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Grant, Johnson head to Malaysia

Grant, Johnson head to Malaysia

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Young Vincentian cricketers Dawnley Grant and Dellorn Johnson are heading off to Malaysia with the West Indies Under-19 team for the Youth World Cup.{{more}}

The two players, both fast bowlers, were set to leave for Barbados today, Friday, January 25.

Grant, a right arm fast bowler, considered among the region’s fastest among his age group, is also an aggressive but a handy lower order batsman, while Johnson, a left hander, his strengths in his accuracy and his ability to bowl that nagging length.

A stop over in Barbados for a training camp, organized by the West Indies Cricket Board, mirrors a similar exercise undertaken by the senior team last year, before they departed for their African tour, which involved Zimbabwe and South Africa.

The camp in Barbados takes in mental, tactical, physical and technical preparations.

Then, it is onwards to Bangladesh for four one-day practice matches from January 29 to February 8, to consume the regional hopefuls’ travel itinerary, before embarking on their mission in Malaysia.

In Malaysia, the West Indies will first engage Sri Lanka, February 12, and Zimbabwe, February 14, in two familiarization fixtures.

Grant and Johnson made the final cut, following an intense training session in Guyana from December 8-18 last year. Johnson also participated in the KFC Cup One Day series last October, when the Under-19 team was entered in that competition.

Grant, though, missed out, as he was suffering from a side strain, an injury sustained during his senior St. Vincent and the Grenadines debut in the Windwards tournament, held here in September and October last year.

The two join thirteen others, who would carry the aspirations of the Caribbean, for the February 17 to March 2 event.

Leading the team is Barbadian Shamarh Brooks, who was also part of the 2006 team. Brooks was part of the Barbados senior team in the current regional four day tournament. Brooks’ Vice Captain is Guyanese Steven Jacobs.

Jamaica dominates the selection with five picks. In are Andre Creary, Jason Dawes, Nkrumah Bonner, Shacoya Thomas and Horace Miller.

Trinidad and Tobago’s opener Adrian Barath and middle order batsman, the left handed Darren Bravo, also have first class experience. Both played in the two rounds of matches for their country in the Carib Series. Barath got his first taste this year, while Barath made his debut last year.

Brooks’ countryman Kyle Corbin, Guyanese Veerasammy Permaul and Devon Thomas and Keiron Powell of the Leeward Islands complete the 15 member team. Permaul and Thomas carry with them first class experience, as the two played for their respective units in the first set of matches in the Carib Beer Series.

Former West Indies middle order batsman Larry Gomes is the team’s coach, with Clyde Butts, the manager.

The West Indies first match in the tournament is against South Africa, February 18. Their next opponent is a non traditional opponent, Papua New Guinea, on February 20.

The regional team last preliminary fixture pits them against India, February 22. The West Indies best showing in the tournament was its defeat in the final in 2004, beaten by Pakistan.

Pakistan also won the 2006 version.(RT)

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