ST JOHN’S, Antigua, CMC – Four-time champions Barbados will open the defence of their Regional Under-15 Championship title against arch-rivals Trinidad and Tobago, when the tournament bowls off in Jamaica later this month.
Ironically, the Barbadians lifted the title last year after beating T&T in final round, when the championship was staged in Bridgetown.
The tournament, which runs from March 28 to April 4, will see see Leeward Islands, Guyana, Windward Islands and Jamaica joining Barbados and T&T to do battle over five rounds of one-day cricket.
Cricket West Indies’ director of cricket, Jimmy Adams, said the tournament represented a chance for selectors to identify the future international stars.
“This is one of the key development tournaments on the Cricket West Indies annual calendar,” said the former West Indies captain.
“This tournament serves the purpose of encouraging junior players from across the Caribbean to excel and be given the opportunity for early recognition, while promoting competition among their peers at the regional level.
“In our bid to make Windies a consistently successful side in the near and long-term future, it is important that we pay close attention to our development pipeline and make sure it is working effectively.”
Leewards, who finished second last year, take on hosts Jamaica at Up Park Camp while Windwards, who were third last year, clash with Guyana at Kensington Cricket Club.
This year represents the third time in the last six years that Jamaica will host the age group tournament, and Adams believes this will be an excellent opportunity for players to also engage personal development off the field.
“Jamaica is a great place to play the game, so it’s also an opportunity for the players to become acquainted with another culture and gain a greater appreciation for the region in which they live – that is also part of the learning experience of playing in a tournament like this,” he explained
“We also hope that experiencing the passion that people from outside of their own territory have for the game will also help to inspire them to continue along the development pipeline and one day wear the Windies burgundy, so we look forward to seeing loads of talented players being unearthed at this year’s tournament.”