Fri | Apr 19, 2019

Jamaica to feature in U19 women’s cricket tournament

Published:Wednesday | April 10, 2019 | 12:17 AM

The Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) will for the first time in a decade participate in a regional U-19 women’s competition. A delegation which includes 14 players will depart Jamaica for Trinidad and Tobago next Monday for a regional T-20 tournament. This competition is an initiative of the Trinidad & Tobago Cricket Board (TICB); it invites the participation of teams across the Caribbean and Canada. The twin-island republic hosts the event this year from April 15 – 22.

On previous occasions, Jamaica declined participation as the preparations were insufficient to field a strong, competitive outfit. The JCA, as part of its renewed thrust on youth development, started a U-19 female programme in September 2018. Following the progression of the young ladies in a six-month training camp, the JCA’s technical team advised the board of directors that the TTCB’s invitation to participate in the 2019 edition could be accepted.

Coach Shane Brooks believes Jamaica’s participation in the regional competition augurs well for the future of the sport for women locally.

“These young ladies are the future of the sport; they are the next generation of the senior team and will inspire their younger peers to step up. They are aware of the legacy of their senior counterparts. They look on and see five Jamaicans in the West Indies outfits and aspire to eclipse their records of performance. The potential and desire I see in them, along with the encouragement from their parents and other supporters, make me so proud. I’m really looking forward to seeing them grow from strength to strength,” Brooks said.

Jamaica last participated in a regional U-19 women’s tournament in 2010, emerging as the champions. That ­victorious team has produced the bulk of the current national senior women’s team. Among the members of that U-19 women’s team who have transitioned to representing the senior team are Chinelle Henry, Natasha McLean, Roshana Outar, Alicia Bookal, Neisha-Ann Waisome and Priscilla Wilson.

In addition to Jamaica and host Trinidad and Tobago, the six-team competition includes Barbados, Guyana, Windward Islands and Canada. Teams will participate in a round-robin format, playing each other once, with the top two performers after five rounds squaring off in a final scheduled for April 21. The tournament is sponsored and hosted by the TTCB. Cricket West Indies supports the initiative by funding the airfare of the ­participating regional teams.