket First Plan” of greater exposure of Under-23 and 19 players and enhancement of franchise system, so that the best emerging Caribbean players and top domestic performers can be tested against high quality overseas opposition.

“This is a very important series against a very competitive opposition in India A,” said West Indies A Coach Esuan Crandon.

“We know the brand of cricket they play, with many fringe players that have played for India’s senior team or are pushing to be part of India’s senior team.

Overall we are very optimistic about our chances. I think we (Windies A) have a very good blend of experience and young players in this squad.”

The international experience members of this West Indies A 50-over squad is vast with only quartet Rakheem Cornwall, Akeem Jordan, Romario Shepherd and Kjorn Ottley yet to feature in maroon colours.

“I’m expecting the experienced guys, especially those who were also involved in Ireland Tri-Series to lead from the front.

Obviously we aren’t going to depend on them solely, since the other selected players we believe in their abilities as well, but by default on and off the field those guys recent international experience will be key.”

On the pitches West Indies A hope to encounter, Crandon said: “We want to have pitches that will play to our strengths and India’s weakness. So hopefully the curators can produce wickets that gives us grass, pace and bounce. We also have to own the conditions as the home team and execute on the day.”

On another coaching opportunity, Crandon said: “I’m grateful for the opportunity to lead West Indies A against a very competitive opposition. It’s all about trusting the process, keeping it simple and replicating the coaching philosophies that brought me success with Guyana and what I learnt and observed on the England series coaching staff.

So it’s not solely about winning series for personal growth, but building relations as a coach with players and helping them to be best prepared as possible for when they get a chance at international level.” (CWI)

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