Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago: The Trinidad and Tobago Under-19 team selected to participate in the upcoming CWI Rising Stars Regional Tournament has been described as the “best ever” and was challenged to return home victorious, according to Cricket360.
This announcement was made by Azim Bassarath, president of the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board and vice-president of the regional cricket body, Cricket West Indies.
He spoke to the players, accompanied by their parents/guardians and representatives of team sponsors, assembled at the National Cricket Centre in Balmain, Couva, to collect their playing, which will be used in St Vincent and the Grenadines, the venue for the month-long tournament.
The meet was also attended by the manager of the Under-19 team Kerwin John, the second vice-president of the TTCB and president of the Tobago Cricket Association, and Bhoodesh Dookie, the national team coach.
“This Under-19 team is the best team ever selected to represent Trinidad and Tobago in this age group,” Bassarath said, outlining the clinical preparations they have undergone to date.
According to Cricket360, he said the outstanding line-up started the season playing in the Pt Lisas Steel Products Limited Under-19 Inter Zone Tournament, then went on to the
Sports and Culture Fund Four-Team U-19 Cup, culminating in the Price Club North-South Classic.
Significantly, an Under-19 team in which several of the present players were included participated in the Premiership II (South Zone) competition, gaining valuable experience among seniors in two-day red ball cricket and 50-Overs competition.
The Under-19s also qualified for the Premiership II Final in the TTCB/Paria Fuel T20 Festival and won the runners-up cheque for $20,000.
Bassarath said the preparation would have continued under coach Dookie with training sessions and trial matches to ensure they were all fit and ready for the overseas assignment against their regional counterparts.
“You have a lot resting on your shoulders. Most of you would have played in the 2022 Regional West Indies Tournament, and the TTCB and the public expect nothing less than you bringing back the two trophies at stake in the tournament.
“You have the ability, and you all can match any other West Indian player at this age anywhere in the Caribbean. So you will have no reason not to bring back those two trophies, and we will not accept anything less,” Bassarath said.
The local and regional cricket boss acknowledged that it is a lot of pressure to carry the weight of expectation, but the players must be aware of the contribution being made an effort, time, energy, and resources by the TTCB since last year.
He urged the U-19s to travel as a team and maintain the same spirit since only 11 players will be selected to play in any matches, leaving three on the bench.
Bassarath said the responsibility of team selection lies with the Manager, Coach, and the team captain, and he warned against outside interference, which could distract from the focus and unity in the squad, as per the update.
He said the preferential treatment of any player would not be tolerated and should be brought to his attention since, as TTCB president; he has the responsibility to ensure every child receives equal treatment.
Bassarath expressed his appreciation on behalf of the TTCB to all the generous donors who provided the equipment bags, backpacks, helmets, and accessories for the entire squad.
Those who facilitated the donation were 360 Cricket, the premier live-streaming outfit (Equipment bags); Tribe Carnival Productions (Helmets and Backpacks); Seenath’s Auto Supplies (Sweaters); and Value Optical (Hats).
“The TTCB would not have been able to provide everything for the young men. We are appreciative of the efforts the parents and companies have also made to provide the equipment the boys need,” Bassarath said.
The shared Trinidad and Tobago under-19 squad:
Joshua Davis (Captain)
Justin Jagessar (Vice-Captain)
Abdur- Rahman Juman
Kerwin John (Manager)
Bhoodesh Dookie (Coach)