ST. JOHN’S, Antigua – Twenty-two (22) of the best Under-19 women’s players from across the West Indies have been shortlisted as a provisional pool from which the West Indies squad for the ICC Women’s U19 Cricket World Cup, South Africa 2023 will be selected.
All six Regional Under-19 teams returned to competition in the West Indies Rising Stars Women’s U19 Championship held in Trinidad in July, following two years without any regional age-group cricket due to the coronavirus pandemic. Following the tournament, fifteen (15)of the twenty-two (22) players identified, played a historic five-match U19 T20 International (T20I) series against the USA at the Broward County Stadium in Lauderhill, Florida in August.
The CWI Selection Panel had the opportunity to see the team at play for the first time and despite the 4-1 loss to the USA, were pleased with the opportunity for West Indies Women’s Under 19 players to get international match experience and for the Panel to better understand the talent within the group. This team is historical, as it is the first ever West Indies Under-19 Women’s team.
CWI’s Lead Selector for Women’s cricket, Ann Browne-John said: “The Rising Stars Under 19 tournament saw a welcome return to competition for young women in the region. Following the tournament, these twenty-two (22) players have been shortlisted to prepare for the World Cup in January in South Africa, as well as some additional preparation matches. After the long pandemic disruption, it was refreshing for the selectors to see some new talent which augers well for future development. This pool, apart from World Cup participation, can also serve as a feeder for the senior team. It contains a great mix of players both right and left-handed and a variety of up-and-coming bowlers.”
The Rising Stars age-group tournaments within CWI’s Future Stars programme play a crucial role in the growth and development of the next generation of cricketers in the region. These tournaments are a key component in the system for identifying the West Indies U19 Men’s and Women’s teams. This provides the best opportunity for our most talented players to thrive and develop further with the goal of ultimately feeding into the West Indies Senior Men’s and Women’s teams.
One of the players shortlisted is opening right-handed batter and captain of Trinidad and Tobago women’s U19 team, Shalini Samaroo. Samaroo was part of the squad to play in the five-match T20I Series in Florida and she emerged as the Player of the Series. Speaking to CWI Media, Samaroo said, “It was a dream come through to be selected to play for the West Indies, because it was one of my goals as a cricketer to be able to wear the Maroon colours.”
Samaroo added, “It was a learning experience for me, new coaches, new teammates, understanding different personalities and abilities. I am happy that we got to play in the Rising Stars tournament again after the delay due to COVID-19. We have all been working hard on our games waiting for this tournament to put our skills on show to the selectors and coaches and I am happy that I was one of the twenty-two to be selected as the best Under-19 women cricketers in the region.”
The West Indies Rising Stars Women’s Under 19 team are due to have a training camp and trial matches in Trinidad in October, before playing an away series against India in November as part of the preparation plans for the ICC Women’s U19 World Cup South Africa in January 2023.
PROVISIONAL WEST INDIES WOMEN’S U19 PLAYER POOL
Maria La Foucade
K D Jazz Mitchell
Abini St Jean