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Coach Haynes banks on pace for Regional Under-19 tourney

Senior staff reporter

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

IN search of the winning formula to capture the Regional Under-19 cricket tournament, Robert Haynes, Jamaica's head coach, is angling for an advantage in the fast-bowling department.

On Sunday at Kensington Park, Haynes was assessing fast-bowling prospects ahead of the Under-19 three-day and one-day competitions — both to be staged in Barbados in August.

“This is our first weekend with the under-19s. We've invited some fast bowlers and medium pacers, and I'm happy to say that the talent that I'm seeing from the [urban area] Grace Shield and the [rural area] Headley Cup [competitions] is good in terms of our development programme,” said Haynes, a former Jamaica wrist spinner.

He explained that the long-term goal is to develop fast bowlers for the senior level.

“We're not just looking at this level. We have talent in abundance here, so it's for us to document them and have things on record and have them available to be called upon in the future,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

Haynes, who played eight One-Day Internationals for the West Indies, said he likes his team's chances after finishing second to Guyana in the three-day format last season.

“Last season was my first ever coaching Under-19 cricket and we came second in the three-day competition. We have four players who did fairly well last year in Raewin Senior, Dominic Samuels, Andre McCarthy and Carlos Brown. There are other players who should be coming into the set-up who played under-17 last year and did fairly well. I'm hoping that all these players gel together [so] we can have a good set-up,” said the former West Indies selector.

“We didn't do too well in the one-day competition because I think the guys were fatigued. It was very tight in terms of the days we got for recovery. Last year we played five three-day games in 19 days and that was asking a lot from the players,” he added, while noting that strengthening and proper nutrition are key elements this year.

He also conceded that the slow-bowling options appear limited at the moment.

“In the spin department we might struggle just a bit, but we have youngsters who played U-17 and club cricket who have done well, so I'm expecting good things from them. That's why we are working with the fast bowlers because that's the area we need to strengthen a bit. The talent I've seen so far is encouraging and something I'm looking forward to,” Haynes told the Observer.