CMC – MANAGER of Cricket West Indies’ (CWI) High Performance Programme, Graeme West, has described the several age group competitions held at the regional level as “crucial” for the development of players.
West, who is currently in Trinidad to monitor the West Indies Rising Stars Under-17 Championship, said those tournaments helped to prepare players for entry into the senior team.
He said the Regional Under-15, Under-17 and Under-19 competitions were also used to help track the progress of players.
“All the age-group tournaments are huge to us in terms of identifying talent and the progress some of these players are making. It is incredibly important that I come to these tournaments and see those players that stand out and that are impressing.
“Clearly, we have a high number of players we are trying to keep an eye on. A lot of players that are here [Regional Under-17 Championship) have played with the West Indies Under-15 last year, so it’s really our only opportunity each year to check in and see how they are moving forward,” West Said.
He pointed to players such as Alzarri Joseph, Keemo Paul and Shimron Hetmyer, who all passed through the junior competitions.
“The great thing with our system is that really talented, young players can move through the system very quickly. We’ve seen that since the 2016 World Cup with guys like Alzarri, Keemo and Hetty, who’ve moved very, very quickly into the senior team.
“So that’s a great example for young players, as to what they can achieve in such a short space of time,” West said.
He said the junior tournaments also allowed for new players to be monitored.
“We’re trying to increase the pool of potential and to have them move from junior level to adult cricket. It’s really about starting to identify the players here that we can invest in,” West added.