Under-19 cricket coach laments poor preparation for regional failure

BY SHERDON COWAN Observer staff writer

Saturday, August 16, 2014

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ROBERT Samuels, coach of Jamaica’s Under-19 cricket team, declared that a lack of proper organisation led to the team failing in its bid to defend both regional titles.

Samuels added that he is not surprised as the players were not adequately prepared going into the tournament.

"It was expected. If you don’t prepare properly. then when you go in a tournament you will lose. As I mentioned before, we left here, I got about two net sessions with the boys and that was no preparation time," he told the Sunday Observer shortly after the team’s arrival at the Norman Manley International Airport yesterday.

He continued: "The same morning we arrived, we played cricket the same day so everything was just chaotic. Before we left nothing was organised properly and when things like that happen, then we will definitely be on the losing end."

Additionally, Samuels pointed out that the players failed to navigate each game as a unit and that also contributed to their collapse as they ended third and fifth, respectively, in the one and three-day competitions.

"They didn’t play any game as a team until they met Barbados (and) it is unfair to the boys to send them out there to learn on the job. The captain is getting to know them (other players) while he is on tour in a competition, and that is never good," he explained.

With that being said, Samuels went on to salute skipper Ramaal Lewis, who picked up 24 wickets in the three-day format. In the same breath, he expressed dissatisfaction with the performance of Leroy Lugg, despite the 18-year-old’s first youth century.

"Lugg is a capable batsman and after playing nine matches he should have got much more than just one century, but hats off to the skipper who was outstanding in leading from the front."

Lewis shared the sentiments of his coach.
"It was very rough for us. I think we didn’t get enough time to prepare and we were struggling to know each other the way how we should and it was a big task for us throughout the competition," he pointed out.

The 17-year-old St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) student was playing his last tournament at this level and is now looking forward to starting his career at the senior level.

Meanwhile, 18-year-old Lugg, who hails from Holmwood Technical, is also looking to utilise his talent at the senior level.




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