Friday, January 19, 2018

T&T U-17s set for title defence


exciting prospect: Kirstan Kallicharan

Mark Fraser

Trinidad and Tobago Under-17 coach Tarandath Sammy is satisfied with his team’s preparations for the upcoming regional Under-17 Championships and is confident his charges, led by Bryan Boodram, can retain their regional title.

The 2014 tournament bowls off next week and Sammy said they are just fine-tuning for the competition. “We are about 90 percent there,” he told the Express during the team’s washed out practice match at the National Cricket Centre in Balmain, Couva, yesterday.

The T&T coach is with what he called “a good all-round team” which has three players—Boodram, Jarlarnie Seales and Dejourn Charles—returning from last year’s Under-17 side. The trio should add a lot of experience to the team especially after coming through some tough battles last year when most of their matches came down to the wire.

T&T came out on top last year thanks to their strong lower order batting and Sammy says this year, the team’s batting will be their strength again. “We have a good all-round team but we also have a very strong middle and lower batting order,” said Sammy.

“Dejourn Charles is an exciting middle order batsman from Tobago and he also bowls off-spin. We also have another exciting prospect in Kirstan Kallicharan. In the bowling we have two pacers in Jarlarnie Seales and Dexter Sween and we also have Sachin Seecharan who bowls a decent medium pace and is also a very handy batsman so he will have a part to play in the overall scheme of things,” the coach explained.

In terms of his bowlers, while he is please with the fast-bowling options at his disposal, Sammy insisted “We will be depending on our spin department led by Boodram (Emilo) Gopaul, Charles and Kallicharan.”

“My major headache, and this is really a good headache to have, is really is to select a first 11 for the game. It will be a close call,” the coach added.

“At the end of the day we prepared. We paid a lot of attention to the psychological preparation of the players and I think that will make the difference. We had a really good session with Zaheer Ali Foundation on Saturday which I think was very good for the team,” Sammy concluded. T&T leave for Tobago on Friday and will play their first match against Barbados next Tuesday.

T&T Under-17 squad: Bryan Boodram (Captain), Keagan Simmons (vice-captain), Emilo Gopaul, Jarlarnie Seales, Dexter Sween, Keron Persad, Kirstan Kallicharan, Sachin Seecharan, Nathaniel McDavid, Dejourn Charles, Jordan Warner, Brandon Maharaj, Daniel Williams, David Williams. Tarandath Sammy (coach), Stephen Martel (manager).