Guyanese Nandu and Thorne in West Indies U-19 World Cup squad

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The Cricket West Indies (CWI) Selection Panel on Friday announced the West Indies Rising Stars Under-19s 15-member squad and five reserves for the ICC U-19 Men’s Cricket World Cup to be played in the West Indies in January-February 2022.

The squad will be led by Ackeem Auguste, the left-handed middle-order batsman, with all-rounder Giovonte Depeiza, as the vice-captain. They were also at the helm during the six-match Youth One-Day International Series in England in September.

Guyanese pair, batting all-rounder Matthew Nandu and fast bowler Isai Thorne, have also been included in the squad, following solid performances this year.

The players were selected following the recent high performance camp and preparation matches, which featured 28 players at the Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua.

The West Indies Rising Stars U-19s have been drawn in Group D alongside Australia, Scotland and Sri Lanka for the 16-team tournament, which will be played from January 14 to February 5.

Matches will be played in Antigua and Barbuda, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Guyana. Before the ICC U-19 Men’s Cricket World Cup, a five-match warm-up series is being planned with details to be announced in coming days.

Guyanese Isai Thorne of West Indies bowls during the 2nd One Day International match between England U-19 and West Indies U-19 at The County Ground on September 06, 2021 in Beckenham, England. (Photo by James Chance/Getty Images)

Lead Selector Robert Haynes said: “Overall, the selectors are very pleased with what we have been seeing from these players and we expect some very exciting cricket in the World Cup. The batting is solid, our concern coming out of the tour of England was the middle-order, but we saw some really good performances in the camp and some very good partnerships. The bowling is very good, and we think we have the right combination of spinners and fast bowlers. This is a balanced squad and the players are very excited. It is now for these youngsters to go out and put on display what they learned in the camps which were organised for their benefit.”

Haynes added: “I must also commend the coaching staff and everyone involved in getting these young cricketers prepared for this level of competition. It has not been an easy task with the COVID-19 pandemic in our midst, but we have overcome several hurdles and have a team which is well organised and ready for the challenges ahead.”

Head Coach Floyd Reifer said: “Coming out of the last camp in Antigua, we have seen a lot of improvement and development in the players, and we came up with a very good squad. I’m confident that we have a well-balanced team going into the World Cup, and we have the team to do very well in the tournament. We have a lot of talented players and what we are working on is the tactical side of our preparations. We have batsman who can bowl well and bowlers who can bat as well, so we have a good balance.”

Matthew Nandu is touted as a young cricketer with immense talent (Photo: Richard Jagdeo)

Captain Ackeem Auguste said: “It is a special honor to be named to captain the West Indies team. To represent the people of our region is a special privilege and it’s a really exciting time for me and my team-mates and we know this is a great opportunity on the international stage. We had the tour of England earlier this year and that was a good experience for all of us. I learned a lot about leadership on that tour and I would say I have grown since then. We have worked hard to reach this stage and we are ready ahead of the World Cup.”

FULL SQUAD

Ackeem Auguste (Captain) – left-hand bat

Giovonte Depeiza (Vice-Captain) – right-hand bat/left-arm spin

Onaje Amory – right-hand bat/right-arm off-spin

Teddy Bishop – right-hand bat

Carlon Bowen-Tuckett – right-hand bat/wicket-keeper

Jaden Carmichael – right-hand bat/left-arm spin

McKenny Clarke – right-hand bat/right-arm fast

Rivaldo Clarke – right-hand bat/wicket-keeper

Jordan Johnson – left-hand bat/right-arm leg-spin

Johann Layne – right-hand bat/right-arm fast

Anderson Mahase – left-hand bat/left-arm spin

Matthew Nandu – left-hand opening bat/right-arm leg-spin

Shaqkere Parris – right-hand opening bat

Shiva Sankar – right-hand bat/right-arm medium-fast

Isai Thorne – right-hand bat/right-arm fast

Reserves

Anderson Amurdan – right-hand opening bat

Nathan Edward – left-hand bat/left-arm fast-medium

Andel Gordon – left-hand bat/left-arm medium-fast

Vasant Singh – right-hand bat/right-arm leg-spin

Kevin Wickham – right-hand bat/right-arm wrist-spin

ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup Groupings:

Group A – Bangladesh, England, Canada, United Arab Emirates

Group B – India, Ireland, South Africa, Uganda

Group C – Afghanistan, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Zimbabwe

Group D – Australia, Scotland, Sri Lanka, West Indies

ICC U-19 Men’s Cricket World Cup Venues:

St Kitts and Nevis – Warner Park Cricket Stadium, Conaree Cricket Centre, (Sandy Point – Warm-up match venue only)

Guyana – Guyana National Stadium, (Everest Cricket Club – Warm-up match venue only)

Trinidad and Tobago – Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Queens Park Oval, Diego Martin Sporting Complex

Antigua and Barbuda – Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Coolidge Cricket Ground

West Indies Rising Stars U19s World Cup match schedule

January 14 – v Australia at Guyana National Stadium

January 17 – v Scotland at Warner Park Cricket Stadium, St Kitts & Nevis

January 21 – v Sri Lanka at Conaree Cricket Centre, St Kitts and Nevis

Plate and Super League fixtures to take place between January 25 and February 4 at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Coolidge Cricket Ground, Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Queen’s Park Oval and Diego Martin Sporting Complex.

February 1 – Semi-Final, Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua and Barbuda

February 2 – Semi-Final, Coolidge Cricket Ground, Antigua and Barbuda

February 5 – Final, Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua and Barbuda

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