Guyanese Raymond Perez and Ashmead Nedd are among seven new players called into the selection frame for next year’s Youth World Cup in New Zealand while Joshua Persaud and Bhaskar Yadram remain in contention for a West Indies under – 19 World Cup spot.
Nedd and Perez will be joined by Brad Barnes, Kishawn Graham, Jarion Hoyte, Aaron Maniram and Kimani Melius, all of whom were stand-out performers in the just-concluded Regional Under-19 Championship in St Kitts.
The group are part of a 21-member West Indies Under-19 squad which will participate in a two-week training camp from December 5 to 20 in Barbados and Antigua.
Selectors have retained all but two members of the squad which toured South Africa and Zimbabwe recently, winning both series.
“The addition of players from the recent Regional U19 tournament to the camp squad will complement the team that was so successful two months ago in South Africa and Zimbabwe,” said chief selector Courtney Browne.
“These additional players were chosen to strengthen those positions in the squad that we felt needed attention.”
Melius emerged from the three-day tournament as the Most Valuable Player after plundering 441 runs at an average of 49 for Windward Islands.
Guyana’s Perez, meanwhile, gathered 348 runs at an average of 116 in the one-day format, helping his side to play unbeaten and win that title. He was voted MVP.
Left-arm spinner Nedd, also from Guyana, snared 26 wickets in the three-day format and 10 in the one-dayers while Trinidadian off-spinner Maniram was among the leading wicket-takers in the shorter format with 12 scalps.
The squad will undergo fitness testing in Barbados before heading to Antigua to wrap up their training programme at the Coolidge Cricket Ground.
Browne said the camp, the final one before the Youth World Cup, would be of key importance to the squad’s preparation.
“The upcoming strategic camp will again give the coaching staff another opportunity to enhance and fine-tune the players’ skills and focus on teamwork, as we set out on our quest to defend the ICC Youth World Cup title.”
The showpiece will run from January 13 to February 3 next year when the Windies U19s defend the title they captured in 2016.
Squad: Alick Athanaze, Brad Barnes, Joshua Bishop, Cephas Cooper, Kishan Graham, Jarion Hoyte, Kirstan Kallicharran, Mikyle Louis, Aaron Maniram, Kimani Melius, Ashmeade Nedd,Darron Nedd, Kian Pemberton, Raymond Perez, Joshua Persaud, Jeavor Royal, Keegan Simmons, Javier Spencer, Emmanuel Stewart, Bhaskar Yadram, Nyeem Young (CMC)