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ST. JOHN’S, Antigua – Fresh from the Under 17 Regional Title, Trinidad and Tobago are ready to defend their title in the U19 three-day tournament, set to start in St Kitts, next Monday (July 24). Guyana will also defend their 50-over title, with that format beginning on Tuesday, August 15.

The three-day competition will have the teams from the six territories, while in the 50-over competition, the ICC Americas will field a team for a group of seven tournament.

Four venues will be used over the next six weeks by host country St Kitts, to effectively host both formats, with competition scheduled to end, Monday, August 28. The three-day format of this tournament will see the addition of two rounds for a total of five, as opposed to the three-round format used in previous years.

Following the Windies win in the Under 19 World Cup in Bangladesh last year, the team is gearing up for the World Cup Championships in New Zealand next year. Rawl Lewis, the officer in charge of youth development at Cricket West Indies notes this tournament as an important part of the calendar of events.  “The Under 19 tournament is an integral part of the development of cricket in the West Indies. It is the final stage before first class cricket and many of our top players hone their skills here.” Fast-bowler Alzarri Joseph, one of the young and upcoming players on the Windies senior team is a prime example of this. Shimron Hetmeyer, former captain of the Under 19 team who secured the championship trophy last year, has also featured at the top of the order for the Windies test team as of late.

Dennis Phillip, president of the St Kitts Cricket Association says that preparations are well underway and venues will be ready for final inspection on Saturday July 22. Final rounds of meetings with event staff will be completed by this Friday afternoon. “As with everything, there are one or two kinks to be worked out, but we will be fully prepared on Monday”

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