ST JOHN’S, Antigua, CMC – Batsman Emmanuel Stewart will captain a predictable 15-man West Indies Under-19 squad announced yesterday for next January’s ICC Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand.
The core of the side has been kept together over the last year with the likes of Kirstan Kallicharan, Keagan Simmons and Bhaskar Yadram all included for the January 13 to February 3 campaign.
Stewart and Kallicharan were part of the successful side, led by Shimron Hetmyer, which won the last tournament in Bangladesh in 2016.
“It’s an exciting time for these guys now that they’ve discovered they’re going to be going to a World Cup,” said head coach Graeme West.
“It’s a bit of a younger side than the last one we took to Bangladesh. However, we have a very established, experienced batting group, with the likes of Kirstan Kallicharan and Emmanuel Stewart who went to the last World Cup.”
West Indies will contest Group A of the preliminary round, alongside the likes of Kenya, South Africa and hosts New Zealand.
They will raise the curtain on the tournament when they take on the Kiwis at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui.
West, who oversaw Under-19 tours of South Africa and Zimbabwe earlier this year, said it was crucial the Caribbean side made a strong start to the upcoming tournament.
“[There will be a] lot more attention on the West Indies in this tournament, after the last tournament and title in Bangladesh,” the Englishman pointed out.
“In the group stage, we’re in a very tough group as the number one seeds, so we’re going to have to hit the ground running, just to succeed in the group stage.”
The squad will leave the region on December 28 and undergo a one-week camp in New Zealand prior to the start of the World Cup.
Three players – batsman Brad Barnes, left-arm spinner Joshua Bishop and left-arm seamer Javier Spencer – have been named as reserves.
SQUAD – Emmanuel Stewart (captain), Kirstan Kallicharan, Ronaldo Alimohammed, Alick Athanaze, Cephas Cooper, Jarion Hoyte, Kimani Melius, Ashmead Nedd, Kian Pemberton, Raymond Perez, Joshua Persaud, Jeavor Royal, Keagan Simmons, Bhaskar Yadram, Nyeem Young.