Windies U-19 success due to youth investment claims CWI boss Skerritt

By Sports Desk January 23, 2020

Cricket West Indies president Ricky Skerritt has insisted the strong showing of the U-19 team at the ongoing ICC U-19 World Cup is due to a policy of deliberate investment in youth cricket.

The U-19 Windies, who won the title in 2016, are off to a strong start at the current edition of the tournament after notching wins over Australia, England, and Nigeria.  The team’s latest win, a dominant 246 runs win over their African opponents, ensured that the Windies were top of group B.

According to the CWI president, the team’s strong showing, which has taken many by surprise, is no accident.

“This administration promised that we would invest more seriously and in a more focussed and strategic way on our youth cricket and this Under-19 team is an example of what we set about to do immediately – to give them the best possible preparation going into this World Cup,” Skerritt said recently.

“They have achieved already way beyond the expectations of most people.  They beat Australia, they beat England. We are going to hope and pray that they continue on the path of improvement and performing at their best and whatever the end result of this World Cup is for them they would have made the Caribbean people extremely proud.”

Related items

  • Chase century, bowling give West Indies warm-up win ahead of opener against Sri Lanka Chase century, bowling give West Indies warm-up win ahead of opener against Sri Lanka

    Roston Chase is a man in great form as West Indies prepare to face Sri Lanka in a One-Day International Series. The allrounder struck a century, took two wickets and held a brilliant caught and bowled, as West Indies warmed up for the opening One-Day International with a dominant six-wicket victory over the Sri Lanka Board President’s XI on Thursday.

    Playing in their final pre-series contest at Chilaw Marians Cricket Club Ground in Katunayake, the visitors easily chased down their target of 277 for just four wickets with 21 balls to spare, thanks to Chase’s 136 off 113 balls.

    Opener Shai Hope hit a typically composed 85 off 102 balls while Sunil Ambris saw West Indies over the line with an unbeaten 34 from 44 balls.

    The President’s XI had earlier posted 276-8 off their 50 overs. Wicket-keeper Minod Bhanuka made a top score of 69 from 88 balls and Ramesh Mendis played well with a near run-a-ball unbeaten 64.

    The West Indies bowling left a little to be desired, as Chase’s 2-45 was only matched by Keemo Paul, who ended with figures of 2-57.

    Fabian Allen was economical in his five overs, taking 1-17, while Hayden Walsh Jr had 1-44 from seven and Jason Holder ended with 1-34 from eight.

    Romario Shepherd went wicketless for his 62 runs off nine overs while skipper Kieron Pollard had none for 14 from three overs.

    In the second half, West Indies found themselves in early trouble at 35-2 in the eighth over when opener Brandon King and Darren Bravo, who made a century earlier this week, both fell in single figures to catches at the wicket.

    However, Chase arrived to turn the game in the visitors’ favour, inspiring two successive century stands, first with Hope and then with Ambris. He put on 133 for the third wicket with Hope who stroked 11 fours in his knock, and then added 108 for the fourth wicket with Ambris who counted a four and a six.

    Overall, Chase hit 16 fours and a six before he was dismissed with scores level, bowled by new-ball left-arm seamer Vishwa Fernando (2-56).

    West Indies will play the first ODI against Sri Lanka on Saturday at the Sinhalese Sports Club. First ball is 9:30am (12 midnight Eastern Caribbean Time/11pm Friday Jamaica Time). The second match will be at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium in Hambantota on February 26 with the third and final ODI on March 1 at the Pallakele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy.

  • Toner replaces Henderson for Twickenham clash Toner replaces Henderson for Twickenham clash

    Devin Toner has been promoted to the Ireland team to play England in the Six Nations on Sunday after Iain Henderson was ruled out.

    Coach Andy Farrell had initially named an unchanged team for the crunch Twickenham clash, with Ireland joint-top alongside France after winning their beating Scotland and defending champions Wales.

    However, the continuity has been disrupted, as family reasons mean Henderson will be unavailable.

    Towering lock Toner, who was surprisingly left out of Ireland's Rugby World Cup squad under previous boss Joe Schmidt, comes into the side for his 70th cap.

    The change sees Ultan Dillane take Toner's spot among the replacements.

  • Under-pressure England must beat Ireland – Moody Under-pressure England must beat Ireland – Moody

    England are under huge pressure heading into what Lewis Moody has described as a "must-win game" against Ireland in the Six Nations.

    Eddie Jones' side were lacklustre in a shock loss to France before getting their campaign up and running by beating Scotland in torrid conditions at Murrayfield.

    The Rugby World Cup runners-up welcome Andy Farrell's Ireland to Twickenham on Sunday and former England flanker Moody believes the onus is on the hosts to get a result.

    Speaking to Omnisport ahead of the England v Ireland Rugby Legends Charity Match at Twickenham Stoop on Saturday, Moody said: "Without a shadow of a doubt we all expected England to drive on after the World Cup. They faltered in the first game, the Scotland game allowed us to see they can knuckle out a victory in diabolical conditions. 

    "All being the well the weather conditions will be favourable this weekend and we can really see where England are at.

    "Ireland will come with confidence from the first two matches, they have the energy and enthusiasm of having a new coaching staff.

    "For England it's a must-win game, because otherwise all of a sudden you're going into your fourth game having lost two, only just won one and staring down the barrel of a seriously disappointing Six Nations, which they started with big expectations.

    "Without a shadow of a doubt there is a lot of pressure on this England side and coaching staff, which there always is, but we need to see them crack on and Eddie take them forward."

    Moody, who made 71 appearances for his country and was part of the 2003 World Cup-winning squad, feels England – who won in Dublin last year – are slight underdogs for this weekend's match against an Ireland side who received a visit from U2 frontman Bono this week.

    "I have to admit I'm not overly confident, I even think Ireland will come in as slight favourites," he said.

    "England have not really fired so far in the Six Nations, they had that really disappointing start in France, they got what they needed in Murrayfield – which is a very difficult place to go and win.

    "To knock out a win in those unbelievably horrific weather conditions was impressive, but this is the true test, this is the game that matters. They [Ireland] have a very well-organised side, with a new coach who seems to be instilling some real belief and I'm sure they've got a slight degree of vengeance from last year's upset at home to inspire them."

    While England still have not found what they are looking for in this year's Six Nations, Ireland's desire to win may have been boosted by the presence of Irish singer-songwriter Bono at the team hotel.

    Moody does not know exactly how the away side will benefit from that experience, but he suggested some song lyrics might provide some inspiration. 

    He said: "I'm not sure what motivation that will provide, but it'll be interesting for sure. Perhaps there may be a few of his lyrics quoted beforehand, but I'm not so sure what impact that might have."

    - The England v Ireland Rugby Legends Charity Match will take place at Twickenham Stoop on February 22, kick-off 17.30 and will be raising money for Restart Rugby, RFU Injured Players Fund and the Tom Smith Testimonial Committee. Visit http://tickets.quins.co.uk for tickets and more information.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.