Skerritt explains U19 Championship rebranding
ST JOHN’S, Antigua (CMC):
The rebranding of the West Indies Under-19 Championship to the ‘Rising Stars’ Under-19 Championship is an indication of Cricket West Indies’ (CWI) continued commitment to the development of its junior players.
That is according to CWI president Ricky Skerritt, who has insisted that the name change is a testimony to that.
“Rebranding the Under-19 [competition] to ‘Rising Stars’ is just one indication of how serious we are about focusing on our young cricketers. Putting cricket first includes investing now in our youth so we can reap better results in the future,” Skerritt said.
The regional competition, which bowled off yesterday in St Vincent, will be used to select the team that will represent the Windies at the January 2020 Under-19 World Cup in South Africa.
Director of cricket at CWI Jimmy Adams, too, spoke to the importance of hosting youth competitions in the region.
“The value of our Under-19 tournament cannot be overstated, given its position within the development pathway. Most, if not all, of our international players going back 20 to 30 years were identified in this tournament, and it continues to be a critical phase of our Talent ID program,” he said.
Graeme West, CWI’s high performance director, said they had invested heavily in 18 players over the last year.
He said that the following the tournament, the 24 best players would be selected to play in three additional games, where the top performers would be chosen for next year’s World Cup.
“From my perspective, we have had 18 players in set-up for the last year that we have invested in through camps, so I’m looking forward to seeing their progress along with new players that can emerge from the pack for Under-19 World Cup consideration.
“We are looking to pick 24 players at the end of the tournament who will stay on for three additional games, which we will look to narrow down for activities later in the year,” West explained.