Selector Lewis sees bright future for U-19 players

February 20, 2016
From left: Michael Frew, Odean Smith and Shahid Crooks.
Wayne Lewis

Jamaica's Under-19 selection panel chairman, Wayne Lewis, sees a very bright future for the local members of the West Indies Under-19 team which captured the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup title last weekend.

The trio, who returned the country earlier this week following their exploits in Bangladesh, have all expressed an interest in progressing further in the game, and according to Lewis, they have the talent to do well.

"Odean Smith, for example, is super-talented, broad shoulders, hits the deck very hard. He is also a hard-hitting batsman who plays fairly straight, as well," Lewis said.

Smith, a pace bowling all-rounder, is a student of Maggotty High in St Elizabeth played in the group stages of the World Cup against England and Fiji.

genuine leadership

Jamaica Under-19 captain and all-rounder Michael Frew who was a regular member of the team in Bangaldesh also came in for praise from Lewis.

"Frew is a good off-spin bowler who also bats as well and has genuine leadership abilities," continued Lewis.

"Crooks, in the meantime, who, while he did not get to play a match at the World Cup, has the making of being a very good batsman. He is very determined to continue playing cricket."

Meanwhile, looking ahead to this year's regional Under-19 tournament, Lewis, whose panel includes former national senior selector Ephraim McLeod, Robert Samuels and Junior Dean, said he expects Jamaica to do well.

He said a new management team is being assembled, and at the end of the tournament, they hope to unearth new players for the next Youth World Cup to be held in New Zealand in 2018.

"We expect to do well again this year with about four or five players expected to return," Lewis commented.

"We have just confirmed Odelmo Peters as the new manager, and we have had our first meeting ahead of the season. He will be assisting Robert Samuels, who is our coach, and the hope is that we will be able to put together a good synergy."

The West Indies overcame the challenge of title favourites India to lift their first ever Under-19 World Cup title.

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