THE TRINIDAD and Tobago Cricket Board has hailed the West Indies Under-19 cricket team for their exciting five-wicket win over India, with three balls to spare, in the final of the ICC Under-19 World Cup on Sunday in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
It was the first time that a West Indies team was triumphant in the tournament which came in the final over of a low-scoring affair against a team widely regarded as favourites which before the final had only been defeated once in their last 21 matches.
West Indies won the toss and inserted the Indians who were bundled out for a paltry 145 in 45.1 overs. But it was not easy going for the Caribbean boys in their quest for victory as they were made to work extremely hard to reach 146 for five, with just three balls remaining.
“We at the TTCB are extremely proud of the effort of the West Indies Under-19 team for winning the world title. We extend our heartiest congratulations to the entire team, the management staff, and especially our two Trinidad and Tobago representatives, Jyd Goolie and Kirstan Kallicharan,” said Azim Bassarath, president of the TTCB on Sunday.
He said that the regional youngsters, who lacked the extended preparation and generous financial backing that the others top teams possessed going into the tournament, refused to be bowed and grew from strength to strength in each match.
“They showed that the region still possesses tremendous raw talent and grabbed the attention and admiration of cricket lovers all around the world with their never-say-die attitude and by playing smart cricket throughout the tournament,” said Bassarath.
He said that the players all had a bright future ahead in regional and international cricket and that every effort must now be made to support and groom them into future stars, building on the experience and winning qualities they have gained over the past three weeks.
Bassarath also heaped kudos on team captain Shimron Hetmyer for his cool and calculated leadership as well as the potent bowling attack headed by Alzarri Joseph and including Chemar Holder and Keemo Paul; wicketkeeper Tevin Imlach, and Keacy Carty, “Man-of-the-Match” in the final.
The TTCB chief said that the team’s performances which led to their historic achievement illustrated the strength of the youth cricket structure in the Caribbean which has been able to produce world beaters despite the serious challenges faced.
Bassarath said that valuable lessons have also been learnt by all who followed the team’s progress as the Under-19s showed courage under fire, patience in the face of crisis and the value of teamwork to achieve victory.
“The youngsters have made us all in the Caribbean extremely proud and they have given us hope for the future when the name ‘West Indies’ will again represent excellence at the highest levels of world cricket,” said Bassarath.