National Under-19 Cricket Coach Adrian Amsterdam said a good encampment phase combined with a home-field advantage is the ideal blend for a successful outing for his team in this year’s West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Regional U-19 tournaments played in Guyana.
“I think the big advantage is that we are playing home and that we have the home support which is a great plus for us,” he told Stabroek Sport on Tuesday. Amsterdam also pointed out that the team boasts a wealth of talent and he was optimistic that they would perform on game day.
“We know the conditions and the pitches and our five players who performed well last year are back in the team again,
” he said, adding that the skills of the ‘big five’; Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Shimron Hetmyer, Brian Sattaur, Steven Sankar and Ashkay Homraj, have been proven.
The youngsters were encamped for roughly one week and to date they have engaged in various mental and physical activities. However, “We have been really affected by the weather so we had to make use of the indoor nets and we will be playing two practice games on Tuesday and Wednesday,” he said.
“We will concentrate on our fast bowling,” he said, identifying it as an area of concern though he also complimented the strong batting line-up as vital to the team. The players are “doing some pitch work with the batsmen and hoping to put in some game simulations for the actual match, but I do think they’re ready for their competition.” Amsterdam is confident that a squad packed with talent, including players like Chanderpaul and Hetmyer both of whom have represented the West Indies at the U-19 levels are expected to blossom at home. “The squad is balanced; we have four fast bowlers, two all-rounders and six batters so are a balanced team and this year we are stronger than the year before,” he said. The focus will now be on fine-tuning players’ skills before they break camp today to prepare for the start of the competition.
The tournament, which had been in limbo due to a tug-of-war between the WICB, the Guyana Cricket Board and the Government of Guyana will bowl off on Sunday in Guyana.