Lewis takes positives from U-19 struggle

Jamaica Star article.

Kingston, Jamaica - Despite not defending their regional three-day and one-day titles, Jamaica Under-19 captain, off-spin all-rounder Ramaal Lewis, believes there were several positives that could be taken from the experience.

The Robert Samuels-conditioned unit, who started off with victories in both tournaments, went on to surrender the titles to hosts Guyana.

The Jamaicans ended third in the three-day tournament, which was shortened to three games per team, instead of the traditional five, while in the one-dayers, they finished fourth.

"It is disappointing that we lost; however, there are a few positives that we can take," said Lewis, who along with the team returned recently.

"For example, a number of the younger players came into their own towards the latter part of the tournament and made a name for themselves."

"With the West Indies team to ICC Youth Cup down to be selected after next year's tournament, it's good that their name is in the back of the mind of the selectors."

Batsmen Shadid Crooks and Abijah Mansingh, fast bowler Odean Smith, and off-spinner Ryon Burnett were among the young players listed by Lewis who "made an impression".

Lewis, 18, who in the meantime led the West Indies to the ICC Youth World Cup in Bangladesh in February and participated in his final youth tournament, said going forward, he hopes that other Under-19 teams will be better prepared.

He said, while not finding excuses, this factor affected the performance of the team.

"We did not get adequate time to train or play trial games, and as such, we did not gel," he said of the preparations.

"The coach and myself went in the tournament not really knowing the strength or weaknesses of the players.

"This made it difficult for me to know which bowlers to change at particular times, and as a result, I could only put trust in the players that I knew."

After defeating Barbados in their opening game of the three-dayers, Jamaica went on to lose against the Leeward Islands and the Windwards, respectively.

The one-dayers, in the meantime, saw Jamaica winning their opener again against Barbados, before going on to lose to Guyana and the Windward Islands.

Their other win came against ICC Americas with their match-up against the Leewards ending in a no-result due to rain.

First Published In The Jamaica Star.

Thu, 08/21/2014 - 10:41