West Indies-A, India-A face-off in first 50-overs match today

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Windies A-team coach Esaun Crandon

ST JOHN’S, Antigua – A crucial first stage of post-World Cup 2019 building ahead of the inaugural 2020 ICC One-day international league and 2023 World Cup commences today, when West Indies-A and India-A face off in the first of five 50-over matches at Coolidge Cricket Ground, Antigua.

Matches will be streamed live on www.Windiescricket.com and Sony LIV India.

This is the fourth A-team series, organised by Cricket West Indies (CWI) under the current post January 2017 tenures of Director of Cricket Jimmy Adams and CEO Johnny Grave.

It coincides with the 10-point Skerritt/Shallow administration ‘Cricket First Plan’ of greater exposure of U-23 and U-19 players and enhancement of franchise system, so that the best emerging Caribbean players and top domestic performers can be tested against high quality overseas opposition.

“This is a very important series against a very competitive opposition in India-A”, said West Indies-A coach Esaun Crandon.

“We know the brand of cricket they play, with many fringe players that have played for India’s senior team or are pushing to be part of India’s senior team.

Overall we are very optimistic about our chances. I think we (Windies-A) have a very good blend of experienced and young players in this squad.”

The international experience of members of this West Indies-A 50 overs squad is vast with only quartet Rakheem Cornwall, Akeem Jordan, Romario Shepherd and Kjorn Ottley yet to feature in maroon colours.

“I’m expecting the experienced guys, especially those who were also involved in Ireland Tri-Series to lead from the front.

“Obviously we aren’t going to depend on them solely, since the other selected players we believe in their abilities as well, but by default on and off the field those guys’ recent international experience will be key.”

On the pitches West Indies-A hope to encounter, Crandon said: “We want to have pitches that will play to our strengths and India’s weakness. So hopefully the curators can produce wickets that give us grass, pace and bounce.

We also have to own the conditions as the home team and execute on the day.”

On another coaching opportunity, Crandon said: “I’m grateful for the opportunity to lead West Indies-A against a very competitive opposition. It’s all about trusting the process; keeping it simple and replicating the coaching philosophies that brought me success with Guyana, and what I learnt and observed on the England series coaching staff.

So it’s not solely about winning series for personal growth, but building relationships as a coach with players and helping them to be best prepared as possible for when they get a chance at international level.”