With the selection of Guyanese players Ashmead Nedd, Joshua Persaud, Ronaldo Ali Mohamed, Raymond Perez and last but by no means least Bhaskar Yadram to the West Indies Under 19 team for next year’s Youth World Cup in New Zealand, a proud tradition is being continued by the above mentioned.
For the record, this is the third time that five Guyanese cricketers have been selected on a West Indies Under-19 team.
When Young Pakistan toured the Caribbean in 1996, those that represented the West Indies Under-19 team were Ramnaresh Sarwan, Hemnarine Chattergoon, Andy Chinsammy, Azeemul Haniff and Vishal Nagamootoo who was Shirley Clarke’s deputy.
Five Guyanese were selected again in 2001 when the Brenton Parchment-led West Indies Under-19 toured the United Kingdom. The Guyanese that toured were Narsingh Deonarine, Vishal Arjune, Rayon Thomas, Ron Matthews and Hemraj Garbarran.
This proud tradition of Guyanese playing for the West Indies Under-19 side started in July-August 1970, some 47 years ago when the Dudnath Ramkisson-led West Indies Under-19 squad made its inaugural tour and series against Young England in the United Kingdom.
Then the Land of Many Waters had only three representatives in fast bowler later turned leg-spinner Sydney Matthews, Kennedy Venkasammy and Gopie Beasmonie.
When the West Indies Youths returned to the United Kingdom in 1974 under the captaincy of Trinidadian Colin Murray, the Guyanese on that tour were Babu Sankar, Timur Mohamed and Berbician Radhay Solomon, a relative of Joe Solomon who was attending the Berbice High School at the time.
The West Indies Under-19 versus Young England one-off Youth test in 1976 saw Guyanese Timur Mohamed (Captain), Mark Harper, Andrew Lyght (deceased) and Sen Gopaul as the representatives.
On the West Indies Under-19 tour to the UK in 1978, the Guyana representatives were Eon Grant, Keshore Persaud and Tyrone Etwaroo.
The West Indies Under 19 versus Young England 1980 series saw Roger Harper, Ray Joseph, Andrew Jackman and Rabindranauth Seeram as the Guyana representatives.
In the West Indies Under 19 tour to the U.K in 1982, the Guyanese players were Roger Harper, Captain, Andrew Jackman and Deonarine Persaud while the 1985 West Indies Under 19 versus Young England series saw Carl Hooper as the lone Guyanese.
No Guyanese was selected for the inaugural ICC Youth World Cup in 1988 but one year later, the West Indies Under-19 team to Canada in 1989, included Keith Semple and Paul Persaud.
Persaud played for the Guyana U19 team at the tender age of 15 in the then Northern Telecom U19 regional tournament.
The representatives on the West Indies Under 19 team that opposed Young Australia in 1990 were Paul Persaud and Arjune Nandu while the West Indies Under 19 team that toured the UK in 1993 included Andre Percival and Colin Stuart and Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who were both to go on and play for the West Indies.
Three more Guyanese were on the West Indies Under-19 that played Young England in January of 1995 in Percival, Captain, former West Indies fast bowler Reon King and Nicholas deGroot.
West Indies Under-19 to Pakistan and Bangladesh Nov/Dec 1995: Reon King, Nicholas deGroot, Vishal Nagamootto and Mahendra Nagamootoo.
West Indies Under-19 versus Young Pakistan in 1996: Vishal Nagamootoo, Andy Chinsammy, Azeemul Haniff, former West Indies player Ramnaresh Sarwan and Hemnarine Chattergoon.
West Indies Under-19 team to the second ICC Youth World Cup in 1998: Sarwan and Homchand Pooran. West Indies Under 19 team to the third ICC Youth World Cup in 2000: Narsingh Deonarine, Sewnarine Chattergoon and Roopnarine Ramgobin.
West Indies Under-19 team to the UK in 2001: Rayon Thomas, Deonarine, Vishal Arjune, Ron Matthews (son of Sydney Matthews) and Hemraj Garbarran.
Fourth ICC Youth World Cup in 2002: Narsingh Deonarine, Captain and Ron Matthews.
Fifth ICC Youth World Cup, Bangladesh 2004: Assad Fudadin and Zamal Khan. Sixth ICC Youth World Cup Sri Lanka 2006: Leon Johnson, Captain, Gajanand Singh and Richard Ramdeen.
Seventh ICC Youth World Cup, Malaysia, 2008: Steven Jacobs and Veersammy Permaul.
Tenth ICC Youth World Cup, New Zealand, 2010: Keon Joseph and Trevon Griffith.
West Indies Under-19 versus Young Australia, Dubai 2011: Kwame Crosse, Amir Khan and Ronsford Beaton.
Eleventh ICC Youth World Cup, Australia, 2012: Amir Khan and Beaton.
West Indies Under 19s versus Young Bangladesh 2013: Shimron Hetmeyer, Tagenarine Chanderpaul and Gudkesh Motie.
Twelfth ICC Youth World Cup, Dubai, 2014, Hetmeyer, Tagenarine Chanderpaul and Motie.
Thirteenth ICC Youth World Cup, Bangladesh, 2016: Hetmeyer, Keemo Paul and Tevin Imlach.
West Indies Under 19s to South Africa and Zimbabwe 2017: Joshua Persuad and Bhaskar Yadram.