West Indies Youth Teamby Jannatul Naym Pieal

DHAKA, Bangladesh, January 10, 2016 – West Indies Under-19 Cricket Team will play the first of the three-match youth ODI series against their Bangladeshi counterparts on Monday.

West Indies head coach Graeme West, during his briefing with the reporters on Sunday, said he was delighted to get the opportunity of playing against Bangladesh just prior to the imminent ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup.

“I am really quite happy,” said the former English batsman. “It’s a great opportunity for us to adapt to the conditions. This experience will come of help on our way to sustaining good performance in the forthcoming World Cup.”

It’s no secret that Bangladesh are trying to outsmart the Windies team with their spin-heavy attack. But the Englishman was unfazed by the threat as he said, “I know they (Bangladesh) are very strong in spin. They also have become a force to be reckoned with recently. So it’s always tough to face them. But we are also well prepared to take the challenge.”

“We have a bunch of talented cricketers in our team. We too have a balanced spin attack. To add to that, there is a number of players in the top order who possess tremendous promise in them. In next five to ten years, some cricketers from this youth side are likely to represent their country in the international circuit,” added West.

The Caribbean Juniors are not much of unfamiliar opponents for the Young Tigers. West Indies visited Bangladesh once in the year 2013 for a seven-match youth ODI series in Chittagong. However, that series was later postponed after one match, which the hosts claimed, as the visitors decided to leave the country thereafter with immediate effect, citing security concerns.

All three matches of the series will be day-encounter and scheduled to start at 9:00 a.m. local time. While the first match will be held at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka, the next two matches will take place at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in port city Chittagong on January 14 and 16 respectively.

Ahead of the series opener, Bangladesh captain Mehedi Hasan Miraz revealed that they are aiming to benumb their opponent in spin. While the Caribbean team is full of left handed batsmen, Bangladesh have four off-spinners, including skipper Miraz himself, in their arsenal.

“I have seen their practice the other day. They have a number of lefties in their batting. On the contrary, we have as many as four off-spinners. It’s always tough to notch runs on the board against spinners in our country. So hopefully our spinners will be able to take the full benefit from the wicket in their favour,” said Miraz.

The Khulna-based all-rounder also added that despite forming a spin-heavy squad, the main focus will remain on the batsmen. “Batsmen have to take the main responsibility. Because without enough contribution from them, our bowlers will not be able to win matches for us. And again if the batsmen can provide us a healthy total on the board, things will get easier for the bowlers and hopefully they will not disappoint us in defending the totals.”

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