NORTH SOUND, Antigua (CMC) — Head coach of the West Indies Cricket Academy team Rayon Griffith said he wanted his side to build on their strong showing in the recent West Indies Super50 Cup in the three white-ball matches against Emerging Ireland in Antigua.
The two sides will play the first in a series of three One-day, 50 overs-a-side matches on Friday at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground (VRCG), hoping to gain high-quality playing time and test themselves against each other.
The other two matches in the series will be played on Sunday and Tuesday at the Coolidge Cricket Ground (CCG) and the VRCG, respectively.
The academy narrowly missed out on qualification for the semi-finals of the Super50 Cup, finishing fifth on 33 points — one point behind fourth-placed Guyana Harpy Eagles — after winning three of their maximum seven matches.
"This series is all about giving the players the opportunity to develop and prove their growth, so we want to give everybody a chance to play in this series," Griffith said in an interview with CWI Media.
"The guys have been together for two years. We know they have been training hard, but we want to see them playing more cricket, showing they understand different situations in the game, displaying their skills, and making the most of winning situations."
The Academy squad comprises mainly players in the Cricket West Indies hgih-performance programme, who have recently played in the Super50 Cup, as well as the Headley-Weekes Tri-Series earlier this year such as left-handed Guyanese opener Matthew Nandu and Barabdian batsman Kevin Wickham.
The team is captained by Barbadian all-rounder Nyeem Young, and includes a host of former West Indies Under-19 players, among them former captain Ackeem Auguste of St Lucia, and Jamaican batsman Jordan Johnson, the most prolific batsman on a recent tour of Sri Lanka with three hundreds.
Also included for the white-ball matches are Guyanese off-spin bowling all-rounder Junior Sinclair, and Barbadian batting all-rounder Kadeem Alleyne.
Sinclair bowled impressively and helped the Guyana Amazon Warriors team win their first Caribbean Premier League title in September on home soil, and Alleyne batted solidly at the top of the order for Combined Campuses & Colleges in the Super50.
The two teams will also play a pair of four-day, first-class matches, starting November 25 and December 2 respectively, at the CCG.
Guyanese pace bowler Isai Thorne, who bowled with hostility and penetration on the West Indies Under 19 tour in August to Sri Lanka, has been included in the Academy squad for those matches.
WEST INDIES CRICKET ACADEMY (from): Nyeem Young (captain), Kadeem Alleyne, Ackeem Auguste, Joshua Bishop, Teddy Bishop, Carlon Bowen-Tuckett, McKenny Clarke, Jordan Johnson, Leonardo Julien, Johann Layne, Matthew Nandu, Ashmead Nedd, Kelvin Pitman, Junior Sinclair, Kevin Wickham.
EMERGING IRELAND: Stephen Doheny (captain), Cade Carmichael, Murray Commins, Matthew Foster, Mike Frost, Fionn Hand, Gavin Hoey, Matthew Humphreys, Scott Macbeth, Tom Mayes, Liam McCarthy, Adam Rosslee, Tim Tector, Morgan Topping.