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Butts Has High Hopes For Windies At Under-19 World Cup

Dec. 24th, 2009
The West Indies selectors have named a strong team to participate in the International Cricket Council’s Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand, and chairman of selectors Clyde Butts says he expects the team to perform very well.

Speaking on Thursday, Butts noted that the team is “very well balanced” including a number of allrounders who performed well in the West Indies Cricket Board’s Under-19 Tournament, which was played in Jamaica in August. The Captain is Jamaican allrounder Andre Creary, who played in the last ICC Under-19 World Cup in Malaysia two years ago. The Vice Captain is Yannick Ottley, from Trinidad and Tobago, who is also an allrounder.

“I think we have a very good team and I am confident they have the ability to go all the way. The team is a balanced one with quality batting, very good bowling and excellent in the field. I especially expect a lot from the two leg-spinners Akeem Dwyer and Yannic Cariah, who are capable match-winners. They (team) know what is required and the two leg-spinners add to the balance because they are very capable batsmen as well.” Butts said.

“I can see them going all the way. This team is better balanced than two years ago when we went to Malaysia and won the Plate Final. Since I saw them in the Under19 tournament in Jamaica and the WICB One-Day tournament in Guyana, you can see the vast improvement and development. They play well together and were excellent during the recent camp in St Kitts. You could clearly see the improvement and the boys are very enthusiastic.”

The team leaves the Caribbean next week and are expected to arrive in New Zealand on January 2. They will have a camp and then play warm-up matches against Ireland and Australia in Christchurch and Lincoln. The West Indies have been drawn in Group D in the opening round and will face Pakistan (Friday, January 15), Bangladesh (Sunday, January 17), and Papua New Guinea (Tuesday, January 19) at Fitzherbert Park, at Palmerston North near to the city of Napier. The two top teams will move on to the Cup phase and the bottom two will play in the Plate.

Butts, who was coach of the team to the 2004 World Cup in Bangladesh and manager of the team to the 2008 World Cup in Malaysia, noted that one vital aspect of the tour will be getting acclimatised to the conditions as soon as possible. He acknowledged that New Zealand is a difficult place for visiting teams and added that it is a wise move to have the team arriving two weeks before the tournament officially bowls off.

“It will be very important that the players make the mental and physical adjustment in New Zealand. The conditions will be a challenge, New Zealand is literally on other side of the world, but the big advantage, is that the team will be arriving early and will have the chance to play warm-up matches. They will be travelling straight to New Zealand so they should have enough time to get set for the big competition.”

FULL SQUAD: Andre Creary (Captain), Yannick Ottley (Vice Captain), Jermaine Blackwood, Nelson Bolan, Kraigg Brathwaite, John Campbell, Yannic Cariah, Akeem Dewar, Shane Dowrich (wicket-keeper), Nicholson Gordon, Trevon Griffiths, Jason Holder, Keon Joseph, Evin Lewis, Jomel Warrican.

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