ST JOHN’S, Antigua (CMC):
A week into their intense work programme, the West Indies Emerging Players have impressed coaching staff with their enthusiasm and commitment, according to Cricket West Indies (CWI) High Performance Manager Graeme West.
He said the 15 selected players have already seen benefits from their training at the Coolidge Cricket Ground (CCG), and “we have had a really encouraging, positive start”.
“It has been really encouraging to see the energy and enthusiasm of all the players. They are keen to improve their game as they recognise this is a really good opportunity for them,” he said.
“All the coaching staff have been really impressed with the ability to listen and take on board the ideas, and reinforce some of the things they would have come across before having been involved in West Indies Under-19 programmes, some with the first-class franchises, some with CPL franchises from before. It is a young group, but they are experienced.”
West said the group of young talented players include some who flew in from the United Kingdom where they were playing club cricket, several who were involved in first-class cricket in Trinidad, and others who have been going to the United States to play T20 cricket.
“So we are bringing them to gather as a group and we have a lot lined up for them here at CCG,” he said, adding that the players have been going through their drills with professionalism and camaraderie.
The plan for a CWI Emerging Players Academy was first announced in March. It is a nexus between regional junior and senior teams while supporting the development of talented players between the ages of 19 and 25.
The 15 players at the first Emerging Players camp were picked after the CWI Selection Panel met and made recommendations on a formula that included consultations with each of the six territorial boards.
CWI said the camp has several objectives and the main focus during the initial period will be to ensure the management of talent; players’ personal development, especially creating a breeding ground for leaders in the game; accelerating development, reinforcing the importance of knowledge on the physical components; and increasing the readiness of the players for the international stage, with a focus on specific skillsets identified by the Head Coach of the Senior Team.