Confident Windies depart for Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand

ST. JOHN'S, Antigua -- The West Indies Under-19 team left Barbados on Thursday night, confident of doing well at the upcoming International Cricket Council’s World Cup in New Zealand. Speaking ahead of the team’s departure, coach Andre Coley said he is backing his charges will do very well and make Caribbean fans proud. He added that the team would be going all-out to win the title.

“Overall we have a very a good allround team. We have players with the ability to perform at this level and win matches. The main strength of this side, however, is the team unity and self-belief. The players play for each other and they are a mentally strong group of young men. I am satisfied with mental approach -- the way they approach the game and the way they approach pressure situations. At the moment the players are thinking about their contribution to the team and the overall team goals. We have a positive vibe in the camp,” said Coley, a former Jamaica and West Indies Under-19 wicket-keeper.

“The West Indies have never won at this level before, we were runners-up before in Bangladesh in 2006, so winning the World Cup would be huge. There is a lot of buzz in the West Indies now following the performances of the senior team in Australia before Christmas and a tournament win by the Under-19s would be fantastic. It would be good a return for the boys for the hard work they have put in.”

The Windies will arrive in Auckland on January 2 and travel to Tauranga for a camp ahead of the ICC World Cup. During the camp they will have warm-up matches against the Northern Districts
"A” Team. They will then have official tournament warm-up matches against Ireland and Australia in Christchurch and Lincoln.

The West Indies have been drawn in Group D in the opening round of the tournament 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.

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.

MANAGEMENT: Omar Khan (manager), Andre Coley (coach), Roddy Estwick (assistant coach), C.J Clark (physiotherapist)