Thorne picks Sir Curtly’s brain on fulfilling U-19 tour to England

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By Avenash Ramzan

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Seventeen-year-old Guyanese fast bowler Isai Thorne impressed on the West Indies Under-19 recent tour to England where they faced the hosts in six Youth One Day International games.

West Indies lost the series 4-2, but Thorne emerged as one of the exciting talents of the future with eight wickets in four games, inclusive of two three-wicket hauls.

He was the Caribbean side’s leading wicket-taker, finishing behind the England pair Sonny Baker and Thomas Prest, who had 10 and nine wickets respectively.

Thorne, a tall right-arm bowler, finished the series with an impressive average of 23 and an outstanding economy rate of 5.11.

Importantly, the Berbician had the opportunity to work closely with West Indies fast bowling legend Sir Curtly Ambrose, who was part of the Support Staff as an Assistant Coach.

According to Thorne, he tried to use every conceivable opportunity to garner knowledge on the art of fast bowling from the ICC Hall of Famer, who is considered one of the greatest fast bowlers of all times.

Ambrose, who played international cricket between 1988 and 2000, took 405 Test wickets at 20.99 and 255 wickets in ODIs at an average of 24.12.

Isai Thorne celebrates a wicket (Photo by James Chance/Getty Images)

Here’s what Thorne had to say about the tour

News Room (NR): You were one of the outstanding performers in the series. Reflect a bit on your performance; how satisfied are you with your returns?

Isai Thorne (IT): “You want to be among the wickets in every tournament you play, but the most important thing is to try to bowl dot balls and to try to bowl as much maidens, and the wickets would come. I did that, so I’m satisfied.”

NR: Conditions in England are quite different from what you grew up in here. How was it making the adjustment?

IT: “I had a tour there before so it wasn’t that much of an adjustment. I think conditions there profit the bowlers a lot more because the ball seams around a lot longer.”

NR: What are some of the things you learnt on this tour?

IT: “Being consistent is one of the key things in cricket; bowling dot balls and keeping the batsmen under pressure and just wait on them to do something.”

NR: Was it difficult bowling in England?

IT: “With the new ball, yes. But after a couple of games I got accustomed to it. It was kind of easy bowling the full 10 overs because the place wasn’t that hot.”

NR: Where do you think West Indies lost the series?

IT: “I think our batsmen were not patient enough in the first couple of games, but I think they improved tremendously towards the end and our bowlers bowled well and we finished on a high and something good to walk away with.”

NR: Do you think after this series you’re better prepared for the challenges ahead?

IT: “I’m a way better cricketer in the last two months than before I went into the camp. I think I’ve improved a lot. I had a lot of help from the coaches (Floyd Reifer, Sir Curtly Ambrose, Rohan Nurse and Steve Liburd).

NR: How was it working alongside Sir Curtly?

IT: “That was a tremendous experience to be honest. Sir Curtly taught me a lot. He’s a very good guy- very passionate about cricket. He’s a good guy to be around. I asked him a lot of things; I was on his case every day, just asking him about certain things. Even when I finished bowling an over I would just call him on the sideline and ask him what I could have done different and so on.”

FULL SQUAD: Ackeem Auguste (Captain), Giovonte Depeiza (Vice-captain), Onaje Amory, Anderson Amurdan, Justin Beckford, Teddy Bishop, Carlon Bowen-Tuckett, McKenny Clarke, Rivaldo Clarke, Nathan Edward, Andel Gordon, Sion Hackett, Justin Jagessar, Johann Layne, Anderson Mahase, Matthew Nandu, Isai Thorne, Vasant Singh.

Match schedule and results

Saturday, September 4: 1st Youth ODI – England won by 166 runs at Beckenham

Monday, September 6: 2nd Youth – England won by one wicket at Beckenham

Wednesday, September 8: 3rd Youth ODI – West Indies won by two wickets at Beckenham

Friday, September 10: 4th Youth ODI – England won by nine wickets at Canterbury

Tuesday, September 14: 5th Youth ODI – England won by one wicket at Canterbury

Friday, September 17: 6th Youth ODI – West Indies won by 17 runs at Canterbury

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