WI U19 coach Nurse: Training camp was a success

The WI U19 team at the National Cricket Centre in Couva after taking part in a two-week developmental camp.  -
The WI U19 team at the National Cricket Centre in Couva after taking part in a two-week developmental camp. -

West Indies Rising Stars Under-19 coach Rohan Nurse believes the training camp from November 12-25 at the National Cricket Centre in Balmain, Couva, was a resounding success.

Nurse, alongside team staff Rohan Clarke (assistant coach) and Brendon Ramlal (manager), held intimate indoor and outdoor sessions with their 15-member squad, in preparation for the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup in Sri Lanka from January 13 to February 4.

Joining them were fellow staff Dominic Angry (physiotherapist) and Gregory Seale (strength and conditioning).

Initially, the squad was scheduled to play five games in Trinidad, three against the nation’s U23 team, and two against USA’s U19s, who will also feature at the World Cup.

Despite rain hampering three matches, Nurse said his team used the downtime to put in some much needed work in the nets, and also strengthen their personal ties with each other ahead of the major tournament.

“The two-week camp was quite beneficial in different ways. We utilised the indoor facility at Couva to get some conditioning and fitness work in, and work on skills,” he said.

“Fast bowlers would have worked on their death bowling skills, variations and yorkers. Batters continued to work on the ability to play spin; using their feet against it and sweeping. That was quite beneficial from that standpoint.”

Nurse said these areas were previously highlighted as key points after their tour of Sri Lanka in August. There, they played three One-Day Internationals and lost the series 2-1.

The U19 maroon also played two Youth Tests, drawing the first and losing the second. This tour was their first time playing together.

“We continued to build on the bond within the team and the culture we have.

Given the weather, we spent even more time with each other. The bond in the group continues to grow,” he added.

The varying weather, though, allowed the team to face different challenges on the field of play, and coach Nurse welcomed it. He said these unexpected obstacles allow players to think outside the box and adapt to changing conditions, therefore, helping mould a more all-round player.

“Even the surfaces (pitch) and matches provided different challenges, some which they may or may not encounter in the World Cup. However, as they grow as cricketers, and you play long format cricket….because one of our focus at Cricket West Indies is to produce multi-format cricketers instead of just red or white ball players.”

“Seeing players make good decisions on the field, tough out situations, because quite often the surface may have changed at Couva during the course of matches, and players had to make adaptations.”

Nurse said the passing of the team’s former manager, Gibbs Williams, two months ago in Jamaica, also played an important role in keeping the team united and focused. Williams was shot and killed in the parking lot of a medial facility in Portmore.

“The unfortunate passing of our past manager has also helped to galvanise the group seeing that we’ve all gone through a tragedy with each other, and we use each other as a support system.”

He applauded the camaraderie, both on and off the field. Williams also gave each player a special two-week training guide to complete before their next developmental camp in Antigua, from December 10.

Nurse confirmed that each player received their IPPs (individual player programmes) after the Sri Lanka tour, and will continue to work on these ahead of the upcoming camp.

The youngsters were not only privy to cricketing knowledge and skill at the camp but also key information on managing their promising careers.

“It was always whenever the group is gathered, everyone is together and discussing cricket. A presentation was done on financial management by Brendon, knowing that some players have already started elevating as franchise players.

“We have two contracted franchise players in the group; Nathan Edwards and Mavindra Dindyal, and Joel Andrew, who was involved in the Super50 Cup. We thought it was timely to start to expose them to that type of education.”

When they link back up in December, the players will pick up where they left off as they climax prep ahead of the January tourney.

For the World Cup, West Indies U19s are in Group B, alongside England, South Africa and Scotland. Group A comprises defending champions India, Bangladesh and USA. Group C is made up of Australia, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and Namibia. Group D has Pakistan, New Zealand, Afghanistan and Nepal.

West Indies U19s begin their World Cup quest against Scotland at the R Premadasa International Cricket Stadium, Colombo, on January 17.


"WI U19 coach Nurse: Training camp was a success"

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