Kimani Melius

BEING GROOMED FOR LEADERSHIP: High-scoring 18-year-old St Lucian batsman Kimani Melius, seen in training in 2018, is likely to be named captain of the West Indies for the ICC U-19 World Cup in South Africa, starting in January.


Director of Cricket, Jimmy Adams believes the West Indies Emerging Players squad’s inclusion in the Regional Super50 is a crucial development initiative.

The former West Indies captain said the move provided young players the avenue to express themselves at a competitive domestic level, which served to further enhance their skills.

“A young player may miss out on selection at their franchise if they are up against two or three internationals with similar skill-sets,” said Adams.

“The Emerging Players squad aims to provide the platform for these players to perform and reward the hard work they have been putting in following their stints at the West Indies High Performance Centre.”

The squad comprises the likes of exciting Barbadian all-rounder Justin Greaves, dashing stroke-maker Kimani Melius and promising fast bowler Jermaine Levy.

Leg-spinning Trinidadian all-rounder Yannic Cariah will lead the side with Melius as his deputy, a move which chief selector Roger Harper said was based on experience.

“Yannic Cariah is recommended as captain because his experience better positions him to lead and help guide this young team,” Harper explained.

“Kimani Melius is recommended as vice-captain for succession planning purposes. He is the West Indies Under-19 captain and the intention for the exposure is to give him a greater opportunity for learning and growth.”

Floyd Reifer, who up until last month served as head coach of the West Indies side, will take over the helm of the unit. Reifer said he would be looking for improvement in every department.

“The main goal] would be seeing development of the players, seeing steady improvement as we make our way through the tournament,” he pointed out.

“Improvement in fitness standards. Improvement in attitudes toward the game. Improvement in the understanding of the game. This is a squad of emerging talent, so it’s about bringing the players closer towards selection for their franchise, West Indies ‘A’ and West Indies senior teams.”

The side will have their hands full in Group B where they have been pitted against hosts Trinidad and Tobago Red Force, last year’s losing finalists, Guyana Jaguars, Windward Islands Volcanoes and United States.

The tournament runs from November 6 to December 1.


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