GCB had put forward its best players- West Indies U-19 Head Coach

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By Akeem Greene

West Indies Under-19 Head Coach Floyd Reifer has reacted to claims made by the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB), which has stated that Guyanese players are getting “shoddy treatment” after only four of them were named in the 56-man training squad.

Reifer said the GCB would have submitted its best players to Cricket West Indies (CWI). News Room Sport understands that the names of eight Guyanese players were submitted for possible selection.

Reifer was speaking Tuesday evening on Barbados Radio programme, Mason and Guest, where he was asked to respond to GCB’s release which was headlined: “GCB peeved with Under-19 World Cup training squad named by CWI selectors.”

West Indies Under-19 Head Coach, Floyd Reifer

Matthew Nandu, Isai Thorne, Rampertab Ramnauth and Mavindra Dindyal are the Guyanese who have been selected.

“I have not seen or read what the GCB is saying, the GCB had the opportunity like everybody else when we were looking for the players in the initial stage. They put forward their best players to us and it is unfortunate that they [Guyana Cricket Board] did not get in the games like Trinidad and Barbados did, so that we can see the other players,” Reifer, who was appointed to the job in January, indicated.

“But, like I said, I think we have chosen the best possible 56 guys to work with at this present moment, seeing that there was no youth cricket played last year and there is none this year [and] the maximum number of players we can get is 56 to get this mini-tournament in Antigua,” the former West Indies Test captain added.

According to the GCB release, “Guyana has a number of very talented Under-19 cricketers who must be recognised by the Regional Selectors and whose names will once again be forwarded to CWI with a request for them to be added to the squad.”

It added, “The GCB will continue to diligently monitor the selection processes of CWI to ensure there is a level playing field across the region. In this regard, the GCB will continue to engage CWI in order to obtain a copy of the “CWI Selection Criteria Policy.”

The President of the GCB and Vice-President are current Directors of CWI.

Reifer added that apart from the board submitting names, there were trial matches in territories, but it did not occur in Guyana due to rain in early June.

Quizzed on how they arrived at 56, the former interim West Indies Head Coach stated: “Graeme West [CWI’s High-Performance Manager] prepared a depth chart, as we went back to the Under-17 group of two years ago and in consultation with the different coaches and selectors in the various territories, we came up with 44 players from around the region. So, each territory nominated their best players and that is how we got to 44.”

That would infer that each of the six territorial boards had to submit approximately seven players. News Room Sport was reliably informed that the GCB submitted eight players.

In terms of the 12 additional players, Reifer said: “We asked each territory to produce some internal names and we wanted to see all talent that is there to see before making that final selection.”

The coach said they had games in Barbados, Trinidad, Jamaica and there were supposed to have games in Guyana, but those were rained out.

Reifer indicated those matches were streamed live and the selectors got a chance to see players in action and that is how they got the additional 12 players

The Selection panel consists of Robert Haynes (Lead Junior Selector), Miles Bascombe and Reifer.

The 56 players will be split into four groups of 14 where they will play against each other in four matches.

The selectors will then cut the squad to 25, then 18 for the Youth One-Day International tour to England in September.

The seven not selected for England tour will continue to work with a programme which has been ongoing Virtually over the past seven months with some regional youth players.

The Under-19 coaching team also comprises Rohan Nurse (Assistant Coach), Sir Curtly Ambrose (Bowling Coach) and Steve Liburd (Fielding Coach).

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