Coach confident in Guyanese selected for ICC U19 title defence

Coach Julian Moore (fourth from left) and his boys pose for a photo at the GCB’s annual award ceremony on Wednesday evening. Other in the photo are the five Guyanese selected for the West Indies under – 19 side. From left Ashmead Nedd, Ronaldo Ali Mohammed, Joshua Persaud, Raymond Perez and Bhaskar Yadram (Royston Alkins Photo) 

Coach of the successful national under–19 team, Julian Moore, has expressed his confidence in the five Guyanese selected on the young Windies team for the ICC under – 19 World Cup title defence in New Zealand, next year.

Moore saw his side capture the regional under – 19 double in St Kitts earlier this year.

“I think they’ll do pretty well. Most of them have been guys who have been doing credibly well over the years in regional youth cricket,” the 31-year-old coach told Stabroek Sport during an exclusive interview at the culmination of the annual Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) award ceremony, held at the Umana Yana on Wednesday evening last.

“The last year has been sort of a break out year for them especially [Raymond] Perez. I thought he had a good year and looking at their overall ability; they are more than capable and mature to go over there and give a good account of themselves,” the level three coach said.

Moore, who is quickly rising among the ranks with a resume which includes four regional youth titles, highlighted the array of talent from the other territories included in the squad expected to carry the Caribbean pride down under.

“During the last under – 19 [regional], there was an abundance of talent,” Moore conceded in his overall assessment.

To nurture those selected he added: “I think the West Indies Board did an amazing job in arranging away tours and camps in between the last World Cup and this one which I think will go a long way. You already saw a difference in the maturity of these guys and they look even more sound which is ideal for their preparation.”

The Guyanese selected are Bhaskar Yadram, Raymond Perez, Joshua Persaud, Ronaldo Ali Mohamed and Ashmead Nedd.

Much is expected of the versatile Yadram, who has a pretty wise head on his young shoulders. Having already represented the West Indies youth side, he has proven to be effective on the international scene after earning player of the series awards in South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Nedd, who is an exceptionally talented left-arm spin bowler, can be effective in New Zealand conditions with which he is quite familiar after touring there in 2016 with a Trinidad-based youth side. If there’s one area that has been disappointing in his progression, is his batting for which he’s no slouch. He’s technically sound, and if he fires, he can certainly shore up the defending Champions lower order.

Persaud adds to the group’s dynamic from both a sporting and off-field perspective with his infectious positive attitude. He is considered the backup wicketkeeper to skipper Emmanuel Stewart. However, he can force his way into the team as a batsman and is perhaps the most pleasing to the eyes when cover driving.

Much is expected of Perez who can reach the pinnacle of his fledgling career by backing up his dream run in this year’s Regional Under 19 Tournament where he notched up 545 runs to force his way into the side.

Ali Mohamed is a cricketer much in the mould of World Cup winners Keemo Paul and Shamar Springer and can undoubtedly emulate their exploits with the conditions expected to suit his style of play.

As such, Moore is spot on about the talent that exists. Other than the five Guyanese, much of the responsibility of ensuring successful title defence will rest on the shoulders of Trinidad and Tobago duo Kirstan Kallicharan and Keagan Simmons who are two of the region’s more gifted batters.

Skipper Stewart, the obvious first-choice keeper who like Kallicharan, tasted success under Shimron Hetmyer in Bangladesh nearly two years ago, should lean on that experience to marshal his troops from behind and in front the stumps.

The tournament gets underway from January 13, 2018, and will see Windies opening the tournament against the host at the Bay Oval.

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